Lockout/Tagout Training Essential in Any Shop with Equipment

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Every year, hundreds of workers in the United States die because they don’t follow lockout/tagout procedures or their employers did not have them in place – or, if they did, failed to enforce their rules. Failure to train or inadequate training is one of the top-cited lockout/tagout violations by Cal/OSHA. Improper training or failing to train all of your workers can have dire consequences, even for staff that are trained in procedures. In this past year in California, two workers died because of inadequate training. One died on the job at a nut cannery because he had missed lockout/tagout training when…
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Employee Behavior, Habits Can Thwart Heat Illness Prevention

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Every summer thousands of American workers suffer from heat illness after working in hot conditions and not taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves. Often employers have not put in place safeguards and have failed to train their workers in heat illness prevention. But even the most well-intentioned employers need to take extra precautions to ensure their employees’ safety. The biggest challenge in implementing a heat illness prevention program is cutting through misconceptions about heat illness and workers not understanding how to identify the initial signs of such illness. You also have to make sure that your supervisors are all…
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OSHA Not Letting Up on Inspections, Penalties

| posted in Blog

Despite expectations, Fed-OSHA under the Trump administration has not backed off on enforcing workplace safety regulations. In fact, the agency is as aggressive as ever and citations are higher than ever as well, after fines were increased substantially three years ago. Based on the agency’s own statistics, a company that’s inspected has only a 25% chance of not receiving a single citation. In other words, employers should not let up on their safety regimens to not only avoid being cited but also to avoid workplace injuries, which nobody wants. OSHA Updates: Enforcement emphasis still going strong – There are more than…
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Cal/OSHA Issues Emergency Rules for Posting Injury Forms Electronically

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Cal/OSHA is implementing emergency regulations that require California employers with 250 or more employees to submit their 2017 Form 300A summaries electronically by the end of this year. That’s the form that you signed and posted in your workplace from Feb. 1 to April 30. Form 300A contains only the summary of injuries and is not the actual log, which contains the names of the employees who were injured. For the electronic filing, you will simply take the same information on the form you posted earlier this year and enter it into an electronic database. The short ramp-up period will…
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OSHA Cracks Down on Errant Electronic Filers

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Despite the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration pushing back the deadline until Dec. 31, 2017, about a third of workplaces that were required to electronically file their 2016 Form 300A in a timely fashion, failed to do so. Now OSHA has started a crackdown on employers that failed to file their forms after the agency stopped accepting the 2016 forms as of Jan. 1, 2018. In February, compliance officers were instructed to initiate inquiries into whether workplaces had electronically filed their 300A forms for 2016. Failure to file can lead to an other-than-serious citation, with a maximum penalty of…
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OSHA Can Go Back More Than Five Years for Repeat Violations

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

OSHA can look beyond five years to assess “repeat violations” when considering the penalties against an employer for breaching workplace safety regulations, a U.S. appellate court has ruled. Repeat violations can be assessed at 10 times the amount of a safety violation, which makes the ruling a game-changer for companies who have been cited more than once, even if that citation was issued more than five years ago. It increases the stakes for employers who until now chose not to contest more routine violations because of the cost of defending them. Under OSHA regulations, the maximum penalty for a serious…
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Pallet Safety Key to Preventing Many Injuries

| posted in Blog

If you have a warehouse and store products on pallets, you may not be aware that they present one of the most common workplace hazards. The most common injuries around pallets are when workers trip over them or step or fall on them. Sometimes employees will step on a wooden pallet for support to reach something up high. Also, an empty pallet that has not been put away creates a tripping hazard, and injuries from this cause are the most common. Many workers hurt themselves because they did not see the pallet or were not aware that it could break…
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Fall Protection Training Makes Debut on OSHA’s Top 10 Citations List

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There’s a newcomer to OSHA’s top 10 list of violations that it cites every year: Fall Protection – Training Requirements. While physical fall protection violations, like failing to install guard-rails or provide fall protection equipment, continue to feature at the top of the list, this is the first time that training requirements as a stand-alone category has made it onto OSHA’s preliminary list of most-cited violations has featured. The fact that OSHA has doled out so many citations for such training-requirement violations reflects its increasing commitment to reduce injuries and deaths from trips, slips and falls – the most common…
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Protecting Your Workers in Wildfire Areas

| posted in Blog

If you have workers in a wildfire zone, you need to have measures in place to protect them in the event of a catastrophe. Smoke from these wildfires is dangerous as it contains chemicals, gases and fine particles that can lodge deep in people’s lungs. This can make it difficult to breathe, aggravate asthma as well as existing heart and lung conditions – not to mention all the coughing and wheezing that most people would experience. To protect workers exposed to wildfire smoke, Cal/OSHA recommends that employers take the following measures: • Engineering controls like using a filtered ventilation system…
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Eight Tips for Improving Personal Protective Equipment and Safety Compliance

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Having adequate personal protective equipment on hand and available for employees to use is a critical part of your workplace safety and compliance program. OSHA regulations and applicable federal laws make employers responsible for the following: • A thorough and complete survey and assessment of workplace hazards. • Identifying all PPE required and ensuring it is purchased in sufficient quantity. • Training in proper PPE usage and wear. • Enforcing rules requiring PPE usage. • Inspecting and maintaining PPE and replacing it when it gets worn out or becomes unserviceable. • Keeping records of safety incidents and updating your PPE…
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