Published with Business
Publishing Group for client Qual-Craft Industries
Where is your safety net?
Aw, c’mon, how many legs do you really
need? You can spare that eye, can’t you? What do you
need two hands for? Are your knees really that important?
Strange questions? Yes, but even stranger is how careless
people are when it comes to protecting themselves, particularly
at work. Even stranger yet is the question - why is safety
always assumed to be boring and irrelevant?
“Safety on the Job.” You hear
it often, but what does it mean? In fact, you may hear it
so often you just plain ignore it. But, what it can mean
is the difference - literally - between life and death,
and that means your life and death. Sound scary? It should.
By ignoring safety you’re messing with your life,
it’s as simple as that.
is not boring and certainly not irrelevant.”
Working safely is not boring and certainly
not irrelevant. Qual-Craft Industries is dedicated to creating
safe work environments. It is one of the company’s
highest priorities because lives are at stake. We state
upfront that “the most important feature about any
type of construction equipment is that it is specifically
designed to make the job easier, safer, and more productive.”
Working safely ensures you more years with your family,
more years of golf, gardening, dancing, listening to music,
or just breathing easily. No spouse wants to receive that
phone call from the hospital. No child wants to be told
“Daddy’s hurt himself and won’t be able
to work,” or “Mommy can’t pick you up
from school today.” To make sure those phone calls
never happen can depend upon how safely you work. Educate
yourself about safety, what to expect and what to look for
at a job site. Safety is a matter of common sense and education.
Safety is definitely a two-way street: the
employer must implement a solid safety program for the work
place, but the employee must do his or her part and adhere
to that program. Eliminating danger and working safely really
is basic common sense. Add to that good sound rules for
working safely on a job site and you will ensure that everyone
on the job site is working safely. Knowing that your employer
has created a safe work environment ensures a day full of
satisfying work, not worry. Knowing that your work mates
are working safely alongside you will give you peace of
mind. You won’t spend your days looking over your
shoulder wondering what’s going to fall on you, spill
on you, blow up in your face.
on the job.” You hear it often, but what
does it mean?”
How many times have you heard - “that’s
an accident waiting to happen!” Well, how about never
having to hear that again? Let’s throw a statistic
out here - in 1999 there were 5.7 million occupational injuries
and illnesses among workers in this country. Approximately
6 out of every 100 workers experienced a job-related injury
or illness, and over 6,000 workers lost their lives on the
job. So, you can see, “safety on the job” is
pretty darned important. In fact, it’s even more important
than getting the job done quickly. Often speed creates danger.
But getting the job done safely and quickly is the best
outcome for everyone.
Ease, safety and productivity all work seamlessly
together to create the best finished product. If you’re
not worried about the safety of the equipment you’re
working with or the place you’re working at you’ll
get more done - it’s as easy as that.
Safety is no joke!
Look at these incidents - Chris and Bob were
roofing on a pump jack scaffold when the scaffold became
overloaded and broke. Both fell 12 feet to the ground -
Sean and Phil were erecting an aluminum pump
jack scaffold. As they were raising the second aluminum
pole it contacted an overhead power line. Sean died and
Phil suffered severe burns over his entire body.
Ray climbed up the frame of a 45-foot high
tubular welded frame scaffold to check on Jeff who was sandblasting
inside a stack at a steam plant. The scaffold was not equipped
with guardrails and there was no access ladder. After talking
with Jeff Ray tripped, fell and died.
Of the 510,500 injuries and illnesses that
occur in the construction industry annually 9,750 are related
to scaffolds and many of these result in death.
Job sites are jam-packed with potential hazards
- there’s equipment, chemicals, fire, materials, noxious
fumes... There are any number of ways you can hurt yourself
- you can cut yourself, fall and break a limb, spill chemicals
on your skin, get chemicals in your eyes, burn yourself,
breathe in dangerous fumes, you can lose your hearing, lose
your sense of smell, get electrocuted - the list goes on.
Safety on the job is an ongoing collaboration between the
employer and the employee. It is the employer’s responsibility
to create a safe work environment, but it is the employee’s
responsibility to abide by the safety rules set by the employer.
How many times have you seen painters or even tree workers
spraying chemicals with no face masks on? When asked the
employer will say “I give them masks, they don’t
wear them.” It cannot be stressed enough that both
have to work together. If this happens then you have a place
that’s safe to work in.
Education begins with knowledge of what constitutes
a hazard. A clean tidy site is usually an indication that
it’s going to be a safe, or safer, site. But don’t
assume it’s safe take responsibility and make sure.
Look around - are there electrical cords lying around unattended?
Are their piles of debris containing who-knows-what? Are
their nails sticking out of boards? Are their containers
of chemicals sitting around open or unlabeled? Is the equipment
in good working order? Is it the right equipment for the
job? Are the ladders secure? Are there wash places close
by in case of spills? Is there protective clothing available?
Are there first-aid kits available? These are questions
we at Qual-Craft believe are extremely important.
But you’re not on your own when it comes
to figuring out how to handle safety at a work place. The
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, was
created in 1971 to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses
and deaths. Once of the nicest statistics you’ll read
is that since the agency was created these have declined
by 40 percent. OSHA provides extensive information on how
to make a work site safe, and what to do in the case of
an emergency. The agency has created industry-specific safety
standards that must be adhered to at a work site, and there
are substantial penalties for failing to do so. Employers
can get help from OSHA through their Consultation Program
for free on-site assistance in identifying and correcting
hazards, or setting up safety and health programs. OSHA
also offers training in workplace safety.
OSHA has very specific requirements for every
aspect of a work place and for solving any emergencies that
may occur. Employers are mandated to implement safety and
health programs, and must make their employees aware of
them through on-the-job training and education. For instance,
all equipment in use at a site must have instructions fully
accessible to the operator, the equipment must be in good
working order, and it must be the correct equipment for
the task. All equipment and tools should be maintained on
a regular schedule, and inspected on a regular schedule.
If a job calls for protective clothing such
as harnesses, hard hats, goggles, viers, breathing apparatus,
chemical suits, this must be available. Signs should be
posted at the areas that require protective clothing.
Sites must have up-to-date Material Safety
Data Sheets, MSDS, for any chemical materials in use. The
MSDS must list all the ingredients, physical data, health
hazards, spill and leak procedures, fire and explosion hazards,
reactivity data, special protection and precautions, and
the description, name, and hazard class of the material.
Furthermore, all containers must be clearly labeled and
chemicals must be in their correct containers.
Specifically designed wash areas must be
accessible and in good, clean working order. This in the
event that a worker either spills chemicals on themselves,
gets something in their eye, cuts themselves, or just needs
to clean up.
Doorways and passage ways must be kept clear
of an obstructions and if it is an exit from the site it
must not be barred in any way.
Electrical cords must not be frayed, must
not be left lying around, must not be exposed to moisture,
and should be coiled neatly when not in use. If the job
calls for them to be stretched across a pathway they must
be fixed down in such a way as to prevent tripping.
Spills should be cleaned up immediately and
in the approrpiate way depending on what was spilled. This
will prevent contamination and slipping.
If a worker gets in the eye it must be washed
out for a specific amount of time under running water.
Safety instructions and warning signs must
be posted and clearly visible.
There should be somebody on site at all times
who is trained in emergency procedures such as CPR. But
workers should also take responsibility for their own safety
If a job specifies a partner there’s
a reason for that - make sure you have a partner - don’t
try to do a job alone.
Instructions are written for a reason. Pay
attention to them. Don’t leave anything to chance.
OSHA is very specific about its standards - nothing is left
|“How many times
have you heard - “that’s an accident
waiting to happen!””
Qual-Craft is committed to solving the construction
industry’s problems through excellence in engineering,
service, and quality. This attention to the quality of engineering
ensures safe secure equipment on site. All our products
are designed with safety uppermost. Ray would not have fallen
from the scaffold at the tank stack if the site had been
using Qual-Craft roof brackets. These are designed to hold
workers and materials in place with a platform retainer
and our unique locking mechanism.
The reusable Qual-Craft roof anchors are constructed
of heavy, welded steel designed to be used with our personal
Fall Arrest System, that incorporates one anchor for each
person at any one time. The Fall Arrest Harnesses are full
body harnesses with adjustable waist, leg, and shoulder
straps. A large forged D-ring on the back provides secure
anchorage for lanyard. Furthermore, durable, all-metal rope
grab with a spring-loaded cam can be placed on the safety
line at any point.
Qual-Craft Ladder Hooks are all steel construction
for strength, safety, and durability for security in ladder
placement. And the Corner Buddy is our corner ladder stabilizer
designed to provide safe secure use on corners, flat, round,
and multi-dimensional surfaces.
The Staging Brackets we have designed are
sturdy steel construction bolts which pass through walls
for security. We also provide a platform up to 36”
wide with guard rails for a large, safe work area.
Employers and employees should expect the
same from each other. Both need to do their part to ensure
the safety and health of everyone on a job. At Qual-Craft
our dedication to excellence is recognized industry-wide
by the performance of our state-of-the-art Ultra-Jack system
and scaffolding equipment.
Our products provide the construction industry
with safe alternatives.