Posts Tagged ‘compliance’

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 Specializes In Smart Recordkeeping

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

OSHA has extended its Recordkeeping National Emphasis Program (NEP) through early 2012.   They are looking for employers who are underreporting injuries and illnesses, and they are not leaving any stone unturned. 

 Safety Training Resources is helping Missouri employers track and record injuries and illnesses in compliance with the OSHA recordkeeping standard.  In addition to helping you avoid costly OSHA citations, smart recordkeeping practices can also help you make injury-reducing and profit-boosting improvements by allowing you to learn from past mistakes.

Safety Training Resources will help your management team better understand the key elements of an effective recordkeeping program and design a system that will track and record your injuries and illnesses in compliance with the OSHA recordkeeping standard.  Our training strategy will ensure the following:

  • The proper use of the three OSHA required forms: OSHA Form 300, OSHA Form 301, and OSHA Form 300A  
  • Where to get the forms to use, and how to complete them properly
  • Which incidents must be reported and which merely need to be recorded
  • How to differentiate between medical treatment and first aid, and why the distinction matters
  • Which cases require restricted work activity or days away from work, and how to record the number of days
  • How to maintain employees’ privacy when reporting an incident
  • How to perform a recordkeeping audit and assess the working environment

In addition,  by improving your recordkeeping, Safety Training Resources can help you:

  • Measure the effectiveness of your safety program
  • Identify high incident areas
  • Enlist management support
  • Enlist employee support
  • Measure the effectiveness of your countermeasures

Bottom line, effective and efficient recordkeeping for occupational injuries and illnesses provides the foundation for a successful, well-managed safety program.

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!

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 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!

    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!

    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.

    ACT NOW!