Help Prevent Office Injuries With OSHA’s Computer Workstations eTool

There’s a heavy focus in the construction and manufacturing industries on avoiding OSHA’s “fatal four” by providing the training and necessary to keep workers safe. However, according to Bureau of Labor and Statistics data, musculoskeletal disorders account for 33% of all worker injury and illness cases nationwide. Some common examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis,…

Details

A Safety Focus Pays

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ most recent data, fatal falls to a lower level resulted in almost 40% of all workplace fatalities in the private construction industry in 2015. We can stop these fatalities, but only by addressing the causes — one of which is improper use of scaffolding. Recently, OSHA cited D.H. Construction…

Details

Downed Power Line? Here’s What To Do

In response to the destruction from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma, OSHA posted a reminder on Twitter this morning to avoid downed power lines. There’s a high chance that they’re live, and you could be injured or killed if you come into contact with one. Here are a few additional tips on downed power line safety: Don’t…

Details

New OSHA Confined Spaces In Residential Construction Fact Sheet Released

OSHA recently released a new fact sheet related to confined spaces in residential construction settings. The fact sheet explains how employers can determine if confined spaces or permit-required confined spaces exist and how common spaces in residential construction are impacted by the standard. OSHA defines a confined space as any space that meets the following criteria: is…

Details

New Communications Tower Guide to Best Practices 

Communications towers provide access for many of the conveniences we take for granted like cell service and radio station signals, but these towers present unique safety challenges for those who use and maintain them. In fact, according to OSHA data, between 2013-2016, thirty-four communications tower-related fatalities occurred. Recently OSHA released a new guide to best practices for companies…

Details

Avoid OSHA’s Preliminary List of 10 Top Safety Citations for 2016 

Every year, OSHA releases a list of their top 10 safety citations in rank order. The most recently available list is below. This list provides some valuable insights into where employers are failing to provide workers with safe workplaces, resulting in fines that eat into profits. Fall protection Hazard communication Scaffolds Respiratory protection Lockout/tagout Powered industrial trucks…

Details

What We Can Learn from a Manufacturing Company That Was Fined Nearly $2 Million for Safety Violations

On July 21st, OSHA announced that they had fined an aluminum manufacturing company based in New Jersey a total of $$1,922,895 for fifty-one safety violations — not something any business wants to experience. The Injuries During their on-site inspection, OSHA discovered that two plant employees were hospitalized as a result of the company’s failure to…

Details

Fall Protection Pays

Falls are a major safety issue in the construction industry. According to the most recent stats from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, data from 2015 indicates that falls accounted for 648 worker fatalities. Second only to transportation-related accidents, falls are one of the most serious sources of worker fatalities in the country. They’re also a financial threat…

Details

Safe + Sound Week: Safe Workplaces = Sound Businesses

June 12-18 is “Safe + Sound Week,” a new nationwide OSHA effort that’s designed to raise awareness of the value and importance of workplace safety and health programs. Companies and organizations are making great strides in improving safety, but still over four million workers suffer serious job-related injuries or illnesses annually. We can’t stop trying…

Details

It’s Getting Hot Out There: Don’t Forget Heat Safety

The weather starts getting hot this time of year, with intense sun making raising the risks for outdoor workers. Heat-related illness like heatstroke can be serious if not treated. OSHA’s WATER. REST. SHADE. campaign is designed to prevent heat-related illness. It focuses on outdoor workers, like as those in construction, agriculture, transportation, grounds maintenance, and landscaping services. Here’s…

Details

Tornado Safety

This week the Southeast has been hit with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, which are very unusual for this area. When rare, dangerous events occur, people are often unprepared for them. Tornadoes can happen with little or no warning, and they cannot always be seen ahead of time. Employers should develop an emergency plan for what to do…

Details

Here’s Why Safety Matters

OSHA recently shared a story in their newsletter about a company that is a participant in OSHA’s Strategic Partnership Program that communicates exactly why regulations matter. The construction management company has a policy that requires fall protection at all times for every contractor. One of their contractors objected to using fall protection on an apartment project,…

Details

Just a Few More Weeks to Comment on a Potential Standard to Prevent Workplace Violence

Because OSHA is seeing the rate of workplace violence in the healthcare industry rising substantially higher than private industry as a whole, the agency is looking at creating a standard designed to reduce workplace violence in the healthcare and social assistance industries. As part of this process, they’re requesting research findings and input on effective strategies…

Details

OSHA Has Issued a Final Rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems for General Industry

Falls are still among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. OSHA is continuing to try to reduce these, and in November issued a final rule on walking-working surfaces and personal fall protection systems for general industry. OSHA estimates that these changes will prevent 29 fatalities and 5,842 lost-workday injuries every year. Note…

Details

Focus on Ladder Safety

Ladder accidents result in about 20,000 injuries and 300 deaths each year. These are preventable! National Ladder Safety Month March is National Ladder Safety month, and the goal of this focus is to promote ladder safety and home and at work. Employers are encouraged to teach workers how to prevent ladder accidents. OSHA and the…

Details

Safety Focus on Healthcare

More workers are injured in the healthcare and social assistance industry sector than any other. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the likelihood of injury or illness resulting in days away from work is higher in hospitals than in construction and manufacturing—two industries that are traditionally thought to be relatively hazardous. What are the…

Details

Stay Safe in Confined Spaces

Confined spaces don’t look that dangerous, but they have many hidden hazards. Confined spaces are often not well ventilated, causing them to contain insufficient oxygen or hazardous levels of toxic gases. Working in a tight space can prevent a worker from keeping a safe distance from mechanical and electrical hazards in the space, exposing them…

Details

Reporting Requirements Show Over 7 Amputations Per Day in U.S. Workplaces

Since OSHA began requiring employers to report severe injuries in 2015, the agency has recorded on average more than seven amputations a day. And this number is likely lower than the actual number because OSHA’s data doesn’t include workplaces covered by state plans. These statistics represent real people who have suffered permanent, life-changing injuries. And…

Details

Study Reveals Importance of Providing Adequate Hand Protection for Workers

According to Bureau of Labor and Statistics data, nearly 3.5 million workers sustain non-life threatening injuries each year on the job. Not surprisingly, about 40% of those injuries are to the hands. Typical workplace hand injuries involve things like broken bones, lacerations, and burns. Skin rashes, dermatitis, and sometimes even cancer can result from exposure to…

Details

OSHA Issues New Recommended Practices For Safety and Health Programs In Construction

In October of this year, OSHA issued a new Recommended Practices For Safety and Health Programs In Construction. This 40-page guide offers concise guidelines and best practice advice for companies in the construction industry seeking to establish and safety and health program in their business. This publication is best suited for small to medium sized construction…

Details

What We Can Learn from a Worker Buried While Installing a Sewer Line

OSHA announced last week that they are opening an investigation into Trax Construction Company of Wickliffe, OH after a trench collapse buried one of their workers while he was installing a sewer line. As he was connecting sewer piping in a 8-foot deep trench, 14,000 pounds of dirt shifted unexpectedly, collapsing the trench and breaking apart…

Details

OSHA v-Tools Highlight Construction Site Dangers

More than 800 construction workers die in the US each year in work-related injuries, while nearly 137,000 more are injured while on the job. Construction workers are exposed to many serious hazards: falling from rooftops, unguarded machinery, being struck by heavy construction equipment, electrocutions, silica dust, and asbestos. OSHA has recently developed a great resource to help employers…

Details

OSHA Proposes $92,285 In Fines For Providing Inadequare Fall Protection

Last month, OSHA inspectors cited a Dublin, OH-based steel erection company for failing to provide it’s workers with adequate fall protection. Eight serious violations and two repeated violations carry a proposed $92,285 penalty. Violations included failing to train workers on the use of aerial lifts, exceeding weight limits on boom and lift baskets, and failing…

Details

Nail Guns: Caution Required!

Shooting nails at well over the speed of the very best major league pitchers, nail guns are both one of the most common and most dangerous tools found on many construction sites. According to the CDC, nail guns account for 37,000 trips to the emergency room annually with 68% of those trips involving construction workers.…

Details

OSHA Shares Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs

Safety programs help companies reach their goal to prevent workplace injuries and fatalities. OSHA has recently updated their Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs (first released 30 years ago), to account for the changes in modern workplaces and evolving safety and health issues. The New Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs Resource The practices recommended by OSHA use a proactive…

Details

The Case for Switching to Safer Chemicals

In the United States, chemicals are responsible for an estimated 190,000 worker illnesses and 50,000 worker deaths each year. (And these numbers are very probably an underestimate, thanks to long latency periods between chemical exposures and the onset of disease, unrecognized relationships between illnesses and chemicals, and other factors.) Chemicals are essential in many manufacturing and construction processes and jobs,…

Details

OSHA Invites the Public to Comment on Proposed Amendments to the Respiratory Protection Standard

OSHA is proposing to add two add two quantitative fit-testing protocols to the Respiratory Protection Standard. The public is invited to comment on the accuracy and reliability of the proposed protocols, their effectiveness in detecting respirator leakage, and their usefulness in selecting respirators that will protect employees from airborne contaminants in the workplace. This proposal would allow employers greater…

Details

Safety is Good for Business

Of course the main reason for implementing a safety program is to protect workers from injury and death. But what’s good for your workers is also good for you as a business owner. Commitment to safety is correlated with: Improvements in product, process, and service quality Better workplace morale Improved recruitment and retention A more favorable…

Details

Don’t Let Trenches Become Graves

It sounds melodramatic, but it’s reality: an average of 25 workers are killed each year in trench accidents. Over half involve workers employed at companies with fewer than 50 employees. Although trench deaths have declined since OSHA commissioned a study in 2003 designed to identify why so many deaths were occurring and to create a plan…

Details

OSHA Issues Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

OSHA has issued a final rule to revise its Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation. What the Rule Requires This rule requires employers in certain industries to electronically submit injury and illness data. OSHA intends to post the data from these submissions on a publicly-accessible website (although they will not post any information that…

Details

OSHA Issues Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica

When inhaled, crystalline silica is deadly. Inhaled crystalline silica is responsible for lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease. OSHA estimates that the rule will save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year. The rule is made up of two standards: one for Construction and one for General…

Details

OSHA is Extending Deadline for Public Comment on Hazardous Chemical Guidance

OSHA wants to make sure everyone has time to contribute towards the discussion on hazardous chemical guidance, so they’re extending the deadline to May 2nd. If your company deals with hazardous chemicals, you’re encouraged to participate and add yoru comments. You can access the draft by clicking on this link: Guidance on Data Evaluation for Weight…

Details

Have Spanish-language Workers? OSHA Offers Resources in Spanish

If you have Hispanic workers or others who speak Spanish, you’ll want to check out OSHA’s Spanish resources. They provide all the resources available on the site, including eTools, fact sheets, signs, posters, videos, and other resources in Spanish. There are even links to the Spanish-language Twitter profile and Facebook page. And all state-specific resources are…

Details

How We Helped a Mid-sized Textile Company Reduce Lost Time Days by 60% and Save $200,000 on Workers’ Comp 

We don’t do this often enough, but we want to let you know how we’re helping companies reach their safety goals. Today we’re sharing the story of one of our recent clients (who preferred not to be named due to the “dirty laundry”!) and the excellent results we’ve been able to see working together. The Situation A…

Details

OSHA Resources for Small Business Employers

OSHA has some great resources for small business owners. Their eTools, compliance assistance and outreach help employers understand what’s required and how to comply. But it’s not just about compliance. OSHA explains why all small business owners should care about safety. Why does safety and health matter for small business owners? For one thing, an effective…

Details

Creating a Culture of Safety

For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking what companies and organizations need to put in place in order to benefit the most behavior-based safety. Today, we’re going to discuss the importance of having a strong and positive work environment to be successful and thrive with behavior-based safety. Culture is Important For Adoption Before beginning…

Details

Is Your Company Ready for the Benefits of Behavior-Based Safety?

Keeping workers injury-free and alive is the goal of any quality employer. But exactly how companies and organizations can ensure that workers stay safe is sometimes a challenge. We strongly believe that behavior-based safety, implemented in a strategic way, is the best solution to a safe work environment that not only prevents injuries and fatalities…

Details

OSHA is Accepting Public Comments on the Latest Version of its Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines

“No one should have to sacrifice their life for their livelihood, because a nation built on the dignity of work must provide safe working conditions for its people.” —Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez OSHA has recently updated their voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines (OSHA-2015-0018), and is inviting the public to comments. The guidelines…

Details

Ways of Controlling Chemical Exposure

If your company uses hazardous chemicals, you’ll need to mitigate your employees’ exposure to them. Chemicals and toxic substances can create a wide range of health problems, such as irritation, sensitization, and carcinogenicity. They can also cause severe burns—they aren’t something to take lightly. There are two general categories of companies who face regulations dealing with chemical…

Details

Know Your  Recordkeeping Requirements

Recordkeeping isn’t on anyone’s list of enjoyable tasks, but it’s essential if you’re an employer. OSHA requires all employers to prepare and maintain records of each and every serious occupational injury and illness, using the OSHA 300 Log, unless the employer falls into an exempt category. There are two exempt categories: Employers who maintain ten…

Details

Flood Safety: Keeping Workers Healthy and Alive

Floods can be dangerous, as the recent weather in the lowcountry of South Carolina has demonstrated. Floods are especially hazardous because the danger is slow in coming—rainwater accumulates gradually, and then suddenly roads are washed out, dams collapse, and bridges have structural issues. OSHA and NOAA are working together on a public education effort aimed at improving…

Details

New Proposed Regs on Beryllium

OSHA is proposing a new standard that would lower workplace exposure to beryllium, a widely used material that can cause devastating lung diseases. Here’s what you need to know: Beryllium is a lightweight but strong metal used principally in the aerospace and defense industries. The most common use is in beryllium-copper alloy because of its…

Details

How to Comply, Go Beyond Compliance, and Improve Your Bottom Line

Safety regulations can sometimes be complicated, since different industries and different situations require different procedures and precautions. OSHA has been working hard to simplify regulations and help employers understand what they need to do to meet safety standards. OSHA has created a resource center for business owners that offers FAQs on safety topics, including: whether…

Details

Looking Local: South Carolina Specific Workplace Fatality Data

  OSHA publishes annual workplace fatality data that’s state-specific. In 2013, the most recent year in which data is available, showed that South Carolina experienced seventy-five worker fatalities. A look at South Carolina’s most recent data mirrors the national trends closely. Construction-related deaths rank among the top causes of workplace fatalities. Of all the industry types…

Details

Steel is a Tough Industry for Safety — Here’s How to Change That

According to OSHA, thirty-five deaths per year occur in the steel erection industry. Because of the number of deaths, OSHA is focusing on helping companies make their jobsites safer places, providing steel-specific education. OSHA’s e-Tool for steel erection offers important training and standards information.   OSHA’s standard for steel erection was created to help provide protection from steel…

Details

OSHA Updates Their Comprehensive Guide To Training Requirements

  This month, OSHA announced the release of their fully-updated Training Requirements in OSHA Standards. This guide contains the complete listing of all training requirements in OSHA standards for employers, safety professionals, training directors, and others whose responsibilities include compliance with and training in OSHA standards. The guide is comprehensive and is broken into five parts: General…

Details

OSHA’s $afety Pays Program Helps Employers Assess The Cost Of Workplace Injuries

Accidents on a job site are often much more expensive than many employers expect. Workers’ compensation costs associated with a workplace injury and the indirect costs shouldered by the business itself can be financially devastating. The OSHA $afety Pays online tool allows employers the ability to calculate the financial impact of a long list of common workplace…

Details

Printable OSHA Computer Workstation Checklist Helps Pinpoint Ergonomic Trouble Spots

  We did a blog post in February on the importance of providing employees with an ergonomic workspace in order to prevent injury in office-related jobs. Many employers overlook safety procedures for office workers due to the perceived low-risk environment they typically work in. So it may come as a surprise to learn that the most recently…

Details

Construction: The Most Dangerous Industry by the Numbers

By the numbers, the construction industry is one of the most dangerous places for workers. According to data provided by OSHA, one in every five workplace fatalities reported nationwide is in the construction industry. OSHA has extensive standards for controlling contractors and subcontractors who provide labor for the construction industry, and it’s because they’re trying…

Details

Regulations on Confined Spaces Are Changing Soon. Is Your Company Ready?

Confined spaces aren’t a big deal when things are going as they’re supposed to. But in the event of an emergency, spaces like manholes, crawl spaces, and tanks can become dangerous if workers can’t exit them quickly. Air quality can also be a problem. New OSHA regulations, designed to make workers in confined spaces safer, are set to…

Details

Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers

It’s heating up outside, and workers in the humid South are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness (like heatstroke, which is a life-threatening condition if not immediately treated). OSHA has initiated a campaign designed to prevent heat-related illness, focusing on outdoor workers, such as those in construction, agriculture, transportation, grounds maintenance, and landscaping services. Here’s what OSHA…

Details

Keep Breathing, Keep Living: Respiratory Safety

Because we do constantly without thinking, breathing isn’t something we naturally give much consideration to. But inhaling toxic substances can have serious effects on our health and life. Exposure to chemical substances can cause everything from irritation to bronchitis, emphysema, lung disease, and even cancer. Acute exposure to toxicants can trigger death by asphyxiation. Respiratory…

Details