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By RWLS Safety, Jun 8 2018 04:30AM

Though it may seem like a pretty unremarkable role, one of the most important people at any road construction or repair site is the one in charge of slowing down or stopping drivers before it’s too late. While the other workers manage materials and equipment, the flagger has the mission critical role of looking out for the safety of workers, equipment, and everyone on the road. Which means the flagger on all projects should be professionally trained.

What Does a Flagger Do?

Flaggers are the first workers that drivers will see when they approach a work zone. They are there to protect drivers, but function as the eyes and ears of the work crew as well. Although signs should be posted well in advance to warn drivers of construction ahead, many people behind the wheel are often so familiar with a patch of road that they aren’t really paying attention until the actions of the flagger catch their eyes.

In addition to controlling the flow of traffic, flaggers normally guide drivers safely around the construction zone and communicate with the work crew about when it safe for them the cross over the line into clear traffic lanes.

Traffic Control Safety Measures

Flaggers can must have an understanding of the entire construction site including all road signs alerting drivers to what’s ahead and other safety measures such as:

1. Reflective vests in bright construction orange or yellow,

2. Flashing lights atop mobile barricades,

3. Concrete dividers,

4. Mirror posts,

5. Traffic cones,

6. Barrier tape,

7. Flares for low light conditions

Dangers That Come with Flagging

Drivers don’t like being delayed and they are likely to be irritated. As the only one on the construction crew that drivers are likely to interact with, flaggers take the brunt of frustration from drivers. The most serious hazards that comes with flagging duty are tiny lapses of attention and drivers who don’t react swiftly enough. The vast majority of rear end collisions happen around construction zones, and that can trigger a chain reaction that could endanger the entire construction crew. Remember that the longer the line of cars in front of you, the more likely that kind of collision becomes.

Learn more about flagger training and certification requirements, visit the RWLS Safety website or attend one of our safety courses.

By RWLS Safety, May 8 2018 04:30AM

When it comes to safety, one of the most effective ways to reduce job site injuries is proper training on equipment. Tele(telescopic)handlers require skilled operators that can maneuver the vehicle, manage heavy loads, and adeptly handle the machine controls. The best way for an operator to safely maneuver a sky boom and meet safety requirements is to become certified. Here are six ways telehandler certification can create a safer working environment.

1. OSHA Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific safety requirements across all environments in the workplace, including the operation of telehandlers. Workplaces can avoid heavy fines and legal action by requiring all machine operators to become certified in specific equipment.

2. Steering and Maneuvering

Certification and OSHA requirements create a safer environment for proper steering and maneuvering. Operators who go through certification training will be able to manage proper starting and stopping, mounting and dismounting, operation speeds, steering, safe traveling, parking, managing a heavy load on an incline, and tip-over in a way that is safe and effective.

3. Individual Machine Controls

Beyond the maneuvering of the vehicle from one place to another on a job site, the operator needs to be adept at handling the individual controls of the machine and manage any loads on the lift.

4. Reading a Sky Boom Loading Chart

With every load that the telehandler transports, there is a level of skill that comes with understanding the capabilities of the equipment to handle the load. To properly and safely operate a sky boom, a skilled driver must understand and be able to correctly read a loading chart. By using the Load Ratings and Range Diagram, an operator can safely calculate whether or not the forklift is loaded properly.

5. Pre-Use Inspections

One of the more important ways of reducing safety concerns is checking over the machine before operation. A pre-use inspection can help with the overall maintenance and allow for skilled operators to see potential problems long before the equipment is used.

6. Hands-On Exercises

Repetition and practice are the keys to mastering a skill. Certification or recertification on a telehandler allows an operator to engage in hands-on exercises to increase comfort in the tasks and expand an operator's knowledge base.

Overall, certification on a telehandler reduces safety concerns, increases an operator's skill set, and helps ensure that equipment is handled with care.

There are lots of different types of telehandler on job sites across the world; the 3 most common being fixed boom, rotational, and heavy lift telehandlers. It is important that personnel obtain training appropriate to the types of telehandler equipment they will be operating. Are you in need of telehandler training and certification? RWLS Safety is here to help! We travel to your site and train certify on your equipment. Contact us at 570-404-8420 to get started.

By RWLS Safety, Apr 29 2018 04:30AM

When it comes to workplace accidents or injuries, it is important to gather information about how the incident took place. The information that is gathered is used for both resolving the incident itself and making changes to prevent future safety concerns. One effective way of gathering and using information is to perform a Root Cause Analysis (RCA).

What is a Root Cause Analysis?

Root Cause Analysis is a proven method for examining the circumstances that happened prior to an issue is an effective way to gather information in an incident investigation. Using Root Cause Analysis, you will have a systematic process that identifies where the root of the issue began, and help you develop effective processes to prevent future issues.

Using a RCA you will examine what happened, how it happened, and why it happened using the proven RCA method. One of the main principles of using RCA is focusing on corrective measures of the root cause rather than repeatedly treating the symptoms of a recurring problem.

How To Initiate an RCA for Incident Investigation

One of the first things to do is define the problem itself. Once you understand that you can begin to collect information on any issues or events that contributed to the incident including causal factors and root causes.

Best Practices for Gathering Data and Defining Root Causes

As you review the incident you will collect various types of information and you will want to organize it in a way that is useful and effective. You can define a problem by creating a cause and effect tree or a cause map. Each utilizes the information you have gathered to drill down until you define the root causes of a problem. It is a visual working document that lets you know where you need more information and where there are many layers that contributed to the incident that you are investigating.

Looking Forward and Avoiding Future Incidents

One of the key aspects of Root Cause Analysis is going beyond simply identifying a problem and looking forward by using the analysis to prevent future incidents. You want to create solutions that are effective and change how people approach their work making things safer for the future.

Overall, performing a Root Cause Analysis for incidents will allow you to assess the problem, figure out where it is rooted and implement effective strategies to prevent future issues.

If your workers need Root Cause Analysis training, you can trust the professionals at RWLS Safety to help you gain the necessary knowledge.

By RWLS Safety, Apr 12 2018 03:30AM

Aerial lifts are a crucial piece of equipment that has effectively replaced ladders and scaffolding on many job sites. They are a category of equipment which includes vertical towers, aerial ladders, and extendable boom platforms. Workers in industries that use these types of equipment must use care to use the aerial platforms effectively and safely.

Are Your Operators Using This Equipment Safely?

Man lifts provide easy access to work on construction and repair projects at high elevations. Even though aerial lifts provide a lot more flexibility and mobility than ladders and scaffolding, they must be used with caution to protect the operator and other personnel working around the lift. Fortunately, training programs are the best way to teach aerial lift operators to use the controls on these systems while engaging in the safe behaviors.

The Essential Aspects of Aerial Platform Training

One of the essential aspects of aerial platform training is how you can correctly use manual deceleration in emergency situations. This immediately overrides the machine to lower the manual lift in case of an emergency. Simply being able to correctly use manual deceleration in emergency situations can prevent many dangerous and life-threatening accidents.

Scissor lifts are another common piece of aerial lift equipment. Often used in industrial settings, scissor lifts are powered by hydraulics, diesel or electric motors. OSHA classifies scissor lifts as mobile scaffolds instead of aerial devices. However, even though scissor lifts are not officially considered aerial devices, being trained on aerial lifts can still prevent potential accidents in a workplace setting.

How You Can Help Prevent Serious Accidents

Some of the most serious accidents that can result from using aerial lifts include electric shock, contact with overhead objects, and body or limb crushing entanglement. Falls are by far the greatest risk, which can cause paralysis or even immediate death. These accidents are more likely to occur when employees are not correctly trained in how to use the controls of these machines. Not only can this result in tragedy for the employees involved, it can also present major liabilities for your company.

Keep Your Employees Current

Workers who use these lifts must be trained in their correct use. Employees often need to be retrained in the proper use of aerial lifts on a periodic basis, especially if it has been a long time since initial training. Retraining is also a good investment after a workplace incident. The men and women who bravely sign up to work at high heights deserve the best training we can offer.

We specialize in comprehensive, versatile workplace instruction like aerial lift training and can provide on-site options to reduce downtime. Contact the knowledgeable staff at RWLS Safety at 570-404-8420 to learn more.


By RWLS Safety, Mar 27 2018 03:50PM

Fall arrest is a type of fall protection that both causes a falling person to stop falling in a safe manner and helps to decrease the chances of someone falling in the first place. Fall arrest training is often given to employees who are at elevated heights in their work environment.

What are the Types of Fall Arrest Systems?

There are 2 main types of systems that aid in fall protection.

Fall Restraint Systems. These systems keep you from falling. They include guardrails, lifelines, and safety lanyards.

Fall Arrest Systems. On the other hand, these systems stop you as you fall. Fall arrest systems include equipment like nets.

What Equipment is Used?

Both fall restraint and arrest systems have durable equipment that workers must be trained with and use at all times.

Passive Fall Protection: This type of equipment is not directly in contact with workers, but still helps to keep them from falling from tall heights. This protection includes rooftop and portable guardrails, warning lines, and skylight and roof hatch railings.

Anchors: There are many options for anchor equipment. Deadweight anchors are a type of lifeline that can be placed on a level surface and keep workers from reaching the edge. Anchor points are installed into the roof and can then be used to tie lanyards, lifelines, and other tie-off equipment. These can be permanent or temporary, but both are vital to keeping employees safe at elevated heights.

Safety Harnesses and Lanyards: Harnesses allow workers to connect themselves to anchor points and lifelines so they keep from falling. Workers are connected to anchor points by utilizing lanyards.

Lifelines: There are different types of lifeline equipment, but they all help stop falls. Retracting lifelines immediately stop a fall with a breaking mechanism. These types of lifelines eliminate dangerous slack because the line retracts back up into the mechanism. Horizontal and vertical lifelines are also helpful when railings are not an option.

What do You Learn in Fall Arrest Training?

Fall restraint and arrest training is important for you and your coworkers safety. Various topics of importance are covered in a training session, but here are some of the main topics often covered.

- Ladder safety.

- When and how to use safety equipment like nets, guardrails, and lifelines.

- Legal requirements.

- Height requirements for using a harness and other equipment.

- Limitations when working near boundaries.

- The fundamentals of a fall restraint and a fall arrest system.

- Load testing when regarding nets, railings, and other equipment.

Gaining training in fall arrest can save your life, but using fall protection without training could be disastrous. Make sure you are properly trained before using any fall protection equipment.


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