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Safety Instruction Blog

  • Americans With Disabilities Act Requires Being More Human Friendly

    Have any of you ever tried to navigate that law? The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Public Law 101-336: was signed into law July 26, 1990 The law prohibits discrimination against qualified people with disabilities in employment, public services and transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunications. I’m not even sure its Lawyer friendly. In laymen’s terms The ADA is a law requiring all of us to be more Human friendly. It’s really quite simple. Make it easier for those who meet the definition of the law to function as normally as possible without creating a safety hazard for themselves or others, and without bias to their disability. This is why there are handicap icons on parking lots all over the USA, and the rest rooms have wider doors, and paper towel dispensers are hung at a certain height in public restrooms, and handicap access to public buildings is now common place. This is just on the surface there are numerous disabilities to consider including sight and hearing impaired as well as mental impairment. Further, according to the government website this law provides comprehensive civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, public accommodations, State and local government services, and telecommunications. http://www.ada.gov/reg2.html

    Defining the Disabilities follows:

    The Americans with Disabilities Act ( ADA) has a three-part definition of disability. Under ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; OR (2) has a record of such an impairment; OR (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.

    A physical impairment is defined by ADA as "any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine."

    Neither ADA nor the regulations that implement it list all the diseases or conditions that are covered, because it would be impossible to provide a comprehensive list, given the variety of possible impairments. This definition was last revised in April of 2013, and continues to be fluid.

    The overview of the law indicates that the law is divided into seven subparts A through G. A: purpose and application, B: General requirements, C: Employment by Public entities: D: requirements for program accessibility in existing facilities, and for new construction, E: Specific requirements relating to communications, F: Administrative procedures for enforcement, G: designates the federal agencies responsible for investigation of complaints. Getting dizzy yet? Without submersing myself and you into the language of this law, and all of the too many wherefores and wherebys, Let me say that as a company you will need to address this issue if you haven’t already, and make sure you have a ADA Written Plan, videos are also available to help understand this law.

    So what can happen if you are not compliant with ADA? The following is taken from “Disabled World” :

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), through formal and informal settlement agreements as well as lawsuits, and the department dedicated to enforcement of ADA law, has achieved a degree of accessibility in society for people with disabilities through pursuit of thousands of cases.

    According to general rules which govern lawsuits that are brought before the federal government, the Department of Justice is unable to file a lawsuit unless it has first unsuccessfully tried to settle a dispute through negotiation. The Department does have the ability to file lawsuits in federal court in order to enforce ADA law, as well as obtain court orders that include back pay and compensatory damages with the intention of remedying discrimination. The Department, under title III, can obtain civil penalties of up to $55, 000 for the first violation on the part of an offender, as well as $110, 000 for subsequent violations.. http://www.disabled-world.com/disability/ada/ada-law-accessibility.php

    Yes there has also been some abuse of the system by overzealous lawyers as well, and the cost to defend yourself can put you out of business.

    We really can’t cover everything here, that would almost be impossible, and not the intent of this article. It is important however to inspect your facility for access, look at doing an ADA committee, and know where to find the information related to your situation. Please also visit this link about myths and facts. http://www.ada.gov/archive/mythfact.htm So really you see the Americans With Disabilities Act requires being more Human friendly.

  • Fall Protection in Residential Construction, PPE Harnessing for Safety

    Have you ever really given any thought to the definition and purpose of “Harnessing? As a teenager my Dad (May he rest in peace) used to harness a team of horses to plow a field. In some areas of this technology driven country of ours it is still being used by our Amish friends, and hobby farmers anxious to reconnect with Mother Earth. “The Free Dictionary” defines it this way:

    1. The gear or tackle, other than a yoke, with which a draft animal pulls a vehicle or implement.

    2. Something resembling such gear or tackle, as the arrangement of straps used to hold a parachute to the body.

    3. A device that raises and lowers the warp threads on a loom.

    4. Archaic Armor for a man or horse.

    So feeling a little like a Horse? Well that part of the definition really isn’t that far off. Here’s some more of its relevant definition: 2. To bring under control and direct the force of: If you can harness your energy, you will accomplish a great deal.

    So essentially what we are talking about here is PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) a harness worn by you to control the energy of a fall. Fall Protection, by use of a safety Harness, is what we’re concerned about here. In the last year or so OSHA has made a concerted effort to protect those workers by redefining “Fall Protection in Residential Construction”.

    Today we’ll discuss the Key Changes to OSHA’s residential Construction fall program. To do this I’ve invited a guest author from “Falltech”. Falltech is our provider for fall arrest equipment and systems, her name is Kelly May. Her article follows:

    Up until late last year, people working in residential construction did not have to follow the same fall protection regulations as other industries where work at height is performed. The Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction (STD 03-00-001), allowed residential construction companies to use alternative fall protection methods, such as safety monitoring systems or slide guards instead of the more traditional methods of protecting workers from falls. All of that changed when OSHA rescinded STD-03-00-001 at the end of 2013.

    Falls continue to be the leading cause of death among residential construction workers - accounting for 76 percent of fatalities. Even worse, workers in the roofing industry are three times more likely to experience fatal work-related injuries than other construction workers*. It was statistics such as these that led OSHA to decide that something must be done.

    Now, all workers engaged in residential construction six feet or more above lower levels must be protected by guardrail systems, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems.

    There are exceptions. In the roofing industry, alternative fall protection measures can be used, depending on the pitch of the roof. On low sloping roofs, with pitch of 4:12 or less, warning lines and safety monitoring systems are allowed. However, if the roof pitch is over 4:12 guardrails or personal fall protection systems are now required. OSHA does allow the use of fall restraint systems instead of personal fall arrest systems as long as it will prevent a worker from reaching a fall hazard and falling over the edge.

    Also, if employers can show that such fall protection systems are not feasible or create a greater hazard, a qualified person may develop a plan outlining alternative fall protection measures. This plan must be in writing and site-specific; however, a plan that is developed for repeated use for a particular model of home will be considered site specific.

    Employers must also ensure that each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards is trained by a competent person to recognize the hazards of falling and the procedures to be followed in order to minimize those hazards. In addition, the employer must verify the training of each employee by preparing a written certification record that contains the name/identity of the employee trained, the date(s) of training, and the signature of the employer or the person who conducted the training.

    The differences between the Interim Guidelines and Subpart M? **

    General Requirements

    Interim Fall Protection Guidelines (Dec. 8, 1995 – June 15, 2011)

    Fall Protection Requirements of Subpart M (June 16, 2011 and beyond)

    Use of Conventional Methods (guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems) for fall exposures over 6 feetRequired, unless infeasible or creates greater hazardRequired, unless infeasible or creates greater hazard
    Use of Alternative Methods (slide guards, safety monitoring systems, warning line, etc.)Allowed, for prequalified tasks identified by OSHA as meeting a greater hazard and other tasks where infeasibility or greater hazard could be demonstratedAllowed, but employer has the burden to demonstrate conventional methods are infeasible or creates greater hazard before using
    Site Specific Fall Protection Plan (only if using Alternative Methods)Required, but does not have to be writtenRequired, must be written
    TrainingEmployees must be trained to understand and follow the Fall Protection PlanEmployees must be trained to understand and follow the Fall Protection Plan
    Roofing-Specific Requirements
    Low Slope Roofs (4:12 pitch or less)Use of warning lines and safety monitoring systems allowedUse of warning lines and safety monitoring systems allowed
    Slope Roofs (over 4:12 up to and including 8:12)Use of slide guard allowedGuardrails or personal fall arrest system required
    Steep Slope Roofs (over 8:12)Guardrails or personal fall arrest system requiredGuardrails or personal fall arrest system required

    * Fatal Falls from Roofs Among U.S. Construction Workers; Xiuwen Sue Dong,Sang D. Choi,James G. Borchardt,Xuanwen Wang,Julie A. Largay; Journal of Safety Research; February 2013

    **Resource Guide; NAHB/NAHB Research Center Fall Protection Training; Sept. 2011; Page 7 of 8

    You can reach Kelly at Falltech 800-719-4619

    General descriptions, definitions and rules for components of an acceptable fall protection system are found in OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.66 Appendix C. The information found in this standard applies to safety harnesses and fall protection systems used in any industry.

    So there you have it, “from the horse’s mouth” so to speak, harnessing your energy for more important things in life. Harnessing for Safety, Fall protection in residential construction.

  • Worth Repeating: Mine Safety Programs $550,000.00 in funding

    National News

    $550,000 in Funding for Mine Safety Programs

    The Mine Safety and Health Administration has announced the availability of $550,000 in grant funds for educational and training programs to help identify, avoid and prevent unsafe working conditions in and around mines. The focus of the funds — part of the Brookwood-Sago grants program — will be on training and training materials for mine emergency preparedness and mine emergency prevention for all underground mines. Established through a provision in the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, the Brookwood-Sago grants program was named in memory of the 13 men who died in two explosions at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine in Brookwood, Ala., in 2001, and 12 men who died in an explosion at the Sago Mine in Buckhannon, W.Va., in 2006. The funding notice was published in the Federal Register on July 30. The closing date for applications is Aug. 31, and grants will be awarded on or before Sept. 30. Applicants may be states and nonprofit entities.

    Read the Federal Register Notice

    This article is taken from the Department of Labor newsletter August 1st 2013

    Mining safety has always been an issue, and is a very dangerous occupation, with adverse long term health liabilities. Making it safer and healthier has always been a challenge not just here, but around the world as well. It’s good to see grants like these become available for training and education. In the last several years there has been a major push by both the federal (MSHA Mine safety and Health administration) and state agencies to get workers trained and reeducated not in just safety but occupationally, and environmentally as well. I would encourage all who see this article to pass it on, and to encourage employers, workers both union and non-union to seek out the training they need personal visits can be arranged for auditing, technical services, training the trainer, or training material is available.

    In another News release from August 14th The Department of Labor Mine safety and Health Administration, announced that there is a new tool online that tracks the number of “Significant and Substantial” or “S and S” violations across the country http://www.msha.gov/DRS/SNSRateCalculator.asp MSHA chief Joe Main pointed out that it’s the mine operator’s responsibility to track violation histories in order to prevent a pattern of violations status.

    We need, as suppliers and educators, to continue to provide a means of creating a culture of Safety, behavior-based safety and personal growth. There are times we have to rely on partners like the federal government to help provide this type of funding. Mine Safety Programs have been a focus and justifiably so. I applaud their effort.

  • On Line Business Courses, More than Just Safety Instruction

    Business today requires that you wear more than just one hat or hardhat, and that you have more than just a hammer in your toolbox. Today if you’re the Safety person, you could also be HR, Finance, or a Department Supervisor. You could also be the company referee handling conflict management. Our course description says that “recent research has shown that conflict can have positive effects on an organization if managed effectively”. Titles are impressive but don’t really mean much without the tools to succeed, back it up or support you. I believe that your employer realizes that you can’t do everything, or that an employer realizes that he can’t do everything. Training is the key and one must be realistic in terms of the time it takes. Taking only an hour or two each our online business courses could be just what the doctor ordered.

    Have you ever been in a meeting that just seemed to drone on and on. Perhaps a “Meeting effectiveness” course could be suggested.

    OK so the boss wants you to write a report, and you have that, “deer in the headlights”, look. Check out “Business writing Reports and Proposals”. You could be on your way to a raise, or at the very least, job security.

    Communicating Basics has always been a key issue, and catch phrase, in everybody’s business. This also holds true even at home with the boss, whoever that might be. Here’s more: Communicating as a Team, Communicating Non Verbally, Persuasively, Proactively, Reactively. More recently I think that you will find that people have become more sensitive to cultural and ethnic surroundings so “Intercultural Etiquette” and “Cultural Communication” has loomed large, on the political landscape, work environments, college campuses, just about every place you turn. Everyone reading this blog knows someone who could benefit from participating in one or more of these courses. The time commitment is minimal compared to the reward. The cost is even more disproportionate compared to the amount of the return on your investment.

    Short courses such as these can hold your interest, and are very interactive so you won’t be bored to tears. You can learn more about Customer support, and service, delegating, or heaven forbid “Discharging an Employee”. The additional personal benefit is; you will have more confidence in yourself and your ability to take on new challenges. You’ll have a new bounce to your step .This type of confidence, and positive attitude is indeed contagious among your peers, and in your family. So please take a serious look at where you are and where you would like to be. You are the only person holding you back. Safetyinstruction.com is offering these On Line Business Courses for not just the betterment of your workplace, but for your Family as well.

  • First Aid Safety Training After All What Could Possibly Happen?

    My Dad was a wire weaver for “Wisconsin Wire Works” These wires were used on the paper machines to carry the pulp slurry from the wet end of the paper machine to begin the paper making process. He Later retired from The “Appleton Wire works” where he would build the boxes to house the large rolls for shipping. The chances of getting a puncture or a laceration were pretty good, so he was prepared to deal with those small inconveniences which didn’t require a company nurse. Dad was also a WWll Naval Veteran, a quartermaster in the south pacific. So he was no stranger to the need for First Aid Safety Training.

    There were seven boys in our family so you can imagine the “stuff” we would get ourselves into, including a few occasions, well ok more than a few occasions, where we would need some patching up. Dad always carried a band aid or two in his wallet. He would just say let me take a look and whip out his wallet for the band aid, if it was bleeding bad enough or would just say, you’ll be fine, run it under some cold water then we’ll put on a band aid. We always trusted dad, if the cut was large enough he would just hold it together and fashion what he called a butterfly to hold it together so he could fix it up. Yes there was also the dreaded “Mercurochrome antiseptic” @#$%^! Did I also mention I had five sisters as well.

    So how prepared are you when it comes to providing first aid to the victim of an accident? OSHA has its own requirements for First aid, and the responsibilities of the employer including the reporting and documentation of any incidents that require medical treatment or result in loss time. OSHA does provide a guide https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3317first-aid.pdf. I’ve always felt that Safety should be the responsibility of the individual person, and should hold himself or herself accountable for themselves for not just their employer but also to their Families!! OSHA, both state and federal are there to make sure Employers feet are held to the fire. They do not teach first aid courses, or certify first aid training courses or teachers.

    In many instances an employer or their Workman’s compensation insurance carrier will provide the proper “First aid safety training” based on the hazards in their business. Of course along with that will be CPR, Blood borne pathogens, possibly the use of AED’s (Automated External Defibrillator). Get involved in the training, find out what’s in the first aid kits and where they are located, and the nearest phone to call 911. If your employer does not have such a program, challenge the company to start one for all employees. They could even realize a savings in their insurance premiums. The “American heart Assn.” can help, as well as the ‘Red Cross”. Don’t have a first aid kit? The American National standards Institute (ANSI) provides minimum requirements for first aid kits. See ANSI Z308.1-2003 You can also find “ First Aid On Line safety training”

    Well what are you waiting for? You could save a life. That life could be your own child, or someone who is loved by another. So now I’m a dad and a grandfather. Yes I carry band aids in my wallet. I do find First Aid Safety Training to be a very important part of being a responsible Dad, Grandfather, Employee, and person.

  • It's No Laddering Matter, Ladder Safety Training

    The ladder safety training directions clearly stated “This is not a step”. If I could just get another couple of inches higher with this box of Christmas decorations I can get it out of the garage attic. The next series of events I’m sure would cause a guy to just shake his head and laugh. The decorations didn’t quite make it there. The aluminum ladder bent like a pretzel. I’m on the floor using language I thought only my dad knew. May he rest in peace. My pride was severely damaged, my ribs hurt like I got a shot from a linebacker, my glasses were bent, but most important nobody saw it. I didn’t dare tell my wife, but she wondered why I had a new ladder on my Christmas list. My son called my old ladder a “Widow Maker” Now he tells me! My New ladder, a bright blue heavy duty fiberglass one Clearly States “Ladder Safety” Please read before use.

    You would certainly think that I would know better. Apparently I’m not the only one. Of the ten most frequently cited standards by Federal OSHA in fiscal year 2012 (October 2011 through September 30, 2012) it ranked number 8. 29 CFR 1926.1053. Additionally in Construction’s “Fatal four” Falls accounted for 35% of Worker deaths. I’m certainly not an expert on Ladders as you can tell by my experience. OSHA Does a pretty good job of defining types of ladders and their use. For this reason I will take the liberty of sharing one of OSHA’s “Quick Cards” on Portable Ladder safety.

    Portable Ladder Safety

    Falls from portable ladders (step, straight, combination and extension) are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries.

    - Read and follow all labels/markings on the ladder. - Avoid electrical hazards! – Look for overhead power lines before handling a ladder. Avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment. - Always inspect the ladder prior to using it. If the ladder is damaged, it must be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded. - Always maintain a 3-point (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) contact on the ladder when climbing. Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder while climbing (see diagram). - Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their designed purposes. - Ladders must be free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet. - Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g., step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position. - Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose. - Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured (top or bottom) to prevent displacement. - Do not place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height. - Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder. - An extension or straight ladder used to access an elevated surface must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support (see diagram). Do not stand on the three top rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder. - The proper angle for setting up a ladder is to place its base a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface (see diagram). - A ladder placed in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder. - Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged. - Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight it is supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment.

    For more information:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration

    U.S. Department of Labor www.osha.gov (800) 321-OSHA



    It’s important to share this information, as just about every one of us has some type of ladder at home or work, and like myself don’t take this type of information serious enough. It’s for the guys in construction, and painting industry. Wrong, it’s for everybody!! I should have read the first tip on the list. Beside Ladder safety Training, the next safety training I’m going to look at is scaffolding safety. I think I’m going to send a note to OSHA about doing some PSA’s (Public service announcements) What do you think?

    Construction Safety is another area of concern for the Obama Administration and to further support that “Safetyinstruction.com” has added an OSHA Approved Outreach Trainer to the staff for that industry ready to assist and visit Your site for safety training, or auditing, including OSHA Ten, and 30 hour Training


    WASHINGTON – There’s a new head of the Department of Labor with experience in leading a state occupational safety and health plan.

    Thomas Perez, formerly Secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, and an Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, was sworn in July 23 as Secretary of Labor after the Senate confirmed his appointment on Friday. I would suggest that he gets some Ladder safety Training.

  • DOT Compliance Training Does Not Stand for Darned Old Traffic

    The DOT (Department Of Transportation) is a far reaching Federal organization with a presidential cabinet level position. It’s designed to regulate how we move ourselves and goods about the country, on or in what. It also requests DOT compliance training. Here is a list of those agencies which fall under the DOT umbrella:

    Operating Administration Websites (Taken from DOT home page)

    •FAA: Aviation •FHWA: Roadways and Bridges •FMCSA: Trucking and Motor coaches •FRA: Railways •FTA: Public Transit •MARAD: Maritime •NHTSA: Automobiles •OIG: Inspector General •OST: Office of the Secretary •PHMSA: Pipelines and HazMat •RITA: Research •SLSDC: St. Lawrence Seaway •STB: Surface Transportation

    And you should see the house these guys live in.

    Today we’ll talk a little bit about the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier safety Administration). Most recently they decided that the number of hours an “over the road driver” could spend behind the wheel needed to be limited. I’m not an editorialist but can appreciate the two sides of this story. I’m not sure that the new regulation is a typical government knee jerk reaction to an accident which took the life of Trooper James Sauter of Vernon Hills Illinois. Perhaps the FMCSA had our safety in mind or they were reacting to pressure from other sources when they moved to change and add the new rules. A 26 year old driver of a semi-truck had been working more than 14 hours, fell asleep at the wheel, and slammed into the cruiser occupied by Trooper Sauter. Certainly our hearts and prayers go out to his loved ones. According to FMCSA records both the Driver and united Van Lines were fined for violating rules requiring drivers to get adequate rest.

    The cost of shipping goods in this country did get more expensive July 1st. The effective date of the new rules… Why? Our federal government is forcing drivers to cut back on hours and get off the road for longer breaks. Now it will take more trucks and more drivers to move goods across the country, Thus driving up costs, and the “American Trucking Association’’ is not happy, They also feel the shadow of over regulation. The trucking industry also self regulates, and FMCSA supports and states that the number of people killed in large truck crashes has been reduced by almost 30 percent, from 5,282 in 2000 to nearly 4,000 in 2011. The American Trucking Association” filed a lawsuit in March.

    The DOT believes that the new rules will make our highways safer. This new program will also include a new “Safety Rating System” which can be used by potential freight customers. They also believe that there would be an economic benefit as well. The DOT reports that in 2009 there was $20 billion in medical and insurance cost associated with large trucks and bus accidents. Their report also estimated $470 million in benefits from reduced driver mortality. The new rules require drivers to restart their workweek with two consecutive rest periods between 1 and 5 a.m. It Also cuts their maximum workweek from 82 to 70 hours. The goal is to encourage drivers to get a full night’s rest.

    As if the drivers didn’t already have enough to think about, the DOT also regulates the transport, packaging, and security of hazardous materials, and are subject to DOT compliance training for safety. The Secretary of the Department of Transportation receives the authority to regulate the transportation of hazardous materials from the ‘Hazardous Materials Transportation Act” (HMTA), as amended and codified in 49 U.S.C. 5101 et seq. At Safetyinstruction.com we offer on line courses for DOT transporters training, DOT Shippers Training, and DOT security training, Fines for non-compliance can range from $250.00 to $500,000.00

    So the next time you’ve been at the wheel for a while or you’ve started a trip in the wee hours of the morning and are suddenly jarred awake by the rumble strips on a highway, think about the people who worry about our safety.


  • Child and Behavioral Health, Taking Stock The Birth of a Grandson

    “The Birth of a Grandson”

    Last week we discussed Hearing Protection, and how important it is to bring home what you learn at work regarding safety.

    In 2010 the CDC (Center for Disease control) reported that there were 29.3 million emergency department visits for what they call “unintentional injuries” at home, we call them accidents. That’s a big number.

    The other day I witness the birth of a grandson. Well ok I didn’t really witness the event, they wouldn’t let me in. I was however taken up in the emotion of it all, a proud grandfather, and a very willing photographer. You just got to love these new digital cameras. I watched as my son, an even prouder new father, grinned from ear to ear, and my daughter in law gleamed like it was Christmas. Truth is, it was like Christmas, and a more blessed gift we could not have asked for.

    Of course all of this doesn’t come without responsibilities. They already have a 1 year old son as well. So Dad, it’s time for a site inspection, as I pray every day that our grandchildren don’t become a CDC statistic. Inspect the house for trip hazards, open stairways, electrical outlets, burn hazards, sharps, toys that are too small and become choking hazards, crib safety. Is your TV balanced properly, or anything else that has tendencies to tip? Children think these things are jungle gyms. This is just the beginning. Are your cleaning products secured and out of reach? What about medications? I don’t think that diaper changing falls under “Hazcom” but I’ve seen some that come close.

    For more information there are several websites to help keep your children safe, for example www.safekids.org. Don’t forget about your “child care provider”. Please don’t forget about “Fido” are the pets good with kids? Teaching your children to be safe is important, not just for their physical health, but, for emotional, and social health as well.

    In the Safety Industry, social health is Behavioral health. At both work and at home you develop a safety culture. You learn to look at, and look out, for the safety of others. You know and understand the concepts of safety, and you don’t keep them a secret. You share them, that others might do the same for the betterment of all. It’s about communicating, and that comes from the top. Get everybody involved, get them talking about it, even if you have to incentivize it. A “Snickers” Candy bar and a day with the grandkids will do it for me.

  • A Brand New Rifle and a Brand New Hearing Problem

    Hearing Loss: A story from someone who should know better

    I’m a deer hunter from Wisconsin and hunt with my four sons and a grandson. During the week I work with Safety professionals helping them find solutions to safety issues confronting them. This particular story is defined by this number 29CFR 1910.95. This is OSHA’s regulation for “Occupational Noise Exposure”.

    The “Hearing Health Foundation” reports that 1 in 5 Americans have hearing loss in at least 1 ear. That’s 48 million people. They also report that 20% of the US population 12 years and older has hearing difficulties severe enough to impact communication. One more statistic; 26 million Americans between 20 and 69 have hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises at work or in leisure activities.

    So I should know these things. Last fall three weeks before the Wisconsin Gun deer season opened up. We were making our annual trip to the woods to “Sight in” our weapons of choice. My #3 son and his son were going to sight in a brand new 30.06 rifle and scope. The other boys also have nice rifles. Me, I still hunt with my 12 ga. Shotgun, which I’ve used for over 40 years. Once we arrived of course, the bragging started. Soon the targets were set up, wagers were made, and we were ready to go. Gun safety has always been a part of our routine, and this time was no different, well except for one detail. “Hearing Protection” The boys all had ear plugs or muffs, but Dad (that’s me) in his infinite wisdom sat right down and before you know it I can’t hear a thing except the ringing in my ears. Well one ear recovered fairly well, but the other ear, after seven months is, I‘m afraid permanently damaged. I need to make an appointment with an Audiologist.

    A gunshot has a decibel level of up to 150db. A decibel is how noise is measured. Noise Levels above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. This does not include the sudden percussion making exposure to damage more likely especially in a more confined area where sound waves can’t escape. Do you have teenagers with a major audio system in their ride? Do they say “What?” a lot? . So now I’m a statistic.

    My advice. Make sure you take your safety training home with you when you leave work, and share it with the ones you love.

  • Who's Keeping Score

    OSHA is the score keeper, and requires that most employers keep a “Log”. If you are a small business with ten (10) or fewer employees then you would be exempt from most of the requirements of the rule. Other exceptions would include a number of specific industries in, retail, service, finance, insurance, and real estate, which are classified as low hazard. You will want to check with your local OSHA office to confirm your exemption, which is determined by your company SIC code. For more information visit http://osha.gov/recordkeeping/ppt1/RK1exempttable.html If you don’t fall into one of these exceptions, and most of you don’t, then you are required to keep a “300 Log”.

    OSHA provides /requires, three record keeping forms: Form 300: Log of work related injuries and illnesses Form 301: Illness and injury incident report (this report includes more data about how the illness or injury occurred. Form 300A: Summary of Work related Injuries and illnesses. This is the most recent form making it easier to post and calculate incident rates.

    If you are inspected by OSHA, and are required to keep a 300 Log, you will need to be able to produce a copy during the inspection, or within 4 hours of their request for your log. You may keep your log electronically. And while you’re at it make sure you have OSHA Poster #2203 posted where your employees can readily review it. The required poster covers employee rights and protections under OSHA guidelines.

    Keeping your log can be a challenge, and you’ll need to understand the terms and definitions set forth by OSHA including the gray areas like “pre existing conditions”. Other questions? What is a recordable injury?, what doesn’t have to be recorded?, If I do have a recordable injury, will I also be required to have a written safety plan for “Light Duty Return to Work” and what about ADA , mental illness, and confidentiality?

    So let’s answer at least the elephant in the room; What is a Recordable Injury?

    *Results in death *Results in Days away from work *Restricts their ability to work or requires “transfer to a new job” *Medical treatment beyond 1st Aid *Loss of consciousness *Significant injury or illness diagnosed by a healthcare professional and determined to be work related *Mental Illness (if stated by a healthcare professional that it is work related) *ALL injuries from needles or sharps that are contaminated by another’s blood or infectious material *Work related cases of Tuberculosis *Cases where a worker is removed from work under the provisions of an OSHA standard (ie. Lead or asbestos exposure) *Some injuries incurred while an employee was traveling for work or working from home.

    We’ll cover more records information in our next article. If in the meantime you need additional information on recordable injuries and the subsequent OSHA standards, please visit: http://osha.gov/recordkeeping/entryfaq.html , or you can call us here in the office 866-598-2128 at www.Safetyinstruction.com .

    One Last thing, too late for this year. You must post the Summary only form 300A (not the Log) by February 1 of the year following the year covered by the form and keep it posted until April 30 of that year. The posting should be accessible to employees, preferably in the same area as the 2203 poster.

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