Tag Archive for occupational safety and health administration

10 Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

10 tips for a safe ThanksgivingAs we all pause to give thanks, here are 10 tips to help you keep friends and family safe throughout the celebration.

  1. Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop.
  2. Have a working ABC, UL fire extinguisher in the kitchen and remember the acronym P.A.S.S.
    1. Pull the pin.
    2. Aim the spray nozzle at the base of the fire.
    3. Squeeze the nozzle to spray the contents.
    4. Sweep back and forth as you spray the base of the fire.
  3. Keep a fire-resistant oven mitt close to your cooking area. If a fire starts in a pan, use the oven mitt to pick up the lid and cover the fire. Turn off the stove and do not remove the lid until the pan has cooled.
  4. In the case of an oven fire, keep the oven door closed and turn off the oven to prevent flames from spreading. If the fire does not go out quickly, call 9-1-1.
  5. Never wear loose clothing while cooking as it can catch fire from hot burners or open flames.
  6. Make sure a kitchen smoke alarm is installed and in good working condition before you start cooking.
  7. Never pour water on a grease fire as it is likely to spread. Using a fire-resistant oven mitt, carefully cover the pan, turn off the burner and wait until the pan has cooled before you remove it.
  8. Turn pot handles inward to avoid spills that commonly result in burns.
  9. Never put glass dishes or lids on a stove top. They can overheat and explode.
  10. Unplug small appliances when not in use.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

How to Improve Safety Performance and TRIR

How to Improve Safety Performance and TRIRKeeping people injury free at work and at the job site is always the top priority. With that said, Total Recordable Injury Rate, commonly known as TRIR, is a number that can help your company assess your safety performance and how other companies assess you.

TRIR is determined using the following calculation:

Total OSHA recordable injuries x 200,000 / total hours worked = TRIR

With this in mind, here are a few tips on how to improve your TRIR with a Safety Performance Plan.

Safety Performance

Some suggest that awareness alone is sufficient for a safe workplace. But it’s important to make the distinction between awareness and performance. Awareness is needed to identify hazards; however’ a person must perform the act of reporting or correcting the unsafe condition to truly keep people safe and reach the ultimate safety performance goal of zero work related injuries.

Risk Tolerance

Hazard recognition and awareness do not equal risk tolerance. One may be aware and recognize a hazard but disregard the risk. Risk tolerance can be simply defined as unsafe work behaviors, or how much risk will a worker will take before an incident is certain. Workers should have high hazard recognition and a low risk tolerance to ensure they are working safely. It’s a good practice to have workers consider the worst possible outcome before performing a task.


Safety training should be an ongoing part of your Safety Performance Plan to ensure workers are “competent” as defined by OSHA. OSHA defines a “competent person” as: By way of training and/or experience, one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in their surroundings or working conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to employees and has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

New workers should be taught the full spectrum of safety protocols before entering any job site. Experienced workers should receive regular refresher training. Subject matter and frequency is the key to success with training.


Effective safety communication and management must be ongoing with safety being equally important as all other aspects of one’s job. Workers should be encouraged to communicate safety concerns with their supervisors. Conduct regular safety meetings to discuss and correct safety concerns and hazards. Ensure effective communication between workers by 2-way radio, the buddy system, signals, signs, barricades or other means.


Make sure you have all training documentation, certifications, licenses and any other paperwork in place and available before the job starts to ensure all workers are properly trained and competent in performing their job task.

As prospective clients consider your business for new lucrative projects, TRIR is often a deciding factor in awarding the business. By following these simple procedures, you can reduce your TRIR over time, or better yet, keep it low from the start. Either way, the result is safe workers and the ability to win more projects.

Learn more about improving your TRIR here.

Workplace Fatalities Jump in 2014

Workplace Fatalities Jump in 2014A preliminary report by the Labor Department estimated 4,679 workplace fatalities in the U.S. last year, up from 4,585 in 2013, or 2% year over year.

The report is based on incomplete reporting and initial estimates, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. But if the numbers hold true, the oil and gas industry posted the highest gain at 27% over the previous year. Many of those deaths were in top oil-producing states, including Texas, Wyoming and Colorado. Meanwhile, oil-related deaths in North Dakota fell 32%.

Other industries responsible for the sharp rise include construction, agriculture, manufacturing and mining. The WSJ report also noted that female deaths rose from 8% Read more

Roles and Responsibilities for Communicating Safety Hazards at Construction Sites

Roles and Responsibilities for Communicating Safety Hazards at the Job SiteWith full enforcement of OSHA’s new rule for construction work in confined spaces set for October 2, 2015, construction firms large and small need to understand their roles and responsibilities for communicating safety hazards at construction sites.


Understanding the roles of all parties involved is an essential element of hazard communication. It’s sometimes unclear, even for seasoned construction pros.

The three basic roles, as defined by OSHA, are:

Host Employer

This is usually the owner of the site, but may be a firm representing the owner, such as a general contractor.

Controlling Employer

This party manages the job site as a whole, including firms hired for specific work. In Read more

Top Trends Shaping the Future of Construction Firms

Top Trends Shaping the Future of Construction FirmsThe construction industry is changing faster than ever. Customer expectations and competition are driving firms to evolve quickly or fail. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Several emerging trends are changing construction firms for the better. Others, however, are keeping the industry from meeting rising demands. Construction Dive recently published the article 10 Trends Defining the Construction Industry. We thought you might find her list interesting. Here’s a brief look at some of her top picks, along with a few of our own.

Labor Shortage

It’s the one trend everyone is talking about. Construction needs more workers to keep up with demand. Contractors had 143,000 unfilled jobs in June of this year, according to the Read more

New OSHA Smartphone App Gauges Risk of Heat Illness

New OSHA Smartphone App Gauges Risk of Heat IllnessThe heat is on. And anyone working outdoors or in confined spaces is at risk for heat-related illness, such as heat stroke. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is combating heat illness with an App that gives iPhone and Android users real-time analysis of rising temps.

According to OSHA, the App calculates the heat index and displays a risk level for outdoor workers. The App also lists preventative measures that should be taken to protect workers at risk and the symptoms of heat-related illness.

Learn more and download the App from OSHA.com. Also see Tips for Preventing Heat Illness.

The OSHA App changes to red
in “Extreme Risk” situations.

Simple Tools That Improve Worksite Safety

Eliminating hazards in the factory or on the jobsite can be as easy as selecting the best tool for the job. As we recognize National Safety Month, here are a couple tools that can reduce your risk without blowing your budget.

Self-retracting Cutters

Cutters with “Smart Knife Technology” retract the blade automatically when it loses contact with the material it’s cutting. The blade will self-retract even if the user tries to override the safety system by leaving the slider in the forward position. Cutters with Smart Knife Technology cost slightly more than conventional cutters but can prevent injuries making them well worth the investment.

Tool Lanyards

This may be the easiest way to prevent falling object injuries on a worksite. Tool lanyards are elastic straps that connect tools to a tool belt or personal fall protection.

Tips for Preventing Falling Object Injuries: 

  1. Use tool lanyards.Simple Tools That Improve Worksite Safety
  2. Keep all material at least 3 feet from a leading edge, other than material specifically required for work in process.
  3. Remove items from loose or unsealed pockets, especially top shirt pockets, such as phones, pens, and tools.
  4. Do not hang objects over guardrails.
  5. Secure all objects when working on an elevated surface.
  6. Ensure toe boards are present and inspect toe boards frequently. They should be at least 4 inches high and continuous. 4 inches is the minimum height with a maximum ¼-inch clearance from the working surface.
  7. Require hardhats and other relevant PPE for everyone in areas at risk for falling objects—no exceptions. Make sure that this is effectively communicated.
  8. Rope off the area, if possible, where fall/drop hazards may exist – especially if work is being performed on a ladder.
  9. Work as a team to avoid complacency and remain vigilant of these procedures at all times.
  10. Ensure hardhats and other required PPE is inspected prior to use and is used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.

2 Commonly Overlooked Job Site Hazards and How to Avoid Them

Construction Site SafetyJune is National Safety Month, so we’ll be posting a series of safety tips, policy updates and other useful information to help you and your team stay safe on the job site, in the factory or wherever hazards may be.

Here are two hazards that tend to fly under many project managers’ radars. Both pose serious threats to individuals and are entirely avoidable.

Working Alone

Limited perception and limited number of hands can result in workers overlooking or missing hazards altogether. To minimize the risks associated with working alone, a Hazard Read more

New OSHA Confined Spaces Rule Starts August 3

OHSA Confined Spaces RuleA new rule from Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulating how the construction industry operates in confined spaces will go into effect on August 3, 2015.

“This rule will save lives of construction workers,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels.

OSHA says that confined spaces put workers at heightened risk for face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, Read more

Simple Tips for a Safe Holiday Season

Simple Tips for a Safe Holiday SeasonWith the holiday season in full swing, here are a few tips to help you keep the festivities safe for family and friends. While many of these tips may seem like a blinding flash of the obvious, year-after-year emergency responders across the nation are called to action for entirely avoidable circumstances. So please keep these in mind while celebrating this season.

Drink Responsibly

Appoint a designated driver, get a taxi or simply stay put until you can drive safely. Alcohol is still one of the leading causes of traffic fatalities. It’s just not worth it. If you are hosting a holiday party, make sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available.

Buckle Up for Safety

This simple and effective safety measure is forgotten by many during the holidays. Whether you’re visiting family far away or just going down the street, take a moment before pulling out of the driveway to make sure everyone is ready for a safe journey.

Be Weather Ready

Winter travel requires additional preparation. Start with an inspection by a professional mechanic and address any issues before you hit the road. Have flares, blankets, a first-aid kit, flashlight, water, and snacks in your vehicle at all times. A shovel and a bag of kitty litter are especially helpful when you’re stuck in the snow.

Holiday Decorations

Choose decorations made from flame-resistant or non-combustible materials. Always keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials. Carefully inspect all lighting and repair or replace any damaged items before plugging them in. Make sure lights are mounted securely to avoid damaging the wire insulation. Confirm all outdoor lighting is certified for outdoor use and make sure all lighting is properly grounded. Never overload outlets or extension cords as is can lead to fire. And remember to turn off all electric decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

Fireplaces and Wood-Burning Stoves

Before using a fireplace or stove, test all smoke alarms and have fire extinguishers nearby. Keep the area around your fireplace or stove clear and double check that the flue is open before starting a fire. Always use a fireplace screen to catch burning embers. Never Read more