Springtime Yard & Field Maintenance Many industries are coming into their busiest season now--often with increased outdoor work in equipment yards, outside shops, or storage areas. Before peak activities begin is a good time to organize, repair, and clean up these areas. Time to accomplish this will probably be scarce later on. The following checklist may make this job easier: Are chemicals kept in an outside storage facility? If so, are the following in place? Is the written Hazcom Program complete and available to employees? Have all employees been trained in chemical handling and spill clean-up? Are spill clean-up materials available, and...

What Is A Hazardous Material Or Chemical? At one time or other, you and your co-workers have received training on the "Hazard Communication Standard" alerting you to the chemicals in use at your worksite. But everyone should review this information now and then, as a reminder of the need to be cautious. Hazards from chemicals and other materials are everywhere we look-at work and at home. To protect yourself, you should know what type of exposure a particular chemical or material presents. Hazardous materials or chemicals can be classified into two groups, based upon their characteristics, physical hazards and health hazards. Examples...

The Ten Commandments Of Good Safety Habits In most everything we do, we find a "trick" to make the process easier and faster. After we develop these tricks, they become work habits in our everyday activities. Developing everyday safety habits can keep you injury free through the year. Here are ten safety habits to live by: Set Your Own Standards. Don't be influenced by others around you who are negative. If you fail to wear safety glasses because others don't, remember the blindness you may suffer will be yours alone to live with. Operate Equipment Only if Qualified. Your supervisor may...

Respirator Fit Check - Personal Protective Equipment Although negative pressure respirators are an accepted way to reduce exposure to airborne contaminants, engineering controls should always be your first choice. Sometimes strategies such as adequate ventilation can reduce contaminants to levels where personal protection is not required. However, if you do choose this equipment, you must be certain of two things: Have you selected the proper respirator with the correct filtering media, and does it fit properly? No amount of training or respiratory equipment will provide the protection you need unless a good seal is made. Prior to entering a contaminated atmosphere, you...

Report Unsafe Equipment Equipment Hazards Your employer does its best to keep equipment in good condition, but maintenance personnel are only human and can't keep up with all the problems in the field. Some defects will go unnoticed in spite of every effort made. Those of you who work with and around machines and equipment are in a good position to notice hazardous conditions. Get in the habit of reporting things that can lead to accidents so that corrections can be made before they result in costly accidents and/or employee injuries. Keep in mind that the person who sees a situation that should...

Safety Considerations For Sandblasting Sandblasting operations can be overlooked when preparing safety plans because they are generally a small part of a larger project such as cleaning and refinishing or painting. As a result, many workers are exposed to the hazards of sandblasting without adequate protection. Even if all sandblasting equipment is properly designed and regularly inspected, users must always be alert to the hazards of these operations and take precautions against harmful exposures. Airborne dust: This is one of the most serious hazards associated with blasting operations. When evaluating this hazard, it's important to consider the concentration of dust and the...

Personal Fall Arrest And Fall Restraint Systems It is important for you to understand the difference between a fall arrest system and fall restraint system. These are most commonly used in the construction industry but may apply to many other situations where employees must work at heights. FALL RESTRAINT: A fall restraint system consists of the equipment used to keep an employee from reaching a fall point, such as the edge of a roof or the edge of an elevated working surface. The most commonly utilized fall restraint system is a standard guardrail. A tie-off system that "restrains" the employee from falling...

Hazard Awareness The Little Things Count Most of us have probably heard the old saying, "It's the little things that count." There are many small things that influence our lives, and ignoring them can sometimes have serious consequences -- particularly when it comes to safety. We have all been trained to watch out for the big hazards that could harm us, but the little ones can sometimes cause serious injuries too. One company became very concerned when its accident frequency showed a large increase over a three-month period. Management began an in-depth check of systems, equipment, and material that are considered to be high-hazard:...

Entering and Exiting Vehicles Safely Truckers, delivery drivers, farmers, firemen, and workers that drive or ride in large commercial trucks and vans, farm equipment, and fire apparatus get injured when they enter and exit vehicles unsafely. Due to inattention, speed, and rushing in an emergency, workers slip and fall when they do not use vehicle steps and handhold devices. Jumps and falls cause ergonomic strains and sprains, broken bones, and fatalities. If you work around large vehicles, wear shoes with sturdy, non-slip soles and a heel. Clean and maintain the vehicle steps; wet or oily “diamond plate” can be very slippery. Only...