2016 Workers' Memorial Day Commemoration Event
Did you know that 4,679 workers were killed while on the job in 2014? That’s approximately 90 deaths per week or 13 deaths per day. Although worker deaths are down from 38 workers a day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2014, that’s still 13 workers, too many (osha.gov).
On Thursday, April 28, 2016, the USF SafetyFlorida Consultation Program and USF OSHA Training Institute Education Center joined forces to honor the lives of fallen workers and to bring awareness to some of the occupational safety and health related issues affecting America's workforce.
During the Workers' Memorial Day Commemoration Service, special guest presentations, prayer and a candlelight memorial were observed.
Click here to read more about the Commemoration Service.
Click here to read the Press Release.
Join the 2016 National Safety Stand-Down Movement!
Falls from elevated surfaces continue to be the leading cause of death in the construction industry, and they have accounted for 337 out of 874 construction related fatalities recorded in 2014, according the BLS preliminary data. The purpose of the National Fall Prevention Stand-Down is to raise awareness of preventing fall hazards in construction (osha.gov).This year, the National Fall Stand-Down was observed from May 2-6, 2016.
In an effort to support the movement and prevent construction-related falls from occurring, the USF SafetyFlorida Consultation program and USF OSHA Training Institute Education Center partnered to provide free OSHA classes and presentations throughout the state of Florida.
OSHA is updating its Safety & Health Program Management Guidelines and wants your help!
Changes to the SHPM guidelines are expected to help employers of small- and medium-sized businesses establish safety and health management plans within their workplace, and include updates to reflect modern technology and practices.
“The goal of safety and health management is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Employers who embrace these guidelines will experience lower injury and illness rates, and their progress in improving the safety culture at their worksites will contribute to higher productivity, reduced costs and greater worker satisfaction.”
OSHA has made available a draft of the revised document on its website, at www.osha.gov/shpmguidelines, along with a set of questions to consider when reviewing the guidelines.
The page also has a direct link to post comments, which will be accepted until February 15th. Comments will be taken into consideration when creating a final set of guidelines.
Breakthrough in long-sought change for Beryllium
Beryllium is a grey metal that is stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum, and is classified as a strategic critical material by the U.S. Department of Defense. (osha.gov, 2015)
Beryllium poses a threat to workers when inhaled or when one comes into contact with the hazardous substance in the air or on surfaces. Exposure to high levels of beryllium can lead to Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD), a debilitating lung disease, Acute Beryllium Disease, or even lung cancer.
Workers who may be at risk of exposure include Beryllium Manufacturing Plants, Alloy production workers, Machine and fabrication employees, and recycling companies.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration continues to enforce Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) to protect workers in general industry, construction and shipyards against exposure to Beryllium. OSHA recognizes that current PELs set forth are outdated and may not be sufficient to protect workers from exposure.
If OSHA's proposal to lower Beryllium levels is approved, we can expect a large decrease in workplace injuries and death. OSHA anticipates that the proposed rule would prevent approximately 100 deaths and 50 serious illnesses per year.
Be sure to check back regularly for updates.
For more information on OSHA's proposal to lower beryllium levels or to view the news release, click here.
To view our FactSheet on Health Effects of Exposure to Beryllium, click on the link below.
Have you heard? Avian Influenza Outbreaks in U.S.
Recently, there has been quite a bit of news about Avian Influenza outbreaks in the U.S.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and DOL are proceeding with caution in an effort to minimize the potential spread of Avian Influenza between poultry flocks. Both entities have temporarily suspended their routine inspections at all U.S. egg facilities. The FDA has provided information to take appropriate steps in avoiding the spread/introduction of biological hazards to egg laying facilities when OSHA personnel must conduct safety and health activities at those sites.
The FDA is requiring all egg farms to maintain biosecurity measures to protect the food supply from potential contamination from biohazards and other diseases. According to the requirements for biosecurity measures, all egg farmers must impose at their facilities that all visitors, including Federal regulatory representatives, comply with certain procedures to assure safety of America’s food supply. The FDA’s regulation can be found here: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Eggs/ucm285101.htm.
A guideline entitled, “Maintaining Biosecurity during OSHA Activities of Egg Farms” job-aid was developed for quick reference. To view the job-aid, select the link below.
This non-mandatory tool highlights some key provisions for OSHA personnel who may need to carry out enforcement (or consultation) activities at egg farms. Several provisions include:
- Persons who have any kind of bird(s) at home cannot go onto the egg farms
- Personnel should minimize equipment taken into egg laying houses and decontaminate or dispose of after exiting the egg laying houses
- Do not allow any equipment, including equipment bags, to touch the ground at an egg farm
- Do not visit multiple egg farms within 72 hours of one another
Again, please proceed with caution when entering and exiting egg farms.
The Cost of Failing to Protect Workers on the Job
On March 04, OSHA issued a report entitled “Adding Inequality to Injury: The Costs of Failing to Protect Workers on the Job.” The report details how work-related injuries and illnesses force thousands of working families out of the middle class, and prevent many low wage workers from getting out of poverty. Simply put, work injuries and illnesses hamper the ability of many working families to realize the American Dream.
The objective of this report is to illuminate the contribution made by work injuries and illnesses in creating and maintaining income inequality. Up to now, the national conversation on income inequality has not focused on work injuries. OSHA is hoping this report helps change that conversation: we know that by preventing work injuries and illnesses, and by improving compensation provided injured workers, we can help injured workers and their families stay out of poverty - David Michaels, PhD, MPH, Assistant Secretary, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The report is available at http://www.dol.gov/osha/report/20150304-inequality.htm.
Crystalline Silica - Know the hazard, Control the dust
Crystalline silica is an important industrial material found abundantly in the earth’s crust. It is a mineral that occurs in several forms. Quartz, the most common form, is a component of sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar. Many of these materials are used every day across a wide variety of industrial settings, including construction, mining, manufacturing, maritime, and agriculture. Knowing how to recognize the hazard and implementing effective control measures can reduce and even eliminate worker’s overexposure to silica.
Take a look at the “Working safety with silica – Know the hazard, Control the dust” publication for more information and best practices.
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.
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.
Trenching and Excavation Safety
For more information and assistance on trenching and excavation issues and to request a free consultation visit to your jobsite, please contact USF SafetyFlorida at 1-866-273-1105.
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 Ebola PPE Matrix that offers guidance on the use of fluid resistant vs. impermeable protective garments, as well as alternative options when impermeable materials are not available or cannot be used.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a press release identifying 36 Ebola Treatment Facilities. To view hospitals in both Federal OSHA and State Plan states, click here.
See Your Questions Answered About Our Free and Confidential Consultation
Request a consultation here.
We have an announcement!
USF SafetyFlorida is excited to announce the release of their 2016 Schedule of Events!
USF SafetyFlorida has made great progress over the years towards its mission of keeping workers safe and small businesses profitable. We will continue this mission into FY 2016. The year brings about new and exciting training and education opportunities.
Take a look at the schedule to see what we have in store for you!
Amputations – A Continuing Workplace Safety System,
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.
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.
USF SafetyFlorida Consultation Program releases a new injury & illness prevention tool to the public
The SafetyWriter 2.0 -
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.
To access the SafetyWriter 2.0, visit https://www.safetyconsultationservices.com/Safetywriter/ or click 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!
Fertilizer Industry Guidance on Storing Chemicals
Attention Fertilizer Industry Employers!
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has made changes to OSHA standard 1910.109(i) by adopting the 1970 edition of the NFPA code for storing ammonium nitrate, in light of multiple deadly incidents occurring, involving improper storing and handling of ammonium nitrate.
As Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA stated, “while millions of pounds of ammonium nitrate are safely shipped, stored, blended, and used nationally every year, these incidents remind us that ammonium nitrate can be deadly when the material is handled or stored poorly and not in accordance with industry safe practices.”
For more information about Industry and Government Resources, OSHA Regulations, ways to reduce chemical exposure and increase workplace safety, click here.
Workers have a right to a safe workplace. If you would like to schedule a free safety and health inspection or have general questions, contact the USF SafetyFlorida Consultation Program at 1-866-273-1105. It’s free and confidential. We can help. For additional resources and information, visit http://www.usfsafetyflorida.com/.
Training courses in safety and health subjects, such as the OSHA 2015 – Hazardous Materials, OSHA 5600 – Disaster Site Worker Trainer course, OSHA 7105 – Evacuation and Emergency Planning, and the 40 hour Hazwoper training courses to name a few, incorporates best safety practices in handling, storing, and using ammonium nitrate, are available from the USF OSHA Training Institute Education Center. Please visit http://www.usfsafetyflorida.com/ or call 813-994-1195.
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.
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!
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Small Business Safety
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- New OSHA Standard for Cranes and Derricks
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