Friday, June 16, 2017

Company Provided PPE

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees,

Yesterday afternoon, I.D.I. held a field safety committee meeting.  One of our safety discussions involved employees showing up to job sites without safety glasses and/or gloves and asking for a new pair of safety glasses and gloves when they arrive at the job site.

International Decorators provides personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety glasses and gloves to our employees.  All we ask is that everybody treats the PPE with care and try to make the most use of the PPE that you can.  If all employees treated the PPE as if they paid for it themselves, this would go along way in helping us to bid jobs more competitively to obtain more work so fewer employees are having to sit and not work.  Helping us to keep our cost down by not wasting money will help to keep more employees working and this benefits everybody.  We were advised that there are times when some employees want a new pair of safety glasses or new pair of gloves every day or more often then needed.  We understand that PPE does not last forever.  We understand that safety glasses get scratched up over time and that gloves tend to get holes in them over time and that employees need to replace them due to deterioration.  We do not want our employees having to work with scratched up safety glasses or deteriorated gloves as this itself can be a safety hazard.  I.D.I. requires safety glasses/eye protection to be worn 100% while at job sites and gloves are required for specific tasks and hazards so we owe it to our employees to provide this PPE.  All we ask is that everybody treats the PPE with care.

Also, keep in mind that not every single job has a gangbox containing extra supplies such as PPE.  An employee could show up to a project with out bringing safety glasses with them and we may not have any at that particular project.  In this scenario, the employee cannot work until he/she has safety glasses.  So, please remember to bring your work boots, hard hat, safety glasses and gloves with you to work everyday.  Then if your PPE needs to be replaced due to deterioration, just show the deteriorated PPE to your lead field supervisor and it will be replaced.  If the lead field supervisor advises that we do not have extra safety glasses or gloves immediately available, then you should contact your superintendent for further direction. I also want to remind everyone that our drivers carry extra PPE on their trucks so we can typically, under most circumstances, get the needed PPE to your site in a fairly short period of time.  Under no circumstances though can we allow an employee to work without the necessary PPE and this is for your safety.

Lastly, we know that most employees care and do their best to make the PPE last.  We are just trying to get everybody on the same page for the benefit of all of our employees.

We appreciate our field safety committee bringing up this matter!

If anyone has any questions about this article, please contact our Safety Director, Safety Pete at (847) 417-1689.

Have a Safe Day!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Summer Heat - Drink Plenty of Water and Communicate With Your Supervisors!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:

Summer is here and we are getting 90 plus degree weather this week.  Just putting out a reminder of what to look for as far as heat exhaustion symptoms, prevention methods, etc.  We don't want our employees sustaining heat exhaustion type injuries as they are preventable.

The symptoms of heat stress disorders are very slow to start, but increase in intensity if precautions are not taken. The onset of the initial symptoms are mild and usually involve headaches, thirst, tiredness and weakness. Heat stress can move to heat stroke, a life-threatening medical emergency, quickly when the body's natural cooling system breaks down and causes the body core temperature to rise and overheat the brain. Some of the symptoms of heat stroke are immense thirst, severe headaches, disorientation, dry/hot skin (no sweating) and possibly collapse.

The following ideas may aid in combating heat stress disorders:
1. Employees accustomed to working in the heat are better candidates for job assignments where heat stress disorders may occur.
2. Until employees acclimate to the high temperatures, allow them for short frequent breaks to cool down.
3. If heat is affecting employees, it’s a good idea to rotate employees job tasks from the heat exposure area to a non-heat exposure area on a regular basis to help in avoiding heat stress symptoms.
4. Employees are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids (water, Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) to replace electrolytes. Water is actually the best choice. Employees should not drink any carbonated beverages (Coke, Pepsi, Energy drinks, etc.) as these only increase dehydration and give a false sense of being properly hydrated. Also, the use of alcohol the evening before the work shift, can lead to dehydration even before heat exposure.
4. Don't forget to protect your skin - wear sunscreen.

We need to keep an eye on each other and if an employee appears to be suffering from heat stress disorder, remove him or her from the heat and provide a cool, shaded place to rest and provide them with plenty of water. If the employee is disoriented or non-responsive, call for medical attention immediately, (911 in most areas). The goal is to recognize the hazards and symptoms of heat stress disorders and stop them before they occur. Remember, there is no better cure than prevention. Everybody working in the heat should be communicating and checking on each other

As always, if you are having to take extra breaks due to the extreme heat, you must notify your lead supervisor who in turn must contact your Superintendent.  

Should you have any questions regarding heat related stress, you are encouraged to call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689. 
Have a Safe Day!