Safety Awakening – “Going Above And Beyond The Standards”

April 13, 2015 No Comments

Most countries have established occupational safety and health regulations.  These standards are based upon extensive research and are often a response to excessive accidents.

Complying with safety regulations is of course a legal mandate, but don’t stop there – sometimes the standard doesn’t go far enough or is outdated.  Ask yourself, “Does compliance with the standard offer adequate protection for your employees?”

Often, offering protection that exceeds the minimum requirements of the regulation is not that much more expensive to implement, yet provides much greater protection for your employees.

Below are a few examples of where the employer decided to exceed the requirements of the standard.

In the USA, OSHA requires that a “standard handrail” have two rails (a top rail and a midrail).  The top rail should be 42-inches above the ground.  In the above photo, the employer decided to install a handrail system that surpassed the OSHA standard. They installed five rails (instead of the required two) and made their top rail an even more protective at 50-inches high!

Every year, many delivery truck drivers fall off of their flatbed trailers when unloading them.  The employer in the above photo went beyond the standard, and designed/patented/built a unique removable trailer handrail system to prevent drivers from falling off of their trailers when making deliveries.

There is no requirement in this jurisdiction for a handrail on this outdoor fork truck ramp. Yet this safety conscious employer went ahead and installed a rail along the open side of this ramp to provide both a visual edge reminder and an actual barrier to prevent fork trucks from driving off of the edge of the ramp.

For these outside steps, there is no standard that requires either handrails or painting the nose of each step yellow.  None-the-less, this employer chose to install these added protective measures even though they were not required by any safety standard.


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