Thursday, August 9, 2018

10 Tips for Building a Stronger Safety Committee

  1. Involve others at all levels of your company. Ensure your safety committee represents the mix of your organization’s labor force and management.
  2. Look for enthusiastic volunteers as well as former “Safety Champions.” That enthusiasm can be invaluable when you get going, and those with experience can help guide.
  3. Develop a basic curriculum and Safety Manual. Be prepared to provide resources, coaching, support and other help that workers may need.
  4. Set some achievable goals to get a powerful start. Achieving some immediate accomplishments in pushing safety forward can provide some powerful and lasting momentum.
  5. Plan meetings ahead of time. Besides showing respect to the committee, developing and sharing a meeting agenda and goals a few days in advance can help the committee keep organized and on track.
  6. Generate an atmosphere of respect and trust. Workers need to know they can come to you about any issue.
  7. Set term limits for committee members. Avoid “burnout” and try to keep consistent member investment and energy.
  8. Don’t be boring. Safety meetings often have a reputation for being boring, especially if they are conducted the same way every time. Try mixing up the format between presentations, video, and maybe even a guest speaker. If you are looking for ideas see next tip!
  9. See what others are doing. A quick search on the internet or networking with other industries can give you a lot of great ideas for your safety meetings as well as help you see your own from a different perspective.
  10. Give recognition and rewards often and consistently. Rewards and recognition can generate better mindfulness than a constant stream of “Do this. Don’t do that.”

Thursday, May 3, 2018


Natalie Smith, of Bellingham WA and Nicole Anders, of Sequim WA have been awarded The Monty C. Lish & Stanley O. McNaughton Scholarship for Safety and Health Careers.

Natalie was also awarded the American Association of Safety Councils Scholarship as a member of Evergreen Safety Council.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

June is National Safety Month — Themed “No 1 Gets Hurt”

Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road, and in our homes and communities. This year the theme is “No 1 Gets Hurt” and the month is broken into four focus weeks, each designated for a particular safety issue: week one focuses on emergency preparedness; week two has the focus of wellness; week three emphasizes fall prevention, and week four concentrates on driving safety.

Like the prompt to check your smoke alarms when Daylight Savings hits, we here at ESC see National Safety Month as a great reminder to look at your safety programs to see if they need updating, revising, or compliance checks. It is also a great time to begin building and implementing a safety program if you need one.

Did You Know? ...There are Federal and State legal requirements to have an Accident Prevention Program

Having a good safety manual is at the core of your safety program. It provides the guidelines and direction for your entire safety program, as well as outlining the roles and responsibilities of employees and management in your safety program. To maintain efficacy it requires periodic review.

Another often recommended review process is to get a third party audit of your safety programs and procedures. Safety audits conducted by knowledgeable, experienced professionals will assist in reducing personnel risk and insure compliance with applicable standards and regulations. They will also help you avoid “insider blind-spots” with their neutral assessment and objective positioning. You will also benefit from their wide experience in multiple environments as they are able to share best practices that can strengthen individual programs, validate existing programs, and provide recommendations for growth or change when deemed necessary.

A well prepared and well executed safety audit can make a substantial difference in the prevention of accidents and injuries. Thoroughly completed audits with proper follow through are viewed favorably by regulatory agencies and can strengthen your company’s accident prevention plan.

Evergreen Safety Council offers customized, onsite safety inspections and audits to help you figure out if your safety program is effective in practice. Our highly trained safety consultant/trainers can perform an inspection or audit at your facility and then give you a detailed report of what was found and recommendations on improvement. (See next page).

Need help getting the whole team up-to-date? Evergreen Safety Council also offers a wide range of training classes and services that can be tailored to address your organization’s needs based on your consultation.

The four areas that this year’s National Safety Month covers are some of the most hazardous issues faced by employees. Driving is the number one killer on the job.  Wellness, falls and emergency preparedness are other important areas to consider and review in your safety program and APP.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Vehicle/Equipment Movement Planning & Safety

Traffic Control Inside the Construction Site

Whether it’s a road construction site or a large building construction site, the interaction of heavy equipment and large trucks with on-foot workers commonly creates a high fatality and high hazard zone. For these high risk construction zones, training is essential for all personnel.

Targeted training can help increase construction employee awareness and reduce incidents caused by heavy construction equipment including backing operations, struck-by, caught-between, and vehicle accidents.

With funding from an OSHA Susan Harwood Targeted Topic Training Grant Evergreen Safety Council is now able to offer this targeted training. Best of all you may qualify for this training free of charge.

Improve your safety inside the construction site with this essential, targeted 2-hour training class available for workers or supervisors. All participants will learn the importance of situational awareness and the basics of an internal traffic control plan (ITCP). Supervisors and safety personnel will learn how to develop and implement an effective ITCP.

Training all your workers in these basic rules will help them not only stay safe but be able to recognize an ITCP and keep it functioning smoothly.

Learn more about the classes on our website -

* You and your team may qualify for FREE training! Find out today: Call ESC Toll Free 800-521-0778

This material was produced under grant number SH-31248-SH7 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. It does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of labor, nor does mention trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Thursday, February 1, 2018


According to the Mayo Clinic, Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F (35 C).

When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system, and other organs can’t work normally. Left untreated, hypothermia can lead to heart and respiratory failure and even death.

Often caused by cold weather exposure or immersion in cold water, hypothermia treatments are generally methods to warm the body back to a normal temperature.

Like many conditions, a person with hypothermia may not be aware of their condition, as the symptoms can come on gradually and confused thinking, associated with hypothermia, can prevent self-awareness. Being aware of the symptoms of hypothermia can help protect you and those around you.

Symptoms include:
  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech or mumbling
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Clumsiness or lack of coordination
  • Drowsiness or very low energy
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bright red, cold skin (in infants)
Prevention is key and many say easier than the cure. The CDC/NIOSH has the following recommendations for employers to help their employees prevent cold stress issues, such as hypothermia.
  • Schedule maintenance and repair jobs in cold areas in warmer months.
  • Schedule cold jobs for the warmer part of the day.
  • Reduce the physical demands of workers.
  • Use relief workers or assign extra workers for long, demanding jobs.
  • Provide warm liquids to workers.
  • Provide warm areas for use during break periods.
  • Monitor workers who are at risk of cold stress.
  • Provide cold stress training that includes information about:
    • Worker risk,
    • Prevention,
    • Symptoms,
    • The importance of monitoring yourself and coworkers for symptoms,
    • Treatment, and
    • Personal protective equipment.
NIOSH makes the following recommendations to workers for cold stress prevention
  • Wear appropriate clothing—tight clothing may restrict circulation while several loose layers provide better insulation. Movement restricting clothing may result in a hazardous situation.
  • Make sure to protect the ears, face, hands and feet in extremely cold weather.
  • Boots should be waterproof and insulated.
  • Heat rises—wearing a hat will keep your whole body warmer.
  • Limit the amount of time in the cold and move into warm locations during breaks.
  • Carry cold weather gear, such as extra socks, gloves, hats, jacket, blankets, a change of clothes and a thermos of hot liquid.
  • Include a thermometer and chemical hot packs in your first aid kit.
  • Avoid touching cold metal surfaces with bare skin.
  • Monitor your physical condition and that of your coworkers.
Everyone that works outdoors in the winter (and their employers) needs to understand the issues of cold stress and take appropriate actions and provide training.

Stay warm and safe this winter.

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training and Consultation, Evergreen Safety Council