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Safety and Savings Tips for October 2012 From All Safety Products, Inc.

OSHA is trying to get the word out for their Fall Prevention Campaign

FALLS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN CONSTRUCTION. In 2010, there were 264 fall fatalities (255 falls to lower level) out of 774 total fatalities in construction. These deaths are preventable.

Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps:
  • Plan
  • Provide
  • Train
This article is part of OSHA's nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about the hazards of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. The educational resources page gives workers and employers information about falls and how to prevent them. There are also training tools for employers to use and posters to display at their worksites. Many of the new resources target vulnerable workers with limited English proficiency.

We invite you to join in this effort by helping to reach workers and employers in your community with the resources you find on this site. OSHA will continue to add information and tools to this page throughout the year.

OSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) - Construction Sector on this nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about common fall hazards in construction, and how falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved. Here's how:

PLAN ahead to get the job done safely

When working from heights, such as ladders, scaffolds, and roofs, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.

When estimating the cost of a job, employers should include safety equipment, and plan to have all the necessary equipment and tools available at the construction site. For example, in a roofing job, think about all of the different fall hazards, such as holes or skylights and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable to that work, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).

PROVIDE the right equipment

Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.

Different ladders and scaffolds are appropriate for different jobs. Always provide workers with the kind they need to get the job done safely. For roof work, there are many ways to prevent falls. If workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect all fall protection equipment to ensure it's still in good condition and safe to use.

TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely

Falls can be prevented when workers understand proper set-up and safe use of equipment, so they need training on the specific equipment they will use to complete the job. Employers must train workers in hazard recognition and in the care and safe use ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems, and other equipment they'll be using on the job.

OSHA has provided numerous materials and resources that employers can use during toolbox talks to train workers on safe practices to avoid falls in construction. Falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps: Plan, Provide and Train.

Nursing Homes and Personal Care Facilities

In 2010, nursing homes and personal care facilities had one of the highest rates of injury and illness among industries for which lost workday injury and illness (LWDII) rates are calculated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing and personal care facilities experienced an average LWDII rate of 4.9 compared with 1.8 for private industry as a whole, despite the fact that feasible controls are available to address hazards within this industry.

Health care workers face a number of serious safety and health hazards. They include bloodborne pathogens and biological hazards, potential chemical and drug exposures, waste anesthetic gas exposures, respiratory hazards, ergonomic hazards from lifting and repetitive tasks, laser hazards, workplace violence, hazards associated with laboratories, and radioactive material and x-ray hazards. Some of the potential chemical exposures include formaldehyde, used for preservation of specimens for pathology; ethylene oxide, glutaraldehyde, and paracetic acid used for sterilization; and numerous other chemicals used in healthcare laboratories.

Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants had the highest rates of musculoskeletal disorders of all occupations in 2010. The incidence rate of work related musculoskeletal disorders for these occupations was 249 per 10,000 workers. This compares to the average rate for all workers in 2010 of 34.

In addition to the medical staff, large healthcare facilities employ a wide variety of trades that have health and safety hazards associated with them. These include mechanical maintenance, medical equipment maintenance, housekeeping, food service, building and grounds maintenance, laundry, and administrative staff.

Workplace Safety and the Flu

This article includes information for workers and employers about how to reduce the spread of the flu in workplaces. It provides information on the basic precautions that should be used in all workplaces and the additional precautions that should be used in healthcare settings.

Workers who perform certain types of healthcare tasks for patients who may have the flu may be at a higher risk for exposure to the flu virus; additional precautions are needed. Some of these healthcare tasks include direct patient care; aerosol-generating procedures; specimen analysis; and other patient support, like dietary and housekeeping services. These tasks can be performed in different settings such as inpatient and outpatient healthcare facilities; home healthcare settings; and health services facilities in schools, industrial workplaces, or correctional institutions. HHS/CDC has also updated its guidance for protecting healthcare workers from seasonal flu.

What is the latest news on Influenza A (H3N2) variant?

The 2012-2013 seasonal flu vaccine will protect against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season.

Pandemic flu remains a concern for employers and workers. A pandemic can occur at any time and can be mild, moderate, or severe. The pandemic flu in 2009 was considered by HHS/CDC to be mild but still created challenges for employers and workers and showed that many workplaces were not prepared.

The precautions identified in the resources below give a baseline for infection controls during a seasonal flu outbreak, but may not be enough to protect workers during a pandemic. For additional information on pandemic flu planning, see the OSHA webpage on pandemic flu  .

Be sure to visit our medicinals page.

Wildfires Preparedness Training

Preparedness Planning

Having an evacuation plan in place before a wildfire occurs can help avoid confusion and prevent injuries. A thorough evacuation plan should include:
  • Conditions that will activate the plan.
  • Chain of command.
  • Emergency functions and who will perform them.
  • Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits.
  • Procedures for accounting for personnel, customers and visitors.
  • Equipment for personnel.
  • Review the plan with workers.

Some businesses are required to have an Emergency Action Plan meeting the requirements under 29 CFR 1910.38 .

In addition to creating an evacuation plan, making a safety zone around your business or residence can help protect people and property. Within a 30-foot zone of buildings, remove combustible material and reduce the volume of vegetation to a minimum. In doing so, stay clear of overhead lines (maintain at least 10-feet clearance) and use 29 CFR 1910.269 qualified line-clearance tree trimmers. Clear branches and shrubs that are within 15 feet of chimneys or stovepipes and remove vines from the walls of buildings. Frequently mowing grass and replacing vegetation with less flammable species can provide better protection against spreading wildfires. In addition to the 30-foot safety zone, an additional secondary 70-foot safety zone is recommended - increasing the distance between a building and vegetation will increase the level of protection. For more information, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection offers a useful guide for creating safety zones [2 MB PDF, 1 page], and the - Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) website has more information as well.


Wildfire - Are You Prepared? U.S. Fire Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)  What You Should Know in Deciding Whether to Buy Escape Hoods, Gas Masks, or Other Respirators for Preparedness at Home and Work . National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Training and Exercises
  • Ensure that all workers know what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Practice evacuation plans on a regular basis.
  • Update plans and procedures based on lessons learned from exercises.


It is particularly important for responders to regularly train for the hazards present during wildfire response operations. The following resources provide useful guidance on training for responders:

Wildfire Response Training Tool: Protecting Yourself While Responding to Wildfires National Institute for Environmental Health and Safety
Skills Crosswalk: Wildland Training for Structural Firefighters U.S. Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and National Wildlife Coordinating Group

The following is a link to our respiratory protection product category.

About All Safety Products

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