Your health, environmental and safety experts at CHESS regularly write interesting and informative articles on various safety topics. These articles, along with our safety blog that focuses on current trends and issues, are another way CHESS helps you promote safety in your workplace and on your job sites.

Articles are added on a regular basis, so check back for new information. If you have a specific topic you would like us to cover, or if you represent an association that would be interested in printing these or similar articles, please contact us directly.

 How Much Do Injuries Cost You? - March 2019

  • They can cost you a lot. But you can reduce your risks and costs.


  • Your favorite government acronyms explained.

 Power: A Discourse on Cords - September 2018

  • Buy, maintain and use extension cords with safety in mind.

 Up in the Air - July 2018

  • Falling off a ladder can kill you.

 Do You Know Where the Hazards Are in Your Shop? - May 2018

  • Think hard about how someone could get hurt in your shop. Then take steps to prevent that happening.

 Inspections, Inspections, Inspections - March 2018

  • What different types of inspections look for, and how to reduce and avoid penalties

 Perennial Problems - January 2018

  • Falls in automotive facilities are both surprisingly common, and preventable.

 Walk This Way. - November 2017

  • Falls in automotive facilities are both surprisingly common, and preventable.

 Rats. I Have Mice. - September 2017

  • Mice carry disease. What should you do if a client brings in an infested vehicle?

 Sounds Good - July 2017

  • Equip your employees to avoid irreversible hearing loss.

 What If the Worst Happens? - March 2017

  • Specific steps to take and plans to make.

 A, B, C, D, Extinguish Fires - January 2017

  • Using the wrong kind of fire extinguisher can make a fire worse: know which kind you need in your facility.

 Why Can't I Just Repair It Myself? - November 2016

  • The fire marshal, your insurance company, and OSHA have a stake in seeing repairs are done right.

 Give Us a Hand - September 2016

  • Prevent hand injuries with the right tools, PPE and policies.

 Oil, Water and Shoes Don't Mix - July 2016

  • The costs of an injury can be much higher than the cost of preventing it.

 A Garage Burned Down - February 2016

  • Know the fire risks in your shop, and store flammables carefully

 Walk Around Your Building - January 2016

  • Why you should do it, and what exactly to look for

 Wheel Cleaners Can Be Nasty - November 2015

  • Employees using these need gloves, goggles and a face shield to protect against severe injury

 Air Quality Permits - July 2015

  • Permits can be expensive. Not having the right permit can be much, much more expensive!

 Clear Coats, Hardeners, Isocyanates and Skin - May 2015

  • Gloves, Coveralls and Respirators Now Can Prevent Health Problems Years From Now

 Records, Records and More Records - February 2015

  • What to Keep and How Long to Keep It

 Respirator Medicals - AGAIN - and Aluminum - December 2014

  • Dangers of Aluminum Dust - and correction of our October article

 Respirator Requirements - October 2014

  • Who has to wear a respirator in your shop? When? What kind?

 Heat, Fans and Cords - August 2014

  • If you use fans in your shop, make sure they're grounded, industrial-grade fans

 Detecting Carbon Monoxide - June 2014

  • Ventilate and Use a CO Monitor to Avoid This Invisible, Odorless Killer

 What's That You Say? - May 2014

  • Noise, Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and Noise Protection

 Staying Grounded - February 2014

  • Understanding spark hazards and flash points

 Is an Exploding Torso Better Than a Dissolving Thumb? Reducing the Risk. - December 2013

  • Which GHS pictograms indicate the most dangerous chemicals, and is there a less risky chemical you can use to get the job done?

 Breathe In, Breathe Out - November 2013

  • All dust masks are not created equal

 Who Regulates What and Why - October 2013

  • Local, state and federal agencies - and how likely they are to inspect your business

 Getting High: Ladders and Scaffolds - August 2013

  • Choose the right scaffold or ladder to work safely at height

 Managing Injuries Before They Occur - July 2013

  • Sometimes an Occ Health Clinic is the best choice for your business and your employees

 Your Friendly Neighborhood Occupational Health Clinic - June 2013

  • Sometimes an Occ Health Clinic is the best choice for your business and your employees

 All Sorts of Chemical Labels (and a note on AWAIR) - April 2013

  • More About New GHS Label System and Deadlines

 AWAIR Again - December 2012

  • More About "A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction"

 A Good Fit - November 2012

  • Protective Equipment Must Fit Well to Be Effective

Oh, My Aching Back! - August 2012

  • How to Avoid the Most Expensive Workers Comp Claims

MSDS, SDS, GHS Means Material Safety Data Sheets are Obsolete - July 2012

  • MSDS will be replaced by Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

The Eyes Have Had It - June 2012

  • Why You Need to Enforce Use of Eye Protective Equipment

A Manageable Lot to Worry About - May 2012

  • A Regulations Checklist

 Hand in Glove - December 2011

  • Choose the right protective glove for the materials you're touching

The Other Half of OSHA - October 2011

  • Understanding the parts of OSHA that you should know about, but not worry about.

Distractions - August 2011

  • It's not just distracted driving that can be hazardous.

Paying a Bit Less for Problems - June 2011

  • Things you should know about Workers Compensation

Painting Outside the Booth / Body Shop Safety - December 2010

  • Can I prime in the prep area? Understanding the requirements for painting and priming outside your spray booth.

  Hybrid Vehicle Shock - February 2010

  • How to work safely with the high voltage batteries on hybrid cars.

  Towing the Line: Tow Truck Operations - December 2009  

  • Tow truck operators in Minnesota are commercial vehicle operators. Do they need CDLs?

  Gimme Some Skin – Skin Hazards - August 2009

  • Dermal hazards are major pains in the skin in the automotive repair industry (and many other places too). Measures to protect your skin.

  Hidden Fire Dangers – Flammables and Combustibles - June 2009

  • The not-so-obvious flammable and combustible liquids that create fire hazards in repair shops.

  Blowing it – Compressed Air - April 2009

  • Compressed air can be dangerous. Read this primer on working with it safely.

  Waterborne Paints –They’re Safer But… - February 2009

  • Waterborne automotive paints, touted as better for the environment, are becoming common. Are they as safe as water?

  Personal Protective Equipment - 2008

  • Employers need to do more than give out a pair of safety glasses – they need to do PPE hazard assessments and enforce correct use of personal protective equipment.

  Putting Out Fires; Fire Extinguishers Part1 - 2008

  • Types of fire extinguishers, and what each type is used for.

  Putting Out Fires; Fire Extinguishers Part2 - 2008

  • When to use a fire extinguisher, when not to use one, and how to make sure users know what they’re doing.

  You’re In Charge - 2008

  • Managers and supervisors have to enforce safety rules and safe work practices. Being Mr. Nice isn’t always the best idea.

  Compressed Gas Cylinders

  • Why can’t you store oxygen with acetylene? What’s the hazard from an argon cylinder? How do you make sure your compressed gas cylinders don’t blow up?

  Have You Ever Tripped – Walking and Working Surfaces - 2007

  • Maintaining walkways and stairs to prevent slipping and tripping hazards.

  It's Shocking – Electrical Safety - 2007

  • Electrical issues are some of the most common fire code and OSHA violations found. A rundown of the most common electrical problems.

  What’s In Those Brakes – Asbestos - 2007

  • Asbestos is still legal for use in brakes and clutches (but rarely used). How do you know it’s there? How do you protect against it?

  Would You Trust a Jack – Vehicle Lifts - 2007

  • Vehicle lifts and jacks can fail, with disastrous results. Use them safely and inspect them often. Includes a jack inspection form.

  Grinding Away – Grinder Safety - 2006

  • Grinding wheels explode. Measures to work safely with grinders.

  Maintaining Safety and Environmental Records - 2006

  • What safety and environmental records must be kept? For how long?

  Respirators, Isocyanates and Spray Painting - 2006

  • Respirator options for use with automotive paints


The CHESS team of safety, health, and environmental compliance professionals serve clients in many areas including the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

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