A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

December 16, 2011

Happy Holidays from

It's THAT time of year again - hectic year-end activities combined with anticipation of a new year and what it may bring. I'm proud to say that has enjoyed serving many loyal customers this year, as well as many new ones. And we look forward to serving you all in 2012 with new signs, new website tools and some exciting changes. We're moving into the new year with anticipation, and I think you'll like where we're going.

Wishing you all the best in the New Year!
Paul Sandefer, President

DOT Bans Hand-Held Cell Phone Use by Commercial Drivers Effective Jan. 3

A new DOT rule takes effect January 3, 2012 that specifically prohibits commercial drivers from using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial truck or bus. New sanctions are also in place for drivers and carriers that violate the rule.

No Cell Phone Label
Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses. Additionally, states will suspend a driver's commercial driver's license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations.

Motor carriers are prohibited from requiring or allowing their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving, and will face a maximum penalty of $11,000. Approximately four million commercial drivers would be affected by this final rule.

December Customer Comments

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

I would recommend ComplianceSigns to anyone who is looking for a OSHA compliant chemical labeling "right-to-know" sign that they can customize themselves for their site.
Chester M., Hillsborough, NJ 

I found what i needed quickly, was easy to choose and view my custom sign, easy pay and fast delivery.
Frank L., Portland, OR

What's New at

Nearly 700 new safety signs and labels were added to in November. Here's a sample:
Our team of development specialists continually researches new rules and codes so we can provide the signs and labels you need. But if you can't find what you're looking for, it's easy to create your own with our Custom Sign Generators.

BLS Reports Nonfatal Occupational Injury, Illness data for 2010

The rate of nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases requiring days away from work was 118 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2010, statistically unchanged from 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The total number of cases decreased 4 percent to 1,191,100, and the median days away from work was 8 days, the same as the previous year.

Key Findings:Kitchen Safety Signs
  • The incidence rate for food preparation and serving related workers increased 10 percent to 116 cases per 10,000 full-time workers.
  • The incidence rate for healthcare support workers increased 6 percent to 283 days-away-from-work cases per 10,000 full-time workers.  
  • Incidence rates for construction and extraction workers declined 17 percent
  • Contact with objects and equipment remained the top injury-causing event, followed by overexertion injuries, which increased by 3 percent.
 Learn more with these links:

Injury / Illness Incidence Rates for Selected Industries:
Incidence Rate  
Transportation and warehousing 232
Forkllift safety sign

Local government 180.6
State government 175.1
Health care & social assistance 139.9
Natural resources and mining 137.7
Burried Cable Safety Sign

Retail trade 118.4
Accommodation and food services 103
Educational services 61.5

Most Common Injury Events / Exposures:

Injury Event
Incidence Rate
Contact with object 28.1
Fall Protection Sign

Fall on same level 18
Fall to lower level 7.3
Transportation incident
Exposure to harmful substance / environment 5.2
Assault / violent act 4.9
Machine Safety Sign

Slip / trip without fall 3.8
Repetitive motion 3.5
Fire / explosion 0.3
All other 14.2

OSHA Announces Two New National Emphasis Programs

Chlorine Gas safety signChemical facilities and nursing home / residential care facilities will be the focus of additional OSHA inspection efforts under two new National Emphasis Programs (NEPs) recently announced.

The new chemical NEP aims to reduce releases of highly hazardous chemicals. It replaces a 2009 regional pilot program and establishes policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces covered by OSHA's process safety management (PSM) standard. The inspection process includes detailed questions designed to gather facts related to PSM requirements and verification that employers' written and implemented PSM programs are consistent. Under the NEP, OSHA will conduct focused inspections at facilities randomly selected from a list of worksites likely to have highly hazardous chemicals in quantities covered by the standard.

Biohazard safety signThe health care NEP, still in the planning stages, is in response to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showing an increase in the rate of nonfatal occupational injuries among health care support workers.

In a November announcement, OSHA head David Michaels noted the new health care emphasis program will involve increased inspections with a special focus on back injuries from resident handling or lifting. The program will also target exposure to bloodborne pathogens and infectious diseases, workplace violence and slips, trips and falls.

According to BLS, the rate of nonfatal injuries requiring days away from work for health care support workers in 2010 increased 6 percent to 283 cases per 10,000 full-time workers-almost 2.5 times the rate for all private and public sector workers.

Consider a ComplianceSigns Corporate Portal in 2012

Corporate PortalDid you know you can have your own custom home page at We call them corporate portals, and there are a lot of great reasons to consider adding one in 2012:
  • All the signs you regularly order in one convenient location
  • Ensure consistency across multiple locations - you decide what signs and sizes are shown, so your people can't order non-approved signs, colors or sizes
  • Convenient for multiple users
  • Set up custom signs for your company (name, phone number, etc.)
We'll set up a page separate from the rest of our site that lets you send a link to whoever needs access. No special software is required, and the checkout process works just the same as our public site. Your corporate portal simplifies ordering and gives you greater control. For more details, Contact our Sales team.

New Research on Fall Injury and Prevention

Ladder Safety Label at ComplianceSigns.comA new document from NIOSH presents expert advice on the best way to understand, prevent and control fall-related risk exposures.
"Research and Practice for Fall Injury Control in the Workplace: Proceedings of International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection" includes commentary, research findings, recommendations and expert advice on the latest tools and methods to reduce the incidence of injury from falls. A wide variety of research approaches and methods are included, reflecting the multidisciplinary orientation of different stakeholders, as well as the individual interests and expertise of participating researchers.

December News and Notes

New Tire Service Charts for Single- and Multi-piece Rim Wheels

OSHA has revised its tire servicing materials to address current hazards and help workers safely perform maintenance on large vehicle tires. OSHA's revised "Multi-piece Rim Matching Chart" provides an updated list of current and obsolete components and the old "Demounting and Mounting Procedures for Truck/Bus Tires" chart is now expanded into two charts that deal individually with tubeless and tube-type tires. The revised materials can be downloaded here.

New Nail Gun Safety Website
A Duke University researcher and the Center for Construction Research and Training launched a new nail gun safety website on December 2. features video interviews with workers and information on how nail guns work and how to prevent nail gun injuries. It also provides access to nail gun research articles. Visit the site.

OSHA Releases Construction Hazard Videos
OSHA has released a dozen online educational videos about potential hazards in the construction industry. The 12 videos cover falls in construction, workers who are struck by vehicles and heavy equipment, sprains and strains, trenching and excavation hazards, and carbon monoxide poisoning. The 2- to 4-minute animated videos are based on real-life incidents and include detailed depictions of hazards and the safety measures that could have prevented the injuries and fatalities.They are brief, easy to understand and geared to the needs of employers and workers. Each video is available in English and Spanish, and video scripts will be available soon. Read more here. View English videos here. View Spanish videos here.

Health and Safety Podcasts
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety produces monthly podcasts that provide information, tips and insights into worker health, safety and well-being. Topics include radiation in the workplace, prolonged sitting, workplace lighting, aging workers, HR and health & safety, close quarters, noise control and more. Although they are intended for Canadian audiences, the information applies equally well across the U.S. Learn more and download Health & Safety to Go podcasts here.

On-site Consultation Program Helps Improve Workplace Safety
OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers no-cost, confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Under the program, consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, give advice on OSHA compliance and assist in establishing safety and health management systems. In FY 2010 the program conducted over 30,000 worksite visits, at employer request. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Learn more about the program here.

Safety Tip: Confined Spaces

Many workplaces include spaces that are considered "confined" because they restrict activities of employees who must enter, work in or exit from them. These spaces, such as tanks, manholes, silos or pipelines, often present increased injury risks. Here are some confined space safety tips from OSHA:
  • Review, understand and follow employer's procedures before entering permit-required confined spaces and know how and when to exit.
  • Before entry, identify any physical hazards.
  • Before and during entry, test and monitor for oxygen content, flammability, toxicity or explosive hazards as necessary.
  • Use employer's fall protection, rescue, air-monitoring, ventilation, lighting and communication equipment according to entry procedures
  • Maintain contact at all times with a trained attendant either visually, via phone, or by two-way radio. This monitoring system enables the attendant and entry supervisor to order you to evacuate and to alert appropriately trained rescue personnel to rescue entrants when needed.
Confined Space Resources:

Bringing Behavior-based Safety to Construction

On many construction sites there's an enforcer who is widely disliked. His mission is to spot workers violating safety rules, and to call out and penalize them. His heart is in the right place, and his ultimate objectives are sound, but his law-and-order approach makes him ineffective. Sadly, the workers who he sets out to protect are the ones who suffer the most. After all, when they ignore his dictates, they put themselves in hazardous situations.

To find a better approach, we need only look at changes in manufacturing, where a behavior-based approach encouraged workers to take greater responsibility for their actions - including safety. Learn how you can apply this change to your construction site here, or browse construction safety signs here.

Top Safety Links of 2011

Here's a list with links to the top ComplianceSigns Connection topics of 2011, determined by what readers viewed the most:

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