Stand Down to Prevent Fatalities from Falls: An Interview with Oregon OSHA

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Every year falls are on the leading causes of injuries and most importantly fatalities at work. And that’s especially true in construction.

That’s why OSHA holds an annual Safety Stand Down for Fall Prevention in the Construction Industry. Each year at this time, they hold training sessions, provide free informational materials, get busy on social media, and otherwise try to raise awareness of the scope of the problem and how to prevent these fall-related injuries and fatalities.

As part of the Safety Stand Down 2019, Oregon OSHA joins federal OSHA, the other state OSHA plans, numerous safety organizations, and countless safety-minded individuals in trying to create some awareness of the risks and hazards the come under the fall prevention umbrella and in sharing knowledge about how to stay safe at work–from a simple slip, trip, or fall at ground level to working at the highest elevation.

Craig Hamelund, an education specialist with Oregon OSHA, was kind enough to share an hour talking to us recently, telling us about the fall-related injury and fatality statistics nationally and in Oregon, highlight hazards and controls, telling us a little about what Oregon OSHA (as well as the Pacific Northwest OHSA Education Center and other related safety professionals) are doing here in Oregon, and sharing information about falls and fall prevention that are useful no matter where you live. We thank Craig and Oregon OSHA for his time and we encourage you to seek out or hold your own Safety Stand Down event this year.

We’ve transcribed the discussion and you can read that by clicking the MORE button. Or, just watch the video, which is immediately below. Also, know that that the bottom of this article, we’ve provided a free Fall Prevention Toolbox Talk Checklist based on an OSHA Fall Prevention Training Guide–it’s yours for free and it offers tips on toolbox talks for ladder safety, scaffolding safety, and roofing work safety.

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Tips from OSHA’s Fall Prevention Training Guide

Fall Prevention Training Tips

We think that OSHA publication 3666, Fall Prevention Training Guide: A Lesson Plan for Employers, is a helpful resource, and we’ve even created a fall prevention toolbox talk checklist to supplement the OSHA guide. You can download that checklist from the bottom of this article.

In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the major points that OSHA makes in the Fall Prevention Training Guide. You’ll see the guide addresses risk (and controls) related to ladder safety, scaffolding safety, and roof work safety.

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Special Issues for Women in Safety: Women and PPE

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In this article, we’re going to introduce three special issues for women in occupational safety and health: PPE, getting women into leadership roles, and violence at the workplace. We’ll give a general introduction to both (thanks to work from the ASSP’s Women in Safety Excellence, or WISE, common interest group) and we’ll zero in on some problematic issues related to women and PPE.

We’ll be speaking with Abby Ferri, an ASSP member and a member of WISE who’s leading up the WISE effort to highlight problems with PPE for women and try to get some improvements. In future articles, we hope to talk with other WISE members about the issues related to workplace violence and leadership roles for women.

We’d like to thank Abby Ferri for her time in putting this interview together. You can listen to the interview in the video below or, if you’d prefer, we also typed up a transcript that’s available below the video/audio.

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Fall Prevention & Protection Toolbox Talk Checklist

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As part of our efforts to raise awareness of fall prevention & protection issues for this year’s National Safety Stand-Down (May 6-10, 2019), we’ve created this checklist you can use while preparing for, participating in, and following-up on toolbox talks related to fall protection in particular and to ladder safety, scaffolding safety, and roofing work safety in particular.

This checklist is designed to be used as a supplement to OSHA’s Fall Prevention Training Guide: Lesson Plan for Employers (OSHA 3666). You can download that OSHA publication using the link we just provided and there’s also a link to the fall prevention training guide inside this checklist as well.

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OSHA Basics: What Are a Worker’s Rights According to OSHA?

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Ever wonder what rights OSHA guarantees to an American worker? It may not be something you think about every day–although in at least one case related to safety, perhaps you should. And in other cases, even if some of the rights are not things you need to think about daily or exercise daily, they’re good to know about and one day you may need to exercise them.

This article is part of our series called OSHA Basics. This article series intends to help explain basic, fundamental issues related to OSHA. If you’re new to OSHA or occupational safety and health, these articles may be a real bonus to you. You may even find one or two of use even if you’re a safety pro.

See the list and links at the bottom of this article for a list of our OSHA Basics articles.

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Compliance and Risk Approaches to Occupational Safety and Health

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What should you focus your safety management program on? Should your focus be on complying with requirements from safety and health regulators such as OSHA and/or MSHA? Or should you consider a risk-based safety approach, such as the approach sketched out in the ANSI/ASSP Z690 Risk Management standard?

We’ll give some thoughts about this below and provide some resources to help with next steps. And we invite you use the comments section to share your own thoughts and experiences as well.

We’ve included a free guide to risk-based approaches to occupational safety and health at the bottom of this article for you too–thought you’d want to know 🙂

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Industrial Hygiene (IH) Basics: What is an Action Level (AL)?

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A key concept in industrial hygiene, and an important OSHA safeguard for workers, is the idea of an action level, which is often abbreviated as AL.

In this article, we’ll explain what an OSHA action level is and tell you where you can find more information about action levels.

This is another article in our ongoing series we call Industrial Hygiene (IH) Basics. For more articles on IH topics, just scroll down to the set of links at the bottom of this article.

And read on to learn more about action levels.

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What Are the ANSI/ASSP Z690 Risk Management Standards?

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The ANSI/ASSP Z690 Risk Management Standards are the US national standards for applying risk management for occupational safety and health.

They are the US adoption of the ISO 31000 Risk Management Standards, in case you wondered.

If you’d like to learn more, continue reading, because we’re going to give a 100-level introduction to the Z690 standards as part of a longer series of articles explaining Z690 and discussing the use of risk management for occupational safety and health.

And by the way, we’ve included a free guide to using risk-based approaches for occupational safety and health management at the bottom of this article.

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Workplace Safety Champions: As Nominated by Their Coworkers

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In recent years, our partners at RedVector have asked their customers to nominate a safety professional at their organization for consideration in a “Safety Champions” contest.

We here at Convergence Training liked the idea so much when we learned of it that we joined in this year.

We’ve now collected nominations of many different safety professionals from our customers. All of these safety professionals did great work this past year and although we’ve picked a smaller number of winners (more on that later), we wanted to raise our hats to every safety professional and let you all see the kinds of nice things that people say about the safety professionals they work with.

The list below includes safety professionals for organizations who are customers or Convergence Training, RedVector, or both. We’re identifying the safety professionals with first name and last initial, and we’ve removed any mention of company names.

We want to emphasize that everyone mentioned below, and in fact everyone working in safety in general, is a safety champion not just this year but every year.

NOTE: In addition to this list of nominations, check out the list of winners in our 2019 Safety Champs event and learn about the special event at Tamp Bay Lighting hockey game Convergence Training and RedVector treated them to to honor their great work in safety. 

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Effective Safety Training: A Guide to Creating, Designing, Delivering, & Evaluating EHS Training That Works

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If you’re in EHS (or Safety), you’re probably also in EHS (or Safety) training. If so, you’re going to LOVE the free downloadable guide at the bottom of this article.

The guide is going to walk you through all the steps of having a top-notch EHS training program that follows best practices. We think it will make your job easier and your workplace a safer, healthier place.

It’s a complete guide that will help you follow best practices for integrating your EHS and EHS training efforts; managing your EHS training program; design, develop, deliver, and evaluate your EHS training; and continually improve your EHS training.

Our guide has a lot in common with the best practices put forth in ANSI Z490.1, the American national standard of “Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training.” Although our guide covers nearly everything in the standard, we do recommend you still go and get a copy of the guide (which was just updated in 2016).

Let us know if you have any questions, thoughts, or comments–there’s a comments section at the bottom of this article. And enjoy the guide!

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Industrial Hygiene (IH) Basics: What is a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL)?

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If you’re new to industrial hygiene, you may have heard of permissible exposure limits (PELs) but may perhaps not know what they are. Don’t worry–there are good reasons to be confused.

In this article, which is just one in our ongoing Industrial Hygiene (IH) Basics series–we’ll explain what an OSHA PEL is, tell you where you can find them, give you some tips on how to use them, and give you some reasons and nudges for using alternative occupational exposure limits that are more protective than PELs.

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