In this issue of the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Listserv, October 7, 2015:     


1.    Fall Safety Colloquia – Date Approaching

2.    Harvest Safety 

3.    Safety Shorts (Harvest Topics)

4.    Near “Hit” – Daylight Saving Time

5.    11 Tips for Effective Workplace “Housekeeping”

6.    AED Location? There’s An App For That

7.    Safety Poster – Working Alone?



1.   Fall Safety Colloquia – Date Approaching

Two colloquia, co-sponsored by EHS and the Office of Research and Economic Development, are scheduled for November 11, 2015, only a little over a month away!  These two distinct colloquia each feature a speaker from Cintas, an industry leader in flame-resistant protective clothing for both laboratory and trades workers.  Each colloquium will be presented twice to maximize accessibility:

·                Protective Apparel for Laboratory Safety

o   City Campus Union 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

o   Repeated at East Campus Union 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

·                NFPA 70E Electrical Safety Protective Apparel

o   Auditorium in Facilities Management Shops (FMS) Building

11 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

o   Repeated 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

Plan to attend the Fall Safety Colloquium applicable to your work. RSVPs are not required.  A map of free parking from 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in a specific lot adjacent to the Facilities Management Shops (FMS) Building for those who do not have a UNL Parking Sticker and wish to attend a session at that location is posted on the EHS web site.



Ų  EHS Safety Colloquium Series


2.   Harvest Safety  


Harvest is an intense time due to the quantity of work to be accomplished and the time frame in which it must be done.  That urgency is likely why there are more accidents during harvest than at other time.  According to data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the agricultural industry overall experienced a 14 percent increase in fatal injuries in 2014.  Of the 25 fatalities within all industries in Nebraska, six were farm/agricultural-related:


·       One worker’s clothing got caught in a grain truck’s auger, pulling him into the auger and pinning him. Another worker was pinned as he cleaned the auger area of a truck.

·       One man died after becoming buried in a grain bin.

·       One worker was found inside a water tank after an apparent fall.

·       One person was crushed under a large round hay bale.

·       One agricultural worker died after tanks holding anhydrous ammonia exploded.

Maintaining awareness of and avoiding potential hazards is the key to avoiding injury.  Review safety tips relevant to your operation as discussed in the following listserv issues or in other resources listed:


·       September 21, 2015 (  Resources in the National Farm Safety Week article

·       April 13, 2015 ( Overexertion: Don’t be a Statistic

·       October 23, 2014 (  Harvest Safety discusses tractor rollovers, dangers of missing guards on PTOs and other machinery, how to avoid being crushed, and more.

·       July 20, 2013  ( ATV Safety, Eye Protection for Outdoor Workers

·       May 21, 2012 ( Confines Space Awareness Training.

·       January 23, 2012 (  The Common Denominator? Combustible Dust.


Further Resources

Ų  EHS Harvest Safety SOP

Ų  EHS Ag Safety SOPs

Ų  OSHA Quick Card “Protecting Farmworkers from Tractor and Harvester Hazards”

Ų  OSHA Quick Card “Backing Up Farm Vehicles and Equipment Safety”

Ų  Harvest Safety Tips


3.     Safety Shorts (Harvest Topics)


This series features links to short safety resource(s) each month.  Regardless of format - video, PDF, other - these short features cover various topics and are intended as resources for safety committees, faculty/staff/students, as well as individual laboratories/work areas.  These videos are applicable to harvest safety.


·       Growing Safely - Auger Safety (OffTheJobSafety, Duration 5:47 minutes). Within the context of an auger injury incident, information on hazards of using an auger and mitigation.

·       Growing Safely – PTO Safety (OffTheJobSafety, Duration 4:44 minutes). Recounts an accident involving a worker caught in a power takeoff and provides practical and simple safety practices.

·       Growing Safely – ATV Safety (OffTheJobSafety, Duration 4:41 minutes). Reviews an ATV accident and discussion on how ATV accidents can be prevented.

NOTE: Resources are provided for informational purposes only.  Publication does not in any way endorse a particular company or product or affect current UNL policies and procedures.


4.     Near “Hit” – Daylight Saving Time


A “near miss” is an incident where no property was damaged and no personal injury was sustained, but where, given a slight shift in time or position, damage and/or injury or illness easily could have occurred. Thinking of a “near miss” as a “near hit” might better stress the potential seriousness of such events.  On November 1, 2015, Daylight Saving Time is over for 2015, which means clocks will need to be changed to “fall back” one hour.

Last spring there was a “near hit” incident at UNL during the process of changing the time on one clock.  In a particular building there was a clock that was very old and had thin, somewhat brittle, lightweight gauge wiring. There was a significant cut in the cord resulting in exposed wiring. This cut coincided with the opening on the back of the clock to allow for hanging using a recessed tab and appeared to have occurred when the cord was wrapped around the movement. Wrapping the cord was probably done for appearances so the excess cord didn’t hang down below the clock. The worker attempting to change the time could not get the clock to readily engage the tab that is part of the cover plate as they tried to rehang the clock.


The employee experienced an electrical shock when subsequently trying to repair/rebend the tab which was part of the recessed wall outlet housing.

The clock remained energized (plugged into the wall outlet) during this task.  The employee selected a pair of uninsulated channel lock pliers to bend the tab so the hanger would engage properly. When the pliers contacted the exposed wiring on the clock cord, electrical current passed thru the pliers and arced to the metal outlet cover in effect “welding” the pliers’ jaw tip to the cover, shocking the employee in the process.

The outlet was immediately taken out of service and covered. The clock was also discarded.  Electrical cords should be inspected before use.  Damaged cords should be replaced per manufacturer recommendation or tagged out of service/discarded.  Electrical work should not be attempted by untrained personnel or while the equipment/item is in an energized state.


This report was submitted through the Near-Miss/Close Call Incident Reporting System on the EHS webpage.  EHS also provides a second tool, called the Student Injury/Illness Reporter, which is another means of identifying previously unidentified hazards. Use these tools to raise awareness of previously unidentified hazards for mitigation before a serious injury occurs.



Ų  Near-Miss/Close Call Incident Reporting System

Ų  Student Injury/Illness Reporter

Ų  General Electrical Safety SOP

Ų  EHS General Electrical Safety Awareness web-based training


5.   11 Tips for Effective Workplace “Housekeeping”


National Fire Prevention Week is October 4-10, 2015, and the entire month of October is Fire Safety Month. This is a good time to review a number of “housekeeping” safety tips.  Housekeeping in the workplace means much more than removing dust and organizing clutter.  Follow these 11 tips to prevent injury:


·       Prevent slips, trips and falls.  Nationally slips, trips and falls are the second leading cause of occupational injuries. Passageways should be kept clean and dry, with adequate signage used when wet processes are occurring. Aisles and exits should be kept clear of items.  Report damaged flooring so it can be repaired/replaced.

·       Eliminate fire hazards. Keep unnecessary combustible materials from accumulating.  Store flammable materials in designated locations away from ignition sources. Keep passageways and fire doors closed and free of obstruction.  Do not store items in stairwells.  Avoid use of portable space heaters.

·       Control dust. Dust accumulation that covers more than 1/32 of an inch over at least 5% of a room’s surface poses a significant explosion hazard. Examples of potentially combustible dusts include saw dust, grain dust, flour or starch, and finely divided metals, among others.

·       Avoid tracking materials.  Work-area mats help prevent the spread of water, mud, and other debris which can result in slippery surfaces on adjacent hard-surfaced floors.  Report mats that are a trip hazard due to wear or other factors.

·       Prevent falling objects.  Avoid stacking items in areas where workers walk, including aisles.  When storing items make sure boxes and materials are stacked securely. Place heavy objects on lower shelves.  Keep equipment away from the edges of desks and tables.

·       Clear clutter. Return tools and other items to their proper location and dispose of items no longer needed.  Keep aisles, stairways, emergency exits, electrical panels and doors clear of clutter. Accumulations of materials can present hazards for tripping, fire, or pests.

·       Store material properly. Storage space should be organized in a manner that avoids the need to stretch too far or lift heavy loads.  If items are beyond easy reach, use a step stool or ladder, not a chair, box or other makeshift item.

·       Use and inspect personal protective equipment (PPE) and tools.  Injuries occur when workers do not wear appropriate PPE for the task. Inspect PPE and tools for integrity before using.  Remove any damaged tools from the work area.

·       Determine frequency.  All workers should keep their own areas tidy, report safety hazards and clean up spills, if possible.  Inspect your area before and at the end of shift and remove unused materials.

·       Create written rules.  Area housekeeping policies should be put in writing so they are clear to all and reviewed periodically as a safety reminder.

·       Think long-term. These safety “housekeeping” tips should be more than a one-time initiative.  Workers should maintain vigilance and report hazards throughout their workplace. Housekeeping issues are common but persistence and dedication  pay off with a safer workplace



Ų  National Safety Council Safety+Health, “11 tips for effective workplace housekeeping.” Sarah Trotto, July 1, 2015

Ų  EHS Safe Operating Procedures (various)


6.   AED Location?  There’s An App For That


Cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in the United States.  Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are increasingly prevalent on the UNL campus.  These small, portable devices can be used safely by members of the general public to treat heart attack victims because of their simple design and ease of operation.  Knowing where the nearest AED is during a medical emergency is a matter of life or death. Now there’s now an app for that, PulsePoint® AED! 

Lincoln/Lancaster County partners with a new smartphone app PulsePoint AED, which pinpoints the nearest AED with the touch of a finger.  Lincoln Fire & Rescue keeps a registry of AEDs, but not everyone knows they should register their device when they purchase one. Pulse-Point® AED is designed to crowd-source information about the location of AEDs, whether on campus or elsewhere in the community. 

If you see an AED this app allows the user to check if it shows up on the map.  If not, simply tap the plus sign to add it.  You can even take a photo of the AED to include.  The information you submit will be verified and then will be added to the map.  If you have an AED in your area that’s on the map but without a photo you can take a photo and submit it. 

Later this year Lincoln/Lancaster County will implement the PulsePoint’s® Respond  application, which will tie into the emergency dispatch system.   Then when a person calls in about a probable heart attack, dispatchers can direct them to the nearest AED.  This app is available for download for iOS or Android. 


Ų PulsePoint® AED information

Ų PulsePoint® Download (both AED and Respond apps available)

Ų Erin Andersen, Lincoln Journal Star,  Where is the nearest AED? Now there is an app for that, July 17, 2015

Ų Automatic External Defibrillators SOP


7.     Safety Poster – Working Alone?


EHS has a developed a number of safety posters of relevance to the campus community, including one that addresses the hazards of working alone. Have you thought about whether it is wise to work alone in the laboratory or other work area where there are dangerous chemicals, equipment, processes, or energies, especially at night or when tired or under stress?


Working alone is never a good idea. Think about:

·       Do you have permission to work alone in the lab?

·       Does someone know where you are and when you will return to your living space/class, etc.?

·       How would you handle an emergency which could arise given the hazards in your work area?

Order your FREE poster(s) today by contacting [log in to unmask] or 402-472-4925 with your name, campus mailing address, and quantity desired.


Ų  Safety Posters




Environmental Health and Safety

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

3630 East Campus Loop

Lincoln, NE  68583-0824

(402) 472-4925