Author Archives: Bullet

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ladder safety

Ladder Safety Learned The Hard Way

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Homeowner Falls Off Ladder

This is a story about ladder safety, one of the most dangerous hazards people encounter on a regular basis.  This Illinois homeowner set up a ladder and was attempting to get on his roof in November to blow leaves off the roof.  He recently had new concrete poured on his patio.  He set up his ladder on the new, smooth concrete and rested the ladder against his gutter.  The temperature outside was around 30 degrees.  The homeowner strapped his gas-powered blower to his back, grabbed the hose with one hand and started up the ladder.  As he reached the roof edge, he started stepping from the ladder to the roof.  Just as he took his first step onto the roof, the ladder slid out from under him, causing him to fall approximately 10 feet to the ground below.  The ladder lost traction on the ground because conditions were icy and the base pads of the ladder were plastic. 

His wife, an ER nurse who happened to be home heard the fall and came to his aid and called an ambulance to take him to the hospital.  The homeowner suffered a broken wrist and a broken arm, each requiring screws and plates to aid in realigning the bones.  He was out of work for four months and needed six months of physical therapy.  He learned an important lesson about how dangerous ladders can be.

WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE DIFFERENTLY?

•  The homeowner should have made sure his ladder was set up on a stable surface and that it was set up at a proper angle so it couldn’t slide out from under him.

•  He also could have taken more care in carrying his blower up the ladder so it didn’t cause him to lose his balance.

HOW DOES LADDER SAFETY RELATE TO OUR WORK?

•  Always set up ladders on solid, level, stable ground.

•  Inspect the ladder, rungs and rails for damage before climbing.

•  Let someone know you’ll be using a ladder to work on your roof or gutters.

•  Make sure ladders are set up at the proper angle so they can’t slide out
from under you.  Extend the ladder at least 3 feet above the roof line, or landing edge.

•  Always maintain three points of contact when on a ladder (i.e. two hands
and one foot or two feet and one hand).

•  Do not climb with tools in hand—use a tool belt.

•  Don’t overreach or stretch too far as this could cause the ladder to tip —
reposition the ladder closer to the work instead.

•  Think about ladder safety as you plan your task.  Take precautions to eliminate risks.

While this homeowner was unlucky to have fallen off his ladder, he was also lucky to have survived a fall from such a height.  Unfortunately, too many people are killed every year from falling off ladders.


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traffic stops: What to do if pulled over by the police

Traffic Stops: Being Pulled Over

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Recent news stories about altercations between police officers and people they have pulled over during traffic stops has created a heightened awareness and concern of what people should do when being pulled over by the police.  There are certain simple procedures that you can take to minimize any potential miscommunication between you and the officer. First and foremost, respect the police officer and their authority.  If you feel you have been wrongly pulled over, you can always plead your case in a court of law.  Do not be antagonistic or disrespectful.  Answer the officer’s questions truthfully and cooperate with them fully.  Laws, rules and procedures are in place in society and in the workplace for a reason: to establish order, foster safety, and so everyone conforms to an acceptable standard of behavior.  When being pulled over by the police, follow the guidelines outlined below and share these tips with your family members.  That way, everyone returns home safe after traffic stops.

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE WHEN BEING PULLED OVER?

•  As soon as you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror and hear the siren of the police car behind you, let the officer know you see him/her by immediately putting on your right turn signal and pulling over to the curb.

•  Put your car in park.

•  At this point don’t be moving around going into your clothes, purse, glove box or center console to retrieve your license and proof of insurance cards.  The officer will be watching you as he/she approaches your window and they may think you are pulling a weapon or hiding something.

•  Turn on the dome light inside your car so the officer can see inside easier.

•  Roll your window down and place your hands on the steering wheel at ‘12 and two’ and wait for the officer to arrive at your window.

•  You may notice in your mirror that the officer will place his/her hand on the trunk of your car as they approach.  Do not be alarmed.  They do this as a precautionary measure to leave their fingerprints on cars in case they are harmed during the traffic stop and the offender drives away.  Many an offender has been convicted once they are tracked down because the officer’s prints were found on their car.

•  When the officer arrives at your window, he/she will tell you why they have pulled you over.  They will ask you if you have any weapons in the car.  If you do have a weapon in the car, be honest and tell the officer where the weapon is located.  Then follow the officer’s instructions EXACTLY.

•  The officer will also ask you for your driver’s license and proof of insurance, and in some states your vehicle registration card.

•  Before making any sudden moves, tell the officer where your items are located in the car and that you will get them out. This way, the officer can get in the best position to watch you retrieve your items.

•  Retrieve the items and hand them to the officer. The officer will tell you to stay in your car as they go back to their car to evaluate the situation and determine if they are going to issue a ticket or just give you a warning.

•  If you suddenly remember where something is that the officer asked for, don’t jump out of your car to go give it to them.  This behavior may alarm the officer and place them in a defensive position.  Rather, honk your horn and wave to them.  The officer will respond to you.

•  If the officer comes back to your car to issue you a ticket, they may ask you to sign the ticket.  This is simply to acknowledge that you received the ticket.  It does not imply an admission of guilt.

•  When the officer is done handing you the ticket, you should pull away first.


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safety barricading

Safety Barricading for the Work Zone

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Safety Barricading

This is a great example of a crew doing the safe thing: safety barricading. When using lifts for material handling, the workers at this home improvement store block off the work aisle.  This is done so that shoppers cannot get close to them and their work.  This way, a distracted shopper can’t walk into a manlift or get backed into.  And if something fell from the lift, no one could be injured.

How Does This Relate to Our Work?
Training workers on what a safe work zone looks like is the first step in keeping everyone safe within the work zone.  All workers have to “buy into” the importance of safety—and then practice it during their shift.  All workers have to know about the potential hazards within their work zone and what safety procedures must be taken to minimize or eliminate those hazards.  From wearing proper PPE to setting up physical barricades as well as warning signs, safety procedures must be followed.  Organize a Daily Safety Huddle so workers begin their shift “Talking Safety” and “Thinking Safety”.  Promote a sense of teamwork towards safety to encourage cooperation among workers.  Companies that provide a safe work environment benefit from having a happy, healthy and motivated workforce.

—  When the work site is in public, it is crucial to barricade the work perimeter to keep other workers and pedestrians away from potential danger. 
—  This store uses signs and physical barriers to make sure no one can enter.
—  Even when your work site is barricaded properly, continue to remain alert and keep observing your surroundings.
—  Plan ahead when you know the work site is in public to make sure you have all the barricading and signage required to keep the work zone a safe zone.
—  Always keep your work zone organized and free of clutter and tripping hazards.

HomeDepot_20160520_182249


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Safety is Crucial at Work Sites

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Work sites can be very dangerous places. Always think safety.

Proper procedures must be followed to ensure everyone’s safety. ALL employees at construction work sites must wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as hearing protection, gloves, hard hats, safety boots, and eye protection. If you see a co-worker not wearing PPE, intervene and help them get the PPE required for their protection. The foreman pictured on this work site should be wearing his hard hat—and he shouldn’t be standing right under that 3,000lb bucket! Worksites must also be kept free from materials that constitute tripping, fire, explosion hazards, or harbor pests. Maintain good housekeeping on all work sites. Never stand in front of heavy equipment being operated on a job site or under equipment that could fall on you. Never stand under ANY suspended load. Pay attention to where you are at all times to make sure you are not in the line-of-fire. Also protect the public by barricading the work site.


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Safety Topics Covered

Ladder Safety - LOTO - Confined Space - Trench Safety - Crane Safety - Fall Protection - PPE - Fuel Tank Safety - Eye Safety - Work Zone Safety - Chemical Safety - Forklift Safety - Electrical Safety - Pinch Points - Ergonomics - Material Handling - Tool Safety - Health & First Aid - Machine Guarding - Lifting & Back Health - Transport Safety - Hearing Protection - Respiratory Safety - Workplace Violence - Fire Safety - Chocking & Blocking - Walk/Working Surfaces - Hazard Communications - Bloodborne Pathogens - Flammable Liquids - Propylene Cylinders - Loading Dock Safety - Emergency Evacuation - Driving/Spotter Safety - Scaffolding Safety - Fatigue - Underground Utilities - Drum Labeling - Welding Safety - Hand Protection - Heat Stress - and more...