Tool Box Talks for the Week of Feb 25th – March 1st

February 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

First Aid Basics                                                   

 

WHAT WOULD YOU DO if a co-worker called and said someone was injured? Have you taken first aid training so you would KNOW what to do? The construction industry is a leader in accidents and the injury rates continue to be high, so knowing basic first aid is a must.

Always call the posted emergency phone number so outside professional help is on the way. The following is a list of helpful hints when first aid is needed.

1.Act promptly but not hastily — look for breathing and airway obstructions, and check -for bleeding and/or broken bones.

2. Start mouth to mouth resuscitation if necessary, and don’t forget to use a one way mask.

3 Stop the bleeding — a snug bandage or a pressure dressing will usually stop the bleeding. Use direct pressure, not a tourniquet. Avoid direct contact with blood — use gloves.

4. Look for shock — skin cold and moist, weak pulse, face drained of color and fainting. Wrap the victim in blankets, have them lay down and try to calm them.

5. Caution, handle with care — a person with a suspected neck or back injury should not be moved until professional rescue personnel are on the scene. Assist them if requested.

6. Splint broken bones — a splint can be made from any firm object that is long enough to reach beyond the broken bone. Immobilize the joints above and below the break.

7. Never give liquids to an unconscious victim.

8. Bandage wounds to help protect against infection — the wound should be covered with a sterile dressing before the bandage is applied.

9. Remember to wear universal precaution protective equipment.

Forgotten what you learned a while back? Resolve to upgrade your first aid skills. Contact your local Red Cross Chapter or Rescue Squad, they have regularly scheduled courses covering FIRST AID and CPR.

BE SURE YOUR FIRST AID KIT IS FULLY STOCKED AND CONTAINS UNIVERSAL PRECAUTION PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. AN EMPTY KIT WON’T HELP ANYONE!

Tool Box Talks for Feb. 18th- Feb 22nd

February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

Driving on Snow and Ice                                                Week Of Feb. 18th-22nd

 

The best tip for winter driving: Sometimes it’s best to stay home, or at least remain where you are until snow plows and sanding crews have done their work. If you crash on a snowy or icy road, you’ll certainly be late — or worse. But since you can’t always call in to work claiming a “snow day,” it’s better to learn how to correctly deal with driving in the snow.

 

Below are some snow driving tips the average driver can follow to reduce the chances of a crash.

 

1.Get a grip. To have adequate snow traction, a tire requires at least 6/32-inch deep tread, according to The Tire Rack. (New passenger-car tires usually have 10/32-inch of tread.) Ultrahigh-performance “summer” tires have little or no grip in snow. Even “all-season” tires don’t necessarily have great snow traction: Some do, some don’t. If you live where the roads are regularly covered with snow, use snow tires (sometimes called “winter tires” by tire makers). They have a “snowflake on the mountain” symbol on the sidewall, meaning they meet a tire-industry standard for snow traction.

 

2.Make sure you can see. Replace windshield wiper blades. Clean the inside of your windows thoroughly. Apply a water-shedding material (such as Rain-X) to the outside of all windows, including the mirrors. Make sure your windshield washer system works and is full of an anti-icing fluid. Drain older fluid by running the washers until new fluid appears: Switching fluid colors makes this easy.

 

3.Run the air-conditioner. In order to remove condensation and frost from the interior of windows, engage your air-conditioner and select the fresh air option: It’s fine to set the temperature on “hot.” Many cars automatically do this when you choose the defrost setting.

 

4.Check your lights. Use your headlights so that others will see you and, we hope, not pull out in front of you. Make sure your headlights and taillights are clear of snow. If you have an older car with sand-pitted headlights, get a new set of lenses. To prevent future pitting, cover the new lens with a clear tape like that used to protect the leading edge of helicopter rotor blades and racecar wings. It’s available from auto-racing supply sites.

 

5.Give yourself a brake. Learn how to get maximum efficiency from your brakes before an emergency. It’s easy to properly use antilock brakes: Stomp, stay and steer. Stomp on the pedal as if you were trying to snap it off. Stay hard on the pedal. Steer around the obstacle. (A warning: A little bit of steering goes a very long way in an emergency. See Tip 8.) If you drive on icy roads or roads that are covered with snow, modify your ABS technique: After you “Stomp” and the ABS begins cycling — you will feel pulses in the pedal or hear the system working — ease up slightly on the pedal until the pulsing happens only once a second.

 

For vehicles without ABS, you’ll have to rely on the old-fashioned system: You. For non-ABS on a mixed-surface road, push the brake pedal hard until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly. This is not the same as “pumping the brake.” Your goal is to have the tires producing maximum grip regardless of whether the surface is snow, ice or damp pavement. Use the tips in “How To Survive the Top 10 Driving Emergencies” to practice before the emergency.

 

6.Watch carefully for “black ice.” If the road looks slick, it probably is. This is especially true with one of winter’s worst hazards: “black ice.” Also called “glare ice,” this is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely. Test the traction with a smooth brake application or slight turn of the wheel.

7.Remember the tough spots. Race drivers must memorize the nuances of every track, so they can alter their path for changing track conditions. You must remember where icy roads tend to occur. Bridges and intersections are common places. Also: wherever water runs across the road. I know people who lost control on ice caused by homeowners draining above-ground pools and by an automatic lawn sprinkler that sprayed water onto a street in freezing temperatures.

 

8.Too much steering is bad. If a slick section in a turn causes your front tires to lose grip, the common — but incorrect — reaction is to continue turning the steering wheel. That’s like writing checks on an overdrawn account: It won’t improve the situation and may make things worse. If the icy conditions end and the front tires regain grip, your car will dart whichever way the wheels are pointed. That may be into oncoming traffic or a telephone pole. Something very similar happens if you steer too much while braking with ABS. Sadly, there are situations where nothing will prevent a crash, but turning the steering too much never helps.

 

9.Avoid rear-tire slides. First, choose a car with electronic stability control. Fortunately, ESC will be mandatory on all 2012 models. Next, make sure your rear tires have at least as much tread as your front tires. Finally, if you buy winter tires, get four.

 

10.Technology offers no miracles. All-wheel drive and electronic stability control can get you into trouble by offering a false sense of security. AWD can only help a vehicle accelerate or keep moving: It can’t help you go around a snow-covered turn, much less stop at an icy intersection. ESC can prevent a spinout, but it can’t clear ice from the roads or give your tires more traction. Don’t let these lull you into overestimating the available traction.

 

Regardless of your driving skill or vehicle preparation, there are some winter conditions that can’t be conquered. But these tips may help prevent snowy and icy roads from ruining your day

Tool Box Talk for the week of Feb. 11th- Feb15th

February 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hey Guys.  Pay close attention to this week’s talks.

 

The weather outside is causing power outages across the country.  For those who are fortunate enough to have an electric generator, this week’s subject will point out some tips to help keep you and your family safe while keeping the lights on.  Enjoy…….

 

Portable Electric Generator Safety                                            

 

With weather having an impact on electrical service in many parts of our nation, some people are turning to portable electric generators as a source of temporary electricity for their homes. This seeming convenience though, could itself be the source of disaster.

 

If not properly installed and operated, a portable generator can become a deadly device that kills via electric shock or carbon monoxide fumes. Using a generator indoors can kill you in minutes!

 

If a portable electric generator is connected to the main electrical supply coming into the house, the electrical generator could feed back into the electric supplier’s system and electrocute workers who are repairing the electrical lines. To avoid back-feeding of electricity into utility systems, a homeowner must have a qualified, licensed electrician install a double-pole, double-throw transfer switch between the generator and utility power in compliance with all state and local electrical codes. (A minimum of 10-gauge wiring must be used.) In addition to protecting linemen by ensuring proper wiring, a homeowner should carefully calculate wattage requirements to prevent overloading and damage to appliances and the generator.

 

Carbon Monoxide Hazards

Never use a generator in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces. Generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly. When you use a portable generator, remember that you cannot smell or see carbon monoxide. Even if you can’t smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to it.

Never operate your generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed space such as a patio, shed or garage; and when in use, place it far, far away from any structure housing people or pets.

Most of the serious carbon monoxide poisonings have been caused by generator exhaust fumes drifting into doors, windows, vents and crawl spaces.

If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air right away. Do not delay. The carbon monoxide from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death.

If you experience serious symptoms, get medical attention immediately. Inform medical staff that carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected. If you experienced symptoms while indoors, have someone call the fire department to determine when it is safe to re-enter the building.

 

Follow these safety tips to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning:

Never use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, and other enclosed or partially-enclosed areas, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home.

Follow the instructions that come with your generator. Locate the unit outdoors and away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

Install battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms or plug-in carbon monoxide alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The carbon monoxide alarms should be certified to the requirements of the latest safety standards for carbon monoxide alarms (UL 2034, IAS 6-96, or CSA 6.19.01).

Test your carbon monoxide alarms frequently and replace dead batteries.

 

Electrical Hazards

 

Follow these tips to protect against shock and electrocution:

Keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. To protect from moisture, operate it on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure. Make sure your hands are dry before touching the generator.

Plug appliances directly into the generator. Or, use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.

Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is an extremely dangerous practice that presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household circuit protection devices.

If you must connect the generator to the house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install the appropriate equipment in accordance with local electrical codes. Or, check with your utility company to see if it can install an appropriate power transfer switch.

For power outages, permanently installed stationary generators are better suited for providing backup power to the home. Even a properly connected portable generator can become overloaded. This may result in overheating or stressing the generator components, possibly leading to a generator failure.

 

Fire Hazards

Never store fuel for your generator in the home. Gasoline, propane, kerosene, and other flammable liquids should be stored outside of living areas in properly-labeled, non-glass safety containers.

Do not store them near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage. If the fuel is spilled or the container is not sealed properly, invisible vapors from the fuel can travel along the ground and can be ignited by the appliance’s pilot light or by arcs from electric switches in the appliance.

Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool down. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

Tool Box Talks for the week of Feb 4th- Feb 8th

February 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Four Seconds to Safety                           

 

 

Perhaps the best tool to come along in industrial construction (at least as far as safety is concerned) is the Field Level Risk Assessment or Job Hazard Analysis. Whatever you call it, this is a tool that makes everyone stop and think about the different risks associated with the task. Crews normally gather and write out the JHA or FLRA before doing a job. This exercise greatly reduced the number and severity of injuries where this was done.

 

The same principle of these risk assessments can be done in our shops. Simply take a four-second “reset”. Take four seconds before starting some new familiar task. This act of refocusing has been shown to reduce the probability of an injury incident by more than 90% versus not taking the four seconds. How hard is that? You may have done the task you are about to perform thousands of times before. In your mind, you know that you could do it with your eyes closed. It is usually not the task itself but some small thing you did not anticipate that causes the incident. You did not notice the debris in front of the tool you were going to pick up. You did not notice somebody placed something on the part you were about to pick up. You did not realize how heavy a piece is that you were asked to help carry.

 

It is easy to imagine the different activities we do every day and how this applies. For example, getting in a forklift and having a quick look around. We change our thinking from where we are going to focusing on the area, road conditions, other vehicles and so on. This is the “reset” we are talking about.

 

Believe it or not, four seconds is all it takes. Get in this habit of taking four seconds and you significantly reduce your chance of injury. If you get into the habit of taking chances or simply cruising from job to job, you will eventually be injured.

 

This four second reset was first instituted on CN Rail. This was part of a strategy to reduce the number of very serious incidents they were having including many amputation injuries. What they found was that their employee knew the rule or procedure to do the job without getting injured but were simply not focused. Even well rested employees were getting caught up in the routine of the day and found themselves daydreaming or thinking about other things. Losing an arm or leg is a very rude awakening.

 

We highly recommend this four second “reset” as an excellent way to refocus on the job at hand. And we believe that this is one very effective method to prevent injury on and off the job.