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November 2023 Newsletter

Cold Weather Fieldwork at Perennial Environmental Services

At Perennial, our commitment to environmental stewardship and quality services doesn’t slip with the changing seasons. As we transition into the colder, rainier months, our biological services team faces unique challenges while out in the field. We reached out to Jeremiah Bowling, our experienced field coordinator, to catch a glimpse into Perennial’s unwavering dedication to safe and effective work, even in the toughest weather conditions.

Staying Warm in the Winter

Now that winter’s just around the corner, so are shorter days and longer nights, bringing temperatures down and fieldwork with its own unique set of challenges. Luckily, there’s tried and true advice no matter the weather: proper clothing makes all the difference! Jeremiah shares, "I prefer a good toboggan hat and a sweatshirt. That way I can pack them away easily." Some of the locations that we service can have widely fluctuating temperature and weather patterns in the timespan of only hours. The use of rain gear adds an extra layer of warmth, reducing the need to carry additional weight during field surveys.

How Cold is “Too” Cold?

According to Jeremiah, our Perennial team has braved conditions as cold as 13 degrees Fahrenheit in the past. He points out, "Wind chill will quickly send you back into the truck if you don’t have some sort of windbreaker." Without the proper precautions, extreme cold can be just as deadly as extreme heat. Our teams have the autonomy to halt work if conditions become too dangerous, ensuring that our commitment to safety is as steadfast as our dedication to quality service.

How Rainy is “Too” Rainy?

The weather conditions play a significant role in our surveying procedures, come “rain or shine”. Rain complicates field work but doesn't always stop it. "Too rainy [for field work] is another subjective decision," Jeremiah explains. The presence of lightning or equipment issues, like unresponsive touchscreens on wet data collectors, are key factors in deciding whether to continue at any given time. This ensures that effectiveness and safety remain at the forefront of our operations.

The Challenges of Snowy Surveys

Snow, while rare in our usual regions of operation, presents unique difficulties. Jeremiah notes, "Generally if there is snow, we are not surveying." Visibility issues, obscured vegetation, and frozen ground are just a few of the obstacles snow can bring to a location being surveyed. Our approach is cautious, prioritizing the safety of our team and the integrity of our data. Jeremiah continues, “If snow has been on the ground for a long time, the ground may be frozen. We cannot accurately assess soil characteristics if the ground is frozen because we cannot dig through it.”

Winter’s Natural Observations

The approaching winter affects more than just our field staff. In the midst of these challenging conditions, the cold weather offers its own natural spectacles in the form of the adaptations certain species take on in response. Jeremiah shares a specific example: "When it is cold, the possum haw (ilex decidua) will keep its red berries and drop its leaves." We take pride in the knowledgebase and genuine passion our staff has in the “Environmental” aspect of “Perennial Environmental Services”, which includes respecting the living plants and animals that occupy the land we traverse.

At Perennial Environmental Services, our field team demonstrates remarkable adaptability and resilience in the face of any weather combination, all without forfeiting our tried-and-true safety procedures. Our staff is driven by a commitment to understanding and preserving the natural world, regardless of what obstacles are thrown our way. How are you staying warm this winter?

Core Value Recipient of the Month

This month, Panupong Wichan demonstrated the Core Value of Community!

A while back, Panupong Wichan (Senior GIS Analyst) got up in the early morning to drive to Mustang Island to fill in on a field survey. He was a team player and supported our community by his willingness to take on an unfamiliar role and spend a windy day on a kayak probing for depth measurements in the bay. Thanks, Panupong!

Q: What motivated you to volunteer for this opportunity?

Panupong: I was motivated to volunteer for this field job because it was a great opportunity to work on a variety of jobs besides my regular duties. Additionally, I appreciate the hands-on aspect of fieldwork, and I believe it allows me to leverage my skills. I was excited about the challenges and rewards that come with this volunteer job, and I was confident that my dedication would make a positive impression at work whether my action was large or small. Thank you everyone, especially Jeremiah Bowling (Field Coordinator - Biological Services) and Andrea Boero (GIS Director).

Q: What does community mean to you?

Panupong: To me, community captures a sense of interconnectedness and a shared identity within a group of people. Community also means good understanding and creating a “positive attitude” culture that benefits both individual employees and the organization, achieving the company’s goals and making everyone truly happy at work.

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with Boot Barn to offer all Perennial employees a 15% discount on all " work-related purchases” from Boot Barn, nationwide. Be sure to tell them you work for Eagle Infrastructure Services and use the keyword: “Safety First” to receive the discount. 

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Pressure Testing Exclusion Zones

Access June 2023 Newsletter and please be sure to submit your near misses!

Pressure Testing (Hydrostatic & Pneumatic) Exclusion Zone Safety Guidelines

Discussing pressure testing is a broad and detailed topic that encompasses many aspects.  The primary task is to work safely.  Pre-planning and risk mitigation are the core principles. Today’s safety topic does not drill into all aspects of the pressure testing process but will focus mainly on the Exclusion Zones or Safety Zones while performing the pressure test.

Most of you have been around and or have performed pressure testing for a project.  And the exclusion zones are paramount to making sure people remain away from the testing area while a test is being performed.

These guidelines are to assist with the planning and execution of a pressure test event and manage the risk to life, property, and the environment.

  • Elimination of the risk
  • Changing the workspace to control the risk
  • Developing and following work practices and procedures to manage the risk
  • Employing PPE to protect workers from the risk.

Remember that all personnel have and should use “Stop Work Authority” whenever there is a concern during the pressure testing operation.

Remember that all personnel have and should use “Stop Work Authority” whenever there is a concern during the pressure testing operation.

Hazard Assessment and Control

Development of a Test Procedure will highlight the detailed parameters of performing the pressure test. An engineer will provide the plan which identifies the test pressure, how quickly to “Step Up” pressure, holding times at each pressure, duration of test, use of pressure specific valves and other devices, etc.  The pressure testing plan shall details all aspects of the setup.

There are many safety touch-points when it comes to pressure testing and here are just a few:

  1. Perform JSA meeting, review SSSP (Site Specific Safety Plan) and the Pressure Testing Plan prior to starting test.
  2. Follow the plan, review and report any questions about the plan prior to pressuring-up.
  3. Stop Work Authority is mandatory, you see something wrong, ask and or stop work to find out the answer.
  4. Prepare your equipment in advance (Charts, certs, whip checks, etc.).  Don’t let a dead battery ruin your 8-hour pressure test at the last moment.
  5. Setup your Exclusion Zone(s) with barricade tape, fencing or stage live personnel at a distance to monitor the test area and prevent workers, contractors or the public from entering the zone or getting near exposed pipe.
  6. Position test trailer at correct distance and angle to eliminate damage from a rupture.
  7. Pressure up and stage at the benchmarks identified in the plan.
  8. Never tighten a threaded or flanged connection while under pressure.  Never!     
    If it leaks, pressure ALL THE WAY DOWN, then perform the maintenance.
  9. Only authorized personnel shall enter the exclusion zone.
  10. Communications are key, use radios, cell phones to remain in contact with remote staged personnel and others.
  11. Approach risers and other exposed above ground piping areas after pressuring down.
  12. Don’t be impatient, follow the plan and work safe.

The Hierarchy of Controls chart from NIOSH is a great example of how risk mitigation works. 
Visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for details.

General Worksite Safety

Incorporate general worksite safety precautions and procedures, as applicable.

The following are examples of general worksite safety precautions and procedures which may be incorporated into the SSSP.

  • Adequate lighting should be available throughout testing operations.
  • Safety equipment and supplies should be readily available and should include, but are not limited to:
    Emergency spill kit.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Ladders.
  • Mobile light plants.
  • Whip checks.

Install mats or utilize secured ladders for access to test header valves. If using mat bridges across the excavation, handrails must be installed if elevated 6' above a lower level.

Provide for and require the installation of devices that mark the limits of the exclusion zone.

Keep unauthorized personnel out of the test area.

Inform all affected site and community personnel of the planned test.

Provide for and require that equipment and materials are arranged to give unobstructed access/egress during testing and in the event of an emergency.

Establish lines of communication between the Owner/Facility, Contractor, and local authorities.

Provide for and require the use of reliable transportation and communication systems during all aspects of the testing event.

Exclusion Zone
Precautions should be taken to see that people not directly engaged in the testing operations remain out of the test area during the test period.

Provide for and require that signs, barricades or other protective barriers are placed in a manner and at a distance sufficient to demarcate a safe zone to protect personnel and the public from unanticipated pressure release or equipment failure.

  1. For hydrotesting only, a minimum distance of 50 feet should be maintained between facilities that are being tested and any person, whether it be the public or the personnel conducting the test. The safe distance may be increased, and the temperature probe, manifold and recorders may have to be set back further than 50 feet due to potential projectiles or extreme volume/pressure. Best Practice: 50'-100'.

  2. For pneumatic testing, the exclusion zones are significantly larger than for hydrotesting by orders of magnitude. The exclusion zones must be established on a case by case basis by the responsible engineer. Factors such as pipe size, test pressure, total test footage and surrounding structures affect the size of the exclusion zone and must be considered by the engineer to establish the appropriate exclusion zone for each pneumatic test. Best Practice: 150' - 200' or more.

  3. In locations where space is limited (urban areas), install K-rail or other appropriate physical barriers (i.e. steel box, or equipment to block blast) around the exposed pipe to protect the public. If K-rail or other appropriate physical barriers are used in lieu of the established safety perimeter, all facilities within line of site must be properly protected. Example 1: The highest point of the test head should not be above the top of the physical barrier. Example 2: The facility being tested is located inside an excavation and is visible to passing pedestrians or vehicle. All facilities within line of site without the established safety perimeter must be protected.

  4. Restrict access to the immediate area involving the pressure test (i.e., test shelter, manifolds, pressure pumps, instruments, etc.) to only those persons actively engaged in the testing operation.

  5. Set up test equipment outside of the safety zone and use caution ribbon to restrict access around the test equipment.

  6. During pressure testing events, distinct warning signs, such as DANGER – HIGH PRESSURE TESTING IN PROGRESS must be posted at the test site and additional locations identified in the job specific safety plan.

  7. When testing in a populated area, an extensive public relations campaign (e.g., warning signs, barricade tape, strobe lights, and/or security guards) may be required to inform and protect the public from hazards associated with testing activities.

  8. Notification
    1. Residents within close proximity of the facility being tested, and state and local enforcement agencies, if applicable, should be advised by the Owner/Operator of the testing program and kept informed of the progress, as necessary.
    2. When testing at or above 100% SMYS, consider clearing the safety zone for the entire length of pipe being tested.

Pressure Testing (Hydrostatic & Pneumatic) Safety Guidelines

Exclusion Safety Zones are also important for pigging operations. Below is a quick clip of foam pig ejection. What safety exclusion zone do we have here?

Take time to do it right! Go home safe!

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with Boot Barn to offer all Perennial employees a 15% discount on all "work-related purchases” from Boot Barn, nationwide. Be sure to tell them you work for Eagle Infrastructure Services and use the keyword: “Safety First” to receive the discount. 

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Access May 2023 Newsletter and please be sure to submit your near misses!

Oh yes, it is that time of year again, it is heating up quickly.  The last couple of weeks have reminded us that the Summer is upon is.  The gap between 80 degrees and 90+ has such an impact on all outdoor activities, fire risk and human factors.

Most likely everyone reading this article has navigated through many, many Heat Stress safety training courses.  Both employer and employee have responsibilities related to heat related training and best practices.  Below is a summary of the latest OSHA NEP on Heat Stress and Heat Related injuries, as well as links to OSHA, NIOSH and other sites to provide further knowledge on Heat related illnesses.  In short, the latest NEP will be effective until April 8, 2025.


Federal workplace safety officials just unveiled a program designed to scrutinize both indoor and outdoor workplaces for dangers related to extreme heat, putting employers on notice that they need to take steps to address the situation before withering summer temperatures kick in across the country. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on April 12, 2022 that it has implemented a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) related to heat illness and injuries for both outdoor and indoor workers. As predicted, this NEP comes after OSHA previously issued inspection guidance to its compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) focusing on heat-related hazards and comes on the heels of OSHA’s proposal to create a permanent safety standard for hazards stemming from heat-related injuries and illnesses. What do employers need to know about OSHA’s new NEP?

What is a National Emphasis Program (NEP)?

Before we examine this specific situation, it’s important to understand what we’re dealing with. NEPs are temporary programs that focus OSHA’s resources on particular hazards and high-hazard industries. The agency uses inspection data, injury and illness data, NIOSH reports, and other information to create new emphasis programs or to evaluate existing NEPs.

Employers are selected for planned inspections under an NEP, and OSHA generally conducts planned inspections fourth on its list of priorities after Imminent Danger, Fatality/Catastrophe, and Complaint/Referral inspections. OSHA currently has 11 other NEPs in effect, ranging from combustible dust to COVID-19 to trenching and excavation.

What Does This New NEP Entail?

OSHA’s goal in implementing this new NEP is to prevent heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat syncope, heat rash, rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown), and acute kidney injury. The NEP will also focus on heat-related injuries, defined as an injury linked to heat exposure that is not considered one of the typical symptoms of heat-related illnesses (with the exception of kidney injury), such as a fall or cut that occurs after or during heat exposure.

To that end, OSHA will target workplaces where the above illnesses or heat-related injuries are prevalent during high heat conditions. This includes outdoor workspaces in a local area experiencing a heat wave, as announced by the National Weather Service, or working indoors near radiant heat sources, such as iron and steel mills and foundries.

Here are the highlights of the NEP and how employers will be selected for inspections under the NEP:

  • List of Employers for Programmed Inspections:
    • OSHA will utilize several NAICS codes of non-construction employers, listed in Table 1 of Appendix A of the NEP, to fill its list of employers that can then be inspected under the NEP. Each area office will inspect establishments in random number order. Other employers in non-construction settings may also be added to the list for random inspection through a list of NAICS codes in Table 3 to Appendix A that includes restaurants and an assortment of employers. OSHA can analyze data from employer OSHA injury and illness forms or other information gleaned from other governmental agencies to add additional employers to the list.
  • Expansion of Open Inspections Based on OSHA Logs and Observations:
    • OSHA now also instructs its CSHOs to open a separate, heat-related inspection of a workplace where, during another inspection by OSHA, the CSHO observes any hazardous heat conditions, notes any relevant illnesses or injuries recorded in the OSHA 300 logs or 301 Incident Reports, or where an employee brings a heat-related hazard(s) to the attention of the CSHO.
  • Expansion of Open Inspections Based on Weather:
    • During any open inspection where the heat index during the inspection is 80°F or higher, CSHOs will ask employers whether the employer has developed any heat-related hazard prevention programs. OSHA CSHOS will now document conditions relevant to heat-related hazards during open inspections.
  • Programmed Inspections Based on Weather:
    • On days when the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory or warning for the local area, OSHA will use a table of NAICS codes attached to the NEP as Table 2 in Appendix A – mainly construction industry employers and worksites – to conduct heat-related inspections.
  • Coordination with DOL WHD:
  • Follow-up from Prior OSHA Inspection:
    • Employers may be subject to a follow-up inspection if they have received an other-than-serious recordkeeping violation related for failure to record a heat-related illness or injury.

This new NEP will be effective until April 8, 2025, unless canceled or extended by another OSHA directive.

There is no heat-related or heat stress standard in place. Instead, federal OSHA has traditionally enforced heat-related hazards through its General Duty Clause. This standard requires employers to provide a work environment that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. The NEP recognizes this and notes that: “Heat cases proposing a 5(a)(1) [general duty clause citation] are novel cases and must be submitted to the National Office following novel case procedures, until otherwise instructed.” Therefore, employers should continue to consider whether any such citations issued under the general duty clause for injury and illnesses that are heat related should be contested.

Why is OSHA Focusing on Heat-Related Illnesses and Injuries?

In the NEP, OSHA notes that when the heat index (how hot the air feels when humidity is taken into account) is 80°F or higher, “serious occupational heat-related illnesses and injuries become more frequent, especially in workplaces where unacclimatized workers are performing strenuous work” such as intense arm and back/lifting work, carrying, shoveling, manual sawing, pushing and pulling heavy loads, and walking at a fast pace. OSHA notes that without easy access to cool water, or cool/shaded areas, when working in direct sunlight or areas where other radiant heat sources are present, such injuries are more likely.

Between 2015 and 2020, OSHA conducted nearly 200 heat-related hazard inspections per year (nearly half a percent of all inspections), which included approximately 15 heat-related fatality inspections annually. And in 2021, OSHA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to initiate the rulemaking process towards a federal heat standard. This NEP is one step along that process and allows OSHA to focus its resources during the rulemaking process.

OSHA held a meeting on May 3, 2022 to discuss its ongoing activities regarding heat-related hazards, including its Heat Illness Prevention Campaign, compliance assistance activities and enforcement efforts.

What About States Not Covered by Federal OSHA?

If you do business in a state where a state agency rather than federal OSHA enforces the OSH Act (such as California, Kentucky, or elsewhere), emphasis programs in those states may differ. OSHA’s NEP states that within 60 days of the effective date of its new NEP, State Plans must submit a notice of intent indicating whether they already have a similar policy in place, intend to adopt new policies and procedures, or do not intend to adopt OSHA’s NEP for heat-related injuries and illnesses. And, within 60 days of adoption, the State Plans must provide an electronic copy of the policy or a link to where their policies are posted on the State Plans’ websites. The State Plans must also provide the date of adoption and identify differences, if any, between their policies and OSHA’s. OSHA will provide summary information on the State Plan responses on its website.

What Employers Can Do?

As you prepare for the summer months ahead, there are some steps you can take in order to avoid scrutiny under this NEP and protect employee from heat-related concerns.

  • Draft a prevention program to mitigate heat-related injuries and illnesses;
  • Designate someone at each worksite to monitor worker health and conditions on days of extreme heat;
  • Conduct a hazard analysis of job duties or positions that could involve exposure to extreme heat, including an analysis of outdoor and indoor workspaces; and
  • Review your OSHA 300 logs from the past few years to quantify what injuries or illnesses, if any, are or could have been heat-related and implement plans to address those situations moving forward.

What Employees Can Do?

  • Arrive at work “Fit For Duty”
  • Participate in assigned Heat related annual training (Click for LMS Heat Stress Course)
  • Complete First Aid/CPR training. Be knowledgeable and trained to assist if needed.
  • “Be your brother’s keeper”, monitor those around you during work activities for heat related symptoms.
  • Hydrate!  Stay hydrated daily.  Drink water and or electrolyte drinks to help maintain hydration. (Ex. Liquid IV, Drip Drops, or Gatorade as an example).

Now we will focus on how we can prevent heat related injury by noticing the signs. Click here for the PDF Poster shown below.

Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause permanent disability or death if the person does not receive emergency treatment.

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness (coma)
  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Seizures
  • Very high body temperature
  • Fatal if treatment delayed

First Aid
Take the following steps to treat a worker with heat stroke:

  • Call 911 for emergency medical care.
  • Stay with the worker until emergency medical services arrive.
  • Move the worker to a shaded, cool area and remove outer clothing.
  • Cool the worker quickly, using the following methods:
    • With a cold water or ice bath, if possible
      Wet the skin
    • Place cold wet cloths on the skin
    • Soak clothing with cool water
  • Circulate the air around the worker to speed cooling.
  • Place cold wet cloths or ice on the head, neck, armpits, and groin; or soak the clothing with cool water.

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Heat exhaustion is most likely to affect:

  • The elderly
  • People with high blood pressure
  • Those working in a hot environment

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Thirst
  • Heavy sweating
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Decreased urine output

First Aid
Treat a worker who has heat exhaustion by doing the following:

  • Take worker to a clinic or emergency room for medical evaluation and treatment.
  • Call 911 if medical care is unavailable.
  • Have someone stay with the worker until help arrives.
  • Remove the worker from the hot area and give liquids to drink.
  • Remove unnecessary clothing, including shoes and socks.
  • Cool the worker with cold compresses or have the worker wash their head, face, and neck with cold water.
  • Encourage frequent sips of cool water.

Rhabdomyolysis (rhabdo) is a medical condition associated with heat stress and prolonged physical exertion. Rhabdo causes the rapid breakdown, rupture, and death of muscle. When muscle tissue dies, electrolytes and large proteins are released into the bloodstream. This can cause irregular heart rhythms, seizures, and damage to the kidneys.

Symptoms of rhabdo include:

  • Muscle cramps/pain
  • Abnormally dark (tea or cola-colored) urine
  • Weakness
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Asymptomatic

First Aid
Workers with symptoms of rhabdo should:

  • Stop activity
  • Drink more liquids (water preferred)
  • Seek immediate care at the nearest medical facility.
  • Ask to be checked for rhabdomyolysis (i.e., blood sample analyzed for creatine kinase).
  • To learn more, visit NIOSH Rhabdomyolysis.

Heat Syncope

Heat syncope is a fainting (syncope) episode or dizziness that usually occurs when standing for too long or suddenly standing up after sitting or lying. Factors that may contribute to heat syncope include dehydration and lack of acclimatization.

Symptoms of heat syncope include:

  • Fainting (short duration)
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness from standing too long or suddenly rising from a sitting or lying position

First Aid
Workers with heat syncope should:

  • Sit or lie down in a cool place.
  • Slowly drink water, clear juice, or a sports drink.

Heat Cramps
Heat cramps usually affect workers who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels. Low salt levels in muscles cause painful cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Muscle cramps, pain, or spasms in the abdomen, arms, or legs

First Aid
Workers with heat cramps should do the following:

  • Drink water and have a snack or a drink that replaces carbohydrates and electrolytes (such as sports drinks) every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Avoid salt tablets.
  • Get medical help if the worker:
    • Has heart problems.
    • Is on a low sodium diet.
    • Has cramps that do not subside within 1 hour.

Heat Rash
Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather.

Symptoms of heat rash include:

  • Red clusters of pimples or small blisters
  • Usually appears on the neck, upper chest, groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases

First Aid

  • Workers who have heat rash should:
  • Work in a cooler, less humid environment, if possible.
  • Keep the rash area dry..
  • Apply powder to increase comfort.
  • Don’t use ointments and creams

5 Signs of Dehydration—Besides the Color of Your Pee

How do you know if you're not drinking enough water? From brain drain to gnarly breath, see the most common signs of dehydration.

Forgetting to drink sounds almost as silly as forgetting to breathe, yet there's a dehydration epidemic, according to a 2015 Harvard study. Researchers found that over half of 4,000 kids studied weren't drinking enough, with 25 percent saying they didn't drink any water during the day. And this isn't just a kid problem: A separate study found that adults may be doing an even worse job of hydrating. (This is Your Brain on Dehydration.) Up to 75 percent of us could be chronically dehydrated!

Being a little low on water won't kill you, says Corrine Dobbas, M.D., R.D, but it can decrease muscle strength and aerobic and anaerobic ability. (And of course, if you're training for a distance race, hydration becomes even more crucial.) In your day-to-day life, dehydration can cause poor mental performance, headaches, and make you feel sluggish, she says.

So how do you know if you're drinking enough H2O? Your urine should be pale yellow or very clear, says Dr. Dobbas. But there are several other less-obvious signs your water tank needs a refuel. Here are five of the biggest signs of dehydration to watch out for.

Dehydration Sign #1: You're Hungry

When your body wants a drink, it's not picky about where that water comes from and will happily accept food sources as well as a glass of plain water. That's why many people assume they're hungry when they start to feel weak and tired, Dr. Dobbas says. But it's harder to get hydrated through food (not to mention more caloric!), which is why she advises drinking a cup of water before eating to see if that takes care of your "hunger." 

Dehydration Sign #2:Your Breath Reeks

One of the first things to get cut when you're dehydrated is your saliva production. Less spit means more bacteria in your mouth and more bacteria means stinky breath, according to research published in the Orthodontic Journal. In fact, the study authors write that if you go see your dentist about chronic halitosis, usually the first thing they suggest is drinking more water—that often takes care of the problem.

Dehydration Sign #3: You're Grouchy

A bad mood may start with your water levels, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. Scientists found that young women who were just one percent dehydrated reported feeling more anger, depression, annoyance, and frustration than women who drank enough water during a lab test.

Dehydration Sign #4: You're a Little Fuzzy

That afternoon brain drain may be your body crying for water, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition. Researchers found that people who were mildly dehydrated during the experiment performed worse on cognitive tasks and reported feelings of wanting to give up and an inability to make decisions.

Dehydration Sign #5:Your Head Is Pounding

That same study that found that dehydration increased moodiness in women also found an increase in headaches in the dried-out ladies. The researchers added that dropping water levels could decrease the amount of fluid surrounding the brain in the skull, giving it less padding and protection against even mild bumps and movement.

OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool App
Key considerations for using the app

  • Heat index (HI) values were created for shady, light wind conditions, so exposure to full sunshine can increase heat index values by up to 15°F.
  • The simplicity of the HI makes it a good option for many outdoor work environments (as long as there are no additional radiant heat sources, such as, fires or hot machinery). However, if you have the ability, NIOSH recommends using wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT)-based Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs) and Recommended Alert Limits (RALs) in hot environments.
  • Use of the HI or WBGT is important, but other factors such as strenuous physical activity also cause heat stress among workers. Employers should have a robust heat stress prevention program that ensures workers are protected.
  • NIOSH and OSHA are currently considering new scientific data related to the HI levels, and considering how to best incorporate the evolving science. It is important to regularly download updates to ensure you are using the latest version of the app.

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with Boot Barn to offer all Perennial employees a 15% discount on all " work-related purchases” from Boot Barn, nationwide. Be sure to tell them you work for Eagle Infrastructure Services and use the keyword: “Safety First” to receive the discount. 

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Pinch Points and Body Position

Watch Out for Pinch Points and Body Position Hazards

Each year, workers suffer approximately 125,000 caught or crushed injuries that occur when body parts get caught between two objects or entangled with machinery. These hazards are referred to as “pinch points.” The physical forces applied to a body part caught in a pinch point can vary and cause injuries ranging from bruises and cuts to amputated body parts and even death.

Pinch point injuries can be devastating, resulting in amputations, crushed limbs, and even death. Workers in the pipeline construction, survey, and environmental industries must be especially vigilant due to the heavy machinery and equipment involved in these fields. This article expands on the key concepts of pinch point safety, providing more detailed guidelines and specific examples of hazards to prevent injuries in these industries.

Understanding Pinch Points

Pinch point injuries often occur when employees are not trained properly, don't recognize the danger of the equipment they are using or take shortcuts to complete the task quickly.  The JSA / JHA can identify these risks and help prevent injury.  Also, being in a hurry and lack of planning can contribute to the injury.  Often the incorrect tool is selected due to lack of planning (Hence the JSA / JHA) which can cause the pinch point.

Preventing Injuries from Pinch Points

To minimize the risk of injuries from pinch points, several safety practices should be followed, including situational awareness, physical barriers, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Additionally, avoiding shortcuts, respecting machinery, and maintaining proper body positioning will further reduce the risk of injury.

  • Awareness: Workers should be trained to recognize and avoid pinch point hazards in their work environment. This includes being mindful of hand and foot placement, staying alert around moving equipment and machinery, and understanding the risks associated with loose clothing, jewelry, and hair.
    • Examples of Hazards:
      • Resting or leaning on running heavy equipment (e.g., dozers, track hoes, or vehicles)
      • Sleeping under equipment, whether running or not
      • Positioning your body between the boom and outriggers of a track hoe or backhoe
      • Working too close to running heavy equipment
      • Failing to anticipate hand positioning when using hydraulic wrenches
      • Placing hands in the ends of pipe when joining or aligning them
      • Keeping hands and body too close to moving or rolling pipe

    • Physical Barriers: Utilizing machine guards, barricades, and warning devices can help prevent direct contact with pinch point hazards. Always respect these barriers and never remove them without proper authorization and awareness of potential risks.
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Wearing appropriate PPE, such as gloves and safety footwear, can help protect workers from pinch point injuries. Ensure that all PPE is in good condition and inspected regularly.
    • Avoiding Shortcuts: Taking shortcuts or bypassing procedures can lead to dangerous situations and increase the risk of pinch point injuries. Always follow proper work procedures and use the correct tools for the job.
    • Respecting Machinery: Never perform a task without proper training, and always be mindful of the potential hazards associated with machinery. Remember that even small tools, such as pliers, can cause pinch point injuries if not used correctly.

Taking shortcuts in the construction industry can lead to dangerous situations and increased risk of injuries. It is essential to follow proper work procedures and use the correct tools and safety equipment to maintain a safe work environment. Here are some examples of shortcuts that construction workers should avoid:

Skipping safety meetings and briefings

Construction sites are dynamic environments where safety conditions can change rapidly. Workers might be tempted to skip safety meetings or briefings to save time. However, these meetings provide crucial information about potential hazards and safety precautions. Always attend safety meetings and briefings to stay informed about potential risks and proper safety procedures.

Using inappropriate tools or equipment

Using the wrong tools or equipment for a task can lead to accidents and injuries. For example, using a ladder instead of a scaffold for working at heights or using a damaged power tool. Always use the appropriate tools and equipment for the job and ensure they are in good working condition.

Bypassing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

To save time or due to discomfort, construction workers may sometimes neglect to wear the required PPE, such as hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, or steel-toed boots. Not wearing the appropriate PPE can expose workers to various hazards, including falling objects, debris, and pinch points. Always wear the required PPE for your specific tasks and work environment.

Ignoring load limits and proper rigging techniques

When working with cranes, hoists, or other lifting equipment, it is essential to adhere to load limits and follow proper rigging techniques. Overloading lifting equipment or using improper rigging can lead to equipment failure, dropped loads, and potentially severe injuries. Always follow the manufacturer's load limits and use proper rigging techniques to ensure safe lifting operations.

Failing to implement proper trenching and excavation safety measures

Trenching and excavation work can pose significant risks if workers do not follow established safety measures. Shortcuts, such as neglecting to slope, shore, or bench trench walls, can lead to cave-ins and serious injuries or fatalities. Always follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for trenching and excavation safety, including proper protective systems and regular inspections.

By avoiding these and other shortcuts, construction workers can significantly reduce the risk of injuries on the job site. Following proper work procedures, using the correct tools and safety equipment, and respecting established safety guidelines are crucial to maintaining a safe work environment for all.

Body Positioning
Maintaining Awareness and Reducing Risks

In the construction, survey, and environmental industries, proper body positioning is essential for preventing pinch point injuries. Being conscious of your body's position in relation to potential hazards can significantly reduce the risk of injury. Here, we will elaborate on the importance of proper body positioning, including examples of distractions and potential crushing or pinch points.

Avoid Distractions: In today's fast-paced world, distractions are everywhere, and it is crucial to remain focused on the task at hand. Using a cell phone while working or wearing headphones can severely limit your situational awareness and lead to accidents. Be vigilant about avoiding these distractions and stay alert to your surroundings at all times.

Texting or browsing social media on your cell phone while near heavy machinery can cause you to inadvertently position yourself in a pinch point.
Wearing headphones while working may prevent you from hearing warnings, alarms, or verbal alerts from colleagues, placing you at risk of being caught in a hazardous situation.
Stay Alert to Warning Signs: Be aware of warning signs, alarms, and verbal alerts from colleagues. These warnings are intended to draw attention to potential hazards, and staying alert can help you maintain proper body positioning and avoid pinch point injuries.

Identify Potential Crushing or Pinch Points: Familiarize yourself with the equipment and machinery used in your industry to better understand where potential crushing or pinch points may occur. These points can change depending on the equipment's operation, so constant vigilance is necessary.

When working with cranes or hoists, be aware of the potential risk of being crushed between the equipment and other objects. Avoid standing beneath suspended loads or working in the swing radius of cranes.
In areas with mobile equipment, such as forklifts or excavators, be cautious about positioning yourself between the equipment and fixed structures, as this may result in crushing injuries.

While handling or maneuvering large or heavy objects, be mindful of pinch points that may occur between the object and nearby equipment or structures. Use proper lifting and moving techniques to minimize the risk of injury.

Establish a Safe Working Distance: Maintain a safe distance from moving equipment and machinery to prevent contact with pinch points. Be especially cautious when reaching over or under equipment, as this can inadvertently place your body in a dangerous position.

Work in Pairs or Teams: When possible, work with a partner or team to increase situational awareness and provide an additional set of eyes for potential hazards. This can help you maintain proper body positioning and reduce the risk of pinch point injuries.

By emphasizing proper body positioning and maintaining a heightened awareness of your surroundings, you can significantly reduce the risk of pinch point injuries in the pipeline construction, survey, and environmental industries. Staying focused, avoiding distractions, and working collaboratively can help create a safer work environment for everyone involved.

By implementing these safety practices and promoting awareness of pinch point hazards, we can significantly reduce the risk of injuries in the pipeline construction, survey, and environmental industries. Employers and workers must be diligent in identifying and reporting hazards, and ensuring that proper safety procedures are followed at all times. Remember, safety is everyone's responsibility and should not be learned by accident.

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with Boot Barn to offer all Perennial employees a 15% discount on all " work-related purchases” from Boot Barn, nationwide. Be sure to tell them you work for Eagle Infrastructure Services and use the keyword: “Safety First” to receive the discount. 

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A Refresher Guide to Staying Safe on the Job

Access March 2023 Newsletter and please be sure to submit your near misses!

For many reading this article you might think this is just another safety topic.  Been there,… read that.  Which may be true. However this is a refresher for your memory as to what is required on excavations during work.  Often we get in a hurry, and skip some aspects of the excavation process.  Below we have attached a quick checklist for you to download and use on your projects.  A couple of quick videos to watch to help bring home some subtle safety points we may overlook.

Excavation work can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. Workers can be at risk of cave-ins, falls, electrocution, and other hazards. That's why it's important to follow safety guidelines and use the appropriate protective equipment when working in or around excavations. Here are some tips for staying safe on the job:

  • Conduct a site assessment: Before beginning work, assess the site for potential hazards. Identify any underground utilities or other hazards that could pose a danger to workers.
  • Have a competent person oversee the work: A competent person is someone who is trained and knowledgeable about excavation safety. This person should be responsible for overseeing the work and ensuring that all safety procedures are being followed.
  • Use protective equipment: All workers on the job site should be equipped with the appropriate protective gear, including hard hats, eye and ear protection, and steel-toed boots.
    Avoid overhead hazards: Stay clear of overhead power lines and other hazards that could fall onto the excavation.
  • Protect against cave-ins: Use sloping, shoring, or shielding to protect against cave-ins. Always remember to enter and exit excavations using a safe means of egress.
  • Excavation deeper than 20' requires a professional engineer to design a protective system.
  • Often, the client will require the excavation operator to be trained as competent person as well.

Sample Excavation Checklist:

Use the attached checklist to ensure that you have taken all necessary precautions before starting excavation work:

  • Have all utilities been located and marked?
    Has a trained competent person conducted a site assessment?
  • Is the excavation properly sloped, shored, or shielded to prevent cave-ins?
  • Is there a safe means of access & egress from the excavation every 25' of lateral travel?
  • Is there access and egress on both sides of the pipe?
  • Is the spoil pile properly located 2' or more away from the leading edge of the ditch?
  • Are workers wearing the appropriate protective equipment?
  • Have workers been trained in excavation safety?
    Has equipment operator been trained to build a proper bell hole?
  • Is there a plan in place for responding to emergencies?
  • Are overhead hazards properly identified and avoided?
  • Are barricades and warning signs in place to keep unauthorized persons out of the excavation?
    Did you check for hazardous atmospheres within the ditch?
  • Is there standing water in the ditch?
  • Workers kept clear of overhead power lines and a gas line was properly marked and avoided during excavation.

These are just some of the tasks needed prior to having your workers entering the excavation.  Below is an attached sample excavation checklist.

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with Boot Barn to offer all Perennial employees a 15% discount on all " work-related purchases” from Boot Barn, nationwide. Be sure to tell them you work for Eagle Infrastructure Services and use the keyword: “Safety First” to receive the discount. 

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Houston, TX – October 21, 2022 – Perennial Environmental Services, LLC. (“Perennial”), a subsidiary of Eagle Infrastructure Services, Inc., today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Brian F. Smith & Associates, Inc. (“BFSA”).  Perennial, headquartered in Houston, TX, is a leading provider of environmental consulting services that focuses on biological and archaeological surveys and studies required for compliance with NEPA and other federal, state, and local environmental regulations.  Since 2003, their team of skilled professionals has provided a broad spectrum of environmental consulting services to clients, primarily in the energy and infrastructure sectors, throughout the United States.  
BFSA is an SB/SBPW-certified environmental services management firm headquartered in Poway, California.  Since 1977, BFSA has provided consulting services to public and private clients for archaeological, paleontological, and historical projects throughout the western United States.  Their staff is the largest continuously operational cultural resource team in California and they have successfully completed thousands of cultural and historic resource management projects involving CEQA, SEPA, and NEPA level compliance for a wide range of projects, including residential development, commercial development, and infrastructure projects.

Dennis J. Woods, President and CEO of Eagle Infrastructure Services, and Jonathan Fredland, President of Perennial Environmental Services, respectively, stated, “BFSA’s core offering of environmental services to the Western United States and its commitment to excellence and integrity closely mirrors that of our whole Eagle Infrastructure Services Organization. We are excited to grow our company and are pleased to continue offering experienced, highly qualified environmental services to the wide variety of markets that we serve. We are joined by our employee base in welcoming BFSA’s employees to the family and look forward to continuing to serve BFSA’s loyal customers.”

”BFSA’s founders, Brian and Kathy Smith, have built a company with an unmatched reputation for cultural and paleontological consulting services in southern California.  From the time I’ve spent with the Smith’s and other members of their team, I’ve learned that BFSA has similar people and values to those at Perennial.  The decades of experience that the BFSA principals, senior staff, and directors will bring to the Perennial team will be a tremendous addition to Perennial’s capabilities.  Not only will the acquisition expand Perennial’s geographic footprint, combining staff resources, skills, and experience will allow our firm to offer expanded services to new and existing clients throughout the country.  Additionally, employees in Texas and California will see opportunities for career development by becoming part of a coast-to-coast organization.  I am excited about the future of our organization and firmly believe that the acquisition will benefit our current and newly acquired employees as well as allow us to better serve our customers.”
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Eagle Infrastructure Services, Inc.  
Eagle Infrastructure Services, Inc. is a leading provider of third-party inspection, integrity management, civil survey, mapping, GIS, environmental, qualification testing, right of way, and nondestructive examination auditing services to the Oil, Liquids, & Natural Gas, Power Transmission, Transportation / Infrastructure, Public Utilities, Telecommunication, and Renewable Energy Industries. Eagle Infrastructure Services, Inc. provides the most experienced, qualified, and highest integrity technical and project management resources in the industry. Supplying timely, high-quality, cost-effective services in the safest manner is our top priority. Eagle Infrastructure Services, Inc. has completed 57, 170 projects and served over 700 clients. For more information, please visit Eagle Infrastructure Services, Inc.

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