Safety Orientation Savvy

Safety Orientation Savvy What importance do you place on safety? By Michelle Garetson July 2000 The first days and weeks in a new job can be very stressful as the new employee tries to get settled and get busy with what he or she was...


Fire Safety is often overlooked when a new employee come on board. Not everyone knows how to use a fire extinguisher or where they are located. All employees need to know what their function is in a fire situation. Maybe it's simply "get away from the building." There may be tasks assigned to employees, such as who contacts the fire department and who's responsible for a head count once everyone has assembled in the designated meeting spot outside the facility.

Chemical spills and other emergencies should also be discussed as to what is expected of employees with respect to acting and reporting during and after such emergencies.

Industrial Health

Aircraft maintenance facilities are noisy places. Power tools, aircraft engines, test equipment are in constant use, all day, every day. Hearing Conservation programs are necessary in this environment as prolonged exposure to those noise levels can lead to hearing loss. Employees need training in how to protect their hearing on the job with safe practices and proper gear.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is an important safety topic that should incorporate training in its use as well as the care of equipment. Employees should be told the procedures for obtaining new PPE, which tasks require PPE, and procedures for cleaning, repairing, and replacing PPE. Also, any shared PPE is required to be cleaned after each use.

Other items in the category of industrial health involve explaining to personnel what to do in the event of an injury or illness, what to do in the event of a non-injury accident, how to deal with an unsafe or unhealthy condition, and which tasks require a safety observer. Location of first aid kits and medical facilities should also be addressed.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste Management training should include location and use of spill kits, how to report incidents and accidents, and proper storage and disposal procedures.

General housekeeping

Personal clean-up rules and housekeeping rules need to be established early to avoid problems later on. It should be explained that housekeeping is incorporated with and not separated from the maintenance task. A "clean as you go" routine should be incorporated in the training and reinforced on the job.

Recurrency training

The orientation briefing should be anything but brief given the amount and importance of information that employees need to know in addition to their other job skills

A full day or two half-days would be a good start for safety orientations with a follow-up not long after initial training. The first orientation will probably be somewhat overwhelming to the new hire, so follow up reinforcement will be necessary and appreciated. We have recurrency training on aircraft, and therefore we need recurrency training in safety.

Everyone believes themselves to be a safe worker; however, without proper reinforcement of good behavior, short-cuts and complacency can soon find their way into the shop area. A thorough safety orientation program with scheduled follow-up sessions establishes and reinforces the norms of the company, while projecting a professional approach to all employees.

Safety Products and Services Listing

The following is a listing of companies that provide safety products and services. Please contact them directly for more information.

Aearo PeltorĀ®, 90 Mechanic St., Southbridge, MA 01550; (800) 225-9038; www.aearo.com; One of the oldest and most trusted names in the safety products industry, Peltor's complete range of hearing protectors and communication headsets provide the highest performance in noise reduction, communications technology, and comfort. Peltor products improve noisy aviation environments, enabling people to work in greater safety, security, and comfort.

American Allsafe Co., 99 Wales Ave., Tonawanda, NY 14150; (716) 695-8300; www.americanallsafe.com; Manufacturer of personal protective equipment to include safety spectacles, goggles, hardhats, hearing muffs, communications sets, welding protection, respirators, ear plugs, face shields, visors, and first aid kits.

Conney Safety Products, 3202 Latham Dr., Madison, WI 53744; (800) 356-9100; www.conney.com; Conney Safety Products' 2000 Buyers Guide is packed with thousands of safety and first aid products. Our customer service representatives are available to answer all your safety-related questions.

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