That Container Only Looks Empty! Containers that have held flammable or combustible liquids can remain explosive even after the liquid has been removed. The liquid in the container is replaced by air which mixes with the hazardous vapors. This combination can be explosively ignited by a spark or heat. In fact, these containers are normally more explosive than a full container. How many times have you seen a 5 gallon pail or a 55 gallon drum being used as a welding or grinding stand? This is very dangerous. Any sparks produced could ignite the vapors. Also, the torch flame, heating the container,...

Excavations Are Serious Business Excavations and trenches need not be deep or large to create a life threatening hazard. Soil is heavy, and failures take place with little or no notice. You can be trapped before there is time to react. So it is important that every excavation be prepared correctly, allowing you to complete your job safely and efficiently. Remember that every trench is different. Soil type, moisture content, depth, configuration, proximity to existing structures, and location of spoil piles all work together to make every excavation unique. Keep these points in mind when working: Follow the recommendations of your...

Trying To Do The Job Alone Dear Sir. I am responding to your request for additional information regarding how my recent injury occurred. In block number 3 of your accident report form I put "trying to do the job alone" as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully. I trust that the following details will be sufficient. I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six story building. When I completed my work I discovered that I had about 500...

Hand Tool Safety Hammers, wrenches, chisels, pliers, screwdrivers, and other hand tools are often underrated as sources of potential danger. Hand tools may look harmless, but they are the cause of many injuries. In fact, an estimated 8 percent of all workplace compensable injuries are caused by incidents associated with hand tools. These injuries can be serious, including loss of fingers or eyesight. Hand tools can cause many types of injuries: Cuts, abrasions, amputations, and punctures. If hand tools are designed to cut or move metal and wood, remember what a single slip can do to fragile human flesh. Repetitive motion injuries....

Sunglasses vs. Safety Glasses Now is the time many people working outdoors break out the sunglasses. While conventional sunglasses may protect the eyes from glare, they do a poor job of protecting your eyes from the industrial hazards of splashes, flying objects, and dust. In fact, conventional glasses can present their own hazards in the workplace. It is a fact that the frame and lenses used in safety glasses are stronger than the frame and lenses used in conventional glasses. When an object strikes the lens of safety glasses it is very unlikely that the lens would dislodge. This is not true...

Being Mentally Prepared For Emergencies Would you know what to do if an emergency occurred while you were on the job? Do you know what actions to take if a co-worker was seriously injured, a fire ignited, or a structure collapsed? Are you prepared to react? Emergencies and disasters are a reality of everyday life. Local and international news programs document such occurrences every day throughout the world. Too many lives are lost and property is damaged because no one was prepared to properly react when immediate decisions and actions counted. A good start in learning how to respond to an emergency is...

Hydraulic Hoses and the Danger of Leaks You may find it hard to believe, but hydraulic hose assemblies are not designed to leak--though they do. And when they do, something is wrong. Leaks from high-pressure hydraulic lines are not just messy, they are dangerous. Leaks create slip and fall hazards, fire danger, and they contaminate the environment. Leaks can cause skin burns and, under high pressure, can penetrate the skin. The most common causes of leaking hoses are abrasions and improper assembly. If you work with hydraulic hoses, you should become skilled at anticipating problems, preventing them and fixing them. Preventing Problems:...

Bench And Pedestal Grinders Almost every maintenance shop has a bench or pedestal grinder. They are most commonly used to shape or sharpen the cutting edges of tools such as chisels or lawn mower blades. These are powerful, useful tools, but they are also potentially dangerous because users take them for granted. Serious injury and even death can result from improper handling, installation or use of abrasive wheels. Cracked or defective grinding wheels can "explode" when in use. Secure both pedestal and bench style grinders securely to the floor or work bench to prevent movement during usage. Store grinding wheels carefully on...

The Three-Point Rule You Don't Have To Fall Off A Truck! Falling while getting into or out of heavy equipment, a truck or tractor cab, hooking up air and electrical lines, or mounting or dismounting trailers is a sure way to get seriously hurt. An insurance industry study showed that falls from vehicles produced injuries that were almost 25% worse than other types of injuries. Even an ankle sprain can play havoc with your ability to use the clutch. Minor injuries can cost you big in terms of lost income and downtime. The biggest single cause of falls from a vehicle is driver error...

Allergies, Antihistamines & Drowsiness Spring is here! It is time to put away the heavy coats and break out the sunglasses. But the weather conditions that lead to "spring fever" also give rise to another affliction that affects many of us-hay fever. Hay fever can make those who are sensitive to pollen miserable, interfering with work and play. Fortunately, modern medicine has developed drugs which give temporary relief from hay fever's common symptoms. As users of antihistamines and decongestants know, however, there are side effects to these over-the-counter drugs. The side effects most often experienced is drowsiness. A Gallup survey of allergy sufferers...