Friday, April 1, 2011

I.D.I.'s #1 Safety Goal - ZERO FATALITIES

The following is the most recent fatality data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In 2009, there was a total of 4,340 work related fatalities in the United States.  Of those, 969 of the fatalities were construction workers.  27 construction workers died while on the job in the state of Illinois.  That means that right here on our own Illinois soil, we are losing a little over 2 construction workers each month to needless deaths.  We don't want that to happen to any of our International Decorators family members and that is why Zero Fatalities is our #1 safety goal. 

We have been in business since 1952 and we have never had a work related fataility.  This is something that we are extremely proud of and if you are employeed at International Decorators, you should be proud of that also and that should give you confidence in that wev'e got your back.  We aren't perfect when it comes to safety, but our goal is to be perfect.  Our # 1 safety goal is also preached in our safety mission statement which is:  "Everyone Goes Home Alive and in the Same Condition as They Arrived; Your Loved Ones Count On It." 

To see a list of our 7 safety goals, please visit our website.  You can click on the International Decorator's website link to the right of this article.  Once on our website, you will see a link or button along the left column called "Safety."  Click on the safety button and that will bring you to a list of safety links or buttons on the right side of the safety page.  The top button contains our safety goals. 

Make today another safety one; your loved ones are counting on you being there for them this weekend!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Exposed Live Electrical Panels - Stay Away From Them!

What should I do when I come across an exposed electrical panel at a job site?  Number 1 - always assume it is live and that it could severely injure you or even kill you!  You must stay a minimum of 6' away from exposed live electrical panels and report the hazard immediately to your Foreman.  Your Foreman should then report the hazard to the general contractor so the hazard can be abated.  All employees should be made aware of the hazard and told to stay a minimum of 6' away until the hazard has been abated.  You should then discuss with your Foreman about working in another area until the hazard has been abated.  Also, do not attempt to cover the exposed electrical panel by yourself as this is very dangerous.  Leave that up to the electrical professionals. 

Some things you can do in the meantime.  If the electrician is nearby, ask him/her if the electrical panel is live or dead.  If you are told the electrical panel is dead, have the electrician prove it to you.  He should be able to touch the buss bars inside the panel or he should be able to show you with a voltage tester that the electricity is not running to and from the panel.  If it is proved that the electrical panel is dead and that no power is running to it, you can then commence working in this area as there is not an electrical hazard present.  If the electrical panel is live, it must be appropriately covered before you commence work in this area. 

Electrical panels are supposed to be covered with an approved cover unless an electrician is working on them.  What is an approved cover?  An approved cover is the metal door that comes with the panel box.  There is also a temporary cover which is made of corrugated plastic.  This type of temporary cover whould say on it that it is A.N.S.I. (American National Safety Institute) approved.  Cardboard is not considered an appropriate cover.  The electrical panel cover/door must be installed by a qualified electrician.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO COVER THE ELECTRICAL PANEL BY YOURSELF!

Why is a live exposed electrical panel a hazard to me if I stay a couple of feet away from it?  Electricity is known to travel a few feet from the panel depending on the job site conditions such as dust and humidity.  Dust and humidity are good conductors of electricity.  Your own body sweat is also a good conductor of electricity.  Keep in mind that you are using tools that could come into contact with the panel.  You could trip and fall towards the electrical panel.  So, stay 6' away and you should be o.k.  Better yet, see to it that the electrical panel gets covered.