Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Have a Happy & Safe 2011

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council
Many of us take a moment at the end of the year to look back to see where we were, where we’ve been and what’s ahead. We’ve had quite a year. One place where this fact is evident is in the area of issues surrounding driving, new laws, and new technology to make it all better.

Following are examples of each:

The State of Washington is now well on the way with the Target Zero program. The goal is simply to eliminate ALL highway traffic deaths by the year 2030. I believe it is possible, and recent results show that the increased efforts toward this end have been effective. Comparing highways fatalities from Christmas 2009 to 2010, the only fatality reported to date is a hit-and-run Saturday night in Auburn. During the slightly-longer 2009 Christmas holiday weekend, four people died in collisions statewide. “Even one death is too many,” said WSP Chief John R. Batiste. “But it seems we had a much safer holiday weekend than in previous years.”

Whether we agree in principal or not, there are new laws that affect all drivers. By now all of us should be aware that it is now a primary offense to operate a motor vehicle while talking on a mobile telephone, while holding it to your ear. Texting while driving is also a primary offense.

However, here’s a new law that you may not yet have heard of: RCW46.61.212 has been in effect, but has now been enhanced to increase the safety zone around emergency vehicles parked on the side of the roadway. Essentially, you must change lanes where it is safe to do so, at least two hundred feet ahead of coming to an emergency vehicle – with it’s warning lights flashing – or if you can’t safely change lanes, reduce your speed while passing though the “emergency zone”. The RCW continues by saying, “A person who drives a vehicle in an emergency zone in such a manner as to endanger or be likely to endanger any emergency zone worker or property is guilty of reckless endangerment of emergency zone workers.” If convicted, you could have your driver’s license suspended for 60 days.

New technology in our cars is amazing. Things Henry Ford, Gaston Chevrolet or the Dodge Brothers never dreamed of, are now commonplace. Just for fun, here’s an automotive technology advancement we may see become common, soon.

We at Evergreen Safety Council, wish all of you a Safe and Happy 2011.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hexavalent Chromium Standard

Contributed by Eric C. Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council

Just recently the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised their Hexavalent Chromium Standard to adopt new requirements related to the notification requirements in the exposure determination provisions. OSHA now requires employers to notify employees of the results of all hexavalent chromium exposure level monitoring results, not just exposures that exceed the permissible exposure limit (PEL).

The Department of Labor and Industries changed the current 15-day notification requirement to a 5-day notification requirement to be at least as effective as OSHA’s standard. The changes were adopted 12/1/2010 and will be effective on 1/1/2011.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Friends in High Places

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council
Recently, Evergreen Safety Council was contacted by Nancy Abel, the Risk Manager for the City of Marysville, Washington, requesting training for employees in the Public Works department who operate the city’s Terex Highranger equipped “bucket truck”.

The truck has a 40’ maximum reach and is specially equipped; from a load leveling suspension system, to copious numbers of public warning lights, to allow for safe work on traffic lights, and other tasks requiring access to elevated locations, such as placing banners over the street, announcing special events and activities around the city.

The training consisted of a half day of class room time, and an opportunity for each participant to demonstrate their proficiency in operating the truck in performing a task that required the precise positioning of the truck and basket, to place an object in an elevated location.

The classroom portion of the training stressed the full spectrum of safety issues, from identifying site specific concerns and hazards, to the importance of a thorough inspection of the boom and basket assembly, starting with a visual inspection, and performing a functional test of the lifts’ lower controls, before entering the basket. Other topics addressed included selection of the proper PPE for the task, such as the appropriate wearable fall protection, as well as other PPE such as high visibility garments, hard hats and gloves.

On the second day of training, the weather cooperated and allowed each of the 23 participants to demonstrate their proficiency in the actual set up and operation of the truck and lift. Each student donned the appropriate PPE and then determined how best to place a traffic cone on the arched roof of a storage area in the Public Works equipment and materials yard.

Part of the practical test was to demonstrate the ability to understand and comply with the standard hand signals customary to industries that perform their jobs in an elevated location, and where instruction from the ground may be needed for the safe maneuvering around obstacles to reach the work area.

All participants, from those who had never operated a bucket truck previously, to the most experienced operator, successfully completed the training.

At the conclusion of the training, Nancy had the following comments,” I had numerous participants tell me this was “great training”, “very thorough”, and that they all “learned something”, which isn’t always easy to accomplish when you have seasoned operators. I would say that in particular, the hands-on practical demonstration under the instructor’s watchful but encouraging eye made this very effective training.”

ESC extends congratulations to the workers in the Marysville Public Works Department for a job well done.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Protecting Emergency Workers

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

On December 14, 2010 the Washington State Patrol announced the following in a media release on their website:

Enhanced Emergency Zone Law Will Help Protect Emergency Workers -Increased penalties start Jan. 1 for motorists who do not move over or slow down.

In other words you need to move over and slow down (maybe even stop) when you are approaching an emergency vehicle on the shoulder. An emergency vehicle is a patrol vehicle, fire truck, and ambulance and tow truck. Even though there was a law passed in 2007 requiring drivers to do this.
  • In 2008, a year after the law went into effect, 30 patrol cars were hit by motorists on state highways.
  • In 2009, another 28 patrol vehicles were hit by drivers during roadside traffic stops and other investigations.

As someone who has been on the shoulder of the road with an emergency vehicle (and all the red lights on) I understand just how inattentive some driver are and I am in full support of this law. After all if any driver tells me that they don’t have to pay attention to vehicles on the side of the road (especially emergency vehicles) then I say, this person is not capable of operating a vehicle safely should not be allowed to drive a vehicle on the public roads EVER.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Night of 1,000 Stars Patrols

Extra traffic patrols this weekend

KING COUNTY, WA — This Friday and Saturday marks the 20th year that law enforcement agencies throughout Washington have conducted “Night of 1,000 Stars” impaired driving traffic safety emphasis patrols. Each star symbolizes the badge worn by an on duty law enforcement officer.

“Let’s all work to make this a safe holiday season for our families and communities. Last year, 265 people were killed in Washington in impaired driver involved crashes,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County. “If you drink, make plans for a sober ride before going out and see that your friends have a safe ride home as well.”

The statewide Night of 1,000 Stars enforcement will remove impaired drivers from local roads. Impaired driving caused by alcohol – or some other drug – is the primary reason why people die in motor vehicle crashes. Officers will also be on the lookout for people who speed, drive aggressively, are not wearing a seatbelt, using cell phones illegally, or violate other traffic laws.

For more than a decade, the King County Target Zero Task Force has brought together law enforcement, public health, and community partners to reduce traffic deaths and injuries through extra patrols and other efforts. On average, 24 fewer people died in traffic crashes in 2007 and 2008, compared to the preceding five years in King County. In partnership with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, the Task Force is working towards the Target Zero goal of zero traffic fatalities by the year 2030.

Since 1999, officers, troopers, and deputies who worked these extra patrols have made over 28,600 contacts with dangerous drivers and arrested more than 6,200 impaired drivers in King County.

Agencies in Bellevue, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Redmond, Seattle, Snoqualmie, the Washington State Patrol and other cities and counties throughout the state will have extra impaired driving patrols this weekend.

This year’s Night of 1,000 Stars Patrols is dedicated to all fallen officers, the Washington officers who have died in the line of duty, and the officers who continue to protect and serve.

“Night of 1,000 Stars is an important dedication to all the law enforcement officers throughout the nation,” said Lieutenant Nick Almquist, Redmond Police Department. “Their selfless decision to protect our communities is being honored, especially our brothers and sisters who have paid the ultimate price with their lives.”

Source: Providing effective and innovative health and disease prevention services for over 1.9 million residents and visitors of King County, Public Health – Seattle & King County works for safer and healthier communities for everyone, every day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

FMCSA Launches New Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Program for Commercial Trucks and Buses

Contributed by Tom Odegaard, Executive Director, Evergreen Safety Council
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today took a major step toward improving commercial truck and bus safety with the launch of the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program.

The centerpiece of CSA is the Safety Measurement System (SMS), which will analyze all safety-based violations from inspections and crash data to determine a commercial motor carrier’s on-road performance. The new safety program will allow FMCSA to reach more carriers earlier and deploy a range of corrective interventions to address a carrier’s specific safety problems.

“The CSA program will help us more easily identify unsafe commercial truck and bus companies,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Better data and targeted enforcement will raise the safety bar for commercial carriers and empower them to take action before safety problems occur.”

The program also advances the Obama Administration’s open government initiative by providing the public with safety data in a more user-friendly format. This will give consumers a better picture of those carriers that pose a safety risk. CSA was also tested in nine pilot states before the program was launched.

“We worked closely with our partners in the motor vehicle community to develop this powerful new program,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “CSA is an important new tool that will help reduce commercial vehicle-related crashes and save lives.”
The SMS uses seven safety improvement categories called BASICs to examine a carrier’s on-road performance and potential crash risk. The BASICs are Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service), Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Vehicle Maintenance, Cargo-Related and Crash Indicator. Under FMCSA’s old measurement system, carrier performance was assessed in only four broad categories.

By looking at a carrier’s safety violations in each SMS category, FMCSA and state law enforcement will be better equipped to identify carriers with patterns of high-risk behaviors and apply interventions that provide carriers the information necessary to change unsafe practices early on.

Safety interventions include early warning letters, targeted roadside inspections and focused compliance reviews that concentrate enforcement resources on specific issues identified by the SMS.

FMCSA will continue to conduct onsite comprehensive compliance reviews for carriers with safety issues across multiple BASICs. And, where a carrier has not taken the appropriate corrective action, FMCSA will invoke strong civil penalties.

PLEASE NOTE: For parties interested in downloading data for more than one carrier, please visit the SMS Download page.

Online training classes for CSA BASICs as well as HAZMAT Transportation are available through ESC. Register Today.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Association releases report on road safety by state

Only Oregon and Washington met all criteria for roadway traffic safety in a new report from the Emergency Nurses Association.

According to a Nov. 17 press release, the report ranks state roadway laws based on 14 criteria, including safety belt use, child passenger safety, Graduated Driver Licensing for teens, ignition interlock devices to prevent drunk driving, and sending or reading messages for all drivers using cell phones or other wireless communication devices. Distracted driving laws were included for the first time in the 2010 report. Findings show:
  • Four states – Minnesota, Arkansas, Louisiana and Wisconsin – are leading the way in making roads safer through legislation the Des Plaines, IL-based ENA's report found.
  • Tennessee met all but one criterion.
  • Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota received the lowest scores, meeting fewer than half of the criteria. North Dakota's score of 4 was the lowest of any state.

From our friends at the National Safety Council

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Contributed by Tom Odegaard, Executive Director, Evergreen Safety Council

Just in case you had not noticed, the holiday season has come once again..and here we are once again shopping for Christmas or Hanukkah gifts. The malls and stores are full of people looking for that special gift for those special people in our lives. Don’t let thugs and thieves ruin your celebration. Here are some tips that can help prevent bad things from happening as you go about your shopping adventures.

As you plan your shopping trip, remember there IS safety in numbers. Try to shop with friends or relatives if possible.

What is the number one rule while for safety on the street, in the parking lot and while shopping in stores or a mall?

Be alert!

Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. The
first thing a thief or a thug looks for is the right opportunity which includes
an unsuspecting victim.

Here are some general safety tips that we hope will help you have a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.

Travelling to/from the mall:
If driving:

  • Be observant. Avoid dark areas, short-cuts, cul-de-sacs.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • Keep your doors locked.
  • Do not stop for strangers – if there appears to be an emergency – CALL 9-1-1 from inside your locked vehicle.
  • If signaled to stop by any vehicle other than a clearly marked law enforcement unit, acknowledge the signal, and wave the driver to follow you to a safe location (where there are other people and light). Drive within the speed limit and take the shortest possible route to the nearest safe place. If you have a cellular phone, dial 9-1-1, tell the call-taker you are being followed by an unmarked vehicle attempting to stop you, and ask them to send a marked law enforcement vehicle to your location.
  • Carry an emergency kit in your vehicle

Taking public transportation:

  • Be alert. Do not read while waiting for the bus or train. It shows a criminal you are not paying attention.
  • Make eye contact. Do not appear to be a helpless victim. Carry yourself with confidence, don’t appear not humble and weak.
  • Carry exact change/tokens for the ride. Don’t display large amounts of cash.
  • Look around and pay attention to your gut feelings or instincts. If you feel bad about a situation, you feel right.

Parking lot safety:

  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit area.
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your windows shut.
  • Put valuables (and packages) out of sight in your vehicle, preferably in the trunk. If your vehicle doesn't have one, out of plain view (on the floorboard, under a blanket or clothes, etc).
  • Be alert - Know your surroundings. Walk with confidence to and from the mall/store. Keep an eye on the people in front of as well as behind you. Don’t stop to talk with strangers.
  • Carry your purse close to your body. Don't swing it loosely. Don't display large amounts of cash.
  • Approach your vehicle with your keys already in your hand. Be ready to unlock the door and enter as quickly as possible. While approaching your vehicle, scan the area, glance underneath the vehicle, and take a quick look inside before entering.
  • Try not to carry too many packages at one time-make periodic trips to your vehicle.
  • Stay alert while loading items into or out of the vehicle or arranging cargo stowage. If someone approaches, and you feel threatened, get in and lock up until they leave the area; if they loiter, drive away and contact security or the police.
  • Ask for an escort to your car if you feel nervous.

ATM safety:
Remember: Using debit or credit cards is much safer than carrying a lot of cash.

  • However, if the vendors you will visit don't take cards, consider obtaining traveler's checks which, unlike cash, can be replaced if lost or stolen.
  • Visit ATM's only at well-lighted and populated locations; visit during daylight hours if possible.
  • Using the drive-up is usually safer than walking up or into a banking facility. Remember to scan around you as you make your withdrawal. Many ATMs now have "fisheye" mirrors mounted above the keyboard to enable you to view the entire surrounding area while conducting business; try to patronize ATMs so-equipped, and use the mirror!
  • Be alert! If anyone is loitering, or you don't like their looks, go to another ATM. Stand such that those behind you cannot see your PIN as you enter it; your PIN should NEVER be written down on or carried with your ATM card

In store/mall safety tips:
As you shop, be alert in crowded places. Be aware of your surroundings; scan the area from time to time. Avoid concentrating so hard on shopping that you fail to keep track of your surroundings, others near you, or your personal property.

  • Among pickpockets' favorites are revolving doors, jammed aisles, elevators, and public transportation stops and vehicles, especially at rush hour.
  • Carry the day's most expensive purchases closest to your body, and don't carry so much you lose the ability to react quickly.
  • While shopping do not leave your purse in your cart while you go to pick up items.
  • Do not flash cash and only carry the credit card you will need.
  • Wear conservative, comfortable clothing.

Children & Shopping:

If possible, leave your children with a baby-sitter while you are shopping. For holiday shopping, consider making arrangements with family or friends/neighbors, and take turns baby-sitting.

  • If you take your children with you:
  • Be Alert! Keep a close eye on them while shopping.
  • Teach your children to go to a store clerk or security guard if they ever get separated from you in a store/mall, and be sure they know their first and last name so they can tell someone who they are.
  • It's best to keep children under four (4) in a stroller. Children in shopping carts should be properly belted and seated in the child carrier area at all times —never let your child stand in or push a shopping cart.

With all of these safety tips, all of us at Evergreen Safety Council wish you and yours a safe and very enjoyable shopping experience.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fraud Protection Tips and Practices

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council
I received “one of those” frequently forwarded e-mail notes the other day. You know the kind, usually humorous, but of questionable or undisclosed origin? Something prompted me to look at this one, before hitting the delete key; I read it, and I felt the information was helpful, and deserved to be shared.

This was a list of personal fraud protection tips and practices that are simple to employ and could be of great value if you are the victim of identity theft. Here is a summary of what I learned.

1 - Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put 'PHOTO ID REQUIRED.'

2 - When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the 'For' line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the account number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.

3 – NEVER have your Social Security number pre-printed on your checks.

4 – Place the contents of your wallet on a copy machine, and photocopy it. Both sides of all licenses, cards, etc. Then put this copy in a safe location. You will know what was lost if your wallet is stolen, and most importantly, most cards have the “call if stolen” number on them. If the number to call to report a stolen card is not printed on the card, contact the card issuing business and add that number to the photocopy you just made.

5 – File a Police report immediately. This will demonstrate your good faith efforts to your credit card issuers. It will also assist in any subsequent investigation.

6 - Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name, and also call the Social Security fraud line number.
1) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
2) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
3) Trans Union: 1-800-680 7289
4) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

Monday, December 6, 2010

Prevention Through Design

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council
On November 18th NIOSH announced its Prevention Through Design: Plan for the National Initiative and stated:

In 2008, among U.S. workers, 5,071 died from occupational injuries, 3.7 million suffered serious injuries, and 187,400 became ill from work-related exposures [BLS 2008]. The estimated annual direct and indirect costs of occupational injury, disease, and death range from $128 billion to $155 billion [Schulte 2005].

While the underlying causes vary, a recent study implicates design in 37% of job-related fatalities [Driscoll et al. 2008]. Thus, to protect lives and livelihoods, stakeholders across all industrial sectors of the economy need a comprehensive approach for addressing worker health and safety issues by eliminating hazards and minimizing risks to workers throughout the life cycle of work premises, tools, equipment, machinery, substances, and work processes, including their construction, manufacture, use, maintenance, and ultimate disposal or re-use.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Award Winning Videos

Contributed by our Safety Intern Mary Czaja
Washington, DC, November 22, 2010 – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) received awards for two safety videos at the annual Television, Internet, and Video Association of DC (TIVA DC) dinner on Saturday, November 13.

An animation depicting a massive sugar refinery explosion, which took 14 lives, won a gold award for best animation in its category. The animation appeared in a CSB safety video entitled Inferno: Dust Explosion at Imperial Sugar. Another CSB safety video, Combustible Dust: An Insidious Hazard was presented with the silver award for best educational/training video.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Over the river and through the woods

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Safety Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council
The words to this old song remind us that some of us need to travel during the winter months. Other postings on this and other blog-spots have provided lists of what you should do to get your car ready for wintertime travel. Most of the items on the following list are familiar, but are worth reviewing:
  • What is the condition of your tires?
  • Do you have “winter tread” type tires, with or without studs?
  • Do you have tire chains? Do they fit your car? And, do you know how to safely install and remove them?
  • Do you have an adequate concentration of anti-freeze coolant in your car’s radiator?

Typical lists continue to ask about the condition of your windshield wipers, windshield washer solution, are your exterior lights all functional, and so forth. While all of these are great ideas and should be checked, are you aware there is one other check that you should make?

To make the decision as to whether you should even make the trip, or not, we highly recommend you check National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA), where you can focus in on a specific city, town or even use a zip code to get the latest conditions and more importantly the latest predictions for the route to, and for your destination. Be prepared, but also be informed, before you start out on that winter trip!

Help Reduce Employee Crashes

Safe habits like buckling up and driving sober and free of distractions are a matter of occupational safety for employees who drive, whether a company vehicle or their own. As employers, you can help save lives on our roadways by providing traffic safety awareness and education programs to your employees. Evergreen has an effective and affordable solution, including general and vehicle-specific driver training, consultation, program development resources and employee materials—and most of them can be customized to fit your specific needs. Before the snow flies again, be sure your employees are prepared!

The best way you can get involved is to offer an onsite defensive driving course for all employees. For more information or to schedule a customized defensive driving program for your employees, contact Stephanie Dyck @ 800-521-0778.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Safety Training Manages Workplace Risks

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council
Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training is an important part of managing workplace hazards and risks. Such training may involve instruction on identifying occupational risks and how to control them, learning about safe workplace practices and how to properly use personal protective equipment. The question comes up though – how effective is our training?

Well, thanks to the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) a document to evaluate the effectiveness of training has been developed earlier this year.

How do your training programs measure up?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Work stress puts women at risk for heart disease: study

Women with demanding jobs but little control over their daily work have an 88 percent higher risk of heart attack than women with low job strain, indicates new research from Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Researchers analyzed job strain among 17,415 middle-aged health professionals enrolled in a long-running study of women's health. Women in stressful jobs had a 40 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, stroke, coronary artery bypass surgery and death, according to a press release from the Dallas-based American Heart Association.

In addition, fear of losing one's job was associated with increased blood pressure, cholesterol and body weight – risk factors for heart disease.

The research was presented Nov. 15 at the AHA Scientific Sessions 2010.

Courtesy of National Safety Council

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lifeguards Saved Our Son's life

Contributed by Tom Odegaard, Executive Director, Evergreen Safety Council
I received this testimonial from the parents of a boy who nearly drowned in a swimming accident. Another life saved because two individuals were trained in First Aid/CPR!
These two young lifeguards have been submitted for the Governor's Life Saving Award.

On October 31, 2010 our family was swimming in the busy Pro Club pool when we found our 4 year old son, Mikey, floating face down. Another boy had grabbed his swimming noodle, and not knowing how to swim, Mikey sank below the water and began drowning. My 9 year old son noticed Mikey face down and called for me. I grabbed him and put him on the side of the pool. He was purple, limp and had no pulse.

The lifeguard, Talor Green, had been admonishing other children in the pool for misbehaving at the time. When I put Mikey on the side of the pool, Talor was there instantly. He did a quick assessment and began CPR on Mikey. Although Talor had been trained in CPR, he had never done it in a real-life situation. Soon after he began compressions, Danielle Van der Baan arrived with a mask to do mouth to mouth resuscitation. She and Talor worked as a tight team, counting together. Danielle kept checking for a pulse and finally got a good blow into Mikey’s lungs. Water came spilling out and his eyes opened. They rolled him on his side as the water drained from his lungs. Talor told me to get in the pool and talk to Mikey since he was hardly conscious. Within a few seconds the paramedics arrived and gave Mikey oxygen.

Mikey was taken to Seattle Children’s hospital and released the next day with no complications. One of the doctors noted that the CPR did not injure Mikey and complimented the work of the two lifeguards.

Mikey is a very special boy. Our family is a Christian family. We had gone to the pool this day after church. Later, in the hospital my wife found Mikey’s Bible memory verse from Sunday School in his coat pocket: “The Lord will keep you from all harm. He will watch over your life” Psalm 121:7. We believe that God must have great plans for Mikey since he gave him a second chance at life.

We want to honor these lifeguards for saving Mikey’s life by nominating them for the Governor’s lifesaving award.

2009 Injury & Fatality Statisics Overview

Our Safety Intern Mary Czaja has been pulling lots of interesting worker injury and fatality facts off of the LNI website. They have released the 2009 statistics, which we are beginning to incorporate into our training classes.

Fatal work injuries 2009:
66 men
9 women
75 total
More men died at work, but a higher percentage of assaults and transportation incidents deaths were to women.

Assaults and violent acts: 56% Women, 26% Men
Transportation incidents: 44% Women, 29% Men

By occupation (total):
Professional and business services: 7
Trade, transportation, and utilities: 20
Manufacturing: 3
Construction: 10
Natural resources and mining: 17

By Age:
Under 16: 0
16 to 17: 0
18 to 19: 0
20 to 24: 8
25 to 34: 13
35 to 44: 20
45 to 54: 15
55 to 64: 9
65 and over: 9

You can find a lot more injury data and statistics on LNI's website.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

First Aid Instructor Update for New 2010 CPR Guidelines

Dear First Aid Instructor,

The new 2010 Guidelines for CPR and ECC have been announced by ILCOR and AHA. ASHI has been working very hard to get as much information together as possible for an interim period. Below is an explanation of the process you will be required to partake in order to maintain your instructor certification credentials.

1. Starting November 15th interim materials will be available for download from http://www.hsi.com/ (probably on the instructor portal). This will include instructor supplemental materials and student materials. You will continue to use the current material and handouts for the student.

2. EVERY INSTRUCTOR will be required to go through an upgrade in order to teach the new 2010 guidelines and receive the new books and cards. You will have until 12/31/11 to upgrade to the new guidelines. By completing the Update Process you will have the ability to teach HSI’s new G2010 training programs and issue provider-level certification cards, you will receive a new G2010 Instructor card (new card will use instructor’s current renewal date) and you will have access to digital G2010 Instructor Guides. There are two ways you can upgrade:

a. Starting November 22nd you can go to http://www.hsi.com/, sign in to the instructor portal and upgrade online. At this time the process takes approximately 1-2 hours and the cost is $20 payable to Evergreen Safety Council.
b. Attend an upgrade with Evergreen Safety Council in a classroom setting. The class will be about 4 hours and cost $40. You can register online or you can download a registration form (pdf) and mail/fax it back to us.

A benefit to attending a class will be the option of sending in questions you’d like answered and/or topics you would like discussed, as well as additional instructor development techniques.

Current upgrade classroom schedule:
December 15, 2010 – Seattle from 8am-12pm
January 18, 2011 – Seattle from 12:30pm-4:30pm
February 8, 2011 – Shelton area from 8am-12pm
February 28, 2011 – Spokane area - tba
Other areas can be scheduled with enough interest

First Aid, CPR/AED and CPR for the Professional Rescuer materials are estimated to be available to instructors during the second quarter. Other materials such as Oxygen Administration, Bloodborne Pathogens and Spanish FA/CPR are estimated to be available by the end of 2011.

Please do not hesitate in contacting Stephanie Dyck First Aid Programs Coordinator, or call 206-382-4090 or 800-521-0778 if you have any questions or concerns.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Safety & Health Solutions - December Newsletter

Evergreen Safety Council produces a monthly newsletter covering a variety of safety topics. Each month we will provide a link here to the online PDF.

Inside this Issue:
Lead Article – CO: The Silent Killer
People in Safety – Angie Ward, Program Manager, Washington Traffic Safety Commission
Articles -
Driving in the Snow Part 1
Are You Prepared for any Incident?
Don't be in a Hurry to Graduate
Safe Driving around Large Trucks
Is "More Training" the Solution to Human Error? Part 2 of 3

You can also sign up to receive an electronic copy via email or hard copy via the mail. This link will also take you to a full archive with over four years of past issues.

So pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit back and read all about what's going on in the world of safety & health.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Secure your load

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council
There have been many articles, in both the electronic and the printed media, in recent months about securing your load, and the consequences of loosing a load. The consequences range all the way from damaged items to potential collisions caused when vehicle following behind attempt to dodge and miss the unexpected obstruction in their lane of travel.

It was five years ago, July 2005, that RCW 46.61.655 became law. If you operate a vehicle on the highways of this state, and your vehicles carry a load of any kind; you need to understand this law and others regarding safely securing your load. This law came into being following a tragic event on Interstate 405, where the loss of a piece of furniture from a vehicle caused serious, life threatening injuries, and permanent blindness to an innocent driver. The law, is also known as the Federici Bill.

I thought, with all the media attention, and just that fact that we’ve been hearing the story for more than five years, that by now drivers would have gotten the message, and were now insuring their loads were well secured, with no chance for things to fall off, or blow out, . . . . but something I saw on Interstate 5 during the afternoon commute tells me there are still drivers “out there” who haven’t gotten the message.

While making our way through the heavy, stop-and-go traffic around the approaches to SR-16 and the construction in the Nalley Valley Viaduct area of Tacoma, we encountered what you see the photo. This little couch apparently was too large to fit inside the canopy of the compact sized pickup truck. It’s also wider than the box of the pickup truck’s box. Apparently the driver felt that a single, narrow fabric strap was sufficient to hold this bulky item . . . not INSIDE the pickup, but balanced on the tailgate.

We’re not sure what all was actually inside the little pickup box, but that, added to the weight of the couch, cantilevered out on the tailgate certainly has caused the rear of the truck to sag.

So, let’s recap all the errors:
(1) – the load is only secured with a single narrow fabric strap. The strap’s capacity and condition are unknown, not to mention the relative strength of whatever part of the vehicle the strap is attached to.
(2) - the load is so wide that the view from all three rear-view mirrors is either fully blocked or restricted in its arc of view.
(3) - the width of the couch completely blocks the tail lights, turn signals and stop lights. (4) - the load weight, and placement has altered the “balance” of the vehicle, and has caused the front tires to be lightly loaded, potentially increasing the possibility of loss of steering control particularly on a bumpy road.

Conclusion: There are just times when you need a bigger truck, and this was one of them.

To find out more take our FREE online training course.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Exercise your right and your responsibility – Vote on Nov.2!

Contributed by Tom Odegaard, Executive Director, Evergreen Safety Council
Tuesday November 2 is a very important day across the Pacific Northwest. On that day and in the days leading up to it, we have the opportunity and responsibility to participate in the almost sacred process of voting on how our local, state, and federal governments will operate. There are very distinct differences between the candidates that are running for office and clear choices to be made on city, county, and state issues.

While Evergreen Safety Council does not endorse or campaign for any candidate or for issues not directly related to safety, we can and do encourage every legal citizen to exercise their right and their responsibility to vote.

Millions of Americans have served, been wounded and given their lives to help ensure that we have the right to go to the ballot box or mail in our ballots at each election. Hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to do so today.

Honor their service, be responsible, exercise your right – VOTE!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Fatal Flaw

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

I know that there is a good deal of confined spaces out there and some companies train and equip, and some do not. Not having trained people can be a fatal flaw.

Recently, the US Chemical Safety Board issued a final report and video of a confined space fatality where 5 were killed and 3 others injured. This happen on October 2, 2007 when a fire erupted 1,000 feet underground in a tunnel at Xcel Energy Company's hydroelectric power plant in Georgetown, Colorado, located approximately 45 miles west of Denver.

The fatally injured workers were trapped deep underground during an operation to coat the inside of the tunnel with epoxy using highly flammable solvents. The tunnel is several thousand feet long and connects two reservoirs with electricity-generating turbines.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Before the Snow Flies, Are Your People Ready for the Road?

There's nothing like a snowfall to test those rusty winter driving skills! Whether your employees drive for work or simply to and from, help prepare them to make it safely through the winter before the going gets really tough.

Call today to schedule a two-hour onsite EverSafe Winter Driving seminar covering these critical topics:
  • winter travel tips
  • following distance and reaction time
  • blind spots and tailgaters
  • skidding
  • emergency stops
  • bridge decks and entrance ramps
  • how to prepare your car for winter

For more traffic safety resources or to schedule a seminar at your location, contact our office today 1-800-521-0778.

BTW: This picture was taken just outside Monroe, two-years ago. And who says it only rains in Washington?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Holiday Driving Traffic Safety Resource

NHTSA’s Northwest Regional Office in Seattle has new Halloween, Thanksgiving and other Holiday Season themed traffic safety materials available for your use for safety committee meetings, employee newsletters, bulletin boards, etc.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A-B-Cs Now C-A-B

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council
On October 18, 2010 the American Heart Association announced the 2010 CPR guidelines. Like everything else, more information is to come, but the big thing is that A-B-C has now been change to C-A-B, Compressions, airway and breathing. The emphasis will be on the compressions being first, then airway and breathing. The ratio is still 30:2, but the compressions should be at least 2 inches and the beat needs to be at least 100 per minute.

ESC staff will be attending an ASHI (American Safety & Health Institute) Informational training on November 15th and hope to provide ASHI Instructor information on update requirements and new training material revision information by the 1st of December. ESC will be publishing more information as it becomes available, but for now instructors should stay with the A-B-C training and continue to purchase currently published materials until things are officially sent out by American Heart and ASHI.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nanotechnology Safety

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council
Well being the safety geek I am, I look at different web site, such as the NIOSH web site. While in my readings I found information on safety dealing with nanotechnology. Nanotechnology—the manipulation of matter on a near-atomic scale to produce new structures, materials, and devices—offers the promise of unprecedented scientific advancement for many sec­tors, such as medicine, consumer products, energy, materials, and manufacturing. Nanotechnology has the power not only to improve existing technologies, but to dramatically enhance the effective­ness of new applications.

According to NIOSH although insufficient information ex­ists to predict the fire and explosion risk associated with powders of nano­materials, nanoscale combustible ma­terial could present a higher risk than coarser material with a similar mass concentration given its increased parti­cle surface area and potentially unique properties due to the nanoscale.

Some nanomaterials may initiate cat­alytic reactions depending on their composition and structure that would not otherwise be anticipated based on their chemical composition

Although this manual has nothing to do with fall protection, confined spaces and the like, I did find it interesting. So if you want more, check out the full document.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

National Teen Driver Safety Week

Courtesy of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission

National Teen Driver Safety Week Celebrated in Washington State
October 17 – 23
Set Aside for Teens and Parents to Focus on Safe Teen Driving Behavior

Between October 17 and 23, Washington State will celebrate National Teen Driver Safety Week, focusing not only on the laws governing new drivers in Washington but also on the impacts parents have on teens by setting limits and modeling responsible driving behavior. Research shows that parents are the single greatest influence on their teens’ driving.

For the second consecutive year, State Farm® provided a grant to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission to remind parents of teens about the resources available to assist them in teaching teens to drive safely. Public service announcements emphasizing the importance of parent modeling will run on local broadcast networks throughout the week. The grant also funds a website specifically for Washington parents—a clearinghouse of useful information they can use as their teens begin the adventure of driving.

On October 4, Governor Gregoire signed a Proclamation declaring October 17 – 23 Teen Driver Safety Week in Washington State.

State Farm will kick-off the week by presenting Senator Tracey Eide with one of its Graduated Driver License Champions awards honoring lawmakers who make significant contributions to the strength of licensing systems for new drivers. Senator Eide is being lauded by the insurer for efforts on SSB 6345, which prohibits drivers who hold either a learner’s permit or intermediate license from operating any electronic devices. She is one of only six lawmakers nationwide receiving the award.

"We believe the prohibition on wireless communication devices for novice drivers is an important component of a strong Graduated Driver Licensing system," says State Farm Vice President-Operations John Bishop. "Making the law stronger and more enforceable will eventually help us give teens the strength to say ‘Not now, I’m driving.’"

Motor vehicle crashes is one of the leading causes of death among teens age 16-19 in Washington, already causing the deaths of 27 teens this year. A total of 84 teens died in 2008 and 2009 from traffic crashes. During 2009, 16-19 year-olds accounted for 4.2% of all licensed drivers, but 9.1% of all drivers in fatal crashes in Washington.

National Teen Driver Safety Week is observed the third week of October to bring attention to the number one killer of American teens: car crashes. During this week parents, young drivers, lawmakers and educators are encouraged to focus on working together to change risky teen driving behaviors and to help save lives. In order to reduce injuries and deaths from teen crashes across the country, State Farm and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia teamed up in 2007 to support a Congressional resolution designating National Teen Driver Safety Week. Working together with many other safety organizations, State Farm continues to provide leadership and advocacy toward ending this national tragedy.

Here are some of the many ways parents can help their teens become safer drivers:
  • Enforce the Intermediate Driver Licensing (IDL) Law. Currently in Washington, in the first 6 months, teens cannot carry passengers under the age of 20, and in the next 6 months they can transport only three passengers at a time under the age of 20. As well, teens cannot drive between one and five in the morning. Since June 10, 2010, teens with intermediate driver licenses or learner permits may not use a wireless device at all while driving, including hands-free devices, unless they’re reporting an emergency. At age 18, a driver can get a full license without IDL laws.
  • Set a good driving example. Parents have the greatest influence on their teens' driving habits, behaviors, and skills.
  • Even though it may seem that teenagers ignore their parent’s behavior and advice most of the time, parents need to keep in mind that their kids learn by watching them. When driving with a teen, parents should model the behavior that they would like their teens to practice when they are behind the wheel: buckle up, slow down, and focus on the road.
  • Consider establishing a teen/parent contract to clearly define driving expectations for the household. It's been shown to work.
  • Schedule supervised practice driving. 50 hours is a minimum to learn the complicated skill of driving.
  • Watch teens driving correctly. Praise them when they use good judgment, discipline them when needed and be honest with them about the reasons.
  • Gradually introduce new privileges after a teen driver receives their license based on model driving behavior.
  • Limit teen driving trips to those with a purpose and on low-speed roads during daytime hours.
For more information contacts: Angie Ward, WTSC Program Manager, 360.725.9888 or Andrew McVicar, State Farm, 253.912.7470.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It appears most of us like a good belt!

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Safety Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council

What do all of the following have in common?

  • The launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, explodes shortly after take off.
  • The worst ever Nuclear Disaster occurs as the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station Explodes causing the release of radioactive material across much of Europe.
  • In the UK mad cow disease is identified
  • The 386 series of microprocessor is introduced by Intel.

Each of these events took place in 1986. Another fact from that year is that only 36% of drivers in Washington State used their seat belts.

The most recent numbers published by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission indicate that in 2009 the state wide use of seat belts was 96.4% and the numbers for 2010 are even higher – 97.6%! This is the highest percentage of use, anywhere in the USA. Using seat belts is one of the most effective ways to increase your chances of surviving a motor vehicle collision, primarily by preventing you from being ejected from the vehicle by the forces of the crash.

Washington State has embarked on an aggressive campaign to reduce and eventually eliminate fatalities from motor vehicle collisions. The project is called Target Zero, and as the name implies, the goal to have no motor vehicle collision fatalities by the year 2030.

The numbers are “going in the right direction”: In 2006 there were 470 collision fatalities, 415 in 2007, 364 in 2008, 346 in 2009 and 212 year-to-date, in 2010. The target is attainable, but it will take all of us making good decisions, while in our cars, decisions like always using your seat belts, never driving after consuming alcohol or after having taken medications that make you drowsy, and eliminating distractions that take your attention away from the road.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Safety & Health Solutions Newsletter - November edition

Evergreen Safety Council produces a monthly newsletter covering a variety of safety topics. Each month we will provide a link here to the online PDF.

Inside this Issue:
Lead Article
– Improving Large Trucks & Bus Safety

People in Safety – Robin Robertson, Risk Manager, City of Renton

Articles -

CSA 2010 Basics

Preventing Back-Over Accidents in the Work Zone

Now that the dust has started to settle…

Make Yourself Visible

How to Use Your Seatbelts

Is “More Training” the Solution to Human Error? Part 1 of 3

Machine Guarding

Safety is Always in Season

You can also sign up to receive an electronic copy via email or hard copy via the mail. This link will also take you to a full archive with over four years of past issues.

So pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit back and read all about what's going on in the world of safety & health.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

OSHA Distracted Driving Campaign

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

On October 4th OSHA announced its education campaign to prevent work-related distracted driving and its on-line resource for employers. The press release states that - In conjunction with Drive Safely Work Week, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced an education campaign calling on employers to prevent work-related distracted driving, with a special focus on prohibiting texting while driving.

Since vehicle crashes are the number one killer on the job, this is an important step for OSHA to start looking at driving issues on the job and begin to require that employees who drive for a company are trained and capable of safe driving and that the employer does all that is possible to eliminate distraction to their drivers.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Safety Slogan Advertising

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council

Some of us have fond (or perhaps not so fond) memories of road trips, when we were kids. Having travelled by car, numerous times from western Washington State to visit family in Iowa and other parts of the mid-west, I am always surprised, when making a similar trip in recent years, of how much things have changed.

The old US highway system, for example US 10, and even the so called “Mother road of America, US Route 66” are pretty much gone, having been replaced by the Eisenhower Interstate Highway system. I agree with the news reporter Charles Osgood, when he said, “It’s now possible to drive from coast to coast and not see anything!” Granted, it’s not as fast, but I often avoid the interstate highways and choose the more interesting State and County roadways. Driving those roads, I don’t miss driving through the heart of small towns, and perhaps finding that quintessential town café where one can find the best apple, rhubarb or meringue pie ever. The town of Ennis, Montana, the Ennis Café and their fresh strawberry pie is a prime example.

Something else I miss is that long gone road side poetry of the Burma-Shave signs. I was reminded of this when recently, I was given a copy of “The Verse by the side of the Road” by Frank Rowsome. In this little tome, Mr. Rowsome gives the history of one of the most cost effective advertising campaigns ever. The original rhymes-on-signs was the idea of Allen Odell, whose family business in brushless shaving cream needed some kind of identity to make people notice their product. Starting in 1925, with a few hand painted signs along Minnesota Highway 65, to over 7000 sets of signs in 43 states by time they were discontinued in 1963, the Burma-Shave signs did one thing that advertisers still are trying to do, they made everyone who read them, smile.

So what does this little stroll down memory lane have to do with safety? While most of the examples took a humorous poke at the art of advertising and promoted their product, a large number of the Burma-Shave signs dealt with the perils of highway safety. Apparently the problems we see on the roadways of today, were present “way back then”, too. Here are a few examples. The first is from 1933.

Free Offer! Free Offer! / Rip a fender / From your car? / Mail it in / For a half-pound jar!

Apparently the problem of distracted driving was noticed back then as driver’s attention was diverted by the catchy rhymes.

Keep well / To the right / of the oncoming car / get your close shaves / from our half-pound jar!

The following is from 1937.

Drive / With care / Be Alive / When you arrive.

A universal theme that is still applicable today.

Don’t take / That curve / At sixty per / we’d hate to lose / A customer!

Hardly a driver / Is now alive / Who passed / On hills / At 65!

The previous two, address a still current problem of impatient driving.

If you dislike / Big traffic fines / slow down / Till you / Can read these signs.

Carless driving / Soon we hope / Will go / The way / Of brush and soap.

These last two are from 1940 . . . .

You can’t reach 80 / Hale and hearty / By driving 80 / Home from / The party.

Give clear signals / To those behind / They don’t know / What’s on your mind.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Driver Safety and the Rules of the Road

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council
Before we get started, let’s look at some strange traffic laws from the CNN news website:
  • In California, no vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.
  • In Florida, if an elephant, goat or alligator is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
  • In Montana, it is illegal to have a sheep in the cab of your truck without a chaperone.
  • In Oregon, a door on a car may not be left open longer than necessary.
  • In Tennessee, it is illegal shoot any game other than whales from a moving automobile.

We all know there are some strange laws, but most are there to keep us safe. The issue is: How many drivers actually know the rules of the road? Well to help you become a better driver, here are some rules of the road from the State of Washington.

  • You must signal your intention to turn or changes lane for at least 100 feet before making the move (RCW 46.61.305)

  • You must yield the right-of-way to a transit vehicle traveling in the same direction that has signaled and is reentering the traffic flow. (RCW 46.61.220)

Here is one that although is in the Rules of the Road (RCW 46.61.l26) it deals with pedestrians under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A law enforcement officer may offer to transport a pedestrian who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or any drug and who is walking or moving along or within the right-of-way of a public roadway, unless the pedestrian is to be taken into protective custody under RCW 70.96A.120. The law enforcement officer offering to transport an intoxicated pedestrian under this section shall:

(1) Transport the intoxicated pedestrian to a safe place; or

(2) Release the intoxicated pedestrian to a competent person.

The law enforcement officer shall take no action if the pedestrian refuses this assistance. No suit or action may be commenced or prosecuted against the law enforcement officer, law enforcement agency, the state of Washington, or any political subdivision of the state for any act resulting from the refusal of the pedestrian to accept this assistance.

I could go on, but the point is there are a lot of rules governing driving, riding a bike or even walking on a public roadway and that as good drivers we need to be aware of these rules. In addition as good drivers we need to remember that even though the person in front of us is not following the rules, it is best to let them go and not try to “teach them how to drive”.

Evergreen believes in safe driving and that is why we created our EverSafe Driving program and we can teach you and your employees how to better operate a vehicle.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Washington’s Seat Belt Use Rate Jumps

Results from the latest observational survey of seat belt use in Washington were released today and they show that the use rate has jumped to 97.6 percent. This use rate is expected to be one of the highest in the nation.

Washington saw an improvement of 1.2 percent from last year’s seat belt use rate of 96.4 percent.

"The closer we get to 100 percent seat belt use, the more difficult it becomes to realize higher use rates," said Lowell Porter, Director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. "To jump from 96.4 to 97.6 percent is truly a significant improvement that moves Washington closer to its goal of zero traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030."

Washington’s traffic safety goals, strategies and tactics are found in Target Zero, the state’s strategic highway safety plan, developed by 85 Tribal Nations, not-for-profit organizations, private industry, community groups, and federal, state and local agencies.

"These last few percentage points represent people who have simply not gotten the message about the value of seat belts," said State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. "It appears that enforcement is the only way to win their compliance, and we will not hesitate to use that tool."

The State Patrol cites about 47,000 people annually for failing to buckle up.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that for people killed or injured in traffic crashes, medical and lost productivity costs totaled $99 billion nationwide. Of that, $58 billion pertained to people who were killed.

"What’s much sadder than the monetary cost is the pain and anguish so many families go through," said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. "People can prevent a lot of that by remembering to buckle up — especially young people. Teens have the lowest rates of seat belt use, so they can do a lot on their own to reduce deaths and injuries."

Each year a nationwide observational seat belt survey is conducted. During the 2010 survey in Washington, observers recorded seat belt use by 94,436 vehicle drivers and passengers. It was conducted statewide on a variety of road types following research protocols established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

"The increase of 1.2 percent in the past year means that one third of non-users in 2009 became seat belt users in 2010, truly an amazing accomplishment given that Washington has maintained one of the highest seat belt use rates in the nation for so many years," said Dick Doane, Research Investigator with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

In recent years the seat belt use rate in Washington has been:
Year - Rate
2005 - 95.2%
2006 - 96.3%
2007 - 96.4%
2008 - 96.5%
2009 - 96.4%
2010 - 97.6%

To learn more contact: Jonna VanDyk, WTSC Occupant Protection Program Manager, 360.725.9885 or MJ Haught, WTSC Communications Manager 360.725.9879, or visit Target Zero and Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

Monday, September 27, 2010

It’s that time of year . . .

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Safety Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council

I got a phone call last week from western New York State; our daughter called to say that yesterday was the first day of kindergarten for our grand daughter. She related that they had anxiously waited together, for the school bus to come to her stop, a quick hug and a wave from the bus window and the new school year was underway. As we listened to the story, we too felt the tears our daughter said she had turned away quickly to hide, as the bus pulled away from the stop. It seems it was only a few years ago, (1981) when my wife and I had this same experience – but the little girl in pig-tails then, was now the “Mom” as this little drama played out.

Much has changed in the intervening years, however some things remain the same, and the safety issues surrounding the return to school, must be high on our list. As autumn approaches, the hours of daylight are getting rapidly shorter – it’s still dark in the mornings when the kids are making their way to school or to the bus stop. Along with the darkness, the weather compounds the difficulty in seeing the kids as they stand along the road, or cross the street in front of us. Current fashion trends for school age kids just doesn’t include retro-reflective materials on their clothing – what a fashion statement that would make!

Here are some tips for those of us who drive through school zones or along roads where the kids are waiting for the bus:
  • Kids are unpredictable: they don’t always walk on the sidewalk, often they are on the curb or even in the street.
  • They are NOT thinking about you approaching in your car – that’s about the last thing on their minds.
  • Their clothing is usually dark colored and on a dark rainy morning is very hard to see.
  • Current styles, such as coats with attached hoods, limit peripheral vision, and muffle sound, so the kids can neither see nor hear you approaching, as you come up from behind them.
  • Older kids are often distracted by their cell phones; are often busy texting – focusing on the electronic conversation – while totally unaware of where they are walking.
  • Kids cross the street just about anywhere – not just at marked crosswalks – drivers need to expect the unexpected.

The school zone speed limit is 20 miles an hour for a reason; driving even a few miles an hour above that speed greatly increases the distance you will travel as you recognize the child that has just darted out into the street, and the physics of breaking are inescapable – a doubling of your speed does not merely double your stopping distance – it makes it four times as great.

Please pay extra attention when driving near schools or along roads where kids wait for the school bus, the kids are depending on us!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Safety & Health Conference

59th Annual Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference
September 29 - 30, 2010
at the Spokane Convention Center

Every year the Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference offers two days of training and education, providing the latest tools, technologies and strategies for workplace safety and health.

Evergreen Safety Council will be hosting vendor booth #105. Stop by and talk to Executive Director Tom Odegaard, Director of Training Eric Tofte, Safety Trainer Norm Nyhuis, and our new Safety Intern Mary Czaja. Be sure to and mention you read our blog for a free prize!

During the first day of the conference (Wednesday, September 29th) ESC Safety Trainer Norm Nyhuis will be a featured speaker:

Distracted Driving in Washington State
10:00 am – 11:30 am, Room 100B
Technology, including laptop computers, GPS navigation systems, and cell phones, has become a part of nearly every facet of modern life. This technology has also found its way into our automobiles, providing both benefits and, all too often, tragic consequences when it takes our attention from the road.
Sponsored by the Accident Prevention Planning Committee

Safety Norm will also be participating in the
13th Annual Forklift Rodeo
Noon – 4:00 pm, Group Health Exhibit Hall A
Watch skilled forklift operators as they navigate a fun and challenging driving course that includes various tasks and hazards. Drivers are evaluated on the safe, efficient, skillful,
and proper completion of the course using accepted forklift operation standards.
Sponsored by the Materials Handling Planning Committee

During the Conference presentations you might even see our very own Eric Tofte acting as emcee!

For a full listing of all the conference events and vendors, take a look at the 2010 GISHC Program. (.pdf file)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We're in the Middle of Child Passenger Safety Week

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer and Child Seat Installation Specialist
Did you know that in 2008 – among child passengers under the age of five – child restraints saved the lives of an estimated 244 children? Yet, motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for children ages three and older.

Because child safety seats and booster seats save lives when used correctly, it’s critical that parents and caregivers know the importance of securing all children in appropriate child safety seats, booster seats or seat belts.

We need your help to make the 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Child Passenger Safety Week (September 19-25) and Seat Check Saturday (September 25) a success.

Follow these simple steps to spread the word to Washington’s fire, medical and media communities:
  1. Forward this message along to any of your Safety Committee, Community Outreach Group, as well as local, regional or state EMS and fire personnel to notify them of the upcoming Child Passenger Safety Week & Safety Check Saturday.

  2. Engage local media partners to highlight the PREVENTABLE nature of injuries sustained from incorrect safety seat use.

  3. Direct parents to the NHTSA website where they can look for inspection stations in their area. Or if you are in Seattle, schedule a Safety Seat Check with Safety Norm 206-382-4090

  4. Download earned media and creative materials (English & Spanish) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration campaign planner.

  5. Review your state’s child passenger safety law .

  6. Promote your support as medical and fire personnel by submitting editorial letters to your local newspapers about the national campaign.

We are grateful for your continued support of child passenger safety efforts, and we hope you will be active in the upcoming National Child Passenger Safety Week. Please talk to your friends, relatives & coworkers and write to your local newspapers about the campaign. With your participation, we can keep our children safe.

Thank you for your support!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Safety Conference for Anyone Who Drives on the Job

Evergreen staffers are working hard to prep for tomorrow's Oregon Traffic Safety Conference. Eight months of planning seems like a lot, and then suddenly its - tomorrow.

Distracted driving on the job is a hot topic in Portland these days. Does your organization have a driving policy in place? How do you enforce that policy? Attending this conference can help you outline the rules and the steps your company needs to take.

We have the attendee packets ready to go, speakers and vendors are all set, the program agendas are printing as I type this, and most importantly...the food is ordered. This afternoon we will be heading down to the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center to set-up. Sweaty work, but somebody's got to do it.

We hope to see you there tomorrow. In fact, mention you read this BLOG at the reception table and we will give you a prize.

If all else fails, check out our Facebook page next week to see the pictures of what you missed.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Keeping Washington Safe & Working

Contributed by Mary Czaja, Safety Intern, Evergreen Safety Council
On September 3rd L&I announced in a news release that “The Department of Labor & Industries’ 2011 workplace calendar, “Keep Washington Safe and Working,” will be available later this month, featuring real workers in real jobs across Washington state, from tulip fields in Skagit Valley to a vineyard in Pasco.”

One of the businesses chosen to participate was Evergreen Safety Council member Nucor Steel. Nucor Steel Seattle was the recipient of the ESC 2007 John D. Spellman Safety Award.

Congratulations to Nucor Steel and all the Washington business portrayed.

The calendar is part of the kick off for the annual Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference. The conference is being held this year on Sept. 29 and 30 in Spokane.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

South Lake Union Trade Show TODAY

Please join the South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce for the 2010 South Lake Union Trade Show TODAY from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Stop by the Evergreen Safety Council booth and mention to Tom Odegaard, our Executive Director, that you read about the show on our blog to receive an extra free gift. Have a good time and find out what's happening in the fastest growing neighborhood in Seattle, with booths and tables featuring local businesses and organizations, a free swag bag giveaway, food samples from local restaurants and caterers, raffles, and the Umpqua Ice Cream Truck!

Come visit the presenters, network, and show your support for the SLU Chamber and neighborhood!

LOCATION: The 415 Westlake event venue at 415 Westlake Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109Contact (206) 547-2577 or email info@SLUChamber.org for more details.

FREE ADMISSION for Chamber Members and Employees.
Non-Members welcome with $5 fee!

See you at the show!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Improper Housekeeping Can Cost You

Contributed by Mary Czaja, ESC Safety Intern

We all know the safety requirements for our core work duties. What if you spend time away from your everyday duties? Would you be aware of hazards in a different setting?

A business in OSHA Region 1 was sited and levied fines of $89,000 for hazard violations.

Boxes and pallets blocking an exit may seem like a temporary issue, but if a fire happened, workers lives could be in danger.

Is your emergency action plan up to date? Are all employees trained in what to do in case of fire or other emergent situation? What about the worker on light duty that is temporally reassigned? On the job training is a great tool for learning, but not during an emergency. Safety is important in all aspects of business, from top to bottom. Safe use of boxes, pallets, fire extinguishers, and clearly marked exit doors may seem trivial in the big picture of our working day, but that training might just save a life.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Safety Training Survey Results

ESC Special Report: Northwest Safety Training Survey Results are Now Available (pdf)
We deeply appreciate the time that individuals took to complete and return the survey, which examined:
  • the current market for safety training programs in the NW
  • the safety training classes offered and types of training used
  • expected budget and training changes in the future
  • what organizations offer safety training
  • ESC’s image in the market

The information we received was both encouraging and challenging. We believe it will assist us in our continuing efforts to provide the highest quality and cost effective safety training and consulting services to both our members and clients.
Tom Odegaard