Tag Archives: accidents


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

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

Some of the more frequently encountered hazards include:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: OSHA; NATE



The forklift truck has become the workhorse of modern warehousing operations.  They allow us to move substantial loads with speed, ease, and relative safety.  Forklifts, as these trucks are so often called, come in many makes, models, and sizes that can be configured with removable parts that make it possible to move just about anything in any industrial setting.  Their ease of operation makes forklift operation easy to master but an operator must never forget he’s working with heavy industrial machinery that commands respect. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 100 workers every year are killed in accidents involving forklifts and 20,000 more are seriously injured.  Training, licensing, and operator certification measures are so vital to forklift truck safety that private industry, the military, and government regulatory agencies at every level have developed programs to keep forklift operation as safe as possible.

 Use a forklift inspection checklist like this one to log daily inspections. 

The safest forklift is the well-maintained forklift.  At the beginning of every shift, a visual inspection of every forklift to be used will improve safety and increase productivity throughout the work day.  A visual inspection at the end of every shift quickly identifies any vehicles that need maintenance or require cleaning before next use. 

Checklist for Visual Inspection 

Forklifts are often employed in rugged conditions that leave them dirty, muddy, or covered with grime from any source.  Clean machines are vital for optimum mechanical performance and safety.  No one likes working in filthy conditions but dirt also hides defects that can lead to danger.  Before using a forklift, consider this checklist for visual inspection: 

  • Work area uncluttered and free of debris that could cause accidents
  •  Any danger zones identified
  •  Overhead space provides plenty of clearance and no risk of falling  objects
  •  Fire extinguisher in reach and ready to use
  •  Engine fluids — fuel, oil, water — at workable levels
  •  Battery at full charge and securely fixed to machine
  •  Electrolyte levels in battery as required for maximum     performance
  •   No exposed battery cable wires
  •   Battery cable connects firmly fixed and in sound operational state
  •   Vent caps clear and free of clogs
  •    All hold-downs or brackets tightly in place
  •    No damaged, loose, or missing nuts, bolts, chains, hoses, or guards
  •    Tires and wheels in sound working condition
  •     Pneumatic tires properly inflated
  •     Forks in safe working condition, no bends or cracks
  •     All positioning latches fully functional
  •     Carriage teeth intact with no breaks, chips, or worn areas
  •     Chain anchor pins in good working order, not bent, loose, or worn
  •      No evidence of leaks or drips underneath the vehicle
  •      All hoses securely in place, not crimped, loose, worn, or rubbing  together dangerously 

Checklist for Operational Pre-Use Inspection

When conditions look good on and around the forklift, conduct an inspection to gauge how well the machine is running before tackling a day’s work.  Make this checklist for operational pre-use inspection a routine part of every shift for every operator of every forklift on the job: 

  •   The horn must be working loud enough to be heard in the workplace, no matter how loud
  •   Other devices that give warning during operations must be fully functional
  •    Braking system — does the pedal hold?  Does the unit stop smoothly every time?
  •    Parking brake holds even against minor acceleration
  •    Deadman seat brake secure as operator sits and rises from the seat
  •    Clutch and gears shift smoothly, with no jumps or jerks
  •     Dash control panel fully operational, with all lights and gauges fully functional
  •     Steering mechanism works smoothly
  •     Lift mechanism works smoothly when empty forks are raised to maximum height and then lowered
  •     Tilt mechanism works smoothly when mast is moved to maximum degree forward and backward
  •    Cylinders and hoses free from leaks or defects
  •    No unusual sounds are produced when machine is in operation 

It is vitally important to make sure every person who operates a forklift is fully trained and legally qualified to do so.  It is equally important to have only fully qualified personnel to service and maintain every forklift. 

Forklift Operation 

 Never use a coworker as counterweight to balance a load that’s too heavy or that must be lifted too high. 

The basic function of a forklift is the same but every work environment comes with a unique set of situations and circumstances.  Mastery of basic forklift operation is important but optimum safety comes when the operator knows how to effectively operate the machine in the environment where it will be put to work. 

It’s human nature to minimize the danger of operating a forklift when it’s been done safely and routinely over time but accidents happen in the blink of an eye.  Vigilance is required every minute of operation. 


The ride’s a little bit different when a forklift is carrying a heavy load or when it’s empty.  Either way, safety always comes first.  The safest forklift operator will make safe driving habits such a routine part of his workday that they become effortless, no matter if traveling with a full load or not.

  •          Keep all body parts inside the truck —  head, hands, feet, arms, everything
  •          Keep other objects inside the truck, too, including lunch boxes, overcoats, and communication devices
  •          Always keep forks as low to the ground as possible
  •          Keep forks tilted back whenever possible
  •          Obey all workplace traffic signs
  •          Turning corners — slow down, honk the horn, and be mindful of the swing of the vehicle, front and back
  •          Avoid quick or sudden stops
  •          Travel slowly in reverse if the load is so large it’s impossible to see over it traveling forward
  •          Look only in the direction the machine is moving
  •          Stay well clear of all people, other vehicles, loose objects, slick or wet spots, holes, and rough surfaces
  •          Respect the truck’s blind spots, when empty and when fully loaded
  •          Any time a pedestrian, another forklift, or any moving vehicle crosses or shares the intended route, always stop the forklift then lower the load as far as possible and wait till the route is clear again before resuming operation 

Traveling on an Incline 

Slopes and uneven work surfaces challenge forklift safety and require special maneuvers.  When traveling on an incline: 

  •          Never attempt a turn on uneven ground; save turns for level surfaces only
  •          No load?  Keep forks pointed down the incline
  •          Loaded?  Keep loaded forks pointed uphill at all times 


There’s no power steering here so driver skill is all the more important.  Important steering safety skills include: 

  •          Turning only with the rear wheels so the front wheels need only support the load
  •          Make no sharp turns
  •          The heavier the load, the wider the turns
  •          An overloaded fork is a dangerous fork; don’t overload it
  •          Never add a counterweight to the back of the truck, especially not a human counterweight 

Tomorrow, we will continue with more information about forklift safety and a list of additional things to be aware of to guarantee safety in loading, unloading, handling pallets, safety while loading into railroad cars, and much more.

Author Bio: Joana Kylee is an authorized dealer of superior quality forklift forks, forklift seats and all types forklift spare parts for major brands of lift trucks with same day shipping.

Article submitted by Andrea Bernie.











Six Flags Over Texas, a popular theme park, proudly touted the Texas Giant as being Six Flag’s most popular ride.  On Saturday, a 52-year old woman died after falling from the coaster at Six Flags amusement park in North Texas, according to police.
Park spokeswoman Sharon Parker confirmed that a woman died while riding the Texas Giant roller coaster — dubbed the tallest steel-hybrid coaster in the world — but did not give specifics of what happened. “We are committed to determining the cause of this tragic accident and will utilize every resource throughout this process,” Parker said in a statement Saturday. “It would be a disservice to the family to speculate regarding what transpired.”

Arlington Police Sgt. Christopher Cook told The Associated Press that police believe the woman fell from the ride at the Six Flags Over Texas park. He added that there appears to have been no foul play.

Amusement parks and theme parks are under the scrutiny of one or more layers of independent examination, including state and local government, insurers, and private safety firms.  At the present time, Six Flags is conducting their own investigation.  Despite attempts by lawmakers to strengthen regulations, the amusement park industry says its safety record is excellent, considering the millions of visitors that frequent their rides annually.  The amusement park and the Texas Department of Insurance, which approves amusement rides and ensures they are inspected, are further investigating the accident, Cook said.

Carmen Brown told The Dallas Morning News that she was waiting in line to get on the Texas Giant and witnessed the woman being strapped in — and then what ensued.  (One witness heard the woman ask why her safety bar clicked only once, when all the others clicked three times.) “She goes up like this. Then when it drops to come down, that’s when it (the safety bar) released and she just tumbled,” Brown, of Arlington, told the newspaper.

Six Flags said the ride would be closed while the investigation continues.  At 14 stories high, the Texas Giant has a drop of 79 degrees and a bank of 95 degrees. It can carry up to 24 riders. It first opened in 1990 as an all-wooden coaster and underwent a $10 million renovation to install steel-hybrid rails and reopened in 2011.

Six Flags Over Texas was the first amusement park in the Six Flags system, opening in 1961.  The park’s first fatality occurred in 1999. A 28-year-old Arkansas woman drowned and 10 other passengers were injured when a raft-like boat on the Roaring Rapids ride overturned in 2 to 3 feet of water.

There were 1,204 ride-related injuries reported in the United States in 2011 — about 4.3 for every million visitors — according to the National Safety Council’s most recent data. Of those, 61 were deemed serious, the March 2013 report said, and roller coasters accounted for 405 injuries. A television report stated that about one-half of all accidents involved roller coasters.

There’s nothing more fun than going to a theme or amusement park and getting to ride different rides and see shows that are fun and family-oriented.  Our thoughts are with the family of this woman, who was out with her family for a day of fun.  Parks must ensure having their rides inspected often and making repairs as necesssary to reassure public safety.  One wonders about the safety of the rides that traveling carnivals bring to their communities.  Hopefully, they are under the same safety regulations as permanent parks.

Ft Worth Star Telegram/ Associated Press/Dallas Morning News




It’s not only bikers who need a reminder to drive with caution during Motorcycle Safety Month. Each May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration promotes the event, a special observance that resonates with the families of riders across the country. Motorcyclists still suffer injuries at an alarming rate and are 35 times more likely to die from their crash-related injuries than car accident victims, Live Free Ride Alive reported. Motorcycle collision injuries have been on the rise in recent years (from 120,000 injuries in 2001 to a whopping 175,000 in 2008), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The number of motorcycles currently in use in the U.S. has continued to climb, but the number of appropriately-trained riders has not – and that means a greater potential for accidents to happen every single day.


Branded Nemesis Website - motorcyclePhoto Credit: Flickr.

Safety on a motorcycle requires everyone to share the road. Unfortunately, as many riders would confirm, other motorists on the road often don’t drive cautiously enough around motorcycles. In the case of many collisions, drivers report that they didn’t even see the motorcyclist until the accident occurred. They may tailgate, with or without realizing it, or they may intentionally or accidentally cut off motorcyclists. Sadly, no biker can predict what another driver may do, especially if that driver does not even notice them.

So many variables that can lead to an accident are beyond a motorcyclist’s control. That’s why it’s imperative that bikers take control of the situation as much as possible – and it all starts with the right training.

Training Matters – Before You Ever Get on a Bike

More people than ever are showing interest in motorcycle safety courses – and not a moment too soon. In the past several years, motorcycle injuries and fatalities have increased significantly across the United States. In the cases of both fatal and non-fatal injuries, young riders have historically been the most at-risk, with the 20- to 24-year-old group sustaining the most injuries, the CDC reported. The next youngest age group, 25- to 29-year-olds, comes in second in terms of likelihood of suffering injuries.

What’s startling is that so many of these injured victims were not qualified to be riding these bikes at all. As many as 21 percent of motorcycle operators involved in collisions have no license to drive a motorcycle, according to the infographic “How Dangerous Are Motorcycles, Really?” “All bikers… should have either a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s licenses or separate motorcycle licenses,” reported NorthJersey.com, but “of New Jersey’s 6 million licensees who ride big bikes, roughly 5 percent have such credentials.” Though most of us probably wouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car without being appropriately licensed, motorcycles are seen as such a recreational vehicle that many regard it as perfectly sensible to take a joyride, even knowing that it’s a class of vehicles associated with collisions and death.

Branded Nemesis Website - motorcycle accidentPhoto Credit: Flickr.

This is where training programs come into play. From learning the basics to honing existing skills and developing new abilities, these classes strengthen an individual’s capabilities to allow for a safer ride. Working with qualified instructors helps riders retrain themselves to avoid bad habits and offers a chance to connect with fellow bikers of a similar skill level. Training programs are both hands-on and informative, and the confidence these courses instill in riders and their families is priceless. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers classes beginning with Learning-to-Ride and going all the way up.

Teaching an Old Hog New Tricks

Don’t think it’s just fresh-faced kids who need to worry about motorcycle safety. Even experienced riders could stand to drive a little more safely – in fact, seasoned bikers may be especially vulnerable to suffering fatal injuries in a collision. “There has been a dramatic jump in the number of deaths among motorcycle riders age 40 and older in recent years, reported TrafficSafety.org. Older motorcycle riders, who account for an increasingly larger proportion of all motorcyclists, now account for about half of all motorcycle rider fatalities.”

Perhaps this change is due to the physical aging process, with eyesight and reaction time often decreasing and physical resiliency becoming ever more difficult to find. Perhaps it’s a case of believing that experience alone is in some measure protective, when in fact neither skills nor sheer experience is enough to prevent an accident from occurring when hazardous circumstances occur. Regardless, research published in journal Injury Prevention shows that, “older adults involved in motorcycle crashes are prone to more severe injuries than younger adults” – and that means it is even more important for these experienced riders to prevent accidents from occurring.

“We all know that our motorcycles run best with an occasional tune-up,” wrote the American Motorcyclist Association. “Well, the same is true for riders. Whether you’ve been riding two years or more than 20, it doesn’t hurt to get some safety training so you’re prepared to handle hazards.” The organization encourages even the most proficient bikers to refresh their skills during a single-day class through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Experienced RiderCourse for advanced riders.

Easiest Way to Stay Safe on a Motorcycle

Learning to ride a motorcycle can be a challenge. Navigating the streets safely from your bike isn’t always easy, especially when you’re surrounded by vehicles that far outweigh yours. The one easy part is wearing the proper safety gear, especially on your head.

Branded Nemesis Website - motorcycle helmetWho says motorcycle helmets can’t look cool? They can be almost as individual as you are. Just make sure your helmet is approved by the Department of Transportation. Photo Credit: Flickr.

Helmets are probably the most important piece of safety gear you can wear. Protecting your head is of the utmost importance. A helmet can make the difference between dying from head trauma and surviving a brain injury and recovering to continue living your life. Modern helmets do not limit a rider’s vision or hearing, according to the NHTSA, and some states require their use while riding. Wearing helmets can save lives.

Safety Is Everyone’s Business – and Everyone’s Responsibility

Why do (or should) motorists care if bikers wear helmets? Why should states be allowed to pass laws mandating protective headgear? Because at the core, safety on the road is everyone’s responsibility.

Approximately 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents result in injuries, according to TrafficSafety.org. That’s a scary statistic, especially when you consider that the rate of injuries in car accidents is only one-quarter of that number, at 20 percent. Anyone involved in a motorcycle crash has a significantly higher likelihood of being injured or killed than they do of walking away unscathed – and that very possibility may be enough to give riders and their spouses, parents, children, siblings, and best friends nightmares. A motorcycle accident is nothing short of a trauma for everyone involved.

Whether or not cyclists wear helmets isn’t a personal choice that impacts an individual alone, but instead a larger concern that can create loss within a community and drain taxpayers’ bank accounts. Each year, the financial cost of motorcycle collisions reaches an average $12,000,000,000, the CDC reported. When a victim doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover the cost of treating the type of acute injuries that are unfortunately all too common in motorcycle accidents, that emergency care to save (or attempt to save) the victim’s life must still be paid for – and the cost often comes out of public funds, at least in part. Helmets decrease the severity of brain injuries, which are among the most expensive injuries to care for, and by this virtue alone, they have the potential to save every taxpayer from spending additional, hard-earned money.

Economic costs are not, of course, the primary concern. Over the duration of a nearly 20 year career, I’ve seen the damage accident victims sustain and the life-changing effects these injuries have on my clients’ futures. I know how serious the consequences of an accident can be for individuals, families, and communities. It doesn’t matter if one motorcyclist says that he or she knows the risks of riding without a helmet, or riding while intoxicated, or riding without proper training and licensure – no individual reserves the right to create unnecessary dangers on the roadways.

This May, make it a point to drive a little more cautiously out of awareness for Motorcycle Safety Month and respect for those who have lost their lives in a motorcycle collision. Whether you drive a motorcycle, a passenger car, or a truck, you have the opportunity to make your community a safer place to drive. Wear your safety gear, whether that means a helmet or a seat belt. Share the road. Give other vehicles plenty of space, and stay alert. It doesn’t matter what seat you’re sitting in – you have the opportunity to “look twice, save a life.” 

As a beloved international pastime, motorcycles have a special place in our history, our media, and – for those who ride or love someone who rides – our lives. Sadly, it’s not all about the feel of the wind in your hair (especially since you’re supposed to wear a helmet). Motorcycle riding can be a hazardous mode of transportation and exceptionally dangerous hobby, but by reminding both motorcyclists and operators of other motor vehicles how important it is to drive with caution, organizations and agencies hope that they can reduce the number of injuries and fatalities not only during Motorcycle Safety Month, but all year long. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, call (800) 813-7033 today for help securing the compensation you deserve and getting your life back on track.

A motorcycle collision can cause some of the most serious injuries possible, from head trauma to spinal cord damage, severed limbs to internal organ injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered in a motorcycle crash and you believe someone else’s careless behavior contributed to the collision, get the help you deserve. Call Console & Hollawell’s motorcycle accident attorneys today at (800) 455-2746 for a free consultation.

Sent by Nina Nowalkowski


The industrial environment is challenged with trying to prevent accidents at the workplace.  Just think how much companies must spend on personal protective equipment, and if an accident happens – loss of work and productivity, insurance claims, material damage, loss of life, and much time spent writing accident reports. 

Because everybody acts of their own free will, sometimes it isn’t easy to get them to follow what you want them to do.  Ironically, those same people are the cause of most accidents!  If your workers don’t obey the rules that you have established, or don’t wear their protective equipment, or don’t practice good safety when they aren’t being supervised, chances are something will probably happen, and it won’t be good! 

The key to controlling accidents is safety awareness; this type of safety awareness is critical in any construction site.  One unsafe act can bring your safety record down in a few seconds. 

What is a good way to deliver your safety message? 

Researchers have found that people remember 50% more in what they see than in what they hear.  Visuals get people’s attention.  Promoting safety through visuals is very effective.

Most people enjoy posters that are humorous.  Pleasant thoughts generate more receptive learning.  Using humor drives a point that is so easy to understand when done correctly.  Cartoons can illustrate dangerous situations, which might be impossible to capture on film in real life. 

Here are a couple of examples of the safety posters found at tasco-safety.com:

DON’T BE A FOOL – BEING SAFE IS BEING COOL seems to be pretty self-explanatory.

Another one: The Key to Success Is Attitude

Good luck to all safety instructors.  We hope the posters will help get your message across.  It’s also good to stock up on several and post different ones on a periodic basis, so employees will be watching for new ideas.

One last good tip for those training employees on safety: ask them to share a close call or accident they have witnessed.  First-hand information is very powerful when someone has actually seen it or had it happen to them.


This winter has been an unusual one, and that is an understatement!  According to ABC News, “It’s been more than seven weeks since Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow, (haphazardly) signaling an early spring. Last Friday, an Ohio prosecutor jokingly indicted the famous weather-rodent on one count of fraud, claiming he “did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that spring would come early.” The prosecutor said he would seek the death penalty for the groundhog.

None of us want to see poor Phil face the death penalty, but across the U.S., folks are very unhappy with his prediction.  Those in the Northeast are still under snow – there have been many highway accidents because of inclement weather, and frankly, enough is enough!

Just today, my husband said the weather prediction for N. Central Texas is a high of 80 degrees on Monday, followed by a high of 48 degrees on Tuesday.  Mother Nature has been blessing us with a few cold days, (some extremely cold), then warmer weather, then overnight a drop of 30 degrees.  This is mild, compared to what many others across the U.S. face on a day-to-day basis.

Hopefully, April will glide into our lives with those April Showers that so many areas desperately need.  Let’s anxiously await the wildflowers that decorate the roadsides, and feel that release of tension that Spring brings.  (Should have been here March 20th!)  Another unwanted gift arrives in the spring, and that is allergies!  Stock up on the medications that work for you, and be prepared.  Also watch for the bees, mosquitoes, and other critters that sometimes bring so much misery, we will be ready to face fall again before you know it.  Are we ever sastisfied with the weather?

On another subject, in previous years, our Blog4Safety has mentioned Safety Observances for the month of March.  This year, we received so many wonderful guest contributions that our schedule has been full.  We thank all the authors that have sent in wonderful safety tips, and hope they will keep them coming!

March is National Nutrition Month, Workplace Eye Wellness Month, Save Your Vision Month, National Patient Safety Awareness Week, and National Poison Prevention Week – topics we have touched on from time to time.  Every one of these is important to all of us – each month of the year!  When we are at work and experience hazardous conditions that endanger our vision, our employers should see to it that proper eyewear is furnished, according to the particular risk, along with any other protection you may need in performing your tasks.

Happy Easter!  Let’s look forward to baseball, spring activities, and everything that takes place during a safe month of April.


After a fun day of shopping and visiting with close friends last week, we parted ways and headed for home.  I might mention that we were shopping in a city that we were unfamiliar with, so it’s even more important to drive with care, and watch for the other guy, too.  My dear friend left first, to head for her home town, and the rest of us were close behind going our way.  We reached the corner where we needed to turn, and there had been an accident – sirens, police, an ambulance, and then the most frightening realization, my friend walking to the crash site!

She had taken a turn to go home when a young man on a motorcycle smashed into her car.  Thankfully, he was wearing a helmet – but his bike was probably totaled, and her car sustained quite a lot of damage.  Witnesses said that he had been standing on the seat of the bike earlier, then “popping a wheelie” just before he came back down on the street, when he hit her.

It woke us all up to the fact that accidents happen so fast, and this could have ended with a much sadder outcome.  There are some tips that have been given in previous articles about motorcycle safety, but I want to repeat some of them and hope that a parent or biker will pay attention before it is too late.

From the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Share the Road Safely:

Watch the No-Zones: Never hang out in a truck’s blind spot or “no-Zone”.  These are at the front and back and on both sides of the truck.  They cannot see you when you ride in these spots, and cannot stop as fast as you can.

Always Wear a Helmet: Make sure helmets meet US DOT standards.  Check for the DOT label in your helmet.  The accident I am telling you about, the rider’s helmet was scratched where he hit the car, and the visor was completely off. 

Drive to Survive: Remember that motorcycles are the smallest vehicles on the road.  There is virtually no protection in a crash.  Be extra cautious, watching the signals and brake lights of other vehicles.  Don’t ride inbetween lanes in traffic or share a lane with another vehicle. You must respect the law just as other drivers.  Don’t instigate aggressive driving with other motorists.  This only increases your chance of a crash.

Check Yourself and Your Bike: Conduct a safety inspection of the bike prior to each ride, and wear protective clothing including gloves, boots, and a jacket.  Some high-visibility stickers or vest will help others see you.

Watch Your Speed:  Motorcycles accelerate the fastest, while trucks and buses are the slowest. Watch your speed around trucks, especially in bad weather or riding at night.  If you collide with the back of a truck, your riding days will most likely be over.

For those of us driving cars, be sure to watch for signs, especially in surroundings you aren’t familiar with, and some cities should ask themselves if there is appropriate signage for visitors to navigate safely, staying with the flow of traffic in their towns?  It only took a few seconds for what could have been devastation for my friend and that young man on the bike.  Cars and motorcycles can be replaced; material things can. But my friends can’t be replaced.  Thank Goodness for Guardian Angels! Drive and ride safely!


Reducing the dangers of the high life 

The risks of working at heights are obvious with potential for accidents whilst climbing to and dismounting from the raised point and while carrying out the work once there. In legal terms the word ‘height’ is applied to any surface above the ground from which a fall could result in injury. This could equally be the middle rung of a ladder or a raised operations platform. When it comes to this type of hazardous work, there are certain legal requirements which must be met by the employer. Here we will look at some of the key rules set out in the Working at Height Regulations 2005 pertaining to access and platform safety and safeguard mechanisms for arresting falls (Schedules 1, 3 and 4 of the government legislation) 

While most employers will search for alternative ways to complete work at raised points, such as using mechanical long arms for window and gutter cleaning, it is more often necessary for a hands-on approach to ensure the task is done correctly. The most important areas where safety must be assured are the access points and the working platforms, both of which will be upholding an operator who will be in varying degrees of motion, depending on the task. Therefore, the principal regulations for both sections are the same. The access route and platform must be suitably stable, strong and rigid for the purpose and large enough to hold the person safely upon it. There must be substantial fall-prevention mechanisms in place and no gaps through which any person may fall or become trapped. They must also both be constructed with a non-slippery surface. 

In the event of a fall, certain safeguards can be in place to prevent injury. However, the safeguard must enable the work to be carried out freely without adding to the risk, for example with excess ropes dangling or creating a trip-hazard. If it is indeed ropes which are in use, then training is obligatory for all operators, such as the IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) qualification for abseiling. Rope-based safeguarding techniques must also take into account the elasticity of the rope on impact, meaning a much shorter rope than the actual drop distance. If it is an airbag or landing mat being used then this must be secure and stable upon the ground. The safeguard must also be such that it does not injure any person when put to use. 

These regulations are just a few of those which apply to all work carried out at height. Jobs which must abide by these rules include telecommunications rigging, window cleaning, film crews, building, scaffolding and cladding construction. It is legally the employer’s responsibility to ensure their workforce’s safety at all times, but designers and planners must also consider the risks when a new project is being developed. Risk assessments are then used to decide the type of precautions to be put in place so that with sufficient planning and preparation, work carried out at heights can be both safe and productive. 

This article was written by Emily Banham on behalf of Groves Window Cleaning, established in 1985, has over 25 year’s experience of commercial window cleaning. More information on Working At Heights can be found on the following link – http://www.groveswindowcleaning.co.uk/working-at-heights.html.



The Easy Part of Induction
When many people hear the phrase ‘health and safety’ in a workplace context, they batter their lids and yawn as if they know it all; as if it is a case of mollycoddling and obvious things that only a complete idiot wouldn’t know. To those starting a new job, the first day nerves are often qualmed when they undergo this section of orientation, as aspects are often already known or simple common sense. It’s a different case if you’re working with machinery or new equipment of some kind as there is a very real danger there, but in some cases this is unclear. Unfortunately, many people see the healthy and safety talk of their job as a way to make that first apprehensive day go that little bit quicker, or a rehash of what they were told on their first day. However, this is the wrong view to take, especially on behalf of the employer.

Should I Bother?
If you are business-owner, you probably have a hundred and one things on your mind day-to-day, mainly concerning ensuring a high standard of service or product that you deal in for your customers. It’s not a case of being money-hungry at all; staff have to be paid, overheads taken care of and everything else to ensure smooth sailing. And while there is no doubt that you do care about the wellbeing of your staff on a professional level (and often on a personal one too), the idea of spending a whole afternoon in a conference room can seem a little like a second priority when it doesn’t directly link to sales or conversions. As stated, sometimes the necessity for such training is unclear, like in a white-collar office; but when you look closely, there are many, many aspects needing attention, such as the consumption of food and drink near electric equipment.

An Investment or Insurance
Consider Health and Safety training as an investment, or even a kind of insurance. You most likely have insurance for your premises, so why wouldn’t you for your staff? While the fact you’ve hired them means they are capable and not complete idiots, accidents can happen quite easily, especially in a busy workspace; and when they result in some form of injury (which can affect ability to earn and live), tensions can rise high. Most bosses have a great relationship with their employees and no one likes the idea of that turning sour in the form of a legal dispute. So it makes business-sense to cover yourself, just as you would with insurance; something bad probably won’t happen, but it’s good piece of mind that you’re protected just in case. It makes sense to pay, say, £100 for someone to come in and give a workshop than to pay out thousands or even millions if you are sued.

Other Positives
While it shouldn’t be treated lightly, or like a day off from work, a workshop or meeting about Health and Safety, can be seen as a bonding exercise amongst a workforce. It’s a chance to see each other in a different context rather than speaking about business, and is a pleasant break from the quotidian, or usual business day. Additionally, you’re very likely to learn something that you never knew or took for granted from this professional speaker, or even discover dangerous or libel actions which you routinely perform without realising. However, it should simply be seen as essential in maintaining a fully-functional, professional workplace.

Author Bio:
Paul has worked in various office environments, of varying industries and service and as a result has been exposed to several forms of training when it comes to workplace safety. In his free time, he enjoys documentaries, including those about employer-liability cases where an employer has been reckless, negligent or at fault. Paul has also studied Law at A-Level, which involved study of cases of Negligence.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenjonbro/6407005225/sizes/m/

Many companies just don’t take the proper amount of time to thoroughly train their employees on the importance of safety.  It is the employees’ live on the line, and the last line of defense for them is the right kind of PPE safety equipment.  Training on this subject is a very vital part of teaching the types of equipment that are required in their particular job. pb