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.

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.

Time for a safety walkaround

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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Safety walkarounds demonstrate an employer’s commitment to safety and allow managers to see for themselves how effective their safety and health management program is, OSHA says in a fact sheet from its Safe + Sound campaign.

Walkarounds can be broken down into three parts: pre-inspection, onsite inspection and post-inspection.

Pre-inspection

  • Plan to focus your inspections on areas where hazards have been identified. Check to see if previously identified hazards have been abated or if further action is needed.
  • If your workplace has a safety committee, schedule a pre-inspection meeting and invite workplace safety representatives as well as other managers and supervisors to get their perspective on the worksite’s safety issues.
  • Determine what safety equipment you’ll need to conduct the inspection.
  • Lead by example: Wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

Onsite inspection

Look for easily observable hazards first, such as:

  • Tripping hazards
  • Blocked exits
  • Frayed/exposed electrical wires
  • Missing machine guards
  • Poor housekeeping
  • Poorly maintained equipment

During the inspection, talk to employees at their workstations. They’re the ones likely to know the most about the hazards. Encourage conversation by asking open-ended questions such as, “What’s the most hazardous task in your job? What makes it hazardous?” and “If you’ve been injured, what was the injury and how did it happen?”

Another important part of an inspection is observing workers as they perform their job. Do they lift heavy objects? Do they stand/sit in awkward postures? Are they performing repetitive motions? If so, take notes and photos. “Try to find solutions for hazards while you are conducting the inspection by applying your own creativity and inspiring the creativity of workers,” OSHA recommends.

Post-inspection

Soon after the inspection, prepare an abatement plan containing a list of the hazards found, corrective actions needed and a timeline for implementation. “Some complex hazards may require further evaluation, study, or engineering work to design and implement appropriate controls,” OSHA cautions.

Share the abatement plan with managers, supervisors and workers, and track progress by sharing or posting periodic updates to the plan.


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.

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.

Safety tips if you’re on the road during holidays and beyond

First published by ADOT.

As the Christmas and New Year’s weekends arrive to ring out 2020, we hope you’re combining any travel plans with a focus on health-related safety due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.I-40 Snow Photo East Flagstaff

During recent holiday seasons, ADOT has focused on safe driving recommendations for people who will be traveling on our highways. But this year we start by emphasizing this reminder: No matter the destination, don’t forget to bring and be prepared to use a mask to help stop the spread of the virus. Have you thought about taking the time now to put a spare, fresh mask or two in your vehicle?

On the highway safety side of the ledger, these reminders apply not only to the holiday season but also the winter travel season, especially if your plans will have you in the high country.

Before you hit the highway, check your vehicle for things such as correct tire pressure, engine fluid levels and the condition of your windshield wipers. Think about whether a visit to your auto maintenance shop is in order.

Get adequate rest before driving. Fatigue, like distracted driving, is a serious highway safety issue you shouldn’t ignore. The same goes for never driving if impaired by alcohol or drugs. Arrange for a designated driver or ride service if necessary. Lives are on the line. Be smart about it.

I-17 Approaching Black Canyon CityBe prepared for changing weather conditions, especially in our high country. Take time ahead of a trip to put together an emergency prep kit that you can put in the trunk or back of your vehicle. Pack things such as an extra change of clothes, blankets, drinking water, healthy snacks, a flashlight and other items that will help keep you comfortable in case you have to stop due to bad weather or an unscheduled highway closure. A fully charged cellphone also is important. ADOT has more information about an emergency kit when you visit azdot.gov/KnowSnow and look for the words “Must Haves.”

When you’re behind the wheel, you and your passengers should be using those seat belts. Don’t race to your destination. Speeding, aggressive and distracted driving are a recipe for serious crashes. If a winter storm is approaching or starting, it’s usually a good idea to let the storm pass before traveling. That way you’re giving ADOT’s snowplow operators time to improve the highways.

If you are driving behind one of our snowplows, stay at least four vehicle lengths back and try to avoid passing one of these big plows.

ADOT and its contractors cooperate in limiting full closures along state highways during the holidays. But work does continue and you should use caution when approaching or traveling through any work zones. This applies no matter what time of year you travel.

Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511, using the AZ 511 app and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT(link is external). When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, ADOT’s free app available at azdot.gov/ADOTalerts will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.

Remember to focus on safety. We’ll want to see you in 2021. Happy Holidays.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Parking lot safety

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First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Parking lots can be a safety risk for workers, especially with the sun setting earlier during the winter months.

When you’re returning to your vehicle, always try to walk with a co-worker or security officer, the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety recommends. Then, give your escort a ride back to the building. Other tips:

  • Park in a highly visible and well-lit area near your building.
  • If you park in a garage, look for a spot near the parking attendant, if there is one, or near the stairs or a well-lit exit.
  • Use the main building entrance – avoid rear or secluded exits.
  • Have your keys out and ready as you approach your vehicle.
  • Don’t approach anyone loitering near your vehicle. Walk to a safe place or go back inside your workplace, and then call the police.
  • Lock the doors and keep the windows rolled up once you’re in the vehicle.

If you have to walk alone, follow these five tips:

  • Have a co-worker watch you from a window.
  • Wave to them on the way to your vehicle.
  • Wave even if no one is watching to give the illusion that someone is watching you return to your vehicle.
  • Always be alert to your surroundings. Keep your head up and look around.
  • Don’t wear headphones or talk on the phone. These devices can create distractions.

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.

Protect your skin

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First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Do you work with wet cement, paints or plaster? Maybe adhesives? These are just some of the materials that can irritate your skin because they can contain harsh substances such as hexavalent chromium, calcium hydroxide, toluene, xylene, epoxy resins and lime. This can result in burns, dermatitis and other skin disorders, and even cancer.

Symptoms of skin disorders include:

  • Red and/or swollen hands or fingers
  • Cracked or itchy skin
  • Crusting or thickening of the skin
  • Blisters
  • Flaky or scaly skin
  • Burns

Here’s how you can protect your skin:
Prevent exposure. Try to keep your arms and clothes dry. Wear protective clothing, including gloves, coveralls and boots. If you work outdoors, always apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher. Clean your hands and skin before applying the sunscreen.
Wear gloves. Make sure you’re using the right glove for the materials you’re handling. The gloves should fit and keep your hands clean and dry.
Keep your skin clean. Wash your hands with soap and clean water if you come in contact with a hazardous substance. Use a pH neutral soap if you work with wet cement or other caustics.


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.

Circular saw safety

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Circular saws are powerful hand tools that should be operated only by trained and qualified workers. Using circular saws without being trained – or flouting the rules – can lead to serious or fatal injuries. OSHA warns of three major hazards workers face when using a circular saw: the point of operation, kickbacks and flying particles.

Point of operation: Injuries can occur if an operator’s hands slip while cutting or if they’re too close to the blade during cutting. To help prevent these injuries, make sure hands are out of the line of the cut.

Kickbacks: When a blade “catches” the stock and throws it back toward the operator, this is called a kickback. Kickbacks happen when the blade height is incorrect or if the blade has not been properly maintained. They also are more likely to occur when ripping rather than crosscutting. “Kickbacks also can occur if safeguards are not used or if poor-quality lumber is cut,” OSHA adds.

Help prevent kickbacks by:

  • Using anti-kickback fingers to hold down stock.
  • Using the correct blade for the cutting action. For example, don’t use a crosscut blade for ripping.
  • Operating the saw at the manufacturer’s recommended speed.
  • Keeping the blade sharp.
  • Leaving enough clearance space for stock.
  • Supporting all parts of the stock, including the cut and uncut ends, scrap and finished product.

Flying hazards: Operating a circular saw can cause wood chips, broken saw teeth and splinters to be thrown from the blade and toward anyone nearby. Help prevent flying particles by removing cracked saw blades from service right away.


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.

Protect your skin

skin-protection.jpg

Do you work with wet cement, paints or plaster? Maybe adhesives? These are just some of the materials that can irritate your skin because they can contain harsh substances such as hexavalent chromium, calcium hydroxide, toluene, xylene, epoxy resins and lime. This can result in burns, dermatitis and other skin disorders, and even cancer.

Symptoms of skin disorders include:

  • Red and/or swollen hands or fingers
  • Cracked or itchy skin
  • Crusting or thickening of the skin
  • Blisters
  • Flaky or scaly skin
  • Burns

Here’s how you can protect your skin:
Prevent exposure. Try to keep your arms and clothes dry. Wear protective clothing, including gloves, coveralls and boots. If you work outdoors, always apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher. Clean your hands and skin before applying the sunscreen.
Wear gloves. Make sure you’re using the right glove for the materials you’re handling. The gloves should fit and keep your hands clean and dry.
Keep your skin clean. Wash your hands with soap and clean water if you come in contact with a hazardous substance. Use a pH neutral soap if you work with wet cement or other caustics.