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Electrical Safety: 10 Tips for Overhead Power Lines

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Wed, May 29, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

With May (Electrical Safety Month) coming to a close, Safety Training Services, Inc. would like to offer 10 tips to remember for those who work near overhead power lines (when working outside):

1. Survey your surroundings. Always be aware of the location of power lines, particularly when using long tools (e.g. ladders). Don’t assume…assess.

2. Obey the 10 foot rule. As in, do not work or use equipment within 10 feet of overhead lines. You may feel lucky and think “I won’t come in contact with the power line.” However, the electricity can arc to nearby objects and people and assuming you have enough time to think before being barbequed better than my dad’s grilled chicken, you’ll remember these words.

Fall safety, fall protection


3. Be careful when working on your roof. That includes cleaning gutters, installing antennas and satellite dishes or any repair work. Oh….and during winter, those holiday lights, be especially careful putting those 250 strands up, thank you Mr. Griswold.

4. Never climb trees near power lines. Limbs & branches can bend or break off and obviously, you can fall off. Didn’t you learn this as a child?

Electrical safety, power line safety

5. Never trim trees near power lines. Leave that to a professional.

6. Always follow safety procedures, no matter how boring and mundane they seem. Just remember, “Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.”

Electric fire, electrical safety

7. Assume all power lines are energized. Do not use metal ladders near them; instead use appropriate American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved ladders for work near energized power lines. With respect to electricity, one wrong move could be your last.




8. Train yourself/your workers. You/they should be versed in emergency communication and proper techniques for providing aid to someone after an electrical accident.

Buddy system, safety watch

9. Use Safety Watches or Spotters. Their only duties should be observing the work and communicating with the operator to ensure the equipment never gets closer than 10 feet to a power line. Were you in boy/girl scouts as a kid? Remember the “buddy system!”



Osha electrical safety, electricity safety

10. Don’t be a hero! Keep a safe distance from any victim who is/was in direct contact with electricity. Call 911 immediately! Do not try to touch victim because you may be electrocuted. 




The best way to avoid injury from power lines is to make the choice to stay committed to safety. All rules & regulations are useless unless they’re observed. Safe work habits should be consistent and ongoing.

Remember, as OSHA states it, “no building, equipment, deadline or profit is worth a human life.”

Safety Training Services, Inc. provides appropriate training for several safety topics, including but not limited to: OSHA General Industry, OSHA Construction Industry, NFPA 70E Arc Flash Training, HAZWOPER, Confined Space Entry and Rescue. Call or contact us for a free quote on safety training! Consulting Services, Rescue Services and Equipment sales & rentals also available. Or schedule a visit to come by (or us to you) and see what we can offer your company today!


Click here   for our Safety  Training Courses

Tags: electrical safety tips, nfpa 70e training, osha electrical safety, electrical safety training, osha safety topics

Ladder Safety: Do I Fall in Line?

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Tue, May 14, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

"Falls are the leading cause of death in construction and every year, falls from ladders make up nearly a third of those deaths. These deaths are preventable. Falls from ladders can be prevented and lives can be saved by following safe work practices."


Do I Need a Ladder?

In order to answer this simple question, first you must ask yourself the following questions (as indicated by OSHA):

  1. Will I have to hold heavy items while on the ladder?
  2. Is the elevated area high enough that it would require a long ladder that can be unstable?
  3. Will I be working from this height for a long time?
  4. Do I have to stand on the ladder sideways in order to do this work?

According to OSHA, if the answer to any of these questions is a "Yes," then you may want to revisit the idea and consider using something other than a ladder (scissor lift, scaffolding, etc.)

Choosing the Right Ladder for the Job

  • Ladder SafetyEnsure the ladder is high enough for you to reach your work area without having to stand on the top rung.
  • When using ladders to access another level, secure and extend the ladder at least 3 feet above the landing point to provide a safe handhold.
  • The base of the ladder should be secured.
  • Wear proper footwear
  • Place the ladder on stable and level ground. DO NOT place it on an uneven surface.
  • Ensure that the ladder is fully extended before starting work.
  • Prevent passersby from walking under or near ladders in use by using barriers or getting your coworker to act as a lookout.
  • Do not work on the top rung of the ladder.
  • Ladder Safety - Improper UseMaintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times.
  • Do not carry any tools or materials in your hands when climbing a ladder.
  • Do not lean away from the ladder to carry out your task. Always keep your weight centered between the side rails.
  • Do not use ladders near doorways. If you need to use a ladder near a doorway, make sure that the door is locked.

Ladder Maintenance

Before use, visually check ladder for defects. Make sure there are no visible defects and that it's in good working condition. Always remember to maintain and store the ladder properly. Said information should always be found via manufacturer's instructions.
After checking ladder, make sure not to use if ladder:
  • is faulty.
  • is bent.
  • is missing a step.
  • has spreader bars that do not have a locking device or mechanism.
Ladder safety is so important because fall accidents CAN BE PREVENTED! Proper training gives an individual the knowledge and ability to get home safely every time.
Safety Training Services, Inc. is available to meet and exceed your expectations on appropriate ladder safety training and other OSHA compliance training! Find out why how we can bring value to you and your company today. Click below for more information on our OSHA compliance training courses!
Click here   for our Safety  Training Courses

Tags: fall protection in construction, fall safety, ladder safety, general ladder safety, osha general industry training, osha fall protection general industry

Clean Air Month & Respirator Safety

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Fri, May 03, 2013 @ 02:45 PM

May is "Clean Air Month!" This makes it a great time for annual refresher training on respirator safety. In your workplace, does the area you directly work in contain (or potentially contain) hazardous materials? Respirator safety training is important for you or your employees in order to work safely in those areas.

3 Quick Tips on Respirator Safety

Respiratory Protection1. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the jobs performed by employees and the respiratory hazards of their jobs and work areas.

2. Identify the proper respiratory protection for each of said hazards, including:

  • Type of respiratory protection

  • Type of cartridge(s) required required for air purifying respirators

  • Conditions for use of atmosphere supplying respirators should be used (if applicable)

3. Know & use the NIOSH approved color-coded labels for respirator filters, cartridges, and canisters:

Acid Gas White
Acid Gas and Organic Vapor Yellow
Acid, Ammonia, and Organic Vapor Brown
Acid Gas, Ammonia, Carbon Monoxide, and Organic Vapors Red
Ammonia Green
Carbon Monoxide Gas Blue
Chlorine White & Yellow
Dust, Fumes, and Mists (Nonradioactive) Orange
Organic Vapors Black
Other Vapors and Gases Olive

Respiratory Safety Hazards

Respirator Training
  • According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA),approximately 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the nation. Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, sprays, and airborne TB bacteria.

  • Respiratory hazards include cancer, lung impairment, other diseases, or death. The use of respirators may avert hundreds of deaths and thousands of illnesses annually.

  • According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in a recent year only 59 percent of establishments that required employees to use respirators actually provided respirator training.


    Tell me more about respirator training!

Tags: respirator training, respiratory protection, respirator mask, respirator safety, respirator safety training

Motorcycle Safety Infographics

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Fri, May 03, 2013 @ 02:00 PM

The weather outside is getting warmer and generally "nicer." May is here and so are some of our favorite two-wheeled vehicles. 

DuPont has issued a few good, quick motorcycle safety tips in infographic form to provide assistance in understanding the hazards associated with them. The first infographic describes the "S.E.E." method and the second describes what to check EVERY time before you get on your motorcycle!

Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle Safety Tips

Tags: motorcycle accident, motorcycle safety tips, motorcycle safety

You Think You Don't Need Forklift Operator Training? Think Again!

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Wed, May 01, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

Forklifts have been around since the very early 20th century.

Used as a practical machine to move products over short distances, they evolved from hoists and have become one of the most important, yet overlooked, industrial innovations in modern times.

World War II was a big catalyst in the development of forklifts, as the amount of goods continually being moved through that period made it a necessity for the forklifts of that time to last longer and needed to get through an eight hour day without constant recharging.

It was in the 1950s when warehouses were being built bigger and were expanded up more-so then out. With these increased lift heights, there were more concerns with safety and newer, more efficient models were being made.

Unlike cars and trucks, forklifts are often steered with their rear wheels. This increases maneuverability in tight corners, but makes for a different experience than traditional driving. Also the instability of a forklift is a noteworthy characteristic. They are rated for loads at a specified maximum weight and a specified forward center of gravity. An operator must be properly trained so as to take the load (raised or not), unit's speed, centrifugal and gravitational forces into account in order to avoid a disastrous tip-over accident. Information on load limit/loading for reference can usually be found on the forklift unit itself. Fitting it with specific safety equipment, such as a cage or a "cherry picker" (type of aerial work platform that consists of a platform or bucket at the end of a hydraulic lifting system), can also allow a forklift to be used as a personnel lift.

Safety in the Workplace:

With the instrinsic hazards associated with forklifts, there is a high need for companies to establish "rules" for the workplace to keep employees safe. Suggestions include:

  • Simpsons - Forklift Safety TrainingEstablish speed limits
  • Mark forklift lanes (don't forget proper signage as well)
  • Drivers must yield to pedestrians
  • Drivers must sound horn at any/all intersections
  • Drivers of forklifts must stay a safe distance from ramps, platform edges, and other forklifts/vehicles
  • Be sure to slow down and take turns slowly and safely
  • Always stop before going into reverse
  • Seatbelts, seatbelts, seatbelts! (make mandatory)
  • Basically, operators shall:
    • - Use seatbelts at all times
    • - Obey traffic safety rules
    • - Never allow riders
OSHA rules:
  • No one is permitted to ride directly on the truck's forks.
  • No one can stand or walk under elevated forklift parts, even when empty.
  • Unauthorized persons may not ride on forklift trucks.
  • Passengers may ride only on forklifts designed to carry them.


Training:Forklift Safety Training

Companies must get into the habit of supplying employees with "appropriate" training on forklifts.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has the most important standard with regards to forklift safety, ANSI B56. This standard is for safety requirements relating to the design, operation and maintenance of power industrial trucks (PITs). The standard is used as a guide to formulate safety rules and regulations.

ANSI B56.1-2005, Section 4.19, regarding operator training states,

"Personnel who have not been trained to oper­ate powered industrial trucks may operate a truck for the purposes of training only, and only under the direct supervision of the trainer."

"The training program shall be presented to all new oper­ators regardless of previous experience." ANSI B56.1-2005, Section 4.19.2


Forklift Operator TrainingANSI B56.1-2005, Section 4.19.4

(a) fundamentals of the powered industrial truck(s) the trainee will operate
(b) operating environment and its effect on truck operation
(c) operation of the powered industrial truck
(d) operating safety rules and practices
(e) Operational training practice


OSHA also steps in with their regulations, under 29 CFR 191.178, for PITs.

OSHA states that training must be conducted by someone with, as OSHA puts it, "the knowledge, training, and experience to train operators and evaluate their competence." And quite simply, training shall include:

  • Formal instruction
  • Practical training
  • Evaluation of the trainees' performance in on-the-job situations

Forklifts are such a huge asset to us, but are dangerous pieces of machinery. Keep your eyes & minds open while working in or around them. Tell your company you want real, appropriate training before working with them. I'll leave you with what happens "when forklift training gets forgotten." The link to your REAL forklift training is below....the question is why wait until something happens to YOU?

Click here for "When forklift training gets forgotten." 

I'm not waiting anymore... I want REAL forklift training!

Tags: forklift safety, osha regulations forklift, forklift operating, how do you get forklift certified, forklift operator training