How do you feel the role of the safety professional has changed? Share your insight in this editorial project.
Over the past few months, safety professionals have been tasked with a set of ongoing challenges as the novel coronavirus outbreak evolved into a global pandemic.
EHS leaders have had to balance compliance with an unprecedented set of tasks focused on illness prevention. From the C-suite down and from operations to HR, workers across the country have looked up to safety professionals for guidance.
As this situation continues into the future, the crucial role of the safety professional has been realized.
EHS Today is writing a report for its July/August issue highlighting the challenges and opportunities faced during this time.
According to the American Lung Association, sneezes and coughs are your body’s way of releasing irritants found in the nose and lungs. In effect, people have a high-speed face cannon capable for expelling all sorts of bugs and germs. Unfortunately, getting rid of irritants in such a violent method means spreading germs in a large spray of saliva, mucus, and germs. A cough can travel as fast as 50 mph and expel almost 3,000 droplets in just one go. Sneezes are even more forceful —they can travel up to 100 mph and create upwards of 100,000 droplets.
Public health experts and elected officials have emphasized again and again that social distancing is the best tool we have to slow the coronavirus outbreak. However, many organizations are unable to effectively manage to keep people six feet or more apart, simply due to the nature of their business. Consider the interactions between a teller and a bank customer, employees in side-by-side cubicles, or assembly-line workers standing sho
Knowing when workers need foot protection and how to select the best boots for a job can help avoid serious foot injuries
Safety footwear is getting more technically advanced, and there are ever more types on the market. Yet, making sure workers have the footwear best suited to their task is still essential.
1. Who needs to wear safety shoes?
If a hazard assessment shows that foot hazards are present in the workplace, workers will need to wear safety footwear. Protective shoes are generally required in heavy industries — such as oil and gas, construction, mining, forestry, factories and mills — but also in light manufacturing companies and distribution warehouses, where forklifts and falling objects are hazards.
Workers who may not face constant risk of foot injuries are often now required to wear safety footwear, too, says Graeme Hill, owner and operator of Calgary-based Reddhart Workwear Stores. The requirement for safety footwear has in rec
Exceptions from respiratory protection regulations allowing the use of surgical masks only apply to healthcare facilities and emergency medical services, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminded employers. Other employers must provide respirators, the agency explained in guidance discussing the differences among cloth face coverings, surgical masks, and respirators.
OSHA does not consider surgical masks or cloth face coverings suitable substitutes for respirators in complying with substance-specific standards, such as those for asbestos and silica. The agency encouraged employers to rely on the hierarchy of controls, eliminating or substituting out workplace hazards and using engineering controls, such as ventilation or wetting, and administrative controls like modification of task duration to limit exposures.
Agency guidance granted compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) enforcement discretion related to respirator use. OSHA acknowledged
Despite the pressures leadership may feel to return to work, there is a core truth they may not want to face: Rushing back to the way things once were increases the risk of failure in the present.
The coronavirus pandemic is causing uncertainty in all corners of our society. People are anxious for life to return back “to normal,” but can’t envision what normal even looks like yet. Public officials are waiting on data and science to guide them to a benchmark that will tell them when it’s safe to end physical distancing, while business leaders are watching the clock and wondering if they’ll have a business to return to when this pandemic becomes less of a public health threat.
Despite the pressures leadership may feel to return to work, there is a core truth they may not want to face: Rushing back to the way things once were increases the risk of failure in the present.<
With little federal guidance on how to reopen and operate workplaces during and post-pandemic, employers are questioning their responsibility to test or not test employees for coronavirus.
Workplaces will have to accommodate safety measures like social distancing and PPE—but should employers be testing workers for coronavirus, or taking temperatures?
That is the million-dollar question. Actually, the billion dollar question: Amazon said it plans to spend as much as $1 billion this year to regularly test its work force, while laying the groundwork to build its own lab near the Cincinnati airport, according to one NYT article.
Las Vegas casinos are testing thousands of employees as the city begins to reopen, and they are using primarily nasal sampling testing methods.
Even major league baseball teams are discussing regimens to test players and critical staff members multiple times a week.
Welcome back. In the last issue, we discussed the concept of self-triggering and the importance of learning how to self-trigger quickly, or at least quickly enough to prevent making a critical error, which means that we have to train the sub-conscious mind.
Now, to a certain extent, we have already discussed the importance of involving or using the subconscious mind to prevent injuries when we talked about developing good habits with eyes on task, so that if or when your mind goes off task, you’ll still get the benefit of your reflexes. Habits and reflexes are not things we are deciding to do in the moment with our conscious mind. They are both subconscious.
Washington — New guidance from OSHA answers six frequently asked questions regarding the use of masks in the workplace during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the agency’s answers is an explanation of the key differences between cloth facial coverings, surgical masks and respirators. Other topics include whether employers are required to provide masks, the continued need to follow physical distancing guidelines when wearing masks and how workers can keep cloth masks clean.
“As our economy reopens for business, millions of Americans will be wearing masks in their workplace for the first time,” acting OSHA administrator Loren Sweatt said in a June 10 press release. “OSHA is ready to help workers and employers understand how to properly use masks so they can stay safe and healthy in the workplace.”
The agency reminds employers not to use surgical masks or cl
Two weeks ago, OSHA revised its policy, saying it will expand inspections beyond those in healthcare facilities, which the agency said last month it was prioritizing to conserve resources.
OSHA’s announcement stated that the agency would:
● Increase in-person inspections at all types of workplaces. This is in response to the fact that many non-essential businesses have begun to reopen in areas of lower community spread.
● Revise its previous enforcement policy for recording cases of coronavirus. Under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, coronavirus is a recordable illness, and employers are responsible for recording cases of the coronavirus, if the case:
1. is confirmed as a coronavirus illness;
2. is work-related as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5; and
3. involves one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7
Following the listed requirements for recordkeeping, OSHA added, “given the nature of the disease and commu