CoatingsPro Magazine

NOV 2015

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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COATINGSPRO NOVEMBER 2015 29 WORK IT SAFE Selecting the most suitable eye and face protection for employees should take into consideration the following elements: Protect against specific workplace hazards. Should fit properly and be reasonably comfortable to wear. Should provide unrestricted vision and movement. Should be durable and cleanable. Should allow unrestricted functioning of any other required personal protective equipment (PPE). The eye and face protection selected for employee use must clearly identify the manufacturer. Any new eye and face protective devices must comply with ANSI Z87.1: American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices or be at least as effective as this standard requires. An employer may choose to provide one pair of protective eyewear for each position rather than individual eyewear for each employee. If this is done, the employer must make sure that employees disinfect shared protective eyewear after each use. Protective eyewear with corrective lenses may only be used by the employee for whom the corrective prescription was issued and may not be shared among employees. Each type of protective eyewear is designed to protect against specific hazards. Some of the most common types of eye and face protection include the following: Safety spectacles. These protective eyeglasses have safety frames constructed of metal or plastic and impact-resistant lenses. Side shields are available on some models. Goggles. These are tight-fitting eye protection that completely cover the eyes, eye sockets, and the facial area immediately surrounding the eyes; they provide protection from impact, dust, and splashes. Some goggles will fit over corrective lenses. Face shields. These transparent sheets of plastic extend from the eyebrows to below the chin and across the entire width of the employee's head. Face shields may protect against nuisance dusts and potential splashes or sprays of hazardous liquids but will not provide adequate protection against impact hazards. For more information, contact: OSHA, www.osha.gov though no injur y occurred, the vital information on how to avoid a similar circumstance in the future is lost. W hile in this situation no injur y occurred, this might not be the case next time. T he evidence of what trig gered the fall cannot be analyzed to determine the cause. Could a drink have been spilled, creating a slipper y surface? Was it a sunny day and the scaffolding was too hot to hold onto? Was a family member sick, resulting in a sleepless night and an over-ex- hausted employee? We' ll never know if we don't report the incident as soon as it happens. T he challenge for employers is finding a solution that motivates employees to report safety issues w ithout view ing it as a negative activ- ity. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSH A) recommendations, employers need to have a proactive workplace safety program in place. Proactive programs have been identified as being better able to help identif y hazards in workplaces and, when the right process is in place, fi x those identified hazards so that injuries do not occur. Incident Reports Matter Under its Voluntar y Protection Programs ( VPP), OSH A has insti- tuted "Injur y and Illness Prevention Programs" know n as I2P2. Many workplaces have already adopted such approaches, and 34 states are requiring or encouraging employers to implement similar programs. According to OSH A , based on the positive feedback of many employers, it is believed that the Injur y and Illness Prevention Programs can provide the founda- tion for breakthrough changes in the way employers and their workers identif y and control hazards. It's also believed that these programs can help to improve workplace health and safety environments signifi- cantly. T he Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation studied 16 companies w ith OSH A-approved I2P2s from 1999 to 2010. T he study revealed that: • the average number of claims for these employers decreased by 52 percent; • the average claim cost decreased by 80 percent; • the average lost time per claim decreased by 87 percent; • claims (per million dollars of payroll) decreased by 88 percent. Statistics prove that I2P2 programs have reduced the number of workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities, but that is not the only benefit of these programs. By follow- ing the recommendations that OSH A has outlined, employers can improve compliance w ith existing standards. Beyond compliance issues, I2P2 programs can also y ield a happier and more lucrative workforce. OSH A has reported that companies w ith I2P2 programs often have transformed their workplace cultures, leading to higher productivity and quality, reduced turnover, reduced costs, and greater worker satisfaction. To start using a proactive workplace safety program, employers need to have open communication w ith employees about why incident reports matter. Employees need to understand that while injuries are a serious matter, they are not the only consequence of importance. Fines, delays in work for remedial trainings, and even shutdow ns can also occur. Safety Watch

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