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Welcome to the Safety Management Services blog! This is the page where we will post information about upcoming events, industry news, interesting facts, and articles written by our staff.


NEW OSHA RECORDKEEPING RULES:

OSHA has expanded their rules on what needs to be reported when it comes to fatalities and severe injuries. The new requirements will begin January 1, 2015. While this date is set for states that are under Federal OSHA jurisdiction, we can assume that state ran programs will follow suite. It is important to understand what the current rules are and how they compare to the new rules that will begin January 1, 2015.

 

What are we required to report?

Current Program:

  • – All work-related fatalities
  • – Work-related hospitalizations of three or more employees

New Program:

  • – All work-related fatalities
  • – All work-related inpatient hospitalizations of one or more employees
  • – All work-related amputations
  • – All work-related losses of an eye

Under the new program employers will still be required to report all fatalities within 8 hours of finding out about them. Employers will have 24 hours to report any inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss.

 

How and Who do I report an event to?

It is important that you report each event to the proper person. If you follow a Federal OSHA program, you will report events to Federal OSHA. Those who are a part of a state ran program, you will report your events to your state OSHA program.

You have three options on how to report events:

  • – By telephone
  • – By the 24-hour telephone line
  • – Electronically through the state or federal website, which will be available soon for most programs

Click here to find out more information on updated program. This will also show you what you need to have prepared when you call your state or federal ran program.

 

Warehouse Rack Systems

osha

Warehouse racking is one the most expensive investments a company makes when it comes to storing their products. It can also be one of the most expensive accidents waiting to happen in your warehouse as well.

There are many things that can lead to warehouse racking collapses. Most accidents fall into two categories though. It is either product inefficiencies or system misuse. Whatever the reason is for a collapse, it can lead to a large lost in product and racking as well as potential fatalities. Here are some points that could lead to a racking system collapsing.

  1. Rack damage- Often caused by lift equipment hitting the racking system
  2. Incorrect load weight- Simply overloading a racking system with more than it is engineered to hold
  3. Altered Configuration- Making changes to a racking system can often compromise the weight load it can hold
  4. Improper lift driving- Improper lift driving is the number one cause of rack damage
  5. Reduced rack capacity- Once racking has been damaged, the load it can hold has been dramatically reduced.
  6. Used equipment- Buying used equipment may help you save money upfront, but it may cost you more in the long run. You may not be aware of previous damage.

It is important the we take the necessary procedures to keep our employees safe as well as our product. To help with this it is important to develop a schedule to periodically check and evaluate the racking. It is also important to hold lift drivers responsible for being careful when driving around racking systems.

 

Bloodborne Pathogens

The chances of contracting a Bloodborne Pathogen in the workplace may be small, yet it is important that we follow certain guidelines to help keep ourselves and other around us safe.

Bloodborne Pathogens are microorganisms present in human bodily fluid, such as blood. The disease can lead to viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. There are three Bloodborne Pathogens that OSHA is primarily concerned with: the HIV virus that can cause AIDS, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, which can both lead to deadly diseases of the liver.

If you are assisting someone in a situation that you may be exposed to a Bloodborne Pathogen, it is important that you take all necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. The easiest way to do this is by wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), which will be found in your companies Bloodborne Pathogen kit. This may include:

  • – Disposable Gloves
  • – Masks
  • – Protective Eyewear
  • – Lab Coats
  • – Gowns
  • – Caps
  • – Hoods
  • – Shoe Covers

Of the items listed, the first three are the most common. It is important that you wear each of them to help prevent contamination through a route of exposure.

For more information on Bloodborne Pathogens click here to view our Toolbox Talk.

Making Sense of “Not an Exit” signs

NOT AN EXIT

A workplace fire is the last thing most people want to hear, but it can be the most important thing to be prepared for. In the event of an emergency, everyone needs to have two predetermined exit routes. Each evacuation route must also be lit with proper exit signs. It becomes a little more gray when labeling doors that do not lead to an exit though. Do all doors need to be labeled? Do these signs need to be lit as well? How do I know where to place these signs?

Proper Signage
Everyone may be aware of the requirement that required exit signs along an evacuation route, but what about all those other doors? OSHA states that all doors or passages along an exit route that could be mistaken for an exit should be marked as “Not an Exit” or with a sign identifying its use, such as “Closet” or “Boiler Room”.

While we may assume that most employees know the correct routes to an emergency exit, we suggest you view it from the point of view of a visitor. If someone that is not familiar with your facility could potentially get confused, you may want to add a “Not an Exit” sign. When posting these signs, OSHA does not give specific standards like it does for an emergency exit sign. This allows employers to create their own by printing them off or simply painting it on a door. If desired, lit “Not an Exit” signs are available for purchase, but are not necessary.

Here are a few more standards to keep in mind when reviewing your exit routes.

Keep exit routes free of explosive or highly flammable furnishings or material
Ensure that exit routes are unobstructed such as materials, equipment, locked doors or dead-ends
Provide lighting for exit routes adequate for employees with normal vision

Click here for additional information on Emergency Exit Routes.