Monthly Archives

December 2015

Working Outdoors HEAT STRESS

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Heat Stress


 

Make the Workplace Safer

  • Provide cool potable water.
  • Have shade available.
  • Have an emergency phone, like a cell phone, available to call9-1-1 in case of an emergency. Know your location. Follow Safe Work Practices
  • Watch for symptoms of heat stress including high body temperature, hot, dry skin, confusion, nausea, headaches, fatigue, and fainting.
  • Drink a minimum of 1 quart of cool potable water per hour.
  • Start drinking water at the beginning of work and don’t wait until you’rethirsty.
  • Stay away from drinks with caffeine such as coffee, alcohol and softdrinks.
  • Wear proper loose fitting clothing and dress for the weather conditions.
  • Acclimate yourself to the heat and don’t overwork. Allow time for yourbody to adjust.
  • Air temperature will increase if you’re working next to a source ofradiation, on a roof, in a trench, inside a vehicle, in a confined space,

    or on a street.

  • Check with your doctor if you’re taking any medications that mayadversely affect you while working outdoors. Some medications can

    increase the symptoms of heat stress.

  • NOTIFY YOUR SUPERVISOR IMMEDIATELY IF YOU HAVE ANYHEAT-RELATED SYMPTOMS. Personal Protective Equipment
  • Always wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the job.
  • Types, styles, and designs of PPE should be chosen based upon company policy, state law and the weatherconditions and surrounding present conditions.
  • NOTIFY YOUR SUPERVISOR IMMEDIATELY IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO WEAR ANY PPE.

DID YOU KNOW?

California state law requires employers to provide employees with drinking water and shade on days where the outside temperature exceeds 85 degrees in the shade.

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Fire Safety

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How a Fire Extinguisher Works

  •  Portable fire extinguishers apply an extinguishing agent that will either cool burning fuel, displace or remove oxygen, or stop the chemical reaction so that a fire cannot continue to burn.
  • When the handle of an extinguisher is compressed, agent is expelled out of the nozzle.

DID YOU KNOW?

For fire to exist, the following four elements must be present at the same time:

  • Enough oxygen to sustaincombustion;
  • Enough heat to raise thematerial to its ignition

    temperature;

  • Some sort of fuel orcombustible material; and
  • The chemical reaction thatis fire.

 

Types of Fire Extinguishers

 All extinguishers are given an alpha-numeric classification based on the type and size of fire they will extinguish.

 The numbers serve as a guide for the amount of fire the extinguisher can handle. The higher the number, the more fire-fighting power.

 The letters represent the type(s) of fire for which the extinguisher has been approved.
 The following table provides information regarding the type of fire and which fire extinguisher should be used:

EXTINGUISHER TYPE

TYPE OF FIRE/ LOCATION

A: Ordinary Combustibles

SYMBOL

Air-Pressurized Water (APW)

Fires in paper, cloth, wood, rubber, and many plastics require a water type extinguisher labeled A.

Locations:

APWs are found in older buildings and offices, particularly in public hallways.

IMPORTANT: Never use water to extinguish flammable liquid or electrical fires.

B: Flammable Liquids

Fires in oils, gasoline, some paints, lacquers, grease, solvents, and other flammable liquids require an extinguisher labeled B.

C: Electrical Equipment

Fires in wiring, fuse boxes, energized electrical equipment, computers, and other electrical sources require an extinguisher labeled C.

Locations:

Carbon dioxide extinguishers

CO2/ Dry Chemical

are found in industrial vehicles, mechanical rooms, offices, computer labs, and flammable liquid storage areas.

A: Ordinary Combustibles B: Flammable Liquids C: Electrical Equipment Locations:

Multi-Purpose

These extinguishers are found in public hallways, laboratories, mechanical rooms, break rooms, chemical storage areas, offices, commercial vehicles, and other areas with flammable liquids.

K: Kitchen Fires

Fires involving combustible cooking fluids such as oils and fats.

Locations:

Dry and Wet Chemical

These extinguishers are found in commercial cooking operations such as restaurants, cafeterias, and other locations where food would be served.


 

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

 Follow the P.A.S.S technique to put out a fire:

1) PULL…Pull the pin. This will break the tamper seal.

2) AIM…Aim low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the fire. (Note: Do not touch the plastic discharge horn on CO2 extinguishers. It gets very cold and may damage skin!)

3) SQUEEZE…Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
4) SWEEP…Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it appears to be out.

Watch the area. If the fire reignites, repeat steps 2 – 4.

NOTE: IF YOU HAVE EVEN THE SLIGHTEST DOUBT ABOUT YOUR ABILITY TO FIGHT A FIRE, EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY!

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Dealing with Customers-WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

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The Unruly Customer

Make the Workplace Safer

  • Everyone should be trained on what to do with an unruly customer or client.
  • Robberies, irate customers, and other acts of violence should be addressed and everyone should have a plan for how to deal with them.

    Follow Safe Work Practices

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • When dealing with unruly customers, keep your cool; if you feel you cannot handle the situation, bring someone else in who may be able to calm things down.
  • Never escalate the situation; raising your voice, yelling or screaming above an unruly customer never helps the situation.
  • Try to calm down and be rational with the customer.
  • If you feel threatened back off from the customer.
  • Bottom line, you are the professional and must act like it.
  • Immediately contact your Supervisor if you feel you have a situation you cannot handle.

    Workplace Violence

    Make the Workplace Safer:

  • Every employee should know their responsibilities in an emergency situation.
  • In your head, practice various emergency responses; plan and strategize so

    that you can safely deal with a variety of emergencies. Follow Safe Work Practices:

  • Workplace violence includes acts of violence against an employee and can be from another employee or a customer.
  • Keep calm during workplace violence and follow the instructions of your supervisor.
  • Most forms of workplace violence have their roots in some type of harassment such as bullying.
  • When evacuating an area, assist any employees or customers who may need help.
  • When dealing with money, vary your routine (such as money counting or bank drops).
  • Never count money in the open in front of other employees or customers.
  • When leaving the business at night, have a co-worker walk with you and always try and stay in a well-lit area.
  • If you feel something is not right, notify your Supervisor immediately
  • If you feel you are being harassed, follow your company’s Unlawful Harassment policy and report the incident to your supervisor or manager.
  • View PDF Here

 

POISONOUS GASES in the WORKPLACE

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Basic Safety

Make the Workplace Safer

  • Never mix any cleaning solutions together.
  • Install, maintain and always pay attention to Carbon Monoxide detectors &alarms.
  • Never store dry ice in a confined, occupied space.
  • Always wear Personal Protective Equipment as required by a product’s MaterialSafety Data Sheet (MSDS). Follow Safe Work Practices
    • NEVER mix bleach products with ammonia products.
    • Always make sure you have proper ventilation in rooms using gas-fired equipment such as heaters and water heaters run by natural gas or propane.
    • Dry ice is sometimes used to keep food cool during outdoor activities such as catering events. Dry ice should never be stored indoors and always used in a well-ventilated area.
    • Always read a product’s MSDS before using the product. Pay particular attention to any safety precautions and personal protective equipment that might be needed to aid in safe breathing.
    • f using flammable liquids, be aware of the fumes which may have a very low ignition point.

       

      Gases & Symptoms

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless poisonous gas. Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, nausea, and dizziness. High levels of CO can cause loss of consciousness and death.
  • Mixing ammonia products with chlorine products forms hydrochloric gas also known as Chlorine gas. Chlorine gas is a deadly gas and will usually irritate the eyes and lungs. High levels in enclosed areas can cause death.
  • Dry ice is a form of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which is an odorless, colorless gas. Excessive amounts of CO2, especially in an enclosed area will cause unconsciousness and ultimately death.

    First Aid

  • If you detect the presence of any of these gases, move out of thearea into fresh air as soon as possible.
  • If you find someone unconscious, attempt to move them or ventilate the room. Be aware that there is probably still poisonous gas in the area and you should wear the required personal protective equipment before rescue.
  • Dial 9-1-1 and do not hang up until instructed to do so.
  • Monitor the unconscious and provide basic first aid/CPR as required.
  • Always follow the emergency procedures on a product’s MSDS.

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Substance Abuse in the WORKPLACE

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Basic Safety

Substance Abuse Includes:

 Illegal drugs, such a methamphetamine and marijuana
 Legally prescribed drugs, such as pain relievers and cough syrups  Over-the-counter drugs such as Nyquil
 Alcohol, which includes beer and wine


 

Follow Safe Work Practices

  • Understand and follow your company’s drug and alcohol policy.
  • Never bring any illegal drugs to work or use drugs or alcohol while operating equipment or driving.
  • Realize that even legally prescribed and over-the-counter drugs can cause problems at work and affect your work product.
  • If you need to take legally prescribed drugs or over-the-counter drugs at work, report the use of those drugs to your Supervisor.
  • Ask yourself, would you want to work next to the person who may be responsible for your safety while they are using drugs or intoxicated?

    Symptoms

    • The use of marijuana can affect your judgment and can slow down your reactions.
    • The use of cocaine or methamphetamine can affect your judgment and speed up your heart rate.
    • The use of heroin will slow you down.
    • The use of methamphetamine makes you paranoid.
    • The use of alcohol can affect your motor skills and judgment.
    • Typically, drugs or alcohol will affect your central nervous system and alter the way you think and reason rationally.

      First Aid

    • If an employee overdoses at work, call 9-1-1 immediately and seek medical attention.
    •  Never let a fellow employee work that is thought to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Notify a supervisor immediately.
    • Never let a fellow employee who is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs drive home.
    • Never ingest vomiting or attempt to give the employee any liquids.
    • The use of some drugs can trigger illnesses such as epilepsy.
    • Some drugs like cocaine can immediately stop the heart.

DID YOU KNOW?

On average, 1 employee out of 25 abuses illegal drugs.

 

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