A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

March 22, 2010

Safety Tip: Eye Safety Checklist

NIOSH offers the following tips for eye safety in the workplace:
1. Create a safe work environment- Minimize hazards from falling or unstable debris.
- Make sure tools work properly and safety features (machine guards) are in place.
- Make sure workers (particularly volunteers) know how to use tools properly.
- Keep bystanders out of the hazard area.

2. Evaluate safety hazards- Identify the primary hazards at the site.
- Identify hazards posed by nearby workers, large machinery, and falling/shifting debris.
3. Wear the proper eye and face protection- Select the appropriate Z87 eye protection for the hazard.
- Make sure the eye protection is in good condition.
- Make sure the eye protection fits properly and will stay in place.
4. Use good work practices
- Brush, shake or vacuum dust and debris from hardhats, hair, forehead or the top of the eye protection before removing the protection.
- Do not rub eyes with dirty hands or clothing.
- Clean eyewear regularly.

5. Prepare for eye injuries and first aid needs.
- Have an eye wash or sterile solution on hand.

Blue_Bullet_Small2 Visit the NIOSH website for a printable version of this checklist.
Blue_Bullet_Small2 Browse an extensive selection of eye safety signs at

March 20, 2010

Ex-OSHA Official Gives Advice on Letters and Inspections

A former OSHA official who now runs a safety consulting service is offering advice to anyone who received the letter of concern about accident and illness rates. Jim Stanley, President of FDRsafety, says that although the letter didn't specifically threaten inspections, the likelihood is high that recipients will soon be visited by an OSHA inspector, given the agency's announced emphasis on enforcement.
Stanley says there are five key things to do to improve workplace safety and have the best result possible when OSHA comes calling:
  • Update Documentation - Make sure your documentation is accurate and your written health and safety program is current. Also make sure your injuries and illnesses are accurately recorded and classified in your OSHA log.
  • Emphasize Training - Make sure you have conducted all training required under your program and by federal regulation.
  • Analyze Accidents - Identify where your accidents and illnesses are happening. Analyze work habits and processes associated with them and take permanent corrective action.
  • Conduct a Mock OSHA Audit - Inspect your facility just as OSHA would.
  • Go the Extra Mile - Go beyond OSHA requirements and promote a safety culture.
If you show an effort to truly improve your workplace environment, OSHA will recognize your efforts, and any fines you might receive could be lower than they otherwise would be, says Stanley. But the larger point is that you will create a safer workplace that is likely to produce fewer accidents and illnesses for your employees.
Blue_Bullet_Small2 Read the full article here
Blue_Bullet_Small2 Another FDRsafety article covers how to be ready for an inspection
Blue_Bullet_Small2 Browse all OSHA headers at

Eye Safety: What You Need to Know

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace eye injuries create a financial burden of more than $300 million annually in medical costs, workers' compensation and lost production time. That's why it's important to consider potential eye hazards when conducting a hazard analysis of every site and task, and to recognize the correct type of personal protective equipment (PPE) for each task.
The safety experts at Safety Management Group have identified five primary types of hazards that can lead to eye injuries and prepared an article that examines each and talks about theb est ways for workers to protect themselves. Read more here.

New Law Requires Lead Warning Signs for Renovation, Repair and Painting

Effective April 22, federal law requires renovation, repair and painting contractors to earn lead certification and use lead-safe work practices. Lead-safe practices include posting warning signs and establishing barriers around the work area. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "Signs should be in the primary language of the occupants and should say 'Do Not Enter - Authorized Personnel Only' and 'No Eating, Drinking, or Smoking'."
NOTE: Contractors and training providers working in Wisconsin, Iowa or North Carolina must contact the state to find out more about training and certification requirements.

March 19, 2010

March Customer Comment

Here's what customers are saying this month:

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It is a rare thing to find a company that delivers what they promise. Thanks, again, for the great work!"
-Tom D., California

OSHA Notifies Workplaces With High Injury and Illness Rates, Offers Help

OSHA has sent letters to the 15,000 workplaces with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activities or job transfers (DART rates). Workplaces receiving notifications had DART rates more than twice the national average among all U.S. workplaces.
"Receipt of this letter means that workers in that particular establishment are being injured at a higher rate than in most other businesses of its kind in the country," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "Employers whose businesses have injury and illness rates this high need to take immediate steps to protect their workers."
The letter offered advice to help reduce workplace injuries and illnesses, including use of OSHA's safety and health consultation services. OSHA's On-Site Consultation Service offers advice to small- and medium-sized businesses, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. The no-cost service is confidential and there are no fines, even if problems are found.

Blue_Bullet_Small2 A list of employers who received the letter is available on OSHA's web site
Blue_Bullet_Small2 A list of OSHA's consultation services is available here
Blue_Bullet_Small2 Browse OSHA Danger signs at

March News

As basketball fans across the country focus on tournaments, OSHA is keeping an eye on 15,000 workplaces with poor safety records - and employers are focusing on eye safety for Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Here's what you'll see in this month's newsletter:
  • Government workers face 73% higher injury/illness rates than private industry
  • OSHA has put 15,000 workplaces on notice, but also offers no-cost consultations
  • 90 percent of workplace eye injuries are preventable - and we show you how
  • A new EPA lead rules take effect in April, and has the signs you need for compliance

    Have a safe month!
    Paul Sandefer, President

What's New at

Live Support is New This Week. We've added a live support / chat feature to assist you when shopping at Check the top right corner of any page for the Live Support icon. If it shows "Live Support" just click the image and you'll soon be in touch with a member of our customer service team. They'll be happy to answer your questions and help you find the products you need.
Lead-safe workplace signs for contractors, renovators and painters. Effective April 2010, renovation, repair and painting contractors must earn lead certification and use lead-safe work practices. This includes posting signs to prevent unauthorized people from entering work areas. Our OSHA, ANSI and general construction safety signs will clearly deliver your lead hazard safety message - and help keep you in compliance. View construction safety signs including lead warnings here.
New images for custom signs and labels. We've updated our Custom Sign Generator to include more image choices, up-to-date images and easier image selection. It's easy to choose from hundreds of symbols, including: Prohibited circles, Fire/first aid, Body hazards, PPE, ISO/ANSI and more. It's always fast and easy to create a custom sign or label at Check it out here.
More new signs and information coming every month. Stay tuned for some major changes and additions to our site. We're committed to creating an online store that makes it fast and easy for you to find exactly the sign you want, every time you visit. If you have comments or suggestions, please contact us anytime.

New Data Shows Injury / Illness Rates Higher Among Government Workers Than In Private Sector

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the first national data for state and local government on nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work in 2008. The data show private industry with a better safety record than their government counterparts.
Incidence rates were higher for government workers than private industry (See graph at right), and days away from work were highest among local government workers.
Other findings:
Blue_Bullet_Small The most common injury - sprains and strains - occurred at rates of 82.8 per 10,000 full-time workers in local government, 67.1 in state government and 43.8 for private industry.
Blue_Bullet_Small Local government workers accounted for 15 percent of the total 1.4 million days-away-from-work cases, while employing just 9 percent of workers.
Blue_Bullet_Small The incidence rate for falls on the same level in local government was 36, compared to 28 for state government and 17 for private industry.
Blue_Bullet_Small2 Review full details at the BLS website
Blue_Bullet_Small2 Browse ANSI Safety Signs at

Promoting Eye Safety in the Workplace

Each day some 2,000 U.S. workers suffer a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About one third of injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments, with more than 100 daily injuries causing one or more days of lost work.
Whether you consider the number of injuries per day, the associated healthcare costs or the hours of lost productivity, the numbers associated with job-related eye injuries can be overwhelming. But what's even more revealing, according to Prevent Blindness America® (PBA): as many as 90 percent of workplace eye injuries could be prevented by proper eye protection.
Of nearly 300,000 workplace eye injuries in 2000, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nearly three out of every five workers injured were wearing no eye protection or the wrong kind of eye protection at the time of the accident. Injury statistics show:
  • The majority of injuries result from small particles or objects striking or abrading the eye.
  • Among welders, their assistants and nearby workers, UV radiation burns
    (welder's flash) routinely damage workers' eyes and surrounding tissue.
  • In addition to common eye injuries, health care workers, laboratory staff,
    janitorial workers, animal handlers, and other workers may be at risk of
    acquiring infectious diseases via ocular exposure.
To help combat workplace eye injuries and promote eye health, PBA has designated March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month. PBA offers workplace eye safety programs including the Healthy Eyes Vision Wellness Program and the Wise Owl Program that promotes use of approved protective eyewear.
More information on workplace eye safety, including no-cost materials and programs, can be found at:
Blue_Bullet_Small2 Prevent Blindness America
Blue_Bullet_Small2 PBA Wise Owl Program
Blue_Bullet_Small2 OSHA Eye and Face Protection page
Blue_Bullet_Small2 PBA workplace fact sheets
Blue_Bullet_Small2 Safety and protective eyewear information at UVEX
Blue_Bullet_Small2 NIOSH eye safety page
Blue_Bullet_Small2 NIOSH eye safety presentation
Eye safety resources from the American Optometric Association

March News & Notes

Virtual Health and Safety Event in April. Occupational Health & Safety is sponsoring a virtual safety fair on April 7, including guest speakers addressing topics from OSHA politics to on-site health care. This is a chance to learn first-hand from leaders in the health and safety industry about key trends and technologies that can help you improve efficiency and ensure compliance in the new decade. Learn more here.

OSHA extends comment period on change to injury and illness data collection. OSHA is extending to March 30 the comment period on the proposal to revise its Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting regulation. The proposal focuses on restoring a column on the OSHA Form 300 to better identify work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Read the news release for more information.

OSHA publishes two new safety bulletins: Electrical hazards and Amputations. "Certification of Workplace Products by Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories" discusses prevention of electrical hazards such as fire, arc flash, explosions, electric shock and electrocution caused by use of non-certified products or equipment. "Hazards Associated with the 'Unintended (Double) Cycling' of Mechanical Power Presses" stresses how amputations can be prevented by ensuring proper installation and function of safety devices on mechanical power presses. See a full list of OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletins here.

New Hot Work Bulletin from CSB. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) recently issued a safety bulletin warning of the hazards of conducting hot work in a variety of industries. It also identifies seven key lessons for preventing worker deaths during hot work in and around storage tanks containing flammable materials. "Hot work" is defined as any work activity that involves burning, welding, cutting, brazing, grinding, soldering or similar spark-producing operations that can ignite a flammable atmosphere. Read more here or download the new bulletin (pdf) here.