Avoiding mold on a jobsite

Mold is all around us and can be an important part of life. People have found ways to use mold. For example, one of the most common antibiotics, penicillin, was developed from mold. And if you’ve ever wondered what gives blue cheese its distinctive color, it’s the mold that spreads through the cheese as it ages. Mold can also cause …

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Pumping Up Air Compressor Safety

Squeezing a volume of air into a smaller space dramatically increases its pressure. That’s the remarkably simple concept behind today’s air compressors, which pressurize to power everything from paint guns to impact wrenches and much more. This powerful process is usually very safe, as long as the right procedures are being used. The most important procedure is making sure that …

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What to Do When You Encounter Blood and Bodily Fluids

More than a couple decades ago, I began my service as an Emergency Medical Technician. In those days, colleagues viewed blood-splattered clothes as a badge of pride, because they indicated you had been through a very busy shift with especially tough calls. Blood and dirt were signs you had been busy saving lives. You’d wash up and wait for the …

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How predictive analytics inform workplace safety

The business world has more access to detailed data than ever before, and companies are using what’s come to be known as “big data” to be more competitive, more efficient, and more profitable. By applying the science of analytics to their data, managers can more accurately predict the outcomes of decisions they make. For example, a fast-food chain can determine exactly …

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The Special Challenges of Shutdowns and Turnarounds

From time to time, industrial facilities need to undergo major repairs or renovations. They can involve everything from retooling to accommodate a new product line, to replacement of key components as part of a preventive maintenance effort, to the installation of new environmental controls, to a complete overhaul of the entire operation. When faced with major changes, the managers of …

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Legal lavatories: preferred potty policies for jobsites

From an early age, we’re taught that discussing certain bodily functions is generally considered to be inappropriate. Although everyone has a need to use restroom facilities several times each day as part of their general health, most people find the topic either embarrassing or disgusting. As a result, talking about this reality is something many people choose to avoid. But …

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Workplace aspects of asbestos

If you watch late-night television, you’re probably accustomed to commercials from personal injury attorneys seeking clients who may have suffered ill effects from workplace exposure to asbestos. While recognition of the potential hazards of asbestos have led to significant reductions of its use in construction and industry, it’s possible that workers may still encounter materials that contain asbestos during demolition …

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Distracted Driving Involves Much More Than Texting

Most operators of motor vehicles recognize that texting while driving is unsafe, because it momentarily distracts the driver. Those who text while driving either have no idea about the inherent danger, or operate under the familiar false sense of security that bad things only happen to other people. Of course, the people who would never text while driving — and …

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Putting your best foot(wear) forward

Just about the only time we think about our feet is when they let us know they’re unhappy. Our feet support us through most of our waking hours, but until they feel sore or painful, we don’t give them much of our attention. We should pay attention to them, though, especially in the workplace. That’s because the U.S. Department of …

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Is Your Substance Abuse Program Still Effective?

It has been a long time since substance abuse programs became a normal part of the workplace. From random drug testing to Employee Assistance Programs, employers have made drug- and alcohol-free workplaces a key goal — and their efforts are clearly paying off. In my time in the safety field, I have never had to deal with a worker whose …

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