Confined spaces (such as storage tanks, ship compartments, pits, silos, wells, sewers, boilers, tunnels and pipelines) can be dangerous places. According to OSHA, accidents in confined areas kill an average of 70 American workers a year and injure hundreds, primarily due to atmospheres that were flammable, toxic, or corrosive.
To make sure that your employees know what they should do – and, just as important, not do – in case they need to deal with confined space emergency – safety experts recommend that they follow these guidelines.
What workers should do:
First, report the situation immediately to your supervisor, who will notify an emergency rescue team. If the people inside can rescue themselves safely, keep in contact with them throughout the procedure, and help them in any way possible without entering the space. If a rescue by an outside party is needed – and you’re trained, equipped, and authorized to do this – go ahead. If the emergency calls for a rescue team, let those inside the space know that help is on the way, keep in touch with them, and wait for the team to arrive.
What workers should not do:
Never let other workers attempt a rescue unless they have the training, equipment, and authorization to do so. Don’t allow anyone except the designated rescue team to enter a confined space in an emergency. Don’t leave the entry point to the confined space until the rescue team arrives.
We’d be happy to work with you on training your workers to deal with a confined space emergency – just give us a call at Scurich Insurance Services!
A racecar driver at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, CA, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence during the Friday night races, the California Highway Patrol reported.
The 64-year-old San Jose man was participating in the event when a sheriff’s deputy noticed that he may have been driving drunk, according to the CHP.
A CHP officer arrested the driver, Leslie Charles Hunter, in the pit area of the raceway around 8:20 p.m., authorities said.
The CHP did not explain what about Hunter’s behavior drew suspicion. They also did not release information about his blood-alcohol level.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported Hunter allegedly forced other drivers off the track.
Ocean Speedway is located at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds on East Lake Avenue, a couple miles north of Watsonville. It hosts a regular slate of races on Friday nights in the summer and fall.
Hunter was ranked No. 9 in the IMCA Sports Mod standings at Ocean Speedway as of July 19.
Are you a Racecar fan? Do you keep your car in tip-top shape?
Are you certain that your “baby” is protected sufficiently when it comes to those unforeseeable events?
For all your Car Insurance needs, or if you are just looking for a review of your current policy, call Scurich Insurance Services, located in Watsonville, CA.
|320 East Lake Avenue, PO Box 1170
|Watsonville, CA 95077-1170
|Toll Free: 1-800-320-3666
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Safety programs based on changing employee behavior can help companies reduce the rate of accidents in the workplace – while slashing the frequency and severity of Workers Compensation Claims.
That’s the word from behavioral psychologist Daniel J. Moran, Senior Vice President of Quality Safety Edge (Joliet, IL), at a recent joint meeting of the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. and the American Society of Safety Engineers.
Moran noted that data from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and Mercer L.L.C. show that businesses can save $3 to $6 in Workers Comp claim costs for every $1 they spend on behavior-based safety programs. He cited claims data from a major refinery, an energy firm, and a logging company that enjoyed significant reductions in lost-time Comp claims after they implemented behavior-based safety processes.
According to Moran, employees tend to engage in unsafe behaviors because improper shortcuts often have benefits, while accidents are rare. “If you’re not wearing your hard hat, you’re a lot more comfortable,” he said. “If you cut a few corners to make deadline, you… make that money.”
Moran advised companies to encourage safer behavior by rewarding workers who follow proper procedures. This includes pinpointing work procedures that help make them safer, measuring the use of safe workplace behaviors, giving positive feedback to workers who follow procedures, reinforcing good behaviors with individual and group rewards and social recognition, and conducting regular evaluations to see how safety can be improved.
Sounds like sound advice.
America is a tired country. About 20% of us average less than six hours of sleep a night, and the percentage of those who sleep eight hours or more keeps declining. The problem is worse for the ever-increasing number of employees who work nontraditional schedules. According to one nationwide study, 44% of shift workers are sleep deprived (compared with 29% of day workers).
Sleep deprivation in the workplace leads to poor concentration, absenteeism, accidents, errors, injuries – and fatalities.
In 2012 an American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine task force developed these guidelines to help businesses manage the risks of workplace fatigue:
- Staffing. Set shifts that minimize the need for employees to work additional hours.
- Shiftwork. Reduce fatigue for night shift workers by setting schedules so that they can recover from sleep deprivation by sleeping at night and/or napping during the day.
- Employee training and sleep disorder management. Teach workers about the impact, and health risks of sleep disorders. Screen them for symptoms through a questionnaire or physical. Employees should learn how to how to wake up at the same time every day, and avoid alcohol or caffeine before bedtime. Treatments for sleep disorders t include behavior modification, continuous positive airway pressure (C-PAP) equipment, and medication.
- Workplace conditions. To increase employee alertness change such factors in the environment as light, temperature, humidity, noise, and ergonomic design. Provide breaks for food, exercise, conversation and – if possible – naps.
- Individual risk assessment. Give managers authority to encourage rest breaks, shift dangerous activities to others, or use a buddy approach to improve alertness. Make sure that workers can identify such signs of excessive fatigue as yawning, a drooping head or eyelids, or lapses in attention.
To learn more about how you can help your workers fight fatigue in the workplace, just let us know at any time. At Scurich Insurance Services, we’re here to serve you.
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