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

October 19, 2010

Top News - October

  • OSHA finds numerous deficiencies in state-run occupational safety and health programs
  • Top 10 OSHA violations in 2010 relate to falls, contact with equipment and exposure to harmful substances
  • Texting while driving is an OSHA violation
  • Job-related vehicle accidents are the leading cause of work-related fatalities and lost-time injuries

October News

There's a lot of OSHA news this month, which points to the increasing emphasis on workplace safety. It can be hard to keep up with new rules being issued by federal, state and local agencies - I know because they affect our business, too!

We have an excellent development team who monitors new workplace safety rules and regulations and works hard to make correct signage available to meet your needs - whether that's a truss construction sign for Acushnet, Mass., a public restroom sign for California, or something in-between.

Almost every month you'll find several pages of new signs at ComplianceSigns.com as we work to make your workplace a little safer and your job a little easier. And if you don't find what you need, just contact us and we'll be glad to help.

Have a safe month!
Paul Sandefer, President

OSHA's Top 10 Violations of 2010

  FallProtection-ODE-8135On Oct. 5, OSHA's director of enforcement programs revealed the 10 most common OSHA safety violations for fiscal year 2010 while addressing a special session at the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo in San Diego.

The list is consistent with top 2009 citations, differing only in the ranking of the same 10 violations. The most common violations relate to falls, contact with equipment and exposure to harmful substances. OSHA issued about 94,000 citations in 2010, and the top ten represent nearly half of total violations issued.

The 10 most cited violations for 2010:
2010 Violation 2009
1Scaffolding, General 
1
2Fall Protection
2
3Hazard Communication
3
4Respiratory Protection
4
5Ladders 
7
6Lockout/Tagout
5
7Electrical, Wiring Methods 
6
8Powered Industrial Trucks 
8
9Electrical, General 
9
10Machine Guarding 
10

Browse OSHA signs at ComplianceSigns.com: Scaffolding, Respiratory PPE, Forklifts, Electrical, Machine Safety

What's New at ComplianceSigns.com - October 2010

  Wet Floor Cones and Stands. Now you can order wet floor CAUTION cones and floor signs from your favorite safety sign supplier. Use these stackable cones, folding floor signs and more to identify wet floor hazards throughout your facility. See them all here.

Tip / Climbing Hazard signs and labels. Wherever there are storage racks or shelves for storage or display, people will climb them to reach what's on top. That can lead to accidents and injuries - either from falling or tipping the shelves over. We now have a selection of signs and labels to help you prevent these mishaps. Browse climbing hazard signs and labels here.

Call Before Digging. Calling before you dig isn't just a good idea, in many cases, it's the law. We now have a collection of signs in OSHA, ANSI and standard formats. Many show the national 811 Call Before You Dig number, but you can also customize a digging safety sign with a specific phone number. Check them out here.

Automatic Door signs and Labels. We've added dozens of signs and strip labels to our automatic door collection, including door frame labels, door stickers and wall signs. See them all here.

Coming soon: New signs regarding cell phone use, hazardous atmosphere, smoking and recycling.

OSHA: Texting While Driving is a Violation

Citing the original Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 that requires employers to "provide a workplace free of serious recognized hazards," OSHA has called on employers to "prohibit any work policy or practice that requires or encourages workers to text while driving."

Texting while driving greatly increases the risk of being injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes, which are the leading cause of worker fatalities year after year, says OSHA. Based on that belief, employers who require or encourage texting while driving violate the OSH Act.

In a recent statement, OSHA declared: Employers who require their employees to text while driving - or who organize work so texting while driving is a practical necessity even if not a formal requirement - violate the OSH Act. When OSHA receives a credible complaint that an employer requires texting while driving or organizes work so that texting is a practical necessity, OSHA will investigate and where necessary issue citations and penalties to end this practice.

What's the Most Dangerous Construction Site Equipment?

SMG SAFETY ADVISOR

Based on the number of fatalities and lost-time injuries caused, what's the most dangerous type of equipment at construction sites and industrial workplaces? You might be surprised to learn it's the vehicles your workers drive.

Job-related vehicle accidents are the leading cause of work-related fatalities and lost-time injuries that cost companies millions of dollars. The safety experts at Safety Management Group have good advice for building an effective fleet safety program. Read more here, or browse vehicle safety signs at ComplianceSigns.com.

Organize a Business Watch During Crime Prevention Month

October is Crime Prevention Month - a time to spotlight successful crime prevention efforts on the local, state, and national levels. That includes Business Watch, which is modeled after the Neighborhood Watch concept. Business Watch seeks to reduce commercial crime and the fear of crime from both the customer's and the business owner's point of view.
The Texas Department of Insurance has published some key Business Watch concepts your business can use to help prevent crime:

  • Get to know the people who operate neighboring businesses - including schools, civic groups, libraries and clubs. Making personal contact is the best way to get acquainted.
  • Be alert and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement immediately, even if it means taking a chance on being wrong.
  • A phone tree is an effective means of sharing information with neighboring businesses. Should a problem develop, each business is responsible for calling one or two others on the tree.
  • Secure the property. Ask local law enforcement officials to conduct a security survey of the business. Ask for advice on lights, alarms, locks and other security measures.
  • Engrave all valuable office equipment and tools with an identification number - a tax ID, license or other unique number. Check with law enforcement officials for recommendations.
  • Aggressively advertise the Business Watch group. Post signs and stickers saying that your neighboring block of businesses is organized to prevent crime and will report suspicious activities to law enforcement.
Check with your Chamber of Commerce, business association or community association to find partners and support for your Business Watch program.

OSHA Evaluates State OSH Programs, Seeks Changes

  Federal OSHA officials recently announced they found numerous deficiencies in state-run occupational safety and health programs during a special evaluation of programs under the agency's jurisdiction. Evaluations of 25 state programs are now available online.

"While we found many positives in the state programs, we also found deficiencies including concerns about identification of hazards, proper classification of violations, proposed penalty levels, and failure to follow up on violations to ensure that workplace safety and health problems are corrected," said OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels.

Reports on each state are now available on OSHA's Web site. The Enhanced Federal Annual Monitoring and Evaluation reports provide detailed findings and recommendations on the operations of state-run OSHA programs in 25 states and territories. States will have 30 days to provide a formal response, including a detailed corrective action plan for addressing findings and recommendations. Each state's formal response will be public information and available online as soon as it is received.

The review was initiated after a 2009 special OSHA report on Nevada's program (prompted by numerous construction-related fatalities in Las Vegas) identified serious operational deficiencies in that state.

October News & Notes

NSC announces new safety management software. Called NSC Navigator, the web-based system helps organizations maintain compliance with safety regulations and manage a process of sustainable improvement. It will be available in January 2011. Learn more from  NSC.

Safety fact sheets for cranes and derricks in construction. OSHA has developed two new safety fact sheets highlighting new crane standards and policies. The first, Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Qualification and Certification explains new operator qualification and certification requirements. The second sheet, Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Assembly/Disassembly explains new assembly and disassembly requirements. Review OSHA fact sheets.

International Energy Conservation Code Now Available. Digital copies of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), published by the International Code Council (ICC), are now freely available for interested stakeholders. It is targeted to both homes and commercial buildings, with the goal of helping reduce energy consumption and emissions. The Department of Energy estimates the 2009 IECC will produce approximately 15 percent residential energy efficiency gains over the 2006 code. Register to receive the free code at the International Code Council.

Safety Tip: Operating Generators

Generators are commonly used on many worksites, but the onset of colder weather is a good time to review generator safety tips for new users. Here are some tips from the National Fire Prevention Association.
  • Use generators only in well-ventilated locations outside
  • Place generators so exhaust fumes can't enter the building through windows, doors or other openings
  • Never use a generator indoors, even with doors or windows open
  • Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling
  • Never refuel a generator while it is running
  • Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled as such
  • Store fuel containers outside of work areas
See home generator safety tips from the NFPA. (pdf)
Browse diesel, gasoline and fuel safety signs at ComplianceSigns.com.

Menu Focus: Industrial Hazard signs and labels

New navigation tabs at ComplianceSigns.com quickly take you to a variety of related signs and labels. Here's a look inside the Industrial Hazards tab:

Industrial Hazards page topics are:
  • Alcohol / Weapon / Drug Free
  • Confined Space
  • Clearance & Floor Capacity
  • Construction
  • Conveyor
  • Crane
  • Days Without Injury
  • Elevator / Escalator
  • Emergency Shut Off
  • Floor Capacity
  • Forklift
  • Hot & Burn Hazard
  • Ladder / Scaffold
  • Laser
  • Lifting & Back Belts
  • Lockout & Maintenance
  • Machine & Process Alerts
  • Machine Safety
  • Radiation & UV
  • RF / Microwave
  • Room Names
  • Truss Construction
  • Welding
The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) page has links to seven different PPE categories. You'll find dozens of PPE signs and labels in each category:
  • Ear
  • Eye
  • Foot
  • General
  • Gloves
  • Hard Hat & Head
  • Respirator
Just hover over any tab and a pop-up window will appear, showing you a menu of what's inside. It couldn't be easier to browse to the sign you need.