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OSHA Raises Employer Penalties for 2019

OSHA Raises Employer Penalties for 2019

The penalty increases apply to federal OSHA states.

The penalties levied against employers for safety violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have gone up, effective Jan. 24. The increases only apply to citations issued after that date and for the remainder of 2019.

The 2019 penalties are:

·        Other than Serious violations, $13,260 (up from $12,675 in 2018);

·        Serious violations, $13,260 (up from $12,675);

·        Repeat violations: $132,598, (up from $126,749);

·        Willful violations, $132,598 (up from $126,749);

·        Failure to abate (per day), $13,260 (up from $12,675 last year).

The penalty increases apply to federal OSHA states. Nonetheless, OSHA expects that the 26 states operating their own occupational safety and health programs will align penalty structures with federal OSHA so that such programs are equally effective.

“While this is OSHA’s expectation there has been little adjustment from various state plans to align with the increase in penalties,” notes Tressi L. Cordaro, an attorney with the law firm of Jackson Lewis PC. “For example, North Carolina and Kentucky still maintain a $7,000 maximum fine for serious violations and $70,000 for willful or repeats.”

In the future, DOL is required to adjust maximum OSHA penalties for inflation by January 15 of each new year.

Source: https://www.ehstoday.com/standards/osha-raises-employer-penalties-2019

 

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More tips for heart month…

More heart-healthy tips…

Take Action: Food and Alcohol

Eat healthy.

Eating healthy can help lower your risk of heart disease. A heart-healthy diet includes foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium (salt).

Heart-healthy items include high-fiber foods (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) and certain fats (like the fats in olive oil and fish). Use this shopping list to find heart-healthy foods.

Check out these heart-healthy recipe collections:

Get heart-healthy tips for dining out [PDF – 3 MB]. For example, ask for a side salad instead of chips or french fries.

Drink alcohol only in moderation.

If you choose to drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. This means limiting your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for woman and no more than 2 drinks a day for men. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of heart disease.

 

Take Action: Physical Activity

Get active.

Getting active can help prevent heart disease. Adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. This includes walking fast, dancing, and biking.

If you are just getting started, try walking for 10 minutes a day, a few days each week. Then add more activity over time.

Stay at a healthy weight.

People who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. If you are overweight or obese, losing just 10 pounds can lower your risk of heart disease. Find out how to control your weight.

If you don’t know if you are at a healthy weight, use this BMI calculator to figure out your BMI (body mass index).

Take Action: Healthy Habits

Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.

Quitting smoking helps lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free support and to set up your plan for quitting.

Avoiding secondhand smoke is important, too – so keep your home smoke-free. If you have guests who smoke, ask them to smoke outside. If someone in your home smokes, use these tips to start a conversation about quitting.

Manage stress.

Managing stress can help prevent serious health problems like heart disease, depression, and high blood pressure. Deep breathing and meditation are good ways to relax and manage stress.

Source: https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy#take-action_5

Learn CPR today! CPR Certification

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Learning CPR/First Aid is easy; helping save a life is priceless…

CPR/First Aid – Corporate and Group Classes

Anyone can learn CPR, are your employees trained to save a life? 

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!

 

Call Now to speak with a Green Guard First Aid/CPR Specialist

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February is heart awareness month – What you need to know…

When to Call 911

Call 911 right away if you or someone else has signs of a heart attack.

Don’t ignore any signs or feel embarrassed to call for help. Acting fast can save a life. Call 911 even if you aren’t sure it’s a heart attack.

An ambulance is the best and safest way to get to the hospital. In an ambulance, EMTs (emergency medical technicians) can keep track of how you are doing and start life-saving treatments right away.

People who call an ambulance often get treated faster at the hospital. And, if you call 911, the operator can tell you what to do until the ambulance gets there.

Know Your Numbers

Take steps today to lower your risk for heart disease.

Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.

High cholesterol and high blood pressure can cause heart disease and heart attack. If your cholesterol or blood pressure numbers are high, you can take steps to lower them.

Get your cholesterol checked.

It’s important to get your cholesterol checked at least every 4 to 6 years. Some people will need to get it checked more or less often.

Get your blood pressure checked.

Starting at age 18, get your blood pressure checked regularly. High blood pressure has no signs or symptoms.

 

Ask your doctor about taking aspirin every day.

If you are age 50 to 59, taking aspirin every day can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke – but it’s not recommended for everyone.  Talk with your doctor to find out if taking aspirin is the right choice for you.

Talk to your doctor about taking medicine to lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Experts recommend that some people ages 40 to 75 take medicines called statins if they are at high risk for heart attack and stroke. Use these questions to talk with your doctor about statins.

Source: https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health

Learn CPR today! CPR Certification

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Signs of a heart attack, you need to read this…..

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is suddenly blocked. Part of the heart may die if the person doesn’t get help quickly.

Some common signs of a heart attack include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the center or left side of the chest – or a feeling of pressure, squeezing, or fullness
  • Pain or discomfort in the upper body – like the arms, back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or upper stomach (above the belly button)
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing (while resting or being active)
  • Feeling sick to your stomach or throwing up
  • Stomach ache or feeling like you have heartburn
  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or unusually tired
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat

Not everyone who has a heart attack will have all the signs. Learn more about the signs of a heart attack.

Don’t ignore changes in how you feel.

Signs of a heart attack often come on suddenly. But sometimes, they develop slowly – hours, days, or even weeks before a heart attack happens.

Talk to your doctor if you feel unusually tired for several days, or if you develop any new health problems (like pain or trouble breathing). It’s also important to talk to your doctor if existing health issues (like pain) are bothering you more than usual.

If you’ve had a heart attack in the past, it’s important to know that symptoms of a new heart attack might be different from your last one – so talk with your doctor if you have any concerns about how you feel.

Stay tuned for our next heart health post next week…

Source: https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy#the-basics_3

 

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Keep Your Heart Healthy – The Basics

The Basics: Overview

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Take steps today to lower your risk of heart disease.

To help prevent heart disease, you can:

  • Eat healthy.
  • Get active.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol (“koh-LEHS-tuh-rahl”) and blood pressure.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation.
  • Manage stress.

Am I at risk for heart disease?

Everyone is at risk for heart disease. But you are at higher risk for heart disease if you:

  • Have high cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • Smoke
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Don’t get enough physical activity
  • Don’t eat a healthy diet

Your age and family history also affect your risk for heart disease. Your risk is higher if:

  • You are a woman over age 55
  • You are a man over age 45
  • Your father or brother had heart disease before age 55
  • Your mother or sister had heart disease before age 65

But the good news is there’s a lot you can do to prevent heart disease. Stay tuned for our next article on Heart Health….

Source: https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy#the-basics_1

Call Now to speak with a Green Guard First Aid/CPR Specialist

Click Here to learn more about First Aid/CPR

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Learn CPR… It could help you save a life one day.

CPR/First Aid – Corporate and Group Classes

Anyone can learn CPR, are your employees trained to save a life? 

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!

 

Call Now to speak with a Green Guard First Aid/CPR Specialist

Click Here to learn more about First Aid/CPR

Chat? Click on the “Live Chat” button

#cprreadytosavealife

 

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7 Tips for working in extreme cold


The risks of being exposed to the extreme cold are numerous and dangerous. 

Here are some simple tips on how to stay warm in the cold and how to notice the warning signs of hypothermia.

Tips for Working in the Extreme Cold

1. Wear appropriate clothing. Wear several layers of clothing. The layers should fit loosely because tight clothing reduces blood circulation and warm blood needs to be circulated to the extremities. When choosing clothing, be aware that some clothing may restrict movement which, in and of itself, may create a hazardous working situation.

2. Make sure to protect the ears, face, hands, and feet in extremely cold weather. Boots should be waterproof and insulated.

3. Be sure to wear a hat. The goal should be to expose as little skin as possible to the cold environment.
Workers in extreme conditions should take frequent, short breaks in warm, dry shelters to allow their bodies to warm up.

4. Drink warm beverages and eat warm, high-calorie foods.

5. Avoid exhaustion and fatigue because they sap energy, and energy is needed to keep muscles warm.

6. Use the buddy system – work in pairs so that one worker can recognize danger signs.

7. Learn the signs and symptoms of cold-induced illnesses and injuries and what to do to help workers.
Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia (dangerously low body temperature)

Early Stage Shivering
– Fatigue
– Loss of coordination
– Confusion and disorientation Hypothermia is a medical emergency.  If not treated in the early stage, the condition will become life-threatening.

 Late Stage No shivering
– Blue skin
– Dilated pupils
– Slowed pulse and breathing
– Loss of consciousness
– Request immediate medical assistance.

First Aid for Hypothermia
– Request emergency medical assistance.
– Move the victim into a warm room or shelter.
– Remove any wet clothing.
– Warm the center of the victim’s body first, that is, the chest, neck, head, and groin.  One may also use loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets.
– If the victim is conscious, warm beverages may help increase the body temperature, but do not give alcoholic beverages.
After the victim’s body temperature has increased, keep the victim dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck.

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Shoveling Snow? This might shock you…

Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, SnOMG!

There is no end to the terms for “really big snowstorm,” and those terms came in handy, particularly in America’s snowiest cities. Just check out these average annual snowfall totals, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

  • Mt. Washington, NH – 281.2 inches
  • Houghton, MI – 207.7 inches
  • Syracuse, NY – 123.8 inches
  • Sault St. Marie, MI – 120.4 inches
  • Caribou, ME – 108.7 inches
  • Flagstaff, AZ – 101.7 inches
  • Traverse City, MI – 101.4 inches

But with really big snow storms – and even everyday, run-of-the-mill snowfalls – comes a risk of death by shoveling. Nationwide, snow shoveling is responsible for thousands of injuries and as many as 100 deaths each year.

So, why so many deaths? Shoveling snow is just another household chore, right?

Not really, says the American Heart Association. While most people won’t have a problem, shoveling snow can put some people at risk of heart attack. Sudden exertion, like moving hundreds of pounds of snow after being sedentary for several months, can put a big strain on the heart. Pushing a heavy snow blower also can cause injury.

 

Cold weather can increase heart rate and blood pressure. It can make blood clot more easily and constrict arteries, which decreases blood supply. This is true even in healthy people. Individuals over the age of 40 or who are relatively inactive should be particularly careful.

National Safety Council recommends the following tips to shovel safely:

  • Do not shovel after eating or while smoking
  • Take it slow and stretch out before you begin
  • Shovel only fresh, powdery snow; it’s lighter
  • Push the snow rather than lifting it
  • If you do lift it, use a small shovel or only partially fill the shovel
  • Lift with your legs, not your back
  • Do not work to the point of exhaustion
  • Know the signs of a heart attack, and stop immediately and call 911 if you’re experiencing any of them; every minute counts

Don’t pick up that shovel without a doctor’s permission if you have a history of heart disease. A clear driveway is not worth your life.

 

Snow Blower Safety

In addition to possible heart strain from pushing a heavy snow blower, be safe with tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, including:

  • If the blower jams, turn it off
  • Keep your hands away from the moving parts
  • Be aware of the carbon monoxide risk of running a snow blower in an enclosed space
  • Add fuel outdoors, before starting, and never add fuel when it is running
  • Never leave it unattended when it is running

Source: https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/winter/snow-shoveling

 

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Are You Ready for the Feb 1st OSHA Reporting Deadline?

In the midst of all the confusion over electronic reporting, make sure that you don’t make common mistakes.

The deadline for employers to prepare, certify and post a hard copy of their 300A annual summary of injuries and illnesses report in their workplaces for employees to see is Feb. 1st —unless your business is excluded because you have fewer than 10 employees or are on a list of low-hazard industries, such as dental offices, advertising services and car dealers.

These are hard copy reports meant to be posted in the workplace for employees to see. Employers in certain other industries must electronically file their reports for 2018 with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) no later than March 2.

Also, keep in mind that because of an agreement reached between Congress and President Trump last September, OSHA and all other agencies operating under the umbrella of the Department of Labor continue to function under the partial government shutdown.

The Form 300A is a summation of the workplace injuries and illnesses recorded on the OSHA 300 Log during the previous calendar year, as well as the total hours worked that year by all employees covered by the OSHA 300 Log. By Feb. 1 employers must review their OSHA 300 Logs, verify the entries on the 300 Log are complete and accurate, and correct any deficiencies discovered.

The employer then must use the injury data from the 300 Log to calculate an annual summary of injuries and illnesses and complete the 300A Annual Summary Form, and certify the accuracy of the 300 Log and the 300A Summary Form.

With the many changes made in the reporting process over recent years, employers need to avoid making some of the most common mistakes, according to attorneys Lindsay DiSalvo, Daniel Deacon and Eric Conn of the law firm of Conn Maciel Carey LLP. “We frequently see employers make mistakes related to this annual duty to prepare, post and certify the injury and illness recordkeeping summary.”

Some regularly made mistakes include

● Not having a management representative with high enough status within the company “certify” the 300A.

● Not posting a 300A for years in which there were no recordable injuries.

● Not maintaining a copy of the certified version of the 300A form.

● Not updating prior years’ 300 Logs based on newly discovered information about previously unrecorded injuries or changes to injuries previously recorded.

● Confusing the requirement to Post a 300A in the workplace with the requirement to electronically submit 300A data to OSHA’s web portal.

How to Do It Right

“A common mistake employers make is to have a management representative sign the 300A Form who is not at a senior enough level in the company to constitute a ‘company executive,” the lawyers note. This is defined as an owner of the company, a corporate officer, the highest-ranking company official working at the workplace, or the immediate supervisor of the highest-ranking company official at that location.

After certifying the 300A, OSHA’s regulations require the certified copy of the 300A Summary Form be posted in the workplace for three months, through April 30. The attorneys point out that many employers fail to prepare or post a 300A Form in years when there were no recordable injuries or illnesses.

“Even when there have been no recordable injuries, OSHA regulations still require employers to complete the 300A form, entering zeroes into each column total, and to post the 300A just the same,” warn the Conn Maciel Carey lawyers.

After April 30, employers may take down the 300A Form, but must maintain for five years following the end of the prior calendar year at the facility covered by the form or at a central location, a copy of the underlying OSHA 300 Log, the certified 300A Annual Summary Form and any corresponding 301 Incident Report forms.

Another common mistake made by employers is to keep only the electronic version of the 300A, and not the version that was printed, “certified” typically by a handwritten signature and posted at the facility. “Accordingly, those employers have no effective way to demonstrate to OSHA during an inspection or enforcement action that the 300A had been certified,” the attorneys observe.

Another thing employers want to avoid is putting away old 300 Logs and never looking back, even if new information comes to light about injuries recorded on those logs. However, OSHA’s recordkeeping regulations require employers during the five-year retention period to update OSHA 300 Logs with newly discovered recordable injuries or illnesses, or to correct previously recorded injuries and illnesses to reflect changes that have occurred in the classification or other details.

This requirement applies only to the 300 Logs and as a result, technically there is no duty to update 300A Forms or OSHA 301 Incident Reports.

 

Source: https://www.ehstoday.com/osha/are-you-ready-feb-1-osha-reporting-deadline

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