The office is a safe place to work right? Not always. Many injuries and accidents occur in offices on a regular basis. The most common causes of workplace injuries are caused by slips, trips, or falls. These accidents can occur anywhere, whether in the administrative office or on the production floor.
Having safe work practices will help prevent injuries caused by falls, fires, and electrical shocks.
Follow these tips to ensure your office and work space remain safe.
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- Watching for obstructions, like cables and cords, will help prevent tripping. Never put cables, cords, or power bars across traffic areas. Stay mindful of these even if they are located below your desk.
- Designated areas should be used for storing materials and not left in boxes on the floor. Handbags, briefcases, and other personal items should be stored where no one will accidentally fall or trip over them.
- Always keep desk drawers and cabinets closed when not in use.
- Immediately clean spills. If you are unable to immediately clean a spill, set up a barricade and a sign to warn others. Damp or Wet floors caused by cleaning, should also be barricaded with a warning sign.
- Safe lifting techniques should be used to prevent back injuries around the office or in the warehouse. When lifting heavy items, squat down beside it. Use the strength in your legs, not your back, to raise it up. Bend your knees and not your back. If loading a filing cabinet or other top-heavy items, load from the bottom up to keep it from falling over.
- Sharp objects including paper knives, scissors, and letter openers, should be stored away from other items to help prevent puncture wounds or cuts.
- Stay alert to all electrical hazards by checking for frayed or damaged cords, wires, or plugs. Any electrical repairs should only be handled by a qualified person. The wiring in the office needs to handle all of the computers and electronic equipment in the room. Extension cords should only be used as a temporary fix.
- Use a step ladder or stool to reach for something overhead. Never use a makeshift scaffold from a chair or desk.
- Repetitive strain injuries are common around the office. Frequently switch to other tasks to give your hands and arms rest. Always use proper ergonomics when using a computer!
According to OSHA, the construction industry has a higher fatality rate than the national average for all industries. There are nearly 6.5 million workers across 252,000 Construction sites. There are many potential hazards on a construction site including falls, scaffold collapse, trench collapse, electric shock, arc flash, failure to use proper PPE, and repetitive motion injuries. Here are some construction safety tips and advice.
Hazard: If scaffolds are not used or erected properly, fall hazards can occur. Around 2.3 million construction workers frequently work on scaffolds. Protecting these workers from scaffold-related accidents could prevent an estimated 50 fatalities each year and 4,500 injuries.
- Keep scaffolds at least 10 feet from electric power lines at all times.
- Scaffold must be sound, rigid, and sufficient to carry its own weight plus four times the maximum intended load without settling or displacement. It must be erected on solid footing while avoiding unstable objects, such as barrels, boxes, loose concrete blocks or bricks.
- The scaffold needs to be equipped with guardrails, midrails, toeboards and should not be erected, dismantled, or moved without the supervision of a competent person.
- A “competent person” must inspect the scaffolding and, at designated intervals, reinspect it.
- Scaffold platforms must be tightly planked with scaffold plank grade material or an equivalent
- Scaffold should be accessed by the use of ladders and stairwells.
- Employees must be educated about the dangers of using diagonal braces as fall protection.
- Any rigging on suspension scaffolds must be inspected by a competent person after any occurrence that could affect structural integrity and before each shift. The tightness of connections should be checked and look for any damage to the rigging equipment.
- All synthetic and natural rope used in suspension scaffolding must be protected or shielded from any heat-producing source.
- Damaged or weakened accessories such as braces, trusses, brackets, screw legs, and ladders must be immediately repaired or replaced.
Hazard: Trips, slips, and falls are a major source of fatalities and injuries in the construction industry.
- Slippery conditions on stairways and walkways must be corrected immediately.
- Stair walkways and treads must be free of all dangerous objects, materials, and debris.
- Treads must cover the entire landing and step.
- If the stairways have four or more risers or rises more than 30 inches, it must have at least one handrail.
Hazards: Serious and significant injuries occur if cranes are not used properly or inspected before each use. These injuries usually occur when a worker is struck by an overhead load or caught within the crane’s swing radius. A large number of crane fatalities occur when the bottom of a crane or its load contacts an overhead power line.
- Check all crane controls to insure proper operation before use, and inspect wire rope, chains & hook for any damage.
- Check all rigging prior to use; do not wrap hoist ropes or chains around the load.
- Know the weight of the load that the crane is to lift and ensure that the load does not exceed the crane’s rated capacity.
- Raise the load a few inches to verify balance and the effectiveness of the brake system.
- Fully extend outriggers.
- Do not move a load over workers.
- Barricade accessible areas within the crane’s swing radius.
- Watch for overhead electrical distribution and transmission lines and maintain a safe working clearance of at least 10 feet from energized electrical lines.
Hazard: Approximately 100 employees are fatally injured and approximately 95,000 employees are injured every year while operating powered industrial trucks. Forklift turnover accounts for a significant number of these fatalities.
- Train and certify all operators to ensure that they operate forklifts safely.
- Do not allow any employee under 18 years old to operate a forklift.
- Properly maintain haulage equipment, including tires.
- Do not modify or make attachments that affect the capacity and safe operation of the forklift without written approval from the forklift’s manufacturer.
- Examine forklift truck for defects before using.
- Follow safe operating procedures for picking up, moving, putting down and stacking loads.
- Drive safely – never exceed 5 mph and slow down in congested or slippery surface areas.
- Prohibit stunt driving and horseplay.
- Do not handle loads that are heavier than the capacity of the industrial truck.
- Remove unsafe or defective forklift trucks from service.
- Operators shall always wear seatbelts.
- Avoid traveling with elevated loads.
- Assure that rollover protective structure is in place.
- Make certain that the reverse signal alarm is operational and audible above the surrounding noise level.
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According to the CDC, the best way to prevent the seasonal flu is to get vaccinated on a yearly basis. Other good health habits, like washing your hands frequently or covering a cough, can help minimize the spreading of germs, like the flu virus.
Six Safety Tips at Preventing the Flu
- Stay home when you are sick.
- When you are sick stay home from school, work, or running any errands, if possible.
- Avoid close contact with others.
- Always try to avoid close contact with anyone that is sick. If you are sick, try to keep your distance from others to protect them from also getting sick.
- Cover your Nose & Mouth.
- Make sure to cover your nose & mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing. This may help to prevent others around you from getting sick.
- Clean your hands regularly
- Keeping your hands clean by regular washing will help to protect you from germs. Be sure to use Hand Santizer when soap & water are not available.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.
- Germs are often spread when a person touches anything that is contaminated with germs, and then touches their nose, mouth, or eyes.
- Practice other positive health habits.
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- Clean & Disinfect any frequently touched surfaces at school, work, or home, especially when someone is sick. Plenty of sleep, physical activity, drinking plenty of fluids, managing stress, and eating healthy & nutritious found will help your immune system.
Two safety consultants of Proforma Safety International have been recognized by ConocoPhillips for their outstanding contribution to safety with ConocoPhillips Upstream Safety Ambassador awards.
Proforma Safety’s Raymond Gonzalez and Jeff McClenny were recognized for their safety leadership and for taking personal ownership to drive improved safety performance. Both safety consultants worked on the Peregrine Falcon 3D program, the largest land program in ConocoPhillips history, including the heritage companies. The project experienced zero recordable and zero lost time injuries. Nearly 500,000 man-hours were worked without incident. Both award recipients received letters of commendation and plaques from the senior vice president of ConocoPhillips Exploration and Business Development.
Prior to the Peregrine Falcon project, Gonzalez and McClenny worked on ConocoPhillip’s Tier IV and Barnett 3D programs, which also were completed successfully, achieving the safety goal of zero. They provided safety oversight for night operations on the Wyoming NEES3D program and completed the project without a recordable incident. Gonzalez also completed a second phase of the NEES3D program, assisting with the trashing completion at the end of the job with no recordable incidents.
In October 2011, McClenny was invited to participate as panel speaker in the ConocoPhillips Upstream HSE Summit with approximately 3,000 participants conferring on best practices for building a safety culture, risk tolerance, safe behaviors, hazard recognition and planning, process and contractor safety.
Jimmy Taylor, another Proforma Safety consultant, had also worked on the Peregrine Falcon project, but had moved on to another project before the review process for the award began.
“This is the type of performance that Proforma Safety consultants deliver on every job, every day, for every client,” said Proforma Safety President Scott Arnold. “Our team shows its passion for keeping both client and contractor personnel safe, and our outstanding safety track records across multiple projects are proof of this.
“We are very proud to have a team that’s so committed to making Proforma Safety a best in class HSE consulting company and grateful for all they do to grow our reputation,” he concluded. “We truly have the most experienced and dedicated team in our industry. “