Looking for a good fall protection video?

Want to do a little training on fall protection for your next safety meeting? Don’t hand out yet another flyer that your employees aren’t going to read, turn instead to Youtube. Turn, most specifically to “The Basics of Fall Protection” by Miller Fall Protection.


The above video lasts almost 14 minutes and it’s actually part 1 of 2

The second part is located at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz5mv2QHFKU and it’s almost 14 minutes as well, giving you almost a half hour of quality video contact that your employees are sure to remember.


Why you shouldn’t take a shower during a lightning storm



Most people know that the best place that they can be in case of a thunderstorm is inside the house but many do not realize that you can still get struck by lightning inside if you don’t take a few precautions.

Taking a shower or bath is probably almost as dangerous as standing outside. The reason? The pipes that run through  your house can provide a conduit for electricity if the house is struck. Standing in water if and when that electricity comes down the pipes makes you even more vulnerable.

Your phone lines can provide a conduit for lightning as well so make sure you stay off corded phones. If you must talk on the phone use a cordless or a cell phone.

Finally, your electric wiring can provide a conduit as well so if you have to work on your laptop make sure it isn’t plugged in. Stay away from appliances too.


Has Safety Gone too Far?

According to Linn’s Stamp News a set of stamps designed to encourage kids to be more active is about to be destroyed because three of the 15 stamps in the set show activities that are done “unsafely” according to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The offending stamps are 1. an image of a child doing a handstand without wearing a helmet (top row, fourth from the left) 2. a child skateboarding without knee pads (second row, second from the left) and 3. a kid doing a cannoball into a pool (bottom row, third from the left).


The president’s wife Michelle Obama was scheduled to take part in the launch ceremony for the stamps.

What do you say? Should we destroy the stamps or not?

Sophie’s Story is all to common (Video)


Watch the above Youtube video clip by Channel 1 Creative Media.

Sophie’s story is, unfortunately, all to common. I have heard similar stories about a farmer’s wife loosing her husband and all three of her sons in a similar accident in a manure pit on the farm. The first person goes down to work on whatever it is that needs doing and passes out, overcome by some gas build up or more likely because the oxygen has been displaced, from oxygen deficiency. The co-worker or family member rushes to assist them and is overcome as well. In some cases it’s more than one.

Understanding what constitutes a confined space and why confined spaces are so dangerous is the key to preventing accidents such as this.

If you or someone you love ever has to work in a confined space, you owe it to yourself or them to read up on the matter. There are a number of great resources on the web but I’ll point you to some of the stuff that I’ve collected and/or written myself. Go to http://www.nationalsafetyinc.com/58039/Confined-Space.html. On the right hand side you’ll see a box entitled Available Confined Space Documents, in that box are several articles that you can download and use as you wish to learn about and train others on the hazards of confined space. The third one down “The basics of confined space” is a great place to start and the last one on the list “Confined Space Training Powerpoint” is one that you can use to train.

Sophie’s story might have had a very different ending had her dad’s co-worker been wearing a confined space rescue harness and if they had simply monitored the confined space with a gas monitor.

Are your blinds a hidden danger?

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, cords from blinds kill about one child a month. If you have small children, you owe it to yourself and to their future to replace the corded blinds with cordless ones. To heighten awareness of this danger, October has been declared National Window Covering Safety Month.

The 12 deaths a year from window cord strangulations are preventable. Download a guide to help you find out if your window blind cords pose a risk to infants.

Best solution of all, replace all blinds with cordless blinds.

1 in 8 homes will face this hazard

Can you guess what that hazard is? It’s a cooking fire. The fact is that your kitchen is the single most dangerous room in the house primarily because it’s where we combine heat and flammables in close proximity.

Most cooking fires occur within 15 minutes of having started cooking. The main culprit is people putting a pan on the stove with oil or something in it and walking away to do something else thinking they’ll be right back. Even if you think you’ve got a really great memory don’t risk it. It is too easy for something else to distract, for the task you went to do that was only supposed to take 10 seconds to turn into a 20 minute job. Think about it, how many times have you accidentally left the burner on? If something as simple as remembering to turn off the source of heat when cooking is done and you’re still right there is something that is easy to forget how much more something that is out of sight?

Another common source of kitchen fires are dish towels, rags or curtains that are too close to the burner and ignite. Those cute curtains that make your kitchen look so good flutter when a freeze blows in the window, that dish towel that you dropped on the counter to grab a bowl… if they get too close to the burner can ignite.

Safety tips to prevent cooking fires:

  1. Silence the “self-talk” that tells you that, even though this might be the #1 most dangerous thing you can do, you’ll remember about the pan on the stove because “it’ll only take a second!” I don’t care how good you think your memory is, are you willing to risk your families’ life and everything you own on the fact that it won’t somehow slip your mind?
  2. Never, ever leave anything on a burner in the kitchen if you aren’t there to keep an eye on it. Flash fires can happen even when you’re in the kitchen watching much less when you’re somewhere else in the house.
  3. Never, ever try to grab a pan with a grease fire in it. You might think to take it outside to get the smoke and flames away from your nice home but the odds are that, instead, you’ll drip fire all the way to the door and turn a manageable fire into a blaze that you cannot control.
  4. If a fire occurs in a pan on the burner, snuff it out by putting a lid on it. Fire without oxygen extinguishes. DO NOT pour water on it. Water will simply project the flames, sputtering all over.
  5. Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen and learn how to use it.
  6. Keep flammables (Kitchen rags, towels, dish cloths, curtains, etc…) at least three feet away from burners.


Microwave Oven Safety Tips


Everyone loves this appliance and it surely does help make life simpler when it comes to cooking, heating, reheating or defrosting food. But it can also be dangerous if not used properly. Here are some helpful tips to make using the microwave safer:

  • Do not turn your oven on when it is empty because microwaves may damage the cavity. If you accidentally turn an empty oven on, leave a cup of water in it to absorb the microwaves
  • Don’t use the microwave for deep-frying, canning, or heating baby bottles. These applications don’t allow adequate temperature control for safe results.
  • Stay with the oven when microwaving popcorn, for heat buildup can cause a fire. Time heating per instructions but lean toward the shorter time (some ovens can scorch popcorn in two minutes).
  • Don’t dry or disinfect clothing or other articles in the microwave because of the risk of fire.
  • Use only microwave-safe utensils. Hot food melts some plastics, such as margarine tubs, causing migration of package constituents. It’s a good idea to use glass for fatty foods, which get particularly hot, though not all glass and ceramics are microwave-safe.
  • Here’s a quick test for glass: Microwave the empty container for one minute. It’s unsafe for the microwave if it’s warm; it’s OK for reheating if it’s lukewarm; and it’s OK for actual cooking if it’s cool.

Power testing: The following test is used for gauging energy output: Fill a glass measuring cup with exactly 1 cup of tap water. Microwave, uncovered, on “high” until water begins to boil. If boiling occurs in: wattage is: less than 3 minutes 600 to 700 3 to 4 minutes 500 to 600 more than 4 minutes less than 500 watts

Checking For Leakage: There is little concern about excess microwaves leaking from ovens unless the door hinges, latch, or seals are damaged. If you suspect a problem, contact the oven manufacturer; a microwave oven service organization; your state health department; or the closest FDA office, which you can locate online by visiting www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/district.html

Erupted Hot Water Phenomena: Hot-water eruption can occur if you use a microwave oven to super-heat water in a clean cup. (“Super-heated” means the water is hot beyond boiling temperature, although it shows no signs of boiling.)

A slight disturbance or movement may cause the water to violently explode out of the cup. There have been reports of serious skin burns or scalding injuries around people’s hands and faces as a result of this phenomenon.

Adding materials such as instant coffee or sugar to the water before heating greatly reduces the risk of hot-water eruption. Also, follow the precautions and recommendations found in microwave oven instruction manuals; specifically the heating time.

  • Microwave ovens can cook unevenly and leave “cold spots” where harmful bacteria can survive. Always allow standing time, which completes the cooking, before checking the internal temperature with a food thermometer.
  • Arrange food items evenly in a covered dish and add some liquid if needed. Cover with a lid; vent to let steam escape. The moist heat will help destroy harmful bacteria and ensure uniform cooking.
  • Always stir or rotate food midway through the microwaving time.
  • Cook foods immediately after defrosting in the microwave.
  • Eggs cannot be cooked in the shell. They will explode.
  • Do not heat oil or fat for deep fat frying. Potatoes, tomatoes, egg yolks, and other foods with a skin or membrane must be pierced before they are micro waved. This allows the steam to escape and keeps them from exploding.
  • Popcorn should be cooked only in special microwave poppers carefully following manufacturer’s recommendations. Do not pop popcorn in paper bags or glass utensils.
  • Remove food from packaging before defrosting.
  • Only use cookware that is specially manufactured for use in the microwave oven. Glass, ceramic containers, and all plastics should be labeled for microwave oven use.
  • Plastic storage containers such as margarine tubs should not be used in microwave ovens as harmful chemicals can migrate into the food.
  • Microwave plastic wraps, wax paper, cooking bags, parchment paper, and white microwave-safe paper towels should be safe to use. Do not let plastic wrap touch foods during microwaving.

Microwave Defrosting

  • Remove food from packaging before defrosting. Do not use foam trays and plastic wraps because they are not heat stable at high temperatures. Melting or warping may cause harmful chemicals to migrate into food.
  • Cook meat, poultry, egg casseroles, and fish immediately after defrosting in the microwave oven because some areas of the frozen food may begin to cook during the defrosting time. Do not hold partially cooked food to use later.
  • Cover foods with a lid or a microwave-safe plastic wrap to hold in moisture and provide safe, even heating.
  • Heat ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs, luncheon meats, fully cooked ham and leftovers until steaming hot.
  • After reheating foods in the microwave oven, allow standing time. Then, use a clean food thermometer to check that food has reached 165 °F.

Containers & Wraps

  • Only use cookware that is specially manufactured for use in the microwave oven. Glass, ceramic containers, and all plastics should be labeled for microwave oven use.
  • Plastic storage containers such as margarine tubs, take-out containers, whipped topping bowls, and other one-time use containers should not be used in microwave ovens. These containers can warp or melt, possibly causing harmful chemicals to migrate into the food.
  • Microwave plastic wraps, wax paper, cooking bags, parchment paper, and white microwave-safe paper towels should be safe to use. Do not let plastic wrap touch foods during microwaving.
  • Never use thin plastic storage bags, brown paper or plastic grocery bags, newspapers, or aluminum foil in the microwave oven.

Information provided by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)


Todays’ post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, safety & Security Manager for Plateau