The national Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently hosted a webinar on the new NFPA 350 Guide for Safe Confined Space Entry and Work. This webinar is available above and on YouTube with highlights including:
Background and vision for the NFPA 350 document on confined spaces
Ways NFPA 350 addresses confusion and gaps in existing standards, including:
ASSE Z117.1 Safety Requirements for Confined Spaces,
OSHA Permit Required Confined Space Standard 1910.146, and
OSHA Confined Space in Construction 1926.1200 – 1926.1203
Confined space confusion exists in:
Permit required vs. confined spaces
Terminology that “non-permit” spaces implies nothing needs to be done
AIHA has begun publishing technical documents that represent the “body of knowledge” that a competent and skillful practitioner should possess. The documents are available for free on AIHA’s website and currently consists of the following:
Determining what constitutes an OSHA recordable injury can often be a science in itself. Luckily, the good folks at JJ Keller have put together a list of medical treatments (recordable) vs. first aid (non-recordable) for your reference. Care categories include:
Visits to health care professionals
Cuts, lacerations, punctures, abrasions
Strains, sprains, dislocations
Burns, skin rashes, blisters
Physical therapy (PT)
Loss of consciousness
Click below for a .pdf copy of the summary document.
If you haven’t had the opportunity, check out WorkSafeBC’s YouTube page. With over 400 videos, they have something for everyone and are a great training resource. The subject matter of the videos touches most all areas of occupational health and safety, including:
LOTO and electrical safety
Forklifts, powered industrial trucks, and mobile equipment
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule to increase protections for construction workers in confined spaces.
Manholes, crawl spaces, tanks and other confined spaces are not intended for continuous occupancy. They are also difficult to exit in an emergency. People working in confined spaces face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions and asphyxiation.
Last year, two workers were asphyxiated while repairing leaks in a manhole, the second when he went down to save the first – which is not uncommon in cases of asphyxiation in confined spaces.
“In the construction industry, entering confined spaces is often necessary, but fatalities like these don’t have to happen,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “This new rule will significantly improve the safety of construction workers who enter confined spaces. In fact, we estimate that it will prevent about 780 serious injuries every year.”
The rule will provide construction workers with protections similar to those manufacturing and general industry workers have had for more than two decades, with some differences tailored to the construction industry. These include requirements to ensure that multiple employers share vital safety information and to continuously monitor hazards – a safety option made possible by technological advances after the manufacturing and general industry standards were created.
“This rule will save lives of construction workers,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Unlike most general industry worksites, construction sites are continually evolving, with the number and characteristics of confined spaces changing as work progresses. This rule emphasizes training, continuous worksite evaluation and communication requirements to further protect workers’ safety and health.”
The Wisconsin Oil & Gas Industry Safety Alliance has produced a fantastic presentation/handout on excavation and trenching safety, including a quiz with answers. Check out what they put together.
You may encounter trenching and excavation operations on site. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of the potential hazards. By understanding the hazards; providing adequate work zone traffic control; using protective equipment such as trench boxes; having a properly trained, competent person on site to monitor the trenching operations; and instituting a written program that emphasizes planning prevention, and training; excavation-related injuries and fatalities can be prevented.
OSHA has established a system of tools (eTools and the eMatrices) that are “stand-alone,” interactive, Web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics. They are highly illustrated and utilize graphical menus. Some also use expert system modules, which enable the user to answer questions, and receive reliable advice on how OSHA regulations apply to their work site. Selected eTools are available as downloadable files for off-line use. Addtionally, there are Expert Advisors (based solely on expert systems) and v-Tools which are prevention video training tools.
Sitehawk.com recently published an infographic detailing the pertinent facts relating to the implementation of GHS. While GHS has historically focused on the international community, with early adoption by the European Union and Japan, the GHS trend is moving west and will definitely be in the spotlight in the U.S. in 2012. GHS has already had and will continue to have profound effects on chemical data management initiatives, both for companies that must author and publish material safety data sheets (M)SDS for their chemical products, as well as those companies that must manage (M)SDS and related chemical data for onsite chemical inventories. Below is a summary of the highlights.