How is it already September?! The hot days are becoming fewer and far between, and soon it will be time to pull out your sweaters and toques! Please see below for this month’s safety topics!
1) Hand signals – Hand signals have been developed by industry, for the industry, so that employers can implement them into their hazard management systems for safe operating procedures within confidence. When it’s necessary to move a vehicle, everyone must understand exactly what is going to be done. This will help preserve the safety of everyone involved in the operation. There should be no confusion about the hand signals to be used. All workers involved should understand who is directing the move and the procedures to be followed. Review all the hazards associated with the move and control measures being used to minimize or eliminate the risk of potential harm.
2) Avoid Driving while Fatigue – If you are tired before you start driving, and are fighting fatigue throughout your whole journey, it may end up catastrophic. Driving safely is much more than just watching the road and keeping your hands on the wheel. It also means keeping your focus on your surroundings so that you give yourself the best possible chance of reacting to events you cannot anticipate. If you’re on medication, be sure to check the packaging to see if it’s likely to make you feel sleepy. You may also want to avoid driving if you are fighting off an illness as it can be really tough on your body. Be sure to plan your trips to allow for regular breaks to allow you to stay alert!
3) Working in heat – Just because summer is almost over, doesn’t mean employees no longer work in hot environments. While we may still have a day or two of heat coming our way, hot environments are also presented by working around equipment, working in shops and warehouses, and working in offices where the moment the weather turns, the heat gets cranked. Ensure workers are provided with working environments that are not overly heated. Vent hot work areas, or open doors if possible. If you’re a heat cranker, ask those who work with you if the temperature is bearable. Overheated workers can become fatigued more quickly, which could contribute to an incident.
4) Cold weather work – With winter quickly approaching remember to dress in multiple weatherproof layers, and to take breaks in heated areas. Be sure to cover exposed skin, keep footwear dry, and to keep moving in general to generate body heat. Controls must be put in place to decrease the risk posed to workers, such as breaks in heated environments and PPE suitable not only for the work, but the weather. Also, just as a reminder for those of you who work in BC, get those winter tires on before October 1!