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...

Noise Repeated exposure to loud noise can cause tinnitus and/or hearing loss Damage caused by loud noise is irreversible and permanent Excessive vibration causes damage to inner ear hair cells so they can’t carry a signal to the brain Too much noise can make you feel tired, nervous and/or raise your blood pressure If you have to raise your voice to be heard the site may be too noisy and hearing protection is needed Consider the all the noise around you and exposure to others when deciding to wear hearing protection Banded earplugs or earmuffs are an easy solution to...

Winter Driving - Slow Down! Winter driving 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...

Cold Stress As wind speed increases, heat can leave your body more rapidly Keep an eye on co-workers for signs of cold stress - hypothermia affects the brain making workers unable to think clearly for themselves. Wear several layers of clothing to provide better insulation Keep layers loose so that blood can circulate to the extremities Always wear a hat or cover you head to reduce the amount of body heat that escapes Move to a warm location during breaks Avoid touching cold metal surfaces with bare skin...

Bomb Threat 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...

Driverless Tractor Safety We all know the most important safety feature on a tractor is YOU, the operator. In fact, drivers are so important for safety, Cal OSHA created a rule requiring an operator at the controls whenever tractors or other mobile farming equipment is moving in the field (Title 8, Section 3441, available online at www.dir.ca.gov/title8/3441.html. This rule is designed to prevent the “driverless tractor,” a situation where the driver hops off a tractor while it is in motion in order to assist field workers. This action leaves the tractor unguided by a human hand or head. Unguided, moving tractors are...

Close Calls - Take a Close Look at Close Calls Close calls or accident without injury is easy to shrug off and forget. But, there is a danger in brushing off accidents that don’t hurt, harm or damage. When a “close call” happens, it should immediately send up a red warning flag that something was wrong, unplanned, unexpected, and could happen again. The next time it happens, it could result in serious damage, injury or death. For every accident there are usually several contributing factors, most of which can be controlled. The best way to prevent the reoccurrence of an accident is...

Accident Investigation Establish an accident investigation team: Include employees who have been trained to conduct an effective investigation. A typical team might include: An employee from the work area where the accident occurred A supervisor from a work area not involved in the accident A maintenance supervisor or an employee who understands equipment or processes associated with the accident The safety supervisor A safety committee representative Gather information: Record the facts about the accident. Interview witnesses and others involved. Analyze the facts: Identify the accident’s causes and contributing factors. Determine how the accident could have been prevented. Report the findings:...

Drywall Installation Drywall Installation - Drywall installers are at risk for back injuries, falls and respiratory exposure to dusts, including silica. Drywall sheets range from 50 to 120 pounds each.  Handle these sheets with care during transport and installation to prevent strains and sprains to backs, shoulders, and arms.  First, have the sheets delivered and stacked as close to the installation site as possible.  Next, use forklifts, dollies, and drywall lifts and/or jacks to move and position sheets. Minimize hand carrying and installation.  Pick up one sheet at a time.  Special sheet gripper tools or grip-dot gloves help you hold sheets securely...

Concrete Construction Safety Concrete is a versatile and strong material for construction. Concrete workers are just as versatile when performing excavations, carpentry, metalworking, pouring, and smoothing to create concrete structures. Pay attention to the variety of hazards while you work with concrete. Personal protection equipment (PPE) keeps you safe on the job. For digging, forming, and exposure to concrete, wear sturdy gloves and safety boots to protect your hands and feet. A hard hat protects your head from falling objects and bumps. Consider ear plugs depending on the noise level of your equipment and job site. Safety glasses and face shields protect...