How to Evaluate Your Safety Record

May 22, 2006



The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides incidence rates by industry, by establishment size, and for many different case types. You can use incidence rates to evaluate your injury and illness experience by comparing it to the national averages for similar types of organizations. 



Best Practices Guide for First Aid Programs





"Workplace first-aid program is a key component of any comprehensive safety and health management system," said OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke. "Our new guide offers practical information on how to help employers plan and implement first-aid programs as well as effective training."


The new OSHA guide identifies four essential elements for first-aid programs to be effective and successful; management leadership and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training.


The guide details the primary components of a first-aid program at the workplace. Those elements include:

Identifying and assessing workplace risks

Designing a program that is specific to the worksite and complies with OSHA first-aid requirements

Instructing all workers about the program, including what to do if a coworker is injured or ill. Policies and program should be in writing

Evaluating and modifying program to keep it current, including regular assessment of the first-aid training course


The guide also includes best practices for planning and conducting safe and effective first-aid training. OSHA recommends that training courses include instruction in general and workplace hazard-specific knowledge and skills, incorporating automated external defibrillator (AED) training in to CPR training if an AED is available at the work site, and periodically repeat first-aid training to help maintain and update knowledge and skills.



OSHA Fines Project Management Services $134,000 for Unsafe Hazardous Waste Clean-up Activities



OSHA proposed $134,000 in fines against Project Management Services, of Girard, Ohio, for alleged willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards for its employees working at a Chicago foundry.


Horsehead Corporation, a recycler of electric arc furnace dust, had contracted with Project Management Services to clean up lead and cadmium contaminated dust at Horsehead's foundry located at 2701 E. 114th St., Chicago. OSHA opened an inspection in November 2005 following receipt of information that violations of federal workplace health standards relating to lead were occurring at the jobsite.


The investigation resulted in citations to Project Management Services for three willful and nine serious violations of federal workplace safety and health regulations, including the failure to comply with OSHA's noise, respirator, cadmium and lead standards.


"Failing to comply with lead and cadmium standards not only puts workers at risk, but their families as well," said OSHA Area Director Gary Anderson, Calumet City. "The health effects of overexposure to lead and cadmium can be devastating. When employers shirk their responsibility to keep the workplace clean of these dangerous substances, the results can be tragic for workers and their families."


OSHA is alleging that Project Management Services failed to provide medical evaluation and training for workers; failed to monitor for lead and cadmium; did not fit test respirators; and provided no clean changing room, clean lunch room or showers for employees exposed to lead in excess of permissible exposure limits.



Louisiana Tower Crew Uses OSHA Heat Stress QuickCard to Help Save Co-Worker's Life



Earlier that day, the small group of tower workers and their supervisor held a 15 minute safety meeting to discuss the recognition, treatment, and dangers of heat related illnesses.


After being treated for heat stroke, the worker was released from an area hospital and returned to work the next day. An attending physician said that if treatment had been delayed another 15 minutes, he might have died.


While the outcome of this story is not likely to lead the nightly news or appear on the local paper's front page, it does represent a real scenario that plays itself out many times throughout the hot summer months. However, because of foresight, fast thinking, and the right information, tragedy can be averted.


"Summer is just around the corner and the combination of heat, humidity, and physical labor can be dangerous for those working outdoors," said OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke. "To help workers and employers become more aware of these hazards and how they can protect themselves, we are offering tips to keep them safe and healthy throughout the summer months."


The two most serious forms of heat related illnesses are heat exhaustion (primarily from dehydration) and heat stroke, which could be fatal. Signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke need immediate attention. Recognizing those warning signs and taking quick action can make a difference in preventing a fatality.


 The fact sheet also offers information links for teenagers working at summer jobs.


 Available in English and Spanish, this laminated card is free to employers to distribute to their workers. It offers a quick reference about heat-related injuries, including warning signs, symptoms and early treatment.


 The card, available in English and Spanish, also describes common physical features of skin cancer that can be caused by exposure to the sun.





Pallet Maker Fined $126,500 for Willful Violations



OSHA cited Palleton of Fremont Inc. for 33 alleged safety and health violations and proposed penalties totaling $126,500. "The wooden pallet repair and refurbishment company was selected for a comprehensive joint safety and health inspection under the agency's site-specific targeting program," said Charles E. Adkins, CIH, OSHA regional administrator in Kansas City. The inspection was initiated November 4, 2005, making it the facility's second OSHA inspection since 2003.


OSHA's safety citations alleged one willful, 24 serious, and three repeat violations; the health inspection cited three serious, one repeat and one other-than serious violations.


The willful safety citation alleged that Palleton failed to provide machine guarding for point of operation, in-going nip points, rotating parts and flying chips. The serious safety citations included the employer's failure to address forklift-related hazards, such as employees operating fork lift trucks without seatbelts, unapproved modification of forklifts, lack of inspections and inadequate operator training. Other hazards cited as serious were improper maintenance of floors and emergency exits; lack of guardrails on stairs; failure to develop and implement lockout/tagout procedures to render machinery inoperable during maintenance and repair; failing to install guards belts, pulleys and shafting; and failure to insure proper use and installation of electrical equipment and conductors. The repeat safety violations included not providing lockout/tagout training; lack of guarding for chains and sprockets, and not securing stacked materials.


Health citations for serious violations included the company's failure to: implement a hearing conservation program; conduct a hazard assessment for employees requiring personal protective equipment; and label process tanks with the identity of chemicals and associated hazards. Palleton received a repeat health citation for failing to provide hazard communication training to employees working with chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite. The remaining other-than-serious citation addressed the company's failure to provide necessary respirator information to employees who voluntarily used the N95 respirator.


Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations. Serious violations are those which could result in death or serious physical harm, about which the employer knew or should have known. Repeat violations involve hazards for which the company was previously cited. Other-than-serious violations occur when the accident or illness that would most likely result from the hazardous condition would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.


OSHA Upgrades e-HASP Software



 It also features an updated chemical database and embedded decision logic to assist in identifying hazards associated with site-specific contaminants and choosing effective site controls for worker protection.



New SHIB Focuses on Overhead Launching Gantry Crane Hazards



OSHA published a new Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB) to highlight specific workplace hazards. OSHA's Toledo, Ohio, Area Office recently investigated a fatal accident involving the collapse, during a launch sequence, of an overhead launching gantry crane used during segmental bridge construction. 



Workplace Eye Safety Focus of Healthy Vision Month 2006



 This year the focus is on eye safety at work.  The training module includes information on selecting personal protective equipment, discusses OSHA requirements in providing eye and face protection, and also includes a list of frequently asked questions on the topic.



Tyco Fire & Security Announces Recall to Upgrade Software of Fire Detection Systems



About 21,000 fire detection systems are being recalled by Tyco Fire and Security in cooperation with the CPSC. Sensors in these fire detection systems, which were manufactured by Solectron (Suzhou) Technology in China, could experience reduced sensitivity to smoke in conditions of high humidity and high temperature. If this occurs, these sensors could delay detecting the presence of smoke in the event of a fire. Distributors include SimplexGrinnell LP, of Boca Raton, Fla.; ADT Security Services Inc., of Boca Raton, Fla.; and Ansul Inc., of Marinette, Wis.


The smoke sensors in these fire detection systems were installed beginning August 2004 in certain SimplexGrinnell, ADT and Ansul fire detection systems in commercial buildings throughout the U.S. The sensor model numbers listed below are included. Building owners and managers with these sensors will be contacted.





















Commercial building owners and managers with these sensors will be contacted directly by one of the distributors to verify that the system is included in the recall and to arrange for a free software upgrade. 



Safety Training Requirements in California





 Safety Tip of the Week Readers from other states can also use the list because most of the requirements follow the federal OSHA regulations. 



How to Obtain Safety Data on Your Carriers



The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains several Web sites that provide easy access to valuable safety-related information. You only need a company's name, USDOT number or motor carrier (MC) number to perform a search.


 SafeStat combines current and historical safety performance information to measure the relative safety fitness of commercial motor carriers. This information includes Federal and State data on crashes, roadside inspections, on-site compliance review results and enforcement history.






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