By: Gary K. Pino, FMP As the Health, Safety and Environmental steward for IDO Incorporated, I am responsible for providing our Associates with monthly in-house H-S-E training distributions. This is perfect timing for submitting a blog about Safety because according to the National Safety Council, JUNE is National Safety Month. So what?? Why does ensuring safety matter? Because of the existence of the following annual overwhelming as well as staggering statistics of:
- accidental deaths,
- disabling injuries on the job,
- work injury costs,
- hospital stays & rehabilitation expenses, and
- loss of employee productivity/income/profits
Safety basics: Since the focus of many of our previous safety training handouts dealt with the Chemical Hygiene Plan, specific hazards, risks, and good working practices, we sometimes failed at “seeing the forest through the trees.” In other words, we simply can’t overlook safety fundamentals … by engaging common sense and maintaining a SAFETY FIRST attitude (as do all of our other business partner disciplines); we are keeping a watchful eye on and embracing the need for practicing good safety habits; on an on-going basis. Safety alertness is important because if we’re aware of the most hazardous conditions that we may face, then we will be pro-actively prepared to meet those hazards head-on! It goes without saying that most accidents could be prevented if we would only exercise care and awareness to the potential hazards. By paying attention to one’s surroundings and applying common sense, accidents could be eliminated all together. To recap and reiterate just a few of the common sense safety precautions that we learned about ~ in earlier training sessions:
- Read & understand the safety signs posted outside a laboratory BEFORE entering.
- Wear all required Personal Protection Equipment (PPE – Goggles w/ Side shields, Gloves, Lab Coats, steel tip safety boots, etc.).
- Clean-up, remove, and/or avoid any possible slipping, tripping and falling hazards.
- Report (to the Lab Contact) if any flammable and/or combustible materials aren’t properly stored and kept away from sources that might ignite them.
- Pay attention to safety devices and never disable or create a work-around in order to circumvent their intention.
If in doubt about performing a job safely, then exercise on the side of caution and ASK for help, guidance and direction from a person in the know / authority. Remember … Safety First!