Take 5 For Safety – Hazard Awareness – The Little Things Count

 


Hazard Awareness – The Little Things Count

Most of us have probably heard the old saying, “It’s the little things that count.”

There are many small things that influence our lives, and ignoring them can sometimes have serious consequences — particularly when it comes to safety. We have all been trained to watch out for the big hazards that could harm us, but the little ones can sometimes cause serious injuries too.
One company became very concerned when its accident frequency showed a large increase over a three-month period. Management began an in-depth check of systems, equipment, and material that are considered to be high-hazard: heavy machinery, ventilation, toxic substances, machine guarding, etc.

To everyone’s surprise, none of these things were the cause of their accidents. Chemicals were properly labeled and stored; machines were in good repair and properly guarded; the exhaust fans, sprinkler systems, respirators, etc., were all in good working order. Instead, accidents stemmed from a variety of “little things” that had been ignored until an injury occurred. For example, they found that serious falls had been caused by:

  • A puddle of oil on the floor from a leaking forklift. No one had poured absorbent on the spill because it was “too small to worry about.” It wasn’t too small, however, to make a passing employee slip and fall when he didn’t notice it. (Furthermore, the leaking forklift needs to be repaired so this accident won’t happen again.)
  • A box of supplies that had been left on the floor in front of a shelf, instead of properly stored. It had been walked around dozens of times before someone finally tripped over it.
  • A ladder that was placed in front of an outward-opening door “just for a minute” to change a light bulb. It was knocked over by another worker coming through the door, and both he and the worker on the ladder were injured.

All these “accidents waiting to happen” had been ignored because they didn’t really seem that dangerous to the workers involved. Employees all knew about, and carefully avoided, the major hazards found when repairing energized electrical equipment or bypassing machine guards.

We often intend to report a defective tool, extension cord, or stepladder to the maintenance department but don’t take the time, or forget about. It is important to follow through on our good intentions, since these are just the sort of “little things” that can result in a serious injury to ourselves or to other workers.

Minor injuries left untreated are also “little things” that can cause big trouble if ignored. “Just a scratch” can become infected; a speck of dust in the eye can scratch the cornea and cause severe eye damage if not attended to. So, be sure to report even seemingly minor injuries and get appropriate first aid treatment.

Little things do count and if we take a few minutes to pay attention to all the potential hazards around us we can prevent serious injuries from happening to ourselves and other employees.
 
Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

Facebook
Facebook


Website
Website



Copyright © , All rights reserved.

 


This email was sent to

Take 5 For Safety – Seat Belts

 


Seat Belts

Seat belts, when used properly, hold the operator in the seat and helps contain them inside the rollover protection structure (ROPS) in the event of a collision or tip-over. The seat assembly, which includes the seat belt and mounting hardware, should be inspected regularly. Inspection is recommended during the pre-trip walk around.
Include the following items when inspecting the seat belt:

  • Inspect the seat belt mounting hardware for wear or damage
  • Replace any mounting hardware that is worn or damaged
  • Inspect mounting bolts
  • Tighten mounting bolts if the bolts are loose
  • Inspect the buckle for wear or damage
  • Replace the seat belt if the buckle is worn or damaged
  • Inspect the seat belt webbing for wear or damage
  • Replace the seat belt if webbing is worn or damaged
  • Inspect seat belt buckle and retractor(s) for proper function
  • Replace the seat belt if seat belt buckle or retractor is not functioning

Additional inspection for three point seat belt (if equipped)

  • Inspect shoulder loop web guide
  • Inspect the seat belt height adjuster
  • Adjust shoulder loop hardware and/ or remove obstruction
  • Replace the seat belt if the height adjuster is not functioning

 Consult your vehicle dealer for the replacement of the seat belt and the mounting hardware.
 
Remember:

  • Perform inspections of the seat belt and mounting hardware before operating the machine
  • Replace any damaged or worn parts
  • Wear seat belt at all times while operating the machine
  • Sponge the webbing clean with mild soap and water. DO NOT use bleach, dye or industrial detergents

 Safety Excellence – Is It In You?
 

Facebook
Facebook


Website
Website



Copyright © , All rights reserved.

 


This email was sent to

Take 5 For Safety – Alcohol on the Job

 


Alcohol on the Job

Working under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited. All Vista & Maalt Companies forbid alcohol or drug use on any work site or location. This means more than just not drinking on the job. Tests have shown that alcohol and drugs can still have an effect on your body up to 18 hours after you have stopped drinking. Alcohol use is a legitimate on-the-job safety issue – and not just an attempt to control off-the-clock lifestyles.
 
Alcohol is a sedative. Drinking any quantity of alcohol impairs a person’s judgment, thinking ability, and coordination to some degree. Poor concentration, carelessness, risk-taking behavior and errors in judgment can occur. Some people can “handle” alcohol better than others, but it is a fact that any alcohol consumed has some effect. Other factors which influence your body’s ability to metabolize alcohol include your weight, medications, and previous medical conditions. You may not feel it right away, but remember, alcohol affects judgment. After drinking, you are no longer in a position to assess your own capabilities.
 
What should you do about a co-worker who is drinking on the job? Should you ignore the situation or report it? Most people would ignore the situation because they do not want to cause problems on the job or do not want to get involved. People would prefer to avoid conflict at almost any cost. But look at it this way — the drinker, no matter how nice a co-worker, is not doing you any favors. It’s a fact that the drinker is less productive and more likely to be absent from work. Who has to pick up the slack? You do. It is a fact that the drinker is more likely to be involved in a serious accident that may be fatal. Who else is he or she placing at risk? You!
 
Are you allowing the drinking to continue?

  • You are – if you cover for the drinker’s poor productivity
  • You are – if you cover their mistakes.
  • You are – if you make excuses to others for them.

Additional risk factors:
A range of medications can affect work performance, particularly when mixed with alcohol. These include pain relievers, cough medicine, antihistamines and sleeping pills.
 
Talk to your supervisor. It is your responsibility to talk to your supervisor whenever any performance or safety issues affect your job. A drinking worker could be just as dangerous as a defective piece of equipment. You wouldn’t hesitate to bring the a defective piece of equipment to your supervisor’s attention, would you?
 
Safety Excellence – Is It In You?
 

Facebook
Facebook


Website
Website



Copyright © , All rights reserved.

 


This email was sent to

Take 5 For Safety – Unsafe Acts

 


Unsafe Acts

Most of us know that accidents are caused by only two things – unsafe acts or practices, and unsafe conditions. Some of us even know that 9 out of 10 accidents are the result of unsafe acts, or things we do when we know better. This is kind of strange if you think about it. We have more to fear from our own actions than from any other job hazards around us. Why do we deliberately expose ourselves to injury every day?

 It Won’t Happen To Me

Basically, most of us are just thinking about getting the job done and we tend to rationalize the risk of getting injured. We think to ourselves that we have done this job many, many times this way and nothing bad has happened. Therefore, nothing bad will happen to us today. On an intellectual level, we realize there is a potential danger but decide that the risk of being injured is low. Because we have not been injured so far, we actually think of ourselves as being very safety conscious. We know the right way to do it, we realize that it is hazardous to do it this way, but what we are really thinking to ourselves is “it won’t happen to me.”

 We Take Short Cuts

Some of us are fairly meticulous about following safe work practices, but because a job “will only take a minute” we use an unsafe method or tool. For example, not putting on our safety glasses because the job will only take a minute, or not locking out a machine because an adjustment will only take a second.

Usually we think about it just before we do something a little unsafe, or maybe quite a bit unsafe. We know better, we know the safe way to do it, but we take that little chance. In effect we are saying, “I know that this could result in an injury, but “it can’t happen to me.” Maybe it’s human nature to think that accidents always happen to someone else, but they can happen to you too. What makes you different?

Why take a chance in the first place? Only you can decide to take the time to do your job safely and correctly the first time.

 

Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

Facebook
Facebook


Website
Website



Copyright © , All rights reserved.

 


This email was sent to

Take 5 For Safety – Keep the Windshield in Good Condition for Your Safety

 


Keep the Windshield in Good Condition for Your Safety

It is important to have an unobstructed and clear view out the windshield as you drive. Part of proper maintenance for your vehicle includes inspecting the windshield and windshield wipers. The windshield should always be kept clean, especially as the weather turns cold. Parking under trees increases the chance for sap, leaves, or bird droppings to collect on your windshield. These obstructions can make it difficult to see out of. As the weather turns cold out, frost and ice that is left on the windshield as you drive can make seeing difficult. It is always important to take the time to scrape away any debris or obstruction from all windows of your vehicle so you can see clearly out of them.

 Inspect the Windshield over for any issues

 Clean the windows of your vehicle inside and out. This way you have the best visibility possible for when you drive. Also make sure to remove any leaves or twigs that may be left in the inlets at the base of the windshield. This can restrict airflow for defrosting the inside of your windows. By removing any debris at the base of the windshield, the defrost can work efficiently. Also make sure the glass does not have cracks or divots on it. Over time, exposure to road debris and grime can cause thousands of tiny pits and scratches in the windshield glass. During the winter months, the pits can cause reflections that may dramatically reduce visibility.

 The Windshield Wipers should be inspected regularly

 The windshield wipers should be inspected regularly, and replaced when needed. To help keep the windshield clear and streak-free, the rubber blades need to be free of cracks or cuts. The rubber on the blades also should flex to follow the curved contour of the glass. If the wipers are exposed to the sun long term, it may cause the wiper blades to harden and crack. Using the windshield wipers often may also cause them to wear out. If you are unsure if the condition is good for the windshield wipers, make sure to bring your vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. If a wiper blade is installed on the rear window of your vehicle, do not forget to inspect that as well. This way, you can make sure you can see out the back of your vehicle in all-weather elements.

 Keep the Washer Fluid topped off in your vehicle

 It is important to keep the windshield washer fluid reservoir full at all times. It is especially important to do so during the winter months. Also, make sure to use a de-icing washer fluid to prevent it from freezing when the temperatures get colder. Since the washer fluid is relatively inexpensive, it is a good idea to keep a couple of extra gallons on hand. This way you can make sure the visibility is the best it can be in case you need to refill the reservoir and there is not a store nearby.

Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

Facebook
Facebook


Website
Website



Copyright © , All rights reserved.

 


This email was sent to

Take 5 For Safety – Walking Safely in Slippery Conditions

 


Walking Safely in Slippery Conditions

Walking to and from parking lots or between buildings at work during the winter requires special attention to avoid slipping and falling. Slips and falls are some of the most frequent types of injuries that occur during the winter months.
No matter how well the snow and ice is removed from parking lots and sidewalks, pedestrians will still encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in the winter. The pavers on the west entrance of the IGB and around the Gatehouse have a tendency to become very slippery, even more so than the sidewalks and parking lots in wet and cold conditions. It is important for everyone to be constantly aware of these dangers and to learn to walk safely on ice and slippery surfaces.
 
It is recommended to keep these important safety tips in mind:
 
CHOOSING APPROPRIATE CLOTHING

  • During bad weather, avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels, such as plastic and leather soles. Instead, wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice; boots made of non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are best.
  • Wear a heavy, bulky coat that will cushion you if you should fall.
  • Wear a bright scarf or hat or reflective gear so drivers can see you.
  • Keep warm, but make sure you can hear what’s going on around you.
  • During the day, wear sunglasses to help you see better and avoid hazards.
  • Whatever you wear, make sure it doesn’t block your vision or make it hard for you to hear traffic.

 Walking Over Ice

  • In cold temperatures, approach with caution and assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy. Dew or water vapor can freeze on cold surfaces, forming an extra-thin, nearly invisible layer of ice that can look like a wet spot on the pavement.
  • Walk in designated walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow piles and other frozen areas can be hazardous. Look ahead when you walk; a snow- or ice-covered sidewalk or driveway, especially if on a hill, may require travel along its grassy edge for traction.
  • Taking shortcuts through areas where snow and ice removal is not feasible can be hazardous.
  • Bend slightly and walk flat-footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible.
  • Extend your arms out to your sides to maintain balance. Beware if you are carrying a heavy backpack or other load—your sense of balance will be off.
  • If you must carry a load, try not to carry too much; leave your hands and arms free to balance yourself.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets. Hands out of your pockets while walking lowers your center of gravity and increases balance. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip.
  • Watch where you are stepping and GO S-L-O-W-L-Y !! This will help your reaction time to changes in traction.
  • When walking on steps always use the hand railings and plant your feet firmly on each step.
  • Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; use the vehicle for support.
  • Take short steps or shuffle for stability. It also helps to stop occasionally to break momentum.

 Safety Excellence – Is It In You?
 

Facebook
Facebook


Website
Website



Copyright © , All rights reserved.

 


This email was sent to

Take 5 For Safety – Housekeeping

 


Housekeeping

Did you know that over 2/3 of all accidents involve housekeeping in some way, shape, or form? Approximately 2.5 million disabling injuries happen in the service industry every year with a cost of over 100 billion dollars.
Housekeeping does not just mean picking your trash. It includes your entire work area. Are your extension cords laid out properly and out of the way of vehicle and pedestrian traffic? Are your work materials and equipment properly stored? Are they placed out of the way of your immediate work area? Do you have a clear access path to and from your work area?
 
Here are some results of poor housekeeping practices:

  • Injuries, when employees trip, fall, strike, or are struck by out-of-place objects;
  • Injuries from using improper tools because the correct tool can’t be found;
  • Lowered production because of the time spent maneuvering over and around someone else’s mess, and time spent looking for proper tools and materials;
  • Time spent investigating and reporting accidents that could have been avoided;
  • Fires due to improper storage and disposal of flammable or combustible materials and wastes;
  • Substandard quality of finished products because of production schedule delays, damaged or defective finishes, ill-equipped employees, etc.;
  • Lack of future work due to a reputation for poor quality;
  • “Wall-to-wall” OSHA inspections due to the poor “first impression” of the compliance officer.

General housekeeping rules to remember are:

  • Clean up after yourself. Pick up your trash and debris and dispose of it properly, or place it where it will not pose a hazard to others. Institute a routine cleaning schedule.
  • Keep your work area clean throughout the day. This will minimize the amount of time needed to clean a “larger mess” at the end of the day.
  • Dispose of combustibles and flammables properly. If improperly discarded, they will increase the potential for a fire.
  • Mop up all oil spills as soon as possible to minimize spreading.
  • Plan your work. Keep adequate sized drain pans handy to
  • Stack materials and supplies orderly and secure them so they won’t topple.
  • Do you value your health and safety, your work reputation, as well as your future employment? If you do, practice these general housekeeping rules.
  • An uncluttered workplace shows respect for those who work there.

Help keep it that way!

Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

Facebook
Facebook


Website
Website



Copyright © , All rights reserved.

 


This email was sent to

Take 5 For Safety – Safety is Important Around the Home Too….

 


Safety is Important Around the Home Too

Why is it that trained professionals often decide to ignore basic safe working procedures when they start up a project in their home? Year in and year out, approximately 5,000 U.S. employees lose their lives in accidents at the workplace. But that number pales in comparison to the over 30,000 that lose their lives in accidents around the home during any given year in the United States.
When you decide to “fix up†the house, make sure safety is on that “fix up†list. The following are some safety items that most employees/homeowners should be aware of and address if necessary. The list is not all-inclusive of course, and you should customize or add to the list to meet your home safety needs:

  • Home Smoke Alarms-installed where necessary, in proper working order.
  • Electrical Safety-Use safe electrical work practices at home too.
  • Fire Extinguishers-mounted for quick emergency use. All should know how to use.
  • Emergency Evacuation Plan-Make sure all at home know the plan, and practice it once a year, or more if necessary.
  • Flashlights-Make sure they are in working order and you can access them easily.
  • First Aid & CPR-Keep your first aid kit stocked and adults should know basic CPR.
  • Emergency Phone Numbers-post in a convenient place near a phone. Include a poison control phone number on your list.
  • Remind all of other Fire Safety Items (such as candles and other decorative items)
  • When Performing Home Maintenance/Work Yourself–Use the same safety precautions, or more, that you do at work. And remember, emergency rooms are full of “weekend-do-it-yourselfers.â€
  • Practice Fall-Protection Safety (including proper ladder use)
  • Reading Chemical Labels is not just something you do at work–Practice Chemical Safety in and around the home.

Safe work habits aren’t just for the workplace. Make safety a part of your life around your house and you and your family will enjoy your home even more.

Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

Facebook
Facebook


Website
Website



Copyright © , All rights reserved.

 


This email was sent to

Take 5 For Safety – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

 


Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

It’s called the “silent sickness,” and sometimes it becomes a “silent killer. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a common, highly flammable gas that can kill in minutes, in high concentrations. Unlike many other chemicals, carbon monoxide has no distinctive odor, taste, or appearance. Unfortunately, the symptoms of CO poisoning-nausea, headache, and dizziness-resemble other common illnesses, and can be easily mistaken for a cold or stomach flu.

 

How It Poisons: This gas produces its toxic effects when you breathe it, by replacing oxygen in the blood stream with carbon monoxide which acts on all organs in the body, especially the brain. As carbon monoxide combines with hemoglobin, less and less oxygen is carried to the tissues. Unconsciousness usually occurs when about half the hemoglobin is saturated with CO.

 

How it’s produced: Any process that involves the use of heat, oxidation, or combustion can produce carbon monoxide. Winter months can be a dangerous time for this problem. Buildings are tightly closed, and the buildup of the gas is not usually noticed by unsuspecting employees. This dangerous gas can be a problem in buildings, repair shops, and temporary weather enclosures as well as car and truck cabs if exhaust systems are malfunctioning or leaking.

 High Exposure Areas: The gasoline engines used around shipping docks are known carbon monoxide producers. Diesel engines are next in level of danger, followed by propane-powered forklift trucks. Employees must be particularly careful if forklifts are left running inside a truck or trailer body; hazardous CO concentrations can build up very quickly. Watch outside delivery truck drivers too as they are frequently reluctant to shut off truck engines while unloading.

 High exposures may occur in forklift or vehicle repair shops. Offices above loading docks are also vulnerable as the gas rises, causing dizziness and nausea for employees working there. In shop areas, ventilation systems should be checked periodically to prevent poisoning from this gas. Fans should be on, motors and fan belts functioning properly. Hoses and duct work should be carefully connected and the systems checked for dents and holes which could impede the exhaust of gasses. Engines should be turned off as much as possible when buildings are tightly sealed during the winter.

 Symptoms of CO Exposure: Symptoms to be alert for include red eyes, weakness, dizziness, headaches, and nausea. If you notice a pattern to these symptoms when engines are running in the area, carbon monoxide could be the cause. Forklifts, whether diesel, propane, or gasoline powered are significant CO producers, especially when left idling. Immediately remove anyone who is overcome from the CO exposure area. Restore breathing through CPR. Keep the person warm and resting until paramedics arrive.

Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

Facebook
Facebook


Website
Website



Copyright © , All rights reserved.

 


This email was sent to

Take 5 For Safety – Look Out For Your Co-Workers

 


Look Out For Your Co-Workers

Take a look around at your co-workers. Some are your friends during work hours, and even after work. You know about their families, what they like and don’t like, and what they do for fun. So, be on the lookout for unsafe conditions and correct them, or report them to your supervisors as soon as possible.

Help your fellow workers get through the day without an accident:

· I’ll help you lift those heavy items, so you don’t have to do it by yourself. I know a back injury can mess up your home life, as well as your ability to work.

· I’ll be sure to inspect those slings before you lift a load. I know that you are depending upon them to hold the weight of the load until it is set down.

· I’ll clean up spills when they happen so you don’t accidentally slip and get injured.

· I’ll make sure that all passageways and walkways are clear so you won’t trip or fall.

· I’ll label all containers in the workplace, so you don’t use the wrong product for a job by mistake.

· I’ll check the backup alarms on our equipment, because I can’t always see you, and I want to make sure you can hear me.

· I’ll tag and report all tools that aren’t working properly so you won’t be injured by plugging in a tool that has a faulty wire.

· I’ll know and practice the emergency evacuation procedures, so we can both get out of an unsafe condition together.

Finally, I want to see you leave work exactly the way you arrived. So, if I see you doing something the wrong way, I’ll show you the right way to do it. Of course, I expect you will do the for me-after all, shouldn’t everyone on the crew watch out for each other?

Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

Facebook
Facebook


Website
Website



Copyright © , All rights reserved.

 


This email was sent to