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Utility Worksite Safety Articles

Hugh Hoagland

Top Five PPE Mistakes

Identifying PPE Mistakes in Electric Arc Flash Programs

After a decade of electric arc testing, incident investigations and incident replications using electric arcs, a few lessons have emerged as critical in assessing a Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) program:

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Seth Skydel

Stay Alert! Work Safe!

Have you ever heard "This is how we've always done it" or "We've never had a problem before" to describe events that have led up to personnel injuries or even death? While this is a common reaction when people are being questioned during an accident investigation, complacency in the workplace is one of the most dangerous states of mind for you or your employees.
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Bob Coffey

Thermal Stress: Managing Heat Stroke & Hypothermia

While many analogies are true for the human body, of particular interest is comparing the body to a chemical reaction. All of our bodily functions are forms of chemistry. Respiration, digestion and excretion all have their fundamentals in chemistry, and one of the factors that affect most chemical reactions is temperature.
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David Dow

CAVE-IN! Increasing Job Site Safety & Reducing Costs

Excavation and trenching is statistically the most hazardous work in the U.S. construction industry. Frequent news stories from around the country attest to the danger. More than 100 workers are killed each year in trench cave-ins alone. Countless others are injured or maimed, physically and psychologically.
Recognizing the need for more effective regulations on excavation safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a revised federal standard in 1990 to establish more clearly the requirements for protecting employees in excavations. The definitive standard greatly increases the flexibility you and your workers have in choosing protective systems.
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Seth Skydel

Lowering the Threshold

Advanced products offer utility safety professionals a more effective method for treating burn injuries with less suffering and help reduce injury-related costs.

Utility safety professionals charged with lowering the risk of serious injury are undoubtedly focused on prevention. Not only does preventing workplace accidents eliminate pain and suffering, it also pays dividends in lower exposure to liability and in reduced Workers' Compensation and related costs.
It is also common practice among leading utility safety experts to provide products in the workplace that will make immediate treatment of injuries as effective as possible. This is especially true when it comes to treating burns, an injury that is perhaps more common than we realize.

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Sherry Dahlke

Cleaning Rubber Goods for Safety

How the right cleaner can extend the life of tools and workers by uncovering hidden damage and restoring high visibility.

A power utility got a big surprise recently when they tested a new, specially formulated rubber goods cleaner on a hot-line jumper. The cleaner revealed potentially hazardous burn and cut damage lurking beneath the grimy, blackened surface. The failed tool was removed from service, averting possible injury.

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Alex Marcoux

Frostbite

A look at an often unheeded danger. Learn more about frostbite and the predisposing factors that significantly increase its likelihood.

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Danny Raines, CUSP

4 Rules to Live By

Looking for an alternative to ground-to-ground and cradle-to-cradle? The method suggested here could be your answer.

Georgia Power Company (GPC) has developed the 4 Cover-up Rules philosophy to train employees rather than requiring a ground-to-ground or cradle-to-cradle glove and/or sleeve rule.

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Bruce Meagher
Very good ,this subject is not discussed enough in our field.
Monday, 14 December 2015 00:52
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Patricia Seeley, CPE

Ergonomics: Preventing Injury

Among utility workforces there are many excuses for not practicing sound ergonomics along with safety. The most common excuse is that an aging workforce is naturally more injury prone and there is nothing that can be done about it. Another excuse is: "we've always done it that way."
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Jim Vaughn, CUSP

Notes From the Underground

In the May/June 2005 issue of Incident Prevention the cover article, "Why Single-Point Grounding Works," generated a lot of inquires about single-point worksite grounding in underground installations. The most frequently asked question was, "How do we create an equipotential zone for underground worksites?" I received inquiries from California to Maine, North Dakota to Florida. There were so many that IP asked if I could immediately address underground protective grounding for employees in this issue.

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Scott Margolin

The Burning Question

Is 100 percent cotton protective in an electric arc flash? While lab tests say so, real life experiences say no!

It is widely understood that clothing made from non-flame resistant synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, nylon and polyester/cotton blends, are not appropriate when working on or near electrically energized parts and equipment. If these garments are exposed to an electric arc flash, they can ignite, melt and drip, which can lead to severe contact burns to the skin. In fact, the OSHA 1910.269 and NFPA 70E standards prohibit this type of clothing.

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Jim Vaughn, CUSP

Why Single-Point Grounding Works

The pros and cons of single-point equipotential grounding, as opposed to working between your grounds or bracket grounding, has generated a lot of discussion. As found in IEEE-1048 Guide for Protective Grounding of Power Lines, single-point equipotential grounding is becoming more simply and accurately referred to as worksite grounding.
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Bob Coffey

The Skinny on Confined Space Safety

One of the significant risks that many organizations take in managing their confined spaces is to try to sort spaces into permit-required and non-permit spaces. Many times the only thing separating the two is a shaky assumption. The characteristics of many spaces can change, increasing the risk. The best programs I have observed treat all spaces on-site as if they were permit spaces. But what exactly is a Permit Required Confined Space?
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Lee Marchessault, CUSP

Fall Protection by the Numbers

A simple and effective system for ensuring proper fall protection.

The development of an effective fall protection program has long been a tough issue to deal with. Many of the hazards that utility workers face often seem impossible to provide adequate protection for without introducing some other unsafe condition. And once systems are developed, getting workers to use them is another problem.

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Michael T. Eisenhart, PT

The Pain Game: Preventing MSDs

What do a pain in the neck, back or shoulder have in common?
Unsafe work behaviors.

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