Infographic: The Far-Reaching Effects of Sleep Deprivation

When running a business, taking advantage of every minute of the day can seem necessary to maximize productivity. Often that can lead to employees and owners sacrificing sleep to get things done. It turns out, lost sleep can actually hurt productivity and profits. Companies lose an estimated $2280 per employee each year due to sleep deprivation, according to Harvard University.  Lack of sleep reduces focus, impacts mood and compromises the immune system. This will not only hurt performance but can also increase mistakes and accidents in the workplace. Work itself is the source of the problem for many. A study from Lexington Law found that 1 in 3 Americans say they lose sleep due to stress from their jobs. Check out the infographic below to learn more about the business cost of sleep deprivation and what companies can do to reduce stress:

Decontamination Procedures

When an area and the individuals in it come in contact with a chemical, decontamination procedures need to be followed. For all beings that were exposed to the chemical, decontamination procedures specify that all clothing be removed and disposed and that everyone be washed to reduce or remove the substance and prevent additional contamination. The chemical, as well, needs to be contained and removed within the space.

Decontamination procedures need to begin within moments of a spill or exposure. For individuals, this means carefully removing clothing, containing it within a plastic bag, and then disposing it. Clothing should not be pulled over the head, and all bags holding contaminated garments need secondary containment.

The substance is then removed through physical, chemical, or detoxification means. Physical decontamination procedures are the most common and involve scraping the chemical off or flushing it with water. Using soap, on the other hand, is a chemical decontamination procedure.

At the same time, the contaminated area needs to be accessible to emergency units. Emergency personnel, in this case, will demarcate the area with tape and cover it with plastic. To remove any chemical or oil spill, they will likely utilize some type of sorbent rolls to prevent spreading and to clean up the substance.

Emergency personnel, or those responsible for decontamination procedures, will set up primary and secondary wash pools for all exposed individuals. Pools must be at least 10 feet away from each other, and if scraping is needed, all brush strokes must go downward to prevent backsplash. The water inside must be controlled, as it becomes hazardous waste once contaminated with the chemical. All workers, additionally, must be equipped with the appropriate personal protective equipment, such as Tyvek suits, gloves, and safety goggles, to prevent exposure to the chemical and must keep the gear on for the entire procedure.

Electrical Safety Terms Glossary

Electrical safety is extremely important. If not accounted for, electrical hazards can cause burns, shocks and electrocution deaths.

Below are some quick tips from OSHA regarding electrical safety. In addition, here is a link to ElectricalSchool.org, which provides a glossary of electrical terms for anyone interested in the subject. Each term is illustrated with further references and videos. To access the glossary, click here.

  • Assume that all overhead wires are energized at lethal voltages. Never assume that a wire is safe to touch even if it is down or appears to be insulated.
  • Never touch a fallen overhead power line. Call the electric utility company to report fallen electrical lines.
  • Stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) away from overhead wires during cleanup and other activities. If working at heights or handling long objects, survey the area before starting work for the presence of overhead wires.
  • If an overhead wire falls across your vehicle while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not leave your vehicle. Warn people not to touch the vehicle or the wire. Call or ask someone to call the local electric utility company and emergency services.
  • Never operate electrical equipment while you are standing in water.
  • Never repair electrical cords or equipment unless qualified and authorized.
  • Have a qualified electrician inspect electrical equipment that has gotten wet before energizing it.
  • If working in damp locations, inspect electric cords and equipment to ensure that they are in good condition and free of defects, and use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  • Always use caution when working near electricity.

Eye Wash Station Requirements

Eye wash stations are crucial to decontamination in the workplace. Yet, simply having a station with water or solution does not suffice. Rather, eye wash station requirement specify standards for the device itself and its location.

On a basic level, an eye wash station provides on-the-spot decontamination, flushing away any hazardous substances from the eye or face that could result in injury. While personal protective equipment is needed to keep chemical splashes and small particles out of the eyes, an eye wash station serves as backup for the rare instances in which safety glasses and goggles are not as effective. Each station must have water or a similar flushing fluid, no matter if wall-mounted or portable.

ANSI Z358.1-2009 lists eye wash station requirements for decontamination procedures. If the eyes are exposed to an outside substance, they must be flushed immediately for 15 minutes with clean fluid under low pressure; the water or solution, however, simply washes away or dilutes the substance rather than neutralizing it. If the hazard is unknown, more flushing – 20 minutes – is needed. Specifically, if a foreign substance is mildly irritating, only five minutes are needed; if the irritant is moderate to severe or if it is a non-penetrating corrosive, 20 minutes of flushing are needed. 60 minutes are needed if the substance is a penetrating corrosive, such as alkalies or hydrofluoric acid.

In terms of location, eye wash station requirements specify that the device must be 10 to 20 feet away from a hazardous area but not too far away at the same time. In case of an emergency, the eye wash station needs to easily be identifiable and, as a result, needs a sign. Additionally, a clear path must exist between the work area and the eye wash station, which needs to be near an emergency exit as well.

Because of the solution, an eye wash station should not be near electrical equipment nor should it be in a location where the solution can freeze. The water, as well, should remain tepid, between 60°F and 100°F, although 68°F to 77°F is ideal.

For functionality and efficiency, all eye wash stations within a workplace must be inspected weekly, and all workers need to be trained on the use and location of the equipment.

To view Spill 911’s full line of Emergency Eyewash Stations, click here.

Sawmill Safety Checklist

The most obvious dangers in a sawmill are the saws themselves — but they’re far from the only ones. A lumber mill is a hazardous place to work for a number of reasons. Sawmill equipment also includes chippers, cranes and forklifts, among other types of heavy machinery. These need to be operated with the utmost care to help ensure a safe workplace for employees. Though it can be challenging for workers to maintain their focus in such a noisy, bustling environment. This is why it is critical for anyone in the logging industry to be aware of and follow the proper safety procedures when working in a mill.

For example, being safe begins with what you’re wearing. In addition to avoiding loose-fitting clothing that could become snagged on machines, the right protective gear should be worn at all times. This includes goggles, boots and leg guards for anyone operating a chainsaw. Because the slightest wrong move can be dangerous, it’s vital that co-workers avoid talking to anyone in the middle of operating large equipment. The worker must be allowed to complete the task before attracting his or her attention.

For these and many other important tips for mill safety, take a look at the accompanying checklist.

This is a guest blog post by Chris Woods, CEO for Lumbermens, a marketplace for buying and selling used heavy machinery primarily serving sawmills, the logging industry, pallets and the wood recycling industry. He has 19 years of experience in the industry and focuses on marketing and growing small companies.