Take 5 For Safety – Caught In/On/Between

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Caught In/On/Between

Each year, workers suffer approximately 125,000 caught or crushed injuries that occur when body parts get caught between two objects or entangled with machinery. These hazards are also referred to as “pinch points”. The physical forces applied to a body part caught in a pinch point can vary and cause injuries ranging from bruises, cuts, amputated body parts, and even death.

Here is some training to learn about the caught/crush hazards and pinch points specific to your tasks, tools, and equipment so you can take precautions.

Dress appropriately for work with pants and sleeves that are not too long or too loose. Shirts should be fitted or tucked in. Do not wear any kind of jewelry. Tie back long hair and tuck braids and ponytails behind you or into your clothing. Wear the appropriate, well-fitting gloves for your job.

Look for possible pinch points before you start a task. Take the time to plan out your actions and decide on the necessary steps to work safely. Give your work your full attention. Don’t joke around, daydream, or try to multi-task on the job-most accidents occur when workers are distracted. Read and follow warning signs posted on equipment. If you value all that your hands can do, THINK before you put them in a hazardous spot.

Machinery can pose a hazard with moving parts, conveyors, rollers and rotating shafts. Never reach into a moving machine. Properly maintain and always use the machine and tool guards provided with your equipment; they act as a barrier between the moving parts and your body. Don’t reach around, under or through a guard and always report missing of broken barriers to your supervisor. Turn equipment off and use lockout/tagout procedures before adjusting, clearing a jam, repairing, or servicing a machine.

Vehicles, powered doors, and forklifts can pose a crush hazard unless they have been blocked or tagged out. Never place your body under or between powered equipment unless it is de-energized. Doors, file drawers, and heavy crates can pinch fingers and toes. Take care where you place your fingers. Test the weight before lifting, carrying, and placing boxes; an awkward or heavy load can slip and pinch your hands or feet. Get help or use tools to move large and/or heavy items.

If you have ever slammed your finger in a door, you can appreciate the pain associated with this common type of caught/crush injury. Take the time to learn about the caught/crush hazards in your workplace so you don’t learn about the consequences first hand.

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Take 5 For Safety – Share the Road!

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Share the Road!

May has only just arrived, and already it’s shaping up to be a busy month on the transportation calendar. In addition to National Bike Month, National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and Global Youth Traffic Safety Month–all of which we begin celebrating today–we’ll also be marking National Transportation Week from May 11 through May 17.

Since the month’s safety messages are shared across several modes of transportation, the DOT is kicking off May with a single consolidated message to all users of our nation’s highways and streets: let’s Share The Road.

That means respecting each other on our roadways. http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs186/1111082143696/img/1861.jpg

Now, whether you’re a bicyclist, a truck driver, a motorist, or a motorcyclist–and many of us are some combination of these–you might be thinking, “Hey, if they would do their part, it would be a lot easier for me to do mine.”

At the DOT, they hear some version of that concern voiced by every road user, from motorcyclists and bicyclists who say cars don’t give them room, to automobile drivers who say bikes don’t respect traffic law to truck drivers who say that cars and motorcycles change lanes unpredictably.

There’s some element of truth in all of these concerns, which is why we’re asking all of you, “For safety’s sake, why not start this month by staying alert for everyone on our roadways, by looking out for each other?”

Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

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Take 5 For Safety – LIFT IT TWICE

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LIFT IT TWICE

Most of you have heard the general rules of safe lifting. Remember to “Get a firm grip on the load, keep it close, bend at the knees, use your legs to lift the load, and keep your spine in the natural position (with an arch in your lower back).” These principles always apply and should be incorporated into every lift–if possible!

Given the enormous number of “risky” lifting situations that you are faced with at your place of work, you may not be able to apply these principles every time. This is why you must always remember to LIFT IT TWICE! What?!

The act of lifting is the same as any other movement that you can learn to do better with practice. As you know, the more you practice a skill the better you become at doing it. But preparing to master a skill normally involves mental as well as physical training. Consider bowling, golf, skiing or sharp-shooting. You think carefully about the movements you’re going to make before you do them. This is the only way to get them right–at least until they become second nature.

Most of you know the proper way to physically lift an item, but how many of you are aware that you need to lift the item TWICE.
(1) Your first lift is a mental lift. Think about the lift prior to actually doing it:

* How am I going to lift the item? Can I do it myself or should I get some help?
* How heavy is the item? Do I need to use mechanical assistance?
* Where am I taking the item being lifted? Is it a difficult path or a distance to go?
* What hazards may hamper the lift or obstruct the travel path?
* Eliminate those hazards before you lift the item.

(2) The second lift is the actual physical lift. Here is where you carry out your plan.
* Use proper body mechanics and techniques while going through the motions.
* Most important: keep the load as close to your body as possible.

Next time someone tells you to lift twice remember: Two lifts means less risk of a back strain.

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Take 5 For Safety – DRIVING SAFETY TIPS

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DRIVING SAFETY TIPS

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
The most important part of a truck is the driver! Get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel. Eat well and stay fit. Remember, hours of service violations are serious and can threaten your livelihood or even your life. Stay healthy and well rested, or don’t drive!

ALWAYS MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE
Inspect your vehicle before each trip and check your brakes regularly. Learn how to inspect your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before risking your life and others on the highway.

BE AWARE OF YOUR “NO-ZONE”
Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your truck’s blind spots. Be vigilant in watching out for vehicles in the No-Zone. The No-Zone represents the danger areas, or blind spots, around trucks where crashes are more likely to occur. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the No-Zone.

SLOW DOWN IN WORK ZONES
Watch out for highway construction. Stay alert. Work zone crashes are more likely to happen during the day. Almost one-third of fatal crashes in work zones involved large trucks. Take your time going through work zones and give yourself plenty of room. Expect the unexpected!

ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
Always leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you hit someone from behind, you are typically considered “at fault,” regardless of the situation. Large trucks require more stopping distances than other vehicles. Take advantage of your driving height, and anticipate braking situations.

FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELT
Buckle up for safety and control. If you are in a crash, a seat belt can save your life and those around you. It will keep you in your seat and allow you to maintain control of your truck. A major cause of truck driver fatalities involves being ejected from the vehicle. Wearing seat belts is still the single most effective thing all drivers can do to save lives and reduce injures on our roadways.

ALWAYS DRIVE DEFENSIVELY
Avoid aggressive drivers! It’s estimated that each year two-thirds of all traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving behaviors. Keep your distance and maintain a safe speed. The only thing speed will increase is your chance for a crash.

TELL US WHAT IS WRONG
If you know of unsafe situations, tell us about it. This includes unsafe work conditions, unsafe drivers, unsafe roadways, and unsafe vehicles. Please call us to help make the roads safer and your job easier.

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Take 5 For Safety – IMPROPERLY PARKED TRUCKS ARE KILLERS ON OUR ROADWAYS

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IMPROPERLY PARKED TRUCKS ARE KILLERS ON OUR ROADWAYS

Safe parking tips:

Trucks should never be parked on high-speed roadways (above 25 mph) unless disabled. Studies have shown the severity of crashes increase from non-fatal to fatal at 25mph and above with the current stiff underride guards on U.S. trucks. Roadway parking should always be your last resort!

* Triangles should always be placed when parking or stopping on or near roadways both day and night.
* Parking lights (Hazard Warning Flashers) should be lit (always with triangles due to “Moth to Flame Phenomenon”) whenever parking in non-daylight hours.
* Trailers should never be parked facing oncoming traffic.
* Never park in dark areas, street lighting can increase conspicuity.
* Extra care should be taken when parking in adverse weather conditions.
* Never park near corners or other obstructions to motorists view.
* Do not park near driveways or side streets, trailers can obstruct the view of motorists entering the roadway.
* Use rest areas to refresh.

Freeway ramps and shoulders:
Stationary truck and trailer crashes present a greater risk of fatality due to the great speed differential of the moving and non-moving vehicle. A study found 1 out of 2 shoulder parked crashes involved a fatality. Ramp parking creates a risk to motor vehicles accelerating or decelerating to or from freeway ramps.

Pre-plan your trip to include at least two safe parking locations. Most commercial and company parking locations provide free parking that is safe and secure. Include these parking locations in your pre-trip plan and use them to save lives!

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Take 5 For Safety – SAFETY SHORTCUTS

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SAFETY SHORTCUTS

All of us have exposed ourselves to possible injury by taking shortcuts when a few extra seconds would have meant doing something the safe way. We did this as children when we jumped the fence instead of using the gate. We do it today when we cross streets between intersections instead of at corners.
Many people show disregard for the fact that minor safety violations may have serious consequences. If any of you are in the habit of taking shortcuts, you must break that habit now. In our work, taking shortcuts can be deadly. All of us know of incidents where a thoughtless act was the direct cause of an accident. In one case, an ironworker tried to cross an opening by swinging on reinforcing rods. His hands slipped and he fell 20 feet onto a concrete floor. If he had taken a few moments to walk around the opening, he would probably still be alive today. None of us should expose ourselves to such dangers.
The safe way is not always the shortest way. However choosing the safe way is your personal responsibility. When you are told to go to work in a particular area, you are expected to take the safe route – not some shorter or more dangerous one.
If there is no safe access to a particular job assignment, make sure that safe access is provided. Ladders or scaffolds are provided for high work. Use them. Even though a high job may take only a few minutes, do not climb on false work or use an improvised platform. Steps, ladders or ramps are provided to get you from one elevation to another. If they are not already provided, take time to have them installed.
Your first responsibility is to yourself.
Remember that ladders, steps and walkways are built to save you trouble and to help prevent injury. If you see anyone taking shortcuts, warn them of the dangers involved and alert your supervisor.
The life you safe may be your own.

Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

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Take 5 For Safety – Safe Lifting and Carrying Techniques

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Safe Lifting and Carrying Techniques

Improper lifting techniques are responsible for a large percentage of back injuries among agricultural workers.

Proper methods of lifting and handling protect against injury, and make work easier. You need to “think” about what you are going to do before bending to pick up an object. Over time, safe lifting technique should become a habit.

Following are the basics steps of safe lifting and handling.

1. Size up the load and check overall conditions. Don’t attempt the lift by yourself if the load appears to be too heavy or awkward. Check that there is enough space for movement, and that the footing is good. “Good housekeeping” ensures that you won’t trip or stumble over an obstacle.
2. Make certain that your balance is good. Feet should be shoulder width apart, with one foot beside and the other foot behind the object that is to be lifted.
3. Bend the knees; don’t stoop. Keep the back straight, but not vertical. (There is a difference. Tucking in the chin straightens the back.)
4. Grip the load with the palms of your hands and your fingers. The palm grip is much more secure. Tuck in the chin again to make certain your back is straight before starting to lift.
5. Use your body weight to start the load moving, then lift by pushing up with the legs. This makes full use of the strongest set of muscles.
6. Keep the arms and elbows close to the body while lifting.
7. Carry the load close to the body. Don’t twist your body while carrying the load. To change direction, shift your foot position and turn your whole body.
8. Watch where you are going!
9. To lower the object, bend the knees. Don’t stoop. To deposit the load on a bench or shelf, place it on the edge and push it into position. Make sure your hands and feet are clear when placing the load.

Make it a habit to follow the above steps when lifting anything-even a relatively light object.
Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

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Take 5 For Safety – No U-Turns

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No U-Turns

We’ve all seen it and, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve probably all done it, too. The “it” I’m referring to is U-Turns. Unfortunately, more and more, I think the offender knows what they’re doing is wrong and just thinks the rules don’t apply to them. However, in many cases, the bad driver may not even be aware that they’re doing anything wrong through either ignorance of the law or just not paying attention and would likely alter their behavior if they knew the problems they were causing.

Sec. 82-184. Limitations on turning around.

(a) The driver of a vehicle shall not turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any street, and the driver of a vehicle shall not turn such vehicle as to proceed in the opposite direction unless such movement can be made safely and without interfering with such other traffic.

(b) The driver of a vehicle shall not turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any street in a business district or upon any through street which has been designated and signposted as such.

By conducting a U-Turn your vehicle can high center, get stuck, block traffic, and or possible damage your vehicle. For a tractor trailer to conduct a U-Turn is highly dangerous and illegal. To turn around properly you should find an area that you can turn around safely such as an exit an entry points onto an interstate or highway.

Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

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Take 5 For Safety – SPRAINS AND STRAINS IN INDUSTRY

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SPRAINS AND STRAINS IN INDUSTRY

In industry, controlling exposures to sprains and strains is difficult at best. With this in mind, anyone who spends a good part of their work day moving materials should learn to work smarter, rather than harder!
Manual material handling is common to many industries, especially construction. Many tasks that require handling sheet goods, such as plywood siding or sheet rock, require two people for installation.
When starting with a new partner, take time to discuss how you intend to lift, carry and secure your work. A single wrong move with a heavy sheet can transfer the full load to one of the workers, force an awkward position, and cause a sprain or strain.
When working from scaffolding, take time to plan your moves.

* How will you get the material in place?
* Will you have to move it around the scaffolding manually?
* Do you need mechanical help such as a fork lift or a boom truck?
* Can you place material in several locations to minimize the need to lift and carry?

All of these situations should be considered before starting a task.
When loading or unloading materials or tools: avoid bending, twisting or carrying long distances. Avoid placing materials at heights below knee level or above shoulder level. If you combine bending and twisting, you are certain to injure yourself. Always allow space for at least two steps between a truck being off loaded and the final stacking site, which helps avoid twisting. Place a couple of pallets under a pallet you are stacking, which avoids bending below knee height.
Shoveling: When using a shovel, alternate having your left hand and right hand forward. It may feel awkward at first, but allows muscles on both sides of your body to share the work. Keep in mind that muscles and posture control the shape of your spine. The shape of your spine controls wear and tear on your spinal disks, muscles and ligaments.
Repetitive motion: Tasks that require repetitive hand or wrist motion should be examined closely. Battery operated screw guns are a good way to avoid constant twisting of the wrist. Driving nails all day can cause pain in both your elbow and wrist. Wooden handles transmit less vibration than steel and fiberglass handles. Wearing a tennis elbow support will limit the effect of vibration on tendons that attach to the elbow. When using vibrating tools, special gloves that “dampen” vibration can also be worn.
Problem-solve and plan with others: The first step to avoiding discomfort, pain or injury is to discuss awkward work tasks with your supervisor. Also, share your concerns and possible remedies with co-workers at safety meetings. Remember, the best way to earn a living is to stay healthy. Your employer and most of all, your family is depending on YOU!

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Take 5 For Safety – Don’t Crowd the Plow

PLACE CAPTION HERE

During winter storms, snowplows work around the clock to make roads passable. These large vehicles can present a hazard for drivers who follow too closely. Observe these tips to stay safe while giving snowplow operators room to do their jobs:

* Keep well back from snowplows Plow drivers can’t see directly behind their trucks. Sometimes they must stop or back up. Staying a safe distance behind a snowplow will protect you from possible injury and protect your car from sanding material that plows spread on slick roadways.

* Know where the snowplow is on multi-lane highways The plow could be in either lane, or on the shoulder. Watch for snowplows on interstate ramps and “authorized vehicle only” turnarounds.

* Never drive through a snow cloud or whiteout conditions You can’t be sure if such conditions are caused by crosswinds or by a snowplow, so be patient. snowplow operators periodically pull over to allow traffic to pass

Snowplow operators are extremely safety-conscious, but they need your help. Stay back and let them safely do their job of clearing the road for you. Don’t take a chance. Don’t crowd the plow!

Maalt Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

Brian J. Hecht, CSHO

Director of Safety

Maalt, LP

4413 CAREY ST
FORT WORTH, TX 76119

O – (817) 563-3538

C – (817) 597-8146

bhecht@Maalt.com (mailto:bhecht@Maalt.com)

www.Maalt.com (http://www.maalt.com/)