Positively shifting a safety culture

Safety professionals frequently promote the benefits of having a positive and proactive safety culture. Upper management’s perception of their company’s safety culture may be that they have a decent safety culture, when in actuality they do not. The reality is that every company and every jobsite has a safety culture, good or bad — it’s just that some companies are …

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There’s More to Fall Protection than the Lanyard

Kids enjoy jumping from “high” locations. You probably jumped off of playground equipment, tree limbs, or small hills — and probably walked away with the scrapes and bruises that demonstrate the hazards. As adults, falling can be frightening. We rarely fall deliberately, and the surfaces that break our falls these days are less forgiving than grassy fields and playground surfaces. …

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Making jobsite ventilation a breeze

On the surface, ventilation is a simple concept. When we want more fresh air, we can open a window or a vent, or turn on a fan. At worksites, proper ventilation is one of the most important controls that can be used. In simple terms, it’s a way to control the quality of the work environment using flowing air, whether …

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Enhancing Safety Through Contractor Prequalification

At most companies’ facilities,  you have to stop to identify yourself and explain why you’re there. The reasoning is clear: the company wants to make sure that the only people who enter are those who belong there. It pays to take a similar approach with the contractors who will work on your organization’s projects. Only those who meet your organization’s …

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Closing up the risks from sealing and insulating

Sealing and installing insulation has long been a part of construction projects, but has become more important with the desire for greater energy efficiency. Whether the goal is a greener structure or simply a tighter building envelope, properly installed insulation and sealed joints to prevent air infiltration is a key factor. Sealing and insulating are generally straightforward processes, and as …

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Stacking Up Strategies for Scaffold Safety

Scaffolds and their components are among the most common features on construction sites and in industrial settings — and one of the most inherently dangerous. Workers take them for granted and fail to give them a second thought. While they may be ordinary and utilitarian, when they fail, it’s usually in dramatic, newsworthy ways. Although scaffolding systems may not get …

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Safer ways to spray and sandblast

Spray painting and sandblasting serve two entirely opposite functions, yet from a safety standpoint, they create many similar hazards for workers. Both operations rely upon the use of compressed air to spray a material across surfaces, but while spray painting is normally used to apply a coating to those surfaces, sandblasting uses the material to either remove its current coating …

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Winter weather creates workplace hazards

Ice and snow can be beautiful, but on construction projects and other outdoor jobsites, winter can transform even the safest spaces into treacherous places. We know that we have to walk carefully, so we won’t slip and fall, but other winter workplace hazards aren’t always as obvious. Frostbite is no fun If you think the skin injury we know as …

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Safer ways to use rented equipment

Most contractors have a wide array of equipment. Some of it is used on nearly every job, while some pieces may be hauled out only occasionally for specific needs. Then there are those projects that call for something that used so rarely it doesn’t make sense to own one, or that are large enough that the need is bigger than …

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Creating Successful Project Safety Committees

One of the most familiar — and frustrating — aspects of life on most construction sites is the tendency of workers to participate in the strange contest called the blame game. Anyone who has been a supervisor on a site for any length of time is certain to have encountered this odd contest. Something goes wrong, and everyone in earshot …

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