Thanks to James Yount of Spill 911 for his contribution to the UniTherm blog. Spill 911 offers a complete line of industrial absorbents and spill response kits as well as spill containment, material handling, janitorial, stormwater control, facility protection and safety products. Our line is diverse, encompassing the top manufacturers and the highest quality products.
What are your workplace safety policies? How do you determine what those policies are? Do you understand where the common hazards are in the workplace?
As you walk around your office or facility, take notice to the signs around you. Watch how the employees interact with equipment, each other and in hazardous areas around the workplace. Note areas that might need some new procedures or new materials to help maintain a safe work environment. 29 CFR 1910.132(d)(1) states that “all employers shall assess their workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of PPE.” All of the policies are meant to keep your employees and company safe.
Workplace Safety Problem Areas:
- Loading Dock
- Batter Storage Area
- Drum Storage Area
- Office Area
- Designated Smoking Area
- Entry Ways
- Parking Lot
- Manufacturing Area
- Warehouse Area
- Outdoor Storage Are
- Railroad Loading Area
- Fueling Area
Solutions to Those Areas:
Spill Clean Up – Spills come in all sizes and in several materials. Chemicals, hazardous materials and oils are some of the more common compounds needing a cleanup, and the procedures are similar for all of these. Before a spill cleanup begins, however, have the appropriate personal protection equipment, tools, absorbents and disposal containers available. Decontamination equipment may also be needed.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – In construction, warehouse and industrial environments, personal protection equipment generally refers to typical safety gear to protect the torso, head, face, eyes and ears from impacts, electrical hazards, heat, chemicals or infection.
Secondary Spill Containment – Secondary containment encompasses all methods of preventing a spill from spreading. This may be through a spill berm and decontamination equipment during a chemical cleanup, or when such a substance is in storage, preventing leaks into the environment. Regulated by the EPA, secondary containment equipment and procedures are specified by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which lists the use and management of containers and tank systems.
Facility Protection – Encompassing standards, equipment and procedures, facility protection is a term used for everyday safety and emergency situations. Office buildings to industrial plants all need to meet a certain set of standards, usually specified by OSHA, and facility protection involves meeting these expectations. In many cases, the upkeep of spaces and the availability of certain materials, such as personal protection equipment, are adequate general facility protection.
Material Handling – Generally pertains to any type of moving, lifting or storage, mechanical or manual. In either case, several hazards are innate to material handling spaces: the weight or bulkiness of the objects, moving, falling objects and incorrect stacking. Often times, employees not lifting or using equipment correctly experience strains, fractures and bruises, while falling objects of any size result in cuts and bruises.
Safety Cabinets – Combustible and flammable liquids, corrosives and pesticides are all kept in safety cabinets. While incompatible liquids shouldn’t be kept in the same space in order to avoid explosions or fires, the types of liquids stored inside code safety cabinets themselves. Yellow is used for flammable liquids, red for combustible, blue for corrosives, green for pesticides and white or grey for waste materials.
Stormwater Management – All construction and industrial sites and municipalities need to have a stormwater management plan. The EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) specifies the need for such a plan and serves as a template for state stormwater regulations. The NPDES defines stormwater as any type of runoff from precipitation that flows over land and is not absorbed into the ground; along the way, it picks up debris, chemicals, sediment and other pollutants that will affect the water quality if not treated properly.
Safety in the workplace, home and outdoors can provide a better environment for everyone. So, what are the areas you need to work on to make the world around you a safer place? Go to the Spill911.com to find out more.