Northern Safety & Industrial

Pulp & Paper - From Raw Materials to Finished Cartons, Fiberboard, and Paper Products

The pulp and paper industry is a large, evolving sector of manufacturing spread across the continental US. These paper mills, lumber yards, and box plants produce pulp from wood chips, and make familiar, in-demand products like tissue, toweling, copy paper, plywood, and OSB board. Lesser known but still an important part of the sector are the pulp and paper components for LCD screens, diapers, and bandages. With consumer demand forecasted to increase, the half million people employed in this industry will count on their employers for tools and PPE to keep them safe and productive. Employers can turn to us to deliver the products and services to meet their daily challenges and achieve their long-term goals.

If you'd like to learn about the benefits of working with a team that's dedicated to helping you achieve more, contact us by calling:
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Health & Safety Hazards

Slips, Trips, and Falls

The floors in a paper mill can produce hazards. To keep themselves out of the ER, employees should wear footwear with non-slip soles that provides adequate traction and is appropriate for the work conditions. It's also important to look in the direction that you're walking and avoid distractions. Avoid falls by keeping walkways free of clutter, using ladders properly, and using personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) where necessary.

Struck By/Caught In/Caught Between Incidents

Pulp and paper employees work around heavy, powerful objects and machinery. Pinch point accidents are also a cause of injuries. Poor lighting is sometimes a contributing factor, as well. Hard hats, steel toe footwear, and safety eyewear are among the personal protective equipment (PPE) that prevents injury.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD)

When pulp and paper industry workers lift heavy objects, reach overhead, bend into awkward positions, or perform repetitive tasks, they are prone to painful MSDs. These conditions include sprains, strains, and other damage to muscles, ligaments, nerves, and tendons. These injuries, and their accompanying costs, can largely be prevented by applying ergonomic principles.

Combustible Dust

Pulp and paper workers who are exposed to combustible particulate matter face fire and explosion risk. Employers must develop and implement a combustible dust inspection and control plan and work to eliminate or reduce sources of ignition.

Burns

Workers in the pulp & paper sector are routinely exposed to high heat, chemicals and hot substances and may suffer alkali/thermal, hot ash, and many chemical burns. Administrative and engineering controls, and appropriate clothing and face protection can help prevent these injuries.

Sharp Surfaces

Cuts and lacerations can come from exposed screws on machinery, creping and doctor blades, and sheets of baled product. Cut-resistant gloves and sleeves, along with durable clothing like long work pants and coveralls help prevent exposure to cuts and scrapes.

Noise

Mill and plant employees are often in loud environments. Prolonged exposure to both loud noise and sudden bursts of noise heavily impact hearing. OSHA requires employers to address hazards to hearing. Controlling noise exposure and using ear plugs and ear muffs prevent hearing loss on jobsites.

Hazardous Chemical Exposure

Burns, dermatitis, and inhalation sickness can affect those in workplaces with hazardous chemicals. Employers must use engineering and administrative controls, identification labels, safety data sheets (SDSs), and employee training to limit exposure. Gloves, sleeves, coveralls, respirators, and spray socks are examples of helpful PPE.

Extreme Temperatures

Excessive heat makes the work in the pulp and paper field more difficult and puts employees at risk for illness. High heat and humidity causes dehydration, heat stress, and heat stroke. Frequent breaks, proper hydration, and air circulation help workers stay well.

Regulations


Recognizing and controlling hazards is essential in averting injuries and deaths in the pulp and paper industry. To prevent these incidents and remain compliant, safety programs should be structured according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA)regulations. A successful program should encompass the hierarchy of controls, training on operational procedures and risks employees might encounter, as well as proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Read below about some of the regulations put in place by OSHA and NFPA.

1910.134

A respirator shall be provided to each employee when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of such employee.

1910.1200(e)(5)

Trainers shall be qualified to instruct employees about the subject matter that is being presented in training. Such trainers shall be satisfactorily completed a training program for teaching the subjects they are expected to teach, or they shall have the academic credentials and instructional experience necessary for teaching the subjects. Instructors shall demonstrate competent instructional skills and knowledge of the applicable subject matter.

1910.138

Employers shall select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection when employees' hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts or lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemical burns; thermal burns; and harmful temperature extremes.

1910.147

Establishes minimum performance requirements for control of hazardous energy.

1910.261(c)

Handling and storage of pulpwood and pulp chips.

NFPA 654

Prevention of fire and dust explosions from manufacturing, processing, and handling of combustible particulate solids.

Resources

Tips For Avoiding Scrap Paper Baler Hazards

Paper balers are powerful equipment. They are used to compress large quantities of scrap material into compact units for easier storage and transport.

Choose The Right Cut Resistant Hand Protection

Our hands are important. They help us do so many day-to-day things. Their flexibility, strength, coordination, and sensitivity make them the perfect tools. However, because they do so much, they are one of the most vulnerable parts of the body.

What Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) Is Right For Your Workplace?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires hearing protection whenever employees are at risk of being exposed to average noise levels of 85 decibels (dB) or more throughout an 8 hour workday.

Proper Lockout Tagout Protocols Protect Workers

If you work in power plants, factories, or other facilities that use electricity, you may be familiar with lockout/tagout procedures.

Lift Safely And Prevent Back Injuries

Aches and pains in the back are common complaints. They can stem from a poor night’s sleep, overexertion in the yard, or a long car ride.

Portable Fire Extinguisher Basics

Fires can be dangerous and costly, and a portable fire extinguisher can be an effective tool to help control or put out early-stage fires.

NSI Solutions to Help You Lower Costs, Minimize Purchases, Maximize Efficiencies, and Increase Compliance

NSI Brands

With NSI Brands, you can trust that every single product will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. Our exclusive family of safety and industrial supplies combines great style and impeccable value with quality that’s backed by strict manufacturing processes and third party testing. Try them out today.

NSI Inventory Solutions

Advanced features on northernsafety.com help you manage and streamline your department's spend and ordering processes.

NSI Logo-It Custom Express Printing

In-house, full service customization solutions range from screen printing to embroidery to custom sign special orders.

Safety Check Hazard Prevention Program

Creating Solutions to Keep Workers Safe from Hazards around your Workplace.

NSI Premier+ Shipping Program

A great program for your company to receive FREE ground shipping and exclusive offers!

Technical Services

The Technical Services Department is your source for comprehensive safety solutions. Look to us for equipment rentals, scheduling repairs, and professional maintenance and inspection teams.

Advantage+ Rx Safety Eyewear Program

An easy, cost-effective way to provide safety eyewear for workers who wear prescription glasses.

Shoe Express - Safety Shoe & Boot Program

Supply your team with the proper safety shoes without tedious paperwork or shoemobile logistical hassles.

Direct Connect Employee Voucher Program

Proprietary procurement software with lightens the load of purchasing and distribution of employee PPE and supplies.

Product Selection Guides

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