OSHA Safety Manuals | Toolbox Talks
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Work Safely with Concrete and Cement Concrete is a common building material that can be used in a variety of ways. It’s generally made by combining cement, sand, aggregate (small stones) and water. When these materials are mixed in the correct amounts and if they’re further strengthened by adding re-bar, fiberglass strands or plastic rods, the concrete can be used to build roads, bridges, buildings, septic tanks, floors, concrete blocks, and even countertops for homes. However, anyone who uses or works around concrete and cement should understand the potential health hazards and follow safe handling procedures to prevent harmful exposures. There are...

Wear Your Seatbelt Thousands of people, apparently believing themselves immune to the laws of physics, die each day as a result of vehicle accidents because they were not wearing seatbelts. According to the laws of physics, if a vehicle is traveling at 30 miles per hour, its contents and passengers are also moving at 30 miles per hour. The vehicle's sudden stop at 30 miles per hour can mean the difference of life or death to the passengers wearing seat belts. People are a vehicle's most valuable content and seat belts keep people in place. In a crash, unbelted passengers will fly...

First Aid for Burns A burn can be painful or painless, according to the degree. The degree of a burn is determined by its location on the body and the number of skin layers affected. A burn can be caused by heat, electricity, chemicals or radiation. The first response in a burn situation is to stop the heat source or break contact between the heat source and the skin. The body holds in the heat and continues to burn until the skin cools. In many cases you can cool the burn with water. Unless told to by a medical professional, never...

Auto Body Work Repairing auto body damage requires sanding, grinding, and sometimes welding to repair the vehicle before it can be refinished. Get training in collision repair. Know the techniques and tools to complete bodywork. Review the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for the chemicals you use to identify the personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear and how to mix and use materials properly. Eye injuries are common in auto body shops. Always wear eye protection when you are grinding, sanding, welding, and painting. Safety eyeglasses, goggles, and/or shields can protect your eyes from flying particles, sparks, and splashes. Grinding and sanding the paint off...

Excavations An excavation is any man-made cut, cavity, hole, trench, or depression made in the earth’s surface by the removal of soil. Workers in excavations can be exposed to cave-ins, engulfment, hazardous atmospheres, and falls. Excavation safety training and procedures prevent serious injuries and accidents. Before work on an excavation can begin, surface hazards such as unstable buildings, sidewalks, etc. that could endanger employees must be secured or removed. Hazards below the ground must also be identified and made safe before work can begin. Call 811 at least 2 days before the excavation. They will contact utilities so that representatives can determine...

Ergonomic Breaks, Rest Periods, and Stretches Ergonomic injury risk factors include forceful movements, repetitive motions, awkward postures, and lack of rest.  Rest periods give the body time to recover from work; breaktime exercises and stretches strengthen the body.  Workers should think of themselves as Industrial Athletes; athletes wouldn’t participate in a sport without proper rest and warm-up, so use the same preparation on the job. Maintaining overall health reduces your risk of injury.  Get a good night’s sleep to rest your body and maintain alertness.  Eat healthy foods and drink fluids to boost energy and stay hydrated.  Aerobic exercise and weight training...

Are You Prepared For An Emergency? Emergencies in the workplace cannot be eliminated, but if you have an emergency action plan in place and have trained workers to respond quickly and appropriately you can optimize efficiency, relieve anxiety, and in some cases, save lives. Management commitment and worker involvement are essential to an effective emergency action plan.  The action plan should be explained to workers and reviewed whenever the plan or responsibilities change.  How good is your emergency action plan?  Find out by asking yourself and your workers the following questions: General Is there a means of reporting emergencies and accounting for personnel...

Safety Rules for Power Tools Portable electric power tools are just what their name implies, power tools. Because they're powerful workers need to be aware of their limitations and potential hazards. Use and maintain tools with care. Keep them sharp and clean for their best and safest performance. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for lubricating and changing tool accessories. Use the right tool for the job. Don't force a small tool or attachment to do the job of a heavy-duty tool. It overstrains the tool and overloads the motor. Keep guards in place and follow lockout/tagout procedures. Unless it's designed for it, never...

Working Safely with Chemicals Chemicals come in various forms and can affect those exposed in different ways. A chemical can take the form of a mist, vapor, liquid, dust, fume or gas. The type of chemical, the way it is used, and the form that it takes determine its effect and what should be done to avoid harmful exposure. Some basic safety precautions should be understood and followed including: Know what to do in an emergency. If there is a leak or spill, keep away from the area, unless you know what the chemical is and how to safely clean it up....

Hearing Protection Hear Today Gone Tomorrow Most workers take good hearing for granted. Hearing loss can happen so gradually that it can go unnoticed until it’s too late. Then, even a hearing aid may not help. Some assume hearing loss is the unavoidable result of getting older, yet most hearing loss is due to noise over a lifetime. While loss of hearing may result from a single exposure to a noise or explosion, such traumatic losses are rare. Most cases of hearing loss begin gradually in frequencies slightly above that of human speech and then subtly spread to lower and higher frequencies. Hearing...