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Safety Talk

Safety Talk is a series of safety topics that can be used for safety meetings or distributed to employees for their information.

Articles

Oct 2014 – A backover incident occurs when a backing vehicle strikes a worker who is standing, walking, or kneeling behind the vehicle. These incidents can be prevented.

Sep 2014 – Almost any kind of awkward or repetitive motion you make could lead to an injury over time. Actions like bending the wrists, twisting at the waist, reaching for materials, working with your hands above the shoulder level, or grasping objects can increase wear and tear on the body. This can result in...

Safety Attitude (PDF, 134K)

Aug 2014 – A safe workplace is no accident: A safe workplace just doesn’t happen, it results from a team effort of a company and its employees.

Jul 2014 – Bloodborne pathogens are pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. The primary objective is to significantly reduce and/or eliminate infection as a result of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

Hantavirus (PDF, 117K)

Jun 2014 – Hantavirus, which causes a very serious lung infection in humans, is carried by rodents, primarily the deer mouse. The first cases were identified in the Southwestern U.S. in 1993. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is potentially deadly and immediate intensive care treatment is essential once symptoms...

May 2014 – Many businesses generate wastes that are considered hazardous or harmful to human health or the environment because they are flammable, corrosive, eactive, or toxic. Due to the harmful potential of hazardous materials, workers must remain aware of the safety hazards and proper handling and disposal procedures...

Close Calls (PDF, 68K)

Apr 2014 – A "close call" or accident without injury is easy to shrug off and forget. But, there is a danger in brushing off accidents that don't hurt, harm or damage. When a "close call" happens, it should immediately send up a red warning flag that something was wrong, unplanned, unexpected, and could happen...

Mar 2014 – Water is the most destructive element to pavement. Water entering the roadway through cracks accelerates the deterioration of the roadway. In time, the water will undermine and weaken the roadway base material, creating cracks and potholes. Simply stated, crack pouring/sealing of cracks and joints...

Feb 2014 – Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against workers. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide, one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. However it manifests itself, workplace violence is a growing...

Jan 2014 – Safe driving is an important part of being responsible enough to be behind the wheel of a vehicle. Going too fast, not wearing a seat belt, following the car in front of you too closely are all signs that a person may not be prepared for driving and surely shows that the person behind the wheel is not...

Trailer Towing (PDF, 101K)

Dec 2013 – Hitch systems, towing packages, tongue weight, and driving permits - there's a lot more to towing a trailer than just hitching up and taking off down the road. Towing a trailer is no small responsibility and should be undertaken with great care and an eye toward safety first. The elements of a trailering...

Nov 2013 – Anything that affects your health and your ability to focus on the task at hand can compromise safety at work and home. Too much stress does all these things. It’s normal to feel some stress. Our bodies are wired to respond to threats and challenges with an adrenaline rush that helps us think and...

Fire Prevention (PDF, 114K)

Oct 2013 – Everyone has a personal interest at stake in doing everything possible to prevent fires; a fire may not only result in personal injury and loss of property, but can also cause loss of earnings- your earnings.

Safety at Home (PDF, 126K)

Sep 2013 – Your home may be your castle, but that castle must be maintained to keep your family safe.

Hard Hat Safety (PDF, 129K)

Aug 2013 – Hard hats are one of the most important pieces of safety equipment and are worn daily by millions because of the protections they provide. However, it is rarely part of an inspection, maintenance, or replacement program but should be. Many workers may be wearing a hard hat well past its useful life without...

Jul 2013 – A safe workplace starts with you. Immediately report safety-related incidents and near misses in which you are involved. A near miss is an incident that did not result in any personal injury, property damage, or production interruption. It is a very important indicator of potentially harmful future accidents....

Mower Safety (PDF, 124K)

Jun 2013 – An estimated 75 people will die this year as a result of a lawn mower related injury. Another 75,000 will wind up in the emergency room being treated for cuts and bruises, amputations and other life-altering injuries caused by mowers.

May 2013 – High-visibility safety apparel means personal protective safety clothing that is intended to provide conspicuity during both daytime and nighttime usage.

Cell Phone Usage (PDF, 100K)

Apr 2013 – As a general rule, the use of a cell phone on-the-job and while operating a moving vehicle or equipment has restrictions/guidelines for use due to the distraction and lack of concentration presented to safe work performance. Whenever possible, use your cell phone when parked, or have a passenger use...

Mar 2013 – Workplace housekeeping calls for keeping work areas, hallways, storage spaces, stairwells, bathrooms, break rooms and offices clean and safe. It includes insuring that these areas are neat and orderly; cleared of slip, trip, and fall hazards; and free from fire and chemical dangers.

Feb 2013 – Traffic signs are installed on our highways for many reasons. They may inform us of the need to stop, the speed limit, street names or which direction to go. Warning signs alert us to unexpected hazards on our roads. Signs help us obey the laws, find our destination, and keep us from running off the...

Wellness Program (PDF, 106K)

Jan 2013 – A Wellness Program is an organized program to assist and support workers in establishing healthier lifestyles. This can include increasing staff member awareness on health topics, scheduling behavior change programs, and/or establishing corporation policies that support health-related goals. The key...

Dec 2012 – Cruise control can be used to automatically control the speed in your vehicle (usually over 25-35 miles per hour) without keeping your foot on the accelerator. It is a great tool to prevent driver fatigue, speeding, and help with fuel economy during long trips on flat, straight roads and highways. Cruise...

Nov 2012 – Several of the fall hunting seasons are in progress. One of the most popular in North Dakota is the deer gun season which runs November 9-25, 2012. The ND 2012 deer season has 65,300 licenses available to hunters this year, 44,650 fewer than last year and the lowest since 1988. With the large number...

Oct 2012 – There are a number of safety problems common to most workplaces and job sites that can be solved with a little common sense. Planning and thinking ahead can help eliminate most of these hazards. Take a close look at your workplace with these suggestions in mind.

Sep 2012 – Driving a company/department vehicle may be different then operating your own vehicle. More rules certainly apply. Before you drive a company/department vehicle, make sure it is safe by conducting a vehicle safety inspection. Check the vehicle to be sure.

West Nile Virus (PDF, 72K)

Aug 2012 – The West Nile virus (WNV) is most often spread to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito. The WNV normally cycles between mosquitoes and birds. However, people may also be infected if they are bitten by a WNV-infected mosquito.

Lyme Disease (PDF, 64K)

Jul 2012 – Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease is passed to humans by the bite of black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks in the eastern United States) and western black-legged ticks infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Worksites with...

Silicosis (PDF, 68K)

Jun 2012 – Silicosis is caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust. Crystalline silica is a basic component of soil, sand, granite, and most other types of rock, and it is used as an abrasive blasting agent. Silicosis is a progressive, disabling, and often fatal lung disease. Cigarette smoking adds...

May 2012 – Working with asphalt has a number of hazards including burns, irritations, fire potential, and breathing in harmful fumes. Over a half-million workers are exposed to fumes from asphalt, a petroleum product used extensively in road paving, roofing, siding, and concrete work. Health effects from exposure...

Apr 2012 – There are several different factors involved in providing safety supplies for workers. You'll want to consider the work being done, possible hazards, and what safety products workers will need. Workers may only need one safety product or a combination depending on the hazards. When choosing safety equipment...

Mar 2012 – Falls from portable ladders (step, straight, combination and extension) are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries.

Solvents (PDF, 334K)

Feb 2012 – Industrial solvents are powerful substances. No matter what kind of solvent you use, whether on a daily or infrequent basis, be sure you know the chemical properties, understand the health hazards, and follow the correct handling procedures before you use it.

Jan 2012 – Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas which interferes with the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. CO is non-irritating and can overcome persons without warning. Many people die from CO poisoning, usually while using gasoline powered tools and generators in buildings or semi-enclosed...

Respirators (PDF, 204K)

Dec 2011 – Respiratory protection must be worn whenever you are working in a hazardous atmosphere. The appropriate respirator will depend on the contaminant(s) to which you are exposed and the protection factor (PF) required. Required respirators must be NIOSH-approved and medical evaluation and training must be...

Nov 2011 – How often have you heard the statement "Driving is a full time job." Many times we think we can do other things while driving. Most of the time we get away with this behavior, but it only takes a split second to change our lives forever.

Hydrogen Sulfide (PDF, 209K)

Oct 2011 – Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, flammable, extremely hazardous gas with a "rotten egg" smell. It occurs naturally in crude petroleum and natural gas, and can be produced by the breakdown of organic matter and human/ animal wastes (e.g., sewage). It is heavier than air and can collect in low-lying and...

Sep 2011 – The US Department of Labor lists falls as one of the leading causes of traumatic death, accounting for eight percent of all occupational fatalities from trauma. Any time a worker is at a height of four feet or more, the worker is at risk and needs to be protected. Last year, 4547 worker died from all...

Aug 2011 – Operating a chain saw is inherently hazardous. Potential injuries can be minimized by using proper personal protective equipment and safe operating procedures.

Jul 2011 – The back is a complex system consisting of five distinct spinal regions. The lumbar spine, the five vertebrae and six disks in the curved portion of the lower back, is the part most often injured. Lifting, bending, and twisting motions (on or off the job) can cause severe injury and pain. Because the...

Jun 2011 – Cave-ins are perhaps the most feared trenching hazard. But other potentially fatal hazards exist, including asphyxiation due to lack of oxygen in a confined space, inhalation of toxic fumes, drowning, etc. Electrocution or explosions can occur when workers contact underground utilities. OSHA requires...

May 2011 – The top four causes of construction fatalities are: Falls, Struck-By, Caught-In/Between and Electrocutions.

Apr 2011 – Employees being struck by vehicles or mobile equipment lead to many work zone fatalities or injuries. Work zones need traffic controls identified by signs, cones, barrels and barriers.

Mar 2011 – We encounter chemicals almost every day: filling your vehicle with gasoline, cleaning the house, applying pesticides and insecticides, using solvents or acids at work, etc. Many chemicals can cause injury or illness. As an employer, you must provide the following to your employees: a written hazardous...

Machine Guarding (PDF, 167K)

Feb 2011 – Crushed hands and arms, severed fingers and limbs, lacerations and abrasions - the list of possible machinery-related injuries is long and horrifying. Many hazards are created by moving machine parts. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from preventable injuries.

STRESS...At Work (PDF, 149K)

Jan 2011 – Job stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can lead to poor health and even injury.The concept of job stress is often confused with challenge, but these...

Winter Driving (PDF, 300K)

Dec 2010 – Snowplows conduct an important public service - providing the traveling public with the best possible winter driving conditions by plowing and sanding roads. Snowplow operators are concentration on their task and the road conditions in front of them. Please be patient and give the plows plenty of room...

Cold Stress (PDF, 100K)

Nov 2010 – Workers who are exposed to extreme cold or work in cold environments may be at risk of cold stress. Extreme cold weather is a dangerous situation that can bring on health emergencies in susceptible people, such as those without shelter, outdoor workers, and those who work in an area that is poorly insulated...

Eye Safety (PDF, 119K)

Oct 2010 – This session you will be able to: identify potential eye hazards; prevent eye injuries with protective eyewear; use, maintain, and inspect proper protective eyewear.

Sep 2010 – Portable fire extinguishers apply an extinguishing agent that will either cool burning fuel, displace or remove oxygen, or stop the chemical reaction so a fire cannot continue to burn. When the handle of an extinguisher is compressed, agent is expelled out the nozzle.

UV Radiation (PDF, 113K)

Aug 2010 – Sunlight exposure is highest during the summer and between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Working outdoors during these times increases the chances of getting sunburned. Snow and light-colored sand reflect UV light and increase the risk of sunburn. At work sites with these conditions, UV rays may reach workers'...

Power Tools (PDF, 97K)

Jul 2010 – Because power tools are so common in construction, workers are constantly exposed to a variety of hazards. The very tool that makes their job easy and efficient may one day be the cause of a tragic accident. It is good to be reminded of common-sense safety practices.

Heat Stress (PDF, 88K)

Jun 2010 – Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries...

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