Toolbox Talks | OSHA Safety Manuals - Part 29
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Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses When the body heats up faster than it can cool itself, mild to severe illnesses may develop. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and understand how to prevent, control and respond to their effects. Air temperature, humidity and clothing can increase the risk of developing heat-related illnesses. So can age, sex, weight, physical fitness, nutrition, alcohol or drug use, or pre-existing diseases like diabetes. How can you prevent or control heat-related illnesses? Drink water - Drink small amounts of water frequently, about a cup every 15-20 minutes. (Alcohol increases the loss of body fluids.) Limit exposure time...

Preventing Repetitive Motion Injuries Computers are as common in the workplace as telephones. We use them for everything: creating letters and forms, writing reports, editing, electronic mail and surfing the Net. Computers require our hands and arms to be used more than ever. Repeating the same motion over and over again at high speeds with little rest, and applying force to muscles, joints, or tendons while in an awkward angle may be putting more stress on those body parts than is necessary and can increase the chance of developing repetitive motion injuries (RMIs). An ergonomically designed, adjustable workstation is one of the...

Fire Safety In Case of Fire You are responsible for fire prevention at work for your safety and that of your co-workers. The best way to prevent fire is to be on the lookout for possible fire hazards. Be aware of potential fire hazards in the workplace. Report hazardous situations to the supervisor. Know the location of fire extinguishers and other emergency equipment that is available to you. During an actual emergency, protect yourself. If it is not safe for you to get involved, don't. If you're ever confronted with a fire keep your cool, but think fast and act with caution. When a...

Foot Safety It's a Shoe in for Safety The foot is something that doesn’t get much attention unless there is a problem. Therefore, to avoid possible injury, it’s important to think about safeguarding the foot before undertaking any job. Workers may be exposed to various hazardous conditions on the job, including slippery surfaces, climbing hazards, handling or working around heavy equipment and machinery and working around electricity. These different working conditions may require different safety footwear to protect the foot, and the worker, from injury. When choosing safety footwear, you must select the legally approved shoe or boot required for the job activity, equipment,...

Emergency Wash Stations Many new chemical products are introduced into the workplace each year and even with careful planning and safety measures, harmful chemical-exposure accidents occur.  Because of the potential for exposure, a list of all hazardous substances should be maintained at each worksite.  Safety Data Sheets on these substances should be readily available with substance descriptions including their location, risks, manufacturer’s precautions, and treatment or antidote measures should there be a harmful exposure. Emergency wash fixtures must be provided in the workplace if there is a reasonable risk that workers may be exposed to caustic chemicals or other hazardous substances. All...

Give Jacks, Lifts, and Hoists the High Safety Priority They Deserve Each year serious injuries and deaths occur in the workplace as a result of unsafe jack, stands, lifts, and hoist use.  Although safety responsibility for these devices must be shared between employer and employee, the ultimate responsibility for safety lies with the individual worker.  Even where there is close supervision, the worker makes the final decision on how to do the job. Jacks Workers must select a jack with the rated lifting capacity that equals or exceeds the load it will support.  Jacks must be placed on a firm, level surface...

Managing & Reducing Stress Stress is an everyday fact of life. When you have too much stress, or it lasts too long, it can be harmful. At work, unmanaged stress can lead to illness or injury, low productivity, and unsafe acts. But not all stress is bad. The best level of stress is that amount which improves a person’s performance without causing harmful side effects. You can manage stress and make it a more positive force in your life when you identify your stress, understand them, and take charge of the stress by relieving or preventing it. Using alcohol or drugs will...

First Aid What would happen today, if there was an accident at your workplace? Would employees and management know what to do? Would the injured person get the best possible care? When an accident happens, a first aid program that meets the requirements of the law and is tailored to the type and size of the workplace can literally make the difference between life and death, or between recovery and permanent disablement. Employers should insure that all employees know where emergency information is posted at the work site. The emergency notice should state the phone numbers of the closest ambulance service, fire/rescue unit,...

Safe Lifting Techniques Back injuries account for about one in every five job-related injuries in workplaces.  Disabling back injuries are no laughing matter for workers who lose time from work or from personal activities.  The sad truth is that most of the pain and lost time can been prevented if you are aware of how the back functions and how to lift safely to protect your back. The back is a network of fragile ligaments, discs, and muscles which can easily be thrown out of order.  The back’s complex design breaks down when it’s forced to perform activities it was not designed...

How Workers Get Hurt Types of Injuries Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. Many workplace accidents and injuries can be prevented if workers know the causes of accidents and they are taught how to protect themselves to avoid injury. Although no one wants to get hurt at work, there are four major causes for injuries on the job. Back injuries The number one cause of on-the-job injuries is physical overload. These injuries are cause by lifting (too heavy a load or lifting improperly), straining, overreaching, bending, and twisting. To protect your back against injury, learn and use proper lifting techniques, never bend...