An Introduction to Industrial Hygiene

Industrial Hygiene Image

Ever heard about industrial hygiene without really knowing what it is or what an industrial hygienist does?

Well fear no more, friend, because we’ve teamed up with a real-life industrial hygienist to explain it all to us.

In this interview, Morgan Bliss, an industrial hygienist and an Assistant Professor in the Safety Management Department at Central Washington University, is kind enough to walk us through a comprehensive introduction to the field. So get ready to learn everything you ever wanted to know about IH! Not only that, Morgan:

  • Prepared her own PowerPoint presentation to walk us through this discussion–you’ll see her slides below
  • Included her own original artwork in that PowerPoint–you’ll see Morgan’s IH-themed drawings below too

We’ve got a recorded video of the discussion below. If you’d prefer to read instead of listen, we’ve also typed up a transcript, so just click MORE in that case.

Also, remember that Morgan will be coming back to discuss the hierarchy of controls in a second interview soon.


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Come Hear Us at the 2018 Cat Dealers Continuous Improvement Conference

Cat Continuous Improvement Conference 2018

Hey Caterpillar dealers! We’ll be exhibiting and presenting at the upcoming 2018 Cat Dealers Continuous Improvement Conference in sunny (and fabulous!) San Diego, CA Monday, August 15-Friday, August 17 and look forward to seeing you there. It’s at the very swanky Rancho Bernardo Inn, by the way!

You can stop in, say hi to us at the tables outside, and see our great (and award-winning–see here and here) safety and safety training solutions at our booth. We’ll be sharing information about our online safety training courses, our learning management system (LMS) for safety training administration, and our new incident management system (IMS) for reporting, tracking, correcting, and ultimately reducing workplace incidents.

As if that weren’t enough, our very own Valerie (“call me Val”) Cantrell will be presenting two times on Thursday, August 16.

First, she’ll present at 9:05 am along with CAT’s North Carolina dealership Gregory Poole in a presentation titled “Associates Development Strategy Convergence Training LMS Share.” In this presentation, Naomi will explain why Gregory Poole partnered with Convergence Training and share their experiences, with Val there to offer additional insights she has learned from Caterpillar dealers about their needs. Val will also be holding a raffle during this session, with the lucky winner taking home a Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB portable external hard drive (pretty cool!).

In addition, just a little later on the same day, Val will lead a short 10-minute Convergence Training Vendor Summary during which she’ll give a brief overview of the products Convergence Training has to offer. She’ll be happy to answer any questions you have then or at anytime during the conference.

It promises to be a great conference in total, and we look forward to meeting you there and playing our part. See you soon!

Don’t forget to download the free guide to online safety training below before you go!

Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide Checklist

Online Safety Training Buyer’s Guide Checklist

Learn how to evaluate different online safety training solutions to find one that best fits your company’s needs with our FREE informative guide and checklist.

Download Free Guide

Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide Checklist

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An Introduction to Safety Management Systems, Risk Management, and Systems Thinking in Safety: An Interview with Pam Walaski

Risk Management Image

If you’ve had your ear to the ground for the past 10-15 years, you’ll know there’s been a bit of a seismic shift in occupational safety and health that involves a movement toward risk management, safety management systems, and systems thinking.

We wanted to learn more and pull together a nice introduction to all this, so who better to talk with than Pam Walaski? Chances are good you already know Pam by name and by her work, but if not, we encourage you to check out this article, to follow her on social media, and to catch her giving at presentation at an ASSP conference or elsewhere, as she’s a great source of information on this.

So, let’s get started. Many, many thanks to Pam for her time and insights. Also, a quick head’s-up that since we published this webinar/interview, Pam has also completed a second interview with us that focuses on 5 Easy Steps for Implementing Risk-Based Safety Approaches.

We’ve got an audio recording of the discussion immediately below. If you’d prefer to read, we also created a transcript–just click MORE for that. Also, there’s a free guide to risk management for occupational safety and health management at the bottom of this article for you. 🙂


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ISO 45001-Global Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems: An Introduction with Chris Ward

ISO 45001 Image

If your career is related to occupational safety and health, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the new ISO 45001 Global Standard for Safety and Health Management.

If you need to get up to speed on ISO 45001, we’re happy to announce we’ve got just the ticket for you: two interviews with Chris Ward, who played a big role in developing and publicizing the ISO 45001 standard.

In this interview, the first of two, Chris will give us an introduction to ISO 45001, answer some basic questions, and give us links to some resources for more information. In the second interview, to follow soon, Chris will share with us some tips for implementing ISO 45001.

We’d like to thank Chris for his work on the standard and for the time and knowledge he shared with us below. And on a side note, please feel free to download our free 10 Steps to Starting with Safety Management infographic.

And with that, let’s get learning more about ISO 45001.

You can watch the recorded video of the discussion below. If you’d prefer to read, we’ve typed up a transcript for you too–just click the MORE button for that.


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OSHA Basics: OSHA’s Part 1910 General Industry and Part 1926 Construction Standards

OSHA Basics Image

In this part of our OSHA Basics series of article, we’re going to quickly explain to you what OSHA’s 1910 standards for general industry and 1926 standards for construction are.

If this sounds like something you’d like clarification on, continue reading.

And know that this is just one article in a series of OSHA Basics articles we’ve been writing that cover basic OSHA concepts such as the General Duty Clause, Incorporation by Reference, and more. We’ve got links for other articles in this series at the bottom of this blog.


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Safety, Health, and Wellness Issues for Women in Construction Trades

Safety for Women in Construction Image

Women working in the construction trades–carpentry, cement masonry, sheet-metal, iron working, electricians, and so on–face all the same challenges that men in the trades do, plus some challenges that the men don’t. These include ergonomic challenges from machines and tools typically designed for bigger people, the difficulty of finding PPE that fits properly, a work culture that’s at times unwelcoming and even abusive, sexual discrimination and harassment, and more.

In this article, we talk with Hannah Curtis, a Research Coordinator with the University of Washington, to learn more about these issues in general and to learn about a research study she conducted called Safety and Health Empowerment for Women in Trades (SHEWT for short).

We’d like to thank Hannah and everyone else involved in the study for their work, and give a special thanks for Hannah for taking some time out of her busy schedule to discuss these important issues with us. Below, she shares some eye-opening research about the scope of some of the problems, but also provides some tips for how we can all help to make the construction trades (and workplaces in general) a safer, healthier place for women. She also gives some great resources for women who are currently in the construction trades or who are looking to get into them–because despite some problems, the construction trades also offer great opportunities to women, as Hannah describes below too.

We’ve got a recorded video of the conversation for you immediately below, plus if you’d rather read, we have a transcript just below the MORE button.


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New HAZWOPER 8-Hour Refresher Series Available

Online HazWoper Courses Image

Our customers asked, and we delivered! We’re excited to announce that our brand-new online HAZWOPER 8-Hour Refresher Training series is now available.

You’ve probably got a lot of questions, and there’s no better place to get them answered, and to buy and begin completing that training, than at our Online HAZWOPER 8-Hour Training web page.

Still, here are a few high-level items to know:

  • 18 courses
  • Nearly 9 hours of training time
  • $299/year for an unlimited, single-user account
  • Certificate of completion with every course completed

Pretty cool, huh? So what are you waiting for? Start your online HAZWOPER training today!


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Is Safety Differently Really Any Different than Safety? An Interview with Ron Gantt

Safety Differently Image

In a purely non-scientific, sticking-my-finger-into-the-wind kind of way, it seems to me there’s been more discussion of Safety 2, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), and Safety Differently lately.

Note: I tend to lump these all together because they have a lot in common and I’ll be using the term Safety Differently for the rest of this article.

Maybe you’ve noticed that same increase in chatter about and interest in Safety Differently yourself lately.

Not so long ago, I “listened in” on a thoughtful and interesting discussion on LinkedIn in which people were discussing Safety Differently. One of the primary issues in the discussion was whether or not Safety Differently was really any different that “traditional” safety.

Ron Gantt, as he often does, entered the fray and presented a comprehensive, eloquent answer in which he suggested that Safety Differently really is different than traditional safety. (I should also note that many people who contributed to this discussion were very thoughtful–it was one of those times when you realized that a social media network like LinkedIn really can be a great community where passionate, informed professionals exchange views and opinions in a productive, civil, respectful manner.)

I was pretty impressed, and I asked Ron if we could do an interview in which he presents his views on Safety Differently. Ron was kind enough to agree, as he has in the past as well, and we’re very grateful to him for his contributions below. For those of you not familiar with Ron, check out the website that he edits and keep an eye out for him at safety and similar conferences–he’s an engaging and persuasive speaker. You can also find additional information about Ron at the bottom of this article.

And now, let’s get to talking to Ron about Safety Differently.


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Occupational Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma

Asbestos in the Workplace Image

Did you know that there are about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma, a disorder associated with exposure to asbestos, every year (in the US)? It’s true.

This is a high number, to be sure. And that high number becomes even more grave when you realize that diagnosed patients have a life expectancy of 12-21 months after diagnosis, that only 23% live longer than a year after diagnosis, and that on average, there are 2,500 mesothelioma related deaths in a year.

I recently met up with Shawn Tallet, a Health Advocate with the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center (MAAC), and he shared those numbers above with me. Shawn’s been nice enough to tell us a little more about asbestos, asbestos exposure in the workplace, and mesothelioma in the interview below. Our thanks to Shawn, to the MAAC, and to all the good people working to help prevent asbestos-related illness and to help those who do suffer from it.

In addition to the information below, I’d point you to the MAAC’s blog, which has a lot of helpful articles on the topic. And we’ve included a short sample of our own Online Asbestos Awareness Safety Training Course at the bottom of this article as well.


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