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Do you know the six common workplace hazards?

Marketing Department

characters-696949_960_720Workplace hazards fall into six different categories, according to OSHA. They are: safety, biological, physical, ergonomic, chemical and work organization hazards. Employers and employees can protect themselves by recognizing all six.

Safety

Safety hazards are the most common, and can occur in any type of workplace. They include many common hazards that can cause injury, illness or death, such as spills on floors, unguarded machinery, electrical hazards and working from heights, among others. Safety hazards are easily avoided with environmental awareness and safety mindfulness.

Physical

Physical hazards are elements within the environment that can physically harm the body without touching it, including radiation, exposure to sunlight, temperature extremes and loud noise. Though often invisible, employers and employees should be aware of physical hazards, and take the necessary steps to prevent them. This includes wearing appropriate clothing, sun screen and ear plugs.

Chemical

Chemical hazards are present whenever a worker is exposed to chemicals in any form, including solids, liquids and gases. Be aware of all liquid solutions, vapors and fumes, gases, flammable materials and pesticides in the workplace, and make sure hazards are labeled appropriately.

Biological

Biological hazards are present whenever workers interact with people, animals and plants. These type of hazards include exposure to blood or other bodily fluids, bacteria, insect bites and animal droppings.

Ergonomic

Ergonomic hazards are associated with work conditions. They occur when the type of work, posture and working conditions put strain on the body, and include improperly adjusted work stations, frequent lifting, repetitive movement and vibration.

Work Organization

Work organization hazards are associated with workplace issues such as workload, lack of respect and other stressors. They include workload demands, workplace violence, sexual harassment, social support and flexibility. Work organization hazards can be avoided through strong communication between supervisors and employees, and maintaining mutual respect among coworkers. They can often be resolved through the human resources department.

Understanding and recognizing the six types of common workplace safety hazards can keep you, and your coworkers, safe.

   Post Date: 09/06/2017


OSHA Fines Increase for First Time Since Early ’90s

Marketing Department

Did you know that OSHA recently increased penalty amounts for those businesses found in violation of the Federal Occupational Safety & Health Laws?  The increase took affect on August 1, 2016 and comes as a result of federal penalty adjustments mandated by Congress in 2015. This change may affect a variety of businesses and industries, so it is important that you know what these changes could mean for your organization.

Below is a list of the new penalties based on violation:

osha-violation-rates

To learn more about this increase or to find the variety of options for employers looking for compliance assistance, visit the OSHA website.

   Post Date: 09/28/2016


Using safe chemicals in the workplace

Marketing Department

Chemicals_in_flasksWorkers suffer more than 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 deaths annually related to chemical exposures, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Analyzing chemicals present in the workplace, using appropriate precautions and transitioning to safer alternatives can aid in preventing chemical-related injuries.

OSHA suggests six steps to transitioning to safer chemicals. They are: engage, inventory and prioritize, identify, access and compare, select, test and evaluate. To access the OSHA chemical transitioning toolkit, click here.

Workers can further protect themselves from chemical exposure by understanding and analyzing the chemicals present in facilities, and by following all appropriate safety procedures.

   Post Date: 08/04/2016


Summer Safety Tips

Marketing Department

summerThe summer season brings cookouts, pool parties and other celebrations, as well as a new set of safety hazards. This year, keep these safety tips in mind as you enjoy the season on the job and at home.

Heat

Temperatures rise in the summer months. Being exposed to warm weather can cause health issues, such as dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. To avoid these, drink plenty of water throughout the day, and take frequent breaks in shaded areas to cool off. Try to complete outdoor work during cool hours, such as in the early morning or at night. Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, headache, fatigue, confusion, pale skin and rapid heartbeat. If you, or someone near you, exhibits the symptoms of heat exhaustion, it is important to find a cool, shaded area, drink fluids and cool off with fans or water.

Sunburn

Whether it’s a cookout at home, or a day at the beach, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Always wear sunscreen while enjoying the outdoors. Exposure to UVB and UVA rays can increase the risk of burns and skin cancer. Sunburns can be treated by applying a cool compress to the area, and rubbing creams such as aloe, menthol and camphor to the burn.  It is recommended to wear a minimum of SPF 30 daily when exposed to the sun and reapply as directed on the bottle.  Skin cancer is the most common cancer found in young adults and is highly preventable with the proper use of sunscreen and clothing.

Stings and bites

Along with high temperatures, summer also brings bees and other stinging insects. Bee stings are merely annoying and painful to most, but can be life-threatening for some. If you get stung, first remove the stinger if it remains in your skin. Wash the area with soap and water, and apply ice or a cool compress to reduce swelling. If the area itches, you can apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. Avoiding heavy perfumes, wearing insect repellent and guarding food and drinks can help you avoid stings.

Mowing

Mowing: it’s the summer chore most of us have to do. To avoid lawn mower-related injuries, be sure to practice safe handling. Follow these tips:

  • Pick up all sticks, stones and other objects from the lawn before mowing
  • Wear fitting clothes and sturdy shoes (no sandals or sneakers)
  • Mow advancing forward
  • Turn the mower off every time you leave it
  • Keep all people and pets away from the mower
  • Do not allow extra riders on riding lawn mowers
  • Do not use riding mowers on slopes

Remember to practice safety mindfulness to enjoy a summer free of seasonal injuries and illnesses on the job and at home.

   Post Date: 07/13/2016


Save a Coworker’s Life and Learn First Aid!

Marketing Department

June is national safety month.  Companies around the country will be reminding workers to practice safe habits in the workplace and at home, but are you also keeping the health of your coworkers in mind?

Learning basic first aid techniques can save the lives of your family members, friends and coworkers, and can be fun! Practicing these techniques can make homes and workplaces safer for everyone:

CPR and Defibrillators

To administer CPR on an unresponsive person who is not breathing or whose heart has stopped beating due to a heart attack, drowning or other medical emergency, follow the steps of CAB (compression, airway, and breathing.) Dial 911 before beginning, and follow the instructions on an AED defibrillator if one is available.  If you are not trained in CPR, then administer hands-only CPR.

Compression

Place the heel of one hand atop the chest and between the nipples, and the other on top of the first hand. Use your upper body to push down on the chest, approximately two inches. Begin pumping about 100 compressions per minute. After 30 compressions, move to the next step.

Airway

Tilt the person’s head back and lift the chin forward. Check for rising chest motion, listen for breathing sounds and feel for the person’s breath on your cheek and ears. If the person is not breathing normally, move to the next step.

Breathing

Pinch the person’s nostrils shut and cover his or her mouth with yours. Blow one breath, lasting for about one second, into the person’s mouth and check for breathing. Administer a second breath. If the person still is not breathing normally, begin the cycle over. Continue until the person is breathing normally or emergency medical help arrives.

Choking

If a person is experiencing inability to breath due to choking, begin the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the blockage. The universal sign for choking is the hands clutching the neck.

Steps

  1. Stand behind the person and wrap your arms around the waist.
  2. Make a fist with one hand and place it slightly above the person’s navel.
  3. Grab the fist with the other hand, and press hard into the abdomen in an upward thrust. Continue until the blockage is dislodged or emergency medical personnel arrive.

Heat Exhaustion and Hypothermia

Working in extreme weather conditions can cause heat exhaustion- or the opposite, hypothermia. Understand the signs of both, and what to do when they occur.

Heat Exhaustion

Signs: Dizziness, nausea or vomiting, heavy sweating, cool and clammy skin, weak and rapid pulse, muscle cramps, flushed face, weakness or fatigue

How to treat: Immediately remove the person from the source of heat and into a cool environment, or the heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke. Lay the person down and elevate the legs. Give the person water to drink, and spray them with cool water. Call 911.

Hypothermia

Signs: Shivering, slurred speech, shallow breathing, weak pulse, clumsiness, drowsiness, confusion

How to treat: Remove the person from the cold, if possible. Protect the person from the cold, especially around the neck and head. Gradually warm the person, beginning with the center of the body. DO NOT warm the person with a hot bath, and do not attempt to warm or massage the arms or legs. Call 911.

Knowing basic first aid techniques can help protect ourselves and those around us. This month, take time to practice these methods, and always be aware of your surroundings.

To have emergency first aid information with you at all times, you can download theAmerican Red Cross First Aid app for your phone. A full list of first aid techniques for other medical emergencies can be found here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid

   Post Date: 06/15/2016


OSHA Kicks Off Summer Heat Safety Campaign

Marketing Department

sun-drinking-waterHeat illness can be deadly. In 2014, roughly 2,630 workers suffered from some form of heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke or related causes while on the job. In order to educate folks on the danger of working in the heat, OSHA has kicked off its annual Summer Heat Safety Campaign. The campaign provides heat safety tips, educational information, and an online toolkit to help keep those who work outside knowledgeable on what they can do to stay safe.  They have even created an app for iPhone and Android users to calculate the heat index for their work site, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Click here to download the app or check out the OSHA Campaign website, by clicking here. Stay safe this summer!

   Post Date: 06/01/2016


June is National Safety Month

Marketing Department

NSM_Logo_2015.eps

Get Ready! June is National Safety Month sponsored by the National Safety Council (NSC). Join NSC and thousands of organizations across the country as they work to raise awareness of what it takes to stay safe. Observed annually in the month of June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road, and in our homes and communities. To learn more about National Safety Month, click here.

   Post Date: 05/23/2016


Join OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down

Marketing Department

OSHA Safety Stand-DownThis week, OSHA is working to raise awareness for preventing fall hazards, specifically in the construction industry. Regardless of whether or not you work in the construction industry, this Safety Stand-Down can be beneficial. Last year, OSHA was able to reach over 2.5 million workers, and they aim to reach at least 5 million this year.

So what exactly is a Safety Stand-Down? In the simplest of terms, it is “a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety” (OSHA Safety Stand-Down Website). While individuals are encouraged to talk about all aspects of safety, this year, OSHA is primarily focusing on “Fall Hazards” and “Fall Prevention.”

Here at EFS, we will focus on talking about ladder safety amongst our employees, both in the office and in the field, and continue to follow our safety plans. Will you participate in a Safety Stand-Down, or even organize one? To learn more about OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down or to plan a Safety Stand-Down of your own, click here. To download the OSHA poster pictured above,click here

   Post Date: 05/02/2016


OSHA Makes a Final Rule for Workers’ Protection from Respirable Silica Dust

Marketing Department

OSHA recently made the final rule to improve workers’ protection from the hazards and dangers of respirable silica dust. The rule will help to precent lung cancer, silicosis, and other health issues by limiting exposure of workers to the silicia dust. The previous exposure limits were said to be outdated and allowed workers to be placed in harmful situations, now the new rule brings the “workers’ protections into the 21st century,” as stated by Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. OSHA states that the new ruling “will save more than 600 lives annually and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis – an incurable and progressive disease – each year.”

The final rule is actually divided into two parts, one for construction and one for general industries and maritime. This allows for more workers’ to be covered and protected in more efficient ways. While the rule mainly reduces exposure limits for workers, it also requires employers to utilize engineering controls, such as better ventilation or water, provide respiratory protection when other controls arent sufficient enough, and train workers so that they can better protect themselves. To read the full news release, click here. To read the entire final ruling, click here.

All information was found in the OSHA news release and in the final ruling. 

   Post Date: 04/13/2016


April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Marketing Department

distracted drivingThe National Safety Council observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to the distractions all drivers face and the consequences that can happen when we aren’t paying attention to the roadways on which we travel. EFS employees work in a variety of locations, including sites that may be near to roadways where many people travel.  Do your part to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you aren’t putting yourself or others at risk during your daily commute. Click here to learn more about how you can avoid being distracted while driving and how you can help to keep others safe out on the road.

   Post Date: 04/04/2016


Taking the Pain Out of Injury and Illness Reporting

Marketing Department

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Recordkeeping regulation (29 CFR 1904) requires employers to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses using the OSHA 300 Log.  OSHA Recordkeeping regulations are sometimes difficult to interpret, especially if your company experiences a low number of injuries.  Not understanding these regulations because you don’t have injuries is a good reason, but it is not an excuse to incorrectly document work related injuries and illnesses.

If you are an employer with 10 or more employees and not on the list of exempt industries, you are subject to the requirements for recording work related injuries/illnesses.  However, there are also reporting requirements that all employers are subject to regardless of the number of employees or type of industry.

Work related injuries and illnesses must be documented using certain forms and employers are required to post a summary of injuries/illnesses in the workplace from February 1st – April 30th.

EFS hopes that by providing you with some tools and resources to help you with injuries/illnesses recordkeeping and reporting, we will help take some of the pain out of this process.

   Post Date: 03/10/2016


Occupational Noise Exposure

Marketing Department

Occ NoiseEvery year, approximately 30 million people in the United States are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise. Noise-related hearing loss has been listed as one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns in the United States for more than 25 years. Thousands of workers every year suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels. Since 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that nearly 125,000 workers have suffered significant, permanent hearing loss. In 2009 alone, BLS reported more than 21,000 hearing loss cases.

Exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss. Neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct this type of hearing loss. Short term exposure to loud noise can also cause a temporary change in hearing (your ears may feel stuffed up) or a ringing in your ears (tinnitus). These short-term problems may go away within a few minutes or hours after leaving the noisy area. However, repeated exposures to loud noise can lead to permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss.

To learn more, visit the OSHA website.

   Post Date: 12/16/2015


Staying Safe During the Holidays

Marketing Department

Safety Boots Hardhat

Safety is an important part of EFS’ company culture. With the holidays upon us, it is important to make sure that safety is top of mind when installing lights, driving on icy roads, or decorating your home.  Watch this video series, created by the Electrical Safety Foundation International, showcasing different holiday safety tips. Happy holidays and stay safe this holiday season!

   Post Date: 12/11/2015


One Way to Safely Identify Utility Lines and Tree Roots

Marketing Department

Certain work sites pose problems when it comes to identifying utility lines or tree roots that could possibly hinder EFS work or put EFS employees in danger. To help with these issues, EFS uses a technique called air knifing, or soft digging. In this technique, we use compressed air that flows through a nozzle and crumbles the dirt. By working in this way, we can safely identify utility lines or tree roots, without damaging either one of them and keeping everyone safe in the process. To see this process in action, watch this video from Bloodhound Utility Locators.

To learn more about the variety of services the EFS offers, including Air Knifing/Soft Digging, Click Here to contact us.

   Post Date: 09/23/2015


June is National Safety Month!

Marketing Department

Safety First Concept With Green Key on Computer KeyboardJune is National Safety Month sponsored by the National Safety Council. Join NSC and thousands of organizations across the country as they work to raise awareness of what it takes to stay safe. Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road, and in our homes and communities. To learn more about National Safety Month, click here.

   Post Date: 06/02/2015


EFS Employees Achieve One Million Work Hours Without a Lost Workday Injury

Marketing Department

safety_first_3dEFS is proud to announce the achievement of ONE MILLION work hours without an OSHA recordable lost workday injury. For nearly 4 years, EFS has performed work on thousands of projects throughout the country, without one lost workday injury. As a company who’s Health & Safety Program is highly touted and top of mind, the employees of EFS work very hard to practice safety when in the field. Join us in congratulating the employees of EFS for a job well done!

   Post Date: 04/13/2015


OSHA Injury and Illness Reporting deadline is coming soon!

Marketing Department

Safety Boots HardhatThe OSHA Recordkeeping regulation (29 CFR 1904) requires employers to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses using the OSHA 300 Log.  Employers are required to post the 300A Summary in the workplace from February 2nd – March 31st.  This Webinar will briefly cover all aspects of the Recordkeeping regulation including: Determining if an injury/illness is work related, determining if a case is recordable on the Log, how to record lost work time and restricted work time cases, when employers must notify OSHA and a brief discussion on injury/illness rates. To learn more, click here.

   Post Date: 01/02/2015