Chapter 1:                      Health and Safety

SWS Detail: 2.0100.1 Global Worker Safety

This chapter discusses some of the most important hazards that you find both in residential buildings and on weatherization jobs. The SWS contains many health-and-safety requirements that relate to various cost-effective energy-conservation mea­sures (ECMs). These SWS requirements are referenced in this chapter.

The chapter begins with health, safety, and durability of the building. If health-and-safety problems affect the cost-effective ECMs you select, solve the problems before or during the weatherization work.

Workers are the most important asset of WAP. We discuss their health and safety at the end of this chapter.

Customer Health and Safety

House fires, moisture problems, carbon-monoxide poisoning, and lead-paint poisoning are the most common and serious health and safety problems found in homes.

Alert residents to any health and safety hazards that you find. Discuss known or suspected health concerns with occupants; take extra precautions based on occupant sensitivity to environ­mental hazards, such as chemicals and allergens.

ü       Inspect the home for fire hazards such as improperly installed electrical equipment, flammable materials stored near combustion appliances, or malfunctioning heating appliances. Discuss these hazards with occupants, and remove these hazards if possible.

ü       Understand and comply with the fire-containment code requirements of the IRC.

ü       Test combustion appliances for carbon monoxide and related hazards. Also measure carbon monoxide (CO) in the ambient air. Investigate and eliminate CO.

ü       Find moisture problems, and discuss them with the occu­pant. Solve moisture problems before or during weather­ization work. See page 33. 

ü       Obey the EPA Repair, Renovation, and Painting rules when working on homes built before 1978. Prevent dust during all weatherization projects. Explain the lead paint hazard and tell residents what you’re doing to protect them. See page 40. 

Worker Health and Safety

In the worker-safety section at the end of this chapter, we dis­cuss the most dangerous hazards present during weatherization and how to avoid these hazards. Hazards include: driving, falls, back injuries, cuts, chemical exposure, repetitive stress, and electrical shocks.