Toolbox Talks | OSHA Safety Manuals - Part 14
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Controlling Stress General Safety Stress. Many of us are faced with it everyday, but we might not know how to deal with it. It is important to learn how to handle stress because it can affect our performance and relationships in our work and home. At work, stress can lead to distraction and cause an unfortunate accident. At home, stress can put a strain on family relationships. Stress usually occurs when there are changes in our lives and we feel that we don't have enough resources to deal with those changes and demands. Which of the following do you think causes stress: getting...

Electrical Safety Static Electricity Most of us are familiar with static electricity. We all have walked across the rug and reached for the door knob, only to have a spark jump from our hand to the knob. We have also seen the effects of "static cling," when our clothes cling together in the dryer. Static electricity, as a source of ignition for flammable vapors, gases, and dusts, is a hazard common to a wide variety of industries in Alaska. A static spark can occur when an electrical charge accumulates on the surfaces of two materials that have been brought together and then separated...

Site Safety Inspections Regular site safety inspections using site-specific checklists keep the workplace safe by identifying and correcting hazards in the workplace. Inspection frequency depends on the hazard level of the workplace; sites may need checks at every shift, daily, quarterly or annually. Document the inspection observations, identified hazards, and the corrective actions taken. Focus on the administrative records and postings at the workplace. Safety Data Sheet (SDS) binders, safety programs, procedures, trainings, and records need to be up to date and accurate. Critical procedures (e.g. spill cleanup, evacuation) should be posted in prominent locations. Required employer postings (e.g. Cal/OSHA, Workers Compensation,...

Sexual Harassment On The Job Do you have nude pictures in your workplace? Tell dirty jokes? Make suggestive remarks to other employees? If you answered yes to any of these questions you may be guilty of sexual harassment. Since enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the development of guidelines by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 1980, sexual harassment is considered to be a form of sex discrimination-a Federal offense. To discriminate against a person is to deny them rights, benefits, wages, or opportunities because that person belongs to a certain group. Sexual harassment is defined as: "Unwelcome...

Limitations Of Cartridge-Type Respirators A half mask cartridge-type respirator is the most common type used for protection against organic vapors, dusts, mists, acid gases, and fumes. You should be aware, however, that respirators of this type provide adequate protection only under limited conditions. This type of respirator is designed mainly for short-term operations that do not contain atmospheres that are "immediately dangerous to life." To use this type of respirator you must know both the type and concentration of contaminants in the air. Cartridge type respirators are approved only for low concentrations of contaminants in the air, the maximum permitted level of...

Personal Safety In Public Places Everyday activities like driving, going to work, or walking down the street include some risk to your personal safety. Many workers commute long distances or have mobile jobs and contact with the public. Either through crime or circumstance, people and events can be unpredictable. You can’t avoid all risk but it isn’t wise to act without taking precautions. The best approach is to assess the risks involved with an activity and take the safety measures that are required and logical. Your best safety tools are your brain and common sense. Think how you would handle various emergency...

Basic Machine Safety It's tough to imagine modern society without machines hard at work all around us. New and improved machinery leads to increased productivity, higher quality, and more affordable production. But misused machines can be as harmful as they are helpful. Machines that cut metal can cut off fingers. Machines that punch through steel can punch through flesh. Such injuries can cause career-ending disabilities as well as severe pain and suffering. Be alert to these areas when working around or operating machinery: The point of operation: That is where the work of the machine takes place. It's where the pressing, cutting, punching...

Confined Space Entry Don't Be A "Dead" Hero  You are standing at the top of an open manhole acting as an attendant for a team of maintenance personnel who have entered a confined space that required an entry permit. It has been several minutes since you talked to the crew, but you can peer down into the space and see them. During your last few checks with them, everything was A-OK. This time, however, when you yell down to check on them, you don't get a response. You look inside the hole and you notice that they are slumped over or leaning up...

Back Injury Prevention Tips Most of you have probably heard that in order to lift safely, you must lift properly. You're told to "bend your knees not your back," and "don't twist as you lift." This is good advice but sometimes seems to go against human nature. Yet, there are actions you can take to help you lift properly. Get as close to the load as possible. The further the load is from the center line of your body, the greater the strain imposed on your back. If need be, squat down to lift the load and pull it between...

Inspection And Use Of Slings Equipment Hazards  Each day before being used, all slings, fastenings and attachments must be inspected for damage or defects. Any damaged or defective sling must be immediately removed from service. Some general safe operating practices for slings of all types are: Slings, which are damaged or defective, shall not be used. Slings shall not be shortened with knots, bolts or other makeshift devices. Sling legs shall not be kinked. Slings shall not be loaded in excess of their rated capacities. Slings used in a basket hitch shall have the load balanced to prevent slippage. Slings shall be...