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Monthly Archives: May 2015

A Lockout/Tagout Equipment Primer

lockout/tagoutYou probably already know the basics of logout/tagout procedures and purposes. (If not, see the OSHA page Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) and the 2008 OH&S Online article, Lockout Basics.)

As suggested in the OH&S Online article, lockout and tagout equipment occasionally undergoes design improvements. If your lockout/tagout equipment has never gone beyond keys and padlocks, you might be surprised at the variety of lockout/tagout equipment on the market.

To that end, here’s a quick primer:

  • Padlocks. The classic lock and key set we all know. Still used to lockout industrial machinery and secure high school lockers.
  • Plug lockouts. Ever tried to apply a common padlock to a power cord plug? It doesn’t work so well. What you need is a plug lockout. A plug lockout encompasses the electrical plug in a plastic cover that can only be removed with a key. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit different plugs.

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Stone Countertops and Silica Dust Hazards

silica dust hazardsWhen you chop vegetables on your beautiful stone kitchen countertop, the last thing you think about is silica dust.

Yet, silica dust hazards are real for masons who craft natural or engineered stone countertops. In fact, OSHA and NIOSH recently released a Hazard Alert on worker exposure to silica during countertop manufacturing, finishing and installation.

What is Silica Dust?

To understand the hazard, you need to understand silica. Silica is a mineral often found in quartz, sandstone and other rocks. Silica dust is created when silica is manipulated in a way that generates fine particles or dust that can be inhaled.

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Protecting Your Skin From Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace

skin protection from hazardous chemicalsMany workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals in the course of their work. While you might expect chemical exposure in some industries (such as agriculture, manufacturing and construction), hazardous chemicals are also often unexpectedly present in other workplaces, such as salons and funeral homes.

Wherever you’re exposed to hazardous chemicals—whether pouring concrete or coloring hair­—it’s important to protect yourself. Hazardous chemicals can enter your body in a variety of ways, but perhaps the most common is the skin.

Normally, the skin keeps bad elements (e.g. harmful bacteria and dirt) from entering the body and good elements (e.g. water) from leaving. When skin is damaged, its ability to perform these roles is compromised and, consequently, can lead to damage at the site of contact and elsewhere in the body.

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Why Your Funeral Home Needs an Eye Wash Station and Emergency Shower

eyewash station and emergency showerFor many funeral home operators and morticians, caring for the deceased and their families is a labor of love. With their skills, they help families come to terms with the passing of a loved one and ensure the dignity of the deceased.

While working in a funeral home or mortuary has many challenges, it also has some hazards. In fact, many funeral home operators and morticians are regularly exposed to toxic chemicals, especially formaldehyde, in the course of performing their duties.

What is Formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, odorous chemical. It’s used in building products and household items, including some adhesives, coatings, pressed-wood products and insulation. It’s valued for its properties as a fungicide, germicide, disinfectant and preservative.

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