Published Jul. 07, 2016 by Rachel Burger in Construction Management
Published Jul. 07, 2016 by Rachel Burger in Construction Management
In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 991 construction workers died on the job, with 38.7 percent of those fatalities resulting from falls. Fall protection is addressed in OSHA’s standards for the construction industry. This section highlights some of the OSHA standards,
There are a number of ways employers can protect workers from falls, including through the use of conventional means such as guardrail systems, safety net systems and personal fall protection systems, the adoption of safe work practices, and the provision of appropriate training. The use of warning lines, designated areas, control zones and similar systems are permitted by OSHA in some situations and can provide protection by limiting the number of workers exposed. Whether conducting a hazard assessment or developing a comprehensive fall protection plan, thinking about fall hazards before the work begins will help the employer to manage fall hazards and focus attention on prevention efforts. If personal fall protection systems are used, particular attention should be given to identifying attachment points and to ensuring that employees know how to properly use and inspect the equipment. The following references aid in recognizing and evaluating fall protection hazards in the workplace
An 18-year-old worker died after becoming entangled in a portable mortar mixer at a residential construction site. The victim was cleaning the mixer at the end of his shift to prepare it for the following day. A painter working near the victim heard yells for help and saw the victim’s arm stuck in the machine and his body being pulled into the rotating mixer paddles. He ran to the mixer and attempted to turn it off, but could not disengage the gears, so he yelled for help. A co-worker heard the commotion, ran to the machine and shut it off. Emergency medical services was called and responded within minutes. Rescue workers dismantled the drive mechanism to reverse the mixing paddles and extricate the worker. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Workers must be trained in safety procedures. A safety procedure that applies to this case is “lockout/tagout,” which requires turning off and disconnecting machinery or equipment from its energy source(s) before performing service or maintenance. In this example, the worker died when he was pulled into a mortar mixer that was actively operating and not locked out.
To prevent this, employers must:
Two young workers (ages 14 and 19) were killed at a grain storage facility in the Midwest when they were sent into a grain bin to “walk down the corn.” The grain bin was being emptied, and the workers’ task was to break up clumps by walking on them to make the corn flow out of the bin. The workers were not provided safety harnesses, and the machinery used for evacuating the grain was running. The suction created by the flowing grain pulled them in like quicksand and suffocated them. Workers should never be inside a grain bin when it is being emptied out, because a sinkhole can form and pull down the worker in a matter of seconds. OSHA standards prohibit this dangerous practice. This company ignored that rule as well as other protective safety requirements. In addition, child labor laws made it illegal for this company to employ a 14-year-old to work in a grain silo.
To prevent this, employers must:
Dave Fenton knew it was time to leave his job as a cook when he walked past a construction site in western Canada and found himself looking up jealously at the crane operator. “I thought to myself, the guy must have a great view of the mountains,” he says.
Fenton soon made the career switch to construction, but an accident nearly distorted his dream job into a nightmare. While working as a crane rigger, Fenton was struck in the head by an 80-pound aluminum beam, which fell from the equivalent of nine floors up. Though the beam broke his neck and shoulder and punctured his lung, Fenton was wearing a hard hat that deflected the weight of the beam from the center of his head. Just 110 days after the accident, he was back at work. “The hard hat saved my life, there’s no question in my mind,” he says.
Dangers Are Real and Accidents Do Happen
Unfortunately, not all accidents have such happy endings. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prominently features cautionary tales of young workers who were either injured or killed on the job.
A 20-year-old carpenter installing roof strings on a new apartment building fell from the second story and landed on a concrete walkway. The result: a skull fracture and serious brain injuries, which OSHA points out could have been prevented with the deployment of the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including an anchor, full-body harness and lifeline.
Accidents do happen on construction sites. But their likelihood and whether or not workers are hurt or killed depends in large part on preparation.
“Accidents are preventable if you do a Hazard Assessment (HA) and you implement the right PPE for the job and workers’ pay attention to what they’re doing,” says Shelly Baize, a safety specialist at MSC Industrial Supply.
A good starting point for safety managers is to make sure they understand and follow regulations regarding the use of PPE.
OSHA requires employers—
if there’s a possibility of electric shock, OSHA mandates—-
OSHA requires the use of a “Fall Arrest System” whenever people are doing their jobs 6 feet off the ground or higher.
PPE isn’t just limited to hard hats and harnesses, of course. Workers handling chemicals or doing welding need the right gloves, glasses and face shields. The use of steel-toe boots goes a long way toward avoiding injuries on construction sites.
Train and Retrain
Baize insists that outfitting workers with the right PPE must be accompanied by hard and regular training. Baize says it’s a good practice for safety managers to revisit training whenever workers are about to start a new job and whenever there’s a new hire. And don’t forget, any training that takes place must be documented.
“You can’t just throw a harness at someone and say, ‘go have fun.’ The training has to be documented and workers have to sign off on it,” she says.
“Those records need to be maintained so if OSHA comes in and takes a look, they’ll know you’re providing the right training.”
Do you have a story about how protective equipment saved you or a co-worker?
In his safety speech, the funny keynote speaker asked the audience, How many people here think an Accident Free Workplace is possible? Only about 10% raise their hand. Why? The resounding answer was because we are people and people make mistakes.
In the workplace, it is that one critical moment where that mistake can cost you your life. The safety motivational speaker asked an audience member to come up and he put socks on both hands to prove that accidents change people’s lives.
Without the use of his hands, this audience members life drastically changed, his freedom was taken away. That’s what accidents do. They impact quality of life. Not just his life, his family, his spouse, his workplace.
The safety keynote speaker drove the point home suggesting that kids think their parents can fix anything. (If you can’t fix it, you can go buy another one). But what if parents couldn’t help their kids anymore? They would have to go ask the neighbor to get the lawn mower fixed or to change a light bulb. Because their parents do everything for them, they aren’t able to do things for themselves.
The trouble is people hate change. If an accident happens that affects your mobility, that change is forced on you in a very distinct way. Many of the personal freedoms you once had, are gone.
If you want an accident free workplace, you have to be motivated. It is a big commitment. It has to be controlled, you can’t be up one day and down the next. You can’t be committed one day and not the next.
The funny motivational speaker cruised the audience and suggested that people who have been doing their job 20 years or longer are going to be the first to have an accident. The longer we are on the job, the easier it is to become complacent and to take safety for granted.
Seasoned professionals often take shortcuts because they know how to. It’s quicker, it’s faster and you think, if I can just get through this quickly, I can do get it done.
I was a motivational speaker for a safety conference where the group decided that the most important thing safety managers can do is provide regular safety speech. OSHA requires regular safety day speeches to provide an opportunity to collaborate and provide a broader idea of safety. Safety first
These safety keynotes are designed to remind and inspire employees to be safe on the job.
Good motivational safety speeches will be short and frequent. A safety speech will be from 5 to 15 minutes and should be considered at least once a week.
Like any good motivational talk a safety speech should have an Opening, Body and Close:
Opening. Say what your going to say.
To start a safety speech, consider the audience. Why is this information important? What makes it new and relevant for them? Give the audience at least one compelling reason that they should pay attention -and remember that the average attention span is 9 seconds or less. Give a basic outline of what you are saying and what your speech objective is.
Body. Unravel the content.
As a guideline, here are some things to consider in your safety day speech:
Talk about any new safety initiatives, considerations, near misses, errors, etc.
Reinforce your corporate commitment to safety and regulatory safety procedures.
Identify unsafe conditions or near errors and misses. This section should bring out some analogies and stories to engage the group. The more on the job examples, the more interesting and relevant your safety speeches will be.
Remind people of resources available to them when they have safety concerns.
Include a discussion or safety Q & A before you wrap up your safety motivational speeches. It is always better to close a safety talk in a memorable way, not with tentative question and answer interaction. Do this before your close your talk.
Please also read: Basic Study of Risk Assessment
Close. Include a Call to Action
A compelling close will specifically identify what you want people to do differently as a result of your motivational safety talk.
Some calls to action may be:
-Identify safety hazards in your immediate workplace
-Increase awareness of safety within your work division
-Promote safe work safe procedures to others
A safety attitude isn’t just reserved for the workplace. It’s much easier to embrace safety as a lifestyle where it is priority no matter what environment your in.
As a Industrialist/Employer, you are custodian of a safe and healthy working environment for your all staff. You are well aware with the safety risks within your site, as well as the measures you can take to counteract these risks.
PPE means personal protective equipment or equipment you use to guarantee your (own) safety.
Use PPE always and anywhere where necessary. Observe the instructions for use, maintain them well and check regularly if they still offer sufficient protection. But when do you use what type of protection?
These tips will help you on your way.
Wearing a helmet offers protection and can prevent head injuries. Select a sturdy helmet that is adapted to the working conditions. These days you can find many elegant designs and you can choose extra options such as an adjustable interior harness and comfortable sweatbands.
The eyes are the most complex and fragile parts of our body. Each day, more than 600 people worldwide sustain eye injuries during their work. Thanks to a good pair of safety glasses, these injuries could be prevented. Do you come into contact with bright light or infrared radiation? Then welding goggles or a shield offer the ideal protection!
Do you work in an environment with high sound levels? In that case it is very important to consider hearing protection. Earplugs are very comfortable, but earmuffs are convenient on the work floor as you can quickly put these on or take them off.
Wearing a mask at work is no luxury, definitely not when coming into contact with hazardous materials. 15% of the employees within the EU inhale vapours, smoke, powder or dusk while performing their job. Dust masks offer protection against fine dust and other dangerous particles. If the materials are truly toxic, use a full-face mask. This adheres tightly to the face, to protect the nose and mouth against harmful pollution.
Hands and fingers are often injured, so it is vital to protect them properly. Depending on the sector you work in, you can choose from gloves for different applications:
Even your feet need solid protection. Safety shoes (type Sb, S1, S2 or S3) and boots (type S4 or S5) are the ideal solution to protect the feet against heavy weights. An antiskid sole is useful when working in a damp environment, definitely if you know that 16,2% of all industrial accidents are caused by tripping or sliding. On slippery surfaces, such as snow and ice, shoe claws are recommended. Special socks can provide extra comfort.
Preventing accidents is crucial in a crowded workshop. That is why a good visibility at work is a must: a high-visibility jacket and pants made of a strong fabric can help prevent accidents. Just like the hand protection, there are versions for different applications.
Prevention is better than cure. A smart thing is to be prepared for the worst. A classic first-aid kit is no luxury but a first-aid kit for the eyes can also be an essential first aid. If the employee comes into contact with chemicals, a safety shower is mandatory, so that he can rinse the substances off his body at any moment.
Not only is preparing your workshop for accidents a smart thing to do, it is even smarter to organise your workshop in such a way that no serious accidents can take place. A simple way to make your workshop safer is to use pictograms: indicating flammable materials, the necessary use of hearing protection, indicating emergency exits …
You can find all pictograms in the ‘Labels & decals’ catalogue under ‘Safety’.
Protective chemical suits are required in many service and manufacturing industries where employees are exposed to hazardous materials. Chemical suits can make a real difference in protecting workers from hazardous particles, dust, aerosols, and liquids In the agricultural sector when pesticides are sprayed, during structural renovations where mold or asbestos is present, during the manufacture of light bulbs, electronics, and many other consumer products, and of course in chemical facilities, hospitals, pharmaceuticals manufacturing, and especially in the petrochemical’s industry.
It can be difficult to choose the best chemical suit for the job. Over-protection means paying more than what’s necessary to protect workers, and under-protection can leave an employee with an unexpected injury and your business with a possible liability claim. Additionally, you will want to choose a chemical suit that doesn’t leave workers exposed to heat stress, or the inability to perform tasks with efficiency.
It is important to first know what type of chemicals the workers may be exposed to along with the levels of concentration to determine the type of chemical suit required. Some chemical have just one hazard, such as being a suspected carcinogen. But, more often the workplace chemicals will pose multiple hazards including skin or mucous membrane irritation, sensitization (as with an allergic reaction), or physical hazard such as skin burns, or being flammable or corrosive. OSHA outlines the 4 levels of personal protection equipment or PPE that can be used to determine which type of chemical suits are needed to fit the exposures risks.
OSHA has established these guidelines in conjunction with data for Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) to protect workers against the health effects of exposure to hazardous substances. When purchasing chemical suits, many manufacturers will label them with the OSHA Hazmat designated Level A through Level D of protection that the suit will provide.
Another way to determine if the chemical suit will meet your employee’s level of exposure is to consider the CE marking or chemical suit type classification as marked on the PPE label. The six classes (1-6) starts with a basic level Type 6 protective garment which is used in Level D circumstances that present nuisance dust and dirt. Chemical resistant coveralls are a Type 6 garment that can be pair with gloves and safety shoes to keep the worker safe.
A fully encapsulated chemical suit for Level A hazards would be classified as a Type 1 chemical suit. The manufacturer should provide a chemical resistance list and a list of the tests passed for the design and style of the suit in question. By far, the most widely used chemical suits for manufacturing processes and industrial hazardous services are typically a Level 3 or a Level 4 chemical suit.
Both Level 3 and Level 4 chemical suit levels protect against liquid chemicals and have either liquid-tight (type 3) or spray-tight (type 4) seams and joints. A Type 3 chemical suit is reusable, and is usually manufactured from layered PVC and fabric substrate materials. It is impervious to liquids and offers good protection against low concentration levels of acids. A Type 4 chemical suit is also reusable and offers very good protection against petroleum, dyes, machine oils, and crude oil.
The style of chemical suit chosen will also depend on the level of protection needed and the hazards associated with the chemicals in the worker’s environment. While the suit material is crucial to the level of protection the worker needs, the chemical suit style will fulfill the amount of coverage and closure required. Work with a manufacturer that offers several styles of chemical suits with different closure types, ankle and arm cuff styles, and multiple seam selections.
Totally-encapsulating chemical-protective suit -is used for Level A exposure and will provide full body protection. These outfits are generally used with a full face Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), along with inner chemical resistant gloves and safety boots and a two-way radio to maintain communications to protect against solid hazardous substances such as mold and asbestos cleanup.
Hooded chemical-resistant suits are used for Level A or B exposure risks in conjuction with an air respirator or SCBA for respiratory protection. Expect excellent liquid splash protection from hazardous chemicals that workers may come in contact with during Industrial cleanup operations or environmental chemical spills.
One or two-piece chemical-splash suit are and economical choice in chemical suit ensembles that prevent chemical splash contact and are used for Level C protection when all contaminants have been identified.
Chemical Resistant Coveralls provide a basic barrier against light liquid splashes and prevents hazardous dust from contaminating the worker’s clothing. Chemical resistant coveralls are often used in spray painting, auto mechanics, or metal polishing industries.
Another way to determine the effectiveness of a chemical suit is to look at the what the suits permeation or penetration tests reveal. When a chemical protective garment has passes the tests for penetration, that means the suit was effective at preventing chemicals from penetrating openings in the suit. If chemicals are found to have penetrated through the suits seams, closures, or fabric – then the suit design is defective.
Permeation tests will evaluate whether chemicals can pass through a protective garment without going through design or fabric openings. If a chemical can be absorbed or diffused into the fabric, and is found on the opposite side of the material, it has failed the permeation tests. It is important to know that even when all openings in the chemical suit are providing full protection from liquid passage, some strong chemicals may be able to permeate through the suit’s material.
For most workplace activities, a PPE that has passed penetration tests are suitable when minimal contact with the chemicals is expected. In extreme levels of chemical concentrations, a chemical suit that has also passed permeation tests may be required. If a chemical suit is marketed as a breathable fabric to reduce heat stress for employees, they may not be suitable for the severe conditions that require a non-permeable fabric.
If you need chemical suits to protect against industrial chemicals, caustics, and acids, it is important to know that they were quality manufactured with a strong fabric and seam strength that workers need. Both the strength of the fabric and the seams will determine the level of performance in protecting against liquid chemical splash.
For Level A or Level B protection, make sure the chemical suits meets ISO 6530 test method for resistance of the materials against penetration by liquids. Chemical suits that adhere to ISO 6530 have been tested and determined to have met the standards for penetration, repellency, and absorption for protective clothing materials against liquid chemicals.
When you select a quality manufacturer, these suits usually feature a laminated fabric which offers a broad range of protection against light splash in petro-chemical environments, chemical materials loading operations, and for industrial workers that operate paint booths or chemical mixing equipment. Other ISO 7530/EN 368 tests the chemical suit should have passed include:
These tests insure the chemical suits will protect against light spray and splashes of liquid chemicals. The NFPA governs protective suits that are needed to protect against directional spray or buildup of liquid on the suit, as is the case when firefighters respond to a chemical factory explosion or DOT chemical spill on the highways.