Safe and Sound Week 2018: How to Succeed

From August 13 through 19, it’s Safe and Sound Week, a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the value of safety and health programs that include management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards in workplaces.

Spearheaded by OSHA, Safe and Sound Week encourages any business that cares about the health and safety of its employees to participate.

OSHA has outlined a simple three-step plan to participate in Safe and Sound Week:

  • Select your activities
  • Plan and promote your events
  • Recognize your participation

You should always make time for safety, but if you are in a hurry, check out our video that will help you identify some common hazards during Safe and Sound Week.

Be sure to check out our complete Safety Video Library on our website or on our YouTube Channel. Feel free to use our videos as part of your regular Toolbox Talks!

Ready to take the your safety program to the next level? Contact the OSHA Experts at SCT today!








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SCT Lands Women’s Business Enterprise Status

SCT has been certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

The WBENC is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. Its mission is to fuel economic growth by identifying, certifying and facilitating the development of women-owned businesses.

The Women’s Business Enterprise certification validates that SCT is at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women. Certification assists a business competing for opportunities from WBENC Corporate Members and Government agencies.

President Gail Grueser founded SCT in 1999 with a focus on Occupational Health Services. In the ensuing decades, SCT has grown to provide comprehensive occupational safety and health solutions across the United States, with offices in Ohio, Illinois, California, Wisconsin and Florida.

SCT serves both private and public entities in numerous industries, including construction, general industry, glass manufacturing, transportation, health care and more.

With more senior-level OSHA experience on staff than any other consulting firm in the nation, SCT’s comprehensive services include consultation, inspections, written programs, submittal packages, expert witness testimony, biological, environmental and occupational monitoring, safety training, substance screenings, physical exams, TSA enrollment, background clearances, and representation for our clients to regulatory agencies.

OSHA outlines General Industry Silica Enforcement

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has outlined how it will conduct silica enforcement for the General Industry and Maritime standards in a memorandum from Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Galen Blanton.

The launch of silica enforcement for General Industry and Maritime standards takes a similar path as the start of enforcement for the Construction standard.

In the memorandum to OSHA’s Regional Administrators, Blanton wrote, “During the first 30 days of enforcement, OSHA will assist employers that are making good faith efforts to meet the new standard’s requirements. If upon inspection, it appears an employer is not making any efforts to comply, compliance officers should conduct air monitoring in accordance with Agency procedures, and consider citations for non-compliance with any applicable sections of the new standard.”

The new provisions for Respirable Crystalline Silica standard for General Industry and Maritime, 29 CFR § 1910.1053, are enforceable on June 23, 2018. Like the Construction standard, 29 CFR § 1926.1153, the standard instituted a new 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 µg/m3, and an action level (AL) of 25 µg/m3.

Watch our “Ask The Experts” video on silica!

According to Blanton’s memorandum, “Any proposed citations related to inspections conducted in this 30-day time period will require National office review prior to issuance.”

Silica enforcement has been one of the top questions SCT’s safety experts have received since the new standards were approved back in 2016. SCT has developed a 2-hour refresher training course, and an 8-hour competent person training course on the new silica standards.

The time for compliance is now!

Contact the safety experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729 or by filling out the contact form below!







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Top 10 Questions about OSHA Inspections

SCT’s workplace safety experts, especially the staff members who used to work for agency, hear the same questions a lot, and usually they revolve around one topic: OSHA Inspections/Citations.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the government agency tasked with ensuring workers are protected on the job. When employers experience an OSHA inspection and citation, safety partners and consultants can help the agency and the affected employer(s) negotiate a settlement.

Combined, Mr. Walters and Mr. Bielema have nearly 50 years of OSHA experience and knowledge. EHS Today was at the ASSP conference and wrote about their presentation covering what to expect with an OSHA inspection/citation.

  1. Why did OSHA pick my company for an inspection?
  2. Can I ask for a copy of the OSHA complaint?
  3. Can I ask OSHA to get a warrant?
  4. What documents am I required to provide to the Compliance Officer?
  5. Can I limit the scope of the inspection?
  6. How does OSHA decide whether or not I get a citation and what the penalty amount will be?
  7. Does OSHA have a quota system?
  8. What are my options after I receive a citation?
  9. Should I schedule an informal conference and what should I expect when I go to the OSHA office?
  10. Can we beat an OSHA citation?

The safety experts at SCT have seen it all when it comes to OSHA inspections and citations. Our goal is to keep companies on the right side of OSHA, with compliant, implemented, and regularly updated safety programs and policies that protect workers.

SCT is here to help with any question about OSHA inspections, citations or safety in general. Contact us today at 1-800-204-1729, or fill out the contact form below!








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SCT safety experts to present at ASSP National Conference

SCT Vice President Nick Walters and Regional Director Tom Bielema are hosting two sessions at the 2018 ASSP National Conference in San Antonio, Texas, next week!

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), which was previously known as the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) until earlier this year, hosts an annual National Safety Conference bringing together the brightest and most innovative minds in occupational safety and health. SCT is thrilled to have Mr. Walters and Mr. Bielema representing SCT at the conference.

SCT Regional Director Tom Bielema

Mr. Bielema is a former OSHA Area Director of the Peoria, Illinois, office, and was part of the team that researched and crafted OSHA’s new Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction, General Industry, and Maritime work environments.

Read more about Tom here.

 

 

 

 

SCT Vice President Nick Walters

Mr. Walters is the former Regional Administrator for OSHA Region V, and spent 25 years with the agency, working his way up from a Compliance Officer to be one of just 10 regional administrators nationwide.

Read more about Nick here.

 

 

 

 

So what will Nick and Tom be talking about in Texas? Here’s their session information.

OSHA Inspections from Opening to Settlement: Tips from Former OSHA Leaders

Monday, June 4, 2018, 3:15pm-4:15pm
Session Number: S563
Location: Hemisfair Ballroom C2

Session Description: Former OSHA leaders will cover how the agency works, its authority and limits, how OSHA inspections are triggered and conducted, citations and the contest/appeal process. In short, this session will provide a soup-to-nuts overview of what you need to know to deal with an OSHA issue when it arises.

Why do SCT’s former OSHA experts think it’s so important?

“OSHA inspections have the potential to impact nearly every employer in the country…The responsibility to report incidents, conduct the necessary investigations, implement corrective measures, and interact with OSHA falls directly on the shoulders of the safety and health professionals and managers at these companies,” Walters said.

“If citations are issued after an OSHA visit, the post inspection process can be confusing. Tom and I have worked through complex settlement negotiations and the litigation process with thousands of companies. This session will provide detailed information about how to navigate that process and provide insight into OSHA’s approach to citation settlement.”

OSHA’s Rapid Response Investigation Process: Tips from Former OSHA Leaders

Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 10:30am-11:45am
Session Number: S609
Location: Room 008A/B

Session Description: Since OSHA’s new injury reporting rule took effect, the number of reports has skyrocketed. OSHA’s Rapid Response Investigation process shifts the obligation to document what happened, why it happened, and what should be done to prevent reoccurrence to the employer. Former OSHA leaders will offer tips for preparing effective reports.

Why do SCT’s former OSHA experts think it’s so important?

“Anyone that serves in a safety and health capacity at a company covered by the OSH Act may be called upon to assist in a rapid response investigation and submit a report to OSHA. Therefore, individuals working at the basic to executive experience levels need to be familiar with OSHA’s Rapid Response Investigation process and the pitfalls to avoid,” Walters said.

Too busy for Texas? That’s OK, SCT is just a phone call away!

If scheduling doesn’t allow you to be in San Antonio next week to talk to Nick and Tom directly, you can always reach them at our Chicago and Peoria offices at 708-382-2900, or via email at NWalters@sct.us.com or TBielema@sct.us.com.

Have another safety question? You can contact all the SCT experts by filling out our contact form below!







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May 19 is National Hepatitis Testing Day

The month of May is annually recognized as Hepatitis Awareness Month, with May 19, 2018, designated as National Hepatitis Testing Day in the United States.

According to the CDC more than five million Americans have chronic hepatitis, which is an infection that attacks the liver and in the most serious cases can result in liver cancer or cirrhosis. The most common types are Hepatitis A, B and C.

In the world of OSHA, hepatitis B is usually the biggest concern. About 1,800 people die from Hepatitis B-related liver disease.

Per the Bloodborne Pathogens standard (29 CFR 1910.1030),  any workers who have a reasonable chance of contact with blood or “other potentially infectious materials” during their work duties are required to make a hepatitis B vaccination available at no cost to the employee.

Employers must also create and implement an exposure control plan, while ensuring that workers are properly trained on safe work practices. Workers that are at a higher risk of exposure to hepatitis include those in the healthcare, public safety, and sewage industries.

At SCT, our qualified and trained occupational health experts can prepare your company for all facets of hepatitis hazards. Whether it’s training in proper PPE use, safety program development, administering hepatitis B vaccines, or carrying out hepatitis testing, we have you covered. Plus, our experts can host you at one of our office locations or travel to your worksite with our mobile medical vehicle.

Contact us today for all of your occupational health and workplace safety needs. Call 1-800-204-1729 or fill out the contact form below.








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SCT Experts Host Monthly Safety Webinar

SCT Vice President Nick Walters and Regional Director Tom Bielema have partnered with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce to host a safety webinar each month.

The webinars, which are available on the Chamber’s website, provide recertification credits for HR professionals, attorneys, CPAs and payroll professionals. SCT will host a number of webinars throughout the year, but here are the next two on the schedule.


May 15th at 10:30AM-12PM CST: Lockout/Tagout & Machine Guarding

Lockout/Tagout & Machine Guarding can be your best friend if used properly, or your worst nightmare if ignored. These complex standards cover almost every machine used in general industry. This webinar will help simplify these complexities and realize that these issues can be fixed by knowing what to look for.

June 19th at 10:30AM-12PM CST: Personal Protective Equipment & Respirators

Although PPE is the least effective way to protect your employees from a hazard, sometimes it is the only way. Respirator and PPE deficiencies are very common in all industries and consistently rank in OSHA’s Top 10 Most Violated Standards. This webinar will teach you why PPE is important, and how to create a culture where PPE always comes first.


If you can’t make the scheduled times to watch the webinars live, never fear! Every webinar is recorded for later playback and is available for purchase from the Chamber.

It’s National Safety Stand-Down Week!

From May 7 through 11, 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is recognizing the 5th annual National Safety Stand-Down, an event that encourages employers to take time special time out to recognize fall hazards at the workplace.

Year in and year out, falls from elevation are a leading cause of construction fatalities, accounting for 370 of the 991 construction deaths in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Furthermore, lack of fall protection annually tops OSHA’s list of the most cited safety violations.

There are no specific requirements for what needs to be done to participate in the Stand-Down. Employers can offer additional training, a toolbox talk, extra equipment inspections, or safety demonstrations.

If you’re at a loss of what to do for your Stand-Down, how about watching SCT’s Focus on Fall Protection video series? It features four videos that each drill into a different topic relating to fall protection. Check out the YouTube Playlist below.

OSHA also offers a number of free resources at its Safety Stand-Down website including a fall hazards quiz,  downloadable posters, hardhat stickers, infographics, and personalized certificates of participation. Many of the resources are offered in both English and Spanish.

Aside from OSHA, other participating organizations include NIOSH; the Center for Construction Research and Training; the National Occupational Research Agenda; OSHA-approved state plans; the American Society of Safety Engineers; and the American Society of Safety Engineers, among others.

ABCs of Safety: J is for JSA

Another week means another fun and informative ABCs of Safety video from the workplace safety experts at SCT. Our latest entry covers JSA, which stands for job safety analysis. Some also call it a JHA, or a job hazard analysis.

Performing a JSA at your workplace is one of the best and most effective ways to prevent occupational illnesses, injuries, and fatalities.

Missed any of our previous ABCs of Safety videos? You can watch them all in one handy playlist below.

Want the advice of SCT’s safety experts about your current JSA procedures? Drop us a note through our Contact Us page, and one of our safety representatives will contact you directly!

ABCs of Safety: I is for Incident Investigation

Nobody wants a near miss or severe injury to occur at their workplace, but an important piece of a successful safety program is examining why these events occur.

In this week’s ABCs of Safety video, we highlight the importance of a thorough Incident Investigation. Because the vast majority of workplace injuries and deaths are preventable, investigating past occurrences is a major key in preventing future incidents from happening.

Not sure how to conduct an incident investigation of your own? Contact the safety experts at SCT, whose decades of OSHA experience make them the best in the business. Call us at 1-800-204-1729 or fill out the contact form below.








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