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Archive for June, 2011

General Safety Rules

The following are a list of general safety rules to follow while working on the jobsite.  Although this is not a list on all requirements, following these rules may prevent you or a coworker from becoming involved in an incident.

  1. Be sure you know how to perform the job and perform it safely.
  2. Be sure you know its hazards and how to protect yourself.  If you aren’t sure or have questions, ask your supervisor!
  3. Report all near misses, incidents, injuries and illnesses immediately.
  4. Wear the required personal protective equipment necessary for the job.  Safety glasses are required as minimum eye protection on all jobsites.
  5. Always work clear of suspended loads.
  6. Never conduct work, unless trained.
  7. Do not become complacent!  Always keep your mind and eyes on the task at hand.
  8. Always know the emergency action plan for your jobsite.  Know what the warning tones are and where to go.
  9. Obey all warning signs and barricades.
  10. Inspect all equipment, scaffolds, ladders, lifts, etc. before using.  If found to be defective remove from service.
  11. Report any unsafe tools, equipment or hazardous conditions to your supervisor.
  12. See that good housekeeping is maintained in your work area.
  13. Exercise proper lifting techniques.
  14. Operate vehicles in a safe manner and obey site driving rules.
  15. Do not perform work under unsafe conditions.  Any employee has the right to stop work if they feel it is unsafe.
  16. Horseplay of any kind will not be permitted.
  17. Only authorized personnel shall repair company furnished tools or equipment.
  18. Firearms on the job are prohibited.
  19. Always keep a positive attitude.  This will make the day go better and make you a safer worker.
  20. Do not use ladders as scaffolds and never climb so high that it is impossible to hold the top step for support.
  21. Never use a step ladder as a straight ladder.
  22. Don’t put yourself and your supervisor on the spot by not observing safety rules and regulations!
  23. If you see someone doing something unsafe or at risk say something to that employee!
  24. If you have concerns or questions, do not hesitate to contact Trevor Atherton at (812) 483-8049.

Local 18 Apprentice of the Year

Congratulations to Jeremy Cutright,

honored as Apprentice of the Year among the Local 18 graduating class at the ceremony on June 10, 2011.  Jeremy has worked for Gribbins Insulation throughout his career as an insulator.  J.D. Smothers, the Terre Haute Area Manager, considers Jeremy to be “extremely talented” and a valuable asset on jobsites.  Married with two children aged 8 and 5, Jeremy enjoys fishing in his free time.  He is pictured here with the piping system mock-up he built for the practical portion of the final test.  Congratulations to Jeremy!

Summer Safety Tip: Surviving the Hot Weather

Heat illness includes a range of disorders that result when your body is exposed to more heat than it can handle. The human body is constantly engaged in a life-and-death struggle to disperse the heat that it produces. If allowed to accumulate, the heat would quickly increase your body temperature beyond its comfortable 98.6° F.

Who is at risk?

Heat-related illness can affect anyone not used to hot weather, especially when it’s combined with high humidity.
Those especially at risk:

  • Infants, young children, elderly and pets
  • Individuals with heart or circulatory problems or other long-term illness
  • Employees working in the heat
  • Athletes and people who like to exercise (especially beginners)
  • Individuals taking certain medications that alter sweat production
  • Alcoholics and drug abusers


Heatstroke is the most serious and life-threatening heat-related illness. In certain circumstances, your body can build up too much heat, your temperature may rise to life-threatening levels, and you can become delirious or lose consciousness. If you do not rid your body of excess heat fast enough, it “cooks” the brain and other vital organs. It is often fatal, and those who do survive may have permanent damage to their vital organs.
Symptoms of heatstroke

  • The victim’s body feels extremely hot when touched.
  • Altered mental status (behavior) ranging from slight confusion and disorientation to coma.
  • Conscious victims usually become irrational, agitated, or even aggressive and may have seizures.
  • In severe heatstroke, the victim can go into a coma in less than one hour. The longer the coma lasts, the lower the chance for survival.

What to do

  1. Move person to a half-sitting position in the shade.
  2. Call for emergency medical help immediately.
  3. If humidity is below 75%, spray victim with water and vigorously fan. If humidity is above 75%, apply ice packs on neck, armpits or groin.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is characterized by heavy perspiration with normal or slightly above normal body temperatures. It is caused by water or salt depletion or both (severe dehydration). Heat exhaustion affects workers and athletes who do not drink enough fluids while working or exercising in hot environments.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Severe thirst, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea.
  • The affected person often mistakenly believes he or she has the flu.
  • Uncontrolled heat exhaustion can evolve into heatstroke.
  • Profuse sweating
  • Clammy or pale skin
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid pulse
  • Normal or slightly above normal body temperature

What to do

  1. Sit or lie down in the shade.
  2. Drink cool water or a sports drink.
  3. If persistent, gently apply wet towels and call for emergency medical help.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are painful muscular spasms that happen suddenly affecting legs or abdominal muscles. They usually happen after physical activity in people who sweat a lot or have not had enough fluids.

What to do

  1. Sit or lie down in the shade.
  2. Drink cool water or a sports drink.
  3. Stretch affected muscles.

Summer Safety Tip: Summer & Alcohol Safety

Many people enjoy the summer weather. However, heat-related illness can pose a risk when temperatures rise. It is important to keep hydrated and rest frequently in shaded areas when in the heat.  Gribbins Insulation values our employees and their families, and we want everyone to “THINK SAFETY” on and off the job.
Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, and can contribute to dehydration and heat exhaustion. Instead of consuming these beverages, you should keep hydrated with adequate amounts of water or sports drinks.
Drinking alcohol in the heat also can impact your judgment. The more alcohol you consume, the harder it is for you to recognize whether you might have a heat-related illness. The combination of alcohol and heat poses especially serious health risks for older adults and individuals with medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.

The National Safety Council offers these suggestions to avoid heat-related illness during the summer:

  • Keep hydrated. Drink non-alcoholic or non-caffeinated beverages, such as water or sports drinks.
  • If you decide to drink an alcoholic or caffeinated beverage, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after.
  • If you take any medication regularly, ask your doctor if you need to be extra cautious when outdoors and in the sun and heat.

Motor Vehicle and Boating Crashes

Summer is a dangerous time of year for motor vehicle and boating crashes. Never drink alcohol and drive. If you plan to drink, designate a nondrinking driver. When boating, never allow alcohol on board. Alcohol is the leading contributor in boating deaths. In 2008, 124 deaths and 276 injuries occurred because of alcohol use, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Gribbins Insulation’s core values are: integrity, safety, quality, productivity, and innovation.  We hope that you will participate in National Safety Month by reviewing the resources on the NSC website,  reading the weekly summer safety tips, participating in the FREE CPR course and webinar, and encouraging your friends and family to do the same.  We value our employees, and we want them to “think safety” on and off the job.


Safety is one of my personal core values for doing business in the construction industry, and it is also one of our company’s core values.  I expect every employee, from the estimator to the field employee to the receptionist, to consider safety in every single action.  Our safety department is charged with the goal of going beyond the minimum safety requirements and maintaining a high level of safety awareness on and off the job.  Ultimately, it is every employee’s responsibility to ensure the safety of themselves and their coworkers.

National Safety Month

June is National Safety Month, and you will notice extra safety postings on our company Facebook page.  Take advantage of these safety resources (part of our membership in the National Safety Council), and raise your level of safety consciousness to protect yourself and your fellow employees.  Learn all about National Safety Month here.

Safety Program

After such a successful year in 2010, our safety program continues to be an industry leader through both its results and its honors.

2011 Statistics – thru May 29

  • Over 100,000 hours worked
  • 0 Lost Work Days
  • 0 Restricted Activity Cases

2011 Awards…so far

Indiana Governor’s Workplace Safety Award for Overall Safety in Construction:  Our first time to win this award.  Read more here and see a picture of Safety Manager Trevor Atherton accepting the award from Indiana Commissioner of Labor Lori Torres.

Marathon Petroleum Illinois Refining Division Manager’s Contractor Safety Excellence Award:  Our sixth consecutive year to win this award for safety performance and attitude during our work at Marathon’s plant in Robinson, Illinois.

Metro Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety (MICCS) Safety Achievement Award:  our third consecutive year to win this award from an Indiana organization devoted to construction safety.

The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) Thomas J. Reynolds Award for Excellence in Construction Safety:  Our fourth consecutive win.

SIGN UP HERE to receive the Gribbins E-Newsletter via email.

Summer Safety Tip: Playground Safety

From the National Safety Council

Each year more than 200,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms because of playground injuries. Many playground injuries can be prevented.  Use this guide to examine your children’s playground so that they can run, jump, swing and slide to their heart’s content – safely.  Gribbins Insulation values our employees and their families, and we want everyone to “THINK SAFETY” on and off the job.

Soft Surface

Because nearly 79 percent of playground injuries are caused by falls to the ground, improper surfacing is the first thing parents should watch for when they inspect a playground.  Wood chips, bark mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires, and rubber mats cushion falls well.  Avoid concrete, grass, and dirt, as they’re too hard.  A minimum depth of 12 inches of material surrounding each piece of equipment in a 6-foot fall zone is recommended.  And regular maintenance is crucial; if not daily, then at least monthly.


Swings are the pieces of moving equipment that are most likely to cause injuries to children.  Animal swings have caused several deaths and should be removed from playgrounds.  Metal or wooden seats should be replaced with soft seats.  Swings should be set far enough away from other equipment so that children won’t be hit by a moving swing.  Only two swings should be in each supporting framework, and they should be at least 24 inches apart.  Full-bucket seats are recommended for younger children.  Half-bucket seats are dangerous because babies and toddlers can slide out of them.

Smooth Sliding

Slides should be well-anchored, have firm handrails and good traction on the steps. There should be no gaps between the slide itself and the platform. There should also be a bar at the top of the slide so that children have to sit before they go down.
One of the greatest dangers with slides occurs when drawstrings on children’s clothes get caught at the top of the slide. Although most children’s clothing manufacturers have quit making drawstrings, many children have older clothes.

Safe Seesaws and Merry-Go-Rounds

Spring-loaded seesaws are best for young children. Avoid adjustable seesaws with chains because children can crush their hands under the chains. A traditional type seesaw should have a tire or some other object under the seat to keep it from hitting the ground. Merry-go-rounds, or “whirls” or “roundabouts”, are best for school-age children. They should have good hand grips, and the rotating platform should be level, free of sharp edges and have adequate clearance to prevent crushing or severing limbs.

Climb Carefully

Forty percent of all playground injuries are related to climbing equipment. More children are injured falling off climbing equipment or horizontal ladders than anything else on the playground. Children under 4 shouldn’t play on this equipment. However, climbers are great for encouraging upper body strength. Watch older children when they’re climbing, check that steps and handrails are in good condition, and make sure a guardrail or barrier surrounds raised platforms. Any climbing ropes should be secured at the top and bottom. The number of injuries caused by monkey bars is so significant that many experts recommend that they be removed from all playgrounds.

Improve your Playground

If your child’s playground is unsafe, report problems to the owner/operator. There are no national mandatory standards for playground equipment, but Texas, California, New Jersey, Michigan and North Carolina have laws that require playgrounds to follow standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials. Some states require playgrounds to follow standards set in the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Handbook for Public Playground Safety.

Top 10 Checklist for Playground Safety

1. Surfaces around playground equipment should be filled with at least 12 inches of loose fill, such as wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel.
2. Most stationary equipment should have at least a 6 foot use zone in all directions.
3. Any openings that can trap children (in guardrails or between ladder rungs) should be less than 3.5 inches apart or more than 9 inches.
4. Guardrails should surround all elevated platforms and should be at least 29 inches high for preschool-age children and 38 inches high for school-age children.
5. Look for exposed concrete footings, tree roots or rocks that could trip children.
6. Check for sharp edges and dangerous hardware, like open “S” hooks or protruding bolts.
7. Make sure your child plays on age-appropriate equipment.
8. Playgrounds should be maintained regularly. Report any problems.
9. Remove hoods or drawstrings that can get caught on equipment.
10. Supervise children while they play.

Gribbins Insulation’s core values are: integrity, safety, quality, productivity, and innovation.  We hope that you will participate in National Safety Month by reviewing the resources on the NSC website,  reading the weekly summer safety tips, participating in the FREE CPR course and webinar, and encouraging your friends and family to do the same.  We value our employees, and we want them to “think safety” on and off the job.

June is National Safety Month

Each June, the National Safety Council sponsors National Safety Month to help companies raise safety awareness.  As a member of the National Safety Council and a company devoted to safety, we want to educate our employees on all the resources available from the National Safety Council during the month of June.

Each week carries a theme that brings attention to critical safety issues.  The themes for 2011 are listed below.  Click on each link to learn more about that subject:

Week 1: June 1 to 4  Summertime Safety

Week 2: June 5 to 11  Preventing Overexertion

Week 3: June 12 to 18  Teen Driving Safety

Week 4:  June 19 to 25  Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls

Week 5:  June 26 to 30  On the Road, Off the Phone

Summer Safety

The goal of National Safety Month is to raise a public awareness of safety.  June also is an appropriate month to focus efforts on summer safety, as this season is traditionally a time of increased unintentional injuries, both on and off the job.  Each Friday during June, we will post Summer Safety Tip Sheets from the National Safety Council on the Gribbins Facebook page.

To kick off National Safety Month, here is the first tip sheet:   Safe Bicycling

FREE Online Standard First Aid, CPR and AED Course

Register HERE by June 7!

Offered in conjunction with National CPR/AED Awareness Week, the course’s first aid topics include bleeding, wound care, shock, burns, serious injuries, fractures, and sprains.  The four-hour course also teaches the latest method of CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator, as well as how to help a person who is choking.

Take advantage of this free course and encourage your family members and friends to sign up too!  You must register by June 7, and then you will have 45 days to complete the course.

FREE Webinar:  How can I keep my teen driver safe?

Register now for this free webinar from the National Safety Council.

Monday June 13, 2011
11am Central Time
Noon Eastern Time

The webinar, hosted by Deborah Trombley, Senior Program Manager for the National Safety Council, will answer such questions as:  Why should parents ban teen passengers when their teen is driving?  Should siblings be allowed to ride with your teen driver?  What time of night is the right time for you to have your teen driver return home?  They will also share what behaviors contribute to the greatest number of teen driving crashes and how parents and teens can work together to reduce crash risk.

Gribbins Insulation’s core values are: integrity, safety, quality, productivity, and innovation.  We hope that you will participate in National Safety Month by reviewing the resources on the NSC website,  reading the weekly summer safety tip sheets, participating in the FREE CPR course and webinar, and encouraging your friends and family to do the same.  We value our employees, and we want them to “think safety” on and off the job.

President’s Message

2018 Q1 Safety Stars!

Posted: 04/19/18 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Working at heights, training, possible asbestos, and even icicles!

Read Full Article

Q4 2017 Safety Star Winners

Posted: 02/02/18 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Announcing our final safety star winners from 2017!

Read Full Article

Toolbox Talk

Heat Stress and Related Illnesses

Posted: 06/25/18 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Higher temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses. Learn to recognize the symptoms and catch them early.

Read Full Article

Hearing Protection

Posted: 06/18/18 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

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