Saturday, February 25, 2017


A lot of old pallets are never discarded when they should be! They are stacked in a corner and not used except as a last resort when there are no good ones left. Too many times we hear that a pallet has broken and the freight has fallen to the floor. This not only causes freight damage but can also result in equipment damage--or worse yet, in employee injury or death.

Please take a moment to review the following safety tips for working around palletized loads:

1. Develop a pallet inspection program. Before you use a pallet, inspect for cracks, weaknesses, and other damage. If you find damage, mark it unsafe for use until it is fixed or thrown away. This can prevent a lot of potential problems.

2. When loading a pallet, make sure the load is centered and not out of balance. If the pallet is holding several loose items, make sure the entire load is secured with shrink wrap or banding.

3. Exercise caution when stacking several pallets high.

4. Make sure the stack does not lean because of weak or broken segments, may cause the whole pile to fall over. Always know the load limit of the pallet jack & forklift you are using. Neither the pallets nor mechanical lifting devices should be overloaded.

5 .Load limits should also be established and marked on warehouse floors--balconies, mezzanines, etc. Always comply with these.

6. Make sure your forklift has an overhead cage or screen to protect the driver from falling objects when merchandise is being stacked overhead.

- Remember--thinking ahead can save you a lot of trouble. It is a waste of production time & effort to reload a pallet that's fallen. Think $.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Fork Lift Training Can be Worth It

This is worth watching just to learn from what COULD happen. Press the links below.

Video opens in YouTube - click on the picture above or for a bigger view press on these next words: FORKLIFT FAILS
Very Popular video it seems ! -
(The word "Compilation" is misspelled on YouTube sorry - but still worth it.)

Saturday, July 30, 2016


CA employers w/ outdoor places of employment must comply with the Heat Illness Prevention Standard - the elements include: 

·       Access to Water
·       Access to Shade
·       Weather Monitoring and Acclimatization
·       High Heat Procedures
·       Employee and Supervisory Training
·       Written Procedures Including
·       Emergency Response
·       Locate the water containers as close as practicable given the working conditions and layout of the work site. Maintain it readily accessible – and encourage the frequent drinking of water.    

Link from the state to a free written program (9-pages)= 


When the temperature exceeds 85°F: Have and maintain one or more areas of shade at all times, when employees are present and locate shade as close as practical to the employee work area. Accommodate at least 25% of the employees on the shift at any one time. However, retain the ability to permit access to all workers requesting it.

Additional rules apply for some industries when the temperature equals or exceeds 95°F - You must implement additional preventive measures:
1. Ensure effective communication (by voice, observation or electronic means).
2. Observe employees for alertness and signs and symptoms of heat illness.
3. Give more frequent reminders to drink plenty of water.
4. Closely supervise new employees, for the first 14 days.

(remember this is for employers with any outdoor places of employment)

Training literature for employee (EE):

Cal-OSHA Link to this EE literature:

Fed-OSHA Quick Card info on Heat=  

General tips on typical heat:

  •   Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  •   NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  •   Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your doctor how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  •  Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90’s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower/bath, or moving into AC is a much better way to cool off.
  •  Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. (If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.) Call a local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
Where and when does this standard apply?

This standard applies to outdoor places of employment. In addition, the following industries are subject to additional requirements in high heat (over 95°F or above):
  1. Agriculture 
  2. Construction 
  3. Landscaping 
  4. Oil and gas extraction, and -
  5. Transportation and delivery of agricultural products and of construction or other heavy materials (e.g. furniture, lumber, freight, cargo, cabinets, industrial or commercial materials). 
eTool link for details=

Monday, May 25, 2015

Your Emergency Planning Effort

Take small steps to increase your disaster preparedness. First, know your risks at home and at work. What industry do you work in? Are there chemical, fire, or other physical hazards? Where do you live and work and what are the earthquake, flood, wildfire, risks? Knowing your risks helps you identify necessary supplies, equipment, and procedures.

Know the procedures for evacuations, spill cleanup, earthquakes, and fire suppression. Be familiar with the alarm systems at work and home (silent, audible, strobes, speakers, etc.). Know where the nearest exits are and use them. Know where you should assemble outside the building to check in.

Make a home emergency plan and discuss with your family. Everyone should know how to communicate and where to meet in a disaster. Make special disaster plans for pets and family members with special needs along with schools and daycare facilities.

Build your disaster kit at home, work, and in the car. Begin with water and food. Add a first aid kit. Consider a radio or phone with phone lists. Add tools such as a flashlight, scissors, and knife. Add necessary medications, eyeglasses, comfortable shoes, warm clothes, and blankets.

Be trained in CPR and First Aid so that you can help others if they are hurt. Know how to use a fire extinguisher safely. Practice and drill emergency procedures so that you will be calm, capable, and prepared when disaster strikes. Think safe! Don't Panic.

For more tips, see the California Office of Emergency Services website at

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bicycling in Traffic & Safety

Plan ahead
• If you are familiar with the traffic patterns, be sure to get in the correct position early.
• Keep in mind the relative speed between you and other traffic; plan accordingly.
• Be aware of road conditions that could block your progress across lanes.
• Look for traffic, pedestrians, and hazards in front of and behind you.
• Identify lane markings and traffic control devices affecting the next intersection.
• Note bus stops, driveways, crosswalks, and other special traffic zones.
• Signal your intention to turn or change lanes if you and other traffic are moving at a uniform speed.
• Signal when oncoming traffic can react safely.
• If you get caught between lanes while crossing traffic, ride the white line until clear.

If traffic is too heavy while changing lanes, use crosswalks. Ride to red light then move to left turn lane if volume and speed do not allow crossing. The more comfortable you are riding a bicycle in traffic, the more routes you will have available to you. Practice your safety skills and riding habits so you will be ready to use them.
Be safe.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Before installing (or allowing continued use), ensure that every immersion heater is properly controlled with a temperature regulating switch that will detect an over-temperature condition, trigger an alarm, and immediately turn off the unit.

All immersion heaters should also be equipped with a low-level switch to detect the process fluid reaching a level no less than one inch of fluid above the filament heating zone.

In any situation where water or other fluids are present, ground fault circuit interruption (GFCI) protection must be installed to prevent the risk of employees contacting nearby fluids that may be electrically charged, which could cause a shock injury.

Lastly, never allow immersion heaters to be used with flammable liquids.

Maintenance = Immersion heaters should be inspected, tested, and serviced at least monthly, or in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. If issues are identified, the heater involved should be immediately removed from service until appropriate repairs are completed.

Remember - No piece of equipment, machinery or tooling is designed to last forever.

A more comprehensive inspection and maintenance should be performed annually by qualified personnel. The timing of both monthly and annual inspections or service should be part of the company’s preventative maintenance program.

These proactive efforts will help ensure continued use of each immersion heater will be as safe as possible.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


A proactive Electrical Maintenance Program can prevent fires in buildings and ensure a safe and reliable electrical system. A proactive step to help maintain your building from the risks of fires is to conduct a periodic electrical testing or assessment of your buildings by a certified electrician. This will help find areas of potential overheating. This useful proactive action step should best be tried every 5-years.

This step will help control demand overloads of older electrical systems that have not been upgraded. It will control fires from deteriorated maintenance and deteriorated conditions from your electrical system. And maintenance can control fire risk from any possibly improper installations that can create hazardous electrical conditions by themselves.

There are various root causes of fires due to wiring overheating alone and these must be controlled with maintenance.

On overload is an overcurrent higher than usual that is forced or confined in the same normal path or wire.

When there is a short circuit, the path of the electrons is separated. This can be for just a bit, but the electron flow goes off the normal path.

Electrical arcs form between wires or a within a connection where there is a space.

Insulation starts to degrade with age, heat, and other contaminates like fluids. A short circuit is the most extreme form of insulation failure.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014



In order to replace a breaker one needs to turn off all branch circuit breakers and the main circuit breakers. You should check for voltage on adjacent breakers and never assume they have been turned off. A certified electrician can help remove or replace main breakers and disconnect a wire safely from the faulty breaker. They can recheck it when it is replaced for any other malfunctioning equipment, and replace those if needed too.

In addition to protection against electric shock, electrical installations should be designed so that there will not be any parts that will overheat. The electronic components and their plastic or rubber insulations themselves have a maximum temperature. If that temperature is exceeded then that component may fail and cause a short circuit. Breakers if maintained will help catch that.

Electrical cables and equipment are not 100% efficient either and should be reviewed. For every kilowatt of power passing through there will be a few watts of heat dissipated in the cable due to the resistance in the copper (or other) conductors and the losses in electronic components. This heat will cause the equipment to heat up. How much it heats up depends on how fast the heat is conducted away from the cable or the equipment.

Monday, April 7, 2014


A driver’s best defense against becoming involved in a rear-end collision is to create a “safety cushion” by keeping at least two seconds between them and the vehicle in front of them. This allows time for the driver to perceive and react to a roadway hazard, ultimately avoiding an accident. For added protection, when driving in poor conditions, such as driving at night, in bad weather, in heavy traffic, and through roadway construction, drivers should double their safety cushion to four seconds.

Many drivers are tempted to follow more closely than they should. This practice, commonly referred to as “tailgating,” is risky and can lead to rear-end collisions or other accidents. When drivers tailgate, they significantly reduce their stopping distance—or the distance needed to come to a complete and safe stop.

Stopping distance is much longer for a heavy truck than it is for a passenger vehicle, such as a car. In fact, it takes about twice the distance to stop a heavy truck than it does a car. Perception and reaction times are two separate intervals of time. Perception is the time we need to see and process the roadway hazard, while reaction time is the time needed for a driver’s body to physically react to their brain’s perception. When a driver tailgates, both are significantly reduced. According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, it takes alert drivers approximately two seconds to see a roadway hazard and react to it.

So--The more space a driver allows between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them, the more time they have to see a hazard and react safely.

Friday, January 3, 2014


Fog creates dangerous driving conditions & has been the cause of a high number of accidents and fatalities. Fog is just a cloud form at earth's made of tiny water droplets in the air.If you must drive in fog, follow these safety tips:

• Slow down and do not drive faster than your
• Be cautious, fog can become thicker without
warning and without being noticed until it is too
late to react.
• Increase following distance to ensure enough
reaction time and stopping distance.
• Turn on all your lights-including your hazard
lights. Use low beam headlights and fog lights.
Do not use high beams.
• Turn on your 4-way flashers to give vehicles
approaching from behind a better opportunity to
see and notice your vehicle.
• Use windshield wipers and defroster as necessary
to maximize visibility.
• Be ready for emergency stops by other vehicles.
• If possible, drive in a “pocket” where no other
vehicles are around you.
• Turn off your cruise control so you are in control
of your vehicle.
• Use the right edge of the road or roadside
reflectors as a guide.
• Listen for traffic you can’t see.
• Do not change lanes or pass other vehicles, unless
absolutely necessary.
• Remember that other drivers have limited sight
distance and that fog makes the road wet.
• Signal early, and when you use your brakes, don’t
stomp on them.
• Watch out for slow-moving and parked vehicles.
• If you cannot see, pull completely off the road
preferably at a rest area or truck stop.
• If you pull off the road, turn on your hazard
flashers immediately.
Remember to practice safety. Don’t learn it by

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


DIACETYL - is an artificial flavoring that smells like butter. It is used to give food products such as popcorn, chips, candies, and pastries a buttery taste. Workers in facilities that use or produce food flavorings may breathe vapors, dusts, or mists containing diacetyl. This puts them at risk of developing bronchiolitis obliterans, a serious & irreversible lung disease that can lead to lung transplants and death.

Substitution: Use flavorings known to be less hazardous.
Engineering Controls: Use closed processes to transfer flavorings. Isolate the mixing room and other areas where flavorings are handled. Maintain these areas under negative pressure relative to the rest of the facility. Use local exhaust ventilation at sources of potential exposure.
Admin Controls: Restrict access to areas where flavorings are openly handled. Use work practices that limit the release of vapors and dusts. Keep containers tightly sealed.
Respiratory Protection: For routine ops, respirators may be needed until other measures can be implemented. They may also be needed during maintenance activities & emergencies. At a min. use 1/2mask respirators equipped with organic vapor cartridges & particulate filters.
Medical Monitoring: For early detection of disease this should include spirometry, a test that measures how well a person’s lungs function.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

SDS's - Hazard Communication Standard Required by GHS (Globally Harmonized System)

That changeover from the MSDS to the new Safety Data Sheet (SDS) has started and will take 4-years to transpire. The pictures in the new(M)SDS's will be easier to understand. No more Letter-M before the SDS! globally the format will look the same in China as in CALIFORNIA, or Brazil or London.

By December 1, 2013, you must train all employees that use, handle, or store chemicals in your workplace on two things: the SDS (sheets)themselves (in 16 parts now) and the new labels with and their picture based look.

When training, explain that the new format will make it easier to find the information employees need to work safely with hazardous chemicals such as:
•What the chemical is.
•Who makes or sells it and where they're located.
•Why the chemical is hazardous (including health & physical hazards).
•What exposure limits are recommended.
•How you can be exposed to the hazards & what conditions could increase the risk.
•How to handle the substance safely.
•What protection to use while working with it.
•What to do if you're exposed.
•How to handle a spill or other emergency.r

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Here's a checklist developed by NIOSH to help you evaluate your hearing conservation program. Use it to benchmark your progress and identify where improvement is needed.

•Has hearing protection training been conducted at least once this year?
•Is the training delivered by a qualified instructor?
•Was the success of each training program evaluated?
•Is the content revised periodically?
•Are managers and supervisors directly involved?
•Are posters, regulations, handouts, and employee newsletters used as supplements?
•Are personal counseling sessions conducted for employees who have problems with hearing protection devices or who show hearing threshold shift?

•Have supervisors been provided with the knowledge required to supervise the use and care of hearing protectors by their employees?
•Do supervisors wear hearing protection in appropriate areas?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Requirements for Pesticide Application & Respiratory Protection

On January 1, 2008 County Agricultural Commissioners began enforcing new respiratory protection regulations adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). These new regulations, found in Title 3, California Code of Regulations, Section 6739, Respiratory Protection are very similar to the Cal/OSHA regulations for respiratory protection. Below is a summary of some of the key elements Section 6739.

General Requirements. Employers must establish a written respiratory protection program and assure that employees use respirators if respiratory protection is required by label, restricted material permit conditions, regulation, or the employer. The program must be worksite-specific and include the following provisions, as applicable:

•Selection of respirators
•Medical evaluation
•Fit testing
•Proper routine and emergency use
•Cleaning, maintenance, and care
•Ensuring breathing air quality
•Training in respiratory hazards
•Training in respirator use
•Program evaluation

DPR has developed a sample respiratory protection program to assist. Find it in the guidance document HS-1513, Generic Guidelines for Development of a Respiratory Protection Program in Accordance with Department of Pesticide Regulation Requirements. This document also states appropriate qualifications for a program administrator.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Any tool powerful enough to slice through wood can do the same to human flesh, so chainsaw injuries are often serious. If you rent a saw, be sure to get a demonstration of how it works, including its safety features. Then make sure your saw is sharp, properly tensioned, and in good condition.

Some chainsaw injuries are caused by operator error. But, kickback is the greatest cause of injuries. In kickback, the upper chain “grabs” in the wood or an obstruction & forces the saw backward, causing operator to either lose control of the saw or lose balance. This brings the saw in contact with the body. Some chainsaws have chain brakes designed to instantly stop after kickback. These don’t prevent kickback, but can reduce severity of injury.

Carry the saw below your waist, with the engine off and guide bar pointed to the rear, so if you trip the saw drops behind you. It’s dangerous to work alone with chainsaws. Have a companion within calling distance.

If your saw is electric, make sure you use an extension cord that’s approved for outdoor use and don’t use the saw in a damp environment. Fuel your gasoline powered chainsaw outdoors -careful not to overfill or spill fuel. Never refuel a hot saw. Let it cool down & have a fire extinguisher near.

Friday, November 11, 2011


If you own or operate an ATV for agricultural work in California, the ATV should be licensed with the Dept.of Motor Vehicles.

Protective gear keeps you safe and in control of your ATV. Helmets certified for ATV use provide head protection & cut death risk by 1/2; they should be secure & impact resistant, yet allow peripheral vision. A helmet face shield, goggles, or glasses can provide eye protection from flying dirt, rocks, insects, or vegetation.

Gloves and boots protect your hands and feet, and allow you to maintain a firm grip and control over the ATV. Long sleeves & pants protect exposed skin; padded & reinforced clothing is ideal.

When riding, scan ahead and to the side for obstacles, uneven terrain, vehicles, people, & animals. Reduce speed to at least 15 mph if you see a potential hazard. Pay attention to guy wires & barbed wire fences; they are low profile and difficult to see.

Keep the ATV off of public roads; ATVs are only allowed to cross public roads. If you must cross a road, remember that ATVs are low to the ground and may not be visible. Lights, reflectors, & flags can make the ATV visible.

In CA, there are specific regulations for riders under 18-years of age. For more information, call your local Cal/OSHA office or visit the website

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What is a Work Related Injury?

An injury or illness must be work-related to be covered under OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping requirements (29 CFR 1904). That is, a causal connection must exist between the employment and the injury of illness for a case to be recordable.

OSHA has concluded that the employer is in the best position to determine work-relatedness, not an M.D. or the OSHA inspector. However, inspectors may second-guess employers, so you might consider erring on the side of caution. Use your best judgment, being aware that the consequences of over-reporting are minimal whereas underreporting can result in citations as well as a negative impression of the workplace on the part of the OSHA inspector.

OSHA considers an injury or illness to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness. Work-relatedness is presumed for an injury or illness resulting from events of exposures occurring in the work environment, unless an exception in Section 1904.5(b)(2) specifically applies or the employer can prove it is a pre-existing condition and nothing in the workplace aggravated it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

National Eye Institute - A Great Informative Site on Eye Info :

Eye injuries account for an estimated 100,000 physician visits per year at a cost of more than $175 million.

90% of sports-related eye injuries can be avoided with the use of protective eyewear. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards designed for a particular sport. Ordinary prescription glasses, contact lenses, and sunglasses do not protect against eye injuries. Safety goggles should be worn over them.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Eye Protection for Workers Near Eye Hazards – Regardless of Contact Lens Wear

NIOSH recommends workers be permitted to wear contact lenses when handling hazardous chemicals, provided that the safety guidelines below are followed & that contact lenses are not banned by regs or contraindicated by medical or industrial hygiene recommendations.

Still conduct a workplace eye injury hazard evaluation by including assessment:
• Chemical exposures
• Contact lens wear among affected employees
• Appropriate eye and face protection for contact lens wearers

At a minimum, an evaluation of the properties of the chemicals in use—include concentration, permissible exposure limits, known eye irritant/injury properties, form of chemical (powder, liquid, or vapor), and possible routes of exposure. An assessment for contact lens wearers needs to include a review of info about lens absorption, absorption for class of chemicals in use, & an account of injury experience for the employer or industry, if known.

NIIOSH says that wearing contact lenses do not appear to require enhanced eye protection. For chemical vapor, liquid, or caustic dust hazards, the minimum protection consists of well-fitting non-vented or indirectly vented goggles or full-face piece respirators. Close-fitting safety glasses with side protection provide limited chemical protection but do not prevent chemicals from bypassing the protection.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


For employees who use chrome plating baths, weld or cut chromium-containing metals, such as stainless steel; handle dry chromate-containing pigments or spray chromate-containing paints and coatings, this pertains.

• Hexavalent chromium enters the body in two ways: (1) inhaled when chromium dust, mist, or fumes are in the air, 2) particles can be swallowed if the dust gets on hands, clothing, or beard, or in food/beverages.

• Hexavalent chromium can irritate the respiratory tract in the nose, throat, & lungs. Repeated or prolonged exposure can damage the mucous membranes of the nasal passages causing ulcers. In some cases, septum damage (the wall separating nasal passages) develops a hole.

• Prolonged skin contact can result in dermatitis and skin ulcers. Some workers develop an allergic sensitization to chromium. Kidney damage has been linked to high dermal exposures.

• Hexavalent chromium is an eye irritant. Direct eye contact with chromic acid or chromate dusts can cause permanent eye damage.

• Wear respiratory protection.
• Wear protective clothing & eye-face protection if there is the potential that hexavalent chromium can come in contact with eyes or skin.
• Always use change rooms & washing facilities provided before eating, drinking, smoking, or using toilet.
• Remove contaminated clothing B4 entering designated eating & drinking areas.
• Use HEPA filter vacuuming to keep surfaces as free as possible of material containing hexavalent chromium.
• Collect/dispose of all waste in sealed, impermeable containers.
• Flush eye area immediately for at least 15 min. & get medical attention.
• For skin exposure, wash thoroughly with soap and water. Get medical attention if irritation persists.
• For inhalation, move the person to fresh air & get medical attention.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


• Insert plugs fully so that no part of prongs is exposed when the extension cord is used.
• Disconnecting? – pull the plug rather than the cord.
• Use only three-wire extension cords for appliances with three-prong plugs. Never remove the third (round or U-shaped) prong. It is a safety feature designed to reduce risk of shock & electrocution.
• Where furniture may be pushed against an extension cord where the cord joins the plug, use a special "angle extension cord," designed for use in these instances.
• Noticeable warming of plastic parts is expected when used at maximum rating. However, if cord feels hot or with softening of plastic, this is a warning that the plug wires or connections are failing & cord should be discarded / replaced.
• Never cover any part of an extension cord with newspapers, clothing, rugs, or any objects while the cord is in use. Never place an extension cord where it is likely to be damaged by heavy furniture or foot traffic.
• Don't use staples or nails to attach extension cords to a baseboard or to another surface. This could damage the cord and present a shock or fire hazard.
• Don't overload extension cords by plugging in appliances that draw a total of more watts than the rating of the cord.
• Use special, heavy duty extension cords for high wattage appliances such as air conditioners, portable electric heaters, and freezers.
• When using outdoor tools and appliances, use only extension cords labeled for outdoor use.
(From the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)

Friday, March 25, 2011


1. Add approved water only — not acid.
2. Keep electrolyte level above separator protectors.
3. Keep battery top clean and dry.
4. Keep flame and metal away from the battery top.
5. Keep vent caps tightly in place.
6. Do not use battery with specific gravity below 1.120.
7. Cool before charging or operating if battery is above 115ºF.
8. Charge only at proper voltage and ampere-hours.
9. Keep truck compartment and battery cover open during charging.
10 Have an eyewash station nearby! (or a sink converted into an eyewash)
.......CAUTION - DO NOT OVERFILL........

Approved Water — in most areas of the U.S., tap water is satisfactory of use in lead acid batteries. But, your manufacturer may advise otherwise upon request & area. Use distilled water when in doubt if the public water source is not approved.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


1. Develop a zero-tolerance policy toward energized work. Get serious about "no hot work." This includes conducting an electrical hazard analysis for energized work.
2. Get out and see what your workers are doing – in the shop or field).
3. Develop checklists or other ways to track who's qualified to perform which tasks (e.g. job-task analyses to provide a blueprint of employees' activities).
4. Train your employees–to be qualified to perform tasks. They must know the construction, operation, and hazards associated with the equipment they're using. Supervisors should be responsible for knowing what employees can do safely.
5. Develop safe work practices and procedures. Practices like energized electrical work permits, clearance procedures, & switching orders can help prevent accidents & can help document that right steps were taken. (Especially important in case of an accident.)
6. Perform periodic safety audits. When workers know they’ll be subject to random audits, they’ll try to maintain safe work procedures & practices.
7. Conduct job briefings any time the scope of the work changes significantly & when new or different hazards occur.
8. Be cautious about implementing safety awards programs, especially if they may discourage accident reporting.
9. Become familiar with NFPA 70E and the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations.
10. Document everything. Show a good-faith effort; OSHA will notice. "If it’s not in writing, you never did it."

Saturday, January 29, 2011


FLAMMABILITY is defined as how easily something will burn or ignite, causing fire or combustion. The degree of difficulty required to cause combustion of a substance is quantified through fire testing. Internationally, a variety of test protocols exist to quantify flammability. The ratings achieved are used in building codes, insurance requirements, fire codes & other regulations governing the use of building materials as well as the storage & handling of highly flammable substances inside & outside of structures and in surface and air transportation. For example, changing occupancy by altering the flammability of the contents requires the owner of a building to apply for a building permit to make sure that the overall fire protection design basis of the facility can take the change into account.

* National Burn Awareness Week, observed the first full week in Feb.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hand Washing - Simple Enough - for Flu Season that is...

Here are some facts about hand washing from the Oregon Department of Health Services:

Hand washing is the single most important thing you can do to avoid the flu or to avoid spreading illness. Adequate hand washing requires soap & clean, running water. Warm water is preferable. Lather up & scrub for 20 seconds.

Why use soap? It mixes with skin oil and loosens grease and dirt that may hold germs. If not available, use an alcohol-based gel as a substitute. Plain soap is a better choice than antibacterial soaps.

Wash your hands often. The average person touches eyes, nose, and mouth at least 200 times a day.

The most important times to wash hands are before preparing or eating food, after going to the bathroom or diapering a baby, before and after caring for someone who is sick or bleeding, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and after handling an animal, animal waste, or garbage.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Stair strength: Fixed stairways shall be designed and constructed to carry a load of five times the normal live load anticipated but never of less strength than to carry safely a moving concentrated load of 1,000 pounds.

Stair width of fixed stairways shall have a minimum width of 22 inches.

Handrails are important: If steps are greater than 44” wide then handrails must be on both sides; less than 44” tread – only one side.

Vertical clearance: should be at least 7 feet measured from the leading edge of the tread above any stair tread to an overhead obstruction (so you don’t it your head).

Winding stairways may be installed on tanks and similar round structures where the diameter of the structure is not less than five (5) feet. However, usually shall not be permitted except for special limited usage and secondary access situations where it is not practical to provide a conventional stairway.

Angle of stairway rise: Fixed stairs shall be installed at angles to the horizontal of between 30 deg. and 50 deg.