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Hazard Communications Training - Deadlines are Approaching!

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Wed, Aug 28, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

"Revising OSHA's Hazard Communication standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard information, making it safer for workers to do their jobs and easier for employers to stay competitive."

--U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis

GHS Training, SDS TrainingIf you are not already aware that the Hazard Communication is undergoing a huge change in that “Material Safety Data Sheets” (MSDS) will now be known as simply “Safety Data Sheets” (SDS) as the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This update was made to provide a common approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and SDS.

In OSHA’s words:

“Once implemented, the revised standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard information in the workplace, making it safer for workers by providing easily understandable information on appropriate handling and safe use of hazardous chemicals. This update will also help reduce trade barriers and result in productivity improvements for American businesses that regularly handle, store, and use hazardous chemicals while providing cost savings for American businesses that periodically update safety data sheets and labels for chemicals covered under the hazard communication standard.”

In order to ensure chemical safety in the workplace, information about the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers. OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires the development and dissemination of such information:

  • Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to customers.
     
  • All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.
     

Major changes to the Hazard
Communication Standard

OSHA, GHS Training, Hazard Communication Training

  • Hazard classification: Now provides specific criteria for classification of health hazards, physical hazards and mixtures.
     
  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.
     
  • Safety Data Sheets: Will now have a specified 16-section format.
    • New 16 section format:
Safety Data Sheets Training, SDS, HazCom Training
  1. Identification
  2. Hazard(s) identification
  3. Composition/information on ingredients
  4. First-Aid measures
  5. Fire-fighting measures
  6. Accidental release measures
  7. Handling and storage
  8. Exposure controls/personal protection
  9. Physical and chemical properties
  10. Stability and reactivity
  11. Toxicological information
  12. Ecological information
  13. Disposal considerations
  14. Transport information
  15. Regulatory information
  16. Other information, including date of preparation or last revision
  • Information and training: Employers are required to train workers by December 1, 2013 on the new labels elements and safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding.
    • Training to be included:
      • Training on label elements

      1. Product identifier
      2. Signal word
      3. Pictogram
      4. Hazard statement(s)
      5. Precautionary statement(s)
      6. Name, address and phone number of the chemical manufacturer, distributor, or importer
  • Training on the new 16-section format

The first deadline in the implementation phase is Dec. 1, 2013. By this date, employers must train workers on the new label elements and safety data sheet format. OSHA’s Hazard Communication website has the following QuickCards and OSHA Briefs to assist employers with the required training.

Label QuickCard

Pictogram QuickCard

Safety Data Sheet QuickCard

Safety Data Sheet OSHA Brief

 

Let Safety Training Services help you through this first deadline by getting yourself and your staff trained on the new Hazard Communication Standard today! Find out how we can do so by clicking below!

Click here for more information on our HazCom Training class!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: msds training, safety data sheets, sds training, hazcom, hazard communication training

Office Safety: Everyday Ergonomics

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 @ 11:45 AM

Today's blog article comes with a great infographic to sum up its information. Courtesy of the Editors at Best Choice Reviews. They write great articles on a multitude of subjects from fitness to personal shopping to electronics/technology. Check them out!

Anyways, today's subject will be "Everyday Ergonomics." Thank you again Best Choice Reviews for providing this information!

Everyday Ergonomics
Image source: Best Choice Reviews

Everyday Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the science of efficient work. Use our guide to promote health and focus at home, on the road, and in the office.

Commuting
The average commute is 25.5 minutes, or 51 minutes a day. And 8.1% of Americans commute for an hour or more both ways.[1] That’s a long time to mistreat your back and neck.

Train or bus?[5]
Essentials:

  • Loose clothes
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Feet flat
  • Use railing to balance

Car?[4]
Essentials:

  • Base of your spine touching back of the seat.
  • Rolled towel, or some form of support filling the gap between mid ribcage area and seat
  • Don’t slump
  • Lift your back up
  • Adjust headrest and tilt head back onto it
  • It takes time to adjust to sitting correctly. With practice it will feel comfortable.

Back pain is the second most common reason for missed work. Don’t ruin your day before it starts.[9]

Work
Workplace health is a marathon, not a sprint. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t an “industrial athlete.” Let us coach you into the right place.

Workspace: [7][6][10]

  • Monitor 15 degrees above eye level horizon is easiest on eyes and neck.
  • Tilt monitor back slightly.
  • Feet flat on floor.
  • Lower back supported.
  • Monitor one arms’ length away.
  • Forearms and hands in straight line.
  • Should be comfortable to look at the center of the screen for prolonged periods.
  • Lighting should only be as bright as the room’s lighting.
  • Avoid glare from the sun.

Habits:[8]

  • Get up and walk/ stretch at least once an hour.
  • Talk to colleagues in person instead of sending intra-office emails.
  • Take the stairs.
  • Hold “walking meetings.”
  • Walk to a farther bathroom.

The Average worker spends 5 hours 41 minutes sitting at work. Leading to higher rate of sedentary lifestyle, decreased mental stability, and increased muskulo-skeletal problems.[11]
Almost 60% of work related injuries can be avoided with proper ergonomics. Why risk it?[9]

Luggage 

  • Push, don’t pull rolling bags.
  • Use bags with two straps to spread weight equally across body.
  • Choose longer straps when using single strap bags and drape across body on the opposite shoulder.
  • Only carry what you need.

Manual Labor [3]

  • Use knee pads for prolonged kneeling
  • Mix up repetitive actions
  • Store heavy items within reach (see “work zone”)

Core concepts

In 1700 Ramazzini, a Paduan professor of medicine, outlined the importance of neutral posture and the “work zone” in maintaining muskulo-skelatal health. [12]
We’ve known about ergonomics for hundreds of years. It’s up to you to change.

The Neutral Posture [2]
The position where each joint is resting. Least tension on nerves, muscles, tendons, and bones.
Often seen in astronauts under conditions of weightlessness.

Fingers: gently curved, not spread apart.
Wrists: in line with forearm
Forearms: With thumb up.
Elbows: Bent from 90-110 degrees. Close to torso.
Upper Arms: hangs straight down
Shoulders: resting. not up, down, forward, or back.
Neck: balanced on the spinal column.
Spine: an ‘s’ shape. Upper region bends out. Lower region gently bends in.
Lower body: hip and knee joints slightly bent.

The greater the deviation from the neutral posture, the greater the risk of injury and discomfort.
Cumulative trauma disorders develop over weeks, months, or years from the repeated stress on a particular body part. Start changing your habits now.
Repetitive motion disorders are muscular ailments.
Examples: Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, Dequervain’s Disease,Tendinitis, Trigger Finger

The “work zone” [3]
The best work zone:

  • Never do heavy lifting outside of it.
  • As far forward as your wrist with arms slightly bent.
  • As wide as your shoulders.
  • Upper level at about heart height.
  • Lower level at about waist height.

The “ok” work zone:

  • As far forward as your hand with arm outstretched.
  • A foot to either side of shoulders.
  • Upper level at shoulder height.
  • Lower level at fingertips when arms relaxed at sides.

If you could make the choice to live without pain. Wouldn’t you make the choice everyday?

Citations

  1. http://www.census.gov/hhes/commuting/files/2012/ACS-20.pdf
  2. http://www.oehc.uchc.edu/ergo_neutralposture.asp
  3. https://www.osha.gov/ergonomics/guidelines/retailgrocery/retailgrocery.html#stocking
  4. http://www.wikihow.com/Sit-in-a-Car-Without-Back-Pain
  5. http://www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/gfx/uploads/member%20area/Posture%20sheets/Mind%20your%20posture%20-%20commuting.pdf
  6. http://ergocanada.com/ergo/monitors/monitor_height_guidelines.html
  7. http://www.ors.od.nih.gov/sr/dohs/Documents/ORS_Ergonomics_Poster_Rd5.pdf
  8. http://www.forbes.com/sites/alisongriswold/2012/06/12/to-work-better-just-get-up-from-your-desk/
  9. http://www.nclabor.com/osha/etta/A_to_Z_Topics/ergo.pdf
  10. http://www.gatoroffice.com/monitor_ergonomics.htm
  11. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120113210203.htm
  12. http://ergonomenon.com/ergonomics-articles/bernardino-ramazzini-the-first-ergonomist-and-what-have-we-learned-from-him/

Tags: safe work environment, general safety tips, office safety, general office safety, ergonomics, workplace safety, osha general industry training

Arc Flash Safety: Fire, Electrical, Explosive--Oh My!

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 @ 02:00 PM

What is “Arc Flash?”
 

Arc flash is a phenomenon that results from an arcing fault, where an electric current strays from its intended path and travels through the air causing an electrical explosion. Between the instantaneous explosion and the resulting radiation and shrapnel, an arc flash often causes violent and serious results;

  • Arc Flash safety, arc flash training, nfpa 70e classSevere skin burns
  • Respiratory system damage
  • Hearing damage
  • Eye/face injuries
  • Even death

 

What Causes Arc Flash?

  • Dust
  • Sparks from dropping tools (Unless you use intrinsically safe tools *cough cough*)
  • Accidental touching
  • Condensation
  • Material failure
  • Corrosion
  • Faulty installation

How Bad Can It Be?Arc Flash Training, NFPA70E Class

Arc flash exposure is of a violent nature. It causes serious injury and in some cases even death. Some injured employees never regain their past quality of life. Medical care is quite costly, sometimes in excess of $1,000,000. Here are the typical results from an arc flash:

  • Burns (especially non-fire retardant clothing, as it may burn onto your skin)
  • Fire (possibility of it spreading throughout the building)
  • Projectiles (molten metal, about 1,900 degrees F)
  • Blast pressure (roughly equivalent to a Volkswagen Beetle hitting your body instantly)
  • Sound blast (think about a gun being shot right next to your ears/face)
  • Heat (About 4 times the surface of the sun)

This is a great segue into burns. Most of us have had a sunburn or two, but do you know what a third degree burn is? More importantly, do you know what to do in a situation where you or someone you know has been burned? Remember, the three goals of treating burns, no matter what degree, are to 1.) Prevent shock, 2.) Ease pain, 3.) Reduce the risk of infection. Let’s now talk about how to treat burns at each degree.

First degree burn:

  1. Red and sensitive to touch
  2. Minimal skin damage, only to outer layer (epidermis)
  3. Causes pain, redness swelling
  4. Example: Sunburn

electrical safety, electrical safety trainingSecond degree burn:

  1. Skin reddens intensively and blisters
  2. Damage to both outer skin and second layer (epidermis and dermis)
  3. Causes severe pain, redness, swelling, blistering and chance for infection
  4. Example: Steam burn or chemical burn

 

Third degree burn:

  1. Charring of skin (leathery), chest pains, rapid heartbeat/breathing
  2. Damage extends deeper into tissues (epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis)
  3. Causes extensive tissue destruction, may numb skin, and extensive scarring usually results
  4. Example: Fire, explosive or electrical burn

Treatments of burns, by level:

  • First degree
    • Hold under cold water for a couple of minutes
    • Apply ointment/burn cream
    • Wrap with sterile gauze
    • Take a pain reliever (aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen), if necessary
       
  • Second degree
    • Cool the burn (cold water; 10 minutes); if blisters are open, do not apply water!
    • Do not apply burn cream or ointment. Though, you should wrap in a sterile gauze bandage
    • Seek medical attention
       
  • Third degree
    • This requires immediate medical attention
    • Third degree burns may require hospitalization (burn unit)

***Remember, never use ice on a burn. It prevents healing by decreasing blood flow and causing a person’s body to become too cold and can cause further damage to the wound.

Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Workers

The good news about arc flash is that there are a number of ways of protecting yourself from the threat of these hazards. In fact, the most effective and fool-proof way to eliminate the risk of electrical shock or arc flash is to simply de-energize the equipment. Here are a few other ways:

  • Arc Flash Safety, NFPA70E SafetySafe work practices
  • Insulation
  • Guarding
  • Barricades
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)
  • Grounding (secondary protection)

Remember, personal protective equipment (PPE) is the last line of defense. PPE cannot prevent all injuries and will only lessen the impact of an arc flash. In many cases, the use of PPE has saved lives or prevented serious injuries so don’t neglect it!

 

Only qualified persons (one who has received proper training) should work on or near circuits. If you have any questions regarding arc flash, leave a comment or contact STS directly at Contact STS. If you are looking for an NFPA 70E “Arc Flash” course, click the button below to find out how you can become a qualified person through Safety Training Services, Inc.

I'd like to know  more about your NFPA 70E class!

Tags: arc flash safety, arc flash training, nfpa 70e class, osha electrical safety, electrical safety training