Come Visit Us at the Pulp & Paper Safety Association Conference–June 17-20, 2018

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We’re excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at the 2018 Pulp & Paper Safety Association (PPSA) Annual Conference in St. Petersburg, FL on June 17-20, 2018.

We’ll be demonstrating our award-winning online courses for paper manufacturing training and safety and health training; our learning management system (LMS) for administering all your organizational training needs; our Incident Management Software (IMS) for tracking, correcting, and reporting workplace incidents; our mobile apps for mobile learning and mobile incident reporting/investigation; and a lot more!

Come to St. Petersburg, enjoy the great weather, take in the conference, say hi to us while you’re there, and let us show you how our products can help improve efficiency and safety at our paper manufacturing organization.

You’ll notice that Dr. Todd Conklin is the keynote speaker at the conference. Between now and then, feel free to check out our articles based on Dr. Conklin’s work:

And please also download our free guide to online paper manufacturing training.

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The Papermaker’s Guide to Online Training

Learn everything you need to know about using online training at your paper manufacturing facility and get tips for getting started now.

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Safety Training for Superheroes

With the new superhero movie Avengers: Infinity War coming out soon, we thought we’d take a little break from the seriousness of our usual discussions about training, safety, manufacturing, and similar topics and put together workforce training suggestions for some of the superheroes who will appear in the upcoming Avengers movie.

This is one of a series of humor-based articles we do at Convergence Training from time to time. In addition to this one, feel free to check out some of these:

With that said, let’s take a look at our suggestions of Safety Training for Superheroes. We’ve even included the trailer for the Avengers: Infinity War movie near the bottom of this post for you!

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How to Use Learning Teams for Safety Incident Investigations

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At some workplaces, incidents occur and there’s no thought given to incident investigations. This is a no-no.

At others, probably most, incidents occur and are followed by an incident investigation that attempts to identify a single root cause and then put in a corrective action to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. This is probably the most common response to incidents at organizations.

But there are criticisms of that second, common method, which might be considered the traditional safety approach to incidents and incident investigations. One criticism is that it’s overly simplistic, with its emphasis on identifying a single root cause instead of noting the interplay of interrelated systemic issues. Another criticism is that the explanation often–too often–claims that a worker made a poor decision, often the result of not following procedures. And a third is that the corrective action often boils down to simply providing training and perhaps enforcing discipline on the worker who’s thought to be the cause of the problem.

In his book Pre-Accident Investigations: Better Questions–An Applied Approach to Operational Learning, Dr. Todd Conklin makes the points above about some of the problems with a traditional safety incident investigation approach at work and makes a recommendation for a different approach: learning teams.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Conklin’s book and recommendations. As always, we recommend that in addition to reading the article, you get the information straight from the expert as well, so please buy Dr. Conklin’s book (all three of them, really) and/or listen to the video of Dr. Conklin speaking at the ASSE Safety 2017 national conference, which we’ve included at the bottom of this article.

For those of you who have been reading along as I’ve been reading Dr. Conklin’s works, you’ll know this is the third such treatment we’ve done here at the Convergence Training blog. The other articles include:

So with all that said, let’s get to learning about learning teams for building the safety capacity of your organization.

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Online Safety Training in Spanish (and Other Languages, Too!)

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The number of workers in the US who speak Spanish as a primary or even a sole language is large and is growing.

As a result, trainers who don’t speak, write, or understand Spanish often struggle to communicate with those workers. And that inability to communicate can have serious negative consequences for organizations, trainers, and employees, including creating serious safety risks.

And don’t forget that it’s an OSHA requirement that safety training be provided in a language the employee can understand.

Although there’s no one simple solution to this issue, one way to address it is to use online safety training at work that’s multi-language, allowing the worker to select the language they’d prefer to complete the training in.

In the article below, we’ll talk you through that a little more.

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Why Mental Health and Suicide Prevention is the Next Frontier in Construction Safety

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Did you know that as recently as 2016, the construction industry had the highest number of deaths by suicide amongst all industries, and that it had the second highest rate of suicide?

Sadly, both are true. Mental health issues, including depression and suicide, are a very serious problem in the construction industry.

Here at Convergence Training, we’ve been friends with Cal Beyer for quite some time. Cal’s the Director of Risk Management at Lakeside Industries in Issaquah, WA, but more to the point he’s a tireless advocate on the issue of suicide in the construction industry. If you’ve attended safety conferences in the Pacific Northwest, you may have seen Cal out speaking on the topic.

Cal was nice enough to participate in the interview below in which he explains the scope of the problem and gives us all some tips for trying to deal more productively with it to help save lives and reduce suffering. Thanks to Cal for all of his efforts and for taking the time to share what he knows with us here.

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Preventing Workplace Fatalities (Based on Dr. Todd Conklin’s Book “Workplace Fatalities: Failure to Predict”)

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We’ve been studying up on Safety Differently, Safety 2, New Safety, and Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) lately, and in particular have recently been looking at books by Dr. Todd Conklin about Human and Organizational Performance (HOP).

In two earlier articles, we took a look at some key lessons from Conklin’s book Pre-Accident Investigations and his book about learning teams. And in this article, we’re going to look at some key lessons from his book Workplace Fatalities: Failure to Predict (buy a copy at the link you just passed).

We hope you enjoy this look at an important, influential, and somewhat controversial thinker in safety, and we tip our hat to the good work Dr. Conklin is doing. And by the way, we’ve included a video recording of Dr. Conklin’s appearance in the plenary session of the ASSE Safety 2017 conference near the bottom of this article for you.

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3 Required Parts of an Energy Control Program

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OSHA’s standard for the control of hazardous energy, also known as lockout-tagout or LOTO, is 1910.147. As the regulation explains in 1910.147(a)(1)(i), “This standard covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or start up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm employees. This standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the control of such hazardous energy.”

In 1910.147(c)(1), the regulation explains that “the employer shall establish a [energy control] program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training and periodic inspections to ensure that before any employee performs any servicing or maintenance on a machine or equipment where the unexpected energizing, startup or release of stored energy could occur and cause injury, the machine or equipment shall be isolated from the energy source and rendered inoperative.”

So the energy control program required by OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy/Lockout-Tagout regulation requires the employer’s program to have three parts: (1) energy control procedures; (2) employee training; and (3) periodic inspections.

We’ll look at each of those three required parts of an energy control program more closely in this article.

As we do, we’ll draw some materials from two of our online safety training courses related to lockout-tagout:

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OSHA 511, Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry, Offered by University of Washington

I recently completed a four-day, instructor-led class on OSHA 511, Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry, offered by the University of Washington and their Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (and their continuing education program).

Although I’ve worked in safety and safety training for more than 10 years, there’s still plenty I don’t know, and there’s always a value to spaced practice and refresher training, so I was quite excited to get this opportunity.

And I’m happy to say I’m equally excited about the opportunity now that I’ve completed and passed the course. This is one of six courses I’ll be taking from UW this year as part of the General Industry Safety and Health Specialist Certificate program they offer. Next up for me is OSHA 501, their Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards in General Industry.

Before that next course, however, I thought I’d share with you a quick overview of the OSHA 511 course I just completed. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank instructor Harvey McGill, all the other learners who attended the class along with me (10-15, I’d say), and everyone at University of Washington who worked behind the scenes to put the course together and help get me there (I benefited a lot from some emails batted back-and-forth as I was registering for the certificate program).

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What Happens During an OSHA Inspection?

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In recent articles, we’ve listed 6 Common Triggers of an OSHA Inspection and 10 Hazards OSHA Inspectors Commonly Look For, and both articles drew a lot of reader attention.

As a result, in this article we’re going to explain what typically happens during an OSHA inspection. And in the future, look for another article on how to prepare for an OSHA inspection.

With that intro down, let’s learn more about exactly what you can expect to happen when an OSHA inspector shows up at your worksite.

Please note: we’ve included a free guide to OSHA Inspections at the bottom of this article for you! 

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ANSI/ASSE Z490.2 Update: A Key Definition

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A little-known poet once asked “what’s in a name?”

It’s not often that you get to refer to William Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet when writing about safety training, but events at the most recent meeting of the committee to create ANSI/ASSE Z490.2 as a complement to the existing Z490.1 standard, gave me an opportunity to do just that. (Those events plus the tireless efforts my junior high English teacher, that is.)

But why, you might ask? Because we spent a good deal of time talking about the definition of “online safety training,” which is especially relevant since that’s what the standard is about.

Defining Online Safety Training

Over time, in discussions about the standard and in various drafts of the standard, we’ve been using terms like virtual training, distance training, elearning, online training, and more. And we’ve discussed the amazing variety of types of training this includes–streaming online videos; HTML web pages; elearning courses in SCORM, AICC, and/or xAPI formats; augmented reality viewed through smart glasses; virtual reality; simulations; and more.

So this notion of “what is online safety training” really isn’t as simple as it first appears. Although, perhaps it smells just as sweet by any name.

What are your opinions?

Stay tuned for more about Z490.2 in our next update.

Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide Checklist

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

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9 Things You Should Know about Human and Organizational Performance (Based on Dr. Todd Conklin’s ‘Pre-Accident Investigations’)

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I recently finished reading the book Pre-Accident Investigations: An Introduction to Organizational Safety by Dr. Todd Conklin. It’s a great introduction to Human and Organizational Performance, also known as HOP.

HOP is a systems-based approached originated with safety thought leaders like Conklin, Sidney Dekker, and James Reason. It has been adopted by General Electric and other companies, and was the focus of the exciting and somewhat-controversial plenary session at the ASSE Safety 2017 Conference (I’ve included a video recording of that HOP/BBS discussion near the bottom of this article). HOP has much in common with safety differently, new safety, safety 2, etc.

If you’ve wanted an introduction to Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) and/or to Conklin’s thoughts, this book is a good starting point. In our article below, we provide some key points from the book. If you’ve read the book yourself, or if you’re using HOP at work for safety, please leave additional comments at the bottom of the article.

For even more on Dr. Conklin, check our article based on Conklin’s books about Workplace Fatalities and Learning Teams for Accident Investigations.

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