byline

A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ComplianceSigns.com ®

April 29, 2013

What's New at ComplianceSigns.com in April 2013

Once again, you'll find more than 200 new safety signs at ComplianceSigns.com this month. New selections include signs for offices, utility companies, trucks, gas stations, restrooms, restaurants and more. Here's a sample:

IT / Computer Security signs.
 
LED and glow-in-the-dark EXIT signs.

Recycling signs.

Utility Markers.

Buried Cable signs.

Gas Pump Emergency Shut Off signs.

Engine Braking signs.

Toilet Rules signs.

Food Storage signs.

Private Property signs.

3-point Contact signs for ladders and forklifts.
 
 

Crane Slings Aren't as Simple as They Seem

Crane Safety Sign
at ComplianceSigns.com
Cranes, winches and similar lifting devices are a common sight on construction sites and in industrial settings. But workers aren’t always fully aware of the hazards involved with the slings that allow cranes to lift and hold materials. There are many types of slings made from a variety of materials, because not every type or material is correct for every task or situation.

Choosing the wrong sling or using one incorrectly can result in damage to the load, stresses on the crane or winch or injuries to workers in the surrounding area. That’s why it’s important to choose the right type of sling and to follow safe operating procedures. It also explains why OSHA has established very specific rules about sling selection, inspection and use. The safety experts at Safety Management Group have prepared a helpful article that explains the basic concepts addressed in those rules. Read more about sling safety here, or browse Crane Safety signs and labels here.


Safety Tip: Working with Wet Concrete

Concrete is one of the most widely used construction materials, commonly found on both residential and commercial construction sites. But just because it's a common material doesn't mean it can be taken lightly.


Eye PPE Safety Signs
at ComplianceSigns.com
In fact, concrete can be hazardous in all forms: powder, liquid and solid. Wet cement (an ingredient in concrete) is caustic, abrasive and drying. Exposure to wet concrete can result in skin irritation or even first-, second- or third-degree chemical burns. Other common hazards include skin and eye irritation. Here's a collection of tips for safely working with wet concrete:
  • Wear appropriate PPE such as tall rubber boots, pants, waterproof gloves and long-sleeved shirts.
  • If concrete contacts your skin, immediately wash it off with clean water and replace any wet clothing or PPE.
  • Wear eye protection with side shields, or safety goggles. Eyes can be seriously injured by splashing concrete.
  • Ground all electric tools and use with care. Wet concrete can conduct electricity.
  • Be aware of pinch points when raising or lowering concrete chutes.
  • Protect your back. Place wet concrete via chute, wheelbarrow or pump, as close to the work area as possible. Concrete should be pushed, not lifted, into place.
  • Use waterproof knee pads or a dry board when kneeling to place or finish concrete.
 Wet Concrete First Aid:

ComplianceSigns.com Customer Comments - April 2013

Here's what ComplianceSigns.com customers are saying this month:

Everything was easy to navigate, and prices were lower than all other sites I checked.
G.H., 25 Apr 2013


Very friendly staff was able to answer all my shipping and ADA questions.
Sharon B., 24 Apr 2013


I was provided with great customer service on the phone and they quickly responded to emails. They had all the signs we were looking for and the site is easy to navigate. Our order arrived quickly and was well packaged. All of the signs we ordered are made of great quality. Erica M. - DC, 23 Apr 2013
    

Was quick and easy to place an order. Would recommend to anyone. Saves a lot of time and gas running around looking for this sign.
Marjorie H., 23 Apr 2013


Easy to navigate, it only took a minute to find what I was looking for. Thank you!
Roxanne E. - OH, 22 Apr 2013


Sign was as expected. Quality was fine. Selection is huge. Packed well and shipped on time.
Paul L., 22 Apr 2013


Great products, easy website, reasonable prices.
Judy R. - AZ, 20 Apr 2013

April 23, 2013

New OSHA Ladder Safety Brochure Helps Prevent Falls

Falls are the leading cause of death in construction every year, and falls from ladders make up nearly a third of those deaths. OSHA has a new booklet that shows how ladder falls can be prevented - and lives can be saved - by following simple safe-work practices. Here's an example:
Ladder Safety Sticker
at ComplianceSigns.com



The first question to ask in any high-reach situation: Is a ladder the right equipment to use? Although a ladder or stepladder often comes to mind first, it might not be the best option. Workers should ask four questions before deciding on a ladder:

  • Will I have to hold heavy items while on the ladder?
  • Is the elevated area high enough that it would require a long ladder that can be unstable?
  • Will I be working from this height for a long time?
  • Do I have to stand on the ladder sideways in order to do this work?
If any answers are yes, workers should consider using something other than a ladder, such as a scissor lift. If a ladder is all that's available, use one with a working platform and hand rail barricades on the sides (e.g., a platform step ladder).

The 14-page booklet includes illustrations and text in English and Spanish.





April 15, 2013

Federal OSHA Investigates Indiana OSHA Quotas

Various news reports today show a Federal OSHA investigation of Indiana OSHA is now underway. IOSHA says the investigation is a result of complaints filed with federal labor regulators.

IOSHA recently made news by setting inspection quotas - requiring experienced inspectors to conduct 61 inspections annually and to complete those inspections within an average of 4.1 days. Reports say IOSHA’s new inspection quotas worry some agency employees, who say the new expectations will lead to artificially inflated inspection numbers and discourage involved investigations.

A report should be issued by the federal agency sometime next week.

April 8, 2013

OSHA Issues New Advice for Fighting Combustible Dust Fires

OSHA combustible dust sign
OSHA-format
Combustible Dust Sign
 

OSHA has just published a new booklet that outlines safe procedures for emergency responders who may face fires and explosions caused by combustible dust. "Firefighting Precautions at Facilities with Combustible Dust" describes how combustible dust explosions occur and uses historic incidents to illustrate how firefighting operations can prevent combustible dust explosions. The booklet explains emergency responders preparations and how these preparations will affect the operational plan during a response.
 
A wide variety of materials can be explosive in dust form, including:
  • foodstuffs (sugar, starch, flour, feed)
  • grain
  • tobacco
  • plastics
  • wood
  • paper
  • pulp
  • rubber
  • textiles
  • pesticides
  • pharmaceuticals
  • dyes
  • coal
  • metals (aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, zinc), and
  • fossil fuel power generation.
Some sources estimate more than 500 combustible dust related fires and explosions occur annually in the U.S. OSHA reports that since 1980, more than 130 workers have been killed and more than 780 injured in combustible dust explosions.
 
Combustible dusts include fine particles, fibers, chips, chunks or flakes that - under certain conditions - can cause a fire or explosion when suspended in air. OSHA's Combustible Dust Web page provides additional information and resources for preventing and minimizing the effects of combustible dust fires and explosions.

April 3, 2013

OSHA Fines in March 2013 - Six 6-figure Fines for PPE

Hand PPE signs
A review of news releases posted at OSHA.gov shows OSHA issued six 6-figure fines in March totaling nearly $1.3 million. PPE violations were a common theme, contributing to two-thirds of cases and $618,000 of these top fines. Here are some details of the cases, which are still pending final decisions:

1. $369,000 for Machine Guarding, Electrical, Lead violations:
  • Six repeat safety violations were cited for failing to mount and identify fire extinguishers, provide machine guarding, ensure safe work practices when exposed to electrical hazards, ground pins from electrical equipment, and train workers on recognizing electrical hazards. Two repeat health violations were cited for lead exposure
  • 18 serious violations were cited for lack of machine guarding; improper storage of acetylene and oxygen cylinders; electrical hazards; lack of load ratings on hook lifting devices; allowing operators to carry loads traveling over people creating a struck-by hazard; improper storage of respirators; failing to provide appropriate personal protective equipment and require its use; and keep the tables in the lunch room clean and free of lead accumulation.
2. $281,100 for Boiler violations resulting in 2 deaths: