How to Prevent Welding Fires

Toolbox Talk – How to Prevent Welding Fires

Date: ____________________________________

Supervisor: _______________________________

Company Name: _____________________________

Job Name: ______________________________

Welding is a dangerous job. No matter how experienced a welder is, he still is working with extreme temperatures, hazardous fumes, and flammable materials. According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015, more than 500,000 workers are injured every year due to welding accidents. This is not a small number. Although welding can cause a large array of accidents and injuries, there is nothing more catastrophic than fire. In this week’s Toolbox Talk, we’ll take a look at welding fires and some effective strategies for their prevention.

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Electrical Hazards

Toolbox Talk – Electrical Hazards

Date: ____________________________________

Supervisor: _______________________________

Company Name: _____________________________

Job Name: ______________________________

Construction sites have a great capacity for electrical hazards. Electricity is used as a power supply for tools, for lighting, and for the operation of machinery. Additionally, electricity exists as infrastructure that runs through walls, underground, and in suspended power lines. Essentially, electricity is all around us, and if we aren’t careful we can face the risk of electrocution. Electrocution is especially dangerous because it can cause loss of consciousness. If a worker is in a precarious position, this loss of consciousness can result in a fall or other physical accident.

In today’s Toolbox Talk, we will take a close look at the different ways we can receive an electric shock, as well as ways to avoid electrical hazards.

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The Effects of Weather

Toolbox Talk – The Effects of Weather

Date: ____________________________________

Supervisor: _______________________________

Company Name: _____________________________

Job Name: ______________________________

Every contractor must contend with the weather. Regardless of where or when we work, how much money we make, or which client we snag, we have no control over the weather. We can plan and monitor forecasts all we want, but no amount of preparation can prevent a sudden downpour or bout of intense winds. Therefore, we must always create our construction sites with the weather in mind: we must build in anticipation of the worst, and we must bring supplies that will help protect our bodies and equipment in any scenario.

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Excavations

Toolbox Talk – Excavations

Date: ____________________________________

Supervisor: _______________________________

Company Name: _____________________________

Job Name: ______________________________

There are many tasks in the construction industry that require the removal of earth. This process, known as excavation, can be very dangerous. Cave-ins and slough-offs are significant causes of death every year in the field of construction. With this week’s Toolbox Talk, you can review the process of excavation with your employees and make sure that they always follow proper guidelines when performing this kind of work.

Guidelines for Discussion:

Whenever we create an excavation, there are specific rules that we must follow to protect the safety of everyone involved. Excavations can be very dangerous if their sides aren’t properly shored, if they haven’t been checked for hazardous gases, and if they haven’t been thoroughly inspected by a competent person.

Let’s go over the basics of excavation, so that we all know the steps involved in working safety.

Before an excavation:

  • Check for underground utilities. Call the companies that operate local utilities, and check with the property owner. If you do not check before digging, you can disrupt a line, which damages the local infrastructure and causes delays.
  • Scan the area for potential overhead hazards. Is there a chance of falling rock, soil, or other materials?
  • Check the surrounding area and construction site. Make a mental note if there is heavy equipment operating near the excavation area. How deep will your excavation be, and will this be safe with the distance and weight of the heavy equipment?
  • Plan for how many people will work inside the excavation.
  • Create an escape plan for the workers inside the excavation. Make sure this escape plan will be effective in the event of a cave-in or slide.
  • Perform a soil analysis. Compare the soil to your excavation plan - can you perform the type of protective system necessary for the soil type?

While excavating:

  • If you create an excavation with a depth of 5 feet or more, you must use a protective system such as shoring or shielding.
  • Never store excavated or other materials closer than two feet from the edge of the excavation. The accumulated weight can cause a cave-in.
  • Install access ladders at twenty-five foot intervals for all excavations 4 feet or more in depth.
  • Meet with all employees who will work in the excavation, and thoroughly review the escape plan.
  • Install a guardrail system to protect nearby civilians and employees, especially if there are walkways or bridges crossing over an excavation.

When you are working with an excavation, you must have a competent person onsite to approve the trench protective system and perform daily site inspections. Follow all suggestions and guidance provided by the competent person. Most cave-ins are preventable if an excavation is inspected daily and properly maintained.

Possible causes of cave-ins:

  • Failure of protective systems and equipment.
  • Hazardous atmosphere.
  • Heavy rain or snow.
  • Nearby construction or other man-made interference.

Additionally, the competent person must test the atmosphere of excavations 4 feet or deeper. This checks for for potentially hazardous gases and oxygen deficiency. If, while working, an employee suspects the excavation of being oxygen deficient or containing hazardous gas, exit the excavation and call the competent person immediately.

Additional Discussion Notes:

Who is the official competent person within your company? Name him/her.

What tools/materials can your employees use when creating barriers and warning devices around the side of an excavation?

Safety Recommendations: _____________________

Job Specific Topics: ___________________________

Material Data Sheet (MDS) Reviewed: ____________

Attendees:

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Disclaimer

The information contained within this document (both the online and downloadable version) is provided for informational purposes only. Nobody shall take this as a comprehensive or exhaustive resource on this topic. This material is believed to be accurate, however, the information has been compiled from multiple sources, and so Industrial Compliance & Safety assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of this information. We encourage you to consult experts about this specific Toolbox Talk to ensure you are compliant with any and all safety regulations and processes. In no event does the content of this document supersede any applicable local, state, or federal statutes or regulations.

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Barricades and Warning Devices

Toolbox Talk – Barricades and Warning Devices

Date: ____________________________________

Supervisor: _______________________________

Company Name: _____________________________

Job Name: ______________________________

There are two main types of construction work that typically require a great deal of public protection. These are 1) new residential developments and 2) highway work. Both of these jobs require that you modify the existing traffic patterns and, more importantly, the existing driving habits of the public. Typically, you must plan your communication with the public through strategically placed warning devices. This can be a rather tricky task. With this Toolbox Talk, we will go over the best ways to use of barricades and signs.

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The Rules of the Spotter

Toolbox Talk – The Rules of the Spotter

Date: ____________________________________

Supervisor: _______________________________

Company Name: _____________________________

Job Name: ______________________________

Most construction sites rely on a wide variety of vehicles and heavy equipment, from semi-trucks to bulldozers. These large vehicles require skilled, qualified drivers. However, even the most skilled driver could benefit from the assistance of a spotter. Large vehicles have many blind spots, and it is always helpful to have a person on the outside to safely scan and guide the driver - especially during difficult tasks such as backing up. With this Toolbox Talk, we will review the role of a spotter within a construction site, and what they should remember when in this position.

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Working Safely with Heavy Equipment

Toolbox Talk – The Importance of Personal Protective Equipment

Date: ____________________________________

Supervisor: _______________________________

Company Name: _____________________________

Job Name: ______________________________

Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as safety goggles or steel-toe boots, are standard in any contractor worksite. Because contractors work with a wide array of tools and materials, they need special equipment to protect them from various hazards. Although PPE may be introduced when workers are learning safe operating procedures in their initial training, this can fall to the wayside once workers are more comfortable working onsite. It may seem like a hassle to find and wear protective eyewear when performing a quick soldering job, or it may seem like a hassle to find and put on gloves when lifting a wooden pallet. However, accidents occur when they are least expected, and proper PPE presents a formidable barrier between safety and harm.

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Working Safely with Heavy Equipment

Toolbox Talk – Working Safely with Heavy Equipment

Date: ____________________________________

Supervisor: _______________________________

Company Name: _____________________________

Job Name: ______________________________

Even though your employees all went through training before they could work on-site, it is never a bad idea to refresh their memories and review safety practices. Heavy equipment, such as a bulldozer or a crane, is especially dangerous due to its size, weight, and complex operating procedures. With this Toolbox Talk, you can make sure that your employees both operate and work around heavy machinery with safety as their top priority.

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Accident-Investigation

Toolbox Talk – Accident Investigation Responsibilities

Date: ____________________________________

Supervisor: _______________________________

Company Name: _____________________________

Job Name: ______________________________

It is important to have a thorough structure in place for accident investigations. If management, supervisors, and employees know their roles in the aftermath of an accident, then the cause of the accident can be quickly identified and corrected. When everyone clearly understand their responsibilities after an accident, then the entire company can work together to make the workplace safer for all. Additionally, using critical thinking skills in accident investigations can sharpen your employees’ awareness, and nudge them to use the same skills to recognize potential hazards in the future.

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