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Entries in safety (3)

Tuesday
Jan132015

Planning for Workplace Emergencies

A workplace emergency is an unforeseen situation that threatens your employees, customers, or the public; disrupts or shuts down your operations; or causes physical or environmental damage. Having an emergency action plan is key to preventing a disorganized evacuation or emergency response that could result in confusion, injury, and property damage.

Federal regulations require that almost every business develop an emergency action plan. An emergency action plan covers designated actions employers and employees must take to ensure employee safety.

Emergency Action Plan Key Elements: 

  • Means of reporting emergencies
  • Evacuation procedures
  • Procedures for employees who remain to operate critical operations before evacuating
  • Procedures to account for all employees
  • Rescue and medical duties
  • Names and job titles of persons who can be contacted for more information

Your emergency action plan should be tailored to your worksite and include information about all potential sources of emergencies. Keep a copy of your emergency action plan in a convenient location where employees can get to it, or provide all employees a copy. (If you have 10 or fewer employees, you may communicate your plan orally.)

You can use the online Emergency Action Plan Expert System, available from the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), to help you create a simple emergency action plan for your company. According to OSHA, this basic plan will be adequate for the needs of many small and medium-sized entities, but may not be adequate for large establishments or those with more significant hazards.

Note that the OSHA Expert System only provides information based on federal OSHA Emergency Action Plan requirements. If you are covered by a state OSHA plan, you may need to contact your local state OSHA office. Our section on Planning for Workplace Emergencies includes additional information and tips for protecting your employees and business during a disaster.

Source: Tom Ceconi, (http://blog.hr360.com/hr-blog/planning-for-workplace-emergencies-video-blog) June 19, 2014

Friday
Dec192014

TIS THE SEASON TO BE AWARE OF CONVEYOR BELT HAZARDS

conveyor_belt_safety_web

During the holiday season, many products are being sorted and moved around facilities by conveyor belts. Because these machines can cause injury if used incorrectly, it’s a great time to be reminded about the hazards associated with conveyors and how you can stay safe on the job.

Know the Pinch Points
Although the tops of conveyor belts are flat and don’t appear to present extraordinary risks, the areas where the belt meets the rollers are serious pinch points. No matter how much slack a belt may appear to have, it’s always heavy and dangerous. In fact, thousands of hand and other body injuries are attributed to conveyor belts every year.

Dress Appropriately
If you work around conveyor belts, it’s vitally important that you avoid wearing loose clothing, jewelry, or accessories that dangle. Also, remember to keep long hair secured and away from any machinery. If hair or improper clothing items become caught between the rollers of a conveyor belt, the belt can drag the item along and potentially cause serious injury.

Stick to Your Job
Remember to perform the job you have been trained to do, and don’t step outside of those guidelines. Injuries often occur because someone sees a string or another part of the belt dangling and tries to pull the damaged piece off. In doing so, one’s hand can be pulled into the moving parts. Likewise, if a product or package gets caught on the belt, do not grab it to remove it. Instead, leave that to co-workers who are specifically trained in performing lockout and tagout procedures to avoid serious injury.

If you’re simply placing materials on the conveyor belt or removing items from it, your job should be relatively safe. But, taking a small step outside of your duties or wearing the wrong clothing can lead to serious injury.

While last minute shopping orders are going out and post-holiday sales begin, these machines will experience heavy use. Remember to dress safely, stick to your job, and keep yourself and your co-workers safe.

Monday
Jun232014

SAFETY MONTH 2014: TWO COMMUNICATION TOOLS

June is National Safety Month, and this year the theme from The National Safety Council is “Safety: it takes all of us.” The message is focused on continuous risk reduction.  With that in mind, this is a good time to focus on working as a team to improve safety.

How do our actions impact our co-workers’ safety? How can we inspire or inform our co-workers in working safely? A commitment to continuous risk reduction means asking these questions, speaking up, and working together to take care of safety issues in the workplace. Here are two communication opportunities you can participate in to promote a safe workplace.

  1. Communicating About Near Miss Incidents
    Near miss reporting is a way to recognize hazards before they lead to an injury. A near miss is something that could have led to an accident, but the person was “lucky” not to have been in the wrong place. By reporting near misses and communicating with your co-workers, you can begin to eliminate risks. If everyone understands the preventative goal behind discussing these incidents with one another, this communication strategy can be a good way to prevent future accidents.
  2. Mentor Others
    Another way to continue this year’s theme of “Safety: it takes all of us” in the workplace is by being a mentor.  If you have a group who has learned to look at near misses and take care of risks, have an ongoing plan to share what that group has learned with the team and new employees.  Assign mentor employees to watch new employees perform risky activities, and explain the history of safe practices. Promote everyone’s participation in the group’s safety culture. In the end, the development of this culture of recognizing and eliminating hazards together is the strongest way to continuously reduce the risks associated with the workplace.

Safety Month is every June in the U.S., and serves as an annual reminder to focus on safety prevention and best practices.