Hey, What Does This Mean?

Last week I ran into a contractor who was repairing concrete using a 2 part epoxy in a water reservoir. He had a traditional 4 gas monitor operating inside and was wearing particulate respirators for the dust (silica) hazard. However nothing was protecting the workers from the ethylene glycol, one of the main components in both parts of the epoxy. The lack of knowledge (both the supervisor and the Attendant) regarding the ethylene glycol translated into no protection from the acid gases released during the mixing and curing process.

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Hazard Controls GTA

Hazard Controls

The terms “unsafe” has come up a few times in the last few weeks and I’d like to take the opportunity to speak to this. When someone says they believe a situation is “unsafe and wants to shutdown the job”, I become very nervous. I’m nervous because I’m hearing (right or wrong) “you’re afraid”. I can understand the fear. You may have never seen the job before or you may not agree with the safeguards being taken. Fear is OK. However, the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that competent people plan and organize the work as well as acquaint you with the hazards and the controls. So, my questions are, did we get the right people planning and organizing the job? Secondly, did they do their job?

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Measuring Hazards in Barrie

Measuring Hazards

The other day one of our teams was attending a client going into an empty tank.  Our team wanted to take a number of precautions whereas the client did not. The team was concerned that the client was taking unnecessary risks.  The client, on the other hand, thought we were going overboard. This conflict was created because of how each party got to their point of view. The point of this blog is to explain how to measure hazards better.  Having a proper understanding of how hazards are measured prevents these misunderstandings and helps everyone working with hazards be on the same page.

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