Posts Tagged ‘Missouri’

Are You Providing Adequate Training?

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Failure to adequately train employees concerning job safety is a serious omission that can get an employer into a lot of trouble. Following is a lawsuit that makes the point.

A worker, who was not wearing work gloves when he was injured, sued his employer, claiming that the employer did not instruct him that wearing leather gloves was a mandatory safety precaution. This same employee passed a written test before he could work on railroad tracks for the company. He was taught how to set railroad track spikes during the on-the-job training.

At the pre-shift meeting that day, his assignment was discussed. He would be using a 10-pound steel maul head to manually set .8-pound steel spikes into railroad ties. An independent contractor was delegated as foreman in charge of the jobsite, but the employee’s supervisor, from the worker’s company, was ultimately responsible for safety.

The Accident
A steel spike shot out of the tie, striking and cutting the back of the employee’s wrist. No one was there to witness the accident. The employee’s supervisor was in a worksite trailer about 5 miles away. Even though the company had provided PPE to all employees, including leather work gloves, the employee was not wearing them when he was injured. The injury resulted in major surgery to repair tendons and nerves.

The company conducted an accident investigation and concluded that the injury was solely the employee’s fault because he had not followed the company’s safety rules and procedures, which contained expressed and repeated instruction that employees were responsible for complying with all safety rules and instructions, including wearing assigned PPE and following specific rules for using spike maul and setting and driving spikes.

The employee charged that the company was at fault because it did not make him aware that wearing the gloves was mandatory. And while he noted that 6 months earlier, his supervisor initiated a practice of training new employees by having them watch a series of safety videos, he had been working for the company for over 2 years, and therefore did not view these same videos until after his accident.

Keep in mind that the employee did admit to receiving a copy of the company’s safety rules and procedures, he argued that the rules did not address setting spikes or the use of gloves and the company did not have written rules regarding the use of gloves.

Eventually the employee filed suit against the company, alleging it had violated the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (law applicable to railroads). He sought compensatory damages for his injuries, past and present medical care, past and future mental and emotional distress, and post and future lost earnings.

So how do you think the court ruled?
The railroad company requested the court to dismiss the claims, which was denied saying that a jury should decide the matter and that there was sufficient evidence from which the jury could reasonably conclude that the employer was negligent for failing to define and enforce its own safety rules and for failing to properly train employees.

What Can You Do To Prevent Negligence Claims

First, make sure all employees are adequately trained. This includes all new hires and more importantly, existing employees who may be doing a job for the first time. Just because you have an employee working for you for years doesn’t negate the fact that they may not have performed a certain task and as such must be properly trained on the requirements of the task.

Second, provide PPE and require its use. It’s the responsibility of the employer to instruct employees about when and how to use PPE. Make sure they know they must wear it. And make sure you monitor that they are actually using the required PPE. This means that the site supervisor or foreman needs to be available to check in on the job and the employees.

Third, institute a company-wide Disciplinary Program and enforce it. The program should define the company’s policy of enforcing safety practices and the penalties that will be in place if an employee chooses to disregard them.

Finally, continuous learning through on-going safety training enforces a culture of safety and fosters good behaviors. Safety Training Resources in St. Charles, Missouri  is committed to helping companies institute a strong safety culture and can help bring all levels within an organization to work on a  common goal – Worker Safety and Health. Call us today to schedule an on-site safety consultation. Have you included safety training in your budget for 2012?

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 Stands Up For Safety Preparedness

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

On Wednesday, April 27, Jeff Viehmann, President of Safety Training Resources, spoke at the Missouri Concrete Conference held in Rolla, Missouri. Approximately 200 people attended the conference at the University Of Missouri Science & Technology’s Havener Center. The presentation was on OSHA Preparedness – Preventing Citations.

Mr. Viehmann’s conversation with officials from MoDOT, Ready Mix/Materials contractors, and concrete industry consultants highlighted OSHA’s current focus, how to prepare for an OSHA inspection, and how to prevent OSHA citations. His message to the conference attendees – “Citations, like accidents, are preventable!”.

Mr. Viehmann explained how and why OSHA has a greater emphasis on safety regulatory enforcement. He earmarked the methodology behind OSHA’s enforcement inspections. He also exposed the conference to OSHA’s Top 10 “Cited Violations” for General Industry and Construction.

With passion and conviction, Mr. Viehmann shared his “principles and beliefs” on how to prevent OSHA citations. His preparedness plan included performing periodic safety audits, enforcing safety policy, and involving the entire workforce in the process of improving the safety culture. He emphasized the importance and meaning behind “listening to your employees”.

In concluding his presentation, Mr. Viehmann proposed that safety become a corporate value, not a periodic priority. He emphasized that the value of an ever-improving safety program is greater than the importance of production, profitability, and escaping liability.

Safety Training Resources Offers Missouri Residential Contractors Training and Guidance On OSHA’s New Fall Protection Standard

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Falls are the leading cause of work-related deaths among residential construction workers.

Safety Training Resources is helping Missouri contractors prepare for OSHA’s June 16th deadline for implementing the new fall protection standard.  Safety Training Resources is providing training and guidance to better protect workers from the hazards of working at heights.  

On December 16, 2010, OSHA issued STD 03-11-002, Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction, which rescinds STD 03-00-001, Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction, and provides that OSHA will be enforcing 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13) for all residential construction work.  Under 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13), workers engaged in residential construction six (6) feet or more above lower levels must be protected by conventional fall protection (in other words, guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems) or other fall protection measures allowed elsewhere in 1926.501(b). (Although the standard does not mention personal fall restraint systems, OSHA will accept a properly utilized fall restraint system in lieu of a personal fall arrest system when the restraint system is rigged in such a way that the worker cannot get to the fall hazard.) If an employer can demonstrate that the fall protection required under 1926.501(b)(13) is infeasible or presents a greater hazard, it must instead implement a written fall protection plan meeting the requirements of 1926.502(k).

Numerous methods can be used to prevent fall-related injuries and fatalities.  The following examples of fall protection represent options for residential contruction workers.  These various methods may be able to prevent fall-related injuries and fatalities throughout various stages in the residential construction process.

Installing Roof Trusses

  • Bracket Scaffolds
  • Ladders 

Installing Ridge Poles and Rafters

  • Anchors

Installing Roof Sheathing

  • Safety Net System
  • Bracket Scaffold
  • Anchors

Roofing – Weatherproofing 

  • Bracket Scaffolds

Foundation Walls and Formwork

  • Anchors
  • Scaffolds

Installing Floor Joists and Floor Trusses

  • Anchors
  • Scaffolds

Installing Subfloors

  • Anchors
  • Guardrails

Installing Walls

  • Aerial Lifts
  • Ladders
  • Scaffolds

Interior Finishing

  • Guardrails

Safety Training Resources Offers Guidance to Stone Fabricators

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Safety Training Resources is providing Missouri’s Stone Fabricators with information, guidance and access to training resources that will help them protect employees’ health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to silica hazards and addressing safety related hazards in natural stone fabricating businesses, including, but not limited to material handling, with emphasis on slab handling issues. Safety Training Resources provides guidance on safety procedures for personal protective equipment, respiratory protection, hazard communication, slab handling, and OSHA compliance.
Our comprehensive approach to safety is designed to assist stone fabricators and distributors train and educate employees on how to identify and prevent safety and health hazards in your facility. Safety Training Resources will:

  • Conduct a Site Audit and provide a comprehensive Health Report
  • Conduct weekly, quarterly, bi-annual, or annual Safety Meetings outlining Electrical Safety, Hazard Communication, Respiratory Protection, Personal Protective Equipment, and many other general safety topics
  • Conduct Dust and Noise Surveys to help understand hazardous exposure and assist in the elimination of dangerous workplace exposures (ie. silica)
  • Explain OSHA Recordkeeping requirements and assist in implementing recordkeeping procedures

Safety Training Resources is dedicated to helping you better understand the basics of OSHA Compliance for the Natural Stone Industry. Our goal is to keep your employees safe and to insure that your company is better informed on safety and health related issues. Call today for a “free” safety consultation.

Remember, safety is no accident.

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 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!