A Message From the CEO

24. September 2014

Julius Griggs, CEO

Hello and Welcome back.

I hope everyone had a great summer. I can tell by how busy we have been it is back to work time.

There are some great articles below so read on.

Also, I am very excited to announce that we are now holding open-enrollment training in Temecula, California and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Temecula seems to work well for those in San Diego, Los Angeles and Riverside Counties.

Check out our revised Classroom Schedule.

See you next month.

Sincerely,

Julius P Griggs

Julius P. Griggs

President and CEO

Safety Unlimited, Inc.

A Message from the CEO

Child Passenger Safety

12. September 2014

Sept. 14-20, 2014 is Child Passenger Safety Week, and now is a great time to draw attention to the safety of our most precious cargo. Children depend on us to protect them and to ensure that their car seat is correctly fitted, installed, and secured. You owe it to your child to provide him or her a safe ride. Baby Center will help you find out which car seat your child needs by entering in their age, height, and weight, and provides you with your state’s laws.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death in children under 14. In most cases, proper car seat installation prevents one of the most injurious events that can happen to a person during a crash – ejection from the vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that three in four car seats are incorrectly installed.

Although it is against the law, tragically, many lives are still lost needlessly when adults don’t ensure that their child passenger is properly fitted and secured in a car seat every time they ride. Children are much more at risk in a car crash because their bodies are smaller and their bones are still growing. Thus, they cannot endure as much of an impact as adults.

To have a Car Seat Installation Technician check or install your car seat free of charge, you can call your local fire department or search the Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator. It will give you peace of mind knowing that a professional has inspected your child’s car seat.

If you have any questions, you can also call the DOT Vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236. It is better to be safe than sorry. Play it safe!

Did You Know? , , , , ,

Preventing Injuries and Death from Backing Construction Vehicles at Roadway Construction Sites

5. September 2014

According to a 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics review of the 962 fatal workplace injuries at road construction sites from 2003 to 2010, 443 were due to a worker being struck by a vehicle or mobile equipment. Workers were fatally struck 143 times by a vehicle or mobile equipment that was backing up. In well over half these cases, the worker was fatally struck by a dump truck.

Between 1992 and 2009, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), along with State partners, investigated 36 deaths of workers killed by backing construction vehicles or equipment on roadway construction worksites. This investigation resulted in the identification of a significant number of controls that employers, contractors, workers, and construction vehicle and equipment manufacturers should implement to protect workers from injury while working around backing construction vehicles and equipment on roadway construction worksites. These included:

  • Developing, implementing, and enforcing standard operating procedures that address safety and minimize work done near vehicles and equipment;
  • Ensuring compliance with work safety, traffic control, vehicle regulations, and consensus standards pertaining to work in roadway construction sites;
  • Ensuring that construction vehicles and equipment operating onsite are maintained in safe operating condition at all times;
  • Installing collision avoidance devices or proximity warning systems;
  • Inspecting vehicles, equipment, and safety devices (reverse alarm, mirrors, and windows) at the beginning of each shift and reporting any deficiencies;
  • Using and maintaining contact (visually, verbally, or by hand signals) with a spotter when backing any vehicle or equipment;
  • Developing, implementing, and testing the method(s) of communication that will be used during operations;
  • Developing, implementing, and enforcing a comprehensive safety and training program that targets the operator’s visual limits of the specific equipment being used on the site; and
  • Minimizing the hazards of blind areas of construction vehicles and equipment. (For a detailed and comprehensive list of all the controls cited by NIOSH, see the relevant information on the NIOSH website.)

There is a great deal more useful information on preventing injuries and fatalities from backing construction vehicles available from both OSHA and the National Work Zone Information Clearinghouse

HAZ Matters , , , , ,

Drive Safely Work Week

5. September 2014

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the annual cost of vehicle crashes in the US is $227 billion. That works out to almost $2,000 per worker. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death on the job and the second-leading cause of unintentional fatal injuries off the job, according to the National Safety Council’s (NSC) latest Injury Facts report.

"Whether driving for work, commuting to and from work, or running errands after the workday is done, the time spent behind the wheel is very likely the most dangerous part of an employee's day," said Joseph McKillips, Sr. Manager, Commercial Program Support, Global Environmental, Health, and Safety for Abbott, and Chairman of Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).

Driving a vehicle is an important component of most worker's jobs. For some it's driving to work; for others, such as bus, truck, or equipment drivers, operating a vehicle is the job. One of your responsibilities as a driver, in addition to moving objects from one place to another, is to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of your passengers and other drivers or workers.

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety has designated October 6-10 as Drive Safely Work Week, an annual event during which employers discuss with employees good driving practices as they apply to their role as a driver. This year employers are encouraged to incorporate safe driving as an extension of the workplace safety plan. The goal is to encourage driving safety outside of the workplace, as hazards away from work can be just as damaging to employees as those the employer tries to control at the workplace.

This year's discussion focuses not just on how to avoid hazards while driving and good safety practices, but safe driving habits that will prevent you from becoming a hazard to other drivers.

Among the topics discussed are:

  • Seatbelt safety and statistics of seatbelt use;
  • Mobile use while driving and the consequences; and
  • Ideas to develop and promote Fleet Safety Programs for commercial drivers.

This information and much more can be found by accessing a Free Toolkit on the Drive Safely Work Week home page.

Remember, safety awareness and your safety responsibilities don't end with the conclusion of your work shift. Hazard awareness and good, safe driving practices are the responsibility of all drivers.

Safety Tip of the Month , , , , , , ,

Protecting Workers from Poisonous Plants

4. September 2014

Any person working outdoors is at risk of exposure to poisonous plants, such as poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Because of the serious economic impact due to lost employment time, poison oak "injuries" are covered by Workers' Compensation Insurance in California. The monetary cost of this affliction is approximately one percent of the state's workers' compensation budget.

Each year thousands of people are afflicted with moderate to severe dermatitis from touching the foliage of these plants. Poison oak and poison ivy account for an estimated ten percent of lost work time in the U. S. Forest Service.

When in contact with skin, the sap oil (urushiol) of these plants can cause an allergic reaction.

Burning these poisonous plants produces smoke that, when inhaled, can cause lung irritation.

Workers may become exposed through:

  • Direct contact with the plant;
  • Indirect contact (touching tools, animals, or clothing with urushiol on them); or
  • Inhalation of particles containing urushiol from burning plants.

The old saying "Leaves of three, Let it be!" is a helpful reminder for identifying poison ivy and oak, but not poison sumac, which usually has clusters of 7-13 leaves. Even poison ivy and poison oak may have more than three leaves, and their form may vary greatly depending upon the exact species encountered, the local environment, and the season.

Being able to identify local varieties of these poisonous plants throughout the seasons and differentiating them from common nonpoisonous look-a-likes are the major keys to avoiding exposure.

The American Academy of Dermatology advises if you have any of the following, go to the emergency room right away:

  • You have trouble breathing or swallowing;
  • The rash covers most of your body;
  • You have many rashes or blisters;
  • You experience swelling, especially if an eyelid swells shut;
  • The rash develops anywhere on your face or genitals; or
  • Much of your skin itches, or nothing seems to ease the itch.

It is the responsibility of the employer to train their workers on the risk of exposure to poisonous plants and how to prevent exposure.

Safety Matters , , , , , , ,

A Message from the CEO

15. August 2014

Julius Griggs, CEO

Hello and welcome back.

First, I want to thank all of our customers for allowing us to earn your business. This has been our busiest year yet.

And, we are very excited to announce that we now offer OSHA 10 and 30 Hour Training for Maritime in the classroom. This training is very hard to find on the West Coast and we are excited we can bring it to you. Please check out the following links for further information:

Classroom OSHA 10 Hour Maritime Industry

Classroom OSHA 30 Hour Maritime Industry

Also, more and more customers are taking advantage of our Consulting Service. I guess, with a Safety Audit/Training Needs Assessment starting at only $750 (excluding travel), who can blame them?

Anyway, enjoy some great information below, have a great rest of the summer, and see you next month.

Sincerely,

 Julius P Griggs

Julius P. Griggs

President and CEO

Safety Unlimited, Inc.

A Message from the CEO , , ,

Earthquake Preparedness in the Workplace

12. August 2014
Earthquake Checklist

One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible after-effects.

An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain that has accumulated over time. While California is renowned for its ‘quakes, all 50 states and 5 U.S. territories are at some risk for earthquakes that can happen any time of the year.

When an earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause deaths and injuries as well as extensive property damage. How prepared are you? The primary dangers to workers result from:

  • Being struck by structural components or furnishings;
  • Inadequately secured stored materials;
  • Burns caused from building fires resulting from gas leaks or electrical shorts; or
  • Exposure to chemicals released from stored or process chemicals.

Many of the hazards to workers both during and following an earthquake are predictable, and may be reduced through hazard identification, planning, and mitigation.

Each employer is responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for its workers. Employers are required to protect workers from the anticipated hazards associated with the response and recovery operations that workers are likely to conduct. Such hazards include power plant failures and hazardous materials incidents. Usually, little or no warning precedes these disasters.

Having an emergency action plan is critical. This is a written document, required by OSHA standards 29 CFR 1910.38(a), to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies.

Be informed! September is National Preparedness Month. Across the United States, workplaces and communities will promote emergency preparedness. The National Safety Council supports these emergency preparedness efforts and encourages all Americans to take action. 

What If? , , , , , , ,

Bullard and the Hard Hat

11. August 2014
Hard Hats

Head protection is commonplace in contemporary workplaces, but in the early 20th century and before hard hats did not exist to protect workers from collisions or falling objects. While protective hats did exist, such as the leather hats manufactured by the E.D. Bullard Company to protect miners, the development of rigid "skull buckets" did not occur until almost 1920.

The creation of these hard hats was the product of company founder and safety magnate, Edward Dickinson Bullard, and his son, Edward W. Bullard. The younger Bullard returned from World War I with a steel military helmet that provided the impetus for developing a sturdier safety helmet more resistant to falling objects and other materials that might strike workers in the head. In 1919 the Bullard company patented a "hard-boiled hat" made of steamed canvas and glue. Soon after, the U.S. Navy commissioned protective caps for shipyard workers, prompting the widespread use of hard hats on worksites where head injuries might occur. Around the same time, Bullard developed the suspension within hard hats that allowed for more effective deflection of force from the head.

During the construction of the Hoover Dam in 1931, hard hat use was made mandatory by the joint venture involved in the project. During the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, project chief engineer, Joseph Strauss, asked Bullard to create a hard hat to protect workers conducting sandblasting. The result was a further advance in hard hat creation, with face protection, a viewing window, and a supply hose for fresh air.

As times have changed, so have the hard hats. Over the years the materials used to create hard hats have changed, including aluminum (except for electrical workers), fiberglass, and plastic. Designs have changed, too, adding different features for different occupations and the hazards presented by the work. But while the look of hard hats has changed over the past 100 years, the need for their use at the workplace has not, and the hard hat remains a mainstay of personal protective equipment.

Who's Who in Safety , , , , ,

Back to School Safety: Playground Safety

11. August 2014
Playground Safety

Millions of children will be returning to school this month and, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 200,000 of them will visit a hospital emergency room because of an injury suffered on a playground. As parents, you should not only discuss playground behavior and safety with your child, you should inspect the playgrounds at your child’s school and local park to make certain that they are designed and maintained to help prevent injuries. Here are some important things to look for:

Nearly 80 percent of playground injuries are caused by falls to the ground, so improper surfacing is the first thing parents should look for when inspecting a playground. Playgrounds surfaced with concrete, grass, or dirt are too hard. Wood chips, mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires, and rubber mats do a better job of cushioning falls. The surface material should be at least a foot deep and 6 inches around each piece of playground equipment.

Most fall injuries result from falls off of climbing equipment or horizontal ladders. So in addition to making sure the surface under such equipment is safe, you should check that steps and handrails are in good condition and that there is a barrier surrounding raised platforms. Climbing ropes should be secured at both the top and bottom. Children under 4 should not play on this kind of equipment and, because the number of injuries caused by monkey bars is so large, experts now recommend that they be removed from all playgrounds.

Swings are the most likely pieces of moving equipment to cause injury. They should have soft seats, not metal or wood, and animal swings should not be used. Swings should be set far enough away from other equipment that children won’t be hit when the swing is in motion. With regard to other types of moving equipment, seesaws should be spring-loaded and not chain-adjustable. They should have something like a tire under the seats to prevent the seat from hitting the ground. Merry-go-rounds should have handgrips and the rotating platform should be level, with adequate clearance and no sharp edges.

For more information and to find out about standards for public playground safety, check out the National Safety Council's website.

Safety Matters , , , , , , ,

Back to School Safety: Backpack Safety

10. August 2014
Backpack Safety

As summer ends and children head to school they can expect to start coming home with classwork, textbooks, and other necessities they ferry from home to school and back. Generally, children carry their work in backpacks, and in many cases this isn't cause for concern. However, a heavy workload can not only stress a child emotionally, it can also affect their back.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates there are more than 7,300 backpack-related injuries treated by hospitals and doctors each year. These injuries include bruises, sprains and strains to the back, and shoulder fractures. These injuries will not only cripple children in the short term, they can lead to chronic back issues as well. Fortunately, these injuries can be avoided by managing the load a child carries in their backpack.

The first step in preventing backpack-related injuries is to lighten the load in the backpack. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a backpack should not weigh more than 10-20% of the child's weight, though this weight may be more or less as a result of the child's fitness and strength. For example, an 80-pound child should be safe carrying a load between 8 and 16 pounds.

A backpack is too heavy for a child when:

  • Wearing the backpack causes a change in posture;
  • The child struggles to put the backpack on or take it off;
  • The child complains of pain while wearing the backpack;
  • There is tingling or numbness as a result of backpack use; or
  • Red marks result from backpack use.

Each of these can be prevented, and larger back problems too, through safe and responsible backpack use. Remember, as with all hazards to health and safety, the best way to avoid a hazard is to know of its existence and respond to it appropriately.

For more information on how to use a backpack safely and how to select a backpack that is less likely to cause injury (when used properly), view the NSC's Backpack Safety one-sheet. For safety tips on a variety of other school-related topics as students return to school, visit the NSC's Back to School Safety Tips page.

Safety Tip of the Month , ,

© Copyright - Safety Unlimited, Inc. All Rights Reserved