Understanding electrical safety on the job is critical. But can you separate electrical safety myths from facts?
Winter is coming, or so whispers that chill of cold air making its way through your office. To keep warm, you may be considering using a portable space heater at your desk.
Before you plug it in, know that portable electric space heaters can present a “major workplace safety hazard,” according to Electrical Safety Foundation International.
Workers in a wide variety of jobs and industries wear high-visibility safety apparel to alert others of their presence, particularly in dark or dim places. Users include utility linemen, construction workers, police officers and school bus drivers, to name a few.
Pneumoconiosis is a group of diseases that includes asbestosis, silicosis and coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, also known as black lung.
A 24-year-old oil and gas delivery truck driver was fatally injured when he was crushed between a dozer and the front of his vehicle.
Workplace violence is a “growing concern for employers and employees,” OSHA states. In 2016, workplace homicides increased by 83 cases to 500, the highest homicide figure since 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A landscaper died after entering the hopper of a bark blower truck and becoming entangled in its rotating auger system.
Exposure to wood dust can cause health problems for workers. Wood has natural chemicals and may contain bacteria, molds or fungi, according to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety.
The American Academy of Dermatology cautions outdoor workers to be aware of an invisible hazard: the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Exposure to these rays for hours is a major risk factor for a number of skin cancers, including melanoma – the most serious form.
Falls continue to plague the construction industry. According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of death in construction.
A 24-year-old laborer and a 37-year-old pipefitter were crushed by a falling block wall when it failed.
Puncture wounds can be serious. They often have small openings, but the objects tend to go in deep, which can make the injured worker vulnerable to a blood infection.
According to NIOSH, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths among people ages 16 to 24 in the United States.
A 34-year-old mechanic was performing maintenance on a bin destacker when part of the machinery came down and crushed him.
Even if you don’t live or work in an earthquake-prone area, don’t dismiss the threat. Earthquakes can occur in all 50 states.
Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. workforce is older than 65, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2020, 1 in 4 American workers will be older than 55.
Workers using aerial lifts can be injured or killed if they don’t know how to operate them safely.
Although it’s recommended that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night, NIOSH notes that multiple factors may contribute to workers being sleep-deprived.
Summer is here, which means the weather is warmer, more people are on the roads and highway construction work is underway.
A 46-year-old owner of a residential siding company died from injuries sustained from a 20- to 25-foot fall onto a concrete slab.
The threat of lightning is one of the hazards of working outdoors. OSHA points out that employees who work outdoors in open spaces or on or near tall objects have a significant risk for exposure to lightning.
If you work in an office, chances are good that you sit for a large part of the day. This puts you at risk for ergonomics-related problems.
Think emergency drills are only for schoolchildren? Think again. The National Safety Council urges all workers to take drills seriously.
Achieving a work-life balance can be a challenge, and it’s easy to forget a simple necessity: Take care of yourself.
Slips, trips and falls are no laughing matter. In fact, they can be deadly: According to the 2017 edition of “Injury Facts,” an NSC chartbook, 660 workers died in 2014 after a fall from height, and 138 workers died from a fall on the same level.
You might not realize it, but driving to and from work may be one of the most dangerous things you do every day.
From boxes of paper near the printer to large packages in the mailroom, office settings contain a number of objects – some quite heavy – that require manual lifting. Are you following safe lifting practices?
Workers caught in trench collapses rarely survive because soil can be extremely heavy. A cubic yard of soil can weigh up to 3,000 pounds – roughly the weight of a small motor vehicle, according to OSHA.
Falling from height, electrical hazards, inclement weather, equipment failure and structural collapse of towers are some of the hazards that communication tower workers face, according to OSHA. The agency recorded 13 communication tower-related fatalities in 2013, 12 in 2014, three in 2015 and six in 2016.
Does your workplace have vehicles or equipment that are fueled onsite? If so, certain precautions are necessary.
A 54-year-old construction worker fell 12 feet and died after he stepped on a portion of a metal roof of a dairy cow barn and it gave way.
Are you lifting objects correctly? If not, you could be at risk for an ergonomics-related injury, such as a sprain or strain, back injury, or repetitive-motion injury.
Consider your work chair. Is it comfortable and supportive? Do you feel well-balanced sitting in it? Is it stable? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you might need a new chair – one that is ergonomically correct.
A slip, trip or fall at work can lead to injuries – and even death. In 2014, injuries from slips, trips and falls resulted in 247,120 cases involving days away from work, and 818 worker deaths, according to the 2017 edition of “Injury Facts,” a National Safety Council chartbook.
A worker was killed when a platform slammed onto the concrete below.
Exposure to electricity resulted in 141 workplace fatalities and 2,090 cases with days away from work in 2013, according to the 2016 edition of “Injury Facts,” a chartbook from the National Safety Council. How can workers stay safe?
Imagine this scenario: A construction worker is replacing shingles on the roof of a two-story house 20 feet above ground. He loses his footing and slips, falling off the roof. He’s wearing a fall-arrest system, and as a result is saved from death. But he’s not out of danger yet.
Has your workplace considered starting a healthy eating program? According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, “When a workplace can help employees to make wise food choices, as part of a workplace health program, it can influence the person’s long-term health and wellness.
Safety+Health shares seven tips from veteran safety professionals Carl Potter and Richard Hawk on making safety committee meetings more enjoyable.
Are you in danger of becoming an eye injury statistic? According to Prevent Blindness, a Chicago-based volunteer eye health and safety organization, 2,000 workers per day experience a job-related eye injury that requires medical attention. Of those injuries, 10 percent to 20 percent result in temporary or permanent vision loss.
Abrasive blasting, which uses compressed air or water to clean surfaces, apply a texture, or prepare a surface for paint or other coatings, can be harmful to workers if proper precautions are not taken.
A 48-year-old foreman was killed while repairing a water line break.
Are chemicals used in your workplace? Mayo Clinic notes that chemical burns can be caused by a variety of substances, including strong acids, drain cleaners, paint thinners and gasoline.
Musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, muscle strains and lower back injuries affect the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments and tendons, according to OSHA. But practicing good ergonomics can help prevent workers from acquiring MSDs.
A 51-year-old male truck driver was killed while operating a stand-up forklift on an elevated loading dock. The victim had been employed with his company for 17 years.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome, and where is the carpal tunnel? Mayo Clinic explains: The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway located on the palm-side of your wrist that “protects a main nerve to your hand and the nine tendons that bend your fingers.” Carpal tunnel syndrome results from compressing this nerve, which produces “numbness, tingling and, eventually, hand weakness.”
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that occurs in rock and soil and can be found in construction materials uncovered during renovation work, according to the Center for Construction Research and Training (also known as CPWR). Exposure to the fiber can increase a worker’s risk of developing lung disease, including lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis, although it may take years for symptoms to develop.
Occupational skin diseases are the second-most common type of occupational disease. NIOSH estimates that more than 13 million U.S. workers are potentially exposed to chemicals that can be absorbed through their skin.
A choking incident can occur anywhere – including the weekly staff meeting or at someone’s desk. If you saw a co-worker choking, would you be ready to help?
In observance of Christmas Holiday and New Year's, we will be closed December 23 - 26 and January 1 - 2.
Using and being around diesel-powered equipment is a regular part of the job for workers in a variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, maritime, mining and agriculture. But such equipment can present a number of health hazards if not properly controlled.
Is your workplace at risk of experiencing a violent incident? Probably not, you may believe. But consider the statistics: In 2013, 404 homicides occurred on the job, according to the 2016 edition of the National Safety Council chartbook “Injury Facts.” And, according to OSHA, roughly 2 million workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. The agency notes that many additional cases likely go unreported. How can your workplace prepare?
The National Fire Protection Association notes that portable fire extinguishers can “save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives, but portable extinguishers have limitations.”
With the holiday season underway, people are feeling festive – including at work. But whether you’re decorating your cubicle or taking part in the office potluck, safety should always remain a top priority.
Food allergies, whether mild or serious, are medical conditions that affect up to 15 million people in the United States, according to Food Allergy Research & Education, a nonprofit organization.
The National Safety Counsel will be closed in observance of Independence Day on Monday, July 4th, 2016. We will resume normal class schedules on Tuesday. Thank you!
Whether sitting in an office all day or moving material in a warehouse, practicing good ergonomics can help workers stay healthy.
A 35-year-old vineyard worker was killed in a fall from a trailer platform.
An employee may recount a story of a “close call” at work. He or she also may describe the incident as a “near collision” or “narrow escape.” All these terms refer to a near miss.
A 28-year-old laborer was operating a horizontal drum industrial washing machine when he was crushed and killed.
When working with conveyor belts, employees should always wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
Exposure to high levels of noise can lead to permanent hearing loss. According to OSHA, roughly 30 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise every year.
In an effort to better protect temporary workers – who are at an increased risk of work-related injuries and illnesses – OSHA and NIOSH partnered to release a report containing recommended practices for staffing agencies and host employers.
A 46-year-old equipment operator working for a trenchless utility installation contractor died when a horizontal auger boring machine overturned and crushed him.
Nearly every workplace has potentially dangerous liquids, including fuels, paint thinners, solvents, cleaners, waxes and adhesives, according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety.
Known for its strength and chemical and heat resistance, asbestos is a natural fibrous mineral that can have devastating effects on workers if proper precautions are not taken, states the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia.
Sanding machines can be dangerous if not properly handled. To help stay safe, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety advises workers to read the owner’s manual of the sander and thoroughly understand how to use it.
Pinch points are a serious hazard when working with machinery that has rotating parts. Pinch points are caused by machinery parts that move toward each other or a part that moves past something stationary.
Understanding electrical safety on the job is critical. But can you separate electrical safety myths from facts?
Rigging – when workers prepare equipment to be lifted by cranes, hoists or other material-handling machinery – is a common work process on shipyard and construction sites, among others. Performing rigging operations safely is critical.
Time is of the essence when investigating workplace incidents. Because people remember events with more clarity directly after an incident occurs, it is important to identify and interview witnesses as soon as possible, the National Safety Council states.
Mishandling compressed gas cylinders – which can have internal pressure of up to 2,500 pounds per square inch – can be disastrous.
Electrical extension cords are used in many office buildings and worksites, and should be treated with caution. The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation reminds workers that correct use of extension cords is an important component of on-the-job electrical safety.
Chain saws are one of the most efficient portable power tools workers have at their disposal, according to OSHA. They also are one of the most dangerous.
Do you ever find yourself rubbing your eyes, blinking repeatedly and looking away from your computer screen? You may be experiencing eyestrain.
A 62-year-old paint maker died from exposure to dichloromethane (methylene chloride) while using a paint stripper to clean the inside of a tank.
If reaching, grabbing, clenching, twisting or bending causes pain, you may have a repetitive strain injury.
Do your employees know what to do in the event of a fire or a tornado? What about a nearby chemical spill or a gunman in the building? Ready.gov, a FEMA website aimed at educating people about preparing and responding to emergencies, urges all employers to train workers on evacuation, sheltering and lockdown procedures.
If you witnessed a worker being struck by lightning, would you know how to help?
A 53-year-old female convenience store cook was working in an unopened store preparing donuts when a fire started near the entrance. She died of smoke inhalation.
Working on and around heavy equipment – including tractors, forklifts and bulldozers – can result in serious injuries and even death. One potential danger is falling from the equipment.
Woodworking equipment can be extremely dangerous if used incorrectly or if proper safeguards are not in place. Common injuries include lacerations, amputations, severed fingers and blindness. Additionally, wood dust can contain hazardous chemicals, which may cause skin and respiratory diseases.
From 2000 to 2009, an average of 35 workers died every year in trenching or excavation cave-ins, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Every year, motor vehicle crashes cost employers $60 billion in medical care, legal expenses, property damage and lost productivity, according to a white paper from OSHA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety.
Anyone working outdoors is at risk of exposure to poisonous plants, including poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.
Approximately 70,250 cut or laceration cases involving days away from work occurred in the private sector in 2011, according to the 2014 edition of the National Safety Council’s “Injury Facts.”
A farm laborer in his 20s, standing in a pool of water in a potato field, was electrocuted and died when he touched the energized cross-brace of an operational self-propelled irrigation system.
According to the 2014 edition of the National Safety Council’s “Injury Facts,” contact with objects and equipment was responsible for 15.1 percent of workplace deaths by event or exposure in 2011.
Cell phone use has become part of the culture we live in, but no phone call or text is worth a life.
In 2011, slips, trips or falls were the cause of 14.5 percent of work-related deaths, according to the 2014 edition of the National Safety Council’s “Injury Facts.”
Prescription drug abuse is a rising epidemic that can significantly affect the workplace. Symptoms of prescription drug abuse can be hard to spot. However, if you suspect an employee is abusing or addicted to a prescription medication, contact human resources or your employee assistance program.
If you work outside, do so safely and know your body’s limits.
Being struck by an object or piece of equipment resulted in 473 work-related deaths in 2011, according to the 2014 edition of the National Safety Council’s “Injury Facts.”
By taking basic precautions, workers can safely mix, handle and finish concrete without incident.
In certain workplaces, wearing contact lenses can complicate eye safety, according to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety.
A 61-year-old millwright with more than 30 years of experience was killed, and two others were injured, when trying to disassemble a hydraulic accumulator to rebuild it.
A 23-year-old roofer working from a boom lift died when he was crushed between a horizontal building beam and the lift platform.
In 2011, the back was the body part involved in the largest percentage of injuries involving days away from work, according to the 2014 edition of the National Safety Council’s “Injury Facts.”
Workers who operate equipment such as cutting saws, pumps and generators in buildings or semi-enclosed spaces are at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning – even in areas that appear well-ventilated.