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.

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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Compact Lockout-Tagout Kits: Save Space and Lives

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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.

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Safety Visuals: Minor Changes, Big Returns

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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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Tale of the Tape: A Tape For Every Need

Floor Tape, Reflective Tape

There’s a diverse range of floor tapes available in the market today. While the vast number of choices means that there is a tape for every task, it also means that users are stuck with the burden of having to make an informed decision on what to use in their facilities.

In a previous article, we discussed the different colours and designs of floor tape and how each one is commonly used as well as tips on picking colours for your facility. While that will help narrow down what kind of tape you should use, we’d like to discuss another element which should influence your selection of tape: the materials floor tapes can be made of.

It is of utmost importance that you choose the right tape for the appropriate surface and lighting. This ensures that the tape will last longer and be visible under all conditions. After all, no one wants to replace tape frequently or have the tape be useful only at certain times of the day.

Surfaces matters

An important element to consider is the surface you will be applying your tape to. There are specific kinds of tape for concrete, wood, and more.  Take into consideration whether the floor you will be applying the tape to is constantly dry or gets wet every so often since this can affect the lifespan (and replacement schedule) of the tape.

In addition, marking tapes will also have different surfaces. Some have anti-slip properties (a must when the floor constantly gets wet or slippery) while others remain glossy and vibrant even when stepped on multiple times.

Anit-Slip Reflective TapeLighting

The lighting in the area is also a major consideration in picking tape. Low-light conditions such as during dusk or even complete darkness is obviously a problem with ordinary tapes. If it is impossible (or too expensive) to fix the lighting conditions to accommodate the use of tape, then perhaps reflective or luminescent tape is for you.

Reflective tape, as the name suggests is made from materials that reflects light. This means that these kinds of tape still need light to work, but less than what the average tape would need. This allows marking tape to be easily spotted using flashlights or even headlamps. Choose this tape when you are assured that there will always be a light source nearby.

Luminescent tape on the other hand works by absorbing photons and releasing it later. This means that the tape needs to “charge” for some time before it gives off light on its own. The advantage of these kinds of tape is that they are visible even when there is no light in the area.

Use this kind of tape when you can ensure that it will be getting some exposure to light at certain times of the day to allow it to gather photons for release later.

Maintenance

Maintaining tape is easy. More often than not, all it needs is a quick wash and wipe with water (commercial cleaners may have some chemicals that could destroy the tape) and you’re done. However, there are certain warning signs that indicate when you need to replace the tape, so make sure to give your tape a thorough inspection when doing your cleaning.

If your tape has any of these problems, then consider replacing the section of tape or even the entire area (to keep it uniform):

  • Fraying on the sides
  • Discolouration
  • Rips or gouges
  • Less reflectivity (for reflective tapes) or lower light production (luminescent tape)
  • Stains

All of these issues can severely hamper the efficiency of the tape or, as in the case of fraying, be the cause of the accident itself.

Tape, Maintain, Sustain

Like all safety items, proper use and care goes a long way in prolonging the efficiency and life of these items. So go ahead and integrate the use of floor tape in your safety program, it can only make your facility safer. However, be aware that it’s not a magic solution that allows you to just place the item and forget about it.

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New Year, New Seton Catalogue, New Beginnings

Happy New Year everyone! At Seton Canada, we like to celebrate the start of a year by renewing our commitment to safety. It’s an exciting time when we go over our different safety policies, replace worn out equipment, and find better ways to keep our people safe. We encourage you to do the same, and keep this year accident-free and safe for everyone in your facility.

Now, you might have a hard time replacing worn out gear and reworking some safety protocols without knowing what is easily available. That’s understandable, but fear not, we’re here to help.

Seton Canada just released a catalogue which contains a wide selection of equipment you can use in making your facility safer and more secure.  The good news is, we can send you a free catalogue and even do you one better by providing a free sample of some of our best selling safety and identification products.  All you have to do is fill out a form online (here’s a link to it) and we’ll get you one ASAP.

Here’s a sneak-peek into what you can expect to find in this year’s selection:

First up, the Labeltac 4 Industrial Label Printer. This printer allows you to print your own custom labels and signs ½” to 4” tall and an impressive 40’ long. It even comes with a 4 year warranty AND unlimited lifetime support! Want to know more? Well either hit up the product page or wait for the catalogue.

Next, we have the Skipper™ unit. Forget the old safety barriers that look terrible and take forever to setup.  These barriers have everything you might need: 30’ barrier tape, button locks to allow the tape to remain stable in windy conditions, and compatibility with 99% of all traffic cones! If you need a lightweight barrier, then be sure to check this one out!

Last, but not the least, we have the Modular “Bee” Column Protector. This protector is designed to protect columns sized 4”x 4”, 6”x 6”, or 8” x 8”. Installation is a snap with no tools required and can be stacked to whatever height you may need!

You can find all those products and more on both our website and our catalogue. With over 101,000 safety solutions, let Seton help you celebrate the start of a new year by keeping everyone safe and sound!

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Securing Roadways And Pathways for Winter

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Roadways and pathways provide safe access for vehicles and pedestrians coming to and from your facility. However, the adverse conditions caused by snowing can cause problems even for the safest pedestrian or driver. The slippery ice and snow that builds up can cause everything from minor fender benders, skidding, overturns, collisions, and even pile-ups in vehicles to an increase in slips, trips, and falls in people.

While every facility will have different requirements when it comes to how one would go about securing avenues of travel, there are still a few basic things we need to keep in mind when doing so:

Snow RemovalGet the necessary equipment.

Piecing together everything you’ll need to get ready for winter can be a daunting task. At the barest minimum, you’ll need to buy ice melting salt, a spade, and a way to transport the snow such as a wheelbarrow.  It is advisable (and definitely cheaper) to pick up pre-made kits such as the RIM Ice Melter Kit and augmenting it with other items such as shovels and a good wheelbarrow.

Salt the snow for easier work.

The easiest and most common method of doing this is by using salt to soften the ice and shovelling it. The salt is important because it makes the task a lot easier. This is particularly important because the person shovelling will be working in very cold conditions which presents a hazard in itself. So lower accident risks and work easier by properly salting the snow.

Keep paths clear of the snow and ice that inevitably builds up.

This is pretty self-explanatory. Basically, keep every path clear of snow and ice. By every path, we mean even the paths and roadways that aren’t main thoroughfares. This ensures that if these pathways are needed, you can be sure that the vehicles and people will be safe when traversing it

Regular maintenance goes a long way.

This is a catch-all reminder to keep all your equipment, roadways, and pathways in good working condition. Having equipment break-down during winter can be a harrowing experience since replacements may not be easy to get during that time. In addition, it is almost impossible to fix roads and pathways during this time as well due to the constant snow combined with the freezing weather. So be sure to have a regular maintenance schedule for all roads, pathways, and equipment during the months with better weather.

The winter months presents the most number of challenges to travelers, both on foot and in vehicles. It is important that we secure our facilities to lower the risks to both our visitors and employees who may be visiting our work place.

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Save Lives With Lockout/Tagout Tags and Labels

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There’s no room for error when it comes to dealing with electricity. It takes a shock of 6/1000 Amps to fatally electrocute a person, something that industrial machines can easily produce. It should come as no surprise that lockout programs have become one of the touchstones in electrical safety.

While a properly constructed lockout program ensures that every worker doing maintenance is protected and safe, it simply is not enough. Proper information about the hazards of the different devices must be effectively communicated to the workforce as well.

That’s where lockout tags and labels come in. Lockout tags and lockout labels provide that vital information at a glance and will keep information flowing to your workers as long as they’re within viewing distance.

Lockout Labels: The Point of Contact

While on-site training and basic instruction can do wonders for ensuring your workers are properly versed in safety procedure, reminders are always necessary. In fact, they’re often the law!

That’s why you should take advantage of lockout labels and use them as teaching and awareness tools especially where your people might be most at risk: while they’re working with electrical equipment and machinery.

Lockout labels can take many forms, from detailed instructions of lockout policy and procedure to hazard warnings and indications of lockout points or emergency shutdown controls. Be sure to choose the right label to suit the needs of your business and workers, so their point of contact remains safe and efficient.

Lockout Tags: Reminders of Work Done Right

Locking out equipment is only the first step in electrical safety. Your fellow workers – and occasionally safety inspectors – need to know the who, when, and why of a lockout. This is where lockout tags take the stage, where you put down the details you and others need when you lock out. That’s why lockout procedures are also known as “lockout/tagout”, since they involve the use of lockout tags in addition to the equipment.

Never skimp on safety, and never skimp on due diligence, which is a properly filled and attached lockout tag. Select your tags to match your needs, from simple write-in lockout tags for one-off occurrences to tags that double as photo IDs, telling your people just who locked out a machine and for what reason.

Prevention Through Proper Procedure

Electricity is a very powerful force, and proper procedure should always be kept in mind when dealing with it. Preventing accidents before it happens is everyone’s responsibility and the best way is by taking electrical safety seriously by employing lockout tags and labels.

Don’t forget to keep checking back here for more safety tips and tricks you can use for your facility.

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Facility First Aid: The Basics and More

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First aid is the means by which an initial and immediate medical response is given to a person or persons in need of assistance. In the event of an emergency, knowing how to respond quickly, can greatly reduce the degree of whatever potential risks are involved. In some cases, this properly administered care does mean the difference between life and death.

The First Line of Emergency Medical Treatment

First aid in the workplace must be easily accessible to all those in the facility. It should not take more than a few minutes before first aid can be administered. As such, first aid stations need to be situated in more than one area, especially for large locations or workspaces that include multiple floors.

Minimum Requirements. Regulations and standards for first aid in the workplace often vary by province or territory. These also depend on other factors such as the field of industry and the size of the facility. At the very minimum, regulations require a first aid kit and trained employee for every workplace in every jurisdiction in Canada.

In general, employees must be instructed on proper emergency protocols for emergencies. With regards to first aid, they should be trained in:

  • Identifying where first aid stations/kits are located
  • Identifying an emergency list of first aid responders and other relevant personnel. This should include prioritization of who to call first, as well as location and contact numbers of personnel
  • Familiarity of a list of nearest medical facilities (name, address, operating hours and telephone numbers).
  • Following proper first aid procedures during actual situations.  This includes identifying the types of injuries that should be reported, who to call for assistance, and accompanying the victim until first aid arrives.

Benefits. Here are a few reasons why first aid is important:

  • Saves lives. With proper first aid training, immediate medical action can be provided to those in need. This reduces the number of potential casualties while increasing the number of lives that can be saved.
  • Contains hazards. Though first aid is meant to administer temporary treatment, it is also important to prevent hazardous conditions from deteriorating. Dangers and transmittable diseases can be contained well enough by following the proper first aid procedures until professional help arrives.
  • Increases safety. Since prevention is an integral part of first aid, the knowledge and availability of first aid supplies promotes an increased safety awareness and well-being among people. This keeps them more alert and safe in their immediate surroundings.
  • Relieves pain and other symptoms. Some injuries require simple remedies, like generic prescriptions or applying ice packs. In these instances, going to the emergency room is not necessary to alleviate the symptoms. With simple procedures, first aid alleviates pain and discomfort, at least temporarily.
  • Provides a sense of security. First aid training and supplies help increase reliability and confidence among employees. This in turn promotes a healthy and efficient work environment.

At the end of the day, first aid training and supplies are useful not only to employees and employers, but to their immediate community as well. So let’s remain safe and ensure that our facilities have properly trained and well equipped staff.

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Asset Id Labels: Your Assets’ Silent Protector

Asset Labels

 

Keeping track of company assets is no walk in the park. So much so that a variety of systems have been created to tackle the problem, from RFID (both active and passive) tracking to GPS asset tracking when dealing with items and devices around the world. While both have their place, we shouldn’t forget about one of the first and still one of the most effective ways of tracking company assets: Asset ID Labels.

Asset ID Labels are cost-effective

Asset Labels, while not as flashy as their GPS or RFID counterparts, are a lot cheaper. Sure, the tracking feature is definitely useful for certain organizations which routinely send some of their assets halfway around the world. However, if the furthest your assets travel is from the facility to a worksite, then why spend more than you need to? With asset ID labels, you save your company thousands of dollars and still end up with a viable method of keeping track of your assets.

Of course, your organization will need to keep track of the different assets via a log book where you can find the location of the item or who the item is assigned to. Each item will have a unique identifying number on it, or a bar code, so that in the event of an asset audit you can quickly and effectively check everything.

Asset ID Labels are easy to integrate into existing systems

It’s hard to get by without some form of asset tracking, be it via log books or a “check-out” method for procuring assets. The labels can easily be added into a variety of existing systems with minimal to no change to your existing workflow.

This makes it more convenient to implement and lowers employee resistance when deploying it to your site. This not only ensures a higher acceptance rate but also keeps your day-to-day operations uninterrupted.

Asset ID Labels prevent the loss of expensive, hard-to-replace equipment

Finally, we get down to the meat and bones of Asset ID Labels: preventing loss. With each asset properly labeled, we can reduce mix-ups as each item is clearly marked with the company’s logo which can help facilitate the return of misplaced items. In addition, it is easy to trace who is responsible for the item and who should be held accountable for it.

Another bonus of Asset ID Labels is that it prevents more unsavory characters from switching out company assets with lower-grade or cheaper items. In essence, these items are not only safe from loss but also from unauthorized replacement.

Inventory Tracking Made Easy With Asset ID Labels

All in all, asset ID labels can prove to be one of the best investments your company ever makes. Implementation and deployment are easy enough and the returns are huge. It will still take a little work to get the maximum benefits from having asset ID labels but trust us when we say that it’s worth it.

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