Toolbox Talks | OSHA Safety Manuals - Part 8
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Trenching Safety A trench is a narrow channel (up to 15 feet wide), generally deeper than it is wide, made below the surface of the ground. An excavation is any man-made hole or trench that is made by removing earth. Trenching is recognized as one of the most hazardous construction activities. The greatest risk is a cave-in and even a small job can present serious safety hazards. The key to preventing this type of accident is good planning. Each year in the United States trenching cave-ins result in hundreds of serious injuries and dozens of deaths. Trenches are needed to build roads,...

Hearing Protection Noise is an unwanted sound that can affect job performance, safety, and your health. Psychological effects of noise include annoyance and disruption of concentration. Physical effects include loss of hearing, pain, nausea, and interference with communications when the exposure is severe. Hearing protection is essential when noise exposures can't be controlled at their source. Both earplugs and earmuffs provide a physical barrier that reduces inner ear noise levels inner ear and prevents hearing loss from occurring. However, people often resist wearing these or use them incorrectly. Employees resist wearing hearing protection more than any other type of personal protective equipment. One...

Safety And Your Supervisor General Safety  Is job safety important to you? Some people will say yes right away. Others may feel differently, at least when this question is first posed. But survival and avoidance of pain is a basic instinct for all. You may say that safety isn't important to you, but just wait until you get hurt. At that time, I'll bet you will think differently. Safety does not just happen. Remember the old adage, if something can go wrong, it will. We must work to make things happen right; that is, in a safe manner. But one person cannot do...

Forklift Safety - Elevating Personnel Safely Forklifts (or powered industrial trucks) were never intended by manufacturers as a means of lifting personnel to perform job tasks at heights. Through the years, however, it became apparent, as evidenced by the number of injuries occurring, that this was, indeed, a method being employed for getting to light fixtures, top storage racks, elevated motors and other items too high to reach from the floor or from a ladder. It was viewed as a quicker way to accomplish tasks. Instead of going to the storage area and retrieving a ladder, riding the forks to the...

Plumbing Safety A plumber installs, repairs, and maintains plumbing fixtures or systems in businesses, industries, or residences. The job may include installation and repair of pipes, fittings, and fixtures servicing the water supply, waste disposal, and heating systems. Plumbers must also haul supplies, cut, and assemble plumbing materials, and use equipment and tools. Plumbing is a simple name for a job that has a wide variety of duties. Chemical and material exposures are common for plumbers, so get training on the potential hazards at the job sites that you are assigned. Find out if your jobsite has asbestos, lead paint, or mold....

Landscaper Safety Landscapers work outdoors to maintain and beautify the scenery. Their work involves tasks that could prove hazardous: electric and gas power tools, ladders, mowers, noise, sun, and weather exposure. It is prudent for landscapers to cultivate safety while they plant and prune the pansies. Landscapers use powered equipment such as trimmers, mowers, and chain saws to trim and prune grass and plants. Inspect these tools each time you use them to ensure that they are in proper working order. When using flammable fuels, ensure that the storage containers are approved for flammable liquids. Practice safe handling by limiting container sizes...

Hazard Recognition I've never met a worker who intentionally injured himself or herself. This should go without saying. Unfortunately, many workers are seriously injured each year and many people still believe that accidents "just happen." But, accidents do not just happen! What Goes Wrong? Usually, an error that is within the control of one or more people is at the bottom of things. Often, several errors take place, at the same time, for an accident to occur. So when we analyze accidents, we should focus on which aspects of a task were controlled and which were not. Assuming that workers have been...

Personal Protection Against Workplace Violence Each year in the workplace, an estimated 1.7 million workers are injured in assaults and approximately 800 homicides occur. Workplace violence incidents include verbal assault, simple or aggravated assault, robbery, rape and homicide. Anyone can become the victim of a workplace assault, so it is important to know the risk factors. Factors that increase the risk of workplace violence include contact with the public; the exchange of money; and guarding or delivering valuable property. Other factors include mobile workplaces (cars or trucks); working in high-crime areas, and working late night or early morning hours. Finally, workers that...

Motion Injuries - General Safety Taking the time to think about everyday tasks and their affects on our bodies is a good way to prevent injuries. The following scenarios will demonstrate how inadequate planning leads to pain and disability, affecting on- and off-the-job activities. At the breakfast table you rush to clean everything up before going to work. You stretch awkwardly across the table to lift your infant baby out of the highchair. Half standing, you start to lift your baby, but then stop, reacting to a sharp pain in your back. Instead of using your leg muscles to lift, you used...

Inspect Your Slings Inspecting your synthetic web slings prior to use is one of the easiest ways to prevent a serious accident from occurring. By adhering to the following suggestions, you can spot potential problems before you find yourself, literally, over your head in trouble. Inspect your equipment before, during and after use. This increases your chance of catching a defective sling before anyone uses it. What do you look for when you inspect a sling? Look for obvious abnormalities in the integrity of the material. Run your hands along the fabric and feel for irregularity such as tears, holes, snags and frayed...