Archives for April 2014

Save Our Sight: Tips for Mounting Eyewash Stations

Mount eyewash stations properly to quickly address eye injuries!

Eye injuries can be life-altering! As an employer, you must provide as much eye protection as you can to your workers. You can do this with the help of eye showers and eyewash stations, but many regulations govern their placement. These rules are outlined by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, while the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) also provides a useful reference in its Z358.1-2009 eyewash guidelines.

That in mind, we’ve summarized for you eyewash station installation tips from Safety + Health to keep your company safe and compliant in the easiest possible way.

 1. Place Eyewash Facilities Nearby

Swing Activated Laboratory Eyewash

Having the eyewash station right beside the work area allows for immediate attention.

ANSI regulations state that injured workers should take no longer than 10 seconds to reach the nearest eyewash station or shower. Position eyewash stations as close as possible to hazard sites, leaving access unimpeded by equipment, stairs or other barriers. For laboratories and small-scale facilities, swing-activated eyewash stations can keep activation effortless, thus reducing the response time.

2. Clearly Identify Eyewash Stations

Safety Alert Signs - Eye Wash Station Keep Area Clear

Show exactly where eyewash stations are.

Eyewash stations must be clearly identified and visible within a potential hazard zone. If the location of the eyewash stations have been established early on, at least the injured persons could find their way toward the eyewash station by instinct. Also, co-workers can guide the injured persons toward the station.

 3. Keep Your Eyewash Stations Maintained

Eyewash Stations

Even the simplest eyewash stations need regular checking and restocking.

An eyewash station that doesn’t work is as good as having no station at all. Keep eyewash supplies and replacement eyewash solutions near eyewash stations. Readily available supplies ease maintenance and enable you to deal with large-scale accidents where multiple workers are affected.

You owe it to your workers to provide them with prompt emergency care. Don’t skimp in saving their sight!

April 28th is National Day of Mourning

National Day of Mourning

Every day, an estimated three workers die in work-related incidents and more than 900,000  workplace injuries are reported every year. In Alberta alone, there was a record high number of 188 workplace deaths. With fatalities rates on the rise, it is time to realize the need for change.

Today, April 28, is the National Day of Mourning. On this day, the whole nation pays its respects to all workers who have been killed, injured or disabled on the job, or who suffer from occupational diseases. In 1984, the Labour Congress first declared April 28th as Canada’s Day of Mourning. This year marks its 30th anniversary.

The National Day of Mourning is held yearly not just to commemorate the dead, ill and injured, but also to raise awareness of the importance of workplace safety and health, and its role in preventing these needless occupational tragedies.

Organizations and individuals are encouraged to take a proactive role in promoting health and safety in the workplace. Take the time to recognize fellow workers who have been affected by work-related illnesses, injuries and deaths. Offer a moment of silence for them. Wear ribbons and armbands to show your support. You can also do this by looking for ways to improve the safety and health conditions of your facility.

Seton Canada is with you in honouring and remembering those who have lost their lives in the workplace. We are committed to promoting safety awareness in the workplace. Here are some ways that you and your company can do to increase safety and health awareness at work:

Promote employee safety at work. Put up safety signs in your workplace to remind everyone of the importance of safety and following safety rules and regulations. You can also post infographics on the number of worker deaths in Canada each year and the leading causes of workplace deaths and illness.

Be a safety mentor. Mentoring is an effective way to train new workers on the ins and outs of the job – including the correct safety practices. This can be a separate program or can supplement your current OHS program to decrease injuries and incidents, cut claims, and create a more safety conscious work environment. Use safety training tools for a more comprehensive training program.

Learn from it. Find the lessons to be learned from a workplace injury or fatality. Figure out the causes and find solutions to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Most workplace deaths are tragic events that could have been preventable. With proper training and awareness on safety regulations,  the number of workplace fatalities can decrease. National Day of Mourning is the day to honour the dead, but it is also a day to remind us of the need to protect the living.

But today, let us all take the time to wear our armbands and ribbons, light a candle, and observe a moment of silence for our fellow workers who are no longer with us.

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Connect with Maria Marnelli G. Medina on Google+

Safety Visuals: Minor Changes, Big Returns

9592C-PatrioticCan10x4-HR

Chances are, you already have an existing safety program for your workplace and it’s working great for you. However, you might have that nagging feeling at the back of you mind that it could be better. That’s good, it’s the sign of a well-run facility. After all, improvements in safety protocols should be a lifelong goal for any organization.

Sadly, it is usually at this point that most ideas of improvement are halted. Pushing for these changes can be difficult and adoption can be a struggle. What if we told you that there is one change you can make that can simultaneously improve the safety, efficiency, and productivity of your workers without the usual problems?

What we’re referring to is moving to a visual workplace, a concept you may have encountered in the 5s system. Now, we’re not going to be talking about the entire 5s system, just a core element of that: safety visuals. Now if you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s fairly simple. Basically, having standardized images on signs, decals, and cards which act as cues, safety reminders to workers at their work areas, and even a way to promote better morale. This has many benefits as we will be discussing.

Keeps People Safe

One of the biggest impacts switching to safety visuals brings is the improvement in safety.  On a more basic level, it is easier for people to connect the images with their actions rather than simple text. Complex concepts are more easily translated thus allowing for better compliance with safety procedure.

Another great thing about implementing safety visuals is the fact that images are standardized. With proper training, workers can easily distinguish the different images, much faster than having to read instructions off a sign.  It also transcends language barriers making it much more useful when working with people for whom English or French is not their first language.

Lowers Waste

Using safety visuals as cues can have a very big effect on lowering waste in a company. The use of these items can be seen in various successful systems including 5s, Kanban, and more. Essentially, having easy to recognize signs and tags to indicate which stock needs to be replaced will prevent overstocking and over ordering parts from suppliers.

The standardization of images allows workers to identify what parts need to be ordered, how many, and when it needs to be in the workplace. All of that, done at a glance. No need for any writing unless there are special instructions for a particular batch. No misinterpreted instructions, just a smooth flow of information.

It is not hard to see how the aforementioned benefits mentioned improve productivity and efficiency in the workplace. Speed, safety, and productivity are all enhanced by the simple addition of safety visuals in one’s work environment.

Improve Morale:

When workers do something good, it is important to tell them so. This positive reinforcement not only helps in driving a culture of safety in your workplace, it also keeps your employees working at their best (low morale=low productivity).

To further drive home the point that your company takes safety seriously, you can augment your signs and posts with a variety of hard hat decals, banners, floor labels and more. These little reminders placed around the office can help remind your workforce that they are in an environment where their safety is of the utmost importance.

Now, the next question would be, how do you get everything you need to set it up?

Well, you could browse through countless webpages and cherry pick from hundreds or even thousands of choices online, or you could make a quick call to Seton Canada. All you need is to provide us your theme, the number of employees you have, and any special instructions and we’ll remove all the guesswork and sorting. We’ll give you a custom program specifically tailored for your needs.

When it comes to safety, there is no room for excuses. Excuses won’t cause an accident to just not happen. Affirmative action and a well made safety plan will protect you from the worst of the possible dangers in the workplace. So start planning, make that call, and turn your facility into a safer place today.

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Connect with Enrico Santos on Google+.

Product Spotlight: Traffic and Parking Signs

canadianstopsign

Spring clean-up is in full swing throughout Canada these days. For most companies, that means getting their facility’s grounds in shape. If you haven’t already, start looking around your grounds for damaged or broken traffic and parking signs, as well as posts.

These signs are crucial to your facility’s safety and they need to be in good condition and clearly visible to be effective.

Seton has a full selection of the traffic and parking signs you need to keep your facility properly marked and identified, as well as safe.

Seton also offers DuroShield to extend the life of your signs. The overlaminate protective coating resists graffiti, fading and chemicals. As a result, each sign’s message is prominent and effective—and able to keep visitors and employees in outdoor areas (such as parking lots) safe.

Improving Work Zone Safety

workzonesafety

Work zones can be danger zones.  Statistics from the Transportation Association of Canada clearly prove that point.

In Quebec from 2010 and 2012, work zone collisions made up 3.1% of all collisions and 27 fatal collisions. In Saskatchewan, between 2008 and 2012, nearly 0.4% of all collisions were work zone collisions with four fatal collisions.

The numbers were similar in Alberta between 2008 and 2012, with 0.7% of all collisions represented by work zone collisions, and 15 fatal collisions.

To keep those numbers down, many safety steps need to be put in place to keep workers and motorists safe.

Wearing proper PPE (personal protective equipment) is one way in which workers can protect themselves in highway work zones. Workers should wear high-visibility clothing, such as arm bands, hats and vests. They should also avoid wearing colors that make them blend into their environment (such as foliage).

Fluorescent clothing made with retro-reflective material should be worn in sites with poor lighting conditions.

The possibility of workers being struck by construction vehicles is always a main concern in a work zone. To help reduce such incidents, an internal traffic control plan (ITCP) should be put in place. The purpose of an ITCP is to effectively coordinate the flow of construction vehicles, equipment and workers near and in a work zone to keep those workers safe.

Workers should be trained in the implementation of the ITCP for each project and a trained ITCP coordinator at each job site can respond immediately to hazards at the site.

All workers, drivers and visitors to a work zone should have a copy of the ITCP and safety guidelines upon entering a work zone.

Eco-Friendly Signs Just One Way to “Go Green”

smallecofriendly

Earth Day, an annual worldwide celebration on April 22, is the perfect time to assess your organization’s safety program and work to make it more “green.”

One effective way in which to accomplish this is through the use of green safety products, including eco-friendly signs.

Eco-friendly signs, which are 100% recyclable, still help organizations meet compliant regulations. They also fit into workplaces dedicated to obtaining and maintaining LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, which recognizes excellence in green building.

Eco-friendly signs are available in a variety of messages, and for multiple locations, throughout your facility. From Danger to Caution signs to Fire Extinguisher and Exit signs, eco-friendly options are vast in the safety sign category.

By using green safety products, you can protect your workers and your facility, while also protecting the environment.

New OHSA Training Requirement for Ontario Employers

Safety TrainingStarting July 1, 2014, Ontario businesses will be required to ensure their employees have completed an OHSA (Occupational Health and Safety Awareness) safety training program. The new regulation requires that supervisors and workers take a basic program covering updated industrial safety and health awareness standards, and that these trainings will be documented.

If you haven’t made plans for the transition yet,  Health and Safety Ontario recommends that you start by comparing your team’s current level of safety and health awareness with the new material. After you discover what training is needed, create an action plan to provide the needed education. Don’t forget to document participation, provide the trainees written proof, and complete all activities by July 1, 2014.

To make training your employees a breeze, take advantage of Seton CA’s WHMIS video training kit. This complete package consists of materials you need to teach your staff about Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) such as:

  • a 35-minute educational video in DVD
  • printed supplementary materials
  • five self-study guides with quizzes
  • a WHMIS poster
  • five wallet cards
  • five certificates
  • an administrator’s guide

Approved by the Industrial Accident Prevention Association and Liftow, these learning materials cover:

  • WHMIS basics
  • workplace hazards
  • hazard symbols
  • material safety data sheets
  • controlled products
  • training requirements and responsibilities

With Seton CA’s WHMIS video training kit, you’re one quick and easy step away from complying with Ontario’s regulations and cultivating a safe and healthy working environment!

Preparing for Spring: Some Spring Cleaning Tips

spring cleaning winter trash

With the coming of Spring, so comes the task of spring cleaning. The recent cold spell was one of the worst in recent memory. What this means is, the potential damage left by winter could also be pretty high. This being the case, it’s never too early to stock up on items for spring cleaning and repair.

What To Look Out For and What To Do

The biggest culprit when it comes to cold weather damage is of course water, specifically the water resulting from melting snow and ice. It’s important to remember that water can cause more than one type of cleanup and repair challenge. Consequently, dealing with these challenges would require different approaches. Here are some common problems resulting from melting snow and ice, and what you may need to best deal with them:concrete patch kit

  • Cracks – As you may know, water trapped in the nooks and crannies of areas like parking lots, roads, and grounds inevitably expand due to freezing, resulting in cracks. As soon as the snow and ice melts, perform a survey of your grounds to check for any new cracks. Take note of the new cracks – or better yet, mark these with a piece of chalk. To seal these up, use a concrete patch kit. This kit contains all the equipment you need to patch up cracks in your concrete.
  • Leaks – As on the ground, expanding ice on your roof can result in cracks. Naturally, these cracks can result in leaks. Be on the lookout for pools of water beneath ceilings as these are one of the hallmarks of a leaking roof. However, not all leaks produce enough water to cause pooling. In this case, be sure to check the inside of your roof, looking out for localized discoloration and signs of water damage. Before attempting any kind of repair, be sure that your roof is completely dry. In the meantime, regularly clean up any water on your floors as this could lead to slip and fall accidents. Better yet, you could use a leak diverter. Leak diverters prevent pooling water, reducing the need for constant cleanup.
  • Localized flooding and water pooling – Large amounts of snow and ice can cause localized flooding as these melt. If these floods are beginning to prove hazardous, you may need to cordon off the affected area with items like safety cones or stanchions. For large pooling of water inside your facility, you could use berms or absorbent socks to prevent slips and falls.
  • Dirt and debris – Dirt and debris trapped in both snow and ice is also released and carried away towards other areas leaving a big mess. In this case, there’s no other solution but to break out your old, trusty trash kit, and clean away. Related to this, all the inevitable sweeping and scrubbing can dull items like pavement signs, especially in parking lots. In which case, you may want to consider repainting your lot with the proper stencils and striping machines.

Spring Cleaning For Safety

Let’s face it: spring cleaning is a chore, one that anyone of us may be tempted to put off till at least till we’ve had a chance to enjoy the warm weather. In fact, making sure you get your spring cleaning done can help increase safety as well as prevent higher repair costs, be it in your home, parking lot or facility. As previously mentioned, repairing leaks can help prevent slip and fall accidents. Repairing cracks on the other hand, can help prevent further damage to your pavement which in turn can result in bigger repairs down the line. These reasons make spring cleaning an endeavor worth doing early.

To help you get started, we put together a number of spring cleaning products which you can view here and here. This is in line with Seton’s initiative to make safety easy. As always stay safe and warm.

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Connect with Noel Dugenia on Google+

 

Safety News You Can Use

safetyglobe

Avoid worker injuries and lawsuits by keeping workers safe. Learn why a manufacturer and a roofing company were fined after workers suffered severe injuries on the job.

Manufacturer Fined for OHSA Violation: A manufacturer was fined $60,000 for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The company was fined after a worker was injured after a press used to bend sheets of metal fell on the worker’s hands, leading to the loss of several fingers.

The company admitted guilt for failing to ensure the press was guarded properly to avoid access to its pinch point.

Roofing Company Fined After Worker Falls: A roofing company was fined $60,000 by the Ministry of Labour after a worker’s lower limbs were injured after a fall from a roof. The approximately 13-feet fall caused the worker to suffer broken heels.

The worker’s travel restraint system was attached to the roof by a single nylon anchor strap not wrapped around a structural member, as directed by an instruction manual. It was screwed into wood and the strap detached from the roof, causing the worker—who was untrained on anchor strap usage—to fall.

The company was not in compliance of Ontario’s construction regulation that requires tools and equipment to be used according to manufacturer instructions. The roofing company was also guilty of failing to protect its workers with the proper information, instruction and supervision needed to keep them safe.

 

Safety Signs: 7 Steps to A Safer Workplace

safety signs

Work injuries affect everyone. Workers sustain injuries and lose wages while recuperating, and employers take on the high costs of hospital and insurance bills. Not to mention what the company might shell out for a worker’s compensation claim. This makes workplace safety vital to any organization.

It is the responsibility of employers and office managers to make health and safety a top priority for their employees. Ensuring employees are informed about the existing and potential hazards in the facility, and the consequences when exposed to these dangers, is crucial in preventing accidents. One of the easiest and most effective ways to communicate workplace risks is using the appropriate safety signs and markings.

Posting safety signs in your place of work is not only required by law, it also serves as an important protection and accident prevention tool to keep your workers safe from potential work dangers. Safety signs help prevent chaos when disasters happen or when tackling emergency situations. These workplace signs are the quickest and most direct mode of communication between management and the staff in presenting critical safety information.

Before selecting the safety signs for your facility, here are some guidelines to help ensure the safety signs you choose will be utilized to their best capacity:

Step 1: Identify all hazards

First, you need to identify all the potential hazards in your workplace. This includes all industrial areas and offices, as well as public areas and other locations outside of the facility. You need to mark the obvious hazards, and also identify those that are out of the ordinary, unexpected, or not readily evidentWorkplace Safety Signs

Step 2: Choose the right safety signs and labels

Once you have identified all the hazards, you can now determine which safety signs are best suited for your needs. There are ready made safety signs and labels available on the market, or you can design your own. But whatever safety sign you choose, make sure that they comply with Canadian safety regulations, remembering to keep the sign format consistent all throughout the facility.

Step 3: Use proper wording

Sign wording should be easily read and concise. It should contain sufficient information so it can be easily understood. Also, the safety sign wording should be factual and in the positive context to encourage the reader to abide by the message.

Step 4: Position signs carefully

You should strategically post your safety signs so that they are visible and legible from a distance. Positioning them in an area that draws maximum attention to the hazard is ideal. Keep in mind that you may need to relocate signs from time to time when you make alterations that affect the visibility or usefulness of existing signs.

Step 5: Mark all safety and fire protection equipment

You need to ensure that all safely equipment such as eyewash stations and showers are clearly marked with the corresponding safety signs. Make sure all fire equipment is identified with the appropriate signs to make the equipment easy to locate in the event of a fire or disaster.Biohazard safety label

 Step 6: Use safety labels properly and effectively

Safety labels provide an effective means to prevent accidental injury or illness to workers who are exposed to work hazards. It informs the reader of the material or equipment’s hazard status. A safety label’s wording must be legible at a minimum of 5 feet away and must contain information on the potential risks of the equipment or area that are tagged.

Step 7: Review your safety sign and label program whenever there are new work hazards present

For your facility to be truly compliant, you must always keep your safety program up-to-date. You need to review your sign and label program frequently to make sure that it is still applicable to the present conditions of your workplace.

For example, if there are new potential hazards in the facility, new safety signs and labels must be put up immediately. For temporary hazards, labels need to be attached to the hazard to warn employees until such hazard is gone.

No matter the circumstances or situation, a strong safety sign program enhances overall performance of an organization – leading to reduced costs, higher productivity, and employee pride. So it only makes for good business sense to invest in the appropriate safety signs and safety labels for your facility. But to make your safety program truly successful, employers and staff alike must be proactive in ensuring these safety signs are being followed to the letter. Always remember that in the workplace, everyone must do their part to ensure each other’s safety.

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Connect with Maria Marnelli G. Medina on Google+