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

October 19, 2017

Workplace Hearing Loss - What You Need To Know

Noise area may cause hearing loss use proper protection
Hazardous noise in the workplace affects some 22 million U.S. workers, and NIOSH reports that some 10 million workers incur permanent hearing loss annually. If workers must raise their voice to speak to someone an arm's length away, noise levels may be loud enough to damage hearing. October is Protect Your Hearing Month - a good time to review your hearing protection program and to remind workers that noise-induced hearing loss is preventable.

Work Related Hearing Loss is a Major Problem

Among workers exposed to occupational noise, 23 percent have reported difficulty hearing, 15 percent reported tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and nine percent suffered both conditions. That makes noise-related hearing loss the most common work-related injury in the U.S. Hearing loss disability costs businesses an estimated $242 million annually in workers' compensation. Workers with hearing loss often have trouble localizing sounds or hearing warning signals and have an increased risk of accidents. Tinnitus can disrupt sleep and concentration, increasing fatigue, impacting alertness, degrading performance and potentially increasing risks for accidents on and off the job.

October 17, 2017

OSHA: Raised Pallet Work Platforms Can Be Deadly

Safety harness required
OSHA is warning employees and employers about the dangers of using a pallet raised by a forklift as a work platform. This potentially deadly combination is sometimes used to perform tasks such as reaching upper levels of shelves or storage racks. A new OSHA FatalFacts sheet details the death of a warehouse worker who died after falling seven feet from a raised pallet, and also gives advice to avoid such incidents in your own facility.

At this particular warehouse, it was common practice for workers to place one foot or both feet on a pallet and move inventory on the top shelf while a coworker lifted them to the top shelf using the forklift. The featured worker slipped on the pallet while moving inventory and fell. He died in a hospital a few days later.

October 12, 2017

Fatal Traffic Crashes Increased in 2016 - What Can Employers Do?

According to a recent DOT announcement, 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6 percent from calendar year 2015. The number of vehicle miles traveled on U.S. roads in 2016 increased by 2.2 percent, and resulted in a fatality rate of 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles travelled - a 2.6-percent increase from the previous year.

These numbers come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which recently released fatal traffic crash data for calendar year 2016, collected from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Fatalities in crashes involving large tucks increased from 4,094 in 2015 to 4,317 in 2016. Of those deaths, just 17 percent were truck occupants. The remaining deaths were occupants of other vehicles (72 percent) or non-occupants (11 percent). 


October 10, 2017

OSHA Delays Enforcement of Crystalline Silica Standard in Construction

wear respirator in this area
OSHA Respirator Safety Sign
Enforcement of OSHA’s respirable crystalline silica standard for construction went into effect on Sept. 23, but the agency announced a 30-day enforcement phase-in to help employers comply with the new standard. That gives employers about 2 more weeks of leeway on compliance. Compliance assistance will be offered to employers making good faith efforts to comply during the first 30 days, but citations may be considered for employers not making any efforts to comply.

The Respirable Crystalline Silica construction standard, 29 CFR § 1926.1153, establishes a new 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 50 µg/m3, an action level (AL) of 25 µg/m3, and a host of ancillary requirements. During the first 30 days of enforcement, OSHA will carefully evaluate good faith efforts taken by employers in their attempts to meet the new construction silica standard. OSHA will render compliance assistance and outreach to assure that covered employers are fully and properly complying with its requirements. OSHA has also published a silica compliance guide to help small businesses comply with the new rule.

Silica Dangers


October 5, 2017

New No-Cost Respiratory Protection Program Training Available

NIOSH and the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) recently released a new, no-cost Respiratory Protection Program Training. The program includes a respiratory protection course and accompanying resources for occupational health professionals who want to learn more about OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard and the role of the respiratory protection program administrator.

This training satisfies the annual Federal OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard's (1910.134 CFR) training requirements. You do NOT need to be an AAOHN member to participate in this free training or access the training resources.

Different programs are offered to meet needs of varied audiences, including:
  • Safety professionals in organizations required to follow OSHA's respiratory protection standard
  • Safety professionals in healthcare facilities
  • Primary or ancillary healthcare workers

Learn more at the AAOHN website.

October 3, 2017

How To Protect Workers from Solvent Safety Challenges

Highly flammable solvents in area
OSHA Solvent Safety Sign
Workplace hazards such as confined spaces, moving machinery, low clearances and hot surfaces pose significant threats to workers, and are typically marked with appropriate chemical safety signs and labels to draw attention to them. But there are other equally dangerous hazards that can easily go unnoticed until it's too late to take preventive action. These sneaky hazards are solvents - chemicals commonly used to clean up paints, greases and oils, or contained in liquids such as paint, pesticides and ink, to name a few.

Because solvents are so common at work and home, workers may not give them the safety attention they deserve. Yet solvent exposure can damage skin, eyes, internal organs and respiratory tissue - as well as cause fires and explosions. Clearly, workers need to be aware of

September 28, 2017

OSHA Fall Protection Training Requirements - What Are They?

Follow fall protection guidelines
OSHA just released it's preliminary list of top 10 most-cited safety violations of 2017. A newcomer on the list is Fall Protection – Training Requirements, which was cited 1,523 times by federal inspectors. But what exactly are the training requirements that employers are failing to meet? Here's an overview of Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, Fall Protection - Training Requirements (1926.503):

Training Program

The employer shall provide a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards. The program shall enable each employee to recognize the hazards of falling and shall train each employee in the procedures to be followed in order to minimize these hazards.

September 27, 2017

OSHA Announces Top 10 Violations of 2017

Fall Protection Training has joined the preliminary list of OSHA's most-frequently-cited safety violations of 2017. The annual announcement came this week during the 2017 NSC Congress & Expo in Indianapolis.

OSHA’s Top 10 list has been quite consistent in recent years, with just the one change from the 2015, 2016 and new 2017 lists. Fall Protection - Training slid into the #9 position this year, bumping Electrical Wiring to #10 and pushing Electrical, General requirements off the list.

“If all employers simply corrected the top 10 hazards, we are confident the number of deaths, amputations and hospitalizations would drastically decline,” said Thomas Galassi, director of enforcement programs for OSHA. Galassi also urged employers to create a culture of safety at their companies.

Based on preliminary figures on Sept. 5, 2017, the Top 10 citations for fiscal year 2017 are:

September 25, 2017

September Workplace Safety News & Notes

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

NIOSH Offers Webinar on Aging Workforce Sept. 28

NIOSH is hosting a free webinar, Interventions and Promising Practices in the Aging Workplace, as part of the Productive Aging and Work webinar series and in observance of National Employ Older Workers Week. The webinar will provide an overview of interventions and promising practices for addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by an aging workforce. Date is September 28 from 1:00 to 2:30 PM EDT. Continuing education credits are pending for this activity. Register here.

OSHA Proposes Extended Deadline for Crane Operator Certification

Certified crane operatorOSHA intends to extend the employer's responsibility to ensure crane operator competency and enforcement for crane operator certification to Nov. 10, 2018. OSHA issued a final rule in September 2014, extending the deadline by three years for crane operator certification requirements in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard. The final rule also extended by three years the employer's responsibility to ensure that crane operators are competent to operate a crane safely. Read more.

Alliance Formed to Protect Grain Handling Workers


September 20, 2017

NIOSH Studies 3-D Printer Emissions

Wear mask respiratory irritants in this area
Dust Mask Safety Sign
If your business uses 3-D printers, you'll be interested in a recent NIOSH study comparing emissions from 3-D and laser printers that found 3-D printers emit 14 chemicals that laser printers do not. Further, they found that 3-D printed items continued to emit chemicals after printing, raising questions about exposure in storage and other areas.

With the growing popularity of 3-D printers in the workplace, NIOSH wants to understand and address their potential effects on indoor air quality. A previous study by NIOSH and university researchers found that using the manufacturer-supplied cover on a 3-D printer decreased the amount of emissions containing ultrafine particles by two times, but the levels were still high.

For the current study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, researchers tested the most commonly used type of desktop 3-D printer, called the FDM, and two models of black and white laser printers. For the 3-D printers. They printed a hair comb using one of two types of plastic filaments, taking about 14 minutes to complete.

September 19, 2017

How to Comply with OSHA's Updated Walking-Working Surfaces Rule

Next Deadline is Near: November 17
Fall Protection Required


Late last year, OSHA published new standards for walking-working surfaces and fall protection in general industry workplaces. Much of the rule took effect on January 17, 2017, but OSHA gave employers additional time to comply with many of the provisions. For example:
  • Inspections and certifications of permanent anchorages used in rope descent systems must be completed by November 17, 2017.
  • New fall arrest or safety systems on fixed ladders longer than 24 feet aren't required until November 17, 2018.

The new rules address both horizontal and vertical surfaces, including roofs, floors, ramps, elevated

September 14, 2017

OSHA Offers Worker Safety Resources for Hurricane and Flood Cleanup and Recovery

Emergencies like recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma can create a variety of hazards for workers in the impacted areas. The OSHA website has a variety of resources to help employers keep their workers safe when hurricanes and floods strike  - and during cleanup and recovery operations.

OSHA recently updated the Worker Safety and Health Resources for Hurricane and Flood Cleanup and Recovery page to provide information for employers and workers across industries, and for workers responding to emergencies.

Topics include:

  • Hurricanes
  • Floods
  • General response and recovery
  • PPE
  • Heat

September 12, 2017

NIOSH Releases New Software to Monitor Emergency Responder Health and Safety

severe weather shelter
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) just announced the new ERHMS Info Manager™, a free software tool that tracks and monitors emergency response and recovery worker activities before, during and after their deployment to incidents such as natural disasters or other public health emergencies. 

ERHMS Info Manager software is designed to help emergency responder organizations implement the Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance (ERHMS™) framework. The free software can be used by anyone involved in the deployment and protection of emergency responders, including: incident command staff, response organization leadership, health, safety and medical personnel and emergency responders.

Identify Exposures to Reduce Risks

NIOSH says significant gaps and deficiencies continue to exist in health monitoring and surveillance of emergency response workers, including police, fire, emergency medical personnel, cleanup, repair, restoration and recovery workers. The organization believes its new software can help.

September 6, 2017

ComplianceSigns Marks 8th Time on Inc. 5000 List

For the eighth consecutive year, ComplianceSigns, Inc. has been designated one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., as ranked by Inc. magazine, and has been honored as a Hall of Fame company.

With eight appearances on the list, ComplianceSigns has received the distinction of being named to the Inc. 5000 Hall of Fame, a milestone less than 10 percent of Inc. 5000 honorees ever achieve. We achieved revenue growth of 54 percent over the past three years to earn a spot on the annual list. We rank as the seventh fastest-growing manufacturer in Illinois and 114th in the entire country. 


We are among just three Illinois manufacturers who have made the Inc. list five times or more. Manufacturers comprise less than 3 percent of the entire 2017 list, and just 32 U.S. manufacturers have made the list five times or more.

Our overall rank is 4,536. ComplianceSigns was named to the Inc. Honor Roll in 2014 after appearing on the list five times. Read our Inc 5000 Award details, or view our Inc. profile page.

August 28, 2017

Boat Safety Tips for Work or Play

Whether you use boats for work or recreation, these boat safety tips from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will help you avoid trouble on the water and get home safely.

Operator inexperience, inattention, recklessness and speeding are the four leading causes of tragic watercraft crashes. The leading cause of death is drowning. Crash statistics indicate boaters who wear life jackets and take boater safety courses are most likely to stay safe on the water. Follow these basic safety tips to safely enjoy boating for work or pleasure.

No alcohol beyond this pointLeave Alcohol Onshore

  • Never use drugs or alcohol before or during boat operation. 
  • Alcohol's effects are greatly exaggerated by exposure to sun, glare, wind, noise and vibration.  
  • Watch a Boating Under the Influence video.


Use and Maintain the Right Safety Equipment

Life jacket required
Have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person onboard and one approved throwable device for any boat 16 feet and longer. The DNR recommends that everyone wear their lifejackets while on the water.
  • Have a fire extinguisher.
  • Have operable boat lights - Always test boat lights before the boat leaves the dock and carry extra batteries. 
  • Take emergency supplies - Keep on board in a floating pouch: cell phone, maps, flares and first aid kit.
Learn about some key equipment to keep you safe in this boating safety equipment video.

August 25, 2017

Workplace Safety News & Notes - August 2017

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

ISO Adopts New Arc Flash Symbol

arc flash triangle label
There was no single standardized graphic for an arc flash explosion hazard until ISO adopted a symbol meaning “To warn of an arc flash.” The new arc flash symbol has been registered in ISO 7010 Graphical symbols – Safety colors and safety signs – Registered safety signs. The symbol went through a three year registration process prior to its adoption into ISO 7010. ComplianceSigns.com has arc flash safety signs and labels with the new symbol.

September MSHA Initiative Focuses on Less-Experienced Miners


MSHA data show that less-experienced miners, both at a mine and at a specific occupation, suffer injuries at a higher rate than more experienced miners. To address this trend, the agency has launched a training assistance initiative to focus on younger workers. Staff from the agency’s division of Coal Mine Safety and Health and training specialists from Educational Field and Small Mine Services will visit coal mines through September 30 to focus on training of inexperienced miners. Learn more.

New Drive Safely Work Week Campaign on Distracted Driving Released
no dialing no texting no talking while driving


Drive Safely Work Week™ (DSWW) has been an annual campaign sponsored by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) for many years. Instead of a single campaign, DSWW is now delivered more frequently, with a tighter focus on specific behaviors. The current module targets distracted driving. A new campaign in October will feature impaired driving. All materials are available at no cost. See more on DSWW campaigns.

The Risks of Prolonged Sitting - or Standing - at Work


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.