Changing Crops During Drought The California agriculture industry grows half of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts consumed in our nation. As drought conditions intensify, many farmers are changing their crops to less water intensive plants, drought resistant crops, or leaving their lands fallow. With this shift, causing needed changes in cultivation and harvesting, require farmers to conduct a hazard analysis to update safety procedures for equipment, tools and chemicals related to new crops and processes. New crops may require changing implements on your farming equipment. Make sure to: Get training on the operation of any new blades, discs, or other implements Use...

Heat Exhaustion During summer months we can be exposed to heat exhaustion. Excessive heat causes accidents in many ways. It becomes more difficult to concentrate on the job, you sweat, you get tired and nervous, and begin making errors in judgment. When the temperature exceeds 90 degrees, everyone needs to be aware of the danger signs. Heat Stress Everyone is at risk Drink plenty of water Take frequent breaks in a cool, shaded area Schedule strenuous tasks for earlier in the day Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine Know the signs and symptoms of heat stress, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and...

Emergency! Where's The Fire Extinguisher? As you walk toward the maintenance shop, you smell something burning and see light gray smoke coming from the window. You run into the shop and find the contents of the plastic trash can burning. What will you do? What is burning in the trash can? Where is the closest fire extinguisher? What type of extinguisher is it? Is the fire too big for you to put out? Do you even need a fire extinguisher? Are there people in the shop that should be warned of the danger? These are questions that should be going through your...

Vehicle Operations Most construction sites never have all the site space that they need to move vehicles in and around. This is especially true with new subdivisions. Therefore it is important that all the space we have is conserved and used to its maximum. We can reasonably expect congested traffic and an increased likelihood of a vehicle related accident. Guide for Discussion Always keep the vehicles and equipment in good running This includes brakes, lights, turn signals, and back-up alarms if so equipped. Any loads extending past the vehicle body must be No employee should be allowed to ride the load or...

Grinders Grinders use powered rotating attachments to work metal and other materials. Bench grinders are mounted to a bench or tabletop while pedestal grinders are mounted to the floor on a pedestal. With an abrasive, wire brush, or buffing wheel attachment, grinders sharpen tools and shape, clean, or polish metal pieces. Grinders can cause severe injuries to hands, fingers, eyes and face if they are not used correctly. Don’t wear gloves that could get pulled into rotating grinder parts along with your fingers and hand. Remove jewelry from around your neck, fingers, and wrists. Wear close-fitting clothing that will not get entangled...

Everyone Is Responsible For Safety Safety is everyone's responsibility! As an employee, you should: Learn to work safely and take all rules seriously. Recognize hazards and avoid them. Report all accidents, injuries and illness to your supervisor immediately. Inspect tools before use to avoid injury. Wear all assigned personal protective equipment. On the other hand, it is management's responsibility to: Provide a safe and healthy workplace. Provide personal protective equipment. Train employees in safe procedures and in how to identify hazards. Everyone must be aware of potential hazards on the job: Poor housekeeping results in slips, trips and falls. Electricity can cause...

Listening Safety Nearly all construction sites are filled with various sounds and noises. Each sound we hear is the result of an action of a worker using a tool or a piece of equipment. In nearly every case, a tool  or piece of equipment will signal its breakdown by a change in the normal operating sound. Everyone on site should condition himself or herself to be able to pick up these advance warning signals even when wearing ear plugs or earmuffs. Your individual safety could easily be dependent on your ability to hear approaching danger. Guide for Discussion Things Decreasing Listening Safety Over...

Ventilation - An Important Aspect Of Welding Safety - Without proper ventilation, the fumes produced in a welding operation can be hazardous to the welder or workers in the near vicinity. Reducing the exposure to fumes through an effective local exhaust or area ventilation system is the first line of defense in preventing discomfort or illnesses from toxic welding fumes. Respirators are another means of reducing exposure. This personal protective equipment should be considered a temporary process until more appropriate measures to control the exposure are in place. However, when the level of the exposure cannot be entirely eliminated by an exhaust ventilation...

Children And Construction Most construction sites are like oil and water for children; they don’t mix. Conversely, like iron and a magnet, children are attracted to any type of construction. Children like to explore. Guide for Discussion Some general observations: Children don’t recognize hazards as well as those who work on site. Locked equipment may still be a hazard. All excavations are potential forts or swimming pools. Scaffolds become gym sets. Discouraging children: Don’t allow children on site during the day. Erect a site fence. Mark excavations with signs or guard or both. (Remember: Fall protection rules.) Group and lock up equipment at night. ...

Metal Polishing Metal polishing cleans, brightens, and restores solid or plated items made of gold, silver, stainless steel, brass, copper, aluminum, nickel, chrome, or other metals and alloys. Achieving a smooth and shiny finish requires tools like fixed, tabletop, or hand-held grinders, polishers and buffers. Solvents, acids, and various abrasive materials are used to degrease, clean, buff, and polish metals. Metal polishing can create a variety of hazards including chemical exposure, entrapment/entanglement, noise exposure, and ergonomics. For protection, workers should follow safety precautions and use personal protective equipment (PPE). Gloves, safety goggles, and face shields provide protection for the hands and eyes....