A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

November 23, 2015

What's New at : Texas Code 30.06 and 30.07 Signs

Texas 30.06 offers a large selection of state-specific signs on a variety of topics. New this month are Texas concealed carry / open carry handgun signs. We've carried this signage for some time, but new requirements take effect in January 2016, and we have the new signs you need to comply with Texas Code 30.06 covering concealed carry of handguns and Texas Code 30.07 related to open carry.

Other state-specific items we carry include signs and labels for:

We also can make custom signs and labels to meet almost any need.

November 18, 2015

November 2015 Workplace Safety News and Notes

FDA Finalizes New Food Safety Rules

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 13 finalized more rules to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The Produce Safety rule establishes for the first time enforceable safety standards for produce farms and holds importers accountable for verifying that imported food meets U.S. safety standards. So far, FDA has finalized five of the seven major rules that implement the core of FSMA. Read more at the FDA.

NIOSH Small Business Resource Guide

Do you own or manage a business? The NIOSH Small Business Resource Guide provides plans, tools, tips, and information from across the web on how to keep your workers safe and well from job-related injury and illness while managing time and cost investments. This guide is intended to help small business owners, employers and managers. Learn more.

OH&S Safety Webinars in December

  • Stay Ahead of GHS, December 2. How to achieve and maintain compliance with chemical labeling, ongoing employee training and SDS management.
  • Electrical Compliance & NFPA 70E Updates, December 3. Will cover the recent updates and changes from NFPA 70E as well as offer some education on what we need to be doing within our facilities to stay compliant from an electrical safety perspective.
  • Fire Retardant Garments: New research uncovers that fabric choice can be the most important factor, December 8. What fabric characteristics are the most important? What tradeoffs are wearers willing to make?
Learn more and register here.

Drivers Still Distracted for Half a Minute After Using Hands-free Devices

New hands-free technologies can mentally distract drivers even if their eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Researchers found potentially unsafe mental distractions can persist for as long as 27 seconds after dialing, changing music or sending a text using voice commands. Performance varied greatly depending on the hands-free system in use. Read more on the report and view data.

OSHA Seeks Public Comment on Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines

First published in 1989, the guidelines are being updated to reflect modern technology and practices. These guidelines are intended to help employers establish health and safety management plans at their workplaces. Key principles include finding and fixing hazards before they cause injury or illness, and making sure that workers have a voice in safety and health. Comments will be accepted until Feb. 15, 2016. Review the draft document.

James Bond: 50 Years of Workplace Hazards

If you're a James Bond fan, you'll enjoy this humorous post on the NIOSH Science Blog that outlines many of the workplace hazards 007 has endured and overcome over the years. For example, Bond employed the effective method of “substitution” in the hierarchy of controls when he convinced his lady friend to replace nerve gas with a harmless substance in "Goldfinger". It's a fun read, and quite timely given the latest Bond film release. Check it out.

November 17, 2015

BLS Releases Injury and Illness Data for 2014

We have worked 365 days safe!
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released data on nearly three million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by the private sector in 2014. That number translates to 3.2 cases for every 100 full-time employees, and is some 54,000 fewer cases than 2013, continuing a downward trend since 2003.

Highlights of the BLS report include:

  • More than half of recorded injuries in 2014 involved days away from work, job transfer, or restriction (DART cases).
  • Just over 95 percent of total reported injuries and illnesses were injuries (2.8 million).
  • Nearly 75 percent of injury cases occurred in service industries.
  • Workplace illnesses accounted for nearly 5 percent of reported cases.
  • Private industry employers reported nearly 54,000 fewer nonfatal injury and illness cases in 2014, compared to a year earlier.

Bucket Truck Safety Tips

Bucket trucks commonly found on many worksites present a unique set of hazards, including risks for falls, tipping over, collisions with objects and contact with electric lines or other dangerous objects. Use these tips to inform workers of potential hazards and to help keep them safe on the job.

Hazards Associated with Bucket Trucks

  • Fall from elevated level
  • Objects falling from lifts
  • Tip-overs
  • Ejections from the bucket/platform
  • Structural failures (collapses)
  • Electric shock (electrocutions)
  • Entanglement hazards
  • Contact with objects
The major causes of fatalities are falls, electrocutions and collapses/tip overs.

Bucket Truck Safety Checklists

November 16, 2015

Contractor Registries Aren’t Safety Programs

Stay alert so you don't get hurt
You can find almost anything related to workplace safety on the Internet, from PPE and site checklists to safety signs, consultants and even registries of contractors prequalified to meet basic safety standards. Just point-and-click to get anything you need, right? Not necessarily.

Prequalifying contractors to verify they meet your safety standards is an important step – but it’s just that: one step, according to the safety experts at Safety Management Group in Indianapolis. In a recent article, they explain that ensuring a safe workplace requires many additional steps and continued on-site monitoring that databases just can't provide.

5 Best Practices to Improve Contractor Safety

Caution Wear hard hat, safety glasses and safety shoes
A recent post on the NIOSH Science Blog outlines results of a new research report on the best practices for managing contractor and supplier safety, noting that "Contractor safety management is extremely relevant in our increasingly global and complex world that involves work in multiple countries, non-routine work and the use of international and temporary workforces." 

The report prepared by The Campbell Institute of the National Safety Council, identifies the three top factors that compromise contractor safety: 
  • Financial pressures and deadlines that can lead to shortcuts and unsafe behavior on the job 
  • Lax training and supervision of subcontract workers, broken information flows and unclear work responsibilities 
  • Insufficient safety standards and enforcement 

November 4, 2015

Maintain & Improve Workplace Driving Safety

How's my driving? Call ____
According to Bureau of Labor statistics, two out every five fatal work injuries in the United States are due to occupational traffic fatalities. Accidents are by far the leading cause of on-the-job fatalities and the BLS expects the 2014 numbers, which will be released in 2016, to be much higher. Not only are traffic accidents dangerous, they are costly to a organization's bottom line, too. Traffic accidents and deaths linked to federal employees have cost the U.S. Government nearly $75 million over a five-year period.

One key factor to consider when working to improve driver safety at your company is whether your staff drives privately owned vehicles (POV) or company vehicles for company business. Check your local laws and your insurance company before you send an employee out in their POV as their can be serious issues if they get into an accident.

Keep Tabs on Driving