Category: Safety News & Information (English)

OSHA announces switch from traditional hard hats to safety helmets. The goal is to better protect agency employees from head injuries.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that the agency is replacing traditional hard hats used by its employees with more modern safety helmets to protect them better when they are on inspection sites.

In 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports head injuries accounted for nearly 6 percent of non-fatal occupational injuries involving days away from work. Almost half of those injuries occurred when workers were struck by an object or equipment and about 20 percent were caused by slips, trips and falls.

Traditional Hard Hats Need an Upgrade

Dating back to the 1960s, traditional hard hats protect the top of a worker’s head but have minimal side impact protection and do not have chin straps. Without the straps, traditional hard hats can easily fall off a worker’s head if they slip or trip, leaving them unprotected. In addition, traditional hard hats lack vents and trap heat inside.

Along with this announcement, OSHA published a Safety and Health Information Bulletin detailing key differences between traditional hard hats and more modern safety helmets. The bulletin highlights advancements in design, materials, and other features that help protect workers’ entire heads better. Additionally, today’s safety helmets may also offer face shields or goggles to protect against projectiles, dust, and chemical splashes. In fact, some more advanced helmets even offer built-in hearing protection and/or communication systems to enable clear communication in noisy environments.

The agency recommends safety helmets be used by people working in the construction industry and the oil and gas industry; in high-temperature, specialized work and low-risk environments; performing tasks involving electrical work and working from heights; and when required by regulations or industry standards.

Recommended Uses for Safety Helmets Instead of Hard Hats

  • Construction Sites: Especially those with high risks of falling objects and debris, impacts from equipment, or slips, trips, and falls.
  • Oil and Gas Industry: In these sectors where workers face multiple hazards, including potential exposure to chemicals and severe impacts.
  • Working from Heights: For tasks or jobs that involve working from heights.
  • Electrical Work: For tasks involving electrical work or proximity to electrical hazards.
  • High-Temperature Environments: In high temperatures or where there is exposure to molten materials.
  • Specialized Work Environments: Jobs that require integrated face shields, hearing protection or communication devices benefit from safety helmets designed with these features or the ability to add them on.
  • Specific Regulatory Requirements: Where safety helmets are mandated by regulations or industry standards, employers must comply with these requirements to ensure worker safety compliance.
  • Low-Risk Environments: Even in settings with no overhead hazards, safety helmets provide comprehensive protection.

In OSHA’s Safety and Health Information Bulletin they present the key differences between safety helmets and traditional hard hats. Including the advancements in design, materials, and protective features that help to protect the worker’s entire head. As well as providing instructions for properly inspecting and storing both safety helmets and traditional hard hats.

Properly storing head protection is crucial to maintain its structural integrity and to prevent damage. It is important to inspect head protection before each use. This will identify signs of wear, damage, or expiration. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for care, use, and storage.

Recommendations on How to Properly Care for Head Protection:

  • Clean and dry head protection before storing.
  • Inspect shell and suspension system for cracks, dents, or other signs of damage. Examine the headband and chin strap for wear and tear ensuring it is free from any signs of damage.
  • Check for labels and certification marks. Make sure that the labels are legible and not tampered with.
  • Verify date of manufacture and refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended lifespan of your specific head protection model.
  • Examine accessories and attachments. If your head protection has additional accessories or attachments inspect them for damage or signs of wear. Make sure they are securely fastened to the head protection and functioning correctly.
  • Check for proper fit. Adjust the suspension system to achieve a snug fit without excessive pressure points. Head protection should not be too loose or too tight.
  • Evaluate for damaged or loose parts by gently shaking your head (with the head gear on) to check for any loose or rattling components.
  • Inspect interior cushioning for wear or compression. If it shows signs of deterioration, contact the manufacturer for replacement options.
  • Assess previous impact damage. If your head protection has experienced an impact or has been subjected to a significant force, retire it immediately. Head protection is designed for single-use impact protection and may not retain its full effectiveness after an incident.
  • Keep records: Maintain a record of each inspection, noting the date, any findings, and actions taken. Regularly document the date of purchase and any relevant information about the head protection to track its lifespan accurately.

At National Safety Compliance we offer everything you need for safety training compliance. A thorough understanding of both types of head protection options allows employers and workers to make informed decisions on which type to use. OSHA wants employers to make safety and health a core value in their workplaces and is committed to doing the same by leading by example and embracing the evolution of head protection.


Safety Training

Qualified safety trainers are vital to an effective safety training program. Providing safety trainers with the best training materials is essential to make sure every employee is properly prepared to stay safe in their workplace.

It’s important to examine your existing safety training program to make sure it meets the current needs of your company. The best option for many companies is our Streaming All-Access Pass. This gives you access to all the videos produced by National Safety Compliance (over 100 English and Spanish videos) for 1 year.  This is a subscription that will automatically renew to ensure you do not lose access to the training programs. You can also share your screen and conduct a virtual training session through apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.

An important question to consider is, does my training program cover all the potential risks in my workplace? In order to know for sure, conduct a job hazard analysis of your surroundings. Consider physical, ergonomic, chemical, biological, environmental, and other hazards that your workers could encounter and make sure you have a part of your training program dedicated to each of them.

Potential Workplace Hazards:

  • Physical: Slips, trips, and falls; loud noises, machinery, vibrations, and working from heights.
  • Ergonomic: These tend to be less severe, but still problematic, hazards that build over time — like poor posture, improperly structured workstations and desks, and frequent lifting.
  • Chemical:  Acids, paint, glues, pesticides, and any substances that could result in damage if mishandled.
  • Biological:This includes naturally occurring hazards like mold, bodily fluids, airborne pathogens, and sewage.
  • Environmental: Natural disasters like fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes.

Next evaluate, whether you have a written emergency plan that your trainers understand and can communicate clearly to trainees? An emergency plan is a foundational aspect of workplace safety that can mean the difference between life and death. Our comprehensive emergency plan kit  teaches how to prepare for an emergency by developing an Emergency Action Plan to guide employers and employees during a crisis..

Another important detail to consider is the format of the training offered, is it helpful to all employees? Consider the range of learning styles across your team. While some learners may prefer written materials that they can absorb on their own time, others may learn better by watching a video and discussing with a group. Offer a range of opportunities to read, listen, watch, and do.

And finally, ask yourself, are there clear objectives, assessments, and milestones in my training program? Your trainers will have a much easier time gauging the effectiveness of their training if the program is organized and includes assessments to demonstrate that learners are retaining knowledge. 

Once you have an established safety program in place the next crucial step is choosing the right person to be your trainer. This is an important decision. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), those who conduct training should have the following characteristics.

Characteristics of a Trainer

  • A thorough knowledge of the topics to be taught. 
  • A desire to teach. 
  • A positive, helpful, cooperative attitude. 
  • Strong leadership abilities. 
  • A professional attitude and approach. 
  • Exemplary behavior that sets a positive example.
  • Thirst for knowledge.

Which of your employees seems to soak up knowledge like a sponge? Is there anyone who has an excellent memory when it comes to rules and regulations? If so, this could be your next safety trainer. Your trainers set the tone, and the standard, for those they’re training. A positive, helpful, and cooperative attitude can make all the difference between employees engaging and thriving and employees mentally checking out of a safety training class.

While it’s great for your employees to have fun, safety training is a serious matter. Therefore, your best trainers should embody professionalism. For example, showing up on time and knowing the material. Professionalism is about staying organized, keeping on-track, and consistently following lesson plans.

A desire to lead and teach might be the most important characteristic of all. While you can teach nearly anyone to execute a specific task, no amount of skill-based training can create passion. Either a trainer has it, or they don’t. Watch for the helpers in your business, those employees who regularly lend a hand to their coworkers and go beyond their role to assist others. These are most likely your future trainers.

Choosing the Right Person as a Trainer

Trainers are the face of your safety training program. Choose wisely to make the most of your training and your overall safety program. One option is to purchase a safety orientation training course that your trainers can use immediately to get up to speed on best practices.

Finally, potential trainers will need to have some specific skills and knowledge to be effective safety trainers. Including experience in your workplace. While you will want your trainers to have spent a good amount of time in your industry, skill is more than just seniority. Conduct hands-on tests, interviews, and written exams to compare your potential trainers’ skill levels.  Are your potential trainers specialists in the areas they’ll be expected to train others? It’s important that your trainers are subject-matter experts, or are willing to become experts, so they can answer complex questions and give real-world examples during training sessions.


Winter weather has arrived in most of the US. To prevent injuries, illnesses, and fatalities OSHA advises “Plan. Equip. Train.” especially during severe storms. In addition to cold stress, there are other winter weather-related hazards that workers may be exposed to such as snow removal, working near downed or damaged power lines, and driving in the snow.

Just as OSHA suggests, proper training is vital to ensure workers are safe this time of year. It is every employer’s responsibility to have a plan in place for the winter hazards that employees may encounter. Further, they must equip all workers to recognize and utilize safety measures.

Some winter weather-related hazards include:

  • Slips on Snow and Ice
  • Shoveling Snow
  • Using Powered Equipment including Snow Blowers
  • Clearing Snow from Roofs and Working at Heights
  • Repairing Downed or Damaged Power Lines
  • Working Near Downed or Damaged power lines
  • Winter Driving
  • Work Zone Traffic Safety
  • Being stranded in a Vehicle

These hazards fall into three main categories: snow & ice, power lines, and vehicle safety.

Snow & Ice:

To prevent slips, trips, and falls, employers should clear walking surfaces of snow and ice, and spread deicer, as quickly as possible after a winter storm. In addition, wear proper footwear when walking on snow or ice. A pair of insulated and water-resistant boots with good rubber treads is a must for walking during or after a winter storm. Keeping a pair of rubber over-shoes with good treads which fit over your street shoes is a good idea during the winter months. When walking on an icy or snow-covered walkway take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react quickly to a change in traction.

Exposure to cold can cause injury and illness in workers removing snow. Cold exposure can cause frostbite and hypothermia. Shoveling snow can be a strenuous activity, particularly because cold weather can be taxing on the body. There is a potential for exhaustion, dehydration, back injuries, or heart attacks. During snow removal there are precautions workers can take to avoid injuries. The first is to avoid cold stress by taking frequent breaks in warm areas and staying hydrated. Workers should warm-up before snow removal, scoop small amounts of snow at a time and where possible, push the snow instead of lifting it. The use of proper lifting technique is necessary to avoid back and other injuries when shoveling snow: keep the back straight, lift with the legs and do not turn or twist the body.

It is important to make sure that powered equipment, such as snow blowers are properly grounded to protect workers from electric shocks or electrocutions. When performing maintenance or cleaning, make sure the equipment is properly guarded and is disconnected from power sources. First, turn the snow blower off and wait for all moving parts to stop, and then use a long stick to clear wet snow or debris from the machine. Never attempt to clear a jam by hand. Refuel a snow blower prior to starting the machine. Do not overload the snowblower. Always operate it at a modest speed.

In order to plan ahead it is important to think about what will be needed to safely remove snow from roofs or other elevated surfaces before snow starts to accumulate.

Questions to consider include:

  • Can snow be removed without workers going onto the roof?
  • Are there any hazards on the roof that might become hidden by the snow and need to be marked so that workers can see them (skylights, roof drains, vents, etc.)?
  • How should the snow be removed, based on the building’s layout, to prevent unbalanced loading?
  • What are the maximum load limits of the roof and how do they compare with the estimated total weight of snow, snow-removal equipment, and workers on the roof?
  • What tools, equipment, protective devices, clothing and footwear will workers need?
  • What type of fall protection will be used to protect workers on roofs and other elevated surfaces?
  • What training will workers need to work safely?
  • How will mechanized snow removal equipment be safely elevated to the roof?
  • How will you protect people on the ground from snow and ice falling off the roof during removal operations?

Some tips for clearing snow from roofs and working at heights include evaluating snow removal tasks for hazards and planning how to do the work safely. Workers should be aware of the potential for unexpected hazards due to the weather conditions. For example, layers of ice can form as the environmental temperature drops, making surfaces even more slippery. A surface that is weighed down by snow may be at risk of collapsing. It must be inspected by a competent person to determine if it is structurally safe for workers to access it. Snow covered rooftops can hide hazards such as skylights that workers can fall through. Electrical hazards may also exist from overhead power lines or snow removal equipment.

Employers can protect workers from these hazardous work conditions by using snow removal methods that do not involve workers going on roofs, when and where possible. Employers should determine the right type of equipment (ladders, aerial lifts, etc.) and personal protective equipment (personal fall arrest systems, non-slip safety boots, etc.) for the job and ensure that workers are trained on how to properly use them.

Power Lines:

Downed power lines pose significant risks for anyone working nearby. You must assume all power lines are energized and stay clear of any downed or damaged power lines. Establish a safe distance from power lines and report any incidents to the responsible authority. Only properly trained electrical utility workers can handle damaged power lines.

Repairing damaged power lines in severe winter weather conditions is especially hazardous. A major hazard is snow, because the moisture can reduce the insulation value of protective equipment and could cause electrocution. Other potential hazards include electrocution by contacting downed energized power lines or contacting objects in contact with downed energized power lines. Fires can also be caused by an energized line.

When working on downed or damaged power lines, electrical utility workers should use safe work practices, appropriate tools, and equipment including personal protective equipment. Extra caution should be exercised when working in adverse weather conditions. 

Vehicle Safety:

Although employers cannot control roadway conditions, they can promote safe driving behavior by ensuring workers recognize the hazards of winter weather driving, are properly trained for driving in winter weather conditions, and are licensed for the vehicles they operate. Employers should set and enforce driver safety policies. Employers should also implement an effective maintenance program for all vehicles and mechanized equipment that workers are required to operate. Crashes can be avoided.

Employers should ensure properly trained workers regularly inspect the following vehicle systems to determine if they are working properly:

  • Brakes: Brakes should provide even and balanced braking. Also check that brake fluid is at the proper level.
  • Cooling System: Ensure a proper mixture of 50/50 antifreeze and water in the cooling system at the proper level.
  • Electrical System: Check the ignition system and make sure that the battery is fully charged and that the connections are clean. Check that the alternator belt is in good condition with proper tension.
  • Engine: Inspect all engine systems.
  • Exhaust System: Check exhaust for leaks and that all clamps and hangers are snug.
  • Tires: Check for proper tread depth and no signs of damage or uneven wear. Check for proper tire inflation.
  • Oil: Check that oil is at proper level.
  • Visibility Systems: Inspect all exterior lights, defrosters (windshield and rear window), and wipers. Install winter windshield wipers.

Especially during winter weather, work zones pose potential hazards. Workers being struck by vehicles lead to many work zone fatalities and injuries annually. Drivers may skid or lose control of their vehicles more easily when driving on snow and/or ice-covered roads. Therefore, it is vitally important to properly set up work zones with the traffic controls identified by signs, cones, barrels, and barriers, to protect workers. Workers exposed to vehicular traffic should always wear the appropriate high visibility vest, so that they can be visible to motorists.

Especially during heavy storms, the risk of being stranded is real. If you are stranded in a vehicle, stay in the vehicle. Call for emergency assistance if needed, response time may be slow in severe winter weather conditions. Notify your supervisor of your situation. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards. You may become disoriented and get lost in blowing and drifting snow. Display a trouble sign by hanging a brightly colored cloth on the vehicle’s radio antenna and raising the hood. Turn on the vehicle’s engine for about 10 minutes each hour and run the heat to keep warm. Also, turn on the vehicle’s dome light when the vehicle is running as an additional signal.

Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Do minor exercises to maintain good blood circulation in your body. Clap hands and move arms and legs occasionally. Try not to stay in one position for too long. Stay awake, you will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems. Use blankets, newspapers, maps, and even the removable car mats for added insulation.

An emergency kit with the following items is recommended in vehicles:

  • Cellphone or two-way radio
  • Windshield ice scraper
  • Snow brush
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Shovel
  • Tow chain
  • Traction aids (bag of sand or cat litter)
  • Emergency flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Road maps
  • Blankets, change of clothes

As winter weather makes its way across the country it is important to be prepared with a plan in place and employees properly trained to stay safe. At National Safety Compliance we offer many safety training options to help keep everyone safe.


The holiday season is here, and safety hazards don’t take a vacation. Keeping workers safe is everyone’s responsibility all year long. In a helpful video the US Department of Labor offers nine tips for protecting workers during the holidays. Additionally, OSHA provides resources on their website to help with holiday workplace safety.

Employers must ensure that all workers are trained to recognize and prevent job hazards and implement safe work practices. Making safety a priority begins with excellent training and education. These elements of a strong injury prevention program help employers find and fix workplace hazards before workers get hurt. During the holidays, when the number of temporary workers is typically higher, it is important to ensure that new workers have the required skills and knowledge to safely do their work. Evidence shows that those who are new on the job have a higher rate of injuries than more experienced workers.

9 tips to protect workers this holiday season:

provided by the DOL
  • Train workers in a language they speak and understand.
  • Provide hands-on training on properly using equipment.
  • Wear bright, visible clothing for delivery and warehousing workers.
  • Proper stack materials and making sure workers stand clear when doors are opened.
  • Create a staffing plan that reduces workplace stress.
  • Have an emergency plan for crowds.
  • Mark entrance and exit locations clearly.
  • Encourage workers to report safety and health concerns.
  • Remember that seasonal workers have the same rights as full-time workers.

OSHA’s website features guidance for specific industries as well as resources that are applicable to any industry. These include warehousing safety, forklift safety, package delivery, trucking, crowd management, and temporary or seasonal workers. The most important thing to remember is that all employees have the right to a safe workplace and as employers, it is our responsibility to provide that safe workplace.

Proper training is the starting place and at National Safety Compliance, we offer many training courses and resources to help you provide the training needed.


small accident at construction site

Accidents happen in the workplace, no matter how careful we are. Whether it’s a slip and fall, a minor injury or something more serious, it’s crucial that these incidents are accurately documented and reported to the appropriate authorities.  
 
In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets specific standards for workplace accident reporting and recordkeeping. Failing to comply with these requirements can have serious consequences for both employees and employers. Let’s delve into the importance of recordkeeping, the specifics of OSHA’s requirements and why it matters. 

The Significance of Recordkeeping and OSHA’s Mandate 

Accurate recordkeeping is not just a bureaucratic obligation; it is a fundamental aspect of ensuring workplace safety and employee well-being. OSHA requires employers to maintain records to: 

1. Monitor Workplace Safety: 

Recordkeeping allows employers to track accident trends and identify potential hazards. This data empowers companies to take proactive measures to prevent future incidents, making workplaces safer for everyone. 

2. Identify Training Needs: 

Employee safety training is a critical component of OSHA’s requirements. By keeping records of training programs, employers can assess whether their employees are adequately prepared for their roles and identify areas that may require additional training. 

3. Ensure Medical Care When Needed: 

Proper recordkeeping helps employers identify cases where an injury or illness requires more than just basic first aid. It ensures that employees receive the necessary medical attention promptly. 

4. Prevent Repeated Incidents: 

Through records, employers can spot recurring accidents or near-miss incidents and implement preventive measures to reduce their recurrence. 

OSHA’s Definition of a Recordable Injury or Illness 

To understand the reporting requirements, it’s essential to know how OSHA defines a recordable injury or illness. According to OSHA, a recordable injury or illness includes: 

1. Any workplace-related fatality: This is self-explanatory and should be reported immediately. 

2. Any work-related injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job: This category encompasses incidents that significantly impact an employee’s ability to perform their duties. 

3. Any work-related injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid: This extends beyond basic first aid and covers situations where professional medical care is necessary. 

4. Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases, fractured or cracked bones or teeth and punctured eardrums: These are serious conditions that should be documented. 

OSHA also has special recording criteria for specific work-related cases, such as needle sticks and sharps injuries, medical removal, hearing loss, tuberculosis and more. Employers must carefully review OSHA’s guidelines to ensure they are properly reporting all recordable incidents. 

The Alarming Statistics 

Accidents in the workplace are more common than one might think. In the year 2022, OSHA’s enforcement summary revealed that there were approximately 3.7 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers. Additionally, the OSHA data related to work-related fatalities and injuries offers a sobering perspective. The need for effective accident reporting and recordkeeping becomes evident when we consider these statistics. 

According to OSHA’s enforcement summary for 2022, the reported injuries and illnesses in the workplace covered a wide range of industries. These statistics are not just numbers – they represent real people whose lives were affected by accidents on the job. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that workplaces become safer and more protective environments. 

The Change in Reporting Requirements 

OSHA continuously strives to improve workplace safety standards. In line with this commitment, OSHA recently announced a new rule, effective soon, that will enhance the reporting requirements for employers. This rule seeks to improve the accuracy and transparency of workplace injury and illness data, ensuring that employees’ health and safety are safeguarded to the best extent possible. 

The upcoming final rule from OSHA aims to strengthen the electronic reporting requirement for certain establishments. While the details can be complex, the underlying goal is straightforward – to make workplace injury and illness data more accessible and transparent. This, in turn, will help in identifying workplace hazards and developing effective strategies for injury prevention. 

To learn more about these forthcoming changes, you can refer to OSHA’s official website for details on the upcoming final rule. Staying updated on these changes is essential for employers to maintain compliance and ensure that their workplace remains safe for their employees. 

Ensuring Compliance with OSHA Reporting Requirements

Keeping up with OSHA reporting requirements is not just a legal obligation; it’s an essential aspect of responsible business management. It is every employer’s duty to ensure that they abide by these regulations, not just for the sake of compliance, but also for the well-being of their workforce. Ultimately, OSHA’s stringent standards are in place to ensure workplace incidents are reported, analyzed and acted upon to prevent future occurrences.  

As an employer, it’s absolutely vital to take the necessary steps to both understand and implement OSHA’s reporting requirements. Compliance with these requirements is essential, and failing to do so can lead to severe consequences, such as fines, penalties or legal action. Additionally, neglecting proper reporting can compromise the health and safety of your employees. 

A Path to Compliance with NSC 
National Safety Compliance (NSC) recognizes the importance of OSHA compliance and provides valuable resources to assist employers in meeting these requirements. With over two decades of experience in the safety and compliance industry, NSC offers comprehensive training materials designed to help employers, managers, and supervisors understand and fulfill OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements. 

NSC’s “OSHA Recordkeeping for Managers and Supervisors” DVD offers a thorough and easy-to-understand training program to equip employers and their staff with the knowledge necessary to ensure full OSHA recordkeeping compliance. 
 
Learn more about this invaluable training resource and how it can support your organization here.   


Research shows that more than one-third of workplace injuries occur within the first year of employment. Those injuries account for one-third of workers’ compensation claim costs. “Safety training programs and practices should start before an employee’s first day and continue throughout the employee’s time at an organization,” said Chris Hayes, of Travelers Insurance. Clearly, it is critical that employers have clearly communicated practices and safety training programs in place. New employees must know who to go to with safety questions and concerns. Further, it is imperative that they are empowered to stop work with out fear of reprisal.

5 Ways to Equip All Employees

  1. Integrate Safety into the Hiring Process
  2. Onboard and Continuously Train Employees
  3. Conduct a Job Safety Analysis
  4. Implement an Accident Analysis Program
  5. Continue Supporting Employees Throughout Their Careers

It is vitally important to show new employees that your company takes safety seriously. For example, consider making it part of the performance evaluations for supervisors. “The most common mistake is not including risk and safety/health goals in the performance evaluation process for managers,” Scott Smith, director of safety management at Selective Insurance. “Having risk and safety/health goals for managers that impact their performance evaluation sets expectations and establishes the organization’s safety culture.” Another “significant, commonly observed mistake is management’s failure to intervene when they observe employees failing to follow sound risk management or safety,” he added. 

Additionally, how you manage injuries can significantly impact your business. Employers should be prepared before an injury takes place. Including having a plan that helps injured employees return to work as soon as medically appropriate. For example, a transitional duty program can help employees remain engaged and connected at work during their recovery.

When workers are injured, it might be possible to temporarily assign them to different tasks that are less physically demanding. “There are pros and cons to having an injured employee perform in a light-duty position while recovering,” Smith said. “They can stay engaged in the business during this interim period, which might help with overall absenteeism and maintain positive employee morale, as remaining workers will see the employee returning to work.”

A Transitional Duty Program Can Help in 3 Ways:

  1. Employees to receive prompt, quality medical care.
  2. Keep employees at work, allowing the company to get meaningful, productive work done while the employee recovers.
  3. The employee, employee’s medical provider, employer and insurance professional to work together to help the employee to return to work as soon as possible.

Following an injury on the job, it is important to have a plan for returning employees to work as soon as they are medically able to return.

According to Rich Ives, vice president of business insurance claims at Travelers Insurance, “We stress to our customers the importance of maintaining contact with the injured employee, checking on how they are feeling and setting up a modified duty program as they recover,” he added. “By focusing on what they can do, rather than on their pain or limitations, conversations about their return to work can help an injured employee stay engaged, feel productive and look ahead.” 

At NSC we provide a safety orientation course that is an excellent resource for new hires in any industry. It is designed to foster positive safety attitudes and raise awareness of potential workplace hazards and emergencies. Safety in the workplace starts with having the right attitude about safety and taking the right steps to prevent safety incidents. This training course is designed to make you aware of just a few of the possible hazards which you might encounter at work. It is a quick overview to provide you with some basic understanding of each area and to set you on the right path towards a safe and healthy work day. We also offer safety orientation courses specific to janitorial, construction, foodservice, and healthcare industries.


Providing food safety training helps employees handle food responsibly. Food safety incidents put customer’s health in jeopardy, damages a company’s reputation, and costs your business money. This can threaten the long-term health of a business. National Safety Compliance has just released a new Food Safety & Personal Hygiene Training ProgramThis training is designed to give your staff a clear understanding of proper food handling and personal hygiene techniques to prevent foodborne illnesses.

Topics covered in the course include:

  • Health Codes
  • Your Personal Hygiene
  • The Steps to Handling Food Safely
  • Other Safety Rules When Handling and Preparing Food


Some benefits of proper food safety and personal hygiene training include, cutting down on waste, reducing the risk of food poisoning, employees gaining a better understanding of their job. This understanding will lead to improvements in work habits and practices. Our Food Safety & Personal Hygiene Training Course is versatile. It includes everything you need to train new employees or to use as a refresher course for current employees. The training video and documentation are available in several formats to meet your ever changing training needs.

Included in the training course:

  • 22 Minute Training Video
  • Employee Quiz & Answer Key
  • Training Certificate
  • Wallet Cards
  • Power Point® Presentation and more.

Formats available:

In order to uphold high standards of personal hygiene and cleanliness, businesses must provide adequate food safety training to every employee who handles food. Proper training will ensure that everyone is aware of what they need to do, and how they need to do it. Food safety and personal hygiene training should not be one and done, it needs to be ongoing.

Our course is suitable for:

  • New hire orientation
  • Refresher / annual training
  • Train the Trainer
  • Class sizes from 1-100+

The World Health Organization estimates that illness from unsafe food causes 420,000 deaths per year. Safe food handling saves lives. Additional benefits of following proper food safety protocols include reduced economic loss, increased uptake of nutritious foods, and reduced environmental impact from food loss and waste. At NSC we offer affordable, reliable food safety & personal hygiene training.


Worker using fall protection system

While it might appear obvious that any elevated surface with unprotected edges poses a fall risk if not properly secured with fall prevention systems (fall arrest systems), there are many factors that need to be considered when ensuring a workplace is safe from fall risk.

These factors include:

  • What causes the risk?
  • Where is the risk and/or are the multiple places that pose a fall risk?
  • Is there currently fall prevention in place?
  • Is that fall prevention compliant with current local, state and federal regulations?
  • Are there materials being used that increase the risk of fall?

While this is not an exhaustive list, it demonstrates the many details that go into properly preventing falls from an elevated surface in the workplace. And with the increasing risk of severe—or even fatal—injuries resulting from falls in the workplace, it is imperative that fall prevention is not left to chance or to an outdated or unregulated system.

Falls Are Costly in More Ways than One
The greatest cost from falls is undoubtedly the injury or even death of workers. The mental and physical toll a severe fall can take on an employee and their coworkers can be incredibly steep and lead to more far-reaching consequences, including feeling unsafe at, or distrusting of, the workplace. This can lead to decreased productivity and increased employee turnover.

In addition to the mental and emotional costs of a fall is the financial cost, which can add up quickly for employers. In fact, according to the CDC, workers’ compensation and medical costs associated with occupational falls in the U.S. have been estimated at $70 billion annually. For any workplace, the cost to compensate a worker for a fall—plus pay any potential fines for unsafe or lacking fall prevention—is reason enough to invest in proper fall prevention education and systems.

Industries Most at Risk for Falls
Certain industries have a much higher risk of fall from elevated surfaces than others, including construction and extraction, agriculture, electrical/utility trades, transportation, materials moving and cleaning and maintenance. In fact, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014, 261,930 workers in these industries (both government and private sector) missed one or more days of work due to a fall injury.

For example, electricians scaling an electric pole to repair damage caused by a lightning strike needs proper equipment to keep themselves safe for the duration of their work. Similarly, a janitorial staff person who is going to climb onto a ledge to clean a window needs proper equipment and to follow the appropriate safety measures to prevent a fall.

Ultimately, all workplaces that have employees working on elevated surfaces need to be aware of the risk of fall and how to prevent it. This is key to ensuring worker safety and business regulatory compliance.

What is most important, though, is not thinking of fall prevention from elevated surfaces with unprotected edges as a problem with a one-size-fits-all solution. No two workplaces are exactly alike, which means that their fall prevention systems need to be tailored to their specific needs and causes of risk. Without proper educational tools, creating and maintaining fall prevention is no simple task.

Fortunately, there are some foundational fall prevention systems that businesses can customize to their unique needs to instill more safety and risk mitigation in their workplaces.

Common Sources of Fall Risk in Workplaces: Elevated Surfaces and Scaffolding
As previously mentioned, elevated work surfaces pose a major threat to worker safety due to the risk of falls.

Examples of these surfaces can include:

  • Roofs
  • Scaffolding/Ladders
  • Stairs/Stairwells
  • Ship Decks
  • Utility Poles
  • Warehouse Mezzanines
  • Elevator Shafts
  • Grain Silos
  • Floor Holes/Pits

This list does not touch on all elevated work scenarios that create a fall risk for workers, but it helps give a general idea of just how prevalent this risk is. According to OSHA standards, fall risk is present in any situation where someone is working in a location more than six feet off the ground. However, this does vary by industry, and some industries or workplaces need to have fall protection in place when workers are four feet off the ground or more.

Out of the list above, scaffolding is one of the greatest sources of fall risk, particularly in construction, maintenance or warehouse work. Scaffolding is a temporary, elevated work surface that holds people, materials or both. Scaffolding is most commonly used in construction and maintenance work but provides worker assistance in several industries.

There are two general types of scaffolding:

  • Suspended scaffolding: one or more platforms suspended overhead by rope or other non-rigid supports
  • Supported scaffolding: one or more platforms suspended from the ground by rigid support frames made from materials such as metal or wood

While it may seem odd that a tool meant to help workers accomplish tasks safely off the ground is actually the source of many workplace falls, it makes sense when one understands the intricacies of building sound scaffolding and realizes they vary by industry like construction, general workplace, so forth.

For a general idea of requirements for fall-safe scaffolding, here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Has the scaffolding been constructed according to manufacturer instructions?
  2. Are guardrails properly placed on unprotected edges?
  3. Are the platform bases sufficiently strong enough to support the workers and materials that will be on them?
    1. Keep in mind that this is in addition to the scaffolding being able to support its own weight.
    1. Weight-bearing requirements for supported and suspended scaffolding types differ, so one must make sure they understand the requirements for their specific scaffolding type.
  4. Is the scaffolding regularly maintained between uses?
    1. Proper take-down and set-up procedures must be followed every time.
  5. Is the person selecting and constructing the scaffolding appropriate for the task?

This is only scratching the surface of scaffolding use. To ensure proper protocols are being followed and maintained, it is important to have the proper tools and education at your disposal to get the job done correctly and safely to mitigate fall risk.

Common Fall Prevention Tactics
There are several measures one can take to help prevent falls in the workplace. To determine the best measures to take for any given work environment, there must first be a thorough review of the potential fall hazard (like an elevated work surface with unprotected edges) to make a fall prevention plan best tailored to that specific situation, project and work zone.

While completing this review, it’s important to consider:

  • How far off the ground will someone be working?
  • Will there be more than one person working simultaneously?
  • What materials will be used (if any) and need to be accounted for?
  • Will there be potential for increased slip risk due to environmental factors, such as outdoor work or the types of material being used?
  • Will any dangerous machinery be used?
  • Will this be a workspace that requires scaffolding or ladders for support?

Once a review is complete, planning for fall prevention can begin. Some simple, yet effective, fall prevention tactics are:

  1. Keep the workspace clear and free from clutter: This is especially important while working on elevated surfaces, as a trip and fall could result in much more severe injury than from the ground.
  2. Properly secure all unprotected edges: For any height more than four to six feet from the ground, if a worker trips and falls, there must be something in place to stop that person from falling off that location.
  3. Utilize safety harnesses and lines: When unable to use a ladder or scaffolding for support, a properly fitting harness and line are needed.
  4. Incorporate fall hazard warning signage: Keep workers on alert with signs indicating fall risk. This can help reduce the chance of accidental falls from workers simply not paying attention.
  5. Inspect fall prevention equipment before each use: Like any equipment, fall prevention equipment can lose effectiveness over time. Regular and thorough inspections can help ensure its efficacy or if it needs to be replaced.

It is important to note this list only just scratches the surface of all the detailed regulations around fall prevention for worker safety. For example, installing a guardrail on a surface with unprotected edges might appear straightforward, but many factors need to be considered, and standards met, to ensure it will truly protect workers from a fall. Additionally, there are different regulations for different industries, which brings in another layer of complexity to the task of preventing falls.

What’s Next in Fall Prevention?
Seeking expert, professional help—instead of trying to piece together a fall prevention system—is the safest choice for workers in any industry. National Safety Compliance (NSC) is a great partner for all things related to safe working environments, offering many resources to help businesses stay up-to-date on the latest in fall prevention tactics and regulations.

NSC’s Fall Protection Bundle includes everything a business needs to understand and implement proper fall prevention protocols. Utilizing a video kit, training booklets and an in-depth manual, this bundle will help businesses keep their workers safe, while helping to reduce time and money lost due to worker accidents and injuries.


Safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility. Spotting the various workplace hazards requires diligence. It is vital that leadership sets the example to identify and address all areas that pose a risk to workers’ safety.

Confined Spaces

Confined spaces pose many hazards in various and sometimes unexpected workplaces. Some examples of confined spaces are, manholes, pits, septic tanks, silos, vats, boilers, and pipelines. OSHA defines a confined space as one that is: large enough for a worker to enter completely and perform assigned tasks; not designed for continuous occupancy by workers (or anyone else); and has a limited or restricted means of entry or exit. What makes confined spaces particularly dangerous is the risk of exposure to atmospheric toxins or other hazards. Unfortunately, asphyxiation is the leading cause of death in confined spaces. Adding to the tragedy, often the person attempting to rescue a coworker falls victim and is injured or killed.

Chemicals

In order to insure safe use of chemicals in the workplace, OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard requires facilities to keep an inventory of all products. Mark down the chemical’s expiration date, and use the chemical by that date or dispose of it properly. Transferring chemicals from one container to another is another potential hazardous situation. All chemicals must be labeled according to the hazcom standard.

Lockout/Tagout

In order for lockout/tagout procedures to actually protect workers as intended, the procedures must be followed every single time. Implementation of the procedures is not optional. It is also important to have regular inspection of equipment to ensure no faulty equipment is being used. Training on proper procedures as well as emphasizing the importance of following through each and every time will go a long way to keep workers as safe as possible.

Forklifts

Forklifts are used in a wide variety of jobs. According to OSHA, forklift operators and employees working around these operations are at risk of hazards such as collisions, falls, tip-overs, and struck-by conditions. Some basic instructions for forklift use include, always operate the vehicle according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Always wear a seatbelt when the forklift has one. Never exceed the rated load and ensure it is stable and balanced. Do not raise or lower the load while traveling. Keep a safe distance from platform and ramp edges. Be aware of other vehicles in the work area. As always, training is the key to keeping forklift operators and others safe.

Simple Soultions

At NSC we offer affordable training solutions for each of these common workplace hazards. Our Confined Space Entry Course will train construction workers on proper processes and precautions working in and around confined and permit-required confined spaces. We also offer a variety of products to meet the needs of Chemical Safety in the workplace. To address Lockout/Tagout we carry training materials and workplace posters to help remind workers to follow the safety procedures. Finally we have posters, booklets, and training courses that cover Forklift Safety.


Every day, millions of U.S. workers are exposed to heat in their workplaces. Although illness from exposure to heat is preventable, every year, thousands become sick from occupational heat exposure. Sadly, some cases are fatal. Hazardous heat exposure can occur indoors or outdoors. As a result, OSHA is sponsoring a “Beat the Heat Contest” to raise awareness of the dangers and hazards of heat exposure in both indoor and outdoor workplaces.

OSHA’s Beat the Heat Contest has four main goals:

  1. Educate stakeholders, especially workers and employers, about heat hazards in the workplace.
  2. Prevent heat illness by creating an awareness campaign that increases the public’s knowledge about this issue.
  3. Highlight the dangers of heat; and
  4. Motivate employers and workers to take action to prevent heat illness.

Tragically, every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in hot or humid conditions. To combat this, OSHA created a Heat Illness Prevention campaign in 2022 to educate employers and workers on the dangers of working in the heat. Whether you work outside, or inside in a hot and humid environment, you’re at risk of enduring a heat illness. “Our goal is to make it safe for workers in hot indoor and outdoor environments, so that they can return home safe and healthy at the end of each day,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “Working together, we can ensure workers know their rights and employers meet their obligations in order to protect workers from the growing dangers of extreme heat.”

Some industries where workers have suffered heat-related illnesses:

  • Agriculture         
  • Bakeries, kitchens, and laundries
  • Construction – especially, road, roofing, and other outdoor work
  • Electrical utilities, boiler rooms  
  • Fire Service
  • Landscaping       
  • Iron and steel mills and foundries
  • Mail and package delivery           
  • Manufacturing
  • Oil and gas well operations          
  • Warehousing

What are heat illnesses? A heat illness is one caused by high temperatures and humidity. In a warm environment, the human body relies on its ability to get rid of excess heat to maintain a healthy internal body temperature. Heat dissipation happens naturally through sweating and increased blood flow to the skin. If heat dissipation does not happen quickly enough, the internal body temperature keeps rising and the worker may experience symptoms that include thirst, irritability, a rash, cramping, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.

The four most common heat illnesses include:

  • Heat rash, which is a stinging skin irritation that turns your skin red.
  • Heat cramps, which are painful spasms in your muscles.
  • Heat exhaustion, which is caused by too few fluids and long hours in high temperatures, causes heavy sweating, a fast and weak pulse and rapid breathing.
  • Heat stroke happens when your temperatures rise above 106 degrees very quickly -within minutes. This is a life-threatening illness.

Heat illness is serious, but we can work together to prevent it.

Employer’s Responsibility

Employers can keep workers safe in the heat. Employers should create plans to protect workers from developing heat-related illnesses. Keeping workers cool and well-hydrated are the best ways to protect them when working in hot environments. If you or your employees are working in a hot work environment, it is vital to understand how to address heat-related illnesses to keep everyone safe.

Heat-related illnesses can be prevented. The first step in prevention is for employers and workers to recognize heat hazards. Management should commit to:

  • Protect new workers.
  • Train all employees to recognize heat hazards.
  • Determine whether total heat stress is too high.
  • Implement engineering and administrative controls to reduce heat stress.
  • Provide sufficient rest, shade, and fluids.

Unfortunately, most outdoor fatalities occur in the first few days of working in warm or hot environments because the body needs to build a tolerance (acclimatization) to the heat gradually over time. Lack of acclimatization is a major risk factor for fatal outcomes. Our bodies sweat to cool ourselves. Sometimes, sweating isn’t effective enough.

In fact, OSHA encourages water, rest, & shade as prevention as well as treatment for heat-related illness. In addition, engineering controls such as air conditioning, can make the workplace safer. Other options include making changes to workload and schedules. For example, scheduling work for the morning or shorter shifts with frequent rest breaks in the shade. Encourage workers in warm, humid environments to drink hydrating fluids. At a minimum, all supervisors and workers should receive training about heat-related symptoms and first aid. The best scenario in workplaces at high risk of heat illnesses would be a formal Heat Illness Prevention Program.

Heat Illness Prevention Program key elements include:

  • A Person Designated to Oversee the Heat Illness Prevention Program
  • Hazard Identification
  • Water. Rest. Shade. Message
  • Acclimatization
  • Modified Work Schedules
  • Training
  • Monitoring for Signs and Symptoms
  • Emergency Planning and Response

Worker Information

It is important to understand workers’ rights and vital information about heat illness. Clearly, some workers are more susceptible to heat-related illness. Personal risk factors include medical conditions, lack of physical fitness, previous episodes of heat-related illness, alcohol consumption, drugs, and use of certain medication. Management should commit to preventing heat-related illness for all employees. In accordance with their heat tolerance levels. Measurement of heart rate, body weight, or body temperature can provide individualized data to aid decisions about heat controls.

Training workers before work in extreme heat begins is just the first step in keeping workers safe. Additionally, tailoring the training to worksite conditions is key. Employers should provide a heat stress training program for all workers and supervisors that include the following:

  • Causes of heat-related illnesses and steps to reduce the risk.
  • The importance of acclimatization.
  • Recognition of the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and administra­tion of first aid.
  • The importance of immediately reporting any symptoms or signs of heat-related illness.
  • Proper care and use of heat-protective clothing and equipment.
  • The added heat load caused by exertion, clothing, and per­sonal protective equipment.
  • Effects of other factors (drugs, alcohol, obesity, etc.) on tolerance to occupational heat stress.
  • Procedures for responding to symptoms of possible heat-related illness.
  • Procedures for contacting emergency medical ser­vices.

While heat related illnesses are dangerous, they are also preventable with the right knowledge and plan in place. Employees can be prepared and protected while working in less than perfect environments. At NSC, we are here to help. Our Heat Stress Training Program encourages employees to have a positive attitude about heat fatigue safety, learn the symptoms of heat exhaustion and how to recognize if their body is overheating to prevent heat fatigue.