Welcome to the Safety Training Services Blog!

Who Needs Electrical Safety Training?

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Fri, May 26, 2017 @ 10:56 AM

As we close out May and therefore Electrical Safety Month, I wanted to share a bit of information for those not familiar with the training requirements for avoiding electrical hazards. Even if you are familiar with the requirements, allow this to serve as a quick reminder to verify that you are in compliance with your relevant OSHA standard.

For many of those in industry who face the risk of injury from electrical shock or other electrical hazards, you must be trained so that you are knowledgeable of these hazards and how to avoid them. Some occupations have a higher risk due to the nature of their job. In fact, OSHA has detailed out the typical occupational categories of employees that face a higher than normal risk of electrical accident. This includes the following:Electrical Safety Training

  • Blue collar supervisors*
  • Electrical and electronic engineers*
  • Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers*
  • Electrical and electronic technicians*
  • Electricians
  • Industrial machine operators*
  • Material handling equipment operators*
  • Mechanics and repairers*
  • Painters*
  • Riggers and roustabouts*
  • Stationary engineers*
  • Welders

*Workers in these groups do not need to be trained if their work or the work of those they supervise does not bring them or the employees they supervise close enough to exposed parts of electric circuits operating at 50 volts or more to ground for a hazard to exist.

Need Electrical Safety Or Arc Flash Training? Click for more info!

For those who are on this list, but do not follow the expection list just above, training may be a necessary need to assist these employees in avoiding electrical hazards and a knowledgeable understanding of the potential of this energy. As you may surmise, proper precautions must be taken to guard against these hazards. Too many employees, too often, are victims of injuries (or worse) because they fail to take these proper precautions to guard against such hazards. Failure to recognize the hazard of contact with energized electrical equipment can be a fatal mistake. 

Necessary Training Requirements for Electrical Safety &
Avoiding the Risk of Electrical Shock:

29 CFR 1910.332

  • Employees must be trained in and familiar with safe work practices that pertain to their job assignments or relate to their safety. [(b)(1-2)]
  • Are qualified employees permitted to work on or near exposed energized parts? If so, be sure they are trained in the skills and techniques necessary to distinguish exposed live parts from other parts of electric equipment. [(b)(3)(i)]
  • Qualified employees must be trained in the skills and techniques necessary to determine the nominal voltage of exposed live parts. [(b)(3)(ii)]
  • Qualified employees must be trained in the clearance distances specified in the standard, and in the corresponding votages to which they will be exposed. [(b)(3)(iii)]

Qualified employees are those permitted to work on or near exposed energized parts. Those not not deemed qualified persons, but whom risk similar electrical hazards, shall also be trained in and familiar with any electrically related safety practices. The different training requirements for qualified and unqualified employees are outlined below for reference.

"Qualified" employees must (at a minimum) be able to:

  1. Identify live electrical parts
  2. Know their voltages
  3. Follow proper safety procedures for working on or near exposed live parts
  4. Know proper PPE to be used
  5. Know the importance of using insulating and shield materials as well as insulated tools

Training for "Unqualified" employees should cover (at a minimum):

  1. The risks of energized equipment
  2. How to protect themselves and others when they work around electricity
  3. What tasks can be done only by qualified workers
  4. To always respect warning signs and barriers designed to protect them from live parts

Once again, as Electrical Safety Month comes and goes with the month of May, there is no better time to access your electrical safety needs. If you are in need of either electrical safety training or arc flash training, or simply have a question regarding these topics, contact Safety Training Services today. We look forward to assisting you with your electrical safety & training needs!

Contact Safety Training Services Today!

Tags: electrical safety, electrical safety training

Who Can Teach HAZWOPER Refresher Classes?

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Mon, Apr 03, 2017 @ 02:27 PM
In many of our 40-hour HAZWOPER or HAZMAT classes the question is asked, “Who can teach my 8-hour refresher class?” One case a student asked this question because nearly the entire workforce of the company was in the training class EXCEPT for anyone from the safety department who would later be responsible for teaching the refresher material. So, what is this refresher? In OSHA’s Hazardous Materials standard (1910.120) it specifies that if you are an employee that is required to receive HAZWOPER training you are also required to have eight hours of refresher training annually. OSHA, however, does not certify instructors. The helpful (or tricky) language in the standard states:

1910.120(e)(6) Qualifications for trainers. Trainers shall be qualified to instruct employees about the subject matter that is being presented in training. Such trainers shall have satisfactorily completed a training program for teaching the subjects they are expected to teach, or they shall have the academic credentials and instructional experience necessary for teaching the subjects. Instructors shall demonstrate competent instructional skills and knowledge of the applicable subject matter.

So, this hopefully clears up the question, right? However, this statement doesn’t prevent a subject matter expert who may have not completed the 40-hour HAZWOPER class from teaching a portion of the class. To answer the question at the start of this post, the safety person who didn’t attend the course could certainly teach something within the realm of HAZWOPER if they completed a training program for the subjects, have academic credentials and instructional experience. They must be competent in what they are teaching the students.

Further in the standard it speaks specifically to refresher training 1910.120(e)(8) which, very basically, restates the requirements of the initial class and that they should be met in the refresher training. 1910.120(q)(8)(i) also states employees shall receive annual refresher training of sufficient content and duration to maintain their competencies, or shall demonstrate competency in those areas at least yearly.

Hazwoper Refresher TrainingAccording to 1910.120(e)(8) you should be covering the following:

  • Names of personnel and alternates responsible for site safety and health
  • Safety, health, and other hazards present on the site
  • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Work practices by which the employee can minimize risks from hazards
  • Safe use of engineering controls and equipment on the site
  • Medical surveillance requirements including recognition of symptoms and signs which might indicate over exposure to hazards
  • Site safety and health plan
  • Any critique of incidents that have occurred in the past year that can serve as training examples of related work, and other relevant topics

If your HAZWOPER refresher instructor is capable of providing this instruction and meets the other requirements for a “qualified trainer,” they certainly can teach. What the concern might be is that someone who has no training in a fully encapsulating protective suit is now teaching a group of people who must be competently trained and refreshed annually to do so – following the standard this person would not be authorized to teach this section, though could be qualified in other areas.

Throughout the OSHA standard there are various exceptions and alternate conditions for training [1910.120(e)(9)], new employees [1910.120(p)(7)], and employees who have received HAZWOPER training previously but are new to the site [1910.120(e)(9)].

This may have helped you determine who can teach your training. Certainly, if you have any questions regarding any aspect of HAZWOPER training please reach out to us, we’d be happy to walk through our process or your process and needs with you.

Contact Safety Training Services Today!

Tags: ppe, hazwoper, hazwoper refresher

Do You Know the Safety Qualities of a Work Boot?

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 @ 09:07 AM

Do you know the safety qualities a work boot must have?

According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employees need to have protective footwear when working in places where they are exposed to the risk of foot injury. This may be due to falling, rolling or piercing objects and/or electric shock. There are many set standards that must be met for a pair of work boots to be considered safe.

Are you looking for a pair of safety boots? Do you know the qualities that these boots must possess? Here we will explain to you what these work boots safety standards are. It is very important that the boot you buy has the right qualities. This way it will serve you for a long time and keep you safe always.

The safety standards that the boot must meet will depend on the kind of job it is that you do. The industry safety requirements differ from one industry to the other and you need to be aware of what applies to you. You can learn about this in the infographic you will find here. When you spot a boot that you like, be sure to look at the specifications indicated under the sole, inside the shoe and in the ASTM labels. It is this information that will tell whether the boot is safe for use or not. With that said, here is what people in different occupations should look for in boots.

Looking for OSHA-related safety training?  Safety compliance issues? STS can help! Click for more information

Construction and heavy duty industry workers

Look for boots that have a green triangle symbol. This symbol means that the boot has grade 1 sole and class 1 toe cap. These are resistant to punctures and will stand the prolonged exposure there is in these industries. The sole can walk well in rough places as well as protect you from pierce injuries whereas the shoe cap is capable of protecting the toes in case something heavy falls on the foot.

Light industries

These are the areas where the boots will not be exposed to too much impact. For these, look for a yellow triangle which indicates that the shoe has grade 2 puncture resistant sole and class 2 toe cap. These are weaker compared to boots with green triangle but if you work in an industry that is not heavy duty they will help you.

Workers who handle electricity

If you handle electricity on a day to day basis and risk an electric shock, you need to get boots that have a white square with an omega (orange) symbol. This shows that they are insulated and will protect you from electrocution.

Those susceptible to static charges

If you are one of these you should buy boots that have a yellow square with the letters SD written in green. These shoes will protect you from static charges.

Those who work in forested areas

Look for a sign that looks like a fir tree on a white background. This boot can protect from sharp objects that can cut like chainsaws.

By referencing the infographic below, you can see what these symbols look like and mean. For a wealth of more information about work boots & their safety standards, take a look at the aboutboot website: http://www.aboutboot.com/work-boot-safety-standards/. Be sure to check the boot you buy next before taking it home.

Article written by
Richard K.

Safety Boot Infographic


Tags: work boot, safety boot

Confined Spaces: Why Do I Need A Permit Now?

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Thu, Feb 09, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

A great question came up in last week's 40 hour HAZWOPER class:

“We've been working in this same confined space for years. Originally it was a non-permit confined space, now safety tells us we need a confined space permit to enter and do the same work we've been doing. Why?”

First let’s examine the definitions of a confined space.

Permit Confined SpaceWhat is a confined space?

  • Large enough to enter and perform work
  • Restricted means for entry or exit
  • Is not designed for continuous occupancy

What has to be present for a confined space to require confined space permit?

  • Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • Contains material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
  • Has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate the entrant
  • Contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or an environment conducive to heat stress

After some conversation we eliminated the possibility that any changes had been made to the confined space. The nature of the work inside the space and the substance present within the space had not changed. What could have happened? Safety could have reassessed the space and erred on the side of safety, or if a proper hazard assessment had not taken place before, it's possible an assessment of the confined space took place. 

Depending on what truly occurred this may paint the safety department or culture in a negative light. This might not be the case, what should be emphasized is that an assessment has taken place, documented, and now the work site has another layer of protection because of the requirements of a confined space permit.

If there are any doubts about your confined spaces OSHA has an interactive assessment tool to aid your assessment process – OSHA Confined Spaces Advisor. Additionally, always ensure that your entrants and rescuers are properly trained as well as anyone else assessing the hazards or the nature of the work inside.

Interested in Confined  Space Training? Click here to learn more!

Tags: safety training, confined space, permit confined space

Rope Rescue Techniques: Ladder Hinge

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Fri, Jan 27, 2017 @ 09:56 AM

In the last few weeks there has been a particular video circulating through various online firefighter and rescue groups Rope Rescue Technique-Ladder Hinge.pngthat caught my attention. In the video firefighters are using a ladder, backboard, and rope to move a patient from a roof or second floor to the ground. Depending where you were watching this video there were some great comments about thinking outside the box and using alternative methods to raise and lower patients. There were a large number of comments that were a little deceiving; comments attributed this rescue technique -- a ladder hinge -- to the fire department in the video. It's great to see this technique being used, but by today's standards it may be considered an old school technique. The ladder hinge gets overlooked or forgotten about when so many people are arguing over which friction device is the best. Depending on your location in the country or the world this technique is still taught, relied upon, and used regularly. For another take on a ladder hinge rescue see video link below.

It is not my intention to thoroughly train you to use this rope rescue technique; only to provide a few things to consider in order to operate safely.

Patient Packaging

Before you tie any knot for rescue consider the patient packaging device -- not all spine boards, litters, and rescue baskets are created equal, nor can they be easily substituted on the fly without some loss of strength. Ensure you aren't exceeding the device's load rating. It may be rated for an 800-1,200 pound patient when carried or used to drag a patient horizontally, but that does not necessarily mean that can rig this patient basket for any type of rescue situation. Injuries or suspected injuries must be considered and protected and we can provide these things by lashing the patient to a long spine board and then lashing patient and board into the rescue rated basket.


If using a rescue basket (ensuring the patient is lashed appropriately), this basket needs to have three points of contact. If the basket has a single connection to the ladder and a single connection to the lowering rope the basket is less stable. One connection to the lowering rope and two connections to the ladder, webbing, or some other means to secure around each ladder rail, will prevent tipping or rotating the basket.


With enough personnel to support the ladder on the ground, and rigged with guy lines, the rescuer with the lowering rope may feel that they can control the rate of patient raising or lowering by hand alone. A safety consideration is to secure your rope to the rescue basket and then find an appropriate anchor for a friction device such as an MPD, bar rack, or Rescue 8. Rigging your ladder hinge with one of these devices on the line prevents catastrophic failure of your load should something happen and the rescuer lose control of the line.

As a rope rescue technique, a ladder hinge is a great option available to the fire department or an industrial rescue team. When performed safely and practiced regularly this rescue method can quickly evacuate patients to the ground or to higher elevations. And always remember: before implementation of any new equipment or techniques always seek out training from a qualified instructor.

Contact Safety Training Services Today!

Tags: safety training, rescue team, rope rescue, firefighter, ladder rescue

Exception to the Rule: Confined Space Attendant

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 @ 10:05 AM
If you have spent any length of time working in a trade, chemical facility, manufacturing plant, warehouse, or anything in between you have probably been through your fair share of safety briefings, orientations, and safety audits. While these are, hopefully, giving you site specific safety information let's focus on one often repeated misconception about confined spaces.

If you work on, in, around, or near confined spaces you're familiar with the roles involved - attendant, entrant, supervisor
Confined Space Attendant - and you know their functions and responsibilities. Generally speaking, in a permit-required confined space operation the supervisor supervises, the entrant makes entry, and the confined space attendant does nothing but attend, right?

What most programs will state is that the attendant is responsible for monitoring the safety of the workers working inside the confined space. The attendant is responsible for log-keeping, air monitoring, summoning help, and maybe even attempting non-entry rescue. Some of these subjects vary in their teachings and to what extent you're permitted or required to do them. One thing they always agree on, THE ATTENDANT NEVER ENTERS THE SPACE!

This information is true, to some degree. OSHA requires an attendant and the attendant is responsible for everyone inside, but, when you investigate the confined space standard an attendant is allowed to enter a space.

In the standard, 1910.146, it states:

"Attendant" means an individual stationed outside one or more permit spaces who monitors the authorized entrants and who performs all attendant's duties assigned in the employer's permit space program.

1910.146(i)(4) gives a seldom-mentioned exception to the rule of "an attendant never enters:"

NOTE: When the employer's permit entry program allows attendant entry for rescue, attendants may enter a permit space to attempt a rescue if they have been trained and equipped for rescue operations as required by paragraph (k)(1) of this section and if they have been relieved as required by paragraph (i)(4) of this section.

While this is not drastically different from what you may know, it is important to know that an attendant is, under specific conditions, permitted to make entry. I have yet to see this procedure as part of a confined space program in the real world but it doesn't mean it is impractical or without merit. If your attendant is trained and equipped for rescue, and they've been relieved by a competently trained attendant, they could enter to initiate patient treatment or extraction.

A problem in relying upon this method of rescue would be locating a second attendant. It is more expedient to have an attendant and rescuer(s) present at the confined space job site, but if this is your cost-effective consideration you may have shortened the length of time it takes to rescue the entrant. 

If you are looking for more information on confined spaces, confined space training, or if you are looking to hire a confined space attendant or a confined space rescue team, contact Safety Training Services today!

Contact Safety Training Services Today!

Tags: confined space attendant training, confined space hazards, confined space training, confined space attendant, confined space

How Relevant Are Your Safety Programs?

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Wed, Jan 11, 2017 @ 09:52 AM

In our training classes we often say that safety programs and documentation are "living and breathing." Meaning, a safety process or an aspect of your emergency action plan gets developed and implemented and it gets revisited, often. No program should be developed with the intention that all of your work is done for the next ten years regarding safety. Safety and emergency programs should be evaluated and re-evaluated. Ask yourself if they are effective or if they are meeting the needs of the employees. Often times a business relies on programs developed "years ago" but that program didn't incorporate the new hazardous material process that the company now manages. Having a safety program in place may afford you the opportunity to scratch an item off of your To-Do list but if it isn't effective, if it isn't relevant, who's interests are being served?

How Relevant Are Your Safety Programs?Safety within your organization should be viewed holistically--emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts. While each part of your program, such as fall protection, confined space, hot work, annual employee health screenings, and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements are each vital to your operation, it is the way in which the overall purpose of your safety program works together through these programs.

An example: Your company will begin a new process which includes a chemical that has never been used on your site, "Chemical X." Prior to the arrival and use of this new chemical the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) has been evaluated alongside a job hazard analysis (JHA) or job safety analysis (JSA). This is a very simplified work process but without becoming too elaborate these two documents will help you establish PPE requirements and engineering controls for employees who handle the new chemical. The safety of the employee does not rely solely on these two documents, they must receive the training on the chemical and the PPE they will be using. However, that is not the end, a medical surveillance program may be required, the results from which the effectiveness of your PPE, engineering controls, and other practices can be evaluated.

In short, you're not just sitting in another training class this year, you aren't just being forced to undergo another physical--each piece of the safety puzzle comes together, relying on the other programs, to maintain and improve worker safety on a daily basis. Remember, this is only effective if your programs are updated, evaluated, and maintained. Knock the dust off your safety programs this year, ensure they still apply, and that they're still relevant.

Safety Training Services provides a full range of OSHA compliant industry training and services. If you are unsure how compliant your programs might be contact us today, we can help develop and implement a complete safety program and training that meets your needs.

Contact Safety Training Services Today!

Tags: jha, safety program, safety process, jsa, safety consulting

Hazwoper Training: The Spill Kit - Where is it? What's in it?

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Mon, Dec 26, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

The greatest safety plans are the ones that are constantly evaluated and updated based on their effectiveness. There may be no greater illustration of this than the handling of hazardous chemicals. Day-to-day tasks may be easy to plan and train for--all of your employees have HAZWOPER training and they're kept safe using engineering controls and PPE.

Hazwoper TrainingWhat about spills? What is your plan when the drums start leaking or the forklift driver pierces a tote? A bulk delivery driver is delivering a tanker full of hazardous materials to your site storage tanks, now the trailer is leaking, what can you do?

Employees trained in the HAZWOPER training standard can respond to a spill and dramatically reduce the impact of the hazard. By comparison, your on-site team can respond faster to hazmat problems within your facility than a fire department of off-site hazmat response team. The quicker the response to the chemical spill, the more likely you'll protect employees and limit damage or contamination to the workplace.

Do you have a spill kit?

You have a plan, you have training, you have PPE, and you have the tools to confine or contain the spill. When was the last time you inspected your hazmat response equipment? Spill kits stored outdoors are subjected to extreme cold, heat, and UV damage when stored in the sun. What was once a functional response kit can very quickly become dry-rotting absorbent pads, frozen emergency response guidebooks, and chemical gloves that can be penetrated by the chemicals they were designed to protect you from.

There is no governing regulation regarding inspection frequency but some regular inspection process should be developedChicago Hazwoper for your site and equipment. There is no universal expiration date for hazmat response equipment and each piece of equipment is different. At all times manufacturer guidelines should be followed.

While breakdown from exposure to the environment can be problematic, your spill kit may be opened and used by employees to clean up ordinary leaks and drips. An empty kit or missing and damaged equipment is useless when there is a spill. Inspections are a great opportunity for response team familiarization and to ensure your facility is ready to respond to a chemical emergency.


 Click To Register For 40 Hour Hazwoper Training Near Chicago

Tags: hazard assessment, ppe, hazmat training, safety plans, hazwoper

Is It Safe To Heat Your Home With Your Oven?

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Thu, Dec 08, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Temperatures have just started to plummet this winter but already firefighters have observed kitchen ovens being used to warm homes. 

When used correctly your home appliances are very safe but this is an incredibly dangerous practice. Should you heat your home with your oven? NO!

If you have a gas oven you are putting yourself at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. Without a carbon monoxide detector there is no way to know if this gas is building up in your home.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be similar to other illness and cause fainting, headaches, and dizziness. In large qunatities carbon monoxide can be fatal.

An electrical stove is not a better alternative to heat your home. An unattended electrical stove has the potential to burn children, pets, or even to start fires.

Your oven is inefficient at heating a home, it was not designed and built for this purpose. The purchase and safe use of a space heater is much more effective at heating areas of your home.

To learn more about home heating & fire safety and preventing fires in your home, please visit the National Fire Protection Association.

Chicago & Northwest Indiana Fire Extinguishers - Protect your home! If your home or business is in Northwest Indiana, Chicago, or the Chicagoland area and you have questions about fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher training, or in need of a fire extinguisher recharge, contact us today!

Click here for more about Fire Extinguisher Services

Tags: home safety, fire extinguishers, fire safety, fire safety chicago, holiday safety, fire safety northwest indiana

Developing Industrial Rescue Skills

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 09:02 AM

Working in a confined space presents unique challenges and hazards to the employee. When an emergency occurs in a confined space or at heights, a timely response by a competent rescue team is essential to reduce the impact to employees and to property. One method for meeting OSHA's requirement is to establish an on-site confined space rescue team. An on-site team can be present directly beside the confined space or at the job site. This on-site team drastically reduces the response and rescue time you may experience from an outside rescue team such as local fire department.

How can you maintain your team's ability to respond?

OSHA requires that your rescue teams conduct rescue exercises annually. Confined space rescuers must also have access to the spaces, or representative spaces, to which they will be expected to enter. Any standby rescue team must also be informed of the hazards of the space and have the same training for entering a confined space.

According to the CDC, "rescue procedures should be practiced frequently enough to provide a level of proficiency that eliminates life-threatening rescue attempts and ensures an efficient and calm response to any emergency." Industrial rescues do not occur daily but injuries and fatalities do occur.

  • From August 2009 to September 2013, there was an average of 42 deaths related to confined spaces each year (OSHA).
  • Between October 2014 and October 2015, there were 48 catastrophic fatalities related to confined spaces (OSHA).

Meeting OSHA's requirements for rescue will keep your rescue team compliant but will one industrial rescue exercise a year keep your team proficient?

There is no prescribed standard in the U.S. for frequency of industrial rescue training. Technical rescue teams, fire departments, and standby rescue personnel train with varying frequencies--weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly. While your confined space rescue team members may have additional production responsibilites within your day-to-day operation, it is important that they be highly proficient in various rescue methods to extract co-workers; don't let them become a group on paper who simply satisfies a permit requirement.

In its recommendations the fire service on the training of rescuing trapped firefighters, the National Fire Academy states that the physical, mental, and psychological stresses associated with rescue are immense (NFA). The most expertly conducted rescue operation may place team members under extreme stress. Deaths and serious injuries occur in confined spaces and encountering them is something your team must be prepared for.

Consider how these factors impact your employees if they are expected to perform a confined space rescue of a co-worker. For the worker needing rescue from a confined space, and for the worker who is part of the confined space rescue, time is of utmost importance. These additional stressors dictate that rescue teams train beyond the OSHA requirement.

If you are interested in establishing an industrial rescue training program for your facility, conducting annual rescue refresher training, or implementing an industrial rescue team at your facility, contact us today! Our highly trained staff can assist in team development and ongoing or new employee training.

Click for More Rescue Info