Hazardous Material Disposal Many businesses generate hazardous material that are harmful to human health or the environment because they are flammable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic. Due to the harmful potential of hazardous materials, workers must remain aware of the safety hazards and proper handling and disposal procedures in order to protect the environment, themselves, and comply with state and federal regulations. Workers that generate or handle hazardous waste require training on the hazards and safe, proper handling of these materials. Training should cover the procedures for collection, labeling, and storage of the hazardous waste before it is transported for final disposal or...

Power Lines and Mobile Cranes Instructor Note: This has been added to the Tool Box talks because electric line companies get very upset when a crane (or dump truck bed or other piece of heavy equipment) gets close to or touches a power line. It can also cost you your life! Introduction: It is not uncommon to work around power lines; however, the potential hazards to workers are enormous; workers just have to work safer. Guide for Discussion How to Avoid Electrocution Locate all power supplies. Besides this being the state law, it’s smart. Have the Power Company inform you of the voltage and...

Garage Door Installers Garage door installers often work alone to take down old doors, install new ones, and wire automatic openers. The many steps and tools for this job require attention to safety. Wear your safety glasses to protect your eyes from falling or flying debris. Work gloves provide a good grip on doors while they protect you from sharp metal edges. Coveralls protect your body from accidental cuts and scrapes. Work boots protect your feet from dropped tools and materials while adding a good grip for climbing ladders. Have the proper tools before arriving at the job site. Hammers, screwdrivers, and vise...

The Deadly Dozen We all know that there must be a cause for an accident to happen. In order to avoid accidents, we must remove the cause. Every cause is a result of an unsafe act or unsafe condition. By recognizing the unsafe act or condition, we can effectively remove the exposure to them. The following “deadly dozen” are reminders to help you recognize unsafe acts or conditions. Guide for Discussion Unsafe Acts Unauthorized use or operation of equipment. Failure to secure or tie down materials to prevent unexpected movement. Working or operating equipment too fast. Failure to issue warnings or signals as...

Preventing Falls is Common Sense With predictable regularity, falls continue to be a leading cause of accidents and deaths on the job. Falls include those on the same level (floor, ground), as well as from one level to another (stairs, ladders, roof, etcetera). They can be caused by either or both of two reasons - an unsafe action of an individual (hurrying, overreaching, improper use of equipment, etc.) or unsafe condition of the situation (poor housekeeping, unguarded opening, surface condition, etcetera). Good footing is the best way to avoid falls and good housekeeping is the best way to ensure good footing. Trash,...

Trenches Supervisors must inspect an excavation site, adjacent areas and protective systems every day Notify sub-contractors and visitors of the trench location Ensure all vehicles are kept a safe distance Reposition ladders frequently to keep them 25 feet away from workers in the trench Supervisors must remove workers from the excavation when water accumulates in the trench or there is evidence of other protective system problems Review and keep apprised of other hazards such as falls or accumulation of gases Do not enter an unprotected trench Inspect a protected trench before entering Immediately exit and report any problems Do not...

Drive Safely Drive Safely - Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, proper driver education, seatbelts, following speed laws, obeying the rules of the road, and paying attention to the road and fellow drivers can help reduce the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident. The California Highway Patrol reports the most frequent accident causes on California roads include unsafe speed, unsafe following, improper turns, and inattention to the road. Following posted speed limits on roads and highways and reducing excessive speed improves...

Trenching and Shoring Construction trenching for buried utilities, pipelines, water transport, and other activities may be hazardous. Trenches are usually deeper than they are wide and the walls may become unstable and collapse on top of workers. Trench cave-ins occur when dirt, sand, and rocks collapse into the trench. These materials can engulf, injure, or kill workers in the trench. Soil can be very dense and heavy. When it engulfs workers, it can break bones, immobilize and restrict breathing, or suffocate them outright. First, get training in trenching and shoring procedures. If workers will be entering a trench 5 feet or deeper, you...

Compressed Gases Most of us know what the various compressed gas cylinders are used for on the job, but how many of us realize that the gases stored in those cylinders are under pressure of from 250 psi to 2200 psi? These pressures make the cylinders not only dangerous from a fire standpoint but if not handled and stored properly, you are looking at a bomb or a rocket. Today we want to talk about the safe use of compressed gas cylinders. Guide for Discussion Always store compressed gas cylinders in a secure upright position. Always store with caps over the valves. ...

Vehicle Backing The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reports the most common type of vehicle accident is a backing accident.  Due to limited vision out of the back windows or around long truck beds and equipment bodies, drivers may not see other vehicles, obstacles, or even coworkers and pedestrians when they are driving their vehicles backward.  Whether in a parking lot, on the road, a construction site, or an agricultural field, workers who learn the proper techniques can help prevent backing accidents. Before you back your vehicle, do a vehicle walk around to check underneath and all around it for obstructions and other...