September 16, 2014
Summer has run its course, and school has begun. Naturally, administrators and other school personnel will now have to face the many challenges the new school year will bring. Besides education-related issues, general maintenance and cleanliness are two important issues that should not be overlooked.
Many administrators and school facility managers find the school year demanding enough that little time is left for planning maintenance and repairs. Enrollment, budgeting, and drawing up and implementing policies are only a few of the many issues school personnel must deal with. As such, Emedco offers a few tips in keeping the school in proper condition and addressing maintenance problems that may occur during the year (or may have occurred during the vacation).
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September 5, 2014
Do you know your rights during an OSHA Audit? While the common goal is always the safety of your employees it is good to know what you can expect when your compliance officer arrives. You should be as prepared as they are and know the protocol that should be adhered to throughout the process.
There will be an opening conference, a walkaround, and a closing conference.
During the opening conference, before your audit begins the compliance officer should show you his credentials and explain to you why your workplace has been selected, the scope of the inspection, and procedures.
The walkaround will consist of just that, walking around your facility while the compliance officer inspects for hazards that could lead to employee injury or illness. The compliance officer will also review any records and postings that should be present and applicable to the potential onsite hazards, they may also interview some employees during this time as well.
It is always helpful if you are fully cooperative with your compliance officer, being evasive or misleading will only lead to a more in depth investigation. Pay attention to all of the elements that the inspector is reviewing, making note of or taking video or pictures of.
The closing conference is when you will have time to sit down with the compliance officer and go over his or her findings and the possible courses of action going further to address or contest any possible fines. OSHA has 6 months from the violation occurrence to issue an official citation and proposed penalties.
Once OSHA has issued a citation the employer then has the opportunity to appeal within 15 working days of receipt. OSHA’s primary goal is correcting hazards such that fines are usually lessened to work with you towards a safety solution.
September 4, 2014
Among the products that are overlooked when buying supplies for your facility, entrance mats are probably one of the most neglected. Far too many people consider entrance mats as decoration. Some think as long as it bears the customary welcome message, any generic variant is considered an adequate solution. This means that many people are failing to use these mats to their full advantage.
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September 3, 2014
Ergonomics on the job go unnoticed until it is too late. They specifically relate to the way in which a person physically adapts their body to fit the task that they are doing. Whether it be a change in posture, work station, tools or equipment, putting added stress, strain or overexertion on the body to accommodate unnatural movements can result in serious injuries down the road, including tendonitis, arthritis, carpal tunnel, and back injuries.
Common ergonomic risk factors to watch for include: vibration, repetitive movements, straining your eyes, bending over, lifting heavy objects or using pressure or force for extended periods of time.
Here are some tips to put to use when looking to improve ergonomics and ultimately production rates in your facility.
- Look for signs of a potential strain in the workplace, such as frequent worker reports of aches and pains or tasks requiring repetitive forceful exertions and act to reduce them
- Show management commitment by addressing possible problems and encouraging worker involvements in problem-solving
- Offer training to expand management and worker ability to evaluate potential problems
- Gather data to identify jobs or work conditions that are most problematic, using sources such as injury and illness logs, medical records, and job analyses
- Identify effective controls for tasks that pose a risk of strain and evaluate these approaches once they have been instituted to see if they have reduced or eliminated the problem
- Establish health care management to emphasize the importance of early detection and treatment of injuries for preventing impairment and disability
- Minimize risk factors for when planning new work processes and operations
For more information on how to assess your working postures to prevent and control musculoskeletal disorders click here.
September 2, 2014
When handling a wide variety of hazardous materials on a daily basis it is important to employ the proper safety policies to keep accidents and injuries at bay.
Here are ten safety practices to keep in mind when you come into contact with hazardous materials:
- Proper training and education of all employees who will come in contact with hazardous materials in any way is essential
- Assume all chemicals are hazardous when handling them
- Take necessary precautions when working with and storing chemicals including proper pressure and temperature requirements
- Eliminate the hazard through engineering controls, personal protective equipment, and administrative procedures when at all possible
- If not possible to eliminate the chemical look for safer substitutions
- Establish a universal documentation system for what your facility has on hand
- Keep an up to date inventory of all hazardous materials
- Make the availability of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS’s*) known to all employees on all shifts and in all locations
- Review and update your safety processes on a regular basis and make necessary changes
- Do not assume all precautions protect against all chemicals. Each chemical comes with its own unique set of ways to protect against them. Thoroughly assess working conditions and apply the proper protection accordingly.
*The transition from old MSDS formats to the new GHS styled SDS is a big part of GHS adoption and there are three major challenges organizations that traffic in SDSs must face: SDS authoring, SDS management and SDS training. Download our GHS Adoption Timeline Checklist for a roadmap to compliance.