Facilities that have comprehensive safety programs in place and that self-audit those programs regularly are typically well-prepared for a surprise OSHA inspection. Now, that doesn’t mean that OSHA won’t find something, but it’s far less likely that the inspectors will fill multiple notebooks during their visit.
Want to be among those types of facilities? Who wouldn’t? Unfortunately, some facilities create great plans and stop there. Great plans sitting on a shelf often don’t do much to help ensure safety. That’s why so many regulations require facilities to routinely check up on the plan to make sure things are being done correctly. For some safety plans, you might only need to check things once or twice a year. Others require audits once a month, once a week or once a day. That can really add up!
It may sound crazy, but at New Pig, we hesitate when someone asks, “How many mats and socks will I need to absorb a 5,000-gallon spill?” It’s not that we can’t do the math. We do know exactly how many mats and socks it would take. We also know how many pallets it will take to get that order out the door, and how much space you’re going to need to store all of those absorbents. We can also give you a pretty close guesstimate on the number of drums of waste that will be generated if you ever need to use your entire stash to absorb a spill.
It’s just that when it comes to spill response, absorbents may not be the only things that you need in your arsenal. Gasp — Did she really just say that? (Please excuse me for a moment while I grab the AED and revive the folks in my upper management group.)
Last fall, at EHS Today’s America’s Safest Companies Conference, a safety professional said, “We’ve got a big banner on the side of our building that says, ‘Welcome OSHA!’” That might take a lot of people by surprise – but for companies who truly value safety and incorporate it as a core value of their business, a visit from OSHA shouldn’t be a cause for alarm.
The goal of North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week is to increase awareness of the importance of occupational health and safety. Safety is more than just scheduling routine trainings and making marks on all of those daily, weekly or monthly checklists. It’s about eliminating workplace hazards wherever possible, and having solid plans, effective training and the right tools and procedures in place so that employees can avoid any hazards that do remain.
May 3 is Lumpy Rug Day. Some people claim that it got started as a day to tease people who routinely brush unwelcome news or undesirable facts under the rug — thus making it lumpy. Others say it’s about addressing the need to fix a common hazard. The first explanation is a bit more fun, but we safety folk are more prone to take action on the latter.
According to OSHA, slips, trips and falls to the same level are the most common work-related injury. Mats that buckle, curl or for whatever other reason don’t lie flat can contribute to slip, trip and fall incidents.
We have all read or heard about them on the news: major oil releases, Exxon Valdez, Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig, the Gulf War Oil Spill, and so on.
The question is: What can you do to prevent hazardous releases to the environment? We have an easy answer for you: spill kits. While most of us do not have to deal with spills as large as those mentioned above, we still need to do our part.
Most facilities have a smaller potential for spills of 5 to 1,000 gallons, sometimes more, but for the purpose of this blog, we are going to focus on incidental spills.