byline

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

October 18, 2009

FAQ: OSHA or ANSI?

How do I choose between ANSI and OSHA signs?It can be confusing. What's the difference between Danger and Warning? How is Caution different from Warning? And what about Notice? If you're not sure which header to use or what's the difference between OSHA and ANSI headers, visit our Help Me Choose page for clarification.

Can I get customized signs or labels?
Yes. We have several ways to help you get exactly what you need, fast! Our custom sign generator is the fast and easy way to create your own custom Safety or No Parking signs and labels for quick ordering. Just select a template style, add text and/or symbols and add to your cart. It’s that easy to design, preview and order your own custom signs and labels from ComplianceSigns.com.

Or, we’ll be glad to design custom signs or labels to meet your specific needs. Just contact a customer service rep for help at (800) 578-1245 or Sales@ComplianceSigns.com.

Visit ComplianceSigns.com for all your safety and compliance sign needs.

Are You Ready for OSHA "VPP" Treatment?

If you think OSHA only hands out citations and fines, think again. OSHA has recognized more than 2,000 worksites as VIPs in its Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). The average VPP worksite has a Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) case rate 52% below the average for its industry. OSHA says VPP participation can also lead to lower employee turnover and increased productivity and cost savings.

What is VPP?
The VPP sets performance-based criteria for a managed safety and health system, invites sites to apply and then assesses applicants against the criteria. OSHA's verification includes an application review and a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of OSHA safety and health experts. In the VPP, management, labor and OSHA establish cooperative relationships.

Approval into VPP is OSHA's official recognition of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health. Highlights from a recently completed evaluation of VPP participants show that, in 2007, VPP participants:
  • Averaged 54% below the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Total Case Incident Rate for their industries
  • Avoided 13,829 TCIR injuries and 7,708 DART injuries
  • Experienced zero recordables at 354 VPP sites
Based on figures provided by the National Safety Council, VPP participants saved more than $300 million by avoiding DART injuries in 2007. That shows workplace safety is good business. If you're ready for the VPP treatment, you can learn more here.

The ComplianceSigns Connection brings you workplace safety news you can use.

October 17, 2009

October News and Notes

Nursing Homes and Manufacturers on 2009 OSHA Targeted Inspection List
Nearly 4,000 high-hazard worksites are scheduled for comprehensive safety inspections under OSHA's 2009 Site-Specific Targeting Program. Changes to this year's program include dividing the primary list of establishments slated for inspection into three sectors: manufacturing, non-manufacturing and nursing homes. OSHA has established minimum injury and illness rates for each group, allowing the agency to inspect more locations that exceed the minimum rates. Read the directive here.

Chamber of Commerce Posts H1N1 Business Guide
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released It's Not Flu as Usual: An H1N1 Business Preparedness Guide with suggestions on how to keep employees healthy and maintain business operations during the upcoming flu season. The guide includes a 10-point preparedness checklist and a list of Internet resources on topics like federal guidance for workplace planning, vaccines, antiviral drugs, face masks and respirators. Download the guide at www.uschamber.com/pandemic.

OSHA Revises Enforcement Policies for Fall Protection During Steel Erection
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently revised the steel erection compliance directive for the agency's Steel Erection Standard to change two enforcement policies related to tripping hazards and installation of nets or floors during steel erection. Click the links above for details, or read the news release here.

CDC Releases H1N1 Guide for Small Business
The Centers for Disease Control says small businesses must plan ahead so they can respond in flexible ways to varying levels of influenza outbreaks this fall and winter. The most important thing you can do to prepare your business is to have a written plan, and the CDC's new guide, Planning for 2009 H1N1 Influenza: A Preparedness Guide for Small Business, can help you write your own plan. Download the guide here.

Rule Updating Personal Protective Equipment Standards is Now in Effect
The new rule revises the PPE sections of its general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring and marine terminals standards concerning requirements for eye- and face-protective devices, and head and foot protection. Read details here.

Count on ComplianceSigns.com for workplace safety news and compliance updates.

Understanding ANSI/ASME Pipe Marking Standards

Shop for pipe labelsThe ASME A13.1 standard spells out a system to identify hazardous materials conveyed in piping systems. It's intended for use in industrial and power plants, and is also recommended for use in commercial and institutional buildings and those used for public assembly. Pipe labels can be invaluable in an emergency situation, and will also help you comply with A13.1 standards.

Label Content
Pipe marking labels must effectively communicate the contents of pipes and give additional detail of any special hazards, such as extreme temperatures or pressures. Pipe labels should indicate both the contents of the pipe and its direction of flow. Arrows at one or both ends indicate flow; the contents are indicated by text and by a standard color scheme. If flow can be in both directions, arrows in both directions shall be displayed.

Label Color
The current version of the ANSI / ASME code uses a color scheme with six standard color combinations and four user-defined combinations, based on the contents of the pipe. In general, the most hazardous feature of the contents should determine the color used. ANSI Z535.1 specifies exact safety colors for pipe labels.
Previous editions of the pipe-labeling code used a four-color scheme. The 2007 code applies only to new facilities; new labels in existing facilities should conform to the label scheme already in use to avoid confusion.

Label Placement
Labels should be positioned on pipes so they can be easily read. Labels are required at the following locations:
  • Near valves and flanges
  • Where direction changes
  • On both sides of walls or floors the pipe passes through
  • At regular intervals on straight runs, spaced for easy identification
ANSI Pipe Marking Colors





Note: This chart is presented for reference use only. For complete specifications, consult the ASME A13.1-2007 Standard.


For a huge selection of pipe marking labels, visit ComplianceSigns.com

October 16, 2009

OSHA Proposes Adoption of Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication System

OSHA recently proposed a rule to adopt the Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication System (GHS) in order to increase the quality and consistency of information provided to workers, employers and chemical users.

Modifications to OSHA's current Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) would include:
  • Revised criteria for classification of chemical hazards
  • Revised labeling provisions with standardized signal words, pictograms, hazard statements and precautionary statements
  • A specified format for safety data sheets
  • Required employee training on labels and safety data sheets
OSHA is also proposing changes to several other standards, including flammable and combustible liquids, process safety management and most substance-specific health standards, to ensure consistency with the modified HCS requirements.

"Following the GHS approach will increase workplace safety, facilitate international trade in chemicals and generate cost savings from production efficiencies for firms that manufacture and use hazardous chemicals," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab.

The current HCS requires chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import and provide information to subsequent users. It also requires employers to have a hazard communication program for workers exposed to hazardous chemicals.

If/when the standard changes, you can count on ComplianceSigns.com for all your safety sign and compliance sign needs.

Federal No Smoking Signs and Labels

GSA FMR Bulletin 2009-B1 prohibits smoking of tobacco products in all interior space owned, rented or leased by the executive branch of the Federal Government, and in any outdoor areas under executive branch control in front of air intake ducts. In addition, smoking is now prohibited in courtyards and within 25 feet of doorways and air intake ducts on outdoor space under the jurisdiction, custody or control of GSA.

ComplianceSigns.com carries NO SMOKING signs specifically designed for Federal Government applications, as well as state-specific smoking signs. Our website features an interactive map with quick links to no-smoking signs for all 50 states and Puerto Rico. All our No Smoking signs and Smoking Prohibited labels are produced using industrial strength materials suitable for outdoor or indoor use.

Read more about 2009-B1 and workplace smoking:
- GSA cracks down on smoking in and around federal buildings
- FMR Bulletin 2009-B1 in the Federal Register
- Smoke-free lists, maps and data from no-smoke.org
- Case studies of the economic impact on businesses of smoking bans
- A sample smoke-free workplace policy and more 

October 15, 2009

OSHA Begins Emphasis on Recordkeeping

For the next year, select industries with high injury and illness rates can expect records reviews, employee interviews and limited safety and health inspections as part of OSHA's new national emphasis program (NEP) on recordkeeping.

The effort is intended to assess accuracy of injury and illness data recorded by employers. It will involve inspecting occupational injury and illness records prepared by businesses and appropriately enforcing regulatory requirements when employers are found to be under-recording injuries and illnesses.

This NEP complements Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) efforts to investigate differences between the number of workplace injuries and illnesses estimated by BLS and other sources.

Count on ComplianceSigns.com for all your safety sign and OSHA sign needs.


Safety Humor

A voice on the office loudspeaker announced, "We will be testing the speaker system to make sure it will work properly in case of emergency." Then the voice added, "If you are unable to hear this announcement, please contact us." 

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
- Thomas A. Edison

Top 10 Documents You'll Need When OSHA Arrives

SMG SAFETY ADVISOR:
When an OSHA inspector visits your jobsite, a funny Top 10 List won't get you very far. You need to prove that your company and employees are serious about safety. So, the most important thing to do before a compliance officer appears at your job trailer is to be prepared.

"They're going to ask to see your documentation, so you may as well be ready. Keeping an inspector waiting or making excuses is simply bad business," says Scott Spence, Manager of Business Development with Safety Management Group in Indianapolis. "Keeping your documentatoin in-line and available is a strong predictor of a company's overall safety program."

The experts at Safety Management Group have compiled a list and explanation of the "Top 10" documents and reports OSHA inspectors ask for when visiting construction sites. This short article will help you ensure you have the right information on hand when you need it. Read more here.