Safety Violations

This blog post is about noticing safety violations and making sure you take care of them right away.

A company in Puyallup, Washington got a few safety citations, but then, to make matters worse, they got more citations for not handling the first ones properly.

 

Anne Soiza, assistant director for L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said the following about the accident:

“Seven construction workers fell to their deaths last year in our state . Falls continue to be the leading cause of construction worker deaths and hospitalizations, and yet they are completely preventable by using proper fall protection and following safe work practices.”

The company got “willful violations,” meaning they had been cited before, for not providing fall protection for workers who were working near the edge of a 20 foot wall. The company had to pay $42,000 in penalties.

At the same time, they were cited for not having a plan for outlining fall hazards, for having an opening in a wall that workers could fall through, and for allowing workers to stand on the top cap and top rung of ladders.

What can we learn from this company’s mistakes?

-take care of citations

-deal with ladder safety

-importance of fall protection

 

The company was cited for two additional repeat/serious violations for not having railings on open-sided stairs to protect employees from falls ($5,600), and for not ensuring that employees wore hard hats where there was a danger of flying or falling objects ($4,200). They were also cited for a serious violation for not having safety springs on nail guns to protect against accidental discharges ($2,800).

The employer was cited for a third-time repeat-general violation with a $700 penalty for not conducting walk-around safety inspections, and a fourth-time repeat-general violation with a $1,120 penalty because no one onsite had a valid first-aid card. L&I also cited the company for two general violations that did not include monetary penalties.

Every year over 300 people die in ladder-related accidents, and thousands suffer disabling injuries. The American Ladder Institute (ALI) is celebrating the first-ever National Ladder Safety Month, designed to raise awareness of ladder safety and to decrease the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities.

Choosing the Best Stepladder for Your Need

Today we have a guest post from Katie Smith. She is an enthusiastic woman, and she loves writing about  tools and lifestyle on Reviewmoon.

Here is the post from Katie.

Step ladders are great for any homeowner or contractor that needs to work in access those hard to reach places. Most of us have spent some time balancing on items that aren’t really fit for the purpose and, even though it is dangerous, we still tend to do it. Ladders can be useful around the house to change light bulbs, paint or grab objects stacked away in the kitchen. For any major jobs which are high up a sturdy ladder is a must.

  • Materials

The best types of materials used in the construction of a step ladder are fiberglass, aluminum and steel as these are very durable and light weight. Having a lightweight material is extremely important, especially if the ladder is a tall extension ladder.  Every additional foot of length on a ladder adds on weight and when closed, the product might trick you into thinking that it is much lighter than it actually is.

I bet you have seen an electric company or a cable company truck, with a foldable ladder on top of it, driving around. From far away these do not look that heavy but can actually easily be over 100lbs. Always make sure to store ladders securely.

These types of issues make it very problematic to purchase one from a catalog without a good description and simply base your choice on the image. Pictures can be quite deceiving, and any website which does not provide reviews, specifications, dimensions and detailed information should be avoided.

  • Features

Some of the most important features are as follows. The ladder should have convenient hand grips for easy handling. It should have a comfortable tubular rail so it is easy to stand on it and hold when in the air.

Look for oversized slip resistant steps.  To protect the wooden floor the best ladders feature mar-resistant feet. These will have a good grip on the floor without causing scratches.

  • Load Capacity

Take note of the load capacity and consider what you will be bringing up on the ladder. Add your body weight plus the tools, paint or anything else that will be op there and leave some extra room for error.

  • Prices

 

Whether you opt for a commercial, multi-purpose, or home model should be entirely based on your needs. The home ones will usually cost the least but never trade cost for safety if you know that the jobs you will be doing demand more.

  • Accessories 

There are numerous accessories for ladders that should be considered as well. Think safety, seat, rollers, tool holders and other items that can help you when you’re high up.

 

 

 

 

 

Ladder Safety

Every year, thousands of people have to visit emergency rooms around the country due to ladder-related accidents.

First, choose a ladder with the right weight rating for you and your tools.

  • Type IAA (Extra Heavy Duty) 375 pounds
  • Type IA (Extra Heavy Duty) 300 pounds
  • Type I (Heavy Duty) 250 pounds
  • Type II (Medium Duty) 225 pounds
  • Type III (Light Duty) 200 pounds

Second, always inspect the ladder.

Third, follow these safety tips for your specific type of ladder.

Stepladders:

  • Make sure the feet are level and that the spreader bar is locked in place.
  • Face the ladder when ascending or descending.
  • Never stand on the top rung or top cap of your ladder.

Extension ladders:

  • Set your ladder up using a 4:1 ratio or at a 75.5 degree angle. Secure your ladder to keep it from sliding at the top or kicking out at the base.
  • Have the to of the ladder extend three feet above the landing.
  • Use a toolbelt to carry tools. A toolbelt will help you keep your hands free and keep your balance.
  • Beware of overhead power lines and always keep a safe distance.
  • Carry the ladder horizontally

When on your ladder, keep your body between the rails.

Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

Sumo3-24-Climb1Slips, trips and falls are one of the most commonly cited causes of workplace accidents.

 SLIP, A TRIP, OR A FALL – What’s the Difference?

slip is when the person’s shoes don’t have enough traction on the surface he/she is walking on.

trip occurs is when a person’s foot comes into contact with something in the walking path unexpextedly.

And a fall is when a person’s balance is off, caused by something like leaning while on a ladder.

SAFETY AND ORGANIZATION

Encourage your workers to keep the workplace clean and organized. Help them establish a time in their schedule to  tidy up and organize.

  • Don’t leave all the work for the end. Clean as you go.
  • If you notice a hazard, take care of it right away. Don’t leave it for someone else to take care of.
  • Clean up any spills or drips as you go so nobody else will slip
  • Keep hallways and other areas clear of debris

PREVENTING FALLS

We are going to talk a little about preventing “elevated falls”

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Never lean on the ladder. Follow the “belt buckle rule”
  • Always face the ladder
  • Inspect your ladder before you climb
  • Keep your ladder clean and in good condition
  • Keep your hands free while on the ladder. Ues a toolbelt to carry the tools you need

Secure Your Ladder

IMG_3561A New Orleans man was working on the ninth floor of hotel on a 21-foot ladder. He did not secure the ladder and it fell over, hitting another man in the back of his head and neck. The man had to be hospitalized.

The injured man and his family sued the company the man was working for, accusing them of failing to secure the ladder and failing to properly train and supervise employees.

This type of accident could be prevented by securing the ladder before climbing. Also, be aware of your surroundings. The ladder was potentially put on a slick surface which would make it slip more easily. Always inspect your ladder and set it up at the correct angle.

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