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Train Employees For Safety

Can your employees recognize on-the-job hazards and protect themselves?

Since 1976, Maybury Material Handling has been supplying various types of material handling equipment to customers in a wide range of industries. Located in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Maybury has 72 associates in Sales, Service, Installation, Engineering and Design. For 25 years, Maybury has prided itself on exceptional integrity, quality and customer service excellence both inside and outside of the organization.

Maybury Material Handling has also set itself apart with our strong emphasis on safety in and out of the workplace. We take safety very seriously and have earned many awards from both state and local safety organizations.

As a material handling company, Maybury is required to provide powered equipment training for all service road technicians, installers, fabricators and customer service representatives. But safety training does not stop here. Safety at Maybury Material Handling includes ensuring the well being of all associates in the different environments they encounter in the course of doing their jobs.

Associates hired at Maybury—office staff, service technicians, installers and sales personnel—must go through a variety of safety training. All safety procedures are highlighted in our Safety Handbook, which is handed out every year and revised, if necessary, according to OSHA’s General Industry 29 CFR Part 1910 Standards.

Maybury safety course

Associates working in small groups learn to recognize the hazards at their own workplace and at the customer's site.

When new associates are hired at Maybury, they are given approximately 12 hours of safety training—four hours each of General Safety, Powered Equipment and Defensive Driving. Most of this training is carried out on the first day of hire. To ensure that associates are aware of the hazards on the job before they might encounter them, no one is sent out on a job until they have attended the General Safety and Powered Equipment training programs.

A Safety Committee meets once a month. Chaired by the safety director, this committee serves as a watchdog to ensure that the company maintains a high level of employee and customer safety. One representative from each department serves a one-year term on the committee. Serving on the Safety Committee trains the committee members in safety hazards and dangers as they do their monthly walk-through of the facility. To date, almost one-third of all associates have served on the Safety Committee.

All associates including office staff, service technicians, installers and sales personnel, must go through safety training.

General Safety Program
In the general industry, the safety director or associates hold a fair amount of control over their own work environment. But as a service-providing material handling company, Maybury’s business takes associates outside of its own work environment and into customers’ workplaces. The safety director and Safety Committee members rarely, if ever, get to see a job site in order to evaluate it for safety hazards. Therefore, Maybury’s General Safety Program is designed to ensure that the associate can recognize the hazards in other work environments and respond accordingly with proper safety procedures and equipment.

Maybury Material Handling’s General Safety Program includes training in the following areas:

Personal Protective Equipment (OSHA 1910 Subpart I)
Head Protection
Head injuries can be caused by flying or falling objects, electrical shock, hot material or moving parts. Proper head protection includes wearing hard hats as intended by the manufacturer. Long hair should be tied back when working around machinery. Long hair entanglement can occur from conveyor lines, power tools, welders, paper shredders and front-loading computer printers.

Eye & Face Protection Eye and face protection is required when one is exposed to flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids, caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors. All associates and visitors are required to wear safety glasses when entering specific areas of the facility. Tinted shields or clear shields must be worn when torch cutting, grinding, steam cleaning, pressing tires or working with caustic liquids. Eye safety glasses must still be worn when face shields are required.

Hand Protection Maybury provides associates with several types of hand protection when hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances, severe cuts or lacerations, severe abrasions, punctures, chemical burns and temperature extremes.

Body Protection Maybury provides work pants and long sleeve work shirts for those associates who qualify (service technicians, installers and fabricators). While working around moving machinery, clothes should fit closely and shirttails should be tucked in. The least amount of bare skin should be exposed to avoid being injured by metal chips, heat or abrasives. Full body suits are required for chemical or substance hazards.

Foot Protection Maybury provides specific associates with the proper footwear for their job functions. Protective footwear must be worn when working in areas where there is danger of foot injuries due to falling and rolling objects and objects piercing the sole. Shoelaces should be long enough to be tied securely but short enough to stay off the floor.

Hearing Protection Earmuffs and earplugs are the most commonly used ear protection at customer job sites. Maybury’s safety director provides associates with the necessary hearing protection and shows them how to use and care for the equipment.

Lockout/Tagout Program
The purpose of this program is to ensure that the unexpected energizing of machines and equipment does not occur during maintenance or servicing. Service technicians and installers are required to go through the one-hour complete training of lockout/tagout procedures. Office and sales staff are required to go through a modified version, which includes tag and lock recognition.

Confined Space Modified Program

Sandi Gagner

Safety Training Director Sandi Gagner makes sure that safety is everyone's job at Maybury Material Handling.

A confined space is determined if the space is large enough to bodily enter and perform work, if entry into or exit from the space is restricted or difficult, and if the space is not designed for continuous human occupancy. A confined space permit is required if the space contains, or has the potential to contain, a hazardous atmosphere; if the space contains or has the potential to contain an engulfment hazard; and, if the space has a serious safety or health hazard. Maybury trains associates on what defines a confined space, though they are not trained in confined space rescue. Thus, Maybury does not do confined space entry.

Fall Protection
Maybury associates are required to use fall protection if feet are at four feet and above in general industry and if working over dangerous equipment. Methods of fall protection include railings, guardrails, covers and personal fall arrest systems, which include body harnesses and lanyards. The preferred fall protection at Maybury is the personal fall arrest system. Maybury also trains associates in ladder and scaffolding safety.

Hazard Communication
There are various hazardous materials used and found at job sites, so Maybury trains associates on potential hazards and explains how to prevent exposure. For everyone’s protection, all containers must be labeled using the HMIS (Hazardous Materials Identification System) Rating System. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) contain information on eight different safety hazard sections, and are found throughout the facility and in all service and installation vans.

Lifting Techniques
Associates are taught proper lifting techniques to minimize injuries. Back belts are provided and can be worn when lifting heavy objects or when repetitive lifting is required. Items that are over 50 pounds will be handled by at least two people. Associates should use lifting equipment, such as hoists and fork trucks, to help out with heavy loads. Also, the height of workbenches, tables and machines can usually be adjusted to minimize lifting requirements.

Forms with information on eight different safety hazards are in every service and installation van.

Accident Reporting
Upon encountering a safety hazard, Maybury Material Handling associates are required, without fear of reprisal, to report it to their immediate supervisor or directly to the safety director. Associates are required to fill out the Safety & Health Action form and forward it to the safety director if they have encountered a near-miss accident/incident, non-conforming conditions or non-conforming acts. Within five days, the safety director, with the input of the associate and supervisor, will investigate and determine the root cause and make suggestions to management to resolve the problem.

Emergency Procedures
First Aid and CPR
— Maybury Material Handling requires that at least two associates be trained in First Aid and CPR. The training is provided by a Certified First Aid Program and is given to the two Maybury associates who are known as the First Responders. They respond with First Aid kits to the site of an accident and perform the proper medical procedures until medical help arrives.

Fire Extinguishers — All Maybury fire extinguishers are Class ABC with the exception of one, which is in a halogen computer room. They are placed no more than 50 feet apart throughout the building. The safety director inspects fire extinguishers monthly and an outside fire extinguisher company does an annual inspection. All associates are trained in the use of fire extinguishers.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures — All Maybury associates are trained in emergency evacuation procedures and routes. When the alarm sounds, everyone must evacuate the building immediately, using the escape routes that are posted in each area. All associates shall meet at the designated Evacuation Assembly Area where they will report to their manager or to the safety director. Managers are to account for their department at the assembly area and give the list to the safety director in order to determine if everyone is accounted for. The receptionist takes the visitor check-in book on the way to exiting the building. This helps account for any visitors who were in the facility at the time of the emergency.

Other Training Programs
The other training programs that Maybury associates must attend are Powered Equipment Training and the Defensive Driving Course. Powered Equipment Training is used to ensure that new associates are informed about the dangers of using and working around powered equipment. It also reinforces our main selling line. All service road technicians, installers, fabricators and customer service representatives are evaluated and certified on powered equipment with a hands-on testing procedure to ensure the proper operation and use of the equipment.

Maybury not only is concerned about the well-being and safety of its associates on the job, but off the job as well. Therefore, Maybury provides associates with a Defensive Driving Course. This course re-educates associates in the basics of Driver’s Education, highlighting safe driving techniques in specific road and weather conditions.

In addition to the mandatory 12 hours of training, Maybury also provides specialized training for specific associates. Maybury’s First Responders are required to be trained annually in First Aid and CPR, as well as in Blood Borne Pathogens. Propane Training is given to all associates involved with filling the propane tanks at Maybury’s facility. Respiratory Protection Training is given to all associates involved in the painting procedures at the facility.

The Safe Way is the Only Way
After all training courses, each Maybury participant and instructor is required to sign documentation stating that the participant has received proper training and has understood it. Each participant is also required to take a quiz after each training session.

One of the safety tools we use to review associates’ knowledge of training is called Safety Jeopardy. Taken from the same format as the TV game show, participants are divided into four teams and are tested in five different categories, mostly pertaining to safety: Short For (acronyms and abbreviations), Help & Exposure, Encountering Hazards, Protection & Rising Higher, and Can You Remember? With Safety Jeopardy, associates have the opportunity to gain knowledge while working together and having fun.

Regardless of associates’ daily functions, safety is everyone’s job in order to ensure a safe and healthy working environment. The most important assets of Maybury Material Handling are our associates. Without them, Maybury would not exist. In all safety programs, Maybury stresses to its associates that in the material handling industry, the safe way is the only way to do the job. 

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association
Sandi Gagner Meet the Author
Sandi Gagner is safety director at Maybury Material Handling in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Gagner is certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a trainer in Occupational Safety and Health for General Industry.

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