Skin Protection The skin is the single largest organ of the body. The skin, when healthy, protects us from chemical, physical, and biological hazards. Skin weighs about 10% of our total body weight and is approximately one-eighth of an inch thick. The skin is made up of two layers, the epidermis (outer layer) and the dermis (inner layer). The outer layer of skin is only 1/250th of an inch thick and is the part of our skin that forms the protective barrier. There are many skin irritants that employees may be exposed to in the workplace. One out of every four workers...

Employee Responsibility General Safety  An effective Accident Prevention Program should include the defined responsibilities for management, supervisors, and employees. Management, by law, has responsibility for the safety and health of all employees as well as providing a safe workplace. Supervisors have responsibility for providing a safe work place as well as managing the production issues. Now we need to address employee responsibilities and what those entail. Employers and supervisors should expect the employees to be responsible. This starts with getting to work on time, working safely through the day, and addressing concerns to their supervisor. Suggested Areas of Responsibility Employees are responsible to: Listen and...

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....