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TOWN OF ESSEX
Employee Safety Handbook



Version 1.0
May 2004


Note:  This handbook will be continually reviewed by the Town of Essex Safety Committee and will be revised and updated from time to time as the Committee sees fit.



Table of Contents


Section                                                                 Page

1.0     Introduction                                                                       1

2.0     About Developing this Safety Handbook                             2

3.0     Enforcing Safety Guidelines                                               3

4.0     General Safety Guidelines                                                 3

5.0     Safety Equipment & Clothing                                               4

6.0     Department of Public Works Safety Guidelines                      5

7.0     Police Department Safety Guidelines                                       17

8.0     Fire Department Safety Guidelines                                         20

9.0     Custodial and Maintenance Safety Guidelines                       21







1.0     Introduction

The development, publication and implementation of employee work rules and guidelines are an essential element in a successful loss control program. The adoption of written safety rules is not simply a demonstration of accomplishment, but an aid to department heads and supervisors. Written guidelines should be used as precisely that - guidelines for a minimum standard of safety performance that should be met or exceeded by departmental employees in all cases.

It is the responsibility of the department head or supervisor to ensure that all employees follow the guidelines. It is equally important that the supervisors follow work rules. Employees should never feel that the work rules are only for the workers and do not apply to managerial personnel. The attitude should never be "do as I say- not as I do." The work rules serve as a basic guide for the employee as to what is expected of him or her by management.

Development of an Employee Safety Handbook is an excellent project for both the Executive Safety Committee and, where present, Departmental Safety Committees. To the extent possible, employees (including union representatives) should be included in the process of developing work rules. The more involved employees are in the initial development of work rules and guidelines, the more likely they are to abide by them once they become official.

Contained in this document are samples of work rules and guidelines for municipal employees in general as well as for specific operating departments including Public Works, School, and Maintenance.  An entity may either develop a single handbook governing all departments and operations or a set of handbooks, one for each operating department.

This sample handbook should be used as a guideline for developing work rules and regulations for your own municipality or entity. Review the material carefully and make the necessary changes to reflect actual operations in your community. An effort has been made to include most departments contained within a municipal entity. However, not all possible operations or situations are covered in this sample document.


2.0     About Developing this Safety Handbook

The following is a brief synopsis of a schedule for development, implementation and
publication of a set of work rules and/or safety guidelines:

1.   The Safety Committee and/or Safety Coordinator and/ or Department Head develops a sample set of safety rules that are distributed to department heads and union representatives for review and comment.  In Essex, the Safety Committee consists of two representatives each from each of two unions, two non-union employees, and major managers.  The Committee is appointed by the Personnel Board and union membership.

2.   First draft revised incorporating input from department heads and union representatives.
Comment period should be limited to 15-30 days. The schedule should be made known in advance in writing.  

3.      The Safety Committee, Safety Coordinator and Department Head(s) discuss comments and changes.  Agreed upon changes are made, a final draft is prepared and distributed to department heads and union representatives for additional comments. Again, a specific time, 15-30 days, should be established for comments.

4.   A final draft of the handbook is prepared incorporating all agreed to changes. At this time the new Handbook should be sent to legal counsel for review of its form and to determine whether there are any legal ramifications that should be considered. This process should take no longer than 30 days.

5.   The approved Handbook is printed and prepared for distribution to all employees.

6.   The handbook is distributed to employees.

7.  The Safety Committee will continue to revise and update the Handbook as necessary.

Safety rules/guidelines should be kept to a minimum. While the following document is somewhat lengthy in totality, it is intended to provide you with the maximum selection of items that might be included in a handbook. Materials should be shortened wherever possible to make the job of managers and supervisors easier by having fewer regulations to enforce. However, care must be taken not to "gut" the handbook so that it becomes an ineffective tool.

3.0     Enforcing Safety Guidelines


Each employee is responsible for ensuring that his or her actions are in keeping with good safety practices.  In addition, supervisors and department heads should take note of any unsafe practices and educate employees as to how to improve safety when problems are noticed.  


4.0     General Safety Guidelines

It is impossible to prescribe detailed standards that apply to all situations that might arise.  Therefore, minimum standards are presented for the most common situations with the understanding that additional protection must be provided where special complexities and hazards exist.  Although each situation must be dealt with individually, conformity with the basic provisions should be required.  The following general rules apply to all departments:

·       Horseplay, fighting, pranks, wrestling, etc. are prohibited.

·       Smoking is prohibited around any flammable material.

·       Use proper lifting techniques.  Heavy objects, tools or materials should not be lifted alone.  Use lifting devices or request    assistance.

·       Asbestos pipe should not be cut with any tool that will create dust.

·       Work areas should be kept clean and orderly for maximum safety.

·       Intoxication, reporting for work under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and consumption or possession of alcohol or drugs during work hours is prohibited.

5.0     Safety Equipment and Clothing

·       Seat belts shall be worn when operating or riding in town vehicles.
·       Safety shoes or good work boots shall be worn at all times.
·       Safety glasses or full face shields shall be worn when using grinders, torches, pipe cutters, cleaning tools, jackhammers, stump chippers or any tool or device which may produce chips or flying particles. Safety glasses shall be equipped with wide shields.
·       Hearing protection shall be worn in designated areas or around designated equipment.
·       Safety helmets shall be worn in all trenches over five feet deep, around all overhead equipment, or where work is being performed overhead. If there is a possibility of a head injury, wear a hard hat.
·       Shorts and sneakers are prohibited.
·       Work gloves shall be used as required.
6.0     Department of Public Works Safety Guidelines

6.1     Traffic Control

·       Signs: Damaged, defaced or muddy signs should be cleaned, repaired, or replaced.
·       Barricades: Don't weigh temporary barricades with stones, chunks of concrete or other ballast material that may present a hazard if struck by a moving vehicle. Barricades should be marked with orange and white striped reflectors.
·       Cones and posts: Lane delineators are usually placed near moving traffic. Therefore, they must not be made of rigid material that could endanger a worker or pedestrian if struck by a moving vehicle. Delineators are always used together with other warning devices such as signs and high-level warnings. Remember that a sufficient number of delineators must be used to clearly define a pathway for motorists approaching the worksite.
·       Positioning of cones or other signal devices:  A good rule of thumb for traffic control in most traffic situations is - for every one foot of land blockage, the length of the control devices in feet is equal to the speed that traffic is moving in miles per hour. Therefore, if you plan to close 10 feet of land and traffic is moving at 30 mph, multiply 10 feet, times 30 to find that you must run the devices 300 feet along the roadway. If you won't be blocking too many driveways or parking stalls, or traversing an intersection, it's best to run the devices for longer distances.
·       Flashers:  Flashing lights are used as night warning signals. Steady burning lights are used to delineate traffic lanes.  Raised pavement markers and temporary tape are also used to delineate lanes.
·       High-level warning devices:  Flags and signs mounted on lightweight frames, either free standing on the pavement or set on trucks, are especially useful for short-term maintenance operations in congested, low speed situations. Their height facilitates advance warning to motorists.

6.2     Placement of Warning Devices

On city streets, warning signs must be at least seven feet above and four feet from the edge of the right side curb. On rural roads, warning signs should be at least one foot above and six feet from the edge of the right side of the roadway. On divided roadways, post signs in the median as well as the right side.

If buildings, parked vehicles, hills, or curves block a motorist's view of the work area, give the motorist early warning. Early warning is also a good idea in congested areas where the work in progress is likely to back up traffic. Early warnings help motorists avoid sudden lane changes and panic stops.

Cover warning signs until work begins and remove them from view when they are no longer needed.  Remember that the lesson learned from the story about the boy who cried "wolf" applies to traffic warnings, too.

6.3     Road Maintenance Operations

6.3.1   General Conditions

·       Make adjustments in driving techniques to accommodate the changing handling characteristics of machines such as sewer cleaning trucks and street sweepers that substantially increase or decrease their loads and change their centers of gravity depending on the quantity of load.
·       Use earplugs or earmuffs in environments that are noisy, such as where jackhammers or vacuums are being used, or where many pieces of equipment are running.
·       Wear the proper type of air mask or respirator in dusty environments, or use air conditioning when available. This will help prevent damage to the lungs.
·       Wear the proper clothing for the job when using chemicals such as sewer grouting material, plant sprays, or insecticides. Some chemicals may require the use of respirators, rubber gloves, or special clothing. Be sure to read the label and follow the instructions.
·       Make the operator aware of the dangers inherent in spraying any kind of material that vaporizes or is a fine dust. These materials include, but are not limited to, gasoline, heavy solvents, and methane gas.

6.3.2   Painting Operation

·       Always use the properly designed respirator to avoid breathing the paint and its solvents.
·       Many paint pigments and solvents are classified as hazardous materials. Read the label and avoid contact with the material. Be observant of dusts when sanding or grinding off lead-based paints.
·       Keep out of the direct spray area when spraying paint. Paint being sprayed at only 30 PSI can imbed itself into the skin.
·       Do not blow dust from clothes with high-pressure air. Air at 30 PSI can imbed dust and clothing fibers in the skin.
·       Never field-rig a high-pressure hose coupling. Always use a factory-made and tested coupling.
·       Do not use more pressure in the hose and coupling than that for which they are rated.
·       Keep paint closed and in a ventilated area. When not in use, keep paint in a designated and approved paint storage cabinet.

6.3.3   Pneumatic Tools

·       Wear hearing protection while operating air tools that operate above 85 decibels.
·       Give frequent breaks to air hammer operators to reduce the cumulative effects of vibration and noise on the worker.
·       Wear safety shoes with metatarsal protection while operating air hammers. Do not guide the air hammer tool with the feet to start a drill hole.
·       Be sure a dead man switch is standard equipment on the hammer in case the hammer is dropped.
·       Employ wet drilling over dry drilling whenever possible to reduce the amount of flying debris and dust.
·       Vent the air compressor tank prior to removal of the hoses or disconnect the hammer after completing an operation.
·       Use retainer clips on the air hammer to prevent premature tool ejection.
·       Do not allow the heads of cutting tools to mushroom. Grind the head to its original shape       upon deformation. This will prevent splinters from chipping off the tool when being struck.
·       Warm the cutting tool before use in very cold weather. This will prevent spilling during use.
·       Before using any tool, check the bolts for adequate tightness and the bushing for excessive wear.
·       Watch where the chips are being thrown when cleaning potholes with air pressure. They can travel up to 25 mph.

6.4     Trenching

·       Keep all tools, material, and spoil at least two feet from the edge of the trench.
·       Do not drive equipment up to the edge of the trench.
·       Inspect the trench for signs of failure after a rain and first thing in the morning.
·       Do not jump across a trench. Go around or use a temporary bridge.
·       Locate emergency exits from the trench no more than 25 feet apart. Ladders extending at least 3 feet past the top of the trench and tied securely are adequate.
·       Take care when working adjacent to sidewalks, buildings, utility poles, trees, or similar structures. In some cases, underpinning may be necessary.
·       Install shoring from the top down. Remove shoring from the bottom up. This will reduce the chances of ditch collapse during the installation/removal operation.
·       Install jacks or bracing perpendicular to the trench sides to prevent them from kicking out under pressure.
·       Do not support construction equipment on the shoring unless it was specifically designed for that function.
·       Backfill the trench immediately after the shoring is removed. The trench has a greater possibility of cave-in due to the construction activity at that time.
·       Keep workers out from under the excavating and backfilling equipment.
·       Use lifelines in excavations over 15 feet deep due to the danger of asphyxiates or poisonous gases collecting in the trench bottom.

BE ATTENTIVE TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS:  DON'T DIG YOUR OWN GRAVE!

6.5     Snow Removal Operations

1.      Pre-check assigned routes for the following hazards:

·       Low hanging cables
·       Deep side ditches
·       Steep shoulders
·       Raised manholes
·       Offset curb and pavement joints
·       Yield and merge intersections
·       Blind and left-turn intersections
·       Mailboxes
·       Signposts
·       Fire Hydrants
·       Guardrails
·       Fences
·       Special maneuvering areas, cul-de-sacs, steep grades, dead ends
·       Congested areas
·       Narrow roadways
2.      Avoid situations that require backing. If it is necessary, in such areas as cul-de-sacs, dead ends, and steep hills, exercise extreme caution.
3.      Keep the plow blades and sanders in working condition. Frostbite can be contracted rapidly as work is performed on the equipment outside.
4.      Be cautious of frostbite. Severe pain followed by a feeling of warmth is a sign of frostbite. Don't be fooled by the apparent return of warmth. Return to the shop and seek medical aid from a qualified individual.
5.      Watch for pedestrians when plowing. Do not exceed 25-30 mph. At speeds greater than this, the force of the thrown snow can knock down a person.
6.      Check the cab of the truck for exhaust seepage. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless. If the driver feels drowsy, check the cab.
7.      Stay with the truck if it is immobilized. It's easier to locate a truck than a body covered with snow.

6.6     Public Works Vehicles and Equipment

·       A circle check shall be completed before entering vehicle including air tank inspection.
·       Check behind and under the vehicle or machine before moving it.
·       Only qualified operators shall operate equipment. A person with a valid driver’s license must operate all equipment operated on roads. A licensed operator must accompany any other operator.
·       Vehicle shall not be overloaded. Loose materials must be covered.
·       No one is permitted to ride on the back (cargo area) of dump trucks or pick-ups.
·       The passenger in the truck shall get out and assist driver when the truck is being backed up.
·       Seat belts shall be worn at all times.
·       Machines and vehicles shall be entered and exited slowly and with caution.

6.7     Shop Work Rules

·       Bays are to be kept clean and free of parts, water, broken glass, etc.
·       Gasoline absolutely must not be used for cleaning parts, hands, or clothing.
·       No smoking in service area, around pumps or tanks.
·       Charge batteries only in well-vented areas, making sure to open battery caps to release hydrogen gas buildup.
·       Fire extinguishers must be kept charged and in good condition. They must be readily accessible at all times. Do not use them for hangers or shelves.
·       Do not use air hoses to clean clothes, as the air may blow dirt particles into eyes and air pressure can be injurious.
·       All electrical equipment must be kept charged and in good condition. They must be readily accessible at all times. Do not use them for hangers or shelves.
·       Floors must be kept free of spilled oil, antifreeze, grease, water, etc. If spills cannot be cleaned up immediately, then they must be covered with an oil absorbent material, such as Speedi-Dry.
·       The parking areas should be kept clean, and any potholes or cracks reported and repaired.
·       NEVER work under a lift that does not have the safety pin/leg in position. Few people survive a vehicle dropping on them.
·       Make sure that the vehicle is on the lift properly before raising it.
·       Personal protective equipment (goggles, masks, etc.) must be worn where provided.
·       All flammable (paints, thinners, etc.) must be stored in the flammable liquid storage area when not actually being used.
·       The door(s) to the flammable liquid storage room cabinet is (are) to be kept closed at all times.
·       Spray painting may be done in specified areas only.
·       Any injury, no matter how slight, must be reported to your supervisor.

6.8     Park and Tree Maintenance

·       Park crews on any job shall wear hard hats where work is going on overhead.
·       Moveable equipment on rear of trucks such as mowers should be tied down or otherwise secured.
·       Masks, respirators, rubber gloves, and facemasks shall be worn. When mixing spray materials with water or oil, rubber gloves and masks shall be worn.
·       Ear protectors shall be used when operating brush chippers and chain saws.
·       Proper clothing, such as long pants and work shoes or boots, is to be worn. Sneakers and shorts are prohibited.
·       Rotary mower's safety devices shall not be removed from mower. Employee shall operate rotary mower so that discharge from mower is not directed towards any person or vehicle. Employees getting off mowers to remove items from area to be mowed shall face machine at all times.

6.9     Cemetery Division

·       After graves are dug and before they are set up for service, they shall be covered with plywood, which shall be supported with planking.
·       When setting up a grave, plywood, solid planking, and headers shall be placed around opening and under lowering devices.
·       All openings for markers shall be covered until marker is set.
·       When placing grave markers, at least two workers should lift and place markers. No single employee shall remove stones or other material from cars or any vehicle delivering to cemetery.
·       Any employee working, mixing, or applying insecticide, pesticide, and herbicide, shall be licensed. All safety requirements shall be followed. The cemetery shall furnish protective clothing and equipment.
·       Each employee shall be instructed on proper and safe operation of each machine that they shall use. The town shall furnish safety equipment such as hearing protection, safety lenses and face shields, hard hats, rain gear, etc.
·       Rotary mower's safety devices shall not be removed from mower. Employee shall operate rotary mower so that discharge from mower is not directed towards any person or vehicle. Employees getting off mowers to remove items from area to be moved shall face machine at all times.
·       Hearing protection shall be used when operating chain saws and other noise producing equipment.

6.10    Back Hoe and Loader Operations

·       Always get on and off machines slowly and with caution.
·       Have machine at idle speed or shut off machine when getting off. When getting up on backhoe seat, have machine at idle speed and be careful not to hit levers (with rain gear on, you can get pant legs hung up on levers).
·       Always park machine in low range, low gear, lower all units and remove key when leaving machine.
·       When workers are in front of loader bucket hooking up filling bucket, have machine in reverse or neutral. All workers shall wear hard hats.
·       Lower front bucket at a slow, steady speed every time, so the worker will become aware of any loss of control.
·       Have supervisor assign only workers that are needed around machine. They should be in view of the operator at all times.
·       When traveling over the road, put flashers on and chain-up backhoe unit. When turning, do not cut off cars with backhoe bucket.
·       Always be in loader seat with brake set before putting up stabilizers.
·       Never carry a load with loader when bucket is more than two feet from ground.
·       Walk up to an operator in front of him where he can see you. Never walk from behind or from the side.
·       Only licensed operators shall run equipment, no passengers shall be carried.
·       Never put your back to any machine that is working.

6.11    Sewer and Water Department

·       Hard hats shall be worn on construction sites at all times whenever an overhead exposure exists.
·       Safety vests shall be worn when working in busy streets and when directing traffic.
·       Gloves shall be worn when working on sharp edges or at the discretion of the foremen in charge.
·       Safety cones and barricades are to be used around work areas.  “Men Working” signs or cones are to be set 200 feet in each direction from the work area.
·       Good housekeeping and safe work habits shall be in constant use. Good housekeeping means keeping your truck, job site, and yard neat, clean, and organized. Safe work habits include keeping your tools and equipment clean, well maintained, and properly stored when not in use.
·       Proper procedures before entering manholes are:
a)      Check atmosphere with appropriate testing device.
b)      Use proper ventilation - open one manhole in front and in back of the manhole being worked in.
c)      Safety harness should be worn upon entering.
d)      At least one employee must be above the manhole at all times.
·       Ladders shall be used when working in a manhole or trenches. They shall have 12-inch runners and shall extend 3 feet above the ground level.
·       Excavations and trenching shall comply with the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industry's Regulations on sheathing and shoring.
·       Jet rodding machines shall not be used without the rod guard.
·       Jet rodder hose guard shall be used at all times, going in and coming out.
·       When taking rodding machine out, safety chains must be in working order.
·       When changing nozzle on jet rodder the machine shall be shut off.
·       All sewer chemicals shall be locked up. Distribution of such chemicals shall be done by sewer division personnel only.
·       Safety harnesses must be used with a guideline when going into a manhole 6 feet or deeper.
·       All employees who are furnished with safety equipment and/or clothing shall be required to wear such safety equipment at all times while doing the work for which the equipment is furnished. The safety gloves, aprons, helmets, hardhats, goggles, face shields, dust masks, vest, ear protection, etc. provided are designed for the protection of all employees and must be used in designated areas. Safety shoes are highly recommended but will not be required until such time as they are provided.
·       All personnel working in the sewage system shall be provided with vaccines, inoculations and tests as provided by Massachusetts law. Required inoculations shall be kept current according to the most recent Department of Public Health requirements.
·       When cutting asbestos tiles or cement pipe, a face mask and appropriate breathing protection must be worn.

6.12    Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations

·       All employees who are furnished with safety equipment and/or clothing shall be required to wear such safety equipment at all times while doing the work for which the equipment is furnished. The safety gloves, aprons, helmets, hardhats, goggles, face shields, dust masks, vest, ear protection, etc. provided are designed for the protection of all employees and must be used in designated areas. Designated areas must have signs visible to all employees.
·       Damaged or worn out safety equipment will be replaced, provided the worn or damaged equipment is turned in when the new equipment is issued and provided there is no evidence of abuse. If the equipment shows evidence of abuse, the employee shall be responsible for replacing the equipment.
·       Safety drill on the operation of self-contained breathing equipment shall be conducted for all personnel once a month.
·       All valves and handrails shall be kept free of grease.
·       Chlorine tanks shall not be changed unless two workers are present.
·       All chlorine connections shall be checked with ammonia after a tank has been filled.
·       If a leak is detected in the chlorine room do not enter without calling the Fire/Police Department first. Under no circumstances should anyone enter the area alone or without self-contained breathing equipment and protective clothing.
·       “No Smoking” signs must be observed.
·       When working in wastewater, footwear must be cleaned off before entering any building.
·       There shall be no eating in laboratories.
·       Proper barricades or cones must be used when manhole covers or grates are removed.
·       Proper procedures before entering manholes, digesters, wet wells, etc. are:
a)      Check atmosphere
b)      Use proper ventilation - open one manhole in front and in back of the manhole being worked in.
c)      Safety Harness to be worn upon entering.
d)      Two employees above manhole, wet well, etc.
·       Housekeeping and safe work habits shall be in constant use. All spills shall be cleaned up immediately.
·       When working on a pump or any other equipment, all switches shall be tagged and power locked out. Tags and locks shall only be removed by the person who originally tagged them.
·       All employees who are furnished with safety equipment and/or clothing will be required to wear such safety equipment at all times while doing the work for which the equipment is furnished. The safety gloves, aprons, helmets, hardhats, goggles, face shields, dust masks, vest, ear protection, etc. provided are designed for the protection of all employees and must be used in designated areas. Safety shoes are highly recommended but will not be required until such time as they are provided.
·       Safety harness and line must be worn when cleaning clarifiers (inside) or any other situation that calls for this precaution.
·       Safety chains must be replaced at all walkways, tanks, etc.
·       Equipment safety guards and covers must be kept in place.
·       Electrical cabinet doors are to be kept closed.
·       Two persons (one above and one below) are to be present upon entering clarifiers and pumping stations.

6.13    Water Department

·       Hard hats are to be worn on construction sites at all times whenever an overhead exposure is present.
·       Safety vests shall be worn when working in a busy street and when directing traffic.
·       Safety cones and barricades are to be used around work areas.  “Men working” signs or cones are to be set 200 feet in each direction from the work area.
·       When working at night, flashers or flares shall be used to warn public of the work area. Trenches and work areas shall be well lit.
·       Hard toe boots or sturdy work boots shall be worn while working in water or mud. Rain gear shall be worn during inclement weather.
·       Safety goggles shall be worn while using air driven tools or power saws.
·       Ladders shall be used when working in trenches. They shall have 12-inch runners and shall extend 3 feet above the ground.  Ladders must be positioned no more than 25 feet apart.
·       Clothing must be suitable to the job. Shirts and long pants shall be worn at all
times. Suitable work shoes shall be worn.  Safety shoes are recommended. Sneakers, moccasins, sandals, and shorts or cut off pants shall not be worn.
·       While working in watershed areas, no hand power cutting tools such as chain saws and brush cutters shall be used without a means of transportation in the immediate area.
·       When machine cutting asbestos, tile or cement pipe, a facemask and breathing protection must be worn.
·       Excavations and trenches shall comply with the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industry Safety Rules.
·       Self-contained breathing equipment shall be provided for personnel working around chlorination equipment.
·       A safety drill on the operation of self-contained breathing equipment shall be conducted for such personnel once a month.


6.14    Electric Department

·       Due to the unique nature of electric power distribution and service operations, a safety manual for electrical utilities such as the one listed below should be made part of this manual.

"Safety Manual for an Electrical Utility"
American Public Power Association
2301 M. St. NW
Washington, DC. 20037


·       General sections of the town safety handbook manual should be retained for the Electric Department.

7.0     Police Department Safety Guidelines

        7.1     Material Handling Safety

                7.1.1   Manual Lifting

        The first rule for any manual handling job is to use your head. Before you lift, attempt to estimate the weight of the object. If you are not sure, squat down and try lifting a corner. If you do not feel comfortable about the lift or it feels too heavy, don't lift it! Find some help. Ask someone else to help you or, better yet, locate a hand truck or other lifting device to aid you. Once you have decided that you can lift the object, there are several basic steps that should be followed in making a proper lift.

        1.      First, position your feet with one along side of the object to be lifted
                and the other behind. This will provide the balance necessary for a smooth lift.

        2.      Second, contract your stomach muscles and straighten your back to keep your spine, back muscles, and ligaments in correct alignment.  This will evenly distribute the load over the entire spine. Remember, a straight back does not necessarily mean a vertical back. Your back can still be straight even if you are lifting at an angle.

        3.      Third, bend your hips and knees by using the sit-down position and draw the object in close to your body. Bending at your hips will aid in keeping your back straight and bending your knees will allow you to lift with your legs.

        4.      Fourth, grasp the object by the opposite corners and position your body so its
                weight is centered over your feet. Tuck in your chin.

        5.      Start the lift with a thrust of the rear foot and remember that as you lift, use smooth movements and avoid jerking.

        6.      Once the load has been lifted, keep the load close to your body and turn the entire body as a whole unit, including the feet. Remember don't twist!

        7.1.2   Stooping

1.      Stand close to the object

2.      Place feet apart with one foot in front of the other so you have a firm footing for the task to be performed.

3.      Bend your knees and hips, lower your body, keep your back straight and bring your hands down to the object.


7.1.3   Carrying

1.      Keep your back as straight as possible.

2.      Keep weight load close to the body and centered over your pelvis.

3.      Counter-balance your load by shifting part of your body in the opposite direction from the load so your load will be in balance.

4.      Put your load down by bending the hips and knees with your back straight and load close to the body.

5.      If the load is too heavy, get help.

6.      When a load is carried by more than one person, allow one individual to be the leader so you have good timing and coordination.

7.1.4   Pushing

        1.      Stand close to the object being moved.

        2.      Crouch down with feet apart.

        3.      Bend your elbows and put your hands on the load at chest level.

        4.      Lean forward with chest or shoulder against the object. Do not push with arms or shoulders.

        5.      Keep your back straight. Crouch and push with your legs.

7.1.5   Reaching

        1.      Use a stepladder or platform (preferably with railings) whenever possible.

        2.      Stand close to the object. Keep center of gravity over the base of support.

        3.      When reaching from the ground, place your feet wide apart, one in front of the other so you have freedom of movement forward and backward as arms are raised and lowered.

        4.      Keep good body alignment. Move close to the object. Do not reach outward to the point of straining.

        5.      When reaching for an object that is above your head, grip it with the palms up and lower it slowly. Keep it close to your body on the way down.

7.1.6   Standing

Standing for long periods with both feet flat on the floor can produce strain-inducing
swayback. The employee should be provided with a low stool or other elevation to
periodically raise one foot off the floor. This relieves pressure on the lower back.

7.1.7   Sitting

                When sitting, sit in chairs low enough to place both feet on the floor with knees higher
                than the hips. You may put your feet up on a stool. Sit firmly against the back of the chair.

        7.2     Fall Prevention

Falls are one of the most frequent accidents. Preventing a fall and injury to yourself is your responsibility.

        1.      When it is necessary to climb, use a ladder - not a chair, stool, desk or box.

        2.      Wear sturdy shoes with non-slip soles that are in good condition.

3.      Use the handrail when going up or down stairs. Be especially careful if carrying an item while on the stairway.

        4.      In winter, be on the alert for slippery outdoor sidewalks and steps.

5.      Help others. Report tripping hazards, loose handrails, steps in poor condition, slippery indoor steps.

Accidents are caused by unsafe acts and conditions.

You are the most important factor in the elimination of unsafe acts. This set of safety rules is for your guidance in patterning your safe practice procedures. Your acceptance of these rules is a condition of your contract of employment here, and your signature indicates that you have received, read, understand and agree to abide by these safety rules.

We welcome any suggestions you may have that will enhance our accident prevention program.

8.0     Fire Department Safety Guidelines

While it is difficult to detail every situation that may arise during emergency situations, the Essex Fire Department strives to provide a safe working environment for our personnel. Conformity with the following basic set of guidelines will aid personnel in accomplishing a safe working environment.

·       All Personnel are expected wear safety equipment and gear that is appropriate for the incident in which involved. This may include NFP A approved fire turnout gear, helmets with face shields, nomex hoods, gloves, SCBA's, or PPE.
·       Department apparatus and euipment will be maintained in good mechanical and working order at all times.
·       Department apparatus will be operated in a safe manner in accordance with all Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Laws.
·       When backing, be sure to use a backer if at all possible.
·       Seat belts shall be worn when operating or riding in town vehicles.

·       Apparatus when parked will have parking brake applied and wheels chocked.

·       The apparatus and office area will be kept clean and hazard free. All emergency exits will be illuminated and free of all obstacles.

·       Work areas should be kept clean and orderly for maximum safety.  Floors must be kept free of spilled oil, antifreeze, grease, water, etc.  If spills cannot be cleaned up immediately, then they must be covered with an oil absorbent material, such as Speedi-Dry.
·       When personnel are at an emergency scene, an attempt to assure that the right number of personnel required for a task are present to assure safe and efficient completion of that task.
·       Use proper lifting techniques. Heavy objects, tools or materials should not be lifted alone.
·       Personnel will use the appropriate hand tool for the right job.
·       Position emergency vehicle at scenes to best protect personnel at the scene.


9.0     Custodial and Maintenance Safety Guidelines

        9.1     General Safety Guidelines

·       Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on school property is prohibited.
·       Smoking is permitted in designated areas only.
·       Horseplay and practical jokes are prohibited.
·       Walk up and down stairs one at a time and always use caution. If a railing is available, use it!
·       Be alert for tripping hazards.
·       Do not move so fast that you cannot stop without causing an accident should someone unexpectedly step in front of you. Watch where you are going. Unnecessary haste and fast movements often causes accidents.
·       When using electrical equipment, make sure it is plugged into the proper outlet.
·       See that electrical cords are not in the way of your work.
·       All portable power tools must be grounded. Do not use any electric portable power tool that is not grounded unless the tool is of a double-insulated type.
·       Do not attempt electrical repairs. Only qualified electricians shall work on electrical equipment or maintain energized lines.
·       Report all unusual electrical conditions to your supervisor immediately, for example, blown fuses, sparking or smoking motors and worn extension cords.
·       Do not leave any machine running when not in use.
·       No tools or equipment are to be left lying on the floor in walk paths or exits.
·       All tools are to be put back in their proper places, cleaned, and in good working condition.
·       Get first aid for every scratch, cut or burn, no matter how slight it may seem. Untreated minor injuries may develop into serious injuries.
·       Every accident or injury, no matter how slight, must be reported to your supervisor immediately.
·       Do not attempt to operate equipment you do not understand.
·       Equipment doesn't cause accidents; people who use it do. Wear adequate shoes with full protection for the heel and toes. Toe-less or heel-less shoes as well as sandals or those with canvas tops give no protection to your feet. Watch for worn heels, for they can result in some serious falls. We encourage slip-resistant soles.
·       When backing a vehicle into a confined area, always have another adult guide you into the blind spot.
·       Check all lights and tires on school vehicles the first time they are used that day.
·       Seatbelts must be worn while operating vehicles.
·       Make sure you know where fire extinguishers are in your work area, and how to use them.
·       Emergency exits must be kept clear at all times.
·       Never park or stack anything in front of fire extinguishers, electrical panels, and/or fire doors.
·       Use a proper height ladder or stool, not a box, desk or chair, to reach high places. If possible, avoid carrying material up or down ladders. Put light items on higher shelves.
·       Never pour flammable liquids down drains or sewers.
·       Dispose of all flammable waste rags in metal containers with lids provided for this purpose, or in an approved area.
·       Change your clothing immediately should it become soaked with any flammable liquid.
·       Always wear comfortable and adequate clothing on the job. This includes not only well-fitting clothing, but adequate shoes to protect your feet from hazardous materials which may be encountered on the job.
·       Protective eye gear shall be worn at all times, in all areas, and on all jobs that require them.
·       Gloves or other similar hand protection shall be worn when doing jobs that require them.
·       Safety hats shall be worn at all times as supplied and prescribed by management.

·       Whenever stacking material, stack it so there is no danger of it falling. Stack it within prescribed areas allowing all aisles and workspaces to remain clear.
·       Ensure that fire extinguishers are maintained at full charge at all times.

        9.2     Work Area Safety Guidelines
        
·       Clean and store tools properly. After you finish using them, make sure your tools are free of dirt, oil, etc., and in their proper storage area.
·       Fix or report broken tools. Any tool that can't be restored to safe condition should be reported to your supervisor.
·       Store materials properly. Store all work materials, from paper products to flammable liquids, in approved, clearly marked containers, and keep in designated storage areas.
·       Clean and maintain machines properly. Follow all routine cleaning and maintenance procedures, and report any problems immediately.
·       Keep your work area clean. Don't allow dirt, dust, wood and metal filings, etc., to     accumulate. This is especially important around machines with moving parts. Floors should be free of spills and tripping hazards at all times.
·       Maintain lighting. Keep all lighting clean and unobscured by furniture, storage cabinets, etc. for maximum brightness.

        9.3     Material Handling Safety

        9.3.1    Manual Lifting

        The first rule for any manual handling job is to use your head. Before you lift, attempt to estimate the weight of the object. If you are not sure, squat down and try lifting a corner. If you do not feel comfortable about the lift or it feels too heavy, don't lift it! Find some help. Ask someone else to help you or, better yet, locate a hand truck or other lifting device to aid you. Once you have decided that you can lift the object, there are several basic steps that should be followed in making a proper lift.

        1.      First, position your feet with one along side of the object to be lifted
                and the other behind. This will provide the balance necessary for a smooth lift.
        2.      Second, contract your stomach muscles and straighten your back to keep your spine, back muscles, and ligaments in correct alignment.  This will evenly distribute the load over the entire spine. Remember, a straight back does not necessarily mean a vertical back. Your back can still be straight even if you are lifting at an angle.
        3.      Third, bend your hips and knees by using the sit-down position and draw the object in close to your body. Bending at your hips will aid in keeping your back straight and bending your knees will allow you to lift with your legs.
        4.      Fourth, grasp the object by the opposite corners and position your body so its
                weight is centered over your feet. Tuck in your chin.
        5.      Start the lift with a thrust of the rear foot and remember that as you lift, use smooth movements and avoid jerking.
        6.      Once the load has been lifted, keep the load close to your body and turn the entire body as a whole unit, including the feet. Remember don't twist!

        9.3.2   Stooping

        1.      Stand close to the object
        2.      Place feet apart with one foot in front of the other so you have a firm footing for the task to be performed.
        3.      Bend your knees and hips, lower your body, keep your back straight and bring
                your hands down to the object.

                9.3.3   Carrying

        1.      Keep your back as straight as possible.
        2.      Keep weight load close to the body and centered over your pelvis.
        3.      Counter-balance your load by shifting part of your body in the opposite direction from the load so your load will be in balance.
        4.      Put your load down by bending the hips and knees with your back straight and load close to the body.
        5.      If the load is too heavy, get help.
        6.      When a load is carried by more than one person, allow one individual to be the leader so you have good timing and coordination.

                9.3.4   Pushing

        1.      Stand close to the object being moved.
        2.      Crouch down with feet apart.
        3.      Bend your elbows and put your hands on the load at chest level.
        4.      Lean forward with chest or shoulder against the object. Do not push with arms
                or shoulders.
        5.      Keep your back straight. Crouch and push with your legs.

                9.3.5   Reaching

        1.      Use a stepladder or platform (preferably with railings) whenever possible.
        2.      Stand close to the object. Keep center of gravity over the base of support.
        3.      When reaching from the ground, place your feet wide apart, one in front of the
                other so you have freedom of movement forward and backward as arms are raised and lowered.
        4.      Keep good body alignment. Move close to the object. Do not reach outward to the point of straining.
        5.      When reaching for an object that is above your head, grip it with the palms up and lower it slowly. Keep it close to your body on the way down.

        9.3.6   Standing

Standing for long periods with both feet flat on the floor can produce strain-inducing
                        swayback. The employee should be provided with a low stool or other elevation to
                        periodically raise one foot off the floor. This relieves pressure on the lower back.

                9.3.7   Sitting

                When sitting, sit in chairs low enough to place both feet on the floor with knees higher than the hips. You may put your feet up on a stool. Sit firmly against the back of the chair.

        9.4     Ladder Safety

All types of ladders are available on the job site for your use. There is no excuse for using a makeshift means of access to an elevated work area.

·       Broken or damaged ladders must not be used. Repair or destroy them immediately. Ladders to be repaired must be tagged " DO NOT USE."
·       Do not splice together short ladders to make a longer ladder.
·       All straight ladders must be tied off at the top.
·       Ladders should not be placed against moveable objects.
·       The base of the ladder must be set back a safe distance from the vertical.  The recommended distance is approximately one- fourth of the working length of the ladder.
·       Ladders used for access to a floor or platform must extend at least three (3) feet above the landing.
·       The areas around the top and base of ladders must be free of tripping hazards such as loose materials, trash, and electric cords.
·       Ladders that project into passageways or doorways where they could be struck by personnel, moving equipment, or materials being handled, must be protected by barricades or guards.
·       You must face the ladder at all times when ascending or descending.
·       Be sure that your shoes are free of mud, grease, or other substances, which could cause a slip or fall.
·       Do not carry materials up a ladder. Use a hand line.
·       Always move the ladder to avoid over-reaching.
·       Stepladders must be fully opened to permit the spreader to lock.
·       Metal ladders must not be used for electrical work or in areas where they could contact energized wiring. The use of metal ladders is restricted to special applications where the heavier wooden ladders are not practical.

        9.5     Hand Tool Safety

Many occupational injuries occur from the improper use of hand tools. These unnecessary injuries can be minimized by five basic safety practices:

        1.      Use the right tool for the job. Use a pry bar, not a file; a hammer, not a wrench; a proper sized wrench, not pliers; a chisel, not a screwdriver.
                2.      Keep tools in good condition. Keep chisels sharp and free of mushroomed heads; replace worn or cracked hammer handles; discard end wrenches with spread         jaws.
                3.      Use tools properly. Do not use a screwdriver on an object held in the hand or cut
with a knife toward the body.
                4.      Keep tools in a safe place. Do not leave tools on top of ladders or other items.
                5.   Keep sharp objects in carrying cases. Do not leave tools cluttering workbenches.

        9.6     Portable Power Tool Safety

Portable power tools can cause serious injury, even death, if used improperly. Observe the following safety rules:

·       Make sure that portable electric power tools are properly grounded or double insulated against electrical shock.  Using improperly grounded or insulated electrical tools in wet areas can be a fatal mistake.
·       Keep portable electric saw guards in good condition and keep your body out of the line of cuts. Start and stop saws outside the cut and do not jam the cutting blade.
·       Drills with variable speed switches should be used on low speed for starting new holes. Never drill toward any part of your body. Portable grinders, sanders, buffers and wire brushes should be properly guarded.
·       Wear appropriate eye, face and foot protection when using portable power tools.

        9.7     Electrical Safety

        9.7.1   Circuit Breakers & Fuses

·       Panel box doors should be kept closed. This prevents sparks from flying about during a short circuit.
·       Service panels should be kept free from moisture and corrosion. These conditions can cause a short circuit or "bind" the breakers.
·       Service panels should not be warm or hot. This may indicate an overloading.
·       Breakers should never be taped in the 'ON' position. This prevents them from operating correctly.
·       Breakers should be tripped manually on occasion. This helps to ensure their safe working order.
·       Main service panel rooms or areas should be kept free of combustible storage such as wood, paper, paint or flammable liquids. No storage of any kind within 3 feet of panel front.

        9.7.2   Equipment & Motors

·       All electrical systems for the building should conform to the National Electrical Code Standards.

·       All permanent wiring should be in rigid metal conduit.

·       All electrical outlets should be of the 3-wire grounded type.

·       All electrical equipment used in the building should have the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label and should have the 3-wire grounded cords and plugs or be otherwise properly insulated.

·       The use of 2-wire plug adapters and multi-plug outlet adapters is prohibited.

·       Only heavy-duty grounded extension cords should be used as temporary wiring.

·       All circuit breakers should be numbered and identified as to the location/appliance served. Circuit breaker switches should not be taped in the 'ON' position.

·       The main electrical equipment rooms should be kept locked at all times with access by authorized personnel only. All electrical boxes outside of the secured area should be kept locked.

·       There should be no storage of combustibles or flammables in electrical rooms.  Access to all electrical panels must be kept free and clear of any storage or obstruction at all times.

·       Motors should be kept free of dust, dirt and oily deposits.

·       Equipment or motors should not be kept in blind or inaccessible attic spaces.

·       Power cords should be kept in good condition. Never use worn, broken, improperly repaired or patched cords.

·       Any equipment that sparks, stalls or runs hot should be repaired or replaced by qualified personnel.

        9.7.3   Outlets

·       Multi-connection outlets should not be used. This common mistake can easily overload the wiring.

·       Cover plates should be provided for outlets. This keeps sparks from flying about during a short circuit.

·       Always contact a qualified electrician when major repairs or changes are needed. Never rely on "home remedies" for serious electrical problems.

        9.8     Chemical Safety

Chemicals that are used in a work environment must be respected in order to avoid injury, illness and possibly death.

When not properly contained and handled, chemicals have several means of entering the body. They can be:

·       Inhaled as a gas, vapor, fume, mist or dust.
·       Swallowed in small or large doses.
·       Absorbed through the skin.
·       Spilled on unprotected skin.

        Each of these routes of entry into the body poses its own special problems.

        Several points to keep in mind when handling chemicals are:

1.      Read the warning label. It should identify the nature and severity of the chemical's hazard and what to do in an emergency.
2.      Wear any personal protective equipment required by your supervisor or the Safety Department.
3.      Know where the nearest fire extinguisher and emergency exits are.
4.      Use chemicals in an area with adequate room ventilation or local exhaust
        ventilation. This is very important in order to avoid most problems encountered
        with exposures to chemicals.
5.      Smoking is allowed in specified areas only.
6.      Concentrated acids and bases should be kept separate. When mixed, they cause
        violent chemical reactions producing heat and gases. Strong oxidizing chemicals
        should be kept in closed containers, away from water, water base solutions, and
        flammables.
7.      If a chemical splashes onto someone, flush the affected part with water in an
        emergency shower or sink for 15 minutes. All contaminated clothing should be
        removed. Splashes in the eyes should also be flushed with water for a minimum
        of 15 minutes. The appropriate medical personnel should be notified.


9.9     Fire Prevention

It is important to use the right type of fire extinguisher if you are forced to put out a fire. Read and remember these symbols and the types of fire extinguishers on which they are found. If you should be faced with an actual fire, you may not have time to read this information. Read it now while you have the time.


        
                           
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        9.10    Fall Prevention

Falls are one of the most frequent accidents. Preventing a fall and injury to yourself is your responsibility.

        1.      When it is necessary to climb, use a ladder - not a chair, stool, desk or box.

        2.      Wear sturdy shoes with non-slip soles that are in good condition.

3.      Use the handrail when going up or down stairs. Be especially careful if carrying an item while on the stairway.

        4.      In winter, be on the alert for slippery outdoor sidewalks and steps.

5.      Help others. Report tripping hazards, loose handrails, steps in poor condition, slippery indoor steps.


        9.11    Hand Truck Safety

Two-wheeled trucks require that the load be carried by a single axle, so proper balance is very important. Apply the following:

·       Keep the load's center of gravity as low as possible.
·       Never walk backward with this type of hand truck.
·       When going down an incline, keep the truck in front of you.
·       When going up, keep the truck behind you.

Four-wheeled hand trucks require similar safety rules to those used for two-wheeled hand trucks.  Emphasis should be placed on:

·       Keeping the load even and not so high as to cause spillage and/or obstruction of view.

·       Pushing rather than pulling four-wheeled trucks. (If a truck has a third or fifth wheel with a handle, it can be pulled.)

Accidents are caused by unsafe acts and unsafe conditions.

You are the most important factor in the elimination of unsafe acts. This set of safety rules is for your guidance in patterning your safe practice procedure. Your acceptance of these rules is a condition of your contract of employment here, and your signature signifies that you have received, read, understood and agree to abide by these safety rules.

We welcome any suggestions that you may have that will enhance our accident prevention program.





 
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