Articles by Month: September 2017
Thank you to Dan Gess and Mary Ianiro for their commitment to the ACE Mentoring Cleveland program. During the 2016-2017 school year, the ACE program served over 125 high school students in 8 schools, awarded $124,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors, and provided 12 internships to college students.
PREVENT FALLS (33% of fatalities)
- Identify all potential tripping and fall hazards before work starts.
- Look for fall hazards such as unprotected floor openings/edges, shafts, skylights, stairwells, and roof openings/edges.
- Inspect fall protection equipment for defects before use.
- Select, wear, and use fall protection equipment appropriate for the task.
- Secure and stabilize all ladders before climbing them.
- Never stand on the top rung/step of a ladder.
- Use handrails when you go up or down stairs.
- Practice good housekeeping.
- Keep cords, welding leads and air hoses out of walkways or adjacent work areas.
PREVENT STRUCK-BY (20% of all Fatalities)
- Never position yourself between moving and fixed objects.
- Wear high-visibility clothes near equipment/vehicles.
PREVENT CAUGHT-IN/BETWEEN (18% of all Fatalities)
- Never enter an unprotected trench or excavation 5 feet or deeper without an adequate protective system in place; some trenches under 5 feet deep may also need such a system.
PREVENT ELECTROCUTIONS (17% of all Fatalities)
- Assume that all overhead wires are energized at lethal voltages. Never assume that a wire is safe to touch even if it is down or appears to be insulated.
- Never touch a fallen overhead power line. Call the electric utility company to report fallen electrical lines.
- Stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) away from overhead wires during cleanup and other activities. If working at heights or handling long objects, survey the area before starting work for the presence of overhead wires.
- If an overhead wire falls across your vehicle while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not leave your vehicle. Warn people not to touch the vehicle or the wire. Call or ask someone to call the local electric utility company and emergency services.
- Never operate electrical equipment while you are standing in water.
- Never repair electrical cords or equipment unless qualified and authorized.
- Have a qualified electrician inspect electrical equipment that has gotten wet before energizing it.
- If working in damp locations, inspect electric cords and equipment to ensure that they are in good condition and free of defects, and use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
- Always use caution when working near electricity.
Concrete chipping operations may be on some jobsites. When required certain equipment and procedures must be followed.
Our safety training today will cover some basic safety precautions while performing chipping operations.
Eye and Face Protection– Always wear company approved eye protection and a clear face shield that attaches to the hard hat.
Head Protection– Just like any other job, all employees must wear hardhats at all times. Hardhats must be worn with the bill of the hat forward to protect your face.
Hand Protection- Because of the constant vibration produced by jackhammers or chipping guns, antivibration gloves must be worn. These special gloves are designed to reduce the impact vibration on your hands and wrists. If they are not worn, the user may feel numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand, wrist and forearm area. Additionally, the skin may become more whitish in color.
Hearing Protection- Is required if working in enclosed areas such as elevator shafts, stairways, room surrounded by walls or a basement area. If working in an open area, hearing protection will be required if concrete chipping lasts for more than one hour.
Respiratory Protection- When chipping concrete a fine dust is produced when the concrete breaks apart. If you operate a chipping gun or jackhammer for more than one hour a respirator is RECOMMENDED. However, a steady stream of water applied to point of impact between the chisel and concrete will reduce the dust created.
INSPECTION AND USE
Before using a chipping gun or jackhammer, check the tool for tightness and wear. Inspect the cord for cuts and loose plug-in prongs. If using a pneumatic jackhammer check hose connection for cracks, worn threads, loose couplings and be sure short safety chain is connected between the air-to-tool connection.
Never engage in horseplay with a chipping gun or jackhammer. Always disconnect the tool from power source when changing accessories. Always keep both hands on the tool at all times. Watch for excess lengths in the air hose or extension cord to prevent tripping hazards. Never operate the tool without the chisel against the working surface.
REMINDER – ONLY THE DESIGNED TEAR-AWAY POINTS FOR STORING THE EXTRA LEG OF THE LANYARD.
FALL PROTECTION BARRIER SYSTEMS
Guardrail systems and 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.
- Iit shall be flagged at not more than 6-foot intervals with high-visibility material.
SAFETY REMINDERS – FAILURE TO IMPLEMENT AN APPROPRIATE SYSTEM IS GROUNDS FOR IMMEDIATE DISCIPLINARY ACTION INCLUDING DISMISSAL FROM THE SITE.
WHAT IS CRYSTALLINE SILICA?
Silica is a mineral compound made up of one silicon atom and two oxygen atoms.
There are other compounds that contain silicon whose names are quite similar, such as silicate and silicone. Do not mistake these for silica. They are not the same thing.
There are quartz, cristobalite, tridymite, and other rare forms of crystalline silica. Quartz is so common that the term quartz is often used to refer to crystalline silica. And sand is often used to refer to quartz.
Persons working with silica can develop a disease called silicosis. This disease is 100% preventable if appropriate steps are taken. Individuals are at risk in the workplace if: 1) the silica can become airborne, 2) the airborne particles are a certain size, 3) the worker breathes in the silica.
THE BASICS ON SILICOSIS
Silicosis is a disease where scar tissue forms in the lungs and reduces the ability to extract oxygen from the air.
- Shortness of breath while exercising
- Occasional bluish skin at ear lobes or lips
- Loss of appetite
- Silicosis renders the victim more susceptible to infection and diseases such as tuberculosis and lung cancer.
- Smoking increases the damage. Silicosis and smoking are deadly together.
TAKING ACTION TO PROTECT AGAINST SILICA
You must implement the best possible permanent solution to reducing or eliminating the hazard. If such a solution cannot be enacted immediately, then you are required to implement a temporary control to protect your workers until the permanent solution is put in place. The following solutions are listed in order of preference. (Depending on the work site a higher choice may actually be less effective.):
SAFETY REMINDERS – SILICOSIS IS A DISEASE THAT IS 100% PREVENTABLE IF APPROPRIATE STEPS ARE TAKEN.