OSHA Budget Could See Big Increase

The U.S. House of Representatives passed on June 19, 2019, a so-called “minibus” budget appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020 that would increase the budget for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The bill passed by a 226-203 vote.

The new bill sets OSHA’s budget at $660,908,000, which is about $103 million more than the Trump administration’s proposed budget released in March. OSHA’s budget was $557.2 million in FY2019, according to Safety and Health Magazine. 

The bill specifies a few ways in which this budget can be spent:

  • $12.69 million is available for Susan Harwood training grants
  • A maximum of $3.5 million for Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP)
  • A maximum of $123.23 million available for grants to states

The bill also outlines funding for NIOSH ($346.3 million) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration ($417.3 million), which would both be increases compared to their respective FY 2019 budgets.

The magazine also reports that while the bill passed the House, it is unlikely to pass the U.S. Senate.

“The Senate may craft its own funding bill or try to resolve any differences with the House bill in a conference committee,” according to the publication.


Want to take your workplace’s safety program to the next level? Contact the experts at SCT. Put our decades of OSHA and workplace safety experience to work. Contact us today!








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SCT adds Director of East Coast Operations

SCT is proud to announce the addition of Dave Walker as the company’s new Director of East Coast Operations.

Mr. Walker has 25 years of safety and environmental experience in the textile manufacturing industry. He has just about done it all in the world of occupational safety and health, but Mr. Walker owns a high level of expertise in Lockout/Tagout, Machine Guarding, OSHA Compliance, and design of Safety and Health Management Systems.

Beginning in September 2013, Mr. Walker was the Corporate Director of Environmental, Occupational Health & Safety and Facilities Management at Formed Fiber Technologies/Conform Gissing International in Auburn, Maine. Among many achievements, Mr. Walker developed and oversaw the implementation of a Safety and Health Management System for sites in Maine, Ohio and South Carolina that resulted in significantly decreased injury trends.

Prior to that, Mr. Walker was the Director of Facilities Engineering at Interface Fabrics/True Textiles in Elkin, NC; Corporate Facilities Engineer at Guilford of Maine/Interface Fabrics in Guilford, Maine; and Vice President of TedWalker, Inc.

At SCT, Mr. Walker will be working closely with Senior VP Rob Medlock and Senior Research and Field Analyst Kelly Baker.

To contact Dave or any of our other world-class Workplace Safety Experts, call us at 1-800-204-1729 or complete the contact form below.








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SCT Names New Vice President of Health Services

Safety Controls Technology (SCT) is proud to announce Jonathan Corrigan, DHSc, PA-C as the company’s new Vice President of Health Services.

Dr. Corrigan joined SCT in April 2018 as the Director of Health Services, and this promotion to Vice President is the culmination of a year of hard work overseeing the expansion of SCT’s Occupational Health Division. The division now operates at three locations in the Cleveland area, plus a fully functional mobile unit. Reaching hundreds of clients each day, SCT delivers a wealth of services including TSA Pre Check; background checks; vaccinations; DOT and non-DOT physicals; OSHA Medical Surveillance Clearance; American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED training; employee drug and alcohol testing; Drug Free Workplace Program development and administration; pulmonary function testing; and respirator fit testing.

SCT President Gail Grueser said that Dr. Corrigan has been instrumental to the rapid growth of SCT’s Health Services.

“His skill and expertise is invaluable to the Occupational Health Division,” Ms. Grueser said. “I couldn’t be more excited about Jonathan becoming SCT’s Vice President of Health Services.”

Dr. Corrigan holds multiple advanced degrees, including a Doctorate in Health Science from Nova Southeastern University (2017) and a Master of Physician Assistant with a Specialization Certificate in Emergency Medicine from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (2008). Dr. Corrigan has worked as a Physician Assistant across the globe in Sacramento, CA; Honolulu, HI; and the Northern Mariana Islands, which are located just south of Japan. While he spent much of his time as a physician assistant in emergency medicine, he also has experience in acute care, urgent care, and psychiatry.

Recently, Dr. Corrigan became a member of the Ohio-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT). The team’s mission is to provide medical care to victims of disasters, both natural and man-made.

Dr. Corrigan was born and raised in the greater Cleveland area, and graduated in 2007 from the University of Findlay with a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

To learn more about the full range of our Occupational Health Solutions, explore our website, call us at 1-800-204-1729, or complete the contact form below.








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SCT Adds Occupational Safety and Health Intern

SCT is excited to announce the addition of an Occupational Safety and Health Intern. Mike Milyo, 20, from Mayfield, OH wanted to apply what he has learned in college so far and found SCT. Mike, who just completed his sophomore year at Slippery Rock University, heard that SCT was great company that had experience in every aspect of safety.

He is fascinated by both the construction and general industry sides of safety and health. Mike recalls safety always being the direction he wanted to go in his career. “I was always interested in construction, but I wanted to do something different than be a laborer.”

Mike is grateful to be working alongside some of the best minds in the safety industry at SCT. “The staff has been friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to help,” he said. He’s been able to take part in multiple safety audits and write safety reports.

Even though he is receiving his education across enemy lines in Pennsylvania, Mike is still a devout Cleveland Browns fan. In his free time, he loves to spend time with family and friends and go fishing.

Mike hopes his time with SCT helps him jump start his career. “I plan on obtaining as much knowledge and skills as I can to become a successful safety professional.”

We at SCT are excited to have Mike join us this summer and to help him learn all he can about the occupational safety and health industry.

Earthquake Hits Cleveland – Is Your Workplace Prepared?

The Cleveland area – where SCT’s corporate headquarters is located – experienced a 4.0 earthquake on June 10. Luckily, there have been no reports of injuries or damage.

If a stronger earthquake were to hit your workplace, would you be prepared? Make sure earthquake preparedness is a part of your Emergency Action Plan, or EAP. OSHA has a number of valuable resources to help you prepare for an earthquake so that your employees and business are as safe as can be:

  • Pick “safe places” to go to when an earthquake hits. These can be under a sturdy table or desk, or against an interior wall away from windows or tall furniture.
  • Practice drop, cover, and hold-on in each safe place at least twice a year so they become an automatic response.
  • Protect your eyes by keeping your head down.
  • Make a plan ahead of time for workers to follow in the event of an earthquake
  • Wait in your safe place until the shaking stops, then check to see if you are hurt. Move carefully and be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Look out for fires, which is the most common earthquake-related hazard.
  • If you must leave a building after a the shaking stops, use stairs instead of an elevator.
  • If you are outside when an earthquake hits, stay outside. Move away from buildings, trees, or overhead lines. Crouch down and cover your head. Many injuries happen within ten feet of the entrance to buildings due to falling bricks, roofing or other materials.
  • Before an earthquake hits, conduct proper training. Learn First Aid and how to use your workplace’s fire extinguishers.

An overall EAP is also a critical piece of any successful Workplace Safety Management System.  The workplace safety experts at SCT can help you develop an Emergency Action Plan that is customized to your workplace. It will provide protection for your employees and bring you in compliance with related OSHA regulations. Call us at 400-449-6000 or complete the contact form below.








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OSHA Considering Lockout/Tagout Update

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may be looking to update its Control of Hazardous Energy, also known as Lockout/Tagout, standard. The agency is requesting input from the public, specifically about the use of control circuit-type devices to isolate energy, as well as robotics technology.

OSHA is requesting information about:

  • how employers have been using control circuit devices, including information about the types of circuitry and safety procedures being used
  • limitations of their use, to determine under what other conditions control circuit-type devices could be used safely
  • new risks of worker exposure to hazardous energy as a result of increased interaction with robots
  • whether the agency should consider changes to the LOTO standard that would address these new risks.

The current standard “requires that all sources of energy be controlled during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment using an energy-isolating device.” It further specifies that control circuit devices cannot be used, “but the agency recognizes recent technological advances may have improved the safety of control circuit-type devices,” OSHA stated in a news release.

The Lockout/Tagout standard was first published in 1989.  Comments must be submitted by mail, by fax, or online on or before August 18, 2019.

Safety Technician Jobs to Grow Faster than National Average

A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) highlights that the number of safety inspection jobs are set to grow more quickly than the national average.

The average rate of employment growth for all jobs in the U.S. is projected to be 7.4 percent between 2016 and 2026. Two of the occupations with the biggest projected growth are occupational safety and health technicians at 10.1 percent, and occupational health and safety specialists at 8.1 percent.

Both positions also have median annual wage well above the national median annual wage for all jobs.

According to BLS, safety specialists and technicians can inspect and evaluate workplaces, equipment and work practices to ensure that all safety standards and regulations are followed.

Why are safety jobs set to grow?

With construction industry output set to increase by 2.7 percent annually from 2016 to 2026, it makes sense that the safety occupations that are tied so closely with construction projects would grow as well. Construction workers need to remain protected, and some safety inspectors also make sure that their projects are adhering to building codes.

“Along similar lines, the need for safe workplaces—particularly for industries in which accidents are frequent—means that there will be demand for occupations that inspect workplaces, including occupational health and safety specialists and technicians. Maintaining high safety standards in our workspaces means that these inspectors are an integral part of the workplace, a kind of quality assurance to keep worksites functioning at an optimum safety level. In addition to compliance, companies that conduct their own internal regular inspections can lead to fewer workplace injuries and greater employee morale,” according to the BLS report.

SCT Safety Academy to Train Next Generation

Ready to jump into a career you’ll love? The SCT Safety Academy is the perfect opportunity to jumpstart your career in the world of occupational safety and health.

At the SCT Safety Academy, you can earn multiple certificates focused on OSHA’s Construction Standards, and graduate with the tools to identify and abate occupational safety and health hazards on construction sites. All for FREE!

Students will receive Course Certificates in the following subject areas:

  • Fall Prevention and Protection
  • CPR/First Aid/AED
  • Excavation & Trenching
  • Forklift Operations
  • BobCat Operations
  • Aerial Lift Operations
  • Scissor Lift Operations
  • Confined Space
  • Industrial Hygiene Sampling for Particulates
  • Lock Out/Tag Out
  • OSHA 30 Hour Certification in the Construction Industry

We are accepting applications until May 15, 2019. Apply today! 

It’s National Work Zone Awareness Week

While those orange barrels may be frustrating during rush hour, take a moment during National Work Zone Awareness Week to consider those people working in those potentially dangerous areas. From April 8-12, this year’s theme is “Drive Like You Work Here.”

In 2017, there were 710 fatal crashes in work zones, resulting in 799 fatalities. Of those deaths, 132 were roadway workers, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Plus, in 2016, there were 158,000 work zone crashes that resulted in 61,000 injuries.

On average, in 2015 a work zone crash occurred once every 5.4 minutes, and every week 12 work zone crashes resulted in at least one fatality.

Source: Federal Highway Administration

So what can you do to help make work zones safer?

On Wednesday, April 10, everyone is encouraged to wear orange on Go Orange Day to help raise awareness for work zone safety. If you post on social media, be sure to use the hashtags #WorkZoneSafety #NWZAW #OurRoads.

When you’re out on the road, remember these tips from the Federal Highway Administration:

  • Plan ahead. Expect delays, plan for them, and leave early to reach your destination on time. When you can, avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes.
  • Obey road crews and signs. When approaching a work zone, watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles, or workers in bright-colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go.
  • Slow down. Look for signs indicating the speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit.
  • Move over. Most state move-over laws apply when passing work crews and official vehicles parked on the shoulder with flashing warning lights.
  • Avoid distractions. Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone.
  • Watch for sudden stoppages. In 2017, 25 percent of fatal work zone crashes involved rear-end collisions.
  • Watch for large vehicles. Don’t make sudden lane changes in front of trucks that are trying to slow down. In 2017, 50 percent of fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks or buses occurred on rural roadways. Between 2013 and 2017, fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks increased by 43 percent.

 

Namaste Safe and Healthy in the Workplace

 

As a company dedicated to the health of employees all over the US, SCT understands that mental well-being plays a crucial role in worker efficiency and safety.

Stress can have a direct impact on the safety of individuals in the workplace. Job stress can lead to a lack of focus, which can affect a worker’s ability to perform tasks safely, according to Safety and Health Magazine. Plus, the World Health Organization estimates that stress costs American businesses $300 billion dollars per year.

As one of America’s leading Workplace Safety and Health consultants, SCT now offers on-site yoga classes to help reduce stress related injuries.

We also understand the strain of working long shifts or in extreme temperatures, while also constantly staying OSHA compliant and keeping all employees safe. It can be exhausting and can even cause ongoing, chronic health problems.

The benefits of yoga in the workplace are numerous, including increased productivity, reduced employee absenteeism, decreased stress, and improved alertness. Yoga can also aid in healing work- and stress-related physical issues, such as musculoskeletal disorders, back and neck pain, carpal tunnel, aching joints, muscle tightness, headaches and fatigue.

With our yoga classes, anyone can attend. The “I’m not flexible enough” excuse won’t work here! Our program is designed for individuals anywhere on the yoga spectrum, from absolute beginners to those who have years of experience. Classes are focused on brisk movement, stretching, and breathing.

Meet our Yoga Expert:

Jenna BenDaali is an Associate Marketing Professional at Safety Controls Technology. In 2018, she completed her 200-Hr Yoga Teacher Training Certification so she could extend her love of helping and teaching others. She regularly teaches at a yoga studio and is excited to share her skills and help keep workers safe on the job.

Interested in incorporating a wellness program in your safety and health program?








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Six States Sue to Fully Restore OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Rule

A joint lawsuit filed March 6 by the attorneys general of New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York is trying to stop the rollback of OSHA’s electronic recordkeeping rule.

The lawsuit claims that OSHA did not provide a “reasoned explanation” for the change to the rule that would require many employers to submit injury and illness data online, according to Safety and Health Magazine. 

In January 2019, OSHA cited privacy concerns when it announced that employers would no longer have to submit injury and illness data from Forms 300 and 301.  Only data from Form 300A, which is an annual summary, would be required.

According to the lawsuit, OSHA made this change without meeting the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.

“OSHA now argues that the costs of collecting the detailed information outweigh the benefits of doing so. OSHA’s reasons are not only unsupported factually,  but also plagued by logical contradictions,” according to the lawsuit. “OSHA’s explanations for the rule also fail to account for the many benefits of public disclosure that the commenters had raised.”

When the recordkeeping rule was originally adopted in 2016, OSHA stated that the information gained from these reports would help improve workplace safety across the U.S., according to a news release from New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal.

“New Jersey workers – and workers across the country – have the right to know about dangerous conditions on the job,” said Grewal. “Public reporting of workplace safety information helps states enforce our labor laws, forces employers to remove hazards, and empowers workers to demand improvements. Workers deserve that transparency, and the federal government should not be trying to take it away.

The complaint can be read in full by clicking here.