Cumulative Trauma Disorders How Can You Prevent Them? Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD's) are strains that may result from long-term repetitive motion or from continually working in an awkward position. Strains commonly occur in the wrists, arms, shoulders or back, affecting the body's joints and surrounding muscles and tendons. CTD's are said to be today's fastest growing occupational problem, affecting all types of employees, from computer operators to construction workers. Modern equipment, tools and machinery have increased production capabilities in many ways. But in some cases, they have also increased the potential for strain injuries in people. These disorders not only cause great discomfort,...

Hand Protection Someone commented that the “hands and fingers are the instruments of the mind.” If that is true, it must become very difficult to be productive when your hands are injured or lost as a result of an accident. Whatever the construction craft, a worker must be able to use both hands in order to get the job accomplished. Guide for Discussion Causes of Hand Injuries: Inattention. Taking chances. Exposure to rough materials. Stacking of heavy materials (i.e., getting your hand or fingers caught between materials). Cut by sharp objects. Mashed (or hit by) tools. Burns. Caught in machinery. How to Protect Your...

Warehouse Safety Warehouses range from product distribution centers to popular retailers that sell oversize and bulk products. Whether it is an industrial, commercial or retail facility, warehouse workers should follow safety guidelines for loading docks, conveyor systems, forklifts and pallet jacks, material storage and handling, and good housekeeping. Products enter and exit warehouses through truck and loading dock systems that are usually at a height from the ground. When loading and unloading materials, workers should pay special attention to avoid falls from elevated docks and ramps; yellow striping can draw attention to edges. Trucks delivering goods should be treated cautiously while they...

Foot Protection Foot protection is probably about the least talked about type of personal protection. Nevertheless, it is still an important safety topic. One nail puncture could cause weeks of lost time off the job. Guide for Discussion Characteristics of a Suitable Boot Puncture resistant soles. Steel toes. Boot extends above the ankle. Sole provides good traction. Type of Injuries Commonly Resulting from Poor Footwear Punctures from nails and tie wire. Bruises of the foot. Unsure footing. Blisters. Body fatigue. Mashing of foot resulting from dropped objects. Other Acceptable Footwear Buckle Overshoes – for work in mud, water and concrete. (*) Knee and...

Chainsaws Except for log home builders and site clearer’s, it is rare that a chain saw is used on construction jobs. These are special tools that have their own special hazards. Before you use, review. Guide for Discussion Before Operations Always review operator instructions before you use a chain saw. Wear snug-fitting clothing; don’t wear any jewelry. Be sure to wear earplugs especially if you plan to cut for a long period of time. Always check for defects in the saw. Replace all defective parts before operating the tool. Don’t use a saw with a dull blade. Check the item to be cut...

Tree Trimming Safety Tree trimming operations require climbing, pruning, and felling trees. Hand and portable power tools such as loppers, trimmers, and chainsaws make the necessary cuts. Aerial lifts and chippers bring workers to the right height and clean up the worksite. The two leading causes of tree trimmer deaths are electrocutions and falls, so extra care and training is needed for work at heights and near power lines. Energized overhead or downed power lines can cause electrocutions if you come into direct or indirect contact with them. Don’t use conductive tools, ladders, or pole trimmers where they may contact overhead power...

Foundry Worker Safety Foundries are a source of many hazards. There is a hot work environment and the potential for burns or fires around furnaces and crucibles.  Molten metals create fumes.  Sand molding materials can create silica dust.  Chipping, sandblasting, and grinding creates dust.  Conveyors, crushers, and stamping machines pose a caught/crush hazard. This combined activity creates a noisy atmosphere.  Workers need proper work techniques, adequate ventilation, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to stay safe. PPE protects you from the foundry environment. Wear leather shoes, gloves, and safety glasses with a side shield.  A hat with a brim protects you from spatters....

Landscaping Safety Job tasks change seasonally in the landscaping business, but power and hand tools and exposure to bugs and the elements last all year long. Know safe work practices to avoid cuts, punctures and amputations. Protect yourself from critters, sun, heat, and cold that you encounter outdoors. Cuts, punctures, and amputations are common injuries for landscapers. Power equipment like mowers, blowers, trimmers, cutting blades, trenchers, and tillers have rotating and cutting parts that can cause these severe injuries. Read instructions and get training on each specific model of equipment you use. Keep your hands, feet, hair, jewelry, and clothing away from moving...

How to Use an Eyewash You’ve probably grown accustomed to the eyewash in your workplace.  But, if you had an eye emergency, would you really know how to use it? Train NOW. Workplaces with chemicals that cause corrosion, severe irritation or permanent tissue damage, or are toxic when absorbed, require an eyewash station. Safe work practices and personal protective equipment (PPE) including gloves, coveralls, safety glasses, goggles, and/or a face shield prevent eye injuries. If you have an eye emergency, notify a coworker right away. Have someone activate 911. Get to an eyewash station immediately.  The station should be within 10 seconds travel...

Forklift Battery Use and Maintenance Every time you operate a forklift or other powered industrial truck, inspect it to ensure that it is operating properly. Ongoing battery maintenance is critical so that the forklift is always safe and ready to get your work done. First and foremost, the forklift must be checked for enough battery charge to get the job task done. Forklift batteries are generally lead acid or nickel iron. They are charged by plugging the forklift into a fixed station or an “on-board” charger may be brought to the forklift itself. Because the batteries contain corrosive chemicals that can burn...