The National Safety Council (NSC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offered reminders that September is Emergency Preparedness Month. Coming up with a plan that will keep your business safe during an emergency, and help it get back on its feet after a disaster, is an important way to protect your employees and resources. FEMA and the NSC provided several suggestions for keeping your company safe when disaster strike.
Have a plan in place
Getting your business back on its feet after a natural disaster might seem a bit daunting if you’ve been hit hard, but a little pre-planning will make the process go a lot smoother. Some steps to take:
◾Make a list of necessary equipment, such as computers and other machinery, and store extra supplies offsite. Also, plan for a temporary location for your business to use if you need to relocate after a disaster
◾Have back-up copies of all important business records stored offsite on hard drives at least 100 miles away
◾Keep essential phone numbers handy, including those of suppliers, employees, customers, utility companies, local media and emergency agencies
◾Have at least one corded phone attached to a wall jack in case there is an electrical outage
◾Use a reliable high-speed internet service that will maintain your emails and other information if your network fails, and
◾Keep a back-up generator ready.
BE SAFE AND PREPARE!
A Chicago engineering company, classified as a severe safety violator by federal regulators, was cited and fined for failing to protect workers from trench cave-ins. The company was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program when it was issued for safety violations for failing to comply with trenching standards. Violations carry penalties of $105,600. Protect employees and your business by
- protecting workers from cave-in hazards while in a trench over 5 feet deep
- support street pavement above the trench from collapsing on workers
- remove employees from known cave-in hazards
With safety in place your business is Safe avoid hazards by keeping up with OSHA’S Safety guidelines.
Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. Machine Guarding Focuses on recognizing and controlling common amputation hazards associated with the operation and use of certain types of machines.
MAKE SURE ALL MACHINERY IS EQUIPT WITH SAFETYGUARDS!!!!
Healthcare workers not receiving enough protection from OSHA with the highest number of worker injuries, this industry is one of the least protected by OSHA. A report by Public Citizen shows that healthcare workers suffer more annual injuries and illnesses on the job than any other industry, OSHA conducts few facility inspections due to a lack of existing safety standards.
About 650,000 healthcare employees sustain injuries or illnesses each year. This blows past the second most affected industry, manufacturing. To issue citations for ergonomic problems, OSHA must use the General Duty Clause, which states that employers have a duty to protect employees from recognized hazards that could lead to injury or death. The construction industry receives the most OSHA inspections. The agency inspects one-twentieth as many healthcare facilities as construction sites, even though the number of healthcare workers more than doubles construction workers. OSHA has launched a new campaign to protect healthcare workers from the hazards that lead to MSDs. These workers will receive information about controlling hazards and implementing a zero-lift program, which uses special lifting equipment to minimize the worker’s exertion. The campaign will raise awareness and benefit healthcare workers.
YES! PPE, one-size-fits-all won’t work if you’re providing gear for women.
- Safety goggles are often too large for a woman’s face, and the loose fit can allow debris, fluids or other hazardous material to enter a worker’s eyes causing injury.
- Modifying a man’s protective clothing to fit a woman such as rolling up the sleeves or pant legs can be dangerous because the excess material can become caught in machinery or cause slips and falls
- Safety gloves are usually designed for men’s hands so women will try to make them fit with duct tape or stuffing cotton balls in the tips to keep them from falling off. This poor fit increases exponentially the potential for hand injuries.
- Female workers who are given protective footwear sized for men may experience more trips or slips while walking or climbing ladders.
- One-size-fits-all fall arrest harnesses should not be worn by women. Size and shape differences can affect the angles that straps fit into the harnesses. Loose fitting harnesses can hinder a worker’s movements and ability to work safely, OSHA says the reason why women encounter difficulty with PPE is the lack of a full range of PPE sizes and types at the retail, wholesale and distributor levels as well as employers’ limited knowledge of PPE designed for women.
Female workers who are concerned about ill-fitting PPE can approach their safety director armed with information that will offer solutions. More manufacturers are finally designing safety equipment to fit women. Studying the differences in body measurements between men and women has allowed manufacturers to offer work gloves to fit smaller hands and design safety goggles with tighter fits to eliminate gaping.
Keeping safe at the workplace
- Keep clutter and electrical cords out of pathways
- Use a stepladder, not a chair, if you need to reach for something
- Be aware of the condition of your floors: Tile tends to get slippery easily, while carpet provides more traction
- Lift with your knees: Use your leg muscles, not your back muscles, to pull yourself up
- Hold the object close to your body
- Don’t twist your body while lifting
- Learn how to adjust your office furniture to the correct position: Your back should be straight and your feet should be flat on the ground
- Vary your work so you aren’t in one position for a prolonged period of time
- Don’t cradle your phone between your ear and shoulder.
Storage and Equipment Safety
- Only open one filing cabinet drawer at a time to prevent the cabinet from tipping over
- Store heavier items on bottom shelves
- Keep loose clothing and long hair away from machinery such as shredders and space heaters,
- Keep paths to fire exits clear
- Do not block sprinklers
- Pay special attention to cords and maintaining electrical equipment, and
- Know your office’s fire escape plan.