Is your Organization Prepared for an Earthquake?

earthquake map

This USGS map indicates potential earthquake strength, with darker areas indicating stronger quakes.

A 2015 U.S. Geological Survey revealed that nearly half of Americans living in the United States are in danger of experiencing potentially damaging earthquakes.

The Obama Administration has recently announced a new initiative aimed at strengthening the Nation’s resilience to earthquakes by increasing public safety and improving architecture and warning systems.

Ensure all employees know what to do when an earthquake occurs: incorporate earthquake safety procedures into your workplace Emergency Action Plan.

Workplace preparation:

• Your organization’s Emergency Action Plan should include the following:
‒ Evacuation procedures
‒ Instructions to follow during and after the event
‒ Medical and rescue duties for designated employees

• The plan must consider construction and the type of ground it is built upon, as certain ground types and structures are more susceptible to collapse and damage.

• Emergency supply kits should be placed throughout the workplace with such items as flashlights or light sticks, first aid kits and handbooks, blankets, bottled water, dust masks, and fire extinguishers.

• Assure that everyone completes the necessary training:
‒ Everyone should be trained in earthquake response procedures, designated safe places, evacuation plans, and the locations of emergency supply kits.
‒ Designated employees can be trained in first aid and fire extinguisher use.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a newly updated Emergency Action Plan online training that describes the process of deploying an emergency action plan in the workplace. Other related toolbox talk safety documents include: Emergency Preparedness for Businesses, an Emergency Action Plan policy, and an Emergency Preparedness policy. There is also a safety video available on Emergency Planning in both English and Spanish.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC Doubles Training Library in 2015

GIF of trainings

In 2015, Succeed Management Solutions, LLC released 37 new online training courses. These courses cover a diverse range of industry topics in both English and Spanish, including Trenching and Shoring, Active Shooter Preparedness, Patient and Resident Handling and many more. Also, 38 existing online training courses on general industry topics have received significant improvements to their content, appearance, and functionality, including Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention, Workplace Violence, and Bloodborne Pathogens.

The Succeed Risk Management Center® resource library has also grown to include over four hundred comprehensive safety training materials that have been updated and created to complement each online training course.

In the New Year, Succeed is continuing to expand their risk management library while focusing on the development of new online training courses that address several different industry topics and current anticipated OSHA rules including: Food processing, DOT/CDL, and Crystalline Silica Exposure.

Check out Succeed’s current list of Online Training Titles

Prevent Infection in the Workplace

bloodborne pathogens

Protection against potentially infectious materials is an important part of workplace safety. During normal activities, most of us are occasionally exposed to the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (staph) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/mrsa/). Infection and illness can occur without the proper hygiene.

Staph and MRSA
• Staph is a bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of 25% – 30% of healthy people.
• MRSA encompasses types of staph that are resistant to certain antibiotics. They are present on or in about 1% of healthy people.
• Unless staph enters the body through a cut or other wound, it is generally harmless.
• Staph and MRSA infections frequently occur among people in hospitals and healthcare facilities but can also occur in schools, libraries, stores, daycare centers, and private companies.

Safeguards
• Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Do not share personal items like uniforms, personal protective equipment (PPE), clothing, and towels.
• Establish cleaning procedures for frequently touched surfaces.
• Keep cuts and scrapes clean and bandaged until healed.

Symptoms and Treatment
• A minor staph or MSRA infection may look like a pimple or boil and can be red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage.
• Serious infections may cause headaches, fever, pneumonia, and potentially life-threatening infections in the bloodstream or surgical wounds.
• Many staph skin infections can be treated by draining the abscess or boil and will not require antibiotics.
• Treatment can sometimes require antibiotics as prescribed by a trained healthcare provider.
• If you might have a skin infection, consult a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a newly updated Bloodborne Pathogens online training with the most current standard precautions to follow in the workplace. New posters and toolbox talks are available to use as informational aids on topics of: sharp container safety, common viruses, bloodborne pathogens and staph/MRSA precautions.

Driving Safely in Winter Weather

winter driving

During the winter season, drivers should be aware of different conditions on the road. Due to shorter days, drivers spend more time driving in the dark and in low- visibility conditions. Roads can be slick and other seasonal elements can threaten vehicle safety.

Assure employees are prepared for driving in inclement weather conditions by communicating the following:

Give yourself adequate time to reach your destination. Allow for an extra 5 – 10 minutes (or even more time) to account for poor weather and road conditions.

Leave plenty of space for other vehicles. Increase your following distance to compensate for reduced reaction times and longer braking distances.

Increase your visibility to others. Use your headlights to assure your vehicle is visible to other drivers.

Keep your vehicle properly maintained. Assure that vehicle components such as the battery, tires, brakes, lights, wipers, and fluid levels are in adequate condition before starting to drive.

Keep emergency supplies in your vehicle at all times. Make sure that your vehicle contains extra blankets, tire chains, emergency signals or flares, water, and nutritious dried or canned food.

Know who to contact in the event of an accident or breakdown.

Keep your phone charged. Help ensure that you will be able contact emergency services.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a series of Driver Safety online training courses on topics of: defensive driving, distracted driving, and general driver preparedness for non-commercial drivers. Toolbox talk resources are offered on a variety of topics such as: vehicle maintenance, winter driving, winter preparation, and more. There is also a safety video available in both English and Spanish on Winter Safety.

Is Your Organization Prepared for an Active Shooter Situation?

active shooter preparedness

No workplace is immune to the risks of an active shooter incident. However, there are steps you can take to assure your organization is prepared for the worst.

Emergency Action Plan

Tailoring an emergency action plan to your organization helps employees understand the proper procedures for dealing with an active shooter situation and its aftermath.

  • Your plan should include:
    • How to report emergencies to proper authorities and remote locations within the premises.
    • Contact information for area hospitals and emergency personnel.
    • Evacuation policies and procedures.
  • When creating your plan, work with Human Resources and training departments, as well as external resources such as facility owners, property managers, and local law enforcement.

Training Exercises

Training exercises and simulations of active shooter situations can educate employees on your organization’s emergency action plan and reinforce practices that can help save lives.

  • The training should include:
    • Exercises to help recognize and react properly to gunfire.
    • When to call 911.
    • What to do when law enforcement arrives.
    • Exercises to develop a “survival mindset.”
  • Contact local law enforcement and emergency response agencies if you have any questions about the design or facilitation of training exercises.

Preventative Measures

Organizations can take steps to minimize the chances of an active shooter situation.

  • Cultivate a respectful environment in the workplace.
  • The responsibilities of organizational and facility management include the following:
    • Proper screening and background checks
    • Adherence to procedures for reporting violent behavior
    • Implementation of access controls throughout the premises
    • Distribution of floor plans
    • Crisis kits


Warning Signs

Before an incident, active shooters usually exhibit traits of potentially violent behavior over an extended period of time. Know the warning signs and train employees to be aware of them. Employees should report signs of potentially violent behavior to a manager or HR.

Common traits that may be indicative of potentially violent behavior include the following:

  • Feelings of depression or withdrawal
  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol
  • Decreased attention to personal appearance or hygiene habits
  • Resistance to policy or procedural changes or disregarding the existing organizational policies
  • Severe mood swings, unprovoked outbursts of anger, or unstable, overemotional reactions
  • Increased talk of personal issues, suicide or death, firearms, or violent crimes

 

Please note that this list is not comprehensive, nor is it to be used as a diagnostic tool.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers an Active Shooter Preparedness online training course for your organization that includes information on organizational preparedness, preventive measures, active shooter response, and post-incident actions.

The Right Body Protection Can Save Lives

Body Protection

Hazards are present in every workplace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals the majority of workplace injuries occur while workers are performing their normal job duties at their regular work sites.

In many industries, avoiding injuries and incidents depends on correctly identifying and acquiring the proper personal protective equipment, or “PPE” for the task.

Body protection generally protects the torso, but can also include full-body coverage that can protect from chemical splashes, sharp objects, or welding sparks. The proper type and condition of equipment will need to be determined by a job hazard assessment conducted before the work begins.

Note: Body Protection and other PPE will not completely eliminate hazards.

The most common types of body protection include the following:

Common Types
• Aprons
• Laboratory coats
• Front or rear gowns
• Vests
• Jackets
• Coveralls
• Chaps
• Full body suits

Common Materials
• Paper or fiber
• Rubber
• Treated wool or cotton
• Leather

Before use:
• Assure employees have been fully trained on its proper use
• Inspect body protection for holes, cuts, or other noticeable signs of wear
• Replace any worn or damaged articles
• Assure body protection fits properly. Ill-fitting clothing may result in additional hazards such as trips and caught-in hazards.

After use:
• Perform on-site cleaning and maintenance of equipment. Do not clean body protection items at home or in public laundromats.
• If working with chemicals, biohazards, or other hazardous materials, remove and properly dispose of any contaminated clothing immediately.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a newly updated Personal Protective Equipment training course for management that includes information on hearing, respiratory and full-body protection, PPE selection, inspection, and maintenance. A series of toolbox safety documents are also available about specific types of PPE such as eye, foot and hand protection, and types of machinery and clothing.

OSHA updates National Emphasis Program on amputation inspections

Lockout Tagout

In August, a new employee lost four fingers on his first day of work at a plastic molding company in Ohio. The company did not provide adequate training, nor did they report the amputation, as required by OSHA (From OSHA News Release 08/13/15). If the company had trained the employee about lockout/tagout requirements and machine hazards, the incident could have been prevented.

Amputations are among one of the most frequently cited OSHA standards. According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 2,000 workers suffered amputations in 2013. Data reveals that amputation injuries are being underreported, across all industries. Employers can prevent these by following proper safety precautions. In 2006, OSHA created the National Emphasis Program that focuses on industries with high rates and numbers of amputation injuries (From OSHA’s Trade News Release, 08/13/15).

OSHA has recently updated the National Emphasis Program to target organizations whose workplaces possess machinery that has a high risk of amputation hazards. OSHA is expected to carry out more inspections of employers that fit these credentials. “This directive will help ensure that employers identify and eliminate serious workplace hazards and provide safe workplaces for all workers,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. The inspections will consist of an evaluation of exposures found present during employees’ operation of machinery including: cleaning, oiling or greasing machines or machine pans; and locking out machinery to prevent accidental start-up.” (From OSHA’s Trade News Release, 08/13/15).

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC has digital library resources that focus on Lockout/Tagout procedures, including audit checklists, training shorts, quizzes, and PowerPoint presentations. They also have content that focuses on machine safeguarding, interlock guarding, light curtains, and more. Most importantly they have Lockout/Tagout and Machine Safeguarding training courses, which are comprehensive and aim to educate employees and help prevent amputation hazards.

Natural Gas: The Silent Killer

Gas burner

Natural gas is a colorless and odorless gas that is highly flammable. The biggest hazard that can result from a natural gas leak is an explosion; it also causes those in an exposed area to become sick. Gas companies add an odorant called mercaptan that allows a leak to be easily detected by emitting a strong sulfur, rotten egg scent. It is crucial to know how to react when exposed to natural gas in different environments.

If you are inside and smell a faint natural gas odor:

• Turn off all burners and gas appliances completely.
• Extinguish any ignition sources such as open flames.
• Open all windows and doors to ventilate the area.
• Check pilot lights on gas appliances to see if they are lit.
• If you are unable to determine the source of the gas odor, call your gas company and report the odor.
• Relight extinguished pilot lights only if you know how to do so safely. Otherwise, call an appliance maintenance professional.


If you are inside and smell a strong gas odor:

• Quickly extinguish any ignition sources, such as candles, burners, or embers.
• Evacuate the building immediately, taking all residents with you. Notify others in the area of the possible leak.
• Do not use lights or any electrical equipment that might produce a spark.
• Once safely outdoors and away from the building, call the gas company or 911 with a cell phone or from a neighbor’s phone to report the odor. Do not place the call from inside the building where the strong odor is occurring.
• Do not renter the building unless instructed to do so by emergency personnel.


If you are outside and smell a strong natural gas odor or hear the sound of escaping gas:

• Leave the area where the smell or sound is occurring.
• Do not do anything that could create a spark, such as lighting embers, fires, or fireworks.
• Once away from the area of smell, contact the gas company or emergency responders using a cell phone or neighbor’s phone.

Succeed Management Solutions, LCC offers more toolbox talks that educate employees on natural gas and the associated hazards. Other toolbox topics include: how to properly handle various acids and bases, carbon monoxide poisoning, and preventive safety measures.

New Confined Space Entry Regulations – Starting October 2nd

OSHA has added a new sub-part to their existing Confined Space Entry standard. This change addresses construction-specific hazards that will be enforced beginning October 2nd, 2015. The construction industry encounters unique hazards and is subject to a higher risk of death and serious injury. This prompts the request for specific modifications to be made to the current confined space entry standard.

Confined Space Communication

The additional regulations encourage employers to heighten communication throughout every step of the confined space entry process, including the clear communication of roles and responsibilities, proper pre-entry procedures, atmospheric testing, and acquisition of the appropriate permits. OSHA believes once properly implemented by employers, this final rule will reduce the amount of fatalities and injuries in confined spaces by 96 percent (from OSHA’s Final Rule, 5/04/2015).

The nature of a confined space can be unpredictable. It is essential to train employees and all personnel involved about the changes to the confined space entry in construction standard. Learn about the roles and responsibilities to assure understanding of each person involved in the process:

confined space entry deadline

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a newly updated Confined Space Entry online training course that includes the newest confined space in construction regulations. There are also toolbox talks that cover the same regulations.

September is National Preparedness Month!

fire extinguisher safety

September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It’s a great time for employers to reevaluate their Emergency Preparedness and Action Plans. Emergency situations can occur at home or at the job, and can be devastating for communities. Establishing an effective Emergency Action Plan is crucial.

In the workplace, emergency procedures should be tested and practiced by all staff. It is important to perform drills regularly and ensure staff know the correct actions to take, should an emergency occur. Re-evaluating and making necessary changes to the emergency plan is crucial to maintain a safety culture at a workplace.

An emergency can present itself in many forms. Emergencies can result in property damages, injured employees, customers, or other individuals, business interruption and more. Such emergencies can include…

– Fire/Flood
– Earthquake/Tornado/Hurricane
– Explosion
– Hazardous Material Accidents
– Loss of an important customer or provider
– Communications Failure

Below are some initial steps to formulate your own Emergency Action Plan within your organization:

– Formulate a team to develop the Emergency Action Plan.
– Analyze all potential hazards and estimate the probability of the hazard occurring
– Outline response procedures for all potential emergencies
– Conduct training/drills to assure all personnel are aware of their role during each emergency
– Assess and amend the plan as necessary.

Last month was National Immunization Awareness Month, which emphasizes safe practices in healthcare facilities and the prevention of the spread of bloodborne pathogens. Immunization and bloodborne pathogens awareness goes hand-in-hand with emergency preparedness.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a newly updated Bloodborne Pathogens training course that applies the most recent safe practices, along with three updated safety toolbox talk resources focusing on the topics of Staph and MRSA Infections, Sharps Safety, and West Nile Virus. They also offer an Emergency Action Plan course and associated toolbox talks.