byline

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

August 22, 2017

Learn How to Protect Your Business from Disaster

Emergency Response Plan
How quickly a business can get return to operation after a tornado, fire, flood or civil emergency often depends on emergency planning done well beforehand. Natural disasters can - and do - occur at any time, but up to 40 percent of businesses affected by a disaster never re-open. Your organization is more likely to survive if it plans carefully, puts emergency procedures in place and practices for all kinds of emergencies. These are the messages being shared during the 2017 National Preparedness Month in September.

Disasters Don't Plan Ahead. You Can.


National Preparedness Month is designed to raise awareness and encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, workplace, organizations, businesses and places of worship. The month is sponsored by the Ready Campaign, a joint effort of FEMA and the Ad Council. Ready, and its Spanish-language version Listo, ask individuals and businesses to take four key actions:

  1. Stay informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses
  2. Make an emergency plan
  3. Build an emergency supply kit
  4. Get involved in your community by taking action to prepare for emergencies

August 21, 2017

NIOSH Launches Mobile Lifting Calculator App

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a new, free mobile application (app) that can help workers stay safe when manually lifting objects as part of their job. The app, NLE Calc, is based on the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation (RNLE), an internationally recognized standard for safe lifting.

The new app can assist workers in manufacturing, healthcare, retail and other industries where lifting is part of the job. NLE Calc determines a score based on the data you enter about your lifting task and provides recommendations to help you optimize the task, or perform it differently, in order to prevent injury.

Features of the new app:
  • Calculates the composite lifting index (CLI) for multiple lifting tasks
  • Uses equations approved by NIOSH ergonomists
  • Promotes better musculoskeletal health and prevention benefits
  • Raises workers’ awareness about their job tasks
  • Helps workers make informed decisions about the potential hazards to their musculoskeletal health
  • Serves as job design guidelines for manual lifting tasks
  • Can be used as a research tool to collect manual lifting data

August 15, 2017

5 Online Resources That Create a Safer Work Environment

Not that long ago, if company owners or foremen wanted to get information about workplace safety, they had to either purchase and peruse through heavy books filled with rules and regulations or schedule an appointment with a safety inspector. Now, thanks to the internet, construction site managers and others who are concerned about this important issue can access pertinent information from their desktop, smartphone or laptop.

Of course, the ComplianceSigns CONNECTION workplace safety blog is a good source for information that can make your workplace a little safer - and your job a little easier. We compile, curate and share information from a wide range of sources to save you the time of visiting dozens of sites. Here are four additional online resources that anyone who is interested in workplace safety may want to bookmark:

August 14, 2017

Study Shows Workplace Deaths Rising Among Older Workers

This department has worked __ days without a lost time accident
A study conducted by the Associated Press shows older people are dying on the job at a higher rate than workers overall, even as the overall rate of workplace fatalities decreases. In 2015, about 35 percent of fatal workplace accidents involved a worker age 55 or older.

This is not exactly a new trend. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported fatal work injury rates for workers 55 years and older were higher than the overall U.S. rate in 2010, and the rate for workers 65 years of age and older was more than three times the rate for all workers. Between 2006 and 2015 the rate of fatal accidents among older workers was 50 to 65 percent higher than for all workers.

The percentage of older employees in the workplace has increased some 37 percent in recent years, and experts on aging caution against stereotyping older workers, because people of all ages have a wide range of physical and mental abilities. There are steps employers can take to help improve safety for older workers, but recent research also shows younger workers benefit from increased safety efforts, as well. So perhaps the best approach is an increased focus on occupational safety for all workers, which can include prominent machine safety signs and other safety reminders.


August 3, 2017

National Safety Council: 97 Percent of Workers Report Fatigue Factors

Stay Alert Safety Banner
According to a new National Safety Council survey-based report, 43 percent of Americans say they do not get enough sleep and are at risk of fatigue that can reduce their ability to think clearly, make informed decisions and be productive on the job and at home.

Fatigue in the Workplace: Causes & Consequences of Employee Fatigue shows that 97 percent of Americans say they have at least one of the leading nine risk factors for fatigue, which include working at night or in the early morning, working long shifts without regular breaks, working more than 50 hours each week and enduring long commutes. More than three of four Americans say they feel tired at work, 53 percent feel less productive and 44 percent have trouble focusing. Fatigued employees are more likely to make critical safety errors that could lead to injury.

July 31, 2017

New OSHA Guide Helps Small Businesses with Silica Rule for General Industry and Maritime

Small Entity Compliance Guide
OSHA has released a Small Entity Compliance Guide for General Industry and Maritime to help small business employers comply with the agency's Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica. Employees exposed to respirable crystalline silica are at increased risk of developing serious adverse health effects including silicosis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease.

The guide describes the steps that employers are required to take to protect employees in general industry and maritime from the hazards associated with silica exposure. Employer requirements include:

  • Assessing worker exposures
  • Using engineering and work practice controls to keep exposures below a specified safety threshold
  • Offering medical exams to certain highly exposed workers

July 26, 2017

2,000 New Signs and Labels at ComplianceSigns.com : Roll Labels and More

Hazmat, GHS and hard hat stickers on rolls
Last month we added some 2,000 new signs and labels to our online store, including:

These signs are proudly made in the USA and available in 6 sizes and 4 materials: aluminum, plastic, vinyl label or magnetic backing. All are backed by our Compliance Guarantee and Lowest Price Promise. See our most recent sign additions here.

July 25, 2017

New OSHA Fact Sheet on Confined Spaces in Residential Construction

permit required confined space do not enter
OSHA recently released a new fact sheet to help builders and remodelers understand provisions of the OSHA standard for Confined Spaces in Construction (29 CFR 1926 Subpart AA) regarding spaces such as attics, basements and crawl spaces.

The standard applies to any space that meets the following three criteria:
  1. Is large enough for a worker to enter
  2. Has limited or restricted means of entry or exit
  3. Is not designed for continuous occupancy
A confined space that contains certain hazardous conditions may be considered a permit-required confined space under the standard.

According to the fact sheet, the vast majority of the standard’s requirements only apply to permit-required confined spaces. Attics, basements, and crawl spaces in a residential home will not typically trigger these requirements.

July 19, 2017

OSHA Electronic Injury Reporting Set to Go Live August 1

We have worked 365 days without a lost time accident
Federal OSHA says it will launch its long-delayed electronic Injury Tracking Application (ITA) on August 1. The web-based reporting form will allow employers to electronically submit required injury and illness data from their completed 2016 OSHA Form 300A. We'll see what happens.

Last month, OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking to extend the deadline for submitting 2016 Form 300A to Dec. 1, 2017, to allow affected entities sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the electronic reporting system, and to provide the new administration an opportunity to review the new electronic reporting requirements prior to their implementation.

The data submission process will involve four steps:
  1. Creating an establishment
  2. Adding 300A summary data
  3. Submitting data to OSHA
  4. Reviewing the confirmation email.

Lockout / Tagout Inspections - What You Need To Know

Lockout power before removing guards
If your operation has lockout / tagout (LOTO) procedures in place, or if any LOTO is ever used, OSHA requires inspections of your procedure at least once every 12 months. But the OSHA compliance directive for control of hazardous energy is a whopping 136 pages of OSHA-speak.

Fortunately, the safety training pros at weeklysafety have penned an article that explains what kinds of inspections are necessary and outlines best practices for LOTO inspections. Here are some key points form the article.
  • LOTO inspection is are intended to ensure that the LOTO procedures in place are adequate. If they are not, corrections must be made.
  • The inspector cannot be the same person using the LOTO procedure during the inspection, so there must be at least two competent, authorized persons present during any LOTO inspection - one inspector and one worker following the LOTO procedure.
DANGER do not open
LOTO inspections should determine if:
  • Steps of the current LOTO procedure are being followed
  • Employees involved know their responsibilities as they pertain to the procedure
  • Current procedure is adequate to provide necessary protection, or what changes are needed if the procedure is not adequate
Don't limit LOTO training to specific machine operators or maintenance workers. All employees must know what LOTO means and what they should do if they encounter LOTO devices or signs while on the job.

Resources:

July 18, 2017

Four Essential Tips For Staying Safe While Working Outdoors

Workplace safety is a critical issue for every industry. However, for those who work in non-traditional settings such as in the woods or outside in the varying weather conditions, workplace safety takes on a new, even more important meaning.

If you work in environmentalism, forestry, parks and recreation, or the like, read on for expert tips to ensure that you stay safe and healthy on the job.

Stay Hydrated

July 11, 2017

OSHA Changes Construction Crane Enforcement Policy

Safety First Hard hat required while crane in operation
OSHA has announced a new enforcement policy that excludes monorail hoists from the requirements of Subpart CC – Cranes and Derricks in Construction. Employers will now meet the requirement if they are in compliance with OSHA's rules for overhead hoists and general training standards. General industry requirements for monorail hoists remain intact.

The agency says the policy change was made in response to comments from stakeholders and in recognition that a monorail hoist – which is attached to a fixed monorail mounted on equipment such as trucks, trailers, or scaffolding systems – is significantly different from other cranes and derricks in construction. OSHA intends to consider rulemaking options to address this issue. A June 30 memorandum announced a temporary enforcement policy pending the resolution of that rulemaking process.

July 6, 2017

OSHA Proposes Update to New Beryllium Rule

On June 23, OSHA announced a new proposed rule on beryllium exposure that would modify the agency’s January 2017 final rule for the construction and shipyard sectors. Further, OSHA said it will not enforce the Jan. 9, 2017, construction and shipyard standards without further notice while determining whether to amend the Jan. 9 rule.

In a news release, OSHA said the new proposal would maintain the requirements for exposure limits (permissible exposure limit of 0.2 µg/m3 and short-term exposure limit of 2.0 µg/m3), but revises the application of provisions such as housekeeping and personal protective equipment. OSHA said it "has evidence that exposure in these industries is limited to a few operations and has information suggesting that requiring the ancillary provisions broadly may not improve worker protection and be redundant with overlapping protections in other standards."

June 30, 2017

In Canada, WHMIS Compliance Initiative Starts in July

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) recently shared an update on WHMIS 2015. Canada has aligned its Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), resulting in new standardized classification criteria; label requirements; and safety data sheet (SDS) requirements.

The Canadian federal government updated WHMIS rules in 2015. WHMIS 2015 includes new definitions, new harmonized criteria for hazard classification, and new rules for supplier labels and safety data sheets (SDSs). Suppliers and employers importing hazardous products for use at their workplace and/or selling (including distributing) hazardous products are required to keep “specific purchasing and/or sales information” for six years after the end of the year to which they relate. Those who manufacture and sell hazardous products must keep “specific sales information”.

To increase WHMIS 2015 awareness, Health Canada is planning a WHMIS 2015 compliance and enforcement initiative for the 2017-2018 fiscal year (April - March). 

June 26, 2017

4 Key Equipment Upgrades to Make Construction Sites Safer

Construction Area
Construction sites can be exciting, fast-paced places to work, but without the proper equipment, these sites can also be dangerous. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, just over 4,800 workers were killed on the job in 2015, averaging out to about 13 deaths a day.

Fortunately, construction site owners can help prevent workplace injuries and deaths by making sure their equipment is as safe as possible. With this in mind, the following equipment upgrades can help make the job site safer for everyone who works there:


Heavy Equipment


Forklift Daily Inspection
As LovetoKnow.com notes, job site supervisors should check heavy construction equipment on a daily basis to make sure it's in good working order. If equipment isn't operating properly, it should be taken out of service until repaired or replaced. Backover accidents are not uncommon on noisy construction sites, so heavy equipment owners should consider upgrading to a loud reverse alarm system, ensuring workers and visitors are alerted when a backhoe, bulldozer or other equipment is moving backward.


Company Vehicles


June 21, 2017

ASSE Releases OSHA Reform Blueprint

work safely your family depends on you
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has created an “OSHA Reform Blueprint” that details priorities and vision for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in these times of political change. The eight-page proposal calls for reforms to emphasize risk management, focus on productive policies and fill legislative and regulatory gaps that limit OSHA’s ability to better protect workers.

"The current regulatory approach toward safety and health in the workplace needs improvement. ASSE has developed a blueprint of data-driven and experienced-tested recommendations, vetted by safety professionals across many industries and occupational perspectives," the blueprint reads.

"To begin we recommend a much-needed shift in approach from solely managing compliance to also reducing risk, bringing American OSH practices in line with global trends. We then

June 9, 2017

What to Include in Your Annual Safety Inspection Checklist

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) increased its maximum fines for employer safety violations last year for the first time in 25 years. The cap for serious, other-than-serious, and posting requirement as well as "failure-to-abate" violations rose from $7,000 to $12,471 per violation. The cap for willful or repeated violations rose from $70,000 per violation to $124,709 per violation. A fine like this or an injury lawsuit is the last thing your small business needs, making it vital to keep your workplace safety standards maintained. Here’s a review of some key areas you should be sure to include in your annual safety inspection checklist.

Health Emergency Preparation


Make sure your staff and facilities are prepared for health emergencies:
  • Employees have instructions for responding to health emergencies
  • Instructions and emergency contact numbers are clearly posted
  • Eye washes and emergency showers are inspected regularly
  • First aid supplies are up-to-date and clearly identified with first aid signs or labels
  • Employees have received “right to know” training on hazardous materials and how to find and use Material Safety Data Sheets

June 1, 2017

NIOSH: Office Workers Most Likely to Rate Health as Poor

Are office workers less healthy than production workers? Results of a new NIOSH study may surprise you.

Occupation, lack of paid sick leave, and multiple psycho-social factors are related to workers’ own perceived low health status, according to a study by researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The study, published this month online ahead of print in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that workers employed in business operations jobs, such as marketing or human resource professionals, were more likely to rate their health as fair or poor. The study also found workers

May 23, 2017

New Study Gives Data, Recommendations for Preventing Construction Fatalities

Ironworker access only
The Associated General Contractors of America just released a new safety study with recommendations designed to help firms further improve the safety and health of their workforce. AGC of America partnered with the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech to undertake a comprehensive study of every construction fatality that took place over the three-year period from 2010-2012.

A total of 2,338 workers died from construction-related injuries between 2010 and 2012, out of an overall 14,011 fatalities across all industries. Although no significant trend was observed across the three years, the difference among census regions was significant. Southern states accounted for 1,081 (46%) of those fatalities, more than twice that of any other region. When employment was factored in, the South still led the regions with 17 fatalities per 100,000 employees per year. It was followed closely by the Midwest with 16 fatalities per 100,000 employees.

May 22, 2017

Cloudy Future for Electronic Submission of OSHA Recordkeeping Data

... but not electronically, yet.
In May, 2016, OSHA issued a new rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses, which included provisions for employers to submit recordkeeping data electronically. In addition to requiring the electronic submission of recordkeeping data, the final rule also includes provisions that prohibit employers from retaliating against workers for reporting a fatality, injury, or illness.

Although electronic submissions were scheduled to start July 1, 2017, for employers in certain industries with more than 250 employees, there is no active tool to submit injury data to OSHA. OSHA's recordkeeping page has this statement:

"OSHA is not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs at this time, and intends to propose extending the July 1, 2017 date by which certain employers are required to submit the information from their completed 2016 Form 300A electronically. Updates will be posted to this webpage when they are available."

So what's the holdup?


May 16, 2017

New Crane and Construction Laws for NYC

overhead and gantry crane hand signals
New York City has six new laws related to construction safety and construction cranes. The new laws were signed last week, along with eight additional bills. Here's some info on the new construction-related laws:

Intro. 81-A requires the Department of Buildings (DOB) to notify OSHA about Construction Code violations that may endanger workers.

"If New York City is going to prevent another 33 construction worker fatalities over the next two years, we need to make sure that the Buildings Department is communicating with OSHA about violations that could jeopardize worker safety. We cannot solve the problem if the left hand is not working together with the right hand." said Council Member Rory I. Lancman.

Intro. 1433-A requires DOB to list online incidents that have occurred on a construction site.

May 11, 2017

Railroad Safety Training Deadlines Extended One Year

Railroad Crossing
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has granted an extra year for U.S. railroads to comply with training requirements in the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which established minimum training standards for all safety-related railroad employees.

The FRA says model training program developers alerted the agency that "they will not be able to timely produce model programs that an estimated 1,459 railroads and contractors are expected to use to comply with the rule's program submission requirements."

Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 243, Training, Qualifications, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees, requires each railroad or contractor that employs one or more safety-related railroad employees to develop and submit a training program to FRA for approval and to designate

May 5, 2017

National Safety Stand-Down: Free Webinar and Live Facebook Chat on Roofing and Construction Safety

A worker in your crew just fell from a height and is suspended from a fall-arrest system! What do you do now?

As part of the National Safety Stand-Down, the National Roofing Contractors Association will host a free webinar on May 8 to discuss hazards present after a worker has fallen from a roof and his or her personal fall-arrest system has deployed or activated. The webinar will include information regarding risks to a worker who is suspended from a body harness and the steps the worker may be able to take to reduce or eliminate those risks. It also will show examples of equipment available for use in assisted-rescue and self-rescue situations, along with techniques a worker may use - whether

May 2, 2017

New Resources for Employee Safe Driving Campaign with Focus on Speed

Speeding has been a factor in nearly 1/3rd of U.S. crash deaths every year since 2005. Research shows that a 5% cut in average speed can result in a 30% reduction in the number of fatal road traffic crashes, so small changes can create big results!

That's why the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) now offers its Drive Safely Work Week™ (DSWW) road safety awareness campaign more frequently, beginning with a new campaign focused on speed. The emphasis is on short, direct, actionable messages highlighting specific behaviors employees can change that will reduce their risk of a vehicle crash.

Speed campaign free employer materials include:

  • Launch Letter
  • Fact Sheet
  • Safety Presentation
  • Pledge Cards
  • A Variety of Posters
  • Social Media & Email Graphics
Materials are not dated, so employers can schedule a DSWW campaign whenever it works best for them. Here's an example of the information your employees could find helpful:

May 1, 2017

2017 ComplianceSigns.com Customer Survey Has Launched

We've just launched our 2017 Customer Survey. Help us help you - and you could help yourself to a $50 gift card.


Everyone at ComplianceSigns, Inc. - from the website team to the shipping department - strives to make shopping with us a great experience. And we can do that best with input from our loyal customers. We’re excited about this opportunity to learn how we can enhance our products and site to best serve your needs.

If you receive our Connection workplace safety newsletter, you've already received a survey invitation via email. We hope you'll use it to tell us about new products you want or need, which website capabilities are most important to you, and about your biggest challenges involving safety signs and labels.

Please take our 10-question Customer Survey before May 31. You could win one of five $50 gift cards in a random drawing.

Thank you,
The entire ComplianceSigns team


 

April 27, 2017

NSC: Construction Workers Say Productivity Trumps Safety on Worksites

Employee perceptions of workplace safety April 2017
A National Safety Council survey found 58% of US construction workers feel that safety takes a back seat to productivity and completing job tasks. What's more, 51% say management does only the minimum required by law to keep employees safe, and 47% say employees are afraid to report safety issues. By comparison, 36% of employees in 144 other industries surveyed feel their employers prioritize productivity over safety.

The Employee Perceptions of Workplace Safety findings were released just ahead of Workers' Memorial Day on April 28 and the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, May 8-12.

A total of 4,836 people died in workplace incidents in 2015, and 937 of those killed were construction workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Falls are the second leading cause of death in the workplace, and more than half of fall-related deaths each year occur in the construction industry, according to Injury Facts 2017.

"Sadly the results of our survey indicate that many workers still worry about whether they will make it home safely tonight, said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. "We call on all employers to renew their commitment to keep everyone safe, on every job, each and every day."  

Gauging perceptions toward safety at work may help provide further insight into workplace deaths. Other key findings from workers across all industries include:

  • 32% feel management ignores worker safety performance when determining promotions
  • 62% say everyone is involved in solving job safety issues
  • 63% of employees feel they work in areas or at stations that are set up ergonomically correct
  • 48% of employees believe safety meetings are held less often than they should be
  • 47% believe performance standards are higher for job tasks than for safety; this percentage is higher among construction industry workers, where 67% feel this way
  • 33% of employees working in transportation and warehousing do not agree that management has a written policy that expresses their attitude about employee safety
The survey is based on the Council's Employee Perception Surveys.

Resources:



April 18, 2017

April Workplace Safety News & Notes

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

Keep out from under crane loadsRevised Design Standard for Below-the-hook Lifting Devices

The ASME BTH-1 standard for the design of below-the-hook lifting devices has been revised. The new edition, released as ASME BTH-1-2017 - Design of Below-the-Hook Lifting Devices, updates and supersedes the 2014 version of the standard, continuing to serve as a guide for designers, manufacturers, purchasers, and users of below-the-hook lifting devices. Read more here.


OSHA Delays Enforcement of Construction Silica Standard

OSHA has announced a delay in enforcement of the crystalline silica standard that applies to the construction industry. The agency has determined that additional guidance for employers is necessary due to the unique nature of the requirements in the construction standard. Originally scheduled to begin June 23, 2017, enforcement will now begin Sept. 23, 2017. OSHA expects employers in the construction industry to continue to take steps either to come into compliance with the new permissible exposure limit, or to implement specific dust controls for certain operations as provided in Table 1 of the standard. Construction employers should also continue to prepare to implement the standard's other requirements, including exposure assessment, medical surveillance and employee training. Read the OSHA news release.


New OHSN Modules Track Sharps Injuries and Blood and Body Fluid Exposures

Sharps Disposal Only
NIOSH has announced the release of two new modules that track sharps incidents and blood and body fluid exposures for healthcare workers using the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN). This network collects existing injury data to help identify jobs that are at the highest risk for injury within their facility. The new modules help employers and employees track and analyze most of the common, high risk, preventable injury and exposure events among healthcare workers. Learn more.


Employer Resources for Distracted Driving Awareness Month

No dialling talking texting while driving
Every April the National Safety Council promotes Distracted Driving Awareness Month to raise awareness of the many dangers of distracted driving. The NSC offers a variety of materials to support distracted driving education, including these resources for employers: A company cell phone policy kit, a case study of a major US company that banned cell phone use, and a new distracted driving online course. Learn more here.


Upcoming Free Safety Webinars Presented by OH&S

April 27 - Eye Injury Prevention: Let's Take a Closer Look
May 10 - FR PPE Standards - Compliance vs Certification
May 11 - Safety Initiatives in the Upstream Oil & Gas Industry
May 24 - Beat the Heat: An Intro to Heat Stress
Learn more or sign up here.

April 13, 2017

2017 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls May 8-12

Fall protection required
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 350 of the 937 construction fatalities recorded in 2015 (BLS data). To help reduce construction falls, employers and workers are invited to participate in the fourth annual National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction, to be held May 8-12. The week-long outreach event encourages employers and workers to pause during the work day to talk about fall hazards and prevention.

What is a Safety Stand-Down?


A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on fall hazards and reinforcing the importance of fall prevention. It's an opportunity for employers to have a conversation with employees about hazards, protective methods, and

April 11, 2017

ABC Report: Safety Best Practices Can Reduce Construction Incidents Up to 87 Percent

Entering construction zone
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has released its 2017 Safety Performance Report, which shows that implementing the ABC's Safety Training Evaluation Process can reduce recordable incidents by up to 87 percent, making the best-performing companies 770 percent safer than the industry average.

“ABC’s third annual report on the use of leading indicators, such as substance abuse programs and new hire safety orientations, confirms that high-performing ABC members have safer construction jobsites,” said ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman. “This is one of the few studies of commercial and industrial construction firms doing real work on real projects, and it shows that implementing best practices can produce world-class construction safety programs.”

5 Steps to Implementing a Workplace AED Program

First Aid Kit AED Inside
More than 400 workplace fatalities each year are caused by cardiac arrest. Immediate CPR and use of an AED can double or triple survival rates. It's not difficult to implement an AED program, and the American Heart Association can help. The Association has developed a variety of materials to guide employers through the steps to a successful and efficient AED program. Resources include: Implementation Guide, State Law Resources, a Q&A and a list of FDA-approved AED manufacturers.

What to know about AEDs

The automated external defibrillator (AED) is a computerized medical device. An AED can check a person’s heart rhythm, recognize a rhythm that requires a shock and advise the

April 5, 2017

Tips to Reduce Workplace Noise Exposure

Hearing protection required
Exposure to noise at work can harm workers’ health. The most well-known effect of noise at work is loss of hearing, a problem documented since the 1700s. Other effects of workplace noise include increased risk of accidents, impaired communication, reduced productivity and a variety of health problems - including suspected effects on unborn children. But some workplaces are inherently noisy. Fortunately, a variety of measures can be taken to reduce or control occupational noise levels.

Although hearing PPE may be the first control people think of, PPE is considered the least effective option for noise hazard control. The hierarchy of controls, from most to least effective, is:

  • Eliminating the hazard source
  • Substitute with less-noisy equipment
  • Engineering controls that isolate people from the hazard
  • Administrative controls that change the way people work
  • PPE that addresses the worker, not the source of the noise

A recent article by OH&S discusses aspects of noise reduction and ways to make your

March 28, 2017

March 2017 Workplace Safety News & Notes

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

Keep OSHA 300A Injury and Illness Summaries Posted Through April
OSHA reminds employers to post a copy of Form 300A, which summarizes job-related injuries and illnesses logged during 2016. The summary must be displayed from February through April in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees and those in certain low-hazard industries are exempt from OSHA recordkeeping and posting requirements. 

April 3-7 is National Work Zone Awareness Week
Highway construction season is just around the corner. So is National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 3-7. The annual event brings national attention to motorist and

March 20, 2017

Job Safety Analysis is First Step to Worksite Safety - and More

Entering construction zone
Employees on a construction site don't work in a vacuum. Even when they perform duties in separate areas, their tasks and timelines may cross over one another. Keeping everyone safe - and the job progressing - requires cooperation and careful planning.

A critical first step in planning is the job safety analysis, which is a formal effort to identify and document hazards associated with specific tasks, so workers can take the proper actions to protect themselves.

The safety experts at Safety Management Group in Indianapolis have penned an interesting article that defines when, where and

OSHA's 'Safe and Sound' Campaign Helps Employers Keep Workplaces Safe and Healthy

America works safely 365 days with no accidents
In response to recent workplace fatalities, OSHA has launched the Safe and Sound Campaign calling on employers to review their safety and health programs to protect workers and reduce workplace injuries and deaths. By identifying and controlling job-related hazards that can lead to injuries and illnesses, businesses can improve their safety and health programs, save money and improve competitiveness. 

The program includes recommended practices for setting up a safety and health program, as well as Safe+Sound Week in June - a nationwide event to raise awareness and understanding of the value of proactive safety and health programs in workplaces.

A Proven Approach to Safety

Employers have proven that safety and health programs reduce the numbers of injuries and

March 8, 2017

Study: Young Construction Workers Disregard Hearing Protection

Ear protection required
A recent workplace safety study shows that young construction workers commonly disregard hearing protection that could prevent noise-induced hearing loss later in life. Among young Canadian construction workers, 24 per cent reported not wearing hearing protection, compared to 13 per cent of workers over the age of 50 and 11 per cent of workers in all other age groups. They are also less likely to wear hearing protection compared to young workers in other industries, such as manufacturing and primary resources.

These are results from a 2016 study by WorkSafe BC in British Columbia. Data was collected in 2016 from more than 160,000 hearing tests. Hearing loss can go unnoticed

March 2, 2017

Prevent Work Area Accidents and Injuries with Critical Safety Equipment

If you work in construction, you already know the importance of having a safe work environment. In addition to keeping your workers injury-free, having the right safety equipment on hand reduces the risk of liability and keeps projects going on schedule. In order to be sure that your workers stay safe, the following safety equipment and gear should be part of your workplace:


Foot hazard Steel toe shoes required

Choose Rugged Work Clothing

To keep your employees’ bodies protected, they must come to work in tough and high-quality work clothing. A very popular brand is Carhartt. Carhartt offers a wide selection of clothing, including workboots, pants, shirts and outerwear that will stand up to tough working conditions. Most items have plenty of pockets for storing work tools and other gear.

February 27, 2017

Workplace Safety News and Notes - February 2017

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


 Noise-Related Hearing Loss Not Just a Work Problem

A new report form the CDC says that 20% of people who reported no job-related noise exposure did have hearing damage caused by noise. This damage is from loud sounds encountered during everyday activities, such as using a leaf blower or going to loud concerts. These activities can damage a person’s hearing just as much as working in an extremely noisy environment. Get the report here.


Ergonomics Resources for Office Workers


February 22, 2017

Preventing Industrial Fires and Explosions

Hot work area
A recent article in OH&S magazine addresses the five major causes of industrial fires and explosions - and how to prevent them. The National Fire Protection Association reports that an average of 37,000 fires occur at industrial and manufacturing properties every year. These incidents result in 18 civilian deaths, 279 civilian injuries and $1 billion in direct property damage. Here's a brief recap of key points from the article about preventing fires in the workplace.

5 Common Causes

The article describes the most common causes of such fires and explosions:
1. Combustible Dust - A major cause of fire in food manufacturing, woodworking, chemical manufacturing, metalworking, pharmaceutical and other industries.
2. Hot Work - Includes brazing, burning, heating and soldering, as well as welding and torch cutting.
3. Flammable Liquids and Gasses - Frequent at chemical plants, but many workplaces commonly use these materials.
4. Faulty Equipment and Machinery - Beyond furnaces, any mechanical equipment can become a fire hazard due to friction between moving parts.
5. Electrical Hazards - Including overloaded circuits and extension cords, exposed wiring and static discharge.

Preventing Fires and Explosions


March is National Ladder Safety Month

climb ladders carefully use both hands
Falls from ladders are preventable, yet they account for 300 deaths and some 20,000 injuries each year. The American Ladder Institute (ALI) has announced March as the first-ever National Ladder Safety Month, designed to raise awareness of ladder safety and to decrease the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities.

ALI believes ladder accidents are preventable, but without better safety planning and training and continuous innovation in product design, we will continue to see far too many fatalities. 


National Ladder Safety Month goals include:
  • Increase the number of ladder safety training certificates issued by ALI
  • Lower the rankings of ladder-related safety citations on OSHA’s yearly “Top 10 Citations List”
  • Decrease ladder-related injuries and fatalities
  • Increase the number of competent ladder inspector training sessions
  • Increase the number of companies and individuals that inspect and properly dispose of old, damaged or obsolete ladders
Ladder safety will also be an important component of OSHA’s annual National Safety Stand-Down set for May 8 through 12.

Here's how you can get involved and help improve ladder safety at your workplace:


NIOSH Releases New Sound Level App to Protect Hearing

Ear Protection Required if work exceeds __ hours
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has released a new mobile app for iOS (Apple) devices that measures sound levels in the workplace and provides noise exposure parameters to help reduce occupational noise-induced hearing loss. The goal is to help workers learn about their noise exposure and reduce the chances of hearing loss.

OSHA reports that twenty-two million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. An estimated $242 million is spent annually on workers' compensation for hearing loss disability. In one year, U.S. business paid more than $1.5 million in penalties for not protecting workers from noise. NIOSH hopes to help reduce those numbers with it's new Sound Level Meter app.

The app can be used by safety and health professionals and industrial hygienists to assess risks, similar to using a professional sound level meter. Workers can use the app to make informed decisions about potential hearing hazards in the workplace. The app allows users to acquire and display real-time noise exposure data and help promote better hearing health and better prevention efforts. It also contains some basic information about noise and hearing loss prevention. In addition, users can save and share measurement data with others using the device communication and media features.

NIOSH says the Sound Level Meter app can:

  • Raise workers’ awareness about their work environment
  • Help workers make informed decisions about the potential hazards to their hearing
  • Serve as a research tool to collect noise exposure data
  • Promote better hearing health and prevention efforts

 

Major OSHA Fines Total $2.8 Million in Mid January, 2017

Although no news releases have been issued by Federal OSHA since the January 20 presidential inauguration, the agency posted details on nine significant fines in the first half of that month. Proposed fines total more than $2.8 million, and common citations include machine guarding, lockout-tagout and fall protection. Here's some info on the investigations. Many are still pending final decisions.

$892,551 for wrongfully discharging an Amtrack safety inspector

Federal OSHA says Amtrak retaliated against a supervisory special agent in its inspector general's office by denying employment and terminating him after he raised concerns about railroad safety, fraud and abuse involving an Amtrak contractor and when he supported a fellow agent's safety concerns during an internal investigation.

"In this case, an employee was terminated for pursuing and reporting safety concerns. The employer's retaliation is unacceptable and illegal," says an OSHA administrator. OSHA has ordering corrective actions including:

  • Reinstate the employee
  • Pay him a total of $892,551: comprised of $723,332 in back wages; $34,218 in interest; $100,000 in punitive damages; $35,000 in compensatory damages; plus reasonable attorney's fees and costs
  • Post a notice to all railroad employees about their FRSA rights.
See more details.

$535,411 for willful medical, PPE and machine guard violations at an Oklahoma truck bed manufacturer

Following a complaint of unsafe working conditions, OSHA's investigation at BigTex Trailer Manufacturing Inc., which does business as CM Truck Beds, found 20 serious violations, one willful and three repeated violations. Inspectors found workers who performed spray painting and powder coating did not receive required medical evaluations and respirator fit tests. OSHA cited willful violation for hydraulic press brakes operated without machine guards in place. In addition, they identified 20 serious violations including failure to:

February 21, 2017

Safety Training Tip: Remember PEOPLE

If you're a safety pro inspecting a worksite, do the workers there see you as the management "safety cop" or as part of their team who can help them stay safe on the job? How you present yourself can make all the difference. 

The safety pros at Safety Management Group in Indianapolis have penned an article that can help you get better cooperation from your work teams - and better safety compliance, too. Here are some key points:

Words Don't Mean Much

Humans do far more “listening” with our eyes than our ears. Scientists say that only about 7 percent of messages we receive comes through the words. Another 28 percent comes from the way those words are delivered. But a full 55 percent of messages are conveyed through the speaker’s body language. So when a safety pro speaks to a group of workers, the nonverbal components of the message can have a greater impact than what’s actually being said. The professional’s physical appearance, the body language, the tone and the pace of the voice determine how carefully the workers will listen and how much they’ll retain.

Remember You’re Dealing with PEOPLE

PEOPLE is a handy acronym that makes it easy to remember the six key elements of body language: