Archive for February, 2011

Safety Training Resources Springs “Housekeeping” As Public Safety Enemy #1

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Every year around this time the approach of spring reminds us of the need to tackle some of those housekeeping tasks that may have been pushed to the back burner over the past few months.

A good spring cleaning can enhance safety at your workplace if it’s done with an eye to eliminating hazards. Why not welcome in the spring by taking a careful look at some occasional and infrequent housekeeping tasks.

De-Clutter

Over time, clutter builds up in most work areas. The problem is that clutter creates hazards. Flammable clutter, for example, is a fire hazard. General clutter may create tripping and blocked-exit hazards. De-cluttering, then, is not just for looks, it also improves safety.

Spring cleaning is the perfect time to dispose of:

Trash.Got a pile of broken pallets on the loading dock? Dumped a lot of construction debris on the back lot? Anything that’s not in use that has piled up should be removed from the site. This will reduce fire hazards, when combustible materials are removed; tripping hazards, when items that are blocking walkways or taking up valuable storage space go away; and pest harborages, when unused materials that make good nesting areas are hauled off.

Equipment. That frayed sling or wobbly ladder may have been taken out of service, but if it can’t be readily repaired, why is it still hanging around? If it’s there, even if it has a “do not use” tag on it, someone in a hurry or not paying close attention might use it anyway—and regret it afterward. Equipment that has been removed from service and won’t be promptly—or ever—repaired should be permanently removed from the premises.

Chemicals. Old or unused chemicals create unnecessary workplace hazards. They may be flammable or toxic, and many chemicals that are not dangerous when purchased can become so as they deteriorate over time. Dispose of chemicals that are no longer in use, have passed their use-by dates, and have missing or illegible labels. Be sure employees dispose of chemicals properly according to the requirements of the MSDS.

Clean and Repair

Besides clearing out the clutter, your spring cleaning can address infrequent needs that will boost worker safety and health.

For example, maybe it’s time to clean and/or service:

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. A health hazard evaluation conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that properly maintained HVAC systems were associated with a decreased incidence of lower respiratory symptoms, allergies, and asthma among building occupants. Proper maintenance controls mold, bacteria, allergens, and other contaminants within the system.

Signs and labels. Signs and labels are important for workplace safety, warning workers of low clearances, identifying machinery controls and power sources, showing workers which direction materials in pipes are flowing, and much, much more. But they also take a lot of abuse. Replace damaged signs and illegible labels, clean signs that have become too grimy to read, and re-hang signs that have been knocked askew.

Offices. University of Arizona researchers famously found that office phones, computer keyboards and mice, and desktops harbor 400 times more infectious bacteria than office toilet seats. Yet in most offices, vacuuming and emptying the trash are the only regular cleaning performed. Encourage workers to take disinfecting wipes to office surfaces—not just once a year but daily if possible—to reduce infectious illness transmission in the workplace. Also have your cleaning crew do an extra thorough job from time to time.


Safety Training Resources Revisits OSHA’s PPE Guidance

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

OSHA recently issued the Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry, a directive that provides enforcement personnel with instructions for determining whether employers have complied with OSHA PPE standards. The directive was effective Feb. 10.

OSHA issued a final rule on Employer Payment for Personal Protective Equipment in November 2007. The rule required employers in general industry and construction to provide most types of required PPE at no cost to the worker. The agency also issued a final rule in September 2009 updating its PPE standards so that they are more consistent with current consensus standards.

This directive replaces Inspection Guidelines for 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I, the revised Personal Protective Equipment Standards for General Industry issued in June 1995. Changes in this directive include clarifying what type of PPE employers must provide at no cost to workers and when employers are required and not required to pay for PPE. The directive also provides guidance that allows employers to use PPE that complies with current consensus standards and updates PPE enforcement policies based on court and review commission decisions.

These personal protective equipment standards require employers to provide – at no cost to workers – protective equipment, such as goggles and face shields that fit properly without restricting vision; earplugs and earmuffs when they will reduce noise to acceptable levels and are less costly than administrative and engineering controls; and respirators to protect workers from exposure to air contaminants. Additionally, the directive lists PPE and other items exempted from the employer payment requirements and includes questions and answers useful in clarifying PPE payment concerns.

Visit OSHA’s Safety and Health Topics page on Personal Protective Equipment for more information.


Safety Training Resources Monitors Impact of OSHA Inspections

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

The impact of OSHA‘s Q1 inspections is focused on change, compliance, and continuity………Fall Protection heads the list of citations.

  • February 18 -  US Labor Department’s OSHA fines pizza shell manufacturer more than $195,000 for failing to correct workplace hazards
  • February 17  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites roofing company for repeatedly exposing workers to fall hazards, among other safety violations (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • February 17  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites sawmill with $67,800 in penalties for willful and serious safety violations
  • February 16 – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites contractor for scaffold and fall hazards
  • February 15  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites minerals company for exposing workers to hazardous chemicals, excessive noise (Missouri)
  • February 14  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites corporation for failing to protect workers against electrical hazards
  • February 14  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites 2 companies for 40 safety and health violations with $121,800 in penalties
  • February 14  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites company for exposing workers to safety and health hazards
  • February 10  – US Labor Department’s OSHA cites oil and gas field service company,payroll company, subsidiaries with injury and illness recordkeeping violations
  • February 9  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites US Postal Service in with $70,000 fine for safety hazard
  • February 8  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites company for electrical hazards after employee injured by high-voltage equipment
  • February 8  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA fines contractor $60,600 for failing to provide trench cave-in protection for workers
  • February 8  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites manufacturer with 46 serious safety and health violations
  • February 7 – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites pool chemical manufacturer for workplace hazards, proposes more than $70,000 in fines
  • February 7  – US Labor Department’s OSHA cites contractor for failing to provide cave-in protection at jobsite
  • February 4 – US Department of Labor’s OSHA proposes $235,500 in fines to contractor for fall and scaffold hazards
  • February 4  – US Labor Department’s OSHA cites contractor, proposes nearly $54,000 in fines for fall hazards at jobsite
  • February 3 – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites power company after worker fatally electrocuted
  • February 1  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA fines pipe manufacturer in $88,000 for exposing workers to safety and health hazards
  • January 31 – US Department of Labor’s OSHA proposes $220,000 in fines to  manufacturer for willful, serious and uncorrected violations
  • January 31  – US Labor Department’s OSHA cites roofing company $102,000 for failing to provide fall protection for workers
  • January 28  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites hospital for inadequate workplace violence safeguards 
  • January 27  – US Labor Department’s OSHA fines textile company more than $46,000 for safety and health hazards
  • January 27  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites  manufacturing facility for multiple safety and health hazards
  • January 26 US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites  company for worker exposure to silica, other health and safety hazards
  • January 25  – US Labor Department’s OSHA proposes more than $79,000 in penalties against transmission repair shop for safety and health violations
  • January 25 – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites paper company for willful, repeat and serious hazards following worker’s death
  • January 25 – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites roofing company following fatality at  worksite
  • January 24 – US Labor Department cites 2  grain elevator operators for willful safety, child labor violations following deaths of 3 workers, including 2 teens
  • January 24  – US Labor Department’s OSHA cites company $86,500 for failing to protect roofing workers from fall hazards
  • January 20  – US Labor Department’s OSHA cites business for deliberately failing to protect employees from lead exposure
  • January 20  – US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites manufacturer for emergency response, respirator, chemical, electrical and other hazards
  •  

    OSHA enforcement, our critics claim, is counterproductive because it is confrontational, rather than cooperative. Punishing after a fatality is not preventive, they say. OSHA regulations slow the growth of business and are especially hard on small businesses, they say.

    Let me say this as clearly as I can: OSHA is not working to kill jobs; we’re here to stop jobs from killing workers. We are here to ensure that workers have the tools to keep themselves from getting sick and dying in the workplace, and that employers have the information they need to make their workplaces safe.” – Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA


    Safety Training Resources Emphasizes the Importance of “HazCom” and MSDS Management

    Friday, February 18th, 2011

    OSHA and the National Safety Council have placed HAZARD COMMUNICATION on the ‘Top Three’ list of safety violations for the passed two years.  OSHA is making its point with stronger enforcement and higher penalties (there were over 7000 documented Hazard Communication violations cited in 2010).

      Here is the breakdown for the top sections violated:

    · 1910.1200 (e) Requires a written hazard communication program (2,656 total violations, 1,694 serious).

     · 1910.1200 (h) Requires informing employees of hazardous chemicals and training employees on protections from the hazards (2,188 total violations, 1,554 serious).

     · 1910.1200 (g) Contains requirements for Material Safety Data Sheets  (1,289 total violations; 777 serious).

     · 1910.1200 (f) Requirements for labels on hazardous chemicals (1,032 total violations, 636 serious).

    Safety Training Resources understands that the program begins with your MSDS (material safety data sheets) and that they are unique to every organization.  Safety Training Resources will work with you to determine your chemical compliance needs and then help implement a cost effective, efficient plan.

    Safety Training Resources provides services to meet your safety compliance needs and give your employees access to critical chemical information.


    Safety Training Resources Takes Forklifts “Back To Basic”

    Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

    The leading causes of forklift injuries are:

    1. Forklift Overturns
    2. Nearby Workers Struck by Forklift
    3. Victim Crushed by Forklift
    4. Falls from Forklifts
    5. Failure to Inspect or Perform Proper Maintenance

     

    Forklifts serve an important role in most industrial facilities. For the optimum safety in operation OSHA requires that all forklifts be examined at least daily before being placed in service. Forklifts used on a round-the-clock basis must be examined after each shift.

    The operator should conduct a pre-start visual check with the key off and then perform an operational check with the engine running. The forklift should not be placed in service if the examinations show that the vehicle may not be safe to operate.

    Before starting your forklift, conduct a  prestart  inspection that checks a variety of items, including but not limited to:

    • Fluid levels — oil, water, and hydraulic fluid.
    • Leaks, cracks or any other visible defect including hydraulic hoses and mast chains. NOTE: Operators should not place their hands inside the mast. Use a stick or other device to check chain tension.
    • Tire condition and pressure including cuts and gouges.
    • Condition of the forks, including the top clip retaining pin and heel.
    • Load backrest extension.
    • Finger guards.
    • Safety decals and nameplates. Ensure all warning decals and plates are in place and legible. Check that information on the nameplate matches the model and serial numbers and attachments.
    • Operator manual on truck and legible.
    • Check the operator equipment for grease and debris.
    • All safety devices are working properly including the seat belt.

    In addition to this general inspection, additional items should be checked depending on the forklift type (electric or internal combustion, including liquid propane). These include but are not limited to:

    Electric Forklifts

    • Cables and connectors for frayed or exposed wires
    • Battery restraints
    • Electrolyte levels
    • Hood latch

    Note: Always use personal protective equipment such as a face shield, rubber apron, and rubber gloves when checking electrolyte.

    Internal Combustion Forklifts

    • Engine oil
    • Brake reservoir
    • Engine coolant
    • Air filter
    • Belts and hoses
    • Radiator
    • Hood latch

    Liquid Propane Forklifts

    • Properly mounted tank
    • Pressure relief valve pointing up
    • Hose and connectors
    • Tank restraint brackets
    • Tank for dents and cracks
    • Tank fits within profile of truck
    • Leaks

    Note: Always use personal protective equipment such as a face shield, long sleeves, and gauntlet gloves when checking liquid propane tanks and fittings.

    Remember, if the forklift is in need of repair, defective or in any way unsafe, it should not be driven and should be taken out of service immediately. Any problems should be recorded on the appropriate documents and reported to a supervisor.

    For more information on prestart forklift inspections, contact Jeff Viehmann at www.safetytrainingresources.com.


    Safety Training Resources reminds employers that OSHA 300A Summary Must Be Posted

    Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

    Employers subject to OSHA recordkeeping must post the OSHA Form 300A beginning February 1, in a common area where notices are typically displayed. The form must remain up through April 30. Form 300A is the summary of all job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2010 and were entered on the 300 log. If there were no recordables in 2010, the form must be posted with zeros in the total line. Also required is the information about annual average number of employees and hours worked, and all summaries must be certified by a company executive.

    If your business establishment is classified in a specific low hazard retail, service, finance, insurance or real estate industry listed in Appendix A to this Subpart B, you do not need to keep OSHA injury and illness records unless the government asks you to keep the records under § 1904.41 or § 1904.42. However, all employers must report to OSHA any workplace incident that results in a fatality or the hospitalization of three or more employees (see § 1904.39).

    Does the partial industry classification exemption apply only to business establishments in the retail, services, finance, insurance or real estate industries (SICs 52-89)? Yes, business establishments classified in agriculture; mining; construction; manufacturing; transportation; communication, electric, gas and sanitary services; or wholesale trade are not eligible for the partial industry classification exemption.

    Non-Mandatory Appendix A to Subpart B — Partially Exempt Industries

    Employers are not required to keep OSHA injury and illness records for any establishment classified in the following Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, unless they are asked in writing to do so by OSHA, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( BLS), or a state agency operating under the authority of OSHA or the BLS. All employers, including those partially exempted by reason of company size or industry classification, must report to OSHA any workplace incident that results in a fatality or the hospitalization of three or more employees (see § 1904.39).

    SIC
    code
    Industry description SIC
    code
    Industry description
    525 Hardware Stores 725 Shoe Repair and Shoeshine Parlors
    542 Meat and Fish Markets 726 Funeral Service and Crematories
    544 Candy, Nut, and Confectionery Stores 729 Miscellaneous Personal Services
    545 Dairy Products Stores 731 Advertising Services
    546 Retail Bakeries 732 Credit Reporting and Collection Services
    549 Miscellaneous Food Stores 733 Mailing, Reproduction, & Stenographic Services
    551 New and Used Car Dealers 737 Computer and Data Processing Services
    552 Used Car Dealers 738 Miscellaneous Business Services
    554 Gasoline Service Stations 764 Reupholstery and Furniture Repair
    557 Motorcycle Dealers 78 Motion Picture
    56 Apparel and Accessory Stores 791 Dance Studios, Schools, and Halls
    573 Radio, Television, & Computer Stores 792 Producers, Orchestras, Entertainers
    58 Eating and Drinking Places 793 Bowling Centers
    591 Drug Stores and Proprietary Stores 801 Offices & Clinics Of Medical Doctors
    592 Liquor Stores 802 Offices and Clinics Of Dentists
    594 Miscellaneous Shopping Goods Stores 803 Offices Of Osteopathic
    599 Retail Stores, Not Elsewhere Classified 804 Offices Of Other Health Practitioners
    60 Depository Institutions (banks & savings institutions) 807 Medical and Dental Laboratories
    61 Nondepository 809 Health and Allied Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
    62 Security and Commodity Brokers 81 Legal Services
    63 Insurance Carriers 82 Educational Services (schools, colleges, universities and libraries)
    64 Insurance Agents, Brokers & Services 832 Individual and Family Services
    653 Real Estate Agents and Managers 835 Child Day Care Services
    654 Title Abstract Offices 839 Social Services, Not Elsewhere Classified
    67 Holding and Other Investment Offices 841 Museums and Art Galleries
    722 Photographic Studios, Portrait 86 Membership Organizations
    723 Beauty Shops 87 Engineering, Accounting, Research, Management, and Related Services
    724 Barber Shops 899 Services, not elsewhere classified