It's humid and getting hotter as summer approaches. The combination of heat and humidity significantly increase the hazards of heat exhaustion and stroke. Our natural ability to control the temperature of our body depends on enhanced cooling due to the evaporation of sweat from our skin. We depend on evaporative cooling when it's hot, but it isn't as effective in high humidity.
Storm season is here, so where will you go when the sirens sound? Kelli Cain, public information manager for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management says you can never be too prepared. A few reminders:
This Final CSB Report issued December 17, 2019 discusses the investigation of two fatal explosions that occurred in 2017. An investigation of the first explosion on May 28, 2017 was in progress when the second explosion occurred on June 20,2017. The final report can be found at the following url: https://www.csb.gov/midland-resource-recovery-explosion-/
A Factual Update was released by the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) concerning a H2S release that resulted in two fatalities, summarized below. A few common hazards standout in this incident, even if do not operate a water-flood station.
As the temperatures gets cooler I sometimes have a hard time regulating the temperature in my office. I often will use a space heater to make it more comfortable. My office in Stillwater is picky though. There are certain outlets that I can not use or the heater will trip the breaker. Also, you never want to plug a space heater into a power strip. This picture is a good reminder of what can happen if you plug a space heater into a power strip. The Electrical Safety Foundation International says heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the U.S. with more than 65,000 fires being attributed to them each year. The ESFI reports the fire result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. Stay safe and warm!
Do you have a metal, box-shaped transformer near your yard? While it may be tempting to paint it to match your home or to enhance it with artistic flair, do not decorate, paint or landscape near the box, called a padmount transformer or pad-mounted transformer.
The neighborhood metal transformer covers are assigned a specific color (usually green, sometimes grey) so that utility workers can easily identify them. Also, hampering with the box by painting it could impair the lock, the equipment itself or cover the warning signs. For safety, the padmount transformer should always be locked and the warning signs visible.
Padmount transformers, which are typically installed on easements, are an essential part of the supply chain that provides power to neighborhoods with underground utilities. Their purpose is to step down high-voltage electricity to a lower voltage needed for the underground wires that supply power to the lights and appliances in homes. We must be able to access them at all times in case of a power outage or to perform routine maintenance. In other words, they are very important and due to their high voltage and function, they should be revered.
Joe Rains found this at the unit. This black widow spider. A reminder to be aware of the surroundings. Do you know what to do if you got bit by a black widow? Refer to the OSHA fact sheet.
I recently spent an afternoon trimming my roses. I thought I was doing a good job of keeping safe by wearing gloves, shoes, and glasses. The trouble was that while unloading all the debris, I had moved my glasses to the top of my head. As I pulled a large clump of cuttings from the truck bed, one popped loose and hit me above my eye. I was lucky. It reminded me that I still need to work on keeping safety in mind during the whole process, not just at the beginning.
I hope everybody is enjoying the sub 60's temperatures this week. Unfortunately, such nice weather will not last very long in Oklahoma summer. Forecast indicates that the temperature next week will be at high 90's and even above 100 degree with high humidity. The FRI experimental unit will be on revamp next week so a lot of us will be working outside for a long period. Just a quick reminder of staying safe in the heat, being aware of the dangers associated with high temperature, recognizing signs of heat-related illness, allowing for ample breaks out of heat, and most importantly, being hydrated all the time.
The Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is a standard tool used to improve workplace safety in industry. A proper JSA outlies the steps required to complete a task or project, Identify potential hazards and implement safeguards. No task is too small for a JSA, especially if
Summer is a great time for outdoor activities, hiking, fishing, biking, camping, and beach. But the enjoyable time outside can also come with a serious buzz-kill: bug bites. I do go outside as much as I can this summer, and find myself very attractive for mosquitoes!
You may not be aware, but the most commonly experienced workplace injury is also the most avoidable. 50% of US employees are expected to experience physical damage to their lower back at some point. Even if you believe you aren't susceptible to back damage where you work, it's important to re-assess. In any job that includes lifting any kind of object you might be vulnerable to back injury. Issues usually arise when an employee is uneducated on proper lifting procedures. Even in the absence of extra appliances or company programs, there are many ways to avoid this problem.
Every day in the United States five to 10 arc flash explosions occur in electrical equipment. Anyone exposed to such explosions is at significant risk for death or serious injury.
If you are like me, there is always a half empty water bottle in your vehicle. I never would have guessed that it would be a fire hazard. In a test conducted by Oklahoma's Midwest City Fire Department, sunlight magnified by a water bottle reached 250 degrees. The sunlight uses the liquid and the clear material to develop a focused beam which can cause a fire. So be sure you take your water bottles with you when you leave your vehicle. For the full article and videos, click here.
All you DIY's that do home repairs, decorations, etc. Ladder safety at home is a thing to remember. Here are some safety tips when using a ladder at home:
Today we had a reminder of the dangers of driving into flood waters. Several roads and major highways experienced flooding. Some were closed by barriers and some were not. Remember that driving into flood water can be hazardous even if it isn't marked by signs or barriers. As shown on the following video, several water rescues were still in progress this morning long after the rain had stopped: https://weather.com/storms/severe/video/water-rescues-underway-in-rain-soaked-oklahoma
Below is a safety beacon from the CCPS from March 2019. It talks about not trusting valves for secure isolations for safety reasons. We have made an effort over the last few years to accomplish this by either replacing the valves with blinds or removing the line all together.
If you are like me, and have no one to take care of the kids during holidays or snow days, you bring your kids to work almost every time the school is closed. Almost 20 years ago an organization started encouraging employees and employers to have a designated take your child to work day at the end of April. At some places the practice has taken hold, at other, like FRI it hasn't. It's truly a novel idea and one we can utilize to work safer.
The suggestion would be to make every day bring your child or grandchild to work day, not in body, but in mind. As you go out to work today, I'd challenge you to do two things:
I think this is a good reminder. We have specified torque specifications for some bolts for which we can use a torque wrench with the correct setting, e.g. on the column windows or the dome. For some others, we do not have such a specification.
The 'Bomb Cyclone' about two weeks ago reminded us how dangerous high winds could be. Severe wind storms are dangerous and difficult to predict with some gusts coming with little or no warning.
I experienced a head injury a couple of weeks ago. I went to the hospital emergency room to do a head CT scan, and fortunately it turns out a minor one and nothing serious happen. Minor head injuries can happen to people of all ages, and especially common to small children. As such, I am sharing some safety tips on head injuries this week.
This Sunday is the end of Daylight Savings Time. As you spend time changing clocks that can't change themselves, don't forget to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Like any electrical appliance, personal space heaters need their space. It's especially important to locate space heaters pretty far away from anything that could catch on fire. Although the handy appliances come with lots of safety features, it's up to you to make sure they don't get close enough to catch something on fire.
I recently ran across a few articles on heart health because February is American Heart Month. I'd encourage you to take a few minutes to think about the American Heart Association's Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/aha-diet-and-lifestyle-recommendations?fbclid=IwAR1TgTRGts8QL-x7Mhgb4UH5sdnBkDED5FNXsJDzZY8zupT5OkJk9b8IErg
My 13-year-old recently discovered woodworking and received a scroll saw for Christmas. We got the saw all put together and I captured this fist cut with it. After snapping the picture, I showed it to him and pointed out that he needs safety glasses as well as taking the time to think about what he is wearing while using this, or any other power tool. I urge everyone to take the opportunities to point out to our family the safety hazards we see in everyday life.
I have to report a first aid incident that I experienced at home. I burned my finger while removing a thermocouple from meat in my smoker. I was wearing gloves but there was a hole in the tip of the index finger, right where I grabbed a hot thermocouple.
This year we are celebrating our 21st anniversary in our home. A lot has changed on our road. New houses have been built and more cut-through and bicycle traffic. What hasn't changed is the condition of the road. It is still a two-lane road without a shoulder, very narrow in parts, very dark at night, large drop offs in some areas, and animals constantly crossing it.
Talk to tour family about safety. Engaging your spouse in safety conversations is fun and very productive. It drives a safety culture that is valuable to them everywhere they go. These conversations also create a team feeling to look after each other. You can leverage all the training you receive at work.
To have happy and safe holidays, following are a few holiday safety tips:
The holiday season is here, and we're excited to share in the holiday spirit! It's easy to get caught up in the festivities, and while you're busy decorating the house, safety may be one of the last things on your mind.
As FRI is moving into keeping their employees healthy, there is also another important message to share: it's time to rethink your drink! We know that many people, including kids, struggle with their weight and how to eat more healthfully. But did you know that cutting out sugar-sweetened drinks is an easy way to eliminate extra sugar and empty calories from your diet? Consuming too much sugar also directly contributes to weight problems in children and adults alike. In fact, many health professionals point to soft drinks, sodas, sports drinks, and juices as major sources of excess calories and weight gain, even among kids. And because you don't feel as full from drinking a beverage as you would from eating the same number of calories in a meal, you may take in more calories from the sugar before you feel full. Even 100 percent fruit juice has a lot of calories from sugar, so it's best to drink only one serving a day of juice. Mostly, when you can, reach for water first! It's your best no-calorie, healthy beverage choice all the time.
My mom called last week and was telling me a story of the previous evening. She received a call from her neighbor who thought someone was inside her house. She asked my mother to come over and help her. When my mother got to her house, the neighbor was alone but there was obviously something wrong. She couldn't figure out what it was. She thought of a stroke but the neighbor had no slurred speech so she dismissed that, helped her check out the house and got her back to bed. When she called to check on her the following morning she found out she was in the hospital from a stroke.
As you go home tonight, be extra careful to watch for little goblins, witches, super heroes, etc.
We are all "addicted" to our mobile devices in one way or another. There are two health/safety issues, among many others, that are pet peeves of mine:
Sometimes tire blowouts are unavoidable. However, there are some actions we can take to reduce the likelihood of the unfortunate event from taking place.
We recently had a strong cold front make its way through Oklahoma. As the temperature decreases, the air pressure in your tire decreases. With large temperature drops, a tire that was on the lower limit of being properly inflated at 80 °F will no longer be at 35 °F. An underinflated tire will experience more friction between the tire and the road leading to increased wear and potentially a blowout.
If you haven't already, check the tires on your family's vehicles at your next opportunity.
Pedestrian safety affects the entire community and everybody. There were 5,987 pedestrian fatalities in the United States in 2016 according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). No matter if we are a pedestrian or a driver, it is extremely important for us to raise awareness of the dangers to pedestrians. Following are some tips for pedestrian safety:
As the temperature starts to fall, colorful leaves of autumn start to appear, and the rituals of a new school year get underway, you may notice summer is over. It is not uncommon for your body to experience changes with the seasons: Aches, pains, trouble sleeping, allergies and other issues can surface.
You are driving down the highway when suddenly you have car trouble. What to do? Here are a few tips when your car breaks down or has a flat tire on the highway:
What did you bring for lunch today? And where have you stored your lunch until it's time to eat it?
A couple weeks ago I went with our daughter and grandkids to a birthday party. It was at a home and the party was concentrated outside. In the back yard there was a Great Pyrenees on chain. Most of the time he was just lounging under a tree but he did play with some boys off and on. The boys gave the dog a large bone which immediately he took back to his tree. A little later our granddaughter Ella made her way out to the dog. I watched from the porch about 25 feet away. She walked up to it slowly, petted it, and then leaned down to pick up the bone. In a moment the dog's behavior changed. It started guarding the bone. I yelled Ella's name and she quickly came to me crying. I think she could tell from my voice that she was in danger.
I recently became aware of an activity called "noodling" that is popular in Oklahoma. Sounded awesomely strange to me.
July is UV Safety Month, so here is an infographic with some sun safety tips!
The hot days of summer are here. Throughout the country, thousands of employees who work outdoors face the potential dangers associated with overexposure to heat. Factors such as working in direct sunlight, high temperature and humidity, physical exertion and lack of sufficient water intake can lead to heat stress.
I hosted a 4th of July gathering a couple years ago that included setting off home fireworks. Being outside city limits, our neighborhood had several houses that were doing the same. We noticed the neighbors a couple houses over setting out their impressive collection of fireworks on a large table. It wasn't long after the fireworks started at the different houses that we heard some yelling and looked over to watch as all of the fireworks that had been stored on their table went off at the same time. Nobody got hurt and that was a good outcome for the dangerous situation.
Working outside during a storm can be dangerous. How well do you know the dangers of lightning? Check your knowledge against these lightning myths courtesy of NOAA
Recently my 12-year-old had a bicycle wreck on a gravel road. A few hours and a few stitches later, we thought everything was okay. He was put on an antibiotic for a precaution. The next morning, he was unable to lift his leg off the bed. His knee was hurting terribly. So, the second evening in the ER and a second stronger antibiotic we thought now everything will be okay. Wrong. Two days later we were at a third appointment and he was admitted in the hospital for a couple nights. Everyone should know the signs of infection when to follow up with your doctor.
Maybe your job requires hours of work at a computer. Maybe you like to spend your free time surfin' the Net. Whatever the reason, your body is feeling the effects of spending too much time logged on-dry eyes, tired eyes, headaches, neck pain, blurred vision. Luckily, help is on the way.
Many of us will be spending time at the beach this summer. One pf the dangers in the surf is riptides. They are currents that form at the beach and flow away from the beach. They are caused by multiple factors and can appear suddenly.
A news article, below, reminded me of the hazards that occur during transport and transfer of flammable liquids and chemicals. Transferring products is inherently hazardous because of the opportunity for:
As we enter into in the summer months, it is important to remember to safeguard yourself from the harmful effects of sun exposure. Sun burns are a fast and obvious sign of too much sun. Later in life, skin cancer and cataracts can result. According to the center for disease control, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer.
FRI recently implemented the use of Bluetooth headsets during revamps. It's not unusual for our installation team to spend several hours at a time in a Column. The headsets were mainly envisioned to improve communications between the installers and Hole Watch attendant. The Hole Watch is responsible for oversight of safety, as well as organizing tools and parts for the installers. The safety and efficiency improvements are obvious after observing their work, with and without headsets.
When I went to the airport this morning, it was raining and still dark. I saw two rollover accidents on I-35, one with a semi-truck, another with a SUV.
Spring is here, and that means tornado season is a threat for many states. Here are some of the Tornado safety tips that I found maybe helpful to us:
Test your smoke alarms monthly.
I recently had to replace a battery in a car. A routine thing and one of the very few mechanical operations I can manage. I have long realized that there is risk in doing this but for the first time I actually did a safety review of the operation and I ran across this snippet on the web:
One of the key elements of behavioral safety is to learn how to identify and avoid line of fire hazards.
For the current MD6/7 test program, additional boiler capacity is needed. That is why we have a retinal boiler on site to provide more steam to the reboilers. The rental boiler will be on site at least for next two month. This safety nugget is trying to remind us the boiler safety.
A Total Worker Health approach prioritizes a hazard-free work environment for all workers. It applies a prevention approach that is consistent with traditional occupational safety and health prevention principles of the Hierarchy of Controls.
This year's flu gets so intensive that the number of people seeking care at doctors' and emergency rooms is the highest levels reported in the past ten years, especially for young kids and senior people.
I drive a lot during any week. These past few weeks I have been noticing more and more spots that have been blackened by fire. Oklahoma's burn ban was expanded this week to include 12 more counties than the ban that was issued on January 30.
This week (first full week of February) is National Burn Awareness Week in the United States. Let's look at some quick facts about burn injuries:
Last week we had a blast of winter weather. We have two miles of county roads to travel before getting to a major highway. We don't get much traffic on our road so ice can build up pretty quickly. The propane man learned this the hard way. He was stuck in our ditch until a wrecker could come and pull him out.
Injuries are now the number 3 causes of death in the US. Just a reminder to all of us that a Total Safety Culture is necessary for Safety to take hold in or lives. One cannot be only safe at work or at home. One needs to be always safe. The attached article illustrates this very well
Mental health is starting to get more and more focus in the country. Mental health issues can cause daily struggles in a person's personal and professional life. They are a common problem that are frequently misunderstood. Often major improvements can be made after one gets the help he or she needs.
When we have time during the holidays, we usually get those outdoor chores done. Unfortunately, the outdoors can hold many dangers. One of those is mixing damp conditions and electricity. If you plan on using electrical equipment while you work outside, it is important that your equipment is plugged in to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
The winter holiday season is a festive and eventful time of year that traditionally includes notable increases in lights, colorful decorations, celebrations, family gatherings. Thus, an increase in the usage of electricals and potential safety hazards.
I waited until the coldest weekend to put lights up on our house. As I stood on the ladder, I kept looking at my neighbors' lights on their houses, thinking about my chores list, and attaching light clips to the house. I was definitely distracted. After I dropped my third or fourth clip, I realized that I needed to stop letting my mind wander and focus on the task at hand.
A 59-year-old Washington Township died Sunday after he fell from the roof of his house while putting up Christmas lights, authorities said today.
It is almost Thanksgiving. This year I am hosting Thanksgiving at my house. This also means I will be participating in Black Friday shopping with my relatives. I rarely buy anything but I do love to see the chaos in the stores.
Automobile and deer collisions are a frequent but dangerous event on US roads they are devastating to the deer pf course but can also be lethal for drivers. Here are some pointers to reduce your chances of hitting a deer
Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment, and following some common-sense practices can keep events safer and more fun.
I just heard this heartbreaking news yesterday "Jozef Dudek had just been put down for a nap at home in Buena Park, Calif., when his father went to check on him - and made a horrifying discovery: The 2-year-old was crushed under an Ikea dresser and could not be revived." Many of us have lovely kids or grandkids at home, and no one wants them to be in such danger. I find the following tips that may be helpful:
When traveling with airplane, before taking off and/or landing, flight attendants always ask passengers to put seat back into its upright (uncomfortable) position.
Fine-Tune Interim PSM Audits:
On my drive to Stillwater this morning, NPR reported on how much bacteria can be found in your kitchen sponge. According to a study published in Scientific Reports the density of bacteria reached up to 45 BILLION per square centimeter. Yuck!
PRODUCTS OF DISTILLATION
While driving in Stillwater during summer time, I've seen all kinds of roadworks: the work on 6th street and Perkins Rd, Western and McElroy, in front of Sprouts, etc. In fact, during the past 5 years in work zone crashes more than 4,400 persons died (85 percent of which was the driver or passenger) and 200,000 persons were injured. Rear-end crashes (running into the rear of a slowing or stopping vehicle) are the most common type of work zone crash. Fatal work zone crashes occur most often in summer and fall. I feel it may be helpful to bring up this safety nugget for us at this time and the upcoming season when the town will be filled up with students.
Last week, our three-year-old son locked himself inside the house while Anand and I are working in our front yard. We didn't realize that until we are headed inside and we saw the garage door locked but, that should be less than 5 minutes he headed into the garage. Our first concern was, was he in the garage? It was a very hot day and he usually cannot open the door that leads to the house. Soon, we went around the house and called for him from the backyard, for which he responded. We were at least relived he is inside the house and not locked in the garage. We talked to him but couldn't get him to open the dead bolt. Out of the three doors that lead to the house, he somehow communicated and opened one of them and got us inside, for which we were very proud he could do it.
Cybersecurity has been on the news a lot recently, ranged from the credit card record breaches to national elections etc.
"More than a third of the incidents investigated by the CSB occurred prior to, during, or immediately following maintenance activities, ultimately resulting in 86 fatalities and 410 injuries."
Dead Butt Syndrome? I never heard of it before today.
It's almost summer now in Stillwater! I guess it's about time for most of us to start getting yard and outdoor spaces in tip-top shape. So, I share top 10-yard work safety tips that can help us - and our family - avoid a trip to the emergency room.
We have recently improved our procedures and policies to effectively and actively make sure that our vessels are indeed empty before we start a revamp.
We are coming up to the hotter months of the year. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke become more of an issue.
In recognition of Workplace Eye Wellness Month in March, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is sharing ergonomic tips to help workers deal with dry and strained eyes.
With winter officially beginning in just a few weeks, preparations for winter driving should begin now.
This year, we enjoyed pleasant temperatures well into December. But, winter is finally here!
We recently voted on the topic of how to deal with drug related crimes in Oklahoma. I don't want to get into how you voted. But I would like take a moment to remind everyone to clean out their medicine cabinet and destroy any unused prescription pain killers. Keeping these medications out of the reach of others is extremely important.
This is the season for turkey and stuffing, quickly followed by Christmas lights and Santa Claus. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) has some easy to follow guidelines to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season.
The winter holiday season is traditionally a festive and eventful time of year. Celebrations, family gatherings and visits from houseguests traditionally increase in number during the season. However, the hectic pace of the holidays can also present increased risks, such as overcrowded stores and greater opportunities for thieves to target your valuables and personal information. Here are five simple tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season:
The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) recently released a report about an incident that resulted in two fatalities and numerous injuries in 2013.
One of the best ways to prevent and control occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities is to "design out" or minimize hazards and risks. The mission of the Prevention through Design National initiative is to prevent or reduce occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities through the inclusion of prevention considerations in all designs that impact workers. The mission can be achieved by:
Daylight saving time will end in less than a month. It is about the time to change your clock and replace the battery in your smoke detector(s).
It has been estimated that almost 20% of all disabling accidents on the job involve the hands. Without your fingers or hands, your ability to work would be greatly reduced.
FRI has recently completed a thorough review of its PSM policies and procedures including MOC procedures, and the role of employees in recognizing changes and initiating the MOC process.
We spent part of the Labor Day Weekend in Wichita visiting the Sedgwick County Zoo. If you haven't visited it, I highly recommend it. The day started out bright and early as expected with two, two year olds. We were discussing which animal we wanted to see the most when the hotel began to move. I jumped up and went to the window expecting to see high winds and looming clouds from our 7th floor window. All was quiet but the hotel began to move again. I called the front desk and they informed me it was an earthquake, all was fine and if there was an emergency the alarm would go off.
It is time for kids to go back to school so a few thoughts on safety for kids.
Last week my husband told me about a safety lunch and learn he had been to that day. The Washington County Sheriff's office had come in and talked about Active Shooter Preparedness. Deputies went through several scenarios for public locations and at home. The US Department of Homeland Security says, "Active shooter incidents, in many cases, have no pattern or method to the selection of victims, which results in an unpredictable and evolving situation." The Department of Homeland Security has a short informative video available. According to the government Planning and Response to an Active Shooter guide, staff members should be trained to:
FRI is currently in the process of replacing the insulation at the unit. During the 2016 turnaround, we replaced the majority of the insulation on the ground level and first deck. Once the insulation was removed, there were several spots that displayed evidence of corrosion under insulation, or CUI, which resulted in several piping projects at the unit.
As the weather warms up and trips to the park become frequent, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the risks of playground equipment and injury prevention strategies.
On July 28, 2016, a severe thunderstorm in Stillwater caused a power outage in my neighborhood around 6:30pm. The power did not come back until about 10pm. While impatiently waiting for the power to come back, I quickly realized how much we depend on electricity for cooling/heating as well as food, drinking water, medical care, communication, and other needs. I also realized that I was not very well prepared for the power outage and the safety issues it caused. Preparing for power outages can help minimize their impacts and keep us and our families safe.
For certain jobs, wearing safety glasses or a face shield to protect a person's eyes is a requirement. It is important for individuals to identify tasks outside of the work place that also require eye protection to be used.
Summer is here, which means lots of fun in the sun. Nevertheless, the weather can get extremely hot and quickly go from fun to dangerous, especially for people working outside.
Lake activities go hand in hand with Oklahoma summers. If you are planning to spend time lounging on a boat or cruising across the lake, it is important to familiarize yourself with boat safety requirements.
Summer is here and for me, and many others, that means some long road trips as part of a vacation, or getting to a family reunion. So it is a good time to review safe driving practice for long trips. Check out the list below and drive safely!
When the warmer weather hits, there's nothing better than the smell of food on the grill.
Vehicle incidents occur for a variety of reasons. Since starting with FRI I have noticed that several of us drive from the office to the testing facility several times a day. A couple of practices that I have learned from a previous company are performing a 360 degree inspection on your vehicle prior to entering and limiting the amount of times you have the back out of a parking spot.
What exactly are the benefits of receiving a massage?
Lightning Storm Safety
This Safety Nugget was taken from the July 2002 Safety Beacon, published by Center for Chemical Process Safety, or CCPS: http://www.tulane.edu/~bmitche/aiche/psb0802.pdf
The first tornado watch of the day was issued last week, as an outbreak of severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes, baseball size hail and high winds was predicted to erupt in North Texas and Central Oklahoma. Tornadoes are one of natures most powerful and destructive forces. Here's some advice to prepare for a tornado and what to do if you're caught in a twister's path.
Changing your perception of safety is not always an easy task. I never have thought of myself as an unsafe person but since FRI's safety initiative I have started looking at things differently.
Some of FRI staff wear hard hats every day, others of us wear them less frequently. But pretty much all FRI employees will wear a hard hat sometimes.
I was looking for supporting information about keeping food safe while picnicking. But then I stumbled upon an article about using public picnic tables. I had never thought about this before and was really pretty disgusted while reading it. I know at home I wipe the table down after a meal with disinfectant spray but never thought about it when I go for a picnic. Boy, I will now. Keep reading to see what I learned.
Many of us are susceptible to eye strain due to the focus on a computer screen or other interfaces with smaller, detailed items. So when doing these tasks think about preserving your vision with what is called the 20/20/20 rule.
There is a common thread that almost everyone shares and that is the wearing of shoes. Now, for some, the type of shoe is not that important as long as it serves the purpose of covering the feet; keeping them cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and if found on sale - even better. There are others who think of a pair of shoes as an accessory to an outfit and every outfit should have a matching pair. In these instances it's about the color, style and season. And then there is the mandatory safety shoe required by certain employers to be OSHA compliant due to the environment and possible dangers that could occur if not worn. But that's not what this Safety Nugget is about.
November 1, 2015 Oklahoma adopted new regulations regarding child car seats.
Forklifts are extremely useful pieces of equipment and we operate them at the experimental unit. Forklifts, however, have some inherent safety risks. And, according to OSHA, about 100 workers are killed each year as a result of forklift accidents. Of these, 1/4 of these fatalities are caused by overturning. Other common injuries include being struck by a forklift or being struck by materials falling off a forklift.
FRI will reimburse each employee for his/her vaccination. So please stop by your local Walgreens or Doctors office and get vaccinated today. Make sure to get a receipt and take it into Yvonne for reimbursement.
Many of us will soon be decorating our homes for the holidays.
I recently finished my CPR class, a license that each employee of FRI is required to have. A subject that is now very close to my heart and I will tell you why a little later. When I was told it was a post-requisite to my employment I thought, 'okay, I work in a quiet office setting, but it certainly won't hurt having it.' The class I took was sponsored by the American Heart Association, my instructor was a retired fire fighter an outstanding combination for teaching such an important subject. My hat goes off to them for a very worthwhile teaching program and to FRI for requiring this. One question asked of us at the end of our CPR class was this:
FRI is a global leading consortium that conducts cutting edge research work for chemical process industries (CPI). FRI staff members travel regularly in USA and sometime overseas. As a matter of fact, I am writing to you out of my locked hotel room in Tokyo, Japan. Just as you are at work, safety should also be a priority when you are traveling. You're vulnerable when you're on the road, so take steps to protect yourself and your family and equipment. Tips below will help to keep you safe on your next business trip and any other trips. The holiday season is just around the corner and many travel during this time. I hope that all of you and your loved ones travel safely; and have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
Getting enough sleep can affect many aspects of a person's day. Some of these aspects can be a person's mood and how well a person performs his or her job. Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (IS&HN) posted a blog (OSHA has no regulation for sleep deprivation -- but you must know who is fit for duty) regarding the ways that sleep insufficiency can interfere with a person's job performance through impeded judgment, lack of manual dexterity, and lack of alertness. Employees wear PPE and work to have situational awareness on the job, but severe sleep insufficiency could be "as dangerous as alcoholic impairment".
I was driving to the airport early in the morning a few weeks ago, when I saw a car pull up to the intersection less than a quarter mile ahead. I could see the driver holding a cell phone in front of his face as I got closer and assumed he was going to wait at the intersection until I passed. I was probably less than 100 feet away when the driver pulled out in front of me, still holding the cell phone up in front of his face. The driver stopped close to the centerline, so I was able to break hard and swerve around him. I can still remember seeing the scared look on the driver's face as I went around the car.
Drive safely, never ever drunk driving.
My grandfather's truck needed some maintenance work recently. In the process of fixing one thing, I noticed that the exhaust was being secured by bungie cords. I took the truck to our local muffler repair shop. The building is a metal building with three large overhead doors and a people door. I handed over the keys and entered through the people door. The waiting area was open to the shop but clearly marked with a yellow line and a sign "Employees only." I watched from the designated area as the truck was lifted in the air allowing the technician to inspect the exhaust. I knew I was in for bad news when I heard him chuckle from under the truck.
I love Fall! Everything about the season is great. It's a time for football, crock pot cooking and chilly weather. This time of year calls for the heater of a morning but the AC in the afternoon. If you use a space heater instead of changing the thermostat in the house, or possibly one in your garage or workshop, please keep in mind the rules of safety. The NFPA states that spaces heaters are the cause of approximately 1/3 of household fires. Here are a few simple rules I found.
Fall celebrations are just around the corner such as Halloween and Harvest Day, a time for children to dress up in costumes, enjoy parties and eat yummy treats. But children aren't the only ones who enjoy dressing up and putting on fun makeup, there are adults who jump at the opportunity to do just that and not just for the annual holiday. For example the stage actor who participates in plays that require elaborate costumes and makeup. State Fairs with magic, theatrics and the hundreds of fair-goers young and old walking around with painted, sparkling faces of their favorite animal or fantasy creature. Let's not forget school parades boasting their team spirit and private costume parties that call for the elaborate imagination of special effects, glitter and lots of color, that which is called novelty makeup.
"Flu season" in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. The 'flu' or influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different and the influenza can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu. It's highly contagious, so anyone who does get it will spread it if precautions are not taken. Over a period of 31 seasons from 2007 going back to 1976, the estimated deaths in the United States alone vary considerably from 3,000 to 49,000. The reason for the variance is due to language written on the death certificate but if we were to just go by the lower number, that's a total of one hundred people per year who have died from the flu. Many flu related deaths occur in people 65 years and older, those with low immune systems or babies who have yet to build up their immune system.
Per National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2013, there were 1,240,000 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,240 civilian deaths, 15,925 civilian injuries, and $11.5 billion in property damage.
Serious injuries can be prevented by practicing good ergonomics while using hand tools. Read the following tips to avoid injuries when a wrench slips while working on a pipe or fitting.
I'm sure any of you who own an expensive movie or video camera takes really good care of it. You wouldn't drop it on the sidewalk, wipe its lens with sandpaper, splash acid on it, or toss it into a bin full of objects with sharp edges. That's just common sense. Why, then, do some workers treat their personal cameras-the irreplaceable eyes-as if they were less valuable than the man-made imitations?
A thunderstorm complex capable of producing quarter-sized hail and 50 to 60 mph winds was moving through Oklahoma last Friday night and Saturday morning. These storms could produce some locally damaging winds, heavy rainfall and cloud-to-ground lightning, according to National Weather Service forecasts.
It's back to school time. Nearly one-fifth of traffic fatalities of children below the age of 15 are pedestrians, with more school-age pedestrians killed between the hours of 3 and 4 pm.¹ AAA "School's Open -- Drive Carefully" program offers some tips.
7 or 8 years ago I was beginning to train to run a marathon. One Sunday late morning (in the summertime in Houston) I ran 5 miles, made it home.......and collapsed due to heat. Luckily my wife is a nurse! A couple of weeks later I was talking to a friend who is a HSE manager for Chevron. He said that I had experienced heat exhaustion, not a heat stroke, because I did not stop sweating when I collapsed.
Did you know that over the counter vitamins that are said to be healthy for you and even food can have an effect on medications you already take?
Keep in mind that exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss. Neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct this type of hearing loss. Short term exposure to loud noise can also cause a temporary change in hearing (your ears may feel stuffed up) or a ringing in your ears (tinnitus). These short-term problems may go away within a few minutes or hours after leaving the noisy area. However, repeated exposures to loud noise can lead to permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
Shake, shake, shake it's an earthquake! Earthquakes have become as common here as in California. Oklahoma experienced 585 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater in 2014, opposed to the 109 earthquakes of the same magnitude in 2013, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey. Earthquake safety has become an issue. Unlike experienced Californians we here in Oklahoma, after getting past the initial shock of the ground shaking and moving under our feet, realize a tornado shelter is no protection for an earthquake! So the immediate question asked is, 'what safety procedures should be followed to prepare for an earthquake?'
When you are looking around your office and home, there is high volume of electrical equipment that can expose you to serious electrical hazards, including shocks, burns and fire.
As we get farther into summer, the temperatures are starting to rise. With the temperatures going up, our mindfulness with staying hydrated should also be going up as we spend time outside. Everyone has heard the rule about drinking 8 cups of water a day; but, how much water should we really be drinking? The generally accepted advice now seems to be for people to listen to their bodies and drink small amounts of water often, before becoming thirsty if possible. The Mayo Clinic released the following article regarding this topic, "Water: How much should you drink every day".
I think that at one time or another we have all tripped or stumbled while going up or down a set of stairs. It has happened to me and fortunately I was not seriously hurt. But, remember, if any of us fall down the stairs, our 100 to 200+ lbs of weight will fall with us. It would be easy to break an arm or leg, or something even worse.
Tragic drownings occur every year that could have been prevented if the proper life jackets were worn. Four drownings in Oklahoma this month are reported in the articles found at the links below:
Every morning I turn on Channel 6 news and listen while getting ready for my day. It is quite shocking how many house fire reports say there was no working smoke alarm. I try to remember to change my smoke alarm batteries at daylight savings times of spring forward and fall back but sometimes life gets hectic and it's easy to forget.
This story serves as a good reminder to always label bottles and jars.
The month of May had one of the highest rainfall totals in Oklahoma and Texas.
I love being out in the sun! Whether it's gardening, swimming, or just sitting out on my deck, I could spend hours every day outside in the sun. However, on a recent trip to South Padre Island, Texas, I was reminded how powerful the sun is. A day spent at the beach turned me into a bright red lobster. This lobster effect made my next several days miserable. So I started to do some research about sun safety.
I did not wear glasses until the late 90's when I began to spend several hours every day in front of computer screens.
As summer approaches, many of us are making plans to spend more time out of doors. While spending time outside, it is important to be mindful of the potential for tick bites.
I liked this short Safety Note from Edwards Air Force Base. The same risks apply when walking across the street, up and own and flight of stairs or working in the kitchen.
Tornado season is upon us here in Oklahoma. Technology advances have improved meteorologists' ability to predict and track storms, warning systems and shelters. However as we have seen, tornados can be very destructive and deadly. Here are some tornado safety tips from the American Red Cross.
We all multi-task. It seems to be the way of the 21st century. Following up on Leah's great note last week on distracted driving, I thought it would be worthwhile to examine the assertion that using a hands free phone is a safe way to phone while driving.
What is distracted driving? Distracted driving occurs any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off your primary task: driving safely. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.
Certain jobs require long hours of standing or sitting. It doesn't seem like sitting would be hard on one's back, but in fact, sitting for long periods of time can place a great deal of stress on your lower back and can create back troubles.
Sit all the way back in a firm-back chair with your back erect. Keep your head and shoulders erect. Your shoulders and upper back should not be rounded. Don't slouch! Make sure your working surface is at the proper height so you don't have to lean forward. If you have an ergonomic chair, adjust it correctly.
Take exercise breaks from desk work by getting up, moving around, stretching, and performing a few back exercises in the standing position.
Choosing a suitable monitor and placing it in an appropriate position helps reduce exposure to forceful exertions, awkward postures, and overhead glare. This helps prevent possible health effects such as excessive fatigue, eye strain, and neck and back pain.
To reduce stress and prevent fatigue, it is important to take mini-breaks (not many breaks) throughout the day. If possible, change tasks at least once every two hours. Stretch your arms, neck, and legs often if you do the same type of work for long periods of time. Rest your eyes often by closing them or looking at something other than the work at hand. For a quick pick-me-up, breathe deeply several times by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. In addition, always try to eat your lunch somewhere other than your desk.
A large number of injuries caused by falls occur in offices. Walking becomes second nature, so people don't pay attention when they are walking from one place to another.
Protect your back by using the right ladder, step stool or platform when reaching for things overhead.
At FRI, we love visitors! Over the years, we've had Members, potential Members, university students and other colleagues tour our facilities. If you have not been on a tour of our facilities recently, here is a look at what you can expect to see.
Summer officially started on June 21, 2014 and the temperatures around the nation are starting to climb. It's time to start thinking about the dangers of heat stress for our employees.
Today is the 6th day that Oklahoma has had temperatures below freezing. I am no stranger to cold weather, but this year seems particularly brutal to me. And then as if my life couldn't get any better.....the heater in my office at FRI is broken today. As my thermostat reads a cool 58 degrees, I sit in my office at FRI, staring at my computer screening, seeing a warm beach in some exotic place in the world, I dream of warmer weather. I dream of sitting out on my deck, sipping lemonade and listening to the birds sing while reading my favorite book. But then, I come back to reality. Some of the roads here in Oklahoma still have ice and snow on them, so I browse the Internet for reminders of safety precautions during this miserable winter. Check out this website for suggestions on how to keep your friends and family safe this winter http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/. Keep warm and stay safe this winter!