Safety Is Our First Consideration at G&S Engineering Services
Safety Is Our First Consideration at G&S Engineering Services
Queensland, Australia, November 2015 –G&S Engineering Services Pty Ltd provides a diverse range of asset management services that span manufacture, construction and maintenancein the mining resources, energy and infrastructure industries.
G&S workers are exposed to range of potential workplace hazards;from working on construction, installation and maintenance of heavy machinery such as coal stackers, processing plants and draglines, to mechanical and electrical overhauls and maintenance on surface and underground equipment and machinery.
Wal Birch is a member of the company’s Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Management team.
“Our vision is‘zero exposure results in zero harm’,this drives the organisation’s safety philosophy.
“It’s a management process that dominates our workplaces. We help people focus on eliminating or effectively controlling hazards and every one of our business units nationally share the same belief that every incident and injury is preventable”, Wal said.
The company has a mandatory glove policy that requires all workers to wear gloves when carrying out any manual task where contact may cause injury.
10 years ago we had a recordable injury frequency rate in the mid 60’s per million exposure hours with typical hand injuries being cuts to hands that were caused by contact with sharp edges.
“Last month, our recordable injury frequency rate was at 2.84 per million exposure hours. This is a dramatic improvement and our consistently improving safety record has enabled us to reduce our Work Cover rates significantly.In the 2011-12 periods we had 18 Work Cover claims for hand and finger injuries. In 2015-16, we have had just two claims to date, still two too many.
“Implementation of our glove policy has significantly reduced the occurrence of first-aid visits, despite gloves being a deterrent to injury in many tasks, rather than a total solution.
Seeking fit for purpose hand protection solutions
“Most tasks involve heavy, manual labour and are very tough on gloves. Much of the work is sporadic in that our people can be performing several different tasks in succession that require different types of gloves, so it is impossible for them to carry specific gloves for every task.
“A few years ago we reviewed our hand protection and conducted a safety workshop which involved a representative group of employees who were assigned different tasks to perform, and were issued with different types of gloves.
“We evaluated how each employee performed the task and staff completed an evaluation sheet after testing the gloves. This data was used to guide us as to which gloves would be specified to the type of task – general purpose protection, handling sharp objects and tools, hot work, welding, puncture and impact protection.
“The process included matching gloves with typical tools to ensure we replicated actual usage situations. We also needed to consider the amount of grip required and how much grease and oil may be contributing to grip issues.
“Worker feedback was very important as the objective was to match the appropriate level of hand protection with worker expectations of comfort, dexterity and the ability to let them carry out their tasks effectively and efficiently.
“Evaluation of a suitable glove for general fitting work that requires a high level of dexterity resulted in a preference by our workers for Ansell HyFlex® 11-840 gloves.
“Respondents reported that the 11-840 glove providing cut protection Level 2,fitted well and enabled their hands to remain cool and comfortable – an important aspect that assists with employees wanting to wear gloves and not just be in compliance with our glove policy. The glove also demonstrated a good level of durability.
The prime benefit of using the Ansell HyFlex 11-800 glove is the safety benefits with dexterity and productivity for users – they feel protected and able to carry out most tasks. It is all about comfort. If the glove feels comfortable and people can feel what they are doing, well they just keep them on their hands and therefore stay better protected.
These gloves ticked all our boxes in terms of price, product, service and the range available”, Wal concluded.
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