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Before You Purchase New Machinery (Sep/Oct-20)
Have You Conducted Your Periodic Lockout & Tagout Audit? (Jul/Aug-20)
Do You or Your Supervisors Really Care About Worker Safety? (May/Jun-20)
OSHA Issues Interim Guidance to Help Prevent Worker Exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Mar/Apr-20)
Protecting Employees When Performing Machine Operations (Jan/Feb-20)
Have You Recently Conducted Your Required Safety & Health Program Audits? (Nov/Dec-19)
Does OSHA Cite Employers Equally? (May/Jun-19)
Are You Ready For The New Year? (Mar/Apr-19)
Creating a Safety Culture Means Staying Informed (Nov/Dec-18)
Safe Lifting Techniques (Sep/Oct-18)
Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Jul/Aug-18)
Do You Know How Old Your Tires Really Are? (Jan/Feb-18)
Risk Assessment & Premise Liability Insurance (Nov/Dec-17)
Forklift Safety – You Can Save A Life Today (Sep/Oct-17)
Protect Your Employees from Heat Stress Related Injuries (Jul/Aug-17)
Lockout-Tagout from a Manager’s Perspective (May/Jun-17)
Do Your Employees Really Know How to Use Personal Protective Equipment? (Mar/Apr-17)
OSHA & Lockout/Tagout (Nov/Dec-16)
OSHA Increases Their Penalties Towards Employers (Jul/Aug-16)
Do You Know What Your Experience Modification Rate Is? (May/Jun-16)
Machine Safety (Sep/Oct-15)
Lockout, Tagout & Tryout – Are You in Compliance? (Jul/Aug-15)
Forklift Safety Practices (May/Jun-15)
Using the Right Power Saw to Cut Plastic Materials (Mar/Apr-15)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-15)
Ergonomics (Sep/Oct-14)
Respiratory Protection . . . Does Your Program Protect? (May/Jun-14)
First Aid Program (Mar/Apr-14)
Working with Composite Materials Safely and Preventing Dermatitis (Jan/Feb-14)
Preventing Winter Slips, Trips and Falls (Nov/Dec-13)
The Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication – Are You Ready For It? (Sep/Oct-13)
Safety & New Employee Orientation (Jul/Aug-13)
Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety (May/Jun-13)
Posting of OSHA Notices (Jan/Feb-13)
Staying Safe This Winter (Nov/Dec-12)
Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
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SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Do You or Your Supervisors Really Care About Worker Safety?
As our country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, we all must take a new look at our programs and how we conduct ourselves at work. As we head back to work each day, our minds are often occupied with things we’re going to do after our shift ends. Social Distancing, stop by the store, have dinner with a friend. Binge-watch the many tv seasonal shows or your other favorite tv show or maybe you go out for a walk or take your children to the park to enjoy your free time with them. And while we think about all of these wonderful things, we are fully expecting that we’ll be able to go home and do them as planned. But all of that could change in an instant.

No one goes off to work thinking that someone is going to get injured or killed that day. And yet it happens. Workplace accidents claim thousands of lives each year, and leave hundreds of thousands of workers injured. Take a moment to see what kind of accidents OSHA is investigating by following this link. I bet you will find machine guarding as being a part of this list.

Whether it happens to you, a loved one, or an employee, a workplace accident or illness can drastically change the course of your day, your evening, and your life.

Lately, I have been working on six legal cases representing employees who have received amputations on machinery that were not properly safeguarded. I fired one major client because we found 685 machines that were unsafe in their plant but they wanted us to change the report. This same company was averaging 36 machinery amputations every year. Do you know why anyone would want us to commit fraud? The reason was that they were selling company to company and the CEO of this company did not want the buyers to know how bad the machinery was in that plant.

I have been in the safety, health and environmental field for the last forty-six years and I have conducted thousands of audits, investigated hundreds of serious accidents and fatalities and do you know what I found out? That in virtually every case the leaders of the company, all the way down to the workers, did not know what was in their safety manuals, that management did not conduct Job Safety & Health Analysis (JSHA) or they did not receive training in the owners/operator’s manuals and until someone was seriously injured.

My answer is this “No” not as long as the company was making money. But most people are ignorant of the hidden cost of those injuries no matter how small they may be. Do you as an owner of a company want to make money? Then ask any of your supervisors if they can answer various questions out of the safety, health or environmental manual without them having to look them up. Safety & Health policies are the lifeblood of a company and if you or your workers do not know what these documents state, then like the COVID-19 virus, sooner or later it is going to hit your company and its profits.

What Is Workplace Safety?
For many business owners and managers, workplace safety is about keeping up with various industry standards and OSHA regulations. Safety is viewed as important, but primarily from a CYA perspective, with the main goal being to make sure the company is officially in compliance, and won’t be hit with costly fines or lawsuits. But workplace safety should be about more than just meeting standards and avoiding penalties. It should be about working smarter and safer to ensure that everyone gets to go home at the end of their shift.

A safe work environment is a productive one. No matter the size or type of the business, procedures for safety in the workplace are a necessity for all staff. Safety measures protect employees as well as equipment and business property. Avoiding or minimizing injuries and damage to equipment and facilities will result in fewer expenses and more profit for a business.

Workplace Safety Hazard Identification
Identifying workplace safety hazards and issues is the first step in protecting employees. Common work safety concerns can include ergonomics, presence of hazardous chemicals, mechanical problems, noise pollution, restricted visibility, dangers of falling and weather-related hazards. Issues with non-ergonomic equipment may cause human health problems, including sore backs and carpal tunnel syndrome. Chemicals can explode, causing burns, or pose the danger of poisoning.

Mechanical safety issues can occur related to the operation of any machine in the workplace. Noise and visibility issues can compromise an employee’s hearing and sight. Falls resulting from poor housekeeping or negligence can cause serious injury and death; procedures should be in place to prevent them. Ice, snow and rain can create hazards of their own; employees need to be trained how to operate equipment safely when weather conditions are bad.

Workplace Safety Policies
Each business should have a safety policy in place, created either by management or in a joint effort between management and staff. Every employee has a role in carrying out the safety policies. A safety handbook should be created identifying safety issues and spelling out consequences of not following the appropriate safety procedures.

Importance of Safety Training
Training is necessary so that employees will know the importance of safety and how to practice safety in the workplaces. Depending on the type of equipment used, the training may be required by a federal mandate. For example, any workplace that operates a forklift must provide training for employees for its safe operation. Training can come from outside experts hired to teach classes or employees specially trained to perform safety instruction.

Workplace Safety Equipment
Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) must be available to anyone who comes in contact with a potential work safety hazard. This can include hard hats, protective eyewear, earplugs, shoes, gloves and clothing. Even an office worker who delivers a message to a work area near a potential safety hazard must put on the appropriate PPE.

Benefits of Workplace Safety
Safety in the workplace results in fewer accidents, which results in fewer costs for worker’s compensation, less down time for employees, and less retraining time for workers otherwise needed to replace an injured worker. Avoiding damage to equipment will result in fewer repair costs. Worker performance is improved when workers know how to prevent injuries and have confidence in management's active role in protecting their safety.

In closing, I have been writing articles for PD&F Magazine for twenty years and one thing that surprises me to this day is that no one ever takes me up on my offer to answer safety, health or environmental questions. I take time out of my day to write something to help improve the safety of your workplace because I know that the publisher and I care about you.

If you have any questions regarding Safety & Health or Machine Safeguarding, which is still in the top ten OSHA citations, contact me. I bet that I can find unsafe machinery in your workplace. If you are located in the Phoenix area and want to take me up on my bet, I am willing to give you up to 4 hours of my time to point out machinery hazards. No one wakes up to go to work and thinks “gee I think I will cut off my fingers today or be killed on the job”. My lawsuits all say that management may have had programs in writing but rarely are they following them and we live in a world where we have a throw away worker society. If someone gets seriously injured they do not feel the pain but the injured employee does and many will never go home to their families.

For more information, click on the Author Biography link above.

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Plastics Distributor® & Fabricator Magazine
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