At no one point can a company’s safety leadership dust off their hands and say, “That’s it. Now we’re totally safe!” Simply put, worker safety isn’t a one-time event. New workers come and go. Equipment wears out. New processes create new hazards. Safer technologies emerge, such as advancements with smart, data-driven personal protection equipment (PPE).
America's safest companies are those excelling at workplace safety and limiting risk to workers. Industrial hygienists, safety managers, safety specialists, and Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) leaders are those ensuring that safe environmental working conditions are practiced. The responsibility is no easy task, from training workers in safety procedures, to countless face-to-face discussions with workers and of course, maintaining logbooks.
For safety professionals, time management is essential. At MCR Safety, we have only one purpose. We Protect People! So when it comes to maintaining personal protection equipment, we are there for you. A fresh set of eyes is sometimes all that is required to guarantee workers are 100 percent protected.
MCR Safety’s 360° Protection Program aligns with a company’s operational and safety teams, improving overall worker safety and reducing costs. The program has helped numerous companies over the past couple years, across industries such as automotive, food, and metal fabrication. We discuss the program more in-depth below and highlight some recent industry success.
What is MCR Safety’s 360° Protection Program?
The 360° Protection Program is a comprehensive look at your company’s current safety gear and how it’s performing for you. Are you seeing injuries? Is your safety gear being used for purposes it was not designed for? Is it becoming damaged or worn out? Is it resulting in inefficiencies or otherwise hampering workers from following industry best practices?
This holistic investigation into your PPE and safety needs follows a five-step program:
This qualitative information gathering involves meetings with stakeholders and a safety walk through the actual work environment. We assess the applications performed and PPE used in keeping workers safe.
Example from an actual 360 assessment
This step involves gathering quantitative data, including information on injuries, current costs, and product lifecycles.
Example from an actual 360 assessment
During the analysis stage, we take all of that qualitative and quantitative data and examine it to figure out where you can best improve your safety program to reduce injuries, while also helping your bottom line.
Example from an actual 360 assessment
This step involves implementing the recommended changes, including making sure workers are correctly fitted and trained with their new PPE.
This step is ongoing, as we follow up with you to check on the improved safety measures and address any new concerns as they arise.
Of course, all of this starts with step 0, the decision to schedule your visit. This is perhaps the most important step, and the only one that you need to take on your own. This is when you decide that creating a safer work environment is important to you.
Which Workplaces Benefit From a 360° Visit?
There is never a bad time to take a more detailed look at safety, but there are definitely some times when it becomes especially important. Some examples include:
- You’re in an industry that requires working around significant hazards.
- You’re applying or thinking of applying to participate in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs.
- You’ve seen an increase in workplace injuries in a particular department or across the company over the last year.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
- You’ve had some workers’ compensation claims and are worried about the cost of increased premiums.
- You’re hearing concerns from workers or union representatives about safety issues.
- You’ve had one or more OSHA violations and expect a follow-up inspection.
- You’ve recently had significant turnover among your health and safety officers.
- You’ve recently had significant turnover among your workers in high-risk roles.
- You’ve recently upgraded your tools or equipment, but not your PPE.
OSHA Inspection or 360° Visit?
When OSHA comes to call, it is usually for one of two reasons.
- You’ve decided to participate in a Voluntary Protection Program, which requires a serious commitment to the very highest levels of workplace safety.
- You’ve been having problems. A serious injury, an anonymous complaint, or a previous inspection resulting in one or more violations can all trigger a visit from OSHA.
The nature and scope of most OSHA inspections depends on its purpose. Either way, you have got your work cut out for you. OSHA will review a lot of paperwork and documentation in advance. They will interview both employees and managers as needed, and complete a walkthrough of the facility. In addition, they will check historical records of workplace injuries and illnesses, and informational posters about health and safety. Finally, the OSHA inspector has a closing conference during which they explain their findings and suggest changes.
If OSHA’s purpose in visiting revolves around the second point mentioned above, a proactive 360° visit focusing on PPE and specific workplace hazards makes more sense. Many of the same OSHA practices performed occur during a 360 visit, including:
- Evaluation. This serves the same function as OSHA’s walkthrough mentioned above, with PPE as the focus.
- Measurement. Our team checks the workplace for injuries and PPE used, as does OSHA.
- Analysis. We explain our findings and recommend the appropriate PPE, just like OSHA.
While the inspection process shows some similarities, the 360° Protection Program comes without strict deadlines, citations, or punishments. We are there to help, not hand out judgement or punishment. We only want to protect people. Working with MCR Safety in a supportive environment is much less stressful on everyone and will leave you more prepared when OSHA drops by unannounced.
The question you face is whether a proactive PPE hazard assessment is preferred to a post injury OSHA inspection. Which do you prefer?
Recent 360° Protection Program Success in 2018
In early 2018, MCR Safety performed a 360° assessment at a leading metal fabrication company’s frame assembly operation. With significant injury costs rising, conducting a 360° made perfect sense and provided a fresh set of eyes to the problem.
During the evaluation and measurement stages, we discovered that the gloves used in a particular area were coming loose at the seams and thumb crotch. Less than two hours into a shift, many workers were experiencing worn out gloves. With productivity results a top priority, workers were reluctant to change out their PPE, ultimately exposing them to hazardous working conditions.
We recommended a replacement glove that offered better stitching and cut protection. While marginally more expensive, the recommended gloves lasted twice as long on average as their predecessors, leaving the company with an annual cost savings of over $100 per employee per year.
In another department, exposure to solvents and friction when handling small parts was leading to damaged gloves. This in turn led to nearly $20,000 annual costs directly related to incidents. Gloves made from the proper materials protected against both mechanical and chemical hazards.
In the end, almost $90,000 in potential annual savings were identified, and this doesn’t include the savings associated with a more comfortable workforce and reduced turnover, both of which are often found in companies that invest in worker safety.
How to Schedule a Visit
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your businesses is to get an objective third party to look at your health and safety from the ground up. Our 360° Protection Program will not only help you analyze the specific risks in your workplace, but it will also help you find the ideal safety solutions that fit your needs and budget.
If you want to take this next important step with your company’s safety program, you’re in luck: scheduling a visit has never been easier! Send us a quick note with your contact information and a little information about your company, and we will respond right away.
For over 40 years MCR Safety has proven to be a leader in gloves, glasses, and garments. Whether it’s on a shop floor, oil rig, or construction site, we are there providing solutions to workplace hazards. We Protect People!
Learn more about MCR Safety by checking out our most recent video. For more information, browse our website, request a catalog, find a distributor, or give us a call at 800-955-6887.