The top four causes of construction fatalities are: Falls, Struck-By, Caught-In/Between and Electrocutions.
- Wear and use personal fall arrest equipment.
- Install and maintain perimeter protection.
- Cover and secure floor openings and label floor opening covers.
- Use ladders and scaffolds safely.
- Never position yourself between moving and fixed objects.
- Wear high-visibility clothes near equipment/vehicles.
- Never enter an unprotected trench or excavation 5 feet or deeper without an adequate protective system in place; some trenches under 5 feet deep may also need such a system.
- Make sure the trench or excavation is protected either by sloping, shoring, benching or trench shield systems.
- Locate and identify utilities before starting work.
- Look for overhead power lines when operating any equipment.
- Maintain a safe distance away from power lines; learn the safe distance requirements.
- Do not operate portable electric tools unless they are grounded or double insulated.
- Use ground-fault circuit interrupters for protection.
- Be alert to electrical hazards when working with ladders, scaffolds or other platforms.
via Top Four Construction Hazards.
Slips and falls account for 300,000 serious injuries and 20,000 deaths a year. With winter here once again, it is important for you and your family to be aware of slip and fall prevention strategies:
- Although your hands might be cold, don’t put them in your pockets when you are navigating wintry stretches. If you slip, you will need your arms to restore balance. If you fall, your arms will help you to break your fall and land safely.
- Wear the proper footwear. Although it may not be glamorous to wear a pair of boots, it will give you traction, not to mention keep your feet warm. If you want to wear heels or other kinds of shoes, simply carry an extra pair with you to change in to.
- If you think you are approaching a particularly slick area of snow or ice, don’t be afraid to explore the area with your toe to see how slippery it is before you put your full weight on the area.
- Don’t carry large loads while walking on snow or ice – you are asking for trouble! If you do carrying a load on an icy walk and feel yourself falling, toss your load so that you can break your fall with your arms.
- Take small careful steps instead of large ones. When getting out of a vehicle, step, don’t jump. When possible, use handrails, handles – anything that will help you keep your balance. Never run.
- Help your elderly friends and relatives on snow and ice. Slips and falls can be extremely dangerous for seniors. If you are older, don’t shy away from asking others for a helping hand.
via NASDA – Winter Slip and Fall Safety Tips.
Thousands of accidents occur throughout the United States every day. The failure of people, equipment, supplies, or surroundings to behave or react as expected causes most of them. Accident investigations determine how and why these failures occur. By using the information gained through an investigation, a similar, or perhaps more disastrous, accident may be prevented. It is important to conduct accident investigations with prevention in mind.
via Safety and Health Topics | Accident Investigation.
Keeping hands clean is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness.
Handwashing is easy to do and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness in all settings—from your home and workplace to child care facilities and hospitals. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.
When should you wash your hands?
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After touching garbage
What is the right way to wash your hands?
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
via CDC Features – Wash Your Hands.
Safety cultures consist of shared beliefs, practices, and attitudes that exist at an establishment. Culture is the atmosphere created by those beliefs, attitudes, etc., which shape our behavior. An organizations safety culture is the result of a number of factors such as:
- Management and employee norms, assumptions and beliefs;
- Management and employee attitudes;
- Values, myths, stories;
- Policies and procedures;
- Supervisor priorities, responsibilities and accountability;
- Production and bottom line pressures vs. quality issues;
- Actions or lack of action to correct unsafe behaviors;
- Employee training and motivation; and
- Employee involvement or “buy-in.”
via Safety and Health Management Systems eTool | Module 4: Creating Change – Safety and Health Program Management: Fact Sheets: Creating a Safety Culture.
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.
A person with prediabetes has a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. He or she is at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems, including heart disease and stroke.
How can type 2 diabetes be prevented?
Research shows that modest weight loss and regular physical activity can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in up to 58% in people with prediabetes.
via Resolve to Prevent or Delay Type 2 Diabetes.
Employees must know before they get hurt who they should talk to when they suffer an injury. Immediate injury reporting is a key to keeping injury costs as low as possible. Studies have shown that the costs of an injury go up when there is a delay in reporting. Make it your policy that any employee injury is reported before the end of the shift.
via IWCP: Institute of WorkComp Professionals.
Abuse of narcotic painkillers and other prescription drugs is a growing problem in the United States, and a leading doctors group is urging members to exercise tighter control on the medications.
The American College of Physicians says its recommended changes will make it tougher for prescription drugs — painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, as well as drugs used for sleep problems and weight loss — to be abused or diverted for sale on the street.
Prescription drug abuse may now be a prime cause of accidental death in the United States, according to a recent tally of preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One 2010 survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found that 16 million Americans aged 12 and older had used a prescription painkiller, sedative, tranquilizer or stimulant for purposes other than their medical care at least once in the prior year.
via Doctors Group Urges Tighter Controls on Prescription Painkillers.
Zero work-related injuries and illnesses have been long-standing goals for Alcoa. But when zero first became the target, it seemed unreachable. “Accidents are inevitable” was often the response.
It’s not. They felt they could attain zero. That it is possible, and, in many locations, it is already there, thanks to dedicated effort and a firm commitment to their core values, one of which is to work safely, promote wellness, and protect the environment.
via Alcoa: Worldwide: Sustainability: Enhancing Our Workplace: Safety.
Each year, about 5,700 people in the United States go to the emergency room for treatment of snowblower-related injuries such as broken bones, cuts to skin and soft tissue, bruises, and sprains. About 10 percent of injuries involve amputation of the hand or fingers.
Snowblower injuries tend to happen when someone stops paying attention for even a few seconds.Even after the snowblower is turned off, tension is stored in the rotor blades. A hand or finger stuck in to remove wet snow or ice is at risk for being cut, mangled or even amputated.
To stay safe, keep your hands and fingers out of the snowblower mechanism whether the machine is running or turned off. Do not disable the safety devices built into most new snowblowers and take the time to review the key safety features in the owner’s manual.
via Winter Storm Hazard: Snowblower Injuries.