Determining if an incident is work-related?

Do you know what specific data is needed when reporting an incident at work? By OSHA, each employer is required to keep records of fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. This means anything from an illness to fatality that is work-related meets one or more of the general recording criteria noted in Section 1904.7. But what are the exceptions? There are instances in which an illness/injury doesn’t have to be recorded as work-related:

  • Employee was present in the workplace as member of the public
  • Employee was engaged in a voluntary fitness program at work
  • The common flu, cold, etc.
  • Mental illness—without the opinion of trained healthcare professional—is not automatically deemed work-related
  • Illnesses resulting from the employee’s food brought in from an outside source
  • Illness or injury resulting from personal tasks completed during working hours
  • Illness or injury resulting from self-grooming, self-medication or self-inflicted injuries (i.e., suicide attempts)

So as a rule of thumb, there must be a causal connection between the employment and the illness or injury before the case is recordable.  It’s also very important to know that if you determine whether an injury/illness is work-related wrong, OSHA has the right to cite you, since they delegate the decision-making process of something to the employer. Also important is that the “work event or exposure need only be one of the discernible causes; it need not be the sole or predominant cause”. Nevertheless, you must consider an injury or illness to meet the general recording criteria if it results in any of the following:

  • Death
  • Days away from work
  • Restricted work or transfer to another job
  • Medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Loss of consciousness

To view the original article, go to http://safety.blr.com/workplace-safety-news/safety-administration/safety-recordkeeping/zn-Safety-Records-When-Is-An-Incident-Considered-W/

To learn more about OSHA Recordkeeping training, visit https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/safety-management-courses/osha-record-keeping

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MSHA Investigators in Refresher Training with FBI

The U.S. Department of Labor’s MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration) has about 75 special investigators in refresher training with work conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

MSHA has also been working along with the FBI to improve their skills by developing course work. The classroom instruction is 2 weeks long in Beaver, WV. They cover topics including proper interview techniques for investigations, use of injunctive relief in federal district courts, evaluating evidence, reviewing knowing and willful violations, and processing discrimination complaints.

To view more on this topics, go to http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/msha/MSHA20120651.htm.

 

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ASSE Raises Awareness on Distracted Driving

distracted driving

Did you know that April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month?

Every year, about 500,000 people injured and 6,000 die due to distracted driving accidents.This month, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Transportation Practice Specialty (TPS) group’s efforts to raise awareness on this issue are apparent.

According to the Department of Transportation, younger drivers are especially more likely to be involved. This is also due to the higher use of cell phones and technology while behind the wheel. So far, 33 states have banned text messaging while driving with a few going a bit further and making it illegal using a cellphone at all.

So if you find yourself guilty of this, how do you break the habit? Here are some tips from the TPS to help you steer clear of distracted driving:distracted driving

  • Program your device so you do not answer and notify the caller that you will be driving and are not available to respond at the moment. In an emergency, family should know to call 911 or other family members.
  • In case someone urgently needs to reach you, devise a procedure such as three rings, hang up, wait 2 minutes, call again and repeat to allow time to pull over safely.
  • Know your route in advance and, if using a navigation system, pre-program it.
  • Prepare the vehicle cab and yourself for driving, including your management of any distractions, be they inside or outside of your vehicle.
  • Maintain safe spacing on the road or move to a less obstructed lane.

To learn more on distracted driving tips and prevention, visit http://www.asse.org/newsroom/safetytips/distracteddriving.php.

Have a safe trip!

 

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Dealing With Substance Abuse at Work

drug abuse

Drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace can lead to tragic accidents if overlooked or unnoticed. According to this article, follow these basic rules if you suspect an employee or co-worker has a substance problem… 1. Watch for signs According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, indications that an employee might have a substance abuse problem…

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Is fatigue interfering with you job performance?

employee fatigue

According to a recent study by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s Presidential Task Force, employee fatigue in the workplace should be accounted as a major safety concern and prevented and treated properly. An FRMS or Fatigue Risk Management System can be followed to prevent injury or illnesses, increase work productivity, and maintaining a healthy work environment for all employees.

employee fatigue

A number of results from employee fatigue can occur including slowed reaction time, reduced vigilance, reduced decision-making ability, poor judgment, distraction during complex tasks and loss of awareness.

The key components of an FRMS in an organization should include:

  • A fatigue management policy
  • Fatigue risk management including collecting information on fatigue as hazard, analyzing its risk, and instigating controls to mitigate that risk
  • Fatigue reporting system for employees
  • Fatigue incident investigation
  • Fatigue management training and education for employees, management and even families
  • Sleep disorder management
  • A process or the internal and external auditing of the FRMS that delivers corrective actions through a continuous improvement process

According to the same research, one of the biggest reasons for employee fatigue is an increased amount of time at work and tight staffing levels. Instances such as changes in increased workloads, unexpected overtime, or low staffing levels can largely contribute to the problem.

A staffing level can determine:

  • Average amount of overtime per employee;
  • Average time off between shifts;
  • Average time off between consecutive blocks of shifts;
  • Average length of shifts;
  • Average work hours per week;
  • Average number of consecutive days worked;
  • Discrepancy between the published shift schedule and the actual shift schedule worked.
“As a result, the amount of overtime worked by employees is increased, and the additional hours and days worked make the published shift schedule a work of fiction,” claim the members of the task force.

To read the original article, visit http://ehstoday.com/health/wellness/manage-fatigue-risk-workplace-0308/

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Lake Wales, FL Resurfaces Highway for Safety

SR 60 and Peace CreeFor any Floridians out there, the announcement that S.R. 60 from the U.S. 27 to the Peace Creek Canal will be resurfacing may be of importance to you.

Margaret Swanson, Planning and Development Director of Lake Wales has stated the plan to improve the lane turns for people heading east from the highway onto Central Avenue due to the railroad tracks many drivers have to stop on. Another big reason for this project is also to the fact that its “pitch black at there at night” says Swanson.

In turn, the FDOT plans on extending the turn lane, improving the median, as well as put brighter lighting. Five new overhead lights at the intersection of SR 60 and Central Ave. will be added to the city’s maintenance agreement with the FDOT. This agreement was first set back in May 2005 and now that it is in the process, the FDOT will pay 90 percent of each light will cost to maintain.

The city of Lake Wales will receive $196 per light adding to a total of $55,836 a year.

Visit http://www.theledger.com/article/20120317/NEWS/120319353?tc=ar for more information.

 

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Tips for Recognizing and Preventing Workplace Violence

According to a survey by AlliedBarton Security Services & David Michaelson and Co., Violence in the American Workplace, about 52% of Americans have witnessed, heard of, or experienced or encountered violence or a situation that could either to violence.  A total of 1,030 were surveyed in this research, 34% of them who either felt somewhat…

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Managing Chemicals Safely In Your Workplace Presentation

 

The following presentation was created to educate you on how to properly manage chemicals in the workplace. If you’re coming to our seminar this Friday, take a look at one of the topics to be discussed in advance. Get familiar with the proper PEL’s, different toxic chemicals that could potentially be in your workplace, newly OSHA-aligned GHS physical hazards, and much more.

To view the presentation, click here:

https://www.safetylinks.net/media/sl_flashfiles/ManagingChemicalsMarch2012.swf

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Who is required for this safety training?

According to this article, requiring certain safety training for specific employees who will not need it based on their job duties is a mistake many companies make (for example, enforcing a Fall-Protection training class on a receptionist). When a specific class is not relevant to the employee’s role it can, in turn, cause the employer’s…

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OSHA’s Haz Comm Officially Aligns With Global Harmonized System

After years of discussion, OSHA has finally announced its final ruling on its Hazard Communication standard to be aligned with the United Nations’ GHS.
GHS stands for the “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals”. GHS is a system that defines and classifies the hazards of chemical products, and communicates health and safety information on labels and material safety data sheets (called Safety Data Sheets, or SDSs, in GHS). An international team of hazard communication experts developed GHS.
Haz Comm 2012, as it is now known at the agency, communicates information about chemical hazards in the workplace “more
simply, clearly and effectively,” says OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. It “empowers [workers] with the best information about the chemicals they handle in the workplace,” she added.
OSHA’s Haz Comm standard requires chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to their downstream customers. It also requires all employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces to have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.
Some of the major changes in the standard are:
  • Hazard classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements also must be provided.
  • Safety data sheets: Now will have a specified 16-section format.
  • Information and training: Employers are required to train workers by Dec. 1, 2013 on the new labels’ elements and safety data sheets’ format to facilitate recognition and understanding.
How Safety Links Can Help You:
OSHA estimates about 5 million workplaces in the US will be affected. Although most agree that this decision has will benefit overall, it can also cause disruption in the re-alignment with the new GHS implementation for many companies. Strong processes, applications, systems, and service providers can be a great help in order to achieve compliance.
After years of experience and thorough understanding of GHS and its implementation in our HazCom course, we understand and are able help ease the alignment for your existing HazCom in your company.
If you would like to learn more about our HazCom course this visit page here: https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/safety-courses-for-all-industries/hazcom or give us a call at 407-505-2803 for a consultation on implementing GHS with OSHA’s new HazCom 2012 standard.

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