“Current Needs Assessment of the U.S Fire Service Report – Infographic”


With the recent release of the “Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service” report, it may be challenging to really understand and capture the needs of the U.S fire service with the massive amount of great information this report provides. To view all of the biggest takeaways from this report, make sure you take a look at our easy-to-read Infographic available to you here.

This document gives you a detailed, yet clear-cut picture of the needs and challenges that our fire service faces each year. You can also download the infographic, fact sheet, full report (also available in the link above), and more information about this report here.

Some highlighted topics include:

  • Training needs
  • Health and wellness
  • Sufficient staffing
  • Cancer and Contamination

Source: by Blair Prince Employee on Feb 27, 2017


New! – “NIOSH Aerial Lift Operator Simulator Program Helps Identify Hazards!” #Safety


The NEW NIOSH Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator, which is intended to help aerial lift operators familiarize themselves with hazards they may encounter on the job is now available for download to use as a training tool at your workplace. In this instance, NIOSH uses the term “aerial lifts” to describe multiple types of lifts, including scissor lifts and boom lifts, which are commonly used on construction sites for elevating workers to various heights.

The simulator is intended to provide a safe, controlled environment in which users—employers, trainers, safety and health professionals, and aerial lift operators—can navigate a realistic workplace with different types of hazards such as potholes, ramps, crushing hazards, and tip-over hazards. The simulator notifies users when they encounter a hazard so that they can identify and avoid hazards on actual work sites.

According to NIOSH, the simulator is designed to help potential or new aerial lift operators acclimate to aerial lift operation and help experienced operators refresh their knowledge on the associated hazards. The agency stresses that the simulator is not a substitute for the required training to operate an aerial lift.

Instructions on downloading and launching the simulator can be found on the NIOSH website, along with additional information on aerial lifts.

Aerial Lifts

Aerial lifts are powered and mobile platforms that are used for elevating workers to various heights, which exposes workers to fall hazards.

Training is necessary for anyone using aerial work platforms and equipment. In an effort to create awareness about common workplace hazards when using aerial lifts, NIOSH has developed educational tools and products. Employers, trainers, safety and health professionals and aerial lift operators can use the following information to prevent work-related falls.

Note: NIOSH uses the term ‘aerial lifts’ as an overarching term to capture multiple types of lifts, such as scissor lifts and boom lifts. It is important to note that both OSHA and ANSI standards vary for different types of lifts.

NIOSH Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator

The Simulator, available at no cost, provides a realistic workplace with multiple, dangerous hazard types that users must navigate. Experienced aerial lift operators can refresh their knowledge, and new operators can familiarize themselves with hazards they may encounter on the job. Using the Simulator is not a substitute for required training to operate an aerial lift.

Aerial lifts, commonly used on construction sites, expose workers to falls. To prevent these falls and other aerial lift-related injuries and deaths, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) developed the Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator. This flyer gives employers, trainers, safety professionals, and aerial lift operators information on the Simulator and how to access it.

PDF File About the program is downloadable here : Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator[PDF – 979 KB]

Download the software here: NIOSH Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator today! Note that the software download is a ZIP file and can be used on any Windows based PC!

Safety Comic of the Day!

Safety Comic of the Day!

1 Automation1s

Forklift accident brings down the warehouse (UK)

This video has gone viral on the internet.  A good lesson in “what Not to do!”

A Russian worker really brought down the house when he lost control of a forklift inside a warehouse full of alcohol.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the driver hit a huge stack of shelves full of vodka and cognac. The shelves collapsed and hit another row of shelves, causing other shelves to collapse in a chain reaction.

The Daily Telegraph reports that driver escaped with minor injuries, but caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

Food Safety Training: Part 2 of 6: Holding Time and Temperatures

A “MUST SEE” for all food handlers.
The entire 6 video series can be viewed in less than 30 minutes

Used with permission and under license of the Idaho Central Health Department.

Food Safety Training: Part 1 of 6: Introduction to Safe Food Handling

A “MUST SEE” for all food handlers.
The entire 6 video series can be viewed in less than 30 minutes

Used with permission and under license of the Idaho Central Health Department.

Mother, business innovator

Kerry Frank, president of Balanced IT Solutions, wants to show it’s possible to be a successful businesswoman and a mom.
The mother of three launched a successful company two years ago and is a finalist in the Innovate Illinois Competition.
“I want to show women they can go after their dreams,” Frank said.

The 12 companies are competing for a chance to win $80,000 in prize money, which will be used to help commercialize their product. Finalists will have seven minutes to present their innovations to a panel of judges followed by a three minute question-and-answer session.

The two top honorees at the finals will each receive a $30,000 cash prize, and the two runners-up will each receive a $10,000 second place prize. The finals will be held on Nov. 10 at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center. The Innovate Illinois program is administered jointly by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, as affiliate of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, which works to accelerate high growth entrepreneurial companies.

Across the state, more than 130 companies applied to the 2009 Innovate Illinois program. From there, 30 companies were selected by the state’s Entrepreneurship Centers and participated in the semifinals on Sept. 24.

Balanced IT Solutions is an 11-employee software development company based in South Beloit, which builds customized software solutions for various industries. It offers IT Training, software implementation, hardware installation, IP telephony and multimedia presence.

Frank’s new software, originally designed for the aviation industry, is bringing her company a whirlwind of growth. Comply365 is a compliance tracking software package which can be used in most industries to make sure employees are in compliance of regulations. The software stores documents. For example healthcare and aviation industry employees can read the latest procedures and be documented. Frank added that FAA, OSHA, and the FDIC have huge fines if employees are not in compliance.

Because of the company’s growth Frank is constantly traveling, marketing her software to various industries. She said she always had an entrepreneurial bent and has a variety of businesses over the years including insurance sales, catering, snap on tools and cake decorating. She moved her company in the basement of her South Beloit home for privacy reasons, and added that she is working on software for Homeland Security.


Marvin plant retools production processes to increase safety

Any industrial job can be hazardous, but the OSHA-tabulated rate of injuries – including major and fatal injuries – to workers in glass and glass-product manufacturing are among the highest of all U.S. industries. Recent statistics show that 43 percent of such injuries typically occur while handling or transporting the glass.

This makes safety a primary – and potentially expensive – consideration. For example, in 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled data on 235,960 back injuries in the workplace, and reported that injured employees can be expected to remain unavailable for about seven days (median “Days Away, Restricted or Transferred), too often costing the employer many tens of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, the true picture is probably much worse: In 2008, the House Education and Labor Committee found that as many as 69 percent of workplace injuries may never be reported to the BLS.

Special Glass-Related Risks
Workers handling large, heavy sheets of glass are at special risk for injury and even death. Authorities say that such factors as the angle of inclination of sheet glass in storage, as well as issues of bowing and venting (the sudden breaking of glass), thickness and strength of the glass sheet, as well as overall sheet weight are all factors contributing to the industry’s unusual risks.

Other important considerations in developing safe handling procedures for glass workers often include protective clothing and preventive barriers, as well as controlled access and passageways for rapid egress from all areas where glass might suddenly “vent.”

These dangers are well-recognized at the Marvin Windows and Doors of Tennessee plant in Ripley, Tenn., where extremely large, awkward and breakable components – including dangerous-to-handle glass sheets weighing as much as 200 pounds – are routinely assembled into door panels than can weigh as much as 500 pounds.

For many years, Marvin WDT had to send coordinated teams of workers to lift, carry, position and lower these components without mechanical assistance, each person having to wrangle as much as 125 to 135 pounds of the fragile material. The result was a steady stream of problems.

“We saw numerous back injuries in that area,” remembers Hal Williams, the safety, workers compensation and wellness manager at Marvin WDT’s Ripley plant. “And there was also a high employee turnover in that area, mainly from workers having to pick up the heavy panels and having to move them manually.”

Reducing Injuries & Boosting Results
To combat these problems, Marvin WDT began redesigning and retooling its production processes, investing in material handling systems to reduce the risk of injuries and ease the workload.

“Safety is one of the factors driving the decision to change over to the new process,” explains Williams. As it turns out, the new equipment also delivers the additional benefits of improving morale, retention and productivity.

Workers now use one of the new manipulating systems to pick up sheets of glass from the original shipping crates and place them into door sashes positioned on a horizontal conveyor. Workers then use a second, larger unit to pick up an entire door panel with its glass and sash assembly for installation into a frame.

Marvin WDT made its purchase decision after inviting several vendors to present information about the capabilities of their equipment. The AirOlift system turned out to offer the most flexibility, including the ability to rotate, turn and tilt the heavy objects while moving them. AirOlift Lifting Systems is an Akron, Ohio-based builder of ergonomic lifting systems.

According to Williams, Marvin WDT originally purchased two lifting/manipulating systems capable of moving 500 pounds or more, and then added two more. Although clamping systems capable of handling very delicate objects are available for the units, Marvin WDT opted for suction systems designed to specifically handle glass and other smooth-surfaced objects.

Since early 2009, the systems have been making it easier, faster and safer for Marvin WDT workers to do their jobs.

“They’re performing wonderfully,” says Williams of the AirOlift equipment. “We haven’t had any issues at all, no service or mechanical failure or anything like that. One of the safety features I really like is that if air pressure is lost, the manipulators will not release or drop the panel.”

Commitment to Safety
Built primarily of stainless steel and Delrin (an engineering plastic used instead of metal because of its light-weight, low-friction and wear-resistance characteristics), AirOlift systems are powered by high-pressure air from a standard shop airline rather than electricity, and incorporate load sensors that prevent the operator from releasing any material or object until its weight is fully supported elsewhere.

The AirOlift system also gets high marks from Williams for its simplicity, strength and durability, the basis of its well-established track record showing years of steady, trouble-free performance. “That’s quite a good thing for our maintenance folks,” he points out.

Because Marvin WDT has been VPP-certified (OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program) since 2002, a side benefit of converting to the AirOlift systems is that it objectively demonstrates the company’s commitment to continually improve its processes. “This is one of those areas where we’ve improved,” Williams says.

VPP promotes effective worksite safety and health through cooperative relationships between management, labor and OSHA. Approval into VPP recognizes outstanding efforts of employers and employees to achieve exemplary occupational safety and health, as verified by a rigorous onsite evaluation. As a result, the average VPP worksite is 52 percent safer than its competition.

Heavy Lifting Made Easy
In addition to the AirOlift’s straightforward augmentation of human muscle-power, Williams appreciates its ease of use, such as minimal buttons and options for the operator to choose from when controlling the manipulator. He appreciates how readily workers can recognize what each control button is used for, as well as the fool-proof color-coding that shows if and when the system has a good vacuum seal on the load to be lifted.

“The operators find AirOlift extremely easy to use, which is one of things I like,” Williams says. “The light goes from red to green to let you know that you’re good to pick it up. When you release it at the other end, the green light goes back to red.”

Normally, training on new equipment is a critical element in upgrading production processes, often helping to determine which vendor to select for desired gear.
“The AirOlift system is so simple to operate that the training cycle was extremely short and to the point,” says Williams. “In fact, my team spent only about 45 minutes talking and 20 minutes doing a hands-on demonstration. Then, we just let the people work with the machine, practice with it. After a week, all six were ready to use it in actual production. In fact, they were able to teach us how to use it. I felt very good that they picked it up so quickly.”

Williams says he’s extremely pleased with the plant’s new processes. “The AirOlift system has reduced the risk of back injuries,” he says. “Investing in a material handling system shows that a company is concerned about safety.”

Williams is convinced the new equipment is delivering productivity benefits, too, but finds that metric hard to substantiate because of the plant’s current, relatively low production rate. As time goes by and statistics accumulate, however, Williams is convinced the company will easily identify quantifiable productivity gains directly attributable to the new systems.

For more info about AirOlift Lifting Systems, visit www.airolift.com.

Report: Most burns not due to fire


With the theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week being “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned”, data from a new NFPA report can help you arm your community with important information about their risk of burns.

According to a new report issued by NFPA’s Marty Ahrens, only 13% of burn injuries that were treated at emergency rooms in 2008 were due to fire or flames. The report, citing data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, says that 216,000 people went to emergency rooms last year for treatment of burn injuries. The majority of those burns (55%) were thermal burns, most often resulting from contact with hot objects. Other types of burn injuries seen in emergency rooms included scalds (28%), chemical burns (8%), radiation burns (6%), and electrical burns (2%).

Marty’s report also addresses the age of people who were treated for burns in the emergency room. Compared to other age groups, children under the age of five face the highest risk of non-fire thermal burns, scald, chemical, and electrical burns. People over 65 had the lowest rate for these burns, but the highest rate of home civilian fire deaths.

Download Marty’s entire report: “Burns Seen in Hospital Emergency Rooms in 2008 by Burn Type and Victim’s Age(PDF, 121 KB).

Mike Hazell

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