Construction Abatements, Data Collection OSHA’s Chief Challenges: Report

Obtaining reliable data about workplace injuries is hindering OSHA’s efforts to determine how best to use its resources to help protect U.S. workers’ health and safety, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DoL) Office of Inspector General. This challenge is particularly acute in high-risk industries like forestry, fishing, agriculture, mining and construction.

The report, titled “Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the U.S. Department of Labor,” details challenges faced by all arms of the DoL, of which OSHA is a part.

The situation, the DoL writes, is exacerbated by underreporting of injuries by employers. Without reliable data regarding workplace injuries, OSHA “lacks the information needed to effectively focus inspection and compliance efforts on the most hazardous workplaces.”

One former OSHA official, however, believes the agency already receives more than enough data to prioritize its actions.

“Most employers over-report, not under-report. They put stuff down … Read more...

All’s Well That Ends with Worker Wellness

Health, or more specifically, wellness, is the more often overlooked part of the health and safety equation.

It’s worthwhile for organizations to bring wellness to the fore of health and safety efforts since the chronic health conditions of employees are significant cost drivers for companies of all sizes. Employers who implement an effective, integrated, comprehensive workplace wellness program can have a substantial positive impact on health-related factors that drag down worker productivity: absenteeism, presenteeism, poor morale and employee turnover that result from poorly-managed chronic health conditions and risk factors like smoking, stress, poor sleep habits, inactivity and obesity. So, here’s the bottom line on workplace wellness: it can be an important component of your efforts to improve worker productivity.

It’s important to know, whether you are putting a wellness program in place or improving your existing program, what issues could affect your program’s effectiveness. To maximize the return on your … Read more...

OSHA’s Most Common Citations – Part 3: Lockout/Tagout

Downtime may be the worst time when it comes to workplace hazards.

When a machine or other equipment operates normally, workers are protected from most of its potential hazards, assuming they operate the machinery safely and as prescribed. But when it is necessary to expose the inside of equipment for the purposes of maintenance or repair, workers may be exposed to hazards that are normally enclosed, guarded, or otherwise inaccessible. At those times, it is important to make sure that no part of the machine could unexpectedly start up, cycle, fall or release energy that could injure a worker. This is done by neutralizing all energy sources before beginning a task, and locking or tagging them out of service.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) lockout/tagout standard, (29 CFR 1910.147) requires employers to:

  • Create energy control procedures for each piece of machinery or equipment that could pose a
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Keeping Workers Safe Is the Golden Rule for This Canadian Mining Company

A rooted culture of caring runs deep within Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. – a Canadian-based gold producer with operations in Canada, Finland and Mexico.

Louise Grondin, Agnico Eagle’s senior Vice-President of Environment, Sustainable Development and People, says worker safety is paramount and her company wants every employee to be responsible for their own and others’ safety. To that end, it’s important for everyone to play a part in the effort to declare all events and situations that may put workers at risk. The goal is to eliminate any potential harm.

“It’s not a game to … Read more...

Wellness Matters: More than 130 Million American Adults Suffer Chronic Health Conditions

A new frontier of employee health and safety awareness is rising. It’s the idea of wellness and a practice that’s good for people, plus there’s clear business value in the efforts made by workers to maintain and improve their good health and in the support employers provide to employees in helping them achieve that end.

An unhealthy workforce is one that’s less productive than it could be. This may be most obvious during times when there’s something “going around,” and many employees are out sick during the flu season. Productivity suffers. Workers who are sick either don’t come to work (absenteeism), or they come to work (presenteeism), but don’t get much done. Absenteeism and presenteeism are well-recognized drains on productivity, not just for individual employees but for an entire organization. A single absent employee can affect the productivity of an entire unit.

More than 130 million American adults suffer from … Read more...

EHSQ Community | Organizational Behavior

Our EHSQ members Dr. Judith Erickson, Jim Loud and Dave Rebbitt share their insights on how Organizational Behavior and Corporate Culture impact safety management and practices. We invite you to join our Environmental, Health and Safety, and Quality professional community, and share your knowledge with other members.

  • Organizational Behavior and Corporate Culture: The impact on Safety Management and Practices member by Dr. Judith EricksonJim Loud and Dave Rebbitt
  • DIS 45001 2 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems by member Zulfiqar Dhakan
  • Ask you ISO 45001 questions in our ISO 45001 OHSMS group with member Chris Ward
  • Trump Admin. Pumps the Brakes on New OSHA Rules in its First Regulatory Agenda member Eric J Conn

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EHSQ Community | ISO 45001

Our EHSQ members Chris J Ward and Jane Standerwick share an update from the ISO 45001 draft – update July 20th results ballot announcement. We invite you to join our Environmental, Health and Safety, and Quality professional community, and share your knowledge with other members.

  • ISO 45001 draft – update from July 20th results ballot announcement by Chris J Ward and Jane Standerwick
  • Organizational Behavior and Corporate Culture: The impact on Safety Management and Practices by Dr. Judith Erickson, Dave Rebbitt and our member Jim Loud
  • 3 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Safety and Employee Morale member Nicky Gomez
  • The Power of Change- MidWest EHS MIS User Group Event member Kay Eileraas

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EHSQ Community | Managing Health and Safety

This month our member Kamran Akhavan Attari shares a post about Safety within Critical Discourse Perspectives, a while members Chris J Ward and Jane Standerwick discusses why organizations fail to manage H&S. We invite you to join our Environmental, Health and Safety, and Quality professional community, and share your knowledge with other members.

Read more...

Measuring Safety Part 2 – Serious Injury Fatality – Rethinking Measurement and Prevention

workers

In Measuring Safety Part 1, we reviewed the drawbacks of focusing solely on the measurement of safety outcomes absent understanding and tracking operational processes and events that are predictive of a safe workplace. In Part 2 of the series, we are going to dive deeper into the implications of this thinking by reviewing “Serious Injury Fatality” (SIF).

Serious Injury Fatality (SIF) – Breaking it down

The concept is not new. Workplace fatalities have been the object of preventive corporate policies and regulatory scrutiny for decades. Before my interview with Todd Conklin during Pre-accident podcast, however, I had only seen the abbreviation of “SIF” online.

Being an avid reader and learner, I began my Google search on the SIF-phenomenon which revealed many sources on the topic: White papers, several documents by Fred Manuele, and a YouTube video for learning on the subject. Though my search was not an … Read more...

Measuring Safety, part 1 – The Relevance of Outcomes

The other day I received another self-praising message in my news-feed, one of Norway’s major construction contractors was celebrating their one year anniversary since their last lost time injury incident, making their LTIF now “Zero”.

While reading James Reason’s latest book, “Organisational Accidents Revisited” I noticed the quote: “The road to Hell is paved with falling LTI frequency rates”,  illustrated by major cases like DWH and Texas City.

I believe it is good when no one has been injured as a consequence of their work. At the same time, this has again turned my attention to something which has been keeping me busy for many years;

why are people so focused on outcomes, when they mean so little in terms of improvement, especially in safety?

 Obsessed About Outcomes

When an incident or accident happens, it’s generally the consequences that attract great attention. From a humanitarian and … Read more...