Thursday, May 27, 2010

BBQ Safety

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

Summer grilling season starts this weekend and a lot of us will be going out to the backyard to cook up some BBQ. Before you do, take a look at these safety tips:

  • Before using your grill, check it thoroughly for any leakages or any type of damage. Avoid using a cracked grill. Carefully check for any wear and tear of the tubes connected to the burners. Always be prepared for any fires with a fire extinguisher. If possible, keep a person in charge for the fire at all times. Don't wear loose clothing which might catch fire.
  • Never barbecue inside your house, garage, trailer, tents or any type of enclosed area: grills are designed for outdoor use only. The carbon monoxide fumes may accumulate and kill.
  • Read the manual carefully and follow all the safety restrictions. Grills (gas or charcoal) and smokers all have very specific ranges of operation. You need to know these before you light up.
  • Keep the grill stable to avoid tipping. Place your grill over a plain surface; not over steep or sloping surfaces.
  • Be sure that all electrically-operated accessories are properly grounded. Electrical cords should be placed away from walkways or anywhere people can trip over them.
  • Never start a propane grill with the lid closed. Gas can accumulate and when the grill is ignited may cause an explosion. Always shut off the propane fuel at the grill and at the bottle after you finished barbecuing. Otherwise, this will lead to fire hazards, such as leaks and faulty regulators.
  • Due to the production of carbon monoxide when charcoal is burned, charcoal grills should not be used inside homes, vehicles, tents, or campers, even if ventilation is provided. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless so you will not be alerted to the danger until it is too late.
  • Only use a charcoal barbecue on a balcony or terrace if there is a ten foot clearance from the building and there is an immediate source of water.
  • It is not advisable to use sauce at the beginning of your cooking. And always wait at least one minute before serving food to avoid burns.

Have a Safe Memorial Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Situational Safety

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council

Wander back with me, for just a moment, to your years as a student. . . all of us can remember how tough it was to sit in the classroom, when the first warm days of early spring called to us through the prison bars we were sure we saw on the school room windows. How can we concentrate on split-infinitives, quadratic equations, or even coloring while staying between the lines, when spring time activities beckon? But wait; what’s this? The teacher is leaving the room . . . now is the time to entertain the class by demonstrating that you can stick your head in the opening between the chair seat and backrest. Everyone is laughing and enjoying your show, but now it’s time to get back in the seat, and the teacher will be none the wiser . . . . .

Now fast-forward to after the teacher has returned to the room to find you in this embarrassing situation. To add insult to the situation, let’s call the school nurse, and one or two of the school maintenance staff to saw the chair apart to extract your head. Wonder if my parents will get a bill for the damaged chair?

Kid-stuff prank, you say? Hopefully this boy grew up to be a productive citizen, but let’s face it, even adults do some pretty silly things at times, that cause us to only shake our heads and wonder what they were thinking. Ahh . . . maybe, just maybe, they weren’t thinking!

Accident prevention is every employees’ responsibility, and avoiding horseplay, on the job is just one area where what seemed innocent at the start, can otherwise turn quickly to a tragic event.

Evergreen Safety Council offers a certification series of training for Safety and Health Specialists, where accident prevention is a common thread through all of the training sessions. If you have an interest in obtaining this certification, contact ESC at (800) 521-0778 or via the links on this web-site to learn more about this, and all the workplace safety programs we offer.
Picture source: the Navy Safety Center

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Training and Unsafe Workers

Contributed by Roger Hurst, Evergreen Safety Council
Unsafe workers are a chronic problem in some industries more than others. They might ignore cohort’s safety concerns while influencing others at the same time. You need to identify these individuals before everyone’s safety is jeopardized.

A safe working environment is not only more productive but is also more profitable. Your ROI will rise with a properly administered program. You must use the techniques OSHA recommends: Training/information, enforcement and rewards. This also must be repeated to become effective. You need to repeat safety training in a downward path from management with safety rules, training programs and internal communications. You must also repeat safety training in an upward motion to make sure your message is being received and understood.

The OSHA most cited standards for 2009 are:
1. Scaffolding
2. Fall Protection
3. Hazard communications
4. Respiratory protection
5. Lockout/tagout
6. Ladders
7. Powered industrial trucks
8. Electrical wiring
9. Electrical design
10. Fall Protection, training

These same infractions occur year-after-year. This is why repetition of training is so important for the safety of all your employees. As you know OR-OSHA, DOSH, AKOSH, OSHA and MSHA are all upping their fines for these infractions.

You can purchase all the safety equipment you want, but only safety training will assure your workers use and implement this equipment. We are the company who can provide this training for your companies. We have the all new Total Safety Compliance program which saves you time, money and the hassle of keeping records of your safety training. Please give us a call to get your program started today. 206-382-4090.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Morning After

We survived the 2010 Washington Traffic Safety Confernce. Each year we grow the conference a little bit bigger. This year, there were over 70 people in attendance participating in 7 speaker presentations and visiting the 6 vendor booths.

The WSCJTC facilities were great, with the added benefit of a floor show. In the morning we watched the color guard raise the flag, march around and even do push ups. During lunch there was a K9 demonstration, and on one break we watched Seattle PD trainees practice entering a building with guns drawn.

Highlights of the Conference included Washington Traffic Safety Commission and Evergreen presenting Senator Eide with an award for her efforts in passing the cell phone and texting bill, as well as Syd Muzzy's interactive presentation, which is always well received.

What People are saying: "This (conference) will enhance my EverSafe Driving instructions... (This conference provided me with) resources and tools to use in my own presentations to staff and clients... I really enjoyed all the helpful & useful information... This was an extremely valuable presentation. If more people knew about how useful this information was, you would fill the auditorium 10 times!"

To see the pictures from the conference, come visit us on Facebook. Come join the conversation.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yikes! The Traffic Safety Conference is Tomorrow

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

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Monitoring the Risk of Violence

Contributed by: Kevin Calder, CPP
Safety professionals are increasingly at the forefront of managing the risk of workplace violence. Both general and specific occupational safety and health (OSHA) regulations require companies to provide a work environment safe from acts of violence.

While the focus remains on personnel and physical security applications to mitigate threats, creating an environment where staff members are comfortable sharing information and reporting concerns is the best approach to early identification of individuals who pose a threat of violence. Training frontline staff in violence risk recognition and reporting procedures allow employees to bring concerns forward safely while respecting confidentiality.

Workers are often afraid to report troubling comments or behaviours to supervisors. Concerns include; appearing to over-react, getting others in trouble, or fear of retaliation. Adopting a structured approach to identify, assess and manage threats of workplace violence can minimize these concerns. By increasing staff awareness of pre-incident warning signs, companies can significantly increase opportunities to intercede and assist individuals moving on a path towards violence.

Research shows that workplace violence aggressors often have a history of “leaking” violent ideation prior to actual acts of violence. Leakage may occur through comments, references or actions. Warning signs include identifying with individuals who have carried out workplace mass murders, feelings of having nothing left to lose, or failing to consider non-violent alternatives to deal with work or personal stressors. Individually, these factors may not suggest that an individual poses a risk of violence, but as these begin to appear in clusters, further assessment and support should be prioritized.

Now more than ever, it is critical to monitor for the risk of violence impacting on our workplaces. While the risk of workplace homicide is very low, a single incident can have catastrophic consequences.

As our world continues to become more complex, there is often an increase in personal stressors impacting on the workplace. The breakdown of financial stability and loss of personal relationships can trigger increased violence risk potential.

A 2009 article in the Vancouver Sun identified the rise of violence related to the current economic downturn. The article quoted a report in the London Times that 58 fatalities were linked to eight incidents in one month alone.

Increasing personal and financial pressures are regularly identified as a factor in significant acts of workplace-related homicide and suicide. Of particular concern is the increase in familial homicide/suicides where the aggressor has recently experienced workplace difficulties then goes on to kill themselves and family members.

Incidents of harassment, bullying, intimidation and physical violence are much more commonplace and, depending on the wording of OSHA regulations, are often defined as “workplace violence”.

A corporate violence risk awareness training session provides your employees with a platform to help them see and understand the types of workplace violence, associated company and individual dynamics and the tools to recognize and report statements and behaviors of concern. Early recognition and intervention provides the best opportunity to minimize or mitigate the risk of workplace violence.

K Calder & Associates is a fully licensed and insured security and threat management consulting practice, working in Canada and the United States. thee provide practical threat management solutions and services to private and public sector organizations and individuals.

Kevin will be presenting more information about what actions your organization should be taking to prevent workplace violence during the Safety & Health Specialist course Security Programs / Workplace Violence on Thursday, June 3rd. Register today.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Power Press Safety

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training
In February 2010 OSHA released a SHIB (Safety & Health Information Bulletin) on the hazards associated with the "unintended (double) cycling" of mechanical power presses.

This SHIB discussed the most common type of injury associated with mechanical power presses is amputation. Such injuries are often the result of point of operation hazards. The point of operation is the area on a press where material is processed.

The history behind this SHIB is based on OSHA’s Omaha, Nebraska Area Office investigation of an amputation accident involving a guarded 60 ton, part revolution, mechanical power press. The press on which the amputation occurred incorporated a two hand control point of operation device and a PSD. The two hand controls were located 22 inches from the die area. The safety distance met the requirements in 29 CFR 1910.217(c)(3)(vii)(c).

If you have power presses this is a great bulletin to read.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Contributed by Tom Odegaard, Executive Director, Evergreen Safety Council
Troopers Will "Fully Enforce" New Primary Law Starting June 10-

(Olympia)-The Washington State Patrol announced today that it will not offer a grace period when texting while driving and failure to use a hands-free device become primary traffic offenses on June 10.

It is common for the state patrol to offer an educational grace period when a new law requires drivers to change long-standing behavior.

"Drivers have already had nearly two years to adjust their driving habits," said WSP Chief John R. Batiste. "We will fully enforce this law from day one."

Laws prohibiting texting and requiring hands-free devices took effect in 2008, but have been considered secondary violations. Officers had to witness some other infraction in order to make a traffic stop. The new designation as primary offenses mean police can stop drivers for a texting or cell phone violation alone.

Batiste is disappointed that the laws' previous status didn't win more voluntary compliance. In some cases there was outright defiance.

"They would look right at our troopers with phones held to their ears,"
Batiste said. "They knew that without another violation we couldn't do anything."

The texting and cell phone requirements are intended to save lives and reduce injuries by eliminating these two major sources of driver distraction.

Since the laws went into effect in 2008, WSP has written approximately 3,000 tickets and given about 5,900 warnings. The patrol believes the number of collisions caused by inappropriate use of mobile devices is greatly under- reported.

"Few drivers are going to admit they were on a cell phone, or texting, after a crash," Batiste said. "We are choosing to take action before a collision occurs in hopes of preventing these needless tragedies."

The fine for a violation is $124.

Safety Can Look Cool

Contributed by Monty Lish, EMST Manager,
ESC has purchased some new full face helmets for the ranges and we will be disposing of the old 1/2 and 3/4 style helmets. We will also be disposing of many older full face helmets that have been available in the containers.

Student will start seeing these sexy new helmets being added to the containers this weekend. This should leave us with only full face helmets for the students to borrow and this has been our plan. Based on a few incidents/accidents that have happened on the ranges in the past few years (injured teeth, facial scratches), we have decided that full face protection is the safest possible helmet to loan our students while taking one of our motorcycle safety classes.

This is just one more new tool for teaching, as we prepare for the summer training season.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Do you care about Traffic Safety?

Do you drive for your company? Or, do you have employees that drive while on the job? If so, each of you should plan on attending next week's Washington Traffic Safety Conference.

Year after year, traffic crashes are the #1 killer of American workers, yet in most cases there is no mandate or requirement for an employer to train their drivers. On the flip side, each year, companies spend billions in insurance costs, legal fees, lost productivity and more.

Wouldn’t you like to learn how to protect yourself, your company, and your employees from these expensive risks? The Washington Traffic Safety Conference on Thursday, May 20th would be a giant step in the right direction. For only $45 attendees will learn from experts in their field:
· how to manage driving behaviors,
· how much employees are expected to do while driving and how this effects safety,
· how the new ban on texting will effect your business, and
· how factors like speed, distractions and fatigue effect job performance and therefore driving.

Plan on taking one day out of your schedule to protect yourself, your business and those you love. Register today.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Child Safety Seats Need Proper Installation

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council
Most of us have to drive, at some point, nearly every day. Driving is a normal part of our lives, whether for pleasure or for business. Often we need to take our family with us. The laws in the State of Washington (as in all 50 states) are very specific as to the need to secure children properly, in a child safety seat (CSS) that is appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height.

In general, all children need to be in the back seat, until they are at least 13 years of age. In your author’s household, the rule was “until you are old enough to sit behind the wheel, you sit in the back seat.”

Babies need to be secured rear-facing in a seat appropriate for their age and size. Keep your child facing the rear as long as they are within the size and weight limits of the specific CSS you are using. Higher weight limit seats are now available to make it easier to keep the kids facing the rear as long as possible.

Toddlers, at absolute minimum, must be a year of age, and weigh more than the upper limit on your rear facing seat, before they can be turned around to sit forward facing. Again, keep your child in this type of a seat until they pass the upper weight limit.

For older children, a booster seat is needed until they are at least 8 years of age, 80 lbs. weight, and 4’ 9” tall.

If you have questions or would like to have your child safety seat checked for proper installation, contact Norm at 206-382-4090, to make an appointment.
Pictured: Leal Ridgway and Norm Nyhuis

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Crane Signals & Crane Safety

Contributed by Roger Hurst, Evergreen Safety Council
At the Seattle Vicinity Construction Safety Council meeting this month the subject was: Crane Signals.

I would like to thank Erich Smith, Ironworker Apprenticeship Coordinator, Gaytor Rasmussen, Seattle Tower Crane Inspection, Jim West, Safety Director of MacDonald Miller and Larry Markee, DOSH Safety Crane Compliance Specialist for an excellent program. Not only did they speak about communications between the crane operator and the signal person, but all the communications needed around a work site: clear and concise hand signals along with clear verbal communications between all involved.

The presentation brought up the WAC codes on who can become a signal person and what type of qualifications they would need. The general discussion from the attendees was how do these people get trained and to what standard.

Evergreen Safety has a new Mobile Crane Operator Training program. This is a 3 ½ day training course taught here at our training facility by Norm Nyhuis, our resident expert. After the class a NCCCO proctor administers the core exam and one or more specialty exams.

What the attendees wanted to know is by what standards the signal person or rigger should be trained. I believe in the new future you will see a NCCCO Signal person type of training for these individuals as well. If I was safety manager at a construction company I would investigate these types of courses.

We here at Evergreen Safety are the folks who have the all new Total Safety Compliance program for the training of your personnel. We can save your company money, time and the hassle of training your workers.

Four easy steps to get your program started:
1. Evergreen personnel visit your site and perform a training assessment
2. We base our fees on a per employee per month basis
3. We review and confirm your training needs
4. We track all the safety training your employees participate in and notify you when the certifications need renewal

With Total Safety Compliance, it’s that simple.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Got a mine?

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council
Well, if you are covered by MSHA get ready, enforcement is coming. With recent events in the coal mining industry, President Obama has directed the US Secretary of Labor to work with Congress to strengthen enforcement of existing laws and close loopholes that permit companies to shirk their responsibilities.

Read the President's complete remarks.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I shoulda’ got a truck

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council

Ah, Spring time; when something stirs inside of us and compels us to get outside and tackle some of those house and yard projects that we’ve thought about, during the winter.

A trellis of beautiful climbing flowers is often seen on the side of a house featured in one of the numerous house and garden magazines. Hmm, that doesn’t look too difficult: a few blocks of wood, a few nails and shazam – instant beautiful garden spot. Coincidentally the local home and garden store has a special sale price on that ready-made lattice – just what you need. Off the store to buy the materials. And then it dawns on you: how do I get my purchase home? It’s 4 ft by 8 ft, kind of floppy, but thankfully doesn’t weigh too much. Just strap it down to the old car roof and . . . . .

RCW 46-37.410 states; No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster, or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, side wings, or side or rear windows of such vehicle which obstructs the driver's clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway. That sounds pretty clear to me, and the vision of the driver of the car in the photo is certainly not very clear.

If you’d like to learn more about safe driving, contact Evergreen Safety Council and ask about our Eversafe Driving Course. Offered as a workplace onsite training, ESD covers all aspects of safe driving, including securing your load.

Evergreen also offers a Free Secure Your Load online training course, which is available to anyone interested in how to safely transport their yard, debris, garbage, etc. this summer.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Washington Traffic Safety Conference: Two Weeks & Counting!

Traffic accidents continue to be the #1 workplace killer, and although the economy is improving, organizations’ budgets continue to be challenged — that's not stopping our members, clients and exhibitors from making it to the Washington Traffic Safety Conference.

Register now to join more than 100 of the coolest safety folks around, May 20th at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission in Burien. Now, more than ever, those of us responsible for workplace safety and health need to stay connected — and you won't find a better opportunity than this! Come for the knowledge, the experts, the exhibitors, the networking and support, and meet the Evergreen Safety Council staff you've talked with over the phone, and finally match a face with a name.

Stay connected by registering now. We'll see you at the WA State Criminal Justice Training Center, May 20th!

Questions? Contact us at 206-382-4090 / 800-521-0778; e-mail: Details online at

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Three things...

May is National Bike Month
This month we will likely be sharing the road with a lot more bikes as people use their bikes instead of their cars to bike to work or school and to run errands. Throughout the month of May remember to Drive Nice and Share the Road.

Free Root Cause Analysis Overview Tonight
ESC partner Apollo Associated Services' seminars are a great choice for people interested in changing the way they think about problems, solutions, and the cause-and-effect relationships that must be understood before change can take place.

Stop by the Evergreen Safety Training Center tonight starting at 5:30pm for coffee and a snack, and learn how this training seminar can help your organization's safety program. Mention you read this blog and receive a free gift. (while supplies last)

Construction Safety Day in Puyallup Tomorrow
Yesterday's post emphasized the importance of training non-English speaking workers. This 1-day conference is offering training in both English and Spanish...a great opportunity to get your people safety information in both languages.

Stop by the Evergreen Safety Council booth and mention you read this blog for a free gift. (while supplies last)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Solis announces new OSHA enforcement initiatives

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council
Are you really training your non-English speaking workers so they understand?

If not you may want to read this article from the April edition of the OSHA QuickTakes.

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced a number of major new OSHA enforcement initiatives during her April 14 keynote address at the National Action Summit for Latino Worker Health and Safety.

OSHA currently requires that training provisions under OSHA standards be provided in a language or a form that workers can understand. OSHA further requires that its Compliance Officers check and verify that workers have received the training required by OSHA standards. The Agency will expand upon this and effective on April 28 -- Workers' Memorial Day -- Secretary Solis explained, "OSHA will also assure that its Compliance Officers check and verify not only that the training has been provided, but that it was provided in a format that the workers being trained can understand."

The Secretary also announced a new pilot program where OSHA will work with local building inspectors to assure worker safety and health protection. In construction, the four leading causes of worker deaths are falls, electrocution, being crushed or caught between and being struck. Inspectors participating in this pilot program will notify OSHA when they observe unsafe work conditions leading to these four major causes of workplace fatalities.

To view Secretary Solis complete keynote address.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May is Motorcycle Awareness & Safety Month

Contributed by Monty Lish, Manager, EMST
May is typically one of the deadliest months for motorcyclists, as many riders begin to start riding again for the season after taking the winter months off. As the weather starts to warm up we start to see more motorcyclists on the roads interacting with traffic. May is the time to remind all motorists and motorcyclist to be more alert and watch out for each other on the roads.

Motorcyclists also need to be aware that their motorcycle skills are perishable, and if they don’t use these skills everyday they can lose them. Even experienced motorcyclist can benefit from taking a motorcycle safety class, especially if they have not been on a motorcycle for a while.

If you are a beginner or an experienced motorcyclist you can benefit from taking a motorcycle safety class from Evergreen Safety Council. Get ready for the riding season and sign up for a class today.

View the Public Service Announcement created by the Washington DOL last year for motorcycle awareness.