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:
Remember the saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?” Hearing is one of those things. Exposure to loud noise on the job site can cause permanent hearing loss—sometimes instantly, but sometimes so gradually that you may not realize it’s happening. That’s why it’s critical to be aware of noise hazards on the job site and protect yourself from hearing loss.
How do you know if noise levels are hazardous on your job site? OSHA recommends hearing protection when you are exposed to noise levels of 85 decibels (dBA) over an 8-hour period. You can use a sound level meter to measure the decibels produced by your equipment, or a dosimeter to measure the average noise exposure over your workday. In the absence of these instruments, use the “two-to-three-foot” rule: if, when standing two to three feet (arm’s length) away from a coworker, you must raise your voice to be heard, the noise level is probably greater than 85 dBA.
Noise levels can be controlled by selecting the quietest equipment or tool available for the job; positioning equipment farther away when possible; erecting sound barriers around noisy equipment; or by adding mechanical controls such as mufflers to loud equipment. When noise reduction is not an option, ear protection must be worn.
Whether you choose earmuffs or one of the many varieties of ear plugs available, proper fit and use are key to preventing hearing loss.
Be sure to include noise hazards in your Job Hazard/ Job Safety Analysis and in your daily tailgate talks. For more on hearing protection, see the OSHA pocket guide at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/3498noise-in-construction-pocket-guide.pdf.
Ever held a cup while pouring hot coffee into it? Or held a nail for someone else wielding a hammer? In both instances, you’re putting yourself in the line of fire. If something goes wrong, injury could result. We do lots of things in our daily lives that could result in injury, but don’t. So we can become complacent and not think twice about certain tasks. But being in the line of fire, especially in the lab, can add up to trouble. It can hurt, incapacitate or, in severe cases, kill you or your coworkers. Here are some ways to improve safety by removing or controlling dangers on the job.
1. Look for hazards before you start working. At its most basic level, the line of fire is the path of a moving object that could potentially injure you or the potential path of an object that may move. Ask yourself: What can hurt me while I’m doing this task? If you’re unsure, ask a co-worker or supervisor. It’s always good to have a second set of eyes review what you’re planning to do.
2. Eliminate the hazard when possible. Once line-of-fire hazards are identified, take steps to eliminate or control them. The best-case scenario is to remove the hazards completely. An example of this would be pipetting a chemical from one container to another instead of pouring the chemical out of the container.
3. If you can’t eliminate, then control. If it’s not possible to remove the hazards, neutralize them. For example, use a fume hood and proper personal protective equipment to avoid exposure. Consider the following questions: Where is my body located in relation to the hazard? What is the worst-case scenario of my task? How can I protect myself from the hazard?
4. Use best practices for minimizing hazards. There are many easy and effective methods to eliminate and control line-of-fire hazards. For example, organize the lab area to provide unobstructed and easy access to equipment, use signs and stickers for clear labeling, keep pathways clear, eliminate possible pinch points on doors or hand tools, and always use the correct tool for the job.
When planning your work, consider aspects of the job that put you in the line of fire and mitigate risks accordingly. For example:
Reprinted with permission from http://cenblog.org/the-safety-zone/2014/05/protecting-yourself-in-the-line-of-fire
OSHA defines "barricade" as "an obstruction to deter the passage of persons of vehicles." Exposed wires, moving machinery and open excavations are just a few of the potential hazards requiring barricades.
Barricade tapes allow us to demarcate and restrict access to job site hazards, but did you know that OSHA and ANSI regulations specify color coding of barricade tapes?
The graphic below shows OSHA-specified tape colors.
OSHA does not specify requirements for the size or weight of the tape, nor does it dictate the wording on the tape.
ANSI specifies colors and usage of barricade tapes as follows:
1. Yellow/Black Barricade Tape serves as CAUTION and POTENTIAL HAZARD from:
Pressure washers speed up cleaning projects on work sites and at home. But with water delivered at pressures up to 4,000 pounds per square inch, pressure washers can also be dangerous. Understanding the hazards associated with high-pressure washing is the first step to preventing them. Be mindful of the following whenever you operate a pressure washer:
For more information on safely operating a pressure washer, check out these recommendations from the CDC and this safety alert from Consumer Reports.
ANSI-approved hard hats are designed to protect you from the impact of falling objects and, in some cases, from accidental contact with electrical current. However, the way we care for our hard hats can have a big impact on how well they do their job.
Your protective hard hat has two basic parts: the shell and the suspension system. Both parts need to be cared for so that they can take care of you. The life of your headgear can be lengthened by cleaning both suspension and shell with a sponge or soft brush dipped in mild detergent and water.
Look for signs of wear such as scratches or gouges. Shells may not last as long if you work in extreme heat or cold, or if they are exposed to chemicals. Under these conditions, they become stiff and brittle and should also be replaced. And if your hat has been hit by an object, saving your head from the blow, retire that protector with honor, too. It has done its job and may not be able to rise to another such occasion.
Each day when you put on your hard hat, pay attention to the fit. This check is especially important if your hair is longer or shorter than usual. If the hat is too loose, your head may be too close to the shell. If the webs are too tight, your hat won't absorb the shock properly, and your head and neck will take the damage. For the same reason, do not carry personal items in your hard hat, which may interfere with the fit.
DOs & DON'Ts for Hard Hat Use and Care:
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 fall-related injuries result from 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 ladders, such as order pickers, that are specially designed for use as work platforms. These ladders are constructed with a small platform and guardrail.
Safe Work Rules for Ladder Use: