Archive for the ‘Industrial and Site Safety’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Health and Safety Tips When Working On Steel Buildings

There are lots of metal buildings these days. Everywhere you turn your head too you will see one or more of these buildings. What is not so clear, however, is how these buildings are put up and the implications they pose on steel builders.

Metal workers come up with these structures by installing and placing steel and iron columns, girders and a number of other constructive materials. However, due to the nature of their work, safety conditions are off the highest priority because metal workers are at the risk of suffering various kinds of injuries.

Types of Injury

Common injuries that metal workers are susceptible to include:
- Eye injuries
- Respiratory disease
- Concussions
- Dental injuries
- Amputees
- Fractures
- Burns
Other typical injuries include:
- Eye wounds
- Hearing loss
- Hand lacerations
- Injuries to soft tissue

How To Avoid These Injuries

Personal Protective Equipment

Commonly abbreviated as PPE, personal protective equipment is one of the many things that are required by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). The equipment has been designed to help employees reduce their exposure to various hazards to manageable levels. Employees have a right to decide whether they need PPE within the work environment or not. Those working in metal buildings invariably implement and carry out this practice.

Glasses and Gloves

As a metal worker, you have to wear protective gloves. These should be fitting and designed using the best materials. You should also protect your eyes using eye wear. Safety goggles and glasses are particularly useful in this case.

Safety Tips

OSHA recommends a number of safety tips that any metal worker should embrace before embarking on their job. These include:
- Wearing gloves anytime you need to move metal
- Using a brush to get rid of metal shavings
- Using sharp tools carefully while performing serious metal work

The Impact of Injuries in the Metal Work Industry

The cost and number of injuries experienced in the metal works industry has really increased over the past few years. Concerns over these continued injuries led to increased engagement by groups interested in the safety of people working in the metal manufacturing industry.

How to Reduce Injuries

Anyway, it has been noted that most of the injuries metal workers sustain are very preventable. Just ensure that you do some research on how injuries can be prevented. These tips you gather should then be followed to the latter and you will notice a considerable reduction in the risk that you will get injured while on the job.

Safety and Health Management Systems

Effective safety and health performance typically involves a lot. You need to have more than a management system and plan. In fact, it is important to get everyone involved and committed to safety in the work place. You should also inculcate practices and knowledge at each and every level before integrating safety and health in your daily behaviour.

Overall, remember that health and safety tips are very important for people while they are working on steel buildings. Always wear protective clothing, goggles and gloves. You should also ensure that you are very careful while working on these kinds of buildings. In the long run, you will be better placed to ward off these very avoidable injuries.

PostHeaderIcon Different Types of Mining

Mining of elements began very early, probably since the dawn of human civilization. The period of the Copper Age, then the Bronze Age and the Iron Age are all testimony to the endeavor of humans to dig into the earth and extract minerals as and when they required. Since then mining has undergone a sea change but the basic process has more or less remained the same.

There are basically two types of mining:

  • Open-cast or surface mining
  • Underground mining

Surface mining – in this type of mining the minerals or rocks that are to be mined are exposed at the surface or very close to the surface. To extract the materials, earlier the miners used to dig an open-pit on the surface and then dig out the materials. But nowadays, giant earthmovers remove the top soil and the rocks and the material is extracted.

There are many types of surface mining processes. They are:

Strip mining process – as the name suggests the surface of the earth is stripped. In this process the soil and rocks that lie above is removed generally by heavy machinery and then the material is extracted. This type is possible only when the targeted materials are relatively near the surface. The mineral generally extracted is coal or some kinds of sedimentary rocks.

Placer mining process – in this process alluvial deposits in sand or gravel are extracted. This process does not involve the usage of any sort of heavy materials and can be considered relatively easy when compared to others. Generally gold and other gemstones are mined in this process.

Mountain top process – this process involves blasting of the top of mountains expose the coal below it. This process is relatively new.

Hydraulic mining process – in this process high pressure water jets are used to dislodge rocks and minerals. During earlier times gold was found in an easier way by this method. However, this process has been discontinued due to environmental concerns.

Dredging process – it is the process of underwater excavation by deepening a water body. In this method sediments and other substances are removed from harbors, rivers and other water bodies and minerals are extracted.

Open pit process – the easiest and the cheapest way to mine materials that are close to the surface, large open holes are dug in the ground. Sometimes, explosives are used to get large blocks of rocks out of the way.


Regarding underground mining there are five processes. They are:

Slope mining process – a type of underground mining, slopes are made into the ground and the desired material is accessed. This is done when the minerals are located far enough and surface mining cannot be employed to reach it. Generally, coal is mined in this way.

Hard rock process – here tunnels deep in the ground are dug sometimes with dynamite or large drills. The tunnels are supported by pillars through which miners can move about. Tin, lead, copper, silver, gold etc are mined with this process. This is typically the mine that comes to our minds when we think of it.

Drift mining process – this process is carried out when the material is situated sideways of a mountain. The materials are easier to access and the mouth is made slightly lower than the resource area so as to allow gravity to pull down the materials easily. Generally, coal or iron ore is mined through this process.

Shaft process – the deepest form of underground mining, this is done by excavating a vertical passageway deep down. The materials to be extracted are situated deep inside and elevators are used to take the miners up and down. It is kept in mind that the tunnels are made airy for miners to work without any problems. Generally, coal is mined in this process.

Borehole process – using a drill a deep hole is dug and a high pressure water-jet is used to force the materials up the hole. Sand, galena, gold etc are mined by this process.

The mining processes are interesting and the advancement in machinery has brought revolutionary changes in the mining process and safety of the miners. Many more innovations are carried on in this field.

James Wattson is a mining engineer and writes informative articles about mining safety and procedure, how ever in these days he is also busy dealing with various health and safety projects and this also reflects in his recent articles about TAE40110 , Training and Assessment , how to manage traffic in site and many more.

PostHeaderIcon Top 10 Reasons to get CCTV

Closed circuit television (CCTV) has become an important interactive part of man companies’ safety and security measures. Security and health and safety go hand-in hand, and closed-circuit television is a great way of keeping an eye on what is going on in and around your work premises.

If you are considering having a CCTV system installed to help improve the security of you business then here are 10 top reasons why you should do so:

1. Careful placement of cameras will help to record any accidents, acts of mindless vandalism or burglaries. The information can help the policy to identify the perpetrators.

2. Your insurance company may discount your insurance premiums if you install approved CCTV equipment.

3. Clearly visible CCTV installations helps to deter break-ins by opportunist thieves.

4. Yellow window stickers help to show a clear warning the premises is protected.

5. Remote monitoring means you can view things happening at your workplace when you are out and about.

6. Can be integrated with other systems including security and fire hazard warning systems.

7. Installation is relatively simple and straightforward.

8. A CCTV installation can be used in areas where it is unsafe for people to enter, for example chemical plants.

9. Can protect and warn in terms of both inside your premises, and outside too.

10. Low cost enhanced security and health and safety.

CCTV is security and health and safety at the cutting edge. It enables scenarios to be reviewed instantly, events to be played back where appropriate, and can be used to monitor developing situations to forestall either an accident, or a break-in.

A CCTV installation is not just a piece of operational equipment that can help you to enhance your security and health and safety measures, but it can also be considered to be an asset and as such can be valued and depreciated over time. Assets are of course a valuable item to any company and are recorded on an asset register.

Asset tracking is an important accounting function that enables the business to keep track of its many assets, including CCTV equipment. A useful method of identifying assets is asset tagging, and you can buy durable and hard wearing asset tags online.

PostHeaderIcon Top Ten Industrial Injuries

Working in an industrial environment with lots of heavy machinery or hazardous chemicals around is dangerous. No matter how careful you are, and how many precautions your employer takes, there’s still some risk of injury. However, the more you know about the risks of working with industrial, the better you can protect yourself. Some of the more common injuries include:
1. Eye Injuries
Using welding equipment without eye protection leaves you open to serious retina damage. It’s easy to get complacent and think that you’ll get away with a few seconds of working with or near welding equipment without protecting yourself, but this is a very bad idea. Always protect your eyes.
2. Back Injuries
Lifting heavy materials or equipment puts a lot of strain on your back. Whenever possible, make use of welding rotators, trolleys, and other lifting/moving aids to take some of the strain. If you must move something yourself, lift carefully, and use proper posture. Don’t try to “put your back into it” to move more than you comfortably can. Ask for help instead.
3. Repetitive Strain Injury
RSI comes in many forms. If you feel that you have a nagging injury, treat it early, and try to find ways to minimise the stress your joints are under. A few days rest now could prevent much more serious long term problems.
4. Trips and Falls
Busy workshops can get rather cluttered, and make them pretty hazardous. Always stow your equipment and tools, and sweep away any waste materials as soon as you’re finished working.
5. Trapped clothing or hair
You should avoid wearing loose or baggy clothing when working with moving machinery. If you have long hair, it’s a good idea to tie it back to make sure that it doesn’t get trapped.

6. Burns

Burns are a common form of injury – both for people that work with welding equipment and people that work with dangerous chemicals. Keeping your hands covered at all times can reduce the risk of burns.

7. Chemical Poisoning

Many industrial chemicals are dangerous if inhaled or ingested. People that work with such chemicals receive extensive training, but leaks and spillages can happen. This is why wearing safety equipment, and paying close attention to personal hygiene (e.g. scrubbing up before going for lunch) is vital.

8. Cuts and Severed Extremities

Getting your finger jammed in a welding rotator, or almost severed at the knuckle by a rotating saw is no joke. The people that suffer from these accidents are often experienced engineers that simply let their attention slip for a few seconds at the worst possible time.

9. Head Injuries

When you’re working in a hazardous environment – for example offshore, on a construction site, or in a mine, head injuries are a possibility. Hard hats offer a lot of protection from head trauma, but concussions should always be taken seriously.

10. Respiratory diseases

Smog, smoke, and toxic emissions from industrial plants can cause long term respiratory problems. While the risk is far lower than it was 50 years ago, industrial workers should always follow their company’s safety policies, and factories and plants are encouraged to monitor the quality of the air and their emissions levels.
This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Westermans International who supply all kinds of welding equipment including welding rotators.

PostHeaderIcon Practising using a Fire Extinguisher

You may not think at first that practising how to use of a fire extinguisher is actually much use. But come the time when you might actually need to locate and use one, you could be very glad that you were made to practice the act of using and handling an extinguisher in the first place.

The fact of the matter is that there are many different types of fire extinguisher, not only in terms of operation, but also in terms of the chemicals actually inside the extinguisher. This is basically because the different types of extinguisher have been designed for different types of fire, including chemical fires, and electrical fires.

The thing is that you cannot just pick up any old type of extinguisher for use on any old fire, because if you pick up the wrong type, it can actually make the fire much worse, by either spreading it, or by adding to its ferocity. So you need to learn the rules, and the best way to do so is by attending a fire extinguisher course whereby you will be taught how to select the correct extinguisher to tackle a specific fire, how to actually operate that extinguisher, and how to direct the extinguisher to best put out the fire.

Another very important element of our fire extinguishers is where they are positioned within the building. Most local fire brigades have specialist advisers who will visit the premises to give you best advice on where to position your extinguishers. They will also be able to give you professional advice on which types of extinguisher are more appropriate to your building and the nature of your business.

Once installed, you should have your extinguishers inspected regularly, they should also be included on an asset register as they are classified as a company’s assets. Labelling fire extinguishers is not only helpful from a health and safety asset point of view, but it is also essential from a practical point of view in terms of selecting the right tool for the job, and extinguishing the blaze at the earliest opportunity.

Practising using a fire extinguisher may help to alleviate any fears and as the saying goes ‘practice makes perfect’, so like many things the more you practise the adept you will become at using a fire extinguisher, which could help to save lives.

PostHeaderIcon Can PPE Clothing be Fashionable?

Health and safety has become an important part of our daily lives, both in our personal lives and our working lives too. In actual fact, good health and safety can be the difference between life or death, or perhaps some other serious form of injury. The fact that we all take health and safety much more seriously these days means that the incidence of accidents occurring (both in the workplace and at home), is vastly reduced.

One of the big steps forward has been the introduction of the risk assessment in the workplace. It’s really quite amazing before risk assessments were adopted, how ‘gung-ho’many people were when it came to carrying out certain activities in the workplace. Today however, most companies will ensure that a proper risk assessment is carried out; even if the end result is that there is no risk in the activity at all.

One of the key factors in carrying out an effective risk assessment is to check for the necessity for wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). PPE covers a wide range of products from safety boots to hard-hats, and from defenders to high visibility vests. In the early days of PPE, fashion was given very little thought by the manufacturers, so the types of products that were available were quite restricted in terms of style. For example safety shoes were really only available originally as great big clod hoppers, whereas today you have a much more fashionable range of choice, including things like reinforced trainers. However, whilst these reinforced trainers might look much more fashionable, I wouldn’t like to recommend playing a game of tennis in them! But other items of work-wear are now available not only in a range of fashionable designs, but in a wide range of colours too.

Certain items of PPE clothing can be fashionable as well as functional; manufacturers strive to keep PPE ‘user friendly’ in order that they are worn as intended, to personally protect the wearer, rather than ridiculed for being out-dated and left stuffed in the back of a locker because nobody wants to be seen ‘dead’in them.

PPE can be quite expensive and as such they need to be carefully monitored, and their distribution recorded. Asset tagging is an effective way of asset tracking; in other words being able to conveniently and easily log where your assets are.

PostHeaderIcon Step Up to Foot Safety

If your feet hurt, it seems that you hurt all over! I wonder just how many women have spent years of their working lives in high heels, thinking more about the fashion statement they are making than the toll that their feet are taking? Many times working men and women suffer injuries to their feet, which can result in time lost, and possible surgery to repair whatever damage has been done.

OSHA dictates that as in all personal protective equipment, (PPE), companies should choose the appropriate footwear for the hazards of the particular job the employee does. The standard from OSHA (29 CFR 1910.136) requires protection “where there is danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole and to electrical hazards.” There are also hazards such as impact when heavy materials are being handled, compression protection for work involving manual material handling carts, bulk rolls, and heavy pipe, and puncture protection from sharp objects, such as nails, screws, tacks, and scrap metal.

Here are a few problems where the feet are at risk:

Chemical hazards; boots and shoes made of rubber, PVC or neoprene are needed.
Heavy objects – steel toes are to protect against falling objects, which cause about 60 per cent of all foot injuries. If there are electrical hazards, a fiberglass toe should replace the typical steel toe.
Slips and falls – shoes with good traction are needed.
There are at least two distinct areas of foot protection that are mentioned in the realm of safety shoe covers. In industrial and construction situations, OSHA and ANSI are concerned with safeguarding the “impact and compression” of the foot. Medical, industrial, and laboratory environments are the other areas of foot protection issues. Shoe covers for medical personnel can protect from spatters, liquid, and chemicals that could pose a danger. Also, using shoe or boot covers protects others from receiving contaminants from you. Those that are involved in “clean” manufacturing conditions, such as computer chips, digital medical equipment, precise engineering instruments, etc., must be careful to not transfer contaminants to sensitive objects. Clean rooms must remain as germ and contaminant free as surgical environments; therefore, shoe covers are an important component.

Even those involved in sports, such as cycling, can use shoe covers. While your back, arms, and legs are stressed during high level cycling, nothing takes a worse pounding than your feet. There are products that offer a line of covers and booties to protect shoes from road abuse from rocks, mud, and other hazards.

One last “footnote”: I recently read an article in the AARP Bulletin, written by Candy Sagon, regarding assisting people with dementia or Alzheimer’s who could possibly wander off from caregivers or nursing facilities: a locator shoe with a built-in Global Positioning System device now makes it easier to tract down its wearers. Manufactured by GTX Corporation, the shoes look like a typical walking shoe but have a miniature GPS unit implanted in the heel. The cost of the shoes is around $300. The shoe works by allowing caregivers or family members to set up a perimeter, called a “geo-fence,” allowing wearers to move freely around a specific area. When they stray beyond the perimeter, a Goggle Maps message pops up on a computer or phone to alert caregivers. What a great investment to help with the task of keeping these patients safe.

Regardless of the reason that your company has safety footwear to keep you safe, be sure you wear it every time you are on the job. Those responsible for choosing footwear or any other type of PPE should select comfortable, and proper fitting protective clothing, head to toe. There may not be a magic formula for the feet, but there are steps that can be followed to be sure feet are protected.

Source: OSHA, AARP Bulletin

PostHeaderIcon The Need for Emergency Lights

If you live in an occupancy building, have a busy office or you are a site manager, then youwould have probably at some point thought about or come across emergency lighting.

Emergency lighting provides back up lighting, which comes into effect when a building losespower and experiences a power outage. Emergency lights need to give sufficient levels oflight and illumination to enable all occupants and residents to safely evacuate the premise.

Common amongst many residential buildings including flats and apartments, many newbuilds now install emergency lighting as standard during construction.
UK Building Regulations and the British Standard specifies the design, installation andtype of equipment needed for clubs, hospitals, hotels, schools and shopping centres etcincluding the minimum safe standards that must be met. Although standby lighting has beenincreasingly introduced to new buildings the Building Regulations and British Standardscover the use and need for emergency escape lighting.

The loss of mains power electricity may cause sudden darkness and a blackout within abuilding and potentially cause danger to occupants and those residing in a communal orcommercial building.

Emergency lighting therefore is usually battery operated and self-contained locally. Self-contained emergency lights are cost-effective and can be installed quickly and easily, whilstincreasing the integrity of the emergency lighting system as each installation is independentof another.
More commercial buildings and sites that house vital services such as hospitals will havetheir emergency lights as well as other critical services backed-up by a generator.
Emergency lighting needs to be sustained for a duration of at least three hours, although if thepremises will be evacuated immediately on power failure and then not reoccupied a minimumduration of one hour may be acceptable.

The legends, lights and signs should then be placed and sited in clearly visible locationsleading to the exit points of the building, whilst access to call points, fire alarms and firefighting equipment such as fire extinguishers should be illuminated as well as being readily accessible.

Whatever the type, source and location of emergency lighting, be sure that your back-uplighting systems is routinely checked and maintained all year round.

Martha is an expert in home and business security and pays particular attention to fire safety and prevention. For more information on fire safety including emergency lighting equipment for your business, please visit Discount Fire Supplies.

PostHeaderIcon What You Need to Know About Working with Asbestos

In the United Kingdom Asbestos is the greatest cause of work-related deaths. When certain fibresare inhaled they cause potentially-deadly diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosisand diffuse pleural thickening. Asbestos account s for around 4000 deaths per year in the UKaccording to the Health and Safety Executive, so it’s important that at risk employers do their best toprotect their people.

While asbestos fibres can be found in the environment of Great Britain, it’s thought that the totalnumber of fibres inhaled has a big impact on the likelihood of contracting an asbestos-relateddisease. These diseases don’t always affect people immediately, but are more likely to occur later onin life.
There are ways of mitigating risk from asbestos, which is especially important when working
on a structure built before 2000, especially if an asbestos check has not been carried out orcommunicated with the team. Individuals are also more at risk when they have not receivedsufficient training on working safely with asbestos or deliberately disregard warnings, proceduresand precautions. It can be hard to know if you are working safely with asbestos, as the fibres can’tbe seen or smelt.

Asbestos waste should be double-bagged and clearly labelled as asbestos waste, and LocalAuthorities might be able to help you dispose of it safely, albeit with a charge. Alternatively youcould contact the Environment Agency (or SEPA in Scotland) and they should be able to help youdispose of the waste at a licensed tip.
When working with asbestos, protective equipment such as face masks should be worn, andasbestos waste should be cleared up regularly, to stop this hazardous substance building up. If abuilding or material is full of asbestos then try to avoid creating a lot of dust, by using power toolsfor example. Dust and debris should be cleared away using a Type H vacuum cleaner for hazardousmaterials, or even wet rags which can reduce the amount of dust and fibres in the air. Debris shouldnot be swept as this creates more dust.

Find out if asbestos-containing materials are present and plan any work around not disturbing thesematerials if this is possible. Anyone working with asbestos materials should be properly trainedand supervised. They should also be aware of whether the work needs to be carried out by a HSE-licensed contractor. Work should be fully explained, and appropriate equipment should be providedwhich is clean, functional and protects workers against the risks of asbestos.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 brings together three previous sets of regulations coveringworking with asbestos. It prohibit the importation, supply and use of asbestos, and uphold the bandon blue and brown asbestos introduced in 1985 and white asbestos in 1999. Second-hand use ofasbestos products is also banned, including using panels which have been covered with asbestos-containing substances. This only applies to new uses of asbestos; if existing materials containasbestos and are in good condition they can be left in place, checked and monitored.

You can read the full set of regulations on the Health and Safety Executive site.
Alan Cairns writes on a number of subjects including construction and cherry picker hire.



PostHeaderIcon Health and Safety Audit? These tips will help you keep above the bar

Health and safety audits in the United Kingdom are notoriously strict when it comes to compliance
with the 1992 workplace health safety and welfare act. Considering that the auditors can fail you on
some of the most ridiculous of reasons, I will provide some tips I’ve learned from being the assigned
health and safety representative for a large business based in Birmingham.

Assign a representative, and incentivise them!

This should be the first thing you do! Management with previous experience with legislation
compliance should be amongst your ideal candidates. Arrange quarterly reports from them to
ensure that they are working efficiently. Now you have some accountability in place, you can take a
look around for any obvious infractions.

Employee Welfare

Toilets, drinking water, changing rooms and eating areas all fall under the welfare section of the
workplace health and safety act. Ensure that drinking water is provided from a clean and regularly
refilled container.

Sanitary conveniences and washing facilities should be able to easily service the capacity of your
workforce. For example, one cubicle is not enough for a business with 100 or so employees. Are
these facilities constantly packed with large queues? This should be taken into consideration in
addition to the effectiveness of your cleaning staff, take a UV light to your washroom facilities to
check if all precautions are being taken to eliminate the residual of biological waste.


Even though the probability of electrical failure is miniscule, keeping all of your mains powered
electronic devices PAT tested is essential with legislation compliance, especially when these devices
are coming in contact with the public. The condition of your property should be monitored to ensure
that it has the appropriate stability and solidity for use.

Floors and “traffic routes” should be kept clear and clean by your staff, most accidents tend to occur
in high traffic areas, so your health and safety representative should take careful note of these spots.
Most of this part is simply common sense, as it doesn’t take a genius to note a dangerous area.
Make sure all potentially hazardous materials are marked, and your employees are aware about
their placement.


The health part of the legislation is mostly common sense. Are your employees working in an
acceptable environment? Is there fresh, clean air being ventilated in your workplace? Is your
ventilation solution providing an acceptable, cool environment for your employees to function
properly? The legislation states that workplaces should be at least 16 °C; if the work involves
physical effort it should be at least 13 °C (Unless other laws require lower temperatures).
Lighting should be sufficient to enable people to work and move around safely. Room dimensions
and space should be sufficient for the number of employees working on the property. A lot of
these can be worked out by simply looking around and talking to employees about any unsafe or
unsavoury conditions.

I hope that this has been a relatively simple way of looking at this legislation, use your common
sense and have your health and safety representative study the appropriate materials, they are not
lengthy, and can prove to be advantageous in the wellbeing of your employees.

Jennifer is a health and safety consultant providing business with clear strategies to combat
workplace accidents and the associated health and safety risks. For more information on washroom
services Nottingham
and other aspects relating to this article such as clinical waste disposal
then please visit City Healthcare.