Friday, June 24, 2011

Red Tape on 3-Pronged Electrical Tools and Extension Cords

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees:  All Safety Coordinators are being provided with a roll of red tape  from your Superindendents.  We begin a new quarter on 7/1/11 for our Assured Grounding Program.  You are to inspect, test and color-code with red tape all 3 pronged electrical tools and extension cords.  All electrical tools and cords need to be visually inspected.  If you see any defects in the cords such as bare wires, severe kinks, missing or damaged ground prong, the cord pulling away from the plug end housing, etc., then that tool or cord would need to be immediately removed from service and reported to your Foreman.  If your tool/cord passes the visual inspection, your next step is to test the cord with a receptacle tester.  First, you should test the oulet that you will be plugging your cord into to ensure that it is properly wired.  You should see 2 yellow lights lit up on your tester and the red light should be off.  This means the outlet is working appropriately.  Next, plug your cord into the outlet and then test the cord with the receptacle tester.  Again, you should see the same light pattern as mentioned above and this would mean the cord passed the test and it is good and safe to use.  Any other light pattern means that there is a problem with the cord and the cord needs to be removed from service and reported to your Foreman.  If the cord passes the visual inspection and the cord tester test, you should then remove the previous quarter's green electrical tape and install the red electrical tape about 1" down from both plug ends.  Your cord is now in compliance with our 3rd quarter's Assured Ground Program.  The red tape shall remain in place from 7/1/11 through 9/30/11.  You are not quite done yet!  You now need to visually inspect all electrical cords and tools on a daily basis and if any defects are found, the cord needs to be immediately removed from service.  Thank you for taking the time to ensure your electrical tools and cords are in safe working order.  Your actions may prevent one of our family members from sustaining an electrical shock type injury or worse yet and electrocution.  If you have any questions regarding our Assured Grounding Program, please call our Safety Director, Peter Graham, at (847) 417-1689. 
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Working In The Heat!

Summer is here and we are getting 90 degree plus heat for the rest of this week.  This is a good time to put out another reminder of what too look for as for as heat exhaustion symptoms, prevention methods, etc. 
Although summer heat is the largest cause of heat distress disorder, it may also occur when workers are exposed to confined areas such as pipelines, tanks and other spaces with limited ventilation, and any confined area involving welding or cutting.
The symptoms of heat stress disorders are very slow to start, but increase in intensity if precautions are not taken. The onset of the initial symptoms are mild and usually involve headaches, thirst, and tiredness.
Heat stress can move to heat stroke, a life-threatening medical emergency, quickly when the body's natural cooling system breaks down and causes the body core temperature to rise and overheat the brain. Some of the symptoms of heat stroke are immense thirst, severe headaches, disorientation, dry/hot skin (no sweating) and possibly collapse.
The following ideas may aid in combating heat stress disorders:
1. Employees accustomed to working in the heat are better candidates for job assignments where heat stress disorders may occur.
2. Until employees acclimate to the high temperatures, allow them for short frequent breaks to cool down.
3. If heat is affecting employees, it’s a good idea to rotate employees job tasks from the heat exposure area to a non-heat exposure area on a regular basis to help in avoiding heat stress symptoms.
4. Employees should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids (water, Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) to replace electrolytes. Employees should not drink any carbonated beverages (Coke, Pepsi, etc.) as these only increase dehydration and give a false sense of being properly hydrated. Also, the use of alcohol the evening before the work shift, can lead to dehydration even before heat exposure.
If an employee appears to be suffering from heat stress disorder, remove him or her from the heat and provide a cool, shaded place to rest and provide them with water. If the employee is disoriented or non-responsive, call for medical attention immediately. (911 in most areas)
The goal is to recognize the hazards and symptoms of heat stress disorders and stop them before they occur. Remember, there is no better cure than prevention, and heat stress disorders can occur in winter as well as summer. 
Should you have any questions regarding heat related stress, you are encouraged to call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689. 
Have a Safe Day!