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A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ComplianceSigns.com ®

October 24, 2012

Top 10 OSHA Violations of 2012

OSHA this week announced the Top 10 OSHA violations for fiscal year 2012. The announcement was made at the NSC Congress / Expo in Orlando. This list shows the top violations, with links to relevant standards:
  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements, 1910.
  2. Hazard Communication, 1910.1200.
  3. Scaffolding, 1910.28 .
  4. Respiratory Protection, 1910.134.
  5. Ladders, 1910.25 (portable wood); 1910.26 (portable metal)1910.27 (fixed)
  6. Machine Guarding, 1910.12 
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks, 1910.178 
  8. Electrical – Wiring Methods, 1910.305
  9. Lockout/Tagout, 1910.147
  10. Electrical – General Requirements, 1910.303
Browse industrial safety signs and labels at ComplianceSigns.com.

October 22, 2012

Top Workplace Safety News for October

7 Steps of a Thorough Accident Investigation

There's a tremendous difference between investigating a workplace incident and finding someone to blame for it. Unfortunately, it's all too common for companies to confuse the two concepts. When something goes wrong, they work hard to identify who they believe to be at fault, and that's where the investigation stops.

ASE-5510 - Report all unsafe conditions immediatelyA more productive accident investigation approach goes far beyond placing blame. Instead, it focuses on identifying flaws in the process leading up to the incident and the safety procedures that were supposed to prevent it from happening. The ultimate goal is not only to ensure that the accident isn't repeated; it's to use what you learn to head off other types of accidents. Another purpose is to prepare for the possibility of litigation, especially in incidents that result in severe injuries or fatalities.

The safety experts at Safety Management Group have prepared an article that walks you through the seven steps of investigating an accident - and hopefully preventing another like it. Read the article here, or browse safety labels and signs here.

October 21, 2012

Workplace Fire Safety Tips for Employees and Employers

Fires and explosions caused 143 workplace fatalities in 2011, in addition to damage and loss of business equipment and buildings. These are good reasons every business needs a fire prevention plan. Here are some workplace fire safety tips:


Employees:

  • fire safety signMake sure all walk ways and corridors are kept clear to allow easy emergency access.
  • Use and maintain wiring, tools and equipment correctly. Keep everything oil- and dust-free.
  • Uncoil extension cords fully before use and use extension cords only for temporary wiring.
  • Do not use equipment that delivers a mild electrical shock, gives off unusual heat or smells odd.
  • Keep workspaces free of waste paper, scraps, dust and other combustibles.
  • Do not use electrical equipment when flammable gases, vapors, liquids, dust or fibers are present.
  • Ensure trash is emptied frequently enough to prohibit a buildup of combustibles in an area.
  • Make sure you know who to call in an emergency; participate in all drills.
  • Report all fires and emergencies promptly.

Employers:

If you employ 10 or fewer employees, OSHA does not require your fire prevention plan to be in writing, but it does require employees to be protected from fire hazards. A fire prevention plan that follows OSHA regulations must include the following:
  • A list of all major fire hazards, proper handling and storage Chemical safety signsprocedures for hazardous materials, potential ignition sources and their control, and the type of fire protection equipment necessary to control each major hazard [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(1)];
  • Procedures to control accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(2)];
  • Procedures for regular maintenance of safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment to prevent the accidental ignition of combustible materials [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(3)];
  • The name or job title of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition or fires; and [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(4)]
  • The name or job title of employees responsible for the control of fuel source hazards. [29 CFR 1910.39(c)(5)]
  • An employer must inform employees upon initial assignment to a job of the fire hazards to which they are exposed. An employer must also review with each employee those parts of the fire prevention plan necessary for self-protection [29 CFR 1910.39(d)].
Resources:

October 20, 2012

October Workplace Safety News and Notes

NIOSH Offers Free Hearing Loss Webinar. On October 30, at 3:00 EDT, join NIOSH for a free train-the-trainer webinar on preventing work-related hearing loss. CEUs are available. Anyone who works with people exposed to loud noise or music is encouraged to attend, including: nurses, educators, youth leaders, community volunteers, safety managers and small business owners. Learn more and register here.

OSHA is launching an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) pilot program for complaints filed with OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program. The program will be implemented in two OSHA regions (Chicago and San Francisco) and offer two voluntary methods of ADR: early resolution and mediation. When a whistleblower complaint is filed with OSHA in one of the pilot regions, the parties will be notified of their ADR options and may work through an OSHA regional ADR coordinator to use these methods. Read the directive here (pdf).
GHS flame label
OSHA HazCom / GHS webinar now available on demand. This webinar explains changes to the Hazard Communication Standard that aligned it with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). OSHA staff members provide information on topics including changes expected in training, labeling, and safety data sheets and compliance assistance opportunities. The presentation is sponsored by the Society of Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC). Learn more here.   

Watchdog Report: No evidence of excessive regulations. Despite political rhetoric to the contrary, one government watchdog group has found little difference between the current and past administrations in their overall level of regulatory activity. There has been an increase in the number of significant rules, but that has been driven by statutory and judicial deadlines and by regulatory actions left uncompleted by prior administrations. The number of pending regulations leading into this election year is remarkably similar to comparable time periods under past administrations and does not provide any evidence of plans for an avalanche of regulations to come.
Download the report here (pdf).

October 19, 2012

Top Workplace Safety Links in September

These were the most popular articles / links in the September Connection:

What's New at ComplianceSigns.com - October


You'll find more than 820 new signs and labels at ComplianceSigns.com this month, including an entirely new type of product - door hangers.door hanger sign

Our 2-sided door hanger signs are made of durable PVC plastic for lasting service. You'll find messages for maid services, pet notices, do not disturb, business and retail use, sleeping babies, returning servicemen, football fans and much more. See them here.

Payment Policy signs are great for medical offices, retail stores or anywhere you need to identify the types of payments you do and don't accept. Topics include co-payments, checks, credit / debit cards and more. We have engraved acrylic styles with straight or decorative edges in 12 colors, as well as dozens of printed signs and labels. See engraved payment signs here and browse printed payment signs here.
Sports signs
Fitness and Sports signs are the final two groups in our huge new collection of recreation signs. Fitness signs include weight room and gym rules, equipment warnings and more. Our Sports signs collection is designed for sporting facilities including bowling alleys, ball fields, archery ranges, courts, disc golf, billiards and more. See the entire Recreation collection here.

October 16, 2012

NIOSH Offers Free Hearing Loss Webinar

On October 30, at 3:00 EDT, join NIOSH for a free webinar on preventing work-related hearing loss. CEUs are available.

Who Should Participate?

Anyone who works with people exposed to loud noise or music, including: nurses, educators, youth leaders, community volunteers, safety managers and small business owners.

Course Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to:

    Hearing Protection PPE signs
  1. State three occupations and industries where workers lose their hearing more rapidly than others
  2. Describe the relationship between noise exposure, hearing loss and tinnitus
  3. Describe a simple indication that hearing protection should be worn
  4. Demonstrate two methods of hearing protection
  5. State 3 key factors in selecting and using appropriate hearing protection devices (HPD)
  6. Identify 3 barriers and 3 enablers related to use of hearing protection
  7. Identify readily available sources of additional information on prevention of NIHL and free or low-cost, teaching materials for teaching students and others about noise, hearing loss prevention, and use of hearing protection.

This train-the-trainer workshop is designed to increase knowledge about preventing noise-and music- induced prevention of hearing loss. There are no prerequisites for this educational program.

October 15, 2012

Lack of Sleep Impacts Workplace Safety - $31 billion worth!

A new study from Harvard Medical School estimates that insomnia is responsible for 274,000 U.S. workplace accidents and errors each year, adding up to $31 billion in extra costs. The researchers estimated that tired workers are linked to about seven percent of all costly workplace accidents and errors, and 24 percent of the cost of the mishaps overall.
 
Study participants who reported having insomnia said they caused accidents or made errors at work that cost at least $500. Accidents and errors include mishaps such as making a mistake on an assembly line that shuts it down, getting into a car accident while on the job and miscalculations.
 
An early Harvard study found that on average, those who suffered from lack of sleep were no more likely to miss work than good sleepers, but that insomnia caused productivity losses equivalent to 7.8 days of lost work per work year. Researchers valued that decline at $2,280 per worker, or $63 billion per year in the American economy.
 
The latest results come from analysis of 10,000 surveys conducted in  2008 and 2009. The study differs from past studies because it focuses on the causes of workplace accidents, rather than causes of employees staying home from their jobs. While the research isn’t conclusive, and depends upon recollections, it does suggest a connection between lack of sleep and workplace errors and accidents.
 
The study appears in the October issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

October 10, 2012

ComplianceSigns.com Customer Comments - October


Here's what some of our customers are saying about us this month:
Sign is made of very strong aluminum. Has the durability to survive an outdoor environment.
Daniel M., Jacksonville, NC
 
I will buy from this company again!  
David T., Kernersville, NC
 
The quality of the sticker was obvious and I will continue to use Compliance Signs.
David M., ME

October 9, 2012

OSHA Provides Expanded Information on Variance Procedures

OSHA has enhanced its Variances webpage to list both denied and approved requests and provide information on how employers can request a variance from an OSHA workplace standard.

A variance is a regulatory action that permits an employer to deviate from the requirements of an OSHA standard under specified conditions. A variance does not provide an outright exemption from a standard, except in cases involving national defense.

Employers can request a variance for many reasons, including not being able to fully comply on time with a new safety or health standard because of a shortage of personnel, materials or equipment. Employers may prefer to use methods, equipment or facilities that they believe protect workers as well as, or better than, OSHA standards. OSHA may grant a variance if employers prove their proposed methods, conditions, practices, operations or processes provide workplaces that are at least as safe and healthful as workplaces following the OSHA standards from which they are seeking the variance.

Until recently, only approved variance cases were shown on the Variances page. The additional information about denied applications illustrates which requirements businesses have failed to meet when applying for a variance. OSHA's Variances page also provides background on variance rules and instructions on how to apply for a variance. More information about types of variances is available on OSHA's variance fact sheet (pdf).

October 1, 2012

Drive Safely Work Week Starts Today

October 1-5 is national Drive Safely Work Week, sponsored by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS). The campaign promotes safe-driving education and awareness for all employees and their families.

Seat Belt Safety Signs
This year's theme, Back to Basics - Your Keys to Safe Driving, provides information and activities to address some of the most common types of traffic crashes. The campaign also encourages employers to redistribute existing safe-driving policies or use the week as an opportunity to review and update their policies. This year's campaign focuses on the following issues:
  • Buckling up all the time and encouraging others to do the same
  • Recognizing and preventing fatigue-impaired driving
  • Driving distraction-free
  • Safe parking and backing
  • Fine-tuning the fundamentals to avoid some of the most common types of crashes
NETS provides a free comprehensive toolkit for employers to help plan campaign activities.