SAFETY SIGNS

SAFETY SIGNS

Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade( your safety guide) here again to update you on health and safety issues. Today we will be discussing about safety signs.In the Health and Safety profession, we deal with the use of a lot of signs.A safety sign is defined as a sign providing information or instruction by means of a notice, sign board or colour used to create awareness about safety. Safety signs fall into four groups, namely: (1) Mandatory signs. (2) Prohibitory signs. (3) Hazard or Warning sign. (4) Safety information sign(Emergency Exit and First Aid). So let’s go through them one by one.

(1) MANDATORY SIGN: This is a sign providing information about specific behaviour or action which must be complied with (‘e.g hard hat must be worn or safety boots must be worn’).

FEATURES OF MANDATORY SIGNS (a) Round shape. (b) A white pictogram on a blue background(with the blue part taking up atleast 50% of the area of the sign).

(2) PROHIBITORY SIGN: This is a sign prohibiting behaviour that is likely to cause or increase danger(‘ e.g no smoking sign, No access to unauthorized persons’)                                             FEATURES OF PROHIBITORY SIGNS (a) Round shape. (b) Black pictogram on a white background. (c) Diagonal line. (d) Red edging (with the red part taking up atleast 35 % of the area of the sign).

(3) HAZARD OR WARNING SIGN: This is a sign providing warning of a hazard or danger. (e.g Danger, Beware of Electricity, Highly flammable signage at the back of a petrol tanker truck).                                                                                                                                                   FEATURES OF A WARNING SIGN (a) Triangular shape. (b) Black pictogram on yellow background with black edging (e.g with the yellow part taking up atleast 50 % of the area of the sign).

(4) EMERGENCY ESCAPE OR FIRST AID SIGN: This is a sign providing information on emergency exits, first aid or rescue facilities( ‘e.g emergency exit’).

FEATURES OF SAFETY INFORMATION SIGNS (a) Square or rectangular shape. (b) White pictogram on a green background( with the green part taking up atleast 50% of the area of the sign). Pictoral samples of the different classes of safety signs can be seen online on the internet. So until I come your way again, it is Goke Akingbade wishing you a great weekend ahead.

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THE RELEVANCE OF ERGONOMICS IN YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT.

THE RELEVANCE OF ERGONOMICS IN YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT.

Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade (your Safety guide) here with another interesting topic on health and safety to dwell on. We will be discussing ergonomics and its application to your work area.

WHAT IS ERGONOMICS?

This is the art or science of fitting the individual worker to his work environment and in connection with his work tools so as to ensure they are suitable to enable him work safely and effectively. It is the solution to Musculoskeletal disorders(MSD).

WHAT ARE MSDs.

Musculoskeletal disorders are conditions that negatively affect the muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves. These injuries can develop due to overload on these parts of the human body either immediately or with time.

The following are factors that can result in a worker developing MSDs.                                       Any work or job task that involves:

  • Heavy Lifting
  • Pushing or pulling
  • Force
  • Working in awkward postures
  • Repetitive activities
  • Contact stress
  • Overhead work
  • Vibration
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Carrying

Work is likely to lead to an injury based on the following criteria:

  1. When the task is done for a long period of time.
  2. When it is performed frequently.
  3. When the work is intense.
  4. When the worker is exposed to several risk factors.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ERGONOMICS?

  • FEWER WORKERS EXPERIENCING PAIN: When ergonomics is applied to the job task, it will reduce the risk factors that lead to discomfort.
  • INCREASE IN PRODUCTIVITY: When ergonomic improvements is implemented, it tends to minimize the primary risk factors for MSDs, which in turn make workers more productive and have greater job satisfaction.
  • INCREASED SAVINGS FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION: More funds would be saved due to fewer worker injuries, more sustainable employees, fewer workers compensation claims.
  • INCREASED WORKER MORALE: The implementation of ergonomics to the work will tend to make the workers feel more valued because they believe that their employer is making the workplace safer for them.
  • REDUCTION IN ABSENTEEISM: When ergonomics is applied to the work, it will lead to a healthy and pain-free workforce who are more likely to be engaged and productive.

This is where we will be stopping for today,next time we will be considering the various pragmatic solutions that ergonomics provide to MSDs, so till I come your way again, this is Goke Akingbade (your Safety guide) wishing you a safe day

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HEAT-A SERIOUS PHYSICAL HAZARD

HEAT—A SERIOUS PHYSICAL HAZARD.

Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade(your Safety guide) here with another interesting topic to dwell on. We will be considering heat and heat related health problems today.                                                         Heat is a serious physical hazard which can lead to serious illness when working in a hot environment.

Heat –related illnesses include:

  • Sun Burn.
  • Heat Rash.
  • Heat Syncope.
  • Heat Cramps.
  • Heat Exhaustion.
  • Heat Stress.
  • Heat Stroke.

We will be focusing on heat exhaustion and heat stress today. Let’s find out what Heat exhaustion is.

HEAT EXHAUSTION                                                                                                                                  It is caused by loss of fluid as a result of excessive sweating.                                                                   The symptoms include:

  • Nausea and Headache.
  • Clammy, moist skin.
  • Pale complexion.
  • Body temperature-Normal or Slightly above Normal.

A person experiencing heat exhaustion will still sweat, but they will experience extreme weakness.

HEAT STRESS

High temperatures, humidity, sunlight, and heavy work increases the chance of heat stress. Heat Stress is the illness that occurs when your body is subjected to more heat that it can accommodate.

FACTS ABOUT HEAT STRESS                                                                                                                During work, excess heat can lead to loss of concentrations or rise in fatigue and irritability which may increase the chances of an accident or injury. It is not caused by exposure to pesticides or chemicals. During summer in Western countries , personal protective equipment (PPE) worn during pest control operations may increase the risk of heat stress.

  • It is not easy to tell the difference between stress and illness caused by pesticide poisoning.
  • The signs and symptoms are similar.
  • If you or someone you know is in such a situation, do not waste time trying to ascertain what might be the cause of the illness, get medical help immediately.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT STRESS

  • Dizziness and fainting.
  • Severe thirst and Dry mouth.
  • Headache, Nausea and Chills.
  • Clammy or Hot, Dry Skin.
  • Fatigue, Exhaustion and Muscle weakness.
  • Heavy Sweating or complete lack of sweating.

FIRST AID FOR HEAT STRESS

  1. Get the victim into a shaded or cool area.
  2. Cool the victim as quick as possible by sponging or splashing the skin, especially the face,neck, hands and forearms with cool water or immersing the victim in cool water.
  3. Remove any PPE or clothing that may be making the victim warm.
  4. If the victim is conscious, encourage them to drink as much cool water as possible.
  5. Keep the victim quiet until help arrives.

This is all we will be considering for now, so till I come your way again, this is Goke Akingbade (your Safety Guide) wishing you a safe day.

FATIGUE

FATIGUE

Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade (your Safety guide ) bringing you another interesting point of discussion. We will be looking at fatigue today.

Fatigue is defined as weariness or exhaustion from labor, exertion or stress. It is a workplace hazard. It is one of the leading causes of injury in the workplace or at home.  Fatigue affects your ability to think clearly and act appropriately. It tends to make the individual worker less alert, less productive and more likely to incur injuries or get involved in accidents.

People who are fatigued can be unaware that they are not performing their work or task at their best. The worst case scenario is that they can drop off to sleep in the middle of the task, which can tend to have fatal consequences.

CAUSES OF FATIGUE

Fatigue is the end result of:

  • Inadequate sleep for repair and recovery of our body (in each 24-25 hour period)
  • Working out of harmony with your natural body clock (the natural cycle is to work during daylight and sleep when it is dark)
  • Extreme physical or mental exertion.

However, a range of contributing factors can increase the risk of fatigue. Some factors are work based and some personal, they are as follows:

  • Work scheduling, rostering or timing.
  • Workload that is machine paced, complex or monotonous, physically or mentally strenuous (or both).
  • The work environment e.g heat, cold, vibration, noise etc.
  • Workers lifestyle, family responsibilities, ill health.

People who do shift work and heavy vehicle drivers are particularly at risk of fatigue because their natural body clock and sleep rhythms are disrupted. For example research shows shift workers are 6 times more likely to be involved in a fatigue-related road crash than any other workers.

What can I do to reduce fatigue?

Tips for employers.

Fatigue is a workplace hazard, and it needs to be managed in the same way as other hazards. Employers can:                                                                                                                                            Manage the workplace environment and practices to minimise the factors that could contribute to fatigue.                                                                                                                                                           Make sure employees understand why they need to manage the risk of fatigue and how to minimise their fatigue level.                                                                                                                                         Encourage staff to manage their personal out of work fatigue risk factors.

Tips for employees.

  1. Work with your employer to manage fatigue-related risks in the workplace. Some simple things you can do at work are:                                                                                                                               Vary work tasks so you stay alert.
  2.     Take regular breaks.
  3. Notifty your supervisor or manager if you’re feeling fatigue
  4. Outside the work environment, you can reduce your risk of fatigue by:                                                     (a).Making sleep a priority; avoid cutting back on sleep in order to fit everything else in.                       (b).Improving the quality and quantity of your sleep; have a regular bed time routine.                           (c).Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool and comfortable; get treatment for sleep disorders.             (d).Choose what you eat and drink carefully: eat light nutritious meals (heavy meals make you drowsy); drink plenty of water; minimise your caffeine and alcohol intake.

As with other workplace hazards, management and individuals need to work together to minimize the risk and the effect of fatigue.

The only cure for fatigue is sleep.

So till I come your way next time, it is Goke Akingbade signing off.

KITCHEN HAZARDS

KITCHEN HAZARDS

Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade (your Safety Guide) congratulating you in your witness of the new year, 2015. A lot of great things await us all in this new year. Today , we will be looking at the hazards in the kitchen. Basically, kitchen hazards include the following:

  1. FALLS
  2. CUTS
  3. ELECTRICAL SHOCK
  4. POISONING
  5. FIRES AND BURNS

FALLS : The first one we are going to consider is falls. This can be very painful when it occurs. Falls usually occur in the kitchen as a result of wet or slippery floors, damaged parts of the floor etc.

PREVENTING FALLS                                                                                                                                                          (1) Damaged flooring must be repaired. (2) Dispose of any broken glass immediately.                         (3) Ensure to keep floors clean and clutter free. (4) Never use chairs to reach high places, use a footstool.

CUTS : A cut is incurred on the body, be it hands, legs or face .etc due to contact with a sharp object or tool.

PREVENTING CUTS                                                                                                                                                                          (1) Keep knives sharp and use properly. (2) Never try to catch a flying knife. (3) Do not put knives in dishwasher pointing side up.(4) Do not soak knives in the sink or water.(5) Use a cutting board when cutting onions, tomatoes or vegetables on a plane surface.

ELECTRIC SHOCK: An electric shock occurs when a person comes in contact with an electrical energy source. Electrical energy flows through a portion of the body causing an electric shock.

PREVENTING ELECTRIC SHOCK                                                                                                                                                       (1) Do not put metal inside a microwave oven.(2) Water and electricity do not mix.                           (3) Look out for electrical problems or issues. (4) Take care in your usage of any plugged in appliance. (5) Dispose of all faulty appliances.(6) Put a childproof lock on your oven.                        (7) Read the owner’s manual.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets should be used in kitchens. If there is a surge or short in the appliance, wiring or plug, the GFCI will shut down the power.

POISON: A poison is any substance that is harmful to your body. It might be swallowed, inhaled, injected or absorbed.

PREVENTING POISONING

Hazardous Chemicals:                                                                                                                                                           — Never transfer hazardous products to another container                                                                                                                                                    — Always ensure to read labels.                                                                                                                                                             — Be careful when handling hazardous chemicals, they can cause burns, breathing difficulties and poisoning

For now, this is where we will stop. So till I come your way again, this is Goke Akingbade(your Safety Guide) wishing you a wonderful 2015.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PPE

THE IMPORTANCE OF PPE

Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade( your Safety Guide) bringing to you another juicy topic on health and safety. Today, we will be discussing about PPE. PPE is the acronym for Personal Protective Equipment.

Personal Protective Equipment refers to variety of barriers, used alone or in combination, to protect the eyes, nose, mouth, skin, legs and clothing from coming into contact with hazards.

The use of PPE is so important for you and your employees. You as the employer are legally responsible for the safety of your employees while they are within the confines of your workplace, your employees need to know how much responsibility they have on their shoulders in terms of working safely; both for themselves and their colleagues.

Please note that the use and recommendation of PPE is a last resort in health and safety strategy.If the hazards cannot be removed or eliminated, if a more hazardous substance or situation cannot be substituted with a less hazardous substance or condition, and if engineering control measures cannot remove the hazard and its effects, you need to resort to employing administrative controls and use of Personal Protective Equipment.

You can never neglect the human factor; it will always be put into consideration.                                 Workers need to be provided with safe work tools, they need to be provided with psychosocial resources. Workers need to be educated on why they need to engage in safe work practices, the health and safety management system should promote a safe work environment, workers need to undergo safety training which involves demonstration of how to work safely.

Irrespective of all these imperative conditions, one needs to consider the attitude, belief and behaviour of the individual worker towards workplace safety.  One thing that can absolutely be done as a minimum to try to control risks is using personal protective equipment (PPE) properly.

Your organization needs a Health and Safety Representative, be it a direct staff of your organization or a Health and Safety consultant.It is the job of this Health and Safety personnel to train people in what PPE they need to be using, how it needs to be used, the period it needs to be used, and also to supervise the use of the PPE.

Your organization must adopt and implement a policy that requires every employee to use PPE provided in specified circumstances. The policy should make it clear that employee who do not use PPE as directed (including caring and maintaining it) will be disciplined. Please note that Personal Protective Equipment does not remove or eliminate the hazard or those things liable to cause human injury or illness, it only places a barrier between the hazard and the worker.It is also important that your organization designates who will oversee the distribution of PPE to employees when they request to use them, preferably a store personnel.

This is where I have to stop for now, so till I come your way again, this Goke Akingbade (your Safety Guide) signing off. Wishing you all the best ion the Christmas.

Goke Akingbade

2347081101064

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY IN YOUR ORGANIZATION.

Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade (your Safety Guide) bringing to you another juicy topic on health and safety. Most organizations, companies or firms appoint a personnel who oversees the health and safety responsibilities , while some employ the services of a health and safety consultant who is not a direct staff of the organization.

I want you to ponder over the question”who is responsible for Health and Safety in your organization?” , is it just the health and safety manager or a Supervisor, or the consultant.                                      Even though your company may have a person that co-ordinates and oversees the health and safety roles, everyone in your organization including you, is responsible for health and safety.

For management to be able to accomplish its goals and objectives regarding the development of a positive health and safety culture, it needs the co-operation and buy-in of the workforce.                        Without people ( top level management, middle level, new entrants) buying into the idea that everyone has a significant role to play in the execution or implementation of the health and safety management system, Health and Safety might just be seen as an expense or cost , a necessary evil.

When companies incorporate health and safety objectives as part of their vision and mission, and follow through by developing programs, establishing health and safety policies which are implemented. Establishing safe work procedures, placing value on their workforce and consulting them from time to time so as to find out what they think about health and safety.                                                             From the questions asked, one would be able to determine the defects of the health and safety management system.  Indirectly management is showing to the employees that they value their opinion and also take reasonable care about their health and safety.

Giving the employees feedback about the question and concerns discussed with management is also very crucial. These elements show the significance of management sending the message all the way through the organization that a safe and healthful workplace is the responsibility of everyone in the company.

This is where we will stop for today, so till I come your way again, this is Goke Akinagbade ( your Safety Guide) wishing you a safe day.

Do you want to take a course in HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) but you are too busy to attend a class? Do you want to take a course that suits your schedule? Do you want to take a course in HSE that has high quality but highly affordable? Then you don’t want to miss this. Enjoy these benefits and more with our Online Course on Occupational Safety and Health.

Whether you are a Safety Professional or looking at starting a career in Health and Safety, we can equip you with all you need for a successful career. With engaging facilitators, real life scenarios and videos, Capacity Edge can help you in augmenting your safety skills. Your safety program can be more effective in minimizing workplace accidents. You can achieve more satisfactory results in managing safety in your organization. Enjoy these benefits and more for just 20,000 Naira. For more details , please contact Dare on 07081101064

THE RELEVANCE OF BEHAVIOUR-BASED SAFETY

THE RELEVANCE OF BEHAVIOUR-BASED SAFETY.
Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade(your Safety Guide) bringing you another topic on health and safety to dwell on.Today , we will be considering Behaviour-Based Safety(BBS),BBS for short.
Behaviour is what a person does or says. What causes an individual to behave in a certain way is influenced by other factors. In other words, a person’s behaviour is shaped by attitudes and situations. Behaviour-Based Safety (BBS) is a Safety Management System that species precisely what behaviours are intended to develop and maintain a safe workplace and are known as safe behaviours. It is about identifying management policies and practices that affect human behaviour in the work environment. For an organization to maintain a safe workplace, an effective BBS program must be in place.
A good BBS program will assist organizations to: (1) Reduce near misses, accidents and property damage. (2) Reduce injury and illness rates in the workplace. (3) Maintain a healthier workforce. (4) Reduce workers’ compensation costs. (5) Reduce workers’ absenteeism. (6) Improve workers feelings about their work. (7) Elevate safety to a higher level of awareness.
Most injuries and illnesses in the workplace can be prevented. When a company has a safety culture , encouraging a proactive and positive attitude to safety, the number of injuries and illnesses declines. On the other hand, those with poor safety habits, regular at-risk behaviours, and negative attitudes towards safety experience higher incident rates.
Incidents can usually be connected to one or more of the following causes : (1) BEHAVIOUR ( for example, improper attitude or actions, lack of knowledge or skills. (2) UNSAFE CONDITIONS which could be environmental. (3) UNSAFE PERSONAL FACTOR.
(1) BEHAVIOUR : examples of these include failure to warn, horseplay, defecting safety devices, operating without authority, working in an unsafe posture, working at an unsafe speed, unsafe loading, placing, mixing, failure of the worker to use PPE.
(2) UNSAFE CONDITIONS : These includes improper PPE, defective equipment, improper ventilation or lighting, and unsafe apparel.
(3) UNSAFE PERSONAL FACTORS : These includes weakness in the muscles, defective eye sight, lack of the needful skills, the use of alcohol or hard drugs, physical or mental impairment.
In identifying the factors that contribute to accidents in the workplace, the following questions must be asked:
(a) Did the worker receive proper safety training?
(b) Did the worker know how to use the equipment?
(c) Are procedures in place to deal with faulty equipment?
(d) Was the worker reminded not to use the faulty equipment?
(e) Why did the supervisor allow the use of such equipment?
(f) Was the job examined by the supervisor first of all?
(g) Why was the fault or defect in the equipment not detected?
It is thus very crucial for organizations to strive to develop a good safety culture.
WHAT IS A SAFETY CULTURE?
It is an attitude, rather than a set of rules or procedures. It is a way of life, a mindset achieved and maintained when it is introduced, encouraged and practised by senior management. A successful safety culture requires: (A) Complete commitment to safety as a lifestyle by senior management.
(B) An expectation, at all levels that safe behaviours ought to be practised both on and off the job.
(C) A comprehensive training program which includes regular refresher training.
(D) Company-wide communication systems for collecting, analysing and exchanging safety related information and incident data.
A safety culture begins with management’s commitment to safety, which is clearly seen by everyone at every level.
Interventions should be directed towards the workers’ behaviour before incidents occur. The types of interventions will vary depending on the root causes of the behaviour. Effective intervention involves mutual respect and trust. If you are supervisor, make sure that you : (1) Get Involved. (2) Involve your team. (3) Look for ways to measure safe behaviour. (4) Attend the same training as your team. (5) Be proactive and get involved in safety. (6) Follow-up on the actions you take.
As an organization, it is very crucial that an effective safety culture is imbibed by every member of the organization. This is the essence of a behaviour-based safety program. As long as this incorporated into the operational objectives of the organization, and its performance is constantly monitored, there will be an overall improvement in the safety and health of the workforce.
Till I come your way gain, this is Goke Akingbade wishing you a great day ahead.