Transportation

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!


Tire Safety and Winter Driving

Klatt Randy Posted by Randy Klatt

As the winter weather grows closer on the horizon it’s time to consider the condition and selection of the tires on our vehicles.  Snow, ice, and slush on the roadways greatly affect the handling and performance of cars and trucks.  The tire is the only part of the vehicle that touches the road; take the time to ensure your tires are ready for these winter driving conditions.

First consider the tire rating.  The U.S. has an established rating system for tire tread wear, traction performance, and temperature resistance.  The federal government requires each tire to be rated with the information placed on the tire sidewall.  An explanation of the rating system, along with a searchable data base of tire manufactures/models can be found at safercar.gov.  A higher rated tire is going to last longer and perform better than a lower rated tire.

Secondly, determine if snow tires are required.  An all-season radial tire will likely have the M+S rating; this denotes a tread design intended to perform well in mud and snow.  However, a snow rated tire, denoted by the mountain snowflake symbol, is a better indicator of increased traction in snow.  Not only does a snow tire have a deeper tread design and more siping (engineered slits in the tire's tread pattern that come open as the tire rolls over the snow, creating more biting edges) it is made of a softer rubber compound designed to remain supple in colder environments.  To qualify for this rating, the tread design and depth must provide 10% more snow traction than the standard or all-season tire. Snow tires perform much better in snowy conditions, but the softer compounds will not wear well on dry pavement so seasonal changing of the tires is required.  Check out this link to Tirerack.com for a complete explanation of winter tire selection.  A little research will be helpful in making a good decision.

Regardless of the tire selection, proper maintenance is vital.  Frequent inspection of the tread and sidewall condition, rotation on a regular basis (such as with each oil change), and checking for proper inflation pressure are all vital.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has produced a comprehensive brochure regarding tire safety.  You can also access prior Safety Net postings.  Search “tires” for additional useful information regarding transportation safety, or register for the January 2013 MEMIC Winter Driving webinar.  Take care of your tires so they can take care of you!


Fall Driving Hazards

John DeRoia 2012 Posted by John DeRoia

Autumn is one of the prettiest times of year.  The trees are changing colors creating a spectacular view.  Autumn also presents a set of challenges when driving. 

There are several factors that play against safe driving this time of year.  We can expect wet leaves, fog, sun glare, frost and even extra deer activity.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • Wet leaves can be as slippery as black ice.  The leaves may also cover road markings and traffic lines.  Avoid parking on piles of dry leaves as your catalytic convertor and exhaust may be hot enough to start a fire.
  • During this time of year the sun is rising and setting during your morning and evening commute causing extra sun glare.  Pay attention to traffic patterns and don’t forget your sunglasses. This is also a great time to clean the inside of your windows and windshield.  This will help reduce glare.
  • The mornings are getting colder.  Frost can be a concern on the roads as well as your windshields.  Take a few extra minutes to clear your windshield before heading out on the road.  Also watch for those bridges and overpasses; they may have ice accumulating on them already.
  • Slow down when driving in foggy conditions.  If the fog is severe turn on your hazards lights.  Do not use high beams as they will reflect back at you making driving even more difficult.  Use your low beams and/or fog lights if so equipped. 
  • Deer are particularly active this time of year.  Almost 50% of all deer related car accidents occur during the months of October and November.  Deer are most active around dawn and dusk.  If you see a deer cross the roadway, slow down as deer typically travel in groups. Check out these tips from the Wisconsin DOT to avoid the “deer in the headlights”.  

Following these safety tips will help you keep safe during this beautiful time of year.  More information on safe driving can be found through webinars and safety talks at MEMIC.com.

Fall-drive-autumn-leaves-road-Dollarphotoclub_93312302


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.       

 


Are Your Tires As Safe As You Think?

Klatt Randy Posted by Randy Klatt

When was the last time you took a close look at your tires?  The tires are the only contact the vehicle has with the road.  Clearly the performance of the car or truck is dependent upon quality tires in good condition.  Before you hop in your car and drive off the next time, take a closer look at the rubber that meets the road; your life could depend upon it.

Look in the grooves between the tire treads for raised patches of rubber called wear bars. These 2/32” tall patches will help you identify a worn out tire. When the wear bars are flush with the tread it indicates that tread depth has reached the legal minimum of 2/32”. 

If tires do not have wear bars, traditionally it was recommended to place a US penny in the groove with Lincoln’s head down.   If the tread is at or beyond the top of Lincoln's head you have at least 3/32” of tread left.  However, the performance of the tire will be far less than when the tire was new, especially in wet road conditions.  Check out the resource from TireRack.com to learn more about performance and tread depth.    

Tread depth is important, but even wear is also vital to safe performance.  Improper inflation can lead to rounded edges on the tire inside, outside, or center.  Uneven wear between front and rear tires indicates the need for more frequent tire rotation.  A chop or stair-step wear pattern could indicate worn shocks and excessive wear on the inside or outside of the tread could indicate the need for alignment. 

Carefully check each tire for punctures, nails, scuffs, and weather cracking. Repair or replace as necessary.  If you are driving a commercial vehicle the standards for tire wear are more conservative.  For example, front tires on trucks and busses must have at least 4/32” of tread depth.  Check out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration standards for more information.


Traffic Work Zone Safety

Webb Hartley Posted by Hartley Webb

With the sudden appearance of warm spring weather we are already seeing another sign of the season:  road repair, street and parking lot sweeping, and highway cleanup crews.  Transportation incidents are the leading cause of death in the workplace, so take a minute to read over these tips if your employees are exposed to motor vehicle traffic. 

Some employers feel that placing a worker wearing a reflective vest in a traffic zone is acceptable rather than using other exposure control methods.  Employers should control traffic risks by:

  1. Eliminating the hazard.  Can the work be done when there is no vehicle traffic?
  2. Evaluating engineering controls.  For example, can barriers be used to separate workers from all moving traffic?
  3. Implementing administrative controls.  Ensure adequate training and strict work rules are enforced.  Keep workers out of the direct traffic lane when possible, and ensure they are alert and attentive to all moving vehicles including construction equipment.
  4. Lastly, use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as retro-reflective clothing, hard hats, and safety toed boots.    

Flaggers must be effectively trained, certified, and supervised in order to prevent improper traffic flagging techniques.  These can be caused by inadequate training, a low willingness to follow training objectives, or failure to properly supervise.  Following the guidelines provided by the US Department of Transportation’s publication “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices” (MUTCD Part 6) is critical for proper work zone setup.   Check out this resource here:  MUTCD

OSHA provides a “Quick Card” for Work Zone Traffic Safety that can found online -  Work Zone OSHA Quick Card.   Finally, the Center for Disease Control is a great resource for additional training documents and information regarding highway work zone safety.  Check their website at CDC Highway Work Zones.


Know about the "No Zone"

Klatt Randy Posted by Randy Klatt


Sharing the roads with large trucks is a real safety concern for those driving passenger cars.  But one important point to remember is that a large tractor trailer or snow plow creates “blind spots” that limit the truck driver’s ability to see all areas around the vehicle.  If you drive within these areas the trucker won’t be able to see your car.

This area is easy to locate.  Remember, if you can’t see the trucks mirrors, then the truck driver can’t see you.  Steer clear of these blind spots so that the truck driver won’t pull into your lane.  Driving in the No Zone also limits your visibility to the side or front, so please avoid them.

The diagram below illustrates the No Zones around a snow plow; very applicable this time of year.  Sharing the road with large commercial vehicles is a necessity and can be done safely.  Just be patient and avoid the NO ZONE. 

Check out these two websites for more information:  
http://www.clearroads.org/driversafety_resources.html 
http://www.maine.gov/dps/bhs/about/

Remember:  Ice and Snow, Take it Slow!

Truck Image


Forklift Battery Charging

John DeRoia Posted by John DeRoia

Many workplaces use powered industrial trucks to move material throughout the facility.  Battery powered lifts are becoming more common in many small to medium sized businesses.  Let’s discuss some of the safety aspects related to the battery maintenance/charging process.

Maintaining batteries, by adding water or acid, requires appropriate protection. Chemical-resistant gloves, aprons, eyewear, and face protection are required according to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.133(a)(1),

"The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation."

Face protection must meet the ANSI Z87.1-1989 specifications or be proven equally effective. Indirect or non-vented safety goggles should be worn.  Face shields are considered as secondary eye protection only. An eye wash and shower are other required pieces of equipment that must be in or near a battery charging area per OSHA 29 CFR 1910.151,

"...where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use."  The eye wash and shower must be within 10 seconds of the hazard and on the same level and shall be clearly identified with proper signs and lighting.

Batteries release highly explosive oxygen and hydrogen gases when they are charging. Due to this "out gassing" effect, charging stations should be located in well-ventilated areas.  General or local ventilation can be provided by a fume hood or an exhaust fan. If an on-board charging system is used, the industrial truck itself should be parked in a location where there is adequate ventilation.  It is also appropriate to prohibit smoking or  open flames in the charging area.

More detailed information can be found in the OSHA Powered Industrial Truck standard (29 CFR 1910.178) and in your fork lift Owner’s Manual. 


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