FMEA: What Is Failure Mode & Effects Analysis?

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A failure mode and effects analysis, commonly known as FMEA, is a way to analyze the different ways a system, design, machine, component, process, product, or service can fail and the effects of those different potential failures.

The FMEA is recorded on an FMEA worksheet.

We’ll explain more about this technique commonly used in many industries in this introductory article. Stay tuned in the future, as we’ll probably also create a free downloadable FMEA worksheet for you.


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Home Safety Tips: Second Free Coronavirus/COVID-19 Video from Vector Solutions & Vector Cares

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As we’re all struggling to respond to and protect ourselves during the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, our parent company Vector Solutions has been creating a series of free videos on COVID-19 and releasing them at their Vector Cares website.

The first video explained some basic facts about COVID-19.

They just released the second video, which provides tips for preparing your home to stay safer.

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Vector Solutions Recognizes 2020 “Safety Champions” in Tampa

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Vector Solutions honored a select group of exceptional men and women for their special dedication to reducing risk in the workplace during a recognition event March 12 in Tampa, Florida.

These Safety Champions were nominated by peers, co-workers and others for going above and beyond to make their workplaces happier, healthier, safer places to be. Our honorees hailed from a variety of industries, including industrial manufacturing, construction, water treatment  and others. Below you’ll find excerpts from those nominations.

Read on to learn more about all of these safety champions. And congrats and thanks to all of them, plus everyone working in safety.


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6 Tips for Facilitating Behavior Change During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Simply giving people information or telling them what to do does not guarantee behavior change.

That’s partly because we often know what we’re supposed to do but do something else anyway. It can be hard to change, plus sometimes we’re not motivated to change.

Change has been a big part of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. There have been deaths (rest their souls), people have gotten seriously ill, but even those who think they’re healthy have seen many changes. Losing a job or working from home; staying at home and staying six feet away from other people for social distancing; giving up hugs and handshakes; not touching your face; washing your hands constantly; none of this is easy.

If you’re trying to help people make these changes, you might find six tips from a book called Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath helpful. In it, they offer six things that help people change their behavior more than just telling them to will. Those are:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Unexpectedness
  3. Concreteness
  4. Credibility
  5. Emotions
  6. Stories

To remember these, there’s a handy acronym: SUCCES(s).

Here’s a quick review of each.

Simplicity: Keep the message as short and simple as possible. Can you explain in 30 seconds instead of 12 minutes? Do it.

Unexpectedness: Surprise will catch people’s attention. Today, a story about a young person dying of COVID-19 or getting sick and needing a respirator may catch people’s attention more than a story about someone in their 80s.

Concreteness: Use details and descriptive language to convey the message. Avoid being vague or abstract. An invisible virus that people can pass even when they’re showing no symptoms is already vague enough. Focus on painful, dry coughs and crushing pain on the lungs, for example.

Credibility: People are more likely to listen if they know the message is coming from an expert or authority. If you’re not an authority, at least tell people your information is from an authority. But if you can get an authority, do it. Or if you can include a video of an authority, such as the head of the CDC, do it.

Emotions: Facts, data, and information are not likely to catch people’s attention or cause behavior change. Making them a little frightened about the effects of the virus (not panicked, but frightened) or sad about how it’s affecting people is more likely to work.

Stories: We’re natural story-listening machines. Take advantage of that by using stories in your training about COVID-19. Avoid simple lists of facts and data and/or lectures. And when you tell stories, use the other five tips just mentioned (simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, and emotions). Click to read more about storytelling in training.

Using these six tips in your training about COVID-19, or even in trying to help out family and friends, will improve your chances of creating real behavior change. And that’s what we need–not just information dumps. Good luck and share your success stories below–we need them!

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OSHA Basics: (Nearly) Everything You Always Wanted to Know about OSHA–but were afraid to ask

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If you’re new to the safety profession, or even if you’ve been around a while, you may have a few questions about the US Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

We may not have ALL the answers for you here, but we think we’ve got a lot of the common OSHA FAQs along with helpful answers and links to additional helpful OSHA-related resources.

Of course, if we’ve missed a specific OSHA-related question that you were hoping to get answered please use the comments section below the article and we’ll try to get you an answer as well as add that question to our list of FAQs.

And since you’ve found your way to an article about all-thing-OSHA, you might want to download our free guide to OSHA General Industry Compliance


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Dealing with Change During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic

During this coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all being forced to change. And change isn’t always easy for people.

Not that long ago, and in entirely different circumstances, I talked with Arun Pradhan about anticipating, dealing with, facilitating, and benefitting from change. Of course, the circumstances are entirely different now, but there were still some useful tips that came up in the conversation that we thought would help people better adjust to the changing circumstances as a result of COVID-19.

Check out the entire discussion if you wish, or read on for some highlights and tips you may be able to apply today.


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OSHA’s New Temporary Enforcement Guidance – Healthcare Respiratory Protection Annual Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces During the COVID-19 Outbreak

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Here’s another in our continuing series of “Coronavirus Basics” articles, in which we’re trying to offer helpful information to folks trying to figure a whole bunch of stuff having to do with working during the coronavirus pandemic.

In this one, we want to give you a quick FYI that OSHA recently released a new Temporary Enforcement Guidance – Healthcare Respiratory Protection Annual Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces During the COVID-19 Outbreak.

It’s not too long, so do yourself a favor and click the link above and get the straight information directly from OSHA.

OK, are you done reading the full thing? Here’s a quick summary of what caught our attention, below.


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Free Infographic: Seven Core Elements of Construction Safety Management

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Most safety professionals will tell you that an organized safety management system or program is more effective than a simple compliance-based program.

OSHA certainly will, for example, even if you think of them in terms of compliance. To help you with that, in 2016 OSHA published OSHA 3886, Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction.

In the infographic below, we’ve listed, illustrated, and briefly explained the seven core elements that OSHA says your construction safety management program should have.

Be sure to download the OSHA document, this infographic, and the companion “Getting Started with Construction Safety Management” infographic we also made to jump start and improve your current construction safety management program. And let us know if we can help you with your construction safety efforts.


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OSHA and CDC Provide Helpful Guidance and Information on Coronavirus

As you no doubt know, the new coronavirus is spreading across the globe and US government officials have said it’s not a question of IF coronavirus will spread in the US but rather WHEN (and also, what the consequences will be).

That’s not to panic you–panic won’t help–but it is to say that you’d be wise to check out some credible authorities, learn more, and consider coming up with a plan about how your organization will prepare for the possibilities (and of course, how you’ll manage this issue in your personal life and with your families/loved ones/etc.).

We are not medical experts or public health authorities, so we thought the best thing we could do was point you toward some people who know what they’re talking about: the CDC and OSHA, both of whom have created helpful resources for you.

Here’s the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 webpage. There’s a subsection of this larger webpage titled Interim Guidance for Business and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019.

And here’s the OSHA Safety & Health Topic Page for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

And here’s a new CDC page (we think) for creating a coronavirus/COVID-19 Home Preparedness Plan.

We’ll continue adding helpful resources to this article as we find them. Please feel free to suggest your own in the comments section below.

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Free Infographic: Getting Started with Construction Safety Management

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You can improve your occupational safety and health management at work by moving away from a focus on compliance to incorporating a safety management program (or system) that’s more comprehensive and self-reinforcing.

To help you with that, in 2016 OSHA published OSHA 3886, Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction. Take a moment to download that document now and save it on your computer…we’ll wait right here.

Are you back? We hope you enjoy that OSHA document, and to help you get started on this effort at work, we thought you might like to download the free infographic below, which gives you 9 simple steps for getting started on construction safety management (the steps are drawn from the OSHA document we just linked you to).

Also, once you’ve download this infographic, you might also want to download the companion Core Elements of Construction Safety Management infographic we made too.

Enjoy this and good luck with your construction safety management efforts!


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OSHA Basics: OSHA’s Advice on Leading Indicators for Safety and Health Outcomes

Safety measurement is a big and important topic in occupational safety and health. We went into this issue in detail in a recorded discussion with Pam Walaski called Safety Metrics Reconsidered, we also discussed it during parts of recorded discussions with Ron Gantt (Safety Classics Reconsidered) and Carsten Busch (10 Common Safety Myths), and we plan on talking with Carsten Busch again soon on the topic, as he’s published a new book addressing issues around safety measurement (stay tuned for that).

In addition, the NSC/Campbell Library has done a lot of good research and publishing on the topic (we’ll cover that in an upcoming blog post) and OSHA published a document titled Using Leading Indicators to Improve Safety and Health Outcomes in June of 2019. It’s that newish OSHA document on using leading indicators for safety measurement and safety improvement we’re going to focus on in this article.

Before you read on, it’s definitely worth your while to download the OSHA document. And before you begin reading, know that we’ve got a free OSHA General Industry Compliance Guide for you, too!


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