GFCI Importance: November 2022 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: What is the importance of ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) and where should they be located in my workplace?

Answer:

Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are important because they are used to protect people from electrical shock hazards caused by malfunctioning electrical appliances. For example, if a person is using a defective electrical appliance and also touching a wet surface or very conductive surface, the person could become part of the grounding pathway for the fault current. The GFCI would detect this current imbalance and disconnect electricity within 20-30 milliseconds before the dangerous electrical current could pass through the person’s body which could cause serious electrical shock or death.

Depending on the workplace and work being done, GFCIs could be required/needed in several areas. According to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.304(b)(3)(i): All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in bathrooms or on rooftops shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

Other areas where GFCI protection should be located in your workplace include: kitchens, outdoor areas, within 6 feet of water sources (sinks, showers, etc.), laundry areas, locker rooms, garages, service bays and any other areas exposed to moisture. Vending machines require GCFI protection regardless of being hard wired, plug and cord connected, voltage current or frequency rating. Additionally, temporary wiring installations (including extension cords) used by personnel doing construction-like activities require GFCI’s protection.

Per equipment instructions these devices should be tested monthly. You can document with logs or procedures, that GFCIs are tested monthly and promptly replace those found defective.

If you need assistance with determining where GFCI protection is needed in your facility, contact your assigned BWC safety consultant.

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

Hand Tool Ergonomics: September 2022 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: What are the major ergonomic design considerations for hand tools?

Weight of the tool – Ideally, a worker should be able to comfortably operate a tool without experiencing fatigue or discomfort. The tool’s center of gravity should be aligned with the center of the gripping hand. In other words, tools should feel “easy” to hold in the position it will be used. Use a counterbalance to support a tool that is above recommended weight limits or awkward to use.

Handles – With the exception of tools for precision work, the handles and grips of hand tools should be designed for a power grip.

Handle shape – Select tools that allow you to keep the wrist straight or in a neutral position when using it.

Handle diameter – Handle diameter recommendations vary. In general, cylindrical handles at 1.5 inches offer a better power grip, with a range from 1.25 to 2 inches. For precision grips, a diameter of 0.45 inches is recommended, with a range of 0.3 to 0.6 inches.

Handle length – A handle that is too short can cause unnecessary compression in the middle of the palm. It should extend across the entire breadth of the palm. Handles around 5 inches are generally recommended. Keep in mind that the use of gloves requires longer tool handles.

Separation between handles – Tools such as pliers or tongs are equipped with two handles. The recommended distance separating the handles is between 2.5 to 3.5 inches. Tools with larger or smaller spans will reduce one’s maximum grip strength.

Materials and texture of handles – To ensure a good grip on a handle, sufficient friction must exist between the hand and the handle. Hand tools should be made of non-slip, non-conductive and compressible materials.

Always conduct a risk assessment before making any change. If you would like additional resources or to request ergonomic assistance, please contact your local BWC Ergonomist or request their services on-line at Request a consultation | Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (ohio.gov).

Brought to you by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

August 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to our monthly newsletter for August 2022!

Our goal for the newsletter is to connect our members to relevant safety resources, all linked together in one convenient location every month. We hope you find this resource useful and valuable!

Please share with your colleagues!

SAFETY RESOURCES:

  1. The Need for Leadership: [Video] Kevin Mowers, President of Crestcom- Extended Management, Inc., joined us to talk about the need for leadership, training & development for employees at every level. (35:31)
  2. Lockout Tagout: An introduction to the control of hazardous energy. A short video by Ally Safety. (3:21)
  3. 5 Ways to Empower Frontline Workers and Improve Industrial Safety: Article by Safeopedia.
  4. OSHA emphasis program targets warehousing, storage and distribution yard operations: Article by Safety + Health Magazine.
  5. Hoist Inspection: August 2022 Safety & Hygiene Corner.
  6. Ohio BWC Virtual Training: Through December 2022.
  7. PCSC Podcasts: Our podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Podbean, Stitcher, & TuneIn/Alexa! Access local & relevant workplace safety information right through your phone! Subscribe today!

PCSC NEWS:

  1. NEO Safety Expo – October 20th: This training qualifies as an external training credit. A certificate of completion must be submitted to the PCSC manager before the end of FY23 in order to receive credit.
  2. FY23 In-Person Sponsorships are Now Available! Sponsorship of a Portage County Safety Council meeting is a cost-effective way to get your business noticed! Follow the link for more info.
  3. Next In-Person Meeting: September 8, 2022 – Manufacturing and Society Demand Both Safety and Productivity, presented by Mark Eitzman, Safety and Project Manager, Integrated Mill Systems, 11:30am-1:00pm, at The Ravenna Elks, located at 776 N. Freedom St in Ravenna, OH. Lunch is $20 for members, $25 for non-members & walk-ins.

July 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to our monthly newsletter for July 2022!

Our goal for the newsletter is to connect our members to relevant safety resources, all linked together in one convenient location every month. We hope you find this resource useful and valuable!

Please share with your colleagues!

SAFETY RESOURCES:

  1. My family’s trauma changed my world: Article by Ohio BWC.
  2. Heat Stress Toolbox Talk: A short video by Ally Safety. (7:25)
  3. First Aid for Chemical Exposure Incidents: Article by Safeopedia.
  4. Everything You Need to Know About Safety Data Sheets: Article by Safeopedia.
  5. Trench Safety – Intro and Competent Person: A short video by the Ohio BWC. (3:27)
  6. Avoid the sting: Working outdoors with insect. Article by Safety + Health Magazine.
  7. Keyboard Ergonomics: July 2022 Safety & Hygiene Corner.
  8. Ohio BWC Virtual Training: July-December 2022.
  9. PCSC Podcasts: Our podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Podbean, Stitcher, & TuneIn/Alexa! Access local & relevant workplace safety information right through your phone! Subscribe today!

SAFETY NEWS:

PCSC NEWS:

  1. Enrollment Deadline is July 31st! Renew or enroll by July 31st to qualify for the rebate. Click here to learn how to join now or here for rebate qualifications.
  2. 2022 Programing Survey Results: See the results from this month’s member survey. Thank you to everyone who responded. Our steering committee uses the information to plan & schedule safety training opportunities throughout the year.
  3. FY23 In-Person Sponsorships are Now Available! Sponsorship of a Portage County Safety Council meeting is a cost-effective way to get your business noticed! Follow the link for more info.
  4. Next In-Person Meeting: August 11, 2022 – Getting to the Root: How to Discover the Underlying Issues After an Injury, presented by Nicholas Coia, MPA, Industrial Safety Consultant Specialist, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, 11:30am-1:00pm, at The Ravenna Elks, located at 776 N. Freedom St in Ravenna, OH. Lunch is $20 for members, $25 for non-members & walk-ins.

Keyboard Ergonomics: July 2022 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Click here to view with graphics.

Q: Is there a recommended way of typing or using my keyboard to prevent sore wrists?

A: Yes.  Keep your wrists straight and use a soft wrist rest or keep your wrist from leaning or resting on a hard surface.  Avoid bending wrist when using keyboard.   The goal is to keep neutral posture, arms should be parallel, not resting on anything.

Also, consider frequent rest breaks and stretches to prevent aches and pains.

Others tips for avoiding injury include, maintain proper posture, set up your workstation correctly, pay attention to the position of your hands, monitor your technique.

The BWC has ergonomists that can come to your facility or consult with you virtually to help you though issues like these or other workstation set up concerns.  Please contact your safety council liaison to get you connected.

*Brought to you by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

Loading Powered Industrial Trucks: June 2022 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Q: Does OSHA require inspections of the flooring of trucks, trailers, and railroad cars by Powered Industrial Truck Operators prior to loading and unloading operations?

A: Yes. OSHA states in 1910.178(m)(7) “Brakes shall be set, and wheel blocks shall be in place to prevent movement of trucks, trailers, or railroad cars while loading or unloading. Fixed jacks may be necessary to support a semitrailer during loading or unloading when the trailer is not coupled to a tractor. The flooring of trucks, trailers, and railroad cars shall be checked for breaks and weakness before they are driven onto.”

The condition of the trailer’s floor can severely impact the forklift’s ability to maneuver. Check to make sure the trailer has the weight-bearing capacity to hold the combined weight of its load plus the forklift weight. Also, check the trailer walls and ceilings for damage that could compromise the vehicle’s integrity. Lastly examine the cross members of the undercarriage for missing pieces, excessive corrosion, or permanent deformation.

*Brought to you by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.