Safety Manual - Habitat For Humanity of Wisconsin River Area

Safety Manual - Habitat For Humanity of Wisconsin River Area
1211 8th Street – PO Box 38
Baraboo, WI 53913
Phone: 608-448-2888
Safety Manual
Safety, Instruction, and Common Sense Guidelines
Revised by HFHWRA Office 2/2016
Safety First!
To create safety awareness and a safe working environment for all Habitat volunteers and staff.
 Home construction can be a hazardous activity. However, it is expected that Habitat for
Humanity of Wisconsin River Area construction will be completed without any
incidents. This goal will be best achieved if each of you:
* thinks ahead about potential hazards,
* does not attempt tasks that are beyond your capabilities,
* speaks up if you see unsafe actions occurring,
* follows the directives of the Site Supervisor, and
* practices safety yourself at all times.
People come to help us for all sorts of reasons. Maybe you came because you believe
that affordable housing is a great cause. Maybe you came because you’re doing
“sweat equity” to get a home. Maybe you came because you want to put your faith
and beliefs into practice. Maybe you came to learn new skills, and to make new
friends. These are all great reasons to join us! But an injury will get in the way of
those good reasons for being here – so let’s prevent them!
So, do your best to avoid injuries!
The steps needed to create safety awareness and a safe working environment are:
Communicate the previous year’s safety record in incidents and near misses per house built
Communicate the current year’s record of incidents and near misses per house built
Briefly discuss recent safety incidents
Set and communicate expectations:
 Work without any incidents or near misses
 Follow the guidelines and rules
 Everyone is responsible for the safety of fellow workers
Site leaders and crew leaders play a key role in creating safety consciousness
Crew leaders need to explain the safety guidelines for the specific task to be performed
Crew leaders need to demonstrate safe usage of the tools that will be used and audit the crew’s
All incidents and near misses need to be reported to the site leader, crew leader, or site support
An incident investigation and report needs to be completed on all incidents and near misses,
including a recommendation on how similar incidents can be prevented in the future
In each calendar year, all volunteers and staff will have signed a Release and Waiver of Liability
Form and a Parental Authorization Form (for any minors) prior to working. Forms will be
available on site. Completed forms will be delivered to Habitat office for filing.
Guidelines for Individual Volunteers and Volunteer Groups:
(Groups are organized groups of people that set up a specific day to volunteer on Habitat worksites):
No person under the age of 16 years shall be allowed on or to participate in HFHWRA’s builds.
No person under the age of 18 years shall be allowed to use power tools.
Prior to participating on a build site, all volunteers will review the expectations, rules, and guidelines
All participating volunteers (whether individuals, or part of a group) will have signed a Release and
Waiver of Liability Form and (if a minor) a Parental Authorization Form prior to working during
that calendar year. Forms will be available on site, or can be sent to groups in advance of scheduled
on-site work. Completed forms will be delivered to Habitat office for entry and filing.
Each Volunteer Group should appoint a safety officer.
Training (volunteers, staff, homebuyers)
Volunteers, staff and homebuyers will be asked to read the safety manual
Site Leader will explain at the beginning of the work day all tasks to be performed on that day
Site Leader/Crew leaders will explain the safety guidelines for the specific task to be performed
Site Leader/Crew leaders will demonstrate safe usage of the tools that will be used and audit the
crew’s performance
Individual one-on-one on site instruction will be given as needed
Experienced volunteers will pair up with new inexperienced volunteers
Lift with legs, bend knees and keep a straight back
Have the appropriate number of people to lift/carry an object
Do not lift more than you can handle alone, have a partner help if needed
When carrying an object, watch for others to avoid hitting them
Watch for tripping hazards
Clutter/tripping hazards:
 Keep tools close to your work area
 When a tool is no longer being used, place in central area, out of traffic pattern
 Carry tools with the sharp edge down
Electric cords/air hoses:
 Use proper length of cord, excess cord becomes a tripping hazard
 Avoid "spaghetti" look of cords/ hoses on the floor
 Try to place the cords or hoses out of main traffic flow walkways
Keep the floor clear of clutter
Building materials:
 Discarded material should not be left lying around (2x4's, nails, roofing, foam, etc.)
 Keep all walkways clear of trash/debris
 When done with project clean up area
 Pick up/straighten up site at the end of each day (i.e. tools, scrap materials, etc.)
 Clean up spills when they occur
 Stack building materials in a safe manner
 Stack materials out of main traffic flow areas
 Remove all nails from boards that will not be used again or are scrap
 Uneven ground around site:
 Fill holes and/or ruts as needed
Proper attire:
No sandals or open-toed shoes may be worn on site, boots are recommended
Wear a shirt at all times
Long pants are preferred, shorts may be worn depending on job to be performed, (i.e. yard work,
Do not wear dangly jewelry
Do not wear loose clothing when operating power tools
Do not have dangling strings, belts, or hair ties
Personal Protective Equipment:
Wear a hard hat when appropriate, or when directed by a leader/supervisor
Wear goggles or safety glasses when operating any type of power nailer or saw (table saw, roto-zip,
skill saw, etc) to prevent dust, debris, or flying objects from entering eye
Wear gloves when installing insulation, carrying building materials etc.
Long sleeved shirt must be worn when installing insulation.
Wear dust mask when installing insulation, using roto-zip, sanding drywall or when someone is
sweeping causing heavy air borne dust
Ear plugs or ear covers should be used when operating table saws, nail guns, roto-zips, etc in a
confined area
Use ladders for the purposes for which they were designed. Do not use ladders for skids, braces or
workbenches, etc.
Provide a stairway or ladder for any point of access where there is a break in elevation of 19 inches or
Make sure ladder size meets job demands
Do not use step ladders as straight ladders, always open all four feet and lock spreaders in place on a
step ladder and place in a level condition
Use proper angles when using straight and extension ladders. When using a non-self-supporting
ladder use the "four-to-one" rule: for every four feet of height, move the bottom of the ladder one foot
from the wall
Secure straight and extension ladders by tying off the top or securing the base
Top of extension ladders must extend a minimum of three feet beyond the supporting object when
used as an access to an elevated work area
Before climbing extension ladders, make sure latches are properly engaged
Extension ladders must be overlapped a minimum of three rungs
Keep body near the middle of the ladder. Avoid leaning off the edge of a ladder. Move the ladder
frequently so as not to be tempted to lean too far.
Do not step on the top rung or platform on a step ladder
Do not carry anything that will prevent holding on with both hands while ascending or descending
the ladder. Use a tool belt, bucket or a tool bag to lift tools
Only one person on a ladder at a time
If it becomes necessary to place a ladder in or over a doorway, barricade the door
Do not use metal ladders on job site. Fiberglass or wood are the only acceptable ladders, because of
conductivity of electricity with metal
When climbing, always face the ladder
Place your ladder on solid footing. If there is a danger of the ladder moving while you work, tie it
down. If there is a danger that the ladder will be hit, barricade it. If the feet of the ladder are not
level, dig the ground out under one foot with the claw of a hammer rather than raising one foot with
Falling objects:
Avoid tools or personnel sliding off of the roof, install a cleate (a 2x4 or 2x6 nailed to the roof which
will act as a stop if a tool or volunteer slips)
Never leave tools on top of ladder when moving it
Do not leave tools or other objects on ceiling rafters
When raising and placing walls, secure immediately
When leaning objects, ensure the angle is sufficient to prevent tipping over
Using wrong or poorly maintained tools:
Use tool for the intended purpose
Use proper tool for the job being performed
All cutting tools should be kept sharp. If not, do not use it! Replace and give dull saw blades to site
supervisor to be sharpened
If a tool is broken, or in poor working condition, take it to the site supervisor and do not use it. An
orange DO NOT USE tag should be attached and the tool should be placed in the bin for tools
needing repairs
Lack of training:
Power tools should not be operated by anyone without proper instruction. (do not assume a person
knows how to use the tool just because they say so, audit his performance until you are satisfied the
operator is competent)
No person under the age of 18 may operate any power tools
Take precautions when climbing onto or off the roof (this is where many roof related falls occur)
When roofing, wear shoes with a soft sole with tread
Loose materials and sawdust should be removed frequently from the roof surfaces
Never work on a roof alone
Tie off the top of ladders that are used for accessing the roof
Follow additional requirements (wearing of harness; use of scaffolding; etc) given by site supervisor.
Guards and safety interlocks:
All guards and safety locks should be kept in good working order or the piece of equipment should be
taken out of service until repaired, attach a DO NOT USE tag
Any guards or safety lock provided by the mfg. MUST NOT be removed and kept in working order
Automatic nailers:
Goggles must be worn when using nail guns
Do not point nail guns at people
When clearing a jam, take the battery out
When holding an object to be nailed, keep hands at least 4'' away from nailer
Do not stand directly in front of nail gun
Do not carry the tool with finger on the trigger
When working on an electric wire, check to be sure power is off or the plug has been pulled
Do not use frayed or worn electrical cords (keep in good repair)
Maintain all electrical tools in safe condition and check regularly for defects
Avoid running electrical cords thru puddles of water
Do not use a ladder within 10 feet of a power line
Care should be taken to use the appropriate length cord to avoid the excess cord from creating a
tripping hazard.
Try to place cords out of traffic areas where it can cause a tripping hazard. Tape cord to floor, hang
on nail or wall, if possible.
Do not use plug if ground prong is broken or cut off. Give cord to Site Supervisor for repair or
Never carry power tools by the cord
Use eye protection when operating power saws
Use ear protection when operating power saws
Use of a dust mask is optional
Ensure the blade is sharp and is correct for the saw being used
Use the blade guard that was provided by manufacture of the saw
Technique for operating table saws:
 Stand to the side of the saw vs. behind the blade and material being cut
 Always push material being cut between the blade and the fence
 Use a push stick if distance between the blade and fence is 4" or less
(push stick is used between blade and fence)
 Never use the miter guide and the fence at the same time
 The chop saw or skill saw is preferred when making a cross cut. If table saw must be used,
use the miter guide
 Keep amount of blade exposed thru piece being cut to a minimum
 Have two people to cut sheet material
Technique for operating skill saw:
 Support material properly
 Keep cord clear of saw
 Ensure objects beneath material being cut is clear of path of the saw blade
 Use combination blade for skill saw
 Use ear and eye protection
 Use minimum blade depth
 Do not over-extend your reach
Technique for operating chop saw:
 Start saw before setting blade to the piece being cut
 Pull saw out, lower with blade running, and cut pushing back in
 Do not cut a piece of wood less than 4" in length
 Keep hands clear of blade
Technique for operating all saws:
 Use both hands
 Use proper length and type of blade
 Ensure blade is sharp
 Make sure the blind side of object being cut is clear of people, objects, etc
 Make sure material being cut is properly supported
Technique for operating roto-zip:
 Be sure collar is on the saw and set to proper depth
 Ensure blade is sharp (if not, replace)
 Use dust mask and eye protection (ear plugs are optional)
Technique for operating jig/saber saw:
 Ensure blade is sharp
Box Cutters:
Wear gloves
Cut away from your body, never cut towards yourself
Do not use a dull blade, change blade if cutting edge is dull
Keep your mind on your work
Always close the cutter or retract the blade when finished
Do not carry box cutters in your pocket or aprons, unless the blades are securely covered or
completely retracted
Do not use blade as a screwdriver, can opener, or as a pry bar
Only use retractable and other safety cutters, these cutters are generally safer than fixed blade cutters
Air Compressor, Lines, Air Operated Guns:
CAUTION: Compressors generate 80 to 90 PSI pressure. Treat with CAUTION!
Guns and hoses should only be connected BEFORE the compressor is started
Guns and hoses should only be disconnected after the compressor is shut off and the air BLEED off
DO NOT connect or disconnect components while the system is charged
DO NOT depress the trigger on the gun unless the gun is pressed against a wooden surface
Gun jams should not be cleared while the system is under pressure, disconnect from air supply or
unplug from electrical source
Wall Board Lift:
Check lift to ensure proper assembly and in good working order before attempting to operate
Check cable to ensure it is not frayed or worn
Ensure frame is perpendicular to ground
Ensure tripod pin is locked in open position
Load 1 piece of board at a time with arms extended
Position lift before raising and tilting the board
Control the descent of the lift with the winch handle, releasing the brake will result in a rapid descent
of the lift
Other General Precautions:
Try to avoid distractions when you are performing a task---FOCUS
Avoid horseplay, practical jokes, or other activities that may distract or cause an incident
Try to anticipate pinch points and keep hands clear
When you hurry, your chances of an incident increase
Always look before you step, you may end up off the roof or in the basement and in the hospital
Always keep open accesses covered to avoid someone falling thru
Blood-borne pathogens:
All cuts or wounds should be cleaned and bandaged immediately
An incident report must be filled out at the time of the incident
Blood on any surface such as tools, drywall, studs, decking, etc must be flushed with chlorine bleach
and wiped off immediately
Disposable gloves should be worn when blood is involved to avoid contact
Chain of Command
 Site leader/crew leader will assess the situation and determining whether an emergency exists that
requires activating emergency procedures
 Site leader/crew leader will direct all efforts in construction area including evacuation if necessary
 Site leader/crew leader will ensure that outside emergency services (i.e. medical aid, local fire
departments, utility companies) are called in when necessary
 Site leader/crew leader will direct the shutdown of site operations when necessary.
 Site leader and at least one other person should be adequately trained in First Aid/CPR
 Site leader/crew leader will have a means of communication and obtaining information while at work
site (i.e. cell phone, battery powered radio)
 A list of all emergency numbers will be posted at the site and provided to the site leader/crew leader
 Site leader will notify executive director and chairman of the board of any medical or emergency
 Site leader will complete an incident investigation and submit a report with recommendations on how
similar incidents can be prevented
Accounting for Volunteers
 Site leader/volunteer coordinator will be responsible for obtaining the names and phone numbers of
all volunteers. Release and Waiver of Liability will be signed by each volunteer and filed.
 Site leader will notify executive director, chairman and emergency services when all persons have
been accounted for and if any persons believed missing
In the event of Tornado or Inclement Weather
Site leader/crew leader will be aware of current weather conditions in area and tornado formations
If a tornado is sited or the community warning system has been activated, site leader/crew leader will
instruct all volunteers to go into the basement area of the house or an interior area of the house with
no windows.
If the tornado is distant, the site leader/crew leader will watch the tornado closely for a few seconds.
If the tornado is moving to the right or left, then it is not moving toward the area. The site
leader/crew leader will instruct volunteers to escape at right angles to the tornados track: to the right
if it is moving to the left and vice versa. If the tornado appears to stay in the same place, growing
larger or getting closer and not moving right or left, it is headed right toward the area. Immediate
shelter should be sought.
If there is no shelter at the site, site leader/crew leader will instruct volunteers to either go to the
closest shelter in the area (neighbors home, business) or lie down in a low area with their hands
covering the back of your head and neck
In the aftermath of a tornado, site leader/crew leader will assess situation, any injuries and contact
emergency services if needed.
If there is inclement weather, site leader/crew leader will assess working conditions and if need be
stop all work and reschedule for another time.
In the event of bodily injury/illness
Site leader/other medically trained person will assess the injury/illness.
If the injury/illness is minor (i.e. small cut, abrasion, scrape) the injury will be treated on site
using the first aid kit designed for emergency use.
If the injury/illness requires that the volunteer who is conscious seek professional help, (i.e.
possible broken bones, cut needing stitches) the site leader/other medically trained person will
assess whether the volunteer can be transported to a local hospital or if an ambulance is needed.
If the injury/illness is serious, (i.e. falling from roof, possible heart attack) the site leader/other
medically trained person will contact the police and emergency services immediately and will
remain on the line until the police and emergency services arrive. The victim will be kept quiet
and will not be moved, vital signs of the victim will be monitored. If the victim falls unconscious
or stops breathing, CPR will be performed until emergency services arrive.
All volunteers will stop working and the area in which the injury occurred will be roped off.
In the event of toxic gases, chemical spills, fires, explosions
The site will be equipped with a working fire extinguisher to be used for any small contained fire
Site leader/crew leader will immediately contact emergency services in the event of toxic gases,
chemical spills, large uncontrollable fires and explosions
If the eyes or body of a volunteer has been exposed to injurious corrosive materials, eye washes
or suitable equipment for quick drenching or flushing can be used for immediate emergency use.
Incident Reporting
All injuries / incidents will be immediately reported to the site supervisor.
If the injury / incident require needed medical help/ EMT/ambulance, the site supervisor will
contact emergency services. The site supervisor is trained in first aid and will make use of
medical supplies located in the first aid kit to stabilize the injury as much as possible until
medical help arrives.
The site supervisor will contact the Habitat office to report the incident as quickly as possible:
HFHWRA Phone Numbers for reporting an emergency:
HFHWRA office: 608-448-2888
HFHWRA’s Executive Director’s Cell Phone: 608-370-4285
HFHWRA’s Construction Supervisor’s Cell Phone: 608-370-4932
USDA Mutual Self-Help Housing Project Manager’s Cell Phone: 608-370-4931
Both the site supervisor and injured party (depending on medical condition of injured party) will
fill out separate incident report forms as soon as possible after the occurrence of the incident. The
site supervisor will deliver the completed forms to the Habitat office.
Based on the information in the report and medical conditions of the injured party, (i.e., were
emergency services dispatched?, did the injury require stitches?, did the injury require
hospitalization or hospital emergency services?) the Executive Director / Chairman of the Board
will contact the insurance company, inform them of the incident and find out what procedures are
required by the insurance company.
The Executive Director / Chairman of the Board will notify the HFHI Affiliate Support Manager
of the injury / incident. Copies of the signed Release and Waiver of Liability Form, Parental
Authorization Form (if applicable), and incident report forms will be sent to the support manager.
HFHWRA thanks you for working to eliminate
Sub-standard housing and homelessness in our area.
Your generosity helps strengthen communities right in our area.
Building homes…building hope
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