Protecting Workers from Cold Temperatures: Some Helpful Resources

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It’s October already. And that means that here in the US, cold weather is on its way once again.  Brrr.

And that also means it’s a good idea and a good time to consider how well prepared you and your workforce are for the lower temperatures.

Dealing with the cold weather may seem like something we all know about. But the truth is that people suffer from hypothermia, frostbite, trench foot, and other cold-related problems every year. And it’s almost always avoidable.

So, we’ve pulled together some helpful resources for you about cold stress, frostbite, working in the cold, and generally keeping safe in the cold. They’re drawn from various sources, including OSHA, the Department of Labor, AAA, National Public Radio, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and more. Hopefully you’ll find one or more of these helpful.

Stay safe and stay warm, friend!

And hey, here’s a nice tune to listen to when the temps really begin to drop: Baby, it’s cold outside. I like that version, don’t you?

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5 OSHA Compliance Considerations for All General Industry Employers

osha general industry compliance requirements imageThis is the third and last article in a three-article series looking at OSHA compliance requirements for general industry employers.

In the first article, we looked at six compliance requirements that apply for most general industry employers.

In the second article, we looked at an additional nine compliance requirements that may also apply to those employers.

And in this third article, we’re going to kind of “mop up” and provide a series of five additional compliance considerations that all general industry employers should keep in mind.

The information in these articles is coming from OSHA’s handy online Compliance Assistance “Quick Start” Guide for General Industry. If you’re not familiar with it, we definitely encourage you to check it out.

And with that, let’s continue and wrap up our series.

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Best Practices for Management Leadership in an OHSMS

OHSMS Best Practices for Management Leadership and Employee Participation Image

In this article, we’re going to look at some best practices for management leadership in your workplace occupational health and safety management system, or OHSMS.

This is one of a series of articles discussing health and safety management systems. If you’ve missed the other articles in this series, we’ve got a list of them plus links at the bottom.

The entire series of articles is based on information from ANSI Z10, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. As we’ve said in the earlier articles, we highly recommend that you buy a copy of the Z10 standard for yourself. There’s a ton of useful information in it, including a large collection of helpful appendices at the end. It never hurts to take some guidance and get some helpful resources from the experts at ANSI and ASSE. The cost is $105.

With the scene now set, let’s get on to the focus of this article: management leadership in your health and safety management system.

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9 More OSHA Compliance Requirements For General Industry

OSHA General Industry Compliance Considerations ImageThis is the second of a three-article series looking at OSHA compliance requirements for general industry employers.

In our first article, we looked at six compliance requirements that OSHA believes apply to most general industry employers. In this article, we’ll look at an additional nine compliance requirements that OSHA believes may apply at general industry employers in addition to the five identified in the earlier article. And in the third (and final article), we draw your attention to five additional general industry compliance considerations that OSHA notes.

If you’re wondering how we know what OSHA thinks about this, it’s because they were nice enough to lay it all out in their handy online Compliance Assistance “Quick Start” Guide for General Industry.

If you haven’t do so yet, write a note to yourself to check that Quick Start out soon.

But for now, enjoy our overview below.

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6 OSHA Compliance Requirements Most General Industry Companies Face

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The other day, I was working with a customer who had just partnered with Convergence to begin improving her company’s current safety training program.

She’s a busy professional who wears many hats at work and has many responsibilities. One of them is to be sure the appropriate safety training is delivered to the workers at her company.

But she’s not a safety professional, and was a little confused about where to start and how to know what’s necessary. So we spent a little time with her, working things out, and while we did that, we passed some resources along to her.

One of them was an online guide from OSHA that we’ve found handy in the past:  their Compliance Assistance “Quick Start” Guide for General Industry. Have you seen it?

If you haven’t, write a note to yourself to check it out soon. Just check it out at that link above.

To make that even easier, we have written a series of three blog posts that walk you through the OSHA Compliance Assistance Quick Start. We broke them down like this;

  1. Six compliance requirements that apply at MOST all companies (that’s THIS article)
  2. Nine additional compliance requirements that MAY apply at your company
  3. Five final compliance considerations to keep in mind and that apply at MOST OR ALL companies

Because this is the first of those three blog posts, we’re going to cover compliance requirements that apply at most companies.

Remember that we’re discussing compliance for general industry right now. OSHA does have separate guides for construction industry compliance and health care compliance as well, so check those out if they fit your needs.

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Combustible Dusts: 2016 OSHA Rulemaking Update and Informational Resources

Chances are you know that OSHA has been talking about creating and enforcing a Combustible Dust Standard for some time now. That’s been going on since 2009, actually, so the process isn’t a great barn-burner.

We last wrote about it in 2013, and there hasn’t been a lot to update since then.

However, we noticed that combustible dust appears on the 2016 OSHA Unified Agenda again, so we thought we’d draw that to your attention, let you know what OSHA’s up to this year, and use it as an opportunity to share some resources on combustible dusts you may not have.

And so, we’ve published this list for you (with help from the good people at OSHA). It’s a veritable combustible-dust storm of information. We hope it helps out.

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Safety and Health Management Systems and Programs: Comparing ANSI Z10 to OSHA’s Upcoming Safety and Health Management “Program” Guidelines

 

This is the second article in a longer series of articles looking at Safety and Health Management in general and at ANSI Z10, the American national standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, in particular.

If you want to start with the first article, which serves as an introduction to the various standards and guidelines for occupational health and safety management, click that link you just read past.

But if you just want to dive into this article mid-stream, that’s fine too. We’re trying to present each article in the series as a logical, “bite-sized” bit of information that stands alone.

And so this article is going to look at an interesting distinction: the difference between management “systems,” such as the health and safety management system model detailed in ANSI Z10 (as well as similar guidelines for creating management systems in the upcoming ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System standard, the ISO 9000 Quality Management System standard, and the ISO 14000 Environmental Management System standard), with OSHA’s guideline for an occupational health and safety “program.”

Or, to put that in fewer words, we’re going to look at the issue of management “systems” as opposed to management “programs” in the context of occupational health and safety.

Of course, we acknowledge that the OSHA Safety and Health Management Program Guideline is not yet in final form. So it may look different when it’s final. But we’ll compare what we can compare today, and in doing so we’ll get an interesting look at the distinction between “systems” and “programs.”

(NOTE: Since we first wrote this blog post, OSHA has released their revised safety and health management program guidelines in final form. Click here to read OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs and/or download it as a PDF.)

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Free Safety Checklists

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From time to time, we make free safety checklists that you can use for safety training or audit purposes.  And we put them on our blog for you to download. What’s not to like about that?

But now we’ve gone one step better. We’ve created this single page so you can find all the free checklists on our blog in one handy spot. Just click any of the links below to find the checklists listed.

When we create new checklists in the future, each checklist will have its own individual article, plus we’ll try to be good and come back to this article and include a link here as well. So keep your eyes here on the Convergence Training blog and look for more of these free safety and operations checklists.

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Revised OSHA Combustible Dust National Emphasis Glossary


OSHA doesn’t have a full standard about combustible dusts. Maybe you knew that.

Instead, and as you may also know, there are a number of OSHA standards that address combustible dust hazards, controls, and safety.

One of those standards that includes information about combustible dusts is the Hazard Communication standard. And as you probably recall, OSHA updated the HazCom standard back in 2012 as part of the big GHS alignment.

But did you know that while OSHA has no specific standard about combustible dusts, they have had a “Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program” since 2008? And did you know that when the HazCom standard was updated in 2012, there was also a need to update the combustible dusts national emphasis program accordingly? And did you know that OSHA made that change on October 1, 2015?  (You can see the revised Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program here). It’s all true.

We’re not going to review the entire Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program in this blog post. However, we had earlier created an interactive glossary of terms defined in the National Emphasis Program, and so we decided to recreate that glossary using the terms that OSHA defines in their new, revised Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (2015).

And that’s what we’ve got for you here. You can view and read the glossary any time you want from right here on our blog, or you can download you own free copy and import it into your SCORM-compliant learning management system (LMS). If you want to go with that second option and download a free copy, plus read the additional explanation below to learn how that works and what you will get.

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Safety and Health Management Standards and Guidelines: ANSI Z10, OSHA’s New Guideline, ISO 45001, and More

 

Have you heard of ANSI Z10?

It’s a standard about Safety and Health Management created by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and ASSP. This is the first article in a series about ANSI Z10 and different safety management standards in general.

 

We hope you enjoy this introduction to safety management standards. Before you begin, feel free to download our free 10 Steps to Getting Started with Safety Management infographic and know we’ve got additional, even more comprehensive safety management resources waiting for you below.

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Chunking Safety Training Materials

chunking-safetyNot so long ago, we wrote an extended blog post that explained the benefits of “chunking” your training materials and gave tips about how to do it.

In short, the need for chunking begins with the realization that human brains can “take in” only a limited amount of information at one time. As a result, trainers and instructional designers have learned it’s best to present information in a limited number of small, “bite-sized” pieces referred to as chunks.

You can click here to read the extended article on chunking and training.

Otherwise, if you’d like a high-level overview of chunking and then would like to how chunking safety training can make the safety training at your workplace more effective, read on. We’ll give you all the basics and show you how we applied that information when creating our Arc Flash Safety course. You can then use those same tips when creating your own safety training.

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6 Adult Learning Principles You Should Use During Safety Training

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Before you read any further, let’s do a quick check.

Are you in safety/EHS and do your responsibilities include safety/EHS training?

If so, that’s a good sign that you’ll find this article relevant.

Next, take a moment to think about the people you provide safety/EHS training to. Are they adults?

If so, things are looking very promising for you and this article.

Because in this article, we’re going to take a look at something called adult learning principles and see how keeping them in mind when you design, develop, and deliver safety/EHS training can make your training more effective. Which of course means your training will create a healthier, safer work environment.

We’ll even give you some tips and examples of how to apply adult learning principles, and try to clear up some confusion about the multiple different lists of adult learning principles you’ll find if you do a Google search for the term.

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