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News

NEW Points Redemption Site!

The NEW safety points redemption site is live and ready for employees to place orders!

The new website allows employees to check their live safety points balance and order items online.  Employees may choose to have the items shipped to their home or to the Evansville office for pickup.

www.gribbinspoints.com

Your username is your first initial and full last name. Your password is your birthdate in this format – MM/DD/YYYY. After entering this information, click “sign in.”

 EXAMPLE: John Smith born on May 12, 1979

Username: jsmith

Password: 05/12/1979

For detailed instructions for the new points website, click here: gribbinspoints.com Instructions

ORDERING TOOLS STILL AVAILABLE!

To redeem your points for tools, review the list of tools here – Gribbins Tool Catalog – then send an email to Vickie Dubord (vdubord@gribbins.com) and Stacey Forrester (sforrester@gribbins.com).  

SUPPORT

Please contact Jessica King at Oswald Marketing with questions about your balance or logging in.  Her email address is jessicak@oswaldmarketing.com and you can call her at 812-426-0335.  Of course, you can always contact the safety department as well.

Excavation, Trenching, and Shoring

An excavation is any man made cut, cavity, trench or depression in the earth’s surface.  A trench is a narrow excavation made below the surface of the ground with a width not greater than 15 feet.

Excavations and trenches are areas where our work is normally not performed.  However, when we do perform in these areas, employees must be trained, a competent person must be onsite, and inspections must be completed.  Excavations and trenches are one of OSHA’s national emphasis program and continue to cause fatalities every year.  It is imperative that employees are trained and follow all rules and regulations while enter a trench or excavation.  The following are a list of safety precautions while working in or around trenches or excavations:

  • The area must be cleared, approved and a site specific safety plan must be completed by the Gribbins Insulation representative prior to the start of an excavation.  An excavation may be considered a confined space, therefore atmospheric testing may be required.
  • All excavations must have safe access ways, be properly barricaded and shall have a flashing light barricade at night.  Spoil dirt may be used to barricade one side of a ditch or similar excavation.  All dirt must be piled at least three feet back from the edge of an excavation and must be at least three feet high when used as a barricade.
  • All excavations four feet or deeper into which personnel may be allowed to enter, no matter how brief, shall be shored, benched and/or sloped to comply with OSHA requirements.
  • Access and egress ladders are required in any excavation at a minimum of every 25 feet of lateral travel per OSHA regulation.
  • Gribbins Insulation will have a competent person, as defined by OSHA, supervising all excavation work.  The competent person shall inspect the excavation daily before work begins and after significant amount of rain or other conditions that may increase hazards.  The competent person shall complete annual refresher training.
  • All soils are to be considered Class “C” unless a soil laboratory determines and documents otherwise.
  • All excavations shall be inspected daily using the Gribbins Insulation Excavation Inspection form.
  • All walkways over a trench/excavation shall have guardrails, if they are 6 feet or more above the bottom of the trench/exaction.
  • All adjacent structures shall be supported to prevent a collapse.
  • Check all excavation walls before entering and after a heavy rain or thaw.  Inspect shoring daily or more often in extremely wet weather.
  • Nobody is permitted in an excavation while equipment is being used next to the edge.
  • All excavations within three feet of a known active underground pipeline, conduit, or cable shall be hand probed and dug using insulated tools.  If the underground utility cannot be found, all work shall stop at this location and the Gribbins Insulation field representative shall be notified.
  • No employee is permitted to enter a trench or excavation without being properly trained.

Hearing Protection

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk

Gribbins Insulation must institute a training program for all employees with noise exposures at or above the action level (85 decibels) and ensure participation.  This training must be repeated annually for each employee in the hearing conservation program.  Training must be updated to be consistent with changes in protective equipment and work processes.

Gribbins Insulation must ensure that each employee is informed of the following:  the effects of noise on hearing, the purpose of hearing protectors, the advantages, disadvantages and attenuation of various types and instructions of selection, fitting, use and care and the purpose of audiometric testing and an explanation of test procedures.

Physics of Sound

Sound is the physical phenomenon that stimulates our sense of hearing.  It is an acoustic wave that results when a vibrating source, such as machinery, disturbs an elastic medium, such as air.  In air, sound is usually described as variations of pressure above and below atmospheric pressure.  These fluctuations, commonly called sound pressure, develop when a vibrating surface forms areas of high and low pressure which transmit from the source as sound.

The ear is the organ that makes hearing possible.  It can be divided into three sections:  External outer ear, air filled middle ear and fluid filled inner ear.

The function of the ear is to gather, transmit and perceive sounds from the environment.  This involves three stages:

  1. Modification of the acoustic wave by the outer ear, which receives the wave and directs it to the eardrum.
  2. Conversion and amplification of the modified acoustic wave to a vibration of the eardrum (transmitted through the middle ear to the inner ear).
  3. Transformation of the mechanical movement of the wave into nerve impulses that will travel to the brain, which then perceives and interprets the impulse as sound.

 

Effects of Excessive Exposure

Although noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common occupation illnesses, it is often ignored because there are no visible effects.  Hearing loss usually develops over a long period of time, and, except in very rare cases, there is no pain.  What does occur is a progressive loss of communication, socialization and responsiveness to the environment.  In its early stages (when hearing loss is above 2,000 Hz) it affects the ability to understand or discriminate speech.  As it progresses to the lower frequencies, it begins to affect the ability to hear sounds in general.

The three main types of hearing loss are conductive, sensorineural or a combination of the two.

The effects of noise can be simplified into three general categories:

  • Primary Effects, which includes noise induced temporary threshold shift, noise induced permanent threshold shift, acoustic trauma and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
  • Effects on Communication and Performance, which may include isolation, annoyance, difficulty concentrating, absenteeism and accidents.
  • Other Effects, which may include stress, muscle tension, ulcers, increased blood pressure and hypertension.  In some cases, the effects of hearing loss may be classified by cause.

Use of Foam Ear Plugs

The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is the rating of each type of hearing protection should be located on the packaging for that type of hearing protection.  If the NRR is 33 (dB) and the environmental noise level is 92 dBA then the noise entering the ear is approximately equal to 59 dBA, if hearing protection is worn correctly.

Fitting Instructions: Hands and plugs should be clean before fitting.

  • Step 1 – Roll plug slowly with thumb and fingers.  Gradually increase pressure to compress plug to a very thin crease free cylinder.
  • Step 2 – Insert compressed plug well into earcanal while pulling ear outward and upward with the opposite hand.
  • Step 3 – Check the fit after the plug expands in the ear.  You should feel only the end of the plug.  If you feel most of the plug outside the earcanal remove plug and repeat fitting.  Listen to steady noise with plugs in both ears.  Cover ears with tightly cupped hands.  The noise should sound about the same whether or not your ears are covered.

Body Mechanics

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk

Body mechanics describes the way you move during daily work activities.  The positions that you put your body in on a jobsite can greatly increase your chance of incidents or injuries.  Body mechanics play an important role in keeping you safe on a day to day basis.

The following are a list of frequent body movements and ways you can reduce your risk of injury:

  • Bending
    • Place your feet apart with one foot advanced, lower your body by flexing hip and knee joints and keeping your upright position, shift your body weight forward so that is rest on the advanced foot and on the ball of the rear foot, raise your body to standing position by extending the hip and knee joints while keeping your body aligned and balanced.
    • If possible move work area to a more suitable location.
    • Make sure you have the right equipment before moving material.
  • Twisting
    • Try to keep your work area in the middle of your body.
    • Have the right equipment for the job.
    • If you need to change position from a ladder move the ladder instead of twisting.
    • Move your whole body instead of just twisting your upper torso.
  • Standing
    • Wear the proper foot protection with adequate grip for the task.
    • Keep your feet flat on the floor and separated about 12 inches
    • Keep your back straight.
  • Walking
    • Keep your back straight.
    • Keep your eyes on the walking path and things going on around you.
  • When Lifting
    • Keep our back straight.
    • Bend from your hips and knees.  Don’t bend at the waist.
    • Keep objects close to your body.
    • Use mechanical lifting devices when possible.  If objects weigh over 50 lbs, two people are required.
  • Reaching
    • Try to move to a more accessible, better location before beginning work if you can.
    • Use smooth, coordinated movements.
    • Do not reach to use tools or move heavy materials.
    • Avoid twisting, move your whole body.
  • Pushing or Pulling
    • Use your body weight to help push or pull objects.
    • Keep your back straight.
    • Lower your body to the height of the object.  Do not bend at the waist.
  • Other
    • When working around existing equipment or situations, take time to look at the best place to perform your work.  Always look for the position that will put the least strain on your body.

Be sure to practice correct body mechanics during each work day. They allow you to reduce your risk of injury, to look more professional and to feel less fatigued.

Ladders

100% Fall Protection Policy for ladder usage above 6 feet:

Anytime an employee is working from a ladder or climbing a ladder above 6 feet, 100% tie off will be required. If 100% tie off cannot be maintained above 6 feet, other options should be used such as aerial lifts or scaffolds. If 100% tie off cannot be used and the work cannot be accessed by aerial lifts or scaffolds, the foreman shall contact the safety manager to give written permission on how to proceed.
Ladders are a vital part of our work, but present a major safety hazard when used improperly. A poorly maintained or improperly used ladder may collapse under the load place on it and cause the employee to fall. Reasons for injuries while working from ladders include but are not limited to: user wasn’t instructed on how to inspect the ladder, ladder involved broke during use, non-self supporting ladder wasn’t secured at top or bottom, ladder didn’t extend 3 feet above landing level, the ladder involved had more than one defect or ladder was used incorrectly.

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk

Type of ladders include:

  • Stepladder – A self-supporting portable ladder that is non-adjustable in length. They shall not be longer than 20 feet, shall be equipped with spreaders of sufficient size and strength to securely hold the front and back sections open, shall not be used as straight ladders
  • Single Ladder – A non-self supporting portable ladder that is non-adjustable. They shall not be more than 30 feet
  • Extension Ladder – A non-self supporting portable ladder adjustable in length. They shall not be more than 60 feet

General Requirements:

  • Ladders shall be placed with a secure footing on an even surface when possible. If this is not possible they shall be secured at the top and bottom to prevent slipping.
  • Ladders shall not be used on slippery surfaces or when hands, shoes or rungs are slippery.
  • Ladders place in any location where they can be displaced by workplace activities or traffic, such as passageways, doorways or driveways, shall be secured to prevent accidental displacement and/or barricades shall be used to keep the activities or traffic away from the ladder.
  • Straight ladders must extend 3 feet above the landing level and be secured. This provides a secure point of support when stepping off the ladder or landing level.
  • The ladder shall be angled at a 4 to 1 ratio. 4 feet vertical to 1 foot horizontal.
  • Ladders shall not be used to extend the working height on a scaffold.
  • The top step or top of a ladder or cross bracing shall not be used as a step.
  • Three points of contact shall be maintained while climbing a ladder.
  • Always face the ladder and keep yourself in the center of ladder. Belt buckle between rails.
  • Make sure surfaces are dry and free of slippery substances.
  • Metal ladders shall never be used near electrical equipment.
  • The area around the top and bottom of the ladder or stairway shall be kept clear of materials, debris, tools, etc.
  • Ladders shall not be moved, shifted or extended while occupied.
  • Do not twist your body while working from a ladder, adjust your ladders location instead to gain access to work area.
  • Always use handrail when ascending or descending stairways. When carrying materials keep a clear view of the path of travel.
  • Do not carry objects, materials, tools or loads up a ladder.
  • If a ladder is placed in an area where a fall could propel you over a handrail, 100% fall protection is required. A rule of thumb 1 ft back from the guardrail for every step you are up on the ladder and then add 2 ft to the distance.

Inspections
Ladders shall be inspected before each use before each use for defects and at least quarterly by a competent person. If it is found to be defective it shall be tagged out and removed from service. The inspection should include: checking rungs, braces and top for bends, splits, cracks or other defects, checking locks and guides to insure they are fully functional, checking all hardware items to insure they are functional, checking all metal components for excessive rust or corrosion, checking rivets to insure head and crimp are intact, checking bolts and nuts to insure they are tight and threads are not stripped, checking crimps and swages for looseness, cracking or other conditions, checking welds for cracks or damage, checking safety shoes to insure shoes and treads are in good condition, checking rope and pulley for damage, checking leveling devices for condition and proper operation and checking hooks, grips and lashes for condition and proper operation.

President’s Message

NEW Points Redemption Site!

Posted: 08/01/17 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Visit www.gribbinspoints.com to redeem your points!

Read Full Article

Allie Redman Joins Gribbins Insulation as Payroll Administrator

Posted: 06/20/17 By: admin

Welcome Allie to the Gribbins team!

Read Full Article
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Toolbox Talk

Excavation, Trenching, and Shoring

Posted: 07/31/17 By: Trevor Atherton, Safety Mgr

Follow all OSHA rules and regulations when working in excavations and trenches.

Read Full Article

Hearing Protection

Posted: 07/24/17 By: Trevor Atherton, Safety Mgr

Although noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common occupation illnesses, it is often ignored because there are no visible effects.

Read Full Article