Posts Tagged ‘Safety Training Resources’

Workplace Violence Prevention and Training Program

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Violence in the workplace is emerging as a significant workplace hazard. Employees become victims of violent acts that may result in substantial physical or emotional harm.

Workplace violence can lead to medical treatment, missed work, lost wages and decreased productivity. Violence at work can take many forms: intimidation, threats, theft, stalking, assault, hostage-taking, kidnapping, suicide and homicide. Homicide is the second leading cause of all job-related deaths and the leading cause of such deaths for women.

Safety Training Resouces has developed a comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Training Program along with a Threat Assessment Audit to augument your existing safety and health program.

The course includes an initial risk assessment and review, development of a written workplace violence policy statement, designing prevention proceduces, education and training, incident reporting and analysis along with follow-up and procedures and evaluation techniques.

At the end of the day, it does not appear that violence is decreasing in our society. Ultimately and unfortunately, this violence is being played out in the workplace. For legal, and more importantly, human reasons, businesses can no longer choose to ignore this important issue.

The Workplace Violence and Prevention Trainng Program was created to help you in planning how your organization can address this issue. We hope you never need to implement it, but we believe that a performance-oriented approach of this program provides employers an opportunity to maintain a safe and healthful workplace.

Contact Safety Training Resources for a no-cost consultation at 314-808-3502.


Addition of AWO RCP Auditor to Safety Training Resources

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Safety Training Resources announces the addition of an American Waterways Operators (AWO), Responsible Carrier Program (RCP) Auditor. An AWO-certified auditor develops unique and specific safety and environmental programs tailored to the barge and towing industries and with the upcoming flood season compliance has never been more important.

“For the first time the St. Louis and St. Charles barge and towing industries will have a local AWO auditor available to develop and hone their operational processes. Having been a part of a river business for over 30 years, the opportunity to have a local contact to ensure safety and process compliance is an invaluable source,” says president of Safety Training Resources, Jeff Viehmann. As an RCP certified auditor for the AWO, we are trained to incorporate best industry practices in the towing industry that includes company management policies, vessel equipment and human factors.

The American Waterways Operators is the national trade association representing the owners and operators of tugboats, towboats, and barges serving the waterborne commerce of the United States. Once certified, AWO Auditors are able to conduct compliance audits in all 50 states.

Safety Training Resources is an independently owned and operated company with expert knowledge of safety practices across a range of trade industries. Training and Auditing certifications include: OSHA Authorized Trainer, OSHA Construction and General Industry Trainer, MSHA Certified Trainer Part 46 and 48, ISO 9001 Lead Auditor, and a range of personal health and safety certifications. No matter the size of the business, they will develop customized, flexible programs with the goal of protecting your employees; reduce losses and insurance costs that will ensure company profitability.


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?


MSHA Releases “Rules to Live By” Initiative

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

In an effort to prevent fatalities in the mining industry (metal/nonmetal & coal), MSHA recently released the top frequently cited standards (11 in coal mining and 13 in metal/nonmetal) that cause or contribute to fatal accidents in the mining industry in 9 accident catagories.

The goal of this initiative is to prevent miners from losing their lives in preventable accidents. From 2000-2009, 623 miners lost their lives. As a result, MSHA analyzed data from these accidents to identify conditions and practices that contributed to these deaths.

The 13 frequently cited standards for the Metal/Nonmetal industry that resulted in a fatality are as follows:

Operating speeds and control of equipment
Work on power circuits
Brake performance
Procedures during repairs or maintenance
Seat belts shall be worn by equipment operators
Seat belts shall be provided and worn in haul trucks
Machinery, equipment, and tools used beyond design
Parking procedures for unattended equipment
Safety belts and lines
Bins, hoppers, silos, tanks, and surge piles
Persons shall stay clear of suspended loads
Barricades and warning signs
Ground support use

The nine accident categories are:
Falls from Elevation
Falls of Roof and Rib
Operating Mobile Equipment (Surface)
Operating Mobile Equipment (Underground)
Maintenance
Lockout/Tagout
Struck by Mobile Equipment (Surface)
Struck by Mobile Equipment (Underground)
Blocking Against Motion

There is no doubt that compliance with safety and health standards should be the focus of mine operators. Safety Training Resources supports MSHA and their efforts to provide education on ways the mining industry can improve mine safety and health. There is no reason why one more family has to hear that their loved one has been killed while on the job.

To read the complete “Rules to Live By” Initiative visit www.msha.gov/focuson/RulestoLiveBy.


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 Monitors OSHA’s LEP on Worksites with Elevated Exposure to Respirable Dust

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Granite and Marble Company for exposing workers to excessive levels of respirable silica, other hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Delta Granite and Marble Inc. with 10 serious and one other-than-serious violation. Proposed penalties total $42,000.

OSHA‘s Region VI Office initiated a health inspection on Feb. 23 at the company’s facility where employees were fabricating marble and granite countertops and associated products. The inspection was part of the agency’s National Emphasis Program for Crystalline Silica, which was developed to reduce occupational exposure to respirable silica.

Serious violations include failing to ensure that airborne levels of crystalline silica met established health standards, to provide an effective hearing conservation program, to ensure employees wore protective footwear, to ensure that appropriate hand protection such as gloves were utilized and to ensure compressed air used for cleaning did not exceed 30 pounds per square inch. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

“Exposure to respirable silica above OSHA‘s established limits can lead to serious long-term health conditions such as silicosis and other pulmonary function disorders,” said Jeff Funke, OSHA‘s Region VI area director.

The other-than-serious violation was cited for failing to ensure that audiograms contained information on employee job classifications. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 5 million workers are required to wear respirators to protect against harmful particulates, low oxygen areas, vapors, gases, and toxic or hazardous materials. This means that approximately 1.3 million workplaces in the U.S. need to worry about complying with OSHA‘s respiratory protection rule. Is yours one of them?

OSHA’s requirements are clear: Employers must develop an effective respiratory protection program along with training that includes teaching workers when and how to use their respirators.   Missouri employers are often cited for noncompliance with the standard. In addition, OSHA recently amended its PPE and training enforcement practices to allow per-employee citations for violations, which could mean an enormous increase in your potential liability.

Don’t take a chance with employee safety or OSHA penalties.  Contact Safety Training Resources for a free safety consultation.


Safety Training Resources Connects Cultures with Residential Construction Fall Protection Training and Guidance

Sunday, June 26th, 2011
Latino Roofing Crew

Residential Construction Fall Protection Training and Guidance

On June 21st,  Safety Training Resources hosted a Residential Construction Fall Protection training and guidance class for St. Louis area Latino roofing crews.  Jeff Viehmann, President of Safety Training Resources, organized a training opportunity for several Latino roofing crews that featured Robert Robles, an OSHA Safety Compliance Officer, and Dave Barklage, President of Midwestern Safety Equipment.  The safety meeting also provided an opportunity for Eileen Wolfington, Lead Promoter, to introduce Casa de Salud (House of Health www.casadesalud.org) to those in attendance.

The majority of the information was presented in Spanish and plenty of handouts were provided in support of the fall protection trainingOSHA’s Robert Robles provided training and guidance on the new Residential Construction Fall Protection Standard.  He was also instrumental in fascilitating open discussions about the standard and the responsibiliies of General Contractors, Sub-contractors, and the crews themselves.

Dave Barklage provided expertise in the area of personal fall arrest systems.  He demonstrated how to select, fit, and utilize anchors, harnesses, ropes, and lanyards.  He also provided insight into the various options available to the crews when implimenting best practices to the jobsite. 

Safety Training Resources is actively pursuing additional opportunities to connect safety training with those who need it most.  Safety Training Resources will continue its efforts to improve workplace safety and health conditions while simultaneously providing assistance to Spanish-speaking workers and employers.

Latino Roofing Crews Receive Residential Construction Fall Protection Training and Guidance


Safety Training Resources Raises the Roofer’s Awareness to OSHA’s new Fall Protection Standard

Sunday, June 26th, 2011
 
OSHA announces three month phase-in for residential construction fall protection…

Roofing Crews Need Training and Guidance on the Residential Construction Fall Protection Standard

 

 

The three month phase-in period runs June 16 – September 15, 2011. During this time, if the employer is in full compliance with the old directive (STD 03-00-001),  OSHA will not issue citations, but will instead issue a hazard alert letter informing the employer of the feasible methods they can use to comply with OSHA’s fall protection standard or implement a written fall protection plan. If the employer’s practices do not meet the requirements set in the old directive, OSHA will issue appropriate citations.

If an employer fails to implement the fall protection measures outlined in a hazard alert letter, and during a subsequent inspection of one of the employer’s workplaces OSHA finds violations involving the same hazards, the Area Office shall issue appropriate citations.

Safety Training Resources’ On-Site Consultation Program offers training and guidance  to small and medium-sized businesses.  Safety Training Resources can explain the new directive, Compliance Guidance for Residential Construction (STD 03-11-002), provide a detailed description of the phase-in policy, and offers guidance materials about the requirements for protecting workers from falls.


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