Monthly Archives: September 2016

A Safety Message About Lock Out / Tag Out And Accident Prevention

Lock Out Accidents

If someone were to ask you where the expression “lock, stock and barrel” came from, would you have guessed Leonardo Da Vinci? Here’s the story.

Engineers who studied Leonardo’s notebooks believe he designed a device called the wheel lock in about 1493. Used in firearms, the wheel lock linked an iron pyrite stone with wheels, springs and chains to generate the spark needed to fire a gun.  With Leonardo’s invention, small firearms like muskets that could be carried and fired by one person.  It was an incredible advance in technology.

Now that you know about the wheel lock, you’ve probably already realized that the expression “lock, stock and barrel” comes from the names for the three main components of a gun or rifle.

Leonardo’s wheel lock also influenced the design of the common door lock.  And today, locks of all kinds play a huge role in our everyday lives. At work, they protect us from accidental explosions, fires and accidental equipment startups during repair or maintenance.  Lock out/tag out is now standard practice in every manufacturing facility.

A system that is not locked out is as dangerous as the accidental explosions that often resulted in Leonardo’s time when a spark inadvertently came into contact with gunpowder.  It doesn’t take a genius to see that danger is involved if equipment is energized accidentally because someone forgot to lock it out and tag the power source.

Lock out/tag out is vital to everyone’s safety on the job, and the entire procedure must be done completely-lock, stock and barrel.  This means you must lock out, tag out and try out every system each and every time a machine is shut down for repair and maintenance.

Lock out/tag out protects not only the person doing the work on the equipment but also everyone else in the area.  So before you start work on an engine, motor, lathe, saw or any power-driven equipment, take all the steps required to neutralize the energy sources.  Also clearly print the complete information on the tag so others know when, where and why the equipment was locked out. If you lock out and tag out all switch boxes, valves and controls, you’ll never have to explain an accident that happened to a fellow worker.

Always remember to lock out/tag out.  Don’t take a chance that could leave an ordinary repair job more dangerous than a loaded gun.

Lock Out, Tag Out

Get a Lock On Safety!

*Copyright 2006 Harkins Safety B217



A Message About Teamwork And Safety Proceedures

Let’s Pull Together

Can you think of a contest that requires participants to exert all their strength for an hour or more?  Although most athletic events have time-outs, the tug-of-war is a non-stop test of strength and endurance. And every year, the small central California town of Tuolumne proclaims the best tug-of-war champions.

Each team has six members.  The pulling is done on a wooden frame fitted with cleats, against which the athletes brace their feet.  The last person on each team wears a special steel-and-leather belt weighing 70 pounds that guides a 2 inch diameter pulling rope around the body of the anchorman.

The contests are grueling tests of strength and stamina.  A time record was set in 1960 when two teams tugged for an hour and 15 minutes before one of the teams won.

Even more surprising, several years earlier a tug-of-war in India went on for 2 hours and 41 minutes before a team won.

The coordinated teamwork of the six husky athletes all pulling together is the key to winning in this unusual sport.

Most jobs today don’t require that kind of brute strength, but that kind of teamwork and coordination are essential for safety. We need to help each other by signaling our movements in the plant, at the office, in the car, or wherever we work, travel and live. Teamwork requires communication, cooperation and coordination.

The tug-of- war demands intense coordination to keep all members of the team pulling together without any letdown. On the job, we must pull in the same direction without any slips, falls or lapses to get the job done safely. Endurance for us may be more a case of mental alertness than physical exertion, but it’s just as important.

Each of us depends on the specialized skills of other members of our team, but we also need to look out for maintenance crews, repair personnel or outside suppliers who sometimes work “where we all know the ropes.” Even though safety seems like a simple exercise, it depends on everyone’s pulling in the same direction and doing his or her part.  The safety of every member of the team depends on every other member.

To prevent accidents, we each have to pull our own share of the load, using approved safety procedures, but we must also look out for others. This kind of coordination means better quality, smoother production and safer working conditions.  Let’s work together!

Teamwork Safety Works Better Together

*Copyright 2005 Harkins Safety B196



A Safety Message About Safety Rules, Attitude, Spotting Hazards And Working Safely

Family Plan

We don’t want to think about it.  We avoid it.  We put it off.  We make excuses. But the fact is, disasters and emergencies like home fires, floods and even terrorism like the 911 attacks do happen.  If we are smart and plan ahead, we can protect our families, ourselves and our homes.  Here’s some of what you need to know.

*First things first.  One of the essentials in your family emergency plan is a basic emergency supply kit. This kit consists of the following:

        *One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days.

        *A three day supply of nonperishable food.

        *A battery powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA weather radio.

        *A flashlight and extra batteries.

        *A whistle to signal for help.

        *A dust mask to help filter contaminated air.

        *Plastic sheeting and dust tape.

        *Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.

        *Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.

        * Can opener for food.

        *Local maps.

 *Second have a plan. Create an action plan for your family that includes a meeting place that every member of your family can remember and get to whether they’re at work or school. Keep in mind that some highly traveled roads may be congested or blocked off and that bridges and other structures might be unsafe. So always include alternative routes.  Also create an emergency escape route out of your house in case of a fire or other disaster demands immediate and safe exit.

* Insurance against the Worst. When you take action to build your emergency supply kit and make an action plan for your family, it’s like an insurance policy that protects you from the worst that can happen in a disaster or emergency.

Planning ahead is also a good policy to follow on the job.  Knowing safety rules and regulations and the following them is your insurance against injury. This is critical, because working safely on the job is another way of caring for your family and ensuring that you’ll be there for them when they need you.

So start right now-today.  Decide to stay alert, avoid risks, spot hazards and report them.  Bring an attitude of safety to every job you do.  Not just once in a while but every day on the job.  When you do, you’re working like the skilled, responsible professional that you are.  Nothing will make your family prouder.

Safety Today…Because Tomorrow’s Another Day

*Copyright 2008 Harkins Safety B245


A Safety Message About Working Safely, SDS, MSDS, Slips Trips And Falls

Achilles Heel

You remember the story of Achilles, don’t you? Sure—he was the hero of Greek mythology who couldn’t be beaten in battle—or so everyone thought.

Achilles’ mother was the sea goddess Thetis.  But his father was a mortal.  Naturally, Thetis wanted to make her son Achilles immortal too. So she dipped the baby Achilles into the sacred water of the River Styx, believing that the water would make Achilles invulnerable to injury. She was right.

Armed with this protection Achilles grew to adulthood and fought in battle after battle during the Trojan War. He was never wounded.  But during the Battle of Troy, one Trojan warrior found a “weak spot” in Achilles mythical armor.  When Thetis dipped Achilles in the river, she held him by one heel, leaving that spot dry and therefore unprotected.  Paris, a Trojan warrior knew this and hit Achilles with a poison arrow in his heel, killing him.

Achilles’ mother wanted to protect her son.  In real life, our families wish they could protect us with special armor on the job each and every day. But they can’t.  The only way to protect yourself from injury is to work safely. Your family depends on you for their safety and security.  Here are some things to consider:

*Safety rules and safe work procedures are the armor that can protect you.  They were developed by safety professionals to eliminate an Achilles heel in any job procedure.  They were developed to return you to your family safe and sound at the end of every day.  Why not use them?

*Stay Alert.  Almost every accident is a lapse in attention.  Think ahead before you start a job.  Mentally scan your work area for possible hazards.  Don’t let your work routine become so familiar that you get careless.

*Don’t Take Shortcuts.  Productivity is good, but rushing through tasks is dangerous.  Safety demands attention to detail and that means avoiding shortcuts. Period.

*Be careful around chemicals.  Read SDS’s, labels and your company’s hazardous chemical list. Know the chemicals you’re working with, know the hazards and know the way to protect yourself.

*Keep Work Areas Clean.  Slips, trips and falls can be devastating, career-ending accidents.  Why risk serious injury from something so preventable?  Keep your work area scrupulously clean and you eliminate the main cause of slips, trips and falls.

*Wear the right protective equipment.  Goggles, hardhats, gloves—P.P.E protects.  So make sure it fits properly and use it!

Work Safely Your Family Needs You

*Copyright 2005 Harkins Safety B192



A Safety Message About Personal Protective Equipment (P.P.E.), Safety Rules

Gear Up

If anyone depends on their gear, it’s our American troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.  But did you know that the battlefield equipment of the future is here today?  It’s true.

And what amazing high-tech gear it is! One standout is the new Objective Force Warrior System. For one thing, it eliminates the need for cumbersome night-vision googles.  Instead day and night video cameras, thermal sensors and chemical/biological sensors are built into the helmet.  The helmet also has a visor that acts as a heads-up display monitor equivalent to two 17-inch computer monitors.

The Warrior Force System even includes a redesigned uniform with electronic sensors that allow the soldier or medics to monitor the soldier’s blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and caloric consumption. So if the soldier is injured, medics can begin an assessment within seconds.

But that’s not all.  The combat uniform itself also has a built-in microclimate conditioning system, with “super fabric” incorporating a tiny network of tubing that blows hot or cold air onto the skin. Even more incredible, the electronics of the Warrior Force System are powered by fuel cells.

This is high-tech wizardry of the first order. And while it may make the personal protective equipment that we use seem downright basic in comparison, we have to keep in mind that our googles, ear defenders, hardhats, gloves and other protective equipment have been designed and refined for optimum effectiveness in our work environment.  P.P.E. is there for our safety.  It has proven itself time and time again. But it’s our responsibility to know the right P.P.E for the job and –most important—to use it!  It’s unthinkable to imagine a soldier leaving his or her protective equipment behind when going onto the battlefield.

In fact, the soldiers on combat patrol in Afghanistan and Iraq routinely carry 90 to 100 pounds of gear. The new Warrior Force System will reduce that to 45 pounds, but still—that’s a lot of equipment to carry.  Think about that the next time you feel like removing a hardhat, ear defenders, goggles or other P.P.E. while on the job.

Just one instance in which you’re unprotected can potentially result in a serious or even fatal injury. Is it really worth it?  Instead make a conscious effort, starting today, to select the right P.P.E. for the job and use it.  P.P.E protects our most vital resource—you.

Gear up for Safety!

Always Use the Right P.P.E.  For The Job

*Copyright 2008 Harkins Safety B230



Keeping People Safe Since 1947

Toll Free:  (888) 962-3300

We are located in the CENTRAL time zone.