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Confined Spaces Pose Safety Risks for Workers

confined spaces

Fatal injuries in confined spaces average 92 fatalities per year, according to the US Department of Labor. That’s almost two per week. Many workplaces contain spaces that are considered confined. The configuration of these places hinders the activities of employees who must enter, work in, and exit them. A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit.

Confined spaces include, but are not limited to underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines. Workers in many industries are required to access them in order to obtain equipment, make repairs, and perform routine maintenance.

The most common risks of working in confined spaces include:

  • Limited entrances or exits
  • Poor air quality
  • Inadequate oxygen
  • Exposure to gases and dangerous toxins (which are more likely to build up to dangerous levels in confined spaces)
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Structural dangers
  • Risk of fires or explosions
  • Electrical hazards
  • Drowning risk in trenches, pipelines, or water tanks

Construction workers often perform tasks in confined spaces. However, the risk is not limited to construction workers. Agricultural workers, electricians, and maintenance workers are also at high risk of being injured in confined spaces. Spaces such as pits, manholes, and crawl spaces are not designed for continuous occupancy. It can be very tricky to exit these. An emergency makes escaping even more difficult. Confined spaces can present life-threatening hazards. Hazards such as toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation. Exposure to these hazards can largely be prevented if addressed prior to entering the space to perform work.

By definition, a confined space is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. According to OSHA, it is the employer’s responsibility to evaluate the workplace to determine if any spaces are confined spaces. Indeed, worker training is essential to the recognition of what constitutes a confined space and the hazards that may be encountered in them. For instance, if it is a confined space, the next step is to determine if it is a permit-required confined space.

Permit-Required Confined Space Characteristics:

  • Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • Contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
  • Has walls that converge inward
  • Has floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area
  • Could trap or asphyxiate an entrant
  • Contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress

In general, the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Standard requires the employer, to evaluate the workplace to determine if any spaces are permit-required confined spaces. If workers are authorized to enter permit spaces, a comprehensive permit spaces program must regulate employee entry into permit spaces. OSHA provides detailed specifications of the elements of an acceptable permit spaces program.

Further, permit spaces must be identified by signs. Entry must be strictly controlled and limited to authorized persons. An important element of the requirements is that entry be regulated by a written entry permit system. In addition, proper atmospheric evaluation and testing of the space before and during any entry by workers. Further, an entry must be monitored by an attendant outside the space. Additionally, a rescue plan is required in the event of an emergency. In order for a rescue to be successful, the confined space safety plan must be quickly accessible to all employees.

Worker training is vital to keeping workers safe. In fact, OSHA outlines training requirements and specific duties for authorized entrants, attendants, and supervisors. According to OSH Online, Eighty-five percent of fatalities in confined spaces were among people who hadn’t been trained. Therefore, it is clear, proper training can save lives. In the same way, the reality is with proper training and equipment, the loss of workers in confined spaces can be prevented.

Our Confined Space Entry Training Course topics include:

  • Contents of OSHA Standard 1926 Subpart AA
  • Confined space definition
  • Hazards of confined spaces
  • Confined space entry procedures
  • Training for entrants, attendants, and supervisors
  • Acute or chronic effects of working in confined spaces
  • Permit-required confined spaces
  • Emergency rescue from confined spaces
  • Personal Protective Equipment in Confined Spaces

This training is appropriate for any workers who will work in or around confined entry spaces. As a result of completing this training, workers will be certified in the OSHA Standard 1926 Subpart AA and should be able to use sound judgment and work within confined spaces safely. Thus, this training is also suitable for supervisors, and managers. Similarly, it is effective to train the trainer or as a refresher course for seasoned employees.

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Preventing Laboratory Safety Risks

Laboratory Safety

Preventing many laboratory safety risks is possible. In general, laboratories tend to have more health and safety risks than other workplaces. According to OSHA, there are more than 500,000 workers employed in labs in the U.S. The laboratory environment can be a hazardous place to work. Consequently, it is vital to train lab workers to recognize hazards in their workplace. Furthermore, workers must protect themselves from those hazards by following safety practices in order to address the hazards that are present. Often workers are unaware of the potential hazards in their work environment. Unfortunately, this makes them more vulnerable to injury. Many hazards found in laboratories seem easy to spot; however, many are frequently overlooked.

Common Types of Laboratory Hazards Include:

  • Chemical
    • Toxins, Flammables, & Corrosives
  • Electrical
    • Fire, Malfunctioning Equipment, & Shock
  • Biological
    • Microbes, Plants, & Animals
  • Physical
    • Projectiles, Heating Devices, & Slipping

Many labs are more hazardous and risk-filled than the average workplace which makes understanding the hazards that are present in this work the first step to creating a safe environment for workers. Indeed, it is vital that all lab employees understand each and every hazard of the laboratory. Knowledge and clear safety practices can help protect workers from harm caused by hazards in the laboratory.

There are several specific OSHA standards that apply to laboratories. The Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories standard (29 CFR 1910.1450) was created specifically for non-production laboratories. Other additional OSHA standards provide rules that protect workers from various aspects of laboratory activities and hazards in laboratories. 

Employers’ Responsibilities for Keeping Lab Workers Safe:

Thanks to the OSHA Laboratory Standard, effective safety and training programs have been implemented to train laboratory personnel in safe practices. A crucial component of chemical education is to nurture attitudes so that safety is included in all laboratory activities. Particularly, preventing laboratory safety risks is needed to be most effective, safety and health must be incorporated into all laboratory processes. Strong safety culture is the result of positive workplace attitudes, involvement, and buy-in, of all members of the workforce.

Additionally, employers are required to develop and carry out a written Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP). A CHP is a written program stating the policies, procedures, and responsibilities. These policies serve to protect employees from the health hazards associated with the hazardous chemicals used in that particular workplace. Overall, the CHP contains work practices, procedures, and policies that should provide a safe and healthy environment. 

Laboratories present many challenges. It is easy to overlook worker health and safety. However, we can prevent both job-related illness and injury with proper guidance and training. With the many types of hazards found in Laboratories, safety training is especially important. In order to meet the need for safety training, National Safety Compliance offers several lab-specific training courses.

Laboratory-Specific Training We Offer:



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Severe Violator Enforcement Program

Last week the US Department of Labor announced an update to OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Since 2010, the Severe Violator Enforcement Program has focused resources on enforcement and inspection of employers who either willfully or repeatedly violate federal health and safety laws. Or further, employers that demonstrate a refusal to correct previous violations. In addition to being included on a public list of the nation’s severe violators, employers are subject to follow-up inspections.

“The Severe Violator Enforcement Program empowers OSHA to sharpen its focus on employers who – even after receiving citations for exposing workers to hazardous conditions and serious dangers – fail to mitigate these hazards,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker.

The changes will broaden the program’s scope with the reality that additional industries will fall within its parameters. Previously, an employer could be in the program for failing to meet a limited number of standards. The new criteria include violations of all hazards and OSHA standards. It will continue to focus on repeat offenders in all industries.

The updated Severe Violator Enforcement Program criteria include the following:

  • The expanded program criteria now include all hazards and OSHA standards.
  • Program placement for employers with citations for at least two willful or repeated violations.
  • Employers that receive failure-to-abate notices based on the presence of high-gravity serious violations.
  • Follow-up or referral inspections are made one year – but not longer than two years – after the final order.
  • Potential removal from the Severe Violator Enforcement Program three years after the date of receiving verification that the employer has abated all program-related hazards.
  • Employers’ ability to reduce time spent in the program to two years by consenting to an enhanced settlement agreement that includes the use of a safety and health management system that includes seven basic elements.

If an employer agrees to an Enhanced Settlement Agreement they may elect to reduce the SVEP term to two years. In such cases, SVEP removal is contingent on the employer agreeing to develop and implement a safety and health management system. This must be completed within two years. It must include effective policies, procedures, and practices. These should recognize occupational safety and health hazards. As well as protect employees from those hazards. The employer’s SHMS must include at least the seven basic elements outlined. Lastly, the implementation must be verified by an independent third party subject to the approval of OSHA.

Seven Basic Elements in OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs:

  • Management Leadership
  • Worker Participation
  • Hazard Identification & Assessment
  • Hazard Prevention & Control
  • Education & Training
  • Program Evaluation & Improvement
  • Communication & Coordination for Host Employers, Contractors, and Staffing Agencies

Parker further stated, “It is the goal of this administration to maximize all tools available to us to ensure employers comply with their legal obligation to provide safe and healthful workplaces. These changes to SVEP will hold a microscope to those employers who continue to expose workers to very serious dangers and help ensure America’s workers come home safe at the end of every shift.” National Safety Compliance offers many training products to help businesses stay OSHA compliant and avoid ever being included in the severe violator program.

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Personal Protective Equipment: Essential for Workers’ Safety

Recently, the term Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has become fairly common and many Americans immediately think of facemasks and possibly gloves when they hear it. However, PPE has been around the safety industry much longer than our recent challenges. Furthermore, PPE includes much more than a facemask and is a vital component to keep workers safe in many work environments. Hazards exist in every workplace in many different forms. OSHA requires that employers protect their employees from workplace hazards that can cause injury. Controlling a hazard at its source is the best way to protect employees. However, when mitigating workplace hazards does not provide sufficient protection, employers must provide PPE to their employees and ensure its use.

The Requirement for PPE

Specific requirements for Personal Protective Equipment are presented in many different OSHA standards, published in 29 CFR. Some standards require that employers provide PPE at no cost to the employee while others simply state that the employer must provide PPE. In order to ensure the greatest possible protection for employees, employers and employees must cooperate in establishing and maintaining a safe and healthful work environment.

Employers are responsible for:

  • Performing a “hazard assessment” of the workplace to identify and control physical and health hazards.
  • Identifying and providing appropriate PPE for employees.
  • Training employees in the use and care of PPE.
  • Maintaining PPE, including replacing worn or damaged PPE.
  • Periodically reviewing, updating, and evaluating the effectiveness of the PPE program.

Employees should:

  • Properly wear PPE.
  • Attend training sessions on PPE.
  • Care for, clean, and maintain PPE.
  • Inform a supervisor of the need to repair or replace PPE.

Some Types of required Personal Protection Equipment:

  • Eye and Face Protection: safety spectacles, goggles, welding shields, laser safety goggles, & face shields
  • Head Protection: hard hats (Types A, B, & C)
  • Foot and Leg Protection: leggings (with safety snaps), metatarsal guards, toe guards, combination foot and shin guards, & safety shoes
  • Hand and Arm Protection: protective gloves, leather, canvas or metal mesh gloves, fabric and coated fabric gloves, chemical- and liquid-resistant gloves,
  • Body Protection: laboratory coats, coveralls, vests, jackets, aprons, surgical gowns, and full-body suits.
  • Hearing Protection: single-use earplugs, pre-formed or molded earplugs, earmuffs

PPE can help save lives. It can only do this if it is worn. Further, it must be worn properly and worn throughout the job. All PPE clothing and equipment should be of safe design and construction. Employers should take the fit and comfort of PPE into consideration. Selecting appropriate items for each workplace is essential. PPE that fits well and is comfortable to wear will encourage employee use. Most protective devices are available in multiple sizes and care should be taken to select the proper size for each employee. If several different types of PPE are worn together, they must be compatible. If PPE does not fit properly, it may not provide the level of protection desired. This can discourage employee use. Tragically, it also can make the difference between being safely covered or dangerously exposed.

Training Employees in the Proper Use of PPE

The best way to ensure compliance with the Personal Protective Equipment policy is to train workers. Employers should make sure that each employee demonstrates an understanding of the training as well as the ability to properly wear and use PPE before they are allowed to perform work requiring the use of the PPE. They must know the risks posed by the job, and how PPE can protect them from these risks. Training in the proper use, care, and storage of PPE are equally necessary. Furthermore, the employer must document the training of each employee required to wear or use PPE. This documentation must include a certification containing the name of each employee trained, the date of training, and clear identification of the subject of the certification.

In addition to proper equipment and training, knowing how to inspect PPE to determine when the equipment should be removed from service is vital. A visual inspection is not always enough. When it comes to PPE the rule is: when in doubt; throw it out. It pays to err on the side of caution. It might be time to purchase new PPE.

Appropriate PPE is important in protecting workers it plays a pivotal role in keeping workers safe.

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Preventing Eye Injuries in the Workplace

Eye injuries in the workplace occur daily. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), about 2,000 U.S. workers per day sustain job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment. However, safety experts and eye doctors believe proper eye protection can prevent 90% of these eye injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires workers to use eye and face protection whenever there is a reasonable probability of injury. Personal protective eyewear, including goggles, safety glasses, face shields, and sometimes even full-face respirators must be used when an eye hazard exists.

Chemicals or foreign objects in the eye and scratches on the cornea are common eye injuries that occur at work. Other common eye injuries come from fluids splashed in the eye, burns from steam, and ultraviolet or infrared radiation exposure. In addition, health care workers and other workers may be at risk of acquiring infectious diseases from eye exposure. This can occur through direct contact with splashes of blood, respiratory droplets generated during coughing, or from touching the eyes with contaminated fingers or other objects.

Other occupations with a high risk for eye injuries include:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Carpentry
  • Auto repair
  • Electrical work
  • Plumbing
  • Welding
  • Maintenance

It is vital for employees to know the requirements for their work environment. The type of eye protection needed depends on the workplace hazards. Safety glasses with side shields are appropriate for a workplace with particles, flying objects, or dust. However, goggles are required when working with chemicals. In a workplace with hazardous radiation (welding, lasers, or fiber optics) special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets designed for that specific task provide better protection for workers’ eyes. It is important to note that side shields placed on conventional glasses do not offer enough protection to meet the OSHA requirement for many work environments. In addition, employers need to take steps to make the work environment as safe as possible.

The type of necessary eye protection depends upon:

  • The type of hazard
  • The circumstances of exposure
  • Other protective equipment used
  • Individual vision needs

Two main reasons for eye injuries at work include not wearing proper eye protection and wearing the wrong kind of protection for the job. A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of workers who suffered eye injuries revealed that nearly three out of five were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident. Most of these workers reported that they believed protection was not required for the situation.

Steps for preventing eye injuries in the workplace:

  • Assess: Inspect all work areas and equipment for hazards to the eyes. Identify operations and areas that present eye hazards
  • Protect: Select protective eyewear designed for a specific duty or hazard. Protective eyewear must meet the current standards.
  • Fit: Workers need protective eyewear that fits well and is comfortable. Provide repairs for eyewear and require each worker to be in charge of his or her own gear.
  • Plan for an Emergency: Set up first-aid procedures for eye injuries. Have eyewash stations that are easy to get to, especially where chemicals are used. Train workers in basic first-aid and identify those with more advanced training.
  • Educate: Conduct ongoing educational programs to highlight the need for protective eyewear. Add eye safety to your regular employee training programs and to new employee orientation.
  • Support: Management support is key to having a successful eye safety program. Management can show their support for the program by wearing protective eyewear whenever and wherever needed.
  • Review: Regularly review and update your accident prevention policies. Your goal should be NO eye injuries or accidents.

We offer an Eye Safety Training Course that will familiarize your staff with good eye safety practices. The topics included in our eye safety training class are potential eye hazards, hazard assessment, and implementing an eye safety protection program. Further, this training will cover appropriate OSHA-approved personal protective equipment and how to use it and assess eye danger in various situations appropriately.

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8 Must-Know Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace 

8 Fire Safety Tips

Maintaining a safe work environment for your team members is critical. To keep your employees safe, your business should prioritize fire prevention and response plans, and ensure that the entire workforce is adequately trained in fire safety best practices.  

Each year, workplace fires and explosions are responsible for more than 200 deaths and 5,000 injuries. They also account for more than $2.3 billion worth of property damage. To avoid adding to these numbers, it’s important to communicate fire prevention and protection procedures effectively, to minimize hazards and leave as little up to chance as possible. Doing so could make all the difference in avoiding preventable injuries, damages, and deaths.  

Not sure where to start? Here are eight essential fire safety tips for the workplace, plus helpful NSC resources for putting your fire prevention and protection plan into action.  

Fire safety tips every workplace should follow 

There’s more to workplace fire safety than simply stocking up on fire extinguishers. Implement these additional tips to mitigate fire risks and ensure that everyone is on the same page.  

Tip #1: Implement a fire safety training course 

All employees should receive proper fire safety training, even if they don’t interact with fire or heating elements as part of their job. This will ensure that your entire workforce understands what fire prevention and response entails. 

The easiest and most affordable way to set up a fire safety training course is to utilize existing resources like the NSC Fire Safety Training Video Kit and Employee Training Booklets. These are a great starting point, and include additional printable materials like compliance manuals, quizzes, and fire safety certificates that support your training efforts with current employees and help with onboarding new ones. They can also be purchased as a bundle for added savings and convenience.  

Tip #2: Identify workplace fire hazards 

You don’t need to be working in an oil refinery plant to be at risk of a fire. In fact, there are plenty of common fire hazards in modern workplaces, from cooking and electrical equipment to smoking and general human error.  

As part of your prevention measures, identify the hazards in your place of work and communicate them to employees. You should also offer reminders of the most common hazards to keep them top of mind, such as by hanging up our Faulty Wire Can Start a Fire Safety Poster.  

Tip #3:  Maintain your fire prevention and response infrastructure 

It’s crucial that your workplace is fitted with working smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers. Your building’s control panel should also be kept accessible, so that you can shut down power in the event of an emergency.  

Check all of these systems regularly to verify they are working and easy to reach, and cover the basics of how to use each system during your fire safety training course with your team.  

Tip #4: Be smart with your electrical cords 

Overloading your circuits can lead to overheating, which in turn can lead to a fire.  

Use grounded plugs to prevent risky power surges, and always check (and double check) that there are no loose electrical connections. While you’re at it, keep an eye out for noticeable signs of trouble, such as frayed cords, flickering equipment, or darkened outlets, and always unplug any devices that aren’t in regular use. 

Tip #5: Properly store and dispose of flammable materials 

Any flammable materials on site need to be handled with care. Follow all manufacturer instructions for how a particular material must be stored, and do your research on what materials  can and cannot be stored near each other. Highly flammable and/or combustible materials should be stored in a flammable cabinet, with access restricted to only those individuals who need to use the materials for their job.  

Tip #6: Avoid clutter 

A messy workplace isn’t just bad for productivity, it’s also dangerous. Clutter can fuel a fire, and may even start one if it’s in close proximity to flammable materials. And if a fire does occur, clutter can block access to emergency exits and make it difficult for all employees to safely escape the environment.  

Invest in safe storage for workplace items, and maintain good housekeeping protocols in all common and personal areas so clutter never has a chance to build up.  

Tip #7: Put a risk reporting system into place 

Workers are busy, and it can be all too easy to forget to notify the right person about a fire safety hazard. The best thing you can do is take all of the guesswork out of who to report risks to, and how, so that issues get flagged to the appropriate team member at their first sighting. 

Of course, this goes hand in hand with educating staff on what these hazards look like. But by doing so – and by removing obstacles to reporting – you take a key step toward identifying and addressing hazards before they turn into fires.  

Tip #8: Design and communicate an evacuation plan 

The time to work out the specifics of your workplace fire evacuation plan is before a fire event, not during. Mark all emergency exits, and keep a clear path to them at all times. Emergency exit signs should be well lit and always visible, with immediate maintenance if they’re not. You’ll also want to designate a concise exit plan and educate every single employee on what it is, including a safe outdoor meetup spot where everyone should go after leaving the building.  

You can’t always prevent a fire in the workplace, but you can train employees on how to mitigate risks, and coach them on what needs to be done to protect themselves and their peers. Doing so is a core part of broader workplace safety training, and can be instrumental in keeping everyone safe.  

For additional support, check out our Fire Safety Training Bundle, which includes everything that you need to enact an effective training program in your workplace. You can also supplement your training program with other NSC materials, such as first aid training, fire extinguisher training, and other useful resources. 

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Orientation Training: The First Step in Safety

What is the first step in providing a safe workplace? While the safety of workers is our primary focus, having an effective safety orientation training plan in place has value beyond what is self-evident. To begin with, research shows that with consistent orientation, employee morale gets a boost, productivity increases, and staff turnover is reduced. It is vital to get all the necessary information to new employees before they start at the job site.

Effective orientation is part of fulfilling your company’s obligation to a worker’s “right to know”. Don’t make assumptions that a worker has more experience than they actually do. Workers may not know what to expect on the worksite. It is entirely possible that a worker is not familiar with the unique hazards associated with their job. Safety orientation programs provide a lot of information that many workers feel is common sense. But you never know what a new employee does or does not know. Further, exhibiting a commitment to the rights of workers creates positive engagement. It can produce a positive working relationship with your new employees right from the start.

Orientation allows new hires to hit the ground running safely by empowering them with information. You never know what knowledge your new workers bring with them, and your organization has unique processes and procedures to share.

Our safety orientation course 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. It is a great start for new workers in general industry positions. This training is also suitable for members of management, and supervisors, to train the trainer and for refresher courses.

Safety Orientation Training Class Topic Overview:

  • Safety Attitudes and working safely
  • Introductory information on these common topics:
  • Slips, Trips & Falls
  • Back Injuries
  • PPE
  • Chemicals
  • Fire Safety
  • First Aid

It is important to remember that some training must start before employees can start performing their tasks. Everyone benefits when workers know the safe way to work from the start rather than waiting to be corrected. Ideally, you need to know whether an employee feels self-sufficient or is at least on the road to self-sufficiency.

Helpful orientation training questions to ask:

  • Do you know what’s expected of you?
  • How comfortable do you feel reaching out to coworkers with questions?
  • Do you know where to go to problem-solve?
  • Are you aware of what resources are available to do your job?

Safety orientation is not a checklist. Rather, it is an employee’s first impression of the management system and further of the overall workplace culture. New employees will have expectations about the workplace. An emphasis on safety orientation is vital. Work performance can indicate successful orientation. Thorough orientation may also positively affect the employees’ eagerness to learn and their willingness to contribute to a safe and healthy workplace.

Sometimes a new employee needs additional training or direction. In this case, the employee should be given the opportunity to correct mistakes and receive additional training. Ignoring an employee’s mistakes (intentional or unintentional) puts that employee at risk and may also put others at risk. Supervisors cannot assume mistakes will be self-corrected. Supervisors should review it again if an employee is not following policy or procedure. Under due diligence, supervisors are responsible to correct employees who do not follow standards. Furthermore, disciplinary action may be necessary for that employee. If disciplinary action is required, supervisors must document the situation and proceed by the company directives for the situation.

Retraining is necessary when:

  • You have new information or revised best practices
  • You spot a deficiency
  • An employee experiences an incident (or near miss)
  • Company policy dictates retraining (usually according to a set interval)

A study from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago reported that 85 percent of American workers rank job safety as a number one priority. Your safety orientation program and the importance you give to safety generally communicate a lot about the importance of safety in your workplace. In summary, most new employees are deeply concerned about their safety on the job.

We also offer industry-specific safety orientation training.

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OSHA Regulation Training

Training

OSHA’s mission is to ensure the protection of workers. Not only striving to prevent work-related injuries but also illnesses, and deaths. The method of achieving this is setting and enforcing standards. OSHA standards include explicit safety and health training requirements. Which ensures that workers have the required skills and knowledge to do their work safely. Likewise, OSHA standards, have prevented countless workplace tragedies. OSHA regulation training reflects the belief that training is essential to every employer’s safety and health program. Researchers conclude that those who are new on the job have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than more experienced workers. Proper training that meets the requirements will help protect these inexperienced workers from injuries and illnesses. Identically, these standards include providing adequate training, therefore, saving lives and preventing injuries.

Basically, OSHA standards are rules that describe the methods that employers must use to protect their employees from hazards. Furthermore, there are four groups of OSHA standards: General Industry, Construction, Maritime, and Agriculture. General Industry covers the largest number of workers and worksites.

Training in OSHA Standards has Benefits

  • Comply with federal and state safety and health requirements
  • Recognize and remove hazards from your workplace
  • Protect your workers from injury and illness
  • Prevent the loss of life at your worksite
  • Cultivate informed and alert employees who take responsibility
  • Worksite safety as a whole
  • Improve employee morale

OSHA regulations help reduce future incidents by identifying potential hazards. It is also vital to regularly review safety procedures with employees. Accurate record-keeping is also important. Clearly, a safer environment keeps your employees at work by reducing the chances of accidents or health problems.

Everyone benefits from proper training. In addition, Workplace safety regulation training makes financial sense. The cost of accident prevention is far lower than the cost of accidents.

Improve the bottom line by:

  • Lowering injury and illness rates
  • Decreasing workers’ compensation costs
  • Reducing lost workdays
  • Limiting equipment damage and product losses

Employers also benefit from providing a safe workplace for their employees. This includes knowing that they are complying with OSHA regulations. Fewer injuries result in fewer workers’ compensation claims. Furthermore, a decline in all work-related injuries may occur, which ultimately improves the efficiency and work ethic of employees. Not to mention building an environment at work where employees are physically safe and practice awareness about dangers at work. Additionally, proper training could increase employee retention due to a safe environment for everybody. In short, OSHA training is vital and will help to provide strong morale.

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Safety Programs Save Money

Injuries Cost Businesses however, Safety Programs Save Money

Have you ever thought about how much a workplace injury costs your business?

OSHA’s $afety Pays tool is an online calculator. This tool uses current data on workplace injury costs to calculate the direct and indirect costs to your business. This helpful resource emphasizes the importance of having an organized safety program. The results may surprise you.

Whether you are a small start-up, an established business, or just ready to start managing safety in a more responsible way, there are some simple steps you can take. Completing these steps will give you a solid base to begin your safety program.

10 Simple Steps

  1. Lead by example
  2. Establish safety and health as core values
  3. Implement a reporting system
  4. Provide training
  5. Conduct inspections
  6. Collect hazard control ideas
  7. Implement hazard controls
  8. Address emergencies
  9. Seek input on workplace changes
  10. Make improvements

Keeping the Safety Program a Priority

Communicate to your workers that making sure they go home safely is the top priority. Assure them that you will work with them. Proactively find and fix any hazards that could injure employees. Practice safe behaviors yourself. Make safety part of your daily conversations with workers.

Develop and communicate a simple procedure for workers to report all injuries, illnesses, and incidents. Furthermore, hazards or safety and health concerns should be easily reported without fear of retaliation. Additionally, it is profitable to provide an option for reporting concerns anonymously. It is especially important to include near misses/close calls.

Train workers on how to identify and control hazards in the workplace. Inspect the workplace with workers for the purpose of asking them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, or materials that concern them. Also, be sure to use checklists to help identify problems.

Ask workers for ideas on improvements and follow up on their suggestions. Coupled with providing time to research solutions. Assign workers the task of choosing, implementing, and evaluating the solutions they come up with. Whenever possible, identify foreseeable emergency scenarios. Then, follow up by developing instructions on what to do in each case. Finally, meet to discuss these procedures and post them in a visible location in the workplace.

Finally, set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve and effectively implement the program.

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Heat Illness Prevention in the Workplace

Heat illness is preventable, even though Millions of U.S. workers are exposed to heat in their workplaces. Every year, thousands become sick from occupational heat exposure. Some cases are fatal. Most outdoor fatalities, 50% to 70%, occur in the first few days of working in hot environments. This is because the body needs to build a tolerance to the heat gradually over time. Lack of acclimatization is a major risk factor for fatal outcomes. However, illness from exposure to heat is preventable.

Since 2011, a focus on keeping workers safe while working in the heat has made great progress. However, there is still significant work to be done. OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention campaign comes down to three keywords: Water. Rest. Shade.

New employees will need time to build a tolerance to the heat. Especially during their first few days in warm or hot environments. Workers who are new to working in warm environments are at increased risk of heat-related illness. Especially during a worker’s first few days, absolutely all symptoms should be taken seriously.

Workers who develop symptoms should be allowed to stop working. They should receive an evaluation for possible heat-related illnesses. Employers should encourage new workers to consume adequate fluids (water and sports drinks), work shorter shifts, take frequent breaks, and quickly identify any heat illness symptoms

Heat-Related Dangers

Every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. There is a range of heat illnesses and they can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition.

Employers should recognize that not all workers tolerate heat the same way. Therefore, workplace controls should focus on making jobs safe for all employees. Workers should receive training about personal factors that can make them more susceptible to heat-related illness. When in doubt, workers should talk to their healthcare provider about whether they can work safely in the heat.

Responsibility to Protect Workers

Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program including these 6 steps to prevent heat illness.

  1. Train workers in prevention
  2. Provide workers with water, rest, and shade
  3. Allow new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads
  4. Take more frequent breaks as they build a tolerance for working in the heat
  5. Plan for emergencies
  6. Monitor workers for signs of illness

We offer safety training that includes keeping workers safe in heat-exposed jobs. This covers what workers need to know – including factors for heat illness. As well as, adapting to working in indoor and outdoor heat and protecting workers. Furthermore, it includes recognizing symptoms and first aid training. Our heat illness training materials meet OSHA workplace standards.

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