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Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
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OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
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Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
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SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety

Prevention efforts and resolution of safety concerns should be a prime focus in the design phase of facilities, equipment and products as well as in process changes. Safety through design requires the integration of hazard analysis and risk assessment methods early in the design and engineering stages and mandates that actions be taken to reduce the risks of injury or damage to an acceptable level. Safety must be a “pre-thought,” one that is embedded in the design phase, rather than an after thought.

Safety professionals must market their skill set and not wait to be asked to join the design and build team. Safety professionals must link their work to measures important to their organization and must recognize that safe operations do not simply occur.

Why aren’t safety and health personnel involved in the design stage? Some companies state their safety team may have a lack of technical and software knowledge. This may cause engineers to shy away from the safety staff’s involvement. The safety staff must improve their knowledge, and therefore their value to the design effort. Safety professionals who wish to enhance their careers and their worth to the company should consider changing their approach to the goal of a safe and healthful workplace and recognize that it cannot be accomplished unless retrofitting is essentially eliminated by incorporating safety into the design stage of every project.

Design software has made it possible to eliminate the costs of prototypes and models. The safety professional must make the engineering design team aware that safety must fit into the beginning and insist the engineering team keep in mind the aging workforce and ergonomics; as well as physical limitations of employees during the initial stages of design.

Safety personnel must create a proactive impact on the design process and also keep in mind safe maintenance practices, after the machinery is on the production floor. Thousands of work hours are spent on the maintenance of machinery, and designing in a safety method to achieve proper maintenance procedures makes sense in the initial stages, not after the product or machine has hit the production floor.

Safety professionals must help engineers develop knowledge of safety, not just instruct design engineers to follow OSHA/ANSI or the company safety manual. The safety team must make the design team understand that zero injuries is the ultimate objective of the project. If safety is embedded into the design, zero injuries will be achievable.

Management should be encouraged to be involved from the very beginning and they must show their support for the safety of the employees as well as the efficiency of the end product.

Safety professionals must develop credibility; add innovative and proactive solutions to the design process and they will provide an invaluable contribution to the end result. No more retrofitting; design-in safety from day one!

For more information, click on the author biography at the top of the page.

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