7 Workplace Safety Tips to Implement Today

Safe businesses are healthy businesses, so keeping your workplace safe is crucial to your team’s well-being as well as your productivity. Luckily, workplace safety isn’t rocket science. Here are 7 simple workplace safety tips that you can implement today.

1. Check for slip/fall hazards. Falls are among the most common workplace injuries. They’re also among the easiest to prevent. Using nonslip mats on slippery areas is one simple solution. Another is ensuring steps or other potential trip hazards are clearly marked. Encouraging your team to wear appropriate footwear could also keep them safe.

2. Keep fire exits clear. This may sound obvious, but all too often, the space in front of “unused” fire doors gets co-opted for storage. This is fine until that fateful day you actually need to get out through that door. So don’t fall for this temptation. Keep fire exits clear and clearly marked.

3. Implement regular housekeeping. Prevent stuff from occupying space it shouldn’t by regularly eliminating clutter. This means making a commitment to regular housekeeping. Make it a habit to quickly dispose of unneeded items, such as broken equipment or empty shipping boxes. Such objects often become trip hazards or fire hazards if allowed to accumulate. Setting up a regular cleaning schedule (which in some workplaces, can be a rotating chore list for team members) will ensure your workplace stays orderly.

4. Promote a culture of safety. The most important factor in workplace safety is the human factor. Make sure your team knows you put safety first. Encourage commonsense safety practices, such as driving at sensible speeds.

5. Cultivate a healthy workplace. Team members who go to work tired or sick may pride themselves on their grit, but dozing off while driving or operating heavy equipment properly can lead to serious accidents. Workplace health programs can teach your team easy self-care strategies while reducing your accident risk.

6. Regularly inspect protective gear and personal equipment. Protective gear, such as welder’s goggles or safety harnesses, are your team’s first line of defense against workplace hazards. But even the best gear can wear out over time. Make sure everyone’s safety gear is regularly inspected. Also, don’t hesitate to replace any items that are past their prime. The safety of your team may depend on it.

7. Have written safety standards in place. Smart managers know nothing gets done if it’s not in writing. Make sure to put your safety standards in writing, and ensure everyone on your team is familiar with them. Written standards also remind your team that workplace safety should be a priority.

Partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is an easy way to ensure your team stays safe. By acting as your combined payroll and human resources department, a PEO company helps you develop practical workplace policies. It also ensures you’re in compliance with current OSHA regulations.

Since 2001, our company has matched businesses to the best PEOs in the industry. Call us today to learn more about how a PEO can help your business.

How To Carry Out An Effective Ariel Tree Rescue

The Rescue Operation

This article covers the safe working practices to be used by those involved in aerial tree rescue, a minimum of two people should be present during all tree-climbing operations. One of the ground team must be available, competent and equipped to perform an aerial rescue without delay. Ensure a designated and responsible person knows the daily work programme and agree with them a suitable contact procedure. Where reasonably practicable, use a two-way radio or mobile phone and a pre-arranged call-in system. This is particularly important for remote sites where a check on the operator’s safety is important.

Before the rescue

The worksite

As part of the risk assessment, the worksite and planned operation must be evaluated to establish the necessary emergency procedures for recovery and evacuation of casualties. All operators on site should have received adequate instruction and information and be trained in these procedures. When an injured climber needs rescuing, ensure all possible precautions are taken to safeguard other members of the work team and any other people entering or approaching the worksite. If overhead cables are involved, do not approach the work area. Stop work, assess the situation and contact the relevant electricity company. Ensure no unauthorised people are within the work area.

The casualty

The casualty’s condition must be assessed. If necessary, call for the emergency services before starting the rescue, making sure you give appropriate information about the location of the site and any particular access problems. You will need to provide personal details about the casualty (names and any relevant medical history etc), as well as the approximate time of the accident, treatment given and any chemicals involved.

Rescue equipment

The following rescue equipment needs to be available at the worksite:

  • A suitable first-aid kit.
  • A suitable climber’s harness and associated equipment, eg ropes, strops, karabiners or any other equipment that the rescuer is familiar with to help their rescue technique.
  • Other items of equipment necessary for a rescuer to climb effectively, eg a ladder, climbing irons, ascenders or descenders.
  • A sharp knife with a retractable blade for cutting ropes etc. There is a risk of recoil when cutting ropes under tension, or cutting the wrong rope, as well as cut injuries to the rescuer or casualty. Consider other techniques for removing a casualty from a tensioned line.

Send for any additional rescue equipment that becomes necessary but is not available at the rescue site. If appropriate, other people in the vicinity may be directed to provide help.

The rescue

Helping the casualty

Reassure the casualty and encourage self-help whenever possible. Select a rescue method that does not put the rescuer at risk and minimises the risk of further injury to the casualty. Only trained operators should use equipment such as mobile elevated work platforms and cranes for an aerial tree rescue. Climbing to the casualty

Select an efficient method of climbing the tree to reach the casualty as quickly as possible.

If specialised climbing aids are available and rescue personnel are trained in their use, use them to speed up access to the casualty. Take account of hazards such as severed, broken or hanging branches, or the casualty’s equipment, that may create a risk.

Assess the tree(s) and select appropriate equipment to remove parts of the tree(s) that would impede the rescue operation. Other operators may do this if needed. Use other personnel, if available, to prepare the equipment ready for use in the tree(s). Make the area safe from immediate hazards as soon as possible. Assess the casualty’s condition and prioritise first-aid treatment. In some cases, especially those involving fracture, crush or possible spinal injury, only move the casualty under medical supervision (eg a paramedic or the ambulance service).

Descending with the casualty

The rescuer needs to maintain close contact with the casualty to monitor changes in condition and to calm and control them if necessary. Rescuers should be properly anchored at all times to ensure their own safety throughout the rescue operation. Anchor points must be selected to ensure they are capable of taking the anticipated loads during the rescue. The rescuer and casualty need to descend together to ease movement through the branches and to monitor the casualty’s condition. Densely branched trees may require alternative methods of rescue. Obstacles on the ground may dictate the most suitable method.

Completing the rescue

Continue to help the casualty under the direction of paramedics until the casualty is transported from the site. Ensure the site is safe and secure before all personnel leave. Note the contact details of any witnesses. Where possible, take photographs of the site. Do not use any of the equipment involved in the incident until it has been thoroughly examined by a competent person. Notify management of the incident and record the occurrence in the accident book.

The Dangers Of Overhead Power Lines Best Practices

Introduction

Every year people at work are killed or seriously injured when they come into contact with live overhead electricity power lines. These incidents often involve:

  • machinery, eg cranes, lorry-loader cranes, combine harvesters, and tipping trailers;
  • equipment, eg scaffold tubes and ladders;
  • work activities, eg loading, unloading, lifting, spraying, and stacking.

If a machine, scaffold tube, ladder, or even a jet of water touches or gets too close to an overhead wire, then electricity will be conducted to earth. This can cause a fire or explosion and electric shock and burn injuries to anyone touching the machine or equipment. An overhead wire does not need to be touched to cause serious injury or death as electricity can jump, or arc, across small gaps.

One of the biggest problems is that people simply do not notice overhead lines when they are tired, rushing or cutting corners. They can be difficult to spot, eg in foggy or dull conditions, when they blend into the surroundings at the edge of woodland, or when they are running parallel to, or under, other lines. Always assume that a power line is live unless and until the owner of the line has confirmed that it is dead. This guidance is for people who may be planning to work near overhead lines

where there is a risk of contact with the wires, and describes the steps you should take to prevent contact with them. It is primarily aimed at employers and employees who are supervising or in control of work near live overhead lines, but it will also be useful for those who are carrying out the work.

Types of overhead power lines

Most overhead lines have wires supported on metal towers/pylons or wooden poles – they are often called ‘transmission lines’ or ‘distribution lines’. Most high-voltage overhead lines, ie greater than 1000 V (1000 V = 1 kV) have wires that are bare and uninsulated but some have wires with a light plastic covering or coating. All high-voltage lines should be treated as though they are uninsulated. While many low-voltage overhead lines (ie less than 1 kV) have bare uninsulated wires, some have wires covered with insulating material. However, this insulation can sometimes be in poor condition or, with some older lines, it may not act as effective insulation; in these cases you should treat the line in the same way as an uninsulated line. If in any doubt, you should take a precautionary approach and consult the owner of the line.

There is a legal minimum height for overhead lines which varies according to the voltage carried. Generally, the higher the voltage, the higher the wires will need to be above ground. Equipment such as transformers and fuses attached to wooden poles and other types of supports will often be below these heights. There are also recommended minimum clearances published by the Energy Networks Association.

What does the law require?

The law requires that work may be carried out in close proximity to live overhead lines only when there is no alternative and only when the risks are acceptable and can be properly controlled. You should use this guidance to prepare a risk assessment that is specific to the site. Businesses and employees who work near to an overhead line must manage the risks. Overhead line owners have a duty to minimise the risks from their lines and, when consulted, advise others on how to control the risks. The line owner will usually be an electricity company, known as a transmission or distribution network operator, but could also be another type of organisation, eg Network Rail, or a local owner, eg the operator of a caravan park.

Preventing overhead line contact

Good management, planning and consultation with interested parties before and during any work close to overhead lines will reduce the risk of accidents. This applies whatever type of work is being planned or undertaken, even if the work is temporary or of short duration. You should manage the risks if you intend to work within a distance of 10 m, measured at ground level horizontally from below the nearest wire.

Remove the risk, the most effective way to prevent contact with overhead lines is by not carrying out work where there is a risk of contact with, or close approach to, the wires. Avoiding danger from overhead power lines. If you cannot avoid working near an overhead line and there is a risk of contact or close approach to the wires, you should consult its owner to find out if the line can be permanently diverted away from the work area or replaced with underground cables. This will often be inappropriate for infrequent, short-duration or transitory work. If this cannot be done and there remains a risk of contact or close approach to the wires, find out if the overhead line can be temporarily switched off while the work is being done. The owner of the line will need time to consider and act upon these types of requests and may levy a charge for any work done.

Risk control

If the overhead line cannot be diverted or switched off, and there is no alternative to carrying out the work near it, you will need to think about how the work can be done safely. If it cannot be done safely, it should not be done at all. Your site-specific risk assessment will inform the decision. Things to consider as part of your risk assessment include:

  • the voltage and height above ground of the wires. Their height should be measured by a suitably trained person using non-contact measuring devices;
  • the nature of the work and whether it will be carried out close to or underneath the overhead line, including whether access is needed underneath the wires;
  • the size and reach of any machinery or equipment to be used near the overhead line;
  • the safe clearance distance needed between the wires and the machinery or equipment and any structures being erected. If in any doubt, the overhead line’s owner will be able to advise you on safe clearance distances;the site conditions, eg undulating terrain may affect stability of plant etc;
  • the competence, supervision and training of people working at the site.

If the line can only be switched off for short periods, schedule the passage of tall plant and, as far as is possible, other work around the line for those times. Do not store or stack items so close to overhead lines that the safety clearances can be infringed by people standing on them.

Working near but not underneath overhead lines – the use of barriers. Where there will be no work or passage of machinery or equipment under the line, you can reduce the risk of accidental contact by erecting ground-level barriers to establish a safety zone to keep people and machinery away from the wires. This area should not be used to store materials or machinery. Suitable barriers can be constructed out of large steel drums filled with rubble, concrete blocks, wire fence earthed at both ends, or earth banks marked with posts.

  • If steel drums are used, highlight them by painting them with, for example, red and white horizontal stripes.
  • If a wire fence is used, put red and white flags on the fence wire.
  • Make sure the barriers can be seen at night, perhaps by using white or fluorescent paint or attaching reflective strips.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines

The safety zone should extend 6 m horizontally from the nearest wire on either side of the overhead line. You may need to increase this width on the advice of the line owner or to allow for the possibility of a jib or other moving part encroaching into the safety zone. It may be possible to reduce the width of the safety zone but you will need to make sure that there is no possibility of encroachment into the safe clearance distances in your risk assessment.

Where plant such as a crane is operating in the area, additional high-level indication should be erected to warn the operators. A line of coloured plastic flags or ‘bunting’ mounted 3-6 m above ground level over the barriers is suitable. Take care when erecting bunting and flags to avoid contact or approach near the wires. Passing underneath overhead lines, if equipment or machinery capable of breaching the safety clearance distance has to pass underneath the overhead line, you will need to create a passageway through the barriers, In this situation:

  • keep the number of passageways to a minimum;
  • define the route of the passageway using fences and erect goalposts at each end to act as gateways using a rigid, non-conducting material, eg timber or plastic pipe, for the goalposts, highlighted with, for example, red and white stripes;
  • if the passageway is too wide to be spanned by a rigid non-conducting goalpost, you may have to use tensioned steel wire, earthed at each end, or plastic ropes with bunting attached. These should be positioned further away from the overhead line to prevent them being stretched and the safety clearances being reduced by plant moving towards the line;
  • ensure the surface of the passageway is levelled, formed-up and well maintained to prevent undue tilting or bouncing of the equipment;
  • put warning notices at either side of the passageway, on or near the goalposts and on approaches to the crossing giving the crossbar clearance height and instructing drivers to lower jibs, booms, tipper bodies etc and to keep below this height while crossing;
  • you may need to illuminate the notices and crossbar at night, or in poor weather conditions, to make sure they are visible;
  • make sure that the barriers and goalposts are maintained.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines

On a construction site, the use of goalpost-controlled crossing points will generally apply to all plant movements under the overhead line. Working underneath overhead lines. Where work has to be carried out close to or underneath overhead lines, eg road works, pipe laying, grass cutting, farming, and erection of structures, and there is no risk of accidental contact or safe clearance distances being breached, no further precautionary measures are required. However, your risk assessment must take into account any situations that could lead to danger from the overhead wires. For example, consider whether someone may need to stand on top of a machine or scaffold platform and lift a long item above their head, or if the combined height of a load on a low lorry breaches the safe clearance distance. If this type of situation could exist, you will need to take precautionary measures.

If you cannot avoid transitory or short-duration, ground-level work where there is a risk of contact from, for example, the upward movement of cranes or tipper trailers or people carrying tools and equipment, you should carefully assess the risks and precautionary measures. Find out if the overhead line can be switched off for the duration of the work. If this cannot be done:

  • refer to the Energy Networks Association (ENA) publication Look Out Look Up! A Guide to the Safe Use of Mechanical Plant in the Vicinity of Electricity Overhead Lines.2 This advises establishing exclusion zones around the line and any other equipment that may be fitted to the pole or pylon. The minimum extent of these zones varies according to the voltage of the line, as follows:
    – low-voltage line – 1 m;
    – 11 kV and 33 kV lines – 3 m;
    – 132 kV line – 6 m;
    – 275 kV and 400 kV lines – 7 m;
  • under no circumstances must any part of plant or equipment such as ladders, poles and hand tools be able to encroach within these zones. Allow for uncertainty in measuring the distances and for the possibility of unexpected movement of the equipment due, for example, to wind conditions;
  • carry long objects horizontally and close to the ground and position vehicles so that no part can reach into the exclusion zone, even when fully extended. Machinery such as cranes and excavators should be modified by adding physical restraints to prevent them reaching into the exclusion zone. Note that insulating guards and/or proximity warning devices fitted to the plant without other safety precautions are not adequate protection on their own;
  • make sure that workers, including any contractors, understand the risks and are provided with instructions about the risk prevention measures;
  • arrange for the work to be directly supervised by someone who is familiar with the risks and can make sure that the required safety precautions are observed;
  • if you are in any doubt about the use of exclusion zones or how to interpret the ENA document, you should consult the owner of the overhead line.

Where buildings or structures are to be erected close to or underneath an overhead line, the risk of contact is increased because of the higher likelihood of safety clearances being breached. This applies to the erection of permanent structures and temporary ones such as polytunnels, tents, marquees, flagpoles, rugby posts, telescopic aerials etc. In many respects these temporary structures pose a higher risk because the work frequently involves manipulating long conducting objects by hand.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines. The overhead line owner will be able to advise on the separation between the line and structures, for example buildings using published standards such as ENA Technical Specification 43-8 Overhead Line Clearances.1 However, you will need to take precautions during the erection of the structure. Consider erecting a horizontal barrier of timber or other insulating material beneath the overhead line to form a roof over the construction area – in some cases an earthed, steel net could be used. This should be carried out only with the agreement of the overhead line owner, who may need to switch off the line temporarily for the barrier to be erected and dismantled safely.

Ideally, work should not take place close to or under an overhead line during darkness or poor visibility conditions. Dazzle from portable or vehicle lighting can obscure rather than show up power lines. Sometimes, work needs to be carried out near uninsulated low-voltage overhead wires, or near wires covered with a material that does not provide effective insulation, connected to a building. Examples of such work are window cleaning, external painting or short-term construction work. If it is not possible to re-route or have the supply turned off, the line’s owner, eg the distribution network operator, may be able to fit temporary insulating shrouds to the wires, for which a charge may be levied. People, plant and materials still need to be kept away from the lines.

Emergency procedures

If someone or something comes into contact with an overhead line, it is important that everyone involved knows what action to take to reduce the risk of anyone sustaining an electric shock or burn injuries. Key points are:

  • never touch the overhead line’s wires;
  • assume that the wires are live, even if they are not arcing or sparking, or if they
  • otherwise appear to be dead;
  • remember that, even if lines are dead, they may be switched back on either automatically after a few seconds or remotely after a few minutes or even hours if the line’s owner is not aware that their line has been damaged:
  • if you can, call the emergency services. Give them your location, tell them what has happened and that electricity wires are involved, and ask them to contact the line’s owner:
  • if you are in contact with, or close to, a damaged wire, move away as quickly as possible and stay away until the line’s owner advises that the situation has been made safe:
  • if you are in a vehicle that has touched a wire, either stay in the vehicle or, if you need to get out, jump out of it as far as you can. Do not touch the vehicle while standing on the ground. Do not return to the vehicle until it has been confirmed that it is safe to do so;

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines, be aware that if a live wire is touching the ground the area around it may be live. Keep a safe distance away from the wire or anything else it may be touching and keep others away.

Risks With Carbon Monoxide And Commercial Kitchens

This article covers the safe use of solid fuel appliances – such as tandoori ovens, charcoal grills and wood-fired pizza ovens in commercial kitchens. It is concerned mainly with the risks associated with exposure to carbon monoxide gas. The risk to workers is well known but there have also been reports of carbon monoxide exposure involving members of the public. These cases involved exposure in domestic properties neighbouring commercial catering premises using solid fuel appliances. Following the advice in this information article will help caterers protect members of the public as well as their workers.

You should read it in conjunction with Ventilation of kitchens in catering establishments, which will help you assess whether your existing ventilation is adequate as well as providing you with advice on planning the ventilation specification for new or refurbished kitchens.

What the law says

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 The HSW Act places duties on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their employees and that of persons not in their employment, such as customers, who may be affected by their business. This means that both workers and members of the public must be protected from the risk of exposure to carbon monoxide gas, whether your business is in operation or not. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 These Regulations require that employers provide effective and suitable ventilation in every enclosed workplace. This includes kitchens which need ventilation to create a safe and comfortable working environment. Mechanical extraction, via a canopy hood installed over the cooking appliances, can remove the fumes and vapour created by cooking and discharge them to a safe location.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

COSHH applies in commercial kitchens where solid fuel catering appliances are used. The Regulations set out a number of requirements to ensure risk is either avoided or reduced to an acceptable level. Carbon monoxide gas has a workplace exposure limit (WEL) which must not be exceeded. When solid fuel is burned, products of combustion, including carbon monoxide gas, are released. Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas with no taste, smell or colour. Moderate exposure can lead to serious permanent ill-health effects or death.

Children, pregnant women, smokers and people with heart or breathing problems are particularly at risk. The early signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to common ailments such as flu or upset stomach, but can escalate very quickly. Symptoms can include:

  • headache;
  • abdominal pain;
  • nausea/vomiting;
  • chest pains;
  • breathlessness;
  • dizziness;
  • visual disturbance;
  • erratic behaviour;
  • collapse.

Installation and use

There are a number of things to consider in relation to the safe installation and use of solid fuel appliances. Following this guidance will ensure that you can use your solid fuel appliance without risking the health of your workers or customers and will help you comply with the law. When considering obtaining a solid fuel appliance, seek competent advice on all technical matters relating to installation, ventilation, extraction and maintenance.

Organisations such as HETAS, Catering Equipment Distributors Association (CEDA), Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) and B&ES will be able to provide advice on the requirements for this type of combustion appliance. It is not a legal requirement to seek advice before you buy a solid fuel appliance, but doing so may prevent you from making a costly mistake.

Design

When buying a solid fuel appliance, determine whether your flue/extraction system is designed and constructed from suitable material. Stainless steel, for example, can withstand the corrosive nature of products released during the combustion of solid fuel. However, many kitchen extraction systems are made from galvanised steel, which is liable to corrosion. This could result in leakage of toxic combustion products, such as carbon monoxide, into other parts of the building or into neighbouring properties. If your extraction system is constructed from galvanised steel and you do not intend to replace it, seek competent advice on how this will impact on the nature and frequency of maintenance and inspection work.

The extraction system and its component parts, including any induction fans, should be designed to withstand the high temperature and corrosive effects of any intended flue gases from the cooking appliance. You should ensure there is minimal risk of heat being transferred to any combustible materials close to the flue/ductwork. You should not attempt to alter a gas or electrical appliance to burn solid fuel. Only use appliances that are designed for indoor use. If you intend to use a solid fuel appliance at an outdoor event you should be aware that using it inside a tent or gazebo can expose people to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Ventilation is crucial and you should seek competent advice when deciding where to site barbeques and other portable solid fuel appliances.

Positioning your appliance

When deciding where to site your solid fuel appliance, consider where fresh air is going to enter the room. Avoid areas where there is slow-moving or stagnant air. If the appliance is suitable for use under a canopy, ensure that the products of combustion can be effectively and safely removed (ie the canopy is not so high that it does not collect the combustion gases), and that monitoring equipment is in place to warn of any danger from products of combustion.

Ventilation and extraction

The termination point for the discharge of flue gases should not present any risk to employees or occupants of neighbouring properties. The flue should be located outside the building and terminated at a safe level. Seek advice from your local authority building control department to make sure that you are compliant with the relevant requirements. If you use a solid fuel appliance that has a natural draught flue in a commercial kitchen with a mechanical extraction system fitted, there will be a risk that the products of combustion will be drawn back down chimney or flue into the room. If you choose to have both systems it is very important that they have an equal supply of make-up air to compensate for combustion and removal of combustion products etc.

A competent engineer will be able to advise you on how this can be achieved in your premises. If you intend to use your existing extraction system for any purpose other than that it is designed for, seek competent advice to determine whether it is suitable for the additional/alternate purpose. Maintenance, testing and cleaning.

Extraction systems for commercial solid fuel appliances must be thoroughly examined and tested at least once every 14 months. You must also have an appropriate regular cleaning and maintenance programme to ensure that your extraction system continues to function properly. Maintenance, examination and testing should be carried out by a competent person. Depending on the nature of the extraction system you may also need to use a competent specialist contractor for cleaning.

MonitoringCarbon monoxide gas can build up very quickly and people can be overcome without warning. You should fit a functioning audible carbon monoxide alarm suitable for use in a commercial kitchen and have procedures in place to deal with evacuation if it goes off. Repeated activation of the alarm indicates a problem which should be investigated by a competent person before the appliance is put back into use. Carbon monoxide detectors should be used and sited in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you opt for a battery- rather than mains-operated device you should ensure that the battery is tested periodically, as advised by the manufacturer. If possible, the appliance/alarm should be interlocked with any mechanical ventilation that is fitted. You should introduce robust procedures to make sure that the extraction system fan remains switched on until all solid fuel has been extinguished, even if there is nobody on the premises. This will ensure that people in neighbouring properties are protected from any carbon monoxide that may be leaking from your premises. It will also ensure that the building is safe to enter for the next shift and can be safely accessed out of hours for example, in the event of an emergency.

If you do not wish to keep extraction equipment fans running 24 hours a day, the easiest way to make sure they remain switched on for a sufficient period of time is to interlock them to your carbon monoxide detector.

Selection and storage of fuel

Responsible suppliers/manufacturers will be able to advise you on the type of fuels suitable for your appliance. Only use recommended fuel unless you are certain that your extraction system can safely remove the products of combustion from alternative fuels. By burning only the amount of fuel you need, you will minimise the amount of carbon monoxide produced. This will also help to keep your costs down. Solid fuel should be stored in a dry and ventilated area. Requirements may vary depending on the quantity and type of fuel. Refer to the manufacturer’s or supplier’s storage instructions for specific advice.

Information, instruction and training Everyone who works for you needs to know how to work safely and without risks to their health. You must provide clear instructions, information and adequate training for your workers on:

  • the risks they face;
  • measures in place to control risks;
  • how to follow any emergency procedures.

It is particularly important to consider the training needs and supervision of:

  • new recruits and trainees;
  • young people who are particularly vulnerable to accidents;
  • people taking on new jobs or new responsibilities;
  • health and safety representatives, who have particular laws relating to them.

You must ensure that employees are made aware of the risks and control measures required to operate the appliance safely and make sure that they are aware of the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure.

Electrical Construction Safety: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility for Electrical Safety

Improper application of or inadequate electrical construction safety measures can cause serious workplace hazard. In a construction site, the workers and employees can be exposed to fires, electrocution, shocks, explosions, and a couple of other types of accidents.

There are specific standards for the electrical construction safety for that particular industry. Many workplace deaths happen simply because of the ignorance of the laborers about the dangers of electricity present in their work environment. It’s vital to learn about the electrical hazards and their solutions to decrease the death rate and the number of accidents.

Electrical Construction Safety Hazards and Solutions

The electrical accidents in the constructions sites happen because of some factors – insecure environment, faulty equipment and their improper installation, and risky work practices.

Exposed Electrical Parts

Keeping high-voltage electrical parts is a risky business because just a touch can cause serious shocks and sometimes death too. The simple preventive measures that you can take are replacing covers, using guards or barriers, protect the conductors, and close the unused openings. The pull boxes, junction boxes, and fittings must have covers. It’s your job to ensure that all the live electrical parts operating at 50 volts or more are properly sealed, shielded, or isolated from general traffic.

Overhead Power Lines

The electrical construction safety can be violated if these are torn or broken away for any reason. These lines often carry a high voltage of electricity. For this reason, they should be kept away from high traffic areas, and watery places because torn energized wires will electrify the water and cause a fatality on a large scale.

Such installations should have warning signs in the vicinity. The electrical contractor working with power lines need to have specialized training and personal protective equipment. Apart from the electrical tools, other equipment used for this purpose should be made of wood or fiberglass.

Faulty and Damaged Cords

Most of the times accident happen because of the partly exposed live wires. They miss the rubber or plastic protective covering because of aging, abrasion from materials, being grazed on sharp objects, and improper fastening.

Such defective cords can cause shocks, burns, and fires. You should use only those that are rated for extra-hard usage, equipped with strain relief, and are the 3-wire type.

Overloaded Circuits

These are another reason for the violation of electrical construction safety. Such a problem occurs when the workers plug too many devices into a single circuit, causing overheating the cords and leading to a fire. Lack of protection from excessive flow of current and using malfunctioning tools.

You can ensure the electrical construction safety by installing high-rated fuses and circuit breakers. These will either melt or trip open in the occasion of electricity overflow and shut off the system. The use of adequate electrical outlets is necessary to avoid circuit-related accidents.

Conclusion

Employing safe work practices, using protective tools, discarding faulty equipment, and hiring an experienced electrical contractor can reduce the risk associated with electrical construction safety. Appointing a firm might be the best choice for project-basis work, but make sure that the recruits of the electric company are professional and skillful.

Main Personal Protective Equipment And Safety Garments

Personal Protective Equipment is generally defined as equipment including clothing which is intended to be worn or utilized by a worker in order to ensure his safety against occupational hazards. Following are some of the basic equipment which are widely used by people associated with various professions:

1. Safety garments

So far as occupational safety is concerned, garments play a key role in almost every profession. People who have to perform in hazardous working environment wear clothing as a shield against dirt, chemicals, and a number of other hazards. A coverall is a good example of protective clothing that protects the body of a worker from dangerous substances such as oil, water, dirt, welding sparks, etc.

Coveralls are manufactured for a number of industries including welding, construction, chemical, and residential services. For instance, nomex or fire-resistant coveralls are designed for protection against high temperature. High-visibility garments, weather wear, bib pants, shop coats, and parkas are some of the common types of occupational safety clothing.

2. Helmet

Head is a sensitive part of human body. Head injuries is the major reason behind occupational deaths. Helmet is a common safety equipment which is used to protect the head from falling objects. Construction workers cannot think of working safely without wearing durable helmets. Hard hats, bump caps, and guards are also used to ensure head safety.

3. Safety Shoes

Workers from different occupations have been using safety shoes for centuries. Steel toe boots is a commonly used item which is preferred by workers for their ability to withstand hard knocks and other potential injuries.

4. Goggles

Eyes are the most delicate and sensitive part of human body. Even a tiny object can seriously injure our eyes. Professions like welding and chemical handling demand sound eye protection. Eye shields, face shields, and visors are also important eye protection tools.

5. Safety harness

In some professions, operators have to work at elevated surfaces that are not easily accessible. In order to avoid a fall from elevated points, the safety harness is utilized to ensure workers’ safety. Fall arresters, elbow and wrist support, and back support are also useful safety equipment.

Most of the workplaces establish proper dress codes for workers in order to avoid health risks and improve safety standards. As an independent worker, you should not undermine the importance of safety garments and equipment. Carefully assess all the potential hazards present at your workplace and find appropriate workwear to safely handle those hazards.

Fall Arrest and Protection Certification

With over 40,000 workers injured annually due to fall accidents, falls in the workplace present a major risk for employers and workers. The ideal method of fall prevention is to eliminate all potential fall hazards, but this is not a realistic solution for most workplaces. Fall prevention systems like guard rails and barriers are not always practical depending on the work-site and nature of work being performed. If fall prevention is not possible, fall protection measures and training are the best way to protect yourself in the event of a fall.

Fall arrest systems work by protecting workers by stopping (or arresting) them in mid-fall. An effective fall arrest system uses harness, anchor, lanyard, and lifeline components to secure the worker to a stable working surface in order to lessen the impact to the worker in the event of a fall. The goal of the fall arrest system is to absorb the energy of the fall so that the force of falling is not applied to the worker.

The essential elements of a fall arrest system include: a harness, a lanyard, and a lifeline. Regular inspection of these elements is critical to ensure that they’re in good working order and can perform their functions in the event of a fall. When checking the harness, ensure that the hardware and straps are not worn, that there are no twists or tears in the fabric, and that all parts can move freely. For the lanyard, you want to check that the rope is in good condition, that the harness attachment is secure, and that there is no wear or damage to the hardware and shock-absorbing fabric. In the case of the lifeline, you again want to check for any wear or deterioration and ensure that the retracting function operates smoothly. Any parts of the fall arrest system that show wear, or are not performing to specification, should be replaced before use.

If you plan to be working at heights, fall protection training is required by state and provincial law. There are courses specifically designed to provide participants with the training that they need to make safe decisions when working at heights. Fall arrest courses are typically one day in duration and provide a combination of classroom and hands-on training covering topics like: the dynamics of falling, fall protection systems and planning, fall arrest system components, harness fitting, equipment care and inspection, and rescue procedures. Fall arrest training is affordable for workers and employers, and typically costs around $200 for a one day course. Excellent online courses are also available for around $60.

Falls are preventable and the injury resulting from a fall can be mitigated through proper fall arrest equipment and training. Before working at heights, make sure to arm yourself with the training and knowledge you need to work safely.

Safety Tickets

The great thing about working in the oilfield and construction industries is that you don’t need a lot of expensive or formal training to get your foot in the door. If you’ve got a great attitude and work ethic, you’ll likely quickly become a valued team member. The fact that jobs in these industries tend to pay well means that there can be many people vying for the same position. There are a few things you can do before your job hunt to set yourself up for success.

Before you start sending out resumes, do some research and find out what safety tickets are likely required for the positions you’re interested in. Having current safety tickets on your resume can boost your application ahead of other candidates who don’t have the same training. Having valid safety tickets means that you can get to work as soon as you’re hired (versus other candidates who may spend their first week tied up in training courses). Here’s some examples of some of the safety tickets you should consider to get the attention of the hiring manager:

1. CSTS (Construction Safety Training System): This is a basic safety certification that you’ll need before working on site. It’s a half-day, online course that will only cost you about $65.

2. First Aid: This is necessary if you will be working on any site that presents serious occupational hazards. Occupational Health and Safety legislation mandates how many employees must have first aid training depending on the size of the crew and site. Most companies will require that all field-based employees have valid first aid training to respond quickly and to minimize incidents if they happen. When selecting your training, look for Standard First Aid with Level A CPR. This is normally a two-day course and costs about $175.

3. H2S Alive: If you’ll be working on sites where there is petroleum extraction or drilling, you’ll need this certification. H2S Alive teaches you how to protect yourself and others from Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) which is a colourless poisonous gas that is sometimes released as a by-product of oil and gas drilling. When looking for H2S training, be sure to select one that specifies “H2S Alive”. There are other H2S training courses that will not necessarily meet industry standards. H2S Alive is a one-day course and costs approximately $275.

CSTS, First Aid, and H2S Alive are the three basic safety tickets that you’ll likely need before starting a job. Getting them in advance of applying for jobs will make you more likely to get hired because your employer will not only save money on training, but can also put you to work right away.

Some additional requirements to consider before embarking on your job search include: a driver’s license, steel-toed boots, and a resume. Having an unrestricted driver’s license and a good driving record is highly preferable as some employers have insurance policies that exclude employees with limited or poor driving history. Steel-toed boots will be part of your required PPE (personal protective equipment) and many employers expect you to provide your own pair.

When you’re drafting your resume, be sure to highlight experience that demonstrates your comfort with working outdoors in all weather conditions. Your experience working with heavy equipment, working in labour-intensive environments, and working as a part of a team, are all positive things to highlight on your resume that will set you apart from the crowd.

What the Las Vegas Shooter Can Teach CEOs & Business Owners About Their Workplace Violence Plans

Picture this: you’re at an event, perhaps with family or friends, and with only the cares of the drink and food you purchased and the excitement of the festivities on your mind. When suddenly, you see the person next to you and several others around you appear to trip or suddenly drop quickly to the ground.

Then, as you look into the lifeless eyes of the person at your feet, you hear what sounds like firecrackers amidst the ear-splitting screams of everyone around you. Your brain races to try to figure out how to get to safety.

That’s what it could have felt like for many at the recent event in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Now, imagine for a moment that you’re not at a concert but sitting at your desk with only the cares of your workday schedule when you hear those “firecrackers” and screaming. Or, worse yet, the screams are yours because YOU are the intended target of this madman’s rage!

For many, this is an unbelievable scenario – after all, something like this “could never happen to them.” But, as an expert in ethical self-defense and workplace safety and security, this is an all too familiar story for me because I see it play out, albeit in different settings and with different weapons and attacker types, every… single… day.

In fact, in the US alone, an average of 13 people are killed, and another 38,500 – the entire population of many small towns – are attacked in workplace violence attacks… every WEEK! But, even though it was not a workplace violence situation per se, what can events like the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, and the Vegas shooter, teach CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and other business owners about the potential flaws in their workplace violence plans, policies, and training programs, assuming they have anything in place to begin with?

Here are three important lessons just for starters:

1) Human beings stampede when they panic and, in lieu of training and a reliable workplace violence response plan, panicking employees will cause added injury to themselves and others in the process of trying to get away from the violence.

Attackers plan around this “stampede” response to make their task easier, and so should you.

2) Violence is random by nature. You never know when it will happen or the form it will take. But, just as with fire safety, you do as much as possible beforehand to prevent incidents from occurring; things like making sure wiring is to code and placing flammable materials securely away from heat, flames, and machinery that produce sparks. But, you also install mitigation procedures and training; things like sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers, as-well-as conducting fire drills and other response training, just in case one occurs anyway.

And, you do this because you know you need both prevention AND mitigation. Because, even if the likelihood of a fire is low, you know that the loss and level of consequence from even one occurrence will be much more costly to your business assets and operation.

Well, workplace violence is no different, except for the fact that you are many times more likely to have an act of workplace violence occur in your business than a fire – a fact born out by OSHA statistics and a statement made by the U.S. Department of Justice which says that your workplace is likely the most dangerous place you can find yourself in today’s world!

3) Attackers don’t care about what you’re going to do to them afterwards. Even if they don’t kill themselves, as Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock did as the police breached his hotel room…

… in the moment they are attacking, perpetrators are not deterred by or even considerate of the punishment facing them as a result of their actions. During the moments when they are carrying out their attack against their intended victim(s), they only care about accomplishing the intended goal!

The world has become a very different place from the one you and I grew up in And while many businesses have taken steps in instituting workplace violence prevention policies, and some even introducing albeit limited training, about 70% of companies in the United States alone, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, are still guided by denial and avoidance.

What can and should be done to insure a safer workplace for you and you employees? Here are a few suggestions for avoiding the most common mistakes:

1) Avoid relying solely on passive prevention. Attackers don’t care about your “Zero Tolerance,” and punitive action statements. And as for those false confidence-building “banned weapons on site” lists…

… chances are that a committed assailant is counting on you having disarmed all of your other employees so they won’t encounter any active resistance!

2) Have a plan, policy, and your employee response training designed by an expert in violence mitigation and tailored to your specific business. Don’t use borrowed and modified templates and, most importantly, don’t assign the task of creating this critical system to a manager or committee whose members have no actual, real-world experience with the operative word in the plan… violence!

3) Avoid randomly chosen “awareness” and stand-alone training programs. Even if more than 20% of your employees are paying attention during the training, the fact is that an “awareness and prevention” class is, more often than not, a huge waste of time, money, and resources which could be better spent on a fully optimized and systemic security and safety solution.

Used as a stand-along “awareness and prevention” program, this type of activity does nothing to improve your situation. And, while it may make some of your people more “aware,” it certainly won’t make your workplace any safer the next morning!

Instead, these programs should be a part of a systemic whole – introduced at varying points to management, security departments and response teams, as-well-as the general employee population during role-out of the different phases of your new or augmented security and response protocols.

They should not, as is most commonly done, be used like “Band-aids” or feel-good activities which only create the illusion of safety.

To be sure, the incident in Las Vegas was a horrible tragedy, as are others which occur practically every day. But merely talking about them until the next tragedy comes along does nothing to decrease the likelihood of an attack in your own workplace, nor does it mitigate damage and injury in the face of an actual assault – when you’ve discovered that your workplace violence prevention policies have failed.

As a business leader, you have a choice. You can either be realistic and recognize that in today’s turbulent world, there are more and more reasons people seem to find to lash out against their fellow human beings, and take action on that knowledge; or you can continue to ignore this reality, focus only on workplace violence prevention policies, and be left to deal with the damage to not only people and property, but also to your company’s reputation, liability, assets, and business continuity and sustainability in the aftermath!

Jeffrey M. Miller SPS, DTI, is an internationally-recognized expert in ethical self-defense and workplace safety & security. He is the founder and director of WCI Consulting, a boutique consulting firm specializing in helping serious owners and business leaders “attack-proof” their companies against active shooter scenarios and other forms of violence in the workplace.

Jeff is also a writer, speaker, as-well-as the co-author of two peer-reviewed books on workplace violence and emergency management in the healthcare sector, the video, “Danger Prevention Tactics: Protecting Yourself Like a Pro!, the Kindle book, “Advanced Self-Defense Combat Tactics” (both available on Amazon.com), and over 500 articles on the topics of safety, ethical self-defense, and attack mitigation.

As a partner and trusted adviser, he specializes in increasing every client organization’s and/or department’s level of safety, security, and reputation for employee care, while simultaneously decreasing threat potential, damages, and liability from acts of violence in their workplace. And, in cases where avoidance and prevention isn’t or wasn’t possible, he helps them to maintain business continuity at the greatest level possible until activities can be returned to 80 percent or better of pre-event levels.