by Randy Cranfill
The Accident Prevention in the Workplace “Training Plan” begins with a visit to your company by the NC Industrial Commission Safety Education Section Safety Representative to explain the program. The program consists of three parts:
1. PLAN: Involves meeting with Safety personal and/or safety committees, review of accident history, plant tours, and picture taking tours for hazard identification. We will develop a suggested training plan for your workplace.
2. TRAIN: The Safety Education Section will schedule a date and time to train at your site.
3. PREVENT: This is a program in action! Through the training of hazard identification and accident prevention, the workplace can be free of accidents, therefore reducing Workers’ Compensation claims and costs.For more information, please give Randy Cranfill a call at 919-218-2986.
ACCIDENT PREVENTION in THE WORKPLACE
For example, if it goes against your religious beliefs to work on Sunday, and other employees have to work Sundays for you, it might be considered a hardship for the business. On the other hand, if there are enough employees to pick up the Sunday work and they volunteer to do so, that could be a reasonable accommodation.
you are a man who wears a beard for religious reasons, and you
need to wear a respirator as part of your job, you may not get a
tight seal with the beard. If no accommodation can be made (such
as a full face mask or transfer of those job duties), safety
must come first, and you may have to choose between shaving the
beard or finding another job. While employers have a duty to
accommodate religion, you should understand that there are
certain limitations to this obligation.
|by Michael Nance||
Several of you have heard me ask during a training session if anyone checks the health inspection rating before settling in for a meal. About half of the folks will raise their hand. I’ll admit that while traveling on the road, I tend to go through drive-up windows instead of going inside to eat, especially if I haven’t much time. I am trying to break the habit because I want to see the ratings for myself as one of two things I like to check out. The other item is just how clean the restrooms are.
Let me point out here that I am not a clean freak. I certainly have a long way to go to claim my picture on the can of Lysol, but I do check out the restrooms. Why are they called “rest” rooms anyway? Personally, I don’t rest there. (I grew up saying bathroom.) I’ve been told that a restroom is public while a bathroom is private. Hmmmm, let’s move on. If the public restroom is filthy with trash and who-knows-what is all over the place, I am not eating there. No telling what it’s like behind the counter in the kitchen or grill area if they can’t keep a 8’ by 10’ area clean. We’ve all seen the poster making it a law for employees to wash their hands before returning to work. Now I just mentioned about the trashed up restroom. If the poster is in that restroom, then employees must see the trash since it is apparently where they wash their hands, right? Maybe, maybe not.
A typical place to encounter the free snacks can be at bars and taverns. Another point here, I am not advocating alcohol, just simply stating facts. Bars and taverns are just as guilty to spreading food-borne illnesses as your favorite restaurants. Health inspectors have reported all sorts of violations, ranging from dirty floors to lip-stained tumblers. A recent news report had this to say: “One North Carolina inspector even found black-slime mold in an ice machine -- though it might not make you sick, it "would be kind of repulsive to have in your drink," says Frances Breedlove, food sanitation section chief for Wake County.” (taken from an article in SmartMoney.com by Neil Parmar).
Bloodborne Pathogens are also a risk in these same locations. Just suppose a person with a fresh healing wound on a finger dips their hand deep into the bowl of peanuts. Not only could there be a residue of bacteria but also of blood. Not likely you say? Okay, then how about the person who visits the restroom, decides not to wash up and now has bodily fluid on their hands, then dips into the bottom of the bowl. Now what do you think? Sort of nasty isn’t it and I have no doubt that we have all witnessed people that fail to wash their hands.
Perhaps at the next staff meeting or safety meeting at your place of employment, you can simply mention that everyone should wash their hands prior to taking a break or eating lunch. Just a simple and easy one-minute pitch to remind everyone that many illnesses could be prevented by washing hands properly. Your fellow employees may think you’re being a little strange, but they will most likely think about it the next time they visit the restroom.
This might be a stretch to some folks; washing hands properly and often can aid in accident prevention. Not just for personal hygiene, but for staying healthy. Someone who is feeling ill at work isn’t as alert and could also be taking medications leading to drowsiness conditions. Many products contain a warning about operating motor vehicles and machinery while taking medications. Washing of the hands reduces the likelihood of getting a cold or a virus, and a bloodborne disease.
In conclusion, simple safety precautions, such as washing the hands, can be a small part of a good safety attitude. If it’s been awhile since your folks have had a refresher training class on Bloodborne Pathogens, give one of us a call. Finally, if there isn’t a touchless hand dryer in your place of business, please check to see if there are paper towels and toilet tissue in each “rest” room. Employees will appreciate it.
Editor's note: Michael Nance is the NCIC Blue Ridge & Western Piedmont areas Safety Representative. If you are interested in having one of our programs in your area, please give Michael a call at 919-218-9047 or email him at email@example.com
Log your anger. Keep track of what sets you off, so it will be easier for you to recognize it for what it is when it happens. Learn what makes you angry so that you can develop strategies for containing and channeling it when it occurs.
Use empathy. When you become angry with someone, try to see the situation from his or her point of view. This can defuse your anger. Acknowledging that there is another point of view and that we are all human and at times make mistakes can be a powerful reminder to calm down.
Try a relaxation technique like deep breathing. Remind yourself that a lot of things that people become angry over are really not worth devoting the time and energy an angry outburst requires.
Count to ten. Sometimes taking a quick moment to count to ten before acting can help to defuse the anger and help you act more rationally.
Be assertive - not aggressive. That means that you need to let others know what your boundaries are. Try not to express yourself when you are being overwhelmed with anger because the chance that you will do a poor job of it is pretty high.
Regain perspective. Try to look at the situation in the big picture and see how trivial or unimportant something really is. Try to see that it's not worth getting worked up over, it's just another problem that needs to be solved.
Try to let go of past hurts, slights, and resentments, and not
let them build up. This is difficult, but it can be very
freeing, and bring you peace of mind.
|by Mike Bingham||
With all the demands that are placed on our time and resources it’s often hard just to keep up with safety duties, and even harder to get ahead. In addition to investigating incidents, writing reports, correcting potential safety issues, serving on committees and teams, we often have training and education duties to do. Scheduling classes, reserving rooms, and gathering subject matter all take a toll on our time and resources, and then we often need to stop production to address safety issues or provide/attend training.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) can do much of the training work for you. We can supply instructors, subject matter, course content, and many other resources free of charge, at your location. Using us to do your training can free you up to do other critical tasks that only you can do, putting your time and safety dollars to better use.
But how about if your company has only a few employees needing training and you can’t meet the 15-person minimum class requirement the NCIC has? Here’s how teamwork and hospitality solved the problem.
Honeywell, in Mars Hill, recently needed confined space training, but only had 5 affected employees for the class. It would have been easy to just say, “Oh well” and move on, but Honeywell and the NCIC teamed up to solve the problem. The NCIC, aware that many other companies share this problem, suggested that Honeywell invite other area industries to attend their class.
Gordon Randolph, Facility Manager of Honeywell, graciously hosted the training at his Honeywell facility, making his training room available. Mr. Randolph and the NCIC made some calls to other businesses and the result was that 17 people from 4 different companies who needed confined space training received it. The resulting impromptu networking opportunity on class day uncovered more common training needs within each company, and we are currently scheduling additional classes together. It also provided the NCIC with a new way to serve North Carolina’s workers. This is teamwork in action!
If you need training for yourself or your employees but don’t have enough people to make the class minimum, remember that you are not the only one with that problem. Look up and down your street for others who share your problem and offer up a meeting room to share with other organizations around you. Contact your area NCIC representative to see if he or she knows of similar situations and can maybe help coordinate setting up a class. It takes a little effort, but the rewards can be great!
Here’s a little something to think about…
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. - Helen Keller
Tornadoes are one of nature's most violent storms. They form
quickly, are unpredictable, and can do a large amount of damage
in a short amount of time. Usually there is very little time to
prepare or react. Do you know what to do when the tornado siren
Tornadoes come in all shapes and sizes and can occur
anywhere in the U.S. at any time of the year. Tornadoes are most
likely to occur between 3 and 9 p.m., but have been known to
occur at all hours of the day or night. The average tornado
moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known
to move in any direction. The average forward speed is 30 mph
but may vary from nearly stationary to 70 mph. It is a myth that
areas near water are safe from tornadoes. No place is safe.
Tornadoes have occurred on mountains, near large bodies of
water, and in downtown areas of major cities.
A tornado watch means the conditions are right for tornado development, but none have been sighted. You should monitor the situation. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted and there is imminent danger for people in the warning area. You should take cover immediately. Tornadoes develop so rapidly that advance warning is not always possible. Know the warning signs that a tornado may be forming or is imminent:
by Eric Johnson
All those flashing lights, signs, gate arms, and horns blowing are there for a reason! Did you know that every two hours there is a collision between an automobile and a train or a pedestrian and a train in the United States? Most occur within 25 miles of our home. At 55 miles per hour it takes a train up to one mile to stop. Also, you are 20 times more likely to die in a collision with a train than a collision in involving another vehicle.
In 1972, a concerned railroad employee working with the support of many Idaho communities established a statewide Operation Lifesaver program. During the first year of this program fatalities were considerably reduced. Encouraged by these results many states followed and today Operation Lifesaver is an international program and is supported by state organizations as well as the railroads.
Operation Lifesaver will give you important tips that could save your life, and it just so happens that our safety representatives are certified instructors. This course was developed to reach a wide range of audiences from general adult driver, law enforcement, professional driver, school bus driver, high school, middle, elementary, and kindergarten students.
There is no charge for the course and we can tailor the class to fit your schedule. The class usually runs from 30 minutes to an hour. We use a variety of methods for training from power point, flip charts, video, and handouts to meet your audience needs.
company, school, church, civic group, drivers education class,
city, county, state organization could use this valuable
training please contact the safety representative in your area.
Eric Johnson is the Southern Piedmont Safety Council
representative and Water/Wastewater Coordinator.
To contact Eric Johnson for training classes or workshops
please call 919-218-3567.
Eric Johnson is the Southern Piedmont Safety Council
representative and Water/Wastewater Coordinator.
To contact Eric Johnson for training classes or workshops
please call 919-218-3567.
|by Michelle Morgan||
Identifying those persons who are physically able to do the job and do not have pre-existing conditions that may put them at risk of injury before they begin work will not only reduce these costs by as much as 80%, but will result in a safer, more productive workforce.
Larry Feeler, CEO and founder of Worksteps, a national employment testing company, was recently quoted in the May 2007 issue of Joplin Business Journal: Employers make 3 assumptions at the outset when hiring workers: “Workers are perfect when they are hired; workers never grow old and what happens to the worker is your fault. Without evidence, what can you do?” Comprehensive post-offer employment testing provides that evidence.
Some employers are doing agility testing and/or medical/drug testing prior to hire. However, employers should ask some key questions about their current testing process:
1. How many “non-capables” are identified after testing?
2. Does the testing offer a complete (head to toe) musculoskeletal evaluation, including range of motion, strength, posture and joint integrity assessments?
3. Does it offer an assessment of cardiovascular status?
4. Does it offer a risk profile for overuse syndromes (such as repetitive motion conditions)?
5. Does it offer job specific or job simulation components that include training in proper body mechanics and lifting techniques?
6. If an injury occurs, does the test offer baseline information of what was there before the injury, so that apportionment can take place?
If most of these questions are answered with a “No”, then employers should re-evaluate their testing process. The ADA and EEOC both say that employers have a right to obtain medical and functional information post offer on an employee. Much the same as a drug test, employees can be hired contingent on passing the physical testing. Without this information, the hiring process becomes irresponsible - allowing persons who were not safe to do the job to be hired and put themselves as well as others at risk of injury. Even the best safety and wellness programs will be ineffective in reducing the likelihood of preventing an injury if the employee cannot physically and safely perform the physical demands of the job from day one.
Post-offer employment testing may well be the “missing link” in safety. Consider evaluating your employees to enhance and improve your safety programs. A healthy, fit workforce results in a renewed focus on the safety and wellness of your employees. Take care of your employees while controlling your costs.
Submitted by: Michelle Morgan, Vice President of Job Ready Services, LLC
Correct the hazards. In addition to rectifying equipment malfunctions, doing equipment maintenance and training employees in proper operation, "maintenance" is performed on workers to correct the behavioral hazards. This maintenance can include employee assistance and stress management programs, exercise classes, and workshops on literacy and "locus of control" - teaching all workers to be self-directed for their own safety. "Safety is not [just] management's problem," says Selkirk, "safety is every individual worker's problem." He says reducing stress and improving morale dramatically reduces injuries.
Although these may seem like elementary measures, Selkirk says that many companies with serious problems are not availing themselves of any of those programs. "Companies that want to do preventive maintenance in their equipment will spend millions of dollars to do PMs over a period of years for sophisticated machinery, but the most costly machinery they have is the human worker. Yet many times they do little preventive maintenance to make that worker more productive and loyal: by using employee assistance programs, pre-employment screens, wellness programs, ongoing training, we literally develop and do preventive maintenance on an existing employee base so we get the returns on investment of higher productivity, less absenteeism, fewer worker injuries, fewer lawsuits and lower turnover rates." Selkirk notes that now it's not only important to select the right workers, it's important to take care of them "because it's harder to get rid of them."
Instill ownership - or employee empowerment. In a program ServiceMaster calls Passport to Safety; employees get cash incentives to report safety hazards. In targeted departments, names of all workers who complete a month without work time lost to injury and attend a safety meeting are placed in a hat for a $100 drawing. Also, 30-member teams are created within departments, and each team that can go one quarter without a lost-work-time injury gets to compete in a drawing for $300.
For managers, who need motivation to work safely too, there are incentive packages based on predetermined financial goals. But there are also penalties for poor performance. Each workers' comp claim can result in a $15,000 deductible being taken from a manager's departmental budget. This proposal caused such an uproar in ServiceMaster's management that Selkirk almost lost his job over it. Yet, says Selkirk, "If executive management does not tie lower management to the cost impact of loss, then they don't manage it." It makes sense to him that if managers get bonuses for performance, there should also be disincentives for workers' comp claims. As far as Selkirk knows, no other company is doing anything similar.
In measuring results of these incentive programs, ServiceMaster has found that every $5.00 invested in incentives yields a $95.00 average reduction in the cost of injuries.
Manage claims effectively. If an injury occurs, managers are trained to stabilize the worker. This might mean administering CPR or first aid or actually escorting the injured person to receive medical attention. Managers are also taught to call the injured worker at home every other week, to call the doctor weekly for status reports, and to encourage an early return to work for injured employees by arranging for modified duty and other special accommodations. Effective claims management measures such as these have helped ServiceMaster to improve employee morale by fostering a sense of caring, reduce claims costs, improve the company's relationship with physicians, and reduce litigation and the likelihood of fraud.
RISK MANAGEMENT WITH CONTINGENT WORKERS
Many businesses have tried to dodge risk by using contingent workers. But if the agency placing the workers doesn't manage them properly, observes Selkirk, no risks are truly being shifted. If a contingent worker is injured, "not only could he collect workers' comp from the temp agency that sends him, he could possibly sue the company that he's working in due to a safety issue." He notes that of the employees ServiceMaster hires, few have filed a general liability suit against the customer.
Selkirk says it takes one to five years to change culture so that safe behavior becomes truly second nature or ingrained, but that specific behaviors can be changed in one quarter through rewards or disincentives. You know that safety has become part of the culture when you no longer have to focus on it or use incentives. (Beth Rogers is a freelance writer based in Bethesda, Md.)
Safety Education Trainer
The North Carolina Industrial Commission Safety Education Section has an opening for a Safety Representative in the Central Piedmont or Southern Piedmont Region. Click here for a map of the territories covered by this position.
MINIMUM EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
Graduation from a four-year college or university and two years of experience as an Industrial Safety Representative I or three years of experience in teaching, safety work, or other fields where work requires the promotion of given ideas. (Two years of additional experience of the type mentioned above may be substituted for the college training.)
PREFERRED EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
Industrial Safety Training, knowledge of Microsoft Access, Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
For more information or to apply, http://osp.its.state.nc.us/positiondetail.asp?vacancykey=4610-0000-0010-406&printit=no
Chemical Specialties, Inc., a chemical manufacturer, is seeking a Safety Coordinator. This position is responsible for performing daily in-plant safety audits/inspections to ensure compliance with safety programs. Lockout, hot work, permit to work and confined space are key programs. Coordinates activities including accident and incident reporting, training, industrial hygiene monitoring, MSDS management, equipment calibration and maintenance and resolution of safety action items. Competitive pay and an exemplary benefits package. Please visit our website at treatedwood.com or mrdc.com.
Please send resume with salary history to:
City of Charlotte
This position is responsible for programs/procedures to ensure OSHA compliance in Utilities Engineering and Water Treatment Divisions for employees and construction projects, ensures compliance with EPA/NCDENR Erosion Control requirements for construction.
Job tasks would include safety training and
monitoring contractor and employee safety and associated
plans and specifications for construction projects to ensure
OSHA compliance and mitigation of hazards where possible.
Participation in EPA Risk Management Program.
Coordinate activities with other Utility Department
safety coordinators on cross-divisional safety issues and with
Position will serve as a compliance officer for the division’s Erosion and Sedimentation Control programs. The division currently operates under an EPA approved Erosion and Sedimentation Operation Plan. This position would monitor construction projects for compliance both in the field implementation and the required record-keeping.
Requires three to five years construction safety experience and/or a bachelors degree from an accredited four year college and 1 year of construction safety experience or equivalent combination of education and experience. Authorization to conduct OSHA 500 (construction) and 501 (general industry) and other regulatory courses preferred.
Atlantic Beach Sheraton, September 10-14, 2007
Haven't been to the NC Industrial Commission's 30 Hour Accident Prevention Certificate Program yet? What are you waiting for? And best of all, it's FREE!
Click here for more information on upcoming APCAP programs.
Online registration is open now for Atlantic Beach APCAP, September 10-14, 2007. Register NOW!
Here's what some of our previous participants are saying about the program:
"This is a wonderful course and everyone needs to attend. " - Deborah Williams, ITG/Burlington, Salisbury APCAP
"One of the best training sessions I have attended. The trainers are excellent." - Tom Lee, VA Medical Center, Salisbury APCAP
"The variety of topics that were covered in this training assisted me in refreshing ideas that I can use to improve safety in my workplace." - Diane Hollar, Vantage Foods, Wilkesboro APCAP
"My primary job is HR, but this class has helped me considerably with understanding safety procedures and the importance of an active written policy." - Logan Helms, City of Newton, Wilkesboro APCAP
The NC Industrial Commission Safety Education Section stands ready to assist you with your Safety training needs. We offer a variety of courses, designed to suit your needs. Please give one of our Industrial Safety Representatives a call.
Mike Bingham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Carolina Area - 919-218-9045
Randy Cranfill - email@example.com
Central Piedmont Area - 919-218-2986
Markus Elliott - firstname.lastname@example.org
Southeastern Area - 919-810-5788
Mel Harmon - email@example.com
Mid-State Area and Defensive Driving Instructor - 919-218-3374
Eric Johnson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern Piedmont Area - 919-218-3567
Michael Nance - email@example.com
Blue Ridge & Western Piedmont Areas - 919-218-9047
Ginny Schwartzer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Program Assistant - 919-807-2603
Alvin Scott - email@example.com
Eastern & Northeastern Areas and Defensive Driving Instructor - 919-218-2792
Dennis Parnell - firstname.lastname@example.org
Director Safety Education - 919-218-3000
NC Industrial Commission