Convergence Training Wins ISHN’s “Best Safety Training” Attendee Award at ASSE Safety 2017

We’re excited to announce that we won the 2017 ISHN “Best Safety Training” Attendee Award, a result of voting held during the ASSE’s Safety 2017 conference, for our MSHA Safety Training.

This award is in addition to the earlier 2017 ISHN “Best Safety Training” Reader’s Choice Award, which our MSHA Safety Training won before the ASSE conference.

So as they say, two out of two ain’t bad!

We’d like to thank all the folks at ISHN for putting on the vote, the ASSE for hosting the attendee’s choice voting at their recent Safety 2017 event, and of course all the voters who took part. Especially those voters who felt strongly about our safety training materials. We appreciate the tip of the hat–we work hard on making safety training that makes a difference.

For those of you who don’t know, our MSHA Safety Training includes three different components:

Check out the links above for more detailed course and LMS sample and overview videos, or check the two videos below.

Here’s a short overview of some of our online safety and health training courses:

And here’s a short overview of our Convergence LMS with the MSHA Compliance Package.

Finally, feel free to download the free guide to Online MSHA Safety Training, below.

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Online MSHA Compliance Guide

Download our free guide to learn how online tools can help you create safer work conditions at a mine site, stay compliant with MSHA Part 46 regulations, and manage your training program more efficiently.

Download Free Guide

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How to Watch a Solar Eclipse Safely

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As you’ve probably heard, there’s a total solar eclipse coming this way soon.

By “this way,” I mean it will be visible in the US from coast to coast. It will first be visible around the Oregon Pacific coast, then it will cross the country until exiting the national stage off the South Carolina Atlantic coast.

And by “soon,” I mean on August 21, 2017. The “totality” of the moon’s shadow will strike around Lincoln City, Oregon at 10:16 am Pacific time and will exit the continent at Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 pm Eastern time. The entire journey of the totality will take about an hour and a half to cross the nation, and the final glimpses of the moon’s shadow will be visible from the eastern seaboard as late as 4:09 pm eastern time.

An eclipse is an amazing thing to see, and most or all Americans will be able to see this eclipse. Even better, some Americans within a band that’s about 70-miles wide along the path of the eclipse will see its totality–a complete eclipse of the sun. Some say that viewing a full eclipse from within the path of the totality is even more amazing–even spiritual or mystical. Just ask this guy.

The video below explains what an eclipse is. Below the video, we’ve got some tips for watching an eclipse safely. Because remember, you should never look directly at the sun without special protection, even during a solar eclipse, and doing so can severely damage your eyes. 

How to Watch a Solar Eclipse Safely Without Harming Your Eyes

We said this earlier, but it bears repeating: NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITHOUT SPECIAL PROTECTION AT ANY TIME–DURING “NORMAL’ CIRCUMSTANCES OR DURING AN ECLIPSE. Why? Because it can harm your eyes and even cause blindness. You wouldn’t poke your eye with a sharp stick, would you? No-because it can hurt your eye. The same goes with trying to look at an eclipse of the sun without special protection. And NO, sunglasses aren’t good enough.

Are we good with that?

If so, here are some more tips:

  1. Spend a few bucks and buy some specially designed, protective solar viewers. This model is made of paper, costs $10-14 for two (because it’s always best to watch a solar eclipse with a friend!), and is ISO certified: Celestron Eclipse Smart Viewers.
  2. Spend even less and buy some solar eclipse viewing glasses. This article in the USA Today lists 5 reputable, safe pairs, and here’s a larger list from the American Astronomical Society.
  3. Make your own pinhole projector out of two pieces of cardboard. Here are instructions from the Jet Propulsion Lab on making a pinhole projector to view a solar eclipse.
  4. Be extra-safe and watch it on TV. Our friends at NASA will be broadcasting the eclipse live.

Here is more information about this from the American Association of Ophthalmology and the American Astronomical Society.

Hope the eclipse is cool, amazing, awesome, and even spiritual or mystical to you–or whatever you want it to be. But most importantly, we hope you watch it safely.

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Effective EHS Training: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to design, create, deliver, and evaluate effective EHS training by following these best practices with our free step-by-step guide.

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Distracted Driving: Don’t Do It in Washington Or Anywhere Else!

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Distracted driving, including of course texting or holding a phone to talk while driving, is always a bad idea.

We here at Convergence Training wanted to call out the issue in particular for our customers who come out to visit us at our headquarters in Camas, WA. And that’s because the state of Washington recently passed a tough new distracted driving law that can lead to a hefty $136 penalty if you violate it.

According to the article from the Seattle Times linked above, here’s what’s illegal:

The law forbids handheld uses. Not just phone calls, but composing or reading any kind of message, social media post, photograph or data.

Drivers may not use handheld devices while at a stop sign or red-light signal.

All video watching is illegal, even in a dashboard or dash-mounted device.

But this hazard is a serious problem all over the nation, not just in Washington. For example, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is suggesting a national “no call, no text, no update behind the wheel” ban on this kind of stuff.

Here’s what the NTSB has to say about handheld devices and distracted driving:

New connectivity has enabled new safety technologies. But it has also enabled new forms of distraction, leading to accidents and deaths, even in the most strictly regulated transportation enterprises. Since 2003, the NTSB has found PED distraction as a cause or contributing factor in 11 accident investigations. Those crashes resulted in 259 people injured and 50 people killed. And the NTSB does not investigate the majority of highway crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports hundreds of such deaths on our highways in 2012 alone. According to NHTSA, drivers engaging in visual-manual tasks, such as dialing or texting, triple their risk of a crash.

So put the phone down and pay attention to the road and the cars and people around you. You’ll be happy you did, and we promise–there’s nothing all that important going on in your phone.

Our Alert Driving Online Training course covers the dangers associated with using hand-held devices while driving plus a lot more. For example, check out the video sample below, which covers the 2-second rule for keeping enough space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

And hey, if you’re having trouble putting down your phone while driving, you might want to review this article on cell phone addiction.

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Benefits of Preventive Maintenance

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Maintenance can be a major effort at a company, and maintenance costs can chew up a lot of dollars.

And I’m probably telling you nothing new when I say that when maintenance isn’t done, and something breaks, the cost of downtime can be even more significant.

One way to spend less on maintenance in general, and to lose less on maintenance-related downtime, is to practice a preventive maintenance approach.

In this article, we offer a Q&A on some basic topics related to maintenance and preventive maintenance.

Before you begin, you might want to check this short sample from our online Equipment Maintenance and Reliability training course.

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What Is Safety Differently? An Interview with Ron Gantt

If you’ve been paying attention to the safety and health world lately, you may know about “Safety Differently.”

For example, there’s a safety differently website devoted to the topic. In addition, the plenary topic at the recent ASSE Safety 2017 conference contrasted behavior-based safety with human and organizational performance, which is very similar to (or arguably the same as) safety differently. This was probably the most discussed session at the ASSE conference. And, the May issue of the ASSE’s Professional Safety magazine featured an in-depth, peer-reviewed article about Safety Differently by Ron Gantt, and that article created a storm of back-and-forth letters to the editor and writer in the later June issue.

We’ve been following Ron Gantt and enjoying his writings at LinkedIn and elsewhere for some years now, and are very intrigued by the Safety Differently concepts. And that’s why we caught him presenting on the topic at the previously mentioned ASSE Safety 2017. We enjoyed his presentation very much, and asked if he’d be willing to tell us more about Safety Differently here at our blog. And we’re happy to say he agreed!

So let’s leave the introduction and get right to our interview with Ron Gantt about Safety Differently, below.

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Coming SOON – The Convergence IMS!

When accidents happen, it can be tough to comply with OSHA and MSHA recordkeeping requirements. That’s why we developed our NEW Convergence Incident Management Software (IMS). And since we’re just about a month away from its release, here’s a quick sneak peek at how the Convergence IMS can help you record, track, and create compliant reports for any type of safety incident or near-miss.

The Convergence IMS is designed with an intuitive workflow that guides you through the incident submittal, investigation, and reporting process. Submit incident types, select people involved, take official statements, determine root cause, and assign corrective actions… all within our intuitive, powerful IMS that integrates seamlessly into our Convergence Learning Management System (LMS). You can even produce compliant OSHA and MSHA incident reports directly from the Convergence IMS for official incident reporting.

CLICK HERE or CALL 800-619-2280 to set up a demo with your Convergence Sales Representative.

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Tips for Combating the Training Forgetting Curve

In a recent article, we introduced you to the well-documented forgetting curve in training and explained that something called spaced practice can help reduce or even eliminate the forgetting curve.

In this article, we’re going to give you a few more tips for how to design training that combats the forgetting curve and creates memorable training that employees will not only understand during the training, but that they’ll also remember after the training and put to use on the job.

Sounds like good stuff to know, no?

Let’s get started, then.

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Come See Us at the Tennessee Safety & Health Conference, July 30-August 2, Nashville, TN

We’ll be at the Tennessee Safety & Health Conference in hip and beautiful Nashville, TN, Sunday July 30 to Wednesday, August 2. And we’d love to meet you!

Come on over to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and check out our award-winning, innovative safety and health training solutions in Booth 409. Here’s just a little of what we’ll be able to show you:

Come on by and see why we just won the ISHN Reader’s Choice Award for Best Safety Training and see how we can help with your safety program at work.

Check out our short highlight video while you’re here!

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7 Basic Tools of Quality

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Quality control experts lean heavily on the so-called “7 Basic Tools of Quality” to fine-tune processes as part of an overall quality assurance effort.

It’s said that these basic quality assurance tools were first emphasized by Karou Ishikawa, a Japanese organizational theorist who’s credited as a heavyweight in quality management and is especially known for the development of the quality circle and Ishikawa, or fishbone, diagram, which is itself one of the 7 basic tools we’ll talk about in this article. As is often the cause in quality, you can also detect the influence of W. Edwards Deming on the 7 basic tools.

The 7 tools are graphing techniques that are very helpful for, and commonly used, for quality control troubleshooting purposes.

So let’s start learning about these very useful techniques for quality control.

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Manufacturing Safety Training Tips: How to Get It Right

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Looking for some manufacturing safety training tips? If so, that makes sense. There’s a lot to be said in favor of working in manufacturing, but it does pose a set of hazards to the workers.

However, safety managers and other safety professionals work tirelessly to create safer, healthier workplaces for manufacturing employees (and of course, in a good safety culture, they’re working hand-in-hand with the employees themselves), and part of that involves safety training for the manufacturing workforce.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through some key aspects of safety and safety training in manufacturing facilities, and give you tips to help create a safer, healthier workplace.

Before we begin, though, know that you can download a free guide to Effective Safety Training by clicking the download button at the end of this article, or just download any of the free guides and/or watch any of the free webinars listed below.

And with all that said, and with those free resources made available, let’s get to listing some manufacturing safety training tips.

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What Is a Hydraulic System? Definition, Design, and Components

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With a variety of applications, hydraulic systems are used in all kinds of large and small industrial settings, as well as buildings, construction equipment, and vehicles. Paper mills, logging, manufacturing, robotics, and steel processing are leading users of hydraulic equipment.

As an efficient and cost-effective way to create movement or repetition, hydraulic system-based equipment is hard to top. It’s likely your company has hydraulics in use in one or more applications for these reasons.

We’ll provide more information about hydraulic systems in this article, including covering the definition and basic designs and components.

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OSHA Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Standards and Requirements

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Many years ago, before the PPE Final Rule, OSHA determined that there were an extensive number of injuries related to workers not wearing effective personal protective equipment. In fact, in the Preamble to the Final Rule, OSHA cited various studies indicating there were 320,000 hand and finger injuries, 70,000 eye injuries, 70,000 head and face injuries, and 110,000 foot and toe injuries in 1987. (Roughly 31 percent of the total disabling injuries for that year.) Rightly so, OSHA decided these numbers merited a Standard (CFR 1910.132) to protect workers from these hazards.

Indeed, PPE does work to safeguard workers. Experts estimate that approximately ninety percent of related injuries could be prevented or minimized by wearing the proper equipment. PPE is a vital and necessary tool in the employer’s arsenal to protect workers.

Fast forward to today. Even with PPE Standards fully in place for decades, we still have an alarming number of eye, face, foot, hand and head injuries. For example, NIOSH states, “Each day about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About one-third of the injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments, and more than 100 of these injuries result in one or more days away from work.”

In addition to the effects injuries have on workers, these events can be financially devastating to the organization. Excessive or serious injuries can trigger numerous employer headaches, from high-risk insurance costs to OSHA inspections and penalties. And of course, each injury incident carries indirect costs related to downtime, replacing injured workers, and various related issues.

Given the importance of PPE, let’s look at OSHA’s PPE regulations more closely in this article.

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