How To Maintain A NIOSH/OSHA Safe Workplace?
One of the primary responsibilities of every business or employer is to fully implement an effective safety and health program in the workplace. A properly managed workplace safety program shows commitment to the safety of workers by the management. This, in turn, creates a more productive workplace that maintains the highest standards for safety and health.
As an employer, you’re responsible for ensuring that your business is in full compliance with the latest safety and health regulations set out by the law. The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) oversee the implementation and promotion of occupational health and safety programs that help prevent injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the workplace.
How do you maintain a NIOSH/OSHA safe workplace?
Identify Hazards in Your Workplace
You can do this by evaluating all occupational roles in your business, the work involved, and the tools and equipment used. For instance, hazards may include technicians working with heavy machinery, a warehouse worker stacking heavy boxes, or a janitor working with cleaning chemicals.
With a good understanding of the various hazards and risks that your workers and employees are exposed to, you can now take steps to minimize or eliminate them to ensure their health and safety.
Develop a Safety Plan and Do Drills
Once you have identified workplace hazards, you need to develop a safety plan. Your plan must comply with the latest NIOSH/OSHA standards, rules, and regulations. Ensure that all your employees understand what needs to be done should there be a health or safety crisis in the workplace. A written plan of action should be formulated and included in your business policies and operational procedures.
Regular vetting of your safety plan must be done with the involvement of managers, supervisors, and employees. It’s not enough to simply have a safety plan in place. To ensure it can be implemented, carry out drills at least once or twice a year so as to practice on what to do and where to go in case of a safety hazard or an emergency.
Inspect Your Workplace and Review Safety Procedures
Regularly check your workplace tools and equipment to ensure that they are in good condition and safe to use. Are your employees properly trained and updated on how to handle equipment safely? Make sure that you also review all workplace operational and safety procedures. If you have invested in new safety equipment such as Moldex-Metric hearing protection or respiratory masks, are your workers aware of the updated safety procedures?
Being in the know of how your entire workplace operates and what measures are in place to ensure employee safety is critical.
Train Your Workers and Teach Awareness
Investing in proper health and safety training is necessary for all employees. Train them on safe working procedures and teach awareness. Training is best done on an on-going basis and should be offered in a simple, practical and easy-to-understand way.
Provide written instructions and other resources like online training and conduct regular supervisions to ensure employees are performing their jobs as expected and safely.
Communicate Safety Procedures Clearly
Communicating the safety procedures required in your workplace clearly is important. Make use of safety posters, data sheets, color codes, signs or labels to communicate to workers and warn them of potential hazards. Established operating procedures should also be communicated in the same way to remind employees of health and safety requirements.
Talk to Leaders and Employees
Maintaining a safe workplace is a collective effort that involves everyone from business owners to managers and employees. Meet your staff regularly to discuss health and safety issues. Encourage sharing of thoughts and ideas and how to improve workplace safety. You may even want to provide first aid training for all employees so that they can better handle emergencies.
Report, Record, and Investigate Incidents
It’s important to report all work-related fatalities to your nearest regulatory bodies such as OSHA or NIOSH. You should also keep all records of workplace-related injuries and illnesses, incident investigations, inspections, and health and safety training activities. Conducting investigations in any type of incident, however small, can help you determine why it happened so you can take preventative measures.
Adopt a Comprehensive Injury and Illness Prevention Program
OSHA encourages all employers to adopt programs that play a critical role in reducing the number and severity of workplace-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. Check with your state to clarify if there are specific requirements or guidelines for workplace injury and illness prevention programs for your small, medium or large business.
With the right prevention program in place, your business will see reduced cases of injuries, illnesses, fatalities and even compensation claims. It’s important to make safety a key part of your business so as to maintain a NIOSH/OSHA safe workplace.
The Bottom Line
With the recently updated OSHA guidelines for safety and health programs, employers in a wide variety of business settings and industries are adopting and implementing the recommended practices. These practices incorporate a proactive approach that helps you manage workplace safety and health, ensuring a safer and more productive working environment for everyone.
Carolyn Clarke is a lead safety consultant and occupational health and safety expert who writes for a number of authority health and safety websites and blogs. She provides professional guidance and training around the use of personal protective equipment in specialist business settings. She also works with clients to create safe working environments for employees and workers and is a certified Occupational Safety and Health Technician.
At the tail end of last year, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health called for urgent action to be taken to tackle the legacy of asbestos in Britain’s workplaces. Building occupants may be exposed to asbestos, but those most at risk are persons who purposely disturb materials and they become airborne such as maintenance or construction workers. This often leads to mesothelioma – an incurable disease of the lungs which is fatal.
With an estimated 5000 people dying as a result of asbestosis and mesothelioma every year, and a vast majority of these deaths coming as a result of exposure just decades ago, the All-Party Parliamentary Group argued that it is wrongly seen as an issue of the past as the use of the material has been banned since 1999. However, they believe the time has come to put regulations in place that will lead to the safe removal of all asbestos that is still in use in buildings throughout the UK. This is to ensure that future generations do not suffer the same asbestos-related deaths which have blighted the workforce of the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
But is this proposed asbestos eradication realistic? While asbestos is still around us and can be found across both domestic and non-domestic premises, people are still knowingly being exposed to asbestos whether they’re working in maintenance, refurbishment or demolition. In their report, the group have called for:
• Commercial, public, and rented domestic premises should have to conduct a survey to indicate whether asbestos is present in the building, registering the results with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
• If asbestos is identified, any refurbishment or repair to the building should include its removal.
• The HSE must develop a programme of workplace inspections to ensure asbestos material is identified, marked and managed and that eradication plans are in place with a projected timetable.
Ian Lavery, chair of the all-party group said: “We believe that the Government needs to start now on developing a programme to ensure that asbestos is safely removed from every workplace and public place so that we can end, once and for all this dreadful legacy which has killed so many people, and will continue to kill until asbestos is eradicated.”
Whether asbestos eradication is realistic or not, it always helps to be fully informed on an issue that remains prominent in the public conscience. If you’re unsure of the impact asbestos may have on your property or business, Praxis42 are available to offer eLearning and consultancy to suit your needs. Our Asbestos Condition Surveys are provided as part of an estate and facilities risk management service, whereas our Asbestos Awareness eLearning course aims to help organisations meet their legal obligation to train employees whose work could lead to exposure to asbestos containing materials.
Cleaning is a necessary task that you are often times forced to do around your home and your office. Thanks to cleaning, you will have a refreshed environment and living conditions that are more than suitable for resting and relaxing. There are a lot of products and tools that can make your cleaning more effective and fast, but what you have to keep in mind is that home cleaning and office cleaning should be carefully executed.
If you want to be completely safe during your cleaning service, you need to consider some protection clothing. There is a lot of risk related to using the various cleaning solutions, some of which are far from safe. If you pay attention to labels, you will often notice the description saying ‘poison’, ‘toxic’ and ‘danger’. That alone should be enough to warn you of the threats and make you stay alert during your cleaning service. Acquire the following gear if you want to be safe:
– Gloves – even simple latex gloves can protect your skin from the chemicals and dangerous ingredients of various solutions you use in your everyday cleaning. If you have any skin problem, such as irritation, rash, itch and burn you will do well to avoid direct contact with the solutions you use in office and home cleaning. Gloves will not hinder your cleaning in any way, and they will not allow the dangerous liquid to come into contact with the skin on your hands. Thanks to a pair of gloves you can mix solutions without fear and wash dishes with any type of cleaning detergent.
– Goggles – some of the cleaning products you use during your cleaning service can greatly irritate your eyes because of the fumes they release. In order to protect yourself from this danger, you should acquire a pair of specialized goggles to wear while cleaning. This will provide protection for your sight not only from the fumes of the chemicals, but also from dust and other debris that might get airborne during carpet cleaning for example. Goggles can usually be used multiple times, so definitely consider acquiring quality protection for your sight.
– Mask – cleaning solutions and more importantly the chemicals that are present inside them can sometimes lead to respiratory distress. To avoid breathing in the chemicals and fumes of the cleaning products you use during your cleaning service, you should always wear a mask. It will be your best line of defense when it comes to filtering the toxins of the cleaning products. This is especially the case with professional cleaners, who have to work with different cleaning solutions every single day. A mask will also prevent solid particles, such as dust and various others from entering your organism.
– Apron – aprons are very useful, especially those that provide pockets where you can put your extra cleaning equipment during your home cleaning. Not only will you stay clean if the job is a messy one, but also you will have everything you need with you and will not waste time.
A lot of these additions to your cleaning are not expensive at all and you can use most of them more than once. Definitely consider them to be safe during your cleaning.
More cleaning tips and advises find at: reliable carpet cleaning in Clapham
Since reducing the risk of fatal accidents and death rate within the construction industry is not an easy job, taking timely, effective preemptive measures is the only way out. Read further for a fair idea of what can be done and how!
The rate of accidents, injuries and deaths associated with the construction industry is much higher than most other areas of work. The most common reasons that make construction work perilous is possibility of deadly accidents with vehicles and falls from extreme height.
On an average, every third fatal accident at a construction site has one or more vehicles involved. Frequently occurring transport accidents at work include:
- Victims being stuck by moving vehicles, especially while reversing
- People falling from vehicles or hit by things falling from vehicles
- Overturning vehicles leading to serious injuries
What Can Be Done to Prevent Vehicle Accidents in Construction?
The first step towards reducing high death rate in construction industry is to reduce the risk of fatal accidents at construction sites that involve vehicles. Employers need to fulfill their legal duties and play a pivotal role in that case, especially by assessing risks and taking practical measures to ensure the safety of everyone around.
This may include maintaining accident records, training and consulting employees, and co-coordinating and cooperating contractors. The focus needs to be on planning and implementing collective safety measures, instead of giving individual measures extra importance. The basic idea should be to replace the hazardous with the harmless.
Taking Preemptive Measures for Vehicle Accidents in the Construction Industry
Practically, accident prevention should not start after the work has already begun on the construction site. Instead, designers, architects and planners can considerably diminish the risk of vehicle accidents by designing and planning well in the pre-build phase.
Risk assessment is the most important aspect that every employer ought to take care of, followed precisely by the conveyance of complete information to the contractors, verifying that the construction site is fully safe for the workers.
A thoroughly carried out risk assessment process involves:
Looking for Potential Hazards:
After you have evaluated the work the finished tasks, identify potential dangers that may be associated with the presence of heavy vehicles at the site. Operations such as reversing, loading and unloading always have a higher probability of damage being done at the workplace.
Factors that increase the likelihood of occurrence of such accidents more include rough terrain, continuous exposure to bad weather conditions, labor working under multiple contractors, and time pressure. You can involve both the workers and their contractors in the risk assessment process, explaining to them what has been planned to reduce the level of risk.
Try preventing the following things in particular:
- Running over pedestrians
- Overturning vehicles
- Vehicle accidents caused by falls while climbing or working too close to power lines
- Vehicle malfunctioning
Identifying Who May Be Harmed
Figuring out every possible factor that can harm individuals on the work site is the first step towards implementation of safety measures. This will include everyone from contractors, workers, self-employed individuals and even the general public. Pay special attention to the areas where vehicle movement is mandatory and you can’t exclude the public.
It is also possible to take note of the likely hazards during the designing stage while the construction cost estimation is being done. Take note of the design for safety and also ensure to calculate cost of making safety provisions.
Prepare an Action Plan after Evaluating the Risks
Evaluating the risks associated with each hazard on the site will help you calculate the possibility of harm and the level of severity. Check whether you have taken enough protective measures to ensure the safety of people on-site. Thoroughly revise all important aspects such as workplace design and signs and signals. Ensure that all workers have the proper personal protective gear that is needed to complete the job safely.
Once the risk assessment process is completed, list all preventive measures based on priority. When it is time to take action, take all the workers and contractors along. Though your focus should be on implementing measures to prevent any accident from taking place in the first place, it will be equally important to have be prepared for the worst and have all emergency provisions in place too.
Author Bio: Laura Laurel is a Stanford graduate in civil engineer with specialization in Civil Designs, Cost Estimation and 3D Modeling. She began her career as a construction trainee at Viatechnik LLC, rose to be involved with road and bridge construction. She loves to write about Real Estate and Construction Related Subjects.
Waste management is an essential part of completing a job for a professional tradesperson or DIY enthusiast. The safe use of skips and containers can be a tricky path to tread for those unfamiliar with health and safety regulations and guidelines. Unbeknown to many, skip and container related accidents are a common occurrence, in fact, these are the leading cause of serious to fatal incidents in waste management and recycling plants. Here we take a closer look at utilizing skips and containers safely to help you reduce the risk of serious injury.
Skip (dumpster) compatibility
Whether you are looking to buy or hire a skip for your upcoming project, ensuring that your skip is compatible with the skip loader is a vital step to safe usage. Mini skips, with a capacity of 1.5m3 to 2m3, are the most popular choice, especially for household or small commercial / industrial upgrades. However, many of these mini skips are not manufactured to suit the design of a standard skip loader. Larger skips however are designed to be compatible with standard skip loaders, and their 3m3 to 20m3 capacity ensures a sizable solution to waste management on larger projects. Recommended safety checks There are a series of safety checks that must be carried out to ensure the safe use of skips and containers.
Training is recommended for workers who use and unload skips and containers on a regular basis, these training programs ensure workers can identify faults or damage to the skip that would otherwise make it unsafe to use. Regular checks must also be carried out to check the condition of important skip and container components, such as the lifting and locking points, tipping bars, doors, restraints, covers and wider condition. Workers must also be aware of the importance of using the right type of skip for the task at hand, and the skip or container’s strength, stability and distribution of load weight must all be taken into account.
Identifying hazardous skip use
There are a number of scenarios that would make the skip or container hazardous to move or unload, including:
- Insufficient headroom when retrieving
- Insufficient space around the skip or container
- Placement on sloping ground
- Placement on soft ground
If any of these relate to your skip or container then it is recommended that you seek specialist advice to improve safety and reduce risk before removal or unloading. Overly damaged skips and containers should also be removed from service completely.
This post was written by Brittany Thorley. She works for Cheshire Demolition (http://www.cheshiredemolition.co.uk/) and regularly advises on maintaining best practice for safety on both small and large scale improvement projects.
Note: Of course, workers in this field should take all precautions and wear the correct personal protective gear, such as gloves, safety glasses, hardhats, and possibly respirators pb
P.S. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! PB
Work safety has always been a top priority in the plumbing and heating industry. As plumbing is a profession that involves frequent exposure to hazardous situations and chemicals. Plumbing experts needs to be precise with regard to their health and work standards. Plumbing as a craft requires significant technical knowledge and involves much more than simply unclogging a sink or replacing a home shower.
Typically, a plumber’s work involves working with a wide variety of plumbing tools and equipment in different challenging situations on a daily basis. It is therefore vital that all plumbing engineers are well aware of the risks involved in the occupation and are able to take the appropriate safety measures to minimize them.
Professional plumbing experts like Plumbers 4U ensure that all their staff are trained and well versed in their own health and safety policies and adhere to safe working practices onsite. These emergency plumbers, working in the North London area and serving Camden, St. Albans, Enfield, Barnet and Brent, work to ensure that all projects are delivered in a professional, responsible and safe manner.
There are many well-known risks involved when working as plumber – but taking the correct precautions and safety measures will ensure safety and success in the field.
- Plumbers often need to work in close proximity to flammable or combustible substances, and risk exposure to toxic substances like lead, asbestos, adhesives, solvents, solder and sulphur dioxide
Take proper precautions to avoid inhaling harmful vapours by using properly fitted respirators and ventilation systems, and use eye protection while working with chemicals and in areas where foreign materials may enter your eyes.
- There is an increased risk of injury while working with different tools
Keep your equipment and tools organized and work in a clutter-free area. Inspect the different equipment for safety hazards before each use. All bench and hand grinders should be checked prior to use and should have the proper safety guards in place.
- Working in different awkward positions, and lifting heavy or awkward objects could cause back injury
Work in a clutter-free area and work with your back hunched as little as possible. If lifting heavy objects, bend at the knee and keep a straight back, and do not try to lift something that’s too heavy.
- Exposure to extreme temperatures might lead to burns from steam or hot water
Secure cut off valves prior to working with steam lines or hot water lines.
- Plumbers risk electrocution by working with electrical equipment in close proximity to water
Do not work with electrical equipment while in water or if the equipment is wet, and inspect all electrical cords and plugs for exposed wires or cracks in the insulation before each use.
- There is a risk of slipping, tripping or falling on wet surfaces especially while working at heights
Ensure that you use fall protection and that you take extra care while working at heights.
Although challenging, there are a lot of benefits to a career in plumbing. You’ll be able to start your own business and set your own work timings, and can therefore set different appointments to fit your work schedule. You’ll never be short of work – plumbing is not an industry that can ever go out of fashion, nor can the need for plumbers ever dwindle. The profession also ensures a fairly good income, as you’ll be able to charge for your skills on an hourly basis.
Sent to us by Ram Seth, writing for Plumbing specialists Plumbers 4 U ensure that all of their engineers adhere to the industry’s safety standards to avoid or mitigate some of the above risks, and as long as an accident-free plumbing workplace is maintained, which requires a commitment from everyone within a company, the profession of plumbing is a lucrative one.
We appreciate these safety tips, and all understand that plumbers do many jobs that none of us want to do. They know what they are doing, and are worth the charge. pb
Spring has made a late arrival here in North Central Texas, but Old Man Winter still thrives in other parts of the United States. With the arrival of warmer weather, all the weeds and other plants loaded with allergens start spreading their cheer around us! Folks who have allergies are not looking forward to the misery associated with them.
It’s also the time to plant gardens, mow the yard, and clean up and fix up what the cold weather left behind. As you prepare to start your seasonal yard work, stock up on face masks, goggles, gloves, sunscreen, and plenty of allergy medicine! Be sure your power equipment is in good shape, as it usually needs an annual checkup to be sure everything is running as it should.
There is so much to look forward to during spring and summer: baseball, swimming, outings, summer camps, and hopefully, being with family more. Kids are anxiously awaiting summer break from school, so this means we need to be careful when driving down neighborhood streets.
Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are also a part of spring that we would rather not have to deal with. So far, there have been fewer tornadoes for this time of the year than usual. But, as it warms up, conditions will make the atmosphere right for twisters.
Be sure that you have a plan, just in case you must leave your home in the event of a severe thunderstorm, or worse, tornado. Every member of the family should know where to meet. A care kit should be packed with enough water for at least three days, non-perishable food, medicines, pet food, flashlight, blankets, and other supplies. Keep your cell phone charged at all times, just in case.
Information from The Weather Channel shows that even as we push deeper into the heart of spring tornado season, 2014 has so far completely spared Americans the agony and grief of tornado-related deaths. The year’s long early safe streak has put 2014 in rare territory, historically. The modern era of tornado records began in 1950 with the advent of the storm database maintained by NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center. This year has now gone on longer than any other calendar year in that era without a tornado fatality.
Another recent year’s long quiet streak ended rather violently when this April 20th marked the 10th anniversary of 2004’s first killer tornado, also an F3 in Illinois. Eight people died on April 20, 2004 when a twister smashed into Utica, Ill., causing a tavern to collapse.
Even including what are likely incomplete historical records from the mid 19th to early 20th centuries, 2014 already ranks among the top 10 years with the longest fatality-free start. It’s possible that some of those older years in the record had undocumented tornado deaths, which would move 2014 even higher in the rankings if we had perfect knowledge of what happened back then.
With no tornadoes reported Monday, we now have to go back 99 years to find a calendar year when the first documented tornado death came later in the year – that was 1915, when the first recorded death came on May 5.
We are thankful that so far that we have not had any deaths as the result of tornadoes. Let’s hope that 2014 will continue to be a low record for killer storms. Be prepared by listening for important warnings from your local television stations, NOAA, and the Weather Channel.
Source: The Weather Channel
Our parent company, Texas America Safety Company, is dedicated to providing the very best safety products for all types of business, from construction, office, manufacturing, healthcare, oil field, law enforcement, to the military. Because April is Injury Prevention Month, we want to tell our readers that “Safety” is our middle name, and we are encouraging everyone to be as safe on the job, on the road, or at home or play as they can be.
Safety is a keystone in every company’s foundation. Without a strong safety program, all other aspects of a company’s performance suffer. Every company should have the goal of providing the best personal protective equipment and safety training for the entire work fleet. Employees may become bored with the usual safety meeting presentations, so it is important that they are able to participate and be a part of the company’s plan in order to be in compliance with OSHA standards. New employees should have the opportunity to understand what they are expected to do on their job – be trained the right way to do things, and have it explained in their home language in case they don’t comprehend English very well.
There are many statistics on how many persons are injured or killed annually in car accidents, home accidents, sports, and work. Our main objective is to help protect those who go to work every day with the plan of coming home safely at the end of their shift. If you observe someone at your workplace who is “an accident waiting to happen,” tell your supervisor before it actually does! We know there will always be someone who takes chances on the job, knowing they are at risk. One false move may be their last. Anyone who gets behind the wheel knows they are at risk of being in an accident. The best advice is to pay attention to the other driver, and forget about the cell phone and other distractions. Farmers know the best ways to operate equipment and how to handle animals. They also know that an accident can happen at any time. Construction workers are at the top of the list for injuries. There are many hazards for most jobs; we just can’t be too cautious about being injured.
We ask that everyone uses a strategy to avoid becoming injured. Taking your time and doing the job right, whether it is yard work, housework, playing sports, office work, or physical labor, do it right, and don’t risk having to go to the hospital. Lost work time costs the employer; it may require hiring another person to replace someone temporarily while the worker recovers.
Our EMT’s, firefighters, and law enforcement are to be commended, as they are the first responders in times of accidents; they treat the injured and rush them to hospitals for care. Their jobs are not easy ones, and even they sometimes get injured on the job.
Let’s all play it smart and stay safe.
This interesting infographic is from Rebecca Fox, of Westermans International, a UK-based welding company. We appreciate this shared information and can learn what illnesses are prevelant in their respective industries.