What We Found: Slip & Fall Safety Infographics from CCOHS

We at the Safety & Numbers blog hope you enjoyed the holidays and are looking forward to new opportunities in the year ahead.  Having successfully maneuvered our way through various work safety topics throughout the year, starting with Workers Comp EMR Rate calculations and culminating with a Guide to Budgeting for Work Injury Prevention, we are excited to cap off the year with a recent Eureka! moment.

What is that Eureka moment, you may ask? We at the Safety & Numbers blog are remarkably capable at sifting through the Internet muck to find diamonds in the rough. So why spend all of our time writing detailed blog posts based on information that we find?  Instead, we are going to devote posts to sharing valuable information created at other online resource hubs.  After all, we are ultimately here to provide what we think will help you make your own decisions, not simply craft the answers that you expect to find.  So if you have come across our What We Found post for December 29, 2014, we hope you will consider the following resources without reservation or bias.

Slip and Fall Safety Infographics

Infographics are one of those great yet frustrating things about the Internet.  If well done, they simplify information delivery and provide raw data that genuinely helps with decision making.  Still, they are designed with an agenda in mind, or why would they be created to begin with?  Here are a few infographics that we found on the CCOHS board at Pinterest that we thought worth sharing.

Preventing Slips & Falls from Canada’s CCOHS

One thing I’ve learned from searching the web is that Canada’s online resources are almost always helpful and simplified compared to many of the sales oriented models that are popular today. Here is an CCOHS infographic (Canada’s equivalent of OSHA) that provides some of the most direct methods to avoid slips, trips and falls in the work place. Just don’t Blame Canada if they’re not what you’re looking for, eh.

Most Dangerous Industries for Work Injuries

This Safety First infographic is remarkably well-designed and informative, particularly considering it is sponsored by an insurance agency.  I found the most interesting portion to be the Top 5 Most Dangerous Industries.  Police Officers and Semi-Trailer Truck Drivers make sense, but Janitors and Nurses? Just goes to show that not all injury risks are easy to identify with the naked … er, mind.

OSHA’s Affect on USA Workplace Injuries

OSHA has been around for over 40 years, and while we all probably realize the value they provide to our collective well being,  we may also question its overall benefit from time to time.  Here is an infographic that provides information about worker injuries before and after OSHA.  While it’s clear that workplace injuries and fatalities have dropped significantly since OSHA was created in 1970, the question that comes to mind is ‘Are we optimizing the effectiveness of work safety programs?’

A Smorgasbord of Training! Call NOW!!

We are impressed with the number and variety of resources available at many of the online training sites we have found. Just not impressed enough to provide credit card information for a ‘free’ trial.  If you’re a little wary of the similarity between Internet credit card gathering schemes and the miraculous infomercial trends from the 80’s, we invite you to call IAS® at (800) 388-6884 to provide us with the opportunity to help reduce slip and fall safety risks at your workplace.

An Introduction to Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

Intelligent transportation systems, also known as ITS Systems, are an integral component to roadway safety and homeland security  in the early 21st century.  ITS systems monitor and transmit valuable information to traffic safety engineers, are often equipped with automated alert systems, and provide the ability to remotely update messaging and ultimately traffic flow.  In addition to these efficiency, data and automation advantages, ITS systems also enhance evacuation systems for security emergencies or natural disasters.  While ITS systems encompass a wide range of technologies, they can be broadly defined as follows.

Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are advanced applications which, without embodying intelligence as such, aim to provide innovative services relating to different modes of transport and traffic management and enable various users to be better informed and make safer, more coordinated, and ‘smarter’ use of transport networks. (Source: wikipedia.org)

Consider the following Intelligent Transportation System applications including law enforcement, homeland security and ITS systems for work zone safety.

ITS System Applications

Intelligent Transportation Systems applications in roadway safety include infrastructure administration, vehicular systems, traffic and mobility management, and highway construction work zone safety.  ITS systems utilize nearly every conceivable technology (wireless, cellular, bluetooth, video) to accomplish a wide variety of objectives, from vehicle identification to traffic monitoring. regulatory enforcement, driver communication and traffic management.

In the United States, applications for ITS systems in the public sector include enforcement cameras and vehicle monitoring devices. A range of ITS road transport systems are being tested and implemented across the globe, including collision avoidance systems in Japan and variable speed limit signs in England.  Considering the range and variation of ITS applications it is clear that technological developments are in the early stage for real world applications.  However this also indicates the significance of the technology and suggests that ITS technologies are likely to be a fixture on roadways in the very near future.

ITS Systems for Work Zone Safety

Another burgeoning application for ITS technology is in road construction work zone safety. Road construction consumes a portion of every government’s budget and is an industry sector with inherent safety risks for workers and drivers. To reduce injury risk, ITS systems for work zone safety serve a variety of purposes in road construction work zones. Systems such as the iCone Instant ITS System enable organizations to actively manage the flow of traffic in and around work zones via online access, automated alerts and driver messaging updates.

iCone ITS Work Zone Safety

ITS System Applications for Work Zone Safety

  • Monitor the data and effectiveness of traffic control plans
  • Speed detection, traffic counts, traffic congestion advisories
  • Improve driver notifications with automated work zone messaging updates
  • Report traffic patterns, speeds, and other data including real-time online access
  • Improve maintenance, traffic plans, construction staging, detour management

For more about the iCone Instant ITS System, contact Site-Safe Products, LLC at (800) 388-6884.

Budgeting for Work Injury Prevention & Safety Risk Management Strategy

As we begin to budget for strategic objectives in 2015, several work safety topics centered around an important theme come to light.  Posts ranging from safety training to workers comp/EMR risk, the importance of conducting fall hazard assessments and engineering fall prevention design — each capture elements of what I believe to be the annual theme for our blog, and what may be the most notable national work safety theme of 2014: Preventive Safety Risk Management Strategy.

Comprehending and preparing for the preventive work safety trend will prepare you for 2015 budgeting and set your organization on the path towards a beneficial work safety culture. While this may sound complicated, strategy setting will become easier after considering the benefits of preventive safety strategy.

First, Consider the Benefits of Safety Risk Management

The concept of pursuing Injury Prevention tactics for Safety Risk Management is not a revolutionary approach, nor is it a simple strategy to follow. The motivation behind injury prevention strategies that minimize risk to reap long term safety benefit is based in the complementary advantages provided by a preventative safety culture. Risk prevention strategy involves foresight and planning, and requires a greater upfront investment cost. Over time it will result in fewer injuries, worker lost time reductions, improved workers comp rates, and other indirect savings and benefits. From this perspective, preventative safety risk management ultimately provides inherent value to businesses that are financially stable and well-managed.  These businesses are typically set up to plan ahead strategically and invest accordingly. If they are able to effectively implement safety risk management strategy, they will thrive when compared to protection-focused strategies with stringent safety controls.

Safety risk management investments provide ROI via reduced workers comp claim costs, less lost worker time, culture and morale benefits

…then brainstorm Injury Prevention Strategies

The elements of successful injury prevention strategies are not unlike those of a typical work safety program, with respect to procedural elements. Hazard assessments, incident recording, policies and training remain standard work safety objectives. The subtle difference between injury prevention through safety risk management versus protection and control strategies is that prevention policies and controls are engineered to prevent risk, as opposed to simply identifying risk areas and protecting workers. For example, while injury risk hazard assessments are an element of most work safety programs, an overarching preventive strategy will interject that step into the initial processes of any new development or work activity.  The goal is circumventing, not simply mitigating, potential risk areas. With this in mind, preventive strategy is most effective when work safety culture is established and new initiatives are supported by an acknowledged organizational safety commitment.

Reassess work processes with a risk prevention approach and inject the process into strategic planning

Preventive Safety Incentives & Training Ideas

In support of building a work safety culture that values and supports injury prevention ahead of protective measures, safety incentives should be structured to reward preventative innovation as opposed to strict adherence to performance metrics such as injury rates or lost time. For example, an organization might hold a contest that challenges employees to propose an injury risk prevention strategy that reduces injury risk for the work process that had the highest injury rate the previous year. This approach delivers the strategic preventative message while working to solve a problem, and also helps to increase employee commitment through involvement. Similarly, training documentation should emphasize the importance of avoiding unnecessary risks as much as utilizing the proper protective equipment or following the recommended procedure. In an injury prevention safety environment, the goal should be to efficiently avoid risks, not plow through them with precautionary measures.

Safety policies that require PPE can often be improved via equipment investments that increase efficiency and reduce injury risk

Now You’re Ready to Budget Your Injury Prevention Risk Management Investments

We at the Safety & Numbers blog encourage you to invest in injury prevention engineering strategies and equipment as you write the 2015 budget. Establishing preventative work safety as a cultural value will not only offer the ‘usual suspect’ benefits (monetary expenses, less lost worker time, improved morale, etc.). Over time it will provide indirect benefits such as workers comp rate and hiring advantages. Need help with your injury prevention safety planning? Contact IAS


What We Found: Ladder Safety & Top 10 2014 OSHA Violations

At the Safety & Numbers blog, we spend a lot of time writing about work safety, fall protection, industry news, small business safety policy, etc. etc. etc.  The truth is though, we typically gather our information from the same place you do… the worldwide web.  We just try to package it in digestable morsels and hit the high notes to keep you informed on the go.

So today I am happy to introduce a new blog post category for your enjoyment… ‘What We Found Today’ is intended to cut through the muck and get right down to the business of sharing information that is valuable to you. Without further ado, here is What We Found Today, October 30th, 2014, featuring ladder safety, OSHA News & ANSI guidelines.

New ALI Ladder Safety Website with Training & Interactive Quiz

Have you visited AmericanLadderInstitute.org lately?  The site has a new design and content, with updated links to OSHA documents, ANSI A14 documentation, an Online Store, and — of great interest to this blog — a Ladder Safety Training website complete with a Safety Quiz.  The Ladder Safety Training site provides training resources complete with Videos and interactive features such as posting the most recent Top Ladder Quiz scores.  And it’s free to register!

2014 Top 10 OSHA Violations finds 2 of the Top 3 in Construction

OSHA recently published the Top 10 OSHA violations in fiscal year 2014.  As expected, Fall Protection in Construction held it’s rein on the top position with 6,143 violations. The second highest violation category was Hazard Communication (which we touched on regarding the importance of hazard assessments earlier this month).  Scaffolding in Construction came in 3rd with 4,029 violations.

To review the complete Top 10 List for OSHA Violations, visit Safety.BLR.com

ANSI Ratings Explained… for Ladders

We’ve mentioned in previous posts that IAS’s Trucker ladders are rated ANSI Special Duty Type IAA.  That may mean a lot to you or that may mean very little, which is why we found this link explaining the ANSI rating system for ladders of particular value.  Of course, IAS’s trucking work platforms are also ANSI rated for 3 man / 3,000 lbs.  We haven’t found a helpful link for that so you’ll just have to contact us so we can let our technical experts explain.

With that we will leave you to enjoy the Halloween holiday and stay OSHA safe at work.

Know the Standards: OSHA Fall Protection Compliance

Most informed industry professionals are aware that OSHA has emphasized the importance of awareness and compliance to fall protection safety standards that are designed to reduce injury risk and fatalities from falls from heights.  What may be less clear to business owners in both construction and general industry is OSHA’s dedication to proactively prosecute violations to the letter of the law.  Several recent examples of OSHA’s commitment to fall protection injury prevention have shed light on risk areas for small business owners to be aware of.

OSHA Fall Protection Policy Enforcement

In February this year, OSHA drafted and delivered a warning to the communication tower industry of the increasing fatality rate in that industry, it’s relationship to fall protection, and how strictly OSHA will be enforcing fall protection standards as a result.  Another example of OSHA’s firmness on fall protection is in their willingness to prosecute compliance gaps even when a business has taken significant precautions to protect employees.  OSHA attempted to prosecute Ryder Transportation Services for an injury to a subcontractor at their site for a fall fatality through a roof skylight that was safely inaccessible to employees.

OSHA Fall Protection Standards

The most important point for concerned business owners in light of OSHA’s increased emphasis on fall protection compliance is their strictness and strategy for standard enforcement.  OSHA may potentially cite your business not only for injuries resulting from a failure to provide fall protection, but also in cases where the business did not conduct an appropriate hazard assessment, even at seemingly low-risk heights of 4′. This result is effectively a double whammy effect for a single employee fall incident.

As a result, while it’s important to provide proper fall protection, it’s even more critical to conduct and document the proper precautionary procedures for any potential risk area, to save money and administrative battles in the case that a fall injury does occur.  Here’s a brief summary of OSHA’s fall protection standards policy, with this in mind.  Of course, anyone subject to OSHA violations should fully research the topic on their own with OSHA or a certified compliance consultant.

Construction Industry Fall Protection Compliance

Found in Section 1926.501, these can generally be summed up to require businesses to provide fall protection (guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems) on walking or working surfaces with an ‘unprotected side or edge which is six feet or more above the lower‘.

General Industry Fall Protection Compliance

General industry standards are also stringent, with Section 1910.23 stated to include ‘every wall opening from which there is a drop of more than four feet‘, with that also applying to open-side floor or platforms.  This requirement stipulates that risk areas be guarded by a standard railing or other means of fall protection.

And remember, the typical fall protection standards citations could be coupled with a citation for Section 1910.132 for failing to conduct a hazard assessment.

Fall Protect Your Business for Compliance

The application of these OSHA standards and enforcement policy strategies can thus be applied to a variety of settings, ranging from loading docks and flatbed truck beds to onsite or offsite machinery and equipment.  Business owner/operators should be aware that even for fall hazards of 4′ or less, a hazard assessment must be conducted and fall protection compliance equipment provided.

Trucker® & IAS Custom Access Fall Protection Products

Of course, we at Innovative Access Solutions are well-prepared to help with your flatbed truck and loading dock fall protection, starting with safety engineered Trucker trailer access ladders and working platforms.  In addition, IAS has a great deal of experience providing custom fall protection access equipment to machinery/equipment and multi-level walking or working surfaces at manufacturing facilities, dockyards, construction and mining sites, and public/retail settings.

To learn how IAS can design a fall protection access solution for your business, call our engineering team at (800) 388-6884 or submit our Contact form on IAScustom.com.

The Trucker Newsletter: Fleet Friendly Trucker Access

At Safety & Numbers we are building customer interest in The Trucker Series trailer access products, in the form of real genuine online product reviews at IAScustom.com.  You know… like the ones you see on Amazon, only better. We think IAS produces the highest quality and safest trailer ladders available and we’d like you to help us make the web just a little bit more accurate on that topic.

In fact, our newsletter is offering a promotion for those who provide an Online Product Review at IAScustom.com. And yes indeed, we want to pass along that promotional opportunity to you faithful readers as well. Simply provide an email address with your Online Product Review and/or Sign Up for Our Newsletter so we can send along the promotional code.  Thanks in advance!

An Excerpt from the September 2014 IAS Trucker Newsletter….  Sign up Here

In a day and age when impressions are gathered in 140 characters and time is managed down to the minute, versatility and convenience are especially valuable. That’s why many of our customers choose The Trucker® Series. Our ladders are easy and safe for any truck driver or style.

The shining example we have mentioned before. The Trucker is the Safety Best Practice at United Rentals. With over 800 locations, that is no small feat. Still, we’re proud to serve companies across the country and in dozens of industries. We want you to know that this isn’t just brash talk. The Trucker Series ladders have exceeded even our own expectations as we have grown over the years.

Continue reading The Trucker Newsletter: Fleet Friendly Trucker Access