Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Discovering dangerous and hazardous situations are commonplace to the staff at TPA.  As we develop technical documentation for operator/owner's manuals we identify potential hazardous situations that could occur when operating electrical appliances and cooking equipment.  With Thanksgiving just a few days away, we would like to share some safety insights for a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Most people do not realize that every year at Thanksgiving, there are four times more cooking fires than any other time of the year.  Also, in home related fires, cooking equipment is involved in almost half of all reported incidences. 

If you manage to escape the wrath-of-the-bird by avoiding the fire hazards, you are still vulnerable to food poisoning.  Tom Turkey may still have his vengeance via food poisoning as an average of 400,000 Americans suffer from food poisoning each year caused by mishandled food. 

With all the potential hazards associated with Thanksgiving, the staff at TPA and Tom Turkey would like to help you to stay safe by sharing a few safety tips for the holiday.

 Keep fire extinguishers close by and ready.

Make sure all smoke alarms are working.

Keep all knives away from the reach of children.

Always wash your hands before and after handling raw food.

Wash all fruits and vegetables before prepping.

Make sure the turkey stays at 40°F or below until ready to cook.

Stay in kitchen when cooking, do not leave the stove or oven unattended.

Keep children away from stove and oven.

Use timers and routinely check all dishes that are cooking.    

Cook Tom until he reaches a temperature between 165°F to 180°F before serving.

We hope these tips will keep you and your family safe this Thanksgiving. Here's wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at TPA.

And now for a lighthearted message from Tom your Turkey Ambassador...

#thanksgiving safety tips

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Workplace Safety — Preparing for an OSHA Safety Inspection

— How do you prepare for an OSHA inspection? —

Our job, here at TPA, is to mainly help you protect your customers against unwanted injuries as they use your products. We help you protect customers by way of creating concise and effective user documentation. However in regards to the work force side of your business, we came across an article we wanted to share that may help prevent injuries to your workers on the shop floor.

Disclaimer: TPA does not have any affiliation with the company who wrote this article nor did we have any input into the article. This article is simply being presented to our clients as part of a workplace safety awareness campaign.

What's in the article?

An OSHA Safety Inspection

We’re not surprised if the thought of one [safety inspection] may be unsettling for you. After all, someone searching around your business for things that you’re doing wrong so that they can potentially cite you isn’t exactly a pleasant thought. On top of that, OSHA inspections are almost always unexpected, giving you no time to prepare. These factors are why writing this guide was important to us. By understanding the process of a safety inspection as well as measures that you can take to always remain prepared in the event that an inspection happens, our goal is to make you feel a little more at ease with the idea of an OSHA safety inspection.

This guide will cover reasons why OSHA may choose to inspect you, what to expect in all phases of an OSHA inspection, what happens during an inspection follow up and, most importantly, the proactive steps that you can take in order to be prepared for an inspection.
Reasons You May Be Inspected

THE BAD NEWS: In most cases (besides planned inspections, which we will speak to), there is no way to assure that you absolutely 100% will or will not be inspected.

: This doesn’t mean that it’s completely random. In order for an inspector to be able to walk into a business, they must have a probable cause that warrants an inspection. There is a hierarchy for probable cause, meaning that certain items make it more likely that you will be inspected than others.

I hope this information helps protect your staff from personal injuries due to workplace accidents.

Steve Nichol, President and CEO    Technical Publication Associates, Inc.

#safety inspection

Thursday, October 6, 2016

How Effective Are Your Product Illustrations in Conveying a Message of Safe Operation?

These photos show an area of this product that should not be touched.  In the black and white photo, you cannot clearly see the directional arrow or the "X" indicating the danger area?  You can see the red "X" and the red arrow in the color photo to the right, but that doesn't help when the Operator Manual is printed in black and white.  Furthermore, from our viewpoint, you should never show someone physically touching the prohibited area.

bad product photobad product photo

Make sure the illustrations you use in your Operator Manual are clearly defined, whether printed in black and white or in color, as shown in the following illustrations.  As stated above you should not show the action being described, such as "do not touch" the hot surface.  Even though the international "Do Not" symbol is shown, it is possible that not everyone will understand.  For legal purposes, it is better to show the operator's hand at a safe distance along with the "Do Not" message and symbol.
good black and white product illustrationgood color product illustration

Initially you may save money using the photos supplied by the exporter, but these photos do not provide a clear understanding of the prohibited action.  Using quality illustrations, however, will make a clear statement of the prohibited action. 

Ultimately you need to compare the cost savings of using photos with an unclear meaning to that of your attorney defending you in a personal injury lawsuit.  Our recommendation is to invest in the one-time cost of creating a clear and concise Operator Manual and not multiple times defending ongoing lawsuits over the lifespan of the product.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Reducing documentation costs

Most operator's instruction sheets for products can reduce costs by reducing the amount of text needed for the instructions. The more visual instructions can be, with less text, means less text needing to be translated for other languages. This is just another small way to help reduce production costs. When was the last time you have evaluated your product's instruction sheet?

security device illustration

Unique Patents

You can patent just about anything that is unique. Here is a picture frame patent drawing from our archives showing a person with great contorsional skills. We are not taking a political side, but this does kind of reminds us of the political climate taking place today among all politicians. Why can't our leaders just be Americans striving for what's best for the country? We hope this makes you smile and that you will not take offense.
illustration of filed patent


Friday, September 9, 2016

Help Make America

We came across the “I Make America” movement today and wanted to share it. The one thing TPA believes that has made and continues to make America great is her people. Each of us is one part of the “I” that make America what it is today. 

I Make America