February 18, 2017 By Jack Benton in Hearing Protection PPE, News, OSHA 300 Log, OSHA News, OSHA Record Retention, OSHA Training, PEL Exposure Limits, Personal Safety, PPE, Safety, Safety Management, Safety Manager Duties, Safety Meetings, Training, Workplace Hearing Conservation Program, Workplace Injuries, Workplace Safety Tags: Ear Protection, Hearing Testing, Noise Testing, Noise TWA
On this episode, a little relief for safety folks who have to put up with unproductive opinions that safety is the exclusive responsibility of the safety person. Safety is a shared responsibility. It’s not exclusive to one person. Every person on the job site is responsible for their own safety and the safety of those around them. Here are 3 things you can do at tool box and tailgate meetings or crew huddles to improve the level of personal responsibility on your job site.
Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of “PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety.” He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.
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In PeopleWork, Kevin Burns presents his M4 Method of people-centered management for safety. Practical, how-to steps that frontline supervisors and safety people can master to promote a relationship-based culture focused on mentoring, coaching, and inspiring teams.
In 1987, Paul O’Neill Gave his first speech as to shareholders as CEO of Alcoa. What did he talk about? …….He talked about “Safety”
“Every year, numerous Alcoa workers are injured so badly that they miss a day of work,” O’Neill continued. “Our safety record is better than the general American workforce, especially considering that our employees work with metals that are 1500 degrees and machines that can rip a man’s arm off. But it’s not good enough. I intend to make Alcoa the safest company in America. I intend to go for zero injuries.”
The audience was bewildered. As Charles Duhigg relays in the “Power of Habit,” a furtive hand went up, asking about inventories.
“I’m not certain you heard me,” O’Neill continued. “If you want to understand how Alcoa is doing, you need to look at our workplace safety figures.”
For the new CEO, safety trumped profits.
The emphasis on safety made an impact. Over O’Neill’s tenure, Alcoa dropped from 1.86 lost work days to injury per 100 workers to 0.2. By 2012, the rate had fallen to 0.125.
The above “One Hour and Seven Minute” speech is an example of his philosophy and vision for safety in the workplace. It’s truly worth the time to watch!
There was a time when founder, Justin Krook fell off an elevated floor at a construction site and landed on a metal rod that plunged 9 inches into the middle of his back. Impaled on the metal rod, for 27 terrifying minutes he wrestled with the real possibility of a life without the use of his legs.
Krook sees this incident as having led to his new life as an entrepreneur and the inventor of a new photoluminescent pigment used on construction workers’ safety vests. “This technology is something new and never seen before,” said Doug Peterson, a risk manager and northern region safety director at United Contractors Midwest. “I’ve seen nothing even remotely as effective as this product.”
However, when his father got sick, he felt obligated to take over his contracting company in New Ipswich, N,H., where Krook grew up. It was 2006, after six years in the construction industry, when the accident happened. Krook and his crew were building an inside loading dock for a company that makes mortar shells for the government. He was showing a co-worker where to cut an opening in the building’s wall to create a entryway for supply trucks to unload materials in a secure location. Then he stepped back. “I fell back off the floor and landed on a metal bar that went up 9 inches in my back and almost leaving me paralyzed,” he said. “It was one of those life-changing experiences.”
Despite the intense pain, Krook used those 27 minutes to think about the future. “After I was hurt, I started to look at the world differently,” he said. “I wanted to protect workers from going through what I had gone through….that was something that I became passionate about.” After spending six months recovering from his injury, he was back at work on a job in Mississippi building a 40,000-square-foot pool. During the project, he and a few engineers were looking for a way to identify the pool’s edge at night.
It was decided to try a readily-available chemical, but it wasn’t bright enough to be seen in ambient-light. That was when Krook, relying what he learned in a “few” chemistry classes at FSU, began searching for a luminescent compound that could be easily seen outdoors and in ambient light. “I literally set up a lab in my garage and started doing some research to figure out how photoluminescent pigment actually works and how I could take that and increase the intensity so it would be seen outside,” he said. “The whole idea just started from that pool.”
While taking a business class at Clark University in Worcester, he started seeking out chemists who could help him with the project. Edward Kingsley, who holds a Ph.D in chemistry and is a technical program manager at UMass Lowell, provided the technical assistance Krook needed. “I was impressed by Justin’s focus, drive and work ethic along with the fact that he has a very collaborative work style,” Kingsley said, adding “keep in mind he worked on the project for two years without a paycheck, it has not been an easy road for him!”
“It was about two years later that I actually had a way to increase the intensity,” he said. “The ‘ah-ha’ moment was when I showed this to a family friend who had invented a product back in the ’80s.” His family friend, impressed, told him it was time to find a patent attorney. That was in December 2012. Of course, Krook won’t reveal how he increased the results but people like Kingsley are impressed with what he has discovered.
“I am a Ph.D chemist with 30 years experience in technical product development and spent many years developing photoluminescent materials,” said Kingsley. “I was amazed at how much Justin accomplished with no formal training or experience with material science (and) with much fewer resources.” “The hardest part was convincing my wife that using everything we had saved towards an unknown product that may or may not work and even if it did, would it sell?” “The purpose of a high-visibility garment is to make a person visible,” Krook said. Before the discovery, once a construction worker stepped away from the light, they were invisible. Now workers can be seen hundreds of feet away using Krook’s product. The glow lasts up to eight hours. “I can see the cars hitting their brake lights when I am out here in the dark moving traffic control,” Peterson said.
“People are more aware. It’s an extra layer of protection.” That extra layer of protection for workers was exactly what United Contractors Midwest was looking for. “The reason why we love this product is because it is cutting-edge,” said Peterson. “These guys appreciate that UCM is willing to spend the extra money to give them that extra layer of added protection.” Kingsley echoed Peterson on Krook’s product being innovative. “I am very familiar with the development of photoluminescent materials and knowledgeable about companies developing such materials,” he said. “Justin’s photoluminescent tapes were better than any of the competitors I had previously evaluated. The combining of the photoluminescent coatings with the retroreflective coatings differentiated his product from others.” At that point Krook, still a lone entrepreneur at the time, needed someone to help push and manufacture his product. He began pitching his product to companies and came across Viz Reflectives UK, which was already making silver-reflective tape and garments.
Krook and VizReflectives owner Nick Rowbottom soon struck an agreement. Krook would license the glow material to Viz Reflectives, which would in turn manufacture the product and attach it to construction garments. “Part of our agreement was I wanted to still be involved,” Krook said about working with Viz RefIectives. “I didn’t want to just license it and then wash my hands of it so the agreement is, I am responsible for introducing and selling into all of North, Central and South America. Right now, they are doing all the manufacturing and then I take it, introduce it and sell it.”
Viz Reflectives manufactures the tape, then sends it offshore to be sewn onto the garments and then shipped back to the United States to be sold. “We didn’t want separate brands that would cause confusion in the market, so I started Viz Reflectives North America and we decided the tape would be sold under VizLite®DT and our garments under Alpha WorkWear,” Krook said. Krook started the company about 14 months ago. He’s been using LinkedIn, a business-focused social-media website, to market his product. That connected him with Peterson and United Contractors Midwest, and has recently met with Exxon Mobil, Jacobs, Archer Western, Kiewit, OldCastle, Con Edison, National Grid among many other very large companies. “They loved it,” said Krook, adding that he “now has a fire-retardant version of the tape and our FR garments currently under construction.” Krook has also met with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, MBTA and NHDOT. “With so many fatalities on the roadways we feel it is a no-brainer to add a 3rd layer of protection.
We would like to meet with the Departments of Transportation in all 50 States” Krook adds “there is no doubt in our minds not only will we prevent accidents but also save lives!” He said he introduces the product the same way to every company. “It’s a great feeling knowing that I am pitching a product that could literally save someone’s life,” Krook said. “It’s not just a product to sell or some kind of gimmick. It’s a real, industrial-safety, lifesaving product and a lot of companies are seeing it the same. That is very gratifying knowing you are out helping people.” Krook has turned this into a career and he hopes it can eventually create job opportunities for locals in North Central Massachusetts. He said once the manufacturing machine in the UK gets up to 50 percent capacity, he is looking at local places to open manufacturing. “I always said if this ever went anywhere, I would want to help create jobs,” Krook said. Krook is not there yet, but he has upgraded his lab and moved into a new office building in MA.
Viz Reflectives North America
P.O. Box 101
Lunenberg, MA 01462
Contact on Twitter at: @Vizreflect
Contany questionsy questions!
If you are storing loose 9 volt or AA or other batteries in a kitchen drawer or a “junk” drawer in your home, watch how you store them. Above all don’t store them loose and rolling around with other metal items, like small tools, paper clips, nails and more of the lovely mix of things we keep in our junk drawers. You also don’t want them loose and rolling around in other items like a camera case, luggage, etc.
All you need to have happened is for a metal object like steel wool or a paper clip short out across the top of a 9-volt battery and ignite paper or other easily ignited materials and you’ll have a potential disaster in your home. As indicated in the YouTube Video below, it doesn’t take much to heat a metallic object or cause a spark in order to start a fire. *Please Do Not Do This At Home*
What to do with a 9 Volt Battery
I teach safety to the public, common sense tells most of us what to do in situations that could become life threatening. I speak to 50-60 people at a time about fire safety in the home on a monthly basis. I get the same reaction from every group when I hold up a 9-volt battery and announce that it is a fire hazard and it could burn down your house.
They all kinda look at me funny, as if to ask, “Did you just say a 9-volt battery could burn down my house?” That look is almost comical.
Q: Where do you store your batteries?
A: Throw them in in a “junk” drawer
I then hold up a brillo pad. (just one example)
Q: What do you do with the batteries when you are done with them?
A: Throw them in the trash.
A 9-volt battery (see video) is a fire hazard because the positive and negative posts are on top, right next to one another. If this comes in contact with anything metal (aluminum foil, brillo, etc…) it will spark, and if there is a fuel for this spark you will have a fire. (fire needs heat, fuel and oxygen to burn) To test this theory, put a 9-volt battery or a couple of AA batteries in your pocket with some loose change or your key chain full of keys, (use common sense) this will bring on a whole new meaning to the words, Hot Pants.
When you dispose of this type of battery (positive and negative on top) Make sure it is safely wrapped in electrical tape or something to keep it separated from anything else that may come in contact with it. A small box or zip lock bag if kept in a junk drawer should suffice. I have seen in some stores now that the manufacturers are now packaging them with plastic caps. If you need to purchase a 9-volt battery try to find those that are packaged in this manner.
Try to be just as diligent with AA or AAA batteries. Keep them in their original packaging if stored in a “junk drawer”. Don’t let them roll around freely with all the other wonderful miscellaneous items we unknowingly toss in the drawer and don’t think twice about it.
CASSELTON, N.D. — In releasing a long-awaited investigation report, the National Transportation Safety Board said a defective axle that broke was the likely cause of a fiery 2013 collision between an oil train and a derailed grain train just outside Casselton.
At an NTSB meeting Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Washington, D.C., crash investigators said the axle had an empty space in the center of it that should have been solid.
NTSB investigators learned that a Pennsylvania company, Standard Steel, made the flawed axle in 2002, among a total of 48 axles manufactured under similar conditions, investigator Michael Hiller said. Thirty-five of those axles, which may have similar defects, are not accounted for, he said.
“We can only assume that the axles have been removed from service due to life cycle, due to other accidents,” he said.
Hiller said 10 of the axles were found and taken out of service. It was discovered that two others were involved in separate accidents in 2010 in Nebraska, he said. No one was hurt in the two accidents, which were derailments that involved broken axles, according to Federal Railroad Administration records.
The Casselton collision between two BNSF trains happened on the afternoon of Dec. 30, 2013. It forced about 1,500 residents to evacuate their homes. No one was seriously injured.
Shortly afterward, NTSB investigators began focusing on the broken axle, which was on a derailed grain car. They found that the axle’s bearings and wheels were remounted by BNSF in 2010 and that more thorough testing of the axle would have caught the flaw.
The Association of American Railroads began requiring such testing of secondhand axles following an NTSB recommendation in April 2014, Hiller said. BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth said this sort of testing wasn’t standard practice in 2010.
The crash, which triggered massive explosions and received national media attention, highlighted the dangers of moving crude oil by rail. The tank cars involved were DOT-111s, which Congress has since required to eventually be replaced by more rugged DOT-117s that are believed to be safer.
“Yet the deadlines for replacing variants of the DOT-111 tank car, for carriage of various flammable liquids, fall along a timeline that extends from 2018 to 2029, leaving Americans at heightened risk for years to come,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart. “While few DOT-111 tank cars remain in crude oil service, a vast fleet of these less safe tank cars continues in service for ethanol and other flammable liquids.”
McBeth said that since 2011, BNSF has “advocated for a new, stronger tank car standard and has worked with our customers to get safer tank cars into service sooner.”
The NTSB investigation found that after 13 cars from the westbound grain train derailed, the train’s emergency brakes were applied. At that point, the eastbound oil train was 18 seconds away, traveling at 42 mph. The oil train was likely moving at about that speed when it hit the grain car lying across the track, the NTSB said.
Twenty oil cars derailed, and 18 of those spilled more than 476,000 gallons of oil, fueling a fire that engulfed intact cars and caused them to explode, the NTSB said.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the NTSB showed a video of the crash, including the frantic radio traffic of an oil train crew member. “We are on fire,” he told a train dispatcher. “We are derailed. We are all over. We got to go.”
The front door of the oil train’s lead locomotive was damaged, so the two crew members narrowly escaped through a rear door shortly before the locomotive was engulfed in flames, the NTSB said.
Between the two lead locomotives of the oil train and the 104 tank cars was what’s called a buffer car that’s meant to protect the train crew from hazardous materials. In its investigation report, the NTSB recommended a study of whether more buffer cars should be required.
NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss has said the three-year-plus investigation into the crash took longer than usual because the agency used it as a vehicle to examine train safety features, such as advanced braking systems. Such braking systems, which can reduce stopping distance, would not have prevented the crash because only a few seconds passed between the time the oil train crew saw the derailed grain car and the moment of impact, Hart said.
The oil train engineer and conductor both sued BNSF after the crash. The conductor reached a confidential settlement with the railroad in July, and the engineer’s suit, which also targeted Standard Steel, is still pending.
Phone messages left for Standard Steel representatives were not returned Tuesday.
By Roy Maurer 12/7/2015
The national consensus standard for the selection, installation and maintenance of emergency eye, face and shower equipment was recently updated.
The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) received American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval for ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014, American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment, and the update went into effect January 2015.
There is no grandfather clause, and existing equipment must be compliant with the revised standard.
“This globally accepted standard continues to be the authoritative document that specifies minimum performance criteria for flow rates, temperature and drenching patterns,” said Imants Stiebris, chairman of the ISEA Emergency Eyewash and Shower Group and safety products business leader at Speakman Co.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a general requirement specifying where and when emergency eyewash and shower equipment must be available, but it does not specify operating or installation requirements.
That’s where the ANSI/ISEA standard comes in. While it doesn’t have the full force of an OSHA regulation, the standard helps employers meet OSHA requirements.
“Safety showers and eyewashes are your first line of defense should there be an accident,” said Casey Hayes, director of operations for Haws Integrated, a firm that designs, builds and manages custom-engineered industrial water safety systems. “We’ve seen OSHA stepping up enforcement of the standard in the last couple of years and issuing more citations,” he said.
What Is ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014?
The standard covers plumbed and self-contained emergency showers and emergency eyewash equipment, eye/face wash equipment, combination units, personal wash units and hand-held drench hoses. These systems are typically found in manufacturing facilities, construction sites, laboratories, medical offices and other workplaces.
The standard specifies minimum performance criteria for flow rates, temperature and drenching patterns for a user to adequately rinse off a contaminant in an emergency situation. It also provides maintenance directives to ensure that the equipment is in proper working condition.
One of the most significant requirements of the standard deals with the location of the equipment, Hayes said, and “It’s probably the most difficult part for employers to comply with.” The equipment must be accessible to workers within 10 seconds—a vague requirement, according to Hayes—but the standard’s appendix references 55 feet, he pointed out.
The wash or shower must be located on the same level as the hazard. “You can’t have somebody working on a stairwell and have to go up or down a flight to get to the shower. The equipment needs to be installed on the same level where the accident could happen,” he said.
The wash station must also be free of obstructions. “Someone needing to get to the shower or eyewash could be in a panic—their eyes could be blinded by chemicals—so employers must ensure that the shower is accessible and free of obstructions,” he said.
All equipment must be identified with highly visible signage, must be well-lit, and needs to be able to go from “off” to “on” in one second or less.
“The volume of water that is required for a 15-minute flow is not always considered,” Hayes said. The standard requires the victim to endure a flushing flow for a minimum of 15 minutes. With water pressure from the drench shower 10 times the amount of a typical residential shower, “that is a significant amount of water, and you need to deal with it on the floor and from a capacity standpoint,” he said.
The comfort of the person using the wash also needs to be considered. “It is not a pleasant experience to put your eyes in the path of water. The controlled flow of flushing fluid must be at a velocity low enough to be noninjurious to the user,” Hayes said.
The standard stipulates minimum flow rates of:
- 0.4 gallons per minute for eyewashes.
- 3 gallons per minute for eye/face washes. A good eye/face wash will have separate dedicated flows of water for your eyes and face, Hayes said.
- 20 gallons per minute for showers. That’s 300 gallons of water required for the 15-minute wash.
Washes must deliver tepid water defined as between 60 degrees and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Studies have shown that tepid water increases the chances that a victim can tolerate the required 15-minute wash. Tepid water also encourages the removal of contaminated clothing, which acts as a barrier to the flushing fluid.
“We’re also seeing employers putting showers in enclosed areas or in curtained areas, to promote the removal of clothing and alleviate workers’ privacy concerns,” Hayes said.
2014 Revisions to the Standard
There weren’t that many changes to the 2009 standard, but a few highlights include the following:
- A requirement was included that emergency showers be designed, manufactured and installed in such a way that, once activated, they can be operated without the use of hands.
- The way the height of eyewashes and eye/face washes are measured changed from the floor to the wash basin to from the floor to the water flow. The height should still be between 33 inches and 53 inches. “Something to consider when inspecting washes is to ensure that, even though your wash fits within these limits, it’s still realistically usable,” Hayes said.
- A single step up into an enclosure where the wash is accessed is not considered an obstruction. This had not been addressed previously.
The 2014 version further clarifies that fluid flow location and pattern delivery for emergency eyewashes and eye/face washes is the critical aspect in designing and installing these devices, rather than the positioning of nozzles. Additionally, illustrations have been updated to reflect contemporary design configurations.
Hayes recommended a few best practices that go above and beyond the standard and that he has seen used at companies with strong safety cultures:
- Locate washes and showers in areas with adequate space for emergency responders to fulfill their duties. “If the equipment is in a tight space, you’re preventing responders from helping victims,” he said. Enclosures can be built to allow multiple people to be inside.
- Monitor and evaluate all accessible components of washes and showers on a frequent and routine basis to manage potential problems.
- Use eye/face washes in lieu of simply eyewashes. “It’s highly unlikely that a chemical splash will only land on your eye surface. This is common sense, so put in the right equipment,” he said.
- Check that the washes meet the proper gauge height. The standard’s weekly activation requirement is mainly to ensure that water is available and to clear sediment buildup. “While a quick activation might seem sufficient, it’s not an accurate representation of functionality for the required 15-minute flush,” Hayes said. “If water is there but doesn’t rise up to the proper gauge height, you are compliant, but that equipment may fail you in the event that it’s needed.”
The ISEA’s new Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment Selection, Installation and Use Guide is a document that provides assistance on the proper selection, use and maintenance of equipment. The 22-page guide includes a frequently asked questions section and an annual inspection checklist.
The guide is available for download in PDF format.
Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.