Archive for July, 2011

Safety Training Resources is Prepared to Assist VPP Sites with Training and Guidance

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Jeff Viehmann, president of Safety Training Resources, recently participated in OSHA‘s most innovative on-site evaluation training for its Voluntary Protection Program. Mr. Viehmann was allowed to join qualified applicants from VPP sites to complete the required training to become a “Special Government Employee” (SGE). 

The 3-day SGE training class was held at Monsanto’s Creve Coeur facility and hosted by Jon Alexander.    The SGE training was conducted by Matt Gaines (OSHA’s Region VII VPP Manager), Mike Minicky (OHSA’s Region VII Compliance Assistant Specialist), Bob Sander (SGE – United States Postal Service), and Jon Alexander (SGE – Monsanta). 

The SGE Program was established to allow industry employees to work alongside OSHA during Voluntary Protection Programs‘ (VPP) on-site evaluations.  Not only does this innovative program benefit OSHA by supplementing its on-site evaluation teams, but it gives industry and government an opportunity to work together and share views and ideas.

As VPP grows, the support of SGEs will continue to be a critical component of the programs. The SGE Program encompasses the spirit of VPP – industry, labor, and government cooperation. This cooperation embodies the idea of continuous improvement, which allows SGEs to bring a unique perspective to the team effort and take back to their sites ideas and best practices to further improve worker protections.

As part of a VPP onsite evaluation team, a Special Government Employee (SGE) contributes to the typically week-long assessment of a VPP applicant’s or participant’s safety and health management system. The team duties include but are not limited to:

  • Reviewing the written safety and health management system and supporting documents
  • Conducting a site walkthrough to observe working conditions and to verify that:  hazards have been appropriately controlled, and a comprehensive safety and health management system has been successfully implemented
  • Conducting formal and informal employee interviews.
  • Helping to prepare the written VPP Onsite Evaluation report and sharing finds and recommendations.

All SGEs are initially appointed to a three-year term of service. SGEs serve at the pleasure of the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health. Service as an SGE is contingent upon proper ethical conduct.  Mr. Viehmann participated and completed the SGE Training alongside 10 qualified applicants from VPP sites.  Due to Safety Training Resources not being an approved VPP site, Mr Viehmann was not sworn-in as an SGE

Safety Training Resources is prepared to leverage this very exclusive training experience  to assist companies  prepare for their initial VPP evaluation.  In addition, Safety Training Resources is prepared to assist MERIT sites improve their safety and health management systems as they strive for STAR recognition and support STAR sites as they prepare for their recertifications.


Safety Training Resources Prepares Missouri Employers for New National Standard – I2P2

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

A dozen states currently require employers to have an Injury & Illness Prevention Program (IIPP or I2P2) in place, and both OSHA and MSHA are working around the clock to enact a new national standard that will make them mandatory for employers nationwide.

I2P2s encompass everything from a management commitment to a safe and healthful work environment to formalizing the system by which an employer communicates safety policy, informs employees of hazards, and encourages workers to report safety risks without fear of reprisal.

Fortunately, many of the required components may already be in place at your worksite in some form. But most organizations – even those with solid safety programs – will have to do some serious work to get into full compliance with the new requirement. You don’t want to put it off and face a last-minute scramble (which could leave you less than fully compliant with the new rules).

 Safety Training Resources believes that the I2P2 rule will include the following elements:

1. Management duties (including items such as establishing a policy, setting goals, planning and allocating resources, and assigning and communicating roles and responsibilities);

2. Employee participation (including items such as involving employees in establishing, maintaining and evaluating the program, employee access to safety and health information, and employee role in incident investigations);

3. Hazard identification and assessment (including items such as what hazards must be identified, information gathering, workplace inspections, incident investigations, hazards associated with changes in the workplace, emergency hazards, hazard assessment and prioritization, and hazard identification tools)

4. Hazard prevention and control (including items such as what hazards must be controlled, hazard control priorities, and the effectiveness of the controls);

5. Program evaluation and improvement (including items such as monitoring performance, correcting program deficiencies, and improving program performance).

Safety Training Resources will:

  • Explain what OSHA and MSHA are proposing in terms of an I2P2 requirement, and how it will affect your business
  • Educate you on the steps you must take to prove your commitment to controlling workplace hazards and correcting dangerous conditions
  • Explain the 5 key components of a written I2P2 plan
  • Help you determine how to assign responsibilities for on-site and job site safety
  • Assist you in creating a system that assures employee compliance with your I2P2 plan and regulations
  • Identify what needs to be included in your safety communications - including meetings, training, notifications, and postings – and how to readily communicate to every worker what they need to do to operate safely in your workplace

Safety Training Resources is scheduling free consultations to discuss how to get prepared.

Act Now!!!