A Message from the CEO

15. August 2014

Julius Griggs, CEO

Hello and welcome back.

First, I want to thank all of our customers for allowing us to earn your business. This has been our busiest year yet.

And, we are very excited to announce that we now offer OSHA 10 and 30 Hour Training for Maritime in the classroom. This training is very hard to find on the West Coast and we are excited we can bring it to you. Please check out the following links for further information:

Classroom OSHA 10 Hour Maritime Industry

Classroom OSHA 30 Hour Maritime Industry

Also, more and more customers are taking advantage of our Consulting Service. I guess, with a Safety Audit/Training Needs Assessment starting at only $750 (excluding travel), who can blame them?

Anyway, enjoy some great information below, have a great rest of the summer, and see you next month.

Sincerely,

 Julius P Griggs

Julius P. Griggs

President and CEO

Safety Unlimited, Inc.

A Message from the CEO , , ,

Earthquake Preparedness in the Workplace

12. August 2014
Earthquake Checklist

One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible after-effects.

An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain that has accumulated over time. While California is renowned for its ‘quakes, all 50 states and 5 U.S. territories are at some risk for earthquakes that can happen any time of the year.

When an earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause deaths and injuries as well as extensive property damage. How prepared are you? The primary dangers to workers result from:

  • Being struck by structural components or furnishings;
  • Inadequately secured stored materials;
  • Burns caused from building fires resulting from gas leaks or electrical shorts; or
  • Exposure to chemicals released from stored or process chemicals.

Many of the hazards to workers both during and following an earthquake are predictable, and may be reduced through hazard identification, planning, and mitigation.

Each employer is responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for its workers. Employers are required to protect workers from the anticipated hazards associated with the response and recovery operations that workers are likely to conduct. Such hazards include power plant failures and hazardous materials incidents. Usually, little or no warning precedes these disasters.

Having an emergency action plan is critical. This is a written document, required by OSHA standards 29 CFR 1910.38(a), to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies.

Be informed! September is National Preparedness Month. Across the United States, workplaces and communities will promote emergency preparedness. The National Safety Council supports these emergency preparedness efforts and encourages all Americans to take action. 

What If? , , , , , , ,

Bullard and the Hard Hat

11. August 2014
Hard Hats

Head protection is commonplace in contemporary workplaces, but in the early 20th century and before hard hats did not exist to protect workers from collisions or falling objects. While protective hats did exist, such as the leather hats manufactured by the E.D. Bullard Company to protect miners, the development of rigid "skull buckets" did not occur until almost 1920.

The creation of these hard hats was the product of company founder and safety magnate, Edward Dickinson Bullard, and his son, Edward W. Bullard. The younger Bullard returned from World War I with a steel military helmet that provided the impetus for developing a sturdier safety helmet more resistant to falling objects and other materials that might strike workers in the head. In 1919 the Bullard company patented a "hard-boiled hat" made of steamed canvas and glue. Soon after, the U.S. Navy commissioned protective caps for shipyard workers, prompting the widespread use of hard hats on worksites where head injuries might occur. Around the same time, Bullard developed the suspension within hard hats that allowed for more effective deflection of force from the head.

During the construction of the Hoover Dam in 1931, hard hat use was made mandatory by the joint venture involved in the project. During the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, project chief engineer, Joseph Strauss, asked Bullard to create a hard hat to protect workers conducting sandblasting. The result was a further advance in hard hat creation, with face protection, a viewing window, and a supply hose for fresh air.

As times have changed, so have the hard hats. Over the years the materials used to create hard hats have changed, including aluminum (except for electrical workers), fiberglass, and plastic. Designs have changed, too, adding different features for different occupations and the hazards presented by the work. But while the look of hard hats has changed over the past 100 years, the need for their use at the workplace has not, and the hard hat remains a mainstay of personal protective equipment.

Who's Who in Safety , , , , ,

Back to School Safety: Playground Safety

11. August 2014
Playground Safety

Millions of children will be returning to school this month and, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 200,000 of them will visit a hospital emergency room because of an injury suffered on a playground. As parents, you should not only discuss playground behavior and safety with your child, you should inspect the playgrounds at your child’s school and local park to make certain that they are designed and maintained to help prevent injuries. Here are some important things to look for:

Nearly 80 percent of playground injuries are caused by falls to the ground, so improper surfacing is the first thing parents should look for when inspecting a playground. Playgrounds surfaced with concrete, grass, or dirt are too hard. Wood chips, mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires, and rubber mats do a better job of cushioning falls. The surface material should be at least a foot deep and 6 inches around each piece of playground equipment.

Most fall injuries result from falls off of climbing equipment or horizontal ladders. So in addition to making sure the surface under such equipment is safe, you should check that steps and handrails are in good condition and that there is a barrier surrounding raised platforms. Climbing ropes should be secured at both the top and bottom. Children under 4 should not play on this kind of equipment and, because the number of injuries caused by monkey bars is so large, experts now recommend that they be removed from all playgrounds.

Swings are the most likely pieces of moving equipment to cause injury. They should have soft seats, not metal or wood, and animal swings should not be used. Swings should be set far enough away from other equipment that children won’t be hit when the swing is in motion. With regard to other types of moving equipment, seesaws should be spring-loaded and not chain-adjustable. They should have something like a tire under the seats to prevent the seat from hitting the ground. Merry-go-rounds should have handgrips and the rotating platform should be level, with adequate clearance and no sharp edges.

For more information and to find out about standards for public playground safety, check out the National Safety Council's website.

Safety Matters , , , , , , ,

Back to School Safety: Backpack Safety

10. August 2014
Backpack Safety

As summer ends and children head to school they can expect to start coming home with classwork, textbooks, and other necessities they ferry from home to school and back. Generally, children carry their work in backpacks, and in many cases this isn't cause for concern. However, a heavy workload can not only stress a child emotionally, it can also affect their back.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates there are more than 7,300 backpack-related injuries treated by hospitals and doctors each year. These injuries include bruises, sprains and strains to the back, and shoulder fractures. These injuries will not only cripple children in the short term, they can lead to chronic back issues as well. Fortunately, these injuries can be avoided by managing the load a child carries in their backpack.

The first step in preventing backpack-related injuries is to lighten the load in the backpack. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a backpack should not weigh more than 10-20% of the child's weight, though this weight may be more or less as a result of the child's fitness and strength. For example, an 80-pound child should be safe carrying a load between 8 and 16 pounds.

A backpack is too heavy for a child when:

  • Wearing the backpack causes a change in posture;
  • The child struggles to put the backpack on or take it off;
  • The child complains of pain while wearing the backpack;
  • There is tingling or numbness as a result of backpack use; or
  • Red marks result from backpack use.

Each of these can be prevented, and larger back problems too, through safe and responsible backpack use. Remember, as with all hazards to health and safety, the best way to avoid a hazard is to know of its existence and respond to it appropriately.

For more information on how to use a backpack safely and how to select a backpack that is less likely to cause injury (when used properly), view the NSC's Backpack Safety one-sheet. For safety tips on a variety of other school-related topics as students return to school, visit the NSC's Back to School Safety Tips page.

Safety Tip of the Month , ,

A Message from the CEO

24. July 2014

Julius Griggs, CEO

Hello and welcome back.

There is some great summer info below so be sure you check it out.

Also, our Safety Matters Weekly Blog is starting to gain momentum and we have even had a few requests for specific topics.

To learn more, let Seymour Safety tell you all about it.

Finally, be sure to check out a new service page for OSHA Consulting.

Be safe and keep having a great summer.

Sincerely,

 Julius P Griggs

Julius P. Griggs

President and CEO

Safety Unlimited, Inc.

A Message from the CEO , , ,

Boat Safety

23. July 2014

With summer in full swing, boating can be very fun and enjoyable, sometimes catching some amazing views and sights that you wouldn’t normally see from the land, but on the other hand, it can also be very dangerous and hard work.

Each year hundreds of lives are lost... thousands are injured... and millions of dollars of property damage occurs because of preventable recreational boating accidents on U.S. waterways. Too often, pleasure outings turn tragic. You — as a boat operator, passenger, or concerned individual — can make a difference.

The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that life jackets could have saved the lives of over 80 percent of boating fatality victims. As a boat operator, you're in command of the safety of your passengers. But accidents can, and do, happen with terrifying speed on the water. There's rarely time to reach stowed life jackets. The U.S. Coast Guard strongly urges boat operators and their passengers to wear their life jacket all the time while underway.

You should carry the correct safety equipment for boating; take the right, needed safety boat equipment; and wear the right sea clothing for the day and weather. You should make a boating checklist so that you can never forget any marine safety items.

Service your equipment, making sure it's in the best possible shape for the next boating season, and that the equipment matches the type of boat and boating habits you intend using. Operator errors account for 70% of boating accidents — take a course.

Educate yourself about carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning - a potentially lethal boating danger.

Be weather-wise – there will be times when you will need to either exit or enter a port in rough and challenging conditions. Learning how rough weather affects the various harbors and entrances throughout your local area is necessary to operate safely. 

Finally, remember, BE SAFE* - KNOW YOUR...

Boat

Equipment

Safety devices and PFDs

Alcohol limits

First aid and emergency procedures

Environment (area and weather)

...BEFORE YOU GO!

Equipment Envy , , , , ,

Worker Safety for Young Workers

18. July 2014

We've come a long way in providing rights and job safety for workers, particularly young workers, in the United States. The Federal government's Fair Labor Standards Act restricts employment of children under 12 years old (for non-agricultural jobs), restricts hours and occupations for children between 12 and 16, and permits children between 16 and 18 to be employed for unlimited hours in non-hazardous occupations.

However, even with restrictions on the locations and hours young workers can be on the job, hazards still exist. In order to avoid injury or illness on the job site, young workers need to be aware of their existence.

OSHA's obligation to young workers in the workplace is no different than that to adults. By comparison, there are more restrictions on young workers. As part of their effort to increase youth awareness of workplace hazards and their worker rights, OSHA and the Department of Labor have developed a help page dedicated specifically to the rights of the youth worker. Among these rights is a right to a safe workplace, but youths have to be aware of the hazards posed by the workplace in order to avoid them.

Of course, hazards vary from job to job. You might encounter sharp objects or hot equipment at a fast-food restaurant or slippery floors when performing janitorial work. OSHA considered this, and provides a list of potential hazards youth workers might encounter as part of their job, depending on the workplace. Not only does OSHA provide potential hazards, they also offer methods of how to avoid them.

It is the employer's responsibility to do their utmost to provide a safe workplace and apprise workers of any existing hazards. With that in mind, if you feel hazards remain at your workplace, you can contact OSHA for answers to your questions or to request an inspection by calling 1.800.321.6742 or 1.887.889.5627. You can also submit questions online or file a confidential complaint.

Remember, a safe and healthful workplace is the right of all employees, young or old. While it is up to your employer to identify hazards and attempt to mitigate them, it is likewise important for you to be able to identify any potential hazards that may pose a threat and bring them to the attention of your employer. Doing so will not only keep you safe, but your fellow employees as well.

Safety Matters , , , , , , ,

Lead Awareness and Safety Tips

17. July 2014

Lead poisoning was among the first known and most widely studied illnesses related to environmental hazards.

Due to reductions of lead in products and the workplace, acute lead poisoning is rare in most countries today, but low level lead exposure is still common. 

Lead is a highly poisonous metal (inhaled or swallowed), affecting almost every organ and system in the body. The main target for lead toxicity is the nervous system, both in adults and children. Long-term exposure in adults can result in decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system.

In the past, maintenance activities such as sanding, scraping, and welding were considered fairly non-hazardous and routine. It is now known that if lead is present on or in the surfaces being disturbed, persons performing the work, as well as occupants of the areas where the work is performed, may be exposed to lead. Lead is particularly toxic to children, causing potentially permanent learning and behavior disorders.

In general, the older the home, the more likely lead paint was used on and in it. This is especially true for homes built prior to 1950, but lead-based paints were widely used up to the time they were banned for residential purposes in 1978. However, the presence of lead paint does not necessarily mean that it presents a hazard.

In adults, symptoms of lead poisoning include:

  • Headaches;
  • Memory and concentration problems;
  • Abdominal pain; and
  • High blood pressure.

In children, these are some of the more common signs and symptoms, among others:

  • Loss of appetite;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Vomiting; and
  • Weight loss.

A blood test is the only way to find out whether you or a family member already has lead poisoning. Call your doctor or local health department to arrange for a blood test. You can protect your family every day by:

  • Regularly cleaning floors, window sills, and other surfaces;
  • Washing children's hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys often;
  • Making sure children eat a healthy, nutritious diet consistent with the USDA's dietary guidelines; and
  • Wiping off shoes before entering the house.  

Lead in Drinking Water

Flush your pipes before drinking, and only use cold water for consumption. The more time water has been sitting in your home's pipes, the more lead it may contain. Anytime the water in a particular faucet has not been used for six hours or longer, "flush" your cold-water pipes by running the water until it becomes as cold as it will get.

Safety Tip of the Month , , ,

UV Safety

15. July 2014

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer found in the United States? The main cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. UV rays can also damage the eyes and cause skin blotches and wrinkles.

July is UV Safety Month and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is urging communities, health professionals, and families to use the month to raise awareness of strategies for preventing skin cancer.

The best strategies for prevention are simple: Limit your time in the sun and wear sunscreen. To limit your exposure to UV rays, stay in the shade as much as possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and cover up with long sleeves, a hat, and sunglasses. When using sunscreen, use SPF 15 or higher and use one with both UVA and UVB protection. Sunscreen should be worn even on cloudy days since clouds do not prevent exposure to UV rays. Put your sunscreen on 30 minutes before you go outside, use enough to provide full coverage, and apply to your lips, ears, hands, feet, and the back your neck as well as the more obvious areas where you might burn. Reapply it every 2 hours and after you swim or sweat.

In addition to these strategies for protecting your skin, protecting your eyes from UV rays is important. When buying sunglasses, look for ones that block out at least 99% of both UVA and UVB radiation.

To learn more about skin cancer, skin cancer prevention, and resources available for UV Safety Month, check out the many useful links on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services healthfinder.gov website.

Did You Know? , , , , , ,

© Copyright - Safety Unlimited, Inc. All Rights Reserved