In 2011, we saw our fair share of work-related hazards…everything from combustible dust and fall hazards to silica and beryllium exposure. It seemed that everyday there was a new article related to an OSHA citation, food recall or …and we hate to say it…an industrial accident. As we welcome the New Year, Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums challenges you to set non-traditional resolutions and resolve to stay safe and keep your worker’s safe in 2012. Here are some things you can do NOW to ensure we close out the year with LESS combustible dust fires and explosions, OSHA citations, product recalls…and ZERO occupational injuries.
1. Perform a facility assessment. Walk through your plant or shop and look for hazards like electrical issues, slip, trip and fall hazards, faulty equipment, and accumulations of dust (remember, a layer of dust the thickness of a paperclip can get you cited AND add to a deadly accident).
2. EDUCATE. There are so many resources available to you from government agencies and private companies that there is now NO excuse for saying you didn’t know. Educate yourself on OSHA regulations, NFPA codes, and EPA laws. Also, don’t forget to check with your local authorities for safe-manufacturing policies. People like your building inspectors and fire marshalls can be a wealth of knowledge. Once you’ve educated yourself, educate the rest of your team. Plant Managers can be a walking safety encyclopedia, but it does nothing if this knowledge isn’t passed on to the machine operators and folks on the floor. Be sure to communicate the information to them in clear, simple terms.
3. Invest in the proper equipment. Don’t try to cut corners and cents…because it most likely will cost you more in the long run. Choose high-quality equipment that will allow you to operate an efficient process. Don’t forget that you often “get what you pay for,” so the cheapest quote isn’t always the right one. When it comes to specialty equipment for hazardous locations, make sure they carry proper certifications, etc. and are built to the highest level of operational safety.
4. Set Goals. Whether its marking on a chalkboard the number of days you’ve gone without an injury or simply crossing things off your to-do list (eg. vacuum dust off overhead pipes and beams), setting goals will allow you to see the small successes and motivate everyone to be involved.
5. Start today. It only takes one spark, one trip, or one broken piece of machinery to cause an injury. Not to mention, OSHA can knock on your door this afternoon. Put safety practices into action today…and follow them every day.