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

March 26, 2015

March Workplace Safety News

Here's a collection of recent workplace safety news and resources from around the web:


Plan to Stand-Down for Fall Safety in May
OSHA fall protection signThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in a combined effort with OSHA, the Center for Construction Research and Training and others, have announced the second-annual construction Fall Safety Stand-Down during the weeks of May 4-15, 2015. This event follows last year's successful Stand-Down and asks employers and workers across the nation to pause their work and dedicate time to activities that promote the prevention of fatalities from falls, which are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Learn more.

OSHA Publishes Proposed Revision to Eye and Face Protection Standards
OSHA published a proposed revision to its Eye and Face Protection Standards that updates PPE requirements in the general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, marine terminals and construction standards. The proposal incorporates the latest American National Standards Institute eye and face protection standard, which was adopted after OSHA issued the final rule on PPE in 2009. The proposal also updates language in the construction eye and face protection standard to make it more consistent with general industry and maritime standards. Review the proposal.

Ladder safety labelUK Ladder Group Shares Astonishing Ladder Pictures
The UK Ladder Association received a record-breaking number of entries in their annual search for un-staged photos of unsafe ladder practices. The winning picture shows two men inside the bucket of an excavator, 20 feet off the ground, with one of them holding a ladder in the bucket so the other could climb to the top of a chimney! See the top three photos.

March 25, 2015

ComplianceSigns.com Receives Excellent Marks From Amazon

The ComplianceSigns.com team has strived to provide the best customer experience since its founding. From the design phase to delivery at your front door, we want all our customers to come away satisfied with our products and service. Based on our 2014 Amazon Customer Experience Data Report, we’re happy to see we are doing just that.

Lori Queckboerner
"Building trust keeps ComplianceSigns.com at the top of the list for return customers," said customer service supervisor Lori Queckboerner. "We try to make each customer feel appreciated and confident in their purchase with us, from placing an order for standard items or working with them on custom signs to fit specific needs."

ComplianceSigns.com began offering select products on Amazon.com in February of last year in an effort to reach new customers who might have never heard of our company. While our product offering paled in comparison to what is on our main website; we dedicated ourselves to offering high quality products with friendly, helpful customer service.

Amazon sets merchant account performance targets for certain categories in an effort to make sure customers’ expectations are met. Some of those targets are:
Ryan Looney
  • Order defect rate: < 1%
  • Pre-fulfillment cancel rate: <2.5%
  • Late Shipment: < 4%
ComplianceSigns.com easily beat those percentages for 2014:
  • Order defect rate: .05%
  • Pre-fulfillment cancel rate: .03%
  • Late Shipment: .02%
"I think our business model and the service we provide is ideal for the Amazon marketplace," said sales and customer service representative Ryan Looney. "The kind of service a customer would get if they order on Amazon or buy from us directly is exactly the same. Either way they are guaranteed the same great customer service experience."

Based in Chadwick, IL, ComplianceSigns.com currently has over 30,000 signs and labels on the Amazon marketplace. To view our full catalog of products, visit our online store.

March 24, 2015

Safety Tip: Electrical Safety Best Practices

Three recent electrocutions in mines prompted the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to issue a “Safety Alert” in early 2015 featuring tips to help prevent electricity-related accidents. Even if you don't work in a mine, these tips can help prevent electrocution:
    Electrical hazard Keep Out
  • Do not perform any electrical work until the circuit is de-energized, locked and tagged out.
  • Be knowledgeable of the hazards of electricity and NEVER touch any ungrounded electrical component until you are sure it is de-energized.
  • Identify all hazards then develop and follow a safe plan to perform the work to ensure the safety of all miners who are involved in the task. Conduct electrical measurements to test for unwanted electrical power, especially in wet or muddy areas.
  • Always handle de-energized cable instead of energized cable, or wear proper electrical gloves when handling energized cables.
  • Conduct complete and thorough examinations on all electrical equipment, including hand-over-hand examinations of de-energized electrical cables.
  • Protect electrical cables from damage by mobile equipment. When cable damage is suspected, immediately notify a qualified electrician.

Electrical Troubleshooting Best Practices:

    Connect ground wire before using
  • Develop, communicate, ensure understanding and execute a plan before performing electrical troubleshooting or electrical work to ensure maximum safety for all workers involved.
  • When troubleshooting can be performed without power, always de-energize the circuit.
  • Never troubleshoot energized high-voltage circuits (over 1,000 volts).

OSHA Issues 13 Significant Fines for $3.7 Million in February '15

OSHA released details on 13 significant fines in February. Proposed fines total $3.7 million, compared to $3.1 million in January. A single case contributed nearly half of the February total. Common citations included machine safety, amputation and chemical hazards.

$1.76 million fine and SVEP after 1,000 injuries in past 36 months
at a Wisconsin furniture manufacturer

Do not operate without guards
In July 2014, a worker lost three fingers while operating a woodworking machine without required safety mechanisms in place. A resulting inspection identified 12 willful, 12 repeat and 14 serious safety violations and placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program for failure to address the hazards.

In a 3.5-year period, more than 1,000 work-related injuries were recorded at the manufacturer. OSHA says the company "intentionally and willfully disregarded OSHA standards and its own corporate safety manuals to encourage workers to increase productivity and meet deadlines. The company apparently blamed the victims for their own injuries, but there is clear evidence that injuries were caused by the unsafe conditions created by the company."

Inspectors say the company did not take the necessary steps to protect its workers from being injured by moving machine parts. It did not prevent machines from unintentionally starting when workers were changing tools, and also failed to provide adequate safety mechanisms to prevent contact with those moving parts. 14 serious violations included failure to train workers on safety procedures and hazards present when servicing machinery, inadequate drenching facilities for workers exposed to corrosive materials, electrical safety violations and lack of readily-accessible emergency stop buttons. See the citations here

March 23, 2015

Steps for Better Safety Professional Communication

This job site is a no-accident zone. 365 days accident free.
On a job site, it’s pretty easy to tell where one craft begins and another ends. Electricians don't run lengths of sewer pipe, and painters don't cut ducts. But what happens when the safety manager for the mechanical contractor notices an electrician isn’t grounding a circuit correctly? Or when the safety approach of one contractor differs from another? 

The safety experts at Safety Management Group in Indianapolis have written an article with seven steps to address this very problem. It can help you share information, address differences and avoid turf wars so everyone on the job stays safe. 

Some key points from the article:

Truck Driver Deaths Prompt New Safety Resources for Drivers & Employers

Seat Belts Required
In conjunction with a new Vital Signs report on trucker safety, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a variety of new website resources intended to help reduce truck driver deaths, including:
  • New Long-Haul Truck Drivers website
  • Employer fact sheet: Preventing Work-related Motor Vehicle Crashes
  • NETS road safety guide for employers available in 21 languages

Fatal Truck Crashes on the Increase

The report shows that after dropping to 35-year lows in 2009, the number of truck drivers or passengers who died in crashes increased between 2009 and 2012. Some 700 truck drivers or passengers died in crashes in 2012, and more than a third of the drivers who died were not wearing a seat belt. 

March 20, 2015

Key Components of a Lockout / Tagout Program

DANGER Do Not Operate tag
If your employees maintain or service machines where the unexpected startup, energization or release of stored energy could cause injury, OSHA's Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) standard probably applies to you. The standard applies to all sources of energy, including, but not limited to: mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical and thermal.

Failure to control hazardous energy accounts for nearly 10 percent of the serious accidents in many industries. Proper lockout/tagout practices and procedures help safeguard workers from the release of hazardous energy. OSHA requires employers to have a lockout/tagout program and to train employees in proper use of lockout/tagout procedures.

OSHA's Lockout/Tagout fact sheet describes practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery and equipment to prevent the release of hazardous energy. Lockout/Tagout is addressed in specific standards for general industry (29 CFR 1910.147), marine terminals, longshoring and the construction industry.


5 Requirements of a LOTO Program:


March 9, 2015

4 Tips to Keep Workers Safe On Remote Job Sites

Digital Safety Scoreboard
Working on remote job sites can be grueling and riddled with budgetary and time constraints. That means project managers must sometimes make adjustments to stay on track for successful completion. Here are some suggestions to avoid compromising workplace safety, whether you're close to the site or not:


Contact OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers on-site consulting services to both small- and medium-sized businesses. Based on its observations, your company will receive candid feedback on ways to improve overall safety and health performance. There is no fee assessment, since the programs are primarily funded by the federal government and all correspondence will be kept confidential.

March 4, 2015

Want Answers About NFPA 704? Common Questions FAQ Now Available

Hazmat > NFPA Diamonds > Sign
It's important to get every component
of your NFPA diamond correct when
creating one from scratch to meet your needs.
Many of the people responsible for posting NFPA hazmat diamonds in the workplace have questions about colors, numbers, abbreviations and more themselves. The diamonds can indeed be confusing, but in an emergency the information these signs provide to first responders could save lives. You don't have to be a safety guru to see the value in that, or in having at least basic knowledge of NFPA 704.

Just last month NFPA, the National Fire Protection Association, made it easier to learn those fundamentals with a new FAQ document. Among the 13 questions answered are:
  • How 704 labels differ from other hazardous material labels
  • When you're required to use the NFPA 704 rating system
  • How the rating is displayed
  • Where to get NFPA 704 related materials and answers to additional questions