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OSHA Using Drones to Inspect Employer Facilities

Although many employers may not be aware of it, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is now using drones to conduct safety inspections of employer facilities, but only if the employer consents. 

OSHA’s use of drones requires consent of the employer, who may be wary of granting it due to under-developed guidelines.

During 2018, OSHA reportedly used drones with cameras to conduct at least nine inspections of employer facilities after obtaining permission from the companies’ management. The drones were most frequently deployed following accidents at worksites that were considered too dangerous for OSHA inspectors to enter, including an oil drilling rig fire, a building collapse, a combustible dust blast, an accident on a television tower and a chemical plant explosion.

Early in 2018, OSHA issued a memo to its staff formalizing its use of drones for inspection activities, ordering each of the agency’s 10 regions to designate a staff member as an unmanned aircraft program manager to oversee training requirements and evaluate reports submitted by drone teams.

The memo sets forth the parameters OSHA must follow when using drones, including the fact that the employer must agree to their use. It also reveals that OSHA is exploring the option of obtaining a Blanket Public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate drones nationwide.

Because employers must grant the agency permission for it to conduct the flyovers of their facilities, their expanding use puts employers in an uncomfortable position, some attorneys note, observing that OSHA’s use of drones has the potential to expand its violation-finding capabilities during any inspection.

Drones quickly provide OSHA inspectors a detailed view of a facility, expanding the areas that can be easily viewed by an inspector, and significantly slashing the amount of time required for such an inspection if it was conducted on the ground, notes Megan Baroni, an attorney with the law firm of Robinson & Cole.

While most inspections can and should be limited in scope, the fact remains that OSHA can cite employers for violations that are in plain sight, she points out. “Employers must consent to the drone use, but the question remains as to how the scope of an investigation might change if an employer refuses.”

Baroni explains that it is unclear at this point whether the agency’s policy requiring employer permission will survive if OSHA is granted the Blanket Public COA it’s seeking from the FAA to use the drones anywhere in the country.

She stresses that employers should be aware of this policy and the fact that drones could be a requested part of a future OSHA inspection. “Employers may want to give some thought to their facilities and whether drones can be safely flown without causing damage to equipment or processes,” she says. If an employer allows OSHA to use drones during an inspection, she recommends they consider getting involved from the outset in the development of the flight plan and attempt to get copies of any data that is collected.

Drone Use Will Increase

John S. Ho, an attorney with the law firm of Cozen O’Connor, also believes the use of drones in OSHA inspections is likely to increase, and he believes that raises some novel issues that need to be considered by employers.

“Until some of these issues become more fully developed and depending, of course, on the specific facts, drones may present a situation where the employer might consider going against conventional thinking and err on the side of withholding consent,” he advises.

It is well-settled that an employer can generally require OSHA to obtain an inspection warrant before entering the worksite, Ho explains. Although determining whether to do this is always a fact-sensitive analysis, he says conventional thinking suggests that the better course is usually to define the scope of the inspection with the OSHA inspector as opposed to requiring a warrant.

Conventional strategy in responding to an OSHA inspection also includes the practice of the authorized employer representative accompanying the inspector, essentially mimicking the investigation This includes taking the same pictures, measurements and other actions so the employer essentially possesses the same data as the inspector gathered during the walkaround. When a drone is used it becomes extremely difficult to accomplish.

If the employer decides to acquiesce to OSHA’s request, Ho’s recommendation coincides with Baroni’s advice, saying if the employer considers reaching an agreement with OSHA, it should include the specific flight plan to be used, agreeing that all photographs will be promptly shared and have the authorized representative observe the drone’s operation.

However, Ho warns that even if the scope of the inspection is defined, citations generally still can be issued targeting recognized hazards whenever they are found “in plain sight.” He also says it seems likely a drone equipped with a camera might capture more hazards in “plain” sight than a traditional walkaround where the inspector is usually directed to the site of an accident by the most direct route.

In addition, there is a danger that a company’s trade secrets may be exposed to the OSHA drone images. He urges employers to make sure this issue is addressed and answered by OSHA before giving consent for drones in their facility.

The bottom line is that OSHA’s use of drones is not going away and is likely to expand from worksites that are considered too dangerous for physically examinations by inspectors, to greater use in more routine facilities’ reviews. In facing that possibility, it is the employers’ job to make sure they are ready when that day comes.


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Is your team CPR ready to save a life?

CPR/First Aid – Corporate and Group Classes

 Anyone can learn CPR, is your firm ready to save a life? #cprreadytosavealife

Green Guard offers weekly CPR classes for companies and groups, Green Guard’s CPRAED and First Aid training program will help employers meet OSHA and other federal and state regulatory requirements for training employees how to respond and care for medical emergencies at work.

This 2-year certification course conforms to the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC, and the 2015 AHA and ARC Guidelines Update for First Aid.

CPR classes are a great team building opportunity too!

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You may no longer be more likely to go into cardiac arrest on Monday morning, study says

The most common time to experience sudden cardiac arrest could be changing, according to new research.

“The dogma — in fact, this is everywhere, in all the textbooks about sudden cardiac arrest — [is that] the most common time period for people to have a sudden cardiac arrest is early in the morning,” said Dr. Sumeet Chugh, one of the authors of the study published in the journal Heart Rhythm.
Chugh, Price Professor and associate director of the Heart Institute and director of the Heart Rhythm Center at Cedars-Sinai, and his co-authors used the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study to look at 2,631 cases of sudden cardiac arrest.
Of those incidences, the most commonly reported time was the afternoon, when 31.6% of cases happened. Only 13.9% happened in the early morning, 27.6% in the morning and 26.9% in the evening.
The researchers looked at sudden cardiac arrest, an electrical malfunction in the heart, rather than heart attacks, which are blockages, with the understanding that both can happen at the same time.
For Chugh, there were a few ways to explain this change in peak times. Among them is increased accuracy in observations of the timing of the events. Also, treatment is changing for people who experience or could be at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, and medications or other treatments could be affecting their peak times.Another factor may be the shift to a more 24/7 culture.
“Our hypothesis is that in the last decade or two decades, we’ve really changed the way that we behave as human beings. We’ve changed the way that we work. We are constantly wired,” Chugh said. “I would call it an ‘always on’ existence. A lot of people are working all the time, or they’re tied to, or tethered to, a smartphone, almost every instant of the day, sometimes at night.” Others have also considered the idea that new technology could play a part in potential changes in the most common times for cardiac arrest events.
“Maybe because we are constantly working, connected, living in a 24/7 culture, that maybe that’s part of the reason things are a little bit different now. Of course, we don’t know that for sure. This is all observational,” said Dr. Comilla Sasson, vice president of emergency cardiovascular care, science and innovation at the American Heart Association.
Sasson, who was not involved in the new research, said its findings were not necessarily “surprising,” as previous research has had similar results, such as a higher number of cardiac arrests during daytime hours. However, she suggests that this research could mean “we are getting better, hopefully, at capturing when a sudden cardiac arrest event is actually happening.
“The lows are still the lows in terms of the timing, and I think for me, that’s really the take-home point,” she said “There is something to be said about our bodies’ natural circadian rhythms, and I think this tells us that there is something that happens to our bodies overnight.”
Chugh’s research also suggests that Monday may no longer be the most common day of the week for sudden cardiac arrest.

Do women heart attack patients fare better with female doctors?

“Where all previous studies had shown that Mondays were the worst day for sudden cardiac arrest, we couldn’t find that peak either,” he said. When it came to the most common day of the week, the only trend researchers saw was a low number on Sundays.
Sasson believes that research like this can help in two ways.
“I think it helps us plan from an emergency medical services perspective, so when hospitals and primary and first responders need to be thinking about making sure we are staffed appropriately to account for this variation,” she said.
Her second reason is more personal. “I think we need to think a little bit more about … the changes in the way we live, work and play, in terms of our 24/7 culture, [and] what impact that has on our bodies, and whether that is maybe disrupting some of our circadian rhythms,” Sasson said. “It ultimately could be potentially contributing to the idea that maybe we are stressed all throughout the day.”
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The American Heart Association says that there are more than 35,000 incidences of cardiac arrest outside hospitals in the United States every year.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Preventionestimates that approximately 70% to 90% of those who experience sudden cardiac arrest die before reaching a hospital, and approximately 209,000 people are treated in hospitals for cardiac arrest yearly.

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CPR Saves lives at Food 4 Less

Medford, OR. Fire-Rescue honored four distinct community members, as well as local business, Food 4 Less, on Thursday for their heroic and fast-acting efforts that saved two lives in December.

Over the Christmas holiday, two separate incidents that both involved people going into cardiac arrest, happened a week apart at the same Medford Food 4 Less. According to Medford Fire-Rescue, both patients required a “Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillation (AED).”

The first incident, on December 22nd, began as a reported car crashing into the Food 4 Less building. Several employees and a customer moved quickly to check on the driver and realized she was not responsive or breathing.

They called for help, turned off the car, and pulled her out to begin CPR. One of the employees ran inside the building to retrieve the closest AED. The first arriving Medford Police officer on-scene assisted with CPR until Medford Fire-Rescue firefighters arrived to relieve them. “We happened to be walking by going in shopping and just rendered care to her as we saw fit to what’s going on,” Cliff Maris, local United States Postal Service employee said.

Maris has a history of valiant acts and medical training from his six years in the air force as a Medical Evacuation Specialist 452nd, who served during the first war in Iraq. Maris said helping and taking care of people are the two reasons that motivated him to join the military. “It’s just the training we had in the military that [tells us to] go to it and then take care of the problem instead of running away from it,” Maris said.

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“Due to the rapid and effective CPR performance, the patient arrived to the hospital with a pulse, and a chance,” said Melissa Cano, Emergency Manager for Medford Fire-Rescue.

A week later on December 28th, a Food 4 Less employee was alerted of an unresponsive person, hunched over on a bench. The very same employee who assisted in the previous week’s incident again responded, and was instrumental in the life-saving efforts. They acted swiftly: calling for help, starting CPR, and even issuing a shock from the store AED before the first responders arrived.

“Both incidents are a true testament to the willingness of those in our community to help a person in need,” said Cano. “Medford Fire-Rescue is not only proud to recognize these individuals, but highlight the importance of being properly trained in CPR. Every community member can potentially assist others, and even, save a life.”


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Heimlich Maneuver – How to do it

The Heimlich maneuver uses abdominal thrusts to force objects out of the throat. Underneath the lungs is a muscle called the diaphragm. This muscle contracts to move the lungs, helping them exhale air.                                                                       

Fast facts on the Heimlich maneuver:

  • When a person chokes, they cannot inhale or exhale air, which is why it is not possible to cough an object out during a choking episode.
  • Until the 1970s, there was no widely accepted research-based strategy for managing choking.
  • People should only ever carry out the Heimlich maneuver on someone who is choking.

How to do the Heimlich maneuver

There are four ways to perform the Heimlich maneuver, depending on the age and needs of the choking person. The underlying action with each approach is the same: using the muscles of the diaphragm to force the object out of the throat.

Conscious adult or child

If the adult or child over the age of 1 is conscious but cannot speak, cough, or breathe, perform the Heimlich maneuver immediately, following these steps:

  1. Stand behind the person who is choking, arms wrapped around their waist.
  2. Make one hand into a fist. Position the thumb side of the fist against the person’s stomach, below their ribs and above the belly button. It is possible to feel the diaphragm muscle.
  3. Put the other hand over the fist and push into this muscle with a rapid, forceful, upward thrust.
  4. Continue abdominal thrusts until the object comes out.

Unconscious adult or child

If the child or adult is unconscious or cannot sit or stand, perform these steps:

  1. Position the choking person flat on their back.
  2. Sit on the person’s thighs, facing toward them
  3. Place one hand on top of the other, and then position the heel of the hand over their diaphragm, just below their rib cage and above their belly button.
  4. Lean onto the hands, pushing up and in.
  5. Continue repeating thrusts until the object is coughed out.

Performing Heimlich on yourself

If you choke while alone, or when there is no one to help, do the following:

  1. Make a fist, and with thumbs pointing inward, position the fist against the diaphragm – under the rib cage and above the navel.
  2. Push in and up until the object is expelled.
  3. If unable to do this or it does not work lean over a solid object, such as a counter or chair. Position the edge at the diaphragm to push in and up. Move slightly forward and backward to produce thrusts.
  4. Repeat until the object is dislodged.

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Don’t just think about learning CPR/First Aid – Schedule your class now and get certified

Workplace Environment CPR

CPR/First Aid – Corporate and Group Classes

 Anyone can learn CPR, is your firm ready to save a life? #cprreadytosavealife

Green Guard offers weekly CPR classes for companies and groups, Green Guard’s CPRAED and First Aid training program will help employers meet OSHA and other federal and state regulatory requirements for training employees how to respond and care for medical emergencies at work.

This 2-year certification course conforms to the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC, and the 2015 AHA and ARC Guidelines Update for First Aid.

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OSHA 2018 Top 10 Violations

Construction Fall Protection

The top 10 violations seen by OSHA in the fiscal year 2018:

1. Fall Protection—General Requirements: 1926.501, with 7,720 violations

2. Hazard Communication: 1910.1200, with 4,552 violations

3. Scaffolds—General Requirements: 1926.451, with 3,336 violations

4. Respiratory Protection: 1910.134, with 3,118 violations

5. Lockout/Tagout: 1910.147, with 2,944 violations

6. Ladders: 1926.1053, with 2,812 violations

7. Powered Industrial Trucks: 1910.178, with 2,294 violations

8. Fall ProtectionTraining Requirements: 1926.503, with 1,982 violations

9. Machine Guarding: 1926.212, with 1,972 violations

10. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment—Eye and Face Protection: 1926.102, with 1,536 violations


Don’t be part of these statistics, Green Guard offers over 350 online safety training programs to help prevent workplace accidents and injuries.


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Tips For Preventing Eyestrain

Do you ever find yourself rubbing your eyes, blinking repeatedly and looking away from your computer screen?

You may be experiencing eyestrain. The American Osteopathic Association notes that as more and more workers stare at computer screens and monitors all day, side effects from eyestrain – including blurred vision, headaches, dry eyes and frequent blinking – are becoming common.

For most people, eyestrain results from focusing too intently on a screen and not blinking enough, according to AOA. To help relieve eyestrain, try to blink more or use artificial tears. Other tips AOA recommends to prevent eyestrain include:

  • Ensure your working space is properly lit. This may mean closing blinds to prevent glare and avoiding fluorescent lights.
  • To help diminish glare, place an anti-glare screen on your monitor and paint walls dark colors.
  • Take regular rest breaks (every few hours for five minutes) to allow your eyes to relax.
  • Position your monitor 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes.
  • Ask your eye care provider about devices that might help, such as anti-reflective lenses or bifocal lenses.
  • If the text size on your monitor is too small, adjust it until it is big enough to comfortably read. Generally, this means increasing the text size by about three times.
  • If you are younger than 40, AOA recommends seeing an eye doctor at least every other year; people 40 and older should make annual appointments.

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7 tips for an effective workplace safety committee

1 – Put progression before perfection at the start. When creating a safety committee, begin the process with immediate and long-term goals, but be careful about aiming too high initially.

What are you going to accomplish? Is there a measurement that you’re going to have?  What can you do to push safety forward just a little bit?


2 – Embrace variety. Workplaces consist of employees with varied positions and backgrounds. Ensure your safety committee follows suit by including a mix of your organization’s labor force and management.

Committees should include current or previous safety champions as well.


3 – Develop a basic curriculum. Be prepared to provide training and materials to boost committee members’ knowledge and recognition of workplace safety and health hazards, as well as ways to avoid and prevent them.

There are numerous safety education resources are available. NSC and other worker safety organizations offer extensive training in a variety of areas, while the OSHA Outreach Training Program includes 10-hour and 30-hour classes.


4 – Plan meetings ahead of time. Develop meeting agendas a few days in advance and distribute them so committee members can prepare. Part of the agenda should include setting a time limit for the entire meeting as well as for each agenda item. Monitor how meetings adhere to these limits.

Have one person serve as the committee’s “conscience.” This person’s duties would include keeping the group focused and ensuring the committee is acting properly, following pre-determined ground rules and treating all members with respect.


5 – Maintain a reasonable rotation among committee members. Ideally, the committee will be made up of volunteers rather than appointed or selected members. That dynamic increases the probability of consistent member investment and energy.

Consider the size of your organization and the committee when deciding the best rotation schematic. The importance of a number of perspectives and the tendency of groupthink to build on an individual’s idea.

For most larger companies, have a rotation of three years on, two years off.


6 – Don’t be boring.  “Make Safety Fun,”

Make fun an agenda item. Talk about what you can do to make safety meetings more fun and make them better.

Opening meetings with personal reflections or exercises before the traditional reading of minutes; using occasional guest speakers; and scheduling some meetings at a nearby restaurant, museum or park.

Professional decorum still applies, of course.


7 – Occasionally look outward. Try to get in touch with other industries and see what they’re doing outside of your field, and see what their safety committee is doing.


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First Aid Service – How a service program can save you time and money…

Have you ever utilized a first aid service before? Do you know that such a service exists?

Often times businesses attempt to handle the first aid and safety needs for their company by themselves. Perhaps this is possible when a company is small and has only a few employees. However, through the challenges of a company growing and becoming more viable in its industry, first aid and safety needs could begin to take a backseat, leaving them vulnerable.

Having a first aid service company manage your first aid and safety needs can be very beneficial.

  1. Allow’s you to focus on your business, its growth and more complex issues that come with that.

  2. Ensure that you have an adequate supply of products to meet or exceed the latest A.N.S.I or O.S.H.A standards, and help you understand and comply with those standards.

  3. Having this service could also have a positive impact on employee morale and increased productivity.

In this article, we are going to go over the recommended fill list for an industrial first aid cabinet.

The areas of first aid that your business first aid cabinet should cover as A.N.S.I defines them are:

  1. Minor woundsBandages
    • Antiseptics
  2. Major woundsCompresses
    • Gauze
    • Tape
  3. BurnsBurn gels
    • Sprays
    • Ointments
    • ice packs
  4. Eye injuriesEyewash
    • Eye cups
  5. Personal comfortAnalgesics
      • Ibuprofen
      • Non-aspirin
      • Aspirin


Putting together a first aid program yourself that meets the above areas can be a real challenge. It could be difficult to source all of these items, especially in single unit dose packaging that helps to mitigate cross-contamination. Most items sold and purchased through pharmacies or large box stores are meant for personal or home first aid kits.

A service company like Green Guard will meet with you and your team to design a program based on your needs and environment. Knowing that your first aid and safety needs are being handled by professionals from Green Guard, will allow you to put your mind at rest and focus on other areas of your business.


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