U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Monday July 26, 2021
It Might Be a Little Overwhelming
Last week we talked about the importance of understanding all the hazards associated with the work that you are performing. As you can see, sometimes it takes a little more than just common sense to understand what you need to do to prevent accidents in the workplace. It takes a real understanding.
This week we’re going to look at where you can find the information that will keep you and your coworkers safe.Let’s consider the following example.
Three workers were given the job to remove debris from a section of a storm sewer that apparently was plugged during the last rainstorm.
When they arrived and opened the lid, they saw that the water had receded so Joe said he would go down and check it out. With his flashlight and radio in hand he entered the sewer.
As he moved toward the area where they believed the sewer was blocked, he joked about being carried off by rats, when suddenly the radio went silent.
John and Mary kept trying to reach him on the radio. Since they couldn’t, John went in to see what was going on.As he moved through the pipe, he saw Joe leaning up against the side of the pipe. When he called to Joe, he didn’t answer.Not knowing what went wrong he called Mary on the radio and told her to come in to help him get Joe out.
Three lives were lost that day due to one of the leading causes of death in confined spaces – asphyxiation. It didn’t have to end that way.
Accidents like this occur every day in the workplace. Most accidents happen without the loss of life, but nevertheless they occur because workers don’t have a complete understanding of the hazards they will face that day.
So, where do we get the information we need to work safe?
I’d like to say you can go to one place for everything you need, but that’s not the case. I’ll give you a list of a few places you can look.
- OSHA Regulations – Although the information will not be specific to the work your company performs, OSHA regulations are designed around protecting employees form hazards in the workplace.
- Company Safety Programs – This information should be more specific to the work your company performs and, if you are working in and around other trades, some of their recognizable hazards.
- Equipment Operator Handbooks – Always a good place to go for hazards specific to a piece of equipment.
- Employees who are familiar with the type of work being performed – Experience is almost always a place to go for valuable information about how to protect yourself from hazards.
- Employees who are familiar with the equipment you are working on – That person who works on or maintains a piece of equipment knows it better than everyone else, including the hazards.
- Training courses related to the work that is being performed – Training is a valuable tool in the recognition of hazards in the workplace. Although you might find it a bit boring, you just might learn something.
- SDS – Safety Data sheets will provide you everything you need to protect yourself from chemicals in the workplace.
Although this is not an all-inclusive list, it’s a good start. You might find yourself having to go to several resources to get all the answers you need, but I guarantee you that it will be worth the effort to get all the information you need.
Next week we’re going to look at a way to put all this information together in one place so everyone can easily access it when they need it.
Not all hazards are difficult to recognize. In fact, most are easy to see and don’t require much effort to protect you from those hazards.Yet there are some that require us to dig a little deeper.
This week make an extra effort to understand all the hazards you might be exposed to. Your family and friends will appreciate it.
When looking at hazards in the workplace, remember OSHA says you must protect your employees from all recognized hazards in the workplace. Hazards created by others your employees may be working around are included.
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Thanks for Reading and Please – Stay Healthy and Work Safe.