OSHA Safety Manuals | Toolbox Talks
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Power Tool Safety Power tools get jobs done with efficiency and reduced effort. But with power comes responsibility. Power tools can cause injury and even death if they are not used properly. Appropriate training, safe work practices, and power tool maintenance are key to preventing accidents. Only trained workers should use power tools on the job. Training should include reviewing the instruction manual, how to inspect the tools before each use, and following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. When maintaining and inspecting power tools, keep the followings tips in mind: Use properly sized fittings and parts for the power tools. Keep tool cutting edges...

Landscaping Safety Job tasks change seasonally for a landscaper, but power and hand tools and exposure to bugs and the elements last all year long. Know safe work practices to avoid cuts, punctures and amputations. Protect yourself from critters, sun, heat, and cold that you encounter outdoors. Cuts, punctures, and amputations are common injuries for landscapers. Power equipment like mowers, blowers, trimmers, cutting blades, trenchers, and tillers have rotating and cutting parts that can cause these severe injuries. Read instructions and get training on each specific model of equipment you use. Keep your hands, feet, hair, jewelry, and clothing away from moving parts. Before you...

Scaffold Safety Scaffolds - such as suspended systems from buildings, supported systems from the ground, and aerial systems on mobile equipment - are common to many construction projects and allow workers to do their jobs at elevated heights. But, those who work on scaffolding systems are at risk for falls or falling objects that could cause serious or even fatal injuries and employers can be cited and fined.  However, when workers have received proper training and education in scaffold systems, fall protection equipment, and proper scaffold work practices, they can work safely and feel safe at elevated heights. A Cal/OSHA defined “competent...

Working Safely Around Forklifts Forklift vehicles are not like automobiles; they’re about twice as heavy, due to the counterbalance weight needed to carry large loads. Because forklifts are so heavy, when a pedestrian worker gets injured by a forklift vehicle, the injury is often very serious and sometimes fatal. To avoid becoming a victim of a forklift accident, be constantly aware of the forklift activities around you both in your immediate work area and in other areas of the workplace you may need to go. Forklifts don’t maneuver like automobiles. Forklifts can turn in a very small radius. They’re rear-wheel driven, so...

Hazardous Material Disposal Many businesses generate wastes that are considered hazardous or 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...

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...

Falls 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, wires, and slippery areas...

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 your ability to...

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...

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...