“Free Webinar – On Demand” – “What To Do When OSHA Comes Calling”

Free Webinar On Demand What to Do When OSHA Comes Knocking

Many businesses view the issue of compliance as merely a nuisance, and the fines that result simply as the cost of doing business. Effective August 1, this “cost of doing business” will rise considerably thanks to a new regulation that includes a 78% penalty increase. Are you prepared for an OSHA inspection?

This free webinar on-demand provides tips and best practices to help you prepare for your next OSHA inspection. View the webinar to learn:

What to expect when OSHA arrives

How to walk inspectors through your facility

Best practices for impressing your OSHA auditor

How to contest an OSHA citation

Sign Up – Register Here: http://bit.ly/2a0AqE5

Speaker Profile

Rick Foote has over 25 years of experience in the field of Environmental, Health & Safety and is currently an Environmental Services Consulting Manger for Triumvirate. Rick has been with Triumvirate for over 12 years where he has established dozens of successful EH&S programs for companies that had few or no systems in place. He brings client programs into full regulatory compliance by establishing what programs exists, what level of compliance is achieved, and identifying the changes that need to be implemented. Each EH&S program that Rick develops is customized to the individual client’s needs.

“Workplace Injuries By The Numbers – Every 7 Seconds A Worker Is Injured On The Job”

Nearly 13,000 American workers are injured each day. These numbers are staggering, and the worst part is that each one is preventable. Taking preventative action can spare workers needless pain and suffering.

Journey to Safety Excellence
Provided by the National Safety Council

“Tree Care Industry Safety Raises OSHA Concerns”

By Bruce Rolfsen

July 13 — An OSHA rule covering the tree care and trimming industry may have to cover a wide expanse of hazards—from falling tree branches to insect bites to broken aerial lifts to pesticides—agency officials were told July 13 during a meeting with industry representatives.

The stakeholders meeting was the latest step in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s move to restart a rulemaking focused on protecting workers who cut and trim trees (81 Fed. Reg. 38,117).

While OSHA has regulations focused on logging, the agency doesn’t have specific rules for most types of tree trimming.

William Perry, head of OSHA’s Directorate of Standards and Guidance, said that the agency hasn’t yet set a timeline for pursuing the rule. OSHA is still in an information-gathering phase and needs to determine if a tree care rule would trigger a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act review.

While many in the audience might favor OSHA simply adopting the voluntary American National Standards Institute consensus tree-trimming standard (ANSI Z133-2012), the agency can’t adopt the standard as is, Perry said.

OSHA administrators David Michaels told about three dozen people attending the day-long session that the rule should be “common sense” and “usable by employers.”

Often workers injured in tree-trimming accidents had little training or protective equipment and if training was offered, it may not have been in a language they spoke, Michaels said.

Industry Support

Most of the people attending the meeting, favored OSHA’s pursuit of a rule.

Mark Gavin, president of the Tree Care Industry Association, said many lawmakers were surprised that the association came to them seeking support for the tree care rule.

OSHA in 2008, at the urging of the association, initiated a tree trimming rulemaking (73 Fed. Reg. 54,118) then set the project aside in 2010. The agency resurrected the rulemaking (RIN:1218-AD04) in 2015.

Peter Gerstenberger, the association’s safety director, said that from 2009 through 2013 there had been 408 tree care fatalities. Falls and being hit by tumbling branches are the most dangerous risks for workers in aerial buckets or climbing.

On the ground, workers are most at risk from falling trees and branches, however power tools such as chainsaws and chippers were also a hazard, Gerstenberger said

Participants said many of the deaths among workers on the ground were attributable to a lack of training and safety precautions, such as not allowing workers under a tree and inside a tree’s potential fall zone while trimming was taking place.

John Sullivan, a safety official with Lewis Tree Service, said that when he joined the company several years ago it was common for workers to be under trees while cutting was going on. Since then, the culture of the company changed to discourage workers from being under trees and now drop zones are marked with orange cones.

Representatives from the large tree care companies such as Asplundh Tree Expert Co. and Carolina Tree Care said their safety practices call for hazard analysis and team meetings before work on trees begins.

The industry’s challenge is that while large companies and many small employers have safety protocols, others treat tree work as an unskilled task, representatives said. For example, companies hand workers chainsaws without on-the-job safety training or expect workers to climb a dead or rotting tree.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bruce Rolfsen in Washington atbrolfsen@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl atlpearl@bna.com

Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“The Cost of Accidents & Not Reporting Near Misses”


Near misses happen every day in the workplace. Regardless of their potential for personal injury and property damage, all near misses should be taken seriously and consistently reported.
There are many terms which essentially mean the same thing – accident avoidance, close call, mishap or even narrow escape. It doesn’t matter exactly what terminology your business chooses to use when referring to a near miss. What matters is whether everyone understands exactly what constitutes a near miss and why it’s essential to make a record of it so it can be investigated and addressed.

Overcoming barriers to reporting

Many obstacles stand in the way of operating and utilizing an efficient and effective near-miss reporting program:

Fear of blame: Many employees are afraid to report near misses because either they don’t want to admit that they didn’t follow safety procedures or they will be mistakenly accused of doing something wrong. To create a truly effective near-miss reporting program, this stigma must be eliminated.

For near-miss reporting to work well, employers need to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere. The goal is to make employees so comfortable about the process that they report them as easily and freely as they would report a garbage can is full or a light bulb is burned out. Blame cannot be part of the equation – period.

Incoherent indifference: Another enemy of effective reporting is indifference. When a near miss occurs, some employees may question whether the situation was substantial enough to be recorded. When this happens, employees often simply disregard the event. This mindset can be lethal to a near-miss reporting program.

Hazards that are overlooked or dismissed as minor are lost opportunities for valuable insight. Employees should be trained on the importance of reporting each and every near miss. A clear definition should be provided on what constitutes a near miss, including any situation that appears to be “unsafe.” Once employees understand the importance of reporting and are clear on the definition of what defines a near miss, they will feel confident about their judgment and empowered to report.

Lack of supervisor support: Employees usually follow their direct supervisor’s instructions in most job-related situations. If a supervisor does not treat near-miss reporting as a priority, there is a good chance their personnel won’t either. Supervisors need to encourage this type of reporting and set an example by reporting near misses themselves. When employees know that their supervisors are completely on board with near-miss reporting, it is easier for them to feel comfortable to report, as well.

Near-miss reporting is a critical component of any well-organized and effective safety program. Over time, near-miss programs have been shown to save millions of dollars in medical care and equipment replacement costs. More importantly, they save lives.

Reporting near misses should not just be considered an “extra” thing or something the employee is ashamed or embarrassed to do. Instead, employees should feel proud that they are part of an effective process of prevention and incident management and thanked for their proactive safety behaviors.

Near Miss Additional Resources:

[PDF]Near Miss Reporting Systems – National Safety Council


National Safety Council

A Near Miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or … Near miss reporting is vitally important to preventing serious, fatal and catastrophic.

[PDF]Non-Injury and Near-Miss Incident Reporting Form – CMU
Carnegie Mellon University

Non-Injury and NearMiss Incident Reporting Form. Instructions: … http://www.cmu.edu/hr/benefits/benefit_programs/forms/WCforms.pdf. • In each of the sections …

[PDF]Near Miss Incident Information Report


Boy Scouts of America

Near Miss Incident Information Report. (A near miss does not result in injury, illness, or damage by definition, but it had the potential to do so.) Near miss incident …

[PDF]“near-miss” reporting – CEBC


University of Kansas

accident, and reduce the consequences if the accident does occur. –Following the plan. –Reportingand learning from “near-misses”. • NearMiss reporting …

[PDF]Employee’s Report of Injury Form


Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Instructions: Employees shall use this form to report all work related injuries, illnesses, or. “near … I am reporting a work related: ❑ Injury ❑ Illness ❑ Near miss.

[PDF]Near Miss Reporting Instructions


University of Memphis

Near Miss Reporting Instructions. If you experience or witness an event that could have resulted in an injury or illness, but did not evolve to that point, you are …

[PDF]Near Miss Report


North Dakota State University

Near Miss: a potential hazard or an unplanned event that did not result in an injury, illness, exposure or damage – but had the potential to do so. There was NO …

[PDF]Near Miss Reporting presentation

▫Define what is a near miss. Defined – so everyone is on the same page. ▫ Practical reporting. How do we apply this and make it work? Objective …

Accident and Near Miss Report | North Dakota Workforce Safety …


North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance

Incident And Near Miss Procedures (Word) (PDF) Incident Report (Word) (PDF) Near Miss Report(Word) (PDF)


What Are the Barriers to Reporting Near Misses? If You were asked to define what a … NEAR MISS – Near misses describe incidents where no property was damaged and no …… http://www.workforcesafety.com/safety/sops/NearMissReport.pdf .

“Safety Photo of the Day” – “The Meaning of Integrity in Safety”

Safety Notice

Do workers view you – the safety pro – in a positive way?

“You are one of those guys, huh?”

This is what a guest at a party said to John Babcock, senior safety engineer for the International Space Station, after he told the guest what he did for a living. The partygoer worked at a local manufacturing plant and said “everyone” from the safety office at his workplace always tried shutting down the production line.

As he has done in similar situations, Babcock defended his profession. “I don’t know if I actually changed his opinion of safety professionals, but at least I had a chance to explain that all of us aren’t out to destroy production,” he said.

The perception – accurate or not – that safety professionals constantly interfere with workers’ ability to perform their jobs creates a negative and blame-based workplace culture, said David A. Hofmann, professor and area chair of organizational behavior for the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “The story about how [safety procedures] came about and the drivers of why we have these policies and procedures often gets lost,” he said. “That is a very important part of an organization’s culture, and it is [a safety professional’s] job to get people refocused on why we have these processes in place.”

‘Safety cop’ vs. ‘safety professional’

“It seems that every ‘old timer’ has a story of a ‘safety cop’ walking in and shutting down a production line for minor infractions, simply to show everyone there that they have the power to enforce all the rules,” Babcock said. As a result, safety workers need to be aware at all times of how they are perceived. “Once anyone in safety gets a label of being unprofessional, it is very difficult to change [that] attitude,” he said.

One of the worst ways a safety professional can demonstrate the “safety cop” label is by being “confrontational and look for ways to criticize or stop work,” Babcock said.

Environments where people are labeled “safety cops,” create fear and reduce safety participation, said Mark Griffin, professor of organizational psychology for the School of Psychology at the University of Western Australia. “Compliance might increase but hazard awareness, looking out for others and innovation can decline,” he said. Griffin said his research has found that safety professionals and programs that only emphasize compliance may have a positive effect on an organization’s violation rate, but other safety behaviors such as self-reporting, collaboration and educational program participation may decrease.

If someone wants to be known as a safety “professional,” Griffin said, he or she should provide context when issuing sanctions and ensure those processes are fair.

Babcock said safety professionals cannot simply go through checklists; they must engage with workers and gain insight into their work environment. “Anyone new to an organization should spend the first few weeks – or months, if needed – getting to know the people working there and simply ask them what their jobs are and ask them if they know of any safety issues,” Babcock said. “Allowing the workers to tell you what they see will give a new safety professional insight to the real processes that are used and not simply see people ‘acting’ when the safety guys are around.”

Griffin offered communication strategies a safety professional can use to foster this open dialog with workers:

  • Make safety a regular topic of informal conversations and formal events.
  • Ask workers’ opinions and regularly seek input.
  • Accept constructive dissent as a positive step.
  • Avoid blaming workers and focus on learning when discussing errors.
  • Ensure safety messages show support and concern for workers’ welfare.

Earning trust

The best approach to overcoming a “safety cop” label is to “calmly explain the safety aspect of your observation and point out any violations of the company’s safety plan,” Babcock said. This explanation should include how you only want them to be safe and do not intend to interfere with their work. “Unless there is an immediate threat of harm, wait until the person has finished whatever task they’re doing and then discuss safety,” he said.

Ruth L. Kaminski, assistant controller, human resources director and safety compliance for Auburn, MA-based Spear Management Group Inc., said it helps to make workers feel as though the safety professional is on their side. “I find if they realize at the onset that you are there to help them, or make them safe, and you are doing a job, they are not as defensive,” she said.

This trust needs to be earned, however. One thing Kaminski does is seek out worker input whenever a new safety policy is being developed. “Employees … really appreciate being part of the process and I sincerely appreciate their input, valid or not,” she said. “If not, I explain to them why so they understand.”

“The “Vert Alert” Lanyard Attachment Warning System Saves Lives”


The VertAlert verbally warns the lift operator if the safety harness lanyard has not been properly attached to the lift anchor point. The VertAlert will not allow the lift to proceed UP until it has verified this proper attachment.

It will also collect and store data on lift activity including safety violations and if any attempts were made by the operator to circumvent this safety system. See more information about this unique and excellent system at: http://millennialplatform.com/ or email Paul Baillergian at  paul@suncook-intl.com 

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