Ventilation Work activity or the presence of harmful substances in industrial environments frequently produces airborne contaminants. These contaminants can be controlled by isolating them from the breathing zone, substitution of a less hazardous substance or process, or by providing adequate ventilation. Ventilation is one of the most common engineering control methods and can be defined as the movement of fresh air into a space in order to replace contaminated air and/or control the temperature in a space. Natural ventilation usually does not provide a sufficient volume of airflow to ventilate enclosed spaces or to promptly remove highly toxic airborne contaminants from breathing...

Unsafe Acts General Safety -  Most of us know that accidents are caused by only two things - unsafe acts or practices, and unsafe conditions. Some of us even know that 9 out of 10 accidents are the result of unsafe acts, or things we do when we know better. This is kind of strange if you think about it. We have more to fear from our own actions than from any other job hazards around us. Why do we deliberately expose ourselves to injury every day? It Won't Happen To Me Basically, most of us are just thinking about getting the job done...

Want A Drug User On Your Work Team? More and more companies require drug testing these days. Chances are your company schedules pre-employment or random drug tests for its employees. Some people don't like the procedure very much. So what's the best possible attitude to have about this matter? You can joke about it, that's okay. You can grumble about it, that's natural. But do you want your employer to change the company policy and stop the testing? Here is what that would probably mean: Firms that do not test these days tend to end up with a greater percentage of...

Warning: Read The Signs! When is it that people pay the most attention to signs? It seems to be while driving a car! Have you ever wondered why that is? Most likely it's because signs are the simplest way to direct, instruct, and warn people. During your commute to the job site today did you happen to notice all the signs along the way? "You'll need to detour on this road," one tells you. "Slow down, you're driving too fast!" another advises. "Watch out for that bump," you are warned… Road and travel indicators are not the only signs that direct, instruct...

Was It An Accident Or Was It An Error? What is an accident? Briefly, it is a sudden and unforeseen event. Given that definition, can we say that the Apollo fire that killed three astronauts on the launch pad, and the Challenger disaster, were accidents? The first Apollo fatalities were due to a fire that occurred when the spacecraft cabin was charged with pure oxygen during a test. Unfortunately, there was an electrical short under the seat of one of the astronauts. Oxygen fed the resulting fire. The men could not escape because of a poorly designed escape hatch that took too...

What You Need To Know About Welding & Cutting Protecting yourself when performing welding operations depends on your understanding of the hazards involved and the proper way to control them. Control of welding hazards includes avoiding eye injury, respiratory protection, ventilation of the work area, protective clothing and having safe equipment to use. Eye hazards include exposure to ultraviolet and infrared light. Welders and their helpers should wear filter glasses with shades ranging from 2 to 14, depending on the type of welding being done, to protect their eyes. Unless a welding arc is behind a screen, not only the welder, but...

Chemical Hazards - Working Safely With Lead It used to be thought that only children were exposed to lead poisoning hazards which occurred mostly from eating lead based paint chips from doors or windows in the home. This is no longer the case. Studies conducted over the past few years now suggest many adults are exposed to lead in the work place and suffer from varying degrees of lead poisoning. These studies have also shown that eating lead based paint chips is not the only or even the primary way for lead to enter the body. Workers that use lead based paints,...

Cumulative Trauma Disorders How Can You Prevent Them? Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD's) are strains that may result from long-term repetitive motion or from continually working in an awkward position. Strains commonly occur in the wrists, arms, shoulders or back, affecting the body's joints and surrounding muscles and tendons. CTD's are said to be today's fastest growing occupational problem, affecting all types of employees, from computer operators to construction workers. Modern equipment, tools and machinery have increased production capabilities in many ways. But in some cases, they have also increased the potential for strain injuries in people. These disorders not only cause great discomfort,...

Unexpected Hazards In Demolition Work Remodeling of buildings sometimes involves demolishing parts of existing structures to make room for new improvements. Demolition can expose workers to dangerous materials that are sometimes difficult to recognize. In many cases, even the building owner may not know these hazards are present. Potentially dangerous materials include lead, silica and asbestos. Lead dust is caused by removing, grinding, or cutting materials covered with lead based paint, or from handling metallic lead. Lead fumes can also be created when a torch is used to cut tanks that have contained leaded gasoline or other lead containing products. Since lead...

Forklift Fatalities OSHA estimates forklifts cause about 85 fatal accidents per year; 34,900 accidents result in serious injury; and 61,800 are classified as non-serious. According to the Industrial Truck Association, there are about 855,900 forklifts in the U.S. Therefore, over 11% of all forklifts will be involved in some type of accident each year (assuming only one accident per forklift). The ITA also reports that the useful life of a lift truck is about 8 years. This means that about 90% of all forklifts will be involved in some type of accident during their useful life--again assuming only one accident per forklift....