Communicate Safety Throughout your Company

  1. Send An Email or Newsletter – if your employees have a company email address, make sure that everyone gets an email outlining safety standards at least once a month. Another way is mailing a newsletter to the address of every employee; you can include one with their paystub as well.
  2. Post Signage Throughout The Workplace – Place a sign where employees punch in, in break rooms, around equipment and wherever else employees frequently congregate. Be creative and use video and other mediums to help reinforce standards.
  3. Take Pictures Of Safe Actions – A picture is worth a thousand words! Make it perfectly clear what the expectations are by taking pictures of employees demonstrating these actions. Include these in your newsletters and emails.
  4. Hold Meetings (Toolbox Talks)- To ensure that everyone is getting the message, hold small-group meetings that are mandatory for all employees. Make Toolbox Talks a part of the daily routine to review and discuss safety standards.
  5. Require Appropriate Training- If you send people out untrained, you are communicating that safety doesn’t matter. People learn more from the workplace culture than from the signs that are posted. Create a culture of safety in the workplace by properly training your employees.
  6. Safety Comment Cards- Encourage employees to hold each other accountable and spot unexpected hazards by providing safety comment cards. You could also include a form on your company’s Intranet to make it easier for people to access.
  7. Make It Part Of The Employee Review Process- If an employee is not being safe, it should be brought up at their next performance review. Likewise, you should reward people who are working safety.
  8. Don’t Skimp on the Safety Gear Budget- Communicate priority in your safety budget. If you are buying the cheapest safety harnesses and glasses, no wonder people don’t want to wear them! Put an emphasis on safety by buying quality gear that people will want to wear.
  9. Routine Safety Checks- Supervisors should walk around the premises on a regular basis to do fall safety checks. No one should be exempt from the safety standards implemented by the company. Employees who break these rules should be warned and then sent home if the behavior does not change.
  10. Share Case Studies or Incident Reports- Put the reality behind the need for safety, by sharing events about real people who have been affected by insufficient safety measures.


Industrial vending machines lead to savings

PPE Vending Machine

Joseph Bazor has noticed increased savings in supplies since Johnson Controls Inc. installed industrial vending machines in its work areas.

The all-access concept puts tools such as safety gloves and goggles, duct tape, drill bits and other office supplies on hand 24 hours a day in a vending machine similar to those that dispense snacks and candy.

Called the Fast 5000, the machine is connected to the Internet and requires a code or other tracking method to provide accountability among workers.

Read More here

Surviving Safety Inspections

Safety Inspections can be time-consuming and it is often difficult to see the value in the minutia of the safety regulations for your industry. The exact distance that a machine guard has to be seperated from a nip point for example can seem arbitrary.

The problem with this is that although you may find small non serious violations, if an employee ever gets hurt on your premises, their lawyer may use your previous safety violation as evidence of your disregard for worker safety. The cleaner your record is, the more secure you are.

In South Africa safety inspections are becoming more routine.  This week I have heard of serveral construction and electrical companies that were ordered off-site in Zimbali because the crew did not have the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). An entire day was wasted because the crew did not have goggles and a first aid kit.

Croc ban for Welsh hospital staff

Hospital staff in Wales have been told they can no longer wear Croc-style sandals while at work due to safety concerns.

Officials say the rubber footwear does not offer sufficient protection against sharp objects, such as needles.

“The all-Wales uniform policy and dress code for all NHS staff, including nurses, includes health and safety guidelines.

“This states that footwear used in medical and clinical areas should be an enclosed/full shoe, which provides adequate support and a stable, non-slip sole.”


Read more on Nursing Times

How to Choose Safety Shoes

Safety Shoes

There is a huge variety of shoes and boots. Choosing the correct one can be difficult.

There are so man variaties of safety shoes and boots that it is often difficult to decide which is right for you.

The most important factor is fit and comfort. Safety shoes should feel as comfortable as everyday shoes. Every persons feet are different, so what is comfortable for your collegue may not be right for you.

Keep in mind is that not all shoes are sized the same.  So many people are adamant that they will only wear one size and there is no possible way that any other size will fit their foot.  Different manufacturers size their boots and shoes to different specifications.  A size 9 by one manufacturer may not equal a size 9 made by another manufacturer. Safety shoes differ from regular shoes because they have a steel toe cap. The toe cap will never stretch or adapt to your foot, so if you try a shoes on and your toes are in contact with the steel toe cap you need to try a bigger size. On the otherhand, resist the urge to big, oversized shoes can cause injuries like sprains

Safety shoes have many different features and come in many different combinations – waterproof, insulated, 6-inch, 8-inch, steel toe, composite toe, aluminum toe, electrical hazard, electrostatic-dissipative, puncture resistant, and slip resistant.

Shoe or Boot?

Standard shoes have that comfortable feeling and suitable for any daily activities. Military style boots, on the other hand, are suitable for any rigorous activities or jobs that may require extra protection, maybe from a big fall or heavy materials. Boots are also useful for protecting against twisting and sprains of the ankle.

Special Requirements

If you work in an environment with conductive components boots should be selected to reduce the opportunity for electrocution.  If work with chemicals and corrosive materials shoes that are made of a resistant material should be choses to protect your feet.  If you work in areas with sharp objects for example you may select a shoe with a steel midsole which will protect your feet from puncture damage.



One of the top killers of construction workers – transport

Business does not happen without transportation. Material delivery, transporting workers, supplies and equipmment are an everyday part business.

The South African roads are not a closed work environment and accident happen all the time.

Do you have a safe driver policy, including drivers licence checks, cellphone usage policy and seat belt policy? Do you text for alcohol when drivers enter your workyard?

I cannot count the number of times I have driven behind an vehicle overloaded beyond comprehension with contruction workers on the way to a site.  Often sitting on the edges of an open bakkie.

The law states that you are not allowed to carry people in or on a non passenger registered vehicle. LDV and Truck are thus out.

If you want to carry people in a “bakkie” you need to install seats and safety belts. Then the vechile has to go back to the testing ground and be reregistered to carry x amout of people.

The law is very vague on the subject and this is why it has never really been inforced. Being a gray area, the insurance is not obligated to pay out, should something happen.

COSATU has repeatedly demanded an end to the practice of using open bakkies to transport workers. They are not designed for carrying passengers. While passengers in comparative safety inside vehicles are rightly compelled to wear seat belts, people on a ba kkie have no protection at all. If the vehicle crashes they will be flung on to the road, at huge risk to their lives.

It is intolerable that workers should be forced to travel to and from their work in such dangerous conditions. It is a clear breach of their right to safe working conditions.

Making a business case for safety

Safety and safety programs are often thought of as a cost or a grudge expense for your business.  If you do the calculations you may find out that it can be an investment, a commitment of resources to earn financial return or gain future benefits.

How does investing in safety impact the bottom line?

The calculation can be made by someone in finance or accounting.  Workplace injuries have direct costs to your company which will be seen in your worker’s compensation figures. These include medical costs, wage indemnity and compensation premiums. Workplace injuries also have indirect costs (often estimated to be 5 times the direct costs); lost production, damage to public image, sick time, turnover and retraining and damage to public relations.

Once you know that injuries and illness is costing your company, calculate what the payback would be for investing in a program to create a healthy safety culture and limiting risky behavior.