A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

August 20, 2012

Top Workplace Safety News - August 2012

  • OSHA fall protection grace period ends Sept. 15
  • Plan ahead for Drive Safely Work Week
  • Reduce occupational injuries with paid sick leave
  • Safety advisory issued for pipeline operators
  • OSHA / GHS Hazard Communication Standard issued

Back-to-School and Workplace Safety

It's back-to-school time in many communities, which brings with it a flurry of activities for parents, new traffic challenges for drivers - and a higher level of distraction for many workers. That makes workplace safety slightly more challenging until new routines are established and everyone gets back in the groove.
This month's Connection contains many resources to help you keep employees focused on safety, from OSHA Fall Protection tips and a Drive Safely Work Week toolkit, to key information about online OSHA safety training. I hope this issue helps make your workplace a little safer - and your job a little easier.

Have a safe month
Paul Sandefer, President

August 19, 2012

OSHA Fall Protection Directive for Residential Construction - Deadline is Sept. 15

In 2010, more than 10,000 construction workers were injured as a result of falling while working from heights, and another 255 workers were killed. Earlier this year, OSHA extended the transition phase for enforcement of residential fall protection directive STD 03-11-002, but the new deadline is Sept. 15.

OSHA's website has a host of trainiOSHA fall protection signng materials and resources including posters and fact sheets in English and other languages that explain how falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved. Here's OSHA's advice:

PLAN ahead to get the job done safely
Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task. Plan to have all the necessary equipment and tools available at the construction site.  

PROVIDE the right equipment
Ladder and Scaffold signsWorkers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds and safety gear. Make sure gear fits, and regularly inspect all fall protection equipment to ensure it's still in good condition and safe to use.

TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely
Falls can be prevented when workers understand proper set-up and safe use of equipment, so they need training on the specific equipment they will use to complete the job. Employers must train workers in hazard recognition and in the care and safe use of ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems and other equipment they'll use on the job. Customer Comments - August

Here's what our customers are saying about us this month:
I ordered lots of signs from your company. It’s the best I ever bought. Excellent service and beautiful signs. Thank you.
- Joseph B., Hilo, Hawaii

Just a note to say how pleased I am with your service! I got my signs via UPS today - I didn’t expect them until at least next week. They are great and your service was outstanding.
- Connie C., Louisville, KY

Timely delivery, great selection. Exactly as I wanted, was packaged nicely. Humorous novelty options for signs and home defense protection. Fair prices.
- HBE, Florida

What's New: More than 350 New Signs and Labels at

Toxicity LabelOSHA Chemical Hazard / GHS Labels. We now carry chemical hazard labels that meet the new OSHA / GHS aligned Hazard Communication Standard. The labels are available in 7 sizes and 3 material options (standard, glow and reflective). Order individually or as a kit of 9 labels. See them here.

Weapons and Concealed Carry Signs. Whether you need signs that ban weapons or welcome them to your property, you'll find a big selection on our Weapons / No Weapons Signs page.

Recreation SignsRecreation Signs and Labels. Our newest sign category currently includes more than 250 signs for beach, biking, boating, camping, golf and parks - and more are on the way. From beach rules to bike trails to putting greens, you'll find  the recreation signs you need. See them all here, and check back next week for more.

Hands-Only CPR Signs. These signs give clear instructions on currently recommended CPR techniques for both CPR-trained and untrained individuals. One signs includes directions for adults, children and infants. See them here.

Premium Color Engraved Signs. We've added three new premium colors to our small-format engraved and sliding sign collections. All feature gold letters with backgrounds of Celestial Blue, Port Wine or Verde. They'll add a touch of class when mounted on doors of conference rooms, restrooms, labs, waiting rooms and more. See office-related signs here, or browse restroom signs here.

August 18, 2012

Drive Safely Work Week 2012 Materials Now Available


Drive Safely Work WeekMotor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of work-related deaths, accounting for 24% of all fatal occupational injuries. These on-the-job crashes are costly to employers, incurring average costs of more than $24,500 per property damage incident and $150,000 per injury crash.

To help reduce these numbers, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) is sponsoring Drive Safely Work Week 2012 from October 1-5, and campaign materials are now available at no cost. This year's theme is Back to Basics - Your Keys to Safe Driving. The campaign will focus on issues important for building and maintaining a safe-driving foundation, including:
  • Always buckling up
    Safe Driving signs and labels
  • Being well-rested and clear-headed
  • Eliminating distractions
  • Avoiding rear-end collisions
  • Safe parking and backing
A web-based campaign toolkit provides downloadable activities and resources for each day of the campaign week. Toolkit components include:
  • Fact / tip sheets on campaign issues
  • Daily activities with supporting resources
  • Downloadable graphics
Now is the time to start planning your Drive Safely Work Week campaign:           

Revised OSHA Hazard Communication Standard Matches GHS

OSHA published the long-awaited revisions to its Hazard Communications Standard, to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This update to the Hazard Communication Standard will provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets.

OSHA says the new standard will prevent an estimated 585 injuries / illnesses and 43 deaths each year, and result in some $475 million in enhanced productivity for U.S. businesses. Major changes include:
  • Hazard Classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of hGHS Hazmat Labelsealth and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.
  • Safety Data Sheets: Will now have a specified 16-section format.
  • Information and Training: Employers are required to train workers by December 1, 2013 on the new label elements and safety data sheet format to facilitate recognition and understanding.
During the transition period to the effective completion dates noted in the standard, chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers may comply with either 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.1200 (the final standard), the current standard or both. now carries GHS chemical hazard labels in 7 sizes and 3 material options.

August 17, 2012

NIOSH: Paid Sick Leave Reduces Occupational Injuries

New NIOSH research shows a surprising way employers can reduce workplace injuries: provide paid sick leave! The study, recently published by the American Journal of Public Health, shows that workers with access to paid sick leave were almost 30% less likely to suffer nonfatal occupational injuries than workers without access to paid sick leave. Hand Washing Sign
Study results suggest that paid sick leave makes a greater difference in occupations and sectors with a high risk of injury, such as construction, manufacturing, agriculture and healthcare and social assistance. Paid sick leave can also decrease other risks and costs related to sick workers, such as spread of contagious diseases to coworkers.

Advisory Bulletin Issued to Pipeline Owners and Operators

Pipeline MarkersPHMSA has issued an advisory bulletin to remind pipeline owners and operators of the importance of assuring that pipelines have not been damaged during a railroad accident or other event occurring in the right-of-way. Further, the bulletin reminds pipeline owners and operators of the importance of providing pertinent information to rail operators and emergency response officials during an incident.
The information should include the presence, depth and location of the pipelines so that the movement of heavy equipment and debris on the right-of-way does not damage or rupture the pipeline or otherwise pose a hazard to people working in, and around, the accident location.

August Workplace Safety News and Notes from

Safety Alert Issued on SCBA Facepiece LensesOn July 2, 2012, the NFPA issued a safety alert recommending that fire departments, academies and emergency service organizations inspect all self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) facepiece lenses before and after each use. Any SCBA facepiece lens found to have cracks, crazing, bubbling, deformation, discoloring, gaps or holes should be immediately removed from service and a replacement issued. The alert came after several NIOSH fatality investigations and additional research found SCBA facepiece lenses may undergo thermal degradation when exposed to intense heat. Read the full alert and recommendations here.

Occupational Health & Safety Virtual Event Sept. 6
The OH&S Virtual Event is a "meeting of minds" for Health & Safety Confined Space Safety Signprofessionals that brings together industry thought leaders. The online event includes educational sessions, product expo, whitepapers, content downloads and more. Topics will include confined space entry, Reputation management after an occupational crisis, Compliance with new transportation and safety regulations and Secondary containment for hazardous materials. Learn more here. Browse Confined Space safety signs here or Hazardous Materials signs and labels at

NOAA Raises Hurricane Season Prediction
Hurricane Evacuation SignThis year's Atlantic hurricane season got off to a busy start, with 6 named storms to date, and may have a busy second half, according to the updated hurricane season outlook issued Aug. 9 by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. The updated increases the chance of an above-normal season to 35 percent. NOAA's seasonal outlook projects a total of: 12-17 named storms, including 5-8 hurricanes with 2-3 major hurricanes. Read more here or Browse Severe Weather / Area of Rescue signs and labels at

NFPA Offers Online Electric Vehicle Safety Training for First Responders
EV Station signThe NFPA recently launched an online electric vehicle safety training course for first responders. The online curriculum is based on the classroom-style sessions currently being delivered across the country. The self-paced program will provide first responders with the knowledge they need to safely handle emergency situations involving EVs, HEVs, PHEVs and charging stations. The online curriculum includes information about the newest technology and safety systems found in the growing number of hybrid and electric vehicles on the road. Read more here.

New All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety-at-Work Fact Sheet
ATVs were first introduced in the U.S. for agricultural use in the early 1980s. Since then, ATVs have become popular for recreation - and most recently they have become a valuable asset at work. With more than 10 million in use, it is important to know the hazards associated with ATVs and how to operate them safely. Download an ATV Safety Fact Sheet from the CDC here (pdf).

Protect Workers from Growing Risk of West Nile Virus
First Aid signThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to take steps to prevent West Nile virus infections transmitted by infected mosquitoes. This year, some areas of the country are experiencing earlier and greater activity, with 42 states reporting infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. Almost 80 percent of the cases have been reported from Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma. There are no medications to treat, or vaccines to prevent, West Nile virus infection. The best way to prevent West Nile virus disease is to avoid mosquito bites. These steps can help:

  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors. Use air conditioning, if available.
  • Empty standing water from outdoor items.
Learn more at the CDC website.

Construction Fall Prevention Safety Tips

Scaffold Safety Sign

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Will the Real OSHA 10-Hour Please Stand Up?

Many owners and contractors expect some or all construction workers on their sites to have completed OSHA 10 and 30 Hour training, and to have earned the cards that provide evidence of that training. That's pretty straightforward. What is less clear is whether the vendor who provides that training can legally give participants the official certification card from the Department of Labor. That's particularly true when it comes to online OSHA 10 and 30 Hour programs.The simple fact is that very few online 10-hour programs meet the standards OSHA has established. In fact, at this writing, only seven companies nationwide are authorized to offer online training that results in the issuance of a DOL card. The safety experts at Safety Management Group have prepared an article to help safety-conscious owners and contractors fully understand the situation and verify the online courses they choose legitimately meet OSHA's standards. Read more here or browse Construction Safety signs at

Top 5 Safety Links in July

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