Archives for May 2014

Compact Lockout-Tagout Kits: Save Space and Lives


It should come as no surprise that lockout-tagout systems have found a permanent place in the safety plans of every organization that makes use of heavy machinery and electrical equipment that undergoes routine maintenance. Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, we’ve heard from workers that find the system too unwieldy with all the additional equipment needed and even some employers have called having a lockout-tagout system expensive.

With that in mind, we wanted to bring focus to a number of lockout-tagout devices that will simplify your lockout-tagout system. These items solve a lot of the common problems associated with having a lockout-tagout are not only nifty and convenient but will also save lives.

Storage Cabinet/Group Lock Box Combo – When space is at a premium, these handy items help organize your lockout-tagout equipment. Ask anyone who’s ever had to find a much needed tag or lockout device and you’ll appreciate the convenience this item provides.

In addition, it also provides a group lockbox. Something that will be appreciated by people who end up working on multi-part systems where you have groups of workers servicing different parts. By having each group lock out the keys to the starting mechanism, you can be sure that access to the unit will only be granted if all the workers are done.

Ready Access Padlock Station – Getting everyone to properly store their items in an appropriate place is a tough prospect. Too often, tiny messes are left behind during the hustle and bustle of everyday maintenance. Unfortunately, this also leads to lost items and other less desirable outcomes.

A good solution, would be a ready access padlock station. It stores different tags, padlocks and hasps inside a lockable case. The best part is, the built in handle allowing for easy transport to the worksite. It even has slots in the back for wall mounting so you can mount it at the worksite to prevent it from becoming a tripping hazard.

Combination Lockout Satchel – The previous two boxes are ideal for groups of repairmen and maintenance people, but what if you have individuals working in different areas of a facility? A good solution would be to provide them with everything they would need in a convenient case.

This kit comes with everything a maintenance worker would need to lock out the more common electrical and mechanical control points. Just add in a few padlocks and a few specialized lockouts if you’re running more esoteric machines and your person will be all set.

Connect with Enrico Santos on Google+.


Environmentally Friendly Spill Control Products

Oil Spill

June 1-7 is  Canadian Environment Week, which is a time to celebrate progress that’s been made to preserve and protect our natural habitats and recognize there is still work to be done. This year’s theme is “Strengthening Our Environment Today for Tomorrow” which touches on the fact that our behaviors have long term effects on health, quality of life, and the economy. The actions of individuals and businesses are both important for protecting Canada’s environmental treasures, including the longest coastline in the world at 243,000-kilometres.

Oil spills, resulting from both large tankers along the coast or small leaks at your facility, have a lasting impact on our surroundings.  Dripping hydraulic machines are not only messy but result in increased power consumption. It’s best to avoid these leaks in the first place through proper maintenance, but if they do happen be sure to choose the best materials to clean them up as soon as possible.

Be prepared with right products, including, eco-friendly spill containment products which are both budget friendly and made from recycled materials. The universal sorbents can actually absorb up to 50% more than the usual polypropylene sorbents.  Better absorption means great savings because less materials are needed to clean up the same spill!

Environmentally friendly spill control products also come with perforations to let responders use only the amount they need to contain the hazard. Earth-friendly absorbent pads and rolls are also made of self-extinguishing and abrasion-resistant materials, which make them safe and durable.

So this Canadian Environment Week, let’s make a pledge to prevent spills or at least be prepared to clean them up with eco-friendly products.

The Porton Man: Another Milestone in PPE Testing

PPE testings with Dstl's Porton Man PPE is every working man’s last line of defence against hazards in the workplace. Why? It’s plain and simple – PPE saves lives. The technology that PPE employs has come a long way from its humble but heroic beginnings during World War I. The most recent proof is that of the newest technology for PPE testing that UK’s Ministry of Defence has introduced to the world last month.

Meet the Porton Man

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has created this new animatronic mannequin that will be used to test protective suits and equipment for UK’s Armed Forces. Porton Man is designed to act as a realistic replacement for a soldier. It can walk, march, run, kneel, sit, and even copy the movements of a soldier sighting a weapon.

The name “Porton Man” comes from the place where Dstl commissioned Buckingham-based company i-bodi Technolgy Ltd. to create this breakthrough technology – in Porton Down, Wiltshire. This $1.8 million (£1.1 million) investment was developed using Formula 1 technology, and uses advanced lightweight materials, the latest animatronics, and is decked out with over 100 sensors. This technology will allow the department to test biological and chemical protection suits with real-time data analysis.Chemical Protection Suits

i-bodi Technology’s chief executive Jez Gibson-Harris said his firm was assigned to create a lightweight robotic test mannequin based on data collected from 2,500 soldiers, that was easy to operate, and could accomplish a wide range of movement.

The results are impressive: improved head turning, better range of movement, and a much lighter frame than its predecessor – 30lb (14kg)  instead of about 176lb (80kg).  All of this adds up to more accurate testing of PPE.

The success of Porton Man has shown that technology has certainly taken great strides. Today, the future of safety protection and PPE technology looks very promising. 


Connect with Maria Marnelli G. Medina on Google+

Seton Recognized for Job Safety Videos with Bronze CPRS ACE Award


Congratulations to Reimagine PR! Their Seton Job Safety Video Series won the Bronze Canadian Public Relations Society’s Achieving Communications Excellence (ACE) Award for Best Digital Campaign of the Year. The complete press release is below. 

TORONTO, ONTARIO — (Marketwired) — 05/15/14

Seton and Reimagine PR have won the Bronze Canadian Public Relations Society’s (CPRS Toronto) Achieving Communications Excellence (ACE) Award in the Best Digital Campaign of the Year category for the Seton Job Safety Video Series. Job Safety equals boring to many who tune out during critical job safety meetings, putting themselves and others at risk. Seton wanted to give Safety Engineers and Safety Managers tools to better engage workers and supervisors in the job safety message. So Seton teamed up with Second City Alumnae and a television comedy writer to create safety videos workers and supervisors might actually want to watch.

The video series has also been selected as a finalist for PR Daily’s Video Awards in the Safety Video Category. Winners will be announced at the end of May. The videos live in the website Seton created to promote Job Safety at The site is filled with helpful tips and articles for safety managers, safety engineers, managers, workers and anyone with a vested interest in keeping workers safe on the job.

“Job safety is critical. We wanted to give safety engineers and everyone responsible for job safety extra tools to help them ensure both young workers and managers go home safe to their families once their job is done,” said Rebecca Gounaris, Director of Industry Marketing for Seton. “We’ve had such a positive response from safety experts who have incorporated the videos into their work which was reward enough. To then also win an award from CPRS is really gratifying.”

The videos were executive produced by Rebecca Gounaris and produced by Susan McLennan of Reimagine PR. They were directed by Chris Earle (Second City) and star David Huband (The Rick Mercer Report) and Adam Cawley (Second City) in “Don’t Lose Sight of Safety” and Marty Adams (I, Martin Short, Goes Home) and Adrian Truss (Totally Spies!) in “Sign Here.” The filmmakers were Tash Baycroft and Jesse Bone from Filter Studios and the scripts were written by Mike Erskine-Kellie (Pucca) of Reimagine PR.

For 28 years, Seton Canada has been helping responsible employers keep their workers safe with signs (both custom and stock), labels, PPE, and first aid kits and much more. The company ships Canada wide, often the same day, and provides expert assistance in navigating the complex, time-consuming-but-all-important task of job safety. Seton Canada is a proud partner to thousands of companies striving for a culture where zero accidents and 100% compliance are the norm, and offers compliance solutions that reduce lost-time accidents, raise productivity and improve insurance rates out on the floor, in the field, and from behind the desk.


Susan McLennan
(416) 699-1846; Cell: (416) 568-5974



Product Spotlight: Lockout/Tagout


To ensure the safety of workers, it is crucial to perform the correct lockout/tagout procedures on equipment before it is serviced.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), lockout/tagout programs help prevent:

  • Contact with a hazard while performing tasks that require the removal, by-passing, or deactivation of safe guarding devices
  • The unintended release of hazardous energy (stored energy)
  • The unintended start-up or motion of machinery, equipment, or processes

Seton has a full selection of lockout/tagout products to ensure the safety and security of workers.

In addition to lockout signs, tags, and labels, Seton also offers protective clothing that keeps workers safe from exposure to electrical arc flash.

Changes to Hazardous Products Act (HPA): Better Protection for Workers


The Government of Canada announced new legislation that would mean changes to the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and help move Canada further along in its implementation of GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification) standards.

The changes are part of the government’s Economic Action Plan 2014.

GHS is a global system that standardizes the classification and labeling of chemicals. It was developed to improve safety by requiring that chemical hazards be communicated in a way that is understood by workers on a global scale, regardless of the language they speak. The US, Brazil and Australia are among many countries currently working to implement GHS standards.

Canada already had WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) in place as a chemical safety standard before GHS was introduced. Manufacturers, suppliers, and users of chemicals are required to comply with GHS standards.

The deadline for training employees on new label elements and the safety data sheets (SDS) format was Dec. 1, 2013, and additional deadlines must be met over the next several years.

By June 1, 2015, countries must be in compliance with modified provisions of the final rule, and by Dec. 1, 2015, distributors can’t ship containers labeled by a chemical manufacturer or importer unless they have GHS labels. By June 1, 2016, companies must update their alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program, as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.

Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls: Keep Workers Safe on the Job


According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), falls cause more than 42,000 worker injuries each year.

Since slips can be caused by wet surfaces or even loose rugs, good housekeeping can easily prevent such scenarios. It can also help prevent trips that can be caused by clutter, an obstructed view, or even poor lighting. Proper footwear can also help keep feet firmly on the ground.

CCOHS offers these suggestions for reducing the risk of slipping and tripping:

  • Take your time and pay attention to where you are going
  • Adjust your stride to a suitable pace for the walking surface and tasks you are doing
  • Walk with feet pointed slightly outward
  • Make wide turns at corners
  • Keep walking areas clear from clutter or obstructions
  • Keep flooring in good condition
  • Always use installed light sources that provide sufficient light for your tasks
  • Use a flashlight if you enter a dark room without light
  • Ensure things you carry or push don’t prevent your view of obstructions or spills

Safety News You Can Use


Construction Companies Fined

Two Saskatoon construction companies were fined for failing to protect workers. One of the companies was fined $3,500 for failure to ensure that work was effectively supervised. The fine was in response to a construction site on which part of a trench collapsed. The second company was fined $14,000 after a worker was seriously injured as a result of becoming entangled in the drive shaft of a conveyor.

A Calgary construction company was fined $25,000 with a $10,000 surcharge after a worker in Saskatoon was struck by a wooden railing that became dislodged from a building. The company was cited for failing to ensure the work area was marked by warning devices, such as barriers and warning lights.

Don’t Turn Your Back on Being Safe: Reduce the Risks Associated with Electrical Work


According to the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), improper procedure is connected to more than 60% of electrical worker incidents. ESA also notes that occupational fatalities due to electrocution are a major issue. Those most impacted by electrocution deaths include electricians, electrical helpers, utility workers, as well as individuals who perform repair and maintenance work in construction and manufacturing.

ESA reports that only 57% of electricians claim to always take safety precautions when performing their work, and it suggests that electrical workers follow strict safety precautions all the time. Workers should also recognize live power and be sure not to work on energized equipment. Following proper lockout/tagout procedures can help safeguard against workers operating on energized equipment awaiting repair. Also, ESA recommends the use of PPE (personal protective equipment) to guard against injuries due to unexpected electrical arc flashes.

It is also recommended that electrical workers follow Canadian workplace electrical safety standards. CSA Z463 is the Canadian standard that covers electrical safety requirements for employees.

Landscape Worker Safety: Mowing and Trimming Tips

Landscape worker safety

Workers employed in landscaping are faced daily with hazards arising from the nature of their job and equipment they use. Work routines involving power tools, blades, and heavy lifting can all result in potentially serious workplace injuries.

Some common landscaping injuries are:

  • Slips, trips, and/or falls, leading to fractures, sprains, or strains on the fingers, back, and legs.
  • Being struck by an object (debris or equipment) on the job.
  • Overexertion, usually when a worker moves or lifts objects such as equipment, supplies, or debris.

Not surprisingly, injury prevention should be a primary concern in the landscaping industry. Seton understands this, with worker safety continuing to be a main business priority. As such, the following tips are offered to help ensure landscaping safety, especially during the coming summer.

Preparatory Work

  • Prior to performing any mowing or trimming task, it is important to inspect the work area and carry out necessary precautions. Identify any potential hazards, and clear those out. Any changes that require adjusting the original plans should be made, and made wisely.
  • Make a thorough inspection of the tools to be used on the job. Perform the required quality and maintenance protocols to allow workers to complete their tasks safely and efficiently.
  • Reduce unwanted incidents by keeping non-personnel away from the premises, and prevent bystander access by marking out work areas. Seton has several traffic management devices that clearly identify outdoor work areas, preventing accidents involving personnel, pedestrians and vehicles alike.

Using a Lawn Mower

  • Start the lawn mower outdoors, pushing it in forward in an upright position. Be alert to hidden hazards (such as drain pipes, holes, roots, insect nests), and make sure the mower is on idle when stopping to clear away debris. Be sure to mow away from power cords when using electric powered lawn mowers. Remember as well take frequent rest breaks, especially in hot weather.
  • Avoid stalling the motor or choking the mower by proceeding working slowly in areas with tall, heavy grass. If the blade hits a hard object, stop immediately and make the necessary inspection and repairs before resuming work. Unclog or remove debris from the mower with a stick (while it is shut off) to avoid touching the blades.
  • Mow in such a manner as to prevent the mower rolling back or over the feet. For push mowers, mowing on inclines should be done across the slope; riding lawn mowers, on the other hand, should be driven straight and down along slopes.

Tree Trimming

  • When climbing, break off small dead branches by hand, and remove larger branches using the appropriate equipment. Make sure keep the cut in view, to prevent severing lines, safety cords, etc.
  • Carry larger tools using hand lines attached to the end of the equipment, to prevent snagging on branches. Smaller ones may be hoisted in a bucket or similar container connected to a hand line. Make sure that saws attached to a ring on a worker’s belt are equipped with fibre or leather guards.
  • Remember to wear non-conductive personal protective gear when working near power lines. Seton offers a wide range of personal protective equipment designed for specialized needs as well as standard safety requirements.

What to Avoid When Trimming Trees

  • Climbing trees in wet, icy, or high wind weather conditions.
  • Letting partially cut limbs stay on trees.
  • Using dead branches as support.
  • Carrying saws, pruners and similar tools while climbing.
  • Using hatchets and axes.

Other Tips To Remember

  • Be sure to turn off and/or disconnect equipment  immediately after use. Prevent any rusting by removing dirt and moisture. Put tools away when the job is finished, and store them with safe, organized storage and security systems that allows workers easy, safe access whenever the need arises. Lockout kits and other supplies are designed to meet such needs, and are also readily available from Seton.
  • If tools are to be stored in a vehicle, they should be firmly secured to prevent shifting or falling during transport.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after work or when changing tasks (to prevent transferring dirt and debris), as well as prior to eating or using the washroom.
  • Make allowances not only for expected weather, but for when severe weather should ever occur. There should be available shelter for any sudden thunderstorms, preferably buildings or fully enclosed metal vehicles, and not sheds.

Workers performing landscaping rely on potentially dangerous equipment while being exposed to the elements. As such, the proper use and maintenance of the equipment is of utmost importance. Employing the proper personal protective gear and safe work practices effectively helps prevent accidents and injury on the job. This in beneficial not only to the safety of employees, but to the performance and well-being of the whole company as well.

Connect with Marian Aldana on Google+.