Friday, September 29, 2017

Sorry to Say, Winter is around the Corner and so is the Cold…

During these colder months, you may have staff that feel the extra draft and request a Space Heater for their office. Adding a Space Heater can add some comfort to those feeling the chill in the air, or the draft along the floor. One of the issues with use of Space Heaters is that they come from a home or purchased at a retail store. The problem with these are they are not intended for commercial use. Commercial use Space Heaters need to UL Listed for commercial use. 

Below are a few additional hazards associated with consumer use heaters:
 
1.     They are not commercial grade Space Heaters and can increase the fire hazards in the commercial/city buildings.   
2.     The Space Heaters tend to remain plugged in at night and unattended during off hours.  
3.     There are typically multiple heaters plugged in a single circuit which can, and often does, over load the circuit, causing the electrical wires to overheat and may lead to a fire.  
4.     Some Space Heaters that are brought in are older units of dubious origin and could have damage or wear. This leads to an increased chance for fire due to electrical shorts and overheating.

 
There are some simple solutions to these issues, without an all-out ban on their use. There are low voltage commercial panel heaters designed for use in offices and cubicles. There are also commercial grade Space Heaters available for purchase, which would be a more appropriate choice for use in commercial/city office buildings. Establishing a policy regarding the use and care of heaters, including a policy to unplug heaters while not in use, can reduce the associated hazards tied to the non-commercial grade and consumer grade heaters brought from home which could have damaged heating elements or electrical cords, or have a dust bunny nest – each could contribute to the fire hazards.
 
Local office supply distributors can be a good source for commercial grade Space Heaters. With any Space Heater, you want to check to make sure it is not “for consumer use only”.
 

Hopefully this will start a conversation within your Office to ensure that everyone knows the Risks, and Works together to ensure Safety within the Workplace!

 

By: Troy Walsh


Friday, September 22, 2017

The Table Menu – Safety Message

Have you ever gone out to dinner and found yourself reading the stand-up menu that was placed on the table? Sometime these are advertisements, or the ever so popular drink menu. What if you took this idea to your break room or lunch table and added safety messages? 

 
What if you changed these messages every month, or added some simple quizzes? Could you see staff sitting at lunch discussing the day’s work, last weekend’s fishing trip, and suddenly someone asks “How do you overcome driver fatigue?” The other staff will then start thinking about it as well. Naturally there are multiple answers, but the staff randomly started discussing safety!

 
This is an interesting concept that some state agencies are doing with employee break rooms and lunch tables. There are a wide variety of topics, as well as quizzes, that could be installed to always keep safety on employees’ minds. Sometimes just a simple Google search for “Safety Quizzes” will give you plenty of examples to use.
 
Some examples of topic to use include:
·         Driver Fatigue  
·         Aerial Lifts
·         Cold & Heat Stress
·         Fall Protection
·         Overexertion Injuries
·         Work-Zone Safety
·         Ladders
·         Lifting Techniques
·         Equipment Hand-Signals
·         Confined Space


Thinking outside the box of safety training can be fun, and trying to keep safety a Priority is Important.

By: Troy Walsh