Toolbox Talks | OSHA Safety Manuals - Part 6
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Ergonomics - The Term "Ergonomics" Ergonomics is an important term that is currently receiving a great deal of attention from safety professionals. Federal OSHA is in the process of developing standards that would require every company to have an ergonomics program.  What is ergonomics and how could it affect you? Ergonomics is the scientific study of human work. It considers the physical and mental capabilities and limits of people as they interact with tools, equipment, work methods, tasks, and the environment. The primary goal of an ergonomics program is to reduce work-related injuries and illnesses by adapting the work to fit the...

The Mighty Power Press Powerful metalworking machines make punching a hole in sheet steel look as easy a punching holes in a sheet of paper. This equipment's bulk and power is one of the reasons that injuries from power presses are among the most common in metal working industries. Power presses come equipped with numerous safety devices such as guards, barriers, presence sensing devices, or two-hand trips-for very good reason. These machines are unforgiving. The injuries they cause are usually serious. Only ten manufacturing industries out of hundreds primarily use power presses, yet they have nearly 10% of all industrial amputations. There...

Give New Co-Workers Your Support! Once the initial orientation to the company is over and the basic requirements of the job and the safety program have been covered, it's time to move the new employee into the work force and introduce the people he or she will be working with. Co-workers play an important role in getting the new person off to a good start. What is a veteran employee's role when it comes to orienting a new employee? Remember that new people are nervous to begin with - just starting a new job. They probably don't remember all the instructions they...

Hydroblaster Safety High pressure water cleaning has become more common over the past few years, often replacing the need for sand blasting. The uses of hydroblasters vary from paint and grease removal, tank cleaning and log debarking, to rodding of heat exchangers and cleaning of sidewalks. Although hydroblasters are fairly simple to operate, they can be dangerous if not properly used. A pump is used to increase the water pressure to 10,000 psi, with larger units capable of 45,000 psi or more. This pressurized water is pumped through a flexible steel braided hose and discharged through a pipe called a lance which...

That Container Only Looks Empty! Containers that have held flammable or combustible liquids can remain explosive even after the liquid has been removed. The liquid in the container is replaced by air which mixes with the hazardous vapors. This combination can be explosively ignited by a spark or heat. In fact, these containers are normally more explosive than a full container. How many times have you seen a 5 gallon pail or a 55 gallon drum being used as a welding or grinding stand? This is very dangerous. Any sparks produced could ignite the vapors. Also, the torch flame, heating the container,...

Excavations Are Serious Business Excavations and trenches need not be deep or large to create a life threatening hazard. Soil is heavy, and failures take place with little or no notice. You can be trapped before there is time to react. So it is important that every excavation be prepared correctly, allowing you to complete your job safely and efficiently. Remember that every trench is different. Soil type, moisture content, depth, configuration, proximity to existing structures, and location of spoil piles all work together to make every excavation unique. Keep these points in mind when working: Follow the recommendations of your...

Trying To Do The Job Alone Dear Sir. I am responding to your request for additional information regarding how my recent injury occurred. In block number 3 of your accident report form I put "trying to do the job alone" as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully. I trust that the following details will be sufficient. I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six story building. When I completed my work I discovered that I had about 500...

Hand Tool Safety Hammers, wrenches, chisels, pliers, screwdrivers, and other hand tools are often underrated as sources of potential danger. Hand tools may look harmless, but they are the cause of many injuries. In fact, an estimated 8 percent of all workplace compensable injuries are caused by incidents associated with hand tools. These injuries can be serious, including loss of fingers or eyesight. Hand tools can cause many types of injuries: Cuts, abrasions, amputations, and punctures. If hand tools are designed to cut or move metal and wood, remember what a single slip can do to fragile human flesh. Repetitive motion injuries....

Sunglasses vs. Safety Glasses Now is the time many people working outdoors break out the sunglasses. While conventional sunglasses may protect the eyes from glare, they do a poor job of protecting your eyes from the industrial hazards of splashes, flying objects, and dust. In fact, conventional glasses can present their own hazards in the workplace. It is a fact that the frame and lenses used in safety glasses are stronger than the frame and lenses used in conventional glasses. When an object strikes the lens of safety glasses it is very unlikely that the lens would dislodge. This is not true...

Being Mentally Prepared For Emergencies Would you know what to do if an emergency occurred while you were on the job? Do you know what actions to take if a co-worker was seriously injured, a fire ignited, or a structure collapsed? Are you prepared to react? Emergencies and disasters are a reality of everyday life. Local and international news programs document such occurrences every day throughout the world. Too many lives are lost and property is damaged because no one was prepared to properly react when immediate decisions and actions counted. A good start in learning how to respond to an emergency is...