An effective accident prevention program requires proper job performance from everyone in the workplace. As an owner or manager, you must ensure that all employees know about the materials and equipment they work with, known hazards and how to control those hazards.
Each employee needs to know the following:
- No employee is expected to undertake a job until he or she has received proper job instructions and is authorized to perform that job.
- No employee should undertake a job that appears unsafe.
You may be able to combine safety and health training with other training sessions, depending upon the types of hazards present in your workplace.
Here are some actions to consider:
- Ask your OSHA state consultant to recommend training for your worksite. The consultant may be able to conduct training while he or she is there.
- Make sure you have trained your employees on every potential hazard that they could be exposed to and how to protect themselves against those hazards. Then, verify that they really understand what you taught them.
- Pay particular attention to your new employees and to employees who are moving to new roles within the organization. Since they are learning new operations, they are more likely to get hurt.
- Train your supervisors to understand all the hazards faced by the employees and how to reinforce training with quick reminders and refreshers, or with disciplinary action, if necessary.
- Make sure that your top management staff understands their safety and health responsibilities and how to hold subordinate supervisory employees accountable for their actions.
Ticks and Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterium that’s often carried by mice and other small rodents. The disease can be transmitted to humans if they’re bitten by a tick that previously fed off an infected animal.
Different types of ticks live in the United States and while some can transmit diseases, others are only a nuisance. In general, infected blacklegged ticks can transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
Symptoms of Lyme disease typically develop within two weeks of a tick bite and can include fevers, chills, swollen lymph nodes, neck stiffness, fatigue, headaches, and joint or muscle aches.
To avoid contracting Lyme disease, do the following:
- Wear light-colored clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and pants when in wooded areas. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and keep long hair tied back.
- Wash your body and clothing after all outdoor activities.
- Look periodically for ticks if you’ve been outdoors, especially if you’ve been in wooded areas or gardens.
- Remove ticks within 24 hours to greatly reduce the risk of contracting Lyme disease.
- Check your pet’s coat if it’s been in an area known for ticks.
Remember to consult your health care provider as soon as you experience Lyme disease symptoms. If possible, send any ticks that you’ve removed to a public health laboratory in your area. Click here to learn more.
Keeping Mold Out of the Home
A mold problem in the home can cause serious health effects, especially for young children, the elderly, those who suffer from allergies or asthma, and those with prior respiratory conditions. Mold can cause eye irritation, nasal stuffiness, shortness of breath, wheezing and infections in the lungs.
Though most molds grow outdoors, they can get inside a home through open windows and doors, air conditioning systems, pets, clothing and shoes. Try these prevention tips to keep mold out of your home:
- Clean up any water damage or flooding thoroughly and immediately.
- Use a dehumidifier and a wet-dry vacuum to remove water quickly.
- Remove carpeting that can’t be dried out within 48 hours. If your carpet was contaminated by sewer water or a flood, it needs to be replaced.
- Repair basement cracks so that moisture can’t seep in.
- Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to reduce indoor moisture, especially during humid months. Empty the drip pans in your air conditioner, refrigerator and dehumidifier on a regular basis to prevent water buildup.
- Fix plumbing leaks immediately. Mold will begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours after a leak forms.
Protecting Your Vehicle from Hail
Hail can strike anywhere and at any time, causing major damage to your vehicle. When a hailstorm occurs, take the following precautions to keep you and your vehicle safe:
- Don’t get out of your vehicle if you’re driving during a hailstorm. If you can pull over to the side of the road, do so safely.
- Park your car on an angle so that the hail hits the front of your car. This protects your side and rear windows, which aren’t made of reinforced glass.
- Find covered parking to protect your car, like a parking garage or awning. If you live in a hailstorm-prone area, it may be a good idea to purchase or build a covered parking solution for your home, like a metal canopy or garage.
- Use blankets or a hail car cover. These items can be very effective in protecting vehicles from damage, especially if you’re far away from shelter.
- Locate a body shop that you trust to make any necessary repairs. Discuss the extent of the damage with the body shop and your insurance broker.
Hotel Safety Tips
Hotels provide a home away from home whenever you travel. However, hotels aren’t always safe, and vacationers are at risk of things like break-ins, fires and natural disasters.
The following are some general hotel safety tips to keep in mind to protect yourself from a variety of risks:
- Check reviews for security concerns. Guest reviews can provide information on the area’s crime level and steps the hotel takes to protect guests.
- Use hotels that restrict access to guest floors.
- Check your room lock to confirm it’s working properly. Make sure that the door has a deadbolt and keep it locked whenever you’re in the room.
- Lock away valuable items you won’t be carrying with you in the room’s safe. This can include things like money, jewelry, laptops or other electronics.
- Be wary of people that come to the door claiming to be hotel staff.
On April 30, 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it will require all establishments affected by the electronic reporting rule to submit their 2017 data to OSHA by July 1, 2018.
This announcement clarifies the requirement for establishments in states with an OSHA-approved plan. These establishments must submit electronic reports, regardless of whether the state has ratified or incorporated the electronic reporting rule into its OSHA state plan.
Establishments in all states, including those with an OSHA-approved state plan, should prepare to submit electronic reports by July 1, 2018. Affected establishments can accomplish this by:
- Becoming familiar with the requirements in the electronic reporting rule; and
- Transitioning their OSHA records to an electronic format approved by the Injury Tracking Application (ITA).
OSHA Electronic Reporting
OSHA’s electronic reporting rule was issued in 2016. The rule requires establishments to report data from their injury and illness records to OSHA electronically if they:
- Are already required to create and maintain OSHA injury and illness records and have 250 or more employees;
- Have between 20 and 249 employees and belong to a high-risk industry; or
- Receive a specific request from OSHA to create, maintain and submit electronic records, even if they would otherwise be exempt from OSHA recordkeeping requirements.
The electronic reporting rule applies to establishments, not employers. An employer may have several worksites or establishments. In these situations, some establishments may be affected while others are not.
To determine whether an establishment is affected, employers must determine each establishment’s peak employment during the calendar year. During this determination, employers must count every individual that worked at that establishment, regardless of whether he or she worked full-time, part-time, or was a temporary or seasonal worker.
OSHA-approved State Plans
The final rule required OSHA-approved state plans to adopt the electronic rule or “substantially identical” requirements within six months of the final rule’s publication date.
This means that OSHA-approved state plans have the authority to adopt reporting requirements that go above and beyond what is required by the federal rule. For this reason, establishments located in OSHA-approved state plan jurisdictions should consult with their local OSHA offices to make sure they are satisfying all electronic reporting requirements.
The OSHA-approved state plans shown on this map have not yet adopted the requirement to submit injury and illness reports electronically.
As a result, establishments in these states were not required to submit their 2016 data through the reporting website in 2017. However, OSHA has now clarified that they must submit their 2017 data in 2018.