September 2007
NC Industrial Commission
Safety Bulletin

"As soon as you see a mistake and don't fix it, it becomes your mistake."

Greetings friends in the name of safety:

Fall is in the air and it's a wonderful time of the year! As the season changes from hot to cooler, it's not too early to begin thinking about Working in Cold Conditions. I know, we are still sweating every day, but now is a great time to call your area NCIC Safety Rep and schedule your winter-time training.

We are always seeking ways to better serve the employees and employers of North Carolina. We also are always open to your suggestions, so please give us a call with your new ideas.

The applications for the Piedmont Area Safety Rep are forth-coming and we are excited about beginning this phase of the process. Stay tuned for your newest addition to the team!

Your REGIONAL SAFETY COUNCILS are continuing to work for you, so please refer to the calendar section of our Safety Bulletin for more information. Please support YOUR councils!

Don't forget our APCAP programs coming up. You can check the dates and locations elsewhere in this Bulletin as well.

Again, we thank you for your support and we pledge to continue to serve your needs. We promise to continue to provide quality ACCIDENT PREVENTION training programs.
by Markus Elliott  
NCIC Safety Education Section is now offering Emergency Response Training for First Responders Awareness Level and First Responder Operation Level. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120 indicates that all employees who respond to a hazardous materials emergency must receive training based on their level of activities at the incident.

Awareness Level training is for those responders who are likely to discover or witness a release and will initiate a response procedure by notifying the proper authorities. Awareness level responders recognize the presence of hazardous materials, isolate the scene and call for appropriate assistance. They do not participate in the actual mitigation and cleanup activities. This course will address the topics stipulated in 1910.120(q)(6)(i). The course time requirements will be dependent on the complexity of the response plan and facility.

Operations Level training is for those individuals who respond to releases or potential releases of hazardous substances as part of the initial response to the site for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, property, or the environment from the effects of the release. They are trained to respond in a defensive fashion without actually trying to stop the release. Their function is to contain the release from a safe distance, keep it from spreading, and prevent exposures. This course will address topics stipulated in 1910.120(q)(6)(ii). First responders at the operational level shall have received at least eight hours of training or have had sufficient experience to objectively demonstrate competency. For more information and to schedule a course, give MARKUS ELLIOTT a call at 919-810-5788.

Editor's Note: Prior to coming to NC Industrial Commission, Markus Elliott completed 20 years of service in the US Navy where he was involved with managing fire safety, hearing conservation program, asbestos safety program, lead paint safety, heat stress, confined space entry, and general safety on board naval vessels. He completed his studies for a BS in Sociology while on active duty. After leaving the Navy in 1991, he worked with a North Carolina based safety and health consulting firm. His duties included Industrial Hygiene and Safety evaluations, OSHA' s PSM written program development, EPA's Risk Management Program written program development and other safety and health written programs and associated training. In 1998 he began work at North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Air Quality Fayetteville Regional Office as the Risk Management Program inspector. He assisted in the development of the State Risk Management Program inspection process. He also served as the DAQ Regional Safety Manager providing training to Fayetteville DAQ Region personnel. Mr. Elliott has completed studies in Industrial Hygiene, Respirator Safety, HAZWOPER, OSHA Compliance and Indoor Air Quality. He is a certified Occupational Health and Safety Technician.

Nurses Who Work the Night Shift

Nurses who work the night shift are more likely than others to have poor sleep habits, which can increase the likelihood of making errors that can jeopardize them and their patients. That was the conclusion of a research abstract presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Arlene Johnson of the University of Alabama at Birmingham surveyed nearly 300 licensed nurses while they were working overnight in hospitals and classified more than half of them as sleep-deprived.

"Nurses who work the night shift may be particularly subject to sleep deprivation because of irregularity of sleep hours and disruptions in the circadian cycle," noted Johnson.

"Poor psychomotor performance has been associated with an increase in error, which can be translated into an unsafe work environment." She believes that identifying sleep deprivation is essential for safety.
The True Cost of an Accident
by Michael Nance  

Many employers view the cost of work related accidents as only the dollars that are paid by the insurance carrier. Usually this is what has been paid and reserved for medical and indemnity costs as required by state statute. Often these are referred to as the "direct" cost of an accident. Many seasoned experts estimate that the "indirect" costs are 3 to 10 times the direct cost of an accident.

Discovering the true cost of an accident to an employer can be difficult. The true cost includes many hidden costs that are not easily recognized or even addressed by management. Some of these indirect costs can include replacement costs of workers. Frequently an employer must replace an injured employee with another employee. This may involve both hiring and training costs. Other workers may need to work extended hours to make up for lost production. Then there is the cost of employees not injured; others may be involved in investigating and managing injuries. Often there is a loss of production while discussions regarding accidents occur around the water cooler or in meetings. Accidents may prompt additional investigations by governing agencies such as OSHA or the DOT. These inquiries require valuable management time. Depending on what type of accident has taken place, damage to equipment or materials are not uncommon. Even if there is minimal physical damage to property or materials, there can be down time after an accident before production can be resumed.

Supervisors may spend considerable time addressing the needs of the injured worker, investigation of the accident, or supervising activities to correct unsafe hazards and processes. Of course, there are some indirect costs related to the injured employee. The employee may need to leave work for additional medical treatment. Typically, an employee returning from an accident may be less productive or may need to work in a restricted capacity until they are able to return to full duty.

There are many other indirect costs and they may not occur in every accident situation but they can be quite substantial to employers. Some of these may include: increased cost of insurance, loss of goodwill, loss of a customer, delays in delivery of product, equipment replacement not covered by insurance, fines, legal fees, civil penalties and last but not least, loss of key employee. These costs may be hard to measure but are a direct result of an accident.

Accident costs, both direct and indirect, must be paid for by the profits earned. Even if there is insurance coverage, the true cost of an accident can be staggering.

Accident Cost


Profit Margin
































































Assume your profit margin is 5%; $500,000 in additional revenue is required to pay for the direct and indirect costs of a $25,000 accident.

The total costs are expensive and can result in substantial loss of profit. Effective safety programs play an important role in reducing accidents; therefore contributing to company profits. It is important for management to "buy in" to safety programs but they must be effective and truly address accident prevention. Successful accident prevention programs are felt in the profit margins and in employee attitudes for years. Moral is up, production is up, quality is up, and employee turnover is down.

Since I have thrown around costs, I feel it's warranted to remind you that the service of the North Carolina Industrial Commission's Safety Section is free. Let us assist your safety prevention program on various topics. This can be monthly, quarterly, or however you wish. Accident prevention is our main goal. The Safety Section was established to provide competent and practical instruction in reducing accidents. Give a safety representative a call today to schedule direct cost savings for your safety program. It's worth repeating, we are (truly) working for you.

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

What Would You Do If a Coworker Was Bleeding?

No, this isn't a lesson in first aid - it's a lesson in bloodborne pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease to those who come into contact with it. They include, but are not limited to, the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the hepatitis C virus (HCV), and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Exposure to bloodborne pathogens (BBPs) may occur by a needlestick, through body fluids, mucous membranes, or an open cut or wound. The majority of at-risk workers are in the healthcare field, but exposures can also occur to workers in general industrial and office settings.

Employees who have "occupational exposure," such as nurses, first responders, and possibly janitors, are covered by OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard, and must receive training. For other employees, it's still a good idea to have a general awareness, so that you don't respond to an injured coworker without any idea of the potential risk involved by coming into contact with that person's blood.

What if you have to handle blood?

This brings us to our initial question: What if your coworker received an injury and was bleeding? If you have people in your facility who are first responders, call them immediately, since they know how to handle both first aid treatment and exposure to blood. Do not touch another person's blood. If it is an emergency, use latex gloves if available, and render first aid if you can to help stop the bleeding. If you have safety glasses, wear them.

After the person is stabilized and getting medical treatment, do not clean up the blood spill. Leave it to those who are trained in cleaning up potentially infectious blood. What you CAN do is keep untrained people from touching the spill or trying to clean it up themselves. Make them aware of the danger, and that the area should be treated as a biohazard.

Hopefully you won't find yourself in this situation. But if you do, at least you will know enough about the potential risk of exposure to someone else's blood to know what NOT to do.

Our Staff can assist you with your BLOODBORNE PATHOGEN training. Just give your area NCIC Safety Rep a call.

Insight. . .
  • Every day 20 banks are robbed. The average take is $2,500!
  • The most popular first name in the world is Muhammad!
  • Tablecloths were originally meant to be served as towels with which dinner guests could wipe their hands and faces after eating!
  • Tourists visiting Iceland should know that tipping at a restaurant is considered an insult!
  • One car out of every 230 made was stolen last year!
  • The names of Popeye's four nephews are Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye, and Poopeye!
  • Until the nineteenth century, solid blocks of tea were used as money in Siberia!
  • The Nobel Peace Prize medal depicts three naked men with their hands on each other's shoulders!
  • When glass breaks, the cracks move faster than 3,000 miles per hour. To photograph the event, a camera must shoot at a millionth of a second!
  • A Boeing 747 airliner holds 57,285 gallons of fuel!

Rapid Intervention for Injury Reduction
by Mike Bingham  

When injuries are occurring and costs are soaring, it isn't too likely that things will just suddenly get better. A sharp and focused intervention is needed. We would want to get a snapshot of what the injuries are and work first on those issues with the most serious consequences, either real or potential.

Three places to find data to help prioritize your efforts are:
  • Form 19 logs
  • OSHA 300 logs
  • First Aid logs
Using these sources can help you see exactly what has hurt people and generated associated costs. By spending your safety budget on these issues you can get maximum efficiency and return on your efforts.

The North Carolina Industrial Commission's Safety Section can assist you by helping you find the causes of you workplace injuries and then tailoring training precisely to your site and employees. We have a program called Accident Prevention in the Workplace (APW) that can become a tool to use in "rapidly intervening" to improve your safety.

One premise in behavior-based safety is that people respond favorably to things that happen quickly, and are positive. So can your safety culture. By taking fast, positive action and displaying the results it would be possible to reduce injuries while simultaneously improving employee morale, community status, and general safety stewardship.

Safety is an often overlooked vehicle for cost savings, due in part to the difficulty in quantifying costs of accidents that may not occur. (Not soon, not positive, may not happen at all). But the company that has avoided, let's say, a $100,000.00 back injury has $100,000.00 left for benefits, materials, tools, equipment, and so forth. Plus, that company didn't have to provide the labor and materials to pay the $100,000.00 claim before it could resume making money.

Did I mention reduced Worker's Comp costs? Lower premiums translate into more profits to the company. Your competitive advantages may come more and more from safety improvements. The price of raw materials is pretty well set. Fuel costs are volatile, at best, but affect everyone across the board. Safety is the wild card that can deliver huge cost savings through accident prevention.

Editor's Note: Mike Bingham is the Western Area Safety Representative for the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Mike is one of the 10 members of the North Carolina Industrial Commission's Safety Department who are out there Working for You! to make our workplaces safer and better for each and every worker by reducing injuries to employees and saving money for employers through education and training. You can contact Mike at: or call: 919.218.9045

Lightning Safety Awareness
by Daniel Northington (Honeywell)  

Lightning is a serious and life-threatening weather phenomenon, responsible for multiple deaths, injuries and massive property destruction throughout the United States. Unfortunately, lightning also is the most under-recognized weather hazard, often commanding little attention from the public and the media.

In 2001, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service launched an annual campaign to increase public awareness of the dangers of lightning. At, you'll learn more about lightning risks and how to protect yourself, others and your belongings.

A few tips from NOAA:

Safe Buildings

A safe building is one that is fully enclosed with a roof, walls and floor, such as a home, school, office building or a shopping center. Even inside, you should take precautions. Picnic shelters, dugouts, sheds and other partially open or small structures are not safe.

Enclosed buildings are safe because of wiring and plumbing. If lightning strikes these types of buildings, or an outside telephone pole, the electrical current from the flash will typically travel through the wiring or the metal plumbing into the ground. This is why you should stay away from showers, sinks, hot tubs and electronic equipment, such as TVs, radios and computers.

Lightning can damage or destroy electronics, so it's important to have a proper lightning protection system connected to your electronic equipment.

Unsafe Buildings

Examples of buildings which are unsafe include car ports, covered but open garages, covered patio, picnic shelters, beach shacks/pavilions, golf shelters, camping tents, large outdoor tents, baseball dugouts and other small buildings such as sheds and greenhouses that do not have electricity or plumbing.

Safe Vehicles

A safe vehicle is a hard-topped car, SUV, minivan, bus, tractor, etc. (soft-topped convertibles are not safe). If you seek shelter in your vehicle, make sure all doors are closed and windows rolled up. Do not touch any metal surfaces.

If you're driving when a thunderstorm starts, you may need to pull off the roadway. A lightning flash hitting the vehicle could startle you and cause temporary blindness, especially at night.

Do not use electronic devices such as HAM radios or cell phones during a thunderstorm. Lightning striking the vehicle, especially the antennas, could cause serious injury if you are talking on the radio or holding the microphone at the time of the flash. Emergency officials such as police officers, firefighters, security officers, etc., should use extreme caution using radio equipment when lightning is in the area.

Your vehicle and its electronics may be damaged if hit by lightning. Vehicles struck by lightning are known to have flat tires the next day. This occurs because the lightning punctures tiny holes in the tires. Vehicles have caught fire after being struck by lightning.

Bolts from the Blue

There are times when a lightning flash can travel horizontally many miles away from the thunderstorm cloud itself and then strike the ground. These types of lightning flashes are called "Bolts from the Blue" because they seem to come out of a clear blue sky. Although these flashes are rare, they have been known to cause fatalities. It is a good idea to wait 30 minutes or more after the rain ends before resuming outdoor activities.
Have You Seen This Symbol on Cabinets at Your Workplace?
by Eric Johnson  

If you have, then you are in a safety conscious environment because there is an AED close by in case of a sudden cardiac arrest.

Our Emergency Medical System (EMS) does a great job in serving our public but they cannot always be on the scene in five minutes. Someone has to make the call, dispatch, and then travel time come into play and if someone is having heart attack the victim needs our help also as well as EMS coming.

So what can we do? Calling EMS, early CPR and the use of an AED is the best combination.

What is an AED?
The automated external defibrillator (AED) is a computerized medical device. An AED can check a person's heart rhythm. It can recognize a rhythm that requires a shock. And it can advise the rescuer when a shock is needed. The AED uses voice prompts, lights and text messages to tell the rescuer the steps to take.

AED's are very accurate and easy to use. With a few hours of training, anyone can learn to operate an AED safely. There are many different brands of AED's, but the same basic steps apply to all of them.

Early CPR is an integral part of providing lifesaving aid to people suffering sudden cardiac arrest. CPR helps to circulate oxygen-rich blood to the brain. After the AED is attached and delivers a shock, the typical AED will prompt the operator to continue CPR while the device continues to analyze the victim.

For every minute that a person in cardiac arrest goes without being successfully treated by defibrillation, the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent.

AED's are designed to be simple to use for the layman, and the use of AED's is taught in our First Aid/ CPR/AED class. The cost of our First Aid/CPR/AED class is $18.00 per student which covers the cost of the book, shipping, and the other materials used in class such as manikin face shields and gloves. Our instruction is a "NO COST" benefit to you!

The use of an AED is covered by our State's Good Samaritan Law's just as they cover the rescuer while administering First Aid and CPR.

Remember your CPR certification is good for two years and First Aid is three years and the CPR guidelines just changed in 2005.

Eric Johnson is the Mid-State Safety Council representative and Water/Wastewater Coordinator. To contact Eric Johnson for training classes or workshops please call 919-218-3567.

Video Library Updates

Did you know the NC Industrial Commission has over 400 safety videos for free loan in its library? And all you have to do is ask. Check out the links below for video loan request forms, loan policies, and video descriptions. We are in the process of changing over to DVD from VHS tapes. You can request any of the VHS titles in DVD format.

Video Loan Policies and Request Form
Video Descriptions
From the Desk of Dennis Parnell, Director Safety Education

Target Training to Jobs

It's not easy to ensure employees are getting all of the safety training they need. Communication and cooperation between the safety trainer, the supervisor, and the employee will keep employees from taking on tasks before they are adequately trained.

The trainer has to know which jobs require which type of safety training. This can only be accomplished by observing the job and discussing it with the supervisors and workers. The trainer can identify training needs based on the job duties. Trainers should have a list of required safety training for each job. The employee's training records should match the identified training needs. You need to know who is doing which jobs. When employees are going to be transferred, the trainer can refer to the list to see if training is needed before the transfer takes place. New employees can get started more easily when the safety trainer is ready with an outline of required training.

Audits will keep the list up to date. When there is a new regulation, identify the jobs that will need training, add them to your list, and let the supervisors know about the changes. Supervisors should let you know about changes in equipment and procedures-these could easily change training requirements.

Now you know. Dennis
NC Industrial Commission Safety Education Section

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 -
Western Carolina Area - 919-218-9045

Randy Cranfill -
Central Piedmont Area, APCAP & APW Coordinator- 919-218-2986

Markus Elliott -
Southeastern Area and HAZWOPER Trainer- 919-810-5788

Mel Harmon -
Work Zone Traffic Control and Defensive Driving Instructor - 919-218-3374

Eric Johnson -
MId-State Area and Water/Wastewater Coordinator - 919-218-3567

Michael Nance -
Blue Ridge & Southern/Western Piedmont Areas - 919-218- 9047

Ginny Schwartzer -
Program Assistant - 919-807-2603

Alvin Scott -
Eastern & Northeastern Areas and Defensive Driving Instructor - 919-218-2792

Dennis Parnell -
Director Safety Education - 919-218-3000

We Are Working for You!
NC Industrial Commission


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Upcoming Events. . .

  • September 20, 2007 - Central Piedmont Safety Council Fall Workshop, Hawthorne Inn, Winston- Salem, NC, 8 am
  • September 27, 2007 - Western Piedmont Safety Council Workshop, HUB Conference Center Hudson, NC, 8 am
  • October 4, 2007 - Eastern Carolina Safety Council Quarterly Meeting, Wilbur's BBQ, Goldsboro, NC
  • October 25, 2007 - Southern Piedmont Safety Council Fall Workshop, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Salisbury, NC
  • October 25, 2007 - Blue Ridge Safety Council Quarterly Meeting, Rollins Cafeteria, Forest City, NC

30 Hour Accident
Prevention Certificate
Awareness Program
2007 Dates

October 8-12 - Winston Salem, NC
November 5-9 - Sanford, NC