Monthly Archives: December 2016

Breathing Air for Confined Spaces and Emergency Workers

If supplied air is required for confined space entrants, be absolutely certain that the source of air meets breathing air standards. It is recommended that breathing air meet or exceed NPFA 1989; the standard for first responders and emergency services workers. If workers use supplied air, ensure that the source of air meets Class D breathing air requirements. Over the years, we have accessed breathing air sources and have encountered non-compliance far more often then one would hope to. Some notable non-compliances have been; use of incorrect compressor lubricant causing oil mist to become entrained in the supplied air; lack of or ineffective filters and filtering; lack of documented analysis of supplied air; compressor intake near the exhaust of internal combustion engine. When preparing to work in a confined space, follow all applicable rules and requirement and carefully assess the suitability of  your procedures and equipment for confined space activities.

Confined Spaces – A Reminder

OSHA’s final rule on confined spaces in construction was published May 4, 2015. Confined spaces are not designed for continuous occupancy and are difficult to exit in the event of an emergency and may contain serious hazards to health. Confined spaces may be utility vaults, storage tanks, bins and hoppers, tunnels, crawlspaces pits and other spaces. Job planning, training, equipment and communication and rescue plans are all important elements to planning and preparing for a confined space entry. OSHA’s new rules for the construction industry are designed to improve employer evaluation of confined spaces and for better employee training as well as information on how to safety work in confined spaces. If your employees may work in confined spaces familiarize yourself with OSHA requirements. SEE: https://www.osha.gov/confinedspaces/index.html.

Managing Vehicles and Drivers

Remember that even if your company does not operate a commercial fleet, if you have employees who drive for you in company vehicles or their own, you have some risk exposure. Vet your drivers carefully. Require at least annual review of their MVR’s (motor vehicle records) and ideally, require that they voluntarily report to you any vehicle violations that they receive on the off-time. If employees use personal vehicle for company business – even something as seemingly benign as driving to a store to pick up supplies – their vehicle insurance coverage should be of interest to you. Ensure that vehicles, whether company-owned or not – have adequate liability and medical coverage especially.

Ensure that vehicles are property inspected and maintained and that vehicle work orders and safety inspection records are retained. Outfit vehicles with incident response accessories such as your vehicle insurance information, as well as instruction on how to respond to a vehicle incident. Train drivers on expected and required performance including restrictions and/or prohibitions on distracted driving or using a cell phone while behind the wheel. Set forth firm criteria to help you assess driver performance and identify when they are not meeting performance criteria and also when you may need to provide remedial training or even prohibit (or not hire) risky drivers. These are just a few tips. Ask us how we can help you better manage vehicle fleets and your drivers.

 

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