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Archive for October, 2016

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk

Slip, trips and falls are preventable if employees recognize the elements that create these hazards.
Slips are usually caused by too little friction or traction between your feet and the walking/working surface which causes you to lose your balance.  Slips often result from wet or oily surfaces, spills, weather hazards, walking/working surfaces that do not have the same degree of traction, or loose or unanchored materials.
Trips happen when your foot or leg hits an object and your momentum throws you off balance.  Trips often result from obstructed view, poor lighting, poor housekeeping, uneven walking surfaces or cords and hoses running through walkways.
Slips and trips often result in falls, but there are also many other ways you can fall. The following is a list of measures that need to be taken to prevent these types of incidents:

  • Walkways must be kept clear and free of debris, cords and equipment.
  • Do not take inappropriate shortcuts.
  • Unnecessary hurrying, horseplay or other distracting activities may lead to slips, trips and falls.
  • Pay attention to what you are doing and others around you.
  • Set up ladders properly and make sure hand, shoes and rungs aren’t slippery.
  • Do not use stepladders as straight ladders.  Maintain three points of contact while climbing ladders.
  • Use retractable lanyards when climbing scaffold ladders above 6 feet.
  • Always use handrails when walking down stairs.
  • Maintain an unobstructed view ahead of you when carrying materials.  If need get help when carrying bulky or heavy loads.
  • Maintain adequate lighting in work areas and walkways.
  • Never jump when climbing down from trucks, scaffold, ladder, lifts or platforms.  Use three points of contact and carefully lower yourself down.
  • Wear shoes suitable for the conditions you are working in.  The soles of your shoes increase the amount of friction between your shoes and walking/working surface.
  • Do not step on objects in your walking path.  Go around them or move them.  You never know when the object will give or what is underneath it that may cause you to lose your balance.
  • Never walk backward on roofs or elevated surfaces.
  • Report unsafe conditions or acts immediately, including loose handrails, steps, ladders.
  • Be extra caution in wet conditions.  Watch for ice in your work area. Do not walk on it, use ice melt or work in another area that is ice-free.
  • Use extra caution when entering or exiting buildings, surfaces may have different degrees of traction.
  • Always inspect steps leading to scissor lift and maintain three points of contact when entering and exiting.

Hazard Communication Training

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk

OSHA revised its Hazard Communication Standard to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  The two significant changes contained in the revised standard require the use of new labeling elements and a standardized format for Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), formerly known as, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs).  Gribbins Insulation Company trained all employees in 2013 on the new label elements and SDS format.

Labeling Elements:

Information included on new labels includes:  Product Identifier – how the hazardous chemical is identified.  Signal Word – indicates the level of severity of the hazard and alert reader to a potential hazard on the label.  There are only two signal words, “Danger” and “Warning”.  Within a specific hazard class, “Danger” is used for the more severe hazards and “Warning” is used for the less severe hazards.  Pictograms – OSHA’s required pictograms must be in the shape of a square set at a point and include a black hazard symbol on a white background with a red frame sufficiently wide enough to be clearly visible.  A square red frame set at a point without a hazard symbol is not a pictogram and is not permitted on the label.  OSHA has designated eight pictograms under this standard for application to a hazard category. Hazard statement (s) – describe the nature of the hazard(s) of a chemical, including, where appropriate, the degree of hazard.  For example:  “Causes damage to kidneys through prolonged or repeated exposure when absorbed through the skin.”  All of the applicable hazard statements must appear on the label.  Precautionary statement(s) – means a phrase that describes recommended measures that should be taken to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure to a hazardous chemical or improper storage or handling.  Contact Information – Name, address and phone number of the chemical manufacturer, distributor, or importer. How an employee might use the labels in the workplace – For example, Explain how information on the label can be used to ensure proper storage of hazardous chemicals. Explain how the information on the label might be used to quickly locate information on first aid when needed by employees or emergency personnel.  General understanding of how the elements work together on a label.  For example, Explain that where a chemical has multiple hazards, different pictograms are used to identify the various hazards.  The employee should expect to see the appropriate pictogram for the corresponding hazard class.  Explain that where there are similar precautionary statements, the one providing the most protective information will be included on the label.

 Safety Data Sheets (SDS):

The information contained in the SDS is largely the same as the MSDS, except now the SDSs are required to be presented in a consistent user-friendly, 16 section format.  The SDS includes information such as the properties of each chemical, the physical, health, and environmental health hazards, protective measures, safety precautions for handling, storing and transporting the chemical.  The information must be in English, but it may be in other languages as well.  The information on the SDS should be the same as on the label.  The sections of the SDS are as follows:  Section 1:  Identification – Includes product identifier; manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone number; emergency phone number; recommended use; restrictions on use.  Section 2:  Hazard(s) Identification – Includes all hazards regarding the chemical; required label elements.  Section 3:  Composition/information on ingredients – Includes information on chemical ingredients; trade secrets claims. Section 4:  First-aid measures – Includes important symptoms/effects, acute, delayed; required treatment.  Section 5:  Fire Fighting measures – Lists suitable extinguishing techniques, equipment; chemical hazards from fire.  Section 6:  Accidental release measures – Lists emergency procedures; protective equipment; proper methods of containment and cleanup.  Section 7:  Handling and storage – Lists precautions for safe handling and storage, including incompatibilities.

Section 8:  Exposure controls/personal protection – Lists OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs); Threshold Limit Values (TLVs); appropriate engineering controls; personal protective equipment (PPE).  Section 9:  Physical and chemical properties – Lists the chemical’s characteristics.  Section 10:  Stability and reactivity – Lists chemical stability and possibility of hazardous reactions.  Section 11:  Toxicological information – Includes routes of exposure; related symptoms, acute and chronic effects; numerical measures of toxicity.  Section 12:  Ecological information.  Section 13:  Disposal considerations.  Section 14:  Transport information.  Section 15:  Regulatory information.  Section 16:  Other information includes the date of preparation or last revision.



One Text or Call Could Wreck It All

With ever increasing demands on our personal and professional time in today’s busy society, learning to juggle multiple tasks at once is something we all face daily. As a result, a new traffic safety epidemic has emerged on America’s roadways that demand immediate attention: distracted driving.

In 2014, 3,179 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver. One of the most alarming and widespread forms of distracted driving is cell phone usage. According to a one-text-or-call-could-wreck-it-allstudy by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field. And a 2014 special article in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the risk of a crash or near-crash among novice drivers increased with the performance of many secondary tasks, including texting and dialing cell phones.

Text messaging is of heightened concern because it combines three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive. In other words, texting involves taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off the task of driving.

To tackle this ever-increasing problem, NHTSA is focusing on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education—the same tactics that have curbed drinking and driving and increased seat belt use.

NHTSA’s message is simple – “One Text or Call Could Wreck it All.” With supporters ranging from President Obama to Adam Levine and legislation being passed across the nation to discourage distracted driving, we hope drivers get the message loud and clear.

So the next time you are pressed for time, and it seems like multitasking in the car is the best decision, remember those 3,179 lives that were taken because someone decided they could do two things at once. A text or call is not worth your life, or anyone else’s.

From Distraction.gov

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