Hand Protection Someone commented that the “hands and fingers are the instruments of the mind.” If that is true, it must become very difficult to be productive when your hands are injured or lost as a result of an accident. Whatever the construction craft, a worker must be able to use both hands in order to get the job accomplished. Guide for Discussion Causes of Hand Injuries: Inattention. Taking chances. Exposure to rough materials. Stacking of heavy materials (i.e., getting your hand or fingers caught between materials). Cut by sharp objects. Mashed (or hit by) tools. Burns. Caught in machinery. How to Protect Your...

Office Safety Many workers think that the office environment is the safest workplace. But, a safe office workplace requires hazard control, good housekeeping, and safe work practices. Arrange your office to allow clear walkways and aisles throughout the rooms and near exits. Attach tall and heavy office furniture to the wall to avoid tipovers in an earthquake. Do not store heavy items or hang pictures over your head in your office or cube. Close file cabinet drawers, file doors, and pull-out work tables when not in use. To avoid jamming your fingers or hands, make sure that cabinet and desk drawers do...

Warning: Welding May be Hazardous to your Health You’ve heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” Well, with welding, one could say you are what you breathe. Welding smoke is a complex mixture of very small, condensed solids (fumes) and gases. The base and filler metals, fluxes, coatings, and shielding gases all contribute. Even chemical changes to the surrounding atmosphere from the intense radiation and heat can add to the mix. The effects of welding smoke on a person will depend on the particular components of the smoke and how much of it the welder breathes. Some effects may occur shortly after...

Working Around Cranes A crane is one of the most versatile and important pieces of equipment usually found on a construction job. It can be used to accomplish a lot of otherwise heavy lifting tasks. However, it can also be one the most dangerous since it can lift heavy loads over large areas of a project. Today we will discuss some of the important safety points about working around cranes. Guide for Discussion Always be aware of the swing radius of the crane Never walk within the swing radius of the crane Never work under suspended Besides the crane boom could fail. ...

Warehouse Safety Warehouses range from product distribution centers to popular retailers that sell oversize and bulk products. Whether it is an industrial, commercial or retail facility, warehouse workers should follow safety guidelines for loading docks, conveyor systems, forklifts and pallet jacks, material storage and handling, and good housekeeping. Products enter and exit warehouses through truck and loading dock systems that are usually at a height from the ground. When loading and unloading materials, workers should pay special attention to avoid falls from elevated docks and ramps; yellow striping can draw attention to edges. Trucks delivering goods should be treated cautiously while they...

Horseplay Introduction: Nearly everyone has heard a practical joker say “This one is gonna kill ya.” Well, hopefully it never will. However, practical jokes invite danger. The building trades industry is potentially dangerous and anything that unnecessarily increases the chance of an injury must be eliminated. Horseplay benefits no one and usually only builds up resentment and fosters retaliation. Practical jokes should be discouraged.  At some point, if they continue they need to be reported. Guide for Discussion Examples of Horseplay Scaring someone. Air hosing someone. Wrestling with someone. Boxing. Goosing. Dropping objects next to someone. Throwing water on someone. Throwing objects...

Afterthoughts And Regrets…. How often have you said or done something and then later, reflecting on your action, thought to yourself, "How could I have done that?" Here are some afterthoughts which, unfortunately, too many of us have experienced: "That's how we've always done it before." (…before the accident occurred anyway.) "I never thought that a little bolt dropped from that distance would cause so much bleeding." ( I should have worn a hard hat, I guess.) "If I had taken that first-aid/CPR course, I probably could have helped him." (…and chances are, he would still be here.) "I should have taken care of that board...

Controlling Stress Stress. Many of us are faced with controlling stress everyday, but we might not know how to deal with it. It is important to learn how to handle stress because it can affect our performance and relationships in our work and home. At work, stress can lead to distraction and cause an unfortunate accident. At home, stress can put a strain on family relationships. Stress usually occurs when there are changes in our lives and we feel that we don't have enough resources to deal with those changes and demands. Which of the following do you think causes stress: getting...

Floors and Other Openings Injuries in the workplace because of holes in walking and working surfaces are commonplace. Slips, trips and even falls from one level to the next can be as painful as a fall from a roof. The following items should be considered when dealing with floors and other types of openings. Guide for Discussion Hazard Identification: Floor Openings (2”x2” minimum at any depth) Temporary openings Plumbing Ventilation (Vault Ceilings?) Skylight wells Manholes Holes in Ground (Trenches and Excavations) Wall/Window Openings Temporary guardrail system Washington Fall Protection Standards Methods of Protection Use of standard guardrails Use of covers Able to...

Static Electricity Most of us are familiar with static electricity. We all have walked across the rug and reached for the door knob, only to have a spark jump from our hand to the knob. We have also seen the effects of "static cling," when our clothes cling together in the dryer. Static electricity, as a source of ignition for flammable vapors, gases, and dusts, is a hazard common to a wide variety of industries in Alaska. A static spark can occur when an electrical charge accumulates on the surfaces of two materials that have been brought together and then separated (between...