Bloodborne Pathogens What are Bloodborne Pathogens? Bloodborne pathogens (BBP) are microorganisms that can cause disease when transferred from an infected person to another person through blood or other potentially infected body fluids. The microorganisms are capable of causing serious illness and death. The most common diseases spread in this manner are Hepatitis B (HBV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Examples of other bloodborne diseases include malaria, Hepatitis C and syphilis. Who is at Risk? Workers in health care and public safety jobs could be potentially exposed to these disease pathogens. These workers include, but are not limited to, doctors, dentists, nurses, paramedics, police, laboratory...

Back Injuries Get Your Workers Back in Control Jokes about nagging back pain get standup comedians a lot of laughs, but back strains and sprains are not at all funny, nor should they be an unavoidable curse to anyone. Back injuries suffered in California’s workplaces last year ran up a bill of millions of dollars. Those disabling back injuries were no laughing matter for the workers who lost time from work or from their personal activities. The sad truth is that most of the pain and lost time could have been prevented if workers had been more aware of how their backs function...

Arc Welding Arc welders use a powerful electric arc to make and repair plain, coated, or treated metal items. Welders can be stationary, electric powered or portable, diesel/gas powered. Install electric-powered arc welders to code. Ground equipment and place it on an independent circuit with the correct-sized fuse or circuit breaker. Overloading circuits or improper installation can lead to fire, a ground fault, or equipment failure. Mount a safety disconnect switch near the user work area. Operate diesel/gas powered arc welders in well-ventilated areas to control combustion fumes. Do not add fuel to the engine while it is running or near open...

Aerial Platform Safety Jobsites are not always at ground level. Sometimes, workers need to use aerial platforms, aerial ladders, articulating boom platforms, vertical towers, or ladder trucks to reach their work. All work has hazards and risks involved in it, but when you work at an elevated height, extra training and attention to safety procedures is a necessity. In order to work safely with aerial platforms, get training on the operating procedures for your job site and task. Get specialized training on each aerial lift model you will use. Know the risks and hazards involved with aerial work, including your own risk...

Amusement Park Hazards Amusement park hazards - and theme parks and amusement parks are favorite recreational spots for families and kids, but behind the fun are serious hazards that require workers to remain alert. Amusement park hazards can often be alarming. Amusement and theme park workers have one of the highest injury, illness, and fatality rates in the industry, so get training on the mechanical hazards associated with rides, lockout/tagout, safe ride operation, and hazard recognition and reporting. Workers that improperly access ride areas have been run over, dragged, and struck by ride carriages, cars, and arms and suffered serious injuries and...

Accident Investigation Accidents are unplanned and unexpected events that cause injury, property damage, and/or financial loss in the workplace. Incidents or “near misses” don’t result in loss, but have the potential to do so. Ideally, safety programs focus on preventing accidents and incidents, but if one occurs, have an accident investigation procedure ready and train your employees how to use it. Investigate ALL accidents and injuries; the severity determines the extent of the investigation. Handled properly, accident investigation helps you look at problems, solve them, improve your safety programs, and prevent future accidents. Accident investigation should prevent a recurrence. Adhering strictly to fact finding in a...

Poison Oak - Leaves of Three, Let Them Be! Thousands of California workers seek medical treatment for poison oak dermatitis every year.  While some individuals are less susceptible than others, no one is completely immune.  There are some simple things you can do to prevent or minimize the unpleasant often-disabling effects of poison oak exposure.  Learn to recognize, avoid, and prevent exposure, and get rid of it when possible. Recognize - The poison oak leaf looks like a miniature oak leaf, a triple leaf pattern leading off one stem with prominent veins and a shiny surface.  In some regions the leaves remain...

Cleaning Pesticide Soiled Clothing Clothing worn while applying a pesticide normally becomes contaminated.  From these clothes, the body can contact and absorb the chemicals.  Protective clothing (long-sleeve shirts, pants, gloves, hat, and boots) can reduce pesticide exposure, but unless they are laundered properly, significant amounts of pesticides can remain on them or be passed onto other clothing.  Keep in mind the following to guard against pesticide exposure from clothing. Launder clothing after each day’s wear. Clothing repeatedly soiled before cleaning can retain pesticides even after it’s later laundered.  Washing less frequently also puts more chemicals into the wash and rinse water. ...

Working Against Violence Perhaps workplace violence can’t be totally eliminated, but there are things that can be done to minimize it. Awareness and preparation are key factors. Evaluate the security of all work sites, establish a security plan for each location, and update the plan on a regular basis. The chance of violence is greater for certain jobs including jobs of contact with the public, working in late or early hours, exchanging money, delivering goods or services, high stress jobs, high crime areas, and if working alone or in small numbers. Initiate safety measures. Increase security with alarms, closed-circuit cameras or guards. Lock...

Safe Handling of Portable Power Drills Portable power drills are one of our most useful tools and, with care, they can be among the safest.  But electric drills can be dangerous if not handled carefully.  They can cause injuries in many ways – from being struck by flying drilling material, if chips of the materials being drilled are flung into the operator’s eyes or if the bit punctures or bores into flesh (usually a leg), and from electric shock. When drills are treated roughly, dropped or hit against things, or if they get wet, their insulation can weaken.  Without proper insulation you...