Safety Orientation Savvy

July 1, 2000

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 hired to do. Given that the aviation industry appears to be doing more work with fewer employees, getting a new hire up to speed quickly should be a top priority. One way toward achieving this goal is to provide them with a thorough safety orientation presentation their first or second day on the job.

First impressions count

Offering the safety orientation early on reinforces not only the importance placed on safety, but also the professionalism of the organization in the mind of the new hire. A comprehensive safety orientation plan for new hires is a necessity and a valuable tool that sends a strong statement to new and potential employees. Remember: as there seems to be fewer qualified applicants answering the want ads, those that do walk through your doors are evaluating you as much as you are them. A professional approach to safety may be the benefit that puts your organization ahead of the rest, rewarding you with a new, enthusiatic employee.

Isn't having a safety program enough?

No. Just like any program, having it is only part of the equation. You need to be diligent in that program's orientation, reinforcement, and evaluation and be flexible in all three of these areas in order to keep what works and delete what doesn't. If you only offer a 20-minute video on safe practices in the workplace or a series of safety posters and expect that to cover any and all situations, you will not be adequately prepared for the real-time, real-life unsafe situations that lurk in the hangar and on the ramp.

The signs are there

Signs and banners are only indicators and reinforcers, not a replacement for a safety orientation program. If your maintenance operation relies solely on the assumption, "If it's posted, they'll be safe," the truth is, you'll soon be posting one more sign - "Help Wanted."

Safety is resource management

At this year's AS3 show in Tampa, FL, Ric Peri, NATA's manager, technical services, gave a presentation on "Safety Management for Aviation Maintenance," which incorporated a variety of regulatory and informative data on how supervisors can better prepare the facility and staff to function efficiently and safely. Peri reminded everyone about the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which states that "...each employer shall provide a place of employment free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or physical harm." Each employer must also comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for industrial safety. (Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1910).

Peri suggested that safety is resource management in that having a strong safety program helps to manage people, time, and money. Unsafe practices lead to workers out sick or hurt, which in turn costs the company in time lost for current and future projects, as well as the revenue not realized as a result.

New employee checklist

Items that should be on the agenda in a safety orientation briefing include: Ground Safety, Industrial Health, and Hazardous Waste, and all of these topics have subpoints such as fire safety, personal protective equipment, and hazardous waste management.

Ground Safety

Ground Safety involves Hazard Communications and Fire Safety. Hazard Communications are required by regulations and personnel need to be trained on every chemical to which they may be exposed to in the workplace. Did you know that Wite-Out® correction fluid and Super Glue™ can be considered hazardous materials? Employers should use the orientation briefing as an opportunity to train employees in the company's label and warning system as well as on the material safety data sheets (MSDS) and their location.

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 Peltor®, 90 Mechanic St., Southbridge, MA 01550; (800) 225-9038;; 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;; 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;; 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.

Crews, Inc., PO Box 751255, Memphis, TN 38175; (800) 821-6543;; Established in 1984, Crews, Inc. has become a world leader in eye and face protection products. Our manufacturing and distribution processes feature the latest technology allowing us to provide excellent quality and customer service. All of Crews' products meet or exceed the NSI Z87.1-1989 Standards where applicable.

DT Labs/Bio-Protective Products, Inc., 626 Armstrong Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102; (651) 292-9391;; We manufacture a line of invertible wipe and containments bags and spillmats. Our bio-wipe bags are OSHA-compliant for personal protective equipment in picking up and wiping potential blood-borne pathogens or human fluids. Our products serve the medical/emergency and industrial sorbent/spill markets, as well as consumer areas (i.e. air sickness bags).

Earmark, 1125 Dixwell Ave., Hamden, CT 06514; (203) 777-2130;; Earmark manufactures wireless radio headsets engineered for harsh, difficult, and noisy work environments. Increase safety and improve productivity by communicating hands-free. Call for information on our free 30-day trial.

Elvex Corp., 13 Trowbridge Dr., Bethel, CT 06801;; Hearing protection: earmuffs and ear plugs, with up to 29 dB NRR. Eye protection: UV and Blue Light protective safety glasses in stylish wrap frames.

ERB Safety, No. 1 Safety Way, Woodstock, GA 30188; (770) 926-7944;; ERB Safety manufactures and offers a complete line of quality personal protective equipment. The 2000 catalog features a wide selection of protective eyewear from traditional to contemporary styles, all meeting the requirements of ANSI Z87.1.

Fieldtex Products Inc., 3055 Brighton Henrietta, Town Line Road, Rochester, NY 14623;; Manufacturer of full line of First Aid Kits and Supplies. Soft-sided and plastic kits available.

Gateway Safety Inc., 4722 Spring Road, Cleveland, OH 44131; (800) 822-5347;; Manufacturer of personal protective equipment, specializing in eye and face protection. Our workplace safety products include: safety glasses, welding goggles, impact goggles, face shields, hard hats, eyewash systems, and various eyewear accessories.

Gloves Inc., 85 Constitution Dr., Taunton, MA 02780; (800) 225-6076;; We supply all industrial work gloves and rain gear, boots, etc. We also carry vinyl disposable gloves, aprons, and other safety items.

H.L. Bouton Company, Inc., PO Box 840, Buzzards Bay, MA 02532; (508) 295-3300;;H.L. Bouton is a leading manufacturer of safety eyewear, lens cleaning, and eyewash products.

H&S Manufacturing, Inc., Box B, 727 East Broadway, Williston, ND 58801; (800) 827-3091;; Manufacture disposable clean-up kits (HEP-AID® and NEW-AID™) for clean-up and disposal of blood and body fluids. Also manufacture absorbents, personal protections kits, CPR protection kit, compliance manual and several storage items.

Illumination Polymer Technologies, Inc. (IPT), 1751 W. Diehl Rd., Ste. 400, Naperville, IL 60563; (630) 717-6700;; IPT's Personal Safetyware™ line consists of self-illuminated poncho and split vests; belts, arm/ankle bands; and canine unit dog collars, which enhances personal visibility up to one mile. IPT incorporated its patented PolyBrite™ technology into its line of safety products. IPT products run on standard batteries and are shock-proof and weather resistant.

Jackson Products, Inc., 2997 Clarkson Rd., Chesterfield, MO 63017; (800) 253-7281;; Manufacturer of personal protection equipment for the welding, safety, and construction markets. Welding helmets, auto-darkening filters, safety caps, goggles, hearing protection. All our products meet or exceed ANSI Standards.

Koehler-Bright Star, Inc., 380 Stewart Rd., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18706; (800) 631-3814;; U.S. manufacturer of industrial-grade flashlight, lanterns, and headlamps, including models UL listed for use in Division 1 hazardous locations.

Magid Glove and Safety Mfg. Co., 2060 N. Kolmar Ave., Chicago, IL 60614; (800) 444-8030;; Manufacturer and national distributor - selling direct - of industrial work gloves, protective clothing, industrial hygiene, and safety equipment.

NGK Berylco, PO Box 13367, Reading, PA; (610) 921-5015; NGK manufactures Berylco Safety Tools. Made of beryllium copper, hey are high strength as well as non-sparking, non-magnetic, and corrosion resistant. Berylco Tools have been tested and certified by Factory Mutual to be non-sparking.

Nilfisk-Advance America, Inc., 300 Technology Dr., Malvern, PA 19355; (610) 647-6420;; Nilfisk features a complete line of specialized industrial vacuum cleaners and dustless power tools for the collection of hazardous and nuisance materials. The line includes: wet/dry vacuums, air-operated vacuums, explosion-proof vacuums, and three-phase equipment. All units are available with optional HEPA or ULPA filtration.

North Safety Products, 2000 Plainfield Pike, Cranston, RI 02921; (401) 943-4400;; North Safety Products manufactures and markets a full line of personal protective equipment and accessories. Product line includes personal protective equipment including eye-face-head, respiratory, hearing, hand, and fall protection products, self-contained breathing apparatus; controlled environment products, dermatological products, and First Aid kits and supplies, protective footwear, lockout-tagout, and protective clothing.

Pacific Scientific, Safety & Aviation Group, 1800 Highland Ave., Duarte, CA 91010; (626) 434-1138; Manufacturer of aviation safety equipment including fire protection, personnel restraints, mechanical/electro-mechanical subsystems, high pressure vessels, pyrotechnic devices, electrical cable accessories, connectors, flexible conduit systems, emergency battery systems, and battery charging technology. Our Aftermarket Service Centers offer global coverage for repair and overhaul using genuine factory parts.

Pelican Products, Inc., 23215 Early Ave., Torrance, CA 90505; (800) 473-5422;; Manufacturer of high quality, unbreakable, waterproof flashlights that are safety approved for hazardous location use and a full line of protector cases that are unbreakable, watertight, airtight, and corrosion proof. Cases are made of a structural foam resin shell that always looks new, and is unaffected by dents, scratches, and corrosion.

Pyramex Safety Products, 281-A Moore Lane, Collierville, TN 38017; (800) 736-8673;; Pyramex is a manufacturer and direct importer of safety products, including safety glasses, head gear, face shields, dust masks, hearing protection, and rainwear.

Safety Storage, Inc., 2301 Bert Dr., Hollister, CA 95023; (800) 344-6539;; Safety Storage Inc. manufactures prefabricated steel buildings, lockers, and secondary containment products for the storage, handling, and use of hazardous materials. Custom-engineered structures also available to contain hazardous maintenance processes, shelter outside equipment, and expand facilities. Non-combustible steel or fire-rated construction. Wide range of environmental and safety options.

SAS Safety Corp., 2401 E. Willow St., Signal Hill, CA 90806; (562) 427-2775;; SAS Safety meets the challenges with built-for-the-job safety products second to none. Regardless of the work, SAS offers a comprehensive line of products which include but are not limited to: eye and face protection, eyewash and drench showers, gloves, protective apparel and footwear, hearing protection, first aid kits, absorbents, and respiratory protection.

Stockhausen, Inc. - Skin Care Division, 2401 Doyle St., Greensboro, NC 27406; (800) 334-0242;; Offers a three-point program for occupational skin care. We have five different protective creams, many industrial cleaners, and three aftercare or conditioning products. Our protective cream Arretil helps prevent Skydrol® from penetrating the skin and Solopol and Kresto will clean Skydrol, greases, and oils off with one washing.

Streamlight Inc., 1030 W. Germantown Pike, Norristown, PA 19403-3996;; (800) 523-7488; Provides an extensive line of rechargeable and non-rechargeable flashlights designed to meet the performance standards of aircraft maintenance personnel. Streamlight packs non-conductivity and extreme durability into lightweight and surprisingly powerful lighting devices. Many are UL and FM approved to strict safety standards. W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., 297 Blue Ball Rd., Elkton, MD 21921; (410) 392-3700;;

W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., the world leader in durably waterproof, windproof, and breathable outerwear, provides GORE-TEX® Workwear for people who make their living working outdoors.