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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

Safety Training--An Easy Way to Save Thousands In 2016!

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Tue, Sep 01, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Safety training is an important part of any business. Not just for those going into confined spaces or other hazardous atmospheres, but for those going into a formal office, a hospital, or anything in between. Safety training is a phrase often used to describe the training materials designed to teach occupational safety and health standards developed by various safety governing entities such as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), ANSI (American National Standards Institute), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), or DOL (Department of Labor). Employers in the United States have a legal responsibility to educate employees on all workplace safety standards and the hazards their employees may face while working on the job. Proper safety training, whether through the employer or a third-party contractor, meets this requirement. 

What are the benefits of safety training? Well, appropriate safety training can be linked to a reduction in the following:

  • the number of injuries and deaths
  • property damage
  • legal liability
  • illnesses
  • workers' compensation claims
  • missed work

For safety training to be successful, participants must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the standard and how it applies to their specific job. If presented correctly by a qualified trainer, it can promote a strong culture of safety in the workplace, one where veteran employees follow proper safety rules & guidelines and assist in promoting the same for new hires. This is achieved by both good, safety-conscious employees and solid trainers who keep employees engaged and keep their training program relevant and not too generalized.

But what happens when you neglect safety training at your workplace? In addition to a potential increase of the things listed above, here are a few times employers have felt the sting in their financial bottom line as well. Below, I have itemized OSHA citations reported in Jun-Aug 2015 for infractions of neglecting safety training for their employees. It's much cheaper to hire someone to do your training if you are unable to handle it yourself than to wait until OSHA hits you with related fines.

Company: Bigston Corporation
Inspection Site: Elk Grove Village, IL
Date of Findings: March 5, 2015

Type of Violation: Serious

29 CFR 1910. 134(k)(1): The employer did not provide respirator training that would ensure each employee could demonstrate knowledge of items in section (i)-(vii).

Penalty: $4,200.00


Company: Grimco Inc.
Inspection Site: Akron, OH
Date of Findings: June 3, 2015


Type of Violation: Serious

29 CFR 1910.147(c)(7)(i): The employer did not provide training to ensure that the purpose and function of the energy control program are understood by employees and that the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage, and removal of the energy controls are acquired by employees.

Penalty: $7,000.00


Company: Wilbert, Inc.
Inspection Site: Bellevue, OH
Date of Findings: February 2, 2015

Type of Violation: Serious

29 CFR 1910.174(c)(7)(i): The employer did not provide adequate training to ensure that the purpose and function of the energy control program was understood by employees.

Penalty: $7,000.00


Company: D.R. Diedrich & Co.
Inspection Site: Milwaukee, WI
Date of Findings: February 2015

Type of Violation: Serious

29 CFR 1910.174(c)(7)(i)(A): Authorized employee(s) did not receive training in the recognition of applicable hazardous energy sources, the type and magnitude of the energy available in the workplace, and the methods and means necessary for energy isolation.

Penalty: $6,300.00


Company: Ansley Metal Fabrication and Repair
Inspection Site: Donalsonville, GA
Date of Findings: March 26, 2015

Type of Violation: Serious

29 CFR 1926.761(b): The employer did not train each employee exposed to a fall hazard in accordance with the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.761.

Penalty: $4,900.00


Company: New Homes Construction, Inc.
Inspection Site: Medford, NJ
Date of Findings: February 12, 2015

Type of Violation: Serious

29 CFR 1926.503(a)(2): The employer did not assure that each employee exposed to fall hazards was trained by a competent person qualified in the areas specified in 29 CFR 1926.503(a)(2)(i) through (viii).

Penalty: $3,080.00

Type of Violation: Serious

29 CFR 1926.1060(a): The employer did not provide a training program for each employee using ladders and stairways, as necessary, which would train each employee in the procedures to be followed to minimize hazards related to ladders and stairways.

Penalty: $3,080.00


Company: Elite Storage Solutions, LLCFire_extinguisher_ad_4x6x
Inspection Site: Monroe, GA
Date of Findings: January 28, 2015

Type of Violation: Serious

29 CFR 1910.147(c)(7)(i): The employer did not provide training to ensure that the purpose and function of the energy control program are understood by employees and that the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage, and removal of the energy controls are acquired by employees.

Penalty: $7,000.00

Type of Violation: Serious

29 CFR 1910.157(g)(l): An educational program was not provided for all employees to familiarize them with the general principles of fire extinguisher use and the hazards involved with incipient stage fire fighting. The employer expected employees to use extinguishers to use extinguishers to fight incipient level fires, but did not implement a training program for the use of fire extinguishers.

Penalty: $5,500.00


As you can see, the above fine amounts aren't generally high enough amounts to warrant closing up your company's doors, but they will certainly impact your profitability. Even more important is the realization that after paying the fine, you still have to pay for the training as well. Which can effectively double the initial cost if you were to train your employees in the first place. That number wouldn't even have taken into consideration the potential increase of compensation claims, property damage, missed work, injuries, legal liabilities and everything else discussed earlier. Keep in mind too that OSHA has made it easy to anonymously tip them off to an unsafe workplace. One phone call or email can now much more easily give an inspector a reason to visit. You must always take employee complaints seriously. In the case of the last two sources, you can see that having two fines for training can add up. If you expect your employees to use the provided fire extinguishers, you must train them in proper usage and be sure to have someone designated to check them monthly. Last of note is the company that did not have a qualified person train their employees; be sure if you are training your employees yourself, or in-house, that you (or whomever is doing the safety training) is qualified to do so. You may decide it be best to hire an outside person or company to do your safety training, but again, be sure they are at a qualified level to conduct the training. If you have any questions about this subject, feel free to contact us here at Safety Training Services by clicking below!

Click here to  contact STS

Tags: osha training, safety, safety training, training, osha safety training, osha violations 2015

Farm Safety in the USA [Infographic]

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

Safety is a top priority in any industry, and the farming and agriculture industry is no different. Today, we will take a look at how hazardous the industry is and how at risk farmers are for fatal and nonfatal injuries.

Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries people can work in. Almost 2 million people are directly employed in the agriculture industry so it is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed. Every week there are people injured and even killed in the USA on farms and in agriculture related industries. One stark statistic is that every day approximately 167 agri-workers suffer a lost-work-time injury. Through implementation of safer work practices and measures however, these numbers could be greatly reduced. Education and training is a major element that can assist this.

This infographic (Credit: farmerjournal.ie) covers the area of farm safety and agriculture in the USA and examines some interesting and startling statistics associated with it. It also gives some recommendations on how some of these accidents and fatalities can be avoided in the future.farm safety, safety training

Tags: safety training, confined space training, safety hazards industry training, farm safety, safety hazards, industry training

OSHA Announced Their Top 10 Most Cited Violations for 2014

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

OSHA's preliminary top 10 violations for fiscal year 2014 were recently announced at the National Safety Council Expo by the deputy director of OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust.

Before we cover those most cited standards, let's a look at a few statistics from 2013.

  • The 3,929 fatal work injuries that occurred in private industry isSafety training - Driver fell asleep at the wheel the lowest total since BLS began collecting this data more than 20 years ago.
  • Transportation-related incidents accounted for 40% of all fatal work injuries, but declined in 2013.
  • One out of six fatal work injuries was the result of violence – including suicide and homicide.
  • Fatal work injuries involving contractors accounted for 17% of all fatal work injuries in 2013.

In some aspects things are better, but clearly, we still have much work to do. Based on 2013's numbers, on average, there are 85 deaths a week or more than 12 deaths every day. Despite being the lowest total since the fatal injury census was first conducted in 1992, that's still too many deaths!

Many, if not close to all, of these deaths are preventable with proper training and a conscience decision from all parties involved to do things as safe as possible and report unsafe actions. As you can see in the most frequently cited standards, many are still "doing it the way we always have done it." For some, this is laziness or a disregard for safety; and for others, it is simply ignorance to the rules and guidelines. The numbers below should be a reminder that we do still have much to do, and that will be hard without open dialogue and a decision to do better for the sake of all those who became a statistic below.

Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2014:


  1. Fall Protection (Construction) (29 CFR 1926.501) 6,143 violations
    1. Examples being: failing to use fall protection correctly or failing to provide fall protection.
  2. Hazard Communications (29 CFR 1910.1200) 5,161 violations
    1. Examples being: failing to have safety data sheets (SDS) for each chemical in the workplace or chemical labeling mistakes.
  3. Scaffolding (Construction) (29 CFR 1926.451) 4,029 violations
    1. Examples being: loading scaffolds in excess of their capacity or failing to protect employees from fall hazards on scaffolds.
  4. Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134) 3,223 violations
    1. Examples being: lack of a written program or failing to train employees.
  5. Lockout / Tagout (29 CFR 1910.147) 2,704 violationslockout tagout training
    1. Examples being: complete lack of a hazardous energy control program or failing to apply locks.
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178) 2,662 violations
    1. Examples being: lack of operator training or forklifts not in safe operating condition.
  7. Electrical - Wiring Methods (29 CFR 1910.305) 2,490 violations
    1. Examples being: conductors enter boxes unprotected or employees are exposed to live contacts.
  8. Ladders (Construction) (29 CFR 1926.1053) 2,448 violations
    1. Examples being: using an inappropriate type of ladder for the job or using a ladder not designed for the load it is carrying.
  9. Machine Guarding (29 CFR 1910.212) 2,200 violations
    1. Examples being: not using guards at point of operation for machinery that may pose a hazard or guards are removed by employees.
  10. Electrical - General Requirements (29 CFR 1910.303) 2,056 violations
    1. Examples being: not having workers appropriately trained to avoid electric shock or electrocution or not guarding live parts.
      Fall protection, safety harness
Seeing fall protection at the top as the the most cited OSHA violationshouldn't surprise you. If you haven't noticed, that is its fourth year in a row at that spot! The data presented here is preliminary. The finalized data and additional details will be posted in December. Check back then when we will update this article (or post a new one) to include the revised  and additional data.

In the meantime, share this information with others! Whether its by emailing or sharing this article on social media sites, or by simple word of mouth at work or with friends. This information is worth most when everyone has the knowledge to prevent these types of accidents. Even if you don't work for a multibillion dollar company, think of the small businesses that have so much to think about that they are oblivious to these facts. To a small company, something so small as a simply hand injury can cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider direct/indirect costs, medical bills, worker's comp, legal fees, etc.

Do your part and help create a safe working environment for all! If you enjoyed this article, please add STS on Facebook or Twitter. As always, if you have ANY safety-related questions, feel free to email us or contact us online!

Tags: osha training, osha violations 2014, osha most cited, safety training, osha compliance, osha top violations, osha violations

Fireworks Safety Tips and Why America Celebrates July with Explosions

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Thu, Jul 03, 2014 @ 01:00 PM

Independence Day (AKA ‘Fourth of July’) has been celebrated with fireworks since 1776, when the United States declared its independence from Great Britain (now known as the United Kingdom).

fireworks safety, safety training, summer safety, burn safetyFireworks themselves are dated back to 7th century China, where they were invented and used in many festivities. Fast forward to mid-17th century; Europe was blown away by Chinese fireworks and the popularity would rise and they were used for celebration of many important events. Finally in the late 18th century, the early European settlers brought this love of fireworks to this country and used them as rally devices, political attractions, and of course to celebrate important events.

In times past, pyrotechnicians were highly respected individuals and the art of making fireworks was a complex science with its own knowledge and techniques. Today, we have fireworks displays for festivals and celebrations, and even competitions, around the world. Did you know that the largest consumer of fireworks in the United States is the Walt Disney Corporation?

Unfortunately somewhere down the line fireworks got arguably too popular and now we have many individual consumers purchasing and igniting their own. This isn’t in itself bad, but two things are happening: people are not taking proper safety precautions and the injuries are piling up yearly, and other people are making their own. Remember when I said pyrotechnics were an art and a science? Making your own fireworks is a recipe for disaster unless you are a professional, and the numbers below will show it. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people seem to truly understand the associated risks including devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death.

Failure to follow these fireworks safety tips can lead to serious burns, injuries, or even worse! In 2012, an estimated 9,200 people were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries. 36% of this number was under the age of 15. In fact, children between the ages of 10 and 14 are at three times the risk of fireworks-related injuries than the general population.

Quick Facts/Statistics about Fireworks

  • In 2011, fireworks caused about $32 million in direct property damage.fireworks safety, safety training, summer safety, burn safety
  • In 2012, more than 36% of fireworks-related injuries in Indiana were to children under 18 years old.
  • Also in 2012, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks-related injuries.
    • 55% were to the arms/legs combined and 31% were to the head.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for 2 out of 5 of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
  • 65% of the fireworks injuries in 2013 occurred during the month surrounding July 4th.
  • Illegal and homemade fireworks were involved in all 8 fireworks-related deaths reported in 2013.
  • Top 2 fireworks types from injuries were Sparklers (31%) and Firecrackers (11%).
    • Sparklers burn at extremely hot temperatures, from 1200 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.


And finally, I leave you with the 10 tips to keep you safe this Independence Day.

  1. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  2. Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper, which is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers. And remember, homemade fireworks are also dangerous and illegal!
  3. Never ignite fireworks indoors. Fireworks should only be lit on a smooth, flat surface; and should always be away from buildings, dry vegetation, and flammable materials.
  4. Never ignite fireworks in a metal or glass container.
  5. fireworks safety, safety training, summer safety, burn safetyKeep any type of ladder or pole (used to set up or light fireworks) at least 10 feet from any power lines.
  6. Never point or throw fireworks at a person, animal, or building.
  7. Fireworks should not be used by persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  8. Light fireworks one at a time, then back away quickly. Never place any part of your body directly over the fireworks themselves when lighting the fuse and never attempt to relight a “dud.”
  9. Have a fire extinguisher, water hose, or water-filled bucket nearby. Fireworks stay hot for a bit after they’ve burned out. Douse and dispose!
  10. Never allow young children to use fireworks. This includes sparklers, as they burn at temperatures hot enough to melt some metals. For older children, always have adult supervision when they are using or around fireworks. (Glowsticks make a great alternative to fireworks for young children).

Remember to stay safe this holiday and practice situational awareness. Accidents are preventable, if we practice good safety culture. 

And remember, July is also National UV Safety Month! Head over to our previous July blog article covering safety tips to beat the heat. Click here to read 5+ Tips to Survive UV Safety Month this July.

Safety Training Services is here for ALL your safety needs! Whether its OSHA compliant safety training, first aid kits & fire extinguisher, equipment & supplied air rentals, field (rescue) work, or consulting, STS can help you and your company! Click here for 'Real Experience. Real Training. Real Results.'

Tags: burn safety, osha training, summer safety, fireworks safety, safety training

5+ Tips to Survive UV Safety Month this July

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Wed, Jul 02, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

July is UV Safety Month.

This month, we take a look at educating ourselves and other individuals on how to protectuv safety, uv safety month, july safety
ourselves from overexposure to the sun. The sun emits radiation in the form of ultraviolet (UV) light. This is classified into 3 types based on wavelength: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC, the shortest length, never reaches us on the ground because our protective ozone layer blocks all UVC light. But UVA and UVB pass right through. This is potentially dangerous as UVA light is what causes wrinkling or leathering of the skin and UVB causes sun burns. They both can cause skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, with millions of new cases diagnosed each year. The main cause of skin cancer is exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) ray's. These UV rays can weaken the immune system, increase sun spots and wrinkles, cause blotchy skin, and lead to premature aging.


The two most common types of skin cancer,

  1. Basal cell

  2. Squamous cell carcinomas

are highly curable!

Melanoma, the 3rd most common type of skin cancer, is more dangerous. About 65-90% of melanomas are caused by exposure to UV light. Skin cancer affects people of all ages, including older adults.

Although anyone get skin cancer, those with fair skin, blond or red hair, and blue or green eyes are at the greatest risk. But everyone else should still take precautions, as everyone is at an equal risk for eye damage due to overexposure to the sun's UV rays. 

Today’s older Americans face increased sun-related health problems because when they were growing up, little was known or communicated about protection from UV rays. The good news, however, is skin cancer can be prevented! Here are some safety tips to protect your skin while being outdoors this summer:

  • Choose sunglasses based on 100% UV protection of both UVA and UVBuv safety, uv safety month, july safety rays. The color and how expense they were mean nothing compared to the REAL reason we wear sunglasses.
    • Go for the wrap arounds. That means they wrap around your temples so that the sun's rays can't enter from the side.
    • You may have contact lenses with UV protection, but don't rely on this; remember your sunglasses.
  • Put on sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going outside. Don't wait until you are outside and already exposed.
    • Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15.
      • Broad spectrum sunscreen protects against overexposure from both UVA and UVB rays.
    • Put on sunscreen before applying makeup, insect repellent, or tanning oils.
    • The longer the amount of time that you plan to be outside, the higher the SPF on your sunscreen should be.
    • Reapply sunscreen as needed, about every 2 hours; even if its water-resistant.
  • Be careful between the hours of 10 am & 4 pm. These are peak sunlight hours where the UV light is most intense.
    • UV light is also more intense at higher altitudes.
    • Intense UV light can be reflected off of water, snow, sand, and cement.
  • In addition to sunglasses, wear a hat. Broad-brimmed hats especially, protect your eyes, ears, face, and neck.
  • Don't forget the children; they too are at risk!
This should go without saying, but...NEVER look directly at the sun. Looking directly at the sun at any time, even during an eclipse, can lead to solar retinopathy, damage to the eye's retina from solar radiation. This exposure to bright sunlight increases the risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and growths on the eye including cancer.
Don't be fooled by the clouds in the sky, the sun's rays pass right through them. The eyes are at risk to UV rays all year round (not just in summer). Sunlight is not the only culprit though--tanning beds, sun lamps, etc. offer higher doses of UV radiation than sunlight!
uv safety, uv safety month, july safetyUV radiation is not limited to just us humans either. Both plants and other animals are affected by it. For example, a plant's overexposure to the sun could mean affecting its photosynthesis. This can affect the growth of the plant, and therefore can potentially impact the structure of an ecosystem in a negative way. Animals, especially those with little to no hair, can get sunburn just like any of us. This is why pigs (and other similar animals) roll around in the mud, they use it like sunscreen!
American Cancer Society promotes a clever slogan that actually kind of helps you remember the steps for UV radiation protection: "Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap!" This stands for: Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap on your sunglasses.
For tips on how to stay safe while grilling this summer, click here for our article about 'Grilling Safety.' And stay subscribed to the STS Blog for more great safety information and safety tips to get you through the summer. Our Summer of Safety Blogs continue with out next article, covering Fireworks Safety, followed by Eye Injury Prevention!

Tags: summer safety, uv safety, july safety, safety, safety training, uv safety month

Safety Training, Not JUST Important in June!

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

In 1996, the National Safety Council (NSC) established June as National Safety Month tonational safety council increase awareness of key safety issues. The idea is to decrease the number of unintentional injuries and deaths. NSC is also aligned with government agencies, such as OSHA, to help strengthen the influence of compliance in workplace safety.

The 2014 theme for National Safety Month is “Safety: It takes all of us.” Each week of National Safety Month focuses on a specific safety venue: workplace, traffic, home, and community. For example, the 2014 safety issues are as follows:

Prevent prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse is the intentional use of a medication without having a prescription for it. This also includes using prescription drugs in ways other than intended or prescribed. Prescription drug abuse has become a serious safety issue. As of 2013, it was the second most widespread drug issue in the United States.

Here are some tips to stay safe with your medications:

  1. health, safety, medicationKeep your meds in a secure place. Leaving them out in plain view can lead to theft.
  2. Keep track of your medicine. Know how many pills you have, and what they look like.
  3. Don’t share any medications.
  4. Dispose of your meds correctly.
    • Keep meds in original container.
    • Remove your information
    • For pills, add water/soda to dissolve them; for liquids, use cat litter or dirt.
    • Close and secure with duct tape.
    • The disguised & sealed container can now be thrown out with the normal trash.

Stop slips, trips, and falls

Some of the worst yet most common type of office injuries in the workplace, but they are also the easiest to correct.

Common causes of slips are:
  • wet or oily surfaces
  • occasional spills
  • weather hazards
  • loose, unanchored rugs or mats
  • flooring or other walking surfaces that do not have same degree of traction in all areas
Common causes of tripping are:
  • obstructed view
  • poor lighting
  • clutter in your way
  • wrinkled carpeting
  • uncovered cables
  • bottom drawers not being closed
  • uneven (steps, thresholds) walking surfaces
Before any other preventative measures should be taken, good housekeeping should practiced:
  • slips, trips, falls, safety, osha 10Clean all spills immediately
  • Mark spills and wet areas
  • Mop/sweep debris from floors
  • Remove obstacles from walkways and always keep them free of clutter
  • Secure mats, rugs and carpets that do not lay flat
  • Always close file cabinet or storage drawers
  • Cover cables that cross walkways
  • Keep working areas and walkways well lit
  • Replace used light bulbs and faulty switches
Falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional death in homes and communities, resulting in more than 25,000 fatalities in 2009. Slips, trip and fall injuries cost employers approximately $40,000 per incident.

Be aware of your surroundings

Contact with objects is the second leading cause of cases with days away from work. This includes:

  • Being struck against an object
  • Struck by an object 
  • Caught in an object or equipment
  • Caught in collapsing material

Here are some tips to help prevent injury from contact with objects:

  • Neatly store loose materials
  • Secure items that are stored at a height
  • Store heavy objects close to the floor
  • Open one filing cabinet drawer at a time to prevent a tip-over
  • Wear the proper PPE for your environment
  • Always walk behind moving equipment, if possible
  • Never obstruct your vision by overloading moving equipment
  • Only operate equipment that you are properly trained to use
  • Make sure all the safety devices on your equipment are in good working order before use
  • Use extra caution around corners and near doorways

Put an end to distracted driving

Driving while using a cell phone has been a part of our culture. What, to some, can be seen as a necessity, others realize how dangerous it really is. Whether its business or personal, we need to remind ourselves that this is a potentially life-altering activity. Here are some tips from the National Safety Council about how to break this bad habit.

  • national safety month, cell phone drivingSchedule calls for times when you will not be driving.
  • Tell other people not to call you when they know you are driving.
  • Plan your day ahead of time so you won’t need to use a cell phone while driving.
  • Change your voicemail greeting to something like: “Hi, you’ve reached (insert name). I’m either away from my phone or I’m driving. Please leave me a message.” You can also let callers know approximately what time you will be available again so they know when to expect to hear from you.
  • If a ringing phone is too tempting, get in the habit of silencing your phone before you start to drive, or lock it in the trunk or glove box.
  • Work with your coworkers and family members on breaking the habit and hold each other accountable.
  • Allow enough time during your commute for stops so you can pull over and park in a safe location to check email and voicemail messages.
  • Consider using call-blocking technology when you are driving.
  • Remember, hands-free devices don’t make you safer—while they allow for one more hand to be placed on the steering wheel, they do not reduce cognitive distraction to the brain.

Remember, accidents are preventable. There is almost always no reason for them other than a lack of training. Be sure to take an appropriate amount of time daily, weekly, monthly, annually to have safety meetings, training days, etc. If you are interested or have any questions regarding safety training or any question on frequency of training, contact STS.

Tags: osha training, safety training, june safety, safety training tips, national safety month

The Importance of Safety Training & How It Can 100% Prevent Accidents

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

Training is, by one definition, "a process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for an art, profession, or job." Training has specific goals of improving one's capability, productivity, and performance in the specific area.

importance of safety training, safety training, safety training companies, safety training services, safety training classesThis means that prior to starting a job or a specific task; you must be trained to a level necessary for safe completion. The importance of this is paramount. It is not only cost effective to the company to practice safe procedures and train employees properly, but ultimately, we are putting lives at risk if training is not done or done incorrectly.

I want to explore the “importance of safety training” and why you should decide to invest your time and money into getting properly trained.

The first and most important reason: Reduce accidents.

This alone should trigger instantly as a ‘must.’ The reason from an individual’s standpoint should be obvious; accidents can too easily lead to death. That’s it, case closed. No more work, no more family, nothing. And not to mention the aftermath that someone else will have to deal with. This is not to scare you, but more so to shed light on the fact that reducing accidents is simply a must. In fact, many “accidents” aren’t accidents at all. They are operator related. We may label them as an accident, but if the operator truly knew the machine/job they were doing, and the safest way to do it, they would be able to be avoid the hazards entirely. Most ‘accidents’ are 100% preventable.

This brings me to the reasoning from a company standpoint. Yes, of course an individual would want safety training and I’m sure companies would see the importance of it. But I’m not writing this to discuss hypotheticals. The truth is, it is more often than not, the company that decides whether or not to send employees to training. And another fact is that I read about employees getting hurt or worse almost every day in various industries and so much of this can be prevented by simply conducting safety training properly. If the company cannot provide this safety training, they must recognize the dire importance (especially in high hazard workplaces) and inquire into a quality safety training company. Again, this is real world we are talking about and therefore time and money are something many companies need to factor into the equation before they can reach the result. Many companies see those two things as the main factor or deterrent in their choice. Understandably, I would like to take it further than just the cost of the training, or the cost of the employee’s time to take it. Let’s look at the REAL cost of an accident and then weigh that against the (at that point) seemingly meager price of quality safety training.

Accidents are more expensive than many people realize because in addition to the direct costsimportance of safety training, safety training, safety training companies, safety training services, safety training classes (medical costs, compensation payments, etc.) you’ll have indirect costs. Indirect costs include, but are not limited to: costs to train a replacement worker, repairing damaged property, cost to investigate the accident. Now take it one step further and you’ll see even more costs that aren’t as obvious, such as added administrative time, lower morale, increased absenteeism, and poorer customer relations. These costs are sometimes much higher than the simple direct costs. In fact, OSHA states that the lower the direct costs of an accident, the higher the ratio of indirect to direct costs. The more accidents that occur in a workplace, the higher the costs — both in increased insurance premiums and greater indirect costs.

If you would like to see more specifics of estimating and calculating the true cost of workplace injuries, Safety Management Group has an easy to use calculator found by clicking here.


More reasons to consider the importance of safety training:

  • importance of safety training, safety training, safety training companies, safety training services, safety training classes

    Training can improve business performance, profit and staff morale.

  • In addition to reducing accidents, training your staff can result in safer work practices and even productivity improvements.

  • By training your employees or allowing time for training, you demonstrate that you value them enough to invest in them. This improves loyalty and retention, with retention being the benefit for you.

  • They acquire new skills, increasing their contribution to the business and building their self-esteem

Remember, action is always faster than reaction. Therefore, it is better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to safety and/or safety training. If you take the time to analyze then you have a much higher chance that nothing will happen. Hopefully, this has motivated you take action! To seek out quality safety training now, as opposed to waiting until OSHA has stepped in or even worse, waiting until a workplace injury or death occurs.

Don’t get burned by mediocre training because they didn’t do it right the first time. Contact Safety Training Services, Inc. today and get “Real Experience. Real Training. Real Results.”

Show me the classes!

Tags: safety training, safety training services, importance of safety training, safety training classes, safety training companies

Breaking it down | Protecting America's Workers Act (PAWA)

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

The OSH Act (That created OSHA) was passed over 40 years ago in order to protect America’s workers. Since then, great progress towards keeping America’s workers safe has been made. However, more work must still be done as we still have the statistics, almost daily, about serious injuries and/or fatalities.

In 2010 alone, over 4,600 workers were killed and 3.8 million workers reported injuries (and think about how many DIDN’T report). That makes an average of almost 13 injuries per day!

So a return to a previous idea of updating OSH Act in the form of a bill, Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA), with the intent to expand & strengthen workplace safety laws. PAWA was introduced a few different ways before in several congressional sessions, but never passed.

What is PAWA? Well it looks to update/amend OSHA to cover more workers, update penalties, strengthen protections, enhance public accountability, clarify an employer's duty to provide safe work environment. What does it entail? Let’s take a look at what PAWA aims to do:

Cover more workers
  • Over 8.5 million workers are not covered by OSHA. This includes federal, state, local public employees and some private sector.
  • PAWA would include flight attendants, state correctional officers and workers in government agencies and provides OSHA protections to these workers.
Beavis & Butthead - Breaking the LawIncrease penalties for law-breakers
  • Current law says willful OSHA violations that lead to a worker's death may be charged, at most, with a misdemeanor.
  • Repeated and willful OSHA violations that result in serious injury or death can be charged as felony.
  • Updates OSHA civil penalties (unchanged since 1990). Sets minimum penalty of $50,000 for worker death caused by a willful violation.
Protects whistle-blowers on unsafe conditions in the workplace
  • OSHA's whistleblower provisions have had no update since adoption...in 1970.
  • Updates those whistleblower protections by incorporating successful administrative procedures adopted in other laws (like the Surface Transportation Act).
Enhances the public's right to know about safety violations
  • Improves public accountability and transparency.
    • Mandates Department of Labor (DOL) investigates all cases of death or serious incidents of injury at work.
  • Gives workers (and their families) the right to meet with DOL investigators.
  • Requires employers to inform workers of their OSHA rights.
Clarifies employer's duty to provide a safe work environment, equipment and track recordable injuries/illnesses for all workers on-Caution - Recordable Injury Signsite
  • Amends the General Duty Clause to include all workers on the worksite.
  • Clarifies employer responsibility to provide the necessary safety equipment to their workers (example: PPE).
  • Directs DOL to revise regulations  for site-controlling employers to keep a site log for all recordable injuries and illnesses among all employees on the worksite.

That about wraps up PAWA and its goals. Think for a moment about these questions and then comment what you think in the box below!
  • Does this frame of mind have merit
  • Do you think this should be passed
  • As an employee, do you feel this is headed in the right direction? 
  • As an employer, do you feel this is headed in the right direction? 
No matter what side of the fence you are on, how can workplace safety training companies continue to assist employees & employers while its being negotiated?
Click here   for our Safety  Training Courses

Tags: PAWA, OSHA, safe work environment, safety training, protecting america's workers, workplace safety