OSHA Safety Manuals | Toolbox Talks
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Electric Tools - Grounds for Concern Each year workers suffer shock when handling electrical tools and equipment. To protect workers against the hazards of electricity, teach them the basic facts about the causes of shock and death. One of the big problems in understanding the dangers of electrical shock is the mistaken belief that only high voltages kill. It’s not the voltage that kills, but the amount of current that passes through the body. The condition and placement of the body has a lot to do with the chance of getting a shock. Water and electricity can be a fatal combination. Damp...

Construction Site Hygiene Construction site hygiene encourages good housekeeping, provides workers with clean drinking water, sanitary restrooms, and washing facilities to clean up. These practices encourage good worker hygiene and helps avoid cross contamination to safeguard everyone’s health and safety. Housekeeping Good housekeeping is critical for construction safety. Remember to: Clean the jobsite after major tasks or at least daily; avoid the buildup of hazardous, flammable, or combustible materials. Stack scrap lumber out of the way and remove protruding nails. Keep walkways, stairs, and work areas clear. Ensure that walking surfaces are as level as possible, and that workers have adequate fall protection...

Carpet Layer Safety Carpet layers install a wide range of flooring products in homes and buildings to enhance style and comfort. The hazards involved with this work include the use of sharp and cutting tools and materials, the use of chemical adhesives and treatments, and physically demanding work that can result in ergonomic injuries. If you install carpet for a living, focus on ergonomics. Before installation, you often have to clear out furniture and haul old and new carpeting materials. Use proper lifting techniques to protect your back. Maintain a level of good overall health and fitness. Take frequent mini-breaks to rest,...

Cart Safety Carts come in many sizes and styles and are used by workers in many industries. While carts and the reasons we use them vary, they have some common hazards and safety issues to consider. Hazards associated with carts include using the wrong type for the job or the wrong size of cart for the worker (ergonomics). They can be hazardous when used in congested work areas and in areas of poor housekeeping. They can cause injury to the handler who has had inadequate training and carts can cause the handler injury if the cart has not been properly maintained. All...

Wood Dust – It’s Not Just a Nuisance The wood dust created by cutting, shaping, and sanding wood is certainly a nuisance. However, wood dust can be a serious hazard to both health and safety if not properly controlled. Respiratory effects are the primary health concern. Inhalation of excessive dust can cause nasal irritation and bleeding, inflammation of the sinuses, wheezing, prolonged colds, and decreased lung function. Some species of wood are sensitizers: after repeated exposure, one can become allergic to the dust. This frequently leads to the development of asthma. Western red cedar is a well-known sensitizer and asthmagen. Skin and eye...

Handyman Safety A handyman or maintenance man is often called on to perform odd jobs in a variety of the trade fields including plumbing, carpentry, roofing, electrical, painting, and concrete work. You need a broad range of work and safety skills to get the job done. You may do window and roof work, fix roofing leaks, or repair dry rot on roofs and eaves. Choose the correct extension ladder for your work. Inspect the ladder before you use it. Set ladders up on a solid surface and at the correct 4:1 angle ratio. Always face the ladder and hold on with both...

Floor Openings Floor openings on a job site can occur during construction, renovations or repairs. There may be floor openings as each new floor in a building is added, for personnel and material access, and for stairwells, elevators or skylights. Floor openings are hazardous because workers may fall through them and/or may be struck by objects that fall through openings. Workers should know about floor openings, guarding, and covers, and understand and use the fall protection appropriate to their worksites and job duties. One of the first ways to protect against floor opening hazards is to build floors or place temporary flooring...

Safe Handling of Flammable Liquids Flammable liquids are used in many workplaces. They may range from cleaning fluids, paints, and gasoline to some more volatile and dangerous liquids. If you remember a few simple, common sense rules when handling or storing flammable liquids, you can help prevent injury to yourself and your coworkers or prevent your jobsite from going up in flames. Flammable liquids themselves will not burn, but as the liquid evaporates, it gives off vapors that mix with the air to form dangerous gases that can be set off by a small spark. Gasoline, for example, evaporates at temperatures as...

Flagger Safety Flaggers keep motorists and road workers safe during temporary roadwork by following the safe work practices and training requirements from OSHA and the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Get training from a qualified person on safe work practices, traffic control procedures, and communication techniques with the public.  Understand the different traffic control setups and roadwork hazards.  Recognize hazards and emergency situations, respond and maneuver quickly, and warn coworkers if needed.  Demonstrate that you can control traffic with the correct procedures during your training. Wear high visibility safety apparel that meets Performance Class 2 (daytime) and Class 3 (nighttime) requirements...

Emergency Showers When your work tasks require the use of chemicals that are corrosive or severely irritating to the skin or which are toxic by skin absorption, you need an emergency shower available. The emergency shower should be within a 10 second walk (approximately 50 feet) from the chemical workstation.  Keep the pathways clear.  Prevent shock hazards by keeping electrical equipment and outlets away from the shower area.  Test the shower monthly or according to manufacturer’s instructions weekly to ensure it activates. If you are contaminated with a chemical, stay calm and act immediately.  Chemicals can do a lot of damage in just...