Confined Space Attendant and Fall Protection

Consider for a moment the issue of fall protection and the confined space attendant overseeing entry operations for workers in a vault or manhole (top down entry). A question I often ask our students is: "Does the confined space attendant need to be tied off?" That is, if the fall hazard is greater than four feet (which it almost always is), does OSHA require the attendant to use some sort of fall protection? In this imaginary scenario we need … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson October 18, 2016
Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Confined Space Reclassification: Facts and Myths

Few topics elicit as much confusion as the reclassification of permit-required confined spaces, also referred to (more appropriately as using alternate entry procedures). People want to know if we should control hazards or eliminate them? Or both? Can we weld or grind in a reclassified space? Can we permanently reclassify? What are the benefits? Can I reclassify if there's a fall hazard? Anyone responsible for developing or maintaining a confined … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson November 6, 2015
Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Scaffolds and Excavations: When is Close Too Close?

On a construction site we often need to position some workers above the ground and others below. So we often find scaffolds erected near excavations. While no one would intentionally place a scaffold leg on the lip of an excavation both the excavation competent person and the scaffold competent person (yes, both scaffolds and excavations require competent persons) should be able to answer the question: how close is too close? (If you are … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson November 6, 2015
Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Fall Arrest Anchors: Strong Enough or Not?

If a fall arrest anchor can't withstand the forces generated, nothing else matters. But when a worker clips in, how can they be assured that the anchor will function if and when it's needed? This is essentially a quality assurance question and assuring quality requires a variety of processes, none of which are complicated but each are required to make the system work. In this blog we have broken the processes down into various steps with the … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson June 24, 2015
Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Confined Space Train the Trainer UPDATED!

For the last five or so years we have enjoyed considerable success with Version 3 of our Confined Space Entrant, Attendant, and Entry Supervisor curriculum. Nonetheless, we are excited to release Version 4.  On July 14-15, 2015 in Medford, Oregon we will be holding our first train-the-trainer seminar using Version 4 of our confined space training materials. This class is being held in association with the Southern Oregon Chapter of the ASSE … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson November 6, 2015
Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

The Engineer Says: “Excavation is Safe.” Is it?

Is an Excavation Safe Because a Soil Engineer Says It Is? Would you work at the toe of a nine-foot vertical wall of dirt with no protective system? Hopefully your answer is 'no.' But what if you received a letter from a soils engineer who had evaluated the composition of the dirt and declared it safe? What if the engineer (his stamp on the letter) asserted that, "The near vertical cut consists of very dense glacial till which can remain stable … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson July 8, 2014
Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

D2000 Safety to Attend Blue Mountain Occupational Safety & Health Conference

2014 Blue Mountain Safety Conference Hope to see you at the upcoming Blue Mountain Safety Conference in Pendleton, Oregon on June 3, 2014. We invite you to stop by our vendor booth and meet our Safety Services Manager/Forklift Instructor, Bruce Hulberg. Then test your skill on our remote control forklift obstacle/basketball course, view our Forklift Bloopers video, enter a drawing to win a remote control forklift, and sign up for our free … [Read more...]

Bruce Hulberg February 9, 2016
Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Intent of the OSHA Standard: Important or Not?

Understanding the importance of the intent of the OSHA standard. We spend a fair amount of time fielding questions about confined space, fall protection and excavation safety. Most of time people describe a scenario and ask us whether we would consider it safe or compliant. Generally their questions hinge on an activity that is not directly addressed by the OSHA regulations. As a trainer and consultant I rarely tell them that something is … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson July 9, 2014
Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Scissors Lift Fall Protection Questions

Does working on a scissors lift require fall protection? Recently a vigorous online discussion erupted over this question when it was asked on an online message board. When I last checked over 140 people had expressed a wide variety of fact and opinion. The question itself was simple to answer: "No, OSHA doesn't require an employee to use fall protection when using a scissors lift (i.e., work platform that cannot be positioned completely … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson July 9, 2014
Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Heat Stress

Are you at elevated risk for heat stress?  During these dog days, heat stress can be a big problem.  Heat causes our bodies to undergo physical changes such as changes in our circulation.  More blood flows to the skin and less flows to the kidneys and other organs. Also, heart-rate increases to maintain adequate blood pressure.  In addition to PPE use, exertion, time of day, and humidity, other factors that can increase your chances of a heat … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson April 17, 2014
Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF