Category: Safety News & Information (English)

In construction, falls have been the leading cause of workplace fatalities for many years. According to BLS data, 395 workers lost their lives due to falls in 2022. Falls are preventable. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries. This year the event will be held May 6-19, 2024.

A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a Stand-Down by taking a break to focus on fall hazards and reinforcing the importance of fall prevention. Anyone who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down.

OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort:

  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  • National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA)
  • OSHA-approved State Plans
  • State consultation programs
  • Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR)
  • American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP)
  • National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE)
  • U.S. Air Force
  • OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers

Companies have many options for conducting a Safety Stand-Down, for example, taking a break to have a toolbox talk. Other safety activities include conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job-specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a Stand-Down that works best for their workplace. OSHA’s website hosts an Events page to help employers and employees find events in your area. Additionally, OSHA offers suggestions to prepare for a successful “Stand-Down” and highlights from past “Stand-Downs.”

At NSC we offer a Fall Protection Training Course that has everything you need to equip employees to be safe at work and prevent falls. Our Fall Protection Bundle is an all-in-one resource for fall prevention and awareness in the workplace. It includes our Fall Protection Training and Booklets, which can inform your employees on the existence and use of industry-regulated fall prevention systems. We will also include our Fall Protection Standards & Regulations Manual, an easy-to-read resource on federal fall prevention regulations.

Work Zone

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones. An event that started with a local campaign in Bristol, Virginia to raise awareness for work zone safety has grown into an annual national event for 24 years. This year it is hosted by the Maryland Department of Transportation, April 15-19.

In 1999 VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation), the Federal Highway Administration, and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials began working in collaboration to launch the first NWZAW in 2000. Together they outlined goals for the campaign.

National Work Zone Awareness Week Goals:

  • Initiate efforts to raise awareness of the need for more caution when driving through work zones to decrease fatalities and injuries;
  • Establish and promote a uniform set of safety tips;
  • The value of training and importance of best practices in regard to work zone safety would be promoted among individuals in the private sector, industry, and roadway workers;
  • Reach out to both roadway workers and contractors to communicate possible effects of motorists’ behavior in response to traffic delays, and advise on what steps might possibly be taken to lessen negative behavior; and
  • Outreach efforts would be made to work with entities involved with work zone safety and to form partnerships.

The initial national kickoff event was held in Springfield, Virginia. Every other year, the kickoff event is hosted in the Washington, D.C. area and in the alternate years it travels to cities around the country. In 2004, NWZAW’s fifth year, the executive committee decided to incorporate a theme with the event to better promote work zone safety. The first theme was, “The Worker’s Office Is the Roadway.” This year the theme is, “Work Zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.”

In 2016 National Go Orange Day was introduced as a new element of NWZAW. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to wear orange to show support for work zone safety. Posting to social media using #Orange4Safety and # NWZAW is another way to to spread the message.

Thankfully, National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) has been successful in spreading awareness for work zone safety across the country. It is easy to get involved and help bring awareness to this responsibility we all share. It is everyone’s duty to be alert, obey the signs, and keep workers and other drivers safe in work zones.

Nationwide events include:

  • Work Zone Safety Training Day – April 15
  • National kickoff event – April 16
  • Go Orange Day – April 17
  • Social media storm – April 18
  • Moment of Silence – April 19. The moment of silence was started in 2022 to remember the men and women whose lives were lost in a work zone incident.

The American Ladder Institute (ALI) has announced March as National Ladder Safety Month. It is designed to raise awareness of ladder safety and to decrease the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities. ALI believes ladder accidents are preventable. Beginning with thorough safety planning, proper training, and finally continuous innovation in product design. The more people learn about proper ladder safety, the wider the message spreads and accidents are prevented.

Themes of Ladder Safety Month

  • Week One: Training and Awareness
  • Week Two: Inspection and Maintenance
  • Week Three: Stabilization, Setup, and Accessories
  • Week Four: Safe Climbing and Positioning

Nearly every home and workplace has at least one ladder. While ladders are great pieces of equipment, they pose a serious threat to safety if not used correctly. They should mainly be used for simple access jobs for a short duration. If at all possible, an alternative can be used in place of a ladder, such as scaffolding or an elevated work platform. However, if ladders are the only option, ladder safety tips and precautions should be taken.

Goals of Ladder Safety Month

  • Decrease number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities
  • Increase the number of ladder safety training certificates issued by ALI
  • Increase the frequency that ladder safety training modules are viewed on
  • Lower the rankings of ladder-related safety citations on OSHA’s yearly “Top 10 Citations List”
  • Increase the number of in-person ladder trainings
  • Increase the number of companies and individuals that inspect and properly dispose of old, damaged or obsolete ladders

OSHA offers three steps: “Plan.Provide.Train.” to prevent falls from ladders. Plan ahead to Get the job done safely. Provide the right extension ladder for the job with the proper load capacity. Train workers to use extension ladders safely. In addition OSHA recommends a list of “dos” and “do nots” for safe ladder use.

Safe Ladder Use—DO:

  • Maintain a 3-point contact (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) when climbing/descending a ladder.
  • Face the ladder when climbing up or descending.
  • Keep the body inside the side rails.
  • Use extra care when getting on or off the ladder at the top or bottom.
  • Avoid tipping the ladder over sideways or causing the ladder base to slide out.
  • Carry tools in a tool belt or raise tools up using a hand line.
  • Extend the top of the ladder three feet above the landing.
  • Keep ladders free of any slippery materials.

Safe Ladder Use—DO NOT:

  • Place a ladder on boxes, barrels, or unstable bases.
  • Use a ladder on soft ground or unstable footing.
  • Exceed the ladder’s maximum load rating.
  • Tie two ladders together to make them longer.
  • Ignore nearby overhead power lines.
  • Move or shift a ladder with a person or equipment on the ladder.
  • Lean out beyond the ladder’s side rails.
  • Use an extension ladder horizontally like a platform.

There are many ways for your company to participate in National Ladder Safety Month this March. Ideas include hosting a ladder safety training event, using the hashtag #LadderSafetyMonth on social media, and becoming a National Ladder Safety Month sponsor. At National Safety Compliance we have a variety of training materials and posters to help equip workers to stay safe while using ladders.

Injury Report

March is here and for many businesses, that means it’s time to get those 2023 injury and illness reports submitted to OSHA. Find out if you are required to submit data here: ITA Coverage Application | Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( As we reported back in November, OSHA has recently updated the recordkeeping rules. The new rules went into effect January 1, 2024 and the final rule is available on OSHA’s website.

Under the new rules, establishments with 100 or more employees in certain high-hazard industries are still required to submit Form 300A annual summary and must now submit Forms 300 and 301. Form 300 is simply a log of injuries and illnesses. However, Form 301 includes incident reports for each corresponding entry.

The previous requirements for electronic submission of Form 300A Annual Summary from establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-hazard industries and establishments with 250 or more employees in industries that must routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records are still in effect.

Benefits of the New Requirements

Benefits to OSHA:

  • Access to establishment specific, case-specific injury and illness data will help the agency identify establishments with specific hazards.
  • This will enable the agency to interact directly with these establishments, through enforcement and/or outreach activities, to address and abate the hazards and improve worker safety and health.
  • These same data will also allow OSHA to better analyze injury trends related to specific industries, processes or hazards.
  • The collection and publication of data from Forms 300 and 301 will not only increase the amount of information available for analysis but will also result in more accurate statistics regarding work-related injuries and illnesses, including more detailed statistics on injuries and illnesses for specific occupations and industries.

Benefits to interested parties:

  • Public access to establishment-specific, case-specific injury and illness data will allow employers, employees, potential employees, employee representatives, customers, potential customers, and the general public to make more informed decisions about workplace safety and health at a given establishment.
  • In addition, researchers will be better able to identify patterns of injuries, illnesses, and hazardous conditions in workplaces.
  • OSHA believes this access will ultimately result in the reduction of occupational injuries and illnesses.

Keeping Workers Identity Secure

OSHA will make most of the data submitted under these new requirements available to the public. Additionally, OSHA will take multiple steps to protect the identity of injured or ill workers, including:

  • OSHA will not collect worker names and addresses
  • OSHA will convert birth dates to age and discard birth dates
  • OSHA will remind employers not to submit information that could directly identify workers, such as names, addresses, telephone numbers
  • OSHA will withhold from publication the information on age, gender & date hired
  • OSHA will withhold from publication whether the worker was treated in an emergency room and/or hospitalized overnight as an in-patient
  • OSHA will use automated information technology to detect and remove any remaining information that could directly identify workers

Maintaining Compliance with OSHA Reporting Requirements

Keeping up with OSHA reporting requirements is a key component of responsible business management. It is every employer’s duty to ensure that they abide by these regulations, for the well-being of their workforce and for the sake of compliance. Ultimately, OSHA’s stringent standards are in place to ensure workplace incidents are reported and analyzed to prevent future occurrences.  

It is absolutely vital for employers to take the necessary steps to understand and implement OSHA’s reporting requirements. Compliance with these requirements is essential, and failing to do so can lead to severe consequences. Further, neglecting proper reporting can compromise the health and safety of your employees. 

At National Safety Compliance , we recognize the importance of OSHA compliance and provide valuable resources to assist employers in meeting these requirements. These resources include comprehensive training materials designed to help employers, managers, and supervisors understand and fulfill OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements. Our OSHA Recordkeeping for Managers and Supervisors course offers a thorough training program to equip employers and their staff with the knowledge necessary to ensure full OSHA recordkeeping compliance. 

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.