Bench Vice Safety

Sometimes we overlook the simplest tools. Just because something is not a power tool or pneumatic, doesn’t mean we still can’t get hurt if we use it incorrectly. Take a hammer for example, the most basic of tools and yet people get hurt every day by them. So, today we are going to quickly go over bench vices; a great tool if used properly. So, let’s jump into the do’s and don’ts.

Make sure your vice is attached properly. It should be secured firmly with bolts and lock washers. Never weld a vice to the table or bench. Always check the vice prior to use for any cracks or damage. Do not use if there are signs of either. Do not attempt to fix the damage by welding. Replace parts as needed, such as damaged jaws or a broken or bent handle. Make sure the threads are clean and well oiled, if they are not, do so yourself before use. Support your work piece (especially if cutting). You don’t want to add extra strain on the vice and you can’t be dropping work pieces… That’s a new hazard all on its own. I know most of us are guilty of hammering the handle to get that extra grip, but don’t! And last but definitely not least, always wear your PPE!

Crushing It

Shutdown Season Part 2

Like I mentioned earlier, the hours and shifts are long…. very long. Working 12 hour days on a 21 day shift (with a random day off in camp) can completely drain you. 12 hour days are hard enough, but when you’re doing it  for a week or two straight, you start to feel like a zombie. When you become that sleep deprived; you are at greater risk for an incident. Make sure you get to bed early. Working a shutdown isn’t the time to stay up all night trading stories with a coworker. Be sure you are eating a healthy, balanced diet. This will help keep your energy up. Also try and fit in some sort of physical activity. This could be a full workout or a 20 walk. This will boost your energy and help you sleep. Try and avoid caffeine. I know this is a tough one when your alarm is blaring at 4:30 AM, but you’ll end up more tired in the long run.

Working a maintenance shutdown will almost always include working in confined spaces and practicing LOTO (lock out tag out). Be sure your tickets are up to date and you feel comfortable with these hazards. If you’re not, tell your supervisor. They can partner you with someone more experienced to show you the ropes and help you be more comfortable. If you’re a veteran around these hazards, help workers that aren’t. Remember, you were once there too! Doing a maintenance job is not the time to have an ego about the rookies. Keep in mind, their mistake could be everyone’s problem, so just give some friendly advice or a helping hand.

Working a shutdown can be tough! You have the long hours, the extra people everywhere (seriously you can’t get away from all the people anywhere) grueling days of physical labor, the isolation from friends and family and the camp food (okay some are pretty good). It can be a rough go. However; you need to take care of yourself, get a good night’s rest, proper meals and keep your mind on the job. If you do that, I promise your shift will end and you’ll have a ton of dough to throw around after.

Donning and Doffing a Full Body Harness

This video shows the proper donning and doffing procedure for a full body harness. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to put-on, check fit, and take-off a safety harness used for fall protection.

Eye Bolts – Rigging and Signalling

Eye bolts are essential devices used in many lifting operations; but eye bolt failures continue to cause incidents especially when used for angular lifts. Here is a short video that gives valuable information every rigger should know when using eye bolts in their rigging operations.

How to Tie Knots (Bowline, Square, and Hitch Knots)

This video contains step-by-step instructions and video demonstrations for tying the bowline, square and hitch (clove hitch and half hitch) knots.

OH&S Act 2018 – Obligations of Worksite Parties

This short clip gives a brief overview of the 2018 OH&S Act in terms of the obligations of Worksite Parties (employers, supervisors, and workers) that came into effect on June 1, 2018.

Shutdown Season Part 1

For us trades people, shutdown season is a little love-hate. Lots of hard work, tons of hours and crazy long shifts… Usually in camp. On the plus side… It’s a ton of money. So much so, some workers just chase shutdowns, only work a few a year and are set for the rest of the year. However; for the rest of us, that may not be used to working a shutdown, there are a few extra hazards we should go over.

There will be way more people on site and in camp than usual. These sites are losing money every day they are shut down for maintenance, so they understandably want to get as much work done as possible every day. There will be almost every trade working side by side in the same area. You need to safely work around each other and communicate with one another. This isn’t the time to start the “which trade is better?” discussion. This is the time to make sure you’re all on the same page so no one gets hurt. A lot of calls and postings go out for these jobs, so you will have some newbies on site. Make sure you set the example and help them out. A “green as grass” worker is more likely to get injured or cause an incident, so look out for them. There will also be more sub contractors, they may not be green workers, but they may not have been to this site before. It doesn’t hurt to help them out if they need it too. Check out our next post as we continue to go over shutdowns.

Lift Truck Training

When the Supervisor isn’t there

We are all basically safety officers when the white hats around, right? Anytime a foreman or a legit safety officer is in the vicinity, we all take extra care to do everything so safely. For some workers though, as soon as no white hat is in sight, it’s back to their same old ways. How does that make any sense? If we can be safe in front of supervisors to save our jobs, you’d think we would want to be safe all the time to save… I don’t know…. OUR LIVES! Safety isn’t just for when the foreman is roaming site. It absolutely should be an everyday, all the time part of your job. Keep this in mind the next time you’re about to take a risk… Ask yourself “would I do this in front of the foreman or superintendent?” If the answer is no… then don’t do it even if they are nowhere around. Act like you’re always being bird dogged if needed. Be the worker that is safe even when the supervisor is nowhere to be seen. Set the example.