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Controlling The Dangers Of Compressed Air

There are two concerns in safety when using compressed air. (Flying objects and the air itself) Horseplay has been a cause of some serious workplace accidents caused by individuals not aware of the hazards of compressed air. Some television shows have shown bad examples on the use of compressed air.

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There are two concerns in safety when using compressed air. (Flying objects and the air itself) Horseplay has been a cause of some serious workplace accidents caused by individuals not aware of the hazards of compressed air. Some television shows have shown bad examples on the use of compressed air.
Compressed air is extremely forceful. Depending on its pressure, compressed air can dislodge particles. These particles are a danger since they can enter your eyes or possibly the skin. The potential damage would depend on the size, weight, shape, composition, and speed of the particles. There have also been reports of hearing damage caused by the pressure of compressed air and by its sound caused by the nozzle.
Compressed air itself is also a serious hazard. On rare occasions, some of the compressed air can enter the blood stream through a break in the skin or through a body opening. An air bubble in the blood stream is known medically as an embolism, a dangerous medical condition in which a blood vessel is blocked, in this case, by an air bubble. An embolism of an artery can cause coma, paralysis or death. While air embolisms are usually associated with incorrect diving procedures, they are possible with compressed air due to high pressures. The consequences of even a small quantity of air or other gas in the blood can quickly be fatal.
Although many people know using compressed air to clean debris or clothes can be hazardous, it is still used because of old habits and the easy availability of compressed air in many workplaces. Cleaning objects, machinery, bench tops, clothing and other things with compressed air is dangerous. Injuries can be caused by the air jet and by particles made airborne.
When compressed air cleaning is unavoidable, hazards can be reduced. Use the lowest air pressure that is still effective to handle the task. A "quiet" nozzle should be selected. Personal protection equipment must be worn to protect the worker's body, especially the eyes, against particles and dust under pressure. Air guns should also be used with some local exhaust ventilation or facilities to control the generation of airborne particulates. The use of chip guards can deflect flying dust or debris, extension tubes will give the worker a safer working distance, or even air guns equipped with injection exhausts and particle collection bags are other options to consider in compressed air safety.

 

Back Injury Prevention Goes A Long Way

Back injury is one the most common injuries in the workplace. Back injuries can occur in the office setting, construction sites, and in manufacturing facilities. The injury is easy to prevent; a little guidance is all that is needed. Injuries of the back can take years to heal.

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Back injury is one the most common injuries in the workplace. Back injuries can occur in the office setting, construction sites, and in manufacturing facilities. The injury is easy to prevent; a little guidance is all that is needed. It is easier to avoid the injury than trying to recover from the injury.

The first step to have strong back and stomach muscles; it is important in order to ease the work your back is put through each day. By doing simple back-toning exercises, you not only strengthen your back but also reduce stress; you will also improve your appearance. Check with your doctor as to the best exercises for you.

Excess weight exerts extra force on the back and stomach muscles. Your back tries to support the extra weight and causes excess strain on the lower back muscles. By losing weight, you can reduce strain and pain in your back. Check with your doctor for the most sensible diet plan for you.

By learning to stand tall with your head up and shoulders back, you can prevent many back pains. This relearning process can be carried over to learning to sit and lift items correctly. When you sit down, don’t slouch. Slouching makes the back ligaments, not the muscles, stretch and hurt, thus putting pressure on the vertebrae. The best way to sit is straight, with your back against the back of the chair with your feet flat on the floor and your knees slightly higher than your hips.

The way you sleep can also affect your back. Pick a firm mattress or place plywood between your box springs and mattress for good back support. If your mattress is too soft it could result in a back sprain. Sleep on your side with your knees bent or on your back with a pillow under your knees for support.

Driving can also affect your back. Drive with your back straight against the seat and close enough to the wheel so your knees are bent and are slightly higher than your hips.

Lifting items is usually where the injury occurs. The factors above can be contributing to the obvious injury. Lifting objects is often a mindless task, and unfortunately many people perform their lift incorrectly, resulting in unnecessary strain on their back and surrounding muscles. In order to lift correctly and reduce strain on your back, it’s important to plan your lift in advance. This means to think about the weight of the object you will be moving and the distance you will be moving it. Take a few seconds and consider the item. Consideration for the item should include: bulkiness, weight, help required, distance to move, and area is clear for the movement.

If all considerations have been made, it is important to align yourself correctly in front of the load with your feet straddling the load, one foot slightly in front of the other for balance. Slowly squat down by bending your knees, not your back and stomach. Using both hands, firmly grab the load and bring it as close to your body as you can. This will help distribute the weight of the load over your feet and make the move easier.

Once the load is close to your body, slowly straighten out your legs until you are standing upright. Make sure the load isn’t blocking your vision as you begin to walk. If you need to turn to the side, turn by moving your feet around and not by twisting at your stomach.

If the load is too heavy, bulky, or awkward for you to lift alone, find someone to help you carry it. If no one is available, try to break down the load into easier parts. Use of a dolly or hand truck may also help move the item.

Remember injuries from improperly lifting items can take years to heal. Learning to carry items and even yourself correctly, will lead to a healthy back.

 

Know What You Are Welding process can also be extremely dangerous

Welding “smoke” is a mixture of very fine particles and gases. This “smoke” can contain, such materials as chromium, nickel, arsenic, asbestos, manganese, silica, beryllium, cadmium, nitrogen oxides, phosgene, acrolein, fluorine compounds, carbon monoxide, cobalt, copper, lead, ozone, selenium, and zinc and they can be extremely toxic.

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Welding “smoke” is a mixture of very fine particles and gases. This “smoke” can contain, such materials as chromium, nickel, arsenic, asbestos, manganese, silica, beryllium, cadmium, nitrogen oxides, phosgene, acrolein, fluorine compounds, carbon monoxide, cobalt, copper, lead, ozone, selenium, and zinc and they can be extremely toxic. Generally, welding fumes and gases come from the base material being welded or the filler material, but can also come from the paint and other materials on the metal being welded. Chemical reactions can also occur from the heat and even the arc light. These reactants can also be toxic.

Health effects of welding exposures can be difficult to list. The “smoke” may contain materials not listed or assumed. The individual components of welding smoke can affect just about any part of the body, including the lungs, heart, kidneys, and central nervous system.

Exposure to metal fumes such as zinc, magnesium, copper, and copper oxide can cause metal fume fever. Symptoms of metal fume fever may occur 4 to 12 hours after exposure, and include chills, thirst, fever, muscle ache, chest soreness, coughing, wheezing, fatigue, nausea, and a metallic taste in the mouth and usually lasts a short term.

Some components of welding fumes, such as cadmium, can be fatal in a short time. Secondary gases given off by the welding process can also be extremely dangerous. Ultraviolet radiation from the welding arc reacts with oxygen and nitrogen and produces ozone and nitrogen oxides. These gases are deadly at high doses, and can also cause irritation of the nose and throat and serious lung disease.

Another reaction from the ultraviolet arc is a gas produced from chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents; this gas is called phosgene gas and even a very small amount of phosgene may be deadly.

Studies have shown that welders have an increased risk of lung cancer, and possibly cancer of the larynx and urinary tract. This risk comes from the cancer-causing agents such as cadmium, nickel, beryllium, chromium, and arsenic.

Besides chemicals being thrown off by welding, another risk can be found in the extreme heat. This intense heat can cause burns. Contact with hot slag, metal chips, sparks, and hot electrodes can cause eye injuries. Excessive exposure to heat can result in heat stress or heat stroke. Welders should be aware of the symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, and irritability. Some welding may take place inside a workplace; the welder must be protected as if they were working outside in the hot sun. Ventilation, shielding, rest breaks, and drinking plenty of cool water will protect workers against heat hazards.

The intensity of the welding arc can cause damage to the retina of the eye, while infrared radiation may damage the cornea and result in the formation of cataracts. Invisible ultraviolet light from the arc can cause the white dots. The white dots, while mostly temporary, may end in blindness. Half the injuries of white dots come from people standing around the materials being welded. The intense light can even be reflected off of other objects in the area.

Even though welding generally uses low voltage, there is still a danger of electric shock. The environmental conditions of the welder, such as wet areas, may make the likelihood of a shock greater. Falls and other accidents can result from even a small shock; brain damage and death can result from a large shock.

The intense heat and sparks produced by welding can cause fires or explosions if combustible or flammable materials are in the area.

Before beginning a welding job, it is important to identify the hazards for that particular welding operation. The hazards will depend on the type of welding, the materials (base metals, surface coatings, electrodes) to be welded, and the environmental conditions. Check the Material Safety Data Sheets to identify the hazardous materials used in welding and cutting products, and the fumes that may be generated. Make sure that all possible compounds can be identified before welding begins. After identifying the hazard, appropriate control methods can be implemented.




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