Only One Pair: Protect Workers’ Eyes on the Job

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As an employer, you need to promote and enforce the use of eye protection when it is necessary. Educate your workers about the importance of eye protection so they will automatically reach for it before they put their eye health at risk.

Safety glasses provide good protection. They provide even better protection if they properly fit and cared for.

CCOHS (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety) offers these suggestions regarding the fit and care of your safety glasses.

  • Ensure safety glasses fit properly and are individually assigned and fitted.
  • Wear safety glasses so temples fit comfortably over the ears. The frame should be as close to the face as possible and adequately supported by the bridge of the nose.
  • Clean safety glasses daily and avoid activities that can scratch lenses.
  • Store safety glasses in a clean, dry place to protect them from damage. Keep them in a case when they’re not being worn.
  • Replace safety glasses if they are scratched, pitted, broken, bent or ill-fitting.
  • Replace damaged parts with identical parts from the original manufacturer.

When you need to provide workers with the supplies they need to stay safe on the job, count on Seton. Give us a call at 855-581-1218 or visit http://www.seton.ca and we can help you select the safety products you need.

Protect Your Workers During Summer Shutdowns

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During the summer months, many manufacturing companies take a break that is referred to as a summer shutdown.

Summer shutdowns give these companies the opportunity to conduct much needed maintenance and repairs on equipment. By reserving maintenance activities during the shutdown, they can help ensure productivity in the workplace the rest of the year. Sometimes, old equipment is replaced during summer shutdowns.

Companies that conduct summer shutdowns are getting ready for them right now. If your company conducts summer shutdowns, how prepared are you?

Do you have all of the safety supplies you need to ensure equipment and machinery repair work is done without causing any worker injuries?

Before the shutdown begins, make sure you have enough lockout tags to effectively communicate to workers which equipment workers should not try to operate while it’s being serviced.  A complete lockout/tagout program is an effective way to keep workers safe during summer shutdowns and throughout the rest of the year.

Do you have safety signs and safety labels that also provide workers with relevant instructions? Keep workers safe by clearly informing them of potential hazards at the source.

Appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is also important to provide during your summer shutdown. From eye protection to hand protection, make sure your workers are protected from safety hazards.

Give Seton a call at 855-581-1218 or visit www.seton.ca and let us help you get ready for your summer shutdown. We can answer any safety questions you have.

Fall Prevention Awareness: Teach Your Workers About Fall Protection

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Since falls can be a cause of serious injury (and even death) in the workplace—especially on the construction job site—it’s important to continuously educate workers about fall hazards and how to prevent them.

While every job site is different, employers must take the time to train workers on how to work safely among their unique fall hazards. Part of that training must include the various types of fall protection.

The Infrastructure Health & Safety Association offers these guidelines on how to choose the most appropriate fall protection for every job, and highlights the following options:

Guardrails: Eliminate fall hazards by eliminated open edges.  All workers in the area are protected.

Opening Covers: Floor-opening covers must fully cover openings and be fastened securely. Label opening covers clearly so workers are aware of them.

Fall-Arrest and Travel-Restraint Systems: Fall-arrest systems prevent workers from hitting the ground when they fall. Travel-restraint systems prevent workers from falling at all.

What types of fall protection do you provide your workers? When was the last time you provided fall protection training? If you don’t already have one, should you put a fall protection training and education program in place?

See Clearly: How to Select and Care for Your Eye Protection

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Because many eye hazards exist in the workplace, it’s important to provide proper eye protection to keep workers safe.

If eye protection is necessary, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) suggests establishing an eye safety protection program that includes selection, fit testing, training, maintenance and inspection.

CCOHS offers these tips regarding the fit and care of safety glasses:

Fit of Safety Glasses

Eye size, bridge size and temple length vary from person to person, so safety glasses should be assigned and fitted according to individual needs.

Safety glasses should be worn so that the temples fit comfortably over the wearer’s ears. The frame should be as close to the face as possible and supported by the bridge of the nose.

Care of Safety Glasses

It’s important to properly maintain all personal protective equipment (PPE), including eye protection.  To keep safety glasses in good working condition:

  • Clean safety glasses daily and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Store safety glasses in a clean, dry place to protect them from damage. Keep them in a case when they are not being worn.
  • Replace scratched, pitted, broken, bent or ill-fitting glasses.
  • Replace damaged parts only with identical parts from the original manufacturer to ensure the same safety rating.

Before purchasing any eye protection for your workers, assess their needs so you acquire the most effective protection for their jobs.

When you provide eye protection to your workers, do you provide training on how to effectively use it, and do you communicate how to keep it in good condition?

See Clearly: Why You Need Emergency Showers or Eyewash Stations, and Where to Put Them

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Exposure to a hazardous substance can cause serious health problems or worse. That is why emergency showers and eyewash stations are so important. They can quickly and easily remove contaminants from an affected worker.

If you don’t already have an emergency shower or eyewash station and you’re not sure where they should be located in your facility, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has some suggestions.

Emergency showers or eyewash stations should:

  • Be located as close to the hazard as possible.
  • Not be separated by a partition from the hazardous area
  • Be on an unobstructed path between the workstation and the hazard
  • Be located where workers can easily see them (in a normal traffic pattern)
  • Be on the same floor as the hazard and located near an emergency exit
  • Be located in an area where further contamination will not occur
  • Provide a drainage system for the excess water
  • Not come into contact with any electrical equipment that may become a hazard when wet
  • Be protected from freezing when installing emergency equipment outdoors

Don’t forget to also train workers how to use emergency showers and eyewash stations before an emergency occurs.

Do you already have emergency showers or eyewash stations in your facility? How do ensure that workers know where they are and how to use them?

Hands Down: Hand Safety Tips You Need to Know

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There are many workplace hazards that can lead to hand injuries in the workplace. From mechanical or chemical hazards to fractures and cuts, there are many hand hazards that workers need to protect themselves against.

Here are some basic tips from the Government of Canada Labour Program:

  • Hands must be protected against the hazards of the particular job.
  • Gloves should not be worm around machines with moving parts that could catch them and pull the hands into danger areas (such as machines with pulleys).
  • Protective sleeves should be long enough to leave no gap between the gloves and the sleeves.
  • Do not wear gloves with metal parts when working near electrical equipment.

The Labour Program also suggests implementing a hand protection program, which requires the following: team effort; safety training; observance of safety rules and proper work practices; first aid training; hazard recognition; safe tools and equipment; adequate hand protection; and a safe work place.

What do you do to ensure the hand safety of your workers? Do you require that your workers wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE)? Do you provide hand safety training? What more can you do to provide a safe work environment for your workers?

Avoid Contaminants in the Air: Develop a Respirator Program for Your Workers

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When there are contaminants in the air, workers are at risk for respiratory hazards. Some of the airborne contaminants of concern include biological contaminants, dusts, mists, fumes, and gases, or oxygen-deficient atmospheres.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), respirators should be used to protect against those contaminants if other hazard control methods aren’t effective. Some of those control methods include mechanical ventilation, enclosure or isolation of the process or work equipment, proper control and use of process equipment, and process modifications, including substation of less hazardous materials.

It’s helpful to have a written respirator program so employees know how to choose a respirator, if that is the desired manner in which they can protect themselves from contaminants.

If you’ve never created a written respirator program before, CCOHS offers this list of what such a program should contain:

  • Hazard identification and control
  • Exposure assessment
  • Respirator selection
  • Respirator fit-testing
  • Training program
  • Inspection and record keeping
  • Cleaning and sanitizing respirators
  • Repairing and maintaining respirators
  • Proper storage of respirators
  • Health surveillance
  • Standard operating procedures (available in written form)
  • Program evaluation

If you don’t already have one, develop your respiratory program today and encourage the proper use of this and all PPE (personal protective equipment) in your workplace.

Safety News You Can Use

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A company was fined $80,000 after a worker suffered injuries from falling into a storage bin that collapsed while it was being pushed.

A Ministry of Labour investigation uncovered that the side of the bin the worker was pushing had latches that are designed to collapse the bins for shipping. The worker was apparently unaware that the latches could be hazardous and that many workers push the bins in the same way this worker did.

Learn more here.

Contractor Fined After Workers are Burned

A contractor was fined $80,000 after two workers were burned while working on electrical equipment that was not properly shut off. While the workers performed their duties, an arc flash within the switch gear unit occurred. Both workers suffered second- and first-degree burns and one received third-degree burns.

Read more here.

Roofing Company and Owner Violate Worker Safety

A roofing company and its owner were fined for various workers safety violations. The company was fined $33,000 for failing to ensure workers wore fall protection, protective headwear and protective footwear. The owner was fined $14,000 for failing to ensure workers wore fall protection.

Click here for more details.

Avoid Falls: Basic Facts About Fall Protective Equipment

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If your workers could fall three meters or more while doing their job, they need fall protection. If fall protection is required at your job site, it’s important that you create a fall protection program. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) suggests a program include training workers, as well as selecting, fitting and inspecting fall safety equipment.

Here are some basics about the general care of fall protective equipment:

  • Inspect your equipment before each use.
  • Replace defective equipment.
  • Replace any equipment, including ropes, involved in a fall.
  • Inspect and certify (at least yearly) every piece of fall arrest equipment. Keep written records of inspections and approvals.
  • Use energy absorbers if the arresting forces of the lanyard alone can cause injury.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions (this includes instructions and limitations on use, as well as instructions for fitting and adjusting).
  • Use the right equipment for the job. Refer to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standards Z259 (regarding body belts, full body harnesses, and other fall prevention PPE).

If your workers require fall protection to do their jobs, do you know if they are using the right equipment? When was the last time you inspected your fall protection equipment?

Safety News You Can Use

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Manitoba recently appointed Dennis Nikkel as its new chief prevention officer. Nikkel will provide guidance regarding workplace injury and illness prevention.

Nikkel has held many roles for the Manitoba government, including environmental control officer and director of occupational health for Workplace Safety and Health. He has also been the chair of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Workplace Safety and Health since 2011.

Learn more here.

Manufacturer Fined After Worker Death

A manufacturer has been fined $100,000 after a worker was killed at the company’s facility. The worker was fatally wounded after coming into contact with a moving machine part that should have been guarded. It was determined that the guard was broken.

The company pleaded guilty to the change that it failed to ensure that a machine with a moving part was guarded to prevent worker injury.

Click here to read more.

Company and Supervisors Fined After One Worker Died, Another Injured

A company and two supervisors pleaded guilty and were fined $133,000 after one worker was killed and another worker was injured during a fall.

The workers were insulating overhead pipes in a mechanical room of a garage. They were positioned on a scissor lift near a door. When the door hit the lift, both workers fell 20 feet below to a concrete floor. One worker died from blunt head trauma injuries and died days later. The other suffered broken bones.

The company was fined for failing to protect workers’ safety and the supervisors were also fined for not properly protecting workers.

Learn more here.