A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

July 23, 2012

Top Workplace Safety News for July

  • Revised OSHA hard hat standard is effective Sept. 20
  • Small business OHS resources available from NIOSH
  • W.H.O. says diesel exhaust causes lung cancer
  • Red Cross first aid phone app can save lives
  • Comprehensive sign regulation / design resources now available online Compliance-Resource Bulletins Will Help You Understand Sign Standards

This month's Connection contains a lot of information on a variety of safety topics, from OSHA hard hat standards to nanotechnology. But I want to point you to the article on new Compliance - Resource Bulletins now available at Like this newsletter, each bulletin presents loads of useful information on sign design, rules, applications, standards and more.

Whether you need to know about arc flash, aircraft hazmat signage or swimming pool signs required in Georgia, you'll find key information in these bulletins. They're not legal advice, but they will help you understand sign design requirements. I'm sure you'll find them helpful for your varied signage needs.

Have a safe month

Paul Sandefer, President

July 22, 2012

OSHA Updates Head Protection Standards

OSHA Hard Hat Warning signOSHA has issued a direct final rule and a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the personal protective equipment (PPE) sections of its general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, and marine terminals standards regarding requirements for head protection. OSHA also included the construction industry in the rule "to ensure consistency among the Agency's standards."

The updates will recognize the 2009 edition of the American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection, and delete reference to the 1986 edition of that standard because it is out of date.
The direct final rule will become effective on September 20, 2012 unless OSHA receives a significant adverse comment by July 23. If the agency receives significant adverse comments, the accompanying notice of proposed rulemaking will allow the agency to continue the notice-and-comment component of the rulemaking by withdrawing the direct final rule. Customer Comments - July

Here's what our customers are saying about ComplianceSigns people and products this month:

The depth of selection enabled me to choose the best product for my particular situation. This is very unusual these days and I appreciate the options.
"Fixtail," Fresno, CA

Amazing products. Being able to word a sign exactly as you want is what makes this company tops in the field.
Mickey, Tennessee

Chris is one of the main reasons I continue to use ComplianceSigns. She always responds immediately and when I have run into emergency issues, has been able to solve the problem. Not only that, she is pleasant and amicable. I wouldn't order anywhere else.
Kelly, Charlotte, NC

What's New at - July

You'll find more than 300 new signs and labels at this month, including:

Business Hours signsBusiness Hours and Open / Closed signs.
We now stock a selection of business hours in a variety of styles, from flashing LEDs to classic analog clocks to suit your business personality.

More Pet Safety / Animal Handling signs. These signs and labels cover a variety of pet-related topics, including hot car warning signs for parking areas and a dozen small yard signs that can be ordered with a 2-foot poly sign stake.

Pool / Spa
Accessible Pool Lift signLift signs. The 2010 ADA Standards now require pools and spas to have accessible means of entry. Use these signs to identify and give instructions for ADA-required pool and spa lifts.

Machine Safety signs. Nearly 100 new OSHA, ANSI and safety signs address topics including flying debris, dust inhalation, rotating machinery, emergency stops, fan safety and more.

Cell Phone Rules signs. More than two dozen new signs to remind people to turn off or silence cell phones at service counters / windows, cashiers, quiet zones, churches and more. Whether you prefer serious or humorous messages, you'll find your cell phone sign here.

Heat Index signHeat Illness signs. Summer heat can cause illness or death. We created a dozen heat illness signs to remind workers to keep cool and explain the signs of heat illness.

California Swimming Pool / Spa Rules. Changes to the California swimming pool code (TITLE 24) affecting pool construction and renovation - including new sign regulations - take effect September 1, 2012. We have the signs you need now.

NIOSH Posts Small Business OHS Resources

NIOSH has posted a series of resources to help small business owners and managers deal with occupational safety and health concerns. The guide provides a starting point for addressing a broad range of occupational safety and health issues without requiring a major investment of time or money. The pages address topics including:
  • General InformationDays Without Injury sign
  • Guides and Courses
  • Specific Occupations and Hazards
  • Regulations
  • Consultation Services
  • Emergency Preparedness
The pages provide dozens of links to handbooks, checklists, training materials, regulations and more.

July 21, 2012

New Compliance - Resource Bulletins Provide Sign Design Info & More

Do you find sign regulations confusing at times? If so, you're not alone. The customer service team receives dozens of inquiries every week, and they do their best to provide the answers you need. Now we've developed a way to share our sign design resources with you.

Resource BulletinsOur research team has developed a series of Compliance - Resource Bulletins that summarize sign design rules and provide helpful resources to make your sign selection process a little easier. And they're all available to you on our website as pdf files.

Each bulletin describes typical sign applications, provides resources and links to relevant sign standards, illustrates correct sign design, and more. They are not legal advice, but they will help you better understand sign design requirements.
The new library includes general sign types (ADA Braille, Pipe Markers, DOT and more) as well as state-specific bulletins that address parking, restroom, smoking, swimming pools, weapons and other state-specific sign topics. Current Compliance-Resource bulletins include:

  • All 50 States and D.C.
  • ADA Braille
  • Aircraft Hazmat
  • Arc Flash
  • Calif. Proposition 65 and Calif. Title 24 - Restroom
  • Cranes
  • Dept. of Defense (DoD) and Dept. of Transportation (DOT)
  • Exit / Enter
  • Federal Accessible Parking
  • Hazardous Chemicals (Hazchem)
  • NFPA 704 Diamond
  • Parking Sign Reflectivity
  • Pipe Markers
Check them out at

Diesel Exhaust Classified as Carcinogenic

OSHA Fume Caution signIn June, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), announcing, "The scientific evidence was compelling and the Working Group's conclusion was unanimous: diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans."

This follows a NIOSH announcement in March that showed underground miners exposed to diesel emissions showed an increased risk of death from lung cancer in exposed workers.

People working where diesel engines are running indoors or in enclosed spaces, such as bridges and tunnels, engine maintenance garages, bus barns, underground mines and fire stations, have some of the highest exposures to the exhaust and are at increased risk for illness. Other workers at high risk for diesel exhaust exposure include:
  • Toll booth workers Respirator safety sign
  • Operators of diesel powered engines (such as in trains, trucks, buses, tractors, and forklifts)
  • Mechanics
  • Roadside inspection workers
  • Loading/shipping dock workers
  • Truck drivers
  • Farm workers
  • Railroad workers
  • Ship crew members
By law, employers must provide a safe and healthy workplace. Employers should assess the risks to the health of workers exposed to diesel exhaust and take precautions to prevent or reduce the amount that workers breathe. Several publications are available with additional information.

OSHA Initiatives Every Employer Should Track

In a recent article in Workplace HR & Safety magazine, a workplace safety expert from MSDSonline offers his views and advice on a number of OSHA initiatives related to incident reporting and recordkeeping. P.J. Schoeny identifies five items that "could have profound repercussions for employers in the near future." Here are some key points from the article:

OSHA safety signs1. I2P2
I2P2 is the Injury and Illness Prevention Program and is described by OSHA as "a proactive process to help employers find and fix workplace hazards before workers are hurt." OSHA Director Dr. David Michaels has repeatedly said in recent years that implementing an I2P2 standard is one of the agencies top priorities.

2. Modernization of OSHA's Injury and Illness Data Collection Process
OSHA is working on an important update to its method of collecting data. This initiative could easily lead to a requirement that every employer provide injury and illness information directly to OSHA on an annual, semi-annual, or even quarterly basis.

3. Recordkeeping Update
OSHA issued a proposed rule in June of 2011 and is currently working on the final rule. Specifically, OSHA is working to move from the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

4. Crackdown on IncentivesOSHA Safety First sign

In March, OSHA issued a memo to keep their offices on the lookout for incentive programs that reward employees for not getting injured. Given OSHA's crackdown on employer incentive programs, employers should review their own safety programs to ensure they are in alignment with OSHA's view on the practice.

5. Whistleblower Programs
OSHA has turned up the heat on whistleblowing in recent years. One of the key changes at OSHA in 2012 is the placing of the Whistleblower Protection Program under direct control of OSHA Director Dr. Michaels. In recent months, OSHA has revised guidelines for investigating whistleblowing cases and has made a concerted effort to build awareness and promote its resources for whistleblowers - including a dedicated website at

New Red Cross First Aid App Can Improve Workplace Safety

Emergency responders with first aid equipment
The American Red Cross has produced a fist aid app that could improve workplace safety by putting simple lifesaving information into the hands of smart phone users. The app is the first in a series to be created by the Red Cross for use on both the Android and iPhone platforms. It gives instant access to information on how to handle the most common first aid situations, includes videos and interactive quizzes, and Red Cross disaster preparedness information for a number of common situations.

"The American Red Cross First Aid app is a free and easy way to get lifesaving first aid instruction and disaster preparedness information anytime, anywhere," said Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council chair Dr. David Markenson. Users who take quizzes can earn badges they can share with friends through social media to show off their lifesaving knowledge. App features include:

First Aid Station sign

  • Simple step-by-step instructions for everyday first aid scenarios
  • Prioritized steps to take during an emergency, with 9-1-1 call button
  • Sharable badges to be unlocked through interactive quizzes
  • Videos and animations to make learning first aid fun and easy
  • Safety and preparedness tips for a range of conditions including severe winter weather, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes
  • Preloaded content that gives instant access to all safety information at any time
"Everyone should load this onto their smart phone as an important first step in learning what to do for medical emergencies and in creating a family preparedness plan," says Markenson.


July 20, 2012

NIOSH Director Calls for "Louder, Bolder, More Courageous" OEHS Pros

In a wide-ranging address on June 19 to attendees at the American Industrial Hygiene Association's  AIHce 2012 event in Indianapolis, NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard outlined several challenges facing occupational health and safety in the 21st century. He also called for OEHS professionals to be more active in voicing the concerns of workers.

Howard discu
No Smoking signsssed challenges affecting workers including demographic, political, economic and social trends. Given the complexity of these challenges, it is not enough, Howard said, for OEHS professionals to confine themselves to solely occupational issues. "We should broaden our traditional mission of preventing work-related disease and injury with efforts to promote total worker health - regardless of whether disease or injury is work-related," Howard said.

Other trends, such as the increase in the number of workers whose employment is insecure and precarious, requires leadership from OEHS professionals and a willingness to be vocal advocates on behalf of workers: "The voice of the occupational health and safety practitioner will have to become louder and bolder and more courageous," Howard said.

July Workplace Safety News and Notes from

New OSHA / NIOSH Info on Protecting Workers Who Use Cleaning ChemicalsADA Braille Housekeeping sign

Some cleaning chemicals can be hazardous, causing problems ranging from skin rashes and burns to coughing and asthma. This INFOSHEET provides information to employers on practices to help keep workers safe when working with cleaning chemicals, including new "green" cleaning products. Download the sheet from NIOSH here.

ANSI Approves AIHA Revised Z10 Standard
The American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) recently approved the revised ANSI/AIHA Z10-2012 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems standard. The standard will enable organizations to integrate OHS management into their overall business management systems. It focuses on broad principles, not on detailed specifications. Learn more here.

CSB Releases New Safety Video: Inherently Safer: The Future of Risk Reduction
The US Chemical Safety Board has released a new safety video that examines the concept of inherent safety and its application. The goal of inherently safer design is not only to prevent an accident, but to reduce the consequences of an accident should one occur. The video discusses the four main components of inherently safer design: substitute, minimize, moderate and simplify. Learn more here.

EMS LabelNew Emergency Medical Services Resources from NIOSH
NIOSH has posted a Web page highlighting emergency medical service (EMS) worker safety and health. In addition to providing EMS safety and health resources and references, the page offers a data summary describing nonfatal injuries to EMS workers treated in emergency departments. Visit the EMS workplace safety page.

NIOSH Issues Nanotechnology Safe Practices Guide
Nanotechnology allows for the manipulation of matter on a near-atomic scale to produce new structures, materials and devices. As with any new technology, the earliest and most extensive exposure is most likely to occur in the workplace, where new materials and tools are first developed and used. To help protect these pioneering workers, NIOSH has developed recommendations on engineering controls and safe practices for handling engineered nanomaterials in laboratories and some pilot scale operations. This guidance is designed to be used in tandem with established practices and the laboratory's chemical hygiene plan. Download the guide here.

ICC eBooks Now Available in iTunes store
Many International Code Council codes, commentaries, standards and handbooks are now available in Apple's iTunes Store. Titles available include the International Codes, among them the 2012 International Green Construction Code, the 2012 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, various state codes and more. See them here.

Webinar: The 4-foot Rule: What you need to know about Fall ArrestOSHA Fall Protection sign
Fall protection continues to be one of the most important safety issues in general industry today. A July 25 webinar presented by OHS online will identify potential fall hazards and describe the best solutions for various environments. The session will focus on fall arrest solutions, discuss relevant OSHA regulations and give examples of rigid rail fall arrest systems available for different applications. Learn more and register here.

SAFETY TIP: Lightning Safety On the Job

Lightning kills 54 people per year in the United States on average, but it strikes hundreds more who are often left with lifelong debilitating injuries. This has prompted the National Weather Service to develop a lightning safety campaign, complete with free tool kits and more.

Five key lightning safety tips:

    ADA Braille Storm Shelter sign
  1. When thunderstorms threaten, don't start anything you can't quickly stop
  2. Pay attention to early signs of thunderstorms: high winds, dark clouds, rain, distant thunder or lightning. If these conditions exist, do not start a task you cannot quickly stop.
  3. Know your company's lightning safety warning program. Businesses that have high risk functions such as explosive storage or field repairs should have a formal lightning warning policy.
  4. Assess your lightning risk and take appropriate actions. If you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike. Stop what you are doing and seek safety in a substantial building or a hard-topped metal vehicle.
  5. Know what objects and equipment to avoid during a thunderstorm:
    • Stay off and away from anything tall or high, including rooftops, scaffolding, utility poles and ladders.
    • Stay off and away from large equipment such as bulldozers, cranes, backhoes, track loaders and tractors.
    • Do not touch materials or surfaces that can conduct electricity, including metal scaffolding, metal equipment, utility lines, water, water pipes and plumbing.
    • Leave areas with explosives or munitions.

    If a worker is struck by lightning:

    Lightning victims do not carry an electrical charge, are safe to touch and need urgent medical attention. Cardiac arrest is the immediate cause of death for those who die. Some deaths can be prevented if the victim receives the proper first aid immediately. Call 9-1-1 and perform CPR if the person is unresponsive or not breathing. Use an Automatic External Defibrillator if one is available.


    Workplace Obesity a Growing Problem for Small and Mid-Size Employers

    While many U.S. employers are addressing obesity in the workplace, there is still much progress to be made - as well as a need for tools and resources, especially among small and mid-size organizations. This is according to a survey of more than 500 employers conducted by the National Business Coalition on Health with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Safety Council. Trends identified by the research include:
    • Obesity prevention and weight management is most effective as part of an overall wellness and health promotion program.
    • Employers need better information about how obesity relates to employee safety and to other related health conditions, as well as information on the associated cost burden.
    • Making the connection between safety and wellness is fundamental to addressing a healthy workforce.
    Employers consistently mentioned the significance of the safety function related to obesity/weight management and wellness in general. More information on the report has been posted by Safety Management Group.

    Top 5 Safety Links in June

    These were the most popular articles / links in last month's ComplianceSigns Connection: