Protect Your Workers with Flu Vaccines from SCT

It’s that time of year yet again! Flu season is right around the corner, and getting your employees vaccinated is the best way to prevent the flu from taking over your workplace.

Each year, the flu causes 111 million missed days of work and about $7 billion in lost productivity, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Watch our video below to find out the importance of the flu vaccinations and learn some other habits that can go a long way in keeping your workplace free of sickness.

Want to get your employees vaccinated or avoid the long lines at the pharmacy? At SCT, we have flu shots available with no insurance needed. We can also bring our services directly to you with our mobile medical unit, so your employees won’t even have to leave the office. Contact us today online or call 1-800-204-1729.

NIOSH Software Helps Protect Emergency Responders

With Hurricane Harvey devastating Texas last month and now Hurricane Irma causing major damage in Florida, thousands of first responders and volunteers have been helping save lives across the region.

To help manage these emergency responders, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has created the ERHMS Info Manager software. Organizations can use the software to implement the Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance framework.

This framework is designed to protect emergency responders through pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment activities. In short, the goal of this medical monitoring and surveillance is to identify risks early on in an emergency in order to prevent injuries (both physical and psychological) to emergency responders.

“The nation depends on more than 3 million emergency response workers who are trained and prepared to respond to disasters and other emergencies where they often face hazardous conditions,” NIOSH Director John Howard said in a press release according to Safety and Health Magazine. “ERHMS Info Manager streamlines the important task of response worker health monitoring and surveillance, saving organizations time while ensuring the health and safety of emergency responders.”

With this software, emergency response managers are able to:

  • create profiles for each responder
  • record incidents and map their locations
  • assign responders to specific incidents
  • design forms or surveys, and then analyze the responses

The software streamlines many parts of large-scale emergency response including data collection, analysis, and reporting. According to NIOSH, the program increases the speed and ease of “identifying causes, determining risk factors, and implementing interventions for managers of emergency responders.

The software can be downloaded for free at NIOSH’s website.

Get a look inside our new Chicago Office

In 2017, SCT continued its expansion trend from 2016 with the opening of a brand new office in Chicago, Illinois. SCT staff members welcomed clients and friends at an open house for the new office in lat August 2017. Come explore the new office with SCT President Gail Grueser, Vice President Nick Walters, and Regional Director Tom Bielema.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you never miss a video from us!

OSHA Looking to Postpone Crane Operator Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) wants to extend the deadline for crane operator certification that is scheduled to go into effect in November of this year.

In Sept. 2014, OSHA issued a final rule that set the crane operator requirement deadline for November 2017. OSHA’s new proposed rule would push back the deadline to Nov. 10, 2018. According to OSHA’s press release, the additional time is to “address stakeholder concerns.”

OSHA’s Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard lays out four options for crane operators to become certified:

  • Certification by an independent testing organization accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization
  • Qualification by an employer’s independently audited program
  • Qualification by the U.S. military
  • Compliance with qualifying state or local licensing requirements

Those wanting to comment on the deadline delay can do so online at http://www.regulations.gov , by fax to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693–1648, or by mail to OSHA Docket Office, RIN No. 1218–AC86, Technical Data Center, Room N–3508, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20210.

Comments must be submitted by Sept. 29, 2017.

For all of your occupational safety and health needs, contact the experts at SCT by calling 1-800-204-1729.

SCT hires EHS executive to grow domestic, international presence

Middleburg Heights, Ohio – After expanding its Midwest presence with a Chicago office earlier this year, Safety Controls Technology, Inc. (SCT) is branching out to the East Coast.

SCT is proud to welcome James Joyce as Senior Vice President of Global EHS Services. He will be based out of Boston, Massachusetts, but will be enhancing SCT’s services both domestically and internationally. Mr. Joyce will add his unique and dynamic skill set to SCT’s already strong leadership team to assist in business planning, training and developing the skills of SCT employees.

“Jim adds a global, corporate perspective to our company that we really need with our business expansions,” said Rob Medlock, SCT Senior Vice President of General Industry. “We are all looking forward to benefitting from his knowledge and ability to interact with business at any level.”

Mr. Joyce brings decades of occupational and environmental health experience to the team at SCT, including years leading Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) teams for multi-billion dollar businesses.

“I view this as a new, different, and exciting challenge,” Mr. Joyce said. “I’m really passionate about workplace safety and environmental compliance. I’m here to help SCT and our customers in any way I can.”

Most recently, Mr. Joyce served as the Vice President of Global Environment, Health and Safety for Owens-Illinois Global, a $7.5 billion enterprise and a Fortune 500 Company. In that role, Mr. Joyce developed the global EHS leadership team that covered 27,000 employees at 79 factories in 24 countries. His business acumen and leadership led to a reduction of all major measurable safety indicators.

“Jim brings a wealth of international safety and health experience to the table and I look forward to seeing the new opportunities that it will create for our company,” said SCT Vice President of Safety Engineering Services Nick Walters.

Mr. Joyce grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, surrounded by the steel and manufacturing industries that define the region. Manufacturing and industry have been in his blood for generations—his grandfathers worked in the steel and railroad industries and his father worked at General Motors.

From 1976 to 1986, Mr. Joyce worked his way up the ranks at Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, eventually becoming the general foreman of operations. Mr. Joyce then worked at Bayer Corp. for more than two decades starting in 1986, beginning in technical sales, product management, and mergers and acquisitions.

His transition to EHS began in 1993, when a fire and explosion at one of the company’s newly acquired plants in Boston injured several fire fighters. Following the incident, Mr. Joyce was promoted to lead the plant’s renewed focus on EHS.

“I discovered I really liked the work,” Mr. Joyce said. “It was almost as if EHS found me.”

He developed and implemented a new safety response system that involved employees at all levels. His efforts and safety measures worked. Injuries and other safety-related recordables decreased, and workers at the plant enjoyed a safer and healthier workplace.

“This was an opportunity to fix something that was broken,” Mr. Joyce said.

The system was such a success that he was selected to be Bayer’s Global Director of EHS, and led the new safety response system’s implementation at nine more factories in the U.S., England, Germany and China, where employee health and safety also greatly increased.

In 2012, Mr. Joyce worked independently as an EHS consultant for Norit Americas, Inc. and Owens-Illinois, before joining O-I full time.

SCT is a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) delivering comprehensive occupational safety and health solutions to both the public and private sectors. SCT’s mission is to provide clients with reliable and responsible services that will save costs and create efficiencies without compromising environmental, occupational, and engineering quality.

For all occupational safety & health needs, contact the experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729.

Ask the Experts: Scaffolding

Last year, scaffolding was the third most cited violation by OSHA behind only fall protection and hazard communication. Companies across the United States were cited nearly 4,000 times for scaffolding violations.

As scaffolding lifts workers to an elevated worksite, taking proper safety precautions is extremely important. OSHA estimates that proper training and following of compliance standards could save as many as 50 lives and prevent 4,500 accidents every year.

In this edition of our Ask the Experts video series, SCT Regional Director Tom Bielema, who spent years with OSHA eventually becoming the Area Director of the Peoria Office, discusses how to handle common hazards that come along with using scaffolding.

To catch up on our previous Ask the Experts videos, check out the playlist on YouTube here. As always, contact SCT today for all of your occupational safety and health needs.

Fatal Four in Construction: Falls

This week we’re wrapping up our look at the Fatal Four in Construction with a new video about falls.

According to OSHA, falls accounted for 364 deaths in construction in 2015, which was more than all of the other Fatal Four (electrocutions, struck by object, and caught in between) combined.

In the video below, SCT Vice President of Safety Engineering Services Nick Walters covers many of the common hazards that can result in falls, including ladders and unguarded floor openings.

If you missed Mr. Walters, former Regional Administrator of OSHA’s largest region based in Chicago, in our previous videos covering electrocutions and struck by/caught in between, you can watch all of our Fatal Four videos right here.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss a video from us.

Labor Department Releases Updated OSHA Agenda

The Department of Labor recently released its newly updated regulatory agenda. The agenda, which outlines and provides timelines for all government regulations, includes 14 OSHA items that are in the pre-rule, proposed rule, or final rule stage.

Typically, the agenda is published two times per year.

According to the new agenda’s introduction, this plan “represents the beginning of fundamental regulatory reform and a reorientation toward reducing unnecessary regulatory burden on the American people.”

The 14 OSHA items on the current agenda are:

Pre-Rule Stage

  • Communication Tower Safety
  • Mechanical Power Presses Update
  • Powered Industrial Trucks
  • Lockout/Tagout Update
  • Blood Lead Level for Medical Removal

Proposed Stage

  • Occupational Exposure to Beryllium
  • Quantitative Fit Testing Protocol: Amendment to the Final Rule on Respiratory Protection
  • Crane Operator Qualification in Construction
  • Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Exemption Expansions for Railroad Roadway Work
  • Technical Corrections to 16 OSHA Standards
  • Puerto Rico State Plan
  • Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses
  • Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Final Stage

  • Standards Improvement Project IV

To view the Fall 2016 Agenda to compare how things have changed, click here. 

Fatal Four in Construction: Struck By and Caught In/Between

Continuing our quest to eliminate the Fatal Four hazards in the construction industry, we have a new video covering struck by and caught in/between hazards.

According to OSHA, in 2015 struck by and caught in/between hazards accounted for 9.6% and 8.6%, respectively, of all fatal construction incidents.

SCT Vice President of Safety Engineering Services Nick Walters covered Electrocutions last week. Today Mr. Walters, formerly the Regional Administrator of OSHA Region V, tackles two related hazards in struck by and caught in/between.

Check out our video below and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss a video from us.

 

NIOSH updates ergonomics guide

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has updated its 20-year-old guide to ergonomics to reflect a stronger emphasis on the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs).

Though the 1997 primer “Elements of Ergonomic Program” remains an active document/reference guide for NIOSH, a new partner webpage increases the focus on WMSDs and the necessary steps employers and workers should take to prevent them and other injuries related to ergonomics.

In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 31 percent, or 356,910 cases, of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses were caused by musculoskeletal disorders. Of those WMSDs, the median time away from work was 12 days for each affected employee. When compared to the median time away from work from other work-related injuries, which is recorded as 8 days, it is clear that poor ergonomics training and WMSDs cost businesses more than other injuries.

NIOSH’s strengthened ergonomics webpage offers a six-step program designed to help employers identify, implement, evaluate, and maintain ways to better protect workers against WMSDs.

In our July video series, “Safety Hurdles in Health Care,” one of the episodes focused on strains, sprains and other WMSDs often suffered by health care workers. Given the physicality involved in their jobs, workers in hospitals, assisted living facilities and other health care workplaces often face a greater risk of WMSDs. Check out our safety video below.

Ergonomics also comes into play with office workers. Here’s a Safety Minute Update video on 5 tips for better ergonomic posture at the office! Don’t forget to get up, stretch, and walk around during the day. Don’t sit behind a desk for 8 hours straight!

For ergonomics training and all other occupational safety and health needs, contact the safety experts at SCT at 1-800-204-1729.