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Attorneys: Lockout/tag-out violations are costly OSHA violations

Columbus, Ohio — OSHA is hitting hard at the issue of lockout/tag-out and machine safety guarding and putting a laser focus on amputations that could result from failure to disconnect all energy before servicing and maintenance of industrial machines.

That was the message from two lawyers who spoke at the Environmental Health and Safety Summit.

“When do most often amputations occur? When someone forgot to lockout/tag-out and when there’s a lack of a guard. That’s when you’re going to see an amputation,” said Nelva Smith, of the Steptoe & Johnson law firm.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration revised its reporting rule on Jan. 1, 2015, so employers now must report within 24 hours any amputation injury, even if there is no loss of bone, as well as eye injuries and all in-patient hospitalizations. OSHA kept its ongoing rule that fatalities must be reported within eight hours.

Smith said OSHA is increasing fines every year for amputations.

“Now you can go up to $139,000 for a maximum for a willful and a repeat [violations],” she said. “So you can easily get one citation for $139,000. Imagine if you got five citations? How much is that? Over a half-million dollars. And again, there’s a pattern. They’re really hitting the lockout/tag-out and machine guarding.”

Plastics machinery, such as injection molding machinery, can cause serious injuries from pinching and crushing, especially in the mold clamping area.

“It’s to prevent serious injury or death. You should be aware of the standard and what your requirements are under the standard,” Smith said.

OSHA defines “amputation” broadly and is stricter than workers’ compensation, according to William Wahoff, a lawyer at the firm. “If it is the tip of the finger without any bone damaged, you still have to report it for OSHA.”

And Wahoff said amputations are likely to lead to OSHA inspections: 65 percent of reported amputations resulted in inspections, compared with in-patient hospitalizations, which lead to inspections in around 35-40 percent of the cases.

Smith and Wahoff gave an hour-long presentation about lockout/tag-out and machine guarding during the health and safety conference, held July 18-19 in Columbus. Both lawyers are based in Columbus.

OSHA uses the term “control of hazardous energy,” for what’s commonly called lockout/tag-out, Smith said, covering sources of energy such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical and thermal.

“Why do we need to do it? Because during the servicing and maintenance of these machines and equipment, that’s where the injuries do occur, more often than not,” Smith said. “The unexpected startup or release of stored energy will usually result in a serious injury or death. Usually these are very complicated big machines, with a lot of working parts, a lot of sharp edges and pinch-points and that sort of thing. And if you’ve got a maintenance person working on a machine and a fellow employee doesn’t know it’s not locked out and just says, ‘Oh, I’m gonna hit the start button; I don’t see anybody.’ This is where it happens.”

Smith and Wahoff said manufacturers must have an energy control program and specific procedures for each machine. They recommend posting the step-by-step procedure for lockout/tag-out right on the machine, making it visible for employees and OSHA inspectors. OSHA will ask about the hazardous energy policy, even if they are on-site for another type of complaint, the lawyers said.

Wahoff said that companies train plant employees and maintenance staff; they should use OSHA’s hazardous energy control terminology, at least part of the time, so they know the right wording when an inspector questions the workers.

Smith added that the person who puts the lock tag on the machine must be the one who takes it off when the work is completed.

What about during “normal production”? Smith said that is not covered by lockout/tag-out.

“The problem we run into is, can we argue certain things are normal production and I don’t have to lockout/tag-out, because it can be a very complicated procedure to disconnect all of the sources of energy,” she said. Minor tool changes and adjustments and other minor servicing activities are OK, “if it’s routine, it’s repetitive and integral to the use of the machine, and you use alternative measures to protect that employee,” Smith said.

But Wahoff said OSHA does not consider the setup of dies to be “normal operation.”

Smith laid out the way to think about it: “If you want to make an exception to the lockout/tag-out procedure, am I putting an employee in a zone of danger? Are they having to put themselves in a machine? Are we having to bypass a guard? Is that really ‘normal production’?”

 


Man makes ‘miracle’ recovery from heart attack after strangers perform CPR

On July 23, building contractor Brian Boos, JDW, Inc. service repair supervisor Darren Ebaugh and FerrelGas technician Shawn Kainz were all called to a home in rural Oak Creek to fix a family’s furnace. The three men say they have crossed paths on job sites before but were essentially strangers. They didn’t even know each other’s names.

“Everything was meant to be. It was one of those days. One of those moments that everything was meant to be,” Boos told FOX31.

Upon arriving to the job site, Kainz began complaining of chest pains. He told Boos and Ebaugh that he planned to see a doctor after finishing the work on the furnace regulator.

“I felt like I had heartburn. That’s all I remember,” Kainz said.

Ebaugh was putting his tools in his truck while Boos and Kainz stood together outside the home. That’s when Kainz collapsed.

“He didn’t grab his chest. He didn’t say, ‘Oh no.’ He just turned and [fell],” Boos said.

Boos attempted to call 911 and despite having an extremely weak signal in the rural area, he was able to connect with emergency dispatch. They helped talk Ebaugh and Boos through nearly 15 minutes of CPR until paramedics arrived.

“Just looking at his eyes, his eyes were glazed over. From being a hunter, I’ve seen it a lot and I knew what it meant. He was gone,” Ebaugh said.

“For sure there was no life,” Boos said.

The two never stopped CPR.

“The bystander CPR saved him. They kept him alive until we could get here,” Oak Creek Fire EMS supervisor Angela Bracegirdle told FOX31.

She has been with the department for 19 years. In that time, she says often bystanders will give up on CPR after about two minutes, if they even step in to help at all.

“Just keep going. Don’t stop. Because you never know,” Bracegirdle said.

Bracegirdle and her team were able to get Kainz’s heart restarted and he began breathing on his own before he was loaded into an ambulance. On the way to the hospital, she says he went into cardiac arrest again and regained a pulse after they used an AED (automatic electronic defibrillator) on him.

“It was a widow maker,” Kainz told FOX31. “It was 100-percent clogged coronary artery on the top right.”

He spent less than a week in the hospital before being released. He is now recovering and those around him say his progress is a miracle.

“Monday, [I got] the call, ‘He wants to have dinner with you.’ It just blew me away. I never would have imaged he survived,” Ebaugh said.

“It doesn’t look like he has a dent on his bumper. He looks like a million bucks. It’s a miracle,” Boos said.

“Yes, it is. It is. In my 19 years, I’ve only seen two walk out of the hospital,” Bracegirdle said.

Oak Creek Fire Chief Chuck Wisecup says in his 36-year career, this is the first time he has seen someone survive CPR.

“I think everyone needs to learn CPR,” Kainz said. “I think it’ll be a big awareness for everybody to learn CPR.”

Boos had taken a CPR class seven years prior. Ebaugh hadn’t taken one since he was in high school 25 years ago. They both say they now plan to be re-certified on a yearly basis.

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5 Forklift Safety Elements – Part 5 “Know About Load Basics”

Forklift Safety Elements – Know About Load Basics

OSHA advises operators to check loads before picking them up with the forks, ensuring the load’s stability and dimensions will allow for safe transport. Move squarely in front of the load and move the forks apart as far as possible before driving them under the load. Make sure to not overload and that the load is centered.

Slightly tilt the forklift mast backward before lifting. Lift the load enough to clear the floor or rack. For stacking, OSHA recommends lifting the load above the lower stack by about 10 centimeters, or 4 inches.

When placing a load, operators should be squarely in front of the placement destination.  Make sure the area is flat and stable, and don’t place heavy loads on top of light ones. Lower the forks upon placing the load, and then back the forklift away. As always, ensure the load is stable.

 

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Source:https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/16138-elements-of-forklift-safety


5 Forklift Safety Elements – Part 3 (Know The Machinery & Rules)

Know the machinery – and the rules

Although lift trucks and personal vehicles share some similarities, they ultimately are quite different.

Among the differences:

  • Open structure; the driver is not completely enclosed
  • Weights ranging from 9,000 to 30,000 pounds, with rough-terrain lift trucks at the heavier end
  • Traveling speeds of less than 20 mph, closer to a walking pace
  • Three-point suspension
  • More prone to tipping overloaded or not – and varying stability
  • Tighter turning radius for operating in tight spots

Operators should always wear seat belts. Neglecting to do so can cause an operator to be ejected from the forklift’s protective cage if the truck turns over, resulting in a possible serious injury or fatality.

An operator always should be aware of his or her surroundings on the job site, as the load or environment may obstruct visibility.

It’s vital that drivers are aware of and making eye contact with, pedestrians or other workers during operation. OSHA best practices for maintaining visibility include:

  • Keep a clear view.
  • Always look in the direction of travel.
  • Use spotters or aids such as rear-view mirrors to boost visibility.
  • Use headlights if working at night, outdoors or in areas in which additional lighting would improve visibility. OSHA requires forklifts to be equipped with headlights when general lighting is less than 2 lumens per square foot.

 

Stay tuned for Part – 4 “Understanding the stability triangle” coming next week.

 

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Source: https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/16138-elements-of-forklift-safety

 


5 Forklift Safety Elements – Part 2 (Performing Inspections)

5 elements of forklift safety – Part 2

Performing checkups

Operators are urged to inspect forklifts before each job, checking first the items that can be monitored without the engine running. Checkpoints should include seat belts, tires, lights, horn, brakes, backup alarms and fluid levels, as well as the moving and load-supporting parts of the forklift.

Kertzman said his agency commonly issues citations to companies that neglect to maintain forklifts in good working condition.

“It’s low-hanging fruit to have a beat-up truck sitting out there that any inspector can spot half a dozen things wrong with it from 40 feet away,” Kertzman said.

The Washington L&I citation process involves discussing the area(s) of code violation, explaining to the employer how the organization failed to comply and offering possible methods to resolve the issue.

“Then the employer is ultimately on the hook to decide what they’re going to do, and then make those changes in a timely fashion,” Kertzman said.

 

When to Perform Inspections

Whether it’s in a warehouse or outside, there are a few precautions you must take before you actually operate the lift. Your pre-shift checklist is one of the most important things you learn about during forklift safety training. Here is what these inspections entail.

When you go through forklift safety training, you’re taught that forklift safety inspections should be performed before every single shift. This does not mean that one safety inspection per day is all that is required. If there are multiple shifts per day, each operator must perform an inspection before their shift begins. This ensures the safety of the operator and everyone working in the space around them. These pre-shift checks can also help to prevent warehouse accidents that may damage goods or products. There are two types of pre-shift checks that must be done: a visual check and an operational pre-use check.

forklift training nj

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visual Check

The visual check is to be done before you start the forklift. During this check, you are going over the general condition of the forklift:

  • Tires: Check tires for any noticeable damages like cuts or gouges. Ensure the tire pressure is at the optimum level for pneumatic tires.
  • Fluid Levels: Make sure that all fluid levels including oil, fuel, or water are where they need to be.
  • Battery: Ensure the battery is fully charged. Check for exposed wires or loose cable connectors.
  • Forks and Mast: Check for any physical damage to the forks or mast of the forklift including bends or cracks.
  • Seatbelt: Every sit-down forklift needs a seatbelt. Make sure it is working and there are no rips or tears.

Operational Pre-Use Check

The operational pre-use check is to be conducted when you turn the forklift on, before operating the lift. This check should include:

  • Lights: Ensure that both the headlights and warning lights are operational.
  • Horn: Test the horn to make sure it is loud and clear.
  • Hydraulic Hoses: Check to make sure they are secured.
  • Hour Meter & Gauges: Check to see if meters and gauges are working correctly.
  • Brakes: Check the breaks to ensure they stop the lift smoothly. Test the parking brake to see if it can hold against a slight acceleration. Double check the handbrake to make sure it is operational.
  • Hydraulic Controls: Ensure both the lift mechanism and tilt mechanism are operating smoothly by raising the forks all the way up and all the way back down, as well as tilting the mast all the way forward and then back again.
  • Steering: Turn the wheel to the left and to the right, making sure the wheels of the lift respond correctly.
  • Unusual Noises: Listen for abnormal sounds coming from the forklift.

If any issues are found during these pre-shift checks, they must be reported and the forklift in question must be taken out of commission until the issues are resolved.

forklift training near me

Workplace Check

Before you start operating the lift truck, you should always do a workplace check as well. A workplace inspection ensures that your work environment is clear of any obstructions and safe for operation. During this check, you should keep these things in mind:

  • Ground Conditions: Make sure you’re aware of the ground conditions in the warehouse. Look out for any slopes, spills that cause the floor to be slippery, or ledges that could get in the way of the lift or cause it to tip over.
  • Overhead Obstructions: Ensure that there are no overhead obstructions low enough to impede the forklift or the load being carried.
  • Personnel: Be aware of how many people are currently working in the warehouse and know where they are at all times while operating the lift.
  • Machinery: Always be aware of other forklifts operating in the same space or any other machinery that is being used during your shift.

Forklift Safety Training for Your Business

OSHA requires that these safety checks be conducted on every forklift before every single shift. These checks ensure the safety of the operators and those working around them. OSHA can and will request proof of inspections for up to four years prior. Because of this, it is recommended that you keep a good record of inspection sheets along with any corresponding repairs that were made. This way OSHA and insurance companies will know repairs were made as soon as a machine broke down. For forklifts that do not pass these inspections for any reason, it is crucial that repairs are done as soon as possible. Every company that uses forklifts in its daily operations needs to have an official checklist policy to ensure consistency and safety at all times.

 

Stay tuned for Part – 3 “Know the machinery and the rules” coming next week.

 

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Source: https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/16138-elements-of-forklift-safety

Source: https://cnclifttruck.com/forklift-safety-training-inspections/


5 Forklift Safety Elements – Part 1

5 elements of forklift safety – Part 1

Train for safety

OSHA estimates that 35,000 serious injuries and 62,000 non-serious injuries involving forklifts occur annually. Further, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 96 U.S. workers were killed in incidents involving forklifts in 2015.

A safety guide published by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries states that workers without proper training and knowledge of forklift operation, as well as operators who maneuver forklifts carelessly, have an increased risk of injury or death.

A commitment to safety begins with proper training. The guide further states that “an untrained forklift operator can be as dangerous as an unlicensed driver of a motor vehicle.” OSHA’s Powered Industrial Trucks Standard – 29 CFR 1910.178 – establishes that “the employer shall ensure that each powered industrial truck operator is competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by the successful completion of the training and evaluation” outlined in the standard.

OSHA requires training programs to combine formal instruction, such as lectures and written material, with practical training and a workplace performance evaluation. Washington L&I Safety and Health Technical Specialist Drew Kertzman said that a prevalence of qualified experts and resources has allowed for improved training in recent years. Still, operators should be mindful of the differences between various types and models of forklifts and lift trucks.

“The gap that I’ve seen in the past is just presuming that once you’re trained on one forklift, you automatically know how to maneuver all forklifts,” Kertzman said. “As you get larger and larger (forklifts), they operate differently, and as you go from model to model, they are a little bit different.”

 

Stay tuned for next weeks Part – 2 “Perform Checkups”

 

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Source: https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/16138-elements-of-forklift-safety

 


Fire Safety: Plan, Prevent, Train, Recover

Fire safety is taught and practiced from the earliest days of kindergarten—we all remember “Stop, Drop, and Roll”—but preparedness training should never end. Workplace fires pose a risk across all industries, making fire safety training and policies an essential part of keeping employees, customers, and the surrounding community safe.

According to OSHA,workplace fires and explosions kill 200 and injure more than 5,000 workers each year, costing businesses more than $2.3 billion in property damage. Explosions and fires account for 3 percent of workplace injuries and have the highest casualty rate of all probable workplace accidents. Many unexpected explosions and fires are due to faulty gas lines, poor pipefitting, improperly stored combustible materials, or open flames.

Taking preventative steps, implementing training, and drilling simulation exercises can lower risk and prepare employees in case a fire ever does break out in the workplace.

 

Preventative Steps
According to Safety Services Company,2 only 15 percent of fires are a result of circumstances outside of human control. Most workplace fires can be prevented, and there are preventative steps every organization can take to mitigate the risk.

Begin by performing a workplace hazard assessment. Walk through the building or work environment, document any fire hazards, and make sure there is full accessibility to things such as electrical control panels, emergency exits, firefighting equipment, and sprinklers. Test smoke alarms and check fire extinguishers for expiration dates.

Because electricity accounts for 39 percent of workplace fires, keep a close eye out for any electrical hazards, such as faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment. Make sure electrical cords are in good condition and power outlets are not overloaded. Replace anything that appears overheated, smells strange or has frayed or exposed wires.

 

Hazard Communication

If your organization uses chemicals or other hazardous materials, read labels to ensure you are storing and disposing of them properly in appropriate containers with adequate ventilation. Fire hazards such as oily rags should be discarded in a covered metal container and emptied on a regular basis. Chemicals should be handled with proper protective equipment and separated from flammable materials.

Walking through your building and pinpointing possible fire hazards allows you to fix issues before they become problems. Once hazards are identified, taking action to quickly fix them and address safety processes will go a long way toward reducing the likelihood of a fire.

 

Disaster Plan Development 
Fires are unexpected and unpredictable. While prevention can lower risk, accidents do still happen. In order to prepare for the worst, organizations must develop an effective disaster response plan to minimize fire damage and prepare employees. Every business is different and must customize its response plan to fit the facility and its employees, but there are common elements that all plans should include.

A disaster response plan is developed to guide organizations through a crisis event, such as a fire, and helps them resume operations afterwards. The plan should include an annual review of your organization’s overall fire safety procedures and best practices for addressing any hazards found.

Planning also should focus on the evacuation process and method for reporting fires. Make sure emergency exits are clearly labeled and accessible; posting emergency exit routes throughout the building will help people calmly navigate an anxious situation. Likewise, educating employees on the plan will keep them well informed and prepared to evacuate if necessary. Designating a meeting area allows volunteer team leaders to take roll call, confirm everyone is accounted for, and report any missing employees to first responders. The plan also should contain personal information about your employees, including phone numbers and next of kin contacts.

Finally, the disaster response plan should be easily accessible and understood by all levels of staff. It is a living document that requires frequent review and regular updates, so ongoing training is critical. Developing a flexible plan that is easy for employees to understand helps keep everyone safe, ultimately improving the resilience of everyone within the organization.

 

Train to Improve Resiliency
Assembling a disaster response team comprised of multiple departments from the organization guarantees the entire business is involved in the process of plan development and training. The response team should designate roles and responsibilities to all personnel. Make sure each employee knows his or her roles and responsibilities and understands the different aspects of the response plan.

Take time to discuss the specific hazards within your organization, such as flammable materials, toxic chemicals, radioactive sources, or water-reactive substances, as well as the protective actions employees can take should they come in contact with said hazards. Be sure employees know who their team leaders are and clearly communicate who is in charge during an emergency to minimize confusion. Include updated response plan procedures in orientation programs to keep all employees on the same page and prepare them to remain calm during an emergency.

Depending on the size of your organization, you may want to take the time to train employees on how to use a fire extinguisher or execute first aid procedures. Once everyone is properly trained, knows their responsibilities and understands the disaster response plan, hold a practice drill involving the entire organization. After each drill, gather the teams and evaluate the effectiveness of the drill and specify any areas that need improvement. Hold regular practice drills to continuously improve the evacuation process and fix any holes in the plan. As a result, the resiliency of the whole organization will be improved.

After a fire, a business still needs to maintain operations even though the physical location may be compromised. The disaster response plan should detail actions that need to be taken after the fire to enable the company to continue maintaining critical operations. Begin by detailing the organization’s functions, services, and who is being served to determine the kind of temporary space the business will need to occupy during the recovery process. If equipment is needed to carry out job functions, have a plan to access the equipment and make arrangements to set up an alternative workspace. Setting up remote access so employees can work from home is another viable option for certain industries.

 

Seeking Third-Party Services
Disaster planning, training, and recovery management can be a draining process for organizational leaders. Seeking help from a third-party service provider can alleviate the stress and take the burden off your company. A third-party service provider can help design a disaster response plan to fit your organizational needs and structure training sessions that prepare the entire workforce for crises. Engaging outside expertise also helps to identify things your organization may have missed and guides the development of drills that will make fire safety second nature for employees.

In addition to keeping your organization resilient, your employees may need help recovering, too. Surviving a fire can be a traumatic event that leaves a lasting impact. Employers should provide the option of an employee assistance program, or EAP, to help staff adjust back to their daily routines after a life-changing event. EAP services provide access to counseling, management consultation, and local resources to ensure employees are supported after a fire or other crisis.

Organizations across all industries must be prepared for the threat of fire. Preventative steps, designing the right disaster response plan, and implementing regular training sessions and drills will help mitigate the risk of a fire and keep your employees safe.

 

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Source: https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2019/05/01/Fire-Safety-Plan-Prevent-Train-Recover.aspx?admgarea=ht.FireSafety&Page=1

 

 


Five Safety Tips that Impact Business

Follow these tips to create and maintain a strong safety culture that engages employees as part of the process.

It’s easy to turn a blind eye to safety when working in fast-paced environments and having to meet project deadlines. However, most manufacturing employers can attest to the turbulent outcomes that can arise if safety standards are not regularly enforced. Our everyday actions can have an impact on cost and productivity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2,000 eye injuries occur every day in the workplace, costing more than $300 million in lost production time, medical expenses and worker compensation.

It’s clear that many companies are failing workers with insufficient safety programs and injury prevention plans. However, employers have the opportunity to turn this situation around with a few changes. Protecting employees doesn’t mean your organization has to start from square one. It does, however, require you to create a strong safety culture and open communication channels so employees can collaborate when it comes to hazard identification and problem-solving.

Here are five tips that operations managers, site managers and safety coaches can use to start that dialogue:

1. Start from the top. Developing a healthy safety culture requires leadership to champion safety as a key organizational value. The company culture must include leading, working and acting safe. When management leads in safety, the organization will follow.

2. Distribute safety surveys. When executing on your safety culture, it’s important to first find out what your employees know about your safety guidelines and expectations. Are they familiar with your corporate policies and procedures? Do they even know their own responsibilities when it comes to safety? This survey also serves as a great opportunity to get anonymous feedback on employees’ perceptions about safety in your workplace.

3. Conduct pre-shift huddles. This is a time when management can reinforce the safety culture by covering near-injury misses, newly identified hazards and educating staff on how proper processes and equipment handling can protect everyone’s health and safety. The goal of safety huddles is to also provide an open, non-punitive forum for employees to communicate about workplace safety.

4. One-on-one discussions. Supervisors can build trust and show respect for their workers’ safety by engaging associates in informal safety discussions. Associates who know that their opinions and perspectives are valued will be more likely to participate in informal communication about safety practices. This is also an ideal setting to gain feedback from employees who may not be comfortable bringing up concerns in front of a large group.

5. Perform ongoing safety training. Providing safety training for employees is essential for creating a culture of workplace safety. A workforce with a strong understanding of safety guidelines and best practices is more likely to recognize potential hazards before they occur. This can lead to fewer injuries and help you avoid costly losses in productivity and employee morale.

Some of the benefits of a safer and more engaged workforce include:

●       reduced workers’ compensation costs, lower medical expenses and improved productivity.

●       improved safety as a result of clear and repeatable processes for identifying and addressing hazards and injury threats.

●       stronger employer branding and positive outside perspective of the organization.

 

 

Impact on Employer Branding

Workplace safety should begin and end not only with workers in mind, but with workers being engaged—actively participating and driving safety programs forward. High levels of employee engagement have also been correlated with greater productivity, quality and profitability, as well as reduced turnover rates. It can also contribute to improved employee retention, and it even has the ability to impact recruiting, since job seekers will be able to learn about your culture of safety through online reviews. In today’s world, job seekers look to current and former employees’ experience to decide whether or not they want to work for a company.

 

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Source: https://www.ehstoday.com/safety/five-safety-tips-impact-business


Did You Know You Need To Test Your Eye Wash Station Weekly To Meet OSHA/ANSI Standards?

Compliance is an all-day, every-day requirement.

Emergency showers and eyewashes are required by the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 standard to be activated weekly, with a more thorough evaluation on an annual basis. With OSHA fine increases of 80 percent having taken effect in August 2016, violations for inappropriate or inadequate eyewash and shower equipment have resulted in penalties of more than $100,000.

The standard guides the placement, functionality, and maintenance requirements for emergency showers and eyewashes. ANSI/ISEA Z358.1, in its current form, is the clearest and most useful tool for protecting workers from eye, face, and bodily injuries resulting from caustic and corrosive materials introduced by workplace incidents such as spills, splashes, and blown particulates.

The standard requires stringent testing to be conducted on a regular basis to ensure properly functioning equipment is being provided at all times if an incident were to occur. We should all understand that compliance is not a once-a-year or once-a-month responsibility. Compliance is an all-day, every-day requirement. Accordingly, emergency showers and eyewashes are required by the ANSI/ISEA Z358.1-2014 standard to be activated weekly, with a more thorough evaluation on an annual basis. This requirement is established in Sections including 4.6.2, 4.6.5.

In practice, emergency response equipment such as eyewashes and showers sometimes fall to the wayside when it comes to maintenance, especially when prioritized against emergency preparedness equipment such as eye protection and fall protection. You should know that OSHA does not prioritize or take a backseat when it comes to providing adequate and properly functioning equipment, regardless whether the equipment aids pre- or post-incident.

ANSI Weekly Minimum Performance Requirements
The standard itself has three minimum requirements for weekly inspections:

  1. Emergency equipment shall be activated weekly. (Each piece of equipment is required to be activated.)
  2. Activation shall ensure flow of water to the head(s) of the device. (This would be both the eyewash or eye/face wash head, as well as the showerhead.)
  3. Duration of the activation shall be sufficient to ensure all stagnant water is flushed from the unit itself and all sections of piping that do not form part of a constant circulation system, also known as “dead leg” portions. (The duration is determined by the length of piping where stagnant water could be sitting before it reaches the head(s) of the unit.)

In addition to the above weekly minimum performance checklist required by ANSI/ISEA, it is recommended as a best practice to conduct additional weekly functional checks. The purpose of these additional checks is to fully ensure the equipment is operating correctly and is capable of providing proper first aid in the event of an emergency.

ACCESS

  • Path of travel to the safety station shall be free of obstructions. (This could include hoses, boxes, and doors.) (Sections 4.5.2, 5.4.2, 6.4.2, 7.4.2)

SHOWER

  • Shower must deliver a minimum of 20 gallons (75.7 L) per minute. (Sec. 4.1.2, 4.1.4, 7.1)
  • The valve shall go from “off” to “on” in one second or less and flushing fluid shall remain on without the use of operator’s hands. (Sec. 4.2, 7.1)

EYEWASH/EYE/FACE WASH

  • Outlets shall be protected from airborne contaminants. (Dust covers must be in place.) (Sec. 5.1.3, 6.1.3, 7.1)
  • The valve shall go from “off” to “on” in one second or less and flushing fluid shall remain on without the use of operator’s hands. (Sec. 5.2, 6.2, 7.2)
  • The flushing fluid of an eyewash or eye/face wash shall cover the areas between the interior and exterior lines of a gauge at some point less than 8 inches (20.3 cm) above the eyewash nozzle. (sec 5.1.8, 6.1.8,7.1)
  • Must provide a means of a controlled flow to both eyes simultaneously at a velocity low enough to be non-injurious. (Sec. 5.1.1, 6.1.1, 7.1)

COMBINATION UNIT

  • Combination unit components shall be capable of operating simultaneously. (When the eyewash or eye/face wash is activated, and then the shower is activated, there should be no “starvation” occurring to either of the heads.) (Sec. 7.3, 7.4.4)

TEMPERATURE

  • Deliver tepid flushing fluid. (The required temperature range is 60°F – 100°F [16°C – 38°C])(Sec. 4.5.6, 5.4.6, 6.4.6, 7.4.5)

Plumbed Shower and Eyewash Equipment
As a general statement, all equipment needs to be inspected weekly to ensure that there is a flushing fluid supply and that the equipment is in good repair. If the equipment is of a plumbed design, then it should also be activated weekly to clear the supply line of any sediment buildup and to minimize any microbial contamination due to stagnant water.

Self-Contained Eyewash and Shower Equipment
Self-contained, also often referred to as “portable,” emergency response equipment is typically used in locations where there is either no access to water or at highly mobile sites where hazards are mobile. The ANSI/ISEA requirement for this type of equipment is to be visually inspected weekly to determine whether the flushing fluid needs to be exchanged or supplemented (Sections 4.6.3 and others). The units should be maintained as per the manufacturer’s specific model instructions.

A majority of self-contained units that use potable water also offer a sterile bacteriostatic additive option to prevent the water from growing bacteria. An exchange of the water and refill of the additive is required every three months for most additive products, as well as rinsing the unit clean between the exchanges. If an additive is not being used, then the water should be exchanged on a weekly basis, at a minimum, with a thorough tank cleaning monthly. On an annual basis, self-contained units are required to undergo the full test just as plumbed units do.

The question is often asked whether a company must hire a certified tester to conduct the weekly and annual inspections. Fortunately, there are no prerequisite or certification requirements to be able to test the equipment, although having a complete understanding of the installation and performance requirements will aid in ensuring conformance. There are various training tools, including Online Competent Inspector Training, offered by equipment manufacturers and others for individuals to become subject-matter experts. This allows company personnel to get familiar with what to look for and how to conduct the tests appropriately. Many companies today opt to have an outside third-party inspection performed for them annually, which provides an added measure of credibility and assurance to the review process.

 

Facilities that contain hundreds of shower and eyewash units should strive to create as many subject-matter experts as possible. Once trained, the weekly checks can be completed rather quickly. Creating facility maps, having full testing kits available, and holding recurring training classes can assist in the tedious yet crucial weekly task.

Worker protection should be a priority in every safety plan. Simply providing emergency showers and eyewashes is not enough. It is necessary to inspect, test, and monitor equipment readiness and performance for the optimal response.

 

Did you know Green Guard First Aid & Safety offers First Aid service to help maintain your First Aid Cabinets? 

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Source: https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2018/09/01/Testing-Your-Emergency-Equipment-to-Meet-ANSI-Z3581.aspx?admgarea=ht.ShowersEyewash&Page=3


Is Your Workplace Prone to Violence?

For Some Occupations, Violence is 3rd Leading Cause of Death

Every year, 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. In 2014, 409 people were fatally injured in work-related attacks, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s about 16% of the 4,821 workplace deaths that year.

While roadway incidents are the No. 1 cause of death for workers overall, violence is the third leading cause for healthcare workers, and employees in professional and business services like education, law and media, according to Injury Facts 2016®. Taxi drivers, for example, are more than 20 times more likely to be murdered on the job than other workers, according to OSHA.

But make no mistake: Workplace violence can happen anywhere.

The Numbers are Alarming

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workplace violence falls into four categories: Criminal intent, customer/client, worker-on-worker and personal relationship, which overwhelmingly targets women.

Injury Facts lists data for workplace violence-related deaths, and injuries resulting in days off of work, across various occupations. Here are some statistics for 2013:

  • Government: 37,110 injuries, 128 deaths
  • Education and health services: 22,590 injuries, 35 deaths
  • Professional and Business Services: 4,460 injuries, 65 deaths
  • Retail: 2,680 injuries, 127 deaths
  • Leisure and hospitality: 2,380 injuries, 107 deaths
  • Financial activities: 1,100 injuries, 37 deaths
  • Transportation and warehousing: 840 injuries, 71 deaths
  • Construction: 680 injuries, 36 deaths
  • Manufacturing: 570 injuries, 36 deaths

No matter who initiaties the confrontation, the deadliest situations involve an active shooter. U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines active shooter as someone “actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.”

A lot can happen in the chaotic minutes before police arrive; DHS advises staying calm and exercising one of three options: Run, hide or fight.

  • If there is an accessible escape route, leave your belongings and get out
  • If evacuation is not possible, find a hiding place where you won’t be trapped should the shooter find you, lock and blockade the door, and silence your phone
  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to incapacitate the shooter by throwing items, improvising weapons and yelling

Every Organization Needs to Address Workplace Violence

Managers and safety professionals at every workplace should develop a policy on violence that includes:

Know the Warning Signs

Some people commit violence because of revenge, robbery or ideology – with or without a component of mental illness. While there is no way to predict an attack, you can be aware of behaviors in coworkers that might signal future violence:

  • Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
  • Unexplained absenteeism, change in behavior or decline in job performance
  • Depression, withdrawal or suicidal comments
  • Resistance to changes at work or persistent complaining about unfair treatment
  • Violation of company policies
  • Emotional responses to criticism, mood swings
  • Paranoia

Most every “place” is somebody’s workplace. So whether you are a patron or an employee, it’s important to be alert.

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Source: https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/safety-topics/workplace-violence