In this edition we will be covering the following topics:
- What is a safety plan and how do you create one?
- Horrific death triggers $650,000 fine for Melbourne workplace.
- OSHA’s ‘Top 10’ list of most frequently cited violations for 2019.
- Ask Bob: Our tech guru addresses a question on operator numbers / re-certifications.
- Tips for safe, productive digging with excavators.
- OSHA fines Journal Star $35,802.
- Last chance to register!
- What's Wrong With This? Photo and answer.
- A selection of interesting articles.
- New testimonials from our wonderful clients.
But first, check out all the places we are delivering training this month...
What is a safety plan and how do you create one?
There comes a time when success depends upon a professional safety plan. Now is a perfect time to create a safety plan for your organization if you haven’t already. I’ve been with Clean Fuels National, a coast-to-coast, family-run fuel storage tank cleaning company, for 10 years. A father and his sons launched this Inc. 5000 company in 2000 with little to no experience in the gas and oil industry. They made up for what they lacked in experience with focus, sacrifice and tenacity. CFN slowly grew for several years, despite bouts of heavy financial strain, and against all odds reached recognition and profitability. During this period of immense growth, safety standards continued to evolve as well.
There comes a time when success depends upon a professional safety plan. To stay ahead of the curve, you need both a safety plan and someone to institute it who understands the business and the safety requirements. That person didn’t exist yet, so I volunteered. Through my successes and failures, I can share the basics of instituting a successful safety program: creating a safety manual and risk assessment, writing standards of procedure (SOP) and establishing a safety management program.
The safety manual is a collection of OSHA and other relevant requirements to be used as a reference in creating other steps of a safety program. While this is the most "boring” document of them all, without reading and understanding it, you will not know where to begin. You will base all safety decisions off of it. Creating the document is not a difficult process, but it may involve consultation with a safety specialist, walk-throughs of your business and detailed information on how you accomplish the plethora of tasks you perform. After all is said and done, you will have all the required standards bound in one place for you and others to reference.
Job hazard analysis and risk assessment, like many things in safety, may sound difficult but are very straightforward. Begin by walking around and making a list of every task your company performs. Then, watch as each task is completed and document every step of the process. Be sure to take the time to note how it is done and what hazards may be involved. An example of this could be tripping or smashing your hand – any potential accident counts. After each hazard, note potential severity of injury – 1 being trivial and 5 being fatal. Also note how likely it is to happen – 1 being remote and 5 being very likely. Get input from the manager or employees for tasks you are unfamiliar with.
By multiplying the hazard level by the frequency, you get the risk factor. If the risk is greater than your company tolerance, then implement a control to lower it. I halt all activities that are 15 or above, evaluate 9-12 for change, and consider those below 8 to be relatively safe. Implementing controls will have a dramatic effect on lowering the risk. After this step is complete, you may move onto writing the SOPs, which detail how you want each task to be completed, step by step, using the new controls to accomplish the task in a manner that is both safe and effective.
The safety management plan outlines what you and others will use to ensure the new SOPs are being followed. This should become your guide to the entire safety program and can include a statement from the CEO, requirements for meetings, chain of command, training, disciplinary action or any other pertinent information to best implement the program. Leadership support is essential to do this well.
It’s easy to get lost during your first go-round but remain focused on your end goal. You are going to encounter resistance to change, revisions and new hazards. However, with these pieces in place, it will be easy to see how and where changes must be made. Lastly, remember to utilize the free advice and resources PSHA and the National Safety Council provide. If a small business like ours can do it, so can you.
Addam Vanover, ASP, is a safety manager at Clean Fuels National and a 2019 Rising Star of Safety.
Horrific death triggers $650,000 fine for Melbourne workplace
A man's tragic death has led to a Melbourne court finding his employer guilty of not providing a safe work environment.
The Melbourne County Court ordered last week that Bradken Resources Limited pay $650,000 in penalties after finding it guilty of a breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The 10-day trial came after WorkSafe Victoria's investigation into a July 2014 death of a Bradken employee.
The foundry worker was using a Bobcat-type machine to scoop up heavy objects, the court heard, when a 276kg (609 lb) metal casting dropped and crashed through the windscreen, killing him.
"Every family should expect that when their loved ones go off to work, their employer is doing their utmost to keep them safe," said WorkSafe executive director Julie Nielsen.
"WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute those employers who fail to do all that is reasonably possible to protect the health and safety of their workers."
Even though there were no past incidents of objects falling off the scoop and onto the windscreen, the court heard the company knew – or should have known – that this was a risk.
"The weight, heat and proximity of the castings created a risk that employees operating the loader could suffer burns leading to serious injury or death," WorkSafe told the court.
The business could have reduced the risk to staff by using other machinery – like a rock excavator – that would have put employees further away from the hot castings.
Fall Protection again tops OSHA's 'Top 10' list of most frequently cited violations
For the ninth consecutive year, Fall Protection – General Requirements is OSHA’s most frequently cited standard, the agency and Safety+Health announced Tuesday at the National Safety Council 2019 Congress & Expo. The rest of the preliminary list of OSHA’s Top 10 violations for fiscal year 2019 also remained largely unchanged from FY 2018, with only one minor adjustment. Lockout/Tagout, which ranked fifth in FY 2018, climbed one spot to No. 4, trading places with Respiratory Protection.
Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the list, based on OSHA Information System data from Oct. 1 to Aug. 15. Kevin Druley, associate editor for S+H, moderated the session that took place in the NSC Learning Lab on the Expo Floor.
“Look at your own workplace and see where you can find solutions,” Kapust said during the presentation. “These are common violations. They’ve been around for a while. The answers are out there.”
- Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501): 6,010 violations
- Hazard Communication (1910.1200): 3,671
- Scaffolding (1926.451): 2,813
- Lockout/Tagout (1910.147): 2,606
- Respiratory Protection (1910.134): 2,450
- Ladders (1926.1053): 2,345
- Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178): 2,093
- Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503): 1,773
- Machine Guarding (1910.212): 1,743
- Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1926.102): 1,411
“Far too many preventable injuries and deaths occur on the job,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said in a Sept. 10 press release. “The OSHA Top 10 list is a helpful guide for understanding just how adept America’s businesses are in complying with the basic rules of workplace safety. This list should serve as a challenge for us to do better as a nation and expect more from employers. It should also serve as a catalyst for individual employees to recommit to safety.”
Finalized data, along with additional details and exclusive content, will be published in the December issue of S+H
Q. I am re-certifying operators at my work and need to know, "If they are certified from a previous trainer should I continue with their same number?"
A. If you are using the Ives' operator numbering system and keeping track of them in your trainer log sheets:
1. If you originally trained them, they keep the same operator number you gave them previously.
2. If someone else trained them originally, and you re-certify the operators, they get your numbers issued (your trainer #-00 and so on). Just use the next available numbers from your log book.
Let me know if I can assist more.
I hope this helps,
Tips for safe, productive digging with excavators
Proper operation of an excavator while trenching, sloping or benching can have a big impact on productivity. Planning ahead will optimize performance, minimize the risk of accidents and maximize productivity.
One of the most common mistakes is failing to plan your approach to the excavation. Bottlenecks in the process can result in moving material more times than necessary. Take time to visualize how the job will progress to avoid "boxing" the machine in between obstacles or the spoils pile, or limiting your reach.
As part of the planning process, it’s important to identify:
- where you will put the spoil pile
- where pipe, bedding or other materials will be staged
- where any existing utilities are located
- and, in the case of trenching, whether additional shoring may be needed.
A stable platform for the excavator is an essential element of site setup. Make sure the machine will sit on even ground and that the ground is stable. If needed, pack dirt under one of the tracks to ensure a level surface.
When digging a trench, take time to create some form of guide, whether that be offset stakes, a chalk line or stringline. Then align the front and back of the machine to the line you’re referencing to ensure you’re tracking straight.
Training Tips for Safe, Efficient Trenching
Position the machine at a productive height for loading material. The bench height should be about the height of the haul vehicle’s sideboards. Most experts recommend setting up for the trucks to come down the left side of the excavator, which is best for loading angle and visibility.
A stable platform is an essential element of site setup. Make sure the machine will sit on even ground and that the ground is stable. The biggest potential hazard of working over the edge of a hole is the risk of cave-ins, which can endanger not only those in the trench but the operator and machine as well. As such, it's critical to maintain a safe distance from the edge based on soil type.
Make sure you know the type of soil on which the excavator is resting, and ensure the machine is positioned far enough back to support its weight.
Maintain awareness of people and objects around the machine at all times. Be aware of blindspots around the machine, including the working radius of the rear counterweight. Built-in camera systems on today’s excavators can help to mitigate risks, but it is still the operator’s responsibility to be aware of objects, equipment and especially personnel within the work area.
Pay close attention to the direction of travel. An excavator allows the upper housing to be rotated 360 degrees. However, the undercarriage tracks in the same direction, regardless of which way the operator is facing. Make sure that you are in the forward-facing direction to avoid inadvertent movement in the wrong direction that could potentially put the operator and machine – as well as those working around it – in a precarious position.
Raise Excavating Safety to New Heights
Excavate Safely on an Incline
Once you're ready to dig, start with marking a path for the top layer and gradually work your way down. Avoid digging from the bottom up, which can waste time and fuel and lead to under cutting the excavator.
Completing a series of short, connecting sections is more efficient than digging a series of holes and trying to connect the holes. Start out by digging the teeth in just enough to mark the direction of the trench so it's in alignment. Then, gradually go down layer by layer.
A grade laser or other form of grade control system can make the task of achieving grade much easier. However, it’s important to calibrate the system with the position of the bucket prior to beginning excavation.
Simplified Grade Control Promises Rapid Returns
If the project requires working on the face of a hill, it's important to consult the equipment operator's manual to determine the safe operating ratios.
Position the tracks of the excavator straight up and down the hill. Should the machine start to slide, it will be at less risk of tipover should the edge of the tracks catch on something on the way down. Also position the sprockets, which are the heaviest part of the track, inside so they’re next to the hill.
The steeper the slope, the more care required. The more extreme the slope, the harder the swing motor will be required to work. If you’re moving material too quickly, it may not be able to safely handle the load. In such cases, slow, steady movement is actually more productive, or smaller bucket loads, may be more productive.
Productivity can be enhanced by taking advantage of an excavator’s operating modes, e.g. fine grading mode. These automatic settings optimize both the speed of the engine and hydraulic settings to the task at hand.
In-cab Controls Enable "Smart” Excavator Technology
OSHA fines Journal Star $35,802
Employees were complaining for years about safety issues in the press and mail rooms at the Peoria Journal Star, yet their concerns went largely unheeded. Until six months ago. In an instant, the work zone looked like a war zone.
One employee said that judging from the amount of blood, he was sure someone was dead.
GateHouse Media, a Wall Street hedge fund, has owned the newspaper since 2007. Under GateHouse ownership, the newsroom has shrunk. The building went from being meticulously maintained to looking virtually abandoned and derelict. Operating conditions inside the building were stressful.
Several people verified empty vodka bottles were routinely seen tossed under bushes outside the rear pressroom door.
Since the accident on Dec. 21 last year, empty liquor bottles still get tossed under the bushes, but there are fewer of them, one person said.
Dec. 21 was busy, right in the midst of holiday advertising. According to the police report, a forklift operated by Walter Kelly hit and pinned Larry Helle against a machine. Other workers rushed to Helle’s aid and one used his belt to make a tourniquet to stem the blood loss.
Helle, 60, was transported to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center where he immediately went into surgery. Attempts to save his leg failed and the leg ultimately had to be amputated.
After weeks at OSF followed by weeks at Kindred Care Extended Stay Hospital, Helle was released to a nursing home. A family member said he has suffered a series of seizures and possible strokes.
He is being represented by Goldfine and Bowles in a workman’s compensation case against GateHouse.
“My client is a heck of a nice guy and has had a pretty rough road since the Friday before Christmas,” said his attorney with Goldfine and Bowles.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the case for several months, closing its investigation on May 21 and issuing a total of $35,802 in fines for three violations the agency labeled as serious.
The Journal Star newsroom was ordered not to report on the accident. A call to GateHouse Media seeking comment was not returned.
According to the original police report, the driver of the forklift fled the scene. An officer at the information desk, said no supplemental police reports have been filed in the case.
Clare Howard is the editor of the Community Word.
What's Wrong With This? Photo
Can you tell what's going wrong in this photo?
Have a photo you'd like to share? Send it to us!
Answer to Last Month's WWWT? Photo
Here's what our Director of Training, Rob Vetter had to say about it:
In last month's photo depicting the theory of natural selection in progress, we see an aerial boomlift with a large load slung from the jib or possibly the work platform, it's hard to tell. Either way, the obvious infraction here is the misuse of the MEWP as a crane which of course is one of the basic thou shalt nots of competent, professional MEWP operation.
When identifying the hazards in the photo, one might immediately zero in on the obvious issues concerning the weight of the load, the type, rating, condition and use of the rigging involved and quite possibly the mental state of the operator. However, one of the greatest and often over-looked hazards in slinging loads, even with the proper equipment, is the danger of dynamic loading.
Dynamic loading can take place whenever it is possible for a load to move independently from the machine lifting it. The opposite is a static load which is the type that most types of lifting equipment are designed for. When the operator in the photo moves any part of the machine, the load slung beneath it is likely to start swinging to and fro. As it does, the forces it exerts back on the machine push and pull it every which way other than the way it was designed for, which is straight down. Now imagine that a puff of breeze comes up and the force of the wind starts acting on the exposed surfaces of the suspended load. The load effectively becomes a sail increasing the dynamic load forces and compounding an already bad situation. The result is usually a tip-over of the machine or a failure of its supporting parts.
When a crane is used to pick up, carry and hoist a load it is done with the proper equipment and rigging to restrain the load against movement and dynamic loading. The equipment is also operated by trained, skilled personnel who know to consider these things before lifting. The person in this photo is no crane operator and, it appears, no boomlift operator either!
Have a photo you'd like to share? Send it to us!
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"I feel confident leaving this training that I have all the tools necessary to be a great trainer and an asset to the employees I will be training in my building." Travis, PepsiCo
"I liked the presentation by the instructor – this made all concepts easy to grasp. Documentation is very thorough and gives ample information and options for individual companies to adapt to their policies." Leeward, Harland Clarke
"I thought this program was extremely thorough in covering all key parts of mobile equipment operation. I have been operating equipment for over 3 years and have 1500+ hours on FEL but still had plenty to learn on the more specific details. What I thought was just going to be a refresher ended up being very informative." Matt, Smithers Pellet Ltd
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