Loading...
SAFETY TIPS 2019-11-07T20:34:24+00:00

A compliance audit can be seen as an appraisal of a company’s daily operations to see to what level the company complies with the Occupational Health & Safety Act and relevant Regulations.

According to Section 8(1) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act “Every employer shall provide and maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of his employees”. But that does not mean it is only the responsibility of the owner to ensure a health and safe environment. Section 14(a) of the Occupational Health & Safety Act states “Every employee shall at work take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions”.

So in essence, by doing a Health & Safety compliance audit, we can determine a company’s level of compliance to see where the gaps in the management system is so that we can rectify it and ensure that our clients are always compliant with regards to the Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations.

Ground guides are used when backing commercial motor vehicles larger than 2.5 tons or attempting to maneuver a vehicle in a tight clearance area. Ground guides will not stand between the vehicle being guided and another object such that an inadvertent engine surge or momentary loss of vehicle
control could cause injury or death. The vehicle driver will stop the vehicle immediately if:

  • He or she loses sight of the ground guide
  • The ground guide is standing dangerously between the vehicle and another object.

The Ground guide shall be in the direction of travel where a clear view of any obstructions is maintained. Prior to utilizing a ground guide, clear hand signals shall be established between the operator and the ground guide.

When ground guides are not available, drivers will:

  • Dismount the vehicle
  • Walk completely around the vehicle to verify clearance
  • Select a ground reference point that can be seen from the cab of the vehicle
  • Mount the vehicle, ensuring the ground reference point can be seen from the cab of the vehicle
  • Sound the horn
  • Back to the pre-selected reference point

Repeat the process, as necessary, until the vehicle is in the desired position

  1. Hazard identification and risk assessment will help you:
    • Identify and control hazards in your workplace.
    • It will help you by making your employees aware of the hazards.
    • You will be able to train your employees to work safer.
    • Setting risk management standards in the workplace, based on legal requirements.
    • You will reduce incidents in the workplace.
    • Save costs by preventing incidents.
  2. Slips and trips are the most common cause of injury at work. On average, they cause 40 per cent of all reported major injuries and can also lead to other types of serious accidents, for example falls from height. Slips and trips are also the most reported injury to members of the public. Always ensure the necessary measurements put in place to prevent slipping at the workplace.
  3. Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight it is supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment.
  4. Posture affects which muscle groups are active during physical activity. Awkward postures can make work tasks more physically demanding by increasing the exertion required from smaller muscle groups and preventing the stronger, larger muscle groups from working at maximum efficiency. The increased exertion from the weaker, smaller muscle groups impairs blood flow and increases the rate of fatigue. Always make sure to stand up, walk or stretch after hours of working.
  5. If work at height cannot be avoided, a risk assessment should be carried out before any work at height is undertaken. The assessment should highlight the measures that must be taken to ensure people are not at risk of falling from height.
  6. Anytime hazards exist or there are unsafe working conditions, management should be alerted immediately. Although management is responsible for maintaining a safe work environment, it becomes infinitely more difficult to achieve this goal if they are unaware of the danger. Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and non-management staff must report unsafe conditions to management for a solution.
  7. Have a fire plan in place for your work site, and make sure your employees understand it fully. Having a fire drill every now and then is a good way for employees to keep escape routes, meeting spots, and procedures in mind.
  8. Remember that grease fires cannot be fought by dousing them with water. Oil is hydrophobic and also is the fuel source in grease fires. Water will simply splash the oil around and spread the fire even further.
  9. Unplug unused equipment and tools, and stow them safely out of the way in a dry, cool space.
    – Never leave running tools or equipment unattended.
    – Always turn off power before you plug or unplug the appliances.
  10. A well-organized stockroom promotes safety and is more efficient. Putting one person in charge of the stockroom can help to facilitate proper organization and storage within the area. This person may also help to ensure that proper inventory levels are kept, duplicate orders aren’t being placed, and expired chemicals are disposed of properly.Even when storage space is at a premium, segregating incompatible chemicals in storerooms and providing containment for shelves are both important factors for worker safety.Establish a plan for new chemicals. Before a chemical enters a lab, have a plan for properly handling, storing, and disposing of it.
  11. Protect your lungs. Respiratory problems, such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, and lung cancer, are common among construction workers. Wear a face mask whenever working on a job that creates dust. If you’re working with paint or lacquer, use a respirator to avoid breathing in the hazardous fumes.
  12. One of the easiest ways of reducing the risk of an incident in the office, workshop or any working area is to keep it clean and tidy.
  13. Like most equipment, PPE will wear out over time. Many items have expiration dates and must be removed from service after this date. A hard hat should been in use for no longer than five years and date it is first placed is service should be recorded inside the hat. Some PPE items are required to be replaced after an incident or if it becomes soiled to ensure protection for the wearer is not compromised.While PPE protects you in the event of an accident, it does not prevent the accident itself. By establishing safety guidelines and training workers in the correct use of PPE, your facility will be safer and any accidents will be less likely to end in injury.
  14. When you’re climbing a scaffold, always maintain a three-point grip. That means that one hand and two feet, or one foot and two hands, should stay in contact with the scaffold at all times. Keep your body as close to the frame as possible. Leaning way out could cause the whole works to tip over right on top of you. And never climb on the cross braces; they’re not designed to handle the weight.
  15. Reduce workplace stress. Common causes includes long hours, heavy workload, job insecurity and conflicts with co-workers or bosses. Stress can lead to depression, sleeping difficulties and problems with concentration.
  16. It’s important to ensure that you properly stack and store materials in your workplace so that they don’t endanger workers. For example, unstable stacks could collapse onto workers. And piles that block sprinklers can pose a fire hazard.Naturally, you must comply with the requirements for safely storing materials in your jurisdiction’s OHS regulations, both when storing materials on racks or in piles/stacks. But here are eight general tips for safe stacking:
    • Ensure that materials aren’t stacked so high that they’re in danger of toppling over or collapsing.
    • Store heavy and unstable items as low as possible to the floor.
    • Ensure that loads are properly secured against movement on pallets and that pallets are in good condition and the appropriate size and type for the load.
    • Where possible, try to stack articles of the same size and weight together.
    • When stacking bags or bundles of material, alternate rows. For example, place one row running lengthwise, the next running widthwise, the third lengthwise, etc.
    • Ensure there’s adequate space to allow workers, forklifts and other lifting devices to navigate the workplace safely and efficiently.
    • Block or chock the bottom tiers of round items so that they don’t shift or roll.
    • Ensure that materials aren’t stacked so high that they block sprinklers, could come into contact with ignition sources or are near energized electrical wires.
  1. When an accident happens, a first aid program that meets the requirements of the law and is tailored to the type and size of the workplace can literally make the difference between life and death, or between recovery and permanent disablement.
  2. Supervisors should have information readily available that list emergency contacts in case of a serious injury. The emergency notice should state the phone numbers of the closest ambulance service, fire/rescue unit, police station, and hospital. The amount of time it takes to look up one of these important numbers can make a big difference to a seriously injured person. The location of first aid equipment and rescue equipment should also be posted prominently.
  3. First aid equipment and supplies should be stored where they can be reached quickly and easily in case of an accident. These supplies should be inspected frequently, making sure they are kept in sanitary and usable condition and re-stocked after use. Larger workplaces may need more than one, fully equipped first aid kit.
  4. In isolated work sites, emergency supplies and an action plan are especially important. If first aid is not given properly, it can sometimes hurt rather than help an injured or ill person, or even be harmful to the person giving the first aid. All workers should know where the emergency first aid equipment is located, and what medical professional or medical facility should be contacted if a medical emergency should occur.
  5. These are simple objectives to administer when providing First Aid to an injured person until professional help arrives.
    • Make sure you and the victim are not in any danger
    • Maintain individual breathing
    • Maintain blood circulation
    • Prevent continued loss of blood
    • Prevent or treat for shock
    • Contact the nearest Medical Services as soon as possible
  6. One of the handy tips for caring for a victim: If the face is red, raise the head. If the face is pale, raise the tail.
  1. Review the job description sand expectations of the role of each staff member.
  2. Explain how the worker’s job fits into the company’s operations.
  3. Explain your products and customers.
  4. Show the physical layout of the workplace.
  5. Go through your workplace policies and procedures, especially the health and safety policies and emergency procedures.
  6. Explain the Safe Operating procedures that are relevant to the worker’s role.
  7. Explain how to access health and safety information.
  8. Explain how their actions are crucial to the safety of their co-workers.

Nothing is more important than emergency evacuation, find below 7 important steps to take into consideration with regards to a evacuation:

  1. When a building is in use, always ensure that the emergency exit door are able to be opened from the inside at all times.
  2. Any and all broken doors/emergency exits must be replaced as soon as possible, when noticed that it is broken.
  3. All emergency exits must stay unobstructed at all times, to prevent people from tripping when the exit needs to be used.
  4. Never place curtains or similar objects in front or over the emergency exit, as this makes it difficult to exit in case of an emergency. It basically serves as a obstruction.
  5. Emergency evacuation drills must be held regularly, so that staff will know what to do in case of a real emergency.
  6. All emergency exits must be clearly identified, by means of a “Emergency Exit” signage.
  7. Emergency preparedness must be communicated over to all staff, so that they can be aware of the exits in case of an emergency.

You get different types of measures and they usually cover a large range. Usually these measures are considered active or reactive and can be used in conjunction with the other areas previously discussed:

  • Qualitative (descriptive, less precise).
  • Quantitative (factual information, more accurate).
  • Objective (non-biased).
  • Subjective (opinion based).

ACTIVE

  • Audits (internal and external).
  • Periodic examination of documents (e.g. appraisals, assessment of training records.).
  • Systematic workplace inspections.
  • Safety tours.
  • Inspections to check safety related parts of specific equipment.
  • Safety sampling.
  • Safety surveys.
  • Environmental sampling.
  • Behaviour sampling.
  • Benchmarking.
  • Regularly reporting and reviewing results.

REACTIVE

  • Identification.
  • Reporting.
  • Investigation.
  • Collation and analysis of data and statistics.

The events monitored include:

  • Injury accidents.
  • Damage only incidents.
  • Near-misses.
  • Ill-health.
  • Sickness absence.
  • Complaints from the workforce and other external stakeholders.
  • Enforcement action by the national enforcement agency, or criminal prosecution.
  • Civil claims for compensation submitted by workers.

Ideally the measures used should incorporate all of the above in order to obtain a good balanced overview that can be seen in context of the working environment. This makes it easier for senior management to make decisions based on the measures reported.

By following the steps below:

  1. Before commencing with setting up a safe work procedure, you need to choose the right team, for example, a person that works in the environment, a safety representative, a supervisor etc.
  2. Train your team in health and safety due to the fact that training is required to set up a safe work procedure. (training can be risk assessments or job hazard analysis etc.)
  3. Go to the area where the work is carried out to see the steps involved in doing the work, as you need to be aware of what is being done and how.
  4. Consider all the steps involved in the task at hand and identify all possible hazards involved in the work being done.
  5. If there is a hazard, there must be a risk. Identify all possible risks in the task that is carried out.
  6. By identifying risks, we can put control measures in place to try and reduce the risk as far as reasonably possible.
  7. By identifying all the above mentioned, you can start writing the safe work procedure.
  8. If the safe work procedure is complete, it must be implemented. All the staff must be trained with regards to the safe work procedure to make them aware of how to carry out their work in a safe manner. (Remember to keep record by means of an attendance register.)
  9. Remember to review the safe work procedure on a regular basis to ensure that it is always updated as the working environment might change.
What is a Occupational Health & Safety Plan?
A health and safety plan basically describe the potential hazards of any work on site, accompanied by policies, control measures selected to show how the company will mitigate or eliminate any of the hazards. So, a health and safety plan can be seen as a documented summary of the legal requirements to be implemented on any work site so that a company can ensure a healthy and safe working environment at all times.

What is the purpose of an Occupational Health & Safety Plan?

  1. The purpose of this document is to establish a plan for implementing health and safety during general work at any premise.
  2. The plan is intended to minimize loss, meet regulatory compliance requirements and implement site safety regulations.

Bad lighting in the workplace can cause headaches, irritation to the eyes, eye dryness, blurry vision as well as eye strains. It can also cause various safety issues in the workplace, which at the end of the day decreases productivity.

If your workplace has good lighting, it will make all staff members more comfortable while they are working and in the same time increase productivity. If a workplace is well lit, it does not create too much shadows or glare which will let all the staff work more efficiently on the tasks they are busy with.

  • The only staff members who should be allowed to operate a forklift, are those who has been trained properly and those who holds a forklift operator license.
  • The appropriate PPE must be worn when operating a forklift, it usually consists of a hard hat, high visibility jacket and safety shoes.
  • Routine checks should be done on the forklift so as to check for any faulty brakes, steering controls, warning devices, tires, etc.
  • Before starting the forklift, the operator should ensure that he/she are seated correctly with their safety belt fastened as well as all body parts are safely inside the confines of the cabin and are able to reach the controls without overextending.
  • When operating the forklift, the driver must observe all safety signs and adhere to it.
  • Never operate the forklift over the speed limit.
  • The forklift operator must steer clear of any uneven surfaces as well as slippery surfaces.
  • Always ensure that you do not overload the forklift, check the maximum load capacity for reference.
  • When the shift is done, park the forklift in the designated parking space, lower the forks to the ground, apply the park break, switch the forklift off and remove the key.

Health and safety file are a record of information focusing on the management of health and safety on projects for contractors. If implemented, it serves as protection against criminal liability and proves your level of compliance with regards to the Occupational Health & Safety Act as well as relevant regulations.

What is the purpose of a safety file?

The purpose of a health and safety file is information compiled to protect the health and safety of people on projects which will be undertaken.

Contents of a health and safety file are, but not limited to:

  • Health & Safety Policy
  • Letter of Good Standing
  • 2 Agreements
  • Appointment Letters
  • Health & Safety Plan
  • Risk Assessments
  • Safe Work Procedures
  • Incident reporting procedures and relevant documentation
  • ID’s of staff involved
  • Medicals of staff involved
  • Toolbox talks
  • Equipment inspection checklists
  • Registers (PPE Issue registers for example)
  • Fall protection plan
  • Material Safety Data Sheets
  • Occupation Health & Safety Act and relevant Regulations
  • Warning sign – warning of a risk or hazard, such as “keep away excavation”
  • Prohibition signs – prohibits activity that may cause a dangerous situation, such as “No smoking”
  • Mandatory sign – for specific behaviors and PPE levels, such as “wear gloves”
  • Provides information regarding wet floor, first-aid, emergency exits and additional escape routes sign
  • Fire safety sign – provides information regarding fire-fighting equipment and devices and assembly points.
  • Information sign – provides additional information regarding the signs
  • Verbal communication – provides safety information and communication by a human voice or other mean.
  • Hand signal – by using hands or arms for persons who may cause harm to other persons.

Prompt First aid to an injured person can reduce the effect of shock and permanent injury. In serious situations, this is a matter of life and death. Many thousands of accidents occur in South Africa daily.

You as a first Responder have 3 main objectives:

  1. To preserve life
  2. To prevent the injuries or sudden illness from becoming worse
  3. Promoting recovery

If you are faced with a minor injury situation in your office these will be your priorities:

  1. Take charge of the situation
  2. Asses the injured person
  3. Call for help if necessary (first Aider)
  4. Asses the injury and decide what course of action to take
  5. Protect yourself by using gloves, mask and goggles if necessary (Provided in first aid box/kit)
  6. Treat the injury and do not give the patient any medication that is not part of the first aid box/kit
  7. Fill in the necessary forms (if it is a minor injury that doesn’t need medical attention by a doctor please fill in the injury book supplied in the first aid box)
  8. Report the incident to the Health and safety officer (any injury doesn’t matter how small or large that needs attention must be reported before end of shift that day or with in a 24-hour period). If the safety officer is not available, the direct supervisor/manager must then be informed.
  9. If there is a need for medical attention by a doctor and the safety officer is not available, please report it to your immediate supervisor, he/she will arrange for the necessary paperwork and to take the injured to the doctor

It is often contrary to a safety procedure. Examples include:

  1. Unauthorised use or operation of equipment.
  2. Removing or making safety devices inoperative.
  3. Using defective tools or equipment.
  4. Working at height without fall protection.
  5. Using tools or equipment in an unsafe manner.
  6. Riding on hazardous moving equipment.
  7. Engaging in horseplay, which is distracting and sometimes dangerous.
  8. Failure to wear personal protective equipment.
  1. When an accident happens, a first aid program that meets the requirements of the law and is tailored to the type and size of the workplace can literally make the difference between life and death, or between recovery and permanent disablement.
  2. Supervisors should have information readily available that list emergency contacts in case of a serious injury. The emergency notice should state the phone numbers of the closest ambulance service, fire/rescue unit, police station, and hospital. The amount of time it takes to look up one of these important numbers can make a big difference to a seriously injured person. The location of first aid equipment and rescue equipment should also be posted prominently.
  3. First aid equipment and supplies should be stored where they can be reached quickly and easily in case of an accident. These supplies should be inspected frequently, making sure they are kept in sanitary and usable condition and re-stocked after use. Larger workplaces may need more than one, fully equipped first aid kit.
  4. In isolated work sites, emergency supplies and an action plan are especially important. If first aid is not given properly, it can sometimes hurt rather than help an injured or ill person, or even be harmful to the person giving the first aid. All workers should know where the emergency first aid equipment is located, and what medical professional or medical facility should be contacted if a medical emergency should occur.
  5. These are simple objectives to administer when providing First Aid to an injured person until professional help arrives.
    • Make sure you and the victim are not in any danger
    • Maintain individual breathing
    • Maintain blood circulation
    • Prevent continued loss of blood
    • Prevent or treat for shock
    • Contact the nearest Medical Services as soon as possible
  6. One of the handy tips for caring for a victim: If the face is red, raise the head. If the face is pale, raise the tail.

Application of Lockout/Tag Out

  1. Affected employees shall be notified by management or the authorised employee of lockout/tag out applications or removal. The notification shall be given before the controls are applied and after they are removed from the machine or equipment.
  2. Before an authorised or affected employee turns off a machine, or a piece of equipment the authorised employee shall have knowledge of the type and magnitude of the energy, the hazards of the energy to be controlled, and the method or means to control the energy.
  3. The machine or equipment shall be turned off or shut down using procedures established for that specific job.
  4. An orderly shutdown must be utilised to avoid hazards to employees.
  5. All energy isolating devices that are needed to control the energy to the machine or equipment shall be physically located and operated in such a manner as to isolate the energy source(s). Lockout and or tag out devices shall be affixed to energy isolating devices by an authorised employee and when used, affixed in such a manner that it will hold the device in a safe or off position.
  6. Following the application of the isolation device(s), all potentially hazardous stored or residual energy shall be relieved, disconnected, restrained, or otherwise rendered safe. If re-accumulation is possible, verification of the safe isolation shall continue until the job is complete or the possibility no longer exists. Prior to start of the job, the authorized employee shall verify that the isolation has been accomplished.

Many people use oils when cooking meat, poultry, and veggies. To prevent injury:

  1. To avoid splashing, which can lead to minor burns, heat oil slowly.
  2. When putting your food into the pot or pan, do so slowly so the oil doesn’t splash.
  3. Watch food that’s on the stove or in the oven to prevent burning. If you smell something burning, turn the heat off and wait a few minutes before checking the food in case a small fire has started.
  4. Before cleaning your pot or pan, let them cool completely and remember to use pot holders to prevent your hands from getting burned.
    Extra virgin olive oil has a low smoking point so be cautious when heating this up and do so very slowly. You can also consider using coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and ghee when you are cooking at higher temperatures.
  1. Never use extension cords as a alternative for repairing building wiring.
  2. Always check for any broken connectors, damage to the extension cords and missing hardware before using it.
  3. Never run extension cords over beams, around corners, through doorways or through walls at any given time.
  4. Only use SABS approved extension cords.
  5. Never use an extension cord when it is coiled.
  6. Never try to repair a damaged extension cord, rather discard it.
  1. Machine Guards are fitted for a reason. Never attempt to move or remove any guards that are fitted to machinery without prior authorization.
  2. Never make use of any piece of machinery without a safe guard fitted.
  3. Never wear any piece of jewellery when working with machines, as well as loose clothing as it can get tangled in the machine and may cause serious injuries.
  4. Before starting a piece of machinery, inspect it first. If the guard is missing, never attempt to make use of it until the guard is fitted or replaced.
  5. Consult with your Safety Officer if you do not know how to operate the machine in a safe manner.
  1. Keep knives sharp so less effort is required when using them. Never try to tear or break through a tough food item (such as a frozen item or a bone) with force. Choose a more appropriate knife, technique or process
  2. When possible, choose to use ergonomic knives which keep your wrist in a more neutral (straight) position, especially when using a knife for extended periods
  3. Remove appropriate knife from sheath or scabbard
  4. Cut in a direction away from your body and keep finger curled away from the cutting line, or whenever possible, use a device to hold the food item to be cut
  5. If it is unavoidable or unrealistic to cut in a direction away from your other hand, you must wear a cut resistant glove on the hand not holding the knife
  6. Never try to catch a falling knife
  7. Never attempt to wipe foodstuffs off the blade with your fingers
  8. When using a knife for extended periods, take micro breaks or change tasks to rest the muscles. Try to maintain an upright posture and try to work with your elbow close to your body.
  9. When placing a knife down, always ensure the blade is facing in a direction away from the user
  10. Do not leave knives, blades or other sharp items in the sink
  11. Point blades down when placing knives in vertical containers such as the dishwasher
  12. Return and store knives in sheaths or scabbards when not in use

Purpose

To help identifying the possible risks, hazards and risk ratings that may occur in a working environment and to help eliminate, mitigate or reduce the likelihood of potential harm

What is a risk assessment?

A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm. Workers and others have a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure to take reasonable control measures. Accidents and ill health can ruin lives and affect your business too if output is lost, machinery is damaged, insurance costs increase, or you have to go to court. You are legally required to assess the risks in your workplace so that you put in place a plan to control the risks.

A risk assessment is an important step in protecting your workers and your business, as well as complying with the law. It helps you focus on the risks that really matter in your workplace – the ones with the potential to cause harm. In many instances, straightforward measures can readily control risks, for example, ensuring spillages are cleaned up promptly so people do not slip, or cupboard drawers kept closed to ensure people do not trip. For most, that means simple, cheap and effective measures to ensure your most valuable asset – your workforce – is protected.

The law does not expect you to eliminate all risk, but you are required to protect people as far as is reasonably practicable.

Back, neck and shoulder injuries are some of the most commonly occurring in the construction and warehousing industry. More than half of these back related injuries are caused by bodily reaction and exertion which includes improper lifting. As construction and warehousing involves a great deal of manual lifting, it is important to know to steps and techniques involved in proper lifting to reduce your chances of an injury. Always stop and think before bending to pick up an object, and over time, safe lifting techniques should become a habit.

Before Lifting:

  • Size up the load and get help if needed – Do not attempt to lift the load if it appears to be too heavy or awkward.
  • Use a dolly, forklift or other material handling equipment whenever possible.
  • For a two-person lift, both people should be roughly the same height and agree upon who will take charge, the type of lift and how they will lower the load.
  • Make sure the weight of the load is balanced and packed so it will not move around during transportation.
  • Ensure there is plenty of room to move, your path is clear of any hazards, and avoid walking on slippery, uneven surfaces – Good housekeeping ensures you won’t trip or stumble over an obstacle.

While Lifting, Carrying & Lowering:

  • Get as close to the load as possible – Lifting capacity is reduced the further away you are from the load.
  • Put yourself in the best possible position for the lift, avoiding reaching, bending or twisting.
  • Use a well balanced stance, feet shoulder-width apart and one foot slightly ahead of the other.
  • Bend at the knees and grip the object with the palms of your hands and fingers – The palm grip is much more secure.
  • Tighten your stomach muscles as you begin to lift.
  • Keep your lower back in its normal curved position and you use your legs to lift – The muscles in your legs are much stronger than your back muscles.
  • To change direction, shift your foot position and turn your whole body – Pick up your feet and pivot ensuring you do not twist your back.
  • Lower the load using your legs and maintaining the curve in your lower back – You can injure your back just as easily lowering the load as you can lifting it.
WhatsApp chat