‘MSHA Safety Training & Compliance’ Category

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!!!


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

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Enlightenment…

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!


Safety Training Resources Helps Missouri Employers Prepare For Heat Related Illnesses

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

As the weather heats up, the risk of dangerous – sometimes deadly – heat illness increases. The best defense is a good offense in the form of well-trained workers who know the signs and symptoms to watch out for, and the immediate actions to take when heat illness strikes.

Signs and Symptoms

  • The incidence of heat exhaustion is more prevalent in warm climates where humidity is high. Heat exhaustion occurs when you don’t drink enough fluids. As your body overheats you might look pale, feel faint or feel a headache coming on. As it progresses, you may develop a low-grade fever. Fatigue sets in. Your blood pressure lowers. “Heat exhaustion means that your vital organs aren’t getting enough blood. With less blood available you will feel light-headed and weak. Other symptoms include cool, pale, clammy skin,” warns Bill Gottlieb, author of Alternative Cures.

No Advance Warnings

  • Although it may take time to become so drastically dehydrated, the warning signs of heat exhaustion happen suddenly. One minute you are moving about energetically and the next moment your skin feels hot and moist. Your face reddens. The first time it happens, you may be confused by your symptoms, thinking you have become ill due to something you ate. However, treating the symptoms for heat exhaustion should bring you welcome relief.

Treating Heat Exhaustion

  • The first thing to do is find a shady place to rest or get inside a cool place if you can. Air conditioning helps cool you down, but you can rebound even faster if you apply cold compresses, ice or cool water to your skin. A wet cool towel around your neck or on your forehead helps. If you are in a situation where you cannot go inside, dousing your self with water helps cool down your body. When you get heat exhaustion, your body is running out of electrolytes. Drink cold water or a fluid with electrolytes in it, such as Gatorade. Lie flat on your back and elevate your legs higher than your heart.  OSHA suggests at least one pint of cool, clean and odorless water per hour, which should be done before becoming thirsty.  If you don’t feel relief in 30 minutes, seek medical help.

Risk Factors

  • Young children, babies, the elderly and obese people are at a higher risk of heat exhaustion and are the most vulnerable, according to Mayo Clinic. The bodies of young children are not developed enough to effectively regulate temperatures in extreme weather conditions. Adults over 65 who take commonly prescribed medicines that have the side effect of dehydration are also more susceptible to heat exhaustion. Obesity also makes a person susceptible to the heat. According to Mayo Clinic, “Carrying excess weight can affect your body’s ability to regulate its temperature and cause your body to retain more heat.”

Prevention

  • Use common sense.  OSHA suggests an adjustment period for working in the heat. This is a five day period in which you gradually work your way up from 50% of your work load on day one to 100% by day five.  Drink lots of water and avoid caffeinated beverages, as they dehydrate the body. In hot weather, wear loose-fitting clothing that keeps you cool and wear a hat. Use an umbrella if you have to walk any distance. Stay out of the sun during the heat of the day. If you are outdoors and really feel hot and sticky, splash your face with water. Get your hair wet and the back of your neck. Do not be embarrassed to spray water on your clothing or mist your face with your water bottle. For many who have experienced heat exhaustion once, it may occur again. Liquid mineral supplements can be taken daily if you must work or play outdoors during the hotter times of the year, according to Alternative Cures. Supplements that include magnesium, calcium and manganese are water-based and help with rehydration. Mix one-half teaspoon of the minerals in four ounces of water three times a day.

Safety Training Resources will help train and identify the following:

  • Why the first days on the job are crucial
  • The value of acclimatization, and how to make sure your workers are ready for the heat
  • The 3 essentials that no hot-weather work environment should be without (Shade – Rest – Water
  • Your obligations under federal law to protect employees from heat illness
  • How to put together written procedures that comply with the federal standards and provide a strong backbone for a heat illness training program
  • What the environmental risk factors are for heat illness
  • How to preemptively change work conditions to avoid heat stress
  • How to assess and evaluate work environment controls and determine whether or not they’ll reduce your workers’ heat risks
  • How to train your employees and managers to recognize the signs of heat stress and take immediate life-saving action

Safety Training Resources Steps Towards Effective HazCom

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Safety Training Resources takes 7 simple steps to ensure an effective hazard communication program.

1. Train supervisors and safety personnel to communicate hazard information and safety procedures effectively. Also train them in general communication skills so that they can interact more successfully with employees.

2. Encourage employee participation in the development and implementation of workplace safety and health programs—for example, through safety committees and other team initiatives.

3. Welcome employee suggestions about ways to improve chemical safety in the workplace. Take their concerns and suggestions seriously and incorporate them into safety programs. Remember that to be truly effective, hazard communication must involve two-way communication.

4. Emphasize safety protections as well as hazards in hazard communication and other chemical safety training programs. Make sure employees understand that working with chemicals is safe as long as they follow established work practices, use appropriate engineering controls, and wear assigned PPE.

5. Provide intensive MSDS and label training. Teach employees how to find and interpret the information in the MSDS and on the label. Provide them with glossaries defining technical terms in plain language. Make sure that they are comfortable with their ability to understand and use chemical safety and health information. Your training effort is not complete until they are.

6. Involve experienced, knowledgeable employees in training programs as trainers and coaches. These workers have a natural rapport with trainees, and they are also well positioned to provide practical information about how to perform the job safely and efficiently.

7. Work hard to build trust between management and employees by demonstrating your commitment to employee safety and health every day. Involve top management in safety awareness campaigns and feature safety as a fundamental organizational goal.


Safety Training Resources Prepares Missouri Employers For Crisis

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

In the wake of the recent natural disasters, Safety Training Resources is prepared to work with Missouri employers as they assess their plans for responding to emergency situations. Safety Training Resources will help to ensure that policies and people are ready for an emergency situation.  Your employees will be confident that they know what to do in a timely and accurate manner.

The comprehensive training will cover:

Emergency Management: HR Policies and Preparedness

  • The HR policies you should review and revise now, before a workplace crisis arises
  • How to design and communicate effective emergency management procedures
  • Strategies to manage workplace disruption on a short- or long-term basis
  • Your obligations regarding employees’ pay during a business disruption

Designing an Effective Emergency Plan: The People and Resources That Must Be Included

  • How to establish a planning team and assign emergency responsibilities
  • The best method for identifying potential emergencies and assessing risk
  • Strategies to assess your organization’s emergency response capabilities
  • The components of an effective emergency response plan, and who should be included in your emergency response team

Getting Prepared: Exercises and Drills

  • The exercises you should consider at your organization, and who the major players are
  • Dos and don’ts for smart drills
  • How to improve your employees’ performance for “the real thing” after a practice exercise or drill
  • Special considerations for evacuating disabled employees

How To Keep Your Employees Informed and Calm In the Event of Crisis

  • The emergency response policies you need in your employee handbook
  • 

  • How to make sure employees know what they need to do in the event of an emergency
  • Practical tips for tracking employees’ whereabouts and maintaining communications in the event of a crisis
  • What your employees should be instructed to say in response to media inquiries
  • How Employee Assistance Programs and other resources can help employees pick up the pieces after a crisis, and why these are so crucial

Safety Training Resources Claims That Near Misses Are “Accidents Waiting to Happen”

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Investigating Near Misses

A near miss is sometimes defined as an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness or damage, but had the potential to do so. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, fatality or damage. It’s easy to shrug off a near miss and not report it or make a big deal out of it, but in reality, it should immediately send up a warning flag that something was wrong, unplanned or unexpected. What’s more, it could happen again.

For every near miss or accident, there are usually several contributing factors, most of which can be controlled. The best way to prevent the reoccurrence of an accident is by looking at those close calls. If you investigate the causes of a near miss, you can take steps to eliminate the hazard.

All close calls or near-miss incidents should be reported to your supervisor so solutions can be sought to prevent an accident or injury from occurring. Solutions may involve engineering controls, administrative controls, additional training or increased communication between management and workers.

Finally, a near miss is a cheaper learning tool than learning from an actual injury or property loss accident. In fact, it represents almost zero cost.

So remember – the next time you barely avoid an accident, don’t simply pass it off as a lucky break. Examine what happened and how that same close call can be prevented from endangering you or someone else in the future.


Safety Training Resources Tightens Safety Toolbelt

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Safety Training Resources provides a variety of MSHA approved weekly ToolBox talks that can be used by Missouri’s small mine operators to hold safety and health discussions for their employees at their mining operations.  Safety Training Resources hopes these ToolBox talks will help small mine operators and their miners to keep safety and health at the forefront of their daily and weekly activities.

Week Topic Week Topic
Blue TriangleWeek 1 Our Safety & Health Goals Blue TriangleWeek 2 Hard Hats, Eye Protection, and Protective Footwear
Blue TriangleWeek 3 Speed Limits, Mobile Equipment, and Riders Blue TriangleWeek 4 Lock Out/Tagout Procedures, and Safety Belts in Vehicles, Guardrails, Handrails, & Steps
Blue TriangleWeek 5 Heat Exhaustion, Housekeeping, and Overhead Power Lines Blue TriangleWeek 6 Guards, Lifting, and Report Injuries
Blue TriangleWeek 7 Teamwork and Hearing Protection Blue TriangleWeek 8 Attitude, Respirators, and Skin Rashes
Blue TriangleWeek 9 Fall Hazards, Safe Work Procedures, and Short Cuts Blue TriangleWeek 10 Flammable Liquids and Fire Extinguishers
Blue TriangleWeek 11 Pry Bars, Personal Safety, and Hand Safety Blue TriangleWeek 12 Compressed Airlines, Clothing, and Personal Protective Equipment - Hearing
Blue TriangleWeek 13 Handrails and Steps and Oxygen-Acetylene Torch Safety Blue TriangleWeek 14 Safety Lines, Crane Safety, and Personal Protective Equipment - Eye Protection
Blue TriangleWeek 15 Removing Bucket Teeth, Personal Conduct, and Storage Areas Blue TriangleWeek 16 Operator Fitness, Cleaning with Water or Fire Hoses, and Safe Access
Blue TriangleWeek 17 Conveyor Safety, Using a Shovel and Pump Safety Blue TriangleWeek 18 Hydraulic Systems, Tag Out Mobile Equipment Not In Service, and Label Containers
Blue TriangleWeek 19 Handrails and Walkways, Drugs and Alcohol, and Radios and Cassettes Blue TriangleWeek 20 Stockpile and Highwall Safety, Housekeeping and Driving Safety – Backing Up
Blue TriangleWeek 21 Avoid Hand Tool Injuries, Personal Protective Equipment, and Life Jackets or Work Vests Blue TriangleWeek 22 Help Reduce Injury to Others, Portable Electric Tools, and Floor Openings
Blue TriangleWeek 23 Report Unsafe Conditions, Belt Conveyors, and Welding Blue TriangleWeek 24 Dress the Part- “Let’s get it on,” Chain Hoists and Come-Alongs, and First Aid – Infections
Blue TriangleWeek 25 Falls From Equipment, Circle of Life, and Safety Harness Blue TriangleWeek 26 Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
Blue TriangleWeek 27 Personal Conduct, Operating Service Pickup Trucks, and Fire Prevention and Control Blue TriangleWeek 28 Lightning Precautions, Crane Operations, and Mobile Equipment
Blue TriangleWeek 29 Containers, Backing Equipment, and Lifting Procedures Blue TriangleWeek 30 Working in Hot Weather, Electrical Safety, and Take a Few Minutes for Safety-General Safety Precautions
Blue TriangleWeek 31 Oxygen – Acetylene Cutting Torches, Compressed Gases, and Eye Protection Blue TriangleWeek 32 Drills, Grinders, and Welding Accessories
Blue TriangleWeek 33 Welding Courtesy, Oxygen – Acetylene Cutting Torches, and Jump Starting Batteries Blue TriangleWeek 34 Hand Tools, Chains and Come-Alongs, and Teamwork
Blue TriangleWeek 35 Accidents Don’t Just Happen, Attitude, and Eyes Blue TriangleWeek 36 Injuries, Stay Alert, and Look Where You Are Walking
Blue TriangleWeek 37 Ladders and Berms Blue TriangleWeek 38 Striking Tools, Hammers, and The Three “C’s” of Driving
Blue TriangleWeek 39 Safety Lines, Get Help, and Back Support Belt Blue TriangleWeek 40 Equipment Inspection, Housekeeping, and Watch Your Step
Blue TriangleWeek 41 Ladders, Personal Protective Equipment, and Rigging for a lift Blue TriangleWeek 42 Mobile Equipment, Personal Items, and Housekeeping
Blue TriangleWeek 43 Hand Safety, Safety Lines, and Mobile Equipment Blue TriangleWeek 44 Equipment Operators, Lockout Procedures, and Flammable Liquids
Blue TriangleWeek 45 Fire Extinguishers, Fire Safety, and Office Safety Blue TriangleWeek 46 Crane Safety – Manual/Operating Information and Crane Safety – Operation, and Watch Your Step
Blue TriangleWeek 47 Belt Conveyor Safety, Forklift Safety, and Electrical Safety Blue TriangleWeek 48 Mobile Equipment, Equipment Operation, and Safety Objective
Blue TriangleWeek 49 Compressed Gas Cylinders, Defective Tools, and Power Tools Blue TriangleWeek 50 Pickup Truck Safety, Concentration, and Lubricating Equipment
Blue TriangleWeek 51 Falls From Equipment, Teamwork, and Fire Extinguishers Blue TriangleWeek 52 General Safety Rules and General Safety Rules

Safety Training Resources Conducts “Pre and Post” Training Analysis

Saturday, March 19th, 2011
Analyzing your training program is important both at the development stage and at the follow-up stage. For training to be effective in helping employees work more safely and avoid incidents and injuries, you need to analyze your training from the start to ensure that it is appropriate—to the hazards and to the workforce. To test whether your training has been effective, Safety Training Resources emphasizes the importance of conducting informative post-training analysis.

 

If you’re involved in developing the training program in your workplace, make sure your training is appropriate. Training should:

  • Be specific to the hazards of individual job assignments.
  • Clearly inform employees what conditions are infractions of departmental safety rules.
  • Give supervised work experience before allowing employees to perform hazardous operations on their own.

One of the most important decisions trainers make is how the content will be delivered. Here are some options:

  • On-the-job learning and one-on-one discussions with employees are often most effective when combined with on-the-job skills training.
  • Safety meetings can be a good setting for training when group cooperation is required—for example, during training on how to organize in an emergency.
  • Role-playing and using case histories are useful in group settings and are more effective with some audiences (for example, a more verbal group) than with others.
  • Lectures are considered to be the least effective means of training. Involving employees can help make the lectures more meaningful.
  • Demonstrations work best when they are interactive and encourage audience participation.
  • Audiovisual presentations and computer-based programs are an effective choice for refresher training or when live demonstrations are too costly or hazardous.
  • Printed materials are best used as a supplement when individuals already have a good grasp of the subject material but need additional information to fill the gaps.

A successful training program is a work in progress, and the cycle isn’t complete until you’ve evaluated the effectiveness of the training. Consider these steps for assessing how well you have done.

  • Ask trainees what they think. Probably your best source of information about the effectiveness of the session is the trainees themselves. Make anonymous evaluation forms available immediately following the session.
  • Ask participants to rate the session on a scale of 1 to 5. For any response below 5, ask for an explanation of what it would take to bring it up.
  • Make your own observations during the session. Think about the degree of participation, number of questions, and overall enthusiasm.
  • Use pre- and post-tests. Simple true/false pre- and post-tests can be an effective way to determine what participants knew before and after the presentation. If practical, ask trainees to explain principles, procedures, or rules they’ve learned. Have them demonstrate skills presented to give you an idea of skill gaps you need to fill before ending the session.
  • Check to see if training is being used. Keep an eye out for employee behavior. How well are workers incorporating the safety principles, skills, and knowledge into their jobs? Continue observations for several months after the training.
  • Evaluate the impact of training on overall safety performance. Is your workplace safer as a result of training efforts? Is your organization’s compliance program better as a result? Have the numbers of accidents and near misses, as well as related costs, gone down?

Safety Training Resources Shares Best Practices That Reduce Lift-Related Back Injuries

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Lifting-related back injuries are among the most commonly reported workplace injuries. They also impact your company’s profitability and contribute to lost productivity.

Here are four elements of a safe lifting plan that can help prevent lifting-related back injuries in your workplace.

1. Implement Engineering Controls

Appropriate engineering controls can be highly effective in reducing lifting-related injuries. For example:

  • Mechanical assist devices to relieve heavy load lifting and carrying tasks
  • Handles or slotted hand holes in packages requiring manual handling
  • Lighter-weight packaging materials
  • Modified containers and parts presentation (e.g., height-adjustable material bins)
  • Changes in workstation layout (e.g., use height-adjustable workbenches, position tools and materials within short reaching distances)
  • Fixtures (e.g., clamps, vise-grips) to hold work pieces to relieve the need for awkward hand and arm positions
  • Suspended tools to reduce weight and allow easier access
  • Easy-connect electrical terminals to reduce manual force
  • Removal of physical and visual obstructions when assembling components to reduce awkward postures or static exertions

2. Use Administrative Controls

Administrative controls should also be part of your plan to reduce lifting-related back injuries. For example:

  • Reduce shift length or curtail the amount of overtime.
  • Rotate workers through several jobs with different physical demands to reduce the stress on limbs and body regions.
  • Schedule more breaks to allow for rest and recovery.
  • Vary job content to offset certain risk factors (e.g., repetitive motions, static and awkward postures).
  • Adjust the work pace to relieve repetitive motion risks and give the worker more control of the work process.
  • Train employees to recognize lifting risk factors and to follow work practices that ease the task demands or burden.

3. Encourage the Use of Alternative Lifting Techniques

Alternative material handling techniques for carrying or moving loads should be used whenever possible to minimize lifting and bending movements. Alternatives might include use of equipment such as:

  • Hand trucks
  • Forklifts
  • Pallet jacks and power pallet jacks
  • Dollies
  • Carts
  • Hoists

4. Teach Safe Lifting Techniques

Train employees to:

  • Stretch briefly before lifting to loosen up back, arm, and shoulder muscles.
  • Determine whether more than one person or a mechanical device is needed for moving a load.
  • Ask for assistance if needed.
  • Break down the load into parts where feasible.
  • Get a good grip on the load.
  • Keep the load close.
  • Keep balance with footwork.
  • Lift with the back straight.
  • Use the legs to lift without bending the back.
  • Never twist or turn while lifting.
  • Avoid lifting above the shoulder level.

Special Lifting Situations Require Special Training

Aside from teaching employees the basic safe lifting technique, you may also need to train for special lifting situations such as:

  • Group lifts
  • Lifting oversized or particularly heavy loads
  • Lifting bags and sacks
  • Lifting object down from overhead

 

Group Lifts

When two or more employees lift and carry objects together, they should:

  • Work as a team.
  • Designate one person to direct the lift.
  • Lift at the same time.
  • Keep the load level when carrying.
  • Keep alert for obstacles in their path.
  • Move smoothly together.
  • Unload at the same time.

Lifting Oversized or Heavy Loads

Lifting oversized or very heavy loads requires special steps as well. Lifters should:

  • Size up the load and determine how many people will be needed for the lift.
  • Use mechanical material handling aids whenever possible to spare backs.
  • Check the route and make sure there is adequate clearance for oversize loads.
  • Lift at the same time, and keep the load level when carrying.
  • Put the load down part way to rest if necessary.
  • Be careful when traveling and unloading not to catch fingers and hands in pinchpoints, such as between the object and a doorjamb or wall, or between the object and the surface onto which it’s being unloaded.

 

Lifting Bags and Sacks

Heavy bags and sacks can be awkward to handle, which increases the risk of injury. Teach employees to:

  • Assume the safe lifting position (squat by bending at the hips and knees, feet shoulder-width apart; maintain the back’s natural curves; and let the legs do the lifting).
  • Grasp the load at opposite top and bottom corners.
  • Power the body up with legs and use arms to raise the load to rest on the hip.
  • Stand fully and move the load to rest on the shoulder

Lifting Objects Down from Overhead

Lifting objects down is another special lifting situation. Train employees to:

  • Use a ladder or step stool if necessary to reach high places.
  • Slide the load close to the body, being sure to keep a solid footing and a firm grasp.
  • Let arms and legs do the work.
  • Have a buddy standing below to receive the object if necessary.

Safety Training Resources’ Experience Can Modify Your Insurance Rates

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Many of our existing customers ask us the same question, “What is the best way to lower or reduce my company’s Experience Modification Rating (EMR)?

First, you have to understand what an EMR is.  The two factors that influence the EMR are the frequency and severity cost your recordable accidents.  The EMR is based on old, historical data.  For example: the 2011 EMR will be based on 2007, 2008 and 2009 accident histories.  Fiscal year 2010 is not used because it was the year just ending.

1) Track and trend the frequency of your accidents.  Attack your problem areas with training programs, focused inspections and targeted enforcement.  Change your culture to lower your incident ratios. 

2) Take a look at your deductible.  A low deductible can have a big impact on your mod rate versus a high deductible.  Talk with your insurance company and get recommendations about which one is best for your situation. 

 
Make sure your insurance company is timely in closing out cases and dropping reserves.  If you have an injury with a reserve, talk to your insurance company about their justification and get it reduced, if possible.

3) Don’t forget near misses.  Keep tabs on them as best you can.  They are often warnings of tomorrow’s accidents.  Your tracking information will tell you where to look.  Separate the safety problems into two groups: (1) things that can be fixed (improved) by changing conditions, and (2) things that can only be fixed by changing the way the employees act (behavior modification).

Unsafe conditions are usually a little easier to deal with, at least at the beginning.  Workplace conditions are generally under your direct control. Look for low hanging fruit:
• damaged or missing equipment
• missing guardrails
• under staffing issues or people who are not trained
• missing or inadequate machine guards
• are there employees (specific people with names) who are actually responsible for checking scaffolding, inspecting trenches, etc.?
• does everyone have a hard hat, a pair of safety glasses, and usable hearing protection?

Most of those issues can be fixed pretty quickly and relatively inexpensively.

Reducing unsafe actions (behavior modification) requires getting your people to think and work safely.  You have to change minds and change habits. Changing your company’s safety culture requires listening, understanding, training, explaining, fixing, and enforcing.

A safety policy is a good place to start.  It doesn’t have to be a formal document.  It can be as simple as: “If we cannot do it safely we don’t do it. There is nothing that needs to be done in our company which is so important that it is worth risking your health or safety.”  Spend time with your people explaining what safety means and why safety is important.  Having an owner or an officer honestly and believably describe the policy will help a lot.

Training is tough.  It can be helpful to bring in an outside expert (i.e. Safety Training Resources).  In some cases you can leverage OSHA’s regulations, for instance: “wearing safety glasses isn’t just a good idea or our rule, wearing them is the law.”

Train frequently and in small doses.  Frequent training provides an on-going reminder to think about safety and work safely.  Repeat the safety message clearly and frequently.  Routine training shows that you and the company really care about safety

Scheduling 5-15 minute training sessions can provide critical facts and timely reminders.  A small dose of learning gives your people one or a few things to think about and apply.  Short sessions mean that production isn’t held up.

What it all comes down to is…. ACCOUNTABILITY.  You can either turn your back on it, or you can make an affirmative decision to become part of the solution.  Don’t just say “NO”, give the supervisors and workers a safe alternative.  If you drastically cut back on the unsafe acts that happen everyday, the accidents and near misses will rapidly disappear and your EMR rate will come down.

Act Now!