OSHA: San Francisco VAMC Had Unsafe Work Conditions

OSHA recently issued a notice of unsafe and unhealthful working conditions to the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, this after wrapping up its investigation into the death of Richard Din, a research associate at the center's research laboratory in April 2012. The notice consists of three serious violations for failing to protect laboratory workers researching Neisseria meningitidis, a bacterium that can cause meningitis.
 
As the story goes, Din, employed by the Northern California Institute for Research and Education, was employed at the VA Medical Center and was considered a Department of Veterans Affairs employee during projects at the laboratory based on an agreement between the VA and NCIRE.
 
The responsibility of the workers in the laboratory involved inoculating live bacteria outside of a biosafety cabinet, which is an enclosed laboratory workspace used to handle pathogens safely in a laboratory environment.
 
 
OSHA Says Worker Died Due to Inadequate Protection
 
"Richard Din died because the VA failed to supervise and protect these workers adequately, even though they agreed NCIRE workers were covered as VA employees," said Ken Atha, OSHA's regional administrator in San Francisco. "Research hospitals and medical centers have the responsibility as employers to protect workers from exposure to recognized on-the-job hazards such as this."
 
The three serious violations include failing to require workers to use a safety enclosure when performing microbiological work with a viable bacteria culture; provide training on the signs and symptoms of illnesses as a result of employee exposure to a viable bacteria culture, such as meningitis; and provide available vaccines for workers potentially exposed to bacteria. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
 
 
Cal/OSHA and Federal Agency Share Same Concerns
 
"Cal/OSHA shares federal OSHA's concerns," remarked Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess. "We were saddened by this senseless loss; however, we remain hopeful that future incidents can be prevented at this and other facilities throughout California. This is why Cal/OSHA adopted a standard in 2009 to protect workers from diseases, such as meningitis, that can be contracted through contaminated air in laboratories."
 
As required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, federal agencies must comply with the same safety standards as private sector employers.
 
The federal agency equivalent to a private sector citation is the notice of unsafe and unhealthful working conditions. A notice is put in place to inform establishment officials of violations of OSHA standards, alternate standards and 29 Code of Federal Regulations citable program elements. OSHA is not permitted to propose monetary penalties against another federal agency for failing to comply with OSHA standards.
 
Lastly, the medical center is required to take appropriate corrective action, but has 15 business days from receipt of the notices to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Oakland, or appeal the notices by submitting a summary of its position on the unresolved issues to OSHA's regional administrator.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

OSHA: Bosses Must Protect Workers From Carbon Monoxide

OSHA Warns Dangers Heighten During Winter
 
As much of the nation battles cold weather, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding employers this winter to take needed precautions to protect workers from the serious, and sometimes fatal, effects of carbon monoxide exposure.
 
An example of how dangerous the threat can be to workers, news came recently that a worker in a New England warehouse was found unconscious and seizing, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
 
As officials would discover, several other workers at the site also became sick. An examination showed that all of the windows and doors were closed to conserve heat, there was no exhaust ventilation in the facility, and very high levels of carbon monoxide were measured at the site.
 
 
Employers Can Decrease Risk With Proper Ventilation
 
Every year, workers die from carbon monoxide poisoning, usually while using fuel-burning equipment and tools in buildings or semi-enclosed spaces without adequate ventilation. This can be especially true during the winter months when employees use this type of equipment in indoor spaces that have been sealed tightly to block out cold temperatures and wind.
 
Symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure can include everything from headaches, dizziness and drowsiness to nausea, vomiting or tightness across the chest. Severe carbon monoxide poisoning can cause neurological damage, coma and death.
 
For those not aware, sources of carbon monoxide can include anything that uses combustion to operate, such as gas generators, power tools, compressors, pumps, welding equipment, space heaters and furnaces.
 
Employers can decrease the risk to workers of carbon monoxide poisoning in the workplace by installing an effective ventilation system, avoid the use of fuel-burning equipment in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces, use carbon monoxide detectors in areas where the hazard is a concern and take other precautions outlined in OSHA's Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet.
 
Given the chance that even one worker can be injured or die from carbon monoxide poisoning, it behooves employers to take such a threat seriously.
 
 
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Employer Lucky Poor Safety Did Not Lead to Employee Death

 

13 Safety and Health Violations, 11 Are Serious
 
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Lapmaster Precision Finishing Services LLC in Dayton with 13 safety and health violations. Proposed fines total $65,500 following an inspection that OSHA initiated upon receiving a complaint alleging hazards.
 
"Lapmaster Precision Finishing Services is compromising its workers by failing to evaluate their exposure to and correct hazardous conditions," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "Training workers is vital to their long-term safety and health. OSHA is committed to protecting workers."
 
Eleven serious violations include failing to develop energy control and hazard communication programs, train employees on the programs' requirements, provide machine guarding on belts and grinding machines, lock out the energy sources of machinery prior to servicing, require the use of safety glasses, ensure that workers are not exposed to live electrical parts, provide workers with personal protective equipment and training to minimize electrical exposure, train and certify employees who operate powered industrial vehicles, and properly store materials that can cause "struck-by" hazards.
 
 
Serious Violation Carries Substantial Probability of Death
 
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
 
Two other-than-serious violations involve a failure to maintain injury and illness forms and a lack of written certification of a hazard assessment. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
 
Lapmaster Precision Finishing Services is a part of Mt. Prospect, Ill.-based Lapmaster International LLC. About 48 workers are employed at the Dayton facility, which processes cast iron, steel and several metal alloys as well as plastics, Teflon, ceramics and composite materials to finish tolerances for automotive and other manufacturing applications.
 
 
Company Has 15 Business Days to Comply
 
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Top 10 Most Cited OSHA Standards

 

OSHA Not Always a Welcomed Guest
 
Most risk managers and safety managers, even those with excellent safety records, often dread to hear that Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is coming to visit their facility (or even worse, OSHA has made an unannounced facility inspection).  The risk managers and safety managers know that even with their best efforts to maintain a safe workplace, employees can, usually unintentionally, act in a manner that creates a safety risk and results in an OSHA citation. 
 
OSHA’s purpose is not to issue citations and fines, but to assist employers in maintaining a safe work place. Since the creation of OSHA in 1970, the number of severe injuries, and the total number of injuries, has been on a slow but continuous decline.  This has resulted in a reduction in the total number of workers’ compensation claims and a reduction in the cost of workers’ compensation claims.
 
 
OSHA Regulations Apply to All Private Sector Workers
 
OSHA regulations apply to all private sector workers in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.  The only people who are not subject to OSHA regulations are the self-employed and family members of farm employers who do not have any non-family employees. While most federal government employees are subject to OSHA requirements, employees of the Federal Aviation Administration, Coast Guard, and Mine Safety and Health Administration are exempt from OSHA requirements.
 
 
10 Most Frequently Cited Standards
 
Each year, in an effort to assist employers to identify the areas where they are most likely to be cited for violation of a safety standard, OSHA publishes a list of the Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards.  For the fiscal year 2012, which ended on 9-30-12, the 10 most cited standards were:
 
 
Work Place Violation
OSHA Regulation / Standard Number
Cited Violations of Standard
2011 Rank
 
 
 
 
Fall Protection
1926.501
7,250
2
Hazard Communication
1910.1200
4,696
3
Scaffolding
1926.451
3,814
1
Respiratory Protection
1910.134
2,371
4
Ladders
1926.1053
2,310
8
Machine Guarding
1910.212
2,097
10
Powered Industrial Trucks
1910.178
1,993
7
Electrical – Wiring Methods
1910.305
1,744
6
Lockout/Tagout
1910.147
1,572
5
Electrical – General Requirements
1910.303
1,332
9
 
 
 
As shown above, while the ranking and the number of violations of each OSHA standard changed from 2011 to 2012, each of the top 10 cited violations of OSHA standards in 2012 were also ranked in the top 10 standard violations and citations in 2011.  
 
 
Identify Your Possible Exposures
 
We provide this list of the most common violations of OSHA standards to assist you in the recognition of areas where your company could be cited.  We would recommend that you take the top 10 citation list and select all of the categories where your company could have an exposure.  Once you have identified the areas of possible exposures to an OSHA citation, review and study in depth the OSHA standard that applies.  The published OSHA Standards can be found at:    http://www.osha.gov/law-regs.html
 
Even if you learn and understand all the OSHA standards listed in the top 10 most cited violations, and eliminate all exposures to OSHA citations from the top 10, you are still subject to an OSHA citation if you are in violation of any of their published standards, including the ambiguous General Duty Clause of the OSHA act.  The General Duty Clause states you will keep the workplace free of hazardous conditions not covered in the published OSHA standards.
 
Not only does OSHA set and enforce workplace safety and health standards, OSHA will provide assistance and training to employers when requested.  You can review the courses, materials and resources available to your company to prevent injuries (workers’ compensation claims) at:  http://www.osha.gov/dte/index.html

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.  


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Employer Fined After Terminating Employee One Day After Health Complaint

Employee Wrongfully Terminated For Raising Health Concerns

 

The U.S. Department of Labor recently won a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against LOTO Services LLC and owner Allan R. Lochhead.

 

Based on an investigation by its Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the department sued the defendants, alleging that they unlawfully and intentionally terminated an employee of Aquatech Technologies Inc. for raising health concerns about rodent infestations at Aquatech’s facility in Stuart, Fla. LOTO Services LLC owns Aquatech Technologies, which does business as Aquatech Canvas & Consignment.

 

 

Ordered to Pay $34,186 Penalty

 

Judge K. Michael Moore permanently enjoined the defendants from violating the provisions of Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which prohibits retaliation against employees for raising workplace safety and health concerns. The judge further ordered that the former employee be paid a total of $34,186, comprising $27,072 in back wages, $6,700 in expenses and $414 in interest. The Labor Department was represented in court by its Regional Office of the Solicitor in Atlanta.

 

“OSHA will continue to ensure that every American worker has the right to report workplace hazards without fear of retaliation,” said Cindy Coe, OSHA’s regional administrator in Atlanta. “This judgment is proof that the Labor Department will prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, employers found violating these basic worker rights.”

 

 

Employee Terminated One Day After Filing Health Complaint

 

The employee had reported concerns to management regarding rodents and rodent droppings in the office, and requested to have these problems corrected. Lochhead placed rodent traps in the office, but the problem continued. The employee complained again, but Lochhead indicated that there was no rodent problem, so the employee filed a health complaint with OSHA. One day after OSHA officials notified the company of the health complaint, the employee was terminated. The employee then submitted a whistleblower complaint, and OSHA’s resulting investigation found merit to it.

 

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the OSH Act and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, railroad, public transportation, maritime, consumer product, health care reform, securities, food safety, motor vehicle safety and consumer financial reform regulations.

 


Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

OSHA Settles With Manufacturing Company on Serious Safety Improvements

Company to Increase Fire Protection

 

The U.S. Department of Labor reports it recently reached a settlement agreement with Mohawk Industries Inc., a carpet manufacturer based in Calhoun, Ga., under which the company will increase fire protection at its four carpet pad facilities.

 

The agreement resolves citations issued by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration in June 2011 for violations found at the company’s manufacturing facility in Johnstown.

 

 

Mohawk Industries to Make Investment in Health & Safety

 

“Mohawk Industries has agreed to make an investment in the health and safety of its workers by increasing fire protection at its carpet pad manufacturing facilities. Companies that put the health and safety of workers first should be recognized for their investments in human capital, our nation’s most precious resource,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “OSHA has been committed to the health and safety of workers for 41 years.”

 

In addition to Johnstown, Mohawk’s “rebond” facilities are located in Commerce, Texas; Torrington, Conn.; and Tifton, Ga. The facilities manufacture carpet pads by grinding, mixing and re-bonding recycled polymer foam materials, a process that can involve explosion hazards.

 

 

OSHA Investigation Found 4 Serious Violations

 

Following its investigation, OSHA cited the company with four serious violations involving dust, unguarded floors and electrical hazards. Two other-than-serious violations relate to inadequate hazard communications. The agreement amends the citation and requires the company to abate the alleged fire hazards found at the Johnstown facility. Mohawk has agreed to solicit the services of a licensed professional fire protection engineer to assess potential fire and/or explosion hazards that may be generated during the handling and processing of polymer foam materials, as well as to implement that professional’s recommendations.

 

The company also will develop procedures for and schedule the periodic cleanup and removal of polymer foam dust from any surfaces where it might accumulate, provide combustible dust training for all affected employees, conduct monthly inspections of the facilities’ fire suppression sprinkler systems and provide training on emergency evacuation to employees.

 

Mohawk Industries employs more than 25,000 workers globally.

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Our Navy Should Not Be in More Danger At Home Than Overseas

OSHA Sites Workers Being Exposed to Extremely Toxic Materials

 
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued notices to the Fleet Readiness Center Southwest regarding violations of workplace health and safety standards at its facility in Coronado, outside San Diego, that exposed workers to extremely toxic materials such as lead, cadmium and beryllium.
 
Fleet Readiness Center Southwest is an agency of the U.S. Navy and has a workforce of about 10,000 employees nationwide. The Coronado aircraft maintenance facility employs approximately 500 workers.
 
 
Federal Agencies Must Comply with Same Safety Standards, Can’t Be Fined
 
As required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, federal agencies must comply with the same health and safety standards as private sector employers. The federal agency equivalent of a private sector citation is the notice of an unhealthful or unsafe working condition, which informs agency officials of violations. OSHA cannot propose monetary penalties against another federal agency for failure to comply with its standards.
 
"Exposing workers to metals such as lead, cadmium and beryllium can result in serious illness and even fatal respiratory disease," said Jay Vicory, director of OSHA's San Diego Area Office. "We are encouraged by the Department of the Navy's response to OSHA's intervention, and we are working cooperatively with that department to further mitigate the hazards uncovered."
 
 
Food & Beverages Contaminated by Toxic Materials
 
Two alleged willful violations involve allowing workers to store and consume food and beverages in areas contaminated by toxic materials such as lead, cadmium and beryllium; hazards associated with the accumulation of cadmium in the workplace; and hazards associated with dry sweeping, which may be used only when vacuuming or other methods to minimize the likelihood of cadmium dust becoming airborne have been tried and are not effective. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
 
Two alleged serious violations involve the accumulation of lead dusts throughout the workplace, the use of dry sweeping to clean work areas where lead was found, and a failure to implement a program for beryllium hazard prevention and control. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
 
 
Inspected 3 times in 2011, 21 Serious Violations
 
The facility was inspected by OSHA three times in 2011, resulting in notices for 21 serious violations, including two related to the accumulation of cadmium.
 
Fleet Readiness Center Southwest has 15 business days from receipt of the latest notices to comply or request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in San Diego.
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

13 Employees Die Every Day at Work, OSHA Can Be Your Partner in Prevention

 

What Is OSHA and What Do They Do?
 
Mention of the word “OSHA” around employers usually makes them cringe with discomfort.  But really what is OSHA and what do they do?  How can they help employers instead of just fining and disciplining them?
 
The answer to this comes in many forms, but let’s take a look at some general OSHA stats.  Usually when OSHA is called, someone is whistle-blowing on their employer for safety reasons.  Another common reason is that OSHA is called to investigate a serious injury or fatality on the job—which is any employer or insurance company’s worst nightmare. 
 
The following statistics were taken from the OSHA website http://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html
 
“OSHA is a small agency; with our state partners we have approximately 2,200 inspectors responsible for the health and safety of 130 million workers, employed at more than 8 million worksites around the nation — which translates to about one compliance officer for every 59,000 workers.”[WCx]
 
 
Worker Injuries, Illnesses and fatalities
 
4,690 workers were killed on the job in 2010 [BLS revised 2010 workplace fatality data*] (3.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) — more than 90 a week or nearly 13 deaths every day. (This is a slight increase from the 4,551, fatal work injuries in 2009, but the second lowest annual total since the fatal injury census was first conducted in 1992).
 
"Every day in America, 13 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, nearly 4 million people suffer a workplace injury from which some may never recover. These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy. American workers are not looking for a handout or a free lunch. They are looking for a good day's pay for a hard day's work. They just want to go to work, provide for their families, and get home in one piece."
– Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Workers Memorial Day speech April 26, 2012
 
 
Construction's "Fatal Four"
 
Out of 4,206* worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2010, 774 or 18.7% were in construction. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were falls, followed by electrocution, struck by object, and caught-in/between. These "Fatal Four" were responsible for nearly three out of five (56%) construction worker deaths in 2010*, Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 437 workers' lives in America every year.
 
  • Falls – 264 out of 774 total deaths in construction in CY 2010 (34%)
  • Electrocutions – 76 (10%)
  • Struck by Object – 64 (8%)
  • Caught-in/between – 33 (4%)
 
 
Top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards violated in FY2011
 
  • Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
  • Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  • Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  • Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
  • Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
  • Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305)
  • Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
  • Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
  • Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.303)
  • Machine guarding (machines, general requirements, general industry) (29 CFR 1910.212) [WCx]
 
 
OSHA is Making a Difference
 
In four decades, OSHA and our state partners, coupled with the efforts of employers, safety and health professionals, unions and advocates, have had a dramatic effect on workplace safety.
 
  • Worker deaths in America are down — from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2010
  • Worker injuries and illnesses are down — from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to fewer than 4 per 100 in 2010.
 
 
Summary
 
The “Fatal Four” injuries within the realm of construction can be hard to avoid.  Falls and electrocutions can happen.  But being struck by objects and being caught in/between things can be lessened with proper training and overall increased alertness within your workforce on the jobsite.  All injuries cannot be prevented, but these stats can be an eye opener for any employer that does construction-type work. 
 
The mere fact that on any given day, 13 workers leave the house for work and never come home due to a fatality incident is a scary statistic.  Fatality claims are an adjuster’s worst nightmare.  There are a ton of issues, and none of them are pleasant.  Every worker out there doesn’t think it will happen to them, but it happens 13 times every day.
 
Safety is a team effort, and every employee has to do their part. Share these points with your staff at your next meeting, and be proactive in ways to lessen risk on the jobsite.  By implementing more safety awareness, you could very well be saving the life of one of your employees. 
 
 
 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

The Study Results are In, OSHA Saves Lives, Jobs, Workers Comp Costs



Harvard, University of California, Boston University Co-Author Study
 
A new study, co-authored by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Toffel, Professor David Levine of the Haas School of Business at the University of California – Berkeley and Boston University doctoral student Matthew Johnson, concludes workplace inspections do decrease on-the-job injuries and their associated costs, and they could not detect any harm to companies' performance or profits.

The study,“Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with no Detectable Job Loss,” involved several years of compiling information.

"We spent several years collecting data, not just on injuries, which is very important, but also on other indicators to see whether inspections led to problems they are often accused of causing – like whether they increased costs and led to the elimination of jobs,” said Levine. “We looked at company survival, employment, sales and total payroll to see if inspections were detrimental to the employers.”
 
 
Reduce Injury Claims 9.4% and save 26% on Workers Comp
 

By studying the inspections Cal/OSHA conducted at workplaces selected at random, the researchers were able to overcome this problem to learn the actual impact of inspections. The study found that within high-hazard industries in California, inspected workplaces reduced their injury claims by 9.4 percent and saved 26 percent on workers' compensation costs in the 4 years following the inspection, compared to a similar set of uninspected workplaces. On average, inspected firms saved an estimated $355,000 in injury claims and compensation for paid lost work over that period. What's more, there was no discernible impact on the companies' profits.

"Across the numerous outcomes we looked at, we never saw any evidence of inspections causing harm," Toffel said. "If OSHA inspections conducted in all 50 states are as valuable as the ones we studied, inspections improve safety worth roughly $6 billion to employers and employees, ignoring pain and suffering. The overall message of our research is that these inspections worked pretty much the way one would hope. They improved safety, and they didn't cost firms enough that we could detect it."

 
 
Average Savings of $355,000 per Company
 
 
On average, inspected firms saved an estimated $355,000 in injury claims and compensation for paid lost work over that period. What's more, there was no discernible impact on the companies' profits. The results were true for both large and small companies.

This is not a surprise to me,” remarked OSHA Administrator David Michaels. “I regularly hear from employers, both large and small, that they value OSHA inspections and treat the inspector as an additional, expert set of eyes. The findings should finally put an end to the criticisms that OSHA inspections make running a business more expensive without adding value. The results are in: OSHA saves lives and jobs!”


Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.comContactmstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com


 


 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Common Mistakes that Cause Falls on Construction Sites

 

Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) there were 774 deaths among construction workers on the job in 2010. Falls accounted for 264 fatalities and were the leading cause of death for construction workers. The sad part is most of the fatalities could have been prevented with proper construction site safety. Falls also cause numerous non-fatal injuries. With proper fall prevention incorporated into the safety program, a significant portion of the non-fatal accidents on constructions sites could be avoided as well.

 

 

There is risk of a fall is whenever employees are on an elevated surface – ladders, scaffolds, bridges or roofs.. Employers need to recognize the potential dangers involved and plan the work in a way that will allow its completion while reducing the risk of injury as much possible. This includes determining what safety equipment and safety gear is needed, and how it will be used to prevent the possibility of a fall.[WCx]

 

 

OSHA regulations require any worker six feet or higher above the lower level to have “personal fall arrest systems”. In non-government speak, a safety harness or a system of railings around the edges of the work surface to keep the employee protected from the edge and a fall.

 

 

In planning the work, the employer should be conscientious to provide the right equipment. Ladders that are too short, scaffolding that has seen better days or worn out safety gear is an invitation to a workers compensation claim. The equipment and gear provided to the employees should be appropriate for the job.

 

 

Planning the work with safety in mind and providing the safety equipment and safety gear will not prevent injuries if the employees do not know how to use the equipment and gear correctly.Employers often take it for granted that employees know how to use ladders or scaffolding, but improper use of equipment is the most common reason for accidents. For example: Ladders are  frequently used in a dangerous fashion.

 

Common ladder mistakes include:

 

Going up or down the ladder facing away from the ladder

Over reaching away from the ladder

“Walking the ladder” (moving the ladder sideways by bouncing up down while on the ladder)

Failure to maintain three point contact (two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot while ascending/descending the ladder)

Not placing the ladder on a level surface

Not securing the ladder (tying it off or bracing so that it cannot move)

Setting a ladder up on scaffolding, or worse, a ladder on a ladder!

 

 

Common mistakes with scaffolding include:

 

Partially planking the scaffolding, instead of fully planked

Not installing the guardrails

Not verify the scaffolding is plumb and level before using it

Not checking the assembly to be sure all proper connections have been made

Climbing over the cross braces

Standing on the guardrails

Reaching outside of the scaffolds

 

 

When working at heights of six foot or higher, the most effective “personal fall arrest systems” is a full body harness, a rope-grab lifeline, and connectors. The full body harness uses D-rings to connect the body harness to the rope-grab lifeline. The rope-grab lifeline is securely attached to the roof, scaffolding or other surface that is structurally strong enough to support the employee’s full weight in the event of a fall.[WCx]

 

 

Fall prevention on construction sites will save the employer significantly on the cost of workers compensation insurance, as fall prevention will lower both the frequency of accidents and the severity of the accidents that do happen. By planning the job,providing the right equipment and training the employees on the proper use of it, employers can eliminate most falls, save lives and reduce the number of injuries.

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact:  mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

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