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.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Welding sparks can travel as far as 35 feet, and spatter can bounce on the floor or fall through openings. About 6 percent of industrial fires resulting in loss of human life are due to unsafe welding or cutting operations.

These are the sources of hazards & body parts most vulnerable and some steps to prevent injuries:

1. Fire (from flame, sparks, & hot slag):
—Remove combustible materials from the area.
—Clean all flammable substances from the work surface.
—Cover wooden floors if possible.
—Keep a sand bucket and fire extinguisher nearby.
—Wear fire-resistant clothing.
—Perform welding in areas with fire-resistant floors or floors covered with fire-resistant shields.

2. Fumes (from heated metal):
—Work area should be well-ventilated.
—Wear approved respirator if required.
—Stop working if you feel ill.
—Use respirators to prevent inhaling dangerous fumes & gases.
—Check that ventilation is adequate when welding, and set fans to blow fumes away from you.

3 . Face (injuries to the face and eyes):
—Wear a face shield to protect against eye injuries from sparks, flying particles, and radiation.
—Realize that goggles may also be needed when chipping metal.

Gas welders:
—Check cylinders regularly for leaks.
—Store cylinders upright and secured in a separate, dry, ventilated, fireproof room.
—Keep cylinders away from heat and flammables, and keep oxygen away from flammable or explosive gases.
—Turn off cylinders when not in use.
—Don't drop or roll cylinders.

Arc welders:
—Turn off welders before touching electrical parts.
—Have separate ground for object being welded.
—Use the correct size cable, with intact insulation.
—Don't wear metal jewelry or weld in the rain.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Standing at Workstations

-->Precision work, such as writing or electronic assembly— should be 4"above elbow height.
-Light work, such as assembly line or mechanical jobs—just below elbow height.
-Heavy work with demanding downward forces—4"-6" below elbow height.
NOTE: If the work surface is not adjustable, provide a platform for shorter workers or pedestals on the work surface to raise the work up for taller workers.
At standing workstations, provide employees with either a sand-alone footrest or rail at least 4"-6" high. Elevating a foot puts the arch (called "lordosis") back in the low back, combats fatigue, & helps in recovery.
-Your feet can only be as comfortable as the footwear permits.
-Wear shoes that do not change the shape of your foot.
-Choose shoes that provide a firm grip for the heel. If the back of the shoe is too wide or too soft, the foot will slip causing instability & soreness.
-Wear shoes that allow freedom to move your toes. Pain & fatigue result if shoes are too narrow or too shallow.
-Ensure that shoes have arch supports. Lack of arch support causes flattening of feet.
-Tighten the lace instep of your footwear firmly. This helps prevent the foot from slipping inside the shoes or boots.
-Use padding under the tongue of the shoe or boot if you suffer from tenderness over the bones at the top of the foot.
-Consider using shock-absorbing cushioned insoles when walking or standing on cement or metal floors.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


To avoid storage accidents (like a heavy-laden falling shelf), sharp edges that stick out of stored items, or other risks:

DO’s :
• All storage racks & shelves are securely anchored in good condition.
• Employees stack materials on a flat base.
• Workers place heavy objects on the bottom.
• Use a ladder to reach stored items overhead.
• Workers wear gloves when handling materials to avoid splinters, fasteners, nails & sharp edges.
• Employees watch out for plastic or metal strapping, which can snap without warning.
• Proper disposal of trash and debris.
• Employees know how to use conveyors, cranes, hoists & other lifting devices.
• Make sure to have fire extinguishers that can contain storage classes of fires:
Class A — Combustibles (paper, wood, cardboard)
Class B — Liquid fuels (solvents, oil-based paints, gasoline)
Class C — Electrical fires

• Stack items so high that they block the fire sprinkler heads
• Pile materials too close to sources of heat or electricity
• Leave remnants of packing material on the floor
• Place items so that they stick out into walkways
• Stand under or beside loosely piled materials
• Lift improperly or lift more than one can carry safely

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why are Nanoparticles a Health Concern?

Little is known about the health effects of nanoparticles on workers. Because of their very small size, nanoparticles (and ultrafine particles) may present unique safety and health concerns which are not present in larger-sized particles. Upon inhalation, they are deposited in the lungs to a greater extent than larger respirable particles. In experimental studies, these small-sized particles were shown to pass through skin, enter the bloodstream from the lungs, cross cell membranes, and even travel through nerves directly into the brain. Some studies have also shown that, for a given mass dose, the toxicity increases as the particle size decreases due to increased surface area.

At this point, very little is known about the potential safety hazards of nanomaterials beyond those associated with traditional materials. Combustible nanoscale materials could present a higher risk of fire and explosion than a similar quantity of coarser material. Depending on their composition and structure, some nanomaterials may initiate catalytic reactions and increase their fire and explosion potential in a way that would not be anticipated from their chemical composition

If appropriate, respiratory protection can supplement other control measures to further reduce worker exposure. At this point, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) believes that NIOSH-certified respirators should provide the expected levels of protection if properly selected and fit tested.

Nanoparticles can be controlled using methods similar to those typically used with fine particles: engineering controls, good work practices, proper housekeeping, and respiratory protection. Enclosing the process can isolate the particles. Properly designed local exhaust ventilation (LEV) will capture the particles at the source, keeping them out of the general work environment and the worker’s breathing zone.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tips on Working Safe Around Forklifts

-No standing between parked forklifts & large unmoving objects.
-Never walk under the elevated loads of a forklift.
-Pay attention to what’s going on around you. Forklifts can have quiet motors.
-Listen for horns & look for flashing lights.
-Stop at corners & doorways; look both ways just as on the street.
-Never hitch a ride on a fork. (Nunca pida que lo lleven en un montacargas.)
-Never engage in horseplay around a forklift. (Nunca bromee cerca del montacargas.)
-Let the forklift operator know if you are working nearby.
-Do not drive forks with the forks raised high.
-Post a set of forklift operating rules as required for forklift drivers to see.
-Give the right of way to pedestrians. Keeps arms, hands & legs inside your forklift.
-Park away from traffic on a flat surface. If you have to park on a slope, chock the forklift wheels. [Why?- A driver was crushed between a lift and a flatbed trailer. Parking on a sidewalk slightly higher than the truck he went to straighten pallets on the trailer, fork rolled forward, fatally pinned him between trailer’s edge & mast. Statistics from CA Fatality Assessment & Control Evaluation Program (FACE).]

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nanotech - it's SO small

Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at dimensions between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick; a single gold atom is about a third of a nanometer in diameter. We're talking small.

Unusual physical, chemical, and biological properties can emerge in materials at the nanoscale. Going to this website shows illustrations of just what size this means visually. The topic brings to mind safety issues that require thought like respiratory, absorption, and others still being discussed by experts. Click on this government site >>

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Powered Tools Checklist (for you):

OSHA 1910 - Subpart P - Hand and Portable Powered Tools and Other Handheld Equipment

_Are grinders, saws and similar equipment provided with appropriate safety guards?
_Are power tools used with the correct shield, guard, or attachment, recommended by the manufacturer?
_Are portable circular saws equipped with guards above and below the base shoe?
_Are circular saw guards checked to assure they are not wedged up, thus leaving the lower portion of the blade unguarded?
_Are rotating or moving parts of equipment guarded to prevent physical contact?
_Are all cord-connected, electrically-operated tools and equipment effectively grounded or of the approved double insulated type?
_Are effective guards in place over belts, pulleys, chains, sprockets, on equipment such as concrete mixers, air compressors, etc.?
_Are portable fans provided with full guards or screens having openings 1/2 inch or less?
_Is hoisting equipment available and used for lifting heavy objects, and are hoist rating and characteristics appropriate for the task?
_Are ground-fault circuit interrupters provided on all temporary electrical 15 and 20 ampere circuits, used during periods of construction?
_Are pneumatic and hydraulic hoses on power-operated tools checked regularly for deterioration or damage?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Electrical Safety

What can you do to prevent ELECTRICAL ACCIDENTS?

• Ground your equipment. Grounding drains the dangerous current leaks into the earth. An electrical device is grounded if the cord has a 3-wire plug & requires a 3-way receptacle to accommodate it. Equipment grounding is especially important on metal surfaces. (Equipment need not be grounded if it is double insulated; a label usually indicates this.)

• Always remove cords from receptacles by the plug; pulling cords damages them. Do not pinch cords in doors, drawers, equipment, etc. this causes damage.

• Don't allow electrical cords on hallways floors where they’re walked on, or oil / grease spilled on them; this increases, damage & the possibility of accidents.

• Inspect electrical equipment before using it. Look for broken / bent plugs, frayed cords, bare wires, smoke, sparks from switches or controls, liquids spilled in or on equipment, or erratic operation. If you notice these defects, or if you feel a tingle at controls, don't use it; send it for repair. It’s not just a shock hazard, defective equipment can cause property fires.

o Bare wires or conductors.
o Missing junction box covers.
o Broken receptacles & covers.
o Holes in electrical panels, junction boxes or receptacles where knockouts have been removed.
o Spliced electrical cords.
o Cords with missing ground prongs.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Confined space – is a space defined by the existence of ALL of the following conditions:
1. Large enough and so configured that an employee can physically enter and perform assigned work; and
2. Limited OR restricted means for entry or exit; and
3. Not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

Permit-Required Confined Space - A confined space that has, in addition to the three conditions above, 1 or MORE of the following characteristics:
1. Contains or has a known potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere;
2. Contains a material with the potential for engulfment of an entrant;
3. Has an internal configuration such that and entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or a floor which sloped downward and tapers to a small cross-section; OR
4. Contains recognized serious safety or health hazards.

Potential confined spaces need to be evaluated & labeled with a sign if reqd. Some confined spaces do not allow for a sign. For example, sewer & storm drains entered through manholes are to be considered permit required confined spaces, whether labeled or not. Employees must not rely solely on a warning sign. Employees must be trained by supervisors to recognize areas that may be confined spaces – and not enter these areas until a determination is made.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Everyone knows to bend their knees when they lift but what if you can’t? When lifting over a large box or a rail with barrier you can not get close enough so the Golfer’s Lift comes into play.

Place one hand on the rail or fixed barrier edge to support yourself. Keep your back straight still. Then bend forward at your hips.

Remember to stretch and raise your one leg back out on the supported side behind you for counter balance – as if you were standing on one leg but leaning downward.

Test your lift load and verify a good grip. Then lift and look up while pushing off with the support hand.

You lower your raised leg normally now and move away with out twisting your back. Simple.
• Keep it Simple…Save your back!