(FOREST GROVE, Ore.) Fire officials say one person died and a second was successfully rescued today, after they became trapped in the confined space of an underground manhole on NW Timmerman Road west of Forest Grove. This recent headline could have been taken from just about any newspaper during any given week around the country in 2009. According to data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program, fatal injuries in confined spaces averages 92 fatalities per year. Thats almost two per week. According to OSHA, over 4.8 million confined space entries are made every year in the United States, and over 11,000 injuries that occur could be prevented if employers and workers had simply follow the procedures outlined under 29 CFR 1910. 146.
The causes of most confine space entry incidents are simple; employers and workers fail to recognize and control the hazards associated with confined spaces, and they conduct inadequate or incorrect emergency response, resulting in the death of the initial entrant, the would-be rescuer or both. Pre-planning for confined space entry should include all parties involved and should serve the purpose of reviewing entry procedures as well as covering specific hazards inherent to the spaces being entered.
Confined spaces can be deadly because of the potential for engulfment, oxygen deficiency, oxygen enrichment, flammable gases or vapors, combustible dusts, toxic substances and other physical hazards. Other health hazards that could impact employee safety include electrical equipment, mechanical equipment, poor visibility, biohazards, claustrophobia, noise, radiation and temperature.
Worker training is essential to the RECOGNITION of what constitutes a confined space and the hazards that may be encountered in them. This training should stress that death to the worker is the likely outcome if proper precautions are not taken before entry is made.
All confined spaces should be TESTED by a qualified person before entry to determine whether the confined space atmosphere is safe for entry. Tests should be made for oxygen level, flammability, and known or suspected toxic substances. EVALUATION of the confined space should consider the following:
methods for isolating the space by mechanical or electrical means (i.e., double block and bleed, lockout, etc.),
the institution of lockout-tagout procedures,
ventilation of the space,
cleaning and/or purging,
work procedures, including use of safety lines attached to the person working in the confined space and its use by a standby person if trouble develops,
personal protective equipment required (clothing, respirator, boots, etc.),
special tools required, and
communications system to be used.
The confined space should be continuously MONITORED to determine whether the sphere has changed due to the work being performed.
Be safe and this Holiday Season make sure you and ALL of you co-workers and employees make it home alive and safe each of every day!
The Safe-T Ladder Extension gives your ladder the required (by OSHA) 3 foot extension beyond the roof edge. It also allows workers to step on and off the ladder safely, quickly and more easily with its step through design.
Protecting your eyesight on the job is serious business. The video above impresses the importance of making sure you use properly rated ANSI Z87 safety glasses. The consequences of shoddy or imitation safety glasses is not worth the low cost.
Here are some protective eye wear solutions that will help you keep your eyes from injury while working in an environment where particles and enter your eye.
Kee Safety has released a new line of top quality work boots. These boots have steel toes and are made from rugged materials to be long lasting. Their initial offering includes four styles of boots. If youre looking for a new set of boots for new employees, or youre looking to replace that old smelly pair of boots in the corner, try these on for size:
Kee Safety Brown Rigger Work boot manufactured from full grain leather uppers and rubber Goodyear Welted soles. Compliant with EN ISO 20345, these durable, comfortable safety boots have steel toecaps providing 200 joules of toe protection. Available in Sizes 8 to 12.
Kee Safety six hole lace up half boot in Sand colour is manufactured from Buffalo NuBuck leather uppers with a rubber Cemented sole. Compliant with EN ISO 20345, these safety boots have steel toe caps providing 200 joules of toe protection. Available in Sizes 8 to 12.
Simplified Safety welcomes William Haflidson from AiX Safety as a new guest blogger. William is located in Ontario, Canada and will be providing insights to health and safety issues in Canada.
Unfortunately fall injuries happen in almost all types of workplaces. Falls are the number two workplace killer (after automobile collisions) in most jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S. You dont even have to fall very far; every year there are many fatalities from falls under 10 feet. The causes of the fall though do depend on where you work.
In construction most fall injuries result because of falls off of something above the ground such as a ladder, scaffold, scissor lift, or opening with no guard rail. In construction, 70% of falls are from a height while 30% are due to slips/trips on the same level. Falls from height are usually much more severe than a fall on the same level. Many falls from height occur where personal protective equipment wouldn't be typically used such as falls through an unguarded opening in the floor or scaffold, a missing guardrail, and falls from ladders (30% of falls from a height).
In construction, the workplace is always changing and workers are commonly working by themselves. What they need to do regarding fall prevention must be ingrained in their brain. Make sure your company has clear fall prevention policies and training requirements and that they are enforced. Ensure that fall arrest equipment is readily available because if it is hard to get it wont be used.
In the industrial sector, (manufacturing plants, offices and warehouses) 70% of the fall-related lost time injuries are due to slips/trips on the same level, 30% are from height. It is important that spills and items in the walking path are quickly taken care of.
Having policies in place is a major part of the solution. Many people think this is unnecessary and common sense but you need something to point to like a policy or procedure when someone does not clean up a spill or leaves materials across a walking path.
Regular inspections are key, look for debris, power cords, strapping, water, oil or other fluids in walking areas. Make sure enough lighting is provided in halls, aisles and around work areas.
Bad things happen to good people all the time! Take steps to protect yourself and others at your work.
One of the most versatile pieces of fall protection equipment is the double tie off lanyard, also known as the Y-lanyard. This new breed of lanyard has become a popular choice among safety professionals in recent years.