General: Maintaining a neat and orderly work environment not only creates a pleasant atmosphere, but can also keep hazards from developing. For the next few minutes I want you to put on your thinking hat to see why good housekeeping is a critical part of your job.
1. True or False? OSHA has regulations related to housekeeping.
The answer is true.
- Housekeeping is addressed in OSHA’s Walking-Working Surfaces Standards.
- OSHA says that all places of employment, passageways, store rooms and service rooms must be kept clean, orderly and in a sanitary condition.
- The floor of every workroom must be maintained in a clean and dry condition.
- Where wet processes are used, drainage must be maintained, and false floors, platforms, mats and other dry standing surfaces should be provided.
- Every floor, working place and passageway must be kept free from protruding nails, splinters, holes, or loose boards.
- Where mechanical handling equipment is used, sufficient clearances must be allowed for aisles, at loading docks and through doorways.
- Aisles and passageways must be kept clear and in good repair.
- Permanent aisles and passageways must be appropriately marked.
- Covers and/or guardrails must be provided to protect workers from open pits, tanks, vats, ditches, etc.
2. Here are some tips to follow regarding waste disposal.
- Put waste in the appropriate place.
- Don’t overfill trash cans.
- Be cautious when disposing of hazardous materials.
- Don’t mix dangerous waste in the same bin.
- Empty full trash bins regularly.
3. True or False? Housekeeping is really the job of the janitorial staff.
The answer is false.
- While the janitorial staff is responsible for keeping the workplace clean, housekeeping is really everyone’s responsibility.
- If you see a spill, don’t just expect someone else to clean it up – clean it up yourself, or put out warning signs and alert the appropriate person in the case of a hazardous materials spill.
- If you see trash on the floor, don’t just shake your head and walk by, pick it up and throw it away.
- Keep your work area neat and tidy by cleaning up every day.
- Remind your co-workers that they are responsible for good housekeeping, too.
4. Using a checklist can help you keep your work area neat and orderly. Can you think of other items that should be added to the below checklist?
- Clean up spills immediately.
- Maintain tools in good working order.
- Keeps tools, equipment and other materials in their proper place when not in use.
- Use extension cords only when necessary and only on a temporary basis.
- Do not run cords across walkways
- Inspect cords and tools for damage prior to use.
- Keep sharp-edges tools sheathed when not in use.
- Do not allow trash to accumulate.
- Make sure chemical containers are labeled properly.
- Check chemical containers for leaks.
- Store chemicals appropriately and safely.
- Keep food and drinks out of the work area.
- Report any potential housekeeping hazards.
Summary: It is critical that we all take responsibility for good housekeeping. Remember, your safety and the safety of our co-workers is in your hands. Let’s all work together as a team to keeping our work area the safest possible.
General: Ergonomic injuries generally fall under the umbrella of musculosketal disorders of MSDs. MSDs include a group of conditions that involve the nerves, tendons, muscles and supporting structures, such as intervertebral discs. They represent a wide range of disorders that can differ in severity, from relatively mild to depilating. Some MSDs you might be familiar which include carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff syndrome and tendinitis. Even back pain could be considered an MSD.
Below are some risk factors that can contribute to work-related MSDs.
4. Heavy lifting
5. Repetitive motions
6. The use of continuous force
7. The use of vibrating equipment
8. Working in awkward positions
9. Continuous contact with hard or sharp objects
What are some specific things we can do to prevent ergonomic injuries on the job?
1. When standing or sitting, maintain good posture to avoid back pain.
2. When sitting, place our back against the chair and your feet flat on the floor.
3. Use any ergonomic equipment available to you, such as wrist rests when working on a keyboard.
4. When using a computer, adjust the monitor so that it is at eye level and glare is minimized.
5. Keep comfort, efficiency and safety in mind when choosing hand tools.
6. Wear comfortable shoes with cushioned soles or inserts to relieve tension from standing for long periods of time on a hard floor.
7. Periodically stretch and relax your muscles – especially if your job involves repetitive motions.
8. Increase endurance and muscle tone by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. Remember to consult with a physician prior to starting a new exercise regiment.
9. Report ergonomic concerns to your manager or supervisor.
Conclusion: Many times, a simple change in how we perform our work can help to prevent an ergonomic injury, or MSD. Take your own job for example. Are there things you could do differently to not only complete your work more efficiently, but also reduce the stress your body experiences as your perform different tasks. If you have any questions about MSD contact your supervisor or a member of the Safety Management Team.
General: Workplace violence is a safety issue that tends to get overlooked because people mistakenly believe that it does not relate to their jobs or their work environment. This kind of thinking is not only dangerous -- it can be deadly. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide, one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. Workplace violence can strike anywhere, anytime, and no one is immune. About 2 million employees report being victimized by workplace violence each year and this does not factor in the many cases that go unreported.
Below is a partial listing of specific actions that would qualify as violent behavior:
1. Making threats
2. Verbal abuse
6. Physical assaults
What can you do to help prevent workplace violence incidents from occurring:
1. Report any perceived workplace violence incident to your supervisor immediately and if necessary call 911.
2. Alert your supervisor if you have any concerns relating to your safety or security.
3. Report any suspicious behavior your observe.
4. Report the presence of strangers on site, including in the parking lot, who are not accompanied by an employee.
5. Whenever possible, avoid traveling alone into unfamiliar locations or situations.
6. If you are traveling or out in the field, keep a contact person informed of your location throughout the day.
Conclusion: We have a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence which covers all employees, clients, visitors, contractors and anyone else who may come in contact with company personnel. So stay ahead of the game and be on the alert for signs of a behavior that may lead to a workplace violence event. Remember report any incident of this nature to your supervisor immediately!
General: Anytime someone slips, trips, and or falls in the workforce can lead to a serious injury. In 2011, nearly 135,000 nonfatal fall-on-same-level incidents occurred in private industry. There were also 111 industry fatalities according to the 2014 edition of the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts. Injuries from STF often occur from wet floors, loose rugs, clutter in the walkways, poor lighting, open drawers, and uneven surfaces. Below are some things to consider helping eliminate STF incidents:
1. Clean up spills as soon as they occur.
2. Mark spills with a warning sign.
3. Mop or sweep up debris from floors.
4. Remove obstacles from walkways.
5. Secure mats and carpets with tape to ensure they remain flat.
6. Close cabinets or drawers when not in use.
7. Keep workplaces and walkways well lighted.
8. Replace burned-out light bulbs and faulty switches.
Flooring: Walking surfaces can be made safer by replacing unsafe floors, installing mats or adding abrasive strips.
Proper Footwear: Choose your footwear carefully depending upon the areas in which you work and the type of work that you perform. The right footwear is a key to reducing the number of STF incidents.
Tips to reduce the risk of STF incidents:
1. Pay attention when walking and do not rush.
2. Make wide turns at corners.
3. Keep flooring in good condition.
4. Have a flashlight handy in case you enter a room with little or not lighting.
5. Be extra cautious around stairways.
6. Do not carry packages which obstruct your vision. Make two or more trips if necessary.
Conclusion: Watch your step to help not becoming a STF statistic in 2014.
General: OSHA defines a near miss as an incident where there is no property damage and no personal injury noted. However, with a slight shift in time or position, damage or an injury could have been sustained. Near misses can be an indicator of a problem that needs to be addressed.
Below are some common causes of near misses:
1. Being distracted/not paying attention
2. Taking shortcuts.
3. Not following proper procedure.
4. Not wearing personal protective equipment.
5. Playing around or joking in the workplace.
Think about some reasons why employees do not report a near miss!
1. They may be embarrassed.
2. They do not realize the importance of reporting a near miss.
3. Do not want to get themselves or others in trouble.
4. Do not want to go through a near miss investigation.
5. Figure no one was hurt and nothing was damaged.
Near Miss Incidents need to be reported! Why?
1. The incident could be an indicator of an accident in the future.
2. Can assist management in re-educating workers about following rules and procedures.
What are some ways to prevent near misses?
1. Stay alert to your surroundings.
2. Be sure to perform the proper inspections at the start and end of your shift.
3. Practice good housekeeping.
4. Report any unsafe conditions or behaviors to your supervisor.
5. Follow all safety procedures.
Conclusion: Help create a safe working environment by reporting all near misses.