Monday, October 17, 2016

Feel Good About Ergonomics

Every year, thousands of American workers are disabled by musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Jobs that expose workers to excessive repetitive motion, force, awkward postures, contact stress, or vibration are a major cause of this problem.

Ergonomics concentrates on making the job fit the employee, rather than forcing the employee to fit the job. It involves accommodating workers through design of tasks, work schedules, work stations, controls, tools, and equipment. In addition, it involves engineering and designing equipment that reduces a job’s MSD risk.

How Ergonomics Affects You
Every day, your body is subject to tasks which could cause it harm. Some types of tasks or work conditions which may affect you include:

  • Regular repetitive tasks.
    Forceful exertions.
    Inappropriate tools.
    Vibrations from power tools.
    Poor body mechanics.
    Restrictive work stations.
    Awkward postures.
    Lifting heavy or awkward objects.

Exposure Effects
Being exposed to ergonomic hazards can cause a variety of disorders and illnesses.
MSDs are injuries and disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs. Examples of MSDs include:

  • Tendinitis.
    De Quervain’s disease.
    Trigger finger.
    Raynaud’s syndrome.
    Carpal tunnel syndrome.
    Tarsal tunnel syndrome.
    Carpet layers knee.
    Rotator cuff syndrome.
    Herniated spinal disc.
    Low back pain.

The symptoms of MSDs can include a dull aching sensation, discomfort with specific movements, tenderness to the touch, a burning sensation, pain, tingling, cramping, or stiffness. Symptoms often appear gradually and may disappear during rest. Symptoms usually become more severe as exposure continues (for example, tingling continues after work ends, numbness makes it difficult to perform the job, and finally, pain becomes is so severe that the employee can no longer perform the job).

Back disorders can result from heavy, awkward, overexerted lifting, and by twisting, reaching, bending, and remaining in one position for an extended period of time.

This information provided by: Assurance Agency

Friday, October 14, 2016

Working In Confined Spaces

• A "confined space" may be generally defined as any area which has limited means of egress and is subject to oxygen deficient atmosphere or to the accumulation of toxic or flammable gases or vapors. Examples of these are:
Tanks, Vats, Boilers, Bins, Hoppers, Process, Vessels, Sewers, Pits, Vaults, Silos

• Working in any confined space is a potential killer. The hazards are lack of oxygen and a variety of gases/vapors which may replace the oxygen and/or accumulate to toxic or explosive levels.

• A normal atmosphere contains approximately 20% oxygen. Any atmosphere containing less than 19.5 % oxygen is considered to be oxygen deficient. Air containing 16 % or less oxygen is lethal. An oxygen deficient atmosphere may be produced by consumption of oxygen without replacement or displacement of oxygen by another gas.

• The following safety precautions should be taken to avoid death or serious injury when working in confined spaces:

- Don't enter any confined space without knowing what is in it, what was in it and what precautions should be taken.

- If possible, purge the involved space with steam, water, compressed air or fresh air using exhaust and blowing devices. Retest the atmosphere after purging.

- Have competent people test the atmosphere with gas detection equipment to determine if there are any toxic gases and if there is sufficient oxygen to support life.

- Close and lock-out any supply lines, chutes, pipes, etc., to confined space in which work is being done. Continue to monitor the atmosphere in a confined space even if it was "safe" when work began.

- Remove any remaining sludge or other deposits. This must be done carefully since some caustic cleaning solvents can react violently with some residues.

- Where an explosive or flammable atmosphere is present, avoid all possible sources of ignition and use extreme care in purging the contaminated space.

- If purging is impossible or impractical:
          1 Inform employees of the hazards, what they can expect and what they must do.
          2 Provide sufficient general ventilation to guarantee fresh air.
          3 Provide an approved air-supplied respirator and safety harness with a life line if there is a possibility of the atmosphere becoming hazardous.
          4 Don't contaminate your own air. Avoid use of toxic solvents, leaky acetylene hoses, carbon tetrachloride and other similar lethal materials.

This information is provided by Assurance Agency

Monday, October 10, 2016

Powered Tools - On the job Tool Box Talks

Tools are such a common part of our everyday lives that it is difficult to remember that they may pose hazards. All tools are manufactured with safety in mind, but sometimes a serious accident often occurs before steps can be taken to avoid or eliminate tool-related hazards.

How can I protect myself?
Choose tools made from good quality, durable materials. Metal tools must be able to resist bending, cracking, chipping or excessive wear.
Wear the appropriate PPE. Wear eye protection if there is a chance that chips, sparks, or debris could get into your eyes.
Wear gloves to protect your hands from cuts from sharp tools or material edges.
Wear proper foot protection when using heavy tools.

Tool Inspection
Inspect tools before and after each use. Damage or wear to look for includes:
• Cracked or loose handles.
• Dull, rounded, or chipped cutting surfaces.
• Damage to gripping surfaces.

What safety rules should I follow?
• Prevent hazards from tools by following these rules.
• Keep tools in good condition with regular maintenance.
• Use the right tool for the job.
• Examine each tool for damage before and after using.
• Use the tool the way it is designed to be used.
• Use the correct PPE as provided.

This information is provided by: Assurance Agency

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Silica Hazard Alert: Now en espaƱol!

Now that OSHA's new silica standard has hit the streets, a growing number of construction safety professionals and apprenticeship instructors have asked us for Spanish-language materials on the hazard. CPWR is pleased to share a new Spanish-language version of our popular Hazard Alert on Silica. These pocket brochures are sturdy, water-resistant and available upon request: email for details.