Logging

It's That Time Again: Post Your OSHA 300 Log Summary

Koch Peter 1 Posted by Peter Koch

OSHA's  29CFR 1904.1  requires all employers with more than 10 employees to keep a record of workplace injuries and illnesses.  All employers are required to complete this recordkeeping unless they have 10 or fewer employees during all of the last calendar year or the business is classified in a specific low-hazard retail, service, finance, insurance, or real estate industry.  Click on the following link to see a list of Partially Exempt Industries.

Because the OSHA Record Keeping Rule has many facets, this blog will only outline what OSHA requires for forms and posting.  More detail regarding definitions, requirements, timelines, and forms can be found at the OSHA Recordkeeping web page.

As we close the book on 2012 it's time to review the workplace injuries that occurred over the past year, enter recordable injuries on the OSHA 300 Log, and post the summary.  In the Recordkeeping Standard, OSHA outlines:

  • What is considered a recordable injury
  • How injuries are categorized
  • Forms, on which, injuries are recorded
  • How long to post the summary, and
  • How long to keep the forms

Following is a general outline of the steps you have to take to complete the required forms:

  1. Review your OSHA 300 log for 2012 (relevant injuries that occurred January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012) - 29 CFR 1904.29.
  2. Complete the OSHA 300a Summary form by February 1, 2013 - 29 CFR 1904.32.
  3. Post the OSHA 300a Summary form from February 1, 2013 to April 30, 2013 - 29 CFR 1904.3.
  4. Fill out the OSHA 301, or equivalent form (some state workers' compensation first reports may be acceptable), for each OSHA recordable injury on the OSHA 300 log.

Some businesses receive an Annual OSHA Injury and Illness Survey.  This must be completed as directed in the survey and returned to OSHA or the stated designee [1904.41(a)], in addition to the forms/logs described above.

The forms, instructions, and the OSHA standard can also be found through the following links:

The standard is well written and in a question and answer format. 


A New Year's Resolution we can all benefit from... Improve your Safety Program

EricGrant Posted by Eric Grant


As we begin 2013, if you are like most people, you have probably made a New Year’s Resolution.   Consider the same for your business and more specifically, your injury prevention program.

Consider these ideas or brainstorm with your safety committee and/or leadership team:

  • Focus on company specific exposures - Work with your agent to review injury claims and loss runs.   Refer to your OSHA 300 log to determine areas of opportunity.
  • Develop a formal safety training agenda - OSHA compliance is a start but should not be the finish. Remember 15% of claims are associated with unsafe conditions, but 85% are caused by unsafe behaviors.
  • Conduct quality Event Investigations - Determine root cause and take corrective actions. Remember, look for the Facts, not Fault and operational involvement is key to an effective program. (Visit the MEMIC Safety Director for program materials)
  • Utilize your resources - Internal (supervisors/experienced workers, safety committee, leadership, HR) and external (MEMIC loss control, state consultation services, private consultants, your insurance agency). 
  • Recognize and reward positive behaviors - Consider implementing a formal program that reinforces positive actions taken by employees at all levels.
  • Pre-plan activities with a focus on safety & injury prevention - Have you considered implementing a Job Hazard Analysis Program? This may be the year to get it done!
  • Provide leadership accountability training - Integrate safety with business goals.  Management commitment is one of the foundations of a comprehensive health and safety program.
  • Explore ways to increase employee involvement - Examples include safety committees, routine self-inspections, participation in training agendas, and company sponsored activities/programs.
  • Implement a formal routine self-inspection program - What does OSHA want from businesses? Identify hazards and correct them! Get out there and inspect your workplace and implement follow up corrective actions. 

Reduce injury claim frequency and severity by implementing these nine objectives and communicating them as part of a formal SMART Goal.  To learn more about SMART goals, check out a 2008 Smart Goal posting from the Safety Net, or search online, keyword- SMART Goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely).

Have a Happy, and SAFE, New Year!


Is Your Business Ready?

Darnley Dave Posted by David Darnley

Hurricanes, floods, wind damage, heat waves, shootings, and domestic terrorism – all events that have happened this year. Is your business ready?

MEMIC recently archived an August webinar entitled Is Your Business Ready?, which is designed to help our clients prepare, write, test and improve their own “all hazards” emergency response and business continuity plans.  This webinar is available to policy holders at MEMIC’s Safety Director.

The federal government provides excellent resources on the website, “Ready.gov”.  You can access templates to prepare a Risk Assessment, Business Impact Analysis Worksheet, Business Continuity Resource Requirement Worksheet, Business Continuity Plan Worksheet, Emergency Response Resource Requirements Worksheet, and Emergency Response Plan

Additional information on emergency planning and protecting people from natural and human-caused disasters can be found at other sites on the web including these:

OSHA’s Flood Preparedness and Response

FBI Workplace Violence Response

Federal Emergency Management Agency

 


Transportation Leads the Way

Klatt Randy Posted by Randy Klatt

In 2010, 4690 U.S. workers died while on the job.  Although this represents a 3% increase from 2009, both years continue an overall downward trend in workplace deaths.  For example, in 1994 there were 6632 workers killed.  This trend is good news for all of us, yet over 13 people still die each day at work.   

Take a look at the pie chart below to see the manner in which fatal work injuries occurred.  With this knowledge you may be able to address specific issues at your workplace in order to mitigate the hazards.  It’s pretty easy to see what is killing most people:  40% of fatalities were transportation incidents.      
Transportation Graph
Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2012

Ask yourself if your employees drive either company cars, vans, trucks, heavy machinery, or their own personal vehicles during the course of their jobs.  If the answer is “yes” then a fleet plan should be developed to ensure the safe operation and condition of all vehicles.  There are many elements to a comprehensive fleet plan and each organization’s would differ slightly.  However, they should all include policies regarding driver’s license checks, vehicle inspections, maintenance programs, traffic law responsibilities, and driver safety training and education. 

Check out the Safety Director Resource Library at MEMIC.com for fleet plan tools and resources.  Get started today and ensure all employees Arrive Alive each and every day.       

 


Spring Clean Up: Chainsaw Awareness

Wood Andy Posted by Andy Wood

With the snow banks melting in the Northeast comes the requisite spring clean-up around the property. If your facility includes even a little wooded property, that clean-up will most likely include some quality time with your chainsaw. Regardless of your skill level, it’s critical that you are aware of the hazards you will face and have the skills to manage them successfully; or recognize that you don’t and obtain additional resources from your employer. These resources may take the form of gear upgrades, more help, or additional training.

The OSHA standard for logging operations (1910.266) sets the baseline standards for all chainsaw operations.  It is very specific about training, supervision, and operational guidelines. Some very practical information is available on their website, specifically the Logging ETool.

For basic chainsaw operation, I’ve divided the necessary information into three categories. MEMIC has developed webinars and guiding documents for each of these topics. All are available on the Safety Director at www.memic.com.

  1. A full compliment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  2. A saw maintained in serviceable condition.
  3. Some baseline knowledge of industry standards which address: hazards, ergonomics, saw control and physics. (Refer to the Logging ETool referenced above.)

Specific hands-on training should be attended and operations closely supervised in regards to the most hazardous chainsaw operations, tree felling, and storm damage clean-up.

If you consider the tools and equipment you’ll use during outdoor projects, I think you’d agree that the chainsaw may create the greatest hazard. Take the time to get it right as the stakes are high when the accident involves a chainsaw, trees under tension, and gravity.


Preventing Slips and Falls

Koch Peter 2 Posted by Peter Koch

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 294,620 employees suffered injuries from slips, trips, or falls.  Of these, 221,100 were from falls to the same level or slip or trip events. 

The National Floor Safety Institute or NFSI  reports : 

  • Slips and falls are the leading cause of workers' compensation claims and are the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 15-24 years.
  • Compensation & medical costs associated with employee slip/fall accidents is approximately $70 billion annually (National Safety Council Injury Facts 2003 edition).

All slips and falls are preventable with a little planning and forethought.  Since we may have little control of the surface we tread upon, slip and trip avoidance depend heavily on YOU.  Your attention to your surroundings, what you have on your feet, and what you’re doing in the moment are all critical.

Consider the following areas when planning for prevention or analyzing a slip/fall event:

1)  The surface,
2)  The awareness or behavior,
3)  The footwear,
4)  The environment.

It is usually awareness/behavior that contributes the most to a slip or fall occurrence, but the best attack on slip and fall hazards is a combined evaluation of these four areas.

The following is a checklist and mnemonic when evaluating slip and fall hazards and developing a plan for preventing them.

  • Condition and lighting of the surface and pathwayBlog photo
  • Condition of the Footwear
  • Surface Encumbrances (obstacles, fluids)
  • Pitch and Condition of Stairs
  • Location and Condition of Handrails
  • Relevance of Pathway
  • Behavior/Condition of the Worker
  • Pace of Work in/around Pathway

 

This is not necessarily a complete list of areas to evaluate, so don’t limit yourself when trying to develop a plan for prevention or in post incident analysis.

So Take a MEMIC Minute and remember, ALL slip and fall events are PREVENTABLE!


Be Ready for Winter Driving

Darnley Dave Posted by Dave Darnley

Since today is the first official day of winter it is time to think about winter driving challenges and the condition of our vehicles. 

Check your vehicle to make sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated (and never mix radial tires with other tire types).  The legal minimum tread depth is only about 1/3 of what is really needed for proper performance on snow.  Your defroster system and windshield wipers will see extra duty so be sure they are in good working order.  Keep a snow brush and ice scraper handy along with an extra gallon of windshield washer fluid. Include an emergency kit with first aid supplies, flashlight, blanket, and reflective triangles.  

If driving in mountainous regions the best advice is to stay off the roads; however, if travel is required you may also want to carry tire chains (check local laws first), sand, and a shovel. If driving in remote areas or on divided highways with limited exits, you should consider carrying a sleeping bag, boots and warm clothing.

Lastly, drive with extra caution when weather and driving conditions change, and use your seat belt every time you get in to your vehicle.  Check out the following links for more information concerning winter driving.

Clear Roads Winter Driving Campaign

Maine Department of Labor's Winter Driving Tips


The Cleanup: Don't let Irene do more damage

Koch Peter 2 Posted by Peter Koch

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, here in the Northeast, property cleanup is at the top of everyone's to-do list.  Make sure to take the time to conduct job hazard analysis for the cleanup tasks and determine if you have the internal resources and skills to complete the cleanup safely.

Storm cleanup is one of the most dangerous tasks that can be performed with a chainsaw, placing the operator and fellow workers in challenging and unpredictable environments.  Unstable elements in the canopy (including as widow makers and spring poles), not to mention uneven ground and exposed root systems are all real hazards for the chainsaw operator.  Experience and highly developed skills are the last lines of defense for the chainsaw operator.

Mechanical logging reduces the exposure to many hazards that the manual logger has limited ability to control.  If your chainsaw operators are occasional users with limited experience and training, or your internal resources are unable to meet the demands of extensive storm cleanup, sub-contracting with a reputable logging company will transfer the risk and protect your most valuable resource, your employees.

If some level of cleanup at your operations is to be done with a chainsaw, you should complete a job hazard analysis which will help you review hazards and controls with your operators. For a sample job hazard analysis form, go to MEMIC Safety Director, or try this link to the OSHA website.


Hiring Practices That Make Smart “Cents” for Safety

LaRochelle Greg 2 Posted by Greg LaRochelle

As the sluggish economy begins to heat up rendering a more favorable business climate, cost conscious employers looking to grow their workforce need to be even more vigilant to their hiring practices.  The search for a suitable fit can be an exhaustive exercise for a small business owner as well as for an HR professional in a large corporation.  Finding and hiring the right person demands that safety be at the forefront of the decision-making process.  Here’s why:

According to the Business & Legal Reports safety website, workplace injury statistics reveal that new employees are 5 times more likely to experience a lost-time injury in the first month of employment compared to the experienced worker.  Additionally, studies show that 40 percent of all workers injured on the job have been at it less than a year.  

 Given these facts, ensuring the safety of the “newbie” is of utmost importance, particularly where a business’s greatest asset is its people.  Equally, smart hiring practices and new employee safety orientation translate to preservation of the bottom line.

Proactive loss control measures in hiring should include:

  • Post-offer, pre-placement physical exams, especially for physically demanding job positions.
  • Written job descriptions that detail the physical aspect of the work tasks. 
  • New employee orientation and training on the equipment and tools associated with the job, emergency evacuation routes, location of first-aid kits, MSDSs, and items such as fire extinguishers. 

Most occupational health providers offer pre-placement physicals for a nominal fee. These are designed to determine the functional capacity of the individual.  The written job description stipulating physical demands can also be used in determining light duty activities for an injured employee with temporary work restrictions. 

Use of an orientation checklist while showing the new hire the safety features of the workplace can serve as documentation of the facility safety tour. 

As a timesaver, MEMIC has assembled a number of training checklists including an employee safety orientation form in the on-line MEMIC Safety Director resource library.  (Note: MEMIC Safety Director requires user registration and is exclusively for MEMIC customers.) For additional resources on hiring practices, click on the Human Resources link under the bold heading Action Plans on the Safety Director’s home page. 


Cold Work Environments – How the Body Reacts

Clark Dan Posted by Dan Clark

As a cold snap hit much of the country this week, it’s time to remember the risks that workers who brave outdoor conditions face each winter. Of course, it should be said that while outdoor conditions immediately come to mind when we think of working in cold environments, similar conditions can also exist indoors, such as freezer work.  Working in a cold environment such as refrigerators, walk in freezers or cold storage on a day-to-day basis can cause ill-health effects as well.

When our core body temperature drops just a few degrees below its normal temperature of 98.6°F, the blood vessels constrict, decreasing peripheral blood flow to reduce heat loss from the surface of the skin.  Excessive exposure to cold working conditions can lead to lower work efficiency, reduced mental awareness, and higher accident rates. 

So, whether the tasks vary from operating a fork truck in a freezer, tending a salmon pen on the open waters, or construction work in the elements, the results are potentially life threatening.  There are multiple engineering controls and safe work practices that can help protect our workers. Among them are: 

  • Personal Protective Equipment (layered clothing, gloves, insulated footwear).
  • On-site heat sources.
  • Shielding workers from wind.
  • A heated shelter.
  • Establishing rotations/frequent breaks away from the cold.
  • Establishing a buddy system in cold environments.
  • Educating workers about the cold-related symptoms.

Remember:  Cold-related ailments often go undetected until the worker’s health is endangered.  Let’s take steps to protect.

For more on cold work environment symptoms, treatment, and protection, you can visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety's website.