Archive | April, 2012

New Tools for Fall Safety

30 Apr

In 2010, more than 10,000 workers in the construction industry were injured after falling from heights, and another 255 workers died. Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, accounting for one in every three construction worker deaths. Federal OSHA has created a new fall prevention website with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards.  To learn more Go To:

PROVIDE the right equipment

Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.

Different ladders and scaffolds are appropriate for different jobs. Always provide workers with the kind they need to get the job done safely. For roof work, there are many ways to prevent falls. If workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect all fall protection equipment to ensure it’s still in good condition and safe to use.

TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely

Falls can be prevented when workers understand proper set-up and safe use of equipment, so they need training on the specific equipment they will use to complete the job. Employers must train workers in hazard recognition and in the care and safe use ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems, and other equipment they’ll be using on the job.

Building a Safety Culture-Having A Mindful Approach

28 Apr

Safety doesn’t just happen, it has to be nurtured and intentially supported to become a part of any organization’s way of doing things every day. University of California-Irvine has had sucess taking a “mindful approach” to safety. 

As Marc Gomez, UCI assistant vice chancellor for facilities management and environmental health and safety, has stated, “We see the main cause of accidents is inattention and a lack of mindfulness about one’s circumstances and surroundings. Workplace safety is a state of mind.”

At UCI, safety training is aimed at reducing  incidents by teaching employees to become more aware of their surroundings and remain “in the moment” rather than pulled away by distractions.

Visit to learn more.

For Heat Safety – It Is Already Summer!

27 Apr

Temperatures are starting to soar and Cal/OSHA is starting to roam the hottest areas of the state to ensure employers have implemented effective heat illness prevention programs.

Although it’s only April, the thermometer has hit triple digits in some parts of California. Last weekend Death Valley cooked at 113°F, Needles baked at 107°F and Palm Springs simmered at 104°F. Things cooled down considerably in the following days, but more hot weather is sure to come.

Cal/OSHA regulations require employers to have heat illness plans and training, shade and water, and be ready to handle any heat illness emergencies. Remember, 40% of all heat illnesses occur on the very first day an employee is at work, and 80% happen during the first 4 days on the job.  These rules apply to all outdoors employees, incuding truck drivers, police employees, as well as construction, landscaping and agricultureContinue reading

Make A Personal Commitment to Drive Cell Free-Set An Example for Safety

26 Apr

Ensuring the safety of all motorists on the roadways is the responsibility of every driver, and safe driving involves more than having two hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.  The mind also must be focused on driving. Consider the facts:

  1. Hands-free devices do not eliminate cognitive distraction – the distraction to the brain
  2.  Cognitively distracted drivers can miss up to 50% of their driving environment, including stop signs, pedestrians and red lights
  3. Nearly 25% of all crashes involve drivers distracted by cell phones
  4. Drivers talking on cell phones – handheld or hands-free – are four times as likely to crashChange the culture and curb cell phone use while driving:
  5. Drivers who text increase their likelihood of a crash by 8 to 23 times

Change the culture and curb cell phone use while driving-Stop using cell phones while driving

April is “Distracted Driving Awareness Month” For more information see:


Cal/OSHA Requires Reporting of Serious Injuries – Fines for Failure

24 Apr

Several California employers have recently learned the penalty – $5,000 – for failing to report to Cal/OSHA when one of their employees has a serious injury or dies from a work related accident.  Kohl’s Department Store in San Bernadino was recently cited for failing to report within 8 hours when an employee died of a suicide., A nursery in Laytonville found a worker who had died in a storage unit, 3 days after the employe had gone missing from the jobsite. In both cases, Cal/OSHA proposed fines of $5,000 for failure to timely report.

Title 8 California Code of Regulations section 342(a) requires employers to “immediately” report the serious injury, illness or death of an employee occurring in a place of employment or in connection with any employment. “Immediately” means within eight (8) hours of when the employer knows or should know that the injury or illness is serious. “Serious injury or illness” for purposes of this reporting requirement is defined as one that requires inpatient hospitalization for more than 24 hours for other than observation, a loss of a member of the body (amputation) or a serious degree of permanent disfigurement.  

The report must be made to the OSHA office closest to the place of the incident. A list of offices is available at:



Cal/OSHA Stepping up Heat Illness Enforcement

22 Apr

Cal/OSHA Enforcement has begun their heat sweeps, kicking off the season on April 12th, 2012. Agriculture is a target industry with specific requirements in high heat. Also focus will be on construction and landscape maintenace.  

Now is the time to take the necessary steps to protect your workers and be in compliance!  Bring your written heat illness plan up to date, or prepare one if needed. Train employees before you allow a new worker to start work, and make sure formen and supervisors know the signs of heat illness and how to summon emergency help. 

See my website: for more information or visit: California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH)’s site for Heatrelated illness prevention and

For information about a Heat Illness Plan for your company see:

New Employees – Start With Safety

22 Apr

New employees need to feel they’re part of your safety team from their first day on the job.

This is especially important since statistics show that the first few weeks on the job are the most dangerous for new workers.

For training information, see