Imagine if you will a petit college intern, performing her dream job of collecting water samples from a Secure Chemical Maintenance Facility in a landfill. We were pulling water samples for Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids, or DNAPL. As is typical for springtime in Western New York the ground was thick with snow, so the work area was covered with a blue tarp to make it easier to work. It was cold that day, grey and blustery with no end to misery inciting weather in sight. Having multiple people on site, there was some frozen precipitation left behind on the tarp which made it slicker than the parking lot. As I was returning to our work area, I slid on the wet tarp and the water sample spilled. In the awkward seconds that followed, I tried to not fall on the test tube, and of course I did which then compromised my suit. The next rush of time found the crew using several shop rags and garbage bags to clean up the area, while I tried to remain calm and cover the breached area with my gloved hand while being led to an area that I could get the suit off in. Luckily I was not working with anything acutely hazardous, but the same practices applied per the training I'd received prior to donning the Level A PPE for this task.
Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace illnesses and injuries. When engineering, work practice, and administrative controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, personal protective equipment must be provided to employees. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with physical, electrical, chemical, radiological, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses, shoes/boots, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, vests, coveralls, and full body suits.
One person a day is electrocuted at work, and though this is a surprising fact to many people, it is also very true. Every employer has a duty to protect their employees in the work environment, and they want to know what can be done to make that happen. This is no easy feat, but if a company follows the seven electrical safety habits below they can greatly reduce the potential for electrocutions (fatalities) at work.
Falls from heights are a serious concern in all industries, but especially in the construction industry. In construction, fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 370 of the 991 preventable construction fatalities recorded in 2016. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries among all workers.