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Give Your Workshop A Safety Inspection

It’s January. You look forward to a couple months of preseason repairs. This time stop and take a look around. Check it out with new eyes. Is your farm workshop really a safe haven? Is it organized for max efficiency — and safety? Try out this checklist of “Principal methods of prevention used in a safe workshop.”

First cut it out and take it with you to inspect the interior layout and maintenance features of your shop. Look at fire prevention, emergency services and first aid. Before you turn out the lights, check out your personal protective equipment.

Start by checking that your shop’s layout and maintenance include these:

Travel paths and staircases are kept clear and surfaces are non-slippery.

The exit doors open toward the outside. They’re kept clear and each is clearly marked as an exit.

The area in front of electrical panels and switches is kept clear.

The general ventilation system provides at least four air changes per hour.

Carbon monoxide detectors are installed and verified periodically.

The general lighting is at least 250 lux.

Unused tools, equipment and materials are properly stored.

Then move on to fire prevention and first aid:

Portable, verified fire extinguishers of the category ABC are installed and easily accessible at each exit door and in areas where there is a local risk of fire.

Refuse is located away from areas where there is risk of fire.

A complete first aid kit and equipment for eye-rinsing is accessible.

A telephone is accessible to alert front-line emergency and first aid personnel.

Finally, go through this personal protective equipment (PPE) checklist:

Everyone in the shop must wear safety footwear and safety glasses with lateral protectors.

Other PPE, including gloves and hearing protectors, must be available in sufficient quantities and stored in a proper fashion when they’re not being used.

This checklist was prepared by farm safety professionals with the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) and the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST). The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association has a limited number of these printed checklist/posters available at no charge. Call 1-877-452-2272.

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