Category Archives: General Safety Issues

HAZWOPER Training Benefits for Workers

The HAZWOPER stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, and is in essence set of standards that was designed and implemented by the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to protect workers and companies that deal with hazardous waste operations. Getting a HAZWOPER training is imperative for workers who work in companies whose operations puts them in contact with or risk for exposure to hazardous waste and environments.

Let’s look at some benefits that can be had when HAZWOPER training is completed.

Situation Preparedness
When your job entails you to deal with hazardous waste, chances are, you’d be facing a big chemical spill sometime in the future. Such an occurrence requires the knowledge to know how to contain it, and the skill to execute the plan of action as quickly and safely as possible. This is where the HAZWOPER training comes in. Being trained means having the background and skill necessary to take care of such problems without being caught off guard and not knowing what to do.

Safety
The HAZWOPER training is not only necessary for people to know how to contain toxic waste, it’s also necessary to ensure the safety of all the workers involved. When everyone in the company knows how to identify risks and keep themselves safe when faced with a hazardous waste problem, then it also protects the safety of those around them. This produces a more comfortable environment that would make workers feel confident about going to work.

Employment and Salary Boost
Having completed the HAZWOPER certification training makes a person more employable. Not only that, PayScale has reported that those who have been HAZWOPER-trained typically earned more than those who haven’t.

Penalty Avoidance
For companies, having their workers trained would mean compliance with OSHA standards, thereby avoiding any penalties that they may incur should they allow workers without HAZWOPER training do jobs that require them to be trained.

It doesn’t matter how long one has been working in a certain area; when safety is concerned, there is and should always be a need for proper instruction and updated training.

Cleaning is Essential Part of Work Safety

Even the safest-looking workplaces have their own dangerous moments. If you think that nothing wrong could possibly come to you in the safety of your own calm office, think again. There are probably bookshelves near you, with books high above you that could fall off and concuss you. How are the power outlets handled? Are there any bare wires? If you are working in a paper-filled office, even the smallest sparks can lead to big fires if not handled immediately. And, believe it or not, all these dangers are doubled when you opt to do some cleaning around the office. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself and the office.

• If you are about to do some office cleaning, use gloves. Hand protection is important even in the smallest of instances. Rubber gloves can save you a nasty shock and spill if you accidentally come in contact with a bare wire. They will also protect your hands from all the toxins in the cleaning product you are using. Avoid gross rashes and itchy spots with ease, simply put on a pair of gloves while rubbing your desk with a cleaner product and all will be fine.

Cleaning is Essential Part of Work Safety

• If might seem laughable, but if you are working in a place with lots of shelves with files or books, and you are trying to dust them, or even just looking for a particular item, you should use some headgear. Imagine you inadvertently shake a bookcase as you are browsing through some volumes, and there are heavy and unchecked books or folders above you. One wrong step (or shake) will collapse a few of those volumes over your head and could easily lead to a bad concussion.

• Be wary of slippery spots on your floor or carpet. If you are one to have lunches in the office, surely you spilled something once or twice, but did not bother to thoroughly clean it. Some stains become slippery over time and you should protect yourself – and the ones coming into your office from them. Get some carpet cleaners to remove it, or even hire a cleaning agency to do regular office cleaning and keep your workplace safe. Yes, cleanliness sometimes is the key to safety. A professional cleaner will do a fine job of recognizing lasting and problematic stains and will remove them to bring the shine to your office.

• If you are working with a lot of office hardware, you should know that it is inevitable that something may eventually breakdown. Unless you are a mechanic or specialize in office appliance repairs, call an actual repairman to see to the problem. Do not be a hero and try to help out a colleague with a quick fix to a problem that you have no clue about. Leave the broken machinery as they are and call somebody who actually can fix them.

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It requires very little to work safely in your office. A small bit of effort put into a clean and organized office will do wonders for the state of your workplace. If you cannot do it yourself, get a cleaning company. The key thing here is to work safe, so expenses should not be an obstacle.
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Lab Safety Guidelines

There is a great need to examine and reevaluate the safety procedures in a lab, especially if you happen to be more than just a simple lab assistant. Lab managers will need to consider this task carefully if they want safety to be a primary concern, especially when handling hazardous materials. There are plenty of cleaning companies that have certification as professional cleaners, going far beyond the usual house cleaning, office cleaning, carpet cleaning and the like and well into the area of laboratory cleanup, biohazard cleanup and more. Proper routines and rules must be observed if you want to succeed at keep the lab safe. The following tips will give you a few ideas you can use in your daily work:

Lab Safety Guidelines

• No drinks and food in the lab
This is pretty commonplace in most areas, but it also happens to be one of the things people find hardest to deal with. Everyone happens to enjoy a refreshing drink of cold water or coffee at work, but removing food and drinks from the lab will have multiple great benefits. First of all it will reduce the available distractions, so fewer things will go wrong. When performing really important and sensitive tasks, every distraction is a serious problem, especially when handling hazardous materials and substances. The risk of contamination in such areas jumps exponentially since such items can bring bacteria from the outside or may become carriers of contaminants from within the lab environment itself.

• Partnering up
A lot of times experiments can only be done right by sharing duties with a partner. Working in teams has a great advantage over working alone, obviously – you will have another set of eyes looking out for you when something goes wrong. Human error is not something that can be avoided – people get tired, mistakes are made and so forth, but in certain conditions mistakes cost lives, so working as part of a team requires people looking out for each other.

• Warning sign usage
Anything that you know for sure is dangerous should be labeled as such, whether with the appropriate sign or by using the NFPA 704 “fire diamond” to denote the type of danger faced by handling the materials or substance in question. You should also consider the OSHA guidelines or similar ones in your country. Trip hazards, high decibel noises, circuit breakers and more will need to be clearly marked so lab members will be fully aware of what they’re dealing with.

• Proper Safety Equipment
Maintaining your budget is very important for any laboratory out there, but you will also need to setup a good budget for safety and a safety plan. When you need to draft a new budget or you plan on revisiting your current one, you would do well to consider extra funds for safety equipment, such as eye wash stations, goggles, safety glasses, ear plugs, lab coats, protective gloves, fire safety and a whole lot more. You should also consider setting up a budget for proper safety training for all experienced and new lab members as well to drill in procedures in case of emergencies and accidents.
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Protection Clothing for Cleaning

Cleaning is a necessary task that you are often times forced to do around your home and your office. Thanks to cleaning, you will have a refreshed environment and living conditions that are more than suitable for resting and relaxing. There are a lot of products and tools that can make your cleaning more effective and fast, but what you have to keep in mind is that home cleaning and office cleaning should be carefully executed.
If you want to be completely safe during your cleaning service, you need to consider some protection clothing. There is a lot of risk related to using the various cleaning solutions, some of which are far from safe. If you pay attention to labels, you will often notice the description saying ‘poison’, ‘toxic’ and ‘danger’. That alone should be enough to warn you of the threats and make you stay alert during your cleaning service. Acquire the following gear if you want to be safe:

Gloves – even simple latex gloves can protect your skin from the chemicals and dangerous ingredients of various solutions you use in your everyday cleaning. If you have any skin problem, such as irritation, rash, itch and burn you will do well to avoid direct contact with the solutions you use in office and home cleaning. Gloves will not hinder your cleaning in any way, and they will not allow the dangerous liquid to come into contact with the skin on your hands. Thanks to a pair of gloves you can mix solutions without fear and wash dishes with any type of cleaning detergent.

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Goggles – some of the cleaning products you use during your cleaning service can greatly irritate your eyes because of the fumes they release. In order to protect yourself from this danger, you should acquire a pair of specialized goggles to wear while cleaning. This will provide protection for your sight not only from the fumes of the chemicals, but also from dust and other debris that might get airborne during carpet cleaning for example. Goggles can usually be used multiple times, so definitely consider acquiring quality protection for your sight.

Mask – cleaning solutions and more importantly the chemicals that are present inside them can sometimes lead to respiratory distress. To avoid breathing in the chemicals and fumes of the cleaning products you use during your cleaning service, you should always wear a mask. It will be your best line of defense when it comes to filtering the toxins of the cleaning products. This is especially the case with professional cleaners, who have to work with different cleaning solutions every single day. A mask will also prevent solid particles, such as dust and various others from entering your organism.

Protection Clothing for Cleaning

Apronaprons are very useful, especially those that provide pockets where you can put your extra cleaning equipment during your home cleaning. Not only will you stay clean if the job is a messy one, but also you will have everything you need with you and will not waste time.
A lot of these additions to your cleaning are not expensive at all and you can use most of them more than once. Definitely consider them to be safe during your cleaning.

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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.

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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.
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How to Protect your Office from Fire Hazards

Every building with people working inside requires fire protection, which takes many forms. It features a mixture of educational, preventive, mitigating and investigation aspects that are all aimed at alerting for potential risks and spotting a eliminating a threat before it becomes a problem. Different jobs present different risks, and it is important to know the dangers and risks in order to prevent fire threat. This is vital, as the damage that a destructive fire can cause is great. It can grow in a matter of seconds and cover large area. Modern day jobs need to be entirely safe when it comes to accidents such as this and for this reason measures against the threat are very important.
There are few elements of any fire protection system. All of them are aimed at preventing a fire from growing and eliminate threats that are potentially dangerous and may cause a fire to occur.

How to Protect your Building from Fire Hazards

– Instructions and education – this is the most basic element of a fire protection system. Basically this includes making all of the employees that work within a building aware of the risk of fire and any threats that can potentially cause one. They should be instructed on how to perform their work in ways that are safe. Educating all personnel on what to do in case of a fire alarm and an emergency situation is key in preventing any accidents. Facilities that work with dangerous chemicals, gas or other flammable materials must develop strict codes as they are exposed to more risks. It is often times the case when professional cleaning services and special handling of these materials is required.

– Passive fire protection – this element of fire protection is represented in the form of building materials that are resistant to fire. These include floors, walls, doors and pretty much any part of the building. For the most part, these materials are used because of established strict standards. The nature of the materials used requires special knowledge on how to maintain them. Any cleaning company should be aware of the specifics and provide sufficient service.

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– Active fire protection – this important element of fire protection includes a number of suppression and detection systems be they automatic or manual. Manual systems mostly include fire extinguishers or standpipe systems located in key points of the building. They can be used by people to directly fight a fire. Automatic systems most often feature sprinklers at ceiling level that use a reliable source of water in case a fire and smoke is detected. Certain models include different forms of fire suppression that use a different extinguisher than water. Active fire protection relies heavily on detection components, such as heat and smoke detectors that can locate and alert in case of a fire threat. In order for these systems to work and function properly they must be regularly checked by professionals who will provide maintenance and cleaning service to them if needed.
Fire protection is a very important aspect of all work safety codes. Strict regulations must be followed in order to ensure that no threat occurs and that any danger is handled in time.

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Electrical Safety Tips

There are many electrical appliances that are often used in everyday life or during construction efforts, so you will need to ensure you’re treating such electrical works with the respect and care they deserve so you can be safe from harm. Take your time to check the principles of safe operation of electrical devices ahead and make sure everyone both around your home and at your workplace or construction site is fully aware of them at all costs, as electricity is one force that should never be underestimated due to its lethal hazard and long-lasting effects on the human body after an accident. The following tips will give you more information you can use to deal with it:

Electrical Safety Tips

• If you want to be safe when using electrical appliances, light bulbs and other types of equipment, then you will need to be vigilant at all times to avoid burns, shocks and the threat of electrocution. Once again: keep your eyes open and be careful.

• You would do well to assume that all overhead wires are charged with lethal voltage, as well as any exposed wiring you see either around your home, office or other location such as a construction site. Avoid touching exposed wiring at all costs and use proper protection to stay safe, such as insulated gloves at the least with lower voltage wiring. Leave power lines to professional electricians and the company that employs them and stay away from them – a simple, common sense solution.

• You would do well to stay at least 10 feet away from any possible overhead wires during cleanup activities. If you’re working at certain heights or you need to handle longer objects, you would still do well to survey the place before you move on to working with overhead wires.

• If any overhead wires happen to fall on a vehicle, you should stay inside and drive away if possible. If your engine stalls you should stay inside and call the local electric company for assistance with this issue, as well as emergency services instead of trying to solve the problem yourself.

• You should never try to do any operations with electrical equipment while still standing in water. You should also do your best to avoid repairing any electrical cords or any equipment unless you happen to be authorized and qualified to do so. If you do need to do any repairs, you would do well to have a qualified electrician doing them instead of you, as they will have the necessary experience to do so.

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• When you’re working in damp or wet locations, you need to ensure you have all electric cords and equipment fixed and in good condition, as well as using a ground fault circuit interrupter to keep them safe. Keep your eyes open when you’re doing any cleaning, especially during floor cleaning, carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning and so forth. A short circuit can become a fire hazard quickly if left alone, so if you smell the acrid smell of burning insulation, shut the power off and locate the issue before moving forward.

• Last, but not least: always be cautious when you work with electricity, no matter where you are and what you’re doing. It may seem like a simple thing to keep in mind but you should never feel safe just because you think you have things covered. Be vigilant, be safe.
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Protective Clothing and Work Safety during Plumbing

Before you begin working on any DIY projects or plumbing repairs, you would do well to review some of the simple basics concerning safety. By following certain methods you will spare yourself injury and failure as well as being able to complete your projects on time. The following safety tips should be followed no matter what type of project you’re after:

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• Stay informed
You need to check the local building and plumbing codes before you start working on your project. Knowing what you can do to make things work that way will keep things professional and safe when you need to be careful.

• Eye protection
Work only with safety glasses if you need to do any plumbing work done, especially if you suspect you may have anything that could potentially endanger your eyes. Any work that involves using a drill, snaking a drain, hammering, working under a sink or using a reciprocating saw will pose a danger and potential hazard for the eyes. Sometimes small objects, droplets of sewer water and so on may fly into your eyes if you lack proper protection, so make sure that never happens.

• Hand protection
You would do well to focus on wearing proper protection for your hands at all times when you work. Hands will often come into contact with different chemicals, sewer water and more when you work on plumbing. If your hands have any scratches you may risk infection, not to mention handling things that way is simply unsanitary. Whenever you use a drain machine of any sort, you would do well to use leather or latex gloves to protect yourself from the germs of your drain lines. Good drain gloves will not only protect your hands, but it will also become a good habit to handle tools with them for added safety.

Protective Clothing and Work Safety during Plumbing

• Lung protection
You will need to work with a face mask if you want to protect your lungs. Sanding, sawing and more are sometimes needed when you work on some plumbing projects, not to mention the unpleasant smell of sewer gases that would be filtered through a mask so you won’t have to inhale it.

• Being careful
You would do well to be extra careful whenever you’re handling any tools, as you will need to follow the manufacturer’s suggestions if you want to succeed. Many people are often injured when they don’t keep both hands on the power tools they use, not staying vigilant as they work and so forth. Don’t be one of them and keep your eyes open and your hands steady.

• Get some help
Having someone to give you a hand when you need it will make completing your tasks far easier to handle. Running a drain machine for example means you will need to have two hands on the cable, as well as someone else unplugging the machine when you’re done, not to mention other tasks that need more than a single pair of hands. This will be very useful whenever you deal with plumbing emergencies, as you never know what you may need.
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Hand Protection Tips while Working

Hand injuries are extremely common on the job, no matter where you work, up to the point where nearly 80% of most common occupational injuries are hand injuries. There are hardly any jobs that don’t really use our hands in the process, so we need to take great care to avoid any accidents with our hands. There is much that can be done to avoid such issues, but for the most part common sense should be involved before you make any decisions. The following tips will give you more information you can count on to make a difference and protect your hands:

• Wearing gloves

This is the first line of defense against blisters, scrapes, burns, cuts and splinters you will have on the job, so look for several good pairs of work gloves you can count on to get you through your tasks without fail. Make sure you’ve chosen the right gloves and that they fit comfortably against your hands, allowing you to work with ease. You would do well to wear some chemical resistant gloves when you’re working with acids or caustics. There is no way to avoid things without proper protection, so never underestimate its importance. Always keep the insides of your gloves nice and clean, as any contaminants inside will only negate their protection. Make sure you replace your gloves as soon as you see any damage to their material. Always remember to use gloves when you’re using knives and box cutters and you need to do fine work with them and cut away from your body as you work.

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• Working with machines

Always stay vigilant so you can avoid the terrible danger posed by machines with exposed moving parts. You need to make sure you use the proper controls built into the machine to stay safe, especially when it comes to machine guards and the tool rests used. Under no circumstances should you try to reach inside the machine while it is powered and unless you possess the necessary technical expertise and credentials to do so. You would also do well to keep all watches, rings and bracelets off your person to ensure they will not get in the way while you work. If there are any shavings you need to get out of the way when cleaning, never use your hands to do so but use a brush or a scraper to do it so you will not get hurt while cleaning.

• Staying vigilant

Always keep an eye on what you’re doing and make simple and smart choices so you can avoid any injuries while working on the job. Know all your potential sources of hazards and stay vigilant. Inspect your protective equipment and gloves as well as your hands after you’re done working if you’re handling dangerous chemicals. Never allow carelessness to become a danger to your safety. You would do well to keep your eyes open when you clean your machines and workplace as well, as sometimes periodic cleaning may need to be completed by a professional cleaning company trained in dealing with hazardous chemicals and similar problems.

Hand Protection Tips while Working

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DIY Construction Safety Tips and Guidelines

DIY construction efforts take quite a bit of effort, but they should never be hurried along at the expense of safety. You would do well to keep that in mind so you can prevent any accidents you may face. You can get things done even without hiring builders, a building team in most cases, such as bathroom and kitchen fitting, wallpapering, tiling and even brick work. Think ahead and use the following tips to get yourself prepared for the building jobs ahead in a productive and safe manner:

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• If you use poorly designed tools and equipment of low quality, then chances are things WILL break at some point and you may get hurt in the process, not to mention the long term health hazards that may lead to. Carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, tendonitis, white finger and so forth are something you do not want to deal with.

• You should never carry a tool by its cord or doing so with its hoses. Even though this may seem like a good idea at some point, you would do well to avoid it as much as possible. Keep the cords away from any oil, water, heat and sharp edges to avoid any damage. Look for power tools that have lower vibrations overall and make sure you protect your ears and eyes from harm by using goggles and ear protection.

• You must make sure you have tools that don’t conduct electricity or heat so you can do your job well.

• Make sure you maintain a good posture while you work and use the tools as intended to avoid accidents during your renovation or construction efforts.

• You need to make sure you keep people away from any areas where you operate machines, especially if they have no business there and it poses danger to yourself and them.

• You need to be constantly aware of your surroundings while you work, especially when it comes to low clearance areas, obstructions of all sorts and any obstacles that end up in your path so you won’t trip and hurt yourself or worse. This happens more often than you may think.

• You need to pay even more attention when you’re using scaffoldings, as this is a pretty dangerous place to be when you work, even on the best of days. Make sure its erected on a nice and solid surface and that the scaffolding itself is strong enough with more than sufficient weight capacity, at least four times the weight you believe it will need to take.

DIY Construction Safety Tips and Guidelines

• You must never support any scaffoldings or planks on an uneven surface or with uneven objects that simply don’t have a good footing.

• Keep scaffoldings away from any power lines to stay on the safe side during work, especially when you’re alone and you have no other builder present working along you.

• No matter what building service you do, never use a damaged scaffold, regardless of how much in a hurry you are or how small a job you feel you need to do. Make sure you have a good and solid footing on a sturdy scaffold and use the proper guardrails, mid rails and toe boards when you work.

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