Author: matt

Your company has been cited by OHSA. Here’s how to prevent it from happening again.

Safety and compliance managers never forget the first time they are dinged with an OSHA citation. Depending on its severity, that violation or violations could change the whole trajectory of a company. Whether the violation is “serious” or not, odds are the company will be paying in some shape or form because of it.

Once that OSHA citation passes, the time comes to take stock of your safety procedures and figure out how to prevent such a thing from happening again. If you’re a safety or compliance manager, expect some tough discussions with employees throughout the company — and especially with executives. You’ll have to communicate to them how important safety is to the health of the whole company.

It can be an uncomfortable process to objectively evaluate where your company stands when it comes to the safety of its employees. However, is there really anything more important to your company than the safety of employees?

Put simply, the best way to avoid more violations is to adjust your procedures and implement an automated solution that ensures you don’t miss any steps. The worst thing you can do is stand back and hope nothing happens.

Review your current procedures and identify what gaps exist. This may seem like an inconvenience at first, but people’s lives could literally be at stake. Look at all your processes and focus on the weak points. Then, get the new procedures in place and change your mentality that it can’t happen to you.

Field iD’s technology can help you automate processes so that you don’t forget any critical steps in safeguarding your employees and your equipment. In addition, all the data gathered by Field iD is kept in an easily accessible archive to ensure that when and if OSHA comes on site, you can produce the exact documentation they need. With the press of a button you can prove you followed the correct procedures.

Having the correct procedures in place before something happens is always the goal. After an accident occurs or an OSHA violation stings a company, it’s important to change the mentality that it couldn’t happen to you, your coworker or your company. Remember, the effects of a violation don’t just impact one person — they can be felt across the company and within the surrounding community.

If you waited until after an OSHA violation to make safety changes, the time is now to get started. People are likely to be resistant to the change, but at the same time, there is no better time to stress the importance of safety in your business. Your employees will thank you for it.

Field iD @ Tech Advantage Conference & Expo

We’re excited to announce our attendance at the Tech Advantage Conference & Expo at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The Expo, which will take place from February 23-26, is a great opportunity to discover the newest and most advanced tech in the industrial sector.

From builders to engineers, designers to distributors, the Tech Advantage expo will boast hundreds of booths filled with industry leaders exhibiting the most advanced technology available. Whether you’re involved in construction, information technology, or operations management, attending Tech Advantage might very well change the way you run your business. With all they have to offer — keynote speeches, summits, and learning labs for implementing these technologies — there’s no good reason to miss out on this all-inclusive tech expo.

That’s why you’ll see us there, of course. It’s only natural that we attend to spread the word about Field iD, an inspection software app that is changing the way businesses handle safety. 2014 was a great year for us, and we learned that Field iD has revolutionized safety management for thousands of businesses. 2015 is a new year, though, and we hope our attendance at Tech Advantage will help more people discover and implement Field iD’s intuitive safety Tech. We’re looking to blaze a trail in safety management innovation, and we know that Field iD will be a tremendous success at the expo.

If you’re interested in attending the Tech Advantage Conference & Expo, head to http://www.techadvantage.org/ for registration, attendance information, and a floor plan detailing all the great organizations attending. Don’t forget to visit Field iD at the NRECA booth (# 851).

A Budget Boost for Safety

President Obama has put together a budgetary plan for the 2016 fiscal year that includes, in large part, a whopping budgetary boost for the department of labor. All of this funding — specifically for OSHA — points to a more responsive and involved administration.

Our workers’ safety and fair treatment is an important part of running a great business, and that’s why administrations like OSHA and the WHD are so crucial to our success. From injury and health to standardized pay, these associations are there to protect our workers and assure their fair treatment. It’s no wonder, then, that the Obama administration sees fit to give the Labor Department a much-needed boost to help focus on the safety of our workers.

The fiscal 2016 budget would inject an extra $1.3 billion into the Labor Department to be divided among various safety administrations. OSHA, for one, would see more than $3 million  to bolster its response efforts and protection plans.

The extra funding would assist OSHA with a higher level of employer education, allowing them more funds for inspections and training. Whistleblower protection laws would be bolstered by the funding, ensuring that those who report health and safety violations remain protected.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration is also up for a helpful boost, and this new found well of resources would help them focus on more efficient inspections and rigorous enforcement of safety policies. There is also an important new rule being proposed to further protect workers from black lung disease.

The most crucial part of this budgetary proposal — especially for employers — is the plan to raise civil penalties for non-compliance. A higher charge for penalties against OSHA standards would act as an extra incentive for employers to fall in line with safety regulations. This, coupled with OSHA’s dedication to reaching more employers and addressing safety issues, would lead to a statistically safer 2016.

Those who work within the realm of safety can only keep their fingers crossed for this budgetary change, as Obama’s overall budget has very slim chances of making its way through a fiscally conservative congress.

 

 

Field iD @ the International Franchise Convention

The International Franchise Convention (IFA) is a meeting of the minds in Las Vegas, NV, where passionate and creative franchisees, franchisors, and partners can get together to create relationships and grow their businesses more than ever before. This year, the IFA is pushing the envelope with more attendance, more connections, and an emphasis on thought leadership with their newest theme: “Connect. Innovate. Evolve.”

From franchise development to management round tables, to finance seminars, the IFA is focused on bringing you the newest trends and invaluable tips on keeping your franchise going strong. Whether you’re the kind who enjoys information-packed summits or more involved round-table discussions, the IFA has something for everyone who wants more out of their business.

We really can’t recommend your attendance enough. The IFA is an incredible opportunity to learn, share, and connect all under one roof. These days, so many connections are made through social media platforms, but face-to-face conversations can make business relationships that last a lifetime. Everyone that attends IFA is just like you: a passionate person looking to take their business to the next level.

Because this year’s convention is focused on innovation and evolution, we’ll be attending to spread the news about Field iD, our revolutionary safety management system. We’ve never been more passionate about Field iD’s game-changing innovation, and we can see that it’s revolutionizing the industrial landscape, helping businesses run more efficiently and safer than ever before.

Our presence at IFA means much more to us than just getting a wider audience interested in Field iD. We’ll be there to connect with other thought leaders in the world of industrial safety to learn and teach how we can make our businesses safer for our workers.

If you’re interested in attending the IFA, head to http://convention.franchise.org/home to register and secure your spot. Don’t forget to visit FieldID at booth 142.  Click HERE to register for FREE and be eligible for our show special for a FREE iPad.  See you in Vegas.

Why Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) is so important for workers in remote locations

Working on a piece of machinery out in the middle of nowhere can be a lonely experience, and a dangerous one too.

Think about a utility worker in a remote area of the desert fixing a broken down transformer. There may not be another person around for miles and the equipment in need of repair has enough energy running through it to power an entire town. Safety has to be a top priority in situations like these, but it’s not always easy to stay safe and compliant when you’re working so far away from company headquarters – or anyone else for that matter.

In addition to the inherent safety hazards associated with working in remote locations, it can be a big challenge to lock out or tag out the machinery or equipment. That’s just one of several reasons remote workers don’t follow proper lockout-tagout procedures when working in remote areas. However,  there are new technologies that make the whole process safer and easier.

Often, Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) procedures are overlooked in remote areas simply because there is no one to provide oversight of the work being completed. Workers on their own sometimes don’t feel obligated to go through the LOTO procedure the right way because no one will have specific documentation of their work anyway. That’s where Field iD’s LOTO technology comes in. It provides accountability for workers. Field iD can monitor your assets anywhere at any time, so it’s easy to see what work is being performed on any specific piece of machinery. You can also track who is doing the work, how long it takes them and if they are following the correct procedures.

If remote workers are online using Field iD, all the data can be communicated instantly. But, of course, that’s not always the case with workers in remote areas. Field iD’s solution is to store all the LOTO processes and procedures while employees are working remotely and then later sync it to cloud to share. Then safety managers can see exactly what work has been performed and take any corrective action if needed.

This saves time and money from traditional pen-and-paper methods of documenting LOTO procedures for compliance purposes. Instead of physically having to produce proof that the correct LOTO procedures were followed, Field iD automates the whole process and makes that information easy to share.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that up to 80 percent of injuries related to servicing and maintenance of equipment and assets could be tied to not following simple LOTO procedures. You may have a handle on LOTO at your factory or home office, but don’t overlook your employees working in remote places. Assuring that they too are following LOTO’s protocol could be the difference in whether your business is compliant or not.

ROI 101: How Field iD saves customers time and money

Many companies that have lockout/tagout (LOTO) and compliance processes in place don’t really understand the costs associated with them. They might understand what their pain points are, but they don’t know how to best tackle those problems in a cost-effective way. As a result, they do what they’ve been doing for a long time and never really examine what it’s costing them.

In addition to managing the lockout-tagout process, Field iD is an effective tool that can cut down the hours it takes to do inspections and audits. What’s the cost of providing that sort of solution? Well, what’s the cost of a person’s life that could be saved? Not to mention the dollars associated with a compliance breach in terms of legality. On top of that, there would be workers’ compensation costs if someone was injured on the job. In addition to all the time that Field iD can save its clients, the product fundamentally improves safety.

Most times when people come to Field iD looking for a compliance or LOTO solution it’s after something negative has happened that finally makes the green light go off in their head. Another common occurrence is that they tried something else in the past and it didn’t meet their needs. Cost is a factor in most cases, but we focus on the value Field iD provides.

Why is the ROI of Field iD so high? There are several reasons:

  1. It saves time. The way Field iD automates laborious processes means it takes less time to do the same work. In addition, safety is improved, saving companies the possibilities of dealing with a costly accident on the job.
  1. It’s easy to train employees on the technology and it’s fully customizable. That means it takes less time to train people to inspect things the right way. There are also built-in assurances that employees won’t miss critical steps in compliance or LOTO processes.
  1. You save time when you don’t have to pull paper records. Using Field iD means you don’t have to look for the paper reports when it’s required during an inspection. You can get the records needed from any Internet-connected device.
  1. You have visibility into your equipment anywhere and at any time. It doesn’t matter if the safety manager is across the country or it’s two in the morning.

Return on investment is something that every smart company focuses on, but it can be a tricky puzzle to solve. With Field iD the benefits are obvious. You save time and improve safety, and what’s more important than that for safety managers? Increase safety and decrease your costs.

Master Lock Field iD @ Acklands-Grainger WORKS 2015

From February 4-5, the Vancouver Convention Center will be hosting one of the most exciting and all-inclusive industry expos in North America. The Acklands-Grainger WORKS Expo is a must-attend convention for anyone in the industrial sector looking for the newest developments in efficiency and safety.

At Acklands-Grainger WORKS, you can discover thousands of products and services, meet industry experts, and sit in on educational seminars to learn about new industrial trends and tips for running a better business. Acklands-Grainger is a trade-show first, so they’ve placed a big emphasis on bringing you the most cutting-edge products and game-changing services from the top innovators in industry so you can have actionable ideas from the moment you arrive.

If you’re at all interested in making your workplace safer and more efficient, then Acklands-Grainger is exactly where you should go. You’ll discover, connect, and build a network of new associates that can help make 2015 a better year for your business.

Because Acklands-Grainger is focused on products and services, Field iD will be attending to exhibit our safety inspection and compliance management software to the masses. 2014 was a great year for us, and many businesses have benefited from Field iD’s intuitive approach to safety, but we know there are more people out there that can use Field iD to keep their workers safer than ever before.

If you’re interested in attending the Acklands-Grainger WORKS 2015 Trade Show, visit http://acklandsgraingerWORKS.com/home.html (you can sign in as a guest). Though there’s no floor-plan yet, the coordinators are promising an attendance of over 250 supplier partners in attendance, and that means your attendance will be worth every penny. Visit us at the Master Lock booth #1312.  Sign up today to be eligible for our show special for a FREE iPad.  Click here for more details.

Investing in Safety: 2015 Oil and Your Bottom Line

Oil prices are dropping drastically and though some argue that several economies could be hurt by the volatility, the opportunities that many can receive are outweighing any negative effects.

It’s no secret that the price of oil is absolutely plummeting that has resulted in some strange economical anomalies. Because the price of oil is lower than they’ve been in years– thus leaving less net earnings for those companies selling energy — consumers are receiving a big boost of buying power, leading to an economic boom. It’s a strange effect to have, surely, but it’s leading to some great opportunities for many businesses being positively impacted.

At Field iD, we think that companies should be using these new economic developments to bolster their bottom line. After all — if you spend less on oil and spend less elsewhere, your bottom line will be higher than ever before. We’re not saying we’re economical whiz-kids, but we do know that workplace injuries can hurt your bottom line and prevention is a great way to save money down the line.

An Unheard-of Opportunity

When was the last time you were told (and it was proven) that current oil prices would have the effect of receiving a massive tax break? Oh, you don’t remember? Neither do we. This kind of extreme drop — one that has lasted longer than we’d expected — is an opportunity we never thought we’d get.

That means that now, with our businesses using more affordable energy, we can invest more in our workers — the people who matter most. Thousands of dollars in oil savings means that you can stay ahead of the curve with new and upgraded equipment for things like fall prevention and lockout/tagout. You can also boost your workforce’s safety procedures with new training seminars.

The situation we’re in right now is a win-win. We never want to see our workers injured on the job, but sometimes it’s too difficult to prevent that. Accidents happen. After all that our workers have done for us, it’s time to give back to them by giving them the safety they deserve.

For our businesses, that means that we’ll be able to expect fewer injuries, thus incurring less cost for the bottom-line. Investing in safety also helps us invest in our net earnings, meaning that we’ll have a stable way to ensure no surprise costs come up due to tragic accidents and mounting hospital bills.

It might also be time to invest in some management tools, ones that will make your business even easier to run than ever before. Managing all of the safety regulations, inspections, and equipment can be difficult without the proper tools. New equipment and training is great, but if you can’t be consistent with it, great safety numbers might still be out of reach. With Field iD, you can easily manage all of your safety needs in one cloud-connected platform. We take pride in our software, and we think you’ll absolutely love how Field iD makes safety management easy and efficient.

Remember that, as business owners, we’re the first line in defense for our workers. We’re here to help them do their jobs and assure that, when they clock out, they felt that their safety was our top priority. Don’t lose sight of your workers safety and your business will flourish in this new economic boom.

The importance of lockout-tagout (LOTO) in the oil and gas sector

For companies that operate potentially dangerous machinery, having LOTO procedures in place is critically important to worker safety. Failure to properly lock out equipment and control its hazardous energy before servicing that equipment can quickly lead to injury or death.

Few industries carry a higher risk of injury than the oil and gas sector, yet LOTO can sometimes be an oversight that isn’t granted the attention it requires to keep workers safe. On the whole, being reactive in the safety world is a dangerous, costly mistake, and the oil and gas sector is no exception.

Waiting until an accident happens to improve a process or to invest in a program — whether it is fall arrest, confined space, arc flash or LOTO — means that the company is actually waiting for a death or injury to address the issues.

On the safety front, a recent survey from Dräger found that 69 percent of frontline workers and 62 percent of safety managers in the oil and gas sector feel their current or previous employers often considered their safety, as well as provided the necessary training and equipment.

But here’s the thing. That leaves a large number of workers who don’t feel employers considered their safety, or provided the right training and equipment. There are many reasons as to why, but LOTO is near the top of the list. So why don’t all oil and gas companies put enough emphasis on LOTO? There are several reasons:

  • Oil and gas plants have a large amount of machinery in operation, and sometimes it is from European manufacturers. As a result, LOTO processes can be more complex, and thus safety and compliance managers avoid putting them in place.
  • Some traditional LOTO equipment can cause environmental problems such as arcing and sparking in hazardous areas. Some types of metals are very sensitive to byproducts from processing oil and gas.
  • Workers don’t know how to handle specific LOTO process. For example, some lockout devices are difficult to operate and time consuming to implement, but the S3081 is not by comparison. The more complicated the lockout tends to be, the greater chance for avoidance as workers explore shortcuts.
  • Some safety and compliance managers assume workers already know the proper procedures without a formal LOTO process or structured training. Many times employees with a lot of experience in the field have never had to use lockout products, along with companies that do not have management enforcing the use of the lockout devices.

Oil and gas companies ready to implement or improve LOTO procedures can now use Field iD’s technology to help automate processes and ultimately increase safety and compliance. Managers can access and update Field ID’s Lock Out Tag Out module at any time, from any location using the Web, smartphones and tablets. This is of specific benefit to the oil and gas sector, where machinery is in remote locations.

Preparing for OSHA’s 2015 Changes

2015 is finally here and OSHA has new plans to make your workplace safer and more efficient. It’s absolutely crucial to prepare for the coming year, so we’re bringing you the most up-to-date information we could find about what’s coming over the next twelve months.

Increased Inspections

The first and most important part of OSHA’s 2015 plans is the health inspection roll out. OSHA has decided to answer to the rising health concerns in 2014 by preparing for more health inspections in every industry. That means that this year, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and do your part to ensure your workplace is up to their standards.

Remember that OSHA’s inspections are in place to ensure that your workplace is safe for everyone involved, and enforcement of these rules should always be a priority. The best way to prepare for inspections is to always have your workplace running safely. If you need more information and tips about enforcing these standards and keeping your workplace running smoothly, check out our variety of articles on workplace safety and enforcement.

New Standards

Along with the inspections roll out, OSHA is developing and enforcing a handful of new rules and standards to come into effect in 2015. Though many of these rules are still in their approval process, it’s important to stay informed about when they’re enforceable, so we’ll be posting up information as soon as we get word of it.

The first of the new rules is actually an update to OSHA’s crucial injury reporting rule. The update came into effect on January 1, 2015 and is already being enforced.

The updated injury reporting rule states that:

  • All work-related fatalities must be reported within 8 hours of their occurrence.
  • Work-related inpatient hospitalization, amputations, or losses of an eye must be reported within 24 hours of occurrence.

Even those industries which were exempt to these reporting rules before must now abide by these new rules in cases of fatality or severe injury. Injuries can still be reported by contacting OSHA via phone, but they’re also preparing a new online reporting tool to make reporting faster and easier than ever.  More information about the online reporting tool can be found at this link:

https://www.osha.gov/report_online/index.html

OSHA has many other standards planned for the rest of the year, but we’re awaiting more concrete information to keep you well informed. Each of these new standards will be getting their own coverage as the year goes on, and we’ll keep providing you detailed articles and helpful tips along the way.

There’s a big and exciting year ahead of us, and that’s a good reason to start it off safely.  Don’t forget to stay tuned to the Field iD blog all year long for first-watch news about the newest OSHA standards and more excellent safety tips and tutorials.