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

March 30, 2011

March 2011 Top News

Top News This Month:
  • OSHA now offers a small business guide to crane rules
  • Tougher DOT hazmat shipping inspections are coming in May
  • New program promotes workplace eye safety
  • Seven strategies for a safer workplace
  • NFPA 70E addresses more than arc flash

March Customer Comments

Here's what ComplianceSigns.com customers are saying this month:

Excellent customer service and I'm very happy with the braille door signs I ordered.
-- David Gardner, Joliet Easter Seals

You guys rock!  I can not think of anything to improve upon. Your service was speedy, your employees were very accommodating and the product was just what we were looking for!
-- Julie Scott, Gateway Printing

March News

Hello again!
 
The news in recent weeks has been sobering, to say the least. Storms and flooding in the U.S. and the disasters in Japan show how important it is to prepare for the worst. In the workplace, that means a comprehensive safety program that anticipates problems. You'll find several great safety resources in this issue that can help you prepare for the unexpected, along with a variety of safety signs - which are always a good investment in accident prevention.

Have a safe month!
Paul Sandefer, President

Look for Tougher DOT Hazmat Shipping Inspection Rules in May

DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) inspectors(and others) soon will have greater authority to investigate shipments of hazardous materials during transport and take tougher enforcement action against companies shipping in an unsafe manner.

"This rulemaking will give our inspectors the tools they need to ensure hazardous materials are packaged correctly and reach their destination safely," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The new rule allows inspectors to close shipping companies with poor safety records. It also specifically authorizes inspectors to take immediate action when there is a significant safety problem with a package in transit, including ordering restrictions, bans or immediate recalls of faulty packages.

With these new provisions, inspectors will be able to temporarily detain and inspect packages that may pose a serious threat to life, property or the environment. They will also be able to immediately open packages even if the request to open them is refused. However, if a particular package is detained, the rest of the shipment may continue in transit.

The new rule applies to inspectors in PHMSA, the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration.The rule becomes effective in May (60 calendar days after the March 2 publication date).

What's New at ComplianceSigns.com

In the past month, we've added more than 600 new safety signs and labels to our site and made many other improvements, as well. Here's a partial list of what's new:

Pool Safety Signs, Depth Markers and Stencils. Swimming season is just around the corner in many areas, and we have signs for every need, including: Child Safety Reminders, Diving Safety, Novelty Signs, Lifeguards and Pool Restrictions.

Valve Markers and Tags to identify pipe contents. Our engraved acrylic tags are available in sets of 25 for a variety of pipe contents.

Medical Gas Pipe Markers to identify medical gas lines in accordance with NFPA 99 requirements. Choose from 137 new markers in 13 categories, including Nitrous Oxide, Oxygen, Instrument Air and more.

Crane Hand Signal Wallet Cards show standard hand signals for crane operation and movement on a flexible plastic card that fits in a pocket or wallet.

Electrical Pipe and Conduit Markers comply with ANSI Z535.1 standards for safety colors. Available as labels, stencils, wide-roll tape and plastic wraps to identify AC, DC and other electrical needs.

We add new signs and labels to our site every month to provide the safety signs and labels you need. Watch for many more in the weeks ahead.

New OSHA Small Business Guide to Cranes and Derricks Rule

OSHA recently published a guide addressing the most common compliance issues employers will face under the new cranes and derricks rule, published in August 2010.This guide is divided into chapters that correspond to the sections of the standard.

The guide focuses on the standard's provisions that address the most serious hazards and the compliance issues that employers will face most frequently. Some issues that arise less frequently are addressed briefly or not at all. In some places, the guide refers the reader to sections of the standard for more detailed information about particular topics.

"This guide will help employers understand what they must do to protect their workers from these dangerous, sometimes fatal incidents," said OSHA chief David Michaels.

The guide does not describe all provisions of the standard or alter the compliance responsibilities set forth in the standard, which is published at 29 CFR 1926.1400 - 1442. Readers must refer to the standard itself, which is available on OSHA's website and in the Federal Register and will be published in the Code of Federal Regulations, to determine all of the steps that must be taken to comply with the standard.

Employers who use cranes and derricks in construction work must comply with the standard. In addition, other employers on construction sites where cranes and derricks are used are responsible for violations that expose their employees to hazards and, therefore, need to know the requirements of the standard that may affect their employees.

Other OSHA compliance materials on crane-related topics, including a PowerPoint overview, web chat transcript, webinar, list of frequently asked questions and fact sheets can be found on OSHA's website.

New Program Provides Eye Wellness Worker Education Tool

The Healthy Eyes Vision Wellness Program from Prevent Blindness America encourages employees to take care of their eyes - and may help reduce employer healthcare costs at the same time. When it comes to eye health, the more vision ailments employees have, the more medical care they use.

"By promoting eye health and safety in the workplace, companies can actually help reduce their annual healthcare costs," says Hugh Parry, CEO of Prevent Blindness America.

The program includes a promotion guide, monthly vision safety posters, fact sheets and access to a vision risk assessment. All encourage workers to make vision health a priority. The materials were developed by leading eye care professionals including ophthalmologists, optometrists and research professionals. Topics include eye protection recommendations for work or play and information on various eye diseases and conditions.

Prevent Blindness America, the nation's oldest volunteer eye health organization, designated March as Workplace Vision Wellness Month to educate corporations and employees about the importance of vision health.

March 2011 News and Notes

Insurance Group Petitions for Stronger Underride Guards on Tractor-Trailers. Recent crash testing shows the guards can fail in relatively low-speed crashes - with deadly consequences. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evaluated three semi-trailer rear guards complying with US rules and reports, "Damage to the cars in some of these tests was so devastating that it's hard to watch the footage without wincing. If these had been real-world crashes there would be no survivors." Regulatory gaps allow many heavy trucks to forgo guards altogether. The Institute is petitioning the government to require stronger underride guards and mandate guards for more large trucks and trailers. Read more here, or browse transportation safety signs at ComplianceSigns.com

Report Identifies Seven Strategies for Safer Workplaces. Many workplace injuries and deaths could be prevented by applying lessons learned from our country's history of workplace health and safety. That's the message of a new report from the University of Massachusetts Lowell Center for Sustainable Production. Lessons Learned: Solutions for Workplace Safety and Health presents six case studies and identifies seven high-priority strategies for making workplaces safer. Learn more about the report here or browse industrial hazard safety signs here.

New NSC tool helps employers promote at-home employee safety. Employees and employers alike benefit when employees stay safe and healthy beyond the workplace.The Family Safety & Health Employer Resource addresses topics including: driving safety, tobacco cessation, vaccine-preventable disease and more. This online resource helps employers integrate family safety and health into existing safety programs and targets the leading causes of injury, illness and death. Learn more at the National Safety Council

OSHA publishes final rule on nuclear and environmental retaliation complaints. OSHA recently published a final rule that aligns procedures for handling whistle blower retaliation complaints under the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 and six environmental statutes with other OSHA whistle blower provisions. The new regulations allow workers to file complaints in writing, orally and in other languages. Additionally, workers will receive copies of documents submitted by the employer in response to their complaints, subject to applicable privacy and confidentiality laws. Read more here or read the final OSHA rule here

Red Cross revises First Aid, CPR, AED training. The American Red Cross has revised its First Aid/CPR/AED program to include the latest scientific updates and make it more convenient for participants. Highlights include a two-year certification and shorter, more interactive classes. A choice of course materials are available, including online and printed materials. Participants will receive quarterly online refreshers, including quizzes and learning activities to help keep their skills as sharp as possible.The updated program meets OSHA guidelines for first aid training. Learn more here or browse Medical / First Aid signs at ComplianceSigns.com.

SAFETY TIP: Workplace Eye Safety Checklist

In recognition of Workplace Eye Wellness Month, here's an eye safety checklist from NIOSH:

1. Create a safe work environment:
__ Minimize hazards from falling or unstable debris.
__ Make sure tools work and safety features (machine guards) are in place.
__ Make sure workers (particularly volunteers) know how to use tools properly.
__ Keep bystanders out of hazardous areas.

2. Evaluate safety hazards:
__ Identify 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 eye protection is in good condition.
__ Make sure eye protection fits and will stay in place.

4. Use good work practices:
__ Brush, shake, or vacuum dust and debris from hardhats, hair, forehead and the top of 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.

For more information on workplace eye safety:

SMG SAFETY ADVISOR: What Every Owner and Contractor Should Know About NFPA 70E

One of today's most misunderstood sets of standards is NFPA 70E, which was created by the NFPA to explain practical steps for implementing OSHA electrical safety regulations. Many people believe NFPA 70E is only about protection from arc flash - but it actually provides comprehensive guidance to electrical safety in the workplace.

NFPA 70E covers every practical aspect of workplace safety related to working with electricity. The safety experts at Safety Management Group have published an article outlining what you need to know about NFPA 70E. Read the article here, or browse electrical safety signs here.

ComplianceSigns MENU FOCUS: No Trespass

The No Trespass menu tab at ComplianceSigns.com is your gateway to hundreds of useful signs and labels on a variety of security and trespassing topics, including No Soliciting, Restricted Access, Guard Dog, Security Notice, Shoplifting, Neighborhood Watch, Exit & Entrance, Drug Free Zone and Emergency contact. Selecting the No Trespassing folder presents six No Trespassing options, including some that may surprise you:

No Trespassing - OSHA. Includes Caution, Danger, Warning and other OSHA headers with messages ranging from Beware of Alligator to Radio Frequency notices to simple No Trespassing signs you can customize with your company name.

No Trespassing - ANSI. Choose from more than 30 No Trespassing messages on four ANSI format headers.

No Trespassing - Standard. Talk about variety! Here you'll find more than 90 signs, including government No Trespassing, Private Property, No Fishing / Hunting and Security notices.

No Trespassing - Engraved Acrylic. These signs are the stylish way to make your No Trespassing, No Soliciting or Private Property message clear. Available in a variety of colors and unique styles, these laser-engraved acrylic signs can complement any d├ęcor.

Neighborhood Watch. Business Watch and Neighborhood Watch signs show strangers that you take security seriously. Choose labels or surface- or post-mount signs, some made from reflective materials: Call Security, School Watch, Zero Tolerance and more.

No Trespassing - Novelty. Send your message with a smile, or keep trespassers guessing with signs that state: Smile, You Are On Camera; Trespassers Will Be Mistaken For Deer; Keep Knocking - I'm Reloading; or If We Don't Know You, GO AWAY!

Check out the No Trespassing page to see even more. You'll also find a link to our Sign Posts and Fasteners page, where you can order mounting hardware for a variety of applications.

Top 5 Links Last Month

Here's a list of the most popular articles / links from last month's Connection:
  1. New OSHA PPE Enforcement Directive

  2. Crane Hand Signal Charts at ComplianceSigns.com

  3. Weekly CDC Flu View Report

  4. Assembling an Accident Investigation Kit 

  5. "Cover Your Cough" Disease-Prevention Sign