Heavy Equipment Safety Operation of heavy equipment such as excavators, loaders, graders, rollers, and bulldozers, should always be done by highly skilled operators who have demonstrated the ability and necessary skills to operate safely. Ground-based workers should be trained in how to work safely around the equipment, and how to stay clear. Unsafe practices by either the operator or those around the equipment can create very dangerous situations. Serious injuries can occur if the equipment strikes a worker, or if the equipment is rolled over. Here are a few common safety rules for operators of heavy equipment and ground-based workers to consider: 1)...

Over-The-Counter Medications Flu, cold, or allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, coughing, or a general achy feeling, can incapacitate some people to the point that they must stay home to recover. Others push on because they have deadlines to meet, no sick pay, or feel the company will fall apart without them. These people very likely take whatever over-the-counter medicines they feel are necessary to alleviate the discomfort of their symptoms. The typical "cold medications" are antihistamines or decongestants or a combination of both. Unfortunately, the side effects of these drugs can be dangerous depending on the use and...

Metal Worker PPE for Hands and Eyes Metal workers drill, press, punch, cut, bend, shape, and fasten pieces of sheet metal to make construction and consumer products.  The most common injuries to metal workers are hand lacerations and eye injuries from metal pieces.  Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) can prevent these. Choose appropriate work gloves for the job task.  They should be well-fitted so they don’t get caught by moving or rotating machine parts.  The gloves should be flexible enough to allow your hands to move freely while holding stock materials and using tools.  They should be sturdy enough to...

How Loud Is Loud? Most of us take our sense of hearing for granted-we assume that we hear what everyone else hears. Loss of hearing may not be realized until a friend or spouse screams in frustration, "Why don't you ever listen to me!!" This is because hearing loss is usually gradual. Normally, it doesn't hurt, so we don't know it's happening. It doesn't annoy us like losing our eyesight. In fact, it is sometimes a blessing to tune out all the clatter and noise of the city and workplace. Yet our ability to hear when we want to is precious and...

Computer Room Safe Work Practices Working in a computer room can involve special fire protection issues; electrical, ventilation, security, and work practice issues also apply. Computer rooms (or “data centers”) have an increased risk of fire, because of the electrical energy used to run the machines, the heat generated by computing processes, and the air movement used to dissipate heat (air movement can feed a fire with oxygen, can cause rapid spread of a fire, and can dissipate smoke, making detection more difficult). Also, conventional smoke detectors cannot detect low concentrations of smoke, so some computer rooms have high sensitivity smoke detectors...

Residential Roofing -- "To Be Or Not To Be" - Tied Off? OSHA's "Subpart M" intended to standardize fall protection for the construction industry, but did not clearly define how those standards would apply to residential construction. At the request of industry associations, OSHA reconsidered the code and published an interim policy in December of 1995 which is considered to comply with Subpart M during residential roofing work where (1) the roof slope is 8-in-12 or less and (2) fall potential from lower eaves is 25 feet or less. Check with applicable state programs for inclusion of this optional federal change. If...

Like Oil And Water, Drinking And Driving Do Not Mix.  Season's Greetings. It's that time of the year again, for friends, family, and the eagerly awaited company Christmas party. Yes, you know, the party where Bob has one eggnog too many and hits on someone else's wife. All kidding aside, this is the worst time of year for drinking and driving accidents. In fact, people who drink and drive are responsible for about 23,000 deaths a year. In recent years a great deal of attention has been devoted to solving the drinking and driving problem that plagues this country. More police patrols...

Do Cellular Phones Cause More Vehicle Accidents? Cellular phones - It's common knowledge that the number one cause of work-related fatalities are vehicle accidents. Most companies have at least one truck, if not a whole fleet of vehicles, and their drivers face the hazards of the roadway day after day. Sometimes a trip ends tragically. Now, a new technology threatens to increase the accident potential for drivers. In more and more companies, cellular phones are being used by construction, service and delivery personnel, as well as by management levels. According to one research study, the use of a cellular phone while driving...

Housekeeping Is An Important Part Of Your Job Housekeeping is everyone's job! Your employer is not your mother! What do I mean by that, you ask? I mean, just like when you were young, your mother had to remind you to pick up after yourself. Now that you are on your own, you still need to be told sometimes. Housekeeping is a very important part of your job. Not only does it improve the overall appearance of your shop or work area, it shows that you take pride in where you work. The best way that you can help keep your...

Temporary Heat Safety Temporary heat safety devices are a vital part of being able to work effectively in cold weather. They allow temperature-critical work to continue on schedule, and provide for more comfortable working conditions. However, as a result of poor selection and careless use of portable heaters, injuries and damaging fires occur every year. If improperly used, temporary heating equipment can lead to burns, fires, explosion, carbon monoxide poisoning, and the creation of oxygen deficient atmospheres. So, with the winter season upon us, it's important to review the many types of temporary heating devices that are available, and be sure they...