Fight Lead Hazards in the Workplace

Lead and lead alloys are toxic metals that are used to make batteries, ammunition, plumbing, paint and ceramic glazes. Exposure to lead can cause harmful effects to the body. Due to these dangers, lead use has decreased or has been removed. However, lead is still used in industries like construction, mining and manufacturing putting workers at risk of contact.
Exposure
According to a study, occupational exposure is the main cause of lead poisoning in adults. By inhaling lead dust and lead fumes or eating, drinking and smoking in contaminated areas, workers place themselves and their families at risk. Lead poisoning affects the brain and the nervous system. Red blood cells, kidneys and reproductive systems can also be affected. Although symptoms and effects of lead poisoning will differ from one person to another, it is best to get checked. Blood lead tests can determine if you have a higher level of lead than normal.
Prevention
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration placed standards to prevent lead hazards in the general industry, shipyard employment and construction industry. As stated in OSHA’s Code of Federal Regulations for lead, employers are required to give respiratory protection and protective clothing for workers exposed to lead levels above the permissible exposure limit. Exhaust ventilation is also important to regulate air thus reducing the levels of lead in the air. Hygiene also plays an important role in lead safe work practices. Make sure to wash hands and face before eating and to shower, wash hair and change into clean clothes before leaving the workplace.
Training
Employers are required to conduct training to their employees to inform them of the hazards and safe practices with regards to lead. Safety supervisors may take OSHA 30-hour classes online to keep abreast with the standards. OSHA requires that employees should have training in the language they understand best. The OSHA30-hour construction outreach in Spanish is also available online.
Lead standards contain important information to protect you from hazards. It is of great significance if your employer and you will work hand in hand to prevent exposure.

Sources:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/lead/

https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurricane_Facts/LeadHazards.pdf

Author:
Fositi Marie Athey has been with OSHAcampus.com since 2012 as the company’s Occupational Health and Safety Technologist. She earned her degree in Environmental Health and Safety Technology from the _Texas State Technical College_. Marie has over 15 years of industry experience in Occupational Health and Safety having worked for various US companies in construction and general industries.

How To Improve Your Safety Program In 20 Hours – No Experience Required!

I received an email this weekend and it had a link to a TED talk.  I don’t normally listen to these but have listened to a few and thought they were very well done.   This one really caught my attention because it talked about how much time it would take to learn a new skill.   Being a safety guy, I immediately started thinking about how it applied to the safety field.

It outlines a method, which the presenter proves at the end of the presentation, on how you can learn anything in 20 hours. You may not be a master at it but you will be proficient within 20 hours of time. In the presentation he highlights the amount of time it takes elite athletes to become elite. The common amount of time to become “elite” is 10,000 hours.  Who has that amount of time?

safety 1

Below is a sneak peak at the four step system used to achieve a new skill in 20 hours.

Step 1 –  Deconstruct the skill you want to learn. You do this by defining exactly what it is that you want to do in the end and then identify each step that you have to accomplish to achieve the goal.   To be more specific, a skill might be how to complete an effective safety training presentation or could be how to develop an effective JSA program.  It would not be how to develop a safety management system. It has to be more specific than that.  Think about a skill that may be lead you to a complete safety management system.

Step 2 – Learn enough to self-correct by researching at least four sources specific to the topic or skill you are trying to develop. The concept is to get the right amount of information but not collect information sources.  I’ve done this myself, read through 10 or more sources and ended up procrastinating and not going anywhere. If you learn enough to have the basic idea so you can self-correct when errors occur you will be on your way to learn a new skill in 20 hours.

Step 3 – Remove barriers and distractions that limit focus.  A common example could be watching TV, playing on the Internet or anything else that takes your focus away from spending shorts bursts of time learning your skill until you hit 20 hours.

Step 4 – last step is to spend the 20 hours learning your new skill.  This could be in one hour increments were shorter but is not meant to be 20 hours a row.

The hardest part is getting started. How many times have you started something and not finished?  You have to get past the initial frustration barrier.  The point where you know nothing and get stuck until you start learning about it or just give up.  If you push through, you can change your safety program or more pointed to the PowerPoint presentation learn any new skill in 20 hours.

I encourage you to take a few minutes and learn about this process yourself.

Link – http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/The-First-20-Hours-How-to-Learn

Improve Your Safety Program with Safety Statistics – Could we save $168.9 Billion next year?

 

The below is one of several blog posts I will make on Statistics I find from various resources.
Did you know in 2009 work injuries cost $168.9 billion in the US.  That’s not a number I just made up.  It’s a statistic from the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts book in 2011.  I will go into more details about this number as we go, but it really makes you think and can be impacting when you are trying to “sell” your program and initiatives to senior management.
So….just how did they come up with number.  It includes the following
-          wage and productivity losses of 82.4 Billion
-          medical costs 38.3 Billion
-          Employers uninsured costs of 10.3 Billion
The total cost per worker ———–$1,200 .  Just think about that for a minute.  I just thought of 10 ways I can use and incorporate that into what I do each day or better yet see what the number is for your specific company.
While we all do this so employees don’t get hurt…sometimes reminding them about the cost can be helpful.
Resource
National Safety Council, Injury Facts 2011 Edition

Does Your Leadership Support Safety?

  

 

When talking to management safety can sometimes hit the back burner.  While this is a fatality case the personal responsibility of everyone including the president of the company cannot be emphasized enough.  

 

This is a great article to share with leadership so they understand how a tragic safety incident can affect them personally and provide the urgency to fix it before things happen 

Safety

 

 

Owner Faces Prison Time In Death Of Worker From Fall

 Credits: Owner faces prison time in death of worker from fall – Safety News Alert
 

“Martin Romano, President of MR Asphalt Inc. of Victor, MT, pleaded not guilty to the charge. If convicted, he faces six months in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montana leveled the same charge against the company. It faces a $500,000 fine if convicted.”

 

While I don't want to reduce the gravity of this tragic event, I do think it can be used as a reminder to everyone.  

In addition, my point isn't specific to this event but can be used to communicate a message to leadership teams so they understand the importance of a safe workplace and their potential personnal liability in insuring it.

 

OSHA Press Release – Are They Changing

 
I am always on the lookout for OSHA press releases to see what is being cited.  One of the thngs I noticed that was different about this press relese is it also has links to the exact citations sent to the comapny.  
 
Maybe this is not new and I just need to pay closer attention.  But, it is new to me and interetseing that there is a description of what was found and access to the exact citations sent to the company.
 
Newspaper

Image by just.Luc via Flickr

 
 
Wed Mar 12 2014 – OSHA fines frozen foods firm $185700 for violations at Atlanta facility – Atlanta Journal 
 
OSHA fines frozen foods firm $185700 for violations at Atlanta facility
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Schwan's, Cimco Refrigeration and Adecco are not providing that for their employees,” Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-east area office, said in a statement. “OSHA standards are there to protect workers from predictable and preventable injuries 
 
 
 

 

Are State Run OSHA Programs As Good As Federal Programs?

I am always reading articles on safety.  Below are three articles I read this week that I thought were interesting. 

 

One hot topic over the last couple of years in state run OSHA programs.  Looks Like they might be getting a closer look.  Along with the passing of Joe Dear (Past OSHA Chief) and much more.

USAmap.jpg

Image courtesy of Stock.xchng

 

Wed Mar 5 2014 – Federal inspectors investigating I-OSHA | WISHTV.com

Concerns were revealed in a February 25 letter to Commissioner Rick Ruble of the Indiana Department of Labor from OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in Chicago. OSHA, the federal agency, says,  Credits: Federal inspectors investigating I-OSHA | WISHTV.com

 

 

Mon Mar 3 2014 – Former OSHA Chief Joe Dear Dead at 62 | OSHA content from EHS …


Joe Dear dead at 62.Was ninth assistant secretary of labor for OSHA.Turned California's Public Employee Retirement System around.Scholarship established in his name. Credits: Former OSHA Chief Joe Dear Dead at 62 | OSHA content from EHS

 

Mon Feb 10 2014 – 2 top former Cal/ OSHA officials accuse agency of failing to protect …

One former official issues a 20-page report in which he lays out his case that the stateis not dedicating enough resources to Cal/OSHA to protect workers. Credits: 2 top former Cal/ OSHA officials accuse agency of failing to protect
 


 

Highway Workers – Are You Dressed In Appropriate Safety Gear?

If your job is as a highway worker then you are particularly vulnerable when it comes to safety at work. Not using the correct equipment, wearing the wrong gear or failing to observe safety rules could cost you or your colleagues dearly. As a highway worker you will be exposed to all sorts of adverse weather conditions and you may also be expected to work at night or when visibility is poor. This is why it is absolutely vital that you wear the correct safety gear, and in this article we will tell you exactly what you need. Don’t cut corners when it comes to safety at work – the risks just aren’t worth it. Read on to find out more:

Industrial Safety Clothing

The first thing that you need is the correct industrial safety clothing. This should cover the majority of your body and it should be made from a durable material. It should also be fully visible in all weathers and the best way to make sure that you can be seen come rain or shine is to only choose high-viz material that is fully reflective. You should also have access to protective clothing should you be required to handle a chemical spill or anything else that could potentially be hazardous. This should also be fire and flame retardant so that you are protected as much as possible.

Extra Protection

On top of your safety clothing you should also ensure that you always wear a protective helmet. The specification of this will depend on the job that you are doing and some jobs require you to wear a visor that is attached to the helmet in order to protect your eyes. Hard hats should be worn as a matter of course and you may well get thrown off site if you do not observe this rule. You never know when something could fly or fall your way and it is simply not worth ignoring the rules with regards to helmets. You can get all sorts of accessories for your hard hat including ear plugs, ear muffs, goggles and face shields.

Safety Harnesses

If your work involves scaling bridges or other large structures then you will need to be adequately protected from the risk of falls. This means that you must be attached to a safety harness which has been suitably safety-checked so that you have added protection should you lose your footing. Different jobs will require different safety equipment so always make sure that every single job is risk assessed beforehand, and also make sure that you follow the safety guidelines to the letter.

Work zone safety is important in every line of work, but never more so than when you are working on the highways. Always make sure that you observe every single safety rule, and always be on the lookout for risks and other hazards which may put your and your colleagues in danger. Your employer should make sure that your health and safety training is up to date as part of their legal obligations to you and your safety.

Yorrick, today’s contributor, is a freelancer currently writing for Bo Phillips Co., suppliers of traffic control equipment of all kinds. He loves bird-watching and visits various national parks on weekends.

Safety Infographic – 10 Most Cited OSHA Standards 2012

The National Safety Council recently published an article on the Top 10 OSHA Standards Cited in 2012.  They are going to published more information on the December 2013 issue.

The entire article can be found HERE

 

Below is a safety infographic that outlines the OSHA standards Most Cited in 2012.  Please share it with anyone you would like to.  It can be downloaded at HERE

 

10 Most Cited OSHA Standards 2012

Safety Infographic - 10 Most Cited OSHA Standards 2012 rev 2

Free Safety Infographic – Skylight Safety Infographic

I wanted to provide some new custom information using infographics.  This is my first one safety infographic on skylight safety.

Let me know what you think by liking the post

Also, if you have a safety inforgraphic idea and have statistics from a reliable source.  Let me know and I may just make it for you.  No promise —–but I will consider any feedback.

 

If you would like to download the below graphic – Click Here 

 

Skylight Safety Inforgraphic

Safety Culture Perception Survey – Free Resources To Develop Yours

Want to know what your employees think about your safety program?  One way to get a pulse on your program is to ask or take a survey.  While there are best practice ways to develop a survey, sometime seeing examples can also help.  Below is a list of several example safety culture surveys I found.  Use them to give you ideas on questions your team would find valuable.

 

2012 UAF Safety Perception Survey University of Alaska Fairbanks …

http://www.uaf.edu/safety/UAF-2012-Safety-Perception-Survey-Report.pdf

2012 Safety Perception Survey. EXECUTIVE survey. The purpose of this survey was to gauge UAF employee perception of various safety factors in their.

 

CET Sample Perception Survey

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dleg/deleg_wsh_perception_survey_332399_7.xls

1, SAFETY AND HEALTH MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – PERCEPTION SURVEY. 2. 3, 1. Top Management Commitment. 4, 1, A written policy that sets a high 

 

Safety Culture Perception Survey

http://www.asse.org/professionalsafety/docs/Simon_PerceptionSurvey.pdf

Safety Culture Perception Survey. Appendix to “Transforming Safety Culture: Grassroots-Led/Management-Supported Change at a Major Utility,” by Steven I.

 

If your program isn’t performing as well as your would like and you want to “poll” your employees consider the above resources.  They can help get you on the right foot to developing your own Safety Culture Perception Survey.