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.

Proposed Department of Labor budget seeks 21 percent decrease

On February 12 the U.S. federal government released its proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget. The budget covers all facets of government spending, but unsurprisingly our focus at SCT centers on the training and safety of U.S. workers.

The budget outlines a request for $9.4 billion for the Department of Labor, which houses the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is a 21 percent decrease from $12 billion enacted in the previous budget.

Susan Harwood Training Grants

One of the proposed cuts to the department’s budget is the Susan Harwood Training Grant program. The Major Savings and Reforms document states that “OSHA has no evidence that the program is effective, and measures the program’s performance in terms of the number of individuals trained. In addition, it is not clear that the training funded by these grants would not happen absent the Federal subsidy.” Currently, the grant program receives $11 million in funding.

NIOSH

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the Department of Health and Human Services is also set to have its budget decreased by $135 million to $200 million total. According to the budget, important NIOSH research will still be funded, while “activities that have less of a direct public health impact” will be eliminated.

In the Major Savings and Reforms (MSR) document, linked above, the topic of ergonomics is given as an example of a proposed eliminated research activity.

“Some activities conducted by NIOSH could be more effectively conducted by the private sector. For example, NIOSH collects and quantifies human body size and the shape of various occupational groups to develop equipment designs for worker protection,” according to the MSR document. “The private sector also conducts similar research in the development of ergonomic equipment.”

The proposed budget consolidates the highest priority occupational safety and health research, and activities of NIOSH, within the National Institute of Health (NIH) “to improve coordination of research across the Federal Government.”

The “most important research of NIOSH, including research on mining safety, personal protective technology, and NIOSH’s role as mandated under Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act,” would continue unchanged in the proposed budget. The World Trade Center Health Program, which is currently administered through NIOSH, would continue but be administered through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Overall OSHA Budget

All told, OSHA’s proposed budget sits at $549 million, with $135 million for compliance assistance activities. The administration is also set to add 42 full-time equivalent workers for compliance officers and 32 for areas including compliance assistance, outreach and Voluntary Protection Programs, according to Safety and Health Magazine.

In a news release, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta said the budget provides a “fiscally responsible framework” for the DOL.

“From addressing the skills gap through apprenticeships to prioritizing workplace safety, this budget reflects a strong commitment to the American workforce,” Acosta said. “It also includes important reforms to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to maximum effect.”

The budget must now be approved by the U.S. Congress before becoming law.

Get your Flu Shot at SCT!

It’s that time of year and we’ve got flu shots in stock!

The Occupational Health experts at SCT have got you covered with flu shots for $25 and there’s no wait like the pharmacy!

Flu shots are important, and there are measurable impacts of getting one each year. Find out how flu shots help business by watching our “Protecting Workers with Occupational Health: Flu Shots” video, linked below.

See how beneficial an annual flu shot can be for your business? We promise, they don’t hurt – just a little pinch!

Though an appointment isn’t needed, you can schedule a flu shot at our Middleburg Heights location by calling 440-449-6000. Or we can bring the flu shots to you with our mobile medical unit. Contact us today to prevent the stuffy nose and sore throat of the flu!