Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Workplace Accident - What do we do now?

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer / Consultant

Five words that strike fear into any business operator’s heart (besides “60 Minutes is waiting outside”) are certainly, “We’ve just had an accident.” Keeping employees safe is of primary concern to any employer, but in spite of our best efforts, undesirable events with negative results still happen.

When an accident occurs, a business should approach the investigation with the thought in mind of, “what can we learn for this event that will help us avoid a similar event in the future?” Our focus should be on preventability.

Businesses need to investigate not only accidents that occur, but also investigate those events where no one was injured, but were accidents none the less. Why? Every event that we could call a “near miss” should be seen as a free warning, to induce us to take whatever measures apply to prevent a more serious event from happening.

Take for example a worker who is assigned to change a burned out light bulb, over a windowless, side door to the building. The worker is only going to be a couple of rungs up the ladder, and only for a few moments, so doesn’t take the time to put a warning sign on the other side of the door. While removing the fixture’s cover to access the bulb, another worker opens the door from the inside. Fortunately, the guy changing the light bulb had just climbed down, and wasn’t actually on the ladder at the moment the door was opened and the ladder was tipped over, but what if. . . . .

This event should be seen as a reminder that when ever working in an area where there is expected to be other workers passing through, we always should set up either warning signs or even temporarily barricade, restricting access to the area, until the work is finished.

Following are some of the reasons why the four basic steps listed should be taken, following an accident, and in the order presented:

Immediate actions: For most of us, a call to 9-1-1 is the first priority – get trained help on the way. Determine if the scene is safe for responders to enter, then address the first aid needs of any who were injured. Also determine if the scene can be isolated, preventing the possibility for the damage to spread. A second reason to isolate the scene is to prevent things from being moved or disturbed. Examination of the evidence left behind can often tell the investigator what happened; if things are moved or debris is cleaned up, a piece of the story may be gone and not be able to be recaptured.

Determine the facts: No one will be able to tell you everything that happened, so you will have to get pieces of the story from various sources. Interview witnesses, and if able, interview the person(s) directly involved. Take your own notes, photographs, and even draw a sketch of the area. NOTE: sketches are not to scale and should be so noted on the sketch, but do show the general relationship and location of objects and personnel at the time of the event. Paper documentation may also help: things such as time sheets, training records, and maintenance records may reveal contributing factors to the cause of the event.

Establish causes: Once all the data is gathered and evaluated, the cause can usually be identified. Remember – accidents seldom have a single cause, but are usually the result of several contributing factors, all coming together at the wrong time. Keep in mind the goal in this step is to establish the cause(s) and learn how to prevent those factors from coming together again.

Recommend and implement corrective actions: Once the determination has been made as to what factors came together to cause the event, take steps to reduce or eliminate the possibility of a reoccurrence. This may include

• Eliminating the process altogether
• Substitute a less hazardous item or chemical for the more dangerous one An example would be use a non-flammable solution for parts cleaning rather than a flammable petroleum product.
• Isolate the hazard that precipitated the event, such as enclose the item in an area where people can not come into contact with it, or be affected by it (such as enclosing a noisy machine in an insolated room).
• Engineering controls; such as a change to equipment, a change to eliminate the need for human intervention to control the process. Add guards, or interlocks to prevent a human operator from placing their hands in the operational part of the machine.
• Administrative changes: change operating procedures or company safety policies, for example to insure that no one works alone in a particularly hazardous area. Paint lines around a machine and require that only the operator be “inside the line” while the machine is in operation.
• PPE. As a last line of defense, what PPE should be worn by the employee when performing the task in question? Was the employee aware of the PPE need? Was the employee trained in the use and care of the PPE?
We must take the time to learn from seemingly inconsequential everyday events, and take the appropriate actions indicated to prevent accidents before they happen.

Evergreen Safety Council offers a class on Accident Investigation as part of our Safety & Health Specialist series.  Have an issue you would like address now? ESC can come to your location and perform an investigation for you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Workplace safety - Respiratory Protection

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

Respirators protect the user in two basic ways. The first is by the removal of contaminants from the air. Respirators of this type include particulate respirators, which filter out airborne particles; and "gas masks” which filter out chemicals and gases. Other respirators protect by supplying clean respirable air from another source. Respirators that fall into this category include airline respirators, which use compressed air from a remote source; and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which include their own air supply.
Respirators should only be used when engineering control systems are not feasible. Engineering control systems, such as adequate ventilation or scrubbing of contaminants are the preferred control methods for reducing worker exposures.

If engineering controls cannot protect employees, then an employer must provide respiratory protection and develop and implement a respiratory protection program and you need to address the following:

• Selecting respirators
• Medical evaluations
• Fit testing respirators (applies if tight fitting respirators are required)
• Maintaining and caring for respirators
• Using respirators including routine and emergency use procedures
• Supplied Air quality (applies if airline or SCBAs will be used)
• Training users and supervisors
• Evaluating the Respirator Program

This can be confusing, but necessary to ensure the protection of your employees.

If you do need to develop a program there are several avenues you can take to get help. Both OSHA and DOSH have great resource pages on this topic, or you can give Evergreen a call. We can help with training, fit testing and more 800-521-0778.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Protection Measures Needed at Production Sites

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

Most of the time we talk about worker safety and so forth, but what about public safety and protection from litigation if someone goes on your property and gets hurt or killed? You do have some protection, but you better do what you can to keep unauthorized people off your property, especially if you have major hazards as the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has just reported.

CSB Report Finds that Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Facilities Present Hazards to Members of the Public, Especially Children; CSB Issues Recommendations to EPA, State Regulators, NFPA, and API Aimed at Increasing Oil Site Safety and Security.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a new study of explosions at oil and gas production sites across the U.S., identifying 26 incidents since 1983 that killed 44 members of the public and injured 25 others under the age of 25, and is calling for new public protection measures at the sites.

The report examined in detail three explosions that occurred at oil and gas production facilities in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas, that killed and injured members of the public between October 2009 and April 2010.

The CSB report found that children and young adults frequently socialize at oil sites in rural areas, unaware of the explosion hazards from storage tanks that contain flammable hydrocarbons like crude oil and natural gas condensate.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ESC Membership Benefit - Scholarship Program

Contributed by Star Conrad, Director of Operations, Evergreen Safety Council 
The Evergreen Safety Council Board of Directors is proud to once again present the Monty C. Lish and Stanley O. McNaughton Scholarship for Safety and Health Careers. We offer these $1,000 scholarships in order to encourage more college students to enter safety and health professions.

The Evergreen Safety Council scholarship program is intended for member company employees and their families. The brochure and application are available to all interested employees of an ESC member company and their families. All applications must be returned by February 15, 2012.

At the Council, we feel strongly that safety and health is a rewarding career worth pursuing, one that benefits not only our community, but society as a whole. This scholarship is designed to create an opportunity that directly benefits the scholarship recipients, while promoting the field of safety and health as a career option.

Students who have received a Health and Safety Careers scholarship in the past have had a wide range of scholastic and career goals. Two students received scholarships for the 2011-2012 academic year:

Mary Fantazia hopes to pursue a career as an industrial nurse. Her goal is to “be able to assess a work environment and identify potential health and safety problems [and] conduct company safety training programs.”

Morgan Hofman is attending the Oregon Institute of Technology as a pre-radiology major.

For more information about membership and its benefits, please visit our website.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What is a Bike Box?

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

Bike Box

As you are out driving in the Seattle area you may be seeing “green” areas being painted near intersections with a bicycle icon on it. Well this is a bike box, and when stopping at the light, vehicles are not to enter the “box” - it is for bicycles.

What is a bike box?
The bike box is an intersection safety design to prevent bicycle/car collisions. It is a painted green space on the road with a white bicycle symbol inside. In some locations it includes a green bicycle lane approaching the box. The box creates space between motor vehicles and the crosswalk that allows bicyclists to position themselves ahead of motor vehicle traffic at an intersection.

If you want more information on this, check out the Seattle Department of Transportation bike box page.  There is also an informative video from the City of Portland on How to Use a Bike Box.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Safety & Health Solutions - December Issue

Contributed by Star Conrad, Director of Operations, Evergreen Safety Council 
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: Outdoor Hazards
  • Violence in the Workplace
  • Let's Get Personal About Protection
  • Chemical Safety
  • Steel Toed Boots vs. Forklift
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.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Safety Gifts Support Safety Culture

Contributed by Star Conrad, Director of Operations, Evergreen Safety Council 
With the holidays fast approaching and 2012 is just around the corner, now is the best time to show employees your appreciation for working safely all year long.

Check out these ideas for employee gifts that are fun to receive and also reinforce your organization's safety culture. These items also make great gifts for your family and your employees' families!
  • Portable Weather Radio
  • Solar or battery powered AM/FM radio
  • Vehicle Emergency Kit
  • First Aid Kit – personal to family sized
  • Solar, shakable or battery powered Flashlights
  • PPE for home use – suits, goggles, ear plugs, etc.
Many of these types of gifts and even more are available online or through your general safety supply retailer.

And since we are Evergreen Safety Council…Motorcycle or Sidecar/Trike training class Gift Certificates are a great safety gift for family and friends. Call our office 206-382-4090 to order one today.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 Top 10 OSHA Violations

Contributed by Tom Odegaard, Executive Director, Evergreen Safety Council

OSHA has released their “Top 10” list of most frequently cited violations for FY 2011 (Oct 1 2010-Sept 30, 2011). Over the last several years the list has not changed much year to year. OSHA points out that this list is not meant to either evaluate enforcement efforts on the part of OSHA or how safe US companies have become. It is intended for organizations to take and use as a tool to improve safety at their worksites. For more information, go to OSHA’s website.

OSHA Top 10 Violations FY 2011
  1. Fall Protection (FY 2010 rank: #2) Total Violations: 7,139
  2. Scaffolding (FY 2010 rank: #1) Total Violations: 7,069
  3. Hazard Communication (FY 2010 rank: #3) Total Violations: 6,538
  4. Respiratory Protection (FY 2010 rank: #4) Total Violations: 3,944
  5. Lockout/Tagout (FY 2010 rank: #6) Total Violations: 3,639
  6. Electrical – Wiring Methods (FY 2010 rank: #7) Total Violations: 3,584
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (FY 2010 rank: #8) Total Violations: 3,432
  8. Ladders (FY 2010 rank: #5) Total Violations: 3,244
  9. Electrical – General Requirements (FY 2010 rank: #9) Total Violations: 2,863
  10. Machine Guarding (FY 2010 rank: #10) Total Violations: 2,728

Top 10 OSHA Serious Violations FY 2011

  1. Scaffolding
  2. Fall Protection
  3. Hazardous Communication
  4. Lockout/Tagout
  5. Ladders
  6. Electrical – Wiring Methods
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks
  8. Machine Guarding
  9. Respiratory Protection
  10. Electrical – General Requirements

OSHA Top 10 Willful Violations – FY 2011

  1. Excavation – Protective Systems
  2. Fall Protection
  3. Process Safety Management – Hazardous Chemicals
  4. Grain Handling Facilities
  5. Asbestos
  6. Lockout/Tagout
  7. Machine Guarding
  8. Specific Excavation Requirements
  9. General Recording Requirements
  10. General Duty Clause

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Safety & Health Solutions - November edition

Contributed by Star Conrad, Director of Operations, Evergreen Safety Council 
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 – Be honest...Are you in compliance?
Other articles
  • Machine Guarding
  • First Aid: About OSHA and ANSI
  • Confined Space Safety
  • Can I borrow a cup of sugar...and a forklift
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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Do You Have An Environmental Safety Plan? Maybe You Should

Reprinted from Washington Manufacturing Alert Newsletter Vol. 3, Issue 23, Nov. 7, 2011

By now managing workplace safety and health is as accepted and assumed a part of operating a business as ordering raw materials. It‘s a rare company that doesn‘t have a proactive pro-gram in place to identify and reduce risks from fires, falls, machinery accidents and the like before they actually cause injury or result in fines from regulators.

Companies have also operated for years under environmental safety and health laws and rules, but programs for managing those risks are much less prevalent.

That‘s what Tom Odegaard, president and executive director of the Seattle-based Evergreen Safety Council, heard from personnel at member companies involved in managing safety and training programs.

“Within the last few years they‘ve been getting an increasing amount of expectancy to be involved with environmental safety issues,” Odegaard says. “So many of them said, ‘I don‘t know where to start.’ That got me thinking we should be able to help there.”

So ESC, which runs such certification and training programs as motorcycle and forklift operation, plans to start a new series of courses to get companies up to speed on running their own environmental health and safety programs.

The three-day course will launch sometime in early 2012 with a focus on clean air, clean water and hazardous wastes.

Odegaard says the course won‘t cover the entire spectrum of environmental safety and health, but it will “give them a starting point, give them a platform to know what the rules are, where they can find the rules, who the agencies are that enforce those rules, if they need to contact them how to contact them, and then come away from the classes being able to go back to their organizations and do an evaluation as to what do we have at risk here?”

Companies have practical motivation for getting serious about having their own environmental safety and health programs. “There are a lot of regulations out there, and some agencies are more aggressive than others in enforcement,” Odegaard says. “Everything we see (indicates) there‘s going to be more enforcement.” And in many cases, he adds, “The fines on the environmental side are much stiffer than on safety and health.”

To date many companies have been in a reactive mode, dealing with environmental issues only when inspections and fines are involved. “They want to put together a program so they‘re not reacting, so they‘re ahead of the game a little bit,” Odegaard says, so that if inspectors do show up at the door they can point to specific measures they‘ve taken to mitigate risk and be in compliance with rules.

The program will have application not just to manufacturing and construction businesses, which are dealing with issues such as managing storm water runoff from their job sites, but service companies as well.

“If you have a fleet and you have a shop that takes care of that fleet, what are you doing with and how are you treating all the fluids that you change to prevent that from getting into the storm water and eventually (into Puget Sound),” Odegaard says.

The good news is that there are measures companies can implement without breaking the bank, he adds.

Odegaard says the course will include speakers from agencies involved in environmental regulation. Participants will be given reading material in advance of the sessions. ”We‘re trying to be respectful of time away from work,” he says.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Recertifying Forklift Operators

Evergreen’s Eric Tofte and intern John Neibel started November off with some onsite training. We spent the first two days of the month working with a local utility company; their employees welcomed us with warm wishes even though it was  literally freezing outside. Approximately 30 people were recertified to operate the forklifts at this location over two days.

Machine inspection
 Some things to note from the class: most of us have our bad habits when it comes to operating Forklifts, but we kept seeing some more than others and they warrant mentioning here.

1) When backing look over both shoulders to ensure that there are no obstructions or personnel in the area behind the lift. We noticed that almost everyone likes to look over their right should, but never looked to the left.

2) Keep all body parts inside of the cab of the forklift.  This means - no you cannot hang onto the frame of the overhead protection or hang onto the side of the forklift to steady yourself. A small impact could cause a very serious injury.

Reviewing a driver in action

3) Pedestrians should be trained too - the driver of the forklift may be the one who is responsible for the accident should some one get hurt, but who is the one that is hurting? The Pedestrian. 

4) Horns are there to be used—even though the machine has a back-up alarm. Use the horn to raise the level of awareness of the hazard that is presented, use the horn at any and all blind corners – if you can’t see around it, then they cannot see you; let them know that you are there.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Emergency Washing Facilities

News from DOSH - Eyewash and Shower
Contributed by John M Neibel, Safety Intern, Evergreen Safety Council

Example of Approved
Emergency Eyewash Equipment
 In July of 2011 DOSH (L&I ) released a new directive on emergency washing facilities DOSH Directive 13.00 , this new directive is primarily meant for the inspectors. It tells them what to look for when citing businesses for not having the correct washing for up for their location and hazards; however at the same time it provides guidance to all who are not sure if they need the emergency washing facilities.

So take a look at this directive and see if you might need to update your location and or type of emergency washing facility.

General Rules

Emergency washing facilities, WAC 296-800-15030 through -15040.

Emergency Washing Facilities (366 KB PDF) DOSH Directive 13.00.

If you have questions, we can help, give us a call 800-521-0778.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Workers get injured when they fail to properly lockout/tagout

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

As some of you know, I tend to harp on lockout/tagout issues a lot of the time. Well there is a reason for this, many workers get injured when they fail to properly lockout, tagout and try out of a piece of equipment they are going to work on.

Here from Washington State SHARP is another example reported in July of 2011:

A 21-year-old is not expected to regain the full use of his hand after it was caught in a clogged dust collection machine. Four fingers were broken and the skin from two fingers and the back of his hand was removed when the machine was started by the victim’s supervisor. The victim’s hand was caught in the fan as he tried to reach the blockage. Earlier, the victim’s supervisor tried to reach the blockage but was unable to. The victim then tried, believing his longer arms could reach the blockage. The supervisor was unaware that the victim’s arm was inside the machine when she started it.

The worker was from a temporary help agency and was employed one month at the storm water filtration equipment manufacturer when the incident occurred. The company had a lockout/tagout plan in place to prevent these injuries. The victim had not been trained in the lockout/tagout plan. The victim is likely to be out of work for more than six months.

If you would like to read the entire hazard alert, please follow this link.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy & Safe Halloween

Contributed by Star Conrad, Director of Operations, Evergreen Safety Council 
The ESC staff would like to offer the following safety tips for all the “trick-or-treaters” out there:

    ESC Staff with the Halloween Spirit.
  • Make sure your costume fits well
  • Wear light colored clothing or reflective tape so you can be easily seen
    Wear face make-up instead of a mask
  • Trick-or-treat with friends. There is safety in numbers.
  • An adult should accompany young children.
  • Trick-or-treat during daylight. Carry a flashlight in case it gets dark.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street and always use crosswalks.
  • Trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods.
  • Visit homes with porch lights on which welcome you.
  • When trick-or-treating with friends, tell your parents where you will be going.
  • Bring your treats home and do not eat anything until your parents have checked it.
  • If any treats look suspicious, have your parents call the police.

Of course the above are tips for children; however some of them can be carried over into daily lives and the lives of those of us adults. Things like using crosswalks and being visible to traffic are things that we all need to do, especially when we are at work.

Everyone at Evergreen Safety Council hopes that your family has a safe and fun Halloween.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Survey results indicate upcoming safety professional shortage

Contributed by Star Conrad, Director of Operations, Evergreen Safety Council 
Demand for occupational safety and health services will soon exceed the supply of trained and experienced professionals, according to results from a new NIOSH survey.

The national survey (.pdf file), commissioned by NIOSH in 2008 and performed by an independent firm, found that employers plan to hire at least 25,000 safety and health professionals over the next five years, but less than 13,000 new graduates are expected from academic programs. In addition, NIOSH said many of the projected vacancies likely will be filled by current employees or workers without occupational safety and health training.

The need for more trained professionals is especially great given the pending retirement of older safety professionals and new technologies that require specialized skills and knowledge, NIOSH Director John Howard said in an agency press release.

Other survey results include:
• Degree programs in occupational safety and health have experienced declines in university funding, especially those not funded through NIOSH.
• Employers want new graduates to have training in leadership and communication.

Are you looking to move into a Safety & Health career?  Evergreen Safety Council's Safety & Health Specialist certification series, as well as our more advanced Health & Safety Technician certification series can help.  Call or email Stephanie Dyck 800-521-0778 for more information and to request an information pamphlet today.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

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

By Ross Bentley

Winter is approaching, so let’s get ready... let’s get prepared for some of the trickiest driving we ever face.

Perhaps the most important tip I can give about winter driving is: think ahead - be prepared. How many times have you heard someone complain about hitting a patch of black ice and skidding off the road (or almost off the road; or into another car; etc.) on their way to work in the morning? And yet, most of those drivers had to scrape ice off their windows that morning. If they had to scrape ice off the windows, do you think that might have been a good warning there could be ice on the road?

And even if you park in a garage or underground parking lot, think about the road conditions before they take you by surprise. When ever I pull out of my underground parking in the winter, and there might be even the slightest chance of icy or frosty roads, I check it out. Before even getting on the main roads, I'll brake heavily to see if the car skids easily. I figure it's better to know early, than to wait until the first intersection to find out it's so icy I can't stop.

Being prepared also means having your vehicle prepared. Make sure your visibility is unimpeded. How many times have you seen people driving in the winter with snow stacked up on top of the hood and covering the windows, headlights and taillights? It only takes a couple of minutes to clear the snow off; and be sure to defrost the windows.

Waking up to snow.
It's going to be a long commute.
You should also check the condition of your windshield wipers, and make sure you have lots of windshield washer fluid.

Obviously, it's important to have good winter tires on your vehicle. Before buying winter tires, talk to a knowledgeable tire dealer. They can make sure your tires are the correct size, type and properly inflated. In fact, check your tire pressures more often during the winter, as the temperature changes can affect them significantly.

Many people will tell you to add weight to the rear of your car - putting sand bags or whatever in the trunk. That's not bad advice - sometimes. First of all, it doesn't work with a front-wheel-drive vehicle. I don't know how many times I've talked to people driving front-wheel-drives who have put weight in the trunk. Remember, the reason for this is to add weight - and therefore traction - to the driving wheels. That doesn't work when the driving wheels are in front!

If you do have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, don't put the weight at the very rear of the trunk. If you do, and the car begins to skid, all that weight hanging way out the back will act just like a pendulum, making it even more difficult to control the skid. Instead, if you add weight, place it as far forward in the trunk as possible - preferably directly over the rear axle.

It's a good idea to keep a blanket, extra clothes and boots in your vehicle, in case you do get stuck. Also keep a candle, matches, flashlight and even food - especially if you're planning a long winter trip. And of course, it's smart to carry a shovel, sand and chains in the trunk.

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 Safe Winter Driving seminar covering these critical topics:

• following distance and reaction time
• blind spots and tailgaters
• skidding
• winter travel tips
• 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 Tina Bacon at 800-521-0778.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reckless Driving in a Work Zone Should Equal Jail Time

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

This might surprise some of you coming from a moderate libertarian (go figure), but I want to start a movement for a new State law. This law would be to protect work zone workers and would be patterned from the State of Illinois Public Act 095-0587 and basically says:

Reckless homicide of a construction worker = 3-14 years in prison. Reckless homicide of two or more construction workers = 6 to 28 years in prison.

In other words, mess up driving through a work zone and go to jail. I like this, even though I am not a fan of new laws. I’ve been a target out there, and some drivers need to be slapped hard when they mess up in a work zone.

What do you think?

Check out this link to see a summary of all the states with laws that protect work zones. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sometimes a solution is "right before your eyes"

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Consultant / trainer, Evergreen Safety Council

When Walter G. King was a young man, in Cleveland, in 1881, he joined his father's optical company, as a salesman. Not too extraordinary, until you learn that the company manufactured glass eyes. Business was good, perhaps too good. The turn of the 19th to the 20th century brought an era we refer to as the industrial revolution. More people were working at the higher paying, but more hazardous jobs in heavy industries. Walter was bothered by the fact that literally thousands of their company’s glass eyes were being shipped to industrial areas.

He did a bit of investigation, and as he feared, most of the purchases were for workers who had lost their eyes in industrial accidents. Even though it would mean a drop in his father’s business, Walter determined to prevent these disastrous injuries caused by flying pieces of metal and particles of emery dust.

Walter had heard about slit-type goggles that polar explorers found Eskimos wearing to avoid snow blindness, and in 1905 he adapted that device to industrial use; great idea, too bad it didn't work very well.

Lenses of thick glass might dork, so the next year working with engineers of the American Optical Company, Walter developed a safety goggle using tempered glass. A Cleveland foundry that made steel castings for railroad cars ordered six dozen pairs for trial testing.

Crude as these were, the customer reported a month later that the goggles had saved the eyes of 20 of the workers by withstanding the impact of flying metal chips. Some of the lenses were shattered, yet all the glass remained in the frame, and most importantly, except for a few bruises the workers were not injured.

Trainer Al Filmore models his safety goggles.
Pretty cool, huh?

As use of Walter's goggles spread, and even with proven success, some workers would wear them when the "boss was watching" but slip them off when the foreman wasn't looking. They claimed the goggles were uncomfortable, and they could "see better" without them. Some companies made it mandatory policy that anyone caught without goggles at an operation where goggles were required would be fired! Even today, company safety rules or policies, that are more protective than either State or Federal rules, continue to be used, and continue to save lives and prevent injuries.

Walter King's company continued to develop other forms of eye protection, including the first successful "welding" lenses, to shield workers from the harmful ultra violet and infrared rays given off by molten metals.

Walter King's efforts were recognized by the American Museum of Safety when it awarded him its Gold Medal in 1916, in recognition of all the measures to protect the eyesight of industrial workers, developed by his company. It was a unanimous vote, "the eyes have it!"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Why are accidents increasing after the texting ban?

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

Almost lost in the sea of press releases, in September 2010 Highway Loss Data Institute issued one regarding crashes and the banning of texting while driving. Who knew that in the 4 states where they studied crashes before and after the ban they found that in 3 out of the 4 states crashes increased after banning texting while driving.

In part the Highway Loss Data Institute release stated: “It's illegal to text while driving in most US states. Yet a new study by researchers at the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) finds no reductions in crashes after laws take effect that ban texting by all drivers. In fact, such bans are associated with a slight increase in the frequency of insurance claims filed under collision coverage for damage to vehicles in crashes. This finding is based on comparisons of claims in 4 states before and after texting ban, compared with patterns of claims in nearby states.”

One more thing, I am not saying we should change the law, I am saying that every one who drives needs to PAY ATTENTION. This means watch the road not your passenger, not the GPS, not your food or whatever. You are driving a 2 ton deadly weapon (or larger) and they will kill.  It is every drivers responsibility to stay focused. So if you cannot focus when you are driving, do all of us who do a favor... STAY OFF THE ROAD OR TAKE THE BUS.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Surviving Nighttime Driving

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Trainer / Consultant, Evergreen Safety Council

As you read this, the darker, drizzlier, fall weather is upon us. We take other precautions with respect to the changing seasons, so let’s extend that thought, and review some of the skills and precautions necessary to drive safely in darkness.

The combination of darkness and wet rainy weather can combine to cause us to simply see things that just aren’t there. A friend of mine, who lives on the east coast recently told me of a situation when he discovered - in just enough time to avoid a collision - that after many hours on the road, he thought a slender silver birch tree was an extension of the white lane divider line, and only discovered just in the nick of time that the road actually curved to the right. He said, “I just about followed what appeared to be the center line, right into the woods!”

There are times when we anticipate and sometimes are fearful that we will encounter a known hazard. I once lived in an area labeled as a “range area”; livestock often would escape their fenced pastures and cross the road. The problem was not limited to domestic stock, but the local deer seemed to enjoy the company of the cattle, and I expect their abundant food source, as well. A dark colored animal; a cow, horse or even pigs, can be nearly impossible to see under certain conditions, unless they turn their heads and you can make out the “glow” of their eyes (the light reflected by your headlights) The northern states, several provinces of Canada and Alaska have specific traffic rules for avoiding encounters with moose. The physics of a speeding automobile colliding with a one-ton moose are impressive. I always worried a bit about having a close encounter with one of these animals. Once I was fooled into making a rapid stop, only to find that the “deer” I thought I saw in the road way was just a trick of the shadows and reflections on the wet road surface. I guess you could say I thought about it so much, my mind conjured up the very image I was hoping to avoid. No one was with me at the time, so I thankfully didn’t have to explain my near panic stop.

Fatigue can often increase the occurrence of “road phantoms”. We often feel pressured to make “just a few more miles” but that only makes the problem worse, as the farther we drive, the more fatigued we become and not only do our eyes play tricks on us, but our perception time and reaction time is also reduced, making taking evasive action, when really needed, even more delayed.

Here are some tips to help you drive more safely at night:

Use your low beams on sharp curves – Negotiating a sharp curve and the posted speed limit, at night can lead to being surprised by an on coming car, maybe crowding the center line. The gleam of your high beams will washout the glow of the oncoming car’s lights, you simply won’t know they are there until you are nearly on them.

To warn on coming drivers on a sharp curve, flick your lights from low to high and quickly back to low again – A retired highway patrol office, suggested this technique, “It changes the intensity of the light at the apex of the curve, and helps other drivers know you’re coming.” Do this of course only if there are no cars visible, coming toward you. The Washington State Driver’s Guide specifies that you must dim your lights at a minimum of 500 ft from any approaching vehicle.

Increase your following distance at night – There are two good reasons to do so: The Washington Driver’s guide suggests 4 seconds following distance under conditions of good visibility – meaning daylight hours. They suggest adding at least another second’s distance after dark or when ever conditions of visibility are impaired by rain, fog, blowing dust or anything that reduces your sight distance. The Washington Driver’s Guide also states that you must dim your lights when following another driver at a minimum of 300 ft behind them. This practice prevents blinding the other driver by temporarily reducing their night vision due to your bright lights.

Don’t out drive your headlights – The headlights on our modern cars are much brighter than the lights on older cars; this is both good and bad. While the brighter lights do help us see farther down the road, it can lead to a false sense of security. The driving dynamics of the situation, the speed, weight of the vehicle, the level of attention or distraction of the driver at that moment, taken together may mean we are unable to take corrective or avoidance actions soon enough to prevent a collision. Simply put, if you can’t identify a hazard, (perception time) initiate and actually complete the required emergency action, (reaction time) in the time it takes your car to travel the distance illuminated by your headlight, you’re driving too fast and “out driving your headlights”.

Highway engineers have done a good job of making our roads safer with the addition of the road edge stripe (aka “fog stripes”) on the right edge of the roadway, using reflectorized paints and reflectors to make the lane divider stripes, “rumble strips” often on the road edge and at times in addition to the centerline, as well as reflectorized and illuminated road way signs. All of these technical upgrades help but, the final responsibility for safe nighttime driving hasn’t changed: it is still in the hands of the one behind the wheel, just as it was for the generations of drivers that have preceded us.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Driving Tip: Concentration and Distractions

This article was written before Washington state and others made it illegal to text or talk on your cell phone without using a hands-free device.  Sadly, even on my commute in today I saw many of the examples described in this article.  I also saw a lady with a bouncy, fluffy white dog on her lap, holding an espresso cup in one hand, trying to merge onto the freeway.

We are coming to the end of Drive Safely Work Week.  Think about the extra things you do while driving down the road.  Which ones could wait until you got home or to work?  Share with your friends and co-workers (and especially your teens) ideas on ways to reduce distractions while behind the wheel.

Contributed by Ross Bentley

There seems to be more and more distractions around us each day. Not only are there more traffic and street signs to deal with everyday, but technology is making it more difficult. Stereos, cell phones, email-capable phones, and more are becoming common ingredients in our daily driving.

With our lives becoming busier and busier each day, we try to accomplish more things while driving. Things like shaving, applying make-up, drinking coffee, and eating are becoming common practice while driving.

Or, should they be?

I'm not saying we all have to drive without looking at, or doing, anything else all of the time. If you're driving in conditions that don't require 100% concentration - light traffic, good weather, open road - there is no reason why you can't do a little more than just drive.

In fact, I'm a great believer in the benefits of some of this new portable technology, particularly cell phones. Before using a cell, if I was late for a meeting I would rush to get there. Now, I just phone ahead and explain the problem. Plus, there are many times I've used it for emergency calls.

However, with any of these distractions, I think a little common sense is necessary.

On rainy days in rush-hour I've seen drivers talking on cell phones while drinking coffee. I've heard of drivers who send and receive faxes or read email while driving on the freeway at 60 MPH. I've seen people eating pizza and listening to their stereo at who knows how many decibels.

Who's driving the car? And I'm not talking about just the physical action of driving. I'm talking about the mental side of driving. Driving safely in any condition requires far more concentration than most of us care to admit.

Please, if you're going to do something other than drive, use common sense. Pull to the side of the road to make a call on the cell phone; use hands-free; wait until a traffic light to reach into the back seat to grab something; pull to the side of the road to read your email; eat in the parking lot of the fast-food outlet; keep your stereo at a reasonable volume so you can concentrate on traffic around you; and shave or apply make-up at home.

If you add up all the time you can save by doing these things while driving, and compare them to the time lost with one minor accident caused by it, you'll be convinced immediately. Concentrate on using common sense.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Getting Your Car Ready for Fall & Winter Driving

Contributed by Norm Nyhuis, Consultant / Trainer, Evergreen Safety Council

Whether we like it or not, fall will soon be upon us, with the dreary rainy weather we North Westerners call “normal”. Our cars have probably served us well during the summer, carried us on our vacations, or just out for a brief respite from the daily routine. However as colder and wetter weather approaches, our vehicles need a check up to insure they are ready for the more rigorous demands of winter driving.

For the “Saturday Mechanic” or even for those of us who rely on someone else to maintain our cars, here’s a list to check to insure our driving safety.

Windshield wipers
Our wipers have sat there, in the sun, all summer long. They have been baked and have lost at least some flexibility, up to being completely brittle and potentially fused to the windshield glass. Give them a thorough check: are the wiper arms bent? Is there sufficient spring tension on the arms to keep the blades in contact with the glass at all times? If the blades are leaving streaks or skipping spots on their arc, they should be replaced. For the most mechanically disinclined of us, most parts stores will gladly install new wiper blades you purchase.

Part of summer driving usually means encountering road work, or sharing the road with loaded trucks that sometimes drop gravel or “kick up” rocks from the road. Are there nicks or chips in the glass? Most glass shops will fill those “dings” with a resin that makes the chip nearly invisible, and may prevent the chip from becoming a crack that would necessitate the replacement of the windshield. Cold weather, and the attendant contraction and expansion of the glass when heated by the defroster, tends to cause nicks to become cracks, that are both unsightly but could also impair your line of vision.

Rear view mirrors
Check the glass in the mirrors. They too are subject to collecting dings and chips, but even if the “mirror” itself is not damaged, the mirror may not hold the adjustment you need for a clear view behind you. Are the exterior mirrors mounted tightly? An inside mirror usually has a means of tightening the arm to hold it in the position you need. While you are checking, remove the extra stuff you have dangling from the mirror; at best they can be a visual distraction, at worst they are sometimes large enough to block a significant arc of your vision.

Windshield washers
Are the washer nozzles clear? If not, you can probably open them with a thin piece of wire. Is the washer reservoir both intact (not cracked, and cap not missing) and clean? The washer fluid tank can usually be removed and washed out, and of course refilled with clean washer fluid. For winter driving, always use an antifreeze washer fluid. This will not only keep the system functional, but may help remove the ice buildup on the windshield that may accumulate as you drive.

Many modern cars have defrosters that provide heat to clear the windshield nearly instantly – this is a great safety feature! But defrosters rely on ducting that carry the warm air to the windshield. At times the duct may drop loose from the connection that spreads the warm air to the windshield, or may have cracks due to age or other damage. Hold your hand on the defroster outlet; do you actually feel warm air? If not, it may take some mechanical help to troubleshoot the system. Don’t let yourself be a “peep-hole” driver, make sure your defroster is working properly.

Do they all work? Check both low and high beams. Check that all the other exterior lights are working too: turn signals, marker lights on the sides, license plate lights on the rear. Changing a bulb is not all that difficult on many cars, however make sure the bulb you use is the same part number as the one your are replacing. Just because it will fit the socket does not mean it is the right candlepower (is bright enough) for the application.

Turn signals
Do they flash at the correct speed, and at the same speed on both sides? If they flash on one side but the dash indicator stays steadily “on”, on the other side, it is usually a burned out bulb. Do your turn signals cancel after you straighten out the steering wheel? IF not a mechanic may be need to correct the problem. NO one likes to follow someone with their turn signals steadily “on”.

Rear window defroster
These were once an option, but now are generally standard equipment. They should clear the fog evenly across the window, a pattern of alternating foggy and clear stripes indicates one or more burned out heater wires. This often requires replacement of the window, but a chemical anti-fogging agent will make a good substitute. While you are applying the anti-fog chemical, a coat on the side windows is a great idea, too. Clear vision 360 degrees around you is best.

The unsung hero of driving safety, your tires need attention to both perform properly and give you the greatest longevity. Look in your car’s owner’s manual for the proper inflation. The maximum inflation on the sidewall of the tire is just that – a MAXIMUM inflation to carry a specified maximum load. If your tire is not so heavily loaded, maximum inflation may not be best. If your owner’s manual doesn’t specify inflation, check with the shop where you purchased your tires for their manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific car and the load you are carrying. Check to see if there is adequate tread depth, cuts, or other damage. 1/16th of an inch is the minimum legal allowable tread depth, but is wholly inadequate for slippery road conditions.

There should be no looseness, vibration or unusual noises as you steer, particularly on tight turns. Any of these symptoms may indicate worn parts or a need for service. Noise on a tight turn - on front wheel drive vehicles – may indicate a worn constant velocity universal joint.

Exhaust system
Rust out of your exhaust system components is not common today for two reasons: better materials are used for mufflers and exhaust pipes, and today’s engines and exhaust systems run at hotter operating temps. The higher temperatures cook out any accumulated moisture in the system, thus preventing premature rusting. However physical damage is still a problem. While driving with the car tightly closed due to colder conditions, any leaking of the exhaust could allow carbon monoxide to enter the passenger compartment. Generally today’s heater systems keep the “cabin” slightly pressurized to help prevent “CO” from getting in, but it’s best know there are no leaks.

You can learn a lot just by “petting” your tires. Look at your tires; uneven wear can sometimes be seen and the wear pattern tells what caused the uneven wear. Tread worn in the middle, but OK on the outside edges indicates chronic over inflation. The opposite – worn on the outside edges but OK in the middle – indicate under inflation. Feathering of the tread indicates alignment problems. Gently rub the palm of your hand across the tread; if it feels smooth in both directions it’s probably OK, if it feels smooth in one direction but “grabs” your hand in the opposite direction, improper alignment, probably incorrect “Toe-in” is indicated. “Cupping” of the tread – a series of hills and valleys, usually on the outside edge - indicates worn shock absorbers, or other loose suspension parts. Here again, a good shop can tell you what the problem is, and the prescribed correction.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Its Drive Safely Work Week 2011

Contributed by Star Conrad, Director of Operations, Evergreen Safety Council 

Whether your employees drive for work or just do a daily commute, their time on the road is the most dangerous part of their day. Help them focus on safe driving during Drive Safely Work Week, October 3-7. Employers across the Northwest and the nation are taking this opportunity to support the safety and health of their employees by preventing traffic-related deaths and injuries.

Deliver a message to your employees that safe driving is a top priority for your organization. Coordinated by the national Network of Employers for Traffic Safety's (NETS), this year's campaign is focused on distracted driving. NETS is providing free resources designed to help employers raise awareness, develop strategies to minimize distractions, launch a new cell phone policy or reinforce an existing one. The DSWW tool kit includes daily messages, activities and downloadable graphics.

If you are considering training options, EverSafe Driving can be delivered in a variety of time frames, emphasizing the topics that are important to each particular group of drivers. The program is designed with flexibility in mind, and can be adjusted to fit a brief one hour safety presentation, or a full eight hour long training session

Friday, September 23, 2011

Safety & Health Solutions - October edition

Contributed by Star Conrad, Director of Operations, Evergreen Safety Council 
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.  Check out our new look!

Inside this Issue:
Lead Article – NIOSH: Preventing Work Related Injury
Washington Governor's Industrial Safety & Health Conference at 60
Preventing Eye Injury
Forklift Technology Updates
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, September 21, 2011

60TH Governor’s Safety and Health Conference coming to Tacoma

Tunnel boring, refinery investigations, and the impact of Japan’s nuclear reactor accident are among the topics that will be covered at the 60th Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference held this year at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center on Sept. 28 and 29.

"Even after 60 years, this conference continues to offer safety and health information that is both useful and relevant to modern safety concerns,” said Sharon Ness, president of the Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board. “Our goal is to make it worthwhile for both employers and workers to take time from their busy schedules and attend this important event.”

The conference is sponsored each year by the Advisory Board and the Department of Labor & Industries with support from industry partners. This year’s theme is "Sixty years of investing in tomorrow through safety and health today.”

The keynote speaker is Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The conference will begin with the presentation of the Lifesaving and Humanitarian Awards, emceed by “Evening Magazine” television host Meeghan Black.

Workshops will include presentations by Norm Nyhuis Safety Trainer / Consultant with Evergreen Safety Council on distracted driving and Matt Pomerinke, a Longview man who lost his arm to a sawmill accident and now participates in L&I’s Injured Young Worker Speakers’ Program.

Other workshops will cover forklift safety, confined space work, crane and rigging safety, tree falling, excavation and workplace violence. The 38th Annual Poletop Rescue Competition and the 14th Annual Forklift Rodeo will both take place on the first day of the conference. The complete program is available at http://www.wagovconf.org/.

Registration for the two-day event is $180 until Sept. 27 or $200 at the door. Groups of six or more get a $50 discount on those prices; registration for students and apprentices is $25.

To register, visit the website or call (206) 972-1961. For conference information, call toll free 1-888-451-2004. TDD users call 1-360-902-5797. Online registration closes Sept. 27.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Safety Career Development

Contributed by Star Conrad, Director of Operations, Evergreen Safety Council 
A career in safety can take you down many different paths, such as Risk Management, Human Resources, Security or Operational Management.  To help prepare you to move forward in your career, ESC has partnered with the Washington Employers' Association to to bring Human Resources and Management training to ESC members and clients.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011
8:00am - 12:00pm
Project Management

Increase your project completion rate. Effectively utilize team members and avoid “meeting burnout.”  Did you know that there is a growing trend in many companies to hire people to do project management exclusively? Currently, most companies expect their existing employees and managers to add “projects” to already full plates. But, the results are often spotty due to a lack of project management knowledge. 

The good news is that there are many tools and techniques that make for world-class project management. This class teaches the best practices for project management based upon current empirical research. Participants will apply the management theories and tools to their own projects and will create a complete project plan in the class.
In this course, you’ll use a simple one-page project management planning guide which will walk you through the steps that make the difference between project success and failure.  And, because your project partners are so integral to the success of your project, you’ll practice interviewing stakeholders and negotiating options.
Topics that will be covered include:
• World-class project management tools
• The importance of clear project goals
• How to ensure project support
• Using a Mind Map to capture ideas
• Getting your team on board

After completing this course, participants will be able to:
• Clarify project goals and deliverables
• Quick-start a project using a simple mapping tool
• Capture details of project action items
• Identify and collaborate with project stakeholders regarding their needs/concerns
• Delegate project tasks in a way appropriate to the person assigned the tasks
• Resolve conflicting expectations and project challenges

Cost for ½ day session: Mbr: $95 / Non: $115
Register Today!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011
1:00pm - 5:00pm
Keeping Your Cool Under Pressure
Research today indicates that EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is twice as important as IQ in an individual’s professional success. Your emotional intelligence is your ability to sense, understand and effectively apply power and depth of emotions as a source of energy, information, creativity, trust and connection. When EQ is absent, teamwork suffers and morale drops.

Emotions have never been welcomed in the workplace. We are conditioned to believe that work decision and business strategies should be based upon fact and logic. However, emotions are part of every interaction in your business and personal life. In the workplace, emotions are often unrecognized; but they are always there, and often interfere with organizational effectiveness.

Topics that will be covered include:
• Daniel Goleman’s research into emotional intelligence
• How fear and stress lead to unproductive behavior
• Why EQ matters to your career
• Keys to professional success: self-awareness and empathy
• What to do when your buttons get pushed!

After completing this course, participants will be able to:
• Identify Daniel Goleman’s EQ principles of self-awareness, selfmanagement, social awareness and social skills
• Analyze their own stress related quirks and develop alternatives
• Discuss their own issues more openly to increase their empathy skills
• Support other learners in their quest for greater mastery of interpersonal skills
• Practice new behavior within the safe confines of the classroom
• Learn to anticipate and prepare for challenging situations

Cost for ½ day session: Mbr: $95 / Non: $115
Register Today!

Keeping Cool and Project Management are taught by Susan Goldstein:
Ms. Goldstein is President of Puget Sound Training Associates and has been consulting, training and coaching for over 30 years. She obtained her Bachelor of Science from Portland State University and her Master of Arts from Marylhurst College. Ms. Goldstein has been growing leaders since 1976 and specializes in helping companies with their toughest people problems. She offers courses in communication and supervision for Washington Employers and provides coaching services to Washington Employers’ members upon request.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Apollo Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

Contributed by Star Conrad, Director of Operations, Evergreen Safety Council 
Have you attended ESC's safety certification series? Have you ever wondered what's next?
Root Cause Analysis (RCA) can help you gain a new perspective on safety:
• A structured form of problem solving
• Generally used after an undesired event has occurred
• Used to understand and control causes, and to prevent recurrence of the problem

Common RCA Techniques:
• 5 Why’s: a linear form of problem solving. The premise is that by asking why five times, the analyst will end up at the “root cause”. Why it’s ineffective: problems are non-liner, multiple things are happening at the same point in time and space. 5-Why’s is too simplistic to capture the whole picture. A good place to start to brainstorm a few causes, but not thorough enough to create a full understanding of the problem.
• Fishbone/Ishikawa Diagram: sometimes referred to as “cause & effect” diagrams, the Fishbone is a brainstorming tool where users try to come up with causes around a set of categories, usually Methods, Material, Manpower and Machinery or something similar. It too is a good tool to start brainstorming. Why it’s ineffective: does not show how causes relate to one another. You have no way of knowing which causes would be affected by certain solutions. Provides no framework to dig deeper into cause paths or even know where/when to stop. Teams vote on the “root cause”.

Apollo Root Cause Analysis:
• Based on true cause and effect logic. Consists of four simple steps: 1) Define the Problem, 2) Create the Cause & Effect chart, 3) Identify Solutions, and 4) Implement the Best Solutions. Start from the defined problem and look back in time, accounting for how causes relate to each other. All causes are backed by evidence and followed through to logical stopping points.

Benefits of Apollo RCA:
• Prevents analyses from stopping too soon
• Removes the “singular root cause” mentality by focusing on controlling numerous causes. This approach more greatly reduces the risk of the problem recurring.
• Highly marketable skill
• Provides quick return on training investment (ROI) – most students can more than pay for their entire on-site class of 25 students (~$12k) with the $ they save the company on their first RCA after class
• Comes with powerful software (RealityCharting) that helps students create better analyses and enables them to easily share results.
• Useful in any industry or discipline (safety, quality, IT, reliability etc.)
• Instructors also lead high-profile investigations in the field – bring these learnings into the classroom.

Register Today!
Root Cause Analysis for Practitioners
October 11-12, 2011
At the Evergreen Safety Training Center in Seattle

Monday, September 12, 2011

Safety & Health Solutions - September edition

Contributed by Star Conrad, Director of Operations, Evergreen Safety Council 
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/Guest Article – Farm Safety Culture: What Would a Thriving Safety Culture Feel Like?
People In Safety - Al Filmore, Trainer / Consultant, Evergreen Safety Council
Two Students Awarded ESC Scholarship
Portable Ladders: Is it the Right Size?
Aerial Lifts Offer Mobility, Flexibility and Unique Hazards
Safely Operating an Aerial Lift
The Tiger in Your Tool Shed
Are You Required to Wear PPE?

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.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We Need to Change Course

ASSE's President: We Need to Change Course

"For far too long, occupational safety and health has been dominated by a politically charged yes and no conversation about occupational safety and health that, as these statistics demonstrate, is not advancing worker protections," Terrie Norris said in response to the BLS preliminary fatality data from 2010.

August 31, 2011
The preliminary 2010 fatality numbers released Aug. 25 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a call for action and a clear sign that a "new paradigm" is needed to advance U.S. employers' safety, Terrie Norris, president of the American Society of Safety Engineers, said Aug. 30. The BLS report said 4,547 workers died from occupational injuries in 2010 compared with 4,551 in 2009. ASSE extended its condolences to the families of the 4,547 people who died last year.

"ASSE urges everyone concerned with worker safety not to accept as reasonable the preliminary results of this report that show little change in the number of workplace fatalities between 2009 and 2010," said Norris, CSP, ARM, CPSI. "Despite the dedicated efforts of ASSE's members, employers, workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the fact that this nation's fatalities are not significantly decreasing should be a call for action, not complacency, especially at an economically challenging time when some of the most dangerous industries are not at full employment. A statistical plateau of worker fatalities is not an achievement, but evidence that this nation's effort to protect workers is stalled. These statistics call for nothing less than a new paradigm in the way this nation protects workers."

"For far too long, occupational safety and health has been dominated by a politically charged yes and no conversation about occupational safety and health that, as these statistics demonstrate, is not advancing worker protections. This oppositional approach leaves too many of this nation's workplaces mired in efforts that do not achieve better safety but merely meet the most minimal standards for safety. That needs to change. Instead of a tug of war over compliance to prescriptive standards that cannot address each workplace, this nation's approach to workplace safety must encourage a specific dialogue about the most important risks in each workplace that engages employers, workers, and OSHA in a cooperative effort to address those risks, supported not only [by] enforcement but by NIOSH research and education resources."

"ASSE and its members are engaged in helping move this nation towards that goal. ASSE has supported the idea of an OSHA injury and illness prevention program (I2P2) standard with the knowledge that this standard, if done well, can begin to move OSHA's focus from prescriptive approaches to safety to risk-based and more cooperative efforts. We have established a Risk Assessment Task Force of members and others who will work to engage the occupational safety and health community in moving towards more risk-based approaches to managing safety in all workplaces. ASSE's Sustainability Task Force is intent on making sure the quickly growing voluntary fervor among employers to address sustainability encompasses worker safety and health now. Our federal occupational safety and health reform bill seeks to be a platform for compromise and addresses ways the 40-year-old OSH Act fails to advance workplace safety, including helping make the standard-setting process work, allowing the adoption of updated permissible exposure limits, and better defining who is qualified to do safety, among a variety of measures."

"The time has come for all stakeholders in occupational safety and health to come down off the plateau of acceptance and work together to find conciliatory ways that help make sure our economy, our jobs and corporate bottom lines can benefit from a safe and healthy workforce."

Reprinted from Occupational Safety & Health