It’s Hot Out There

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)

The list of targeted industries is long and includes industries you probably thought of like construction, manufacturing, and farming. But also included on that list are bakeries, grocery, automobile dealers, nursing care facilities, and many more. The list contains well over 50 targeted industries. (Appendix A: https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/directives/CPL_03-00-024.pdf).

So what can you do? Here are OSHA’s recommendations from Appendix D of the National Emphasis Program – Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards.

General controls include training, personal protective equipment (PPE), engineering, work practice, and administrative controls, health screening, and heat alert programs

Training:

  • 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.

What To Do When OSHA Shows Up

Our President and former OSHA inspector, Don Snizaski, will presented a What To Do When OSHA Shows Up.

How should your respond? Do you let them in, turn them away, give them full access to your documentation and employees…these and other questions were answered as well as what to do after OSHA leaves.

Fall Protection with Live Drop Demonstration

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.

In-Person: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=gykjjtcab&oeidk=a07eijane4gd482aec6
Streaming: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=gykjjtcab&oeidk=a07eijasyvp0766aa65

This training is presented by Mike Gutierrez and Alexa Simonovis of Hands-On Safety Training, LLC out or Kennesaw, Georgia.

Hands-On Safety Training, LLC logo

Mike Gutierrez

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

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.

Topics Covered

  • 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
  • Explain the difference in the impact forces
  • Q&A and trailer walk-around

Register Now

In-Person Training: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=gykjjtcab&oeidk=a07eijane4gd482aec6

Streaming Training: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=gykjjtcab&oeidk=a07eijasyvp0766aa65

SC OSHA to Speak at Life and Safety Seminar

OSHA logo

On October 15th Life and Safety will host a free virtual and in-person seminar in Greenville, SC where SC OSHA Compliance Manager, Anthony Wilks, will discuss the current state of South Carolina OSHA.

Anthony Wilks - Compliance Manager, SC OSHA
Anthony Wilks
Compliance Manager, SC OSHA

Life and Safety will also discuss the changing safety environment and the tools we can use to assist us with training, inspections, and documentation.

To accommodate as many people as possible you can attend in person or watch the live stream. We will have the same training both in the morning from 9am-11am and then again from 1pm-3pm.

Seating is limited for the classroom sessions so be sure to sign up now to reserve your seat.

Registration Links

Morning In-Person Classroom Session
http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=gykjjtcab&oeidk=a07eigifvqq3c58aca1

Morning Virtual Session
http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=gykjjtcab&oeidk=a07eigtd2d8f60fc3b1

Afternoon In-Person Classroom Session
http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=gykjjtcab&oeidk=a07eigigq3h7d93f724

Afternoon Virtual Session
http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=gykjjtcab&oeidk=a07eigtdvo7d2b4515f

Mat Craddock Joins Life and Safety Team as Arc Flash Manager

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.

Posted in 5

Are You Testing for COVID?

Executive Summary (TL;DR)
When testing for COVID, know your lab and who provides the tests.

Free Webinar Wednesday September 16th at 11:30AM
REGISTER HERE

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.

testing lab

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.

Partnering with Safe-T-Works, Inc. to Offer DOT Compliance

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 - DOT Compliance Specialists

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.

For more information about Safe-T-Works and the services they offer, visit their website at https://www.safetworksinc.com/.

Are you required to wear a respirator?

SUMMARY

If wearing a respirator is required by your company then the 9 elements of the respiratory protection program must be followed including medical evaluation, training, and fit testing (http://lifeandsafety.com/enroll/#!/Respiratory-Protection/c/38135012/offset=0&sort=nameAsc). If you are voluntarily wearing respiratory protection you must be provided with the information in Appendix D.

FULL ARTICLE

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 (General Industry): https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.134

1926 (Construction): 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:

  1. Procedures for selecting respirators for use in the workplace
  2. Medical evaluations of employees required to use respirators
  3. Fit testing procedures for tight-fitting respirators
  4. Procedures for proper use of respirators in routine and reasonably foreseeable emergency situations
  5. Procedures and schedules for cleaning, disinfecting, storing, inspecting, repairing, discarding, and otherwise maintaining respirators
  6. Procedures to ensure adequate air quality, quantity, and flow of breathing air for atmosphere-supplying respirators
  7. Training of employees in the respiratory hazards to which they are potentially exposed during routine and emergency situations
  8. Training of employees in the proper use of respirators, including putting on and removing them, any limitations on their use, and their maintenance
  9. 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”).”

Appendix D to Sec. 1910.134 (Mandatory) Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.134AppD

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 (info@lifeandsafety.com).

Both the medical evaluation and respiratory protection training can be completed online. More information can be found here: http://lifeandsafety.com/enroll/#!/Respiratory-Protection/c/38135012/offset=0&sort=nameAsc

Active Shooter Awareness

Recognize. Respond. Survive. Is your organization truly prepared for an active shooter?

Life and Safety is proud to announce our partnership with ProActive Response Group to deliver active shooter awareness, medical, and post-incident response training.

ProActive Response Group’s leadership team are well-trained veteran SWAT team leaders, with first-hand experience in hostage rescues and high-risk dignitary protection. The skills offered in each course have been specifically developed to provide individuals and groups with effective courses of action in actual critical situations.

Today many organizations just “check the box” when providing active shooter/workplace violence training for their employees. With the rise of active shooter events across the country the cost of inadequate training will be devastating.

Topics discussed:

  • how to take a ProActive approach to preventing attacks by being situationally aware
  • simple response options that will empower employees and build confidence
  • how to use basic medical skills and equipment to save victims of the attack
  • the importance of developing business continuity plans that include active shooter events

ProActive Training Bundle

ProActive’s Active Shooter Response Training curriculum teaches preparedness and empowerment to corporate teams. Through the course of these eye-opening and instructional videos paired with online quizzes, your employees will learn to develop a plan of action should an active shooter walk into your office.

This course is normally $24.99 but is available to you for 50% off with code STAYPROACTIVE

Your training will include:
Pre-Incident Awareness and Threat Recognition
Responding to A Threat
Life-Saving Medical Training
Interaction with First Responders and the Aftermath

As an added bonus when you purchase the ProActive training you’ll also receive complimentary access to our “COVID-19 and Other Contagious Illnesses” video based training.

To sign up for the ProActive training bundle go to the following link to create an account and login:
https://compassrms.com/login/304/ProActiveTraining.aspx

Once you create an account and login, go to the “Catalog” tab at the top of the screen to select and purchase the ProActive Training Bundle. Use code STAYPROACTIVE to received 50% off.

COVID-19: What To Expect When You Return To Work

With people returning to work both employees and employers want to know what to expect when they walk into their workplace and how COVID-19 has change our work environment. 

COVID-19 Illustration
COVID-19
  • What new safety measures are in place to protect employees and the general public? 
  • What policies have been created or updated to better protect employees from infection? 
  • What are the responsibilities of the employee and the employer? 
  • How can we return to work with confidence? 

These are just a few of the questions that will be answered during this webinar.

The first portion of this webinar is a presentation just as we did in the last webinar. However, based on your suggestions, we added a question and answer section at the end.