FUNDAMENTALS OF FALL PROTECTION

It’s not the fall that hurts – it’s the sudden stop.

I read the preceding statement while performing a simulated OSHA inspection. Most fall-related injuries result from the lack of fall protection. Additional injuries occur from improper use of fall protection – utilizing a body belt instead of a full body harness, improper use of lanyards, or utilizing an inadequate anchorage point. Falls from heights of 10 feet or greater almost always result in serious injury or death. It is important to note, however, that serious injuries and fatalities also commonly occur from fall heights of ten feet or less.

After retiring as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Henry Shelton fell approximately 10 feet from a metal ladder while trimming an oak tree outside his house. Attending physicians were doubtful that Shelton would ever walk again. It’s ironic that a former paratrooper who made 400 jumps without incident, some from 20,000 feet at night, was nearly paralyzed from a fall off a ladder!

OSHA lists falls as one of the leading causes of traumatic occupational death, accounting for eight percent of all occupational fatalities from trauma. An OSHA study involving 99 fall-related fatalities suggests that virtually all of those deaths could have been prevented by the use of guardrails, body harnesses, safety nets, covers, or other means which would have reduced employee exposure to the fall hazard.

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HAZARDS OF MEDICAL ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

1 HAZARDS OF MEDICAL ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

Medical electrical equipment can present a range of hazards to the patient, the user, or to service personnel. Many such hazards are common to many or all types of medical electrical equipment, whilst others are peculiar to particular categories of equipment.

The hazard presented by electricity exists in all cases where medical electrical equipment is used, and there is therefore both a moral and legal obligation to take measures to minimise the risk. Because there is currently very little official guidance on precisely what measures should be in place in order to achieve this in respect to medical equipment, user organisations have developed procedures based on their own experience and risk assessments. The information in these notes is intended to assist in the development of suitable procedures to this end. Continue reading “HAZARDS OF MEDICAL ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT”

Building a safety net: Protecting the workplace with effective project management

Construction sites are considered high-risk environments. Pay a visit to one and you will immediately see why — with large teams of people simultaneously working on various aspects of the project, all kinds of tools and heavy machinery involved and in motion, and the different areas of the site itself in varying degrees of completion, there are many potential mishaps or accidents that could take place.

Each workplace must be proactive in ensuring the health and safety of each worker onboard the building project. As busy and complex as the operations may be, there will always be an ideal way to implement safety protocols for all relevant and potentially dangerous situations within the site — and that’s through effective and strategic property management. Continue reading “Building a safety net: Protecting the workplace with effective project management”

How to protect your employees in extreme weather

With the autumn progressing and winter well on its way, it’s time to make sure employees are aware of the risks that a turn in the weather can bring.

Any job has its risks but some are more inherently risky than others, such as scaffolding for instance. When harsh weather is combined with height and heavy or large tools and materials, a day at work can be anything but routine. In Britain, the cold, rain and wind increase the risk to employees in all sorts of professions, but we are not alone. Many professionals across the world face tough conditions as part of their normal working day including: Continue reading “How to protect your employees in extreme weather”

Workplace Safety is Everyone’s Job

Workplace Safety may be a carefully thought-out plan and set of regulations in some industries and at some companies, or it may be just part of the orientation everyone has to sit through when they hire on. But in truth, it is a very important part of the job both for the workers and for the employer.

Workplace safety is about keeping employees healthy and working, so it is about protecting the company’s most valuable assets. Without healthy workers, the work doesn’t get done, and the job overhead increases for health insurance, workman’s compensation and the added cost of wages and training for new or temporary workers.
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Hazardous Waste Disposal

Hazardous waste is defined as any type of waste that poses either a substantial or potential threat to public health and/or the environment. This type of waste is created in many facilities and it needs to be handled correctly. In most places, there are many laws and regulations focused on hazardous waste disposal, which is critical for companies to get right.

The environmental protection agency, or EPA, offers most of the regulatory oversight when it comes to hazardous waste, its storage, transportation, and disposal. Any facility that produces a significant amount of hazardous waste will have to work closely with an EPA representative to ensure everything is in compliance with the applicable laws. Continue reading “Hazardous Waste Disposal”

Safety Incentive Programs: A Critical Assessment

The effect of rewards on motivation and performance is a well-studied subject in both management and safety literature. A majority of U.S. businesses use some sort of safety incentive, and most safety professionals believe that they are an important element in any safety and health program. Still, there is a vocal minority viewpoint contending that the ideologies surrounding the concept of safety incentives are based on flawed premises. Continue reading “Safety Incentive Programs: A Critical Assessment”

The Future of Safety in the Digital Age

Since the dawn of the Industrial Age, technology has changed the way we work. The digital revolution of the last several decades has helped accelerate that change. More workers than ever are transacting in bits and bytes. To be sure, computing has led to incredible advancements in science, industry, and society. As with all advances, however, it has uncovered both positive and negative attributes for worker health and safety.

One obvious effect on health and safety is the transition to sedentary work. Because more workers are sitting at desks for long periods of time instead of moving, they are experiencing higher rates of obesity and metabolic diseases like diabetes. Additionally, musculoskeletal issues such as carpal tunnel are likely with bad computer posture and repetitive movement. No one yet knows the vision effects of staring at a screen for 8 hours a day. Additionally, some studies have found increased rates of presenteeism (non-productivity due to chronic medical and emotional conditions) in office settings. Continue reading “The Future of Safety in the Digital Age”

Yellow: The color of safety awareness

The Streator facility is where Plymouth Tube makes small-diameter tube products. Streator workers start with steel hollows made from carbon and alloy seamless steel tubing and use specially designed equipment to cold-draw them into special diameters. They also can prepare special shapes, such as squares, rectangles, and teardrop, for certain applications. As Plant Manager Larry Keith put it, “Just because you have this equipment doesn’t mean that you can do what we do with this tubing.”

The Streator facility does quite a bit with the tubing, creating ample opportunity for something to go wrong. Consider the material: In most instances, the steel hollows are long and small diameter, which can lead to difficulty in moving and controlling the material as it makes its way through work processes. Derossett said that employees trying to handle the material shift after shift and day after day can lead to a higher risk of sprains and strains. Continue reading “Yellow: The color of safety awareness”

Workplace Safety & Health Topics – EYE SAFETY

Each day about 2000 U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About one third of the injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments, and more than 100 of these injuries result in one or more days away from work.

How do eye injuries happen to workers?

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