Toolbox Talks | OSHA Safety Manuals - Part 20
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Winter Driving Winter can mean fog, rain, ice, snow, slippery roads, and poor visibility. It’s a time that can be dangerous for pedestrians, drivers, and other vehicle operators. There are some simple precautions you can take to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries. This winter season, before you get into a vehicle, take a little extra time to make sure everything in and about the vehicle is in good condition and operating correctly. Are the windshield and side windows clear? Do the windshield wipers work? Are the blades in good condition? Can you see in all the mirrors? Are the headlights...

Bomb or Other Threat Response With today’s heightened awareness of foreign or domestic terrorism, a bomb threat can occur at any time, either through the mail or by phone. A threat can also come in the form of an unidentified or suspicious object/package received or left at a worksite or place of business. While many threats are placed as pranks to create mischief or disrupt business, all bomb threats should be treated seriously. Everyone needs to be prepared and respond appropriately if they receive or see a threat. Preparing for a Bomb Threat or Other Acts of Violence Identify key emergency contact names...

Driverless Tractor Safety We all know the most important safety feature on a tractor is YOU, the operator. In fact, drivers are so important for safety, Cal OSHA created a rule requiring an operator at the controls whenever tractors or other mobile farming equipment is moving in the field (Title 8, Section 3441, available online at www.dir.ca.gov/title8/3441.html. This rule is designed to prevent the “driverless tractor,” a situation where the driver hops off a tractor while it is in motion in order to assist field workers. This action leaves the tractor unguided by a human hand or head. Unguided, moving tractors are...

Close Calls - Take a Close Look at Close Calls A “close call” or accident without injury is easy to shrug off and forget. But, there is a danger in brushing off accidents that don’t hurt, harm or damage. When a “close call” happens, it should immediately send up a red warning flag that something was wrong, unplanned, unexpected, and could happen again. The next time it happens, it could result in serious damage, injury or death. For every accident there are usually several contributing factors, most of which can be controlled. The best way to prevent the reoccurrence of an accident...

Drywall Installation Drywall installers are at risk for back injuries, falls and respiratory exposure to dusts, including silica. Drywall sheets range from 50 to 120 pounds each.  Handle these sheets with care during transport and installation to prevent strains and sprains to backs, shoulders, and arms.  First, have the sheets delivered and stacked as close to the installation site as possible.  Next, use forklifts, dollies, and drywall lifts and/or jacks to move and position sheets. Minimize hand carrying and installation.  Pick up one sheet at a time.  Special sheet gripper tools or grip-dot gloves help you hold sheets securely without exerting a lot...

Don't Take Back Problems Sitting Down Why do so many of us have back problems today? In part, it’s the way our work and lifestyle has evolved. As people grow more sedentary in an increasingly automated world, we’re doing more sitting and adding extra pounds. As a result, our backs are becoming more vulnerable to injury. Sitting, especially slouching, is one of the most common positions during our waking hours. It also happens to be one of the worst positions for our backs, by putting continuous pressure on the lower back muscles and disks. Low back pain is a warning that something is...

Concrete Construction Safety Concrete is a versatile and strong material for construction. Concrete workers are just as versatile when performing excavations, carpentry, metalworking, pouring, and smoothing to create concrete structures. Pay attention to the variety of hazards while you work with concrete. Personal protection equipment (PPE) keeps you safe on the job. For digging, forming, and exposure to concrete, wear sturdy gloves and safety boots to protect your hands and feet. A hard hat protects your head from falling objects and bumps. Consider ear plugs depending on the noise level of your equipment and job site. Safety glasses and face shields protect...

Cutting Down on Chainsaw Injuries Improper chainsaw use can lead to serious injury and even death. Each year, hospital emergency rooms see approximately 30,000 catastrophic injuries from chainsaws. The most frequent chainsaw injuries occur to the left leg and the back of the left hand. These injuries are usually related to kickback and losing control of the saw. Learning about chainsaw accident and injury risk reduction techniques can help you to avoid becoming a statistic. Kickback occurs when the tip of the saw touches an object or when the wood closes and pinches the chain. Tip contact makes the chainsaw immediately reverse...

Don't Get Caught in the Crush Crushing accidents occur when the body or any part of the body is squeezed between two moving objects or caught between one moving and one stationary object. Minor crushing accidents can cost workers in many ways, in pain, disability, and the loss of a job. Major crushing accidents can even cost a life. There are some simple things workers can do to lessen their chance of experiencing crushing injuries. The first, and most important thing, is for workers to know when they are placing themselves or any of their body parts in a situation of possible...

Diesel Exhaust What is Diesel Exhaust? The diesel engines in automobiles, buses, and trucks produce exhaust from the combustion of diesel fuel. Diesel exhaust is made up of harmful chemicals including very small toxic particles and hazardous gases. Some of the hazardous gases in diesel exhaust (e.g. nitrogen oxides, benzene, sulfur dioxide and formaldehyde) have been found to possibly cause cancer. Health Hazards of Diesel Exhaust Breathing diesel exhaust is the most common method of exposure. As we breathe, the fine particles and toxic gases in diesel exhaust can enter into the lungs. Being exposed to diesel exhaust for short periods of time may...