Posts Tagged ‘Safety’

Safety Leadership Tips for Frontline Supervisors

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

At Safety 2017, the annual professional development conference of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Judy L. Agnew, PhD, senior vice president of safety solutions with Aubrey Daniels International, spoke to a large room filled with safety professionals in a session titled “Setting Frontline Supervisors Up for Success in Safety.”

Referring to frontline supervisors as “the linchpins of safety,” Agnew emphasized that creating a safe workplace requires active participation at all levels of the organization. Frontline supervisors, she said, play a key role in holding together the many moving parts of a safety program, from training and hazard identification to equipment inspections and recordkeeping. (more…)

OSHA Wants to Scale Back Coverage of Beryllium Rules

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

OSHA proposed on June 23 to exclude construction and shipbuilding from a final rule issued on January 9, 2017 reducing workers’ exposure to beryllium. The lightweight metal is used primarily in foundry and smelting, composites manufacturing, dental lab work, among other applications. Under the proposal only general industry workplaces would be subject to the January changes, which reduce exposure from 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air, to 0.2 micrograms over an eight-hour period. The rule was signed into law during the last days of the Obama administration. (more…)

Workplace Safety Signs and Tags Prevent Accidents – Select and Place Them With Care

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Your employees should be familiar with the hazards associated with their own work areas. But as they go about the facility, they may come into casual contact with risks they don’t know about.

Outsiders who come into your facility may also be unaware of the hazards they face. This is why safety signs and tags are so important. Another important reason is to remind workers daily of the hazards in their own work areas so that they don’t become complacent about hazards.

Yet another reason for safety signs and tags is to warn of hazards that are out of the ordinary, unexpected, or not readily apparent. (more…)

Identify the 5 Most Common Hazards of MIG Welding

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Whether you’re a large, heavy equipment manufacturer with a stable of experienced welders or a small job shop where welding equipment is used infrequently, odds are you use the same type of equipment: a metal inert gas (MIG) welder.

This kind of welder is by far the most common and most versatile welder, adaptable not only to many different user skill levels but also to many different materials and applications. It’s important to know the hazards MIG welding poses and ensure that you protect workers against them.

Hazards of MIG welding

A MIG welder is a type of shielded metal arc welder that uses high-voltage electricity to melt and form a metal wire that’s fed through the welding torch and applied to the point of the weld. When cool, the metal forms a bond between the two welded objects. (more…)

OSHA Enforcement

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Boston company cited for multiple violations after two die in trench collapse

Two employees died when the 12-foot-deep trench in which they were working collapsed, breaking a nearby fire hydrant supply line and filling the trench with water. OSHA inspectors found that Atlantic Drain Service Co. Inc. and its owner, Kevin Otto, failed to provide basic safeguards to prevent a trench collapse and did not train employees to recognize and avoid cave-in hazards. Other violations included failing to: provide a ladder so employees could exit the trench at any time; support other structures near the trench that posed overhead hazards; and supply hardhats and eye protection. The Boston-based company was cited for 18 safety violations and proposed $1,475,813 in fines. OSHA cited Atlantic Drain trenching worksites for similar hazards in 2007 and 2012. Read the news release for more information.  (more…)

Double Trench Fatality Leads to 7-Figure Fine and Criminal Charges

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

OSHA says the deaths of two employees in a tragic trench accident could have been prevented if a drain cleaning company had provided basic safeguards and training.

The Boston area contractor, which was cited and fined for similar hazards in 2007 and 2012, was recently cited for 18 alleged violations of OSHA standards, with proposed fines of $1.5 million. In February, a county grand jury indicted the company and its owner on two counts of manslaughter and other charges in connection with the deaths.

According to OSHA, the two workers died in October 2016 when the 12-foot-deep trench in which they were working collapsed. As a result, an adjacent fire hydrant supply line broke, filling the trench with water in a matter of seconds. (more…)

OSHA Enforcement

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

OSHA has formed a partnership with the University of Alabama SafeState On-site Consultation Program and general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie LLC to protect approximately 200 workers during the construction of an office building in Birmingham for one of the nation’s largest healthcare services providers. Thepartnership’s goals during the year-long project include reducing injuries and illnesses, and increasing both safety and health training and the number employers with safety and health programs. Through the Strategic Partnership Program, OSHA works with employers, workers, professional or trade associations, labor organizations, and other interested stakeholders to eliminate serious hazards and enhance workplace safety and health practices. (more…)

New Antiretaliation Recommendations from OSHA

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Even as OSHA faces ongoing legal action over its electronic recordkeeping and antiretaliation standard, the agency has issued recommended practices to help employers create an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up.

The new OSHA publication, Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation

 Programs ( OSHA3905.pdf), applies not just to safety and health, but to all public and private sector workplaces covered by the 22 whistleblower protection laws enforced by OSHA. The agency says the recommendations are adaptable to most workplaces and can be adjusted for factors like size, type of workforce, and type of work performed. The concepts addressed can be used to create a new program or enhance an existing one. (more…)

IAQ Complaints: Survival Techniques for the Safety Professional

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Sometimes you cannot find a solution that works. Admit it and keep trying to find answers, but know that some complaints you may never be able to solve.

Some indoor air complaints are real, many frivolous; they range from “bad smells” to serious medical conditions documented by personal physicians and medical test results weakly linked to the work environment. Whether new construction is involved or a historic building with antique ventilation (windows), chances are you will receive assorted requests and complaints to deal with professionally and with enthusiasm.

For the safety professional, it takes a lot of time, patience, carefully chosen words, and educating the employee workforce to sort out the real issues from the nuisance and “unhappy employee” issues. (more…)

Federal Railroad Administration Reminds Workers that OSHA Standards Apply to Them

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is not the only agency that makes rules protecting worker safety and health. Nuclear plants, for example, are subject to the rules of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); airlines are subject to safety rules issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Railroads, too, have their own safety agency: the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). These agencies tend to issue rules covering issues specifically connected to their industry, leaving general safety and health regulation to OSHA. A problem sometimes arises when employers working in those industries don’t realize that they are subject not only to the specific industry regulations but also to OSHA rules.

In 2016, the FRA determined that it had just such a problem: Roadway workers were failing to comply with OSHA health and safety rules, and it was getting them killed. After an incident in April 2016 that resulted in the deaths of two Amtrak employees in Chester, Pennsylvania, the FRA took action to better protect roadway workers. (more…)