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Thinking Safety June 2012 eNewsletter

Thinking Safety eNewsletter

Thinking Safety Monthly eNewsletter

OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign

June 2012  |  Issue #3

Safety FAQ

QOSHA suggests you drink plenty of fluids to protect yourself from heat-related illness. How often do they suggest you drink water while working outside? AOSHA suggests you drink often and before you are thirsty. They suggest to drink water every 15-minutes to stay hydrated. OSHA

View sport drinks and electrolyte tablets from Grainger.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently launched a nationwide outreach program aimed at raising the awareness of the hazards of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs in the construction industry. According to OSHA, in 2010, falls accounted for 264 out of 774 total fatalities. OSHA states that falls can be prevented and lives can be saved by following these three simple steps: plan, provide and train.

Plan: Employers must plan projects accordingly to guarantee that jobs done from ladders, scaffolds and roofs are done safely. OSHA suggests to begin the planning by determining how the job will be accomplished, what work tasks are involved, and what safety equipment will be required to complete each work task at heights safely.

Provide: Employers must provide fall protection products and the proper equipment for workers who are six feet or more from a lower level. There are many different types of ladders, scaffolds and safety equipment. It is up to the employer to provide the correct type of equipment that gets the job done safely.

Train: Employers must train workers in hazard recognition and in the care and safe use of ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems, and other equipment they will be using on the job.

OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign home page has numerous learning tools and helpful links to their campaign partners: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).

View Grainger's extensive offering of Fall Protection safety products.

View Grainger's Quick Tips summaries on fall protection equipment and the OSHA construction standard.

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Ask a Certified Safety Professional

Ask a CSP   by Wes Maertz, CSP

Technical Support Specialist
Certified Safety Professional
B.S.E. in Occupational Safety
14 years at Grainger

Question: Mike works for ABC Construction Company. His job requires him to be outdoors in the sun the majority of the day. As a result, Mike is concerned about his exposure to the sun and feels wearing a sunscreen lotion would greatly reduce his risk of sunburn or more serious health conditions. Would the sunscreen be considered a form of PPE and require Mike's employer to pay for the sunscreen?

Interpretation: In an Interpretation Letter dated 11/15/2007, OSHA clarifies who pays for PPE. In table V-1, OSHA provides examples of PPE an employer is NOT required to pay for and sunscreen is listed in this table.

OSHA considers PPE of this nature as very personal. It is often used outside the workplace and is taken by employees from jobsite to jobsite and employer to employer. OSHA states that there is "little statutory justification" for requiring employers to pay for this type of PPE.

OSHA further states that the intent of the standard did not require employers to pay for everyday clothing and ordinary clothing or products used SOLELY for protection from the weather. While these items may serve a protective function in certain circumstances, employees must wear such items regardless of the hazards present in their jobs.

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Summer Safety

With the arrival of the warm weather, summer employment and recreational activities take shape outdoors. With this shift also comes exposure to a unique set of hazards while doing our jobs or enjoying fun in the sun.

Water Rest and Shade is the heading of OSHA's current campaign to prevent heat illness. Every year thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and for some such exposure can be fatal. This campaign is designed to raise awareness among workers and employers about the hazards of working outdoors in hot weather.

Look before you lock is the theme of Parents Central campaign, which hopes to create awareness to the hazards of leaving children unattended in a vehicle. The inside temperature of your car can rise almost 20 degrees in the first 10 minutes. Disaster can happen quickly and the consequences can be deadly for those left in cars.

SPOTting Skin Cancer is the target of the New American Academy of Dermatology campaign. It is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States and is most treatable at its earliest stage. The focus of the campaign is providing information about the positive actions people can take to helpprotect themselves from skin cancer.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has a warning about portable pools and the dangers of drowning associated with them. The CPSC page also includes links to pool safety.

Finally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an information page alerting boaters to the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The information provided covers how CO can build up on a boat, symptoms of CO poisoning and how to prevent CO poisoning on boats.

For more information on heat-related illnesses, please see Grainger's Quick Tips #222, Heat-Related Illness: Symptoms and Prevention.

For information regarding insect bites and repellents, see Grainger's Quick Tips #258, West Nile Facts and Insect Bite Prevention.

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Wildfire Awareness

Temperatures across the U.S. were milder during the 2011-2012 winter season. As a result, the warm and dry weather pattern is causing an increased risk for wildfires. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued a national warning for residents to be prepared. In these favorable wildfire conditions, fires start easier and burn out of control rapidly.

The NFPA is urging citizens and businesses to take additional steps to reduce the risk of fueling a wildfire including keeping your lawn hydrated, cleaning leaves and debris away from your home or business, and landscaping with less flammable plants or vegetation.

Vist our Wildfire Resource Center for more information on wildfires and products to help you prepare for or combat a wildfire.

Visit the NFPA website for additional information.

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Caution: Filling Gas Cans Can Pose a Fire Hazard

It's important to "think safety" when filling portable gas cans in the back of pickup trucks equipped with plastic bed liners or in cars with carpeted trunk surfaces. Gasoline vapors can spontaneously ignite due to buildup of static electricity if you don't take the necessary precautions.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) offers safe practices for filling gas cans:

  1. Always keep a gas can on the ground before refueling.
  2. Touch the can with the gas dispenser nozzle before removing the can lid.
  3. Keep the gas dispenser nozzle in contact with the can inlet when filling.
  4. Do not leave the gas container in the truck or car when refueling.
  5. Before filling, always place the containers on the ground at a safe distance away from the vehicle (provides another path to dissipate static charge to the ground).
  6. Keep the nozzle in contact with the container inlet when filling (to dissipate static charge buildup from the flow of gasoline).

For more information on proper ways to bond and ground flammable safety containers, see Quick Tips Document No. 255.

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Sleep Deprived Workers

Did you know that 1 in 3 workers may be sleep deprived? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that 30% of U.S. civilian employed adults reported getting less than 6 hours of sleep per day. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that healthy adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per day. View the statistics and see the entire report.

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June Webinar: Beating the Heat: An Overview of Employee Cooling

With the dog days of summer soon upon us, keeping employees cool and comfortable is critical to ensuring a safe and healthy work environment and maximizing efficiency. On Thursday, June 28 at 1 p.m. central time, Grainger Technical Product Support Specialist Paul Burnside will address the warning signs of heat-related illnesses and will discuss both treatment and prevention strategies.

Register Now!

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Think Safety. Think Grainger.®

Rely on North America's largest distributor of safety products. You'll also find a network of safety resources that help you stay in compliance and help protect employees from hazardous situations. Count on Grainger for lockout tagout, fall protection equipment, confined space products, safety signs, personal protective equipment (PPE), emergency response and so much more!

Please Note
The content in this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only. This publication is not a substitute for review of the applicable government regulations and standards, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific compliance questions should refer to the cited regulation or consult with an attorney.

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