Sole Education Week 5: Personal Safety On the Job

Sole Education - Personal Safety on the Job

Safety goggles, hardhats, and you guessed it – safety footwear are all examples of materials that may be used as PPE (personal protective equipment) in the trades.  As a mechanical engineering intern and student, Mikayla had her own experience with PPE, let’s learn about what safety measures and protocols are taken in the industry:

Personal Safety on the Job

While in my first engineering classes, we learned a few safety protocols for Brown Steel Toe Boots when we are working with machinery, harmful chemicals, or near dangerous equipment.

Personal Safety Standards Include:

  • Wearing long hair up in a bun to prevent it from getting caught in machinery or dipped in harmful chemicals,
  • Wearing closed-toe or steel-toed boots while on a machine shop floor,
  • Always wear safety glasses when on the shop floor
  • Wearing long work pants
  • Wearing a safety vest.

In my intro to machining class, I was the only female so I was the only one that needed to follow the safety protocol for putting my hair up and out of the way. The risk with having your hair down can be that it gets caught in spinning machinery, it can be dipped into contaminants, and it can get in the way of a part you are examining. At Volvo Trucks, we are required to wear safety glasses and steel-toed boots whenever we enter the machine shop or truck garage. This is because it is a liability if heavy machinery were to land on our toes, and if harmful chemicals or metal chips fly into our face. Safety is incredibly important for work productivity, without these protocols, people can get hurt and not be able to work.

 

Follow along with Mikayla’s progress here.
Learn more about the Generation T movement here.

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Why Wear Steel-Toed Boots?

Why You Should Wear Steel Toe Boots

So you’re looking into getting some steel-toed boots, or perhaps your employer is requiring you to invest in a pair. But what’s really the point of these boots? Let’s walk through a few reasons why wearing steel-toed boots is the right choice for you.

1. Prevent foot injuries

Obviously, you buy safety shoes for the whole safety features. Foot injuries are among the leading causes of workplace injuries, and safety shoes are designed to prevent those types of accidents from doing some serious damage.

The right pair of safety toe boots can protect you from falling objects, punctures, lacerations, sprains, and even falls. That’s a list that you that don’t want your feet to be a part of. With a pair of steel-toed boots, these injuries can be prevented. You’ll also be saving yourself a trip to the doctor’s office and a few weeks with your foot wrapped and elevated.

2. They alleviate pain and provide more comfort

While the common perception is that work boots are less comfortable than regular shoes, that’s not the case. If your boots are properly fitted, then the extra support and padding that these boots have will actually provide your feet with more comfort than a regular shoe with no added support. If you have the correct sized shoes with the right socks to go with them, then you’ll actually be making your feet happier than they are in regular shoes.

3. They look good

Steel-toed safety work boots must look as ugly as they sound, right? Wrong! With so many different brands making several different lines of boots, you’ll find boots in multiple colors and styles. Steel-toed boots are designed today to look fashionable as well as functional, so you won’t be sacrificing anything when you buy a pair. Feel free to get rid of the image of large, hulking black boots that make you look like the villain in a crime movie.

4. If it’s required…then it’s required

Like we hinted at above, sometimes your employer requires you to have a pair of steel-toed work boots. Sometimes, OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) standards require that all employees within your workplace wear safety shoes or boots while on the job. This is usually the case within industries where employees are exposed to potential hazards that could injure their feet.

If your employer is requiring you to have a pair of steel-toed boots to comply with OSHA standards, then you have to wear them while at work. Otherwise, your employer can send you home under OSHA compliance standards for failing to act in a safe manner. So don’t be the one who gets sent home for not having the right shoes on. That’s not a fun walk out the door.

5. Above everything else, you’ll feel safe

If you work in any kind of hazardous environment with the potential to injure your feet, having a sturdy and reliable pair of safety boots on can give you the peace of mind that you need to do your job well. You’re the most important part of the job, so your own safety should be the priority above anything else.

You may think that the possibility of hurting yourself is low, but fluke injuries are always just a misstep away, so it’s important to be prepared by protecting yourself and your feet. The easiest way to do that is to put them in a work boot that’s comfortable, fashionable and, above everything else, safe.

Ready to take a look at some of the steel-toed boots that we have to offer? Feel free to browse through them here: https://www.safgard.com/mens-shoes/heights/8+Inch+Work

The Most Common Workplace Injuries

Let’s face it. Serious injuries in the workplace are far too common. Each year, there’s a wide range of accidents and injuries that occur across all work sectors resulting in both nonfatal and fatal outcomes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since 2008, more than 5,000 fatalities have been recorded by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). Depending on the type of work you’re in, each job faces a wide range of hazards.

The workplace can be an extremely dangerous place. Not only is it the firm’s responsibility to guarantee a reliable working environment; each employee also has a responsibility to take caution when on the job. Of course, even the best-prepared employees can fall victim to workplace accidents, but to be forewarned is to be forearmed as the old saying goes. Here are the top five most common accidents and injuries in the workplace.

Slip and Fall Accidents– This refers to falls on wet and slippery floors or trips over something lying on the ground. Employees should keep their attention focused on what’s going on around them, and as for employers, safety guidelines should be posted to ensure that spills are promptly cleaned up and taken care of and that no leftover waste is present which can pose a dangerous threat.

Muscle Strains– Strained muscles are something that is extremely common, as anyone who regularly lifts heavy items at work probably already knows. In particular, back and neck strains are all too notoriously sustained while working. In order to avoid these type of injuries, basic training on proper lifting techniques should be practiced to prevent muscle strain.

Falling Objects– Falling or flying items in the workplace can put workers’ safety in jeopardy and can expose them to relatively minor injuries such as cuts or abrasions, as well as more serious injuries such as concussions or blindness. This issue can be easily prevented by wearing a pair of safety toe shoes while on the job. 

Repetitive Strain Injury– Repetitive strain injuries are a headache that has become more and more common in the workplace over the years. Caused by a variety of tasks such as forceful or repetitive activity and poor posture, repetitive strain injuries mostly affect parts of the upper body, such as the forearm, elbow, wrist, hands, shoulders, and neck. In some cases, repetitive strain injuries can become severe, so it is extremely important to take precaution.

Crashes and Collisions– Accidents that result in a crash or impact injury are utterly common, believe it or not. Whether they involve cars, lorries or even smaller vehicles such as forklift trucks, they can pose serious impacts. Therefore, it’s up to employers to certify that seatbelts and other safety precautions are both in place and in use where it’s appropriate.

Although there’s a never-ending list of ways that people can get injured while at work, there are several protocols that employers can put into place to limit workers from coming into direct harm. Through training,  signage, access to the mandatory safety equipment, and regular risk assessments, injuries in the workplace can be avoided altogether to keep workers both intact and on the job.

Looking for more tips to stay safe on the job or schedule a shoemobile? Visit us at www.safgard.com!

 

How to Start a Shoe Program

 

For some employees, getting to a store to get safety toe shoes isn’t an easy task. Between getting to the shoe store, confirming that the shoes meet their needs,  finding a style that is comfortable, and that they will like can be a bit of a challenge.

Shoe programs can be a great solution. In fact, our goal is to help YOU reduce workplace injuries by offering the best safety shoes in the styles and brands that you know your employees actually want to wear.

With the shoe program, we give you everything you need to figure out just exactly what types of results you should be looking for.

So, are you ready to take the plunge and start your own slip-resistant shoe program? Just follow these simple steps below:

Identify Key Issues

The first thing that we recommend you do is corral all of the corporate managers, department heads, and safety directors together and have them work together to determine what problems and issues the company has had with slips and falls. Bringing the leaders of the company together to understand the true extent of the issue is the first step in starting a footwear program.

Tally the Expenses

Next, you will need to factor in what the true cost of safety accidents are and figure out what these accidents have really been costing you. If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to collecting this information, we are more than happy to help you figure it out, and help you understand the true measure in which slips and falls have affected your bottom line over the years.

Set Parameters

Now that you have determined your company is indeed in need of a shoe program, it’s time to determine what parameters you want your soon-to-be program to have. We are more than happy to meet the needs of your company specifically in order to create a custom program for you.

Get Excited!

Get your company excited about your new shoe program! There needs to be a strong level of cohesion from the boardroom, all the way to the stock room. Without basic buy-in awareness from your company, the program will more than likely fall flat. So put up posters, send emails, and create some awareness!

Are You Measuring Up?

It’s time for the fun part. That’s right, its time to measure your results! This step is necessary to quantify your program’s success. This is how you prove to your superiors that your program is successful! We recommend measuring the progress of your program at intervals of 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 18 months, 2 years, and every year after that.

A successful shoe program isn’t something that just happens overnight. You need a strategic plan, and a little help from your dedicated Saf-GardTM team in order to really make this program a true success.

Ready to start your own shoe program? Click here.

12 Safety Tips for Any Industry

Warehouses, foundries, construction sites and factories can be some of the most dangerous places to work when it comes to accidents and injury: large and moving machinery such as forklifts, carrying heavy loads such as pallets and heavy equipment can be hazardous for you and your workers.

With the holidays approaching, we decided it was time to create our own little holiday. Check out our 12 Tips for Safety and get inspired to help make your own work environments safer and more productive:

Day 1. Know your safety protocols– Make sure emergency exits are clearly marked and you know the quickest route to safety from any location in the facility. In addition to knowing where your emergency exits are located, it is important to know where first-aid kits and supplies are kept. In an emergency, you don’t want to be faced with the task of locating the first aid kit.

Day 2. Perfect Posture – If you work at a desk, make sure that your shoulders are in line with your hips to avoid back problems. When picking things up, use correct form so your back doesn’t get hurt, and whatever you do, avoid stooping and twisting. If you have access to ergonomically designed furniture and safety equipment so that everything you need is comfortably within reach.

Day 3. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings – This tip requires that you first know what particular hazards your job or workplace can entail. Once you’ve learned about the risks, you will be able to steer clear of any potentially hazardous areas or situations.

 

Day 4. Take regular breaks – There are many work-related injuries and illnesses that occur because of fatigue. Taking regular breaks helps you stay fresh and alert on the job. One useful tip for staying alert is to schedule the most difficult tasks when your concentration is at it’s best, like first thing in the morning, or later in the afternoon depending on your own workflow.

Day 5. Report Unsafe Conditions to Your Supervisor – It’s your job to make sure that your work environment stays safe for you and your fellow employees. It’s your supervisor’s job to provide you with the resources and materials to make that happen. They need to be informed about any workplace safety hazards or risks. Your supervisor is legally obligated to ensure that employees have a safe working environment. Help keep them informed and keep your work environment safe!

Day 6. Keep Emergency Exits Easily Accessible – Quick, easy access to exits are necessary for any work environment. Keep the pathways to these exits clear and free of debris in order to ensure a quick and hasty escape, should you need one. It’s also recommended to keep clear access to equipment shutoffs in case you need to quickly stop them from functioning.

Day 7. Don’t Try to Impress – We can’t stress this enough, use mechanical aids whenever possible. If you are faced with lifting and moving heavy objects all day long, don’t try and show off in front of your coworkers by lifting heavy materials improperly, or by trying to lift something that you shouldn’t be lifting in the first place. Use the dollies, forklifts and hand trucks that you have available to make your job easier and prevent injuries. Also remember to wear protective clothing including hard hats, gloves, vests, masks, belts, eyewear and proper safety footwear.

Day 8. Reduce stress in the workplace – Stress can lead to depression and concentration problems. Common causes of workplace stress include long hours, heavy workload, job insecurity and conflicts with coworkers or managers. Take your concerns about workplace stress to your supervisor to see how they might help you address them.

Day 9. Dress for Safety and Success– Avoid wearing baggy or excessively loose-fitting clothing. As with any job, it is important to dress the part. That means wearing comfortable clothing that is not too baggy. This will help protect you from getting caught anything that might be on the side of your path or line of walking. Proper safety toe footwear is also important in your line of work.

Day 10. Use Tools and Machines Properly – Take the proper precautions when using tools, and never take shortcuts. Taking shortcuts is the leading cause of workplace injury. It’s a huge safety risk to use scaffolding as a ladder or one tool in place of another for a specific job. Using tools the right way greatly reduces the chance of workplace injury.

Day 11. Stay Sober–  This one seems like a no-brainer, yet around three percent of workplace fatalities occur due to alcohol and drugs. When a worker’s ability to exercise judgment, coordination, motor control, concentration or alertness is compromised, this leads to any number of risks for workplace injury and fatalities.

Day 12. Keep the Lines of Communication Open – It’s important to be aware of the government and company safety regulations that your company and industry need to abide by. However, it is just as important to create and foster clear lines of communication when it comes to the details surrounding the implementation of these rules and regulations within your company. This includes taking the time to properly train new hires, as well as communicate up to date information regarding safety protocols and plans of action.

Hopefully, the 12 Tips for Safety gave you some ideas and inspiration on how to improve your own company’s safety culture. For more tips, tricks, and other questions check us out at www.safgard.com