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Heat & Cold Stress

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Heat and Cold Stress are two risks that are often overlooked. But, the danger which extreme temperatures can inflict on a work crew or any one individual venturing out into the elements needs to be prepared for. The following is a short collection of resources available from several governmental and educational institutions on how to prepare for heat and cold stress.

Heat Stress

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

OSHA Quick Card

OSHA Fact Sheet

Oklahoma State University

Texas A&M University

 

Cold Stress

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

OSHA-DOL

Princeton University

Indiana and Purdue Universities

New OSHA Pictograms

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The new pictograms OSHA has adopted improve worker safety and health, conform with the GHS, and are used worldwide. Pictograms are graphic symbols used to communicate specific information about the hazards of a chemical. On hazardous chemicals being shipped or transported from a manufacturer, importer or distributor, the required pictograms consist of a red square frame set at a point with a black hazard symbol on a white background, sufficiently wide to be clearly visible. A square red frame set at a point without a hazard symbol is not a pictogram and is not permitted on the label.
Employers are responsible for maintaining the labels on the containers, including, but not limited to, tanks, totes, and drums. This means that labels must be maintained on chemicals in a manner which continues to be legible and the pertinent information (such as the hazards and directions for use) does not get defaced (i.e., fade, get washed off) or removed in any way.

For more information visit https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3636.pdf

Safety Topic: Heavy Machinery

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“There are a lot of risks in what we do. Whether it’s us being ground personnel or us overseeing what’s going on, there are a lot of inherent hazards. So, before any equipment can move on a job site, hazards need to be mitigated. Our communications with (equipment) operators and contractors needs to include the site hazards. “It is our responsibility to remain visible and aware while around heavy equipment as operators can become complacent.” Josh Belnap. Project Engineer and Field  Technician.

In today’s world heavy equipment is all around us. Drilling rigs, cranes/cherry pickers, rail cars and engines, scrapers, graders, bulldozers, loaders, cement/concrete trucks, track hoes/excavators, backhoes, bobcats, manlifts, forklifts, water trucks or many agriculture tractors are all considered heavy equipment. With so many heavy machines moving around us, it is extremely important to keep a watchful eye out for our own safety.  Machine-related injuries were ranked second after motor vehicle-related injuries among the leading causes of occupational injury fatalities, accounting for approximately 14% of total deaths. (1)

Keys to being safe while operation or working around heavy machinery are:

1) Maintain your equipment. Proper maintenance can help protect both the operator and anyone around from injury due to mechanical failure.

2) Be competent as an operator. If you are not qualified and experienced operating a piece of heavy equipment do not use it. Operator error is the leading cause for injuries while using machinery.

3) Be observant. As an operator it’s imperative that you first familiarize yourself for possible risks around you. These can included, but not limited to, overhead power lines, steep slopes or drop offs, and other ground obstructions. As a bystander of heavy equipment, you must understand your safety is in your own hands. Heavy machinery is big, bulky, and loud which makes it difficult for operators to see or hear others around them.

 

Sources

(1) NIOSH NTOF Data, 1980-1989. Retrieved from http://www.worksafecenter.com

Safety Topic: Stop Work

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The following is an excerpt from the Anderson Engineering Safety Meeting. The topic of discussion was Stop Work.

On a dark and dreary day high in the mountains of Colorado a lone worker entered a mine shaft with the expectation of another standard day at work.  It wasn’t long before the worker found himself sprinting out of the shaft his skin burning.  Earlier that day a crew was working on a pump system but ran into some complications. Rather than stopping work to reevaluate the situation and prevent a possible safety hazard, the crew gave the okay for work to continue, resulting in a coworker injured.

Steve Anderson shared this experience to Anderson Employees during this month’s safety meeting as an illustration of the importance of the Stop Work ADP. Steve began his discussion by defining stop work, “When a person identifies an unsafe condition, error, confusion, or lack of understanding that could result in harm to persons, the environment, or property, he or she shall immediately initiate a stop work command.” Steve further explained that an intervention of stop work can be as simple as noticing your shoelace has come untied.

“Often time weather can and should be the reason to initiate a stop work. Down in Louisiana and out around Kennecott lighting storms can move in very quickly. You should be able to swiftly recognize or carry with you a lighting meter to ensure your safety from these storms.”

Rex Ausburn further reinforced Steve’s point by sharing his experience in Louisiana where strict adherence has been placed on stopping work at the first sign of lighting and remaining in shelter for 30 minutes beyond the last sound of thunder as defined in the Anderson Define Practices.

Steve also shared a recent experience of Anderson Employees working in North Salt Lake who properly stopped work when conditions became unknown and potentially dangerous. While Ryan Anderson, Leigh Beem, Rob Holfeltz, Carma Scott, Daniel Smith, and Christian Sudol were conducting exploratory water sampling, the presence of a potentially harmful airborne chemical exceeded expectations. Foreseeing the potential for a serious injury the team halted the work until proper equipment and conditions could be met.

“Stopping work can often take courage to stand up and speak up about something that maybe unsafe or confusing. But, safety is the number one priority at Anderson and keeping yourself and all those around you safe requires individuals to be alert, recognize, and speak up when something doesn’t seem right”

 

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