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Julie Copeland

CEO

Recent Posts

The Dangers of Daylight Savings Time

For some, daylight’s savings time is a benefit, for others an inconvenience. Most of us groan about losing an hour, yawn, shrug it off and go on with our lives.

However, the Monday after daylight savings can be more dangerous than many of us realize.

Studies have shown that the sleep deprivation caused by the Spring shift to daylight savings results in a small increase in fatal workplace accidents on the following Monday. It is believed that this increase is due to misalignment of our natural circadian rhythms, which occur when we force ourselves to stay awake at hours when our bodies believe we should be sleeping.

According to the National Safety Council, the following types of employees are most susceptible to these circadian rhythm disruptions:

  • Shift workers
  • Medical staff
  • Emergency responders
  • Military personnel
  • Workers over age 40
  • Transportation professionals

This is especially true for those who work rotating or night shifts.

If you’re responsible for the safety of employees in any of these categories, or any employee who works in potentially dangerous situations, it’s never a bad idea to:

  • Issue warnings about the effects of sleep loss.
  • Give your employees the option to sleep a little later or catch a quick nap during the day.
  • Encourage your employees to exercise and avoid alcohol the night before.
  • Be on the lookout for employees who may be showing signs of excessive such as yawning, head dropping, and difficulty remembering or concentrating.

These are small steps that may help avoid injuries and save lives.

Looking for more ways to protect your employees? Consider a safety audit or learn more about our Vantage Predictive Analytics which can help you to target at-risk employees and prevent accidents before they happen.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe and subscribe to Safer Every Day  the definitive digital magazine for workplace safety.

Have a safe day!

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OSHA Takes Walking-Working Surfaces Seriously

Now that OSHA’s requirements for Walking-Working Surfaces (WWS) (subpart D) are in effect; the organization is demonstrating that they are serious about enforcing these new regulations.

For example, just days after the requirements became effective, OSHA initiated an inspection of an aluminum manufacturer and found 51 safety and health violations with proposed penalties of $1,922,895.

These violations included citations because fixed ladders, portable ladders, skylights, stairs, loading docks, and other WWS were not compliant.

This citation isn’t isolated incident. Since January 17, 2017, the effective date of the new rule, OSHA has inspected and cited at least a dozen employers for multiple WWS violations. Included in the various citations were failures to:

  • Conduct required inspections
  • Guard unprotected sides and edges 4 feet or more above a lower level
  • Prevent employees from falling into holes
  • Ensure strength criteria for guardrail systems
  • Keep all walking-working surfaces in clean, orderly, and sanitary condition
  • Ensure that each walking-working surface can support the maximum intended load for that surface

Since OSHA issued the new requirements, employers are required to

  • Conduct a hazard assessment
  • Implement required fall protection
  • Develop an inspection schedule
  • Train employees
  • Begin verifying certification of anchorage for rope descent systems

Employers are also required to equip existing fixed ladders with a cage, well, ladder safety system or personal fall arrest system by November 19, 2018.

Companies looking to meet the new WWS requirements may want to schedule a safety audit, set up a training program in Fall Protection Awareness for General Industry and Competent Persons Classroom Fall Protection and make sure that their fall protection equipment is up to par with the new standards.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe… and subscribe to the Arbill Safety Blog so that you never miss out on great safety tips and information.

Have a safe day!

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Five Top Safety Hazards on a Construction Site

According to OSHA, there were almost 1000 construction deaths in 2016. While the construction workforce is only 6% of the population, over 20% of total private sector employee deaths were in construction.

The tragedy is that, with the right training and equipment, over 60% of these deaths were preventable. The following are the key causes of construction industry deaths and the steps that can be taken to prevent them by applying the right equipment and training.

Hazard # 1: Falls

Each year falls consistently account for more than one-third of construction industry deaths. Often these falls are due to unstable working surfaces, misuse or failure to use fall protection equipment, and unsafe use of scaffolding and ladders.

To protect your employees, make sure that your ladders and scaffolds meet safety standards and are properly sized for the project requirements. Also ensure that work surfaces are stable, free from holes, and provide proper traction.

Another tip for fall prevention is to apply the six-foot rule. If employees are working more than six feet above another surface, they need to have fall-prevention equipment such as guardrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers, and restraint systems.

Regardless of height, it’s always a good idea to ensure that your employees have the right personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats, non-skid work boots, and tool lanyards.

Of course, the right equipment is only as effective as the training provided. Ensuring that your employees are trained to use their equipment and avoid unsafe practices will reduce the risk of accidents and keep your employees safe.

Hazard # 2: Struck by Objects

The next big cause of death on construction sites is “struck by objects,” which accounts for almost 10% of construction site fatalities.

Vehicle hazards are a big part of this statistic. Make sure that your site safety rules include clear vehicle routes and that employees know how to avoid positioning themselves between moving and fixed objects.

Misuse of heavy equipment such as cranes and forklifts also contributes to these types of injuries. Make sure that your employees are properly trained on the safe use of this equipment and you’ll avoid injuries to both their drivers and their team members.

Hazard #3: Electrical Hazards
The dangers of electricity have been known for centuries, and yet electrical safety issues still account for over 8% of construction site deaths. Before starting any work, locate and identify utilities. If your employees are using equipment, make sure they’ve located overhead power lines and are familiar with the minimum safe distance requirements.

Providing your employees with portable tools that are grounded or double insulated and using ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) wherever possible can also prevent avoidable accidents. As previously mentioned, scaffolds, ladders, and platforms pose special safety risks, so make sure your employees are trained to avoid related electrical hazards.

Hazard #4: Caught-In-Between

Caught-in-between deaths represent 7% of construction fatalities, with many of these deaths occurring due to the collapse of construction site trenches. A key safety tip is to ensure that trenches which are five feet or deeper have adequate safety measures and trench wall support.

You can also protect your employees by marking all utilities before digging, providing a qualified person to inspect the trench’s safety, and training employees on how to protect themselves.

Hazard #5: Hazardous Materials

Construction sites are often filled with hazardous materials that can range from toxic airborne materials which affect respiration to chemical spills which can burn or release toxic fumes.

To prevent exposure, your employees should be provided with material safety data sheets (MSDS) for any hazardous chemical being used at the construction site and should be provided with the proper PPE including respiratory protection. You should also make sure that your employees are trained regarding the proper handling of hazardous materials.

Protecting your employees requires knowing the potential risks and providing the training and equipment to ensure that they make it safely home from the job site. Knowing these five hazards can serve as a starting point as you develop a strategy to improve the safety on your construction site.

 Want to keep accidents from occuring?  Our comprehensive white paper, Reduce Workplace Injuries with Predictive Analytics shows you how you can shift from a reactive to a proactive approach to injury prevention. 

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe… and subscribe to the Arbill Safety Blog so that you never miss out on great safety tips and information.

Have a safe day!

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Protect Your Employees From Workplace Violence

This blog is not about gun control, mental illness or terrorism. It’s about violence that, unfortunately, is increasing in the workplace where many people are vulnerable. It has been reported that deaths resulting from workplace violence have ranked among the top causes of occupational fatalities in American workplaces. Additionally, nearly 2 million workers are reported to be victims each year of some type of workplace violence.

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Building a Culture of Safety: 6 Steps to Take Today


What is a Culture of Safety?

How do you know if you have one and how can you enhance this culture once it has been established?

It is actually much easier to identify an organization that does not exhibit a culture of safety. These are organizations that have recurring injuries and down time along with increasing insurance rates and possible litigation issues. At these facilities, workers don’t feel safe or comfortable with the PPE provided to them and don’t bother to alert someone if gloves, glasses or earplugs fit properly. Management and workers sometimes ignore safety procedures and safety is not looked at as a top priority, nor is it discussed or properly invested in. Workers are not empowered to make a difference and in these cases, the culture of safety is broken or non-existent.

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9 Workplace Safety Secrets You Need to Know


Protecting your employees can be a challenging proposition. The modern workplace can be a loud and dangerous place that exposes your workers to hazards that are unique to your workplace. For this reason it's critically important that managers and employees alike understand what they can do to ensure each employee goes home safely after every shift.

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Top 4 Issues Facing Safety Managers Today


In spite of better safety equipment, stricter rules from OSHA, including a 78% increase in the cost of fines, and safety software to help you better manage your safety program, the fact is that injuries continue to increase in the workplace. The reality you face every day is that your job as a safety professional is not getting easier, it is getting harder. 
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9 ESSENTIAL WINTER WEATHER SAFETY TIPS

Let’s face it, working outside in the cold is not fun. And if you are not careful, nasty weather can quickly escalate into a life-threatening situation. To help you avoid a cold weather injury, provided below are 9 tips that are certain to keep you safe from the worst mother nature can toss your way.

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Guidelines For Safe Winter Driving

Winter driving can be hazardous and scary, especially in northern regions that get a lot of snow and ice. Additional preparations can help make a trip safer, or help motorists deal with an emergency. Use the safety information provided below to help your employees prevent motor vehicle injuries due to winter storms.

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Cold Stress: Keys to Keep Workers Safe This Winter

It has already been a cold, snowy, brutal winter, and with spring months away, it is likely to get worse before it gets better. This means your employees will continue to be at risk for cold stress. Without the proper preparations, cold stress could have a devastating impact on your workforce.

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