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The Final Word by Helen Roush

There have been several comments resulting from some recent stories on Nip Impressions regarding fatalities in the industry.

Some companies are concerned with the safety at their own facility and are trying to be proactive. That is a good idea.

Specifically, it is important for companies to look at their individual facility and processes to identify areas that can be improved upon and vigilantly strive to educate their employees on the importance of safety.

After a person has worked in a mill for years, they perhaps get comfortable with their surroundings and do not pay as close attention to the potential hazards around them as they once might have. We should always be cognizant of our surroundings and of the machinery being operated around us.

I recently visited a mill, and there was heavy machinery equipment moving wood chips, and workers were working. We stopped and made eye contact with the operator. We waited until he acknowledged eye contact before we proceeded. That was a simple step.

If you consider that there is heavy machinery being operated at a mill, and the fact that sometimes those operators cannot always see individuals walking in the immediate area, it's no secret that a company and its leaders cannot overemphasize safety and safety protocol.

Employees should be given proper safety protocol to follow for many situations and adhere to that protocol at all times. If they follow proper safety protocol, the injuries and fatalities would likely drop in number.

Unfortunately, in many instances, accidents and fatalities could have been prevented.

We need to remember to put safety first and remember to follow proper safety protocol at all times.

Helen Roush is Vice President, Communications Sciences at Paperitalo Publications. She can be reached by email at helen.roush@taii.com.


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