Monday, August 29, 2016

Incident Prevention - Tool Box Talks

Generally speaking, we are not born with common sense, we acquire it throughout life. Actually, common sense is really common experience--we learn about life from others' experiences as well as our own. Awareness of your environment, self-preservation and concern for your fellow workers are all factors in good common sense. Contrary to popular opinion, all workers can prevent themselves from getting hurt. The easy way to avoid pain is to observe how others have taken risks and been injured, rather than learning the hard way--from your own injury. That's common sense!

The experts say at least 80% of industrial accidents are caused by unsafe acts on the part of employees--and not by unsafe conditions. Although employers are required by law to provide a safe and healthful workplace, it is up to you to be aware of your work environment and follow safe work practices. By avoiding unsafe acts and practicing common sense, your work will go smoother, with less chance for accidents.

Statistically, most accidents are caused by unsafe acts, including:

Being In A Hurry - Sometimes there is more concern for completing a job quickly instead of safely. Take time to do a good job and a safe job.

Taking Chances - Daring behavior or blatant disregard for safe work practices can put the whole work team at risk. Follow all company safety rules and watch out for your fellow employees. Horseplay is never appropriate on the job and can lead to disciplinary action.

Being Preoccupied - Daydreaming, drifting off at work, thinking about the weekend and not paying attention to your work can get you seriously hurt or even killed. Focus on the work you are paid to do. If your mind is troubled or distracted, you're at risk for an accident.

Having A Negative Attitude
- Being angry or in a bad mood can lead to severe accidents because anger nearly always rules over caution. Flying off the handle at work is potentially dangerous. Keep your bad moods in check, or more than one person may be hurt. Remember to stay cool and in charge of your emotions.

Failing To Look For Hidden Hazards
- At many jobsites, work conditions are constantly changing. Sometimes new, unexpected hazards develop. Always be alert for changes in the environment. Hidden hazards include spilled liquids that could cause slips and falls; out-of-place objects that can be tripped over; unmarked floor openings one could step into; low overhead pipes that could mean a head injury; and other workers who don't see you enter their hazardous work area.

Remember to stay alert for hazards, so you won't become one more accident statistic: You can do a quality job without rushing. Maintain a positive attitude and keep your mind on your work. This is just common sense--something smart workers use!

This information is provided by: Assurance Agency.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Safety on a New Jobsite

It's important for you to remember that most accidents are caused by carelessness or thoughtlessness--yours, or someone else on the job.  When an accident occurs, it is because someone has failed to foresee that it could happen.  If you think ahead of the possible hazards likely to confront you, you can plan how to avoid them. When starting work at a new job site, size up the situation and think of ways to prevent accidents and keep the job safe.
Take time to evaluate your share of the work as soon as you arrive on the site. Ask your supervisor to explain any phase of the job that you do not understand.  If you are working with a new employee, be sure to explain the work to be done and be sure that he/she is qualified to do the work. This will allow you to work safely with this person and prevent accidents.
Always check that you have the necessary tools and equipment required to do the job. Use tools only for the purpose they were designed for. Repair and replace immediately any defective tools such as chisels with mushroomed heads, wrenches with sprung or spread jaws, hammers with split handles, etc. Inspect the wiring of all electrical hand tools to be sure they are equipped with a three-prong grounded plug. Power tools with frayed or broken insulation on wires should be taken out of service until repaired. When using ladders, make sure that they are in good shape with no broken or missing rungs. Never use aluminum ladders when working around electricity. Wear hard hats and other personal protective equipment when called for on the site. When using scaffolding, make sure that it is properly set up with scaffold grade planks and good, stable footing. Do not work on scaffolding that is shaky or missing components.
Remember, a job is only as safe as each person makes it. If each employee will take nothing for granted, check all tools and equipment for safe operation, keep the job neat and follow company rules, they will be contributing to the safety of themselves and their fellow workers.


This information is provided by: Assurance Agency


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ladder Accident Causes - TBT

See anything wrong with this picture?

Accidents involving ladders are very common.  Most of these accidents could have been avoided with proper ladder use.  While a ladder is a very basic necessity and seems easy to use, it is often one of the most misused and abused pieces of equipment we see during site inspections.
An accident involving a ladder can result in a very serious injury or possibly even death.  Here are the 10 most common causes of ladder accidents and simple solutions to prevent such accidents from happening:

1.     Failure to secure a straight ladder.  Always secure a straight ladder at the top so that it won’t be able to move in ANY direction.  Also ensure that the bottom of the ladder is equipped with the proper slip resistant feet.
  1. Standing on the top 2 steps of a stepladder.  If employees are standing on the top 2 steps of a stepladder, a taller stepladder should be used.  Supply the appropriate sized ladders for the job.
  2. Over-reaching while working from a ladder.  Employees working from a ladder should not over reach or lean too far while working from a ladder but rather reposition the ladder.  Employees should keep their belt buckle between the side rails of the ladders.  (see #9 regarding repositioning ladders)
  3. Carrying items up or down a ladder.  Employees should always maintain 3 points of contact when climbing up or down ladders -- 2 hands- 1 foot, 1 hand – 2 feet.  Using a rope to lift hoist items instead of carrying them. 
  4. Metal ladders coming into contact with overhead electrical lines.  Metal ladders need to be kept a minimum of 10ft. from energized overhead lines that are rated 50kV or less.  Add 4” for every 10kV above 50kV.  Unless your 100% certain the voltage of the lines, a rule of thumb would be to maintain a minimum of 20ft clearances.
  5. Access ladders not extended to proper height.  All access ladders need to be set up so that the ladder extends a minimum 3ft above the landing area.  This allows for a handhold getting on or off the ladder.  Again, supply the appropriate sized ladder for the job.
  6. Setting up a ladder at an improper pitch.  Straight ladders need to be placed at a 4-1 pitch.  For every 4ft up a ladder goes, the bottom of the ladder needs to come out 1ft. from the base.  So if a ladder is set up 20ft, the bottom of the ladder should be 5ft. out from the base.
  7. Using damaged or defective ladders.  Any damaged or defective ladders should be tagged and removed from service immediately.  If a ladder will be disposed of, be certain that it is cut up so that other employees or another trade can’t use it.
  8. Repositioning ladders while still on them.  Employees should not “jump” a ladder to reposition it but rather climb down and reposition it.
10.  Working from a closed stepladder that is leaned against a surface.  Stepladders should only be used in the full open position and ensure that the spreader bars are locked into position.  A leaned stepladder can slip out from under you.

This information is provided by Assurance Agency.

Monday, August 8, 2016

OSHA Heat App for your smartphone.

Heat Safety App

OSHA Heat Safety App for Apple & Android

When you're working in the heat, safety comes first. With the OSHA Heat Safety Tool, you have vital safety information available whenever and wherever you need it - right on your mobile phone. More than 200,000 users have downloaded the OSHA Heat Safety Tool since its launch in 2011. This spring, OSHA released a new version of the app for Apple devices, with full-screen color alerts, improved navigation and accessibility options. Continued in next frame.

OSHA Heat Safety App Continued: This improved version lets you know instantly if you are in a high-risk zone due to heat and humidity and precautions that need to be taken to prevent heat-related illness. The recently updated app gives users important safety information when and where they need it -- right on their mobile phones. Download this life-saving app today. Search OSHA Heat Safety Tool on your Iphone, Ipad or Android Device. Or go to:


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

OSHA wants to hear how employers are keeping workers safe from the heat

In recent weeks, millions of American workers have been exposed to extreme temperatures across the country. During a heat wave, employers should plan additional precautions to reduce the risks of heat exposure. Those steps include gradually exposing workers to hot environments, providing frequent water breaks, allowing ample time to rest, and providing shade.

As previously reported in QuickTakes, on June 27 OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels hosted a conference call featuring several employers and employer groups that are making noteworthy efforts to protect workers. These efforts include holding heat-safety stand-downs, and providing additional protections such as cooling vests and shade canopies.

OSHA wants to hear how employers and safety professionals are keeping workers safe from extreme heat. Post your photos to Twitter using #WaterRestShade or email stories to for possible inclusion in a future issue of QuickTakes.