LG-Newsletter-May2016_FINAL

Safety Awareness Month 2016

Safety Awareness Month & Effective Risk Control Strategies

5 steps to prevention:

Each year, Lewis-Goetz and ERIKS Canada recognize June as Safety Awareness Month. This observance is intended to draw critical attention to workplace safety with the ultimate goal of achieving ZERO INJURIES. Even though June (historically one of our highest incident frequency months) receives this designation, it is vital to the health of our employees and the health of our business to exercise diligence in all we do every day. Whether in the office, on the shop floor, at a customer site, or on the road, hazards are present virtually everywhere and it’s up to the individual to recognize them and take action to prevent an incident. We all know that our company is heavily engaged in manufacturing, installation, maintenance and repair. What largely goes unrecognized, however, is the fact that according to the National Safety Council these industries consistently rank among the top five for workplace injury frequency. Because of this relationship, it is essential that we manage our risks in the most logical manner possible.

Essentially, this strategy is nothing more than a simple list of measures to consider (in order from top to bottom) to address an identified hazard. 1. Naturally the best way to prevent any injury is to remove the risk all together (step #1 – Elimination) . Why risk a serious strain while attempting to lift a large, heavy or bulky item when you can use a forklift, dolly or cart and eliminate the risk all together? Elimination is BY FAR the most effective means for controlling risks. Let’s face it –it’s impossible to be affected by a hazard if the hazard isn’t present. If you can’t eliminate the hazard, find a safer alternative (step #2 – Substitution) . Instead of using hazardous substances for cleaning parts, consider safer, non-toxic cleaners that are just as effective (they ARE out there). Evaluate all available options and select the safest one that will still allow you to perform the task effectively. 2. 3. If you can neither eliminate nor substitute the hazard, the next step to consider is a physical safeguard (step #3 – Engineering Controls) . Examples include machine guards around moving components, safety straight edges when cutting rubber sheets and ventilation equipment for chemical vapors, excessive heat, etc. The next level of risk control involves policies, procedures, training, schedules, etc. (step #4 – Administrative Controls) . These tools are only effective when they are followed and all requirements are met. And finally, if none of the above strategies can effectively control the risk, the VERY LAST protective measure to consider is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) . These items serve as barriers between the person and the hazard and are considered the “last line of defense” against an injury. Please note that these steps are not mutually exclusive. Combinations of any of these practices will only help to reduce the chance of injury. Wearing appropriate PPE while operating a sufficiently guarded machine on which you have been properly trained is a very effective means to minimize the risk of injury. 4. 5.

Safety Awareness Month & Effective Risk Control Strategies

So, how does one “manage risk”? Managing risk does not mean merely accepting the hazard and “being careful” while working – much more is required. First, you must define the hazard. What is the condition, tool or activity that can cause harm? This can only be done successfully by evaluating the task before beginning work. 1.

2. Next, you must

determine the most suitable means to protect yourself

from the hazard. What is it that you can do to

prevent an injury from occurring as a result of

this hazard? Consider the following widely- recognized risk control strategy.

2

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