First OSHA deadline for chemical safety training coming up

Way back in March 2013, we blogged about a new chemical safety standard from OSHA aiming to improve the quality and consistency of hazard information. Modification of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) will conform with the United Nations’ (UN) Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) classifying chemicals according to their health and physical hazards, and establish consistent labels and safety data sheets for all chemicals made in the United States and imported from abroad.

The first deadline in the phase-in period for this regulation is coming up. Employers are required to train employees on the new label elements such as pictograms, hazard statements, precautionary statements, and signal words and safety data sheet (SDS) format by December 1, 2013Read More

3 new electronic reporting requirements by OSHA

Following the annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OSHA proposed a new rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. It was revealed that in 2012, three million workers were injured on the job and according to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels, “Three million injuries are three million too many.”

The new rule aims to improve workplace safety and health “through the collection of useful, accessible, establishment-specific injury and illness data to which OSHA currently does not have direct, timely, and systematic access.” This way the public will be able to review this information and be better able to identify and abate workplace hazards.

There are three new electronic reporting requirements to take a note of:  Read More

Silica safety rule saving 700 lives a year

A new rule estimated to save 700 lives and prevent 1,600 new cases of silicosis annually makes it clear that OSHA is serious about silica dust exposure safety.

In July, we blogged about a Canadian safety organization, WorkSafeBC, addressing silica exposure in British Columbia, and this time, taking action to prevent lung cancer, silicosis, and other health and safety hazards is going to take place in the workplaces in the U.S.  Read More

A crash test for safety and a policy for crews in the air

How far would you go to improve safety? If putting your safety processes to the test meant destroying equipment, would you do it? It may sound expensive, but it may also save lives.

NASA will definitely put safety to the test this week. On Wednesday, its researchers are going to “drop a 45-foot-long helicopter fuselage from a height of about 30 feet to test improved seat belts and seats and advance experimental techniques and crashworthiness data.”

NASA is collaborating with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct this crash test. And interestingly, at the same time as the crash test was announced, FAA released its new policy to improve safety for aircraft cabin crewmembers.  Read More

Obama tightening up chemical safety rules

There are 473 chemical facilities in the U.S. today. And while they’re essential to industrial development and the economy, it’s crucial to ensure their safety.

According to President Obama, “past and recent tragedies have reminded us […] that the handling and storage of chemicals are not without risk.”

In the aftermath of the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, the U.S. President ordered chemical facilities nationwide to review their safety rules.  Read More

OSHA’s first e-publication on ladder safety

Companies around the world are increasingly realizing the benefits of digitizing safety and relying on smartphones and tablets to conduct their safety processes. And the great news is that the government is also taking steps to embrace mobile technology.

OSHA is “learning how international collaboration and mobile technology can make for a fresh approach to educating employers and vulnerable workers about workplace safety.”  Read More

OSHA and U.S. Postal Service improving workplace safety

When one organization or company introduces safety improvements to its operations, the change can affect many people, locations, and even other organizations. Depending on the company, it may modify the way things are done across a whole country, or even around the world through global operations.

Some time ago, we blogged about measures by Canada Post aimed at improving its workers’ safety and efficiency. And now we’re seeing safety measures underway in the U.S.

An agreement reached by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and the American Postal Workers Union on July 1st is going to improve workplace safety in postal facilities all across the United States.  Read More

Improving chemical safety through cooperation

We’ve already blogged about the examples of global cooperation to improve safety in aviation and nuclear industries. Yesterday, after U.S. OSHA and Consumer Safety Branch of the Department of Health of Canada (HECS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to align hazardous communication standards, another international collaboration was created.

During a ceremony at U.S. Department of Labor headquarters in Washington, D.C., Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, David Michaels, and Director General, Workplace Hazardous Materials Directorate, HECS, Suzy McDonald, signed a partnership agreement.

So what does it mean for chemical safety and development of both countries?  Read More

Lockout/tagout safety, Master Lock, and Field ID (Part 3)

Improving lockout/tagout safety across industries takes determination, expertise and consistency. The problem of inadequate LOTO procedures or practices is a huge consideration for safety managers in many workplaces and environments around the world. There’s no question that lowering accident and violation numbers should be a priority, but getting there is a very unique challenge as well. You need the right safety tools and programs in place. Even then, it never hurts to seek out a little advice or guidance. And with that in mind…

This is the final part of our interview series with Matthew T. Dudgeon, the Global Product Manager at Master Lock Company. You can check out the previous blog posts in these series here (link). Read More

Lockout/tagout safety, Master Lock, and Field ID (Part 2)

Ensuring lockout/tagout (LOTO) safety is a complex process and that’s why there’s many things that can be missed or can go wrong. According to OSHA, “compliance with the lockout/tagout standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.” However it remains one of the most frequently cited safety violations today.

What can go wrong and what can be done about it? Read on for an interview with Matthew T. Dudgeon, the Global Product Manager at Master Lock…
Read More