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

July 29, 2016

Concealed Carry in the Workplace: Safety Measures, Laws and Best Practices

no concealed weaons allowed
Today, more than ever, gun safety in the workplace is a topic of discussion. The responsibility of employers to ensure the safety of their employees as well as employing at-work gun policies is something that needs to be addressed and taken very seriously. Here's information for employers regarding employees carrying concealed firearms on the job.


Statistically Speaking


Recent tragedies in the U.S. have made workplace safety and gun safety a central focus. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2006 to 2010, an average of 551 employees were killed as a result of work-related killings. Further, gun violence accounted for 78 percent of homicides at work.

July 27, 2016

NSC: One in Three US Workers Say Employers Prioritize Productivity Over Safety

Safety protects people Quality protects jobsThe National Safety Council has released survey results showing 33% of the 2,000 employees surveyed across the nation believe safety takes a back seat to productivity at their organizations. The percentage was even higher among employees in high-risk industries. Sixty percent of respondents in the construction industry, and 52% of those working in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, felt safety was less of a priority than finishing tasks. Those industries are first and second when it comes to the number of occupational deaths each year. 


The survey is based on the Council's Employer Perception Surveys. Other key survey findings include:
  • 49% of temporary and contract workers, and 41% of employees working in healthcare settings, said they were afraid to report safety issues.

July 22, 2016

What's New at ComplianceSigns.com


You'll find more than 2,600 new signs and labels at ComplianceSigns.com this month, including:
boiler room not an exit
  • Employee Notice - OSHA, ANSI and other styles on topics that include: Biohazard, Customer Policies, Employees Only, Enter/Exit, Open/Closed/Hours, Restricted Areas Visitors and more.
  • Do Not Enter - A variety of sizes for applications including: Alarm Will Sound, Exits, Explosives, Fire Operation, Restricted Access, Closed Areas and more.
  • Custom Street Name Signs - It's easy to make your own MUTCD-compliant, reflective street name signs in varied styles.
 

July 19, 2016

July 2016 Workplace Safety News & Notes

OSHA Civil Penalties Rising August 1

In November 2015, Congress required federal agencies to adjust civil penalties to account for inflation, and OSHA has announced that maximum penalties, which were last adjusted in 1990, will increase by 78%. Serious and other-than-serious violation penalties, now at $7,000, will rise to $12,471. Willful and repeat, now at $70,000, will rise to $124,709. Failure to abate, now at $7,000 per day, will increase to $12,741 per day. Read more


NIOSH Launches New Mobile App for Pocket Guide on Chemical Hazards

NIOSH has created a new mobile application (app) version of its trusted Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards that can be used on any device with a Web browser. The Pocket Guide gives general industrial hygiene information for hundreds of chemicals/classes and helps users recognize and control workplace chemical hazards. It includes 634 chemical entries and appendices; links to IDLH, NIOSH and OSHA Methods, easy searches and more. Read more about it. 

Major OSHA Fines Top $5 Million in June 2016

Federal OSHA released details of 16 significant fines in June, including a near-record $3.42 million assessment against an Ohio auto parts manufacturer. These top fines totaled some $5.7 million. Unguarded machines were a primary cause of violations. Here's a look at the top OSHA fines announced in June, which may still be pending final decisions:

$3.42 million and SVEP for willful machine hazards at an Ohio auto parts manufacturer 

finger-hand hazard
Investigators inspected a Sunfield Inc. plant after two workers suffered severe injuries in separate incidents. The facility has an extensive history of federal safety violations dating back 20 years. OSHA issued citations for 46 egregious willful, two willful, one repeated and eight serious safety violations with penalties totaling $3,426,900 and placed the company in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program for failure to address these safety hazards. Most of the violations involve lack of machine safety procedures which expose workers to amputation, lacerations and other injuries. OSHA said the company's leadership failed in its obligation to properly train workers for the jobs they were hired to do, and created a culture that routinely tolerated willful and serious safety violations.

Prior to recent inspections, the company had an extensive history of OSHA violations. The agency has issued 118 citations for numerous machine hazards similar to those cited and resulted in 90 serious, eight willful and five repeated violations to the company, which has repeatedly assured OSHA that it would address the unsafe conditions. The company also ignored its own corporate safety manuals and its safety manager's warnings that workers lacked the training to protect themselves. The agency also found multiple electrical safety violations including lack of personal protective equipment, workers exposed to live electrical parts, and use of damaged equipment. Read details here.

$285,300 for fire hazards, unguarded machine following an amputation at a Pennsylvania manufacturer 

OSHA initiated an inspection after a worker had a finger amputated by a machine. The inspection was also in response to a separate complaint alleging hazards related to the storage and handling of flammable liquids at the cosmetic manufacturer. Citations issues include: improperly stored, transferred and processed flammable liquids; fall and forklift hazards; failure to properly guard a filling machine, which caused the amputation; failure to provide fire extinguisher and flammable liquid training; and failure to develop and implement a written hazard communication program. More details.

July 18, 2016

You Can Improve Workplace Safety Without Going Broke

Teamwork - the best way to prevent accidents
Safety isn’t always top-of-mind for small business owners, yet they sometimes discover the hard way that it doesn’t take many injuries to put a company in real financial peril. Safety pro Phil LaDuke recently shared an article on entrepreneur.com with seven approaches any business owner can adopt to reduce the risk of worker injuries without breaking the bank. Here's a recap:

1. Hire smarter. Carefully screen candidates to ensure that they have the skills and experience it takes to be successful and work safely.

2. Train your staff. Share techniques that can make tasks safer. Counting on common sense to keep workers safe is a recipe for disaster.

3. Demand safe work practices. Accept the fact that there's always time to do things safely, and don't accept unsafe work. If you choose productivity over safety, then you send the wrong message to workers.

Using Seat Belts is Good for Business. New Website Offers Free Employer Toolkit.

NOTICE Seat belts must be worn in this vehicle at all times
Using a seat belt is the most effective way to prevent injuries or death in a crash, says NIOSH. Not wearing a seat belt has a $4.9 billion direct effect on employer crash costs. This includes crashes off-the-job involving employees and their dependents, in addition to on-the-job crashes

To combat the problem, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) recently launched the 2Seconds2Click™ campaign to help employers save lives by promoting seat belt use on and off the job. The site includes free materials for a 6-week employee engagement campaign designed to educate workers on the importance of wearing a seat belt on every trip.

“2Seconds2Click™ is a low-cost campaign, requiring very little management time, and the benefits from preventing an injury — or worse — are immeasurable,” said Jack

Safety Tip: 5 Extension Cord Rules for a Safer Worksite

Danger Electrical Hazard
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. OH&S magazine recently published an article with best practices for safely using extension cords on job sites. These are simple rules that can make a difference with very little effort and without requiring any special tools. Here's a condensed version of the full article:

1. Use GFCIs.

When used correctly, Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) meet OSHA requirements  by disconnecting the power if there is a problem. Extension cords with build-in GFCIs are the safest way to protect all workers, because users commonly unplug cords and move them to other locations without regard to circuit breakers or GFCI outlets.

2. Don't plug cords together.

Plugging one extension cord into another one violates OSHA standards because it can potentially lead to fire, equipment failure or electrocution. Power cord ratings are determined by length. Plugging two identical cords together cuts their current capacity in half and can result in voltage drop and overheating. If a job requires more than a 100-foot cord, a temporary power distribution box is required.

July 13, 2016

Seven Safety Program Essentials

We have gone 365 days accident free

In any business, modeling your workplace safety efforts after successful safety programs used by top companies will help you meet your safety objectives. The workplace safety experts at Safety Management Group in Indianapolis have identified seven essential elements of the most successful safety programs. This post is a brief outline of the steps. For more details, read the full article here.

1. It takes a program


A comprehensive safety program addresses every aspect of safety and every corner of the workplace. It must be documented in writing to ensure consistency in practice and over time, and it must be implemented.


2. Train, train, and then train

Safety training is not a one-time thing. Best safety practices include delivering task-specific training just before workers perform a task. Ongoing training may include sessions focused on a particular area (or to meet compliance). Annual safety refreshers can reinforce information delivered during orientation.