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Feature Articles

Articles from current issue of the Cal/OSHA Compliance Advisor monthly newsletter are listed below.

Click on any headline below to find the full article. And be sure to click the "More Headlines" link at the bottom of the page to read articles you may have missed.

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Hazardous chemicals: Ammonia spill sends 24 workers to the hospital; Are your workers at risk?
May 2015
Shortly after 8:00 a.m. on February 5, 2015, ammonia started leaking from a refrigeration unit at Sierra Cascade Nursery in the small Merced County town of Ballico. Hundreds of workers spilled out of the building, escaping the pungent vapor. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Is an ATV an 'industrial tractor'? Does it need a ROPS?
May 2015
Southern California contractor HHS Construction specializes in removing and replacing fiber optic telephone cable. On August 9, 2011, HHS had a crew in San Diego pulling cable between four utility poles in a hilly location. . . . more »
Fall prevention: Fed OSHA's National Fall Prevention Stand-Down highlights protective measures
May 2015
Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, accounting for 37 percent of all construction worker deaths in California in 2013. Many more construction workers suffer catastrophic, debilitating injuries as a result of falls. . . . more »
Welding: Lessons learned from a welder's deadly leak check
May 2015
Welding has a lot of hazards, but they're not all directly related to the welding equipment or process. California's Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (CA-FACE) program recently investigated an incident in which a welder was killed while performing a leak test after completing a welding repair. All welders can learn some valuable lessons from his misfortune. . . . more »
Featured resource: Put your wildfire prevention plan in writing
May 2015
Once upon a time, California had a "wildfire season," but the extreme drought conditions have created the potential for wildfires year-round. Having a thorough written plan in place will help you prepare for the risks. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Can you violate both LOTO and machine guarding standards at the same time?
April 2015
The lockout/tagout (LOTO) and machine guarding standards make an unusual pair. Both are intended to protect workers from the hazards of moving machinery, and they address the same hazards--but in different, task-specific ways. . . . more »
Injury prevention: Don't blink! Dealing with distractions in safety-critical operations
April 2015
The classic example of a distraction leading to a fatal error in a safety-critical situation is the teenage driver who crosses the center line on the road while texting and kills herself or someone else. But driving isn't the only safety-critical situation, and text messages aren't the only distractions. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Penetrating advice on chemical protective glove use and care
April 2015
A worker's hands are essential to many jobs--and vulnerable to many hazards. Chemical hazards in particular may damage the skin directly, causing rashes, allergic reactions, or burns, or they may be absorbed through the skin, causing systemic effects including narcosis (a state of stupor) and damage to specific organs and systems. . . . more »
Standards update: Heat illness prevention rule changes take effect May 1
April 2015
A few rule changes from California's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) take effect April 1. The most significant changes are those made to the heat illness prevention rules that were finalized in February. Ordinarily, those changes would go into effect on July 1, but the OSHSB has requested that the Office of Administrative Law (OAL), which sets effective dates, make this rule effective as of April 1, 2015, to fully cover this year's agricultural growing season. . . . more »
Wellness: How much sleep do workers need? New guidelines issued
April 2015
Americans have a love/hate relationship with sleep. We need more sleep, but we sacrifice it to the most casual of temptations--like late-night television and Internet browsing. We value sleep but not as much as we value getting to work on time, getting our morning workouts in, or going to the midnight opening of a new movie. Sleep is essential to our health and our functioning; sleep is also an interruption of the essential activities of our day. . . . more »
Featured resource: Electronic device safe use policy
April 2015
Our cell phones, tablets, and laptops have become essential parts of our jobs. We use them to store safety data sheets and safe work procedures, measure sound levels, keep in contact with remote workers, and perform many other business-related functions. But if we're not careful how and when we use them, these devices might create a hazard by distracting us from work at critical moments. . . . more »
Occupational noise: Now hear this! New research connects increased noise levels with increased injury risk
March 2015
Employers have long known that high levels of workplace noise pose a risk of noise-induced hearing loss for workers. Recent research has also linked chronic exposure to occupational noise with sleep disorders and poor job performance as well as increased risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and benign tumors along the vestibular cochlear nerve. Now there's even more bad news for employers with noisy operations. . . . more »
Heat illness prevention: Acclimatize your outdoor workers as summer nears
March 2015
Unlike Cal/OSHA, federal OSHA doesn't have a heat illness prevention standard, but that doesn't mean the agency doesn't concern itself with heat-related illnesses. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Are your workers equipped for any emergency?
March 2015
Most workplaces have an array of emergency equipment available, much of it required by one safety and health standard or another. Fire extinguishers and automated external defibrillators (AEDs), first-aid kits, eyewashes, and safety showers--whatever the possible emergency, you should have the right equipment on hand to respond quickly. . . . more »
Return to work: Get workers back on the job with light-duty assignments
March 2015
Is your workforce ailing? Maybe one employee who's out hurt his back cleaning gutters at home, another went ahead and had that elective foot surgery she'd been putting off, and another is out on a workers' compensation claim after slipping in mud. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Did missing piece of employer's LOTO program cause worker's missing finger?
March 2015
Your lockout/tagout program is intended to prevent injuries when a machine or piece of equipment moves unexpectedly. These injuries can occur when a worker places a part of his or her body into a machine's point of operation, power transmission apparatus, or other moving parts or areas that could unexpectedly release hazardous energy. . . . more »
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