Fall Protection isn’t just a leading edge issue

When we talk about fall protection we tend to automatically think in terms of leading edge. Workers working at heights have to be protected from getting too close to the edge of the roof or platform they are working on and/or protected from falling if they do.

Not all falls, however, have to do with leading edges. Often times the fall hazard isn’t simply the edge of the building. There are skylights, roof access, ventilation shafts and other openings that we need to be aware of as well.

New construction is especially vulnerable to these types of hazards. Holes are cut in the flooring for ducting and ventilation shafts; even small holes (for plumbing or electrical) too small for a body to fit through can be hazardous if they are large enough for a leg to fit into.

These holes and openings need to be properly protected against so that workers don’t fall through them.

There are several options:

1. Seal them completely so that they don’t pose a hazard. Skylights that have plexiglass unbreakable domes, for example don’t pose a hazard. If they can be left open, however, then you need to protect against them.

2. Barrier systems like the DBI / Sala Portable Guardrail System are easily installed, require no screws or bolting into the roof itself yet they make sure that workers won’t accidentally step through them.

3. Horizontal systems that won’t allow workers to accidentally get to that opening.

Whatever your solution, when employees are working at heights that require fall protection make sure you pay attention not only to the perimeter of the area but look at the interior of that perimeter to identify any and all fall issues you might otherwise miss.


FDA approves drug for allergies

According to a news release dated April 17th, the FDA has approves Ragwitek for treatment of pollen allergies to ragweed. According to the press release:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Ragwitek, the first allergen extract administered under the tongue (sublingually) to treat short ragweed pollen induced allergic rhinitis (hay fever), with or without conjunctivitis (eye inflammation), in adults 18 years through 65 years of age.

Ragwitek contains an extract from short ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) pollen. It is a tablet that is taken once daily by placing it sublingually, where it rapidly dissolves. Treatment with Ragwitek is started 12 weeks before the start of ragweed pollen season and continued throughout the season. The first dose is taken in a health care professional’s office where the patient is to be observed for at least 30 minutes for potential adverse reactions. After the first dose, patients can take Ragwitek at home.
“The approval of Ragwitek offers millions of adults living with ragweed pollen allergies in the United States an alternative to allergy shots to help manage their disease,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. 
Individuals with allergic rhinitis with or without conjunctivitis may experience a runny nose, repetitive sneezing, nasal itching, nasal congestion, and itchy and watery eyes. Short ragweed pollen is one of the most common seasonal allergens and is prevalent during the late summer and early fall months in most of the United States. Short ragweed pollen induced allergies are generally managed by avoiding the allergen, medications to relieve symptoms, or with allergy shots. 
The safety and effectiveness of Ragwitek was evaluated in studies conducted in the United States and internationally. Safety was assessed in approximately 1,700 adults. The most commonly reported adverse reactions by patients treated with Ragwitek were itching in the mouth and ears and throat irritation. Of the 1,700 adults, about 760 were evaluated to determine effectiveness. Some patients received Ragwitek; others received an inactive substitute (placebo). The patients reported their symptoms and additional medications needed to get through the allergy season. During treatment for one ragweed pollen season, patients who received Ragwitek experienced approximately a 26 percent reduction in symptoms and the need for medications compared to those who received a placebo. 
The Prescribing Information includes a boxed warning to inform that severe allergic reactions, some of which can be life-threatening, can occur. Ragwitek also has a Medication Guide for distribution to the patient.

Ragwitek is manufactured for Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corp., (a subsidiary of Merck and Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J.) by Catalent Pharma Solutions Limited, United Kingdom.”

Teen Dating Violence

There is nothing like your daughter’s first prom to get a father started down a long road of worrying about her as she starts dating. As much as we’ll like to believe that the young man who’s going to be taking her out has been properly raised and will treat our daughter with the respect she deserves and keep her safe, the simple fact is that we just can’t be sure.

Because of this it’s important not only to educate yourself but also to sit down with your daughter and teach her what to watch out for and when to leave.

Fortunately the CDC website has put together material that you can read, share and download.

Simply go to http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/teen_dating_violence.html

Especially useful is the PDF that you can download entitled “Understanding Teen Dating Violence

Have the talk with your son or daughter now. It might make all the difference later.

Categories: General Tags: , , , ,

The Construction “Fatal Four” (Infographic)

(Click for larger image)

National Safety 12th Man

Here’s our most recent group shot


Categories: General

The Story of OSHA

In 1968, at the height of the Vietnam war, some 2.5 million Americans suffered disabilitating injuries, not on the battlefield but right here at home while on the job. That’s 54 times more than were injured in the war.

In order to do something about these numbers OSHA was founded.


Watch a 28 minute video on the Story of OSHA on Youtube.

This film tells workers how OSHA was set up to stem the tide of disease, injury, and death, and what their rights are under the law. Explains how NIOSH conducts tests, how standards are set, and how OSHA investigates complaints. Produced and distributed by OSHA in 1980. Then in 1981, the incoming head of OSHA Thorne Auchter recalled and destroyed most copies. A few copies were kept alive by renegade union officials who refused to return their copies. The penalty for being discovered in possession of one of these films was loosing all OSHA funding for their safety and health programs.

This film was preserved through the years through the efforts of Mark Catlin, who made this and other censored OSHA films available for digitizing.

Categories: General Tags: , , , ,

“How to …” Safety Article

Last year I wrote an article for the “Workplace HR and Safety” website/blog.

As I never actually posted this particular article on this blog today I thought that I’d just point you to it.

Here’s the article entitled “How to Ensure Your Employees Wear the Right PPE


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