Monday, January 8, 2018

Incident Reporting - TBT

The health and safety of our employees is a top priority. It is everyone’s responsibility to help prevent injuries and report all incidents immediately so that the same thing does not happen again.

When an incident does occur, you must report it to your supervisor immediately and no later than the end of the work day. An employee statement form must be filled out so that the details of the incident can be investigated. It is important to learn what actions must be taken to prevent the accident from happening again. Your supervisor has all the necessary forms for conducting an investigation. This process is not to place blame on the employee or supervisor. It is to find the “root” cause of the incident.

No matter how small the incident may seem, it should be reported to your supervisor. Your supervisor will decide what to do next.

Let’s discuss a few scenarios:
1. While setting up a ladder, a slight pain is felt in your shoulder. You work the rest of the day however it doesn’t hurt too bad. Should you report this or wait until tomorrow to see if it still hurts?
2. You cut your finger on a utility knife and there is some blood that requires a band aid. Should you report this?
3. You trip and hit your elbow on the ground but do not feel any pain. Should you report this?

The following items should always be immediately reported to your supervisor:
1. An injury to any employee or contractor, even if the injury does not require medical attention.
2. An injury to a member of the public occurring on a work site possibly resulting from our activity or involving property, equipment, or resource
3. Illness resulting from suspected chemical exposure
4. Chronic or re-occurring conditions such as back pain or cumulative trauma disorders
5. Fire or explosion
6. Any vehicle accidents occurring on site, while traveling to or from client locations, or with any company-owned or leased vehicle
7. Property damage resulting from any activity
8. Structural collapse or potential structural hazards
9. Unexpected release or imminent release of a hazardous material
10. Unexpected chemical exposures to workers or the public
11. A safety related complaint from the public regarding our activities
12. Any other significant occurrence that could impact safety - WHEN IN DOUBT, REPORT IT!

This information is provided by: Assurance Agency

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

OSHA Updates

U.S. Labor Department’s OSHA Accepting Electronically Submitted Injury, Illness Reports Through December 31

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will continue accepting 2016 OSHA Form 300A data through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) until midnight on December 31, 2017. OSHA will not take enforcement action against those employers who submit their reports after the December 15, 2017, deadline but before December 31, 2017, final entry date. Starting January 1, 2018, the ITA will no longer accept the 2016 data.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

New and Revised Fact Sheets on Silica Now Available

OSHA has released more than a dozen fact sheets that provide guidance on the respirable crystalline silica standard for construction. One fact sheet is an overview of the silica standard. The other fact sheets provide employers with information on how to fully and properly implement controls, work practices, and if needed, respiratory protection for each of the 18 tasks listed in Table 1 — Specified Exposure Control Methods under the standard.  


Monday, December 11, 2017

Winter Driving Tips - On the Job Tool Box Talks

Driving habits need to change once the winter driving season is upon us. Please keep the following in mind when it comes to driving during the winter.

1. ALWAYS wear your seat belt. It’s the law and they save lives. 41,000 people die in vehicle accidents every year. Many of these people may still be alive had they been wearing their seat belt.

2. Drive at a safe speed for conditions. During snow and sleet, driving at the posted speed limit is too fast. After a rain or thawing of snow, road conditions can change quickly from just wet to ice once the temperature drops below freezing again.

3. Be cautious of other drivers on the road. Give others enough room to merge into traffic.

4. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. Will you be able to stop in enough time if you needed to brake in an emergency situation?

5. Remember if you are pulling a trailer, additional distance is needed to stop.

6. After a snowfall, visibility can be decreased by salt from the roadways splashing on windshields. Check your windshield fluid prior to leaving. If low, fill it up. Keep an extra bottle of washer fluid in your vehicle.

7. Clean your wiper blades with an alcohol wipe. This will help avoid streaks when using your wiper blades. If your wiper blades are worn out, they should be replaced. Typically they should be replaced every 6 months.

8. Drive with your headlights on during inclement weather. This will increase your visibility to other drivers.

9. Clean off snow and defrost your windows prior to leaving. Let your vehicle warm up.

This information is provided by: Assurance Agency


Monday, December 4, 2017

Trench Cave-Ins-Tool Box Talks

Trench cave-ins can be prevented. Yet every year there are an estimated 75 to 200 deaths and more than 1,000 lost work days per year from trenching accidents.

What does the competent person look for?
According to OSHA, your company competent person must inspect all excavations each day for evidence of a situation that could result in:
• possible cave-ins.
• indications of failure of protective systems.
• hazardous atmospheres.
• other hazardous conditions.
However, if you work in trenches/excavations you should know much of the same information your competent person does. Why a sudden change could mean disaster for you and fellow workers.

What are unsafe conditions?
Some of the things that could cause an immediate change at an excavation site are:
• A bulldozer or excavator coming too close to your trench could cause a surcharge (overloading) and stress cracks at or near the edge of the trench.
• A sudden downpour could fill the trench or cause rain-soaked soil to give way.
• Accidentally striking an underground utility line with a tool could present an immediate electrocution or hazardous atmosphere hazard.

These are just a few of the sudden incidents that need immediate attention and decision-making. That’s why the OSHA rules require your company to train you in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions, the regulations applicable to your work environment, and to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.

What does OSHA's regulation cover?
OSHA’s excavation rules apply to all open excavations made in the earth’s surface including trenches. The regulation is in the construction standards at §1926.650-.652 and covers:

Scope and application—The rule applies to all open excavations made in the earth’s surface. Excavations are defined to include trenches.

Specific excavation requirements—to include surface hazards, underground utilities, getting in and out of the excavation, traffic hazards, hazardous atmospheres, emergency rescue, inspections, and fall protection.

Requirements for protective systems—The rule says each employee in an excavation must be protected from cave-ins by an adequate protective system designed in accordance with the OSHA regulations for:
• sloping and benching systems, or
• support, shield, and other protective systems.

Exceptions would be when:
• Excavations are made entirely in stable rock; or
• Excavations are less than five feet deep and examination of the ground by a competent person provides no indication of a potential cave-in.
• Excavations are one of the most dangerous places in construction work. Your knowledge of the hazards and a constant vigil could make a life or death difference.

This information was provided by: Assurance Agency