Tree Trimming Safety Tree trimming operations require climbing, pruning, and felling trees. Hand and portable power tools such as loppers, trimmers, and chainsaws make the necessary cuts. Aerial lifts and chippers bring workers to the right height and clean up the worksite. The two leading causes of tree trimmer deaths are electrocutions and falls, so extra care and training is needed for work at heights and near power lines. Energized overhead or downed power lines can cause electrocutions if you come into direct or indirect contact with them. Don’t use conductive tools, ladders, or pole trimmers where they may contact overhead power...

Safety Away From Work Safety at work is hopefully a matter of routine. Just as important as safety on the job is safety at home. According to one study, you are actually safer at work than at home. For our discussion today, consider driving home and play. Guide for Discussion Driving Don’t speed. Drinking and driving don’t mix. Maintain your vehicle in good mechanical condition. Watch out for other drivers. Allow for proper stopping distances. Be courteous, especially if you’re in a company vehicle. Home Minimize electrical exposures. Eliminate slipping and tripping hazards. Don’t overextend on ladders. Teach your family to identify hazards. Know...

Refueling Equipment Refueling equipment is a necessary part of each construction project. As such, it is important that this operation be conducted in as safe a manner as possible. Remember that gasoline and fuel oils are manufactured to cause an explosion (hopefully in the engine). Today, we want to talk about simple refueling rules. Guide for Discussion Concentrate on the task to be performed. Never smoke during refueling operations. Don’t refuel near an open flame or near a sparking situation. Keep a fire extinguisher within 25 feet and closer than 6 feet. If the equipment may accidentally move, chock the wheels. Always...

Assured Grounding Program Instructor Note:  OSHA strictly enforces the standards pertaining to electrical grounding. These standards require that a project use either Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFI’s) or an Assured Grounding Program. GFI’s effectively prevent short circuits by tripping the entire circuit when a short occurs. It eliminates the possibility of electrocution and is the preferred method of protection. Introduction: Our company has an Assured Grounding program as a means to protect ourselves against accidental electrical shock. Guide for Discussion Program Components Have the company written policy on file. Our policy is located _____________ Have a competent person conduct all tests. Our competent person(s) are: __________ Test...

Trenching As far as safety is concerned, trenching and excavation operations are very similar. Both expose workers to the same types of hazards. Therefore, many of the same basic safety rules apply. The main difference is that a trench allows for only restricted working space. This restriction increases the potential for injury. As just one result, the need for safety awareness is increased when compared to excavation operations. Guide for Discussion Pre-operations: Locate all underground utilities. Determine, if possible, soil conditions. Determine if there is an overhead exposure. Based on the depth of the trench, determine the amount of shoring needed or angle...

Full Body Harnesses/Lifelines Discussion Points Full Body Harnesses, a connector (for example, a self-retracting lanyard), lifelines and anchors are all part of a Personal Fall Arrest System (or PFAS). The days of having a safety belt and lanyard are over – just too many injuries and deaths to workers. PFAS is generally required when working at ten (10) feet in the workplace. That is an OSHA requirement. Insert company policy. Falls account for over a quarter of all construction injuries. It seems that some workers don’t want to take the time to put their PFAS on, or worse, feel they don’t need...

Ramps and Runways Ramps and runways are an integral part of almost every jobsite. However, many ramps and runways are not properly constructed resulting in a jobsite hazard to anyone on the site and as a source for damaged materials. Guide for Discussion General rules for ramps and runways: Keep them free from job junk (debris). Provide suitable traction. Consider standard guardrails (with or without toeboard) on both sides to prevent falls. Ramps with a minimum width of eighteen (18) inches may have only one guardrail. Never exceed a twelve foot span (maximum) without bracing. All walkways used in lieu of stairs must...

Fall Causes Death, Ladder's are Killers A Tool Box Talk Case Study: Why Take Ladders Seriously Introduction: This is a true story only the first name of the victim has been changed. One of our friends wrote: “I lost a good friend September 15, 1997 from a fall from a roof. It seems that my friend Leroy went to help a neighbor with a leaking roof problem.” Guide for Discussion It was on a low pitched single story home (a 3/12 or 4/12 pitched roof), about eight foot ground to eaves's height. From family reports, Leroy borrowed a ladder from the neighbor to go...

Job Site Hazards – The Big Four Instructor Notes: In some Federal Occupational Safety and Health  states, compliance officers are evaluating a program whereas they will inspect four basic job site hazards on residential construction projects. If these four areas are found to be satisfactory, the compliance officer has the option to end the inspection at that point and leave the job site. Residential construction safety professionals often use the four basic job site hazard subject areas as a means to get interest from the on-the-job employees; it works out very well as a training or instructional guide. The big four are: Falls From Elevated...

Powder Actuated Tools Powder actuated tools are nothing more than a gun that fires a stud into a wall. As such, the safety rules that apply to firearm safety should almost always apply to the use of powder actuated tools. No one will be allowed to operate a powder actuated tool without proper training. The rules discussed today are not intended to be a complete set, but serve as a reminder and a starter. Guide for Discussion Hazard Examples Flying particles Studs being shot through the work area Studs ricocheting Fire hazards Interchanging tool charges with firearm charges Basic General Safety Rules Allow...