Fact Sheets Outline Protections for Agricultural, Shipyard Workers
Two new fact sheets developed by OSHA provide information on protecting agricultural workers from tractor hazards and protecting shipyard workers from hazards associated with the repair and maintenance of refrigeration systems on vessels. According to OSHA, most agricultural worker injuries and deaths involve tractor incidents such as overturns, run-overs, unintended contact with tractor attachments or implements, and power take-off systems, which allow workers to use power from the tractor’s engine to drive a variety of machines and implements. The new fact sheet explains how roll-over protective structures and seat belts can increase workers’ chances of surviving a tractor overturn without serious injury. Requirements for roll-over protective structures and seatbelts, tractor operator training, and general safety precautions are other topics covered in the new document, which is available for download as a PDF. A second fact sheet advises employers in the maritime industry on how to protect workers who service refrigeration systems on vessels and those nearby from hazardous chemicals such as ammonia and halocarbons. Ammonia and halocarbons are the two main types of hazardous refrigerants used in these refrigeration systems, and the most commonly recognized halocarbon is Freon. Other hazardous halocarbons used aboard vessels include chloroflourocarbons (CFCs), hydroflourocarbons (HFCs), and hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFCs). Workers and others may be exposed to these compounds while performing maintenance and repair work or if a leak occurs. The fact sheet describes the different precautions employers should take based on which refrigerant is used, and provides tables with the common exposure thresholds for both ammonia and halocarbons. For more information, download the fact sheet (PDF).