Category Archives: Back Safety

Industrial Fabrication Quality and Safety Practices

Industrial Fabrication Quality and Safety Practices
When you’re in the metal fabrication industry, there are certain quality and safety practices you should follow to ensure that your workers are safe and that your clients are satisfied. Whether it is steel or aluminum fabrication, welders are always exposed to hazards that can endanger their lives.
In this article, we will discuss some of the guidelines you can follow to improve the quality and safety of welding practices in your workshop. Whether you’re working for a large construction company, a small metal fabrication workshop or a welding-centric company, you will find the something useful in this post.
Studying the Manual Carefully
These days, https://www.nist.gov/sites/default/files/documents/el/whitepapers.pdf new technologies are always introduced to the metal fabrication workshop</a>. When operating the equipment, it is important that welders carefully read, study and follow the manual. Take your time to familiarize yourself with the manual’s content so that you can use the equipment efficiently. If you lose the manual, you can always contact the manufacturer and request for a replacement. You can also go online and download the manual from the manufacturer’s website.
Wear the Proper Work Clothing and Gear
People inside the work area should not wear shorts or short-sleeved shirts. No matter how long or short you’d use the machines, you should always wear proper safety gear which includes protective clothing and gloves, among others.
It is advisable for workers to wear flame-resistant clothing with tightly woven material. Some welding jackets may be thick and heavy, but you can always search for manufacturers that offer flame-resistant clothing that is lightweight.
Make sure that no skin is exposed to the damaging and harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays coming from the welding machine. This means that you should also make sure that your pockets, shirts and pant cuffs are buttoned. The aforementioned may catch sparks and get your skin smoldered.
When it comes to gloves, you do not have to settle for the generic ones. You can find ergonomic gloves that are designed with curved fingers, making certain welding processes more comfortable. Of course, you should not forget to protect your feet too. So, wear high-top leather shoes or boots and avoid wearing tennis or fabric shoes that may catch sparks. Moreover, do not let the legs of your pants go over your shoes.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
Constantly breathing in the fumes and smoke coming from the welding process can be dangerous to your health. Inside an enclosed work space, toxic fumes or shielding gases may accumulate and replace the breathable air. So, do not forget to mount an exhaust hood so that workers can have proper ventilation inside the work area.
Keep your Eyes Protected
Welders who do neglect to wear proper eye gear may experience an ‘arc flash’. Although temporary, this condition can be painful and it is caused by exposing the eyes to the rays from the welding arc. Sometimes, people experience an arc flash hours after exposure and it would be too late for them to realize that they should have worn protective eyewear.
Do not neglect to wear a helmet that is fitted with a filter shade that protects your eyes. Moreover, under the helmet, remember to wear safety glasses with side shields and ear protection. Whether you’re doing steel fabrication or simply observing, always remember to wear a protective helmet.
Get Auto-Darkening Helmets to Avoid Stress Related Injuries
If you want a better option apart from traditionally fixed helmets, then go for auto-darkening helmets. Helmets like such are lighter which reduces neck fatigue. When they have to drop the hood, welders do not need to snap their head because of the helmet’s lightweight nature.
You can also save some seconds in between welds because of the auto-darkening function. When you’re working on bigger metal fabrication jobs, these few seconds can accumulate to several minutes. Consequently, you will have a faster turnaround time that will profit the business.
Keeping the Welding Workspace Organized
One of the most important safety practices in metal fabrication is organizing the workspace. Every piece of welding equipment must be clearly labelled and have a designated storage space. Moreover, the welding workspace must only have the tools and equipment that the welder uses and nothing more. For a more efficient and organized workspace, it is advisable to get a welding table with a scissors mechanism. This allows the welder to adjust the height according to the application so that they won’t have to switch from one table to another.
Encourage Efficient Operations by Using Boom-Mounted Wire Feeders
Wire feeders that are mounted with booms are efficient for welders who work on a high-production welding station. Having one increases the work station’s efficiency, flexibility, and comfort. Place the drive assembly at the end of the boom and the controls of the wire feeder at the 12- or 16-ft. boom’s base.
This option allows you to rotate the boom at 360 degrees. The set-up also allows you to move the boom up and down at 60 degrees, giving you around 24 to 32 ft. work area diameter. After setting the boom in its position the counterbalance will hold it in place.
Encourage Welders to Comply with Safety Rules
When new programs are rolled out, workers see the project as something that will only last for a few months. Metal fabrication companies can implement a different approach to promote welding safety.
Little by little, incorporate the guidelines listed in this article into the daily work activities of the welders. If they comply, motivate them by providing them with incentives. You can even encourage them more by using a weekly point system that will be rewarded by the end of the month.
Another effective approach you can use is the ‘stick’ in the ‘carrot and stick’ technique. When employees violate the quality and safety rules, give them a demerit. Implementing consequences lets workers know that you are serious about your guidelines. Some may think that this is a harsh way of treating your subordinates. However, you can combine it with the incentive program so that they will still have the motivation to do their best.
People working in the metal fabrication industry are exposed to hazardous processes. Apart from the equipment and the products, the labourers are the most important assets of a company. When they are kept healthy, safe and happy, you can ensure quality workmanship and business success.
Author Bio:
Ashley Batman is a writer at <a href=”http://ramfab.com.au/“>RamFab.com.au</a>. She worked as an online video editor before she started her writing career.
Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/highwaysagency/“>Highways England</a>

Construction Safety 101: Workwear, Safety Gear & Equipment

Construction Safety 101: Workwear, Safety Gear & Equipment

Keeping construction workers safe is a primary job among managers and foremen, with accomplishing the work to specifics and being on time being second. To support this main concern on construction sites, there are different pieces of safety vests and equipment that every worker should wear. These include items like safety vests, reflective T-shirts, and hard hats. Let’s walk through construction safety 101 while keeping your team sharp and safe on the construction site with these safety items.

Hard Hats

Protect the head in safety and style with an OSHA approved hard hat.  Hard hats should provide not just maximum protection from falling debris, but they should also deliver comfort factor for its wearer. For instance, if you need a high-performing hard hat with a Super-bowl style design, 2017 Super Bowl hard hats are approved for constructions site. These NFL hard hats are designed with comfortable and adjustable 4-point One-Touch Suspension for maximum protection and comfort.

Back Support Gears

Back injuries are among the most pressing health problems in construction sites by far. Hence, workers should promote maximum construction safety 101 by using back support gears to stay sharp and safe on the site.  The Allegro All Fit Back Support items are made in a universal size, so they fit most workers. Protect your back with these high-performance belts that deliver full back coverage, with neoprene pads for comfortable wear. For workers’ convenience, these back support gears come inside of a customized reusable zipper storage bag.

High Visibility Vests

Most construction workers require maximum flame resistance and maximum visibility at work. The Arc Flame Resistant Lime Class 2 Sleeveless Vest – Silver Stripe is preferred by many workers due to its wide range of applications. These High-Visibility vests come with silver stripes for excellent visibility as well as flame resistance. There are available in different sizes, so every worker will surely find the perfect size for him to work smartly and safely at the construction site.  They are also soft and flexible for maximum convenience.

Fall Protection

One of the most serious concerns among construction workers is falling. It is every employer’s responsibility to protect their employees from falls.  The Elk River Freedom Series Aerial Lift Kit is an OSHA-approved item that contains several fall protection products. If you work with platform lifts, buck trucks or scissor lifts, this item is a great product for you. They come with a unique D-ring harness for comfort and security while working high above the ground.

Safety Respirators

Protect your workers from gases, vapors and particles with high-performing reusable respirators. They

 

Provide protection against particles, gases and vapors with the 3M full line of reusable respirators. The 3M 5000 Half Face Respirator Kits are made to fit bigger head sizes. These safety respirators are very easy to set up and they can be used for wide range of applications.

Aside from these safety items, construction workers are also required to wear sturdy work shoes, long work pants, safety glasses, chemical splash goggles, face shields, hearing protection and protective gloves. At all times, practice construction safety 101 to keep your team safe and sharp at work.

 

Author Bio (Northbay)

Northbay is known for its high quality HVAC products and services that every client can depend on. They are proud to sell and install the finest air conditioning and heating products and carry out quality services for repair and maintenance. They can help you with all your HVAC needs, regardless of your system’s makes and models. They pride themselves for their unmatched customer service. http://www.northbayheatingandair.com/

 

 

The 5 Golden Rules Of Office Safety

Your office work may not be as risky as, let’ s say, building construction, but it still holds some not – so – obvious hazards. So what can basically happen when your job involves sitting on a chair and staring at a computer? Surprisingly, a lot. Even the administrative employees suffer severe injuries that could have been prevented with a little attention and workplace modifications. Here are a couple of ways to ensure the office safety and minimize the risks.

Golden Rules Of Office Safety

1. Mind Your Steps
Trips, slips and falls are some of the most common sources of office injuries. Did you know that employees are 2.5 times more likely to experience a fall in an administrative environment than anywhere else? The first step is to keep your office clutter – free. All free standing boxes and various items like stretching cords pilled on the floor constitute a serious danger. Cleaning the spills and splashes will also cut the chances of slippery floors. Always keep an eye on the floor while walking.

2. Protect Your Back When Lifting
Every now and then your office job may require an actual manual labour. It doesn’t matter what you need to lift, there are some key points that will prevent a back trauma. Before directly approaching the box, first move it with your feet. This will help you determine the weight of the box. Instead of bending at the waist and lifting with your back, preserve your posture straight. Your upper body and your legs should be in a same line. Then get the box and push it with your legs.

3. Safe Climbing
When it comes to inadvertent injuries, hard to reach shelving and storage units are an all – time classics. You need to get something that is placed too high? Use only approved ladders and don’t try to climb the shelving.

4. Use Technology Properly
Not taking precautions while using tools and machinery may not always result with an injury. In the rare cases when it happens, it can turn into a disaster. Use to tools in the right way and don’t take shortcuts. Don’t underestimate the risks, even if it’s about a simple thing like a stapler.

Golden Rules Of Office Safety2

5. Fire Safety
Cleaning chemicals and products should be stored in a well – ventilated room, away from heat or fire sources. Some cleaners are extremely inflammable. Be sure you know all the fire exists and you are fully prepared in case of emergency.
Although these are the most common examples of injury threats, there are many more safety issues that need to be discussed and that are specifically related to your work environment. Good planning and smart strategy are the best way to keep the level of risk at the office low.
You can consider assigning a safety committee or improving and establishing safety plan. Print the basic rules and place them on a spot where everyone can see them. Employees should be familiar with all the rules – from office cleaning and de – cluttering to fire safety tips.
For more helpful tips visit: industrial cleaners in Islington

PREVENTING BACK INJURIES IN THE WORKPLACE (GUEST POST)

 
A back injury is nothing to make light of. This type of injury can derail someone’s life, especially when it happens in the workplace. That’s why it’s important to take steps to avoid back injuries in the workplace. 

Here are some tips that will help to avoid back injuries

  • Always use correct techniques for bending, lifting, and moving loads
  • Exercising can help strengthen back and abdominal muscles, which will help support the back
  • Always wear comfortable, supportive, and nonslip shoes
  • Proper posture helps ease strain on the back
  • Losing weight helps put less strain on the back, so if you’re over weight, try losing some pounds to give your back a break

All employers in the United States adhere to Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines for proper techniques to be used for specific jobs. Following these techniques helps reduce back injuries. 

If lifting is a part of the job, here is important information to keep your back healthy even while lifting heavy objects.

  • Make sure there is enough room to lift the item. That means test its weight and make sure you’re able to do the lifting safely.
  • Get help for something that is too heavy or awkwardly shaped. Use a dolly to move heavy objects or split the load into multiple smaller loads if possible.
  • Keep loads close to the body when lifting to reduce strain.
  • Your feet should be shoulder-width apart to form a solid base of support
  • Grip what you’re lifting tightly
  • Always bend at the knees, not the waist
  • Do not rely on a back belt to provide necessary support for proper lifting; back belts do offer support, but shouldn’t be used as the only method of support
  • Take breaks when lifting multiple items
  • Avoiding twisting as you lift.
  • Use gloves when necessary for lifting to help with traction and protection

The Frequency of Back Injuries

According to the 
Centers for Disease Control, back injuries account for 20% of all injuries and illnesses in the workplace. These injuries cost 20 to 50 billion dollars each year. The most effective way to prevent back injuries is to implement an ergonomics program that helps redesign the work environment and work tasks to reduce any hazards associated with lifting, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 

There are many products that can help prevent back injuries in all types of industries. Whether an employee is working on a loading dock or in an office, ergonomic products help maintain proper positioning at all times so that the body stays in alignment. 

What Injuries Mean for Businesses

It’s important for businesses to keep abreast of the injuries that can and do occur in the workplace. Keeping accurate data of these cases is necessary so that all information is compiled and company heads are able to 
stay focused on the big data bottom line

This information can include everything from the number of injuries and incidents to customer satisfaction. Most of all, it helps everyone from employers to employees to stay safe and keep the flow of work steady. 



photo credit: 
Nicholas_T via photopin cc

Dana Rasmussen writes about workplace safety tips and how to prevent injuries. She’s a big fan of ergonomically correct computer accessories.

HOW TO AVOID INJURIES WHEN MOVING TO ANOTHER HOME (GUEST POST)

Moving at times can be emotionally difficult but it can be equally fun. It is possible that your body would be undergoing considerable stress. In some cases, the possibility of minor or severe injuries cannot be ruled out. Hiring a moving company is a good move to avoid such injuries. Here are some tips to keep you safer while moving.
 
Keep the box weight in mind while packing. Ensure that these boxes weigh less than 50 pounds. Any weight below 50 pounds can be easily lifted without a strain. If you feel strain while lifting the box, then it would be above 50 pounds. Ask the moving company that you have hired for lifting all heavy weights. However, if you do choose to move the boxes on your own, then you need to learn the proper way of lifting the boxes. Never bend over to lift a box, but rather sit on your heels and lift the boxes with your entire lower body. (You may consider using a lifting belt for support.)  Make sure that you have rented the proper equipment. This is necessary to save you from back strain and for moving larger items that weigh heavily. Always remember to use straps as they are needed for securing the boxes. Whenever you pass any item or box, make sure that the other person has a firm grip on it before you let it go. This is one common cause of accidents.
 
Before you start moving, take a close look at your new home. Inspect the entire property to find out for any possible dangerous areas. Always note any uneven sidewalk. Any steps that are present in the front walkway need to be clearly seen. Mark such steps with a chalk as often people are easily distracted while moving items and this may result in a fall or possible injury.If the walkway or the entrance to your new home comes out to be wet in any way, then use a mat. Any area that is more fragile needs to be made safe with a mat. This would be necessary to prevent a fall while moving items. Other possible hazards such as poles, posts or tree branches need to be looked at as they may pose a problem for your moving process. 
 
Always keep your children out of the process of moving. Keep them with a baby sitter or with a neighbor.   On the day you decide to move, always remember to wear the proper clothing and footwear that would assist rather than inhibit the process of moving. Do not wear loose sleeves to shirttails that would snag.Accidents occur without any warnings. So you need to be prepared for all situations.  Have information about the local hospital, doctor, dentist and pharmacy. With youngsters, you never know what would happen next. A chipped away tooth, a bloody lip or any possible infection may result. Hence, you need to know the nearby hospital. Always make sure that you do not run out of adult pain relievers, as well as children’s pain relievers.  Moving is a stressful time.

 Author Bio: Stephen Roshy is a passionate writer and blogger. He has years of experience in writing content on various industries. Useful information for this article is provided by http://www.help2movela.com. Get in touch with Mr. Roshy on Facebook , Twitter and Google+.

Fatal and Non-Fatal Injuries In The Workplace

This interesting infographic is from Rebecca Fox, of Westermans International, a UK-based welding company.  We appreciate this shared information and can learn what illnesses are prevelant in their respective industries.   

TIPS TO KEEP YOU SAFE AT WORK (GUEST POST)

 Getting to work safely, working in a well-managed environment and returning home safe in the evening is every employees right – but not all the responsibility for this can be held by your employer. It is true your employer had a duty of care to protect employees from danger whilst at work, but as individuals we also have a personal responsibility to ensure we do not place ourselves (or our colleagues) in any danger. 

You will find that keeping safe at work is often common sense, so here a few tips based on common mistakes, which will hopefully make you think twice and help prevents accidents and injuries: 

1- Understand and minimise the risks

Before you commence any task, stop for a moment and consider the task which is about to be undertaken. By doing so you will create an opportunity to briefly analyse the individual components of the task and highlight any aspects which could potentially cause injury. If you feel a safer alternative is available this should always be discussed and then implemented. 

2. Use mechanical aides wherever possible

It is a well-known fact that the majority of back injuries at work are caused by incorrect lifting techniques or by individuals lifting more weight than they can comfortably manage. I’m sure we have all been guilty of this from time to time.  Unfortunately this not only leads to injury for the individual but also to time off work and loss of production for the company. Therefore, if your company offers a training session on manual handling, it is strongly advisable (and often mandatory) that you attend. This can provide you with knowledge on safe lifting techniques that can also be used in the home, and save you from any potential injury.   

3.Wear the correct clothing and footwear (P.P.E)

You wouldn’t dream of turning up to work at farm in a bikini and heels, would you? So why would it be deemed acceptable to work on, for e.g. a building site or indoors as a cleaner, without the correct clothing or footwear protection. Although this sounds like common sense many people shirk wearing the correct items as they deem them unnecessary, when reality safety boots will protect your feet from heavy objects or nails through the soles and hard hats will protect your head against knocks and falling objects, with safety goggles protecting our eyes from chemical splashes. Personal Protective Equipment is important, therefore if you feel you would benefit from any of these items but haven’t been issued any; don’t start the task without first speaking to your employer. 

4. If working alone ensure you are aware of the procedures – and ensure you adhere to them.

If you have to work alone, as many people do, your organisation should have a process in place which you will be expected to follow. This usually involves regular communications with a control centre or named individual so you can ‘check in’ at the beginning if your shift, again at set times throughout and ‘check out’ at the end, and if a call is missed someone will be dispatched to check on you. If you currently work alone and don’t have a process to follow it may be worth discussing setting one up with your employer, as it could one day save your life. 

5. Read and understand the risk assessment.

If you are asked to sign a risk assessment before you commence a task then please ensure you read, understand and appreciate it’s importance – this information is provided for you, so you are aware of any risks involved and how best to mitigate them, don’t brush these documents aside as just paperwork. 

Remember when arriving at work – staying aware, assessing the task and minimising the risks are all that are required to keep you safe in the workplace.  

 

Author Bio: Vivienne Ollis Journalist & Blogger for http://www.essexinsulation.co.uk

WORKING SAFELY WITH CONCRETE AND CEMENT (GUEST POST)

 Whether you are a professional tradesperson or a DIY enthusiast, safety should be at the top of your list of priorities when working with concrete. Unbeknown to many, concrete and cement products must be treated with care during all stages of handling, application and storage. We have devised an essential guide to concrete safety so you can take care of yourself during an upcoming residential upgrade or larger commercial project. 

Dust protection 

The dust caused by the handling of cement can cause a real nuisance to tradespeople and home improvers, and precautions must be taken to ensure your airways remain clear during application. Always wear a dust mask and eye protectors to ensure dust does not get inhaled or make its way into your eyes, especially during the cutting or drilling of dried concrete. 

Cement dust can also cause considerable irritation to your skin, so make sure you wear good quality overalls to protect your entire body. Personal protective gear is essential to the correct and safe handling of cement and concrete, and will ensure you are fully safeguarded especially when working in enclosed areas. 

Handle with care 

It’s not just dry cement powder that causes complications during handling and application, wet concrete also causes difficulties and irritation. Make sure the wet concrete solution does not come into contact with your skin, which isn’t always easy with the splashes created during pouring.

 If the wet concrete does come into contact with your skin, eyes or nose, use a mild soap and clean water to remove. 

Working with concrete accessories 

The concrete accessories you use during the application process also come with their dangers. Concrete buckets must be treated with particular diligence, especially during movement. Never ride on the buckets whilst they are in motion, and take care when the buckets are being lowered, swung or pulled to a height. 

Forming pins can also result in a trip to the emergency room if precautions aren’t taken. It is recommended that you paint these forming pins in a bright colour to ensure they are fully visible to each and every contractor working on site. Opt for a reflective coating to prevent trips and falls come day or night. 

Use your head 

In addition to using respirators, goggles and protective overalls, you must wear a hard hat to protect your head during preparation, application and storage. Head injuries are a common occurrence on site but by using a hard hat you can ensure you are fully protected whether working at height or at ground level.

 Think about your back 

When working with concrete products, it is all too easy to damage your back and legs with incorrect lifting techniques. Make sure you are fully clued up on how to move heavy materials, lifting with a straight back and bent legs is a sure-fire way of preventing serious back injury. If the concrete mix you are looking to move is too heavy, don’t suffer and struggle in silence, ask a friend or work colleague to assist you.

 

This post was written by Brittany Thorley. She works for ReadyMix Concrete (http://www.readymixonline.co.uk/) and regularly advises both professional contractors and homeowners about health and safety when working with concrete and cement.

 

HOW FAR HAS CONSTRUCTION SAFETY COME IN 50 YEARS? (GUEST POST)

Whether you’re thinking in terms of technology, scientific knowledge, or health, there’s no denying that we’ve come a long way over the past fifty years.  Safety in the construction industry is no exception.

The most significant event occurring over the past fifty years that has resulted in safety improvements both in construction and general industry was the signing of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. This law resulted in the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

OSHA Standards

Initially, OSHA regulations were based on national consensus standards and began to take effect in 1971. The first standard specific to construction, however, was issued on November, 23, 1972. Since then, a number of standards affecting the construction industry have been developed. While it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss each covered topic in detail, major categories include:

o Personal protective and lifesaving equipment
o Fire protection and prevention
o Materials handling
o Hand and power tools
o Welding and cutting
o Electrical
o Scaffolding
o Fall protection
o Concrete and masonry construction
o Steel erection
o Stairways and ladders
o Cranes and derricks

The complete list of covered topics and related narrative can be easily accessed on the OSHA website.

Part 1926 contains the construction regulations with part 1910 being for general industry. However, whether one is involved in the construction business or another industry, it is necessary to refer to both, as there is a considerable amount of overlap between the two.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that states can, and often do, have requirements that are more stringent than the federal regulations. Twenty-seven states and territories currently operate state plans that are OSHA-approved.

ANSI Standards

Contributions from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have had a positive impact on safety over the past fifty years as well through the development of standards to which equipment manufacturers must adhere.

Examples include criteria for safety glasses and fall protection equipment. ANSI standards normally go into much more detail than the OSHA regulations. OSHA will incorporate them by reference into its own standards in many cases.

Safety as Good Business

Technological advancements have resulted in the reduction of hazards through more effective engineering controls and substitution of hazardous products with safer alternatives.

In addition, companies have begun to understand that an effective safety program makes good business sense. Robust safety procedures often carry over into other disciplines and positively impact things such as quality, productivity and cost control.

Hiring With Safety In Mind

Looking at a contractor’s safety record when making hiring decisions can save a company a considerable amount of future grief. For example, negative publicity resulting from a serious injury that occurs on the property, even though the injured person was a contractor’s employee, can be difficult to overcome.

During construction activities, the regulatory agencies will consider the facility a multi-employer work site and can hold both companies accountable for any safety violations. Any citations issues could result in a significant financial impact in addition to negative public relations.

A review of the prospective contractor’s OSHA 300 log, on which any significant injuries must be recorded, can provide a quick overview of how the contractor incorporates safety into the day to day operations. An unusually large amount of entries or multiple entries for the same type cause can raise a red flag that something is amiss.

Information regarding citations and fines levied by OSHA against the contractor are a matter of public record and can usually be found through a web search. When it comes to hiring a construction contractor, a small amount of due diligence up front can save a lot of regret later.

Jason Kane is an advocate of workplace safety in all industries. He is a blogger for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., the preferred choice of the global community since 1979.


 

 

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DO A JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS

In our blog, we are always mentioning “perform a job hazard analysis” in our safety tips; however, it made me ask: “Just exactly what is a job hazard analysis?”  So I went to the OSHA site and am sharing the instructions on how to conduct this analysis.  This information is for employers, foremen, and supervisors, but employees are encouraged to use the information as well to analyze their own jobs and recognize workplace hazards so they can report them to you. It explains what a job hazard analysis is and offers guidelines to help you conduct your own step-by-step analysis. The document (OSHA 3071)  also continues with pictures and form samples that you may use to complete your analysis.

What is a hazard?

A hazard is the potential for harm. In practical terms, a hazard often is associated with a condition or activity that, if left uncontrolled, can result in an injury or illness. Identifying hazards and eliminating or controlling them as early as possible will help prevent injuries and illnesses.

What is a job hazard analysis?

A job hazard analysis is a technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur. It focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. Ideally, after you identify uncontrolled hazards, you will take steps to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.

Why is job hazard analysis important?

Many workers are injured and killed at the workplace every day in the United States. Safety and health can add value to your business, your job, and your life. You can help prevent workplace injuries and illnesses by looking at your workplace operations, establishing proper job procedures, and ensuring that all employees are trained properly.

One of the best ways to determine and establish proper work procedures is to conduct a job hazard analysis. A job hazard analysis is one component of the larger commitment of a safety and health management system.

What is the value of a job hazard analysis?

Supervisors can use the findings of a job hazard analysis to eliminate and prevent hazards in their workplaces. This is likely to result in fewer worker injuries and illnesses; safer, more effective work methods; reduced workers’ compensation costs; and increased worker productivity.  The analysis also can be a valuable tool for training new employees in the steps required to perform their jobs safely.

For a job hazard analysis to be effective, management must demonstrate its commitment to safety and health and follow through to correct any uncontrolled hazards identified. Otherwise, management will lose credibility and employees may hesitate to go to management when dangerous conditions threaten them.

What jobs are appropriate for a job hazard analysis?

      Jobs with the highest injury or illness rates;

       Jobs with the potential to cause severe or disabling injuries or illness, even  if there is no history of previous accidents;

       Jobs in which one simple human error could lead to a severe accident or injury;

      Jobs that are new to your operation or have undergone changes in processes and procedures; and

      Jobs complex enough to require written instructions.

A job hazard analysis can be conducted on many jobs in your workplace.   Where do I begin?   Involve your employees.

It is very important to involve your employees in the hazard analysis process. They have a unique understanding of the job, and this knowledge is invaluable for finding hazards. Involving employees will help minimize oversights, ensure a quality analysis, and get workers to “buy in” to the solutions because they will share ownership in their safety and health program. 

Review your accident history.

Review with your employees your worksite’s history of accidents and occupational illnesses that needed treatment, losses that required repair or replacement, and any “near misses” —events in which an accident or loss did not occur, but could have. These events are indicators that the existing hazard controls (if any) may not be adequate and deserve more scrutiny. 

Conduct a preliminary job review.

Discuss with your employees the hazards they know exist in their current work and surroundings. Brainstorm with them for ideas to eliminate or control those hazards.  If any hazards exist that pose an immediate danger to an employee’s life or health, take immediate action to protect the worker.

Any problems that can be corrected easily should be corrected as soon as possible. Do not wait to complete your job hazard analysis.  This will demonstrate your commitment to safety and health and enable you to focus on the hazards and jobs that need more study because of their complexity.  For those hazards determined to present unacceptable risks, evaluate types of hazard controls. 

List, rank, and set priorities for hazardous jobs.  List jobs with hazards that present unacceptable risks, based on those most likely to occur and with the most severe consequences. These jobs should be your first priority for analysis. 

Outline the steps or tasks.

Nearly every job can be broken down into job tasks or steps. When beginning a job hazard analysis, watch the employee perform the job and list each step as the worker takes it.  Be sure to record enough information to describe each job action without getting overly detailed. Avoid making the breakdown of steps so detailed that it becomes unnecessarily long or so broad that it does not include basic steps. You may find it valuable to get input from other workers who have performed the same job.

Later, review the job steps with the employee to make sure you have not omitted something. Point out that you are evaluating the job itself, not the employee’s job performance. Include the employee in all phases of the analysis—from reviewing the job steps and procedures to discussing uncontrolled hazards and recommended solutions. 

Sometimes, in conducting a job hazard analysis, it may be helpful to photograph or videotape the  worker performing the job. These visual records can be handy references when doing a more detailed analysis of the work.

How do I identify workplace hazards?  A job hazard analysis is an exercise in detective work. Your goal is to discover the following:  What can go wrong? What are the consequences?  How could it arise? What are other contributing factors?  How likely is it that the hazard will occur?

To make your job hazard analysis useful, document the answers to these questions in a consistent manner. Describing a hazard in this way helps to ensure that your efforts to eliminate the hazard and implement hazard controls help target the most important contributors to the hazard.

Good hazard scenarios describe:

Where it is happening (environment), who or what it is happening to (exposure), what precipitates the hazard (trigger), the outcome that would occur should it happen (consequence), and  any other contributing factors.

Rarely is a hazard a simple case of one singular cause resulting in one singular effect. More frequently, many contributing factors tend to line up in a certain way to create the hazard. Here is an example of a hazard scenario:

In the metal shop (environment), while clearing a snag (trigger), a worker’s hand (exposure) comes into contact with a rotating pulley. It pulls his hand into the machine and severs his fingers (consequences) quickly.

To perform a job hazard analysis, you would ask:

 What can go wrong?  The worker’s hand could come into contact with a rotating object that “catches” it and pulls it into the machine.

• What are the consequences?  The worker could receive a severe injury and lose fingers and hands.

• How could it happen? The accident could happen as a result of the worker trying to clear a snag during operations or as part of a maintenance activity while the pulley is operating. Obviously, this hazard scenario could not occur if the pulley is not rotating.

• What are other contributing factors?

This hazard occurs very quickly.  It does not give the worker much opportunity to recover or prevent it once his hand comes into contact with the pulley. This is an important factor, because it helps you determine the severity and likelihood of an accident when selecting appropriate hazard controls. Unfortunately, experience has shown that training is not very effective in hazard control when triggering events happen quickly because humans can react only so quickly.

Note: This very thing happened to the son of one of my friends about two weeks ago.  The fingers of the gloves he wore were slightly too long, and the glove got caught in a piece of equipment, injuring his hand before the machine could be stopped, to remove his hand.  He missed some days of work, but luckily, none of his fingers. pb

Source: OSHA