This time of year brings an increase in personal activity such as hunting, fishing, holiday decorating, spending time with family, and looking forward to a new year. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year where we see an increase in incidents and injuries in the workplace, at home, or on the road.
We often see people in the workplace distracted by personal matters or financial concerns and overlook safe work practices. At home, tension between family members are sometimes high since they are also feeling stressed during the holidays. However, we must remain committed to our personal safety so we can enjoy the holidays with our families. Here are some helpful tips to be safe in the workplace:
- Job Safety Environmental Analysis (JSEA) – the tool we use for personal safety to identify all steps, hazards, and mitigation controls to keep us safe throughout the work day. A JSEA should be completed for all job tasks.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – wearing the proper PPE for a specific job task should be the easiest and most compliant. Although PPE is considered the last line of defense, it is most often forgotten.
- Policy and Procedure – compliance with Shamrock and customer policies and procedures is paramount and must be strictly adhered to. We must remain vigilant and follow the basics no matter how simplistic the task may seem. They are in place for a reason.
- Peer-to-Peer Intervention – some of us spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our families. We should all look out for one another, and ensure that we speak up and intervene when a co- worker is putting him/herself or others in harm’s way. This could also make a quality SAPP observation!
- Stop Work Authority – everyone has responsibility and authority to STOP WORK or decline to perform an assigned task, without fear of reprisal, when an imminent risk of danger exists or is perceived to exist. No work shall resume until stop work issues have been adequately addressed.
There is also much activity at home that we should remember to be safe. According to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), approximately 5,800 individuals are treated annually for emergencies related to the holiday season. Here are a few helpful tips to be safe at home:
- Vehicle safety is something we should always be aware of, but need to take extra care during this time of year. It is important to remember there will be more people off of work and more people on the roads this time of year. Other road hazards to keep in mind this time of year are wintery weather conditions such as snow, ice, and dense fog. Farm vehicles, including cane trucks, can also pose significant hazards. These hazards, or a combination of, could potentially create dangerous driving conditions on the road. Be sure to use extra precaution when traveling on roadways this holiday season. It is imperative to always be aware of the other drivers on the road at all times and to drive defensively. It is also extremely important to ALWAYS wear your seatbelt, NEVER text and drive, and NEVER drink and drive.
- We should always take extra precautions when we are decorating the house. Never use lighted candles near trees or curtains due to potential fire. If you are hanging lights or decorations, always utilize an appropriate step stool or ladder for the job. Avoid standing on furniture or anything not designed to be stood on. If utilizing a ladder, never use the top rung as a step and always keep your hips between the side rails. You should also place a ladder one foot away from the surface it rest on for every 4 feet of ladder height. Turn off all lights and decorations whenever you go to bed or leave the house. Never plug in more than three sets of lights on a single extension cord.
- Food preparation is something that we do not think of being inherently dangerous. However, improper food prep is something that sends thousands to the doctor this time of year. When preparing food, you should wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Always defrost items in the refrigerator or in cold water. To confirm that the food is cooked fully, use a food thermometer to make sure the food has reached a desired and safe temperature. Please be responsible when it comes to alcohol related beverages; and remember, NEVER drink and drive.
Additional ways to keep safety in the forefront this holiday season is by continuing to perform “360° Focus” inspections and SAPP observations. Employees must check all clearances, including those in front of, on both sides of, and to the rear of the vehicle prior to each time it is moved from a parked location for the prevention of incidents and/or running into stationary objects. Let’s also not forget to submit quality SAPP observations! One of the requirements for the Employee Annual Performance Bonus is completing a single SAPP observation per month for 12 consecutive months. Shamrock certainly appreciates everyone’s continued commitment to safety. This year has been exceptionally well for us. Let’s finish the year strong and keep the momentum rolling into 2019!
We all have families and friends that depend on us. Be extra careful this holiday season and work safely, so that we can share the holidays with our loved ones. We wish all our employees and their families safe and happy holidays this coming season!