Yearly Archives: 2014

Colds and Flu at Work

Each year, between 5% and 20% of Americans get the flu and miss a staggering 70 million work days as a result. The indirect costs? Between $3 billion to $12 billion a year.

Fact: Workplace prevention is key. Get vaccinated.

Too Sick to Work?

You rise from a fitful night’s sleep with a sore throat and headache. Your temperature is slightly over 100 degrees, but judging by how crummy you feel, you wonder if it will spike to 103 degrees by day’s end. Should you drag yourself to work and risk infecting coworkers? Or should you telephone in sick, even though your boss desperately needs you to pitch in during a stressful week? “People are concerned about calling in sick, but if you’re really feeling unwell and especially if you have a fever,… (click here to read full article).

Both the flu shot and the nasal flu vaccine are highly effective for preventing the flu. However, they are not 100% effective. You can still get the flu even if you are vaccinated, although it’s usually less severe and resolves more quickly.

To reduce your risk of sharing cold and flu viruses at work, try these five prevention strategies:

    1. Call in sick when necessary. Viruses are easily transmitted in close quarters like offices. Stay home if you have any of these symptoms:
      • Fever
      • Headache
      • Extreme tiredness
      • Cough
      • Sore throat
      • Runny or stuffy nose
      • Muscle aches
      • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
    2. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Viruses are primarily transmitted through mucus. Cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow to avoid coughing or sneezing into your hand.


    1. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Rub your hands for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gels.


    1. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.


    1. Wipe down your desk and other common areas with disinfectant wipes. Research from the University of Arizona found that telephones, desks, water fountain handles, microwave door handles, and computer keyboards in offices contain large amounts of germs that cause colds and flu.


Cell Phone Safety

cellimageOn July 1, 2014, the fines for talking or texting on a hand-held wireless communications device increased. First time offenders now face a fine of at least $200. The fine associated with a second offense increased to a minimum of $400, and drivers who are caught a third time face a fine of at least $600, a possible 90-day suspension of their driver’s license, and (3) three motor vehicle penalty points.

Although it is discouraged, drivers may use a hands-free device if it does not interfere with standard safety equipment. “Use” of a wireless phone and any other hand-held communication device includes, but is not limited to, talking or listening to another person, texting, or sending and receiving electronic messages.

A hand-held phone may be used for an emergency only and the driver must keep one hand on the wheel at all times.

Cell Phone Safety Tips:

  1. Turn your phone off or put ring on silent to avoid the urge to answer.
  2. Put your phone in a secure location that is easy to reach, in case of emergency.
  3. Never dial while driving, move to a safe area off of the road.
  4. Prior to driving, store important contact information in your phone.
  5. Use a hands-free unit, so that both of your hands are on the steering wheel at all times.
  6. Become familiar with your phone’s speed dialing and voice-activation features to minimize dialing.
  7. Prior to driving, set up your voice-mail to take messages.

Must Know Ladder Safety Tips


What’s wrong with this picture?

In many workplaces, workers are vulnerable to falls. There are many kinds of falls and this picture illustrates two of them:

  1. Falls from ladders
  2. Falls through floor openings

As if simply falling off a ladder to the ground below isn’t dangerous enough, a worker using this ladder the way it has been positioned would also be at risk of falling through the open doors into this building’s basement.

This hazardous situation is easily avoidable. First, the ladder could be placed a safe distance from either side of the open basement doors, so that the opening doesn’t pose a risk to a worker on the ladder. Second, if the ladder had to be positioned in that particular location, say, to access the window, the basement doors should be closed and secured before the ladder is put in place.

To protect your workers from falling off ladders, make sure they:

  • Place ladders on solid, level ground
  • Do not position ladders near an edge or floor opening that would significantly increase the potential fall distance
  • Face the treads when going up and down the ladder and stay in the center of the side rails
  • Maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times
  • Avoid leaning to one side or overreaching
  • Carry tools in a tool belt or raise and lower them with a hand line
  • Wear shoes/boots with clean, slip-free soles
  • Do not place a step ladder on boxes or scaffolds to gain extra height
  • Take extra care when positioning a ladder in corridors or driveways where it could be hit by a person or vehicle
  • Do not move a ladder while someone is on it
  • Wear fall protection when required by the OHS regulations

And, to protect workers from falls through openings, you should:

  • Identify hazardous openings
  • Install either guardrails or coverings that comply with the requirements in the OHS regulations for these safety measures
  • Develop a hazardous openings policy, which should bar workers from placing ladders near or over floor openings such as the one in the picture
  • Train workers on these policies
This information provided by SafetySmart

RAI Provides Electrical Services For Community’s First Police K9 Kennel

On June 13, 2014 representatives from Ray Angelini, Inc. (RAI) joined local officials to celebrate at the official ribbon cutting for the new Washington Township (WT) Police K9 Kennel at police headquarters, 1 McClure Drive.  RAI provided the electrical services for the kennel and coordinated with all contractors on the project, which was completed in three months. C. Amodie Co., Inc. of Bensalem, PA donated the excavating and Diversified Lighting of Warminster, PA, donated the lighting fixtures.  The kennel is the first housing for K9s in the township.  The facility will house up to five dogs.

WT K9 Kennel opening
Celebrating the grand opening of the new Washington Township (WT) Police K9 Kennel at police headquarters, 1 McClure Drive, during the June 13, 2014 Ribbon Cutting are (from l to r):  WT Lt. Pat Gurscik, WT Councilman Scott Newman, WT Mayor Barbara Wallace, RAI Operations Director Jason Kaplan, RAI Director of Electrical Systems Design Joe Camarota, RAI Estimator/Project Manager Gary Cheeseman, and RAI Project Executive Darren Davis.
WT K9 Kennel opening - Link
WT Police Officer Hice and his K9 partner “Link,” one of five dogs that will have a new home in the WT K9 Kennel.

Protecting Workers from Heat Stress

Heat Illness
Exposure to heat can cause illness and death. The most serious heat illness is heat stroke. Other heat illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash, should also be avoided.

There are precautions your employer should take any time temperatures are high and the job involves physical work.

Risk Factors for Heat Illness
• High temperature and humidity, direct sun exposure, no breeze or wind
• Low liquid intake
• Heavy physical labor
• Waterproof clothing
• No recent exposure to hot workplaces

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
• Headache, dizziness, or fainting
• Weakness and wet skin
• Irritability or confusion
• Thirst, nausea, or vomiting

Symptoms of Heat Stroke
• May be confused, unable to think clearly, pass out, collapse, or have seizures (fits)
• May stop sweating

To Prevent Heat Illness, Your Employer Should
• Provide training about the hazards leading to heat stress and how to prevent them.
• Provide a lot of cool water to workers close to the work area. At least one pint of water per hour is needed.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
(800) 321-OSHA (6742)

Safety In The Sun

It is 93 million miles away, and life would not exist without it. Its energy moves the winds, permits life-giving rains to develop and fall, and is the engine behind plant growth, which supports the food chain and oxygen cycle. In ways beyond measure, we depend on this nearby star. Yet foolish exposure to sunlight can be harmful to human health. Following are some of the things to think about when you spend significant time outdoors.

  1. Ultraviolet rays can damage the eye’s sensitive retina and cornea. Long-term exposure can cause cataracts, which can lead to permanent blindness or other vision problems.
  2. Skin cancer is usually related to overexposure to the sun. It is one of the most common forms of cancer in the U.S., and becoming more common. About 600,000 cases are diagnosed annually, and about 6,700 people die every year from melanoma, the most serious skin cancer.

Skin cancer is not associated with a single event, like painful sunburn, but is the product of long-term (and therefore “hidden”) exposure. Protection from excessive exposure to the sun is simple, commonsense, and effective in avoiding later health problems. Be safety savvy and do the following:

  • Wear protective clothing, including a hat and proper sunglasses. Remember that poor grade sunglasses are worse than none at all.
  • Wear proper sunscreen (SPF rating of at least 15). But don’t use these products as a crutch. Instead, limit your exposure to the sun, even if you are wearing the proper clothes and sunscreen.
  • See your doctor if you notice a new growth, mole, or discoloration, or a sudden change in an existing mole. Detection of skin cancer is the first step for successful treatment.

Ray Angelini, Inc. Recognized With Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Award

SEWELL, NJ (May 14, 2014)—Ray Angelini, Inc. (RAI) recently received the Governor’s Annual Occupational Safety and Health Award for achievement in the prevention of occupational injuries, specifically the Recognition Award given to a facility or company for achieving a lost-time incidence rate of 3.0 or less for the calendar year 2013.

“I am proud to accept the Governor’s award on behalf of RAI employees,” said Michael Walsh, chief operating officer, RAI.  “We pride ourselves in consistently educating and communicating safety as our number one priority, and this award is recognition of everyone’s relentless work, upholding the highest standards for safety.”

The 86th annual awards banquet, sponsored by South Jersey Industrial Safety Council in cooperation with New Jersey Department of Labor, was held on May 7, 2014 at Auletto Caterers, Almonesson, NJ.

RAI provides electrical contracting and electrical-related services to public and private clients in the Delaware Valley in various industries, including data centers, schools, universities, government, industrial plants, medical and transit facilities, and more.  Originally established by Ray Angelini in 1974 as an electrical contracting company, today RAI is a full service electrical contracting, power systems testing, wireless infrastructure, and solar design/build/maintenance company.

To learn more about Ray Angelini, Inc., visit or call the Sewell, NJ-based headquarters at 856-228-5566.

Michael Walsh, chief operating officer, Ray Angelini, Inc. (RAI) accepts the Governors Occupational Safety and Health Recognition Award on behalf of all RAI employees at a May 7 banquet sponsored by South Jersey Industrial Safety Council in cooperation with New Jersey Department of Labor.

May is National Electrical Safety Month!

May is National Electrical Safety Month and a good time to review electrical safety practices. Increasing electrical safety awareness, following electrical safety guidelines, and using tools and technology designed to address electrical hazards are all components of a safety program.

What causes the top electrical hazards? Many are the result of the growing use of electrical power, combined with electrical systems that are over 20 years old. Wiring hazards are both a major cause of electrocutions and home fires, killing hundreds and injuring thousands each year. Misuse of surge suppressors, power strips and extension cords is also a cause of electrocutions and fires. Contact with power lines and major appliances contribute to hundreds of deaths annually, both at home and in the workplace. Eliminating these electrical hazards will help reduce deaths and injuries. Eliminating electrical hazards begins with education and awareness. A focus on electrical safety, both at home and in the workplace, can prevent the hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and billions of dollars in economic losses that occur each year because of electrical hazards.

Use of tools and technology can also make our reliance on electrical power less hazardous. Investing in ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI), circuit testers and where necessary, personal protective equipment (PPE), can significantly reduce risk.

According to data, top electrical safety hazards include:

  • Electrical fires caused by aging wiring;
  • Misuse of surge suppressors and extension cords; and
  • Electrocutions from power lines, wiring systems and large appliances.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) research indicates that each year we can expect more than 140,000 electrical fires, which result in hundreds of injuries and deaths. Electrocutions associated with wiring and consumer products cost hundreds of lives annually. In the workplace, over 300 workplace fatalities and approximately 4,000 injuries occur each year due to electrical hazards, according to a study published by the National Safety Council (NSC).

NSC-issued electrical safety tips help avoid tragic and costly injuries:

  • Use appliances and equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Replace damaged electrical equipment or have it repaired at an authorized repair center.
  • Make sure power strips, cords and surge suppressors are designed to handle the loads for their intended use. Avoid overloading circuits by plugging too many items into the same outlet.
  • GFCI protection when working where water is near electricity to protect against electric shock.
  • Make certain that all products and equipment are approved by an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or ETL-SEMKO (ETL).
  • Add protection by installing a new electrical safety device—an AFCI—to detect and stop electrical arcs that can cause fires.
  • Arcs are not detected by most breakers and fuses.
  • Avoid contact with power lines by being aware of the location of power lines and keeping a distance of at least 10 feet between you and power lines to avoid arcs.

GCIF:  Top Safety Device

Installing a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) in every home and workplace could prevent nearly 70 percent of the approximately 400 electrocutions that occur each year. GFCIs are especially useful for cord-connected appliances and equipment used outdoors or near water. GFCIs are electrical safety devices that trip electrical circuits when they detect ground faults or leakage currents. A GFCI can be an electrical receptacle, circuit breaker, or portable device. A person who becomes part of a path for leakage current will be severely shocked or electrocuted.

An Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) survey found that nearly one-half of U.S. families never test the GFCIs in their homes. More that 25 percent do not know that GFCIs can help prevent electrocution. Even among those who routinely tested their GFCIs, none said that they tested their units as recommended—at least once a month and after storms.

GFCIs are subject to wear and possible damage from power surges during an electrical storm. Industry studies suggest that as many as 10 percent of GFCIs in use may be damaged. ESFI recommends performing a simple monthly test to determine if GFCIs are functioning properly.

Among the estimated millions of GFCIs installed nationwide, many are the standard wall or receptacle type GFCIs.

To test your GFCIs, follow this simple procedure:

  • Push the “Reset” button of the GFCI receptacle to prepare the unit for testing.
  • Plug a light into the GFCI and turn it on. The light should now be ON.
  • Push the “Test” button of the GFCI. The light should go OFF.
  • Push the “Reset” button again. The light should again turn ON.

The light should go out when the test button is pushed. If the light does not go out, then the GFCI is not working or has been installed incorrectly. If the “Reset” button pops out during the test but the light does not go out, the GFCI may have been improperly wired. In this case, the GFCI may have been damaged and does not offer shock protection. Contact a qualified electrician to check the GFCI and correct the problem.

Avoid Outdoor Electrical Hazards

Warmer weather brings an increase in outdoor work in many parts of the country, both on the job and at home. Increasing electrical safety awareness can help ensure those activities do not result in injuries and deaths, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). ESFI notes that following safety rules can reduce electrical deaths and injuries:

  • Ladders—even those made of wood—that contact a power line can prove fatal.
  • Unplug outdoor tools and appliances when not in use.
  • Inspect power tools and appliances for frayed cords, broken plugs and cracked or broken housing and repair or replace damaged items.

The Facts

The most recent data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that on average, there are over 400 electrocutions in the United States each year. Of these, approximately 180 are related to consumer products. Large appliances were responsible for the largest proportion of the electrocutions—10 percent.

  • Electrocutions from wiring hazards, including damaged or exposed wiring and household wiring together totaled approximately 20 percent.
  • Ladders contacting power lines caused 9 percent of electrocutions; in another 5 percent of deaths, victims contacted high voltage power lines.
  • Power tools were responsible for another 9 percent of deaths.
  • Landscaping, gardening and farming equipment cause 7 percent of electrocutions each year.

In the work place, data from the National Safety Council indicate that electrical hazards cause nearly one workplace fatality every day. Annually, electrical hazards are listed as the cause of approximately 4,000 injuries. Electrical incidents, while only a small portion of those that occur on-the-job, are far more likely to be fatal.

Electrical Safety

  • Electricity ranks sixth among all causes of occupational injury in the United States.
  • Before the installation of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs), which de-energize a circuit when they detect a ground fault, nearly 800 people died annually from household electrocutions.
  • Currently, fewer than 200 people die annually from household electrocutions.
  • 25 percent of U.S. consumers don’t understand the purpose of their GFCIs.
  • Over 25 percent of consumers do not know that GFCIs can help prevent electrocution.
  • Nearly one-half of U.S. families never test their GFCIs.

Among those who routinely test their GFCIs, none do so according to safety recommendations—at least once a month and after storms.

Electrocutions do not tell the entire story. Electricity is the cause of over 140,000 fires each year, resulting in 400 deaths, 4,000 injuries and $1.6 billion in property damage. Total economic losses due to electrical hazards are estimated to exceed $4 billion annually.


Workers’ Memorial Day

More than 4,000 workers lose their lives and even more are injured each year while on the job according to the government agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Of those that died in 2012, nearly 20% of the fatalities were in the construction industry where the leading cause of death was falls. OSHA’s mission is to ensure a safe and healthy workplace, enforce safety standards, and provide training, outreach, education and assistance.

But, there is 1 health and safety inspector for every 6,000 workers. In an effort to draw attention to the dangers of the workplace, each year on April 28, OSHA holds a Workers’ Memorial Day to honor those who have been killed or severely injured on the job as well as to promote better working conditions for all employees.

The memorial is an international event established in 1984 by the Canadian Union of Public Employees. The USA began recognizing the event in 1989.

Please take a moment today to recognize our fallen and severely injured comrades and how important it is to make safety a priority in all you do.


Working Safely in Confined Spaces

By Roy Maurer

Working in confined spaces presents many challenges. In addition to restricted movement, confined spaces could contain a hazardous atmosphere, material that could engulf a worker, a configuration that could trap or asphyxiate a worker, or other safety and health hazards such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires or dangerous temperatures.

Even though confined-space work has been regulated since 1993, an average of 92 workers are killed each year in this type of environment. Sixty percent of those fatalities are untrained rescuers who succumb to the same hazard as the initial victim.

A confined space is defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as having limited openings for entry or exit, large enough for entering and working but not designed for continuous worker occupancy. Confined spaces include underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos and pipelines.

Confined-space hazards are addressed in specific standards for the general industry and shipyard employment. The general industry standard has not yet been extended to construction; however, general industry rules cover some work on construction sites. The agency intends to issue a confined space in construction rule in July 2013, according to the semiannual regulatory agenda published Jan. 8.

Hazards Found in Confined Spaces

There are two types of confined spaces: nonpermit and permit-required, said Stuart Becker, senior manager at MSA, a safety-products manufacturer that specializes in confined-space work. The spaces that OSHA requires a permit to enter and work in are the ones that potentially contain hazards, Becker explained during a webinar sponsored by Occupational Health & Safety magazine and MSA.

Confined-space hazards vary and include atmospheric, physical, corrosive or biological dangers.
Atmospheric hazards are some of the most dangerous and can be attributed to:

  • Oxygen deficiency. “This occurs when oxygen levels in confined spaces dip below 19.5 percent of the total atmosphere,” said Becker. Normal ambient air contains an oxygen concentration of 20.8 percent by volume. Workers also have to be aware of an oxygen-enriched atmosphere containing more than 23.5 percent oxygen by volume, which has the potential for combustion, Becker cautioned.
  • An atmospheric concentration of any toxic contaminant above OSHA’s permissible exposure limits.
  • Airborne combustible dust.

Although airborne dust may be easily spotted with the naked eye, oxygen deficiency or enrichment conditions, as well as hazardous vapor and gas concentrations, must be detected with reliable instrumentation, said Becker.

Other hazards in confined-space work include moving machinery; uneven or wet surfaces; engulfment within areas where loose materials such as grains, crushed stone or sawdust are stored; corrosive acids; molds; and dangerous animals and insects.

Entering Confined Spaces

Supervisors must complete an entry permit before anyone may go into a permit-required confined space, said Becker. A permit, signed by the entry supervisor, must be posted at all entrances or otherwise be made available to entrants before they enter a permit space. The permit must verify that pre-entry preparations outlined in the standard have been completed. Specifically, the permit must clearly identify the location of the confined space; the purpose of entry; the date of entry; the authorized duration of occupancy, the lists of authorized entrants, attendants, equipment and hazards; the results of initial and periodic tests; and a list of rescue and emergency services.

After confined-space work is completed, permits are canceled but must be retained for at least one year.

A formal safety procedure should also be documented to cover critical safety concerns such as first aid and decontamination. To help ensure that entrants understand the responsibilities and hazards found within confined spaces, they should attend pre-entry sessions before going into such spaces.

Employee Requirements and Responsibilities

All personnel involved in confined-space entry, including supervisors, entrants and attendants, should be well-trained and know their roles and responsibilities.

Confined-space training should include such precautions as lockout/tagout protocols, testing of breathable air quality, forced ventilation, observation of workers in the space, and a predetermined rescue plan with an appropriate safety harness and other rescue equipment.

Entry supervisors are required to:

  • Know the space hazards.
  • Verify emergency plans and specified entry conditions, such as permits, tests, procedures and equipment, before allowing entry.
  • Prevent further entry and cancel permits when entry operations are completed or if a new condition exists.
  • Verify that rescue services are available.
  • Ensure that entry operations remain consistent with the entry permit and that acceptable entry conditions are maintained.

Authorized entrants are required to:

  • Know the space hazards.
  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Maintain communication with attendants.
  • Attendants are located outside of confined-space work areas and must remain on duty at all times during entry operations. They are required to:
  • Perform nonentry rescues when specified by the employer’s rescue procedure.
  • Know existing and potential hazards, including modes of exposure and exposure signs or symptoms, consequences and physiological effects.
  • Maintain communication with, and keep an accurate account of, confined-space entrants.
  • Order evacuation of the space when a prohibited condition exists, a worker shows signs of hazard exposure or there is an emergency outside the confined space.
  • Coordinate rescue and other services in an emergency.
  • Ensure that unauthorized people stay away from confined spaces.

Attendants may monitor more than one space at a time, said Becker.
“The same rules apply,” he explained. “You have to be able to communicate with all entrants and, more importantly, be able to communicate with emergency personnel if a situation arises in one of the spaces.”

Confined-Space Rescues

Attendants may perform nonentry rescues using retrieval systems specified by the company’s rescue procedure, but under no circumstances should attendants ever enter confined spaces unless another attendant has arrived at the scene, Becker said.

“More than 60 percent of all confined-space fatalities occur because attendants or unauthorized persons rush into hazardous environments without protective equipment,” he observed.
Outfitting attendants with proper personal protective equipment and instruments necessary for rescue is an option.

“Annual-rescue training is required, as well as actual simulated rescue using dummies,” said Becker. Classroom training is not sufficient, he added.

Help may come from in-house rescue, local emergency services or contracted emergency-response teams.

The OSHA standard provides guidance on evaluating rescue teams or services, which includes an initial evaluation, in which employers decide whether a potential rescue service or team is adequately trained and equipped to perform the type of confined-space rescues the facility needs and whether such rescuers can respond in a timely manner, and a performance evaluation, in which employers measure the performance of the team or service during an actual or practice rescue.

“Rescue services need to be on the planning end, before confined-space work begins,” said Becker. “More importantly, after the rescue, employers need to know where the injured worker is going to be treated and how far away the critical-care facility is.”

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