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Safety

Tips for Keeping Your Business Safe on Halloween

By | Safety | No Comments

Security

According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCIAA), Halloween has the highest number of claims for any day by 81%.

To prevent damages, bring in any product you may have displayed on the exterior of your business before dark. Take photos of your business a week or two before Halloween. If you must file a claim for vandalism, you will have photos available for your insurance company.

Vehicles are more likely to be vandalized on Halloween.

Park your vehicles inside a locked garage or in a well-lit area and have the windows up and doors locked.

 

Lighting

If you’re having the public come into your business during Halloween, think twice before you string up dramatic lighting and flashing lights. They can create a fun atmosphere for trick-or-treaters, but it can also cause accidents. Dim lighting can encourage theft by making it difficult to distinguish colors of clothing or recognize facial features. Dim lights also hinder surveillance equipment.

 

Property Risks

Make sure to check the exterior of your building. Extension cords can be a tripping hazard if not secured properly. Confirm that the surrounding walking surfaces (sidewalks, paths etc.) are clear of debris and well lit.

Above all, make sure your insurance policy protects you in the event of candle fires, falls, tainted candy claims, and any other types of Halloween-induced accidents.

 

Hazard Communication

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In the construction industry, one of the top 10 OSHA violations is Hazard Communication.

Failure to recognize hazards, and demonstrate safe practices associated with chemicals can cause serious injuries for yourself, co-workers, and any individual around that area.

Improper practices can lead to chemical burns, respiratory problems, fires and explosions.

To Prevent Incidents:

  • Store chemicals safely and securely.
  • Maintain a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each chemical in the facility and train employees on how to read and use them.
    • Global Harmonization Systems (GHS) internationally categorize chemicals. The GHS includes classification of health, physical and environmental hazards, specifies what information should be on the labels of hazardous chemicals, and safety data sheets. This information is required to readily accessible to employees in languages and/or formats that are clearly understood by all personnel.
  • Follow manufacturer’s SDS instructions for handling hazardous chemicals, and keep them updated as new procedures are published.
  • Provide spill clean-up kits where chemicals are stored and have written spill control plans.
    • Train employees on how to clean up spills, protect themselves and properly dispose of the used materials.
  • Provide proper personal protective equipment and enforce its use.

 

The Hazard Communication program was designed to keep our employee safe and healthy.

Chemical Management for Schools

By | Indoor Environmental Quality, Safety | No Comments

Improper chemical management poses health and safety risks to everyone in schools. While anyone can be effected, health, learning, and behavior risks to students are of primary concern. Children are more vulnerable than adults to chemical hazards because their bodies are still developing.

Health risks aren’t the only risks involved with improper chemical management in schools.

The expenses of improper chemical management can be hundreds of thousands of dollars or more for just a single school. Spills and other incidents are not only costly, but pose potential liabilities and lawsuits. Improper chemical waste management can result in fines, increased insurance premiums, and inflict damage upon the environment. If chemicals contaminate sanitary sewer lines or on-site waste treatment systems, rivers, streams, and groundwater can be poisoned. Spills to the ground can result in considerable remediation costs. While water is first and foremost thought of after a chemical spill, spills can also pollute the air.

Improper chemical management doesn’t only effect people physically.

It only takes one chemical incident to break the trust with the community. School incidents can lead to increased parental and community concern, and embarrassment to the school and school district. This in turn can create negative publicity both locally and nationally.

Lastly, improper chemical management can result in school closures, and that results in a loss of valuable education.

 

Hazardous chemicals aren’t always just laboratory chemicals for science.

Other examples are:

  • Art supplies – paints, stains, inks, glazes, photo processing chemicals
  • Cleaning products, pesticides, fertilizers, and de-icers
  • Solvents, fuels, degreasers, lubricants, oils, antifreeze, adhesives
  • Water treatment chemicals for drinking water and swimming

 

One of the best ways to avoid workplace confusion and prevent chemical incidents is to establish a Global Harmonization System (GHS). These include identifications of all chemicals present in the school, information on proper labeling and storage, potential hazards, and safety procedures for the use, transport, and disposal of chemicals. This chemical inventory also lists the quantities and locations that can be used to reduce the costs when purchasing so no excess chemicals are ordered. Perhaps most importantly, a GHS serves as a reference for school and emergency personnel in the event of an emergency caused by a chemical.

Are you the “AHERA Designated Person”?

By | Asbestos, Safety | No Comments

Are you the “AHERA Designated Person”?

Then you’re in charge of implementing an Asbestos Management Plan.

 

Public school districts and non-profit schools for grades K-12 are required to develop, maintain and update Asbestos Management Plans. These plans document asbestos response actions, locations of the asbestos within schools, and any action taken to repair and remove the material.

Records must be maintained in the Asbestos Management Plan.

The records listed below are required by the EPA to be in the Asbestos Management Plan.

  • Name and address of each school building and whether the building has asbestos-containing building material (ACBM), and the type of asbestos-containing material (ACM).
  • Date of the original school inspection
  • Plan for re-inspections
  • Blueprints that clearly identifies the locations of ACBM that remains in the school
  • Description of any response action or preventive measures taken to reduce asbestos exposure
  • Copy of the analysis of any building, and the name and address of any laboratory that sampled the material
  • Name, address, and telephone number of the “AHERA Designated Person” to ensure the duties of the school district or non-profit private school are carried out
  • Description of steps taken to inform workers, teachers, and students or their legal guardians about inspections, re-inspections, response actions, and periodic surveillance

Baxter Group, Inc. Earns Platinum STEP Award!

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Baxter Group, Inc. is proud to announce

that we have achieved PLATINUM level

for the second year in a row!

The Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) serves as a benchmarking and improvement tool for achieving world-class safety performance in construction. Members measure their safety processes and policies on the 20 key components through a detailed questionnaire and learn to implement or enhance safety programs.

Our 2016 Platinum Award!

2017 Platinum Award Coming in the Fall!

Asbestos: Do, Don’t & Training

By | Asbestos, Baxter Group, Inc., Safety | No Comments

Workers involved in construction, renovation or demolition have a high risk of being exposed to asbestos-containing materials (ACM).

Some of these materials include:

  • Insulation
  • Vinyl floor tiles and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape

While the construction workplace has regulations to protect the workers, those in a maintenance or custodial position may not know what to do if they accidentally disturb ACM.

The EPA offers three types of training for those who do not typically work with asbestos.

 

Type 1: Awareness Training

This training is for maintenance and custodial staff involved in cleaning tasks where ACM may be accidentally disturbed. It is two hours and the topics may include:

  • Background information on asbestos
  • Health effects
  • Worker protection programs
  • Locations of ACM in the building
  • Recognition of ACM damage and deterioration
  • The operations and maintenance program for that building.

 

Type 2: Special Operations and Maintenance Training

This training is for maintenance staff involved in general maintenance and ACM repair. This class is generally at least 14 hours because it involves more detailed discussions of the topics in the Awareness Training along with more complex information such as:

  • Federal, state, and local asbestos regulations
  • Proper asbestos-related work practices
  • Descriptions of the proper methods of handling and disposal of ACM
  • Respirator use, care, and fit-testing
  • Protective clothing donning, use, and handling
  • Hands-on exercises for techniques such as glovebag work and HEPA vacuum use and maintenance
  • Appropriate and proper worker decontamination procedures.

 

Type 3: Abatement Worker Training

This training is for workers who work directly with ACM. These courses range in from 32 to 40 hours. Abatement worker training addresses a variety of specialized topics such as:

  • Pre-asbestos abatement work activities
  • Work area preparation
  • Establishing decontamination units
  • Personal protection, including respirator selection, use, fit-testing, and protective clothing
  • Worker decontamination procedures
  • Safety considerations in the abatement work area
  • A series of practical hands-on exercises
  • Proper handling and disposal of ACM wastes.

The EPA lists a few Do’s and Don’ts:

DO 

  • Do leave undamaged asbestos-containing materials alone.
  • Do keep activities to a minimum in any areas having damaged material that may contain asbestos, including limiting children’s access to any materials that may contain asbestos.
  • Do take every precaution to avoid damaging asbestos-containing material.

DON’T

  • Don’t dust, sweep, or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos.
  • Don’t saw, sand, scrape, or drill holes in ACM.
  • Don’t use abrasive pads or brushes on power strippers to strip wax from asbestos flooring. Never use a power stripper on flooring that may contain asbestos.
  • Don’t sand or try to level asbestos flooring or its backing. When asbestos flooring needs replacing install new floor covering over it, if possible.
  • Don’t track material that could contain asbestos through the house or building. If you cannot avoid walking through the area, have it cleaned with a wet mop. If the material is from a damaged area or if a large area must be cleaned, contact an asbestos professional.

National Pet Fire Safety Day

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The American Kennel Club in association with ADT Security Services declared National Pet Fire Safety Day in 2009, and it is observed annually on July 15th. Just like fire drills, pets need consideration when preparing for unexpected fire emergencies.

PET FIRE SAFETY TIPS

  • Extinguish open flames. Pets can be curious and not cautious. Wagging tails can accidentally knock over candles. Curious cats will paw at sizzling grease, quickly sending a kitchen up in flames.
  • If possible, remove knobs from the stove when not in use. They can accidentally get turned on.
  • Replace glass water bowls with metal or plastic bowls outside on wooden decks. They can heat up and start a fire.
  • Store leashes and collars near the entrance of your home. When away, keep your pets in the main living area for easy rescue.
  • Fire alert window clings help firefighters identifying the room your pets are located and identify the number of pets in the home. Add one to the window of the room you keep your pets when you are away. Keep it updated with the number of pets who reside with you and your current phone number.
  • Have a plan. Decide which family members will be responsible for each pet.

Sustaining Healthy Indoor Air Quality During Emergencies

By | Indoor Air Quality, Safety | No Comments

Summer has rolled in and for those of us in a region of hot and humid summers, thunder is rolling as well. While a big booming thunderstorm can be fun to watch, it’s not so fun when the power goes out. It goes dark, you can’t cook, the air conditioning is off and the food in the refrigerator might spoil. The EPA provides information about how to keep your indoor air quality healthy during an emergency.

Lighting:

Use flashlights or batter powered lanterns if possible.

If you do use candles, make sure the area is ventilated. Candles emit combustion products and can be a fire hazard.

Portable Generators that use fuels such as gasoline, natural gas or kerosene give off toxic fumes that are hazardous and could kill you in minutes if not used correctly.

Do Not:

  • Do not use portable generators inside your house, garage, on balconies, near doors, vents or windows. Do not use portable generators near where you or family are sleeping.

Do:

  • Use portable generators outside, and far away from your home or buildings.
  • Consider a rechargeable power source such as solar powered generators or batteries.

Cooking:

 

Do Not:

  • Do not use barbecues, hibachis, camp stoves, or any other non-vented combustion appliances to cook indoors. Combustion appliances produce toxic fumes, such as carbon monoxide.

Do:

  • Use a vented fireplace or a vented wood or other fuel burning stove, if it is set up for cooking.