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safety orientation

  • Hiring Summer Help? Give Them a Good Start

    The old saying “It doesn’t matter how you start, it’s how you finish that counts”. Well in life summer helpterms that is probably true. The other side of this conversation however is, “It does matter how you start”. This is the season for short term employees, specifically “Summer Help” it’s almost a tradition. It gives students a chance to make some money to help fund their education, or that car they need to get back and forth from home to school. It also reminds them of the reasons they are in school, so that by Labor Day they go back to school with a renewed sense of purpose. At the same time we also want to send them back with all of their fingers, toes, eyes, hands and feet. So it’s imperative that when they are hired we start them off with the proper safety orientation.

    As a student, in a different lifetime, I worked in a variety of jobs, which added to my life experience. I was a custodial worker, grounds keeper, grocery clerk and manager, hamburger flipper, and painter. As a custodial worker I learned the fine art of stripping sealing and waxing floors, moving and stacking chairs and desks @$1.10 per hour. To be honest learning how to use a floor machine, or swing machine as some call it, was a bit of a challenge. I didn’t have much guidance and it’s not as easy as it looks especially on a slippery floor. A broken chair and a chewed up electrical cord later I was good to go. Yes of course I learned how to clean bathrooms as well and the chemicals that went with it. Not much hazcom, or “Right to know” training there either. I took some of these skills with me when I worked in the grocery store. There were some new hazards I quickly understood for example, the proper use of a box cutter. Today I tell my own children, that, if worse comes to worse, they can identify me by the scar on my left index finger planted there by the errant use of a box cutter. My point in all of this in moving forward, is that today there are several opportunities including construction, or manufacturing, for young adults to not only add to their resume and life skills, but for employers to give them the necessary tools to learn how to manage their work safely with proper training, and to take that lesson with them wherever they go as well.

    Employers do have a responsibility according the OSHA’s general duty clause (Pub. Law 91-596 Section5(a)(1)) to provide their employees with a safe place to work as free from recognized hazards as is reasonable, and prudent. Employers must point out the hazards and train in how to recognize and avoid them during the course of the workday. This will also include the use proper PPE as well. The general duty clause covers hazardous conditions or practices not covered by an OSHA standard. There is so much more information available today than there ever was before, so give your summer help the training, and confidence they need to do the work safely and properly so you can send them back to school better than they came to you. Safety Orientation is good for everybody.

  • Safety Orientation : First Prom

    Safety Orientation; the dictionary defines orientation as “To guide one in adjusting to new surroundings, employment, activity, or the like. It’s further defined by “Merriam Webster” as: a person’s feelings, interests, and beliefs: a main interest, quality or goal: the process of giving people training and information about a new job, situation, etc.: further a state of being directed or having a direction. So the term “orientation” can be applied to a pretty broad spectrum. Don’t you just love the English language? It really lets your imagination take some pretty interesting angles or “orientation”.

    My grandson is about to embark on a rite of passage, his first prom. So dad and mom are guiding him in his new surroundings, giving him direction on what is expected; "Make sure you, and the car are clean, and the tank is full, running out of gas is not cool. Pick up your tux and make sure it fits. Identify the color of her dress so the proper corsage can be purchased (in safety we call that PPE). Pick up your date on time and be respectful of not just her but her parent’s wishes to get her home on time. Open the door for her. Allow time for pictures and remember it’s ok to say no to those things that will land you in trouble. Oh and one more thing – Have fun!"

    Of course in a family setting none of this will get you fired if not adhered to but could cause some repercussions if you’re not paying attention.

    In Industry “safety orientation” takes on a much higher profile in preparing one for the job to which you are hired, and truly can mean the difference in getting home alive or not getting home at all. The company you work for needs to have an overall company safety plan or policy which includes “New employee Safety Orientation” It will cover OSHA standard 29CFR1903. This plan needs to be available to the employee and is mandated by OSHA. I believe that every employer out there knows the workplace hazards that their employee will encounter if not on a daily basis, will at least come into contact at least occasionally. The employer, under General Industry standards general duty clause Pub. Law91-596 Section5(a)(1) “must furnish to his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees”. Yes additional training must be provided for hazard specific jobs, or conditions which will further protect you once you are on the payroll. So just like the prom you need to get there safely and know the rules once you get there. It starts with Safety Orientation!

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