The origins of paper stretch as far back as the first millennium CE. Today, there are over 565 manufacturing facilities in the U.S., making the Pulp and Paper industry one of the world’s largest and oldest industries. According to the EPA, “pulp, paper, and paperboard mills are responsible for supplying 26 billion newspapers, books, and magazines each year.” It’s through the power of water, pulp, and control technology that paper mills are able to produce a single sheet of paper, which in turn, can be used for a variety of different functions. While this may sound simple, the papermaking process is very complex, requiring a number of moving parts. In order to create a safe and effective work environment, employees must be able to identify the occupational hazards that lurk around every corner.
Fiber dust, which is produced during the papermaking process, piles up on the ground and machinery. When airborne, this creates an explosion hazard and can also cause respiratory problems if inhaled by workers.
The papermaking process incorporates a wide range of hazardous chemicals. To avoid injury, it’s important that all substances are properly labeled and the appropriate PPE is worn to avoid injuries upon exposure. Shower and eyewash locations should be properly marked and located in each employee workstation.
Hot surfaces and high temperatures are common hazards inside paper mills due to the amount of friction and steam produced during the papermaking process. Without the proper ventilation, employees can quickly succumb to the effects of heat stroke if the proper precautions aren’t taken. By encouraging work/rest cycles, along with providing a cool down station, employees are able to react quickly once they recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion coming on.
Areas where a person or their body parts can become caught or crushed by a machine, are referred to as pinch points. Injuries can happen when a person becomes caught between two moving machinery parts or between a stationary object and a moving part.
When working on or around machinery, employees must be aware of sharp edges and surfaces. Blades and moving fabric on machines can cause scratches, cuts, and even amputations. With most cutting occurring on the hands, it’s critical for employees to have proper hand protection.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Water mixed with paper scraps left on the ground can lead to slippery walking surfaces. Other factors such as broken railings and the misuse of equipment can contribute to the rate of employee falls in a facility. By utilizing the proper fall protection equipment, slip-resistant footwear, and PPE the impact of the fall is greatly reduced, if not prevented altogether.
On a construction site, you are dealing with more than just outdoor elements. Dust and debris from gypsum, cement, limestone, marble, dolomite, wood and silica can be a daily hazard to workers eyes, causing infection and injury.
Foam lined eye protection is key to protecting workers from dust and debris. ORR Safety offers a full line of XP Foam Lined Eyewear that are comfortable, quality products that incorporate style and function increasing wearer acceptance. For additional protection against the elements, try our XP Fog Fighter™ line! They work six times better than standard Anti-Fog Treatments and meet EN Anti-Fogging specifications.