OSHA Safety Manuals | Safety Topics
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Preventing Welding Flashback Oxy-acetylene torches have been used for many years for cutting, welding, brazing, and heating of metals. The equipment used today is safe, but every year, hundreds of employees are injured or die as a result of improper use. Knowledge and precautions can prevent fires and violent explosions. Gas Pressure: One cause of fires and explosions is high acetylene pressure. When more than 15 pounds of pressure is used, acetylene becomes unstable and decomposes explosively. This is the major reason for using other fuel gases such as MAPP, propylene, propane, and natural gas which may be safely used at higher...

The Basics of Safety Through Several Years of Investigating Accidents General Safety  Through several years of investigating accidents and research in the field of accident reconstruction, leaders in the field of occupational accident prevention have concluded that there are specific reasons why accidents occur. They found that worker safety is dependent on worker behavior and human factors. They developed ten safety rules and, while some of you may have heard them before, they are worth repeating: STAY ALERT - and stay alive. The more awake a worker is, the less likely he or she is to get hurt. If you are unsure...

Safety Rules For People Working Around Industrial Lift Trucks Call them what you like -- forklifts, lift trucks, bulls. They can be a large part of any industrial operation. Most forklift safety training concentrates on the operators, with good cause. They are the ones who are maneuvering the heavy, and sometimes awkward, loads through aisles, around corners and up ramps. A well-known lift truck manufacturer recently stated that 60% of injuries/fatalities involving lift trucks are sustained by co-workers, not operators. Like I said, most of the training concentrates on operator safety, not on the people who work around the lift trucks. The...

Hazards Of Solvents We use solvents practically every day in our lives. At work, we may use or be exposed to solvents when we come in contact with paints, coatings while using dip tanks, thinners, degreasers, cleaners, glues or mastics. As a result of this widespread usage, it is important to know some of the hazards that are associated with the group of chemicals, generally called "solvents." For practical purposes, a solvent is simply a liquid capable of dissolving specific solids or liquids. As you know, there are solvents that we use daily that are hazardous. Petroleum-based solvents are the most common...

Excavation/Trenching Safety Each year excavation and trenching cave-ins result in more than 5,000 serious injuries and 100 deaths in the United States. The key to prevention of this type of loss is good planning. When the side of a trench decides to move it is too late to be thinking about your safety or the safety of others. Here are some good safety rules and practices to follow when working in or around excavations. Evaluation of shoring, sloping, or other means to eliminate the potential for cave-ins must be performed prior to the start of work. Consider these engineering controls at...

Lift It Twice Most of you have heard the general rules of safe lifting. Remember to "Get a firm grip on the load, keep it close, bend at the knees, use your legs to lift the load, and keep your spine in the natural position (with an arch in your lower back)". These principles always apply and should be incorporated into every lift--if possible! Given the enormous number of "risky" lifting situations that you are faced with at your place of work, you may not be able to apply these principles every time. This is why you must always remember to...

Childcare Worker Safety Workers in childcare facilities educate and care for infants, toddlers, and preschool age children. Childcare may not seem like a hazardous occupation, but every workplace has hazards and risks. Childcare workers should pay attention to their own safety while they nurture children. Use good ergonomics to reduce the risk of strain or sprain injuries. To protect your back, try to find ways to reduce lifting like using steps up to the changing table, sink, or fountain. To comfort a child, kneel down to their level instead of bending over toward them or lifting them. Avoid bending or hunching over...

Make Shift Work Safe Work Most people in this country think of "work hours" as the daylight hours from 8 or so in the morning until 5 or so in the afternoon. But more than 20 million Americans work a different schedule. For many reasons, their workday either starts in the afternoon and ends late at night, or begins around midnight and ends in the early morning. If this applies to you, be aware that your safety is just as critical as the day crew, but that conditions and hazards may be different. If you work a nonstandard shift, it may be...

Look Out For Your Co-Workers Take a look around at your co-workers. Some are your friends during work hours, and even after work. You know about their families, what they like and don't like, and what they do for fun. So, be on the lookout for unsafe conditions and correct them, or report them to your supervisors as soon as possible. Help your fellow workers get through the shift without an accident: I'll help you lift those heavy items, so you don't have to do it by yourself. I know a back injury can mess up your home life, as well...

Front-End Loaders If you operate a front-end loader, you have probably experienced the bouncing, weaving, and "road walk" that leaves you feeling as if you are not in total control of the equipment. Hopefully, you have recognized this as dangerous and have learned to slow down, especially when traveling downgrade, when empty, or when traveling on a particularly bad terrain. There are other hazards to be considered as well: (1) getting caught in the pinch points of the bucket arms or the pivot area of an articulated machine, (2) collision, (3) running over a pedestrian, (4) spilling a load on others, (5)...