CoatingsPro Magazine

MAR 2019

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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COATINGSPRO MARCH 2019 29 WORK IT SAFE Our bodies are programed to be tired at night and alert during the day, but work often requires us to override those natural sleep patterns. More than 43 percent of workers are sleep-derived, and those most at risk work the night shift, long shifts, or irregular shifts. Following are a few facts for employees: Safety performance decreases as employees become tired; 62 percent of night shift workers complain about sleep loss; Fatigued worker productivity costs employers $1,200 to $3,100 per employee annually; Employees on rotating shifts are particularly vulnerable because they cannot adapt their "body clocks" to an alternative sleep pattern. To avoid fatigue, make sure you do the following: Get enough sleep and provide for adequate rest between physi- cally or cognitively demanding activities; Talk to your doctor about getting screened for sleeping disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea; Align your natural body clock with your work schedule; some people who regularly fly through different time zones, for example, use melatonin to reset their circadian rhythms; Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even on your days off, particularly if you work the night shift, and be sure to use blackout curtains to keep your bedroom dark. For more information, contact: NSC, www.nsc.org. confined or not, the U.S. Department of Labor has advisor information for guidance. If an area seems as though it should be considered a confined space, then the contractor should move on to considering the four features of a permit-required confined space. Each bullet point is something to check and confirm. W hen in doubt, it's much safer to assume a space falls under the defini- tion of a confined space. Knowing the differences between permit-required and non-permit-re- quired confined spaces is just the beginning. Working in tanks, tunnels, vats, manholes, and other such spaces requires people to take notable safety precautions. Contractors must address hazard recognition, monitoring devices, personal protective equipment (PPE), rescue plans, and training to ensure that workers perform surface prep, coating, and other job-related tasks as safely as possible. Hazard Recognition and Monitoring Devices If the work can't be done without enter- ing the confined space, you should move on to hazard recognition. is is one of the first and most important steps to take before anyone enters a confined space. Consider the following: • A proper risk assessment must identify both existing and potential hazards. • If hazards are identified, a pre-entry checklist is required. • If the checklist confirms the hazards (or potential for hazards), the space must be classified as a permit-re- quired confined space and a permit must be filled. • If a confined space is deemed to require a permit, then an entry supervisor and an attendant must be present to ensure the safety of those inside the space. Some of the confined space hazards must be assessed with the use of monitoring devices that can confirm safe working conditions or warn of an increasingly unsafe environment. ese devices can save a life, and their correct use is vital to safe confined-space operations. Employers should keep three things in mind when using monitoring devices. e first is to test for flamma- ble gases and vapors and potential toxic air contaminants (carbon monoxide is not the only hazard). Toxic gas hazards vary depending on the space, and this fact needs to be taken into consider- ation when performing tests. Secondly, it's important to test for safe oxygen levels. Even if tests indicate that a space is safe to enter, oxygen levels can still change while the worker is inside. Workers should pay continued attention to monitoring devices, which will help keep them informed of any developments. Finally, employers need to remem- ber that monitoring devices require regular maintenance. Without this, the equipment can fail when it matters most. Employees should know how to care for their gas monitors and be comfortable with performing a bump test and calibrating their devices. PPE and Rescue A lmost all confined spaces require the use of PPE. Employers have to provide workers with the right type of protective equipment for the work Safety Watch

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