Category Archives: First Aid Safety

A Safety-First Approach to Refueling a Forklift

A Safety-First Approach to Refueling a Forklift

Acute inhalation of carbon monoxide (CO) gas is considered to be one of the most frequent causes of occupational fatality in the United States, according to an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), US National Library of Medicine (NLM). The fact that CO is a colorless and odorless gas makes it extremely hard to detect and therefore it is also dubbed as “the silent killer.”

According to the NCBI/NLM resource, fuel-powered forklifts are one of the common sources of CO poisoning. It is, therefore, extremely important for an employer to put in adequate safeguards around the use of forklifts, especially during the refueling process.

Even a small thing like using a high-quality safety valve can help prevent accidents during forklift refueling, which involves the use of dangerous gases. For instance, experts at Clark Cooper recommend a specific solenoid valve for hydrogen gas that can withstand its greater pressures, in comparison to other liquids or gases.

Follow OSHA Guidelines to the Letter

Did you know that workplace forklift training is governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under the US Department of Labor? There is already a set of guidelines by OSHA that act as best practices that every industrial unit should follow. These include forklifts with:

ü      Internal Combustion Engines

While forklifts with internal combustion engines are easier to refuel, a great amount of caution needs to be exercised while doing so to avoid spills and leaks. Here are some best practices to consider:

  • As a standard operating procedure, all hydraulics must be checked beforehand, along with the levels of oil and water, even before commencing the refueling operation.
  • It is a good time to check for any leaks that might have occurred in the battery, cylinder or fuel system.
  • Adequate ventilation is important and therefore the refueling must not occur in an area that is poorly ventilated.
  • You must be alert to unusual noises or excessive vibrations.
  • The color of the exhaust can reveal a lot. For instance, black smoke might be a sign of incomplete combustion.

ü      Liquid Petroleum Gas

  • Avoid confined areas, since LPG is heavier than air and can collect in low lying areas, thereby increasing the chances of an explosion, when it is accidentally exposed to heat.
  • LPG trucks must not be parked near heat sources.
  • The service valve must always be turned off when the forklift is parked for a long period of time.
  • LPG containers must always be handled by trained and authorized personnel only.

ü      Diesel and Gasoline

  • Safe locations should be earmarked for the refueling operation, preferably outdoors.
  • Refueling should not be carried out near heat sources, since that could lead to an explosion.
  • The engine must be switched off during the refueling process.
  • Transmission must be put to Neutral and the parking brakes applied.
  • No one should smoke while the refueling is in progress.
  • Keep an eye on the fuel levels. Avoid letting the forklift run out of fuel completely or being too low on fuel, since sediments can be drawn into the fuel system.
  • Do not fill the tank right to the top. Leave some space because fuel tends to expand when heated.

In addition, you must also be aware of the safety instructions as prescribed in the operator’s manual and comply with those guidelines as well. Remember, it is a federal offense for anyone below the age of 18 to operate an industrial forklift or for anyone above 18 years to operate it without proper training and certification.

Workplace Plumbing Safety Tips

Following the correct guidelines when performing any plumbing ask is essential to ensuring complete safety for yourself and whomever you are doing the work for. Knowing about your responsibilities as a employee and also if you are an employer, knowing what you have to do is critical to be sure you are abiding by the law with all the work you, and your company does.

 

Main Employer Responsibilities

 

  • the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are safe and without risk to health (this includes the supply of all necessary personal protective equipment)

  • safety in the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances

  • the provision of information, instruction, training and supervision as necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of employees

  • the provision of access to and exit from the workplace that is safe and without risk

  • the provision of adequate facilities and arrangements for welfare at work.

  • provide a health and safety policy statement

  • undertake regular risk assessments

Main Employee Responsibilities

  • take reasonable care at work of your own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by what you do or do not do

  • do not intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided for your health and safety

  • co-operate with your employer on health and safety matters. Assist your employer in meeting their statutory obligations

  • bring to your employer’s attention any situation you think presents a serious and imminent danger

  • bring to your employer’s attention any weakness you might spot in their health and safety arrangements.

As a plumber it is necessary you understand what types of actions are to be taken by you or your employee in order to keep the workplace or worksite safe at all times, there are statutory regulations in place in order to keep safety to a maximum and to make sure you do not have any law suits coming your
way.

 Some of the actions taken to keep safety to a high are risk assessments, method statements and permit to work statements. The permit to work statement is a list of checks which you would carry out before taking on any dangerous plumbing jobs
like going up high to fix a broken pipe.

When
on site it is important to lay down a list of requirements for safety. If you are on a plumbing job which may take you a few days, it is essential to make sure your plumbers read these before working on the site. Some regulations to take into consideration can be found below.

 generally ensuring a safe place of work

  • precautions against falls from height or into excavations

  • protection against falling objects

  • protection against structural collapse (while work is taking place), i.e. the building falling down! safeguards when working in excavations

  • prevention of drowning (falling into water)

  • provision of safe traffic routes (on sites)

  • prevention and control of emergencies (site emergency evacuation procedures, etc.)

  • provision of welfare facilities – WCs, washing facilities, canteens/rest areas, shower facilities (if required)

  • provision of site-wide issues – clean and tidy sites, adequate lighting, constant and fresh air supply, etc.

  • training, inspection and reports – proper training of staff, use of properly trained staff to do the work, proper supervision of staff and monitoring the work carried out by staff to ensure it is carried out in a safe manner.

 

Plumbing safety tips

To ensure you always stay safe when working, it is best to follow these simple, yet somewhat obvious instructions.

  • Do not walk under a ladder that has somebody working up it

  • Wear the correct safety equipment (ie boots, hard hats etc.)

  • Always make sure to not work with plumbing issues near electric whilst power is on, turn all power off to prevent anything tragic happening

  • Make sure you have received full training on the job you are about to undergo

  • Do not work if tired as many times we have seen work going wrong due to sleep deprivation

  • Follow the correct health and safety guidelines (mentioned above)

  • Be sure to use the correct tools for the job to ensure you complete it safely

 Author Bio

This article was written by Dan Mawson who is the owner and founder of Multicore emergency plumber wigan.

He is an avid blogger, plumber, electrician and web developer hoping to share his knowledge through the web.

 

How to safely handle chemicals?

How to safely handle chemicals?

Keeping your workers safe inside your facility should always be your number one priority, especially when it comes to dealing with chemical products. We all know that these products have to be handled and stored cautiously. Therefore, if you want your employees to work in good and safe conditions, here are a few tips that may be of some use to you:

First of all it is important that all your personnel wear the proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment); glasses, gloves, protective helmets, masks, and so on. Some chemicals can be toxic or corrosive, it is thus compulsory for your workers to be protected from the potential dangers related to their handling, not only from a safety point of view but also from a legislative point of view.

Never skip on the training. You have to teach your employees how to react in case of emergency, what kind of action should be taken in case of spill, or if a product or a part of the facility catches fire. Indeed, chemical incidents can happen very fast and it is necessary to be able to react quickly in order to prevent the situation from getting worse. This article (http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2017-03-18/leisure-centre-staff-created-gas-cloud-as-they-tried-to-mix-chlorine/) tells us how a gas cloud was created after two chemicals were mixed together in a swimming pool. Thankfully the employees were able to take the right decision, and immediately evacuated and closed the leisure center. This goes to show us how important it is for the personnel to be aware of the measures that have to be taken in case of emergency.

Also, make sure that all your chemical products are properly labelled so that your employees get all the information needed when they are handling them. A label usually specifies the name of the product, the risks and the safety measures linked to its use, as well as the name and contact details of the manufacturer. This information will allow your workers to quickly understand what type of product they are dealing with, which will help them handle them the proper way.

We could not end this post without talking about the fact that all chemicals cannot and should not be stored together. They all have their special features; this is why an explosive product should never be kept in the same place as a flammable product. There is no need to be a scientist to know what kind of reaction would occur if these two products were to come into contact. Moreover, some chemicals have to be kept in specific conditions; in a cold or in a well-ventilated place, and so on… Make sure you are abreast with such requirements so that the security in your workplace is optimal. Also, if you know your facility does not own the infrastructure necessary to the storage of chemicals, you can hire the services of specialized companies such as Barnastock (http://www.barnastock.com/en) which warehouses were designed in order to safely store all types of chemical products.

 

 

5+ safety tips for construction workers!


5+ safety tips for construction workers!

The construction job is one of the greatest and, at the same time, one of the riskiest jobs in the world. When you are constructing buildings, you are probably helping thousands of dreams to realize or you are just becoming the reason for providing someone’s haven. This is the part construction become a humane job, a great one. But at the same time, you are probably risking your life every moment you are on the job. Accidents, injuries and stress – you will frequently come across these words if you are in the construction job. And if you are unlucky enough, death is another word that you probably had to hear. It is needless to say that you must take all and every step that ensures your safety – EVRERYDAY!

Your safety precaution should encompass everything that you need to protect your body from – from the tools you work with, the scaffolding, the chemicals, and the piles of construction garbage to your habit of drinking! Here are a few tips that you might start with –

Tip 1: Learn!

Yes – that’s the first and most important things you can do to ensure your safety. And I am not just talking about what safety steps you should take – I am also talking about the escape and exit routes at your workplace; the location of the fire extinguisher and how to use one; the use of first aid kit. Ask your employer to do training if s/he hasn’t yet done one. Ask them to point out places that pose the greatest risk for the workers.

Tip 2: Have a look around

That’s the first rule of safety. As you reach your workplace, just take five minutes and look for any possible sign of danger – check the scaffolding, make sure the ladders are strong enough, test the equipments you work with. If you find something wonky, just inform your employer. Keep your eyes open. You might save yourself and a lot of lives too. Look for any

Tip 3: Wear the right clothes  

And the right gears too! The safety clothing and equipments you put on are known as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the construction business.  The reflective vest, helmet and safety shoes save you from falling objects and sharp tools decreasing the risks of injury to the largest extent. Safety glasses and face masks protect you from hazardous and chemical substances.

Tip 4: Clean the garbage

As soon as you have finished the day’s work, do not make any delay to remove the refuse. Stack of construction garbage increases the risks of injury and if it contains any chemical or hazardous waste, it might set off big accidents.

Tip 5: Do have a lot of water and nutritious food too

That’s the basic rule to protect your health. This might sound like a lame tip. But trust me – if you start consuming more water, you will feel less tired than earlier as you finish your job for the day.

Tip 6: Talk to your workmates

Yes – talk to your workmates, make plans what you would do if someone faces an accident or injury and vice versa. Think of all the possible things you could do if someone gets into an accident – what your immediate action would be, who to inform, which immediate care you could provide. This would have two effects – the more you talk, the better prepared you would be and the less worried you would get if you face such situations. And second, you know you have a person you can lean on in your bad time!

Tip 7: Carry a First Aid Kit with you

You can provide emergency care service if you carry one. And who knows you might even save a life!

And last, but the best piece of advice – make a checklist of your personal safety rules.  Follow it religiously. No one but you can care best for yourself and for your workmates too!

How To Maintain A NIOSH/OSHA Safe Workplace?

How To Maintain A NIOSH/OSHA Safe Workplace?

 

One of the primary responsibilities of every business or employer is to fully implement an effective safety and health program in the workplace. A properly managed workplace safety program shows commitment to the safety of workers by the management. This, in turn, creates a more productive workplace that maintains the highest standards for safety and health.

As an employer, you’re responsible for ensuring that your business is in full compliance with the latest safety and health regulations set out by the law. The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) oversee the implementation and promotion of occupational health and safety programs that help prevent injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the workplace.

How do you maintain a NIOSH/OSHA safe workplace?

Identify Hazards in Your Workplace

You can do this by evaluating all occupational roles in your business, the work involved, and the tools and equipment used. For instance, hazards may include technicians working with heavy machinery, a warehouse worker stacking heavy boxes, or a janitor working with cleaning chemicals.

With a good understanding of the various hazards and risks that your workers and employees are exposed to, you can now take steps to minimize or eliminate them to ensure their health and safety.

Develop a Safety Plan and Do Drills

Once you have identified workplace hazards, you need to develop a safety plan. Your plan must comply with the latest NIOSH/OSHA standards, rules, and regulations. Ensure that all your employees understand what needs to be done should there be a health or safety crisis in the workplace. A written plan of action should be formulated and included in your business policies and operational procedures.

Regular vetting of your safety plan must be done with the involvement of managers, supervisors, and employees. It’s not enough to simply have a safety plan in place. To ensure it can be implemented, carry out drills at least once or twice a year so as to practice on what to do and where to go in case of a safety hazard or an emergency.

Inspect Your Workplace and Review Safety Procedures

Regularly check your workplace tools and equipment to ensure that they are in good condition and safe to use. Are your employees properly trained and updated on how to handle equipment safely? Make sure that you also review all workplace operational and safety procedures. If you have invested in new safety equipment such as Moldex-Metric hearing protection or respiratory masks, are your workers aware of the updated safety procedures?

Being in the know of how your entire workplace operates and what measures are in place to ensure employee safety is critical.

Train Your Workers and Teach Awareness

Investing in proper health and safety training is necessary for all employees. Train them on safe working procedures and teach awareness. Training is best done on an on-going basis and should be offered in a simple, practical and easy-to-understand way.

Provide written instructions and other resources like online training and conduct regular supervisions to ensure employees are performing their jobs as expected and safely.

Communicate Safety Procedures Clearly

Communicating the safety procedures required in your workplace clearly is important. Make use of safety posters, data sheets, color codes, signs or labels to communicate to workers and warn them of potential hazards. Established operating procedures should also be communicated in the same way to remind employees of health and safety requirements.

Talk to Leaders and Employees

Maintaining a safe workplace is a collective effort that involves everyone from business owners to managers and employees. Meet your staff regularly to discuss health and safety issues. Encourage sharing of thoughts and ideas and how to improve workplace safety. You may even want to provide first aid training for all employees so that they can better handle emergencies.

Report, Record, and Investigate Incidents

It’s important to report all work-related fatalities to your nearest regulatory bodies such as OSHA or NIOSH. You should also keep all records of workplace-related injuries and illnesses, incident investigations, inspections, and health and safety training activities. Conducting investigations in any type of incident, however small, can help you determine why it happened so you can take preventative measures.

Adopt a Comprehensive Injury and Illness Prevention Program

OSHA encourages all employers to adopt programs that play a critical role in reducing the number and severity of workplace-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. Check with your state to clarify if there are specific requirements or guidelines for workplace injury and illness prevention programs for your small, medium or large business.

With the right prevention program in place, your business will see reduced cases of injuries, illnesses, fatalities and even compensation claims. It’s important to make safety a key part of your business so as to maintain a NIOSH/OSHA safe workplace.

The Bottom Line

With the recently updated OSHA guidelines for safety and health programs, employers in a wide variety of business settings and industries are adopting and implementing the recommended practices. These practices incorporate a proactive approach that helps you manage workplace safety and health, ensuring a safer and more productive working environment for everyone.

Author Bio:

Carolyn Clarke is a lead safety consultant and occupational health and safety expert who writes for a number of authority health and safety websites and blogs. She provides professional guidance and training around the use of personal protective equipment in specialist business settings. She also works with clients to create safe working environments for employees and workers and is a certified Occupational Safety and Health Technician.

Image 1: https://www.fireandsafetyaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Permit-Issuer-Training.jpg

Image 2: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Road_Block_Driving_Safety.jpg

 

Safety Precautions to Take When Working with Electronic Equipment

Safety Precautions to Take When Working with Electronic Equipment

   

Safety Can be Confusing
Safety Can be Confusing

 

When working with or testing any electronic equipment, it’s always important to be cautious. Whatever type of equipment you’re handling, whether simple or complex, it’s important to take the right safety precautions.  

Working with electricity comes with huge risks that should never be taken lightly. If you’re a hobbyist who loves working with electronic components or an electronics professional at your workplace, safety should always come first.

 To avoid personal injury, possible damage to equipment or danger of fire, all work on electronic equipment should be conducted following these safety procedures.

 General Safety

 Before working on any electronics, consider following these basic safety precautions to help reduce any hazards.

           Remove any electronic equipment you’re testing or working on from the power source.

           Never assume the power circuit is off. Test and test again with a voltmeter to confirm.

           Remove fuses and replace them only after the power to the circuit is disconnected.

           Don’t connect power to a circuit until you’re done working on it and rechecked the work.

           Always ensure that all electronics equipment is properly grounded

            If it’s damaged, replace it. For instance, replace cables instead of repairing with insulating tape.

            Always use the right electronics repair and maintenance tools.

            Always return covers after removing them to reduce the risk of electric shock. 

           Make sure your circuit is not overloaded.

            Always have safety equipment like a fire extinguisher, a basic first aid kit and a mobile phone nearby.

 Personal Safety

 It’s important to ensure that you’re safe when working on electronic circuits. Here are some personal safety precautions to keep in mind: 

           Always keep your work area dry.  

           Always work in a well-ventilated area. 

           Don’t wear flapping or loose clothing when working. 

           Don’t work with metallic jewelry on your hands like watches, rings and bracelets.  

           Don’t use bare hands to remove hot parts. 

           Always wear non-conductive shoes. 

           Always wear insulator gloves in your hands when carrying out repairs. 

           When removing high-voltage charges on capacitors, always use a shorting stick. 

           Don’t hold the test prods when measuring voltage over 300V. 

           Always remove power to a circuit before connecting alligator clips. 

           Always wear safety goggles.  

           Be careful when handling large capacitors as they can still hold high voltage even after you’ve disconnected the circuit from power.

 High Voltage Safety

 One mistake that electronics experts make when doing repairs or maintenance work is assuming routine safety procedures after getting all too familiar with their work. It’s important to know that most electronic equipment use high-voltage that is dangerous and can be fatal. Always follow these safety precautions when working on or near high-voltage circuits.

            Don’t work on electronic equipment or make repairs with high voltage on. 

           Don’t take chances doing what you’re not sure about. 

           Consider using an isolation transformer when working on AC powered electronic circuits or equipment. 

           Never tamper with interlocks. 

           Don’t ground yourself: Make it a practice to use only one hand when connecting equipment to an electronic circuit.   

 

HighVoltagePowerSupply

Fire Safety Precautions 

When working with electronic equipment, there is often a risk of fire caused by a short circuit or other reason. Follow these precautionary steps: 

           Avoid anything that would cause a fire around your working area like paper, cloth or other combustible materials. 

           Look out for damaged wire insulation, overheating of electronic equipment, damaged circuit boards and corrosive components like batteries.  

           If there is a burning smell on your electronic equipment, disconnect the power source. 

           If there is a fire, use a nonconducting dry powder or CO2 fire extinguisher.  

           Always check your circuit to be sure that everything is okay after repairs or maintenance before connecting power.  

Electric Shock

 One of the major hazards when working with electronic equipment is electric shock. To avoid this, you should take a few safety precautions, including: 

           Always read safety procedures that come with every electronic equipment you’re about to test or work on.  

           Recheck all wires for bad connections

            Always make sure that all parts of electronic equipment are well-mounted to prevent accidents.  

           Keep electronic equipment away from water and other liquids 

           Always check for signs of wear, defects and fraying on electronic equipment cables, cords and connectors.  

           Use special safety rubber gloves and shoes. 

Testing Equipment 

With the increasing use of electronics in homes and workplaces, safety is becoming more and more important to consumers and service experts. If you’re an electronics expert offering repair and maintenance services, it’s important to invest in the right new or used testing equipment for your work—that ensures that you’re able to carry out your job safely.

 

 

Author Bio:

Arnold Sharpe is a freelance writer and an electronics expert working with the leading electronic testing equipment store in Los Angeles, CA. He reviews the latest home and office electronic equipment in the market.

 

Image 1: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f8/Soldering_a_0805.jpg

Image 2: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/94/HighVoltagePowerSupply.jpg

The importance of Fire Safety Training

Fire safety training is essential to know especially when you review the recent statistics concerning fire.

Some Important Fire-related Statistics

Over the span of a year, from 2011 to 2012, local rescue services in Britain were called out to almost 585,000 fires or false alarms. Of these call-outs, approximately 272,000 were for actual fires whilst 312,000 were false alarms. Of the 70,000 building fires reported, approximately 44,000 took place in private dwellings. Of the primary fires recorded, around 6,000 took place in dwellings whilst 7,300 happened in other structures. About 14,000 of the fires involved a fire in a car.

When you review the above statistics, fire safety training is not the kind of knowledge you can blithely sweep under a rug or scan over randomly. In order to reduce any risk of liability and ensure the safety of household members or employees, you need to take fire safety training yourself or offer the a course or program to people in the workplace. By taking this approach, you not only reduce your costs for liability cover, you will also establish a safer working environment for your employees and yourself.

Fire Awareness Education

Fire safety trainers today feature courses that are highly interactive as they provide fire simulation equipment that mimics emergency occurrences. These hands-on courses give participants the confidence they need to handle certain fire-related events. Fire demos are featured by trainers that allow participants to hone their skills using a fire extinguisher as well.

Legally, employers are obligated under the Fire Safety Order or Regulatory Reform of 2005 to make sure that fire safety training requirements are met. To make scheduling easier, safety trainers can come to your work site. Therefore, there is no practical reason why you cannot provide fire safety training to your staff.

Types of Fire Safety Training for Employees

Staff members can take one of various fire-related courses, including –
• Fire extinguisher maintenance
• Fire extinguisher maintenance (refresher course)
• Practical fire extinguisher course work
• Fire warden training
• Fire safety awareness

A fire safety awareness course usually lasts about two hours and combines practical sessions with theoretical learning. This educational format permits staff members to learn how to respond efficiently in a fire emergency. Delegates taking the course normally receive a comprehensive manual and a certificate.

Class Participation/Interaction: What is Involved

Participants are given the chance to use a fire extinguisher to control a live fire using a fire-friendly simulation apparatus. Therefore, a fire safety awareness course is important as it not only assists employees in handling a fire emergency, it also ensures that your company remains compliant with the relevant and local health, fire and safety laws. In fact, the course includes a section that covers fire legislation. Not only that, students learn proper evacuation procedures, review the common causes of a fire, and learn about various fire extinguishers and their uses.

Some of the causes of a fire relate to flammable liquids, faulty wiring, lighting fixtures and heat sources. For instance, it is important to have the wiring in your business regularly checked. Double adaptors and power-boards can both overload power points. Make sure the correct fuses and safety switches are installed and used as well.

You can obtain the above-described fire safety training by contacting companies, such as ifast in the UK. Use a provider that will continually work with you to raise an awareness among your staff about the importance of safety and security. Stay safe and work safe by arranging for training today.

The Importance of Workplace Sobriety

The Importance of Workplace Sobriety

It is essential to maintain sobriety and avoid taking either drugs or alcohol within the workplace.

Whilst that sentence, in and of itself, sounds relatively obvious, maintaining concentration by avoiding the dangers of being under the influence of alcohol is absolutely essential for ensuring a safe work place. Alcohol and substance abuse is the number one health epidemic facing Americans, with statistics from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence suggesting that alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the country: An incredible 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence, and an additional 12 million individuals abuse alcohol through binge drinking or other risky drinking behaviour that could lead to addiction, an accident, or another form of self-harm. So how does this huge number of American drinkers affect safety within our workplaces? Well, of the 17.6 million alcoholics in the United States, a huge 75% of those individuals hold down a regular job, meaning that they are putting the health of themselves and their colleagues at risk because of their impaired status on a daily basis. It should come as no surprise that these statistics combine to ensure that in approximately 10% of the cases where employees are involved in a fatal accident at work, the deceased individual tested positive for either drug or alcohol use, or both.

How Workplace Alcoholism Affects Performance

In conjunction with the obvious safety issues, there are a myriad of ways in which workplace drug or alcohol use can negatively impact on the performance of your employees and ultimately on the productivity of your company. The use of illicit substances in the workplace can lead to: frequent tardiness or increased absenteeism, which can result in less work being achieved and in colleagues being expected to pick of the slack. Poor decision making within the work place, such as choosing to sleep on the job or even steal from the work place in order to fund their addiction, can also lead to the cost and trauma of disciplinary procedures and, if there is no choice but to let that individual go, to the cost of recruiting and training a new member of staff to fulfil that role. It is also important not to underestimate the effect that working with an alcoholic can have on the morale of the overall workforce, causing the level of satisfaction, particularly amongst close co workers, to diminish considerably.

Protecting Both the Alcoholic and Their Co-Workers

Much is made of ensuring that the individual impaired by alcohol is protected as much as possible and that they are supported in changing their habits (ie freeing themselves of their addiction) whilst simultaneously maintaining their role within the company, where that is feasibly possible. However it is just as important to ensure that their co-workers are protected from any potential harm as a result of working alongside an alcohol or drug-impaired individual. This is a huge problem regardless of what industry you are working within, with approximately 20% of workers and managers who were questioned across a wide range of industries and company sizes reporting that they felt a co-worker’s drinking (either on or off the job) was jeopardizing their own productivity and safety. This can be avoided by making use of workplace referral programmes within your company, so that those individuals abusing substances (either drugs or alcohol) in the workplace have immediate access to a referral to the resources and services that they need, improving their overall health, reducing their absenteeism, and ultimately improving their workplace productivity, making seeking support for your employees a more cost effective and economically sensible decision when compared to the alternative of pursuing a disciplinary procedure, letting that member of staff go, and recruiting and training their replacement.

Safety at the workplace, of every member within the workplace, is and should always be of the utmost importance to every employer within every industry. Workplace substance abuse is a very real threat to businesses and one that should be taken and managed very seriously.

10 of the Most Common Workplace Accidents and Injuries

You probably already know that health and safety legislation is a favorite punching bag for a certain type of newspaper columnist, but what you might not be aware of is that there are hundreds of thousands of accidents – many of them serious – in workplaces every year. That’s why it’s so important to take the proper precautions at work.

Of course, even the best prepared among us can still fall victim to accidents at work – but to be forewarned is to be forearmed, as the saying goes. Here, in no particular order, are ten of the most common accidents and injuries in the workplace.

1. Fights at work: These aren’t quite as rare as we might like to think. Simmering workplace tensions can bubble under for months or even years before spilling over into physical confrontation, or alternatively one workmate can take another’s opinion on last weekend’s football the wrong way. Fights in the workplace can, unsurprisingly, result in nasty injuries. Effective procedures for dealing with employee grievances can help reduce the risk of them coming to blows, though.

2. Walking into objects: It’s probably safe to say we’ve all done this at some point. Maybe you’re chatting absent-mindedly or maybe you’re feeling a little under the weather, when you suddenly find yourself on the sharp end of a door, table, wall or cabinet. Needless to say, these injuries can sting a bit. Luckily, many such accidents can be avoided by reminding employees to be vigilant and putting unnecessary hazards out of the way where people won’t walk into them.

3. Slips, trips and falls: Whatever your particular work setting is – whether you work in a shop, a factory or an office – you’re likely to encounter slippery surfaces at some point, so it’s not a totally remote possibility that you might come a cropper on one. Another big risk for many is falling while working at height; falls from ladders are most common, but falls from scaffolding and other platforms can also be dangerous.

4. 2. Muscle strains: Strained muscles are another commonplace work-related injury, as anyone who regularly lifts heavy items at work will probably know already. Back and neck strains, in particular, are all too frequently sustained while working. These injuries can be avoided easily – some basic training on proper lifting techniques can make a big difference.

3. Exposure to loud noise: You might think that industrial deafness is a thing of the past and went out with all those old heavy industries, but that’s not the case – not least because many industrial workers continue to be exposed to loud noises while at work. Industrial deafness can also result in major compensation payouts further along the line, so it’s very much in employers’ interest to nip this particular problem in the bud. Safety measures such as ear protection can do much to prevent it.

5. Being hit by falling objects: Plenty of workers find themselves on the receiving end of falling objects – and what’s more, this isn’t just a problem in warehouse-type environments. Objects which fall from shelves or out of cupboards can cause some nasty injuries, particularly if the individual who ends up feeling the full force doesn’t see it coming. Providing adequate storage cages and reminding employees of how to store items safely can go a long way to reducing this risk.

6. Crashes and collisions: Accidents resulting in crash or impact injuries are also quite frequent at work. Whether they involve cars, lorries or even smaller vehicles such as forklift trucks, they can have seriously nasty consequences. It’s therefore up to employers to ensure that seatbelts and other safety precautions are both in place and in use where appropriate.

7. Repetitive strain injury: RSI is another problem that’s become increasingly commonplace at work over the years, though even now some employers don’t seem to take it entirely seriously. It’s not just a problem for those of us who regularly use keyboards in our work, either – in fact, it can result from any repetitive motion of the joints. The cumulative impact of RSI can be severe in some cases, so it makes sense to take precautions. Employers can help prevent RSI by encouraging and reminding workers to take appropriate breaks. Likewise, ergonomic equipment, like hand trucks can help to alleviate the strain.

8. Cuts and lacerations: All sorts of office implements can end up leaving their user nursing a painful cut. From power saws to paper trimmers, it’s easy to do yourself a mischief at work. The most common causes of these lacerations include poor training, inadequate safety procedures and failing to wear the proper protection. Bosses can help prevent such accidents by providing adequate safety equipment and putting the right procedures (including training) in place.

9. Inhaling toxic fumes: While most of us don’t work with hazardous chemicals, those of us who do may be at risk of skin or eye reactions as well as potentially more serious injuries when exposed to them without protection. Protective equipment such as safety goggles is indispensable in these situations, so employers must be sure to provide workers with the gear they need to avoid dangerous exposure.

10. Exposure to loud noise: You might think that industrial deafness is a thing of the past and went out with all those old heavy industries, but that’s not the case – not least because many industrial workers continue to be exposed to loud noises while at work. Industrial deafness can also result in major compensation payouts further along the line, so it’s very much in employers’ interest to nip this particular problem in the bud. Safety measures such as ear protection can do much to prevent it.

Although there’s no shortage of ways people can injure themselves at work, as we’ve already noted there are various things employers can do to prevent their employees from coming to any avoidable harm. Good training, clear signage and access to the necessary safety equipment can all be a big help. Regular risk assessments are also a very good idea. You can’t always legislate for sheer absent-mindedness, but you can at least avoid a lot of unnecessary mishaps.

If you would like to read this and news about workplace safety visit Slingsby website.

Hazardous Waste Disposal: It Matters

Technological advancements, modernization, and urbanized progress. They have undoubtedly made our lives so much easier with all the modern conveniences that we are able to enjoy today. However, in as much as they have made our lives better, there are also disadvantages and negative effects that have come out of it.

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Negative effects of modernization
With the increase of global population follows an increase in the demand for food and daily essentials, and these have in turn increased the amount of waste produced. Households and big industrial companies churn out both hazardous and non-hazardous waste on a daily basis, which, when not regulated, can be potentially harmful or dangerous to our health and the environment.

Why proper disposal matters
The proper disposal of hazardous materials is not just the responsibility of industries and companies that manufacture items that produce a large amount of waste. Professional offices, as well as households, all have to pay attention to how they throw away seemingly harmless waste that could contain hazardous substances. The improper disposal of such waste can harm not only the health of employees and local residents, it can also affect plant and animal life through the contamination of soil and water supplies, and cause air pollution. It can also lead to fines or lawsuits, and the possibility of having property value decrease.

Responsibility on hazardous waste disposal
Household waste should be dealt with by each household through segregation. Hazardous waste should never be lumped together with non-hazardous rubbish, nor should they be poured down into sinks or toilets, as they can corrode pipes and cause problems at water treatment plants. If household hazardous wastes are too much to handle, it’s better to contact the local government to arrange for scheduled waste collection.

On the other hand, big companies that produce hazardous waste on a daily basis should follow proper disposal as standardized by the OSHA. This is not only intended to protect the company from incurring penalties and fines, it also protects worker’s health and safety, as well as the environment. If you work for a company that constantly deals with hazardous waste – whether through clean up, treatment and storage, or emergency response – it is a must to get HAZWOPER training online from a reputable organization like The Asbestos Institute.

While it may not be possible to completely stop using household materials that contain hazardous materials, its impact on the environment and on human and animal health can be minimized. Avoid dumping hazardous waste just about anywhere, and dispose of it responsibly. When dealing with uncontrolled hazardous waste, contact the experts for proper disposal.