Imagine this scenario: A worker is badly injured on your job site. Not only is this a tragic event for the worker and his or her family, it’s also a huge risk for a lawsuit that could have debilitating fiscal ramifications for your company.
Fortunately, correctly designed signage can go a long way toward preventing injury and even death in the workplace. But how can you know that the signs you are posting are compliant with the standards set by Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)? Here’s how to be sure that the safety signage you are posting is doing its utmost to help prevent injury or death:
Going out to a nightclub is supposed to be an occasion of joyful celebration, full of the promise of meeting new people, dancing, laughing and blowing off some steam with friends. However, in the aftermath of the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, what began as a night of fun ended in tragedy.
Sadly, the last century has seen some of the deadliest nightclub and assembly fires known to man. Many were the result of attendees getting trapped inside of buildings where they were gathered to hear music and socialize during the prohibition and post prohibition era. The deadliest of these disasters was the fire at Boston’s Cocoanut Grove Theater –the second worst single building fire in American history (second only to the Iroquois Theatre fire). The space was over its authorized capacity by 32 people, and they all lost their lives to the deadly blaze. The enormity of the event was so shocking that it briefly replaced the news of World War II in papers, and it led to a reform of safety standards and codes across the country.
The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) were designed to standardize the critically important method of shipping hazardous toxins throughout the world. Many countries have had their own regulatory system for classifying and labeling. However, what one country may classify a chemical as “somewhat toxic” another country may classify the same chemical as “very toxic.” And a third country may classify that very same chemical as “benign.” Chemicals involved in shipping include Physical Hazards – chemicals with explosive properties, flammables, oxidizers, corrosives and gases. Other types in include chemicals that are considered Health Hazards. They include chemicals that cause burns, effect breathing or those that lead to organ damage and cancer. And there are chemicals that can affect the environment. With each country developing their own classifications for these types of chemicals, it is easy to see how it is dangerous and virtually impossible it is for each country to be sure of how each chemical being imported to their country actually fits into their own standards. With this new Global system, each country that signs off to the program will have the same classifications for each and every chemical they import and export.
Important Documents must be protected if they are to maintain their integrity for any length of time. It could be a Driver’s License, an identification badge, a birth certificate, an award, a legal document, a photo, a menu or piece of art. In order to protect it properly and be assured that it will last indefinitely, it should be laminated. Once a document is laminated, there is no worry that an inadvertent spill of water or other liquid will ruin the document. A child’s crayon will not be able to leave a mark. The document will not be accidently folded. Photos of loved ones will remain as good as new as you review them over many years. Menus in your restaurant can be used over and over and over again. Legal documents will not tear or wrinkle. Identification cards remain legible and valid in your wallet.
Since 2008 there have been 107 Heat-Related Deaths in the continental United States. Each year there are thousands of heat-related illnesses. That is why OSHA has developed a Nationwide Heat Illness Campaign designed to raise awareness to both employers and employees about the dangers of working in heat and hot weather. Those most affected by the heat include but are in no way limited to the in the construction trade, utilities, agriculture and oil and gas exploration. New employees, temporary employees and those returning to work after a period of time off are especially vulnerable to the heat as it takes some time to build up a tolerance to it.
When excessive continuous pressure is placed on the medium nerve, the nerve that allows feeling to parts of the hand, the condition known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome develops. The primary symptom of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is numbness of the thumb, index finger and ring finger. When one bends a wrist forward for any length of time and feels pain it is a sure sign that CPS is present. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have identified work related repetitive tasks, force, posture and vibration as major causes of CTS. A recent study showed that there is in many instances, a greater risk for CTS to affect worker production, than basic physical factors such as obesity. It should be noted that similar injuries caused by falls, slips, motor vehicle accidents or other similar accidents are not recognized as work-related causes of CTS by OSHA.
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.