Should US Steel workers be paid for the time it takes them to put on and take off their personal protective equipment (PPE) and get to and from their work areas, or should the clock start running only when they are wearing that PPE and have arrived at their workstations?Read More
When you weld, cut or grind or are working in an area where such work is being undertaken by others, the potential for exposure to fumes is significant.Read More
A volunteer died of head and chest injuries when he fell 18 feet to a concrete floor while helping repair a community sports facility.Read More
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Workplace safety laws require companies to keep material safety data sheets (MSDSs) readily available for every chemical they use. Simply put, these sheets lay out the hazards associated with chemicals you are likely to encounter at work.Read More
A University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) chemistry professor and regents at the university have been charged with felony counts of violating occupational safety and health standards in connection to the death of a staff research associate.Read More
American Marazzi Tile Inc. of Texas is facing stiff fines for alleged safety and health violations. OSHA issued three willful citations for failure to establish and maintain a hearing conservation program for workers exposed to noise levels exceeding 85 dB, failure to provide required machine guards for exposed belts, pulleys, chains and sprockets and failure to establish a lockout/tagout program for energy sources.Read More
OSHA opened an inspection in response to a referral from New Jersey’s Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Program. OSHA alleges the company’s failure to provide protection from electrical hazards, develop and implement written respiratory protection, hazard communication and confined space entry programs, provide machine guarding, provide guardrails for stairways and working platforms, conduct a PPE hazard assessment, ensure the safe use of ladders and forklifts and provide lockout/tagout, respirator, hazard communication and fire extinguisher training.Read More
People are so busy these days that a lunch “break” frequently comes down to gobbling a quick sandwich with one hand while continuing to work with the other hand.
Aside from the stress associated with not taking a proper lunch break away from your workstation, dropping a wrench or taking off your work gloves and then tucking into a sandwich can be hazardous to your health, for these reasons:
Not only is it potentially hazardous to your health to eat anything without first washing your hands with hot soap and water, you also need to consider that chewing gum, drinking coffee or other beverages, smoking, touching your mouth, nose or eyes, handling contact lenses or applying make-up or lipstick in a chemically contaminated area can also harm you.
Few people would find it safe to place a hand in a chemical solution and touch it to their lips, but touching food after you’ve been handling chemicals isn’t any different.
If you have been handling chemicals while wearing gloves and you believe it’s fine to remove those gloves and eat, drink or smoke without first washing your hands, think again. Contamination on those gloves, whether from handling chemicals, laboratory agents or bloodborne pathogens in a medical setting, can easily be transferred to your hands while removing gloves.
No one needs to be told about the importance of washing their hands with soap and water after using a toilet, but if chemicals or biological agents have touched your hands, you also need to wash your hands before answering nature’s call.
Watch Where You Store Your Lunch
Another mistake workers often make is to store food or drink in refrigerators in which chemicals, drugs or biological agents are also stored. Doing so can easily contaminate food or beverage items. Food should only be kept cool in your lunchroom’s fridge.
Keep these additional chemical handling tips in mind:
Taking a minute to thoroughly wash your hands with warm, soapy water before eating isn’t just practicing good hygiene. It can prevent serious illness from chemical exposures.Read More
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Your odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash are 45 percent lower if you are wearing a seatbelt at the time of impact than if you are not buckled in. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
1: Only 1 percent of passengers wearing seatbelts are ejected from car seats during automobile crashes. (Naval Safety Center)
3: Of every four families who place their children in child safety seats, 3 do not use these seats properly. (James Madison University)
16: Males in the 16 to 25 age group are the least likely to wear seatbelts. (Car-Accidents.com)
50: For survivors of motor vehicle accidents, medical costs average 50 percent higher for drivers and passengers who were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision. (Car-Accidents.com)
83: Seatbelt use across the US reached 83 percent in 2008. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
92: In Canada, 92 percent of all occupants of light-duty vehicles use seatbelts. (Transport Canada 2009 Survey of Seatbelt Use)Read More
If you have trouble with workers not wearing required personal protective equipment, you’re far from alone.
A survey conducted by Kimberly-Clark Professional found that 98 percent of the 132 safety professionals who attended the American Society of Safety Engineers’ 2010 conference and expo had observed workers who weren’t wearing PPE when they should have been doing so.
And 30 percent of the respondents said they had observed PPE non-compliance on numerous occasions. Most of the safety professionals who were polled said PPE non-compliance was their top workplace safety issue.
The problem seems to be getting worse. A 2008 Kimberly-Clark poll found that 89 percent of safety professionals had observed workers working without PPE. The figures for 2007 and 2006 were 87 percent and 85 percent respectively.
Gina Tsiropoulos, manufacturing segment marketing manager for Kimberly-Clark, called the growing trend alarming, saying that it was a serious threat to worker health and safety.
“Whether this is a result of economic conditions, a flawed approach to safety programs, younger workers who are more inclined to take greater risks or some other reason, it’s essential that workers wear PPE when it is required,” she says. “PPE protects workers against injury, but it will not work if workers fail to use it and use it properly.”
Forty-two percent of the safety professionals surveyed said that failure to use eye protection was their most commonly observed PPE infraction. The second most common type of non-compliance was lack of hearing PPE.
The top five reasons safety professionals are given by workers who aren’t wearing PPE are:
1. It is uncomfortable.
2. It makes the worker too warm.
3. PPE isn’t available near the work task.
4. It doesn’t fit properly.
5. It looks unattractive.
Asked what solutions they have tried or intended to try to improve PPE compliance, the safety professionals’ top response was “improving existing education and training programs.”
Other potential solutions to the problem included:
Topping the respondents’ wish list was the development of PPE that automatically adjusts to fit different body types, hands, heads and faces. Next was PPE with customizable style and design options, so that workers could select PPE based on their own individual tastes and safety requirements. Third on the wish list was PPE containing integrated climate control features, providing cooling or warmth as needed.Read More