Safety Survival Guide: 10 Tips to Keep Your Family Safe – Playground Safety

This is an excerpt from the article “Safety Survival Guide: 10 Tips to Keep Your Family Safe.” For more info, please visit www.safetyathome.com.

Carefully inspect backyard playground equipment: According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 70 percent of all playground-related deaths occur on home playground equipment. Make sure equipment is anchored safely in the ground, all equipment pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed and bolts are not protruding.

Occupational Noise Exposure

This is an excerpt from the article “Occupational Noise Exposure”. For more info, please visit www.osha.gov.

Administrative controls are changes in the workplace that reduce or eliminate the worker exposure to noise. Examples include:

  • Operating noisy machines during shifts when fewer people are exposed.
  • Providing quiet areas where workers can gain relief from hazardous noise sources (e.g., construct a sound proof room where workers’ hearing can recover – depending upon their individual noise level and duration of exposure, and time spent in the quiet area).
  • Restricting worker presence to a suitable distance away from noisy equipment.

Controlling noise exposure through distance is often an effective, yet simple and inexpensive administrative control. This control may be applicable when workers are present but are not actually working with a noise source or equipment. Increasing the distance between the noise source and the worker, reduces their exposure. In open space, for every doubling of the distance between the source of noise and the worker, the noise is decreased by 6 dBA.

Safety Survival Guide: 10 Tips to Keep Your Family Safe – Inspect outdoor decorative lights carefully

This is an excerpt from the article “Safety Survival Guide: 10 Tips to Keep Your Family Safe.” For more info, please visit www.safetyathome.com.

Inspect outdoor decorative lights carefully: Some families add backyard ambiance with outdoor decorative lighting. Do not connect more than three midget light string sets together. Light strings with screw-in bulbs should have a maximum of 50 bulbs connected together. Be sure to use light strings bearing the UL Mark, which means UL has tested samples of the product for risk of fire, electric shock and other hazards.

What can be done to reduce the hazard from noise?

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Noise controls are the first line of defense against excessive noise exposure. The use of these controls should aim to reduce the hazardous exposure to the point where the risk to hearing is eliminated or minimized. With the reduction of even a few decibels, the hazard to hearing is reduced, communication is improved, and noise-related annoyance is reduced. There are several ways to control and reduce worker exposure to noise in a workplace.

Engineering controls that reduce sound exposure levels are available and technologically feasible for most noise sources. Engineering controls involve modifying or replacing equipment, or making related physical changes at the noise source or along the transmission path to reduce the noise level at the worker’s ear. In some instances the application of a relatively simple engineering noise control solution reduces the noise hazard to the extent that further requirements of the OSHA Noise standard (e.g., audio metric testing (hearing tests), hearing conservation program, provision of hearing protectors, etc…) are not necessary. Examples of inexpensive, effective engineering controls include some of the following:

  •  Choose low-noise tools and machinery (e.g., Buy Quiet Road map (NASA)).
  •  Maintain and lubricate machinery and equipment (e.g., oil bearings).
  •  Place a barrier between the noise source and employee (e.g., sound walls or curtains).
  • Enclose or isolate the noise source.

An effective hearing conservation program must be implemented by employers in general industry whenever worker noise exposure is equal to or greater than 85 dBA for an 8 hour exposure or in the construction industry when exposures exceed 90 dBA for an 8 hour exposure. This program strives to prevent initial occupational hearing loss, preserve and protect remaining hearing, and equip workers with the knowledge and hearing protection devices necessary to protect them. Key elements of an effective hearing conservation program include:

  •  Workplace noise sampling including personal noise monitoring which identifies which employees are at risk from hazardous levels of noise.
  • Informing workers at risk from hazardous levels of noise exposure of the results of their noise monitoring.
  • Providing affected workers or their authorized representatives with an opportunity to observe any noise measurements conducted.
  •   Maintaining a worker audiometric testing program (hearing tests) which is a professional evaluation of the health effects of noise upon individual worker’s hearing.
  •   Implementing comprehensive hearing protection follow-up procedures for workers who show a loss of hearing (standard threshold shift) after completing baseline (first) and yearly audiometric testing.
  •   Proper selection of hearing protection based upon individual fit and manufacturer’s quality testing indicating the likely protection that they will provide to a properly trained wearer.
  •   Evaluate the hearing protectors attenuation and effectiveness for the specific workplace noise.
  •   Training and information that ensures the workers are aware of the hazard from excessive noise exposures and how to properly use the protective equipment that has been provided.
  • Data management of and worker access to records regarding monitoring and noise sampling.

Administrative controls are changes in the workplace that reduce or eliminate the worker exposure to noise. Examples include:

  • Operating noisy machines during shifts when fewer people are exposed.
  • Limiting the amount of time a person spends at a noise source.
  • Providing quiet areas where workers can gain relief from hazardous noise sources (e.g., construct a sound proof room where workers’ hearing can recover – depending upon their individual noise level and duration of exposure, and time spent in the quiet area).
  • Restricting worker presence to a suitable distance away from noisy equipment.Controlling noise exposure through distance is often an effective, yet simple and inexpensive administrative control. This control may be applicable when workers are present but are not actually working with a noise source or equipment. Increasing the distance between the noise source and the worker, reduces their exposure. In open space, for every doubling of the distance between the source of noise and the worker, the noise is decreased by 6 dBA.

The above is an excerpt from the article “Occupational Noise Exposure”. For more info, please visit www.osha.gov.

Protecting Workers from Heat Stress – What to Do When a Worker is Ill from the Heat

This is an excerpt from the article “Protecting Workers from Heat Stress”. For more info, please visit www.osha.gov.

What to Do When a Worker is Ill from the Heat

• Call a supervisor for help. If the supervisor is not available, call 911.

• Have someone stay with the worker until help arrives.

• Move the worker to a cooler/shaded area.

• Remove outer clothing.

• Fan and mist the worker with water; apply ice (ice bags or ice towels).

• Provide cool drinking water, if able to drink.

Safety Survival Guide: 10 Tips to Keep Your Family Safe – Check gas grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks:

This is an excerpt from the article “Safety Survival Guide: 10 Tips to Keep Your Family Safe.” For more info, please visit www.safetyathome.com.

Check gas grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks: If the tank valve or grill needs repair, do not attempt to do it yourself. Take it to your local home improvement store or qualified appliance repair person.

Occupational Noise Exposure – How Loud Is Too Loud?

This is an excerpt from the article “Occupational Noise Exposure”. For more info, please visit www.osha.gov.

How loud is too loud?

Noise is measured in units of sound pressure levels called decibels, named after Alexander Graham Bell, using A-weighted sound levels (dBA). The A-weighted sound levels closely match the perception of loudness by the human ear. Decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale which means that a small change in the number of decibels results in a huge change in the amount of noise and the potential damage to a person’s hearing.

OSHA sets legal limits on noise exposure in the workplace. These limits are based on a worker’s time weighted average over an 8 hour day. With noise, OSHA’s permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 90 dBA for all workers for an 8 hour day. The OSHA standard uses a 5 dBA exchange rate. This means that when the noise level is increased by 5 dBA, the amount of time a person can be exposed to a certain noise level to receive the same dose is cut in half.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recommended that all worker exposures to noise should be controlled below a level equivalent to 85 dBA for eight hours to minimize occupational noise induced hearing loss. NIOSH has found that significant noise-induced hearing loss occurs at the exposure levels equivalent to the OSHA PEL based on updated information obtained from literature reviews. NIOSH also recommends a 3 dBA exchange rate so that every increase by 3 dBA doubles the amount of the noise and halves the recommended amount of exposure time.

Here’s an example: OSHA allows 8 hours of exposure to 90 dBA but only 2 hours of exposure to 100 dBA sound levels. NIOSH would recommend limiting the 8 hour exposure to less than 85 dBA. At 100 dBA, NIOSH recommends less than 15 minutes of exposure per day.

In 1981, OSHA implemented new requirements to protect all workers in general industry (e.g. the manufacturing and the service sectors) for employers to implement a Hearing Conservation Program where workers are exposed to a time weighted average noise level of 85 dBA or higher over an 8 hour work shift. Hearing Conservation Programs require employers to measure noise levels, provide free annual hearing exams and free hearing protection, provide training, and conduct evaluations of the adequacy of the hearing protectors in use unless changes to tools, equipment and schedules are made so that they are less noisy and worker exposure to noise is less than the 85 dBA.

Protecting Workers from Heat Stress – How You Can Protect Yourself and Others

This is an excerpt from the article “Protecting Workers from Heat Stress”. For more info, please visit www.osha.gov.

How You Can Protect Yourself and Others

• Know signs/symptoms of heat illnesses; monitor yourself; use a buddy system.

• Block out direct sun and other heat sources.

• Drink plenty of fluids. Drink often and BEFORE you are thirsty. Drink water every 15 minutes.

• Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.

• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.

Safety Survival Guide: 10 Tips to Keep Your Family Safe – Never Use Gasoline or Kerosene to Light a Charcoal Fire

This is an excerpt from the article “Safety Survival Guide: 10 Tips to Keep Your Family Safe.” For more info, please visit www.safetyathome.com.

Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire: Both can cause an explosion. When grilling, use insulated, flame-retardant mitts and long-handled barbecue tongs and utensils to handle food and coals.

Protecting Workers from Heat Stress – To Prevent Heat Illness, Your Employer Should..

This is an excerpt from the article “Protecting Workers from Heat Stress”. For more info, please visit www.osha.gov.

To Prevent Heat Illness, Your Employer Should:

• Provide training about the hazards leading to heat stress and how to prevent them.

• Provide a lot of cool water to workers close to the work area. At least one pint of water per hour is needed. Schedule frequent rest periods with water breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas.

• Routinely check workers who are at risk of heat stress due to protective clothing and high temperature.

• Consider protective clothing that provides cooling.