Efficient Plant May 2019 - 28

electrical power

Strong Safety
Cultures Pay Off

A strong safety culture helps prevent personnel from cutting corners on best safety
practices at your site.

DUE TO THE unforgiving nature of electrical hazards, it's important for facility
managers and staff to be overly diligent in efforts to create safe working environments. This includes embedding a strong safety culture, which empowers
employees to make decisions that keep them and their coworkers safe. In short, all
personnel must understand they are integral to the site's safety culture-and that
their actions can create a safer environment for everyone.
According to Eddie Jones, P.E., of Schneider Electric, Foxboro, MA (schneider-electric.com), strong safety cultures have a positive impact on reducing workplace-related injuries and can help mitigate insurance, financial, or reputational
risks. Jones provided several tips for building and/or improving such cultures.
- Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

Eddie Jones, P.E., is engineering manager for Schneider Electric Engineering Services.
For more information, visit, https://www.schneider-electric.us/en/work/services/.

28

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

 Take a top-to-bottom approach. Implementing best
safety practices starts at the top. Facility staff are more
likely to abide by safety best practices when an example is
being set by their managers and other leaders within the
organization. This requires proper training and empowering
employees to make decisions about their work-including
being able to stop work in unsafe situations and knowing
they have management support to do so.
 Get communication right. Management also has a
responsibility to properly communicate the site's safety
culture, including how to actively contribute to the culture
and the penalties associated with unnecessary risks. Some
of this information is included in literature such as the
Electrical Safe Work Practices (ESWP) policy, which governs
the business's electrical safety practices, employee qualification, and application of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Conducting periodic reviews of employee safety practices
and reviewing near-miss incidents during staff meetings are
other ways to reinforce the importance of safety. Although
managers have influence over their staff, the personnel themselves are responsible for internalizing the safety message
and putting it into practice each day.
 Give personnel the equipment they need. PPE is
crucial to a safe facility. Arc-resistant shirts, pants or coveralls, flash hoods, and voltage-rated gloves can reduce safety
risks by giving workers a protective barrier-and must be
used when working on energized electrical equipment. Management, however, must understand that personnel must be
aware of when and how to use PPE. Although PPE's primary
function is to be the last line of defense, some workers may
choose not to use it because they feel it's uncomfortable.
Still others may rely on it too heavily. Understanding the
appropriate times to use PPE can greatly reduce work-related
injuries.
 Stay up to date with relevant codes and regulations.
Personnel are responsible for educating themselves and
keeping up to date on the latest regulations and guidelines
on staying safe. Such guidelines include those from the
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the National
Electrical Code (NEC), Quincy, MA (nfpa.org), and the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington
(osha.gov). Employers are responsible for conducting annual
reviews that assess employee compliance with safety regulations, including the use of appropriate PPE. EP

MAY 2019


http://www.schneider-electric.com http://www.nfpa.org http://www.osha.gov https://www.schneider-electric.us/en/work/services/ http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant May 2019

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