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Julie Copeland

CEO

Recent Posts

5 Ways a Commitment-Based Approach to Safety Improves Your Workplace

 

When we grew up, we were probably taught to remember to buckle our seatbelts. First by parents, later by teachers and ultimately when we learn to drive. While tougher seat belt laws have contributed to the rising use of seat belts, education and making seat belt use part of our everyday lives has contributed towards the trend and the decrease in accidents.

How much? According to the CDC, since 1975 seat belts have saved an estimated 255,000 lives.

Workplace safety culture is the same. Your company ultimately has two options, use a control-based safety environment or a commitment-based safety environment.

A control-based safety environment is based on the idea of doing the minimum needed to avoid being fined or punished. In this environment, safety is seen as a distraction from (or a hindrance to) productivity. Even when a company has safety councils in place, meetings often fail to generate positive action and safety concerns often don’t get the attention of upper management. The control-based safety environment fits into more traditional workplace models with specialized roles and rigid hierarchy.

A commitment-based safety environment means that safety is seen as everyone’s concern from the CEO down. Commitment-based safety is geared toward making safety its own reward and rewarding employees for being proactive in protecting their safety and the safety of others. Safety is seen as a necessary part of overall productivity and not as a hindrance or distraction.

While a commitment-based safety environment is collaborative and requires input from all levels of a company it has several advantages over a control-based model. Here are five examples of how a commitment-based safety environment can improve:

1. Productivity

In a control-based safety environment, lowest-common-denominator thinking rules and employees often find themselves pulled into a race-to-the-bottom mentality. Employees who wish to do more are discouraged by their co-workers and supervisors out of fear of reprisals or unwanted attention from upper management. This environment stifles productivity and employee growth. While there may be some short-term benefits to this mode of thinking, in the long-run it can only do more harm than good.

Creating a commitment-based safety culture requires that everyone from the CEO on down, plays a positive role in creating and maintaining a safe work environment. When that kind of culture exists, employee morale improves and with it, productivity increases, and absenteeism drops.

2. Personal Responsibility

In a control-based safety environment, employees often ignore safety warnings, forget to use PPE and don’t say anything if they notice a fellow employee isn’t using PPE. This leads to more accidents which can hurt morale and the company’s bottom line. In addition, supervisors need to spend more of their time “monitoring” employees to make sure they’re following safety best practices, needing to “nag” employees about these issues makes it harder for supervisors to effectively develop their teams in the long term.

When a workplace has a commitment-based safety culture, employees are more likely to take their safety and the safety of their co-workers more seriously. This means that they are more likely to use their PPE and follow safety rules without needing additional training and reminders. This also reduces the need for additional oversight from management, allowing managers to focus on growth and business optimization.

3. Communication

In a control-based environment, employees are hesitant to speak up when they see problems for fear of being labeled as a complainer. If they do speak up and don’t see a response to their concerns, they’re less likely to speak up again in the future.

With a commitment-based safety culture in place, employees are more likely to report potential safety issues because they believe that their concerns are being heard and taken seriously. This allows you to head off minor safety issues before they become serious concerns.

4. Bottom Line

For many businesses the only thing that costs more than creating a commitment-based safety culture is not creating a commitment-based safety culture. As the workplace becomes more specialized, it is harder than ever to replace skilled workers. A workplace injury or accident cost easily cost tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, OSHA fines and legal expenses. A fatality can easily cost in the millions. And that’s only the direct costs. In addition, businesses often find themselves facing indirect costs including recruiting and training new employees and increased insurance costs.

Having a commitment-based safety culture may require an investment at the beginning, but it can provide a positive return on investment in the long term. In fact, OSHA has determined that every dollar invested in safety provides a return of $4 to $6 in the long-term.

5. Reputation

When employees feel that management takes their safety seriously and empowers them to make it a priority, employees are more likely to speak positively about your company. When the opposite is true, employees are more likely to air their grievances online. Don’t think this will affect your business? An Indeed survey shows that 83 percent of job seekers are likely to base their decision on where to apply based on company reviews and 46 percent will weigh a company’s reputation before accepting a job offer.

Ready to build or enhance the safety culture at your business? Talk to one of our safety advisors today and schedule an assessment.

 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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The 7 Most Popular Safety Training Courses and Why You Need Them

 

You’d like to make your business a safer place. A good way to start is to make sure that your employees have the necessary safety training. While there are many training courses available it can be a challenge to determine which one your business needs.

The following are some of the most popular courses that businesses have their employees complete and how these trainings can positively impact their business.

 1. DOT Hazardous Materials General Awareness

Required by the Department of Transportation, this training provides crucial education for any employee involved in the safe shipping, receiving or transporting of hazardous materials by highway transport. Training should include the identification of hazardous materials and how to meet the regulatory requirements for packaging, marking, labeling hazardous materials for domestic highway shipments.

The DOT hazmat rules are stringent and not having trained employees can be costly. Penalties for non-compliance are as high as $77,114 per day, per violation. For hazmat training violations, the minimum fine is $463 per day, per violation. Trainings should be refreshed ever three years.

2. EPA RCRA Hazardous Waste Management

According to the EPA, a hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment. Hazardous waste is generated from many sources, ranging from industrial manufacturing process wastes to batteries and may come in many forms, including liquids, solids gases, and sludges.

Because hazardous waste takes many forms, training is required for individuals responsible for ensuring compliance with hazardous waste regulations, and includes discussion related to proper container management, storage procedures, the use of the hazardous waste manifest and necessary emergency response. It’s also important to remember that different states have different standards, so the training that qualifies in one state won’t always be equivalent to the training for another.

3. OSHA 10 For General Industry

The OSHA 10-hour Outreach Training Program for General Industry is intended to provide entry-level workers information about their rights, employer responsibilities, and how to identify, abate, avoid and prevent job related hazards in the workplace. The training covers a variety of general industry safety and health hazards, which a worker may encounter in the workplace. This is a good introduction to safety and serves as a great way to develop a safety culture for your business.

 4. Fall Protection

 In almost every industry, slip-and-fall and falling from height injuries have been identified as one of the most common. This course is designed for any employee who may be working at heights or any staff that may ever be around some one working at heights. The subject matter of the training should include identifying hazards and risks, ladders, handrails, stairs and basic fall protection equipment.

Training employees and knowing how to use PPE isn’t just good for your employees, it’s good for your bottom line. As reported in 2013 by National Safety Council, “fall from the same level” ($7.94 billion) and “fall to lower level” ($5.35 billion) were the second and third highest injury causes of disabling workplace injuries in 2011.  

 5. First Aid

According to OSHA, First Aid refers to medical attention that is usually administered immediately after an injury occurs and at the location where it occurred. It often consists of a one-time, short-term treatment and requires little technology or training to administer. First aid can include cleaning minor cuts, scrapes, or scratches; treating a minor burn; applying bandages and dressings; the use of non-prescription medicine; draining blisters; removing debris from the eyes; massage; and drinking fluids to relieve heat stress.

The benefit of having employees with First Aid training is that they can respond quickly in the event of an accident or injury and help keep a minor problem from escalating into a major one. Also, if First Aid is successfully provided on-site, an employer doesn’t always have to report the accident or injury.

 6. Emergency Action Plan

 OSHA requires every employer to develop an Emergency Action Plans for credible threats to their employees. Threats can include fire, severe weather, earthquake, active shooter, chemical release and many others.

All employees must be trained in how to identify an emergency, their employer’s emergency action plan, warning sounds and identifications, evacuation routes, safe havens, assembly areas and after emergency requirements.

If you don’t have an emergency action plan in place, or aren’t providing the training to your employees, creating a plan and getting the requisite training is a must.

 7. Lock Out /Tag Out

 For employees who use, maintain or inspect energized equipment, lockout tagout procedures can guide an authorized employee through a sequential process that renders a piece of equipment or process safe.

Employees need to be trained to ensure that they know, understand, and follow the applicable provisions of the hazardous energy control procedures. The training must cover at least three areas: aspects of the employer’s energy control program; elements of the energy control procedure relevant to the employee’s duties or assignment; and the various requirements of the OSHA standards related to lockout/tagout.

 Compliance with the lockout/ tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Workers injured on the job from exposure to hazardous energy lose an average of 24 workdays for recuperation.

Looking for one of these trainings for your employees? Talk to one of our safety advisors today and schedule a site assessment or training program.

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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What's Wrong With This Picture?

When it comes to safety it’s all about the details. Being able to see what is missing in terms of protective equipment can make all the difference between whether an employee gets to go home at the end of the day.

This week, we challenged our followers on social media to look at this image and find the seven things wrong with this picture. As promised, here are the answers to our “What’s Wrong with This Picture Challenge"

1.  NO EYE PROTECTION

While the man in the picture is wearing eyeglasses, he is not wearing a face shield or protective goggles. Thousands of people are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection. According to OSHA Eye injuries alone cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation.

2.  NO MACHINE GUARD

Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be eliminated or controlled. This page contains general information on the various hazards of mechanical motion and techniques for protecting workers.

3.  NEED ADJUSTMENT HANDLE FOR DRILL

The operator is trying to adjust his machine by hand. This may be a risk factor if the employee isn’t trained to correct the issue or gets their hands too close to moving parts. Having an adjustment handle can allow the operator to adjust the machine without the risk of getting their hands caught on moving machine parts.

4.  NO EMERGENCY SHUT-OFF

In order to avoid accidents or hazardous energy issues, machines should be equipped with an emergency shut-off switch or a foot pedal.

5.  NO FACE MASK/RESPIRATOR

If the machine emits harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors or sprays, it may be advisable for the operator to wear a face mask or a respirator to protect their lungs. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases, or death. According to OSHA, an estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. Compliance with the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard could avert hundreds of deaths and thousands of illnesses annually.

6.  SLEEVES PULLED BACK

The operator has their sleeves pulled back. While this may prevent their cuffs from getting caught in the machine, it also fails to protect their hands and arms. Also, if a cuff comes loose it could still get caught. Instead the operator should wear longer sleeves or use a protecting guard for their forearms.

7.  EAR PROTECTION

The operator isn’t wearing any kind of ear protection. According to OSHA 22 million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. Last year, U.S. business paid more than $1.5 million in penalties for not protecting workers from noise.

While it's impossible to put a number to the human toll of hearing loss, an estimated $242 million is spent annually on workers' compensation for hearing loss disability.

Looking for a detailed safety assessment for your workplace? Talk to one of our safety advisors today and schedule a site assessment or training program.

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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Ask The Expert - Who Needs DOT HazMat

A new feature of our blog is our “Ask the Expert” column. Each column will feature a frequently asked safety question, and one of our safety experts will provide an answer. 

This week's question will be answered by Chris Fulmer a certified Environmental, Safety and Health Trainer (CET) through NESHTA and The Board of Safety Professionals, and Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner (CHMP) with IHMM.  Mr. Fulmer has over 25 years of experience in hazardous materials emergency response, hazardous waste remediation, EHS consulting and Project Management. 

Question:

As an employer, which of my employees need Department of Transportation Training (DOT) in Hazardous Materials Shipping, Receiving and Transporting?


Answer:

Over the course of many years of training companies and employees on Department of Transportation Training (DOT) Hazardous Materials Shipping, Receiving and Transporting, one consistent question has always been asked; “who actually needs DOT Training?”

This question arises because it can be confusing, and the regulations can seem vague depending on what the employee’s job task may actually be. We all know that the person that signs the manifest should be trained and certified, and usually most know the forklift driver loading the truck should be as well. But who else?

The regulation basically says that any hazardous materials employee that directly affects the safe shipping, receiving, or transporting of hazardous materials and waste requires training. So that can include a vast array of employees.

To help clarify, below are some examples of who should be DOT certified:

  • The signer of a bill of lading or manifest shipping AND receiving the hazardous materials
  • Any employee that may fill out a manifest or bill of lading, even if they do not sign it
  • The forklift operator that loads or unloads a vehicle with hazardous materials or waste
  • Any employee that determines what hazardous material goes into or on a specific transport vehicle
  • Any operator of a transport vehicle that will go onto public transport
  • Any employee that puts DOT labels onto containers to be shipped
  • Any employee that packages hazardous materials for shipping. Be it drums, boxes, buckets, etc.
  • Any employee that may purchase containers for shipping hazardous materials, if they are the one deciding what container is required for safe shipping.
  • Any employee that inspects containers for use in hazardous materials shipping.

It basically comes down to any employee or individual that may directly interact with a hazardous material that is being offered for shipment on public transport (highway, air, rail and vessel). And DOT states that any HazMat employee must be trained and certified in:

  • General awareness and familiarization of the regulations
  • Function specific training – proper shipping, manifests, labels and placards, proper containers, etc.
  • Safety training - loading and unloading risks, emergency response, etc.
  • Security awareness
  • Any job specific training required

Once an employee is certified, then they must be re-certified every 3 years (at minimum) to ensure they are updated on any regulatory changes, current on specific company policies and regulations and are current on relative information.

The best way to determine which of your employees may be considered a hazmat employee per DOT and require certification, is to ask these questions:

  • Am I a shipper or receiver of hazardous materials by public transport?
  • Do I directly interact with hazardous materials being shipped, received or transported?
  • Do my actions with this hazardous material affect the safety of the public in transport?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you or that employee may need to be DOT Hazardous Materials Shipping, Receiving or Transporting certified.

If you still have questions or concerns as to if you or any of your employees should be certified, or what qualifies as a hazardous material being shipped or received, you can contact your Arbill Representative for further information.

Looking for additional training for your employees? Talk to one of our safety advisors today and schedule a site assessment or training program.

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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Lock Out / Tag Out (LOTO) Saves Lives

This past week, an employee at the Kraft Heinz Food Company facility in Mason, OH suffered a partial finger amputation while clearing a machine jam.

According to OSHA inspectors, the reason the employee lost a part of his finger was because the company failed to:

  • Implement energy control procedures to prevent equipment from accidentally starting
  • Install adequate machine guards
  • Train employees on the use of energy control procedures

In addition to having a valued worker severely injured on the job, Kraft Heinz is facing an OSHA fine of more than $100,000.

The tragic part of this story is that this injury could have been prevented had the correct Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures been in place, and followed.

Avoiding Hazardous Energy

When a machine or other piece of equipment runs, it builds up different types of energy such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical and thermal. Even when a machine stops or is “turned off” this energy can be trapped in the machine, waiting to be released.

OSHA provides three examples of ways that employees can be injured by hazardous energy:

  • A steam valve is automatically turned on burning workers who are repairing a downstream connection in the piping.
  • A jammed conveyor system suddenly releases, crushing a worker who is trying to clear the jam.
  • Internal wiring on a piece of factory equipment electrically shorts, shocking a worker who is repairing the equipment.

And these types of injuries are far too common. In fact, failure to control hazardous energy accounts for nearly 10% of serious accidents in many industries.

Winning the LOTO

 The good news is that it is possible to avoid these injuries. Below we have outlined some tips to help you develop a comprehensive lockout/tagout program.

  • Develop and document an energy control/policy that includes OSHA guidelines and custom elements unique to your workplace. This document should be reviewed annually, and updates should be made where needed.
  • Machine-specific procedures should be outlined that identify the equipment covered and the detailed steps to follow in order to shut down, isolate, block and secure the equipment. Instructions on how to install and transfer lockout tagout devices should be included as well.
  • Perform a walkthrough of your facility and identify energy control points such as valves, switches, breakers and plugs. From there clearly mark and label these points so that they are clearly identifiable for employees.
  • Train employees on specific elements and machine-specific procedures. The training should cover authorized employees who perform the lockout on machinery, affected employees who do not perform lockout but use the machinery and other employees who may be in the area of the machines.
  • Research and review your facility to make sure you choose the best lockout tagout device that fit your equipment and align with your needs.
  • Continuously review your program to ensure it is up to date with changing regulations and new equipment. Perform audits of your program and provide training for new employees or employees who are using new equipment. 

Establishing a proper lockout tagout program and ensuring your employees understand how to operate it can reduce injuries and save lives.

Looking to improve your LOTO procedures, but don’t know how to get started? Talk to one of our safety advisors today and schedule a site assessment or training program.

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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Electrical Linemen – America’s Unsung Heroes

When a storm or disaster hits, we praise our first responders, the police, fire and rescue crews, health care workers and emergency management professionals who help keep us safe.

However, there is one team of heroes, who are often overlooked, the electrical and cable linemen who work to restore vital services like electricity and internet to homes and businesses.

 

IN THE LINE OF FIRE

These unsung heroes are called out after (and sometimes during) a major storm. Because of the need to restore power, they must quickly go out to make repairs, often in dangerous conditions while working on high towers, in crane buckets, on poles, or in confined spaces. Then consider that they’re working with power lines carrying an average of up to 345,000 volts or more of electricity on a daily basis. This has consistently made electrical linemen one of the highest risk professions in the U.S.

Need proof? In past years, electrical line workers have had an annual fatality rate of roughly 20 per 100,000, often putting them on the list of the ten most dangerous jobs in America. While the industry has worked to improve its safety record over the past few years the 2016 fatality rate was still hovering at 14.6 per 100,000. That’s the same rate as Police and sheriff’s patrol officers.

More than that, non-fatal injuries average around 2,500 each year, and almost 45% of those injuries keep them off the job for 31 days or more.

 

PUTTING SAFETY ON THE LINE

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these fatalities and injuries are due to:

  • Electrocution
  • Falls
  • Confined spaces
  • Fires and explosions
  • Sprains, strains, and fractures
  • Environmental Stress

Linemen take safety seriously. The problem is that often the steps required to stay safe are often at odds with the conditions they work under.

Linemen are instructed to always be aware of their surroundings, to work in teams and take their time. These simple steps can often mean the difference between coming home safely and getting injured or worse on the job.

The problem is that when crews are stretched thin, need to work long hours in difficult conditions and face demands from their supervisors and the public to restore power as quickly as possible, basic safety protocols can fall by the wayside.

For this reason, having the right safety gear is critical. Gear should always include:

  • Insulated gloves
  • Boots with insulation and good treads
  • Insulated tools
  • Climbing and fall prevention gear

Even something as simple as having a drink that replenishes electrolytes in hot weather can make all the difference.

So, the next time you face a power outage, remember the brave linemen who are out there working hard so that you can get your power back.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are proud to serve as a supplier to America’s linemen and strive to provide them with the right equipment, when they need it. 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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How Kimberly-Clark Is Helping to Create a Sustainable Future

At Arbill, we’re proud to include Kimberly-Clark products among the 200,000 work and safety products that we offer to our customers.

What many people don’t know, is that in addition to being behind Kleenex, Huggies and countless other products that we use on a daily basis, Kimberly-Clark has a tradition of promoting sustainability through its 150-year history.

And in the past ten years, Kimberly-Clark has been working to take this history to the next level.

Sustainable Goals

 

 Kimberly-Clark has created an audacious set of goals for their Sustainability 2022 project.

  • Improve the well-being of 25 million people in need
  • Reduce their natural forest footprint by 50% through a combination of innovation and sustainable best practices
  • Reduce their greenhouse gasses by 20%

With the commitment of their 43,000-strong team and global partnerships, they hope to make these goals a reality.

 

Sustainable Products

 

One way they’re working to reach these goals is by constantly working to make its products more sustainable. For example, over the past ten years, they’ve already increased their use of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved fibers from 7% to 80%.

Another example is their WypAll Wipers. Compared to a box rags, a package of WypAll Wipers is 2X more absorbent and absorb water 2X faster. WypAll Wipers also leave 3X less lint behind. Compared with rags, this reduces mess and repetitive work that can require the use of more rags. That means you get more done with less.

Because of Kimberly-Clark’s commitment to sustainability, using WypAll Wipers reduces waste to landfill by 92%, reduces storage needs by 68% and costs 26% less compared to traditional rags.

At Arbill, we applaud Kimberly-Clark’s efforts and are proud to continue to offer their products to our customers. In the months to come, we will continue to feature Kimberly-Clark products and practices that are promoting sustainability.

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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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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