Chemicals pose a wide range of health hazards (such as irritation to the eyes and skin; sensitization – meaning your body can no longer tolerate exposure to the chemical; and carcinogenicity – a potential for cancer) and physical hazards (such as being flammable, corrosive, and reactive). OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is designed to ensure that information about these hazards and associated protective measures is provided to all employees who may be at risk. This is accomplished implementing a written hazard communication program, ensure all containers are properly labeled, show employees how to access Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), and train employees on the hazards associated with the chemicals they will use.
The HCS provides people the right-to-understand the hazards and identities of the chemicals they are exposed to in the workplace. When employees have this information, they may effectively participate in their employers’ protective programs and take steps to protect themselves. In addition, the standard gives employers the information they need to design and implement an effective protective program for employees potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals. Together these actions will result in a reduction of chemical source illnesses and injuries in American workplaces.
Basic Chemical Safety
Primary routes of entry – chemicals can enter the body in a number of ways.
Report any spilled chemicals or unusual odors, unusual sounds and conditions that may indicate that chemicals have been released in the area.
When you use a hand truck properly, it does the job and reduces the chance you'll strain a muscle or be injured. Let the truck do the work for you!
Hammers, wrenches, chisels, pliers, screwdrivers, and other hand tools are often underrated as sources of potential danger. Hand tools may look harmless, but they are the cause of many injuries. In fact, an estimated 8 percent of all workplace compensable injuries are caused by incidents associated with hand tools. These injuries can be serious, including loss of fingers or eyesight.
Hand tools can cause many types of injuries:
Cuts, abrasions, amputations, and punctures. If hand tools are designed to cut or move metal and wood, remember what a single slip can do to fragile human flesh.
Repetitive motion injuries. Using the same tool in the same way all day long, day after day, can stress human muscles and ligaments. Carpal tunnel syndrome (inflammation of the nerve sheath in the wrist) and injuries to muscles, joints and ligaments are increasingly common if the wrong tool is used, or the right tool is used improperly. Injury from continuous vibration can also cause numbness or poor circulation in hands and arms.
Eye injuries. Flying chips of wood or metal are a common hazard, often causing needless and permanent blindness.
Broken bones and bruises. Tools can slip, fall from heights, or even be thrown by careless employees, causing severe injuries. A hammer that falls from a ladder is a lethal weapon.
To avoid such injuries, remember the following safety procedures:
Use the right tool for the job. Don't use your wrench as a hammer. Don't use a screwdriver as a chisel, etc. Go back to the tool house and get the right tool in the right size for the job.
Don't use broken or damaged tools, dull cutting tools, or screwdrivers with worn tips.
Cut in a direction away from your body.
Make sure your grip and footing are secure when using large tools.
Carry tools securely in a tool belt or box. Don't carry tools up ladders. Use a hoist or rope.
Keep close track of tools when working at heights. A falling tool can kill a co-worker.
Pass a tool to another person by the handle; never toss it to them.
Use the right personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job. Follow company instructions for selecting and using safety eyewear, steel toed shoes, gloves, hard hats, etc.
Never carry sharp or pointed tools such as a screwdriver in your pocket.
Select ergonomic tools for your work task when movements are repetitive and forceful.
Be on the lookout for signs of repetitive stress. Early detection might prevent a serious injury.
Always keep your tools in top condition. A dull blade or blunt point can lead to injury.
Store tools properly when you stop work.
By following these precautions, you can help prevent injuries and provide a better workplace for everyone. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Whenever you operate a powder-actuated hand tool, safe work practices must always be followed. These tools are designed to fire nails or fastening devices into material not easily penetrated such as concrete, steel, and masonry. Unfortunately, they have also been known to fire nails and fastening devices into human flesh.
Only qualified persons who have been trained and certified by an authorized instructor should use a powder-actuated tool!
Persons using the tools should always have their certification card with them.
GENERAL SAFETY RULES FOR USE:
A powder-actuated tool must never be pointed at anyone, whether it is loaded or not!
A powder-actuated tool should never be loaded until it is ready to be used for fastening.
The tool should be tested each day prior to use, to assure that safety devices and the tool itself are in proper working condition.
Any defective or poorly working tool should be immediately removed from service and tagged as unsafe.
Always wear proper protective equipment when operating powder-actuated tools.
Powder-actuated tools should not be used in areas where flammable or combustible atmospheres may be present. The combination could cause an explosion.
When operating a powder-actuated tool, press the tool firmly against the surface into which the fastening device is being driven, so the fastener will not glance off the surface.
Never drive a fastener into a "spalled" or chipped surface, i.e., over an uneven area where a previous fastening was unsatisfactory.
Do not drive fasteners into easily penetrated material unless that material is backed by an object that will prevent the fastener from passing completely through the material and creating a flying missile hazard on the other side.
Safe operation of powder-actuated tools demands knowledge and the operator's constant alertness. Too many innocent workers have been fatally injured when safety practices were disregarded.
Therefore, before each use of a powder-actuated tool, a complete study of the job task should be assessed and total concentration should be on the job task to be performed.
Powder-actuated tools are only as safe as their operators! WORK SAFELY!
How it works: The GFCI device continually matches the amount of current going to an electrical device against the amount of current returning from the device along the electrical circuit path. Whenever the amount "going" differs from the amount "returning" by approximately 5 milliamps, the GFCI interrupts the electric power by closing the circuit within as little as 1/40 of a second.
What a GFCI Can and Can Not do: It does provide protection against the grounding fault--which is the most common form of electrical shock hazard. A grounding fault occurs when a "hot" wire comes into contact with a grounded enclosure. If you happen to be in contact with the grounded enclosure of an electrical tool when a ground fault occurs, you will be subject to a shock unless a GFCI device is in use, and functioning as intended. The GFCI will not protect you from line-to-line contact hazards (i.e., holding two "hot" wires or a hot and a neutral wire in each hand).
Where GFCIs are needed in construction work: Your employer is required to provide approved ground-fault circuit interrupters for all 120-volt, single phase, 15-and 20-ampere receptacle outlets being used on construction sites that are not a part of the permanent wiring of the building or structure. Since extension cords are not part of the permanent wiring, any electrical tools or equipment plugged into extension cords must be protected by a GFCI device. Insulation around flexible extension cord conductors can be damaged through hard usage or excessive wear. If the "hot" wire conductor of the extension cord were to come into contact with the grounding wire conductor, a ground fault would occur. GFCIs should certainly be used in wet environments. When a cord connector is wet, hazardous current leakage can occur to the grounding conductor and to anyone who picks up that connector if they also provide a path to ground. An alternative method of protection is the Assured Equipment Grounding Program. This method is achieved by establishing a direct ground for the equipment and doing a continuity check of the equipment and cords being used.
Where GFCIs are needed at home: The shock hazards of a grounding fault are not isolated to just your work place. A grounding fault may occur at home in areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and basements. You need to be vigilant and make sure that the circuits you are "plugged" into are protected by GFCIs whenever using electrical tools or equipment in potentially wet environments. Most local building codes require receptacles in potentially wet locations, such as near sinks in bathrooms and kitchens, to be equipped with a GFCI device. It is also recommended that you use a GFCI device whenever you have any concerns about the integrity of the tool, equipment, or cord system.
Actions you should take for electrical safety: Always make sure the tools and cords you use are in good working condition and inspect them regularly for any visible damage. Failure in the insulation or grounding protection of your tools or cords could result in ground faults. Use GFCI devices. Take a little extra care so that you will not have a SHOCKING experience.