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.


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!

Focus on Respiratory Health & Silica Awareness

Silicosis is a debilitating lung condition that can cause lung cancer, respiratory failure, and other life-threatening respiratory diseases. This month’s video series, “Protecting Workers with Occupational Health,” we take a closer look at respiratory health and silica, and discover how employers can protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

The enforcement for the new OSHA construction standard on silica just passed on September 23, 2017, and employers in the construction industry need to know their exposure levels to ensure they’re properly protecting workers and adhering to the federal regulations.

Do you need to update your silica program? Contact the experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729 or drop us a note through our online contact form.

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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.