Facility safety

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‘More education, more awareness’

Keeping your facility safe for workers may feel like an overwhelming task.

“Customers often don’t know where to begin,” says Carolyn Itle, product manager at New Pig.

Possibly adding to the confusion are safety issues no one sees coming. COVID-19, to name one.

“There are definitely more safety precautions implemented … after the pandemic hit,” said Jennycel Sarines-Boyle, product specialist at Brimar Industries Inc. “Wearing masks is required, gatherings of multiple people are avoided and, if necessary, limited to a short period of time.

“Aside from encouraging social distancing, additional barriers (i.e., plexiglass sheets, plastic curtain strips) have been placed for additional protection between employees. Temperatures are checked daily, signs about standard precautions have been posted, and employees are provided with hand hygiene and sanitation products to use at their own working space. This is aside from the regular cleaning that was in place even before the pandemic.”

Itle added: “Knowledge is key, and it starts with understanding the issues or hazards that exist at your facility, then selecting the proper products for mitigation.”

So, what can employers do to keep their facilities safe for workers?

“I believe more education, more awareness would lead to better adherence to the recommended safety precautions,” Sarines-Boyle said.

The use of highly absorbent mats to replace rental or laundered rugs is one of Itle’s suggestions. Non-slip epoxy stair treads to help prevent slips and falls is another.

“Since floors and walking surfaces tend to be high slip and fall areas, start there, then work your way up,” Itle said. “Be on the lookout for water accumulation, tracking, or intrusion and other slippery liquids that could cause slips and falls. Another focal area should be walking surfaces where cracks, crevices, and uneven spots can lead to trips and falls. These surfaces can be patched or covered to correct imperfections. In some cases, even additional signage can be employed to call out surface-change hazards.”

By following these safety precautions, Sarines-Boyle said, workers “not only protect themselves, but the people around them as well.”

Compiled with the assistance of the International Safety Equipment Association

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