manufacturing

Annual Safety Audits: 4 Reasons Why You Need Them

 Return

ANNUAL SAFETY AUDITS: 4 REASONS WHY YOU NEED THEM

It is always heart-wrenching when you hear about devastating accidents and fatalities in the workplace.  OSHA reports that on average 13 worker deaths occur each day, and out of all the reported workers, 3% will experience an injury or accident each day.  Thankfully these statistics have decreased since the 1970s, however many of the deaths and injuries that continue to happen today are preventable.

As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide a safe work environment for your employees.  This responsibility not only affects employees, but also their families.  That is why it is imperative to conduct annual safety audits at each facility in addition to meeting OSHA requirements.

Here are Four Reasons Why You Should Conduct Annual Safety Audits:

  1. To Ensure Compliance. Make sure you are in safety and environmental compliance with OSHA and the EPA, as well as state agencies.  Regulations are constantly changing and it is easy to miss urgent updates, even with all the email reminders and newsletters.  Conducting a safety audit with a third-party will help ensure that your facility is up to date with OSHA and EPA regulations.
  2. To Identify Potential Hazards. Facility managers and EHS managers may catch glaringly obvious hazards like damaged guardrails or puddles of water, but it is easy to miss less obvious hazards like noise or chemical over-exposure.   This can be common due to the fact the facility and EHS managers are on-site all day, every day and become acclimated to their surroundings.   Therefore, it is good practice to have someone other than the facility or EHS manager who is well versed in safety to audit the facility and to provide a fresh view of the work environment.
  3. To Evaluate the Effectiveness of Company Safety Training.  A thorough safety audit includes taking a look at the company safety training and policies.
    1. Are all supervisors’ and employees’ up to date with their annual refresher training?
    2. Has each employee completed a new hire orientation specific to their job duties?
    3. Are all employee training courses documented with a sign-in sheet, test materials, and a corresponding safety plan?

If you can not fully answer ‘yes’ to all these questions, it’s time to re-evaluate your safety training program.  Also, you will be able to identify where additional training may be needed.

4. To Assess the Condition of Equipment and Processes. OSHA regulations require inspections of equipment modifications and additions that could affect the safe operation of the equipment.  However, it is recommended that annual, or even semi-annual, inspections are performed on all equipment and processes.  Preventative maintenance is key to keeping equipment expenses within budget.  Additionally, equipment inspections allow supervisors and managers to assess the the safety and effectiveness of all work processes.

Have Questions or Concerns About Your Facility?  Call an SRP Safety Consultant Today!

SRP Safety Consultants work with companies across the United States in oil and gas, manufacturing, construction, agricultural, and healthcare.   SRP has eight convenient locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Long Beach, Midland, Shreveport and Pittsburgh.  Located elsewhere? Let SRP Come To You.   Call SRP Safety Consultants today at (866) 222-4972 to schedule a safety audit.

OSHA Addresses Amputation Hazards In The Manufacturing Industry

 Return

OSHA Addresses Amputation Hazards In The Manufacturing Industry

According to OSHA, there were a reported 2,600+ amputations across the country in 2015.  In fact, approximately 57% of reported amputation cases involved manufacturing workers.

Planned OSHA inspections will be conducted in manufacturing sites throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas as a result of increased amputation cases.  Enforcement of safety regulations should be managers and supervisors top priority

Expect on-site inspections to include focus on machinery that present amputation hazards to exposed workers.  Inspectors will review operational procedures, employee working conditions, record keeping, as well as the company health and safety manual.  Make sure these items are updated and in place before an inspector visits.  Ensure compliance with proper implementation of health and safety programs.

Types of Amputation Hazards in Manufacturing

There are several different mechanical components that expose workers to amputation hazards.

  • Point of operation—the area of a machine where it performs work on material.
  • Power-transmission apparatuses— flywheels, pulleys, belts, chains, couplings, spindles, cams, and gears in addition to connecting rods and other machine components that transmit energy.
  • Other moving parts—machine components that move during machine operation such as reciprocating, rotating, and transverse moving parts as well as auxiliary machine parts.

Employers and employees should be able to identify, manage, and control amputation hazards commonly found in the workplace.   Hazards are commonly associated with mechanical components of machinery, the mechanical motion that occurs in or near these components, and the activities that workers perform during mechanical operation.

Methods of Safeguarding Machinery

Safe work practices, adequate employee training, and proper administrative controls can help prevent and control hazards. Machine safeguarding is crucial for all types of machinery.  There are two ways to safeguard machinery: utilizing guards and installing devices.

Guards provide physical barriers that prevent access to hazardous areas. They should be secure and strong, and workers should not be able to bypass, remove, or tamper with them. Guards should not obstruct the operator’s view or prevent employees from working.

Devices can help prevent contact with points of operation and may replace or supplement guards. Devices interrupt the normal cycle of the machine when the operator’s hands are at the point of operation, prevent the operator from reaching into the point of operation, or withdraw the operator’s hands if they approach the point of operation when the machine cycles. They must allow safe lubrication and maintenance and not create hazards or interfere with normal machine operation.

Additionally, it is always a good practice to ensure worker compliance with lockout tagout procedures.

Not Sure If Your Facility Is Safe?  Contact an SRP Safety Consultant Today to Schedule a Safety Audit.  Call 866.222.4972 Now!

Established in 1996, SRP Environmental has become turnkey consulting firm offering environmental, health and safety solutions to organizations in construction, manufacturing, agricultural, oil and gas, healthcare and property management industries.  SRP has seven convenient locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Midland, Shreveport and Pittsburgh to better serve their clients.