It’s not the fall that hurts. It’s the sudden stop!

Falls are one of the most common causes of injuries. And approximately one in five falls are fatal. Your employer has safeguards in place, such as guardrails and fall protection supplies and procedures, but there is a lot you can to do to reduce the chance of an incident. Here are some things to consider:

HOUSEKEEPING: Keep floors in work areas as clean and dry as possible. Good housekeeping habits are the best way to ensure good footing, which is essential to preventing falls. Scrap lumber, trash, wire, and slippery areas caused by water, grease, or oil can cause falls. Housekeeping is especially important in high traffic areas like hallways where pedestrians may not be paying close attention to where they put their feet.

LADDERS: Select a ladder that suits the purpose. Many workers believe that they can use any ladder for any job. Make sure your ladder is in good condition and that the foundation is secure. Use both hands when climbing and always face the ladder when going up or down. Do not carry tools with you.

SCAFFOLDS: Scaffolds need to be inspected daily by a competent person. Use a tagging system:

  • green – scaffold safe to use
  • yellow – use caution when using scaffolding. The tag should list the precautions needed for safe use.
  • red – do not use scaffold

Even if it will be used for only a short time, scaffolding should be constructed like a permanent structure. Provide guardrails and toe boards to help prevent falls. Whenever you’re on a single-point or a two-point suspended scaffold, wear appropriate fall protection. Be sure it’s tied to a secure independent life line.

FLOOR AND WALL OPENINGS: Cover floor openings or protect them with standard guardrails and toe boards. Protect wall openings, except for doorways and stairways through which persons could fall. This protection should be secured and substantial enough to prevent displacement.

STAIRS: Falls on stairways are usually caused by running, carrying objects that block your line of sight, failure to use handrails, or just not paying attention. Watch your step and pay attention to what you are doing.

Exerpts on Line Breaks from OSHA’s Guidelines for Process Safety Management

OSHA published a pamphlet to help employers understand Process Safety Management regulations. OSHA Pamphlet #3133 covers the employer responsibility on the hazards and technology of process systems. It also reviews operating procedures, employee training, and written procedures, among many other topics. Below are a few “generic, non-exhaustive” excerpts that could apply directly to the regulations for a line break on a functioning pipe system.

To read the full pamphlet, follow this link:

“The major objective of process safety management (PSM) of highly hazardous chemicals is to prevent unwanted releases of hazardous chemicals especially into locations that could expose employees and others to serious hazards.’

“Operating procedures provide specific instructions or details on what steps are to be taken or followed in carrying out the stated procedures. The specific instructions should include the applicable safety precautions and appropriate information on safety implications. For example… using operating instructions to properly implement operating procedures is in starting up or shutting down the process. In these cases, different parameters will be required from those of normal operation. These operating instructions need to clearly indicate the distinctions between startup and normal operations, such as the appropriate allowances for heating up a unit to reach the normal operating parameters. Also, the operating instructions need to describe the proper method for increasing the temperature of the unit until the normal operating temperatures are reached.’

“Hands-on training, where employees actually apply lessons learned in simulated or real situations, will enhance learning. For example, operating personnel, who will work in a control room or at control panels, would benefit by being trained at a simulated control panel. Upset conditions of various types could be displayed on the simulator, and then the employee could go through the proper operating procedures to bring the simulator panel back to the normal operating parameters. A training environment could be created to help the trainee feel the full reality of the situation but under controlled conditions. This type of realistic training can be very effective in teaching employees correct procedures while allowing them also to see the consequences of what might happen if they do not follow established operating procedures.’

“Non-routine work conducted in process areas must be controlled by the employer in a consistent manner. The hazards identified involving the work to be accomplished must be communicated to those doing the work and to those operating personnel whose work could affect the safety of the process. A work authorization notice or permit must follow a procedure that describes the steps the maintenance supervisor, contractor representative, or other person needs to follow to obtain the necessary clearance to start the job. The work authorization procedures must reference and coordinate, as applicable, lockout/tagout procedures, line breaking procedures, confined space entry procedures, and hot work authorizations. This procedure also must provide clear steps to follow once the job is completed to provide closure for those that need to know the job is now completed and that equipment can be returned to normal.’


Summertime is great, if you’re in a pool or in the backyard relaxing in the shade.  But hot summer temperatures make working outside more stressful and dangerous.  This is information on how to protect yourself and co-workers from the heat and first aid measures in case someone becomes ill.  Heat-related illnesses include everything from uncomfortable heat rash to death caused by heat stroke.  In most cases, we’re most concerned with heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat Stroke is the most serious health problem when working in a hot environment.  The body is unable to regulate its core temperature.  Victims of heat stroke can die unless treated promptly.  Symptoms of heat stroke include: hot dry skin that is pale, mottled or bright red, confusion, unconsciousness, convulsions or coma. CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY—even before rendering assistance.  While waiting for emergency services, move victim to a shaded area.  Fan victim; loosen clothing and cool body down with wet compresses.

Heat Exhaustion is characterized by clammy, moist skin.  The victim may complain of headache, nausea, weakness or seem giddy. Move victim to a shaded area and have them drink water or an electrolyte solution.  If victim is not responding, call 9-1-1. Heat exhaustion may lead to heat stroke without care.

Heat Cramps are painful muscle spasms. Move victim to a cool shady area and have them drink an electrolyte solution such as Gatorade.  If victim loses consciousness, vomits or if muscle cramping is severe, seek medical assistance.

Ways to stay safe in hot weather:

  • Limit alcohol and caffeine (this includes coffee, colas and energy drinks) intake.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen and sunglasses when working in the sun.
  • Eat regular, well-balanced meals, avoiding hot or heavy food.
  • Be aware that water, concrete, and sand reflect the sun and make it stronger.
  • Where possible, perform the heaviest work during the coolest part of the day.
  • Build up tolerance to the heat and the work activity slowly. This takes about two weeks.
  • Work in pairs.
  • Drink more water – about a cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes – Take special care when temperatures are above 100º F or during periods of high humidity.

Remember: Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water, drink continuously all day long. Little or no desire to drink, fatigue and headache results from loss of fluids.

Employees who are heavier, older, taking medication (even over-the-counter drugs) are more at risk of getting sick when working in hot weather.

Stay alert for early symptoms of excessive exposure to heat and tell you supervisor if you or a co-worker are experiencing any symptoms of heat –related illness. 

Gwinnett County’s Movers and Makers 2016 Award goes to…

Congratulations to Mitsubishi Electric for being Gwinnett County’s 2016 Manufacturer of the Year Award recipient.

Gwinnett County’s Movers and Makers 2016 Exhibit Sponsors included Safe Workforce Development and Industrial Mechanical, Inc.

Safe Workforce Development and Industrial Mechanical, Inc. were Exhibitor Sponsors for this year’s Movers and Makers event. Projections for road improvement projects indicate Gwinnett County is preparing for even more growth in the Logistic and Manufacturing sectors. Way to go Gwinnett County!

Time to start thawing the turkey!

When purchasing a turkey the rule of thumb suggests a pound per person.  A 12 pound turkey will feed 12 people.  Here’s a handy guide for thawing.  If you will be serving 20 or more people cooking one turkey you will need 6 days prior to cooking to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator.

Thawing a Turkey


Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween will be here before you know it.  Safe Workforce Development has listed some safety tips and common sense reminders to help parents ensure their young one’s Big Night Out is a success and keep all Trick-or-Treaters safe.

Safe Workforce Halloween Safety Tips 2015



“Massive Western Heat Wave May Break June, All-Time Records This Weekend”

Last night the Weather Channel published an interesting article about this week’s heat wave that you should read: “Massive Western Heat Wave May Break June, All-Time Records This Weekend (FORECAST)”

“A brutal heat wave kicking in later this week may shatter June or even a few all-time records in parts of the Great Basin and Northwest. Furthermore, it may last into the first days of July.’Heat wave June 2015

“This heat wave may not only top daily record highs, but may also threaten record highs for the entire month of June, or, in a few locations, all-time record highs.’

“This is a dangerous heat wave. Take safety precautions against the heat.

Those playing or working outdoors, as well as those without access to air conditioning, will face an elevated risk of heat-related illness.

Remember to never leave kids or pets unattended in cars and drink more water than usual. Wear light-colored clothing and keep your head and body cooler with a hat. Take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.”