OSHA Safety Manuals | Toolbox Talks
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Dust Explosions When combustible or non-combustible materials are broken down into fine dusts or powders, they create a fire and explosion hazard affecting many operations and materials: sugar, flour, animal feed, plastics, paper, wood, rubber, furniture, textiles, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, paints and resins, dyes, coal, and metals. To prevent fires from dust explosions, control the “dust explosion pentagon.” This includes the traditional fire triangle: fuel, heat, and oxygen along with a dust cloud and enclosed space. Keep dust levels (fuel) in the workplace to a minimum with dust control and housekeeping. Control flame and ignition sources (heat) such as pilot lights, open flames,...

Fatigue Sleep is an important factor in maintaining good health, well-being, memory, and the ability to think clearly. An adequate amount of sleep is defined as 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. If you don’t get enough sleep due to work shifts, medical conditions, or other life factors, you could build up chronic sleep deprivation and fatigue. Fatigue is a safety concern because it is associated with higher injury and accident rates in the workplace. Fatigue reduces your attention and reaction time, which can cause you to make errors in judgment leading to mistakes at work. In addition, fatigue lowers...

Arc Welding Safety Arc welders use a powerful electric arc to make and repair plain, coated, or treated metal items. Welders can be stationary, electric powered or portable, diesel/gas powered. Install electric-powered arc welders to code. Ground equipment and place it on an independent circuit with the correct-sized fuse or circuit breaker. Overloading circuits or improper installation can lead to fire, a ground fault, or equipment failure. Mount a safety disconnect switch near the user work area. Operate diesel/gas powered arc welders in well-ventilated areas to control combustion fumes. Do not add fuel to the engine while it is running or near...

Auto Transmission Repair Work Auto transmission repair can range from simple adjustments to parts replacements and complete overhauls. Work safely during auto transmission repair by wearing your personal protective equipment, understanding the chemicals you work with, and following safe work practices. Wear personal protective equipment during your repair work. Safety glasses prevent flying debris from damaging your eye. Side shields or goggles prevent splashes when you are working with fluids. Wear chemical resistant gloves to protect your hands and skin. Consider mechanics gloves for certain tasks to give you a better grip and prevent cuts and scrapes. Use kneepads to protect your...

Forklift Battery Use and Maintenance Every time you operate a forklift or other powered industrial truck, inspect it to ensure that it is operating properly. Ongoing battery maintenance is critical so that the forklift is always safe and ready to get your work done. First and foremost, the forklift must be checked for enough battery charge to get the job task done. Forklift batteries are generally lead acid or nickel iron. They are charged by plugging the forklift into a fixed station or an “on-board” charger may be brought to the forklift itself. Because the batteries contain corrosive chemicals that can burn...

Handle Tools for Your Safety Each tool is designed to do a specific task. The greatest hazards posed by a hand tool are from their misuse or improper maintenance. It’s up to you to select the right tool for the job and to use and care for it properly. Hand tool safety begins by selecting the right tool for the task and using it the way it was designed. Using the wrong tool for a job is likely to result in an accident. Before you start a job, inspect the tool for defects. Check to be sure that the handle fits tightly...

Yarding Safety (Logging) Yarding is the logging operation that moves felled trees from the slash pile to the landing or storage area prior to transportation. Rigging crews hook cable systems (simple, high-lead, shotgun, skyline, etc.) to the felled trees. Yarding workers manually or mechanically (using skidders and yarders) activate the cable systems to move the logs and slash to the appropriate areas. Moving these heavy materials on often unstable and/or sloping terrain makes yarding a dangerous part of the logging operation. With careful planning at the felling stage, you can improve the safety of the system for everyone working on the yarding....

Cold Storage Safety Cold storage spaces include refrigerator or freezer boxes or rooms in which food and other materials can be stored or processed at controlled, cool temperatures. When you work in and around such spaces, get training and be aware of the hazards that might be involved with cold storage: cold stress, slips and trips, confined space, chemical storage, and ergonomics. Dress in warm, layered clothing for proper insulation to maintain your body temperature to prevent cold stress. Your head loses the most body heat; for extra warmth, wear a warm cap with ear flaps. Fingers, hands, toes, and feet are...

Avoiding Allergic Reactions to Latex Most people who encounter latex products have no health problems, but some workers, continually exposed to latex gloves and other products containing natural rubber latex, develop allergic reactions. Those who work where latex products are manufactured or who have multiple allergic conditions may also be affected. A latex allergy can result in serious health problems. Workers with ongoing exposure to natural rubber latex should follow the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Healths (NIOSH) recommendations which include: reducing exposure, using appropriate work practices, training and education, monitoring symptoms, and when possible, substituting non-latex products. You can take...

Cleanroom Safety Cleanrooms regulate air quality, temperature, and humidity to achieve the ideal manufacturing and experimental environment for high technology applications. Cleanrooms require specific attire, personal protective equipment (PPE), and the use of specialized equipment and chemicals. While modern air handlers manage the particle count, YOU are the best source to control cleanroom safety. You are required to wear protective head, foot, and body coverings in a cleanroom to reduce particulate contamination. In addition, you must wear the required PPE to protect you from the materials and processes that you use. Eye protection such as safety goggles and glasses protect sight in...