Safety – Sign Sign Everywhere a Sign

I was listening to an oldies station and the song Signs by the Five Man Electrical Band came on. The lyrics went like this:

                Sign Sign everywhere a sign
                Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
               Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign

In the days of my youth when that song was popular, I related to that message. The irony is that as my age group matured and entered the work force, we perpetuated the proliferation of signs.

I recently bought a snow blower plastered with warning labels; do not stick hand here, check oil before starting, do not fill when hot, yada yada yada. So why the need for all the warning labels? Have we become a brainless society incapable of using our better judgement or have we become so litigious that manufacturers need to protect themselves? I suspect the latter because some of these labels are obvious.

Be that as it may, there are some instances where folks tamper with products thinking they can override design parameters to get better performance. Remember the show “Home Improvement” with Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor? He consistently got himself into trouble tampering with things. I recently ran into an issue with one of my customers who removed a safety pop-off valve thinking he could get more performance. He was lucky he did not hurt himself.

So where is the common ground between excessive signage and common sense? I believe it is in employee safety training. Training your employees to work and live safely will mitigate lost time workplace accidents as well as lost time due to home accidents.

A monthly safety newsletter sent to your employees via email or inserted in their pay envelope is an easy way to get the message out. It should highlight everyday situations that could pose potential accidents. Encouraging your employees to submit  situations that they have observed is a good way to get them involved and part of the process.

Safety is nothing more than thinking ahead of your actions and considering what consequences could result. Defensive driving if you may. Little things like unmarked containers can result in disastrous results. I had a neighbor who cleaned his paint brushes in gasoline and left the container on the workbench. His son was cleaning out the garage and had a burn pile out back. Two wrongs; an unmarked container and not checking to what was in the can resulted in sending his son to the burn unit.

Compressed air is an indispensable energy source. But when improperly used, it can cause physical harm.  EXAIR stays focused on providing compressed air products that not only conserve compressed air, but also provide increased safety to the operator.

Noise in the workplace can severely damage one’s hearing. Therefore the overwhelming majority of EXAIR products perform well below the OSHA sound directive. High pressure compressed air can penetrate the skin introducing air into the blood stream resulting in a fatal embolism. Therefore all EXAIR products are designed so that they do not exceed the OSHA directive of 30 PSI dead-end pressure. Our engineered nozzles can meet this directive without sacrificing performance. If you have questions on these products feel welcomed to call and ask for one of our application engineers. 1-800-903-9247

So until my next weeks blog – Be safe and act defensively.

 Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
joepanflaone@exair.com