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Taking Inventory Before the New Year: Tips on what to check, reorder, and replace!

Inventory Control Safety

Are you forgetting something? There is so much to do before the year comes to a close. It is easy to pass over little tasks and say “I’ll come back to them later,” but do we ever really remember to come back to them later? Chances are they may slip through the cracks, which might be ok for the moment, but should you really be rolling the dice when it comes to safety?

These quick tips will help you get through the little tasks so you won’t have to worry about them later:

  • Check the floor tape in you warehouse. Is it coming up, ripped or fading?
  • Check the expiration date on your eyewash. Does it need replacing?
  • Check the expiration dates and fill of your supplies in your first aid kit.
  • Check your PPE. Does it show wear and tear? Do you have enough or need more?
  • Check your parking lot. Are any signs damaged?
  • Check your warehouse. Are your shelves properly labeled?
  • Check your fire extinguishers. When’s the last time they’ve been inspected?

The end of the year comes quick for everyone, and making sure your facility gets off to a great start in the New Year starts with early prep work. Don’t leave tasks looming over your head over the holiday season; tackle them little by little when you have a few spare minutes.


Prioritizing Your Machine Safety

Machine Safety

Accidents are expensive; there’s no way around that. When workers are injured it holds up productivity, and when machines are down you can forget about meeting your deadlines. Keeping your business working like a well oiled, well maintained machine requires attention, not only where there is need for improvement but also where processes exceed expectations.

Clear and Present Danger

When trying to prioritize what to tackle first, it is easy to become overwhelmed. First and foremost, if the safety at your facility is in question and hazards are not properly eliminated, these are imminent dangers and should be handled immediately. Assess the hazards and work towards neutralizing them through the hierarchy of safety controls available at your facility.

Getting Worker Input

If there are no clear dangers present in your workplace, your workers are a good source of information when it comes to “pain points” that are getting in the way of their daily tasks.  Get their input on what will help them do their job more efficiently and see how these changes will increase your facility’s production levels. Providing your workers with tools that will help them “work smarter” will lessen their stress and the likelihood of them feeling like they have to cut safety corners to get work done on time.

 Looking on the Bright Side

Don’t simply focus on the areas of your facility that aren’t making the grade. Be sure to also seek out information on areas, tools, and processes that are keeping projects on time, organized and improving workflow overall. These elements are what you can look to as a guide of how to improve tasks that are lagging.

Q&A: Why Choose a Holiday Manufacturing Shutdown

Manufacturing Shutdown

Machines are new and don’t need to be entirely shut down to be worked on; demand continues to grow; and customer expectations are non-negotiable. All of these reasons point to doing away with a holiday shutdown.  So the question remains, why keep it around? While processes continue to change with technology and become more efficient, there are still some tasks that can’t be done during all of the hustle and bustle that comes with a production schedule.

 Why Shut Down?

  • Shut downs are usually planned for improvements in machinery or updating processes. While they do have their drawbacks and technology has come so far, plant shut downs when done correctly are always for the betterment of the company. This gives upper management time to assess current ways of doing business in order to find solutions to save money, increase safety and reduce stress and time wasted.
What Areas Are Usually Focused On During a Shutdown?
  • All areas of your facility are impacted by a shutdown, both directly and indirectly. This is time spent on everything from general logistics to finance, sales and product design. The goal of a shutdown is to find ways of making production more efficient, either by implementing an ergonomics program, finding better material for a product and changing machines to accommodate it, or just performing thorough maintenance that has been neglected during the busy season.
 How Does a Shutdown Help With Safety?
  • A shutdown is a great time to perform a risk assessment at your facility to pinpoint areas in need of the most “safety help.” When dealing with large machinery that requires maintenance, this is also a great time to update your lockout/ tagout procedures to make sure that they are still protecting your workers as expected. Machine guarding, PPE, and safety signage should also be checked periodically for expected deterioration. It is also a good idea to check your workplace for existing unaddressed hazards and be sure to implement a safety strategy for getting those hazards eliminated or at least under control.
 Is a Shutdown Good for the Business?
  • While there is no cover all answer to whether a holiday shutdown will work for your business goals in the New Year, there are many factors that speak to both sides of the argument. Consider you workers, your facility’s greatest asset, who have dedicated their lives to your company. If nothing else a shut down during the holiday will act as a small token of gratitude and a nice time away to rest and recharge to do it all again in 2016.


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.

NIOSH Wants to Study Vehicle Crashes in the Oil and Gas Industry

NIOSH is proposing a survey to assess factors associated with motor vehicle crashes among oil and gas extraction workers. The three-year project would involve distributing a questionnaire on general safety and health concerns to about 625 oil and gas extraction workers in Texas, North Dakota and a state in the Appalachian Basin. Workers who drive as part of their job would receive additional questions about their driving environment and behaviors.

Read more here

Trends in Personal Protective Equipment

As OSHA’s annual list of the Top 10 most-cited violations shows, the ways in which workers are injured change little from year to year. So as people continue to get hurt on the job, personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturers work to develop technologies to both safeguard employees against hazards and promote compliance with PPE regulations.

What recent trends have PPE manufacturers observed? Safety+Health with the help of the International Safety Equipment Association, invited manufacturers to weigh in on this question.

Read More Here for their responses.

OSHA Updates Inspection Manual: What it Means for Employers

This updated document is for OSHA inspectors, but it can provide a lot of information to businesses as well. As of Oct. 1, 2015, OSHA inspectors are following a new Field Operations Manual (FOM). Its purpose, as laid out on the manual’s cover page: “to provide OSHA offices, State Plan programs and federal agencies with policy and procedures concerning the enforcement of occupational safety and health standards. Also, this instruction provides current information and ensures occupational safety and health standards are enforced with uniformity.”

Read More about Key Takeaways here

OSHA: Meatpacking District Fatality ‘Completely Avoidable’ – Company Cited for Willful Safety Violations

A 22-year-old laborer from Queens was trying to make a living as he worked on the construction of a store at 19 Ninth Ave. in Manhattan on April 6, 2015. Instead, his life ended that day when the 14-foot-deep trench in which he was working collapsed and buried him beneath tons of soil and debris. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that the project’s general contractor, and subcontractor did not provide cave-in protection for the trench, or support or brace a section of undermined and unsupported sidewalk to prevent it from collapsing into the trench.

Read More Here