Time To Replace Your Signs, Tags, and Labels?

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When was the last time you checked on the appearance and effectiveness of the signs, tags, and labels in your facility? Wear and tear on these items can mean you’re not in compliance, even though you think you are. Old, worn-out products might also be endangering lives, if they’re no longer sufficiently communicating hazards. Utilize the following tips to determine which products need replacing and, while you’re at it, set a schedule for regular assessments going forward.

SIGNS

Not only are damaged or faded signs not communicating hazards properly, they are likely sending a message that your business does not care to emphasize safety. Keep replacement signs on hand and take old ones down as soon as they show signs of wear or damage.

You might want to consider Seton’s Duroshield Overlaminate, which resists grime, dirt, mildew, chemicals, and inclement weather. Another great option, especially in areas that have wet or dirty operations, is photoengraved metal signs.

Unfortunately, another common issue is theft. Vandal-proof hardware can prevent your signs from being stolen. Proper sign support is also critical in communicating your message effectively.

More often than not, it is cheaper to replace a badly damaged or unreadable sign than attempt many repairs in the field. Never take a damaged sign away and leave nothing in its place!

Labels & Tags

Labels and tags can be used for hazard warnings, valve identification, equipment instructions, accident prevention, asset security, and more. Wear and tear on these items can present many of the same hazards associated with signage. Labels and tags should be made of high performance, durable materials that can withstand harsh environments – both indoors and outdoors. Information should be communicated appropriately and legibly at all times.

Labeling of chemical containers is a particularly important consideration and full details can be found in section 10.41 on Replacing Labels in the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. If a chemical container’s original label must be replaced, the new label must contain the same information as the original. Only use labels, ink, and markings that are not soluble in the liquid content of the container.

Seton can customize any sign, tag, or label to your unique needs, and we also offer printers for quick, on-the-spot labeling needs. Don’t forget to check out our full line of safety products in the 2015 Seton Source Book, which will send in early January!

Hot Topic: Farm Safety

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The Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting program (CAIR) reported that an average of 104 people died every year from agricultural incidents between 1990 and 2008. Recently, several Canadian farms have come under public scrutiny for questionable safety practices. An eastern Saskatchewan chicken ranch was ordered to stop hiring underage workers last month, following multiple child labour complaints. In Ontario, police are investigating the death of a North Walsingham tobacco farmer who drove his fertilizer spreader off a 75-foot embankment into a pond.

Agriculture is considered one of Canada’s most hazardous industries, so farm owner/operators have considerable challenges to face in keeping workers and visitors safe. Ensuring the safety of not only workers, but other adults and children who may visit or live on the farm is critical. Prominently displaying safety and first aid signs will communicate a safety-first attitude, in addition to offering guidance. Proper PPE and lockout/tagout protocol is also critical in avoiding machine-related injuries. Be careful in selecting workers who are competent, confident, responsible, and capable to operate machinery. If you need assistance establishing safe practices on your farm, check out The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA)’s comprehensive FarmSafe Plan.

Farms can be fun, exciting, and lucrative – but only if safety is the #1 priority. The Ministry of Labour offers extensive information on farm equipment and general agricultural compliance and safety. The Canada Safety Council offers the following safety training courses that may be of interest to farm operators and employees.

  • ARGO Operator Course
  • ATV Rider Course
  • Confined Spaces Training Course
  • Ladder Safety Training Course
  • Snowmobile Operators Course
  • Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) Side by Side Course
  • WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) Training Course

Be sure and stay on top of industry and equipment-related updates, ask questions, and empower the experts in your facility so that your farm can get the most out of the remainder of the season.

Raise the Bar on Forklift Safety

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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.

School Safety 101

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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.

Pavement Message Signs: Right Where You Need Them

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In our pursuit of making safety easy for you, we at Seton are introducing a new line of pavement message signs. These new adhesive-backed signs are meant for use on floors and pavements but can also be used on walls. As with all our safety and facility signs, our new pavement message signs feature a full range of practical safety messages and eye-catching graphics, ensuring they will be highly noticeable wherever you should use them.

One feature that sets our new pavement message signs apart from other floor signs and markers is the material from which these signs are made. Conventional floor markers are made from vinyl and usually feature an anti-slip overlaminate. Our new pavement markers are made from adhesive foil material by Asphalt Art. You may be familiar with Asphalt Art products through those large point-of-purchase advertising floor decals found in malls, supermarkets and other similar locations.

What makes our new adhesive foil pavement signs unique is that they get their slip resistance from glass beads incorporated into the sign’s surface. In fact, the anti-slip properties of our new signs are good enough to meet NSFI and ASTM-International certifications for non-slip surfaces.

Pavement message signs are easy to apply, with no need for surface prepping other than cleaning, designed for short term use for up to a year, and priced accordingly. We are certain that the new pavement message signs will be an ideal addition to your facility’s safety program.

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Connect with Noel Dugenia on Google +

Product Spotlight: Mining

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Mining blitzes are scheduled from now through early 2015, giving you extra reason to make sure you’re stocking and utilizing the products that will protect your miners. The three blitzes will focus on: Explosives (July – August), Ground Control (October – November), and Water Management (February – March). Seton has an extensive line of in-stock and fully customizable signs, including glow-in-the-dark and reflective options. Blasting, traffic, exit & evacuation, access restriction & site safety, clearance & capacity, and machine safety signs are critical in letting miners know how to avoid danger. Our mine processing products will cover everything from chemical hazard labeling to pipe & value marking to lockout/tagout. Just as with our signs, our labels and tags are completely customizable to meet your unique needs. Seton’s Personal Safety items (including training materials and posters) will help your workers understand, respond to, and protect themselves from dangerous situations that may arise. Seton is so committed to keeping the mining industry safe and compliant, we have dedicated an entire site it, so please visit seton.ca/mining today.

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. 

“Make Safety A Habit” during NAOSH Week 2014!

NAOSH Week 2014This week we are celebrating the North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week. From May 4 -10, employers, employees, and occupational health and safety stakeholders from across the continent come together to promote injury and illness prevention in the workplace, at home and in the community.

This year’s NAOSH Week theme is “Make Safety A Habit!”, and it is a call to action to implement and improve safety habits in the workplace. In British Columbia alone, an estimated $17 million in claim costs are paid annually for long term care brought about by workplace injuries in the health care sector. NAOSH Week aims to bring awareness to the habits in the workplace and how these habits help or hinder accident and injury prevention. The end goal is to cultivate a culture where being safe is already a second nature – like putting on your seatbelt upon getting in a vehicle.

For the workplace, safety should be a top priority for everyone – employers and workers alike. If you haven’t done so yet, now is the perfect time to assess the state of safety in your workplace. Celebrate NAOSH Week by jump-starting a campaign on safe habits. Put up workplace safety signs all around your facility and promote safety habits by following these guidelines:

  1. Set your own safety standards and stick to it. As an employer, make sure the safety regulations established are being followed. As a staff member, make sure you observe safety practices and don’t let others influence you otherwise. If you are not wearing the proper equipment because others don’t, the potential injury you may suffer will be yours alone to live with.
  2. Operate equipment only if qualified. Working with equipment can be a hazard, which is why training on how to operate them is a must. If you are tasked with handling certain equipment, and have never underwent training before, you need to inform your supervisor so the necessary training can be provided.Safety Signs
  3. Maintain a healthy respect for machinery. Before using any piece of equipment, makes sure it is in the best condition to operate. Check if the machine is clear of any obstruction that can damage the machine, and potentially injure you or others. Report if you see any problems. Check that all guards are in place, and don’t forget to de-energize the power before operating the equipment.
  4. Take the initiative to initiate safety procedures. It is your responsibility to call your supervisor and alert management to any problems or potential hazards that you encounter on the job. Report any broken equipment or machinery you may see, and ask for PPE or additional training if it is needed.
  5. Speak up. Ask questions if you are uncertain of tasks or procedures that you need to do. Do not accept answers that contain “I guess, I think, I assume”. Be certain.
  6. Exercise care and caution when lifting. Most back, muscle and spinal injuries are from over-straining while lifting, pulling or pushing. Know your limits and do not attempt to exceed them.
  7. Practice good housekeeping. A clean and organized workplace makes for a safer one. Keep your work areas clean and orderly at all times.
  8. Dress sensibly and responsibly for your work. Wearing the proper personal protective clothing and other PPE can save your life. In addition to that avoid wearing loose clothing, dangling jewelry and keep your hair tied back so these items don’t get caught in machinery.

The success of NAOSH Week in your workplace depends on your willingness to participate. Your positive attitude can help encourage others to do so as well and plays a major role in preventing accidents and injuries from happening. All you need is a commitment to make safety a habit, and be consistent in practicing it every day, until this new habit becomes second nature. At the end of the day safety is everyone’s responsibility, including your own, so make safety a habit. Do it for yourself  and for those around you. 

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Connect with Maria Marnelli G. Medina on Google+

April 28th is National Day of Mourning

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Every day, an estimated three workers die in work-related incidents and more than 900,000  workplace injuries are reported every year. In Alberta alone, there was a record high number of 188 workplace deaths. With fatalities rates on the rise, it is time to realize the need for change.

Today, April 28, is the National Day of Mourning. On this day, the whole nation pays its respects to all workers who have been killed, injured or disabled on the job, or who suffer from occupational diseases. In 1984, the Labour Congress first declared April 28th as Canada’s Day of Mourning. This year marks its 30th anniversary.

The National Day of Mourning is held yearly not just to commemorate the dead, ill and injured, but also to raise awareness of the importance of workplace safety and health, and its role in preventing these needless occupational tragedies.

Organizations and individuals are encouraged to take a proactive role in promoting health and safety in the workplace. Take the time to recognize fellow workers who have been affected by work-related illnesses, injuries and deaths. Offer a moment of silence for them. Wear ribbons and armbands to show your support. You can also do this by looking for ways to improve the safety and health conditions of your facility.

Seton Canada is with you in honouring and remembering those who have lost their lives in the workplace. We are committed to promoting safety awareness in the workplace. Here are some ways that you and your company can do to increase safety and health awareness at work:

Promote employee safety at work. Put up safety signs in your workplace to remind everyone of the importance of safety and following safety rules and regulations. You can also post infographics on the number of worker deaths in Canada each year and the leading causes of workplace deaths and illness.

Be a safety mentor. Mentoring is an effective way to train new workers on the ins and outs of the job – including the correct safety practices. This can be a separate program or can supplement your current OHS program to decrease injuries and incidents, cut claims, and create a more safety conscious work environment. Use safety training tools for a more comprehensive training program.

Learn from it. Find the lessons to be learned from a workplace injury or fatality. Figure out the causes and find solutions to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Most workplace deaths are tragic events that could have been preventable. With proper training and awareness on safety regulations,  the number of workplace fatalities can decrease. National Day of Mourning is the day to honour the dead, but it is also a day to remind us of the need to protect the living.

But today, let us all take the time to wear our armbands and ribbons, light a candle, and observe a moment of silence for our fellow workers who are no longer with us.

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Connect with Maria Marnelli G. Medina on Google+

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.