Completing the same task every day can get more than a little repetitive. After doing something so often, it becomes a habit and autopilot kicks in. Less concentration and thinking are required to complete the task. The brain can travel elsewhere or check out completely. That’s what happens when workers begin to feel complacent.
Workplace complacency is not only detrimental to a worker’s productivity, but it can also be a grave safety hazard and lead to fatigue, increased risk of injury and poor morale among employees. At high-risk worksites like construction or manufacturing sites, it’s crucial that leaders and executives take proactive steps to prevent and combat workplace complacency.
A roofing and siding contractor was cited for 12 violations and proposed penalties over $1 million after OSHA found workers exposed to fall hazards, the agency reported.
OSHA investigated Charm Builders Ltd., of Millersburg, Ohio, in March 2022 after it received a complaint and found workers were not using fall protection at heights, some as high as 28 feet, according to an OSHA news release.
The agency cited the contractor, which works on projects in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, for not using portable ladders safely, a lack of fall hazard training, and not ensuring workers used fall protection and safety glasses, OSHA said. In total, the agency cited Charm Builders Ltd. for six egregious-willful, five repeat, and one serious violation, proposed penalties of $1,090,231 and placed them on the Severe Violator list. Charm Builders Ltd. has been cited 11
Big changes are just around the corner for smaller companies, with OSHA’s proposed final rule to restore and expand upon Obama-era injury reporting requirements currently set to publish in December 2022.
The draft version of the rule would see reporting requirements expand for high-hazard employers with at least 100 employees having to submit injury and illness forms electronically to the agency, down from the current 250 employees.
Employers with 20 to 249 employees who are classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses won’t see any significant changes to how they report.
You can never be too safe, right? That’s why federal and state OSHA requirements are considered the bare minimum to keep workers safe.
Safety professionals know it’s always better to go the extra mile, if at all possible so that workers have extra layers of safety to protect them from whatever hazard they’re facing.
For example, a Sept. 19 report by the Washington State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program found that a July 21, 2020, fatal fall may have been prevented if guardrails would have been used on a scaffold in addition to the required use of fall PPE.
Three employers from Ontario and Saskatchewan were fined after their workers were injured in separate workplace incidents, prompting the government to issue a reminder on workplace safety.
The first incident was from an Ontario-based wire manufacturer that was handed a $110,000 fine after the victim, when attempting to do a quality check on a vertical wire drawing machine, lost their footing and fell. "When instinctively extending their arms to brace their fall, the worker's gloved hand came in contact with the moving wire, injuring the worker," narrated the bulletin.
The Ontario Court of Justice found that the employer violated section 25 of Industrial Regulation 851/90, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O., c.O.1, as amended. According to the court, the manufacturer failed to ensure that there was a guard or another
PARK RIDGE, IL — The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) Foundation has received a second Susan Harwood education and training grant for $159,967 from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), directly supporting the ASSP Foundation’s development of free workplace safety and health instructional materials on combatting the infectious disease.
“Earning federal grants confirms the need in the greater community for new resources designed to help safety and health professionals better protect workers in all industries,” said ASSP Foundation Chair Trish Ennis, CSP, ARM, CRIS. “The creation of programs through these grants shows our commitment to doing even more for the occupational safety and health community.”
This year’s OSHA grant distribution will enable nonprofit organizations to assist employers in id
For health and safety professionals, effective hand protection begins long before a worker slides their hands into a single pair of gloves. Organizations must consider how to provide workers with the best possible equipment to protect themselves as hand injuries consistently rank among the most common preventable injuries in the workplace, and each injury can cost thousands of dollars and a significant amount of lost workdays.
Hand protection has long been a key consideration for employers and their employees across many industries, but in recent years, the perspective on hand protection has been transformed—perhaps permanently—by the Covid-19 pandemic. As challenging as it was for organizations to adapt hand protection protocols during the most severe phases of the pandemic, the current phase in which many economies and businesses have reopened presents a new set of hurdles—with more people returning to work and ever-changing regulatory and industry guidance on best practices.
A fatal explosion in a Massachusetts auto shop was caused by a failure to provide a proper hot work procedure and a general safety program.
On Sept. 25, 2019, a 64-year-old auto mechanic was injured while welding on top of a nearly empty steel drum of flammable washer fluid. As he began to weld, the flammable washer fluid ignited causing an explosion inside the drum.
The explosion covered the mechanic with burning fluid, causing severe burns. He died from his injuries six weeks later.
Protecting workers from injury is the top priority for safety professionals, and there is no substitute for high-quality PPE. According to the National Safety Council, the most common causes of workplace injuries that require days away from work include exposure to harmful substances or environments, overexertion and slips, trips and falls. Staying current on the latest innovations and materials in PPE will help you maximize worker safety, comfort and compliance.
This article covers areas commonly affected by workplace injuries and what to look for in hard hats, safety glasses, performance workwear, hand protection and safety footwear to protect the workers you oversee.
A step-by-step path to eliminate or reduce hazards
Are you familiar with the Hierarchy of Controls? Featuring an inverted pyramid, it’s a framework and a visual guide for controlling workplace hazards and protecting employees.
The hierarchy starts with the controls perceived to be most effective. Then, it moves down to those considered least effective. As defined by NIOSH, the hierarchy flows as follows:
Elimination – Physically remove the hazard
Substitution – Replace the hazard with a safer alternative
Engineering controls – Isolate people from the hazard
Administrative controls – Change the way people work
Personal protective equipment – Protect the worker with PPE
“Following this hierarchy normally leads to the implementation of inherently safer systems, where the ris