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Confined Spaces and Workplace Safety

construction worker in orange

Confined spaces aren't just uncomfortable: they can also pose severe risks to workers' health and safety. Here are a few things you need to know about confined spaces, new regulations, and how to keep workers safe.

What is a Confined Space?

The definition of "confined space," according to OSHA, is an area that:

  1. is large enough for workers to enter;
  2. is not designed for long-term occupancy;
  3. and has limited and/or difficult entrances and exits.

This is a broad definition, which means that confined spaces are bound to be a common occurrence in the construction industry. However, the good news is that, with this information, you can make better workplace safety decisions and adhere to updated regulations in every situation.

Beat the Heat to Increase Workplace Safety

construction heat

During the summer, there are a number of dangers that can affect workers. With the heat at its maximum and often high humidity levels, workers can fall prey to a number of heat-related conditions and illnesses. 

Working Outdoors

When you have employees outside working, they don't have the benefit of air conditioning to keep them from feeling the full heat of the day. This is especially true when they are working out in the sun without any shade. During the hottest months of the year, heat stress is a real concern for workers. When heat causes enough stress on the body, the condition can then lead to heat rashes and cramps, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. Injuries may become more likely in these conditions, as the heat can cause goggles to fog up, palms to get sweaty and the worker can feel dizzy.

Why Workplace Safety Should Be a Priority

osha

Safety in the workplace is scrutinized today like never before. Not only can a workplace incident cause untold financial hardships as well as injuries to workers, but it can also ruin the reputation of a business. The OSHA guidelines have gotten more complex over time, so it's important to know exactly what is expected in each facet of your business in order to keep people as safe as physically possible. 

Manager Safety Expectations

When OSHA is involved, managers are involved. It is the responsibilities of most managers to handle some of the safety issues in the area they are managing. This may require delegating most of the safety duties, but it's still necessary for managers to understand the guidelines and to make sure that each requirement is carried out. When OSHA conducts an inspection or arrives because of a complaint, anything that a manager says to them can be used in the case. 

Power Tools: Avoiding Electrical Incidents

Electric Tools Safety

Power tools are common in many workplaces, with particular industries using them daily or weekly. This means that there are additional safety considerations that come into play that are specific to handling those tools. 

This article will cover some key tips that can help you address safety and risk mitigation in relation to power tools and electrical incidents. 

Basic Safety Tips

Using tools

  • Never carry a tool by the cord. 
  • Never yank a cord to disconnect it from the receptacle. 
  • Avoid using tools in wet conditions and placing them on wet surfaces. 
  • Use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment such as gloves and safety footwear when using electric tools.
  • Do not use electric tools in damp or wet locations unless they are approved for that purpose. 
  • Keep work areas well-lit when operating electric tools. 

Storing tools

Solutions to Common Workplace Safety Training Challenges

workplace

The workplace can be a dangerous place, and no business wants to have an accident happen in their facility. The safety training that employees get is an important way to keep them safe and to keep the company from the liability they would have without effective training. A lot of confusion often surrounds safety training, however, as managers try to pinpoint the type of training needed and the best way to deliver it.

Avoiding Heat Injuries in the Workplace

construction worker sweating because of heat

Summer might be great news for school-kids, but for hardworking people on the job, heat can pose real health risks. Here's what you need to know to keep everyone safe.

Heat Risks

Although summer sun does increase heat-related injuries and health risks, it's crucial to prioritize safety throughout the year--especially since heat problems have a variety of sources. Take, for example, industries that regularly deal with high volumes of hot objects, or workplaces where strenuous physical activity is combined with high humidity. Because of this, it's not just outdoor employees who are at risk; anyone who works in or around heat must be careful, aware, and safe.

OSHA defines four categories of heat associated risk. These categories are:

OSHA and Drug Testing Safety Incentives

drug testing

The rules set forth by OSHA give us a lot of required actions that every business needs to follow. And every year, the agency has a number of possible new rules that are assessed and then either rejected or accepted as new regulations. These possible actions go from the pre-rule stage, when no ruling has been made, to the rule stage and then to the final rule stage before they are accepted as OSHA workplace safety standards. In addition, clarifications are sometimes made on existing regulations.

What Employers Should Know About OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program

OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known as OSHA, is in charge of enforcing safety regulations across every workplace in the country. However, it doesn't have the resources needed to monitor every single workplace. To help the process, it has created the Severe Violator Enforcement Program. This is directed toward workplaces that are more likely to have health and safety violations.

Extra Enforcement

With this program, getting on the list is not what employers want. It calls more attention to them from OSHA, and it leads to a stronger expectation of enforcement. The strictest regulations are enforced in this program, and it can mean a big headache for any workplace. And because OSHA has declared these businesses to be more likely to offend, the organization will show up for multiple follow-ups to make sure the rules are continuing to be followed.

Cell Phones at Work: Productive Tool or Dangerous Distraction?

Cell phones at work

It wasn't all that long ago that cell phones and tablets were completely off-limits at work. But today's businesses have realized that digital devices offer their employees better availability and can provide more means of productivity. For certain industries, however, this means that there are additional safety concerns that must be considered. 

Mock OSHA Inspections Save Lives

OSHA Inspection

One of the best ways to solve a problem is to make sure it never becomes a problem in the first place. By implementing mock OSHA inspections and catching potential safety issues before they have time to get anyone hurt, you can do just that--and potentially save lives in the process. Here's everything you need to know about this simple but important solution.

Proactive Safety

No matter what you do or where you're located, security in your industry should always be a priority. The truth, though, is that every industry has its own challenges and safety risks--which means that the best way to catch issues is to approach them proactively. Mock OSHA inspections performed by qualified safety experts can help you identify problem areas, catch potential risks, and identify solutions before life-threatening incidents occur.

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