Safety may be the single most important aspect of what we do at Blast It Clean. Regardless of if we are blasting, power washing, painting, or a combination of services, there are numerous safety details that have to be considered. In addition to the safety standards for our industry, we also have to consider the safety requirements for every industry we work in. For example, food and beverage manufacturing, disaster restoration, or historic restoration. This is why Blast It Clean is proactive in the development, training, and continuity of workplace safety.
Having a sound safety program in place at your company results in not just lower costs for injuries and insurance but also increased productivity. With proper implementation, you can avoid property damage, OSHA fines, and damage to your company’s reputation. Your company’s success hinges on making sure safety is a top priority. Here are 4 tips to strengthen your safety plan.
1. QUALIFIED SAFETY OVERSIGHT
Having a dedicated safety administrator means there is someone within your company who is well versed in requirements and drives implementation. There are many resources available to support your safety initiatives, but it is important to have one person to manage the relationships with these partners who specialize in EHS compliance and training. Your “Sultan of Safety” is responsible for putting these standards in action and creating accountability within your company.
At Blast it Clean, our Safety Director completes all the safety training and is qualified to instruct. We also consult with US Safety Compliance who aids in the oversight of new laws and instructs us on the required actions and policies needed. They are in tune with any changes or notifications that come from OSHA or EPA and assist on our safety handbooks.
2. ABUNDANT SAFETY TRAINING
Educating employees on safety is the first step. It is the company’s responsibility to provide adequate training for employees based on potential hazards. The employee should never have to make an assumption on safety if they are properly trained on workplace hazards as well as the processes and procedures in place to avoid and address them.
Be sure that training is available to ALL employees, this may mean translating training material if needed.
Blast it Clean employees complete over 50 safety-specific courses covering everything from confined spaces, aerial lifts, and PPE to mold hazards and commercial driving. Together our worker’s compensation representative and safety director have created an extensive training curriculum.
We partner with Lezage Training Center to host online courses. This makes it easy to track and measure requirements for each employee. These courses are required of all employees at hire and must then be reviewed and tested annually to keep hazards and procedures top of mind.
It’s not just our operations team out on the job sites that are required to complete training. Annual training for the management and administration team is required as well. This ensures everyone has the knowledge and training and facilitates a culture of safety (our next tip).
3. INGRAIN SAFETY INTO YOUR COMPANY CULTURE
While one person may supervise the safety of your company, upholding the plan is EVERYONE’S responsibility. Every employee has the authority to stop work if anything unsafe is observed. This mindset must be promoted and encouraged so each person feels empowered to make safety a priority. It starts at the top and should be exemplified at every level.
Communication is key. That’s why EVERY job Blast it Clean works on has a “toolbox talk” lead by our Director of Operations. These meetings include a job hazard analysis including prevention and how to mitigate risk should a dangerous situation arise. Having these quick conversations keeps safety top of mind and brings attention to potential hazards. Keep in mind, this is not the time for training!
To supplement the “toolbox talks” each of our operations meetings include a safety topic. These are held one or two times per month and provide an opportunity to discuss any safety concerns with the entire team.
4. PROMOTE A SAFE WORK ENVIRONMENT
Don’t just talk the talk, you also have to walk to the walk. Setting your team up for successful safety includes providing an environment that is consistent with the message you deliver to your team.
Keep the workspace clean and organized (including work vehicles)
Confirm tools, equipment, and machine are used properly
Be sure to complete regular inspections and check-ups
All processes and procedures should have a checklist to make sure nothing is missed. Sometimes experience provides insight and sometimes it causes oversights. It only takes one blown hose to remember to check that every time, but checking it off the list could prevent the accident the first time.
Finally, wearing safety gear should not even be a thought, it’s a habit. PPE is accessed in each job to make sure appropriate equipment is used including clothing, gloves, eye protection, hearing protection, respirators, footwear, head protection, etc.
One example of a specific safety gear at Blast it Clean is a fall protection harness. Each person is assigned a harness which is inspected each time it is worn. Additionally, the company inspects each harness twice a year. Both parties are responsible for the condition of the safety gear and there is a process to ensure proper gear is used.
Safety should be more than a requirement; it should be something you emphasize and continuously strive to improve. When your employees feel safe and cared for, they are likely going to be more productive and loyal to your company.
When you hire Blast It Clean, you can rest assured we have your safety and ours taken care of.