6 OHSA Changes Those Will Impact Ontario Employers

Amendments called the Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act, 2017 (Bill 177), have been made to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and went into effect on December 14, 2017.

Amendments called the Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act, 2017 (Bill 177), have been made to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and went into effect on December 14, 2017. These amendments are the largest changes that have been implemented into OHSA in over 15 years. Some of the changes include tripling corporate OHSA penalties and quadrupling individual OHSA penalties.

Continue reading “6 OHSA Changes Those Will Impact Ontario Employers”

UPDATE: Working at Heights Deadline Extension

Update: The Ministry of Labour has extended the Working at Heights training compliance deadline to Oct. 1, 2017.

Continue reading “UPDATE: Working at Heights Deadline Extension”

March is Eye Injury Awareness Month

If your employees are exposed to hazardous chemicals, it is IMPERATIVE that you do everything you can to ensure that your emergency eye wash stations meet the required safety standards to protect workers. Chemical eye injuries are a painful and frightening experience that may leave a person BLINDED for life and should be AVOIDED at all costs.

Did you know that over 2,000 eye injuries occur on job sites daily and roughly 10% of them require missed days to recover? OR that of the total amount of work-related eye injuries, 10 to 20% will result in temporary or permanent vision loss in the affected employees? If your employees are exposed to hazardous chemicals, you must do everything you can to ensure that your emergency eyewash stations meet the required safety standards to protect your employees. Chemical eye injuries are a painful and frightening experience that may leave a person BLINDED for life and should be AVOIDED at all costs.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has two different types of regulations, general and specific, which apply to emergency eyewash station equipment which are designed to promote eye safety under certain work conditions. The first is a general requirement for eyewash stations. The second is determined based upon the industry in which your business operates. OSHA’s general regulation applies to all facilities that require the installation of eyewash station equipment as a form of first aid, it is contained in 29 CFR 1910.151. It states that:

 “…where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.”

This blog post will go over 10 tips to ensure that YOUR eye wash stations meet the REQUIRED safety standards:

  1. Don’t block access. AVOID storing anything in front of or below an eyewash unit that could block injured employees’ ability to stand comfortably or reach the station.
  2. Don’t hold the unit at an angle. If the unit is held on an angle it can INTERFERE with the correct flow of flushing fluid, which may result in an injured employee having to stand in an uncomfortable position to flush properly for up to 20 minutes.
  3. Keep the doors open. NEVER place an emergency eyewash station behind a closed or even worse locked door. Even though the station may not be used regularly when it is needed your employee’s vision is on the line and every second matter.
  4. Fill the unit properly. According to ANSI, the unit MUST be filled with flushing fluid or pre-packed fluid provided by the manufacturer. Avoid errors when mixing flushing fluid by always following manufacturers’ instructions.
  5. Watch the unit’s temperature. The flushing fluid must never become too hot or too cold. Flushing eyes with a hot or ice-cold solution can cause further damage to an already injured eye. According to ANSI fluid temperature must be ‘TEPID’. Tepid is defined at between 60°F (16°C) and 100°F (38°C). However, in circumstances where a chemical reaction is accelerated by flushing fluid temperature, a facility’s safety/health advisor should be consulted to determine the optimum water temperature for each application.
  6. Install the unit correctly. NEVER install an eyewash unit without carefully following the manufacturers’ instructions. Being that stations vary, each one will have specific installation instructions to ensure proper performance. For example, installation height, the rate of fluid flow, and required spray pattern to name a few.
  7. Don’t alter or tamper with the unit. Manufacturers’ instructions must be ALWAYS followed. Things such as re-routing hoses or changing nozzles will compromise the unit’s performance.
  8. Keep in mind the unit’s shelf life. ALWAYS avoid using expired flushing fluid. Like any standing water, eyewash fluid can grow bacteria that are harmful to the eyes. Ensure that you have a designated person to check the unit’s expiration dates and to refill/replace fluid as needed. According to ANSI Z358.1-2009, weekly flushing is required for plumbed stations, every three to six months for tank-style fluid stations and every two to three years for sealed-fluid cartridges and bottles.
  9. Clean thoroughly after use. Any lingering cleaning chemicals or cleaning particles could HARM the next user’s eyes. When the wrong chemicals come into contact, the fluid may turn brown or another colour and coloured fluid is NEVER usable. Never forget to clean, disinfect and completely dry the unit after each activation, this includes nozzles, hoses and nozzle covers.
  10. Do not cover the unit. Covering the unit with a makeshift cover like a plastic bag to keep dust or particles out can hinder an injured employees’ ability to properly activate the unit in a single motion. Preventing them to start the flow in one second or less which, is required by ANSI/OSHA.

By understanding how to use emergency eyewash stations properly, your facility can ENSURE greater workplace eye safety. Eyes are one of the most vulnerable parts of the body and the benefits of understanding these tips are endless.

To learn more about eyewash requirements specific to your industry check out the link below:

http://www.gesafety.com/downloads/ANSIGuide.pdf

 

Prevent Accidents with Overhead Crane Safety

Accidents, property damage and fatalities occur every year due to improper use of cranes and equipment failure. Identifying hazards and adhering to simple inspection can safety guidelines reduce the probability of these unfortunate occurrences.

Related to: How to Extend the Life of Your Overhead Crane, A General Overview of Overhead Cranes, The Importance of Load Testing Overhead Cranes and Hoists,  The Benefits of Modernizing Your Crane

Continue reading “Prevent Accidents with Overhead Crane Safety”

The Importance of Fall Protection Training and Systems

Fall protection is one of the primary systems which should be put in place for a worker who may lose his or her balance at height; when one of these systems is put in place you are able to control and reduce the risk of injury and potential fatality.

Related: Rooftop Guardrail, RackGuard Netting and How to Build a Safety Culture

Continue reading “The Importance of Fall Protection Training and Systems”

Why Being Pro-Active is the Best Way to Deal With MOL Blitzes

Ensure that you are prepared for a MOL Blitz or MOL Inspection with these tips. The Ontario Ministry of Labour has recently hired hundreds of new inspectors making it more important than ever to ensure that you are complying with the law.

Related: Rooftop Guardrail, Rack Netting and How to Create a Safety Culture

Continue reading “Why Being Pro-Active is the Best Way to Deal With MOL Blitzes”

Fall Prevention for Solar Panel Maintenance Workers

With solar panels becoming more and more common place on rooftops, it is time to consider the safety of the maintenance crews of these solar panels; are they being properly protected from falls?

Related: Fall Protection Netting, Rooftop Guardrail and  HatchGaurd Continue reading “Fall Prevention for Solar Panel Maintenance Workers”

The Value of a Preventative Maintenance Program

When it comes to your crane or other heavy-duty equipment you want to be sure that it will work for you when you need it to. Which is why a high quality preventative maintenance program should always be one of the number one things ensure you are a part of, not only will it help to reduce the amount of down time that your equipment may experience, but it will also help to ensure that your equipment is safe to use for your employees.

Related: PM Plus, Hoist & Crane Repair and Equipment Installation Continue reading “The Value of a Preventative Maintenance Program”

How Inspection and Maintenance Programs Can Extend the Life of Your Overhead Crane

The secret to having a safe and reliable crane is no secret at all, in fact it is quite well known. But in case you unaware I’ll share with you what that secret is… the way to extend the life of your crane is to have regularly scheduled and professional preventive maintenance and inspection programs, because the best type of maintenance is preventative maintenance.

Related: PM ProgramsInspections, Load Testing &  Hoist & Crane Repair

The secret to having a safe and reliable crane is no secret at all, in fact, it is quite well known. But in case you unaware I’ll share with you what that secret is… the way to extend the life of your crane is to have regularly scheduled and professional preventive maintenance and inspection programs because the best type of maintenance is preventative maintenance. Unfortunately, many companies are turning a blind eye now to the idea of regular inspection programs and preventive maintenance in favour of saving both time and money.

The chances of having a mechanical failure on your equipment without having any kind of warning signs or symptoms are just as likely as winning the lottery and then right after being struck by lightning (or in other words, it is extremely rare).

There are though several reasons as to why a mechanical failure in an overhead crane may occur these include:

  • The cranes are being inspected to OSHA/OHSA standard, but the frequency of these inspections are not enough to accommodate the duty cycle of the crane
  • The item which failed was not included as part of the inspection contract agreement, which means it was not checked during the inspections and maintenance

This brings up an extremely important question: why would a company invest so much time and money into such a critical piece of equipment, but later on allow for it to fail and cause big problems within their workplace?

Many cranes come with an O.E.M. owner’s manual, these manuals typically offer manufacturer recommendations regarding the frequency in which major components of the crane should be inspected and maintained. Unfortunately though because these are just recommendations many companies fail to design a standard inspection/preventative maintenance program around these guidelines.

Too often people believe that any type of inspection will work that by simply having an annual OSHA inspection they will be completing their inspection/maintenance mandates and will be ensuring the reliability of their equipment. While it is extremely important to meet OSHA requirements for inspections from a safety standpoint, often though these inspections only check to ensure the crane meets the minimum requirement of the regulated safety guidelines. A standard OSHA inspection rarely even comes close to meeting the O.E.M. preventative maintenance and inspection recommendations meant to help you maintain your equipment and extend its life.

Often times these inspections are awarded to a supplier on a fixed price basis, and it usually ends up going to the lowest bidder. So while these types of inspections may meet OHSA/OSHA’s minimum requirements, it is extremely unlikely that the customer will receive any type of professional service catered to the equipment’s specific needs.

Which is why one should keep the three stages of inspection in mind when they start to contemplate creating inspection and/or preventative maintenance plan, the three stages are:

  1. Initial Inspection: this is completed by a qualified person to ensure the crane is safe to use when it is first installed
  2. Periodic Inspections: these should be completed by a professional (this is also when any preventative maintenance would occur). These inspections occur at different intervals depending on your usage of the crane:
    1. Normal Service: Yearly
    2. Severe Service: Monthly to Quarterly
    3. Special Service: As often as recommended by a qualified inspector
  3. Frequent inspections: these should be completed daily or before each shift during normal service conditions and they should be, completed by a competent person.

Before awarding the contract for an inspection/maintenance plan, you should keep several things in mind:

  • Does the supplier have a good reputation within the industry?
  • Are they willing to make adjustments as they go along, and are they willing to accommodate your scheduling needs?
  • Will they perform all of the standard maintenance needed during each visit (things such as fluid changes, greasing the bearings, runway checks and other similar maintenance tasks)?
  • Will they ensure that the crane meets OSHA/OHSA’s safety requirements?

When you start to evaluate service providers, you should ask yourself what exactly your current supplier is doing for you now, and what they could be doing better. Chances are that your service provider could be doing more, but is instead doing what is required to meet the criteria stated in their contract. All too often these decisions are made based on a low price, without considering the full value that could be received from some of the higher bids. Programs that are focused on meeting only the minimum requirements and are awarded to the lowest bidder will not allow you to extend the life of your crane and could cost you in the long run in maintenance and repair fees.

Often times there is crane(s) located within a facility, which is used more than others. In these cases, these crane(s) will require more attention than the others. This is where the periodic inspection rating comes in, based upon the usage of each crane will determine if you need annual, quarterly or monthly inspections, the ideology of “one size fits all” does not apply to cranes. So before you request bids for equipment maintenance, make sure that you are aware of your specific needs (if you are unsure as to what category your cranes fall under contact a crane specialist), because every inspection and service provider is different. If you wish to extend the life of your crane, the cost of a professional inspection program, which is catered exactly to your specific needs, will be a worthwhile return on your investment.

 

 

Do you have an overhead crane?

Do you have an inspection schedule?

What would you recommend for people to look out for when picking out an inspection and service company?

 

Comment below and share your thoughts!

 

Everything You Many Need to Know About Girder Cranes in One Spot

Single top running, single under running, double top running and double under running, these four distinct different categories are what sets girder overhead cranes apart from each other.

This article will focus on each one of these distinct categories separately so you can gain a complete understanding of just what is a girder crane, and what one might suit you best.

Related: Overhead Cranes, Workstation Bridge Cranes & Jib Cranes  Continue reading “Everything You Many Need to Know About Girder Cranes in One Spot”