“Preparing For An OSHA Inspection” – Infographic

“Indicators Are Meaningless Unless They Lead to Managing Performance”

Jack Benton:

Another excellent post by my good friend Phil La Duke.

Originally posted on Phil La Duke's Blog:

broken cross

By Phil La Duke

You don’t get great outputs by managing results, you get great outputs by managing performance such that you produce great results. In safety we have spent a century trying to manage outputs and we wonder why our results are less than spectacular. To be sure safety has improved over the past hundred odd years, but this week marks the anniversary of two big events that serve both as an important reminder of how much we have accomplished and of how much work we have yet to complete. March 25 is the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaste Factory fire that, in 2011 galvanized the nation and opened the eyes of many about the unsafe working conditions in industry. March 23 saw the anniversary of the explosion and fire at BP’s Texas City refinery. So while a lot has changed and improved in safety Texas City (and the…

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“Safety Comic of the Day” – “Pet Safety”

Dog PPE Comic

There are several tips you can follow to help keep your pet safe. Here are a few:
  • Don’t let your dog ride in an open truck bed
  • Keep your pet’s head and paws inside the car
  • Check your pet’s collar regularly
  • Don’t let your cat play with string
  • Keep your cat indoors

Don’t Let Your Dog Ride In An Open Truck Bed
  • Any sudden start, stop, or turn may toss your pet onto the highway where it can get hit by oncoming traffic. It is estimated that at least 100,000 dogs die this way each year.
  • Open truck beds do not provide any protection from the weather. Hot sun can heat the metal floor of a truck bed enough to burn a pet’s paw pads. A dog left sitting in the broiling sun without water or shade may suffer from heat stroke before long.
  • Do not leash your pet inside the truck bed — many dogs have been strangled when tossed or bumped over the side of the truck and been left helplessly dangling.
  • If your dog must ride in the back of the truck, put the pet inside a crate that will give it some protection from the wind and weather. Tie the crate securely to the walls of the truck bed, so it cannot slide about or be tossed out of the truck.

Keep Head and Paws Inside the Car
  • Although most dogs love to stick their heads out open windows, wind can seriously irritate mucous membranes and blow pieces of grit into their eyes.
  • Insects or flying debris can also lodge in the nasal passages or get sucked into the windpipe.
  • It may require veterinary attention to remove the foreign material, which could cause permanent damage.

Check Your Pet’s Collar Regularly

Collars do not expand, but puppies and kittens grow quickly! If not loosened, collars can literally grow right into your pet’s neck, creating an excruciating, constant pain. Check your pet’s collars at least every week until it is full-grown (that can be more than a year for really large breeds of dog). You should be able to easily slip two or three fingers between the pet’s collar and their neck.

Pets & Poisons
  • Prevent Accidental Poisonings
  • Preventing Intentional Poisonings
  • What To Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned

Prevent Accidental Poisonings

Many household items can prove to be lethal to your pets — know what they are and how to keep your animals away from them. A list of household dangers is available at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center.

Be Careful What You Plant

Although plants provide clean air and immense beauty, many are also poisonous to pets. Plants that are not toxic to people, like the hibiscus, those in the Easter lily family, mistletoe, and Dieffenbachia may cause medical problems in pets, such as renal failure, irregular heartbeats, cardiac shock and even death. Other examples of toxic plants include azalea, oleander, castor bean, sago palm, azalea, rhododendron and Japanese yew.

If you have these plants and cannot stand the thought of giving them up, place them in an unreachable location so the animal cannot chew or dig them up.

Another solution is the use of an indoor mini-lawn for catsí nibbling. While outside grass can be loaded with deadly fertilizers and pesticides, an indoor mini-lawn provides a safe, edible source of greenery. Special feline gardens are available commercially or you can start your own kitty garden using a bowl, soil and grass seed.

You can grow catnip too, but monitor how much your cat chews. While catnip generally isn’t toxic to cats, too much of the fresh plant can overstimulate the central nervous system and cause a cat to injure himself.

If your pet does chew on a plant, immediately remove the plant from its mouth and rinse the mouth gently with water. Identify the plant your pet ate and call the poison center or your veterinarian. Watch for excessive or foamy salivation and changes in the skin around the mouth, eyes or paws.

People Foods, Chemicals and Medications

People often make the mistake of thinking that people food is okay for pets. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it is not. Here are some foods to avoid giving to your pets.

  • Milk is not easily digested by most adult animals and can cause them to develop diarrhea.
  • Bones are very dangerous. They can lodge in a dog’s passageways or cut its intestines.
  • Chocolate, especially baking chocolate, can be lethal and should be avoided at all times.
  • Onions can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.
  • Rich, fatty foods such as turkey skins or gravy can cause pancreatitis, and inflammation of a digestive gland, and can be very painful and serious.
  • Grapes and raisins can lead to loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and acute renal failure in dogs, resulting in death.
  • Coffee is also dangerous to animals. Watch out for grounds and whole beans.
  • Nicotine is a stimulant that can increase the heart rate, leading to collapse, and in the worst case, death.
  • Alcoholic beverages should be kept away from animals at all times.

Also, be as vigilant at poison-proofing your house for a pet as you would be for a child. Keep cleaning products in a high, closed cabinet. There should be nothing below counter level because liquid drain cleaners, as well as tub and tile cleaners, can be lethal. Also, take precautions in the garage — bags of insecticide and auto care liquids need to be stored high off the ground.

Another critical step in avoiding pet poisonings is to read labels. Flea control is commonly labeled specifically for dogs or cats. This is because the agents used for dogs are not safe for cats. Follow the label directions and amounts correctly.

Some pet owners may mistakenly think that the medications used to treat human symptoms will work for animals, as well. Never give your animal a human medication. Even something as simple as aspirin can be lethal to your pet. Products such as acetaminophen and any aspirin product can cause stomach bleeding in your pet. Medications such as birth control and vitamins can also cause internal bleeding.

Cats tend to be attracted to unusual flavors, so keep them away from calamine lotion, diaper rash ointments, sunblock and analgesic ointments. These products contain an acid related to those in aspirin and will prove toxic if ingested.

And remember, administer only medications prescribed or approved by your veterinarian.


Preventing Intentional Poisonings

According to the National Animal Poison Control Center (NAPCC), an average of 200 dogs per year are poisoned intentionally. While this represents less than one half of one percent of calls the center receives annually, it remains a problem that can be addressed through owner awareness.

In many cases of intentional poisoning, an animal has disturbed a neighbor or relative, and as retaliation, the animal is poisoned. What can pet owners do to prevent this? If you know you have a problem with a neighbor or relative, try to work it out with him or her. For example, if your dog is barking in the middle of the night, it may become a problem that others attempt to solve themselves. Showing your neighbors respect will go a long way. However, if you suspect your dog is at risk, don’t hesitate to contact authorities. Also, make sure to keep your dog in sight at all times.

One of the first measures to take if you suspect your animal may be in danger of being poisoned is to observe your neighbors. See if their behavior reflects ill feelings toward your pet. If this is the case, talk to them.

Also, be on the lookout for foreign objects and food products in your yard. If you see something suspicious, call your vet or the NAPCC at (888) 426-4435. If you find food products, freeze a sample of them immediately. This preserves the substance for lab testing by authorities.

There are many things that can poison an animal. Pesticides and insecticides are common in cases of intentional and accidental poisonings. Rodent poisons are also common. If you suspect these substances were used, look for bluish-green pellets in areas frequented by your pet, as well as in its stool.

Because animals are attracted to its sweet taste, antifreeze can easily be used to taint an animal’s food or drink. In cases of antifreeze ingestion, look for florescent green vomit. Also, switching to a low-toxicity brand of antifreeze can help reduce the risk of a fatal poisoning.


What To Do if Your Pet is Poisoned

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, what can you do to increase its chances for survival?

Be prepared

Post your veterinarian’s telephone number in a convenient location. You should also post the address and number of a nearby emergency clinic, along with the number of the National Animal Poison Control Center (NAPCC), which is (888) 426-4435.

Because neighborhood veterinary clinics rarely see poisonings, the NAPCC is a unique resource for both pet owners and veterinarians. They employ a staff of veterinarians and licensed technicians who are skilled in veterinary toxicology and are available 24 hours a day. The NAPCC can provide very detailed treatment protocols to your veterinarian.

Take immediate action

If your pet ingests poison, make sure to observe the animal closely. To treat a poisoning successfully, it’s helpful to have a history of your pet’s symptoms, including when the symptoms were first noticed, where the animal has been in the past few hours, and whether anything has been seen in the yard (pieces of uneaten meat, any vomit with discoloration), or passed through the stool.

Provide a history

Providing a detailed history of symptoms to your veterinarian is critical. Immediately collect and preserve any vomit, food products you may find, medication bottles and stool samples to help your vet rule out or determine intentional poisoning. Freezing vomit and stool samples is the best method to preserve them as evidence. You can do this yourself, or take it to your vet to freeze and later send to a laboratory for testing.

As a concerned pet owner, it’s up to you to provide your vet with information that could potentially save your pet’s life. Symptoms are important as they allow vets to work backward and figure out the cause. Only after other explanations can be ruled out can your vet explore the idea that someone may have maliciously poisoned the animal.

Be aware

Following these steps may help save your animal’s life after an accidental or intentional poisoning. If you have cats, keep them indoors. If you have dogs, be aware of their surroundings and behavior and don’t let them roam free.

For More Information Visit the “American Humane Association” http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/adoption-pet-care/safety/

“Safety & Health Requirements by State Chart‏”

There are many OSHA laws that apply to employers, but they don’t apply to all employers all of the time. Often, it depends on what state you are in.   Click on this link to Open the chart now to make sure you’re on top of the laws that apply to you and your State! If the other link doesn’t work, you can get the chart here:Private Sector Worker Safety and Health Requirements by State

IMG_0489Source: BLR ®

“CSB Releases New Safety Video Entitled “Shock to the System” Offering Key Lessons for Preventing Hydraulic Shock in Ammonia Refrigeration Systems”

CSB

Latest Safety Video Includes Detailed Animation of 32,000- Pound Release of Ammonia in Alabama which Led to Offsite Injuries Including Multiple Hospitalizations in 2010

Washington, D.C, March 26, 2015 – Today the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released its latest safety video detailing key lessons from the release of 32,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia that occurred at Millard Refrigerated Services Inc. on August 23, 2010. The accident resulted in over 150 exposures to offsite workers, thirty of which were hospitalized – four in an intensive care unit.

The newly released seven-minute safety video, entitled “Shock to the System,” includes a detailed 3D animation of the events that led up the resulting ammonia release. The video is based on the CSB’s recent View of cracked pipe following the 2010 ammonia release safety bulletin entitled “Key Lessons for Preventing Hydraulic Shock in Industrial Refrigeration Systems.”

Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso said, “The CSB’s new safety video is a valuable tool intended for use at the large number of facilities that utilize anhydrous ammonia. The key lessons learned from our investigation – examined in our report and in this video — can help facilities prevent a similar accident from occurring due to hydraulic shock.”

The CSB’s video is available at its YouTube channel and at www.csb.gov

The CSB’s investigation found that the day prior to the accident the Millard facility experienced a loss of power that lasted more than seven hours. During that time the refrigeration system was shut down. The next day, on August 23, 2010, the system regained power and was up and running, though operators reported certain problems.  While doing some troubleshooting an operator cleared alarms in the control system, which reset the refrigeration cycle on a group of freezer evaporators that were in the process of defrosting.

This resulted in both hot, high-pressure gas and extremely low temperature liquid ammonia to be present in the coils and associated piping at the same time. This caused the hot high-pressure ammonia gas to rapidly condense into a liquid.  Because liquid ammonia takes up less volume than ammonia gas – a vacuum was created where the gas had condensed.

The sudden pressure drop sent a wave of liquid ammonia through the piping – causing a sudden pressure surge known as “hydraulic shock.”

This abnormal transient condition results in a sharp pressure rise with the potential to cause catastrophic failure of piping, valves, and other components. Often prior to a hydraulic shock incident there is an audible “hammering” in refrigeration piping,.

CSB Investigator Tyler said, “The CSB’s animation details how the pressure surge ruptured the evaporator piping manifold inside one of the freezers causing a roof-mounted 12-inch suction pipe to catastrophically fail, resulting in the release of more than 32,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia and its associated 12-inch piping on the roof of the facility.”

The release resulted in injuries to a Millard employee when he fell while attempting to escape from a crane after it became engulfed in the traveling ammonia cloud.  The large cloud traveled a quarter mile from the facility south toward an area where 800 contractors were working outdoors at a clean-up site for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A total of 152 offsite workers and ship crew members reported symptomatic illnesses from ammonia exposure. Thirty two of the offsite workers required hospitalization, four of them in an intensive care unit.

The video presents the key lessons learned from the CSB’s investigation including avoiding the manual interruption of evaporators in defrost and requiring control systems to be equipped with password protection to ensure only trained and authorized personnel have the authority to manually override systems. On the day of the incident, the control system did not recognize that the evaporator was already in the process of defrosting, and allowed an operator to manually restart the refrigeration cycle without removing the hot ammonia gas from the evaporator coil.

The CSB also found that the evaporators at the Millard facility were designed so that one set of valves controlled four separate evaporator coils. As a result, the contents of all four coils connected to that valve group were involved in the hydraulic shock event – leading to a larger, more hazardous pressure surge. As a result, the CSB notes that when designing ammonia refrigeration systems each evaporator coil should be controlled by a separate set of valves.

And the CSB found that immediately after discovering the ammonia release, a decision was made to isolate the source of the leak while the refrigeration system was still operating instead of initiating an emergency shutdown. Shutting down the refrigeration system may have resulted in a smaller release, since all other ammonia-containing equipment associated with the failed rooftop piping continued to operate. A final key lesson from the CSB’s investigation is that an emergency shutdown should be activated in the event of an ammonia release if a leak cannot be promptly isolated and controlled. Doing so can greatly reduce the amount of ammonia released during an accident.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, http://www.csb.gov.  For more information, contact public@csb.gov.

 

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