Labor Department Releases Updated OSHA Agenda

The Department of Labor recently released its newly updated regulatory agenda. The agenda, which outlines and provides timelines for all government regulations, includes 14 OSHA items that are in the pre-rule, proposed rule, or final rule stage.

Typically, the agenda is published two times per year.

According to the new agenda’s introduction, this plan “represents the beginning of fundamental regulatory reform and a reorientation toward reducing unnecessary regulatory burden on the American people.”

The 14 OSHA items on the current agenda are:

Pre-Rule Stage

  • Communication Tower Safety
  • Mechanical Power Presses Update
  • Powered Industrial Trucks
  • Lockout/Tagout Update
  • Blood Lead Level for Medical Removal

Proposed Stage

  • Occupational Exposure to Beryllium
  • Quantitative Fit Testing Protocol: Amendment to the Final Rule on Respiratory Protection
  • Crane Operator Qualification in Construction
  • Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Exemption Expansions for Railroad Roadway Work
  • Technical Corrections to 16 OSHA Standards
  • Puerto Rico State Plan
  • Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses
  • Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Final Stage

  • Standards Improvement Project IV

To view the Fall 2016 Agenda to compare how things have changed, click here. 

Fatal Four in Construction: Struck By and Caught In/Between

Continuing our quest to eliminate the Fatal Four hazards in the construction industry, we have a new video covering struck by and caught in/between hazards.

According to OSHA, in 2015 struck by and caught in/between hazards accounted for 9.6% and 8.6%, respectively, of all fatal construction incidents.

SCT Vice President of Safety Engineering Services Nick Walters covered Electrocutions last week. Today Mr. Walters, formerly the Regional Administrator of OSHA Region V, tackles two related hazards in struck by and caught in/between.

Check out our video below and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss a video from us.


NIOSH updates ergonomics guide

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has updated its 20-year-old guide to ergonomics to reflect a stronger emphasis on the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs).

Though the 1997 primer “Elements of Ergonomic Program” remains an active document/reference guide for NIOSH, a new partner webpage increases the focus on WMSDs and the necessary steps employers and workers should take to prevent them and other injuries related to ergonomics.

In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 31 percent, or 356,910 cases, of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses were caused by musculoskeletal disorders. Of those WMSDs, the median time away from work was 12 days for each affected employee. When compared to the median time away from work from other work-related injuries, which is recorded as 8 days, it is clear that poor ergonomics training and WMSDs cost businesses more than other injuries.

NIOSH’s strengthened ergonomics webpage offers a six-step program designed to help employers identify, implement, evaluate, and maintain ways to better protect workers against WMSDs.

In our July video series, “Safety Hurdles in Health Care,” one of the episodes focused on strains, sprains and other WMSDs often suffered by health care workers. Given the physicality involved in their jobs, workers in hospitals, assisted living facilities and other health care workplaces often face a greater risk of WMSDs. Check out our safety video below.

Ergonomics also comes into play with office workers. Here’s a Safety Minute Update video on 5 tips for better ergonomic posture at the office! Don’t forget to get up, stretch, and walk around during the day. Don’t sit behind a desk for 8 hours straight!

For ergonomics training and all other occupational safety and health needs, contact the safety experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729.

Video Series Tackles Construction’s Fatal Four

The Fatal Four in Construction – falls, struck by, caught in/between, and electrocutions – account for more than half of all worker deaths in the industry. At SCT, we want to do our part to protect as many workers as possible from preventable injury and death.

Throughout this month, we will release videos on each of those topics, presented by our own Vice President of Safety Engineering Services Nick Walters, who was formerly the Regional Administrator of OSHA Region V.

Check out the video above to learn about some common electrocution hazards found at many construction sites. Be sure to Like us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to make sure you never miss a safety video from our team of experts.


SCT Community Engagement: SnakeBite Racing places well at Burning River 100

SCT is a proud sponsor of many groups and events in Northeast Ohio. Our community is important to us, and when we can highlight the amazing work and achievements of individuals, especially those within our safety family, we’re happy to give them a shoutout.

Last weekend, the Burning River 100 took place in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This race features a 100 mile solo event, 50 mile solo event, and 4 and 8 person relay events. It brings in ultrarunners from around the country, is a Western States qualifier, UTMB qualifier, and the 3rd leg of the Midwest Grand Slam of Ultrarunning. SnakeBite Racing had several people participating.

Team Burning Legs, featured in the top photo, completed the 100+ mile course in 19:20:27 placing 12th out of 40 co-ed 8 person relay teams. Pictured in the photo above front row left to right: Pamela Semanik (Summit Freewheelers), Aimee Milward (SnakeBite), Kelly Baker (SnakeBite), Andrea Chisnell (Team Stelleri).  Back row left to right; David Semanik (Team Captain, Summit Freewheelers), Eric Gibb (SnakeBite), Theresa Kushner, Rudy Sroka (Team Lake Effect) lighting the way via mountain bike for his wife and anchor runner Julie Sroka (Team Lake Effect) whose face is partially blocked by Andrea.

“That photo was taken around 1:30 am after Julie crossed the finish line, and we’re all a little delirious,” SCT Senior Field and Research Analyst Kelly Baker said of the photo above.

Kelly Baker, our Senior Research and Field Analyst, has been a member of SnakeBite Racing for six years. At the end of the day, you’ll often see Kelly outfitted in her racing gear headed off to a grueling practice session. And keep in mind that’s after working 8 or more hours on solving safety problems and writing comprehensive reports for her clients.

Kelly, your energy and enthusiasm at work and on the track is a model we should all strive for! Congratulations to you, the Burning Legs relay team, and all members of SnakeBite Racing on your successes last weekend. SCT is proud to be a sponsor!

Additional results from 2017 Burning River 100, SnakeBite Racing Team Members:

100 Mile Solo– Steve McGowan completed the 100 mile solo event and was paced for the last 30 miles by his wife and fellow SnakeBite Racing athlete Pam McGowan

4 Person Relay–  Teammates Mark Durno, Mike Mayer, and Melanie Prohaska-Miller all competed as part of two 4 person relay teams.

8 Person Relay– Aimee Milward, Eric Gibb, Kelly Baker, Jason Fecker, and Jen Borovica all competed on 8 person relay teams.

CDC Report Gives Insight into Young Silicosis Deaths

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that most of the young people who died from silicosis worked in jobs where exposure to silica is common. As silicosis is often a disease that affects older people after years of exposure, the CDC wanted to learn more about the disease in younger people.

Between 1999 and 2015, 55 people aged 15 to 44 had pneumoconiosis (lung disease) “due to other dust containing silica” listed on their death certificates as either the underlying or contributing cause of death. Of those, 38 (69%) were assigned pneumoconiosis due to other dust containing silica. Thirty of the 38 people worked in the manufacturing and construction industries, which have high levels of silica exposure.

Seventeen of the 55 people (31%) had pneumoconiosis due to talc dust, which is a specific type of silica. Only 13 of the 17 deaths had occupation data available, and none of those 13 worked jobs that are associated with talc exposure. They also had drug use or overdose as a contributing cause of death, which suggests their deaths were not related to their occupations, according to the CDC.

The CDC concluded that the study shows more research is needed to discern how to best combat silica exposure in the workplace. The organization still suggests following the hierarchy of controls as the best way to face the issue.

Silica dust exposure has been a long-running occupational health concern with a new OSHA rule going into effect in June 2016. However, the effective date has been delayed and is now scheduled for Sept. 23, 2017. About 2.3 million U.S. workers are exposed to silica dust. Check out our infographic below for more important information about the dangers of respirable crystalline silica.

Is your business prepared for the new silica standard? OSHA’s enforcement date is less than two months away! Contact us today online or call 1-800-204-1729 to make sure your employees don’t get left in the dust.



Healthcare Workers at High Risk for Sprains and Strains

Today we’re finishing up our Safety Hurdles in Healthcare video series with a look at one of the most common workplace injuries: sprains and strains.

Handling and moving patients is by far the biggest cause of musculoskeletal disorders in the healthcare field. Back injuries alone cost the healthcare industry about $20 billion each year. Take a look at our new video below for some great ways to avoid these costly injuries.

Remember, you can keep up with our videos by following us on our various social media pages: Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter.

If you’re ready to dive in and get the best workplace safety experts on your team, contact us today online or give us a call at 1-800-204-1729.


NSC releases State of Safety report

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The National Safety Council has graded each state in the U.S. in its “The State of Safety” report, and no state received an A grade. Twenty-six states — including Ohio — did not receive a passing grade.

The results are sobering for safety professionals, but the report itself takes a look at three broad areas in which states could improve safety measures to reduce the instances of preventable deaths.

“Preventable deaths in the United States are at an all-time high. There are 40.6 million serious, preventable injuries and over 146,000 fatalities each year, with more than half occurring at home,” according to the report.

The three areas NSC studied include Road Safety, Home and Community Safety, and Workplace Safety. See the table below for a full topic breakdown of each section’s evaluation points.

Topic Weighted Score Breakdown

Road Safety Issues
Alcohol Impaired Driving 16%
Child Passengers 16%
Distracted Driving 20%
Older Drivers 8%
Seat Belts 13%
Speeding 9%
Teen Drivers 12%
Vulnerable Road Users 6%
Total 100%

Home and Community Safety Issues
Drownings 14%
Firearms 20%
Home Fires 17%
Older Adults Falls 16%
Poisonings 19%
Youth Sports-Related Concussions 14%
Total 100%

Workplace Safety Issues
Prevention, Preparedness and Enforcement 50%
Workers’ Compensation 25%
Worker Health and Wellbeing 25%
Total 100%

Here at SCT we put our focus on Workplace Safety and protecting workers on the job. Though still not ideal, our home state of Ohio had Workplace Safety Issues as its highest-rated section in the State of Safety report. Ohio placed 19th out of 51 in Workplace Safety Issues. The 51 is comprised of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

The state of Illinois, home of our Chicago-area location, came in at 2nd overall and was the highest-ranked state in workplace safety.

Read the complete report here.

View State-by-State results here.

How did your state rank in the NSC’s State of Safety report? Do any findings surprise you?

For all your occupational safety and health needs, contact the experts at SCT at 800-204-1729 or via our website contact form.

Bloodborne Pathogens a Constant Healthcare Hazard

Nearly 6 million workers in healthcare and related fields are at risk for exposure to bloodborne pathogens, which can cause a host of serious diseases including hepatitis and HIV.

In our third video focusing on Safety Hurdles in Healthcare, find out what OSHA requires to properly protect your employees from exposure to this potentially deadly occupational hazard.

Missed an earlier video in the series? We’ve got them all right here. And while you’re at our YouTube Channel, be sure to check out the rest of our safety videos covering topics including ladder safety and outdoor working hazards.

For all of your occupational health and safety needs, contact the experts at SCT. Want to learn more about our team? Click here! 

SCT gains IDEM approval for Asbestos Training

SCT now adds a new endorsement under its belt: approval for asbestos training by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Classes approved include the initial and refresher Asbestos Awareness Training courses for both asbestos workers and asbestos supervisors.

IDEM’s asbestos program is accredited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is something Ohio’s program does not have. The Ohio Department of Health does offer reciprocity for training programs approved by a USEPA accredited state. SCT is in the process of working on and anticipates gaining Ohio approval in the coming weeks.

Subsequently, SCT will work on obtaining reciprocity recognition or additional approval in states where it conducts regular business, including, but not limited to: California, Illinois, Texas, New York, and New Jersey.

Why do workers need Asbestos Awareness Training?

Workers who will be potentially exposed to asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are required to have training on handling, removing, and disposing of said materials. Workers must also receive training on all necessary personal protective equipment designed to protect them while working with ACM.

As we profiled back in October, which is “Healthy Lung Month,” exposure to asbestos is one of the two most common causes of lung problems amongst American workers. Asbestos exposure can lead to lung cancer, asbestosis, and other severe and chronic respiratory ailments. Symptoms and diseases caused by asbestos exposure may take many years to develop after exposure.

For all your occupational safety and health needs, contact the experts at SCT at 800-204-1729 or through our website contact form.