Defensive Driving - Are You? A vehicle, whether it's a company vehicle or personal transportation, can be a deadly machine in the hands of a careless driver. A good defensive driving attitude is the key to your safety on the road. Follow these tips and become a better "defensive" driver. If you get tired while driving long distances, stop and rest. Get out of the car and take a break. Always use your seat belt. This includes your lap belt as well as your shoulder belt. Both are necessary for safety. If your vehicle is equipped with an airbag, you must...

Back Care: You Can Make A Difference! "OUCH! Why did I try to lift that much weight on my own?" Did you ever ponder those words after you hoisted something heavy, or lifted from an awkward position? These incidents are well-known causes of back strain, but you might not have considered other "underlying" factors that lead to back injury. Several conditions influence your "back health." The cause of most back problems is poor posture, loss of flexibility, stressful living/working habits and above all, a general decline in physical fitness. Surprised? You shouldn't be. When you "let yourself go," (and most of us...

A review of the Hazard Communication Standard The purpose of a Hazard Communication Program is to help employees understand the potential hazards of the chemicals in use at their worksite. This education, required by the Occupational Safety & Health Act, is also called Workers' Right To Know. Failure to meet all the requirements of the law is OSHA's most frequently cited violation. One of the reasons for this is, many employers, supervisors and workers think chemicals are just too complex to explain and to understand. As a result, there is a temptation to avoid the subject. Hazard Communication is very important,...

General Safety - "Take Two" Picture this scenario. You are walking through your operation and notice a puddle of oil on the floor. Hopefully, you recognize that this is a safety hazard and proceed to clean up the oil. Feeling that you have done all you can to prevent an accident from occurring, you return to your usual job. But did you really do everything you could have done to prevent an injury? How about if I told you that the next day your co-worker slips and falls on the same puddle of oil and injures his back? You may argue...

Attitude and Behavior Humans instinctively seek to avoid pain and death. And yet, we may behave in a manner that is a threat to our well-being. There are a couple of reasons why this occurs. The first is lack of knowledge. What you do not know, can hurt you!. The second reason we may act in a risky manner is attitude. Now might be a good time to do a quick self-analysis. What is your attitude toward safety? When asked, some may say they are all for it. Others may complain about any safety effort being made. The difference between the two...

Scaffolding Inspections Scaffolding is a temporary, field erected structure used for working aloft. Because it is temporary and field erected, it is subject to wear and abuse, improper assembly, and unauthorized changes. Construction standards require that a "competent person" inspect scaffolds for defects before every work shift. Yet, in all industries, every employee who works on or around scaffolding should be aware of safety requirements. The following list includes things to watch for: Scaffolding must be erected on firm footing capable of carrying the maximum intended load. Boxes, barrels, loose concrete blocks or brick must not be used to support the...

Don’t Let This Be You – Electrical Safety A crew of four linemen were installing intermediate poles on an existing single phase 14.4 KV distribution line. Three of the workers were journeymen with 30 or more years of experience. The fourth was an apprentice with almost 3 years experience. The following summary describes a tragic accident: One of the journeymen and the apprentice were belted off below the neutral bracket on a newly installed pole, using hot sticks to tie off the energized conductor. Another journeymen on the ground was using a hold-down to keep the conductor in place while the wraplock...

Eye Injury Prevention Personal Protective Equipment  One thousand eye injuries occur in American workplaces every day. These injuries are responsible for over $3,000,000.00 annually in medical, lost production and workers' compensation costs!! Why are these injuries occurring? Three out of five injuries happen because the worker was not wearing any eye protection at the time of the accident. About 40% of the injured workers were wearing some type of eye protection, but it was the wrong kind and failed to protect adequately. The leading cause in this category is the lack of side shields. Accident studies reveal flying or falling objects and sparks...

Do You Need To Travel With a Load? It is well known that vehicle accidents result in many occupational fatalities. Vehicle inspection and maintenance are important elements to a comprehensive fleet safety program. Another subject that deserves attention has to do with the cargo you are hauling. When traveling with loads, part of the pre-trip vehicle inspection process should include a thorough check to determine whether your load is adequately secured. An unsecured load may shift during your trip and could cause or contribute to an accident. Check the condition of tie downs and ropes to assure they are not damaged or...

Backing Into Trouble When we are walking around on the job, particularly when handling material, we are subject to many dangers. Think about the following scenarios and see if you have ever been in a similar position: An employee was inside a truck removing empty drums onto the truck's elevator tailgate and lowering it. Another employee was removing the drums and sending the elevator tailgate back up. The employee inside the vehicle had his back to the tailgate as he pulled the next drum towards the tailgate - which he thought was even with the bed of the truck. As he swung...