Author Archives: Bullet

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Transporting Cargo Safely

Transporting Cargo Safely

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Workplace safety includes driving and transporting. If you load cargo wrong or do not secure it properly, it can be a danger to others and yourself. Loose cargo that falls off a vehicle can cause traffic problems and others could be hurt or killed. Loose cargo could hurt or kill you during a quick stop or accident. Your vehicle could be damaged by an overload. Steering could be affected by how a vehicle is loaded, making it more difficult to control the vehicle. The operator of the transport vehicle is responsible for:
Inspecting the cargo.
Recognizing overloads and poorly balanced weight.
Knowing the cargo is properly secured and does not obscure the view ahead or to the sides.
Knowing the cargo does not restrict access to emergency equipment.

Transport Vehicle Inspections

As part of your vehicle inspection, make sure the truck is not overloaded and the cargo is balanced and secured properly.
Inspect the cargo and its securing devices again within the first 50 miles after beginning a trip. Make any adjustments needed. Re-check the cargo and securing devices as often as necessary during a trip to keep the load secure. Federal, state, and local regulations for commercial vehicle weight, securing cargo, covering loads, and where you can drive large vehicles vary from place to place. Know the rules where you will be driving.

You must keep weights within legal limits. Overloading can have bad effects on steering, braking, and speed control. Overloaded trucks have to go very slowly on upgrades. Worse, they may gain too much speed on downgrades. Stopping distance increases. Brakes can fail when forced to work too hard. The height of the vehicle’s center of gravity is very important for safe handling. A high center of gravity (cargo piled up high or heavy cargo on top) means you are more likely to tip over. It is most dangerous in curves, or if you have to swerve to avoid a hazard. It is very important to distribute the cargo so it is as low as possible. Put the heaviest parts of the cargo under the lightest parts.

Proper Loading Makes for Safe Handling

Poor weight balance can make vehicle handling unsafe. On flatbed vehicles, there is also a greater chance that the load will shift to the side or fall off. On flatbed trailers or trailers without sides, cargo must be secured to keep it from shifting or falling off. Tiedowns must be of the proper type and proper strength.

Over-length, over-width, and/or overweight loads require special transit permits. Driving is usually limited to certain times. Special equipment may be necessary such as “wide load” signs, flashing lights, flags, etc.  These special loads require special driving care. When the load on any vehicle extends 4 feet (48 inches) or more beyond the rear of the body, a solid red or fluorescent orange flag at least 12 inches square must be placed at the extreme end of the load.

A load extending 1 foot or more to the left on any vehicle must have an amber light on the extreme left side of the load. It must be visible at least 300 feet to the front and rear during darkness. If the load extends more than 120 inches, there must be an amber lamp at the front and a red lamp at the rear, each visible at least 300 feet. If the vehicle is wider than 102 inches, a red or fluorescent flag not less than 12 inches square must be displayed at the left front and left rear during daylight. Lastly, make sure the load does not block the view from any of your mirrors. In this photo, the driver cannot see any traffic on his right side.

This safety topic is just one of the hundreds of different topics
covered in the Daily Safety Huddle program.  

Call 815-919-4861 today for your 5-Day Trial Sample!

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unprotected openings in floors or roofs

Unprotected Openings – Cover All Floor and Roof Holes

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Unprotected Openings — A Preventable Hazard.

Workers face many safety hazards on the job.  One of those hazards is falling through dangerous unprotected openings on roofs or floors.  In this incident, a large, unprotected opening was found on the property of an industrial company.  The company was located across the street from several apartment buildings where small children often played outdoors.  To make the unprotected opening hazard even more dangerous, the hole had several inches of water in the bottom.  The opening, which was left uncovered for days, should have been covered immediately and secured until work could resume on the project.

unprotected openings are a preventable hazard


OSHA requires that every unprotected opening into which a worker can accidentally fall into be guarded (using a railing and toe-board or a floor hole cover).  Cover or guard floor holes as soon as they are created during construction.  When the cover is not in place, the floor hole shall be constantly attended by someone or shall be protected by a removable standard railing.

—  Construct all floor hole covers so they will effectively support two times the weight of employees, equipment, and materials that may be imposed on the cover at any one time.
—  Secure coverings for floor and roof openings to prevent accidental removal or displacement.
—  The provision of administrative controls, such as providing an attendant, should not be used in lieu of proper engineering controls such as railings, covers or other protective methods.  Attendance at a floor opening is only intended to provide an oral warning by the attendant to stay a safe distance (preferably) from the opening until a barrier or cover had been placed in position to adequately secure the opening from fall through hazards.
—  Covers shall be secured in place to prevent accidental removal or displacement, and shall bear signage stating: “Dangerous Opening—Do Not Remove.”
—  If you come across a floor or roof with an unprotected opening, alert your supervisor so the opening can be safely protected as soon as possible.

Protecting workers and pedestrians from falling into unprotected openings is a totally preventable hazard.

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wash hands prevent germs

Wash Hands Often to Prevent Germs

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Washing your hands properly is the most effective way to protect yourself from getting sick and spreading germs to others. So many things we come into contact with have germs on them. From countertops, handrails and doorknobs to shopping cart handles, your kids toys, pets and the garbage you throw out, germs are everywhere. They’re even in your kitchen and most are found on the kitchen towel—even the ones with pretty designs on them! And keep your cell phone out of the kitchen while you’re cooking. It may contain more germs than a toilet seat. Most people take their cell phone into the bathroom with them and this could lead to E. coli germs getting on the phone. Use alcohol wipes to keep your phone clean.

People are always touching their eyes, mouth and nose without even realizing they are doing it. Germs can be transferred from the hands and into the body, which can cause us to become ill. Get in the habit of washing your hands frequently. Use clean water and liquid soap if it’s available since bar soap itself can become contaminated, especially if used by many different people. Lather your hands together for 20-30 seconds and be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Then rinse your hands under clean, running water and dry them using a clean towel or air dry them. Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

prevent germs, wash hands, hygiene

Develop techniques to help you avoid touching things with your fingertips. Push doors open and cup doorknobs using the palms of your hands instead of grabbing them with your finger tips. Wash your hands after pushing around a shopping cart.  We all know about recent reports that indicate that E. coli is found on 50 percent of shopping carts! There are 138,000 total bacteria per square inch of a shopping cart — an amount which exceeds the number of bacteria in the average public restroom. These are fecal bacteria capable of causing illness. If you use a sanitizing wipe, you’re going to get protection against most of the germs. Or, you can just grab a hand-held basket. Baskets might contain the same pathogenic bacteria as a cart, but baskets aren’t used to carry kids, and toddlers who ride in shopping carts are believed to be a major source of the germs. To be safer, you should take time to wipe down the basket, too. Take advantage of using store supplied sanitizing wipes (when available). Your health will thank you for it!

The best way to protect against germs is to keep your hands squeaky clean. While you can’t sterilize your environment, you can limit exposure by practicing good hand hygiene.  


This safety topic is just one of the hundreds of different topics
covered in the Daily Safety Huddle program. 

Call 815-919-4861 today for your FREE, 5-Day sample!

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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.


•  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.


•  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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Bullet Communications, Inc.
200 S. Midland Ave. | Joliet, IL 60436 | U.S.A.
Tel: 815.919.4861 | Fax: 815.741.2805

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...