Friday, December 18, 2015
Friday, December 11, 2015
We recently had a question regarding the storage of fireworks left over from the cancelation of a holiday event. This started me thinking – handling and storage of fireworks, how cities deal with fireworks displays, and the related state and federal regulation questions. The simple answer is there are specific regulations on the use, possession, and storage of explosives which includes display fireworks used in celebrations such as the Fourth of July. Some cities contract with a licensed vendor to handle the fireworks displays so the city doesn’t directly handle the fireworks. The city should, however, be familiar with the regulations. The information put out by the State of Minnesota and the ATF are good references to ensure the contractors are following the correct and safe procedures.
For those cities that do organize and handle the fireworks it is important to note there are specific storage requirements which must be met. Whether it be the fire department or police department who are in charge of handling the fireworks and putting on the displays, the regulations must be adhered to for both public and employee safety. The State Fire Marshal Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety has a Public Display Fireworks Operator Guidelines publication which outlines the regulations associated with the use, possession, display, and storage of fireworks. The storage of fireworks is regulated by the ATF and in the Minnesota Public Display Fireworks Operator Guidelines in Part E - Federal Requirements it references the ATF’s Regulations for proper storage. The ATF puts out the ATF Federal Explosives and Regulations book (The Orange Book) that has regulations for the possession, handling, and storage of explosives; where display fireworks fall. Fireworks must be stored in an ATF approved storage magazine built for the type of explosive being stored. The storage requirements of fireworks is outlined in the regulations and related tables for safe distances from storage facility to inhabited buildings and roads as listed in Subpart K – Storage. Subpart K outlines the requirements for storage of explosives and has tables for setbacks or distances from inhabited structures, roadways, railroads, and other storage magazines. These two guides should be downloaded and used in preparation for upcoming and future planned events where display fireworks are being used.
For your quick reference, here are links to the above mentioned publications put out by the State and ATF.
1. Public Display Fireworks Operator Guidelines - https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/sfm/programs-services/Documents/Fireworks/FireworksGuidelinesRevised2011.pdf
2. ATF Orange Book - https://www.atf.gov/file/58741/download
By: Paul Gladen
Friday, December 4, 2015
By: Troy Walsh
Friday, November 20, 2015
By: Cody Tuttle
Friday, November 13, 2015
The city of Cleveland, MN has a wide variety of decorations for their downtown and surrounding areas that they change several times a year. Their Public Works Department designed Steps and a Platform they install on their loader to minimize the hazard of ladders and the expense of a bucket truck. The loader operator is now able to load the decorations on the platform, drive to the location, park, leave the operator’s seat, climb the steps, secure himself with fall protection, and install the decorations. The steps and platform are removable for winter plowing operations and can be reinstalled when needed!
Evaluating operations and finding a way to reduce injuries is critical in daily operations.
By: Troy Walsh
Friday, November 6, 2015
(New) Application is On-Line Only
Monday, November 2, 2015
Around the year 2000, in addition to “Y2K disaster” looming on the horizon, the MN legislature passed a law to improve bleacher safety. The law defined the types, specification, and application of bleacher guardrails and other openings. Shortly after that, most cities made improvements and inspected their bleachers as required, but that was 15 years ago!
Bleachers EffectedIn places of public accommodation using bleacher seating, all bleachers or bleacher open spaces over 55 inches above grade or the floor below, and all bleacher guardrails if any part of the guardrail is over 30 inches above grade or the floor below must conform to the following safety requirements:
RailingsThe open space between bleacher footboards, seats, and guardrails must not exceed four inches, unless approved safety nets are installed. Guardrails must have vertical perimeter guardrails with no more than four-inch rail spacing between vertical rails or other approved guardrails that reduce the ability for a person to climb the railings. Chain link fencing can be added to existing guard railing systems, or used in place of vertical supports, to meet this requirement.
OpeningsThe open space between bleacher footboards, seats, and guardrails must not exceed four inches, unless approved safety nets are installed, except that retractable bleachers already in place as of January 1, 2001, which can have open spaces less than 9”.
CertificationThe certification shall be prepared by a qualified and certified building official or state licensed design professional and shall certify that the bleachers have been inspected and are in compliance with the requirements of this section and are structurally sound. For bleachers owned by a school district or nonpublic school, the person the district or nonpublic school designates to be responsible for buildings and grounds may make the certification.
Re-inspectionBleacher footboards and guardrails must be re-inspected at least every five years and a structural inspection must be made at least every ten years. Inspections may be completed in the same manner as provided in subdivision 4. This section does not preclude a municipal authority from establishing additional re-inspections under the State Building Code.
by Joe Ingebrand
Monday, October 19, 2015
1) Dealing with Frozen Water Lines? Do not use electric current to thaw the lines!
2) Water Line Freeze Ups - Guidance to Residents
3) What cities may say to residents who have frozen water lines
4) This issue will be with us for awhile - frozen water lines
5) Sanitary sewers and frozen water lines...What goes around comes around.
6) Frozen water lines and sewer lines don't mix!
7) Frozen Water Lines....... Take 2 ???
8) Frozen Water Lines....A "golden opportunity" to plan
9) Frozen Water Lines - Educate the Public
10) Link on Waterlines – Minnesota Rural Water
By: LMC Loss Control
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Does your snow plow policy need a Fall tune-up?
A snow plow policy can help the city plan for the use of its resources, establishes priorities for work, and provides an explanation as to how and when snowplowing will be completed. It can also be used to inform the public about parking rules, damaged mail boxes, and specific routes. Lastly, it can support a defense of statutory discretionary immunity, allowing LMCIT to defend the city in the event of a liability claim associated with this activity.
Snowplowing and Ice Control Policy Components:
2. When Will the City Start Snow or Ice Control Operations?
3. How Snow will be plowed
4. Snow Removal
5. Priorities and Schedule of Streets to be plowed
6. Work Schedule for Snowplow Operators
7. Traffic Regulations
8. Weather Conditions
9. Use of Sand, Salt, and Other Chemicals
12. Complaint Procedure
13. Deviation from Policy
14. Review and Modification of Policy
(LMCIT Model Snow Plow Policy) http://www.lmc.org/media/document/1/modelsnowplowingpolicy.pdf?inline=true
By Joe Ingebrand
Thursday, September 17, 2015
The CityReporter App reduces the inspection paperwork and filing by automatically storing the inspection checklists, photos, and notes into a file in the cloud that can be accessed later by City personnel. After the number of times during workshops that it has been mentioned that you need to document your inspections, there is finally an easy way to do this.
The CityReporter App has a wide range of inspection checklists preformatted and available for use. If the App does not have a checklist suited to your specific needs, CityReporter gives you the capability to create a customized inspection form. The pre-made checklists include parks, roads, facilities, pools, new construction, fire and sport fields, to name a few.
The CityReporter App was developed with the assistance and advice of a number of municipal risk managers, playground inspectors, the director of the International Playground Safety Institute, road maintenance companies, building industry experts, fire officials and a host of other professionals. This App makes it easy to keep up with the various inspections that the City’s should be performing on a regular basis and takes the paperwork out of the mix.
Currently in Minnesota, there are only a few cities using the App, however this number is expected to increase as word gets out on the ease of the inspection checklists. Check out their website at CityReporter App for more information, a free demonstration and detailed information on the CityReporter Application.
By Tara A. Bursey
Friday, September 4, 2015
What needs to be done--The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided some basic guidance about these requirements. Access the link to the Guide above for information on Model Practices for Restroom Access for Transgender Employees. Specifically “Many companies have implemented written policies to ensure that all employees—including transgender employees—have prompt access to appropriate sanitary facilities. The core belief underlying these policies is that all employees should be permitted to use the facilities that correspond with their gender identity. For example, a person who identifies as a man should be permitted to use men’s restrooms, and a person who identifies as a woman should be permitted to use women’s restrooms. The employee should determine the most appropriate and safest option for him- or herself.
The OSHA's Best Practices Guide also provides options which employers may choose, but are not required, to use. These include: Single-occupancy gender-neutral (unisex) facilities; use of multiple-occupant, gender-neutral restroom facilities with lockable single occupant stalls.
Regardless of the physical layout of a worksite, all employers need to find solutions that are safe and convenient and respect transgender employees.
Monday, August 31, 2015
The inspection process is a structured way to identify any hazards or deficiencies which could lead to an accident or injury. These self-inspections should be part of the monthly safety committee activities. Start by developing a list of buildings, parks, and structures etc. to inspect, and establish an appropriate schedule for these inspections. Then use an inspection tool to document the inspection results. LMCIT Loss Control has several customizable examples of checklists to use for the inspection process. Nearly all the items on the checklists have an underlying OSHA regulation.
A sub-group of committee members, typically two, conduct the inspections with the area manager and an employee representative. Based on its findings, the inspection team and/or safety committee will develop a list of corrective actions to reduce and eliminate any unsafe conditions that were identified. Ensure all hazards are corrected in a timely manner.
- Uncover unsafe conditions
- Help promote the safety program to workers
- Provide an additional set of eyes to identify hazards before an accident or injury occurs, and
- Help promote and encourage self-inspection by line supervisors and employees
- People conducting the inspection must be informed, through training or hands on experience, about typical operations and potential hazards in the inspected area.
- Determine which standards will apply
- Define the work area and plan the inspection route
- Review any previous inspections and results and look for any outstanding work orders
- Make or obtain a checklist to document the findings. This will serve as a guide for the inspectors.
- Inspect while employees are working if possible
- Stay focused and alert for hazards
- Take notes of all hazards and unsafe practices
- Check all areas
- Be constructive and don’t place blame
- Look for why conditions exist
- Be advisory not argumentative
- Discuss recommendations with supervisor or manager
- Try to sell your recommendation and the importance of any corrections.
The OSHA regulations, despite popular belief, have been developed over time from industry experience, past injury data, hazard analysis and scientific testing. They are developed to reduce hazards and prevent both acute and chronic injuries. The following is by no means a complete list but is a sample of the inspection points and the related safety regulations. These should be used as reference when conducting self-inspections.
By Paul Gladen
WALKING & WORKING SURFACES
o Forklift Seat belt in use General Duty Clause