“OSHA National Safety Stand-Down To Prevent Falls In Construction – May 8-12, 2017” #StandDown4Safety

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 350 of the 937 construction fatalities recorded in 2015 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Fall Prevention Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.


What is a Safety Stand-Down?

A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on “Fall Hazards” and reinforcing the importance of “Fall Prevention”. It’s an opportunity for employers to have a conversation with employees about hazards, protective methods, and the company’s safety policies and goals. It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall hazards they see.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone who wants to prevent falls in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down. In past years, participants included commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction contractors, sub- and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer’s trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.

Partners

OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.

How to Conduct a Safety Stand-Down and FAQ’s

Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime during the May 8-12, 2017. SeeSuggestions to Prepare for a Successful “Stand-Down” and Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs. OSHA also hosts an Events page with events that are free and open to the public to help employers and employees find events in your area.

Certificate of Participation

Employers will be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation following the Stand-Down.

Share Your Story With Us

If you want to share information with OSHA on your Safety Stand-Down, Fall Prevention Programs or suggestions on how we can improve future initiatives like this, please send your email to oshastanddown@dol.gov. Also share your Stand-Down story on social media, with the hashtag: #StandDown4Safety.

If you plan to host a free event that is open to the public, see OSHA’s Events page to submit the event details and to contact your Regional Stand-Down Coordinator.

Additional Resources:

OSHA’s Falls Prevention Campaign Page (en español)

Fall Prevention Training Guide – A Lesson Plan for Employers (PDF) (EPUB | MOBI). Spanish (PDF) (EPUB | MOBI).

Fall Prevention Publications Webpage contains fall prevention materials in English and Spanish.

Ladder Safety Guidance

Scaffolding

  • Ladder Jack Scaffolds Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • Narrow Frame Scaffolds Fact Sheet (HTML PDF)
  • Tube and Coupler Scaffolds – Erection and Use Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • Tube and Coupler Scaffolds – Planning and Design Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • Scaffolding Booklet (HTML PDF)
  • OSHA Scaffold eTool
Stand-Down Partner Materials

Outreach Training Materials

Fall Safety Videos

Additional Educational Materials

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“OSHA Walking-Working Surfaces & Fall Protection Final Rule Requirement Implementation Dates “

On November 18, 2016, OSHA finally published a final rule updating the walking-working surfaces and fall protection standards for general industry. Percolating since 1990 (55 FR 13360), reopened in 2003 (68 FR 23528) and again in 2010 (75 FR 28862), revisions to the walking-working surfaces and fall protection standards were long overdue. OSHA’s 500+ final rule gives employers new options to combat slip, trip and fall hazards (Subpart D) while adding employer requirements to ensure those new options provide for enhanced safety.

It adds a new section under the general industry Personal Protective Equipment standard (Subpart I) that specifies employer requirements for using personal fall protection systems and clarifies obligations for several specific industries, including telecommunications, pulp, paper and paperboard mills, electrical power generation, transmission and distribution, textiles and sawmills.

The final rule addresses fall protection options (including personal fall protection systems), codifies guidance on rope descent systems, revises requirements for fixed and portable ladders, prohibits the use of body belts as part of a personal fall arrest system, and establishes training requirements on fall hazards and fall protection equipment. OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels stated, “The final rule will increase workplace protection from those hazards, especially fall hazards, which are a leading cause of worker deaths and injuries.” OSHA notes the final rule also increases consistency between general and construction industries, which it believes will help employers and workers that work in both industries.

The rule is effective January 17, 2017, but some of the requirements are phased in over time. Phased-in or delayed compliance dates include:

• May 17, 2017

  • Training exposed workers on fall and equipment hazards

• November 20, 2017

  • Inspecting and certifying permanent anchorages

• November 19, 2018

  • Installing personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladders/ladder sections, including fixed ladders on outdoor advertising structure
  • Equipping existing fixed ladders over 24 feet, including those on outdoor advertising structures, with a cage, ell, personal fall arrest system, or ladder safety system

• November 18, 2036

  • Replacing cages and wells (used as fall protection) with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders over 24 feet

OSHA estimates the rule will affect 112 million workers at nearly 7 million worksites and will prevent 29 fatalities and over 5800 injuries annually.

Many employers that have been operating under the cover of OSHA interpretive letters and statements in the preambles of the proposed rules because the standards in place were so outdated and/or ill-suited to particular work environments. For them, the final rule offers an opportunity to confirm that their policies are compliant. However, those employers should scrutinize the final rule to ensure the interpretations they were relying on were incorporated and that no additional actions are required.

Some have suggested that Congress may seek to overrule these changes using the Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) (5 U.S.C. §§801-808), but that action is risky because the CRA is such a blunt instrument. The CRA can only be used to repeal a regulatory act in its entirety; it cannot be used to amend the regulation. Moreover, repudiation by Congress of a final rule prohibits the agency from issuing a substantially similar rule in the future.

Congress has only used the CRA once—to overrule the ergonomics regulation OSHA adopted at the end of the Clinton Administration. Congress should recognize that the provisions of this final rule are too important to too many employers for it to act reflexively by disapproving the entire rule and prohibiting further action on these issues.

A copy of the final rule is found here. More on the final rule, including OSHA’s Fact Sheet, can be found on OSHA’s website here.

3M “DB​I-SALA® Lad-Saf™ (Tower Ladder Safety) Sleeve – Stop Use and Voluntary Recall / Replacement”

DBI SALA® Lad Saf™ Sleeve – Stop Use and Voluntary Recall   Replacement

After more than 30 years of use in the fall protection industry, the original Lad-Saf™ sleeve has been replaced by a completely redesigned next generation Lad-Saf sleeve. Capital Safety/3M recently reviewed the performance of the original Lad-Saf sleeve in the field, including a limited number of incidents involving a serious injury or death in the United States while using the sleeve.

Although our review did not reveal product hazard or risk scenarios that would arise in the ordinary and proper use of the product, it did reveal potential misuse scenarios that could result in serious injury or death.

The potential misuse scenarios include interference with the braking mechanism (such as entanglement with cords, lanyards, clothing or other materials, or grasping the sleeve prior to or during a fall), or result from the user attaching the sleeve upside down (user inversion). No safety regulator has made a finding that the design of the original Lad-Saf sleeve is defective. At 3M, customer safety and confidence are high priorities. In light of the reported incidents and potential misuse scenarios, we have discontinued sale of the original Lad-Saf sleeve, and are voluntarily initiating a full recall of all original Lad-Saf sleeves.

At 3M, customer safety and confidence are high priorities. In light of reported incidents and potential misuse scenarios involving the original Lad-Saf sleeve, 3M has discontinued sale of the original sleeve, and is voluntarily recalling all original Lad-Saf sleeves.

Please click on the link to take you to the Stop Use and Recall/Replacement Notice (English) (Spanish).

 

 

“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

“OSHA & ASTM Protective Footwear Requirements”

RedWingBootLARGE

For a little safety footwear humor, click here: http://www.gocomics.com/theargylesweater/2013/10/26

Protective footwear requirements are referenced in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 29. These references can be found in (1910.132) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) General Requirements or (1910.136) Foot Protection.

According to 29 CFR 1910.132, PPE must be used whenever an employer’s workplace hazard assessment determines that hazards that require PPE are present, or are likely to be present.

29 CFR 1910.136 refers to the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) F2412-05 Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection, F2413-05 Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective Footwear and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) American National Standard for Personal Protection – Protective Footwear (ANSI Z41-1999 and Z41-1991) for its performance criteria.

On March 1, 2005, the ANSI Z41 reference was withdrawn and replaced by the ASTM Standards.

On September 9, 2009, OSHA issued an update to its PPE standards. The final rule went into effect in October 2009. This final rule revised the PPE sections of OSHAs general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, and marine terminals standards regarding requirements for eye and face protective devices and head and foot protection.

The revision updated the references in these regulations to recognize the more recent editions of the applicable national consensus standards. It allows employers to use PPE constructed in accordance with any of three national consensus standards; the ASTM standards which were updated in 2011 and the ANSI Z41-1999 standard.

This document provides an overview of the OSHA standard, the ANSI performance criteria and ASTM F2413 performance requirements.

Occupational Foot Protection
According to 1910.136(a), “Each affected employee shall wear protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, and where such employee’s feet are exposed to electrical hazards.” Appendix B to Subpart I identifies the following occupations for which foot protection should be routinely considered: “shipping and receiving clerks, stock clerks, carpenters, electricians, machinists, mechanics and repairers, plumbers, assemblers, drywall installers and lathers, packers, wrappers, craters, punch and stamping press operators, sawyers, welders, laborers, freight handlers, gardeners and grounds keepers, timber cutting and logging workers, stock handlers and warehouse laborers.”

Requirements of ANSI Z41
The ANSI Z41 standard defines performance measurements and test methods for protective footwear. Effective with the last revision of this standard, the ANSI Z41-1999 requires suppliers and manufactures of Protective Footwear to have independent laboratory test results available to confirm compliance with the standard. And all protective footwear that is certified as meeting ANSI Z41 must first meet the requirements of Section 1 General Requirements for All Types of Footwear–Impact and Compression Resistance. Then the requirements of additional sections such as electrical hazard protection, conductive protection and protection against punctures and penetration can be met.

Protective footwear can meet all the requirements of the ANSI standard or specific elements of it, as long as it first meets the requirements for toe protection in Section 1. A work boot that meets the impact and compression requirements of the ANSI standard may not provide protection for metatarsal, electrical or penetration hazards. All footwear manufactured to ANSI specifications will be marked with the specific portion of the standard with which it complies.

The ANSI standard incorporates a coding system that manufacturers use to identify the portions of the standard with which the footwear complies. The identification code must be legible (printed, stamped, stitched, etc.) on one shoe of each pair of protective footwear.

The following is an example of an ANSI Z41 marking that may be found on protective footwear:
ANSI Z41 PT 99
F I/75 C/75
Mt/75 EH
PR

Line #1: ANSI Z41 PT 99:
This line identifies the ANSI standard. The letters PT indicate the protective toe section of the standard. This is followed by the last two digits of the year of the standard with which the footwear meets compliance (1999).

Line #2: F I/75 C/75:
This line identifies the applicable gender [M (Male) or F (Female)] for which the footwear is intended. It also identifies the existence of impact resistance (I), the impact resistance rating (75, 50 or 30 foot-pounds), compression resistance (C) and the compression resistance rating (75, 50 or 30 which correlates to 2500 pounds, 1750 pounds, and 1000 pounds of compression respectively).

Lines 3 & 4: Mt Cd EH PR & SD:
Lines 3 and 4 are used to reference additional sections in the standard. They are use to designate metatarsal (Mt) resistance and rating, conductive (Cd) properties, electrical hazard (EH), puncture resistance (PR) and static dissipative (SD) properties, if applicable. Line 4 is only used when more than three sections of ANSI Z41 apply.

The purpose of metatarsal footwear is to prevent or reduce the severity of injury to the metatarsal and toe areas. The existence of metatarsal resistance (Mt) and the rating (75, 50 or 30 foot-pounds) is identified.

Conductive (Cd) footwear is intended to protect the wearer in an environment where the accumulation of static electricity on the body is a hazard. It is designed to dissipate state electricity from the body to the ground. The electrical resistance must range between zero and 500,000 ohms.

Electrical hazard (EH) footwear is manufactured with non-conductive electrical shock resistant soles and heals. It is intended to provide a secondary source of protection against accidental contact with live electrical circuits, electrically energized conductors, parts or apparatus. It must be capable of withstanding the application of 14,000 volts at 60 hertz for one minute with no current flow or leakage current in excess of 3.0 milliamperes, under dry conditions.

The purpose of sole puncture resistant (PR) protective footwear is to reduce the possibility of injury caused by sharp objects that may penetrate the soles of the footwear. The puncture resistant device must be an integral part of the footwear and must be constructed into the shoe during the manufacturing process. The footwear must withstand a minimum force of 270 pounds. Devices constructed of metal must pass the corrosion resistance testing and show no sign of corrosion after being exposed to a five percent salt solution for 24-hours. The puncture resistant footwear must show no signs of cracking after being subjected to 1.5 million flexes.

Static dissipative (SD) footwear is designed to reduce the accumulation of excess static electricity by conducting body charge to ground while maintaining a sufficiently high level of resistance. There are two static dissipative classifications Type I and Type II. Both types have a lower limit of resistance of 106 ohms. Type I footwear’s electrical resistance must not exceed 108 ohms, which is generally considered acceptable for semiconductor applications. Type II footwear’s electrical resistance must not exceed 109 ohms and has applications in work environments less demanding than Type I.

ASTM F2413-05 Requirements
ASTM F2413-05 Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Foot Protection covers minimum requirements for the design, performance, testing and classification of protective footwear. Footwear certified as meeting ASTM F2413-05 must first meet the requirements of Section 5.1 Impact Resistant Footwear and Section 5.2 Compression Resistant Footwear. Then the requirements of additional sections such as metatarsal protection, conductive protection, electric shock protection, static dissipative protection and protection against punctures can be met.

All footwear manufactured to the ASTM specification must be marked with the specific portion of the standard with which it complies. One shoe of each pair must be clearly and legibly marked (stitched in, stamped on, pressure sensitive label, etc.) on either the surface of the tongue, gusset, shaft or quarter lining.

The following is an example of an ASTM F2413-05 marking that may be found on protective footwear:
ASTM F2413-05
M I/75/C/75/Mt75
PR
CS

Line #1: ASTM F2413-05:
This line identifies the ASTM standard it indicates that the protective footwear meets the performance requirements of ASTM F2413 issued in 2005.

Line #2: M I/75 C/75 Mt75:
This line identifies the gender [M (Male) or F (Female)] of the user. It also identifies the existence of impact resistance (I), the impact resistance rating (75 or 50 foot-pounds), compression resistance (C) and the compression resistance rating (75 or 50 which correlates to 2500 pounds and 1750 pounds of compression respectively). The metatarsal designation (Mt) and rating (75 or 50 foot-pounds) is also identified.

Lines 3 & 4: PR CS
Lines 3 and 4 are used to identify footwear made to offer protection from other specific types of hazards referenced in the standard. They are used to designate conductive (Cd) properties, electrical insulation properties (EH), footwear designed to reduce the accumulation of excess static electricity (SD), puncture resistance (PR), chain saw cut resistance (CS) and dielectric insulation (DI), if applicable. Line 4 is only used when more than three sections of the ASTM standard apply.

Conductive (Cd) footwear is intended to provide protection for the wearer against hazards that may result from static electricity buildup and to reduce the possibility of ignition of explosives or volatile chemicals. The footwear must facilitate electrical conductivity and the transfer of static electricity build up from the body to the ground. The electrical resistance must range between zero and 500,000 ohms.

Electrical shock resistant (EH) footwear is manufactured with non-conductive electrical shock resistant soles and heals. The outsole is intended to provide a secondary source of electric shock resistance protection to the wearer against the hazards from an incidental contact with live electrical circuits, electrically energized conductors, parts or apparatus. It must be capable of withstanding the application of 14,000 volts at 60 hertz for one minute with no current flow or leakage current in excess of 3.0 milliamperes, under dry conditions.

Static dissipative (SD) footwear is designed to provide protection against hazards that may exist due to excessively low footwear resistance, as well as maintain a sufficiently high level of resistance to reduce the possibility of electric shock. The footwear must have a lower limit of electrical resistance of 106 ohms and an upper limit of 108 ohms.

Puncture resistant (PR) footwear is designed so that a puncture resistant plate is positioned between the insole and outsole. It is an integral and permanent part of the footwear. Devices constructed of metal must pass the ASTM B117 Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog Apparatus) corrosion resistance testing. The device must show no sign of corrosion after being exposed to a five percent salt solution for 24-hours. The puncture resistant footwear must show no signs of cracking after being subjected to 1.5 million flexes and have a minimum puncture resistance of 270 pounds.

Chain saw cut resistant (CS) footwear is designed to provide protection to the wearer’s feet when operating a chain saw. It is intended to protect the foot area between the toe and lower leg. This footwear must meet the ASTM F1818 Specification for Foot Protection for Chainsaw Users standard.

Dielectric insulation (DI) footwear is designed to provide additional insulation if accidental contact is made with energized electrical conductors, apparatus or circuits. It must meet the minimum insulation performance requirements of ASTM F1117 (Specification for Dielectric Footwear) and be tested in accordance with ASTM F1116 (Test Method for Determining Dielectric Strength of Dielectric Footwear).

ASTM F2413-11 Requirements
The primary purpose of this standard is the certification of protective footwear. Certification must be performed by independent third party laboratories.

ASTM F2413-11 Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective (Safety) Toe Cap Footwear contains performance requirements for footwear to protect workers’ feet from the following hazards by providing:

  1. Impact resistance (I) for the toe area of footwear (75 foot-pounds);
  2. Compression resistance (C) for the toe area of the footwear (75/ 2,500 pounds);
  3. Metatarsal impact protection (Mt) that reduces the chance of injury to the metatarsal bones at the top of the foot (75 foot-pounds);
  4. Conductive properties (Cd) which reduce hazards that may result from static electricity buildup; and reduce the possibility of ignition of explosives and volatile chemicals (electrical resistance zero – 500,000 ohms);
  5. Electric hazard protection (EH) to protect the wearer when accidental contact is made by stepping on live electrical wire (capable of withstanding the application of 18,000 volts at 60 hertz for one minute with no current flow or leakage current in excess of one milliampere, under dry conditions);
  6. Static dissipative properties (SD) to reduce hazards due to excessively low footwear electrical resistance that may exist where SD footwear is required (must have a lower limit of electrical resistance of 106 ohms and an upper limit of 108 ohms when tested at 50-volts); and
  7. Puncture resistance (PR) (when viewed at a 90° angle, the test pin tip must not visually penetrate beyond the face of the material nearest the foot after an applied force of 270 pounds, no signs of de-lamination or cracking after 1.5 million flexes and no sign of corrosion, de-lamination or deterioration after being exposed to a five percent salt solution for 24-hours.)

Footwear certified as meeting ASTM F2413-11 must first meet the requirements of Section 5.1 Impact Resistant Footwear (75 foot-pounds) and Section 5.2 Compression Resistant Footwear (75 / 2,500 pounds). Then the requirements of additional sections such as metatarsal protection, conductive protection, electric shock protection, static dissipative protection and protection against punctures can be met.

Each protective toe cap must be marked with the manufacturer’s name, trademark or logo. The cap number or identification, toe cap size, and R (right)/ L (left) must be permanently stamped or marked in a conspicuous location.

Each metatarsal and puncture resistant device must be marked with the manufacturer’s name, trademark or logo and device number or identification in a conspicuous location.

All footwear manufactured to this ASTM specification must be marked with the specific portion of the standard with which it complies. One shoe of each pair must be clearly and legibly marked (stitched in, stamped, pressure sensitive label, or a combination of these methods) on the inside or outside surface of the tongue, gusset, shaft or quarter lining. The marking must be enclosed in a rectangular border and a four line format is suggested. Line four is to be used when more than three sections of the standard applies to the footwear.

Any changes to the original components of safety toe footwear such as replacing or adding after market footbeds/inserts could cause failure to any or all parts of this standard and the ASTM marking would be invalid.

Add-On Devices
An important point to remember is that neither the ANSI nor ASTM standards allows for the use of add-on type devices – strap-on foot, toe or metatarsal guards – as a substitute for protective footwear. According to the ANSI and ASTM standards, any protective toe caps or metatarsal guards must be designed, constructed and manufactured into the protective footwear during the manufacturing process and tested as an integral part of the footwear.

While ANSI and ASTM both exclude add-on devices, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not acceptable to OSHA. This paradox exists because OSHA states in 1910.136(b)(2) “Protective footwear that the employer demonstrates is at least as effective as protective footwear that is constructed in accordance with one of the above consensus standards will be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of this section.” This means that if an employer can provide documentation, such as testing data proving their add-on devices provide protection equivalent to either the ANSI or ASTM performance standards, then the add-on devices are acceptable to OSHA. Most manufacturers of add-on devices have submitted their products to independent laboratories for testing. This data and its results can be obtained upon request.

Questions and Answers
Q. What performance standards are incorporated by reference in OSHA’s Foot Protection Standard?
A. 29 CFR 1910.136 refers to the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) F2412-05 Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection and F2413-05 Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective Footwear and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) American National Standard for Personal Protection – Protective Footwear (ANSI Z41-1999 and Z41-1991) for its performance criteria.

On September 9, 2009, OSHA issued an update to its personal protective equipment (PPE) standards. The final rule went into effect in October that year and revised the PPE sections of OSHAs general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, and marine terminals standards regarding requirements for eye- and face-protective devices, head protection and foot protection.

The revision updated the references in these regulations to recognize the more recent editions of the applicable national consensus standards. It allows employers to use PPE constructed in accordance with any of three national consensus standards the two most recent and the incorporated reference in the current standards.

Q. When is footwear with impact and compression protection suggested for use?
A. Per Appendix B to Subpart I safety shoes or boots with impact protection are suggested for carrying or handling materials such as packages, objects, parts or heavy tools, which could be dropped; and, for other activities where objects might fall onto the feet. Safety shoes or boots with compression protection are suggested for work activities involving skid trucks, around bulk rolls (such as paper rolls) and around heavy pipes, all of which could potentially roll over an employee’s feet.

Sources

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.132
Personal Protective Equipment General Requirements

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.136
Personal Protective Equipment Occupational Foot Protection

ASTM B117
Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog) Apparatus

ASTM F1116
Test Method for Determining Dielectric Strength of Dielectric Footwear

ASTM F117
Specification for Dielectric Footwear

ASTM F1818
Specification for Foot Protection for Chainsaw Users

ASTM F2412-05
Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection

ASTM F2413-05
Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Foot Protection

ASTM F2412-11
Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection

ASTM F2413-11
Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective (Safety) Toe Cap Footwe

“New Traveler’s Insurance Report – 170 Billion In Cost & 3.7 Million Workers Injured Per Year”

worker-with-head-injuryOf all public sector and private US businesses, roughly 3.7 million workers are injured per year. Businesses spend $170 billion per year on costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses (according to OSHA) – and these findings provide critical insight on how the numbers add up.

The nature of employee injuries in the modern workplace is changing in a variety of ways. Improved workplace safety management efforts over the past 25 years have led to a decrease in the frequency of workers compensation claims. During this time, Travelers has seen an increase in the severity of those claims.1 Preventing even a single injury, or managing the injured worker’s return to work as soon as medically appropriate, can have a significant impact on the health of your workforce and on your company’s bottom line.

The Travelers Injury Impact Report, an analysis of workplace injuries based on Travelers Claim data collected between 2010-2015, identifies the most frequent injuries, those with the greatest severity and the top causes of workplace accidents, both by industry and by business size. This information can be helpful for employers to understand how to manage their exposures and tailor training programs for their workforce in their particular market and industry.

According to the Travelers Claim data, strains and sprains topped all lists for most frequent types of injuries, except for small businesses, which experienced cuts and punctures most frequently, followed by strains and sprains. Contusions, fractures and inflammation rounded out the list of the top five most frequent injuries.

Chart of Top 5 Most Frequent Injuries, by claim count

The report also explores the top five most frequent accident causes, with material handling topping the lists of most frequent causes of injury, followed by slips, trips and falls, struck by/striking against injuries, tool handling and cumulative trauma, according to claim count across all industries and all claims. “The injury type only tells part of the story,” explains Woody Dwyer, a Travelers Risk Control safety professional. “Identifying that root cause helps us determine the best strategies to help prevent future accidents and reduce their severity.”

As part of Travelers Workforce Advantage, Travelers Risk Control professionals can help businesses develop their strategies to attract, hire, onboard, train, support and engage their existing workforce. At its core, it focuses on the importance of elevating the company’s safety message, beginning with the recruiting process and continuing throughout the employee’s career at the company. The safety best practices, from safe lifting to getting adequate nightly sleep, can also offer health benefits beyond the workday for employees.

“A significant part of developing an effective risk management process involves understanding your unique workforce,” Dwyer said. This includes a shift in the state of health of the U.S. workforce, with more than half of workers experiencing at least one chronic health condition, such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. This can add cost and complexity to treating workplace injuries, which has led to rising medical costs for workers compensation claims.

If an employee does get injured, conducting an accident analysis can help discover the root cause of an accident, develop corrective action that can help prevent a similar accident in the future and continuously improve safety management practices.

Managing the employee’s injury so he or she returns to work as soon as medically appropriate can also help manage costs and improve employee morale. A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is one tool that can measure an employee’s current functional status and ability to meet the physical demands of a job, especially after a workplace injury.

In 2015, medical cost inflation topped the list of risk concerns for businesses, according to the Travelers Business Risk Index. Promoting the overall health and safety of your employees can help control costs while retaining an engaged workforce. Learn about how you can create a culture of safety and develop an injury management strategy at your business.

Injuries can happen at any time, anywhere, regardless of industry or business size. Knowing what those injuries are and their root causes can help companies develop workplace safety practices. To learn more about the most frequent workplace injuries, those with the greatest severity and the top causes of accidents by business size, industry and region, view The Travelers Injury Impact Report.

Source:
1 The 2014 National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).

“How You Can Prevent “Slips, Trips & Falls.”

It’s probably happened to most of us. That momentary lapse of inattention thinking about a personal problem or distracted by an activity that ends in a slip, trip or fall. A stumble down a stairway. A trip over an uneven surface. Slipping on the ice. It can lead to a variety of regrettable events ranging from a simple bruised shin to an extremely serious injury. It’s just one of a variety of conditions and situations that set the stage for slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, slips, trips and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents, which account for:

  • 15 percent of all accidental deaths per year, the second-leading cause behind motor vehicles
  • About 25 percent of all reported injury claims per fiscal year
  • More than 95 million lost work days per year – about 65 percent of all work days lost

In general, slips and trips occur due to a loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface or an inadvertent contact with a fixed or moveable object which may lead to a fall. There are a variety of situations that may cause slips, trips and falls.

  • Wet or greasy floors
  • Dry floors with wood dust or powder
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Polished or freshly waxed floors
  • Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
  • Transition from one floor type to another
  • Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
  • Damaged or irregular steps; no handrails
  • Sloped walking surfaces
  • Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
  • Clutter
  • Electrical cords or cables
  • Open desk or file cabinet drawers
  • Damaged ladder steps
  • Ramps and gang planks without skid-resistant surfaces
  • Metal surfaces – dock plates, construction plates
  • Weather hazards – rain, sleet, ice, snow, hail, frost
  • Wet leaves or pine needles

Here are six guidelines to help you create a safer working environment for you and your employees.

1) Create Good Housekeeping Practices
Good housekeeping is critical. Safety and housekeeping go hand-in-hand. If your facility’s housekeeping habits are poor, the result may be a higher incidence of employee injuries, ever-increasing insurance costs and regulatory citations. If an organization’s facilities are noticeably clean and well organized, it is a good indication that its overall safety program is effective as well.

Proper housekeeping is a routine. It is an ongoing procedure that is simply done as a part of each worker’s daily performance. To create an effective housekeeping program, there are three simple steps to get you started

  • Plan ahead– Know what needs to be done, who’s going to do it and what the particular work area should look like when you are done.
  • Assign responsibilities– It may be necessary to assign a specific person or group of workers to clean up, although personal responsibility for cleaning up after himself/herself is preferred.
  • Implement a program– Establish housekeeping procedures as a part of the daily routine.

2) Reduce Wet or Slippery Surfaces
Walking surfaces account for a significant portion of injuries reported by state agencies. The most frequently reported types of surfaces where these injuries occur include

Traction on outdoor surfaces can change considerably when weather conditions change. Those conditions can then affect indoor surfaces as moisture is tracked in by pedestrian traffic. Traction control procedures should be constantly monitored for their effectiveness.

  • Keep parking lots and sidewalks clean and in good repair condition.
  • When snow and ice are present, remove or treat these elements. In some extreme cases, it may be necessary to suspend use of the area.
  • Use adhesive striping material or anti-skid paint whenever possible.

Indoor control measures can help reduce the incidence of slips and falls.

  • Use moisture-absorbent mats with beveled edges in entrance areas. Make sure they have backing material that will not slide on the floor.
  • Display “Wet Floor” signs as needed.
  • Use anti-skid adhesive tape in troublesome areas.
  • Clean up spills immediately. Create a procedure for taking the appropriate action when someone causes or comes across a food or drink spill.
  • Use proper area rugs or mats for food preparation areas.

3) Avoid Creating Obstacles in Aisles and Walkways
Injuries can also result in from trips caused by obstacles, clutter, materials and equipment in aisles, corridors, entranceways and stairwells. Proper housekeeping in work and traffic areas is still the most effective control measure in avoiding the proliferation of these types of hazards. This means having policies or procedures in place and allowing time for cleaning the area, especially where scrap material or waste is a by-product of the work operation.

  • Keep all work areas, passageways, storerooms and service areas clean and orderly.
  • Avoid stringing cords, cables or air hoses across hallways or in any designated aisle.
  • In office areas, avoid leaving boxes, files or briefcases in the aisles.
  • Encourage safe work practices such as closing file cabinet drawers after use and picking up loose items from the floor.
  • Conduct periodic inspections for slip and trip hazards.

4) Create and Maintain Proper Lighting
Poor lighting in the workplace is associated with an increase in accidents.

  • Use proper illumination in walkways, staircases, ramps, hallways, basements, construction areas and dock areas.
  • Keep work areas well lit and clean.
  • Upon entering a darkened room, always turn on the light first.
  • Keep poorly lit walkways clear of clutter and obstructions.
  • Keep areas around light switches clear and accessible.
  • Repair fixtures, switches and cords immediately if they malfunction.

5) Wear Proper Shoes
The shoes we wear can play a big part in preventing falls. The slickness of the soles and the type of heels worn need to be evaluated to avoid slips, trips and falls. Shoelaces need to be tied correctly. Whenever a fall-related injury is investigated, the footwear needs to be evaluated to see if it contributed to the incident. Employees are expected to wear footwear appropriate for the duties of their work task.

6) Control Individual Behavior
This condition is the toughest to control. It is human nature to let our guard down for two seconds and be distracted by random thoughts or doing multiple activities. Being in a hurry will result in walking too fast or running which increases the chances of a slip, trip or fall. Taking shortcuts, not watching where one is going, using a cell phone, carrying materials which obstructs the vision, wearing sunglasses in low-light areas, not using designated walkways and speed are common elements in many on-the-job injuries

“Join the National Safety Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction – May 2-6, 2016”

screenshot-www osha gov 2016-04-05 16-57-53

English Version Video

Spanish Version Video

2016 Stand-Down Goals

Last year’s Stand-Down was a tremendous success, reaching more than 2.5 million workers. This year, OSHA’s goal is to reach 5 million workers. If we meet this goal, we will have touched more than half of the construction workers in the country.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone who wants to prevent falls in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down. In past years, participants included commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction contractors, sub- and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer’s trade associations, institutes, worker interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.

Partners

OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.

What is a Safety Stand-Down?

A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. This Stand-Down focuses on “Fall Hazards” and reinforcing the importance of “Fall Prevention”.

How to Conduct a Safety Stand-Down and FAQ’s

Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime during the May 2-6, 2016. See Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful “Stand-Down” and Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs. OSHA also hosts an Events page with events that are free and open to the public to help employers and workers find events in your area.

Certificate of Participation

Employers will be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation signed by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez following the Stand-Down.

Share Your Story With Us

If you want to share information with OSHA on your Safety Stand-Down, Fall Prevention Programs or suggestions on how we can improve future initiatives like this, please send your email to oshastanddown@dol.gov. If you plan to host a free event that is open to the public, see OSHA’s Events page for more information and to contact your Regional Stand-Down Coordinator.

Announcements

Stand-Down Posters

National Safety Standown May 2-6 to prevent falls in construction plan a tool box talk or other dafety activity, take a break talk about how to prevent falls, provide training for all workers
Download English Version* Download Spanish Version*

Stand-Down Partners

Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs

“Fall Protection: Working On Tops Of Trucks & Rolling Stock……Which Rule Do I Follow?…. OSHA? DOT? “

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) wants more control over trucking, and the latest focus is on fall protection. Tank fleets, in particular, are being targeted in the current OSHA initiative.

The agency is seeking comments from industry on whether or not it should develop specific regulations to “cover falls from rolling stock and commercial motor vehicles.” The May 24 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) defines motor vehicle to include “tractor-trailer trucks, tank trucks and hopper trucks.” A regulation would cover any employee working more than four feet off the ground.

The agency is seeking comments from industry on whether or not it should develop specific regulations to “cover falls from rolling stock and commercial motor vehicles.” The May 24 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) defines motor vehicle to include “tractor-trailer trucks, tank trucks and hopper trucks.” A regulation would cover any employee working more than four feet off the ground.

This is a proposal that we have to take seriously,” says John Conley, president of National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC). “OSHA really wants to get more involved in the trucking industry. I just hope that DOT (the Department of Transportation) will object to this intrusion into what is, and should be, its turf. Transportation vehicles present a unique workplace and not one to which OSHA can just apply its standards from other stationary facilities. NTTC will submit comments — which are due August 23 — reflecting the views and concerns of our members.”

Conley says OSHA is taking an unusual approach to the fall protection issue. Rather than propose new regulations for commercial vehicles in the 292-page rulemaking, which contains many significant changes to 29CFR Part 1910, it is asking for information on whether there is “a need to propose specific requirements for the protection of employees exposed to falls from rolling stock and motor vehicles.” The agency states in its rulemaking that “If, in response to this issue, OSHA receives sufficient comments and evidence to warrant additional rulemaking, a separate proposed rule will be issued.”

There always has been a bit of a gray area regarding what regulatory authority, if any, OSHA has over trucking equipment, according to Conley. Since its inception, OSHA has tried to get its nose under the trucking tent and into the cab and onto the trailer. OSHA and DOT signed a memorandum of understanding in the 1970s where each agency agreed to not regulate where the other had established jurisdiction. DOT has maintained that it regulates truck equipment but has never addressed fall protection and trailers. OSHA’s directive to its field staff is still to not “cite employee exposure to fall hazards on the tops of rolling stock unless the rolling stock was positioned inside or contiguous to a building where the installation of fall protection is feasible.”

“Make no mistake that OSHA would very much like to propose a regulation on fall protection in this proposed rulemaking, but must have felt it would be challenged as to whether it was the responsible regulatory agency,” Conley says. “The effort to ask questions to determine if such a regulation needs to be written should be viewed as an effort by OSHA to either exercise that authority or to pressure DOT to do so. Remember, OSHA is much emboldened in the Obama Administration, and a power grab makes bureaucratic turf sense.

“Please keep in mind that if you conduct operations in mining facilities or locations that are governed by the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), that agency does not have a similar agreement with DOT and does require fall protection equipment for employees who go on top of trailers. Also, the OSHA proposal and request for information does not apply to railroad cars since the Federal Railroad Administration already has jurisdiction over that equipment.”

The Cargo Tank Risk Management Committee (CTRMC) also argues that OSHA has no legitimate reason for wresting control over motor vehicles — specifically cargo tanks — from DOT. The tank truck industry and DOT have done a good job of managing fall hazards on motor vehicles over the years.

“Our data and evidence suggest the frequency of injuries sustained in a fall from a transportation tank is extremely low,” says John Cannon, secretary of CTRMC and vice-president of engineering at Walker Group Holdings. “A typical large cargo tank motor vehicle fleet makes over 300 deliveries per day and has averaged less than two falls from its tank trailers per year. Most of the falls were from the ladder, not the tank top.”

He adds that the effective improvement of worker safety from fall-related injuries on transportation tanks is a complex challenge, requiring the participation of many industry stakeholders. The CTRMC was formed for that very purpose. The group held its first meeting in March, and the next one is scheduled for September.

“We’re taking a proactive approach to fall protection on transport equipment, and we are getting outstanding participation from the fleets, shippers, and equipment manufacturers that are part of CTRMC,” Cannon says. “We believe the best solutions come from those that are closest to an issue. The tank truck industry has many small businesses with fragile economic models. We need to ensure that improvements related to workers on transportation tanks are financially feasible.”

Tank truck fleets do provide fall protection training for truck drivers. Training typically includes fall hazard recognition and company-specific policies to reduce the potential for falls. Trucking companies with the most aggressive training programs cover falls during the initial orientation, recurrent training, periodic safety communications, and remedial training.

Drivers are protected from fall hazards in a variety of ways. Loading racks at shipper facilities have fixed railings. Fall arrest systems (harnesses and retractable lanyards) can be installed at the loading rack or on the transport tank. Some transport tanks have side walkways, handrails, and outer railings. Some transport tanks are built with systems (like bottom loading) that remove any need for the driver to climb on top of the tank.

The battle goes on. The only OSHA rule in place is the 1996 Rolling Stock rule and the GDC.

If it were me, I’d use the following document as guidance: http://resources.xlgroup.com/docs/xlenvironmental/library/risk_consulting/5241_Vehicle_Fall_Protection.pdf

PDF Source: XL Insurance

 

 

“2014 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index – 10 Leading Causes Of Injuries & Their Cost”

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Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety Releases 2014 Workplace Safety Index
10 leading causes of injury result in nearly $60 billion in total workers compensation costs

January 14, 2015 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
HOPKINTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety has released its 2014 Workplace Safety Index, which ranks the 10 leading causes of workplace injuries and their associated direct workers compensation costs.

“For example, using our tribology research – slipperiness assessment tools – our risk control consultants can actually get in on the ground floor and meet with building designers and architects to recommend flooring standards that create safer interior and exterior walking surfaces”

Overexertion ranked first as the leading cause of disabling injury. The category, which includes injuries related to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing, cost U.S. businesses $15.1 billion and accounted for more than one quarter of the top 10 disabling injury causes in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available. All told, the listed injury causes amounted to nearly $60 billion in total U.S. workers compensation costs or more than $1 billion dollars a week spent by businesses on disabling injuries.

The Workplace Safety Index is developed annually by Liberty Mutual researchers based on information from the company’s workers compensation claims, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Using BLS injury event coding, researchers determined which injuries caused an employee to miss six or more days of work and then ranked those events by total workers compensation costs.

The top five injury causes accounted for 65.4 percent of the total 2012 workplace injury cost burden, based on Liberty Mutual data. The leading “overexertion” category and the two “falls” categories among the top five combined to generate more than 50 percent of the leading causes of disabling workplace injuries.

Liberty Mutual works with its commercial insurance customers to help them mitigate these and other risks of injury in workplaces of all sizes. Using findings from the Research Institute for Safety, the company’s Risk Control Services team developed a wide-variety of tools and services to help lessen the likelihood of the types of injuries listed in the Workplace Safety Index. To reduce overexertion injuries, Liberty Mutual uses ergonomic assessment tools, including a freely-accessible online calculator, to help businesses understand the risks associated with manual handling tasks including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying.

“When we know the acceptable weights and forces that employees can perform under, we use that information to design safer manual handling jobs,” said Wayne S. Maynard, program director, Risk Control Technical Services. “Potentially thousands of manual handling jobs, from construction and industrial to hospitality and healthcare, are now safer as a result of the use of this and other ergonomic assessment tools developed in partnership with our Research Institute.”

According to Mr. Maynard, the direct costs of workplace slips, trips and fall injuries have continued to rise for more than a decade. Utilizing specialized risk control procedures and programs gives businesses the opportunity to be more proactive in facility design. “For example, using our tribology research – slipperiness assessment tools – our risk control consultants can actually get in on the ground floor and meet with building designers and architects to recommend flooring standards that create safer interior and exterior walking surfaces,” Maynard added.

Liberty Mutual Risk Control Services is comprised of hundreds of certified and credentialed consultants organized with dedicated units for specific lines of business and industries. Specialized resources are offered in Enterprise Risk Management, Crisis Management, Disaster Preparedness and Business Continuity. Consultations are available to all commercial policyholders either onsite, by phone or online. For more information about Liberty Mutual Risk Control Services contact Nick Shah, director, Special Projects at 617-654-3532 or Nick.Shah@LibertyMutual.com.

Download a copy of supporting documentation here: http://www.libertymutualgroup.com/omapps/ContentServer?c=cms_document&pagename=LMGResearchInstitute/cms_document/ShowDoc&cid=1138365240689

 

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