Monday, August 31, 2015

Self Inspections

Inspecting the workplace for hazards is one method the city can use to comply with the following component of the Minnesota AWAIR program: “ the methods used to identify, analyze and control new or existing hazards, conditions and operations.” 

 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.  

Purpose of the inspection
  • 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
Preparation for inspections
  • 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. 
Conducting the inspection
  • 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

Self-Inspection Checklist and Related OSHA Codes


o   Fire exit doors do not operate                                     29CFR1910.37 (d) (2)

o   Two means of egress as required                                29CFR1910.36 (b) (1)

o   Exit routes free of obstruction                                    29CFR1910.37 (a) (3)

o   Locked exit door                                                        29CFR1910.36 (d)(1)

o   Exits route 28 inches wide                                     29CFR1910.36 (g) (2)

o   All exits marked with signs                                   29CFR1910.37 (b) (2)

o   All NON EXIT's labeled as such                            29CFR1910.37 (b) (5)

o   Direction signs to exits not marked                        29CFR1910.37 (b) (4)

o   Exit lights not illuminated                                      29CFR1910.37 (b) (1)

o    Exit letters should be six inches by 3/4 inch                               29CFR1910.37 (b) (7)

o    Emergency Action Plan                                                             29CFR1910.38 (b)


o   No ground fault circuit interrupters                                         29CFR1910.304 (b) (3)

o   Circuit breakers not labeled                                                     29CFR1910.303 (f) (1)

o   Grounding plug missing                                                          29CFR1910.304 (g) (5)

o   Ungrounded outlet                                                  29CFR1910.304 (g) (5)

o   Loose or broken electrical outlet                                             29CFR1910.305 (j) (2)

o    Exposed live wires                                                                   29CFR1910.303 (g) (2)

o   Flexible cords through doors/windows                                  29CFR1910.305 (g) (1) (iv) (c)

o   Temporary wiring used as permanent                                   29CFR1910.305 (q) (I) (iv) (a)

o   Overcurrent devices not accessible                                        291910.304 (1) (I) (iv)

o   Unused opening in box not closed                                         291910.303 (b) (7) (i)


o   Extinguishers mounted, accessible                          29CFRI910.157 (c) (1)   

o   Extinguishers fully charged                                     29CFR1910.157 (c) (4)

o   Extinguishers of the correct type                              29CFR1910.157 (d) (1)

o   Extinguishers within 75 feet                                     29CFRI910.157 (d) (2)

o   Extinguishers monthly inspection                             29CFR1910.157 (e) (2)

o   Extinguishers annual inspection                                             29CFR1910.157 (e) (3)

o   Fire alarms readily accessible                                    29CFR1910.164 (e)

o    Emergency phone numbers posted                             29CFR1910.165 (b) (4)

o   Flammable liquid storage                                          29CFR1910.106


o   Bulk combustibles in storage cabinet                       29CFR1910.106 (d) (3)

o   Combustibles in storage room                                  29CFR1910.106 (d) (3)

o    Flammable liquids in office                                      29CFR1910.106 (d) (5) (iii)

o   Hazard Communication Program                              29CFR1910.1200

o   Proper housekeeping                                             29CFR1910.141 (a) (3) (i)

o   Adequate toilet facilities                               29CFR1910. 141 (c) (1) (i)

o   Toilets with privacy                                      29CFR1910.141 l (c) (2)(i)

o   Adequate washing facilities                           29CFR1910.141 (d) (2) (iii)

o   Emergency eye wash station                          29CFR1910.151 (c)


o   Grinding wheel rest not 1/8 inch                       29CFR1910.215 (a) (4)

o   Tongue guard adjusted to 1/4 inch                           29CFR1910.215 (a) (9)

o   All wheels ring tested prior to mounting                            29CFR1910.215 (d) (1)

o   Lockout Tagout Program                                            29CFR1910.147

o   Machine guards in place                                  29CFR1910.212 (a) (11)

o   Eye and face protection                                   29CFR i910.133

o   Eyewash stations                                            29CFR1910.151(c)


o   Roof/pipe leaks – wet floor                                        29CFR1910.22 (a) (2)

o   Slip hazard/broken door                                              29CFR1910.22 (l)

o   Aisles clear and in good repair                                    29CFR1910.22 (b) (i)

o   Fixed Ladder over 20 feet without cage                    29CFR1910.27 (d) (l) (iii)

o    Guarding floor and wall openings                              29CFR1910.23


o   Gas cylinder caps in place                                  29CFR1910.253 (a) (2) (iii)

o   Gas cylinders marked                                        29CFR1910.253 (b) (1) (ii)

o   Gas cylinders 20 feet from combustibles             29CFR1910.253 (b) (2)(ii)

o   Acetylene cylinders stored upright                      29CFR1910.253 (b) (3) (ii)

o   Oxygen cylinders near oil or grease                    29CFR1910.253 (4) (i)

o   Oxygen cylinders separated from fuel                 29CFR1910.253 (4) (iii)


o   General Duty Clause                                                   PL 91-156

  o     Forklift Seat belt in use                                               General Duty Clause

o   Respiratory Protection when required                        CFR1910.134

o   Forklift Training                                                          29CFR1910.178 (1)

o   Record keeping                                                           29CFR1904

Monday, August 17, 2015

Water Utility- Help During Emergencies

The US Environmental Protection Agency has just released the Water Utility Response On-the-Go mobile website.  It is a web-based tool that helps utility and public works employees complete a wide range of critical activities during all stages of a water emergency.  Various expandable tabs allow employees to complete the following tasks on their mobile devices:
  • Track Severe Weather
  • Contact Response Partners
  • Respond to Incidents
  • Take Notes and Record Damage
  • Inform Incident Command
  • Additional Planning
You never know when a drinking water emergency or natural disaster affecting your city will knock at your door.  Now there is an on-the-go application to help guide the utility or city through the response.  EPA Water Utility Emergency Response On-the-Go
By Joe Ingebrand

Monday, August 3, 2015

Best Practices for Safety Committees

Did you attend the annual Loss Control workshops this spring?  Perhaps you attended the afternoon session on safety committees.  The League received a LOT of positive feedback on that session, along with requests to repeat the training in a local venue so more employees could attend. 

Those attendees that went on the off-site portion of the training said it was “a valuable learning experience”.  The league responded by adding four sessions to the fall workshop schedule and is in the process of applying for credits.  We've also included a hands-on session on Job Hazard AnalysisLunch is included.  Find out more and register online.  Class sizes are limited so hurry or all the seats will be taken! 

The role of a safety committee is vital—but can also be complex. Let us help you simplify it. Much like an apple is easier to eat when it is sliced into sections, so too is a safety committee easier to develop (and operate!) once it is broken down into its parts.
- See more at Best Practices for Safety Committees