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.