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Archive for June, 2016

Ladders

Ladders are a piece of equipment that we use on a daily basis that if used improperly can become a serious hazard. Every day workers are injured and even killed from improper use or defective ladders.

The following safety rules should be used whenever you are using a stepladder:

  • Never use a stepladder as a straight ladder.
  • Do not stand on the top step or top of a ladder. If you cannot reach the area you need to get a taller ladder.
  • Always face the ladder.
  • Keep three points of contact while climbing a ladder. Do not carry tools while climbing a ladder. Have someone hand them to you or rope them up.
  • Stepladders shall be completely open and secure before using.
  • Ladders shall only be used on stable and level surfaces unless secured to prevent accidental displacement.
  • Do not place a ladder in an area where it is not visible. (i.e. doorways, high traffic areas) If you have to use a ladder in these areas barricade the area with tape and signage.
  • Keep yourself in the center of the ladder. Your belt buckle should be between the ladder rails.
  • Ladder surfaces should be dry and free from slippery substances.
  • Never use metal ladders near electrical circuits, fixtures or power lines.
  • When ladder are used close to handrails, 100% fall protection shall be used. If a fall were to occur, momentum could propel you over the handrail.
  • Do not overload the ladder; check the load limit before using.
  • The area around the top and bottom of the ladder shall be kept clear.
  • Ladder shall not be moved, shifted or extended while occupied.
  • Cross-bracing on the rear section of step ladders shall not be used to climbing or standing.
  • Straight ladders must be extended 3 feet above the landing level and be tied off.
  • Ladders must be set at an angle of a 4 to 1 ratio (four feet vertical to one foot horizontal).

Always inspect the ladder before use. If the ladder is found to be defective, tag it out and remove from service. Look at the following components of the ladder when conducting you inspection.

Structural Components – Inspect:

  • Rails, steps, rungs, the top and rung braces for bends, splits, cracks or other defects.
  • Locks to insure they are fully functional.
  • Guides to ensure they are fully functional.
  • All hardware items to insure they are functional
  • All metal components for excessive rust or corrosion.

Connections – Inspect:

  • Rivets to insure head and crimp are intact
  • Crimps and swages for looseness, cracking or other conditions.
  • Bolts and nuts to insure they are tight and threads are not stripped
  • Welds for cracks or damage.

Accessories – Inspect:

  • Safety shoes to insure shoes and treads are in good condition
  • Leveling devices for condition and proper operation.

Summer Hazards

The following are a list of potential hazards from OSHA that employees may encounter during warm summer months and precautions to protect yourself.
Ultraviolent (UV) radiation form sunlight causes premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, cataracts and skin cancer. If you burn easily, spend a lot of time outdoors or have numerous, irregular or large moles, freckles, fair skin or blond, read or light brown hair you should be especially careful in the sun. The following are a list of ways to protect yourself from the sun:
• Cover the skin. Wear loose fitting, long sleeved shirts and long pants.
• Use at least a SPF 30 sunscreen and follow application instructions.
• Wear a hat that protects the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp.
• Wear ultraviolet absorbent sunglasses.
• Limit your exposure to sun if possible. UV rays are most intense between 10 am and 4 pm.
Heat and humidity can be a serious health threat during the summer. The following are a list of ways to protect yourself from the heat:
• Take frequent short breaks in cool areas and drink small amounts of water frequently.
• Wear light colored, loose fitting, breathable clothing.
• Eat smaller meals before work activity.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol or large amount of sugar.
• Talk to your healthcare provider to make sure medications will not increase the effect of exposure to heat.
• Know that equipment such as respirators or work suits can increase heat stress.
Tick borne diseases, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are transmitted to people by bacteria from bites of infected deer ticks. With Lyme disease, most victims develop a bulls-eye rash. Other signs and symptoms may be non-specific an similar to flu like symptoms such as fever, lymph node swelling, neck stiffness, headaches, generalized fatigue, migrating joint aches or muscle aches. The following are a list of precautions to take to protect yourself from tick borne diseases:
• Wear light colored clothes to see tick more easily.
• Wear long sleeves, tuck pant legs into socks or boots and wear a hat.
• Wear high boots or closed shoes that cover feet completely.
• Use tick repellants, but not on your face.
• Shower after work. Wash and dry your work clothes at high temperatures.
• Examine your body for ticks after work. Remove any attached ticks promptly and carefully with fine tipped tweezers by gripping the tick. Do not use petroleum jelly, a hot match or nail polish to remove the tick.
The West Nile virus can be transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mild symptoms include fever, headache, body aches and occasionally a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands. Symptoms of severe infection include headaches, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. To protect yourself from mosquito bites follow these precautionary measures:
• Apply Picaridin or insect repellent with DEET to exposed skin.
• Spray clothing with repellants containing DEET or permethrin. Do not spray permethrin directly onto exposed skin.
• Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks.
• Be extra vigilant at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
• Get rid of sources of standing water to reduce or eliminate mosquito breeding areas.

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