A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

September 28, 2012

Are Manufacturing Employees Ignoring Eye Protection?

Eye protetection safety signDespite OSHA requirements for eye and face protection, 85 percent of surveyed U.S. industrial workers said they had observed others failing to wear eye protection when they should have been.

"The results are very disconcerting when you consider that 90 percent of eye injuries can be prevented through the use of proper protective eyewear," said a Kimberly-Clark Professional spokesperson. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that nearly three out of five injured workers were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident or were wearing the wrong kind of eye protection for the job.

The survey of 138 workers in manufacturing industries across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, was conducted in the summer of 2011, with results released this week. Respondents were employed in the following fields: metal manufacturing, industrial manufacturing, construction/utilities, automotive, transportation equipment or other industries.

The high rate of noncompliance seriously jeopardizes worker health and safety, but survey participants recognized the importance of eye safety. Eighty percent said they would encourage a co-worker or employee to wear eye protection, and 22 percent said they would report the employee to a supervisor or find a way to halt dangerous work operations until the worker complied with PPE protocols.

When asked what would most improve compliance with eye protection protocols, the top choice was more comfortable eyewear-with features like flexible, comfortable nose pieces (56 percent) followed by fog-free lenses (22 percent). Fifty-one percent of respondents also reported having been forced to wear uncomfortable eyewear or eyewear they did not like while at work. Of these, 46 percent wound up purchasing their own eye protection, while 45 percent said they "used it anyway."

Fogging was also a problem on the job, with 88 percent of respondents saying they or someone they worked with had been unable to see or complete a task properly because of fogged lenses. Forty percent of respondents said this had happened on "numerous occasions."

More information on workplace eye safety can be found at:

September 25, 2012

BLS: Fatal Workplace Injuries Declined in 2011

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced this week that 81 fewer workers died from work-related injuries in 2011 than died in 2010. This comes from the BLS premliminary census of fatal occupational injuries.
A preliminary total of 4,609 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2011, down from a final count of 4,690 in 2010. The fatality rate in 2011 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, compared to 3.6 in 2010.

Key preliminary findings of the 2011 Census include:
    Truck Safety Signs at
  • Fatal work injuries in the private construction sector declined to 721 from 774 in 2010, a decline of 7 percent and the fifth consecutive year of lower fatality counts. Fatal construction injuries are down nearly 42 percent since 2006.
  • Fatal work injuries in private truck transportation rose 14 percent in 2011- the second consecutive year that counts have risen in this sector after reaching a series low in 2009.
  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals accounted for 780 fatalities, or about 17 percent of the fatal injuries in the workplace in 2011. Included in this count are 458 homicides and 242 suicides.
  • Fatal work injuries involving workers 55 years of age and older as well as workers under the age of 18 were both lower in 2011, but fatal work injuries among workers in the 20 to 24 age group were up nearly 18 percent.

September 22, 2012

Top Workplace Safety News - September 2012

  • OSHA Extends Residential Construction Deadline to 12/15
  • September is National Preparedness Month: Red Cross Offers Free Resources
  • OSHA Issues Demolition / Underground Construction Hoist Rule
  • The average employer cost for an on-the-job vehicle crash is $16,500. Learn 10 Best Practices to improve driver safety
  • ComplianceSigns Remains on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing List - and offers a $10 Thank You to all customers

September is a Busy Month for Workplace Safety

September is shaping up to be a busy month for workplace safety. OSHA has changed the fall protection deadline, issued a new rule and released other important safety information. It's National Preparedness Month, and Drive Safely Work Week is coming up fast.
With all that activity you may need some additional safety signs, and we're here to help. In fact, this month's Connection includes a $10 discount code to thank you for our recent Inc. 5000 honor. We appreciate your business.

Have a safe month
Paul Sandefer, President

September 21, 2012 Customer Comments - September

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

I ordered 10 stock signs and 10 custom signs in the afternoon and paid for overnight shipping. I received the signs the next morning. They were all correct and looked great.
- Tim, Dallas, TX

So easy. Everything was on-line, never had to speak to anyone!
- Janice, G. Hills, CA

Great quality sign, looks nice.
- Patty, Mokane, MO

ComplianceSigns Inc. 5000 Customer Appreciation

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 third 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: The code expires 10/31/2012.

What's New at - September

You'll find more than 2,550 new signs and labels at since last month's newsletter! That's not quite a record, but it shows that we're dedicated to providing the signs you need. Here's a sampling of new signs now available:Retail / Hospitality Signs
Retail / Dining / Hospitality Signs. We added hundreds of printed, tactile + braille and engraved acrylic signs for use in retail, dining, hospitality and other businesses. Topics include Check Out Counters, Payment Policies (cash, credit, debit, etc.), Co-payment Notices, Appointment Notices and more. See them here.

Office Signs. From Quiet Please and Do Not Slam Door to Meeting in Progress and Please Come In, these signs address common issues for medical and business offices, schools, churches and more.
Find many of them from this page.Business Hours Signs
Business Hours Signs. These signs let your customers know when you're open for business - or when to come back if you're closed. We also added more Open / Closed signs in engraved, printed and electronic styles. Take a look.

Even More Recreation signs. We said to check back for new additions, and if you did you'd find nine new sign collections related to recreation activities: Fishing, Hiking, Trails, Horseback, Snow Sports, Skating, Boating / Marine, Fitness Facilities and Sports Fields. Whether you need to mark trails, post rules or just give visitors a laugh, you'll find something to meet your needs.
Start browsing here to see them all.

ComplianceSigns Marks Third Year on Fastest-Growing-Companies List


For the third 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 119 percent over the past three years, and now rank as the sixth fastest-growing manufacturer in Illinois, and 60th in the entire U.S. ComplianceSigns was the number 49 private manufacturing company in the country on the 2011 list.

"Our customers and employees deserve the credit for this award," said company president Paul Sandefer. "Many people have made ComplianceSigns their first choice for safety signage because of the personal service they receive from our great employee team. All our people take pride in their work and find innovative ways to help our customers. They don't just take and fill orders. It may sound cliché, but our people really do set us apart from other manufacturing companies."

Look for the Appreciation Celebration discount code in this issue. It's our way of saying "Thanks" to our great customers.
See the full inc. 5000 list here, or review the ComplianceSigns profile here.

September is National Preparedness Month

The Red Cross is Ready to Help You Prepare for Disaster

Rescue Assistance sign 
Some 70 federal disaster declarations are made annually, with hundreds of businesses and communities facing unexpected disruption - and up to 40 percent of businesses affected by a disaster never re-open. September is National Preparedness Month - and the right time to take action to protect your organization.

When it comes to disaster planning, most operations are not as prepared as they would like to be. It can be difficult to know where to begin - and where to go from there. The Red Cross Ready Rating Program can help.

The no-cost membership program is designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared for disasters and other emergencies. Members join the self-paced program and complete a 123-point self-assessment of their level of preparedness.

All in one place, Ready Rating members have access to one-of-a-kind tools, resources and information for evaluating and improving their ability to withstand disaster, maintain operations and protect lives and property. Whether you are taking your first steps or have a fully-functioning emergency management program, the Ready Rating program can help you achieve a higher level of preparedness.

Avoid Big Cost of On-the-Job Crashes: 10 Best Practices for Driver Training

Truck Safety SignsAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the average employer cost for an on-the-job vehicle crash is $16,500; if the accident results in an injury, the cost spikes to $74,000. If there's a fatality, expect a financial hit of $500,000 or more.

And those figures don't fully account for insurance premium hikes, legal fees, loss of business (from bad PR) and other potential fallout. FleetFinancials has published 10 Best Practices to help fleet executives reduce the risk and frequency of company vehicle incidents. From the hiring process to post-incident training, you'll get good advice that can help you improve driver safety and protect your organization's reputation - and bottom line.

September 20, 2012

September 2012 Workplace Safety News and Notes

New and Revised Combustible Dust Resources from OSHA
OSHA has redesigned and updated its combustible dust explosion hazard webpage. The page is now organized with tabs to be more user-friendly. The sections are arranged in logical order, beginning with guidance information that should be especially helpful to workers who are unfamiliar with combustible dust hazards. Other enhancements include additional links to reports issued by NIOSH and the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. Visit the updated page here.

Drive Safely Work Week is 2 Weeks Away - Employer Tookit Now Available
This year's theme is Back to Basics-Your Keys to Safe Driving. How will you mark the week? A variety of options are provided in the free employer toolkit. Register and download your kit today.

NIOSH Hurricane Response Resources
The NIOSH topic page Emergency Response Resources for Storm / Flood and Hurricane Response now includes the most up-to-date resources NIOSH has available for storm, flood and hurricane response as Hurricane Season 2012 continues. Visit the page here, or browse Hurricane and Severe Weather safety signs here.

OSHA Publishes Removal Criteria for Severe Violator Enforcement Program
OSHA has published criteria for removing employers from the agency's Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). SVEP has been in effect since June 18, 2010, and is intended to focus agency resources on employers that demonstrate indifference to their responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act with willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Read the removal criteria here.

SAFETY TIP: How To Increase Workplace Safety for Older Workers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports fatal work injury rates for workers 55 years and older were higher than the overall U.S. rate in 2010, and the rate for workers 65 years of age and older was more than three times the rate for all workers. The ASSE suggests the following tips to help employers and employees increase workplace safety for older workers:

  • Machine Safety signs at ComplianceSigns.comEnsure regular health checks for shift workers over 40
  • Ensure annual eye exams for inspectors, and current eye exams and correct vision prescription for all workers
  • Use task lighting to make low-contrast targets (defects) more visible
  • Ensure a higher coefficient of friction between the operator's fingers and the tool surface when precision tools are used
  • Keep shelves between knees and shoulder height whenever possible
  • Provide both visual and audio signals to machine operators when emergency situations arise
  • Reduce static standing time
  • Avoid using small print in instructions, orders or on equipment - use 11-point font or larger
  • Show older workers how to evaluate their workstations and workspaces so they can help eliminate conditions that lead to fatigue and discomfort
  • Use LCD displays for reduced glare, with a 17-inch or larger monitor, if possible
  • Install skid resistant material for flooring and especially for stair treads
  • Increase illumination for walking surfaces and stairs
  • Consider necessary reaction time when assigning older workers to tasks
Read additional tips from ASSE here, or browse Machine Safety signs at

First Aid Every Worker Should Know

In an age of sophisticated technology and immediate emergency response by pressing three buttons on any phone, first aid may sound like a quaint concept from your days in Scouting. But it's every bit as important today as it was back then. Even if a paramedic-equipped ambulance can be at your jobsite in five minutes, a lot can happen to a human body in that time. First aid can keep a bad situation from getting worse, and it provides fast solutions to situations that aren't all that bad.

In simple terms, first aid is any kind of emergency care in response to a sudden injury or illness before trained medical professionals can take over. It can be delivered by anyone who has received basic first aid training, and OSHA standards require first-aid providers whenever a worksite does not offer immediate access to an infirmary, clinic or hospital. The safety experts at Safety Management Group have prepared an article that identifies what every worker should know about first aid. Read more here, or browse First Aid Safety Signs at

Top 5 Workplace Safety Links in August

These were the most popular articles / links in the August ComplianceSigns Connection:

September 17, 2012

OSHA Issues Direct Final Rule on Demolition and Underground Construction Hoists

OCE-3975 - INSPECT SLINGS BEFORE USING OSHA recently issued a direct final rule and notice of proposed rulemaking that applies the requirements of the August 2010 cranes and derricks in construction standard to demolition work and underground construction. The rule is designed to protect workers from hazards associated with hoisting equipment used during construction activities.

The new rule will apply to underground construction and demolition the same rules that are already being used by other construction sectors, and eliminate the separate cranes and derricks standard currently used for underground and demolition work. The rulemaking also corrects several errors introduced in the 2010 rulemaking to make it easier for workers and employers to understand and implement these standards.

direct final rule will become effective November 15, 2012, unless OSHA receives a significant adverse comment by September 17. 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. Browse OSHA Crane Safety Signs at

September 14, 2012

Drive Safely Work Week is 2 Weeks Away - Tookit Available Now

This year's theme is Back to Basics- Your Keys to Safe Driving. How will you mark the week? A variety of options are provided in the free employer toolkit. Download your kit today at

September 11, 2012

OSHA Extends Residential Construction Deadline to December

ODE-3000 - FALL PROTECTION REQUIREDOSHA recently announced it will extend its temporary enforcement measures to help reduce falls in residential construction until December 15, 2012. The measures include free on-site compliance assistance, penalty reductions, extended abatement dates, measures to ensure consistency, and increased outreach. Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of workplace death in construction.

OSHA has been working closely with the industry to assist employers in complying with the new directive. The agency will continue to work with employers to ensure a clear understanding of, and to facilitate compliance with, the new policy. A variety of educational and training materials are available on the OSHA residential construction and Fall Prevention Campaign web pages. Browse Fall Protection safety signs here.

NIOSH Posts Small Business Safety Resource Guide

NIOSH’s new Small Business Safety and Health Resource Guide is intended to assist time-pressed small business owners as they seek out regulations, training materials, and recommendations. The guide includes sections on:
    DOT & DoD Hazard Signs
  • Guides and Courses
  • Specific Occupations and Hazards
  • Regulations
  • Consultation Services
  • Emergency Preparedness
The guide contains summaries of and links to more than 50 Web sites produced by commercial, academic, and government organizations. Each resource was reviewed for relevance, ease of use, cost, and credibility.