Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Brief Safety Quiz

Here are six general workplace safety questions to get your brain working this morning.  The answers are below (no peeking) and feature helpful links for more information.  Good luck and have fun!

1. Who is responsible for a safe workplace per OSHA?
A. The sales rep
B. The manufacturer
C. The employer
D. Your coach

2. What is the definition of a confined space?
A. An open hallway
B. Any space smaller than a shower
C. A space too small for a grown man to enter standing up
D. Limited access, limited egress, not made for contentious occupancy

3. What is a MSDS?
A. Mostly Scattered Disorganized Safety
B. Must Speak and Do Something
C. Material Safety Data Sheet
D. Material Storing Document Sheet

4. What is the lowest height that triggers fall protection in Washington State?
A. 15 feet
B. 6 feet
C. 10 feet
D. 4 feet

5. Who is required to purchase PPE according to OSHA?
A. The employee
B. Carpool buddy
C. The employer

6. What state agency enforces worker protection?

scroll down for the answers...


C - This refers to the General Duty clause

D - This definition could save your life

C - These documents are available for your safety. A name changes is coming soon and these are going to be know as a Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

D - Falls are a hazard at height as well as 4 and 10 feet

C - This rule was effective on February 13, 2008 and implemented by May 15, 2008

A - This state agency has been keeping workers safe longer than the federal agency

Contributed by Al Filmore, Trainer / Consultant, Evergreen Safety Council

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Accidents Happen in an Office Too

Accidents happen in the office, not as frequent compared to the shop floor maybe, but when they do, it is just as serious. Tripping, slipping, and falling ranks second to automobile accidents nationwide. While not all of these happened in the office, accidents of this nature are a big part of office incidences. The good news is that most of these are preventable with a few simple reminders. 
  • Keep the walkway clear.
  • Look before you sit.
  • Even with all the computerization in the office, filing cabinets are still in use. File cabinets are heavy; opening all drawers of the cabinet at the same time tips the balance of the cabinet towards you. Likewise, leaving a drawer open is a bump waiting to happen.
  • Don’t read or text while walking.
  • Don’t carry anything higher than your eye level.
  • Refrain from putting anything atop cabinets.
  • Use the handrails.
  • Use the elevator whenever necessary.
  • Watch where you step.
Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council

Monday, May 21, 2012

Background on Seat Belts in Washington

Looking Back
2012 marks the 10th anniversary of Washington’s seat belt law changing from a secondary law to a primary law. That change allowed law enforcement to issue a seat belt ticket when there was no other citable traffic infraction. Also that year, Washington adopted the Click It or Ticket project that was being used in other states. In one year the use rate jumped 10 percentage points. (WTSC)

In Washington during the past ten years, 1,010 lives have been saved by drivers and passengers using seat belts. This estimate is based on an assumption that the 2001 vehicle-occupant death rate of 0.95 per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled remained constant through 2011. (WTSC)

In the past ten years, traffic deaths on Washington roadways are down 29 percent and serious injuries are down 28 percent, while vehicle-miles traveled increased 6.6 percent over this same period. (FARS, WSDOT)

Number of
Traffic Deaths
Number of Vehicle Occupant Deaths
 *Preliminary & expected to change

Timeline Notes (WTSC, NHTSA)

Many states begin conducting and reporting observational seat belt surveys. By the end of 1986, 22 states had passed a seat belt law, including Washington, which passed a secondary law. That is, law enforcement officers could issue a ticket for not wearing a seat belt only when there was another citable traffic infraction. In one year, the use rate increased from 36 percent to 52 percent.

Seat belt use reaches 80 percent.

  • Washington conducted its first Click It or Ticket campaign, following in the footsteps of several other states.
  • Separately, the Washington Legislature passed a bill changing the seat belt law from a secondary law to a primary law. The use rate jumped 10 points from 82.6 to 92.6.
  • Washington has the highest seat belt use rate in the nation. This achievement is repeated in 2003 and 2006.
The Click It or Ticket campaigns moved to nighttime hours as a test project for the country because the national traffic death rate at night is four times higher.

From 2002 through 2011 the seat belt use rate increased to 97.5 percent. For the past ten years, Washington consistently has had one of the highest seat belt rates in the nation.

Seat belt tickets issued in the past 10 years
2001 - 8,504
2002 - 15,579
2003 - 15,978
2004 - 19,941
2005 - 24,179
2006 - 18,618
2007 - 24,340
2008 - 35,125
2009 - 78,495
2010 - 72,268
2011 - 68,633
Total - 381,660

In 2002 the cost of a seat belt ticket was $86. In 2012 a seat belt ticket cost $124. (AOC)

General Seat Belt Information
The medical costs of an unbuckled motorist average $11,000 more per collision than those who buckle up (HIPRC).

When motorists are unbuckled, often they are ejected partially or completely from vehicles. By wearing seat belts, they reduce their risk of being ejected by 81% (HIPRC).

When used correctly, lap and shoulder belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent and the risk of head injury by 80 percent. (HIPRC)

Currently, the nighttime death rate in Washington is about three times (2.8) higher than the daytime rate. (FARS, WSDOT)

Compared to people who drive during the day with seat belts on, nighttime unbuckled drivers are: (WTSC)
  • Three times more likely to have felony records.
  • Twice as likely to have criminal records for offenses involving violence.
  • Three times more likely to have a DUI on their records.
  • More than twice as likely to have a negligent or reckless driving violation on their driving records.

The seat belt law is a primary-enforcement law in Washington, so an officer can pull over a vehicle if a driver — or passenger — is not buckled up. If the unbuckled passenger is under age 16, the driver gets the ticket; if unbuckled passengers are age 16 or older, they get their own seat belt tickets. (RCW 46.61.688)

Source Key
FARS - Fatality Analysis Reporting System
WTSC - Washington Traffic Safety Commission
WSDOT - Washington State Department of Transportation
RCW - Revised Codes of Washington
HIPRC - Harborview Injury Prevention Research Center
AOC - Administrative Office of the Courts (Washington’s)

Source: King County Traffic Safety Task Force