Accidents are Avoidable – Tool Box Talk

Each time someone is injured, we need to ask ourselves “how did it happen?” Accidents just don’t happen, they are caused. Accidents are usually a result of someone not paying attention or knowing how to recognize a job (or home or automobile) safety hazard. Jobs with effective safety attitudes have about a fifth as many injuries compared to those without the safety attitude. Today we will discuss some general rules to follow and the four hazard avoidance rules.

General Rules

  • Learn the safe way to do your job.
  • Don’t jump from one elevation to another.
  • Don’t work under suspended loads.
  • Remove protruding nails or bend them over.
  • Keep the work area clear of debris.
  • Use the personal protective equipment required for the job.
  • Treat all electrical wires as being “live.”
  • Use the right tool for the right job.
  • Be sure all tools are in good shape.

Four Hazard Avoidance Rules

  • Know the safe way to work, and then follow the safe way all the time.
  • Maintain safe working conditions – for yourself and others around you.
  • Work safely, setting the example, and encourage others to do so.
  • Report all accidents and near misses.

Additional Discussion Notes:

  • Keep scaffolds free of excess weight.
  • Other ways to avoid hazards.
  • Report accidents and near misses to Employer.

Remember: Remember to ask yourself if you are following the basic common sense rules? If you aren’t following them, then take the chance and you will have or cause an accident. Keep asking yourself “how can I make my work safer?” Doing so and you’ll probably not have a serious accident, and help prevent a serious accident for a fellow worker.

Hurry-Up Can Hurt – Tool Box Talks

There are a couple of frequently used sayings concerning this type of behavior, such as, “Haste Makes Waste” and “The Hurrier I Go, the Behinder I Get.” Another one which is more closely associated with safety on the job is, “Hurrying-Up Can Hurt.”

These types of accidents are easy to identify, but there are others resulting from being in a hurry that we should consider for a moment. For instance:

  • Using the wrong ladder for the job just because it is closer than the one that is the right height.
  • Not wearing safety glasses because the job will only take a second.
  • Not taking time to properly lock-out and tag machinery you want to make repairs on.
  • Carrying a heavy object without first planning a safe route.
  • Leaving water or oil on the floor for someone else to wipe up—probably with the seat of their pants.

Sometime, think back to an incident when you nearly got hurt. When you review the circumstances of the near-miss, there is a good chance that hurrying was part of your difficulty. If you took a shortcut, you probably realize, as most of us do sooner or later, the shortcut really didn’t save any time and was not worth the risk involved.

However, it should be pointed out that while hurrying unnecessarily is frowned upon, faster ways of doing things may be beneficial at times. If you think that there is a better way of doing a certain job, by all means bring it to the attention of your Supervisor. But do not proceed to use the new method or make any changes without first getting them approved.

One of the safest means of speeding up operations is through experience. As we become more familiar with our jobs, our efficiency and speed increase. But this is taken into consideration in planning jobs and how they should be handled; and then, of course, we all reach a point where increased speed through experience becomes negligible, and the danger of not remaining alert on the job grows.

Obviously, accidents cost money. So if you think that meeting the cost of living is rough now, just imagine what it would be like if you had to face expenses without a full paycheck because of a work injury. So, both physically and financially, hurrying can hurt.


Donley’s Concrete Group – Duke Projects

Raleigh office recently asked us to pull together information about all of the
projects that Donley’s Concrete Group has completed on the Duke
Campus. The results were pretty impressive. Check out the PowerPoint below.

Four Seconds to Safety – Tool Box Talk

Perhaps the best tool to come along in industrial construction (at least as far as safety is concerned) is the Field Level Risk Assessment or Job Hazard Analysis. Whatever you call it, this is a tool that makes everyone stop and think about the different risks associated with the task. Crews normally gather and write out the JHA or FLRA before doing a job. This exercise greatly reduced the number and severity of injuries where this was done.

The same principal of the risk assessment can be done in our shops. Simply take a four-second “reset”. Take four seconds before starting some new familiar task. This act of refocusing has shown to reduce the probability of an injury incident by more than 90% versus not taking the four seconds. How hard is that? You may have performed the task you are about to perform thousands of times before. In your mind, you know that you could do it with your eyes closed. It is usually not the task its self but some small things you did not anticipate that causes the incident. You did not notice the debris in front of the tool you were going to pick up. You did not notice somebody placed something on the part you were about to pick up. You did not realized how heavy a piece is that you were asked to help carry.

It is easy to imagine the different activities we do every day and how this applies. For example, getting in a forklift and having a quick look around. We change our thinking of where we are going to focusing on the area, road conditions, other vehicles and so on. This is the “reset” we are talking about.

Believe it or not, four seconds is all it takes. Get in this habit of taking  four seconds and you significantly reduce your chance of injury. If you get into the habit of taking chances or simply cruising  from job to job, you will eventually be injured.

This four second reset was first instituted on the CN Rail. This was part of the strategy to reduce the number of very serious incidents they were having, including many amputation injuries. What they found is that the employees knew the rule or procedure to do the job without getting injured but were simply not focused. Even well rested employees were getting caught up in the routine of the day and found themselves daydreaming or thinking about other things. Losing an arm or leg is a very rude awakening.

We highly recommend this four second “reset” as an excellent way to refocus on the job at hand. And we believe that this is one very effective method to prevent injury on and odd the job.

ABC’s of Safety – Tool Box Talks

Attitude, Behavior, and Control. A safe attitude means staying alert and focused on the job at hand. Safe behavior means taking safety guidelines and practices seriously. Control means taking responsibility and keeping your work area clean and orderly.

Safety is more than just following your company’s guidelines or what OSHA says  while you work. Safety is actually a combination of a safe attitude, behavior, and control both on and off the job. Attitude means your frame of mind and the way in which you approach a given situation. Behavior means what you do about it and how you react to a situation. Control refers to making your surroundings, where and what you do, safe. Safe attitude, behavior, and control add up to a safer more productive you.

When it comes to safety, attitude isn’t exactly everything, but it’s darn close. A safe attitude means staying alert and focused on the job at hand, taking safety guidelines and practices seriously, never horsing around on the job, and not letting emotion like anger and frustration get in the way of job performance.

How you react to a situation is a important part of being safe. Following established safety guidelines and procedures, refusing to take “shortcuts”, using personal protective equipment, asking questions when you need more information and the task at hand are all safe behaviors. Safe behavior also means helping friends, coworkers, and family members understand the importance of safe practices and work, home or play.

Control means  taking responsibility for making your worksite, home, or recreational facility a safe place. You can help keep your surroundings safe from potential hazards by keeping them clean and orderly. Keep machines in good repair, clean up spills and debris (or report them to the appropriate person), and make sure that walkways are free from obstacles. Store chemicals properly (both at home and on the job) and never switch containers. At work, be sure to report faulty equipment ventilation, or any potential hazards to your supervisor.

ABC’s – Easy as 1-2-3
Attitude, behavior, and control are the three most important (and perhaps the simplest) aspects of personal safety both on and off the job. Take a moment to review your safety ABC’s to see if you’re doing all you can to protect yourself, your coworkers, and your loved ones from careless, needless, injury.

Donley’s Engages Our Clients Beyond Project Work To Help Them Achieve Their Mission

following is a letter from Sister Jacquelyn Gusdane, President Notre Dame
Schools, thanking Donley’s Staff Mary Ianiro and Mike White for delivering a
presentation and site tour for students at the school.  The tour was of
the Sisters of Notre Dame Senior Living project in Ohio.  This is a great
example of how Donley’s engages our clients beyond our project work to help
them achieve their mission.  Below the letter are some pictures of the
event.  Thanks Mary and Mike!

Dear Mary and Mike,

What a great experience
yesterday was for our engineering students, Ashley, and me!   When I
talked with some of the boys later in the day, they could not say enough about
their time with you.

This is a stellar example of a
partnership of with Donley Inc. and NDCL, with a corporation and a school for
students who are seriously considering the field of engineering for a
career.  Even though we are on the same property, this field trip would
not have happened unless you had made it known and then possible. 

The preview in the trailer, your
remarks, and the very informative and enlightening walking tour of the
construction site were a perfect blend.  The hard hats, vests, and glasses
— all new–added a real life touch (even though I know they are
required).    Of course, I loved having Corbin with us.  He
is so fortunate to do an internship with you — and even better, he truly
appreciates and values it.


My hope is that the new
engineering class will return in fall for another “tour” and see the
progress.  That’s why the photos are so valuable.  Mrs. Kelm has a
copy of all the photos of the Notre Dame Village project and will be able to
share and comment about these with the next class.

Once again thank you to all who
were involved in making this a reality.   God bless!

With gratitude and prayer,


Sister Jacquelyn

P.S. Please share this email
with anyone else involved  – our thanks extends to all.

Hydration – Tool Box Talk

We’ve all experienced it at some point when working or playing hard – fatigue sets in, your mouth feels dry and your legs are heavy and maybe you even get a headache. Theses are all common signs of dehydration.

When you are working hard, body fluid is lost through sweat. If the fluid lost through sweat is not replaced, dehydration and early fatigue are unavoidable. Losing even 2% body fluids  (less than 3.5 pounds in a 180-pound person) can impair performance by increasing fatigue and affecting cognitive skills. During the summer heat it is easy to become dehydrated if you don’t drink enough fluids to replace what is lost in sweat. But it is equally important to understand that dehydration even happens during the winter, because you don’t feel like you are sweating. Not only does it have to be warm outside but normal activity in a heated environment can cause dehydration.

However, dehydration can easily be prevented :

  • When to drink: Ensure you drink before you start working, trying to catch-up for lost fluid after a period of time is very difficult. Also, drink before you get thirsty. By the time you’re thirsty you are already dehydrated, so it is important to drink at regular intervals – especially when it is hot outside.
  • What to drink: Water is truly on of the best thing to drink. Research also shows that a lightly flavored beverage with a small amount of sodium encourages people to drink enough to stay hydrated. The combination of flavor and electrolytes in a sports drink, like Gatorade, provided one of the best choices to help you stay properly hydrated.
  • What not to drink: During activity, avoid drinks with high sugar content such as soda and even fruit juices. These are slow to absorb into the body. Also alcohol and caffeinated beverages should be avoided.

Many people ask how much to drink and that truly depends on your activity level and how much your body is losing fluids. In general, when you are working and sweating, you should drink at least every half-hour. Ensure you are drinking enough to replace your lost fluids. A good rule of thumb from a wise man says: “if you aren’t urinating, you’re not drinking enough.”