The Washington State area devastated by a mudslide Saturday, March 22nd, has seen much clear-cut logging.  Native American tribes and environmentalists have long warned that clear-cut logging could raise the risk of landslides.  Although the mountain ranges of the Pacific Northwest may appear solid and stolid, they are a geologically active part of the physical environment, including regular earthquakes, landslides, and the occasional volcano. Sometimes, human activities – including the clear-cut logging that patch-marks much of the region – have an important impact on forests, soils, and water patterns. 

The massive mudslide that hit  Saturday, March 22,  about 55 miles northeast of Seattle was part of that picture, all but wiping out the community of Oso across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River.  As rescue and recovery efforts continued Friday morning, officials reported that the number of confirmed dead remains at 17 with another nine bodies located but not yet recovered. Ninety more individuals are still unaccounted for – large numbers in a small community of around 180 people.

The demand for lumber, plywood, paper, and other wood products is part of an industry that once dominated Washington State and Oregon.  Logging’s impact has been a concern for a number of years. Large, older trees take up more water than younger stands, which can take decades to mature and may be cut down before they reach full maturity. The Tulalip Tribes were so concerned with landslides hitting the Stillaguamish River and its prime salmon habitat that they blocked a proposed timber sale above an earlier slide in 1988.”There were some very large clear-cuts planned for that area, which made us very concerned,” Kurt Nelson, a hydrologist with the tribes, told KUOW, the NPR affiliate at the University of Washington in Seattle.  “That reach of the North Fork has multiple, ancient, deep-seated landslides,” Mr. Nelson said. “There’s a lot of unstable terrain in that area.”  Landslides have followed logging in that area at least four times, KUOW reported.

“This had been known at least since the ’50s as one of the more problematic areas on the Stillaguamish for perennial landslides,” Mr. Kennard,  (Geomorphologist Paul Kennard, who worked for the Tulalip Tribes in the 1980s and now works for the National Park Service at Mt. Rainier) reported.  Although state logging regulations have been tightened in recent years, The Seattle Times reports that a clear-cut nine years ago “appears to have strayed into a restricted area that could feed groundwater into the landslide zone that collapsed Saturday.” 

Heavy rains and winds are hampering rescue efforts, by both professional rescue teams and volunteers. The careful use of heavy equipment, helicopters, and other means of rescue continue.  Personnel are wading through debris, muck, trees, ice, and foul water.

 Meanwhile, the request by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) for more federal assistance to help with recovery efforts in the Oso area has been approved. The money will be used to help local and state government agencies recover a portion of the estimated $4.5 million expected to be spent on emergency response, protective measures, and debris removal. Safety precautions should be used by all; pros and volunteers.  Wearing respiratory protection, gloves, goggles, hardhats, and protective clothing is important for the safety of those exposed to all types of hazards.

At his briefing Friday, Snohomish County Fire District Chief Travis Hots asked corporations and businesses in the region to donate money to help those affected. “Some of these people have lost their homes, some have lost their cars, some have lost their entire family,” he said. “Funerals will have to be paid for. Please dig deep.”  Chief Hots is the spokesman for search and recovery efforts.


Source: Christian Science Monitor, Associated Press


Safety vests are familiar sights in construction zones. A variety of reflective models, including lightweight, mesh and multi-colored versions, help workers increase their visibility and maintain on-the-job safety every day. While construction workers may first come to mind when thoughts turn to safety vests, this critical protective gear is also used in a number of other industries and activities.

On the Road
Between the ongoing need for highway infrastructure improvements and increased traffic construction due to population growth, night work is becoming increasingly prevalent on the roadways. While contact with construction vehicles, objects and equipment is the leading cause of death for workers in highway construction zones, these fatalities are preventable through the implementation of best safety practices, including safety vests.

Safety Vests Arent Just For Construction Workers 1

Whatever their shape and size, safety gear cannot be underestimated.

According to the National Safety Council’s 2011 Injury Facts report, there were just under 700 deaths and 29,000 work zone crashes in a single year period. Safety vests reduce traffic fatalities by helping drivers more easily see workers during the evening hours, when visibility is significantly impaired.

But it’s not just construction workers who are injured or killed on the highway. Traffic flaggers, as well as first responders, such as police officers, EMTs and firefighters, rely on safety vests for road safety. Additionally, federal regulations now require media personnel to don safety vests when working on federal rights-of-way because of struck-by accidents. Airline and traffic controllers don safety vests for the same important reason.

Emergency Situations
Police officers, security guards and other public officers face many hazards every day. Personal safety is a critical imperative, and safety vests are a critical component. Reflective safety vests help law enforcement personnel, as well as security and patrol officers, identify their presence during emergency situations, which can help protect them and prevent catastrophic accidents.

Safety Vests Arent Just For Construction Workers 2

You can’t see very well. The driver can’t either.

For the Sport of It
Safety vests aren’t just for members of the workforce. In fact, they are a valuable precautionary method for a number of different sports enthusiasts, including cyclists and joggers, who may otherwise be unseen by passing cars. Motorists aren’t the sole threat to humans, however: the majority of states require game hunters to don safety vests for increased visibility to other hunters. In fact, wearing a blaze orange reflective vest during game season has the potential to save lives, and areas which enforce blaze orange safety requirements have seen reductions in hunting accidents.

While a safety vest is just a safety vest to some people, it’s an invaluable safety precaution for others at work and at play. Many construction industry insurance policies prioritize their use, as does OSHA for flaggers and other workers in construction zones. In short, safety vests are a critical partner in increasing safety, reducing accidents and enhancing peace of mind for many members of society.

Joanna Hughes writes on all subjects, ranging from lifestyle to workplace safety.


For the savvy DIY home-owner, no project seems too big to tackle on your own. Plumbing, roofing, landscaping, and flooring may have all been conquered, and even some basic electrical work isn’t too frightening if you take the proper precautions. But there are a few projects that even die-hard DIY’ers should steer clear of, and working with your home heating system is one of them.

Here are a few of the many situations in which working with your furnace can end badly, and why you should just call out the professionals in the first place.

If It’s Not Done at All

If you’re not a trained expert, you don’t know what problems you may be looking for when you do the recommended annual check. If you don’t know what your furnace should look and sound like, you won’t know what isn’t supposed to look or sound like either.

If a problem isn’t caught in time, any number of dangerous situations could occur, including carbon monoxide leaks, fires, and explosions…all of which can be potentially fatal. So if you don’t know the parts of your furnace well enough to tell if they’re damaged or functioning properly, don’t try to diagnose the problem yourself. Call in professionals or your local heating company and have them perform the annual maintenance check on your furnace instead.

If It’s Diagnosed Wrong

If you hear strange noises coming from your furnace or start smelling gas, you’ll know there’s something wrong, but that doesn’t mean you’ll know what. Diagnosing the problem right the first time is essential when you’re dealing with your heating. If you guess wrong, you’ll be tampering with gas lines and parts that might be functioning perfectly, and damaging them will only lead to more extensive, expensive problems.

Further, while you’re busy trying to repair something that isn’t broken (or trying to fix the broken part but going about it the wrong way), the real problem may only be getting worse. Delaying proper care only increases risks of fire and CO2 poisoning, which kills over 200 people every year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

If It’s Done Improperly

Even if you manage to get the diagnosis right, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to fix it. Furnaces are complicated machines—it’s not as simple as unclogging a toilet or landscaping a flowerbed. With many DIY projects, there are multiple ways to fix the problem. With other projects, you don’t have as much freedom. With a furnace, there is one right way to fix each problem. And if you don’t do it right, you’ll only compound the problems. At best, you’ll only delay the need for real maintenance. At worst, you’ll ruin your entire furnace and have to replace it completely.

If It’s Too Much to Handle

Getting halfway through a project and not knowing how to finish can be one of the most frustrating problems to run into as a DIY’er. And some projects are definitely more complicated than others. Furnace repairs will be one of those times you wish you had just called in the professionals—it might not seem like challenging work at first, but it’s more complicated and risky than it looks.

Some potential problems with your furnace include:

  •                   Dirty Burners
  •                   Leak in Gas Line
  •                   Cracked Heat Exchanger
  •                   Poor Venting
  •                   Failed Thermocoupler

If you’re like most of the world, you probably don’t even know what each of those parts is, much less where they’re located or how to fix them. Don’t risk getting stuck with a furnace that’s half-taken apart with no way to put it back together.

Signs to Watch Out For

If you’re not in the habit of checking your furnace regularly, here are a few signs to watch out for that might indicate that it needs maintenance.

  •         The furnace isn’t producing as much heat as it usually does
  •          Funny clicking or rattling noises
  •          The pilot light goes out consistently or won’t light at all
  •          The burner flame is yellow instead of blue
  •           Your gas or electric bills are going up
  •           Your furnace is over 20 years old          

Some projects can be done by the average homeowner; however, others need more professional care to avoid potential hazards that could severely damage your home or health. So if you suspect that your furnace needs maintenance, call your local Los Angeles or Edmonton furnace repair and get it checked out—don’t try to do it yourself. The risks aren’t worth it.  

 Connor Adkins  enjoys helping people stay fit and healthy. He also enjoys DIY projects, landscaping his yard, and spending time with his wife and three children.  Connor wrote this article for Always Plumbing and Heating.


Prior to the 1980s, communication and broadcast tower erection, servicing and maintenance was a very small and highly specialized industry. Over the past 30 years, the growing demand for wireless and broadcast communications has spurred a dramatic increase in communication tower construction and maintenance.

In order to erect or maintain communication towers, employees regularly climb towers, using fixed ladders, support structures or step bolts, from 100 feet to heights in excess of 1000 or 2000 feet. Employees climb towers throughout the year, including during inclement weather conditions.

Some of the more frequently encountered hazards include:

  • Falls from great heights (must wear fall protection equipment)
  • Electrical hazards
  • Hazards associated with hoisting personnel and equipment with base-mounted drum hoists
  • Inclement weather
  • Falling object hazards
  • Equipment failure
  • Structural collapse of towers

In 2013, OSHA recorded a total number of 13 communication tower-related fatalities. Since the beginning weeks of 2014, there have already been four fatalities at communication tower worksites. This represents a significant increase in fatalities and injuries from previous years, and OSHA is concerned at this trend. OSHA is working with industry stakeholders to identify the causes of these injuries and fatalities, and to reduce the risks faced by employees in the communication tower industry.

Would you know what to do in case of an accident involving someone working on a tall tower? 
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) Board of Directors and Administrative Staff have developed the following list of suggestions, which is meant to be a guideline for companies to assist in developing their own plan of action:


1.  Check the injured individual(s) immediately and assess his/her condition.

2. Call the nearest Emergency Medical Services (EMS), if necessary. As per your company safety program, make certain that all crew members are capable of giving clear directions to the site, and that all crew members have easy access to the EMS phone number. Site directions and the EMS phone number must be easily and readily accessible to all crew members.

3.  After calling EMS, phone the home office and give them as much detail as time allows. An office representative will fill out the required forms.

4. The call to EMS should also alert the local police, so expect them to arrive. If they do not arrive, you will need to call them so they can investigate the accident.

5.While the police are there, ask them to secure the site so that nothing related to the accident is moved by anyone. If you need more than 24 hours to conduct your investigation, ask the police to recommend a security service.

6. Before the EMS leaves, be sure that you have their company name and know where they are taking the injured individual(s).

7.  The home office should appoint a temporary spokesperson. Only the spokesperson is allowed to make any statements.

8. OSHA and police officials have the authority to question witnesses. Only provide the necessary information and facts as you know them. Do not speculate.

9. A company representative must remain on location if the police do not arrive.

10. At the first opportunity, call the home office and give them a detailed report regarding who was involved and what happened before, during, and after the accident. The home office will advise you on the next steps to take.

11. Have all personnel who were at the site at the time of the accident write a detailed report regarding their location and actions prior to, during, and after the accident.

12. Take pictures of the accident site as soon as possible following the accident, making certain to include any equipment involved, the perimeter and entrance facing the accident scene, and close-up pictures of any important items.

13. Office personnel will contact the families of the individual(s) involved in the accident when they have enough information to pass along. How to tell loved ones is a delicate situation, and, if deemed appropriate, clergy may be preferred.

  • Under no circumstances should employees contact family members of other employees.

14. Office personnel must advise the insurance carrier of the accident. This will enable the insurance company to begin its own investigation procedures.

15. The office needs to determine who is going to conduct the company’s investigation and if that person is not on site,  they should be mobilized immediately.  

16. The office needs to develop a file on the accident containing all photos taken at the accident scene, copies of all witness reports, copies of all initial written documents, copies of all files concerning personnel at the accident site, copies of all information used on the site, and copies of all contracts, job orders, and correspondence concerning the site. Documentation is of the utmost importance.

17. During your investigation, take detailed pictures again of everything concerning the accident. Duplicate the position of as many photos as possible from the original accident photographs. Make multiple sets of prints of all photos taken for insurance and legal purposes.

18. The customer, tower owner, and landowner need to be contacted by the office personnel as the accident will affect them also.

19. If you are to interview witnesses and involved personnel, be sure to gather all relevant information.

20. If OSHA conducts interviews, the company representative must obtain permission from the employees to be in attendance (this may vary from state to state, so check with your attorney). Employees may be asked to sign a statement and/or note taken by an OSHA representative. Advise your employees that they are under no obligation to sign anything. If, however, they do choose to sign, then encourage them to review their statement carefully, and remind them that they are entitled to ask for a copy. Additionally, if the employee so chooses, he or she may provide a copy to their employer.

21.  It is preferable to have a different crew come in and finish the job once OSHA releases the site. However, no work should be continued until all necessary information has been gathered, and the safety of the work site confirmed.

22. A company representative should provide outside psychological help in dealing with an accident before employees return to work.

23. A company representative should offer to assist the family of the individual(s) with hospital or burial arrangements, as well as to inform them about counseling or any other benefits available.

Source: OSHA; NATE



The removal, reduction or neutralization of chemicals or contaminants is known as decontamination. It is very important to maintain safety especially at sites containing hazardous waste. Safety products protect the workers from the wastes which eventually contaminate vehicles, tools, on site equipments, etc. Not only that, it may also affect protective clothing and respiratory equipments. It is therefore a necessary step in many facilities.

One of the most important decontamination equipment is Hazmat Portable decontamination system. The portable system by Hazmat is a patented equipment which can easily be transported as its name suggests and can be assembled on site. It comes with the decon hoop having both external handles as well as ones inside, the pool, pump as well as a soap injector. These come with FSI North America’s, a division of Fire Safety International, certification, making it absolutely safe. Let us look at its advantages:

  • It is lightweight yet extremely durable. This makes it perfect for emergency situations besides ensuring longevity of the equipment.

  • Designed for quick set up through rapid inflation it also avoids water wastage by not only reducing the amount of water required for removal of contaminants but keeping the hazardous liquid waste water trapped in.

  • Its ¾” hose with its multi low flow precision spray nozzles the amount of water is directed and effectively cleans the contaminated or affected parts much better, avoiding a great deal of spillage. The precision of these are also such that not a lot of time is needed for removing the contaminants thereby each piece of equipment can serve more people in emergency situations, where availability might be limited. Given the nature of things today equipments providing broad coverage without using a great deal of water are sought after and this is where Hazmat delivers.

  • Aluminum pipe and tube won’t corrode thereby meaning a single piece of this equipment would last long.

  • Even though it does not provide the privacy of zippered doors allowing for complete body wash where necessary, its cost effective nature gives it a distinct edge over other models. This is one of the primary reasons why it is still preferred as an economical and convenient equipment by first response units. It is also often found in factories which might be dealing with hazardous waste material as a quick shower system.

  • When it comes to compactness of storage and handling especially if one needs to use it situations without a lot of available space, there is nothing like this system from Hazmat. It can ideally be placed in almost all sorts of areas and with the ease of assembling without tools the setting up time is almost negligible.

  • Not only does the design allow for ease of use whether in a full loop or half loop but there are two extended handles provided in case the existing ones are already extended to their maximum.

  • Perhaps what takes a piece of the cake is that one can ask for custom sizes upon special pre-order requests. As if all of the above wasn’t enough.  

With emergency situations it is always better to be safe and come prepared with the finest decontamination equipment. With Hazmat you get the best deal.

Author Bio:- Olivia Grey is freelance writter and has written many articles on safety for many websites like She has written this article on the behalf of You can follow Olivia on twitter @ OliviaGrey8.



Last week was Poison Prevention Week, as mentioned in an earlier post regarding March safety observances.  We decided to look into this subject more in-depth, as poison is a very life-threatening hazard.  Information from the American Association of Poison Control Centers states: “In 2012, America’s 55 poison centers received over 3 million calls. Of those, about 2.2 million were calls about poison exposures ranging from carbon monoxide to snake bites to food poisoning. The rest were calls for information. These prevention tips can help you or your loved ones avoid poisonings. For more tips and information, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222.”

Always keep that number handy; you never know when a poisoning accident may happen, and they can answer your questions quickly and refer you to a hospital or doctor if necessary.

Our workplaces contain all types of poisonous materials that workers may become exposed to.  Those who work outdoors must be vigilant to watch for venomous snakes.  Venomous snakes found in the United States include rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths/water moccasins, and coral snakes. They can be dangerous to outdoor workers including farmers, foresters, landscapers, groundskeepers, gardeners, painters, roofers, pavers, construction workers, oil field workers, laborers, mechanics, and any other workers who spend time outside. Although rare, some workers with a severe allergy to snake venom may be at risk of death if bitten. It has been estimated that 7,000–8,000 people per year receive venomous bites in the United States, and about 5 of those people die.

The number of deaths would be much higher if people did not seek medical care. It is important for employers to train their workers about their risk of exposure to venomous snakes, how they can prevent and protect themselves from snake bites, certain venomous spider bites, and what they should do if they are bitten.(It is very important to keep the victim calm until they reach a treatment facility.)

Other poisonous hazards in the workplace can be chemicals, cleaning products, carbon monoxide, or lead poisoning. Workers in the following industries could be subject to inhaling lead dust and fumes, or swallow lead dust while eating at break time:

  • Radiator, battery, automotive repair;
  • Painting, remodeling, or renovating;
  • Welding;
  • Soldering, cutting metal;
  • Bridge construction or repair;
  • Making jewelry;
  • Demolition of old buildings;
  • Foundry and scrap metal operators.

Wearing the correct respiratory protection and leaving your protective clothing at work can prevent bringing the hazardous lead dust home and exposing it to the family.

There are many other types of poisonous substances, from certain energy drinks, to over-the-counter drugs, social drugs, that citizens should take every precaution to not expose themselves, either at work or on free time.

Employees should check their MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) information to ensure they understand what hazardous materials they are dealing with.  Exhibiting safety posters is another beneficial way to get your message across.   If you have questions, call the number listed above and they can answer your inquiries.

Source: AAPCC, CDC



The first line of defense when it comes to work safety is wearing the proper protective gear.  One of the safety observances for the month of March has been workplace eye wellness month.  As it ends, chances are your employer has furnished its workers with information regarding the importance of wearing eye safety protection.

If you spend hours in front of a computer, work outdoors, or use power tools at your day job, it is always important to keep eye health and safety in mind because the gift of vision cannot be replaced. 

With more and more individuals depending on technology to accomplish tasks throughout the day, the risk of eye strain and its effects on vision become greater. This increased use of digital devices exposes workers to eye strain as they tend to spend long, uninterrupted amounts of time focusing on computer screens.  Take frequent breaks away from the screen and focus on other objects.
If your job requires the use of heavy machinery, wear either safety glasses or goggles. All it takes is a tiny sliver of metal, a particle of dust or a splash of chemical to cause significant or permanent eye damage. 

OSHA’s eye and face protection standard requires employers to “ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids, or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.”

Share these injury-prevention tips with managers and supervisors:

  • Regularly review and revise your policies, and set a goal of zero eye injuries.
  • Conduct regular vision testing, as uncorrected vision can cause accidents. 
  • Communicate the policy to employees and display a copy of your policy where employees can see it.
  • Make sure managers and executives set an example by wearing protective eyewear wherever it’s worn by other employees.
  • Make eye safety part of your employee training and new hire orientation. 
  • Look carefully at plant operations, work areas, access routes, and equipment. Study injury patterns to see where accidents are occurring.
  • Select protective eyewear based on specific duties or hazards.
  • Establish a mandatory eye protection program in all operation areas.
  • Have eyewear fitted by a professional.
  • Establish first-aid procedures for eye injuries, and make eyewash stations available, especially where chemicals are in use.

It’s also a good time to remind employees of off-the-job eye hazards such as cooking accidents, yard work, chemical splashes from cleaners and fertilizers, do-it-yourself work on cars and homes, and sports injuries.

We hope that during this month of March, you are more encouraged about taking good care of your eyes.  Make every month “Workplace Eye Wellness Month!”  And remember to get an annual eye examination.




Good health is the biggest asset in life. Without great health, there is nothing on this world that would seem enjoyable. A healthy body is like a healthy mind for one to make the most of life. Everyone remembers days when they have been sick and are thankful when they get better at the earliest. But during weather changing seasons, it is common to fall sick in a regular basis. If you have been taking medication very frequently there is a greater chance that they will cause harm to your body in long term. Use home made natural remedies to get back your heath with no side-effects. 

Home remedies are made up from spices, fruits and vegetables are completely natural. They are extremely simple to prepare and do not cause any side effect to the body. Natural remedies are a lot safer and have been used since ages around the world to cure many ailments. For common problems like coughing, grab a bite of your dark chocolate. You will see its effect within sometime with your bad cough clearing like you never had one. There are other home made recipes for curing gas and indigestion, insomnia, sore throat, headache and many more common ailments. So use home remedies for safer, purer and cheaper solutions for your health problems.

Note: While Blog4Safety’s primary goal is to promote work-related safety, we all know that when folks must miss work due to illness, this infogram may give you ideas to try to see if the natural remedies get you back on your feet more quickly.

 Ways To Natural Health and Healing



Health and Safety in the workplace continues to be a complicated situation—with regulations changing often, businesses need to make sure they are fully up to date with the precautions they are required to take. However, some companies may disagree with H&S regulations for various reasons. Below, we look at ten common myths keeping some businesses from following proper H&S rules: 

1: Proper Health and Safety Precautions cost Money you don’t have. 

You might think investing in the equipment or signage health and safety regulations demand will cost you more money than it should, but evidence suggests the opposite is actually true. In the UK, on average, 30 million work days are lost per year due to approximately 200 work-related deaths, nearly 150,000 injuries and two million cases of illness. Ensuring your workplace is as safe and well-managed as can be can help save you money in the long run, both through avoiding employee absences and potential fines in the aftermath of an accident. 

2: Health and Safety Stops an Employee Working Alone 

Concerned that health and safety regulations will stop your employees being able to work alone? Don’t be—working solo is acceptable if specific safety arrangements are made to accommodate this. These might include technological precautions as panic buttons, two-way radios or CCTV for regular check-ins. 

3: The Employer, not the Employee, is responsible for all H&S 

While employers have a definite duty to ensure all staff are safe and well in the workplace, employees are also required to adhere to all regulations and maintain a safety-conscious attitude towards all tasks. As long as rules and requirements are clearly specified, employees must follow them to stay safe.  

4: The Employer accepts no responsibility for work-related stress. 

While you may think stress amongst employees is not the employer’s problem, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires companies make sure stress is managed properly. Stress-related ill-health should be given the right amount of consideration—the H&S Executive now requests copies of businesses’ stress-risk assessment to be sure businesses give stress the proper care. 

5: Health and Safety Regulations are unnecessary. 

We understand how easy it can for some companies to underestimate the importance of health and safety rules, believing employees should just use their ‘common sense’ and ‘good judgement’. While employees should definitely think about the potential hazards of any tasks they’re about to embark upon, the employer cannot ignore the relevant H&S regulations—the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 demands businesses perform risk assessments to keep all staff safe. 

6: Workplaces need to be a certain temperature. 

Working in an environment that’s either too hot or too cold can make doing the job right incredibly difficult, depending on the season. On average, the minimum acceptable temperature for the majority of workplaces is between 13 and 14 degrees Celsius, but there are no legal requirements regarding this. Employees’ comfort should always be a priority, so try to reach a happy medium to suit all. 

7: A disclaimer will protect employers from responsibilities. 

Having an employee sign a disclaimer against any potential accidents has no protection from responsibility: the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 demands employers provide a safe environment for employees, and no waiver can change that. Any employees placing themselves at risk may face prosecution!  

8: Just Providing PPE is enough. 

Some employers may think making PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) available is enough to fulfil their duties … but this isn’t the case. Under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations Act 1992, businesses should ensure all staff use all PPE properly, at the required times; they will be held responsible for any problems that may occur as a result. There is, of course, a requirement to control risks by means other than PPE.  

9: Reporting Accidents is a Waste of Time. 

When an accident happens, some companies may choose to not report it, saving themselves some time. However, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 dictates that employers are legally required to report specific accidents (anything which causes the victim to miss more than seven days of work)—you could be faced with a fine of up to £20,000 if you don’t. (That’s $33,306.00 in the U.S.)

10:  The Seven-Day Rule Applies to working days only. 

If an accident takes place, and an employee cannot perform their standard job for seven consecutive days (whether that includes weekends and bank holidays or not ), an employer must report it.

This article was sent to us by Gail Newland, for .  In the United States, our rules and regulations are issued by OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and are very similar to those mentioned above.  Failure to adhere to their regulations can result in unfortunate accidents, as well as dramatic costs to the employer, when an accident occurs.


Apart from providing sufficient compensation and benefit packages to employees, a top priority for companies should also be ensuring workers’ safety. No one can tell for sure when an accident, a natural disaster, or any other unforeseen event could take place.

It’s important to be prepared for these things by being aware of how to avoid such situations, and how to act in the event that they do occur. Below are some examples of the world’s worst disasters that happened in the workplace, from which workers and employers alike could learn from:

1.      Coal dam explosion

In February 1972, 125 people were killed after one of Pittston Coal Company’s coal slurry impoundment dam explodes, which caused the leak of 175 million gallons of black wastewater. The incident caused 4,000 people to be homeless. It was reported that the dam had been inspected by a federal mine inspector just 4 days before the accident, and he proclaimed the dam to be “satisfactory.”  Inspections should be conducted in the workplace regularly—in some, much more than others—and they should be done thoroughly and with integrity.

2.     Oil refinery explosion

In July 1985, seventeen workers were killed in a fire after what turned out to be an explosion in an oil refinery. A worker at the Union Oil Company Refinery had seen vapors coming out from a tiny crack in a high-pressure gas-filled 100-foot tower. He tried to shut off the pressure valve but a spark had caused the ignition of the fumes. This caused an explosion that sent the 34-ton tank over 3.400 feet in the air and caused a big part of the refinery to be consumed by flames.

Check all equipment periodically, see that everything is in place. Replace those that need to be and also, make sure to educate workers on proper use and handling. They should also know the proper channels for reporting anything suspicious.

3.      Chemical plant blast

In October 1989, 23 workers were killed after a series of explosions occurred. This followed a routine maintenance, which was done on the Phillips chemical plant’s polyethylene reactor next to the Houston Ship Channel. A large quantity of flammable gases had ignited and 314 were injured. It was determined afterwards that there had been a lack of process hazard analysis, as well as a badly maintained fire protection system, among other violations committed by the plant.

4.     Trapped in fire locked doors

In September 1991, 25 workers died in an Imperial Foods chicken processing plant after an industrial fire trapped them inside fire locked doors. A faulty adjustment in the hydraulic line caused the fire. It was reported that the factory never went through a safety inspection in its 11 years of operation.

5.     Gas explosion

In March 2005, a gas explosion occurred at a British Petroleum oil refinery causing fifteen people to die and 170 people to be injured. The blast was reported to have been caused by broken safety devices and poor working conditions.

6.      Gulf of Mexico explosion

In April 2010, 11 workers were killed at an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. It was reported that the petroleum industry were aware about safety equipment issues in earlier incidents but it continued its operations anyway, resulting in people getting killed and 17 others being injured in what was the deemed as the largest oil spill in the petroleum industry’s history.

7.     Mine explosion

In April 2010, a mine explosion killed 29 workers at the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County, W. Va. The accident was deemed as the worst mining disaster in the U.S. since 1970. Massey Energy, the mine owner was reported to have violated many safety measures at the mine mentioned.

8.     Carbon monoxide poisoning

In June 2010, two employees were found dead after buffing floors at a mental health outpatient facility at Top Notch Cleaners, LLC, Valley, Ala. using machines that produce propane gas. The two men were found dead the next morning after their night shift. The police who had showed up at the incident observed that they smelled gas upon entry of the building. The cause of the two men’s death had been reported as carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by insufficient ventilation.

9.      Welding fire accident

In March 2010, a worker was fatally burned, dying a week later, after four contractors installed insulation on a new crude storage tank, welding the tank, and igniting a fire. The incident occurred at Northwest Insulation, Artesia, N.M. One worker who stayed on the tank had been burned to death while two were injured, and a fourth worker dies after more than a week. The cause of the accident is still being investigated.

10.    Tank explosion

In July 2010, two workers were burned to death after the tank they were working on at Northeast Energy Management Inc., Cheswick, Pa. exploded, which caused the bodies of the two men to be thrown 60 feet away from the site. The incident had reportedly been the third for the company since an employee was severely burned in a similar explosion in 2007.

Learning about possible workplace disasters is not enough to prepare for future incidents. To secure the safety of workers in the workplace, companies should apply for health insurance for their employees to ensure that such accidents will not cripple the employees and the company financially.  Of course, comply with legal laws and industry standards because failing to do so will only end up costing you more money than when you fulfil your obligations.


Author’s Bio

Ryan Del Villar is a content writer for Money Hero, Hong Kong’s leading online comparison portal. Ryan is also a freelance writer at Helm Word, an Online Reputation Management company.