Why Conduct a Safety Orientation?

Working in the construction industry, safety is critical to ensuring your employees go home to their families. Workers move from jobsite to another and often times, they’ll miss a Safety Orientation Training. According to the National Safety Council, in 2013 approximately one-third of the nonfatal occupational injuries or illnesses which involved time away from work were suffered by workers with less than one year on the job. Nearly one-quarter of those cases resulted in the employee losing 31 days of work. HB NEXT Safety Expert Jon Lovejoy explains a few key components of conducting a Safety Orientation.

Q.  Why do Orientations?

A.  Once an owner/employer decides to invest in his/her company’s safety program, it becomes more valuable and effective when employees are given the opportunity to learn what is actually in it. Orientations explain what the company policies are, but they should also be used to allow employees to ask why…oh, and by the way, it kills two birds…it’s training – document it.

Q.  Any legal requirements?

A.  There’s no real legal requirement, but OSHA does provide guidance for developing safety programs in accordance with its regulations and standards. Safety Programs must provide employee involvement. From understanding their responsibilities, to knowing what the rules are, feeling empowered to help improve the program, the Orientation is a good place to begin employee involvement.

Q.  What does it do for the employer and employee?

A.  For the employer, they’ll get a better ‘acknowledgment’ from employees by having them sign off…reduces the “you never told me that” situations.  For the employee, they’ll learn things they can do – and need to do – to help protect themselves and the company…like inspection documents, training sign-ins, disciplinary documents.

Q.  How can automating an orientation help the employer?

A.  It’s easy to ‘implement’ a safety program for the entire company, all at once, if everyone can be brought in at one time…automation helps with consistent and cost-effective delivery in different locations, as well as with each new-hire.

Ask HB NEXT for your guidance for conducting your next Safety Orientation. Don’t miss the opportunity to engage with your employees and ensure they’ll return home safe after a day’s work. If you need assistance with creating or automating your Safety Orientation or creating your Safety Manual to have an orienation, please contact HB NEXT.

Staying Safe In Flood Debris Removal

As the U.S. enters the hurricane season, many people begin to volunteer their time trying to make a difference and help their community. It is important as cleanup efforts are underway across the U.S., the employers and workers stop and evaluate a flood situation before debris removal begins. By taking this time and having one conversation with your team, you can prevent further accidents & incidents and keep everyone safe.

OSHA has issued the following steps as a protocol when working in a flood area.

  • Conduct pre-incident disaster response planning and ensure that emergency workers know the plan.
  • Assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present or are likely to be present.
  • Provide protective equipment to prevent slips, trips and falls including:
    • Foot Protection (e.g., steel toe work boots)
    • Heavy Duty Gloves
    • Head protection
    • Personal fall protection
    • Long pants
    • Shirts with 4’’ sleeves
  • Train workers to identify hazards, including those that require protective equipment, and how to prevent accidents & incidents
  • Be on the lookout for dangerous animals. It’s very common for hurricanes to displace wildlife. This includes: snakes, insects, rodents, and alligators.

Here are some other ways to prevent slips, trips and falls.

  • Where possible, avoid walking on wet/slippery surfaces; wipe off the bottom of wet footwear
  • Use flashlights or helmet lights to stay clear of holes or floor openings, wet or slippery surfaces, and debris or equipment
  • Do not step on any surface until you have visually inspected it to ensure there are no holes or weak spots and that it can support workers and their equipment
  • Never carry equipment or loads in your hands when climbing ladders
  • Wear backpacks and tool belts to hold equipment and keep both hands free
  • Use fall protection when walking or performing emergency response activities near unprotected edges of elevated surfaces
  • Use communication devices, particularly hands-free devices, for contacting employers/incident commanders and other workers about slip, trip and fall hazards

HB NEXT is here to keep your workers safe and provide training and consulting in flood situations. Flooding due to hurricanes is not typically an item included in a company’s safety manual. Therefore, companies do not typically train their workers on how to recognize and prevent these hazards. Your jobsites might get flooded, and you need to take proper action to prevent accidents and incidents. Ask HB NEXT for assistance as you try to keep your company compliant. Contact HB NEXT today if you need any help. Please be safe this hurricane season.