Provide Safe Walking Surfaces

Wet Floor Warning

Walking through the workplace may seem like a simple task that doesn’t require much attention. It’s often that type of thinking that leads to an environment where workers experience slips, trips and falls too frequently. According to OSHA, the majority of accidents in general industry are the result of slips, trips and falls, and these accidents cause 15 percent of accidental deaths in the workplace (which is second only to work-related motor vehicle accidents). Many …

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How to Clean Contaminated Work Clothing

Laundry

In many industrial and construction workplaces, contaminated clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) are an everyday occurrence. Dust, dirt and more hazardous contaminants such as lead and asbestos can cover workers, making their protective gear or clothing dangerous. Too often, employees carry these contaminants home on their clothing, getting the materials into their cars and homes where it can impact the health of their families and friends. A study performed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety …

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Using a Staffing Agency? You Still Have Safety Responsibilities

To-Do List, Safety List

It’s becoming more and more common for companies to employ temporary workers from staffing agencies, especially at large worksites. Companies decide to use staffing agencies for many reasons, sometimes because doing so is cost-effective or helps cover periods of higher production. One of the problems with this rising phenomenon is that when workers at a jobsite are employed by more than one business, it’s easy for safety and safety training to fall through the cracks. Employers …

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More HazCom Updates on the Horizon?

Globally Harmonized System, Purple Book

In 2012, OSHA updated its Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom) to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Many of these changes have begun to impact employers, as businesses are required to train workers in how to read the new chemical labels and safety data sheets, and beginning this June, businesses must also have compliant labels in their workplaces. There have been many workplace discussions about how to …

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PPE for Winter That’s Also Flame-Resistant

Winter PPE

Yesterday, we took a look at flame-resistant (FR) clothing for the workplace. This clothing can protect workers against fires because it is either made from naturally flame-resistant materials or materials treated with flame-retardant chemicals. This discussion touched on the importance of finding FR clothing that isn’t too stiff or too thick, as this clothing can make workers too hot, especially during summer months. What should you do, though, if you have the opposite problem? What …

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Flame-Resistant Clothing

Fire, Fire Resistance

Flame-resistant (FR) clothing is either made of materials that are naturally flame resistant (such as wool or cotton) or that are treated with a flame retardant. These materials, used to make shirts, pants, jackets and coveralls, protect people performing work around potential fire and electrical hazards. This type of personal protective equipment (PPE) falls under OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.132 (General Protective Equipment) as well as 29 CFR 1910.269 (Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution). Additional …

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What Falls Under OSHA’s General Duty Clause?

OSHA, General Duty Clause

You’ve probably heard of OSHA’s General Duty Clause, perhaps in the context of a company receiving a citation. For safety managers and business owners, hearing stories about OSHA using the General Duty Clause to issue citations might sound a bit intimidating because the clause itself is vague. OSHA’s General Duty Clause, found at section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970, states: Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment …

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Lean Six Sigma Can Improve Environmental Performance

Chart

The term Lean Six Sigma, actually a combination of Lean and Six Sigma, is a methodology first implemented in the manufacturing sector that aims to continuously improve the workplace. These terms are fairly complex, but in a nutshell, Lean is concerned with reducing waste in the workplace by identifying anything that isn’t adding value to end products for customers (such as wasted time, movement, materials, etc.). Six Sigma principles emerge from a similar line of thinking and …

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Trenching & Excavation Safety

Excavation Safety

Trenching and excavation accidents in the construction industry aren’t a new occurrence. Fatalities have happened for decades, in large part because of cave-ins. OSHA even began a National Emphasis Program for trenching and excavation safety in 1985 to reduce the number of serious accidents. Violations, serious injuries and fatalities related to this type of work continue to occur, though. For example, a worker installing sewer lines at a residential home in Missouri was killed when a …

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Will Climate Change Impact Worker Safety?

Climate Change

Climate change often seems huge in scale, something that countries and large organizations need to think about. We’ve all heard the importance of thinking about climate change on a smaller scale, though, and finding ways to reduce emissions, throw away less trash and save energy. One topic that often gets overlooked during discussions of climate change, however, is worker safety. A changing climate with higher temperatures, less consistent weather patterns and stronger storms could impact …

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