Archive for January, 2011

Safety Training Resources helps Missouri businesses control conditions that promote prosperity.

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Safety Training Resources can help you re-examine and reinvigorate your Safety Program.

For many business owners, staying in business means going lean: doing more work yourself rather than hiring, asking employees to “pick up the slack”, and cutting costs wherever possible. Often, this includes your safety program. You might have a clear idea of what you want your safety program to be, but don’t feel the need to invest in it. So you willfully neglect the necessary investment of time, leadership, and investment capital. And while that worked for you in the beginning, it may no longer represent the best strategy for your company.

OSHA will not allow companies to endanger the safety and health of its workers as a means to reduce business expenses,” said Clyde Payne, an OSHA area director.

“In spite of our relentless attempts to make mine operators accountable for their workers’ safety and health, some continue to flout their responsibilities,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.

Safety Training Resources will stand and deliver…

  • The importance of a safety assessment. You should evaluate how well your safety plan is working for you. In many cases, business owners think their safety plan is protecting their assets, but an objective, external point of view, particularly from Safety Training Resources, can provide a different, even eye-opening, perspective. Do not assume that your safety program speaks for itself.
  • It’s not all or nothing. Some businesses will need to undergo a full “safety makeover”, it doesn’t mean that your company would necessarily need to. Integrating a safety culture doesn’t necessarily always require ripping everything apart and starting from scratch. It requires being cognizant of what you are currently doing, and then making some really smart decisions about how you can receive a higher return on your investment.  Safety Training Resources will adapt to your needs.
  • Investing in your Safety Program is something to rush intoAct Now!  Ask the right questions and evaluate if it’s time for change. Solidify your company’s mission statement by acting on your safety values and principles.   Your actions will define your safety culture, or more importantly, your safety character!
  • It’s not too late. “It is never too late to be what you could have been.” You may think that your company is already too established, that change is a greater risk than the risk of being held accountable. Communication and purpose will reinvigorate your safety culture; your employees will value being part of the process. The goal is not to change your mission, but to better align your safety culture with it.

Safety instructions to live by….

  • Document everything – if it’s not written down…it didn’t happen!
  • Hire an outside firm – level the playing field.
  • Get informed – know the facts.

 Safety isn’t everything, it’s the only thing!

Safety Training Resources asks questions of Missouri Mine Operators and Employers….is safety a series of near misses?

Friday, January 28th, 2011
  • Has your company reached a tipping point?
  • Does your safety net resemble a hammock?
  • Are your employees complacent and dependent?
  • Are you waiting for “something” to happen before you make a decision on what you should do?

Tomorrow begins today…………

The current OSHA/MSHA environment is filled with uncertainty and pending regulation.

The President’s commitment to cut spending underscores a strategy in which agency budgets will be impacted and priorities will change.  The expenses once earmarked for training and education will be shifted to the employer and the government’s investment in compliance and regulation will prevail.

Prepare to justify your existence…..cost benefit analysis will morph into performance based accountability. Heed the warning!

Locally, the number of OSHA Compliance officers has increased and the number of MSHA inspectors has decreased. The amount of OSHA inspections are going to dramatically increase. The inspection experience will be completely different from the past. The amount of MSHA inspections will most likely be flat, as the mandatory requirements have not changed. However, the intent and subsequent volume of citations will be memorable (or maybe it will be “historical”).
The President’s efforts to reduce excessive and unjustified regulatory burdens are merely an attempt to eliminate loopholes. Federal agencies are plotting to follow Cass Sunstein’s path to managing risk with cost benefit analysis and spin the President’s pledge to “design cost-effective, evidence-based regulation” to help reduce our country’s $14 trillion debt.

  • Do you have what it takes to rule yourself?
  • Are you up to the challenge of being a mine operator or employer?
  • Do you believe the government should be in charge of your safety program?
  • Do you want to be a participant in the New American Safety Experiment?

Read ….ask questions….most important – Act Now!

Safety isn’t everything, it’s the only thing!

Safety Training Resources offers “REASON” to stop taking safety risks and get your safety culture back in balance.

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Safety Training Resources’ on-site consultation program will assist your company achieve its goal of operating an exemplary safety and health management system.

Safety Training Resources will:

  • Involve employees in the safety consultation process;
  • Correct all hazards identified
  • Implement and maintain a safety and health management system
  • Help maintain your company’s Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) rate and Total Recordable Case (TRC) rate below the national average for your industry

In addition, Safety Training Resources will assist your company to:

Provide Protection

  • Protect workers from all safety and health hazards that may exist at your workplace;
  • Work with Management to identify and implement best practices to protect your workers;
  • Develop an innovative safety and health management system for your business that will protect your workers.

Create a Culture

  • Create a better working environment free of safety and health hazards;
  • Boost worker morale by involving workers in creating a culture that emphasizes a safe and healthful workplace;
  • Improve communication among workers and management;
  • Encourage safety in the community as workers may transfer safe and healthy work practices outside of the workplace.

Build a Reputation

  • Receive official recognition for maintaining an exemplary safety and health management system;
  • Become a leader in your industry by providing a safe and healthy workplace for workers;
  • Attract skillful workers looking to join a business that is at the forefront of its industry in providing a safe and healthy workplace for its workers.

Save Money

  • Lower worker compensation insurance premiums;
  • Improve your worker retention and reduce costly turnover;
  • Reduce worker days away from work to keep operations and production running smoothly.

Safety Training Resources’ role is to assure these conditions for Missouri’s working men and women by providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

Are you up to the challenge?

Act now!

MSHA and OSHA are “making President Obama’s promise a reality”.

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

As the President said, “we owe them more than prayers. We owe them action. We owe them accountability. We owe them an assurance that when they go to work every day…. they are not alone. They ought to know that behind them there is a company that’s doing what it takes to protect them, and a government that is looking out for their safety.”

Joseph Main, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, testified before the U.S. Senate that “we do not just face a mine safety crisis in this country; we face a workplace safety crisis.”

Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, has proclaimed that OSHA has focused its attention, resources and resolve on developing and strongly enforcing OSHA standards — to send the strongest message possible to outlaw employers.

MSHA and OSHA have identified the weaknesses in the tools they have to enforce the law and are steadily increasing their enforcement presence throughout the country.
Federal law places the responsibility for compliance with safety and health standards on mine operators and employers to ensure the safety of all American workers.

While tough enforcement is critical to having safer workplaces, MSHA and OSHA cannot be everywhere, every day on every shift. That is why employees are safest when employers take responsibility for preventing violations and hazards, not when MSHA/OSHA cite them.

For years, MSHA and OSHA have been dealing with the “catch-me-if-you-can” model of workplace safety and health.  Both agencies are implementing aggressive changes in policy and penalty in response to this phenomenon.  The likelihood of your company being caught and having to deal with the consequences are far greater today than ever before.

The only ”best practice” is to take full responsibility for compliance.  Mine operators and employers need to demonstrate courage and composure as they implement change and improvements to ensure safer and healthier workplaces.

Safety Training Resources conducts comprehensive Site Audits that inspect for safety hazards and violations .  This third-party investment is the single most important step towards preventing a near miss, incident, or fatality in the workplace. 

Act Now! 

Safety Training Resources encourages Missouri Employers to “get offensive!”

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Jeff Viehmann conducts a "tailgate" training class focusing on harnesses and height regulation.

OSHA has been pretty open about its new focus on compliance. The agency is both hiring more compliance officers and stepping up the training it provides them.

Your best defense is to focus on the offense! Having Safety Training Resources join your team will help you identify OSHA compliance problems and resolve them before an OSHA compliance officer shows up at your door.

You may feel your safety program is in order, but have you walked your company through a mock OSHA inspection? Do all your workers know what to say and how to interact with the compliance officer if asked questions? Having Safety Training Resources conduct a safety assessment prior to an actual inspection can save your company big in terms of fines, lost productivity, and stress.
Safety Training Resources will set a course for your company’s compliance strategy.

Safety Training Resources can help you better understand:

  • OSHA‘s new stepped-up role and what will likely be changing in the near future
  • How an OSHA compliance officer will likely approach an inspection
  • How to look at your worksite to identify potential violations
  • The best ways to prepare workers and management to successfully handle OSHA inspections
  • How to work with OSHA compliance officers and handle the inspection when they finally arrive at your workplace

Safety Training Resources focuses on all aspects of occupational safety, and works with employers to help them implement an OSHA compliant safety program.

Act Now!

OSHA’s strategic plan for 2011 is transparent and gaining momentum…

Thursday, January 20th, 2011
  • January 18 – US Department of Labor’s OSHA fines a demolition contractor $52,500 for fall and lead hazards
  • January 13 – US Labor Department’s OSHA cites a company with $175,000 in fines for energy control hazards following July 2010 explosion
  • January 5 – US Labor Department’s OSHA fines a construction company $58,000 for not protecting workers against falls
  • December 30 – US Department of Labor’s OSHA fines a company $115,650 for multiple safety hazards
  • December 28 – St. Louis employers ordered incarcerated for failing to comply with US Department of Labor’s OSHA citations and court sanctions

OSHA is attempting to increase the deterrence of workplace incidents with three strategies: (1) introducing a new targeting program for recalcitrant employers, (2) strengthening the penalty structure, and (3) using all the powers of publicity at hand to expose bad actors in the public arena.

In 2010 OSHA issued a new penalties policy that resulted in increased employer fines while maintaining OSHA‘s policy of reducing penalties for small employers and those acting in good faith. While the maximum penalties are still set by law at a very low level, OSHA can control how and when to allow reductions in our penalties.

OSHA‘s new administrative changes will reduce the level of reductions to send a stronger message to employers with serious violations that cutting corners on worker safety and health is unacceptable.

Finally, OSHA is using the public spotlight to expose worst violators. OSHA is using press releases to name employers who have broken the law, expose their failings, and detail hazards uncovered by their inspections.

“An employer’s fear of being publicly identified as a violator of OSHA regulations is a powerful incentive to abate hazards.” stated Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA.

Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA

Safety Training Resources advises Missouri employers on excessive noise levels….

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Safety Training Resources offers on-site consultation services that are independent from OSHA's enforcement efforts.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA‘s role is to assure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

“Hearing loss caused by excessive noise levels remains a serious occupational health problem in this country,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

Thousands of workers every year continue to suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels. Since 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that nearly 125,000 workers have suffered significant, permanent hearing loss. In 2008 alone, BLS reported more than 22,000 hearing loss cases, and OSHA remains committed to its emphasis on finding ways to reduce this toll.

Missouri employers can obtain advice from Safety Training Resources on addressing noise hazards. Safety Training Resources offers on-site consultation services that are independent from OSHA‘s enforcement efforts. On-site consultations identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing safety and health management systems.

Safety Training Resources recommends initiating a robust compliance adherence effort that enhances your technical understanding of the standard and implements inexpensive, effective engineering controls for dangerous noise levels.


Safety Training Resources asks if you have seen the new face of safety in 2011? Are you prepared for increased OSHA/MSHA enforcement?

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

MSHA Educators sharing "best practices" with Missouri Mine Operators

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard the news by now: President Obama’s OSHA and MSHA are emboldened, energized, and focused with laser-like intensity on a host of new enforcement initiatives, tougher penalties, aggressive rulemaking activities, and reduced emphasis on compliance assistance.

Are you prepared to stay compliant?

You should know:

  • The latest on the new Severe Violators Enforcement Program, and new procedures for informal settlement of cases
  • OSHA’s position on civil penalties and criminal prosecution
  • How to prepare for the revamped National Emphasis Program on recordkeeping and other targeting initiatives
  • What’s likely to occur with the OSHA reform legislation (in both the Republican House and the Democratic Senate)
  • Whether MSHA reform legislation will re-emerge and become a possible model for more changes to OSHA
  • What is occurring concerning whistleblower protection changes at OSHA and MSHA
  • Understanding the “I2P2″ initiative, and what it means for regulation of ergonomics
  • What you need to do now to prepare for MSHA and OSHA’s enforcement initiatives

Missouri Mine Operators get "hands-on" with dust sampling equipment.

Safety Training Resources says “enlighten, educate, and empower”…..take a practical approach to implementing and managing your occupational health program for respirable dust.

Monday, January 17th, 2011


Crystalline Silica is one of the most abundant minerals found in the earth’s crust. Nearly all industries in our complex civilization use crystalline silica in some way. A background level of respirable silica exists in ambient air. The term “respirable” typically refers to particulates 10 micrometers or less in diameter.

Crystalline silica is one of the most significant health hazards encountered in the minerals industry. The primary health hazard is from the inhalation of respirable silica dust, which may result in silicosis and other occupational lung diseases. In more recent years inhalation of respirable crystalline silica has been identified as a risk factor in the development of lung cancer.

The control of exposures to respirable silica has long been a concern to the occupational health profession, the minerals industry, and the regulatory community (MSHA). The current emphasis and increased enforcement of CFR 56.5002 is meant to hold your company accountable for proper and systematic monitoring of the workplace environment and the respiratory health status of your employees for the purpose of adequately protecting the workforce from the effects of overexposure to respirable crystalline silica.

Educate everyone…

Your company’s safety training program should provide a general review of respiratory health effects and the various routes by which airborne silica can exert its adverse influence on the respiratory system. It should describe the symptoms of overexposure. And finally, your safety training should reference the health risks associated with exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

Workplace dust sampling surveys can be conducted by an industrial hygienist or a non industrial hygienist such as a laboratory technician, quality control analyst, safety officer, or a similar person within the company (Safety Training Resources).

Dust sampling methods are to be both qualitative and quantitative.

While initial dust sampling is used to identify jobs, areas and equipment that may need dust control attention, in most work environments initial dust sampling is rarely sufficient to reliably reflect actual long-term worker exposure. To compensate for variation in dust levels, re-sampling is most always required. Re-sampling is conducted for a variety of reasons, such as gauging the efficiency of dust controls when introduced or modified, documenting the effect of process changes, and as a means to more reliably document worker exposure over time. MSHA has suggested that the minimum standard should be 2 employees being monitored twice per year.

Your company needs to establish dust controls when sampling indicates the need. Commonly applied dust control techniques intended to minimize respirable crystalline silica exposures begin with personal respiratory protection and end with substitution and engineering practices.

Empower with a purpose

Safety Training Resources is prepared to help your company implement and manage your occupational health program for respirable dust. We have the knowledge and equipment to minimize the risk of overexposure and compliance. Act Now!

Noise and Dust Monitoring Solutions in Missouri offered by Safety Training Resources

Monday, January 10th, 2011

MSHA is actively enforcing dust and noise regulations. It has initiated programmed inspections that will regulate dust and noise exposure in the workplace.

As of January 1, 2011 MSHA is no longer providing dust and noise monitoring. Mine operators are responsible for having controls in place and conducting their own sampling. This is a shift from MSHA’s enforcement of overexposures to MSHA enforcement of the mine operators’ requirement to conduct health hazard surveys and make appropriate changes to ensure miners are not overexposed to contaminants. Mine operators must demonstrate compliance rather than relying on enforcement interventions.

Are you willfully exposing your workers to dangerously high levels of hazardous dust and/or noise? Do you have a Safety Strategy in place that addresses workplace exposure?

Safety Training Resources is partnering with companies just like yours to plan and implement dust and noise programs. We have the knowledge and equipment to conduct surveys as frequently as necessary.

5 W’s and How…Your Solution to Dust and Noise Compliance

Who? – US Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration
What? – Increased focus on Dust and Noise exposure monitoring
Where? – Metal and Nonmetal Mines throughout the United States
When? – Right Now!
Why? – To protect miners from overexposure to harmful levels of dust and noise, and to ensure mine operators have the required safety programs in place to meet the standard.
How? – Safety Training Resources has the knowledge and experience to assist mine operators in planning and implementing programs to protect miners and conduct workplace surveys for both dust and noise exposure.

Safety Training Resources will:

  • Conduct a Site Audit
  • Write Dust and Noise Exposure Plans
  • Identify Control Measures
  • Assist in program implementation
  • Conduct dust and noise exposure monitoring