SCT adds two new drug testing partners

In the ongoing effort to better serve our clients, we are proud to announce two new drug testing partners.

Clients can now visit Lakewood Urgent Care (11716 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107) and North Olmsted Urgent Care (25757 Lorain Road, North Olmsted, OH 44070) to submit their samples.

To view our full list of partners and find the location that works best for you, check out our online Collection Site Locator. 

SCT celebrates International Women’s Day 2018

In recognition of International Women’s Day 2018, SCT wants to thank all the women on our staff, working in the field and in the office. International Women’s Day is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

Thank you to all of the amazing staff members at SCT! Keep up all the incredible work you do each and every day.

ABCs of Safety: B is for Best Practices

“B is for Best Practices” is the second installment of our ABCs of Safety video series. We’re getting back to basics and delving deep in to the guiding principles of occupational safety and health.

The term “Best Practices” can vary between companies and industries, but there is a core group of OSHA-recognized safety elements that are deemed essential for successful workplace safety programs.

Check out our “B is for Best Practices” video below to discover those critical solutions.

6 Key Best Practices as recognized by OSHA

  1. Management leadership
  2. Worker participation
  3. Hazard ID and assessment
  4. Hazard prevention and control
  5. Education and training
  6. Program evaluation and improvement

Did you miss the first letter in our ABCs of Safety video series? Check it out below!

Do you want to review your best practices with one of SCT’s occupational safety and health experts? Tell us what you want to accomplish in our contact form below, and one of our safety team members will reach out to help get you the best solution!



Spike in trench-related deaths yields construction hazard alert

A public health research center in Kentucky has issued hazard alert in 2018 to raise awareness about an increase in trench-related fatalities first seen in 2016.

In its January 2018 Hazard Alert, the Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program from the Kentucky Injury Prevention Research Center (KIPRC) put out the alert after evaluating three cases of fatal trench collapses within the state from 2015 to 2017.

Though complete data on national rates of trenching fatalities and injuries for fiscal year (FY) 2017 is currently unavailable, by May 2017 there had been 15 recorded fatalities, which is 65 percent of the total number of fatalities seen in FY 2016.

In FY 2017, which covers October 2016 through September 2017, federal OSHA cited 29 CFR 1926.651, or Specific Excavation Requirements, 673 times. Those citations yielded assessed penalties of $3,066,257.

We wrote about the climbing fatality rate in trenching in 2016 when the first reports of the elevated numbers were released. The safety rules and guidelines for trenching and excavation work include multiple preventative measures to protect against trench collapse, which leads the causes of trench-related fatalities and injuries.

One cubic yard of soil can weigh up to 3,000 pounds, about the size of a mid-sized car.

Soil is heavy, and the life expectancy of a worker trapped beneath earth is mere minutes. Trench collapse with encasement robs the worker of air, and the victim asphyxiates.

Trenches between five and 20 feet in depth are required to have protective measures like benching, shoring, sloping and shielding. Beyond 20 feet deep, a registered professional engineer must design a protective system for the trench.

OSHA’s Construction eTool on Trenching and Excavation offers some great starter tips on evaluating your worksite and improving your work safety conditions. It is imperative, however, to make safety a priority and ensure you create a trenching and excavation safety program that meets all federal, state and local guidelines and that will protect workers.

Dennis Hobart, SCT’s director of construction services, has spent the past two decades working specifically with trenching and excavation construction projects. He assists project managers in designing safe trenches and training workers on how to maintain trench structures and work safely within trenches.

Our recently launched video series, The ABCs of Safety, takes viewers through the basics of important safety concepts. Do you work with trenching and excavation projects? Stick with our series and you may find an upcoming video especially relevant to you! Check out the Letter A video below.

Contact SCT today to talk trench-related safety by filling out the form below!



SCT Debuts New “ABCs of Safety” Video Series

Today we at SCT are excited to present our newest video series, the ABCs of Safety.

We’re taking occupational safety and health back to basics! During the next few months, the ABCs of Safety will cover 26 different topics about the fundamentals of workplace safety.

Kicking things off this week, “A” is for Analytics. Watch our video below to learn how to make data and statistics improve your company’s workplace safety and health program.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel or “Like” us on Facebook so you never miss a new video!

Potentially fatal occupational asthma is preventable

Occupational asthma accounted for an estimated 11-21% of the asthma-related deaths in 2015, according to data recently published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A review of collected data from the CDC found that between 1999-2016, there were 33,307 deaths from asthma in adults aged 15-64 years old. Included in this figure was “an estimated 3,664-6,994 (approximately 204-389 annually) that could be attributable to occupational exposures and were therefore potentially preventable.”

When broken out by industry, the asthma-related mortality was “significantly elected among males in food, beverage, and tobacco products manufacturing, other retail trade, and miscellaneous manufacturing, and among females in social assistance.”

What is Occupational Asthma?

According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), “occupational asthma is caused by inhaling fumes, gases, dust or other potentially harmful substances while ‘on the job.’”

Symptoms are often worse during the days or nights worked, and improve when affected workers have time off. Symptoms will re-emerge when the affected parties return to work.

Those with a family history may be more likely to develop occupational asthma, particularly to some substances such as flour, animals, and latex; however, those with no family history of asthma or allergies can still develop the disease if exposed to conditions that induce it over time.

Just like other occupational respiratory diseases, like asbestosis from asbestos exposure, smoking greatly increases a worker’s risk for developing occupational asthma.

Causes of Occupational Asthma

Like the CDC’s findings, the AAAAI points out that the rate of occupational asthma varies within industries, but there are some higher-risk categories.

Prolonged exposure to irritants such as hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide or ammonia, found in the petroleum or chemical industries, can be a cause of occupational asthma. Exposure to these substances in high concentrations may result in wheezing and other asthma symptoms immediately after exposure.

“Veterinarians, fishermen, and animal handlers in laboratories can develop allergic reactions to animal proteins. Healthcare workers can develop asthma from breathing in powdered proteins from latex gloves or from mixing powdered medications,” according to the AAAAI.

Occupational Asthma is Preventable

Respiratory protection is a crucial part of occupational safety and health. Any work that involves exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, irritants, or other respirable substances should have an abatement plan.

Engineering and administrative controls should be explored and implemented before thinking about personal protective equipment. PPE should always be the last part of a respiratory health plan. PPE is not acceptable as the sole means of protection for workers.

The safety experts at SCT can help evaluate facilities for exposure risk, review and update respiratory health written programs, and training workers on proper respiratory health abatement tactics and PPE usage.

For more on worker respiratory health with a focus on silica exposure, check out our video below. If you are in need of any PPE, be sure to visit SCT Supply, our online safety supply store. We offer free shipping on orders over $600!

Video Recap: New SCT promo and World of Concrete Silica Sampling

Are you following SCT on YouTube? If not, you’re missing out on some great safety information videos!

SCT puts out videos about current safety topics and areas of interest every month. In the past we’ve focused on Ladder Safety, The Fatal Four in Construction, Outdoor Working Hazards, and our Ask the Experts series, where we talk to former OSHA officials about recent or upcoming changes to safety standards.

Recently, we released an updated company profile video answering the question “Who is SCT?” The answer, of course, is your one stop shop for all things workplace safety!

We also recapped our experience of testing for silica dust at the World of Concrete 2018 show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a fun experience and great to see so many people so passionate about keeping workers safe on the job. Check out the video tour below!

Do you want more videos? Then go to our YouTube page and hit subscribe to get all the latest safety videos from SCT.

But wait, there’s more!

SCT can also make videos for your company! Videos are a great tool to introduce new employees to the company and the specific safety practices at your facility.

Click here to contact us and learn more about our video production services.


SCT Provides Silica Monitoring at World of Concrete Expo

SCT General Manager Joe Ventura (right) conducts silica monitoring during the World of Concrete Expo in Las Vegas.

This week SCT traveled out west to the 2018 World of Concrete Expo in Las Vegas, NV.

SCT General Manager Joe Ventura conducted silica monitoring and sampling during various demonstrations of concrete saws and drills from Diamond Products Limited. These tools are fitted with HEPA vacuum systems that collect and contain silica dust that is released by the destruction of concrete.

Rick of Diamond Products Limited demonstrates one of the company’s Core Bore units.

Silica exposure has been a hot topic at this year’s World of Concrete, as a U.S. Appeals Court recently rejected all objections brought forth by various industry stakeholders concerning OSHA’s new respirable crystalline silica final rule.

More than 2 million workers are exposed to silica each year in the U.S., putting workers at risk for silicosis, lung cancer, COPD, and kidney disease. The new standard became effective in June 2016, with enforcement beginning in September 2017.

To prepare employers for all of the new silica changes, at SCT we offer newly updated silica training courses: a two-hour awareness training and an eight-hour competent person training. 

On February 27, 2018, we will host our eight-hour competent person training at our Cleveland-area office. Classroom space is limited, so register as soon as possible to reserve your spot.

The course will be led by silica expert and SCT Regional Director Tom Bielema.  Mr. Bielema, the former Area Director of OSHA’s Peroria, IL Office,  will provide an in-depth review of the new respirable crystalline silica standard.

Registration and payment can be completed directly online by clicking here, or you can call us at 1-800-204-1729 for more information.

Not sure which silica class is right for you? Need our experts to perform silica monitoring at your workplace? Fill out the contact form over at our special silica web page and one of our experts will get you squared away.

SCT heads to World of Concrete in Las Vegas

SCT will be at this year’s World of Concrete show in Las Vegas, NV from January 23-26. Visit us at Diamond Products’ booths, where we will be performing silica monitoring as Diamond Products demonstrates their tools.

With the recently updated silica standard in effect,  SCT now offers a 2-hour Silica Awareness training class and an 8-hour Silica Competent Person training class.

SCT General Manager and silica expert Joe Ventura will also be available to meet during the show.

Want to set up a meeting at World of Concrete or schedule a training class for your employees? Fill out the contact form and we will reply as soon as possible.

Appeals Court Rejects Silica Rule Objections

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected objections raised about OSHA’s newly enacted silica standard, which means the new silica rule is here to stay and employers need to be compliant.

On Dec. 22, 2017, the three-judge panel rejected all objections that had been raised by various industry stakeholders, according to EHS Today. 

More than 2 million workers are exposed to silica each year in the U.S., putting workers at risk for silicosis, lung cancer, COPD, and kidney disease. The new standard became effective in June 2016, with enforcement beginning in September 2017.


At SCT, we offer updated training courses to bring you up to speed with all of the new rules and regulations. Representatives from SCT will be at the World of Concrete 2018 trade show with Diamond Products Limited, an industry leader in diamond drilling and cutting tools and equipment. SCT’s safety and industrial health representatives will be answering questions about silica during Diamond Products drilling and cutting demonstration workshops.

What were the objections to the new silica rule?

Industry groups raised five objections to the rule:

  1. whether limiting workers’ silica exposure to the level set by the new rule reduces a significant risk of worker health impairment
  2. whether the rule is technologically feasible for the foundry, hydraulic fracturing and construction industries
  3. whether the rule is economically feasible for the foundry, hydraulic fracturing, and construction industries
  4. whether OSHA violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in enacting the rule
  5. whether substantial evidence supports two ancillary provisions of the rule—one that allows workers who undergo medical examinations to keep the results confidential from their employers and one that prohibits employers from using dry cleaning methods unless doing so is infeasible. We reject all of Industry’s challenges.

Unions asked for review of two parts of the rule:

  1. the requirement that medical surveillance for construction workers be provided only if the employee has to wear a respirator for 30 days for one employer in a one-year period
  2. the absence of medical removal protections (MRPs)

Medical removal protections often require employers to maintain a worker’s normal earnings, rights and benefits. The court rejected the challenge to the 30-day trigger, but concluded that OSHA did not fully explain the absence of MRPs.

Read the court’s full 60-page opinion by clicking here. 

In its conclusion, the court rejected all of the challenges to the silica rule with three exceptions. The court held that OSHA was “arbitrary and capricious in declining to require MRP for some period” when a medical professional:

  • recommends permanent removal of a worker
  • recommends temporary removal to alleviate a worker’s COPD symptoms
  • recommends temporary removal of a worker pending a specialist’s determination

In a news release, National Council for Occupational Safety and Health Co-Executive Director Jessica Martinez supported the court’s decision.

“This is a huge win for millions of workers in construction, foundries, mining, shipbuilding and many other industries. Low-wage workers and those in the informal sector can now be assured of safer working conditions.”

Learn more about what SCT can do to help your business be compliant with OSHA’s new silica rule today! Contact us a 1-800-204-1729.