The following is an excerpt from the GAWDA Safety Organizer, a monthly bulletin sent to GAWDA members. For more information on the GAWDA Safety Organizer, or to read past issues, visit the GAWDA.org Members-Only Section.
This OSHA, EPA and DHS Safety Organizer focuses on six Sample Safety Practices added to the GAWDA website by the GAWDA Safety Committee:
- Facility Securement
- Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tagout
- Confined Space
- Employee Onboarding
- Ladder Safety
- Safe Handling of Cylinders
All member facilities contain hazardous material that can be targets for theft. The Sample Safety Practice “Facility Securement’’ provides guidelines for facility securement of welding distributors and fill plants. These guidelines include control of access to the facility, clear perimeter site lines, visitor protocols and surveillance recommendations.
Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tagout
Every facility has a need for Lockout /Tagout according to OSHA 29 CFR §1910.147; “safeguards must be established to protect workers from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.” Lockout / Tagout programs must be written, employees must be trained, the program must be audited, and the audit must be documented annually.
Confined spaces are defined as areas that have openings large enough for a person to enter but not intended for continuous occupation. Some examples of confined spaces include acetylene generators, hydrotest pits, lime tanks, cargo trailers with manholes, lime trailers, product storage tanks with manholes or other similar areas. Any confined space that may pose a risk to human health requires a permit process to be included in the Confined Space written program.
Employee Onboarding is a comprehensive list of how to introduce the new employee to your company’s safety and learning culture. This begins with a review of the company’s history, contacts, policies, and a tour of the facility. The document then outlines what trainings will apply to the job description of Driver, Inside/Outside Sales, Fill room and Administration/Support. This list is a best practice from the committee members. It is not meant to cover the specialties of every GAWDA member.
Ladder Safety covers both Straight/Extension ladders and step ladders. The two types of ladders have different applications and safety requirements that employees should be knowledgeable before using either type of ladder.
Safe Handling of Cylinders
Safe Handling of Cylinders is one of the most important factors in our business. Injuries due to cylinder handling include broken and pinched fingers, tendonitis of the elbow and torn rotator cuffs. These injuries not only make for a “bad day” but often have the employee out (or on modified duty) for weeks or months and significantly impact not only your productivity but also your Workers Compensation insurance “mod” rating for 3 years. If you ever wondered what the most common practice for cylinder handling in our industry, then take a look at this document. It may not completely fit for your company but will give you foundation to create your policy, SOP, and training.
All of these Sample Safety Practices may be found on the GAWDA website.
To locate the page:
- Log into the GAWDA website
- Hover your cursor over “My account” or “Resources” and you will see the “Members Only Page”
- Click on “Members Only Page”
- Under “Member Documents” on the left side of the page, you will see “Sample Safety Practices (alphabetically listed).”
- Click on “Sample Safety Practices (alphabetically listed)” and scroll/click to the topic of your choice.
- You can read the document on your computer screen, click Preview, or Download the document for printing or later use.