Protective clothing and equipment can create hazards. A protective glove can get caught between rotating parts. Also, a respirator face piece which hinders the wearer's vision requires alertness and continued attentiveness whenever they are used.
Other parts of the worker's clothing may present additional safety hazards. For example:
Reciprocating, rotating or moving parts of equipment must be guarded if they are exposed to contact by workers. Machine guards are barriers that prevent access to danger areas such as moving parts. There are four general types of guards:
Guards must not be easy to defeat and they must not allow access to moving parts from any direction. Never remove a safety guard when a tool is being used. Hazardous moving parts of power tools and equipment need to be safeguarded. Some examples of parts that need to be guarded are: belts, gear, shafts, and pulleys.
Your employer should provide a lock-out/tag-out program or equivalent system to ensure equipment is not accidentally energized during maintenance or repair.
Lockout/tagout procedures are specifically required for equipment used in concrete and masonry operations. Bulldozer and scraper blades, end loader buckets, dump bodies, and similar equipment must be blocked or fully lowered when being repaired or not in use.
Make sure your equipment is de-energized and cannot be started accidentally.
For more information on Lockout/Tagout requirements, please see course 710 Energy Control Program (Lockout/Tagout).
The best way to prevent workers from being crushed by heavy equipment that tips over is to prevent the equipment from tipping over in the first place. For example, cranes can tip over if the load capacity is exceeded, or the ground is not level or too soft. Therefore cranes should be equipped with outriggers.
OSHA requires your employer to designate a competent person to inspect crane operations to identify hazardous working conditions, including ensuring the support surface is firm and able to support the load. Your employer must also make sure the material handling equipment is equipped with rollover protective structures.
OSHA standards also require motor vehicles, forklifts, and earthmoving equipment to be equipped with seat belts. Your employer must require their use. The use of seat belts will prevent workers from being thrown from a vehicle or equipment and being crushed when the vehicle or equipment tips over.
During demolition, your employer must ensure any stand-alone wall more than one story must have lateral bracing unless the wall was designed to be stand-alone and is otherwise in a safe condition to be self-supporting.
Jacks must have a firm foundation. If necessary, the base of a jack must be blocked or cribbed. After a load has been raised, it must be cribbed, blocked, or otherwise secured at once.
To protect yourself from being pinned between equipment, materials, or objects you must:
Your employer is required to take measures to prevent workers from being pinned between equipment and a solid object, such as a wall or another piece of equipment; between materials being stacked or stored and a solid object, between shoring and construction materials in a trench.
Other measures the employer is required to take include the following:
OSHA standards on trenching and excavation require your employer to designate a competent person to inspect the trenching operations. The competent person must be trained in and knowledgeable about soils classification, the use of protective systems, and the requirements of the OSHA standard. The competent person must be capable of identifying hazards, and authorized to immediately eliminate hazards.
Your employer must make sure all excavations and trenches five feet deep or more, but less than 20 feet, are protected by sloping or benching, trench box or shield, or shoring. There must also be adequate means of access and egress from the excavation. If an excavation is more than 20 feet deep, a professional engineer must design the system to protect the workers.
You must be protected from equipment or materials that could fall or roll into excavations. This could include spoils that could fall into the trench and bury the workers. Mobile equipment used near or over an excavation presents a hazard. A warning system must be utilized (such as barricades, hand or mechanical signals, or stop logs), when mobile equipment is:
If a crane or earthmoving equipment is operating directly over the top of a trench, workers should not be working underneath.
Anytime there is inadequate support, improper construction, or a shift in the components of a scaffold (including the base upon which the structure is built); there is danger of collapse. Measures need to be taken by your employer to avoid the collapse of structures, such as scaffolds, that could bury workers underneath them.
OSHA standards require that scaffolds can only be erected, moved, dismantled or altered under the supervision of a competent person. The competent person selects and directs the workers who erect the scaffold. The selected workers must be trained by a competent person on correct procedures and hazards of scaffold erection.
OSHA defines a competent person as:
"one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them."
Your employer must designate a competent person for certain construction activities that may have caught-in or-between hazards. Competent person duties include:
OSHA’s general training requirement for construction workers states that the employer must instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.
OSHA mentions "training," "instruction," and "education" in their various publications in a way that may confuse readers. However, no matter the topic, safety effective construction safety "education" should include these three components:
Your employer must train you to perform your job and use the provided equipment safely. OSHA's training requirements are summaries in OSHA Publication 2254, Training Requirements in OSHA Standards.
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