Protecting Workers from Ebola
OSHA has issued a new web page on Ebola that provides information about the disease and how to protect workers. It includes sections on the disease itself, hazard recognition, medical information, standards for protecting workers, control and prevention, and additional resources. The page provides protection information for health care workers; airline and other travel industry personnel; mortuary and death care workers; laboratory workers; border, customs and quarantine workers; emergency responders; and workers in other critical sectors. It also links to the CDC and NIOSH web pages on Ebola.
The web page also includes a new OSHA fact sheet on protecting workers (not in healthcare or laboratories) involved in cleaning and decontamination of surfaces that may be contaminated with Ebola virus.
OSHA Update: Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements
On September 11, 2014, The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a final rule requiring employers to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. The rule, which also updates the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping requirements, will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, for workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction.
There are two key changes to the rule:
1. First, the rule updates the list of industries that are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records, due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates. The previous list of industries was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system and injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 1996-1998. The new list of industries that are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and injury and illness data from BLS from 2007-2009. Note: The new rule retains the exemption for any employer with ten or fewer employees, regardless of their industry classification, from the requirement to routinely keep records.
2. Second, the rule expands the list of severe work-related injuries that all covered employers must report to OSHA. The revised rule retains the current requirement to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and adds the requirement to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and loss of an eye within 24 hours to OSHA.
Establishments in states under federal OSHA jurisdiction must begin to comply with the new requirements on January 1, 2015. Establishments located in states that operate their own safety and health programs (State Plans) should check with their State Plan for the implementation date of the new requirements.
Click here to view OSHA’s webpage for the text of the rule, fact sheets, FAQs, and additional information.
Click here to view the press release.
Amputations – A Continuing Workplace Hazard
USF SafetyFlorida and the USF OTIEC prepared an informational flier aimed at increasing awareness and reducing amputations in general industry workplaces. The informational flier which continues to be distributed to employers supports OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations which targets all types of power presses, including press brakes, saws, shears and slicers, and also targets industries that OSHA considers a high risk for operating equipment that can be very dangerous, as injuries involving these machines are often fatal or result in permanent disability.
Amputations are widespread and involve a variety of activities and equipment. Each year, thousands of employees lose fingers, hands, feet, and other body parts–mostly through compression, crushing, or by getting them caught between or struck by objects. Most amputations involve fingertips.
Recognize and avoid amputation hazards through guarding, safe work practices, employee training, administrative controls and operating in a safe manner.
The best way to prevent amputations caused by stationary or portable machinery is with machine safeguarding:
- Guards provide physical barriers to hazardous areas. They should be secure and strong, and employees should not be able to bypass, remove, or tamper with them. Guards should not obstruct the operator’s view or prevent employees from working.
- Devices help prevent contact with points of operation and may replace or supplement guards. Devices can interrupt the normal cycle of the machine when the operator’s hands are at the point of operation.
Fall Protection Stand-Down
Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, and they accounted for 12 percent of all occupational injuries in 2012. In an effort to prevent these injuries and fatalities through education and outreach, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched the 2014 Fall Safety Stand-Down, which was held from June 2-6, 2014.
The USF SafetyFlorida Consultation program and USF OSHA Training Institute Education Center partnered to participate in the nationwide effort. Nearly 300 workers attended the events in Wesley Chapel, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida.
Topics covered included OSHA regulatory updates on fall prevention in construction; solutions and training for prevention of accidents and fatalities; implementing injury prevention plans and safety management systems; and fall hazards on construction sites.
Missed the presentation? Click here to download the presentation.
Fall Protection Webinar – 2014
On April 30, 2014, The USF SafetyFlorida and the USF OSHA Training Institute Education center partnered to host a free fall protection webinar geared towards the construction industry, in an effort to promote better practices against fall prevention, create safety awareness through training and applicable standards, and to ultimately decrease worksite fatalities. The Fall Protection webinar was hosted by Mylene Kellerman, Keith Brown, Gabe Garcia, and Pat Stark.
Topics discussed included OSHA regulatory update on fall prevention in construction, fall protection hazards on construction sites, solutions and training for prevention of accidents and fatalities, and implementing injury prevention plans and safety management systems for fall protection.
Thank you very much for your participation, and we hope you enjoyed the presentation!
Missed the webinar?Click here to download the Fall Protection webinar presentation.
Temporary Worker Initiative and Outreach
On April 29, 2014, OSHA announced an initiative to protect temporary employees from workplace hazards. The announcement was made in observance of Workers' Memorial Day – an annual observance to honor workers who have died on the job and renew a commitment to making work sites across the country safer. In recent months, OSHA has received a series of reports about temporary workers suffering fatal injuries – many during their first days on a job. USF SafetyFlorida and the USF OTI Education Center teamed up to prepare an information bulletin that is being distributed to employers statewide to raise awareness about temp worker safety and the employers’ responsibilities.
Press Release - USF SafetyFlorida Consultation Program to release a new injury & illness prevention tool to the public
The SafetyWriter 2.0 -
TAMPA, FL November 19, 2013: The USF SafetyFlorida Consultation Program has announced the release of a new and improved web-based tool geared towards preventing workplace injuries and illnesses.
The SafetyWriter 2.0 was re-designed to assist Florida’s small business employers in creating tailored, industry-specific illness and injury protection plans. The web-based tool enables employers to easily assemble a protection plan in as little as 6 easy steps.
- Choose a safety plan language
- Select industry type (i.e. – General, Construction, Maritime industry)
- Choose applicable plan
- Select work area
- Add-on to plan by selecting safety guidelines from a checklist
- Preview and/or save safety plan
The plan is downloadable as a word document so that employers can add details specific to their company and save it to their desktop or upload the tailored plan back into the system where it may be accessed at any time, from any location. In addition to the plan, you will receive free self-inspection checklists, the ability to create multiple plans, and the freedom to adapt a plan to your specific industry.
According to Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor, "The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that approximately 3.3 million serious work-related injuries and about 4,300 fatalities occurred in 2009. The human cost of preventable workplace injuries and deaths is incalculable. However, according to the 2010 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the direct cost of the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in 2008 amounted to $53.42 billion in U.S. workers compensation costs, more than one billion dollars per week. This money would be better spent on job creation and innovation. Injury and illness prevention programs are good for workers, good for business and good for America."
The consultation programs goal is to protect workers and help employers profit from a safer workplace. The mission is to save lives by reducing workplace injuries and illnesses and assist Florida’s small businesses in profiting from safety.
USF SafetyFlorida Consultation Program, funded by OSHA and the state of Florida provides free and confidential services to small businesses. For more information or to request a complimentary consultation, visit www.usfsafetyflorida.com or call toll-free 1-866-273-1105.
New National Emphasis Program - Isocyanates
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) to protect workers from the serious health effects from occupational exposure to isocyanates. Through this NEP, scheduled to last through 2016, OSHA will focus on workplaces that use isocyanate compounds in an effort to reduce occupational illnesses and deaths.
If your business uses isocyanate compounds, now is the time to take action. You can begin by contacting USF SafetyFlorida for a free on-site consultation at 813-974-9962 or by filling out the request form. See flier for additional information.
Register for a USF OSHA Training Institute Safety Course
Private safety classes available: If your company needs safety training at a time not currently offered on the OTI course schedule, ask about private contract classes. Courses are available upon request and can be tailored to your training needs. For more information, contact us at 813-994-1195.
Professional Certificate Program: Did you know the USF OTI Education Center offers a professional certificate program in general industry, construction and maritime industries? The programs offer a concentrated study and in-depth analysis of safety and health, thus adding to your professional development and growth in the safety and health field. For more information, visit here or call 813-994-1195.
New Maritime Standards Course: Since October 1, 2012, any individual who wishes to take the OSHA 5400 Train-the-Trainer for the Maritime Industry must first complete the new OSHA 5410 Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Maritime Industry. Visit here to view the schedule and to register for the OSHA 5410.
Online Training: Do you need your OSHA Outreach Card?
For many years, workers in the construction and general industry industry have taken OSHA compliance training in the classroom. However, with the increasing demand for OSHA safety certification and 10/30 hour cards, OSHA compliance training is now also offered online to accommodate a growing need, busy schedules, or those who don’t have access to a training center. With online OSHA training, there are no travel costs and no time away from the job. You’ll have instant access to the course 24 hours a day, 7 days week.
Our online OSHA training offers the following benefits throughout the duration of the course:
• OSHA Authorized Safety Training
• Full Audio Narration – Listen or Read the Material
• Real Life Case Studies
• Interactive Exercises
• Illustrations of the Standards in Use
• Access to a Certified OSHA Instructor for any Questions
• Printable Reviews to Help Prepare for the Final Exam
Find out more and register here for online training!
Beauty Shops and Hair Product Manufacturers: OSHA is inspecting for products containing formaldehyde. Many products mis-labeled "Formaldehyde Free."
Often referred to as "Brazilian Blowout" products, these products contain a chemical that releases formaldehyde, a cancer-producing agent that also causes severe skin, eye and respiratory irritation.
Please see this notice from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and OSHA.
If you work in or operate a hair salon, manufacture or distribute hair products, it is important that you check these links for complete warning information:
Brazilian Blowout product maker pays $600,000 in fines and settles lawsuit for $4.5 million.
Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers
Watch OSHA's new video here. You may download the video to your computer for permanent use by your company and its employees by right-clicking on the link and selecting Save Target As or Save Link As.
USF SafetyFlorida safety and health consultant William Tomlin offers eight ways to protect the safety of landscape maintenance workers. Brief refresher videos.
Bilingual Safety Tools
Print Your English Safety Plan in Spanish
You know how easy it is to click together a safety plan in English with USF SafetyFlorida's free SafetyWriter online software. SafetyWriter also offers the same tool to click together your safety plan in Spanish.
See Your Questions Answered About Our Free and Confidential Consultation
Request a consultation here.
Free Safety Training Videos
Free? Yes! Whether you are a Florida small business or a Florida public employer, you can borrow up to 5 safety training videos at a time. To check out the long list of videos, including many in Spanish, click here.
OSHA GHS & Hazard Communication Certificate Course
The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) was created by the United Nations and serves as the international standard for Hazard Communication. Recent changes to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standards have aligned the United States with the GHS, and training is required to familiarize employers and employees on these changes by 12/1/13. With our certificate program, you will learn important information about these changes to hazard classification, labels, safety data sheets, as well as employee training requirements.
Course Topics Include:
- Introduction to Hazard Communication
- Hazard Classification
- Written Hazard Communication Program
- Labels & Other Forms of Warning
- Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
- Employee Information & Training
- Trade Secrets
Completion of this 1-hour certificate program will provide students with an official OSHA Training Institute Education Center Certificate of Completion. Click Here to register
OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This update to the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) will provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. Once implemented, the revised standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard information in the workplace, making it safer for workers by providing easily understandable information on appropriate handling and safe use of hazardous chemicals. Get to know the phase-in dates and requirements for hazard communication under the globally harmonized system here.
OSHA Enforces Fall Hazard Standards in Florida
OSHA's Florida area offices have increased unannounced enforcement efforts aimed at reducing an upward trend in construction-related fall fatalities. Falls are one of the four leading causes of employee fatalities in the Southeast. OSHA has created a new Web page with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls.
Help! I Got an OSHA Letter!
Down-to-earth suggestions from William Tomlin, USF SafetyFlorida Industrial Hygiene Team Leader and Supervisor.
What Florida Small Businesses Say about the USF SafetyFlorida Consultation Team
The on-site consultation program has had a broad impact on Cable USA. It has changed the culture of our organization to that of a team. The SHARP award could not have been achieved without a team effort, and when teamwork improves, productivity and quality improve as well.-- Devin Brock, Vice President of Operations, CableUSA
I am a HUGE fan of University of South Florida SafetyFlorida. I firmly believe that their services have made Marpan Recycling a much safer and therefore productive workplace. -- Nancy Stephens, General Manager, Marpan Recycling, Tallahassee
(The consultation) was nothing but good for us. It was a very positive experience and brought our safety program up to a new level. – Teresa Nealer, Safety and Health manager, Florida’s Blood Centers, Orlando. Achieved a twenty-four percent reduction in workers’ compensation modification rate.
It can help you and even save one of your employee's lives. – Gus Cagigas, Safety Coordinator, Portside Maintenance and Repair. Zero DART rate for past two years.
Now Documented: Random OSHA Inspections Improve Workplace Safety
Companies undergoing random inspections saw workplace injuries decline by about 9% and cost of injuries decline by 26%.
How Companies Profit from Safety
Florida Underwriter describes how insurance brokers recommend USF SafetyFlorida to their clients for free consultations and the SafetyWriter, the online safety plan builder.
850, The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida, documents the safety attitudes and practices that save money for a construction firm and a high-end commercial woodworking business.
Jacksonville Business Journal describes how USF SafetyFlorida helps companies Increase Profits through Workplace Safety.
CDC: 13 Deaths Linked to Bath Refinishing Chemical
Methylene chloride vapor has been recognized as potentially fatal to furniture strippers and factory workers but has not been reported previously as a cause of death among bathtub refinishers. In 2010, the Michigan Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program conducted an investigation into the death of a bathtub refinisher who used a methylene chloride-based paint stripping product marketed for use in aircraft maintenance. The program identified two earlier, similar deaths in Michigan. Program staff members notified NIOSH, which in turn notified OSHA.
In addition to the three deaths, OSHA identified 10 other bathtub refinisher fatalities associated with methylene chloride stripping agents that had been investigated in nine states during 2000-2011. Each death occurred in a residential bathroom with inadequate ventilation. Protective equipment, including a respirator, either was not used or was inadequate to protect against methylene chloride vapor, which has been recognized as potentially fatal to furniture strippers and factory workers but has not been reported previously as a cause of death among bathtub refinishers.
OSHA Salutes Three Florida Small Businesses
OSHA Letter to Beverage Distribution Companies
Beverage workers have a significantly higher rate of musculoskeletel injuries than workers in most other industries. Here's what you can do!
Your Next Step in Safety
Worker protection--reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities on the job--is the primary mission of the USF SafetyFlorida Consultation Program.
See our video! Our safety and health consultants are your key to achieving these benefits. They follow high and consistent standards for helping employers protect their workers. These standards, along with their years of consultation experience, will help you build a workplace safety system that unites all the elements of leadership commitment and job task procedures. With a workplace safety system in place, you can meet production goals while maintaining the health of the whole employee family.
To assist you in developing a workplace safety system, our consultants focus on management commitment, employee involvement and participation in order to establish a safety and health management system that works best for your business. Helping employers develop a safety management system gives us great satisfaction. That’s because, in the short term, our service can provide the hazard identification that directly prevents an employee from getting hurt or killed.
If our consultants find hazards while performing a consultation, we will provide you with a detailed list of those hazardous areas. But we will go beyond that to help you understand why the hazards exist and what specific actions can be done to address each hazard. This level of thoroughness is what employers find so helpful about our consultation program. We are more than about hazard identification but about helping you find hazard solutions that can create a new opportunity to profit from safety.
In summary, our primary purpose is to help your company prevent work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. In the short term, we do that by emphasizing hazard identification. In the long term, we do that by helping you develop a safety management program. Hundreds of companies already have used our SafetyWriter, which helps employers develop a written safety plan. And we have the Sunshine State Safety Award and SHARP OSHA- inspection deferment programs to acknowledge and reward companies that have top-of-the-line safety management systems in place.
If you are ready to take the next step toward safety in your business, please contact us today and request on-line a free and confidential safety consultation.
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Small Business Safety
- USF OSHA Training Institute
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- Safety Six -- Avoiding Power Line Contact
- Occupational Safety and Health Training for Healthcare Professionals: USF's Sunshine ERC
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- New OSHA Standard for Cranes and Derricks
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