Ammonia Safety Ammonia is a commonly used chemical in commercial and household cleaners. In industry, ammonia is used in petroleum refining, to manufacture pharmaceuticals, to disinfect water, and as a refrigerant. In agriculture, ammonia can be used for crop processing, fertilizers, or as an anti-fungal treatment for citrus. Ammonia can also be produced naturally when stored materials such as manure, compost, or other materials break down. Ammonia can be mixed with water and sold as ammonium hydroxide, or used in compressed gas as anhydrous ammonia (meaning without water). Workers in all industries should know that, despite its common usage, ammonia poses health...

Cruise Control Driving Cruise control can be used to automatically control the speed in your vehicle (usually over 25-35 miles per hour) without keeping your foot on the accelerator. It is a great tool to prevent driver fatigue, speeding, and help with fuel economy during long trips on flat, straight roads and highways. Cruise control can cause accidents if you use it improperly or in hazardous road conditions such as city streets, heavy traffic, hills, winding roads, and wet, slippery roads. Controlling the speed of your car with your fingertips on cruise control lets you take your foot off the accelerator and...

Caught or Crushed Injuries Each year, workers suffer approximately 125,000 caught or crushed by injuries that occur when body parts get caught between two objects or entangled with machinery. These hazards are also referred to as “pinch points.” The physical forces applied to a body part caught in a pinch point can vary and cause injuries ranging from bruises, cuts, and scalping to mangled and amputated body parts, and even death. Workers in field, industrial, and office settings are all affected by caught or crush hazards to some degree. Get training and learn about the caught/crush hazards and pinch points specific to...

Driving Distracted? Driving down the road is no longer a lonely, quiet experience. With cellular phones, two-way radios, and stereos, the interior of your vehicle no longer offers a quiet place to focus on driving. These days with everyone’s life so busy, paying attention while driving can be difficult. Have you ever been driving down the road and suddenly you notice you don’t remember the last three miles you traveled? Although your attention may only be diverted for a split second, the ever-changing variables of the road and other vehicles can make you instantly vulnerable to accidents. The following rules can help you concentrate...

Aircraft Maintenance Safety Aircraft maintenance work includes inspection and repair of aircraft structures, coatings, and systems in hangars and on the air field. Good training and work practices ensure aircraft and worker safety. Tall, heavy aircraft make it hard to see people on the ground when maneuvering in the hangar or maintenance area. Watch and communicate with the aircraft operator to avoid caught/crush accidents (getting run over by a tire or colliding with a wing or tail). Never enter the ramp or flightline without permission from the air field controller. Work at a steady pace. Rushing your work increases aircraft turnaround and accidents....

Bakery Operation Safety The bakery business can be an enjoyable and rewarding profession, but some bakery processes can also be hazardous. Persons who work in bakery operations should be instructed in how to avoid or prevent potential hazards and be properly trained to follow recommended safe work practices. Slips and falls are common bakery accidents due to wet floors, spilled dough, batter, and dry ingredients, as well as uneven or obstructed floor surfaces. Stack materials neatly to keep walkways and production areas clear. Immediately clean up spills and post warning signs when floors are wet or slippery. Use a degreasing solution on...

Asphalt Worker Safety Asphalt is used for paving and surfacing roads, roofing, concrete work, and paints. It is made from petroleum products and is usually heated between 150-200 degrees F. Asphalt is often mixed with solvents (diesel, kerosene, naphtha, toluene, and xylene), binders, hardening and bonding agents (resins), crushed rock, sand, and recycled rubber. Exposure to asphalt fumes can cause serious health effects, so get training, and use safe work practices. When asphalt is heated, the fumes can cause coughing, a scratchy throat, or lung irritation. Long-term exposure can lead to bronchitis or emphysema. Asphalt additives may create vapors that can cause...

Cal/OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting The California Division of Occupational Health (Cal/OSHA) requires recordkeeping and reporting about safety in the workplace. Required records include the OSHA 300 Log and documents about safety hazard analysis, inspections, and accident investigations. Hazard-specific regulations such as asbestos, diving, mining, etc. also have additional recordkeeping requirements. Keeping track of recordkeeping requirements is a challenge. The OSHA 300 log is probably the most familiar to workers and employers. It records all work-related deaths along with injuries and illnesses that require more than first aid treatment. An annual summary of injuries and illnesses is required to be posted in the...

Winter Driving Winter can mean fog, rain, ice, snow, slippery roads, and poor visibility. It’s a time that can be dangerous for pedestrians, drivers, and other vehicle operators. There are some simple precautions you can take to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries. This winter season, before you get into a vehicle, take a little extra time to make sure everything in and about the vehicle is in good condition and operating correctly. Are the windshield and side windows clear? Do the windshield wipers work? Are the blades in good condition? Can you see in all the mirrors? Are the headlights...

Bomb or Other Threat Response With today’s heightened awareness of foreign or domestic terrorism, a bomb threat can occur at any time, either through the mail or by phone. A threat can also come in the form of an unidentified or suspicious object/package received or left at a worksite or place of business. While many threats are placed as pranks to create mischief or disrupt business, all bomb threats should be treated seriously. Everyone needs to be prepared and respond appropriately if they receive or see a threat. Preparing for a Bomb Threat or Other Acts of Violence Identify key emergency contact names...