A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

June 27, 2014

Which States Are Safest To Work In? WorldHub Ranks Them All.

Safety First Carelessness Equals JoblessnessWhether its searching for a new career opportunity or pre-meeting discussion among co-workers, workplace safety is a constantly evolving topic in and out of the workplace.  A recent article published by WalletHub attempts to help paint a better picture of how U.S states compare when it comes to safety in the workplace and other areas.

The article “2014’s Safest States to Live In" ranks each state and the District of Columbia in categories such as financial safety, driving safety, workplace safety, natural disasters and home/community safety. Each category is calculated based on varied data points, which are in turn given a numeral weight. In the workplace safety category, WordHub analyzed statistics such as:

June 19, 2014

Workplace Safety News and Notes - June 2014

Here's a collection of recent safety news and resources, with links to more information:

Emergency Planning and Safety Incentive Webcasts on June 25

OH&S Magazine is hosting two free workplace safety webcasts on June 25. Evacuation and Emergency Planning will focus on OSHA requirements for emergency action plans and fire protection plans. Safety Incentive Programs Done Right! will provide insights needed to design and conduct highly effective safety incentive programs that motivate workers to be proactive and take ownership of all aspects of safety. Get details and register here.

Red Cross Launches Spanish-Language Lifesaving Apps

Six free Spanish-language apps make mobile devices a lifeline for emergency information, including first aid and natural disasters. They give users instant access to expert advice for emergencies. Disaster preparedness apps offer local and real-time information for severe weather or disaster threats and step-by-step instructions on what to

GHS Implementation Advice: Not Much Has Changed

The question of whether to include a label and safety data sheet when shipping chemicals really hasn't changed under the new GHS rules, says the woman who led the revisions. At the American Industrial Hygiene Association's annual conference in early June, health and safety consultant Jennifer Silk said that GHS identification is usually warranted when there is one good study linking a substance to a health risk.

A report on her speech by Bloomburg BNA states that employers should generally use the same threshold for determining whether to mark a hazardous material under the revised hazard communication standard as they would have under the previous rule. Silk advises employers to consider the purpose of the standard - to make sure people have the information they need to protect workers.

June 18, 2014

New NIOSH Publication Can Help Prevent Road Construction Backover Injuries

please avoid blind spots
Vehicle safety signs remind
workers to use caution
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 962 workplace fatalities occurred at road construction sites from 2003-2010. Of those fatalities, 443 were due to workers being struck a vehicle or equipment, and 32 percent were caused by backing vehicles. To help combat the problem, NIOSH has developed a new Workplace Solutions document that addresses the issue in detail and gives recommendations for employers, workers and manufacturers.

Recommended controls for employers include:

  • Develop, implement, and enforce standard operating procedures that address worker safety and minimize work to be performed near vehicles and equipment.
  • Use equipment designed to minimize blind areas and equipment with proximity warning systems.

June 17, 2014

Seven Strategies for Safer Trenching

Danger Do not enter trench until properly shored
ANSI Trench Safety Sign
Why do we continue to see reports of construction workers trapped in trenches? Workers may not know just how heavy dirt and other trenching spoils can be. A cubic yard of soil may weigh more than 2,700 pounds – as much as some cars. Suffocation is as great a hazard as the weight of the material. 

OSHA reports that excavation incidents have a fatality rate that’s 112 percent higher than general construction activities. Even more chilling is the fact that most trenching accidents can be prevented. Following some very basic safety procedures can minimize the possibility of a trench accident or reduce the amount of time and effort needed for a rescue.

June 13, 2014

OSHA Releases Small Business Hazard Training Tool

OSHA signsThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on June 10th the release of a new online, interactive game-based tool developed to help employers and employees identify workplace hazards. Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels discussed at the American Society of Safety Engineers conference in Orlando, Florida on the design and goals of the tool.

“Hazard identification is a critical part of an injury and illness prevention program that will keep workers safe and healthy on the job,” said Michaels. “This new tool not only educates employers about how to take control of their workplaces and protect workers, it also demonstrates that following well-established safety practices is also good for the bottom line.”

June 4, 2014

OSHA Fines Top $3 Million in May 2014

report all injuries to your supervisor
Accident Safety Sign
OSHA issued 16 significant fines in May - twice the number issued in April - with a proposed total of $3.1 million. Common citations included machine guarding, fall protection and more whistleblower violations. Most are still pending final decisions. Here are some details:

$526,000 for whistleblower violations at a Fort Worth-based railway

A Texas-based railway company has been ordered to pay more than $526,000 in back wages and other damages to two workers for terminating employees in 2010 and 2011 for reporting a workplace injury that occurred at a Montana terminal. 

"An employer cannot retaliate against employees who report an injury," said OSHA's regional administrator. "OSHA recognizes that employers can legitimately have, and apply, policies to require prompt injury reporting; however, that is not what happened here." The reporting of an injury, regardless of an employer's policy or deadline, is a protected activity under well-established law. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or to the government. 

June 2, 2014

OSHA Launches Water. Rest. Shade. Campaign to Prevent Heat-related Illness

Water, Rest, Shade and Acclimatization are critical
to prevent heat illness and fatalities
WATER. REST. SHADE. The work can't get done without them.For the fourth consecutive year, OSHA's Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers aims to raise awareness and educate workers and employers about the dangers of working in hot weather. It also provides resources and guidance to address these hazards. Workers at particular risk are those in outdoor industries, such as agriculture, construction, landscaping and transportation. 

"Heat-related illnesses can be fatal, and employers are responsible for keeping workers safe," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "Employers can take a few easy steps to save lives, including scheduling frequent water breaks, providing shade and allowing ample time to rest."