Archive for the ‘Safety Essentials’ Category
Most successful companies understand that the best way to meet compliance standards in regard to employees wearing their personal protective equipment is to furnish them some really “cool” products. Products such as gloves, safety glasses, and hardhats that keep them safe while bringing out their personalities at the same time!
We recently received the following note, which sets the example: “I received the hardhat yesterday and I love it. It’s been the talk of the town here for the past two days in my motor pool in Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. My 1stSgt, Co Gunny, and my CO all think it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread. It has not only provided my cranium protection, it’s given a sizable morale boost too to the Marines I work with. I wish to thank you one last time for ensuring its delivery here. I’d also like to thank your company for making the ordering process so easy and the site easy to navigate. Take care.” (Goodness knows - if anyone could use a lift, it’s our service personnel.)
Many workers complain that their P.P.E. just doesn’t fit or look right. Now, women’s products come in smaller sizes, from safety glasses to gloves and hardhats made just for them, some even in pink! There are coveralls and other protective outerwear that is not just “one size fits all.” Because people come in all sizes, companies should have their safety leaders include part of the workforce to make the decisions in the products they select. It is unsafe for workers to have to perform their jobs in clothing that doesn’t fit. Loose gloves and clothing can become caught in moving equipment.
If companies allow their employees to wear, for example, say, hardhats that have sports team logos on them, it lets workers show support for their team, which in turn, might cause a little competition, along with a winning spirit. We hope this encourages others to be aware that all safety glasses are not “Plain Janes.” There are so many cool styles of glasses that surpass those found in optical stores, because not only do they look good, but furnish UV safety, as well as protect the eyes from foreign objects. The look of safety equipment depends on the materials it is made from. Therefore, many types of gloves and goggles or glasses are designed for protection and not style. Whether they are industrial grade or medical grade gloves or outer clothing, chemists, medical personnel, food handling workers, and others who are engaged in types of work that require these special protective barriers are happy to wear them, knowing they are protected.
The main concern toward keeping employees safe is to ensure they are compliant with safety rules. PPE is the last line of defense when it comes to protection. However, it won’t protect them if they don’t wear it! The employee is responsible to know how to use this PPE for the particular purpose it was designed. It is the responsibility of the company’s safety leader to ensure that they are trained and understand how to take care of their PPE, knowing when it is damaged and how it can be repaired if possible, or replaced when necessary. It can be much more fun when workers to get to wear some type of PPE that puts a smile on everyone’s face.
We thank our Marine for the kind words regarding the hardhat he ordered. It is our hope that he and his buddies remain safe and return home soon!
This article was written by our Texan Health and Safety friend , Pat Brownlee, Blog4Safety.com/Texas America Safety Company (tasco-safety.com)
Winter is just around the corner, so it’s essential for small businesses to take safety precautions. Many employers fail to safeguard their premises before the dark months arrive and end up with a lawsuit on their hands.
Here’s how to secure your workplace this winter:
- 1. Stock up on essentials
Before the cold spell hits, it’s really important to stock up on essential products. A snow shovel is a must-have and it’s wise to have a grit spreader and de-icer lying around. You can find many winter items online, so simple browse the web and get buying.
- 2. Carry out a risk assessment
In preparation for the nippy spell it’s a good idea to carry out a risk assessment. Walk around your workplace and keep a record of any hazards. Look out for places that could become icy or flood and have any problems fixed quickly.
- 3. Safety signs
Following a risk assessment, why not invest in some well-priced safety signs? Inform people that there is hot water, or point out a high step. Employers are required to protect their workforce by law so don’t put anyone in danger – especially during winter. You really don’t want your staff slipping over and suing you for negligence.
- 4. First aid kit
The Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 (UK) code of practice, explains that all employers must “provide, or ensure that there are provided, such equipment and facilities as are adequate and appropriate in the circumstances for enabling first-aid to be rendered to his employees if they are injured or become ill at work.” People can slip over during winter so make sure you have more than a few grotty plasters.
- 5. Health and safety training
It’s every employer’s responsibility to make sure all employees have received health and safety training. Everyone should know how to leave the building in the event of a fire and there should be strict rules in place. All information should be delivered in a clear, concise way and each member of staff should know their workplace rights.
Don’t abandon your employees this winter and keep everyone safe.
Are you prepared for the nippy spell? If not, it’s time to switch on the heating, stock up on thermals and buy a good snow shovel. Every year people are caught out by ice, sleet and snow, so take the time to stock up on essentials.
Here’s how to keep safe this winter:
- 1. Think health and safety
It’s easy to slip and slide during winter – so think health and safety. Spread grit on your driveway to stop you falling over and invest in a pair of snow boots with deep treads and a gripping soul. You might also want to fill your cupboards with plasters, antiseptic and bandages – just in case. Snow, ice and sleet can catch you off guard, so always be ready for bad weather.
- 2. Buy a snow shovel
A good snow shovel can dig your car out of several feet of snow – so pop online and order one. They come in all different shapes and sizes and are available at affordable prices. There’s nothing worse than being stranded at home, so what you waiting for?
- 3. Test your heating
To avoid hyperthermia throughout the dark months it’s essential to test your heating. Have an engineer check over your boiler – but make sure they’re on the Gas Safe Register. You certainly don’t want your house to be cold during winter, so call in a professional sooner rather than later.
- 4. Seal up drafts
Chilly drafts are extremely unpleasant, especially when it’s freezing outside. So, walk around your house and seal up any holes or gaps. Fix any broken glass and maybe consider getting double glazing for extra protection. Drafts excluders are also extremely useful and help keep cold winds from blowing underneath doors and through the sides of windows.
- 5. Wrap up warm
Whether you’re in or out it’s essential to wrap up warm. Throw on several extra layers and snuggle under a duvet. You really don’t want to catch a cold, so make sure you’re toasty at all times. Hot water bottles and electric blankets can also help you to stay warm while in the house. They are relatively inexpensive to buy and will help you save money on electricity.
So there you have it, 5 ways to stay safe, healthy and warm this winter.
Bonfire night is almost upon us, which means that as the general public prepares for a night of excitement and joy, the emergency services and health and safety inspectors prepare for a night full of a very different kind of excitement.
Every year without fail, there are incidents and injuries on and around the night itself because of poor preparation or reckless behaviour with fireworks and fire. This is exactly why there are so many ‘fireworks safety’ advertising campaigns at this time of year, to try to give the emergency services a much less eventful night.
The first thing you need to think about if you are organising a public fireworks display is public liability insurance. This is something that a website like MoneySupermarket.com can help you with – you can find the deal that best matches your requirements in a matter of minutes. No public display should go ahead without public liability insurance to cover it against every eventuality, because if something did happen then there would likely be a pretty hefty fee to pay out.
When it comes to buying the fireworks for the display, you will need to think of the different grades that are available. Categories 1, 2 and 3 are all available to the general public for private displays, but category 4 fireworks are only available to professionals and can be lethal if they get into the wrong hands. Where you buy your fireworks from is also very important. If you buy them from a backstreet vendor, then the chances are you are heading towards disaster, but if you get them from a trustworthy and established supplier, then you can at least use them in confidence.
The size of the venue is also another vital consideration. Depending on how many people you want or are expecting to attend, it is important that you hire sufficient space for the crowd as well as the display. There needs to be enough space between the crowd and the place where the fireworks are due to be set off so they have enough room to fall back down to the ground without injuring anybody.
On the day of the event, the weather will play a big factor in your decision on the likelihood of it actually going ahead, so check the weather forecast the night before and make sure you have a way of informing everybody that is due to attend that it has had to be postponed. There is no point in risking it in bad weather – simply reorganise it for the following night if possible.
Before the event goes ahead, do a full check of the venue and surroundings to make sure everything and everyone is safe. If you can, keep checking this throughout the event, especially if you plan on having a bonfire as well as fireworks.
As for the clean-up operation in the morning, just be sure to dispose of all fireworks safely and the whole event will have been a resounding success.
OHSAS 18001 is a certification that is available to companies throughout the UK to demonstrate that their procedures relating to occupational health and safety are of a certain standard. While it might sound daunting, the process for achieving it is actually very simple and often only requires a small amount of your time out of the business.
So why should you consider investing in OHSAS 18001?
First, it gives your business a reputation for caring about its employees’ safety at work, and gives your employees peace of mind that their safety has been considered. Not only does this mean that your employees are happy, but it will make your clients and potential customers happy too – knowing that they are doing business with a responsible company.
Of course, OHSAS 18001 also means that if any problem relating to health and safety does arise, the process to follow will already have been covered and any consequences will be far easier to deal with – they will also most likely be cheaper as well if you have already prepared!
One of the best things about OHSAS 18001 and other business accreditations is that they open the doors to new business opportunities. Many organisations, especially within the public sector, will only work with organisations that have this certification to ensure that they only work with companies of quality. If you are applying for tenders in any business sector, you will find that it is an advantage to be able to show that you are OHSAS 18001 certified.
Finally, OHSAS 18001 can be very beneficial in the case of an accident happening at work. By being able to show that you had achieved this certification and actively covered health and safety in the workplace, if an accident turns into a claim, it won’t be nearly as complicated to disprove negligence.
OHSAS 18001 is also not as expensive as many people think that it must be. Most certification companies cost their certifications by the size of the company they are assessing – the larger the company, the larger the fee. This is mainly because a larger company will of course have more processes and procedures to audit and therefore the certification process will take longer. There will also be an annual audit charge so that you can ensure that your processes stay up to date in line with your certification.
If you’re interested in learning more about how OHSAS 18001 can be beneficial to your business, contact a OHSAS 18001 certification company who will be able to provide you will all the information you need.
All workplaces must arrange adequate health and safety provisions, which incorporate first aid kits, somewhere suitable for the equipment to be administered and training so that nominated staff are able to use the kit.
However, if you’re responsible for this area of office safety, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind in terms of the type and quantity of kit you order. It’s not good enough to simply buy the first kit you see on the shelf of a general retailer, especially if you’re working for a medium-sized business or bigger.
The size of the kit is dependent on a combination of factors, including the level of assessed risk in the workplace and the number of employees. As a guide, shops, offices and libraries are considered to be low-hazard, while more industrial-type environments – such as building sites, factories or other places where dangerous machinery is used – are considered to be higher risk.
However, each workplace should be assessed on its individual merits and stocked with first aid equipment accordingly. For example, you could work in a low risk environment but be in a remote area, meaning you need to stock up on extra provisions in the knowledge that help could take a little longer to arrive in the event of a casualty.
Meanwhile, if you’re working in an industrial environment, you need to ensure that your first aid kit is durable and stocked with adequate provisions for the type of injuries that typically happen here. So getting a kit that comes in a durable case and is filled with bandages, sterile wipes and dressings is probably your best course of action. On the other hand, serious cuts and bruises tend to be less common injuries in offices, where you’re more likely to find people requesting plasters for paper cuts or blisters.
If you have offsite staff, don’t forget to issue them with their own travel first aid kit, which should also be stocked with the problems that can be encountered during life on the road. For example, if your offsite staff spend a decent amount of time driving between appointments, a foil blanket is a must in case of a breakdown in freezing weather.
Ultimately, it’s important to be prepared for all eventualities, whether your staff work in an office, factory or on the road. With the Health and Safety Executive liable to prosecute businesses which do not make adequate provisions for staff health and safety, you’ll be looking after much more than your workers’ wellbeing by getting the right first aid kit.
No one wants to think about accidents happening in their workplace, but the fact is that people are inflicted with injuries big and small each and every day. From minor things like paper cuts to more serious mishaps with dangerous industrial machinery, all workplaces have at least some level of risk. So you’ll want to be prepared for the worst happening, both in terms of the first aid kit you provide and the people who are trained to use it.
Of course, if you’re responsible for first aid in an established business, chances are you think you know what should be in your first aid kit. A few bandages, a couple of plasters, a handful of pain killers, right? Well, not exactly. This year, The British Healthcare Trade Association and the British Standards Institute launched a new British Standard for First Aid Kids, based on the minimum requirements set out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in its approved code of practice.
Failing to comply with this code can have dire consequences – the HSE can prosecute where it deems that staff safety has been put at significant risk and appropriate equipment and staff training has not been providing.
Stocking your workplace first aid kit
On June 30th 2011, a new standard came into effect for workplace first aid kits. These kits are compliant with HSE guidelines, while offering best-practice in workplace first aid provision. A number of alterations were made to the kits as part of the minimum standard changes, with workplaces given a six month transitional period to comply. Kits must now include:
• Smaller dressings for finger injuries that are too large for plasters
• Adhesive tape to secure bandages without the need for safety pins
• Gel burn dressings and a conforming bandage secure the dressing
• Clothing cutters
• Eyewash bottles for travel kits
• Resuscitation shields
• A foil blanket to keep casualties warm in cases of clinical shock
In addition, the new standard increases the number of disposable nitrile gloves, but decreases the number of triangular bandages, as they are no longer used for immobilising limb injuries.
Of course, having the equipment itself is not enough. Under the HSE’s (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, there also needs to be appropriate facilities – such as a medical room – and staff trained in first-aid. All employees need to be made aware of these provisions and how they can use them in the event of illness and injury.
With staff safety – and your finances – at stake, if you run a business, it’s essential you get clued up on the kits and stock-up as soon as possible.
Worries over debt and financial problems can certainly keep you awake at night; however, studies have now found that it can also lead to issues with mental health. Debt can frequently give rise to worries, fears and even anxiety. When you are experiencing this type of stress, your mind naturally becomes concerned about the future. This can also lead to clouded thinking and decision-making, worsening the situation. Worrying over money can have an effect over your entire life, including those around you. It is imperative that you are able to make well-informed decisions with a clear mind rather than when feeling overwhelmed by fears and anxieties. Not only can worry over debt lead to mental health issues, such as depression, but it can also affect other areas of your health as well and lead to a variety of physical illnesses, including heart disease.
Counselling: Rather than waiting for your finances and your anxiety to consume you, it is important to make sure you are coping with the situation head-on. Counselling is an excellent way to address the stress and anxiety you may be experiencing. While you may feel as though you are struggling with your debt situation to such a point that you may not be able to afford anti-anxiety medication or counselling, there are solutions available that can assist you. Even if you do not have health insurance, there are resources available where you can turn. There are actually many low-income counselling services throughout the country. Many such facilities charge for services based on a sliding-income scale, allowing you to pay based on what you can afford.
Physical health: It is also important to make sure you are looking after your physical health during this critical time. Try to avoid or at least decrease your consumption of stimulants. Stimulants, including caffeinated beverage, can actually help to induce stress. It is also important to avoid substances like tobacco, narcotics and alcohol. While it may feel as though such substances are calming, in reality they worsen your health and can lead to impaired decision-making. The reality is that relying on such substances will not reduce your stress.
Eat well: Focus on eating a healthy and well-balanced diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables. Fast food and junk food may at first seem to be less expensive; however, over the long-term the consequences they have on your health and overall well-being are far more expensive. If you are experiencing difficulty in affording healthy food, look into resources available in your community. In light of the economy, most communities now provide a variety of different resources struggling families and individuals. When your body is supplied with the right nutrients you will feel better both physically as well as mentally.
Take time to relax: Try to take breaks whenever possible to keep your stress levels in check. It is not uncommon for many people today to work multiple jobs to try to make ends meet. While this may be necessary, remember that burning your candle at both ends can have serious consequences. Ensure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep each night. Contrary to popular opinion, you cannot catch up on lost sleep and a lack of sleep can have serious consequences on your mental and physical health.
Communicate: Finally, do not be afraid to discuss your problems with others. While financial difficulties at one time were a taboo subject, debt problems are now far more prevalent than ever. You might be surprised to discover how many of your friends and acquaintances are experiencing the same type of problems. Discussing your problems with others can help to ensure you do not repress your stress and anxiety and may even open the path for resources that can assist you during this difficult time.
There are many things you can do to make your asset tags stand out and be easily identified. The first is to have the barcode printed in black lettering on a white background.
Using bright colours on the rest of the asset tag makes them easy to locate and warns potential thieves that the item has been tagged. This makes them harder to sell. Then there’s the actual size of the asset tag. The standard size is recommended because this makes the barcode scanner’s job so much easier – easier to locate and easier to scan.
Using polyester asset tags means they will survive in almost every type of environment and choosing the tamper-proof models gives you peace of mind as any tampering causes the tag to chip or flake.
Your choice of printing method will also give your asset tags a greater visibility. By using sub-surface printing which is printing on the underside of clear material, you give the barcode a greater visibility and less chance of wear and tear.
Finally it is simple today to have your own art work or logo on an asset tag. You can make your asset tags distinctive and unique by printing your company’s details in your own design and colours.
Most businesses are aware of the importance of providing a first aid kit on their premises. It not only ensures that staff – and indeed visitors – have access to basic emergency equipment in the event of accident or illness, but also helps to keep businesses on the right side of the law in terms of their health and safety obligations. No office should ever be without a fully-stocked first aid kit – in fact, they should have more than one if they have more than 100 staff.
However, one area of health and safety that businesses could overlook is that of their offsite staff. Although some businesses are based almost entirely on the road, such as tradesmen, others with a headquarters are likely to have staff who spent the majority of their time away from the office. For example, sales representatives or new businesses executives who are either usually found at the offices of prospective clients or on the road to their next destination.
Out of sight should not mean out mind, though, especially when it comes to health and safety. Offsite staff need to be provided with their own first aid kits, albeit ones that have been adapted for travel (in a nylon case with zip closure). One kit per one offsite staff member is recommended.
What should be in the kit?
Just like office first aid kits, travel versions need to come equipped with everything you’d need to deal with a minor medical problem. So plasters, a range of bandages and dressing should be in there, along with safety pins and sterile wipes for dealing with cuts that could become septic. Additionally, tape, gloves, a foil blanket, burn dressing, eyewash and clothes cutters should be in the kit.
Keeping up with changes
Even if you’ve already issued your offsite staff with travel first aid kits, it’s worth keeping up with latest recommendations on best practice. The British Healthcare Trade Association recently worked with the British Standards Institute to come up with a new British standard for first aid kits in the workplace. Based on the minimum requirements set out by the Health and Safety Executive’s approved code of practice, the kits are designed to deal with a wide range of common workplace injuries and illnesses, meaning they’re more comprehensive than previous kits.
A little preparation could go a long way – ensuring your staff stay safe and keeping you on the right side of the regulations.