A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

January 21, 2011

Top News This Month

  • New fall protection guidelines for residential construction will impact roofers - compliance is required within 6 months.
  • Tobacco smoke in the workplace - New employer resources are available from the CDC following latest Surgeon General's report.
  • OSHA Announces 2011 Agenda - Hazardous chemicals, construction and communication top the list.
  • New service hours rule proposed for commercial drivers - including maximum 14-hour workday.
  • repeats our 99% customer satisfaction rating.

Hello Again

As record snowfalls and winter temperatures grip much of the U.S., it's easy to be distracted from essential workplace safety routines. But this is no time to drop your guard. For example, common workplace chemicals like fuels, solvents - even inks and toners - can present health hazards if handled improperly. Hazardous chemicals are at the top of OSHA's list in 2011, and this month's Connection includes some good information on chemical safety, as well as other key workplace safety news.

Have a safe month!
Paul Sandefer, President

What's New at

In the past month we've added new signs and labels for: 
  • California Prop. 65 wood dust hazards
  • DOT fireworks placards
  • State No Smoking signs
  • Hundreds more Spanish and English/Spanish bilingual signs on topics including:
    • Trespassing
    • Recycling
    • Cell Phone restrictions
This month we'll be adding new signs to identify age restrictions for machine and equipment operation and building admittance, to name just a few.

OSHA Announces 2011 Agenda: Chemicals, Construction, Communication

In late December, OSHA published its semiannual agenda listing regulations it expects to have under active consideration for promulgation, proposal, or review during the coming 6- to 12-month period. In a January 5 online chat, OSHA leader David Michaels elaborated on the agenda.

Said Michaels, "In particular, OSHA is focused on improving worker awareness of the health and safety risks posed by hazardous chemicals. We are pleased to announce that in 2011 we will be publishing the final rule to revise our Hazard Communication Standard. Additionally, this agenda also reflects two new initiatives that are focused on hazards in the high risk construction industry: Backing Operations and Reinforcing and Post-Tensioned Steel Construction."

He continued, "Most employers want to take the steps necessary to protect their employees. OSHA's proposed regulatory initiative, the Injury and Illness Prevention Program proposal, will help employers to set up a process to "find and fix" workplace hazards. This approach has been embraced by thousands of employers across the country, and is very similar to standards currently in place in California and several other states."

This year OSHA anticipates publishing final rules for Confined Spaces in Construction, General Working Conditions for Shipyards, Electric Power Transmission, Hazard Communication and Standards Improvement. They also anticipate publishing finals for several whistle-blower regulations and a proposed rule for silica.

New Hours-of-Service Rules Proposed for Commercial Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a regulatory proposal that would revise hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for commercial truck drivers. A court settlement requires FMCSA to publish a final HOS rule by July 26, 2011.

The proposal would require commercial truck drivers to complete all driving within a 14-hour workday, and to complete all on-duty work-related activities within 13 hours to allow for at least a one hour break. It also leaves open for comment whether drivers should be limited to 10 or 11 hours of daily driving time, although FMCSA currently favors a 10-hour limit.

The new proposal would retain the "34-hour restart" provision allowing drivers to restart the clock on their weekly 60 or 70 hours by taking at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty. However, the restart period would have to include two consecutive off-duty periods from midnight to 6 a.m. Drivers would be allowed to use this restart only once during a seven-day period.

"A fatigued driver has no place behind the wheel of a large commercial truck," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We are committed to an hours-of-service rule that will help create an environment where commercial truck drivers are rested, alert and focused on safety while on the job."

Read more here or browse Truck, Shipping and Receiving signs here

OSHA Revises Fall Protection Guidelines for Residential Roofers

OSHA has issued a new directive effectively requiring all residential construction employers to begin using conventional fall protection as required by the residential construction fall protection standard 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1926.501(b)(13). Construction and roofing companies will have up to six months to comply with the new directive.

The action rescinds the Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction, Standard 03-00-001. Prior to the new directive, Standard 03-00-001 allowed employers engaged in certain residential construction activities (such as roofing) to use specified alternative methods of fall protection rather than the conventional fall protection required by the residential construction standard.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of 40 workers are killed each year as a result of falls from residential roofs. Where residential builders find that traditional fall protection is not feasible in residential environments, 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13) still allows for alternative means of providing protection. OSHA has developed training and compliance assistance materials for small employers and will host a webinar for parties interested in learning more about complying with the standard.

Some safety experts say the directive still leaves serious issues unresolved.

ComplianceSigns Repeats 99% Customer Satisfaction in 2010

For the 2nd year in a row, 99 percent of customers said they would purchase from us again, when responding to an after-the-sale survey. Our Google checkout rating tells a very similar story, with customers awarding us a near-perfect 4.8 of 5 possible stars.

We're proud of this achievement, and will continue working hard every day to provide absolutely the best service, products, prices and shipping. Your satisfaction is our top priority, and our experienced team members aren't happy until you're happy. Read what our customers are saying here.

News and Notes

New CDC Web Page Focuses on Workplace Tobacco Smoke. A new CDC / NIOSH web page provides resources to help employers and workers prevent workplace exposures to tobacco smoke and to encourage workplace-based smoking cessation programs. It includes a link to The Surgeon General's December 9, 2010 report on tobacco smoke and health that provides the latest findings about the adverse effects of even small amounts of tobacco smoke. Visit the new page here.

National Demolition Association Launches Online Training. The National Demolition Association now offers the construction industry an online training system with more than 2,000 educational courses validated by industry experts. The system covers such topics as safety and health, environmental and information technology. The courses are available to NDA members and the industry at large. Learn more here.

DOT Proposes Hand-Held-Cell-Phone Ban for Commercial Truck / Bus Drivers. The DOT has proposed a new safety regulation that would specifically prohibit interstate commercial truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The proposed rule would prohibit reaching for, holding or dialing a cell phone while operating a CMV. Drivers who violate these restrictions - and motor carriers that allow drivers to do so - would face stiff fines and/or license suspensions. Approximately four million interstate commercial drivers would be affected by this proposal. Learn more here.

Solvent Safety for Everyone


smg_logoMost hazards on a typical jobsite are pretty obvious - sharp edges on tools, moving machinery and dangerous heights usually keep workers aware and alert. But another common workplace hazard is much less obvious. In fact, by the time a worker notices that he or she has been dangerously exposed, it may be too late to do anything about it.

That hazard is solvents - chemical liquids that have a wide variety of uses on worksites, from cleaning solutions to paints, pesticides and various chemicals. Because workers encounter solvents so frequently, they may not give much thought to them when it comes to safety. That's a mistake, because many solvents are extremely hazardous, capable of burning skin or damaging lungs if fumes are inhaled. The safety experts at Safety Management Group have prepared an article to help “Solve the safety challenges of solvents.” Read the article here or browse Chemical Safety signs here.

Safety Tip: What to Know About Frostbite

January has brought record-breaking cold and snow to many areas of the country. The National Safety Council provides these suggestions for surviving in cold weather:

Frostbite: What to Look For: 
  • Superficial frostbite is characterized by white, waxy or grayish-yellow patches on the affected areas. The skin feels cold and numb. The skin surface feels stiff and underlying tissue feels soft when depressed.
  • Deep frostbite is characterized by waxy and pale skin. The affected parts feel cold, hard, and solid and cannot be depressed. Large blisters may appear after rewarming.
What to Do:
  • Get the victim out of the cold and to a warm place immediately. 
  • Remove any constrictive clothing items and jewelry that could impair circulation.
  • If you notice signs of frostbite, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Place dry, sterile gauze between toes and fingers to absorb moisture and to keep them from sticking together.
  • Slightly elevate the affected part to reduce pain and swelling.
  • If you are more than one hour from a medical facility and only if refreezing can be prevented, rewarm frostbite by immersing the area in lukewarm, not hot water (100 to 105 F). If you do not have a thermometer, test the water first to see if it is warm. Rewarming usually takes 20 to 45 minutes or until tissues soften.
What Not to Do:
  • Do not use water hotter than 105 F.
  • Do not use water colder than 100 F since it will not thaw frostbite quickly enough.
  • Do not rub or massage the frostbite area.
  • Do not rub with ice or snow.
  • Do not apply a heat source to frostbitten skin.
Browse first aid signs and labels at

Restroom / Hand Washing Signs

ComplianceSigns MENU FOCUS

The Restroom / Hand Washing tab at is the entry point to two related, but distinctly different, areas of the store - each with hundreds of signs to choose from. No matter what your signage need, you're sure to find the right sign at the right price on our Restroom and Hand Washing pages. Here's what you'll find on each:

Restroom Signs:
  • ADA Braille - Laser-engraved acrylic restroom identification signs in 22 color combinations.
  • Printed, Multi-Mount - Printed on a variety of materials, options include surface-mount signs and signs that stand out from the wall or ceiling for increased visibility. Standard, designer and premium colors match our engraved acrylic signs.
  • California Title 24 Sets - California has specific rules for restroom signs, and we've got the signs you need to meet the requirements. Door / wall sets and individual signs and symbols are available in standard, designer and premium colors.
  • Engraved Office Signs - Available in 2 sizes, 9 colors, with or without symbols, and with your choice of silver- or gold-finish wall brackets.
  • Sliding Signs - These engraved acrylic signs slide left and right in a metal bracket to indicate the status of the room: (Men / Women; Occupied / Vacant). Available in 9 colors.
  • Tactile Braille - These slightly enlarged versions of our Office Signs include Grade 2 Braille and a matte finish. Choose from 22 color combinations.
  • Informational Signs - Check this page to find baby changing signs, hygiene reminders and more.
Hand Washing Signs:
  • Instructions - These printed signs use words and symbols to show proper hand washing techniques.
  • OSHA and ANSI - Notice, Warning and other headers can help prevent contamination and injury in the workplace.
  • Engraved - Nine color combinations to identify hand washing facilities and remind employees to wash up.
  • Engraved, Braille - 22 color combinations in ADA and office styles.
  • Clear Labels - These adhesive-backed clear labels work great on mirrors and chrome surfaces.
  • Child-Friendly - These signs with bright colors and fun designs are sure to appeal to kids - and help teach them good hand washing habits.
  • Plaques and Frames - If your restrooms deserve a designer touch, look through our collection of signs with wood frame and plaque options, or choose a brushed metal finish.

Top 5 Links Last Month

   Here's a recap of the top articles / links from last month's Connection:
  1. Drug Free Zone / No Bullies / Gangs Signs  
  2. Help Reduce Flu at Work Poster by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
  3. OSHA Inspections Target Federal Workers
  4. Crane Hand Signal Chart
  5. National Safety Month Daily Safety Tips Calendar (June 2010)

Customer Comments - January

Here's what customers are saying this month:

"Response to order was immediate, dispatch notification was clear and speedy. Item arrived ahead of expected delivery window. Packaging was fine, no shipping damage whatsoever. A first-class operation.."

"Great product, great pricing & great turn-around time from order date. This experience was "OFF THE HOOK". I will use again and again."
-G, High Point, NC