Employees in the meat processing industry in Nebraska are among the most likely to be injured or become sick on the job in the United States. In 2014 alone, 7.5 percent of meat processing workers experienced recordable injuries or illness. In response to this rising trend, OSHA launched a Local Emphasis Program in Nebraska focused on the meat processing industry. This Local Emphasis Program will concentrate education and enforcement efforts on common hazards in the meat processing industry. These hazards include musculoskeletal and repetitive motion injuries, machine guarding, control of hazardous energy, and process safety management.
"The local emphasis program on the meat processing industry provides outreach and education to assist employers to eliminate hazardous working conditions," said Jeff Funke, OSHA area director in Omaha. "Workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths are always preventable when employers implement a safety and health program focused on hazard identification, corrective actions, and employee training."
As you can see from this Local Emphasis Program, OSHA is constantly searching for high-risk industries to increase education and enforcement to protect employees. As such, it is imperative you constantly keep your occupational safety and health policies and procedures up to date and effective, to ensure you are prepared for any changes. And if you are in the meat processing industry in Nebraska, it is critically important you contact a third party occupational safety and health third party auditing firm to assist in updating your policies and procedures before the random site audits begin.
If you have any questions about how this local emphasis program impacts your business or to get information on third party occupational safety and health auditing services, please contact us. If you have anything to add about this local emphasis program or the dangers of the meat processing industry, please leave a comment.
Lockout tagout is a very difficult part of occupational safety and health. For most safety teams, even after establishing lockout tagout, which can be an incredibly difficult task by itself, the process of constantly monitoring and updating lockout tagout can be even more daunting than the initial set up. As such, many companies look for other options when it comes to the long term updating and maintenance of lockout tagout policies and procedures, to ensure they are always accurate and compliant.
Unfortunately, most of those options for monitoring, maintaining, and updating lockout tagout policies and procedures involve giving control away to a third party company. This means that if a relationship is severed, prices are renegotiated, or updates need to be made in real time, management is reliant on a third party that is not a part of the company. This reliance on others often is not something people are comfortable with.
But with potential updates needed anytime there is a change in personnel, machinery, floor layout, or facility location, there can be rather frequent changes needed. And that can present an issue for management and require that third party dependence. Fortunately, however, there is now another option. PF Safety has designed a web-based program, called Factory Solutions Software, which allows the company to upload and update lockout tagout policies and procedures in real time from anywhere there is an internet connection. It leaves the company in control of the procedures while giving oversight from a leading third party lockout tagout auditing firm.
If you have any questions about updating lockout tagout policies our “About Factory Solutions Software”, please contact us. If you have anything to add about the difficulties associated with updating lockout tagout policies, please leave a comment.
Safety signs and visuals are an important part of any occupational safety and health management system, and sit at the heart of most OSHA standards. These signs and visuals both protect employees and customers from danger by acting as a warning against hazards and act as a last resort for employees and customers in an emergency, to help them find an evacuation route or life savings equipment. They also direct first responders in the event of a catastrophe, helping to protect them and hopefully expedite the efforts to end the issue and preserve the facility. Finally, they can be instrumental in business continuity efforts.
So it stands to reason, then, that these visuals and signs are of significant importance. And as such, OSHA has not only embedded regulations within most of their standards relating to the types of signage required for various hazards, they have also created standards which specify what the signage must look like, Uniformity helps to ensure that all of the correct information is conveyed in an effective manner by the signs. Unfortunately, this also means that signs needs be the right size, the lettering needs to be the right size, everything needs to be the correct colors, and it all needs to be undamaged and properly placed in the proper locations. So when buying your signage, it is important to utilize a company that specializes in occupational safety and health, otherwise your signage might be out of compliance.
If you have any questions about the safety signs and visuals for your facility, please contact us or check out our online store. And if you have anything to add about the importance of proper signage, please leave a comment.
Lockout tagout policies and procedures can be painstakingly difficult to create and even more difficult to properly audit and maintain. This partially comes from the OSHA standard which governs lockout tagout, OSHA Standard 1910.147, and it partially comes from the unique and constantly changing nature of lockout tagout. Because of this, it is absolutely a necessity to frequently review lockout tagout policies and procedures to ensure they are current and effective, otherwise you risk putting your employees at risk of serious injuries or even death from lockout tagout hazards, and you risk putting your business at risk of hefty fines from OSHA should you go through an inspection.
To ensure frequent and continuous reviews of the lockout tagout policies and procedures, some companies hire third party lockout tagout auditing firms to assist. These firms, while very effective, can be costly, and can still leave gaps in coverage between official audits. So some other companies manage their lockout tagout policies and procedures in-house. And while this may be more cost effective and allow for more on-the-spot updates, it also requires the safety team to have very deep knowledge of lockout tagout, which simply isn’t the case for many businesses. And since every time there is a change to personnel, machinery, facility layout, or facility location there could be a need to update lockout tagout policies and procedures, it is important to have an effective plan in place.
Fortunately, there is now a solution which gives the protection of a third party auditing firm with the convenience and cost-effectiveness of self-management. Our Factory Solutions Software is a web-based solution which allows you to track, monitor, and update your lockout tagout policies and procedures in real time from anywhere there is an internet connection. It is overseen by a leading third party lockout tagout auditing firm but is still managed by you.
If you have any questions about reviewing lockout tagout policies and procedures or about our Factory Solutions Software, please contact us. If you have anything to add about the importance of regularly reviewing lockout tagout policies and procedures, please leave a comment.
The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Mega Construction Co. Inc. for two safety and health violations, both of which are repeat violations. They come in response to two inspections of worksites in two separate subdivisions in Daphne, AL in December of 2015. This inspections were initiated as part of the Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction. The citations are for violations relating to inadequate fall protection equipment for employees working from heights up to 9 feet. OSHA has inspected the employer 12 times in the last five years, including after a fatality in September of 2013. These violations carry proposed penalties of $92,400.
"It is extremely disturbing that, after a dozen inspections and a workplace fatality, Mega Construction continues to violate OSHA's fall protection requirements," said Joseph Roesler, OSHA's area director in Mobile. "Our goal is to use firm, fair and consistent enforcement to ensure voluntary compliance."
As you can see from this example, even just one violation repeated over and over in just one area of occupational safety and health can become extremely expensive. And for anyone in the construction industry, even a worksite with no injuries and no reports of OSHA violations can still be inspected, as in this case, due to the strong emphasis both nationally and regionally on fall protection.
If you have any questions about this inspection or about how to improve your company’s occupational safety and health policies and procedures, please contact us. If you have anything to add about this inspection, please contact us.
Several hundred employees and managers will attend a worker safety and health conference at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Illinois on March 16th. This event, which is called the OSHA Safety Day Training Conference, will be serving multiple industries, including manufacturing, health care, education, and retail. There will be over 20 information sessions covering safety issues such as: industrial hygiene fundamentals, machine safeguarding, risk assessment, safety and health management systems, and fighting fatigue. In addition, this year's conference will feature an informational session titled: "Reducing Your Risk: How to Keep Temporary Workers Safe."
"The 2016 Safety Day Training Conference is a great opportunity to help small businesses prevent job injuries and protect their workers," said Jacob Scott, OSHA area director in Aurora.
This event will be a great event for owners, managers, and safety personnel in a multitude of industries, and will have a significant importance for any employers who hire temporary workers. This event also points to the target industries in the greater Illinois area which need to be prepared for OSHA investigations, as this information session will leave no excuse for employers who are not in compliance with OSHA standards. If you own a business in any of the aforementioned industries, or if you hire temporary workers, it is imperative you ensure your occupational safety and health policies and procedures are compliant, otherwise you could risk serious fines and citations should you be audited. So if you have any doubts about your occupational safety and health policies and procedures, it is important to reach out to a third party occupational safety and health auditing firm to assist in bringing your company back to compliance.
If you have any questions about this event, or about third party occupational safety and health auditing services, please contact us. If you have anything else to add, please leave a comment.
The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has renewed a Regional Emphasis Program to increase industry outreach and inspections in Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri in an effort to reduce worker injury and illness rates involving vehicles, powered industrial trucks, and motorized equipment in construction, maritime, and general industry. This emphasis comes in response to the 35 workers killed in these state since 2012 in preventable struck-by vehicle incidents. Nationally, more than 198 workers died from struck-by vehicle incidents in 2014.
“Struck-by vehicle fatalities and injuries are 100 percent preventable. Yet, since 2012, of all fatalities OSHA has investigated in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri, 20 percent have involved struck-by vehicle hazards,” said Marcia Drumm, regional administrator for OSHA. “Employers must do more to prevent these tragedies including evaluating their workplaces to identify and eliminate hazards, and training employees to recognize hazardous conditions.”
If you are in an industry which involves vehicles, powered industrial trucks, and motorized equipment in Kansas, Nebraska, or Missouri, it is important to ensure your occupational safety and health policies and procedures are compliant. Not only will OSHA be hard on you for struck-by hazards, there will also be random, surprise inspections as part of this regional emphasis. So if you have not recently reviewed your occupational safety and health policies and procedures, now is a good time.
If you have any questions about this regional emphasis or about updating your policies and procedures, please contact us. If you have anything to add about this regional emphasis, please leave a comment.
Creating any occupational safety and health policies and procedures can be a difficult task. You must account for the OSHA Standard or other regulatory oversight which governs the policies and procedures, you must take into consideration how the policies and procedures fit into your overall safety and health management system, and you must think about how these policies and procedures will impact day to day activities for your employees and their overall productivity. And while some areas are certainly easier to manage than others, they all represent a unique issue and require care in creation.
But of all areas of occupational safety and health, perhaps none present a greater difficulty than lockout tagout for employers. Lockout tagout policies and procedures are governed by OSHA Standard 1910.147, which is an extremely complicated and convoluted standard. They have a number of external variables, and as such can be difficult to properly set up. And finally, the procedures need to be extremely flexible as there is often a need for frequent updating. Anytime there is a change to personnel, machinery, facility layout or location, or the position of the machinery, there could be a need to update the lockout tagout policies and procedures.
Fortunately, there is now web-based program, accessible anywhere there is an internet connection, which allows a company to create, track, and update its lockout tagout policies and procedures in real time. Our Factory Solutions Software is fully scalable, fully customizable, and is monitored by a leading third party lockout tagout auditing firm. It helps to ensure your lockout tagout policies and procedures are always compliant and helps to ensure you will never have a lockout tagout related issue in your facility.
If you have any questions about creating lockout tagout procedures or about our Factory Solutions Software, please contact us. If you have anything to add about creating lockout tagout procedures, please leave a comment.