For many organizations, these inspections are something they have to do to meet regulations. And, that’s important – those regulations are there to help provide a workplace that is safe for workers, the environment and the surrounding community. But, some companies are able to leverage those inspections to gain new insights into their operations and build additional efficiencies.
One aspect of safety is the reminder to be safe! Just the actual reminder might save someone’s life. It’s not unreasonable to have a safety moment every day. It could be one or two minutes. At some companies, when they have any meeting, they always start with a safety moment. In maintenance, there’s usually a five- or 10-minute section on safety during the daily toolbox meeting in the morning; nothing really elaborate. If you’re going to address a bigger safety topic, it might be a half hour or an hour with a slide presentation.
The fact is, shop safety in the U.S. and Europe has dramatically improved over the past few decades. Many unsafe acts accepted in the past are forbidden today. The idea of working without fall protection or lockout-tagout (LOTO) procedures is widely condemned by workers, management and supervision. Still, too many people get grievously hurt or even killed at work.
High-pressure injection injuries, also known as grease gun injuries, are caused by the accidental injection of a foreign material–such as grease, oil, or solvent under pressure–through the skin and into the underlying tissue. This is analogous to medical techniques used to administer immunization shots without a needle. A grease gun injury can cause serious delayed soft tissue damage and should be treated as a surgical emergency. Any person sustaining an injury of this sort should seek immediate medical attention, regardless of the appearance of the wound or its size. Accidents involving injection injuries can occur when using any type of pressurized equipment.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers sustained a collective 2.9 million workplace injuries and illnesses in 2015, and nearly 5,000 workers were killed on the job—an average of 13 employees every day. As employers try to curtail those shocking numbers and improve safety throughout their facility, it’s important to examine the relationship between a safer workplace and ensuring uptime, reliability and quality asset performance.
Research shows that fatigued, distracted employees are at a significantly higher risk of being involved in an accident. Eighty of every 100 workplace accidents are attributed to the person who is injured. The American Society of Civil Engineers published a 2009 study entitled, “Sleep Deprivation and Its Consequences in Construction Workers,” that showed employees at construction sites who sleep less than eight hours per night have a nine percent increase in accident risk.
To some people, the word “housekeeping” calls to mind cleaning floors and surfaces, removing dust, and organizing clutter. But in a work setting, it means much more. Housekeeping is crucial to safe workplaces. It can help prevent injuries and improve productivity and morale, as well as make a good first impression on visitors, according to Cari Gray, safety consultant for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. It also can help an employer avoid potential fines for non-compliance.
Many of today’s manufacturing plants have removed asbestos from their facilities, but some still manufacture products that contain legal amounts of asbestos. Although exposure at these plants is well monitored and minimal, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
U.S. fire departments receive an estimated 42,800 reports of fires from industrial and manufacturing facilities each year, according to the NFPA. Fire prevention and emergency action plans are two tools to ensure employees know what to do before and after a fire alarm sounds.