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

November 30, 2012

Static Electricity in the Workplace

Employees with childhood memories of using static electricity to ZAP a brother or sister may not realize that under many common workplace conditions, static electricity poses a significant hazard to people and property. In fact, static electricity hazards are common to a wide variety of industries.

Static electricity causes two main workplace concerns:
  • Ignition of flammable materials or atmospheres, causing fires that endanger employees and property.
  • Harm to sensitive electronic components. Electrostatic discharge costs the electronics industry millions of dollars annually in damaged and degraded parts.


Browse Static Safety Signs
Static buildup results from some form of friction. This can occur from walking across a synthetic floor covering, liquids flowing through pipes or spraying through nozzles, operation of machines with rubberized belts or even by handling plastic pipes and materials. The electricity collected on the surface of the object can eventually discharge a spark with enough strength to damage electronic components - or ignite flammable vapors, gases and dusts in the environment. These static sparks can suddenly jump between two solids, a solid and a liquid or between two liquids, endangering employees and property.

Grounding and bonding are commonly used to prevent static buildup. Grounding connects one or more conductive objects to the ground so any built up electricity is harmlessly discharged. Bonding connects objects with a conductor to equalize electrical buildup and prevent discharge from one object to another.

To ensure a safe and productive workplace, employees must be educated about static hazards, with static hazard safety signs and clearly labeled static-prevention equipment.

Learn more about static electricity safety with these links:
 

November 25, 2012

November Workplace Safety News and Notes

Residential Fall Protection Deadline is December 15
OSHA extended its temporary enforcement measures to help reduce falls in residential construction until December 15 - less than 3 weeks from now. The measures include free on-site compliance assistance, penalty reductions, extended abatement dates, measures to ensure consistency, and increased outreach. A variety of educational and training materials are available on the OSHA Residential Construction and Fall Prevention Campaign web pages.

It's Time For Flu Vaccinations
Flu Symptoms Sign
Influenza activity is increasing in parts of the country across certain key indicators. Further increases are expected in the coming weeks and months. It takes two weeks for immune protection to fully develop after vaccination. The 2012-2013 vaccine protects against two viruses that are different from those in last season's vaccine. Visit the CDC flu page for resources, or visit flu.gov for vaccine information and more. Browse Hand Washing signs here.

"Digital Stories" Facilitate Worker Safety Training
The California Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program has posted a group of award-winning "digital stories" that can be used to kick off educational training sessions and facilitate discussion of work-related fatalities. The stories combine photographs and prevention recommendations from FACE fatality investigation reports with re-creations of the fatal event, personal narration and family photos. Viewers visit incident scenes and see work hazards up close. Each digital story has its own "action page" that provides discussion questions and fact sheets for training and education, a link to the corresponding FACE investigation report, and video download instructions.
Visit the FACE Digital Stories page here.

Nail Gun Safety Guide Now Available in SpanishSpanish Nail Gun Safety Guide
OSHA and NIOSH have developed a Spanish version of their "Nail Gun Safety - A Guide for Construction Contractors" to help Spanish-speaking construction workers prevent work-related nail gun injuries. The guide highlights information on nail gun injuries, describes common injury causes and provides six practical steps contractors can take to prevent these injuries. It includes actual workplace cases along with a short section on other types of nail gun hazards and sources of additional information.
Download the guide here (pdf).

Storm Responder Safety
Storm responders should be extra vigilant for hazards likely to appear during cleanup from major storms like Hurricane Sandy, notably carbon monoxide exposure, improper generator safety and chainsaw / tree removal hazards.
Go to the NIOSH Storms research page to learn more.

November 24, 2012

3 Million Annual Injuries / Illnesses in Private Sector

Browse Machine Safety SignsFor the first time in a decade, the rate of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in private industry was unchanged from previous to current years. Nearly 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2011, resulting in an incidence rate of 3.5 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, according to estimates from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other Key Findings:
  • Rate of injuries and illnesses requiring days off work: 1.17 per 100 full-time workers
  • Median days away from work: 8 (same as 2010)
  • Top 5 occupations for days-off-work cases: laborers; nursing aides, orderlies and attendants; janitors and cleaners; heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers; and police / sheriff officers
  • Top age group for injury and illness: 45-54 (26 percent of total cases in 2011)
  • Top injury: Musculoskeletal disorders accounted for 33 percent (387,820) of all cases in 2011
Read more on the BLS survey here.
Browse Industrial Hazard signs and labels at ComplianceSigns.com.

November 23, 2012

New NIOSH Web Tool Helps Employers Buy Quiet Tools

Ear Protection SignEmployers can most effectively reduce hazardous noise levels at their worksites through their procurement process - by comparing the noise emission levels of differing models of equipment being considered and, whenever possible, purchasing a quieter model. "Buy quiet" provides an easy and effective method for an employer to demonstrate a commitment to the use of the best available technology to reduce the number of workers suffering from, or at risk of, occupational noise-induced hearing loss.

NIOSH recently launched a Buy-Quiet web tool to help construction and manufacturing organizations implement a Buy-Quiet program by making it easier to identify and purchase quieter tools and machinery. The new tool assists in ensuring the best available noise control technologies are considered when purchasing new equipment. It provides a platform for making, documenting and tracking Buy-Quiet purchases, including capturing machine and equipment inventory, setting up policy documentation and promoting your Buy-Quiet program with customers and suppliers.

November 22, 2012

What's New at ComplianceSigns.com - November

You'll find more than 350 new signs and labels at ComplianceSigns.com this month on topics inSmoking Fee Signcluding Electric Shock Hazards, No Smoking, Office directional signs and No Smoking Fees/Fines.          

Our Smoking Fees / Fines signs describe cleaning fees that will be assessed for smoking in a non-smoking room or vehicle. They're available in a variety of styles, and can be easily customized to include any dollar amount. See the new signs here.

We Now Ship Safety Signs World Wide
Global Shipping at ComplianceSigns.comEarlier this month we launched a partnership with GlobalShopex to fulfill orders for international customers, and we have already received orders from Germany and Canada.

"International inquiries at our store have increased, so it made sense to find a convenient way to serve customers outside the U.S.," said company president Paul Sandefer. "People around the world easily find our store. Now it's just as easy for them to purchase from us."

To make a purchase, international customers simply put items into their shopping cart, then select "All Other Countries" in the Shipping Details drop-down menu. They then click the "International Checkout" button to proceed with their purchase.

English-German Safety Sign"The international checkout process is tailored to each individual country, so customers view guaranteed shipping, duties and tax fees in local currency, then pay for their signs with international credit cards, PayPal or bank wire transfers," Sandefer explained. GlobalShopex will process payments and guarantee delivery.

International orders will be sent from the ComplianceSigns lean manufacturing facility in Chadwick, Illinois, to GlobalShopex in Miami, and then forwarded to more than 150 countries around the globe. International customers typically will receive their signs within 10-12 business days after payment is received, although this may vary somewhat for some destinations. Every shipment will be traceable and insured.

November 20, 2012

ComplianceSigns.com Customer Comments - November

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

I have ordered a few times from you the past couple of months. The selection and service is absolutely outstanding. I look forward to using you again in the very near future.
- C., State College, PA
 
Your customer service is doing an excellent job. They're helpful & nice to talk too. We have made a lot of customers happy because of the quickness of turn-around you guys provide.
- Greg M., California

Safety Tip: Fall Protection

Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. Here are some tips from OSHA to help prevent falls:


Fall Protection in General Industry:

  • Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk by use of a railing and toeboard or a floor hole cover.
  • Provide a guardrail and toeboard around every open-sided platform, floor or runway that is 4 feet or higher off the ground or next level.
  • Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as a vat of acid or a conveyor belt), employers must provide guardrails and toeboards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.
  • Other means of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs include safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and handrails.

Fall Protection in Construction:


  • Wear a harness and always stay connected
  • Make sure your harness fits
  • Use guardrails or lifelines
  • Inspect all fall protection equipment before use
  • Guard or cover all holes, openings, and skylights
  • DON'T disconnect from the lifeline
  • DON'T work around unprotected openings or skylights
Resources:

Safe Practices with Pressurized Containers

Tanks for compressed gases are so common that it's very easy to take them for granted and forget that they can be extremely dangerous in several ways. But workers often take pressurized containers for granted, and may handle them roughly or place them in areas and positions that are inherently unsafe. They may also miss signs of danger, such as cracks, broken regulators and valves and other damage to the tanks and any piping associated with them.

 The safety experts at Safety Management Group have prepared an excellent article on safe use and storage of gas cylinders. Read the article here, then browse gas cylinder safety signs here.

November 13, 2012

Childhood Agricultural Injury Survey Now Online

Machine Safety sign
from ComplianceSigns.com
NIOSH has announced the release of data from the NIOSH Childhood Agricultural Injury Survey (CAIS). CAIS is a critical source of national injury data for youths, aged < 20 years, on farms in the United States. The tables present CAIS data for the years 2001, 2004, 2006, and 2009 and Minority Farm Operator Childhood Agricultural Injury Survey (M-CAIS) data for the years 2000, 2003, and 2008. NIOSH plans to add additional years of CAIS and M-CAIS data when they become available.
 

November 7, 2012

ComplianceSigns.com Now Ships Safety Signs Worldwide

English / German Safety Sign
Now businesses around the world can fill their need for workplace safety signs, office signs and safety labels at ComplianceSigns.com. Last week we launched a partnership with GlobalShopex to fulfill orders for international customers, and we have already received orders from Germany and Canada.

"International inquiries at our store have increased, so it made sense to find a convenient way to serve customers outside the U.S.," said company president Paul Sandefer. "We sell our safety signs exclusively on the Internet, and people around the world easily find our store. Now it's just as easy for them to purchase from us."

"Our new international checkout process is tailored to each individual country, so customers view guaranteed shipping, duties and tax fees in local currency, then pay for their signs with international credit cards, PayPal or bank wire transfers," Sandefer explained. GlobalShopex will process payments and guarantee delivery.

Last year, ComplianceSigns.com began selling dozens of standard safety signs printed in English and a variety of languages:

English / French Safety Sign
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Tagalog
  • Vietnamese
Translation services are available for most signs, in these and other languages.

International orders will be sent from the ComplianceSigns lean manufacturing facility in Chadwick, Illinois, to GlobalShopex in Miami, Florida, and then forwarded to more than 150 countries around the globe. International customers typically will receive their signs within 10 business days, although this may vary somewhat for some destinations. Every shipment is traceable and insured.

November 1, 2012

New CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard Helps Employers Improve Worksite Health

Medical Safety signs at ComplianceSigns.com
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a new tool to assist employers in identifying gaps in their health promotion programs, and to help them prioritize high-impact strategies for health promotion at their worksites. The new tool is called the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard (HSC).

The tool contains 100 questions that assess how health promotion strategies are implemented at a worksite. These strategies include health promoting counseling services, environmental supports, policies, health plan benefits, and other worksite programs shown to be effective in preventing heart disease, stroke, and related health conditions.

Chronic diseases cause lost productivity and unsustainable health care costs. The CDC reports that productivity losses related to personal and family health problems cost U.S. employers $1,685 per employee per year, or $225.8 billion annually. While employers have a responsibility to provide a safe and hazard-free workplace, they also have opportunities to promote individual health and foster a healthy work environment. CDC encourages employers to provide their employees with preventive services, training and tools, and an environment to support healthy behaviors.

The CDC Health ScoreCard will help employers establish benchmarks and track improvements (evaluation) over time. State health departments may assist employers and business coalitions in using the tool and help find ways to establish healthier workplaces. State health departments also can use the tool for monitoring worksite practices, establishing best practice benchmarks, and to track improvements in worksite health promotion programs over time to more effectively direct resources to support employers.