Our IIPP – At the Heart of a Strong Safety Culture

An effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program is a work-in-process. It evolves and improves as progress is made and priorities are adjusted in the overall goal of injury and illness prevention. Knowledge of the IIPP is an essential part of sustaining and growing a healthy safety culture. This month the focus is on the core values defined by our IIPP including inspection, training, investigation, disciplinary action and recognition for safe behavior. As we start a new year, may we all make a fresh commitment to watching out for each other and taking whatever action is necessary to prevent injury.

Hazard Communication, Chemical Safety & GHS

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration created the Hazard Communication Standard, commonly called HAZCOM, to protect workers from any chemical hazards they may encounter while on the job. This standard is also used to assist employers in identifying and addressing any potential dangers in their workplaces.

The Globally Harmonized Standard (GHS) defines and classifies the hazards of chemical products and communicates health and safety information on labels and safety data sheets). The goal is that the same set of rules for classifying hazards, and the same format and content for labels and safety data sheets (SDS) will be adopted and used around the world.

In December’s training, we’ll watch a video on Chemical Safety and GHS.

There are also instructions on how to retrieve SDS information within the training video and separately attached to the month’s training units.  Remember, it’s a requirement for all affected employees to be trained on GHS and Hazcom as well as know and understand the chemicals they work with and how/where to access the SDS information. This training must be given in full.

CalOSHA training requirement satisfied with this unit – “Hazard Communication”

Combustible Dust, Housekeeping & Fire Prevention

Hazard Alert: Combustible Dust Explosions – Combustible dusts are fine particles that present an explosion hazard when suspended in air in certain conditions.

A dust explosion can be catastrophic and cause employee deaths, injuries, and destruction of entire buildings. In the grain and feed industry, removal of “fuel” (Grain dust) and good equipment maintenance (Potential heat sources) are the top priorities in reducing the possibility of a dust explosion.

This unit provides important reminders of the fires and explosions that can result from working around combustible dust and the importance of keeping our facilities well maintained and free of accumulations of these potentially dangerous materials.

This year there’s an additional training point as well as an updated Hot Works Permit attached to the unit.

Remember, housekeeping is a very important key to fire prevention!

Ergonomics and Proper Lifting

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that LIFTING, PLACING, CARRYING, HOLDING and LOWERING objects accounts for 4 out of 5 (80%) of lower back injuries.

Whether you are working in a production zone or in an office environment use the instructions outlined in this Post attachment and information in the “Back Safety” Training video to help you prevent back & neck injuries at work and at home.  Back pain can be excruciating.  Don’t let simple prevention methods slip by you!

Download (PDF, 201KB)

Download (PDF, 117KB)


Industrial Vehicle Hazards & Forklift GISO Rules

Feed manufacturing and shipping simply cannot be accomplished without the use of heavy mobile equipment.  Along with the wonderful benefits of these tools come hazards that must be understood and managed.  The September Safety Training Unit provides a few good reminders for avoiding injury in and around forklifts, wheel loaders tractors and man lifts.

This year we’ve added an additional 11 minutes of video training that emphasis some common at-risk trends and specifically focuses on the non-negotiable rules for Forklift Driving covered in the General Industry Safety Orders.  This information is great for both drivers and pedestrians to review and allows a leadership blueprint for general rule enforcement and positive reinforcement.

If you haven’t printed up and posted these rules please do so immediately where forklift drivers can see them.  We’ve included them in the training and you can also visit the website (below).

Download (PDF, 269KB)

For further information visit www.calosha.gov for Operating Requirements under General Industry Safety Order 3664 Operating Rules (Part (a))  &  General Industry Safety Order 3650 Industrial Trucks. General (Part (t))

This Unit Satisfies OSHA Training Requirement:  Industrial Lift Trucks (Forklifts) and Tractors


Confined Space Safety 2018-2019

Many workplaces contain areas that are considered “confined spaces” because while they are not necessarily designed for people, they are large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs. A confined space also has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy. Confined spaces include, but are not limited to, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc.

OSHA uses the term “permit-required confined space” (permit space) to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.

Our Safety Program specifically outlines responsibilities for Confined Space Entry Supervisors, entrants and attendants.  Do not work near or in Confined Spaces without knowing and practicing our Confined Space Safety Program.  Thanks and be safe!

For more information on Confined Spaces contact your Safety Department representative and/or visit https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/confinedspaces/index.html


Heat Illness Awareness & Prevention

When the temperature starts to rise so does the possibility of Heat Stress and Heat Illness and it’s important to keep a close eye on our peers who work both inside and outside in hot conditions.  This month’s topic and training focuses on how to prevent Heat Illness.  With safety observations, preventative measures and cool down & water break reminders we can stop Heat Stress before it starts.

There are a few extra resources in our Training this month.  1) A video on Heat Stress and the Body’s Cooling Down System 2) An alternate power point training (if you would rather teach than watch the video) and an optional handout that can be given to employees to take home or keep at work.

A few Reminders from the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health:

“Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes.

Workers at greater risk of heat stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.” -NIOSH HEAT STRESS https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/default.html

California Code of Regulations; Title 8, Section 3395 Heat Illness Prevention

CalOSHA Training Requirement Satisfied – “Heat Stress”

Fall Protection & Prevention

Fall Protection and Prevention has been a big concern for all industries for many years now and for good reason. Fall Protection was OSHA’s #1 workplace violation for both 2016 & 2017 with over 6,000 violations cited by OSHA in 2017 alone.

According to the National Safety Council “Slips, trips and falls are a leading cause of injury and death for workers. Falls to a lower level are the second-most common cause of workplace death, surpassed only by highway crashes” -nsc.org Safety Spotlight.

The seriousness of the issue hit home with us this past year and this family of companies is striving to eliminate fall hazards and prevent unnecessary injury and/or death. It’s important not to fall behind with our convictions and maintain an approach of continuous improvement at each facility. Make the elimination or mitigation of hazards your daily priority. Treat every potential fall hazard seriously, regardless of the age of your facility, the familiarity your employees have with your facility or equipment and/or time spent without fall injury or loss time incident

According to osha.gov, “to prevent employees from being injured from falls, employers must:

◾Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk by use of a railing and toeboard or a floor hole cover.

◾Provide a guardrail and toeboard around every open-sided platform, floor or runway that is 4 feet or higher off the ground or next level.

◾Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as a vat of acid or a conveyor belt), employers must provide guardrails and toeboards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.

◾Other means of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs include safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and handrails.”

April’s Fall Protection and Prevention Training has been updated to a power point training reflecting common themes and concerns we’ve recently faced in the Grain & Feed, Farm, Orchard and Trucking Industry. Pay close attention to the material and ensure that your audience is attentive as well.

CalOSHA Training Requirement Satisfied = Fall Protection

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the last line of defense against workplace hazards but there is no question that the correct and consistent use of PPE in the workplace or at home, will reduce injuries and prevent unnecessary fatalities.

Although hazard controls such as Elimination, Engineering and Administrative options must be considered first, if PPE is deemed the acceptable option to prevent injury it must become habit for all employees and should be reasonably enforced by the employer.

Taking a moment to consider what PPE is necessary before starting any job or task could be the difference between life and death.

Furthermore, wearing PPE correctly the way it was designed to be worn could be the difference between Near Miss and severe injury. Never let simple comfort or style get in the way of donning PPE appropriately or wearing PPE when necessary.

Leaders – Take a moment and ensure your employees are wearing the required PPE the next time you conduct a routine workplace observation. If they are wearing PPE, are they wearing it correctly?

CalOSHA Training Requirement  – “Personal Protective Equipment”


LOTO – Lockout Tagout/Blockout

Working on any equipment without first isolating all sources of energy is dangerous and could injure or kill you and/or peers.  Do not perform maintenance on any equipment that requires LOTO unless you have been trained to do so.

Hazardous energy sources that need to be controlled include: Electrical, Mechanical, Pneumatic, Hydraulic, Chemical & Thermal.

Pressurized air (pneumatic source) is frequently used to power gates, mixer doors, and valves.  This requires LOTO just like any other power source that can injure or kill.

Electrical sources from 110V to 480V are scattered throughout our mills and offices to power equipment. Depending on the amperage and the human body’s reaction, any one of these sources can kill a person.

Remember, safety is our utmost top priority. Energy sources that power our day-to-day are tremendously beneficial but need to be treated with respect and maintained safely without exeption.

Our LOTO written program is located and accessible to users on the Train Trac under “Written Programs”.

CalOSHA Training Requirement Satisfied – “Lockout/Blockout.”