Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How To Write A Visitors Safety Policy

Just as employers must provide for their workers, companies cannot unilaterally disclaim any liability for visitor safety. Apart from any governance applicable under OSHA regulations, neglecting visitors' safety could see you embroiled in a mess of trouble under common law or tort law. A sensible approach then would be to adopt policies designed to safeguard visitors and ensure their enforcement and effectiveness - just as you would for your own workers. Be aware too that simply posting notices stating that visitors "visit at their own risk" won't cut it in court. Disclaiming in advance and requiring acceptance as a condition of entry simply carries no weight. It would be wise then to craft a safety policy for visitors along the same lines as employers do for workplaces.
1- Visitors must be notified of any hazards they might encounter.
2- They must be made aware of all protocols and procedures in the event of an emergency.
3- All visitors must sign-in and sign-out of your facility.
4- Similar to all workplaces, must be provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and on its use and reason for it.
5- Care must be taken to ensure proper fit and use of the PPE.
6- Visitors must be oriented properly and advised on the basics of behaviour during the visit.
When developing a visitors safety policy it is important to factor-in the type of industry you are in and any special features of your facility. It is important also to particular attention to the suitability of any PPE provided. For example, if the hazard assessment only calls for 'toe protection' the protective footwear cannot be ill-fitting or so awkward to wear that it constitutes a hazard in itself!
While it may never be possible to avoid liability for visitors' safety entirely it may be possible to do so if you can prove that your safety policies were not adhered to. Just as with workers' safety you are only required to behave responsibly as any reasonable person should. If your visitors safety policies are communicated properly and enforced consistently you should be able to avoid injuries and nasty lawsuits.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Truckers leading with their 'toes

Toe injury is an all too often occurrence in the trucking business. There are loads of hazards in and around trucks, loading docks and warehouses: heavy boxes, shifting load pallets, moving equipment, tail-gates.
The pace of work is fast too. Truckers are expected to unload quickly and move on to their next appointment. Dock levelers don't always operate smoothly and a swift kick is often required. Loads can shift in transit, resulting in heavy goods falling out unexpectedly when cargo doors are opened. Forklifts and hand trucks are in constant motion. All of this activity poses a threat to the driver’s toes as they wait for their trucks to be unloaded.
Typically, a truck driver has very little to do with the actual unloading but, as described above, the truck driver’s toes are at risk. Also typically, the unloading area is governed by statutory bodies such as OSHA in the USA. Statutory bodies impose minimum standards for workplaces with hazards, and any infraction is punished under the letter of the law.
Loading docks and cross-docks are work environments where risk assessments would indicate a potential for toe injury. According to the law, employers must provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suitable to protect against hazards identified by a risk assessment for every work environment under their control.
Even though the driver is on the dock for a short time toe protection would be required. Any truck driver will tell you that safety shoes or boots are not their favourite piece of attire. Especially long distance drivers, who are just not motivated to wear anything less than totally comfortable footwear when driving. Carrying a spare pair of safety shoes or boots in the cab isn't too inviting for most drivers either. There's only so much room in a truck cab.

The Solution

Fortunately, there has emerged a solution for anybody seeking occasional toe protection.
Steel toe overshoes are a rule-compliant alternative to safety shoes. They use the same steel toecaps as in safety footwear. This means a rubber safety toe will protect toes against impact and compression up to 200 joules which is 100 more than the minimum. One of the advantages of rubber safety toe overshoes is that they provide toe protection when necessary. A truck driver then can wear comfortable shoes all the way to the dock and then slip on toe protection before jumping out of the cab.
'Slipp-R' Safety Toes overshoes have benefits in excess of the toe protection they provide.
Being made of rubber they are sturdy, long lasting and offer good slip resistance. They are easy to slip on and off, tight fitting, waterproof and stylish to boot! 'Slipp-R' safety toe overshoes are very inexpensive compared to safety shoes, and they trap the dirt carried on outer shoes, making visits clean and safe.