Category Archives: High Visibility Safety

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.
Read more helpful tips on: this cleaning website

Taking Preemptive Measures for Vehicle Accidents in Construction (Guest Post)

Since reducing the risk of fatal accidents and death rate within the construction industry is not an easy job, taking timely, effective preemptive measures is the only way out. Read further for a fair idea of what can be done and how!

The rate of accidents, injuries and deaths associated with the construction industry is much higher than most other areas of work. The most common reasons that make construction work perilous is possibility of deadly accidents with vehicles and falls from extreme height.

On an average, every third fatal accident at a construction site has one or more vehicles involved. Frequently occurring transport accidents at work include:

  1. Victims being stuck by moving vehicles, especially while reversing
  2. People falling from vehicles or hit by things falling from vehicles
  3. Overturning vehicles leading to serious injuries

What Can Be Done to Prevent Vehicle Accidents in Construction?

The first step towards reducing high death rate in construction industry is to reduce the risk of fatal accidents at construction sites that involve vehicles. Employers need to fulfill their legal duties and play a pivotal role in that case, especially by assessing risks and taking practical measures to ensure the safety of everyone around.

This may include maintaining accident records, training and consulting employees, and co-coordinating and cooperating contractors. The focus needs to be on planning and implementing collective safety measures, instead of giving individual measures extra importance. The basic idea should be to replace the hazardous with the harmless.

Taking Preemptive Measures for Vehicle Accidents in the Construction Industry

Practically, accident prevention should not start after the work has already begun on the construction site. Instead, designers, architects and planners can considerably diminish the risk of vehicle accidents by designing and planning well in the pre-build phase.

Risk assessment is the most important aspect that every employer ought to take care of, followed precisely by the conveyance of complete information to the contractors, verifying that the construction site is fully safe for the workers.

A thoroughly carried out risk assessment process involves:

Looking for Potential Hazards:

After you have evaluated the work the finished tasks, identify potential dangers that may be associated with the presence of heavy vehicles at the site. Operations such as reversing, loading and unloading always have a higher probability of damage being done at the workplace.

Factors that increase the likelihood of occurrence of such accidents more include rough terrain, continuous exposure to bad weather conditions, labor working under multiple contractors, and time pressure. You can involve both the workers and their contractors in the risk assessment process, explaining to them what has been planned to reduce the level of risk.

Try preventing the following things in particular:

  • Running over pedestrians
  • Overturning vehicles
  • Vehicle accidents caused by falls while climbing or working too close to power lines
  • Vehicle malfunctioning

Identifying Who May Be Harmed

Figuring out every possible factor that can harm individuals on the work site is the first step towards implementation of safety measures. This will include everyone from contractors, workers, self-employed individuals and even the general public. Pay special attention to the areas where vehicle movement is mandatory and you can’t exclude the public.

It is also possible to take note of the likely hazards during the designing stage while the construction cost estimation is being done. Take note of the design for safety and also ensure to calculate cost of making safety provisions.

Prepare an Action Plan after Evaluating the Risks

Evaluating the risks associated with each hazard on the site will help you calculate the possibility of harm and the level of severity. Check whether you have taken enough protective measures to ensure the safety of people on-site. Thoroughly revise all important aspects such as workplace design and signs and signals.  Ensure that all workers have the proper personal protective gear that is needed to complete the job safely.

Taking Action

Once the risk assessment process is completed, list all preventive measures based on priority. When it is time to take action, take all the workers and contractors along. Though your focus should be on implementing measures to prevent any accident from taking place in the first place, it will be equally important to have be prepared for the worst and have all emergency provisions in place too.

Author Bio: Laura Laurel is a Stanford graduate in civil engineer with specialization in Civil Designs, Cost Estimation and 3D Modeling. She began her career as a construction trainee at Viatechnik LLC, rose to be involved with road and bridge construction. She loves to write about Real Estate and Construction Related Subjects.


It’s the time of year that everyone is ready to get their boats back on the water and have fun fishing, skiing, or taking a relaxing ride on smooth water. Getting boats conditioned after a long winter’s rest is important to the success of the boat starting each time, and running as it should. Having owned a boat, there’s much more to it than just backing it into the water and taking off. The most important thing to have in your boat is a life jacket for each person.

This week’s reminder is sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council.  NSBC was organized in September, 1958, under the name National Safe Boating Committee. Their mission is to be the foremost coalition to advance and promote a safer recreational boating experience through education, outreach and training. The NSBC presently has a membership of over 330 U.S. and Canadian organizations, all with an interest in boating safety and education. The NSBC membership is diverse, with approximately 65% of the membership being nonprofit organizations and 35% being for-profit organizations. 

This year’s theme is “Ready, Set, Wear It,” referring to life jackets. By law, there should a life jacket for each passenger, as mentioned above. At times when you are fishing, and not moving, the jacket may be placed under the seats. But they must be ready for use at a moment’s notice. Wearing a life jacket can be slightly uncomfortable at some times, but even the strongest swimmer could have an accident, falling out of the boat, and possibly hitting their head. With no life jacket, their chances of surviving may be slim. 

When we had our boat, we made sure we had plenty of life jackets, even one for our Cairn Terrier, Willie. He had short little legs, and while we were fishing, he would go to the front of the boat and invariably slip and fall into the water. Our mode of rescue was a dip net, while his jacket kept him afloat. We didn’t want to take the chance that he might not be able to swim very far. 

On one particular outing, the local game warden pulled up to our boat to check our fishing license. He really got a kick out of seeing Willie in his life jacket; he said he hadn’t seen that very often. (This was several years ago, and jackets for dogs are much more popular now.) 

Have a fun summer on the water this year. Remember to use plenty of sunscreen, wear some great sunglasses, (the reflection off water can damage your eyes), wear a hat, keep some soft drinks and water in the ice chest, snacks, and have your cell phone handy in case you get stranded. The same law applies to drivers of boats, as to drivers of vehicles – don’t drink and drive! 

Stay safe and remember, wear that life jacket. After all, that’s what they are for – to save lives!


National Bike Safety Month

May is National Bike Month, and is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists.  It is celebrated nationwide.  This observance is the time to showcase the great benefits of bicycling, and encourage more people to try it.

Whether you bike to work or school; ride to save money or time; pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment; or simply to explore your community, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride.  Please note: Wednesday, May 7th, is National Ride a Bike to School Day.  If your child is not in the habit of riding their bike to school, be sure you  know that they are prepared to do so.  Friday, May 9th, is National Ride a Bike to Work Day.  The most important thing any cyclist can do is to put that helmet on, buckle it up and make sure it’s level.  It’s not going to do its job if it is tilted to the side to look cool.
As a national sponsor, the League provides resources to help you plan an event in your area, and each year the number and diversity of Bike Month celebrations continues to grow, accelerating the momentum around bicycling nationwide.

National Motorcycle Safety Month 

Most experienced motorcyclists know the rules of the road and hopefully follow them.  When riding on a busy highway, it is important that they stay on their part of the road, and that drivers are alert and watching their every move.  Good motorcycle riders wear all the right stuff – helmets, jacket, gloves, and other protective equipment.  All that gear comes in bright colors, as well as black, and the colors give more warning to drivers.  Wearing a high-visiblity vest over the jacket would help, too.

There’s nothing greater than feeling the wind and open air; but it gives us a fright when someone is seen riding their motorcycle or bike without a helmet.  Believe me, I know some pretty hard-headed people out there, but none that could survive hitting the road, a tree, or sign head-first! 

With warm weather finally getting here in many parts of the country, it’s time to get out the cycles and check them out, tires and all, to be sure they are in tip-top condition.  Go out there and have some fun, and also save some of that high-dollar gas we are paying for.  Just please ride safely.


Road workers brave many of the most unsafe working conditions around, including inclement weather, dangerous heavy equipment, work performed from heights, and potential electrical hazards. On top of these already risky conditions, motor vehicle traffic speeds by the work site constantly, threatening the unwary worker with serious injury or death.

Motor vehicle collisions with road workers are an all-too-common occurrence.  According to a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor study, 962 workers were killed at road construction sites from 2003 through 2010. Of these deaths, nearly half (442) occurred when a worker was struck by a vehicle or moving equipment. The study found that workers are equally as likely to be struck by highway traffic as they are mobile construction equipment.

To reduce the risk of injury and death, road workers and construction managers can implement a few simple procedures:

Increase Visibility

When it comes to keeping workers safe from highway traffic, visibility is key.  The Bureau of Labor study found that of the 92 people killed while flagging or performing traffic control duties, only 20 were wearing reflective or high-visibility clothing at the time.

Every precaution should be taken to ensure that workers are visible to oncoming traffic. High-visibility clothing should be worn by every person, but especially those conducting traffic. Yellow or green reflective clothing is preferable to orange, as different colors keep workers from blending in with orange construction signs.

Slow Traffic Down

According to several studies around the country, one of the most effective ways to slow down traffic before entering a construction zone is to plant a stationary police vehicle ahead of where road work begins. One Virginia study showed that the presence of a police vehicle slowed traffic by an average of 12 to 14 miles per hour.

In addition to a police presence, traffic can be slowed by using funneling or lane reduction techniques. Single lanes of traffic tend to move much slower than two or three lanes of traffic. In addition, cars are less likely to try and pass slower vehicles when there is only a single lane. This can prevent an aggressive motorist from swerving into a construction zone while trying to pass.

Use Traffic Barriers

Cones, barrels, and other lane separation techniques keep motorists at a safe distance from workers. Barriers also provide a cushion of safety from inattentive or distracted drivers. A driver who does hit a barrier will hopefully be jolted into awareness before driving into and injuring road workers.

Train Workers on Safety Awareness

Every worker should be trained on the best way to minimize their vulnerability while working next to traffic. A worker’s situational awareness is vital for avoiding both highway traffic and heavy construction equipment moving around the site. Thirteen per cent of all deaths in the Bureau of Labor study were caused by workers simply passing through the construction site. Teaching workers the proper techniques for entering, exiting, and passing through a site can significantly decrease the number of injuries and deaths reported every year

Analyze the Activity Area

Trained safety professionals should review a changing worksite on a regular basis to look for potential hazards. These professionals should try and minimize the zones where heavy equipment will need to back up, and should look for ways to implement any engineering, administrative, or personal protection measures that are needed to improve safety.

No matter what precautions workers take, injuries can still happen, especially with inattentive, distracted, or impaired drivers on the road. By taking the proper precautions, however, road workers can minimize their risk of injury and increase their odds of returning home safely. 

These road worker safety tips are provided by the South Florida personal injury firm of Gordon & Doner. Our firm is dedicated to holding negligent and irresponsible drivers accountable for the injuries caused to road workers in construction zones.

Our thanks to Jason Swilley for these great tips.  Again, April 7-11 was National Work Zone Awareness Week, and we can’t remind drivers too many times to slow down and watch for those who build our roads and keep them safe! pb



April 7 – 11, 2014:  National Work Zone Awareness Week – “Work Zone Speeding: A Costly Mistake”

The 2014 theme highlights the consequences of speeding through a work zone. These costs can take on various forms, including fines, jail time or even a life. By highlighting these impacts, the intent is to inform drivers and encourage them to drive carefully through work zones.  National Kickoff Event is to be held Tuesday, April 8 at the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement project in Seattle, Washington.

Worker Safety:  The leading cause of highway construction worker injuries and fatalities is contact with construction vehicles, objects, and equipment. These injuries and deaths are preventable through a number of good practices.
As our highway infrastructure ages, many transportation agencies are focusing on rebuilding and improving existing roadways. This means more roadwork is being performed on roadways that are open to traffic. At the same time, traffic continues to grow and create more congestion, particularly in urban areas. To avoid major queues during peak travel periods, urban areas are seeing more night work. The combination of more work done alongside increasingly heavier traffic and greater use of night work can result in increased safety considerations for highway workers. However, there are regulations and available resources on good practices that can help workers perform their jobs safely.

Worker Visibility:

•MUTCD Part 6 Section 6D.03 – Requires the use of high-visibility safety apparel by workers who are working within the rights-of-way of Federal-aid highways.
•High Visibility Standard – Provides a guide for the design, performance specifications, and use of high-visibility and reflective apparel including vests, jackets, bib/jumpsuit coveralls, trousers and harnesses.

Many drivers become irritated when they see the “Work Zone – Fines Double” signs preceeding the work zone.  It is better to observe the law in order to not receive a fine for speeding while driving through that zone.  Not only are the workers exposed to traffic, they are also staying alert to avoid being backed over or run over by the heavy equipment working around them.  Their line of work is very unsafe.  The flaggers are also very close to traffic whizzing by them.  It is your duty as drivers to observe the signs and keep the safety of our highway workers in mind at all times.  When you pass through one of these work areas, drive as though your son, brother, sister, or a loved one were out there; it might help you slow down.

The United States Department of Transportation/ Federal Highway Administration brings this important message annually  in order for all drivers to know how important the safety of highway workers is.   Drive safely.  As one of their signs says, “Watch for Workers – Give Us A Brake!” 

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation; Federal Highway Administration

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.   


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.