Health & Safety - Heat Stress Disorders Although summer heat is the largest cause of heat stress disorder, it may also occur when workers are exposed to confined areas such as pipelines, shipboard spaces with limited ventilation, and any confined area involving welding or cutting. Symptoms The symptoms of heat stress disorders are very slow to start, but increase in intensity if precautions are not taken. The onset of the initial symptoms are mild and usually involve headaches, thirst, and tiredness. Heat stress can move to heat stroke, a life-threatening medical emergency, quickly when the body's natural cooling system breaks down and causes the...

Skin Protection Should be a Priority Skin protection is a necessity. 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...

IT IS HOT! Preventing Heat Stress Wow! What a scorcher! You knew it was going to be a hot day but with this humidity it has to be 105° F outside. You reach for that power tool to finish your job and start to feel lightheaded. It's probably because you haven't eaten much this morning. You can make it until lunch! Time passes and your condition hasn't gotten any better-in fact it's worse! Your breathing has increased, you're sweating profusely, and your mouth is dry. Something's wrong! You start to climb down the scaffolding but you're almost too weak to move. You...

Landscaper Safety A landscaper works 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...

Heat Exhaustion During summer months we can be exposed to heat exhaustion. Excessive heat causes accidents in many ways. It becomes more difficult to concentrate on the job, you sweat, you get tired and nervous, and begin making errors in judgment. When the temperature exceeds 90 degrees, everyone needs to be aware of the danger signs. Heat Stress Everyone is at risk Drink plenty of water Take frequent breaks in a cool, shaded area Schedule strenuous tasks for earlier in the day Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine Know the signs and symptoms of heat stress, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and...

Animal Processing Safety Animal processing safety 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,...

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...

Fire Protection and Control Most fires are a result of inattention to the job site operations and surrounding conditions. This lack of attention or protection can result in the loss of life and property. All fires can be easily extinguished if caught soon enough and the proper extinguishing tools are handy. Guide for Discussion Steps to Remember When a Fire Starts: Sound an alarm—yell if necessary. Warn those near the fire. If possible and the fire is small, try to extinguish it. Call the Fire Department if the fire can’t be easily and quickly extinguished. Evacuate the area if the fire can’t be...

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...