Six Steps to Prevent Lifting Injuries


“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.9 million injuries in 2015, with 3.5 percent of these injuries being in the construction industry. Construction work in general takes a heavy toll on the body. When you perform the same heavy lifting for several hours every day, you are putting a lot of strain on your body.

The injuries may occur as random accidents like ignoring basic safety rules, such as failure to wear sturdy work boots, or even wearing uncomfortable low-resistance safety equipment. Fortunately, there are various ways to avert these painful injuries. If you are an employer, you need to take the necessary steps to ensure your employees are safe from lifting related injuries.

Let’s at the six steps to prevent injuries inflicted by lifting objects in the workplace.

1. Restructure the Work Environment and Work Tasks
This is one of the most effective ways to minimize lifting hazards in a construction site and prevent injuries. Namely, you need to take a keen look at lifting tasks and redesign them in a way that they are safer. For instance, you can redesign a task so your workers do a less-strenuous manual lifting. To achieve this, you need to implement some engineering controls, which include the following:

Decreasing load size or weight
Adjusting the work environment to ensure your employees can keep loads close to their body, between shoulder and knee height, without the need to twist
Installing load handling equipment and mechanical lifting aids; these may include hand trucks, conveyors, hoists, slides, and adjustable lift tables…”
https://ohsonline.com/blogs/the-ohs-wire/2017/08/six-steps-to-prevent-lifting-injuries.aspx

CSB Issues Safety Alert Following Hurricane Harvey


“CSB Urges Oil and Chemical Facilities to Take Special Safety Precautions during Startups Following Hurricane Harvey

Washington, DC, August 28, 2017 – The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) today issued a Safety Alert urging oil and chemical facilities to take special precautions when restarting in the wake of shutdowns due to Hurricane Harvey.

The startup of major processes at chemical facilities is a hazardous phase and facilities should pay particular attention to process safety requirements during this critical period to assure a safe and expeditious return to normal operations.

“Restarting a refinery poses a significant safety risk, said Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland. “When operators follow established startup procedures and checklists, it reduces the risk to a catastrophic accident that could cost lives and incur substantial product disruptions.”

Restarting a complex petrochemical process requires a higher level of attention and care than normal processing, because numerous activities are occurring simultaneously and many automatic systems are run under manual control. Because a significant number of facilities were shut down during Hurricane Harvey, there will be a significant number of facilities restarting, which will increase the risk to safety.

The Safety Alert outlines specific procedures to assure safe restarts under the headings, “Rely on Established Safety Systems” and “Check Process Equipment Thoroughly.” For example, facilities are urged to follow established startup procedures and checklists, and to recognize that “human performance may be compromised due to crisis conditions.”

Additional safety protocols require checking bulk storage tanks for evidence of floating displacement or damage, and to examine insulation systems, sewers, drains, furnace systems, electric motors and other equipment, including warning systems, to make sure they are fully functional…”
http://www.csb.gov

We’re Underestimating Slip and Fall Risks: New Pig Survey


“A new report from New Pig, an authority on leaks, drips, and spills, indicates slip and fall risks are underestimated by many organizations and aren’t being adequately addressed. The Walk Zone Safety Report looks at slips, trips, and falls in workplaces and public facilities, and the company prepared it by surveying professionals earlier this year in maintenance, safety, health risk, and facilities management across multiple industries.

Underestimating floor safety risks and being unaware of high-risk walk zones within their buildings will expose employers to significant liability, medical costs, productivity losses, and damage to brand reputation, New Pig stresses, citing BLS data that same-level slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of workplace injuries, totaling nearly 200,000 in 2015, and the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index reported this type of falls resulted in almost $11 billion in workers’ compensation and medical costs last year.”
Click here to read more!

Tips to Promote National Preparedness Month


“National Preparedness Month (NPM) is just around the corner, starting September 1. Here are some tips to help kick off your planning for the month of September.

“Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” We can all take action to prepare. This year’s themes focus on the NPM goal to increase the overall number of individuals, families, and communities that engage in preparedness actions at home, work, business, school, and places of worship.”
https://www.ready.gov/september

Solar Eclipse Safety Tips


“Millions of people in the United States will be able to directly view the solar eclipse on August 21. A partial eclipse will be visible in every state and a total solar eclipse (when the Moon completely covers the Sun) will occur across 14 states in the continental U.S., along a 70-mile-wide part of the country. However, this fantastic phenomenon comes with a few safety precautions.
Do not stare directly at the eclipse with your naked eyes. You can risk damaging your vision, but with special-purpose solar filtered glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can safely look directly at the sun. Suitable eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers should have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard. Many libraries are distributing safety-certified glasses, a list of participating libraries can be found here. (https://www.starnetlibraries.org/2017eclipse)
Many Americans live within driving distance to the path of the eclipse. If you plan to drive along the eclipse path, check out these tips from the U.S. Department of Transportation. (https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop16085/index.htm) There are also numerous festivals and events to celebrate the eclipse, so be sure to plan accordingly for traveling. Also, keep yourself and others safe on the road by avoiding distracted driving.
To find out the best times to view the eclipse in your state, check out these maps.” (https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/eclipse-day-timeline-from-coast-to-coast-when-will-you-see-the-total-solar-eclipse/70002446)

Important Safety Email Shared from the Eastern Contractors Association, Inc.! Subject: Eclipse Safety

Subject: Eclipse Safety

Dear Members –

“If you or your employees are planning on watching the eclipse today, please do so safely. Being around a construction work site may tempt folks to use current shaded safety glasses, a welding shield or a welding helmet. Please be aware that these are NOT helpful in protecting your eyes unless they are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard. MOST ARE NOT! For a welding shield or helmet, you need a shade 12 or higher.

More from NASA:
Viewing with Protection — Experts suggests that one widely available filter for safe solar viewing is welders glass of sufficiently high number. The only ones that are safe for direct viewing of the Sun with your eyes are those of Shade 12 or higher. These are much darker than the filters used for most kinds of welding. If you have an old welder’s helmet around the house and are thinking of using it to view the Sun, make sure you know the filter’s shade number. If it’s less than 12 (and it probably is), don’t even think about using it to look at the Sun. Many people find the Sun too bright even in a Shade 12 filter, and some find the Sun too dim in a Shade 14 filter — but Shade 13 filters are uncommon and can be hard to find.

Additional safety information can be found here: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

The eclipse will start in the Albany area at 1:22 p.m., peak at 2:42 p.m. and end at 3:56 p.m. Our area will observe a 66% obstruction at the peak.

Enjoy the eclipse…..and stay safe out there!”

Employers continue to make worker safety a priority in extreme heat


“Employers across the country are taking steps to protect their employees from the risk of heat exposure by gradually increasing shift lengths so they can adapt to hot environments, providing frequent water breaks, allowing ample time to rest, and providing shade. In the June 15 issue of QuickTakes, we shared specific measures employers are taking to keep their workers safe from extreme heat. Below are more examples. For others, and to submit your own, visit our heat campaign webpage.”

Fake Solar Eclipse Glasses: Your Community May Be at Risk


“Millions of Americans will watch the Aug. 21 solar eclipse and have already purchased (or will) eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers to do so. (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dont-fall-for-phony-eclipse-glasses/) Some of these people may be at risk from counterfeit glasses and viewers sold by disreputable vendors trying to cash in on this rare event. Watching the eclipse with fake protective gear can cause permanent eye damage, making this a community risk reduction issue.

Only glasses and viewers verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet ISO 12312-2 are safe to use when viewing the eclipse. This standard requires glasses and viewers to be thousands of times darker than typical sunglasses.

It may be hard to tell the difference between genuine protective gear and fake glasses/viewers as some counterfeit makers are placing ISO labels on them. The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has guidance to help eclipse watchers determine if their eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers are safe. (https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/iso-certification) In addition, NASA recommends that eclipse watchers refer to the AAS’s website for a list of reputable vendors selling solar glasses and viewers. (https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters)

Fire and EMS departments: You can help alert community residents to the dangers of these fake glasses and viewers by spreading the word through appropriate communications channels, especially social media.

How to view the 2017 solar eclipse safely

Remind community residents that they can experience the eclipse safely, but it is vital that they protect their eyes at all times with the proper solar glasses and viewers. NASA safety tips for watching the eclipse.” (https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety)