Category: Safety Tips

Winter Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention

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Winter Fall Prevention

Winter Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention

There's no denying that we're in the thick of winter. With the season comes activities people wait for all-year-round.  Between ice skating, skiing, and just generally enjoying the snow, they are right when they say ⁠— it is the most wonderful time of the year.

Nevertheless, the change in temperature brings about workplace hazards that could injure your employees. Slips and falls during the wintertime are real concerns that, as a business owner, you should be well prepared for.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 40,000 snow, ice, and sleet related workplace injuries every year. It's always best to be prepared. Below are compliance-tested principles you can follow as an employer to ensure the safety of your workers during winter.

Prepping the Office

The office should be a safe haven for your employees. During the wintertime, it is your responsibility to keep operations in line.

Discuss Procedures With Maintenance Employees

Your maintenance staff is your company’s first line of defense when it comes to preventing slips and falls in the workplace.

Train your team on OSHA's snow and ice guidelines. Tell them how often you would like the snow cleared out, which areas they should focus on, and which employees are responsible for which tasks. It is important to delegate and assign zones. Create a checklist and ensure all the staff members have a copy. This way, while the entrances and high-traffic areas are a priority, all spots are taken cared of.

Consequently, if you outsource your maintenance team, it is as important to discuss your expectations with them. Their procedures might not exactly align with yours so it is best to get everybody on the same page. Request to see their checklist so you if it is ample or if it needs to be expanded.

Review and Adjust

Improvements are almost always the result of past occurrences.

In order to ensure the same accidents don’t happen again, review your yearly incident log and determine risky areas. This way you can develop specific procedures in spots where slips and falls happen more often. Because you know what to target, you won’t waste resources on unnecessary efforts.

Hazard Inspections

While there are high-risk areas in your workplace, slips and falls can happen at any time and in any place. Before outlining procedures and handing out checklists to your staff, it's important to go around your operations and identify spots that could potentially pose a slip and fall risk to your employees, such as:

  • Potholes and cracks that may be rendered invisible by a blanket of snow
  • Drain pipes and gutters that might get clogged with the inclement weather
  • Areas prone to the development of ice dams
  • Broken handrails and poor lighting that may cause slips and falls
  • Access to unauthorized walkways that are more prone to ice and snow hazards

Have Your Supplies Ready

To ensure that your maintenance staff can do their work efficiently, have ample supplies ready for them to use. Salt, shovels, plows, safety gear, barriers, hazard signs, and drying mats are just a few that you should put on your supply list.

Make sure to consult with your staff on what exactly they need. After all, as your front liners, they probably already have a running list of the tools they need to prevent slips and falls in your workplace.

Prepping Your Employees

Your workers play a big part in keeping the workplace safe for everyone. In order to keep everyone on the same page, below are a few tips to impart to your employees during winter.

Mind Your Walk

Walking seems like an innocuous thing to be wary of. However, the presence of snow and ice during winter makes the activity more tedious and unsafe. A little bit of ice coupled with distractions could mean the difference between arriving to point B safely versus going down with an injury.

It's crucial to train your employees how to walk. Make sure that when going from area to area that they keep their eyes forward and not towards their phones or other distractions. Short, slow steps are ideal and there is no shame in using handrails especially if you are unsure about your balance. Pay attention to the surfaces you are walking in. Injuries often occur when people aren’t aware and aren’t prepared for stepping into a new surface.

Footwear

Even during the wintertime, it is very tempting to dress to impress. However, with the sleet, ice, and snow, your heels have no business being in your workplace. Ensure that your employees are wearing shoes that are appropriate for the season. If they need to dress up and face clients, a change of appropriate footwear should be available after the meeting.

Your employees’ safety against slips and falls must not come second to dress codes.

Free Up Your Hands

Carrying a heavy load in your arms can cause a problem with your balance. If your employees need to bring files or a laptop around, it is best to use a bag with a shoulder strap. It is also best to keep phones and tablets in your pockets instead of in your hands at all times. The less distraction that your workers have the safer they are.

Report, Report, Report

No matter how well you keep your ducks in a row, there are hazards that as an employer you aren’t aware of. Advise your employees to be diligent about reporting slip and fall concerns in the workplace. Doing so will enable management to create specific safety guidelines for the area. Empowering everyone will create a safer workplace.

Winter is a beautiful season that is meant to be enjoyed in the office as much as it is at home. In order to fully enjoy the season, utilize these tips to ensure the safety of your employees.

Need help with creating a slip and fall free workplace? To learn more about how we can solve your company's OSHA safety training and compliance needs, check out our products and services here or call us at (866) 329-5407 today. Remember, your one call could save lives and improve your company's ROI.

OSHA and Your Company’s Emergency Action Plan

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Emergency Action Plan

OSHA and Your Company's Emergency Action Plan: What You Need to Know

All employees should feel safe in their workplace. While hazards are unavoidable in certain industries, it's an employer’s responsibility to ensure that accidents are kept to a minimum. Thankfully, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has outlined safety guidelines to ensure the safety of both employees and employers. These rules and regulations tackle almost every scenario — most of which require a well-drawn out emergency action plan.

Emergency action plans are required by OSHA and are critical in keeping your company’s employees and assets from harm during workplace emergencies. Read on to learn more about emergency action plans and how and why you can keep up with OSHA’s guideline updates.

The Importance of Updating Your Company’s Emergency Action Plans

To ensure occupational safety, OSHA regularly updates its occupational safety rules and regulations. As an employer, it's your responsibility to know and adhere to these updates. After all, your workers’ safety is always the top priority.

Save Time and Money with OSHA’s Yearly Updates 

Choosing not to follow OSHA’s guidelines can cost businesses more money than if they invest in adhering to them. Thankfully, there are professionals like Safety Services Company that are up to date with these rules and are willing to make the process easy and seamless for you.

In fact, in 2019, OSHA increased their monetary penalties. Serious violations can cost an operation a minimum of $13,260, and $132,598 for repeat offenses.

Aside from fines, an accident or fatality in the workplace is always a concern for any business. Following the rigorous guidelines set by OSHA greatly decreases the chances that an employee would get hurt while increasing your bottom line. Ensuring safety is well worth it.

Keep Your Most Valued Assets Safe

Truth be told, keeping seasoned employees is a smart business decision. Workers that have been with the company for several years know the ins and outs of work processes. They can be left to work unsupervised and their experience allows them to make necessary decisions without hesitation. These are traits that even the best new employee has yet to earn and possess.

Being up to date with safety guidelines ensures that you keep your company’s most valuable assets — your employees. Keeping them safe is not only in their best interest but your company’s as well.

Steps in Keeping Up to Date with OSHA’s Safety Standards

1. Assess Your Current Situation: Developing plans for improvement always starts with assessing your company’s current situation. You wouldn’t know what to change if you don’t have a clear picture of what is currently happening.

Start with your own facility. You can do it on your own or you can hire professionals to ensure that you don’t miss any safety concerns. Check the layout and take note of any changes that might make the workplace safer for your employees. Be sure to include an assessment of the tools and equipment your workers use in order to accomplish tasks.

It's also a important to observe your employees while they are at work. After your observation, talk to your workers and ask them how your operations can be improved. They are knee-deep in all the inner workings of your facility. There is a good chance that they have already noticed hazards that your ocular hasn’t.

2. Review OSHA’s Guidelines: OSHA updates its guidelines whenever they see fit. Most of the changes are enacted and are approved for implementation by the turn of the year.

Reviewing the rules and regulations before making changes is a smart way to make sure you don’t waste time or resources. Having a checklist makes it easier to enact these changes. For those who are new to the game, employing the help of professionals can also make the process of reviewing the guidelines easier. At the end of the day, even with workplace safety, you would like to work as smart as you work hard.

3. Organize Training: Allocating time for occupational safety training ensures that all employees are on the same page especially when it comes to something as important as emergency action plans. This means that in the event of an emergency everyone knows where they should be and what they should be doing. No resources go to waste.

Moreover, giving your employees time to learn the process they should adhere to emphasizes the importance of their safety. As an employer, providing training is an easy way to let your workers know that you care and you are willing to invest in their safety.

4. Consider a Professional: Especially for small operations, keeping up with all of OSHA’s guidelines can be overwhelming. A layperson simply would not know where to start.

With that said, seeking the help of professionals is always an option. Companies like Safety Services Company have years of experience in helping businesses adhere to occupational safety standards. They know the ins and outs of keeping employees safe in the workplace. Reaching out to Safety Services Company is a surefire way to make the process easy, seamless, and hassle-free.

Preparing Your Company’s Emergency Plans

Preparing your company’s emergency plan is important. Emergencies can come in different forms. It is always best to be prepared for most scenarios.

Developing an emergency plan for your business starts with defining what an emergency is. According to OSHA’s guidelines, an emergency is an unexpected situation that threatens not only the operation but also the health and safety of employees in the workplace. These emergencies can be natural or man-made. It can range anywhere from a simple electricity blackout that can hinder operations to serious exposure to contaminated and contagious waste.

At minimum, OSHA requires Emergency Action Plans include:

  • A method to report emergencies
  • Exit and evacuation routes and procedures
  • Headcount procedure following an evacuation
  • Contact information of individuals to be contacted for additional information regarding the emergency
  • Detailed guidelines for employees on how to perform an operational shutdown and how to utilize tools and equipment provided specifically for emergencies
  • List of rescue and medical duties assigned to each employee in the event of an emergency

OSHA has very rigorous guidelines on how to keep the workplace safe for all employees. As a business owner, you should view these rules and regulations as an opportunity to create a safer environment for your employees. It is your responsibility to keep them safe as it is theirs to keep your company afloat.

Thankfully, you don't have to navigate through all the rules and regulations by yourself. To learn how we can solve your company's OSHA safety training and compliance needs, check out our products and services here or call us at (866) 329-5407 today. Remember, your one call can save lives and improve your company's ROI.

Cold Stress in the Workplace

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Cold Stress Safety Training from Safety Services Company

Dealing with Cold Stress in the Workplace: What You Need to Know

With winter here, the cold weather is definitely upon us. While this season can be all about warm cider and evenings by the fireplace, there are also some risks that come with low temperatures, especially in the workplace.

Cold stress is an issue that a few workers in various industries are privy to and have to prepare for. It is a safety threat that can result in fatalities. Thankfully, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA has laid out guidelines to ensure the safety of employees exposed to extreme conditions.

How Cold is Cold?

What is considered cold can differ across different locations and for various individuals. In areas that don't experience your typical winter season, almost freezing conditions can be considered extreme weather. Likewise, people who did not grow up experiencing cold can be more sensitive to lower temperatures.

There are several factors that contribute to the effects of extreme cold:

  • Wetness or Dampness: If a person gets wet, the body loses heat when it evaporates the water in the surface of the skin. Coupled with cold weather, dampness can be near-fatal.
  • Wind Chill: Similar to dampness, wind chill can exacerbate cold conditions. High wind speed in combination with low temperatures can make work conditions dangerous.
  • Employee’s Current Health Condition: Certain illnesses like hypertension and diabetes can act up during extreme climate conditions.
  • Employee’s Preparedness: Layers can help minimize the effect of extreme cold. Wearing the proper clothing and protective gear can affect how much the weather can affect an individual.

When exposed to cold weather, the body uses its energy to keep internal temperatures stable. However, if extreme conditions do not change, the body would try to protect internal organs and redirect blood flow to the chest cavity — leaving extremities like the arms and legs left to the cold. Shivering also occurs as the body tries to increase heat production.

What Are the Most Common Cold Stress Symptoms?

Cold stress symptoms can arise when the body is exposed to extreme cold for long periods of time. The three most common illnesses include hypothermia, frostbite, and trench foot.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia occurs when the body experiences a steep drop in temperature. This condition often occurs when a person is exposed to cold weather conditions he or she is not prepared for. While mostly associated during the winter months, there are actually more incidents of hypothermia during spring and fall. A person is considered suffering from hypothermia when their internal temperature drops to anywhere <95°F.

In normal conditions, the heart and the lungs produce most of the body’s heat. When a person experiences cold stress, the body cools down and these organs produce less heat. This protective shut down is designed in order to conserve body heat and protect the brain. At this point, the body would continue to shiver in order to increase body heat. However, over time, shivering would cease as the body’s regulation system begins to fail.

Aside from shivering, symptoms of hypothermia include shallow breathing, confusion, exhaustion, slurred speech, coordination problems, and a weak pulse.

Frostbite

When the body is experiencing cold temperatures, it tries to protect internal organs by directing blood flow to the chest cavity. While it keeps the body from expiring, the extremities are collateral damage, often because of frostbite.

Frostbite is a condition when the body tissue, usually in the fingers and toes, freezes. This condition can be temporary and certain body parts can be rewarmed. However, if deep tissue dies, the amputation of the affected part might be necessary.

Symptoms of frostbite can include pain in the affected area eventually numbing as the cold sets in deeper, discoloration, and blistering especially in severe cases.

Trench Foot

Trench Foot was first identified during World War I when soldiers from both sides of the war were exposed to cold, wet conditions that prevented them from keeping their feet dry. While the condition seems innocuous, Trench Foot claimed the lives of over 70,000 soldiers during wartime.

This condition occurs when the feet get wet and it doesn’t get dried properly. Trench Foot is different from frostbite since it isn’t necessarily the temperature that worsens the affliction. Wearing wet socks for long periods of time, however, does.

Symptoms include redness, the appearance of blisters, blotchy skin, and dried, cracking skin. In extreme cases, Trench Foot can result in permanent nerve damage and eventually amputation.

How Can You Protect Yourself from Cold Stress?

You may be wondering how to avoid cold stress. Well, as they say, prevention is better than cure. The same can be said for cold stress safety. OSHA’s Cold Stress safety guidelines have laid out several measures employees can take before working in extreme conditions.

Review Workplace Training on Cold Stress

Employers are required by OSHA to train their employees about cold stress and working in extreme weather conditions. Before beginning your tasks, ensure you have been trained and are comfortable with safety guidelines and first aid procedures.

Inspect Engineering Safety Precautions

Additionally, in certain industries OSHA requires companies to provide safety engineering controls such as heaters. Check to ensure all controls are working properly before proceeding to the job.

Wear Protective Clothing

Layering is very important when it comes to dealing with cold stress. When working in cold conditions, don three layers of clothing for protection. The first layer should protect you from getting wet or damp. The second should be thick enough to provide proper insulation, and the third should protect you from the elements. When feasible, wear hats or gloves can also protect you from cold stress.

Adjust your Work Habits

Aside from protective clothing, adjusting work habits can also provide cold weather protection. For instance, abstaining from caffeine and keeping hydrated can decrease the effect of cold conditions on your body. Moreover, it's advisable to work during the warmest hours of the day and to utilize a buddy system. 

What Can You Do in an Emergency?

In a cold stress emergency, the first step is to call for emergency medical assistance. While waiting, take off the victim's wet or damp clothing and replace it with dry clothes. It's important to keep the victim warm by using blankets and other thick materials. If the victim is conscious, give them warm, decaffeinated, sweetened drinks. In cases of frostbite, prevent rubbing or walking on the area(s) afflicted.

Cold stress is a very real workplace safety standard that needs to be taken seriously. Extreme temperatures can be dangerous or fatal. The above guidelines should be disseminated and updated regularly in order to prevent emergencies. 

With the cold weather in full swing, now is the best time to act now and update your company’s cold stress regulations. Thankfully, you don't have to develop your company's cold stress program on your own. We have cold stress training kits available and much more!

To learn how we can solve your cold stress safety training and compliance needs, check out our products and services here or call us at (866) 329-5407 today. Remember, your one call can save lives and improve your company's ROI.

Ladder Safety

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Safety Services Company Ladder Safety Training

Climbing the Ladder of Success: What You Need to Know About Ladder Safety

December is here, with the holiday season fast approaching, it's time to prepare your home and deck it with decorations. From tinsel to Christmas lights, it is the best time to make your home party-worthy. However, hanging decorations, at home or at work, can pose plenty of serious risks and dangers. Using a ladder can be very dangerous, especially if you do not know how to use it properly and how to break a fall.

Whether you are gearing up for Christmas, training to be a craftsman or managing a construction firm, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has laid out ladder safety guidelines to ensure your workers stay safe when using this tool.

Selecting the Right Ladder

Regarding ladder safety, the first thing to consider is choosing the right ladder for your needs. For those who aren’t in the construction industry, it might be surprising to learn that ladders are rated according to the weight that it can bear. Before buying a ladder or at least selecting one for use, you must check the rating and align it with the task that you need to accomplish.

Type IA:

The sturdiest of them all, Type IA ladders have a duty rating of 300 pounds. Out of all the types, this kind of ladder is designed for heavy-duty use.

Type I:

Likewise, Type I ladders are meant for heavier use. It can bear weights of up to 250 pounds.

Type II:

For medium-duty use, Type II ladders should be the right type for you. It can stand weights of up to 225 pounds.

Type III:

For lighter tasks, you are only required to use a Type III ladder. This kind of ladder has a duty rating of 200 pounds.

It's important to note that only Type IA and Type I ladders are designed to be used on construction sites. Moreover, these ratings can be found on the side of every ladder as prescribed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Aside from the weight restrictions, your height should also be taken into consideration. Typically, a worker would be comfortable working at shoulder level which is generally 5 feet off the ground. Calculate accordingly prior to purchasing or selecting a ladder.

Setting Up the Ladder

After choosing the right type, setting it up properly will ensure you remain safe while using the ladder. Per OSHA:

  • Set up the ladder on a flat surface. Should one of the tool’s feet lie uneven, make sure to prop or lower that side down.
  • It is very dangerous to make a ladder reach further than it is designed to. Do not attempt to elongate it by setting the ladder on top of boxes or blocks.
  • If the surface you have placed the ladder on is slippery, attach stakes or boards on the feet of the ladder to ensure that it doesn’t budge.
  • Do not use a ladder during high winds. This can be especially dangerous if your ladder is made of a light material like fiberglass.
  • Unless you have a spotter, never set up a ladder in front of a door.
  • Never use a ladder on snow or ice. If it is absolutely necessary, use stakes to ensure that the ladder is gripping the surface tightly.
  • If available, anti-slip safety shoes should be used whenever a ladder is to be used.

Ladder Precautions

  • There are proper ladders for specific situations. For metal ladders, it is best not to use them when dealing with electrical wires.
  • If you are using a ladder in a busy area with a lot of foot traffic, it is important to put up signs to alert people that a ladder is in use. It's best to perform tasks in teams of two ore more, especially in a crowded area. Doing so would allow someone to hold the feet of the ladder down firmly onto the ground.
  • Don't get lazy. If you would like to move the ladder, do not jolt or swing it away from the supporting wall. It's best to get off the ladder and move it from the base.
  • Like with all industrial and construction tools, it's never a good idea to use a ladder when intoxicated.
  • Never leave tools or any other materials on the ladder’s steps. Doing so would run the risk of injury and/or lawsuit.
  • Only allow one person to use a ladder at a time. Unless it is specifically designed for two people, it isn’t safe and the ladder might buckle under the excess weight.
  • If working on a scaffold, do not use a ladder to reach higher surfaces. Instead, raise the scaffold altogether.

Proper Care and Storage

  • Store ladders on racks. Racks provide ladders the support they need.
  • Wooden ladders are best kept indoors. However, if you do not have space in your storage for your wooden ladder, treating it with preservatives like linseed oil would prevent weathering. Also, don't paint a wooden ladder. Over time, the paint can crack and form ridges. These ridges can throw a user off-balance.
  • When in storage, ensure that you don't have anything on top of the steps of the ladder.

Emergency Guidelines

No matter how prepared you are, injury accidents can happen, especially when working from heights. In such cases:

  • Approach the fallen person. Assess the situation and try to determine if they need professional medical attention. If they are unconscious or bleeding, call 911.
  • Do not rush to move them. If they are conscious, help them reposition themselves to ensure their airway is unobstructed.
  • If they are responsive, ask about what had happened. Tend to bleeding by applying pressure.
  • Do not leave them, especially if they are confused or unconscious. Wait for professional help.

Most accidents avoidable, especially when following the guidelines above. As employers, it's critical to to keep your safety programs and ladder training updated every year. These standards can prevent your workers from costly accidents and save your company from a lawsuit.

Thankfully, you don’t have to go navigate OSHA's fall protection guidelines alone. To see how we can solve your company's ladder safety training and compliance needs, check out our products and services here or call us at (866) 329-5407 today. Remember, your one call can save lives and improve your company's ROI.

Understanding OSHA’s Confined Space Requirements

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Confined Space Training by Safety Services Company

Understanding OSHA's Confined Space Requirements

Working in a confined space can be extremely dangerous. Confined spaces pose serious risks such as entrapment, exposure to noxious fumes, physical injury, and suffocation due to lack of airflow. Because of these very real scenarios, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set very strict guidelines for employers and employees regarding working in a confined space. Confined space training is necessary in order to ensure the safety of workers.

What is a Confined Space? 

By OSHA's standards, not all work spaces without windows or ventilation are considered a confined space. Officially, an area is considered “confined” if it fits all of the following:

  • Confined spaces are large enough to allow an employee to perform a specific task to completion
  • Confined spaces are not designed to accommodate an employee for long periods of time
  • Confined spaces have limited access to an entrance or an exit

What is a Permit-Required Space?

Furthermore, a confined space isn't always a permit-required space. A confined space is considered a permit-required space if it has the following attributes:

  • A permit-required space houses hazardous materials that can harm an employee
  • A permit-required space contains objects that are big enough to engulf a person
  • A permit-required space has limited ventilation that can expose an employee to chances of suffocation and asphyxiation
  • A permit-required space contains any known safety and health hazards

What Are Common Hazards Found in Confined Spaces?

Hazards can come in many forms, and safety guidelines are in place because workers can be seriously injured or killed in confined spaces. These hazards can include:

  • Lack of ventilation: Not having ample oxygen circulation in a space can pose serious health risks to employees. Having to work in such conditions may result in extreme fatigue, nausea, and migraines. 
  • Lack of ample light source: Poor lighting can cause obvious eye strain. However, in confined spaces, not having a stable light source can lead to accidents and injury. 
  • Presence of noxious fumes: Combining noxious fumes and limited ventilation is a recipe for disaster. Aside from being flammable, working in conditions that allow exposure to gas and vapors may result in serious lung ailments.
  • Unstable temperatures: An environment that is too hot or too cold can pose serious risks to a person's health and wellness. 

What Are OSHA’s Confined Space Guidelines?

In order to ensure the safety of employees, OSHA requires employers to:

  • Create boundaries to discourage unauthorized entry to permit-required spaces
  • Regularly evaluate hazards present after allowing employees access
  • Monitor atmospheric conditions in a permit-required space before and during employee entry
  • Test for the following hazards:
    • Oxygen levels
    • Presence of combustible gas
    • Presence of toxic fumes
  • Ensure the safety of employees by implementing policies and procedures regarding the use of permit-required spaces
  • Identify employees that have access to the confined space
  • Provide protective gear to employees that work in permit-required spaces. Note: All costs must be covered by the employer
  • Ensure an assigned attendant remains outside of the space while in use
  • Map out a coordination plan should there two or more employees required to use the permit-required space at the same time
  • Create an emergency procedure should an injury or accident take place. Coordinate the procedure to workers with access to the confined space
  • Annually review permit-required space operations, including identifying the employees that should be added or removed to the list of permitted users

What Are Entry Permits?

Permit-required spaces must be evaluated and tested prior to authorizing employee access. Entry permits must be signed off by the entry supervisor and a copy must be posted on all entrances.

These entry permits must include the following details:

  • The names of employees with authorized access
  • Test results with the signature of the evaluator
  • Name and signature of entry supervisor
  • Purpose of the space
  • Known safety hazards
  • Procedures that should be enacted in order to curb the effect of known safety hazards
  • Contact details of the emergency response team
  • Duration of authorized entry
  • Allowed conditions for entry
  • List of equipment and procedures required to ensure safety of the entrant

Who Can Enter Permit-Required Spaces and What Are Their Responsibilities?

Per OSHA, an entry attendant, an authorized entrant, and an entry supervisor all have responsibilities to ensure safety:

Entry Supervisor

Entry supervisors are responsible for granting or canceling entry permits. They are also required to know all the hazards and emergency procedures that come with working in a confined space. Additionally, entry supervisors must regularly check if means for rescue is available and entry operations remain consistent for every use. 

Entry Attendant

The main purpose of an entry attendant is to keep watch while an employee is using a confined space. Entry attendants must remain outside and in communication with the workers in the area. They must be knowledgeable in emergency procedures, and in emergencies are the first line of communication between the employees and responders.

Authorized Entrant

Only authorized workers are granted access to a permit-required space. These employees are required to be familiar with emergency procedures and how to safely manage the hazards present. Authorized entrants must also wear adequate protective gear at all times, and must notify the attendant if a potentially dangerous situation arises.

What Procedures Should be Followed in an Emergency? 

According to OSHA, employees have three lines of defense should an emergency occur:

SDS 

Exposure to hazardous materials is a very real risk when it comes to permit-required spaces. These areas are required to have a copy of all relevant Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) in order to help medical responders safely treat the injured.

Harness Cables

Employees who enter permit-required spaces must have harness lines strapped onto their chest or their wrists. These lines must be connected to a retrieval line outside of the area. 

Rescue Team

Responders must be capable of arriving to the emergency's location in a timely manner. They must also have the necessary equipment to perform the rescue. Other than first aid and CPR training, responders must also be familiar with the rescue procedures required for the site's specific confined space emergencies.

Summary

Remember, confined spaces can cause serious injury or even death, so policies and procedures must be established to prevent such incidents. As a business owner, it can be very daunting to properly adhere to OSHA's complex list of guidelines.

Thankfully, you don't have to do it all alone. Safety Services Company is here to help. To learn how we can solve your company's confined space training and compliance needs, check out our products and services here or call us at (866) 329-5407 today. Remember, your one inquiry can save lives. 

Demystifying Bloodborne Pathogen Safety

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Bloodborne Pathogens Safety Services Company

Demystifying Bloodborne Pathogen Safety

Working in an environment that exposes you to bodily fluids like blood bears serious risks. These fluids can carry pathogens that can cause fatal diseases. Bloodborne pathogens are especially dangerous. One tiny cut from a small needle can be the difference between a long healthy life and a chronic disease that needs maintenance medicine. 

If work in an industry that exposes you to bloodborne pathogens, your first line of defense is ample education. There are guidelines that are set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA that can ensure your safety. So, whether you are a business operator or an employee, equipping your work place with a bloodborne pathogen training kit and adhering to this set of rules is always in your best interest. 

What are Bloodborne Pathogens?

For those outside the medical industry, the word pathogen can be daunting. Rightly so, as pathogens are any type of microorganisms that can bring about disease. Bloodborne pathogens, as the name suggests, are transmitted through blood. 

Bloodborne pathogens are particularly concerning, especially for those who come in contact with bodily fluids because it is especially easy to get infected. Any sharp object can cause tiny, microscopic cuts that bloodborne pathogens can use in order to infect.  

What Are the Most Common Types of Bloodborne Pathogens?

While there is a slew of different bloodborne pathogens, there are three that are most commonly transmitted through unsafe working conditions:

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B, otherwise known as HBV, is a viral infection that can cause very serious damage to the liver. It is fatal and can make the infected more susceptible to cirrhosis and liver cancer. 

HBV can be passed on in different ways. In place wherein the disease is common, the most known mode of transmission is through childbirth - mothers passing the disease to their babies. Nevertheless, exposure to infected blood and other bodily fluids can also cause the spread of HBV. The virus is common for individuals who handle needles professionally or to sustain their drug dependence. 

Hepatitis B can cause several symptoms that may appear two weeks to six months from infection. While not all patients exhibit symptoms, there are few that experience jaundice, vomiting, fatigue, and abdominal pain. 

There is a vaccine that is used in order to protect a person from developing HBV even after exposure. However, one of the most concerning things about this disease is that there is no known cure. Medication for people infected by HBV is directed toward maintaining quality of life as opposed to curing the disease altogether. 

Hepatitis C

Like HBV, Hepatitis C is also a viral infection that causes damage to the liver. Both types of hepatitis exhibit the same symptoms. However, Hepatitis C or HCV is less likely to be transmitted from mother to child or during sexual intercourse. 

HCV’s main mode of transmission is through needle sharing and improper health administration. There is currently no vaccine or cure for HCV. However, almost 80% of people who carry this virus exhibit no symptoms. 

HIV

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV is a virus that targets and weakens the immune system. As a result, people who carry this virus are more susceptible to succumb to infection and various types of cancer. 

The spread of HIV can be attributed to different reasons. Sexual intercourse without protection is among the most common forms of transmission. Sharing contaminated needles and tainted blood transfusion has also proven to pass the disease from person to person.

Patients with HIV exhibit different symptoms based on the stage of infection. For the most part, people are very contagious but remain asymptomatic during the first few months of infection. As the virus becomes stronger and the immune system gets weaker, people start experiencing weight loss, fever, and diarrhea. 

If left untreated, HIV can progress to full-blown Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS. At this stage, severe bacterial infections and stage 4 cancers are more prevalent. 

Currently, there is no known medicine that can eliminate HIV from a patient’s system. However, there are treatments that can suppress their development. 

What Are the Bloodborne Pathogens Standards OSHA Requires Employers to Adhere to?

OSHA released Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations at 29 CFR 1910.1030 for compliance of business owners in order to safeguard the well-being of employees especially those often exposed to blood and other bodily fluids. A brief description of the guidelines follows:

Development and Proper Facilitation of an Exposure Plan 

This requirement necessitates the employer to provide a list of employees that handle hazardous materials and those who CAN come into contact with them. Procedures that would be performed by the employees in case of exposure. 

Annual Exposure Plan Updates

Every year the exposure plan needs to be updated with new records of employees that have come onboard. Moreover, employers need to report consultation with front-liners as to improvements for the tasks and procedures set in case of contamination. Updates with medical technology also need to be reported every year.  

Implementation of Universal Precautions

This guideline states that all bodily fluids including blood are treated as if they contain bloodborne pathogens regardless of the origin. 

Implementation of Engineering Controls

Employers are required to provide tools that have been proven to prevent the transmission of bloodborne diseases. These tools include but are not limited to “disposal containers, self-sheathing needles, and safer medical devices.”

Implementation of Work Controls

Implementation of processes that prevent exposure to tainted bodily fluids is required by OSHA. Guidelines for handling toxic materials, disposing of toxic materials, and other procedures that might expose employees should be in place. 

Provision of Protective Gear

Masks, gloves, and other protective gear should be provided solely by the employer. Employees should not cover ANY costs. 

Provision of Hepatitis B Vaccines

Similar to protective gear, employers are required to provide HBV vaccines for their employees who come in direct contact with toxic materials. Vaccines should be administered at least within days of the employee’s first assignment. 

Development and Facilitation of a Post-Exposure Evaluation and Follow-Up

In the event of exposure, employers are required to administer tests and record all necessary details surrounding the incident with all costs shouldered by the company. 

Labeling of Hazardous Materials

Containers that house hazardous and regulated materials should be labeled clearly and accordingly.  

Provision of Proper Training

Employers are required to create their own bloodborne pathogen training kit to educate their workers about occupational hazards and the procedures that should be implemented in case of exposure. Training should be in a language that workers understand. 

Maintenance of Training and Medical Records

A sharps injury log is required of the employer. 

Effective occupational hazard training can save lives. According to research, since the implementation of OSHA guidelines, workplace casualties have decreased from 38 workers a day more than three decades ago to 14 people in 2017. Moreover, workplace injuries are down from 10.9 instances per 100 employees to 2.8 per 100 workers in 2017. 

The statistics speak for themselves. Nevertheless, while necessary, ensuring the health and wellness of your workers through complicated guidelines can be daunting especially if you tackle it on your own. To see how we can solve your company's bloodborne pathogen training needs, check out our products and services here or call us at (866) 329-5407 today. Remember, your one phone call can save lives. 

OSHA Top 10 Series: Fall Protection Applications and Innovative Technology

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Fall Protection

OSHA Top 10 Series: Fall Protection Applications and Innovative Technology 

As part of our continued focus on OSHA’s Top Ten most frequently cited violations to its standards, in this article we will focus specifically on Fall Protection as it is the number one most commonly cited standard for 2018.  The number of citations against this standard exceed 6,000, with industries such as construction and manufacturing identified as top offenders.  Considered one of Construction’s ‘Fatal Four’, falls from height accounted for 381 out of 971 deaths in 2017 in the construction sector, and was the leading cause of construction worker deaths. Additionally, according to the National Safety Council, falls amount to roughly $70 billion in both workplace compensation and medical costs in the United States.

Fall Protection is not something that should be taken lightly by any company because the consequences of a breach in policy can result in death or serious injury to workers engaging in work at heights.  Therefore, today we will be looking at how Fall Protection has evolved over the years, as well as new and emerging trends in the Fall Protection industry.

Evolution of Fall Protection

Fall Protection, like most types of workplace safety, has evolved significantly since the early 1900s where fall protection was unregulated.  The Occupational Safety and Health Act came into force in 1970, but prior to this Work at Height was carried out without any type of Fall Protection in place.  Iconic pictures of workers posing on I-beams while working on major buildings such as the Chrysler Tower depict the utter lack of workplace safety that existed during this time. After the enactment of the OSH Act however, workplace safety began to evolve in response to costly litigation and an increasing awareness of the dangers to workers from unmitigated hazards that could cause serious injury or death.

Hierarchy of Fall Protection

Fall Protection encompasses all categories that define controls used to prevent injuries resulting from a fall.  Fall elimination, fall prevention, fall arrest, and administrative controls are systems used in order to prevent falls from height. The hierarchy of Fall Protection that should generally be followed in order to prevent a fall states that:

  1. Falling Hazards Should Be Eliminated, for example through engineering controls that remove the fall hazard altogether.
  2. Passive Fall Protection Systems such as guardrails or covers can be employed to prevent a fall from occurring.
  3. Fall Restraint Systems secure workers in order to avoid the interaction of the worker and the fall hazard.
  4. Fall Arrest Systems can be used to stop a worker’s fall.

OSHA Regulations

Employers must understand any areas that pose a risk to workers, including overhead platforms or areas that may have unguarded holes in walking, working surfaces. Under OSHA 1926.502, employers have a duty to provide and install all fall protection systems that are required as per section 1926.501 and required by that subpart of the OSH Act.

Section 1926.502 outlines various types of fall protection systems, which include the following:

  1. Safety Nets
  2. Personal Fall Arrest Systems
  3. Positioning Device Systems
  4. Warning Line Systems
  5. Controlled Access Zones
  6. Safety Monitoring Systems
  7. Covers

Special consideration should also be given to work carried out above dangerous equipment or work taking place over water. OSHA’s standard for fall protection stipulates that it is required for any work carried out at elevations over 4 feet under its General Industry standard, and at 6 feet under its Construction standard.

Emerging Technologies

There are a number of new and developing technologies emerging on the market that aim to prevent injuries due to a fall from height, in addition to the wide range of conventional fall protection methods:

  1. Using Virtual Reality Apps to Train Employees: To train employees on the risks of working in construction environments with falling hazards, the American Society of Safety Professionals has developed an app complying with ANSI/ASSP Z359 standards that prompts users to identify common fall hazards. The app, which aims to reduce fall injuries, gives employers the opportunity to train employees without the risk of placing them in hazardous situation, while also acknowledging that “hands-on” experience may be more beneficial to conventional classroom training methods.
  2. Alerting Systems For Remote Work: Companies may choose to employ a tool that can be used by employees after they have experienced a fall to call for assistance. In large construction sites, it is sometimes difficult to monitor all employees, but in an emergency time is of the essence and prompt help can reduce serious injury or death.  Alerting systems work by having the fallen employee press a button to alert the system that they need help. Some technologies marketed are even capable of providing information on whether the employee has fallen and how severe the fall has been.
  3. Enhanced Fall Protection For Post-Fall Scenarios: Some companies are improving the existing designs of their Fall Protection PPE by adding components to decrease worker injury and death in a post-fall situation. Workers using personal fall arrest systems have a limited time for post fall recover before permanent damage is experienced.  To increase the time between initial fall and rescue, companies are now incorporating tools such as relief handles to relieve pressure inflicted on femoral arteries that pose a serious risk to fallen workers suspended in fall protection PPE systems. 

Subpart M

There are several companies that offer the products identified above.  However, when research to determine the best solution for your business and your employees, it is always important to understand the requirements under OSHA Subpart M- Fall Protection, to ensure that any Fall Protection first meets and if possible exceeds the regulations and is in full compliance with OSHA.  Employers seeking to understand more about Fall Protection should become familiar with Subpart M in order to protect their employees from fall hazards.  Any tools, equipment or controls implemented to prevent falls should also be compliant with applicable standards and regulations for Fall Protection.

Subpart M details not only the Scope and application of the standard, but also provides information on the duty of employers, fall protection systems and criteria and training requirements for employees.  OSHA also provides resources to employers seeking to comply with the Fall Protection standard on its website. These resources can be used to provide training on fall prevention specifically targeting construction industry workers.

American National Standards Institute

Additionally, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has recently revised Z.359.1- American National Standard Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and components in 2016.  Both of these standards provide critical information to educated employers and workers alike on Fall Protection systems required in the workplace.

To learn how we can solve your company's fall protection needs, check out our products and services here or call us at (866) 329-5407 today. 

OSHA Top 10 Mini-Series: Hazard Communication

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Hazard Communication

OSHA Top Ten List of Cited Violations for 2018

Every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Authority publishes its list of the Top 10 Most Cited Violations according to Federal OSHA. As of September 30th 2018, the top two most frequently cited standards following OSHA worksite inspections are violations relating to the Fall Protection Standard (29 CFR 1926.501) and the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR.1200). In 2018, there was a whopping 7,216 citations for Fall Protection, while over 4,000 Hazard Communication citations were recorded. Both of these standards frequently fall in to the Top 10 category, and violations often result in what could be considered easily preventable injuries. We will therefore be dedicating the next two articles to focusing on firstly on the Hazard Communication standard, and secondly examining the Fall Protection standard to give our readers important insights into compliance with both regulations.

Hazard Communication: What is it?

As a small business owner, you will most likely come across chemicals in the workplace, whether it be in the office or at a worksite.  Chemicals may range from cleaning fluids, paints and pesticides, to more obvious hazardous chemicals such as chlorine or ethanol.  Chemicals are as prevalent in the workplace as they are diverse, and with many beneficial and oftentimes innocuous applications, it is difficult to always see the adverse effects that they may cause to people.  However, employers should be aware that chemicals may pose health threats as well as physical hazards in the workplace and should therefore be documented carefully to avoid injuries or environmental/property damage.  Wherever workplaces use or store hazardous chemicals, they must have a written hazardous communication program in order to inform employees how the OSHA standard is applied at that facility.

What is a Hazardous Chemical and Do I Have Any at My Workplace?

It is important to note that prior to 2012, there were two systems for classification of chemicals in the United States.  As of 2012, the Hazard Communication Standard was updated so that its system of classification is aligned to the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  These two systems are often referred to in Hazard Communication so it is important to be aware of both systems.

Chemicals are classified as hazardous where they pose a risk as either a physical or health hazard.  These risks may include for example- flammable liquids, combustible dusts, carcinogenic materials or asphyxiants. Employers who receive chemicals that are considered hazardous must also receive information about the chemical to determine the risks it may pose.  This information may be provided in the form of labeling, or may also be found on the chemical Safety Data Sheets (SDS).  Chemicals fall into a variety of hazard classes, and may be further subdivided in to hazard categories under the Hazard Communication Standard (see infographic below).  Hazard classifications are typically completed by the manufacturer of the chemical, while the end user (you) is responsible for being aware of the hazards of a particular chemical as identified by labeling or the SDS.

Safety Services Company - HazCom Chart

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Hazardous_Materials_Markings_Labeling_and_Placarding_Guide.pdf

What Should Be Included in a Hazard Communication Program?

As highlighted above, employers who use, transport, store chemicals, or maintain any working environment where employees may be exposed to hazardous chemicals must have a written hazard communication program. Also termed ‘Right to Know’, employees have the right to be aware of any chemicals that they may be exposed to that can pose a threat to their physical safety or health. It is also beneficial for employers to maintain a hazard communication program in order to manage their workplace, substitute hazardous chemicals for less harmful ones where possible, and reduce the likelihood of worker injury resulting in increased worker’s compensation costs. Small businesses looking to create a Hazard Communication program should follow as a guide these six steps in order for it to be effective:

  1. Obtain a copy of the OSHA Hazard Communication standard and read/understand its requirements
  2. Create a written Hazard Communication Plan
  3. Label all chemical containers
  4. Create a folder with the most up-to-date SDS documents for all chemicals onsite
  5. Train employees on chemical hazard identification
  6. Periodically review and update Hazard Communication Program

1. Understand CFR 29 1910.1200: Hazard Communication Standard

This standard can be accessed online and provides specific information on what should be included in the program, how containers should be labelled, information on Safety Data Sheets and also includes requirements for training.  Some worksites have limited applications under the hazard communication standard so it is important for employers to clearly understand the scope of the standard and how it directly applies to their business.

2. Create a Written Hazard Communication Program

Employers should create a written hazard communication program that specifies how they intend to comply with 1910.1200 by documenting their compliance with the standard. This includes how they will incorporate warnings and labels for the hazardous chemicals as well as how employees will be informed and trained on hazards and how to manage them where possible.  The plan should also identify key individuals responsible for managing the program. The plan should include an inventory of all hazardous chemicals at the worksite, how the employer will inform employees about hazards including those posed by non-routine tasks, and what considerations will be taken for multiple worksites.

3. Label All Chemical Containers

Labeling is a crucial step in any Hazard Communication Program. Labels should include a product identifier (product name), signal word (identifies the hazard severity), hazard statement, a pictogram depicting the type of hazard, and the contact information of the chemical manufacturer or responsible party.

Pictograms are an easily identifiable way of displaying to an observer the hazards associated with a particular chemical.  Some common symbols include:

Safety Services Company: HazCom Symbols

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3491QuickCardPictogram.pdf

OSHA also provides a quick reference guide to the Hazard Communication Standard for labels and pictograms that provides a concise look at how this exercise should be completed for all chemicals at a workplace.

4. Create a Folder with the Most Up-to-date SDS Documents for all Onsite Chemicals 

All companies should maintain a Safety Date Sheet (SDS) folder that contains the SDS documents for all chemicals onsite.  This folder should have the most up-to-date SDS for a particular chemical on file and should be periodically reviewed to ensure that old SDS documents are removed and new chemicals have an SDS on file. SDS documents contain the following sections, organized in such a way that important emergency response information is provided first and technical chemical and manufacturer information is documented in later sections:

  1. Identification
  2. Hazard(s) identification
  3. Composition/information on ingredients
  4. First-aid measures
  5. Firefighting measures
  6. Accidental release measures
  7. Handling and storage
  8. Exposure control/personal protection
  9. Physical and chemical properties
  10. Stability and reactivity
  11. Toxicological information
  12. Ecological information
  13. Disposal considerations
  14. Transport information
  15. Regulatory information
  16. Other information

SDS document folders or inventories should be kept in a central location that is easily accessible to workers and should be maintained in English. Some companies choose to have this information electronically, but it is wise to keep paper files on location in case of a power outage as companies should always have these files available to employees.

5. Train Employees on Chemical Hazard Identification

Employees must be trained on the various hazards of chemicals onsite. Employers should therefore create a training that is effective in identifying hazardous chemicals in their workplace, the hazards associated with those chemicals, and the ways in which workers can protects themselves. Employees should also be informed of typical locations where these chemicals may be present as well as the methods of identifying a potential release of the chemicals. Training should also brief employees on the general requirements of a hazardous communication program and the forms of labeling and SDS files that are used and kept onsite.

6. Periodically Review and Update Hazard Communication Program

The use of chemicals at a workplace is a dynamic operation that can change quite frequently depending on the type of operations at a particular site. Therefore, it's critical that employers review their hazardous communication program periodically to ensure that it is up-to-date.  To do this, employers must consider:

  1. Determining if there are any changes to 1910.1200 and if any changes are required to their hazardous communication program
  2. Responsible persons are fulfilling their tasks under the program
  3. SDS inventory is up-to-date
  4. Training is up-to-date
  5. Procedures are accurate
  6. Labeling of all containers is accurate
  7. The program is effectively communication chemical hazards

OSHA provides many resources for small businesses to comply with the Hazardous Communication Standard.  For the most up-to-date information, visit their website to learn more.

To see how we can solve your company's hazard communication needs, check out our products and services here or call us at (866) 329-5407 today. 

Prevent Heat Stress in the Workplace

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man wearing red hard hat hanged on brown rebar bar

Prevent Heat Stress in the Workplace

It was recently reported in the news that based on global temperatures, July 2019 was the hottest month on record, with temperatures exceeding the previous record set in July 2016.  This means that for workers in industries such as construction, food and beverage and other jobs that require active work in hot or humid conditions, the risk of illness from heat exposure is not only high, it has also increased in recent years.  Daily temperatures, particularly during the July and August months, have continued to break records in last ten years compared to historically recorded temperatures.

To address these concerns, Heat Illness Prevention Plans are included in OSHA-approved State plans across the United States plans and companies must comply with these regulations.

Companies are required to do their part to protect workers from heat stress.  But how can this be achieved and what should you know? What procedures, processes or personal protective equipment (PPE) can you put in place to ensure that your workers are kept safe? Heat stress in the workplace must be managed by taking precautionary steps and limiting employee exposure to exceedingly high working temperatures.

In order to prevent heat stress from occurring, it is important to understand the body’s response to heat.  Where a person’s body is exposed to prolonged elevated temperatures, the body turns on its cooling mechanism in order to generate sweat and release heat externally.  Blood rushes to the skin surface and profuse sweating ensues, but if the body is unable to reduce its core temperature quickly enough, this core temperature begins to rise. Workers should not be placed in situations where there core body temperature is allowed to rise above 38⁰ Celsius, the temperature above which persons begin to exhibit signs of heat illness. 

Heat stress can manifest in several different ways and it is important to recognize the symptoms. 

All employers should understand the signs of each type of heat illness, and the appropriate level of first aid that should be provided. The table below, taken from the OSHA website on Heat-relates illness and First Aid, provides a snapshot of four types of heat illnesses and the first aid measures to be taken.

Illness

Symptoms

First Aid

Heat stroke

  • Confusion or hallucination
  • Fainting
  • Seizures
  • Very high body temperature
  • Red, hot, dry skin (or excessive sweating in some cases)
  • Call 911

While waiting for help:

  • Place worker in shady, cool area
  • Loosen clothing, remove outer clothing
  • Fan air on worker; cold packs in armpits
  • Wet worker with cool water; apply ice packs, cool compresses, or ice if available
  • Provide fluids (preferably water) as soon as possible
  • Stay with worker until help arrives
Heat exhaustion

  • Heavy sweating
  • Clammy skin
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Extreme weakness
  • Pale Complexion
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Light headedness
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Have worker sit or lie down in a cool, shady area
  • Give worker plenty of water or other cool beverages to drink
  • Cool worker with cold compresses/ice packs
  • Take to clinic or emergency room for medical evaluation or treatment if signs or symptoms worsen or do not improve within 60 minutes.
  • Do not return to work that day
Heat Syncope

  • Light-headedness, dizziness and fainting
  • Have worker sit or lie down in a cool, shady area
  • Give worker plenty of water or other cool beverages to drink
Heat cramps

  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain
  • Usually in abdomen, arms, or legs
  • Have worker rest in shady, cool area
  • Worker should drink water or other cool beverages
  • Wait a few hours before allowing worker to return to strenuous work
  • Have worker seek medical attention if cramps don't go away
Heat rash

  • Clusters of red bumps on skin
  • Often appears on neck, upper chest, folds of skin
  • Try to work in a cooler, less humid environment when possible
  • Keep the affected area dry

Source: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/heat_illnesses.html.

Understanding the signs and symptoms are important, but prevention is key.

There are several methods that companies can employ to prevent worker heat stress. 

  1. Provision of Cold Beverages:
    1. Ensure that cold water is available to employees working outdoors or inside hot and humid environments in amounts that are sufficient to prevent dehydration.
    2. Offering employees drinks such as Gatorade should also be considered as these drinks include electrolytes that are lost during sweating. Gatorade restores electrolytes such as potassium so that further dehydration can be prevented.
  2. Provision of Fruits: Companies can supply fresh fruits such as bananas and apples to help restore electrolytes along with replenishing the water intake as highlighted above.
  3. Allow for Acclimatization: New workers unaccustomed to working in hotter climates should be given up to two weeks to acclimatize to their new working environments prior to being given a full workload.
  4. Shaded or Air-conditioned Areas: Remind workers that if they begin to experience the first signs of heat stress, they should leave the work area immediately and move to a cool, shaded location. If possible, workers should relocate to an air conditioned building in order to prevent worsening signs of heat stress.
  5. Rest: Heat stress may cause persons to feel lightheaded and faint. Remind employees to take frequent breaks and rest with their legs slightly elevated if they experience dizziness.
  6. Clothing: Cool, breathable clothing should be provided to workers in hotter climates where heat stress is a concern.  In cases of imminent heat stress, clothing should be loosened in order to cool the body down more quickly.
  7. Provision of Cooling Systems: Where possible, provide adequate ventilation to employees working in warehouses or enclosed buildings, or where employees are working outdoors. This may be in the form of extractor fans (to release hot air externally), installing spot coolers in key operational areas, and providing heat barriers around furnaces.
  8. In Cases of Imminent Heat Stress, Use Cold Compress: Use cold water or cold ice compresses/ice packs. Place these on the affected person to speed up the cooling process if an employee begins to show signs of heat stress in addition to relocating them to a shaded area and sitting them down to rest.

Companies should also remind employees to:

  1. Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake as these drinks can cause further dehydration.
  2. Limit strenuous activities outdoors during the hottest hours between 11:00am to 3:00pm.
  3. Refrain from smoking, which can constrict blood vessels and can inhibit the body’s ability to acclimatize to heat.

New PPE technologies can also bring added comfort to workers in hot and humid environments.

Other options that companies can explore are new Personal Protective Equipment technologies such as cooling vests or Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) where respirators are required.  PAPRs provide constant airflow and are perfect for employees working in humid, hot environments.  Cool air from PAPRs can also extend to the upper torso for increased comfort of workers.

Heat stress should not be taken lightly.  At the Safety Services Company, we encourage companies to engage in monitoring environmental conditions to provide a safe and comfortable working environment for all of their employees.

To see how we can solve your company's heat stress prevention needs, check out our products and services here or call us at (866) 329-5407 today. 

Safety Services Company Awarded Construction Tech Review’s Top 10 Safety & Compliance Providers

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Safety Services Company awarded top 10 compliance solutions providers by Construction Tech Review

Top 10 Safety and Compliance Solution Providers - 2019

Safety Services Company, a leading provider of safety and compliance training products and services, is proud to be named as one of the Top 10 Safety and Compliance Solution Providers 2019 by Construction Tech Review magazine, in Safety and Compliance 2019. Construction Tech Review offers a unique platform allowing decision makers to share their insights on construction technology and vendor solutions such as Safety Services Company, news, case studies and more.

Click here to read the entire report.
To be granted this award, Construction Tech Review’s distinguished panel of CEOs, CIOs, VC, Analysts, and the Editorial Board, review hundreds of technology providers and shortlist the ones at the forefront of tackling the challenges to help CIOs in choosing the right solution for their enterprise. The final 10 companies identified exhibit immeasurable knowledge and in-depth expertise in delivering innovative storage technology solutions, enhancing speed, security, and accuracy of applications. Safety Services Company is one of only 10 to make it through this process.

The construction sector is witnessing fluctuations in numerous ways. Construction Business are becoming smarter and it’s significant to recognize that technology is changing the design, procurement, and engineering operations of the construction projects. Safety and Compliance management is also essential for any business as it helps to build a company’s brand reputation.

When it comes to the protection of employees in the construction and oil and gas industries, Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) must religiously maintain compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. But staying ‘OSHA legal’ is no longer enough. Organizations need to look beyond OSHA regulation compliance and create a safer standard of care to protect their employees from workplace injuries, accidents, and physical harm. Safety Services Company is a one-stop-supplier of topnotch safety and compliance products such as safety manuals, training kits, posters, online training, and safety meetings that helps construction and oil and gas businesses keep pace with the evolving OSHA regulations. As Dan Hurdle, the CEO of Safety Services Company describes it, “Unlike the other players in the safety and compliance space, we stand out in the market by addressing businesses’ and contractors’ compliance needs for both OSHA and third party auditor (TPA) platforms.” The company’s team of safety professionals, who create and update the content in its products, diligently customizes the content for a contractor to align with a customer or owner client. While the team constantly monitors the accounts of contractors on TPA platforms, Safety Services Company helps clients meet their compliance requirements with both TPAs and OSHA, saving them time and money.

Click here to download the full report.

About Construction Tech Review

Construction Tech Review offers a unique platform allowing decision makers to share their insights on construction technology, vendor solutions, news, case studies and many more.

(Source: www.constructiontechreview.com)

To see how we can solve your company's safety and compliance needs, check out our products and services here or call us at (866) 329-5407 today.