Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A little light reading from the CSB and NIOSH

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

On April 13, 2011 the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has deployed a four-person team to the site of an explosion in a fireworks storage facility near Honolulu, Hawaii. According to media reports, the incident occurred in a bunker used to store confiscated fireworks at Donaldson Enterprises, Inc. on Friday April 8.

We know that every industry has its safety concerns; however the construction industry has many unique concerns. The National Institute of Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a dedicated page for construction safety. This page has excellent information on construction specific issues.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Law protects Washington state health care workers from hazardous drugs

A new law requires the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries to adopt requirements for handling hazardous drugs (.pdf file) in the health care industry.

Senate Bill 5594, signed into law April 13 by Gov. Chris Gregoire (D), mandates that L&I develop rules consistent with recommendations from NIOSH.

Washington is the first state to require health care employers to take precautions such as proper ventilation or using protective equipment to prevent exposure. Without these measures, workers may be at risk for harmful effects such as cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, and allergic reactions, L&I said in a press release.

In related news, NIOSH, OSHA, and accreditation and certification organization The Joint Commission issued a letter on April 4 to health care employers outlining appropriate precautions to prevent exposure to hazardous drugs.

Source: National Safety Council

Friday, April 22, 2011

State law requires businesses to fix hazards during appeal

Businesses in the state of Washington must correct serious safety violations and hazards even while fighting a citation, under a law signed April 14 by Gov. Chris Gregoire (D).

Senate Bill 5068 changes existing rules, under which businesses had no obligation to correct cited hazards until after an appeal was resolved. The appeals process can take months or even years, according to a press release from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

L&I cited a recent federal OSHA analysis that found from 1999 to 2009, employers involved in at least 30 appealed cases had a fatality occur at the same site before the appeal was resolved. In Washington, about 10 percent of all citations are appealed each year.

The new law allows businesses to seek a stay to the requirement. Such requests will receive an expedited review.

L&I said it plans to form a stakeholder group to work on the rule.

Source: National Safety Council

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A few nice days…..and here come the motorcycles

Washington State Patrol Media Release
As we roll into spring many people in our state start dusting off their motorcycles and gearing up for a ride. Unfortunately, this is when the Washington State Patrol starts seeing an increase in motorcycle fatality collisions. We have seen traffic fatalities in Washington continue their downward trend in 2010, reaching the lowest level in at least 35 years. While traffic collisions have decreased overall, motorcycle rider deaths continue to rise. The top factors that lead to motorcycle rider deaths or serious injuries are impaired riding and speed.

Motorcycle riders need keep in mind the Washington State Patrol heavily enforces motorcycle endorsement violations. If you’re stopped on a motorcycle without a valid permit or endorsement you will be cited and your bike will most likely be impounded. Simply put, motorcyclists need to know how to operate and control their bikes to be safe.

We highly recommend that riders swallow their pride and take one of the many motorcycle safety courses offered to the public. There are courses available for beginner and advanced riders alike. If someone you know rides a motorcycle, ask them if they have taken a training course. It could save a life. (Evergreen Safety Council offers a wide variety of motorcycle, scooter and sidecar/trike safety training classes. Just follow the links we have included here for more information.)

Here are a few general safety tips for riders to keep in mind as you head out this season:

Assume you're invisible: Because to a lot of drivers, you are. Never make a move based on the assumption that another driver sees you, even if you've just made eye contact.

Be patient: Always take a second look before you pull out to pass, ride away from a curb, or merge onto the freeway from an on-ramp. It's what you don't see that gets you.

Stay in your comfort zone: Riding over your head or being on a motorcycle you can’t handle is never a good idea. Ride at the level of your training and choose a bike that fits you and your needs.

Keep this information in mind and please be safe when you’re out for a ride. Enjoy the unique spring weather that only Washington can offer.

Contact: Trooper Guy Gill #505 Phone: (253) 606-1998

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A little light reading from OSHA and NIOSH

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council
Did you know that According to OSHA that more than 145,000 people work in over 7,000 warehouses and the fatal injury rate for the warehousing industry is higher than the national average for all industries. OSHA has also developed a pocket guide for warehouse safety.

According to NIOSH workers are at risk of severe injury and death during machine maintenance and servicing if proper lockout and tagout procedures are not followed. NIOSH recommends developing and implementing a hazardous energy control program including lockout and tagout procedures and worker training to prevent such incidents. NIOSH has a LOTO publication for you to review.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We made it out alive

Today at 8:15 am the building began to shake....fire alarms sounded...and various other emergencies were imagined. Staff members grabbed their coats (and coffees), and headed for our rally point at the back of our parking lot.

Evergreen Safety Council was participating in the Cascade Neighborhood Preparedness Project: Evacuation Drill. The purpose of the evacuation drill was to:

  • Exercise our organizations’ building evacuation plans (as normally conducted on an annual basis)

  • Gain greater awareness and understanding of evacuation plans across the neighborhood

  • Improve emergency preparedness for our staff, individual organizations and the neighborhood

Has your organization held an evacuation drill in the past year? Being prepared is key to ensuring employee and visitor safety. If you can schedule an evacuation drill for your whole organization (as appropriate) great! If not, there is still great value in you or key leaders and facility staff walking through your plans –the more people from your organization that participate, the better - even if it is just a small representative group.

If you don't know where to start, ESC trainers can help. Contact Eric Tofte for more information.

All the pictures from this morning are posted on the Evergreen Safety Council Facebook page.

Stay safe!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tesoro Accident Safety Video

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

Marking the one year anniversary of the tragic accident at the Tesoro Refinery in Anacortes, Washington, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a video safety message in which Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso urges refinery companies to “make the investments necessary to ensure safe operations,” concluding, “Companies that continue to invest in safety and recognize its importance will reap benefits far into the future.”

Monday, April 11, 2011

CFLs and Preventing Murcury Exposure

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

The US is phasing out regular light bulbs and the US EPA encourages Americans to use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) for residential lighting to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global climate change.

Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury. You can prevent potential mercury exposure to you and your environment by:

  • storing and handling CFLs responsibly;

  • following our tips when cleaning up broken CFLs; and

  • recycling or disposing of CFLs properly.

For all of you that would like to see the detailed clean up recommendations if you break a CFL in your home, please follow this link.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Safety & Health Solutions - May 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 – Emergency Preparedness

People in Safety – Jeff Long, OSHA 500 and HAZWOPER Instructor

Regular Articles:

  • When is Compression-Only (Hands-Only) CPR Appropriate?

  • Five Things I’d Like to See

  • Zirkle Fruit Awarded the Safety Excellence Award

  • Positioning Your Vehicle Safety in the Great Outdoors

  • Regular Features: Membership Corner, Forklift Corner, Calendar of Events, Safety Gallery, and more....

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, April 1, 2011

Safer Roadways Paved by the Recovery Act

In the first two years of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, construction crews across Washington preserved 820 lane miles of rural and urban highways and upgraded 879 miles of roadway to reduce the risk of serious collisions.

These are just two of the investments outlined in a Washington State Department of Transportation report on the state's delivery of Recovery Act-funded projects. The report – WSDOT and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – documents how WSDOT worked with its partners in local government and private construction companies to deliver transportation improvements across the state.

State and local governments have completed 185 projects and spent more than $400 million of the $490 million in Recovery Act highway funds distributed to Washington. In addition, the state has received $781 million in federal high-speed rail funds and $179 million in transit funds as part of the Recovery Act.

The analysis is part of WSDOT's ongoing effort to assess state and federal investments in transportation and comes at a transition point for Washington's Recovery Act project delivery. Most of the highway, transit, and ferries projects are now complete, while construction is about to begin on the agency's Recovery Act-funded high-speed rail program.