Excavation and Trenching Safety – Handout, Quiz & Answers

Wisconsin Safety

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.

Take a look at the handout HERE

Quiz questions (10) provided HERE

Answers to the quiz provided HERE

Source: Wisconsin Oil & Gas Industry Safety Alliance

OSHA eTools, vTools and eMatrices

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.


eTools en Español

Ergonomics eTools


Expert Advisors

Prevention Videos (v-Tools)

Source: OSHA.gov

GHS Infographic – Only the Facts

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.

Source: Sitehawk.com

Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Introductory Overview & Webinar

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals is a system for standardizing and harmonizing the classification and labeling of chemicals.  The GHS provides 3 basic elements for classification and labeling:

  • Define health, physical & environmental hazards
  • Classify the hazards
  • Communicate the hazards throughout the workforce via labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) – note: comparison of SDS and MSDS

(For a side-by-side comparison of the current hazard communication standard and the new standard, click HERE.)

While not a regulation or a standard, GHS is an attempt to standardize the method in which hazards are communicated in the workplace.  It is anticipated that application of the GHS will:

  • Enhance the protection of human health and the environment by providing an internationally comprehensible system,
  • Provide a recognized framework to develop regulations for those countries without existing systems,
  • Facilitate international trade in chemicals whose hazards have been identified on an international basis,
  • Reduce the need for testing and evaluation against multiple classification systems.

Benefits to companies include:

  • A safer work environment and improved relations with employees,
  • An increase in efficiency and reduced costs from compliance with hazard communication regulations,
  • Application of expert systems resulting in maximizing expert resources and minimizing labor and costs,
  • Facilitation of electronic transmission systems with international scope,
  • Expanded use of training programs on health and safety,
  • Reduced costs due to fewer accidents and illnesses,
  • Improved corporate image and credibility.


Adequate Face Velocity for Laboratory Hoods

Multiple organizations have adopted laboratory hood safety standards to determine the effectiveness of a hood in limiting occupational exposure.  One such measure of determining the effectiveness of the hood is by measuring the speed of air entering the hood (i.e. the face velocity).  While face velocity is not the only test method for determining if a hood has the ability to adequately contain the contaminants (see ANSI/ASHRAE 110-1995 Method of Testing Performance of Laboratory Fume Hoods), it is the only performance standard cited by the following organizations.

  • OSHA – General air flow should not be turbulent and should be relatively uniform throughout the laboratory, with no high velocity or static areas (194, 195); airflow into and within the hood should not be excessively turbulent (200); hood face velocity should be adequate (typically 60-100 lfm)
  • NIOSH – The current consensus of the literature is that the average face velocity for a laboratory chemical hood should be in the range of 80–120 ft/min
  • Cal OSHA – The exhaust system shall provide an average face velocity of at least 100 feet per minute with a minimum of 70 fpm at any point, except where more stringent special requirements are prescribed
  • ANSI/AIHA Z9.5-2003 – Design face velocities for laboratory chemical hoods in the range of 80-100 fpm (0.41-0.51m/s) will provide adequate face velocity for a majority of chemical hoods. Hoods with excellent containment characteristics may operate adequately below 80 fpm (0.41 m/s) while others may require higher face velocities. (more…)

OSHA Interpretations: 5 Responses to Scaffolding

For information on fall protection, see OHShub.com’s Post , Fall Protection Guidelines.

Five popular Scaffolding interpretations from OSHA (29CFR1926.450, Subpart L).

Question 1: When may the space between scaffold planks or between scaffold planks and uprights exceed one inch in width?

Answer: The relevant standard, 29 CFR §1926.451(b)(1)(i), states:

Each platform unit (e.g., scaffold plank, fabricated plank, fabricated deck, or fabricated platform) shall be installed so that the space between adjacent units and the space between the platform and the uprights is no more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide,except where the employer can demonstrate that a wider space is necessary (for example, to fit around uprights when side brackets are used to extend the width of the platform).  (Emphasis added).

In addition, 29 CFR §1926.451(b)(1)(ii) states:

Where the employer makes the demonstration provided for in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, the platform shall be planked or decked as fully as possible and the remaining open space between the platform and the uprights shall not exceed 9 ½ inches (24.1 cm).  (Emphasis added).

Question 2: Scenario: Employees are on a supported scaffold during erecting and dismantling. While on the scaffold they are using 100% fall protection by being tied off at all times. Under this scenario is there a requirement to have guardrails when on the scaffold’s wooden planks?

Answer: No. Section 1926.451(g)(2) states in part:

… the employer shall have a competent person determine the feasibility and safety of providing fall protection for employees erecting and dismantling supported scaffolds. Employers are required to provide fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds where the installation and use of such protection is feasible and does not create a greater hazard.

In this scenario fall protection is already being used. There is no additional requirement to have guardrails.

Question 3: Do the OSHA standards prohibit tying off to a scaffold?

Answer: No.

It is OSHA’s position that scaffolding can function as a suitable anchorage for fall arrest systems when the scaffolding section so used is erected and braced such that the criteria of §1926.502(d)(15) are met. This applies whether the scaffold is partially built (i.e., being erected or disassembled) or completely built.


OSHA to Hold Combustible Dust WebChat on June 28, 2010

OSHA invites interested parties to participate in a Web Chat on June 28, 2010 at 1 pm ET on the workplace hazards of combustible dust. OSHA plans to use the information gathered in response to this Web Chat in developing a proposed standard for combustible dust.

Participants are requested to provide their name, affiliation, and e-mail address so OSHA can respond to comments or seek clarification.

Participants can access the Web Chat at http://www.dol.gov/dol/chat.htm. The Web Blog will remain accessible for additional feedback through July 7, 2010.

OSHA Releases Chemical Exposure Health Data

OSHA recently released 25+ years worth of industrial hygiene sampling data as a part of the “Open Government” initiative.

OSHA takes industrial hygiene samples as part of its compliance monitoring program. Many of these samples are submitted to the Salt Lake Technical Center for analysis. Sampling data represent personal, area, and bulk samples for various airborne contaminants.

Personal sampling results represent the exposure to the individual who was actually wearing a sampling device. Area samples are taken in a fixed location and results may represent the potential risk from airborne contaminants or physical agents to workers in that area. Bulk samples were taken to verify if certain constituents are present and if so, in what concentration. Bulk samples are used individually or in conjunction with personal or area samples to help interpret the level of worker risk.

OSHA compliance officers do not:

  • Routinely visit every business which use chemicals known to be toxic.
  • Take representative samples of every employee and every activity on every day.
  • Always obtain a sample for an entire (8-hour) period or shift.

OSHA compliance officers do:

  • Target and visit certain industries based on National and regional emphasis programs.
  • Have limited time to conduct an inspection and cannot completely characterize all exposures for all employees, every day.
  • Use professional judgment and often attempt to evaluate worse case chemical exposure scenarios.
  • Develop a snapshot picture of potentially hazardous chemical exposures and use field evaluation tools to assess their significance: often comparing their measured airborne concentrations of chemicals against established standards.

Source:  OSHA.gov

Free OSHA PowerPoint Presentation Templates

A number of free OSHA applicable PowerPoint templates are available on OHShub.com. Below you will find some of the major OSHA topics that you can download and tailor to suit your needs.

Note: All presentations are in .ppt (PowerPoint) format. 

Disclaimer: All information contained in these presentations is believed to be accurate. This website and its content managers take no responsibility for inaccuracies.


Coronavirus Disinfection Cleaning Contractor South Carolina

Contact Disinfect Charleston if your business or home has been impacted by coronavirus (covid – 19), either via:

  • an individual with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 has visited your office or residence,
  • you are an essential business,
  • you are wanting to promote the thoroughness of cleaning and disinfection practices in your facility to your clientele, or
  • or you are seeking to have that additional piece of mind.

Disinfect Charleston utilizes the latest technologies, including EPA List-N disinfectants and electrostatic sprayers, to ensure that your home or business safe and 99.9% free of pathogens.

Serving Charleston, Berkeley & Dorchester Counties of SC

  • Charleston, SC
  • North Charleston, SC
  • Mount Pleasant, SC
  • Summerville, SC
  • Goose Creek, SC
  • Moncks Corner, SC
  • Isle of Palms, SC
  • Sullivans Island, SC
  • Daniel Island, SC
  • James Island, SC
  • Johns Island, SC
  • Folly Beach, SC
  • Kiawah Island, SC
  • Seabrook Island, SC

Providing Coronavirus Disinfection Services to the Following Markets:

  • Gyms, Exercise, Spin Studios, Locker Rooms
  • Schools, Colleges, Universities
  • Offices, Business Parks
  • Daycare Facilities
  • Industrial, Manufacturing & Warehouses
  • Homes, Apartments & Residential
  • Short Term Rentals
  • Hotels
  • Medical, Hospital & Doctor’s Offices
  • Automobiles, Cars, Trucks, RVs
  • Churches & Houses of Worship
  • Retirement Homes, Elderly Care Facilities

Experience & Technology

The staff at Disinfect Charleston has over 20 years of experience in occupational safety & health and over 10 years of experience in janitorial and commercial cleaning. Additionally, the team at Disinfect Charleston ensures that guidelines and regulations established by the CDC, EPA, and OSHA are adhered to while providing their cleaning, sanitization, and disinfecting services so that your home or business is safe.

NIOSH Offers Free Health Hazard Evaluations

Much in the same way that OSHA offers free onsite health and safety consulting services, NIOSH has a similar program for workplaces.  A Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE), offered by NIOSH, is a study of hazardous materials or harmful conditions in the workplace.  Taking the form of an interview, site visit and evaluation, or helpful information, the HHE provides the NIOSH findings and/or recommendations to the employer in the effort to reduce the hazard of issue.

To request a NIOSH HHE, click HERE.

1. When to request an HHE from NIOSH

You are an employee, employee representative, or employer and the following apply:

  • Employees have an illness from an unknown cause.
  • Employees are exposed to an agent or working condition that is not regulated by OSHA.
  • Employees experience adverse health effects from exposure to a regulated or unregulated agent or working condition, even though the permissible exposure limit is not being exceeded.
  • Medical or epidemiological investigations are needed to evaluate the hazard.
  • The incidence of a particular disease or injury is higher than expected in a group of employees.
  • The exposure is to a new or previously unrecognized hazard.
  • The hazard seems to result from the combined effects of several agents.

2. When to request help from the OSHA Consultation Program

You are a small business owner and you want:

  • assistance in recognizing hazards in your workplace.
  • suggestions or options for correcting safety and health issues.
  • assistance in developing or maintaining an effective safety and health program.
  • to reduce workers compensation cost and improve employee morale..

The OSHA On-site Consultation Program:

  • is a free service.
  • is delivered by state (and territorial) governments using well-trained safety and health professionals.
  • is separate from enforcement.
  • is confidential. The company’s name, and any other identifying information provided about the workplace, plus any unsafe or unhealthful working conditions that the consultant uncovers, will not routinely be reported to OSHA enforcement personnel.
  • does not issue and citations, penalties, or fines.
  • will provide you a confidential, written report that summarizes the consultant’s findings.
  • requires the correction of hazards identified by the consultant(s).
  • under specific circumstances, employers with exemplary safety and health programs can be recommend for recognition and provided with an exclusion from general schedule inspections.

OSHA Provides New Electric Power eTool

Workers in the electric power industry are potentially exposed to a variety of serious hazards, such as arc flashes (which include arc flash burn and blast hazards), electric shock, falls, and thermal burn hazards that can cause injury and death. This eTool seeks to inform employers of their obligations to develop the appropriate hazard prevention and control methodologies designed to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.

Items addressed in the eTool include:

  • Overview
  • Scope
  • Generation vs. Transmission and Distribution
  • Medical Services and First Aid
  • Hazard Assessment and Job Briefing
  • Energized vs. Deenergized Work
  • Hazardous Energy Control
  • Grounding for Employee Protection
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Insulating Protective Equipment (IPE)
  • Enclosed Spaces and Working Underground
  • Overhead Line Work
  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Industry e Tool – Illustrated Glossary (02/2004)
  • Glossary of Terms

The eTool also serves to empower workers engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power to understand the steps their employers must implement in order to provide them with a safe and healthful work environment.

The full scope of the Electric Power eTool can be found HERE.

15,000 Workplaces Receive Letters from OSHA

OSHA recently sent out 15,000 letters to workplaces with the highest DART (days away, restricted, transferred) rates.  (For a DART calculator, see OHShub.com’s post HERE).  For every 100 full-time workers, the 15,000 employers had 4.5 or more injuries or illnesses which resulted in days away from work, restricted work or job transfer. The national average is 2.0.

Suggestions provided by OSHA to reduce the DART rate included:

  • Hiring an outside safety and health consultant
  • Talking with your insurance carrier, or
  • Contacting your state’s workers’ compensation agency for advice

A copy of the letter is available HERE.


For a list of the 15,000 workplaces, click HERE.

Source: OSHA.gov