NIOSH Celebrates 100 Years of Respiratory Protection

To recognize 100 years of respiratory protection in the U.S.,  the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has designated Sept. 3-6, 2019 as the first annual Respiratory Protection Week.

Back in 1919, the U.S. Bureau of Mines started the first respirator certification program to protect miners from harmful atmospheres, with the first respirator becoming certified a few months later. Today, an estimated 5 million U.S. workers are required to wear respirators on the job.

“Respiratory Protection Week honors both the history and the future of the efforts by researchers and practitioners to protect workers from airborne toxins,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., in a news release. “NIOSH’s own ongoing work in respiratory protection represents both a century’s worth of experience in preventing disease for millions of working men and women who have relied on respirators to protect their lungs, and a new century’s research in developing improvements in respiratory protection.”

NIOSH has a number of resources and events available for you to get the most out of this Respiratory Protection Week.

A detailed timeline tracks the history of respiratory protection all the way back to Pliny the Elder, a Roman philosopher who lived from 23-79 AD. He used loose animal bladder skins to filter dust while crushing cinnabar, which is a “toxic, mercuric sulfide mineral used at the time for pigmentation in decorations.”

NIOSH will also host an online webinar on September 5, 2019, at 1 P.M. EST to discuss the state of using Powered Air Purifying Respirators in the healthcare industry.

Plus, NIOSH has created a set of handy infographics covering respiratory topics including Atmosphere-Supplying Respirators, Air-Purifying Respirators, and understanding the difference between different types of common respirators.

To keep updated on this year’s Respiratory Protection Week, you can follow@NIOSH_NPPTL on Twitter and search the hashtag #100yrsRespirators.

At SCT, our Occupational Health experts can provide both qualitative and quantitative respiratory fit tests to ensure your employees are properly fitted with respirators that will protect them and comply with all OSHA standards.

Fill out the contact form below or call us at 1-800-204-1729.








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OSHA Considering Changes to Silica Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is requesting public feedback on the silica standard in the construction industry.

OSHA is seeking more information about multiple aspects of the rule, including:

  • additional engineering and work practice control methods to effectively limit exposure to silica for tasks in Table 1
  • construction equipment and tasks that generate silica that it should consider adding to Table 1
  • engineering and work practice control methods associated with those tasks
  • whether or not to revise paragraph (a)(3) of the General Industry Silica Standard to increase the ways in which general industry and maritime workplaces could use the construction standard’s Table 1

OSHA stated that expanding the options for companies to comply with the silica standard will give business more flexibility while still maintaining employee safety. The agency also said that submitted information will allow OSHA to “consider new developments and enhanced control methods for equipment that generates exposure to silica” and provide more data on potential silica exposure from more tasks.

Respirable crystalline silica is dangerous to workers and can potentially cause lifelong health issues. It is created when cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling or crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, block and mortar. Other exposures include abrasive blasting or manufacturing of brick or ceramic products. About 2.3 million people in the U.S. are exposed to silica at work.

Silica can cause numerous diseases including silicosis (an incurable lung disease), lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease.

According to OSHA’s news release, public comments must be submitted by October 14, 2019 online at www.regulations.gov, or by fax/mail.

At SCT, our Workplace Safety Experts, who have dozens of years of experience working for and alongside OSHA, can train your employees to properly abate any potential silica hazards in compliance with all OSHA regulations. Call us at 1-800-204-1729 or complete the form below to contact one of our experts.








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10 Ways to Start Your Safety Program

Safe and Sound Week 2019 is the perfect time to jump start your company’s workplace safety program.

According to OSHA, employers pay almost $1 billion per week in direct workers’ compensation costs. While this figure includes things like medical expenses and legal services, it does not consider indirect costs including training of replacement employees, lost productivity, accident investigation, and lower employee morale.

For Safe and Sound Week, OSHA has released a helpful Top 10 list of simple ways to get your comprehensive workplace safety program up and running with a solid base.

  • Establish safety and health as a core value
  • Lead by example
  • Implement a reporting system
  • Provide training
  • Conduct inspections
  • Collect hazard control ideas
  • Implement hazard controls
  • Address emergencies
  • Seek input on workplace changes
  • Make improvements to the program

And if you’re still unsure of how to create your workplace safety program or want to take it to the next level, it might be time to contact the OSHA Workplace Safety Experts at SCT.

Call us at 1-800-204-1729 or complete the contact form below.








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Overall OSHA Inspections Down, Fatality Inspections Up in 2018

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) performed fewer total inspections in Fiscal Year 2018 compared to 2017, but fatality/catastrophe inspections did increase, according to OSHA’s latest enforcement summary. 

In FY 2018, which covers Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018, OSHA conducted 32,023 inspections, a 1.2% decrease compared to the 32,408 inspections in FY 2017.

About 56 percent of the inspections were “unprogrammed inspections,” which include employee complaints, injuries, fatalities and referrals. “Programmed inspections” focus on industries where known hazards exist, such as combustible dusts and falls in construction.

While overall inspections were down slightly, OSHA conducted more fatality/catastrophe inspections in 2018 (941) than it did in 2017 (837), which marks a 12% increase. It was the most fatality/catastrophe inspections since FY 2007, according to Safety and Health Magazine. 

Safety and Health also noted that the number of OSHA inspectors reached a record low of 875 as of January 1, 2019. The Department of Labor has vowed to add 26 new full-time equivalent inspectors next fiscal year after hiring 76 in FY 2018.

 

Contact the workplace safety experts at SCT today!








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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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SCT trench safety training

OSHA Releases new Trench Safety Training Video

SCT trench safety training

 

Excavation work is one of the most hazardous construction operations to perform. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that trenching and excavation hazards in construction activities cause 50 fatalities per year, on average.

The hazards associated with trench work are typically both recognizable and preventable, so education and awareness are critical to understanding safe excavation practices.

What’s more, excavation and trenching are consistently at the top of OSHA willful violation list.  With this in mind, OSHA has just released a new public service video providing a quick, minute-long overview of “5 Things You Should Know to Stay Safe” when working with trenches.

OSHA’s 5 key trench safety training takeaways are:

  1. Ensure safe entry and exit
  2. Trenches must have cave-in protection
  3. Keep materials away from the edge of the trench
  4. Look for standing water or other hazards
  5. Never enter a trench unless it has been inspected

The OSHA trench safety training video is a supplement to existing posted general trenching excavation rules.  OSHA’s General Trenching and Excavation Rules are:

  • Keep heavy equipment away from trench edges.
  • Inspect trenches at the start of each shift.
  • Inspect trenches following a rainstorm.
  • Keep surcharge loads at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) from trench edges.
  • Know where underground utilities are located.
  • Do not work under raised loads.
  • Test for low oxygen, hazardous fumes and toxic gases.

At SCT, we’re experts in trenching and excavation safety, boasting some of the most experienced trench safety training professionals in the nation. Please contact us for any questions you have regarding excavation and trenching safety training and best practices.








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OSHA silica standard

OSHA Releases New Silica Standard FAQ

The recent release of the new OSHA silica standard brought forth a slew of questions from construction industry professionals, so OSHA has stepped up and answered with a new silica FAQ. This online silica FAQ includes training videos for the respirable crystalline silica construction standard.

OSHA developed the new FAQs in cooperation with industry and labor organizations, so workers have some additional clarity regarding the OSHA silica standard’s requirements. OSHA also introduced six new videos helping users control silica exposure when engaging in common construction tasks. Viewers can get a quick primer on handheld power saws, drills, grinders and jackhammer use and the related silica exposure.

Check out SCT’s respirable crystalline silica dust page for more information regarding silica safety best practices – or to schedule your silica safety training.

Video Series Rewind: Catch up on the ABCs of Safety

We’re powering through the ABCs of Safety, our video series aimed at breaking down the basics of safety. We wrapped up the Letter M this week. With the long Memorial Day Weekend ahead of us, we figured this was a good point to stop, rewind, and catch up on the safety alphabet so far.

So what are the ABCs of Safety?

  • A is for Analytics
  • B is for Best Practices
  • C is for Competent Person
  • D is for Drug Free
  • E is for Excavation
  • F is for Fall Protection
  • G is for OSHA’s General Duty Clause
  • H is for Hazard Communication
  • I is for Incident Investigation
  • J is for Job Safety Analysis
  • K is for Keeping Workers Safe
  • L is for Ladders
  • M is for Machine Guarding

To find out what letters N through Z will be, you’ll just have to keep an eye on SCT’s YouTube channel!

Check out our YouTube playlist of the ABCs of Safety below, and have a safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend. To all the servicemen and women who have served and those who continue to serve our country, the safety experts at SCT thank you for your service.

SCT’s ABCs of Safety Playlist

How to Observe Workers’ Memorial Day 2018

Workers’ Memorial Day recognizes the men and women who have lost their lives while on the job. According to the most recent data available, 5,190 workers were killed on the job in 2016. That’s 99 people gone in a week, or 14 lost each day.

Workers have the right to work in a safe and healthy environment. A career or job should not result in the loss of a life. Recognized internationally every year on April 28, Workers’ Memorial Day events take place across the world. If you’re in the U.S., the AFL-CIO website has a handy Event Locator on the Action Network website.

We’ve put together a short playlist highlighting videos on Workers’ Memorial Day that we have created here at SCT, and a few videos from around the world about the importance of recognizing workplace safety.

Workers’ Memorial Day Playlist

SCT VP Featured at Safety Council Meeting

SCT Senior Vice President Rob Medlock addressed a joint meeting of the Greater Cleveland Safety Council and the Northern Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers on February 13.

In his presentation, Mr. Medlock covered OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations in General Industry during the 2017 fiscal year.

  1. Hazard Communication: 3,624 citations
  2. Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout): 2,884 citations
  3. Respiratory Protection: 2,600 citations
  4. Powered Industrial Trucks: 2,065 citations
  5. General Requirements for all Machines (Machine Guarding): 1,954 citations
  6. Wiring Methods, Components, and Equipment for General Use: 1,449 citations
  7. General Requirements (Safety Standards for Electrical Systems): 1,360 citations
  8. General Requirements (Personal Protective Equipment): 906 citations
  9. Occupational Noise Exposure: 520 citations
  10. Maintenance, Safeguards, and Operational Features for Exit Routes: 379 citations

Watch our video below for a quick recap of the event, and thank you to the GCSC for hosting such a great and informative event for the safety community.