Wednesday, September 12, 2018

SafetyWorks! Tool Box Talks

SafetyWorks! Tool Box Talks cover a variety of common workplace safety and health problems. Read them, post them, share them with others, or use them for safety meetings.

Turn a Safety Works! Tool Box Talk into a Safety Meeting

A safety meeting -- or toolbox talk -- is an opportunity to discuss a specific safety and health topic in an informal setting. It's intended to be participatory, encouraging questions and discussion and drawing on workers' experience. It's not a lecture and there are no tests.
The safety meeting can be short (10-20 minutes) and it can be part of an existing staff or crew meeting.

Before you being the meeting:

  1. Does this topic relate to your workplace? If not, choose another topic.
  2. Look up your company rules or policies about this topic.
  3. Find out about any injuries, accidents or close calls in your company related to this topic.
  4. Do not hand out copies of the Safety Tip until after the meeting. You want workers to contribute their own ideas, not read off the sheet.

Begin the meeting:

  1. Read Section I to everyone at the meeting.
  2. Ask if anyone has a personal story about this topic. Or add one of your own. Get people involved. The meeting will work best if everyone participates.
  3. Ask the question in Section II. Give people time to suggest possible answers. Add points that no one mentions from the answers in Tips Section II.
  4. Discuss any problems at your workplace related to this topic. Ask: “Do you know of any problems with (this topic) at this workplace?” This might be a good time to bring up the injuries, accidents or close calls you found out about. Invite questions --- Remind people that there's no such thing as a stupid question.
  5. Ask the question in Section III. Again, give people time to suggest possible answers. Add points that no one mentions from the answers in the Tips Section III. Ask: "What can we do to solve our problems with (this topic)?" Encourage discussion.
  6. Ask: “Have you had any experience with (this topic) here or at other places you’ve worked that might help us work safer here?”
  7. If the company has rules or procedures around this topic, discuss them now.
  8. Ask if there’s anything else anyone wants to mention on this topic. Stick to the topic. If questions and comments stray from the meeting topic, tell people their questions will be addressed later, either privately or at a future safety meeting.
  9. Before you close, remind workers how to report any safety problems at your workplace.

After the meeting:

If you want, hand out copies of the Tool Box Talk sheet or post a copy on the bulletin board.
If anyone want to know more about this topic, try the OSHA web page or use the SafetyWorks! Ask the Expert page.
Email SafetyWorks! to suggest a topic for a future SafetyWorks! Tool Box Talk.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


"Protect your hands; you need them to pick up your pay check." And that may very well be the case, but that’s only the beginning. To ensure that you don’t become an afterthought, make safety your first thought with these workplace safety tips.


Your safety is your personal responsibility.
Always follow the correct procedures.
Never take shortcuts.
Take responsibility and clean up if you made a mess.
Clean and organize your workspace.
Ensure a clear and easy route to emergency exits and equipment.
Be alert and awake on the job.
Be attentive at all times to your work surroundings.
When in doubt, contact your supervisor or manager for instruction, guidance, or training.
Never take risks when it comes to safety.
Obey safety signs, stickers, and tags.
Take short breaks when you keep up a repetitive motion for a long period of time, and sit, stand, or walk with good posture.
Report serious injuries immediately to a supervisor and get emergency assistance.
Keep things in perspective. Hazards may be limitless, so focus on the most likely risks first.
  • Strained backs and sliced fingers may be more popular in your workspace than would the risk of flooding (as in a basement office) or the risk of wild animals cutting loose (as in a zoo).


Educate everyone in the workplace about the safety requirements and consider posting a list of workplace safety tips. A workplace safety training will help them reduce or eliminate injuries and illnesses from occurring in the workplace.
Always keep the communication lines open with your co-workers, employers, or employees in order to promote and maintain a safe environment.
Immediately notify others of any (new or old) hazards that you perceive.
Be alert to hazards that could affect anyone— not just yourself; in this respect, maintain a team mentality at all times.
Report a hazardous condition immediately to your manager or supervisor.
Be conscious as to what others are doing around you, and do your best to ensure you don’t pose a hazard to them (and vice versa).
If you’re an employer, invite and involve your employees in safety planning; obtain their insight, give and take suggestions, and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Did You Know?
92% Of Injuries are Sustained by MenIn 2010, 92% that had fatal work injuries were men compared to only 8% of women. (1)Work Gloves are UnderusedSomething as trivial as not putting on a pair of proper gloves is responsible for 48 million dollars each year. (5)12 Die Every DayEvery day, more than 12 workers die on the job – over 4,500 a year. (7)
Action Items
  • Always be awake and alert in your workspace.
  • Immediately clean and/or report any potential hazards (spills, leaks, fire hazard obstacles)
  • Closely follow instructions when using any tool or machine.
  • Dress appropriately for your specific workspace and/or task.
  • Always wear the protective equipment that is intended for your task.
  • Make safety your first thought—not your afterthought!
Need Safety Materials?
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Always use both hands when lifting a heavy or cumbersome object.
Adopt a proper stance for lifting: put the strain on your legs, not your back (crouch at your feet, keep your back straight, and don’t bend at the waist).
Test the weight before you lift something up completely; it might be too late if you realize a few seconds later that it’s too heavy or cumbersome for you.
  • An easy way to do this is to nudge it with your foot first.
Consider a back brace if the work is heavy or you have a sensitive back.
Move your feet, not your back, when you want to travel or turn while carrying a heavy load.
Lift slowly and smoothly.
Keep your burden close to your body; this means less strain on you.
If your load is too heavy for you to handle alone, don’t be shy—ask for help!
Ensure ladders are secure and steady before climbing aboard.
Never climb on improvised ladders. Shelves and storage units are poor substitutes. Don’t be lazy, and find a proper solid ladder.
Don’t let appearances fool you. Railings might appear solid and fixed, but they might be improperly secures; at least, test them first.
Use safety harnesses if your job includes heights.
Eliminate distractions when working on a roof, scaffold, or other elevated platform. More than ever, stay focused and alert!
Keep an eye out on the floor to ensure it’s free of obstacles and spills. If it isn’t, get cleaning!


Use machinery only if you’re authorized, trained, and alert.
Always use the appropriate tool for the respective task.
Clean your tools and keep them in good working order.
Organize your tools and don’t be careless; someone could easily slip or get hit due to a misplaced object.
Always ensure that the operator of a machine sees you; never approach from behind or from a blind side.
Do not perform a task unless you’ve been trained and you are aware of the hazards as well as how to mitigate/eliminate them.
Never leave machinery running unattended.
Never remove safety guards that are in place to protect you and the surrounding area.
Obey all operating instructions.
If something is wrong, stop the machine immediately and get assistance.
Communicate your location and process to those around you, so they’ll know where you are, what you’re doing, and when they need to be getting out of the way.
Never walk in front of a forklift, tractor, or any other heavy machine; the operator may not have seen you—and, even if he has, there’s always room for error, so make sure that error isn’t you being trampled.
Always read labels and instructions alerting you to potential dangers and hazards.
Unless it’s your job, never tamper with electric controls, cords, switches, or other such hazardous items.
Dress properly and compactly: billowing, loose, or hanging clothes and accessories (ties, earrings, bracelets, loose sleeves, etc.) may easily get caught up in moving parts.
  • At best, the offending objects may be destroyed; at worst, they could ruin the machine or severely hurt you.
Never insert fingers or any other objects that don’t belong into moving machinery.
Turn off machines and equipment before you even consider cleaning, un-jamming, oiling, adjusting, or moving them.


Come up with a fire emergency plan; ensure that everyone knows and understands it.
Practice fire drills.
Avoid “power strips” which can ignite a fire if overloaded.
Ventilation is critical, especially if dealing with fumes and chemicals.
  • Good ventilation helps to reduce the toxins in the air, and thus to eliminate highly flammable vapors.
In case of fire, know what has fed the fire.
  • Never fight a grease fire with water; water will splash the oil and spread the flames.
  • Be aware of the whereabouts and use of fire extinguishers.


Always wear appropriate clothing and shoes respective to your job.
Fire extinguishers must be available and readily attainable.
First aid kits must be available and readily attainable.
Never remove or tamper with safety devices.
Use a back brace if you’re lifting heavy objects or you’ve got a sensitive back.
A hard hat will protect you if there’s a risk of falling objects
Wear gloves if you’re handling sharp objects or toxic substances.
Wear goggles if your work poses a hazard to your eyes.
Wear safety harnesses if you’re working from an elevated location and there’s the risk of falling.
Wear non-skid footgear:
  • If your workspace involves slippery surfaces (kitchens, spas, pools, etc.)
  • If you’re lifting heavy items
Wear a breathing mask at all times, especially if:
  • You deal with dangerous or toxic chemicals or fumes
  • Your workspace has poor ventilation
  • Your workspace has debris, dust, and other flying particles.
Wear the protective equipment that is intended and recommended for your particular task.
  • Seat belts
  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Protective clothing, headgear, and/or footgear
  • Safety harnesses, etc.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Work Safety Topics

Nearly 13,000 American workers suffer an injury every day; each is preventable. Injury should never be a cost of doing business. Here are some of the workplace safety topics NSC is focusing on.


Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each day to reach peak performance, but nearly one-third report averaging less than six hours. The effects of fatigue are far-reaching and can have an adverse impact in all areas of our lives.
  • Safety performance decreases as employees become tired
  • You are three times more likely to be in a car crash if you are fatigued
  • Chronic sleep-deprivation causes depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses

Drugs at Work

Drug use at work is a safety topic that is gaining attention. Lost time, job turnover, re-training and healthcare costs are three of the primary implications of drug use regularly confronted by employers. The typical worker with a substance use disorder misses about two work weeks (10.5 days) for illness, injury or reasons other than vacations and holidays.
  • Workers with substance use disorders miss 50% more days than their peers, averaging 14.8 days a year
  • Workers with pain medication use disorders miss nearly three times as many days – 29 days
  • Workers in recovery who report receiving substance use treatment miss the fewest days of any group – 9.5


Many employers have adopted safe driving policies that include bans on cell phone while driving and on the job. NSC has created a Safe Driving Kit with materials to build leadership support for a cell phone policy and tools to communicate with employees.

Workplace Violence

Every year, 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. This violence fits into four categories: criminal intent, customer/client, worker-on-worker and personal relationship (most involving women).
The deadliest situations involve an active shooter. 
Every organization needs to address workplace violence through policy, training and the development of emergency action plans. While there is no way to predict an attack, you can be aware of warning signals that might signal future violence.

Slips, Trips and Falls

You might be surprised to learn that falls account for the third-highest total unintentional deaths every year in the United States. Fatalities as a result of falls are surpassed only by poisoning (including deaths from drugs and medicines) and motor vehicle crashes.
Fall safety should be a top priority. Construction workers are at the most risk for fatal falls from height, but falls can happen anywhere, and it is important to recognize potential hazards, both on the job and off. Plan ahead and use the right equipment.

Ergonomics and Overexertion

Overexertion causes 35% of all work-related injuries and is the No. 1 reason for lost work days. Regular exercise, stretching and strength training can prevent injury. Likewise, ergonomic assessments can ward off ergonomics injuries, often caused by excessive lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching or stretching.

Struck by Objects

While employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment, employees can take steps to protect themselves at work. Paying attention is vitally important for those operating machinery as well as those working around power tools and motor vehicles.

© Copyright 2019 National Safety Council - All Rights Reserved.

Happy Deepavali

The festival of light is here! May you be the happiest and may love be always with you. Happy Deepavali!