Archives for June 2014

Video: Installing U-Channel Sign Posts Made Easy

If you’re in the market for new parking signs or traffic signs, you may also need to install new Sign Posts. Watch this brief video from Seton to learn the easiest way to install a U-Channel Post, the most common type. The tools you’ll need include a post driver, marker, level tool, measuring tape, spray paint, and a step ladder (depending on the height of your sign post).

Choosing The Right Barcode For Your Asset ID Labels

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When choosing  an asset id label that lets you manage your assets more efficiently, barcoded asset id labels are the way to go. Barcodes allow you to retrieve information instantaneously all with the wave of a scanner. Not only that, if the information on your assets needs updating, you need only to change the information in your central database rather than on each asset tag.

What many people may not know is there are a number of different barcodes, each one more suitable to a particular application than another. Considering Seton’s line of barcoded asset id labels features three different barcode symbologies, knowledge of what differentiates one from the other will ensure you choose the best barcode for your needs. The three types of barcode options we offer are: Code 39, Code 128 and Code 2 of 5 Interleaved.

Code 39

Also known as Code 3 of 9 and USD-3, a Code 39 barcode is one of the first alpha-numeric barcodes and is still widely used in many industries and applications. In fact, Code 39 is the barcode standard for many government agencies including the Department of Defense. The character set for a Code 39 would include the letters A-Z in upper case, the digits 0-9 and these symbols: dollar sign ($), minus (-), percent (%), period (.), plus (+), forward slash (/) and a space, 43 characters all in all. This type of barcode does not require a checksum.

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An example of a Code 39 barcode.

A Code 39 barcode can be read by just about any scanner available on the market. And since this barcode is checksum optional, it’s easier to use. This barcode requires a lot of physical space to encode data. Consequently, very small goods cannot be labeled with a Code 39 barcode. Barcode 39 is ideal in retail and point-of-sale scanning (POS) applications, inventory control and also for monitoring smaller items like laptops, tools and handheld equipment.

Code 128

A Code 128 barcode can be used as either alpha-numeric or numeric only. Compared to Code 39, Code 128 has a higher selection of symbols to choose from and can be encoded with a higher density of information. Its character set includes the numbers 0-9 and the letters A-Z in both upper and lower case, as well as all the ASCII symbols, 106 characters all in all.  These symbols are usually organized into 3 subsets, namely A, B and C. Unlike Code 39, Code 128 requires a checksum.

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An example of a Code 128 barcode.

Because Code 128 can be encoded with a higher data density, this type of barcode can be used in more data-intensive applications like logistics for shipping, ordering, distribution and transportation, and in encoding coupons.

Bar Code 2 of 5 Interleaved

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An example of an Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode. The zero at the beginning of the number set was generated due to the odd number nature of the set.

Code 2 of 5 Interleaved is a high density, purely numerical barcode symbology. Similar to Code 39, Code 2 of 5 Interleaved doesn’t require a checksum. This barcode encodes numbers in pairs, so if a number set ends “oddly”, a zero must be added to the beginning of the set to even it out. Code 2 of 5 Interleaved is also unique in that information is also encoded in the white spaces of the barcode. Code 2 of 5 Interleaved barcodes are typically used in the warehouse industry as well as in libraries, wholesale and distribution applications.

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Connect with Noel Dugenia on Google +

Thirteen Points for Safety at the Workplace

Thirteen Points for SafetyWhile every establishment has a specific set of safety policies for facility-specific work procedures, there are some safety rules that apply across organizations and industries. These are rules that should be included in training programs and safety orientations, regardless of individual jobs a worker may be tasked with. Seton offers the following discussion of safety guidelines to apply in the workplace:

Developing Safety Habits. Promoting safety in the workplace doesn’t just affect the worker’s well being, it also ensures an efficient and productive workplace. To help accomplish this, it is important to:

  • Cultivate the proper attitude towards safety in the workplace, where minor rules and injuries are not dismissed or taken for granted. Ignoring minor procedures can cause confusion and potential hazards; and even small injuries can become serious without the proper medical attention. As such, it is important to report every injury and illness to supervisors regardless of severity.
  • Practice appropriate housekeeping methods to keep work areas neat and organised. Any problems that are beyond the skill of those who are directly involved should be reported to supervisors as well.
  • Fire safety should remain a priority, with fire exists kept free of any obstructions to accommodate emergencies. Any items that could easily ignite should be properly disposed of. In the event of a fire, all personnel should be able to locate the nearest fire extinguishers, operate these effectively without harming themselves, and, when necessary, take the nearest and shortest exits to safety.

Such practices should be developed and provided with the proper guidance and support materials. Training documents, videos and programs allow establishments to easily and systematically train employees (both new and veteran) in safety rules. Seton offers several training kits that are ready for use in meetings, presentations and other work sessions.

Implementing Safety Rules. In order to facilitate a safe work environment, regulations can serve as useful support. The following are a few helpful rules:

  • Running around the workplace should be discouraged. People walking at a reasonable pace while paying attention to their surroundings are less likely to hit others, step unto a busy lane, or cause other potential accidents and injury.
  • Offices, warehouses, and manufacturing plants are not the appropriate place for rough and boisterous play. Horseplay and pranks in the workplace should likewise be discouraged.
  • Drug abuse in the workplace should be prohibited. People who work under the influence of drugs or alcohol pose health and safety risks to the whole establishment. They also put visitors, customers, and the wider public in danger.
  • The use of guns, knives, and other potential weapons have no place in the workplace unless you are part of security. Carrying these items within the premises should be strictly prohibited.

To ensure that employees remain aware of these rules, warning signs should be posted throughout the workplace, to keep them reminded of said policies. Seton offers a wide range of safety and security signs that provide clear, easy-to-read safety warnings.

Use and Maintenance of Workplace Equipment. Monitoring the equipment used in the workplace is an important safety procedure. Some crucial tips include:

  • Proper training on lockout/tagout protocols should be provided to those whose work directly with machinery and other electrical equipment. Even those whose tasks do not require lockout/tagout need to be aware of these policies as they can become unwitting casualties in case of lockout/tagout accidents.
  • Objects should be lifted, moved, and carried by those who have the capacity to deal with the weight and stress. Personnel who need to carry objects that are too heavy for them should not hesitate to ask for help or use a dolly, forklift, and other material handling equipment.
  • Machines should not be repaired while in operation. Getting rid of a jam or obstruction should likewise be done when it is shut off. Machines should be locked out prior to carrying out any type of adjustment or repair.
  • Employees should know what personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary for their tasks, and be able to use them accordingly.

Encouraging Feedback. Employees should be encouraged to raise pertinent safety questions and communicate them through the proper channels. Even simple suggestion boxes can be a big help in providing a means for employees to express their concerns.

  • Workers should not hesitate to ask their questions on safety rules and procedures.
  • Failure to follow safety rules should be reported to supervisors.

Safety is a critical aspect of each and every organisational workflow. All these general safety principles and guidelines are just the foundation that each industry can expand to meet their more specific safety needs.

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Connect with Marian Aldana on Google+.

Spotlight on Warehouse Aisle Floor Markers

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Warehouses – especially larger ones – are always a buzz of activity. Powered industrial trucks moving in and around aisles; workers filling shelves with stocks, retrieving these for shipment or taking inventory; maintenance performing emergency maintenance or housekeeping chores are just some examples of daily warehouse activities.

With all this going on, sometimes all at once, ensuring operations run as smoothly – not to mention as safely – as possible can be a bit of a challenge. With this challenge in mind, we at Seton developed a line of markers designed to make warehouse activities more efficient, namely warehouse aisle floor markers.

Aisle identification for more efficient – and safe – task resolution

Most warehouses would have some form of aisle identification system, usually in the form of aisle signs. These types of signs attach to the side of racks either flush or extending outward a bit. While these do a fair enough job of identifying aisles there is a likelihood these can be obscured largely because of how they’re positioned, i.e. on the side of a warehouse rack.

Our new warehouse aisle floor markers feature three factors that make these easier to see than conventional warehouse aisle signs:

•A highly noticeable design – our new aisle floor markers feature a design that “jumps out” at you, letting you know exactly what aisle you’re at.
•A large diameter – at 17” dia., these floor markers are easy to see even from a relatively far distance.
•Floor mounting – being floor mounted, there is a lesser danger these floor signs will be obscured from view.
•Subsurface printing – subsurface printing ensures the marker won’t fade significantly.
•A Lexan topcoat – Lexan is chemically resistant also adding to the markers durability.

Another notable feature of our new warehouse aisle markers is these feature significant anti-slip properties. What this means is, these new floor markers can also help prevent slip and fall accidents.
When properly installed, our warehouse aisle floor markers allow your workers to more efficiently traverse even a really large warehouse. This equates to time saved performing the various tasks at hand.

A Friendly Reminder

Please keep in mind, while our aisle floor markers can enhance both efficiency and safety in your warehouse, nothing beats good old-fashioned training to ensure both. Make sure to train your workers regarding your establishment’s safety protocols, including working around forklifts and other powered industrial trucks and housekeeping principles.

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Connect with Noel Dugenia on Google +

Only Two Weeks Left to Complete Mandatory OHSA Training

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Ontario regulation 297/13 requires that all workers and supervisors complete Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Training by July 1st, 2014. Training modules are different for workers and supervisors, and it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that everyone participates, even those in jobs that are not considered hazardous. Training can be conducted using the Ministry of Labour’s online “e-learning” modules or by in-person sessions with employees. Workbooks and other resources are available online, or employers may choose to use their own training materials, provided they cover all required topics in their entirety. To that end, employers who already provided safety training are not required to participate, but it is highly recommended, in order to avoid future Ministry of Labour disputes. Topics included in the new regulation that may have changed or been overlooked during standard employee training are: roles of the ministry, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), and Health and Safety Associations. The deadline for employees hired after July 1st is “as soon as practicable” after they start working, whereas new supervisors have only one week to complete the training.

Product Spotlight: Heat Stress Protection

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Beat the heat this summer with proper equipment and gear. Follow these tips, and rely on Seton to help keep your workplace safe and cool.

  • Check the forecast and alert staff to avoid the sun during peak hours if possible (11am – 4pm)
  • Use water resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 15, and re-apply generously every 2 hours
  • Wear wrap-around safety glasses that block ultraviolet and visible light
  • Dress in loose-fitting pants, long sleeve shirts, and wide brim hats
  • Clean air conditioning ducts, weather-strip doors and windows, and install blinds, awnings, and fans where necessary
  • Ensure first aid kits are complete, clearly marked, and easy to locate
  • Take frequent breaks, pay attention to your surroundings, and stay hydrated!

Tips to Lower Accident Rates in Warehouses

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Working in a warehouse can be a dangerous proposition. The complexity of running the facility in an efficient and speedy manner combined with heavy equipment makes it hard to track everything, and the moment someone loses their focus or concentration, bad things can happen.

Safety officers for warehouses have a difficult job since they have to worry about everything, from unsafe forklift usage, improper product stacking, failure to use proper PPE and lockout/tagout procedures, and even repetitive stress injuries.

With all that, it should come as no surprise that according to OSHA, the fatal injury rate of the warehousing industry is higher than the national average for all industries. The fact is, we have the ability to lower the accident rates in our warehouses today.

While we don’t have time to handle all of the issues that one will face in securing a warehouse, we will touch on some of the bigger issues such as forklifts, material storage and ergonomics. Some of these are the biggest causes of accidents, injuries and deaths in any facility.

So let’s check out some of these tips and tricks to lower accident rates in your warehouse:

Forklift Safety:

  • Forklifts should meet the design and construction requirements in the American National Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks (ANSI B56.1-1969).
  • Nameplates and markings should be in place and maintained in legible condition.
  • Forklifts for hazardous location use should be appropriately marked and approved for such use.
  • Forklifts need to be properly positioned and brakes applied during maintenance checks and repairs
  • Forklift operators should have completed training and an evaluation conducted and certified by persons with the knowledge, training and experience to train operators and evaluate their performance.
  • The training program content should include all truck-related topics, workplace related topics and the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.178 for safe truck operation.
  • Refresher training and evaluation should be conducted whenever an operator has been observed operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner or has been involved in an accident or a near-miss incident.
  • Each operator’s performance should be evaluated at least once every three years.
  • Operators must observe all traffic regulations, including authorized plant speed limits.
  • All loads should be stable, safely arranged and fit within the rated capacity of the truck.
  • Trucks are regularly checked for safety before being placed into service.

Materials Storage

  • All loads must be stacked evenly and straight.
  • Heavier loads should be placed on lower or middle shelves.
  • Aisles and passageways must be maintained and in good repair and all obstructions removed.

 Ergonomics

  • Use powered equipment instead of requiring a manual lift for heavy materials.
  • Reposition the shelf or bin to lower the lifting height required by workers.
  • Ensure overhead lighting is sufficient for workers.
  • Keep floors clean and free of slip and trip hazards.

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Connect with Enrico Santos on Google+.

Safety News You Can Use

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  • A recent amendment to Manitoba’s Highway Traffic Act has modified the requirements to mark and sign construction zones. Additionally, it created an offence for speeding in a designated construction zone, penalties for which are double the fines for speeding elsewhere.
  • Alberta launched a new campaign, Work Right, encouraging workers and employers to question what they know about occupational health and safety. The campaign comes in response to a common lack of understanding, and aims to create a culture of compliance, fairness and safety in the workplace. The initiative overlaps with an inspection campaign focusing on residential construction, launched after a man was badly injured in a construction shaft accident last month. It will run from mid-June through the end of summer construction season.
  • Seton’s Job Safety Videos won a Canadian Public Relations Society Award for Digital Campaign of the Year – watch, laugh, and learn!
  • The Ministry of Labour continues its series of Blitzes & Initiatives. Take a look at the full schedule and do your part to help raise awareness, increase compliance with the OHSA and ESA, and protect workers.
  • Canada Day 2014 is right around the corner. Make it a happy and safe one with Seton!

Video: Tips for Mounting Signs onto U-Channel Posts

Want to learn how to install a sign onto a U-Channel Sign Post Watch this brief instructional video from Seton to see how easy it is.

Fall Protection/Hazards Blitz Coming to Construction Companies

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Nearly 20% of Canada’s time-loss injuries are due to slips, trips, and falls (based on statistics from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, 2011). The majority of falls occur on the same level (commonly called slips and trips), and are often caused by slippery surfaces, uneven ground, unsecured mats, poorly lit or cluttered areas, and unsuitable footwear. The remaining third are falls from an elevated area like a ladder, roof, or stairs.

During July and August, the Ontario Ministry of Labour will focus on Fall Protection & Hazards in the construction industry. The Ministry hopes to protect workers under both the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Employment Standards Act (ESA), by enhancing employers’ awareness of their responsibilities. In the event that you receive a blitz, you will want to have proper fall protection equipment and procedures in place. Seton has everything you need, from lanyards and harnesses to custom signage to floor markers and barricades. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) and Ministry of Labour have ample resources on how to reduce risk and stay in compliance.