Safety Blog

Injury Reporting: “Do I Have to Report This?”

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Injury Reporting: “Do I Have to Report This?”

Many employers often wonder if they have to report certain injuries or incidents.  Is it a recordable or is it not?  What if they didn’t go to the doctor?  What if they received treatment?

Injury Illness on the Job After a Fall

If healthcare professionals diagnose employees with an injury or illness and the company determines that it is work-related, then OSHA says you must record the case and report the case on your OSHA Logs.

Regardless, SRP Safety Consultants recommend that you always record the injury or illness within your company’s internal reporting system.   It is good practice to keep track of all near misses on the job and take pro-active measures to ensure that the incident does not happen again.  For example, if an employee trips on an extension cord, but does not injure themselves and does not receive treatment from a doctor, then this would be considered a near miss.  The employer could discuss slips, trips and falls during a toolbox meeting following the near miss.

Recordable and Reported Injuries Breakdown

  • An injury becomes a recordable if the individual was hurt on the job, goes to the doctor and receives medical attention beyond first aid.   It is not a recordable if the doctor simply sends the employee home without x-rays, prescriptions, etc.
    • Example: Employee cuts finger with a tool and goes to the doctor. The doctor determines that stitches are needed.  This would be considered a recordable.
  • The injury that was recorded must be reported on your OSHA 300 Logs, but not directly to OSHA.
    • Example: The same incident where the employee cuts their finger and receives stitches is to be reported on your OSHA Logs.  Be sure to include days lost from work and days of restricted duty.  You do not need to report this incident directly to OSHA.
  • An injury that results in a loss of an eye, amputation or a stay in the hospital overnight must be reported to OSHA within 24 hours.
  • A fatality must be reported to OSHA within 8 hours.

Still Have Questions? Email SRP below or call us at (866) 222-4972.

SRP Safety Consultants provide site safety officer, site safety audit, and health and safety training services to companies in oil and gas, construction, manufacturing, chemical, and healthcare industries. 

Source: Safety Compliance Alert, December 11, 2017, Vol 24 No 539

Annual Safety Audits: 4 Reasons Why You Need Them

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ANNUAL SAFETY AUDITS: 4 REASONS WHY YOU NEED THEM

It is always heart-wrenching when you hear about devastating accidents and fatalities in the workplace.  OSHA reports that on average 13 worker deaths occur each day, and out of all the reported workers, 3% will experience an injury or accident each day.  Thankfully these statistics have decreased since the 1970s, however many of the deaths and injuries that continue to happen today are preventable.

As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide a safe work environment for your employees.  This responsibility not only affects employees, but also their families.  That is why it is imperative to conduct annual safety audits at each facility in addition to meeting OSHA requirements.

Here are Four Reasons Why You Should Conduct Annual Safety Audits:

  1. To Ensure Compliance. Make sure you are in safety and environmental compliance with OSHA and the EPA, as well as state agencies.  Regulations are constantly changing and it is easy to miss urgent updates, even with all the email reminders and newsletters.  Conducting a safety audit with a third-party will help ensure that your facility is up to date with OSHA and EPA regulations.
  2. To Identify Potential Hazards. Facility managers and EHS managers may catch glaringly obvious hazards like damaged guardrails or puddles of water, but it is easy to miss less obvious hazards like noise or chemical over-exposure.   This can be common due to the fact the facility and EHS managers are on-site all day, every day and become acclimated to their surroundings.   Therefore, it is good practice to have someone other than the facility or EHS manager who is well versed in safety to audit the facility and to provide a fresh view of the work environment.
  3. To Evaluate the Effectiveness of Company Safety Training.  A thorough safety audit includes taking a look at the company safety training and policies.
    1. Are all supervisors’ and employees’ up to date with their annual refresher training?
    2. Has each employee completed a new hire orientation specific to their job duties?
    3. Are all employee training courses documented with a sign-in sheet, test materials, and a corresponding safety plan?

If you can not fully answer ‘yes’ to all these questions, it’s time to re-evaluate your safety training program.  Also, you will be able to identify where additional training may be needed.

4. To Assess the Condition of Equipment and Processes. OSHA regulations require inspections of equipment modifications and additions that could affect the safe operation of the equipment.  However, it is recommended that annual, or even semi-annual, inspections are performed on all equipment and processes.  Preventative maintenance is key to keeping equipment expenses within budget.  Additionally, equipment inspections allow supervisors and managers to assess the the safety and effectiveness of all work processes.

Have Questions or Concerns About Your Facility?  Call an SRP Safety Consultant Today!

SRP Safety Consultants work with companies across the United States in oil and gas, manufacturing, construction, agricultural, and healthcare.   SRP has eight convenient locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Long Beach, Midland, Shreveport and Pittsburgh.  Located elsewhere? Let SRP Come To You.   Call SRP Safety Consultants today at (866) 222-4972 to schedule a safety audit.

Ask These 6 Questions During Incident Investigations for a New Approach Disciplining Employees

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Companies across several industries are changing the way they conduct incident investigations, which creates a new approach for disciplining employees who constantly repeat the same safety mistake.

The traditional way to discipline employees is often described as the ‘3-strike’ approach.  First you get a verbal warning, second instance you receive a written warning and then the third infraction is grounds for  termination.  This approach is attractive because it’s easy and straightforward, plus it works well from a legal standpoint.  But this approach poses a
few questions for thought. What happens if you don’t document the verbal warnings?  Do you just rely on memory?  What about unique situations?  Were all the terminations executed fairly?

Accident Incident InvestigationThis is where OSHA  needs to be considered.  If a company fired a worker for suffering an injury, OSHA could come after the company for retaliation.  Also, if there is no established consistent pattern to disciplining workers for safety mistakes, companies won’t be able to claim unpreventable employee misconduct.

Two health, safety and environmental (HSE) managers presented a successful disciplinary plan that they implemented in their construction company at the 2016 ASSE Safety conference.  The company formed a disciplinary committee that consists of senior operations manager, safety managers and three senior supervisors.   The disciplinary committee incorporated 6 questions to be asked during their incident investigations.

  1. Did the worker receive specific training needed to comply?
  2. Did a supervisor give incorrect or inadequate instructions?
  3. Were the required tools and equipment readily available?
  4. Were there distractions beyond the worker’s control?
  5. What is the employee’s prior work history regarding safety?
  6. Does the worker understand his or her mistake and express a desire to do better regarding safety?

The committee then makes a recommendation based on the answers and presents their recommendation to the worker’s manager.  The company who presented this system says that there is a greater level of compliance in regards to the company safety rules.

Need a custom training program?  SRP Safety Consultants work with you and your company to develop safety training programs to fit the needs of your company.  Call SRP today at (866) 222-4972 to speak with a safety consultant.  SRP has seven convenient locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Midland, Shreveport, and Pittsburgh.

Source: Safety Compliance Alert, August 19, 2016 Edition

Lockout Tagout Lowers Risk for Amputation Injuries

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We have all seen the horrific images of hands or feet shredded to the bone and fingers long gone.    Don’t worry we will spare you the gruesome pictures and details. Workers, both new and existing, get their limbs caught in machinery due to lack of training, lack of machine guards or employee carelessness.  Lockout Tagout procedures and policies is an integral part in providing a safe workplace and controlling potentially hazardous energy.  A fully implemented lockout tagout program can reduce the risk for injuries, including amputations.

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Recently OSHA fined a plastic manufacturer $42,000 related to lockout ragout and injury/illness reporting standards. A worker got his thumb caught while operating a plastic blow molding press.  The mold crushed his thumb as it closed, thus the worker had his thumb amputated.   To make matters worse, the manufacturer failed to notify OSHA of the injury in a timely manner.

The company was fined for:

  • Failure to report a hospitalization injury to OSHA within 24 hours. Under the OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Standard, employers must report any worker fatality within 8 hours and any amputation, loss of an eye, or hospitalization of a worker within 24 hours.
  • Failure to provide adequate guard machine operations. Under OSHA 1910 Subpart O, methods of machine guarding is to be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards including those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks.  Common machines that require guarding are power presses, power saws, milling machines, power saws, shears and portable tools.
  • Failure to implement and train employees on proper lockout tagout procedures. Under the OSHA Lockout Tagout standard, employers are to properly train employees on the lockout tagout procedures, types energy sources and when locks and tags are to be used.  Additionally, employees are to be retrained whenever there is a change in their job assignments, a change in machines, equipment or processes that present a new hazard, or when there is a change in the energy control procedures.  Employers are required to review their Energy Control Program annually.

Are you in compliance?  If you have questions about employee training or company safety policies, contact an SRP Safety Consultant at (318) 222-2364.  SRP has seven convenient locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Midland, Honolulu, Shreveport and Pittsburgh.

OSHA Penalty Reductions Available for Smaller Businesses

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OSHA Penalty Reductions Available for Smaller Businesses

If you aren’t already aware, OSHA increased their penalty amounts this year by 78%.  Serious violations are now $12,471 and willful or repeat violations are $124,709.  But did you know that there is a penalty structure for smaller businesses?

If your company has 10 or less employees, you could be eligible for a reduction in the event you received an OSHA violation.  Companies that meet the size requirement can see as much as a 70% decrease in the fine amount, according to OSHA’s Field Operations Manual.   Companies with 11-25 employees can also see as much as a 60% reduction in the fine amount.

Companies may also be eligible for a 25% reduction in the fine amount if the employer has a written safety manual and plan in place.  That’s another great reason to make sure your company health and safety manual is updated each year.  Additionally, a 10% reduction may be granted depending on the company compliance record within the last five years.

While the penalty reductions are great, the best thing a small company can do is to reduce the chance of receiving a violation.  A worksite analysis should be done on a regular basis to identify potential workplace hazards.   Here are few things companies can do:

  • Maintain all equipment properly
  • Ensure that hazard correction procedures are in place
  • Train employees on how to use and maintain personal protective equipment
  • Ensure that all safe work procedures are followed
  • Make sure you have a medical program tailored to your facility to help prevent workplace hazards and exposures.
  • Hold emergency preparedness drills
  • Pay particular attention to employees learning new operations to make sure they have the proper job skills and awareness of hazards
  • Train supervisors and managers to recognize hazards and understand their responsibilities
  • Encourage all employees to report any hazardous conditions to their supervisors.

If you have questions about potential OSHA violations in your workplace, contact an SRP Safety  Consultant at (318) 222-2364.  SRP has seven convenient locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Midland, Shreveport and Pittsburgh.