Who’s got your back?

7/14/2014 - Posted by rondafriesel

In an ideal work team environment we like to think that we all have each other’s backs.  However, when it comes down to taking care of the physical health of our backs and spines, the responsibility falls onto the individual person.  Statistics show that nearly 80% of Americans will suffer from back pain or back injury at some point during their lives.   Back strains are second only to the common cold for lost work days.

The 3 most common causes for back pain are also the most easily prevented.

Incorrect posture:  When sitting, remember to keep your back straight against the backrest and your feet flat on the floor. Get up and stretch periodically. Mom was right when she said “sit up straight”.  When standing for a long period of time, be sure to keep your head, shoulders, and waist in line.  No slouching!

Improper movements:  Squat down to pick up heavy or awkward objects instead of leaning over.  Bend your knees and use your legs instead of your back.

Repetitive motion or lifting:  Automation is a very effective method to eliminate the lifting and ergonomic risks for musculoskeletal injuries.  Use carts, lifts, cranes, or hoists whenever possible.

Q1:  Lifting techniques are not a significant contributor to back strains.
Q2:  Strengthening and stretching exercises can help prevent back injuries.
Q3:  A person is more likely to injure their back doing heavy repetitive lifts than during a single lift.




A1:  False. Bend at the knees and not your waist when lifting to save strain on your back. You can minimize your risk by recognizing the activities and postures that lead to back injuries and making proper adjustment. Identify the potential hazard and take action to eliminate the possibility of injury.
A2:  True.  Strong stomach muscles and good physical conditioning are important for preventing back strains, sprains, and pains.
A3:  False. Poor lifting techniques over time can contribute to a weak back and lead up to the eventual lift that “broke the camel’s back.”
A4: True.  Research studies published by Harvard Medical School and others reported a significant reduction in pain and functional disability by the yoga group when compared to a control group who maintained usual medical care.



The Safety Geard Are Between Your Ears

7/14/2014 - Posted by rondafriesel

Moving machinery is everywhere!  Construction equipment, production machinery, process equipment, transportation devices, such as automobiles and bicycles, home shop and yard equipment, and even office photocopiers contain moving parts that can cause injuries.

If it revolves, swings, spins, slides, opens, closes, or moves in any way at all, it can hurt or kill you.  We often think about fingers or other extremities that might get caught in machinery, however a person could be dragged into many pieces of equipment and be injured or crushed even before they have a chance to cry out for help. Injuries related to machinery and equipment often result in death or permanent disability.

How should you protect yourself around moving equipment?

  • Be thoroughly trained in the safe operation of the equipment.  This is especially important for new and temporary workers.
  • Do not remove safety guards – they are there to protect you.  This applies to tools and shop tools as well.
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing, jewelry, or long hair that could be entangled or pull you into running machinery.
  • Follow safe work practices for the safe operation of machinery. Follow correct lockout procedures to prevent unintentional start-up during adjustments or repairs.
  • Be aware of all stored energy sources, including electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, gravity, and springs.
  • Be alert to your surroundings and how close you are to moving equipment.
  • Never reach into moving equipment or machinery.
  • Report any unsafe conditions and inadequate guarding.


Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who is the SA FEST One of All?

5/9/2014 - Posted by rondafriesel

Does the person in the mirror always make the safest decisions? Is your safety reflection something that you would want your co-workers and family members to see or emulate? Do you see a few cracks in your mirror? Is the image cloudy? If left unchecked, those cracks might eventually shatter the image with dire consequences. It’s never too late to repair those cracks or to clean and polish your safety image! Here’s how:

Repair the cracks:

• Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of accidental deaths and injuries. Practice defensive driving tips and avoid distractions while driving. “Share the Road” and above all, “Hang up and Drive.”
• Slips, trips, and falls are the second highest cause of accidental deaths and injuries. Remember to maintain 3 points of contact when climbing ladders or stairs.
• Hand injuries remain a primary source of safety incidents, both on and off of the job. Most hand injuries can be prevented by wearing the correct gloves.
• Always wear the correct PPE, whether on the job or at home. • Take advantage of safety training opportunities and make suggestions where more training is needed.
• “Take 2″ – Always take a couple of minutes to survey your surroundings to identify any potential hazards, and make a Safe Plan of Action to eliminate those hazards. This should be the first thing you do at work, at home, and at play. Do it to protect yourself, your co-workers, your family, and even strangers.

Clean and polish your mirror:

• Safety is an attitude! It is not a set of rules or regulations.
• Safety is not a movie or a Power Point presentation.
• Safety is how well we process all of the safety data and information to build an awareness of our surroundings.
• Safety knows how to react to unsafe conditions and what steps are required to eliminate the hazards.
• Safety is taking the initiative to correct an unsafe behavior or condition before someone gets injured.
• Safety will not compromise “just this one time” or take an unsafe shortcut to get the job done.



5/9/2014 - Posted by rondafriesel

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission there are nearly 75,000 lawn mower injuries each year which require emergency room visits. Riding mowers account for half of all injuries, including 100 fatalities. Half of the injuries happen to children under the age of 15.

Fatal and serious injuries have a common theme where the riding mower tips over and the victim falls under or is run over by the mower. Young children are in this category. Find a safe activity to spend quality time with the youngsters after the mowing is finished. A few minutes of fun riding is not worth the risk of permanent injury or death.

Eye injuries are the most common injuries while mowing. The mower blades can throw objects at 200 miles per hour and as far as the length of a football field in the matter of one second. It is important to wear eye protection.

Other injuries associated with both riding and walk behind mowers are hand and foot injuries resulting from contact with the rotating blades, These can be serious injuries that often require emergency surgery and amputation. Other common injuries are burns from hot engine exhausts.

General Safety Notes:

  1. Never carry passengers.
  2. Read, understand, and follow the equipment operator’s manual.
  3. Keep mowers in good repair and provide proper maintenance.
  4. Pick up any twigs, rocks, and other objects so they don’t become projectiles thrown by the mower.
  5. Keep pets and humans away from the area. Don’t discharge the mower in the direction that could hurt anyone nearby.
  6. Keep hands and feet clear of rotating blades, pulleys, and belts.
  7. Mow up and down slopes with riding mowers.
  8. Mow across slopes with walk behind mowers.
  9. Don’t forget your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Sturdy shoes, long pants, ear protection, eye protection, sun protection.

For additional Lawn Mower Safety Information, please visit the following sites:




Hand Injuries

4/24/2014 - Posted by rondafriesel

Can you imagine what it would be like to lose the use of one or both of your hands because of an injury? Our hands and wrists have 27 bones along with the soft tissue that allows us the flexibility and strength to be able to perform tasks. Even a minor hand or finger injury will remind us how important it is to have the full use of our hands.

Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that close to 20% of all days away from work injuries are hand related. In fact around 10% of all hospital emergency visits are related to hand injuries and 40% of these injuries involve lacerations or cuts.

How should you avoid hand injuries?

Complete a pre task Safe Plan of Action (SPA) so that you can eliminate the hazards and dangers in the job to be done.

Be aware of pinch points. Be aware of hot points.

Be aware of rotating or moving surfaces. Automated machinery may be controlled by remote control, or delay timing devices that cause the machine to start automatically.

Loose clothing and jewelry may be caught up in moving machinery.

Never remove machine safeguards or operate machinery with safeguards removed.

Use the appropriate tool for the job.

Wear the right gloves, that fit correctly, and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).



4/24/2014 - Posted by rondafriesel


  • “Two workers, ages 14 and 19, were suffocated when they were engulfed by corn in a grain silo”
  • “18 year old dies when his clothes get tangled in a portable mortar mixer”
  • “17 year old assistant pool manager was electrocuted when she contacted an ungrounded motor”

Young workers between the ages of 16 and 24 are twice as likely to suffer an injury or an illness on the job as more experienced workers. As schools let out for summer and college graduates start their job search, we need to be reminded that the younger workers do not have all of the necessary training and experience to keep them safe on their new jobs. Employers are required to provide the safety training and protection for new, temporary, and/or seasonal workers that will ensure their safety for the work they are required to perform. Co-workers need to recognize that younger workers may or may not have had, or may not understand all of the necessary training for their new job and should be ready to help monitor or mentor the new worker’s activities. Parents and educators can also play a vital role by asking questions about the safety training received; job duties the new workers are expected to perform, and to coach them on questions to ask.

The www.osha.gov/youngworkers/resources.html web site contains related “must know” information on other related subjects that should be discussed and understood before starting any new job. Explore the information in this web site with a young worker and have, perhaps, the most important conversation with them that may start them off on an injury free career!

  • Safety – Of course!
  • Worker Rights
  • Worker Responsibilities
  • Discrimination
  • Sexual Harassment
  • How To Handle Problems



4/3/2014 - Posted by rondafriesel

Don’t let a 3 second distraction become a lifetime of regret!

The time it took to read the title of this safety tip, only 3 seconds, is the same length of time for distractions that precede 80% of automobile crashes and 60% of near misses. You may consider yourself to be an attentive and safe driver, however, those 3 seconds can be the precious time that allows you to prevent or avoid an accident — regardless whether it is your distraction or someone else’s.

A safe driver is not necessarily someone who has been lucky enough to avoid being involved in an accident. Rather, a safe driver is a courteous and defensive driver who looks out for others, avoids distractions, and is always on alert to anticipate and respond to potential traffic situations. Safe drivers share the road so that they do not become part of, or contribute to, a preventable accident.

The most dangerous part of the day for most people is their commute to and from work, school, shopping, and recreational activities.

  • Anticipate that someone might run that stop sign or red light. How will you react? What if a child runs out between those parked cars?

  • Stop “InTEXTicated Driving” that puts you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road at risk for accidents, injuries, and death.

  • Work zones are inherently unsafe, so slow down and stay alert! Follow signs and flaggers and watch out for workers and moving equipment.

  • Motorcycles and bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities for sharing the road and must obey the same traffic laws as cars and trucks. Wear helmets and clothing that make you visible to vehicle traffic. Above all: “Ride to Survive.”

  • Runners and walkers should wear Hi-Vis clothing and stay on walkways or paths, if possible. Face oncoming traffic and always carry identification. Look out for distracted drivers and be ready to avoid them.

3.31.14 3 Seconds to Disaster


Office Electrical Safety

4/3/2014 - Posted by rondafriesel

Electrical office safety is extremely important. Electrical currents can be deadly at high voltages. Even a small amount of electrical current can be damaging to our body. It can cause nerve damage or paralysis. While it is important to practice all safety habits at work, electrical office safety is most important. Misusing electricity could result in many accidents, including fire. Electrical fires kill more than 700 people a year.

  • Always check for damaged cords and replace if necessary.
    Do not run cords across walkways and doorways. They may cause tripping hazards.
    Do not overload circuits with too many plugs.
    Never pull a plug out by the cord; always grip it firmly at the base.
    Keep all cords away from extreme heat sources.
    Never touch an exposed electrical wire.
    Be sure there is no water leaking on or near electronic devices.


Determining Power Strip Capacity
If you are going to use extension cords, power strips, or surge protectors with two or more appliances, you must add together the wattage rating for all appliances used on the cord. The total of those wattage ratings will help you determine which gauge size you will need.

Hair dryer 1,600
Portable heater 1,500

Vacuum cleaner 600
Portable fan 150
Television 150
Computer 150
Light bulbs 40, 60, 75, or 100

Do the Math Determine all the electrical items plugged into the extension cord, power strip, or surge protector. Then determine the power requirements for each item, either in amps or watts. Locate the capacity of the extension cord, power strip, or surge protector you are using. Add up all the power requirements. This total should not exceed 80 percent of the rated capacity of the extension cord, power strip, or surge protector you are using.

02 10 14 Electrical Safety


Stay Alert! Stay Alive!

4/3/2014 - Posted by rondafriesel

I’ll bet your first thought is that this will be another safe driving tip! Well……..Yes and No!

In reality the “Stay Alert! Stay Alive” mantra should guide all our activities regardless if we are driving, working, or at home.

Driving: Statistics show that fully 80% of all crashes and 60% of near misses occur within 3 seconds of a distraction. Those distractions can include texting and cell phone use, eating, grooming, changing the radio or heater/AC controls, and even other passengers. Intoxicated / Impaired along with drowsy driving contribute to the distracted driving statistics. Can you really afford not to give your 100% undivided attention when behind the wheel? “Stay Alert! Stay Alive!”

Working: Always make a “Safe Plan of Action” for your work tasks to be sure you identify all the associated risks, and then take the steps necessary to eliminate those hazards. Potential hazards that are not obvious are often overlooked so be aware of your surrounding area and adjoining operations. Consider vehicle and pedestrian traffic flows. “Stay Alert! Stay Alive!”

Home: Everyone needs to know how to respond in case of fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, earthquake or other disasters that may strike while at home. Even if the TV and radio are turned off there are cell phone apps that will provide alerts to most natural disasters. While out shopping, be aware of your surroundings and be sure to park and walk in safe, well lit areas. “Stay Alert! Stay Alive!”

01 09 14 Stay Alert Stay Alive


Pump versus Chute Delivery of Concrete

1/21/2014 - Posted by Carrie Hitchner

Concrete pumping is usually the preferred method of delivery of a concrete mix to a job site’s pour. This involves the use of a machine that accepts the concrete from the mixer then places pressure on a large hose to push the concrete through to the point of the pour. Chute delivery uses a series of wide ducts in which concrete slides down to the desired location of the pour. Until the invention of the concrete pump, chutes were used frequently. Today, chute delivery is rarely used in the United States, but is frequently utilized in developing countries where construction equipment is not available.

A concrete pump uses material cylinders and hoses to deliver concrete to a specific area. A concrete pump is far more efficient in terms of time required to pour and the amount of labor required to manage the pour. Chute delivery is very labor intensive. It requires workers to prepare the chute, man the chute to keep concrete moving, reposition the delivery end of the chute during the pour, and then break down the chute. In modern industrialized construction projects, the labor costs and time to pour are not efficient enough.

Advantages of Concrete Pumping over Chute Delivery
To make chute delivery work, the concrete mix must be very wet or watered-down. This hurts the strength of the concrete. Using the same aggregate to cement ratios in a mix, the dryer mix that a concrete pump can deliver can produce concrete that withstands 3000 PSI. But to deliver the same mix with a chute system, it must be much wetter and the resulting concrete will likely only produce strength of 2,000 PSI (if you are lucky).

Because chute delivery relies on gravity instead of pressure to push the concrete to the pour site, the starting point of the chute at the concrete mixer truck must parked in a raised location. Then a system of jacks is used to put the chutes in place for gravity-based delivery. Erecting jacks and joining aluminum chutes together requires about 5 more people than concrete pumping. So set up, breakdown, as well as the delivery time results in chute delivery taking far more time to delivery concrete. A concrete pump uses mechanical and hydraulic forces that push the concrete through the hose. You only need one person on the hose and another one at the machine. Faster delivery time and less labor makes investment in purchasing or leasing a concrete pump an excellent financial decision.

Concrete Pumps Make Modern Construction Possible
The other benefit of concrete pumping is the constant speed of delivery. This type of control avoids errors during the pour, increases the likelihood of an even set on the concrete, and reduces waste during the pour and at the end of the pour when the concrete must be cut off just in time to finish the job and not deliver wasted material.

Concrete pumping affords flexibility that chute delivery cannot provide. You can deliver concrete upwards with a concrete pump. The driving force on a concrete pump is the hydraulic cylinders pushing material through two material tubes. Concrete pumps allow modern construction of monumental high-rise buildings.

A concrete pump is considered “the form of concrete delivery” in the United States now. If you can get a truck close to the pour site, it will pump the mix without having to form scaffolds to hold chutes or deal with positioning a truck in a higher location so the material can slide down.

Edward Salazar is co-owner of JED Alliance Group, Inc. When buying used heavy equipment to refurbish and sell, he visits many job sites where he sees safety being ignored. When he and his staff train their customers on purchased equipment, they reinforce the importance of knowing the machine and taking precautions. Feel free to contact Edward at 321-251-4844.