A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

October 30, 2013

Listening Sessions Announced for Chemical Safety and Security Executive Order

Danger acid area, NOTICE Label all drums, Warning, Safety First
The U.S. EPA, Department of Homeland Security and OSHA have scheduled public listening sessions beginning next week to receive input on White House Executive Order 13650 - Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security.

In these sessions, the group will share an overview of various sections of the Order and the progress made to date on each. The group hopes to hear from chemical producers, chemical storage companies, agricultural supply companies, State and local regulators, chemical critical infrastructure owners and operators, first responders, labor organizations representing affected workers, environmental and community groups, and consensus standards organizations. Attendees will have an opportunity to provide individual input on the process and the specific areas in the EO.
The first session will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5, in Texas City, Texas. Future dates include:
  • November 15, Washington, DC
  • November 19, Springfield, IL
  • November 25, Webinar
  • December 4, Hamilton, NJ
  • December 11, Orlando, FL
  • December 16, Webinar
  • January 7, 2014, California
  • Week of January 20, 2014, Houston, TX

Learn more and register for listening sessions here.
Browse chemical safety signs and labels at

October 24, 2013

New Hazardous Chemical Resources from OSHA

Danger acid area, Notice label all drums signs
Browse chemical safety signs
Today OSHA launched two new web resources to help companies keep workers safe from potentially dangerous chemicals.

"There is no question that many of OSHA's chemical standards are not adequately protective," said OSHA head Dr. David Michaels. "... simply complying with OSHA's antiquated PELs will not guarantee that workers will be safe," he said. "We know that the most efficient and effective way to protect workers from hazardous chemicals is by eliminating or replacing those chemicals with safer alternatives whenever possible."

To address these problems, OSHA has created two new resource websites:

Transitioning to Safer Chemicals is a toolkit that will help businesses improve worker well-being by eliminating or reducing hazardous chemicals. While many chemicals are suspected of being harmful, OSHA's exposure standards are out-of-date and inadequately protective for the small number of chemicals that are regulated in the workplace. The toolkit includes methods, tools and guidance to eliminate hazardous chemicals or find substitutions.

Permissible Exposure Limits – Annotated Tables presents existing Z-Tables with other selected occupational exposure limits. It includes side-by-side comparisons of OSHA PELs for general industry with California OSH PELs, NIOSH recommended exposure limits, and American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist threshold limit values. The site is a convenient source for up-to-date workplace exposure limits.

October 20, 2013 Customer Reviews - October 2013

Here's what customers are saying about this month:

The fire marshal did an inspection of our warehouse and this is the first time in 30+ years of having a painting company that they asked us to install a sign like this on our building. Your company was the only one I found that had the exact sign we were looking for.WPP - Alexandria, VA. 10/1/2013

Very good product
FH - Whitewater, WI. 10/1/2013

FAST delivery - Appears very durable. I like the protective wrap, to prevent scratching.
Feed Jake - Des Moines, IA. 10/3/2013

October 18, 2013

October Workplace Safety News and Notes

NIOSH Launches Center for Motor Vehicle Safety
Signs: lights on for safety, idle free zone, turn off engine

The Center coordinates a NIOSH initiative to prevent work-related motor vehicle crashes. Researchers are working to better understand crash risk factors by: Surveying long-haul truck drivers, taxi drivers and law enforcement officers; Collaborating with other federal agencies to develop a linked database; and Working with stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to identify best practices. Learn more about the center here or download a fact sheet (pdf).

Workplace Inspections Podcasts from CCOHS
This month's Health and Safety To Go! podcasts discuss effective workplace inspections, and also feature an encore presentation on work-related asthma. The inspection podcast will discuss how regular, thorough, workplace inspections by a trained inspection team can help keep workers healthy and safe. See the complete list of podcast topics here.

Sign: Fall protection requiredASSE Releases Update of Z359 Fall Protection Code
The American Society of Safety Engineers has released the newest version of ANSI/ASSE Z359 Fall Protection Code Version 3.0, helping safety managers create an effective and comprehensive fall protection management system.  Learn more here.

New NIOSH Data and Statistics Gateway
The NIOSH Data and Statistics Gateway is a NIOSH scientific data repository where NIOSH-generated public-use research datasets valuable for the public, industry, and the scientific community are available for download. The Gateway also provides convenient access to surveillance, statistics, and other collections of NIOSH data focused on occupational safety and health. Access it here.

WARNING Combustible Dust AreaNilfisk Offers Online Combustible Dust Resource Center
This vacuum manufacturer has a full resource center with news articles, white papers, videos and webinars to learn about handling combustible dust. The website also provides information on OSHA and NFPA regulations. Visit the site here.

October 17, 2013

Workplace Fatalities Down in 2012 Overall. Transportation Tops Incidents List.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary count of fatal occupational injuries in the U.S. in 2012 is 4,383, down from 4,693 in 2011. The 2012 total is the second-lowest preliminary total since the survey was first conducted in 1992. The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2012 was 3.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, down from a rate of 3.5 per 100,000 in 2011. Overall, fatal occupational injuries are down nearly 25 percent since 2006.

Key preliminary findings of the 2012 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries include:
  • Transportation incidents accounted for 41% of workplace fatalities, making them the #1 cause.
  • Workplace Violence, Contact with Objects, and Falls caused nearly half of all fatalities.
  • Fatal work injuries in the private construction sector increased 5 percent to 775 in 2012 from 738 in 2011.
    • The increase in fatalities in 2012 follows five consecutive years of declining fatal injury counts in the construction sector. Fatal construction injuries are down 37 percent since 2006.

Real Safety Begins With Real Values

Take care of our most valuable asset... YOU! We have worked 365 days accident free
When trying to make a worksite a safer place, many employers take an approach that’s similar to the one used by OSHA: they set strict rules and dole out penalties when those rules are violated. Others view safety as something more than just another set of rules. They recognize the value of maintaining a safe workplace and want to ensure that everyone goes home healthy every night. They know that increased safety usually translates into better morale, less turnover, higher productivity and better profits.

These companies understand the value of creating and maintaining a safety culture that goes beyond regulations and equipment to provide a clear sense that safe practices are an important part of everything the company does. What are the most important factors in developing a positive safety culture? The safety experts at Safety Management Group have written an article that explains. 

Read the article here, then browse safety banners and safety scoreboards at to help build your safety culture with employees.

October 16, 2013

Top OSHA Fines Total $3.8 million in September 2013

September was another big month for OSHA, which issued 14 6-figure citations with a total proposed value of 3.78 million. Common citations included LOTO, fall protection, machine guards and obstructed exit hazards. Here are some details of the cases. Most are still pending final decisions.

$1.3 Million for Willful Violations Causing Worker Death at South Dakota Manufacturer
  • A worker was fatally crushed in a machine after management instructed and authorized workers to bypass the manufacturer's barrier guard in order to adjust the machine to keep it running. OSHA conducted two concurrent safety and health investigations at the company in February 2012, which resulted in 66 violations. Because the willful violations cited caused the worker's death, the case was referred to the U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota for criminal prosecution.
  • The company agreed to: increase the size of its safety and health department; implement a companywide safety and health program; provide incentives for managers and workers to report safety issues and make safety recommendations; and to hire a qualified third-party to review guarding and lockout/tagout for all plant machinery and to audit the abatement of all identified hazards. The company will also report quarterly to OSHA for three years on safety progress and reportable illnesses and injuries, and redesign the safety systems and procedures on the radiator core machine involved in the fatality.
$336,000 and SVEP for Willful, Repeat and Serious Fall Hazards and Safety Violations by Massachusetts Contractor
  • Two repeat and four serious citations issued due to trusses not adequately braced during installation, workers exposed to falls of up to 12 feet, additional fall and struck-by hazards and uninspected and untagged rigging at a worksite in Plymouth.
  • At the Reading site, two willful citations were issued for lack of fall protection exposing workers to falls of 10 to 20 feet while framing exterior walls, making final deck attachments, constructing leading edges and receiving construction building materials.

October 15, 2013

Site Offers Driver Fatigue Resources

truck safety signs: do not tailgate, this vehicle makes wide turns
Many off-the-job factors can contribute to driver fatigue, including physical health, the demands of busy personal lives, time-of-day, scheduling and stress. All these can be addressed through educational opportunities available through the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP). 

The NAFMP is designed to address the issue of driver fatigue with a comprehensive approach that includes:

  • How to develop a corporate culture that facilitates reduced driver fatigue
  • Fatigue management education for a variety of audiences
  • Information on sleep disorders screening and treatment
  • Driver and trip scheduling information
  • Information on fatigue management technologies
  • Guidance on health and wellness, time management, vehicle technologies and scheduling

October 7, 2013

Train Employees How to Respond to Driving Emergencies

Today the first day of Drive Safely Work Week, an annual event designed to remind employees about safe driving practices. It's sponsored by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS). BLR® Safety has prepared a post with driver safety training tips that can ensure your workers are prepared for driving emergencies including failed steering or brakes, skids and blown tires. Here are some highlights:

Blown Tire:
  • Hang on to the steering wheel.
  • Don't brake suddenly. Hard braking can send your car out of control.
  • Ease off the gas. Coast until you have control of the car, then brake gently to stop.
Skids or Hydroplaning:
  • Make no sudden moves. Don't brake hard or jerk the wheel.
  • Ease off the gas. As you slow, you'll feel contact with the road again.
  • Steer gently.
Brakes Fail:
  • Downshift so the engine will slow the car.
  • Keep trying the brakes. If you have ABS, apply steady pressure. If not, pump them.
  • Shift into neutral and apply the emergency brake.
Visit the BLR post for more details on all these and other situations. And always wear your seat belt. You can't control your vehicle if you don't stay behind the wheel in an emergency.

October 1, 2013

OSHA Announces Top 10 Violations of 2013

Fall Protection safety signs
PPE Fall Protection Signs
Once again, Fall Protection tops the list of OSHA's most-cited workplace safety violations. The Top 10 violations were announced today on the Expo floor at the 2013 National Safety Council Congress & Expo.

“We appreciate our colleagues at OSHA sharing their most recent data as we look toward Leading Safety into the Future,” said National Safety Council President and CEO Janet Froetscher. “Today’s presentation reminds us that it’s very important to learn from the past and address these top violations to help make our workplaces safer.”

The preliminary figures for the FY 2013 Top 10 are:

Standard                                                                    Total Violations

1.  1926.501 – Fall Protection                                          8,241
2.  1910.1200 – Hazard Communication                         6,156  
3.  1926.451 – Scaffolding                                               5,423
4.  1910.134 – Respiratory Protection                             3,879
5.  1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods                       3,452
6.  1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks                       3,340
7.  1926.1053 – Ladders                                                  3,311
8.  1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout                                        3,254  
9.  1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements            2,745
10. 1910.212 – Machine Guarding                                   2,701

(Data Source: OIS Standards Cited Report Dated 9/13/13)

New OSHA Safety Certificate Program for Public Workers

OSHA has just launched a new certificate program to train public sector employees to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities among workers in state and local governments. The Public Sector Safety and Health Fundamentals programs are available in construction and general industry, with courses including occupational safety and health standards, safety and health management, accident investigation, fall hazard awareness and recordkeeping.

Participants must complete a minimum of seven courses totaling at least 68 hours to earn a certificate. OSHA has created a new web page dedicated to this certificate program. The page provides course descriptions and prerequisites, program information and instructions on how to apply to the program.

The certificate program is administered by OSHA Training Institute Education Centers, which are non-profit organizations authorized by OSHA to deliver occupational safety and health training.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that state and local government workers suffered 5.7 injuries or illnesses per 100 full-time workers, compared with 3.5 in the private sector, in 2011.