Summer Safety

Summer Safety

We talk about the holiday season being a big time of distraction when one is focused on a bunch of other things where safety may not always be top of mind. However, the summer can be a big distraction too.  There’s a lot of things that we do in our non-work lives during the summer that can get us hurt and affect our job.  Besides being outside in the nicer weather and longer daylight in the evenings, there are other day and evening functions, weekend outings, and family vacations.  There’s additional outside work to be done such as yardwork, grilling or playing outside in the weather. The following are areas of summer safety you need to be on the lookout for.

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Grilling

Grill outside, away from structures. Make sure your grill is stable on a flat surface so that it can’t be tipped over. Keep the grill clean and wait for it to cool before you clean it. Check for propane leaks on your gas grill, and if you’re using charcoal, wait for the coals to completely cool before you dispose of them. Always dispose coals into a metal container. If the flame goes out on your grill, turn off the grill AND turn off the gas, then wait 5 min. before relighting. If you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. If the fire starts to go out, don’t add any starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.

Mowing and Weed Trimming

On riding mowers, put the mower into neutral before startup and shutdown and make sure the transmission is out of gear and the mower blade clutch is disengaged before startup. Disengage the blade when you’re riding over pavement, sidewalks, and gravel. Keep the mower in gear and slow down when working on slopes and avoid mowing on slopes of angles of more than 15 degrees. Remove the key when not using the mower. Stay 5 ft. away from ditches, embankments, retaining walls, culverts or similar where you could roll over. Never remove roll over protection devices. If mowing near bodies of water, establish a safety zone to make sure you stay at a safe distance.

For walk-behind mowers, rotary blades underneath the mower can rotate at 200 mph. Keep your hands and feet away from the blade area when it’s running. Never remove installed safety guards such as directional flaps or shielded discharge outlets or bypass safety shut down devices such as clutch handles or switches that stop the blade as soon as you let go. Mow back and forth along the side of a steep hill, never up and down the slope.

Did you know that 1/3 of emergency room injuries from weed trimmers are eye-related, so wear your safety glasses. Bring the engine to speed before cutting. Cut away from yourself and when not cutting, run the engine at idle speed. Some types of trimmers may let out more string than you think and cause it to strike you unexpectedly so monitor string length. Before refueling a gas-powered trimmer, place it on the ground and allow the engine to cool. Keep people and pets at least 60 ft. away and stop if you’re approached. Use both hands when operating.

Before servicing your mower or your trimmer, always unplug an electric tool or shut down a gas-powered machine/tool before servicing, cleaning, inspecting, or adjusting it. Use the proper fuel and oil  and be careful when always refuel when the engine is cool.  Don’t service a gas-powered engine inside a storage shed as you could be overcome by carbon monoxide. Turn the power off and disconnect spark plug wires before cleaning, inspecting, and servicing and never touch the spark plug with your hand or a tool when the mower is operating.

Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac

Get familiar with the difference between these plants and how to spot them.  Remember, leaves of three, let them be! For rashes use a cold compress, calamine lotion, non-prescription hydrocortisone cream, or an antihistamine to ease itching.  You can also use other non-traditional treatments such as wrap dipped in apple cider vinegar.  Call your doctor if the rash is near your eyes or covers a large part of your body.

Bees, Wasps, Spiders, Ants, Ticks, etc.

Before performing work in an area, take a site survey to look for any hazards including bees and wasps. Avoid attracting them by wearing light colored clothes and avoid perfumes or cologne.  Do not swat and wave wildly when they approach, instead use a gentle pushing or brushing motion to deter them.  Wear long sleeves and pants and be cautious about walking in high grass or brush, a good hangout for ticks.   Watch where you walk, stand and sit.  Fire ants like to mound under tall grass and brush.  Before picking something up, kick it before you pick it.

Bicycles and Scooters

Make sure you wear helmets and use other safety gear when riding such as high visibility or reflective clothing, shoes (not flip flops or sandals).  Make sure your bikes don’t have broken reflectors and make sure the light works.  Check tires for air and bring extra safety equipment such as a first aid kit and extra tires  if you’re going to do trail riding .  Make sure your wheels, seat and handlebars are tight and that your brakes work.

Swimming

Never swim alone, and always supervise children. Open water prevents a number of different hazards that pools don’t. These include limited visibility, depth changes, uneven surfaces, unknown objects that can be stepped on, and currents and undertow. Enter the water feet first to prevent head injury. This includes using water slides. Never dive into water that’s less than 8 ft. deep. Be on the lookout for maintenance issues around the swim area. Be alert of wet floors, sharp edges, broken glass, exposed bolts, broken ladders, broken railings and clear markings of water depth. If you find yourself struggling or accidentally fall in, float to live. Try not to panic as calmness will save you. Lean back and use your arms and legs to keep you afloat with gentle movements. Once you’re calm your breathing is controlled, then call for help or swim to safety. Don’t let your dog swim without supervision. While many dogs know how to swim, some can easily tire out.

Pulling Trailers

Choose the right tow vehicle and trailer for the load.  Review the tow capacity and ensure it’s capable of handling the weight of the trailer and what you’re going to be towing on it.  Exceeding the capacity can severely affect handling, braking and damage your vehicle’s suspension. Check the hitch for the maximum trailer and maximum tongue weights it can safely support.  Make sure you have the proper hitch ball for the trailer.  Incorrectly sized hitch balls are the #1 cause of trailer accidents. When hauling loads, 60% of the load on the trailer should be placed on the front half of the trailer, with a tongue weight of 10-15% of the total weight that’s loaded on the trailer.  Ensure weight is evenly distributed on the left and right sides of the trailer.  Straps are critical — broken or cheap straps can fail fast.  Use ratchet straps for anything heavier than an average person and use more than one strap in case one comes loose.  The working load of the strap should be more than the weight of what you’re hauling.  Check your tires on both the vehicle and the trailer and make sure your lights work before you leave.  Take spare bulbs and fuses with you.  Check your brakes and make sure the breakaway cable is properly attached to your tow vehicle.  Carry spare parts such as at least one trailer spare tire as well as extra wheel bearings and hubs.

Camping

Make your camp before dark and learn the terrain while it’s still light. Give yourself 2 hours of daylight for setup. Take a good flashlight, check your equipment that it’s in good working order before you leave and pack emergency signaling devices, emergency supplies and a first aid kit. Think about your footing and be alert to slippery areas. Watch for low hanging branches and take extra caution near cliffs, outcroppings, hills, and water edges. No matter how clear a stream looks, it’s likely to contain waterborne parasites & microorganisms, so pack your own water. Make sure your fires are always attended, cannot be spread laterally or vertically (used a grill or stone surface) and drown it with water to put it out. Embers buried deep in the pile can reignite later. Be cautious when using a propane stove. Tents should be flame retardant and far enough away from the campfire. Wear sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and drink plenty of water. Pack carbohydrate-energy bars, granola candy or fruit for instant energy on your hikes.

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Severe Weather — Tornadoes

Severe Weather — Tornadoes

Tornadoes are violent storms that don’t only strike in the traditional “Tornado Alley” region of the U.S. The southeastern part of the U.S. is starting to experience many more tornadoes over the past few years. Tornadoes can strike anywhere, including places like California, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New York.

Watch vs. Warning vs. Emergency

A Tornado Watch will be issued when conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to become tornadoes and thus you should stay alert and be prepared for changing conditions. A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted or there’s a strong indication that one may develop at any time within the warning box area. A Tornado Emergency is the highest and rarest of warnings. A Tornado
Emergency means a tornado is in progress and will have significant impact to human life with catastrophic destruction to property.

What to Do

It’s critical you have a plan and that everyone knows what the plan is, whether it be at work or at home. What is the plan at work? What is the plan at home? Do your children know what to do if they are home alone? Make sure all of your communication devices are charged before the action is scheduled to begin in your area.

If you’re outside, get inside. It’s not time for photo shoots. There will be plenty others, including chasers, who will get that footage for you. Put on sturdy shoes and take blankets, helmets, and whatever else you can find to protect your head. Put as many barriers between you and the windows and the potential of flying debris as you can.

At Home

Head to the lowest floor. Being completely underground is best, but if that’s not possible, get to the lowest floor and towards the middle of the building. Smaller rooms are good. Stay away from doors, windows which may shatter, and outside walls which may collapse on you. Bathrooms that don’t have windows or outside walls are good because they are typically small and the plumbing adds some structural strength to the room. You can also choose to go under staircases, into closets (shut the door and cover up) and in hallways if you close the doors. In apartments, ground level clubhouses and laundry rooms often provide a good place to go if you live on upper floors. If you live in a mobile home, evacuate! Mobile homes can not stand up to even the smallest EF-1 tornado. It will get rolled over. For this reason, mobile home owners need to be extra vigilant of watches, and have a definite tornado plan ready to execute when needed.

Public Places

If you’re away from home, what do you do? In hotels and motels, review posted safety instructions along with fire exits when you check in. Hallways may be in the hotel’s plan for where to go in case of tornadoes, but make sure they don’t have doors and windows on either end. This makes them a wind tunnel for debris to fly through. Interior bathrooms and closets may be a better option.
In other public places like malls, stores, gas stations, and restaurants, stay inside and put as many walls between you and the outside as possible. Get to the lowest floor, get down and cover up with whatever you have to protect your head and body from flying debris. Don’t leave in your car! Sturdy buildings will protect you better.

Outdoor Activities—Campgrounds, Festivals, RV Parks, Sporting Events

Event planners should convey the plan for taking cover. This makes it all the more important for you to be weather aware! Before checking into an RV Park or campground, learn if there are storm shelters available and where they are located.

On the Road

Vehicles are amongst the last places you want to be in a tornado, so it’s critical you pay attention to weather conditions. If you can delay your trip, do so, but if not, make sure you monitor local radio stations or NOAA weather radio broadcasts, and know ahead of time where you are located. Weather warnings are issued by county, so know which counties you will be in. There are hundreds of weather apps that will track your location and send you alerts and notifications when you are in a watch or warning, even letting you know when lightning or heavy rain is near your area. The chances of being swept up in a tornado are much less than being affected by all the other severe weather that comes with them. Severe thunderstorms can produce large and damaging hail to break your windows, straight line winds that could topple you, and heavy rain to cause flash flooding which may sweep you off the road.

Stop and find a building to seek shelter in. If you’re stuck in traffic, you may need to seek shelter in a ditch, ravine or culvert as the last resort. Despite that very popular video which showed the TV reporter and the family who parked under an overpass and hid up under its girders as the tornado passed over, don’t ever do that! Powerful winds will kick up dangerous debris and send it flying up underneath the bridge like a wind tunnel.

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OSHA Updates Walk Around Rule for Inspections

OSHA Updates Walk Around Rule for Inspections

A new final rule issued by OSHA gives employees the opportunity to designate an employee representative to accompany an inspector during OSHA inspections. The original rule, at 29 CFR 1903.8(c), allowed for employers to have a representative to accompany an inspector, now employees can designate one as well.

This new rule is a result of a 2017 court case where it was found the rule could be interpreted to allow employees to have a representative, but the rule wasn’t written that way.

What’s a Representative Do?

An example of an employer representative to accompany an OSHA inspector would be someone like iSi who provides a safety specialist to be there on behalf of the employer or provides an industrial hygienist for side-by-side sampling.  Now, employees can designate a representative as well.

Employee representatives can be someone internally employed by the company, a union representative, or a non-employee third party.  Third parties need to be someone “reasonably necessary” who can provide technical knowledge or practical experience about the processes and hazards of the types present in the workplace, or provide language and communication skills that facilitate the gathering of information from employees.

What Do You Need to Do?

The final rule is a right for employees, not a standard that requires employers to have any special compliance duties for.  It’s up to the employees to come up with their representative and there’s no formal instructions on how they should do that.  OSHA gives some suggestions on the process employees can use:

  • Chapter 3 of OSHA’s Field Operations Manual says in workplaces where employees are represented by a certified or recognized collective bargaining agent, the highest-ranking union official or union employee representative on-site designates who participates in the walkaround;
  • Employee members of an established safety committee or employees at large can designate the employee walkaround representative (per Chapter 3);
  • Employees can designate an authorized employee representative when they authorize them to file a complaint on their behalf;
  • Employees can also inform the inspector during the walkaround or during interviews that they have an authorized employee representative; or
  • An authorized employee representative can also inform the inspector or OSHA Area Office that they represent employees.

No set number of votes is required to designate an employee representative.  It doesn’t even have to be by a majority.  The person just must be authorized by more than one employee.

OSHA inspectors may determine at the complaint stage who the employee representative is based on who files the complaint or if they are represented by a labor organization. When they arrive onsite, inspectors may also ask if the employees have a designated representative or they may ask employees directly who their representative is.

Qualifications of Representatives

Inspectors have the right to question third party employee representatives on their qualifications or purpose for being there to ensure they’re making a positive contribution to a thorough and effective inspection. Third parties must be an aid in an inspection, not a distraction.  Typically, one employer representative and one employee representative will be allowed during the inspection.  An inspector can allow additional representatives in cases where they think it may benefit the inspection.  If there is more than one employer onsite that will be affected by the inspection, they may be allowed to have their own employer and employee representative. 

In cases where the employer disputes the necessity for the employee representative, and vice versa, the inspector has the final determination on who stays and who doesn’t.

Ground Rules for Inspections

All representatives will need to follow rules that all other visitors to the facility would be asked to follow regarding PPE use, confidentiality, limits on access to certain areas due to trade secrets, use of cell phones/cameras, etc.  Limitations on access, however, cannot interfere with the inspection. Special requirements cannot be placed on inspection representatives.  A documented Visitors Policy would be a good item to have on file at your facility to clearly state requirements for all visitors.

Representatives are not allowed to discuss matters unrelated to the inspection with the employees.

Third parties can participate in the opening conference, the inspection and the closing conference.  Both employer and employee representatives are not to be present for private interviews of the employees unless the employee specifically requests their presence.

Third party representatives cannot disrupt the inspection by doing anything that’s not directly related to a fair and orderly inspection.  Some examples would be preventing an inspector from taking photos, videos, or monitoring samples, preventing the inspector from privately interviewing employees, failing to always stay with the inspector, taking unauthorized photographs, handing out materials or cards, or failing to comply with any other ground rules set by the inspector.

Per the current policy, OSHA will only delay their inspection by 1 hour at the most to allow for offsite representatives to get to the facility.   This applied to employer representatives and will apply to employee representatives as well.

Future Challenges to the Rule

Already it appears this rule could be facing some legal challenges.  The rule was put together pretty quickly for an OSHA rule.  Among the issues brough up that challengers have already voiced include the possibility of introducing union reps in non-union workplaces to solicit and campaign during work hours; attorneys may use this to conduct pre-litigation discovery in personal injury or wrongful death actions; it could bring worker advocacy groups and community organizations without safety expertise into the workplace to organize non-union employees; and, competitors or other security threats could potentially gain access to proprietary information for economic or physical harm.

Learn More

Check out the new rule here.  If you have any questions, or would like to know more about the onsite employer representative services we can provide to you in your next regulatory inspection, contact us here.

Safety Inspections and Corrections

iSi’s safety auditors can help you identify and prioritize the areas where potential violations may exist.  We can also help you correct any issues that have already been found by inspectors. Contact us today!

Curtis Leiker, CSP
Curtis Leiker, CSP

Contributing:

Curtis Leiker, CSP

Certified Safety Professional |  ISO 45001 and 14001 Lead Auditor

Curtis Leiker, CSP is a project manager at iSi Environmental. Besides assisting companies with ISO 14001 and 45001 implementation, Curtis manages environmental and safety programs, reporting and compliance issues for aviation, general industry and agricultural facilities. He’s able to see the big picture, but focus on the details and enjoys working to solve EHS issues.

Email  |  LinkedIn

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ISNetworld:  The Top 10 Items You Need for Compliance

ISNetworld: The Top 10 Items You Need for Compliance

Contractor/vendor prequalification is becoming more and more the norm. ISNetworld is an online contractor safety prequalification program and just one among a crop of other programs like it, including Avetta, PEC Safety, Browz, Veriforce, ComplyWorks, First Verify and others.

Contractor prequalification programs give companies a way to limit the liability risks that onsite contractors can bring.   If you want to work for clients who use these programs, you must pay the cost to be a member and then take the time and effort to enter your company information into the system.

The number of clients for whom we have been asked to complete prequalification paperwork or join these types of systems has exploded in the last couple of years.  Some of our clients used to have teams of people tracking this information from contractors (and some didn’t track this stuff at all.).  These programs allow them to turn that responsibility over to someone else, and it puts a lot of the tracking responsibilities back onto the contractors themselves.  Sometimes this is seen as a way to narrow the field of potential contractors to just the serious ones who have good policies and performance.

Although there are lots of programs out there, we’re going to focus on ISNetworld because they are one of the leaders in this industry and they are one of the ones who ask for the most information.  At first glance, ISNetworld setup can be a daunting task. To help get you prepared, we present the Top 10 items you’ll need to gather for ISNetworld compliance (and just about any other safety prequalification program).

  1. General Company Information

You will need to know basic information about your company such as date established, structure, addresses and contacts, special codes and numbers (NAICS, Tax ID, DUNS, etc.), number of employees, financial and project references and more.

  1. Safety Policies and Procedures

You will be asked a number of questions about your safety policies. How is your safety program set up, how is it built and who’s responsible?  What’s the management structure and is company leadership involved?  Are hourly employees involved and do you have full-time safety personnel?  What training do supervisors get? Do you do audits, who does them and how often?  

Also included are questions about safety meetings, training, documentation, observations, stop work policies, hazard reporting, policies for new hires, incident investigation and communication.

  1. Written Safety Programs

If you’re following OSHA compliance, you should already have written safety programs for the hazards your employees can be exposed to. Depending on the services you say you provide, ISNetworld and your client will generate a list of the individual written safety programs that you need. There will be specific elements that you’ll be required to incorporate into your written programs, so it’s likely you’ll need to update your programs. Be very mindful what your revised program commits your company to. If it’s written in your program that your company will do something, you need to do it. If not, you could expose yourself to fines from OSHA for not following your own plan.

ISNetworld will ask you every 3 years to revalidate these programs to ensure they are still current.

  1. Training Programs

For many of the written programs, you’ll be asked to upload corresponding training sign-ins and information from those classes, so you may need to conduct additional training on a variety of topics. Be prepared to answer questions related to what kind of training you provide to new hires and routine employees, how often and how they are documented.

  1. Regulatory Data

You will need to track OSHA injury and illness data on a quarterly basis. This information is required to be input both quarterly and annually. You’ll also need 3 years of historical data. In ISNetworld you are graded on your 3-year average safety numbers and how they compare to industry standards. Thus, if you have a bad year, your grades may suffer for 3 years.

If you have commercial vehicles, you may need to enter DOT numbers and annual stats for number of drivers, miles driven, number of units, owner operators and violations. You’ll also need to enter in information about your company vehicle/driver programs and policies.

  1. Insurance

Individual insurance certificates will need to be uploaded for each client, and each will have specific requirements.  Be mindful of what the insurance requirements are for each client and know ahead of time what policies you have and what that covers.  Sometimes clients will require specialized policies or varying levels of coverage for certain items that can end up costing thousands of dollars if you agree to that.  However, sometimes these things can be negotiated down, depending on what you’re going to do onsite.  It just depends on the client and the situation.

Check with your insurance company to see if they’re a member of ISNetworld. If so, you can assign them to your account and they can upload certificates and deal with the nuances and negotiations for you. You will also need to enter 3 years of experience modification rate data and upload those documents as well.

  1. Employee and Contractor Data

Some clients will require you to track the number of hours that you and/or your subcontractors spent on the site each month.  These reports are required at the beginning of the month and are often required per site location.  Among the data you may need to report (depending on client requirements) will be hours spent onsite, number of employees onsite, number of miles driven, number of incidents (accidents, fires, spills), subcontractor hours, subcontractor numbers, subcontractor travel data, etc.  Some companies need to keep track of this information for PSM purposes and some like to keep track of contactor activities onsite.

  1.  Human Resources-Type Information

You’ll be asked to input your drug and alcohol policies and procedures.  Some owner clients will require you to have individual employees tested for drugs and alcohol through one of their approved vendors who shares the data directly with the program so that they can see if employees are in a green “OK” status or a red status.  They may also require background checks for each employee who will come onsite as well.   You may also need to provide employee personal information separately to your client to comply with Department of Homeland Security checks as well.  Pandemic preparedness programs are required from many clients, so what are your procedures and policies with that?  Thus, you may need to pull in some of your HR department to help you accomplish some of these requirements and get some answers.

  1. Other Procedures — Sustainability and Cyber Security

Within the past year we’ve seen questions pop up in ISNetworld and throughout multiple programs about our corporate sustainability and social responsibility programs.  One program (not ISNetworld) required us to write a separate written policy statement against human trafficking and a written policy on our stance on child and forced labor.  ISNetworld has also started getting into cyber security policies. There is an extensive questionnaire regarding computer systems and cyber security measures.  Several owner clients required us to develop a written cyber security program.  So besides HR personnel, you may need to bring in your IT people and anyone responsible for sustainability programs.

  1. Individual Training

More and more clients are requiring individuals to do the facility-specific safety orientation training ahead of time before ever stepping onsite.  Thus, if you have a specific project that you’re getting ready for, you may need to know exactly who is going to be involved in the project so that you can assign this training to them.  This would include subcontractor employees too.  Some clients will let you do the training all at once in a group, but more and more are requiring individuals to be given separate logins so that they can complete the training themselves.  So you may need to eventually gather email addresses for individuals who may not have a company email address and budget for time for those employees to take that training.

A Plan for Management and Completion

This isn’t a requirement, but certainly a best practice. You will need to identify a person(s) on your team who’s going to be responsible for managing sites such as ISNetworld. There can be a number of time-sensitive items which need to be managed. Not maintaining them will make your grades drop, hindering your ability to get further work with them, or even issue invoices.

The initial setup may require the assistance of a number of people in your company, or the help of an outside firm. You may need a combination of compliance personnel and administrative staff to handle the day-to-day management. Please note that if you do involve administrative staff, please keep in mind that policy questions and program creation are best completed by someone with a compliance background. You need to be very careful on how you answer the questions and what you commit yourself to. It could make all the difference between an “A” and an “F”.

Other Considerations

ISNetworld automatically uploads any OSHA citations for your clients to see, and these will likely affect your grade. You may also be required to have your own subcontractor management program, that is, a procedure for vetting your own subs.

We’ve found that ISNetworld is one of the most detailed prequalification sites. The silver lining is if you can get through ISNetworld, you have a good head start on some of the others.  However, every single site will ask for something new that one of the others didn’t, so don’t get too frustrated.  For example, some sites want you to upload your entire safety manual, some require specific procedures such as JSAs, and some will require much more if your employees perform specific tasks that require additional “operator qualifications” for each.

Resources

Make sure you keep your information stored in one central place so that it’s easy to access when you need it because it’s likely there will be information you’ll need to input a number of times.

iSi helps companies get setup in ISNetworld by providing policy and procedure guidance, written programs and training.  We also manage ISNetworld day-to-day compliance for companies.

Our sister company SafetyPlans.com has a number of ISNetworld-related program templates that will help you get a good start on developing a new plan if needed.

What can we do to help make the process smoother for you? Contact us today!

Need Help?

Need an extra hand to get this done? How about policies/programs developed or training conducted?

Need Help?

Need an extra hand to get this done? How about policies/programs developed or training conducted?

Contractor/vendor prequalification is becoming more and more the norm. ISNetworld is an online contractor safety prequalification program and just one among a crop of other programs like it, including Avetta, PEC Safety, Browz, Veriforce, ComplyWorks, First Verify and others.

Contractor prequalification programs give companies a way to limit the liability risks that onsite contractors can bring.   If you want to work for clients who use these programs, you must pay the cost to be a member and then take the time and effort to enter your company information into the system.

The number of clients for whom we have been asked to complete prequalification paperwork or join these types of systems has exploded in the last couple of years.  Some of our clients used to have teams of people tracking this information from contractors (and some didn’t track this stuff at all.).  These programs allow them to turn that responsibility over to someone else, and it puts a lot of the tracking responsibilities back onto the contractors themselves.  Sometimes this is seen as a way to narrow the field of potential contractors to just the serious ones who have good policies and performance.

Although there are lots of programs out there, we’re going to focus on ISNetworld because they are one of the leaders in this industry and they are one of the ones who ask for the most information.  At first glance, ISNetworld setup can be a daunting task. To help get you prepared, we present the Top 10 items you’ll need to gather for ISNetworld compliance (and just about any other safety prequalification program).

  1. General Company Information

You will need to know basic information about your company such as date established, structure, addresses and contacts, special codes and numbers (NAICS, Tax ID, DUNS, etc.), number of employees, financial and project references and more.

  1. Safety Policies and Procedures

You will be asked a number of questions about your safety policies. How is your safety program set up, how is it built and who’s responsible?  What’s the management structure and is company leadership involved?  Are hourly employees involved and do you have full-time safety personnel?  What training do supervisors get? Do you do audits, who does them and how often?  

Also included are questions about safety meetings, training, documentation, observations, stop work policies, hazard reporting, policies for new hires, incident investigation and communication.

  1. Written Safety Programs

If you’re following OSHA compliance, you should already have written safety programs for the hazards your employees can be exposed to. Depending on the services you say you provide, ISNetworld and your client will generate a list of the individual written safety programs that you need. There will be specific elements that you’ll be required to incorporate into your written programs, so it’s likely you’ll need to update your programs. Be very mindful what your revised program commits your company to. If it’s written in your program that your company will do something, you need to do it. If not, you could expose yourself to fines from OSHA for not following your own plan.

ISNetworld will ask you every 3 years to revalidate these programs to ensure they are still current.

  1. Training Programs

For many of the written programs, you’ll be asked to upload corresponding training sign-ins and information from those classes, so you may need to conduct additional training on a variety of topics. Be prepared to answer questions related to what kind of training you provide to new hires and routine employees, how often and how they are documented.

  1. Regulatory Data

You will need to track OSHA injury and illness data on a quarterly basis. This information is required to be input both quarterly and annually. You’ll also need 3 years of historical data. In ISNetworld you are graded on your 3-year average safety numbers and how they compare to industry standards. Thus, if you have a bad year, your grades may suffer for 3 years.

If you have commercial vehicles, you may need to enter DOT numbers and annual stats for number of drivers, miles driven, number of units, owner operators and violations. You’ll also need to enter in information about your company vehicle/driver programs and policies.

  1. Insurance

Individual insurance certificates will need to be uploaded for each client, and each will have specific requirements.  Be mindful of what the insurance requirements are for each client and know ahead of time what policies you have and what that covers.  Sometimes clients will require specialized policies or varying levels of coverage for certain items that can end up costing thousands of dollars if you agree to that.  However, sometimes these things can be negotiated down, depending on what you’re going to do onsite.  It just depends on the client and the situation.

Check with your insurance company to see if they’re a member of ISNetworld. If so, you can assign them to your account and they can upload certificates and deal with the nuances and negotiations for you. You will also need to enter 3 years of experience modification rate data and upload those documents as well.

  1. Employee and Contractor Data

Some clients will require you to track the number of hours that you and/or your subcontractors spent on the site each month.  These reports are required at the beginning of the month and are often required per site location.  Among the data you may need to report (depending on client requirements) will be hours spent onsite, number of employees onsite, number of miles driven, number of incidents (accidents, fires, spills), subcontractor hours, subcontractor numbers, subcontractor travel data, etc.  Some companies need to keep track of this information for PSM purposes and some like to keep track of contactor activities onsite.

  1.  Human Resources-Type Information

You’ll be asked to input your drug and alcohol policies and procedures.  Some owner clients will require you to have individual employees tested for drugs and alcohol through one of their approved vendors who shares the data directly with the program so that they can see if employees are in a green “OK” status or a red status.  They may also require background checks for each employee who will come onsite as well.   You may also need to provide employee personal information separately to your client to comply with Department of Homeland Security checks as well.  Pandemic preparedness programs are required from many clients, so what are your procedures and policies with that?  Thus, you may need to pull in some of your HR department to help you accomplish some of these requirements and get some answers.

  1. Other Procedures — Sustainability and Cyber Security

Within the past year we’ve seen questions pop up in ISNetworld and throughout multiple programs about our corporate sustainability and social responsibility programs.  One program (not ISNetworld) required us to write a separate written policy statement against human trafficking and a written policy on our stance on child and forced labor.  ISNetworld has also started getting into cyber security policies. There is an extensive questionnaire regarding computer systems and cyber security measures.  Several owner clients required us to develop a written cyber security program.  So besides HR personnel, you may need to bring in your IT people and anyone responsible for sustainability programs.

  1. Individual Training

More and more clients are requiring individuals to do the facility-specific safety orientation training ahead of time before ever stepping onsite.  Thus, if you have a specific project that you’re getting ready for, you may need to know exactly who is going to be involved in the project so that you can assign this training to them.  This would include subcontractor employees too.  Some clients will let you do the training all at once in a group, but more and more are requiring individuals to be given separate logins so that they can complete the training themselves.  So you may need to eventually gather email addresses for individuals who may not have a company email address and budget for time for those employees to take that training.

A Plan for Management and Completion

This isn’t a requirement, but certainly a best practice. You will need to identify a person(s) on your team who’s going to be responsible for managing sites such as ISNetworld. There can be a number of time-sensitive items which need to be managed. Not maintaining them will make your grades drop, hindering your ability to get further work with them, or even issue invoices.

The initial setup may require the assistance of a number of people in your company, or the help of an outside firm. You may need a combination of compliance personnel and administrative staff to handle the day-to-day management. Please note that if you do involve administrative staff, please keep in mind that policy questions and program creation are best completed by someone with a compliance background. You need to be very careful on how you answer the questions and what you commit yourself to. It could make all the difference between an “A” and an “F”.

Other Considerations

ISNetworld automatically uploads any OSHA citations for your clients to see, and these will likely affect your grade. You may also be required to have your own subcontractor management program, that is, a procedure for vetting your own subs.

We’ve found that ISNetworld is one of the most detailed prequalification sites. The silver lining is if you can get through ISNetworld, you have a good head start on some of the others.  However, every single site will ask for something new that one of the others didn’t, so don’t get too frustrated.  For example, some sites want you to upload your entire safety manual, some require specific procedures such as JSAs, and some will require much more if your employees perform specific tasks that require additional “operator qualifications” for each.

Resources

Make sure you keep your information stored in one central place so that it’s easy to access when you need it because it’s likely there will be information you’ll need to input a number of times.

iSi helps companies get setup in ISNetworld by providing policy and procedure guidance, written programs and training.  We also manage ISNetworld day-to-day compliance for companies.

Our sister company SafetyPlans.com has a number of ISNetworld-related program templates that will help you get a good start on developing a new plan if needed.

What can we do to help make the process smoother for you? Contact us today!

iSi can help you with contractor safety prequalification programs — Contact us today!

Example General Duty Clause Citations to Look for in Your Workplace

Example General Duty Clause Citations to Look for in Your Workplace

OSHA has a number of regulations that govern many aspects of the workplace. When there is not a specific regulation reference, they will often cite the General Duty Clause.

What is the General Duty Clause?

The General Duty Clause is found in Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The General Duty Clause requires an employer to furnish to its employees “employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”

Employers can be cited for violation of the General Duty Clause if a recognized serious hazard exists in their workplace and the employer does not take reasonable steps to prevent or abate the hazard.   The General Duty Clause is used only where there is no OSHA standard that applies to the particular hazard. The following elements are necessary to prove a violation of the General Duty Clause:

1. The employer failed to keep the workplace free of a hazard to which employees of that employer were exposed;
2. The hazard was recognized;
3. The hazard was causing or was likely to cause death or serious physical harm; and
4. There was a feasible and useful method to correct the hazard.

OSHA cannot just cite anything under the clause, but there is a lot of room for interpretation of the effects of the hazard. The hazard needs to be recognized by that industry, another industry or another entity as a hazard. It can be something that would be considered a common sense hazard or is something that could cause or likely cause serious harm or death. It must be correctable, and if injuries have been documented related to it, it can be cited.

Examples of Common General Duty Clause Citations

While OSHA has issued citations under the General Duty Clause for a wide variety of issues including risk of lightning strikes to employees, there are a number of situations OSHA has cited that have been consistent and steady over the years.

Some common violations where OSHA would use the General Duty Clause:

  • Boilers not inspected and maintained
  • Cell phone use while driving
  • Combustible dust hazards
  • Ergonomic hazards
  • High visibility clothing not provided where struck by hazard exists with vehicular traffic
  • Industrial storage racking not:
    • Having maximum permissible load amount posted,
    • Not secured in place where there is potential to be tipped over, or
    • Significant damage
  • Personal fall protection equipment not inspected on annual basis
  • Powered Industrial Truck (forklift) drivers not wearing a seat belt while operating
  • Respiratory hazards from an air contaminant that is not covered by an OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL)
  • Safety latch not in use on crane
  • Storing incompatible chemicals together
  • Structural damage to building causing struck by hazard
  • Thermal stress (high heat and cold)
  • Workplace violence risk that goes unmitigated

Do you have any of these issues at your facility?  iSi’s team of safety professionals can help through safety audits, safety inspections, issue corrections, training and program development.  Contact us today!

Safety Inspections and Corrections

iSi’s safety auditors can help you identify and prioritize the areas where potential violations may exist.  We can also help you correct any issues that have already been found by inspectors. Contact us today!

Curtis Leiker, CSP
Curtis Leiker, CSP

Contributing:

Curtis Leiker, CSP

Certified Safety Professional |  ISO 45001 and 14001 Lead Auditor

Curtis Leiker, CSP is a project manager at iSi Environmental. Besides assisting companies with ISO 14001 and 45001 implementation, Curtis manages environmental and safety programs, reporting and compliance issues for aviation, general industry and agricultural facilities. He’s able to see the big picture, but focus on the details and enjoys working to solve EHS issues.

Email  |  LinkedIn

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Back to Work Safety Mindfulness

Back to Work Safety Mindfulness

After being off for the holidays or any time of vacation, sometimes it’s hard to get back into the groove of working.  This is a time where it’s easy to not be as mindful about safety as we usually are.

Workplace accidents tend to be higher after people come back from an extended break, whether it be the holidays or a vacation. As a result, we need to be extra mindful about a safety focus when we come back.

Here are some tips to help get back in a safety mindset:

  • Review Job Safety/Job Hazard Analyses—What are the correct safety procedures and PPE required to do the job safely?
  • Take a look around—is the jobsite safe? Have there been changes?  Are there safeguards missing?
  • Don’t take shortcuts
  • As you go about your work, take extra time and effort throughout the days to stop and focus on safety hazards in front of you. Take a few seconds to look around and survey the area to see if there are hazards that can hurt you or co-workers.
  • The first of the year is a good time to stop and do some safety reviews to easily jog memories and get back into the right mindset. This also will allow workers the opportunity to ease back into the routine.
  • Start off the year by taking stock and inventory of tools and equipment. Do inspections to make sure they’re in good condition and functioning correctly.
  • Do your eyewash stations and emergency decon stations work correctly?
  • Do first aid kits need restocking?
  • Does signage need to be replaced?
  • Are labels intact and legible?
  • Do fire extinguishers need recharging?
  • How does housekeeping look? Do we need to clean up and clean out work areas?
  • What are your safety goals for the year? What do we want them to be?
  • Make sure you are getting good rest, nutrition, hydration and exercise. Sometimes the holidays can take a lot out of us and break our routine and this will help us get back to “normal.”
  • Return to a normal home routine as well. If operations are normal at home, they’re more likely to become normal at work.
  • Before you get to work, clear your head of lingering issues and put those away for after work.
  • Look out for each other. Be mindful that others may be distracted and unfocused too.

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Thanksgiving Safety Tips to Share With Your Employees, Family and Friends

Thanksgiving Safety Tips to Share With Your Employees, Family and Friends

As a safety consultant, we make sure that our teams know about safety in all aspects of their life, not just the OSHA kind at work.   Safety at home is just as important as safety at work.  Below are some tips for Thanksgiving Safety, including a link to download a PDF copy to share with your own team.

The Food

  • Keep your food preparation surfaces and utensils clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of salmonella. Keep your cutting boards separate: one for meats and one for cooked foods, vegetables and fruits. Sanitize cutting boards after each use.
  • Thaw your frozen turkey safely in the refrigerator by allowing 3-4 days or approximately 1 day per every 5 pounds. Another way to safely thaw a frozen turkey is submerging it in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. This method takes approximately 30 minutes for each pound the turkey weighs. Once it’s thawed, make sure it’s cooked within 2 days of thawing. Small turkeys can be defrosted in the microwave, but they’ll need to be immediately cooked.
  • If you cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff it just before roasting.
  • Always use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is completely cooked. The temperature needs to reach 165° F when inserted in the thickest area of the thigh.
  • Refrigerate all leftovers within 2 hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within 3-4 days. If you are going to freeze leftovers, do that right away.

Cooking and the Kitchen

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food, and be in the home when cooking your turkey – check on it frequently.
  • Keep children 3 ft. away from a hot stove. Steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, pets, bags or other items.
  • Be sure electric cords from a coffee makers, plate warmers, mixers and electric knives are not dangling off the counter that could easily be bumped, or come within easy reach of a child.
  • Follow all instructions carefully when using a deep fryer and monitor closely! Do not use indoors, in garages or on decks and never leave it unattended.
  • Never wear loose fitting clothing such as long open sleeves that can catch fire from a gas flame.
  • Keep baking soda on hand to put out kitchen fires.
  • Do not leave food cooking or the stove unsupervised.
  • Keep a household fire extinguisher nearby.

Pets

  • While your family enjoys a special meal, give your cat and dog a small feast of their own. Offer them made-for-pets chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a food puzzle toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.
  • A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of
    pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don’t allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse — an inflammatory condition called pancreatitis.
  • Never give your pets turkey bones.
  • Do not give your pets stuffing since herbs, such as sage, even in small amounts can cause an upset stomach and
    gastrointestinal problems.
  • Never give your pet raw bread dough. When a dog or cat ingests raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated drunken pets, which could become a
    life-threatening emergency, requiring hospitalization.
  • If you plan to bake Thanksgiving desserts, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

Have a great and SAFE Thanksgiving holiday from all of us at iSi!

 

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Safety Boots: What You Need To Know

Safety Boots: What You Need To Know

Many types of jobs require the use of boots for safety purposes.  Some jobs just need regular boots while others require steel or composite toes.

Toe Composition

Steel toe boots have a steel cap over the toe to prevent your feet from being crushed by objects falling on them or rolling over them.  Composite toe boots can have toes made of Kevlar, carbon fiber, fiberglass or carbon nanocomposites (composite cylinders arranged in beehive pattern mixed with fiber resin).  Composite toes don’t conduct heat, cold, nor electricity, and are thicker but lighter weight than a steel toed boot.  They are not as impact-resistant. There are also alloy toe boots such as aluminum or titanium.  These are a little less protective but lighter weight than steel toe boots.  They can be a little more expensive as well.

Best Practices

  • Always buy boots that meet ASTM standards for impact and compression and always buy the types of boots your company recommends or requires. Your company has conducted formal PPE assessments to determine the safest types of boots for the work you do.
  • Always wear the proper socks. Moisture wicking socks are better than cotton socks because cotton socks will tend to create moisture  leading to uncomfortableness, foot pain and faster damage to the inside of your boots.
  • Keep the insides of your boots dry and maintain the waterproofing on the outsides of them.
  • Remove mud, dirt, clay, and gunk—they’ll dry out the leather.
  • You can increase the life span of your boots by using premade orthotic insoles.

Checking the Wear

Worn out boots not only are uncomfortable, but they are unsafe.  Not replacing them when they’re worn out can cause foot/back/leg pain, foot stress and ingrown toenails and can increase your chances of falling, especially in slippery environments. Check for wear by looking at:

  • Soles, outsides of the heels, and balls of the shoe for wear. Are soles separating?  Sole separation can cause instability, reduce shock absorption and let moisture or chemicals in.
  • Tears, holes, cracks and external damage—Damage like this can make them less electrical and chemical resistant and more susceptible to foot punctures
  • Internal damage-Look at the inside, the tongue and look for the stitching. Torn insulation can let in moisture and chemicals. The instep shouldn’t be bunching up.

Finding and Trying on Boots

  • Wear the socks you’ll be wearing with the boots when you try them on
  • Your heel shouldn’t come up out of the boot or rub on the back. It shouldn’t move more than a quarter of an inch. As leather conforms to your foot, it will mold to your heel and slight slippage will reduce.
  • You should have an inch of room in your toes but your toes shouldn’t slide forward when you walk.
  • The boot should be secure on the sides and top of your foot but not be painful.
  • Make sure the inner stitching nor the tongue rub on your foot.
  • When trying them on put them through their paces because you want to make sure they’re right for you: walk, run, hop, do knee raises, stand in place, flex your foot, and carefully roll your ankles and stand on the sides of your foot to test ankle support. If you have red spots on your feet after trying them on, those are the places where the shoe will rub.
  • Always try on boots on both of your feet. Your feet change sizes throughout the day, so try boots on in the afternoon when your feet tend to be bigger.
  • If your feet are two different sizes, purchase the boot to fit your larger foot and wear a heel insert for your smaller foot.
  • If you have flat feet, taller boots with stronger insoles may fit better.
  • Boot companies traditionally have you order 1/2 size smaller than your sneaker size. For steel toe boots, you may need to order the same size as your sneaker size, or even a 1/2 size larger than your normal shoe size. If you wear thick socks, the larger boot sizes will be needed to accommodate those.

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The One Where You Must Post the Whole Standard

The One Where You Must Post the Whole Standard

iSi’s consulting team recently provided a presentation to the annual Kansas Safety and Health Conference about OSHA’s top poorly written regulations.  We gave the audience a chance to vote at the end and one of the top vote getters was found in standard 1910.95.  This is the occupational noise exposure standard.  More specifically, 1910.95(l)(1).

A Unique Requirement

The noise exposure standard aims to protect workers against the effects of noise exposure when sound levels exceed a certain scale pictured in the standard.  This is also where instructions on the rules for and how to develop a Hearing Conservation Program can be found.  Section K of the standard discusses the importance of training, what topics need to be covered, and the requirement that the training be repeated annually.

In the next section we find something very unique.  Section L covers access to information and training materials.  The very first requirement states “The employer shall make available to affected employees or their representatives copies of this standard and shall also post a copy in the workplace.”  What??  A copy of the standard?  Post a copy of the entire standard?

Yes, it means what it says.  This is the only standard OSHA has that requires you to take a copy of the standard and post it.  OSHA feels it’s important that in addition to training, employees have the chance to read the standard on their own without having to ask for it.  It must be centrally posted and at no charge.

Updates to the Rule

This rule was written in 1983 and has not been updated since then.  OSHA held firm on its stance in an interpretation letter written in 1988 from someone questioning posting the whole thing, but in 2016 OSHA decided to become a little more user friendly.  In 2016 someone sent OSHA a letter requesting electronic posting.  OSHA’s answer said they realized the internet was not around in the 80s, and thus, declared that with this letter, they were updating the policy to allow for electronic posting, but only under these certain conditions:

  • Your Hearing Conservation training program covers specific information to your employees on where and how to access the entire standard electronically;
  • The link you provide to employees does not go to a generic web page such as to your company’s website, a folder on your intranet or Sharepoint, or the home page for OSHA. It must go to the exact standard located here; and,
  • Computers must be located in all affected employees’ work areas so that they can have access to the standard at any time without having to request access to a computer or without having to ask for assistance on where to find it electronically.

Citations

It may be low risk that you’ll get fined for just this item unless the inspector has a special place in their heart for this standard.  However, it IS likely that it becomes an easy tack-on citation along with other citations of the noise exposure standard.

For example, in the state of Tennessee, this item is one of the most often items cited for this standard, but so are:

  • Lack of training or lack of training program;
  • Did not administer a continuing hearing conservation program when workplace noise levels indicated it was required;
  • Lack of a monitoring program when information indicated the exposure levels may equal or exceed the limits;
  • No audiometric testing program or audiometric testing;
  • Did not establish a baseline audiogram within 6 months of an employee’s first exposure at or above the action level; and
  • Not giving employees the opportunity to select their hearing protectors from a variety of suitable hearing protectors provided by the employer.

Where Do You Stand on Noise?

When was the last time you had your workplace AND your workers tested for noise exposure?  iSi conducts noise sampling, helps write programs, provides training and much more assistance for noise exposure issues.  Contact us today!

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What’s the Difference Between OSHA’s General Industry and Construction Standards on Asbestos?

What’s the Difference Between OSHA’s General Industry and Construction Standards on Asbestos?

With so many entities regulating asbestos – EPA to OSHA to State Governments to even City and County Governments – we see a lot of confusion.  These regulations cross over and intertwine with each other and it’s sometimes difficult to remember which rule is required by which agency.  In this article, we will tackle OSHA’s side.

OSHA has two separate regulations regarding asbestos.  The General Industry Standard is at 29 CFR 1910.1001 and the Construction Standard is at 29 CFR 1926.1101. Unlike other regulations that are shared between 1910 and 1926, these are NOT a carbon copy of each other.

Which One is For You?  Well….It Depends.

In many standards, a company follows either the standard in 1910 or the standard in 1926 based on what type of facility you are.  If you’re a manufacturer, fixed facility, traditionally the 1910 general industry standard applies to you.  If you’re a construction company who moves from site to site, the 1926 construction standards typically apply to you.  However, for asbestos regulations, the one that applies to you depends on what’s going on at your site and what your workers are doing.

A general rule of thumb is daily management of asbestos at your facility falls under the general industry standards.  When you are intentionally disturbing asbestos, then you follow the construction standards.  So a “general industry” facility could be subject to both the general industry and the construction standards if they have a renovation going on.  It’s important that you know the difference between the two distinctions.

The Similarities

We’ll first take a look at the similarities between the two standards.  Remember that OSHA’s goal is the safety of the worker so regulations are focused on worker protection.

Notifying Employees of the Hazards of Asbestos

Both regulations require that you notify workers of the hazards of asbestos and you can do this for everyone through your compliance activities for the hazard communication standard or you can do it through separate training.  This includes informing workers of the presence and location of asbestos in their workplace as well as the health hazards caused by asbestos.  Housekeeping personnel are required to be notified of asbestos-containing areas they could be cleaning.  Outside contractors and project bidders who could work in areas where asbestos could be disturbed are required to be notified where it is.  If asbestos is to be disturbed, such as a removal projects for a renovation, those people working in areas adjacent to those work areas are to be notified of the project.  Tenants of buildings are required to be notified by the owner of the building.

Signage/Labels

Warning signs are to be posted on regulated areas where removal is being conducted or asbestos is being disturbed.

Warning labels should be on raw materials, mixtures, scrap, waste, debris, bagged protective clothing, and other products containing asbestos fibers, or be placed on their containers. Entrances to mechanical rooms or mechanical areas where employees could be exposed should have labels attached where they will clearly be noticed by employees.

Exposure Limits and Medical Surveillance

Each standard sets limits for the amount of asbestos a worker can be exposed to.  If there’s the potential that a worker will be exposed past the limits in the standards, then respiratory protection is required and certain PPE is as well.  If that limit is exceeded, then the worker also needs to be placed in a medical surveillance program to monitor the health effects of their potential exposure.

Training

Each standard lines out required training. The level of training required depends on what the worker will be doing and whether or not they’ll be disturbing asbestos.  Training could range from an awareness class to a full week of intense training.  Most asbestos training is required to be repeated annually.

The Differences

General industry standards have a section on suggested work practices for housekeeping personnel to follow, but the construction industry standard dives into detailed work practices for those personnel intentionally disturbing asbestos-containing materials to follow.

In the construction standard is where we find the terms Class I, Class II, Class III and Class IV work.  The specific practices that workers are to follow are spelled out in detail for each class of work.

Class I work is for workers at the highest risk of exposure.  These are the one who will be removing friable asbestos materials.  Friable asbestos materials are those that when dry, can be easily crumbled or pulverized to powder by hand, making the potential for its fibers to be released even greater.  Class I work is the large-scale abatements of thermal systems insulation from pipes, boilers, tanks and ducts as well as removal of sprayed-on insulation, “popcorn ceiling” texture or acoustical plaster and vinyl floor covering.   This work requires specialized asbestos removal/abatement training of up to 40 hours with annual refreshers.

Class II work is the removal of non-friable asbestos.  Non-friable asbestos cannot be easily crumbled or pulverized to powder by hand and its asbestos fibers are usually bonded into other materials. If a non-friable material remains in good condition, it poses little hazard. Because of its strength, incidental contact will not usually release a fiber.  Class II work includes removal of vinyl asbestos floor tile, lay-in ceiling tile, Transite roofing panels, window glazing, asbestos siding and any non-friable materials.  This work requires specialized asbestos removal training that can vary from full 40 hour courses to specialized training for the specific material to be removed.

Class III work is the intentional disturbing of asbestos for repair and maintenance of other items.  For instance, if one needed to cut away a small amount of asbestos to fix a leaky pipe or to potentially disturb some asbestos in order to access an electrical panel for repair, that would fall under this class of work.  This type of work can often be done by in-house maintenance personnel or even maintenance contractors.  However, it’s still an intentional disturbance and so the workers who do these activities are required to take specialized asbestos removal training as well.  Class III work only allows workers to remove a certain quantity of material before it crosses the line and become Class I or II abatement work.  Specialized training to remove these small quantities is required, typically a 16-hour initial class with annual refresher training.

Class IV work is for those who will be conducting maintenance and custodial activities after a removal is completed, that is, cleaning up after Class I, II or III work.  This level has its own specific training requirements with specific content requirements.

Questions?

Asbestos regulations can be hard to interpret and confusing as actually 4 entities can get involved in regulating it: EPA, OSHA, State Governments and City/County Governments.  If you have any questions regarding this article or asbestos in general, contact us.

 

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OSHA Issues New National Emphasis Programs for Warehousing, Distribution Centers and Certain Retail Stores

OSHA Issues New National Emphasis Programs for Warehousing, Distribution Centers and Certain Retail Stores

OSHA’s latest National Emphasis Program (NEP) is targeting warehousing and distribution center operations, mail/postal processing and distribution centers, parcel delivery/courier services and certain retail stores with high injury rates.

An NEP is a temporary inspection emphasis based on a particular hazard that is typically targeted to specific NAICS codes where certain hazards are most prevalent or in safety areas showing a trend towards high hazards.  NEP inspections can be scheduled on their own, or OSHA can tack one on at an inspection if they see something that applies. So, if OSHA is onsite to investigate a complaint and they see something that could fall under an NEP, they can inspect for that too while they are there.

Who’s Covered in this NEP and Why?

OSHA recognizes a warehousing and distribution growth boom and an increased DART rate compared to other industries.  In 2011 there were 668,900 warehousing and distribution centers, and in 2021 that number was 1,713,900.  DART rates and total recordables for the industries covered in this NEP were over twice that of all private industry, some were more than three times the private industry rate from 2017-2021.

These are the NAICS Codes that will fall under the NEP:

  • 491110 Postal Service (Processing & Distribution Centers only)
  • 492110 Couriers and Express Delivery Services
  • 492210 Local Messengers and Local Delivery
  • 493110 General Warehousing and Storage
  • 493120 Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage
  • 493130 Farm Product Warehousing and Storage
  • 493190 Other Warehousing and Storage

The following warehouse-type retail stores are included because they have been found to have issues in loading and storage areas and have higher than average DART (Days Away; Restricted; Transfer) rates:

  • 444110 Home Centers
  • 444130 Hardware Stores
  • 444190 Other Building Material Dealers
  • 445110 Supermarkets and Other Grocery Stores
  • 452311 Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters

This retail list will change each calendar year based on which related establishments have the highest DART rates.

What Will Inspectors Look For?

Inspectors will be looking at these program areas:

  • Powered Industrial Vehicles (already an emphasis program in several regions)
  • Material Handling and Storage
  • Walking-Working Surfaces
  • Means of Egress
  • Fire Protection
  • Heat (already a National Emphasis Program)
  • Ergonomic Hazards

For heat, inspectors will review injury and illness records, ask about it during worker interviews, and look for these in the walkthrough.  If inspectors see exposures to heat-related hazards or if they find your NAICS code already falls under the Heat NEP, they will expand the scope of the inspection to include the Heat NEP.   Read more about what that inspection entails here.  Heat is a big emphasis right now with OSHA because it helps them meet their responsibilities in complying with the Presidential directive on climate change.

If inspectors see ergonomic hazards in their reviews of records, worker interviews and the walkthrough, they can also expand the scope to ergonomics and open a health inspection in addition to the safety inspection.

Read the full NEP documentation here.

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OSHA Issues Final Rule Which Updates Electronic Injury and Illness Reporting, Adds Industries and More Requirements

OSHA Issues Final Rule Which Updates Electronic Injury and Illness Reporting, Adds Industries and More Requirements

OSHA has issued a final rule changing some of the requirements for electronic injury and illness reporting, adding some new companies and increasing some of the reporting requirements.

What’s New

Companies with 20-249 employees whose NAICS codes were listed on Appendix A of the standard were required to submit their 300A electronically.  This has not changed, however a new appendix, Appendix B, has been created for companies with 100 or more employees.  This will require many more industries to report electronically.  In addition to submitting the 300A, the 100+ employee companies who fall under Appendix B will also need to submit their 300 and 301 forms.

As with 300A information, data from the 300 and 301 logs will be published on the OSHA website.  Personally identifiable information from the 301, such as fields 1, 2, 6 and 7: employee name, employee address, physician name, and treatment facility name and address will not be collected.

The rules have not changed for all companies with 250 or more employees.  All companies, regardless of NAICS code, will need to submit their 300A forms.  Those with 19 or fewer employees will still not be required to report.

Another change includes making inclusion of your company’s legal name required.  Right now, only the Tax Identification number is required.

See Appendix A Here

See Appendix B Here

Industries Moved from Appendix A to Appendix B

Some NAICS codes were moved from Appendix A to Appendix B due to increased fatalities or increases in DART (Days Away; Restricted; Transfer) rates.  Those companies with 20-249 employees who had been submitting only the 300A will now be required to submit the 300 and 301.  These include:

  • NAICS 1133-Logging
  • NAICS 1142-Hunting and Trapping
  • NAICS 3379-Other Furniture Related Product Manufacturing
  • NAICS 4239-Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
  • NAICS 4853-Taxi and Limousine Service
  • NAICS 4889-Other Support Activities for Transportation

Why They Are Requiring the 300 and 301 Log for Some Industries

Besides finding additional industry data on increased injuries, DART rate and fatalities, OSHA’s intent is to collect more accurate and detailed information for injuries and illnesses to help ultimately make workplaces safer.  The detailed information is meant to help make statistics more accurate and to help identify trends that are relevant to industries and types of workers.  The only time OSHA was able to get detailed information was through inspections.  The type of data they will be gathering allows for different kinds of statistical analyses and to help determine where initiatives are successful, are failing, or need to be developed.

OSHA sees gathering 300 and 301 information as a benefit not only to themselves, but by posting it online it can be beneficial information to industries, employers, employees, safety consultants like iSi, and to the general public.

Some examples of this that they used in their final rule document include:

  • 300A information only tells how many of each type of incident on that form are occurring. Now they will be able to see the different kinds of injuries and what they are.  For example, “respiratory conditions” could mean as a result of chemical exposure, COVID, TB, or Legionnaires.
  • Now data can be pulled by roles within any type of company. For example, injuries for nurses aides vs. nurses vs. doctors in medical facilities.
  • The Presidential directive on climate change has OSHA them focused on heat hazards. The new information will help them figure out what kinds of injuries and illnesses are attributed to heat.
  • This will help give employers another resource to consult besides industry groups and insurance to benchmark themselves against others in their industry. For example, the state of Michigan independently researched and found that bath refinishing contractors had 13 deaths in the span of 12 yrs.  From that information, they found it was because of the chemical strippers that were being used. As a result, safety guidance and training was sent to those companies to help improve safety and to alert them of those hazards in order to reduce the deaths.
  • Another employer in New York researched all injuries from their multiple worksites and found that there had been 11,000 lost workdays because of ladders. To reduce those numbers, they increased training in that area, making injuries drop to close to none.  With publicly available information, research like that can be done by multiple parties to help find ways to strengthen workplace safety.

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Process Safety Management (PSM) Compliance Audit: What You Need To Know

Process Safety Management (PSM) Compliance Audit: What You Need To Know

Organizations that handle highly hazardous chemicals must have a comprehensive safety management program to ensure their employees, contractors, and members of the public are protected from potentially catastrophic incidents.

Organizations should regularly audit their operations to identify any potential gaps or areas of improvement in their safety management program.

What does PSM stand for?

PSM stands for Process Safety Management.

The Process Safety Management system should include policies and procedures for identifying, evaluating, controlling, and monitoring all risks associated with working with these materials.

It should also include training on safe work practices as well as emergency preparedness and response plans to ensure that personnel are adequately trained and equipped to handle emergencies and unexpected releases with hazards involved.

What is a PSM audit?

A PSM audit assists companies in determining whether they are doing what is required for compliance against OSHA’s PSM mandate.

An audit of Process Safety Management compliance is an important and necessary step for companies to ensure they are meeting OSHA’s regulations and guidelines.

These audits help identify any gaps in PSM implementation or areas where further training may be needed, enabling organizations to take corrective action quickly.

How often is a PSM audit required?

Recommended, once every three years.

The process safety management audit must include an audit of the PSM program that covers all components, including management commitment and employee participation, process safety information, process hazard analysis, operating procedures, training programs, contractor selection/management, pre-startup safety review procedures, mechanical integrity of equipment associated with the process systems being used by the company and incident investigation.

What is the OSHA standard for PSM?

OSHA developed the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard (issued in 1992) designed to prevent catastrophic events, such as explosions and releases of toxic substances, from occurring by requiring employers to identify and assess the risks associated with the hazardous materials and processes.

Employers must also develop safe operating procedures for activities that involve these chemicals or processes, as well as provide training for employees on proper use of equipment and safe work practices. In addition, employers must implement an emergency response plan and monitor the safety system to ensure that it remains effective.

The Osha’s process safety management applies to processes involving threshold quantities of flammable liquids and gasses (10,000 lbs) as well as 137 listed highly hazardous chemicals. It also covers the manufacturing of explosives. Osha PSM requirements and safety programs help maintain safe and healthy workplaces.

Occupational safety, emergency procedures and emergency planning are just a few ways Osha is assisting companies protect the safety and health of their employees.

What are 4 areas that a compliance audit examines?

The 4 areas compliance audits examine are compliance preparations, security policies and procedures, user access controls, and risk management procedures.

An effective audit is essential to any organization’s success. It helps ensure that the organization adheres to all applicable regulations and best practices, protects its assets, reduces risk, and maintains the trust of its stakeholders.

The audit should assess an organization’s compliance standards, policies and procedures, access controls, security measures, written procedures, user activity monitoring systems, and incident response plans.

It should also identify any areas where the organization may be failing to meet its obligations, and provide recommendations for improvement. A successful audit will enable an enterprise to better protect itself against legal, financial, and reputational risks.

Additionally, a thorough audit can help ensure that the organization remains compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

What are the 14 Process Safety Management (PSM) elements?

  1. Process Safety Information
  2. Process Hazard Analysis
  3. Operating Procedures & Safety Procedures
  4. Hot Work Permits
  5. Emergency Preparedness & Emergency Shutdown Systems
  6. Mechanical Integrity
  7. Pre-startup Safety management
  8. Training Management
  9. Change Management
  10. Incident Investigation
  11. Contractors
  12. Compliance Audits and Compliance evaluations
  13. Employee Involvement and Employee Safety
  14. Trade Secrets

Companies can use these 14 elements to determine and analyze data in near real-time to automatically identify potential hazards before they become a problem.

This allows them to quickly respond and address problems before any harm is done, mitigating the risk of a catastrophic event.

In addition, automation can be used to streamline process safety operations, providing more accurate and timely data to improve decision-making.

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Health and Safety Consultants

Health and Safety Consultants

Consultants provide essential services to businesses, organizations, and individuals. They help ensure workplace safety by providing advice on health and safety regulations and policies, developing risk assessments, inspecting equipment or premises for safety hazards, conducting staff training sessions and developing emergency response plans.

These are knowledgeable in areas such as occupational health and safety regulation compliance, industrial hygiene principles, ergonomics, hazardous material management, fire protection engineering, accident investigations, construction site hazard recognition and more. Their expertise helps mitigate the risk of injury or illness within a work environment.

Additionally they can assist organizations in meeting all legal requirements for health & safety legislation in their respective countries or regions. Ultimately their work helps protect workers from potential hazards that may arise from working conditions.

Furthermore, safety consultants and safety professionals can provide a valuable service to businesses looking to expand or introduce new processes or practices. They can provide advice on the best practices for their particular industry, as well as how to best implement them with minimal risk of disruption to the operations.

Ultimately, this helps make sure that employees are working in an environment where their safety is paramount. Engaging with a qualified Health and Safety Consultant is essential for ensuring that an organization meets its legal obligations in terms of health and safety regulations and requirements.

Additionally, it allows companies to minimize risks, create a safe work environment for their staff, and ultimately protect their reputation should an incident occur.

OSHA Compliance Solutions

OSHA Compliance Solutions is a comprehensive suite of tools and services designed to help businesses stay in compliance with all applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. The service includes access to the most up-to-date federal and state information, as well as an online library of safety training materials, safety programs, safety manuals, instructional videos, and other resources for your safety manager to use.

With these tools, businesses can easily create compliant work environments that protect employees from safety risks and injury. Additionally, OSHA Compliance Solutions can recommend a safety consulting company in which offers consulting services and technical assistance to further support companies’ compliance efforts.

These services include onsite visits for inspections or consultations, as well as identify workplace hazards and provide recommendations for corrective action plans when necessary. Your company will also be presented safety data sheets from these experienced safety professionals. OSHA Compliance Solutions helps businesses ensure their workplaces are safe, efficient, and in compliance with federal and regulations.

OSHA Training Solutions

OSHA Training Solutions is an industry leader in occupational safety and health training. With expertise on a wide range of topics related to workplace safety, OSHA Training Solutions provides comprehensive training courses, both online and in-person, to help employers meet their safety and health compliance requirements.

Their courses are designed to cover topics such as ergonomics, fall protection, hazardous materials handling, risk assessment, health programs, machine guarding, fire safety and more. They also offer a vast selection of online resources that provide easy access to up-to-date information on the ever changing regulations governing workplace safety. OSHA Training Solutions is committed to providing outstanding customer service and quality training solutions to ensure that workers stay safe while on the job.

With their commitment to excellence and dedication to helping employers protect their workforce from injury or illness, OSHA Training Solutions has become an industry leader in occupational safety and health training.

OSHA Compliance Evaluations

OSHA Compliance Evaluations are conducted in order to assess the safety and health conditions of a workplace and ensure that it is compliant with federal standards. During such evaluations, an inspector will look for potential hazards review company policies and procedures, inspect work areas, and verify compliance with OSHA regulations.

These evaluations also serve as an opportunity for employers to address any existing or potential safety risks before they become larger issues. Ultimately, OSHA Compliance Evaluations make workplaces safer places by identifying and preventing potentially dangerous situations.

Additionally, these evaluations can help employers save costs associated with employee injury or illness due to unsafe working conditions. By conducting assessments regularly, companies can protect the health and well-being of their workers while also avoiding violations of regulatory standards.

OSHA Inspection Guidance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides inspection guidance to ensure compliance with federal safety standards. During OSHA inspections, OSHA inspectors conduct workplace inspections to assess compliance with safety regulations and identify any potential hazards that could cause harm to workers.

Inspectors may also speak with employers and employees during the inspection process in order to gather more information on working conditions. The inspector will then issue a report which includes recommendations for improvements or corrections based on their findings, along with a citation of violations if any were found. Employers must take the necessary steps to address the concerns raised in the report in order to come into full compliance with all applicable regulations.

By providing timely guidance and enforcement, OSHA helps keep workplaces safe from injury and illness, protecting both employers and employees.

Written OSHA Program Preparation

Written OSHA Program Preparation is an important part of any workplace safety program. It involves the development and implementation of policies and procedures for keeping workers safe from potential hazards. This includes identifying and addressing potential safety issues, training employees on safe practices, documenting all safety measures, and regularly auditing the system to ensure amenability with federal regulations. Taking these proactive steps helps to protect workers and create a safer work environment.

By setting up an effective written OSHA program, employers can ensure that their workplace is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations, while also protecting the safety and wellbeing of their employees. Written programs provide a roadmap for achieving workplace safety goals as well as creating an environment where employees understand the risks associated with their work and feel empowered to take action for protecting themselves and their colleagues.

Safety Data Sheet Preparation

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a key document required by all employers to ensure the safety of workers in hazardous working conditions. SDSs are prepared to provide information about the properties of a particular substance or mixture, including its health and safety hazards, protective measures for handling, storing, using and disposing of it safely.

SDSs also include details on how to respond in case of an emergency involving the product. Preparation of SDSs requires knowledge of hazardous substances as well as knowledge of composition, toxicology and occupational health. Since many hazardous materials can exist in a number of different forms, it is important to ensure that the SDS accurately reflects the particular product’s characteristics. Furthermore, information must be regularly updated in line with changes in legislation and any new or revised hazard assessment data.

Health and Safety Program (HSP) Development

Health and Safety Program (HSP) Development is a comprehensive process that involves identifying potential risks, developing strategies to reduce risks and implementing those strategies in the workplace. A successful HSP requires proper planning, training, assessment and reporting of safety issues. The goal of HSP development is to protect workers from injury or illness associated with their job duties.

Emergency Response Plans

Emergency response plans are important to have in place for any organization, as they help to outline the steps that should be taken in the event of an emergency. These plans should include information about how to respond and evacuate a building safely, who is responsible for different aspects of the plan, and how to contact emergency services. This response plans should also consider potential risks, such as natural disasters or hazardous materials spills, and outline procedures for responding effectively.

Having a well-developed emergency response plan helps ensure employees are safe during an emergency situation, while also preventing costly damages if an incident occurs. Additionally, proper training on these plans allows staff members to become familiar with their roles so they can act quickly in the face of danger.

On-Site Health and Safety Management

On-site health and safety management is an essential part of any successful business. Effective management of workplace safety can help reduce risks, minimize injury and illness, protect employees’ rights to a safe work environment, and ensure that businesses meet all applicable safety regulations.

An effective on-site health and safety management system should include procedures for identifying hazards in the workplace, setting standards for worker protection, providing training for workers on how to safely conduct their job duties, responding quickly to reported or observed unsafe conditions or practices, conducting periodic inspections of the facility for potential hazards, and maintaining records documenting compliance with OSHA regulations.

LOTO Procedure Development

LOTO (Lock Out/Tag Out) Procedure Development is an essential element of workplace safety. Properly designed and implemented LOTO Procedures help to ensure that hazardous sources of energy are effectively isolated from equipment, thus preventing potential injuries or damages.

When creating a LOTO Procedure, it is important to accurately identify all potentially hazardous sources of energy, determine the proper type of lockout device needed for each source, and develop step-by-step instructions on how to properly de-energize and lock out the machine. Additionally, procedures should be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary in order to ensure they remain up-to-date and effective.

By following these steps in the development process, businesses can greatly reduce their risk exposure while also protecting their employees from potential hazards.

For more detailed information, businesses should consult OSHA regulations on LOTO Procedure Development as well as their own corporate safety policies. With the proper development and implementation of LOTO Procedures, businesses can ensure a safe and secure workplace environment while also adhering to all relevant safety regulations.

By investing in the proper protocols and procedures upfront, businesses can make sure that they are providing their employees with the necessary protection against hazardous energy sources. This is an important step toward ensuring a safe work environment for everyone involved.

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Fit Testing Questions Answered

Fit Testing Questions Answered

Once you conduct an evaluation to determine what type of respirator your workers will be required to use to protect them from the contaminants around them (that is, what type, Assigned Protection Factor (APF) needed, what filters and/or cartridges are required, etc.), there are three general steps that come next: a medical evaluation to ensure they’re medically capable of wearing one, fit testing to determine which size most comfortably and accurately fits, and training.  In this blog, we dive into the fit testing side.

Respirator fit testing is conducted on tight-fitting respirators to make sure the respirator gets a good seal on the employee’s face so that no contaminants will leak into the mask.  They may not always be the most comfortable or convenient things to wear, but fit testing finds a balance of comfort and protection at the same time.

Qualitative or Quantitative?  What’s the Difference?

Fit-testing methods are referred to as qualitative or quantitative.

In qualitative fit-testing, once the person being fit tested has his/her mask on, the tester introduces items such as saccharine, Bittrex, banana oil or irritant smoke near the mask to see if the person can smell or sense it.  This method relies on the worker’s ability to sense odor or irritants. NIOSH currently doesn’t recommend irritant smoke for fit-testing.  Qualitative fit testing is only for half-face, full-face and N95 filtering facepiece respirators that have an APF of 10.  An APF is the level of protection the respirator will provide if it’s functioning and wore correctly.  For example, an APF of 10 means the user can expect to inhale no more than one tenth of the contaminant present. Qualitative fit-testing is easy, fast and fairly inexpensive.  It’s considered to be only a pass or fail type of test.

Quantitative respirator fit-testing uses a machine to measure pressure loss inside the mask or to count quantities of particles to calculate a fit factor.  Quantitative testing is considered more accurate than qualitative fit-testing.  Quantitative fit-testing must be conducted for respirators requiring an APF over 10.  Full-face tight fitting respirators that are quantitatively tested have an APF of 50.  An APF of 50 means the user can expect to inhale no more than one fiftieth of the contaminant present.

​When Do I Need to Fit-Test Someone?

Employers are to ensure employees wearing tight-fitting facepiece respirators are fit-tested:

  1. Before use
  2. Whenever a different respiratory facepiece is used (size, model, make, style)
  3. Annually

Why is Fit-Testing Required Each Year?

A study published by NIOSH has affirmed the need for OSHA’s annual requirement for fit-testing for filtering facepiece respirators and other tight-fitting respirators.

In its study, NIOSH followed 229 subjects over three years’ time, making fit and physical characteristic measurements every 6 months. It was found that after one year, 10% of the subjects had changes in fit. In two years it was 20%, and in the third year, it was up to 26%. OSHA’s intended threshold for fit changes, when it made its rules in 1998, was 7% annually.

NIOSH also found that subjects who had lost 20 or more pounds had respirator fit changes. The greater the weight loss, the higher the chance that the respirator fit changed. Thus, NIOSH recommends those persons who lose 20 or more pounds get priority fit-test scheduling, even it is less than a year since their last fit-test.

In addition to weight loss and gain, other events such as dental changes, facial scarring and cosmetic surgery can affect respirator fit as well.

Note: NIOSH’s study can be found at: https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2016/01/05/fit-testing/

What Difference Does Respirator Brand Make in Fit Testing?

Different brands also fit differently, so a size a worker may wear in one mask may not be the same size in another brand.  If the person wears glasses, hearing protection or other items around their head during the job, they must wear them during the fit test.

What Facial Hair is Acceptable in a Fit-Test?

Beards and facial hair on men are back in style, but beards and respirators do not get along.  Certain kinds and lengths of facial hair including beards, sideburns, some mustaches, and even a day or two of stubble can interfere with the seal.  According to NIOSH, presence of facial hair under the seal causes 20 to 100 times more leakage.  Gases, vapors and particles will take the path of least resistance and will flow right through the hair into the mask and into the lungs.

Our Physician is Booked Now, Can I Go Ahead and Do the Fit Test Before I Get My Respirator Physical?

No!  Respirator physicals (medical evaluations) need to be done before the fit test to ensure the person getting tested is even medically qualified to wear one.  Wearing a respirator can put a strain on the heart and lungs and it is very important that an employee has been evaluated by a medical professional to prevent causing any damage to the employee.

How Often is Respirator Training Required?

Respiratory protection training is required ANNUALLY, that is, within 12 months.  Doing this training around the same time as the physical and the fit testing can help reinforce proper care techniques for the respirator.  This training should cover how to properly don (put on) and doff (take off) them, their limitations and capabilities, why a respirator is needed, how to use them in an emergency or when they malfunction, how to inspect and remove the seals, how to clean and store it properly, how to recognize medical signs and symptoms that may limit or prevent its effective use, and the general requirements of the respiratory protection standard.

Additional training shall be conducted if there are any changes in your workplace, changes in respirator that would make previous training obsolete and when a worker’s actions show additional training is required to ensure their safe use.

What Documentation Do I Need to Keep?

Once you’ve had someone fit tested, you need to ensure you maintain records of the fit test.  The documentation needs to include:

  • The name of the person tested,
  • Type of test conducted
  • Specific make, model, style and size of respirator tested
  • Date of the test
  • Pass/fail results for qualitative fit testing, or the fit factor and strip chart recording from a quantitative fit test
  • A written copy of your Respirator Protection Program

Where Can I Find the Requirements for Fit-Testing? 

OSHA governs the usage of respirators and sets forth its standards in 29 CFR 1910.134 for general industry, and for construction, standard 29 CFR 1926.103 references back to the general industry standard, saying its requirements are identical.  The specific protocols and instructions on how to conduct a fit test are in Appendix A of that standard.

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Workplace Safety Audit Guides

Workplace Safety Audit Guides

Work Site Safety Audits

A Work Site Safety Audit is an important part of any workplace. It helps to identify potential hazards and risks, and ensures that all safety protocols are being followed. The audit includes a comprehensive review of the environment, as well as any equipment or materials used in the area. It can also include interviews with employees and other stakeholders to assess their understanding of safety policies and procedures.

Safety Audits vs. Safety Inspections: What’s the Difference?

Safety audits and safety inspections serve different purposes. Safety audits are more comprehensive and review the overall safety program of an organization, while safety inspections focus on specific worksites or processes.

Audits evaluate compliance across multiple areas such as employee training, equipment maintenance, hazardous materials management, accident investigation/reporting procedures, emergency response plans, etc., whereas inspections are conducted to ensure that existing regulations and requirements are being met in a particular area (e.g. confined space entry, machine guarding).

Safety audits provide organizations with valuable feedback on their current safety practices and allow them to identify any potential risks before they become significant issues. Inspections can help find violations quickly and lead to corrective actions when needed. Both types of assessments are important components of an effective safety management system.

3 Types of Safety Audits

There are three primary types of safety audits: administrative, environmental, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Administrative audits assess compliance with safety policies and procedures; environmental audits evaluate the physical environment for conditions that may pose a risk to personnel; and PPE audits review the effectiveness of an organization’s PPE program in providing adequate protection for workers.

All three types of safety audit provide valuable insight into the overall safety performance of a company, helping to ensure that it is meeting its commitment to providing safe working conditions.

How to conduct a safety audit?

Conducting a safety audit is an important step in improving the safety of any workplace. It allows organizations to assess their current protocols and identify areas for improvement. When conducting a safety audit, it is important to consider all potential hazards and develop safety regulations and safety procedures to eliminate or control hazards.

This can include everything from evaluating how equipment is used and maintained, to reviewing employee training programs and procedures. Additionally, health and safety audit companies should pay attention to the environment around the facility, ensuring that employees are working in safe conditions with reasonable access to emergency exits.

After identification of risk areas, action plans should be developed and implemented in order to make sure that all necessary steps have been taken in order to provide a safe working environment for everyone involved. Finally, employers should regularly review their safety audit report and audit data and make adjustments to ensure that the workplace remains safe for all workers.

By doing this, businesses can prevent major accidents from occurring and create a safer work environment for everyone. Through consistent safety audits, organizations can be sure that they are taking every measure to ensure the wellbeing of their employees.

The Steps of a Successful Safety Audit

A safety audit is an important part of any successful workplace safety program. It helps to identify risks and implement controls that protect workers and facilitate compliance with relevant legislation.

The steps involved in a successful audit include planning the review process, conducting interviews, collecting data, analyzing results, revising policies and procedures as needed, and finally reporting findings to key stakeholders. To ensure optimal results, it’s important to consult experts who have knowledge of applicable regulations and industry best practices.

With audit findings, workplaces can create safer environments for all personnel. Doing so will go a long way towards preventing accidents or injuries from occurring. Ultimately this leads to increased productivity and improved morale among employees.

The benefits of conducting regular audits are clear and there are many resources available to help employers ensure their workplace safety programs meet or exceed standards. With the right approach, any organization can benefit from a successful safety audit process.

By taking the steps necessary to conduct an effective safety audit, companies can have peace of mind that they are putting their employees first while complying with relevant laws and regulations. Additionally, an audit helps organizations identify areas of potential improvement in order to strengthen existing policies and procedures and create a more secure environment for workers.

This is essential to creating a culture of safety within any organization. Conducting regular audits helps ensure safe working conditions and ultimately better outcomes for everyone involved.

Prepare for the Audit

It is important to thoroughly prepare for an audit, as it will help ensure that the process runs smoothly. Start by gathering all relevant documents and financial statements in one place. It is also beneficial to have a checklist of items that need to be addressed during the audit.

Additionally, make sure you are aware of any applicable laws and regulations related to your industry and business operations.

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KPA’s Expert Safety Auditors and Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Software and Training solutions are designed to help businesses keep their employees safe, comply with regulations, and reduce risk.

What are the Benefits of Performing a Safety Audit?

Performing a safety audit is an essential part of any workplace safety program. Regularly performing safety audits helps to identify potential risks, ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations, minimize accidents and injuries, and keep workers safe. Safety audits also help to reduce costs associated with legal fees, insurance premiums, medical expenses, lost time due to injuries or illness, and other related costs.

In addition to this financial benefit, regular safety audits can increase employee morale by demonstrating the commitment of management towards workplace safety. Overall, the benefits of performing a safety audit are clear – improved worker health and reduced potential liability for employers.

How frequently should safety audits be conducted?

When it comes to safety audits, the frequency of their execution can vary depending on a variety of factors. Generally speaking, these audits should be conducted at least once a year. However, this timeframe may need to be adjusted depending on the industry, environment and context of the business in question.

What Are the Best Practices in Conducting Safety Audits?

Safety audits are essential for any work environment, and there are best practices that should be followed when conducting them. First, safety audits should be conducted regularly to ensure all areas of the workplace are up-to-date on safety standards.

It’s also important to involve personnel who can provide a fresh perspective and spot potential hazards. Additionally, auditors should document their observations as they conduct the audit, which allows for an objective assessment of safety practices.

Finally, it’s important to take any corrective actions needed following the audit in order to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Following these best practices can help create an effective safety audit that ensures all areas of the workplace are up-to-date on standards and that potential hazards are identified and addressed quickly.

What is a Compliance audit?

A Compliance audit is a systematic review of an organization’s policies, procedures, and operations to ensure that they are in alignment with legal and regulatory requirements. It is a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of internal controls across all areas of the business.

The main goal of this audit is to identify potential risks or weaknesses in the processes so that corrective action can be taken accordingly.

Use Competent and Objective Auditors

Competent and objective auditors play an essential role in ensuring the accuracy of financial documents. Auditors are responsible for evaluating the accuracy of financial records, assessing internal controls, analyzing transactions to detect errors, and providing assurance that the financial statements present a fair view of the company’s performance.

They must have expertise in accounting principles and be able to assess potential risks with objectivity. Auditors must also be able to clearly communicate their findings and recommendations in a way that is understandable to management.

An effective auditor will use a range of different techniques, such as reviewing documents, interviewing staff, using electronic data analytics tools and performing testing procedures, to ensure accuracy and completeness of the financial records.

What Are the Key Elements of a Safety Audit?

A safety audit is an essential tool for any organization that wants to ensure the health and safety of its employees. The key elements of a safety audit are identifying potential hazards, assessing the risk associated with these hazards and determining how best to reduce or eliminate them. To do this, workers must be trained in hazard identification, risk assessment methods, and prevention techniques to control risks.

Additionally, policies and procedures must be created and enforced to reduce the chance of harm or injury occurring in the workplace. Finally, safety audits should include regular follow-up reviews to ensure that any changes have been effective in improving safety. By using a comprehensive approach to safety management through a safety audit, organizations can help protect their staff from potential hazards and prevent accidents from occurring.

What is the difference between an auditor and assessor?

The main difference between an auditor and an assessor is the purpose of their respective roles. An auditor is responsible for verifying that financial information or systems are accurate and in compliance with laws, regulations, and standards.

An assessor’s role is to measure or evaluate a system, process, project, or organization against a set of criteria. Additionally, auditors are usually outside third-party professionals, while assessors can be internal staff employed by the organization they are evaluating. Ultimately, an auditor is interested in determining the truth of a situation, while an assessor is focused on understanding how well it meets standards or criteria.

Both roles play a valuable role in ensuring that financial and operational information is accurate and meeting legal requirements.

Does OSHA require safety audits?

Yes, OSHA does require safety audits for employers to ensure that their workplaces are safe and in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). By conducting regular safety audits, employers can identify potential hazards and take measures to reduce them.

This helps protect employees’ physical health by reducing the risk of workplace injuries, as well as their mental health by creating a positive working environment. OSHA safety audits allow employers to identify potential hazards and make sure that their workplace is in compliance with the OSHA standards, thus protecting both employees’ physical and mental well-being. Additionally, regular safety audits can help employers save on costs by reducing liability in case of an accident or injury.

Need Help?

Our team of experts can help you with whatever compliance issues you may be facing. Whether it is understanding the complexities of a given regulation or recognizing where your company needs to improve, we have the necessary skills and experience to provide assistance. We will take the time to understand your unique needs and develop tailored solutions that address those needs. For facilites looking for help navigating the often perplexing regulatory landscape, contact us today!

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EHS Software for Healthcare

EHS Software for Healthcare

What is EHS healthcare?

EHS healthcare is a type of healthcare that focuses on the environmental, health and safety aspects of an individual’s wellbeing. It encompasses a wide range of preventive and proactive approaches to ensure individuals stay healthy both in and out of the workplace. With this type of healthcare, emphasis is placed on a comprehensive risk assessment to identify potential hazards or risks associated with a particular area, such as air quality, water supply, hazardous materials and other environmental factors.

Additionally, the goal of EHS healthcare is to provide educational resources to individuals in order to empower them with knowledge on how best to stay safe and healthy in their environment. Furthermore, EHS healthcare includes activities such as monitoring and responding to health-related incidents, performing safety drills and inspections, providing instruction on health topics, and preparing safety plans. Ultimately, this type of healthcare helps people stay safe and healthy while living in a potentially hazardous environment.

What does EHS stand for?

EHS stands for Environment, Health and Safety. It is an important acronym in the corporate world as it emphasizes the importance of protecting people and the environment through a set of policies, procedures and regulations. EHS promotes a safe workplace for employees and visitors, as well as a healthy environment to live and work in.

These measures help reduce risks associated with potential accidents or incidents. Additionally, they help ensure compliance with local, state and federal regulations, which can help a business avoid costly fines. Ultimately, EHS creates a safer and healthier environment for everyone.

What are the EHS standards?

The EHS (Environment, Health & Safety) standards are guidelines and regulations that aim to ensure the safety and well-being of workers, customers, and communities in a given environment. They cover areas such as hazardous materials management, process safety management, emergency response planning, air pollution control and monitoring, noise control and monitoring, waste management practices, occupational health and safety programs, and much more.

Organizations that follow these standards are able to reduce the risk of accidents, increase productivity, and better protect their workers from potential harm. EHS standards are designed to be comprehensive and flexible; they can be tailored to the needs of any particular organization or industry, making them an effective tool for creating a safe working environment.

What is a the purpose of the EHS management system?

The purpose of an Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) management system is to ensure that organizations are aware of and comply with relevant environmental, health and safety laws, regulations and standards. It also helps organizations perform risk assessments to identify risks associated with their operations and develop strategies to mitigate those risks.

EHS management systems also provide a framework for the development of policies and procedures that ensure the health and safety of employees and minimizes potential impacts on the environment. Ultimately, EHS management systems help organizations protect their people, assets, and reputation while remaining compliant with relevant laws and regulations.

Furthermore, an effective EHS management system can provide a competitive advantage to organizations by giving them an edge in terms of demonstrating their commitment to environmental responsibility.

Environmental, Health, and Safety for Healthcare

Healthcare facilities must adhere to strict Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) standards in order to ensure the safety of their employees, customers, and visitors. These standards include ongoing training for staff on hazardous materials management, waste disposal, air quality monitoring and control, proper handling of medical waste and hazardous chemicals, as well as emergency preparedness protocols.

Facilities are also required to comply with local, state, and federal regulations regarding air quality, water quality, hazardous materials management, indoor air quality, and noise levels. By adhering to EHS standards in healthcare settings, providers are able to protect their patients from potential harm caused by environmental factors.

5 Top Safety Risks in the Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry is an incredibly complex and regulated environment, and safety risks for workers are abundant. From hazardous chemicals to dangerous manufacturing processes, the risks must be managed vigilantly.

The five top safety risks in the pharmaceutical industry include exposure to hazardous materials, inadequate ventilation systems, improper handling of biohazardous waste, machine-related injuries, and slips or falls on wet surfaces. Exposure to hazardous materials can have serious health consequences for workers, so safety protocols must be strictly followed.

Inadequate ventilation systems can lead to a buildup of dangerous gases and particulate matter, negatively impacting the health of those working in manufacturing plants. Improper handling of biohazardous waste can also pose a serious risk by contaminating environments with disease-causing agents.

What is the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the Pharmaceutical Industry is a set of safety gear used by workers to minimize potential harm and exposure to dangerous materials. PPE can include items such as gloves, masks, respirators, ear plugs, protective clothing and glasses/goggles.

Depending on the type of job or task being performed, different types of PPE may be required. For instance, a worker operating in a sterile environment might be asked to wear a face mask or respirator while handling hazardous chemicals. PPE is designed to both protect the user and patient and reduce the risk of contamination from one job site to another.

By implementing proper safety protocols, such as wearing appropriate protective clothing and equipment, workers can help ensure safe working environments that are free of potential hazards. It is important for employers to provide workers with the proper PPE so they can do their jobs safely and effectively.

Environmental Compliance in Healthcare

Environmental compliance in healthcare is a critical issue. Healthcare organizations must take steps to ensure that their practices and operations are not only legal, but also adhere to sustainability principles. This includes proper handling of hazardous materials, waste management, and energy efficiency. Healthcare facilities must comply with laws governing air, water, and land pollution as well as safety standards for employees and visitors.

Additionally, healthcare organizations must develop and implement an environmental management system to track and manage their environmental performance. By ensuring compliance with environmental regulations, healthcare facilities can contribute to local communities by protecting the environment and public health. Thus, proper environmental compliance is essential for all healthcare organizations.

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Incident Reporting Software

Incident Reporting Software

What is safety incident tracking software?

Safety incident tracking software is an important tool for organizations to maintain safety and security in the workplace. It records and monitors all reports related to safety incidents, providing real-time visibility into potential risks.

This helps organizations identify trends, assess root causes of accidents, and take preventive measures. This tracking software also keeps a record of corrective actions taken by management that can used as a reference for future incidents. This allows for more informed decision making, increased accountability and ultimately an improved safety culture within the organization.

Additionally, it helps organizations comply with applicable safety regulations and standards. Incident tracking software can help organizations create a safer environment, reduce their liabilities, and provide peace of mind to employees.

What are the types of incident reporting software?

Incident reporting software provides organizations with the ability to document and track a workplace incident, helping them investigate issues and prevent future occurrences. It is a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes as it enables them to efficiently manage incidents and reduces the risk of costly liabilities. There are several types of incident reporting software available, each designed to meet specific needs.

These include web-based systems that allow reporting to be done online, desktop versions that can be installed on computers in the workplace, and mobile applications that are accessible on smartphones and tablets. Regardless of the type, all incident reporting software offers features such as customizable forms for recording incidents, tracking information, notifications of new incidents, and reports to analyze data.

What is safety incident reporting tool used for?

A safety incident reporting tool is used to track incidents, collect information about them, and report on the data that has been gathered. This kind of tool enables organizations to quickly identify potential hazards and take corrective action before accidents occur or escalate.

The data gathered by the reporting tool also helps with compliance and provides an audit trail for insurance purposes. Additionally, it can be used to measure the effectiveness of safety measures and provide data for developing better workplace safety initiatives. In short, a safety incident reporting tool is an invaluable tool that helps organizations to monitor and improve safety in their workplaces.

By having access to detailed data about an EHS incident, organizations can also identify trends and common issues that arise, allowing them to take proactive steps to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

Additionally, having access to such data can be used by management and safety teams to develop better safety initiatives and ensure that employees are aware of their own responsibilities for maintaining a safe working environment. In short, using a safety incident reporting tool is an invaluable way of helping organizations protect their employees and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.

What is the incident recording system?

The incident recording system is a critical component of workplace safety management. It is used to document incidents, near misses, hazardous conditions or any other type of event that may contribute to an unsafe working environment.

The system allows employers and employees to report details about the workplace incident, such as time and date, location, witnesses involved, type of injury, as well as develop a root cause analysis. This information is then stored in a centralised database, making it easy to quickly review the incident and analyse patterns in order to identify potential hazards.

With such an effective system in place it is easier for employers to prevent future incidents from occurring. Additionally, the system helps ensure that any legal or insurance regulations are followed correctly.

What are the 4 types of incident reports?

  1. Accident Report
  2. Property Damage Report
  3. Security Incident Report
  4. Behavioral Incident Report

Incident reports are written summaries of events that have occurred in a workplace, business, or organization and can be divided into four categories. The first type of incident report is an accident report, which documents any accidents or injuries that occur onsite.

This information can then be used to identify potential risks and take measures to reduce them in the future. The second type is a property damage report, which records any damage to the premises or equipment that has occurred due to dangerous working conditions or negligence. Thirdly, security incident reports document any threats to personnel, data, or assets.

Finally, behavioral incident reports are used to record incidents of verbal abuse, harassment, and other forms of disruptive behavior in the workplace. All four types of incident reports help to create a safe working environment and keep track of any issues that may arise.

Types of workplace incidents:

Workplace incidents are events that occur in the workplace and can have a variety of effects on employees, customers, visitors, and the organization as a whole. Incidents range from minor grievances to serious violations of safety regulations or corporate policies. Common types of workplace incidents include physical assaults, bullying or harassment, property damage, threats or intimidation, fraud and theft, violence or intimidation, and sabotage. It is important for organizations to have policies in place to address each of these incidents appropriately. This ensures that all employees are treated fairly and with respect, while helping to maintain a safe and productive working environment.

Organizations should also have protocols in place for reporting workplace incidents, such as making sure reports are documented accurately and filed promptly with the appropriate authorities. This helps to ensure that incidents are avoidable and can be properly managed if they do occur. By following these protocols, organizations can help to protect both the safety and morale of their employees.

In summary, workplace incidents vary greatly in severity and type, but all are important for organizations to take seriously. Having clear policies and procedures in place is essential to ensure a safe and productive work environment, while also protecting the rights of all employees. It is important for organizations to be vigilant in identifying potential incidents and taking appropriate steps to address them in order to maintain a secure work environment.

What is an incident management software?

A safety incident management software is an application specifically designed to help organizations and businesses respond quickly and efficiently to any type of incidents, such as natural disasters, technical issues, or other emergency situations.

This software simplifies the process of gathering information related to an incident from different sources and aggregating it in a single platform for easier decision-making. Incident management software also provides the necessary tools such as an incident management module, to report incidents, create plans, assign tasks, and track progress towards resolving the incident in a timely manner. Ultimately, this type of software helps businesses investigate incidents and reduce the impact and duration of workplace safety incidents as well as improve overall business continuity.

What is safety incident management?

Safety Incident Management is a process used to identify, assess, and mitigate safety incidents. This process helps organizations protect their personnel by responding quickly and effectively to safety incidents that could potentially cause harm or injury.

It enables organizations to create a comprehensive system for managing injuries, accidents, and other safety-related issues in the workplace through documenting safety incident data. Safety incident management also allows organizations to develop corrective actions and strategies for preventing similar incidents in the future. Overall, it is a critical process that ensures safety and health in the workplace.

What is the ITIL incident management system?

The ITIL incident management system is an effective way to proactively manage service interruptions and minimize their impact. It helps organizations predict, detect, identify, diagnose, and resolve incidents as quickly as possible.

With the help of the ITIL incident management tool, organizations can develop standardized processes for resolving software and hardware incidents in a timely manner. The process includes notifying team members, escalating issues to appropriate personnel, and logging incidents for analysis.

By using the ITIL incident management tool, organizations can ensure that their services are running smoothly and customers receive prompt support when needed.

It also helps organizations develop proactive measures such as training employees on how to use the system and implementing preventive maintenance procedures to reduce service interruptions.

Need help?

Our team of experts can help you with whatever compliance issues you may be facing. Whether it is understanding the complexities of a given regulation or recognizing where your company needs to improve, we have the necessary skills and experience to provide assistance.

We will take the time to understand your unique needs and develop tailored solutions that address those needs. For facilites looking for help navigating the often perplexing regulatory landscape, contact us today!

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Warehouse Inspection Checklist

Warehouse Inspection Checklist

Why is warehouse safety important?

Warehouse managers have a difficult job. Not only do they need to keep their facility running smoothly, they need to ensure the safety of their workers, and facilitate warehouse operations.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), warehouse managers face a number of potential hazards in their workplace, including unsafe use of a forklift, improper stacking, and unsatisfactory fire safety provisions. These line items plus many more will be included in an osha inspection.

How to use a warehouse safety checklist?

Maintaining compliance with industry safety standards is critical for any business, but can be especially difficult for small businesses. One way to ensure compliance especially before a company is required to do a formal safety audit is to use safety inspection checklists that are compliant with OSHA standards. iSi offers a checklist free of charge to help companies start their compliance journey.

Additionally, using pre-written checklists can help reduce the amount of time spent on safety inspections, allowing business owners to focus on their core operations. Finding a warehouse safety checklist is the first step to this process.

What should be checked during warehouse safety inspections?

Forklifts:

In any warehouse, forklift accidents are a major concern that can facilitate numerous hazards. Forklift operators need to be properly trained and aware of potential safety risks, especially while loading docks. In order to avoid injuries, it is important to maintain haulage equipment, make sure it is in good working order, never exceed 5 mph outside or in a warehouse, examine the area before driving a forklift, and perform regular checks on all equipment.

Docks and Dock doors

Injuries can occur when warehouse employees are struck by items or equipment falling from the dock or while loading dock doors, when the forklift runs off the dock, or when employees engage in “dock jumping.” It is important for the safety of workers to drive slowly, never go in reverse, and wear a hard hat. Ladders and stairs should meet OSHA’s guidelines, and “dock jumping” should be prohibited.

Material Storage

A good item to examine on the warehouse safety checklist is material storage. Warehouses are often dangerous places to work, as the slightest mistake can lead to a worker being injured. In order to keep workers safe, it is important that warehouses implement safety measures to prevent falls and other injuries from occurring. One such way to prevent falls and protect employees is by positioning items evenly throughout the warehouse and on storage racks.

This means that when workers walk through the warehouse, they will not have to navigate around large piles of boxes or other items. This is important for the safety of the workers. Placing heavier loads in lower distances will also help to keep workers safe, as it will be easier for them to maintain their balance when carrying heavy objects. Implementing these simple safety measures can help keep your workers safe and injury-free.

Charging Station

In the warehouse, one of the most important safety steps you can take is to identify hazards and know how to prevent them. According to OSHA, there are a number of things that you can add to your warehouse safety inspection checklist to maintain warehouse safety, including banning smoking and open flames, keeping an adequate inventory of fire extinguishers, and properly positioning forklifts before charging.

Chemicals

In order to be compliant with local, state, and federal regulations, it is important for warehouses to have safety data sheets (SDSs) on hand. SDSs are documents that contain all the relevant information about hazardous materials and chemicals, including its hazards, proper storage and handling, first-aid and firefighting measures, toxicological information, and more.

For warehouses that store hazardous chemicals, it is especially important to be up to date with all regulations. This is because hazardous materials and chemicals can pose a danger to employees if not handled properly. In order to prevent accidents, employees will need regular training and management should preform regular inspections.

Warehouses should make sure they have up-to-date SDSs for all of their chemicals. Having these documents on hand will help ensure a safe work environment and the warehouse is in good standing with all regulations.

Person lifting or handling

For employees who are performing regular lifting and handling of heavy objects, quick is not safe. Most cases of back pain are caused by strain or injury to the muscles, ligaments, or discs in the back. The good news is that these injuries can often be prevented by using proper lifting techniques as well as storing heavy or cumbersome items preoprly on storage racks.

Security System

As technology advances, more and more businesses are turning to warehouse security systems to protect their investments. With the installation of alarms and surveillance cameras near all access points, business owners can rest easy knowing that their facilities are under 24/7 monitoring. While there are many companies that offer these services, it is important to do your research before selecting a provider.

One of the first things you will want to consider when hiring a security company is their experience in servicing storage areas and other sensitive locations. It is also important to look at the quality of their equipment. In addition, the company should offer cloud storage so that you can access videos from anywhere at any time.

Finally, be sure to ask about the company’s customer service policies. You should expect 24/7 support in case of an emergency.

Fencing

Most people know that fences provide a layer of security by keeping unauthorized individuals out of a designated area. What many people don’t realize, however, is that fences also need to be routinely inspected in order to ensure they are still structurally sound and haven’t been compromised. Just as you would perform maintenance on your car or home, it’s important to inspect your fence on a regular basis and identify safety hazards to prevent any unwanted access or damage from happening.

Employees

Employees that can identify when something doesn’t seem right can be your best protection against potential security breakdowns. This should be a part of your hazard communication. Security breaches can happen anywhere, at any time, so it’s important to have a plan in place for how to handle them. That means having employees who are alert and paying attention to their surroundings, and who know what to do if something seems suspicious.

What are the most common warehouse safety hazards?

Fire Safety

A warehouse is a large, open space where goods are stored and processed. Because of the nature of their work, warehouses pose a unique fire risk. In order to ensure that your warehouse is as safe as possible in the event of a fire, it is important to take some precautions.

The most important thing you can do is make sure that your warehouse is well-marked with clear exit signs and that there are adequate fire extinguishers available. You should also store flammable materials in a safe place and make sure that wires are properly insulated. Having proper emergency exits, fire exits, and fire alarms can and will save lives as well as products.

Falls

It’s no secret that safety is of utmost importance in the workplace. Every employee should be aware of the proper safety protocols to follow in case of an emergency. In addition, it’s important to take measures to ensure the safety of employees while they are working.

This may include using safety railings, harnesses, and other protective devices. It’s also beneficial to cordon off uneven or damaged areas while repairs are being made.

Heavy machinery

Heavy equipment is often essential to completing construction or other tasks. However, working with this equipment can be dangerous if not done properly. It is important that you take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you when using heavy equipment. All vehicles

Some tips to keep in mind are: being aware of your surroundings, safely entering and exiting equipment, sustaining communication with other workers, using appropriate spotter signals, creating buffer zones, and workers knowing when to stop so that they are not in a dangerous situation.

Trip hazards

It’s no secret that the warehouse industry is a dangerous one. Every year, workers in a warehouse are injured and killed on the job because of common hazards. In an effort to reduce these numbers, it’s important for employers to be aware of the most common warehouse safety hazards and take steps to correct them.

One of the most common types of accidents in a warehouse is a slip or trip. This can be caused by many things, such as poor lighting, loose materials on the floor, spills, or uneven flooring.

To avoid these accidents, it’s important for employers to take steps to improve visibility and make sure that all surfaces are even and free of hazards. Implementing hazard signs and caution tape can also help increase awareness among workers.

Overexertion

What are overexertion injuries? For example, injuries caused by lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing objects all fall under the category of overexertion.

To help prevent overexertion-related accidents, your workers must receive proper safety training. In particular, learning how to lift and carry objects without injury is a vital part of warehouse worker training.

Carrying heavy items improperly can result in a number of different types of injuries: back strains and sprains, hernias, neck strains and sprains, shoulder strains and sprains. Injuries like these can keep your workers off the job for weeks or even months at a time. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your workers know how to safely lift and carry boxes and other items in the warehouse setting.

Falling objects

Working in a warehouse almost guarantees that some materials will be stacked on racks above everyone’s heads. Hard hats, hard hats, hard hats… is the number one thing every person should be wearing to prevent injury. Therefore, it’s possible for items to fall from those racks and cause injuries or get lost in the flue space. In order to prevent these things from happening, a safety protocol should be put into place.

That protocol should include the use of a safety harness, regular inspections of the racks, and employee training on how to properly stack materials.

Lack of Awareness

The biggest hazard in warehouse safety is lack of awareness. When you go through your warehouse safety checklists make sure your warehouse workers, co-workers, and managers are practicing situational awareness.

To help maintain this level of awareness, your team should know all current regulations and latest regulations as well as provide effective training to all workers. When you provide training make sure to include hazard communication with warehouse workers and take preventive measures to keep everyone safe.

If an incident arises, take immediate corrective actions and safety procedures, create reports of the incident and leave the warehouse in good condition.

How do warehouse inspections work?

Warehouse safety inspections, also known as warehouse audits, are an important part of maintaining a safe and efficient working environment in a warehouse setting for warehouse staff. By following a set of documented processes, employers can ensure employee safety, protect inventory from theft or damage, and optimize workflows and procedures. A warehouse safety checklist can help to guide warehouse workers through the necessary steps to complete an effective inspection. Inspections is a warehousing industry standard.

Conclusion:

Having a warehouse is an important part of any business, and it’s essential to make sure they are functioning properly. A warehouse inspection checklist can help you do just that.

A good inspection checklist will cover all the key areas of a warehouse, from the inventory to the security systems. It should also be customized to your specific needs, so that you can be sure nothing is missed.

A well-executed warehouse inspection can help you identify any potential problems before they become serious issues. It can also help you ensure that your warehouse is running as efficiently as possible, which can save you time and money in the long run.

Where Do You Go From Here?

iSi can help you get a baseline on your environmental compliance responsibilities and help you prioritize the ones which are most critical to be taken care of.  Request a quote for an environmental audit today!  Need more information about these issues?  Contact us at (888) 264-7050 or email us!

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Health and Safety Checklist: What You Need To Know

Health and Safety Checklist: What You Need To Know

What is a safety checklist?

Safety inspection checklists are an important part of any safety inspection program. By using a safety checklist, safety professionals can identify potential hazards in the workplace and take steps to mitigate those hazards.

Each workplace has its own set of unique hazards, and it is essential that health and safety professionals be able to select the appropriate checklist for their specific workplace in order to ensure full compliance with all applicable safety standards.

There are a wide variety of OSHA-approved checklists available for use by safety professionals, and each checklist is designed for a specific industry or application. Some of the most common types of checklists include: chemical processing, electrical work, construction, maritime operations, and agricultural operations.

What should be included in safety inspection checklists?

Housekeeping inspection:

Maintaining a clean and healthy work environment is essential for the safety of employees. A housekeeping inspection checklist can help employers ensure that their workplace health is up to code with regard to health and safety regulations.

The checklist contains a variety of items related to cleanliness, sanitization and personal protection practices, which can be applied to a range of industries. Professionals may use the checklist to maintain a particular level of health regulation on their work site. The housekeeping inspection checklist may be especially helpful for those professionals working in food services, healthcare and manufacturing industries.

Self-inspection for general industry:

Safety checklists are a critical component in any workplace for any company. No matter what industry you work in, it’s important to have a safety checklist to make sure you are adhering to all the necessary safety standards. In some industries, such as construction, there are more regulations in place that dictate what safety measures must be taken.

However, in other industries, such as general industry, there may be less regulation and workers may not be as familiar with safety best practices. That’s why it’s important for every workplace to have their own self-inspection checklist tailored to their specific industry.

One great resource for creating a self-inspection checklist is the General Industry Safety Standards Checklist from OSHA. This checklist includes a wide variety of items that should be checked for safety compliance in general industry workplaces. Some of the items are similar to those found on the construction self-inspection checklist, but there are many more general items included as well. Having this comprehensive list available can help professionals ensure that their workplace is safe for employees.

Self-inspection for construction:

Construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Every day, they face potential injuries from heavy equipment, falling objects, and hazardous materials. In order to minimize these risks, construction companies have safety protocols in place that employees are required to follow. A large part of following safety protocol is having a well-organized and comprehensive safety checklist.

The purpose of this safety checklist is to provide a comprehensive overview of all the items that should be considered when implementing a health and safety plan for a construction site. Not every item on this list will apply to every work site; instead, it is meant as a general guide for safety management on construction projects. Some of the topics covered by this checklist include: personal protective equipment (PPE), first aid kits and supplies, fire prevention, and chemical handling.

Each section of the document contains specific details about what needs to be done in order for employees working on the construction area to stay safe. It is important for both management and employees alike to familiarize themselves with this checklist so that everyone understands their role in keeping everyone safe while on the job site.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) inspection:

The PPE inspection checklists are comprehensive resource that can help professionals identify potential hazards in the workplace. The checklist contains a variety of items, including those that relate to compliance with providing, maintaining, using and updating equipment that protect employees from occupational hazards such as safety glasses, gloves, and suits for proper ventilation.

While many industries use the PPE safety inspection checklist in conjunction with others, it is an important tool for workplaces looking to provide employees with additional protection from potential risks.

Electrical inspection:

It’s no secret that electrical safety is a critical issue in many industries. In fact, electrical accidents are one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities in the United States. The electrical inspection checklist is a valuable resource for professionals in any field who want to ensure the safety of their employees and coworkers.

The electrical inspection checklist pdf includes organization, exposure, consistency, any potential explosive, hazardous substances and chemicals. Some of the most important items on the list include guidelines for proper storage of materials and ensuring that electrical infrastructure is up to code and having fire extinguishers on hand. By following these guidelines, professionals can rest assured knowing that they have done everything possible to create a safe work environment.

Truck safety inspection:

It’s no secret that vehicular accidents can cause serious delays, not to mention fatalities. What may be less known is the fact that many of these accidents could be mitigated with a simple safety inspection checklist.

Professionals in transportation and supply management industries can use this checklist to maintain the safety of long-haul and delivery vehicles. The checklist includes items that relate to the evaluation and maintenance of a vehicle’s viability and condition, which may help identify potential mechanical issues for repair and maintenance. Ultimately, this may mitigate accidents, incidents, and transportation delays.

Fall protection:

The Fall Protection Safety Inspection Checklist is a comprehensive document that covers all the necessary items related to fall protection. The checklist can be used by professionals in various industries, but is especially beneficial for construction workers who navigate high scaffolding and elevated structures on a daily basis.

The checklist contains specific sections for Fall Arrest Systems, Fall Restraint Systems, Fall Prevention Plans, and more. Each section includes a variety of tasks or steps that should be completed in order to ensure safety. Areas to focus on are floors, stairs, platforms, storage in facilities, and more.

What is a risk assessment?

Risk assessments are critical process in ensuring the safety of people, property, and the environment. By identifying hazards and assessing the risks associated with them, Risk assessors can develop mitigation plans to control or eliminate potential dangers. While Risk assessment is often thought of in terms of industrial or workplace safety, it is also an important tool for personal safety and security.

What are the 5 things a risk assessment should include?

  1. Identifying hazards and potential hazards
  2. Assess all risks including situational
  3. How to control and manage the risk
  4. Record your findings and outcomes
  5. Review and maintain controls

What are safety records?

‘Safety records’ or reports are documented occurrences of the safety management processes and activities, safety recommendations, related remedial actions and their follow-up.

What type of records are required for health and safety checklist?

OSHA Form 300, OSHA Form 300A, and OSHA Form 301.

Conclusion:

Inspections are important. It is widely accepted that safety checklists are an important part of any safety inspection program. A well-constructed safety checklist can help safety professionals identify potential hazards in the workplace and take steps to mitigate hazards. However, not all workplaces are the same, and it is essential that health and safety professionals be able to select the appropriate checklist for their specific workplace in order to ensure full compliance with all applicable safety standards.

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The Basics

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The Basics

What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

PPE is essential in protecting workers from potential harm and is mandatory in many industries. Employers must provide PPE to all their employees free of charge if they are likely to be exposed to hazards during work. The different types of PPE used depend on the risk assessment carried out by the employer, which will determine the level of protection needed for each individual employee.

Common examples of PPE include safety helmets, gloves, safety goggles, ear defenders and respirators. In some cases, employers may also need to provide fire retardant clothing or specialist footwear such as steel toe capped boots.

It is important that employers follow guidelines set out by regulatory bodies when providing PPE, as failure to do so could result in serious injury or even death. It is also important that employees use the PPE provided correctly and understand the associated risks of not doing so.

What different industries require PPE?

Transportation

The most common type of PPE used by truck drivers are:

  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Steel toe boots
  • High visibility clothing

It is important to be aware of any hazardous materials that you may come into contact with while making a delivery and to make sure that you are wearing the appropriate PPE. In some cases, full-body suits may be necessary to protect against hazardous materials.

Chemical

  • Face shields/Face mask
  • Respiratory protective equipment
  • Chemical splash goggles
  • Gloves
  • Aprons/Overalls

PPE should always be used where there is a risk of exposure or contamination of corrosive liquids. It is important to ensure that PPE is appropriate for the task, fits properly, and is maintained in good condition. To determine appropriate types of PPE, it may be necessary to have a qualified person assess the nature and extent of potential hazards.

Food

  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Face shields
  • Hairnets

PPE is an essential part of any restaurant, cafe, or bar staff’s uniform and should be worn at all times while on the job. Employees who don’t wear the right PPE can easily get injured from sharp knives or hot dishes, increasing both their risk of harm and the potential liability of their employer.

Healthcare

  • Gloves
  • Gowns
  • Eye protection
  • Disposable N95 respirators, surgical masks, face shield

PPE for healthcare workers is essential for occupational safety. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends gloves, gowns, eye protection, and face shields/masks as the basic requirements for any and all healthcare workers.

Wearing PPE such as basic respiratory protection, protective clothing, a surgical mask, protective eyewear, and lab coats, when worn correctly, can significantly help prevent workplace hazards and biological hazards, thus helping protect workers and health workers.

Oil and Gas

  • Eye protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Hand/Foot protection
  • Flame-resistant clothing
  • Gas detection monitors

Essential PPE for oil and gas workers significally reduce employee exposure to physical hazards present as well as notify them on things they cannot see.

Automotive

  • Peripheral safety goggles
  • Cut-resistant gloves

Peripheral eye protection is especially important in the Automotive Industry, as liquids like fuel and oil can drip down the face, and working in dusty environments with fiberglass, or metal fragments can work their way around non-sealed safety glasses.

Sealed glasses and goggles provide the best protection against such hazards while allowing unrestricted vision to perform service tasks. Motor vehicle technicians and mechanics should always wear proper eye protection whenever doing repairs, as the risks of serious injury or permanent vision damage are simply too great to ignore.

It is also important for anyone working in an automotive environment to get regular vision exams to ensure that any issues can be caught and treated early. Cut-resistant gloves will help prevent skin damage and skin hazards.

Construction

  • Protective gloves
  • Hearing protection to prevent occupational hearing loss
  • Full face shields when cutting, grinding, or chipping
  • Goggles for chemical splashes
  • Proper respiratory equipment and protection
  • Fall protection equipment when working above 6 feet

In addition to these PPE requirements, all construction site employees must be aware of the site-specific health hazards associated with working on a construction or renovation site. Employees should know what types of hazardous substances are present and how they can protect themselves.

Appropriate PPE such as respirators, gloves, boots, and chemical protective clothing may need to be worn depending on the particular job site. Make sure that you understand all safety procedures before beginning work and follow them at all times.

It is the responsibility of each employee to take appropriate steps to protect themselves from any potential harm.

Finally, make sure that you report any unsafe conditions or practices immediately to your supervisor or the project manager in charge of the site. Safety first – always!

Manufacturing

  • Gloves
  • Hard hat
  • Goggles
  • Full-body suits
  • Face shields

When working in a manufacturing facility, it is important to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect yourself and protect employees around you.

This includes gloves, protective hearing gear, hard hats, goggles, respirators, and full-body suits. Wearing PPE can help protect you from various hazards in the workplace. Some facilities may require using a self contained breathing apparatus or powered air purifying respirators as well as other equipment designed for a specific purpose.

What are some examples of PPE?

Masks and Respiratory Protective Equipment

When choosing a respirator, it’s important to understand the differences between APRs and ASRs. Air-purifying respirators (APRs) filter out contaminants from the air that is breathed through them. These types of respirators are most effective when used in environments with low levels of contamination, since they are unable to protect against high concentrations of airborne contaminants. Some examples are:

Protection for the Face and Eyes

Eye and face protection is important in any workplace setting to not only protect against eye injuries, but also for ensuring optimal employee productivity. Depending on the work environment and tasks that need to be completed, there are four primary types of eyewear available to help minimize risk.

General safety goggles are designed with side shields that provide a greater area of coverage, and some models may even include a wraparound frame. They are suitable for most workplace conditions, including those with light debris or dust particles in the air. Another example of safety goggles is laser safety goggles.

Head and Shoe Protection

Wearing a hard hat with a chin strap is the best way to ensure that an employee’s head remains protected when working in hazardous situations. The chin strap will keep the hat secured and prevent it from falling off in case of a fall or other accident. Hard hats must also be inspected regularly for any cracks, dents, scratches, punctures or other signs of damage.

Damaged hard hats must be replaced immediately to ensure an employee’s safety. Employees should also check the fit of their helmet before beginning work. A well-fitting hard hat will provide maximum protection and comfort for employees working in hazardous conditions. Safety equipment can only help you if you use it properly.

Gloves

Different types of gloves include: Leather, Canvas or Metal Mesh Gloves, Fabric and Coated Fabric Gloves, Chemical- and Liquid-Resistant Gloves, and Insulating Rubber Gloves. Gloves are used in many different scenarios and provide protection against anything from infectious materials, contaminated body fluids, bloodborne pathogens, and bacterial contaminants, to physical hazards such as cuts and abrasions.

What is required for OSHA standards for PPE?

Employers should assess the workplace to determine if PPE is necessary. If it is, employers should provide employees with appropriate protective equipment and ensure its use. Employers must also make sure that the protective equipment is well-maintained and kept clean.

Additionally, employers must train employees on how to properly wear and care for their eye and face protection in order to ensure its effectiveness. Employees should also be informed about potential hazards in their work environment, as well as any limitations of the protective equipment they are using.

If an employee needs prescription lenses while wearing safety glasses, employers may have additional requirements to meet OSHA standards. It is important to note that non-prescription safety glasses do not provide adequate protection against hazardous materials.

Employers should ensure that employees who require prescription lenses have access to appropriate protective equipment and can safely perform their job duties without endangering themselves or others.

If an employer has determined that protection is necessary, they must also provide employees with a copy of OSHA’s standard 1910.133 which outlines the requirements for protection in the workplace.

This document contains detailed information on types of hazards, selection criteria, performance requirements, instructions for use and care, as well as other helpful information employers need to know when providing appropriate face protection to their employees. The World Health Organization and OSHA reiterate that employees must wear PPE and proper equipment in order to protect them properly.

Why do you and your employees need PPE?

  1. Liability

  2. Long-term issues

  3. Keep what you got!

  4. Increase quality work environments

Conclusion:

When it comes to workplace safety, personal protective equipment (PPE) is an essential piece of the puzzle. PPE protects workers against hazards in the environment that could cause physical harm or injury. Industries such as manufacturing and mining are particularly hazardous, and effective use of PPE can help prevent accidents and injuries from occurring.

To ensure maximum protection, it is important that workers always wear the correct type of PPE for the job they are doing. This could include safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, hard hats and other items that are designed to protect against specific hazards.

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Laboratory Safety Checklist

Laboratory Safety Checklist

What You Need To Know:

What is a safety audit checklist?

A safety audit checklist is a document used by companies to ensure their workspaces are compliant with industry health and safety standards.

The purpose of a safety audit checklist is twofold: first, to ensure that all areas of potential danger have been identified and addressed; and second, to provide a record of due diligence in the event of an accident or injury.

Many companies use safety audit checklists as part of their regular safety program, while others only implement them in response to an incident.

What should be included in a lab safety checklist?

Lab safety is of utmost importance in any laboratory setting. A lab safety checklist helps to identify and minimize chemical, biological, physical and radioactive hazards present in a laboratory facility.

It helps ensure that the laboratory complies with environmental standards to prevent overexposure to hazardous chemicals, injuries and respiratory-related illnesses or fatalities.

What are the 5 major areas of lab safety?

Cuts:

Laboratory accidents are one of the most common types of workplace accidents. In severe cases, nerves and tendons may be severed.

Often, these injuries occur as a result of attempting to force a cork or rubber stopper into a piece of glass tubing, thermometer or distilling flask thus the result can be broken glass.

To prevent this accident from occurring, workers should make a proper-sized hole, lubricate the cork or stopper, and use gentle pressure with rotation on the glass portion along with any removal of broken glass after an incident.

Toxic fumes:

Chemical fumes can be extremely dangerous, and it is important to take the necessary precautions when working with them especially while working inside. Fumes can cause serious health problems if they are inhaled, so it is important to make sure there is proper ventilation in the lab and to maintain a safe distance when pouring chemicals. Fumes can also be an environmental health issue.

Skin Absorption of Chemicals:

It is important to be aware of the physical injuries that can occur in the laboratory. Chemicals can cause burns, and even if they are not corrosive, exposure can cause allergic reactions or other problems if absorbed by the skin. This can cause acute or immediate effect on the person.

Remember that gloves may be permeable to certain chemical reagents – even without visible deterioration – so trade out any gloves that have come into contact with such chemicals for a new pair immediately. Never touch your face or eyes until your hands are clean of all chemicals or solvents.

Explosions and fires:

In a lab, it is important to be aware of the dangers of flammable liquids. Vapors can travel long distances and may ignite if they reach a flame or spark. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher on hand and ensure each individual in the laboratory knows its exact location to prevent fires from spreading.

The appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), like a flame-resistant (FR) lab coat, should also be worn.

Chemical or thermal burns:

Chemicals are an important part of laboratory work. They can be used to create reactions or to purify substances. However, they also can be dangerous if not handled correctly. Burns, chemical spills, and unsafe laboratory conditions are all potential hazards and you should immediately report any incident with you chemical or thermal burns.

It is therefore important to exercise caution when working with chemicals and to always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

What are the major overlooked lab safety issues and hazards?

Ergonomic safety:

Musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs are a serious problem in the workplace, and they can be caused by many different things.

One of the most common causes is repetitive awkward postures, which can occur when employees are not properly trained on ergonomics safety. This type of injury can lead to discomfort and loss of productivity, and it is important for employers to take steps to prevent them.

Laboratory waste disposal:

One of the most important aspects of ensuring a safe and healthy work environment is properly managing hazardous waste. Improper disposal of these materials can have serious consequences for both employees and the environment.

Pathogenic diseases and chemical reactions are just two examples of the many dangers posed by hazardous waste if it is not handled correctly. By implementing a comprehensive waste management program, employers can mitigate many of these risks.

Dress code safety:

Proper dress codes can be overlooked when trying to protect students and protect employees. In order to maintain a safe laboratory environment, adding the dress code to the daily lab checklist is a must.

Employees must ensure all safety equipment including goggles, face shields, safety gloves, body, and respiratory protection are in good condition before entering the laboratory.

Proper labels:

Labels are an important part of, not only general safety but also laboratory safety. Putting a proper label on gas cylinders or any substance that is harmful will ensure compliance and meet laboratory standards which will eliminate lab risks.

Record of an incident:

Another overlooked issue that should be on the lab maintenance checklist is proper record-keeping. You should be keeping records of the following: Damaged equipment, equipment malfunction, toxic contamination, radioactive materials leaked, chemical exposures, chemical spills, laboratory cleanliness, maintenance of labs, and any other issues along with the person responsible.

Conclusion:

Laboratory safety, chemical safety, biological safety, radiation safety, and general safety begin with a proper checklist. Starting with regular self inspections can help tremendously but don’t shy away from outside help if you feel you need it. Safety officers and safety consultants can help you with basic requirements for you laboratories, maintain laboratory health, help you achieve a good inspection checklist, cultivate emergency procedures, and ultimately prevent laboratory risks to help you avoid unwanted legal action again your company. Following tips safety consultants provide is paramount. Maintaining a lab, keep it in peak condition, and keeping employees safe is always the utmost priority.

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6 Key Steps of an Effective Incident Investigation Process

6 Key Steps of an Effective Incident Investigation Process

Why Conduct Incident Investigations?

When investigating a worksite incident, it is essential to record all findings accurately and thoroughly. This includes documenting the accident scene, identifying any possible witnesses, and interviewing involved parties to verify facts. All of these steps will help employers and workers understand what happened and identify potential hazards in order to prevent future incidents from occurring.

Who should do the investigating?

It is equally important to involve managers and employees in the incident investigation. Managers can provide oversight of the process, as well as draw on their experience to identify potential contributing factors from when the incident occurred. Employees also bring valuable insight – for instance, workers may be able to identify specific unsafe practices or conditions that led up to the incident.

Six steps for successful incident investigation:

The 7 steps of investigation includes:

STEP 1 – IMMEDIATE ACTION

Once the area is safe, first aid and medical care has been given for the people involved and the scene has been preserved, a thorough investigation will begin. Evidence will be collected from multiple sources which may include CCTV tapes, photographs of the scene or other physical evidence such as samples. This evidence must be carefully documented and stored securely in accordance to local laws and regulations.

STEP 2 – PLAN THE INVESTIGATION

It is important to develop a clear plan for investigating any incident. The plan should consider the resources required, who will be involved, and how long it is expected to take. Depending on the severity or complexity of the incident, an investigation team may be necessary in order to ensure that all aspects of the case are thoroughly examined.

An accident investigation is important for any workplace incident, not only for human error but for equipment and management systems errors as well. With a proper investigation, a safety committee will need to involved or established as well as a single investigator.

STEP 3 – DATA COLLECTION

The investigation of any incident requires a thorough analysis of all available information. This might include interviewing witnesses or victims and an injured worker, reviewing documents related to the event, examining equipment or machinery that was involved in the incident and studying the incident scene.

The data collected from these sources can provide invaluable insights into what happened during the incident and help investigators determine the cause. To collect data, comb over every sequence of events and gather information regarding human errors as well as equipment errors. Weather conditions should be documented as well along with safety problems, property damage, serious injury, witness statements, near misses, work environment, other incidents, and other relevant information that will be helpful to the investigation team.

STEP 4 – DATA ANALYSIS

The root cause of an incident is typically the result of multiple failures, decisions, and processes that have been allowed to exist in an organization’s environment. To properly recognize the root cause requires a thorough investigation into the systemic factors at play.

The direct causes are more obvious, but it’s important not to overlook their connections to underlying influences. By looking closely at both direct and underlying causes, it becomes possible to identify where improvement can be made and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. In order to understand the data, you’ll need to review records such as inspection reports as well as review all injuries recorded, the me

STEP 5 – CORRECTIVE ACTIONS

Root cause analysis also helps organizations to recognize any potential areas for improvement, ensuring that similar incidents do not happen again in the future. By understanding and addressing the root causes of an incident, organizations can gain greater visibility into their processes and ensure long-term success.

Additionally, significant cost savings can be achieved through effective root cause analysis as it provides a valuable opportunity to review existing processes and address any deficiencies before they become costly later on. Ultimately, when used correctly, root cause analysis can help an organization get ahead of problems before they occur and reduce risks associated with them and other hazards.

Corrective actions might include personal protective equipment changes or updates due to equipment failure. Doing a ‘quick fix’ would be an example of what not to do as a corrective action. Cutting corners can cause repeat incidents and come with serious consequences.

STEP 6 – REPORTING

Once the investigation is concluded and all outstanding issues are closed out, it is important to communicate the findings so that lessons can be shared. In order to do this, organizations should use formal incident investigation reports, alerts, presentations and meeting topics.

Regular safety inspections, regular maintenance, implement corrective actions and a safety program, being sure to follow up with organizational requirements on safety and training both management and employees on safety in incidents are crucial when reporting and maintaining reporting.

Why look for the root cause?

Root Cause Analysis can be used to help organizations recognize and rectify the underlying causes of problems they may be facing. The first step in this process is to identify the negative events that are occurring and determine if any patterns or trends exist among them.

What are the steps involved in investigating an incident?

  • Secure the area
  • Plan the investigation
  • Collect all information
  • Analyze collected data
  • Find the root cause
  • Execute corrective actions
  • Document and share the results

What should I know when making the analysis and recommendations?

If your analysis is just another step of managing incidents. Be sure to allocate the appropriate resources and time to complete a full analysis in these situations:

  • When issues occur or can be expected to occur more than once
  • When an outage has or can affect many users
  • When the system isn’t functioning as designed

What is OSHA Process Safety Management Management of Change?

MOC’s (Management of Change) establish and implement written procedures to manage changes made to process chemicals, technology, equipment, procedures and facilities. OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) standard requires companies to perform MOC’s when changes are made that could affect how safely a process runs.

This procedure should outline all points involved in making changes to the process, such as reviewing safety concerns, assessing risks, identifying potential hazards, selecting appropriate control measures, monitoring results, and updating records.

Which are the three types of MOC?

The three most common types of MOC are administrative, organizational, and technical.

What are the steps of MOC process?

8 Steps to a MOC Process

  1. Identify Proposed Changes.
  2. Risk Assessment.
  3. Determine if Hazards/Risks Can Be Controlled.
  4. Evaluate Making a Change.
  5. Implement Change If Safe.
  6. Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR)
  7. Train Workers on Change.
  8. Execute and Monitor Change.

 

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Fatigue Management

Fatigue Management

We’re all tired. There are so many things weighing on us — taking on more tasks and trying to keep up at work when there are not enough workers to get everything done, continuous pressure to maintain levels of service when supplies are delayed and staffing is short, COVID, Daylight Savings time, we’re approaching one of the busiest times of the year in the school calendar, you have stuff at home that’s not getting done, and on and on. When you get tired, mistakes and accidents happen.

Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep in every 24 hours to feel well rested and without it, a sleep debt is built up. This debt may result in impaired performance, reduced alertness and higher levels of sleepiness and fatigue. A sleep debt can only be repaid with restful sleep. Fatigue contributes to accidents by impairing performance and in extreme cases causing people to fall asleep. Fatigue related “micro sleeps” are very hard to predict or prevent and can place the individual and others at risk.

According to the National Safety Council, more than 43% of workers are sleep-deprived, and fatigued worker productivity costs employers $1,200 to $3,100 per employee annually. Employees on rotating shifts are particularly vulnerable because they cannot adapt their “body clocks” to an alternative sleep pattern.

Fatigue Management Programs

More and more companies are including fatigue management in their list of safety programs.  For major manufacturers and industrial facilities that use contractor pre-qualification services like ISNetworld, Fatigue Management Programs are a requirement for contractors.

Fatigue Management Programs can be simple.  They can line out the responsibilities of supervisors, employees and the company.  They also discuss the hazards of fatigue, provide a overview of risk controls and make a plan for training.

Even if you don’t want to create a formal Fatigue Management Program, you still may want to consider including safety sessions about it to your teams.  Here are some elements you can include in your training:

Signs and Effects of Fatigue

Signs of fatigue include long eye blinks, repeated yawning, frequent blinking, bloodshot eyes, poor reaction time, slow speech, loss of energy, and an inability to concentrate.

Fatigue can result in a lack of attention, difficulty following instructions, reduced ability to think clearly, and slower response to changing circumstances.

Chronic fatigue can also lead to many different long term health issues such as high blood pressure, increased risk for diabetes and heart disease, weakened immunity, poor balance, mood changes and memory issues.

What Your Company Can Do:  Risk Controls to Consider

Rest, of course, is the most important control measure for managing fatigue. For companies, consider the following:

  • Is a ten hour or longer break between work shifts provided?
  • Are safety critical tasks planned during “circadian low” hours, 2am-6am and 2pm- 4pm?
  • Are complex tasks planned on the first or final shift of a nightshift work cycle?
  • Does the break between work shifts provide a sleep opportunity of 7 or more hours of continuous sleep?
  • Is a minimum of one break provided between each 4 hours of work with one break of sufficient length to have a meal (i.e. 30 minutes)?
  • Are more frequent short breaks allowed during strenuous activities?
  • Are on-call responsibilities limited?
  • Is ready access to drinking water provided?
  • Do Call-Out/On Call schedules provide for adequate rest before returning to a regular work shift?

What the Worker Can Do: Combating Fatigue

  • Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule — if you’re sleeping more on days off, you’re not sleeping enough on work days. Try to go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time per day, even on the weekends.
  • Try to get a minimum of 7 hours per night
  • Don’t eat big meals close to bedtime, but if you’re hungry before bed, don’t go to bed hungry as that will affect sleep too — have a healthy snack.
  • Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol can all affect sleep patterns
  • Make your bedroom conducive to sleep — quiet, dark, not too hot or too cold
  • If you have daytime sleepiness, snoring or breathing pauses, get checked out for sleep apnea
  • Just like kids need a bedtime routine, so do you. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine and stick to it.
  • Avoid stressful activities before bedtime and don’t associate your bedroom and sleeping with anxiety
  • Don’t go to bed for sleep unless you’re truly sleepy — trying to sleep is counterproductive and can make it harder to fall asleep.
  • Avoid long naps during the day that may throw off your nighttime schedule.
  • Avoid blue light exposure at night (from electronic devices) – use glasses that block blue light or install an app that blocks it.
  • When was the last time you changed your mattress and pillow? Are they causing pain? Upgrade your bedding every 5-8 yrs.

Working together to try to incorporate just even a few of these into our lives and work days should make a real difference in workplace health and wellness — both physically and mentally.

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The Top 5 Respiratory Protection Issues Cited by OSHA in 2021

The Top 5 Respiratory Protection Issues Cited by OSHA in 2021

The list of the most cited OSHA standards is out for 2021.  As you may know, the list contains the same issues each year, usually just in a different order.  Fall protection in construction is number one for the 11th year in a row. Hazard communication, usually towards the top of the list, surprisingly fell to 5th.   Respiratory protection in general industry is the new overall number two for this year, and the top issue found in general industry.

So what are the issues most commonly cited for respiratory protection?   

1. 1910.134(e)(1) Medical Evaluations

The most commonly cited relates to medical evaluations. Employers are to provide medical evaluations to determine the employee’s ability to use a respirator, before fit-testing and before they’re required to use the respirator in the workplace. 

There is a medical questionnaire in Appendix C that you can choose to use, or you can choose to do a medical examination instead as long as the examination contains the same information found in the questionnaire.  As an employer, you cannot look at the answers, and must provide employees with instructions on how to deliver or send the completed questionnaire to a physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP) for review. 

Seasonal and temporary workers are required to have evaluations if their jobs require respirator use.  Those workers who voluntary choose to wear dust masks (after you’ve determined there is no hazard in that area) are not required to have medical evaluations but must be made aware of the limitations of the dust mask as outlined in Appendix D of the standard.

2.  1910.134(f)(2) Fit Testing

Employers are to ensure employees wearing tight-fitting facepiece respirators are fit-tested:

  1. Before use
  2. Whenever a different respiratory facepiece is used (size, model, make, style)
  3. Annually

Fit-testing is done qualitatively or quantitatively.  Qualitative fit-testing uses items such as saccharine, Bittrex, banana oil or irritant smoke to determine protection.  It relies on the person being tested’s ability to sense odor or irritants. Qualitative fit testing is only for half-face, full-face and N95 filtering facepiece respirators that have an Assigned Protection Factor (APF) of 10.

Quantitative respirator fit-testing uses a machine to measure pressure loss inside the mask or to count quantities of particles to calculate a fit factor.  Quantitative testing is considered more accurate than qualitative fit-testing.  Quantitative fit-testing must be conducted for respirators requiring an APF over 10.  Full-face tight fitting respirators that are quantitatively tested have an APF of 50 .

3.  1910.134(c)(1) Written Program

In any workplace where there is respirator use, there needs to be a written program with site-specific procedures. The program is to be administered by a “suitably trained” program administrator.  Whenever conditions in the workplace changes, the program should be updated.  If you have people voluntarily wearing respirators, you still are required to have a program.

The program is to contain the following elements:

  • Procedures for selecting respirators;
  • Medical evaluations of employees required to use respirators;
  • Fit testing procedures for tight-fitting respirators;
  • Procedures for proper use of respirators in routine and reasonably foreseeable emergency situations;
  • Procedures and schedules for cleaning, disinfecting, storing, inspecting, repairing, discarding, and otherwise maintaining respirators;
  • Procedures to ensure adequate air quality, quantity, and flow of breathing air for atmosphere-supplying respirators;
  • Training of employees in the respiratory hazards to which they are potentially exposed during routine and emergency situations;
  • Training of employees in the proper use of respirators, including putting on (donning) and removing them (doffing), any limitations on their use, and their maintenance; and
  • Procedures for regularly evaluating the effectiveness of the program.

Annual reviews are not required, but reviews should be done periodically in accordance with the complexity and factors of your hazards, types of respirators used, and worker experience using them. Workplace changes are an automatic trigger for updates.  For instance, if your workplace conditions change such as different exposure amounts or types, if you change respirators, or change fit-testing protocols, an update would be necessary.

In your review, employees should be questioned on factors affecting their performance such as difficulty in breathing, limits of motion, impacts to vision/hearing/communication, discomfort and if they have any concerns on effectiveness.

4.  1910.134(k)(1) Training

Employers need to make sure employees can demonstrate their knowledge of the following:

  • Why the respirator is necessary
  • How proper fit, usage and maintenance can compromise its protective effect
  • Limitations and capabilities of a respirator
  • How to use it in an emergency
  • What to do if it malfunctions
  • How to inspect, don, doff and check its seals
  • How to properly clean, disinfect and store the equipment
  • How to recognize medical signs and symptoms that may limit or prevent the respirator’s effectiveness; and,
  • The general requirements of this section of the standard.

Employees need to be trained BEFORE using a respirator in the workplace, and ANNUALLY (within 12 months). Training needs to include the above elements each year. Besides the annual training requirement, retraining is required whenever there are changes in the workplace, when you see the employee has inadequacies in his/her knowledge or use of it, or any other case in which it looks like the employee would benefit from retraining.

To determine the employee’s understanding, you can ask the employee in writing or orally about the information and observe their hands-on use of respirators.

5.  1910.134(d)(1) General Requirements

The general requirements are the general rules for selection of respirators. That is, it is the employer’s duty to:

  1. Select appropriate respirators based on the hazards to which they’re exposed and the workplace factors that will affect them such as temperature/humidity, need for unimpeded vision, need for communication with other workers, usage in conjunction with other PPE, amount of time to be worn, etc.

  2. Select NIOSH-certified respirators and use them in compliance with the conditions of that certification. So don’t use parts for one brand on a different brand of respirators and for airline respirators use in accordance with operating procedures and hose specifications.
  3. Evaluate the respiratory hazards of the workplace. This includes quantifying exposures, identifying the contaminant’s chemical and physical form. You must do an analysis to determine if respirators are needed.  If it’s not possible to identity or estimate, the atmosphere should be considered to be IDLH, or immediately dangerous to life or health.
  4. Select respirators in a sufficient number of models and sizes so that they are acceptable and correctly fit. Not everyone’s face is the same.  We’ve found in fit-testing that not only are there size variances between people, but some just cannot successfully fit test in certain brands and shapes of respirators.

Need Help?  Have Questions?

After reviewing these 5, does your program have all of these bases covered? 

If you have questions, or need help shoring up your respiratory protection program, iSi is here to help!  We can write or review your written programs, help you determine workplace exposures, help with sampling plans, help with respirator selection, and conduct training. Contact us today!

Need Help?

Do you need help with any of these respiratory protection issues, respirator selection, quantitative fit-testing or training?  We can help!

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Keith Reissig
Keith Reissig

Contributing:

Ryan Livengood

International Hazardous Materials Logistics Manager | EHS Regulatory Trainer

As a former corporate environmental, health and safety manager, Ryan has a vast experience in working with both environmental and safety compliance issues in multiple states.  His specialties include national and international dangerous goods transportation, hazardous waste, environmental compliance, industrial hygiene and safety compliance. He is also an ISO 14001 Lead Auditor.

Email 

Recognize the Signs of Heat Illness

Recognize the Signs of Heat Illness

recognizing the signs of heat illness

Hot working conditions can bring increased risks of heat illness, especially when heat-producing equipment is used. 

OSHA has added an item in its Spring Regulatory Agenda called “Heat Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings” to start the wheels in motion for a potential heat-related regulation.  Right now it’s only in the Request for Information stage, but congressional members and public citizens have been petitioning for a standard for a while.  Some state plan states have already included heat-related rules in their standards.  

Heat is the leading weather-related killer.  The most important thing to remember about a person suffering from heat illness is to get them out of the heat ASAP. Take them to a shaded or air-conditioned area. A running vehicle with air conditioning works if no shaded area is available. Always stay with a victim of heat illness until medical personnel arrive. Be aware of yourself and your team for any symptoms and take the appropriate action immediately.  

Heat rash can appear on skin as small or large clusters of red bumps.

  • What to do:
    • Get to a cool, dry place.
    • Keep rash dry; use powder to soothe.

Heat cramps bring pain or spasms to muscles.

  • What to do:
    • Halt physical activity until cramps go away.
    • Get to a cool place.
    • Drink water or electrolyte drink.
  • Seek medical attention if the victim:
    • Has cramps lasting longer than 1 hour.
    • Has heart problems.
    • Is on a low-sodium diet.

Heat exhaustion occurs when the body’s temperature can’t cool down. Think of this as a situation where extreme conditions exhaust the body. It is severe and can occur in one day or over multiple days when in a consistently hot environment.

  • Watch for:
    • Heavy sweating
    • Cold, clammy, pale skin
    • Fast and weak pulse
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Headache
    • Weakness or tiredness
    • Dizziness
    • Fainting
    • Muscle cramps
  • What to do:
    • Get to a cool place.
    • Loosen clothing.
    • Sip water; do not chug.
    • Place cool cloths or cold packs under arms or on neck.
  • Seek medical attention if the victim:
    • Is vomiting.
    • Experiences worsening symptoms.
    • Experiences symptoms lasting longer than 1 hour.

Heat stroke occurs when body temperature is excessively high. Think of this as a situation that causes the body to stroke or seize up completely. This is a serious medical emergency that can cause shock, brain damage, organ failure, and death. It could be caused by heat exhaustion that was not properly treated.

  • Watch for:
    • Red, hot, dry skin (no sweating)
    • Fast and strong pulse
    • Nausea
    • Throbbing headache
    • High body temperature
    • Dizziness or confusion
    • Slurred speech
    • Losing consciousness
    • Seizures
  • What to do:
    • Call 911 – follow their advice.
    • Get to a cool place.
    • Loosen clothing.
    • Place cool cloths or cold packs under arms or on neck.
    • Do not provide anything to drink.

Dehydration can be a common cause of heat illness. Maintaining hydration is important, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Drinking water or electrolyte drinks are highly preferred to sugary and heavily caffeinated drinks. OSHA recommends drinking small amounts of cool water often before getting thirsty; 4 cups every hour during heat index values between 103°F – 115°F. Another recommendation is not to exceed 12 quarts of water per day.

An important reminder is that every person and situation is different. Some people require more water than others. These intake amounts depend on several things including the type of work being done, how much you’re sweating, and your personal risk factors. Don’t chug a large amount of water in the morning and call it good for the day; the important thing is maintaining hydration. You don’t flood your vegetable garden once at the beginning of the month and neglect it the rest of the month. If you do, you probably don’t have much of a harvest.

It’s the supervisor’s duty to have a plan in place during days of extreme heat. If possible, rescheduling a job to a cooler day or even a cooler part of the day could make a difference. Getting a job done on time is important, as is maintaining client satisfaction. However, no part of a job is worth risking the health and safety of your team and clients should understand that.

 

OSHA Heat Regulation

Monitor OSHA’s progress on a potential heat illness prevention standard here.

drew lyon
drew lyon

Contributing:

Drew Lyon

Project Manager | Meteorologist

Drew Lyon’s experience and training encompasses environmental reporting, day-to-day EHS compliance assistance at manufacturing facilities, wastewater compliance, hazardous waste management, environmental field sampling and safety. She is also a meteorologist, providing weather-related guidance to clients and our team.

Email  |  LinkedIn

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Sometimes You Really Need to Listen to the Voices in Your Head

Sometimes You Really Need to Listen to the Voices in Your Head

At iSi, the office and marketing/sales teams get involved in safety too, and one of the things we do is we each get a week to share a personal safety experience.  This is what I plan to share this month during my turn, and I hope you can take something away from it, especially as we head into National Safety Month this month.  – Tami Hadley

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Usually when someone talks about the voices in their head, it’s kind of a joke, or played off as a negative thing.  However, sometimes those voices can tell you good things that you actually need to listen to.  There was one important time I wish I had listened to the voices that were trying to help keep me safe, but didn’t.

In late June of 2001, 20 years ago this month, my sister-friend and I were seriously scalded in a kitchen accident.  My friend used to think homemade was the way to go.  Six kids later she thinks a little differently, but back then that’s the way it was.  She was canning green beans from her garden and she had one of the old-time pressure cookers from the 70s.  She hadn’t used it much, and I certainly didn’t know anything about it.

One night when I was visiting, she was wanting to get the beans canned.  Her husband usually took care of the pressure cooker part but he was gone that night.  She had seen him do it, so she decided she would do it herself.   When it was time to take the jars out, she couldn’t get the lid of the cooker off.  Earlier that evening, the lid was really hard to get on, and so it made sense that it would be hard to get it off.  She enlisted my help.  I’m a helper…sure I’ll help.  We stood over the stove and started trying to muscle the lid off, and it wasn’t moving.

We paused for a moment.  In that pause, later we both discovered when discussing the event, that a voice in our heads was saying to each of us “Wait a minute, maybe this isn’t a good idea.”  However, we both are get ‘er done types and there were a lot of other things to get done that night, so we proceeded.  What we proceeded into was pressurized scalding water going everywhere.  We had missed a step – depressurizing the cooker.

The water flew everywhere.  Scalding water covered my head, face, arms, hands, chest, stomach and upper thighs.  She got it all over her arms, legs and feet.  After being temporarily blinded, I ran to the bathroom sink for the cool water, and she went to the kitchen sink.  Besides the extreme pain, I knew it was bad when I looked in the mirror and saw a huge piece of skin on my nose falling off and my face beginning to swell.  I found out later that the boiled water remaining on my clothes was continuing to burn me.  I kept them on until I was convinced to strip down in the ambulance.  Well, not until I made them shut the door, and make my cop friend who was working that night, go away.

I ended up spending the night in the burn unit with second degree burns over 30% of my body and my friend had second and third degree burns.  The nurses in the emergency room had a real good time with me after learning I worked for a safety consulting company.  They made all the medical personnel who came in the emergency room ask me where I worked so I could relay the irony of the situation.

It was a long, painful July for the both of us and it took us about a month for full recovery.  We both still have scars, especially on our arms.  I tell her it’s like a tattoo to remind us of what we went through and what we should/shouldn’t do.  We are extremely fortunate and blessed it didn’t do any other long lasting scarring damage besides that.

If we would have listened to those voices in our heads, we could’ve stopped this accident from happening. 

Please relay to your teams that it is OK to stop and listen to those voices in your head when something does not seem right.  It’s ok to take a moment to rethink something before you do it.  Nothing is too important or needs to be completed so quickly that you can’t take a moment to rethink it, especially when it comes to your safety.

Some safety lessons I took away from this ordeal…

  1. It’s OK to listen to the voices when it comes to your safety.
  2. If you’re scalded, remove the clothing that has the hot water on it to prevent continual burning. A lot of my most painful injuries was a result of this.
  3. Scalding burns larger than 3 inches or that cover more than one area of your body need medical attention.
  4. Run cool or lukewarm water (not cold) over the area but don’t submerge yourself in it or you could lose body heat.
  5. If you’re going to use a pressure cooker, buy the ones with the best safety features and won’t let you take the lid off until you depressurize it. My friend did bravely “get back up on the horse” and used that old cooker again, but more safely.  I still refuse to be in the same room with it.
  6. Always be familiar with the proper procedures for using something – don’t rely on only doing it by sight or watching someone else – you may miss something very important.

What’s your safety story?  Do you use personal safety stories in your safety programs?  How is it working?  Let us know!

 

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Tami Hadley
Tami Hadley

Contributing:

Tami Hadley

Marketing Director | Project Manager, E-Training Solutions

Tami has been with iSi for over 24 years.  During this time, she has enjoyed helping promote regulations compliance awareness and education through her involvement with iSi Training and through leadership roles with industry conferences and professional organizations.

Email  |  LinkedIn

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Go Orange for Work Zone Safety & Struck-By Hazard Awareness Week

Go Orange for Work Zone Safety & Struck-By Hazard Awareness Week

With spring and summer, along with the barbeques, pool parties and vacation days that come with warm weather, so does one other inevitability:  road construction.  The week of April 26-30, 2021 is National Work Zone Awareness Week.  Road construction occurs all throughout the year, but tends to start ramping up in the warmer spring and summer months.  So now is a good time to review some good safety practices on construction zone safety.

Work zones separate construction activities and construction workers from traffic, allowing both to work in harmony.  However, construction zones create a different traffic pattern and can sometimes be confusing areas.  On top of that, there are workers and machinery moving about.  Speed reduction areas, delays for pilot cars, and even route changes can affect our time schedules too.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 2019 fatalities rose 11% from 2018.

  • There were 762 fatal crashes in work zones, 324 on arterial roads and 287 on the interstates
  • There were 842 fatalities in work zones, 690 of those fatalities were drivers and passengers
  • Of the fatal crashes, 33% were commercial motor vehicles
  • 31% of fatalities involved speed
  • 24% of fatalities were rear-end collisions

National Work Zone Awareness Week Events and Materials and Go Orange

You are encouraged to participate in Go Orange Day on Wednesday April 28, 2021 and wear orange to spread the message of work zone safety with your friends, family, coworkers and community.  There are a ton of resources out there to share with your workers as part of your weekly safety messages and meetings.  Here are some links to some sites for national and state event information and resources you can download:

National WorkZone Safety Information Clearinghouse (National and State Site Links)

Download a Flyer to Share with Your Workers from the National Work Zone Week Site

Download iSi’s 1-page Safety Toolbox Flyer With Safety Tips to Share With Your Team 

National Work Zone Awareness Week Website

Participate – National Work Zone Awareness Event Tool Kit

Struck-By National Stand-Down Week

Along with National Work Zone Awareness Week, NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda’s (NORA) Construction Sector Council is promoting the National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidents.  Struck-by hazards have been OSHA’s leading cause of death and non-fatal injuries since 1992.

NORA will be hosting 2 webinars on Monday April 26.  One is about cranes and lifting and the other is preventing struck-by incidents.  To register, download this flyer about the event.

You can also find a wide variety of training materials, infographics and other resources on struck by hazards here on the Center for Construction Research and Training Website.

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If your company would like assistance with creating toolbox topic presentations/materials or new employee training, contact us for a price quote!

 

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Sustainability is Much More Than Just Being Green

Sustainability is Much More Than Just Being Green

Sustainability…that’s a word that’s been thrown around a lot within the past few years and to many it may conjure images of recycling and being a good environmental steward.  However, sustainability is more than just that environmental “stuff,” it’s actually much broader and you can count a lot of different practices towards it.

Sustainability can be defined as what your company is doing to contribute to society in terms of social responsibility, economic growth, AND environmental protection.  It’s what your company is doing to ensure you are adding value to society by how you manage resources, interact with your community, and work with your employees while staying profitable to sustain jobs for your community.

Large corporations have entire teams dedicated to sustainability strategies.  Medium and small companies are soon going to need to develop sustainability strategies in order to keep up.  Suppliers are already being asked to implement and start showing their own sustainable actions.  It’s not a matter of if sustainability will need to be addressed by your company, it’s when.


Goals of Sustainability

The goal of sustainability is to ensure your company is being a sustainable resource that’s in a way profitable for everyone.  It needs to ensure:

  • Customers will want to buy from you.
  • People will want to work for you.
  • Other businesses will want to do business with you.
  • The community will want to have you there.
  • You’re doing what you need to do to protect natural resources and the environment.
  • You’re finding ways to improve efficiencies and lower risk.


Sustainability Areas

There are a number of areas in your company where you can find and develop sustainable practices.  These include:

  • Community Involvement: How your company is making the community(ies) you’re located in a better place to live.  How do you contribute to improving your community, how do you affect its culture and be a good economic source of jobs?
  • Employment Practices: Being a good place to work by promoting personal and professional development, diversity, empowerment and participation from your employees.

  • Business Relationships: Engaging in fair-trading practices with suppliers, distributors and partners.
  • Morality and Ethics: Setting ethical standards and practices in place for working with all persons who have a stake in the success of your business.
  • Transparency: Timely communications with those affected by your company and being accountable to your internal and external customers.
  • Value of Products and Services: Providing a good quality product and/or service that adds value, while ensuring customer satisfaction.
  • Regulations Compliance: What you are doing to ensure you’re following all local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Resource Management: Managing resources efficiently, conscientiously and effectively.
  • Financial Return: Compensating providers of capital with a competitive return on their investment and protecting your company assets.
  • Protecting the Environment: Promoting restoration of the environment, finding ways to reduce waste, and sustainable development of products, processes, services and other activities.

Every department of your company can get involved to affect the process.  For example, it can start with Procurement finding raw materials with lower environmental impacts and socially-responsible suppliers, to Production devising processes that are more efficient while maintaining environmental and safety standards, to Marketing who can look at how sales and distribution methods can reduce adverse social and economic impacts.


What Can Sustainability Include?

Sustainability efforts can be internal or externally focused.  Some examples of each include:

Internal

  • Energy efficiency
  • Process innovations
  • Research and development
  • Plant certifications such as ISO 14001, 45001 and 9001
  • Process Safety Management
  • Audits for environmental standards and practices
  • Employee programs and benefits
  • Training
  • Assessing impacts of new or expected regulations and auditing areas of potential noncompliance
  • Minimizing liabilities
  • Standardizing systems and measures

External

  • Community involvement and philanthropy
  • Regulations compliance
  • Supplier audits and requirements for work practices
  • Supplier certification requirements
  • Public disclosure of sustainability reporting
  • Including sustainability information in shareholder documents
  • New market opportunities and sustainable or environmentally-affected product advances
  • Waste minimization
  • Social policy statements/guidelines
  • Environmental policies
  • Avoiding creating contamination


Other Applicable ISO Standards

There are ISO standards for other items that would be included in sustainability efforts.

There is an ISO 50001 for Energy Management.  Its focus is on how to improve energy use through the development of an energy management system.  This management system is the same used for ISO 14001 and 9001.

There is also a standard for social responsibility, ISO 26000.  ISO 26000 is a guidance only and cannot be certified like other ISO standards.  This standard helps clarify what social responsibility is and gives best practices relating to social responsibility globally.


Where Do You Start?

Just saying you’re committed to sustainability isn’t going to make it happen.  You need to incorporate it into your company culture.  Very much like any effective safety program, this too needs to start with support from top management and become an expectation that trickles down into each and every part of your company until it becomes a part of your corporate culture.

First, you need to decide how sustainable you want to be and what resources you want to dedicate to it.  Decide which areas you want to tackle.  For it to be successful what you choose to do needs to make financial sense and fit well with your company culture, your products, your location, and/or your customers.

Take a look at what you’re already doing.  What else can be done?  What are the costs and benefits of what you could do?  How can future costs be impacted by improvements you can make today?

Are there companies that you are working for who are requiring (or considering) requiring sustainability efforts?  What are those?  Are certain certifications such as the ISO 14001 environmental management system going to be required?  We are finding that many companies, especially those who work globally, are starting to require suppliers to get ISO certifications like the ISO 14001 because they are a recognized standard for implementing an overall environmental management system. 

ISO certifications have a set framework that looks at internal and external policies, communications and procedures.  Certification also helps demonstrate you are committed to putting standards and procedures in place to comply with regulations.  Once you’ve been through one ISO certification, you’ll find the others are very similar, including the ISO 45001 certification for safety because it uses many of the same methods.

Once you decide what you want to do, how far you want to go, and what your budget is going to be, then you’ll need to get different stakeholders involved.  You can have an outside company help you get organized, or you can develop your own in-house team.  Some companies have created internal committees like they do with safety committees, and some have hired full-time sustainability managers to make sure the effort stays on track.


How Do You Track Success?

Sustainability isn’t like sales or other goals your company is used to tracking, it can be hard to put a metric to it.  Sustainability is often a long-term goal and harder to predict.  It is sometimes harder to implement than other goals because it can be more abstract, but nonetheless important.

Besides typical measures like waste reductions, energy savings, and cost savings, there are other metrics that can be counted towards sustainability.  These could include metrics such as

  • Recycling savings;
  • Training expense per employee;
  • Number of sites with environmental or safety certifications;
  • On-time delivery;
  • Number of jobs posted and filled internally;
  • EHS capital expenditures;
  • Number of customer complaints;
  • Positive reviews;
  • Purchases from minority businesses; and,
  • Number of workers participating in industry or community organizations.


In Conclusion

We at iSi are already hearing that some of our major clients are looking to requiring their suppliers to have sustainability programs in place.  We have also had to start developing specific programs related to social issues, not just compliance issues any more.

It looks like sustainability is here to stay and will only continue to grow as an expectation.  iSi has a number of services in place to help you with your sustainability efforts and we are here to help in any way we can.


Learn more about the sustainability services iSi can help you with here
.

iSi's Sustainability Services

iSi can help you get several internal and external sustainability tasks accomplished, including all of the ISO standards listed and more.  Check out where we may be able to help you by visiting our Sustainability page.

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Workplace Safety Technology: T-Mobile for Business Adds 4G LTE HardHat and Contactless Temperature Device

Workplace Safety Technology: T-Mobile for Business Adds 4G LTE HardHat and Contactless Temperature Device

EHS Technology Solutions

iSi can help you find safety and environmental technology solutions to make your job easier.  Contact us today! 

T-Mobile for Business has added two new workplace safety technology products geared to make workplaces safer.  Each one also has features to help provide solutions related to recent concerns with workplace health.  The first product is a “smart” hard hat by Guardhat.  The other is a contactless temperature device for people entering crowded or confined spaces.  Both devices will take advantage of T-Mobile’s 4G LTE connectivity.

Guardhat

Guardhat utilizes sensors that let you know where the worker is at all times and what conditions they are working in order to analyze that data.  It also allows for audio and video communications so that you can see what they see and communicate back and forth with a central control center.

Some of the features include:

  • Location: Geofencing sensors track where Guardhat wearers are at, at all times.  Persons at a central control center can see where they are on a map.  Wearers can be alerted when they’re getting too close to hazards such as moving equipment, lockout/tagout areas, working areas like trenches or equipment drop zones and other dangers.   Sensors can be placed on all types of equipment and other assets so it can be tracked as well.
  • Communications: Guardhat wearers can communicate with the control center through voice and video capabilities.
  • Environment Monitoring: The hat will sense gases, noise, temperature and pressure issues and sound an alert until the worker gets to a safe location.   Persons at the control center will be able to use the camera on the hat and the locating sensors to help guide the worker to safety, if needed.
  • Physical Monitoring: The hat monitors vital stats and if it senses something is medically wrong with a worker wearing one, it will send an alert to other Guardhat users in the area and then will contact emergency medical services.
  • Fall Detection: The hat will sense when a worker has fallen and will alert other wearers in the area as well as emergency services.
  • Social Distancing: Location sensors can also be setup to ensure workers are working 6 feet from each other for social distancing purposes.

Guardhat is good for workers in areas with a number of hazards around them as well as workers who work alone in isolated areas.

PIMMAP Contactless Temperature Solution

The PIMMAP Contactless Temperature Solution is an 8-inch HD tablet that is an infrared camera and contactless temperature sensor.   It can be mounted to stands, kiosks or stations in places like schools, offices, arenas, factories, stores, hospitals, etc.

A person will stand in front of the device and it will use its infrared camera and facial recognition features to take temperatures at accuracy readings +/- 0.36 degrees F.   Facial recognition technology will also scan for signs of fatigue, watery eyes, and other flu-like symptoms.

Readings can be taken from 3-5 feet from the device and can scan 40 persons per minute.  An alert will come up on the screen if the temperature is too high.

The data for the device can be transferred to cloud servers and they can send push notifications.  They can also be worked on and troubleshot remotely.  If there’s no internet access where the device is located, it has its own 4G LTE router.

To learn more about these workplace safety technology devices, check out T-Mobile’s news release about them here.

Tami Hadley
Tami Hadley

Contributing:

Tami Hadley

Marketing Director | Project Manager, E-Training Solutions

Tami has been with iSi for over 24 years.  During this time, she has enjoyed helping promote regulations compliance awareness and education through her involvement with iSi Training and through leadership roles with industry conferences and professional organizations.

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