E How to Overcome Engulfment Hazards In This Issue

Making California Workplaces Safer
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Issue Two 2012
How to Overcome Engulfment Hazards
In This Issue
Feature Articles
How to Overcome
Engulfment Hazards
Cold Stress
Did You Know?
The Dangers of
Tick-borne Diseases
From Our Expert
Natural Rubber Latex
Safety Meeting
Spray Safely
ngulfment hazards are prevalent on many
jobsites. Engulfment occurs when a worker
is surrounded and overcome by a granular
substance such as soil, sand, gravel, sawdust,
seed, grain, flour, or submerged in a liquid such
as water or a chemical.
Engulfment is caused by:
• Physicalhazardswhenmaterialhas
• Respiratoryhazardssuchassuffocation
On the construction site, engulfment hazards
may occur in trenches or excavation pits when
a cave-in or soil collapse engulfs a worker.
Trenches or open pits should have an adequate
number of exit ladders, daily safety inspections,
and should include safety engineering such as
proper shoring and sloping.
“Workers should not stand, climb
or walk on piles of materials
without safety equipment like a
hoist or a body harness.”
Workers should not stand, climb or walk on
piles of materials without safety equipment like
a hoist or a body harness. The hoist operator
should pay out and retrieve excess line to
maintain reasonable tautness. The hoist should
be able to stop and hold any expected load,
including the possible impact of a fall.
Workers should be instructed on the hazards
of over-sized containers and storage bins at
the work site as well as the materials kept in
them. They should also be instructed on safety
protocols, rescue operations, and the use of life
safety equipment.
Containers can be dangerous if workers need
to enter them for maintenance or repair, or if
they need to work over them to load or unclog
materials. Containers include storage bins, silos,
vats, tanks, bunkers, and hoppers. The dangers
involved include entering or falling into a
confined space, a hazardous atmosphere, and
engulfment by the materials.
Each container type at a site should be
evaluated to determine if it is a confined space.
Open containers should have a railing and toe
board around them. If there is no railing, there
should be a grate or walkway with railings.
If work is necessary over an open container
without railings or a grate, workers should wear
safety harnesses with retrieval lines.
Workers should not enter a container unless
they are wearing a retrieval harness. They
should have a buddy on the outside of the
container and a reliable form of communication
between them. Use of lock out, tag out
protocols should be enforced to ensure that
mechanical moving parts do not activate and
materials do not shift underneath the workers.
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Cold Stress
orking in cold conditions can lead to
a potentially dangerous condition
called cold stress. You can get cold stress
when working outdoors on a cold day;
in a refrigerated room; in an unheated
building; in cold water, rain, or snow; or
while handling cold objects or materials.
When your body loses the ability to
maintain its normal temperature, your
body temperature lowers and hazardous
effects of cold on the body could result
in dehydration, numbness, shivering,
frostbite, immersion foot (trench foot), and
Issue Two 2012
How can you recognize cold stress?
Shivering is your body’s response to
cold stress and serves as a protection
mechanism by increasing the rate
of metabolism. Constant shivering,
lethargy and confusion are initial signs of
hypothermia. If you notice a drop in your
manual dexterity, local cold stress may
be occurring which could result in safety
hazards to you and coworkers.
If you work where conditions can get cold
or wet, remember these tips:
Cold, wind, and water are the three major
factors of hypothermia because they all
draw heat from the body. Other factors
that make you susceptible to hypothermia
include age, poor physical condition, illness,
the use of alcohol or certain medications,
and fatigue. The effects of hypothermia
range from mild to severe. A severe case of
hypothermia can cause permanent damage
to your heart and other vital organs, or can
result in death.
• Dressproperly-Clothingisyour
• Stay dry - Put on rain gear before you
get wet and wool clothing before you
start shivering. Also, sweating from
overexertion can cause you to lose
body heat more quickly.
• Be aware of the cold and the wind Prepare for sudden weather changes
with woolens, raingear, or tarps.
• Drinkfluidsandeathigh-energy
• Endexposure-Ifyoucan’tstaywarm
By recognizing early symptoms and taking
suggested precautions, you can minimize
the potential for cold stress.
Did You Know?
The Dangers of Tick-borne Diseases
icks are commonly found in worksites with woods, bushes,
high grass, or leaf litter; ticks are a carrier of a number of
serious diseases, such as Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness
(STARI), Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), Ehrlichiosis,
Tularemia and most commonly Lyme disease with more than
22,500 confirmed and 7,500 probable cases in 2010 alone.
Outdoor workers at risk include those in construction,
landscaping, forestry, land surveying, farming, railroads, utility line
work, park and wildlife management, and other outdoor work.
Tick-borne diseases are diagnosed based on symptoms that are
commonly associated with a tick-borne illness, such as:
• Body/muscle aches • Joint pain
• Fever
• Rash
• Headaches
• Stiff neck
• Fatigue
• Facial paralysis
Employers should educate
their workers on:
• Howtick-borne
• Therisksofexposure
• The importance of the timely reporting of workplace illnesses
and injuries right away.
• Wearing light-colored long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks,
and hats.
• Insect repellents (containing 20% to 30% DEET) to use on their
skin and clothing for protection.
For further information, refer to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) website on tick-borne diseases:
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Issue Two 2012
From Our Expert
Natural Rubber Latex
atural rubber latex is found in a wide variety of products
such as balloons, rubber bands, and bandages. In the
workplace, it is most commonly found in latex gloves. Many
medical devices also contain latex.
Dermatitis can also occur in latex glove wearers. Irritant
contact dermatitis is a nonallergic reaction to the gloves or
powder. Chemical sensitivity dermatitis is a reaction to one or
more of the many chemicals added to latex during processing
and manufacturing.
“Those with regular exposure to latex
gloves and other products containing
latex may develop an allergic
The proteins in latex are allergens. Most people who
encounter latex in consumer products do not develop
an allergy to latex, but some workers are at risk. Those
with regular exposure to latex gloves and other products
containing latex may develop an allergic reaction. The more
frequent the exposure, the greater the risk. Workers with
other allergic conditions (such as hay fever) are at increased
risk. Likewise people with dry, broken, or abraded skin are at
increased risk. Latex allergy can be associated with allergies to
certain foods, such as avocados, potatoes, bananas, tomatoes,
chestnuts, kiwi fruits, and papayas.
To prevent latex allergy, use latex-free gloves. If this is not
possible, choose powder-free latex gloves with reducedprotein content. Wash hands with mild soap and water
and dry thoroughly after removing gloves. Keep hands
moisturized to minimize cracks and irritation. Once a worker
becomes allergic to latex, special precautions are needed to
prevent exposures during work as well as during medical or
dental care.
Symptoms of latex allergy include:
• Skinrashes,hives,flushing,anditching
• Nasal,eye,orsinusirritation
• Shortnessofbreath,wheezing,orasthma
• Shock(rarely)
Symptoms can begin within minutes of exposure, or they
can be substantially delayed. These symptoms can be
serious, even life-threatening.
Routes of exposure include skin contact and inhalation.
Inhalation occurs when latex proteins attach themselves to
the powder used in some gloves and become airborne. This is
especially a problem when changing gloves.
For more information on latex allergy and its prevention, visit
the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
(NIOSH) website at www.cdc.gov.
State Fund Industrial Hygiene Unit
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Safety Meeting Topic
Spray Safely
“The most important factor in
the safe handling of pesticides
is to read, understand, and
follow the pesticide label
directions exactly.”
The CA Department of Pesticide Regulation
requires the employer to teach workers
about the hazards of pesticides and to
train them in pesticide safety procedures,
before any pesticide container is opened
or any pesticide is loaded, mixed, or used
calcode/030302.htm). Training should include
what personal protective equipment (PPE)
Topic Review
Instructor ___________________________
Date _______________________________
Location ___________________________
Attended by
esticide use is common in the agricultural
industry. However, misuse or improper
handling can cause serious health problems
or result in fires, explosions, or contamination
of the environment. Due to the hazards
involved with the use of pesticides, all
workers who handle pesticides must be
supervised to ensure that the required
personal protection equipment is worn and
that pesticide application equipment is used
The most important factor in the safe
handling of pesticides is to read, understand,
and follow the pesticide label directions
exactly. This label describes how to safely
handle, transport, store, mix, and apply the
pesticide. It also describes appropriate first
aid procedures. Workers must pay special
attention to labels with signal words such as
Issue Two 2012
should be worn and how the PPE should
be maintained. Training must also include
how to properly maintain and inspect the
application equipment to ensure that there
are no leaks or malfunctions.
Personal hygiene is vital and workers must
become well aware of the hazards involved
with eating, drinking, and smoking when
working with pesticides. Workers who handle
or apply pesticides are required to have a
clean change of outer clothing each day.
They should not be allowed to go home in
contaminated clothing, and contaminated
clothing should be washed separately from
the family laundry.
Workers must also become familiar
with the first aid procedures for specific
pesticides and know when and where to
seek emergency medical treatment. They
should also know how to respond to a
pesticide-related accident, spill, or fire. It is
crucial for telephone numbers and addresses
of medical facilities, physicians, and fire
departments to be posted where they can be
readily accessed in an emergency.
Safety Recommendations
Reporting Work–Related Injuries
State Fund’s Customer Service Center 888-STATEFUND (888-782-8338) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for policyholders to report injuries as soon as they occur.
Agents will do the necessary paperwork to get the claim started and refer the injured worker to the designated physician or provider.
Within eight hours of any serious illness or injury (requiring hospitalization over 24 hours, other than for medical observation or where there is permanent employee
disfiguration) or death occurring in the workplace or in connection with employment, employers must report the incident to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
Safety News
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Temas de Seguridad
Fumigado de
manera segura
El factor más importante en la manipulación
segura de pesticidas consiste en leer,
entender y seguir al pie de la letra las
instrucciones en la etiqueta del pesticida.
Esta etiqueta describe cómo manipular,
transportar, almacenar, mezclar y aplicar de
manera segura el pesticida. Además describe
procedimientos apropiados para primeros
auxilios. Los trabajadores deben prestar
atención especial a las etiquetas con palabras
indicativas como PELIGRO, ADVERTENCIA o
“El factor más importante en
la manipulación segura de
pesticidas consiste en leer,
entender y seguir al pie de la
letra las instrucciones en la
etiqueta del pesticida.”
El Departamento de Reglamentación de
Pesticidas de CA estipula que el empleador
instruya a los trabajadores sobre los
peligros de los pesticidas y los capacite en
procedimientos de seguridad con pesticidas,
antes de que se abra algún envase de
pesticidas o se cargue, se mezcle o se utilice
pesticida alguno (http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/
docs/legbills/ calcode/030302.htm). La
capacitación debe incluir qué Equipo de
Revisión Del Tema
Instructor ___________________________
Fecha ______________________________
Ubicación ___________________________
l uso de pesticidas es común en la
industria agrícola. Sin embargo, el uso
indebido o la manipulación errónea pueden
causar problemas de salud graves o provocar
incendios, explosiones o la contaminación
del ambiente. Debido a los peligros
implicados con el uso de pesticidas, todos
los trabajadores que manipulan pesticidas
deben ser supervisados para verificar que
se use el equipo de protección personal
requerido y que el equipo de aplicación del
pesticida se esté utilizando correctamente.
Issue Two 2012
Protección Personal (PPE) deberá usarse y
cómo debe dársele mantenimiento a dicho
PPE. La capacitación deberá incluir también
cómo dar mantenimiento e inspeccionar
correctamente el equipo de aplicación para
asegurarse de que no haya derrames ni
La higiene personal es vital y los trabajadores
deben estar bien enterados de los peligros
relacionados con ingerir alimentos, beber
y fumar mientras se trabaja con pesticidas.
Los trabajadores que manipulen o apliquen
pesticidas deben tener un cambio de
ropa exterior limpio cada día. No se les
debe permitir irse a sus casas con ropa
contaminada, y la ropa contaminada se debe
lavar separadamente de la ropa del resto de
la familia.
Los trabajadores deben también
familiarizarse con los procedimientos de
primeros auxilios para pesticidas específicos
y saber cuándo y dónde obtener tratamiento
médico de emergencia. Además, deben
saber cómo responder ante accidentes,
derrames o incendios relacionados con
el uso de pesticidas. Es crucial que los
números de teléfonos y las direcciones de los
centros médicos, consultorios de médicos y
departamentos de bomberos se coloquen
a la vista donde puedan ser fácilmente
obtenidos en una emergencia.
Recomendaciones de seguridad
This Agriculture Safety News is produced by the Corporate Communications Department of State Fund to assist clients in their loss control efforts. Information or recommendations contained in this
publication were obtained from sources b­elieved to be reliable at the date of publication. Information is only advisory and does not presume to be exhaustive or inclusive of all workplace hazards or
situations. Permission to reprint articles subject to approval by State Compensation Insurance Fund.
Published by State Compensation Insurance Fund’s Corporate Communications Department. © State Compensation Insurance Fund 2012