Partners in workplace safety since 1998

What’s News

Respirator Exams ~ Skip the Office Visit!

Do your employees wear respirators?  If so, OSHA requires you to implement a “Respiratory Protection Program”.  One of the mandatory elements of these programs is to medically evaluate each employee before they are fit tested or initially wear a respirator.  If your company falls under OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard, then you probably already know this… but did you know that you are NOT required to actually send your employees to a clinic for this evaluation?  OSHA’s regulation on medical evaluations for respirators is found in 1910.134(e)(2)(i) and it reads… The employer shall identify a physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP) to perform medical evaluations using a medical questionnaire or an initial medical examination that obtains the same information as the medical questionnaire. There are many physicians who will review these medical questionnaire’s without seeing the employee in the office, and possibly approve them for respirator use (if the employee meets […]

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December’s Unsafe Photos

We’ve compiled our favorite silly, unsafe photos for the month of December. The foolishness, danger, and lack of awareness in the photos below is unbelievable. Hopefully you can spot the issues within each photo! Please do not try to duplicate any of the images below, as they are not safe.  

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OSHA issues “Recommended Practices For Safety & Health Programs In Construction”

OSHA has issued a guideline that should help industry employers develop proactive programs to keep their workplaces safe. The recommended practices should be helpful to small and medium sized contractors who may not have safety  and health specialists on staff. This is a wonderful tool that can be used as a guideline to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths, as well as financial difficulties these events can cause for workers, their families and their employers.  Click here to see the Recommended Practices provided by OSHA. Click here for the news release. These recommendations are advisory only and do not create any new legal obligations or alter existing obligations created by OSHA standards or regulations.  

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Trench Collapse Fatalities Have More Than Doubled in 2016

A recent fatality in Ohio has highlighted the fact that trench fatalities have more than doubled in the year 2016. There have been twenty three fatalities and twelve reported injuries regarding trenches. One cubic yard of soil can weight up to 3000 pounds, making trench collapses rarely survivable. Click here for the OSHA News Release. Click here for an OSHA Trenching and Excavation Fact Sheet.  

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CCS Changes their Certification Program!

The Coalition for Construction Safety (CCS) has announced they are going to unleash several updates to their “Certification Program” that will become effective on January 1, 2017.  These changes will affect the grading criteria used during their Safety Program Review process, and also require additional documents to be submitted annually during renewal.  Here is a summary of these changes… MINIMUM CRITERIA  (Partial List) Safety Directors must complete an OSHA 30-Hour course or greater. AED certification will be required for employees exposed to live energized parts. A Silica Control Plan will be required for those who are exposed to silica. Confined Space Entry plans must be written to satisfy OSHA’s Confined Space in Construction Standard (i.e. reference to a Competent Person, use of early warning system when engulfment is possible, etc). Post-Accident drug testing must reflect OSHA’s latest requirements on this matter. BEST PRACTICES  (Partial List) Safety Directors complete an OSHA […]

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Great Handout for Electrical Safety Training!

We stumbled across a great handout today that can be used for basic electrical safety training.  It’s specifically designed for teaching Electrical Safety as part of OSHA’s Focus Four program for the construction industry, but parts of it could be used by industrial company’s as well.  It really seems like it would get the students involved with the class.  We plan on incorporating it into some of our training classes.  Click here if you want to check it out!

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OSHA vs. Discipline, Incentives & Drug Testing

On May 12, 2016 OSHA published a Final Rule that was largely touted as their initiative to gather annual injury and illness information electronically starting in 2017.  However, tucked away within the Final Rule were some modifications that will also limit each employer’s ability to discipline their employees, issue safety incentives, and administer post-accident drug tests!  These changes that were initially framed by OSHA as being ancillary have now become the central focal point to many.  In fact, they are under such scrutiny that multiple employer groups have filed legal action.  This has resulted in the effective date being delayed twice so far (now December 1, 2016). In an attempt to clarify their stance on these issues, OSHA has published some “Frequently Asked Questions” and a document titled “Employee Involvement (Employee’s right to report injuries and illnesses free from retaliation)”.  In our opinion, both resources are helpful, but the “Employee Involvement” document offers much more detail and some case study examples.  Here are a few things […]

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18 Proposed OSHA Changes!

  On October 4, 2016 OSHA announced their intent to modify 18 of their existing regulations.  This is part of an initiative that first began in 1995 intended to bring clarity to outdated standards and relieve unnecessary burdens on employers.  While most of these proposed changes seem to do this, there is one that will add another responsibility for employers (posting jobsite coordinates).  Here are a few of the more substantial changes that are currently proposed. POSTING COORDINATES:  When using phones that do not automatically communicate the caller’s location to 911 (this currently includes most cell phones) the employer will be required to post the jobsite coordinates (latitude/longitude) along with the emergency telephone numbers.  RECORDING HEARING LOSS CLAIMS:  Language is going to be added to OSHA’s recordkeeping standard (29 CFR 1904) that emphasizes the fact that employers are responsible for making sure that physicians use the information within OSHA’s standard when classifying hearing […]

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Is it Legal to Replace Electrical Plugs?

Have you ever heard that it’s not legal to replace the plug on the end of an electrical cord because replacement plugs aren’t molded to the cord like the original plugs?  So have we.  In fact, we’ve been asked this question recently by a few clients, so we have decided to write a blog just to clear it up. For those of you who don’t have the time or patience to read all of the detail, the short answer without any explanation is… it IS legal to use a replacement plug as long as the plug is UL listed and the repair is made in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.  For those of you who crave the details or need to see the proof, let’s dive into OSHA’s standards in order to get the answer. Our first stop will be 1926.404(b)(1)(iii)(C), which is shown below.  This standard confirms that the repair of electrical components (including […]

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Great Pictures for Fall Protection Training

Need to spice-up your fall protection training?  Here are 7 pictures that will get your students to laugh, scratch their heads, and spark conversation.  Thanks to our Safety Advisors and clients/friends for sharing.  Keep them coming!   PICTURE #1 = The individual on the elevated surface to the far left has tied his retractable lanyard to a beam on the far right wall…. BUT he does have a spotter below him who can catch him if he falls – LOL!   PICTURE #2 – Can’t find a good anchor point… why not use a loaded-down wagon?  It holds your kids doesn’t it?!   PICTURE #3 – A dented bucket is just as good as a set of steps…. right???   PICTURE #4 – Do you think this 2×4 would hold your weight if you run fast enough?  This brings a whole new meaning to “walk the plank”!   PICTURE #5 – Need […]

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