National Safety Month

Rolled Metal Products & Safety in the Workplace

 

June is National Safety Month, and although safety is something we focus on year round, we’d like to share a few ways our service centers maintain their safety first initiatives.

RMP-Midwest

Working closely with the Alsip Fire Department.

Fire Saftey training extends beyond evacuation procedures. According to Reliable Fire & Security, “They say that one of the best defenses is a good offense. There is no better offense for your employees than a solid plan when it comes to fire protection and first aid. One way to make sure your employees can follow any plan is to provide proper training.  Training from experts will prepare them in the event an emergency arises. Often times in an emergency type of situation, employees simply spring into action because their training has prepared them. They are calmer and more in control of the situation than if they do not receive this type of training.”

 

In conjunction with the Alsip Fire Department, our RMP-MW service center conducted a fire safety training along with a burn simulation and hands-on fire extinguisher usage. Each participant was given the opportunity to extinguish the burn using proper fire extinguisher techniques. The training was a unique opportunity to learn from true professionals and allow the RMP-MW team to be better prepared in case of a fire situation, not only in the workplace but at home also.

 

RMP-MW Safety Committee

RMP-MW Fire Safety

(Starting from left: Tom Delso, Craig Smolen, Charles Adi, Ryan Reeder, and Don McClelland)

RMP-South

Our Tennesee service center is no stranger to heat and wants to warn you about the threat of dehydration.

 

Safety never takes a break, and as the temperatures rise, we look for ways to improve safety for our employees at RMP-South. Summer is just about upon us, and we don’t want to forget the importance of keeping our team up to date on the need to keep hydrated, especially during the sizzling summer months.

 

At RMP-South, we keep lots of water, Gatorade and popsicles on hand for our employees to help beat the heat and ensure they are staying hydrated on our watch!
Dehydration happens when your body doesn’t have as much water as it needs. Without enough, your body can’t function properly. You can have mild, moderate, or severe dehydration depending on how much fluid is missing from your body.

 

It’s normal to lose water from your body every day by sweating, urinating and through tears and saliva. Usually, you replace the lost liquid by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. If you lose too much water or don’t drink and eat enough, you can get dehydrated.

 

Symptoms of mild or moderate dehydration may include: thirst, dry or sticky mouth, lack of urination, dark/yellow urination, dry cool skin, headache, muscle cramps. Symptoms of severe dehydration include: not being able to urinate, very dry skin, feeling dizzy, rapid heartbeat, sunken eyes, sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion or irritability, fainting.

 

Watch your family, friends, and co-workers for symptoms of dehydration and encourage them to beat the heat this summer by taking the necessary means to stay hydrated!  Staying hydrated means healthy employees and a safe working environment.

RMP-Northeast

Promoting safety through the Heinrich Theory.

Contrary to many who attempt to put him down, Heinrich was not an “insurance salesman”. He was a qualified engineer who lectured in safety at the New York University for more than 20 years. He served as an Engineering Officer in the US Navy during the First World War. He was appointed as chair of the safety section of the US Army’s War Advisory Board during the Second World War and became a Fellow of the American Society of Safety Engineers in 1961.

 

The thing for which he will be remembered though is his book Industrial Accident Prevention: A Scientific Approach. The first edition was published in 1931 and he published 3 revisions in 1941, 1950 and 1959.

 

Why You Should Care About This

If you work in the safety field in any capacity you should care about this because the concepts of injury causation and prevention so prevalent today were first proposed by Heinrich. The most persistent of Heinrich’s concepts were:

  • A mathematical relationship exists between the numbers of accidents of similar types and their severity;
  • The most common cause of workplace accidents is unsafe acts of employees; and
  • Reducing the overall frequency of workplace injuries will produce an equivalent reduction in the number of severe injuries.

Heinrich’s Loss Control Triangle

Heinrich obtained data about workplace injuries from insurance claims as well as from workplaces (usually Supervisors). None of this data remains available today nor was there enough information in Heinrich’s books or notes to duplicate it.

From the analysis of the data, Heinrich proposed that for every major injury there are 29 minor injuries and 300 no-injury accidents. Most people working in health and safety would have seen some variation of this formula in presentations containing triangles with different colored horizontal bands representing the different severity of injuries and the ratios between them. Most commonly, these are used by proponents of Behavior Based Safety (BBS) programs and are often called Heinrich’s Triangle or Bird’s Triangle (after Frank Bird who revised Heinrich’s classifications in 1969).

Heinrich Theory

Originally, Heinrich did not qualify his discussion of these ratios. However, by the fourth revision (1959) they applied only to similar incidents with similar causes involving the same person.

Heinrich’s severity classification was also very different from what is commonly discussed in presentations today using this concept. Heinrich considered a major injury as one that required a claim to be lodged with a worker’s compensation insurer or reported to a state regulator irrespective of the actual severity of the injury. A minor injury was what would be considered a first aid injury in modern parlance and no injury would be a near miss. Bird revised these classifications as well as the actual ratios between them and qualified the results by indicating that they would be different for each workplace and time.

Heinrich obtained data about workplace injuries from insurance claims as well as from workplaces (usually Supervisors). None of this data remains available today nor was there enough information in Heinrich’s books or notes to duplicate it.

From the analysis of the data, Heinrich proposed that for every major injury there are 29 minor injuries and 300 no-injury accidents. Most people working in health and safety would have seen some variation of this formula in presentations containing triangles with different colored horizontal bands representing the different severity of injuries and the ratios between them. Most commonly, these are used by proponents of Behavior Based Safety (BBS) programs and are often called Heinrich’s Triangle or Bird’s Triangle (after Frank Bird who revised Heinrich’s classifications in 1969).

Heinrich Causation

Heinrich’s Theories of Accident Causation and Prevention

Heinrich proposed that:

  • 88% of workplace accidents were caused by unsafe acts (usually by the injured person);
  • 10% of workplace accidents were the result of unsafe equipment or conditions; and
  • the remaining 2% were unavoidable.

 

In his domino theory, Heinrich argued that injuries resulted from accidents; accidents from unsafe acts which in turn occurred from the faults of people which had their origin in the social environment. Injuries could be best prevented by stopping accidents from happening. As the immediate cause of accidents was unsafe acts then eliminating them was the most effective focus of injury prevention programs. Does this sound familiar? It should as it underpins BBS and other psychology-based safety programs – that changing the behavior of workers is the principal means of reducing the number and severity of workplace accidents.

Conclusion

In a book of almost 500 pages, there are many other matters discussed but these are the concepts people come across most often – even if Heinrich is seldom credited as the originator of these ideas. So, despite how it may seem these ideas are not new but have become truisms within the safety industry. However, given their age, they should not be blindly accepted but re-examined in light of modern workplaces and work practices.

At Rolled Metal Products, not only are we committed to delivering customer service excellence, we understand that without a safety first business model, excellence cannot be obtained. We are more than just a supplier, our experienced team is capable and ready to serve as a technical resource to you, our customer. Contact one of our experienced team members today. 

SOURCES