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Why do we need to supervise our workers? Bored construction workers video

When I first saw this video I laughed in shock and amazement. Here are some bored construction workers goofing around.

Boredom, carelessness, poor attitude.

We are dealing with people and people are unpredictable.  Employers are responsible for training and supervising workers.  They need to inspect their job sites.

Check this out

Posted on: October 5th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

Recall Alert for Guardian Fall Protection Equipment

Guardian Fall Protection has issued a recall alert for their Swivel Snaphook.

They are asking users of their fall protection equipment to inspect the swivel snaphooks attached to their products.  The inspection notice, dated June 26th 2012,  is for Guardian Fall Protection  products that have a swivel snap hook.

Here is the inspection notice:  Guardian Fall Protection Inspection Notice

Background

GFP was made aware of a non-injury incident involving a GFP Self-Retracting Lifeline (SRL) where a swivel snaphook experienced a failure. The nut that holds the swivel eye to the hook body backed off the hook stem and came loose. The non-injury incident was discovered during initial inspection of the equipment performed by the user. This incident highlights the importance for workers to inspect their gear before every use.

The potentially dangerous and faulty condition was caused when GFP’s supplier of a particular swivel snaphook missed a swaging operation that encapsulates the swivel eye and prevents the threaded nut from backing off of the hook stem. This situation is restricted to a certain type of swivel snaphook supplied to GFP and is identified in the inspection notice. Upon discovery, both GFP and the supplier have increased inspection processes to ensure this cannot occur in the future. Supplier and GFP inventories have been inspected for this condition upon discovery

No defective units were found in inventory. Any products purchased after June 26th, 2012 have been fully inspected for this defect and any other defect.

 

Guardian Fall Protection Recall

Steps to inspect your gear

 

Posted on: August 15th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

Staining rags blamed for fire

Spontaneous combustion
Cloth rags used for staining were the cause of a recent house fire in the Okanagan Valley. Chief Wayne Williams of the Penticton Fire Rescue said that it’s believed that the rags spontaneously combusted in the container which was left outside the building near the garage. Once ignited, the fire jumped to the building and eventually engulfed the structure in flames.

Certain animal and vegetable oils will break down under the correct circumstances. This breakdown causes an exothermic reaction (it releases heat). As more heat is released, the breakdown process is speeded up and even more heat is released. If there is adequate fuel, insulation, and ventilation, this process can break into open flaming combustion.

This process is called spontaneous combustion. The process is not really spontaneous; rather it is a process that follows normal laws of chemistry. Terms like ‘auto-ignition’ or ‘self-heating’ are more appropriate.

Spontaneous combustion only works with animal and vegetable oils. Mineral oils (like motor oil) don’t break down and build up heat the way animal and vegetable oils do. However, if stain rags are thrown in with motor oil soaked rags, the stain rag can cause ignition and the motor oil can accelerate the fire.

Many woodworking stains are made with vegetable oils (like linseed oil). These stains are great products. The user just needs to remember the hazard when applying these products. A cotton rag used to apply stain has the perfect surface area-to-mass ratio to run this exothermic reaction clear to ignition. A small amount of stain can catch fire quickly given the right circumstances. In some cases, stain rags have set for days before igniting.

Stain manufacturers are aware of this hazard. That’s why these products have consumer warning labels on how to dispose of stain rags properly. Chief Williams recommends disposing of the rags in an airtight container so that no oxygen can fuel the fire. Soak the rags in water and seal them in an airtight container. Remove containers as soon as possible by bringing them to the landfill site for safe disposal.

Chief Williams states that these types of fires are not unusual. He recommends taking proper precautions to avoid fires caused by staining rags.

Posted on: July 24th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

WorkSafe BC Stay on Top Enforcement Blitz 2012

Worker without safety gearWorksafe BC will be conducting an enforcement blitz to ensure compliance among roofers and framers working on single-family residential projects. The enforcement blitz called Stay on Top will run from June 25 to November 3, 2012.

“Falls from heights are a leading cause of serious injuries for workers in the residential construction industry,” says Al Johnson, WorkSafeBC director of Worker and Employer Services. “We hope the increased consultation, education, and enforcement provided by our safety officers will make an ongoing difference in preventing the often devastating injuries to workers falling from heights.”

The focus of these inspections will be to educate employers on planning, supervision, and safe access to the worksite in order to prevent injuries. However, employers should be prepared for the potential of fines for non-compliance.

Worksafe BC expects the following from employers (this includes contractors).
1. Employers must plan and supervise all work on site to prevent falls from heights. Worksafe will be looking at work from roofs, ladders, scaffolds, floor and roof openings. An employer is expected to monitor that workers or sub-contractors are following working from heights procedures. Work conducted at a height of 25′ or over requires a written fall protection plan that must be kept on site for reference.

2. Employers must ensure that workers use fall protection. It is not enough to tell them that they are expected to use fall protection. There must be a system to monitor compliance and follow through if workers are not complying. There must be evidence that there is a consequence for workers who do not follow procedures.

3. Fall protection equipment must be inspected and maintained. There must be evidence that fall protection is inspected before use. This could include notes in supervisor log books, an inspection checklist for fall protection gear or a record of regular checks for damaged equipment. WorkSafe BC officers may ask to inspect your gear. They have the right to remove damaged fall protection equipment out of service.

4. There must be a safe access to all work locations. Access and egress around foundation walls is an ongoing problem in residential construction. Also, there is a trend from local contractors to neglect framing in stairs before building the next level. WorkSafe BC regulations require that stairs are installed before work on next level begins. Access from one floor to the next by use of an extension ladder is not acceptable.
The expectation is that there is a suitable ladder, stairway, work platform, scaffold, walkway or ramp to access all work locations safely. This includes access and egress to excavations.

WorkSafe BC will continue regular inspections of construction sites during this time. Do not expect that a WorkSafe officer would neglect other safety requirements during the focus on working from heights. Employers should continue to coordinate all safety activities including first aid, site inspections, housekeeping and general safety training.

Safety Solutions at Work provides residential construction contractors with a practical and affordable program to manage their safety requirements.

For more information on the Worksafe BC Stay on Top Enforcement Blitz, check out www2.worksafebc.com/Portals/Construction/Home.asp. or contact Safety Solutions at Work.

More information about safety management can be found in your free report: Ten Key Safety Action Items You Can Do NOW to Prevent Your Company from Legal and Financial Ruin!

Posted on: July 10th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

The Day of Mourning April 28

This week we collectively grieve workers who have lost their lives or who have been injured on the job. April 28th is a day where we can remember that workplace accidents are real.  They have costs.  It is a moment for us as a society to look in the mirror and choose to do a better job protecting our workers.

This video is intended to inspire us to continue trying.  The message is to keep trying and trying and trying.  Eventually we will succeed.  The story is about a man who was born without arms and legs.  His will to survive is powerful.  His message can serve as an inspiration for those who are disabled because of an accident.  His message is a call to action for all of us to do better.  Let us finish strong together.  Please watch this short video. 

Posted on: April 27th, 2012 by Victoria Comments

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