CoatingsPro Magazine

JAN 2013

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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The first step was to have every employee put together a personal safety plan (PSP). "Everyone brought in a picture of someone or something that is important to them — such as children, spouses, parents — and filled out a questionnaire regarding why safety is important to them," Knigin says. "They included ways that they are going to conduct themselves each day to make sure they return to their loved ones safe and sound." Apache then issued badges to each employee with the picture and a summary of their PSP. More Than a free T-Shirt After talking with staff and crews to find additional ways to reinforce the concept of company sa fet y, K nigin pondered the idea of using t-shirts as a comfortable and economical way to brand the Apache message. "Actually it was an employee idea," Knigin says. "T-shirts provide a lasting message that is recognized by the owners, the workforce, and the customers. From the basic t-shirt idea we worked outward: each day a different shirt, each shirt a different theme." Apache requested input on t he shirts from the crews, which gave them ow nersh ip. T he shi r ts a lso helped Apache employees stand out among other trades. "Hopefully the shirts will get folks asking Apache employees about safety and will inspire others to work safely too," Knigin says. "The hope is that the employees will continue to wear the shirts in the future — basically taking pride in their work, in Apache, in being part of a project, in being safe, and in being acknowledged for all the above. Hopef u l ly, t his w i l l have a last ing positive impact, and they will become owners in the process." receive injury by being struck by flying objects. Potential eye hazards are found in nearly ever y industr y. "The typical eye injury resulted from the eye being rubbed or But according to a recent Occupational Safet y and Health abraded by foreign matter, such as metal chips, dirt particles, Administration (OSHA) profile report, coatings professionals and splinters, or by these types of items striking the eye," the work in one of the more dangerous occupations regarding eye report stated. "These injury events resulted commonly in surface injuries. wounds, such as abrasions, scratches, and embedded foreign In 2011 OSHA studied approximately 3.7 million injuries and bodies (splinters and chips)." illnesses reported in private industry workplaces during 2008 and found that 27,450 were eye injuries, accounting for 62 keeP head on swivel percent of all facial injuries and 37 percent of all head injuries It pays to keep your head down at construction sites, or at least requiring days away from work. on a swivel. "Workers who were most at risk of incurring an eye injury The study of approximately 3.7 million injuries and illnesses included those in the manufacturing, construction, and trade reported in private industry showed that injuries occurred to 3.9 industries, and those in production," the report states. Those Work It Safe Coatings work PerfeCt storM for eye injuries out of 100 equivalent full-time workers. involved in the broad occupational groups of installation, maintenance, repair, (debris) extraction, and service occupations—the heart and soul of any field coatings project—were especially vulnerable, accounting for 87 percent of eye injuries among private industry workers. If the above list's activities doesn't sound enough like a coatings crew job description, take a look at OSHA's roster of 12 specific occupations that account for nearly half (44 percent or 2,010) of all reported eye injuries. The roster reads like the skill sets listed in a help wanted ad for coatings crewmembers: labor- Among the nearly 1.1 million injuries involving at least one day away from work, more than 70,000 were head injuries classified into the following areas: cranial region, including skull; ears; face; multiple head locations; and other or unspecified areas of the head. More than 60 percent of all head injuries occurred to the face. Injuries to the face are further classified into the following areas: face, unspecified; forehead; eyes; nose or nasal cavity; cheeks; jaw or chin; mouth; multiple face locations; and face, other. ers, material movers, welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers There were 27,450 eye injuries in 2008, accounting for 62 as well as those who work in production, maintenance, repair, percent of face injuries and 37 percent of all head injuries construction and extraction, service, and transportation. requiring days away from work. The report also shows, somewhat surprisingly, that workers are To avoid eye injury, always wear personal protective eyewear more likely to receive eye injuries by rubbing their own eyes (or such as goggles, face shields, safety glasses, or full-face respi- being rubbed or abraded by foreign matter) than they are to rators whenever eye hazards exist. January 2013 g www.coatingspromag.com 29

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