Office Safety - Potential Hazards You may think that since you work in an office you don't have to worry about office safety. However, offices can become dangerous because people don't anticipate the potential hazards. Studies show that over one-fourth of office injuries are caused by falls. One-third of the falls incurred by women are due to wearing high heels, which make falls more likely. Consider wearing lower, wider heels. Other things that can cause falls are spills on floors, torn carpets or exposed carpet seams, electrical cords running across the floor, open desk or file drawers, boxes or supplies stored in...

Common Sense And Accident Prevention Generally speaking, we are not born with common sense, we acquire it throughout life. Actually, common sense is really common experience--we learn about life from others' experiences as well as our own. Awareness of your environment, self-preservation and concern for your fellow workers are all factors in good common sense. Contrary to popular opinion, all workers can prevent themselves from getting hurt. The easy way to avoid pain is to observe how others have taken risks and been injured, rather than learning the hard way--from your own injury. That's common sense! The experts say at least 80%...

Unexpected Hazards In Demolition Work Remodeling of buildings sometimes involves demolishing parts of existing structures to make room for new improvements. Demolition can expose workers to dangerous materials that are sometimes difficult to recognize. In many cases, even the building owner may not know these hazards are present. Potentially dangerous materials include lead, silica and asbestos. Lead dust is caused by removing, grinding, or cutting materials covered with lead based paint, or from handling metallic lead. Lead fumes can also be created when a torch is used to cut tanks that have contained leaded gasoline or other lead containing products. Since lead...

Forklift Fatalities OSHA estimates forklift fatalities account for 85 fatal accidents per year; 34,900 accidents result in serious injury; and 61,800 are classified as non-serious. According to the Industrial Truck Association, there are about 855,900 forklifts in the U.S. Therefore, over 11% of all forklifts will be involved in some type of accident each year (assuming only one accident per forklift). The ITA also reports that the useful life of a lift truck is about 8 years. This means that about 90% of all forklifts will be involved in some type of accident during their useful life--again assuming only one accident per...

Site Safety Inspections Regular site safety inspections using site-specific checklists keep the workplace safe by identifying and correcting hazards in the workplace. Inspection frequency depends on the hazard level of the workplace; sites may need checks at every shift, daily, quarterly or annually. Document the inspection observations, identified hazards, and the corrective actions taken. Focus on the administrative records and postings at the workplace. Safety Data Sheet (SDS) binders, safety programs, procedures, trainings, and records need to be up to date and accurate. Critical procedures (e.g. spill cleanup, evacuation) should be posted in prominent locations. Required employer postings (e.g. Cal/OSHA, Workers Compensation,...

Inspection And Use Of Slings Equipment Hazards  Each day before being used, all slings, fastenings and attachments must be inspected for damage or defects. Any damaged or defective sling must be immediately removed from service. Some general safe operating practices for slings of all types are: Slings, which are damaged or defective, shall not be used. Slings shall not be shortened with knots, bolts or other makeshift devices. Sling legs shall not be kinked. Slings shall not be loaded in excess of their rated capacities. Slings used in a basket hitch shall have the load balanced to prevent slippage. Slings shall be...

Recognizing Unsafe Conditions Recognizing unsafe conditions, or hazards in the workplace, is not just a Safety Committee responsibility. It is everyone’s responsibility from the most junior employee to the company president to identify hazards and make suggestions on how to fix the problem. Guide for Discussion Causes of unsafe conditions or actions: Poor housekeeping. Horseplay. Confused material storage. Careless handling of materials. Improper or defective tools Lack of machine guarding; failure to install warning systems. Lack of or failure to wear proper personal protection equipment. Weather. Worker not dressing for the job to be done. Failure to follow instructions. Steps to take once an...

The Deadly Dozen We all know that there must be a cause for an accident to happen. In order to avoid accidents, we must remove the cause. Every cause is a result of an unsafe act or unsafe condition. By recognizing the unsafe act or condition, we can effectively remove the exposure to them. The following “deadly dozen” are reminders to help you recognize unsafe acts or conditions. Guide for Discussion Unsafe Acts Unauthorized use or operation of equipment. Failure to secure or tie down materials to prevent unexpected movement. Working or operating equipment too fast. Failure to issue warnings or signals as...

Stay Safe At All Hours When you find yourself alone in the workplace because you: work early or late hours, work at mobile remote sites, or provide services on the go, you must keep yourself safe at all hours by following your own gut instinct, and following your employers established safety procedures. Perform a walk through with your employer to identify the potential hazards you may encounter while performing your duties. Once the hazards are identified, devise safety solutions to control or eliminate the situation. Some solutions may include: Personal panic alarms Sensored path lighting Security cameras Walkie Talkies/Cell phones Create and implement...

Detention Facility Workers Detention facility workers should be continuously aware and prepared for the risks they might face on the job. The work in these facilities can be extremely stressful—both physically and mentally for guards, custodians, or medical personnel; they also run the risk of exposure to physical attack or infection from bodily fluids. Bodily Fluid Exposure Bloodborne pathogen exposure from splashes or contact with blood is a serious hazard when violence erupts. The most common exposure is a splash of blood or other bodily fluids to an eye, nose and mouth or a puncture from a bite, scratch, or serious wound. If...