InTents December 2023-January 2024 - 39

process, and finish the inspection at the
shipping department. This approach ensures
that no area of the plant is missed.
For other types of workplaces, such as offices
and retail establishments, consider
the layout and develop a plan that ensures
that each work area is inspected. Start
with easily identifiable hazards, such as:
* Tripping hazards
* Blocked exits
* Frayed/exposed electrical wires
* Missing machine guards
* Poor housekeeping
* Poorly maintained equipment
Look for property damage, such as
walls or doors damaged by equipment or
forklift traffic, which can indicate potential
future injuries. If possible, try to work
with the supervisor and workers near the
hazard to resolve the problem on the spot.
Talk to workers
Workers are likely to know the most
about the hazards and safety issues in
their jobs. Tap into that knowledge. Make
them comfortable talking with you. Build
personal relationships wherever possible.
Assure them that you are interested in
finding problems and fixing them (i.e.,
improving safety, not blaming anyone
for your findings). Avoid asking yes/no
questions; rather, encourage conversation.
Ask open-ended questions such as:
* What is the most hazardous task in
your job? What makes it hazardous?
* If you have been injured on your job,
what was the injury and how did it
happen? What was done to make
your job safer?
* How would you report an injury,
hazard or near-miss?
Seek out and talk to the most recent
hires to get their perspective on safety.
These " fresh eyes " could have valuable
insights. Observe workers as they perform
their job. Do they lift heavy objects?
Do they stand/sit in awkward postures?
Are they performing repetitive motions?
Checklists are available to help evaluate
ergonomic issues. If you encounter more
complex hazards, recognize that you may
need assistance. Hazards such as the following
should be evaluated by a safety
professional or industrial hygienist:
* Chemical hazards such as solvents,
welding fumes or toxic dust
* Noise exposure (areas where you
need to raise your voice to be heard)
* Excessive heat
* Accumulations of combustible dust
Post-inspection activities
Following the inspection, prioritize the
hazards based on the severity of the potential
injury and the probability that an injury
might occur. Use a risk assessment matrix
or other system to prioritize, track and follow
up on hazards. The highest priority
hazards are those that have a high probability
of occurring and have the potential
for the most serious outcomes.
For example, minor cuts or abrasions
that happen only occasionally would be
low priority. However, if they are likely
to occur repeatedly, such hazards would
merit a higher priority. If an exposure to a
hazard is improbable but could result in a
catastrophic outcome (such as a worker's
death or the injury of multiple workers), it
should not be a low priority.
Of course, it also makes sense to fix
easily controlled hazards in order to get
them off the list quickly. Share the list of
hazards with management along with
an estimate of what is involved in fixing
them. Schedule time to go through the
list so that they understand the problem
and how it could affect operations if not
addressed. Use this opportunity to secure
their commitment to provide the resources
needed to fix any hazards.
This article was published by the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
For additional resources and information,
visit osha.gov.
InTentsMag.com 39
Look for property
damage, such as
walls or doors
damaged by
equipment or forklift
traffic, which can
indicate potential
future injuries.
http://www.osha.gov http://www.InTentsMag.com

InTents December 2023-January 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents December 2023-January 2024

InTents December 2023-January 2024 - Cover1
InTents December 2023-January 2024 - Cover2
InTents December 2023-January 2024 - 1
InTents December 2023-January 2024 - 2
InTents December 2023-January 2024 - 3
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InTents December 2023-January 2024 - Cover3
InTents December 2023-January 2024 - Cover4
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