How many dB are your power tools giving off?

I was working at home the other day, cutting 1/2″ sheets of birch plywood into 6″ strips. I was cutting 6 sheets and thinking that it wouldn’t take that long. Ended up taking a lot longer than I thought and, by the time I was done, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t been using hearing protection (Stupid, I know!) when I turned off the saw and realized that I was still hearing a humming sound.

I know that you’re supposed to wear hearing protection when using power tools but if you’re like me you forgo it when you think it’s only for a short time. Not a good idea! For one, even short exposures to loud noises can damage your hearing long-term and for two you never know when what you thought was going to be a short job winds up taking a longer time than you anticipated (if we’re honest, that’s usually the case). First thing I did was to go find some reusable earplugs (I like the Moldex Twist in personally) and keep them right there by the table saw so that they are available any time I need to make even a simple cut.

Wondering how loud your tools really are? Check out the CDC Powertools database page for dB as well as vibration info on your tools. Pretty cool page to bookmark… after all real men buy new powertools as often as possible.

AEM Free Pictorial Database

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has made available for free, a large database of “industry-recognized” pictorials that relate to safety.

From the AEM website database:

This database was developed to assist designers and technical illustrators in communicating effective safety messages through the use of consistent “industry-recognized” pictorial representations. Development of the database is guided by industry professionals and will be expanded as more product and process-specific pictorials are identified.

The downloadable graphical files are in formats (EPS and DXF) that can be imported directly into or opened in a variety of graphics and computer aided design software packages. The EPS files were saved in Adobe ® Illustrator 7.0 and the DXF files were saved in AutoCAD ® Version 13.

You can download all the images as a zip file, download them all in EPS or DXF formats, view the thumbnails or search using their pictorial database search tool and download just the one that you need.

Need a graphic to warn people against a trip hazard? Try this one:

Need one to remind them to wear their hard hat? Here’s one:

If you’ve got one that they don’t, send it to them and they’ll add it to the database. Whatever you do, however, make sure to bookmark it so you can find it again next time you need an image.

OSHA Enforcement Database Map

Who in your neighborhood has been fined by OSHA for a safety violation? What was the fine for?

OSHA has made a major improvement in its enforcement database by incorporating an interactive map into the enforcement database.

Zoom in or out to locate companies in your neighborhood. Click on the ! in a diamond to see which companies have been fined, how many times they’ve been inspected, how many fines they received and what the amount of the fine(s) was. Click inside the pop up box to get even more details.

View the Press Release from OSHA concerning this new feature and other updates to their enforcement database.

Access the interactive database to view companies your own neighborhood.

National Hazardous Materials Fusion Center

Hazmat responders of the world, take heed. A new website, the National Hazardous Materials Fusion Center has been launched.

The purpose of the website is to allow for a timely exchange of information on all things regarding hazardous materials, especially for hazmat responders.

It boasts a great selection of training material available for free download which includes the following:

Additionally, Regional Incident Survey Teams can register with the site to produce reports based on real incidents. Proper tracking, combined with the engine behind the site can help them generate powerful analytics and statistics. Some of the summary reports available to the public but most are available only to members (not even the Hazmat Fusion Center can view them).

The purpose of the site is to provide a centralized information source that can help all hazmat responders with timely information, trends and news that will make their jobs easier as well as help them save lives.