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Monthly Archives: January 2019

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  • How to layout your factory: Colour coding and zones

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    Using zones and colour coding can help in many ways in a workplace or factory. From helping to improve hygiene standards, to enhancing efficiency and safety levels, there are many ways you can introduce simple colour coding to the benefit of all. Here is our guide to some of the ways you can implement a colour coding system in your business.

    Improving hygiene standards

    Colour coding is a useful way to stop cross contamination during cleaning.  It’s a really straightforward way of keeping hygiene standards high and ensuring you avoid cross infection. The HSE also advises using a colour coding system. Here’s our guide:

     

    Colour coding systems vary from business to business and there are specific colour coding schemes for food processing which we will be writing a guide for soon, but as a general rule for most workplaces:

     

    Red is generally used for washrooms,

    Green is used for kitchen and food handling areas.

    Yellow is indicative of clinical areas or bedrooms

    Blue is used for general areas or low risk areas.

     

    A wide range of cleaning and hygiene products are available in colour coded options. For example, at CIS Safety we offer colour coded hygiene products as well as food preparation utensils.

    MEDIUM ABRASIVE SCOURING PADS, 15 X 22CM MEDIUM ABRASIVE SCOURING PADS, 15 X 22CM

    Click here to see a range of colour coded cleaning products

    Safety

    We instinctively understand that colours such as red and yellow indicate danger or caution and so colour coding areas of a factory through signage or floor markings can be a helpful way to instantly communicate to workers the areas in which they need to take extra care.

    Red: a colour associated in our minds with ‘Stop’ or ‘Danger’, for example can be used to draw attention to firefighting equipment or hazardous areas.

     

    Orange: is often utilized for organizational purposes. For instance, materials that are being held for inspection are usually held in orange areas.

     

    Yellow: often used to indicate caution. This is a good colour to mark off pathways, spillages or areas where there is noise, machinery or other hazards.

     

    WET FLOOR CONE, YELLOW WITH RED TOP, 90CM HIGH, £15.29 WET FLOOR CONE, YELLOW WITH RED TOP, 90CM HIGH, £15.29

     

    ORGANISATION AND PROCESS COLOUR CODING
    There are many other ways you can use colour coding in your factory, but most commonly, colour coding systems are adopted to help improve organisation and the efficiency of processes. A very simple example is the colour coding of waste bins so that bins used to recycle paper, plastic, etc are easily visible and everyone knows where to put specific kinds of rubbish.

     

    You can also use colour coding to  organize documents or materials being processed according to status and priority with efficiency, without words and without questions. The colour coding should be used to complement existing work instructions and assist in communicating at a glance. Used in this way, colour coding can help to save time spent searching for what is needed, or where things need to be placed.

     

    4 Things to Remember about Colour Coding

     

    1. Use as few colours as possible

    Keep it simple. The fewer colours used, the easier it will be for employees to remember what they mean.

     

    2. Be consistent

    If green means safety equipment in one area, orange shouldn’t mean safety equipment in another.

     

    3. Train employees

    Introduce the colour coding system during initial training and have regular updates at least once a year.

     

    5. Maintain the Code

    Once a standard colour code is put into action, the second biggest step is to maintain it. Use line marking products that last and are able to withstand high traffic levels and ensure that employees are adhering to the system.

     

    Our guide to colour coding for food processing industries will be coming soon.

     

    If you would like more information or advice about the products we have in stock and what is suited to your business, please email us at sales@cisafety.com or call us on 01726 74264

     

  • How to improve factory layout to increase safety

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    Facilities layout planning isn’t just important from a production and efficiency point of view, it  is a critical component of a safe working environment.

    The HSE has listed some general principles for factory layout that will make your working environment safer.  These include facilitating access for emergency services, controlling access for unauthorised personnel and planning your layout to avoid an escalation of events (avoiding the ‘domino’ effect where for example a fire cannot be contained effectively). For a more detailed look at these principles click here to see the HSE’s note on plant layout.

     

    Improving the system

    The layout and design of factory space can have a really dramatic impact on how work is carried out. It also will affect how your employees adhere to health and safety rules. By thinking carefully about facility layout, you can integrate the needs of people (personnel and customers) and the handling of materials and machinery to create a single, well-functioning system. This will help minimise the number of hazards in the workplace and create an inherently safer environment for your employees.

    Whilst plant layout is often a compromise and it takes into account a range of factors such as the geographic limitations of a site, or the need to provide acceptable working conditions for employees, for example. That said, there are some key actions that you can take to reduce hazards in your factory layout and increase production efficiency at the same time.

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    Introduce good design principles

    Facility design should enhance a ‘smooth process’ flow.  As the editors of How to Run a Small Business have identified, "ideally, the plan will show the raw materials entering your plant at one end and the finished product emerging at the other. The flow need not be a straight line. Parallel flows, U-shaped patterns, or even a zig-zag that ends up with the finished product back at the shipping and receiving bays can be functional. However, backtracking is to be avoided in whatever pattern is chosen.”

    By avoiding parts and materials moving backwards and forwards across the ‘flow’ of your production processes, you reduce the likelihood of confusion and reduce the risk of hazards in the workplace.   It seems obvious, but setting out production processes in a way that makes it simple to handle materials in an organised and efficient manner is critical - particularly if you are using hazardous substances.

    One other design consideration that is not well highlighted is the impact that factory layout has on employee morale. Why is this important from a safety point of view? Well in very simple terms, your employees will make or break health and safety in your organisation.   A well lit environment with light-coloured walls, windows and enough space can make a big difference to employee morale. So next time you’re onsite, have a look around and take time to think about the environment. Does it enhance employee morale? Are there simple steps you could take such as changing the lighting to make improvements?

     

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    Where is your storage?

     

    Aside from facilities planning and design, how you store materials and products also matters.  Make sure your storage facilities ensure goods and equipment do not cause obstructions. Keep floors and traffic routes free from potential obstructions.

     

    Click here to see some of the storage equipment we have available.

     

    Floor surfaces

    Check that floor surfaces where people are walking or vehicles are travelling are even both inside and outside buildings and fill in any holes if you need to. A particularly important consideration is how your current space is used if you have vehicles on-site.  Are the traffic lanes wide enough and are they well-signed to avoid accidents happening? One thing you can do to minimise the risk of accidents is to prevent the need for reversing onsite if possible.  This could be done by using a one-way system for vehicles - if you have the space on site. If reversing cannot be avoided, wherever possible try to keep pedestrians or unauthorised personnel away from areas where vehicles need to reverse.

     

    Appropriate floor coatings on areas with high traffic are advisable and can also help to direct the areas where people walk. Contact us for details of our range of floor coatings. Tel: 01726 74264 or email: sales@cisafety.com

    Most of these are common sense design tips that can reduce hazards in the workplace and prevent serious accidents from happening.  For more information visit the HSE’s website www.hse.gov.uk

    If you would like more information or advice about the products we have in stock and what is suited to your business, please email us at sales@cisafety.com or call us on 01726 74264

     

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