$9.95 Flat Rate Shipping USA

Safety Instruction Blog

  • Common Sense Working in Cold Conditions

    A New Year and a new start. Checking in to see how you’re doing with your “New Year Revolutions”. January in Wisconsin has been brutal so far, and those I talk to across the country including Canada have been singing the blues about the weather as well. This type of weather presents a whole new challenge not just to you and your body personally, but to employers who are charged with providing information, and safeguards for common sense working in cold conditions.

    “We’ve only just begun” as Karen Carpenter once sang. Winter is a marathon and not a sprint; it does call for common sense. Please evaluate your risk factors and understand the fundamentals and sign of “Hypothermia”, cold environment injuries and illnesses. Learn the PPE requirements and how to use them. This years “arctic vortex” included some record breaking cold across the country. Your body is an interesting and complex creation, and not necessarily built to withstand extended periods of cold or heat for that matter. It adjusts itself to prevent heat loss and conversely overheating as well, but it’s up to you to prepare and understand how your body works in either extreme. Of course your employer is responsible for providing a complete written plan, the tools, environment and supervision as part of OSHA’s general duty clause.

    I do keep referring to “Common Sense” I raised 4 sons and a daughter. Not once did I send them out in the snow barefoot, or ice skating with an ill-fitting pair of skates, and their mom always shouted at them as they left the door “Are you wearing your hat”? Do you have your mittens? Do you have jumper cables in the car? They all learned to love ice fishing, skiing, skating and hockey, those things that make winter move along just a little quicker. Now they are passing on the common sense to my grandchildren.

    This year truly has been a challenge, and I will be happy to see it in my tail lights. Meanwhile use common sense working in cold conditions.

  • Safetyinstruction.com New Year Revolutions

    Well ok maybe it is a typo. Perhaps it was meant to be. Really it seems that New Year Resolutions aren’t remembered after the first donut, or first run around the block wheezing and coughing. Revolutions, however, do attract some attention in the history books, and most are worth remembering. If you analyze what a revolution is and what it takes then you’re on the right track. My own definition would have it as pushing back on an idea that has run its course or never worked in the first place. It takes courage, and help to get it started. Note that I said it takes “Help” to get it started. Like our early revolutionaries, Paul Revere didn’t whisper “oh nuts the British are coming”. He raced through the streets shouting it out, which called to action and arms those who were part of the plan. The rest as we know is history. So here are Safetyinstruction.com New Year Revolutions:

    A.)We are going to manage our almost newly rebuilt website www.safetyinstruction.com to ensure a better on line experience for all of our current and future users. We’ll do this by offering more up to date information, including expanded “On Line training”, “On Site services & Consulting”, Safety equipment and supplies.

    B.)We will also aggressively pursue more useful information in laymen’s terms which can be passed along in our E-mail newsletter, and this Blog.

    C.)We are also going to offer, Regional off site training seminars for “Train the Trainer” and OSHA 10 and 30 hour certificates.

    Please recognize that anything you do to improve yourself, also affects those around you, including your family. Garner support from those who you can trust to help and support you. Challenge yourself and others to take time in the next couple of weeks to decide what your New Year Revolutions might be. Pick out a safety topic or idea. Document your thoughts. My memory isn’t the best so in an effort to improve my memory I bought a book on the subject. So what’s the first thing the book suggested? “Write it down”. Set a deadline for these revolutions to further validate them. Now put them where you can see them, even if it’s on the refrigerator door.

    At his time the staff at Safetyinstruction.com, want to thank you for a wonderful 2013, and wish you and yours a safe and prosperous New Year. We are pleased to make you a part of Safetyinstruction.com New Year Revolutions.

  • "Overall Company Safety Plan" The Final Analysis

    This year has slipped by pretty quickly. I’m sure that in the final analysis we’ve all had some wins and some losses. I pray that you’ve had more in the wins column. This is the time of the year of course that you’ll want to make sure that your OSHA record keeping plan is up to date and compliant for the mandated OSHA standard 29CFR 1904. Additionally your OSHA Form 300a for 2013 is due for posting from February 1st to the end of April for all to see, like bearing the soul of the company. So if you are the person charged with this task it’s also a good time of the year to review your overall company safety plan.

    Your “Overall Company safety Plan” is a very important document. Not just for OSHA requirements, but it provides a road map for your company’s safety environment. If you haven’t already done so, then you should really familiarize yourself with “Process Safety”, or “Job Safety Analysis”. This is also a good time of the year to update your “Employee safety Handbook”. There are so many topics to consider when reviewing your “Overall Company Safety Plan” Have you considered “Emergency & Disaster Preparedness”, Crisis Management”, Defensive Driving”, “Personal Protective Equipment” including the use of safety footwear? Something not necessarily related to safety but should be recognized as a very important part of team building is “Preventing Discrimination In The Workplace” There are just so many topics to consider, if you don’t have a safety committee, perhaps you should take a look at creating one. This will enable you to get additional help in identifying hazards, and also sharing in the responsibility of creating a safe working environment, and identifying other potential topics.

    “Last One Out” No, don’t turn the lights out, but turn the lights on. Familiarize yourself with the many on line courses, safety videos, editable power point presentations, and written plans, available. They are all designed to give you, your employees and families a safer environment both at work, in the office and at home. In closing we would like to wish all of you a very Blessed Christmas and safe New Year. This will be made easier if you have an “Overall Company Safety Plan”.

  • Manage Fatigue

    Fatigue, is something we all experience at one time or another. It’s generally caused by lack of sleep. Sleep as you know is a biological need, just like breathing. Try to hold your breath, eventually you will take a breath you might pass out first, but you will take a breath. You can go without sleep but eventually your body will say nuts to you and will go to sleep, and it doesn’t care where, even if you fight it with stimulants like caffeine. It’s at those times when you are fatigued that you and those around you are at risk. You need to understand, and manage Fatigue

    Shift workers - Fatigue can affect work performance. People who work rotating shifts suffer a higher rate of illness and death than day shift workers. Experience and statistics show that human error is the primary cause of 85% to 98% of accidents and injuries. If you do not get your required sleep, you accumulate a sleep debt, which can only be eliminated through sufficient amounts of sleep. Sleepiness is the brain's signal that warns you that you need to sleep. Losing just two hours of sleep can affect your performance and can include degraded judgment, poor decision making, memory loss, slowed reaction time, lack of concentration, and of course, change your mood. Surveys show that shift workers are chronically deprived of sleep. This group has approximately twice as many automobile accidents as the 9 to 5 workers.

    The trucking industry is much the same way. It is said that if you are driving sleepy you are just as impaired as driving while intoxicated. Sleepy drivers account for 60,000 collisions a year, 40,000 injuries and over 2.5 billion dollars in overall losses. The most severe time of fatigue is from midnight to 6 a.m.. How many times have you been behind the wheel of your car or truck, heading for vacation, when you suddenly realize that you don’t remember the last 3 or 4 miles, or the rumble strips on the highway have brought you back from the brink? Would you let a surgeon or dentist work on you if you knew they were sleep deprived? There are no rumble strips in an operating room or dentist office.

    Stress, Burn Out, and physical exhaustion, are other sources of fatigue, along with lifestyle choices, and work schedules. You need to identify and avoid burnout. Your body is a 24/7 machine and works on a schedule. This schedule is referred to the “Circadian Cycle”. Kind of like messing with mother nature, and everybody knows from the book “If Mama ain’t Happy, ain’t nobody Happy” Take care of yourself, eat right. You are in charge, find a balance and understand your triggers and how to manage Fatigue.

  • It Stinks Hydrogen Sulfide Safety

    Hydrogen sulfide H2S has been around for a long time, and is associated with a number of applications. Hydrogen sulfide is a flammable, colorless gas and stinks like rotten eggs. It is more commonly known as “sewer gas”, “Stink damp” “swamp gas” or “hydro sulfuric acid”. If you live near a landfill, Kraft Paper Mills, Tanneries, Petroleum refineries, Farms with Manure storage, have a well drilled for drinking water, then you’ve probably experienced the resulting odor. I grew up in an old farm house with a well containing this chemical, but I must admit it made great tasting koolaid. Yes if you eat too many beans flatulence is also a relative. Hydrogen Sulfide is a quiet killer and according to OSHA statistics this gas has caused at least 60 deaths between 2001 and 2010. This topic has become more relevant in the last 3 to 4 years since the natural gas, and oil industries including the shale oil industry, here in the US have experienced a tremendous amount of growth. So we need to have a discussion regarding "It stinks Hydrogen Sulfide safety".

    This gas (H2S) does occur naturally in crude petroleum, natural gas (High concentrations), volcanic gases, and hot springs. It can also result from bacterial breakdown of organic matter. It is also produced by human and animal wastes, and can be the result of food processing.

    Why is it so dangerous? It is highly flammable. Hydrogen Sulfide is heavier than air and can travel along the ground or collect in low lying and enclosed poorly ventilated areas including man holes, sewer lines, manure pits, underground vaults. When released as a gas it changes to sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is very corrosive, and is actually used in Lead acid batteries, drain cleaners, TNT, and nitroglycerin. So you get the idea it is useful in many other applications, but extreme caution is the word of the day. Hydrogen sulfide is most dangerous in confined spaces where it is allowed to collect. Although very pungent at first, it quickly deadens the sense of smell, so potential victims may be unaware of its presence until it is too late. Exposure to high concentrations of Hydrogen sulfide (greater than 500 ppm) even in brief encounters can cause respiratory paralysis, a loss of consciousness and possible death. You can learn more about exposure limits by referring to: 29CFR1910.1000 Table 2-2 (Gen Industry), or 29CFR1926.55 Appendix A (construction) For more OSHA information also see https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hydrogensulfide/exposure.html .

    Through proper testing using an electronic meter, any level of hydrogen sulfide gas can be detected. Once the gas is detected and determined to be over the exposure limit, you’ll need to prepare your group or employees including yourself on what’s next, Safety training, a game plan, including elimination of the hazard. Respiratory protection, PPE, Confined space knowledge and equipment. So while the chemistry of this gas can be complicated, the results are not. You do not need to be a statistic. Please understand, and be aware of Hydrogen Sulfide safety.

  • Chain Saw Safety

    Every man at one point or another would have liked to be a logger, “Babe and the Blue Ox” story, grow a beard, and eat a logger’s breakfast. Well maybe not every man. Truth is, its hard work in terrible conditions, and requires you to be constantly on the lookout for hazards. Loggers do use a lot of different equipment, and is a very dangerous occupation. For the purposes of this blog today we’ll focus on chainsaws. I could talk about my experiences with a chain saw, but if you review the OSHA list I’ve reprinted below from the OSHA Publications website, you’ll find most of my violations regarding chain saw safety.

    Chain Saw Safety

    Operating a chain saw is inherently hazardous. Potential injuries can be minimized by using proper personal protective equipment and safe operating procedures.

    Before Starting a Chain Saw

    -Check controls, chain tension, and all bolts and handles to ensure that they are functioning properly and that they are adjusted according to the manufacturer's instructions. -Make sure that the chain is always sharp and the lubrication reservoir is full. -Start the saw on the ground or on another firm support. Drop starting is never allowed. -Start the saw at least 10 feet from the fueling area, with the chain's brake engaged.

    Fueling a Chain Saw

    -Use approved containers for transporting fuel to the saw. -Dispense fuel at least 10 feet away from any sources of ignition when performing construction activities. No smoking during fueling. -Use a funnel or a flexible hose when pouring fuel into the saw. -Never attempt to fuel a running or HOT saw.

    Chain Saw Safety

    -Clear away dirt, debris, small tree limbs and rocks from the saw's chain path. Look for nails, spikes or other metal in the tree before cutting. -Shut off the saw or engage its chain brake when carrying the saw on rough or uneven terrain. -Keep your hands on the saw's handles, and maintain secure footing while operating the saw. -Proper personal protective equipment must be worn when operating the saw, which includes hand, foot, leg, eye, face, hearing and head protection. -Do not wear loose-fitting clothing. -Be careful that the trunk or tree limbs will not bind aginst the saw. -Watch for branches under tension, they may spring out when cut. -Gasoline-powered chain saws must be equipped with a protective device that minimizes chain saw kickback. -Be cautious of saw kick-back. To avoid kick-back, do not saw with the tip. If equipped, keep tip guard in place.

    There are a few other safety tips you’ll want to include on your list:

    *Working alone is never a good idea, and make sure someone is aware of your location, even if it’s your backyard. *Know your own limitations. *Use proper back and safe lifting techniques. The back you have is the only one you’re going to get. *Keep a first aid kit handy, including a cell phone. *Don’t forget the appropriate fire extinguisher. *if using an electric chain saw make sure it is properly grounded and you are using the appropriate gauge extension cord. http://consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/08/for-corded-electric-chain-saws-get-right-extension-cord/index.htm *Watch out for the yard light *If fatigued STOP unless you have gift card from an undertaker.

    So if you’re cutting your own fire wood, helping a neighbor or just pruning a few trees, take the job seriously. Your family will thank you for your Chain saw safety.

  • Back Safety It's For Everybody

    Back Safety, It’s For Everybody

    Getting anybody’s attention regarding proper lifting can be a challenge, unless of course you’ve already injured your back. Like a heart attack, that will get you to have a an “oh #$%^ moment”. Like throwing feathers into the wind it’s difficult to pick them all up again much less even find them. Back injuries account for 25% of all workplace injuries or accidents costing 80 to 100 billion dollars in losses. That’s Billion with a B. That is an alarming statistic .This makes employers, families, and insurance companies crabby. So much for back safety.

    Many of you who have ever seen the safety videos or have been trained to lift properly sat in that presentation and thought that’s for little guys or ladies, and when is this going to be over so I can go to the gym. Consider for a moment, when of course no one is watching, picking out an object you think you can lift, make it a challenge. Try it your way. Now try it using the proper lifting technique. Easier? You don’t have to admit it, just use the proper method the next time, and make your family happy you didn’t wreck you back today. Speaking of family, make sure you teach your family the right way as well. It’s OK to teach by example.

    When you lift, do a little stretching first and warm up. Warming up your car in the morning, and getting that oil up into the engine, does pays long term dividends. Back injury prevention through exercise is what I'm referring to. Gentlemen (and ladies) start your engines. Now bend at the knees trying to maintain the normal curvature of your spine. Keeping the load close to you will prevent undo pressure on your back. Did you know that for every 10 pounds of load, you have 100lbs of pressure if lifted properly? Once you start reaching for the load you increase the pressure on your spine exponentially. Try to understand the mechanics of your back. The purpose of the discs, and ligaments. Every good piece of machinery will last a long time if used properly and within the limits of its intended use. You’ll be glad you did. Here are a few more words of advice: Don’t reach, Don’t lift and turn, Wear proper protective equipment, Further OSHA doesn’t set limits for lifting its up to you to evaluate safe limits. Use proper tools like back belts for lifting and Don’t be afraid to ask for help! For more information see https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_vii/otm_vii_1.html

    Last Words: If you’re patient now and do it right, you won’t be a patient later. Back Safety, it’s for Everybody.

  • Fire Prevention Plan is for Everybody

    October is fire prevention month. This happens every October in commemoration of the “Great Chicago Fire” in 1871. Do you remember your school days when the local Fire Department visited? If you were lucky you got to sit in the fire truck and ring the bell. The Firemen reminded us, “Don’t play with matches” and talked about what to do in case of fire at home or at school. They gave us a red plastic fireman helmet and sent us home with something to color and a message for Mom and Dad. This past weekend I took my grandson to our local Pumpkin Fest, and he was treated to the same, you bet we took some pictures.

    fire prevention Well, we’re all a little older now, but the message is still the same all be it more detailed, and critical in nature due to our responsibilities as adults, Parents, employees, employers, and educators in safeguarding both life and property from fire. Here at safetyinstruction.com we take fire prevention and education seriously. In a report Dated April of 2012 by NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) from 2006 to 2010, 42,800 mfg. fires were reported with a loss of 22 lives, and almost 1 Billion dollars in direct property damage. These are real numbers so we’ve put together a checklist for you for a fire prevention plan. There is no need to color it. Please look at it and use it. Morally, and legally it’s the right thing to do.

    1. Do you have an OSHA compliant Fire Prevention written safety plan? OSHA Standards 29 CFR 1910.36, 1910.38, 1910.157, 1910.165
    2. Do you have an emergency evacuation plan? See OSHA regulation 1926.34
    3. Are Plant visitors, or outside contractors given orientation?
    4. What are employee responsibilities?
    5. What are my responsibilities for training?
    6. Are your employees trained in proper usage of fire extinguishers?
    7. When was the last time your fire extinguishers were inspected, are they compliant?
    8. Can we identify the different types of fire, and how to extinguish?
    9. Make a visual hazard assessment of potential sources of fire, identify, and document them
    10. Are Combustibles labeled and stored properly? Also consider combustible dust
    11. Are your smoke alarms and system up to date including new batteries if needed?
    12. Do you have the proper Protective equipment PPE for your employees including respiratory equipment and are employees trained in proper usage?
    13. Are you and your employees trained in First Aid?
    14. Has your sprinkler system been inspected recently?
    15. Who do you call in case of fire, is this posted in your plant office etc.?

    Share this list with your employees, and encourage them to do the same at home. In 2010 over 2600 (ref: NFPA) people were killed in home fires!!

    Now do yourself a favor. Do you have a smoke alarm at home? Have a little “Fire Drill” at home. After the kids and your “significant other” are sleeping, and conditions are otherwise normal in your home or apartment. Trip the alarm on your smoke alarm, and watch for reaction. How long does it take for the first one to hear it or do they hear it at all? I think you’ll find the results alarming (no pun intended). You might need to change things up. Please also have a plan: where are you going to meet outside in case of fire, and how are they going to get out there? Also consider a fire extinguisher party, it will be both fun and educational for you, and your family. Please share your results with us.

    If you have any questions always feel free to call us here at Safetyinstruction.com or e-mail us info@safetyinstruction.com Fire prevention is for everybody!

  • Mold, What to Do With That Grey Stuff? Symptoms It Can Be Deadly

    The EPA has a wonderful article which answers most all of the basic questions in their “Brief guide to Mold, moisture, and your home” http://www.epa.gov/iedmold1/moldguide.html. Of course this blog generally will be read by professionals in the safety, sanitation and HR sectors of business. I’m not one to reinvent the wheel, so I would encourage you to look in on the article and share it with your team, and family. The article will discuss mold and what to do with that grey stuff, and the symptoms.

    Recently several states have been inundated by flooding, so especially in those areas of the country you should be on the lookout for mold. Mold is a Fungus Species and not just fuzzy stuff, but is more complex in nature and not all the same. There are thousands of known species, some of which produce health hazards, allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and can be toxic. Toxic mold is mold that produces “mycotoxins” and can be deadly. They reproduce through producing very large numbers of small spores. These spores remain airborne indefinitely, may cling to clothing or fur, taken in through mucus membranes, causing all sorts of issues. Other molds are beneficial and used for our benefit such as penicillin

    “Symptoms caused by mold allergy are watery, itchy eyes, a chronic cough, headaches or migraines, difficulty breathing, rashes, tiredness, sinus problems, nasal blockage and frequent sneezing” reprinted from http://www.ask.com/wiki/Mold#Health_effects

    When checking for mold in your home, business, or place of employment, look in areas that are damp, dark or moisture laden. Examples are bathrooms, locker rooms, kitchens, storage, or basement areas especially if recently flooded. Other examples are Plumbing, or crawl spaces with poor ventilation. Don’t forget the refrigerator and cupboards as well. Mold can survive temperature extremes and will begin to reproduce at temperatures above 39 degrees F., they all need moisture for growth. If you’re not sure then check with a professional, it could mean the health of your family. Your inspector is trained in identifying the mold and symptoms of the cause. As a professional he will help you determine the source of the moisture and recommend solutions for removing, mitigating, and preventing future problems

    Aside from the health hazards associated with mold, there are the financial repercussions as well. Mitigation by a professional or demolition of your home can cost you your life savings, not to mention the cost of health care. Please take this serious. If you are purchasing a home or business place please have it inspected professionally. If you are a business you should have a mold remediation plan. You can also check with us regarding “On Line” certified mold training courses or just Mold Awareness. Call 866-598-2128 It will answer your question about, Mold what to do with that grey stuff. Identify the symptoms It can be deadly.

  • "Sanitation" Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

    Sanitation is everybody’s responsibility, but if its your job, the definition broadens considerably. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanitation It all starts with you. Your personal hygiene, your appearance, what you wear on the job including “Personal Protective Clothing” PPE. Some areas of concern are “Food Service Workers”, “ Health care and hospital facilities”, Cafeterias”, “Schools and Universities”, “custodial Workers in any industry”, and of course let’s not forget about home. Even more basic to this we start with proper hand washing. You will not be arrested for killing bacteria, as a matter of fact it’s encouraged. Use warm water and soap, wet your hands and apply soap. Scrub your hands making sure you cover all surfaces, top, bottom, in between your fingers, under your nails and the cuticles. It is said if you sing the “Birthday Song” twice that would be about the proper amount of time for scrubbing. Hand washing is very important in preventing the spread of disease not just for you but for the unintended. Sanitation is important for all.

    There is a difference in cleaning and sanitizing. When we clean we are moving the dirt around and or removing it from the premises. It’s important to know that bacteria need a home. It needs Food, moisture, heat, and darkness helps also. So we try to limit the conditions where bacteria will grow. So we remove the conditions, which promote the growth of bacteria, and the carriers of it, including rodents, and insects. Having said that, it is also important to have a good pest control program. Once the cleaning is done, the sanitation process should begin. If we were to really get into this we would discuss cross contamination, and color coding your equipment so the restroom mop is not used in the food prep area, this also includes gloves, and the use of paper toweling vs. cloth wipes. Once you are done with the washing wiping or rinsing, you can apply a sanitizing solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach to a gallon of water. You can dispense it in a trigger sprayer for convenience, For cleaning a room Start from the top and work down, once complete mist your sanitizer from the bottom up and allow it to air dry letting it stand for at least 2 minutes. Please also label the bottle as Bleach is corrosive and dangerous, so use caution and do not mix other chemicals with it. Please also wear the proper PPE including gloves and eye protection. There are other sanitizing chemicals which can be used, almost too numerous to mention. Bleach, however, is the most common, readily available and can be used for other sanitizing purposes such as water in a different ratio. So what does this assassin kill? This list even sounds nasty.

    Bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (Staph.) Salmonella choleraesuis Pseudomonas aeruginosa Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep.) Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli) Shigella dysenteriae Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

    Fungi Trichophyton mentagrophytes (can cause Athlete’s Foot) Candida albicans (a yeast)

    Viruses Rhinovirus Type 37 (a type of virus that can cause colds) Influenza A (Flu virus) Hepatitis A virus Rotavirus Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)* Herpes simplex Type 2 Rubella virus Adenovirus Type 2 Cytomegalovirus

    This article is not meant to be all inclusive, but to give you an idea of the importance of understanding at least the basics of cleaning vs. sanitizing. The job, and responsibilty of the custodian plays a major roll in the prevention and spread of disease. Have a housekeeping plan, and if you are healthy say thank you to your custodian for his roll, give yourself a pat on the back also for chipping in your share of the success of a healthy facility in which to work or dine. I can’t forget home as well. “Sanitation” it is said that cleanliness is next to godliness.

Items 61 to 70 of 223 total