Understanding Confined Space Standards

By Jerome E. Spear, CSP, CIH According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one death occurs in every 10 confined space accidents. Injuries and fatalities involving confined spaces often involve successive fatalities when “would-be” rescuers succumb to the same problem as the initial victim. Almost every kind of industry has some type of…

Lawn Tractor Noise Reduction

              By Daniel P. Mahoney, Brian D. Mahoney and Jerome Spear   Lawn tractors are a familiar sound throughout suburban neighborhoods as individuals cut their grass each week. Based on a noise dosimetry study, riding on a lawn tractor presents an average noise exposure in the range of 86.5…

Preventing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Noise, or unwanted sound, is a by-product of many industrial processes. Sound consists of pressure changes in a medium (usually air), caused by vibration or turbulence. These pressure changes produce waves emanating away from the turbulent or vibrating source. Exposure to high levels of noise causes hearing loss and may also put stress on other…

OSHA’S RULE FOR RESPIRABLE CRYSTALLINE SILICA

BY JEROME SPEAR, CSP, CIH * J.E. SPEAR CONSULTING, LP Silica dust is hazardous when very small (respirable) particles are inhaled. These respirable dust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause disabling and sometimes fatal lung diseases, including silicosis and lung cancer, as well as kidney disease. From 2005 through 2014, silicosis was…

Industrial Hygiene

5 Steps to Successful Exposure Assessments By Jerome E. Spear, CSP, CIH The better our understanding of exposures and the risks they pose, the more assurance we have that we are controlling the most important (highest risk) exposures first. Control efforts (such as engineering, work practice, or personal protective equipment) are often costly to implement…

Heat Illness Prevention: Risk Assessment and Planning

  The Statistical Abstracts of the United States, 105th edition, estimates that 5 to 10 million workers are exposed to heat illness annually. Heat illnesses (such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps) are caused by hot environments and are preventable occupational health hazards. Heat illness results when the body is out of heat…

Heat Illness: What Are The Risk Factors?

The National Weather Service asserts that excessive heat was the number one weather-related killer, causing more fatalities per year than floods, lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms and extreme cold. Evidence from the Centers for Disease Control, American Red Cross and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) show that hot environmental temperatures cause…

MANGANESE EXPOSURE FROM WELDING OPERATIONS

By Jerome E. Spear, CSP, CIH Manganese is found in carbon steel and is also used in steel alloys. Small amounts of manganese are added to steel to improve the workability of steel at high temperatures. There is less than 1.65% by weight of manganese in carbon steel; whereas, special steels may have higher concentrations…

CONFINED SPACES IN CONSTRUCTION

By Jerome E. Spear, CSP, CIH A construction foreman died from asphyxiation after entering a newly constructed manhole. Four construction workers were working in an inactive sewer system on a job site that was unoccupied for over a week. A few minutes after they started working, the crew noticed that the foreman was missing and…

SAFETY

  Safety committees are a common way to get employees involved in the safety process. Often, safety committees are put together to assist with inspections and audits, review incidents and injuries, solicit suggestions to reduce injuries and illnesses, and/or to conduct behavior observations. But, is the committee achieving its fullest potential? Although this question is…