A Safety Checklist: Keep Your Workers Safe

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Do you need a little help ensuring that your workers stay safe on the job?

The Ministry of Labour has released a checklist designed to help employers ensure they follow Ontario’s health and safety requirements. The checklist also contains questions that employers can use to determine their success in complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

The checklist is comprised of four areas:

  • Roles and responsibilities: Help employers and workers understand their responsibilities in the workplace.
  • Reporting and records management: Help employers understand reporting requirements when there is a workplace incident, such as an injury.
  • Hazards in the workplace: Ensure procedures are in place to control hazards.
  • Training: Ensure all workers complete mandatory health and safety awareness training, including specific training on hazards found in the workplace.

How do you currently keep track of the required health and safety requirements? Do you think having a checklist will keep you more organized? What items will your checklist contain?

If you want to start with training, Seton has what you need to provide your workers with the knowledge and processes they need to keep their workplaces safe and secure.

Need help getting started? Give us a call at 855-581-1218 or visit www.seton.ca and we can help answer any safety product questions you may have.

Avoid Serious Illness: Protecting Your Workers from Asbestos Exposure

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Asbestos, which was once used for insulating buildings and for fireproofing, can be hazardous to workers’ health. It can cause cancer and other diseases.

Workers can be exposed to asbestos when buildings are being renovated or demolished. Asbestos fibres can be released in the air in many ways, such as when insulation containing asbestos is disturbed or removed, and when they are sanding or disturbing plaster that contains asbestos.

Workers in maintenance and construction should learn if asbestos is present on their work site and consult with a qualified asbestos removal specialist.

It’s important, when working with materials that could contain asbestos, that workers avoid creating dust from scraping, brushing, rubbing and cutting.

Asbestos removal specialists should be brought in to remove any asbestos that is identified during renovation projects. Workers should not disturb asbestos themselves.

Have you ever worked in a job site where asbestos was present? How did you ensure workers weren’t exposed to the asbestos? Have you trained your workers to know what to do if they uncover asbestos at a job site?

Temporary Worker Safety: What You Need to Know

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Because temporary workers are new on the job, they are often at the most risk for injury. According to the Canada Safety Council, temporary workers are injured more frequently than permanent workers. And those injuries are typically more serious.

Temporary workers are usually hired by a staffing agency, and their health and safety is protected by the OHSA. So, temporary workers do have the same rights as permanent workers. That means that temporary workers have the right to know about any workplace hazards to which they could be exposed. They can also participate in identifying workplace health and safety concerns and ask a supervisor if they are concerned about their own health and safety. Temporary workers can also refuse to perform unsafe work.

Staffing agencies and client employers must:

  • Provide temporary workers with information, instruction and supervision to protect their health and safety
  • Tell temporary workers or someone in authority about any hazards they ask them to do, as well as hazards they may be exposed to in the general work environment
  • Ensure that equipment, materials and protective devices provided are maintained in good condition

Do you currently employ any temporary workers? If so, what additional steps do you take to ensure their safety on the job?

Safe Lifting Rules: Preventing Back Injuries on the Job

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One of the most common injuries associated with manual materials handling (MMH) is a low back injury. While unnatural postures and repeated movements can cause these injuries, the implementation of safe work practices can reduce the occurrence and severity of such injuries.

When possible, mechanical aids should be used. In addition, reducing MMH demands can help. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) offers these suggestions:

  • Decrease the weight of handled objects to acceptable limits.
  • Reduce the weight by assigning two people to lift the load or by splitting the load into two or more containers. Using light plastic containers also decreases the weight of the load.
  • Change the type of MMH movement. Lowering objects causes less strain than lifting. Pulling objects is easier than carrying. Pushing is less demanding than pulling.
  • Change work area layouts. Reducing the horizontal and vertical distances of lifting substantially lowers MMH demands. Reducing the travel distances for carrying, pushing or pulling also decreases work demands.
  • Assign more time for repetitive handling tasks. This reduces the frequency of handling and allows for more work/rest periods.
  • Alternate heavy tasks with lighter ones to reduce the build-up of fatigue.

Do you have any other suggestions for how to keep workers injury free? What are some additional strategies that have helped your workers?

Safety Training: How You Can Promote a Safe Workplace

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One of the cornerstones of a solid safety culture is safety training. Your employees must be adequately trained so they can safely perform their job duties each and every day.

Safety training is a collaborative effort between employers and employees. Everyone must be dedicated to a strong safety training program in order for it to be effective and successful.

Under Part II of the Canada Labour Code, employers (under federal jurisdiction) must ensure employees receive the information, training and supervision they need to safely get their work done.

Employers must provide:

  • An appropriate understanding of overall work safety procedures
  • Knowledge of the safe use of workplace tools and equipment
  • Awareness of known or foreseeable workplace hazards
  • Whenever possible, training sessions should include documentation

Employees need to use what they learn during that training, and also follow safety procedures to ensure overall safety within their workplace.

Employees must, under the Canada Labour Code:

  • Use all safety materials, equipment, devices and clothing that are provided by the employer and are intended to protect employees
  • Follow procedures relating to the health and safety of employees
  • Follow all instructions provided by the employer concerning the health and safety of employees
  • Co-operate with any person carrying out a duty or function required by the Code
  • Report to the employer any thing or circumstance that is likely to be hazardous to employees or any other person in the workplace
  • Report to the employer all work-related accidents, occupational diseases or other hazardous occurrences that have caused injury to you or any other person
  • Report to the employer any situation you believe to be a contravention of Part II of the Code by the employer, another employee, or any other person
  • Comply with every oral or written direction given by a health and safety officer or an appeals officer; and respond in writing to a health and safety officer’s direction or report when requested to do so by the health and safety officer

How do you coordinate your safety training efforts in your facility?

Electrical Safety: What You Need to Know to Keep Workers Safe

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Working with electricity can be very dangerous.  It’s important to ensure that workers understand how to work safety with or near electricity, and that they understand the risks involved. The main types of electrical injuries they can suffer include electrocution, electric shock, burns and falls.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) offers the following tips for staying safe when working with or near electricity:

  • Inspect portable cord-and-plug connected equipment, extension cords, power bars, and electrical fittings for damage or wear before each use. Repair or replace damaged equipment immediately.
  • Always tape extension cords to walls or floors when necessary. Nails and staples can damage extension cords, causing fire and shock hazards.
  • Use extension cords or equipment that is rated for the level of amperage or wattage that you are using.
  • Always use the correct size fuse. Replacing a fuse with one of a larger size can cause excessive currents in the wiring and possibly start a fire.
  • Be aware that unusually warm or hot outlets may be a sign that unsafe wiring conditions exist. Unplug any cords or extension cords to these outlets and do not use until a qualified electrician has checked the wiring.
  • Always use ladders made with non-conductive side rails when working with or near electricity or power lines.
  • Place halogen lights away from combustible materials, such as cloths or curtains.
  • Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to interrupt an electrical circuit before a current sufficient to cause death or serious injury occurs.
  • Use a portable in-line Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) if you’re not certain that the receptacle you’re plugging an extension cord into is GFCI protected.
  • Make sure that exposed receptacle boxes are made of non-conductive materials.
  • Know where the panel and circuit breakers are located in case of an emergency.
  • Label all circuit breakers and fuse boxes clearly.
  • Don’t use outlets or cords with exposed wiring or portable cord-and-plug connected power tools with the guards removed.
  • Don’t block access to panels and circuit breakers or fuse boxes and don’t touch a person or electrical apparatus in the event of an electrical accident.

CCOHS has additional electrical safety tips, including those related to working with power tools and power cords here.

Spotlight on Warehouse Aisle Floor Markers

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Warehouses – especially larger ones – are always a buzz of activity. Powered industrial trucks moving in and around aisles; workers filling shelves with stocks, retrieving these for shipment or taking inventory; maintenance performing emergency maintenance or housekeeping chores are just some examples of daily warehouse activities.

With all this going on, sometimes all at once, ensuring operations run as smoothly – not to mention as safely – as possible can be a bit of a challenge. With this challenge in mind, we at Seton developed a line of markers designed to make warehouse activities more efficient, namely warehouse aisle floor markers.

Aisle identification for more efficient – and safe – task resolution

Most warehouses would have some form of aisle identification system, usually in the form of aisle signs. These types of signs attach to the side of racks either flush or extending outward a bit. While these do a fair enough job of identifying aisles there is a likelihood these can be obscured largely because of how they’re positioned, i.e. on the side of a warehouse rack.

Our new warehouse aisle floor markers feature three factors that make these easier to see than conventional warehouse aisle signs:

•A highly noticeable design – our new aisle floor markers feature a design that “jumps out” at you, letting you know exactly what aisle you’re at.
•A large diameter – at 17” dia., these floor markers are easy to see even from a relatively far distance.
•Floor mounting – being floor mounted, there is a lesser danger these floor signs will be obscured from view.
•Subsurface printing – subsurface printing ensures the marker won’t fade significantly.
•A Lexan topcoat – Lexan is chemically resistant also adding to the markers durability.

Another notable feature of our new warehouse aisle markers is these feature significant anti-slip properties. What this means is, these new floor markers can also help prevent slip and fall accidents.
When properly installed, our warehouse aisle floor markers allow your workers to more efficiently traverse even a really large warehouse. This equates to time saved performing the various tasks at hand.

A Friendly Reminder

Please keep in mind, while our aisle floor markers can enhance both efficiency and safety in your warehouse, nothing beats good old-fashioned training to ensure both. Make sure to train your workers regarding your establishment’s safety protocols, including working around forklifts and other powered industrial trucks and housekeeping principles.

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Seton Recognized for Job Safety Videos with Bronze CPRS ACE Award

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Congratulations to Reimagine PR! Their Seton Job Safety Video Series won the Bronze Canadian Public Relations Society’s Achieving Communications Excellence (ACE) Award for Best Digital Campaign of the Year. The complete press release is below. 

TORONTO, ONTARIO — (Marketwired) — 05/15/14

Seton and Reimagine PR have won the Bronze Canadian Public Relations Society’s (CPRS Toronto) Achieving Communications Excellence (ACE) Award in the Best Digital Campaign of the Year category for the Seton Job Safety Video Series. Job Safety equals boring to many who tune out during critical job safety meetings, putting themselves and others at risk. Seton wanted to give Safety Engineers and Safety Managers tools to better engage workers and supervisors in the job safety message. So Seton teamed up with Second City Alumnae and a television comedy writer to create safety videos workers and supervisors might actually want to watch.

The video series has also been selected as a finalist for PR Daily’s Video Awards in the Safety Video Category. Winners will be announced at the end of May. The videos live in the website Seton created to promote Job Safety at jobsafety.seton.ca. The site is filled with helpful tips and articles for safety managers, safety engineers, managers, workers and anyone with a vested interest in keeping workers safe on the job.

“Job safety is critical. We wanted to give safety engineers and everyone responsible for job safety extra tools to help them ensure both young workers and managers go home safe to their families once their job is done,” said Rebecca Gounaris, Director of Industry Marketing for Seton. “We’ve had such a positive response from safety experts who have incorporated the videos into their work which was reward enough. To then also win an award from CPRS is really gratifying.”

The videos were executive produced by Rebecca Gounaris and produced by Susan McLennan of Reimagine PR. They were directed by Chris Earle (Second City) and star David Huband (The Rick Mercer Report) and Adam Cawley (Second City) in “Don’t Lose Sight of Safety” and Marty Adams (I, Martin Short, Goes Home) and Adrian Truss (Totally Spies!) in “Sign Here.” The filmmakers were Tash Baycroft and Jesse Bone from Filter Studios and the scripts were written by Mike Erskine-Kellie (Pucca) of Reimagine PR.

For 28 years, Seton Canada has been helping responsible employers keep their workers safe with signs (both custom and stock), labels, PPE, and first aid kits and much more. The company ships Canada wide, often the same day, and provides expert assistance in navigating the complex, time-consuming-but-all-important task of job safety. Seton Canada is a proud partner to thousands of companies striving for a culture where zero accidents and 100% compliance are the norm, and offers compliance solutions that reduce lost-time accidents, raise productivity and improve insurance rates out on the floor, in the field, and from behind the desk.

Contacts:

Susan McLennan
(416) 699-1846; Cell: (416) 568-5974
susan@reimaginepr.com
www.reimaginepr.com

 

 

Custom Label Printing As Part of Business Procedures

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Effective labeling is an important aspect of an establishment’s business procedures. Ensuring that a specific item stands out, whether from other items in the same facility, or from competitors in the market, is essential in creating a productive facility. Indeed, the visual element of a label is often what draws a person’s attention to a given item or product. Because of this, various facilities across the country depend on label printing (and especially custom label printing) in order to print the most effective and informative labels possible.

Custom label printing provides an establishment an added benefit since businesses can have very specific needs and objectives that must be met and achieved. And with these come particular protocols that will necessitate labels that go beyond a generic template. Custom labels give managers an almost infinite range of selections to help them achieve their business objectives.

Label printers play a labeltac-4-pro-industrial-label-printer-ff0738-bacrucial role in producing custom labels. From multiple colour schemes to glossy, professional-looking graphics, several printer options are available in the market, designed to produce the best label to meet a given facility’s requirements. Several factors, like colour and graphics detail, come into play when manufacturing quality output. Printer manufacturers such as LabelTac™ afford users printer options that are designed to accommodate these requirements.

Red, for instance, is commonly designated as the highest level of safety awareness or potential risk hazard. Industrial facilities make use of equipment and machinery that require safety and hazard labeling to protect their employees. A label with a dull printout may not elicit the attention or response needed to understand the message or heed the warning indicated on the label. Achieving the best visual impact will require printers with the best colour output.

There are other reasons why custom labels are ideal options for industrial environments. Within manufacturing plants and similar work locations, items that are stored or utilized in areas with extreme temperatures will require specialized label materials. There are several custom label options  designed to withstand the temperatures in these areas, formulated to retain their shape and readability even in extreme temperature work areas (whether hot or cold).

Custom safety labels are also ideal for labeltac-4-industrial-label-printer-ff0739-baitems that are used or destined for high-end market settings. Made for visual appeal, these designer labels offer an effective means of achieving the ideal look, with each design aspect of the product easily adjustable to produce the desired results. Furthermore, several printers offer users the option to load a variety of graphic and logo designs on familiar editing software such as Microsoft Office, in order to make the process even smoother and easier.

Custom labels are a versatile business solution that can be applied across different business establishments. Whether used for asset inventory, product sales, safety awareness programs (or all of the above), facilities would do well to take advantage of printing their own company labels. Using effective printers like LabelTac™ makes custom label printing among the most comprehensive solutions they can employ to produce the best labels their facilities need.

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7 Steps To Get Your Workplace Ready For Flu Season

Workplace First Aid KitThe cold season is here – and with it comes flu season. Every year, the Canadian winter brings about an estimated 3,500 influenza-related deaths, with around 20,000 people getting hospitalized. Since the flu is highly contagious, it can easily be transferred from one person to another by the simple acts of shaking hands, coughing, sneezing, or just being in close contact with someone who is sick. So what is the best way to deal with this? The answer is the most sensible one: through prevention.

One of the most vulnerable places to catch the flu is the workplace. Colds and viruses not only get transferred from person to person, but also from surface to surface. When an infected co-worker coughs or sneezes in the air, the flu or cold virus becomes airborne while flu droplets can lands on work surfaces. When another person breathes the infected air or comes into contact with the affected surface, the virus is then transferred.

Preventing the flu in the workplace can be easy with proper guidelines and the right tools on hand. The following steps can help you create a flu-free work environment and get you ready to take the cold season head-on:Employee Pandemic Flu Kits

  1. Know the lowdown on influenza. Educate yourself and your staff on what the flu is and what it isn’t. You can do this by posting and distributing educational materials to your employees on general flu facts, the importance of flu vaccinations, proper cleaning and disinfection. You can also provide office wellness tips on how to stay healthy this winter.
  2. Start a flu vaccination campaign. According to FightFlu.ca, flu shots can prevent flu illness in up to 70% of healthy children and adults. Encourage your employees to get a flu vaccine for themselves and their family. You can work with a community mass vaccinator to schedule an onsite or offsite flu vaccination clinic. Allow your employees time off to get vaccinated. You can even cover the flu vaccines with low or no-pocket costs through your company’s health plans. Lastly, promote your flu shot drive through staff meetings,  employee newsletters, email notices, or through employee engagement activities such as employee vaccination contests and trivia games.
  3. Promote sanitary practices in your workplace. Start talking to your staff about the importance of covering coughs and sneezes, and disinfecting hands after. Hand washing is the single most effective way of preventing the spread of infections. Make sure everyone is washing their hands often and properly with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds to eliminate bacteria and viruses.
  4. Step up your cleanliness program at work. Did you know that on average your work desk alone contains 400 times more bacteria than a toilet, and that they can live for up to 48 hours on your desk? Let your staff know about these numbers and put emphasize on hygiene in the workplace. Make sure that common surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, telephones, and other frequently touched objects are regularly cleaned and disinfected.Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer
  5. Make hygiene and disinfecting products available to everyone. Provide tissues, hand soap, disinfectants, disposable towels, and germ-killing hand sanitizers for your staff to clean their hands and work surfaces.  Place these products in areas identified as germ hot spots and consider using hands-free soap dispensers in the bathrooms.
  6. Protect your staff. Your staff is your most valuable asset. Encourage workers to stay home when sick. Many employees come to work sick because they can’t afford to miss work or are concerned with absenteeism. Offer flexibility in work schedules so your staff can stay home when sick or work from home.  A worker who comes in sick will just put his co-workers at risk of also catching the flu.
  7. Provide the proper PPE apparel to your workers. Workers who are exposed to cold and wet weather without the appropriate winter PPE are not only in danger of potential accidents, but also of health hazards. Make sure your employees are wearing the correct PPE clothing and are following safety protocols while performing their tasks.

As an employer, it is also important that you set a good example and follow your own advice on flu prevention. This means that you also observe the proper hygiene, use the correct winter PPE tools, stay home when you are sick to keep your germs out of the workplace. A widespread outbreak of the flu or a pandemic in your workplace can have serious consequences. Everyone at work needs to take these steps to prevent the spread of germs and viruses that is critical to good health. As the old saying goes, prevention is still the best medicine. It also makes for good business sense.
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