Tips for handling pallets

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
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Puncture wounds, sprained ankles and broken toes are just some of the injuries that can result from handling empty skids and pallets. With about 2 billion pallets circulating in the United States, according to the U.S. Forest Service, the Texas Department of Insurance offers tips to material handlers to help them avoid injury. Among them:
  • Inspect pallets and skids for hazards such as loose nails, splinters or other defects. And be cautious: Stacks of pallets stored outdoors for a long period of time may be home to wasps or snakes.
  • Use safe lifting techniques. “Special care needs to be taken when lifting skids,” TDI says. “It usually requires two people of similar height lifting in unison to avoid injury. We need to bend at the knees and use the strong leg muscles to accomplish the lift. Keep the back straight and stay close to the object being lifted.”
  • Don’t stack skids and pallets higher than 4 feet. Keep them flat – never stack them on end. When using separate skid runners and platforms, TDI recommends stacking them in a rack no more than 32 units high.
  • Wear hand protection, such as leather work gloves, and foot protection.
  • Make sure the stacks don’t block emergency equipment or exits. Pallets shouldn’t be sticking out into aisles where someone can bump into or trip over them. Workers also should not have to walk or step over them.
  • Discard or repair unsafe units.
  • Keep your work area clean.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

National Work Zone Awareness Week 2021

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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Photo: National Work Zone Awareness Week

Washington — National Work Zone Awareness Week is set for April 26-30, with a national kickoff event – hosted by the Michigan Department of Transportation – planned for 11 a.m. Eastern on April 27.

The theme for this year’s event is “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.” It serves as a reminder that work zones “need everyone’s undivided attention,” safety begins with workers who are dedicated to safety, and all stakeholders can work together to “achieve zero deaths” on the roads and in work zones.

April 28 will be “Go Orange Day” to remember those who’ve lost their lives in work zones. To show support for their families and friends, organizers encourage everyone to wear orange. Michigan OSHA implores employers to use the week “as an opportunity to speak with their employees in all industry sectors about the hazards in the roadway.”

According to the Federal Highway Administration, 842 people were killed in work zones in 2019 – up from 757 the previous year. Worker fatalities in construction zones also increased to 135 in 2019 from 124 in 2018.

NWZAW is an annual event. Since 1999, FHWA has partnered with the American Traffic Safety Services Association and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to promote work zone safety, adding other transportation partners through the years.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Electrical equipment in the office: do’s and don’ts

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

New outlet up close screwdriver.The typical office features a collection of wires, outlets, cables and other electrical equipment. Although ever-present and used on a daily basis, electrical equipment requires constant awareness of its associated hazards, as well as training on appropriate use, storage and maintenance, the Indiana Department of Labor reminds employers and workers in its Indiana Labor Insider newsletter.

“Improper use of electrical equipment can create overheated equipment, which can lead to fires, shock and electrocution,” warns IDOL, which provides some do’s and don’ts regarding certain electrical equipment.

Extension cords
DON’T use an extension cord as a permanent source of energy and never connect multiple extension cords, also known as “daisy chaining.”
DON’T run flexible extension cords under carpet or through doorways or walls. They’re not a substitute for permanent wiring and shouldn’t be attached to walls/floors with staples or clips.
DO make sure flexible extension cords have the current capacity for the load current – “12-gauge wire cords are recommended.”
DO protect all cords with special covers when subject to foot traffic. “Bright colors and high-visibility elements are helpful.”
DO make sure extension cords have appropriate insulation and/or covers to protect against damage, which could lead to an increased risk of fire and shock injuries.

Power strips
DON’T use power strips as a permanent power source and refrain from daisy chaining them.
DON’T use a power strip that doesn’t have overcurrent protection. Those that have electrical spike protection for digital equipment may be used as a permanent power source – but not daisy chained to an extension cord.
DO use wall outlets for equipment that is left on permanently, leaving the use of power strips for short-term projects only.

Flexible electrical cords
DON’T run flexible electrical cords under carpet or other combustible covers. “This is a serious fire hazard from the potential of overheated cords. Additionally, these cords could be damaged by heavy or sharp objects resting on them, moving across them, or dropped on them.”

Receptacles
DO
 use receptacles equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters in restrooms and roof outlets – they’re required within 6 feet of a sink or wet process on a worksite. “This protects the worker from the risk of shock and electrocution.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Ladder safety

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Ladder safety - McCraren Compliance

“Ladders are tools,” the American Ladder Institute says. “Many of the basic safety rules that apply to most tools also apply to the safe use of a ladder.”

A fall from a ladder can result from sudden movement, working too quickly, not paying attention, using a damaged ladder and improper footwear. The institute, which recognizes March as National Ladder Safety Month, offers tips to prepare to work on a ladder:

  • Feeling tired or dizzy? Stay off the ladder.
  • Inspect the ladder before use to ensure it’s in good working order.
  • Make sure you’re using the right size ladder for the job.
  • Don’t use ladders during storms or high wind.
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes if you’ll be climbing a ladder.
  • Set up the ladder on firm, level ground away from doors.
  • Allow only one person on the ladder at a time, and don’t carry items in your hands that can interfere with your grip.

When it’s time to climb the ladder, remember that you’ll need to maintain three points of contact to avoid a fall.

“At all times during ascent, descent and working, the climber must face the ladder and have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand, in contact with the ladder steps, rungs and/or side rails,” the institute says. “This way, the climber is not likely to become unstable in the event one limb slips during the climb.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

National grain safety week set for March 29-April 2

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
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Photo: Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week

Washington — OSHA and its Alliance Program partners in the agriculture industry are hosting the fifth annual Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week – slated for March 29-April 2.

The industrywide initiative aims to raise awareness of hazards related to grain handling and storage by providing employers and workers with educational opportunities, resources and training on best safety practices. Employers are encouraged to designate a coordinator for their individual events, decide what type of event to conduct, determine the best time and length, choose who should be involved, and promote the event internally and externally.

The types of events can include a toolbox talk or companywide safety activities such as discussions on job-specific hazards, developing rescue plans or conducting safety equipment inspections. Group demonstrations of safety procedures and regional half- or full-day seminars with safety or equipment demonstrations also can be planned.

The event’s organizers recommend encouraging all employees to participate. Local producers and Four-H Club or National FFA Organization chapters also can be invited to take part.

The event starts at 10 a.m. Central each day, with a virtual kickoff event scheduled for March 29. Registrants will have free access to virtual training sessions during the rest of the week, each day featuring a different focus and resources:

  • March 30: Near-miss reporting
  • March 31: Impact of quality on safety
  • April 1: Bin safety
  • April 2: Emergency action plans

The organizations in the OSHA Alliance Program that are sponsoring the event are the National Grain and Feed Association, the Grain Handling Safety Coalition, and the Grain Elevator and Processing Society.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Safe + Sound Week slated for Aug. 9-15

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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Photo: OSHA

Washington — OSHA, NIOSH and a coalition of safety organizations – including the National Safety Council – are joining forces for the fifth annual Safe + Sound Week, scheduled for Aug. 9-15.

The national initiative is intended to help promote awareness and understanding of workplace safety and health programs. More than 3,400 employers participated in last year’s event, according to OSHA.

“Successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving sustainability and the bottom line,” the agency says. “Participating in Safe + Sound Week can help get your program started, energize an existing one or provide a chance to recognize your safety successes.”

Registration is set to open in July.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

The eighth annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction will be held May 3-7.

First published by OSHA

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Photo: OSHA

The 2021 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is scheduled for May 3–7, OSHA has announced. The annual safety stand-down is intended to raise awareness of fall hazards and to encourage conversations about industry best practices to prevent fall fatalities and injuries. According to OSHA, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers: in 2018, 320 of the 1,008 fatalities recorded in construction were attributed to falls.

Workplaces that participated in past years’ safety stand-downs include commercial construction companies, residential construction contractors, subcontractors and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. military, other government participants, unions, trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers. OSHA encourages any employer who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace to participate. Employers whose workers are not exposed to fall hazards can use the safety stand-down as an opportunity to focus on other job hazards, protective methods, and safety policies and goals. Following the stand-down, employers will be able to download a certificate of participation and provide feedback about their experience.

The website for the safety stand-down provides resources to help workplaces participate in the event, including free training materials, videos, and additional educational resources. Highlights​ from previous years are also available.​​​​​

 


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Demolition work: Keep it safe

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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Demolition work involves the dismantling, razing, destroying or wrecking of any building or structure. Hazards of this dangerous work, according to OSHA, may include materials hidden within structural members (e.g., lead, asbestos, silica, and other chemicals or heavy metals requiring special material handling), as well as unknown strengths or weaknesses of construction materials, such as post-tensioned concrete.

To combat these hazards, workers at a demolition site should know the safety precautions they must take to protect themselves. OSHA says to:
PLAN ahead to get the job done safely. Before work begins, a competent person should survey the work. This person should closely check the condition of the structure and the possibility of an unplanned collapse. An assessment of health hazards also should be completed before work begins.
PROVIDE the right protection and equipment. The employer must determine what personal protective equipment will be required and provide it to workers. The employer also will need to educate workers on the proper use, fit, maintenance and storage of the PPE.
TRAIN employees about demo work hazards and how to safely use equipment. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for employees. Employers must train employees – in a language they understand – on recognizing and avoiding or removing hazards that may cause an injury or illness.

OSHA addresses demolition hazards in specific standards for the construction industry. Learn more at osha.gov/demolition/standards.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

“Faces of Fire”: New NFPA campaign promotes awareness of electrical safety

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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Photo: National Fire Protection Association

Quincy, MA – A new safety campaign from the National Fire Protection Association tells the stories of people who were injured in electrical incidents both on the job and at home.

Launched in partnership with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, the Faces of Fire/Electrical video series campaign initially featured utility workers Dave Schury and Sam Matagi, who were seriously injured in separate electrical incidents.

Schury sustained second- and third-degree burns over 30% of his body when a 12,000-volt piece of equipment was short-circuited by a rat and caused an explosion. He spent more than two weeks in a hospital burn unit recovering from his injuries. Matagi, a power lineman, lost both of his hands after nearly 15,000 volts of electricity surged through his body when a scrap of cut wire he was holding contacted a live wire.

According to NFPA, 1,651 U.S. workers died as a result of electrical injuries from 2007 to 2016. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 1,900 nonfatal occupational injuries related to electricity exposure were recorded in 2019.

“Exposure to electricity poses a real injury risk to workers and the public,” Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy at NFPA, said in a press release. “The Faces of Fire/Electrical campaign helps better educate people about the true dangers of electricity and ways to prevent related tragedies from happening.”


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

SAFETY FIRST! – Working in the cold

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
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Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation

Lost-time injuries and illnesses resulting from “environmental cold” spiked nearly 142% in 2018 – soaring to 290 cases from 120 the previous year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Those cases, plus the 280 reported in 2019, are a likely indicator of a lack of employer and worker understanding about the dangers of cold stress.

What are the dangers?

Along with air temperature, wind and moisture can create issues for employees working in the cold. Water, including sweat, can displace body heat 25 times faster than dry air, according to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety.

Likewise, wind can blow away the body’s protective external layer of heat. This is why wind chill is an important factor to understand. So, for example, when the temperature is 25° F and the wind is blowing 25 mph, the wind chill is 9° F, resulting in more dangerous conditions.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists used air temperature and wind speed to develop three thresholds of cold stress hazards:
Little danger: Freezing of exposed skin within one hour
Danger: Freezing of exposed skin within one minute
Extreme danger: Freezing of exposed skin within 30 seconds

With no wind, the temperature can drop to -20° F and still pose little danger to workers. But if the wind speed reaches 20 mph or more, then the danger threshold moves up to 10° F.

ACGIH also developed a work/warm-up schedule for four-hour shifts (available on OSHA’s website at osha.gov/dts/weather/winter_weather). On this sliding scale, no noticeable wind and an air temperature between -25° and -29° F translates to a maximum work period of 75 minutes. However, if the wind reaches 20 mph or more and the temperature is between -15° and -19° F, the maximum work period is 40 minutes. At -25° F or colder and with a wind speed at the same 20 mph or greater, ACGIH recommends that all non-emergency work stop.

Martin Tirado, CEO of the Snow and Ice Management Association, said a good rule of thumb is a 15-minute break for every hour of work. When the temperature dips below zero, workers should have shorter work periods with a break that’s equal in length (i.e., work for five minutes and warm up for five minutes). Continue reading»


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.