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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Cost Containment Biggest Workers’ Comp Concern

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Cost containment will be the chief workers’ comp insurance concern for U.S. employers over the next 12 months, according to a survey. Zywave, an insurance software company, found that among the 3,500 companies polled, 59% were “very or somewhat concerned” about cost containment this year. Despite the results, there are a number of ways that employers can control those costs, including establishing a solid safety program and helping injured employees return to work. The survey results included the following: Respondents said the most effective workers’ comp cost control method was a safety-minded culture (65%). Although 59% said that a light-duty…
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Reducing Workplace Stress Is Vital for Safety, Retention, Production

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

During our economic recovery one element that has been persistent is that employers are trying to get more out of their workers than ever before. And while most managers and owners try to ensure that their workers are provided a safe workplace and put a premium on reducing the chances of accidents, one often overlooked area is workplace stress. Heaping too much stress or too many responsibilities on a single employee can greatly increase their chances of not only burnout, but also making costly mistakes. A worse-case scenario is that if they are engaged in more labor-intensive occupations, too much…
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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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Documenting Small Safety Incidents Key to Preventing Major Ones

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Studies show that for every major workplace injury or fatality, there are nearly 10 minor injuries – and more than 30 accidents that lead to property damage. Capturing data even on minor incidents that may seem trivial in isolation can be critical in informing efforts to prevent much greater dangers in the future. A big part of that effort involves ensuring businesses maintain a complete set of data. Managers at all levels should focus on solid and thorough documentation. Here is where management’s main effort should be concentrated: Don’t ignore minor incidents. Document all of them. Even if you have…
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When Injuries at Work Don’t Equal Workers’ Comp

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While injuries and deaths that occur while someone is carrying out their work on behalf of their employer are compensated by workers’ comp coverage, not all workplace injuries or deaths are compensable, as a recent court case shows. In the case, a heating and air conditioning technician died of a heart attack while working in an attic. But his wife was denied workers’ comp death benefits by the insurance company and a workers’ comp judge on the basis that the heart attack was not related to work. The decision by the judge was appealed and a state court recently ruled…
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Are Sleepy Workers Damaging Your Business’s Health?

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In June 2014, a truck driver from Georgia drove 800 miles from his home to his Delaware workplace. Without stopping to rest, he then got behind the wheel of a Wal-Mart tractor trailer and headed north. He rear-ended a limousine bus on the New Jersey turnpike, starting a chain-reaction crash involving six vehicles and 21 people. Comedy writer James McNair died and television comedian Tracy Morgan suffered serious injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the driver, who had been awake for 28 hours, caused the crash because he was fatigued. Employers are increasingly becoming aware of the problems…
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Pallet Safety Key to Preventing Many Injuries

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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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