Unsafe acts cause four times as many accidents and injuries as unsafe conditions. Accidents occur for many reasons, and in most industries people tend to look for "things" to blame when an accident happens, instead of considering worker behavior. Have you been guilty of any of the behaviors listed below? You may not have been injured, but next time you may not be so lucky.
Think of some excuse you have used (or heard others use) for not wearing your eye protection: they are not comfortable, they are dirty, they fog up, you were going to be doing a hazardous task for just a few seconds and did not want to stop and put them on.
While you may think some or all of these excuses sound like good reasons for not wearing your safety glasses or goggles at work, consider what could happen if an accident occurred and injured one or both of your eyes. Is it worth risking injury, or even blindness, for any one of those reasons? Absolutely not!
What is a safety intervention?
It’s easy to get complacent behind the wheel. Maybe you have a stellar driving record, or you’re just lucky enough to have avoided trouble so far. But that can change in an instant, and the more lax you are, the less prepared you’ll be when hazards pop up. And they will pop up!
Below are Basic Principles of Defensive Driving
In the thick of the holiday season, with distractions on every side, it's more important than ever to stay focused on the job and be mindful of safety. That's where the "four seconds to safety" rule comes into play: pause for four seconds to look around, identify potential hazards, and focus on the task at hand. It's a mental reset, a mindfulness practice that can help to ensure a safe season, both at work and at home.
Falls from ladders can be as painful as a fall from a roof; about a third of all reported falls are falls from ladders. Many of the fall related injuries result from the improper use or the use of a defective ladder. Step/extension ladders are made to access/egress upper levels, not to be used as work platforms. There are specifically designed ladders for use as work platforms such as order pickers. These ladders are constructed with a small platform and guardrail. The following safe work rules should be observed when working with ladders:
Heat Illness Hazards
Operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities have a high potential for inducing heat stress. When the body is unable to cool itself by sweating, several heat-induced illnesses such as heat exhaustion and the more severe heat stroke can occur.
When it comes to compliance, you can learn a lot by reviewing the requirements that OSHA most frequently finds to be in violation. This enables you to review your own operations for similar compliance issues and implement corrective action before OSHA comes calling.
Unsafe acts cause four times as many accidents and injuries as unsafe conditions. Accidents occur for many reasons, and in most industries people tend to look for “things” to blame when an accident happens, instead of considering worker behavior. Have you been guilty of any of the behaviors listed below? You may not have been injured, but next time you may not be so lucky.
Everyday we make decisions we hope will make the job faster and more efficient, but do time savers ever risk your own safety, or that of other workers? Shortcuts that reduce your safety on the job are not shortcuts. They are increased chance for injury.
Confidence is a good thing. Overconfidence is too much of a good thing. “It’ll never happen to me” is an attitude that can lead to improper procedures, tools, or methods in your work. Safe work relies on a system, and disregarding that system by thinking it doesn’t apply to you can lead to an injury.
Starting a Task with Incomplete Instructions:
To do the job the safe way (and the right way) you need complete information. Have you ever seen a worker sent to do a job with only part of the job’s instructions? Don’t be shy about asking for explanations about work procedures and safety protocol. Remember the only dumb question is the one you didn’t ask.
Housekeeping is an accurate indicator of everyone’s attitude about quality, production, and safety. Poor housekeeping creates hazards of all types. A well maintained area sets a standard for others to follow. Good housekeeping involves both diligence and time management.
Ignoring Safety Procedures:
Failing to observe safety procedures can endanger you and your workers. You are being paid to follow the company safety policies. Not to make your own rules. Being “casual” about safety can lead to a casualty!
Mental Distractions from Work:
Having a bad day at home and worrying about it at work is a hazardous combination. Dropping your “mental” guard can pull your focus away from safe work procedures. You can also be distracted when you’re busy working and a friend comes by to talk while you are trying to work. Don’t become a statistic because you took your eyes of the task “for just a second.”
Failure to Pre-Plan the Work:
There is a lot of talk about Job Safe Analysis (JSAs), Risk Exposure Assessment, general Work permits, LOTO Procedures, et. All of these are effective tools to figure out the smartest ways to work safely and effectively. Being hasty in starting a task or not thinking through the process can put you in harm’s way. Plan Your Work and then Work Your Plan!
Last month, Cal/OSHA sited two Los Angeles construction companies $352,570 for multiple workplace safety and health violations, including ten serious and three willful category violations, following a fatal incident in a confined space. Neither company followed permit-required confined space procedures and a worker lost his life while attempting to clear mud and debris from a drainage shaft. (https://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2017/2017-35.pdf) This is a tragic reminder that confined space work presents a unique set of hazards, and specific procedures must be developed and followed for every entry.
What is a confined space?
A space must meet all of the following criteria to be considered a confined space:
When is a Confined Space Entry Permit Needed?
If any of the hazards listed below are present, a permit is required for entry. Remember that certain work activities in a confined space can also necessitate a permit.
Internal configurations that could entrap or asphyxiate an entrant by inwardly converging walls, or floors that taper to a smaller cross-section, i.e. hoppers, bins and tanks
Where there is a potential for a liquid or solid material to drown, capture or asphyxiate an entrant, i.e. water, grains and soils
Other hazards may include electrical hazards, chemical hazards, extreme temperatures, slippery floors and noise.
Working Safely in Confined Spaces
First, avoid entry into confined spaces whenever possible. If they must be entered, Cal/OSHA has regulations for working safely in confined spaces. Please refer to the specific standard for your industry and operations. For general industries such as manufacturing facilities, T8CCR 5157, “Permit-Required Confined Spaces” requirements apply. For employers and employees in Construction, Agriculture, Marine Terminals, Grain Handling, Telecommunications, Natural Gas and Electric Utilities, and Shipyard Operations, the regulations in T8CCR 5158, “Other Confined Space Operations” and other regulations apply.
In general, confined space regulations require all employers to have:
Sources and further information: