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Category Archive: Facility Safety

NSF Portable Sinks: For Prevention of Bacterial, Viral and Foodborne Illnesses

NSF Portable SinksNSF portable sinks might not be the first thing that come to mind when you think of improving workplace health—but they should! A quick perusal of media headlines and statistics demonstrates the powerful role that hand washing plays in stemming the spread of communicable disease.

For example, the Bellingham Herald recently reported on an outbreak of E. coli at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in April. The fairground was the location of the Milk Makers Fest, an educational event attended by students, parents and teachers. Forty people who attended the event fell ill. Another 20 fell ill from contact with other attendees.

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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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What You Need to Know About GHS

GHSHave you noticed any changes in the labeling of hazardous products delivered to your workplace? With the implementation date for GHS compliant labels quickly approaching, some manufactures are now shipping products with GHS labels and GHS compliant safety data sheets.

While you probably received training on the GHS changes, it may have been months ago. If you’re struggling to remember what the change is all about, here’s a quick review:

What is GHS?

GHS stands for Globally Harmonized System. It’s a system for classifying and labeling hazardous chemicals that’s designed for worldwide implementation. Prior to GHS, many countries (and even areas within countries) had different systems of classification and labeling.

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How to Manage Confined Space Hazards

confined spaceGenerally, a confined space is defined as a space not designed for workers, yet workers occasionally need to enter the space to do their job.

Confined spaces typically have limited means to enter and exit. They also often come with additional hazardous conditions, such as poor air quality, chemical exposure, fire hazards, noise, moving parts, entanglement hazards, radiation, temperature extremes, shifting material and uncontrolled electrical energy.

Most industries have confined spaces in the workplace, such as boilers, pits, wells, tanks, towers, large pipes, bins, silos, mixers, dryers, vaults. (For a more complete list, see the U.S. Department of Labor’s confined space list.)

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Test Your Lockout/Tagout Knowledge

lockout/tagoutLockout/tagout procedures are designed to protect employees from hazardous energy when performing maintenance tasks. Essentially, employees place a lock or tag on machinery to indicate that other employees must not operate the machinery until the tag or lock is removed. Employees place and remove tags and locks in accordance with established procedures.

If you already know all this, then you’re off to a good start. But how deep is your lockout/tagout knowledge?

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