Using a Staffing Agency? You Still Have Safety Responsibilities

To-Do List, Safety List

5 min read It’s becoming more and more common for companies to employ temporary workers from staffing agencies, especially at large worksites. Companies decide to use staffing agencies for many reasons, sometimes because doing so is cost-effective or helps cover periods of higher production. One of the problems with this rising phenomenon is that when workers at a jobsite are employed by more than one business, it’s easy for safety and safety training to fall through the cracks. Employers …

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More HazCom Updates on the Horizon?

Globally Harmonized System, Purple Book

3 min read In 2012, OSHA updated its Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom) to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Many of these changes have begun to impact employers, as businesses are required to train workers in how to read the new chemical labels and safety data sheets, and beginning this June, businesses must also have compliant labels in their workplaces. There have been many workplace discussions about how to …

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What Falls Under OSHA’s General Duty Clause?

OSHA, General Duty Clause

5 min read You’ve probably heard of OSHA’s General Duty Clause, perhaps in the context of a company receiving a citation. For safety managers and business owners, hearing stories about OSHA using the General Duty Clause to issue citations might sound a bit intimidating because the clause itself is vague. OSHA’s General Duty Clause, found at section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970, states: Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment …

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Trenching & Excavation Safety

Excavation Safety

5 min read Trenching and excavation accidents in the construction industry aren’t a new occurrence. Fatalities have happened for decades, in large part because of cave-ins. OSHA even began a National Emphasis Program for trenching and excavation safety in 1985 to reduce the number of serious accidents. Violations, serious injuries and fatalities related to this type of work continue to occur, though. For example, a worker installing sewer lines at a residential home in Missouri was killed when a …

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Chemical Hazard Labels: Do Yours Look Like this Yet?

Hazardous Chemical Label

4 min read If you have hazardous chemicals in your workplace, you’ve probably heard about the upcoming changes to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom or HCS). Beginning in 2015, labels and information sheets for hazardous chemicals will be changing to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS) that standardizes labels to make communication between countries simpler. These changes are also intended to make it easier for workers who handle hazardous chemicals to find out pertinent information …

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Inspection Checklists and Their Role in Safety

safety checklist, safety inspection

5 min read All workplaces have to do periodic inspections of things like safety procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and exit routes. These inspections help businesses make sure their operations are up to code and functioning well, and they can be useful in office environments, manufacturing floors, warehouses, laboratories and many other work sites. Workplaces can perform inspections in a variety of ways. Some places send a knowledgeable person to do a walk-through of the facility and …

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Observing Posture to Improve Ergonomics

ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders

5 min read Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) occur frequently in the workplace and in 2011 accounted for a third of all injuries and illnesses reported, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These injuries result in time away from work and lost productivity, which significantly impact employers in addition to employees. In 2009, MSDs cost businesses in the U.S. $12.75 billion in direct costs (medical bills, workers’ compensation payments). That number doesn’t even include the indirect costs related to training …

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Buy Quiet Program Can Prevent Hearing Loss

hearing protection, Buy Quiet

5 min read Did you know the most common work-related injury in the United States isn’t back injuries or sprains? It’s actually noise-induced hearing loss, and 22 million workers experience noises in the workplace that are loud enough to cause hearing damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When noise levels in the workplace reach 85 decibels (dB) or higher, OSHA requires employers to take steps to reduce this hazard and prevent hearing loss …

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The Hierarchy of Hazard Controls

hazard control, PPE

6 min read Many employers turn to personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep workers safe around hazards. Safety glasses prevent flying debris from injuring workers’ eyes, safety gloves protect employees’ hands from chemicals and fire-resistant clothing protects those who work close to flames or hot objects. PPE should actually be the last line of defense against workplace hazards, though. Dangers in the workplace can be avoided with PPE, but usually PPE is the least effective way to prevent …

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Respiratory Protection 101

A rescue worker wears a respirator in a smokey, toxic atmosphere. Image show the importance of protection readiness and safety.

4 min read What you need to know: Respiratory 101 Respirators are a worker’s first line of defense against areas with insufficient oxygen, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, and sprays. Without the proper protection, these can all lead to fatal situations. Workers that have been exposed to these hazards have suffered from lung impairment, diseases, cancer, and even death in some instances. OSHA estimates that nearly 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 …

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