What Does OSHA Say About Occupational Safety Protocol For Outside Jobs?

What Does OSHA Say About Occupational Safety Protocol For Outside Jobs?

The diversity of modern work environments means that while the majority of the workforce spends its days in a building, it is equally likely others work in the great outdoors. And while the latter work hazards may differ greatly from those encountered inside, companies still need to make sure that their occupational safety protocols are compliant with federal regulations. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 50% of all jobs in 2016 required some element of being outside. That is great news for people who want to work in the fresh air, as there are a number of occupations more geared to an outdoor work environment than others.

Outdoor jobs are unpredictable

Jobs in construction, agriculture, leisure and hospitality, utilities, and transportation can have a work balance that is more often than not skewed toward the outdoors. On the flip side, outdoor jobs provide a working environment that is often unpredictable and filled with hazards. These hazards are usually related to the type of work, the geographic region, the time of year and the length of time workers are outside.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines outdoor hazards as physical (extreme cold, extreme heat, sun exposure and noise, for example) and biological (poisonous plants, venomous insects and animals). As an added bonus, the CDC also warns that both vector-borne diseases, such as mosquito bites, and exposure to pesticides or other chemicals play in role in how effective outdoor-centric Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) management can be.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires companies to comply with hazard-specific safety and health standards. In a controlled environment such as a manufacturing plant or warehouse, the chances of extreme weather exposure are greatly reduced. By the same chalk, venomous spiders, snakes, insects and scorpions are not commonly found indoors.

The bad news is that in an outdoor working environment, these defined physical and biological hazards are far more likely. Outdoor jobs require more specialized oversight to ensure the safety of workers.

occupational safety protocol

A construction site, say, could have numerous hazards—holes, exposed trenches, asbestos, to name but three. In addition, outdoor workers who are exposed to extreme heat, for example, can suffer from dehydration, exhaustion and heat stroke.

 With that in mind, OSHA says that anybody who is working in temperatures that exceed 103º Fahrenheit is at risk of experiencing a medical emergency that can become fatal. In the depths of winter, any outdoor workplace that is close to or under freezing is also probably not a good place to be. Factor into the equation that there are some industrial jobs that can involve both heat and cold stress, and it becomes clear that an outdoor work environment has a lot of hazardous elements in play. 

EHS software assesses risk

It is worth noting that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration does not have a specific standard for physical work in outdoor environments, but its website does provide a large number of resources for companies that have an outside workforce.

OSHA does recommend that enterprises conduct a job hazard analysis before sending workers into the field. This analysis is essentially a checklist of what could possibly go wrong and what occupational safety protocols can be implemented to reduce the risk of worker injury. A good hazard scenario should include the environment in which the potential hazard is encountered, the exposure to that hazard, the trigger for the event and the consequences (should it happen) for the worker(s) in question.With that in mind, OSHA offers job hazard analysis examples for a variety of industry sectors.

Ultimately, the risks of working outdoors are often outweighed by the fact that the worker is not stuck indoors. Granted, working outside on a summer day is more preferable to a work assignment in the rain or during a snowstorm, but the onus is still on making sure that staff are safe in that particular work environment. 

Companies that want to address their workplace safety standards and reduce potential risks should avail themselves of ProcessMAP’s health and safety software. Our solutions suite has been instrumental in streamlining safety activities and potential citation issues via a user-friendly and intuitive platform. For more details as to how ProcessMAP can transform your EHS requirements, contact us today.

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3 Tips To Address Outdoor Worker Safety During Harsh Winter Weather

3 Tips To Address Outdoor Worker Safety During Harsh Winter Weather

Metropolitan areas across the U.S. saw temperatures drop to historic lows during the first week of 2018, as frigid Arctic air circulated through the Midwest and Northeast, according to data from the Southeast Regional Climate center published on the Weather Channel. With lows falling below zero, families forewent the outdoor activities usually associated with winter for safety reasons. However, many workers braved the dangerous temperatures and wind chills to perform critical tasks, risking their health to keep utilities up and running or roads clear. It is likely such work will be required again over the next two months. With this in mind, businesses with extensive outdoor workforces should prepare their workers for the frigid cold.

Here are three of the most effective strategies for keeping employees safe as they navigate harsh winter weather:

1. Help workers understand the risks
Employees who regularly work outdoors may not fully understand the dangers that come with navigating cold temperatures and freezing precipitation, considering such climatological phenomena merely nuisances and nothing more. Environmental health and safety stakeholders should address this misconception immediately, as even winter weather that may seem mild can cause serious injury. How can safety leaders accomplish this goal? Informing workers about common conditions brought on by exposure to harsh winter weather is a good start.

Most of such illnesses stem from one particular condition called cold stress, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This sickness develops as the body temperature falls, resulting in external and internal damage. Well-known wintertime afflictions such as frostbite, hypothermia and trench foot are advanced forms of cold stress that require sometimes extreme treatments such as amputation.

“Well-known wintertime afflictions such as frostbite, hypothermia and trench foot are advanced forms of cold stress.”

When workers understand the seriousness of these conditions, they are more likely to act safely outdoors and return to headquarters unscathed.

2. Employ engineering controls
EHS professionals everywhere use engineering controls to protect workers executing manual tasks, and they can do the same to protect them from environmental hazards, including the extreme cold. OSHA advises businesses to purchase and deploy radiant heaters, which keep employees warm as they work in low temperatures. Personal protection equipment is also effective, as layered uniforms, insulated socks and waterproof footwear can keep out the cold air and moisture, while bolstering body heat retention, according to the National Safety Council.  

3. Address service vehicles and driving
Employees working in outdoor conditions use trucks and other service vehicles to get to remote locations. It is imperative that EHS Management teams address these modes of transportation when working to improve wintertime operational practices. All service vehicles should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are reliable in cold weather and will not break down en route, possibly stranding drivers and passengers, according to OSHA. They should also include emergency supplies in the event that mechanical problems do occur. 

Finally, businesses must encourage safe driving practices as the probability of accidents increases during the winter when roads are covered in frozen precipitation or broken down due to the prolonged application of caustic melting chemicals.

In addition to implementing these strategies, businesses should bolster backend injury tracking practices to ensure newly-implemented safety measures actually work. Here at ProcessMAP, we craft industry-leading Environmental Health and Safety software that facilitates such visibility. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how they can help keep your workers safe, no matter the season.

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Dangers Of Respirable Crystalline Silica And How To Protect Your Workers

Dangers Of Respirable Crystalline Silica And How To Protect Your Workers

Construction workers face numerous physical hazards when navigating worksites. From multistory structures and moisture-slicked surfaces to overbearing power tools and large-scale industrial vehicles, builders encounter all manner of danger. While many employees in the industry manage to avoid sustaining injuries on the job, a significant number fall victim to various worksite hazards. In 2015, more than 930 workers were injured on construction sites, constituting approximately 21 percent of the all workplace injuries recorded that year, according to research from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. While many of these builders succumb to some of the traditional dangers mentioned above, others visited hospitals due to an under-the-radar yet equally debilitating threat: respirable crystalline silica.

The dangers of silica

Individuals in the construction industry are regularly exposed to this poisonous substance, which often enters the air via sandblasting, according to OSHA. Brick cutting, concrete drilling and mixing, jackhammering and tunneling activities also emit silica, a natural material found within the Earth’s crust. When breathed in, the substance enters the lungs and causes scarring. This scar tissue inhibits oxygen intake, resulting in an incurable condition called silicosis. The disease progresses through several stages, depending on exposure time. Some workers contract manageable forms of silicosis and experience milder symptoms such as fatigue or shortness of breath, while others who have experienced increased exposure suffer from sudden respiratory failure, which is often fatal.

ProcessMAP
Respiratory protection is essential for workers exposed to silica.

Protecting workers

With these outcomes in mind, OSHA stipulates that employers in the construction industry adopt actionable strategies for protecting workers from silica. For example, the agency requires firms to provide engineering controls such as water spray and ventilation to reduce the amount of silica that enters the environment during certain activities. OSHA also mandates that construction companies equip workers exposed to high volumes of silica with personal respiratory equipment.

Ideally, these regulations should prevent workers from being exposed to silica levels that surpass the permissible exposure limit, which stands at 50 micrograms per cubic meter over an eight-hour workday, according to OSHA’s recently revised regulation. Unfortunately, many employers fail to comply with PEL rules. Every year, an estimated 840,000 workers encounter silica levels that far exceed the legal amount. With this in mind, construction firms must work to bolster workplace safety practices and effectively protect employees from the dangers of respirable crystalline silica.

ProcessMAP can assist businesses moving forward with such efforts. Our Environmental Health and Safety software gives operational stakeholders the power to monitor workplace conditions and develop and implement actionable data-driven strategies that keep builders safe and comply with OSHA regulations. Connect with us today to learn more.

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Energy Efficiency – Discover The Cost Saving Potential.

Energy Efficiency - Discover The Cost Saving Potential.

According to a report from McKinsey, the United States could save as much as $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years while only investing half of that amount in energy efficiency initiatives. The resulting savings would cut energy use about 23% by the year 2020, an astounding figure.

A proactive approach to energy efficiency and management represents, in effect, a considerable energy resource. A correct approach would incorporate all elements of society and commerce and reap almost unheard-of dividends, but would require widespread adoption.

Energy Efficiency

Just like the process of “stepping on the scale” when on a diet, monitoring energy  every month has the power to motivate and transform. After all, those extra “pounds” could become extra dollars. A recent study found that commercial buildings that regularly benchmarked their energy performance in EPA’s Portfolio Manager™ tool cut their energy bills by seven percent over three years (2.4 percent per year on average). That’s equal to:

For a 500,000-square-foot office building:

  • Cumulative cost savings of $120,000
  • Increase in asset value of over $1 million

For a medium-box retailer with 500 stores:

  • Cumulative cost savings of $2.5 million
  • Increase in sales of 0.89%

It doesn’t take a lot of money to start saving energy. First, make a commitment, benchmark your energy performance, and create a plan — all with no capital investment. Next, start with the no- and low-cost opportunities. Capture those wasted energy dollars and use them to finance more low-cost improvements. Keep saving, keep improving. When you’re ready, you can point to the value of good energy management and secure the capital you need for bigger projects. 

Build energy management

    • STEP 1: Make Commitment
    • STEP 2: Assess Performance
    • STEP 3: Set Goals
    • STEP 4: Create Action Plan
    • STEP 5: Implement Action Plan
    • STEP 6: Evaluate Progress
    • STEP 7: Recognize Achievements
  1. Improve facility performance

Benchmarking is a critical step in energy management, setting a reference point for defining good energy performance, informing goals, and measuring progress.

All in all, Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to combat climate change, clean the air we breathe, improve the competitiveness of the businesses and reduce incurred energy costs.

References

  1. http://www.energystar.gov
  2. Mckinsey Report
  3. https://www.energymanagement.com/demandsidemanagement.aspx

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New Verdantix Report On Financial Return Of EHS Software

New Verdantix Report On Financial Return Of EHS Software

We’re excited to share that this month, Verdantix, an independent research and consulting firm with expertise in environment, health, safety and quality, released a new report on ProcessMAP’s product strategy. The report, titled “ProcessMAP’s Product Strategy Strengthens the Financial Return of EHS Software,” highlights a few key areas of our strategy and how we’re meeting customer requirements in the areas of ROI, analytics and demonstrating value proposition of EHS software. 

As our customers know, at ProcessMAP we’re focused on maximizing the value of EHS software via improved analytics, and on strengthening the abilities of EHS leaders to demonstrate the financial benefit of strong EHS management. With challenges like employee engagement in EHS, securing budget allocation, and leveraging ever-increasing data, the Verdantix analysis suggests that our product strategy will help customers achieve these goals and maximize return on their EHS software.

Recent Growth and Success 

The report highlights how ProcessMAP software was recently rated as a ‘Leader’ for the second time in the Verdantix benchmark of the 20 leading EHS software providers. Since our founding, we’ve grown to nearly 300 employees with offices in Florida and India, and 2.5 million licensed users around the world. 

We’ve deeply penetrated the manufacturing, automotive, construction and life sciences industries with customers like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Becton Dickinson, Johnson Controls, CBRE, USG Corporation, Walgreens, US foods and PPG. To help these customers, we’ve invested in functionality that clarifies the financial value add of EHS software and have long retained more functionality in workers’ compensation than of our competitors.

Analytics and Worker Safety

The report also discusses how ProcessMAP has evolved to become an EHS software provider offering a robust platform for EHS management with specific strengths in workers’ compensation, analytics and safety management. We’ve listened closely to customer feedback over the years, adding mobile apps and a mobile-first interface to make safety participation easy, incorporating rich functionality for industrial hygiene and occupational health, and providing hard evidence for the ROI of EHS software. 

ProcessMAP is committed to helping EHS leaders demonstrate the benefits of EHS software to their finance teams by showcasing the dedicated functionality that automatically tracks claims statuses, records applicable financial metrics, and integrates claims management with broader incident management. This functionality ensures creation of a sound safety culture and helps to ensure businesses meet their financial objectives.

Value Proposition for Frontline Workers

Lastly, Verdantix highlights how we’re evolving to meet customer requests that call for a more intuitive user interface and robust analytics – all to continue helping the frontline worker. These software improvements maximize safety engagement at the front lines, maximize the benefits of EHS and operations data convergence, and ensure every employee knows how to unlock the value in EHS software. 

We’ll continue to listen to our customers’ needs and adjust our strategy and software to meet those requirements. Contact us today to find out how we can help augment your EHS and risk practices.  

Recent Growth and Success 

The report highlights how ProcessMAP software was recently rated as a ‘Leader’ for the second time in the Verdantix benchmark of the 20 leading EHS software providers. Since our founding, we’ve grown to nearly 300 employees with offices in Florida and India, and 2.5 million licensed users around the world. 

We’ve deeply penetrated the manufacturing, automotive, construction and life sciences industries with customers like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Becton Dickinson, Johnson Controls, CBRE, USG Corporation, Walgreens, US foods and PPG. To help these customers, we’ve invested in functionality that clarifies the financial value add of EHS software and have long retained more functionality in workers’ compensation than of our competitors.

Analytics and Worker Safety

The report also discusses how ProcessMAP has evolved to become an EHS software provider offering a robust platform for EHS management with specific strengths in workers’ compensation, analytics and safety management. We’ve listened closely to customer feedback over the years, adding mobile apps and a mobile-first interface to make safety participation easy, incorporating rich functionality for industrial hygiene and occupational health, and providing hard evidence for the ROI of EHS software. 

ProcessMAP is committed to helping EHS leaders demonstrate the benefits of EHS software to their finance teams by showcasing the dedicated functionality that automatically tracks claims statuses, records applicable financial metrics, and integrates claims management with broader incident management. This functionality ensures creation of a sound safety culture and helps to ensure businesses meet their financial objectives.

Value Proposition for Frontline Workers

Lastly, Verdantix highlights how we’re evolving to meet customer requests that call for a more intuitive user interface and robust analytics – all to continue helping the frontline worker. These software improvements maximize safety engagement at the front lines, maximize the benefits of EHS and operations data convergence, and ensure every employee knows how to unlock the value in EHS software. 

We’ll continue to listen to our customers’ needs and adjust our strategy and software to meet those requirements. Contact us today to find out how we can help augment your EHS and risk practices.  

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The 2016 Top 10 OSHA Citations And Proactive Prevention

The 2016 Top 10 OSHA Citations And Proactive Prevention

Another year, another opportunity for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to inform business owners and safety managers alike of what regulations companies are violating the most.

The annual top 10 OSHA citations list has increasingly become a valuable tool in assessing workplace hazards and, when paired with a proactive approach to employee safety, can facilitate a much safer work environment.

Violations by the numbers

Not much has changed from last year in terms of rankings on OSHA’s top 10 citations list—an indication that even though organizations are aware of the most common workplace injuries, they struggle to prevent them.

“The top 10 citations remained unchanged.”

Fall protection (1926.501), hazard communication (1910.1200) and scaffolding (1926.451) make up the top three, respectively. These ranked the same as last year’s list. All in all, over 35,000 violations stemming from the top 10 were recorded in during the 2016 fiscal year, a staggering number that doesn’t speak to the fines, fees and workers compensation associated with it.

Here’s the 2016 top 10 OSHA violations list:

Proactive Prevention

Besides machine guarding and electrical (wiring methods) switching spots, there hasn’t been any major shake ups. Identifying which of these pertain most to your organization’s daily operations is important, as it allows you to correlate general industry data with your own to understand whether your business is ahead of the field or behind it, and assess what steps can be taken moving forward.

That being said, this task becomes infinitely more difficult when dealing with a paper-based system, as this outdated method doesn’t provide the transparency generated from being able to view aggregated statistical data captured by a health and safety management software solution.

Digging through the numbers

It’s difficult to take the list of the top 10 violations at face value and try to improve from it. Each citation has its own list of the most common sub-sections offended within each rule, and they provide context for safety managers to work with when revamping a safety program.

For example, one of the prevalent sub-sections cited under fall protection was 1926.501(b)(1), which addresses unprotected sides or edges of a worksite. This alone composed 1,278 of the 6,906 citations in total, putting it as the second-most important safety risk to identify on the job moving forward, in terms of volume.

The sub-section of violated rules give a better picture of what the citations were for.

Similarly,  507 out of the 3,900 scaffolding violations resulted from workers being told to use cross-braces as an access point. When analyzing the top 10 list, be sure to investigate each of the top five sections cited under each standard, as reported by Health and Safety magazine.

Getting ahead of injuries and citations

Armed with tried and trusted knowledge, safety managers can make the most out of this recent list compiled by OSHA. Knowing that thousands of citations were handed out due to infractions among various regulations, organizations can better prepare themselves for the year ahead.

Reviewing publicly available industry data on employee safety is a key principle in taking a proactive approach to organizational health and wellness, according to Health and Safety Handbook. Other steps include:

  • Training workers to recognize potential incidents before they occur.
  • Analyzing internal employee health and safety data, including incidents and near-misses.
  • Administering a routine hazard analysis.

A proactive approach seeks to combine internal data with external, industry specific figures in an effort to refine safety strategies. To implement this efficiently, cost-effectively and without incurring any disruptions in day-to-day operations, safety managers should leverage health and safety software, which helps automate integral components of the process, like incident and near-miss reporting and recordkeeping, audit management and updates on regulatory changes. Otherwise, departments will spend far too much time focusing on administrative tasks, rather than turning data into action.

“Analyzing internal and publicly available data should be your first step.”

Getting started is easy—maintaining progress can be a bit more challenging. To begin, Health and Safety Handbook recommended establishing the basics. Use your health and safety software to identify the origins of injuries and accidents that happen most often in your workplace, and cross-check that with the publicly available data provided by OSHA. Big data analysis is key because predictive modeling bolsters a proactive approach—some health and safety management systems can do the legwork for you, leaving you more time to understand what the numbers mean for your business.

After looking through the data, identify what matches with trends in your industry, and immediately begin to implement controls to mitigate risks and rectify errant behavior. This could be as simple as showing employees how to properly use equipment, or more complex like understand the slope on a roof and what tool or discretion is needed. Lean on your health and safety software to identify skill gaps and help you assess which lesson plans are working well.

Also be sure you’re providing workforce leaders with a platform to voice their opinions and concerns, as well as a mechanism to report near-misses—this is a standard component of health and safety technology in many cases. This helps to establish an “employee safety first” mentality, and allows you to understand how many actual incidents there are occurring daily. A 2003 ConocoPhillips Marine study estimated that for every workplace fatality, there are 300,000 at-risk behaviors that could have led to injury or death. Identifying and remediating these behaviors is not simply a “nice-to-do”; it could be the difference between life and death.

Interested in learning how health and safety software can help your organization align its health and safety program with industry standards and implement a proactive approach?      Get a demo today.

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How Your Organization Can Be Ready For OSHA’s New Recordkeeping Rule

How Your Organization Can Be Ready For OSHA's New Recordkeeping Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has amended its workplace injury reporting requirements numerous times since Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. In May 2016, the organization once again revised these regulations, releasing the “Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses,” which required enterprises to keep electronic records detailing all worker injuries sustained on-site and submit this data for public consumption. The new rule, which carried an implementation date of Jan. 1, 2017 and a record submission start date of July 1, 2017, was designed to promote transparency and arm environmental health and safety researchers with the insights they needed to develop actionable, data-backed strategies for reducing worker injuries and fatalities.

In May, OSHA, having come under control of the Trump administration, delayed the rule roll out with intention of conducting more research on the revised regulation to determine its impact on businesses, according to the Society of Human Resource Management. Then, in June, the government agency issued a new compliance deadline, giving businesses until Dec. 1 to submit injury data via the form 300A using the online Injury Tracking Application. Now, that once-distant cut-off date is quickly approaching. Firms that have yet to prepare for the enforcement of the new reporting rule must work quickly to ready their EHS operations. How? Here are two methodologies that enterprises confronting this problem are employing to great success:

“Firms must work quickly to ready their EHS operations.”

Understand the impact

This rule, while wide-reaching, does not apply to every organization. Although it does increase the number of companies that are required by law to submit injury data to the federal government by 450,000, the revised regulation comes with two key conditions, EHS Today reported. The first stipulates that only businesses with 250 or more employees must file the form 300A via ITA. The second expands these basic reporting requirements to enterprises with 20 to 249 workers in more than five dozen industries with historically high employee injury rates, according to OSHA. These sectors include construction, manufacturing and warehousing.

Businesses that do not meet either of these conditions are not required to comply with new injury reporting rule and continue their EHS operations as they are currently constituted. However, those that have extensive employee rosters or function in high-risk injuries are obligated to take action.

Osha
Many industries will be affected by OSHA’s new regulation.

Embrace cutting-edge EHS technology

Organizations subject to the new OSHA regulations should immediately review the form 300A template available on the ITA portal. Firms in position to submit viable injury data can begin the submission process immediately, while those with less than stellar records should evaluate their files to look for the insights they need to stay compliant. After submitting for the 2017 fiscal year, the enterprises that found themselves unprepared should consider embracing easy-to-use incident management software such as the solution we offer here at ProcessMAP. 

Our incident and claims management platform not only allows operational leaders to track workplace injuries but also features root-cause analysis components that ease the hazard mitigation process. Connect with ProcessMAP today to learn more about the product and how we can help you bolster your EHS workflows to comport with OSHA’s new reporting rule.

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EHS Compliance Data Systems – The Past, The Present And The Future!

EHS Compliance Data Systems – The Past, The Present And The Future!

The best way to tackle Compliance is to Comply Smartly

During the 1970s the United States EPA as well as state level regulatory systems were first formed to address environmental concerns surrounding industry. The first objective was to limit the waste generation and prevent pollution using retrofits. For such tasks, industry needed engineers to install scrubbers, filters and other components to already existing manufacturing systems. Due to the continually increasing requirements of workers of such risky tasks, workplace safety and occupational health also became a concern, thereby giving rise to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. During the early stages, the EHS Compliance data would be required weekly or montly and mostly for recordkeeping purposes. Not much data was utilized for accident/incident analysis.

Today, Compliance Management requires real-time capabilities into existing business systems. What has made businesses yearn for real-time data? Why is the traditional methodology no longer good enough for businesses around the world? The world’s information is moving faster than ever, and organizations are under constant pressure to keep up. Operations are getting streamlined, supply chains are getting bigger, products getting diversified, and competition has always been ruthless. Organizations need to move faster or risk being pushed out of business by competitors.

There is a need for an organizational shift from a reactive to proactive style of management with respect to EHS issues.here have been some signs of positive results in this area. Companies around the world have proactively started adopting the EHS Management Systems by following standards such as ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 that not only assist in tackling their current EHS issues but also help them to continually improve their system in a well-structured manner.

Managing Compliance: Staying Up-to-date with Regulatory Data

Most regulatory data comes in three varieties:

1) Directly from regulatory agencies like OSHA, EPA, RIDDOR et al.

Ref: http://www.osha.gov/, http://www.epa.gov/, http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/, http://www.hse.gov.uk/

2) From external parties who stay up-to-date on the significant changes and addendums in the National and Local EHS laws

3) From internal sources that stay up-to-date with changes in the existing policies

Barriers: Incoherent & Incapable Data Management Systems

The most common hurdles to build an effective compliance management system are the tools (excel sheets, ad-hoc databases, paper files) used to manage data. Each department may have differing methods of storing data, creating a lack of standardization.In such cases, the tracking of various metrics and making sense out of the data (analytics) becomes almost impossible and the efforts of the EHS manager and his/her team might completely go to waste.

The Key: Automated & Integrated Data Management System (AIDMS)

The AIDMS will enable you to do the following:

  1. Seamlessly share data between safety programs
  2. Help you link compliance with each component of safety program to automatically update data, due dates and task status
  3. Notifications and reminders to ensure that requirements are met on time.
  4. Complete the incident management life cycle from incident to Investigation to CAPA completion and closure.

A data management system containing all these elements will help in make a robust and efficient Compliance Management System.

Ref: http://www.netsuite.com/portal/resource/articles/software-system.shtml

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How Predictive Analytics Transforming Transportation And Logistics Safety

How Predictive Analytics Transforming Transportation And Logistics Safety

With the trove of data from IoT comes an opportunity for safety managers: They can leverage information with predictive analytics to better keep employees safe on the job.

The Internet of Things has provided the transportation and logistics industry with an escape from the norm. Estimations and educated guesswork are no longer the fundamentals of making operational improvements.

With this trove of data comes an opportunity for safety managers: They can leverage information with predictive analytics to better keep employees safe on the job.

Predictive analytics thrives on IoT

Accuracy is vital in the logistics industry, and the implementation of more concise data is growing. By connecting various parts of the entire process—from warehousing management to transportation organization—managers can gain ground-level insight into every metric.

The business value of embedding sensors in everyday objects like forklifts or shipping trucks is obvious. It allows organizations to pinpoint potential areas to cut production, spend or other resources without affecting the bottom line. But there’s potentially even more value in using this gathered data to understand where the most accidents and incidents occur and incorporate predictive analysis in the form of Environmental, Health and Safety software to drive return on investment through safety.

With today’s technology, transportation vehicles can be equipped with sensors that relay information on certain diagnostics, such as:

  • Travel speed.
  • How many times a driver brakes or how much force is put into the action.
  • Whether the truck was going over the speed limit. 

While this data is normally used for proactive repairs and maintenance, it provides a tangible jumping-off point for safety managers to evaluate current protocols in place.

Leveraging data for safety‘s sake

For EHS software to produce its best probabilities as to where the next accident will occur, it needs a steady stream of reliable data. This is why the relationship between EHS software and IoT is so beneficial for safety managers. Gone are the days of having to manually report incidents—digital tracking of injury report forms isn’t just an OSHA requirement, but it’s a boon, as well.

Distracted driving, forklift accidents and incidents during routine loading bay work all plague the transportation and logistics industry. What do they have in common? Historical events provide a platform to understand why they happened. Aggregate enough data, and safetymanagers can pinpoint whether it was a breach in procedure, training protocol or if a lack of safety gear that caused the accident.

SHD Logistics magazine reported the ROI yielded from preventing these injuries that have yet to happen can be different on an organization-to-organization level for a number of reasons. Preventing accidents keeps productivity afloat, and considering that companies lose $60 billion a year from this very reason, according to OSHA. That’s more than enough reason to make this a priority.

Other business value can be derived from:

  • Lower insurance premiums.
  • Fewer workers’ compensation claims.
  • Avoiding the expense of going to court.
  • Fewer fines that come with workplace injuries.

Does your company have any plans on using data to support worker safety through predictive analysis? Leave us a comment below, and tell us how it has helped.

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How To Ensure The Highest Level Of Confined Space Safety

How To Ensure The Highest Level Of Confined Space Safety

When it comes to employee working conditions, extra precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of those spending time in confined spaces — as is the case with other potentially dangerous situations.

Whether one is the owner of a construction or cleaning company, his or her employees will most likely find themselves often working in spaces defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration as “confined,” some of which are “permit-required.” Examples of confined spaces include silos, storage bins and vaults, while those like storage tanks, sewer entryways and even meat rendering plants are typically classified as confined permit-required spaces, among others.

Regardless of whether a permit is required to work in confined spaces, employers also need to provide employees with the tools necessary to keep themselves safe, such as proper training and equipment. After all, employees do have a legal right to working conditions that do not pose a “risk of serious harm,” per OSHA; workers should also stay abreast of other rights guaranteed under law.

Here are several steps and some associated tips employers can follow to guarantee that any jobs involving workers in confined spaces are carried out safely, efficiently and in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations:

Determine if space is permit-required

If a work space meets the definition of a confined space (a small area not designed for people, especially with regards to continuous occupancy and having restricted means for entry or exit), an employer needs to then figure out if it requires any permits, including one for entry.

According to OSHA, a permit-required space is defined by at least one of the following characteristics:

  • Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • Contains material(s) that can engulf an occupant
  • Walls that converge inward or floors sloping downward into a smaller area with the potential to trap and suffocate a worker
  • Any other recognized safety hazard

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, potential dangers associated with confined spaces that workers should be prepared to safely deal with include: poor air quality due to the presence of asphyxiants displacing oxygen, fire or explosion hazard, physical hazards like live wiring or moving machinery, material shifting or collapse and bio hazards.

Confined Space Safety

Procure the proper safety tools for the job

In order to find out if a confined space is permit-required for employees to enter, one must first find the proper equipment and tools necessary to monitor and keep the area safe. Obvious examples include collapse prevention materials for workers digging a deep open trench, or respirators, protective gear and mechanical ventilators for workers who clean out chemical vats.

Providing workers with the correct safety equipment is easy enough, but only after potential risks
have first been identified: this often requires the use of further testing and monitoring tools. Atmospheric and gas testing for any asphyxiants, chemicals or surplus or depleted oxygen levels
can help an employer quickly determine if a work site requires a permit.

In one example on its website, OSHA lists detector tubs, alarm only gas monitors and explosion meters as acceptable forms of permit-required atmospheric monitoring equipment. Another comprehensive testing tool includes a multi gas monitor (for example, four-gas), which can detect oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and any flammable gases.

Workers must also be provided with the tools necessary to carry out any safety-related procedures — whether precautionary or in the event of an emergency that requires evacuation. These could range from a wrench to close off valves, to a machine that carries out forced air ventilation.

Worker safety training and procedures

Regardless of what duties have been delegated to employees working either alone or in teams in a confined space, all personnel should undergo training to become familiarized with any safety, evacuation, escape or rescue plans. The details of any certifications required to work in a confined space should also be reviewed, including any specified entry procedures that must be followed.

Worker training should also be implemented for those who will be responsible for overseeing any engineering, administrative controls, or importantly, the upkeep and repair of personal protective equipment like hard hats, respirators masks or flame-retardant clothing. For example, atmospheric safety testing for harmful gases and other contaminants must be carried out by a lead worker who has completed detector training for any one type of monitor in use.

Even though all pipes and lines that lead to a confined space that carry a substance that could potentially engulf workers must be disconnected by law, training related to any further shutoff measures are also recommended. Sources of electrical current must also be isolated and locked out prior to other workers’ entry.

Employers looking to assess the status of any confined spaces in which their employees are set to work can look no further than ProcessMAP’s comprehensive and configurable confined space assessment service, which offers a mobile application for online and offline usage.

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Putting The Brakes On Old Safety Practices In The Automotive Industry

Putting The Brakes On Old Safety Practices In The Automotive Industry

Automobile manufacturing is an exact science, and it’s time the safety practices surrounding it become one too. Employees have been exposed to dangerous conditions for far too long – it’s time to align behavior-based safety with new age data.

Starting a new era

In this day and age with advanced machinery and a number of dangerous jobs occurring simultaneously on the factory floor, technology such as Environmental, Health and Safety software is key in preventing injuries before they take place. With so many businesses turning to big data as a means of finding actionable insights, it makes sense for automotive manufacturers and autobody shops to do the same and improve their safety culture.

“H. W. Heinrich founded the behavior-based safety culture.”

Behavior-based safety culture has been around for a while. Used in conjunction with modern statistical analysis, it can be leveraged to ensure that once an accident happens, it doesn’t happen again. H. W. Heinrich is credited as the researcher behind the widely adopted method

Heinrich found a correlation between incident and cause as he reviewed 63,000 injury reports in the 1930s and 40s. Each accident, he found, had a root cause that was directly attributable to the safety culture. He stated there are five factors that create an incident – social environment was the first in the line of dominoes. Using Heinrich’s research, modern day safety managers can make a connection between root cause and the environment supporting it.

Through applying this knowledge to data on incident reports, facilities can actively detect any future incidents that may occur. This is only possible through a behavioral-based approach, which allows managers to intervene and understand the situation better than the numbers can. In this instance, it is also imperative that reports are filed for near-misses as well, as any data helps to mitigate the possibility of a reoccurrence.

Know dangerous areas

There shouldn’t be any guessing about whether an accident will occur on any given day. With a sound strategy and enterprise hazard analysis software backing an organization’s decisions, companies can keep their workers safe.

It’s important to understand which injuries and poor practices are most common among automotive industry employees. Most of them are easily preventable, according to the Israel Institute for Occupational Safety and Hygiene:

  • Musculoskeletal.
  • Mishandling or contact with equipment.
  • Slips and falls.
  • Lack of safety gear.

By analyzing data gathered from past injury records, safety managers can quickly produce risk assessments that identify where and how the most common and dangerous accidents occur. Instead of waiting for the next incident to shed some light on where most injuries originate, organizations can get out ahead of the action and place employee safety on a pedestal with EHS software.

Safety Practices

https://www.processmap.com/solutions/health-safety/hazard-analysis/Musculoskeletal disorders can come from unorthodox methods and are usually avoidable.

Implement new safety practices now

Creating a strong culture of employee safety and accountability is easier than it sounds. After obtaining executive buy-in, all that’s left is to provide workers with the tools they need to stay safe on the job. First and foremost, make sure there’s transparency from top to bottom when it comes to injury report data. Even submitting records on near misses can help stop a future incident from taking place if employees know it has already almost happened.

Is there an area of the facility that commonly facilitates the same type of accident? Retrain workers on how to use the equipment andsafety gear associated with those types of procedures. You may find that some employees simply didn’t know there was a different way of accomplishing a task or safety gear available for the job. This is commonly the case with musculoskeletal injuries, which workers can reduce by relying more on machinery and learning the right way to lift heavy objects, according to the IIOSH.

Grease and oil can often get on the floor and create nightmares for people regularly walking around. Make sure everyone wears no-slip, nonskid shoes to combat the problem head-on. Most incidents that occur are simple fixes like additional equipment or processes that need to be involved – risk assessment software can help you identify what your organization needs to prevent the next employee injury from taking place.

Want more insights on how to reduce incidents? Watch our webinar 7 Steps to Incident & Claims Reduction.

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