Dangers Overhead More and more contractors are using mechanical means to lift loads to the working area; it saves time and avoids injuries. But there is still a hazard. If it takes a piece of equipment to lift materials, then you can bet that if the load falls, it can seriously injure or kill you. Always be aware of overhead operations and remember basic safety rules. Guide for Discussion Always be sure loads are carried close to the Use tag lines on loads whenever Use only one signal Be sure the signal person can clearly observe the load and operator at all ...

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 a confined space 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...

Falls Wily Coyote always seems to fall into a deep canyon and not be injured at all. People can’t. Then why do we seem to have trouble getting workers to pay attention to the fall hazards around them? Guide for Discussion The following items represent the bulk of the exposure to falls on a construction site. Ladders: Always use the right ladder. Set them on level ground and tie them off at the top (for security). Do not over reach. Do not over extend yourself on the ladder. Always face the ladder and try to use both hands when climbing. Floor Openings: Floor openings should...

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 and avoid back injury.. 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...

Fire Extinguishers One of the quickest ways to lose a job is to allow a fire to start. Sometimes fires do start and it then becomes a matter of putting the fire out as soon as possible. The best way is to use a fire extinguisher. Guide for Discussion Care and Use Be sure the fire extinguishers are charged, strategically located and ready for use. Everyone has a responsibility to check to see that fire extinguishers and fire hoses (as well as other dispensing components) are not blocked. Common Types of Extinguishers Class A Fires: Rubbish, paper, scrap, scrap lumber. Use soda acid and pressurized extinguishers...

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...

Chainsaws Except for log home builders and site clearer’s, it is rare that a chain saw is used on construction jobs. These are special tools that have their own special hazards. Before you use, review. Guide for Discussion Before Operations Always review operator instructions before you use a chain saw. Wear snug-fitting clothing; don’t wear any jewelry. Be sure to wear earplugs especially if you plan to cut for a long period of time. Always check for defects in the saw. Replace all defective parts before operating the tool. Don’t use a saw with a dull blade. Check the item to be cut...

Tree Trimming Safety Tree trimming operations require climbing, pruning, and felling trees. Hand and portable power tools such as loppers, trimmers, and chainsaws make the necessary cuts. Aerial lifts and chippers bring workers to the right height and clean up the worksite. The two leading causes of tree trimmer deaths are electrocutions and falls, so extra care and training is needed for work at heights and near power lines. Energized overhead or downed power lines can cause electrocutions if you come into direct or indirect contact with them. Don’t use conductive tools, ladders, or pole trimmers where they may contact overhead power...

Safety Away From Work Safety at work is hopefully a matter of routine. Just as important as safety on the job is safety at home. According to one study, you are actually safer at work than at home. For our discussion today, consider driving home and play. Guide for Discussion Driving Don’t speed. Drinking and driving don’t mix. Maintain your vehicle in good mechanical condition. Watch out for other drivers. Allow for proper stopping distances. Be courteous, especially if you’re in a company vehicle. Home Minimize electrical exposures. Eliminate slipping and tripping hazards. Don’t overextend on ladders. Teach your family to identify hazards. Know...

Refueling Equipment Refueling equipment is a necessary part of each construction project. As such, it is important that this operation be conducted in as safe a manner as possible. Remember that gasoline and fuel oils are manufactured to cause an explosion (hopefully in the engine). Today, we want to talk about simple refueling rules. Guide for Discussion Concentrate on the task to be performed. Never smoke during refueling operations. Don’t refuel near an open flame or near a sparking situation. Keep a fire extinguisher within 25 feet and closer than 6 feet. If the equipment may accidentally move, chock the wheels. Always...