Friday, October 31, 2014

Creating an Effective Safety Meeting Agenda

Creating a comprehensive safety meeting agenda for your business is essential to protecting employees and maintaining a comfortable working environment for all. Organizing safety meetings on a consistent basis can be a much easier task with a safety meeting agenda to follow. If you would like to ensure your safety meetings are a success, be sure to touch up on these 4 important topics.

1. Overview of Past and Present Safety Concerns

It is often a good idea to start off any safety meeting with previous safety concerns and how they have been addressed since the last meeting. This is a good opportunity to talk about various areas that could use improvement or reiterate the importance of following obligatory safety protocols in the workplace. Likewise, if you have noticed an individual in your business has taken safety precautions to heart, take the time to recognize him or her for the commitment. A little safety can go quite a  long way at any business.

2. Evaluate Results of Recent Safety Inspections

If your place of work has recently undergone a safety inspection, sharing the outcome with employees and other members of management is a good way to shed more light on safety issues. If the safety inspector saw few problems to address, be sure to let those under your employment know they are doing a great job. In the case that a safety inspection falls a little short, it is essential to explain what the problem is and how it should be resolved in the future. While members of management will ensure employees are staying on task and remaining safe, managers cannot be everywhere at once. For this reason it is crucial that every member of your team is on board with always raising the bar when it comes to workplace safety.

3. Facilitate Safety Education and Training

Every workplace should encourage safety training for both employees and members of upper management. It may even be a good idea to hire an outside safety consultant to give classes on workplace safety practices and how to avoid accidents or injuries. Also, by providing everyone in your business with the opportunity to learn about safety in the workplaces, worker's compensation claims will likely plummet due to increased safety awareness. When a business neglects to provide this vital training to employees or managers it is entirely possible for an individual to hold the business liable in the case that an accident occurs. By offering your workforce access to safety education courses, a myriad of potential problems can be alleviated altogether. Proper safety training is potentially one of the most important components of a successful safety meeting agenda.

4. Engage in Open Discussion

Finally, put some time aside to have an open discussion among the staff regarding safety in the workplace. Giving employees and members of management a chance to voice their safety concerns or congratulate others for their hard work will encourage more intercommunication among staff members, translating to less misunderstandings or workplace injuries. Be sure to also give everyone a chance to speak before calling the meeting to a close.

Once the safety meeting has been successfully completed, determine a time and place for the next meeting that best accommodates your business itinerary as well as the schedules of employees. Over time you may begin to notice a drastic reduction in injuries or accidents and a much more productive atmosphere at work. With an organized safety meeting agenda you can enjoy a much more comfortable work environment and those who are under your employment will certainly appreciate your dedication to their well being.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Your Warehouse Needs a Loading Dock Safety Checklist

A warehouse loading dock can be as busy as a beehive as it's the hub of traffic with products going in and out. With loading and unloading of large trucks, forklift trucks running, and many other operations taking place it can often be hazardous for people working here. That is why there are special OSHA rules that govern the safety of warehouse loading docks and it pays to have a warehouse loading dock safety checklist that you can refer to and take necessary action.

OSHA Safety Rules for Warehouse Loading Docks

Most OSHA regulations for warehouse loading docks are related to operation as well as design of forklifts and maintenance of gates and doors.

Forklift operators have to be duly trained to operate forklifts and these machines also should be properly maintained for safe operation. Furthermore, warehouse loading docks also are prone to slips, falls and trips. That is why the walking and working surfaces should be slip-resistance.

Ill-maintained gates and doors are known to cause several injuries, some fatal, at warehouse loading docks. Hence, warehouse managers and supervisors should ensure these are duly serviced and maintained to minimize chances of accidents and injuries.

Making Warehouse Loading Dock Safe

Maintaining warehouse loading dock safety can often be challenging and an ongoing endeavor. Hence, having a checklist at hand will make it easy for warehouse supervisors and managers to ensure complete safety.

Here is one warehouse loading dock safety checklist that you can look at and expand.

Train all personnel at the loading dock about safety and ensure those rules are enforced.
Industrial truck drivers and forklift operators are trained to give right of way to pedestrians.
Color-coded paint to mark different areas of the warehouse loading dock, such as doorways, walkway barriers, overhead obstacles and parking aisles.
Install padding or guards around sharp corners to protect people walking through the facility.
Inspect palletized materials regularly to weed out defective pallets and place products into safe pallets.
Secure pallets with plastic or metal banding during storage and transportation
Every stationary vehicle is retrained with wheel chocks
Clean out the loading dock regularly to prevent a pile up of debris and dirt
Ensure emergency exits are not blocked and doors are functioning properly.
Make sure roll up doors at the loading dock are properly maintained. If there is a problem, it should be rectified immediately by a trained and qualified specialist to prevent accidents.
Are warehouse ergonomics in place? Adjust height of conveyor belts to minimize lower back pain. Heavy products should be placed at knee or chest level only. Have a limit to the amount of weight each worker can carry and encourage assisted lifting in the facility.
Paint the edge of the loading dock area with reflective white to ensure workers have a clear view of the dock.
Wrap all loose products meant for storage or transportation in shrink-wrap to prevent them from falling on personnel.
Powered doors at the loading dock should be periodically checked and maintained as per manufacturer’s instructions.
Mark overhead hazards, such as electric wires, doors and pipes, so that they can clearly be identified.

Use this warehouse loading dock safety checklist to keep your facility safe for your worker. You can add to it if necessary.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Keep Your Staff and Customers Safe with Fire Doors

For many business owners, safety for both staff and customers is a top priority. By having the right type of fire doors in your place of business, you can be confident that you are doing your part to protect everyone in the event of a fire.

How They Work 

Fire doors are specifically designed to be resistant to high heat and are not very flammable. They can hold up in extreme situations and provide a protective barrier while the people inside evacuate. Some doors prevent smoke from reaching through, and this gives people even more time to escape. The doors are designed to last for a specific amount of time, making it possible for you to create a feasible evacuation time.

Fire doors are layered with certain fire-resistant materials, and vary in construction depending on the needs and requirements of their application. Possible materials include the following:


The door includes strips known as intumescent strips that expand in heat and seals the gap between the edge of the door and the frame. Many doors are equipped with an electromagnet that keeps he door closed if the fire alarm is triggered. Others are designed to be kept closed at all times. 

Benefits of Fire Doors

Aside from the obvious benefit of providing a safe escape for your employees and customers, a fire door also protects the content of your business. It does this by reducing the spread of the fire. In addition, it makes it easier for fire fighters to extinguish the fire. This further reduces the damage to your business and the building's contents. 

The piece of mind that comes with efficient fire doors is invaluable. You and your employees will feel much safer knowing that there is a good plan, and morale is boosted in their knowledge that their safety is your concern. Depending on your insurance, you may also experience a savings if the proper doors are installed.

Types of Fire Doors

As mentioned above, you may have a fire door that you can open and close on a daily basis or one that is designed to remain shut. You can also have a fire roller screen, which can cover a door but is not designed for daily use.  For larger openings, a roller shutter can protect your business inside or outside.

Different models have different options; you can customize the color, have special detectors installed, and have various controls available. The doors can be designed to resist flames from anywhere between 20 minutes to four hours. No matter what type of business you own or what type of escape plan you have, you can find the right fire door to keep your business and your patrons safe and out of harms way.