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Archive for December, 2017

Housekeeping

A clean jobsite with everything in its place is a safer job site. Good housekeeping improves every aspect of working including safety. It is easier to perform your work if you are not climbing over debris or always looking for misplaced materials or tools. Housekeeping completed once a week will not do the trick. Each individual has the responsibility to clean their work areas as they go.
Poor housekeeping can lead to many safety hazards including slips, trips and fall, punctures, falling debris, laceration, electric shock, rodents and chemical hazards just to name a few.

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox TalkA list of housekeeping requirements:

  • Clean your work area as you work. Don’t let trash accumulate.
  • Areas shall be kept in a sanitary condition.
  • Floors shall be kept clear and dry.
  • Areas shall be free of loose boards, hole, protruding nails and splinters.
  • All extension cords, hoses, equipment, materials, debris, etc. shall be place out of walkways and off stairs.
  • Waste, trash, oily and used rags and other refuse shall be separated in provided containers.
  • Waste containers holding garbage, oily, flammable or hazardous waste shall be covered.
  • Garbage and other waste shall be disposed of at frequent regular intervals.
  • Materials that could become airborne shall be secured. This includes aluminum sheets or rolled, aluminum scraps, boxes or plywood.
  • Always return tools and equipment to proper storage location once you are finished with them. This makes it easier to find them and reduces the risk of them being damaged.
  • Food packaging or food scraps shall be placed in waste containers. Not just thrown on the floor.
  • Never run or leave extension cord near heat or water.
  • Do not stack boxes or materials where they can become unstable and fall.
  • All containers must be label as to their contents.
  • When you see a hazard, correct it if possible. If you cannot correct it, report it to your supervisor. Don’t wait for someone else to do it.

We have all seen or been on jobs where you must pay close attention to where you are stepping due to poor housekeeping. Make your job a safer job by performing good housekeeping.

Eye and Face Protection

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk

According to the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH) approximately 2,000 eye injuries occur every day at work in the United States.  The construction industry has one of the highest rates.  OSHA requires eye and face protective equipment where there is a reasonable probability of preventing injury when such equipment is used.  Employers must provide a type of protector suitable for work to be performed, and employees must use the protectors.

Employees must make the necessary effort to keep their protective eyewear in good condition.  This includes cleaning and protecting your eyewear when not in use.  If your protective eyewear is inadequate to wear, turn it into your foreman for a new pair.

Employees will wear ANSI Z87.1 eye protection, at a minimum, at all times. Employees that require corrective spectacles will be required to wear approved side shields or goggles.

Foam lined safety glasses or goggles are types of eye protections that provides protection against dust and particles.  These are about the size and weight as normal safety glasses.  These fit tight to the face and have a foam gasket that presses against the employee’s face for seal.  This type of eye protection provides greater protection against dust and particles if worn correctly.

Foam lined safety glasses or goggles will be required whenever tearing off material, working in dust environments, working below other employee or with the following types of insulation and/or insulation that has the potential to enter the eye:

  • Cellular glass (foamglas)
  • Calcium silicate
  • Polyisocyanurate (urethane)
  • Perlite

A face shield and safety glasses are required when cutting or grinding with a Metabo or when shooting pins.

A welding hood with the proper filter lens is required when welding.

Report to your supervisor or the safety department immediately if you think something has entered your eye.  Usually the quicker the debris is removed from the eye, the better the outcome for the employee.  In the instance that debris does get into your eye the first thing to remember is not to rub your eye.  Rubbing your eye may cause further injury to your eye.  Try to let tears wash the debris out.  If tears do not get the debris out, try using eyewash.  If the debris is still in your eye, lift the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower lid.  If these techniques do not work keep your eye closed and report to your supervisor for further instruction.

Cold Related Illnesses & Injuries

Many construction jobs expose employees to cold temperatures during the winter months.  It important that employees know how to protect themselves, the signs and symptoms of cold related injuries or illnesses and what to do if they occur.  Cold related illnesses can slowly overcome a person who has been chilled.  The three factors to consider when determining if cold related injuries or illness could occur are low temperatures, wind speed and wetness.  The following are cold related illnesses and injuries and how workers can protect themselves.

Frostbite – Freezing in deep layers of the skin and tissue.   Skin becomes hard and numb and looks pale or waxy-white in color.  It usually affects the fingers, hands, toes, feet, ears and nose.

If frostbite occurs:  Move the person to a warm dry area, do not leave the person alone.  Remove any wet or tight clothing that may cut off blood flow to the affected area.  Do not rub the affected area (rubbing causes damage to the skin and tissue).  Gently place the affected area in warm water and monitoring the water temperature to slowly warm the tissue, do not pour warm water directly on the affect area (warming takes 25 to 40 minutes).  After the affected area has been warmed it may become puffy and blister, the affected area may have a burning feeling or numbness, when normal feeling, movement and skin color have returned, the affected area should be dried and wrapped to keep it warm.  If there is a chance the affected area may get cold again, do not warm the skin.  Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Hypothermia – The normal body temperature (98.6 degrees F) drops to or below 95 degrees F.  Signs and symptoms include fatigue or drowsiness, uncontrolled shivering, cool bluish skin, slurred speech, clumsy movements or irritable, irrational or confused behavior.  If hypothermia occurs:  Call for emergency help immediately.   Move the person to a warm, dry area.  Do not leave the person alone.  Remove any wet clothing and replace with warm, dry clothing or wrap the person in blankets.  Have the person drink warm, sweet drinks, like sugar water or sport drinks, if they are alert.  Avoid drinks with caffeine, like coffee, tea or hot chocolate, or alcohol.  Have the person move their arms and legs to create muscle heat.  If they are unable to do this, place warm bottles or hot packs in the arm pits, groin, neck and head areas.  Do not rub the person’s body or place them in a warm water bath, this could cause the heart to stop.

Employees can protect themselves by:

  • Recognizing the environmental and workplace conditions that lead to potential cold-induced illnesses and injuries.
  • Learn the signs and symptoms or cold-induced illness/injuries and what to do to help the worker.
  • Select proper clothing for cold, wet and windy conditions.  Layer clothing to adjust to changing environmental temperatures.  Wear a hat and gloves, in addition to underwear that will keep water away from the skin.
  • Take frequent short breaks in warm dry shelters to allow the body to warm up.
  • Perform work during the warmest part of the day, if possible.
  • Avoid exhaustion or fatigue because energy is needed to keep muscles warm.
  • Use the buddy system.
  • Drink warm, sweet beverages, like sugar water or sport drinks.  Avoid drinks with caffeine, like coffee, tea or hot chocolate, or alcohol.
  • Eat warm, high calorie foods like hot pasta dishes.

Employees are at an increased risk when:

  • They have predisposing health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension.
  • They take certain medication.  Check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacy and ask if any medicines you are taking affect you while working in cold environments.
  • They are in poor physical condition, have a poor diet, or are older.

Lockout – Tagout (LOTO) Training

Purpose

The purpose of the Lockout/Tagout procedure is to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of machines or equipment or release of stored energy that could cause injury to employees.   According to OSHA failure to control hazardous energy accounts for nearly 10% of serious accidents.

Hazardous Energy

Hazardous energy can be found during the maintenance and repairGribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk of electrical equipment, vehicles and other equipment, routine lubrication of moving machine parts, sanitation or cleaning of machinery, clearing jammed equipment or machinery, removing existing insulation on line with heat tracing and maintenance of high-pressure, high temperature hazardous pipelines just to name a few.  There are many different types of hazardous energy including, but not limited to, electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, mechanical, chemical and thermal.  Potential hazards that exist if equipment is not properly locked and tagged out include:  electric shock, fire and explosions, asphyxiation, amputations, caught in, chemical exposure or even death.

Procedures

Gribbins Insulation LOTO procedures are:  1. A person shall be designated to oversee and assure compliance with the LOTO procedures.  2. Before the procedure begins, a member of the safety department or designee will perform a final evaluation.  3. Turn off the point of operation controls.  4. Turn off the main power controls.  5. The designated person shall lock the equipment out and a danger tag shall be filled out and placed on the lock.  The tag and tie shall be securely attached and able to endure the environmental conditions at the worksite.  6. Test the switch or valve to make sure it cannot be turned “ON”.  7. Test the machine controls to make sure the main controls are really “OFF”.  8. When work is completed, the designated person shall remove the lock and danger tag and notify the proper person that the work is finished and equipment is operational.  The Gribbins Insulation Company LOTO procedure shall only be used if the jobsite does not already have a procedure in effect.  On many of these jobsite the owner will lock out the designated points and then the foreman will lock on to a group lockbox and place his key in a satellite lock box for other employees to lock on to.  In these cases, employees should walk down the lock out points to verify that everything has been locked out and the equipment is not operational.

General Rules

  • Locks and danger tags are to be used for all LOTO procedures
  • Make sure all energy sources are locked and tagged out, many machines have more than on power supply.
  • Never attempt to restart or reenergize any equipment or machinery without the consent of the designated person.
  • Danger tags shall be legible, understandable and include: the employees doing the job, the equipment locked out and the date of initiation and removal.
  • Tags are never to be removed without the authorization of the designated person. They are never to be bypassed, ignored, or otherwise defeated.
  • Employees may receive a false sense of security form tags. Tags warn and provide information to the employees.  They do not stop hazardous energy, the locks do.
  • If you feel as though a piece of equipment or machinery is not properly locked and tagged, stop work and inform the designated person immediately.

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