Thursday, July 21, 2011

Next Quarterly Safety Meeting - 8/13/11

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. Employees:  Our 3rd quarterly safety meeting of 2011 will be held on Saturday, August 13th from 7:00am to about 9:00am.  Please keep in mind that International Decorators has moved our office location back in June and the meeting will be held at our Barrington shop located at 28059 W. Commercial Ave. in Barrington, IL.  The quarterly safety meeting training topic will be on ladder safety.  In the construction trades, ladders are used by everyone at one time or another.  Many of us use ladders on a daily basis.  Ladders are often used to access an elevation or to stand and work on.   There are many different types of ladders such as extension ladders, portable A-frame ladders, straight ladders, fixed ladders, job-made ladders, and they can be made from fiberglass, aluminum, wood, etc.  Ladders also come in all different lengths with various weight capacity requirements.  Each type of ladder also has various OSHA requirements pertaining to setup and safe usage.  We will cover all of this at our 8/13/11 quarterly safety meeting to help reduce our injury exposures involving ladders.  Over the years, we have had injuries involving ladders.  Some of the injuries were due to not securing the ladder in place, using a make shift ladder instead of an actual ladder, etc.  Please mark your calendar and plan on attending.  Between now and the meeting, please think of any ladder safety related questions that you may have and by all means, please ask them at the meeting.  Communication amongst us is a major aspect of safety and is encouraged in our safety culture.  See you at the meeting! 
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Heat - Drink Plenty of Water and Communicate With Your Foreman!

Working In The Heat!  Summer is here and we are getting 90 plus degree weather 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!