Labor Rights Week 2016

Every year during Labor Rights Week, federal agencies, consulates and embassies as well as educational, labor, and community organizations join together to remind the nation's most vulnerable workers that everyone who works in the United States has the same workplace rights. This year, the week runs from Aug. 29 to Sept. 4 with events taking place all over the country.

Along with OSHA, the Equal Employment Opportunity CommissionNational Labor Relations Board, and the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division are sending the message that no worker in this country should experience discrimination, wage theft or safety hazards in the workplace.

It is important to remind all those that work in the United States of their right to:

  •       A safe and healthy workplace free of obvious hazards
  •       Fair Wages—including overtime pay and the federal minimum wage
  •       Awareness about unsafe conditions—report anything to your employer

 Employees have rights. Labor Rights Week returns the focus to keeping employees safe and helping them understand their rights to a safe workplace. For more information on this week long event, visit http://bit.ly/LBR2016

 

OSHA 30 Hour Training Announced

Capital Safety Services announces an OSHA 30 Hour Outreach training classes taught by our Authorized OSHA Outreach Trainer(s). This four day course begins at 7:00 am on Monday, August 29th and runs until September 1st. Please register for this course on our website at http://bit.ly/30hourAug.

Courses cover the OSHA Outreach Training curriculum. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive a temporary certificate (valid for 60 days) and will receive an OSHA Outreach Training card by mail 30-60 days after completing the course. Training cards have no expiration date, but some companies or general contractors require employees to renew their OSHA 10/OSHA 30 certifications every 3-5 years.

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), Department of Public Works requires all employees working on publicly funded jobs over $250,000.00 to have at least OSHA 10 hour training.

OSHA does not require employees/employers to have OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 certifications on private jobs and public jobs <$250,000, but having a trained workforce can provide an invaluable asset to your company (i.e. bidding for jobs, reducing injuries, and lowering insurance premiums).

Four Mindsets that Can Cause Accidents

 

 

Safety at the workplace is a never-ending process. We spend countless hours training, improving, practicing and rehearsing to avoid accidents and injuries. Even with all the attention put on safety, there is the chance that events occur. Here are the top four things that with the right attitude, can help you reduce injuries.

 

 

 

1.      Rushing – The constant pressure to get things done is a primary driver in creating injuries. It’s important to remind employees that taking more time to finish the job is more important than rushing to completion.

2.      Fatigue – Worker fatigue causes injuries both on and off the road. A tired driver may be as big a risk as a drunk driver behind the wheel. Heat compounds the issue; fatigue will set in quicker in extreme conditions. Employers should look to adjust schedules and breaks when conditions warrant.

3.      Frustration – Frustration comes in many forms; poor procedures, bad communication, or wrong equipment and materials. Even home life can play a role in an employee’s attitude.

4.      Complacency – Many tasks are mundane or become very efficient in delivering. When this occurs and the mind wanders, injury is lurking around the corner. Simple things like keeping your eye on the task, daydreaming and even talking with your coworkers can lead to injury. If you see boredom in your workforce, it might be time to mix things up a bit.

 

Capital Safety Services can help you develop a plan to keep your employees engaged and focused. To discuss your issues, please call us at 518.427.8405 or visit http://bit.ly/safetyconsult for more information. 

Safety is a State of Mind: The Emotional Aspect of Safety

 

 

 

Your employees are continually working around hazardous conditions. Hazard identification and communication is the key to any successful safety performance. However, there is an emotional side to safety as well. In order to promote a safe workplace there are many things to consider outside of physical hazards:

 

 

  •         Emotional factors (sad, angry, too happy, upset, afraid).
  •         Too many things to do, too many demands on our time.
  •         Family concerns
  •         Health concerns, sleepiness

 

          Each of these things affect our ability to focus at work. What are some of the things you can do to improve emotional safety? Here are a few items that you can work on yourself to improve           your performance:

·            Exercise –reduces the cortisol (cortisol can shrink the brain), increases blood flow, reduces risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.

·            Affection & Socializing -- family and friends

·            Nutrition – feed your brain –- balanced diet plus fish

·           Change…boring is bad, your mind likes to mix it up!

·           Positive outlook -- attitude is everything.

·          Proper sleep

While at work, certain conditions can decrease your safety awareness:

 

·        Task Inattention: a brief lapse of attention – but we know when we do it. A momentarily tuning out, happens in familiar settings and causes near-misses.

·        Zoning Out: We go through the motions but are not fully aware, the light turns green, we go with the flow but not consciously. Or…we read but don’t register the words.

·        Complete Mind-wandering: the light turns green and we need a honk from behind to startle us into reality.

 

Safety is not a joke. Not only do you need to be aware of your surroundings, you need to keep your head in the game as well. 

OSHA Announces Penalty Schedule to be Implemented August 1st 2016

 

 

The new budget from Washington, signed into law on November 2, 2015, includes an amendment (http://1.usa.gov/21gI1E9) that provides for a change in how much OSHA can fine companies. Up to this point, OSHA was exempt from increasing penalties to account for inflation. 

What does this mean for your business? Fines have increased 78% to $12,471 for a maximum penalty. Failure to abate penalties could be up to $12,471 PER day. In addition, OSHA will now be allowed to adjust penalties yearly to account for inflation. 

Now more than ever, it’s important to bring your business into compliance in all areas under OSHA oversight. If you aren’t sure where you stand, Capital Safety Services can assist you with your workplace safety plans before OSHA brings the hammer down.

Your Safety Identity

Capital Safety Services provides ongoing safety training Your company’s safety identity can’t be defined by one thing. However, if safety is a top priority, you must have a culture of continuous learning. Most organizations committed to protecting their employees invest energy, time and money in developing and sustaining an employee safety awareness.

Here are the keys to establishing a safety identity.

 

• An understanding of the difference between awareness and training.
• Seek outside expertise to help meet the education goals of the company.
• Stay on the cutting-edge of technology and training methods.
• They learn from their mistakes.
• They take their reporting seriously

Safety is more than a written statement from the suits. It’s a conviction to establishing an ongoing culture of learning and awareness.

Summer Construction Safety Tips

Capital Safety Services offers heat safety planSummer is around the corner and the construction season is in full swing. With it come a variety of risks that may be unique to this time of the year. Here is most common risks and tips to avoid them.

Heat related illness comes in different forms; Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion.

Heat Stroke may be life-threatening with symptoms that include confusion, seizures and loss of consciousness.

Heat Exhaustion results from heavy sweating and loss of water and electrolytes. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, nausea, thirst and weakness. With both conditions, it is important to get the worker into a cool shaded area, cool the body with ice packs and seek medical attention.

There are many hazards to be on the lookout for while on the jobsite. These include:

  •         High Humidity
  •         Prolonged Exposure to the Sun and other heat
  •         Demanding workloads
  •         PPE or other specialized equipment
  •         Extremely High Temps

The key to minimizing exposure is to provide water, rest and shade. It is recommended that you drink one quart of water per hour in extreme conditions. Providing fully shaded rest areas is important in your overall safety plan.

OSHA recommends gradually increasing exposure and workloads to allow the body to acclimate during hot weather. Their recommendations include:

  •         Employee’s returning after an absence or a new hire – Take no more than 20% of the workload the first day and increasing by20 % each day.
  •         Experienced workers should take on no more than 50% of the workload during the first day of a heat wave.

OSHA recommends having a hot weather plan in place. This should include:

  •      Training – At Capital Safety Services, we can work with you to develop a solid plan to help workers understand the signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses.
  •       Monitoring – A buddy system should be in place to help workers keep an eye on each other.
  •       Emergency Plan – A written plan should exist that outlines the procedure when heat related illness is imminent that includes how and when to call for emergency medical help.

With a heat illness prevention program in place, you can expect employees to continue to be productive and energized throughout the summer. Capital Safety Services can help you in all aspects of the developing a sound program to protect your workers.

Final Rule Issued to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

The Occupational and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its controversial final rule to expand electronic recordkeeping requirements for the workplace on May 11, 2016.

The new rule provisions on reporting, which take effect on January 1, 2017, require various employers to submit injury and illness data electronically.  OSHA is requiring each and every establishment (i.e., each separate workplace) with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation to submit information from their 2016 injury and illness recordkeeping Form 300A by July 1, 2017. The following year, these employers are required to submit information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018.  Beginning in 2019 and for every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2.  For those employers who utilize an alternative to the OSHA Form 301, such as a workers’ compensation first report of injury, as expressly allowed by the existing rules, these changes will in essence require that the employer also complete the OSHA Form 301.  

 

Establishments with 20-249 employees in specified “high-risk industries” – identified on a specific list and including all employers in the agriculture, utilities, construction, and manufacturing industries – must submit their Form 300A by July 1 in 2017 and 2018, and by March 2 every year thereafter.  Because the information is kept and must be submitted by each establishment, many companies will be required to submit thousands of reports every year.  

Those employers with establishments that are not required to submit records yearly may still be required to submit information upon OSHA’s direction.  OSHA intends to provide notification of these data collections through direct mailings, publication in the Federal Register, and publication on its website and other notices. 

The rule also changes employer obligations for ensuring employees report all work-related injuries and illnesses.  Effective 90 days after publication of the rule, on August 10, 2016, employers must establish “a reasonable procedure” for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses promptly and accurately.  

In order to prepare for the new rule, employers should:

  • Review and revise procedure for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses promptly and accurately;
  • Ensure procedures include OSHA’s notice of the right to report and the assurance against retaliation;
  • Review and revise how the procedure is communicated to employees and update that communication for any revised procedure; and
  • Review all safety incentive programs to ensure they will not be alleged to deter or discourage a reasonable employee from accurately reporting a workplace injury or illness.

As with anything OSHA, compliance is important. If you need assistance in developing a electronic workplace injury and illness recordkeeping program, Capital Safety Services can assist you, just call 518.427.8405.

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