The best practice of “5-S”

5S Before

Among the world-class manufacturing technologies perhaps the most widely used is the 5-S system.

Originally conceived to create a clutter-free, well-organized, spic-and-span working environment in factories, 5S is now seen as a widely applicable concept regardless of industry and size of company.

Safety Links has almost 10 years of practical experience assisting our Safety Partners including government agencies, manufacturers, and even medical providers implement the 5-S system.

The principle behind 5-S is that in order to achieve high levels of quality, safety, and productivity, workers must have a conducive working environment.  Conversely, a cluttered, disorganized workplace demotivates employees and hinders any attempt to improve their efficiencies.5S Before5S After

Before & After

For more information about the 5-S System (Click Here) or call Trevor Reschny at 407-760-6170

 

Continue Reading This Valuable Post →

Safety Tip – Aerial Lift

Are you guilty of using hazardous aerial lift procedures?

Falls, electrocutions, and collapses or tip-overs are some of the most prominent Aerial Lift device injuries, according to OSHA. These include boom-supported aerial platforms, such as cherry pickers or bucket trucks, aerial ladders and vertical towers.

Watch this presentation on general Aerial Lift safety, share it with your staff or if needed, gather a meeting regarding the topic and work safely!

Aerial Lift Safety Tip

To learn more about a Aerial Lift safety training, visit us at https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/equipment-operation/aerial-lift or contact us at 407-353-8165 / info@safetylinks.net

Continue Reading This Valuable Post →

It’s hurricane season- Time to think about your business continuity plans

Although a disaster could affect your company at any time, the beginning of the hurricane season is a great time to further develop your Business Continuity, Contingency Planning & Disaster Recovery plans.

Developing a business continuity plan is an essential and unavoidable task. Although the creation of a sound plan may be a complex undertaking, it pays huge dividends in the event of an emergency. A great success story comes from one of our partners. In 2004 their Human Resources department would have lost the personnel records of over 1500 of their employees after a flood. Fortunately the vulnerability of their key business records was identified, and beginning the previous year they had digitized their paper records.

So what exactly is a Business Continuity Plan? In plain language, a Business Continuity Plan is how an organization prepares for future incidents that could jeopardize their core mission and their long-term competitiveness. These potential incidents include local incidents like building fires, regional incidents like hurricanes and national incidents like pandemic illnesses.

To start to develop or improve your plans follow these three basic steps.

Conduct Business Impact Analysis

The first step in a sensible business continuity process is to consider the potential impacts of each type of problem. After all, you cannot properly plan for a disaster if you don’t know the likely impacts on your business/organization.

A business impact analysis is essentially a means of systematically assessing the potential impacts resulting from various (unavailability) events or incidents

You should ask yourself “What do I do when we cannot use our facility?” or “What can I do now to better prepare my business unit to respond when our facility is unavailable?”  Why it is unavailable isn’t the issue. It could be as a result of a fire, tornado or massive power outage. Consider that your offices and all of the resources you have available for day-to-day operations are no longer available.

The business impact analysis is intended to help you understand the degree of potential loss (and various other unwanted effects) which could occur. This will cover not just direct financial loss, but other issues, such as reputation damage, regulatory effects, etc.

Develop Plan

Creation of a living business continuity plan is far from a trivial exercise. Every aspect of the plan must be carefully managed to ensure that it does not fall short when most needed.

Having stated this however, it is equally true that the creation of a plan is often made far more difficult than actually necessary.

Essentially your plan must describe what you are going to do in the event of an emergency and what you are going to do to limit your losses?

For example, how will you communicate with your employees and the press? How will you notify your customers and key vendors? How will you ensure that you have what you need to operate if something happens? This includes business information, records, statements, and so on.

In this plan you must also define who will be responsible for what, how will you train your staff and employees, in addition you must define how will you update and distribute the plan.

Plan implementation, maintenance and testing

Having developed your business continuity plan, it is sensible to actually implement it and to perform an overall audit… not just initially, but at regular intervals. This helps ensure that it remains current, and that it stands up to rigorous examination. This should also cover all the plan’s supporting contingency arrangements.

Various options are available. A common approach is to ‘brainstorm’ the plan, via intensive meetings and workshops.  Another is to hire specialist consultants – recognized experts in the field.

Please feel free to contact Safety Links if you need any assistance developing or evaluating your plan. Whether you are entirely new to business continuity management, or whether you have an established contingency plan already in place, we can help!

For professional assistance, give us a call at 407-353-8165 or email at info@safetylinks.net to start your business continuity plan.

Continue Reading This Valuable Post →

Diesel Exhaust Is a Carcinogen says World Health Organization

diesel exhaust fumes

While previously classified as a “probable” carcinogen, the World Health Organization’s (W.H.O.) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has finally confirmed that diesel exhaust is a carcinogen and that it is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer.

diesel exhaust fumesConsidering that the last time diesel was put into discussion, in 1989 and now finally classified as a carcinogen, it’s a big deal for everyone who is in anyway exposed to it or anyone who’s workplace forces them to be in a environment wiith high diesel exhaust fumes.

A study done by researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France analyzed 12,300 miners for several decades starting in 1947. Discoveries concluded miners heavily exposed to diesel exhaust had a higher risk of dying from lung cancer. The U.S. however, still does not fully recognize it as a carcinogen, claiming that new engines are far less dangerous with exposure of fewer fumes.

“It’s on the same order of magnitude as passive smoking,” said Kurt Straif, director of the IARC department that evaluates cancer risks. “This could be another big push for countries to clean up exhaust from diesel engines.”

The mission of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is to coordinate and conduct research on the causes of human cancer and the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and to develop scientific strategies for cancer control.

Continue Reading This Valuable Post →

Let’s Not Overlook the Young Workers!

CareerSafe Online, an organization dedicated to promoting and educating young workers in the secondary and post-secondary levels on safety, has announced “National Young Worker Safety Day” on June 25. This is a smaller part of the larger safety campaign “A Million Safer: A Young Worker Safety Initiative” which its ultimate goal is to help 1,000,000 students attain OSHA training by December of 2015.

In order to raise awareness, the new campaign focuses on calling all the country’s mayors to participate in this initiative in efforts to lower injuries and fatalities in the workplace. Within the age demographic, every two minutes one young worker is injuried in the workplace and every five days, one young worker is killed. Eighty percent of this statistic comes from high school-aged workers.

Municipalities are encouraged to learn more and get involved. If you would like to find out more about National Young Worker Safety Day, visit http://www.skillsusa.org/ or http://www.careersafeonline.com/ to make a difference.

Continue Reading This Valuable Post →

OSHA Wants Nominators for Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee

The Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee or WPAC, the new committee that will work with the Secretary of Labor and the Assistant Secretary of Occupational Safety and Health is seeking nominations for its membership. The committee will focus on anything that relates to the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of OSHA’s whistleblower protection activities.

Once gathered, all twelve members are to have the following roles:

  • Four management representatives who are employers or are from employer associations in industries covered by one or more of the whistleblower laws;
  • Four labor representatives who are workers or from worker advocacy organizations in industries covered by one or more of the whistleblower laws;
  • One member who represents the State Plan states; and
  • Three public representatives from colleges, universities, non-partisan think tanks, and/or other entities, that have extensive knowledge and expertise on whistleblower statutes and issues.

Other non-voting members from other Federal Government agencies will also take part in the committee with jurisdiction over statues with whistleblower provisions.

To submit nominations, visit HERE.

For more information on the WPAC, visit HERE.

 

Continue Reading This Valuable Post →

Working Safely With Nanomaterials

nano-particles

Recently, the topic of working safety with nanomaterials has been gathering more attention. According to The International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 229, the definition of a nano-object is a material with one, two, or three external dimentions in the 1- to 100 nm size range. When arranged as a group, they are called nanomaterial. Basically, nano-particles are so small that they are able to penetrate cell membranes, integrate into larger molecules and sometimes even interfere with cell processes. This is expecially of concern when it could possibly be found in everyday cosmetics or grooming products that are highly under-regulated.

nano-particles

Resources with safety suggestions and methods for handling nanomaterial for research and development, however, are now easier to find. One of them by NIOSH, has been published as a public document with suggestions on engineering control and was created to be meant as an addition to an already established laboratory safety procedures and a chemical hygiene plan. A very thorough and easy to follow explanation of methods and suggestions, the main subjects to safely working with nano-particles in the document are as listed:

  1. Risk Management- This includes the below hazard identification, exposure assessment, and exposure control.
  2. Hazard Identification- Determining the type of danger a particle entails is part of this section. Also consider whether nanoparticles are hazardous by inhalation, dermal exposure, or ingestion.
  3. Exposure Assessment- Identifying different ways of potential exposure through tasks done also help to safely prevent danger. Dustiness, process, and quantity, duration, and frequency of tasks can influence the level of danger when exposed.
  4. Exposure Control- Some recommendations on control include elimination or substitution, isolation and engineering controls (such as containment or ventilation), administrative controls (employee training, labeling, storage), personal protective equipment (clothing, respirators, etc.), local exhaust ventilation,
  5. Other Considerations- This includes scenarios such as fire control and explosion to spills management.

To view the full PDF document, visit http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2012-147/pdfs/2012-147.pdf.

Continue Reading This Valuable Post →

Top Risk Assessment Mistakes

Here is an interesting risk assessment article found in EHS Today. Lyon and Bruce Hollcroft, CSP, ARM, CHMM are directors of risk control at Hays Companies and were present at this year’s ASSE Safety 2012 Conference on June 5 at the Colorado Convention Center.

According to the duo, the following lists the top 10 mistakes when a risk assessment done:

  1. Failing to perform a formal risk assessment.
  2. Failing to define the purpose and scope of the assessment.
  3. Failing to understand organization’s acceptable risk level.
  4. Failing to assemble the best team possible to perform the risk assessment.
  5. Failing to use the best risk assessment technique.
  6. Failing to be objective and unemotional during the assessment.
  7. Failing to identify hazards and see combined whole-system risk.
  8. Failing to consider the hierarchies of controls or prioritize by risk.
  9. Failing to perform risk assessment during the design/redesign stage.
  10. Failing to communicate before, during and after the assessment.

“Figure out what you can share and share it,” Hollcroft said. “Failure to communicate is a huge shortcoming when we conduct risk assessments.”

To view the original article from EHS, visit http://ehstoday.com/safety/news/inadequate-risk-assessments-0607/.

Continue Reading This Valuable Post →

Metro Orlando Ranks #1 In Pedestrian Deaths Nationwide

pedestrian yield sign

A study by the Transportation for America’s Dangerous by Design named the Metro Orlando area the deadliest for pedestrians in the country. On average, one pedestrian is killed every week.

pedestrian yield sign

Consequently, collaborative efforts between Bike Walk of Central Florida, local governments, law enforcement, and health groups including Orlando Health and the Winter Park Health Foundation have led the start of the “Best Foot Forward” safety campaign.

The said campaign’s strategies include a combination of three different approaches in order to relieve the issue of unfortunate pedestrian-and-driver accidents: education to the public, engineering, and enforcement. If you live in Orlando, chances are you already have noticed how unsafe or incomplete sidewalks often are. The engineering efforts will focus on building sidewalks and roadways with safer designs or providing more lighting. On the enforcement level, drivers can expect tickets of $164 if caught failing to yield to a pedestrian on a crosswalk.

Bike Walk Central Florida expects the campaign to cost about $350,000 a year. A grant from the Florida Department of Transportation application is in process in hopes of aid for funding. Federal funds of 4 million dollars are already being put to use by adding more sidewalks in the city.

Not surprisingly, the next most dangerous metro areas in the country are also in Florida. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach followed after Orlando in that order. To view the entire list of rankings, visit http://t4america.org/resources/dangerousbydesign2011/states/worst-metros/.

Continue Reading This Valuable Post →

OSHA to hold meeting of Health of National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety

OSHA’s Secretary of Labor, Hilda L Solis announced a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Health and Safety to be held on June 19 and 20 in Washington. Three new members will be appointed, and 5 re-appointed. The members appointed hold a two-year term.

Some of the topics to be discussed are the newly implemented globally harmonized system, a presentation on OSHA’s fall prevention campaign, and NACOSH’s work group reports. On June 19, injury and illness prevention programs, along with record keeping will meet at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. New effectiveness measures work group established to provide with NACOSH will be held at 3:30 p.m. EDT.To view the final agenda, visit http://www.osha.gov/dop/nacosh/nacosh.html.

Since 1970 when it was first established, NACOSH has 40 years of experience on advising the secretaries of labor and health and human services. They hold meetings twice year. After this meeting, the Advisory Committee will consist of a total of 12 members.

Since NACOSH’s meetings are public, anyone is welcomed to submit comments or requests. The entries have a 10-page limit and everything should be sent by June 11. There a several ways you can submit your comments and input:

  • Visit www.regulations.gov
  • Fax to OSHA Docket Office at 202-693-1648
  • Mail to OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2012-0019, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20210

To view additional information on the meeting, visit http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=22967.

Continue Reading This Valuable Post →