A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

September 14, 2011

Top News This Month - September

  • 4,547 workplace fatalities were recorded in 2010
  • DOT considers new gas pipeline regulations
  • ASSE issues new standard for construction / demolition
  • Drive Safely Work Week is October 3-7
  • ComplianceSigns remains on Inc. 5000 fastest-growing list - find a $10 discount code in this issue as our thank you

September Customer Comments

Here's what our customers are saying about us this month:

If you are looking for quality customizable signs, ComplianceSigns is the source to go to.
Steve H., Kutztown University

Your system was very easy for a first timer. The product was correct and came very fast. Could not have been any better. Great Job.
Scott T., Florida

September 13, 2011

Top 5 Links Last Month

ComplianceSigns Remains on Inc. 5000 List

Inc. 5000 logoFor the second year in a row, has been designated one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., as ranked by Inc. magazine. We earned a spot on the annual Inc. 5,000 list by achieving revenue growth of 150 percent over the past three years, and rank as the 49th fastest-growing manufacturer in the U.S. ComplianceSigns was the number 12 private manufacturing company in the country on the 2010 list, with three-year revenue growth of 350 percent.

"It is a difficult task for manufacturers to make this list, and even more difficult to repeat year to year because as a company grows, high growth percentages are harder to maintain," says company president Paul Sandefer. "This award is a direct result of the confidence our customers place in us with every order, and we thank you for that confidence. We also thank our dedicated employees, who work hard to earn your confidence every day."

Look for the Appreciation Celebration discount code in this issue. Review the Top Manufacturing Companies List here.

Inc. 5000 Appreciation Celebration II

Here's a $10 credit toward your next purchase, because we appreciate your business.

As a thank you for helping us remain on the Inc. 5000 list for a second year, we're giving you a $10 credit toward your next sign or label purchase of $10 or more at

Just enter INC5000Thanks in the Optional Code box on our shopping cart / order page.

Please Note: This code expires 10/31/2011.

Special Focus: Utility Services

This Special Focus section highlights information of interest to our utility services and pipeline company customers, including PHMSA news, trenching safety tips and our new collection of utility marking signs, labels and posts.

New Pipeline Safety Requirements Needed? 

Gas Pipeline MarkerThe U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is seeking information on whether or not to propose new safety requirements for gas transmission pipelines. Considerations include requirements reducing the operating pressure for some pipelines built before 1970 and previously exempt from other requirements.

Underground Utility Markers, Signs and Labels at

Utilities and pipeline companies have a new source for buried pipeline marker posts, signs and labels at In addition to our Call Before Digging signs, we now offer signs specifically for:
Utility MarkersMany signs and labels can be customized with your company name and phone number. Use the posts and reflective labels to mark buried utility lines or as 9-1-1 address markers, campsite markers or anywhere you need a strong, flexible marking post.

You'll find links for Utility Markers on our home page and in the Industrial Hazards menu tab on every pageSee them all at

Strategies For Safer Trenching

OSHA reports excavation fatality rates are 112 percent higher than general construction activities. Following some basic safety procedures can minimize the possibility of a trench accident, or reduce the amount of time and effort needed for a rescue if an accident occurs. Here are some key strategies for safer trenching:

Buried Electric Cable sign1. Study Before Digging. An individual with specialized training in trenching safety should inspect the site carefully and address challenges associated with the soil that will be handled, utility lines or pipelines, underground storage tanks, nearby traffic and the possibility of water unexpectedly filling the trench.

2. Once Excavation Begins:
  • Keep heavy equipment away from trench edges.
  • Keep spoils/surcharge loads at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) from trench edges.
  • Know where underground utilities are located.
  • Test for low oxygen, hazardous fumes and toxic gases.
  • Inspect trenches at the start of each shift, and any time an action increases the hazard.
  • Inspect trenches following a rainstorm.
  • Do not work under raised loads. Call Before Digging Label
3. Provide and Protect Access. If the trench is at least four feet deep, OSHA regulations call for proper egress within 25 feet of all workers. The egress must be designed by someone with the proper training, and integrity must be ensured so that components of the egress will not separate in the event of an incident.

4. Be Ready to Rescue. The safety plan should include a complete rescue plan that addresses how workers should respond in a variety of situations. The rescue plan should also address who will brief and coordinate with the fire department and other outside rescue personnel that respond to an incident.

AASE Calls for Action on Workplace Fatalities


In response to the just-released BLS workplace fatalities report, The American Society of Safety Engineers issued a statement that "... the fact that this nation's fatalities are not significantly decreasing should be a call for action, not complacency." ASSE urged "everyone concerned with worker safety not to accept as reasonable the preliminary results of this report that show little change in the number of workplace fatalities between 2009 and 2010."

"A statistical plateau of worker fatalities is not an achievement but evidence that this nation's effort to protect workers is stalled.These statistics call for nothing less than a new paradigm in the way this nation protects workers," said ASSE President Terrie Norris.

"Instead of a tug of war over compliance to prescriptive standards that cannot address each workplace, this nation's approach to workplace safety must encourage a specific dialogue about the most important risks in each workplace that engages employers, workers and OSHA in a cooperative effort to address those risks ...," he continued.

September 12, 2011

Staying Alert About Fatigue

Before you brush sleepy workers aside as a minor problem, consider that fatigue has been a contributing factor in nearly every headline-grabbing industrial accident from the Chernobyl nuclear plant to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. It's considered a major contributor to as many as two of every five commercial vehicle accidents. Fatigue has any number of causes (beyond not getting enough sleep), including many common factors in the workplace.

Employers need to take fatigue seriously, because it's an actual physical problem and not a lack of character or work ethic, and because it has a significant impact on worker safety and the bottom line. Read what the safety experts at Safety Management Group have to say about fatigue - it might open your eyes to a problem in your own workplace. Read more here or browse Safety Slogan signs at

Get Ready for Drive Safely Work Week in Early October

 No cell phone label
October 3-7 is annual Drive Safely Work Week, and the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) has developed a tool kit to help employers share this important message. The kit includes fact / tip sheets, activities, mobile device policies, graphics and more. This year's campaign promotes a preventive approach to distracted driving.

September News and Notes

No Update Yet on GHS. OSHA announced plans to issue a final rule this month on implementing the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and labeling of Chemicals (GHS) into the Hazard Communication Standard. So far, nothing has been announced. Check the OSHA Hazard Communication page for details.

Reforms in Store at OSHA, EPA and Elsewhere.
In late August, the White House announced final regulatory reform plans for federal agencies and departments, including OSHA and EPA. They include "hundreds of initiatives that will reduce costs, simplify the system, and eliminate redundancy and inconsistency." The reforms cover 20+ agencies, including a Department of Health and Human Services proposal to remove unnecessary regulatory and reporting requirements for hospitals and other healthcare providers, and a Department of Labor rule to simplify and improve hazard warnings for workers. Read the official statement here, or review specific plans for various agencies here.

ASSE Updates Standard for Handling Explosives in Construction and Demolition. ASSE recently released a revised A10.7 standard for Construction and Demolition Operations, titled, Requirements for Transportation, Storage, Handling and Use of Commercial Explosives and Blasting Agents. The Safety A10.7 standard is applicable to the storage, handling and use of commercial explosives and blasting agents in the construction industry. The standard provides best practices for commercial explosive use and should be used to guide handling in construction and demolition environments. The standard should not, however, be applied to pyrotechnics, small-arms ammunition, or explosive power packs in the form of explosive-activated or explosive-charged construction devices such as explosive rivets, explosive bolts, charges for driving pins or studs, and cartridges for explosive-activated power tools. Read more here.

Arc Flash Safety Webcast Featured at Virtual Safety Expo.
The ISHN Virtual Safety Expo on September 28 will include a webcast presenting an overview of the NFPA 70E 2009 Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, focusing on water and wastewater facilities. Other safety expo webinars to be offered:
  • Arc Flash safety signInsider's Update on OSHA's Plans for 2012
  • Hearing Protection in Construction
  • OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention Program
  • Combustible Dust - Lessons Learned and Best Practices
  • The Global Harmonization Standard
Get more info here or browse Electrical Safety signs at

What's New at

Instant Sign / Label Finder for OSHA and ANSIOSHA sign finder
We've made it even easier to search our collection of nearly 7,000 OSHA and 6,600 ANSI signs and labels, so you can easily find the sign you need. Our new Instant Sign / Label Finders let you start wherever you want and refine results as you go.

Looking for a specific symbol? Start there and see what's available. Need a particular header, language or wording? Just point and click. Want to browse signs for a specific category? It's no trouble. You'll find your sign or label in no time.

These are the big new items this month, but you'll find other updates throughout the store. Coming next month: More options for multi-language safety signs.

4,547 Fatal Occupational Injuries Recorded in 2010

  Preliminary numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show 4,547 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2010, about the same as the final count of 4,551 fatal work injuries in 2009.

Days without Accident sign U.S. workers suffered fatal work injuries at a rate of 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, the same as 2009. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia reported higher numbers of fatal work injuries in 2010 than in 2009, while 23 states reported lower numbers. Key preliminary findings of the 2010 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:
  • The number of fatal injuries among wage and salary workers increased by 2 percent
  • Work-related fatalities resulting from fires more than doubled from 53 in 2009 to 109 in 2010 - the highest count since 2003.
Fatality causes, ranked by event or exposure:
1. Transportation incidents: 1,766
      55% were highway accidents
2. Assaults and violent acts: 808Fall Protection sign
3. Contact with objects and equipment: 732
      55% struck by object or equipment
4. Falls: 635
      81% falls to lower level
5. Exposure to harmful substances of environments: 409
      40% contact with electric current
      34% exposure to caustic, noxious or allergenic substances
6. Fires and explosions: 187
Final 2010 fatality data will be released in spring 2012.