OSHA Hopes New Injury Data Collection Rule Will Prevent Future Injuries

OSHA inspector

OSHA has updated their rule related to the collection of injury and illness reporting to improve transparency of workplace hazards to employees and the public. The new rule will require certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data to OSHA. The goal is to encourage employers to better identify hazards, address safety issues, and prevent future injuries and illnesses. The new electronic reporting requirements will be phased in over two years beginning in January 2017 (OSHA).

The collected data will allow OSHA to create the largest publicly-available data set of workplace injuries and illnesses; this will help researchers advance the study of injury causation and more accurately evaluate effective injury and illness prevention activities.

Applying the concept of behavioral economics, OSHA hopes that, ultimately, more attention to safety will save more workers’ lives. The disclosure of an organization’s injury data will naturally motivate employers to improve workplace safety practices by allowing them to compare themselves to other companies in their specific industry. This will encourage employers to compete for top rankings in worker safety and to innovate new ways to identify and prevent hazards and health risks.

An essential aspect of the rule is anti-retaliation protection for employees. For the data to be accurate, workers must be informed of their right to report work-related injuries or illnesses without fear of retaliation. Employers will now be prohibited from using post-incident drug testing as a form of adverse action against employees who report injuries or illnesses. Employers are encouraged to review and revise drug testing policies to achieve compliance with the new requirements. In order to educate the regulated community, the enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions have been delayed until Dec. 1, 2016 (U.S. Department of Labor, 10/18/16).


New Recordkeeping Requirement Compliance Schedule:

Employers with 20-249 employees in high hazard industries must electronically submit their OSHA 300A form for the year 2016 by July 1, 2017

Employers with 250 or more employees in industries newly covered by the recordkeeping rule must electronically submit their OSHA 300A form for the year 2016 by July 1, 2017

• These same employers will need to submit information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018

OSHA State Plans must also adopt and enforce these requirements within 6 months.

Succeed Management Solution, LLC offers Incident Track® to assist organizations to efficiently track, report, and analyze incidents, including OSHA-reportable injuries and illnesses and near-misses. This web-based software application will seamlessly export all OSHA-required forms electronically directly to OSHA and provide all of the data required by the new OSHA rules. Incident Track® is part of the Risk Management Center®, a suite of applications that assist organizations with their risk management, workplace safety, employee training, and compliance needs.

Smoke Alarms Save Lives! It’s Fire Prevention Week

fireman

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 9-15, sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association. The theme this year focuses on smoke alarm replacement. Nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths in 2014 resulted from fires in buildings without working smoke alarms (NFPA). Smoke alarms play a vital role as an advance warning to help prevent fire-related deaths and injuries.

It is no coincidence the week always falls on the week closest to Oct. 9, to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire and Peshtigo Fire that began on the same day and in the same year: 1871. The fires go down as the two most devastating forest fires in United States history that occurred during October (NFPA).

Make it a priority to maintain smoke alarms and discuss a fire escape plan with family members. Survey data by the NFPA reveals a small percentage of people don’t know how old their alarms are and how often they need to be replaced.


Smoke Alarm Recommendations:

– Install alarms inside every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more smoke alarms.
– Keep alarms on the ceiling or high on a wall.
– Keep alarms at least 10 feet from the stove to reduce false alarms from the kitchen.
– Alarms needs to be replaced 10 years from the manufacture date, which can be found on the back of the alarm.
– Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button. If the alarm doesn’t sound by the push of the button, check the batteries which may need to be replaced. If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the unit.
– Interconnect all smoke alarms in the building so if one sounds they all sound; this is recommended for best protection.
– There are special alarms available for people who are hard-of-hearing or deaf that have strobe lights and bed shakers (Education materials from NFPA).

Succeed offers a Fire Prevention training for organizations that describes the basic components of fire, prevention techniques, and how to develop a fire prevention plan. Safety videos are also available on topics of Fire Prevention in the Office, Fire Prevention in Healthcare, and Industrial Fire Prevention, available in English and Spanish.

Do you have a plan? It’s National Preparedness Month

emergency preparedness

September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The intent is to encourage communities to discuss emergency plans for their homes, schools, workplace, businesses, and places of worship (FEMA). It’s a great time for employers to review their emergency action plans. An emergency can present itself at any time and in many forms; assure emergency procedures are tested and understood by all employees and family members.

It is our responsibility to be prepared for ourselves and for each other. Nearly 70 percent of countries are unprepared to handle a serious public health emergency (The Lancet Global Health, July 2015). It is crucial to take a few minutes to go over emergency procedures. The procedures may vary depending on where you live, work, or go to school. Having an emergency plan in place will help prepare individuals for potentially disastrous events.

Tips for emergency planning:
• Set aside small amounts of money each month for an emergency fund
• Attend or plan an emergency preparedness meeting with your neighbors
• Understand what local hazards exist in your community and get informed about your community response systems and plans
• Build and maintain a kit of supplies that is ready in case of a disaster
• Make a family emergency communication plan
• There are free online resources that are available on emergency preparedness, on sites including: CDC Global Health, World Health Organization, Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and more.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers an Emergency Action Plan training course that covers emergency action plan development in the workplace. There is also a variety of resources related to emergency preparedness, focusing on: natural disaster response, Floods, Hurricanes, Tornados, Tsunamis, Emergency Preparedness for Businesses, and more, available in both English and Spanish. A safety video is also available on the topic of Emergency Planning, available in English and Spanish.

Prevent Foodborne Illness as Summer Draws to a Close

foodborne illness

The Federal government estimates about 1 in 6 Americans get sick with a foodborne illness, each year. This results in 48 million annual cases of foodborne illness (FDA, 01/07/16).

Food becomes prone to contaminants from behaviors that easily get overlooked, including a change in temperature and cross-contamination. Salmonella illness in particular is more common in the summer. Warmer temperatures and eating non-refrigerated food outdoors causes food to be prone to bacteria and Salmonella growth (CDC, 07/8/16).

Protect yourself and others from potential foodborne illness at barbeques and picnics by paying closer attention to how you handle and cook your food.

Grilling Safety
• Cook food thoroughly. Use a meat thermometer to make sure food reaches a proper internal temperature
• Do not let food sit on the grill in a partially cooked state. If foods need to be partially cooked before grilling, do so right before adding them to the grill
• Keep meats and food at 145°F or above after cooking
• Refrigerate or freeze leftovers, perishables, and other prepared foods within 2 hours (or 1 hour if it is at 90°F or above)

Appropriate internal temperatures for food:
• Beef, pork, lamb, veal steaks or roasts: 145° F
• Fish: 145° F
• Ground pork or beef: 160° F
• Poultry (breasts or whole poultry): 165° F
• Casseroles: 165° F

The Danger Zone
The danger zone for food is 40°F – 140°F. Food that stays within this temperature range for too long is at risk for bacteria growth.

Sanitation
• Wash hands before eating and preparing food
• Rinse fruit and vegetables and scrub items with firm skins
• Keep all eating surfaces, serving platters, and utensils clean
• Avoid cross-contamination. Never put cooked food on a surface that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
• Wrap raw meats securely
• Never reuse marinades

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a variety of safety documents related to foodborne illness and food safety including: Foodborne Illness – Buffets and Potlucks, Eating Outdoors, and Packing a Safe Lunch. A policy is also available for employees and employers who work in the food industry about Food Safety Program Requirements.

Get up-to-date on vaccinations in light of National Immunization Awareness Month

fire extinguisher safety

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, an annual observance in the United States sponsored by the National Public Health Information Coalition. The goal is to increase awareness about the importance of immunizations at every stage of life. Vaccines are the easiest defense in helping prevent the spread of disease and infection.

Many recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States including whooping cough, measles, and mumps, are due to parents who have unvaccinated children. When vaccination rates drop in communities, it is common for an outbreak to occur (CDC, 8/15/16). It is crucial to educate yourself and family with the facts about vaccines to assure safety from vaccine-preventable diseases.

August is a great time to get up-to-date on vaccinations as the summer season comes to an end and before the flu season begins; it is also an opportunity to discuss with your health care provider about other recommended vaccines you and your family members might need. Choose to protect your family and community from the spread of disease by getting vaccinated.

Find out which vaccinations you need here: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/adult/adult-schedule-easy-read.pdf

Most common vaccines everyone needs:

• Influenza (every year for seasonal flu protection)
• Tdap: Tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and diphtheria
• MMR or MMRV: Measles, mumps, varicella (chickenpox), rubella (at least one dose)
• HPV is strongly recommended for young girls and boys ages 11 or 12 to help prevent cancers caused by HPV later in life (series of 3 doses). Young women can get the vaccine through age 26, and young men through age 21.
• Other vaccines you may need will depend on factors including age, lifestyle, health condition, job, and any other vaccines you have had in the past

Importance of vaccination maintenance:

• Vaccinations have an expiration date; they wear off as you get older and your body may not have the same level of resistance against the same viruses and bacteria as it once did.
• Age and lifestyle changes. The risk for disease may increase as we get older due to health conditions, hobbies, travel, job etc.
• Vaccines are especially important for individuals with chronic conditions.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a variety of safety documents related to health and wellness including: Influenza Virus – Preventing the Spread, Whooping Cough, Infections – Viral Hepatitis, Zika Virus, and more.

OSHA Amends Silica Rule for First Time in 45 years

silica exposure

OSHA has updated regulations to the respirable crystalline silica standard. These changes have been anticipated for a long time: it’s being updated for the first time since 1971. This is due to a clearer understanding of the long-term health effects from inadequate protection from silica. Under the new rule, OSHA stresses the importance of implementing engineering controls and measurements within worksites to help improve employee safety and compliance.

Silica exposure affects the lives of not only workers, but their families and loved ones as well. Nearly 2.3 million workers are exposed to crystalline silica in their workplaces. OSHA estimates the updated rule will save over 600 lives and prevent up to 900 new cases of silicosis each year, as soon as its effects are fully understood (OSHA).

A major key provision of the rule is reducing the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an 8-hour shift.

It is crucial to equip employees with updated safeguards and the knowledge necessary to prevent silica exposure.

Changes to implement under the new standard:

Exposure control plan: Outlines methods of controlling dust within a worksite where exposure is present.
Written respiratory protection program: Organizations must implement a plan if respirators are necessary to protect workers.
Engineering controls: Wet methods, vacuum dust collection, local exhaust ventilation, substitution of less toxic materials.
Administrative controls: Limit access to hazardous areas, provide hazard communication and training on silica for employees, protect employees’ right to know and understand
Post warning signs: If working outside, block off areas directly downwind of airborne silica dust to assure unprotected workers and others are not exposed.
Housekeeping: Maintain equipment by replacing vacuum collection bags and air filters regularly, avoid sweeping and use of compressed air of dry material off surfaces and floors.
Medical Exams: Require all employees to receive a medical exam regardless of the level of exposure.

Effective Dates for Implementation
For the construction industry:
June 23, 2017
For general industry and the maritime industry:
June 23, 2018

*Industries have one to five years to adopt most requirements

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a new Silica Exposure Prevention training course that outlines the potential hazards associated with working with risk of exposure to silica dust. The course includes information about the new OSHA requirements and necessary controls to apply in the workplace to keep your workers safe.

How to Combat Heat-related Hazards

heat illness

Weather conditions can have a significant effect on our well-being and safety. A combination of heat, humidity, and strenuous physical activity can lead to dangerous outcomes when the body is unable to cool off by sweating. Heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat rash, cramps, and heat illness are examples of heat-related outcomes that can result in death. Fortunately, heat-related deaths are preventable when the symptoms and causes are understood and acted upon quickly.

Most common heat-related illnesses:

Heat Exhaustion:
Symptoms: Fatigue, profuse sweating, weak and rapid heartbeat, headaches, nausea, confusion, loss of coordination, muscle weakness, dizziness, or fainting.
Causes: Dehydration, lack of acclimatization to high temperatures, strain on the circulatory system, and reduced blood flow to the brain.
First aid: The affected individual must rest in a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area. Cool the affected individual by fanning, misting with water, or applying ice packs. Give cool (not cold) water only if the individual is conscious.

Heat Stroke:
Symptoms: Core body temperature exceeding 104° F, hot skin with a lack of perspiration, strong and rapid pulse, nausea, confusion, dizziness, seizures or convulsions, or fainting.
Causes: Heat exhaustion was left untreated and the body’s cooling mechanisms have been exhausted.
First Aid: Heat stroke is immediately life-threatening. Notify a supervisor and follow the emergency action procedure. While waiting for medical personnel to arrive, the individual giving care should provide the same first aid measures as those for heat exhaustion. In addition, loosen or remove heavy clothing if necessary.

General Controls: The best way to prevent heat illnesses is to make the work environment cooler.

• Provide shaded areas large enough to accommodate all employees during meal, rest, or recovery periods. This can be achieved through rotation of employee breaks.
• Provide shaded areas and drinking water as close as feasible to work areas.
• Provide employees with one quart of water minimum per hour for the entirety of shift.
• Use fans or air-conditioning if possible.
• Employees should wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing.
• Urge employees to avoid consumption of alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and heavy meals.
• Acclimatize employees to heat by having them work for short periods of time and gradually increase their time in the heat over a two-week period.
• Train employees to recognize symptoms in themselves and others and report them.

In addition to heat illness, prolonged sun exposure can also result in permanent skin damage if consistently left unprotected. Outdoor workers are especially at a higher risk of developing skin cancer, along with other ailments.

According to a survey by the Deb Group, a skin care company, over 8,500 people in the U.S. contract skin cancer on a daily basis. And 71 percent of employees that work outdoors claim that their employers fail to provide sunscreen in the workplace.

To prevent skin cancer and sun damage, wear protective clothing including long sleeves and hats, use sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher, and have a yearly mole check.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a Heat Stress Prevention online training course that describes the precautions to help protect employees from heat illnesses. Other related resources include toolbox talk documents on topics of: Basics of Heat Stress, Heat Illness, and a Heat Illness Prevention Plan. A safety video is also available on 5 tips for Protecting Employees from Heat Stress.

Memorial Day Brings a Higher Rate of Crashes for Teens

texting while driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the 100 days after Memorial Day, about 1,000 Americans will die in crashes with teenage drivers behind the wheel, based on data from the last five years. More teens are on the road, increasing the overall average number of deaths by 16% during the summer months. Based on past studies, nearly 60% of these crashes will likely be the result of distracted driving, such as talking on cell phones and texting (USA Today Article 6/1/16).

It is important for teens to stay hands-free behind the wheel. On average, a driver is four times more likely to be in an accident when using an electronic device. All drivers (and teens, especially) should regularly review accident prevention and response procedures. Doing so can lessen the chance that a driver will get into an accident, and also prepare them to respond safely should an accident occur.

5 Tips to minimize the chance of an accident:

• Eliminate distractions
• Pull over if it cannot wait: If you must make a call, text, or email, pull the vehicle over to a safe location, off of the road, before doing so.
• Have someone else make calls: If a passenger is present, allow them to make and answer calls for you.
• Driving at night: Monitor speed to assure that your required braking distance does not exceed the range of the headlights.
• Be considerate: Avoid aggressive driving and practice defensive driving tactics by being mindful of pedestrians, monitoring your following distance, and being in a healthy state of mind.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers toolbox talk resources on a variety of driver safety related topics such as: Accident Prevention, Accident Response, Electronic Devices, Driving at Night, an Emergency Supplies checklist and more.

Protecting Road Workers on the Job

construction safety

Spring and Summer are the peak times of year for construction and outdoor maintenance activities. Construction workers regularly engage in work that presents a range of hazards, such as falls, unguarded machinery, and being struck by heavy construction equipment (OSHA).

Work zones near the road can expose workers to high traffic areas, where they can be struck by passing drivers. The most recent data from 2014 reveals that drivers account for 82% of highway and road work zone fatalities (FHA, 4/11/2016). Driving distractions, reckless driving, and other factors can increase the risk of injuring a road worker.

Each person that encounters a highway work zone must stay alert and distraction-free to assure the safety of road workers.

Tips for Drivers:

• Follow traffic control devices. This includes signals and message boards that are used to direct traffic away from work sites. Cones, barricades, and barrels are also used to demarcate areas of work
• Do not speed. Always obey the posted speed limit, which can vary if a stretch of road is marked as a construction zone
• Expect delays and be patient
• Be alert and anticipate lane shifts and merging
• Avoid using phones and any other devices or activities that will cause distraction
• Allow a safe traveling distance between you and the vehicle in front of you

Employer Best Practices:

Provide correct PPE: Hard hats and high-visibility reflective clothing, can help keep employees safe (and much more visible to drivers). Reflective clothing should be ANSI approved and either class II or III depending on the situation

Use reliable communication devices between flaggers and construction crews (such as two-way radios) to assist in directing traffic and as a means of communication

Lighting: Flagger stations must be illuminated, and the amount of lighting should be based on the work being done. Outdoor lights can be used to provide at least 10-20 foot-candles of light, based on work requirements and the Traffic Control Plan.

Make time for safety: Take breaks to discuss safety procedures. Regularly reevaluate and update policies and procedures as required or needed.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a Work Zone Traffic Control Plan, a Traffic Control policy, Flagger Safety, and a Construction Safe Practices toolbox safety document series. There are also safety videos available on Personal Protective Equipment in Construction Environments, First Aid in Construction Environments, Heat Stress in Construction Environments, and more in both English and Spanish.

Don’t Forget: Deadline For Full GHS Compliance Is June 1!

GHS

Organizations must achieve full compliance with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) by June 1, 2016. Over 43 million workers and 5 million industries are affected by the Hazard Communication standard.

Full-compliance with GHS in the United States will help to achieve universal understanding of the classification of chemical hazards and safety data sheets. It also serves to improve the safety and health of employees. OSHA estimates the modified standard will prevent over 500 workplace injuries and illnesses and 43 fatalities annually (from OSHA Fact Sheet).

Chemical manufacturers and importers have the responsibility to provide the information to Employers prior to June 1 to allow them to have time achieve compliance.

By June 1, Employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces MUST:

Update alternative workplace labels and hazard communication program as necessary
Provide additional training to employees on newly identified physical or health hazards in the workplace
Apply the new format of Safety Data Sheets that require 16 specific sections
• Achieve FULL compliance with GHS including anything else required by the HazCom 2012 guidelines.

What are the benefits of the new standard?
• Universally improves communication and consistency of hazard information
• Improves employee comprehension of hazards and workplace safety
• More efficient access to information on the safety data sheets
• Minimizes the misuse of chemicals in the workplace
• Increases productivity for American businesses. Organizations are estimated to save more than $475 million due to productivity improvements, simpler training requirements and fewer label and SDS updates

Hazard Communication was the second most frequently cited standard by federal OSHA from October 2014 to September 2015. The top cited section within the standard is 1910.1200(h)(1): Employee information and training. Training employees on the hazardous chemicals they will encounter in their work area is crucial to truly improve safety and productivity in the workplace.

For specific questions and details on the modified standard, refer to the OSHA Q&A page.

Succeed offers a comprehensive GHS Training that assists organizations with their compliance efforts. This program includes the requirements needed to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), in particular hazard classification, Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), and chemical container labels.