Safety Links’ Trevor Reschny, CSP featured in new book, Accidents Waiting To Happen by Rick Dalrymple

Accident Waiting To Happen Book

Trevor Reschny, CSP, president of Safety Links Inc. has recently been featured in the new book “Accident Waiting To Happen: Best Practices In Workers’ Comp Administration and Protecting Corporate Profitability” by Rick Dalrymple, CPIA, CMIP.

Be sure to turn to page 191 for “Behavior Based Safety Systems (Modern Safety Management)” by Reschny, covering topics: The Safety Evolution, Traditional Safety Programs Yields Marginal Success, Modern Safety Management Model, and Behavior based Safety.

To purchase a copy, visit your local bookstore or online at http://www.amazon.com/Rick-Dalrymple/e/B00D4NJ9VG/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1.

Accident Waiting To Happen Book

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OSHA announces new National Emphasis Program for occupational exposure to isocyanates

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced a new National Emphasis Program to protect workers from the serious health effects from occupational exposure to isocyanates. OSHA develops national emphasis programs to focus outreach efforts and inspections on specific hazards in an industry for a three-year period. Through this NEP, OSHA will focus on workplaces in general, construction and maritime industries that use isocyanate compounds in an effort to reduce occupational illnesses and deaths.

“Workers exposed to isocyanates can suffer debilitating health problems for months or even years after exposure,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Through this program, OSHA will strengthen protections for workers exposed to isocyanates.”

Isocyanates are chemicals that can cause occupational asthma, irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat, and cancer. Deaths have occurred due to both asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis from isocyanates exposure. Respiratory illnesses also can be caused by isocyanates exposure to the skin. Isocyanates are used in materials including paints, varnishes, auto body repair, and building insulation. Jobs that involve exposure to isocyanates include the spray-on polyurethane manufacturing of products such as mattresses and car seats, and protective coatings for truck beds, boats, and decks.

OSHA’s Web page on Isocyanates provides additional information on recognizing potential hazards, as well as OSHA standards that address isocyanates in the general, construction and maritime industries.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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To read the original press release, visit http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=24273.

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Best Practices for Nail Guns

I bet if you surveyed your employees who regularly use nail guns you would find that most of them have had at least one nail gun incident.

These tools have made production much faster and safer however they demand some respect!

Here are some basic rules for using your nail gun:

  • Never use your nail gun with the nose guard safety spring missing.
  • Always read and follow the instructions provided with the tool.
  • Wear safety glasses (trust me on this one!).
  • Do not point the tool towards yourself or others, no matter how far away they are.
  • When you are moving about the work area – keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  • When leaving the tool unattended, turn off the air supply or disconnect the air hose.
  • Never rest the gun against any part of your body, or try to climb a ladder with the gun cradled against your body.
  • Do not work above other trades. Always be aware of the possible danger to your workmates, and take whatever precautions are required.
  • Do not use any nail that is not of a type suited to the nail gun and the purpose for which it is being used.

Remember that a nail gun is a time saving tool — but it cannot save the time when you are in the emergency room.

Use it safely! To learn more or to schedule equipment operation training, visit https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/equipment-operation.

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Chemical Safety In The Workplace

The inherent hazards of chemicals can be reduced by minimizing the quantity of chemicals on hand. However, when chemicals must be used, proper storage and handling can reduce or eliminate associated risks.

Proper storage information can usually be obtained from the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), label or other chemical reference material. As required by OSHA, a SDS must be on hand for every chemical in your workplace. The SDS and chemical label can be consulted for information on special storage requirements. The SDS can also answer questions such as:

  • Is the chemical a flammable or combustible?
  • Is the chemical a corrosive?
  • Does the chemical need to be stored other than at ambient temperature?
  • Is the chemical an oxidizer or reducer?
  • Is the chemical light sensitive?
  • Does the chemical require any special handling procedures?

Typical storage considerations may include temperature, ignition control, ventilation, segregation and identification. Proper segregation is necessary to prevent incompatible materials from inadvertently coming into contact. If incompatible materials were to come into contact, fire, explosion, violent reactions or toxic gases could result. When segregating chemicals, acids should not be stored with bases, and oxidizers should not be stored with organic materials or reducing agents. A physical barrier and/or distance is effective for proper segregation.

If cabinets are used to segregate chemicals, consider the compatibility of the chemicals with the cabinet. For example, corrosives, like strong acids and caustics, will corrode most metal cabinets. Non-metallic or epoxy-painted cabinets are available and will provide a better service life with these types of chemicals. However, it is recommended that hydrochloric acid not be stored in any metal cabinet. Some other acids and bases may damage the painted surfaces of a cabinet if a spill occurs.

There are cabinets available specifically for flammable and combustible materials. It is important to be aware of maximum allowable container size and maximum quantities for storage in cabinets based on the class of the flammable. The class of a flammable or combustible is determined by its flash point and boiling point.

The following chart lists the maximum volume of flammables and combustibles that can be stored in a single flammable storage cabinet.

*Not more than 60 gallons may be Class I and Class II liquids. No more than 120 gallons of Class III liquids may be stored in a storage cabinet, according to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(3) and NFPA 30 Section 4-3.1.

NOTE: Not more than three such cabinets may be located in a single fire area, according to NFPA 30 Section 4-3.1.

One more thing…..Do Not Store Chemicals Alphabetically

For ease of locating chemicals, many storerooms organize chemicals alphabetically. However, chemical storage based upon an alphabetical arrangement of chemicals may inadvertently locate incompatible materials in close proximity. A few examples of this potentially dangerous storage method are demonstrated by the following pairs of incompatible materials:

If you want more information on chemical storage assessments or GHS/HazCom training contact Randy Free. 407-353-8165 or email him at rfree[at]safetylinks.net

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Best Practices in Heat Stress Prevention

The season for high temperatures and humidity has arrived, making heat stress a serious concern for anyone working outside. Heat stress occurs because we often build up heat faster than we can dissipate it.  Too much heat can make us tired, hurt our job performance, and increase our chances of several heat related injuries including:…

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Residential Construction Is Back

Residential Construction

The residential construction industry has picked back up. If you work in the industry you already know that it’s still not at “boom” levels but there are tens of thousands of people working, and subsequently at risk, in the our local home-building industry.

Many Hazards

Residential Construction

A disproportional high number of people are killed and injured in the residential construction industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) has stated that almost a quarter of on-the-job fatalities in construction occur in residential work. Four hazards – falls, electrical hazards, contact with objects, and struck by impacts – cause 93 percent of these fatalities, and a variety of other hazards contribute to home building’s many serious injuries.

Lack of Accountability

Despite all the dangers posed by residential construction tasks, the perception in the residential construction industry is that safety doesn’t matter because the projects are often small-scale. This is particularly unfortunate because home building is a gateway to construction work, so many of the workers are inexperienced with construction hazards. Further, because the sector is largely staffed by immigrant labor formal skill and safety training is rare, and inadequate on-the-job training is the norm. As a result, safety is almost never communicated to the employees on site.

Falls and Scaffolds

Falls are the most common among framing and roofing workers who think for some reason that there are different fall protection requirements in residential construction than there is in commercial construction. This perception is completely wrong from both a hazard perspective and from a compliance perspective. After all, a 6 foot fall is a 6 foot fall no matter what type of building you fall from. In late 2010 OSHA discontinued some of their interim policies regarding fall protection in residential construction so that now the fall protection requirements are the same for all types of construction. For more information visit the OSHA residential construction page. http://www.osha.gov/doc/topics/residentialprotection/index.html

Nail Guns

Another issue of increasing concern is the use of nail guns. Serious wounds and even deaths have resulted from the use of nail guns. Nail guns are designed with a safety feature which requires two actions to fire including contact with a surface and a separate trigger squeeze. The problem is that people often disable the critical safety feature so that the gun will fire with only the trigger squeeze. This is an extremely dangerous idea!

If you work in the residential construction industry and would like to learn about the simple things you can do to improve the safety on your site please contact Randy Free. 407-353-8165 or email him at rfree(at)safetylinks.net

Also click on the links below for more information on our residential specific courses including “Safety Basics” https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/construction-safety-courses/safety-basics and “Residential Fall Protection” https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/construction-safety-courses/residential-fall-protection-user-level

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Senator Calls Out White House for Logjam in Workplace Safety Rulemaking

As workplace safety and health advocates figure out how to fix workplace safety regulations in the wake of the West, Texas explosion, they agree that one focus should be speeding the passage of new rules. Though the notoriously slow rulemaking process wasn’t a factor in the West, Texas explosion, it has been the cause of numerous other workplace fatalities, and could delay efforts to prevent another tragedy like West.

For instance, four years before a tragic explosion in West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine as a result of coal dust build-up, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board issued a report recommending that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) write a rule to prevent the accumulation of combustible dust. But it was not until 2009 that OSHA began the process of gathering information to write a rule. Then in 2010, OSHA downgraded the rule to a “long term action,” delaying the draft rule’s required approval by a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel (SBARP). On April 5, 2010, the coal dust at Upper Big Branch sparked, and the resulting explosion killed 29 miners.

Yet the combustible-dust rule is still awaiting SBARP pre-approval.

Keith Wrightson, worker safety and health advocate for the watchdog group Public Citizen, says, “Based on previous experience with OSHA, it is likely that it will take 8 to 12 years to issue a final rule for combustible dust.”

To read the full article, visit http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/15003/senator_calls_out_white_house_for_logjam_in_workplace_safety_rules/.

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Best Practices in Eye Protection

Eye injuries are one of the easiest of injuries to avoid. It’s simple: Wear Safety Glasses! There are many kinds of eye protection on the market today. No matter what the situation or how “cool” you want to look, the eye protection you need is available.

True Story:

A local aluminum contractor began encouraging his eighteen year-old son to wear safety glasses while working for him. The son finally relented, when aluminum dust started getting in his eyes. About one week later, he was applying some material with an air powered staple gun. Unfortunately the staple ricocheted back towards his face and struck the safety glasses’ lens. The staple hit with such force that the lens was cracked and his eyebrow and cheekbone was bruised. There is no doubt that the safety glasses saved his eye!

What causes eye injuries?

Flying particles causes more than 70% of the eye incidents in construction. Injured workers estimated that nearly three-fifths of the objects were smaller than a pin head. Most of the particles were said to be traveling faster than a hand-thrown object when the incident occurred.

How can eye injuries be prevented?

Always wear effective eye protection. To be effective, the eyewear must be of the appropriate type for the hazard encountered and properly fitted and maintained.

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Tips for rigging

Workers involved in hoisting and rigging must exercise care when selecting and using slings.  The selection of slings should be based upon the size and type of the load, and the environmental conditions of the workplace. Slings tend to be placed into three groups: chain, wire rope and mesh, fiber rope and synthetic web.  Each…

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Breaking News: Fertilizer Plant explodes near Waco, TX

Between five and 15 people are thought to have been killed by a huge explosion at a fertiliser plant near Waco in the US state of Texas.

More than 160 people were injured as dozens of homes and buildings were destroyed in the evening blast.

Emergency services are still going from home to home, in the darkness, trying to rescue any survivors.

A number of firefighters were tackling a blaze at the scene when the explosion happened, and are still missing.

Read the full story on http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22195495.

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