On average there are over 200 deaths and over 5,000 injuries
caused by fires, electrical and chemical burns, radiation, scalding water and
explosions in the workplace every year. Fires can be caused by accidents at
industrial food preparation ovens, overheated and shorted out wiring, from
welding mishaps, spills and leaks of sulfuric acid, hydrofluoric acid, strong
bases such as sodium hydroxide and ammonia and burns from scalding hot water.
Employers should have trained personnel on site at all times
who know how to identify and treat both minor burns and serious burns. The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin.
The dermis is the inner layer of the skin. First degree burns affect only the
epidermis. Symptoms involve a very red and painful burn. Second degree burns
involve the entire epidermis and upper layer of the dermis. Blisters are
usually present, the wound is pink, wet in appearance and very painful. A Third
degree burn involves all layers of skin being destroyed and the fatty tissue
known as the subcutaneous tissue, under the skin. In a fourth degree burns all
layers of skin and muscle and bone are affected.
Government regulations and in-house safety rules have really
concentrated on the prevention of physical harm to employees. We generally think
of injuries in the workplace as falling into
the categories of slips and falls, injuries to eyes and inhalation of dust and
chemical vapors to name a few. However, actually it is noise-related hearing
loss that is listed as one of the most prevalent occupational concerns for many
years. It has been reported than in the past 10 years, nearly 125,000 workers
have suffered permanent hearing loss.
The Occupational Health Admiration (OSHA) states that
First-Aid is any one-time treatment along with a follow-up treatment dealing
with minor scratches, cuts, burns, splinters and other minor industrial injury
that may occur during the average work day. According to CFR 1910.151 “The
employer shall ensure the ready availability of medical personnel for advice
and consultation on matters of plant health.” Generally first-aid treatments
are simple and require little technology.
However, assuming there is no infirmary on site, there must be at least
one person, preferably more, who are trained to provide first aid. A workplace
must also provide facilities and equipment for treating the eyes and body
should an employee be injured by coming into contact with corrosive material. Along with these basic first-aid
requirements, a number of OSHA standards require training in cardiopulmonary
It takes just a
very small amount of inhalation of crystalline silica particles to cause
serious problems to plant workers. Initial symptoms include but are not limited
to shortness of breath, weakness and weight loss. Many cases of Silicosis can be shown to eventually
lead to lung cancer, pulmonary and kidney disease. Crystalline silica is found in virtually every
type of industrial environments. The largest areas of exposures are caused by the
everyday factory operations such as abrasive blasting, cement and brick
manufacturing, asphalt pavement manufacturing, china and ceramic manufacturing
and the tool and die industries. In addition, the manufacturing of adhesives,
paints, soaps and glass are made with crystalline silica.
Fork Lift Trucks are used to raise, lower or move large
objects or several smaller objects at the same time. They can be driven by an
operator or mechanically controlled. In either case, identifying the hazards of
moving heavy materials in this manner is of prime importance.
When heavy objects are moved from place to place, there is
the possibility of at least some of the objects falling off the forklift. And as
the objects can be well off the ground in a fork lift truck, it can lead to a
serious accident. There is also the possibility as with all moving vehicles
that someone walking nearby can be hit by the fork lift. Also, the driver may
inadvertently make a wrong turn and crash into a wall, equipment or even
June is National Safety Month and there are many things we
can do as employers and employees.
In the workplace Ergonomics is an important key to safety.
This month is a good time to identify and abate musculoskeletal disorders
(MSDs.) These include strains, sprains and tears, inflammation, pinched nerves
and spinal disc problems. Here are some things we should all know about
ergonomic programs and practices:
1. Visit the OSHA web page. There are grants to
train workers about hazards and hazard abatement; training courses through the
OSHA Training Institute, booklets on ergonomic programs, especially for
computer workstations, and videotapes on general industry situations.
2. Ergonomics Best Practices Conferences: Designed to provide examples of practical and
inexpensive programs; Intervention lectures.
3. Enforcement: Employers are required to provide
working conditions that are free from known hazards that can cause an employer
physical harm. Employers are keen to follow this policy not only to avoid
fines, but because it is in their best interest to keep their staff on the job.
4. Corporate-Wide Settlement Agreements: Where
companies have been cited for musculoskeletal disorder violations, they have
agreed to enter into a settlement whereby they would agree to follow
Meatpacking Guidelines that OSHA has set up.
Thermoplastic padlocks are designed exclusively to satisfy
CFR 1910.147 Lockout:Tagout regulations. They are durable, lightweight and are
non-conductive. Thermoplastic is an excellent insulator preventing the flow of
electricity. Static electric charges can remain in equipment even after the equipment
has been shut down. Using thermoplastic padlocks for lockout:Tagout use means
that the padlocks can be used around heat or electrical equipment with little
concern that electronic sparking will occur. In addition, the key retaining
feature insures the padlock will not remain unlocked. The key cannot be removed
while the padlock is open. A very important fact when equipment is being
repaired and lockout procedures are in place.
The OSHA Regulation CFR1910.1200 “Toxic and Hazardous
Substances” is intended to address comprehensively the issue of classifying the
potential hazards of chemicals and communicating information concerning hazards
and appropriate protective measures to employees, and to preempt any
legislation or regulatory enactments of state, or political subdivision of a
state, pertaining to the subject.
Toxic Industrial chemicals are manufactured, stored,
transported and used throughout the world. They can be found in the form of
gas, liquid or solid state. The hazards they contain include carcinogens,
corrosives and reproductive hazards. Toxic chemicals can also be highly
flammable, combustible, explosive or reactive.
Safety Foundation International (EDFI) has designated May as National Electrical
Safety Month. On average, there are more than 300 deaths and over 4,000
injuries per year caused by Electrical Hazards in workplaces here in the United
States. Over 60% of the injuries are due to electric shock, the remainder
caused by electric burns. Electric shock is caused by either direct or indirect
contact with a conductive part that is energized. Electrical arcing, explosions
or fire result in burns. Toxic gases released as a result of fire as well as
the burning of electrical equipment often leads to severe illness or death.
Protective Equipment regulation, CFR 1910.136 has a very comprehensive set of
requirements when addressing employee’s foot protection. It states that “The
employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear when
working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or
rolling objects piercing the sole, and where such employee’s feet are exposed
to electrical hazards. The ruling continues with the statement that protective
footwear must comply with The American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM)
regulation “Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective
Footwear. And, by definition, that standard meets the qualifications
established by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) regulation.
Materials in the form of solids, liquids or gases can be a danger to all living
things, property and our environment.
Because they are used in the manufacture and the shipment of all types
of products they are very closely regulated. Within the regulations are the
specifications for the clear labeling of these materials to announce their
presence and thus to avoid the possibility of injury or damage. Developed by
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Hazardous Material Symbols
have become the international standard involved in identification labeling.
Each hazardous material has its own specific symbol, colors, borders and
printed information to help readily identify the danger one may encounter when coming
in contact it. Besides the ANSI standard, many federal, state and local laws as
well as international laws require Hazardous materials to be identified. Here
is a listing of some of the basic Hazardous Material Symbols:
A number of various chemicals, hot or cold water as well as
steam can cause serious injury to a worker performing maintenance. According to the OSHA regulation 1910.147, “The
Control of Hazardous Energy” (Lockout/Tagout) all sources of energy to include,
hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical and thermal must be locked out during a
maintenance operation. To help satisfy that requirement, devices have been
developed to insure that both liquids and gases are securely locked out.
An arc flash occurs when electric current strays from the
path designed for it and instead travels through air to another electrical
conductor. The flash results in an uncontrolled voltage surge that can severely
injure a person or persons in close proximity.
Unintended conductors include dust, tools, water, corrosion,
faulty wiring to name a few. The arc
flash can be responsible for fire, for burns, flying objects, extreme blast
pressure, sound blast and heat. To protect against the possibility of arc
flashes, the National Fire Protection Association has developed a series of
four “Flash Approach Boundaries” to help limit the effects of the flash.
There are many many industrial situations where information
has to be inputted onto an informational tag. For example, lockout:tagout
procedures; maintenance order instructions; a specific valve number has to be
added; right-to-know information, biohazard announcements, just to name a few.
Often times the tag has to be written up immediately and placed in position. An
ideal way to do this is with a Pressure-Sensitive tag or as Idesco calls it – A
“P-tag.” That is because the tag can easily
have information added to it with either pen or pencil and can be sealed by
simply removing the release paper from the pressure-sensitive adhesive. No
heat-seal lamination is required.