SCT offers Machine Guarding and LOTO Class

SCT’s experts excited to offer an OSHA Advanced Machine Guarding and Lockout Tagout Application Course aimed at manufacturing employers who need to solve difficult troubleshooting problems.

Before coming to work at SCT, James Washam wrote OSHA’s book on machine guarding during his tenure with the administration. On February 2 & 3 he’ll lead a two-day Machine Guarding and Lockout Tagout Application course. Working with Mr. Washam, SCT’s machine guarding expert, is Kelly Baker, SCT’s senior field and research analyst.

Machine Guarding and Lockout Tagout (LOTO) is an area of heavy emphasis for OSHA. Standards can be difficult to work with and involve multiple components for which OSHA holds employers accountable. With all these moving parts, an oversimplified machine guarding and LOTO program can prove costly for employers.

What are the details?

What: OSHA Advanced Machine Guarding & LOTO General Industry Course
When: Thursday, February 2 – Friday, February 3, 2017 (8a-4:30p)
Where: SCT, 6993 Pearl Road, Middleburg Heights, OH 44130
Cost: $600 per student (includes materials and certificate of completion)
How to Register: Contact Mary Kay Cyngier at 1-800-204-1729 or MCyngier@sct.us.com. Or you can register and pay online.

Workplace Injuries & Illnesses Decrease in 2015

Even with an increase in the total number of hours worked, about 48,000 fewer workplace injuries and illnesses occurred in 2015 compared to the previous year.

This pattern of decline injuries and illnesses has occurred every year for the past 13 years except for 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In total, 2015 saw about 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

“We are encouraged to see the significant decline in worker injury and illness rates. This is the result of the relentless efforts of employers, unions, worker advocates, occupational safety and health professionals, and federal and state government agencies ensuring that worker safety and health remains a top priority every day,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. “Despite the decline, approximately 2.9 million private sector workers suffered nonfatal injuries and illnesses last year. That is still far too many.”

Six of 19 industry categories experience a drop in the rate of workplace injuries and illnesses: mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; transportation and warehousing; finance and insurance; health care and social assistance; and accommodation and food services.

Wholesale trade was the only industry that had an increase in the rate if workplace injuries and illnesses in 2015. Per 100 full-time workers, the rate of injuries/illnesses increased from 2.9 cases in 2014 to 3.1 cases in 2015.

At SCT, we can help your company continue the nationwide trend of decreasing workplace injuries and illnesses. We can analyze your workplace and develop a fully customized written safety plan that is yours to keep.

We also offer dozens of safety training classes, including OSHA 30, trenching and excavation, confined space, lockout/tagout, fall protection, First Aid/CPR, and many more.

Avoid costly OSHA fines and production shutdowns. Contact us today at 1-800-204-1729 to make your company a safer and more productive place to work.

 

 

SCT Safety Technician Training Week: October 2016

On a crisp fall morning in Northeast Ohio and the call of a reversing forklift echoes out across the parking lot. The syncopated beep is joined by the sounds of an aerial lift, a Bobcat, and a scissor lift being powered up.

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It’s just another Safety Technician Training Week at SCT. Throughout the year, SCT Occupational Safety and Health Technicians see stretches of a few or more weeks between jobs. Our technicians are on the road 80 percent of the time, often working 12 hour shifts for six or seven days a week. And jobs can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months.

After getting some well-deserved rest and time at home with their families, our technicians spend at least one week a year back at SCT’s home base in Middleburg Heights to undergo additional training and to practice their skills.

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The technician training week serves multiple purposes: it familiarizes on the road staff with office staff, it allows technicians to share on-the-job experiences and new innovative ideas, and it advances the training and expertise of all participants.

During the week of October 10, 2016, SCT has six technicians in for training week. They’re partnered with more experienced staff to update curriculum, review teaching techniques, and to expand their considerable safety knowledge.

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Topics being reviewed this week include: respiratory protection, industrial hygiene, hazard recognition, permit-required confined space, lockout tagout, record keeping, material handling, powered industrial trucks, fall protection, rigging & signaling, accident investigation, and aerial lifts.

Thank you to our tireless road warriors. You guys keep SCT at the top of its safety game.

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SCT’s Autumn Client Quarterly Newsletter

It’s time for another edition of SCT’s Client Quarterly. In our Autumn feature we share the news about our Weatherhead 100 award, our recent purchase of Amerisafe Services, our recently launched monthly safety training courses, the need to GET YOUR FLU SHOTS NOW, our newest addition to our mobile fleet, and the renewal grant earned by NATE and SCT.

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Photo provided by Todd Schlekeway, Executive Director of NATE.

NATE & SCT awarded follow-on training grant

Photo provided by Todd Schlekeway, Executive Director of NATE.

The National Association of Tower Erectors, with SCT as its curriculum developer and safety consultant, as been awarded a $126,000 follow-on training grant from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor Susan Harwood Training Grant Program.

This grant will allow NATE and SCT to continue to offer free, life-saving education to the men and women who work in the communication tower industry. According to OSHA statistics,  five tower climbers have lost their lives so far in 2016, compared to four in 2015 and 10 in 2014.

In 2016, SCT and NATE have partnered to provide free training to hundreds of students across the country, with courses held in Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, South Dakota, Colorado,  and New Jersey.

The new grant will allow for 53-hour training for workers and employers and a 38-hour train-the-trainer course in 2017, focusing on fall prevention in the tower industry.

Susan Harwood, a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA’s former Directorate of Health Standards, passed away in 1996. In her 17-year career with the agency, Ms. Harwood assisted in the development of OSHA standards to protect workers exposed to blood borne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos and lead. The agency’s non-profit training grant program was renamed after her in 1997.

Click here to view the complete list of Susan Harwood Training Grant recipients.

Safety upgrades coming to offshore oil and gas industry

Here at SCT we’re always happy to hear of improvements in safety technology and protocols, regardless of industry. Which is why we were thrilled to learn that men and women working on offshore oil and gas rigs are likely to benefit from a new final rule upgrading safety and maintenance requirements for the first time in nearly THREE DECADES!

Published on September 7 in the Federal Register, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement stated that the new final rule amends and updates “regulations regarding oil and natural gas production safety on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) by addressing issues such as: safety and pollution prevention equipment design and maintenance, production safety systems, subsurface safety devices, and safety device testing.”

New features of the final rule, which goes into effect November 7, 2016, include:

  • easier-to-read sections written in plain language
  • updated and improved safety and pollution prevention equipment (SPPE) design, maintenance, and repair requirements to increase the overall level of certainty that this equipment will perform as intended, including in emergency situations
  • expanded regulations differentiating requirements for operating dry tree and subsea tree production systems on the OCS
  • new industry standards and update the previous partial incorporation of other standards to require compliance with the complete standards
  • new requirements for firefighting systems, shutdown valves and systems, valve closure and leakage, and high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) well equipment

“The changes in this rule are necessary to improve human safety, environmental protection, and regulatory oversight of critical equipment involving production safety systems,” according to BSEE’s publication in the Federal Register.

Safety is the top priority at SCT. If you have questions about your own company’s safety policies and programs, call SCT at 800-204-1729 to set up a meeting with one of our experts.

 

Your Job May Affect Your Cardiovascular Health

A new analysis by the Centers for Disease Control finds that your job is “significantly associated” with your cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for one of every three deaths. Illness and death due to cardiovascular problems also cost an estimated $120 billion in lost productivity each year, and by 2030 the American Heart Association predicts that number will reach $290 billion.

The CDC used the following seven health metrics to determine the cardiovascular health of people across the country in various industries:

  • Not smoking
  • Being physically active
  • Having normal blood pressure
  • Having normal blood glucose
  • Being of normal weight
  • Having normal cholesterol levels
  • Eating a healthy diet

Researchers found that 14.6% of workers in community and social services reached two or fewer of these metrics, the highest of any occupational group. Transportation and material moving employees were next at 14.3%, while also failing to meet the benchmarks for physical activity, blood pressure and Body Mass Index more often than any other job type.

At 5.9%, arts, design, entertainment, sports and media employees were the least likely to reach two or fewer of the metrics. Overall, 9.6% of workers reached two or fewer of the metrics.

Just 3.5% of all workers reached all seven metrics.

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Source: Centers for Disease Control

“Disparities in cardiovascular health status exist among U.S. occupational groups, making occupation an important consideration in employer-sponsored health promotion activities and allocation of prevention resources,” according to researchers.

While the safety experts at SCT cant exercise or diet for you, they can help you and your company be safe in all other occupational safety and health metrics. We also cover Department of Transportation physicals to keep you on the road. Call us today at 1-800-204-1729 to find out how your business benefits from being proactive about safety.

And you never know, that commitment to safety and health at work may carry over to your personal time as well.

 

#FunFitFriday with SCT: Cycling Edition

SCT is committed to serving clients with our expert occupational safety and health services. As with most working men and women, safety professionals take their work home with them. Sometimes to the extreme.

In her off hours, SCT Senior Research and Field Analyst Kelly Baker is a competitive cyclist, riding for the Cleveland-based team SnakeBite Racing. A dedicated worker, Kelly was SCT’s 2015 Employee of the Year. SCT supports employees’ passions for health and safety, and is a proud sponsor of SnakeBite Racing.

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SCT’s own Kelly Baker riding at the Cleveland Velodrome for SnakeBite Racing. Photo by Gary Burkholder, another SnakeBite racer.

Cycling is a terrific form of exercise, and exercise does a person good. Exercise advice and scientific studies about why people need exercise are continually in the news. The Indianapolis Star, American Business Magazine, Forbes Magazine and thousands of other publications have written numerous articles and stories about why exercise is not only good for the body, but also good for mental fitness. Exercise boosts the ability to focus and has been shown to improve a person’s productivity and overall work performance.

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SnakeBite racer Bob Stefancin Jr. completes a time trial at the Cleveland Velodrome. Photo by Gary Burholder, another SnakeBite team member.

We’re extremely proud of Kelly’s achievements and wish the entire SnakeBite Racing team continued success in 2016. Remember, wear your helmets and protective gear. Safety first!

Wanted: OSHA Workplace Violence Standard

Two formalized requests for OSHA to institute a standard for Workplace Violence for the Health Care and Social Service sectors reached the desks of decision makers this summer.

National Nurses United, whose July 11 petition called workplace violence “a persistent and endemic workplace hazard for our members,” first sounded the call. NNU represents more than 185,000 members, the largest union and professional association of registered nurses (RNs) in the United States.

“Our efforts have resulted in the establishment of some of the best state-level standards on preventing and reducing violence in the workplace for our members,” the petition reads. “…But despite these strides, protections for RNs and other healthcare workers across the country will remain piecemeal in light of OSHA’s exclusive jurisdiction in 24 states. OSHA must take leadership and fulfill its obligation to pass a comprehensive workplace health and safety standard to prevent and reduce workplace violence.”

Did you know there are four types of workplace violence? Check out SCT’s infographic below to learn how to identify the types of violence and some preventative steps to take in your workplace!

Included elements in NNU’s recommended standard are: an extensive workplace violence prevention plan, a log of all violent incidents, an annual review of the prevention plan, and training for all employees.

Similar requirements feature in the July 12 petition submitted to Department of Labor and OSHA executives by the AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, Communications Workers of American, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Service Employees International Union, and United Steelworkers.

“Workplace violence remains a serious, significant and worsening problem. Workers are brutally attacked every day. These attacks should not be viewed as ‘just part of the job’; they are preventable,” wrote the petitioning unions. “We therefore petition the Department of Labor for a workplace violence standard to protect all workers in the large and growing healthcare and social services sectors.”

Labor law firm Littler Mendelson conducted a survey of nearly 850 legal teams, human resource representatives, and executives from myriad industries and asked specifically about how businesses approached preventing workplace violence.

• 52% said they had updated or implemented a “zero tolerance” workplace violence policy
• 33% said they had conducted a safety and security audit
• 38% said they had held employee training sessions on how to recognize and respond to a potentially violent situation
• 28% said they had conducted “active shooter” response training
• 24% said they had designated a “management response team”
• 40% said they had developed an emergency response plan
• 40% said they had implemented pre-employment screening, such as criminal background checks
• 11% said they had taken no action as violence is not a concern in their workplace
• 1% said they had taken no action due to fear of violating discrimination or disability laws

Analysis of Littler Mendelson’s survey, which is conducted annually, stated that updating or implementing a workplace violence policy and holding employee training programs are “basic steps that all employers would be advised to take.”

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SCT’s Summer Quarterly Newsletter

Check out our latest Client Quarterly update, which we send out to our clients a few times each year to keep them up to date on the latest happenings with SCT and in the safety industry. Find out all you need to know about the new increase in maximum OSHA fines and meet our new Director of Construction Services!

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