Sunday, November 27, 2016

Slips/Trips/Falls - Overview

Slips can be caused by wet surfaces, spills, or weather hazards like ice or snow. Slips are more likely to occur when you hurry or run, wear the wrong kind of shoes, or don’t pay attention to where you’re walking.

You can help avoid slips by following these safety precautions:
• Practice safe walking skills. Take short steps on slippery surfaces to keep your center of balance under you, and point your feet slightly outward.
• Clean up or report spills right away. Even minor spills can be very dangerous.
• Don’t let grease accumulate at your work place.
• Be extra cautious on smooth surfaces such as newly waxed floors. Also be careful walking on loose carpeting.

Trips occur whenever your foot hits an object and you are moving with enough momentum to be thrown off balance. You can help avoid trips when you:
• Make sure you can see where you are walking. Don’t carry loads that you cannot see over.
• Keep walking and working areas well lit, especially at night.
• Keep the workplace clean and tidy. Store materials and supplies in the appropriate storage areas.
• Arrange furniture and office equipment so that it doesn’t interfere with walkways or pedestrian traffic in your area.
• Properly maintain walking areas, and alert appropriate authorities regarding potential maintenance related hazards.

To avoid falls consider the following measures:
• Don’t jump off landings or loading docks. Use the stairs.
• Repair or replace stairs or handrails that are loose or broken.
• Keep passageways and aisles clear of clutter and well lit.
• Wear shoes with appropriate non-slip soles.

This information is provided by: Assurance Agency

Friday, November 18, 2016

Ohio worker’s death highlights grim 2016 national stat: trench collapse fatalities have more than doubled

Example-not the one refereed to in this article.

OSHA cited an Ohio company after a 33-year-old employee was crushed to death in June 2016 as he was digging soil out of the 12-foot trench in Washington Township, when the trench walls around him collapsed – burying him in thousands of pounds of dirt. Rescue workers recovered his body a few hours later.
He is one of 23 workers killed, and 12 others who reported injuries in trench collapses in 2016. Trench collapses are rarely survivable. One cubic yard of soil can weigh up to 3,000 lbs. – the weight of a small automobile – giving a worker in a trench little chance of survival when walls of soil collapse.
“Trench deaths have more than doubled nationwide since last year – an alarming and unacceptable trend that must be halted,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “There is no excuse. These fatalities are completely preventable by complying with OSHA standards that every construction contractor should know.”
An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found his employer, KRW Plumbing LLC, did not provide trench cave-in protection for its employees. OSHA cited the company for two willful and two serious safety violations on Nov. 8, 2016, after the agency completed its investigation into the June 15, 2016, death and a subsequent investigation opened in October 2016.
The employee was part of a crew installing a sewer line at a residential home under construction in the 400 block of Claxton Glen Court. The agency’s investigation found earlier that same day, a portion of the trench had collapsed and the worker was able to escape. Agency inspectors also learned the same worker was involved in a trench collapse about a month earlier at another construction site, because trench cave-in protection was not provided, leading OSHA to open a separate investigation in October 2016.
“This man’s life could have been saved by following OSHA’s safety standards that require cave-in protection in a trench more than 5-feet deep,” said Ken Montgomery, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “Excavating companies need to re-examine their safety procedures to ensure they are taking all available precautions – including installing trench boxes, shoring and other means to prevent unexpected shifts in the soil that can cause walls to collapse. Soil and other materials must also be kept at least two feet from the edge of trench to prevent the spoils from falling back into the open trench.”
While investigating the fatality OSHA found KRW Plumbing:
–       Did not provide trench cave-in protection.
–       Failed to protect workers from excavated material failing or rolling into a trench or failing from inside the trench walls.
–       Failed to trained workers in recognizing trench hazards.
Proposed penalties total $274,359. View citations for June inspection here, and October inspection here.
OSHA has a national emphasis program on trenching and excavations. Trenching standards require protective systems on trenches deeper than 5 feet, and soil and other materials kept at least two feet from the edge of trench.
Based in Jamestown, KRW Plumbing has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Cincinnati office at 513-841-4132.
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


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Respiratory Protection - Tool Box Talks

OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard was effective April 8, 1998.

It is estimated that the new rule will prevent more than 4,000 injuries and illnesses annually. With the new rule, in addition to saving lives and preventing injuries and illnesses, employers will realize up to $94 million a year in savings on injury and illness-related costs. The new standard reflects current respirator technology and better ways to ensure they fit.

The revised standard requires:
- A written plan with worksite-specific procedures to tailor your employers program to each worksite.
- A hazard evaluation to characterize respiratory hazards and conditions of work to assist employers in selecting appropriate respirators.
- A medical evaluation to determine ability of workers to wear the respirator selected.
- Fit testing of tight-fitting respirators to reduce faceseal leakage and ensure that the respirators provide adequate protection.
- A training program to ensure that your employees use respirators safely.
- A periodic program evaluation to ensure that respirator use continues to be effective.

Why use respirators?
- Respirators protect you against hazardous atmospheres containing:
- Particulates/dusts (silica).
- Vapors and gases (carbon monoxide).
- Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) atmospheres (oxygen deficiency).
- Physical agents (radioactive particles).
- Biological agents (mold spores).

When are respirators required?
Exposure to any material or substance at a concentration above the permissible exposure limit (PEL) specified in Appendix A to 1926.55 must be avoided. Compliance must be achieved by using administrative (i.e., employee shift changes) or engineering (i.e., ventilation) controls first. When these controls are not feasible to achieve full compliance, protective equipment must be used to keep the exposure within the PELs prescribed.

Whenever respirators are used, their use must comply with 1926.103—Respiratory protection. Various airborne contaminants in Appendix A of 1926.55 do not list PELs but instead send you to another portion of the construction regulations. These contaminants are called OSHA specific contaminants. Examples are: Asbestos (1926.1101), alpha-Naphthylamine (1926.1104), and lead (1926.62). There are approximately 27 of these substances. These OSHA specific contaminants have their own PELs and specific requirements. When you are required to use respirators, then all requirements of 29 CFR 1910.134 apply.

This information is provided by: Assurance Agency

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Violence in the workplace - tool box talks

Violence in the workplace is a growing threat for businesses of all sizes and all over.
What constitutes violence at work?

Common acts of violence in the workplace can include:
• insubordination
• verbal bullying
• threats
• harassment
• sexual assault and rape
• theft
• make fists and beatings
• stabbings and shooting
• suicides
• vandalism and arson
• kidnapping or hostage-taking

What should I do?
Violence in the workplace affects not only the victims, but coworkers and the company also. It is important that employees cooperate with the company to limit or eliminate the violence at work through controls of the methods of work.

What should my employer do?
Your employer will review the plan of the company for the prevention of violence at work and controls the working methods.

This information is provided by: Assurance Agency