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A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ComplianceSigns.com ®

January 9, 2018

3 Ways to Stay OSHA Compliant at All Times

Safety inspector with hard hat, safety glasses and clipboard
Keeping your employees safe at work involves much more than posting a few safety signs and cleaning up spills as they happen. For most business owners, it also requires complying with the rules set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

While you want to keep your valued team as safe as possible while on the job, you might be uncertain how to stay OSHA compliant at all times. Fortunately, with a combination of vigilance and being pro-active, it is possible to make sure your company remains fully OSHA compliant. Here's how.

Research which OSHA requirements pertain to you


The first step to becoming and staying OSHA compliant is to do some research to determine which rules and regulations apply to your company, according to Omega HR Solutions. Some are true across the board, like containing, storing and labeling hazardous chemicals in the proper way, maintaining easily accessible and properly identified exit routes, keeping floors and work surfaces clear at all times and providing your team with the proper safety equipment. There are also other OSHA requirements that pertain to certain types of companies; for example, a business that uses noisy machinery to create a product must protect employees from excessive noise with hearing PPE and employees who are required to climb scaffolding must be sure the equipment is safe and secure.

Common requirements that apply to most general industry employers include:
  • Hazard Communication Standard, which requires appropriate GHS labels for hazardous chemicals.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Emergency Action Plan Standard, which requires employers to have a plan to ensure safety in a fire or other emergency, including identified evacuation routes.
  • Fire Safety. OSHA recommends all employers have a plan for fire prevention.
  • Exit Routes must be unobstructed with exit doors clearly marked.
  • Walking / Working Surfaces includes standards for fall protection.
  • Medical and First Aid personnel and supplies, such as first aid kits that are easy to find and clearly labelled.
Check out the OSHA Quick Start Guide to see which rules apply to your specific company, this way you will know exactly what you need to focus on to be OSHA compliant.

Regularly inspect your equipment and workplace


Another way to stay in full compliance with the many OSHA regulations is to schedule regular and thorough inspections of your equipment and workspace. These inspections should include all of the OSHA rules that apply to your specific company along with any other safety-related areas you have identified. For example, if your company uses machinery, carefully inspect everything your employees use; whenever you can, take apart the equipment to check inner parts. If you discover o-rings or other parts are worn, cracked or broken, replace them before letting your team use the equipment. In order to help expedite this process and not fall behind on your work, keep basic parts on hand.

Hire or appoint a safety officer


As Business.com notes, assigning someone on your staff to manage employee safety is a great way to stay OSHA compliant. While this is not necessarily a full-time job, you do need to allow him or her the time and space to proactively research any changes in OSHA rules, create safety plans, record any injuries that happen at work and perform other safety-related tasks. To stay abreast of the latest OSHA updates, have the safety officer subscribe to the Federal Register; this publication notes OSHA standards as they are adopted and updated. By having a safety officer on staff, you will breathe easier knowing that someone is devoted to keeping tabs on anything related to OSHA in the workplace, and alerting you to any issues before they become a problem.

While the number of OSHA rules and regulations for your business may seem overwhelming at first, you can definitely stay compliant. You are already devoted to keeping your employees safe on the job; by assigning a safety officer, knowing what rules apply to your business and performing regular inspections, you can easily stay compliant with OSHA 100 percent of the time.

As you discover safety requirements for your workplace, visit ComplianceSigns.com for US-made, OSHA-compliant safety signs.

January 8, 2018

2018 State / Federal Labor Law Posters Now Available at ComplianceSigns.com

Labor Law Posters for all 50 states
Across the U.S., employers are required to display state and federal labor / employment notices in a conspicuous location to help maintain compliance with state and federal labor posting requirements. Now employers and Human Resources professionals can order U.S.-made labor law posters from the same source they trust for top-quality safety and office signs: ComplianceSigns.com.

These 2018 employment posters combine state and federal notices into one easy-to-hang poster that displays up-to-date mandatory federal and state labor / employment notices for private industry or non-government entities. We've researched and developed posters for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and all have been reviewed by a licensed attorney. We've done the research so employers can use them with confidence.

January 5, 2018

New App Helps Employers Understand Cost of Collisions

motorcycle in traffic
U.S. traffic crashes cost employers $47.4 billion in direct crash-related expenses (including medical care, liability, lost productivity and property damage), according to data from 2013. A single non-fatal injury crash had an average cost of nearly $65,000. Driver behaviors on and off the job contribute significantly to these costs. Now a new tool is now available to let employers measure the cost of crashes.

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has released a free Cost of Collisions Calculator, developed through a cooperative agreement with NHTSA, to assist employers' vehicle safety efforts. You can use it to help improve vehicle safety and reduce costs in your operation.

How am I driving? Call ___

The crash cost calculator includes three components:

  • On-the-Job Crash Costs
  • Off-the-Job Crash Costs
  • Return on Investment (ROI) Guidance Calculator
The application is intended for employers who want to understand the cost of crashes incurred by their fleets, in addition to the on- and off-the-job costs of crashes for all their employees and their employees’ dependents. Knowing a fleet’s costs can help management develop a business case to supports investments in fleet safety. Knowing the on- and off-the-job crash costs for all employees and their dependents provides employers with justification to invest in employee-wide safe driving programs.

Safe driving on- and off-the-job

Employers are in a unique position to directly influence their employees driving habits - and literally save lives. Those with robust road safety programs understand that whether an employee is involved in a crash when driving on the job or off the job, it still affects the employer. Implementing proactive safety initiatives such as defensive driver training and establishing comprehensive policies that address distractions, seat belts and fatigue are just a few measures employers can take to reduce employee risk behind the wheel.

Driving is an activity that many do every day, and that makes it easy to forget how dangerous it can be. According to the NHTSA, 37,461 people died on U.S. roads in 2016. In 2015, 2.4 million roadway users were injured.

Resources:


December 27, 2017

Top 10 Workplace Safety Articles of 2017

We have proudly worked 365 days without injury
Digital Safety Scoreboard
These 10 occupational health and safety articles from our Connection newsletters generated a lot of interest in 2017. We do our best to keep you up-to-date on new rules, tools and tips that can help keep your workplace safe and in compliance. All these posts are worth a second look as you plan for a safe workplace in 2018.

1. Top 10 OSHA Violations of 2017

Once again, Fall Protection tops OSHA's preliminary list of most-often-cited safety violations in 2017, followed by Hazard Communication and Scaffolding. The Top 10 list has been quite consistent in recent years, but Fall Protection Training slid into the #9 spot this year, bumping Electrical, General Requirements off the list.
See the Top 10 List here.

2. What to Include in Your Annual Safety Inspection Checklist

OSHA increased its maximum fines for employer safety violations last year for the first time in 25 years. The cap for serious, other-than-serious, and posting requirement as well as "failure-to-abate" violations rose from $7,000 to $12,471 per violation. Even more reason to maintain workplace safety standards. Here's a review of some key areas you should be sure to include in your annual safety inspection checklist.
Read more.

3. New State/Federal Labor Law Posters for 2018


December 21, 2017

BLS: 2016 Workplace Fatalities Top 5,000 - Highest Since 2008

Graph showing occupational fatalitiesA total of 5,190 fatal work injuries were recorded in the US in 2016, a 7-percent increase from the 4,836 reported in 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week. This is the third consecutive increase in annual workplace fatalities and the first time more than 5,000 fatalities have been recorded by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) since 2008. The fatal injury rate increased to 3.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers from 3.4 in 2015, the highest rate since 2010. Some 36 states had more fatal workplace injuries in 2016 than 2015.

Transportation Incidents Most Common

Work injuries involving transportation incidents remained the most common fatal event in 2016, accounting for 40 percent (2,083). Violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased 23 percent to become the second-most common fatal event in 2016. Two other events with large changes were exposure to harmful substances or environments, which rose 22 percent, and fires and explosions, which declined 27 percent.

December 19, 2017

Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome in the Workplace

DANGER Eye Irritant Sign
A recent article in the Health and Safety Report of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Safety and Health addresses a common workplace health problem that goes largely unnoticed - computer vision syndrome.

Many workers spend 7 or more hours a day using computers and, according to a State University of New York Study, many individuals spend more than 10 hours per day viewing electronic displays, frequently without adequate breaks. And the more they focus their eyes on computers and electronic devices, the more strain their eyes endure.

The terms computer vision syndrome (CVS) and digital eye strain were coined to describe vision problems related to working on and using items with electronic displays, such as computers, smartphones e-readers and similar devices. CVS includes eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain.

Here are some tips for preventing or reducing the symptoms of computer vision syndrome:

December 11, 2017

NIOSH Shares Advice for Holiday Driving - On and Off the Job

Along with celebrations, the holidays bring increased vehicle traffic. Workers who drive as part of their job may share the roads with fatigued or impaired travelers, and in dangerous weather conditions. Many workers are themselves holiday travelers, and some may be driving a company vehicle approved for personal use.
 
Every winter NIOSH shares ways that employers can keep their workers safe while working in cold weather conditions. Use the following tips for on- and off-the-job driving: 
  • Give workers information about: road construction/closures, bad road conditions, and other driving dangers.

December 5, 2017

FMCSA Promises Electronic Log Device Guidance Before Dec. 18 Deadline

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says it will provide guidance intended to ease the transition to electronic logging devices before the Dec. 18 implementation date.

The guidance will include a 90-day temporary waiver from the ELD requirement for transporters of agricultural commodities, formal guidance specifically addressing the existing Hours-of-Service exemption for the agricultural industry and guidance on the “personal conveyance” provision. FMCSA says it will also provide guidance on the existing 150 air miles hours-of-service exemption. The guidance is designed to allow transport companies to make the most of the exemption.

From July to November, FMCSA conducted a public education and outreach campaign about ELD implementation. The effort included driver presentations and panel discussions. The original final rule requiring ELDs was published in December, 2015.

November 29, 2017

Workplace Safety News & Notes - November 2017

Here's a collection of workplace safety news from around the web this month:

OSHA Extends Electronic Reporting Deadline to December 15

To allow affected employers additional time to become familiar with the new electronic reporting system, OSHA has extended the date by which employers must electronically report injury and illness data through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) to December 15, 2017 - a 2-week extension. Unless an employer is under federal jurisdiction, the following OSHA-approved State Plans have not yet adopted the requirement to submit injury and illness reports electronically: California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Establishments in these states are not currently required to submit their summary data through the ITA. Similarly, state and local government establishments in Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, and New York are not currently required to submit their data through the ITA. Read OSHA's announcement.


Deadline Near for New Tennessee Firearms Signs

Tennessee updated its law governing signs to prohibit weapons at certain meetings in July, 2016. The law (39-17-1359 Prohibition at certain meeting - Posted notice - Handgun carry permit holder) specifies sign size, language, text size and image. Old signs must be replaced by January 1, 2018. ComplianceSigns offers a Tennessee Firearms sign or label that meets the new requirements.


NIOSH Advice on Retail Worker Safety and Health During the Holidays

November 20, 2017

3 Cost-Effective Ways to Help Keep Your Employees Safe

Man walking in parking garage with Lock Your Vehicle sign
Jacksonville, Florida, restaurant worker Dania Fadeley and her co-worker were recently robbed at gunpoint by two men while walking to their cars after work, reported a local news station. Fadeley’s cash, credit cards and phone were stolen. Surveillance cameras caught the robbery, and police are currently looking for the suspects. Fadeley feels a lack of lighting in the area is contributing to crime, and her employer has talked to the Jacksonville City Council about increasing police patrols in the area.

Fadeley is grateful that she only lost her valuables. Many victims aren’t as lucky, in fact, the Justice Department has much grimmer statistics. Here are three cost-effective steps you can take to keep your employees safe in the workplace.

Secure Your Parking Lot and Perimeter