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Physical Plant Safety Orientation



  1. Supervisors

  2. Supervisors must recognize those factors in the workplace with accident potential. The supervisor shall provide frequent inspections of job sites, work methods, and materials/equipment used. Any unsafe equipment/material shall be tagged and rendered inoperative or physically removed from its place of operation. The supervisor shall permit only qualified personnel to operate equipment and machinery according to safe work practices.

    Supervisors are responsible for:

    1. Ensuring safe working conditions

    2. Providing necessary protective equipment

    3. Ensuring that required guards and protective equipment are provided, used, and properly maintained.

    4. Ensuring that tools and equipment are properly maintained and used.

    5. Planning the workload and assigning employees to jobs which they are qualified to perform.
    6. Ensuring that the employees understand the work to be done, the hazards that may be encountered, and the proper procedure for doing the work safely.

    7. Taking immediate action to correct any violation of safety rules observed or reported to them.

    8. Ensuring workers exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals/materials have access to appropriate Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).


  1. Employee Training

    Employees shall be thoroughly trained in the use of protective equipment, guards, and safeguards for chemicals and safe operation of equipment, machines, and tools they use or operate. Only employees who have been trained and those undergoing supervised on-the-job training (OJT) shall be allowed to use shop equipment, machines, and tools.
  2. Personal Protective Equipment

    Personal protective equipment (PPE) is not a substitute for engineering controls or feasible work or administrative procedures. While these controls are being implemented, or if it has been determined that control methods are not feasible, personal protective equipment is required whenever there are hazards that can do bodily harm through absorption, inhalation, or physical contact.

    This equipment includes respiratory and hearing protective devices, special clothing, and protective devices for the eyes, face, head, and extremities. All PPE shall be of a safe design and constructed for the work to be performed and shall be maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition.

    1. Eye Protection
      1. Eye protection is required when there is a possibility of injury from chemicals or flying particles. Examples of operation requiring the use of eye protection include, but are not limited to:
        • Chipping, grinding, and impact drilling.
        • Breaking concrete, brick, and plaster.
        • Welding or helping in welding of any type.
        • Cleaning with compressed air.
        • Tinning or soldering lugs or large joints.
        • Riveting, grinding, or burning metals.
        • Handling chemicals, acids, or caustics.
      2. Face shields shall be thoroughly washed with soap and water before being worn by another person.

    2. Hearing Protection

      Appropriate hearing protection shall be used where employees are in designated hazardous noise areas with operating noise sources, or using tools or equipment which are labeled as hazardous noise producers. The Office of Health and Fire Safety shall be contacted for noise level surveys and guidance on the type of hearing protection required.

    3. Hand Protection

      1. Rubber protective gloves shall be worn by personnel working in battery shops or where acids, alkalies, organic solvents, and other harmful chemicals are handled.

      2. Electrical worker's gloves are designed and shall be used to insulate electrical workers from shock, burns, and other electrical hazards. These gloves shall NOT be the only protection provided and will never be used with voltages higher than the insulation rating of the gloves.

      3. Multi-use gloves shall be worn to protect the hands from injuries caused by handling sharp or jagged objects, wood, or similar hazard-producing materials. These gloves are usually made of cloth material with chrome leather palms and fingers or synthetic coating. All-leather gloves are also acceptable.

    4. Foot Protection

      Non-skid shoes shall be worn where floors may be wet or greasy. Where there is reasonable probability of foot or toe injury from impact and compression forces, safety footwear shall be worn.

    5. Respiratory Protection

      There are various airborne hazards, e.g., organic vapors, particulates, fumes, etc., that personnel may encounter and respiratory protection may be required. The Office of Health and Fire Safety shall be consulted for guidance on the type of protection required.

    6. Head Protection

      Hard hats shall be worn by all personnel working below other workers and in areas where sharp projections or other head hazards exist.

    7. Body Protection

      Natural or synthetic rubber or acid-resisting rubberized cloth aprons shall be worn by personnel handling irritating or corrosive substances. Aprons shall normally be worn with acid sleeves and gloves for greater body protection against skin injuries.

    8. Insulated Matting

      Insulating matting shall be used by workers for additional resistance to shock where potential shock hazards exist, such as:

      • Areas where floor resistance is lowered due to dampness.
      • Areas where high voltages (above 600 bolts) may be encountered.
      • Areas with electrical repair or test benches.

    9. Other

      1. Shop supervisors shall ensure that shop personnel use the protective clothing and equipment that will protect them from hazards of the work they perform. It is the responsibility of workers to keep their PPE in a clean, sanitary state of repair and use the equipment when required.

      2. Workers shall keep their hands and face clean, change clothes when they are contaminated with solvents, lubricants, or fuels, and keep their hands and soiled objects out of their mouth. No food or drink shall be brought into or consumed in areas exposed to toxic materials, chemicals, or shop contaminants. Workers shall wash their hands before eating or smoking after exposure to any contaminant.
      3. Workers shall not wear rings, earrings, bracelets, wristwatches, or necklaces in the vicinity of operating machinery and power tools. Additionally, long full beards, unrestrained long hair, and loose clothing can become caught in tools or machinery and cause serious personal injury. Highly combustible garments or coveralls made of material such as nylon shall not be worn in or around high temperature equipment or operations such as boiler operations, welding, and any other work with open flame devices.
  1. Shop Layout

    Proper layout, spacing, and arrangement of equipment, machinery, passageways, and aisles are essential to orderly operations and to avoid congestion.

    1. Equipment and machinery shall be arranged to permit an even flow of materials. Sufficient space should be provided to handle the material with the least possible interference from or to workers or other work being performed. Machines should be placed so it is not necessary for an operator to stand in a passageway or aisle. Additionally, machine positioning should allow for easy maintenance, cleaning, and removal of scrap. Clear zones shall be established and should be of sufficient dimensions to accommodate typical work. Marking of machine clear zones may be yellow or yellow and black hash-marked lines, 2 to 3 inches wide. Machines designed for fixed locations shall be securely anchored. If pieces of stock to be worked exceeds workplace/clear zone floor markings, rope/stanchions may be used to temporarily extend the workplace. Machines with shock mounting pads shall be securely anchored and installed according to manufacturer's instructions.
    2. Passageways/aisles shall be provided and marked to permit the free movement of employees bringing and removing material from the shop. These passageways are independent of clear zones and storage spaces. They shall be clearly recognizable.
    3. Where powered materials handling equipment (forklift) is used, facility layout shall provide enough clearance in aisles, on loading docks, and through doorways to permit safe turns. Aisles shall be at least 3 feet wider than the widest vehicle used or most common material being transported.
  2. Illumination
  3. Adequate illumination shall be provided to ensure safe working conditions

    1. Portable lamps shall have UL approved plugs, handles, sockets, guards, and cords for normal working conditions.
    2. For work in boilers, condensers, tanks, turbines, or other grounded locations that are wet or may cause excessive perspiration, a low voltage lighting system should be used, either from a battery system or low-voltage lighting unit. In situations where these lighting systems are not available, a vapor-proof 110 volt lighting system shall be used.
    3. Flashlights for use near energized electrical equipment and circuitry shall have insulated cases.
    4. At least 50 foot-candles of illumination shall be provided at all work stations. However, fine work may require 100 foot-candles or more. This can be obtained with a combination of general lighting plus supplemental lighting.

  4. Exits and Exit Markings
    1. Every exit shall have "EXIT" in plain legible letters not less than 6 inches high with the strokes of the letters not less than three-quarters of an inch wide.
    2. Doors, passageways, or stairways which are neither exits nor ways to an exit (but may be mistaken for an exit) shall be clearly marked "NOT AN EXIT" or by a sign indicating their actual use, for example: "STORAGE ROOM" or "BASEMENT."
    3. When the direction to the nearest exit may not be apparent to an occupant, an exit sign with an arrow indicating direction shall be used.
    4. Exit access shall be arranged so it is unnecessary to travel toward any area of high hazard potential in order to reach the nearest exit (unless the path of travel is effectively shielded by suitable partitions or other physical barriers).
    5. Exit signs shall be clearly visible from all directions of egress and shall not be obstructed at any time. If occupancy is permitted at night, or if normal lighting levels are reduced at times during working hours, exit signs shall be suitably illuminated by a reliable light source.
    6. A door from a room to an exit or to a way of exit access will be the side-hinged swinging type. It will swing out in the direction of travel if 50 or more persons occupy the room or the exit is from an area of high hazard potential.
    7. Areas around exit doors and passageways shall be free of obstructions. The exit route shall lead to a public way. No lock fastening device shall be used to prevent escape from inside the building.
    8. Where occupants may be endangered by the blocking of any single exit due to fire or smoke, there shall be at least two means of exit remote from each other.
    9. Exits, exterior steps, and ramps shall be adequately lighted to prevent mishaps. Separate lighting will not be required if street or other permanent lighting gives at least one foot-candle of illumination on the exit, steps, or ramp.

  5. Housekeeping

    Good housekeeping shall be maintained in all shops, yards, buildings, and mobile equipment. Supervisors are responsible for good housekeeping in or around the work they are supervising. As a minimum, the following requirements shall be adhered to:

    1. Material shall not be placed where anyone might stumble over it, where it might fall on someone, or on or against any support unless the support can withstand the additional weight.
    2. Aisles and passageways shall be kept clear of tripping hazards.
    3. Nails shall be removed from loose lumber or the points turned down.
    4. Ice shall be removed from all walkways and work areas where it may create a hazard or interfere with work to be done. If ice cannot be removed readily, sand or other approved materials shall be applied.
    5. Trash and other waste materials shall be kept in approved receptacles. Trash shall not be allowed to accumulate and shall be removed and disposed of as soon as practicable, at least once per shift (or more often if needed).
    6. Disconnect switches, distribution panels, or alarm supply boxes shall not be blocked by any obstruction which may prevent ready access.
    7. Machinery and equipment shall be kept clean of excess grease and oil and (operating conditions permitting) free of excessive dust. Pressure gauges and visual displays shall be kept clean, visible, and serviceable at all times. Drip pans and wheeled or stationary containers shall be cleaned and emptied at the end of each shift.

  6. Fire Prevention

    All Physical Plant personnel shall receive fire prevention training as part of their general training.

    1. Supervisors in charge of operations where fuels, solvents, or other flammable liquids are used shall be constantly alert for hazards and unsafe acts. Fuels such as gasoline shall never be used to clean floors or clothing, and open solvent or gasoline containers shall not be kept near electrical equipment. The use of low flashpoint petroleum solvents shall be avoided whenever possible. Open flames, open element heaters, equipment not properly grounded, and nonexplosion-proof electrical equipment used in the presence of flammable or combustible liquids shall be avoided.
    2. Fire extinguishers of at least 20 BC or greater rating shall be installed in shop areas. The number of extinguishers depends upon the size and layout of the facility. Fire extinguishers shall meet the following OSHA requirements:
      1. Be kept fully charged and in their designated area.
      2. Be located along normal paths of travel.
      3. Not be obstructed or obscured from view.
      4. Be visually inspected at least monthly to ensure that they:
        • Are in their designated places.
        • Have not been tampered with or actuated.
        • Do not have corrosion or other impairments.
        • Are accessible and not obstructed.
        • Be examined at least yearly and/or recharged or repaired to ensure operability and safety.
        • Be hydrostatically tested.
        • Be placed so the maximum travel distance, unless there are extremely hazardous conditions, does not exceed 75 feet for Class A or 50 feet for Class B locations.
    3. Supervisors shall ensure that employees remove construction debris and rubbish from the job site upon completion of the job, or daily if extended beyond one day. Hazardous materials shall not be left at job sites unless properly stored. Work being performed on job sites shall not endanger building occupants (e.g., exits blocked, fire alarm devices disconnected, etc.).
  7. Material Storage

    All unnecessary accumulation of materials and supplies in the shop area shall be avoided. The presence of unnecessary material in the shop could cause such incidents as tripping, falling, or slipping. This could be especially hazardous around equipment that is in operation. The only material in the shop area shall be that actually in work. The only place that materials should accumulate in quantity are in storerooms and material holding areas.

    1. The storage of materials shall not, of itself, create a hazard. Materials stored in tiers shall be stacked, strapped, blocked or interlocked, and limited in height so they are stable and secure against sliding or collapse. Storage racks shall have sufficient capacity to bear the loads imposed on them.
    2. Stored materials shall not obstruct fire extinguishers, alarm boxes, sprinkler system controls, electrical switch boxes, machine operations, emergency lighting, first aid or emergency equipment, or exits.
    3. Heavy materials and equipment should be stored low and close to the ground or floor to reduce the possibility of injury during handling.
    4. All passageways and storerooms shall be maintained clean, unobstructed, dry, and in sanitary condition. Spills will be promptly removed.
    5. Where mechanical handling equipment, such as lift trucks are used, safety clearance shall be provided for aisles at loading docks, through doorways, and wherever turns or passages must be made. No obstructions that could create a hazard are permitted in aisles.
  8. Use of Tools


    1. Incidents at the job site involving hand tools are usually the result of misuse. Hand tools are precision tools capable of performing many jobs when used properly. Prevention of incidents involving hand tools on the job site becomes a matter of good instruction, adequate training, and proper use.
      • Hand tool safety requires that the tools be of good quality and adequate for the job. All tools shall be kept in good repair and maintained by qualified personnel.
      • When personnel use hand tools while they are working on ladders, scaffolds, platforms, or work stands, they shall use carrying bags for tools which are not in use. Workers shall not drop tools.
      • Racks, shelves, or tool boxes shall be provided for storing tools which are not in use.

    1. Supervisors shall frequently inspect all hand tools used in the operation under their supervision. Defective tools shall be immediately removed from service. Some common tool defects are:
      • Handles When handles of hammers, axes, picks, or sledges become cracked, split, broken, or splintered, they shall be immediately replaced. Tool handles shall be well-fitted and securely fastened by wedges or other acceptable means. Wedges, always used in pairs, shall be driven into the handle when repairing a sledgehammer or maul, to prevent the head from accidentally flying off if the handle shrinks.
      • Tangs Files, wood chisels, and other tools with tangs shall be fitted and used with suitable handles covering the end of the tang. Ends of the handles shall not be used for pounding or tapping.
      • Mushroom Heads Cold chisels, punches, hammers, drift pins, and other similar tools have a tendency to mushroom from repeated poundings. They shall be dressed down as soon as they begin to crack and curl.
        • When dressing tools, a slight bevel of about three-sixteenths of an inch shall be grounded around the head. This will help prevent the heads from mushrooming.
        • When tool heads mushroom, the material is highly crystallized and, with each blow of the hammer, fragments are likely to break off.

      • Portable Power Tools Portable power tools increase mobility and convenience but are frequently more hazardous to use than their stationary counterparts. Personnel who are required to use portable power tools in their work shall be thoroughly trained in safe operating practices. Safe operating procedure shall be set up for each type of tool consistent with the manufacturer's instructions.
  9. Use of Compressed Air Sources
    1. Compressed air has the appearance of a relatively harmless gas. However, to avoid accidents, compressed air must be used correctly. The improper or inadvertent connection of items not designed for shop air pressure, i.e., equipment, storage vessels, or containers, to a shop air supply may cause serious personal injury and more than likely will damage the item being connected.
    2. The maximum air pressure approved for general use in the shops and laboratories is 30 psi (pounds per square inch). This pressure is sufficient for most shop and laboratory operations and is not significantly hazardous. Use discretion and good judgement when using compressed air, even at this low pressure.
    3. The following rules and practices are suggested to avoid personal injury, equipment damage, and potential environmental impact:
      1. All personnel assigned to shops with air compressors shall be familiar with compressor operating and maintenance instructions.
      2. Compressed air is not to be used to blow dirt, chips, or dust from clothing.
      3. Air compressors shall be maintained strictly in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
      4. Do not use compressed air to transfer materials from containers when there is a possibility of exceeding the safe maximum allowable working pressure of the container.
      5. The maximum working pressure of compressed air lines shall be identified in psi. Pipeline outlets shall be tagged or marked showing maximum working pressure immediately adjacent to the outlet.
      6. Do not use compressed air to transfer materials from standard 55-gallon drums. Use a siphon with a bulk aspirator on a pump. WARNING It is dangerous to pressurize any container not designed for that purpose.
      7. Never use compressed air where particles can be accelerated by the air stream.
      8. Do not use compressed air to clean machinery or parts unless absolutely necessary. Where possible, use a brush. If necessary, use a minimum pressure and provide barriers or clean the area of personnel. Wear goggles to protect your eyes.
      9. Never apply compressed air to any part of a person's body.
      10. Do not use a compressed air line that does not have a pressure regulator for reducing the line pressure.
      11. Keep the hose length between tool housing and the air source as short as possible.
      12. Where possible, attach a short length of light chain between the hose and the housing on air-operated tools. This keeps the hose from whipping should the hose-tool coupling separate.
      13. Inspect air supply and tool hoses before using. Discard and label unfit hoses. Repair hoses where applicable.
      14. Turn valve off and vent pressure from a line before connecting or disconnecting it. Never work on a pressurized line.
      15. Do not connect air supply respirators or supplied-air suits to the compressed air supply system of any building. Such compressed air is unsafe to breathe.
      16. Do not attach pneumatic tools, process, or control instruments to breathing air lines. The potential contamination to personnel and systems is hazardous.
  10. Working Safely at Elevations

    These procedures are designed to prevent the injury of Hope College personnel due to falls or slips any time personnel are working on portable stairs, ladders, or scaffolding, or at elevations or more than four (4) feet above grade. Applicable OSHA standards include 29 CFR 1910.21-.68.

    1. Ladders
      1. Hazards

        Falls are the primary hazard associated with the use of ladders. Falls result from a number of unsafe acts and conditions such as:

        1. Ladders being set on unstable surfaces.
        2. Personnel reaching too far out to the sides.
        3. Personnel standing too high to maintain balance.
        4. Personnel using defective ladders (e.g., broken rails, rungs, missing hardware).

        These hazards are minimized if workers adhere to proper ladder safety practices and if supervisors ensure equipment is used, inspected, and maintained in good condition. Tasks which require frequent use of ladders and involve significant climbing effort must be accomplished by workers capable of the physical exertion required under these conditions.

      2. Requirements
        1. Procurement

          Portable ladders procured for Hope College shall meet the design and construction specification of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.25 for wood ladders and 29 CFR 1910.26 for metal ladders. Portable ladders constructed of reinforced plastic shall meet the specifications of ANSI A14.5-1974.

        2. Allowable Lengths
          The maximum allowable lengths of portable ladders are:

          Platform stepladders     
          Straight ladders
          Extension ladders

          8 feet
          12 feet
          20 feet
          36 feet - with min overlap of 3 feet

        3. Wooden Ladders

          Wooden parts used in construction of ladders should be straight-grained; thoroughly seasoned; smoothly dressed; and free of sharp edges, splinters, checks, decay and other defects. Rungs must be parallel, level and uniformly spaced. The spacing shall not be more than 12 inches. Wooden ladders will be coated with a suitable protective coating such as boiled linseed oil, clear varnish or clear lacquer. Wood ladders shall not be painted with an opaque coating, since possible defects may be covered up.
        4. Nonslip Bases

          Portable ladders shall be equipped with nonslip bases such as safety feet or spikes, depending upon the type of usage.
        5. Electrical Personnel shall not use portable metal ladders when performing work on or near electrical equipment. The side rails of metal ladders will be stenciled in 2-inch (or smaller is necessary to fit on the side rails) red letters: "DANGER - DO NOT USE AROUND ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT." Wood or reinforced plastic ladders shall be used for work on or near electrical equipment. They will be kept clean. Remove all surface buildup or dirt, grease, or oils to avoid creating a ready path for electrical current.
        6. Care of Ladder
          1. Handle ladders with care. Do not drop, jar or misuse them.
          2. Ladders shall be stored in a manner that will provide easy access for inspection and will permit safe withdrawal for use. They shall not be stored in a manner that presents a tripping hazard not where they can fall on someone. They should be stored in a manner that will prevent sagging.
          3. Lubricate metal bearings of locks, wheels, pulleys, etc., as required to keep them working.
          4. Replace frayed or badly worn rope.
          5. Keep safety feet and other parts in good condition to ensure they work.
          6. Maintain ladders in good usable condition. Inspect ladders prior to use.
          7. Ladders with defects which cannot be immediately repaired, shall be removed from service for repair or destruction, and shall be tagged with a danger tag. Do not attempt to straighten or use a bent ladder made of reinforced plastic.
          8. Rungs or steps on metal ladders that are not corrugated, knurled, or dimpled will have skid-resistant materials applied.
      3. Proper Use of Ladders
        1. The correct procedures for using ladders are as follows:
          1. Where possible, portable nonself-supporting ladders will be used at such a pitch that the base of the ladder is placed a distance from the vertical wall that is one-fourth of the working length of the ladder. The ladder shall be placed to prevent slipping, or it will be lashed or manually held in position.
          2. Ladders shall not be used by more than one person at a time. Ladders specially designed to support greater loads shall be used in combination with ladder jacks and scaffold planks when an operation requires more than one person.
          3. Place portable ladders so that the side rails have a secure footing. The top rest for portable rung and cleat ladders will be reasonably rigid and will have adequate strength to support the applied load.
          4. Ladders shall not be placed in front of doors opening toward the ladder unless the door is blocked open, locked, or guarded.
          5. Do not place ladders on boxes, barrels, or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
          6. To support the top of the ladder at a window opening, attach a board across the back of the ladder, extending across the window to provide firm support against the building walls or window frames.
          7. When ascending or descending, users shall face the ladder and use both hands.
          8. Ladders with broken or missing steps, rungs, or cleats, broken side rails, or other defects shall not be used. Do not make improvised repairs.
          9. Do not splice short ladders together to provide long sections.
          10. Do not use ladders made by fastening cleats across a single rail.
          11. Do not use ladders as guys, braces, skids, horizontal platforms or scaffolds, or for other than their intended purposes.
          12. Do not use a ladder to aid access to a roof unless the top of the ladder extends at least 3 feet above the point of support, at eave, gutter, or roof line.
          13. Always raise extension ladders so that the upper section overlaps and rests on the bottom section. The upper section will always overlap on the climbing side of the extension ladder.
          14. Nonslip bases are not intended as a substitute for care in safely placing, lashing, or holding a ladder that is being used upon oily, metal, concrete, or slippery surfaces.
          15. The bracing on the back legs of step ladders is designed solely for increasing stability and not for climbing.
          16. Hooks may be attached at or near the top of portable ladders to provide added stability.
          17. When the ladder can be knocked over by others who are working in the area, the ladder will be securely fastened. As an alternative, someone will be assigned to steady the bottom, or the area around the ladder will be roped off.
          18. Workers shall not stand higher that the third rung/ step from the ladder top and shall not attempt to reach beyond a normal arm's length.

        1. Scaffolding and Elevated Platforms
          1. Only tube and coupler or tubular welded frame scaffolding shall be used by Hope College personnel. It shall be erected according to OSHA standards, as specified in 29 CFR 1910.22, .23, and .28.
          2. All platforms or scaffolds shall be inspected by the supervisor before use.
          3. All elevated platforms shall be surrounded by a standard guardrail, securely fastened to a stationary object, and have a floor capable of withstanding a working load of 75 pounds per square foot.
          4. Scaffolds with wheels constructed on the base (bottom) section shall not be used unless all wheels are intact and at least one wheel on each side is locked to prevent movement.
          5. The following are general scaffolding rules:
            1. Know scaffolding safety rules prior to set up, during operations, and for dismantling of scaffolding. Ensure manufacturer's instructions and safety warnings are legible and remain on scaffolding.
            2. Inspect the equipment before use for damage or deterioration.
            3. Keep equipment in good repair.
            4. Inspect erected scaffolds regularly to ensure they are maintained in a safe condition.
            5. Provide adequate sills and posts and use base plates.
            6. Anchor wall scaffolds securely between structure and scaffold.
            7. Use caution when working near power lines. Never be any closer than 10 feet to electrical power lines.
            8. Use adjusting screws instead of blocking to adjust for uneven grades. Use outriggers where so equipped.
            9. Equip all planked areas with proper guard rails and toe-boards.
            10. Do not ride rolling scaffolding.
            11. Do not leave materials and equipment on the platform when moving scaffolding.
            12. Do not try to move rolling scaffolding without help.
            13. Do not extend adjusting screws over 12 inches.
            14. Do not let working platform height exceed four times the smallest base dimension unless guyed or otherwise stabilized.
            15. Do not overload scaffold.
            16. Do not use ladders or makeshift devices on top of scaffolds to increase height.
            17. Ensure the footing and anchorage for scaffolds are sound, rigid, and capable of carrying the maximum intended load without settling or displacement. Do not use unstable objects such as barrels, boxes, loose bricks or concrete blocks, etc., to support scaffolds or planks.

        2. Rooftop Work

          If the rooftop to be worked on is not provided with an adequate guardrail, the following procedures shall apply:

          No employee shall come within 10 feet of the roof's edge without wearing a lifebelt or harness securely attached to a securely anchored rope or line, with the entire system being capable of supporting a minimum dead weight of 5,400 pounds.

          No employee shall work on the rooftop if the windspeed exceeds 20 miles per hour.

  1. Shoring and Trenching

    The walls and faces of excavations and trenches over 5 feet, where workers may be exposed to danger, shall be guarded by a shoring system, sloping of the ground, or some other equivalent means. Trenches less than 5 feet deep with hazardous soil conditions also shall be effectively protected.

    The following guidelines are provided:

    1. Appropriate trench boxes and/or shields may be used in lieu of shoring or sloping.
    2. Tools, equipment, an excavated material shall be kept 2 feet or more from the lip of the trench. Where employees are required to be in or work in trenches 4 feet deep or more, an adequate means of exit such as ladders or steps shall be provided within 25 feet of travel and used.
    3. Daily inspections shall be made of trenches and excavations by the supervisor in charge to ensure adequate slopes, shoring and bracing, and that there is no evidence of possible slides or cave-ins. More frequent inspections may be necessary as work progresses or after inclement weather conditions, such as rain, or where loose compacted or unstable materials are present.
    4. Workers shall take extra care when hand excavating in close proximity to utilities to preclude interruption of services an personnel injury and/or equipment damage which can result from breaking electrical, gas, and steam lines.

  2. Barricades

    Whenever a common area is disturbed by maintenance, repair, or construction operations and presents a hazard to personnel working in or near, or traveling through the area, care shall be taken to warn these personnel and other engineering services personnel of the potential hazard. Appropriate barriers shall be erected around excavations, open manholes, open electrical panels, etc., whenever they are to be left unattended.

30 Electrical Installations and Equipment

  1. Hazards

    The extreme hazard of electrical equipment is the potential for personnel electrocution from contacting energized systems. Electrical equipment can also cause catastrophic property damage because of its potential as an ignition source for causing fire or explosion.

    Fire is frequently caused by short circuits, overheating equipment and failure of current limiters, thermal sensors, and other safety devices. Explosions may occur when flammable liquids, gases, and dusts are exposed to ignition sources generated by electrical equipment.

  2. Requirements

    1. Electrical installations and utilization equipment will be in accordance with the current edition of the National Electrical Code, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 70); American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard C1. This code will also apply to every replacement, installation, or utilization equipment.
    2. Equipment or facilities designed, fabricated for, and intended for use by CDC will be procured to meet the requirements of the National Electric Code.
    3. Frames of all electrical equipment, regardless of voltage shall be grounded.

    4. Exposed non-current carrying metal parts of electrical equipment that may be come energized under abnormal conditions shall be grounded in accordance with the National Electrical Code.

    5. Wires shall be covered wherever they are joined, such as: outlets, switches, junction boxes, etc.

    6. Parts of electrical equipment which in ordinary operation produce arcs, sparks, etc., shall not be operated or used in explosive atmospheres or in close proximity to combustible materials.

    7. Equipment connected by flexible extension cords shall be grounded either by a 3-wire cord or by a separate ground wire (except double insulated equipment).

    8. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) shall be used on all 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets at job sites when the receptacles are not a part of the permanent wiring of the building or structure. Receptacles on a two wire, single-phase portable or vehicle-mounted generator rated not more than 5 kilowatt, where the circuit conductors of the generator are insulated from the generator frame and all or the grounded surfaces, need not be protected with GFCI's.

  3. Inspections

    Supervisors will insure that work areas are inspected for possible electrical hazards.

    Sufficient workspace shall be provided and maintained around electric equipment to permit safe operations and maintenance of such equipment.

  4. Control of Hazardous Energy (Lock-Out/Tag-Out)

    The procedures specified in this section comply with the requirements for the isolation or control of hazardous energy sources set forth in the OSHA standard (29 CFR 1910.147 - proposed). The accidental release of energy during maintenance work can and frequently does cause severe injuries, amputations, and death. Energy can be present in the form of electricity, potential energy (due to gravity) stored in elevated masses, chemical corrosivity, chemical toxicity, or pressure.

    The only exceptions allowed by OSHA to these requirements are those situations involving "hot tap" operations. For this exception to be valid, the Hope College personnel involved must demonstrate that the continuity of services is essential, that shutdown of the energy source is impractical, and that documented (written) procedures and special equipment have been implemented that will provide proven effective protection.

    These procedures apply to all maintenance or installation operations conducted at Hope College facilities.

    1. Tag-out Devices

      Tags affixed to energy isolating devices are warning devices that do not provide the physical restraint on those devices that a lock would provide. Any tag so attached to an energy isolating device must not be removed without authorization of the person attaching it, and it must never be bypassed, ignored, or otherwise defeated. Tags must be legible and understandable in order to be effective. Tags must be made of materials which will withstand environmental conditions encountered in the workplace. When utilized, tags must be securely attached to energy isolating devices so that they cannot be inadvertently or accidentally detached during use. Tag-out devices must be substantial enough to prevent inadvertent or accidental removal.

      Tag-out devices must warn against hazardous conditions if the machine or equipment is energized and must include appropriate warnings such as:

    2. Lock-out Devices

      Lockout devices and practices vary by nature and function. Several effective lockout devices and practices are listed as follows:

      1. Padlocks. Key operated padlocks are recommended and should be assigned individually.

      2. Multiple lock adapters will enable more than one worker to place their own padlock on the isolating device to guarantee that the machine or equipment will remain deactivated until each and every employee completes their own task, and only then will the last padlock be removed.

      3. Chains or other commercially available devices should be used to prevent valves from being opened or, in some cases, closed. The principle of multiple lock adapters still applies even when chains or other devices are used on operations requiring more than one employee.
    3. Procedures
      1. General

        If energy-isolating devices are not capable of being locked out, they must be modified so that they are capable of being locked out whenever major replacement, repair, renovation, or modification of the machine or equipment takes place. Whenever new machines or equipment are installed, energy-isolating devices for such machines or equipment must be designed to accept a lockout device.

        If an isolating device cannot be locked out for any reason, then additional steps must be taken to assure full employee protection such as removing fuses, blocking switches, blanking off lines, etc.

        If the machine or equipment is not capable of being locked out, a tag-out procedure must be documented and utilized. The tag-out procedure must provide full employee protection equivalent to a lockout system. For full employee protection, when a tag-out device is used on an energy-isolating device, the device must be attached at the same location that the lockout device would have been attached, and must demonstrate that the tag-out device will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to that of a lockout system.

      2. Plug/Cord and Hose-Connected Type Equipment

        When servicing or installing plug/cord or hose connected electrical, pneumatic, or hydraulically powered equipment, the cord or hose shall be disconnected from the equipment to be worked on, prior to starting the work. A tag warning against reconnecting the plug or hose shall be affixed to the plug or hose end.

        Any stored energy (e.g., capacitor voltage, hydraulic pressure) shall be safely released prior to the start of maintenance or installation work.

      3. Electrically Powered Equipment

        Electrically powered equipment shall be de-energized and their source of electricity manually disconnected from them prior to the removal of protective covers or the start of other maintenance or installation work. It is important to recognize that locking and tagging on/off switches is often not sufficient to prevent accidental start up or prevent voltage from being present in the equipment. If the equipment is not wired properly (i.e., the polarity is reversed) or the switch is of the single pole type, voltage can be present even if the operating switch is in the off position. For these reasons, manual disconnects must be placed in the off position and/or the equipment's power fuses removed from the motor control center.

        The lock-out/tag-out procedure is as follows:

        • Each person working on the circuit or piece of equipment shall place a padlock and warning tag on the electrical isolation device (e.g., disconnect switch).

        • Each person working on the circuit or piece of equipment shall attempt to energize or start the piece of equipment prior to starting work. Each on/off switch capable of energizing the equipment must be "tried."

        • If the try step reveals that the equipment is capable of being energized, the proper disconnects must be located and locked out and the try step repeated.

        • As each person completes his or her task, they shall remove their padlock and tag from the energy isolating device.

        • All protective covers or panels shall be securely re-attached prior to energizing the equipment after work is completed. In the event that protective covers must be removed to make adjustments on energized equipment, appropriate guards must be constructed and attached in such a manner as to prevent employee contact with live circuitry capable of causing human injury. Such guards must be of durable construction, adequate to prevent injurious contact, and remain in place at all times that the equipment is energized.
      4. Chemical and/or Pressurized Lines

        Prior to working on any pressurized line or a line containing a toxic, flammable, reactive, or corrosive material, the following procedure must be implemented:

        1. The line to be serviced must have two block valves upstream of the work area or device to be serviced or installed, placed in the closed position and tagged. The bleed valve (between the two block valves) shall be opened and tagged so that leakage of the valve upstream would be readily obvious. The line shall be depressurized or drained in a safe manner. Lines shall be broken in such a manner as to release pressure away from the employee. All solids or liquids drained shall be safely collected. This procedure is called "double block and bleed."

        2. If it is possible for pressure or line material to enter the work area from more than one direction, the line in each direction of travel shall be "double blocked and bled" as described above.

        3. In the event that "double block and bleed" procedures are infeasible (i.e., the line is not provided with adequate valving), alternative measures shall be implemented. One alternate measure is to place a solid "blind" in a flange located between the available upstream valve and the work area. If blinds are used they shall be sufficiently corrosionand pressure-resistant to ensure that if the valve leaks, the blind will stop the material or pressure from reaching the work area.

      5. Stored Mechanical Energy

        In situations where equipment to be worked on has stored mechanical energy (e.g., in a flywheel or drop hammer), the stored energy must be released or blocked in a safe manner before starting maintenance or installation work. Effective blocking practices may include the installation of safety blocks or adequate supports. Under no circumstances will "bumper jacks" or "scissor jacks" be considered to be adequate blocks.

      6. Training

        The purpose in providing training to employees is to ensure that they understand the purpose and function of the lock-out/tag-out program and procedures, and that they have the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage, and removal of energy controls.

        1. Personnel who work around electrical equipment but who do not perform a primary duty of electrical system installation or maintenance will be briefed by their supervisor on the hazards of electricity and the proper precautions to observe.

        2. Each authorized employee who will use a lock-out/tag-out procedure must receive training in the recognition of applicable hazardous energy sources, the type and magnitude of the energy available in the workplace, and the methods and means necessary for isolation and control.

        3. Employees must be retrained whenever there is a change in their job assignment; a change in machines, equipment, or processes that present a new hazard; or when there is a change in the lock-out/tag-out procedures.


All mechanical motion is potentially hazardous. Motion hazards, such as rotating devices, cutting or shearing blades, in-running nip points, reciprocating parts, linear moving belts and pulleys, meshing gears, and uncontrolled movement of failing parts, are examples of motion and peculiar to any one machine or job operation. Personnel working within areas where they are exposed to machinery or equipment hazards must be aware of the potential for accidents. Machine operators and others are exposed to moving parts and can get clothing or body parts caught in the machinery.

  1. General
    1. Personnel Training

      Personnel should be trained to safely operate each machine they will be required to use; to recognize potential accident producing situations; and to know what to do when hazards are discovered. Only personnel who have been thoroughly trained, or those who are undergoing supervised on-the-job training on the equipment, will be permitted to operate machinery.
    2. Personal Protective Equipment
      1. Eye protection or face shields will be worn by all personnel within areas where machines are operated.
      2. Loose fitting clothing, neckties, rings, bracelets, or other apparel that may become entangled in moving machinery will not be worn by machine operators or their helpers.
      3. Hair nets or caps will be worn to keep long hair away from moving machinery.
      4. Gloves will not be worn where there is a chance of them being caught in machinery.
      5. Ear plugs or muffs will be used when required for worker protection.
      6. The Office of Health and Safety should be contacted to assist supervisors in determining personnel protective equipment needs.

    3. Environmental
      1. Machines designed for fixed locations will normally be securely fastened to the floor or other suitable foundation to eliminate all movement or "walking." Machines equipped with rubber feet, non-skid foot pads, or similar vibration dampening materials will be installed according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Machines that have the potential of tipping or falling over will be firmly secured.
      2. Machines that develop fine dust and fumes will be equipped with effective exhaust hoods, connected to an effective exhaust system. An interlocking device should be installed to link the machine's power supply and the exhaust system to prevent the operation of machines without the exhaust system operating.
      3. Machines will never be left unattended with the power on unless the worker is operating more than one machine in a battery of machines. In this latter instance, the clear zone will be appropriately marked to include all machines in the group.
      4. No attempt will be made to clean any part of a machine until the moving parts have come to a complete stop. Chips will not be removed from machinery by hand. Hand brushes should be used but compressed air may be used when reduced to less than 30 psi and then only with effective chip guarding and personal protective equipment.
      5. Brushes, swabs, lubricating rolls, and automatic or manual pressure guns will be used by operators to lubricate material, punches, or dies. This equipment will be used so that operators are not required to reach into the point of operation or other hazardous area.

    4. Housekeeping
      1. Floors will be kept in good repair and free of chips, dust, metal scraps, and other slipping and tripping hazards.
      2. Waste containers will be emptied daily or more often, if necessary, to prevent excessive waste accumulations.
      3. All materials, including usable scrap, will be stored so that they will not present a hazard.
      4. Drip pans will be used whenever equipment must be oiled. Machinery will not be in motion when being lubricated unless lubrication is automatic or a long gravity flow spout is used, enabling the oiler to remain in the clear while performing this task.

    5. Material Handling
      1. Trucks used for scrap disposal will not be overloaded, and scrap will not extend beyond the ends or sides of trucks.
      2. When materials are of a weight or size which makes manual lifting hazardous, mechanical handling equipment will be used.

    6. Maintenance/Repair
      1. When maintenance or repair is needed, machines will be completely shut down and the control switch(es) locked and tagged in the "OFF" position.
      2. Cutting tools will be kept sharp and forming tools well dressed and free from accumulations of chips, dust, and other foreign matter. Where two or more cutting tools are used in one cutting head, they will be properly adjusted and balanced.
      3. Damaged cutting tools will be removed from service and will not be used until repaired.

    7. Usage
      1. Machines will be used only for work within the rated capacity specified by the machine manufacturer.
      2. Machines will be maintained so that while running at full or idle speed, with the largest cutting tool attached, they are free of excessive vibration.
      3. Machines will be completely stopped before attempting to clear jammed work or debris.
      4. No saw blade, cutter head, or tool collar will be placed or mounted on a machine arbor, unless it has been accurately sized and shaped to fit the arbor.

    8. Electrical Safeguards
      1. The motor "START" button will be protected against accidental/inadvertent operation. "START" buttons will not be wedged for continuous operation.
      2. The wiring and grounding of machinery will be in accordance with the National Electric Code.
      3. Each machine will have a positive electrical disconnect or isolation switch which can be locked out.
      4. Electrically driven machines will be equipped with undervoltage protective systems to preclude automatic restart after either a power failure or other undervoltage condition.

    9. Controls
      1. Foot pedal mechanisms will be located and guarded so that they cannot be activated by falling objects or other accidental means. A pad with a non-slip contact area will be firmly attached to the pedal.
      2. Controls will be available to the workers at their operating positions so that they do not reach over moving parts of the equipment. Control functions will be identified by printed words and color coding. Controls will not be wedged for continuous operation.
      3. Power controls must have a way of locking out electrical power. Disconnecting or isolating switches will be mounted on a visible side of, or near, the machine and will be used to lock out power to the machine during repairs or adjustments. When the power is locked out, the isolating switch will be tagged.
  2. Guards

    Many accidents are caused by machinery that is improperly guarded or not guarded at all. Important factor that must be kept in mind relative to machinery guarding is that no mechanical motion that threatens a worker's safety should be left without a safeguard.

    The following areas of machinery will be provided with barriers and/or enclosures that will effectively prevent personnel from coming in contact with moving components:

    • Point of operation exposures such as blades, knives and cutting heads.
    • Power transmission exposures such as belts, pulleys, shaft, gears, etc.
    • Top, bottom and backside exposures, such as the underside of table saws and the wheels on band saws.
    • When a point-of-operation guard cannot be used because of unusual shapes or cuts, jigs or fixtures which will provide equal safety for the operator will be used. Upon completion of an unusual operation, the guard will be immediately replaced.
    • Whenever a guard is removed for other than an operational requirement, the machine will be shut down and the control switch(es) locked and tagged in the "OFF" position.
    • Guards will be affixed to the machine. Where possible, they will be of the hinged type to enhance maintenance or adjustments.


  1. Hazards

    Plumbing maintenance normally includes the installation, preventive maintenance, and repair ofbwater supply systems, sewage and water disposal systems, natural liquified petroleum gas and (LPG) or other gas supply systems (to include gas appliances), and oxygen supply systems.These systems and the maintenance of them contribute to the total well-being of Hope College facilities. Hazards that may be encountered during plumbing maintenance include, but are not limited to, entry into an oxygen deficient atmosphere (confined space), fire or explosion by introducing an ignition or flame source into a hazardous environment, falls, cave-in of excavated area, burns from heat producing equipment, strains and sprains of the back or other muscle group, and cuts and/or bruises. Working in confined spaces, handling heavy and awkward materials, being subjected to numerous obstructions in limited working space, and health related hazards are conducive to producing accidents. Plumbing maintenance workers need to be knowledgeable of these potential hazards and conditions and take reasonable actions to prevent incidents before they occur.
  2. Personal Protective Equipment

    Personal protective equipment worn during plumbing maintenance operations normally consists of eye and/or face protection, work or chemical resistant gloves, and safety-toe shoes. A bump cap or hard hat may be required under conditions that could result in head injuries, e.g., work in manholes and in close spaces with low overhead pipe or other obstructions. Eye or face protection is required while working plumbing connections, with chemicals, or where an eye hazard could exist while using tools or machines, and while working on pressure systems.
  3. Hot Operations
    1. Torches and Furnaces

      Only essential fire prevention items pertaining to the operation of blowtorches and plumber's furnaces are included. Work and storage areas for this equipment shall be well ventilated.

      1. No one shall be permitted to use a torch or furnace until the user is trained on its use and is familiar with the operating instructions.
      2. Where flammable or explosive vapors or dust may be present, torches and furnaces shall not be used until the atmosphere has been vented and the sources of such vapors or dust removed.
      3. Gasoline blowtorches and furnaces shall not be used in small, unventilated spaces since they could cause explosions. Acetylene gas shall never be brought in contact with metal powders such as copper or silver as the combination may produce flashes which can ignite explosive atmospheres.
      4. Combustible materials in locations where torches or furnaces are to be used shall be protected or kept far enough away to prevent their being subjected to sparks or dangerous temperatures. Appropriate fire extinguishers shall be available.

    2. Soldering and Brazing

      Soldering and brazing is the joining of metal parts by melting a fusible alloy. When solders used have a melting point above 800 degrees F, the procedure is called brazing.
      1. Improper equipment and/or unsafe practices may cause lead poisoning, irritation from fluxes, burns, electric shock, or fires.
      2. The concentration of toxic fumes and irritants at the breathing level of the operation shall be checked. Where required because of toxic fumes, a respirator or adequate ventilation shall be provided. Lead-tin, zinc, silver, cadmium, and antimony-tin solders can pose moderate to serious health hazards. Soldering, particularly with lead-tin, in a confined space where ventilation is not adequate to remove toxic fumes may require the use of a self-contained breathing device. The Office of Health and Safety shall be consulted for evaluation of potential health hazards and recommendations on respiratory protection during welding, soldering, and brazing operations.
      3. Electric soldering irons shall be grounded unless of double insulation construction. All soldering irons shall be placed in suitable non-combustible receptacles when not in use.
      4. When required, "Open Flame" permits shall be obtained for these operations.
      5. Appropriate safety eyewear shall be worn during all soldering and brazing operations.

    3. Open Storm Drains

      Plumbing personnel are not likely to come in contact with the hazards associated with sewer systems while working on open storm drains. However, there are certain hazards associated with that type of drainage system. Some of these hazards and their associated incidents are:
      1. Manhole covers

        Manhole covers are heavy and closely fitted to the manhole opening. Never attempt to lift a cover without using proper pry bar tools, special lifting tools, and additional help where needed. Ensure fingers and toes do not remain under manhole covers when putting them down.
      2. Hazards

        Insects, animals, and snakes have been known to nest or den in storm drains. Hazards encountered are:
        1. Stings from wasps, spiders, and ants that could lead to toxic shock.
        2. Bites from animals that could lead to rabies.
        3. Bites from poisonous snakes that could be fatal or cause gangrene.

      3. Requirements

        Prior to working in storm drains, inspect and clear the drains of dangerous insects, animals, or snakes. Seek assistance from an exterminator or County Animal Control Department when necessary. Wear proper protective clothing, hard hats, boots, and gloves while working in storm drains.

    4. Gas Systems

      Maintenance of gas systems include natural gas, LPG, and oxygen. Shop personnel shall be familiar with the properties of the gases in the systems they maintain. Until proved otherwise, all escaping gases shall be considered flammable. Prior to entering an area where a gas leak is suspected, the area shall be properly vented and purged of existing gas. Personnel entering the area shall be suited with proper protective clothing and self-contained breathing devices. For oxygen deficient atmospheres, air supply systems with a special emergency escape air supply are required and shall be used. Tools used to repair leaks in or perform maintenance on gas lines shall be spark-free and protective clothing shall be static-free. When working on oxygen dispensing lines, workers shall not use tools and equipment that are coated with lubricating substances or grease.
    5. Tunnels, Pits, and Sumps
      1. Where shop personnel are required to work in utility tunnels, pits, and sumps, the atmospheric conditions shall be checked for explosive atmosphere or oxygen deficiency before allowing them to enter. Personnel shall be suited with proper protective clothing and respiratory protective devices, when required, while performingmaintenance to underground utilities. All tunnels, pits, or sumps known to be contaminated shall be tagged or identified for the information of work crews. Workers shall be assigned in pairs for work performed on underground utilities and all known contaminated tunnels, pits, and sumps shall be ventilated while work is in progress.
      2. When a manhole or vault is open, at least one member of the crew shall be stationed at the surface. This person shall not, under normal circumstances, leave for any purpose.


      In areas where removal of a victim would be difficult, an approved lifeline, equipped with a wrist harness, shall be worn by the person entering the area to facilitate rapid removal in case of an emergency.

    6. Compressed Air

      Plumbing workers should be trained and authorized to inspect, maintain, or install compressed air systems. Before opening a compressed air line, workers shall ensure the line has been completely drained of existing air to prevent a sudden release of air which will cause the line to whip. The reverse is also true; when personnel have installed a new compressed air system, all parts of the system shall be secured together before air is put into the system. Workers shall wear eye and face protective equipment while working on compressed air systems.


  1. Hazards

    Personnel performing duties in carpentry and structural maintenance are potentially exposed to a wide variety of hazards in many different environments and locations. Potential hazards include exposures to flammable and combustible adhesives, dusts, hazardous noise, eye hazards, working at heights above ground level, lifting hazards, electric and pneumatic power tools, and working with unfinished material which could expose them to splinters. Many tasks are performed in areas of high pedestrian traffic; therefore, an additional hazard of possible distraction from the job task arises. Potential physical and health hazards can be effectively controlled by proper work procedures and controls, and by using required personal protective equipment.
  2. General Carpentry
    1. Workers shall not leave a woodworking machine running unattended nor shall they attempt to clear, clean, or repair the machine while it is operating. When maintenance is necessary, the machine shall be completely shut down, its control switches locked and tagged in the "OFF" position. Supervisors shall ensure that periodic inspections are accomplished on all shop equipment. Chips or dust shall never be removed from machinery by hand. Machine guards shall not be removed or made inoperative except for authorized maintenance. When guards are removed during machine repair, power control switches shall be locked in the "OFF" position and properly tagged. The machine shall remain locked until the guards are replaced.
    2. Personal protective equipment worn while operating machinery, equipment, and saws within the shop and on job sites normally consists of eye protection, safety-toe shoes, and hearing protection. Other safety related personal protective equipment are dust masks where workers are exposed to dust at the point of operation. The Office of Health and Fire Safety shall be consulted to determine the need for dust masks. Hard hats are required on job sites where the potential exists from being struck by falling object(s), e.g., roofing and construction.
    3. See Section 20 of this chapter for general guidance that applies to both carpentry and structural maintenance work methods or tools. The following specific guidance applies to table saws:
      1. Keep hands out of the line of cut when feeding table saws. Use a push stick when close to the blade.
      2. Adjust saw to expose the least amount of saw blade above table and material being cut.
      3. Always stand out of line of stock being ripped.
      4. Hold stock being cut against a gauge when cutting with a circular table saw.
      5. Always use the appropriate saw for the cut (it would be unsafe to rip with a crosscut saw or to crosscut with a rip saw).
      6. Avoid crosscutting long boards on a table saw.
      7. Never adjust the saw or fence gauge while the saw is operating.. Designate the line of cut on the table top with a permanent mark when setting the gauge of a table saw without removing the guards.
      8. Always use a brush or stick to clean or scrape sawdust from a saw.
  3. Ventilation Systems
    1. Application

      Machines that develop fine dust or other airborne contaminants shall be equipped with effective industrial exhaust ventilation. In shops where small numbers of installed machines are not continuously in operation, portable collection systems may be used.
    2. Exhaust Ducts and Pipes

      These shall be constructed and sized to minimize clogging. They shall discharge into an enclosed container.
    3. Refuse

      Refuse shall be removed daily in all operations that are not required to have an exhaust system or where the refuse cannot be handled by an exhaust system.

  4. Storage and Handling of Lumber
    1. Storage areas for lumber and other building materials can be potentially hazardous. For example, when lumber is stored upright, precautions shall be taken to prevent it from falling into aisles or passageways. Lumber stored in tiers shall be stacked, blocked, and interlocked and the stacks shall be limited in height so they are stable and secure against sliding or collapse. Furthermore, storage areas shall be kept free of accumulations of materials that constitute tripping, fire, or explosion hazards.
    2. When heavy stock cannot be safely handled by workers, suitable mechanical lifting devices shall be used.
    3. Gloves shall be worn by workers to reduce injury potential to the hands from splinters or from being pinched between the stacks. The accidental movement of the stacked material can cause serious injuries. Caution shall be taken not to disturb other tiers when removing partial stacks for use.
    4. Manual handling is relatively safe if the proper lifting and carrying positions are used. Balanced handling is the key to safe handling.


  1. Hazards

    Welding, cutting and brazing operations present a series of hazardous situations with potential exposure to burns, eye damage, electrical shock, crushed toes and fingers, and the inhalation of vapors and fumes. Many welding, cutting and brazing incidents in industry result from:
    • Inadequately trained personnel.
    • Poor housekeeping practices.
    • Poor shop layout.
    • Inadequate lighting and ventilation.
    • Improper storage and movement of compressed gas cylinders.
    • Exposure of oxygen cylinders and fittings to oil or grease creating a fire or explosive hazard.
    • Pointing welding or cutting torches at a concrete surface causing spattering and flying fragments of concrete.
    • Electric shock when motors, generators and other electric welding equipment are not grounded.
    • Inhalation of toxic fumes or vapors from welding metals or alloys.
    • Fires, explosions, and injuries can occur resulting from:
      1. The proximity of combustible solids, liquids, or dusts.
      2. The presence or development of possible explosive mixtures of flammable gases and air.
    • The presence or nature of an oxygen-enriched atmosphere in locations where hot work is performed. Cutters and welders, and other exposed personnel, are also susceptible to eye injury from infrared light and ultraviolet radiation.
  2. Operating Precautions

    The following provides minimum guidance on operating precautions and procedures.
    1. Provide ventilation in shops or rooms where work is to be performed but avoid strong drafts directed at the welding work.
    2. Do not place work to be welded or heated on a concrete floor. Concrete, when heated, may splatter and fly exposing the welder to possible burns and also throwing hot particles a considerable distance.
    3. Provide appropriate protection for welders and helpers when working on elevated surfaces. Welding areas shall be kept neat, clean, and free from tripping hazards.
    4. Provide approved personal protective equipment for welders who must enter confined spaces, manholes or other space restricted areas. Also, provide a means to ensure their quick removal in case of an emergency.
    5. Do not perform cutting and welding operations in sprinklered buildings when the sprinkler system is inoperable; in explosive atmospheres or where explosive atmospheres may develop; or, within 50 feet of storage of large quantities of exposed, readily ignitable materials.
    6. Before lighting the torch for the first time each day, allow enough of each gas to flow through its respective hose to purge any flammable gas mixture. Purge hoses in open spaces and away from ignition sources. Light the torch with a friction lighter or stationary pilot flame keeping a safe distance between he torch and the welder's hands. Point the torch away from persons or combustible materials when lighting. Do not attempt to light a torch from hot metal.
    7. When working in a confined space, the fuel gas and oxygen supply shall be located outside the confined space. The torch and hose should be removed from confined spaces when not in use.
    8. Fuel gas and oxygen torch valves shall be closed and the fuel gas and oxygen supply to the torch shall be shut off during lunch or break periods, when not in use for extended periods, and when unattended.
    9. Welding torch hoses must be protected from damage by contact with hot metal, open flames, corrosive agents or sharp edges. Pressure on hoses will be released at the end of each workday. Hoses must be visually inspected for damage at the beginning of each shift. Hose showing leaks,cuts, burns, worn spots or other evidence of deterioration must be repaired or replaced prior to use. Replacement hoses or fittings must be approved for use with acetylene equipment.
    10. Shielding shall be provided to protect personnel from heat, sparks, slag, light, and radiation.
    11. A fire watch will be maintained for at least 30 minutes after completion of cutting or welding operations to detect and extinguish possible smoldering fires.

  3. Personal Protective Equipment

    Key portions of OSHA Standard 1910.252 covering protective equipment are included here. Personnel engaged in or exposed to welding, cutting, or brazing activities will be provided and use personal protective equipment to include eye and face protection, head protection when in a hard hat area, foot protection, and body, arm, and hand protection.
    1. Eye Protection
      1. Helmets shall be used during all arc welding or arc cutting operations. Goggles should also be worn during arc welding or cutting operations to provide protection from injurious rays from adjacent work, and from flying objects. The goggles may have either clear or colored glass, depending upon the amount of exposure to adjacent welding operations. Helpers or attendants shall be provided with proper eye protection. Helmets shall be arranged to protect the face, neck, and ears from direct radiant energy from the arc.
      2. Goggles or other suitable eye protection shall be used during all gas welding or oxygen cutting operations. Spectacles with side shields and suitable filter lenses are permitted for use during gas welding operations on light work, for torch brazing or for inspection. Goggles shall be ventilated to prevent fogging of the lenses as much as practicable.
      3. All operators and attendants of resistance welding or resistance brazing equipment shall use transparent face shields or goggles, depending on the particular job, to protect their faces or eyes, as required.
      4. Eye protection in the form of suitable goggles shall be provided where needed for brazing operations.
    2. Protective Clothing
      1. All welders should wear flame-resistant gauntlet gloves and shirts with slee Sufficient length and construction to protect the arms from heat, UV radiation, and sparks.
      2. All welders should wear fire-resistant aprons, coveralls, and leggings.
      3. Clothing should be kept reasonably free of oil or grease. Front pockets and upturned sleeves or cuffs should be prohibited, and sleeves and collars should be kept buttoned to prevent hot metal slag or sparks from contacting the skin.
    3. Respiratory Protection

      The Office of Health and Safety shall be consulted to determine appropriate levels of respiratory protection to be worn by personnel performing welding operations.

  4. Fire Prevention and Protection
    1. The welding operation environment shall be free of flammable liquids and vapors. Combustible materials within a radius of 35 feet of the operation will be protected from activity residue (flame, heat, sparks, slag, etc.).
    2. Fire watcher procedures shall be implemented whenever welding activities are conducted within 35 feet of combustible materials, regardless of protection provided. A qualified individual proficient in the operation of available fire extinguishing equipment and knowledgeable of fire reporting procedures shall observe welding or cutting activities. His or her duty is to detect and prevent the spread of fire produced by welding or cutting activities.
    3. Whenever there are cracks or other floor openings within 35 feet of the welding or cutting that cannot be closed or covered, precautions shall be taken to remove or otherwise protect combustible materials on the floor below that may be exposed to sparks. The same precautions shall be observed with regard to cracks or openings in walls, open doorways, and open or broken windows.
    4. Fire extinguishing equipment shall be maintained, ready for use, while welding or cutting operations are being performed. Equipment may consist of pails of water, buckets of sand, hose, or portable extinguishers depending upon the nature and quantity of the combustible material exposed.
    5. Where sprinkler protection exists, it shall be in full service while welding or cutting work is being performed. If welding or cutting is to be done within three feet of automatic sprinkler heads, noncombustible sheet material or damp cloth guards will be used to temporarily shield the individual heads.

  5. Welding and Cutting Tanks, Cylinders, or Containers

    The procedures described below apply only to tanks too small to be entered. Compressed gas cylinders are excluded as are pipelines. Cutting and welding on containers that have held flammable liquids or gases shall be under the direct supervision of knowledgeable personnel.
    1. Inspection

      BEFORE any tank, cylinder, or other container is cut, welded, or other hot work is performed, the item shall be purged or made inert. New containers shall also be made inert as they amy contain a flammable preservative which could form explosive vapors when heated. Welders shall also ensure that there are no substances such as grease, tars, or acids which, when subjected to heat, might produce explosive or toxic vapors. Any pipe lines or connections to the drums, cylinders, tanks, or other containers shall be disconnected or blanked.
    2. Purging and Inerting
      1. Purging with Water

        Where the liquid or gas previously contained is known to be readily displaced or easily soluble in water, it can be removed by completely filling the container with water and then draining. When hot work is performed on containers filled with water, extreme care shall be used to eliminate any vapor accumulation by proper venting or positioning of the container during the filling operation.
      2. Purging with Air

        Hazardous vapors may be displaced from inside containers by purging with air. A safe atmosphere shall be maintained by continuous ventilation.
      3. Inerting with Gas

        Inert gas may be used to displace flammable gas from the container. Adequate ventilation shall be maintained during the operation to ensure gas concentrations remain below hazardous levels.

        Examples of inert gases are carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

      4. Venting

        All hollow spaces, cavities, or containers shall be vented to permit the escape of air or gases before and during preheating, cutting, or welding.

  6. Arc Welding
    1. Arc welding equipment shall conform to the design and installation criteria of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.252, "Welding, Cutting, and Brazing." The frame or case of the welding machine (except engine-driven machines) shall be grounded under the conditions and according to the methods prescribed in OSHA Standard 1910, Subpart S, "Electrical", and 1910.252.
    2. Before starting operations, all connections to the arc welding machine shall be checked. The work lead shall be firmly attached to the work; contact surfaces of the magnetic work clamps shall be free of metal splatter particles. Coiled welding cable shall be spread out before use to avoid serious overheating and damage to insulation. Work and electrode lead cables shall be inspected for damage and wear before use. Cables with damaged insulation or exposed conductors shall be replaced. Electrode cables shall be joined and insulated in accordance with approved methods.
    3. Grounding of the welding machine from shall be checked. Special attention shall be given to the ground connections of portable machines.
    4. Electrode holders, when not in use, shall be placed where they cannot make electrical contact with persons, conducting objects, fuel, or compressed gas cylinders.
    5. When it is necessary to splice cables to extend their length, only certified electricians shall make the splices. Cables with splices within 10 feet of the electrode holder shall not be used. The welder shall not coil or loop welding electrode cables around parts of their body.
    6. Welders shall not place welding cable and other equipment where it will obstruct passageways, ladders, and stairways.
    7. Machines which have become wet shall be thoroughly dried and tested before being used.
    8. When welders are working close to one another on one structure where they may touch the exposed parts of more than one electrode holder simultaneously, the machines shall be connected to minimize shock hazard as follows:
      1. All direct current (DC) machines shall be connected with the same polarity.
      2. All alternating current (AC) machines shall be connected to the same phase of the supply circuit and with the same instantaneous polarity.
  7. Resistance Welding
    1. Thermal Protection

      Every pair of ignition tubes used in resistance welding equipment shall be equipped with a thermal protection switch. When used in a series-connected water line, a single switch shall be adequate if related to the downstream tube.
    2. Control Safeguards

      Controls, such as push buttons, foot switches, retraction, and dual-schedule switches on portable guns, etc., shall be arranged or guarded to prevent inadvertent activation.
    3. Guarding Welding Machines
      Multi-gun welding machines shall be effectively guarded at the point of operation. Devices such as an electronic eye, latches, blocks, barriers, or two-hand controls shall be installed. All chains, gears, operating bus linkage, and belts shall be protected by adequate guards.
    4. Electrical Hazards

      All external weld-initiating control circuits shall operate on low voltage, not over 120 bolts for stationary equipment and not over 36 volts for portable equipment. All electrical equipment shall be suitably interlocked and insulated to prevent access by unauthorized persons to live portions of the equipment. Only non-ferrous welding clamps should be used to prevent magnetic induction during actuation of the equipment.

  8. Welding in Confined Spaces

    The guidance below has been extracted for OSHA 29 CFR 1910.252.

    1.1. Confined space means a relatively small or restricted space such as a tank, boiler, pressure vessel, mixing vat, sump, or pit. Ventilation is a prerequisite to work in confined spaces. All welding and cutting operations carried on in confined spaces shall be adequately ventilated to prevent the accumulation of toxic materials, possible oxygen deficiency, or explosive atmosphere. This applies not only to the welder but also to helpers and other personnel in the immediate vicinity. All air replacing that which is withdrawn shall be clear and respirable. Oxygen shall never be used as makeup air.

    2.2. In such circumstances where it is impossible to provide such ventilation, respirators or hose masks approved for this purpose by NIOSH/MSHA shall be used. In areas immediately hazardous to life, hose masks with blowers or self-contained breathing apparatus shall be used.

    3.3. Where welding operations are carried on in a confined space and where welders and helpers are provided with hose masks, hose masks with blowers, or self-contained breathing apparatus, a worker shall be stationed on the outside of the confined space to ensure the safety of those working within.

    4.4. When welding or cutting is being performed in any confined space, the gas cylinders and welding machines shall be left on the outside. Before operations are started, heavy portable equipment mounted on wheels shall be securely blocked to prevent accidental movement.

    5.5. Where a welder must enter a confined space through a manhole or other small opening, a means shall be provided for quick removal of the worker in case of emergency. When safety belts and lifelines are used for this purpose, they shall be attached to the welder's body in a way that ensures his or her body cannot be jammed in a small exit opening. A wrist harness assembly shall be used. An attendant with a preplanned rescue procedure shall be stationed outside to observe the welder at all times and shall be capable of putting rescue operations into effect.

    6.6. When arc welding is to be stopped for any substantial period of time, such as during lunch or overnight, all electrodes shall be removed from the holders and the holders carefully located so accidental contact cannot occur. The machine shall be disconnected from the power source.

    7.7. When gas welding or cutting, the torch valves shall be closed and the fuel-gas and oxygen supply to the torch positively shut off at some point outside the confined area whenever the torch is not to be used for a substantial period of time, such as during lunch or overnight. Where practicable, the torch and hose shall also be removed from the confined space.

    8.8. All confined spaces shall be monitored for oxygen content, combustible vapors, and toxic material prior to entry and periodically throughout the operation. Periodic testing shall depend on the type of space being entered.

    The Office of Health and Fire Safety shall be consulted for guidance.

  9. Portable Gas Units
    Portable gas welding, cutting, and brazing equipment must be of a type approved for the use intended.

    1.1. Cylinders of compressed gas must have pressure reducing regulators installed.

    2.2. Cylinders in use or in a transport must be stored in an upright position and secured to prevent them from falling.

    3.3. Pressure hoses shall be secured to prevent whipping.

    4.4. Oxygen cylinders and fittings shall be kept free of grease and oil at all times.

    5.5. Cylinders shall be kept away from external sources of heat at all times.

    6.6. Cylinders shall not be dropped of handled roughly. Cylinders or welding sets in excess of 40 pounds total weight shall be transported to and from work sites by push cart or motorized vehicle.

  10. Portable Electric Units
    1. Circuits shall be de-energized before testing, checking or transporting.
    2. Motor-generator sets and other electrical welding equipment shall be grounded prior to use.
    3. Rotary and polarity switches shall not be operated while the equipment is under an electrical load.
    4. Arc welding equipment shall be inspected periodically and inspected prior to use following relocation. Power cables and electrode holders shall be inspected prior to every use.
  11. Sheet Metal
    1. Machines shall be guarded in accordance with manufacturer's requirements.
    2. Supervisors shall ensure sharp metal is stored in an area that will not pose a hazard to machine operators or personnel walking through designated aisles.
    3. Work gloves shall always be worn when working with metal and metal scraps.
    4. Hearing protection shall be worn when working in designated hazardous noise areas with noise sources operating or when using hand tools labeled hazardous noise producers.


  1. Hazards

    Refrigeration and air conditioning maintenance personnel, as with many other Engineering Services activities, perform duties in many different locations and environments. Not only must these workers be aware of the hazards of the tasks they are performing, but also tasks being performed around them. Potential hazards include hazardous noise, electrical hazards, exposure to refrigerants, lifting hazards, and compressed gases and cylinders. Potential physical and health hazards can be effectively controlled by proper work procedures and controls, and by using required personal protective equipment.
  2. General Requirements
    1. Equipment rooms where air conditioning equipment is installed shall be kept free and clear of all trash and clutter which could present tripping or fire hazards. Refrigerant piping shall be properly insulted, both to improve operating efficiency and to prevent injury to workers who may accidentally come in contact with it. Equipment rooms are not normally designed for, nor intended for, storage of materials.
    2. All belts, pulleys, and rotating shafts shall be guarded to prevent accidental contact. Large valve handle stems which can present a bump or trip hazard shall be marked (color coded) for easy recognition.
    3. Electrical parts of the equipment and controls shall have all covers and plates in place. Wiring shall be properly secured to the equipment or structure.
  3. Storage and Handling

    Storage and handling of cylinders of compressed gas refrigerants can be a source of injury to workers.
    1. Workers shall ensure that containers are legibly marked with the type of gas contained and stored with minimum intermingling of types of refrigerant. Cylinders shall be stored separately from flammable gases and oxygen.
    2. Where caps have been provided for valve protection, they shall be kept in place at all times until the cylinder is actually in use. Valves shall be kept closed at all times except when the cylinder is in use.
    3. Cylinders shall not be used as rollers or supports. Their only use is to contain the gas.
    4. Non-refillable containers, such as Department of Transportation (DOT) -2P, DOT 2Q, and DOT 39 containers, shall not be refilled with any material after use of the original contents, They shall be disposed of in accordance with the container manufacturer's or filler's instructions.
    5. Cylinders shall not be dragged, slid, dropped, or allowed to strike each other or solid objects violently. Whenever possible, a suitable hand truck or roll platform shall be used.
    6. Containers shall never be lifted by the valve. Cylinders shall not be suspended by chains, ropes, or slings unless the manufacturer has provided appropriate attachment points.
    7. Storage areas shall be legibly marked with the names of the gases being stored. Full cylinders and empty cylinders shall be segregated and the full ones arranged so the oldest stock can be removed first with a minimum of handling. The storage area shall be kept as dry as possible and away from exposure to salt or other corrosive chemicals or materials. Cylinders shall be secured by a metal securing device or rack specifically designed to prevent damage.
    8. The rules above apply to all refrigeration and air conditioning maintenance work centers that use and store compressed gases.

  4. Fluorocarbons

    The fluorocarbons are relatively inert, in general are non-flammable, and are low in toxicity.Shipped as liquefied compressed gases under their own vapor pressures, they are colorless asliquids and gases under their own vapor pressures, they are colorless as liquids and freeze to white solids. The fluorocarbons are odorless in concentrations of less than 20 percent by volume in air but some have a faint and ethereal odor in higher concentrations. The fluorocarbons are unusually stable for organic compounds. Resistance toward thermal decomposition, in general, is high but varies with each product. When decomposition does occur, toxic products are very irritating and usually give adequate warning of their presence in very low concentrations in air. Hot work should never be performed on charged systems.
    1. Large Liquid Leaks

      Large liquid leaks in fluorocarbon systems may be detected visually. As the material escapes, moisture in the air surrounding the leak condenses and then freezes around the leak due to the refrigerating effect of the vaporizing fluorocarbons. The frost thus formed is readily apparent. Smaller leaks may be located with the use of:
      1. A solution of liquid detergent in water applied directly to the area being tested. The formation of bubbles indicates a leak.
      2. Electronic leak detectors, capable of sensitivities far greater than the other methods - often in terms of fractions of an ounce of fluorocarbon per year. When the probe of the instrument is placed near a leak, positive identification of the leak is indicated by a flashing light, meter deflection, or by audible means.

      NOTE: The vapors of these fluorocarbons are all much heavier than air and in the absence of good ventilation will tend to collect in low areas, thus possibly displacing available air. The vapors will undergo decomposition when drawn through a flame or if in contact with very hot surfaces. The products of decomposition include hydrogen fluoride and hydrogen chloride and, perhaps, small quantities of carbonyl compounds such as phosgene. The halogen acids are both toxic and intensely irritating to the nose and throat. The irritating action of these decomposition products is readily noticeable before hazardous levels are reached. If such a situation develops, the affected areas should be vacated, the heat source and leak eliminated, and the area well ventilated before resuming work.
    2. Recovery of Fluorocarbons During Maintenance Work (ESO procedures, EPA regulations)


  1. Boiler Operations

    Written operating procedures and detailed checklists for operator guidance shall be posted in all equipment rooms. It is important that all functions be included, whether manual or automatic. The basic objectives or safe boiler operations are:
    1. Require the minimum number of manual operations.
    2. Standardize routine operation procedures for normal start-up and on-line operation. Ensure the use of interlocks to minimize improper operating sequences and to stop sequences when conditions are not proper for continuation. Establish and rigidly enforce purge procedures with necessary interlocks.

  2. Boiler Safety
    1. Water Level

      Water in boilers shall be checked and kept at proper levels. Water columns shall be monitored to ensure connections are clear and water returns to the proper level in the gauge glass when drain valves are closed. When water is not visible in the gauge glass, all stresses on the boiler shall be gradually reduced.

      In boilers fired by fuels burned in suspension (fuel oil, gas, or pulverized coal), stop the fire immediately, shut off all air flow, close steam outlet valve, and shut off feed water supply. Proceed as in a normal shutdown. Inspect the boiler thoroughly, including a hydrostatic test, before returning it to service.

    2. Lighting Gas and Oil Fired Furnaces

      Before lighting gas and oil fired furnaces, boilers and breeching shall be ventilated to remove explosive vapors. Burners shall not be lighted if there is oil on the floors or combustion chamber, around the burners, or in front of the boilers. If the flame of a gas or oil-fired burner goes out, the fuel shall be immediately cut off and the furnace passages ventilated before it is re-lit.

    3. Cleaning and Maintenance Procedures

      1. Whenever a boiler is taken out of service for a prolonged period, it should be cleaned promptly and inspected for defects by an authorized boiler inspector.
      2. for boilers in continuous service, planned and scheduled boiler shutdownsfor preventive maintenance if far safer than risking an extensive shutdown caused by boiler failure. At least once a year, the boiler, the flame safeguard supervisory system, and other safety controls shall be inspected during a scheduled shutdown by an authorized boiler inspector who is accompanied by the area supervisor. Defective parts shall be repaired or replaced. For inspection, boilers shall be cool, handholes and manholes open, and the boiler shall have been ventilated. Adequate lighting and protective equipment for work in the boiler should be provided.
      3. Proper and convenient drain connections shall be provided for draining boilers. Unobstructed floor drains, properly located in the boiler room, facilitate proper cleaning. Infrequently used drains should have water poured into the traps, as required based on local conditions, to prevent the entrance of sewer gases and odors into the boiler room. If there is a possibility of freezing, an antifreeze mixture should be used in the drain traps.
      4. When cleaning a boiler, employees shall wear protective clothing, hats, goggles, heavy leather-palm gloves, safety shoes, and approved respirator and hearing protectors if conditions warrant.
    4. Steam Piping and Valve Maintenance
      1. All 4-inch and larger steam valves or main steam valves to any building shall be operated only by qualified heat systems personnel.
      2. High pressure steam valves located in confined areas shall not be turned off until the valve controlling the steam is turned off at the main steam plant. After the valve in the confined area has been closed, the valve in the steam plant may be reopened to distribute steam to other areas.
      3. When a valve in any confined area is to be opened, the operator shall close the main valve at the steam plant before opening the steam valve in the confined area. the operator shall ensure that all pressure has been bled off prior to opening the steam valve in the confined area. theoperator shall open the steam valve in the confined area and move away from the confined area before the main valve at the steam plant may be reopened.
      4. Routine operations, maintenance, and repair in steam pits and other confined areas may be accomplished on electric circuits, controls, motors, pumps, receivers, condensate lines, and vent fans while steam pressure is in the steam line, providing conditions and temperatures are acceptable. However, no operational changes, repair, or maintenance shall be accomplished on steam lines while there is steam pressure on the lines.
      5. Operating personnel shall open drain valves and remove water from the steam line prior to opening a high pressure steam valve. Operating personnel shall familiarize themselves with the location of these drain valves to ensure that the water accumulations are drained from the distribution lines.
      6. When bypass lines and valves are installed around a high pressure steam valve, the bypass valve shall be opened first. when the steamline becomes heated or the steam pressure equalized on both sides of main steam valve, the main steam valve may then be opened.
      7. All high pressure steam valves shall be opened very slowly and everyone shall remain at a safe distance while valve positions are being changed.
      8. When dismantling a valve for maintenance, the worker shall ensure pressure has been relieved through all possible means. The valve body shall be checked for a removable plug to relieve pressure. bolts shall be carefully removed. Personnel shall never position their body over the valve or in line with the direction of travel, in case the bonnet blows.

    5. Vaults, Manholes, and Tanks

      1. All enclosed areas shall be considered hazardous until tested. They will be tested with oxygen deficiency and combustible gas indicators prior to entry.
      2. Atmospheres containing 19.5 percent or less of oxygen by volume should not be entered without the use of an air supplied respirator.
      3. Only manhole cover hooks or other methods approved for this purpose shall be used when removing or replacing manhole covers. When replaced, the covers shall be properly seated. The bearing surfaces shall be free from dirt or ice which might prevent proper seating of the cover.
      4. Personnel shall enter and leave manholes or vaults only by means of a ladder; they will not step on cables, cable hangers, or pipes.
      5. Personnel shall not throw tools or materials into or out of manholes or vaults. They will use canvas buckets, handlines, or other approved methods for lowering and removing tools and equipment.
      6. Working on energized equipment is especially hazardous in subsurface structures and will be performed by an electrician.
      7. When a manhole or vault is open, at least one member of the crew shall be stationed at the surface to act as a safety observer and take appropriate actions in case of emergency.
      8. Cool vests or other heat reducing equipment should be made available to workers who enter vaults or manholes under high heat conditions (e.g., steam leak repair).
    6. Central Heating Plants
      1. Boiler Safety
        1. As a minimum, each boiler shall be equipped with steam and water gauges, gauge cocks, safety and blow-off valves, and low water cutoff devices. Safety valve inspections shall be as outlined in the National Board Inspection Code published by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors. Boiler feedlines shall be equipped with check and cutoff valves placed as close as possible to each boiler. Water gauge glasses, less than 15 feet from the floor or water tender's platform, will be carefully guarded to prevent accidents resulting from breakage or blowouts. High-pressure gauge glasses will be drawn down on each shift. Low-pressure gauge glasses will be checked at least weekly. Pressure gauges shall be inspected and tested every 12 months by heating plant personnel.
        2. No boiler shall be operated unless equipped with a safety valve, calibrated to the boiler manufacturer's recommendations unless normal boiler operating pressures are changed. In the latter case, the maximum operating pressure then becomes the controlling factor on safety valve selection. NO other valves, shall be placed between eh safety valve and the boiler or between the safety valve and the end of its discharge pipe. Safety valves shall be manually tested on steam or hot water systems at least monthly for proper operation. If it is not practical to test safety valves every month for high temperature hot water boilers, the valves should be removed from the boiler, tested, and reset (if required) at a properly equipped safety relief valved testing facility by the valve manufacturer or by a certified ASME shop. Valves should be tested and reset at least once a year for high temperature hot water boilers.
        3. When applicable, spark arresters shall be installed on boiler stacks to prevent flying sparks.
        4. No boiler shall be operated at pressures higher than determined safe by the most recent boiler inspection. Boilers shall not be operated at greater pressures than those specified on the manufacturer's stamped instructions. The lowest of these two pressures will govern boiler operation. the instruction stamped by manufacturers on boilers shall not be covered or obliterated.
        5. If safety valves do not pop when pressures rise above valve settings, or the valves cannot be opened by hand when tested, the boiler shall be taken out of service until the valves have been repaired or replaced.
        6. When fires are banked, boiler tenders shall make certain that draft is sufficient to prevent accumulations of flammable gases.
        7. When a boiler is returned to full operation, all external drains between the boiler and main header shall be left open until the boiler is on the line, The stop valve shall be kept closed until boiler pressure is equal to that in the steam main. The stop valve shall then be gradually opened; if no jars or disturbances occur in the line, the valve may be opened completely. If jarring or rumbling occurs during cutting-in, the stop valve shall be closed immediately.
        8. Steam shall be introduced into cold pipes very slowly until they have warmed enough to preclude damage.
        9. Boiler tenders shall stand to one side when opening fire doors to protect themselves against flarebacks.
        10. When not in use, all boiler room tools shall be stored in suitable racks. Tool racks shall be constructed and located so personnel cannot accidentally touch hot surfaces or knock tools from racks while passing by.
        11. Adjustments shall not be made to valves or valves removed to increase discharge pressure.
        12. Hoistways, driving machinery, conveyors, worm gears, and reciprocating pumps shall be properly guarded.
  3. Boiler Water Treatment Tanks

    Some of the chemicals used to treat boiler water are hazardous and shall be handled properly. The following safety precautions shall be observed:
    1. Acids

      Tests for chemical residuals involve small quantities of acid. the risk is small if spillage is avoided and bottles containing acid are not broken.

      Greater risks are involved in the handling of sulfuric acid in the hydrogen-zeolite, demineralizing, and direct-acid treatment processes. Observe the following precautions when handling sulfuric acid:

      1. Do not permit diluted or strong sulfuric acid to come in contact with the eyes, skin, or clothing.
      2. Always wear full face shields, chemical safety, goggles, neoprene gloves, and a neoprene apron.
      3. Never add water or caustic solutions to concentrated acid since a violent reaction will result.
      4. Ensure supervisor observes all cleaning and repairing of tanks. Observe instructions about entering and cleaning tanks, including
      5. Wash down spills with plenty of water. Never use combustibles such as cloths, sawdust, or other organic materials to mop up spilled sulfuric acid. Neutralize spills with soda ash before washing down.
      6. In the event of accidental contact, remove all contaminated clothing immediately and wash affected areas with water for at least 15 minutes. Have medical personnel examine affected areas to determine if further treatment is necessary.
    2. Caustic Soda

      Never add water to caustic soda (the proper method is to add caustic soda to water) because sufficient heat may be generated to cause the solution to boil and spatter. Personnel may be injured if they come in contact with the spattering, since caustic soda has a marked corrosive action on body tissue. Injury to the upper respiratory tract and lung tissue can result if the dust or concentrated mist from caustic soda is inhaled.
      1. Never store food or eat near caustic soda or in the work area where it is handled.
      2. Do not depend upon creams or ointments for protection from caustic soda.
      3. Ensure that all personnel exposed to caustic soda wear full face shield, close-fitting chemical safety glasses, neoprene gloves, apron, and coveralls which fit snugly at neck and wrist.
    3. Application of Chemicals
      1. Always drain the feeder before introducing chemicals into it. Before opening the drain valve, close all pressure connections to the feeder to prevent injury to the operator from hot water or chemicals.
      2. Never place dry chemicals in a chemical feeder or pump. This practice plugs the chemical feed lines in a short time.
      3. Wherever possible, mix chemicals at floor level to minimize the possibility of injury to eyes and face.
      4. Check specifications, temperature, pressure, and materials of construction of piping, valves, and pumps, to determine whether they can be used safely with the chemicals.
    4. Safety Equipment

      Inspect all safety equipment regularly, including safety eyewash and shower, to ensure that they are in working condition at all times. Post operating instructions at the emergency eyewash fountain and the safety shower. Periodically instruct personnel in the use of these facilities.
    5. Chemical Storage/Handling
      1. Store all large quantities of chemicals used for boiler or condensate water treatment in locations where accidental spills will be contained and where drainage will not be hazardous to personnel or the environment.
      2. Conspicuously post warning and handling instructions where use of toxic chemicals are necessary.
      3. Train personnel who handle chemicals in safe chemical handling practices.
      4. Practice neutralization and containment techniques and disposal instructions. Consult with the Office of Health and Safety as needed.

    6. Chemical Laboratories
      1. Ensure that chemical testing laboratories associated with water treatment have operable mechanical ventilation, when required.
      2. Maintain chemical test kits and test instructions in a current and usable state.
      3. Conspicuously post appropriate warning instructions.
      4. Train personnel who conduct chemical tests in use of the chemicals and hazards involved.


  1. Hazards

    Painting and paint removal present hazards requiring effective controls. Hazards include exposure to toxic materials and flammable or explosive mists, particulates, and vapors. Inhalation of mists and vapors from nearly all paints, solvents, thinners, cleaning chemicals, strippers, and epoxies can be injurious depending upon the agent's toxic characteristics and the amount and method of exposure. Further, many can physically injure the skin and eyes, or be absorbed through the skin. Potential physical and health hazards can be effectively controlled by appropriate work procedures, controls, facility design, protective clothing, and equipment.
  2. Safety
    1. Pressure Equipment

      Pressure equipment used in painting operations is hazardous because of the compressed air component; therefore, the supervisor shall assure that spray painting equipment is in serviceable condition. On all air-type spraying equipment a pressure regulator valve shall be installed in the air line between the compressor and painting equipment. A pressure relief valve and a pressure gauge shall be installed between the pressure regulator and pressurized paint containers and/or spray guns. Pressure relief valves shall be set to open at pressures not more than 10 pounds above the required working pressure.
    2. Other Equipment

      Painter's ladders, scaffolds, and other equipment shall be inspected prior to use to be certain they are in safe condition.
    3. Paint Mixing

      Paint mixing shall be done in designated, adequately ventilated rooms constructed of fire-resistant materials. All sources of ignition shall be prohibited in mixing areas. All electrical fixtures or equipment in or within 20 feet of designated paint preparation areas shall meet the requirements of the National Electrical Code (NFPA #70) for Class I Division 2 locations.
    4. Housekeeping

      Good housekeeping is essential to safe operations in paint shops. Paint rooms, booths, etc., shall be kept clean with equipment stored in a proper and orderly manner. All solvent or paint soiled rags shall be placed in approved self-closing metal containers plainly marked to indicate the contents. At the end of each day, these containers shall be emptied or removed to an approved location for pickup and disposal.

  3. Health
    1. Personnel Exposures

      There is a wide application of organic solvents in painting. All organic solvents have some effect on the central nervous system and the skin. The principal modes of personnel exposure are inhalation of vapors and skin contact and absorption. Personnel engaged in painting operations should review Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) in order to acquaint themselves with the properties and hazards of the solvents that are used. Skin contact with solvents may cause dermatitis, ranging in severity from a simple irritation to actual damage to the skin.
    2. Protective Equipment

      Personnel engaged in painting and paint removal shall wear protectiveclothing, respiratory devices if required, and appropriate face, eye, and hand protection. Eye or face protection is required during scraping or paint preparation (abrasive techniques). Clothing shall be changed, as needed, to minimize body contamination.
    3. Respiratory Protection

      The Office of Health and Safety should be consulted for specific advice on respiratory protection required for specific painting activities.
    4. Personal Hygiene

      The hands and face shall be kept clean, clothes shall be changed when contaminated and hands and soiled objects shall be kept out of the mouth. No food or drink shall be brought into, or consumed, in paint shops. Personnel shall wash their hands prior to smoking or consuming food.

  4. Air and Water Pollution
    1. Pollution Prevention

      Painting and paint removal operations can cause air and water pollution problems which can impact the local community. Liquid, solid, and gaseous waste products from painting and paint removal operations shall be disposed of in accordance with federal and state air, water, and solid waste pollution control laws and as specified and approved by the Office of Health and Safety.
    2. Spills

      All spills of flammable or combustible liquids shall be cleaned up promptly. With major spills, remove ignition sources, evacuate, and ventilate the area, and provide appropriate protective equipment to cleanup personnel. These liquids shall not be allowed to enter a confined space, such as a sewer, because of the possibility of an explosion.
  5. Fire Prevention and Protection
    1. Fire Prevention

      Painting operations of particular concern are those having a fire potential; i.e., paint removal, solvent wipe and paint application by means of spray apparatus. Certain paints, lacquers, varnishes, shellacs, solvents, and thinners are very flammable. Others, under certain conditions, will burn violently. These, for the purpose of control, are classified as being flammable. Solvent materials selected to do the residual clean up, after the initial removal, shall have a flash point of 140oF or above.
    2. Spray Painting

      Spray painting presents varying degrees of fire hazards, depending on the materials used. Any material having a flash point below 140oF should be handled very carefully, and precautions are in order even for those having a flash point higher than this.
    3. Sprinklers

      Fire suppression sprinklers installed in spray finishing areas shall conform to NFPA 13, provisions for extra hazardous occupancy. Dry chemical, carbon dioxide, or halogenated extinguisher systems may be installed where automatic sprinkler protection is not available.
    4. Extinguishers

      Portable fire extinguishers shall be installed near all paint spraying areas. The Office of Health and Safety shall determine the type of extinguisher that is appropriate.

  6. Ventilation Systems
    1. Ventilation

      Ventilation and exhaust systems shall be in accordance with the standard for Blower and Exhaust Systems for Vapor Removal, NFPA 91. Mechanical ventilation shall be in operation while spraying operations are being conducted and for a sufficient time thereafter to assure vapors are completely exhausted. Adequate conditioned make-up air must be provided.
    2. Fan Unit

      The fan-rotating element and its casing shall be non-sparking. Ample clearances shall be provided to prevent friction-caused fire hazards. Fan blades shall be mounted on a shaft rigid enough to maintain alignment when the fan is operating under full load.
    3. Exhaust Ducts

      Exhaust ducts shall be protected against mechanical damage, properly supported, and will normally have a separation of at least 18 inches from combustible materials. Ducts shall be periodically inspected for accumulation of paint deposits and shall be cleaned as needed.
    4. Exhaust

      Air exhaust from spray operations shall be directed so that it will not contaminate make-up air being introduced into the spraying area or other ventilation intakes. Unless the spray booth exhaust duct terminal is from a water-wash spray booth, the terminal discharge point shall be at least 6 feet from any combustible exterior wall or roof.
    5. Motors

      Electric motors driving exhaust fans shall not be placed inside booths or ducts. Drive belts shall not enter the duct or booth unless the belt and pulley within the duct or booth are enclosed or guarded.
  7. Storage and Handling
    1. Storage
      1. The quantity of paints, lacquers, thinners, solvents and other flammable and combustible liquids kept near spraying operations shall be the minimum required for operations but shall not exceed 1 day's supply.
      2. Bulk storage of these liquids shall be in a separate building detached from other buildings or in rooms specifically designed and constructed to meet flammable storage room requirements.
      3. No storage of open containers of solvents is permitted. Open containers may only be used for cleaning of painting materials after which the solvent shall be transferred back to a closed container for retention or disposal.
      4. Supplies of flammable and combustible liquids shall be stored in approved fire-resistant safety containers equipped with flash screens and self-closing lids.
      5. Operations involving water base latex paints are exempt from the above requirements.

    2. Containers

      Original closed containers, approved portable tanks, and approved safety cans shall be used for bringing flammable or combustible liquids into spray finishing rooms. Open or glass containers shall not be used.
    3. Liquid Transfer

      The withdrawal of liquids from containers and the filling of containers, including portable mixing tanks, shall be done only in a mixing room or in a spraying area when the ventilating system is in operation. Precautions shall be taken to protect against liquid spillage.
    4. Grounding

      Whenever flammable or combustible liquids are transferred from one container to another, both containers shall be effectively bonded and grounded. This practice prevents electrical discharge from the accumulation of static charge because of the transfer process.

  8. Electrical
    1. Electrical Wiring

      Electrical wiring and equipment shall conform to the provisions of the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70). Electrical wiring located in spray areas must be rigid metal conduit, Type MI cable, or in metal boxes or fitting containing no taps, splices or terminal connections. There are alternative electrical wiring in options when the location is adjacent to (rather than inside) a spray area (NFPA 33).
    2. Electrical Equipment

      Electrical equipment outside of, but within 20 feet horizontally and 10 feet vertically, of any spraying area and not separated from it by partitions extending at least to the boundary of the Division 2 location shall be of non-spark producing design. This equipment shall also conform to the provisions of NFPA 70, for Class I or Class I, Division 2 locations as applicable. If spraying operations are confined to an enclosed spray booth or room, the space adjacent to the booth or room shall be considered non-hazardous except for the space within three feet in all directions from any opening in the booth or room.
    3. Grounding

      All metal parts of spray booths and exhaust ducts conveying flammable or combustible liquids or aerated combustible solids shall be electrically grounded.
  9. Location of Paint Shops and Spray Finishing Operations
    1. Paint Shops

      Paint shops may be located in specially constructed rooms if they are separated from other operations by fire resistant walls. Paint shops shall be provided with automatic sprinkler protection. Avoid locating these shops near ignition sources.
    2. Spray Booths

      When possible, paint spray booths shall be located in the paint shop. All spray booths shall be installed to conform to NFPA 33.
    3. Prohibited Locations

      Spray finishing operations shall not be conducted in a building classified as administrative or public assembly unless a room is specifically designed for that purpose, is protected with an automatic sprinkler system, and is separated vertically and horizontally from such occupancies by not less than two hour fire resistance construction.

  10. Airless Paint Spraying
    1. Never point an airless spray gun at any part of the body. Paint can be hypodermically injected into the body by the high operating pressures.
    2. Do not disconnect the gun from the fluid hose or the hose from the pump until the pressure has been released from the hose. This is accomplished by first closing off the main line air pressure to the pump and then bleeding off the pressure in the fluid hose by triggering the gun before disconnecting it.
    3. When handling the gun but not actually spraying (such as while changing parts or work position), hold the gun by the grip and remove the fingers from the trigger. This will prevent the gun from being activated if the operator should inadvertently tighten his hold due to sipping or stumbling. Guns should be equipped with trigger guards and a safety lock. The lock should be in the non-operating position except when the gun is actually in use.
    4. Check all hose connections and fittings to make sure they are tight and not leaking. The fluid hose must be designed to withstand the high pressure to which it is subjected. The hose, gun, and pressure vessel should be equipped with special fittings that are not interchangeable with low pressure fittings.
    5. Check the fluid hose to be sure that there are no weak or worn spots. Make certain the hose does not contact moving parts of machinery, lie over or around sharp edges and corners, or come near objects that would damage it. Check for deterioration caused by exposure to chemicals or ordinary wear and tear. High-pressure leaks from the hose or from the connections can also cause hypodermic injection.
    6. Never pass the finger over the gun orifice to clean it, as this will result in hypodermic injection of paint into the finger. Consult the manufacturer's operating manual for cleaning procedures.
    7. The object being sprayed as well as the spray gun, should be grounded to prevent static electricity from being created. Periodic continuity checks should be performed to ensure the hose ground wire is intact.
    8. The operator shall wear eye protection and gloves to guard against accidental contact with the spray. Respiratory protective equipment shall be worn if exhaust ventilation is not available. The Office of Health and Safety shall be contacted to determine appropriate protective equipment needed for the operation.

  11. Paint Spray Booths
    1. Extinguishers

      Provide portable fire extinguishers adequate to handle the most flammable of the coating materials being used. The Office of Health and Safety shall be consulted for appropriate extinguishers needed.
    2. Floor Covering

      It is desirable that the floor of paint spray booths be covered with a non-combustible mat, removable for cleaning or disposal.
    3. Hoses and Couplings

      Pressure hoses and couplings shall be regularly inspected for condition and shall be replaced as needed. When positive displacement pumps are used, a relief valve shall be installed in the discharge line to prevent overpressure.

  12. Portable Paint Spray Equipment
    1. Description

      Such equipment consists of an air compressor, paint spray gun and hose. The paint reservoir on most portable spray guns holds one quart of fluid or less. When a considerable amount of paint is to be applied, a 2 1/2 or 5 gallon pressure tank is usually employed.
    2. Compressor

      The air compressor shall be equipped with an ASME rated air tank, a visible pressure gauge on the tank, a pressure reducer with its own gauge, a guard fully enclosing the drive belt and pulleys, and a pressure limiting switch to shut down the compressor when the system's working pressure has been reached. The equipment should be securely mounted on a wheeled carriage for portability. For interior painting only electric motor-driven equipment shall be used.
    3. Overpressure Protection

      When separate paint pressure tanks are used, they shall be equipped with a gauge and a relief valve to prevent overpressure. Hoses shall be rated for the maximum working pressure of the system.
    4. Maintenance
      1. A preventive maintenance program shall be implemented to cover periodic inspection and testing of all components.
      2. Storage of compressors, hoses, paint pressure tanks and spray guns shall be in areas designated and approved by the supervisor in conjunction with the Office of Health and Safety.

  13. Aerosol Spray Paint Cans

    The same general safety and health precautions apply to spray painting from pressurized cans as to spray painting by other means. The following specific items are noted:
    1. Storage
      1. Pressurized cans of spray paint are to be considered flammable materials and stored in appropriate locations.
      2. Office desks are not to be used for the storage of pressurized cans of spray paint.
      3. Office store rooms are not to be used for the storage of pressurized cans of spray paint unless the storage area has been designated safe for the storage of flammable materials by the Office of Health and Fire Safety.
    2. Maintenance
      1. Disposal of malfunctioning paint spray cans still containing paint under pressure shall be in accordance with the Office of Health and Fire Safety hazardous waste disposal procedures.

        Office waste cans shall not be used for the disposal of cans of spray paint nor for the disposal of wiping rags and other waste material.

        Disposal of wiping rags and other waste materials shall be in self-closing metal containers labeled to indicate the contents.

    3. Protective Equipment

      The same general rules governing the use of personal protective equipment apply to painting with pressurized cans.

  14. Procedures For the Identification, Safe Removal, and Disposal of Lead-Based Paints

    Due to the potential exposure of personnel to lead released during abatement of lead-based paint, proposed EPA regulatory authority over lead abatement activities in federal buildings, and exisitng regulatory mandates governing the disposal of hazardous wastes, the following procedures shall be adopted in order to reduce the possibility of human exposure and contamination of the environment.
    1. Identification of Lead-Based Paints

      Lead-based paints have been used in the past in CDC buildings. The presence of lead on existing painted surfaces shall be determined by sequential use of the following methods:
      1. First, knowledge by painters, maintenance personnel, or contractors of a specific paint that has been applied where the manufacturer's Material Safety Data Sheet documents there is greater than 1% lead in the paint.
      2. Second, all "red or rust-colored", and gray primer coats are assumed to contain lead.
      3. Third, presence of lead as determined by "lead swabs" or any other direct reading procedure or instrument.
      4. Fourth, analysis by a contracted analytical laboratory by the AIHA Environmental Lead Laboratory Accrediation Program.

    2. Training of Personnel

      The Federal EPA is proposing the establishment of speicfic disciplines and training for lead-based paint activities. THe disciplines to be established are: Inspector Technicians, Inspector/Risk Assessors, Workers, and Supervisors. Additionally, numerous OSHA requirements govern the activities associated with lead exposure. To that end, prior to involvement in lead removal activities, successful completion of the following training must be documented:
      1. OSHA hazard communication training specific to lead and any hazardous materials used during the paint removal process.
      2. Respiratory protection training and fit testing.
      3. Maintenance supervisors responsible for causing the removal of lead-based paints should attend an accredited lead abatement course for supervisors.
      4. Hazardous waste training pursuant to 40 CFR 265.16 and 262.34.

    3. Work Practices
      1. Interior building surfaces
        1. All work areas where paint removal or scraping is to be conducted must be sealed off from other work areas. This step includes placing barrier tape across all access areas to the work site and taping 6-mil plastic over all vents, doorways, windows, and other openings into the work site.
        2. Personnel shall be instructed not to grind or sand painted areas known to contain lead. Hand scraping is permitted.
        3. The work area shall be cleaned periodically during the day by using a combination of a HEPA-filtered vacuum and wiping down the area using damp cloths.

      2. Exterior building surfaces

        When removing lead-containing paint from the exterior of CDC buildings, the following occupational health/ environmental guidelines shall be followed:
        1. Special precautions shall be taken when working near air intakes, doors, and windows. Air intakes shall be protected by construction of a wood frame and plastic sheeting barrier and shall be of such a size to ensure that air is pulled from uncontaminated areas. Door and windows shall remain closed and shall be sealed with duct tape and/or plastic sheeting.
        2. Physical barriers shall be set up around the work area to prevent pedestrian traffic through the work site.
        3. Loose and flaking paint should be removed by manually scraping the surfaces of the building. Sanding or grinding will not be permitted.
        4. A drop cloth shall be placed directly and completely under the work area. Paint chips shall be collected periodically throughout the day and at the end of the work day and shall be placed in a container with a tight fitting lid or sealed in a plastic bag (6-mil).
      3. Abrasive blasting units
        1. Removal of paints containing lead or other heavy metals must be conducted in a sealed abrasive blasitng unit equipped with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
        2. The abrasive blasting media should be used to its fullest extent prior to disposal.
        3. Institute the protective measures listed below when cleaning out an abrasive blasting unit.
      4. General Practices
        1. Personnel shall remove contaminated clothing prior to leaving the work site for breaks, lunch, and at the end of the work day.
        2. All surfaces shall be maintained as free as practicable of accumulation of lead-based paint debris.
        3. All waste materials, inlcuding used disposable clothing, respirator cartridges, plastic, etc. shall be placed in a plastic bag or other container as appropriate and sealed.
        4. All tools and equipment used on the project shall be wet-wiped prior to removal from the work site.
        5. After the waste containers are sealed, the outside of the container shall be wiped off for any residual dust that may be present prior to being taken off-site for disposal.

    4. Protective Measures
      1. All personnel shall wear respiratory protection (half-mask, dual cartridge with HEPA filters, as a minimum) and full-body disposable clothing. Personnel shall have a current (<6 months) medical clearance to wear a respirator and have been fit-tested with their respirator.
      2. Personnel shall also be provided and instructed to wear face shield or vented goggles, gloves, head coverings, and disposable shoe coverlets.
      3. Personnel are not permitted to eat, drink, or smoke in or near the work area.
      4. Personnel shall be instructed to wash their face and hands before eating, drinking or smoking and before leaving the work area for breaks or lunch.
      5. All personnel involved in lead-based paint removal shall shower at the end of the shift before going home to prevent contamination of their vehicle and exposure of family members and others to lead-containing dust.
      6. The Office of Health and Fire Safety requires that ESO personnel participate in the personal air monitoring program in order to determine their potential exposures to lead dust. The results of this monitoring will also be used to determine if personnel need to be enrolled in a medical surveillance program for lead. Contact must be made with OHFS (x7999) prior to the start of the project to coordinate the sampling effort.
      7. Contractors are responsible for meeting OSHA personnel air monitoring, personal protective equipment, and medical surveillance requirements for lead exposures (29 CFR 1910.1025, or 29 CFR 1926.62, as appropriate).

    5. Waste Disposal Storage
      1. Hazardous wastes

        The Office of Health and Fire Safety,(x7999), shall be contacted prior to the initiation of a lead-based paint removal project. OHFS can assist in determining whether or not a material is a hazardous waste regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as well as specific requirements on proper waste reduction and disposal. OHFS will dispose of hazardous wastes generated by in-house maintenance personnel only. Contractors are responsible for disposing of all waste materials that they generate in the course of their work/contract obligations. Specific wastes generated during lead-based paint removal can include, but is not limited to:
        • Paint chips/dusts
        • Solvents used to remove paints
        • Media using in abrasive blasting units

      2. Other wastes

        Materials known to have been painted with a lead-based paint such as scrap metal (old filing cabinets, HVAC ducts, etc.) should be turned in for recycling. Contact OHFS (x7999) if there are any questions on disposal of other materials.


  1. Mowing

    Maintenance of Hope College grounds involves the use of various sizes and types of lawnmowers. The most significant dangers are being struck by the blade or a foreign object thrown by the high speed blades and noise-inducted hearing loss.
    1. Personal Protective Equipment and Safeguards

      Workers shall wear face shields or safety goggles or glasses with side shields, safety-toe boots, and hearing protection during the operation of all lawn mowers. Gloves may be worn when using walk-behind mowers. Bump caps should be worn when using a riding or towed mower around tall brush and low handing tree limbs. All mower discharge chutes shall be guarded with shields or approved grass catchers to deflect or stop foreign objects during operation.
    2. Operating Practices Applicable to Push, Self-Propelled, and Riding Mowers
      1. Operators shall be trained and qualified to operate the different type(s) of mowers available. Manufacturer's instructions and operating procedures shall be followed.
      2. Prior to mowing, operators shall clear the area to be mowed of all people and inspect for foreign objects, raised sprinkler heads, holes, soft ground, and obstructions.
      3. The mower shall not be left running unattended. For riding mowers, the engine shall be shut off and all drives disengaged prior to getting off the mower. No riders are permitted on riding lawn mowers. The engine on push and self-propelled mowers shall be turned off while moving to another job location or while passing over curbs, loose gravel, or other similar obstructions. Power to attachments shall be disengaged on riding or towed mowers while passing over similar obstructions and when travelling over unobstructed areas and roads on the way to the next job site or return to the shop.
      4. Mower blades cutting height should normally be set as near to 2 inches as possible. Blades shall never be set lower than 1 1/2 inches.
      5. When mowing hills and slopes, operators shall know the special precautions to follow. Slopes, hills, or banks exceeding a 30 degree angle shall be mowed with a push or self-propelled walk-behind mower in a horizontal (across) direction.
      6. Electric hedge clippers shall be inspected, cleaned, oiled, and sharpened as required when in use. A grounded power cord shall be used if the tools is not double insulated. The cord shall be inspected before use and daily for condition. The cord shall be kept away from the cutting surface and out from under the feet of the operator. The cutting teeth of the clipper shall not be pointed toward the body of the operator. The unit shall be shut off and unplugged while moving from job to job. Gloves shall be worn when operating hedge clippers. No electric power tool shall be operated in rain, sprinklers, or any kind of precipitation.
    3. General Rules for Maintaining Lawn Care Equipment
      1. Always refuel with engines off and allow the engine to cool first. Do not permit smoking in the area. Refuel mowers prior to use versus refueling prior to storing inside a building. Complete refueling outside, at least 10 feet away from the building or any open flame.
      2. Use boards or ramps to load and unload mowers from vehicles ensuring the engine is off and the spark plug wire is disconnected. Always shut off the fuel supply line when parking mowers inside or outside at the end of the day. As storage space permits, leave 1 to 3 feet separation space between parked gasoline-operated riding mowers.
      3. Clean mowers or perform other maintenance on mowers only after turning engine off and disconnecting the spark plug wire.
      4. Use manufacturer's guidelines for operation and use of mowers.

    4. Tractor Operations
      1. Roll-over protective structures (ROPS) are required on tractors used for landscape maintenance. Seat belts shall be installed on all ROPS-equipped tractors and used whenever the vehicle is in motion.
      2. When pulling a load, operators shall hitch only to the draw bar. The draw bar hitch shall be kept at least 13 inches, but less than 17 inches, off the ground.
      3. When moving a front load, the load shall be kept low to the ground and the rear wheels as level as possible.
      4. Operators shall avoid holes and obstacles; both on the ground and overhead. Speed shall be reduced with heavy loads when vision is limited or when operating on rough terrain.
      5. When stuck, operators shall try carefully to back out. Increasing engine speed or fastening a post to the rear wheels greatly increases the chances of tipping over backward; therefore, these methods shall not be used. Operators shall get help if needed.
      6. Grass shall not be mowed with a tractor on slopes greater than a 4-inch rise or drop per foot of travel. Lower gears shall be used when going down hill and the wheels shall be allowed to control the tractor speed.
      7. The engine shall be shut off before the operator dismounts from the tractor or makes adjustments to either the tractor or towed equipment.
      8. Riders shall not be allowed on tractors, on the draw bar, or on towed equipment, except where the equipment is specifically designed to allow riders or passengers.
      9. Fenders are guards for the worker's protection. Fenders shall be kept in place at all times.
      10. Tractors shall only be left on an incline after the engine has been turned off, gear shift has been placed in park position (or the lowest gear if standard transmission), and the wheels have been braked and blocked. Where possible, tractors shall be parked on level ground.
      11. The power take-off guard shall always be in place.
      12. Hearing protection and safety-toe shoes shall be worn by the operator, when required. The Office of Health and Safety should be consulted to determine the need for respiratory protection.

    5. Flower Bed and Shrub Maintenance
      1. Workers shall wear clothing and gloves that will protect their hands and arms from thorns and leaves which may cut or puncture the skin. Dust masks may be required to prevent reactions to fine dust or pollen. Personnel shall not work on flower or shrub beds within 24 hours after application of herbicides.
      2. Shovels, hoes, and cultivators shall be kept sharp, used in moist soil, and placed where stepping on the cutting surface will not cause the handle to strike a person.

    6. Fertilizer Storage and Handling
      1. Fertilizer can become a very combustible material and, at temperatures in excess of 130 degrees F, it may explode. When fertilizers become wet and start to decompose, they give off a gas that will burn. Some fertilizers give off a very toxic gas when burning. No more than 2,500 tons of fertilizer shall be stored in a building unless that building is equipped with an automatic sprinkler system.
      2. When spreading fertilizer, pellets shall not be directed toward other personnel. If personnel enter the area, the spreader shall be turned off. Fertilizer spreaders shall be cleaned and lubed daily. Safety glasses and gloves shall be worn during fertilizing spreading operations.

    7. Herbicides

      The use of herbicides for weed control poses a significant potential safety and health hazard. Herbicides shall be applied per manufacturer's instructions and used only by certified personnel. Due to the absorption properties of herbicides, coveralls shall be worn during application, in addition to safety goggles and appropriate respiratory protection, as required.

Health and Safety Manual Contents
Office of Health and Fire Safety, 178 East 11th street, Holland, MI 49423
Last Modified: 1/00

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