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Balancing Production and Protection: ROI of Workplace Safety

Workplace Safety ROI

It is kind of crazy when you think about it, that facilities actually have to “justify” the importance of safety purchases that could save the lives of workers; as if a workers life doesn’t come with any value to begin with.  So looking beyond the obvious ROI of saving a HUMAN LIFE, when trying to convince your managers that new safety changes are going to benefit the company, focus on these 3 areas.

Productivity

Do you work better when you are side tracked by the feeling that what you are doing might be harmful to your well being? Chances are the answer is no, and it is the same for your workforce. When processes have built in barriers to protect workers from hazards they are free to work carefree and uninhibited. When work becomes intuitive processes become smoother and more flexible if timelines change.

Morale

Employees are more likely to put more effort and pride into the work they are doing if they feel like they are part of a company that sees and acknowledges their value. Part of “acknowledging their value” definitely includes keeping them safe. Recognizing that your workers have lives and people that are important to them outside of work and providing them with the safety precautions they need to ensure that they will be able to return to them after hours is important in more ways than one.

Cost Savings

If you work in a safety position your have heard all of the same stats over and over again; “for every dollar spent on safety you save 2 in injury and production costs” “Injuries, Workers Comp, Insurance, Lost Time, Fines” so on and so forth. While the multipliers may differ from company to company the likelihood and the impact should an accident occur because the proper safety precautions were not in place are enough to severely hinder and operation if not shut a company down completely.

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Q&A: Creating the Best PPE Safety Program

FAQAboutPPE

PPE should be considered the last line of defense when it comes to protecting workers from the unavoidable hazards of their jobs, but let’s face it many companies rely on PPE to get the job done. When selecting, training your workforce and implementing a proper PPE Protection Plan, make sure you have answers to all of the important questions before making any decisions.

Q: What are critical components to any successful PPE program?

                A: A successful PPE program starts with a proper assessment of the hazard area to ensure that your selection of PPE is correct. While all areas of your facility should be assessed on a regular basis, if there is one in particular that has a high number of accidents and injuries and requires PPE while performing task, start with a hazard assessment to pinpoint an exact solution. Then move on to selecting the right PPE. Not all PPE is created equally make sure that the specification needed for the job are met by the piece of protective wear that you are selecting. Once your PPE is selected be sure to train your workers on its importance, the proper way to use it, and follow up with fit tests, proper care, and inspections to make sure that if the quality of the PPE deteriorates that it is replaced in a timely manner.

Q: How often should PPE programs be updated?

A: At the very least your PPE program should be audited and updated on an annual basis to remain in compliance with OSHA regulations. However, many safety authorities recommend making regularly scheduled updates throughout the year or as needed.

Q: Does PPE have to be tested/inspected?

                A: Outside of annual updates, PPE must be regularly examined by a qualified worker to make sure that it is still performing to the standard it should be as stated on manufacturer labels. Simple maintenance should be done by the user such as cleaning and proper storage.

Q: How should PPE be stored?

                A: All PPE does not have the same storage instructions. As a rule, the specific piece of PPE your workers are using should be stored according to the instructions that came with it. Depending on the type of PPE if not stored properly it could deteriorate more quickly due to exposures to elements like dirt, sun, heat, cold etc.

Q: Is it ok to share PPE?

                A: In general it is not a good idea to share PPE among coworkers. Outside of the obvious issues around the spread of germs and infectious disease, PPE often requires fitting it to the specific user. Unless specifically stated in manufacturer instructions it is advised against sharing PPE. Only having one user will also help in keeping clear maintenance and replacement records.

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Tips: Head to Toe Protection Tips for the Workplace

PPEheadtotoe

It’s the last line of defense between you and a life altering injury, do you know the proper products and how they should be used in order to make sure you are protecting yourself? Do you know the importance of the products that are being provided to keep you safe? Are you guilty of not bothering to wear the correct protections because you think it could “never be you”? For starters: STOP THAT! Second, follow these simple tips to keep yourself safe! Let’s be smart about this in 2016, shall we?
  • Head:

Protect your head from traumatic brain injuries, they make up 22% of all work related fatalities. Hard hats are broken down into 2 types and 3 classes, provide a hat that best fits the falling your hazard.

  • Hearing:

Measurement standards should be appropriate for the noise levels and spectral content specific to the environment being regulated. Meeting requirements is not enough. An 85dBA/8 hour low frequency tonal noise dominant setting can still be harmful. Additional protections such as active ear defenders should be considered in the cases for true protection of workers.

  • Respiratory:

When working around airborne particles or debris, be sure to wear the proper respirator for the hazard and change filters frequently. The life of these filters will vary depending on the concentration of the hazard, the storage conditions and age of the filter.

  • Back:

1 in 5 workplace injuries are back related and 33% of injuries can be reduced with strength testing for appropriate tasks and proper lifting technique training. Avoid the common causes of force, repetition, and posture.

  • Hands:

72% of hand injuries were a result of hands not wearing gloves. Hazards associated with machinery and cutting are at the top of the list when it comes to workplace hand injuries, when reviewing and selecting gloves make note of flexibility, grip, cut and puncture resistance, chemical resistance and degradation.

  • Feet:

Crushed, punctured, burned, shocked, sprained or broken. While often forgotten about, foot protection is just as important as the protection of the rest of your body, your footwear should provide both comfort and protection to ward off the hazards lurking around your facility.

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Workplace Safety News Roundup

Workplace Safety News

Keeping track of new OSHA regulations and taking advantage of supplemental safety training and reading materials makes a big difference in the success of the programs you implement in your workplace. Seeing what others are doing both for the better and worse help mold an all encompassing safety initiative. Here is a sampling of some of the news buzzing around workplace safety this month.

DOL and DOJ Change The Landscape of Workplace Safety with Agreement

It’s hard to believe that there hasn’t been an agreement in place between the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice until now but it’s the truth! A recent official agreement has been reached between the two departments to pool resources in prosecuting individuals who willfully disregard labor and environmental laws.

Read more here

Is Eating Breakfast Tied to Workplace Safety?

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, ever heard that one before?

We wake up and either don’t have time, forget, or replace an actual meal with coffee and think we’ll be fine , but a new study suggests we may be putting ourselves in harms way, and when skipping breakfast are more likely to become injured at work.

Read more here

Targeting Achievable Safety Goals in 2016

Be specific, make them measurable, and get everyone involved. When targeting workplace safety goals for 2016 don’t speak in generic terms, make sure your goals are clear to everyone throughout your facility.

When creating your list of things to tackle in the new year start with clear pain points that have come up several times.

Read more here

Can You Get Fired For Being Fat?

The debate is on. Recently a man in the UK was fired for being fat, the company stated that the mans weight posed a workplace safety issue.

Do you think your workplace should have a say in how much you weigh? Can you get fired for being overweight?

This is concerning! When workplaces are allowed to hire and fire people based on their appearance it toes the line of discrimination, however in some cases it is necessary.

Read more here

Beards: Fashion Statement or Workplace Safety Hazards?

Sure who doesn’t like a little facial hair, especially during Movember, but are you making the proper workplace safety changes to accommodate for your now “grizzlier” appearance?

Facial hair changes your face shape and can get in the way of your respirator or any other workplace safety masks that are necessary to do your job safely, and therefore could lead to fines and violations for your company.

Read more here

Is Bladder Cancer On Your Radar For Workplace Hazards?

Bladder cancer is on the rise , and there is a direct correlation with specific industries.

A recent study suggests that those with the highest risk work in industries where they are exposed to aromatic chemicals such as tobacco, dye, rubber, printers, leather and hair products, also those exposed to heavy metals, diesel and combustion products.

Read more here

 

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