Safe-D: Fire Extinguishers – It’s Not Enough To Just Have One

Having a fire extinguisher, but not knowing how to use it doesn’t do any good, so we are sharing these tips to properly use and inspect your extinguisher.

To Use The Extinguisher
  1. Pull the pin. This will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.
  2. Aim at the base of the fire. If you aim at the flames (which is frequently the temptation), the extinguishing agent will fly right through the fire and will not extinguish it. You want to hit the source of fuel.
  3. Squeeze the top handle or lever. This depresses a button that releases the pressurized extinguishing agent in the canister.
  4. Sweep from side to side. Start using the extinguisher from a safe distance away, then move forward until the fire is completely out. Once the fire is out, keep an eye on the area in case it re-ignites.
How to Inspect
Fire extinguishers should be inspected at least once a month.
  1. Is each extinguisher in its designated place, clearly visible, and not blocked by equipment, coats or other objects that could interfere with access during an emergency?
  2. Is the nameplate with operating instructions legible and facing outward?
  3. Is the pressure gauge showing that the extinguisher is fully charged (the needle should be in the green zone)?
  4. Is the pin and tamper seal intact?
  5. Is the extinguisher in good condition and showing no signs of physical damage, corrosion, or leakage?
  6. Have all dry powder extinguishers been gently rocked top to bottom to make sure the powder is not packing?
There are several types of fire extinguishers and each is specific to types of materials:

Safe-D: Six Ladder Climbing Tips

Ladders are such common everyday tools that many workers take them for granted. Ladder injuries can easily be avoided by remembering there is a right way and a wrong way to use a ladder. 

6 Tips to Use a Ladder Safely
  1. Properly set-up and use the ladder in accordance with safety instructions and warnings. Wear shoes with non-slip soles.
    DON’T stand above the second step from the top of a stepladder or the fourth rung from the top of an extension ladder.
  2. Center body on the ladder and keep belt buckle between the rails while maintaining a firm grip.
    DON’T climb a closed stepladder.
    DON’T climb on the back of a stepladder.
    DON’T stand or sit on a stepladder top or pail shelf.
  3. Climb facing the ladder, move one step at a time and firmly set one foot before moving the other.
    DON’T climb a ladder if you are not physically and mentally up to the task.
  4. Haul materials with a line rather than carry them up an extension ladder. Use extra caution when carrying anything on a ladder.
    DON’T place the base of an extension ladder too close to or too far away from the building.
  5. Have another person help with a heavy ladder. Have another person hold the ladder while you are working on it.
    DON’T over-reach, lean to one side or try to move a ladder while on it. Climb down and then re-position the ladder closer to your work.
  6. Move materials with extreme caution so as not to lose balance or tip the ladder
    DON’T exceed the maximum load capacity or duty rating of a ladder.
    DON’T permit more than one person on a single-sided stepladder or an extension ladder.

Safe-D: Fall Protection Barrier Systems

The construction of guardrail systems as well as their use shall comply with the following provisions:
  • Top edge height of top rails, or equivalent guardrail system members, shall be 42 inches plus or minus 3 inches above the walking/working level and be able to resist a 200lb. force. Note: When employees are using stilts, the top edge height of the top rail, or equivalent member, shall be increased an amount equal to the height of the stilts.
  • Midrails shall be installed midway between the top edge of the guardrail system and the walking/working level.
  • Screens and mesh, when used, shall extend from the top rail to the walking/working level and along the entire opening between top rail supports.
  • Intermediate members (such as balusters), when used between posts, shall be not more than 19 inches apart.
  • Other structural members (such as architectural panels or interior framing) shall be installed such that there are no openings in the guardrail system that are more than 19 inches wide.
  • Manila, plastic or synthetic rope being used for top rails or midrails shall be inspected as frequently as necessary to ensure that it continues to meet the strength of this section.
  • Guardrail systems must be surfaced as to prevent injury to an employee from punctures or lacerations, and to prevent snagging of clothing.
  • The ends of all top rails and midrails shall not overhang the terminal posts.
  • Steel banding and plastic banding shall not be used as top rails or midrails.
  • If wire rope is used:
  • Top rails and midrails shall be at least one-quarter inch nominal diameter thickness to prevent cuts and lacerations.
  • It shall be flagged at not more than 6-foot intervals with high-visibility material.
  • When guardrail systems are used at hoisting areas, a chain, gate or removable guardrail section shall be placed across the access opening between guardrail sections when hoisting operations are not taking place.
  • When guardrail systems are used around holes used for the passage of materials, the hole shall have not more than two sides provided with removable guardrail sections to allow the passage of materials. When the hole is not in use, it shall be closed over with a cover, or a guardrail system shall be provided along all unprotected sides or edges.
  • When guardrail systems are used around holes which are used as points of access (such as ladder ways), they shall be provided with a gate, or be so offset that a person cannot walk directly into the hole.
  • Guardrail systems used on ramps and runways shall be erected along each unprotected side or edge.
  • In areas where guardrail systems are in place, but need to be removed to allow overhand bricklaying work or leading edge work to take place, only that portion of the guardrail necessary to accomplish that day’s work shall be removed and all employees shall be protected by the use of a Personal Fall Arrest System.