Thank you to all of our clients and those who were able to attend our client appreciation event last Thursday the 10th of November. With your support we’ve made it to 25 years and look forward to the next 25.
A special thank you to Brooks Wolfe for presenting the ever popular topic of OSHA recordkeeping. The information was relatable and very well received. Watch the YouTube video below or visit our YouTube channel for this and other safety content.
Life and Safety is excited to welcome Jay Jordan as the newest member of our team. Jay is a graduate of the College of Charleston and comes to us with a background in automotive plant safety and commercial construction site management.
We’re excited to have Jay on our team helping our clients design, build, and and maintain their safety programs.
It’s hot out there and it’s only getting hotter. Are you and your employees safe in this heat?
Did you know that this year on April 8th OSHA implemented a new national emphasis program focused on heat?
National Emphasis Programs (NEPs) are temporary programs that focus OSHA’s resources on particular hazards and high-hazard industries. Existing and potential new emphasis programs are evaluated using inspection data, injury and illness data, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports, peer-reviewed literature, analysis of inspection findings, and other available information sources.
According to OSHA “most outdoor fatalities, 50% to 70%, occur in the first few days of working in warm or hot environments because the body needs to build a tolerance to the heat gradually over time. The process of building tolerance is called heat acclimatization. Lack of acclimatization represents a major risk factor for fatal outcomes.” (https://www.osha.gov/heat-exposure)
General controls include training, personal protective equipment (PPE), engineering, work practice, and administrative controls, health screening, and heat alert programs
Hazards of heat-related illnesses.
How to avoid heat-related illnesses by recognizing and avoiding situations that can lead to heat-related illnesses.
Recognition of signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses.
First aid procedures.
Employer’s program to address heat-related illnesses.
Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment:
Hats for work outdoors in the sun.
For indoor work, loosely worn reflective clothing designed to deflect radiant heat, such as vests, aprons, or jackets.
Cooling vests and water-cooled/dampened garments may be effective under high temperature and low humidity conditions. However, be aware that cooling vests can become an insulator when they reach the body’s temperature.
In environments where respirator usage is necessary, consult with an industrial hygienist to determine the appropriate clothing to prevent heat stress while still protecting the workers.
Consider the use of dermal patches for monitoring core temperature to better identify when workers need to be removed from the work area.
Consider the use of heart rate monitoring to better identify when workers need to be removed from the work area. Both sustained (180 bpm minus age) and recovery (120 bpm after a peak work effort) heart rates are recommended guidelines for limiting heat strain
Engineering Practice Controls:
Use air conditioning
Increase general ventilation
Provide cooling fans
Run local exhaust ventilation where heat is produced (e.g., laundry vents)
Use reflective shields to block radiant heat
Insulate hot surfaces (e.g., furnace walls)
Stop leaking steam
Provide shade for outdoor work sites.
Administrative and Work Practice Controls:
Schedule hot jobs for cooler parts of the workday; schedule routine maintenance and repair work during cooler seasons of the year when possible.
Provide adequate, cool drinking water on the worksite that is easily accessible and permit employees to take frequent rest and water breaks.
Use relief workers and reduce physical demands of the job.
Use work/rest schedules.
Health Screening and Acclimatization:
Allow new workers to get used to hot working environments by using a staggered approach over 7-14 days. For example, new workers should begin work with 20% of the normal workload and time spent in the hot environment, and then gradually increase the time over a 7–14-day period. The same should be done for workers returning from an absence of three or more days, starting with 50% of the normal workload and time spent in the hot environment, then staging acclimatization over three consecutive days. Advise workers that certain medications can increase risk of heat stress. These include:
Amphetamines – sometimes prescribed for narcolepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
Diuretics – water pills,
Antihypertensives – blood pressure medication,
Anticholinergics – for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),
Antihistamines – allergy medications
In addition, alert workers to the dangers of using illegal drugs and alcohol in hot work environments. Illegal amphetamines, such as methamphetamine, are particularly hazardous when heat stress is present.
Some conditions, such as pregnancy, fever, gastrointestinal illness, heart disease, and obesity, may increase the risk of heat-related illness. Advise workers to check with their doctors if they have any questions. (Please note: the employer is NOT entitled to know whether workers have these conditions, but only whether workers have any health conditions that limit their ability to perform their job duties. In some instances, workers with chronic conditions may need extra time to become acclimatized or may need other accommodations, such as more frequent breaks or restricted work.)
Encourage workers to consult a doctor or pharmacist if they have questions about whether they are at increased risk for heat-related illness because of health conditions they have and/or medications they take.
If you’d like assistance in developing your company’s heat stress program, give us a call at 864.297.4521 or Email Us. We’d be happy to help in any way we can. Life and Safety can help you develop your program, select the right PPE, deliver training, or any other element of your heat safety program.
Join us on November 10th at 12:30pm for a live drop demo of fall protection equipment. This free session will include information about the proper use of a harness and two fall simulations…one without using an energy absorber and the second with the energy absorber.
This training is presented by Mike Gutierrez and Alexa Simonovis of Hands-On Safety Training, LLC out or Kennesaw, Georgia.
Mike Gutierrez started his career in design and manufacturing, and later switched to multi-family residential construction where he began his new career as an assistant superintendent for a general contractor (GC). Mike soon learned that his passion was in safety and has spent the last 18 years learning at Georgia Tech OSHA Training Institute, and from other safety professionals. For the last 16 years he has been the Safety Director for Gables Residential, the same GC where he started as an assistant superintendent 20+ years ago and where he first started building multi-family communities in almost every type of building construction; from mid to high-rise, in wood, steel, tunnel form, and concrete. Having that construction management background brings a different valuable perspective to any safety professional and is well worth it.
In 2006-2009 the construction industry slowed tremendously and Mike carried on with General Industry since Gables Residential manages 17,000 apartments in 60 communities. Buildings of these types range from 3 story walk-up to 21 story highrise buildings.
Mike has a knack for solving unique safety issues, or simply designing a new safety product when necessary. He is a US Patent holder and took the Hands-On Safety Training Mobile Demo and Learning Center from concept, through design, to reality.
Alexa Simonovis studied Instructional Design and later received a degree from Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and spent many years educating children with passion and care. Alexa’s dedication to perfecion in design and her experience in Montessori teaching methods and philosophy brings a new breath of fresh air to OSHA training. Alexa, along with Mike are crafting a new Hands-On teaching method to better educate our workforce.
Introduction to fall protection
How to inspect and don a harness
Fall simulation without fall protection: simulate a 6 foot fall using our 172 pound weight tree without an energy absorber.
Review of how to properly inspect and don a harness
Fall simulation with fall protection: same weight and distance as before using an energy absorber
On September 1st Life and Safety welcomed Mathew Craddock as a full time employee.
Mathew Craddock has been a contractor for Life and Safety since 2010. Mat has over 20 years of experience in multiple fields including industrial maintenance/mechatronics, controls programming, CNC machining, IT systems administration, environmental health, and safety. Mat holds a position as an adjunct instructor for Greenville Technical College in the field of mechatronics and is considered one of the leading subject matter experts. His career in maintenance and electronics began when he worked in a cotton mill as a maintenance technician while attending high school. Later he joined the Army at age 18 and volunteered for the 101st Airborne Division, Long Range Surveillance Detachment 75th Ranger Regiment. During his time in the LRS unit, he served as a unit armorer, cavalry scout, and high frequency encrypted radio technician. Mat has been deployed in combat to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait and has also served in many other countries during training exercises. After his enlistment, Mat obtained his associates of science degree in electronics engineering while also working in the maintenance field as maintenance technician for a plastics blow-molding manufacturer. Since then he has worked primarily in the automotive, bio-medical, and machine fabrication industries. Mat has served as plant EHS coordinator and trainer for electrical safety/arc flash while also teaching these subjects for Life and Safety. Mat continues to hold dual roles as both an electrician/programmer/EHS coordinator and also as an instructor in mechatronics for local colleges.
As an addition to the Life and Safety team, Mat Craddock, will head up our Arc Flash projects as the new Arc Flash Manager.
Not all lab instruments are created equal. Most diagnostic manufacturers use biotin streptavidin as their binding agent in their testing process. While Biotin is extremely beneficial in cellular health and popularized as the “Beauty Vitamin” by some of Hollywood biggest superstars, its prevalence as dietary supplement, can cause false positive and false negative results. Biotin interference became a problem following a death due to inaccurate lab results. Since then the FDA has issued multiple warnings of potentially inaccurate results. “The FDA is aware of people taking high levels of biotin that would interfere with lab tests.” (https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/fda-warns-biotin-may-interfere-lab-tests-fda-safety-communication) None of Abbott’s platforms are impacted by biotin interference; making Abbott the world’s leader in 6 sigma tests.
Testing for COVID
RNA – RNA is a quick 5-minute test that tells you if you currently have an active case of COVID-19.
IgM – The IgM test, when positive, indicates that the person is still infectious but may not be exhibiting signs or symptoms.
IgG – The IgG test results indicate whether the person has antibodies meaning that at some point prior they had COVID-19.
These tests, when taken together, can help a business make smarter decisions about their return to work policy. For example, if a person tests positive in both the IgM and IgG tests, that is a fair indication that they are nearing the end of their infections stage and actively developing antibodies. What this means for the company is that the employee could potentially return to work in just a few days as opposed to the standard two weeks or 14 days. This helps with business continuity and increases employee confidence in their company’s ability to provide a safe and healthy workplace.
Have a Plan
Having a complete proactive COVID testing protocol in place is the best way to assure the health of your employees by capturing the data and stopping the spread of the virus by those asymptomatic individuals. Additionally, having a full circle COVID plan will strategically optimize productivity while minimizing your overall liability.
To better serve our clients Life and Safety has partnered with Safe-T-Works, Inc.
Safe-T-Works, Inc. (STW) located in Asheboro, NC provides full service DOT, non-mandated drug and alcohol testing, and DOT training. We meet or exceed Department of Transportation regulations as well as non-DOT concerns at the local, state, and national levels.
Safe-T-Works provides a comprehensive set of drug detection, workplace protection, and employee training services. Our primary objective is to help our clients achieve a safe, drug-free workplace—and to do so better and more cost-effectively than any other company in our field.
STW specializes in on-site testing, training programs, and DOT compliance services for our clients as well as personalized client contact, confidential clients record maintenance and storage; and 24/7 availability. STW has been in business for over 12 years. The staff has over 45 years combined experience in the industry including education and training. All staff members are certified annually and the company is accredited annually by the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA). We also have certified and knowledgeable trainers on staff who can assist you with anything from policy development to supervisor and employee training programs. Other services available include Designated Employer Representative, Supervisor, and Driver training and certification programs, Respirator Fit Testing, Medical Review Officer services, DOT and employment physicals, DNA testing for paternity, DOT compliance services, Fleet Maintenance, and a wide variety of specialized programs and testing. Safe-T-Works is a 100% woman-owned business. It is also NC HUB, WBE, SBE, DBE certified, and Nationally Accredited for Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs.
There are many factors that affect whether you are required by OSHA to wear a respirator while working. Determining if it is required is the obligation of your employer. If it is required, then it is the employer’s responsibility to develop a respiratory protection program. “The requirements applicable to construction work under this section are identical to those set forth [for general industry] at 29 CFR 1910.134 of this chapter.” (https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1926/1926.103)
1910.134(c)(1): In any workplace where respirators are necessary to protect the health of the employee or whenever respirators are required by the employer, the employer shall establish and implement a written respiratory protection program with worksite-specific procedures.” There are 9 OSHA required elements of this program:
Procedures for selecting respirators for use in the workplace
Medical evaluations of employees required to use respirators
Fit testing procedures for tight-fitting respirators
Procedures for proper use of respirators in routine and reasonably foreseeable emergency situations
Procedures and schedules for cleaning, disinfecting, storing, inspecting, repairing, discarding, and otherwise maintaining respirators
Procedures to ensure adequate air quality, quantity, and flow of breathing air for atmosphere-supplying respirators
Training of employees in the respiratory hazards to which they are potentially exposed during routine and emergency situations
Training of employees in the proper use of respirators, including putting on and removing them, any limitations on their use, and their maintenance
Procedures for regularly evaluating the effectiveness of the program
1910.134(c)(2)(i): “An employer may provide respirators at the request of employees or permit employees to use their own respirators, if the employer determines that such respirator use will not in itself create a hazard. If the employer determines that any voluntary respirator use is permissible, the employer shall provide the respirator users with the information contained in Appendix D to this section (“Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard”).”
If you have questions or would like assistance in creating and implementing any element of your respiratory protection program please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone (864.297.4521) or email (email@example.com).