Print Shop Health and Safety: Post-Press (Part 3 of 3)

The last area to explore in this three-part series on print shop health and safety is post-press (binding and finishing), which includes all process after the press room to make the printed material into a consumer-ready product. This can include (but is not limited to) trimming, assembling, gluing, drilling and wrapping. Here are 5 tips for a maintaining a healthy and safe post-press environment.

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1. Don’t get burned – Be careful of hot glue pots in perfect binders. Ensure that you are  on a steady platform when refilling the glue pots and don’t touch the sides!

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2. Use the proper tools – Have the correct tools on-hand for the job. If replacing a worn out blade, for example, use gloves and handle with care. Take the time to do it right the first time.

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3. Take a seat – If your job requires a lot of standing, ask your employer to provide mats or insoles to cushion your feet and protect your back from long-term strain. Take a break and sit down if you feel overexerted. It will make you feel better, increase your energy and allow you to be more productive when you stand back up.

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4. Rotate often (if possible) – If you’re trained to operate different parts of the same piece of equipment or if you’re trained to use several different pieces of equipment, rotate often to avoid strain from repetitive tasks. If this is not part of the current set of operations, ask if you can be cross-trained on different equipment.

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5. Invest in automation – If your print shop is in the market to make smart investments, suggest investing in technology to automatically lift, lower and load heavy materials. This will increase efficiency and free up workers to complete more skilled tasks.

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Above all else, follow your instincts and know that you have the right to refuse unsafe work.

Be calm, be confident and think common sense!

dianasig

There’s no better time to refresh your lifesaving skills. If you are in the Toronto area, contact us directly to set up an in-home, in-studio or in-office session today!

 

 

 

Print Shop Health and Safety: On-Press (Part 2 of 3)

Second up in this three-part series on print shop health and safety is the press room, which houses all process during production on-press, up until the material is transferred to post-press, where individual press sheets will be transformed into consumer-ready product. Here are 5 tips for a maintaining a healthy and safe press room environment.

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1. Lift the right way – Proper lifting techniques may seem simple but way too many of us are guilty of not lifting correctly, which can put serious strain on our backs. As depicted below, the right way to lift is by bending at the knees, keeping a straight back and keeping the contents lifted close to the body. Additionally, gloves should be provided if workers are expected to lift materials from securing straps that can apply excess pressure to the hand.

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2. Be cautious with chemicals – All chemicals require a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that details how to use the chemical, storage and other important information including emergency procedures if the material is used incorrectly. Always read and follow the MSDS! Eye wash stations should also be provided wherever there are chemicals.

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3. Be mindful of nip points and pinch points – Thankfully, today’s printing equipment is well outfitted with guards and safety mechanisms. The machinery will not work unless the guards are engaged and any nip or pinch points are covered. Older equipment may not have as many safety mechanisms, so use extra caution around these presses. Additionally, exercise caution when washing up the press because rags can be pulled into the rollers. Avoid wearing loose clothing or if you are visiting the press room from an office environment and don’t lean over with a tie on! Be aware of all nip and pinch points that exist and use caution around the machinery.

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4. Take care when up high – Injuries sustained by falling from a height can be very serious. Exercise caution while on a ladder or reaching for something on a high rack. Also be careful on any elevated surface (including press catwalks) where you could lose your balance. This hazard reinforces the need to work in teams of people or, at a minimum, have a working alone policy in your organization. Not only can falls cause series injury, but reaching up high can also cause overexertion to your shoulders and back.

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5. Watch for moving vehicles – Stay in-between the yellow lines in the press room and use mirrors on the walls and ceilings to monitor where vehicles are at all times. Motorized vehicles are bigger than you and if you try to fight one… it will always win. Plain and simple.

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Above all else, follow your instincts and know that you have the right to refuse unsafe work.

Be calm, be confident and think common sense!

dianasig

There’s no better time to refresh your lifesaving skills. If you are in the Toronto area, contact us directly to set up an in-home, in-studio or in-office session today!

 

 

 

Print Shop Health and Safety: Prepress (Part 1 of 3)

In this three-part series, I’ll be providing health and safety tips for an industry close to my heart: the printing industry. Heavy machinery, sharp materials and use of chemicals make printing a potentially high-risk undertaking.

A big thank you to Kallima, as much of the information provided in this three-part series comes from Kallima’s Printer Safety and Ergonomics Booklet. The supplementary information is based on my experience working in a health and safety role in a printing company.

First up in the workflow is prepress, which includes all process that happen before a job moves into print production. Here are 5 tips for a maintaining a healthy and safe prepress environment.

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1. Ensure proper ergonomics – As most prepress tasks happen at a desk in front of a computer screen, making sure that your chair and desk are at an ideal height (with your feet flat on the floor and your elbows tucked by your sides) will help reduce unnecessary strain over time.

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2. Get moving – Do you best to get up and move around for a couple of minutes each hour. It will improve overall circulation and it will also sharpen your mental focus, making you more productive in the long-run.

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3. Handle plates correctly – Handle sharp plates with two hands, holding four fingers underneath and your thumbs on top of either side of the plate. Don’t use pinch grips that can strain your hands and make you more susceptible to minor or major cuts.

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4. Use the right knives – If cutting film or flexible materials, use a retractable knife that is large enough to allow for maximum grip strength (1 1/2″ – 2 1/2″ in diameter). Also, use a knife with a grip to reduce the chance of slippage while cutting.

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5. Rethink your workflow and workspace – Is there a way to reduce the distance of material transfer or the overall amount of material transfer required? Is there a better way to layout the space to increase efficiency and reduce health and safety risks? If you’ve got an idea, don’t be afraid to share it. Everyone (including yourself) will benefit from it and thank you for it.

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Remember to always work in a team of people so if you are ever in need of help, someone is there to assist. If you are the only person working in a department, set up a working alone policy (or check to see if your company has one already in place), which may include the use of walk-talkies with other with other departments. More broadly, establish a health and safety team to seek out potential hazards in your workplace and act to mitigate risks throughout your printing facility. This committee should meet regularly with team members representing various departments. Site checks should also happen regularly to ensure all health and safety-related equipment is up to code (first aid kits, AEDs, fire extinguishers and eye wash stations). Here are links to two important WSIB resources: WSIB First Aid Requirements & WSIB First Aid Training Criteria

Lastly, you always have the right to refuse unsafe work. Follow your gut… it’s usually on to something.

Be calm, be confident and think common sense!

dianasig

There’s no better time to refresh your lifesaving skills. If you are in the Toronto area, contact us directly to set up an in-office or in-plant session today!

 

 

 

The Little Bee Sting Helper Card

Check out our latest, hot-off-the-press helper! The Little Bee Sting Helper card that helps remove a stinger if stung by a bee. If you would like your own card, email us info@onsitefirstaid.ca and we’d be happy to mail you one!

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Bee calm, bee confident and (buzz!) think common sense!

dianasig

There’s no better time to refresh your lifesaving skills. If you are in the Toronto area, contact us directly to set up an in-home, in-studio or in-office session today!