Product Spotlight: Lockout/Tagout

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Product Spotlight: Traffic and Parking Signs

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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

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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”

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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.

Safety News You Can Use

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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.