Tagged: Safety Tips
- by Christina Hryniuk
Noise is a common health hazard in the workplace. Exposure to loud noises can cause stress. It also makes it difficult for people to talk in a workplace. Prolonged exposure to excessive levels of noise can result in permanent hearing loss. That’s why it’s important to test the levels of noise.
What high noise levels do to you
When the eardrum vibrates, it moves three tiny bones in your middle ear. This movement transmits the vibration to fluid in your inner ear. The movement of this fluid is then picked up by tiny hair cells that transfer the movement to nerves. The nerves send signals to your brain where they are recognized as sound.
Exposure to high-decibel sound for a long time can eventually damage the tiny hair cells. As a result, fewer signals are sent to the brain and you don’t hear as well because the hair cells can’t be replaced or restored. The damage is permanent.
When can sound be harmful and for how long?
It depends on the intensity of the sound. Most sounds made by people and in nature are harmless even over a long period of time. Loud sound, however, can damage your hearing after long exposure.
If people are exposed repeatedly and for long periods, sound may start to be harmful at about 80 dBA. A 10-decibel increase to 90 dBA means the sound is 10 times more intense. As sound levels increase, exposure times for workers must be reduced.
In Manitoba, a three decibel per doubling rule is used. That exposure means for every three dBA increase in the noise exposure above 85 dBA, the worker’s exposure duration must be reduced by one-half without exceeding the exposure limit.
The Use of Noise Dosimeters
During the assessment a worker will wear a noise dosimeter for their shift, which will measure their noise exposure through the day and give them their average noise exposure. A worker’s average noise exposure is used to determine if they are exposed to noise over 80 dBA.
Employers must post written reports of these assessments in a visible location at the workplace, ideally on the safety and bulletin board. All workers then must be informed and trained on the noise level they will experience at work and the hazards that presents.
Another useful feature is that they will log the noise data so when downloaded to a computer, the time history of noise can be viewed. This gives the ability to analyze when and where high noise exposures occur.
RPM Trucking Industry Safety has five dosimeters that they lend to members for noise level assessments. If you want to become a member, you must register to become SAFE Work Certified. For more information on getting certified contact us.
- by Christina Hryniuk
Truck drivers are exposed to risks of injury that are often preventable, however workplace injuries do happen and they land you in the hospital. It may seem like common knowledge for the tips below, but some may need a reminder.
Slips, trips, and falls
Last year 97 Manitoba truck drivers fell off a non-moving vehicle. Over 5 years, roughly 500 people in the industry fell as well. In fact, the single biggest cause of falls from a vehicle is driver error and failure to follow the 3-point contact rule.
Here is a refresher on how to stay clear of workplace injuries.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are working on ramps, gang planks without skid- or slip resistant surfaces, dock boards, dock plates, construction plates, running boards, and ladders.
Remember that metal is slippery because of its lower force of friction and traction. Metal surfaces such as running boards, platforms on equipment and ladders, can become smooth and slippery with wear.
When you are working around a flat deck truck there are some key things to be mindful of. For one, make sure to clean your shoes/boots of any mud, snow, ice, or grease. You will also need to make sure the running boards, treads, steps, footholds, and platforms are clean and dry.
Other things to do:
- Have a secure grip on the handhold before stepping up.
- Don’t climb down with something in your free hand. Put it on the floor and reach for it when you are on the ground.
- Always be aware of your surroundings and any obstacles around you.
When you are mounting and dismounting maintain 3-point contact while getting on and off the equipment until you reach the ground, cab, or stable platform. This means one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot must always be on the equipment.
It may seem obvious, but don’t jump down when getting off the bed of your truck or other part of the equipment. Carefully step down while facing the equipment.
You must stay vigilant on the road because its likely that a non-commercial driver will be distracted by either their phone, eating, drinking, or in a rush. So, it’s vital to remember to avoid tarping or re-securing loads on the side of the road. Rest stops and parking lots are more suitable to make sure your load is secured correctly.
When on the road, remember to use your high-visibility outerwear. The more visible you are, the less likely it will be for you to become a victim of distracted drivers.
Making pre-trip inspections may seem tedious but necessary. You shouldn’t just go through the motions when doing a pre-trip inspection because you will overlook something such as a worn tie-down or bungee that’s about to break. This will harm you or people around you.
Secure your load with a heavy tarp, tie down straps, and/or bungee cords. If you use bungee cords, be sure to hook them facing away from the tarp.
Safety is important to RPM. This post wasn’t to have you make any ground breaking revelations but bring these simple guidelines forward for you to be mindful on the road.
For more tips, information, or to register to one of our courses, or inquire about safety certification for you or your company, contact us today.