Safety Blog2022-09-15T23:10:48-07:00

How to Use Total Cost Assessment to Demonstrate Business Value of Your Safety Initiatives

Convincing senior management to invest in safety initiatives can be an uphill battle, especially when the initiative isn’t specifically required by law. Of course, demonstrating that the initiative will cut costs and/or boost revenues is a great way to sell it to the business people who control the purse strings. But doing so is easier said than done. So how can you demonstrate that a safety initiative will have a positive effect on your company’s bottom line? One possibility is to use Total Cost Assessment (TCA), an accounting method that’s designed to measure the true profitability of EHS investments. Although TCA is [...]

When Does the Lockout Tagout Standard Apply?

OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) general industry standard covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or startup of machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could cause injury to employees. Employees servicing or maintaining machines or equipment may be exposed to serious physical harm or death if hazardous energy is not properly controlled. The Lockout/Tagout (LO/TO) standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the control of hazardous energy sources such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, and thermal. 29 CFR 1910.147(a)(1)(ii)(A-E) of the general industry standard identifies the following areas the standard [...]

PPE for Spill Cleanup – Quick Tips

Employees who are engaged in emergency spill response operations no matter where they occur are covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard, 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.120. As first steps in limiting worker exposure to spill hazards, engineering controls and administrative (work practice) controls must first be considered. If circumstances prohibit the use of engineering controls or work practices, or these measures do not sufficiently reduce worker exposures, OSHA mandates that personal protective equipment (PPE) be used. Once the need for PPE is established, a careful evaluation of [...]

Personal Liability of CEOs for OSHA Violations

Make sure your CEO understands that he or she can be held personally liable for certain safety violations. Give your CEO this briefing to make your case. OSHA cited two New Jersey corporations for willful violations. One citation carried a $96,300 fine; the other a $196,000 fine. In both cases, OSHA also cited the father-and-son team that owned the corporations. The father was the president and the only officer and director of both corporations. The son, a lawyer whose only clients were the corporations, ran the corporate offices out of his basement. Corporate officers normally aren’t personally liable for the [...]

Selling Management on the Value of Safety Perception Surveys

As safety budgets shrink, companies are under mounting pressure to ensure that every dollar they spend on safety programs, activities and equipment directly helps to improve safety performance. But in making decisions about how to reduce injuries and illnesses, companies often overlook a crucial factor: the perceptions of their own workers. Studies show that workers’ perceptions of a company’s safety culture and senior management’s commitment to safety have a measurable impact on injury rates. More precisely, the evidence suggests that in companies with low injury rates, a high percentage of workers have a positive perception of management’s commitment to safety; [...]

Visitor Safety & Security

Just about every workplace has them — visitors. How can you help them stay safe while they tour your work area? Like most companies, you probably have a well developed workplace safety policy to protect your workers. But does that policy cover contractors, visitors and temporary workers (which, for the sake of simplicity, we’ll refer to collectively as “visitors”) who come to your facilities? Failure to account for visitors is a huge blind spot that can lead not only to injuries but liability. And even if you do have a visitors’ safety policy, you need to ensure that it’s effective. [...]

Safety Rewards and Incentives that Result in Safety Improvements

If used correctly, safety rewards and incentives can be very effective. Rewards foster accountability. Rewarding people for positive things gets them to do those things. It’s basic human behavior. People want to get caught doing the right thing. These principles should be used to improve safety performance. Selecting the Right Rewards Different levels of an organization should be rewarded for different things. The reward should be tailored to the result the individual can control. Thus, rewards for people at lower levels should be based primarily on activities rather than organizational results. It’s pointless to base a front-line shift worker’s reward on [...]

What is a Safety Culture and Why Do You Need One?

The words “safety culture” gets bandied about a lot. But it’s also a term that nobody quite understands. What exactly is safety culture? And what, if any, impact does it have on a company’s liability risks? What Is Safety Culture? Safety culture is one of those fuzzy concepts like “obscenity” that nobody can precisely define but everybody knows when they see. Safety culture is first and foremost a mindset, a set of shared values and thinking among all the members of an organization. When we say a company has a “good safety culture,” we basically mean that people who work [...]

What to Look for in Results Tracking Software

Like other functions of safety management systems, tracking the consequences of preventive actions has moved from the realm of paper to software. Although technology offers significant advantages, it also poses equally daunting challenge. First and foremost, you need to ensure that your tracking software has the right technological capabilities and functions. Safety Software and the Tracking Function Safety management systems generate potentially significant value to an organization by using timely, accurate and meaningful information data to generate more effective safety solutions. Most safety system management models are based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle of continual improvement is the centerpiece of most [...]

5 Steps to Protect Workers Who Lift Materials Manually

Although technology has advanced since the days of ancient Egypt and the pyramids, there are still many workers who carry and move heavy materials manually. What's also advanced is our understanding of how performing these tasks continually over time causes musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs), like strains and sprains to the lower back, shoulders and arms. 5 Steps to Compliance Taking the following 5 steps should help you avoid citations for manual materials: Step #1: Determine if Materials Can Be Moved Mechanically Determine if mechanical devices such as forklifts, dollies, conveyors and hand trucks can be used to move materials. To the [...]

Why Companies Shouldn’t Cut Corners on PPE

The economics of PPE, is a topic that doesn’t get much attention. Here are the three key lessons from a recent survey's findings about the importance of PPE: Lesson #1: PPE Training Is Critical The survey suggests that PPE’s effectiveness is based not only on the quality of the equipment but also how it’s actually used. PPE training is the best way to ensure that workers understand why they need to use PPE and how to use it properly. But workers may not be getting the PPE training they need. So companies shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to PPE training.  In fact, [...]

Workplace Stress – Getting Management to Take It Seriously

Getting Management to Take It Seriously Work-related stress has been around for as long as workplaces themselves. But recognition of stress as an occupational hazard is a product of modern times. Unfortunately, not all companies have gotten the message. That leaves it to safety directors and supervisors to persuade management that stress really is a problem to take seriously. The best way to do that is to relate the problem to dollars. Here’s how to educate your company’s “bigs” to the dangers of workplace stress and gain their support for programs to combat it. There’s also a Model Worksheet below [...]


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