The personal safety and health of each employee is of primary importance for business owners. A comprehensive safety and health program should be maintained with the objective of reducing the number of accidents and injuries to an absolute minimum. To be successful, such a program must embody the proper attitude toward accident prevention in both the supervisors and employees. It also requires cooperation in all safety and health matters—not only between supervisor and employee, but between each employee and his or her fellow worker. It’s only through cooperation that such programs can work effectively. Below is a list of some major safety programs.
• Machine Guards. A Machine Guard Program is designed to protect employees from hazards of moving machinery. All hazardous areas of a machine should be guarded to prevent accidental “caught in” situations. All employees should be provided training in the hazards of machines and the importance of proper machine guards. Machine safety and guarding rules should be thoroughly explained as part of the new hire orientation program and annually as refresher safety training.
• Lockout Tagout. Control of hazardous energy is the purpose of the Lockout-Tagout Program. This program establishes the requirements for isolation of kinetic and potential electrical, chemical, thermal, hydraulic, pneumatic, and gravitational energy prior to equipment repair, adjustment, or removal. A tagout schedule should be developed for each piece of equipment and machinery. This schedule describes the energy sources, location of disconnects, type of disconnect, special hazards, and special safety procedures. The schedule should be reviewed each time to ensure employees properly lock and tag out equipment and machinery. If a tagout schedule doesn’t exist for a piece of equipment, machinery, or process, one must be developed prior to conducting a Lockout-Tagout. As repairs and/or renovations of existing electrical systems are made, standardized controls should be used.
• Hazard Communication Program. This provides detailed safety guidelines and instructions for receipt, use, and storage of chemicals at your facility by employees and contractors. Some chemicals are explosive, corrosive, flammable, or toxic. Other chemicals are relatively safe to use and store but may become dangerous when they interact with other substances. To avoid injury and/or property damage, persons who handle chemicals in any area of your company must understand the hazardous properties of the chemicals. Before using a specific chemical, safe handling methods and health hazards must always be reviewed. Supervisors should be responsible for ensuring the equipment needed to work safely with chemicals is accessible and maintained for all employees on all shifts.
Many insurance companies offer loss control services for their customers. Contact your local insurance professional for assistance in determining the best method to go about this review, which may help lower your business insurance. IBI