OSHA Safety Manuals | heat
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Skin Protection The skin is the single largest organ of the body. The skin, when healthy, protects us from chemical, physical, and biological hazards. Skin weighs about 10% of our total body weight and is approximately one-eighth of an inch thick. The skin is made up of two layers, the epidermis (outer layer) and the dermis (inner layer). The outer layer of skin is only 1/250th of an inch thick and is the part of our skin that forms the protective barrier. There are many skin irritants that employees may be exposed to in the workplace. One out of every four workers...

Landscaper Safety Landscapers work outdoors to maintain and beautify the scenery. Their work involves tasks that could prove hazardous: electric and gas power tools, ladders, mowers, noise, sun, and weather exposure. It is prudent for landscapers to cultivate safety while they plant and prune the pansies. Landscapers use powered equipment such as trimmers, mowers, and chain saws to trim and prune grass and plants. Inspect these tools each time you use them to ensure that they are in proper working order. When using flammable fuels, ensure that the storage containers are approved for flammable liquids. Practice safe handling by limiting container sizes...

Animal Processing Safety Animal processing facilities combine the hazards of working with live animals along with moving machinery and cutting tools. If you work in an animal processing plant, get training on animal handling and the equipment and processes you will be using. Animals can be unpredictable, so keep your distance during transport and entry to the processing plant. Keep animals calm. Contact with stressed animals can lead to kicks, bites, and scratches. Wear steel-toed shoes with slip-resistant soles to protect your feet. Sturdy work gloves protect your hands. Stunning of animals can be accomplished by an electric stun gun, electric wires, a...

Boiler Safety Workers that use, maintain, and service boilers know that they can be potentially dangerous. Boilers are gas-fired or electric closed vessels that heat water or other liquid to generate steam. The steam is superheated under pressure and used for power, heating or other industrial purposes. Though boilers are usually equipped with a pressure relief valve, if the boiler fails to contain the expansion pressure, the steam energy is released instantly. This combination of exploding metal and superheated steam can be extremely dangerous. Only trained and authorized workers should operate a boiler. Workers should be familiar with the boiler manufacturers operating...

Asphalt Worker Safety Asphalt is used for paving and surfacing roads, roofing, concrete work, and paints. It is made from petroleum products and is usually heated between 150-200 degrees F. Asphalt is often mixed with solvents (diesel, kerosene, naphtha, toluene, and xylene), binders, hardening and bonding agents (resins), crushed rock, sand, and recycled rubber. Exposure to asphalt fumes can cause serious health effects, so get training, and use safe work practices. When asphalt is heated, the fumes can cause coughing, a scratchy throat, or lung irritation. Long-term exposure can lead to bronchitis or emphysema. Asphalt additives may create vapors that can cause...

Workplace Fires The potential for fire is present in any workplace. But, if you’re aware of the causes and conditions, if you’re prepared, and if you think before you act, the risk of a workplace fire and its damaging effects – on you, your co-workers or your company – can be minimized. Following good housekeeping practices is crucial to fire prevention. That means keep heating and electrical equipment clean, clear, and in good repair; regularly clean ducts and fume hood filters; keep ovens and ranges clean and free of spilled fats, sugar, sauces, etc.; keep paper products, aerosols, and other flammable materials...

Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses When the body heats up faster than it can cool itself, mild to severe illnesses may develop. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and understand how to prevent, control and respond to their effects. Air temperature, humidity and clothing can increase the risk of developing heat-related illnesses. So can age, sex, weight, physical fitness, nutrition, alcohol or drug use, or pre-existing diseases like diabetes. How can you prevent or control heat-related illnesses? Drink water - Drink small amounts of water frequently, about a cup every 15-20 minutes. (Alcohol increases the loss of body fluids.) Limit exposure time...

No Skin off your Nose A suntan may look and feel good, but the sun’s rays can cause serious problems, when exposure is excessive. Radiation from the sunlight damages the skin. Besides sunburn it has been known to cause various types of skin cancer, including deadly melanomas. Having tanned or naturally dark skin does not eliminate the need for protection against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The best precaution is to stay out of the sun as much as possible, but if your job requires you to be outdoors in the sun, wear sunscreen and cover your skin with a long-sleeved...

CAL/OSHA Heat Stress Changes Over the objections of employer groups and applause from labor representatives, the Cal/OSH Standards Board approved major revisions to the state's heat illness prevention standard. Executive Officer Marley Hart said the board would request an early effective date for the revisions from the Office of Administrative Law – April 1 instead of July 1. That means that employers must revise their heat illness programs and train employees on an accelerated schedule, with barely five weeks before the changes become enforceable.  Under normal circumstances, the changes would trigger on July 1, as OAL sets effective dates quarterly and April...

Summer Alert - Heat Stress The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced the launch of its annual Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers. For the fourth consecutive year, OSHA’s campaign aims to raise awareness and educate workers and employers about the dangers of working in hot weather and provide resources and guidance to address these hazards. Workers at particular risk are those in outdoor industries, such as agriculture, construction, landscaping and transportation. “Heat-related illnesses can be fatal, and employers are responsible for keeping workers safe,” says U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Employers can take...