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Potential signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

Exposure to excessive levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal, but you cannot always count on sensors and warning systems to tell you there is a problem. You need to know what signs to look out for. When you notice them, it may be time to seek medical help and warn other workers of the problem.

Here are a few possible signs to keep in mind:

  • Losing consciousness. This could indicate that the levels are very high. People who actively pass out may be at serious risk of fatal exposure if they are not promptly removed from the area.
  • A dull headache. You may notice that it just refuses to go away, even if it's not getting worse.
  • Trouble seeing. Your vision could get blurry and you may find yourself rubbing your eyes or blinking to clear them.
  • Trouble breathing. You are not getting enough oxygen, so you may feel constantly short of breath.
  • General weakness. Your body just does not respond the way you want it to and you feel fatigued for no reason.
  • Confusion. You start having trouble thinking clearly or recalling short-term memories.
  • Dizziness, nausea and vomiting. As the exposure levels climb, you may start feeling dizzy from the lack of oxygen. This can cause you to feel sick, and you may even throw up.

5 safety tips for working on scaffolding

Scaffolding systems are very common in construction and related industries, as they make it easier for workers at heights to do complex jobs. However, like extension ladders, they also introduce a significant safety risk. A fall from any height can be dangerous, resulting in serious injuries and even death.

To help workers stay safe, here are five key safety tips:

  1. Use guardrails. Do not simply stand on the exposed top of the scaffolding, especially if the fall below you would be 10 feet or more -- roughly the length of one story of a residential building.
  2. Get the right training first. Since simple mistakes have such dire consequences, you must know how to use the scaffold safely. Companies sometimes try to skip training to get workers on the job right away, but this can put them in serious danger.
  3. Don't count on the scaffold to hold itself up, even if it seems like it should do so. Secure it properly to the nearest wall to prevent a collapse.
  4. Consider personal protection equipment, such as a rope and harness system. This may not feel as necessary as it does on an exposed ladder, but it should still be used.
  5. Carry out consistent inspections. Look for any little changes or issues. Never just assume that the scaffold will work today because it did yesterday. Safety inspections are needed on a regular basis.

Tips for safely using an air nailer on the job

In many ways, an air nailer -- or a nail gun -- is one of the most dangerous tools on any job site. Though it does have built-in safety features, any misuse can cause catastrophic injuries.

That said, nail guns have revolutionized the construction industry. They allow crews to work at incredibly fast rates and get jobs done far more efficiently than they could with hand tools. Anyone who works construction will spend a fair amount of time around these guns, so they need to know how to use them safely. Here are a few tips that can help:

  • Like a firearm, an air nailer should never be pointed at another worker under any circumstances.
  • Workers must get proper training before using a nail gun, and that means reading the instruction manual.
  • Workers should always have the right protective gear. This includes things like protective glasses, gloves and hard hats.
  • Safety devices should never be overridden. For instance, some workers will tape the trigger down so that they just have to press the muzzle of the nail gun against the surface for it to fire. This is very dangerous and should never be done.
  • Similarly, workers should always keep their fingers off of the trigger until the exact moment they want to drive the next nail.
  • All nail guns, hoses, compressors and related equipment must be checked over periodically and maintained so that they are in perfect working condition.

Safety needs to be part of the company culture

All too often, supervisors and managers do not seem to take safety seriously until something goes wrong and a worker gets hurt. Then they have meetings about how to be safer and how to keep accidents from happening again.

This is a reactive way to think, and it puts workers at risk. It means that safety is not part of the company culture. It is just something that people think about when they have to. After enough time goes by without another incident, people will fall back into the same lax safety practices they used before, and then another accident will happen. This may result in more meetings and the entire cycle will start over, but you can see that they're really just heading toward yet another accident.

Have you created a living will as part of your estate plan?

If you have already taken the step of creating a last will that outlines who should receive which assets that you own, you may think that your estate planning is done. In reality, estate planning is much more complex than listing heirs and beneficiaries. A good estate plan addresses other concerns as well, even those that may arise before you pass away.

A living will is a collection of documents that outlines your preferences and creates legal authority for someone you trust if you cannot make medical and financial decisions on your own. Creating a living will not only protects you from improper decisions regarding your medical care, but it also protects your family members from the stress of trying to make those decisions on your behalf.

Critical tips for using a ladder safely

Like any other tool on the job site, you need to know how to use a ladder safely. Many workers do not take the risks seriously. They just assume that a ladder is easy and safe to use, even with little to no experience. That's not true.

Follow these safety tips to make sure you do not get hurt on the job:

  • Consider the elements. If it is raining, snowing or very windy, it may not be wise to climb the ladder.
  • Check your angle. You do not want the ladder at too steep or too shallow of an angle. Either way, it can fall.
  • Check the ground. Your ladder is only as sturdy as the surface you set it on.
  • Think about your physical health. If you previously injured your leg or you feel lightheaded, for instance, do not climb the ladder.
  • Look for doors. Never put a ladder in front of a door without locking it or otherwise blocking the door so it can't swing into the ladder.
  • Read the instructions. The ladder should have stickers on the side offering instructions and specific safety information.
  • Clean both the ladder and your shoes. Make sure that there is nothing that could reduce your traction and cause you to slip.
  • Consider the weight of every tool you plan to carry up. The ladder is rated for total weight, not just your weight. Tools and materials must be accounted for.

Wisconsin refinery cited after chemical explosion

In Superior, Wisconsin, Superior Refining Company LLC was the location of a hazardous explosion that resulted in a fire at the plant. A number of workers got hurt in the blast and/or the ensuing blaze.

That did not go unnoticed, as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) -- a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor -- has now investigated and alleged that the company failed to "control the use and release of highly hazardous chemicals."

Wausau man mourned after workplace death

Renters often have mixed feelings about building managers and superintendents. The right one can be just the attentive and responsive presence you want taking care of your home, while anyone else can prove an annoyance or worse. But building maintenance is a dangerous job, rated near construction and emergency services as risky to life and limb.

A town in central Wisconsin is mourning the operation's manager at a building housing a local community center after he died recently in a work accident. The 57-year-old died after an electrical injury in the building; although no foul play is suspected, the Marathon County medical examiner is still investigating his death.

Caring for broken bones suffered on a worksite

Suffering a broken bone on a worksite is overwhelming. Your mind begins to race and the first thing you think about is missing time on the job. This will affect your financial well-being and your health. You need to focus on caring for the broken bone and getting healthy above all else. Today, we will take a look at how you can care for a broken bone suffered while on the job.

If the accident that caused the broken bone led to bleeding, you need to control the bleeding before doing anything else. Build a makeshift tourniquet to wrap around the affected area and keep the bone from moving more than it should. If you can't control the bleeding, you will need to call 911 to have paramedics or EMTs respond.

5 common injuries seen in industrial environments

There are many workplace injuries that take place each day in America. The Pew Research Center states that approximately 12.3 million people in America work in factories or manufacturing facilities. These are some of the most dangerous places to work, since there is a risk of coming into contact with hazards like chemicals or sharp objects.

Interestingly enough, there are around five or six kinds of injuries that are more common than others. These include things like pulled muscles or burns. Here's a little more about what kinds of injuries you may come into contact with in the industrial workplace.

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Hudson, WI 54016

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