Archives for August 2014

Raise the Bar on Forklift Safety


Forklifts are essential for lifting and moving heavy loads on the job, but injuries related to these extremely powerful machines can be quite serious. Because they often need to navigate through tight spaces, they are generally small and narrow, making tipping a common problem. Tipping is frequently caused when operators are not aware of the machine’s load capacity, and overload the lift. The best ways to avoid tipping and other accidents are: comprehensive operator safety training and thorough preoperational inspections.

One in fifteen forklift-related accidents is caused by improper maintenance and, as such, inspections should occur at the start of each work shift. Individuals working with and around forklifts should be trained not only on how to properly operate the machinery, but also on recognizing hazards associated with the equipment and environment in which they are being operated. Forklift Safety Signs will help remind workers of hazards and procedures. Some maintenance areas not to be overlooked during pre-shift inspection are: tires, hoses, brakes, gas and propane tanks, and lift mechanisms. Upon sighting an issue or potential issue, it should be tagged immediately for a trained professional to fix. Special care should be taken to ensure that new, young, and seasonal operators are properly trained and in compliance. Further tips and checklists are available on The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety site, which will also help you prepare for the upcoming Ministry of Labour Material Handling blitz that begins on September 15th.

Safety News You Can Use

  • safetyglobeThe Ministry of Labour will start industrial sector Material Handling blitzes on September 15th – are you and your workers ready? 
  • Owners of a sawmill that exploded in Prince George, B.C., have been fined more than $720,000 by WorkSafeBC. The mill was in violation of the Workers Compensation Act and occupational health and safety regulations as a result of the explosion that killed two workers and injured twenty-two others in April of 2012.
  •  The Ministry of Labour has published a new version of the “What You Should Know About The Ontario Employment Standards Act” poster. Employers are required to have the newest version of the “ESA Poster” posted in the workplace at all times. Failure to comply with posting requirements can result in compliance orders and fines.
  • In the wake of 15-year-old Chris Lawrence’s death at a construction site near Drumheller, Alberta Occupational Health and Safety officials are being urged to toughen worker laws. The Alberta Federation of Labour called the fatality a “tragic reminder of Alberta’s unsafe work laws”.
  • Effective July 1st, Saskatchewan employers who violate Occupational Health & Safety regulations will now receive summary offence tickets carrying fines ranging from $250 to $1,000 plus victim surcharges. Two designated occupational health officers can now issue tickets for 12 specified offences.


Security Lockdown: Deterring Theft

A gate with Keep Out signs

A few years ago, in a heist that sounds like it was based on a comic book,  2.7 million kilos of maple syrup was stolen from a Quebec warehouse. While this example might be amusing, the real-life financial implications of theft are not. Even if you don’t consider your facility a prime target for criminals, petty theft and incidental theft can quickly add up and eat into your bottom line.

The first step in securing your facility is to ensure that outsiders don’t have easy access to your workplace during off-hours. The mere presence of signs, chains, locks, and security cameras is enough to discourage most petty thieves. 

Custom-Anodized-Aluminum-NameplatesOnce you’ve secured your facility’s entrances, focus on labeling items and equipment within work areas. Labels not only help with identification and inventory, but can also deter workers who might be considering taking items home with them. Asset tags and nameplates work well for this purpose, and having two on larger pieces of equipment (one in plain view and the other hidden somewhere) is an excellent precaution against theft. If criminals are inexperienced they may miss the hidden label, making recovering the stolen goods easier. Even if they do find both labels, some labels leave markings on the device, which helps identify stolen goods.

Finally, ensure that your employees are well-trained and knowledgeable about policies and procedures regarding office equipment and confidentiality.  Aside from making them more efficient, this also prevents them from accidentally enabling criminals by providing insider information.

Custom Heavy Duty Signs: When Bigger is Better

Custom Giant Heavy-duty Signs-body

Whether to launch a new business, product, or to pursue a new marketing strategy, establishments will have to draw customer attention. Revenues depend greatly on customer business, both new clients and loyal patrons. As such, brand recognition cannot be ignored.

One important way of ensuring this is to make use of the best signages for the business. And sometimes, standardized signs are not enough. Custom giant heavy-duty signs afford facilities with a unique way to advertise their name and leave a good impression on clients and customers.

Customized Signs for Customized Marketing

Custom signs, of course, can be made benefits in a wide range of styles, sizes and colors. In fact, the choices available for custom signs may become overwhelming and confusing for some buyers. Because of this, personnel who are looking into custom signs should take the time to determine how their establishment can benefit the most from these types of signs.

One of the factors to be considered is the type of message the sign is to convey.  Will they be strictly informative or can they be entertaining as well? Will variety be a good investment or should the business opt for a single design scheme?

Another important consideration is where the signs are to be located. The features of a facility, from the building structure to the amount and demographic of potential customers all factor into what kind of custom sign should be selected.

Big in Size, Big In (Customer) Sights

Using custom signs provide distinct benefits that cannot be provided by generic signage options. Among these are the option to use of colours and fonts that are not immediately available in the market, as well as manufacturing the sign in shapes and sizes that do not fall under generic measurements. And of course there is also the choice to utilize custom-worded signs that include details that cannot be replicated in mass-produced products.

As a contribution to the market demand for customized products, Seton offers Custom Giant Heavy Duty signs that are specifically manufactured for use in large, specialized work locations.

Available in .080″ thick aluminum, customers can also avail of double-sided options for further convenience and viewability. Should the business need custom signs in low-lit areas, Seton also offers reflective sign options, which include non-reflective, engineer-grade reflectivity and high-intensity. Shipping period is within 3-5 days.

Custom signs allow for extensive product customization, whether these are messages conveyed in text or by means of graphics. With custom giant heavy duty signs, businesses can utilize signages associated to them and no other. In turn, this kind of personalized exposure facilitates a solid brand recognition among their customers and the general public, helping the business stand out from the rest.

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School Safety 101


After a comprehensive series of health and safety inspections in Ontario schools, the Ministry of Labour issued 6,600 non-compliance orders, including 283 stop work orders (June 2012). We want to help ensure you are in compliance BEFORE the new school year begins. Some areas to focus on include: proper labeling & identification, housekeeping practices, safety & facility signage, and PPE & first aid supplies. Areas like science labs must have proper chemical storage, labeling, and ventilation. Both teachers and students who could be exposed to chemical spills and injuries should be outfitted with goggles, face shields, gloves, aprons, and other applicable PPE. First aid equipment, eye wash stations, and fire extinguishers should be easily accessible and clearly indicated.

When it comes to machinery, keep in mind proper training and signage, lockout/tagout, and maintenance. Of course, cleanliness also plays a large role in student and teacher safety. In addition to stocking adequate maintenance and first aid supplies, matting in entrances and high traffic zones can help prevent accidents and improve air quality. Parking lot signs are also critical in keeping students, workers, and visitors safe. Properly identify people and equipment with Seton’s large selection of labels, tags, nameplates, badges, IDs, parking permits, and more.

Once you’ve done your part to ensure safety in and around your school, get the students involved by passing along these fun and effective classroom activities from Live Safe, Work Smart.

Feeling Okay? Learn More About Occupational Diseases


The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) defines occupational illness as a condition that results from exposure in a workplace to a physical, chemical, or biological agent to the extent that the normal physiological mechanisms are affected. Not to be confused with occupational injuries, which are the result of a trauma, an occupational disease is a chronic ailment that develops over time. In 2011, occupational diseases contributed to 73% of all allowed Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) fatality claims.

Construction site workers are often at increased risk for infectious disease because of exposure to bacteria and viruses from unsanitary jobsite conditions. In order to help avoid things like Salmonella, E. coli, and Hepatitis A, the Occupational Health and Safety Act mandates that workers must have access to toilets and clean-up facilities. During warmer months especially, Lyme disease is an occupational concern for outdoor workers, namely construction and utility workers, utility arborists, and powerline technicians. Occupational cancer is cancer that is caused wholly or partly by exposure to a carcinogen at work, and the most common types are: lung cancer, bladder cancer and mesothelioma.

Familiarize yourself with the materials being used in your facility and how to work safety with and around them. Also, be alert to symptoms or changes in your health, and keep a list of all the jobs and industries in which you have worked.