Let’s Hear it for Keeping Workers’ Hearing Safe

Your office might be quiet, but more than 22 million workers are exposed to noise levels every year that can damage their hearing or cause permanent hearing loss. They might be construction workers, machinists, or on the factory line. They might also be musicians or pilots, or from any number of professions.

Damage occurs when loud noise damages the sensitive nerve endings in the ear. Repeated exposure deadens more nerves, causing greater loss. These nerves do not regenerate so hearing loss is permanent and cannot be corrected by surgery or medicine. Shorter term exposure can cause tinnitus, or a ringing in the ears. Tinnitus might be temporary or may become a permanent, debilitating condition. Continue reading “Let’s Hear it for Keeping Workers’ Hearing Safe”

How automation improved the world’s biggest chemicals producer

Well, at this particular BASF site, they run chemical batch processes where they put a bunch of chemicals together, they cook it and then they do purity measurements on the particular product.

If the product isn’t pure enough or the chemical bindings aren’t strong enough, they cook longer and add additional additives until they are. That’s not an uncommon process in the chemical world.

They ran for five days in a row and would shut down over the weekend, when they would do their clean-up. So that’s 24 hours a day, five days a week, 120 hours of uptime in total.

They had a 40 hour cook cycle and could get three cooks in in that time period. Then things started to get out of hand and a cook cycle would take 45 hours. If the second cook also took 45 hours then you didn’t have enough time before they shut down to get the third one in. Continue reading “How automation improved the world’s biggest chemicals producer”

High Five: Protecting Our Most Important Tool

As many as 1 million hand injuries occur in workplaces each year, ranging from cuts and lacerations to amputations and fractures. A hand safety policy, along with the use of appropriate hand protection and safety knives, can reduce or eliminate most of those injuries from your workplace.

“It’s hard to peel a banana without your thumb. It’s hard to button your shirt without the use of your thumb.”

What seems obvious isn’t always obvious to employees, says John Bell, EHS operations leader for FMC’s Health & Nutrition Business. The employees in his division make up about 20 percent of the 6,000 FMC employees around the world. FMC manufactures a wide variety of products, ranging from herbicides and fungicides to health and nutrition products to the lithium used in the manufacture of ceramics and rubber, pharmaceuticals and batteries. Continue reading “High Five: Protecting Our Most Important Tool”

How To Put On A Fall Protection Harness The Right Way

In the construction industry, working at heights is a standard part of the job. But with increased height also comes an increased risk of falling.

Consequently, falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, taking the lives of more than 359 construction workers in 2014. Personal fall arrest systems – body harnesses, lanyards, and connectors – are one method of protecting workers from injury and death by falls.

Fall arrest systems aren’t foolproof, however. Faulty or misused fall harnesses can be just as dangerous as no fall protection at all. But knowing what to look for when inspecting a fall arrest system, and how to properly strap on a harness, can save your life. Here are steps for inspecting and putting on fall arrest harnesses so that you stay safe while working at heights. Continue reading “How To Put On A Fall Protection Harness The Right Way”

Keeping Yourself Safe and Healthy: Choose, then Use PPE

Many of us still remember the confusion and uncertainty when trying to comply with the personal protective equipment (PPE) section of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard when it first came out in 1991. Fifteen years later, there are many more types of protective gear to choose from; but the basic premise of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the same today as it was then – whatever you choose to wear must protect you from the hazardous materials found in the workplace (see Table 1). For dental hygienists, that usually means taking steps to avoid the spray, splash and spatter of potentially infectious material encountered in direct patient care and reprocessing instruments. Continue reading “Keeping Yourself Safe and Healthy: Choose, then Use PPE”

Differences Between Earmuffs vs Earplugs

“People should wear a hearing protector if the noise or sound level at the workplace exceeds 85 decibels (A-weighted) or dB(A). Hearing protectors reduce the noise exposure level and the risk of hearing loss.”

Long term effects of high sound levels and hearing protection is one of the most high profile safety issues in all industries. Studies shows that properly fit roll-down foam earplugs offer more protection from noise than the typical earmuff. In terms of blocking noise, bigger is not necissarily better. Continue reading “Differences Between Earmuffs vs Earplugs”

Safety Is A Core Value In The Oil And Gas Industry

While rugged conditions and hands-on labour are a big part of many oil and gas industry jobs, those challenges come with a major commitment to a safe work environment.

“Everything we do is dedicated to the continuous improvement of safety,” says Cameron McGillivray, President and CEO of Enform Canada – The Safety Association for Canada’s Upstream Oil and Gas Industry. Continue reading “Safety Is A Core Value In The Oil And Gas Industry”

My Equipment, My Life: Personal Protective Equipment

Farming is a way of life for many Canadian families. It is vital that a safety program is in place to protect you, your family, and your employees from injury or fatality.

Each year, there are over 100 fatalities and at least 1,500 are hospitalized, from farm-related incidents in Canada , reports the Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance Program. In 2006 alone, a total of 13,801 Canadian farms reported one or more medically treated or lost time injuries, reports Statistics Canada. The most frequent cause of farm-related injuries includes the unsafe use of equipment or material-handling practices. Continue reading “My Equipment, My Life: Personal Protective Equipment”

Building a safety net: Protecting the workplace with effective project management

Construction sites are considered high-risk environments. Pay a visit to one and you will immediately see why — with large teams of people simultaneously working on various aspects of the project, all kinds of tools and heavy machinery involved and in motion, and the different areas of the site itself in varying degrees of completion, there are many potential mishaps or accidents that could take place.

Each workplace must be proactive in ensuring the health and safety of each worker onboard the building project. As busy and complex as the operations may be, there will always be an ideal way to implement safety protocols for all relevant and potentially dangerous situations within the site — and that’s through effective and strategic property management. Continue reading “Building a safety net: Protecting the workplace with effective project management”

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Hazardous waste is defined as any type of waste that poses either a substantial or potential threat to public health and/or the environment. This type of waste is created in many facilities and it needs to be handled correctly. In most places, there are many laws and regulations focused on hazardous waste disposal, which is critical for companies to get right.

The environmental protection agency, or EPA, offers most of the regulatory oversight when it comes to hazardous waste, its storage, transportation, and disposal. Any facility that produces a significant amount of hazardous waste will have to work closely with an EPA representative to ensure everything is in compliance with the applicable laws. Continue reading “Hazardous Waste Disposal”