A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

December 28, 2016

Top Safety Tip of 2016: 5 Extension Cord Rules for a Safer Worksite

Electrical-related injuries are the second-leading cause of death in construction, so electrical safety should be a hot topic for anyone working at construction sites. These simple rules can make a difference with very little effort. 

This tip generated the most views and shares of any tip we shared this year.

Read more here.

December 22, 2016

State & Federal Labor Law Posters Available Soon

Very soon you'll be able to buy labor law posters from the same source you trust for top-quality safety and office signs: Our colorful, easy-to-read labor law posters will display all mandatory federal and state labor / employment notices for private industry or non-government entities.

All our posters have been reviewed by a licensed attorney. We've done the research so you can buy with confidence. We'll send our customers a notice after the holidays when they're available, but you can contact us if you'd like to be notified immediately.

December 21, 2016

December 2016 Workplace Safety News & Notes

Here's a collection of safety news from around the web:

BLS: Fatal Work Injuries Increased Slightly in 2015
A total of 4,836 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. during 2015, a slight increase from the 4,821 reported in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Key findings include:
  • The overall rate of fatal work injury for workers in 2015, at 3.38 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, was lower than the 2014 rate of 3.43.
  • Hispanic or Latino workers incurred 903 fatal injuries in 2015—the most since 937 fatalities in 2007.
  • Workers age 65 years and older incurred 650 fatal injuries, down from 684 in 2014.
  • Roadway incident fatalities were up 9 percent from 2014 totals, accounting for over one-fourth of fatal occupational injuries in 2015.
  • Read more.
DOL Announces Final Rule to Help Diversify Workforce and Apprentice Programs
The Department of Labor has issued a final rule that updates equal opportunity requirements, hoping to broaden career opportunities in apprenticeships for under-represented groups. The rule extends protections against discrimination to include age, disability, genetic information and sexual orientation. It also simplifies the process of ensuring compliance. Read more.

Mobile App Helps Identify Air Quality Issues

December 16, 2016

Top 10 Workplace Safety Articles of 2016

365 days with zero accidents
These 10 articles from 2016 generated the most interest in our Connection newsletter and here on our workplace safety blog this year. We do our best to keep you up-to-date on new rules, tools and tips that can help keep your workplace safe and in compliance. All these items are worth a second look.

The 3 Most Dangerous Jobs in the U.S.

Certain jobs simply have more risk and danger associated with them then others. Here are the three most dangerous jobs in the United States, according to data gathered in 2014 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read more.

5 Top Workplace Tool Safety Tips

Power tools and workshop equipment send nearly 400,000 Americans to the emergency room every year, cause nearly 200 deaths and cost $15.4 billion in medical costs annually. Here are five top workplace tool safety tips recommended by OSHA to help reduce injuries. Read more.

Staying Safe in Extreme Workplaces and Conditions

Many workers perform their daily job activities in dangerous environments and situations, including fire fighting, deep sea fishing and logging. This post discusses some new technologies that can help keep workers safe in extreme conditions. Read more.

December 15, 2016

Major OSHA Fines Total $2.3 Million in November 2016

In November, Federal OSHA investigators released information on 12 enforcement activities with proposed fines of $100,000 or more. These major fines totaled nearly $2.3 million. Fall protection and machine guards were common citations again this month. Here's some details on the top five fines. Many are still pending final decisions.


$526,633 and SVEP following a fatal engulfment at a Nebraska grain bin

Warning suffocation hazard
Working to clear crusted corn from the sides of a grain bin, an employee became engulfed after the wall of corn collapsed and buried him. Rescued by emergency crews, he died of his injuries two days later. OSHA investigators found multiple violations of grain handling standards at Prinz Grain & Feed's facility in West Point. The agency has placed Prinz in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program after finding the company failed to:
  • Issue confined space permits for entry into grain bins and pits
  • Test atmospheric conditions in grain bins and pits before allowing workers to enter
  • Provide training to employees on confined space entry

December 8, 2016

OSHA issues recommended practices to promote workplace safety and health programs in construction

Safety and health programs in construction
OSHA just issued Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction to help industry employers develop proactive programs to keep their workplaces safe. The recommendations may be particularly helpful to small- and medium-sized contractors who lack safety and health specialists on staff.

The recommended practices reflect current conditions in the construction industry, including:
  • New construction techniques, materials, and equipment
  • Greater diversity in the construction workforce
  • An aging workforce
  • Increased temporary and contract employment

"The recommendations outlined in this document will help contractors prevent injuries and illnesses on their construction sites and make their companies more profitable," said OSHA head Dr. David Michaels.

Contractors can create a safety and health program using a number of simple steps that include: 
  • Training workers how to identify and control hazards
  • Inspecting jobsites with workers to identify problems with equipment and materials
  • Developing responses to possible emergency scenarios in advance

December 1, 2016

Winter Weather Brings Mine Safety Hazards - and Inspections

Mine safety signs and labels
The Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued its annual Winter Alert message, reminding mine operators and miners to pay special attention to seasonal changes that may affect both surface and underground work environments. A number of major U.S. mine disasters have occurred during the winter months, according to MSHA's posted data.

Inspection and Information Campaign Underway

The agency has initiated a campaign – which runs through March 2017 – to emphasize increased vigilance and adherence to safety principles during the colder months. 

Federal inspectors issued 130 citations and one safeguard during special impact inspections conducted at 10 coal mines and five metal and nonmetal mines in October 2016.

This year’s campaign theme, “Make Safety A Hole In One,” focuses on the prevention of coal mine explosions, stressing mine examinations, proper ventilation and rock dusting. It also addresses hazards specific to surface facilities and preparation plants.