Portions of Modules in this Training Manual were revised and updated, with this issue date, to incorporate updated and/or revised OSHA procedures and regulations as required.
This Safety Training Manual is developed for the training of:
The University policy intimated by Provost’s Memo dated 04/03/2001, requires all university personnel including faculty, staff, students and visitors to follow safe working procedures. Excerpts from the provost memo are reproduced below:
“The University at Buffalo is committed to the safety, health and well-being of its students, faculty, staff and public. Faculty and staff have the responsibility to promote health and safety in their environment and operations. All members of the University community are expected to support this commitment.
The Department of Occupational and Environmental Safety (OES), in consultation with stakeholders, shall develop safety and environmental compliance standards, policies and procedures to guide the University community in meeting this commitment to safety.
Such standards, policies and procedures, once adopted, shall be binding upon all the members of the university community. Any individual who knowingly and willfully, or in a highly negligent manner, violates a safety or environmental law, regulation, or OES policy may be subject to University, civil or criminal action.”
The Safety Training Manual will be reviewed annually to ensure compliance with current regulatory guidelines. The appropriate signatures will appear on the Acknowledgement page and be dated to reflect a timely review.
All management and supervisory staff are responsible for safety performance in their areas and for ensuring that departments and other units under their supervision have effective programs to meet their safety obligations. This includes reviewing matters such as space allocation and employee health and safety programs as they relate to research involving biohazards, chemical hazards, radiation safety and fire and life safety issues. This also includes providing appropriate safety equipment and personal protective equipment to employees and students to do the work safely. The Administrative Official may designate a departmental safety coordinator or departmental safety committee to carry out the departmental health and safety responsibilities, but still remains accountable for providing effective health and safety programs.
OES staff will function as consultants to unit heads, faculty/staff members and students in all areas of environmental compliance, safety and radiological health. OES will make routine, as well as special health and risk appraisals or investigations when necessary or requested, will assist departmental safety committees in the development of intra-departmental safety programs and participate in health and safety training and education projects.
OES will maintain reference materials from local, state, and federal agencies in regard to safety rules and regulations affecting campus operations and will assist in the technical interpretation of these rules and regulations. In addition, unless a policy or requirement of a local, state, or federal agency supercedes, campus operations will be conducted in accordance with the best available recognized standards such as those promulgated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), etc.
OES will develop, for appropriate review and approval, environmental health and safety standards and policies, which shall be binding once adopted.
OES will assist in the identification and assessment of actual or potential health and safety hazards and will identify applicable regulations, standards or similar requirements. OES will inspect campus operations and facilities to identify problems, will provide code interpretations and consult with departments to assist in correcting problems. Inspections may be conducted routinely, or at the request of any member of the University community, or in response to accidents or other known problems.
OES has the responsibility and authority to intervene to control, reduce or eliminate any condition or activity which poses a direct or immediate safety threat to any individual or illegal discharge to the air, ground or water. The University Police may assist OES in meeting this responsibility. Long term resolution or correction of problems, should this occur, is the responsibility of the appropriate dean, director or departmental head. OES will maintain reference materials in support of health and safety training. OES will assist the University community in providing appropriate and necessary health and safety training to all staff and students. This assistance will include direct training, train the trainer support and assistance in developing customized or special training programs.
Principal investigators have responsibility for the health and safety of the individuals they supervise, for safe management of the laboratories or facilities they operate and for the impacts of their activities on the environment, health and safety of the public.
All employees and students have the responsibility to comply with health and safety rules, regulations, policies and procedures.
Any individual, who knowingly and willfully, or in a highly negligent manner, violates a safety or environmental law, regulation, or OES policy may be subject to University, civil or criminal action. Such individuals may be denied legal representation pursuant to the Public Officer Law. The university will not accept ignorance of applicable laws, regulations or policies as an excuse.
An accident is an unintended, unplanned, single or multiple event sequence that is caused by unsafe acts, unsafe conditions or both, and may result in immediate and/or delayed undesirable effects.
The ultimate goal in accident prevention is “zero” disabling injuries and no lost work-time. However, there are many barriers to achieving this goal, the most important of which is the human attitude. Most people feel that “it won’t happen to me” or “it won’t happen here”.
A study of industrial accidents in US industry, by H.W. Heinrich, concluded that work related accidents are contributed to by the following factors:
|Factors||Percent Contribution |
|Acts of God||2% |
As the above data indicates, unsafe acts which are performed by workers (in our situation, all the students and laboratory personnel) contribute to 88% of the work accidents. It is, therefore very important that all of those involved in the university activities; in the laboratories, in classrooms and/or in the hallways, perform safely at all times.
While the CSEE Department management is responsible for providing safety education and safe workplaces, the users are expected to follow the guidelines provided in this training manual.
All employees and students are responsible for working in a safe manner, adhering to applicable safety regulations, and University policies and procedures. Safety is everybody’s responsibility.
Any unsafe conditions, at the workplace; and any unsafe acts and behaviors by co-workers should be reported immediately to laboratory staff.
A research has shown that 1,000 unsafe conditions and behaviors give rise to 100 close calls which in turn create 10 incidents.
Every 10 incidents cause 1 injury. To control injuries, therefore, the effort has to be focused on reducing and eliminating unsafe conditions and behaviors.
This training manual contains current regulations and some practical safety guidelines, a knowledge of which will help you achieve a safer attitude and create a safer work environment for yourself and for your co-workers. This training manual has been organized into 17 modules and is targeted to the CSEE Department students and laboratory personnel. The training requirements of each of these two groups are distributed in the Table 1.1 below.
|Module||CSEE Students and Visitors ||Laboratory Personnel|
|1. Introduction ||X||X|
|2. General Safety and Health Provisions ||X||X|
3. Hazard Communication Standard
(Right to Know Law)
|4. House keeping||X||X|
|5. First-aid ||X||X|
|6. Fire protection||X||X|
|7. Emergency procedures||X||X|
|8. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) ||X||X|
|10. Lockout / tagout Procedures ||X||X|
|11. Overhead / gantry cranes Safety ||X||X|
|12. Ladder safety||X||X|
|13. Fork lift safety ||X|
|14. Fall protection ||X||X|
|15. Confined spaces||X|
|16. Welding, cutting and brazing ||X||X|
|17. Accident recording and reporting ||X|
However, it is your responsibility to learn the safety guidelines and acquire necessary safety skills, before starting any job or before taking part in any laboratory based assignments.
To help prevent exposure to workplace safety and health hazards, you must comply with all OSHA requirements that apply to your actions and conduct.
You have the right, among other actions, to do the following:
An imminent danger is a workplace hazard that puts you at immediate serious risk of death or serious physical harm. It may be a safety hazard such as a heavy object loosely hanging over you or exposed electrical wire that could cause a serious or fatal accident under present conditions. It also may be a health hazard such as toxic substances or dangerous fumes, dusts, or gases that could cause death or irreversible physical harm, shorten life, or reduce physical or mental performance.
If a safety or health hazard puts you in imminent danger of death or serious injury or illness, notify your principal investigator and CSEE Department Chair immediately and request corrective action. Also ask him/her to provide protection to you and your co-workers until the hazard is eliminated or controlled.
If CSEE Department does not promptly take steps to remove or control the hazard, you can contact Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Services of University at Buffalo at 829-2401. If EHS does not respond, you can contact the nearest PESH office, listed in your phone book under “NY State Department of Labor,” at (716) 847-7133.
When you call, provide the name and address of CSEE Department and describe the hazard in detail and how long it has existed. Also provide your name, address, and a telephone number where you can be contacted. If you request, PESH will not reveal your name to CSEE Department.
PESH and the NY State Department of Labor work together to protect employees who are punished for refusing to work in imminently dangerous situations involving serious safety or health hazards. Contact either agency to discuss your case. In addition, PESH can protect you if you are discharged or disciplined for refusing to do work that would expose you to imminent danger, provided that you have notified your principal investigator or department chair of the hazard, the hazard has not been corrected, and there is not enough time for you to seek relief through PESH’s standard complaint process.
In addition, it is illegal for your employer to punish you for reporting a safety or health hazard. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) protects you from being discriminated against, fired, demoted, or otherwise penalized for any of the following:
Working with machine tools can be hazardous even for experienced machine operators. Therefore, great care must be observed while using the machine tools. It must be noted that, no one is allowed to use the machine tools unless prior approval is sought from the Department Chair or Principal Investigator. The user must demonstrate that, he/she has completely understood all the operations of a particular machine, before he/she starts using it.
Following safety guidelines must be strictly adhered to:
Use of illegal drugs, alcohol or other prohibited substances while in CSEE Department facilities or reporting to the laboratory under the influence of the above mentioned substances is a cause for future denial of the CSEE Department facilities. No exceptions or excuses shall be entertained.
The following Substance Abuse policy shall be enforced by the Department of CSEE.
Unless special written authorization is obtained from the CSEE Department Chair, some of the Ketter Hall Laboratories namely Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL) and Geotechnical Laboratory can not be used after regular hours. Such authorization is valid only if the Principal Investigator of the particular project is present with his/her research assistants and laboratory technicians at all times during the period of the authorization.
Chemicals have many valuable uses but they can cause serious health and safety hazards. Chemicals are known to be hazardous if they cause acute health problems, chronic health problems, suddenly release pressure, catch fire easily or if they are reactive.
The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), sometimes called the Right to Know Law or HazCom, is a set of regulations first promulgated in 1988 by the Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It has been adopted by and is enforced by New York State OSHA. The Standard requires that every effected employer establish a program to tell employees of the hazards associated with the materials in their workplace. The program must have five main components as follows:
Under the HazCom standard, CSEE Department must complete and keep a written Hazard Communication Program. The written program describes how the requirements for labels and other forms of warning, material safety data sheets (MSDSs), and employee information and training, are implemented in the workplace. It indicates who is responsible for MSDSs, labels, warning signs and training, as well as the location of the inventory, MSDSs, and other information and resources pertaining to hazardous chemicals and safety measures. An inventory list of hazardous chemicals is required to be maintained as part of the written program.
An employee must know the potential hazards, in order to know how to protect himself/herself. If a person has chemicals under his/her control, or he/she is a designated individual, he/she must make an inventory of the hazardous chemicals. It is his/her duty to identify chemicals in containers, including pipes, and also chemicals generated in the work operations. (for example, welding fumes, dusts, and exhaust fumes are all sources of chemical exposures), read labels provided by suppliers for hazard information and, make a list of all chemicals in the workplace that are potentially hazardous. He/she has to note the typical maximum quantity, its location within the workplace, and where the MSDS for the material will be kept.
The HazCom Inventory is to be updated as new chemicals are brought into the workplace and a copy is to be provided annually to be provided to CSEE Department Chair at least annually.
An initial inventory of all chemicals and materials will be made of all new work areas and facilities. An annual audit, the HazCom Inventory, shall be conducted thereafter. All hazardous chemicals and materials will be identified and listed. A copy of the HazCom Inventory for each work area will be kept with the MSDSs for that area (or in a secure location if the MSDSs are in the public areas) and the updated inventory lists shall be provided to the CSEE Department Chair at least annually.
Each listing will note at least the following information:
A system shall be maintained to add any newly introduced hazardous chemicals or materials to the inventory. Typically the person responsible for material shall update the list for the specific work area and ensure that the master list is updated. The CSEE Department Chair will ensure that the list is updated.
The role of the MSDS is to provide detailed information on each hazardous chemical, including its potential hazardous effects, its physical and chemical characteristics, and recommendations for appropriate protective measures. This information is useful for designing protective programs, as well as informing the chemical user of the hazards. MSDSs must be readily accessible to users when they are in their work areas.
CSEE Department must have an MSDS for each hazardous chemical in use. The MSDS must be in English. CSEE Department is entitled to receive a data sheet from the supplier, which includes all of the information required under the rule. The MSDS sheet must be completed with adequate information. Employees and students should not use or be exposed to any chemicals for which the safety data have not been reviewed and appropriate safety measures implemented. Employees may contact CSEE Department Chair for assistance in such matters.
The manufactures are required by OSHA to provide MSDSs but sometimes it is difficult to obtain information for old chemicals, from small companies and consumer products. In general, the preferred source for MSDS is the chemical manufacturer, because these files are actively updated to reflect all that is known about the hazardous material in question. Most major chemical suppliers provide a toll-free number and will fax the latest MSDS to purchasers. Material Safety Data Sheets are also often available via the manufactures home web page.
As part of the purchase agreement, CSEE Department also receives MSDSs for chemicals purchased. These are filed by substance and copies can be made. Requested MSDS can be retrieved during the normal work hours.
Other sources of chemical safety information include online searches and published safety references.
A Typical MSDS is attached at the end of this chapter. The following information is normally provided on a MSDS:
Containers of hazardous chemicals must be labeled, tagged, or marked with the identity of the material and appropriate hazard warnings. The original label must include the identity of the material, appropriate hazard warnings, and the manufacture name and address. The identity used by the supplier may be a common or trade name ("Magic Formula"), or a chemical name (1,1,1, -trichloroethane). The hazard warning is a brief statement of the hazardous effects of the chemical ("flammable," "causes lung damage"). Labels frequently contain other information, such as precautionary measures ("do not use near open flame"). Labels must be legible and prominent.
The degrees of hazard in each of these categories are given as follows:
Health - The degree of health hazard of a chemical or material is based on the form or condition of the material, as well as its inherent properties. The degree of health hazard of a material should indicate the degree of personal protective equipment required for working safety with the material:
Flammability - The flammability hazards deal with the degree of susceptibility of the material to ignite and burn. The form or condition of the materials, as well as their properties, affects the extent of the hazard. Many hazardous materials such as acetone and gasoline have a flash point (ignition temperature) far below freezing and will readily ignite with a spark if the vapor concentration is sufficient. A low rating of 1 is for material with a flash point above 200F while more hazardous ratings of 2, 3, and 4 are for materials with respective flash point below 200, 100 and 73 F.
Reactivity - The reactivity hazards deal with the potential of a material or chemical to release energy. Some materials are capable of rapid release of energy without any catalyst, while others can undergo violent eruptive or explosive reactions if they come in contact with water or other materials. Generally this rating is used to indicate the potential to be reactive if the material is heated, jarred, or shocked.. A low rating of 1 indicates a material that is normally stable but may be reactive if heated. The more hazardous ratings of 2, 3, and 4 indicate a material is capable of violent reaction, shock/rapid heating and detonation respectively.
Other Hazard Information - An open space at the bottom of the NFPA diagram can be used to indicate additional information about the chemical or material. This information may include the chemical or material's radioactivity, proper fire extinguishing agent, skin hazard, and its use in pressurized containers, protective equipment required, or unusual reactivity with water. For example, the usual signal to indicate unusual reactivity with water is the letter "W" with a long line through the center. Similarly the words ACID, COR (corrosive), RAD (radiation), OXY (oxidizer) and other abbreviations may be used.
If materials are transferred from the original container into other containers, these must be labeled as well. Large containers or storage units containing hazardous chemicals or mixtures must also be labeled or have warning signs. It is recommended that other warning or caution signs be placed in the work areas to remind individuals of the hazards and of the protective equipment that may be necessary in the area.
[Exception: A single use container used immediately after transfer and maintained by the original transferor does not need to be labeled. Container should be appropriately discarded after use.]
Each employee or student who may be "exposed" to hazardous chemicals when working must be provided information and trained prior to initial assignment to work with a hazardous chemical, and whenever the hazard changes. "Exposure" or "exposed" under the rule means "an employee or student is subjected to a hazardous chemical in the course of employment through any route of entry (inhalation, ingestion, skin contact or absorption, etc.) and includes potential (e.g., accidental or possible) exposure."
The most important aspects of training are to ensure employees are aware that they are exposed to hazardous chemicals, that they know how to read and use labels and material safety data sheets, and that, as a consequence of learning this information, they are following the appropriate protective measures (e.g. personal protective equipment, safe procedures, and engineering controls).
In addition to the elements of the Hazard Communication Standard, each effected employees shall be trained on:
To maintain a safe workplace, all the employees should do the following:
For a sample MSDS sheet, please contact us.
Good housekeeping is known to eliminate some workplace hazards and it also helps in getting the job done safely. Untidy workplace hides the hazards and thus makes the workplace unsafe to work in.
Housekeeping does not mean the workplace has to be spotless and neither it is an occasional cleanup operation. It is rather a continuous procedure and one should understand that occasional cleanups are no good for reducing accidents.
Everyone has to consider his/her daily routine and come up with a strategy to keep the workplace tidy as he/she is working. It does take some time to get accustomed to this habit but once you are into it, you would like your work area better and moreover, you would be reducing dangers to other occupants which would have been caused otherwise.
OSHA Regulations state: “All places of employment, passageways, storerooms and service rooms should be kept clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition.”
OSHA 1910.22 (a)
It doesn’t take much effort to make the workplace untidy and thereby potentially hazardous. Some common examples of untidy workplace are:
Untidy workplace causes many serious accidents and injuries which may sometimes result in fatalities. Following are some examples of common accidents:
One has to remember that housekeeping means maintaining the workplace in a tidy and safe condition and not just accomplishing it at once, it has to be a continuous process and part of everybody’s routine.
A good housekeeping program manages storage and movement of material in a safe and cost effective manner. It might increase the inventory adding few more trash cans but eventually it proves to be cost effective.
Various fabrication activities such as drilling, tapping, grinding, sanding, arc welding, and torching create metal pieces and dirt. Never use compressed air to blow off such kind of dirt. Vacuum cleaners are known to be the best solution for cleaning the workplace of such materials. However, some metal pieces formed by drills and dirt in confined spaces can not be picked up by vacuum cleaners. In such conditions, manual cleanup is required which should be carried out carefully using appropriate PPE. (i.e. gloves, goggles, and if necessary, apron)
Aisles and stairways should be maintained free of materials. It should be noted that an aisle is not a place for stacking material which can not be accommodated in the designated storage area.
A poor floor condition is the main cause of slipping/tripping accidents. Therefore, the floor should be maintained free of such hazards. Spilled oil or other lubricants should be wiped cleaned immediately. Straps used for lifting material by crane should always be replaced on the racks. Packing material should always be disposed off immediately. Care should be taken while using gas-torch that the gas-hoses will not form a trip hazard. Cables and other hydraulic hoses should be covered with metal plates so as to minimize the trip hazard. Metal shavings produced by drill machines should be promptly cleaned. Caution signs such as, work area or slippery floor should always be used where applicable.
The CSEE Department has a variety of power tools and equipment in the laboratory. Some hand held power tools are drills, band saws, grinders, sanders, hammers, files etc. The machinery consists of lathe machines, milling machines, shaping machine, and bench grinder. You must make sure that the tools and machinery used by you are clean before you leave, otherwise you could be denied future use of laboratory facilities. If something was found defective during the course of the work, it must be reported to Mr. Duane Kozlowski at the earliest, leaving the fault unattended could lead to a serious accident. Never use faulty equipment. Your safety is more important than the job schedule.
All hand tools must always be returned to the designated storage area after working. Even while working, they should never be placed in aisles or walkways as, it could create serious tripping hazards.
All power tools must be unplugged whenever not in use e.g. during the lunch break and the power cords and extension cords should be wound. The power tools can accidentally start and cause an accident.
The CSEE Department follows the recycling policy. Every occupant of the laboratory must make sure that he/she is not mixing the steel or wood trash with general trash. There are separate trash cans for steel, wood and general trash. If in doubt, the occupant should clarify where he/she should dispose the waste.
All material must be stored away from the walkways and aisles. Fire exits must be kept clear of all stored material and projecting material. Preferably, material should be stored in such locations which would require less re-handling.
Stored material must allow at least three (3) feet of clear space under the fire sprinkler heads.
Flammable material such as lubricating oil, propane cylinders should be stored only in the designated areas. These areas shall be clearly marked with hazard warning signs.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) must be accessible for each hazardous stored material.
Every year about 140,000 deaths occur as a result of injuries. Many of these injuries did not have to end in death if someone; a co-worker, a nurse or any other person, who witnessed the injury had been able to make a fast decision to provide first aid to the injured, and organize to get an ambulance as soon as possible. When severe injuries occur, minutes count. Quick, calm, and educated decisions can keep an injury from getting worse, or save a life.
There are some minor injuries or first-aid injuries that need some care and in-house treatment by the injured person himself or by a co-worker. Minor cuts, bruises, and ‘grit in the eye’ fall in this category.
First aid is known to have been practiced ever since the beginning of humanity. Every citizen is expected to learn first aid as a civic responsibility. This module will familiarize you with some of the above situations, and provide some guidelines to take care of minor injuries, and first-aid in case of some injuries until the ambulance arrives or the injured person is rushed to the nearest hospital.
A wound is caused when a tissue in our body is torn or cut.
Types of wounds:
Wounds pose two dangers namely bleeding and infection.
Burns are caused when the skin comes in contact with dry heat like fire/flames, hot metal, live wires etc. Scalds are caused by moist heat like boiling water, steam, oil, tar etc.
Chemical burns are caused by strong acids and strong alkalis.
The degree of burn indicates the degree of damage to the tissues. Following are the degrees of a burn:
Fracture is defined as complete or partial breakage of a bone.
When a part of body comes in contact with a live electric wire or cable from which current is leaking, the person gets an electric shock. The electric shock could be produced only when the electric current passes through human body, which is in contact with the earth. It passes more quickly if the contacting part is wet or moist. In wet conditions, even lower voltages could be dangerous.
Depending on the voltage and duration of contact, one or all of the following may occur.
The rescuer must behave responsibly and intelligently. If not, the rescuer may become a victim himself/herself and receive an electric shock or die along with the initial victim.
The skin may be pierced by metal, wooden or glass pieces.
Unless very easy to deal with, the victim should be administered with professional medical aid after dressing the wound.
Insects, dust, metal particles from lathes and other machine tools, wood particles etc. are common objects that a foreign body in the eye. They cause irritation and reddening of the eye if not removed promptly. Penetrating foreign bodies are a serious danger to eye.
Treating victim having a foreign object in the eye:
Instruct the patient to breath through the mouth. Take the patient to the doctor. Do not try to remove the foreign body.
A person could become unconscious due to various reasons. Following are the general principles of providing first-aid to an unconscious person.
The following basic items must be present in the first-aid box at all times. If they are used up it should be reported to the Department Chair for re-ordering.
The purpose of this program is to ensure worksite safety and promote a healthy environment for all persons.
Bloodborne pathogens are disease-causing germs carried by blood. If there is an accident or situations involving blood or other body fluids that may be mixed with blood, serious diseases can be transmitted. Two of the most dangerous diseases are caused by the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Other bloodborne diseases include syphilis, malaria and hepatitis C. Hepatitis B is one of the most common bloodborne viruses that could be present in blood or bodily fluids. This disease can cause severe damage to the liver, and can even lead to death. Vaccines are in existence to help prevent HBV. Although HIV is not likely to be spread in the workplace, it could happen anywhere that blood / bodily fluids are present. The HIV virus decreases the body's ability to fight infection. HIV is known to cause acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), which leads to death. There is presently no known vaccine for HIV.
All persons must be trained on the information in this plan. Any site-specific information that may apply to persons using our facilities should be included in this training.
Statement of Policy – Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control
The University is committed to providing a safe and healthful work environment for all employees. In pursuit of this endeavor, the following exposure control plan is provided to eliminate or minimize occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens in accordance with OSHA standard 29 CRP 1910.1030, “Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens.”
The Exposure Control Plan is a key document to assist the lab in implementing and ensuring compliance with the standard, thereby protecting all concerned. The Exposure Control Plan includes:
The Department Chair is responsible for the implementation of the Facility Exposure Control Plan.
The Department Chair will maintain, review and update the Exposure Control Plan at least annually and whenever necessary to include new or modified tasks and procedures.
Those workers who are determined to have occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials must comply with the procedures and work practices outlined in this Exposure Control Plan.
The Site Safety Officer will maintain and provide all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), labels, red biohazard bags and sharps disposable biohazard containers as required by the standard.
The Site Safety Officer will ensure that all medical actions required are performed and that appropriate employee health and OSHA records are maintained.
The Site Safety Officer will be responsible for training, documentation of training, and maintaining the written Exposure Control Plan available to workers, OSHA and NIOSH representatives.
Programs are in place for each category of employees concerning:
Notification to all workers that there are special procedures necessary when anyone in any work area feels he / she has been exposed to a bloodborne pathogen. This shall also be part of the continuing education through safety programs.
The University evaluates new procedures or needs for changes in workplace practices by:
Any soiled wound dressing or other material that is saturated to the point of dripping and releasing blood or bloody body fluids if compacted in a waste receptacle should be then deposited into a designated biohazard collection unit. Unsaturated soiled would dressings and other materials should be disposed of in such a manner as to confine and contain any blood or bloody fluids that may be present. For example, small dressings or materials can be enclosed in the disposable glove used to remove them by pulling the glove off inside out containing the material inside of it. This glove with the material inside can then be discarded into the regular trash receptacle for disposal. Larger dressings and materials should be removed using gloved hands and placed inside a plastic bag. This bag can then be deposited into the regular trash receptacle.
Items that may contain urine and feces should be handled with Standard Precautions. Urine and feces should be flushed down the toilet. Toilets should be kept clean and free of gross contamination inside and out. Large or un-flushable items that may contain urine or feces can be bagged and placed into the regular trash. If gross contamination is present on any of these items, they should be bagged and placed in designated biohazard collection units.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is provided at no cost to. Training is provided by the Site Safety Officer or designated trainer in the use of appropriate PPE for the tasks or procedures to be performed.
The types of PPE available are as follows:
All persons using PPE must observe the following precautions:
Fire safety is important business. According to National Safety Council (NSC) figures, losses due to fires in 2001 totaled $4.1 billion, and 3900 persons lost their lives. Fires and burns accounted for 4.9 percent of all unintentional injury deaths in 2001, in the U.S.A.
There is a long and tragic history of workplace fires in our country. One of the most notable was the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City in 1911 in which nearly 150 women and young girls died because of locked fire exits and inadequate fire extinguishing systems.
History repeated itself several years ago in the fire in Hamlet, North Carolina, where 25 workers died in a fire in a poultry processing plant. It appears that here, too, there were problems with fire exits and extinguishing systems.
Most victim of fires die from smoke or toxic gases and not from burns (Hall 2001).
Water: These extinguishers contain water and compressed gas and should only be used on Class A (ordinary combustible) fires, that include wood and paper etc. It is dangerous to use water or an extinguisher labeled only for Class A fires on fires involving flammable liquids or energized electrical equipment.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2): These extinguishers are most effective on Class B and C (combustible liquids and electrical) fires. Since the gas disperses quickly, these extinguishers are only effective from 3 to 8 feet. The carbon dioxide is stored as a compressed liquid in the extinguisher; as it expands, it cools the surrounding air. The cooling will often cause ice to form around the “horn” where the gas is expelled from the extinguisher. Since the fire could re-ignite, continue to apply the agent even after the fire appears to be out.
Dry Chemical: These extinguishers are usually rated for multiple purpose use. They contain an extinguishing agent and use a compressed, non-flammable gas as a propellant.
The table below classifies 4 types of fires against 4 types of portable fire extinguishers. It is necessary for every occupant to have the knowledge of the applicability of each of the extinguishers.
|Types of Fires||Water Type ||Carbon Dioxide||Dry Chemical|
|Class A Fires |
(Wood, paper, trash)
|Class B Fires |
(Flammable liquids, gasoline, oil, paints, grease)
|Class C Fires |
|Class D Fires |
|Special extinguishing agent required |
|Method of Operation||Pull pin, squeeze handle |
|Range ||30' - 40'||3' - 8'||5' - 30' |
|Maintenance||Check air pressure gauge monthly||Weigh semi annually ||Check gas pressure gauge and condition of dry chemcial annually|
When you discover a fire, smell or see smoke, or detect any other emergency that endangers building occupants, Pull the Fire Alarm. Figure 6.2 below, shows a typical fire alarm.
WARNING: Malicious False Alarms are a criminal code offense with up to a $5,000 fine, and/or two year jail term, and a criminal record for life.
The locations of fire alarm pull stations and portable fire extinguishers in CSEE Department facilities are given in Figures 6.4, 6.5,6.6. Please walk through CSEE Department facilities and familiarize yourself with these Fire Alarm Pull Stations. Learning the location of fire extinguishing equipment and fire alarm pull stations in your work area is important.
The University provides portable fire extinguishers of various types throughout all University buildings. These quick fire suppression devises are designed to be used in the early stages of fire development by persons trained in their use. If you have not received training in the use of portable fire extinguishers, do not attempt to use them, simply follow the RACE Action Plan and exit the building.
SPECIAL NOTE: Fire hose lines are located in cabinets in specific locations throughout University buildings. Use of these hose lines is restricted to professional fire fighters who are properly trained and equipped. No one else should attempt to use the hose lines to extinguish or control a fire, simply follow the RACE Action Plan.
The process of opening and using fire extinguishers is illustrated in Figure 6.3.
The following CSEE Department/UB-SEESL employees are trained in fighting small fires, using portable fire extinguishers. These employees are updated annually and include:
Employees discovering or becoming aware of a fire should immediately take the following actions:
An easy way to remember this Action Plan is to use the acronym
RACE - Rescue Announce Contain Escape
Emergency Guidelines for Trapped Individuals:
Figures 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6 show the fire exit doors. There doors have emergency exit push bars. You are required to study the shortest route to the nearest exit door from your place of work.
The emergency exits are shown to provide a general guideline to escaping from the building. However, the occupants are required to examine the severity for themselves and then decide on whether or not to use the emergency exits and which exit to be used, if safe.
All students, staff, faculty and laboratory employees of CSEE Department should know the following:
Avoid fire risk by following these do’s and don’ts:
Legend for Figures 6.4 - 6.6:
Emergency Preparedness at the University at Buffalo
Emergencies caused by disasters, accidents, injuries, and crime can occur at any time without warning. Being physically and psychologically prepared to handle unexpected situations is an individual as well as an organizational responsibility.
Read and keep these ‘Emergency Procedures’ in an accessible place in your office for immediate reference and do not file it. When you are familiar with the information, you will be better prepared to protect yourself and your co-workers.
What You Can Do to Prepare Yourself for an Emergency?
The inherent danger during a major power outage is panic. Try to remain calm. In the event of a major, campus wide outage, the University has emergency generators that will immediately provide emergency power to selected areas of the campus.
Keep flashlights and batteries in key locations throughout your work areas.
Severe weather conditions can occur suddenly or be predicted ahead of time. Severe weather likely to occur in this area includes: snow and ice storms, heavy rains, and high winds.
The decision to close campus or discontinue normal campus operations is made by the University President, who may notify campus via e-mail and through the Unversity's website. Local media is also notified and provides updates.
Snow and Ice: To the greatest extent possible, walk only on paths that have been cleared or sanded. Stay clear of sagging or downed power lines. Heavy snow and ice may cause tree limbs to fall; avoid areas with the heaviest concentration of trees. Exercise extreme caution when driving.
Heavy Rains and Flooding: In the case of extensive roof or window leaks or imminent flooding of ground areas, unplug electrical devices and secure all equipment by moving or covering it.
Tornado - High Winds: If possible, remain inside the building, away from windows. Report to a designated Tornado Shelter. When outside, avoid areas with the heaviest concentration of trees. Stay clear of sagging or downed power lines.
Securing Records and Equipment
Power outages may occur as a result of severe weather conditions. Equipment and office and laboratory materials could be damaged by flooding or conditions occurring as a result of broken windows or other damage to a building. Take appropriate action to secure vital records, equipment, and chemicals.
Threats may be statements of intent or expressions of strong emotion. They can be indirect or direct, verbal or nonverbal. Shaking a fist or pounding the desk, throwing things, and showing a weapon are all examples of nonverbal threats. Verbal threats may be indirect expressions of frustration or anger directed toward a person or office or they may be direct statements of the intention to harm. These situations are complex, and it is not expected that individuals will be able to assess whether the threat is serious and might actually lead to harm. However, it is expected that university employees consider any threat or display of hate as potentially serious.
Most people who commit violent acts exhibit warning signs. It is important to take seriously any behaviors or words that imply threat, and consult your colleagues to assess the risk. Any such situation should be reported to the CSEE Department Chair, Tel. (716)645-2114 Ext. 2446. If the threat or violent behavior poses an immediate danger, then it shall also be reported to Department of Public Safety at 645-2222.
Steps to Follow:
2. If the threat isn't immediate, consult appropriate resources for help in assessing the level of danger, determining an appropriate intervention, and choosing appropriate safety measures.
Civil disturbances include riots, property damage, threatening individuals, or assemblies that have become significantly disruptive. Demonstrations are visible actions designed to advocate a position on a particular issue. Most are peaceful but they become problematic when they obstruct university business.
In Case of Civil Disturbance or Demonstration:
In the event of explosion in the building, employees should take the following actions:
If a major earthquake were to occur, the University at Buffalo needs to be prepared to provide its own resources for an unlimited period of time.
Biggest Dangers Posed By Earthquakes:
If you receive or discover a suspicious package or foreign device, do not touch it, tamper with it, or move it. Dial 645-2222 immediately and report it to the Department of Public Safety.
Detecting Suspicious Packages or Letters
Suspicious packages are not limited to those delivered by a commercial or U.S. postal carrier. The following characteristics have been designated by the U.S. Post Office and the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms as indicators of suspicious packages:
Before an emergency, determine the nearest exit to your location, the safest route to follow, and alternate exits.
Keep all exit routes free and unobstructed. Do not place any material or equipment temporarily or permanently, within the exit routes.
The CSEE Department facilities has safeguards designed to protect the students and staff during an emergency, e.g. sprinkler systems, alarm systems, fire doors, and exit lighting. They must be in proper working order at all times. If you notice that any of the emergency protection devices are not functioning, report the same immediately to CSEE Department Chair, Tel. (716) 645-2114 Ext. 2446.
Emergency escape routes for all offices and labs for CSEE Department facilities are shown on the floor plans in Figures 7.1, 7.2 and, 7.3 attached. Study them, and practice walking along the emergency exit route from your office to the nearest exit door.
Emergency evacuation plans are reviewed and / or updated annually.
Evacuation of a Building:
Legend for Figures 7.1 - 7.3:
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHAct 1970) requires that every worker shall wear or use such personal protective clothing, equipment or device as is necessary for his/her protection from the particular hazards to which he/she is exposed.
PPE is equipment or clothing one can wear to minimize his/her exposure to specific hazards. PPE includes items such as gloves, safety boots, ear muffs, respirators, protective eyewear, hard hats, and safety harnesses. It is easy to take it for granted but PPE is there for a reason and therefore, it is worth the effort to put it on. Some typical PPE examples are shown in Figure 8.1.
We should know how to assess the risks in the workplace and choose the most effective PPE to reduce those risks; we should also know the correct use of PPE, different types, and their maintenance and storage procedures. Every concerned person must demonstrate an understanding and the ability to use PPE properly, before he/she will be allowed to perform the work requiring the use of PPE.
Your head, eyes, hand, hands and feet are not a match for chemicals, falling loads or sharp objects. If PPE can help minimize the danger, then wear it.
If you are in a designated area, then be sure to wear the appropriate PPE. These areas have been designated for a reason. Hazards exist and you must wear the appropriate protective equipment at all times. Depending on the particular task or industrial environment, wearing PPE may also be prescribed by legislation. e.g. noise regulations require hearing protection to be worn if daily sound level exceeds the action level of 85 dBA.
It is important to remember that wearing PPE does not remove or even control the hazard. The hazard still exists – the exposure to it is being limited. When looking at the ways to reduce the risk levels at your workplace, PPE should be regarded as the last resort risk reduction measure.
During a normal workday in the laboratory, employees and students are vulnerable to a multitude and variety of potential accidents. The working environment could be broken down into three safety shells. The first shell is the area which immediately surrounds the worker, usually referred to as PPE. The second shell refers to the space within the worker’s arm reach called the personal work environment. The third shell refers to the environment beyond the worker’s reach, in this case the laboratory itself.
There is a hierarchy of risk reduction measures which should be looked at before resorting to PPE:
Ideally, the hazard should be eliminated or substituted by a less hazardous alternative. Engineering and administrative controls should be introduced e.g. the use of localized or central exhaust fan system can reduce the need of respirators. PPE protects only the person wearing it, where as controlling the risk at its source protects everyone in the workplace. When risk reduction measures are not practical or fully effective, suitable PPE should be required and should be readily available.
Effective protection is only achieved by continuous use of suitable PPE. PPE may also restrict the user to some extent by limiting mobility, visibility or by requiring additional weight to be carried. The use of PPE may increase the possibility of other types of accidents occurring and can give the worker a false sense of security, causing him/her to face even more risks than normal. It is therefore necessary to follow all control and safety measures and not simply rely on PPE for protection.
When choosing a PPE, the first task is to identify the hazard present and assess the degree of risk. e.g. working around an earthquake simulating shake table, the person’s head, eyes, hands and feet and body are in danger. Assessment of degree of risk in this case, would involve looking at the height of the test object, person’s proximity to shake table, length of time person is present near the shake table, and so on.
Once the potential hazards are established, compare the hazards with the capability of PPE and select PPE which has necessary protective features. Check to see that the equipment fits properly and does not create secondary health or safety risks.
Comfort, fit, and style should also be taken into account when selecting PPE. Protective items which are uncomfortable or which do not fit properly are the most commonly cited reasons for not wearing the PPE when as accident occurred. Where possible, personnel should be involved in selection and trial of PPE.
In situations, where more than one PPE is required to be used, it is important to choose the items of equipment which are compatible. If the respirator is shifting the ear muffs, the effectiveness of ear muffs may be reduced. The combination of PPE chosen must work together effectively to control all the risks. Also make a point to choose quality PPE which meets appropriate OSHA standards.
Having chosen the appropriate PPE for a particular hazard, the next step is to ensure that the equipment be used effectively. Make a point to check the manufacturer’s instructions for details on fitting procedures and general use. Proper fitting PPE is essential if it is to perform effectively. Ill-fitting equipment can in itself cause an accident or lead to additional health problem. Each item of PPE should be personal to each employee. This reduces the risk of infection and it also means one can choose a piece of equipment which fits well.
There are six (6) basic types of PPE:
Persons working in areas where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, or from falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock and burns, shall be protected by protective helmets. [29 CFR 1926.100(a)]
Hard hats shall be worn in all designated areas, marked by yellow tape. Visitors are included in this requirement.
Safety helmets or hard hats protect against falling objects. Bump caps provide protection against striking fixed objects, scalping, and entanglement. When choosing head protection, make sure you choose appropriate shell size for your head. Additional neck protection could also be obtained, if considered necessary. There is a wide range of hard hat attachments which should be considered if the job requires combination of PPEs, such as ear muffs and safety glasses with hard hats.
Long hair (longer than four inches) can be drawn into machine parts such as chains, belts, rotating devices, suction devices, and blowers. Long hair must be covered and protected with hair nets, soft caps, or the like. These items however, must not themselves present a hazard. There are three types of hard hats.
Types of Hard Hats:
When working with sharp objects, safety gloves should be worn. Gloves are the most common protectors for the hands. PVC, rubber, nitro or neoprene gloves are sufficient when working with most chemicals. When working with sharp objects, wear metal reinforced gloves. Depending on the nature of your tasks, wrist-cuffs or armlets may also be required. Avoid using gloves while working on moving machinery. Moving parts can easily pull your gloves, arm and hand into machinery.
Types of Gloves:
The most common form of foot injury occurs when heavy objects fall on one’s foot, a weight rolls over the foot or an object pierces through the sole of the shoe. Make sure the shoes or boots are of steel reinforced toe and puncture resistant soles. If you work around exposed electrical cables then wear metal free footwear with rubber sole. Rubber or synthetic footwear is more appropriate when working around chemicals as chemicals can eat through leather boots. Figure 8.3 illustrates a typical safety shoe.
Safety glasses or goggles should be worn when one is chipping, sanding, welding, cutting, drilling or using power-actuated tools. They should actually be worn at all times as the eyes must last for a lifetime.
Make sure you have sufficient eye protection for the particular hazard. When working with chemicals, you should wear goggles and a face shield. Never wear a face shield or welding helmet without wearing safety glasses for added protection.
Types of Eye and Face Protection:
Figure 8.4 and Table 8.1 describe various types of eye and face protection along with their applications.
|1||Goggles ||Flexible Fitting - Regular Ventilation|
|2||Goggles||Flexible Fitting - Hooded Ventilation|
|3||Goggles||Cushioned Fitting - Rigid Body|
|4||Spectacles||Metal Frame, with Sideshields|
|5||Spectacles||Plastic Frame - with Sideshields|
|6||Spectacles||Metal-Plastic Frame - with Sideshields|
|7||Welding goggles||Eyecup Type - Tinted Lenses|
|8||Chipping goggles ||Eyecup Type - Clear Safety Lenses|
|9||Welding goggles ||Coversepc Type - Tinted Lenses|
|10||Chipping goggles||Coverspec Type - Clear Safety Lenses|
|11 ||Welding goggles||Coverspec Type - Tinted Plate Len|
|12||Face shield||Available with Plastic or Mesh Window|
|13||Welding helmets |
The below table shows applications of various types of eye and face protection. Recommended protector references can be found in Figure 8.4.
|Operation||Hazards||Recommended Protectors |
|Sparks, harmful rays, molten metal, flying particles ||7, 8, 9 |
|Chemical handling||Splash, acid burns, fumes||2, 10 (for severe exposure wear 10 over 2) |
|Chipping||Flying particles||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7A, 8A|
|Electric (arc) welding||Sparks, intense rays, molten metal ||9, 11, (11 in combination with 4, 5, 6, in tinted lenses advisable) |
|Grinding-Light||Flying particles||7, 8, 9 (for severe exposure add 10) |
|Grinding-Heavy||Flying particles||1, 3, 7A, 8A (for severe exposure add 10) |
|Laboratory||Chemical splash, glass breakage||2 (10 when in combination with 4, 5, 6) |
|Machining||Flying particles||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10|
|Spot welding||Flying particles, sparks||1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10|
Source: 29CF 1926 Subpart E
There are two types of hearing protection available.
Disposable Ear Plugs: These are made of waxed cotton, foam or fiberglass wool. These ear plugs are self-forming and, when properly inserted, work as well as most molded earplugs.
Reusable Ear Plugs: These plugs must be individually fitted by a professional. These plugs should be cleaned after each use.
Ear Muffs: Earmuffs require a perfect seal around the ear. Glasses, long sideburns, long hair and facial movements such as chewing may reduce the protective value of earmuffs. Special earmuffs designed for use with eyeglasses or beards may have to be purchased.
Respiratory protectors prevent lung pollution due to harmful dust, fumes, mist, gas or smoke. Protection for lungs ranges from simple dust masks to a full face respirator. There are three (3) types of respirators.
Air Purifying Respirators
The most common type of air purifying filter is the common "dust mask". To achieve the minimum level of protection the use of an N-95 or N-99 mask is required. These are available from the Site Safety Manager.
Other types of air purifying respirators utilize filters or chemical cartridges to remove impurities from the air.
Supplied Air Respirators
These need the air to be supplied from an outside source to the mask, hood or entire suit.
Self-contained Breathing Devices
These use cylinders of compressed air.
Recognize the particular airborne hazard of each task and choose the respirator air purifying cartridge which will be effective. The cartridges and canisters only have a limited life so replace them according to manufacturer’s instructions. Where there is oxygen deficiency or any danger of losing consciousness due to high levels of harmful fumes, use an approved supplied air breathing apparatus. Never use a cartridge air purifier and respirator.
Dust masks should be used in dusty environments. OSHA requires masks to be 95% efficient against particulate aerosols and free from oil, these are termed as N95 masks.
Several brands of such masks are available; a few of them are shown below.
HandyStrap™, with buckle, allows the mask to hang around the neck when not in use. Stretch cloth HandyStrap™ feels cool and comfortable. Soft foam nose flange for added comfort and no pressure points. Dura-Mesh shell resists collapsing in heat and humidity. Softspun™ lining for increased comfort and durability.
Added absorbent helps filter out nuisance levels of ozone and organic vapors (less than OSHA PEL). Ventex™ valve lets the hot air out faster so workers stay cooler.
Added carbon layer to help filter out nuisance levels of ozone and organic vapors (less than OSHA PEL). Soft, foam flange gives added comfort. Exhale valve reduces hot air build-up for added comfort. 95% efficient against particulate aerosols and free of oil.
An effective system of maintenance and storage of PPE is essential to make sure that the equipment continues to provide the degree of protection for which it was designed.
Store the PPE away from heat, dust, and moisture. Also make a point of cleaning and if necessary disinfecting the PPE at the end of shift.
PPE should be examined before it is put on and should not be worn if found defective or has not been cleaned.
Replacement PPE and replacement parts should be readily available.
More comprehensive inspections should be carried out at regular intervals in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
An effective system of storage and maintenance of PPE should address the following issues for each PPE:
Maintenance Procedure for Protective Eyewear
Disinfection Procedure for Protective Eyewear
Eye & Face Protection
PPE is an important and necessary consideration in the development of an institution’s health and safety program. However, PPE should not be relied on solely for protection from hazards. Wearing PPE does not reduce hazards. The hazards still exist and it is vital that everyone exercises care even while using PPE. Assess workplace hazards before commencing a task and always make sure that, you are wearing a correct PPE to reduce your exposure to those hazards.
If you are given PPE at work, make sure you wear it.
It has been given to you for a reason and your safety could depend on it.
Whenever you work with power tools or on electrical circuits there is a risk of electrical shock. Electricity is often used without much thought about the hazards it can cause, as it is a familiar part of our lives, but serious injury or even death can occur as a result of an electrical shock.
There are four main types of electrical injuries: electrocution (death due to electrical shock), electrical shock, burns, and falls. In this module, various electrical hazards will be described. You will also learn how to recognize, evaluate, and control electrical hazards.
An electrical shock is received when electrical current passes through the body. If your body happens to be a conductor for the two wires or two surfaces having voltage difference, current will pass through your body, resulting in an electric shock. If you are in contact with a live wire or any live component of an energized electrical circuit and also in contact with any grounded object, you will receive a shock. Wet clothing, high humidity, and perspiration also increase your chances of getting an electric shock.
You can also receive a shock from electrical components that are not grounded. Contact with another person who is receiving an electrical shock may cause you to be shocked.
The severity of injury from electrical shock depends on the amount of electrical current and the length of time current passes through the body. The amount of internal current a person can withstand and still be able to control the muscles of the arm and hand can be less than 10 milliamperes (mA). Currents above 10 mA can paralyze or ‘freeze’ the muscles. When this ‘freezing’ happens, a person is no longer able to release a tool, wire, or other object. Instead, the electrified object may be held even more tightly, resulting in longer exposure to electric current.
Table 9.1 shows what usually happens for a range of currents (lasting one second) at typical household voltages. However, longer exposures are known to cause more severe injuries than those indicated in the table.
|1 milliamp||Just a faint tingle |
|5 milliamps ||Slight shock felt. Disturbing, but not painful |
|6 - 25 milliamps (women) |
9 - 30 milliamps (men)
*Differences in the muscle and fat content affect the severity of the shock
|Painful shock. Muscular control is lost. This is the range where 'freezing' starts. |
|50 - 150 milliamps ||Extremely painful shock, respiratory arrests, severe muscle contractions.|
|1,000 - 4,300 milliamps |
(1 - 4.3 amps)
|Heart pumping action becomes irregular. Muscles contract, nerve damage occurs. Death is likely. |
|10,000 milliamps |
|Cardiac arrest and severe burns occur. Death is probable. |
|15,000 milliamps |
|Lower over current at which is a typical fuse or circuit breaker opens a circuit. |
Table 9.1: Effects on Electrical Current on a Body
Source: NIOSH Electrical Safety Manual, 2002
A severe shock can cause much more damage to the body than is visible. A person may suffer internal bleeding and destruction of tissues, nerves and muscles. Sometimes the hidden injuries caused by an electrical shock result in a delayed death. Shock is often only the beginning of chain events. Even if electrical current is too small to cause injury, your reaction to the shock may cause you to fall, resulting in bruises, broken bones, burns as illustrated in Figure 9.1, or even death. The length of time of the shock greatly affects the amount of injury. If the shock is short in duration, it may only be painful. A longer shock (lasting a few seconds) could be fatal if the level of current is high enough to cause the heart to go into irregular pumping.
Wet working conditions or broken skin drastically increases probably of receiving a shock. The low resistance of wet skin allows current to pass into the body more easily and gives a greater shock.
The most common shock-related nonfatal injury is a burn. Burns caused by electricity may be of three types:
Electricity is one of the most common causes of fires and thermal burns in homes and workplaces. Defective or misused electrical equipment is a major cause of electrical fires. If there is a small electrical fire, be sure to use only a Class C or multi-purpose (ABC) fire extinguisher, or you might make the problem worse. All fire extinguishers are marked with letter(s) that tell you the kinds of fires they can put out. Some extinguishers contain symbols, too.
Shut off the electrical current if the victim is still in contact with the energized circuit. While you do this, have someone else call for help. If you cannot get to the switchgear quickly, pry the victim from the circuit with something that does not conduct electricity such as dry wood. Do not touch the victim yourself if he or she is still in contact with an electrical circuit. You do not want to be a victim, too.
Do not leave the victim unless there is absolutely no other option. You should stay with the victim while Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is contacted. The caller should come back to you afterwards to verify that the call was made. If the victim is not breathing, does not have a heartbeat, or is badly injured, quick response by a team of emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) or paramedics gives the best chance for survival.
One must use the three-stage safety model for hazards:
The first step in protecting yourself is recognizing the hazards present in your work area. To do this, you should know the situations which can put you in danger. The following are some examples:
· Inadequate Wiring: An electrical hazard exists when the wire gauge is too small for the current it will carry. When you use an extension cord, the size of the wire you are placing into the circuit may be too small for the equipment. The circuit breaker may not be right for the smaller-gauge extension cord. A tool plugged into the extension cord may use more current than the cord can handle without tripping the circuit breaker, the wire will overheat and could cause a fire.
After you recognize a hazard, your next step is to evaluate your risk from the hazard. Obviously, exposed wires should be recognized as a hazard. If the exposed wires are 15 feet off the ground, your risk is low. However, if you are going to be working on a roof near those same wires, your risk is high. The risk of shock is greater if you will be carrying metal conduit that could touch the exposed wires. You must constantly evaluate your risk. Combinations of hazards increase your risk. Improper grounding and a damaged tool greatly increase your risk. Wet conditions combined with other hazards also increase your risk.
Create a safe work environment by locking out and tagging out circuits and machines. Before working on a circuit, you must turn off the power supply. Once the circuit has been shut off and de-energized, lock out the switchgear to the circuit so the power cannot be turned back on inadvertently. Then, tag out the circuit with an easy-to-see sign or label that lets everyone know that you are working on the circuit. If you are working on or near machinery, you must lock out and tag out the machinery to prevent startup. Before you begin work, you must test the circuit to make sure it is de-energized.
Use the following checklist for Lockout and Tag out:
Control Inadequate Wiring Hazards
Electrical hazards result from using the wrong size or type of wire. You must choose the right size wire for the amount of current expected in a circuit. The wire’s insulation must be appropriate for the voltage and tough enough for the environment. Connections need to be reliable and protected.
Control Hazards of Flexible Wiring
Electrical cords supplement fixed wiring by providing the flexibility required for maintenance, portability, isolation from vibration, and emergency and temporary power needs. Flexible wiring can be used for extension cords or power supply cords. Power supply cords can be removable or permanently attached to the appliance. Do not use flexible wiring in situations where frequent inspection would be difficult, where damage would be likely, or where long-term electrical supply is needed. Flexible cords cannot be used as a substitute for the fixed wiring. Some Guidelines for using Flexible Cords are as follows:
Use the right Extension Cord. The size of wire in an extension cord must be compatible with the amount of current the cord will be expected to carry. The amount of current depends on the equipment plugged into the extension cord. Current ratings (how much current a device needs to operate) are often printed on the nameplate. Table 10.2 shows current carrying capacity of different wire gauges. Remember, larger the gauge number, the thinner is the wire.
|Wire Size ||Current Carrying Capacity |
|#10 AWG ||30 amps |
|#12 AWG ||25 amps |
|#14 AWG||18 amps|
|#16 AWG||13 amps |
Table 9.2: American Wiring Gauge (AWG)
The length of the extension cord also needs to be considered when selecting the wire size. Voltage drops over the length of a cord. If a cord is too long, the voltage drop can be enough to damage equipment.
Control Hazards of Exposed Live Electrical Parts
Electrical hazards exist when wires or other electrical parts are exposed. These hazards need to be controlled to create a safe work environment. Isolation of energized electrical parts makes them inaccessible unless tools and special effort are used. Some Precautions to Prevent Injuries from Contact With Live Parts are as follows:
Control Hazards of Exposure to Live Electrical Wires With No or Defective Insulation
Insulation is made of material that does not conduct electricity (usually plastic, rubber, or fiber). Insulation covers wires and prevents conductors from coming in contact with each other or any other conductor. If conductors are allowed to make contact, a short circuit is created, current passes through the shorting material without passing through a load in the circuit, and the wire becomes overheated.
Insulation helps protect wires from physical damage and conditions in the environment. Insulation is used on almost all electrical wires, except some ground wires and some high-voltage transmission lines. Insulation is used internally in tools, switches, plugs, and other electrical and electronic devices.
In all situations, you must be careful not to damage insulation while installing it. Do not allow staples or other supports to damage the insulation.
Bends in a cable must have an inside radius of at least 5 times the diameter of the cable so that insulation at a bend is not damaged.
Control Hazards of Shocking Currents – Ground Circuits and Equipment
When an electrical system is not grounded properly, a hazard exists. This is because the parts of an electrical wiring system that a person normally touches may be energized, or live, relative to ground. Parts like switch plates, wiring boxes, conduit, cabinets, and lights need to be at zero volts relative to ground. If the system is grounded improperly, these parts may be energized. The metal housings of equipment plugged into an outlet need to be grounded through the plug.
Grounding is connecting an electrical system to the earth with a wire. Excess or stray current travels through this wire to a grounding device (commonly called a “ground”) deep in the earth. Grounding prevents unwanted voltage on electrical components. Grounding does not guarantee that you will not be shocked, injured, or killed from defective equipment. However, it greatly reduces the possibility.
Control Overload Current Hazards
When a current exceeds the current rating of equipment or wiring, a hazard exists. The wiring in the circuit, equipment, or tool cannot handle the current without heating up or even melting. Not only will the wiring or tool be damaged, but the high temperature of the conductor can also cause a fire. To prevent this from happening, an overcurrent protection device (circuit breaker or fuse) is used in a circuit. These devices shut-off a circuit automatically if they detect current in excess of the current rating of equipment or wiring. This excess current can be caused by an overload, short circuit, or high-level ground fault
Many industrial accidents are known to be caused by accidental release of energy. OSHA estimates that adherence to lockout/tagout can eliminate nearly 2% of all worker deaths in the private industry. This module will familiarize you with CSEE Department’s Lockout/Tagout procedure, importance of energy control and how to apply energy isolation and lockout/tagout.
CSEE Department requires that every person who may be required to work on electrical or mechanical equipment, must strictly adhere to the lockout/tag out requirements and directions. Lock out devices and tags are intended to protect the employees who may be working on the systems that are being shut down or are already shut down. It should be noted that, the lockout/tag out devices are not supposed to be used for discouraging tampering, preventing unauthorized operation, or for any other purposes.
Lockout is putting a lock on the part of the machine that controls the energy, e.g. circuit breaker, switch, controls, valves etc. It is a system of setting up positive restrictions on release of electrical, pneumatic or any other form of energy that could endanger life and/or property. These restrictions are generally required during maintenance of equipment.
Lockout is accomplished in three steps:
Lockout/tag out devices are to be removed only by the person(s), who set them up and by no other person. Removal of lockout/tag out by unauthorized person is a cause of instant expulsion from CSEE facilities.
Before lockout/tagout is applied, all personnel in the work area must be notified. Lockout/tagout should be applied only by the authorized employees, trained to perform maintenance and service operations. The OSHA standards mandate that the following six step procedure be followed.
First step in lockout/tagout is shutting down the equipment. Before turning off the equipment to lockout or tag out the authorized person must know the following things:
The equipment should be shut down by using its operating controls. Shutdown procedure provided by the manufacturer should be followed so as not to endanger life and property.
After operating the controls on the equipment, the authorized person should completely isolate the incoming power to the equipment. He/she should make sure that all the incoming energy sources namely electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic etc. are isolated. Electrical switches should be operated only when the equipment is turned off and fuses should not be removed as an alternative to disconnecting.
All the energy isolating devices operated to shut off the energy supply to the equipment, should be locked to prevent accidental startup.
Before starting the maintenance operation, the authorized person must inspect the equipment to make sure that all parts have stopped moving. It should be ensured that, the energy left in the equipment after isolating is drained safely. The following guidelines should be followed where applicable:
Finally, it should be ensured that energy is not being supplied to the equipment. This should be accomplished by following guidelines:
Tag out is the placement of a tag out device. A tag out device is a tag and means of attachment. Tags are warning devices attached to energy isolation devices, and do not provide the physical restraint on those devices that is provided by a lock.
A typical example of tag is shown in Figure 10.5.
Before removing the lockout/tag out, ensure that the equipment is safe to operate by all the workers. The following guidelines should be followed:
In special situations, where outside contractors are working in CSEE facilities, all of the persons should be made aware of outside contractor’s lockout/tag out devices and authorized persons. The outside contractor must be made aware of the CSEE Department personnel authorized to carry out lockout/tag out operations.
Approximately 160 crane-related accidents occur every year, of which 3% are due to gantry cranes. Several types of cranes, hoists and rigging devices may be used in the Ketter Hall and Jarvis Hall Laboratories for lifting and moving materials. CSEE’s policy is to maintain a safe workplace for its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The safety rules and guidelines in this module apply to all operations at Ketter Hall Laboratories that involves use of overhead cranes installed in or attached to buildings; and to all CSEE students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
This module identifies, what can go wrong if the crane is improperly used, how to work safely in the vicinity of the crane, how to identify hazards, how to control risks, pre-operational checks, hooks and slings used to lift the load, and communication signals used during crane operation.
The CSEE Department laboratory currently has gantry cranes. These are the cranes with a movable bridge carrying a hoisting mechanism and traveling on an overhead fixed runway which is supported at more than two places. These cranes do not have booms. They move loads using the wheels rolling along rails.
Only those persons who are designated by the employer should be permitted to operate the crane. 29CFR 1910.179(b)(8)
The minimum qualifications for a person operating a crane in the Ketter Hall Laboratories are as follows:
Any person, before he/she operates the Gantry Crane should be trained and must demonstrate proper use. Graduate research assistants, if required to use the overhead cranes, must take the crane operator’s training and pass it. Training of all operators shall include the following:
Always assess the risk and safety concerns at the work area before commencing a lift job. Start by inspecting the work area. Check overhead to ensure no work is going on that could contribute to a dangerous or hazardous situation. Look around to ensure that other workers are aware that you are lifting and they are not too close to the lift area. Other laboratory occupants must be kept away from the vicinity of a lifted load, as consequences of an unsecured load could be fatal. If you are a pedestrian, choose an alternate route. Do not get too close, especially when the load is raised. Be cautious and patient.
The general rule of safety is, load should never be lifted over people, mobile equipment, dangerous materials and structures where people are present.
At the beginning of each shift during which a crane is used, a visual inspection must be made in accordance with Table 11.1. A visual inspection is limited to that which can be made from a catwalk or other safe observation point. Any defects must be reported to a supervisor.
|Inspection Item||Description of Inspection / Check Points |
|Tagged Crane ||Check that the crane is not tagged with an out-of-order-sign|
|Control Devices||Test run that all motions agree with control device markings |
|Brakes||Check that all motions do not have excessive drift and that stopping distances are normal |
|Hook||Check for damage, cracks, deformations of the throat opening, wear on the load bearing point, and twist |
|Hook Latch||Check proper operation of the hook latch |
|Wire rope||Check for broken wires, broken strands, kinks, and any deformation or damage to the rope structure |
|Reeving||Check that wire rope is properly reeved and rope parts are not twisted about each other|
|Limit Switches||Check that the upper limit device stops lifting motion of the hoist load block before striking any part of the hoist or crane|
|Oil Leakage||Check for any sign of oil leakage on the crane and the floor area beneath the crane|
|Unusual Sounds||Check for any unusual sounds from the crane while operating the crane (Report this to the supervisor immediately) |
|Warning and Safety Labels||Check that warning and other safety labels are not missing and that they are legible |
|Housekeeping and lighting||Check area for accumulations of material, trip or slip hazards, and poor lighting |
Table 11.1: Operator Inspection Checks
When attaching or moving a load, the operator, rigger, or hooker must make sure of all of the following:
All overhead cranes should be inspected at least annually by an authorized person. A certificate to this effect should be kept on record, and should be made available to the safety committee during their inspections. [1910.179]
The crane shall be inspected for the items covered in the periodic inspection, as well as the following:
Written documentation of the annual inspections is required to be maintained. The documentation must include the date of the inspection, the name and signature of the person who performed the inspection, and equipment and accessories that were inspected need to be specifically mentioned.
Hand signals shall be used unless the participants of the lift are equipped with telephones, radios or other equivalent means of communication. Below is a graphical drawing of the standard hand signals for controlling overhead and gantry cranes.
The operator must respond to hand signals from person directing the lift, except for emergency stop signal, which must be obeyed when given by any employee.
Falls are the leading cause of deaths in the work environment. According to the National Safety Council, over 6,000 people suffer disabling injuries from fall injuries. The accidents include falling from ladders. Most of these accidents occur because the victims violate the basic rules of ladder safety.
The training should cover the following areas:
Principal Investigators / Supervisors
A self-supporting portable ladder, non-adjustable in length, having flat steps and hinged back.
A non self-supporting portable ladder, nonadjustable in length, consisting of one section. The size of the single ladder is designated by the overall length of the side rail.
A non self-supporting portable ladder adjustable in length.
There are different types of ladders available, each intended for different use. They may be made of wood, aluminum or fiberglass and designed for light or industrial use. The user must make sure that the ladder is long enough to work and sturdy enough to withstand repeated use. Aluminum is generally preferred over other materials as it is light-weight and is not affected by weather as much as wood. However, if the work involves possible contact with sources of electric current, an aluminum ladder is not suitable as it conducts electricity.
Always make sure that the ladder to be used has the adequate duty rating to carry the combined weight of the user and the material to be raised.
There are four (4) types of Ladders based on Load Carrying Capacity
Only Type 1A and Type 1 ladders should be used in the CSEE Department Laboratories.
Only Straight Ladders should be used if the work task is 20 feet above the ladder placement surface; and Step Ladders should not be used in such conditions. Single ladders longer than 30 feet should not be used. Extension ladders longer than 60 feet should not be used.
Before setting up any type of ladder, double-check overhead for obstructions. Never use the metal ladders around electrical equipment or power lines.
The ladders can develop problems rendering them unsafe. Therefore, every time one uses the ladder, it should be thoroughly inspected. The step ladders should be checked for proper working of the locking system and spreader, which provide stability. Check for the following points. If the ladder is found to be defective, report it to Mr. Duane Kozlowski or Mr. Todd Snyder and have it tagged-out. Do not use the ladder unless it is repaired and, if the ladder cannot be repaired, it must be destroyed.
Checklist for Ladder Inspection:
If the ladder is placed in a dangerous location or setup improperly, an accident is bound to happen, no matter how safe the ladder is. If you must setup the ladder in a walkway or aisle, always erect barricade or guard to prevent collisions.
Setting up short ladders (which can be raised by one person):
Setting up long ladders (which need two or more people to setup):
Every year, an alarming number of forklift operators are involved in the accidents. Latest data from OSHA indicates that about 90,000 workers are injured and approximately 100 killed every year in forklift related accidents.
Accident statistics of serious forklift accidents:
|Contact with other forklift||18.8%|
|Riding on Forks ||12.2%|
|Fall off dock ||7.0%|
Table 13-1: Accident statistics for serious forklift accidents
Tip-over is the main cause of forklift accidents, as in the above table. Proper training and care during the use is known to avoid such accidents. Three primary causes of forklift accidents are:
Forklift operation is treated to be one of the high risk jobs as the injury rate of the accidents caused by forklifts is very high. All of the forklift operators must meet the following requirements to be able to receive the training:
Training shall be carried out by an experienced operator chosen by the CSEE department, and the training shall include the following:
Pre-operation checks are a must for all the machines that could create potential danger. The forklift shall be inspected for proper working of the following items:
Loading is the first operation where imminent danger of tipping exists. Operators should never overload the forklift and should never jerk the loads.
The forklift in the CSEE department works on Propane. Propane, being a spontaneously combustible fuel, must receive proper care while handling, and during storage. Following safety measures shall be observed:
Forklift, if not maintained in order to be working safely can pose serious safety hazards. The following guidelines must be strictly adhered to:
Falls result in lost production time, medical costs, paper work and suffering.
In the year 2001, 808 workers died due to falls, accounting 13.7% of total deaths in the US industry. Figure 14.1 illustrates injury statistics of fall accidents.
Fall prevention and fall protection are two terms, frequently used to explain the means to control fall hazards. However, fall prevention and fall protection are different and should be considered separately. Proper fall prevention eliminates a hazardous situation and therefore removes the chance of exposure to a fall. Fall protection follows recognition that a hazardous situation exists which cannot be fully or adequately eliminated, and therefore fall arrest equipment and procedures are required to be provided to exposed persons.
Whenever a person in CSEE Department engaged in laboratory or any other maintenance activities is exposed to a potential fall of 6 feet or greater from an unprotected side or edge, the OSHA fall protection standard for Construction (29 CFR 1926.501 [Duty to have fall protection]) applies. If a fall hazard exists, we should select either a guardrail system, safety net system or personal fall arrest system or a combination of two or more to protect the worker from a fall.
Principle Investigators / Supervisors
The training must include the following:
When the competent authority from CSEE Department has reason to believe that an employee who has already been trained does not have the understanding and skill required as regards fall protection and prevention, CSEE Department shall retrain each such employee.
Circumstances when Retraining is generally required are:
It is documented that the majority (60 percent) of falls happen on the same level resulting from slips and trips. The remaining 40 percent are falls from a height.
Slips occur when there is not enough friction or traction between the footwear and walking surface.
Common causes of Slips are:
Trips occur when the foot strikes or hits against some object causing us to lose balance.
Common causes of Trips are:
Slips and trips occur from an unanticipated change in the contact between the feet and the walking surface. Proper housekeeping, quality of walking surfaces, and selection of proper footwear are the important considerations for preventing fall accidents. Some of the major safety areas are explained below:
Refer to Module 4 of this safety manual for detailed guidelines about housekeeping.
Without proper housekeeping, no other preventive measures such as installation of fall-preventive flooring or wearing specialty footwear can be effective. Some important housekeeping techniques are listed below:
No footwear is designed to be slip resistant against every type of potential slip hazard. Therefore, every hazardous area should be analyzed and manufacturer of the footwear should be contacted for ensuring the suitability of a specially required type of footwear. However, as a general guideline, only safety boots shall be worn in the laboratory.
Safety is everybody’s responsibility. Therefore, every individual must take precautionary measures to avoid slips and falls.
Tips for avoiding Slipping:
Tips for avoiding Tripping
OSHA Fall Protection Standard mandates that, whenever a person is exposed to a potential fall of 6 feet or greater from an unprotected side or edge, some suitable fall protection has to be provided
One does not have to reach very high heights in order to receive disabling injuries from falls. As illustrated in Figure 14.2, statistics show that about 71% falls take place from 3-10 feet height, falls from 11-20 feet account for the next 24% and only 5% falls take place in the height range of 21-30 feet. It could be inferred that, bravado, carelessness and negligence towards the required fall protection equipment are the primary causes of falls.
CSEE Department shall be adhering to effective fall protection policy, elements of which shall be as follows:
A fall arrest system is required if the risk of falling from an elevated level exists. It is designed to be passive, activated only if a fall occurs.
The essential components of an effective Fall Arrest System are:
The fall arrest system should be used anytime a working height of six feet or more is reached. Working height is the distance from the walking/working surface to a grade or lower level. A fall arrest system will only come into service should a fall occur. A full-body harness with a shock-absorbing lanyard or a retractable lifeline is the only product recommended by OSHA. Full Body Harnesses are designed to arrest the most severe free falls. A full-body harness distributes the forces throughout the body, and the shock-absorbing lanyard decreases the total fall arresting forces.
A full body harness, as illustrated in Figure 14.4, is a belt system designed to distribute the impact energy of a fall over the shoulders, thighs, and buttocks. A well designed harness will be snug-fitting, yet comfortable. Harnesses should feature adjustable thigh straps, a waist strap, a chest strap, sliding D-ring midway up the back, and a strap across the buttocks. A properly designed harness provides prolonged suspension after a fall without restricting blood flow, which could result in internal injuries. Full body harness also helps in rescue as the worker is positioned upright.
In addition to the full body harness, lanyards should be used to arrest the fall. The lanyards must be securely anchored to a non-deflecting point. Self-retracting lanyard slowly lets out a length of lanyard under slight tension. At the onset of a fall, the device locks to arrest the fall.
An anchorage is generally an essential part of the structure itself – a beam, girder, or column – that will ultimately have to withstand the forces of arresting a fall.
The Fall Arrest System:
Prior to January 1, 1998, body belts which fitted around waist were considered an approved fall arrest system. However, after January 1, 1998 OSHA has prohibited the use of such body belts as they were known to cause damage to internal organs AS ILLUSTRATED IN Figure 14.5.
The personal positioning system allows workers to hold themselves in place, keeping their hands free to accomplish a task. Whenever the worker leans back, the system is activated, making it an active system.
The essential components of an effective Positioning System are:
The personal retrieval system is mostly used in confined spaces. This system is primarily used where workers enter tanks, manholes, etc. and may require retrieval from the same if emergency occurs.
The essential components of an effective Retrieval System are:
The personal suspension system is used widely in the window washing and painting industries, and is designed to lower and support a worker while allowing hands-free work environment.
The essential components of an effective Suspension System are:
To maintain the service life and high performance, all belts and harnesses should be inspected frequently. Visual inspection before each use should become routine, and also a routine inspection by a competent person at certain definite intervals shall be required. If any of the conditions listed below are found the equipment should be replaced before being used.
1. Belts and rings: For harness inspections begin at one end, hold the body side of the belt toward you, grasping the belt with your hands six to eight inches apart. Bend the belt in an inverted "U." Watch for frayed edges, broken fibers, pulled stitches, cuts or chemical damage. Check D-rings and D-ring metal wear pads for distortion, cracks, breaks, and rough or sharp edges. The D-ring bar should be at a 90 degree angle with the long axis of the belt and should pivot freely.
2. Tongue buckle: Buckle tongues should be free of distortion in shape and motion. They should overlap the buckle frame and move freely back and forth in their socket. Rollers should turn freely on the frame. Check for distortion or sharp edges.
3. Friction buckle: Inspect the buckle for distortion. The outer bar or center bars must be straight. Pay special attention to corners and attachment points of the center bar.
When inspecting lanyards, begin at one end and work to the opposite end. Slowly rotate the lanyard so that the entire circumference is checked. Spliced ends require particular attention. Hardware should be examined under procedures detailed below
The outer portion of the shock-absorbing pack should be examined for burn holes and tears. Stitching on areas where the pack is sewn to the D-ring, belt or lanyard should be examined for loose strands, rips and deterioration.
Basic care for fall protection safety equipment will prolong the life of the equipment and contribute toward the performance of its vital safety function. Proper storage and maintenance after use is as important as cleaning the equipment of dirt, corrosives or contaminants. The storage area should be clean, dry and free of exposure to fumes or corrosive elements. Do not store webbing and rope lanyards in direct sunlight, because ultraviolet rays can reduce the strength of some material.
Nylon and Polyester
Wipe off all surface dirt with a sponge dampened in plain water. Squeeze the sponge dry. Dip the sponge in a mild solution of water and commercial soap or detergent. Work up a thick lather with a vigorous back and forth motion. Then wipe the belt dry with a clean cloth. Hang freely to dry but away from excessive heat.
Harness, belts and other equipment should be dried thoroughly without exposure to heat, steam or long periods of sunlight.
Work in confined spaces presents unusual and severe hazards to a sizable portion of the maintenance work force. Common tasks, such as welding, use of solvents and adhesives, live electrical work, or painting can quickly become lethal in a confined space. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that about 63 occupational fatalities per year in the United States are caused by improper confined space entries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that over 60 percent of the fatalities were would-be rescuers.
Confined space is a space that:
There are two types of confined spaces:
Many fatalities occur because victims do not fully understand the threat of airborne hazards that they cannot see, smell, or feel. Additional fatalities occur when untrained persons enter unknown atmospheres to rescue fallen co-workers.
The causes can be divided in two categories:
A hazardous atmosphere means an atmosphere that may expose employees to the risk of death, incapacitation, impairment of ability to self-rescue (that is to escape unaided from a confined space), injury, or acute illness from one or more of the following causes:
Electrical power that could shock workers or move mechanical equipment must be locked or tagged out prior to entry into a confined space. Machinery that could move under the influence of gravity, spring loads, or other forces must be mechanically blocked or immobilized before work is started in a confined space.
Grain, dusts, powders, liquids, or slurries pose serious hazards to persons entering confined spaces. Persons engulfed in sawdust cannot breathe and become asphyxiated in a very short time. Lifelines attached to an approved harness, mechanical lifting aids, and an alert safety attendant are needed to prevent deaths in this work environment.
Fall hazards are serious because it is difficult to retrieve an injured person in confined space. Free-fall distance must be limited to 2 feet (0.61 meters) before the fall is arrested.
All air-testing equipment should be calibrated in accordance with the manufacturer's instruction.
Oxygen Meters and Monitors
The oxygen content of the air in a confined space is the first and most important constituent to measure before entry is made. The acceptable range of oxygen is between 19.5 and 23.5 percent. This content is measured before flammability is tested because rich mixtures of flammable gases or vapors give erroneous measurement results. For example, a mixture of 90 percent methane and 10 percent air will test nonflammable because there is not enough oxygen to support the combustion process in the flammability meters. This mixture will not support life and will soon become explosive if ventilation is not provided to the space. Before entry, spaces must be ventilated until both oxygen content and flammability are acceptable.
Flammability meters are used to measure the amount of flammable vapors or gases in the atmosphere as a percent of the LFL. The oxygen content must be near 21 percent for results to be meaningful.
Toxic Air Contamination Testers
Tests for toxic contaminants must be specific for the target toxin. The instrument manufacturer should be consulted for interferences. Therefore, it is important to know the history of the confined space so proper tests can be performed. Part of hazard assessment is to identify all possible contaminants that could be in the confined space.
Fall-protection equipment for confined spaces should be the full body harness type to minimize injuries from uncontrolled movements when it arrests a worker's fall. This type of harness also permits easier retrieval from a confined space than a waist belt. Adjustable lanyards should be used to limit free fall to two feet before arrest.
An industrial hygienist should select respirators on the basis of his or her evaluation of possible confined-space hazards. NIOSH-approved respirators should be identified in the approved procedure required by the confined-space entry permit. It is important to note that air-purifying respirators cannot be used in an oxygen deficient atmosphere.
Lockout/Tag out Devices
Lockout/tag out devices permit employees to work safely on de-energized equipment without fear that the devices will be accidentally removed. Lock and tag devices are required to withstand a 50-pound pull without failure. Devices used to block or restrain stored mechanical energy devices must be engineered for safety.
Safety barriers separate workers from hazards that cannot reasonably be eliminated by other engineering controls. Required barriers will be identified in the approved confined-space entry procedure.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Ground fault circuit interrupter must be used for all portable electrical tools and equipment in confined spaces because most workers will be in contact with grounded surroundings.
"Hot work" inside a confined space requires that an approved fire extinguisher and a person trained in its use be stationed in the confined space or in a suitable vantage point where he or she could effectively suppress any fire that might result from the work.
First Aid Equipment
Blankets, first-aid kit, Stokes stretchers, and any other equipment that may be needed for first-response treatment must be available just outside the confined space. Medical and safety professionals should select equipment on the basis of their evaluations of the potential hazards in the confined space.
A tripod or another suitable anchorage, hoisting device, harnesses, wristlets, ropes, and any other equipment that may be needed to make a rescue must be identified in the confined-space safe-entry procedures. It is important that this equipment be available for immediate use. Harnesses and retrieval ropes must be worn by entrants unless they would increase hazards to the entrants or impede their rescue.
The essential components of an effective Retrieval System are:
Appropriate NIOSH-approved respiratory protection and other protective equipment must be provided and worn in confined space areas when required.
Confined spaces with top and side openings should be entered from the side whenever practicable. When entry must be made into a confined space through a top opening, the following requirements apply: (1) A harness-type safety belt that supports a person in an upright position must be used, and (2) A hoisting device with a minimum mechanical advantage of 4 to 1 must be provided for lifting workers out of the confined space.
Work using flames, arcs, sparks, or other sources of ignition is prohibited within a confined space unless hot work permit is obtained. It is also prohibited in a space having a common surface with a confined space that contains or is likely to develop dangerous air contamination due to the presence of flammable or explosive substances.
Whenever inert gases such as nitrogen are used to create an inert atmosphere to prevent ignition of flammable gases or vapors, no ignition source is permitted unless the atmosphere is kept below 10% of LFL. Ventilation is required before entry to ensure the atmosphere is acceptable before an entry permit is issued by OES of University of Buffalo. Testing the oxygen content must be done every 20 minutes, and written records of test results must be kept at the job site for the duration of the job.
Only Underwriters Laboratories or equivalent approved lighting and electrical equipment should be used in confined spaces that are subject to dangerous air contamination from flammable or explosive substances. Portable electric tools used in a confined space must be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter.
Employees working in confined spaces that have last contained substances corrosive to the skin or substances that can be absorbed by the skin, are required to wear appropriate protective clothing and equipment, unless the space has been decontaminated prior to entry.
An effective means of communications between employees inside a confined space and the safety attendant must be used whenever conditions in the space require use of respirators or whenever entrants are out of sight of the safety attendant at any time. It is important that the communication system be tested before each use, and frequently thereafter, to ensure that it is working properly.
An approved harness and an attached line must be used. The free end must be secured outside the confined space. The line should be at least 0.5 inches in diameter and able to withstand a 2,000 pound test. Exception: A line may be eliminated in situations where it would further endanger the worker or not contribute to rescue. At least one other employee who may have other duties must be within calling distance to assist the safety attendant in an emergency. If required by the entry procedure, the safety attendant must have an appropriate, NIOSH-approved, SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) respirator available for immediate use. The safety attendant may enter the confined space, but only in case of emergency and after notifying another employee. This employee will then become the safety attendant and assume all duties outside of the confined space. The safety attendant must wear appropriate protective equipment, including self-contained breathing apparatus, during the emergency entry.
Following are the suggested measures to reduce the accidents in confined spaces:
Welding is a task which is hazardous in many more ways than other tasks performed in the CSEE Department laboratories. The hazards include electric shock, fire, compressed gases, and toxic fumes etc. This module will familiarize you with the hazards, guidelines to avoid them, and suggested remedial measures in case of exposure to the hazard.
The welding and cutting operations include, electricity in arc welding and compressed gases in flame cutting. These operations can cause:
These hazards are described in the following sections
The entire work piece is electrically energized when the arc is present. The power supply circuit is also energized when power is on. Thus the operation involves a potential fire hazard. Electric shock from welding could be fatal, cause burns and could cause serious injuries if falling takes place as a result of the shock.
Welding produces sparks, molten metal and hot surfaces. All of these can cause fire if the user is not careful.
The main cause of fires in welding and cutting is flying sparks which are known to travel up to 35 feet in a horizontal direction from the point where they are produced.
Sparks can become lodged in clothing, confined spaces, foundation holes in strong floor or even pass through to the basement of the SEES Laboratory if the foundation holes are not covered.
Concrete gets damaged by molten metal and slag, therefore the concrete should be covered with a piece of steel sheet to prevent such damage.
Poor housekeeping can also increase the risk of fire due sparks as saw dust or clothing becomes more combustible when it is mixed with oil.
For the reasons noted above, a Hot Work Permit will be issued for any operation that will generate heat through cutting, grinding, or welding. This will include requirements for a fire watch and clearance of the site. Site clearance will be conducted 30 minutes after the hot work has been completed. The permit will then be signed as completed and filed in the operations office.
Extreme care should be taken while using oxygen and acetylene for welding and cutting. Oxygen-Acetylene mixture produces a higher flame temperature than any other gas used commercially. Therefore, if burns occur, they are of very severe nature. Acetylene is only slightly lighter than the air, thereby it does not disperse rapidly.
As discussed in Module 8 PPE, welding and cutting are the activities, where PPE has to be resorted to. Use of flame resistant gloves, face shield, protective eye wear, safety boots is a must.
Welding and cutting processes generally produce fumes and gases which are harmful to health. Fumes are solid particles which originate from welding consumables, base materials(s) and the coatings present on them, if any.
Depending on the materials the effects of fumes may vary from irritation of eyes to damage to respiratory system. They could occur immediately or after prolonged exposure. Zinc Oxide fumes, can cause a serious disease like metal fume fever. The symptoms of which include headache, fever, muscle aches, thirst, nausea, vomiting, fatigue etc.
In confined spaces, fumes and gases might displace breathing air and then use of respirators becomes a must.
CSEE Department is mandated to maintain injury and illness records using the OSHA forms. Recording or reporting a work-related injury, illness, or fatality does not mean that the CSEE Department or the injured employee was at fault, or that the employee is eligible for workers’ compensation or any other benefits. All injuries that require medical attention (beyond first aid) should be reported on an incident report form and submitted to the Safety Officer within 24 hours.
CSEE Department must record on the OSHA 300 Log the recordable injuries and illnesses of all employees on the payroll, whether they are labor, executive, hourly, salary, part-time, seasonal, or migrant workers. CSEE Department must also record the recordable injuries and illnesses that occur to employees who are not on CSEE Department payroll if the CSEE Department supervises these employees on a day-to-day basis.
Work Environment - The establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment. The work environment includes not only physical locations, but also the equipment or materials used by the employee during the course of his or her work.
An injury or illness is considered to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness. Work-relatedness is presumed for injuries and illnesses resulting from events or exposures occurring in the work environment, unless any one of the following exception applies:
An injury or illness will be considered to be a "new case" if:
CSEE Department must record all work-related needle stick injuries and cuts from sharp objects that are contaminated with another person's blood or other potentially infectious material such as, human bodily fluids, tissues and organs, and other materials infected with the HIV or hepatitis B (HBV) virus. CSEE Department must enter the case on the OSHA 300 Log as an injury. To protect the employee's privacy, you may not enter the employee's name on the OSHA 300 Log.
If an employee is medically removed under the medical surveillance requirements of an OSHA standard, you must record the case on the OSHA 300 Log.
A Standard Threshold Shift, or STS, is defined as a change in hearing threshold, relative to the baseline audiogram for that employee, of an average of 10 decibels (dB) or more at 2000, 3000, and 4000 hertz (Hz) in one or both ears.
If an employee's hearing test (audiogram) reveals that the employee has experienced a work-related Standard Threshold Shift (STS) in hearing in one or both ears, and the employee's total hearing level is 25 decibels (dB) or more above audiometric zero (averaged at 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz) in the same ear(s) as the STS, CSEE Department must record the case on the OSHA 300 Log.
If any of the CSEE Department employees has been occupationally exposed to anyone with a known case of active tuberculosis (TB), and that employee subsequently develops a tuberculosis infection, as evidenced by a positive skin test or diagnosis by a physician or other licensed health care professional, CSEE Department must record the case on the OSHA 300 Log by checking the "respiratory condition" column.
At the end of each calendar year, CSEE Department must:
CSEE Department will save the OSHA 300 Log, the privacy case list (if one exists), the annual summary, on OSHA 300A and the OSHA 301 Incident Report forms for five (5) years following the end of the calendar year that these records cover.
The government representatives authorized to receive the records are:
If CSEE Department receives an annual survey form from OSHA, it must be filled out and sent to OSHA or OSHA's designee, as stated on the survey form. CSEE Department must report the following information for the year described on the form:
If CSEE Department receives a Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Form from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), or a BLS designee, it must be promptly completed and returned following the instructions contained on the survey form.