Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls Did you know that slips, trips and falls are second only to automobile accidents in causing personal injury? On stairways alone, falls result in almost two million disabling injuries yearly. There are thousands more minor injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls each year. Most alarming of all is the fact that industrial falls cause over 1,000 deaths each year. Slips occur when there is too little friction between a person’s feet and the walking surface. Many factors can cause a slip. Ice, oil, water, cleaning fluids, and other slippery substances are probably the most obvious causes....

What To Do In Case of Fire SOUND THE ALARM: Do not underestimate any fire. Sound the fire alarm and call the local fire department immediately if a fire breaks out. Choose a safe location to make the call. It will be helpful for emergency responders to know the size and location of the fire and the general hazards in the area (such as chemicals, compressed gases etc). Follow your own company’s procedures in responding to fires. USE YOUR JUDGEMENT: When you see smoke or fire, you should use your own good judgment before you decide to extinguish the blaze. Attempt to...

Personal Fall Arrest and Fall Restraint Systems It is important for you to understand the difference between a fall arrest system and fall restraint system. These are most commonly used in the construction industry, but may apply to many other situations where employees must work at heights. FALL RESTRAINT: A fall restraint system consists of the equipment used to keep an employee from reaching a fall point, such as the edge of a roof or the edge of an elevated working surface. The most commonly utilized fall restraint system is a standard guardrail. A tie off system that "restrains" the employee from...

Radiation in the Workplace You are probably familiar with a few uses of radiation, like x-rays and nuclear power. But did you know there are lots of ways radiation is used in the workplace? Radiation is used to sterilize health products, to treat cancer and other diseases, to measure the moisture content of soil at construction sites, to locate leaks in pipelines and defects in welds, to make fluorescent bulbs last longer, to make lightning rods work better--the list goes on and on. Radiation is a tool that is used for great benefit to our society. But radiation can be harmful...

Is it OK to Repair Electrical Cords? Even heavy duty extension cords become damaged. Because they can be expensive, you may be asked to make a repair, rather than get a new cord. But merely re-attaching and wrapping the wires doesn't mean the repair is proper or safe. Let's review the correct way to repair electrical cords. The first obvious step is often overlooked. Unplug the cord and take control of both ends. Splices: Cut back only enough of the outer and inner insulation to make the repair. Keep in mind that the color-coded wires on one side need to be connected to...

Time to Chock and Block Those Tires! “I am only going to leave the truck for a minute – it won’t go anywhere.” This is what we hear all the time, but every year, workers are severely or fatally injured because the wheels of a truck or trailer were not chocked. Vehicle drivers are also injured when trailers overturn because unblocked freight shifted during travel. When wheels aren't meant to roll. Accidents are caused each year when a truck or trailer rolls away from the dock because no one took time to chock the wheels. In some cases, drivers were crushed by...

The Dangers of Oily Rags Oily rags left in a closed container can become a safety nightmare. Many people do not believe it can happen. For no apparent reason, fire erupts, usually during off hours – as the materials have had time to react. It is called spontaneous ignition, and preventing is part of your job. Spontaneous ignition occurs when a combustible object is heated to its ignition temperature by a chemical reaction involving the oxygen in the air around us. This “oxidation “ process creates heat that, if not dissipated, will bui8ld up until ignition occurs. Generally, this can happen when...

Front-End Loader 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 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) machine...

Dangers of Powerline Contact Each year, workers are killed by electrocution from contact with overhead power lines. Over 90 percent of the contacts involved overhead distribution lines. These are the same lines that run in the alleys behind our houses and through our job sites. Since they are so common to us, they seem harmless. This serious mistake is fueled by two common misconceptions: the belief that some overhead lines don't carry enough power to kill, and the belief that power lines are well-insulated. Both are dead wrong. The leading category of contact involves heavy equipment--cranes, drilling rigs, concrete pumps, aerial buckets,...

Handling 55 Gallon Drums Safely In the typical workplace 55 gallon drums are used to store material, to ship it, to dispense it for use, and to store wastes. All these drums must be moved from time to time. Like most things, there's a right way to move a drum-and several wrong ways to do it. At least four serious injuries can occur if a drum is not handled safely: fractures lacerations hernias back strain All these injuries are painful and require a long time to heal. By taking a few precautions before you attempt to move a drum, you can help...