With the new year came a more comprehensive standard issued by OSHA to cover “Work Hazards and Safety Practices in the Electric Power Industry” (29 CFR 1910.269) was released to help provide more specific guidance for employers and employees regarding safe work practices with workers engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power.
A clean room presents a particular type of spill control issue that also ties in to the need to protect the environment in question from external contaminants. Quite simply, the floor of a clean room, whether the room is used to put together computer components or perform lab work with biological organisms or chemicals needs to be protected in order to maintain the integrity of the workspace.
When viewed from the inside over a long period of time, it can be difficult for risk managers to remain objective about evaluating new hazards that may have presented themselves in the workplace, or to notice dangers that have always been present but which have yet to come to the fore. It is always helpful to approach the task of worker safety from a fresh perspective from time to time in order to pick up on issues that may not have been apparent from a previous viewpoint.
If there is one common theme that runs through almost every safety tip that gets published online or in the pages of an OSHA manual, that theme would be “awareness.” Staying aware of one’s surroundings, the activities of others in a work area, and of the safety policies designed to protect workers at a facility or job site are all key components of avoiding a work-related injury.
While upgrades to personal safety equipment and increased vigilance on the part of workers is critical to maintaining an injury-free workplace, it must not be forgotten that creating an atmosphere where safety can flourish is often in large part in the hands of risk managers and the policies that they enact at their respective organizations.
The release of NFPA 70E-2009 has introduced several changes that directly impact the habits and practices of those workers who service energized electrical circuits. In particular, several provisions have been made in order to prevent injury related to arc flash.
Electrical safety is a prime consideration of any contractor, employee or risk manager working in an industry where high voltages are a fact of life. Whether it is on the floor of a packaging plant, perched in a cherry picker in front of a utility pole, or even installing a 220v line in a new home, electrical contractors must remain vigilant in order to avoid the kinds of serious injuries that could result from even a momentary lapse of attention near an energized circuit.