Category: Safety Tips

Safety Glasses, Eye Protection & You

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Safety Glasses

Safety Glasses, Eye Protection & You

Welcome to Safe Friday, today we’re going to cover safety glasses, eye safety, and eye protection. Whether you’re an experienced professional, or new on the job, we’re going to offer something for everyone!

Every year thousands of workers injure their eyes or lose their sight, not because proper protection wasn’t available, but because they chose not to use it. Workers must use adequate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially harmful light radiation.

Essentially, exposure is defined as being within a distance of a hazard where injury could predictably occur. In the case of hazards created by flying particles, anyone within 15 feet of the source of the hazard is considered to be at risk, although this distance may increase depending on the hazard. These risks apply to everyone, including management personnel, supervisors, and visitors while they are in a hazardous area. This company provides eye and face personal protective equipment suitable for the work being done, and everyone is required to use it.

Protection will meet the following requirements:

  • Adequately protect against the particular hazard
  • Be reasonably comfortable when worn under working conditions
  • Fit snugly without interfering with your movements or vision
  • Be durable and kept in good repair
  • Easy to clean and disinfect
  • Be clearly marked with manufacturer’s identification, rating limits and precautions

Normal prescription glasses and sunglasses meant for everyday use do not meet the requirements for industrial strength safety glasses and don’t provide adequate protection.

Always wear eye and face protection when performing:

  • Metal-working operations such as grinding, cutting, and machining during fabrication processes
  • All hot-work including gas torch-welding, torch-cutting, brazing, electric stick welding, and wire-feed welding
  • Air-gun or other air-tool operations involving compressed air
  • Woodworking operations using power saws, routers, planers, sanders, lathes, or chippers
  • Operating any power tool, powder actuated tool, or machinery that discharges debris
  • Any power or pressure spray operations
  • Any other general or specialized chemical handling processes where the risk of splash of harmful material is present

Varieties of eye and face protection available include spectacles, goggles, welding goggles, welding helmets and full-face shields.

Note: The National Society for Blindness Prevention recommends that emergency eyewash stations and first aid instructions for eye injuries be placed in all potentially hazardous locations. It is also prudent to keep a bottle of quality eyewash in the first aid kit. Any delay or mistake in dealing with an eye injury could result in permanent damage or loss of sight.

Good vision is an asset we all take for granted. Don’t take any chances; always protect your eyesight.

First Aid for Eye Injuries

Your eyes are vital yet extremely sensitive and delicate organs. Eye injuries can be unbelievably painful; however, the pain pales in comparison to losing your sight due to an accident. It only takes a spark, a tiny piece of metal or a splash of chemical to cause a serious eye injury.

Wearing proper eye or face protection will minimize your chances of eye injuries. If, however, you do injure your eye, first aid treatment must be done with extreme care to prevent infection or further damage. Professional medical attention should always be sought following an eye injury.

Burns:

  • To treat burns to the eyelid, wash the area with a sterile solution and then apply an antibiotic ointment or a strip of gauze saturated with petroleum jelly
  • To treat a chemical burn to the eye, use an eyewash station for 15 minutes. Keeping the eye open for flushing may be difficult, but it’s necessary. If an eyewash station isn’t available, flush the injured eye immediately and thoroughly with clean water. The longer a chemical remains in the eye, the worse the injury will be
  • For any burns to the eye or area of the eye, seek medical treatment as soon as possible 

Blunt Impact Injuries: A blunt impact injury forces the eye back into its socket, possibly damaging the structures at the front (the eyelid, cornea, and lens) or at the back of the eye (retina, nerves). A severe impact can also break the bones around the eye.

  • Blood leaking into the area around the eye from an impact injury causes a black eye. If a blood vessel on the surface of the eye breaks, the eye will turn red. Initially ice packs may help reduce the swelling and pain of a black eye, and by the second day warm compresses can help the body absorb the excess blood that has accumulated
  • Damage to the inside of the eye is often more serious. Any internal damage to the eye requires the immediate attention of a physician
  • If the skin around the eye has been cut, it may require stitches

Foreign objects: While getting dirt or dust in your eye is irritating, it usually doesn’t cause damage. Generally, such irritants will make your eyes water and the irritant should gather in the tear ducts

  • Gently flush with clean or sterile water. As you flush, roll your eyeball while lifting your eyelid. Any foreign object in your eye must be removed or it can cause damage by scratching or cutting the eye. If a foreign object isn’t easily washed out, get professional medical care
  • If a foreign object has pierced an eye, an ophthalmologist must be consulted immediately for emergency treatment

Take special care to resist the temptation to rub your eyes when they’re irritated; this may cause the irritant to scratch and/or damage the cornea. Inspect your eyewash station frequently to make sure that the station is sanitary and in proper working condition. If working in the field or an area where an eyewash station isn’t readily available, make sure your first aid kit has an eyewash bottle. Make sure you know how to use and apply of the eyewash.

Eyewash Stations

Some worksites require extra eye protection because eye injuries are more likely to happen. Eye injuries are the most common preventable causes of blindness. You can treat many minor eye irritations by flushing the eye with water; however, more serious injuries require immediate medical attention.

  • Emergency eyewash stations are required at workplaces that expose workers to harmful chemicals. Accidents can still happen despite taking proper precautions. Emergency eyewash stations provide immediate decontamination. The first 15 seconds after exposure to a corrosive hazardous chemical are critical
  • Eyewash stations are designed to immediately flush contaminants out of the eyes after exposure. They should be located near high-risk areas and should have the ability to be immediately and easily activated

Washing the Eyes (first aid for chemical splash in the eye):

  1. Flush your eye with clean, lukewarm tap water for at least 20 minutes. Get into the shower and aim a gentle stream of water on the forehead over the affected eye or on the bridge of the nose if both eyes are affected. You can also put your head down and turn it to the side and then hold your affected eye open under a gently running faucet
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water. Thoroughly rinse your hands to be sure no chemical or soap is left on them. Your first goal is to get the chemical off the surface of your eye, but then you need to make sure to remove the chemical from your hands
  3. Remove contact lenses. Take them out if they didn’t come out during the flush
  4. Get emergency medical assistance. After following the above steps, seek emergency care or, if necessary, call 911. Take the chemical container or the name of the chemical with you to the emergency room. If readily available, wear sunglasses because your eyes will be sensitive to light. Protect your eyes while on the way to get help
  • Don’t rub your eye causing further damage. Don’t put anything on your eyes except water or contact lens saline rinse. Don’t use eye drops unless emergency personnel tell you to do so
  • Water doesn’t neutralize contaminants; it only dilutes and washes them away
  • The flushing or rinsing time can be modified if the identity and properties of the chemical are known.
  • A minimum 20-minute flushing period if nature of the contaminant is not known
  • A minimum 5-min. flushing time is recommended for mildly irritating chemicals
  • 20 min. flushing time for non-penetrating corrosives
  • At least 20 min. flushing time for moderate-to-severe irritants
  • At least 60 min. flushing time for penetrating corrosives

Non-penetrating corrosives are chemicals that react with human tissue to form a protective layer which limits the extent of damage. Most acids are non-penetrating corrosives. Penetrating corrosives, alkalis’, hydrofluoric acid and phenol, enter the skin or eyes deeply

Penetrating corrosives require longer water flushing (a minimum of 60 minutes) than non-penetrating corrosives. The total amount of water in self-contained systems should exceed the volume required to deliver water at the recommended flow rates and flushing times

Maintenance of Eyewash Stations: Test your stations weekly, make sure all parts are functioning. Flush water through the system so that contaminants do not accumulate.

Conclusion: In all cases, if irritation persists, repeat the flushing procedure. It’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible after first aid has been given. A physician familiar with procedures for treating chemical contamination of the eyes should be consulted after washing the eyes.

Emergency Eyewash & Showers

Workers who handle hazardous substances run the risk of getting them into their eyes or on their bodies, eyewash stations or showers (or both) must be provided in case this occurs. An eyewash or safety shower is considered a first aid measure, not a preventative one. A JSA will identify the hazards associated with chemical handling and the first-aid measures to use in an emergency.

Factors to be evaluated in a hazard assessment:

  • Chemical properties: The physical state, concentration, pH, and temperature of a chemical
  • Chemical-use patterns: How employees work with chemicals during handling, transfer, use, or disposal, including frequency and duration of use, and quantity of chemicals
  • Training: Evaluate training requirements based on hazard communication, SDS, and the measures employees can take to protect themselves, including PPE. Employees must be trained on the hazards associated with the material, the location of the eyewash and/or shower facilities, and the proper procedure for flushing the eyes and/or skin
  • Work-site conditions: Indoor outdoor sites, protection from freezing, fixed or non-fixed locations, and facility layout
  • Equipment: Plumbed units are preferred where a clean water source is available. Self-contained units are effective where there’s no water source available

Requirements for equipment:

  • Eyewashes: Units must be provided in fixed work areas or stations when a hazard assessment indicates that a worker may be exposed to a substance that can cause permanent tissue damage to the eyes or skin
  • Safety showers: A shower is required at fixed work areas or stations when substantial areas of the worker’s body may be exposed to large quantities of materials that are highly toxic by skin absorption
  • Hand-held drench hoses: A single-headed emergency washing device connected to flexible hoses and used to irrigate and flush the face or other parts of the body
  • Solution/squeeze bottles: Chemical solutions used as substitutes for water must be appropriate for the hazard, properly tested, maintained, and replaced before the expiration date. They can’t be used as a sole means of protection, or as a substitute for plumbed or self-contained equipment

Location of eyewash and/or shower: Generally, the distance from a worker’s location to the device should be less than 10 seconds walking distance. The determining factor is immediate eye irrigation within 10 seconds. The path must be unobstructed and can’t require opening doors or passing through obstacles unless others are present to help the exposed employee

Emergency eyewash and shower use:

  • Flush eye(s) with water for at least fifteen minutes. The eyes must be forcibly held open to wash, and the eyeballs must be rotated so the entire surface area is rinsed
  • To use drench showers, contaminated clothing must be removed immediately, and the skin flushed with water for no less than fifteen minutes. Clothing must be laundered before reuse
  • Always get medical attention regardless of the severity or apparent lack of severity. Explain carefully what chemicals were involved. Review the SDS to determine if any delayed effects are expected

An emergency eyewash station or shower can prevent accidents from becoming serious injuries, or minimize injuries resulting from a chemical accident. Eyewash or shower stations must be clean, sanitary and operating correctly.

We have complete eye protection and safety glasses solutions for all your needs. Call (877) 640-6571 today to speak with one of our highly skilled safety experts.

Please join us next Friday for more safety and compliance tips!

Construction Incident Response

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Construction Incident Response

Construction Incident Response

Welcome to Safe Friday, today we’re going to cover construction incident response. Whether you’re an experienced professional, or new on the job, we’re going to offer something for everyone!

Per OSHA’s recommendation, companies should must take construction incident response very seriously. All incidents resulting in near misses or injuries need to be investigated.

To most of us, the word “accident” is suggestive of a random event, which could not have been fully prevented. However, most all workplace illnesses, injuries, and fatalities are mostly preventable

Investigating Site Incidents

Investigating incidents, whether an injury, near miss, or fatality, provides companies with an opportunity to identify hazards and rectify them in their construction incident response programs. Most notably, the allows businesses and crew member to pinpoint and implement corrective actions necessary in order to prevent future incidents from occurring.

Construction incident response plans and investigations should focus efforts on identifying then correcting root cause issues, rather than assigning blame or finding fault, which can also promote increased productivity and morale. Sustainable businesses demonstrate commitment to safety and health.

  • If a safety procedure or rule wasn’t followedwhywasn’t it followed?
  • Did production goals play a part, and, if so, whywere goals placed ahead of safety?
  • Was the rule or procedure outdated or was safety training insufficient? If so, why wasn’t the problem previously addressed or identified?

It’s crucial to uncover and rectify all contributing factors which could lead to an incident. Therefore, adequately addressing all underlying root causes is necessary to fully understand why an incident occurred in the first place, and to develop more effective corrective actions and construction incident response plans, and to eliminate the serious consequences that could come from comparable future incidents.

Emergency Response Plans

Emergency Response Plans are required by OSHA, so everyone knows how to react to serious emergencies.

Companies must have a written incident/emergency response plan that defines the actions everyone must take to ensure their safety.

Emergency response plans address emergencies that may occur in the workplace.

The minimum elements of your company’s plan should include:

  • Emergency escape procedures and escape route assignments
  • Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical operations before they evacuate
  • Procedures to account for all employees after emergency evacuation have been completed
  • The procedures for reporting fires and other emergencies
  • Rescue and medical duties for the employees designated to perform them
  • Names or regular job titles of employees or departments to contact for further information 

Before implementing the construction incident response plan, your company should identify and train enough employees to assist in the safe and orderly emergency evacuation of employees. The training includes:

  • The use of floor plans and workplace maps that show the emergency escape routes
  • A list of assembly/meeting locations specified for evacuation
  • Who is responsible for, and how to assist any employee who need help during an evacuation
  • Who is responsible for, and how to conduct head counts once evacuation has been completed This responsibility includes:
  • Taking a roll of his or her group
  • Making sure all persons are accounted for
  • Assuming the role of department contact in order to answer questions
  • No employee will be permitted to re-enter the building until after determination has been made that it’s safe to do so

Alarm System: Companies should establish an employee alarm system. If the employee alarm system is used for alerting fire brigade members, or for other purposes, a distinct signal will be used for each purpose

The plan will be reviewed with each employee covered by the plan at the following times:

  • Initially when the plan is developed
  • During new hire training
  • Whenever the employee’s responsibilities or designated actions under the plan change
  • Whenever the plan is changed
  • Supervisors should review with each employee the parts of the plan that they must know to protect themselves in the event of an emergency 

Rescue and medical aid may be necessary during emergencies. Circumstances calling for rescue and/or medical aid include serious injury or illness, medical conditions, injury resulting from a catastrophe, and various accidents.

Accident Investigations

Despite your best efforts, you can’t prevent all workplace accidents and near miss incidents. However, many accidents and near-miss incidents are preventable. By investigating all accidents and near misses, you can reduce the chance that an accident will happen again. Recurring accidents and incidents indicate that there are problems in the workplace. Let’s examine what to do after an accident occurs.

Respond to the accident scene: When you respond to the scene, you should:

Get an overall picture of what happened. Evaluate the condition of any victims and determine the nature and extent of their injuries. Notify emergency medical services if someone needs help. Perform first aid for the victim if the situation is critical. Wear personal protective equipment.

Secure the accident scene:

Make sure that you and the victim aren’t in any further danger. Don’t move the victim unless necessary. Use all necessary PPE. Preserve the evidence of the accident; don’t allow evidence to be moved or cleaned up, unless it endangers you or the victim, until you are through with your investigation.

Investigating the Accident:

Identify the evidence – This includes tools and equipment, position of victim relative to tools and equipment, environment of the accident scene, cleanliness of the accident scene, equipment ID. numbers, condition of equipment, floors and PPE.

Identify contributing factors – In addition to physical evidence, there may be other factors that contributed to the accident, such as operator errors, violating procedures or policies, employee’s attitude and training, health and safety records, or substance abuse.

Collect the evidence – Identify, and preserve accident information so it can be analyzed later and used to determine the cause of the accident. You may want to take pictures, make notes or drawings of the accident scene, or interview witnesses.

Review the evidence gathered during your investigation: When reviewing your evidence, you should:

Focus on the “who, what, when, where, how, and why” of the accident. Review any pictures or drawings of the scene and the facts surrounding the accident. Evaluate the physical evidence and information to determine the root cause of the accident. Talk to the witnesses and victims to help you assess the event.

Determine the cause(s) of the accident:

Examine all possible causes; be careful not to focus on one particular cause until you’ve reviewed all possibilities. This will allow you to correct all potential hazards in the future. Evaluate any reasons for employee actions. Try to determine why an employee acted the way they did before the accident. Determine if there was anything unusual about the work conditions before the accident, determine whether the employee was properly trained, or if the employee was instructed about the task.

Develop corrective and preventive actions:

Make a list of corrections and preventative actions that could prevent future accidents on your jobsite. Get input from employees to help determine the actions you’ll recommend to management.

Report your results: The final step in an accident/incident investigation is to report your results to management. Provide a complete and accurate description of the accident. Report what you have determined to be the root cause of the accident, and include any actions that may have contributed to the accident. Make the recommendations that you believe will help prevent future accidents.

Preventing repeated accidents is the primary reason for doing accident/incident investigations. These also help identify related problems in the workplace that can be dealt with before an accident occurs.

Establishing a Cooperative Safety Culture

On the job safety is a program of proactive participation between employers, supervisors, and employees; safety is everyone’s business. Looking out for others is the foundation of job safety, is the ability to exercise responsibility, good judgment, and accountability, and being able to depend on your co-workers and your company to exercise the same ability. In the workplace you are seldom alone.

The workplace is often a crowded place with workers involved in seemingly unrelated activities. However, supervisors, and well-trained employees know work is being done in a well-coordinated and orderly manner, and can readily identify unsafe situations, conditions or acts. Everyone needs to be involved in company safety.

Employers: It’s everyone’s responsibility to follow all safety rules. Let’s review the key elements of safety and health programs.

  • Management commitment: Managers are committed to making the program work
  • Hazard identification and control: Know how to identify and control hazards
  • Accountability: All employees are responsible for following safe work practices
  • Incident and accident investigations: Know how to investigate near-miss incidents and accidents
  • Employee involvement: Be involved in our safety program
  • Training: Make sure everyone is trained in safe work practices
  • Periodic evaluation of the program: Managers must review the program regularly

These elements together make workplace safety and health programs successful. We call them elements, but we could have called them components, ingredients, or puzzle pieces. When you put them all together, you have achieved a successful program.

Employees: It is your responsibility to follow your employer’s safety program and to conduct yourselves in a safe manner. It’s also your responsibility to make your co-workers work safely.

  • Let your co-workers, or anyone who may be endangered on the job, know of any hazards you know of, or believe to exist
  • Let your co-worker or anyone in the workplace know if you think they’re committing an unsafe act or work practice
  • Report all hazards to a supervisor or safety committee member promptly
  • Keep your tools and equipment working properly; follow all maintenance schedules and safe work procedures
  • Be prepared for emergencies, know what to do when something goes wrong
  • Know what workplace hazards could hurt you, and know how to eliminate or control them
  • Actively participate in the training of new workers and make sure they understand the safe work procedures
  • If you’re not sure of the right or safe way to do a job or task, ask your supervisor, or make it your responsibility to learn the proper way

No one wants to see a co-worker hurt on the job. It’s everyone’s responsibility to look out for themselves and others. It’s good business.

We have complete construction incident response solutions for all your needs. Call (877) 640-6571 today to speak with one of our highly skilled safety experts.

Please join us next Friday for more safety and compliance tips!

Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation & Sun Exposure

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Ultraviolet Radiation

Safety Against Sun Exposure & Ultraviolet Radiation

Welcome to Safe Friday, since July is typically the hottest month of the year, we’re going to offer-up a healthy dose of practical tips to help you combat sun exposure and (UV) ultraviolet radiation. Whether you’re an experienced professional, or new on the job, we’re going to offer something for everyone!

Though the sun has its benefits, it can also prove to be very harsh on your skin and bad for your eyes. Exposure to the sun for long periods of time is very harmful and can cause sunburn, premature skin aging, immune system damage, skin cancer, photosensitivity and eye damage. Here, we will learn how to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of the sun on our body.

  • Damage happens when the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate deep into the skin and damage cells, and we don’t feel this as it’s happening. Sun damage can occur even when the sun doesn’t feel very hot or you are under a shade
  • Over-exposure to UV light is harmful to the eyes as well. Going out in the sun without proper eye protection can cause a temporary but painful burn to the surface of the eye
  • Staring directly at the sun can permanently scar your retina. Eye inflammation and cataract development are some of the sun’s harmful effects on the eyes
  • Skin cancer is the main risk of exposure to the harmful UV rays. It can affect anyone, but those who have fair skin, fair or light-colored hair, light-colored eyes, sensitive skin or lots of moles and freckles are more prone to skin cancer. A family history of skin cancer and having been severely sun burned at an early age also cause a higher risk
  • You can protect your face and head from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. This can reduce the amount of UV rays reaching your face and eyes by over 50%. Protect your eyes as well by wearing appropriate eye protection such as sunglasses. Sunglasses have specifications which will ensure you that your eyes are adequately protected. Look for the ‘CE Mark’, a UV 400 label, or an indication that the sunglasses offer a 100% UV protection. Consider sunglasses with wide or wraparound arms
  • The most harmful time of the day to be out under the sun (or when the UV Index is very high) is from 11 am to 3 pm. As much as possible, stay in the shade or indoors during these times. The higher the sun is in the sky, the higher the UV level. UV is generally highest during the summertime as well
  • Heavy cloud cover usually reduces UV radiation levels while UV rays are reflected off surfaces such as snow, water, sand, and concrete, and indirect UV radiation can still significantly affect your overall exposure to the sun’s radiation
  • Wear a sun protection lotion or broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 15+ sun protection factor (SPF), a higher SPF provides for better sun protection. Be sure to re-apply sunscreen every two hours, especially when swimming, playing, or exercising outdoors
  • Don’t rely entirely on sunscreen for your sun protection. Sunscreen can easily wear off and should never be used to extend sun exposure. The SPF on sunscreens is a laboratory measure that grades the ability of a sunscreen to block UVB radiation. It’s not a number that can be directly translated into an estimate of sun protection or sun-safe practices
  • If you notice any abnormalities or irregularities on your skin after over exposure to the sun, see a doctor immediately. Report mole changes or unusual skin growths to your doctor as these can be a sign of cancer
  • Watch for the UV Index or the intensity of the harmful rays of the sun. A UV Index (UVI) of 1 and 2 are classified as low; UVI of 3, 4, and 5 are moderate; then UVI 6 and 7 are high; UVI 8, 9, and 10 are very high; and a UVI 11 is classified as extreme

Sunscreen is PPE

As we’ve stressed, it’s very important to protect your skin because it shields the rest of your body from potentially harmful Ultra-Violet (UV) or Infra-Red (IR) radiation from the Sun’s rays. Sunscreen may be considered Personal Protective Equipment when used to defend against over-exposure from “photon” radiation.

The type of skin pigmentation (melanin) a person has, and the amount of unprotected exposure to UV and IR rays, will determine the degree of skin reaction. Initially, the skin becomes red, painful and maybe even slightly swollen; later, blisters can form, and the skin may peel or flake.

The best – and most obvious – way to prevent sun damage is to stay out of strong, direct sunlight without preparation and protection.

  • Proper clothing and even ordinary window glass filters out virtually all damaging ultraviolet radiation sun-rays
  • Clouds and fog are not good UV filters, you can still sunburn on cloudy or foggy days
  • Snow, water and sand reflect sunlight, which magnifies the amount of ultraviolet radiation light that reaches your skin
  • Over-the-counter rub-on ointment and cream preparations help protect your skin from these harmful rays

Sunscreen

Before being exposed to strong, direct sunlight, you should apply sunscreen, an ointment or cream containing chemicals that protect the skin by filtering out the UV rays. Many sunscreens are either waterproof or water-resistant. Most current sunscreens contain a chemical called benzophenone that provides protection against a broad range of ultraviolet radiation rays.

Sun-Block

Are effective against burns in areas of the body that are exposed to continuous, direct sunlight such as the nose, lips and cheeks.

Still other sunscreens use physical barriers such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to protect your skin. These thick white ointments block sunlight from your skin. They’re generally used for small sensitive areas, such as your nose and lips. In the United States, sunscreens are rated by their SPF, or sun protection factor, the higher the number, the better the protection. Sun screens with SPF ratings of 15 or more block most UV rays, but no see-through sunscreen can block all UV rays. Most brands tend to block only UVB rays, but UVA rays can also damage your skin. Some of the newer type’s sunscreens are effective against both UVA and UVB rays, so check the labels for these protections when purchasing them.

Healing

Sunburned skin begins to heal by itself within several days, but complete healing may take weeks. Skin surfaces rarely exposed to sunlight tend to burn easily because they have less pigment. They can be particularly uncomfortable and slow to heal. Sun-damaged skin makes a poor barrier against infection, and if one develops, healing may be delayed. After burned skin peels, the new layer of exposed skin is thin and initially very sensitive to sunlight and may remain that way for several weeks.

People who are in the sun a lot have an increased risk of skin cancers. Sunburn also hampers the body’s natural cooling process, perspiration. Wearing light-colored cotton clothing helps reflect bright sun-light, a broad-brimmed hat helps shade your head and neck, a wet bandana around your neck helps keep you cool and wearing the appropriate sunscreen or sun-block helps you cope with the hot sun and avoid the discomfort of a painful sunburn.

Sunburns

The skin shields the rest of your body from potentially harmful sunrays. Over-exposure to the Sun’s UV type A and B radiation will cause sunburn. Your skin pigmentation, and the amount of your unprotected exposure to UV rays, will determine the degree of your skin reaction. Initially, your skin becomes red, painful and maybe even slightly swollen; later, blisters can form, and the skin may peel or flake.

Preventing Sunburn

  • The best – and most obvious – way to prevent sun damage is to stay out of strong, direct sunlight
  • Proper clothing and even ordinary window glass filter out almost all damaging UV sun-rays
  • Clouds and fog are not good UV filters, you can still sunburn on cloudy or foggy days
  • Snow, water and sand reflect sunlight, which magnifies the amount of UV light that reaches your skin
  • Commercially available rub-on ointment and cream preparations help protect your skin from these harmful rays

People who are in the sun a lot have an increased risk of skin cancers. Sunburn also hampers your body’s natural cooling process, which is sweating. Wearing light-colored cotton clothing helps reflect bright sun-light, a broad-brimmed hat helps shade your head and neck, a wet bandana around your neck helps to cool, and the appropriate sunscreen or sun-block will help you cope with the hot sun and avoid the discomfort of a painful sunburn.

Avoiding Ultraviolet Radiation Injuries

Working out in the sun, especially in summer, exposes workers to the highest concentration of UV rays. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are an invisible part of sunlight. These rays can penetrate and change the structure of skin cells. The most dangerous type of the UV ray is ultraviolet A (UVA) because it penetrates beyond the top layer of human skin. UVA radiation can increase the risk for developing skin cancer. Workers at the greatest risk of UV injuries or illness are construction workers, agricultural workers, landscapers, and gardeners. Many commonly used drugs can actually increase the risk of getting sunburn. These include medicines for high blood pressure, diuretics, various antibiotics, and ibuprofen.

The most common hazard from ultraviolet radiation rays is sunburn. This is due to spending too much time outdoors without using sunscreen. Symptoms of severe sunburn can include swelling, blistering, headache, fever, nausea, and fatigue. Years of overexposure to the sun also leads to premature wrinkling, aging of the skin, age spots, and an increased risk of skin cancer. In addition to the skin, your eyes can be burned by exposure to the sun. Sunburned eyes be red, and feel dry, painful, and feel gritty. Prolonged or repeated exposure to the sun can cause permanent eye damage such as cataracts and macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness.

Companies need to protect their workers from UV injuries by:

  • Scheduling outside work when the danger of exposure to the sun is the lowest
  • Offering shaded or indoor break areas
  • Providing training about ultraviolet radiation dangers including:
  • The risk of exposure
  • How to prevent exposure
  • The signs of overexposure

Workers need to protect themselves from UV injuries by:

  • Wearing sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15

An SPF of 15 allows a person to stay safely out in the sun 15 times longer. Although SPF does not provide protection against UVA, it does protect against UVB, which also causes skin damage. Sunscreen is less effective when it’s windy, humid, when you perspire heavily, or not applied properly. Sunscreens more than a year old should be thrown away. Be sure to apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure, while applying it to all exposed areas of the body (i.e. the ears, scalp, lips, neck, and backs of hands). Apply more sunscreen every 2 hours, or more frequently if you’re perspiring heavily.

Workers should also prevent sunburn by wearing appropriate clothing. Tightly woven dark clothing is more protective than light-colored, loosely woven clothing. High-SPF clothing is also available for those with sensitive skin or a history of skin cancer. Workers should wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with almost 100% UVA and UVB protection and with side panels.

Follow these safety guidelines on sun exposure when you’re working in the sun. Health is vital to keeping your job. Stick to these safety practices for your own good health and safety.

We have complete sun exposure and ultraviolet radiation safety solutions for all your needs. Call (877) 640-6571 today to speak with one of our highly skilled safety experts.

Please join us next Friday for more safety and compliance tips!

Lessons in Defensive Driving

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Defensive Driving

Lessons in Defensive Driving

Welcome to Safe Friday, since June is National Safety Month, we’re going to close out the month by covering the ins and outs of defensive driving. Whether you’re an experienced professional, or new on the job, today we’re going to offer something for everyone!

From a business standpoint, integrating key elements of defensive driving safely into your safety culture will help your bottom line.

The most common causes of traffic accidents are driving while distracted, fatigue, and impairment. It’s important to remember that these causes are not just a problem for your employees, they are hazards presented by all the drivers on the road with them.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), “the majority of fatal crashes occur within 25 miles of home and at speeds of less than 40 mph.” A frontal collision at 30 mph, where your vehicle hits an object and stops, people and objects inside the vehicle continue to move forward until they hit the windshield, steering column, or dashboard. This literally has the same effect as falling from the top of a three-story building.

An effective driving safety program will not only minimize risk and the resulting costs of crashes, it can protect what makes your organization succeed, its people.

Driving Safely at Work

Vehicular accidents are the most common cause of workplace injury and death. Follow the bellow safety tips when navigating vehicles on company premises to help minimize accidents.

Prior to Entry

  • Check tires to make sure properly inflated
  • Ensure any attachments of the vehicle are properly secure
  • Check top ensure all lights work properly
  • Ensure any vehicle equipment is in proper order
  • Operate the forklift only if you’ve been trained

After Entry

  • Buckle you seat belt
  • Adjust your mirrors
  • Check the gas level
  • Verify all gauges are operating properly
  • Check to ensure breaks are functional

During Transit

  • Keep your eyes focused on the space around you, be mindful of other vehicles and pedestrians
  • Avoid sharp turns
  • Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle
  • Follow our speed limit and other regulations
  • Maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles – about three vehicle lengths.
  • Raise and lower your load only when you are stopped
  • Stop and sound the horn at intersections
  • Use signals
  • Note any road maintenance issues and report them

Driving Defensively

Driving defensively means being constantly aware of the driving conditions, planning, anticipating hazards, and taking action to avoid accidents. Defensive driving will help to protect the health and safety of yourself and others. Let’s examine the key elements of defensive driving.

Attitude and Awareness

  • Courtesy and consideration towards others are important defensive driving attitudes everyone needs
  • Concentration and alertness are key elements of defensive driving, stay focused on your driving
  • Driving when you’re fatigued or emotionally distressed can be just as dangerous as driving drunk

Foresight

Foresight means being able to anticipate potential traffic situations and being prepared to take corrective action. Safe driving requires you to exercise good judgment and recognize the proper choices to make in any given situation.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Inexperienced drivers should learn through instruction, observation and practice. If you’re not enrolled in a driver training program, ask an experienced, skilled licensed driver to help you
  • Experienced drivers can face problems of carelessness, overconfidence and bad driving habits that develop over time
  • Driving is a well-rehearsed skill that involves anticipation, reaction and constant change of the spacing between your vehicle and other vehicles

Scanning

  • Most of what you do as a defensive driver is in response to what you see while driving
  • Avoid a fixed stare; keep your eyes moving and read the road
  • Avoid the need for last minute decisions; look ahead for a distance of about one city block
  • Look to both sides at intersections
  • Check your mirrors, both rear view and side view, frequently to keep track of traffic that could affect you

Blind Spots

Blind spots are areas to the left and right of your vehicle that are not visible in your mirrors.

  • When changing lanes, don’t rely entirely on your mirrors, always turn your head and take a look
  • Other blind spots can occur when vehicles are parked too close to intersections, or when bushes, trees, or other obstructions block your view at intersections. In these situations, slowly inch your vehicle forward until you can be sure it is safe to proceed
  • Avoid driving in other driver’s blind spots; speed up or drop back. Make sure other drivers can see you

Communicating

Always signal your intentions to other drivers.

  • Use your turn signals when making any turn or lane change. Signal at least 4 seconds in advance
  • If you’re turning just past an intersection, don’t start signaling until you’re in the intersection
  • After making your direction change, be sure to turn off your signal

Spacing

The space between your vehicle and others gives you time to react and avoid collisions.

  • Stay in the middle of your lane to maintain clearance from other vehicles
  • Keep enough space between your vehicle and any vehicle you’re following to allow time to stop at any speed
  • Drive at a constant speed to help drivers following you maintain a safe distance. If another driver is following too closely, change lanes if possible, or slow down and move to the right to encourage them to pass

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is defined as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.”Of these potential distractions, the most dangerous and common is talking or texting on a cell phone. Having one lets you call for help if your vehicle breaks down, or you need to report an accident. However, driving in heavy traffic during rush hour or through construction zones while chatting or texting with your office, a customer, a friend or your spouse is an unnecessary hazard to yourself and other drivers on the road. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.

Legislation

To address this hazard, the following laws have been enacted to reduce distracted driving:

  • Talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving is banned in 14 states and the District of Columbia
  • The use of all cellphones by novice drivers is restricted in 38 states and the District of Columbia
  • Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 46 states and the District of Columbia
  • Novice drivers are banned from texting in Missouri and Texas

Let’s examine the guidelines to avoid distracted driving:

Effects of cell phone use while driving:

  • Texting someone while driving takes your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds, at 55 MPH you’ll travel the length of a football field in that time
  • You’re driving performance while talking or texting on your phone is comparable to, or worse than, driving with a blood alcohol level of .08, which is the legal limit in most states
  • In heavy traffic, cell phone users were about 20 percent slower to respond to road hazards than other drivers
  • Cell phone users were about twice as likely to rear-end a braking car in front of them
  • Cell phone users see only about half of the visual information while driving that non-cell phone drivers see
  • A recent report from NHTSA shows that you’re 23 times more likely to be in an accident if you text while driving

In order to stay a safe driver while using your cell phone, use common sense:

  • Pull off to the side of the road or into a parking lot to use your phone
  • Use a “hands-free” set even if it’s not required in your state
  • If you have passengers in the vehicle with you, let someone else make the call for you
  • If none of the above are possible and you must make a call, keep the conversation brief and hang up or simply drop the phone if you encounter a risky driving situation
  • Keep a greater distance between your vehicle and other vehicles while talking on the phone
  • Don’t dial the phone or text while in traffic, wait for a stop or pull safely off the road
  • Keep conversations short. Don’t use the cell phone while driving for social visiting or other unnecessary tasks that can be taken care of later when it doesn’t endanger the lives of you or others

Psychology studies show that whether talking with a passenger or someone on the phone, people are less able to recall the details of a conversation carried on while driving. So, in addition to the possibility of getting into an accident, it might not be smart to discuss business or personal relationships on the phone while driving.

Road Rage

Most people driving are just trying to get where they’re going. Incidents and encounters with other drivers who may do something incredibly rude, thoughtless or careless can happen every day. Depending on traffic patterns, everyday driving can be extremely stressful.

Furthermore, what the media calls road rage is simply aggressive driving. Road rage incidents are occurring more frequently, and people are being attacked or injured because they honked their horn. Many aggressive drivers have incredibly short fuses, and you don’t want to be the one to light them.

If you’re concentrating on driving safely, you’ll probably see someone running a red light, approaching from behind at high speed or weaving through traffic, and you’ll have time to get out of their way ahead of time. It’s generally a good idea to avoid changing lanes any more than you need to, because weaving through traffic can anger other drivers. If someone is weaving through traffic from behind, simply move over and let them go by.

Aggressive Driving

In many states, you can be cited for aggressive driving if you commit a series of acts while driving that are considered to present an immediate hazard to other drivers. You can be cited for aggressive driving if you’re speeding and commit two of the following violations: failure to obey traffic signs or signals; passing another vehicle on the right side; unsafe lane change; following too close, or; failure to yield to emergency vehicles.

The penalties for aggressive driving can include fines, being required to attend a Traffic Survival School course, and you can even have your license suspended.

Important Defensive Driving Techniques

“Defensive Driving” means being constantly aware of the driving conditions, planning, anticipating dangers and taking the right action to avoid accidents.

Suggestions for Staying Calm

You can avoid becoming emotional while driving by planning your trip, knowing the best way to get to your destination helps reduce anxiety and stress. Concentrate on driving and leave distracting worries behind you. Listen to music you enjoy. Respond with courtesy if you are provoked by another motorist. If a problem occurs and you feel yourself getting angry, take deep breaths and count to 10. Don’t retaliate by flashing your headlights, honking the horn, or making rude gestures, these will only make a bad situation worse. If you’re the victim of aggression, get the license plate number and report the incident as soon as possible.

Aggressive driving tactics such as passing on the shoulder, cutting in line, tailgating, changing lanes without signaling and cutting off drivers and weaving through heavy traffic will make you the target of road rage a lot quicker than if you drive in a friendly, courteous manner. Doing so will help you avoid accidents, tickets, or other problems.

Another key defensive driving skill is compromise. Give the most room to the greatest risk, or most likely danger. Don’t insist on your right of way even if the other driver is wrong. Courtesy is always the correct response, allow aggressive drivers to go on their way and out of your safe driving zone.

We have complete defensive driving and safety solutions for all your needs. Call (877) 640-6571 today to speak with one of our highly skilled safety experts.

Please join us next Friday for more safety and compliance tips!

OSHA Fall Protection

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OSHA Fall Protection

OSHA Fall Protection

Welcome to Safe Friday, since June is National Safety Month, this week we’re going to cover the ins and outs of OSHA fall protection. Whether you’re an experienced professional, or new on the job, today we’re going to offer something for everyone!

According to OSHA, falls accounted for 38.7% (384 out of 991) of construction related deaths in 2016 and was the #1 most frequently cited OSHA violation in 2017. [1]

Most injuries on the jobsite happen because people aren’t using safe work practices. Poor training, carelessness, inattention, not implementing the necessary safeguards and not wearing the right PPE are the primary causes of on-the-job accidents. When it comes to protecting yourself against falling, actions speak louder than words! When everyone recognizes and corrects hazards, accidents are prevented, illnesses and injuries are avoided, and lives saved.

Why We Need OSHA Fall Protection

We’re all convinced that we won’t fall, until we hit the ground. Furthermore, we need protection from falling because we don’t have perfect balance and because our bodies injure easily. We may think that our reflexes will protect us and that we’ll have time to regain our balance when we are about to fall, but split-second reflexes don’t prevent most falls. We are falling before we know it, and we don’t have to fall far to get hurt.

Falls Without Protection

How do most workers fall? Falls from ladders, roofs, and scaffolds account for more than half of all disabling falls. These falls are caused by loss of balance due to slipping, tripping and shifting or unstable work platforms.

The leading causes of falls include following from:

  • Ladders
  • Roofs
  • Scaffolds
  • Docks
  • Down Stairs
  • Girders
  • Stacked Material

Protect yourself by:

  • Identifying the hazards that can cause falls, and eliminating them
  • Using the right fall protection equipment to prevent falls or protect you if you do fall
  • Understanding how to recognize hazards that cause falls
  • There are three strategies that you can use to protect yourself against falls:
  • Eliminate hazards that cause falls
  • Prevent falls from occurring
  • Control falls so you’re not injured

Eliminate hazards: When you eliminate a fall hazard, you ensure that it won’t cause a fall; this is the most effective fall-protection strategy. You can eliminate fall hazards by:

  • Installing permanent stairs and guardrails early in projects so you don’t need to use ladders
  • Using tool extensions so you can work from the ground
  • Installing guardrails and anchorages on framework and structural steel beams on the ground before lifting them into place

Prevent falls from occurring: If you can’t eliminate the hazard, you can still prevent the fall from happening by using parapet walls, covers, guardrails, handrails, perimeter cables and personal-fall-restraint systems.

Control the fall to avoid injury: Controlling a fall is the least effective fall-prevention strategy because it doesn’t eliminate the hazard and doesn’t prevent a fall from happening. However, this may be the best approach when the other strategies aren’t feasible. Fall control systems include personal-fall-arrest systems, positioning-device systems, and safety-net systems.

As shown, we need more than self-confidence to protect us from falls. The best examples of protection include substituting safe work practices for risky ones, knowing how to work safely, and following safe work practices. Safeguard against fall-related injuries by always using the right fall-protection. When it comes to fall-protection, actions speak louder than words.

Fall Protection Procedures

Falling from heights is the leading cause of injuries and deaths in the construction industry. Fall Protection requirements are determined by the type of work you’re doing and can include barriers, guardrails, harnesses, belts, lanyards, anchorages, and assorted deceleration devices. Let’s look at some of the fall protection guidelines you need to know.

Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) connections must be forged formed steel or equivalent material with a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 lbs.

  • Always inspect your PFA before each use and after any fall for wear, damage, deterioration or defects
  • Body belts can’t be used as part of a personal fall arrest system
  • Lanyards, lifelines, webbing and strength components must be made of synthetic fiber and have a minimum breaking strength of 5000 lbs.
  • Anchorages used for attaching PFAS must be able to support at least 5000 lbs. per person attached
  • When stopping a fall, PFAS can’t apply more than 1,800 lbs. of arresting force to your body, be rigged so that you can’t free fall more than 6 ft., contact any lower level and bring an employee to a complete stop

Positioning Device Systems (PDS) can use body belts and must be rigged so that you can’t fall more than 2 ft. Inspect your PDS before each use and remove any defective components from use. PDS anchorage point must support at least 3000 lbs.

Guard Rail Systems need the following:

  • The top rail must be between 39 and 45 inches above the working/walking level
  • Mid-rails, screens, mesh, or intermediate structural members must be installed between the top edge of the guardrail and the floor if there’s no wall that’s at least 21 inches high
  • Mid-rails must be halfway between the top rail and floor
  • Screens and mesh must cover the entire opening between the top rail and floor
  • Intermediate members must be no more than 19 inches apart
  • Guardrail system surfaces must be smooth to prevent puncture or laceration injuries and the snagging of clothes
  • When guard rails are used around a hole, they must be placed on all unprotected sides of the hole and can’t have more than 2 removable sides for passing material
  • Guardrail systems used on ramps and runways must be installed along each unprotected side

Safety Net Systems need the following:

  • Safety nets will be installed as close as possible under a walking/working surface, and never more than 30 ft below the surface. When used on bridges, the area between the walking/working surface and net must be unobstructed
  • Nets must have at least 42 inches of clearance under them to prevent contact with lower structures
  • Safety nets and installations must be drop tested after installation, before being used as a fall protection system, whenever relocated, repaired, or at 6-month intervals if left in place
  • Safety nets must be inspected at least once a week for wear, damage, and other deterioration
  • Materials, scraps, equipment and tools that fall into the safety net must be removed as soon as possible
  • Safety nets must have a border rope or webbing with a minimum 5000 lbs. breaking strength
  • Connections between nets must be at least as strong as the net and not more than 6 inches apart

When working at heights, protect yourself against falls by using the appropriate Fall Protection equipment. Make sure that a proper guardrail system is in place. Never latch your lanyard to railings, always clip your lifeline onto the proper anchoring system.

Focus Four: Falls 

OSHA has developed the Construction Focus Four Module to help workers understand common hazards. This is part of the training required in 10- and 30-hour OSHA Construction Outreach Training Program classes.

A fall hazard is classified as anything in the workplace that could cause a loss of balance or bodily support and result in a fall. Identifying fall hazards and addressing them with proper safety equipment, training and standards will drastically reduce the potential of one of the most common workplace injuries. Frequent types of fall hazards are: improperly-constructed scaffolding, unstable surfaces, and unsafe portable ladders.

Scaffolding

Scaffolding creates an elevated work space with varying levels of height, all of which are dangerous in the event of a fall. An improperly-constructed scaffold opens the door to hazards such as lack of access, open and unprotected ledges, and unsafe planking.

Begin to avoid scaffolding-related injuries by ensuring that construction and positioning are done correctly and meticulously. Allow for safe and unrestricted access. Protect and remain mindful of open ledges. Use fall-protection equipment such as body belts and lanyards. Check that wooden planking is without deterioration and reduced integrity.

Surfaces

Roofs, structural steel, and floors with sub-level space are examples of surfaces that are littered with fall hazards. Falls to a lower level are one of the most frequent kinds of work-related injuries that result in serious harm or fatality. Unsafe ledges, absence of proper equipment, and unprotected/unmarked holes and skylights are leading contributors.

As with scaffolding, take care with ledges that are open to lower levels. If you’re working near these edges, wear equipment that will anchor you to your station. Open holes and skylights are hazardous if they aren’t made clear and protected. Label openings that you can’t cover and be aware of hazards if you’re carrying large materials that block your forward view.

Portable Ladders

Falls from ladders account for over 100 deaths each year. Overreaching, slipping on steps, poorly-positioned ladders (either at the top or the bottom), defective equipment, and selecting the wrong ladder for a given task are some of the ways that ladders are commonly involved in fall injuries.

Carefully climb the ladder using one rung at a time to reduce the possibility of miscalculating your ascent. Wear the correct shoes with sole traction to avoid slipping. Include gloves if the ladder’s rungs are barren and smooth without serrated traction. Position the ladder firmly and correctly at both its base and its top, making sure to both ensure security at the above surface and to clear any unstable materials from around the ladder’s base that could tumble and throttle its integrity. Read warning labels such as those that prohibit the use of retractable ladder paint plates for standing. Select the appropriate ladder for each job, and always guarantee that the ladder extends at least three feet above the destination surface to promote safe dismount.

Most work places will at one time or another include any number of fall hazards. These can be isolated and minimized by following the right workplace procedures. Limit these injuries by stabilizing above-ground surfaces, using the correct protective equipment, and becoming knowledgeable about your work space so that you can identify a hazard before you approach it.

OSHA Fall Protection Emergencies

If a fall leaves you suspended in a personal fall arrest system, you need to know how to rescue yourself or someone else must know how to rescue you. The pressure on your body from hanging in a body harness can restrict blood flow between your lower extremities and your heart. If you can’t reduce the pressure quickly, you can lose consciousness within minutes.

Locate hazards: Identify the hazards that cause emergencies. Look for fall hazards in the tasks that workers do and the areas in which they work.

Eliminate or control the hazards: After you identify fall hazards, you need to eliminate or control them so that they won’t cause an emergency. You can eliminate many workplaces fall hazards by placing covers over holes, installing guardrails around unprotected roof edges, keeping walkways clean and slip-free, and making sure that you use ladders and scaffolds that will support the weight of you and your equipment.

How to respond if an emergency occurs: plan. At a minimum, a company’s written emergency response plan should do the following:

  • Establish emergency-response procedures
  • Identify critical resources, including first responders, medical supplies and rescue equipment
  • Provide emergency-response training for those affected by an emergency
  • Establish a chain of command. Everyone should know their roles and responsibilities during an emergency; however, one person must be responsible for managing the emergency, this means assessing its scope, and directing the efforts of others
  • Make sure back-up personnel can take over for key players when they are absent

Identify critical resources: Prompt rescues don’t happen without trained first responders, medical supplies and appropriate equipment. First responders are those who perform rescues and provide medical services. They must understand the procedures in the emergency plan, know how to administer first aid and how to use rescue equipment.

  • Every work site needs medical supplies that are stocked and appropriate for worst-case scenarios
  • Identify on-site equipment that responders can use to rescue a suspended worker
  • Always determine where and how each type of equipment would help in a rescue effort
  • Make sure the equipment is readily available

When an emergency occurs: If a suspended worker can’t perform a self-rescue, call the on-site emergency-response team and get the appropriate rescue equipment. First responders should clear a path to the victim. Others should direct emergency personnel.

  • Keep all nonessential personnel from the rescue scene
  • Talk to the worker and try to determine their condition
  • If you can get to the worker, provide comfort them and check vital signs
  • Administer CPR, if necessary and if you’re trained to do so, and attempt to stop any bleeding
  • If the worker’s injuries are minor, proceed with the rescue. Only trained responders should attempt a technical rescue
  • If the worker has severe injuries, contact emergency medical responders

After any emergency: Report fatalities to OSHA within eight hours. Always report all injuries requiring overnight hospitalization and medical treatment, other than first aid, to OSHA, within 24 hours. Document what went wrong. Check all equipment used in the rescue and replace anything that was damaged.

Prompt emergency fall response can prevent injuries from getting worse. It’s important to have a plan in place so everyone is prepared if and when a fall occurs!

We have complete OSHA fall protection solutions for all your needs. Call (877) 640-6571 today to speak with one of our highly skilled safety experts.

Please join us next Friday for more National Safety Month tips!

Citations

  1. https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html

 

Corporate Wellness & Safety

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corporate wellness

Corporate Wellness & Safety Tips

Welcome to Safe Friday, since June is National Safety Month, this week we’re going to cover the ins and outs of corporate wellness and safety. Whether you’re an experienced professional, or new on the job, today we’re going to offer something for everyone!

According to Daniel R. Nobbe, Plant Leader, Fiberteq LLC, Danville, IL., “There are many benefits from developing a safety culture at your company — none of which is more valuable than employee loyalty. When employees know you care about their personal well-being and you prove that to them in their workplace, it increases morale, engagement, awareness, motivation and productivity.” (Source: National Safety Council)

With that mind, the safety and health of all employees of your company should be of utmost importance. The best Corporate Wellness Program we can recommend is an Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Preventing work related injuries and illnesses must be given precedence over operating productivity, whenever necessary. To the best extent possible, leadership within your company should provide all the mechanical and physical protection necessary for personnel safety and health. In addition, your workers should also know and follow their duties and responsibilities to protect the safety of themselves and their co-workers.

Implementing Injury & Illness Prevention Programs (IIPPs)

The first portion of an IIPP should be designating safety leaders with formal safety responsibilities.

Knowing Responsibilities: All your employees need to know the safety rules and conduct their work in compliance with them. Disregarding any of the safety and health rules should be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination, as the future of your business and the wellbeing of your workers is on the line. Your employees must also make full use of the safeguards provided for their protection. All of your employees should receive an orientation when hired and receive a copy of your company’s Injury and Illness Programs.

Employee’s Responsibilities:

  • Reading, understanding, and following the safety and health rules and procedures
  • Wearing PPE at all times when working in areas where there is a possible danger of injury
  • Wearing suitable work clothes as determined by the supervisor/foreman
  • Performing all tasks safely as directed by their supervisor/foreman
  • Reporting ALL injuries, no matter how slight, immediately and seeking treatment promptly
  • Knowing the location of first aid, firefighting equipment, and safety devices
  • Attending all required safety and health meetings
  • Not performing potentially hazardous tasks, or using any hazardous material until properly trained, and following all safety procedures for those tasks
  • When in doubt, stop and ask questions

Communication Systems: All your employees should be encouraged to inform the management about workplace hazards without fear of reprisal. Workers should also be encouraged to regularly check the safety bulletin board to review current and relevant safety information.

Hazard Identification and Control: Your company should perform periodic inspections and have procedures of identifying existing or potential hazards in the workplace and eliminating or controlling them. Hazards, where possible, must be corrected as soon as they are identified. When hazards can’t be immediately corrected, a target date for correction should be set. Your company should also provide interim protection for workers while hazards are being corrected. A written tracking system should be established to help monitor the progress of the hazard correction process.

Accident/Incident Investigations: Accidents/Incidents must be investigated by trained individuals to understand why the accident or incident occurred, and what actions can be taken to prevent a recurrence. The focus needs to be on solutions and never on blame. Reports of the incident must be in writing and identify the causes of the accident or near miss occurrence.

Training: Your injury and illness prevention plan must include training and instruction when employees are first hired, for all new employees for each specific task, and for all employees given new job assignments for which training has not already been received.

Periodic Program Evaluation: Your company should conduct periodic reviews of each critical component of your IIPP to determine what is working well and what changes may be needed. All employees should be encouraged to participate by keeping your company informed of their concerns regarding the elements of this safety and health plan.

Your company’s goal should be zero accidents and injuries. To achieve this, your management, supervisors, and workers must all cooperate in effectively implementing the Injury and Illness Prevention Program set by your company.

Thinking About Safety

From a corporate wellness and safety perspective, freedom from danger is a wonderful concept, but to make that goal a reality requires considerable planning, training, commitment, management skills, and above all thinking about safety. Thinking through and applying safety and health programs is an effective method of identifying and correcting workplace safety and health hazards.

When thinking about safety you should consider:

  • Are you using the appropriate personal protective equipment for the job?
  • Have the potential hazards in the workplace been identified?
  • Is there a plan in place on how to avoid injury, and are there first aid procedures in case of injury?
  • Are you educated, trained and experienced to perform your job safely?
  • Are others trained and experienced to handle or use chemicals or other harmful substances in a safe manner?
  • Is there an emergency action plan in place, and is everyone familiar with proper emergency procedures?
  • Make sure you know the regulations that apply to your work environment and how to comply with them

Your corporate wellness and safety plan should cover the following subjects:

  • Your company’s safety policy and procedures
  • Understanding hazards and how to recognize and control them
  • Specific training required for the job
  • Emergency Action plan in case of an emergency
  • Protective measures to prevent or minimize exposure to hazards
  • A fall protection program (if appropriate)
  • Accident and incident investigation plan
  • A hazard communication program for any materials present
  • Personal protective equipment training
  • A lockout/tagout program
  • Equipment and power tool guarding policy
  • Fire prevention techniques and procedure
  • Personal protective equipment requirements and training
  • Workplace violence and sexual harassment

Take a moment to think about your equipment and machinery:

  • Are only qualified employees allowed to operate equipment and machinery?
  • Is the use of any machine, tool, material, or equipment that’s damaged or defective prohibited?
  • Are machines, tools, material, or equipment that’s identified as unsafe by locking and tagging, or physically removed from the jobsite?
  • Are only authorized, competent employees permitted to perform repairs?

Think about hazard evaluations: Successful corporate wellness and safety programs must provide frequent and regular inspections of the materials, operating procedures, PPE, job-site conditions, emergency procedures, safe work practices, hazard communication program (including SDS sheets), and equipment.

To reduce job-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses, take a proactive approach to safety, and think about how to work safely. Having an effective safety and health program will ensure you’re OSHA compliant and show your commitment to safety.      

Managing Workplace Stress

We live in a fast-paced society that prides itself in an honest hard day’s work. However, in this new society, it’s not uncommon to work longer hours, deal with extremely competitive pressures, drive farther to work, and be equally busy on the weekend and evenings. All of these pressures and time constraints can create a stress-filled life that can spill over into the workplace, hindering corporate wellness. There are several physical hazards associated with excess stress.

Medically, you can suffer from:

  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Ulcers
  • Digestive
  • Disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue

Psychologically, you can suffer from:

  • Anger, frustration and irritability
  • Impatience and worry
  • Reduced self-confidence
  • Addictive behavior

Occupational Hazards:

The following occupational hazards can result due to stress:

  • Developing nervous habits (i.e. nail-biting)
  • Obsessive compulsiveness
  • The inability to get along with others
  • Accidents due to loss of concentration
  • Propensity toward vulgarity and/or violence
  • Exceptional irritability and irrational behavior
  • Loss of concentration and apathy toward work
  • Abusing drugs, alcohol, or other sedating substances
  • Over competitiveness resulting in a negative work atmosphere
  • Being rushed and never completing the task completely or correctly

Stress, experienced over a prolonged period, or on a regular basis, is recognized as a significant health hazard. Aside from the immediate effects mentioned before, it can lead to a general deterioration of health and wellness over time. Stress can cause physical symptoms even though no physical disease may exist.

The body responds physiologically to emotional stress. For example, stress can cause anxiety, which then triggers the nervous system and hormones to speed up the heart rate and to increase blood pressure and sweating. Stress can also cause muscle tension, leading to pain in the neck, back, head or elsewhere.

Here are some guidelines to help you cope with stress:

  • Share your stressful situation with a friend, spouse or co-worker; this can help to relieve stress
  • Don’t make dramatic lifestyle changes in the midst of a stressful situation. Your decision may increase the instability of your situation and your judgment is often impaired by the stress
  • Always take time to eat, and avoid working too many days without a day off
  • Get enough exercise, sleep, and maintain a proper diet. Prioritize your day so that you schedule a good night of sleep
  • Practice deep breathing or other relaxation techniques
  • Avoid addictive substance. It’s common for people to turn to legal and illegal substances to aid in tension relief. Under stress, it becomes easy to abuse such substances, which may lead to addiction
  • When possible, delegate your workload at work and at home. Remember that no one can do everything
  • Avoid caffeine and other stimulating substances
  • Prioritize and plan your day (including an end time). Your work will always be there in the morning

Take the time to schedule your day so that you are implementing proper stress-reducing techniques. Taking care of yourself and your workers will allow you to lead a happy, healthy life, both in and out of work.

Managing Fatigue in the Workplace

Fatigue on the job can be very dangerous. The inability to continue work at the level you’re used to is not only harmful to you, but also your co-workers. Use the following fatigue management tips to stay safe and promote corporate wellness.

Training

Initial and annual training will be provided to all employees on how to:

  • Recognize fatigue
  • Control fatigue through appropriate work and personal habits,
  • Reporting of fatigue to supervision

Control of Worker Fatigue

  • To control worker fatigue, allow for sufficient sleep, and increase mental fitness
  • The company will set work hour limitations and will control job rotation schedules 

Use equipment to prevent fatigue, such as:

  • Anti fatigue mats for standing
  • Lift assist devices for repetitive lifting
  • Ergonomic workstations or other devices as deemed appropriate
  • Chairs to sit in periodically

Reporting Fatigue & Tiredness

  • All employees feeling fatigue, tiredness or lack of mental acuity must report to their supervisor immediately
  • Supervision must take appropriate actions to prevent loss
  • Take the provided periodic rest breaks
  • Personnel will also be periodically evaluated to improve work tasks and to control fatigue

Over-the-Counter & Prescription Drugs

  • Employees must not use over-the-counter or prescription drugs to increase mental alertness
  • All employees are discouraged from taking any substance known to increase fatigue, including fatigue that sets in after the effects of the drug wears off

Your safety on the job is of critical. Fatigue prevention is almost always possible. Paying attention to the signs that your body is telling you and following the procedures of the fatigue management program will keep you safe at work.

We have corporate wellness and safety solutions for all your needs. Call (877) 640-6571 today to speak with one of our highly skilled safety experts.

Please join us next Friday for more National Safety Month tips!

Emergency Preparedness and Response

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Emergency Preparedness and Response

Welcome to Safe Friday, since June is National Safety Month, this week we’re going to cover the ins and outs of emergency preparedness and response. Whether you’re an experienced professional, or new on the job, today we’re going to offer something for everyone!

Disasters and emergencies can strike anyone, anytime, and anywhere. You and your crew could be forced to evacuate when you least expect it, and we want you to be knowledgeable with emergency preparedness and response.

Workplace Emergencies

A workplace emergency is an unforeseen critical situation, which threatens your employees, customers, or the public; disrupts your operations; and/or causes physical or environmental damage.

Emergencies include the following:

  • Floods
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Fires
  • Toxic gas releases
  • Chemical spills
  • Radiological accidents
  • Explosions
  • Civil disturbances
  • Workplace violence resulting in bodily harm and trauma

Protecting Your Business

The best way is to prepare for an emergency before it happens. Most people can’t think logically in a time of crisis, so it is crucial to do so in advance when you have the time to be systematic.

Thoughtfully consider worst-case scenarios. What you would do if the worst happened? What if a fire broke out? Or a hurricane hit your building? Or a train carrying toxic waste derailed while passing your loading area? Once you’ve identified possible emergencies, consider how they could impact you and how you would respond.

Emergency Action Plans

Emergency action plans cover specific actions employers and workers must take to ensure employee safety from fire and other emergencies. Establishing an emergency action plan is an excellent way to protect yourself, your workers, and your business during a crisis.

Your Emergency Action Plan (EAP) Should Include

When developing your company’s emergency action plan, it’d be wise to consider a wide variety of potential emergencies that could occur in your establishment. Plans must be tailored to your worksite and include information about all potential sources of emergencies. You should perform a hazard assessment to determine what physical and/or chemical hazards could cause an emergency. If you have more than one jobsite, each site needs to have its own an emergency action plan.

Emergency Action Plans must include:

  • A preferred method for reporting fires and other emergencies
  • An evacuation policy and procedure
  • Emergency escape procedures and route assignments, such as floor plans, workplace maps, and safe or refuge areas
  • Names, titles, departments, and telephone numbers of individuals both within and outside your company to contact for additional information or explanation of duties and responsibilities under the emergency plan
  • Procedures for employees who remain to perform or shut down critical plant operations, operate fire extinguishers, or perform other essential services that cannot be shut down for every emergency alarm before evacuating
  • Rescue and medical duties for any workers designated to perform them

You may also find it beneficial to include the following in your plan:

  • The alternative communications site to be used in the event of a catastrophe
  • A secure location to store copies of legal documents, accounting records, your employees’ emergency contacts, and other vital records

Alerting Employees

Your plan must include a method to alert employees, including disabled employees, to evacuate or take an alternate action, and how to report emergencies.

  • Ensure alarms are recognized by all employees as a signal to evacuate the work area
  • Make an emergency communications system available, such as a public-address system, portable radio units, or other means to notify workers
  • Specify that alarms must be able to be seen, heard, or otherwise perceived by everyone in the workplace

Although not required by OSHA, you may want to consider the following:

  • Using tactile devices to alert employees who would not otherwise be able to recognize an audible or visual alarm
  • Providing an updated list of key personnel such as the plant manager or physician, to notify in the event of an emergency during off-duty hours

How to Develop Evacuation Policies & Procedures

A disorderly evacuation can result in injury, confusion, and property damage, which is why it’s important to determine the following:

  • Conditions an evacuation would be necessary
  • A clear chain of command
  • Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits. To be posted where they are easily accessible to all crew members
  • Procedures for assisting those with disabilities or who do not speak English
  • A system for accounting for workers following an evacuation

When to Call for an Evacuation

In an emergency, local emergency personnel may require an evacuation. In some cases, they may advise you to shut off the water and/or utilities. If you have access to radio or TV, listen to broadcasts to stay informed and follow the official orders you receive.

In other events, a designated worker should be deemed responsible for making the call to evacuate or shut down operations. Protecting the safety of workers should be the first priority.

What is the role of safety coordinators during an emergency?

You may elect to select a responsible party to lead and coordinate your emergency plans and. It’s critical that all workers know who the safety coordinator is and understand their role during emergency situations.

The safety coordinator should be responsible for:

  • Assessing the situation
  • Supervising all safety and/or evacuation efforts
  • Coordinating with emergency services
  • Supervising the shutdown of operations when necessary

Employees elected to assist in emergency evacuations need to be trained in the site layout and its specific escape routes. These employees should be aware of employees with special needs who may need extra help and must know the hazardous areas to avoid during an emergency evacuation situation.

Establishing Evacuation Routes & Exits

To the best extent possible, ensure evacuation routes and emergency exits meet the following:

  • Well-lit and clearly marked
  • Wide enough to accommodate evacuating personnel
  • Unobstructed and clear of debris
  • Unlikely to expose workers to extra hazards

Ensure evacuation routes and exits are posted for all employees to see.

Accounting for Employees After Evacuation

Confusion can easily lead to rescue delays. To ensure accurate worker accountability, consider including these steps:

  • Designate assembly areas where employees should gather upon evacuation
  • Take a head count as quickly as possible after the evacuation. Identify and communicate the last know locations and names of anyone not accounted for

Planning for Rescue

All too often, untrained workers endanger themselves and those they are attempting to rescue. Due to this, it’s advisable to leave rescue work to those workers who are trained, equipped, and certified to conduct rescue operations.

Medical Assistance During Emergencies

If you don’t have a formal medical program, you should investigate ways to provide medical services. If medical accommodations are available near your jobsite, you can arrange for them to handle emergency cases for your business. Also, you must provide your employees with a formally written emergency medical procedure in order to minimize confusion during emergencies.

If a medical clinic isn’t located near your jobsite, then ensure that onsite personnel have adequate field training in first aid, and that appropriate supplies are available for emergency situations.

Always retain a copy of your emergency action plan in an appropriate location where employees easily can get to it or be sure to provide all employees with a copy.

Employee Training

For your plan to successful, you must educate your employees on the types of emergencies that could occur and then train them in the recommended course(s) of action. The size of your worksite and crew member headcount, the materials handled, processes used, and the availability of emergency resources will all determine your training requirements. Ensure all your employees fully understand the elements within your emergency action plan, including the types of possible emergencies, alarm systems, reporting procedures, evacuation plans, and shutdown procedures. Cover any and all special hazards you may have onsite, such as toxic chemicals, flammable materials, water-reactive substances, or radioactive sources.

Training should address:

  • Individual roles and responsibilities
  • Threats, hazards, and protective actions
  • Notification, warning, and communications procedures
  • How to locate family members in an emergency
  • Emergency response procedures
  • Evacuation, shelter, and accountability procedures
  • Location and use of common emergency equipment
  • Emergency shutdown procedures

You should fully consider training your employees in first-aid procedures, including respiratory protection, including use of an escape-only respirator; protection against bloodborne pathogens; and methods for preventing unauthorized access to the worksite.

Upon reviewing your company’s EAP with your employees, it’s advisable to complete practice drills as often as needed to keep employees well-prepared, ready to act in the event of an emergency. Identify the strengths and opportunities within your plan and always work toward continuous improvement.

Employee Training Schedule

Consider requiring an annual refresher training plan. And offer training when you:

  • First develop your plan
  • Hire new workers
  • Introduce new materials, equipment, or processes into the worksite that may affect evacuation routes
  • Change the layout or design of the premises
  • Revise or update your emergency protocols

Hazardous Substances

No matter what type of business you operate you could face an emergency involving hazardous materials.

The primary source of the hazardous materials could be external, such as an oil truck that overturns on a nearby freeway, or the source may be within your site. Regardless, these potential events could have a real impact on your business and should be formally addressed.

If you store or use hazardous substances at your site, there’s an increased risk of a HAZMAT. OSHA’s HazCom Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) requires, “employers who use hazardous chemicals to inventory them, keep the manufacturer-supplied Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for them in a place accessible to workers, label containers of these chemicals with their hazards, and train employees in ways to protect themselves against those hazards.” Be sure to start gathering SDSs for all applicable chemicals.

Special Equipment

  • Safety glasses, goggles, or face shields
  • Hard hats and safety shoes
  • Proper respirators
  • Chemical suits, gloves, hoods, and boots
  • Special body protection for extreme environmental conditions
  • Any other special equipment and/or warning devices necessary for hazards specific to your worksite

Choosing Appropriate PPE & Respirators

Consult a health and safety professional before purchasing any personal protective equipment. Respirators must be appropriate to the hazards in your workplace, must meet OSHA standards, and be certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

While evacuating, respiratory protection is necessary if employees pass through toxic atmospheres of dust, mists, gases, or vapors, or through oxygen-deficient areas. All respirators used must be NIOSH-certified under the current standard 29 CFR 1910.134.

We have complete emergency preparedness and response solutions for all your needs. Call (877) 640-6571 today to speak with one of our highly skilled safety experts.

Please join us next Friday for more National Safety Month tips!

Supplier Vetting & Compliance

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Owner-Client Supplier Vetting

Welcome to Safe Friday, this week we’re going continue to cover the ins and outs of owner-client supplier vetting. Whether you’re an experienced professional, or new on the job, today we’re going to offer something for everyone! To help get stay ahead of the curve, below we’re going to cover everything you need to know about supplier vetting.

If your company wants to work with owner-clients who use these programs, you must consider obtaining prequalification compliance. 

Supplier Prequalification Firms

  • Achilles®
  • Avetta®/PICS®
  • BROWZ®
  • ComplyWorks®
  • ConstructSecure®
  • Gold Shovel®
  • HASC®
  • ISNetworld®
  • NCMS®
  • PEC Premier®
  • Textura®
  • Unimin®
  • Veriforce®

Supplier Vetting Benefits

  • Standardized method way to meet owner client requirements
  • Improve internal safety
  • Safety programs are audited by skilled safety professionals
  • Data tracking
  • Ability to track individual qualifications and training
  • Marketing and enhanced exposure to owner clients

Necessary Documentation

The documentation may differ based on your owner-client’s requirements.

Insurance Certificates

  • Owner-clients will provide their insurance requirements
  • The prequalification firm will review your certificates of insurance according to the review requirements of the owner client

Written Safety Programs 

  • The prequalification firm will review your company’s written health and safety program for conformance with OSHA regulatory and owner-client standards
  • Owner-client specific documents
  • Training documentation

Additional Documentation

  • OSHA forms (300 & 300A)
  • Experience Modifier documentation

CONTRACTOR MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

Most prequalification sites grade contractors based on the following elements:

  • Statistical Information: OSHA 300/A Logs, OH&S Statistics, TRIR, TRF, etc.
  • Health, Safety, & Environmental Program: Safety Manual, Safety Management System, HSE Manual, etc.
  • Insurance Documents: General Liability, Automobile Liability, Limits, Workers’ Compensation, Experience Modification Rates, etc.
  • Safety Training Programs: Weekly safety meetings, safety training videos/online courses, etc.
  • Questionnaire Information: Found in the MSQ™, PQF®, SSQ®, or equivalent

It is important to maintain your prequalification site account to remaining eligible to work with important owner client companies. So, how can a company most effectively maintain these accounts? Below are 5 key best practices to ensure your accounts are kept at their highest possible score.

1.    MONITOR

Consistent monitoring of your account is the backbone of effective maintenance. You should log into your account at least once a week. Many changes can happen between quarterly updates, such as the addition of new requirements, expiration of insurance documents, and renewal notices—just to name a few! Consistent monitoring and a hands-on approach will be very helpful when the more extensive prequalification site quarterly update requirements come around.

2.    REVIEW

In addition to monitoring your account on a regular basis, it’s important to be proactive with your safety programs. Most important, your safety program should fall in line with and meet the requirements of your health and safety administration (OSHA for the United States, OH&S for Canada, HSE for the UK and Australia). Review the applicable codes and federal regulations and make sure your safety programs are compliant. After this is done, thoroughly review your Owner Client safety program requirements—they may actually be stricter than the legislative standards!

3.    UPDATE

Last year alone, Safety Services Company has made over 60 revisions to existing programs and written over 30 new chapters for the United States and Canada to meet the ever-changing RAVS®* on ISNetworld®*! That equates to researching and developing 2 new chapters and updating 5 current programs each month, not including the training to go along with them! Whenever a change is required in your programs, review the changes requested against what you currently have written. Changes in policy requirements can be quite extensive and take substantial amounts of time to properly research and write, so be sure to set aside the proper time and resource.  Brand new requirements may have to be written from the ground up if you do not already have a written policy on them. Owner Clients may require you to have programs that don’t pertain to your company specifically, but must have because they may be present on the job site.

Outdated account information that doesn’t meet ongoing regulation changes affects your prequalification site account score. A low score can be detrimental to your business and may even keep you off a job site— proper attention should be given to these changes and updates right away. A safety program is a living document; it should be updated each time there is a legislative or requirement change, and changes should be communicated to employees.

4.    DOCUMENT (CORRECTLY)

The most common mistake companies make when maintaining their accounts is incorrectly-submitted documentation, or mistakes on the company’s end. When filling out OSHA logs or submitting statistical information, be aware that not every incident is required to be recorded!  Learn the differences between recordable and non-recordable incidents, otherwise it may appear that your company has a higher Total Recordable Incident Rate than it actually does.

Always double check that your documents have been filled out correctly.  Training documents should include the type of training received, date, location, time, supervisor that held the training, and a list of attendees, with a supervisor’s signature. Insurance documents must have the same company name (exactly) that is on the account, and abide to all of the requirements and limits. OSHA logs reflect exactly what is entered underneath statistical information.  Experience Modification Rates can be obtained from your workers’ compensation provider.

5.    IMPLEMENT

Most important, it’s not a matter of just having the proper policies and procedures, training, and documentation—but it must be implemented throughout the company. Some prequalification sites will actively come onto the jobsite to ensure you not only have the policies and procedures they are looking for, but that you are following them. Communication of the policies and training should be given to each employee so that everyone knows what to do.  Simply having policies and procedures doesn’t keep job sites safe — following them does.  Actions speak louder than words!

Keeping these five best practices (Monitor, Review, Update, Document, & Implement) in mind can help to maintain a positive score with any prequalification site.

If you are looking for help with ISNetworld® compliance, a quick google search will yield the names of numerous companies offering downloadable safety programs and monitoring services to assist you. But how do you know if these companies are qualified to help you with both ISNetworld® and OSHA safety requirements? And how do you choose one among the many choices?

Hiring a Safety Consultant

Here are some tips and red flags to look out for:

  1. Avoid supplier vetting consultants who only provide cookie cutter, downloadable safety programs and no real safety advice.   Although a cheap downloadable program may solve your compliance problem in the short run, it is not enough.  A professional safety consultant will provide customized safety plans that fit your company’s operations and will advise you on implementation so that the ultimate goal of a clean safety record for your company is achieved.  If you are audited, the cheap downloadable plan that was never implemented will not be sufficient to keep your company in compliance, so it’s best to do it right the first time.
  2. Make sure you understand the scope of the services to be provided.  There are many varieties of safety vetting and consulting available in the marketplace.  Some companies simply provide data maintenance and document processing services, which means that they only take care of drafting downloadable safety programs and handing it back to you. Others, like Safety Services Company, will offer turn-key, full service safety management services for your company.  Ensure you understand what you are getting when you sign on with your consultant, and that they are qualified to provide the level of support your company needs.
  3. Check your potential consultant’s references and reputation.  Referrals from your industry peers are a great source of names of potential consultants, as well as local safety organizations, such as your local chapter of the American Association of Safety Engineers.  If you are unsure, don’t hesitate to ask for client names and references at Safety Services Company we have more than +5,000 happy clients, and we will gladly share one of their stories. Your compliance grade directly impacts your company’s bottom line, so make sure the consultant you are hiring is competent.
  4. Remember that safety management is about more than just your compliance score. A good safety consultant can help you understand and comply with other requirements as well, improve your safety record, and maintain your company’s reputation on a quarterly and yearly basis, thus making you a safe company for owner-clients to hire.

Our Commitment to Continuous Improvement

Call for a FREE Safety Assessment TODAY!

Safety Services Company offers compliance services or contractor pre-qualification and verification services assistance — backed by safety experts knowledgeable in navigating complex third-party auditor requirements. We are the best in the business and we guarantee your satisfaction, selecting a Safety Consultant can be difficult, so we’re standing by to answer all your questions.

Futhermore, the verification process is involved and often complex, and includes detailed online account set-up and written manual requirements.

Owner-clients or hiring clients also makes changes to their requirements as often as every month. Services Company handles these time-consuming and challenging tasks for you—allowing you to continue to focus on your business. We offer a complete maintenance program and management of your account.

Let us help you get up and running today — over 5,000 satisfied clients!

We have a full guarantee, and can get you compliant within 72 hours in most cases!

  • Account Maintenance
  • Account Management
  • Full-service Compliance Assistance
  • Compliance Services
  • Contractor Prequalification
  • Safety & Compliance Manuals
  • Safety Programs & Policies
  • Safety Requirements
  • Approvals
  • Audits & Auditing
  • Certificates & Certification
  • Health & Safety Chapters
  • Supplier & Contractor Pre-qualification
  • HSE Manuals
  • Owner-Client Safety Policies
  • Health and Safety Programs
  • Getting Qualified
  • Account Registration
  •  Regulatory Requirements
  • 360° Safety Services
  • Training & Documentation
  • Account Creation
  • Courses
  • Qualifications

We have complete supplier vetting and compliance solutions for all your needs. Call (877) 640-6571 today to speak with one of our highly skilled safety experts.

Please join us next Friday for more safety and compliance tips!

OSHA Certification

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OSHA Certification

OSHA CERTIFICATION 10 VS. 30 HOUR

Welcome to Safe Friday, this week we’re going continue to cover the ins and outs of OSHA certification. Whether you’re an experienced professional, or new on the job, today we’re going to offer something for everyone! This week, we’re going cover the basics of 10- and 30-hour OSHA certification.

As an employer it is your responsibility to provide your employees with the proper OSHA certification training.

For starters, the 3-hour course is costlier. As an OSHA 10-hour class is completed over a minimum of two days and a 30-hour course requires a minimum of 4 days, naturally the 30-hour OSHA certification would cost more. But don’t forget, OSHA certification is an investment. Expending resources today will save you thousands on the backend when safety incidents DON’T happen. A couple thousand invested could honestly save millions.

In simple terms, the 10-hour course is more of a beginner’s safety course, designed for most workers, while the 30-hour course, is a much more in-depth course, which every supervisor or lead should obtain.

Training mostly emphasizes hazard identification, avoidance, control, and prevention, not OSHA standards.

OSHA Certification 10- & 30- Hour Courses

From a fundamental standpoint, the basic structure between Construction and General Industry is similar, but the topics are will vary. For example, the construction course includes the ‘Focus 4’: Fall Protection, Caught Between, Electrical Safety, and Struck By.

Within these constraints, the course instructor has authority to customize your course. Not every elective topic will be covered and the additional “open” time could allow the instructor to cover something that is very specific to what you do, which might not be a big enough issue overall for OSHA to include it in its curriculum.

The goal of training should never be just to get an OSHA certification card. This training is designed to save lives, as well as your bottom line. Providing your workers with the right courses is the name of the game.

When employees need some type of safety training, it’s common to wonder which option to choose, 10- vs. 30-hour. As an employer, you need to ensure that the course provides your employees the relevant and necessary knowledge to work safely and that’ll help your company be compliant with OSHA certification training requirements. It’s crucial for employers to understand why they’re choosing a course and, if a 10- or 30-hour fulfills their occupational needs, and what the differences are between the classes. The difference is far more than just saying there’s 20 more hours in the 30-hour course.

As previously mentioned, the 30-hour course is going to cost more. This cost both costs more than 10-hour and results and more lost production time. An OSHA 10-hour class must be completed over a minimum of two days (OSHA maxes out instructors at 7.5 hours of instruction per day) and a 30 requires a minimum of 4 days, so a 30 would logically cost more. But remember, these OSHA certification courses are an investment. Spending the time and money today pays you back significantly when a severe injury or fatality doesn’t occur.

WHEN IS OSHA 10 HOUR REQUIRED?

Although initially conceived as a voluntary program, seven states have crafted legislation to make OSHA 10- and/or 30-hour training mandatory for employees. Is OSHA 10 required in your state?

The 10- or 30-hour training programs are in-depth certification plans, created by OSHA and administered by government authorized trainers.

The 10-hour program takes a minimum of two days to complete and the 30-hour program a minimum of 4. Booth programs focus on the most prevalent hazards in the field and are designed to greatly improve worker safety.

While OSHA conceived these programs as voluntary, many contractors and seven states have made the completion of these programs mandatory.

Ensure your employees are certified in OSHA 10 or 30-hour with Safety Service Company’s online 10/30-hour training program.

With the program employees can earn a 10 or 30-hour card anywhere they have access to an Internet connection.

Is OSHA Certification 10 required in your state? Let’s look at the specific requirements of these states.

CONNECTICUT – SEC. 31‐53B

Connecticut requires all employees completing work on any public building project paid for in whole or part by state funding, or any of its agencies, where the total cost is over $100,000 to obtain a minimum of an OSHA certification 10-hour card.

The contractor completing the job must submit proof that each employee has completed the training within 30 days of contract award. Any employee that does not have the training is not allowed on the jobsite.

The state requires the cards to be renewed every five years.

MISSOURI – SEC/N 292.675

Missouri is one of seven states requiring OSHA Certification Accepted training for any employee who works on any sort of public works project, whether at the state or municipal level.

The state requires employees complete a minimum of a 10-hour training with 60 days of beginning work on a project, the employer doesn’t need to provide the contracting agency proof of training unless it is specifically requested.

Also, the state does not require the training to be renewed.

MASSACHUSETTS – CHAPTER 30: SECTION 39S

All employers wanting to gain public sector contract work in Massachusetts are required to ensure all of their employees complete a minimum of an OSHA Certification 10-hour training course.

Prior to working on the site credentials of training must be submitted to the contracting agency, any employee working for the jobsite. IF the employee does not have credentials they will be removed, and the employer could possible face a fine.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

All on-site employees, working on publicly funded (including state, or local municipality) projects of $100,000 or more, must complete the OSHA Certification 10-Hour Construction course prior to beginning work. An employee who has not completed the program shall be subject to removal from the worksite after 15 days of being found to be non-compliant.

The New Hampshire law provides for penalties to the employer of up to $2,500 and a civil penalty of $100 per employee for each day of noncompliance.

The law went into effect in 2007.

NEW YORK STATE – A02721

New York regulations require worker completing work on any public project greater than $250,000 in contract value to complete OSHA Certification 10-hour training.

Proof of completion may include a copy of a course completion card or certificate. Moreover, all training must be completed within the past five years, or training must be re-taken.

NEVADA – BILL NO. 148

Nevada assembly Bill No. 148 requires:

  • All construction workers in the state to undergo a 10-hour safety training course (OSHA-10) developed by the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at least once every five years. The training must be completed no more than 15 days of being hired.
  • All construction supervisors to undergo an approved 30-hour safety training course least once every five years. The training must be completed no more than 15 days of being hired.

If an employee or supervisor does not gain 10 or 30-hour certification, then their employment must be terminated or suspended. Employers who fail to terminate or suspend employees are subject to administrative fines and penalties.

RHODE ISLAND – 04-593

Rhode Island regulations require all workers in the state who perform work on municipal and state construction projects with a total project cost of one $100,000 of more to OSHA10-hour certification.

Any employee required to complete the OSHA 10-hour construction safety program who has not completed the program will be subject to removal from the worksite. Furthermore, if the employee does not provide documentation of having completed such program by the fifteenth day after the date the employee is found to be in noncompliance.

The state may also assess a civil penalty of up to $2,500; in addition, such an employer shall be assessed a civil penalty of $100 per employee for each day of noncompliance.

The following individuals are exempt from the requirements of the OSHA 10-hour construction safety program:

  1. Law enforcement officers dealing with traffic control and/or jobsite security.
  2. All relevant federal, state and municipal government inspectors.

FAQ’s

OSHA Certification Program Purpose

The Outreach Training Program is a voluntary program. Its purpose is to promote workplace safety and health and to make workers more knowledgeable about workplace hazards and their rights. Outreach training does not fulfill the training requirements found in OSHA standards. Employers are responsible for providing additional training for their workers on specific hazards of their job as noted in many OSHA standards.

OSHA Certification Program Growth

The OSHA Outreach Training Program was initiated in 1971, and has grown significantly in recent years. The train-the-trainer format expands the reach of the program to increase training availability. Between FY 2012 and FY 2016, more than 3.94 million workers were trained in job hazard recognition and avoidance through the program.

Designed For Workers

The OSHA Outreach Training Program provides training on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of workplace hazards. Outreach classes also provide overview information regarding OSHA, including workers’ rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint.

Program Benefits

  • Promotes safety culture through peer training
  • Training is intended to be participatory, using hands-on activities
  • Trainers are able to tailor the training topics based on specific needs of their audience
  • Outreach training content includes hazard recognition and avoidance, workers’ rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint; it emphasizes the value of safety and health to workers, including young workers
  • Outreach training is available in languages other than English (Spanish, Polish, etc.)

10-hour and 30-hour Programs

The 10-hour training program is primarily intended for entry level workers. The 30-hour training program is intended to provide workers with some safety responsibility a greater depth and variety of training. All outreach training is intended to cover an overview of the hazards a worker may encounter on a job site. Training emphasizes hazard identification, avoidance, control and prevention, not OSHA standards.

Selecting a Trainer

OSHA authorized outreach trainers are not OSHA personnel. Trainers are authorized (not certified) through this program to deliver Outreach training classes. Trainers are independent service providers and their schedules and fees may vary. OSHA recommends contacting multiple trainers to find one that best meets the student’s needs. Students may verify the status of an authorized outreach trainer. All authorized trainers must possess a trainer card which includes an expiration date along with the name of the authorizing OTI Education Center.

Outreach Training Program en Español

OSHA maintains a list of authorized Outreach Trainers who conduct 10- and 30-hour courses in Spanish at How to find Outreach Training in Spanish.

How to Get a Replacement Card

To obtain a replacement 10- or 30-hour student completion card, students must contact their trainer. Your trainer will contact the authorizing OSHA training organization. Replacement cards may only be issued for training which took place within the last 5 years.

Delivered By OSHA-Authorized Trainers

Through its national network of OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers, qualified individuals can become authorized OSHA Outreach trainers. Authorized OSHA Outreach Trainers deliver 10- and 30-hour outreach classes to workers in construction, general industry, maritime, and 15-hour classes for disaster site workers. To become an Authorized Outreach Trainer, interested individuals must meet industry safety experience requirements and complete a training course in the applicable OSHA standards and a trainer course to become authorized. Trainers must attend an update course every 4 years.

Prerequisite OSHA Standards Courses by Industry

#510 Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry
#511 Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry

Outreach Trainer Courses by Industry

#500 Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry
#501 Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry
#5400 Trainer Course in OSHA Standards for the Maritime Industry
#5600 Disaster Site Worker Trainer Course

Outreach Trainer Update Courses by Industry

#502 Trainer Update Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry
#503 Trainer Update Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry
#5402 Trainer Update Course in OSHA Standards for the Maritime Industry
#5602 Disaster Site Worker Trainer Update Course

Outreach Training Program Trainer Resources

The OSHA website contains numerous training materials and resources, including PowerPoint presentations for construction and general industry. Trainers may also compile training materials from other sources to assist in delivery of outreach classes. Trainers are eligible to borrow audiovisual materials from OSHA’s Resource Center Loan Program.

OSHA’s Spanish Trainers & Training References website includes references and links to various resources for Spanish language training, including training materials and Spanish PowerPoint presentations.

Program Requirements

The OSHA Outreach Training Program requirements and procedures for trainers are updated regularly. All authorized OSHA Outreach Trainers are required to understand and comply with current Outreach Training Program requirements and procedures.

Trainer Compliance

Trainers who fail to comply with program guidance are subject to the program’s Investigation and Review Procedures. These procedures state that trainers may receive corrective action, up to and including revocation of their authorization to conduct Outreach classes.

Watch List of trainers whose authorizations have been suspended or revoked is available. To report instances of program fraud or abuse, contact the OSHA’s outreach fraud hotline at (847) 725-7810.

We have complete OSHA certification and compliance solutions for all your needs. Call (877) 640-6571 today to speak with one of our highly skilled safety experts.

Please join us next Friday for more safety and compliance tips!

Online Safety Training

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Online Safety Training

Online Safety Training

Welcome to Safe Friday, this week we’re going continue to cover the ins and outs of online safety training programs. Whether you’re an experienced professional, or new on the job, today we’re going to offer something for everyone! This week, we’re going cover why you should implement an online safety training program.

Online Safety Training Programs

Online safety training programs provide long-term solutions and customizable courses designed for your organization’s unique needs.

Furthermore, online safety training systems can help your company manage employee training from start-to-finish, effortlessly streamlining the comprehensive learning process.

This training method will allow organizations to deliver, manage and track engaging online safety training experiences. With online safety training, it has never been easier to assign, administer and document the results of your worker’s training, and it can be done from nearly any location in the world.

Below, we’ll take a look at some of the core benefits provided by online safety training:

Industries

  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Hospitality and Food Service
  • Oil and Gas
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Utilities and Municipalities
  • Military and Homeland Security
  • General Industry
  • Conduction
  • Department of Transportation (DOT)

Sample Topics

  • Boom Lifts
  • Cold Stress
  • Confined Spaces
  • Excavations
  • Fall Protection
  • First Aid
  • Forklift Hazard Awareness
  • Forklift Operator
  • Hand & Power Tools
  • Hot Work
  • Lockout Tagout
  • PPE
  • Scissor Lifts
  • Supported Scaffolding
  • Suspended Scaffolding
  • And Many More!

Accessibility

Training content, courses, documentation, and company safety records are available to both employees and managers, anytime, anywhere, for ease of access and convenience.

Cost Reduction

Users get access to numerous training courses for one low annual rate per user. Add the reduction of printing materials, classrooms, travel expensive, and the savings multiply!

Engagement

Training combines videos, slides, and interactivity with knowledge assessments and field exams. This combination promotes employee engagement, piquing both effectiveness and interest.

If you’ve seen how successfully online safety training has changed the way businesses are training employees these past few years, you probably want to know how your business can get in on the action. Before you can make the jump, however, you’ll want to be sure that transitioning to online safety training is the right move and worth the initial investment. A great place to start in making that sort of decision is getting to understand what benefits come with online safety training, and where you can expect to see cost savings and a return on investment.

Centralized Learning

This is often considered the most significant benefit of implementing online safety training as your primary training deployment method. Centralized learning means that all aspects of training, its courses, user performance, and development tools are available at any time, from anywhere, from the same online location. Any number of learners or administrators can log in to the system for training, review, or customization at the same time. Centralized learning also means that training is delivered consistently, presenting the same content to all users with zero fluctuation.

Customization

Businesses are ever-growing entities, with new procedures, equipment, job titles, and compliance requirements being introduced all the time. The ability to quickly adapt to these changes in training needs is important, and the customization tools offered by online safety training can help achieve that. Businesses can introduce new material and target it for department-specific training at any time without the burden of orchestrating a scheduled face-to-face training program for large numbers of employees.

Progress Tracking and Reporting online safety training provide administrators with consistently-updated results of employees’ training efforts. Using these results, management can identify who engaged in what training, and where improvement is needed. Progress tracking fosters further value in that it can identify employees who have demonstrated advanced proficiency in their position and may be best qualified for promotion, thus maximizing the potential of your current workforce.

Reduce Administrative Costs

Depending on the number of employees in your business, it can require quite a few members of staff to oversee and manage your workplace safety program. Employees with the knowledge and skills to administer training initiatives can most likely be better allocated to other positions where those skills can increase productivity. Online safety training requires far fewer employee hours to micromanage than a traditional training program.

Usability

The best online safety training programs have a user interface (UI) that is intuitive and easy to use. There is very little in-person training involved when getting the system up and running and fully integrated into the workplace. The system usability doesn’t change, so as policies and procedures continue to grow, there isn’t any backtracking involved where relearning the interface is concerned.

Simple Expansion 

Online safety training makes introducing new training material very, very simple, and drastically reduces the complications of distribution. Because everything is centrally located, any new course material added, or updates incorporated to existing material is available to all users as soon as it’s added.

Extensive Training Libraries

When purchasing online safety training from Safety Services Company, businesses not only receive the system itself, but access to hundreds of courses spanning numerous industries across the country. The development of training programs becomes a non-issue, as we either have what you need or will create custom solutions to meet your training needs. There is no need to worry about contracting and hosting a qualified trainer, which can be very costly, every time you need to deploy new training.

Mobile Learning: Most online safety training programs are designed to be accessed from any internet-capable technology, from desktop computers to smartphones. Trainees often respond best to small chunks of learning accessed at brief, convenient intervals, as opposed to traditional classroom training in 60- to 90-minute sessions. This can be achieved through the use of mobile electronic devices, letting employees undergo training during downtime, on their work commute, or at home. Mobile accessibility also eliminates the need to interrupt productivity for training, as employees can choose the most convenient times to complete it without abandoning time-sensitive work activities.

ROI

Calculating the Return on Investment (ROI) of online safety training can be tricky, because safety training doesn’t have an immediate reward involved (it’s difficult to measure the effects of a workplace injury on the bottom line when the injury is only hypothetical). Actual numbers will also depend on a variety of factors unique to your business, such as specific needs (why you’re investigating online safety training to begin with), number of employees, type of training and industry (one business may have different compliance requirements than another), and how geographically diverse the business is (i.e. is there more than one location? Is travel often necessary for training?).

Start by looking at how online safety training will offer immediate savings over traditional training methods – savings that are visible as soon as implementation begins:

Fewer costs for training travel and training equipment and facilities, since training is all completed online

More training efficiency, as online safety training allows management customize training to target an individual rather than delivering prepackaged training programs which may include information not pertinent to a given employee

Eliminating unnecessary training systems and equipment because online safety training is hosted online in a central location

Less time spent away from work activities. This means greater productivity and fewer distractions

No more trainer fees or costs to create, store, and deliver training supplies and materials. Cost savings are produced further by the fact that updates, such as those provided by Safety Services Company, are automatic and reflect changes to safety regulations and compliance

Better scheduling efficiency, since employees can access training remotely, rather than attending a formal training class where several employees are away from their jobs at once

Safety Services Company is North America’s leading provider of safety and compliance training products and services. There is no limit to how we can help transform the way you achieve compliance and increase the potency of your workplace safety culture. Learn more about our Learning Management System and other safety-related services here.

Convenience and Affordability With Online Safety Training

Access training videos, interactive screens and quizzes, reporting, and more in a secure, logon environment for better monitoring and certification of employees, and ongoing maintenance updating of training materials to remain compliant with changing regulations.

Stay Compliant, Keep Your Employees Safe, & Protect Your Business with Safety Training

Training requirements and specific needs differ for companies of varied industries, sizes, locations, and more. But, the delivery of ongoing safety training is one, common must-do for businesses of all types and sizes.

Meet the safety training requirements of OSHA and OHS effectively and affordably with customized and comprehensive compliance solutions. From weekly safety meetings to safety policy and procedure manuals to engaging interactive online training, you can achieve your safety program goals using safety training products specifically designed and customized to meet your company’s needs and ensure a safer workplace for you and your team.

Easy-to-use, affordable OSHA compliant software-based training packages for in-house safety training. Kits designed for individual or group sessions – in the office or on the jobsite.

  • Reduce training costs
  • One-time Payment Options
  • Increase productivity
  • Satisfy OSHA Requirements
  • General Industry 1910 & Construction 1926
  • Minimal Cost per Person
  • Audit-friendly
  • Quick Reporting
  • Multiple Industries covered
  • Consistent, Compliant Updates
  • Track and Manage Employee Training
  • Individual and Group Training Modules
  • Scalable for Business Growth
  • Upload/Share Internal Docs Easily

Not sure of your safety training needs, or how best to meet your safety goals? Contact us  — we’re here to help!

We have complete Online Safety Training programs and OSHA compliance solutions for all your needs. Call (877) 640-6571 today to speak with one of our highly skilled safety experts.

Please join us next Friday for more safety and compliance tips!