Thursday, December 24, 2009

Identify Your Hazards!

A "hazard" is defined as a condition or changing set of circumstances that presents a potential for injury, illness, or property damage. The potential or inherent characteristics of an activity, condition, or circumstance which can produce adverse or harmful consequences.

An "accident" is defined as an unfortunate event often the result of carelessness or ignorance. An unforeseen & unplanned event or circumstance resulting in an unfavorable outcome.

Questions should be asked, to help predict what could go wrong on jobs & how risks might be controlled:

• Is the site & job the same as described?
• Are the necessary materials available to perform the work?
• Does everyone have the proper tools to perform tasks at hand?
• Are there enough workers to handle the job? Have they all had safety training?
• Are environmental conditions (light, noise, weather) a factor?
• Are there too many people in the area to work safely?
• Have other sub's on the job been notified about hazardous tasks or materials? • Anticipate, Evaluate & control Hazards!

Save time to think ahead...Save all your workers & colleagues from accidents!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fall Protection

What are the two basic types of FALL PROTECTION?
• Fall restraint systems, like guardrails. These keep you from falling.
• Fall arrest systems, like safety nets. These break your fall.

When should you tie off with a harness & lines if there are no guardrails?
• Cal/OSHA’s main rule is to tie off when the drop is 7½ feet or more.
• There are exceptions to the 7½ ft rule for some trades, e.g. ironworkers & roofers.

Safety nets-When & where should I use them?
• If it is not practical to tie off.
• Should be placed no more than 30-ft below the work area.
• Should extend from 8-13 ft beyond the structure you’re working on and no work proceeds unless the net is placed.

What do you check with fall protection equipment.
• Equipment is installed & used according to the mfr’s instructions.
• Equipment is safety-approved. Look for (ANSI) label
• Everything is in good condition. Remove from service any lanyard or drop line that broke someone’s fall, is frayed & worn.
• You have the right equipment for the job. e.g safety belts are not allowed in fall arrest systems.

Where should you place the anchor end of a lanyard?
• Anchor it at a level no lower than your waist. Limit any fall to a max of 4-ft.
• Anchor it to a substantial structural member, or to a securely rigged catenary or pendant line.
• Don’t anchor to a pipe.

If it’s not practical to tie off or use a safety net what then?
• If usual protection measures are impractical or create a greater hazard, Cal/OSHA allows an employer to develop a fall protection plan.
• The plan allows work to be done in a designated area without normal fall protection. But, alternate measures must be used to reduce falls including special training for workers, & constant observation by a safety monitor.
• Areas without fall protection are called “controlled access zones” -- that only certain trained workers can enter.
• Avoid a fall...Save yourself the pain!