A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

July 26, 2010

July 2010 ComplianceSigns Connection - Welcome

With summertime in full swing, people are thinking about cookouts, vacations and even back-to-school; but it's important to keep thinking about worker safety, as well. Here's some food for thought from this month's Connection:
 Blue_Bullet_SmallEPA lead certification won't help you meet OSHA standards.
 Blue_Bullet_SmallYou can take steps to avoid "willful and repeated" status with OSHA.
 Blue_Bullet_SmallThe CSA 2010 truck safety initiative is coming, but it may need a tune up.
 Blue_Bullet_SmallOur new Compliance Guarantee gives you peace-of-mind.

Have a Safe Month!
- Paul Sandefer, President

Five Ways to Avoid OSHA "Willful and Repeated" Violations

Under new OSHA regulations, violations classified as "willful" and "repeated" carry much higher penalties (up to $70,000 per violation) and greater consequences (such as civil liability and adverse press attention) than occasional violations.

In the current EHS Today magazine, Arthur Sapper, former deputy general counsel of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission gives advice on how to avoid classification as a repeat offender.

They include:
  • Don't argue with the standards
  • Know your OSHA history
  • Don't ignore employee complaints or accident reports
  • Don't argue with the inspector
  • Consult a knowledgeable lawyer early on
Learn more with these links:

Customer Comments - July 2010

Here's what customers are saying this month:

"I ordered and received signs in your "greener" packaging. I think you did a great job in using less material while still protecting the signs. The package was easy to open with a pair of scissors. Thank you for your commitment to using less and recycling!"
Idaho Fish and Game, Boise, Idaho

"I had an excellent experience looking for what we needed on your website …"
Connie F.
Daytona Beach, FL

"Your solution was a good one. My sign arrived undamaged and the package was easy to open. Love it. Thanks for being so responsive to your customers (and kinder to the environment)."
Sylvia Lang
ArtsFund, Seattle, WA

New Compliance Guarantee Ensures You Get the Right Regulatory Sign

guarantee-250We know it can be difficult to determine exactly which safety sign is required in some situations. Regulations are confusing, and inspector interpretations can vary. But now you can order regulatory compliance signs with confidence, because if you find out you have purchased the wrong sign from us, we'll replace it for you.

Our new Compliance Guarantee states:

"If you order a sign you think will pass inspection, and learn within six months you have the wrong sign, we'll give you full credit toward purchase of a correct sign."

Just contact our sales department for details and return information. Now you can order regulatory compliance signs with confidence - because compliance is guaranteed.

What's New at - July 2010

NIOSH and location-specific Truss Construction signs. Identifying truss construction helps keep firefighters safe in emergency situations. NIOSH recommends building owners post construction information outside all commercial buildings, and some local governments have specific truss sign requirements. You'll find new NIOSH-style signs as well as signs for New York, Florida, Vermont, San Francisco and more on our new Truss signs page.

Diesel Fuel labels. EPA Title 40, Part 80 requires warning labels to identify fuel pumps that dispense "nonroad, locomotive or marine" (NRLM) diesel fuel and heating oil, as well as ultra-low sulfur kerosene required for use in highway diesel vehicles and engines. View our selection of Diesel Fuel labels here.

Trespassing / Soliciting signs and labels. We've added more easy-to-read No Soliciting and No Trespassing signs and labels to show solicitors they are not welcome when trespassing on your property. Browse No Trespassing and Security signs here.

Directional Arrows for parking control and evacuation routes. You'll now find a great selection of directional arrows designed to accompany our collections of severe weather and traffic signs at

EPA Lead-Paint Certification Doesn't Meet OSHA Requirements

New EPA lead paint rules went into effect April 22, but following those rules won't keep you in compliance with OSHA regulations.

The EPA rules are intended to protect building residents - especially children - from lead hazards, but EPA rules don't address worker safety concerns for people handling lead-contaminated material. OSHA lead regulations have been in place for nearly two decades, and apply to any work where employees come into contact with any level of lead or lead-bearing coatings.

The required EPA lead certification process includes an 8-hour certification class for supervisors, but the class covers only EPA requirements - not OSHA worker protection rules. So, EPA certification is no guarantee that firms understand or comply with OSHA lead regulations.

Where EPA and OSHA Differ
There are several key areas where the EPA rule differs from current OSHA requirements, including:
    Blue_Bullet_SmallLead threshold level (Over .05% by weight for EPA; Any amount for OSHA) 
    Blue_Bullet_SmallRegulated areas
    Blue_Bullet_SmallWritten compliance program
    Blue_Bullet_SmallRespirator use
    Blue_Bullet_SmallProtective clothing 
    Blue_Bullet_SmallAnnual training
    Blue_Bullet_SmallHygiene facilities
    Blue_Bullet_SmallMedical surveillance and biological monitoring

Contractors must comply with both EPA and OSHA regulations. EPA fines can be as high as $65,000 per violation, including a potential prison term. Failing to meet OSHA standards can also lead to fines. The new EPA rule also removes a provision from existing regulations that allowed owner-occupants of pre-1978 homes to ignore lead-safe work practices if there were no children under age six in the home.

Because contractors in some areas may have difficulty accessing training classes, EPA recently announced that it is allowing additional time to obtain training and certifications to comply with the new lead rules. EPA will not take enforcement action for violations of the firm certification requirement until October 1, 2010, and will not enforce certification requirements against individual renovation workers if they apply to enroll in certified renovator classes by September 30, 2010 and complete the training by December 31, 2010.

Learn more: 

Find Your Signs Even Faster with New ComplianceSigns Menus

If you've been to our website this week, you've noticed a big change in our design. The left-side menu is gone and a new top menu with drop-down windows is in place. This change makes it even easier to go directly to the sign or category you need, and also gives us room for more links as we continuously expand our selection of signs and labels.

You'll also notice new graphic elements on our main pages. The main photo window shows what area you're in and lists key product types you'll find there. It also gives key purchasing information for new customers:

Blue_Bullet_Small Click the Fast & Easy Purchasing link to see a video of simple steps to search for and buy signs and labels from the store.
Blue_Bullet_Small Check the Compliance Guarantee link to learn about our new policy that ensures you'll get the right sign for your compliance inspection.

We're also making other changes throughout the store - all designed to help you find the signs you need - fast and easy. Check out these new and updated pages:

Safety Tip: Identify and Treat Heatstroke

Most of the U.S. is experiencing higher-than-average summer temperatures, increasing the risk of heatstroke for outdoor workers and those in hot environments indoors. Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic on identifying and treating heatstroke.

The main sign of heatstroke is a markedly elevated body temperature with changes in mental status ranging from personality changes to confusion and coma. Skin may be hot and dry, although if heatstroke is caused by exertion the skin may be moist.

Other signs and symptoms may include:
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid and shallow breathing
  • Elevated or lowered blood pressure
  • Cessation of sweating
  • Irritability, confusion or unconsciousness
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fainting, which may be the first sign in older people
If you suspect heatstroke:
  • Move the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned space.
  • Call 911 or emergency medical help.
  • Cool the person by covering him or her with damp sheets or by spraying with cool water. Direct air onto the person with a fan or newspaper.
  • Have the person drink cool water or other nonalcoholic beverage without caffeine, if he or she is able.

Trucking Association: New Truck & Bus Safety Initiative Needs Work

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has serious concerns about a proposed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and reduce related crashes, injuries and fatalities.

The Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) introduces a new enforcement and compliance model to address safety problems before crashes occur. It is based on safety performance rather than compliance with paperwork requirements; focuses limited enforcement resources on specific areas of deficiency; and will eventually provide real-time, updated, safety performance measurements.

While ATA "fully supports objectives of targeting unsafe operators, changing their behavior, and removing the most egregious actors from the road," it says it has concerns with the current design of CSA 2010 and how these flaws will affect the industry and highway safety if not corrected. ATA recommends that FMCSA:
 Blue_Bullet_SmallMake crash accountability or "causation" determinations on truck-involved crashes before entering them into a carrier's record so drivers and carriers are held accountable only for crashes they cause.
 Blue_Bullet_SmallUse vehicle miles traveled (not number of trucks or power units) as a carrier's exposure measure.
 Blue_Bullet_SmallFocus on using only actual citations for moving violations and not unadjudicated "warnings" issued by law enforcement.

FMCSA plans to implement the program by the end of 2010. Learn more with these links:

SMG SAFETY ADVISOR - Taka a "Time Out" for Safety

smg_logo"Time outs" are a common strategy for getting children to think about their actions when they've done something wrong. Now safety-focused contractors are requiring "time outs" of their own on worksites - but these time outs occur before something bad happens. They're usually referred to as "pre-shift briefings," but the concept is similar - take time to think about your actions and their effects.

Before the actual work begins, everyone involved takes a moment to review what needs to be done, consider the hazards and how they can best be minimized, verify that all the proper equipment is on hand and ask questions to clarify anything that isn't clear. Read more about this key worksite safety procedure from the safety experts at Safety Management Group, then browse safety slogan signs at

July Workplace Safety News and Notes

U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) board approves 18 urgent recommendations to OSHA, NFPA and others intended to prevent fires and explosions caused when fuel gas is used to clean or purge gas pipes (typically during facility construction and maintenance). The recommendations result from extensive CSB investigations into two recent explosions that killed 10 workers and injured many more. Read the recommendation (pdf) or Browse gas line and cylinder safety signs here.
EPA is providing additional time for renovation firms and workers to obtain lead training and certifications before enforcing new firm certification and individual renovator requirements. Read the memo here (pdf) or view a FAQ document (pdf) here.

Hundreds participate in online Combustible Dust meeting. OSHA held its first virtual stakeholder meeting June 28 to seek input about combustible dust workplace hazards. More than 400 people participated in the live event and more than 100 others read the archived chat online since then. During the one-hour event, OSHA published 160 comments to the chat window and provided 58 responses. Read a transcript here.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is soliciting applications for $2.75 million in Susan Harwood Targeted Topic Training Grants to provide training and education programs on safety and health for workers and their employers. For fiscal year 2010, the program offers 28 targeted topic areas including crane safety, combustible dust, maritime, oil and gas, and eye safety. Applications are due Aug. 6. Learn more here.

NIOSH publishes new guide on safe handling of veterinary drugs. Veterinary healthcare employees working may face health risks from working with hazardous medications, whether they work with companion animals or large or exotic animals. NIOSH recommends establishing a program to provide appropriate protective measures for veterinary healthcare workers exposed to hazardous drugs. Learn more here or view a list of NIOSH conferences here.

FDA authorizes new test to detect H1N1 infection. A test developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to diagnose human infections with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus has been authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The test will help ensure accuracy of influenza testing results among the different qualified laboratories that conduct influenza subtype testing in the United States and abroad. The test panel and diagnostic system can provide results within four hours. Learn more here.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued a safety alert recommending that residential fire sprinkler systems containing antifreeze should be drained and the antifreeze replaced with water. The alert follows a research study and an initial set of fire tests conducted after a sprinkler with a high concentration of antifreeze deployed. The fire resulted in a single fatality and serious injury to another person. Read NFPA's news release.