Hand Tools Without the use of hand tools, the completion of a construction project would be nearly impossible. Yet, as vital as they are, they are often the cause of serious accidents. All too frequently, hand tools are used improperly or when they are defective. Since we use hand tools continually, it is important they be used properly.  We are going to briefly cover proper use today. Guide for Discussion Pre-Work Inspection Chisels Be sure the heads are safe ended or dressed. Be sure the cutting edges are sharp and square. Files The tangs should be protected with handles. The teeth should be sharp and clean. Hammers Be sure...

The Right Tool for the Right Job We are seeing the construction industry become more and more sophisticated with new construction techniques. However, in residential construction, the same tools that were used fifty years ago are used today although with some improvements. One way to get injured on the job is using the wrong tool for the job. Two important points to remember when using hand tools is the selection of the tool for the job and the use of the tool for the job. Guide for Discussion Some key points to remember: Misuse Resulting From: Ignorance. Poor attitudes. Production demands. General Points: Keep your...

Dressing For Winter Work During cold weather, it can have a chilling effect on the senses to see, smell, and feel. It is usually difficult to be productive when you are cold.  Therefore, it is important to dress for the weather conditions found on the jobsite. Guide for Discussion Always dress in layers with the outer layers being rather loose and the inner layers being somewhat tighter (to trap body heat). Do not over use the outer layer of clothing as a windbreak This will make the layers underneath more effective. Minimize sweat. If you begin to get hot, take a layer...

Keeping in Shape Staying in shape is one subject that is rarely discussed when safety is the topic. However, a person who stays in good physical condition is less likely to be involved in an accident. They are usually more alert, less subject to the adverse effects of weather and generally able to react more quickly to changing conditions on the job. That is why this is an important subject. Guide for Discussion: Staying in Shape Reduces Injuries by: Reducing the effect that adverse weather has on your Reducing the effect of minor injuries. A body in good condition will usually repair itself...

Safety is Common Sense According to safety professionals, four of five serious injuries are the result of workers not being sensible on the job and taking unnecessary chances.  Common sense on the job is irreplaceable. Most of us have worked around people that are accident prone. They aren’t jinxed; they aren’t very common sense smart. Today we want to talk about using common sense to avoid accidents in the workplace. Guide for Discussion Common Sense “Smarts” Always wear the proper personal protective equipment. Don’t over exert yourself – get help with heavy tasks. Don’t over extend yourself when on ladders – and risk...

Near Misses Most accidents occur as a result of an unsafe condition or unsafe action coming together with a person. The end result is the person gets injured. Often unsafe acts or unsafe conditions have several misfires and the result is a near miss accident or incident. The only difference between a near miss and an accident is luck. Safety conscious companies make a near miss a big deal – so do we. Guide for Discussion Near misses are injuries without Near misses are not funny; they are often Always report a near Take immediate action to prevent a similar near If...

Shop Safety Instructor Note: Perform a self-inspection prior to making a shop safety presentation. Look for anything that is out of place. Check against the Guide for Discussion for items to point out. Introduction: The safe work practices we do in our shop are often the same practices we take out of our shop and into our homes. What we want to talk about today is what makes shop safety a little different than what we normally do. Guide for Discussion Discuss in-shop procedures initiated to ensure that frequent and regular inspections are conducted to identify potential hazards in materials and equipment in the...

Recognizing Unsafe Conditions Recognizing unsafe conditions, or hazards in the workplace, is not just a Safety Committee responsibility. It is everyone’s responsibility from the most junior employee to the company president to identify hazards and make suggestions on how to fix the problem. Guide for Discussion Causes of unsafe conditions or actions: Poor housekeeping. Horseplay. Confused material storage. Careless handling of materials. Improper or defective tools Lack of machine guarding; failure to install warning systems. Lack of or failure to wear proper personal protection equipment. Weather. Worker not dressing for the job to be done. Failure to follow instructions. Steps to take once an...

Why Accidents Occur Every accident is caused by a breakdown in one of four areas: the worker, the tools used, the materials used, or the methods used. Often there is a breakdown in at least two areas; one being the worker and the other coming from one of the three other areas. The accident’s cause usually results from an unsafe act or an unsafe condition. Today we will review some types of unsafe acts, the results from, and unsafe conditions. Guide for Discussion Types of Unsafe Acts: Operating a tool or some equipment without authority. Working at an unsafe speed. Using unsafe or...

Safety Training Steps Preparation Select a topic. Use a priority sequence. Accidents/incidents, demonstrated lack of skills, required or mandatory training (e.g., fall protection, ladders and stairways.) Choose a good location to train (away from noise and other distractions). Research the subject; include company policies and procedures If a new subject, ask what the audience already knows (so you can avoid covering that information in great detail) Always have a good attitude when training! Presentation Describe what is going to be taught Tell why the subject (or training) is important Describe safety procedures, general and specific If necessary, demonstrate safety procedures; one step...