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!
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.
Electrical professionals, you’re invited to put your NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC) knowledge to the test with NFPA’s new NEC Challenge app!
The NEC Challenge App is compatible with any Apple or Android product and is available on Google Play, as well. The best thing about it? The app is free! Want to take it up a notch? For only $4.99, you can access additional questions and play against your colleagues for the ultimate challenge.
What’s more, this interactive game gives you the chance to study the NEC and it’s a great way to prove your superior code knowledge and compete against your peers in a really fun way. The Challenge allows you to earn points, reach new levels and move up the NEC Challenge leaderboard all from the keypad of your phone.
Based on the 2014 NEC, you’ll find in the app:
- An assortment of questions that includes multiple choice and “true/false” formats selected from all categories of the code
- The ability to participate as a single player
- An opportunity to compete in head-to-head challenges
- An update on your status on the Leaderboard
So what are you waiting for? Download the NEC Challenge app today, put your best foot forward and demonstrate your ultimate NEC knowledge!
Need more information about the NEC? You can find it all at www.nfpa.org/70
Excellent Toolbox Talk – Safety Meeting! Kudos to Truebeck Construction for doing it right! #Safety #EverbodyGoesHome
Truebeck Construction was founded with a game-changing spirit and an ambitious vision: disrupt the traditional and ordinary, and rigorously raise the bar to do our best work. Period. We’re driven by the belief that we can improve construction practices and elevate standards while creating remarkable places in our community.
Lots of things are built. Few things are crafted smart and well. We have an entrepreneurial nature – thinking big, but not acting big – and perform as true builders with boots on the ground. We absolutely love construction, and you’ll see that in everything we do. It’s never business as usual on our job sites or in the office; in fact, it’s more like a championship game. We strive for greatness in the details, the dirty work, and in the victory of helping you achieve your vision.
We believe that what we do today contributes to a better-built environment tomorrow. This inspires us – making permanence of places for living, working, healing and learning. Our legacy is more than a name, it’s improving the community around us with a recognizable passion, determination, and excellence. Our hallmark and promise is this: we work relentlessly to give the best possible service, quality, and value while making it exciting and memorable.
For more information, see http://www.truebeck.com/