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ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR FIRE SAFETY AND PREVENTION AT WORK

Most of us have at least a rudimentary understanding of what to do if we find ourselves face-to-face with a flame in our daily lives. At least, we assume we do. So we run for the fire extinguisher, right?

The fact is, depending on the setting, the intensity of the fire, and its source, the proper method for handling a fire is different.  At what point do you call emergency services? When do you pull the fire alarm? Should you use the fire extinguisher? Is there a fire suppression system? Is it working? Do you need to disable any equipment?

A well-laid fire safety plan, along with proper and frequent training, can give your workers the answers to these important questions before an emergency where their judgment could be clouded.

Fire preparedness is an important topic and falls under the responsibility of the employer. According to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.38, your Emergency Action Plan must give your employees designated actions to follow if a fire breaks out.

These actions and general guidance for fire prevention will vary widely depending on the industry and workplace area. After all, the challenges a kitchen faces to manage grease fires are far removed from safety precautions taken in an office.

Workplace Fire Safety for Offices

Offices are typically thought of as relatively risk-free workplaces. However, offices are full of electronics, power cables, equipment, and kitchen appliances that can cause a fire seemingly out of the blue.

Office Fire Prevention

In your workplace, make a safety plan to regularly ensure that:

  • The wiring and condition of computers, copiers, paper shredders, power cables, and other electronic devices are in good working order. If any damaged wiring or electrical components are found, take them out of service and replace them immediately.
  • Power strips, extension cables, and outlets are in good working order and not overloaded.
  • Space heaters, large printers, or other energy-heavy equipment are plugged directly into a grounded wall outlet.
  • Office spaces are free of clutter for easy evacuation and avoid paper, fabric, or other flammable materials coming in close contact with electrical outlets and cables.
  • Kitchen appliances are regularly cleaned and unplugged when not in use.
  • Store kitchen rags, paper towels, and other flammable materials away from stoves, toasters, ovens, or other heat-generating devices.
  • Test and maintain smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire suppression systems regularly and document the results. Perform maintenance immediately if needed.

Fire Safety for Construction Sites

A fire prevention plan for construction sites should be thorough and detailed. After all, a typical worksite will have on-the-job hazards like flammable chemicals, electrical wiring, and welding torches and sometimes overlooked risks like heaters or cigarettes from smoke breaks.

Construction Site Fire Prevention

Your construction site fire prevention protocols should include essential guidance, such as:

  • Good housekeeping practices to keep flammable chemicals and materials away from ignition sources.  
  • Combustible waste, like rags soaked in flammable chemicals, should be disposed of in proper metal bins
  • Stacked building materials and supplies should be stored so that they do not impede the effectiveness of any installed sprinkler or fire suppression systems.
  • All flammable chemicals, paints, and materials should be stored and labeled away from any risk of ignition.
  • All electrical wiring, temporary or permanent, should be kept in good working order without fraying or cracks. Workers should take care to minimize load on circuits as well.
  • Portable heaters should be kept away from flammable materials or sides of worker tents. To avoid ignition from tipping the heater over, they should also be appropriately guarded and secured,
  • Smoking should be kept in designated areas with smoke butts managed in specially-designed receptacles.

Fire Prevention in Manufacturing and Warehouses

Manufacturing and warehouse guidance varies widely depending on the types of products you store or manufacture. After all, a facility that produces baked goods would have different concerns than manufacturing or storing flammable chemical plants.

With that thought in mind, the first step to fire prevention in this industry is to evaluate your unique needs and circumstances. If you work with dangerous or flammable chemicals, you should inform the local fire department and collaborate with them to develop your fire safety plan.

Beyond these special requirements, there are still plenty of important protocols to implement to keep your workers safe from a fire igniting in their workplace. In fact, in warehouses and manufacturing facilities, most fires are caused by electrical mishaps, hot engines from major equipment, chemical reactions, or arson.

To keep your facility safe, your fire prevention plans should include:

  • A regular check of facility security procedures to prevent intentional fires from petty crime.
  • Ensure that flammable materials are stored in proper containers, away from ignition sources.
  • Check all wiring, circuit breakers, and transformers for overloads, faulty wires, or equipment.
  • Ensure that all smoke detectors and fire suppression devices are in good working order
  • Keep fire extinguishers visible and in easy to access areas. Ensure that you have the proper fire extinguisher types for each facility area’s risk. For example, you would want to make sure that the hazardous chemicals keep an extinguisher designed for chemical fires.
  • Ensure that exit signs and evacuation lights properly illuminate and are easily visible.
  • Make sure that all discarded trash and flammable items are not blocking exits and are correctly disposed of away from ignition sources.

How to Develop a Fire Safety Plan for Work

Your fire safety plan, just like any safety regulation at work, should be a living document. However, even if you have a plan in place, your organization should regularly revisit your safety protocols to make sure they are still relevant and consider any changes in workspace, products, or other factors.

As you develop your safety plan, it’s best to collaborate with local fire officials and check OSHA’s guidance on Fire Safety in 29 CFR Subpart E – Exit Routes and Emergency Planning. Depending on your industry and materials present, you may also find relevant fire safety information in:


OSHA 29 CFR 1910 – General Industry

  • Subpart G – Occupational Health and Environmental Control
  • Subpart H – Hazardous Materials
  • Subpart L – Fire Protection
  • Subpart N – Materials Handling and Storage
  • Subpart Q – Welding, Cutting and Brazing
  • Subpart R – Special Industries
  • Subpart Z – Toxic and Hazardous Substances

OSHA 29 CFR 1926 – Construction

  • Subpart C – General Safety and Health Provisions
  • Subpart F – Fire Protection and Prevention
  • Subpart H – Materials Handling, Storage, Use, and Disposal
  • Subpart J – Welding and Cutting
  • Subpart K – Electrical
  • Subpart R
  • Subpart S
  • Subpart T

Every facility or workplace’s fire safety plan should be unique to that facility. It should be detailed enough to cover critical information during a fire emergency, yet simple enough that your workers will be able to recall what to do in a crisis. Most plans will cover:

  • Maps and evacuation routes, which are also posted clearly throughout the facility, that include meetup points for personnel from each area
  • Map of building layout that shows each fire exit clearly
  • Locations of critical emergency equipment including fire extinguishers, fire alarm levers, and first aid kits
  • Locations of main electrical and water controls for the facility
  • Scheduled frequency of facility-wide fire drills
  • Regular training and refresher training on fire emergency protocols and fire extinguisher use for all employees
  • Clear guidance on what to do when fires break out, even if they are small
  • Clear advice on who to contact in the event of a fire emergency and the roles each employee will play during a fire

Implementing a fire safety program involves a lot of moving parts. It’s essential to collaborate with local officials and your workplace team to ensure your plan is practical and simple to enact. Even with regular training and drills, you’ll want to make sure that your employees continue to follow good safety habits through workplace supervision and educational posters on important topics like the fire extinguisher “PASS” system.

Remember, one of the most important aspects of sound fire prevention and safety at work is training. If you have a refresher course or new employee fire training on the books, National Safety Compliance can help. Our all-in-one training courses contain everything you need to hold a successful training session, including video lessons, presentations for your lecture, and printable handouts.

Our Fire Safety Training Course is suitable for Construction and General Industry and covers vital information from OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910 Subparts E&L. This course is available on DVD/USB, instant digital access, or self-led online training courses.

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FALL PROTECTION: OSHA GUIDANCE FOR ELEVATED FALL PREVENTION IN CONSTRUCTION

Falls are a dangerous work hazard, especially in construction. In fact, according to the CDC, in 2017 falls accounted for 366 out of 971 total construction fatalities! Fall protection for your workers is the responsibility of the employers. By understanding how falls occur, planning for your worker safety, as well as providing proper safety gear and training, you can take an active role in protecting your employees.

What is an elevated fall?

In general, a fall is defined as a slip or trip causing your body to collapse due to a quick shift in your center of gravity. There are two types of falls: same-level and elevated. Same-level falls occur when you trip and fall to the floor or against a wall but you don’t fall from one level to another. Elevated falls, however, are a fall from above or below the floor from an elevated place like a ladder, building rooftop, through a skylight, or off a scaffold.

This article will focus on preventing elevated falls in construction and will not go in-depth about single-level slips, trips, and falls.

Fall Prevention in Construction

Since falls and elevated falls are major hazards in construction, their rules on fall safety and protection are well-defined. Below is a general guide to the most frequently cited OSHA regulations for construction fall prevention.

Most Frequently Cited Fall Protection OSHA Standards

1926.501(b)(13) Fall Protection—Residential Construction

When employees are working in a residential construction environment higher than 6 feet above the ground or a lower level, they need to be protected by either a guardrail, safety net, or personal fall arrest system.

1926.501(b)(1) Fall Protection—Unprotected sides and edges

If an edge or side of a walking or working surface leads to a fall that is more than 6 feet above the ground or a lower level, you’ll need to prevent falling by using guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems.

1926.501 (b)(10) Fall Protection—Roofing work on low-slope roofs

Each employee on the roof needs fall protection if the ground or lower level is at least 6 feet down from the roof’s edge. Depending on the job’s needs, you can choose from a guardrail, safety net, personal fall arrest system. Also permitted are combinations of warning line systems and guardrails, safety nets, personal fall arrest systems, or safety monitoring systems.

1926.501 (b)(11) Fall Protection—Steep Roof

Since a steep roof is more treacherous to work on, unprotected sides should be protected with a guardrail that features toeboards, plus a safety net or personal fall arrest system.

1926.501 (b)(4)(i) Fall Protection—Skylights

From 2011-2016, over 160 workers died after falling through a skylight or a hole in a roof. Because of this, workers should be protected by a personal fall arrest system and when possible, a cover or guardrail should be installed on the skylight.

Additional Requirements

Scaffolding

Just like with unprotected roofs and other workspace edges, if scaffolding is more than six feet above the ground, guardrails should be installed. If an employee is using a float scaffold, needle beam scaffold, or ladder jack scaffold, they should also be protected by a personal fall arrest system. This is also true if they are using a single-point or two-point adjustable suspension scaffold.

Steel erection

Steel erection in construction often perches workers in precarious positions as they erect tall and narrow structures at various heights. This makes typical fall protection techniques impractical or impossible, as anchor points can be limited. In these scenarios, fall protection is required for unprotected edges more than 15 feet above a lower level.

Controlled decking zones (CDZ) are sometimes used instead of fall protection. These areas must be no more than 90 feet wide and deep from a leading edge and feature both clear boundaries and safety deck attachments. Within the CDZ, work can be performed without guardrails, fall restraints, or other safety systems but access to the area must be strictly controlled.

Stairs & Ladders

Fixed and portable ladders both must be well-constructed and frequently inspected for safety. Fixed ladders that are longer than 20 feet must feature either a fall protection system like a self-retracting lifeline, cage, or ladder safety device or they are required to feature a landing every 30 feet.

Stairs are a common site for accidental slips and falls, so whether they are temporary or not, they must feature handrails. If the stairs are temporary, they must be properly maintained and dismantled at the end of construction work.

Training

In order for your workers to keep safety in mind and practice good fall prevention techniques, they need proper training. Employers need to train their workers to set up and utilize fall protection equipment safely and effectively, as well as how to recognize fall hazards and situations where fall protection would be required.

Fall Protection Systems

In each of the commonly cited OSHA standards and requirements, fall protection systems were heavily mentioned. These systems are crucial for protecting employees from dangerous and sometimes fatal falls when working from heights.

Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS)

Personal fall arrest utilizes a fall protection harness, anchor, and connector to catch an employee in the event of a fall and keep the forces of deceleration at a safe level.  These systems are secured to a sturdy structure through the anchor, with the connectors commonly consisting of shock-absorbing lanyards or self-retracting lifelines attached to a body harness that distributes the fall forces throughout the body.

Fall Restraint Systems

These systems tend to be preferred by workers yet are barely mentioned in OSHA fall protection regulations. Fall restraint systems also often use a harness and connector setup, however, these systems are meant to entirely prevent a fall instead of simply catching a worker if they slip over an edge. A fall restraint system features a lead that simply does not extend far enough for a worker to be able to fall over an edge, allowing them to work safely without fear of drops.

Safety Net Systems

Safety net systems are a passive form of fall protection often installed to prevent falls by covering a potential hazard as a barrier or in a setup that will catch a worker in the event of a fall to protect them from hitting lower surfaces.

Safety nets can also be used to catch debris from construction, like bricks, wood, nails, or tools that could injure workers or bystanders below a construction site.

Guardrail Systems

Guardrails can be either temporary or permanent and are highly regulated by OSHA both in construction and for general workplace safety. Guardrails are excellent forms of fall protection because they give a visual cue that a dangerous drop is over the edge they are featured on; they provide a physical barrier between people and the fall hazard; and they can act as fall protection in areas where a cover or wall are not feasible.

While they appear similar, guardrails should not be confused for handrails. Their difference is distinct. Guardrails are used for fall protection, while handrails are used for individuals to support themselves while navigating a stairway or surface.

To protect workers and other individuals from fall hazards, a guardrail must be strongly built with posts positioned evenly to avoid people from falling through the gaps. They must also be tall enough to avoid topples over the top and extend far enough to cover the entire edge. Finally, guardrails can be made from metal or wood, but they should be smooth and not splinter or cut skin or cause clothing snags.

How to Protect Your Workers from Elevated Falls

Elevated falls are a leading cause of death for construction employees. These deaths are almost always preventable with proper planning, equipment, and training.

Plan for safety

Before elevated work ever begins, it is the responsibility of the employer to plan for how it will be completed safely. This process should begin as early as the estimation phase, where safety equipment and tools should be considered and budgeted into the construction estimate.

Provide the right equipment

It is the employers’ responsibility to provide the right fall protection and other personal protection equipment to employees so that they can conduct their work safely. Not only must this equipment be provided, but it also must be regularly inspected for fit and quality.

Train your workers

Fall arrest systems and other protective gear are only effective if your workers understand when, how, and why to use them. Robust and frequent training in fall protection for various scenarios that your workers may encounter can help keep them safe and able to spot hazards competently while performing their duties.

Fall protection is an important part of construction site safety. Elevated falls are almost always preventable, so it’s crucial we put a spotlight on this safety topic to ensure workers can perform their duties without unnecessary risks.

Fall Protection Awareness

Consider getting involved with OSHA’s annual National Safety Stand-Down by hosting events to talk to your employees about fall hazards and reinforce safety policies. This event is also a great opportunity to allow your employees to speak directly to company management about their safety concerns in an open and constructive dialog.

If you’re interested in material for a National Safety Stand-Down refresher event or need resources to properly train your employees on the importance of fall hazard safety, NSC can help. We offer several different ways to train your employees on fall hazards and fall protection. Our training kits include everything you need to hold a successful training session, including video lessons, lecture presentations, and printable handouts.

Our Fall Protection training course is available on USB/DVD, instant digital access, or as a self-led online course.

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A Quick Guide to HIPAA Compliance Training Requirements for Employers

A quick guide to HIPAA Complianc

 

To most, HIPAA compliance boils down to a simple concept: the security of patient medical information and data. With these guidelines in place, patients expect their medical data will remain private and protected from prying eyes or theft. It is your responsibility, if your company works with protected patient information, to ensure that your employees are properly implementing HIPAA compliant procedures.

A lot goes into designing HIPAA compliance training. While training should be tailored to the individual jobs at hand, there is plenty about HIPAA that every relevant worker should know. If you’re planning a class and need a simple to use HIPAA training kit with an instruction video, lesson plan, PowerPoint Presentation and certification test: we’ve got you covered.

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is a federal law designed to protect patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. HIPAA encompasses not only the original act but several subsequent legislative acts and together they form a vast number of regulatory requirements for a variety of entities.

What industries require HIPAA training?

The simple answer is that HIPAA regulations will apply to Covered Entities and their Business Associates. Basically, anyone who could possibly come in contact with protected health information should receive HIPAA training. This includes more obvious healthcare roles like doctors, nurses, medical receptionists and hospital recordkeepers. However, there are roles outside of the traditional healthcare system who also should be trained in HIPAA regulations.

What is a covered entity?

  • Healthcare providers, including but not limited to clinics, hospitals, and private practices for medical, dental, psychological, chiropractic, etc.
  • Health insurance providers, including but not limited to health insurance companies, HMOs, company healthcare plans, Medicare and Medicaid.
    • This section also includes the staff that handles the sign-up process for employees or students at their company for health plans—oftentimes, these are human resources professionals.
  • Healthcare Clearing House

What is a business associate?

Covered entities often work with vendors or subcontractors to handle important tasks like data storage, networking or other information technology services. Other vendors or subcontractors could include companies that provide shredding services of sensitive documents, lawyers, translation services, medical equipment professionals, answering or reception services, consultants.

With those definitions in place, let’s look at what HIPAA says about required training in the regulatory code text. The training section in the Privacy Rule states a covered entity must train all member of its workforce on the policies and procedures as necessary and appropriate. Any covered entity or business associate employee, with potential access to protected health information (PHI), must be provided regular training. The Security Rule states covered entities and business associates must implement a security awareness and training program for all members of its workforce.

What topics should be covered in HIPAA training?

HIPAA takes a somewhat vague approach to training. The law does not give specifics about required training. So, the implementation of specifics of HIPAA requirements are considered “addressable,” which simply means they must be followed but provide covered entities a level of flexibility in how they comply with the standard.

Covered entities must decide whether a given addressable implementation specification is reasonable and appropriate security measures apply within their framework. Their decisions must be documented in writing and the written documentation should include factors considered as well as the results of the risk assessment on which the decision was based.

With that documentation in place, training can be conducted with a “custom-fit” approach. It is important to train employees on many aspects of the HIPAA regulations, but the training does not have to be comprehensive on all topics. Ideally, training should be more about the company policies and procedures to ensure compliance with HIPAA law. Even so, there are some basic HIPAA components which should be covered including the following:

Important HIPAA training topics

  • The HIPAA Privacy Rule
  • The HIPAA Security Rule
  • Patients’ Rights
  • Rules on PHI disclosures
  • Safeguarding electronic PHI or ePHI
  • Preventing HIPAA Violations
  • Breach Notifications
  • Compliance and Enforcement

There are additional areas on which employees might need training. Ultimately it is up to the covered entity to determine the topics covered and make sure their employees are trained, and compliance with HIPAA is happening.

When should employees receive HIPAA training?

The Privacy Rule states that HIPAA training is required for “each new member of the workforce within a reasonable period of time after the person joins the Covered Entity’s workforce” and also when “functions are affected by a material change in policies or procedures” – again within a reasonable period of time. This implies training should occur the first few days and not months later.

How often is HIPAA training required?

According to the Security Rule, HIPAA training is required periodically. Most covered entities meet this requirement by holding annual training sessions. Annual training helps to protect the employer and employees by ensuring employees are:

  • “Refreshed” on HIPAA regulations
  • Aware of any policy changes that may have occurred since their last training session
  • Knowledgeable about cybercrime and ways to protect against it

While annual training is sufficient to meet HIPAA’s periodic requirements, holding additional training sessions throughout the year is not a bad idea. These other sessions can be shorter and provide quick info to reinforce employee’s knowledge and compliance with HIPAA.

Tips for HIPAA compliance training

An effective HIPAA training program allows employees to participate in the training process and to practice their skills or knowledge. This will help to ensure they are learning the required knowledge or skills. Employees can become involved in the training process by participating in discussions, asking questions, contributing their knowledge and expertise, learning through hands-on experiences, and through role-playing exercises.

 Steps can be taken to help ensure employees are attentive and engaged during HIPAA training.

  • Keep training sessions under an hour in length. Long training sessions lose the attention of the trainees.
  • Keep the employees engaged. Asking questions and encouraging conversation helps to keep employees plugged-in to the training session.
  • Keep handouts to a minimum and make sure the ones you hand out are meaningful. Too many handouts will draw the employee’s attention away from what is currently being discussed.
  • Include various media for different learning types, including videos, classroom presentations, quizzes and discussion.
  • Make HIPAA compliance training simple

HIPAA compliance requires frequent and effective training that gives your employees the tools and knowledge they need to implement these critical guidelines in their everyday work. The best HIPAA training courses will combine interactive elements with classroom lecture and discussion to help your employees learn and implement these crucial guidelines.

Ready to train your employees? NSC makes HIPAA compliance easy. Our all-in-one HIPAA Compliance training course contains everything you need to run a successful class, including a training video developed by industry experts, classroom presentation, supplemental handouts and printable certificates. This course is available on DVD, digital access, or in a self-guided online training course.

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Major Changes to 29 CFR 1910 General Industry & 29 CFR 1926 Construction in 2021

Published hard copies of CFR (Code of Federal Regulation) are useful to have in the field or on the floor. They work well as a quick reference to identify and cite potential OSHA violations or as a guide to spot areas where worker protections could be improved while crafting updated safety plans and avoiding costly fines.

A published CFR is only as useful as its contents remain relevant. Edits are made to the codification of rules in the Federal Register frequently. Some of the changes are small—clarifications, small tweaks to tables, editing for conciseness—but ultimately do not modify the rule in a significant way.

However, critical updates and major changes to rules do occur with relative frequency. If your print copy of 29 CFR 1910 or 20 CFR 1926 hasn’t been updated in a while, you may be missing crucial information.

We know that comparing everything that has changed can be a challenge. That’s why we’re here to make checking this round of CFR updates simple. This guide will cover and summarize only major changes from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2020.

Changes to 29 CFR 1910 Occupational Health and Safety Standards for General Industry in 2018 – 2020

§1910.134 Respiratory protection

Several key changes were made to the Respiratory Protection Standard that applies not only to general industry but also shipyards, marine terminals, long shoring, and construction. These changes add new sections C.4 and C.5, as well as Appendix A on Fit Testing Procedures.

2021 additions to 29 CFR 1910.134 Respiratory Protection Standard include:

  • Updates to fit test exercises. Now, it is required for employers to perform fit tests for all methods listed in the appendix, except for the two modified ambient aerosol CNC quantitative fit testing protocol, CNP quantitative fit testing protocol and the CNP redon quantitative fit testing protocol. In regards to the two modified ambient aerosol CNC quantitative fit testing, they have their own exercises listed in Part I.C(4)b, Part I.C.5(b), or Part I.C.(6) for full or half-mask elastomeric respirators or for filtering facepiece respirators.
  • A full protocol for Modified Ambient Aerosol CNC Quantitative Fit Testing Protocols for Full-Facepiece and Half-Mask Elastomeric Respirators is now included in Table A-1.
  •  A full protocol for Modified Ambient Aerosol CNC Quantitative Fit Testing has been added to Table A-2.

§1910.1024 Beryllium

The beryllium standard for general industry was updated to better align the regulations with industry needs and the rules outlined in other beryllium standards like 1926.1124. The most recent updates are effective as of September 14, 2020.

Recent additions to 29 CFR 1910.1024 Beryllium Standard include:

  • Defines beryllium sensitization, an immune response found in people who have been exposed to airborne beryllium that can lead to CBD (chronic beryllium disease).
  • Updates the method of compliance to state more broadly “exposure” instead of “airborne exposure or dermal contact.”
  • Personal protective equipment must now be removed once the worker has completed their beryllium-related task, not at the end of their shift.
  • If employees have skin exposed to beryllium, they must wash the exposed skin at designated times.
  • Personal protective equipment must have beryllium cleaned off as much as possible before entering or using an area where workers will be eating or drinking

Changes to 29 CFR 1926 General Industry in 2018 – 2020

§1926.1427 Cranes and Derricks in Construction Operator Qualifications

This major change was released in two parts with the qualifications and certifications going into effect December 10, 2018, and amendments (a) and (f) on evaluation and documentation requirements went into effect on February 7, 2019.

Updates for 2021 to 29 CFR 1926.1427 Cranes and Derricks in Construction Operator Qualifications Standard include:

  • Crane certification is no longer by capacity, instead, it must be by type as defined by the accredited certifying organization.
  • Employers must have all operators certified under new rules by December 10, 2018, at the employers’ expense.
  • Certified operators must then be qualified on the equipment they use in their workplace, otherwise, they are considered an operator-in-training and cannot work without direct supervision from a qualified trainer.
  • A qualified person must be either an employee or an agent of the employer with the knowledge and experience necessary to direct in-training operators.
  • A qualified person must be in the field of vision and watch the operator-in-training closely.
  • Evaluations are conducted to ensure the operator can perform work safely on their assigned equipment.
  • Evaluations are conducted to ensure the operator has mastered all necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to avert risks and safely perform work duties using their assigned equipment.

§1926.1124 Beryllium in Construction and Shipyards

The most recent changes to the rules for Beryllium in Construction went into effect on 9/30/2020, however, the standard has been updated several times since 2018, mostly for clarity and to better align with adjacent rules in 29 CFR 1910 General Industry.

Leading up to these rule changes, in 2017 OSHA published a rule about occupational exposure to beryllium and its compounds in the Federal Register that conclude it posed a significant risk to the health of workers with the potential to lead to lung disease or cancer when exposures went beyond permissible exposure limits (PELs). Contact with this material happens often in shipyards and during welding. The new rules set out to fit the needs of construction and shipyard workers specifically and align their standards to the general industry standards, as well as provide clarification.

Modifications to the 29 CFR 1926.1124 Beryllium in Construction and Shipyards Standard include:

  • Specified definition of Beryllium sensitization, which is an immune response in people exposed to beryllium. While it is often symptomless it is the first step to developing CBD (chronic beryllium disease).
  • Pulmonologists in CBD medical diagnostic centers are no longer required to be on-site, but simply on staff.
  • The written exposure control plan for beryllium now must contain a list of operations and job titles who are expected to work with beryllium, engineering controls, means of protection from exposure, a list of PPE (personal protective equipment) used, as well as procedures for restricting access during work exposures, procedures to contain exposure and procedures for cleanup.
  • Engineering rules have been simplified to state that engineers must be used by employers to reduce and maintain beryllium exposure below the TWA PEL and STEL unless provably unfeasible.
  • In-writing notification of airborne exposure of beryllium to housekeeping staff is no longer required. Instead, in any operation that could result in airborne dust, the workers must be provided with personal protective equipment if it will result in airborne exposure above TWA PEL or STEL levels.
  • When beryllium is disposed of or transported to another entity, written warnings are no longer required.
  • Physician evaluations at CBD diagnostic centers must include tests for pulmonary function, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and transbronchial biopsy if deemed necessary.
  • Warning labels on containers contaminated with beryllium are no longer required.
  • Employees now are only required to be trained in beryllium safety if they are reasonably thought to have airborne exposure—skin exposure is now excluded.

§1926.1400 Scope

This standard was updated with the new paragraph (18) which clarifies that flash-butt welding trucks that are not equipped with hoisting devices are defined as roadway maintenance machines and are used for railroad track work, as defined in 49 CFR 214.7.

Benefits and features of CFR books

Government agencies like OSHA must remain nimble to continue to improve processes that protect workers’ health and safety while balancing the needs of employers. So, when it comes to construction and general industry, the Code of Federal Regulations are known to change frequently.

Published CFR books from National Safety Compliance can help you stay informed on industry changes, within your work floor, construction site, or office and keeping your employees safe. These current publications are also an excellent guide for developing or updating your facility’s safety plan.

Our publications are released often and are designed to be user-friendly, with additional features to help you answer questions quickly and effectively.

Annual Updates and Corrections

Every change made to the CFR in the past few years is included in the front of the book, even if it is a minor grammatical change. This will help you quickly identify any standards that may need a refresher, retraining, or trigger a safety plan update.

Most Frequently Cited Standards

Our CFR books contain the most frequently cited standards from OSHA from the previous year. This can help you see where your industry peers may have gaps in their safety plans and check the standards against your facility’s practices.

This information is found prior to the start of each subpart.

Letters of Interpretation

Letters of Interpretation are an excellent resource that you may not normally be aware of. These letters are responses from OSHA to public questions about important topics like terminology, interpretation, and enforcement of particular laws. If there are Letters of Interpretation available to help clarify a standard, we include an icon in our book so you know to look it up on osha.gov

Additional Parts of Title 29 & General Duty

We include additional parts of Title 29 outside of 1910 and 1926 that are relevant to our users, such as Inspections, Citations, and Proposed Penalties from 29 CFR 1903 and CFR 1904 Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

Also included for quick reference is the General Duty clause, which is OSHA’s catch-all for hazardous or dangerous situations in a workplace. If there isn’t a specific standard the violation falls under, it goes under General Duty.

The 2021 Edition of 29 CFR 1910 General Industry and 29 CFR 1926 Construction books from National Safety Compliance are available in print or digital PDF formats. To ensure your facility is always in compliance, protect your workers, and avoid costly fines, make sure safety management, supervisors, and human resources directors have easy access to the right training, materials, and resources to protect your workers and business.

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LOTO: Lockout Tagout Safety Standards at Work

Worker disables machine using lockout tagout procedures

Lockout and tagout, also known as LOTO, is the OSHA standard for the control of hazardous energy. This exists to protect employees by addressing the necessary steps to disable machinery or equipment that could release hazardous energy or unexpectedly start. These hazardous energies, including electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or mechanical could seriously harm or kill workers if released during machinery work or maintenance.

Lockouts and tagouts put specific practices and procedures into place to isolate machinery energy hazards by de-energizing and locking out the ability to power on the equipment.

Failure to properly follow lockout tagout regulations are one of OSHA’s top 10 most frequent citations. Not only are there fines involved when you choose not to follow regulations but there are many dangerous situations you will create for your employees and anyone in your work environment.

Lockout/tagout procedures must be taken seriously. If procedures and requirements are not met employees can be gravely injured or killed by machinery and equipment. OSHA estimates that compliance with the lockout/tagout standards can prevent 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries every year.

Training on Proper Lockout and Tagout Procedures  

Employees working on machinery are at high risk of bodily harm if someone removes lockout/tagout devices and reenergizes the equipment without their knowledge. It is extremely important that all employees respect lock out and tag out devices and that only the person who applied them may remove them.

According to OSHA’s guidelines, your lockout/tagout program must include energy control procedures, devices to lockout, inspections of lockout/tagout devices and mandated training for all employees. This training should be specific to each employee’s position and be relevant to their individual duties.

Proper training will give employees a better understanding of the types of energies that can cause danger and teach them how to implement procedures to ensure these energies are controlled during maintenance and service.

Training, and retraining regularly to maintain proficiency and protocol adherence, is crucial to the success of your Hazardous Energy Control Program.

Difference Between Lockout and Tagouts 

Although the terms lockout and tagout have similar desired effects, the two devices are quite different. Lock out devices hold hazardous energy in isolation and prevent machines from being energized with physical restraints that cannot be removed without a key.

On the other end of the spectrum, tag out devices simply warn employees against reenergizing devices while it is being serviced. These are much easier to remove, and as a result, they do not provide the same level of protection as lockouts.

Lock out and tag out kits provide bundles of both that can be used for multiple procedures. They contain tags, padlocks, and all other devices to isolate energy release. These allow companies to manage all their operations from a centralized box, which makes implementing a lockout tagout program easier. Lockout programs can be tricky and having all the effective tools makes all the difference.

Standards for Lockout Tagout

The OSHA standards for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1910.147 and 1910.333 layout the requirements for disabling machinery during maintenance work and protecting workers from electrical circuits or equipment.

You must use a lockout program (or tagout program that provides protection levels equal to that achieved through lockout) whenever your employees engage in service or maintenance.  This system normally involves taking dangerous equipment completely offline and removing its ability to energize by locking it into an “off” position, then tagging it to the individual who placed the lock and who is the only person able to remove it.

The basic requirements as stated in the standards are as follows:

  • Employers must draft, implement, and enforce an energy control program and procedures.
  • A lockout device, which temporarily disables machinery so that hazardous energy cannot be released, must be used if the machinery supports it. Otherwise, tagout devices, which are warnings to indicate that the machinery is under maintenance and cannot be energized until the tag is removed, can be used if the employee protection program provides equal protection to a lockout program.
  • Lockout/Tagout devices must be protective, substantial, and authorized for the machinery.
  • All-new, refurbished, or overhauled equipment must be capable of being locked out.
  • Lockout/tagout devices must identify each user and only the employee who initiated the lockout can remove it.
  • Effective training must be provided to all employees who work on, around, and with heavy machinery and equipment to ensure understanding of hazardous energy control procedures including their workplace’s energy control plan, their specific position’s role and duties within that plan, and OSHA requirements for lockout/tagout.
  • Training must be repeated once a year
  • Inspections must be performed of energy control procedures and initiatives.

Implementing a safe and effective lockout/tagout system is ultimately a task of the employer. It is the business’ responsibility to protect their employees from injury or death by providing them the tools, standards, procedures, and training to avoid hazardous workplace accidents.

Who Needs to Utilize Lockout Tagout PROCEDURES?

Lockout tagout procedures and training are necessary for all companies with equipment and facilities with hazardous energy. These are necessary both to meet OSHA guidelines and keep your employees safe.  

Some examples of workplaces that would require both LOTO procedures and training include:

  • A distribution center that utilizes equipment like forklifts and palletizers would need a lockout/tagout procedure set in place.
  • A bakery food manufacturer would need a lockout/tagout procedure for maintenance on their industrial oven and conveyor belts.
  • In the printing industry, if cleaning or maintenance duties on a press must be performed under machinery guards or in hazardous points.

When moving forward with building your lockout tagout procedures, keep in mind that not all employees will use the lockouts and tagouts. Only authorized personnel, meaning those trained on a company’s lockout tagout procedure can properly understand, apply, and follow procedure.

Regardless of whether or not they are considered authorized personnel and are using the lockout/tagouts, employees will still need to be trained. Any employees who operate the machines that will be serviced under lockout tagout or work in the area where lockout tagout is used will need to understand the purpose and seriousness of lockout tagout procedures.

Steps of Lockout Tagout

The general steps of lockout/tagout application require authorized personnel to perform a sequence of shutdown and inspection procedures. To initiate the LOTO and prepare for maintenance, you must:

Step 1: Inform the Workers

Before the machinery is shut down, all employees that work on or around the machine must be informed that the energy control procedures will be applied at a specific time. If anything changes, including the maintenance time or expected downtime, inform these employees.

Step 2: Power down the machine

Based on manufacturer guidance and your shutdown procedures, have an authorized employee turn off the machine.

Step 3: Isolate energy sources

Most equipment will have more than one source of energy. Any area of the machine that could be energized by electric, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or mechanical power must be shut down by powering down switches or shutting valves.

Step 4: Add the lock and tag

At all of the previously identified energy sources that can be used to re-energize the machine, apply locks and tags with identification of the authorized employee who placed them. Only the employee who placed them is allowed to remove these tags.

Step 5: Release any stored energy and prepare the area

Some machines can retain stored energy even after a shutdown. Look for hazards like spring tension or venting gases and release them appropriately. Moving parts must be safely secured to protect maintenance workers and remain stable throughout the cleaning or repairs.

Step 6: Verify that energy is isolated

Authorized personnel must now double-check and verify all previous steps were completed successfully.

Once the maintenance is complete, the LOTO must be removed. The following steps must be followed to remove the tags safely:

Step 1: Inform the workers

Communicate to all area workers that the machinery will be re-energized at a specific time. Ensure that all equipment brought in for repairs is removed before turning the machine back on and all maintenance personnel are accounted for.

Step 2: Remove the locks and tags

Authorized personnel will now remove the tags they placed earlier. Each tag can only be removed by the person who placed it.

Step 3: Re-energize the machinery

At the appointed time, re-energize the machinery.

Lockout/tagout procedures are not only important for OSHA compliance, they are vital to employee safety. To ensure your program is working as intended, annual inspections of lockout/tagout procedures are required by OSHA. While employees aren’t required to have annual refresher training, all employees must be well-trained and able to follow protocol at all times. If knowledge gaps are found, employees change work positions or if new machinery is added to the workplace, refresher training is required.

At National Safety Compliance, we offer a number of different ways to train your employees on lockout tagout safety, lockout tagout devices, and online training modules here on Online OSHA Training, as well as more traditional employer-led training programs available on DVD, USB, or Digital Access on OSHA-Safety-Training.net.

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OSHA-Compliant Forklift Safety Training Standards

Powered industrial trucks, commonly known as forklifts, are used in a variety of industries. From manufacturing plants to warehouses to construction sites, forklifts are critical pieces of workplace equipment used to raise, lower, and move materials. With their presence being so commonplace it is no surprise how many employers are interested in understanding and providing compliant, effective training for their employees. 

Forklift safety training is not only essential for a safe working environment but required under the most recent OSHA regulations. Forklifts are an exceptional tool for efficiency, but they can also be dangerous, damaging, or even deadly. According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 600 workers perished in forklift accidents from 2011 to 2017, and a further 7,000 suffered injuries that required time away from work.  

To start on the path towards developing forklift safety training for your team, you must first understand the OSHA regulations and how to put these rules into action.

Most Recent OSHA Regulations for Forklift Operators

The most recent OSHA regulations for forklift operators were officially published on December 1, 1998. In response to a rise in workplace safety concerns, the new standard was designed to lower workplace injuries and fatalities through quality operator training. 

These new regulations went into effect on March 1, 1999 and apply to all industries except for agriculture.

The new regulations are as follows:

  • Operator performance must be evaluated before operating an industrial truck, except for when in training
  • The employer can designate any employee who is qualified as a Trainer or Evaluator. There are no special requirements for training.
  • OSHA does not certify, accredit, or approve any trainers or training programs for powered industrial trucks. The responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the OSHA standard rests with the employer.

In summary: All employers with forklifts or powered industrial trucks outside of agricultural settings must provide OSHA-compliant training for their operators, evaluate operator performance before allowing them to operate the vehicle, and can designate any qualified employee to act as a trainer or evaluator.

Forklift Driver Safety Training

Training Requirements Under OSHA Regulations

Under the guidance of OSHA regulations, ensuring that your forklift operators are properly trained is ultimately the responsibility of the employer. This task can be outsourced to outside consultants or pre-developed courses for the classroom portion can be utilized. However, the training provided must adequately prepare your employees for not only general forklift operation, but the unique challenges present in your specific workplace.

Forklift Training Format

Training programs must consist of a combination of formal or classroom-type instruction, using tools such as:

  • Lecture formats
  • Video formats
  • Class discussions and games or activities
  • Written materials, worksheets, or training booklets
  • Online interactive training

Training must also include a practical, hands-on approach, such as:

  • Demonstrations performed by the trainer
  • Practical exercises performed, with supervision, by the trainees
  • Evaluation of the operator’s performance in the workplace

Trainees participating in hands-on activities can only operate the vehicle as long as it does not endanger them or other employees. This means during the practical portion of training, a safe location should be secured and designated as such to minimize the presence of others in the area. The trainee must also remain supervised at all times during operation until they are certified.

Training Content

The content of the training program must consist of several topics, such as location-specific hazards and truck-specific topics. If operators are going to use different types of forklifts, they must be trained on each vehicle class or type.

Workplace-specific training

Your training plan must include hands-on and written instruction about the vehicles or workplace hazards specific to your place of business.  If your business has multiple locations in which the operators will be using forklifts, they must be trained on the hazards that are unique to each of the locations.

Topics for this portion of the training must include:

  • Surface conditions where the vehicle will be operated
  • Composition of loads to be carried and load stability
  • Load manipulation, stacking, and unstacking
  • Pedestrian traffic in areas where the vehicle will be operated
  • Narrow aisles and other restricted places where the vehicle will be operated
  • Hazardous (classified) locations where the vehicle will be operated
  • Ramps and other sloped surfaces that could affect the vehicle’s stability
  • Closed environments and other areas where insufficient ventilation or poor vehicle maintenance could cause a buildup of carbon monoxide or diesel exhaust
  • Other unique or potentially hazardous environmental conditions in the workplace that could affect safe operation.

Truck-related topics

Training must go beyond the basic operation of the industrial powered truck and include comprehensive information about the vehicle’s controls, capacity, maintenance, and precautions.

Topics for this portion must include:

  • How to read and understand the forklift’s required name plate / data plate and find vital information such as  fuel type and capacity
  • Operating instructions, warnings, and precautions for the types of truck the operator will be authorized to operate
  • Differences between the truck and an automobile
  • Truck controls and instrumentation: where they are located, what they do, and how they work
  • Engine or motor operation
  • Steering and maneuvering
  • Visibility (including restrictions due to loading)
  • Fork and attachment adaptation, operation, and use limitations
  • Vehicle stability
  • Any vehicle inspection and maintenance that the operator will be required to perform
  • Refueling and/or charging and recharging of batteries
  • Operating limitations
  • Any other operating instructions, warnings, or precautions listed in the operator’s manual for the types of vehicle that the employee is being trained to operate

Vehicle class-specific training

There are many types of forklifts used. If your business owns multiple types, operators do not need to be trained on each make and model. But, operators must receive truck-specific training on those types they will be expected to operate. Operators trained to use a sit-down type fork truck cannot operate a stand-up truck unless they have been trained to operate it. 

The vehicle classes for powered industrial trucks are as follows:

Class I: Electric motor rider truck
These general use vehicles are most often found indoors, though varieties with pneumatic tires are sometimes used outdoors in dry conditions. These vehicles are versatile and protect air quality by running on battery instead of gasoline, natural gas, or diesel fuel.

Class II: Electric motor narrow aisle trucks
These narrow vehicles are designed to operate in small spaces efficiently. Narrow forklifts allow for their companies to pack in shelving or aisles close together to maximize storage area.

Class III: Electric motor hand trucks or hand rider trucks
These small vehicles battery-powered vehicles are driven by an operator in front of the truck. Steering and controls are contained in the tiller.

Class IV: Internal combustion engine trucks with solid, cushion tires
These forklifts are often seen couriering pallets from the loading dock to indoor storage. They feature a low clearance thanks to their smaller profile tires and can be used indoors or outdoors on smooth surfaces.

Class V: Internal combustion engine trucks with pneumatic tires
These trucks feature an internal combustion engine that is powered by compressed, diesel or LP gas. They are versatile and seen in all kinds of warehouses, from large to small.

Class VI: Electric and internal combustion engine tractors
These electric and combustion-powered tractors are known for their pulling power and are commonly seen on the airport tarmac hauling luggage.

Class VII: Rough terrain forklift trucks
Popular in construction, these large forklifts are designed for heavy outdoor use at a job site to lift and transport large loads of lumber or building materials.

Vehicle Inspection Training

According to OSHA guidelines, forklifts need to be inspected either daily or at the end of every shift if they’re used continuously. Before any driver begins work for the day, they must perform both a walkaround inspection and a seated inspection. In order for employees to properly perform this inspection, they must be formally trained on hazards and where to look for them.

Walkaround inspection

The walkaround inspection involves checking major areas of the vehicle, such as the tires, hoses & belts, fluids, forks, engine, and data plate for safety and good condition.

Seated inspection

The seated inspection is performed while the driver is in their seat. They must check that the controls, safety equipment, horn, brake, steering, seatbelt, and gauges are all in safe, operating condition.

Training the Trainers

OSHA’s regulation CFR 1910.178 (l) Operator Training spells out clearly what you need to do to correctly train employees to use forklifts. 

While OSHA does not require special training or certification for forklift trainers or evaluators, they must be qualified for the task. Ensure that your operator training is conducted by someone who has the knowledge and experience to educate powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence. 

In some cases, this may mean you will want to hire an outside training consultant. In many instances, however, this is not necessary. While outside trainers are certain to have the skill and expertise to train your employees, this does not mean you must hire an outside training consultant or company. Depending upon your circumstances it may be better if you do, but it is not required by OSHA. You simply must ensure that the person conducting the training “has the knowledge, training, and experience to train.” 

Timing of forklift training

New operators

Operators with no certification must complete the full training program before operating a forklift. Until they are certified, they can only operate the vehicle under direct supervision while participating in the training.

New employees

Experienced operators who are new to your company and bring with them an outside certification are not necessarily required to go through the full training course. Instead, if you have reason to believe their training is sufficient, you can simply evaluate their skills and train them on only workplace-specific tasks, hazards, and vehicles.

Deficient operators

Deficient operators must go through refresher training when the following occurs:

  • The operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner
  • The operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident
  • The operator has received an evaluation that reveals that the operator is not operating the truck safely
  • The operator is assigned to drive a different type of truck
  • A condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect the safe operation of the truck. 

To ensure that the workplace incident was not because of faulty guidance, an evaluation of the entire training program must be performed when refresher training is required.

Seasoned operators 

Current OSHA regulations require an evaluation of each forklift operator’s performance at least once every three years. If the operator continues to perform safely and within the guidelines set by your training, no further classwork is required at that time.

Temporary employees

Employees that join your company through a contractor or temporary agency must still be certified to operate a forklift. Since temporary agencies are the employer of your temporary employee, not the host organization, it is the responsibility of the agency or contractor to provide training to the required standard or there must be an agreed-upon plan for providing training between your business and the agency.

If the agency is the one to provide training, your business must still train temporary employees on workplace-specific vehicles and hazards.

Minors

Under no circumstances is a minor allowed to operate a forklift. This is a violation of federal law. All operators must be over the age of 18 before beginning training.

Certification document requirements

OSHA also requires that you certify that each operator has been trained and evaluated. Many folks misunderstand this and think that training must be OSHA-certified. OSHA does not certify your training. This simply means you must document that training was provided and that the training met the requirements laid out in section (l) of the CFR 1910.178. To certify the training, you must document:

  • The name of the operator
  • The date of the training
  • The date of the evaluation
  • The identity of the person(s) performing the training or evaluating the training.

Employer training records

Records of training, performance, and certifications should be kept for at least the duration of employment.

Forklift training under OSHA guidance is one step towards creating a safer workplace for all employees. With some knowledge of OSHA’s requirements, thoughtful classroom planning, and seasoned workers with the skills to train, you will find this process is mostly straightforward. By the end of the training, you should be confident that your operators understand the training they have received and can safely operate the vehicle and have thorough documentation of the training provided.

For our Forklift Safety Training Kits on DVD, USB, or Digital Access visit: https://www.osha-safety-training.net/product-category/topic/subject-forklift-safety/

For our Forklift Safety Training via online LMS visit: https://www.onlineoshatraining.net/product/forklift-safety-training-general-industry/

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Recommended Fire Safety Training Procedures for Employers in 2020

Since elementary school, the concept of stop, drop, and roll has been drilled into the young minds of children. Unfortunately, this is often where fire safety training and education ends. In order to properly respond to a fire, it is vital to further expand on this education, especially in the workplace.  

Many employers feel as though fire safety and training is not something they need to be concerned with. It is easy to fall under the impression that you and your employees will never be impacted by a fire, but fires are a lot more commonplace than many assume.  

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that the fire department responds to a fire every 24 seconds, a fire-related injury occurs every 35 minutes, and a fatality every 144 minutes in the United States. As a result of these frequent fires, the U.S. Fire Administration estimated losses of $26.5 billion in 2018.  

This is time, money, and lives that are carelessly lost and, in most cases, could have been otherwise prevented with proper training on fire safety. Simply hanging an evacuation plan in the breakroom is not enough training to ensure the wellbeing of your employees. When an actual fire occurs, panic sets in, and reasonable action is often forgotten.  

This onset of panic is due to a lack of training on the process of evacuation. The only way to prevent the injuries and fatalities caused by this is with proper training. The most powerful defense an employer can take against potential threats of fire is empowering their employees by preparing them with fire safety training and response. 

Fire safety experts believe that training, knowledge, and practical experience can be the difference between a few small flames and an uncontrolled blaze. This is why at National Safety Compliance, we offer several different ways to train your employees on fire safety, including turn-key online training modules here on Online OSHA Training, as well as more traditional employer-led training programs available on DVD, USB, or Digital Access on OSHA-Safety-Training.net

Guidelines for Workplace Fire Safety Training  

Employer Fire Safety Responsibilities:  

  • Emergency Preparedness Plan: All employers should have a emergency preparedness plan in place in the event of a fire to outline all actions that employees should take. Plans should include response duties, coordination with fire departments, resources for the disabled, evacuation, emergency communication, and first aid provisions.  
  • Equipment: Must have the proper equipment and maintain it with proper inspections to ensure that they are working properly.  
  • Training: In order for employees to know how to work fire equipment like extinguishers and fire suppression systems it is important for them to have training on the proper operation of the equipment.  This fire safety training should be provided by the employer.

Employee Fire Safety Responsibilities:  

  • Keep informed on safety procedures: Employees must pay attention to all safety procedures and details laid out in the Emergency Preparedness Plan. They have the responsibility to retain the information, participate, and confidently use the equipment. Signs and posters can help employees remember fire safety information.
  • Participate in drills: It is vital to take any drills in your office building seriously regardless of whether or not they are an inconvenience, because they are designed to ensure you are fully prepared for an emergency. 
  • Understand your fight or flight options: In the event of an actual fire it is important to decide to either fight the fire if you are trained and confident in your ability to use an extinguisher or immediately exit the building and trigger the alarm if that is not already done. There is no time for indecision so this is important to consider beforehand.

Roles of Fire Safety Professionals:  

It is important to be mindful of comparing your roles to those of professionals, especially in the event of an actual fire. Some jobs are important to leave to the professionals who are trained on how to handle particular situations and fire safety in a specific manner. These responsibilities include;  

  • Fire officers: Respond to emergency cases and provide immediate assistance.  
  • Fire warden: Clear the building of all people and ensure that no one is stuck inside by carrying out a thorough check and call. 
  • Fire marshals: Identify fire hazards at their workplace by keeping station equipment in great condition and updating records for incoming service calls. 
  • Fire inspectors: Work to prevent fires by providing regular inspections and helping employers to follow policies and report any needed changes, unsafe activities, or poor conditions. 

Your employees can become a fire warden or marshal for your own office or building by going through fire marshal training and receiving their fire marshal certificate. These certificates last for 3 years and give you the ability to delegate responsibilities so you can effectively manage and prevent fires in the workplace.  

Even though these responsibilities vary between employer, employees, and professionals, the person responsible for fire safety is still always the employer. They must communicate with staff to implement and maintain relevant fire safety procedures, prepare for an emergency, and supply fire safety information.  

Types of Fires and Ways to Stop Them

To the untrained eye, fire is simply fire, but in reality, fire is actually broken down into different classifications. Knowing the differences between these fires is essential to fully understanding how to put them out.  

Class A:  

This type of fire sparks from wood, paper, trash, and other materials known as common fuel sources. These should be extinguished with water by streaming a continuous supply onto the source of the fire.  

Class B:  

These ignite due to explosions of flammable liquids or gasses. To extinguish these, simply deplete the oxygen supply by smothering the flames. Never attempt to put out a fire fueled by flammable liquids with water because it splatters and spreads the flames to give the fire strength instead of taking it away.  

Class C:  

These are known as electrical fires that erupt due to components like appliances and motors and are often seen in industries with lots of electrical power equipment. To extinguish these fires, cut the power and use non-conductive chemicals like carbon dioxide.  

Class D:  

This type of fire ignites combustible metals. Laboratories are often environments where these occur. Class D fires should be extinguished with dry powder agents like graphite powder or powdered copper. Similar to a Class B fire, you should never use water to attempt to extinguish it as water burns when it comes in contact with specific metals.  

Class K:  

These are cooking fires that are often seen in commercial buildings, restaurants, or company break rooms caused by ovens, stovetops, or appliances like microwaves. These should be put out with a fire extinguisher. 

To further understand fire, it is important some of the main causes. These include but are not limited to;  

  • Heating  
  • Electrical equipment  
  • Candles  
  • Smoking  
  • Cooking equipment  
  • Faulty wiring  
  • Flammable liquids  
  • Lighting  

These hazards of fires are used a lot in our everyday lives, making it seem like threats of fire are inevitable. Eliminating fire hazards doesn’t mean you have to throw out all your candles and never use another electrical unit, you simply have to follow safer guidelines while using them.  

  • If an electrical cord, unit or device becomes warm or overloaded disconnect any appliances attached  
  • Keep your work environment clean and ensure aisles, exits and self-closing doors are easily accessible  
  • Limit and enforce areas where smoking is allowed  
  • Avoid using space heaters for too long of a time period, as heating equipment is the second leading cause of fire deaths  
  • Keep candles one foot away from anything that can burn and never leave them unattended  
  • Do not leave any cooking equipment, even something as simple as a microwave, unattended and keep anything flammable such as dish towels or wooden spoons away from appliances 

Proper use and Maintenance of Fire Safety Equipment  

Simply having the equipment necessary to put out a fire is a great first step, but from there it is important to regularly care for and maintain the equipment. What good is a faulty fire extinguisher or fire alarm with a dead battery going to be in the event of a fire?  

Proper Fire Extinguisher Usage and Maintenance 

Extinguishers should only be used on smaller fires, as it is often not as effective with bigger fires. To properly work a fire extinguisher, you pull the pin while pointing away from you, aim towards the base of the fire, squeeze the lever slowly and evenly, and sweep from side-to-side. This is called the PASS System, and all employees should know these steps.

After using an extinguisher, it is important to replace or refill your extinguisher to ensure that it is ready in case of another emergency. Even if your extinguisher has not been used recently, they should be checked on a regular basis and tested by professionals every few years.  

Fire extinguishers should be stored in areas that are accessible within seconds. You should have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your building or office space in easy to grab spots, near exits and in any kitchen areas.  

Fire and Smoke Alarm Installation and Maintenance  

Fire alarms and smoke alarms must first be properly installed. It is vital to ensure all of your alarms are installed correctly and in working order. 

After installation, the battery in smoke and fire alarms should be replaced every year. There are life-long batteries, but these should be avoided for older alarms that do not work as well with these legacy products. The alarm itself should be replaced every decade and checked often.  

Fire alarm guidelines are different for schools, hospitals, apartments, hotels, homes, and office spaces so it is important to check guidelines for your specific building.   

Emergency Light Illumination  

Exit and emergency lights are designed to provide you and your employees with a path to safety in the event of a fire. They are required in all commercial buildings with the intent to save the lives of those who use those buildings.  

It is important to ensure that your emergency and exit lights illuminate properly because in the event of a power failure your employees will use those lights to get to safety. The fire code requires that your illumination works for a minimum of 90 minutes when called to do so. To ensure that your lighting will work when you need it most it is important to do a monthly test.  

Keeping Records of Maintenance  

Record keeping is another important aspect of fire safety, especially regarding fire inspections as inspectors often review these records. Because of this, employers should make and maintain documentation of all records associated with fire protection systems and services.  

These records should be updated, stored, and organized for inspectors to see the documentation of regular inspection and maintenance for alarms, sprinklers, extinguishers, and any safety data sheets.  

General Fire Safety Rules and Guidelines  

To add to your knowledge beyond stop, drop, and roll, another great saying to keep in mind is ACT don’t panic. ACT stands for Assess the situation, Choose your response, and Take action.  

These steps include identifying hazards and determining if any people are at risk, then limiting the response of those involved and taking individual action then sounding the alarm and evacuating. These are great steps to keep in mind when running through each part of the ACT acronym.  

It is also important to be mindful of OSHA’s guidelines and local codes enforced by local fire safety professionals. Their guidelines are meant to prevent fires and are something you should consider and implement before it is too late. 

Fire can present a serious risk to any business; killing and injuring employees, burning and damaging buildings, and creating a massive loss of equipment and funds. As a result, it is vital to provide fire safety training for your employees to ensure their safety in the event of a fire.  

If you have any questions about fire safety training programs, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us by commenting below, using the chat function on our site, e-mailing us at sales@nscemail.com or call us at 877-922-7233. 

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Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is impacting every industry and business across the world. As a result, many workplaces are being forced to change policies and searching for the best methods to keep their business running smoothly during COVID-19 outbreaks. National Safety Compliance has formatted the Occupational Safety and Health Associations recommendations into a handy booklet titled OSHA: Preparing Workplaces For COVID-19 for easy use by business owners and trainers.

Some businesses are affected by the interruption of supplies and deliveries from other geographic areas, while others are experiencing absenteeism as many workers are home sick, caring for loved ones, or unable to work due to being at-risk or fearful of potential exposure. Most are seeing a change in patterns of commerce as consumer interest increases in items used for infection prevention and shopping habits change to reduce person-to-person contact. 

While it is not possible to entirely stop these consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers can reduce the effect it has on their business, workers, customers, and the public by planning and preparing for traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. They can do so by implementing engineering, administration, personal protective equipment (PPE), and work practice controls. Giving employees COVID-19 safety training and implementing COVID safe work practices can significantly reduce the impact and spread of COVID in your workplace.

These methods may change as new information becomes available. COVID-19 outbreak conditions change and evolve, making it vital that employers keep up with new information on the transmission and impacts of the virus. They should consistently be mindful of potential risks in the workplace and any new control measures to enforce.

Employers should continually remind themselves and others to stay home from work if symptoms of COVID-19 appear. These symptoms include cough, fever, and shortness of breath and they will appear between 2 and 14 days after exposure. Employers cannot rely on symptoms alone, as many people are asymptomatic, meaning they experience no symptoms at all.

People are most contagious when their symptoms are at their worst, but it is possible for the virus to spread before any symptoms show. It is thought to spread mainly from people in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets that are inhaled or land in another’s mouth or nose. 

How Employers Can Reduce Workers’ Risk of Exposure

To reduce the risk of exposure, follow these basic steps:

  • Develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan:

Develop a guide on protective actions against COVID-19 that incorporates recommendations from state and local health agencies. This should address the need for social distancing, exposure-reducing measures, and controls necessary to address those risks.

  • Prepare to Implement Basic Infection Prevention Measures:

This should place an emphasis on employers enforcing basic infection prevention and implementing good hygiene and infection control practices. This includes encouraging workers to stay home when sick, practicing frequent disinfection, respiratory etiquette, and not using others’ workspaces.

  • Develop Policies and Procedures for Prompt Identification and Isolation of Sick:

Employers should inform on symptoms and develop policies for employees to self-monitor for symptoms. Any confirmed cases of the virus should be isolated from the worksite and their workspace should be marked off with a temporary barrier.

  • Develop, Implement, and Communicate about Workplace Flexibilities and Protections:

Encourage employees to stay home when sick by allowing leave policies to be flexible, developing non-punitive leave policies, and not requiring a note from a healthcare provider. This also includes being understanding about workers taking care of sick family members, being aware of their health and safety concerns, and working with insurance companies on providing information about medical care in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Implement Workplace Controls:

To eliminate the hazards a combination of control measures including engineering controls, administrative controls, and safe work practices is necessary to effectively protect workers from exposure.

Different Forms of Control:

  • Engineering Controls: Isolate employees from work-related hazards where appropriate to avoid relying on worker behavior. These can include high-efficiency air filters, ventilation rates, and physical barriers.
  • Administrative Controls: This includes any changes in workplace policy and procedures that reduce exposure to a hazard like minimizing contact, establishing alternating shifts, and providing workers with up-to-date training and education on COVID-19.
  • Safe Work Practices: Administrative control that include procedures for safe and proper work to reduce the duration and frequency of exposure to a hazard by providing resources on personal hygiene, requiring regular handwashing, and supplying disinfectants. This can also be done with Coronavirus awareness training and awareness classes to further educate your employees on COVID-19 safety.
  • Personal Protective Equipment: PPE like gloves, goggles, face shields, and masks should be used in addition to, rather than in place of, the above workplace controls to prevent certain exposures. Make sure to provide PPE Safety Training if needed.

Classifications of Exposure

Worker risk of occupational exposure to COVID-19 is classified into very high, high, medium, or lower (caution) risk. The risk level is determined by the industries’ need for workers to be within 6 feet of someone suspected of being infected.

This helps employers determine the appropriate precautions for their workplace depending on which category they fall into.

  • Very High Exposure Risk:

These employees have the highest potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID-19. This can include healthcare workers performing procedures on COVID-19 patients, laboratory personnel collecting specimens from patients, or morgue workers performing autopsies on the bodies of those known to have COVID-19 at the time of their death. Employers for very high exposure risk jobs should require all forms of engineering controls, administrative controls, and all safe work practices available, as well as all PPE including respirators.

  • High Exposure Risk:

These employees are at a high risk of exposure because they are in direct contact with suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19. This includes those working with COVID-19 patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and emergency response facilities. Employers of high exposure risk workers should follow the same guidelines as those given to very high exposure risk, though this is only a recommendation instead of a requirement.

  • Medium Exposure Risk:

These are people in a workforce who are required to be in close contact with other people who may be exposed including their co-workers. This includes places with ongoing community transmission, travel, and contact with the public in settings like schools, food processing, and high-volume retail centers. Employers for medium risk exposure workers should install physical barriers like sneeze guards, offer face masks to employees and customers, keep informed on symptoms of COVID-19 and not allow anyone experiencing those symptoms in the workplace, limit public access to only certain places, minimize face-to-face contact and select a combination of PPE to protect workers specific to their workplace.

  • Low Risk (Caution):

The majority of American’s make up this category with jobs that don’t require any contact with the public or any suspected of being infected, in addition, this means minimal contact with coworkers and the public. Employers for workers within this category should follow safety protocols and basic steps to reduce the risk of exposure and they are not recommended to require any additional engineering control or PPE other than what is required by the CDC and state and local laws.

Employees Living or Travelling Abroad

Businesses with employees traveling internationally or living abroad take on a different set of risks not associated with any one level. To combat these risks, employers should communicate to workers abroad that travel into or out of a country may not be possible or medically advisable due to COVID-19 outbreak conditions.

Employees abroad also need to be aware that the U.S. Department of State (DOS) cannot provide Americans traveling or living abroad with medications or supplies. It is likely that governments will respond to an outbreak by imposing public health measures that restrict domestic and international movement, meaning that the U.S. government’s ability to assist Americans in these countries would be even more limited.

For more information to further educate yourself on international travel during an outbreak, consult the section of OSHA’s website on “Business Travelers”, consult CDC travel warnings, and DOS travel advisories.

Assistance and Services

Staying informed on the latest developments and recommendations is critical for employees because specific guidance may change based on new information that arises. Follow federal, state, and local government agencies for communication on guidelines that apply to you in your area.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers have the responsibility to provide safe work environments for their employees. OSHA helps ensure that health and safety standards are enforced for all of America’s working men and women by setting proper guidelines and providing training, education, and assistance.

Additional OSHA Services:

  • Compliance Assistance Specialists: They work to provide information to employers on OSHA standards with educational programs and information on compliance assistance resources.
  • No-Cost On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Services for Small Business: Offer confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses with priority to high-hazard worksites.
  • Cooperative Programs: Allows businesses and labor groups to work cooperatively with OSHA.
  • Strategic Partnerships and Alliances: Provides a chance for OSHA to partner with employers, associations, labor organizations, and others to develop tools and resources to share with workers to educate on their rights and responsibilities.
  • Voluntary Protection Programs: The VPP recognizes those who have effectively implemented safety and health programs in the private sector and federal agencies.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Training: Delivers courses on OSHA standards and health and safety topics to students.
  • OSHA Educational Materials: OSHA has many materials to assist workers in finding and preventing any hazards including QuickTakes, newsletters, and publications.

To help further educate your employees, National Safety Compliance offers health and safety posters on 5 steps to stop COVID-19 spread, hand washing, respirator safe use, protecting yourself and others, answering novel coronavirus questions, and determining the difference between social distancing, quarantine, and isolation.

Order our booklet Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 for a complete outline of everything you need to know about keeping your employees and workplace safe, efficient, and compliant according to current OSHA guidelines. These low-cost booklets will receive an automatic bulk discount in your cart when you buy 10 or more.

As mentioned earlier, we also have an Infectious Disease Training Program to help employers train for COVID-19 and future pandemics, which was newly created for Summer 2020. This program is available on DVD, USB, or via Instant Digital Access. It includes a trainer’s guide, compliance manual, PowerPoint presentation, employees quizzes, answer keys, supplemental documents, completion certificates, and wallet cards. These documents are all in digital form, so employers can print them for as many employees as they need at no additional costs.

National Safety Compliance is dedicated to helping employers identify and amend any job hazards to improve their safety and health programs. Our safety training programs are designed to help employers comply with their responsibilities under OSHA regulations and substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace illnesses. If you have any questions, please call us a 877-992-7233, reach us by e-mail at sales@nscemail.com, or comment below.

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Infectious Disease Control Training for the Workplace

The impact of COVID-19 has left no aspect of daily life untouched. Everything from going to the airport or showing up to work every day has been completely altered as COVID-19 shows its effects on all financial markets and industries. This pandemic has revealed the need for specialized training, so National Safety Compliance has developed a complete infectious disease control training program to help protect your business, employees, and clients from further danger or disruption.

Businesses have been constantly working towards reducing the impact of COVID-19 by planning and preparing as far in advance as possible for the safety of employers, workers and customers.

Many are concerned about the potential risk for exposure, how to control sources of exposure and slow down the transmission of the disease. If employers move forward without proper planning and training employees, these concerns may become a reality.

Lack of continually planning and preparing will result in the consistent failure of employers’ attempts to address the challenges of the pandemic. In order to succeed in your efforts to keep your employees safe, you must have both sufficient resources and adequate training for your employees to perform their jobs under pandemic conditions.

Proper pandemic planning should be based on infection prevention, industrial hygiene practices and personal protective equipment (PPE) use. Moving forward, employers and employees should be mindful of this training guidance to identify any risks in workplace settings, determine the appropriate measures to implement and take the necessary steps to ensure a safe workplace for all.

Having an In-Depth Understanding of COVID-19

In order to understand how to prevent the spread of the disease, you have to first have a better understanding of the disease itself. There is a constant flow of new information as researchers discover more about the disease.

Here is what we currently know about the disease. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person when they are in close contact with one another or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

While infected surfaces and objects are not the primary way of acquiring the disease, it is possible to procure the virus by touching an infected surface or object and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

Cleaning desk to prevent infectious disease.

It is believed that those who are infected are most contagious when they are most symptomatic. Meaning, the more symptoms you show, the more contagious you are. But people can also carry and spread the disease while they are asymptomatic.

Symptoms often appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and include a cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell and many other potential symptoms.

It is important to stay up to date with current conditions during the pandemic. Many assume once they know the basic methods of prevention and symptoms to watch out for they are educated enough, but new information about the virus may require changes in how you operate your workplace.

Looking ahead, new information is still being sought about the virus to help understand the disease. It is vital that employers continue to stay up to date on all aspects of COVID-19 to better understand how to protect against infection, treat cases and provide safe workplaces as the economy continues to open back up.

Utilize valuable resources like the CDC, OSHA and local and state governmental agencies in order to stay up to date on new information.

Implementing Pandemic Preparedness Plan

The first step to safety for your employers during this outbreak is to develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan. While making this you should be mindful of current regulations and recommendations from local agencies to incorporate into your plan.

Your plan should prepare your business for increased worker absenteeism, change in commerce patterns, delivery and supply disruptions, the need for social distancing and conducting essential operations with a reduced workforce and cross-training.

You should also consider the level of risk associated with various job tasks and which controls may be necessary to address them. For instance, it is important to determine how and where your employees can be exposed, as well as each individuals risk factors.

These risk factors will be different for each employee. Protection and PPE should be provided for customers who come in close contact with others.

You should also gauge the health of your employees consistently and encourage them to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of disease. This can be done by putting policies into place that ensure employees report if they are experiencing any symptoms and designating a room to close off so they can be isolated until medical help can arrive.

Workplace Controls and OSHA Standards 

The best way to control hazards is to systematically remove them from the workplace. A combination of control measures is necessary to reduce exposure.

One form of this is engineering controls. This can include installing high-efficiency air filters, ventilation rates, physical barriers like sneeze guards and pressure ventilation.

Another form is administrative controls which should be included within any workplace plan. Consider including policies like encouraging sick employees to stay home, minimizing contact between any people within the building, establishing flexible worksites, discontinuing non-essential work travel and providing employees with up to date education and training on pandemic risk factors.

You should also be mindful of safe work practices which is a form of control measures that emphasizes good hygiene and infection control practices. This includes frequent hand washing, respiratory etiquette and routine housekeeping procedures to clean and disinfect.

And the final form of control measures is to provide proper PPE. This can include gloves, masks, face shields and goggles. Beyond simply providing PPE, employers should also provide training on proper use of PPE by having them properly fitted, regularly inspected and properly removed, cleaned and stored.

A combination of all of these forms is the perfect method for eliminating any risks to your employees. Businesses must also be mindful of OSHA guidelines on PPE, the General Duty Clause and Bloodborne Pathogens.

OSHA has divided job tasks into four risk exposure levels in the shape of a pyramid to represent probable risk. This ranges from very high exposure risk which would include healthcare or morgue workers to lower exposure risk which includes jobs that don’t require any contact with people suspected of being infected and minimal contact with the public.

Overall, the best workplace control to put into place is to communicate openly with your employees about the current situation of the workplace, provide training as needed and ensure employees are informed of safety precautions being taken.

At National Safety Compliance, we offer a number of different ways to train your employees on infectious disease training and planning. Here on OSHA-Safety-Training.net we offer complete infectious disease training programs with videos, trainers guides, PowerPoint presentations, quizzes, printable completion certificates, wallet cards, and more on DVD, USB, or Digital Access. We also offer complete online training modules on our OSHA Online Training site. Also, make sure to purchase posters in our series of informational COVID-19 safety posters.

 

If you have any further questions, please comment below, reach out to us via e-mail, or call us at 877-922-7233.

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Safe Lifting Training For Your Workforce

Trainer Certifying Employee in Safe Lifting

While lifting seems like a risk-free activity, there are many potential hazards. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) more than one million workers experience back injuries each year, with 75% of back injuries occurring while performing lifting tasks. 

A back injury can have a permanent effect on a worker’s life and is one of the most common reasons that people miss work.  Ensuring your employees have received lifting safety training and practice safe lifts makes them less likely to incur such injuries.  

A big benefit of using safe lifting training is that it teaches your employees about the dangers of overexertion while lifting and the importance of always using OSHA proper lifting techniques no matter how heavy the load.  

At National Safety Compliance, we offer several different ways to train your employees on safe lifting techniques, including turn-key online safe lifting and back safety training modules onlineOSHAtraining.net, as well as more traditional employer-led training programs available on DVD, USB, or Digital Access on OSHA-Safety-Training.net

Proper Lifting Technique 

  1. Plan ahead  

Before lifting anything, it is important to check your path and surroundings to ensure the work area is flat, dry and free of debris. Decide where you’re going to place the object and how you’ll get there. Then determine the approximate weight of the object and whether or not it’s safe to lift on your own or with a two-man lift limit.  

  1. Stretch  

Warming up before lifting can be the defining factor between an injury and gliding through your workload. It is imperative to stretch your back and legs in order to warm up the muscles, some great stretches for this are lower back rotations and the hamstring stretch. You also need good blood flow in order to perform properly so you should do a few jumping jacks or run in place briefly before beginning.   

  1. Lift  

To lift safely, you should stand as close to the load as possible so you don’t exert more force onto your back by extending the distance. Then bend your knees and keep your upper body upright so your legs do the lifting rather than your back. Look straight ahead and keep your back straight and shoulders back so you have a slight arch in your lower back.  

  1. Carry 

Get a good grip on the load and use your feet to change direction, taking small steps as you go. As you change direction, lead with your hips and keep your shoulders in line with your hip’s movement. Keep the load close to your body with your elbows at your sides.  

  1. Set down 

Lower the load in reverse by lowering your legs and keeping the load close to your body. Keep your head up, stomach muscles tight and the load close to your body. While it may seem like this is the easy part, you can injure yourself just as easily with setting down a load as you can picking it up.  

Dangerous Activities to Avoid When Lifting:  

Trainer Helping Worker Lift Properly
Trainer Advising Employee on Lifting Mistakes
  • Twisting or turning your body while lifting a load  
  • Attempting to carry a load that is too heavy or too large  
  • Lifting an object above shoulder level  
  • Bending forward rather than squatting down to your load 
  • Using a partial grip with only 1-2 fingers  
  • Lifting or working while fatigued  
  • Obstructing your vision while carrying a load 
  • Rushing through the process  
  • Holding your breath 

Can Back Belts Help Prevent Injury?

While back belts have become commonplace for a lot of employees in a workforce that requires a lot of lifting, there is no research that shows that these prevent or decrease back injuries related to lifting.  

Back belts offer a lot of supposed benefits but there is a severe lack of scientific evidence to support these benefits. In most cases, back belts can create more potential dangers by creating a false sense of security and making workers more likely to attempt to lift more weight than they can handle.  

This is why it is so important to still be mindful of safe lifting techniques and practices rather than relying on a back belt to do the job. Regardless of whether you believe back belts are advantageous or not, do not trust them as a substitute, and instead be mindful of proper lifting.  

If you’re putting all your prevention resources into back belts, you are not adequately protecting your workers. Instead, focus your efforts on reducing all risk factors, training your employees on how to lift and respond to reports of discomfort and fatigue as soon as they arise.  

High Frequency and Long Duration Lifting 

Proper Lifting is important for long term employee retention and satisfaction
Implementing Back Safety and Safe Lifting Training Will Improve Employee Retention and Satisfaction.

When lifting and carrying loads for long periods of time it is important to be mindful of what your body is telling you. If you begin to feel fatigued you should set down the load, rest and take a break. It is vital to keep your energy up for picking up and setting down the load following the proper technique.  

If you are required to have your employees lift high frequency and long duration loads it is essential to plan ahead in order to work in frequent breaks, teamwork and rotating tasks.  

If you have any questions about our proper lifting training programs, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us using the chat function on our site, e-mail us at sales@nscemail.com or call us at 877-922-7233.