January Safety - Guardrails

February Safety - Hand Tools

March Safety - Save Your Hands

April Safety - Ladder Tips

May Safety - Suspended Loads

June Safety - Check Before You Move

July Safety - Working Around Cranes

August Safety - Material Handling

September Safety - Screwdrivers

October Safety - Weather

November Safety - Wrenches

December Safety - Injuries

Safety Incentive Program

In an effort to create an even more safety conscious atmosphere at Electrical Staffing Inc., we are implementing this new safety program. We will all be winners with this program! 

  1. Each employee will be given one chance to win a monthly drawing for every week they work for Electrical Staffing Inc. without a loss-time injury within a month period.  For every week you miss work, you will lose that many chances to win.
  2. We will draw for a $25.00 gift card.
  3.  If you have a loss-time injury, you must return to work that same month to be eligible for the drawing.
  4.  The drawing will be held the 1st Monday of each month and will be posted on our website and you will be notified.
  5. You can also check the Winners Circle to see the monthly winners.
     

January Shop Talk

GUARDRAILS
 
Guardrails protect you from falls that can seriously injure or even kill.  The amounts of protection guardrails provide depends on how they are constructed and maintained.  Most guardrails are built of strong materials and are usually solid when first put up.  As time goes by, however, guardrails often are abused, weakened, broken, or moved and not replaced.
 
MISSING OR WEAKENED GUARDRAILS
 
Sometimes sections of guardrails must be taken down so that materials or equipment can be brought in.  These sections often aren't replaced or if they are, they're hastily thrown back up.  Weakened guardrails are sometimes more dangerous than no guardrails at all, because they give a false sense of security.
 
FOLLOW THESE RULES
 
We can help avoid guardrail accidents if we follow a few simple rules:
 

  1. As you go about your job, get into the habit of checking guardrails.  If you discover a weakened or a missing section, correct the situation if you can.  Otherwise, report it so that the hazard can be eliminated.
  2. If you bump a rail with material or equipment, check it at once if you suspect you may have weakened it.  If you discover you've broken a rail, upright, or toeboard, repair it if you can.  Otherwise, report it so that the hazard can be repaired.
  3. When repairing or replacing guardrails, remember you're exposed to the very danger that you are providing protection against.  Perhaps you should be using a safety belt and lanyard.

 
KEEP YOUR GUARD (RAILS) UP
 
Different types of construction may require different types of guardrails.  But the points we've covered today apply to all.  If you have suggestions, make them known so that we can continue to keep our guardrails up and our accidents down.

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February Shop Talk

DON’T TAKE HAND TOOLS FOR GRANTED
 
Too many people do so, both at home and at work.
 
Household jobs usually are light.  So you sometimes can get away with using tools improperly or substituting one tool for another.  Our work, however, makes rugged demands on tools.  If we misuse a tool, or use one that’s wrong for the job or in poor condition, it can result in injury or spoiled work.
 
Choose the right tool for the job
 
Would you use an axe to drive nails?  Obviously not.  You’d use a claw hammer. It’s the less obvious misuse of tools that gives us the most trouble, like using a screwdriver or a file s pry bar.  Trouble also comes from trying to get by with a tool that’s not the right size for the job.  A common mistake is using a wrench that’s the wrong size for the nut, or one with a handle that’s too short.  This can result in scraped knuckles or a broken wrench.
 
How many times have you seen a person slip a cheater pipe over a wrench handle for more leverage on a tight nut?  In many cases, the cheater pipe slips off the handle and the worker loses his balance and falls.  And often it’s off a ladder.
 
Don’t take chances.  Get the right tool, even if it takes you a few minutes longer.  You’ll probably save yourself lost time and pay.
 
Use only tools in good condition
 
Sometimes the hammer whose head comes off is less dangerous than the one whose head just wiggles a little.  In the first case, we know the hammer is dangerous and fix it.  In the second case, we never know when the head will twist enough to glance off the work, or just fly off.
 
Tools in proper condition have handles and heads that are sound and securely fitted; cutting edges that are sharp and true. It’s usually the dull tool that hurts you.  Tools should be kept free of dirt and grease.  If a tool doesn’t meet these qualifications, don’t use it.  Otherwise, you’re asking for trouble.
 
Use tools properly
 
Very few of us are experts when it comes to using every tool made.  If you don’t know how to use a tool, don’t be afraid to ask someone who does.  Here are a few tips for using tools properly:
 

  1. Pull a wrench.  Don’t push.
  2. Use the full handle of the hammer.  If you choke up on it, you’ll lose control.
  3. Always cut away from yourself.
  4. Be sure to wear eye protection if there’s any chance of chips or flying particles.
  5. Don’t use a file without a handle.
  6. Don’t use a chisel or screwdriver as a pry bar.

Carry and store tools safely
 
If you carry tools in your hands, keep sharp or cutting edges covered and hold them away from you.
 
Use a toolbox or belt when you carry a lot of tools.  Don’t stuff them in your pockets.  Keep the toolbox orderly so you can easily find the tool you need without getting cut or gouged.
 
If your buddy wants to borrow one of your tools, hand it to him - don't toss it.
 
Hand tool safety depends on the right tool for the job – in proper condition – used correctly – and carried and stored safely.

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March Shop Talk

 SAVE YOUR HANDS
 
Here's a test to see how fast you can untie your shoes. You can use both hands, but you can’t use your thumbs.  Not so easy, is it?  And, yet, do you realize that 25% of all disabling injuries involve hands and fingers?
 
COMMON CAUSES OF HAND INJURIES
 
What are some of the common causes of injuries to hands and fingers, most of which usually are preventable?  They include struck by hammers, pinched between objects being moved, cut by sharp objects, pierced by splinters and slivers, burned by hot objects or chemicals, and caught in moving machinery.
 
GLOVES – A PRIME MEANS OF PROTECTION
 
As long as your skin remains unbroken, it can keep germs out.  Once it’s opened by a scrape or cut, however, germs can get in and infection can result unless you get proper treatment. And, no matter how rugged you think your hands may be, they aren’t tough enough to stop splinters, slivers, or to resist punctures.
 
That’s why gloves are important.  They’re like an extra layer of skin.  The nail that rips your glove would have injured you if your hand had been bare.
 
Wear gloves whenever you are handling rough or sharp material.  Use rubber gloves when working with chemicals, solvents, or other material that can irritate your skin.  Wear gloves that fit properly.  Also, remember that gloves shouldn’t be worn when there is a possibility they can get caught in moving machinery.
 
GUARDS ARE HAND SAVERS
 
Guards on power saws and other equipment sometimes seem like a nuisance, always getting in the way.  But they’re on the equipment to protect you against injury.  By removing guards or otherwise making them ineffective, you increase your chances of getting hurt, Tie one hand behind your back for a day and you’ll appreciate what the consequences of working without a guard can be.
 
OTHER DANGERS
 
Many hand injuries occur even when you are wearing gloves or using guards.  Be alert to these dangers, too.  Such injuries can result from the unexpected shifting of material, getting hands caught in pinch points, grabbing moving parts of the machinery, or holding work in the hands that should be held in a vise or securely clamped.

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April Shop Talk

LADDER TIPS
 
Do you know there's a killer on this job that you probably meet face-to-face everyday?  I’m talking about the common, ordinary ladder.  Ladders are involved in many accidents, some of which are fatal.  Your life literally can depend on knowing how to inspect, use, and care for this tool.  Let’s spend a few minutes talking about ladders.
 
INSPECTING LADDERS
 
Before using any ladder, inspect it.  Look for the following faults:

  • Loose or missing rungs or cleats.
  • Loose nails, bolts, or screws.
  • Cracked broken, split, dented, or badly worn rungs, cleats, or side rails.
  • Wood splinters.
  • Corrosion of metal ladders or metal parts.

 
If you find a ladder in poor condition, don’t use it.  Report it.  It should be tagged and properly repaired or immediately destroyed.
 
USING LADDERS
 
Choose the right type and size ladder.  Except where stairways, ramps, or runways are provided, use a ladder to go from one level to another.  Keep these tips in mind:
 

  1. Be sure straight ladders are long enough so that the side rails extend above the top support point by 36” at least.
  2. Don’t set up ladders in areas such as doorways or walkways where others may run them into, unless they are protected by barriers.  Keep the area around the top and base of the ladder clear.  Don’t run hoses, extension cords, or ropes on a ladder and create an obstruction.
  3.  Don’t try to increase the height of a ladder by standing it on boxes, barrels, or other materials.  Don’t try to splice two ladders together either.
  4. Set the ladder on solid footing against a solid support.  Don’t try to use a stepladder as a straight ladder.
  5. Place the base of straight ladders out away from the wall or edge of the upper level about one foot for every four feet of vertical height.  Don’t use ladders as a platform, runway, or scaffold.
  6.  Tie in, block, or otherwise secure the top of straight ladders to prevent them from being displaced.
  7.  To avoid slipping on a ladder, check your shoes for oil, grease, or mud and wipe it off before climbing.
  8. Always face the ladder and hold on with both hands when climbing up or down.  Don’t try to carry tools or materials with you.
  9. Don’t lean out to the side when you’re on a ladder. If something is out of reach, get down and move the ladder over.
  10. Most ladders are designed to hold only one person at a time.  Two may cause the ladder to fail or throw it off balance.

 
CARE OF LADDERS
 
Take good care of ladders and they’ll take care of you.  Store them in well-ventilated areas, away from dampness.
 
REMEMBER
 
These tips on ladders may save you from a ladder that tips.

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May Shop Talk

  SUSPENDED LOADS
.
 
Lightning doesn’t have to strike often to do a job on you.  Just once usually is enough.  And it’s the same with overhead loads.  If one falls on you, it generally makes a permanent impression.  That’s why we always should stay out from under cranes, booms, and buckets.  This means concrete buckets as well as backhoe buckets.  Your first accident may be your last.
 
USE YOUR HEAD
 
Use your head.  Not to stop a falling object, but to make sure an object doesn’t fall on you.  Don’t stand, walk or work under crane booms, buckets, or suspended loads.  And while using your head, keep it covered with a hard hat.
 
PLAN AHEAD
 
If you have anything to do with planning lifting operations, be sure the boom or bucket will not be swinging over workers.  You may have to rope off or barricade the swing area, or schedule the lifting operations when the workers aren’t in the vicinity.
 
CONCRETE OPERATIONS
 
Did you ever get hit in the head with a piece of semi-hardened concrete that dropped from a crane bucket?  It hurt didn’t it, even though you were wearing your hard hat.  How do I know you were wearing your hard hat?  If you weren’t you would be here.  Laborers have to be especially careful to keep clear of the crane when the operator is loading and hoisting the bucket.
 
BACKHOES
 
So many times we think only in terms of crane booms, but the same thoughts apply to backhoe operations. A pipe crew gets so used to setting pipe with a backhoe that they get in under the load in a ditch.  What is going to happen if a cable breaks or a hydraulic line blows?  Look at the mechanics of the boom.  If a cable breaks, will the load shift horizontally as well as drop?  Think!
 
AVOID OVERHEAD HAZARDS
 
Remember:  To avoid danger from crane booms, keep out from under them at all times.  And wear your hard hat, just in case.

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June Shop Talk

 CHECK BEFORE YOU MOVE
 
You’ve probably seen the havoc heavy construction equipment can cause.  Maybe you know of someone who was killed or badly injured by being run over or backed over.  And you may even have seen a parked car that had been crushed.  Usually, this kind of accident happens because someone fails to take commonsense precautions.
 
BIGGER AND FASTER TODAY
Years ago, heavy equipment was big, bulky, and slow moving.  The operator could see well in all directions.  Today, this equipment is heavy, large, and fast moving.  Often the operator’s field of vision is restricted.  So now the equipment operator has to be more alert than he did a few years ago to make sure he doesn’t injure or kill a fellow worker.
 
TAKE A WALK BEFORE YOU RIDE
Before you climb aboard a piece of heavy equipment, walk completely around it.  Then you’ll be able to see any persons or obstacles in the vicinity.  And you’ll be able to warn anyone who is in the way that you are getting ready to move the equipment.  With all the noise, it is sometimes difficult to hear one more rig start up or start to move.  If mechanics have been working on a rig, be sure they have finished their work and all have left.  Make sure they haven’t left any tools or equipment behind either.
 
I know of a worker on a runway job, who ate his lunch in the shade of a large sheep’s foot roller.  Then he settled down to take a catnap before going back to work.  In the meantime, the operator got on the tractor, backed it up, and ran the heavy roller over the man.  Thirty seconds of precaution on the part of the operator would have prevented this accident.
 
Another time, a service operator drove up to a dragline and got off his truck to tell the operator about a gas can he had previously placed in the rig.  In a few minutes, he got back on the truck and backed up.  He ran over the crane oiler, who was behind the truck and facing away from it. This shows why it’s always necessary to have someone signal for you when you’re backing equipment or trucks in place where people and equipment are working.  We don’t have many minor accidents involving heavy construction equipment.  Most of hem result in serious injury or death.
 
Admittedly, it takes a few seconds to walk around the machine or truck before you board it.  And it takes a few seconds to have someone signal you when you back such equipment.  But this time is well spent – especially if it saves someone’s life.  It also saves the many sleepless nights you would suffer if you were responsible for injuring or killing a fellow worker.
 
A FEW SECONDS CAN SAVE A LIFE
If you operate heavy equipment, remember that those working around it are at your mercy.  Before starting or backing the vehicle, take a few seconds it requires to be sure that no one is in danger. You owe it to those you work with.

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July Shop Talk

 WORKING AROUND CRANES
 
Experience can be the worst teacher
 
Experience teaches us a lot about working around cranes.  But often the lessons are costly.
 
For example: A laborer carrying a bag of cement walked between a crawler crane and a building column.  The crane swung around and fatally crushed him between the counterweight and the column.
 
On another job, a workman was leaning on the crane frame, talking with one of his buddies.  The load came in contact with a live power line and he was electrocuted.
 
Stay out from under
 
It’s a smart move on our part to stay out from under suspended hooks and loads.  There’s always a chance that during a lift, the load could shift and fall.  It may be a slim chance because of the good rigging techniques we use.  But once is al it takes to cause a serious injury or a fatality.  Also stay clear of swinging loads.  The big “I” beam can squash you like a bug if you get in the way.
 
You’re not safe when not seen
 
Remember to, that the crane operator may not see you.  He’s concentrating on moving his crane into position or swinging his load.  Think of the swing area of the crane as “no-man’s land.”  And stay out.  The crane will have no sympathy if you get in the way. And it won’t come out second best.  I’ll guarantee that.
 
Other dangers
 
Have you ever hear of a P.L.P.?  It stands for Public Leaning Post.  And a lot of people think that’s what the crane is.  They’re asking for a shocking experience if the load or boom touches a live wire.  So don’t lean on the crane.  Stay clear.  It’s too bad the workman we talked about earlier didn’t take this advice.  He’d still be around today.
 
Of course, with all the overhead work going on, we always should wear our hard hats.  Concrete slopped out of a lifted bucket can crack an unprotected skull.
 
I don’t understand why some persons never use the stairs or personnel hoists.  They insist on “riding the hook.”  And they’re asking for trouble when they do.  It’s one of the most dangerous means of transportation around.
 
Use extra care around cranes
 
The crane is a fantastic piece of equipment.  It saves us an enormous amount of work. But like anything else that’s big and powerful, it can be dangerous.  That’s why I’ve taken the time to stress that you be extra careful when working around cranes.
 
CRANE BOOM FAILURE
 
When a crane boom fails, watch out. As the heavy piece comes crashing down, lives can be snuffed out and thousands of dollars worth of property damaged.  Crane boom failure can be one of the biggest disasters on a construction job; yet poor planning on the simplest lifting job can cause it.
 
LISTEN CAREFULLY – IT MAY SAVE LIVES
 
The time to discuss crane boom failure is before it happens, not afterwards.  So pay close attention to what we’re going to discuss today.  The suggestions we’re going to make could save lives.
 
TWO MAIN CAUSES OF BOOM FAILURE
 
The two main causes of crane boom failure are overloading and improper loading.  Some of the specific things of which we constantly should be aware are:

  1. Overloading for length, size, or angle of boom.
  2. Improper calculation of load weight.  Remember to include the weight of all rigging.
  3. Boom too high.
  4. Sudden release of load on near-vertical boom.
  5. No boom stop to keep it from going over backwards.
  6. Two blocking.
  7. Attempting side pulls
  8. Top block not centered over load.
  9. Swinging load and not paying attention to the side load on boom.
  10. Load hitting boom.
  11. Walking or turning too fast, causing load to swing and twist boom.
  12. Failure to use tagline or other control on a load
  13. Chassis not level, causing side bend in boom.
  14. Not using outrigger or outriggers improperly shored.
  15. Not enough counterweight, tipping the cab house and chassis.
  16. Using boom with twisted members or braces.  Makeshift repairs.
  17. Improper maintenance.
  18. Poor brakes.  Worn clutch.
  19. Failure to check boom.
  20. Inexperienced or careless operation.  Chance taking.  Short cuts.

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August Shop Talk

 MATERIAL HANDLING
 
Lowering from overhead
 
We talk a great deal about the proper way to lift things up.  But we don’t say enough about lifting them down – that is, lowering them from overhead.  This can be dangerous.  Recently a worker was tearing down a machine.  He had to remove a flywheel from a shoulder-high shaft.  The wheel didn’t look heavy to him, but when it came free, it was more than he could handle.  He fell to the floor with the flywheel on top of him and was seriously injured.
 
A common occurrence
 
Getting into trouble when lowering heavy items is a common occurrence.  You may have experienced trouble yourself.  Perhaps you had to get a box of hardware from a high shelf.  You had the box over your head and suddenly realized you couldn’t handle it.  It was coming down on top of you.  You were afraid to hang on to it, afraid to let go.  The box hit you as it slid from your grasp.  The contents scattered all over the floor.
 
How to approach overhead loads
 

  • Size up the load: if it looks too heavy for you to have lifted it to where it is, it’s probably too heavy for you to take down.  Give yourself the benefit of the doubt.  Once you get it loose, it’s all yours.  And if you can’t handle it, it’s too late.
  • Ask yourself: How did it get up there?  Was it put there by lift truck?  By two men?  By a real big guy? Atlas maybe?  The way it got up there is probably the best way to get it down.

How to lower a load you can handle
 
When you are lowering something you can handle, set it down the same way you would lift it up.  Keep knees bent and back straight.  If you have to place it to one side or the other, don’t twist your body. Move your feet instead.
 
What goes up will come down – faster
 
If you’re lifting something up, you can always stop if you find it’s too heavy.  But when lowering a load from overhead, you've already passed the point of no return the moment it breaks free.

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September Shop Talk

SCREWDRIVERS
 
The screwdriver is intended for one purpose only – to loosen and tighten screws.  It’s not only important to know what a screwdriver is used for, but how to take care of it and use it properly.  The following suggestions will enable you to make the best use of his tool.
 
Proper care of screwdrivers

  • Repair screwdrivers that are badly worn or have bent or broken tips.  Grind or file the blades square so that the sides that engage the screw are parallel.  Be careful not to remove the temper from the blade during the grinding, or it will become soft.  A sharp, square-edged blade will not slip as easily as a worn, dull, rounded one.
  • Replace a broken handle.  A broken or damaged handle is not only difficult to hold, but you risk cutting yourself or getting a splinter or blister.
  • Keep the tool free of dirt, grease, or burrs.

 
Proper use of screwdrivers

  • Select the proper size screwdriver for the screw, so that the thickness of the blade makes a good fit in the slot.  This not only prevents the screw slot and blade from being damaged, but reduces the force required to keep the tool in the screw head.  Clean the slots out with a corner of the screwdriver if they are clogged with paint or other debris.
  • Keep the screwdriver square with the screw head.  You will avoid damaging the screw and lessen the possibility of the screwdriver slipping.
  • Never use pliers on a screwdriver.  Instead, use a square shank screwdriver that is designed for use with a wrench.
  • Always use a vise or place small work on a firm, flat surface.  If you hold the work in your hands, you can get a painful injury if the screwdriver slips.
  • Never hammer with the screwdriver handle, nor use the screwdriver as a pry, punch, chisel or lever.
  • Never use screwdrivers for electrical work if they have the blade or rivet extending through the handle.  Use only insulated screwdrivers designed for that purpose.
  • If you have a Phillips head screw, use a Phillips screwdriver.  Don’t use a small standard screwdriver or a large screwdriver held at an angle.
  • Screwdrivers come in various lengths for different jobs.  Select the right length so that your hands are working in the clear and not in danger of striking obstructions as you turn the screwdriver.

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October Shop Talk

WEATHER - WHY TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER?
 
Actually, we have no control over rain, snow, sleet, wind, lightning or sunshine.  But we can control what happens on our job as a result of the elements.  Some of the biggest problems on construction jobs are caused by wind and lightning. Wind probably causes the most accidents; lightning can be deadly.
 
WATCH OUT FOR WIND
 
Don’t let the wind catch you off guard.  I’m not just thinking of tornadoes or hurricanes, but of everyday winds and unexpected gusts.  Wind just loves to pick up anything it can and sail it away.  So when it’s windy, securely tie or weight down supplies and materials.
 
It’s amazing what a little wind can do.  Some gusts can pick up a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood from the top of a high rise building and carry it several blocks.  Or blow you off a scaffold. On one occasion, the wind blew empty 10-gallon drums off a 15-story building.  One drum went through the roof of a tool shed.  What would have happened if the drum had landed on you?  You’d have had more than a giant sized headache.
 
It seems the higher you go, the stronger the wind.  When working on tall buildings, stay away from roof edges, floor openings, and similar drop-offs where the wind could blow you over.  Weight down or otherwise secure material or equipment that can be blown down.
 
Don’t loiter on the leeward side of unbraced walls, lumber stacks or anything else that can be blown over by a sudden gust of wind.  In many instances, workers shave been seriously injured when an unbraced wall or form was blown over on them while they were sitting in its shade during lunch or before starting work.
 
LIGHTNING HURTS
 
Every so often we read about workers being struck by lightning.  They usually come out second best. Recently a hook-up man was electrocuted when lightning struck the crane boom while he was holding on to the hook preparing some materials to be lifted.
 
We all like to keep things moving until we’re rained out.  But when lightning is around, it’s safer to take shelter early.  Very often an electrical storm occurs without rain.  Or a lightning storm precedes the rain.  So if you’re working with a crane, on top of steel frame-work, or around other projecting equipment or a building, the safest thing to do is to seek shelter when you see lightning.
 
You’ll be reasonably safe from lightning inside the structure, particularly when it’s equipped with lightning rods.  You’ll also be fairly safe in an automobile or truck.  But never take shelter under an isolated tree or where you’re in contact with a tractor, crane, or other equipment.  If you get caught out in the open, stay as low as you can.  It’s much safer to be down in a ditch than on top of the ground.
 
RAIN CAN RUIN A JOB
 
Rain may be good for the farmer but it can play havoc with a construction job.  It can turn it into a gigantic mud pie.  Water seems to get in everywhere.  Rain can ruin building materials and supplies and generally make things downright messy.  Steel gets slippery, equipment gets stuck, and we get wet.
 
By covering equipment, materials, tools, supplies and ourselves, we don’t give rain a chance to do as much damage as it could.  We can eliminate slipping hazards by sweeping water out of low areas used as passageways inside of buildings under construction.
 
DON’T SLIP ON ICE AND SNOW
 
When we work in colder climates, ice and snow make things slippery.  Clean and sand any work surfaces, such as scaffolds and passageways, where there is ice and snow.  Or turn the planks over.  We need the best possible footing we can get.  We don’t want to end up like one fellow.  He didn’t sweep off the scaffold one afternoon after some light snow had fallen during the morning.  He slipped and fell ten stories to his death.
 
CONTROLLING THE WEATHER
 
As I said, we can control the weather only as far as it affects the job.  I haven’t been able to discuss all of the safety precautions that can be taken in case of inclement weather.  But common sense usually dictates the right thing to do in any situation.

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November Shop Talk

WRENCHES
 
Why wrenches cause accidents
 
The answer is that either the correct type of wrench isn’t used or improper use of the wrench causes it to slip.  The result can range from mashed knuckles to a serious fall.  Slipping is caused mostly by using a wrench that is slightly oversized for the nut.  If the wrench is properly sized, it applies equal pressure to the faces of the net.  But if the wrench is just a bit oversized, the pressure is applied to the corners of the nut where the jaws touch.  And the wrench slips.  Eventually the jaws of the improperly used wrench can become weakened or sprung.  Then the wrench won’t even fit the right size head.  Some persons try to use shims to compensate for the wrong size wrench, but this isn’t satisfactory either.
 
Another reason why your wrench slips is that it isn’t fully seated on the nut or bolt.  This usually happens when the nut to be tightened is hard to reach.  This situation calls for an offset or socket wrench.  It may seem like a lot of trouble to get one, but it’s worth it.  Always pull on a wrench and adjust your stance to prevent a fall is something should suddenly slip.
 
Fixed jaw wrenches are preferable to adjustable wrenches
 
You should use a fixed jaw wrench that fits rather than an adjustable wrench.  Box or socket wrenches are even less likely to slip.  Pliers are no substitute for a wrench.  Don’t misunderstand, however.  An adjustable wrench is a good tool when properly used.  Always place this wrench so that the pull on the nut comes from the solid jaw and the push from the adjustable jaw.
 
Cheaters
 
A common mistake is using a piece of pipe or “cheater” on the handle of a small wrench to increase the leverage.  This can place more stress on the wrench than it is designed to take, causing it to break or the pipe itself to slip off.  In either case, the person using it can have an accident.  Imagine what would happen to you if you were standing on a ladder when the pipe gave way.  Don’t use a wrench as a hammer or a pry bar.  It won’t do you or the wrench any good.
 
Frozen nut
 
To free a frozen nut or bolt, apply penetrating oil and use a striking face box wrench.
 
Taking proper care of your wrenches will help make your work easier.
 
No, a wrench doesn’t look like a troublemaker and it doesn’t have to be one, if you use it right.  Keep it clean and in good repair and bear in mind the tips we have just pointed out.

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December Shop Talk

MINOR INJURIES
 
When we talk of someone being injured, we usually think of serious injuries, such as those involving broken bones or where a lot of blood is lost.  We don’t think much about the little incidents, such as scratches, splinters, dust in the eye, and blisters.  These things don’t give us much pain nor lay us up.  And if properly treated, minor injuries shouldn’t give us serious concern.
 
EVEN MINOR INJURIES CAN BECOME SERIOUS
 
When we neglect a minor injury, however, we could end up in the hospital or even six feet under.  Do you think that I’m exaggerating?  Consider what can happen if you let a minor cut on your arm go untreated.  Germs can enter and cause infection.  If the infection, in turn, isn’t treated, it can cause blood poisoning, which can be fatal.
 
TWO KINDS OF INJURIES OFTEN NEGLECTED
 
A hard blow on the head can make you dizzy or unconscious for a few seconds.  It’s easy to overlook this injury because afterwards you may feel OK, except for a headache.
 
What many of us don’t realize is that a blow on the head can cause a slight concussion of fracture, which can’t be detected except by a doctor.  As a result we later may go to sleep and not wake up.  So if you have a head injury see a doctor for a checkup.
 
A blow to the stomach can occur when you run into something or are struck by something.  The blow may knock you down and take the wind out of you, but a few minutes later you may feel OK.  Just because there may be no visible injury, however, is no reason for not reporting to first aid.  It doesn’t take much of a blow to rupture an intestine or start internal bleeding.  And these unseen injuries can kill you.
 
REPORT ALL INJURIES
 
The important thing to remember is to report all injuries, even though they are minor and no physical damage is apparent.  Get proper first aid and see a doctor if necessary.

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