Is Your Facility OSHA Compliant?

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Facilities & Traffic Safety

When OSHA visits a facility, typically the first observation they will make is with regard to general housekeeping of your facility. That means they're paying attention to hazard communications, signage, and visual warning barriers. If your facility checks all the boxes when it comes to general housekeeping, that tells OSHA that, at least on the surface, you keep your facility relatively in-line with proper safety protocol. Unfortunately, most workplaces don't check all the boxes.

Are you taking the proper steps to ensure this isn't the case for your facility?

In addition to general compliance, it's also important to remain aware of the potential danger caused by inadequate visual barriers or signage within your facility. Nationally, on average, three work zone fatalities occur every day. The single biggest factor is due to inattentions to surroundings, which could be the result of poor traffic safety and the improper use of temporary traffic control devices. What can you do to mitigate the possibility of injury in your workplace? For starters, make sure you have proper visual barriers around your workplace to alert anyone on the floor-this goes for both indoor and outdoor work zones, as these visual cues create an easily recognizable and immediate warning. JBC cones and cone bars can be used to set up an inexpensive temporary barrier around hazardous or controlled areas. These cone bars are extremely versatile-workers should be able to set up a square barrier in less than a minute. In addition, Mr. Chain® chains also act as a visual warning barrier for industrial aisles, loading docks, and more. It is a cost-effective tool for creating an effective, high-visibility obstacle. When used with Mr. Chain® stanchions or chain connector clips, you can create an effective crowd control barrier and/or warning barrier for pedestrian safety. The stanchions and magnet ring/carabiner kit are for use indoors or outside.

What else do you need to secure your work zone?

From flashlights and lockout devices, to marking paint and dome mirrors, we have everything you need to maintain worker and facility safety.
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Did you know that studies have shown that signs that warn of dangers and hazards in the workplace can reduce accident rates as much as 80%? Be sure to regularly review your workplace for dangers and hazards that can be better identified through proper signage. If you work for a larger company, you may even want to consider an onsite walk-through in conjunction with a sign survey-many companies are surprised to discover that their facility signage, including exit signs and evacuation documentation, is pretty inadequate. Our Safety Services Team can help ensure hazard communication and signage is in compliance in your facility.

Customized Signs

We offer a variety of Direct Safety® signs that you can customize to reflect your facility's safety signage needs and goals.Customize your signs through the Conney Custom Configurator. Signs are available in materials such as self-stick polyester, self-stick vinyl, plastic, aluminum, and fiberglass. Choose the material that works best for your environment.

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Mechanic Vs. Impact Vs. Anti-Vibration

Did you know that although some of the gloves in mechanics, impact, and anti-vibration categories appear to be very similar, there are some distinct features and requirements that set them apart for specific applications?

Impact gloves can be designed to address impacts to both the back and the palm side of the hand. Impact gloves with knuckle guards and impact pads on the back of the fingers are made to address impact to the dorsal (back) part of the hand and knuckles. These gloves will often have some type of padding on the palm as well.
Impact gloves can also just have gel or foam padded palms and may be full fingered or fingerless. The fingerless style allows for greater dexterity while the full finger style provides greater protection for the hand and fingers. Applications include oil drilling, automotive, and heavy manufacturing environments.
In 2019, the voluntary standard ANSI/ISEA 138 was published. While not an OSHA-type requirement, this standard allows glove manufacturers to standardize what they are offering and end-users to begin comparing products on the level they are rated.

ANSI/ISEA 138 is designed to establish minimum performance, classification, and labeling requirements for hand protection products designed to protect the knuckles and fingers from impact forces while performing occupational tasks.

Anti-vibration gloves will normally have a special gel or foam padding in the palm and should be full fingered in order to provide proper protection from repetitive impacts and vibrations that can lead to HAVS (Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome). Applications include use of powered, pneumatic, and hydraulic hand tools (including jack hammers and hammer drills for concrete).

Finally, mechanics gloves offer a variety of options that sometimes include features similar to the above categories. General mechanics gloves made from leather/synthetic leather offer basic protection and good grip but other styles may also include features such as a padded palm or knuckle guards that we saw in the previous categories. Applications include automotive and utility work.
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Selecting High-Visibility PPE

A question you may face on a number of work environments-both indoor and outdoor-is, "How well can others see me?" Wearing the proper amount of hi-vis apparel AND choosing the right color can sometimes mean the difference between life and death

  1. Amount of hi-vis material: An ANSI 107 compliant Class 2 traffic safety vest or shirt has a very specific amount of background material (fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent orange-red, or fluorescent red). The garment must also have a specific amount (square inches) of retro-reflective striping (think of this as crushed glass glued into stripes). The stripes do not glow in the dark, but will reflect back to a light source, so you can clearly see these stripes jump out at you from a distance. If a customer pays more to get a Class 3 garment, it simply has more background material and reflective striping. For liability reasons, many safety professionals are starting to outfit their workers in Class 3 garments. If there is a death involving an employee, some lawyers might try to convince a jury that the company was too cheap to purchase the best, most highly reflective work wear and this resulted in the employee's death.

  2. Choosing the right color: As mentioned above, there are technically three official colors used for ANSI compliant clothing; however, let's keep it simple and say you select either lime or orange. Now, envision one of the many work zones you have walked or driven through. Chances are you've encountered countless orange cones, signs, and barrels. Suppose a worker needs to stand or work near a number of orange barrels, and he puts on an orange traffic safety vest. In reality, you would not be able to see him nearly as well as if he were wearing a lime vest. So, contrasting colors does make sense. Granted, it's also common to see many lime cones, signs, and barrels in a work zone, so you have to look at both options. Another concept might be to wear a vest that has both orange and lime (two-tone) on it!
One other thing we want to remind you of is that wearing hi-vis PPE is not exclusive to outdoor environments, such as roadways and construction sites. Many companies have now made it standard practice for hi-vis PPE to be worn at all times in their warehouse and indoor manufacturing environments. We encourage you to take this on as a common routine in your facility.
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OSHA Requires PPE Assessments

Did you know that OSHA requires PPE assessments? Under the General Industry standards (1910.132-138), OSHA requires employers to conduct and document hazard assessments for each job (some refer to this as a JSA or Job Safety Analysis). It is both a regulation and a very basic safety principle; you have to know what the hazards are if you are going to protect employees from them.

A hazard assessment is done by breaking a job into each task and then determining the hazard present as each task is performed. Example: opening a box with a box cutter. Do you have to position the box a certain way (based on the size or style)? Is the box heavy? Do you have to lift it from one level to another? When you are cutting it open, is your hand without the knife exposed to a cut hazard or is there a possibility that you will cut past the box and hit your leg or other body part? Is there a possibility that something could get into your eyes?

Since you have identified a cut hazard, is there a way to eliminate the hazard by how you open the box? If not, what PPE would protect the hand or the body parts? These are all things to consider when developing a hazard assessment.

It is much more complicated when your assessment reveals a respiratory hazard. You have to know how much contaminant is in the air to determine what level of protection is needed, but you still have to evaluate to know how to protect.

Once you have determined your hazards accurately, you can evaluate the level of protection needed for specific tasks. You can decide the cut level of the glove, bump cap or hard hat, steel toed shoes with or without metatarsal protection, safety glasses, goggles, or face shield, etc. It all starts with an accurate hazard assessment and knowing what the hazards are. Our Safety Services Team is here to assist with and implement such assessments. Contact us today for more information!

What does your first aid program look like?
Is it up to ANSI standards?

Are first aid resources being properly utilized? We're here to help solve all your first aid needs. Conney has partnered with First Aid Only® to bring you innovative SmartCompliance® solutions, which redefine and streamline business first aid.

With SmartCompliance®, you get a first aid solution designed to benefit both you and your workers through ease-of-use and breadth of selection. With a proprietary design to specifically meet workplace first aid needs, SmartCom-pliance® provides you with complete control over what to order and when-not by employee quota. SmartCompliance® is easy to monitor and maintain with its patented SmartTab® indicator that tells you when and what to reorder.

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The Smarter Way to Train

Conney Safety has partnered with J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc., to bring you best-in-class safety training on a broad range of topics. Enhance your safety program and stay on top of regulatory compliance with these excellent training options. Backed by regulatory experts and using the latest techniques and technology, these training solutions give your employees the proper instruction they need. Access training online 24/7. For self-paced learning, use Online Courses. For instructor-led training, use Video On-Demand. With either, you'll get up-to-date content developed by experienced training specialists.

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