Posts Tagged ‘health’


Do You Suffer From Work Rage? This Guy Does!

June 13, 2017

Image should be moving. If it isn’t, click on it.

It seems that, as life gets faster and more stressful, “workplace rage” is on the increase.

If you think you may be a sufferer, you can find some confidential advice in the link here.


Hand Arm Vibration Dangers with Power Tools: What are Safe Levels?

June 6, 2017


Do you use power tools for any length of time – or even electronic games with a vibrating effect in the consoles? Did you know there are recommended safety limits for exposure to the vibrations?

If you consistently go beyond the safe exposure limit, you risk physical damage to your arms, hands or fingers: the dreaded Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome. The trouble begins with tingling in the fingers, followed by numbness, swelling and eventually whiteness. It is estimated that 1 in 10 professionals who use power tools end up with HAVS.

You can find out more about the condition and how to prevent it via this link.


The good news is that there are ways to calculate safe exposure levels.  The image above is a chart compiled by the Health & Safety Executive. Click on this link and you can access it and use it yourself.

If the figures still confuse you, power tools maker Makita offer a handy online Vibration Calculator.


Not Quite What a Hard Hat’s For, Guys!

June 5, 2017
Image: FailBlog

Image: FailBlog

At least they remembered their hi-viz…

By the way, make sure you check your hard hat for dents, cracks and general wear. If it’s clapped out, it might not save you next time. Maybe you need a new one?


Ladder Safety Concerns Us All – Especially These Guys!

April 29, 2017


We continue to be amazed at the way tradesmen and DIYers alike take risks with ladders. I-spy an accident waiting to happen! Create your own triple extender ladder by lashing three singles together??

Besides, if you’re working at that height, is a ladder the right option anyway? Maybe these guys should have hired a cherry-picker.

There’s a campaign on by the HSE (Health & Safety Executive) in the UK to make the regulations clearer and more accessible to businesses. They are also debunking some myths. Did you know, for example:

Ladders should be tied where possible

At least 3 points of contact should be made at all times,  i.e. two feet and a hand

You should not be expected to work up a ladder for more than 30 minutes at a stretch.


And how about this? Convenient, but scary. The answer here, of course, is to build a platform (or would those doors allow access to a cherry picker?). Maybe they doesn’t realise that a fall from only 15 feet is enough to break a bone or cause internal injury.


Whaaaat? Surely this must be faked! Not even a guy at the bottom with his foot on the lowest rung.

And finally…


As for this, words fail us! How many potential hazards can you spot? We managed 6 at least.

The HSE’s website has plenty of useful guidelines that you can refer to and download: things like an overall guide to Working at Height, and the Safe Use of Ladders and Stepladders.


Working With Cement? Be Sure to Guard Your Skin!

April 3, 2017

Cement burns. Image:

Cement – where would a builder be without it? Working with a sack or two of “Joe” is an everyday part of the job. And there are hordes of construction workers who have used it all their working life without ever experiencing what you see in the photo above.

But cement is still a dangerous chemical. The point is, it has a pH of 12 or 13, making it strongly alkaline. Human skin is around pH 4.5. So cement is bound to irritate. This can lead to allergic skin conditions, the drying of the skin, dermatitis, or in the worst case, cement burns.

It’s not just the exposed areas of skin that are at risk. The dry dust penetrates your clothing as you work, where it mixes with sweat, and some of the resulting mix ends up having a heat reaction on your skin. Knees can suffer when screed laying, and calves and ankles if you get cement down your wellies or boots.


Dermatitis. Image:

The trouble is, sensations of pain don’t come right away, and by the time they do, the damage could be done. That’s why a risk assessment should always include the dangers of working with cement. Site managers should consider taking these precautions:

A running water supply (or a tank with 7 gallons of water per worker on the site).

Some pH neutral (or slightly acidic) soap

Suitable PPE workwear like kneepads, gloves (and, if you’re working in a tight, badly ventilated place, a face mask). Long sleeves are always best, and tuck your trouser legs into your socks for a better seal.

To find out more, here’s an informative Slideshare presentation, 10 Tips for Working Safely Around Cement.  The UK Health & Safety Executive produce an information sheet on cement safety: download it here.





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