The International Labour Organization, the international organization that oversees international labor standards, recognized last Saturday, April 28 as World Day for Safety & Health at Work. The annual event promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally.
Their focus this year is on promoting occupational safety and health in a green economy. “As the green economy develops, it is essential that safety and health at work are integrated into green jobs policies. This implies integrating risk assessment and management measures in the life cycle analysis of all green jobs.” the ILO notes. “This is especially relevant for sectors such as construction, waste recycling, solar energy production and biomass processing.”
The 28th of April is also a day in which the world’s trade union movement holds its International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers to honour the memory of victims of occupational accidents and diseases and organize worldwide mobilizations and campaigns on this date.
For more information, visit http://www.ilo.org/global/lang–en/index.htm.
In the case of a tragic accident in the workplace involving death, OSHA has come out with a new directive. This directive explains that OSHA Representatives are to contact the victim’s family after the incident, explain the investigation and offer a timeline with updates on the progress of it. Once finished, they will explain the findings to the family. Any citations given to the place of employment will also be disclosed to the family.
The directive states its “three-phrase approach” to interactions that include:
- An initial communication;
- Follow-up communication throughout the inspection; and
- Post-inspection communications.
According to Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, “OSHA is committed to working with families to explain the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their loved ones” he says. “This directive ensures that OSHA receives the necessary information from the family to assist in the investigation, and keeps the family informed throughout the investigation and settlement processes.”
To view OSHA’s press release on the announcement, visit HERE.
Did you know that in 2011, 68% of highway contractors experienced motor vehicle crasher in their work zone? According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), www.agc.org, out of this percentage, 28% workers reported an injury and 18% indicated there was at least one fatality.
As an employer, there are several ways in which you can prevent these kinds of incidents that could prevent your company from temporarily shutting down. Many have opted for stricter enforcement in their training and/or existing safety laws. Others have been forced to require police presence for longer period of time for surveillance. Or what about monitoring fleet safety closer?
Unfortunately, not only is the number of work zone accidents high, they are actually increasing with time. Of course, ease of technology in handheld devices is a strong contributor. Consequently, according to the same source mentioned, 84% of contractors would agree that vehicle motor crashes are indeed greater today than they were a decade ago.
So if your company’s project requires work zone regulations, keep in mind that safety is regularly updated and strictly enforced at all times. Not only will it benefit deadlines and budgets, but more importantly, help save lives.
For more information on general safety training and consulting visit, http://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training
Heat rashes, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat strokes… sound scary enough? Regarless of where you live, it’s never too early to take some preventative steps to ensure safety while working in hot environments. Watch this month’s e-learning module for some useful tips on how to avoid getting ill.
To watch our past e-learning modules, visit http://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/blog/categories/listings/online-training-for-free.
The DOT defines a Hazmat employee as a person who is “Employed on a full-time, part time, or temporary basis by a hazmat employer and who in the course of such full time, part time or temporary employment directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety”. This includes people who during the course of employment: “(i) Loads,…
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that Delta Air Lines Inc. signed a corporate-wide settlement agreement with the agency to install seat belts and implement seat belt policies on baggage handling vehicles as part of a compliance plan over the next two years at approximately ninety of its domestic airport locations that fall under federal OSHA’s jurisdiction. The company plans to take the same safety measures at airport locations under state OSHA’s jurisdiction, although not part of the agreement.
The agreement resulted as abatement of alleged violations in the death of a Delta baggage handler in January 2010. The worker suffered a fatal traumatic brain injury when the tug vehicle he operated collided with a food service truck and the impact ejected him out of the vehicle and onto the pavement. OSHA issued a citation to Delta for violating federal regulations requiring employers to provide employees with personal protective equipment, including – in this case – seat belts.
Compliance measures in the plan include:
- Installing seat belts on all covered vehicles within the first twelve months;
- Any new covered vehicles the company purchases must come equipped with seat belts;
- Implement and enforce a program requiring its employees to wear seat belts when operating or riding on any Covered Vehicle;
- Conduct mandatory employee training on seat belt use and safe operation of covered vehicles;
- Track and enforce seat belt use through documented observations; conducting random audits of compliance; and periodically setting up checkpoints at Covered Routes to assess seat belt use;
- Inspect covered vehicles for property functioning seat belts and remove any vehicle from use if they find the seat belt missing or malfunctioning.
When completed, the compliance plan will help protect 16,000 Delta workers from injuries preventable by seat belt use.
“OSHA’s corporate-wide settlement agreements are highly effective tools for ensuring that companies address hazards that can injure or kill their workers,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels in a release. “This kind of widespread change within corporations can go a long way toward keeping workers across the country safe and healthy at the end of every workday.”
OSHA has resources available to assist the airline industry in workplace safety and compliance.
To view the agreement on the settlement, go to http://www.osha.gov/csa/delta041612.html.
As minority groups in the country grow, so does the need to expand safety communication to a wider audience. With this in mind, OSHA now offers many of its educational materials in other languages including Spanish.
Two of OSHA’s signal publications are now available for order in Spanish through OSHA’s Spanish Publications page. Derechos de los trabajadores (Workers’ Rights) describes the rights to which workers are legally entitled under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Derechos y responsibilidades patronales al cabo de una inspectión de la OSHA (Employer Rights and Responsibilities Following an OSHA Inspection) is provided during an OSHA inspection and explains to employers what happens after the inspection.
OSHA also has publications available in Portuguese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean, Polish, and Vietnamese. To order copies of these or any other OSHA publications, please call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit OSHA’s Publications page.
Did you know?
- Between 20-30% of fleet vehicles crash each year
- Fleet crash costs are equal to 13-15% of fleet spending
- Drivers of company vehicles have 50% more crashes than private drivers
- Road crashes is the most common form of work-related death
Companies with active road safety programs have achieved 30-65% reductions in work-related traffic accidents and associated costs.
If you are just beginning to address occupational driving risk consider the following options:
Offer a Defensive Driving Seminar: Our Defensive Driving Seminar combines driver safety education with interactive group problem solving. We have developed a unique approach, combining driver safety education with risk resolution, based on national and local research pointing to the things that have achieved the best results in reducing driver risk. Put simply we provide the latest and most effective program to reduce the risks associated with work-related driving.
More importantly our Defensive Driving Seminar targets specific driver behaviors to improve driving habits and prevent accidents.
We offer this session to Safety Partners for as low as $300 per session.
Use a “How am I Driving” Bumper Sticker reporting system: How many times have you been cut off and wished the other vehicles had a bumper sticker? By using a “How am I Driving” campaign you will begin to experience more cautious drivers and ultimately fewer collisions.
Our How am I Driving? System includes a toll free call center where the public can easily report their observations. After words an observation report will be emailed to you so corrective action can be taken. We offer this monitoring service for Safety Partners with small to medium fleets for as low as $150/ year!
Our fleet safety solutions are the most cost effective and professional solutions available! For more information on our new Fleet Safety Initiative call Randy Free at 407-353-8165 or visit http://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/fleet-safety
Below is a great article on psychological health and safety. Because most would disregard psychological health issues in the workplace or classify as unimportant, often they are left untreated. A recent poll of employees from all over the world has shown comparisons of different countries and their levels of work-related mental-health issues. Results have organizations taking more notice and raised efforts to improve the overall well-being of their employees…
Psychological health, safety cited as risks
REUTERS MARCH 17, 2012
Companies around the globe have work to do to improve worker satisfaction because three in 10 employees say their workplace is not psychologically safe and healthy, according to a new poll.
Whether it is due to stress, inter-personal conflict, frustration, lack of feedback or promotion, 27 per cent of workers in 24 countries said they are not happy with the psychological aspects of their work environment, the survey by research company Ipsos for Reuters showed.
“Employers need to pay attention to their employees’ mental health, not just their physical health,” said Alexandra Evershed, senior vice-president, Ipsos Public Affairs. “Three in 10 is still a fairly large proportion and that goes up to 44 per cent and 43 per cent in Argentina and Mexico and 42 per cent in Hungary,”
Nearly half, 47 per cent, of the total of 14,618 workers polled agreed that their workplace was ‘a psychologically safe and healthy environment to work in’ and 26 per cent hovered on the fence and weren’t sure.
Although many North Americans have fewer holidays than Europeans and may work longer hours and enjoy fewer social services, Americans and Canadians had the highest marks for positively assessing the mental health of their workplace, followed by workers in India, Australia, Britain and South Africa. Evershed suggested that the improving economies in some countries could have played a part in the positive assessment among employees.
“It’s better than it was,” she said in an interview. “India, China, Brazil, South Africa, these are countries where the economic picture has been brightening.”
To view the article, go to http://www.vancouversun.com/jobs/Psychological+health+safety+cited+risks/6318434/story.html
By Andrea Lannom
Massey Energy officials have until June 18 to file a response to a federal class action lawsuit alleging Massey’s stock was artificially inflated because officials misled the market about safety compliance.
Filed in April 2010 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Trust, the suit charges Alpha Appalachia Holdings Inc. and several Massey officials including former CEO Don Blankenship with violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The suit alleges officials inflated stock between February 2008 and July 2010 and lied about the safety of its operations.
“In fact, safety at Massey’s mines was repeatedly sacrificed so that aggressive production goals could be met,” the suit states. “Massey had received numerous undisclosed citations arising from serious uncorrected safety and other regulatory violations at surface and underground coal mines it operates in West Virginia and neighboring states.”
Plaintiffs claim the price of Massey common stock plunged following information revealed after the April 2010 explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine. This decline caused “hundreds of millions of dollars in losses” to investors who purchased shares relying on information regarding safety, the suit states.
“The tragic, and avoidable, explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine on April 5, 2010 shockingly and suddenly revealed the concealed safety risks to investors causing the price of Massey stock to decline $9.47 over the next two days, a two-day drop that reduced the value of Massey’s common stock by more than 17 percent, resulting in an immediate loss of $900 million in market capitalization,” the suit claims.
Massey officials moved to dismiss the lawsuit, but that motion was denied in a March 28 order. Parties will attend a scheduling conference at 1:30 p.m. June 28 in Beckley.
To view press release, go to http://www.statejournal.com/story/17367305/massey-officials-must-respond-by-june-18-in-shareholder-suit
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