1. Random Acts of Safety

    Every time you engage with an employee, you’re not just transforming the workplace—you’re changing the world.

    We’ve finally reached that time of the year when, even if just for a little while, we’re able to turn our attention away from things like vaccine mandates, legal challenges, supply chain disruptions, and the latest exhibitions of political chicanery to focus on more ethereal concepts like gratitude, generosity and compassion. It’s been an exhausting year, maybe even more of a grueling slog than 2020, because the hope we had a year ago that a COVID-19 vaccine could be quickly developed has somehow morphed into a contentious argument on the merits of that very vaccine.

    But thankfully, whoever came up with the idea of holidays shrewdly devised it so that we’d have a whole bunch of them at the end of every year. And better still, the winter holidays are a time when all three components of the EHS trilogy—environment, health and safety—are manifest in the way people

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  2. Accurate noise monitoring and understanding requirements key to proper hearing protection

    Twenty-two million workers are exposed to hazardous occupational noise each year.1 Prolonged exposure to excessive noise levels can cause life-changing damage because the harm to the sensory cells and other structures within the ears is irreversible, resulting in permanent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

    NIHL is more common than diabetes or cancer.2 It results in injuries that can seriously impair a worker’s quality of life. Employers, meanwhile, run the risk of reduced productivity, rising costs due to sickness days, increased costs for training and recruitment and catastrophic penalties and compensation claims. OSHA estimates that employers spend $242 million annually on workers’ compensation for hearing loss disability.3

    Understanding legal requirements

    To keep workers safe, the OSHA sets the legal limits on noise exposure in the workplace based on a worker’s time-weighted average over an eight-hour day. OSHA’s maximum permissible exposur

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  3. Why Companies are Digitalizing their Warehouse Environments

    An in-depth look at the top challenges facing today’s warehouse operations and the benefits companies gain from digitalizing their forklifts and material handling equipment

    Digitalization is critically needed to accommodate increasing e-commerce sales, support labor shortages in today’s market, and match the ever-present need to increase productivity with fewer resources. The digitalization movement requires industry-specific innovative thinking. Warehousing logistics and material handling are two areas where digitalization plays a crucial role in a company’s ability to meet changing needs while increasing profits.

    As modern warehouses scale up to meet new market demands, they have become hotbeds for digitalization. In fact, in terms of material handling, logistics and supply chain association MHI reports that 83% of companies believe digital will become the predo

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  4. Seeing the Big Picture: Identify Hazards and Assess Risk

    How safety and health professionals can scope out the big picture of workplace hazards and assess their risks through Visual Literacy practices.

    Here’s a hypothetical scenario: You are a safety and health professional going where no professional has gone before. You’ve been hired by a metal fabricating plant in the Midwest. It is family-owned with approximately 300 employees, and you will be its first full-time occupational safety and health professional.

    Where do you start? You’re staring at a blank slate. The owner, who knows little about workplace safety and health beyond doing what’s needed to stay out of trouble with OSHA, has given you carte blanche–within a reasonable budget—to do what you see as necessary to prevent injuries. Common injuries in the plant result from handling materials, poor lifting, exposure to vibrations, misusing hand tools, flying shards and sparks, welding burns and exposure to gases, and hand and finger cuts from machinery. Noise, temp
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  5. Reducing slips, trips and falls

    Fall hazards remain a common problem across multiple industries and workplaces. In 2019, worker deaths stemming from slips, trips and falls climbed 11.3% from the previous year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Meanwhile, OSHA’s standard on fall protection – general requirements (1926.501) has topped the agency’s Top 10 list of most frequently cited standards for 11 consecutive fiscal years.

    Other standards related to inherent fall risks and that routinely populate the list include those regarding ladders (1926.1053), scaffolding (1926.451) and fall protection – training requirements (1926.503).

    “Most workers have some safety knowledge, but how do we get people to consistently apply the safety practices that they know?” asked Bradley Evanoff, occupational health physician and professor of occupational and environmental medicine at Washingt

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  6. U.S. Department of Labor Cites New York Roofing Contractor again for Exposing Workers to Fall Hazards

    Despite a 2019 fatality within the company, ALJ Home Improvement continues to ignore risks and is now facing $244K in new penalties.

    Three federal safety inspections conducted at a Suffren condominium complex confirmed that a Rockland County roofing contractor repeatedly exposed residential roof workers to potentially deadly falls from 18 to 20 feet, according to a press release. OSHA identified nine willful violations in its inspections of ALJ Home Improvement Inc. work sites from May 11 through May 13, 2021. The violations include employees working without required fall protection while removing sheathing and performed other roofing work, and workers lacking protective headgear and face and eye shields to prevent injuries from flying or falling debris, plywood, nails and other objects.

    Residential construction employers must generally protect workers against

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  7. Report links construction unions to safer worksites

    La Grange, IL — Unionized construction worksites may be nearly a fifth less likely to incur OSHA health and safety violations than their nonunionized counterparts, with positive effects on safety even more prevalent in the Midwest, a recent report shows.

    Researchers at the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign examined more than 37,000 OSHA inspections of construction jobsites conducted in 2019, nearly 2,900 of which took place at union worksites.

    Findings show that the union worksites were 19% less likely to be cited for health and safety violations and, on average, had 34% fewer violations per inspection. Additionally, union worksites in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin had at least 52.2% fewer violations per inspection than nonunion sites in those states. The union difference was greatest in Indiana, where union sites had 64.2% fewer violations per inspection.

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  8. Accidents Can Happen: Complying with OSHA's First-Aid Requirements

    What does OSHA say about first-aid requirements at a worksite? Find out in our latest episode of the podcast where Editor Sydny Shepard dives into 1910.151 and the letters of interpretation for the standard.

    We often talk about how to prevent illnesses and injuries from happening in the workplace, but even when your plans are near perfect, your procedures are well thought out and you have excellent employee buy-in, accidents can still happen. This is proven by the 2.1 million non-fatal injuries reported by private industry employers on worksites around the country in 2020, the latest year for data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    So, with all of these injuries and illnesses being reported on worksites, it’s worth it to take a look at OSHA requirements for responding to an incident at your facility. In this episode, we take a look at the OSHA standards f
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  9. Protecting Respiratory Health in Workers During the Winter Months

    Work-related illnesses can worsen in the winter; prevent exposure to lung irritants and learn the respiratory diseases occupational workers are at risk for.

    Why Does the Cold Season Cause Respiratory Problems?

    The drop in temperature, weakening of the immune system and shortage of sunlight can produce seasonal respiratory diseases. Children and older adults are prone to the flu, asthma and lung problems during the winter months. When it’s cold outside, you will need to be aware of low humidity levels, the increase of contagious illnesses and seasonal health conditions.

    Winter is a time that most people stay indoors. They could potentially become trapped with indoor air pollutants and building toxins. For employees who work in construction, trade occupations, industrial, mechanics and HVAC, daily exposures to harmful substances can build up over time and cause symptoms of lung problems. Workers who stay inside more frequently can have worsened symptoms o

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  10. U.S. Department of Labor finds Queens Contractor Failed to Provide Fall Protection and Training

    After an investigation was conducted, it was found that a Queens contractor failed to provide and ensure the use of effective fall protection safeguards that would have been prevented the death of a worker who fell about 60 feet from a roof on May 27, 2021, during the demolition of Brooklyn building. OSHA found that Richmond Construction Inc. did not provide any safeguards related to fall protection. A worker was demolishing a building at 1045 Flatbush Ave.. The worker fell from the roof into the building’s interior. Investigators then determined that the company failed to train its workers to recognize and avoid fall hazards.

    OSHA cited Richmond Construction for nine willful, repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards and proposed penalties totaling $374,603. OSHA determined that Richmond Construction failed to:

    ● Provide employees with eff

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