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Archive for May, 2016

Hazard Recognition Tool Box Talk Part 1

There are many things that we do each day before work begins, we receive our job task, gather tools and equipment and move to our work area.  But another important thing each of us should do is to look at all the hazards in our work environment before beginning our task.  You should continue to evaluate the job throughout the day for hazards that may have changed or occurred during the course of the day.  Hazard should be corrected or eliminated before proceeding with the task at hand.  If you cannot correct the hazard yourself, contact your foreman or the safety department.

A hazard is defined as a chance, a chance of being injured or harmed or a possible source of danger.  Jobsites are filled with many different hazards whether it be the task you are performing, task others are performing around you, equipment, chemicals, heat sources or weather conditions.  Hazards should be recognized and eliminated through engineering controls, administrative controls or personal protective equipment.

The following is a list of some of the hazards that are frequently encountered on jobsites include.  This list does not cover all the hazards, but ones that we face on an everyday basis.

Material Handling and Storage – Manual handling hazards include improper lifting and carry techniques, carrying too much weight, incorrect gripping or lacerations.  Mechanical handling hazards include untrained forklift operators, uninspected equipment or congested areas.  Storage of material hazards include materials staked too high, unsecured materials that could become airborne or fall and storage in walkways or doorways.

Machine guarding – Hazards in this category include improper or missing guards around rotating or reciprocated equipment and guards on tools.  An example of this would be guards on grinders.

Slips/Trips/Falls – Hazards to look for include slippery surfaces, poor housekeeping, extension cords or other debris laying in walkways, inadequately barricaded or covered holes, stairs or uneven surfaces.

Scaffolds – Hazards include slippery surfaces, unsafe access, uncompleted scaffold, uninspected scaffold, employees modifying scaffolding without the direction of a competent person, falls, struck by falling objects, electrocutions, scaffold collapse or wheels not being locked on rolling scaffolds.

Aerial Lifts – Hazards include untrained employees, defective equipment, electrocution from overhead power lines, tip over hazards, not using 100% fall protection, not closing gates or chains, poor housekeeping on jobsite or in lift, collision hazards, explosion and fire hazards, inadequate floor support, overhead hazards, drop offs, holes or bumps, strong or gusty winds or using other devices to elevate yourself from the platform.

Ladders – Ladders are one of the most common tools used, but can also be one of the most dangerous if not used correctly.  Hazards in this category include uninspected ladders, ladders used on unstable or unlevel surfaces, slippery hand, rungs or shoes, using a step ladder as a straight ladder, using the top step or top of the ladder, not maintaining 3 points of contact or using the incorrect type or size of ladder.

Elevated Heights – Hazards exist not only where employees are subject to a fall of 6 feet or greater, but if a fall to a lower level or a piece of equipment below could occur.  Fall protection or prevention should be used when needed.  To eliminate these hazards always maintain 100% fall protection, inspect equipment before use, use anchor points capable of withstanding 5000 pounds, tie off points should be determined to ensure that your fall arrest equipment would stop you before you come into contact with lower levels or equipment, if you are using a 6 ft. shock absorbing lanyard you will need to tie off at least 19 feet above you to arrest the fall before striking the ground.  Also, look for hazards where if a fall occurred you could be propelled over a hand rail.

Tools/Power Tools – Hazards in this category include untrained employees, laceration, flying debris, electrical shock, unguarded equipment, not following the manufacture’s recommendation, using tool for unintended use, unsecured tools when working at elevated heights or using defective tools.


Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.

Factors that influence drowning risk include:

  • Lack of Swimming Ability: Many adults and children report that they can’t swim. Research has shown that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children aged 1 to 4 years.
  • Lack of Barriers:Barriers, such as pool fencing, prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area without caregivers’ awareness.
  • Lack of Close Supervision:Drowning can happen quickly and quietly anywhere there is water (such as bathtubs, swimming pools, buckets), and even in the presence of lifeguards.
  • Failure to Wear Life Jackets:Most (72%) boating deaths that occurred during 2010 were caused by drowning, with 88% of victims not wearing life jackets.
  • Alcohol Use:Among adolescents and adults, alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of deaths associated with water recreation.
  • Seizure Disorders: For persons with seizure disorders, drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death, with the bathtub as the site of highest drowning risk.

Research has found that the following factors help to greatly reduce the risk of a drowning death occurring:

  •  Swimming skills help. Taking part in in formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning among children aged 1 to 4 years.
  • Seconds count—learn CPR. CPR performed by bystanders has been shown to save lives and improve outcomes in drowning victims. The more quickly CPR is started, the better the chance of improved outcomes.
  • Life jackets can reduce risk.Potentially, half of all boating deaths might be prevented with the use of life jackets.



Unintentional poisoning includes the unsupervised ingestion of drugs or chemicals, “overdoses” or the excessive use of a drug and exposure to environmental substances.

The most common poisons include prescription and over-the-counter medications, cleaning products and personal care products. Eighty percent of incidents occur when a child eats or swallows over-the-counter and prescription medicines when an adult wasn’t watching.

Children are poisoned by pills or liquid medicine left unattended on countertops and tables, loose in purses or found on the floor. In 2008, poison control centers reported receiving calls about 2.5 million human poison exposure cases.

Parents are more likely to make mistakes when giving medicines to infants and toddlers than to older children. For example, half of the mistakes leading to emergency room visits from cough and cold medicines occur when giving medicines to infants and toddlers.

The following safety tips can help prevent this type of incident from occurring in your household:

  • Store medicines and vitamins up and away, out of reach and out of sight of young children.
  • Put medicines and vitamins away every time you use it. This includes medicines and vitamins you use every day.
  • Tell your children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. Never tell children medicine is candy to get them to take it, even if your child does not like to take his or her medicine.
  • Listen for the click to make sure the safety cap is locked.
  • Put the poison control number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it on your cell phone.
  • Read all of the information on the package label and follow the directions. Do not give a child medicine more often or in greater amounts than is stated on the package.
  • Use only the measuring device (dropper, dosing cup or dosing spoon) that is included with the product.



Burns can result from everyday things and activities in your home. The most common causes of burns are from scalds (steam, hot bath water, hot drinks and foods), fire, chemicals, electricity and overexposure to the sun. Some burns may be more serious than others.

The severity of the burn is based on the depth of the burn. First degree burns are the least severe, and third degree burns are the most severe. Call 911 or seek medical attention if you are unsure of how severe your burn is.

The following tips can be used when treating burn injuries:

Treatment of minor burns (first and second degree burns no larger than 3’’ in diameter)

  1. Cool the burn. Hold under cold running tap water until the area is free from pain even after removal from the water. If this is not possible cool with a cold compress.
  2. Cover the burn with a sterile nonstick dressing and bandage. Don’t use fluffy cotton or other material that may stick to or get lint in the wound. Wrap the bandage loosely to avoid putting pressure on burned skin. Bandaging reduces pain, protects blistered skin, and helps prevent infection.
  3. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.), naproxen (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc). Use caution when giving pain relievers to children or teenagers. Although aspirin is approved for use in children older than 2 years, children and teens recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin.

Treatment for severe/major burns

  1.  Do not remove clothing that is stuck to the skin. However, do make sure the victim is no longer in contact with smoldering materials or exposed smoke or heat.
  2. Do not immerse large severe burns in cold water. This could cause a drop in body temperature (hypothermia) and deteriorate blood pressure and circulation causing shock.
  3. Check for responsiveness and signs of normal breathing. If there is no normal breathing begin CPR.
  4. Treat for shock: have the person lie on back, elevate legs if no trauma and maintain normal body temperature (cover with a sheet or blanket).

From: http://www.nsc.org/safety_home/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Pages/Burns.aspx

Outdoor Safety


The outdoors should be a place where you and your family can relax and have fun.  The following are some precautions you can use to keep you family safe:

  • When mowing or using other power equipment, ensure children and pets are kept a safe distance. Always wear eye protection and hearing protection when operating equipment.
  • Place tools and equipment back in a secure place after use.
  • Always supervise children around water. Drowning usually happens quickly and quietly so stay close enough to reach children at all times.
  • Ensure walkways and driveways are in good condition.
  • Swing sets, slide or other outdoor play equipment shall be securely anchored. Inspect the equipment regularly for worn or broken parts.  Loose fill materials, such as shredded rubber, or safety test mats should be place under swing sets.
  • Keep fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals locked in cabinets or out of the reach of children.
  • Many plants can be poisonous. Ensure children are not left alone around plants that they could ingest.
  • Mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and other insects can spread disease. Use insect repellents contained DEET to prevent insect bites.  Shower as soon as possible and check for ticks.  Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate.
  • Protect yourself and family from the harmful effects of the sun by covering the skin with clothing, wearing hats or using a sunscreen with at least SPF 15.
  • When grilling ensure food is cooked thoroughly and always place on a clean platter when removing from the grill to prevent cross contamination. Always keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold and when finished eating refrigerate leftovers as soon as possible.  Keep children a safe distance from lit grills.
  • Wear helmets while riding bikes, skateboards, scooters, etc. to prevent serious injury in case of a fall. Ensure they are fitted properly.
  • Children that are too young to have a driver’s license should not be allowed to operate all-terrain vehicles.
  • Keep camp fires small and build wear they will not spread. Never leave them unattended and keep plenty of water and shovel around to douse the fire when you’re done.
  • Know the signs of heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke and know what to do if the symptoms arise. Plan physical activities for the cooler part of the day and wear light colored clothing.

Safety Leader Award from CCS

Gribbins Insulation was honored by the Coalition for Construction Safety Inc. (CCS) with a 2016 Safety Leader Award.  Gribbins Senior Vice President Mark Gribbins accepted the award at the 23nd annual CCS Awards Banquet on April 28, 2016, at the Indiana Convention Center Sagamore Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis.  Safety Manager Trevor Atherton, Indianapolis Area Manager Adam Brown, and Safety Coordinators Kenny Hollcraft and Joel Smith were also present at the ceremony.CCS_Award_Web - 21 (002)

Construction companies of all sizes submit applications for the prestigious CCS awards program.  Gribbins Insulation was honored with a Safety Leader Award as one of the top five safety programs for the fifth consecutive year.  Each of these winners was then in contention for the coveted “Crystal Eagle” award.  Gribbins Insulation previously was honored with the Crystal Eagle award in 2013, the only specialty contractor to win in the award’s history.

Gribbins Insulation president and founder Jim Gribbins stated, “We deeply appreciate the Coalition for Construction Safety’s commitment to helping contractors throughout Indiana and the nation bring every employee home safe, every single day. With such a safety-minded membership, we are especially honored to win this award for the fifth year.”

Gribbins Insulation consistently receives national recognition for its safety program. Other 2016 safety awards include the Indiana Governor’s Workplace Safety Award for Innovations in Construction and the Platinum Safety Award from the National Insulation Association, the highest honor from the national trade association for mechanical insulation.

The Coalition for Construction Safety, Inc. (MICCS) is dedicated to the elimination of construction and facilities maintenance jobsite injuries and illnesses with the ultimate objective of returning construction and maintenance workers home to their families, friends, and communities free from harm. Learn more at the CCS website.

Driving Safety


According to the National Safety Council every year nearly 36,000 people are killed and more than 3.5 million people are injured in a motor vehicle crashes.  That means that approximately every hour 4 people are killed and 400 people are injured.  There are many different things that affect safety travel on the road including, but not limited to distracted driving, seat belts, aggressive driving, impaired driving, mature driving, children, and teen driving.  The following are some safety tips to keep you and your family safe while on the road:

  • Distracted driving has become a major problem on the roadways. Weather talking on the cell phone, texting, eating, grooming, adjusting the radio, etc.  Prepare for your trip, stop and pull over to accept calls, eat meals before or after leaving.  According to the National Safety Council talking on cell phone makes you 4 times more likely to crash, while texting while driving can increase your chances 8 to 23 times.
  • Seat Belts are an important safety device in vehicles, even though numbers of usage continue to increase there are still numerous fatalities each year that could have been prevented if a seat belt had been worn.
  • Aggressive driving includes speeding, frequent and unnecessary lane changes, tailgating and running red or yellow lights. To decrease the risk of aggressive driving plan ahead and allow extra time.  Concentrate of driving, relax, drive the speed limit and identify alternate routes.  If confronted with aggressive drivers, get out of the way, put your pride aside, avoid eye contact and report aggressive drivers.
  • Never drive while under the influence of prescription drug, illegal drugs or alcohol. Approximately 40 percent of vehicle crash deaths involve alcohol.
  • Ensure child restraint systems are installed properly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration near 75% of parents do not properly use child restraints.
  • Always do a 360⁰ walk around of your vehicle before driving. To ensure children, pets, other vehicles or objects have not moved into your path of travel.
  • Never leave children unattended in vehicles. Even at an outside temperature of 70 degrees and vehicles interior temperature can rise to dangerous temperatures in just minutes when the car is not running.

Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of deaths for teens.  Ensure your teen has all the training and tools necessary before sending them out on the roads.

President’s Message

2019 Safety Star Winners

Posted: 07/02/19 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Safety STAR winners from the first half of 2019!

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2018 Q1 Safety Stars!

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

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

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Toolbox Talk

2019 Safety Star Winners

Posted: 07/02/19 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Safety STAR winners from the first half of 2019!

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Heat Stress and Related Illnesses

Posted: 05/27/19 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

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

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