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Stepladder Safety

9/8/2014 - Posted by rondafriesel

Stepladders can be a quick and easy way to extend your reach, however, every time you use a stepladder there is a risk for permanent injury or death. Those hazards can be greatly reduced by following good safety practices.

Eliminate the Common Hazards by:

• Inspect the ladder before each use and do not use if damaged.

• Make sure the ladder rungs are clean and not slippery and that you are wearing slip resistant shoes.

• Make sure the ladder is fully open and the center spreader is locked.

• Make sure the ladder is set up on a non-slippery, level, and stable surface.

• Make sure the ladder is tall enough and rated for the work to be performed.

• Never use a stepladder to access another elevation because they are not designed for top or side exit or entry.

• Never lean a stepladder because the feet are designed to be stable only in a fully open position.

• Never use a metal stepladder near power lines or electrical equipment.

• Never straddle the top of a stepladder or stand on the top two steps.

• Provide barricades if ladder must be set up in a vehicle or pedestrian traffic area.

• Maintain a 3-point contact when climbing ladders and keep your weight and shoulders between the rails.

Using a stepladder safely is not as simple as most of us would believe. Depending on the work to be accomplished and the work environment, there will be other unique safety hazards to be considered for each ladder setup. A little forward planning, an inspection of the ladder, and survey of the work area is a good start to ensure a safe work experience using a stepladder.

 


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Safe in a Flash!

8/18/2014 - Posted by rondafriesel

 Arc Flash is a sudden release of electrical energy or fireball that is caused by a short circuit in electrical equipment. That fireball can release dangerous levels of thermal energy with temperatures over 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The rapid expansion of gases and temperatures, or pressure waves, during an arc-flash incident can send shrapnel, molten metal, tools, and other objects through the air at speeds over 700 mph. Add to that a sound pressure of 165dB (decibels) and an arc-flash incident can be the equivalent of a small explosion. Arc flash incidents can result in a loss of life, serious potential career ending injuries (including burns, loss of eyesight, and hearing that require extended recovery time), and extensive property damage.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have cooperated to develop and publish important standards for arc flash safety. These safety standards require that areas of potential arc flash be identified with warning signs and labels that indicate the level of hazard. NFPA and IEEE also provide standards for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) that must be worn by workers for different levels of arc flash hazards. These standards demand a high level of training, knowledge about the work to be done, and how to complete it safely.

If you are not properly trained and don’t have the credentials to perform work under arc flash conditions you must:

  • Stay Out! Stay out of open electrical panels and don’t try to do work you have not been trained to do.
  • Stay Away! Avoid all areas and activities that have a potential for arc flash hazards.
  • Back Off! Let the professionals who have been properly trained and have the correct tools and PPE do their job.

For more information on Arc Flash Safety, please visit:

https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy07/sh-16615-07/arc_flash_handout.pdf


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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.

 

 

 

Answers
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.

 


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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.

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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.


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LAWN MOWER SAFETY

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:

http://www.uaex.edu/publications/pdf/FSA-1005.pdf

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/1987/LAWN-MOWER-SAFETY


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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).


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YOUNG WORKERS HAVE RIGHTS TOO!

4/24/2014 - Posted by rondafriesel

Headlines:

  • “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

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3 SECONDS TO DISASTER

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


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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.

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