Chapter 30:
Safety Rules

Updated as of August 2006

All employers must have safety rules. The following, although not exhaustive, are examples of some of these rules. Employers should evaluate their individual situations and determine if different and/or additional safety rules may be required.


  1. Report all unsafe conditions and equipment to your supervisor or Safety Coordinator.

  2. Report all accidents, injuries and illnesses to your supervisor or Safety Coordinator.

  3. Before obtaining medical treatment of any on-the-job injury all employees should get a written authorization form from their supervisor or the Safety Coordinator. Field employees should call the office to get the location of the nearest approved medical provider. Employees may be required to obtain medical treatment, depending on the nature of the injury.

  4. Means of egress will be kept unblocked, well lit and unlocked during work hours.

  5. In the event of fire, sound alarm and evacuate.
  7. Upon hearing a fire alarm, stop work and proceed to the nearest clear exit. Gather at the designated location.

  8. Only trained workers may attempt to respond to a fire or other emergency.

  9. Exit doors must comply with fire safety regulations during business hours.

  10. Stairways should be kept clear of items that can be tripped over and all areas under stairways that are egress routes should not be used to store combustibles.

  11. Materials and equipment must not be stored against doors or exits, fire ladders or fire extinguisher stations.

  12. Aisles must be kept clear at all times.

  13. Work areas should be maintained in a neat, orderly manner. Trash and refuse are to be thrown in proper waste containers.

  14. All spills shall be wiped up promptly.

  15. Files and supplies should be stored in such a manner as to preclude damage to the supplies or injury to personnel when they are moved. Heavy items should be stored closest to the floor and lightweight items stored above.

  16. All cords running into walk areas must be taped down or inserted through rubber protectors to preclude them from becoming tripping hazards.

  17. Never stack material precariously on top of lockers, file cabinets or other high places.

  18. Never leave lower desk or cabinet drawers open that present a tripping hazard. Use care when opening and closing drawers to avoid pinching fingers. Keep drawers closed when not using.

  19. Do not open more than one upper drawer at a time, and particularly the top two drawers on tall file cabinets.

  20. Never attempt to lift or push an object which is too heavy. You must contact a supervisor when help is needed to move a heavy object.

  21. When carrying material caution should be exercised in watching for and avoiding obstructions, loose material, etc.

  22. All electrical equipment should be plugged into appropriate wall receptacles or into an extension of only one cord of similar size and capacity. Three-pronged plugs should be used to ensure continuity of ground.

  23. Individual heaters at work areas should be kept clear of combustible materials such as drapes or waste from waste baskets. Newer heaters which are equipped with tip-over switches should be used.

  24. Appliances such as coffee pots and microwaves should be kept in working order and inspected for signs of wear, heat or fraying of cords.

  25. Fans used in work areas should be guarded. Guards must not allow fingers to be inserted through the mesh. Newer fans are equipped with proper guards.

  26. Equipment such as scissors, staplers, etc., should be used for their intended purposes only and should not be misused as hammers, pry bars, screwdrivers etc. Misuse can cause damage to the equipment and possible injury to the user. Paper cutter blades should be kept in down and "lock" position when not in use.

  27. Cleaning supplies should be stored away from edible items on kitchen shelves and stored in appropriate containers.

  28. Solutions that may be poisonous or not intended for consumption should be kept in well-labeled containers and stored appropriately.

  29. Cooperation in accident investigation is required by all employees.

  30. There should always be at least one employee on each shift trained in First Aid to handle emergency medical treatment.

  31. Horseplay, unnecessary boisterous conduct, provoking or engaging in any disturbance is dangerous and is strictly forbidden.

  32. Possession, consumption or sale of alcohol or any controlled substance is strictly prohibited on company property.

  33. Do not use chairs, boxes, desks, etc. in place of a ladder or step stool.


  1. If you are injured or become ill on the job, immediately inform your supervisor.

  2. If you see another employee get hurt or become ill do not attempt to move him/her. Call your supervisor. Only employees trained in First Aid should render assistance.

  3. No employee shall go for medical treatment of any on-the-job injury without an authorization from Human Resources or the Production Manager.

  4. When you see a co-worker doing something unsafe, point it out to him/her. If he/she continues to do it, notify your supervisor.

  5. Cooperation in accident investigation is required by all employees.

  6. If you are aware of any defects or dangerous conditions in the equipment or machinery that might cause injury, inform your supervisor immediately.

  7. Portable electrical equipment and appliances shall be securely placed and guarded to avoid injury to anyone. Regard all loose wires, broken connections, etc. as "HOT." Report these immediately.

  8. All work areas are to be kept clean and orderly. All trash must be disposed of in the proper containers.

  9. To avoid accidents caused by litter or spills, pick it up or wipe it up.

  10. Know the type of liquids you may have to handle in your work. Protect yourself in the manner instructed by your supervisor when handling toxic liquids, flammable materials or other liquids.

  11. There should always be at least one employee on each shift trained in First Aid to handle emergency medical treatment. He/She will be familiar with procedure in the event of a severe accident.

  12. Good housekeeping skills require that you clean your work station thoroughly before you go on to another assignment.

  13. Horseplay, unnecessary boisterous conduct, provoking or engaging in any disturbance is dangerous and is strictly forbidden.

  14. Possession, consumption or sale of alcohol or any controlled substance is strictly prohibited on company property.

  15. Do not use chairs, boxes, desks, etc. in place of a ladder or step stool.

  16. The drawers of desks and file cabinets shall be closed when left unattended, and no more than one file drawer should be opened at any time.

  17. File cabinets should be properly loaded from bottom drawer up to prevent tipping.

  18. In the event of fire, sound alarm and evacuate.

  19. Upon hearing fire alarm, stop work and proceed to the nearest clear exit. Gather at the designated location.

  20. Only trained workers may attempt to respond to a fire or other emergency.

  21. Exit doors must comply with fire safety regulations during business hours.


  1. Do not operate any powered tool, appliance, or machine until you have received training from a supervisor and are thoroughly familiar with its total operation.

  2. Only operate equipment if you have been given permission to do so by your supervisor.

  3. If something goes wrong with equipment or a machine that you are operating, turn it off immediately and notify your supervisor.

  4. Never remove or alter safety warnings or instruction posters on or near machinery.

  5. Use only hand tools that are in good working condition, and know the proper use of tools before using them.

  6. Before repairing any power equipment or machines, the person assigned to the job must:

    1. Shut off the equipment by pulling the proper disconnect switch and applying a lockout tag to the switch.
    2. Try the start switch to be sure the proper switch has been disconnected.

  7. Keep your hands and arms away from moving parts of machinery and out from under or between dies, shear blades, or any other point of machine operation.

  8. Always wear safety glasses when using compressed air. Never use air hoses to remove dust from clothing. Exercise extreme care to protect co-workers in the vicinity. Store tools in appropriate area at the end of the shift.

  9. Concentrate on your job. Do not talk with others while operating a machine. Attention may be lost and this can result in injury and/or death.

  10. Never leave tools where they may fall or become a tripping hazard.

  11. Metal ladders must not be used when working on or near electric lines or equipment.

  12. A defective ladder should be tagged and removed from use.

  13. No extension ladder may be used unless it is equipped with safety feet and secured so it will not slip.

  14. Safety guards may never be removed from any machinery except by trained maintenance and technical personnel when repairing, setting up or adjusting machinery. At these times they must follow proper tag out/lock out procedures.

  15. All electrical panels and switch boxes shall be identified with a description of the equipment they control, such as: "Circuit Breakers."

  16. Do not use oil, grease, or any other combustible material or open flames on or around oxygen equipment. This may result in an explosion.

  17. Machinery, equipment and the surrounding area shall be kept free of excessive oil and grease and all other debris.

  18. Never interfere with the use of any method or process adopted for the protection of all employees.


  1. Employees must wear protective gear as required.

  2. Respirators, compressors and hoses shall be regularly inspected through a preventative maintenance program.

  3. Hearing protection is mandatory in designated high noise areas or while performing certain high noise tasks.

  4. Only clothing appropriate to the nature of the job may be worn.

  5. Welders and spray painters are required to wear full length sleeves, as well as other protective apparel that is special to their occupation.

  6. Closed, leather work shoes are required in all areas of the plant. Employees working in the office who frequently go into plant areas shall also comply with this regulation. Athletic-type shoes are not allowed.

  7. OSHA approved safety glasses shall be worn in all areas of manufacturing at all times.

  8. All plant employees with hair below the collar line must wear their hair up under a head covering or tied back in a "pony tail."

  9. When walking through the plant, do not take short cuts. It is mandatory that everyone walk through the proper doors and use the proper walkways.

  10. Back supports are available to employees upon request.

  11. Approved NIOSH/MSHA respirators shall be worn at all times while painting.



  1. When lifting, remember that your greatest source of strength is in your legs. Always bend the knees and lift with your legs. This will protect you from back injury or hernia while lifting objects.

  2. Do not try to lift or push excessive loads by yourself. Use the "buddy" system and get help.

  3. Stack material safely, using proper pallets and blockings. Never exceed a safe height or block aisles, exits, fire fighting equipment, electrical power panels, sprinklers etc.

  4. Do not use defective equipment (e.g., slings, hooks, chains, etc.). Report any problems with equipment to your supervisor immediately.

  5. If the load being carried on a forklift obstructs the operator's view, the driver is required to operate the forklift in reverse.

  6. When operating overhead cranes, observe the rated capacity of the crane. Do not attempt to lift a load that exceeds the stated weight.

  7. When transporting parts, be sure the load is secure to prevent shifting in transit. Also transport the load as low to the ground as possible.

  8. Never walk beneath a suspended load when a crane is in operation.

  9. Before using any type of lift vehicle, be alert to any irregularities that may tell you the vehicle may not perform safely (e.g., cracked forks).

  10. When stacking parts on shelves, arrange them in such a manner that prevents the parts from falling off the shelf.

  11. Material must be stacked where it is not a hazard and where it will not impede safety devices or fire fighting equipment, or block aisles, hallways and exits.

  12. When using wooden pallets, be sure the pallet is in good condition and suitable to hold the load. All unsafe pallets should be repaired or discarded.

  13. When handling or storing compressed air cylinders observe the following regulations:

    1.  The valve shall be closed and the cap securely affixed in place on the disconnected cylinders.
    2.  Cylinders shall be secured in an upright position by chain or other means.
    3.  Movement of cylinders from place to place shall be done with the use of the provided carts
    4.  All cylinders shall be marked as to contents. Use the correct gas for each application. Any cylinder not marked should be reported to the supervisor.


  1. Only drivers authorized by the company and instructed in the safe operation of vehicles shall be permitted to operate such vehicles.

  2. Stunt driving and horseplay are prohibited.

  3. No one other than the operator may ride on forklifts, trucks or other vehicles unless adequate riding facilities are provided.

  4. Employees shall not ride on the forks or forklifts.

  5. Employees shall not place any part of their bodies outside the running lines of a vehicle or between the masts, uprights or other parts of a forklift where shear or crushing hazards exist.

  6. Employees shall not be allowed to stand, pass or work under the elevated portion of any forklift, loaded or empty, unless it is effectively blocked to prevent it from falling.

  7. Drivers shall check company vehicles at least once per shift. At a minimum, a safety check of a vehicle shall include checking tires, horn, lights, batteries, controllers, brakes, steering mechanism, and the lift system of forklifts (forks, chains, cables, and limit switches).

    1. a. If a vehicle is found to be unsafe, the condition shall be immediately reported to the lead person or supervisor. Company vehicles shall be removed from service and not used again until made safe.

  8. No gas-powered vehicle shall be operated with a leak in the fuel system.

  9. Drivers shall not exceed the authorized or safe speed of 5 mph. Drivers must keep vehicles under positive control, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and follow all traffic regulation. For vehicles traveling in the same direction, a safe distance shall be three vehicle lengths or preferably a time lapse of three seconds, when passing the same point.

  10. Other vehicles traveling in the same direction shall not be passed at intersections, blind spots or dangerous locations.

  11. The driver shall slow down and sound the horn at cross aisles and other locations where vision is obstructed.

  12. Vehicles shall not be driven up to anyone standing in front of a bench or other fixed object where the person could be caught between the vehicle and object.

  13. Grades shall be ascended or descended slowly.

  14. When ascending or descending grades in excess of 10 percent, loaded forklifts shall be driving with the load upgrade.

    1. On all grades, the load and load-engaging means shall be tilted back and raised only as fast as necessary to clear the road surface.

    2. Motorized hand and hand/rider lifts shall be operated on all grades with the load-engaging means downgrade.

    3. Forklift forks shall always be carried as low as possible to the ground.

  15. When leaving a vehicle unattended, the power shall be shut off, brakes set, the mast of forklifts brought to the vertical position and the load-engaging means left in the down position. When left on an incline, the wheels shall be blocked.

    Note: A vehicle is considered to be unattended when the vehicle is not within the operator's view or when the operator is more than 25 feet from the vehicle.

  16. When an operator has dismounted from a forklift which is within his view and he is remaining within 25 feet of the forklift, the load-engaging means shall be lowered, controls neutralized and the brakes set.

  17. Prior to driving onto trucks or trailers, their flooring shall be checked for breaks or other structural weaknesses.

  18. Vehicles shall not be driven in and out of trucks or trailers at loading docks until the trucks or trailers are securely blocked and the brakes are set.

  19. Vehicles shall not be driven within one tire width of the edge of elevated docks, platforms, truck or trailer beds, except in tracks with elevated edges designed for that purpose.

  20. Trucks and trailers shall not be loaded in excess of their rated capacity.

  21. A loaded truck or trailer shall not be moved until the load is safe and secured.

  22. Extreme care shall be used when tilting forklift loads. The load-engaging means shall not be tilted forward except when picking up a load or when depositing the load onto a rack. When stacking or tiering, the backward tilt shall be limited to that which is necessary to stabilize the load.

  23. When using forklifts, the load-engaging device shall be placed in such a manner that the load will be securely held and supported.

  24. Extra precautions shall be taken when using forklifts with devices added for securing or handling special loads, and during the operation of these forklifts after the load has been removed.

  25. If a load being carried obstructs forward view, the driver is required to travel with the load trailing, driving in reverse.

  26. Vehicles may not be driven outside of company property.

  27. Where possible, avoid operating the tractor near ditches, embankments, and holes.

  28. Reduce speed when turning, crossing slopes, and on rough, slick, or muddy surfaces.

  29. Stay off slopes too steep for safe operation.

  30. Watch where you are going, especially at row ends, on roads, and around trees.

  31. Operate the tractor smoothly--no jerky turns, starts, or stops.

  32. Hitch only to the drawbar and hitch points recommended by tractor manufacturers.

  33. No repairs shall be performed on any agricultural or industrial trucks or tractors until arrangements have been made to reduce the probability of injury to persons who will repair the equipment, or others, caused by sudden movement or operation of such equipment or its parts.


A variety of safety forms are available for download in our Forms & Checklists area.

Go To Next Chapter | Return To Table Of Contents