“Grain Bin Safety” – “Don’t Get Buried Alive….In An Instant”

Video From ABC TV Series “In An Instant”

Grain Bin Safety Week – 15 Tips to Keep You Safe

1.) Maintain grain quality (e.g. moisture, heat, etc)

2.) Never enter a bin without a “bin entry permit”

3.) Never enter a grain bin unless it is really truly necessary

4.) Never enter a grain bin alone – have an outside observer who can both see and hear you

5.) Most young teens do not have the experience, training or qualifications to help you.

6.) Time is of the essence – if you’re engulfed, it takes only 90 seconds for you to die

7.) The outside observer needs to have a sure quick method to contact emergency responders in an emergency

8.) Always lockout unloading equipment before entering (so they can’t be turned on by mistake)

9.) Always check oxygen (min 19.5%) and toxic/inflammable gas levels (phosphine CO2 dust etc) before entry

10.) Always, always use secure a lifeline (harness/rope/ladder) for everyone inside

11.) Ensure that there’s adequate lighting inside  People---Group-of-Firefighters Nationwide Agribusiness

12.) The lifesaving tip of last resort = cross your arms in front of your chest if you’re sinking – so that you can breathe

13.) Even during the most frantic times, never every risk your or anyone else’s life with a 5-minute shortcut

14.) Have a written plan for training and rescue

15.) The most important safety tip – train-and-practice often

Grain bin safety is such an important task that no one should take lightly. In addition to the tips above we want to share a fantastic contest with you that is going on now. Nominate your local fire department to win an invaluable grain bin rescue training and the rescue tube, brought to you by Nationwide Agribusiness.

Other great resources:

Learn more about our sponsor Nationwide Agribusiness on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4zOjiKXz6o – and their website.

Download the “Safe Grain Bin Entry” PowerPoint Presentation Below!

Safe Grain Bin Entry

The Value Of Nothing

Another thought provoking post by my friend Phil La Duke.

Phil La Duke's Blog

By Phil La Duke

We live in a post-Napster world where everything on the internet is believed to be free, or at very least that it should be free. It’s easy to blame lazy, self-centered, shiftless Millenials for this, but what then of lazy, self-centered, shiftless Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers? Everyone shares the blame of the lowering of the collective IQ of the blogosphere, and it’s because we place no value on something we get for free.

I’m as guilty as anyone of this. In this crap made in China world why have electronics repaired when it’s cheaper to through it out and buy a new one.  The less we pay for something the less we value it.

So what value do we place on safety advice given to us for free? Zero, zip, nil. Recently someone published an article I wrote, word for word (except for an opening…

View original post 721 more words

“How Would Nick Saban Handle An OSHA Inspection?”

nick-saban-alabama

Lessons for Employers from the Crimson Tide’s Championship Football Coach

September has arrived. That can only mean one thing: it’s time for college football!

Labor Day weekend offered several high-profile games for our viewing pleasure. Number-one ranked Alabama won one of those contests, with the Crimson Tide overwhelming Southern California by the score of 52-6. Alabama looked well-prepared and disciplined in its lopsided victory over a ranked opponent, showing once again why its coach Nick Saban is likely the best in college football.

Coach Saban’s unprecedented success – having won five career national championships, including four out of the last seven – is the result of his unparalleled work ethic and a commitment to excellence even the CEO of a Fortune 500 company would envy. Indeed, his processes transfer well to the corporate world and some companies attempt to mimic what Saban has developed at Alabama. His attention to detail could create a successful environment at any business.

Employers can learn from Saban’s methodical determination to succeed. His model provides employers an example on how to, among many other things, institute programs to handle adversity and challenges that arise in the workplace.

Following Saban’s routine of working hard, staying focused, teaching discipline, and developing character could help any employer prepare for unexpected events like a workplace accident or visit by a government compliance agency, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Given what we know about the habits that led to his success as a football coach, here’s how Saban – if employed as a safety supervisor – might handle the difficult tasks of developing a culture of workplace safety and responding to an OSHA inspection:

Pre-Game Preparation- Before OSHA Arrives

1. Be Prepared. No coach prepares like Nick Saban. Saban rarely loses a game for which he had additional time to prepare. In fact, he has never lost a national championship game, which generally does not take place until several weeks after the end of the regular season. Safety Supervisor Saban would have his company extremely prepared for any government agency visit, including an OSHA inspection. He would take the proactive approach of creating robust safety programs, rigorous training techniques, and a culture of accountability.He would not wait until after OSHA arrived to take these steps.

2. Challenge the (Safety) Program. Coach Saban loves for his team to play top-notch opponents, especially early in the season. Stiff competition challenges his team and only makes it better. He currently employs 21 consultants – in addition to his coaching staff – to analyze the quality of his program at Alabama. Safety Supervisor Saban would have consultants from top safety companies and safety professionals from competitor companies review his safety program and give feedback on how to make it better. He would listen to and learn from these consultants in an effort to develop new techniques and continuously improve safety in his workplace.

First Half – The Opening Conference with OSHA

3. Take Charge and Speak for the (Safety) Team. Coach Saban prohibits his assistant coaches from speaking to the media on behalf of the program. If you have a question about the Alabama football team, you ask Coach Saban. If OSHA arrived for an inspection, Safety Supervisor Saban would instruct his employees not to speak to any OSHA representative until he arrived. OSHA could only meet with the head of the safety program prior to beginning its inspection. This would ensure proper, and knowledgeable communication is delivered on behalf of the company.

4. Know the (OSHA) Rules. Coach Saban understands the rules of college football. In fact, he often questions why other coaches aren’t following them, or why certain rules should be changed. He is a student of the game. Safety Supervisor Saban would know not only the OSHA safety regulations but the procedures OSHA must follow when conducting an inspection. He would understand, for instance, that regardless of the reason OSHA appears at your door, if you consent to the inspection without limiting the review to the stated reason OSHA is there (e.g., hazard alleged in a complaint), most arguments relating to the scope of the inspection are lost. Saban would know what OSHA can and cannot do, and require the agency to follow its procedures.

Second Half – OSHA’s Walk-Through and Interviews

5. (Make OSHA) Focus on the Task at Hand. Coach Saban refuses to allow certain team personnel to speak on the headsets worn by coaches during the game. He believes any additional conversation is unnecessary and a waste of time. He also requires his players to focus on each individual play and attempt to execute it without error. Saban generally prohibits players and coaches from discussing the score at any point during the game. He believes that if you take care of each play, the score will take care of itself. While walking through his facility with OSHA during an inspection, Saban would require OSHA to focus solely on the reason why it is there. If OSHA is there for a complaint on a press machine, OSHA would inspect the press machine- nothing else. There would be no discussion of any other matters.

6. Tell the Truth and Don’t Make Excuses. Coach Saban doesn’t like excuses. Win or lose; he generally gives the other team credit for their excellent play; he doesn’t blame the referees.He also requires his players, to be honest. Saban believes honesty is a crucial character trait. Safety Supervisor Saban would require his employees, to tell the truth, if interviewed by OSHA. If there is a safety issue, he would instruct them to not hide it or make excuses. Honesty is the only policy.

Post-Game – After the Penalties

7. Learn from Mistakes. Saban doesn’t always win. When he loses, however, he allows that experience to be an opportunity to learn. Rarely does Saban lose to the same team twice in one season, or more than one year in a row. If Safety Supervisor Saban received a citation, he may contest it if plausible defenses existed. More importantly, however, he would learn from the experience and rigorously reassess and evaluate his safety program with respect to the alleged hazard in order to improve.

8. Above All, Be Professional. Coach Saban is a professional. He generally refrains from yelling or swearing on the sidelines, and treats others with respect in both victory and defeat. Safety Supervisor Saban would understand that employers and OSHA are on the same page from a mission standpoint. They want to keep employees safe. Being abrasive or unprofessional is not the demeanor that will help accomplish this goal. Saban would realize the importance of remaining cordial throughout the inspection process.

Coach Saban’s success is the product of habits that could produce results on and off the football field. Employers can learn from accomplished leaders like him.

When determining how to improve your safety program, consider what has led to success for others, even if that success occurred outside your industry. Think outside the box. This innovation and critical evaluation will lead to results.

By Travis Vance of Fisher Phillips

“Case Studies on Safer Alternatives for Solvent Degreasing Applications”

parts-washer

The transition to sustainable manufacturing is best accomplished by using pollution prevention (P2) approaches. This paper summarizes a number of case studies that highlight the P2 approach of switching to aqueous and less toxic metal cleaners to reduce health risks and manufacturing costs. EPA compiled these case studies as a supplement to “Pollution Prevention (P2) Spotlight: Reducing Trichloroethylene (TCE) Waste in the Fabricated Metals Sector.”

What are cleaning solvents and how are they used?

Cleaning solvents are used to remove oil, grease, solder flux, and other contaminants. Facilities that produce metal products often use solvents and other chemicals as degreasers to clean metal parts in preparation for further finishing operations, like painting or welding.

Trends in the reduced use of TCE reported by the fabricated metals sector to EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) database:

Trichloroethylene (TCE): used as a solvent for metal degreasing, as well as a refrigerant and in dry cleaning fluid. TCE is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that poses a human health hazard to the central nervous system, kidney, liver, immune system, reproductive system, and to the developing fetus. TCE is also characterized by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure (i.e., by inhalation, ingestion, and dermal exposure). Learn more about TCE.

Methyl chloroform (TCA): used as a solvent and in some consumer products. Exposure to TCA can result in mild motor impairment (e.g., increased reaction time), lightheadedness, impaired balance, and lack of muscle control in acutely exposed humans. Cardiac arrhythmia and respiratory arrest may result from the depression of the central nervous system.

Dichloromethane (DCM, methylene chloride): used as a solvent in paint strippers, a process solvent in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and film coatings, a propellant in aerosols, and a solvent for metal cleaning and finishing in electronics manufacturing. Effects of short-term (acute) exposures to workers and consumers, including bystanders, can result in harm to the central nervous system, or neurotoxicity. Effects of longer periods of exposure (chronic) for workers includes liver toxicity, liver cancer, and lung cancer. Learn more about DCM.

Case Studies:

1. Schick (formerly American Safety Razor) in Verona, Virginia, manufactures a variety of blades and tools from steel stock. TCE was used as a cleaning solvent in both liquid and vapor cleaning/degreasing operations at a newly acquired facility. Schick’s prior experience with TCE as a potential environmental contaminant, combined with increasing costs associated with its distillation and waste disposal and higher regulatory risk, made TCE elimination a priority.

Schick installed aqueous “wash boxes” on production lines to replace TCE-based cleaning processes, and also used an alcohol-based vapor degreaser as an effective substitute. TCE use has been completely eliminated at this plant. In addition to risk reduction, these P2 measures have resulted in an estimated cost reduction of $250,000 a year from reduced energy, material and hazardous waste disposal costs.

Learn more: www.epa.gov/p2/pollution-prevention-accomplishments-schick-manufacturing-verona-virginia

2. Lightolier in Fall River, Massachusetts, fabricates aluminum reflectors for lighting product lines. The facility was using large amounts of TCE and acids annually. Only 10 percent of the used TCE was captured for recycling. In addition, the company became aware of hidden costs such as liability, worker safety, and opportunities for increased productivity.

Furthermore, Lightolier’s degreasing systems were old and required increasing maintenance. The company replaced the TCE degreasers with an aqueous degreaser and a powder coat degreaser. In addition, switching from pure petroleum lubricants to water-soluble coolants would eliminate the generation of oily parts in the first place.

Since removing the degreasers and making other improvements such as installing still-rinse tanks, implementing countercurrent rinsing, and increasing the drip time to reduce acid discharges, the company has eliminated approximately 1.25 million lbs of TCE and saved an estimated $170,000. Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions have dropped 90 percent from 125,000 to 12,000 lbs per year, also significantly reducing air compliance costs.

Learn more: www.turi.org/TURI_Publications/Case_Studies/Process_Efficiency/

3. V.H. Blackinton & Co., Inc in North Attleboro, MA, is a large manufacturing operation — blanking, stamping, punching and machining raw stock prior to cleaning, enameling, brazing, polishing, plating and refinishing — of metal plated items. The facility had used ozone-depleting Freon, as well as TCE and other VOCs and ammonia but was able to eliminate them.

Blackinton eliminated the use of Freon by replacing the existing finished work dryer with one that uses a deionized water rinse and hot air. The TCE cleaning operations were replaced with an aqueous cleaning system. Approximately 45 gallons of water-based cleaner is used annually, achieved by carefully monitoring the bath chemistry and ultra-filtering the cleaner weekly for reuse. In addition, a small in-tank filter, an oil skimmer, and conversion to compatible water-based pressing and stamping oils, made the new aqueous cleaning system more efficient.

More recently, new brazing furnaces with belts twice as wide as those in the old furnaces were installed, doubling the process capacity. The new furnaces use a 25 percent hydrogen and 75 percent nitrogen mix, eliminating over 20,000 lbs a year of disassociated anhydrous ammonia used in the old furnaces. The cost of the new system and quality of the finished product is the same or better. A close looped cooling water system that reuses water for the furnaces conserves 5000 gallons per day and additional water conservation activities eliminate the use of more than 25,000 gallons per day.

Learn more: www.turi.org/Our_Work/Business/Industry_Sectors/Metal_Finishing/May-20-2004-Metal-Finishing-Forum/Handouts/Case-Studies/Case-Study-V.-H.-Blackington-Company Exit

4. Danfoss Chatleff LLC in Buda, Texas, manufactures refrigeration and air conditioning components, and had been using a TCE-based degreaser to remove machine oil from metal parts. The facility replaced TCE with an aqueous degreaser/parts washer and evaporator eliminating 9,900 lbs of hazardous waste per year and saving the facility $36,000/year. (Danfoss estimates saving approximately $10,000 per year in disposal costs and $1,000 in training and reporting costs.) The new cleaning process requires less operator time, estimated to be worth $25,000/year. By eliminating the use of TCE, Danfoss also significantly reduced future environmental risk/liability associated with the shipping, storage, and use of a hazardous chemical.

Learn more: www.zerowastenetwork.org/success/story.cfm?StoryID=1155&RegionalCenter Exit

5. Perkins Products Inc. in Chicago, Illinois, was using mineral spirits for parts cleaning to remove straight cutting oil from metal work pieces in the milling department. The company replaced these solvents with aqueous detergents. The detergent was found to be safer for employees, better for the environment, less expensive and compatible with current production process. A total of 1,600 gallons of solvent were eliminated, 10,400 lbs of VOCs were avoided, and $500 saved per year, with only a one-year return on investment period.

Learn more: www.istc.illinois.edu/info/library_docs/TN/TN15-116.pdf Exit (2 pp, 668.6 K, About PDF)

6. Marathon in Ashland, Minnesota, had been using a terpene-based cleaner and petroleum distillate for external cleaning of large equipment. The terpene solvent was suspected to be impairing the biological processes of the refinery’s wastewater treatment plant. During testing, two aqueous cleaners were applied as a foam that adhered to vertical surfaces for several minutes — enough time for the cleaner to work — then rinsed off with hot water. The refinery staff using one of the foaming agents described the result as “requiring less chemical, less time and less water, while providing better results” compared to the terpene-based cleaner.

Learn more: www.mntap.umn.edu/mach/resources/marathon.htm Exit

7. Lockheed Martin Defense Systems in Pittsfield, Minnesota, used 125 tons each year of 1,1,1- trichloroethane (trichlor, 1,1,1-TCA, methyl chloroform) and chloroflourocarbon-113 (CFC-113, Freon) in 39 vapor degreasers to clean precision products, emitting 70 tons of these chemicals each year into the air.

The company evaluated alternative cleaners for economic and technical feasibility and potential worker health and safety impact. Ultimately, seven aqueous systems and two semi-aqueous systems replaced 36 of the 39 degreasers and reduced facility solvent use to less than 2 tons per year, and air emissions to less than 1 ton per year. Cost savings included: $497,000 in solvent procurement; $17,500 in waste disposal and $65,000 in permitting and record keeping. The company incorporated a “closed loop” aqueous cleaning system in the transmission assembly and repair process. The system included a variety of substrates (steel, stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron, and bronze) and contaminants (plastic and oil, grease, wax and metal, plastic or rubber shavings) requiring removal. This process reduced consumption of 2,000,000 gallons of water per year and saved $3,450 in water and sewer costs.

Learn more: www3.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/trichlor.html

8. Dayton Rogers metal stamping facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was using TCA as a vapor degreaser to remove forming lubricant oil from parts prior to dry-sander deburring. The solvent was eliminated by upgrading its deburring operation to deburr and clean parts simultaneously. The company modified the vibratory tumbling machines to increase throughput, added a wet sander and switched to a water-based lubricant so that removing the forming lubricants would be easier in the water-based deburring system. This resulted in saving $26,575 per year and a payback period for the equipment of approximately three months. This approach would be suitable in stamping and machining operation where deburring is done, but precision cleaning is not necessary.

Learn more: mntap.umn.edu/mach/resources/87-Deburring.htm Exit

9. Rosemount Aerospace Inc. in Burnsville, Minnesota, used TCA during sensor cleaning at a large manufacturer of aircraft data instrumentation. After sensor assembly, the TCA comes in contact with silicone oil during testing to remove the oil before a soldering process. Aqueous cleaners tested on the sensors removed light oils and fingerprints at least as well as the existing vapor degreasing system and eliminated worker exposure to TCA.

Learn more: www.mntap.umn.edu/mach/resources/Rose-it6.htm Exit

10. APS Materials Inc., a small metal finishing company in Dayton, Ohio, used TCA and methanol in its degreasing operation to clean orthopedic implants such as those used for metal knee and hip replacements. A dilute limonene solution was tested as replacement cleaner. This dilute terpene-based cleaner adequately cleaned metal parts without adversely affecting the performance of the plasma-arc coating application. The replacement cleaner resulted in a cost savings of $4,800 per year and a payback period of 4.5 months. Elimination of the disposal problems associated with methanol and TCA, coupled with the maintenance of plasma-arc coating quality, makes the use of terpene-based cleaners attractive to other plasma spray coating processes as well as other metal cleaning/coating operations.

Learn more: citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.405.5454&rep=rep1&type=pdf

11. Roberts Automatic Products, a third generation family-owned precision production machining company in Chanhassen, Minnesota specializes in precise and complex computer numeric control (CNC) machining and screw machine parts. Roberts used DCM as a degreasing solvent to clean its parts and reported to TRI as much as 40,000 pounds a year of DCM wastes that were released or treated by the plant.

Roberts purchased the Serec closed-loop vacuum degreasing unit in 2011 and put it into service in 2012. Roberts reduced its DCM waste to 13,636 pounds from more than 44,000 pounds the previous year. The facility is no longer required to file TRI reports for DCM and has eliminated DCM as a source of toxic waste and a hazardous air pollutant.

Learn more: www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/reducing-dichloromethane-waste

 

“2016 Training Survey – How Much Does Your Organization Spend On Worker Safety Training?”

Ergonomics 101 – “Why Your iPhone or iPad May Be Causing You Pain”

HealthHazardsOfTabletUse

Your digital communication devices aren’t just reliable for killing time on the bus—they’re also great for prematurely aging you and breaking all kinds of things in your body. Or at least, that’s what some experts are saying. According to ergonomics professionals cited in this New York Times article, mobile phones, laptops and tablets are all much worse for the human body than their predecessors. They are built for convenience and usability—not for optimal joint,hand, back and neck health. Previously, they say, computer-using employees had only to worry about eye strain and a sedentary lifestyle, because desks, office chairs, and desktop computers were all designed to support the body and be adjusted for comfort. Other, smaller technologies, like the ones you hold in your hand with your shoulders hunched together, are not. And there’s really not any good way to position them when you’re using them anywhere other than a desk. Possible ailments, caused by overuse and poor posture, can range from the uncomfortable (like carpal tunnel syndrome, which can make triceps dips and other wrist-bending activities very unpleasant), to the more serious, like weakened vision, or something called De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, which is apparently when your thumb joints become so worn out, it becomes difficult to make a fist or hold things. Have a look at the following symptoms

  • Pain or tenderness in the outer part of your elbow (lateral epicondyle)
  • Gripping something with your hand causes slight discomfort in your outer elbow
  • You have difficulty keeping your arm straight
  • Your outer elbow muscle twitches when you keep your arm still
  • Weak grip strength

Sounds familiar? It may be that you are suffering from Tennis Elbow. Don’t play tennis, I hear you say? That is because Tennis Elbow refers to a condition called Lateral epicondylitis, which essentially means, overuse of the lateral side of the elbow (Wikipedia, 2011). With all these great smartphones around, walking home has suddenly turned into a scene from “Night of the Living Dead”. “Zombies” standing around looking down at their phones with the usual groan. Doctors have reported an increase in elbow pain complaints in the last few years and have even coined a new term “Cellphone Elbow” (Ergow, 2009) to join a large list of new age diseases. Not to worry, though. You can prevent “CellPhone Elbow” with a few simple tips.

  • Try to stay fit and exercise your arms regularly. (even swinging your arms more when you walk would help)
  • Limit your phone usage or at least switch arms from time to time
  • Paul Brown (PaulBrown.net, 2011) also provides a simple exercise to do regularly:Take one hand in the other and gently flex the held hand’s wrist. That is, bend the wrist in the direction of the palm of the hand. Straighten that same arm’s elbow. Slowly rotate the forearm so the elbow crease is pointing away from your body. Hold for 30 – 60 seconds.

Sources: ErgoWeb, Cellphone Elbow, Online: http://www.ergoweb.com/news/detail.cfm?id=2348 Paul Brown, iPhone Elbow, Online: http://www.paulbrown.net/iphone-elbow/ Wikipedia, Tennis Elbow, Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennis_elbow

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