“Top 10 OSHA Citations of 2016: A Starting Point for Workplace Safety”

OSHAupdate

Every October, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration releases a preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the 2016 fiscal year, compiled from nearly 32,000 inspections of workplaces by federal OSHA staff.

One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes. Year after year, our inspectors see thousands of the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury.

More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured, despite the fact that by law, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. If all employers simply corrected the top 10 hazards, we are confident the number of deaths, amputations and hospitalizations would drastically decline.

Consider this 2016 list a starting point for workplace safety:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolds
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Electrical wiring
  10. Electrical, general requirements

It’s no coincidence that falls are among the leading causes of worker deaths, particularly in construction, and our top 10 list features lack of fall protection as well as ladder and scaffold safety issues. We know how to protect workers from falls, and have an ongoing campaign to inform employers and workers about these measures. Employers must take these issues seriously.

We also see far too many workers killed or gruesomely injured when machinery starts up suddenly while being repaired, or hands and fingers are exposed to moving parts. Lockout/tagout and machine guarding violations are often the culprit here. Proper lockout/tagout procedures ensure that machines are powered off and can’t be turned on while someone is working on them. And installing guards to keep hands, feet and other appendages away from moving machinery prevents amputations and worse.

Respiratory protection is essential for preventing long term and sometimes fatal health problems associated with breathing in asbestos, silica or a host of other toxic substances. But we can see from our list of violations that not nearly enough employers are providing this needed protection and training.

The high number of fatalities associated with forklifts, and high number of violations for powered industrial trucksafety, tell us that many workers are not being properly trained to safely drive these kinds of potentially hazardous equipment.

Rounding out the top 10 list are violations related to electrical safety, an area where the dangers are well-known.

Our list of top violations is far from comprehensive. OSHA regulations cover a wide range of hazards, all of which imperil worker health and safety. And we urge employers to go beyond the minimal requirements to create a culture of safety at work, which has been shown to reduce costs, raise productivity and improve morale. To help them, we have released new recommendations for creating a safety and health program at their workplaces.

We have many additional resources, including a wealth of information on our website and our free and confidential On-site Consultation Program. But tackling the most common hazards is a good place to start saving workers’ lives and limbs.

Thomas Galassi is the director of enforcement programs for OSHA.

“Effective Dates for New OSHA Recordkeeping Rule Looming”

electronic-recordkeeping

Is Your Company Ready for Public Access to Your Workplace Injuries and OSHA’s Oversight of Retaliation Protections?

Earlier this year the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) published a new rule that attempts to shame employers into lowering workplace injuries and gives OSHA much broader discretion to regulate retaliation by employers. The rule’s new requirements take effect in the coming months.

Changes to OSHA’s Recordkeeping Requirements Require Employers to Air Their Dirty Laundry

Beginning in 2017, OSHA will require certain employers to electronically submit portions of the workplace injury and illness data that they are currently required to keep to OSHA.  Even worse, parts of these submissions, including the identity of the employer and the amount and types of injuries sustained by the employees, can be publically posted to the OSHA website.  Under the current rule (at 29 CFR 1904), there was no requirement for automatic submissions to OSHA or for establishment-specific public disclosure, electronic or otherwise.

Employers who currently do not have any obligation to maintain records on workplace injuries can breathe easy—nothing has changed for them and there is nothing for them to report.  Nor does the new rule change or add to an employer’s existing obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records.  Specifically, under the new rule:

  • establishments with 250 or more employees are required to electronically submit the injury and illness report for each case (Form 301), the compiled log of these cases (Form 300), and the workplace annual summary of work-related injuries and illnesses (Form 300A) on an annual basis;
  • establishments with between 20 and 249 employees in certain industries are required to electronically submit information from their annual summary of injuries and illnesses (Form 300A) to OSHA on an annual basis (click here for the list of industries); and
  • all establishments must electronically submit information from their recordkeeping forms upon written notification from OSHA.

Although the rule takes effect on January 1, 2017, compliance is phased. For establishments with 250 or more employees, only Form 300A (from 2016) must be submitted in the first year by July 1, 2017.  In the following year, this group of establishments must submit all three of their 2017 forms (Form 300, 300A, and 301) by July 1, 2018.  The smaller establishments with between 20 and 249 employees, which are only required to submit Form 300A, have a submission deadline of July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, respectively, for the first two years of compliance.  Beginning in 2019, the submission deadline for all regulated establishments will be March 2, not July 1.

Instituting Stricter Anti-Retaliation Protocols, with Unfettered OSHA Oversight

The new rule also incorporates anti-retaliation provisions, enforcement of which has been delayed from November 1, 2016 to December 1, 2016 due to pending litigation in federal court that challenges the new provisions.  See TEXO ABC/AGC Inc. v. Perez, No. 3:16-cv-01998-D (N.D. Tex.).  This new rule contains three requirements.  First, employers are required to inform their employees about their right to report workplace injuries and illnesses free from retaliation, as opposed to merely informing employees of the procedures for reporting workplace injuries and illnesses which was a requirement under the previous rule.  Second, employers must adopt a reasonable procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illness that does not deter employees from reporting.  Procedures may be deemed unreasonable under the new rule if they require, for example, immediate reporting without accounting for exceptions for injuries or illnesses that build up over time, or post-incident drug testing where there is no reasonable possibility that drug use contributed to the injury.

Finally, the rule incorporates the statutory prohibition (at 29 U.S.C. § 660) on employer retaliation against employees for reporting workplace injuries and illnesses.  As OSHA directs in its commentary, this new provision provides OSHA an additional enforcement tool for ensuring accuracy of work-related injury and illness records.  Under the old regime, OSHA had to rely on employees to file complaints on their own behalf before instituting action.  Now, regardless of whether an employee has filed a complaint pursuant to the existing statutory directive, OSHA can take its own initiative to (a) issue citations to employers for retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries and illness and (b) require abatement of the violation (i.e., require the employer to eliminate the source of the retaliation and make whole the “retaliated-against” employee).  Giving OSHA the total power to institute enforcement measures on its own accord takes any predictability out of the regulations and gives employers little leeway to develop its own workable and tailored protocols.  Clearly, the outcome of the pending litigation over these anti-retaliation provisions will be something to look out for over the coming months.

The Take-Away

OSHA is touting the rule as one which will “nudge” employers to take more safety precautions.  OSHA believes the new rule will give employers the ability to compare their injury data with other businesses in their industry and provide researchers with access to data to further their research in workplace injury.  Speculations aside, one thing is for certain—the new rule will create additional headaches for businesses dealing with workplace injuries.  Businesses will now have to fear possible targeted investigation by OSHA if they have a higher injury rate and prepare for negative backlash from potential employees and potential investors.

Employers are encouraged to contact legal counsel to ensure their current compliance with OSHA and to put a plan in place to comply with the new rule.

Source: Emily Migliaccio, Alicia Samolis  | Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP

“Top 10 OSHA Citations of 2016: A Starting Point for Workplace Safety”

OSHAupdate

Every October, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration releases a preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the 2016 fiscal year, compiled from nearly 32,000 inspections of workplaces by federal OSHA staff.

One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes. Year after year, our inspectors see thousands of the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury.

More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured, despite the fact that by law, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. If all employers simply corrected the top 10 hazards, we are confident the number of deaths, amputations and hospitalizations would drastically decline.

Consider this 2016 list a starting point for workplace safety:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolds
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Electrical wiring
  10. Electrical, general requirements

It’s no coincidence that falls are among the leading causes of worker deaths, particularly in construction, and our top 10 list features lack of fall protection as well as ladder and scaffold safety issues. We know how to protect workers from falls, and have an ongoing campaign to inform employers and workers about these measures. Employers must take these issues seriously.

We also see far too many workers killed or gruesomely injured when machinery starts up suddenly while being repaired, or hands and fingers are exposed to moving parts. Lockout/tagout and machine guarding violations are often the culprit here. Proper lockout/tagout procedures ensure that machines are powered off and can’t be turned on while someone is working on them. And installing guards to keep hands, feet and other appendages away from moving machinery prevents amputations and worse.

Respiratory protection is essential for preventing long term and sometimes fatal health problems associated with breathing in asbestos, silica or a host of other toxic substances. But we can see from our list of violations that not nearly enough employers are providing this needed protection and training.

The high number of fatalities associated with forklifts, and high number of violations for powered industrial trucksafety, tell us that many workers are not being properly trained to safely drive these kinds of potentially hazardous equipment.

Rounding out the top 10 list are violations related to electrical safety, an area where the dangers are well-known.

Our list of top violations is far from comprehensive. OSHA regulations cover a wide range of hazards, all of which imperil worker health and safety. And we urge employers to go beyond the minimal requirements to create a culture of safety at work, which has been shown to reduce costs, raise productivity and improve morale. To help them, we have released new recommendations for creating a safety and health program at their workplaces.

We have many additional resources, including a wealth of information on our website and our free and confidential On-site Consultation Program. But tackling the most common hazards is a good place to start saving workers’ lives and limbs.

Thomas Galassi is the director of enforcement programs for OSHA.

“OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations Of 2015”

“Near-Miss Reporting” – Behavioral Safety Minute – Aubrey Daniels International

While world class safety cultures have thriving near-miss reporting processes, many other organizations struggle with systems that don’t work effectively or inadvertently do more harm than good. ADI senior vice president, David Uhl, explains the real intent of near-miss reporting and the role senior leaders must play to strengthen this process. For a closer look at how to positively affect near-miss reporting, read Towing the Safety Line at Moran.

Source: Aubrey Daniels International

“Safety Comic of the Day” – “Pet Safety”

Dog PPE Comic

There are several tips you can follow to help keep your pet safe. Here are a few:
  • Don’t let your dog ride in an open truck bed
  • Keep your pet’s head and paws inside the car
  • Check your pet’s collar regularly
  • Don’t let your cat play with string
  • Keep your cat indoors

Don’t Let Your Dog Ride In An Open Truck Bed
  • Any sudden start, stop, or turn may toss your pet onto the highway where it can get hit by oncoming traffic. It is estimated that at least 100,000 dogs die this way each year.
  • Open truck beds do not provide any protection from the weather. Hot sun can heat the metal floor of a truck bed enough to burn a pet’s paw pads. A dog left sitting in the broiling sun without water or shade may suffer from heat stroke before long.
  • Do not leash your pet inside the truck bed — many dogs have been strangled when tossed or bumped over the side of the truck and been left helplessly dangling.
  • If your dog must ride in the back of the truck, put the pet inside a crate that will give it some protection from the wind and weather. Tie the crate securely to the walls of the truck bed, so it cannot slide about or be tossed out of the truck.

Keep Head and Paws Inside the Car
  • Although most dogs love to stick their heads out open windows, wind can seriously irritate mucous membranes and blow pieces of grit into their eyes.
  • Insects or flying debris can also lodge in the nasal passages or get sucked into the windpipe.
  • It may require veterinary attention to remove the foreign material, which could cause permanent damage.

Check Your Pet’s Collar Regularly

Collars do not expand, but puppies and kittens grow quickly! If not loosened, collars can literally grow right into your pet’s neck, creating an excruciating, constant pain. Check your pet’s collars at least every week until it is full-grown (that can be more than a year for really large breeds of dog). You should be able to easily slip two or three fingers between the pet’s collar and their neck.

Pets & Poisons
  • Prevent Accidental Poisonings
  • Preventing Intentional Poisonings
  • What To Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned

Prevent Accidental Poisonings

Many household items can prove to be lethal to your pets — know what they are and how to keep your animals away from them. A list of household dangers is available at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center.

Be Careful What You Plant

Although plants provide clean air and immense beauty, many are also poisonous to pets. Plants that are not toxic to people, like the hibiscus, those in the Easter lily family, mistletoe, and Dieffenbachia may cause medical problems in pets, such as renal failure, irregular heartbeats, cardiac shock and even death. Other examples of toxic plants include azalea, oleander, castor bean, sago palm, azalea, rhododendron and Japanese yew.

If you have these plants and cannot stand the thought of giving them up, place them in an unreachable location so the animal cannot chew or dig them up.

Another solution is the use of an indoor mini-lawn for catsí nibbling. While outside grass can be loaded with deadly fertilizers and pesticides, an indoor mini-lawn provides a safe, edible source of greenery. Special feline gardens are available commercially or you can start your own kitty garden using a bowl, soil and grass seed.

You can grow catnip too, but monitor how much your cat chews. While catnip generally isn’t toxic to cats, too much of the fresh plant can overstimulate the central nervous system and cause a cat to injure himself.

If your pet does chew on a plant, immediately remove the plant from its mouth and rinse the mouth gently with water. Identify the plant your pet ate and call the poison center or your veterinarian. Watch for excessive or foamy salivation and changes in the skin around the mouth, eyes or paws.

People Foods, Chemicals and Medications

People often make the mistake of thinking that people food is okay for pets. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it is not. Here are some foods to avoid giving to your pets.

  • Milk is not easily digested by most adult animals and can cause them to develop diarrhea.
  • Bones are very dangerous. They can lodge in a dog’s passageways or cut its intestines.
  • Chocolate, especially baking chocolate, can be lethal and should be avoided at all times.
  • Onions can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.
  • Rich, fatty foods such as turkey skins or gravy can cause pancreatitis, and inflammation of a digestive gland, and can be very painful and serious.
  • Grapes and raisins can lead to loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and acute renal failure in dogs, resulting in death.
  • Coffee is also dangerous to animals. Watch out for grounds and whole beans.
  • Nicotine is a stimulant that can increase the heart rate, leading to collapse, and in the worst case, death.
  • Alcoholic beverages should be kept away from animals at all times.

Also, be as vigilant at poison-proofing your house for a pet as you would be for a child. Keep cleaning products in a high, closed cabinet. There should be nothing below counter level because liquid drain cleaners, as well as tub and tile cleaners, can be lethal. Also, take precautions in the garage — bags of insecticide and auto care liquids need to be stored high off the ground.

Another critical step in avoiding pet poisonings is to read labels. Flea control is commonly labeled specifically for dogs or cats. This is because the agents used for dogs are not safe for cats. Follow the label directions and amounts correctly.

Some pet owners may mistakenly think that the medications used to treat human symptoms will work for animals, as well. Never give your animal a human medication. Even something as simple as aspirin can be lethal to your pet. Products such as acetaminophen and any aspirin product can cause stomach bleeding in your pet. Medications such as birth control and vitamins can also cause internal bleeding.

Cats tend to be attracted to unusual flavors, so keep them away from calamine lotion, diaper rash ointments, sunblock and analgesic ointments. These products contain an acid related to those in aspirin and will prove toxic if ingested.

And remember, administer only medications prescribed or approved by your veterinarian.


Preventing Intentional Poisonings

According to the National Animal Poison Control Center (NAPCC), an average of 200 dogs per year are poisoned intentionally. While this represents less than one half of one percent of calls the center receives annually, it remains a problem that can be addressed through owner awareness.

In many cases of intentional poisoning, an animal has disturbed a neighbor or relative, and as retaliation, the animal is poisoned. What can pet owners do to prevent this? If you know you have a problem with a neighbor or relative, try to work it out with him or her. For example, if your dog is barking in the middle of the night, it may become a problem that others attempt to solve themselves. Showing your neighbors respect will go a long way. However, if you suspect your dog is at risk, don’t hesitate to contact authorities. Also, make sure to keep your dog in sight at all times.

One of the first measures to take if you suspect your animal may be in danger of being poisoned is to observe your neighbors. See if their behavior reflects ill feelings toward your pet. If this is the case, talk to them.

Also, be on the lookout for foreign objects and food products in your yard. If you see something suspicious, call your vet or the NAPCC at (888) 426-4435. If you find food products, freeze a sample of them immediately. This preserves the substance for lab testing by authorities.

There are many things that can poison an animal. Pesticides and insecticides are common in cases of intentional and accidental poisonings. Rodent poisons are also common. If you suspect these substances were used, look for bluish-green pellets in areas frequented by your pet, as well as in its stool.

Because animals are attracted to its sweet taste, antifreeze can easily be used to taint an animal’s food or drink. In cases of antifreeze ingestion, look for florescent green vomit. Also, switching to a low-toxicity brand of antifreeze can help reduce the risk of a fatal poisoning.


What To Do if Your Pet is Poisoned

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, what can you do to increase its chances for survival?

Be prepared

Post your veterinarian’s telephone number in a convenient location. You should also post the address and number of a nearby emergency clinic, along with the number of the National Animal Poison Control Center (NAPCC), which is (888) 426-4435.

Because neighborhood veterinary clinics rarely see poisonings, the NAPCC is a unique resource for both pet owners and veterinarians. They employ a staff of veterinarians and licensed technicians who are skilled in veterinary toxicology and are available 24 hours a day. The NAPCC can provide very detailed treatment protocols to your veterinarian.

Take immediate action

If your pet ingests poison, make sure to observe the animal closely. To treat a poisoning successfully, it’s helpful to have a history of your pet’s symptoms, including when the symptoms were first noticed, where the animal has been in the past few hours, and whether anything has been seen in the yard (pieces of uneaten meat, any vomit with discoloration), or passed through the stool.

Provide a history

Providing a detailed history of symptoms to your veterinarian is critical. Immediately collect and preserve any vomit, food products you may find, medication bottles and stool samples to help your vet rule out or determine intentional poisoning. Freezing vomit and stool samples is the best method to preserve them as evidence. You can do this yourself, or take it to your vet to freeze and later send to a laboratory for testing.

As a concerned pet owner, it’s up to you to provide your vet with information that could potentially save your pet’s life. Symptoms are important as they allow vets to work backward and figure out the cause. Only after other explanations can be ruled out can your vet explore the idea that someone may have maliciously poisoned the animal.

Be aware

Following these steps may help save your animal’s life after an accidental or intentional poisoning. If you have cats, keep them indoors. If you have dogs, be aware of their surroundings and behavior and don’t let them roam free.

For More Information Visit the “American Humane Association” http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/adoption-pet-care/safety/

Fleet Safety – “3 Tips to Improving Your CSA Score”

The motivation behind the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative is clear – the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), state partners and the transportation industry want to reduce commercial motor vehicle crashes, fatalities and injuries.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) calls it a “change to save lives,” and that’s something everyone can support. Let’s review three tips that your company can put into practice to help protect drivers and the traveling public – while helping you improve your CSA scores. It’s a classic win-win.

1. Know what the top violations are

Defective reflective devices – or lights that just don’t work – are one of the biggest CSA violations. Other frequent violations include running on tires with tread depth less than 2/32 of an inch and operating with:

  • Brake connections that have leaks or constrictions
  • A damaged or discolored windshield
  • Inoperative turn signals
  • A discharged or unsecured fire extinguisher on the vehicle

2. Once you know, take action

It’s one thing to learn what the most common violations are – that’s a great first step. Now, take the next step. Put your knowledge into action. Determine the areas of concern for your company and:

  • Implement written procedures and follow them
    Where to start? Your initial written procedures might cover driver selection, orientation and annual qualification procedures, along with vehicle inspection procedures.
  • Make pre-trip inspections a priority for managers as well as drivers
    Do your managers regularly review operations to make sure pre-trip inspections are performed as required? The responsibility for these critical inspections falls on both drivers and managers.
  • Look for patterns of violations for drivers, locations and vehicles
    Before you assume anything, take a good look at the situation. Do you see a trend with the driver or the situation? Was there a similar problem with the truck earlier in the week? Was it ever resolved? Keep track of all the parts – people, places and equipment.
  • Reward patterns of good behavior
    Applaud your best drivers – and, if possible, give them a bonus along with a pat on the back. These drivers become the role models others want to emulate.

3. Use the online resources offered

Given the importance of CSA to the transportation industry and the traveling public, a wealth of CSA resources are available online. For example, you can use the DOT’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) to rate prospective drivers on safety.

The FMCSA also provides your Safety Measurement System (SMS) scores online. Check these scores monthly, and be sure to challenge any inaccurate violations or collisions.

Visit Ryder’s CSA Resource Center for additional training and information. The resource options range from safety training to a CSA handbook, from products for cargo security to reflective products. Ryder’s CSA Resource Center also links to a self-assessment survey, allowing you to find potential issues.

Remember, there’s more than a number on the line here: Improving your CSA score helps ensure that drivers and the traveling public live to drive another day!

 

Behavioral Safety Minute: The Power of Peer-to-Peer Feedback

When it comes to safe and unsafe behaviors in the workplace, employees on the front-line are often uncomfortable giving peer to peer feedback. Some likely feel it isn’t their place to speak up, while others may think it won’t be effective. 

In our latest Behavioral Minute, ADI senior consultant, Bart Sevin, identifies the benefits of coworkers speaking up. Since frequent, timely feedback is most effective in changing performance, it’s those closest to you that are often in a better position to provide valuable feedback;  even more effective than your supervisor or manager.

Source: Aubrey Daniels : http://aubreydaniels.com/safety-solutions

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