- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Beier Safety Footwear, the manufacturers of Bova and Sisi are running a show and tell competition where you can win airtime weekly or monthly cash prizes. All you have to do is go to their Facebook page and post a picture or story of how hard you work or play in your Bova or Sisi Safety Shoes.
It’s not a hard task to do as Bova is one of the leading South African brands of safety shoe.
When PPE Equipment Is A Danger, Not A Solution
Author: Justin Arnold
We’re all very much aware of the fact that PPE equipment in almost any field of work or industry is an absolute essential, not just in order to comply with current health and safety at work legislation, but also because of the increased danger which is often involved in using more powerful equipment sharper, faster tools, or working in dangerous locations.
As more understanding of risks and how to protect against them is accumulated, so does the variety of ways in which we can protect against them. But the trouble is that whilst we have become more aware of the need to protect against the risks and dangers posed by working with dangerous tools or equipment, and the range of types of PPE equipment has grown massively, so has the challenge of trying to make the right choice every time. Often the right choice isn’t necessarily the most obvious one, and there are many factors which need to be considered in order to make the best choice in every situation.
For example, it may be that in many situation high visibility PPE clothing in fluorescent yellow is ideal, helping to make sure that the person is highly visible. But in some situations it may well prove to be the case that anyone wearing yellow is very much less visible than needed. Some environments or weathers make yellow a poor choice, and in these cases fluorescent orange or green may be a better choice. Just because something has the words ‘high visibility’ stamped on it, or ‘safety’ written in big, confidence inspiring letters doesn’t necessarily mean that it will provide the level of visibility required, or indeed that it will help keep the person safe.
Another potential issue is when combining multiple items of safety equipment at the same time. For example, it may be that if you are required to weld galvanised steel you will be required to wear eye protection, and because of the fact that the fumes resulting from welding galvanised steel are highly toxic, you will usually be required to wear some form of breathing apparatus or respirator. However, whilst each item of PPE equipment may on its own be ideal, highly recommended and provide a decent level of protection, you may find that once you fit the respirator the eye protection no longer fits, or that once you have fitted the eye protection, the breathing apparatus no longer fits snugly over your face.
It is essential therefore not to see each item of personal protective equipment by itself, but as part of a combination of solutions, and within the context of a whole range of situations and environments. This can necessarily inflate the overall cost of having safety equipment, but this is still far less than the cost of providing compensation in the event of an accident, injury or death, or the loss of revenue which the bad publicity is likely to cause.
Another potential problem is in providing safety clothing to people which fits correctly. The safest work gloves in the world may be next to useless if they don’t fit properly, and they may even represent an added danger themselves. Loose fitting safety clothing which is too big can easily get caught in machinery, and can reduce a person’s dexterity. This may result in an accident which would never otherwise have happened.
So it is true to say that unless PPE equipment and clothing is purchased with these factors in mind, the potential risk or danger may in fact be exacerbated, which is of course the last thing to strive for. If in any doubt then it is important to seek professional and experienced help and advice pertinent to your specific requirements, rather than take a chance and trust too much in the word ‘safety’ stamped on your PPE equipment.
About the Author
What should be covered in the Safety Plan?
In a Health and Safety Plan, the following aspects are looked at and proof of is kept in the Safety File:
- Notification to the Provincial Director (Annexure A document) which is a requirement under Section 3 of the Construction Regulation.
- Appointments under the Construction Regulations:
- Appointment of contractors [Section 5(3)(b)]
- Appointment of construction supervisors [Section 6(1)]
- Appointment of assistant construction supervisors [Section 6(2)]
- Appointment of construction Safety officers [Section 6(6)]
- Appointment of Risk Assessor [Section 7(1)]
- Appointment of formwork and support work supervisor [Section 10(a)]
- Appointment of excavation work supervisor [Section 11(1)]
- Appointment of demolition work supervisor [Section 12(1)]
- Appointment of scaffolding supervisor [Section 14(2)]
- Appointment of stacking and storage supervisor[Section 26(a)]
- Appointments of internal auditors and external auditors [Section 5(3)(c)]
- And also all other appointments required according to the Safety Specification of the client.
- Registers of Skills Training and Safety Induction and the course outlines.
- Assessment records of Personal Protective Equipment required for construction.
- Register of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and weekly inspection records of Personal Protective Equipment.
- Public and Environmental issues in connection with the workplace:
- Traffic Management Plan
- Emergency Plan
- Pedestrian and Vehicle Traffic Accommodation Plan
- Environmental Scoping document for construction
- Environmental Impact Assessment records for construction
- Environmental Management Plan for construction
- Protocols to minimise dust nuisance
- Protocols to minimise noise nuisance
- Records of decisions for construction work
- Records of decisions for storage of diesel on site
- Records of decisions for storage of chemicals on-site
- Registers of Plant and Equipment used for construction.
- Registers of Approved Operators and copies of certificates of training for all operators.
- Records of the daily inspections for Plant and Equipment for construction.
- Letter of Good Standing with the Compensation Fund.
- Copies of Method Statements necessary in terms of the Construction Regulations:
- Overall Method Statement
- Trench excavations
- Trench backfilling
- Bulk excavations
- Bulk backfilling
- Pipe, duct or cable laying
- Testing of pressure pipelines
- Electrical work
- Structural concrete
- Concrete paving
- Block paving
- Scaffold work
- Suspended scaffold and boatswain chairs
- Structural brickwork
- Site housekeeping
- Register of Risk Assessments conducted on the site and copies of the Risk Assessment conducted.
- Register of Incidents, First Aid Injuries and Reportable Injuries that occur on the site.
- Register of warnings issued for unsafe working practices (Not complying to Personal Protective Equipment, negligence, drunkenness, etc)
- Copies of Incident Investigation reports conducted on the construction site.
- Copies of reports to the Provincial Director for reportable injuries occurring on the Construction Site.
- Register of Daily Safety Reports and copies of the safety reports conducted on the construction site.
- Register of Safety Audits and copies of the safety audits conducted on the construction site.