The TopTen OSHA Violations Before Christmas.

santaworkshopsantaSanta received an OSHA violation and pending inspection notice.

Right now, as you are reading this, Santa’s elves are hard at work putting the finishing touches on the toys and other gifts made for girls and boys around the world.  But friends, I’m here to tell you that those kids may never see those gifts.  Santa’s secret workshop is in danger from the dastardly efforts of a whistleblower (we suspect the Grinch) up at the North Pole and now the workshop is going to be inspected and in danger of being shut down by OSHA!

WE NEED YOUR HELP to prevent this from happening.  Help Santa find all the violations in his workshop and how we can clean them up.  Each workday until Christmas eve we will solve another violation and each time we find and solve the issue the Grinch fades away.  If we fix all 10, the Grinch will be gone and Santa will be able to do his thing.

TOMORROW – On the first day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secrets of the Professionals Revealed That You Can Use at Home.

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Companies spend thousands of dollars each year on sanitation and pest control along with thousands of hours on the training of personnel to properly handle those tasks or spend hours screening and evaluating outside contractors.  Either way, they want to provide the highest level of quality to ensure the best product produced.  The fabulous news is I’m going to share with you their secrets that you can do in your home. 

The professionals know that when the weather changes for the worse or nearby vacant fields are disturbed by construction or an idle facility comes to life, the displaced vermin will find a new place to call home and raise a family but by following these professional tips they won’t find your home a hospitable place and it all begins with the walk around.

The walk around is critical to maintaining any facility.  It’s your way of being proactive, finding what needs to be repaired and getting it done in a timely manner while getting a little exercise.  Walkarounds should be conducted consistently and once a month is an excellent schedule.  Walk the entire perimeter of your home, looking for and making note of the points of entry from the vermin’s point of view.  You are looking for small openings, any small cracks or holes should be noted to be repaired as they don’t need much room to squeeze through.  A mouse can fit through a hole as small as 2 cm/.787 of an inch. while a rat only needs a hole the size of a quarter to gain access to your home.   Also make note of any vegetation, weeds, shrubs or grass that’s abutted up to the house.   That should be cut back or removed since it’s providing cover for the critters.  Are there large gaps underneath the doors to the outside like the side door of the garage?  Is the area where your trash cans/trash bins are stored free and clear of trash, scraps, and clutter and are they sealed properly keeping trash secure from critters?  Take care of repairs right away as procrastination will set you back and create more problems.

Now you’ll do your walk around inside the home.  Again look for openings around valves and pipes under sinks, the furnace/ac, and laundry room.  If they get into the garage and the walls this is how they’ll enter your living areas.  After identifying your problem areas get the needed materials and do the repairs and hole filling immediately.

doorseeep

 

To resolve the problem of a large gap under your side doors you can purchase and install a Door Sweep.

 

 

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Trap set by garage side door.

Now, with that accomplished, we’re going to add an extra level of protection by setting traps in different areas not just to trap those unwanted guests but also to alert you if the problem is remaining stable or getting out of hand and needs more attention.  I tried different traps and found some more effective than others.  There is one covered trap, to spare you from seeing the dead, that is the worst with a 40-50% kill rate.  The best trap I found that never missed a beat with a 100% kill rate was Ankace Power Rodent Killer.  I have 6 traps set up, one on each side of the garage roll-up door, one by the garage side door, one on the side of steps leading into the house from the garage, one under the kitchen sink and the last one in the heating/ac closet.   IMG_1818

If the idea of traps bothers you then you can buy bait traps and place those in the same locations as you would the traps and also around the outside of the house.  I have a combination of both around my house.  I also keep non-latex gloves and zip lock bags on hand for those times I have to clear a trap, which by the way hasn’t happened in quite a long time.  If you are doing everything else right you won’t be emptying traps every day and as I said before, the traps are also an alert that something has changed.  Once you have this all in place then set yourself a reminder and check the traps on a regular basis for activity, at least once a week.

Ever wonder how the professionals remember when to clean and how often?  They use a master sanitation schedule that is posted for all to see so they know when what and how.  Next time, we’ll show you how you can use that at home too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warehouseflow’s Tip of the Month – November

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Like more information or a facility review?  Contact us – warehouseflow.com

WarehouseFlow’s Tip of The Month-AUGUST

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Accident Waiting to Happen-Visibility

Visibility is an important component of safety.  When you walk your warehouse/facility don’t do it with blinders on.  Take the time to walk and smell the roses, so to speak and embrace it, it’s your domain after all, see what hidden blindspots may exist? Like the staircase below, that leads into an active traffic area. A person in a rush, distracted with their phone or not thinking of their surroundings, may walk right into a moving forklift or vehicle.  How would you correct this situation?

 warehouseflow.com

warehouseflow.com

A easy solution would be adding signage, blinking lights or loud beeps that would alert pedestrians to the hazard and focus.  Hopefully this would cause them to slow down and look before crossing.  A painted crosswalk & xing sign is another good change that would alert drivers to pedestrians who may appear suddenly.  The most intrusive solution would be to place stop signs on either side of the crosswalk to further decrease the speed of traffic.  Don’t let an accident wait to happen for you to make changes.  Be proactive.

 warehouseflow.com

warehouseflow.com

As you can see the only warning at all is painted on the wall. “Caution Watch Your Step”.  To me that says, my opinion, the risk manager was only out here the one time when someone tripped on the steps and that was the solution.  Talk about tunnel vision.  Don’t stay quiet about safety.

witzshared is the blog for warehouseflow advisors. If you like what you’ve read here and concerned about your businesses compliance. Give us a call. The first chat is free.

Your Summer Punch List – It’s a Sign

If this is your slow season, now is the time to make sure your facility is in order and prepared!
  warehouseflow.com

warehouseflow.com

 Signs can be an omen of things good or bad about to come or a form of communication delivering information quickly whether by hand for the hearing impaired or a catcher putting down fingers for a curve inside or flags signaling the fleet. Cities use signs to indicate parking days, hours or detours, while frazzled commuters use one finger as a sign of endearment.  In your facility signs alert staff to many hazards and dangers from wet floors to emergency routes. Signs need to be clear and too the point.  DANGER!  Pretty clear, yes?  However, when was the last time you walked your building to make sure the signs in your facility are updated and correct?
  warehouseflow.com

warehouseflow.com

  Do you have old fire extinguisher signs in places where there is no longer an extinguisher? Remove them right away as this can cost you during a fire inspection.
Exit signs, are they above the correct doors?  Just because it’s a door doesn’t mean it’s an emergency exit.  Where does it go and then test the signs to make sure they’ll light up in the even of a power failure.

 

evac1Have you recently done or in the process of making any renovations or added any new equipment in your facility?  Make sure the emergency evacuation maps & signs posted on the wall still make sense and are free and  clear of any obstructions?

These are only a few examples of signs and as you walk the facility check each area, battery room, dock area, cooler, freezer and the shop area that there are appropriate signs and check that the message is still accurate. Eye wash station and high voltage warning signs for the battery room. Maximum weight loads posted on the racking.  What are other areas that will benefit from a sign or are required to be posted?   The best way to avoid the writing on the wall in your facility is by being proactive this summer.

A Sure-Fire Guide To The Gateway For Prevention

Warehouse

The warehouse loading dock is a major gateway for your company and with the constant ebb and flow of people, products and materials simultaneously arriving and leaving it’s a busy place.  However, without the proper precautions taken it also can be the gateway for infestation, contamination and other unwanted visitors who are always looking for easy access to your warehouse and it’s contents and they are most pleased when you’re not being very vigilant in your prevention.

trojan-horsePOINTS OF ENTRY – So what are their usual points of entry?  Let’s begin with those innocent looking trailers backing into your dock door right now.  They could be just like a Trojan horse except now hiding and transporting vermin.  Have your staff routinely do a visual inspection of all trailers before unloading.  Look for the usual signs of infestation like rodent droppings, bags, and boxes with holes that look chewed open and any insect activity. Contamination could also come in the form of chemical or other unwanted compound so also look for spills of liquid or powder in the trailer.  It’s a good safety habit to develop making sure the floor boards in the trailer are in good shape as well.  If they look deteriorated or broken and not safe enough to hold a forklift immediately contact your supervisor.  When a refer unit backs in you should also check that the temperature inside is at the correct level for the safe transport of that particular fresh or frozen food product(s).  Any foul odors should also be followed up with a closer look in the trailer as some food items will absorb these odors. Then as you off load, check the condition of the pallets themselves for broken boards, exposed nails in addition for any indications of contamination.

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DOORS & WALLS – Another area of entry is the dock doors and dock levelers.  When the doors are rolled down they may keep people out but can you still see any daylight coming from outside?  A mouse only needs a tiny crack 2 cm in size to get in while a rat can fit through a hole as small as a quarter.  Seal up all cracks and holes and use dock door brushes(>) or weather stripping to block all access.  This should be accomplished for any holes or damage in the walls in your warehouse that would allow vermin entry into the warehouse.  Seal them properly and to last.

tincat

As an added precaution it’s also very important to have tin cats at all entrances from the outside and throughout the warehouse.  Most pest control companies do a good job monitoring the tin cats and other pest activity. Each time the trap is inspected, update the data card inside and initial, verifying this activity.  It doesn’t hurt to keep them honest and follow up by spot checking.   Is the dock area kept clean?  If you are currently having a pest control company visit weekly, you can save money by reducing it to a monthly visit and then having your trained staff check the tin cats the other weeks.   In seasons when it gets very warm and you need a little ventilation, use of screen doors helps keep out flying insects and bug zappers in key areas also provide great backup on controlling entry.

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So now that we’ve closed as many points of entry we can why leave them an invite with an incentive?  Any small amount of food remnants and trash not properly contained will attack any hungry animal.  You don’t want to find rodents having a midnight rave in your warehouse at your expense.  A good idea is to put that task on a sanitation schedule, assigned to reliable people and then make sure it gets done.  In addition, don’t allow incoming delivery drivers to sweep out their trailers at your dock unless they bag the trash and dispose of in a proper designated container.

Door Solutions

Keep the area around your loading dock clean and free of trash.  Leaving cardboard and broken pallet boards to remain on the ground is another invitation to stay and build a nest as well as becoming a magnet for other trash.  How’s the flora around your warehouse?  High weeds and grass provide great camouflage for the vermin invaders?  Have it cut back and maintained on a regular basis.  Lastly, be aware of what’s going on around your neighborhood.  If there is any construction going on nearby that may be displacing vermin from their homes?  They will be searching for better digs and you don’t want them to give your warehouse a second look.  It wouldn’t hurt to keep an extra eye on the activity at your place.

Another great side benefit of employing and following these practices is improved safety.  Without clutter and trash around and keeping your facility neat and organized immensely improves overall safety reducing trips and falls and other accidents.

Now that you have protected your gateway and have put your defenses in place, train the staff accordingly and remember to stay vigilant!

 

You can also practice these techniques in your own home to protect it from invaders. Read Secrets of the Professionals Revealed That You Can Use at Home.