How to Watch a Solar Eclipse Safely

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As you’ve probably heard, there’s a total solar eclipse coming this way soon.

By “this way,” I mean it will be visible in the US from coast to coast. It will first be visible around the Oregon Pacific coast, then it will cross the country until exiting the national stage off the South Carolina Atlantic coast.

And by “soon,” I mean on August 21, 2017. The “totality” of the moon’s shadow will strike around Lincoln City, Oregon at 10:16 am Pacific time and will exit the continent at Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 pm Eastern time. The entire journey of the totality will take about an hour and a half to cross the nation, and the final glimpses of the moon’s shadow will be visible from the eastern seaboard as late as 4:09 pm eastern time.

An eclipse is an amazing thing to see, and most or all Americans will be able to see this eclipse. Even better, some Americans within a band that’s about 70-miles wide along the path of the eclipse will see its totality–a complete eclipse of the sun. Some say that viewing a full eclipse from within the path of the totality is even more amazing–even spiritual or mystical. Just ask this guy.

The video below explains what an eclipse is. Below the video, we’ve got some tips for watching an eclipse safely. Because remember, you should never look directly at the sun without special protection, even during a solar eclipse, and doing so can severely damage your eyes. 

How to Watch a Solar Eclipse Safely Without Harming Your Eyes

We said this earlier, but it bears repeating: NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITHOUT SPECIAL PROTECTION AT ANY TIME–DURING “NORMAL’ CIRCUMSTANCES OR DURING AN ECLIPSE. Why? Because it can harm your eyes and even cause blindness. You wouldn’t poke your eye with a sharp stick, would you? No-because it can hurt your eye. The same goes with trying to look at an eclipse of the sun without special protection. And NO, sunglasses aren’t good enough.

Are we good with that?

If so, here are some more tips:

  1. Spend a few bucks and buy some specially designed, protective solar viewers. This model is made of paper, costs $10-14 for two (because it’s always best to watch a solar eclipse with a friend!), and is ISO certified: Celestron Eclipse Smart Viewers.
  2. Spend even less and buy some solar eclipse viewing glasses. This article in the USA Today lists 5 reputable, safe pairs, and here’s a larger list from the American Astronomical Society.
  3. Make your own pinhole projector out of two pieces of cardboard. Here are instructions from the Jet Propulsion Lab on making a pinhole projector to view a solar eclipse.
  4. Be extra-safe and watch it on TV. Our friends at NASA will be broadcasting the eclipse live.

Here is more information about this from the American Association of Ophthalmology and the American Astronomical Society.

Hope the eclipse is cool, amazing, awesome, and even spiritual or mystical to you–or whatever you want it to be. But most importantly, we hope you watch it safely.

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Distracted Driving: Don’t Do It in Washington Or Anywhere Else!

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Distracted driving, including of course texting or holding a phone to talk while driving, is always a bad idea.

We here at Convergence Training wanted to call out the issue in particular for our customers who come out to visit us at our headquarters in Camas, WA. And that’s because the state of Washington recently passed a tough new distracted driving law that can lead to a hefty $136 penalty if you violate it.

According to the article from the Seattle Times linked above, here’s what’s illegal:

The law forbids handheld uses. Not just phone calls, but composing or reading any kind of message, social media post, photograph or data.

Drivers may not use handheld devices while at a stop sign or red-light signal.

All video watching is illegal, even in a dashboard or dash-mounted device.

But this hazard is a serious problem all over the nation, not just in Washington. For example, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is suggesting a national “no call, no text, no update behind the wheel” ban on this kind of stuff.

Here’s what the NTSB has to say about handheld devices and distracted driving:

New connectivity has enabled new safety technologies. But it has also enabled new forms of distraction, leading to accidents and deaths, even in the most strictly regulated transportation enterprises. Since 2003, the NTSB has found PED distraction as a cause or contributing factor in 11 accident investigations. Those crashes resulted in 259 people injured and 50 people killed. And the NTSB does not investigate the majority of highway crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports hundreds of such deaths on our highways in 2012 alone. According to NHTSA, drivers engaging in visual-manual tasks, such as dialing or texting, triple their risk of a crash.

So put the phone down and pay attention to the road and the cars and people around you. You’ll be happy you did, and we promise–there’s nothing all that important going on in your phone.

Our Alert Driving Online Training course covers the dangers associated with using hand-held devices while driving plus a lot more. For example, check out the video sample below, which covers the 2-second rule for keeping enough space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

And hey, if you’re having trouble putting down your phone while driving, you might want to review this article on cell phone addiction.

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Coming SOON – The Convergence IMS!

When accidents happen, it can be tough to comply with OSHA and MSHA recordkeeping requirements. That’s why we developed our NEW Convergence Incident Management Software (IMS). And since we’re just about a month away from its release, here’s a quick sneak peek at how the Convergence IMS can help you record, track, and create compliant reports for any type of safety incident or near-miss.

The Convergence IMS is designed with an intuitive workflow that guides you through the incident submittal, investigation, and reporting process. Submit incident types, select people involved, take official statements, determine root cause, and assign corrective actions… all within our intuitive, powerful IMS that integrates seamlessly into our Convergence Learning Management System (LMS). You can even produce compliant OSHA and MSHA incident reports directly from the Convergence IMS for official incident reporting.

CLICK HERE or CALL 800-619-2280 to set up a demo with your Convergence Sales Representative.

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Come See Us at the Tennessee Safety & Health Conference, July 30-August 2, Nashville, TN

We’ll be at the Tennessee Safety & Health Conference in hip and beautiful Nashville, TN, Sunday July 30 to Wednesday, August 2. And we’d love to meet you!

Come on over to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and check out our award-winning, innovative safety and health training solutions in Booth 409. Here’s just a little of what we’ll be able to show you:

Come on by and see why we just won the ISHN Reader’s Choice Award for Best Safety Training and see how we can help with your safety program at work.

Check out our short highlight video while you’re here!

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ASSE Safety 2017 Day One Summary (Tuesday, June 20)

We recently attended the ASSE’s Safety 2017 conference in lovely Denver, CO. If you were there, maybe you swung by our booth or ran into Senior L&D Specialist Jeff Dalto at one of the presentations.

A well-deserved hats off to the ASSE, all the presenters, and all the staff involved in putting on a a great conference, including the folks who work for the Denver Convention Center. It’s obviously a lot of work, it went off without a hitch, plus they dialed up some beautiful weather for us as well!

The biggest problem I had while down at ASSE was choosing between the different presentations I wanted to see. There were so many good ones, I missed some I really wanted to see (notably, one by Pamela Walaski on scaling a safety and health management system for small and medium-sized companies, but I’m happy to say she wrote a great article in the most recent issues of Professional Safety magazine on the same topic).

Before I list the presentations I saw, I want to congratulation Samantha Horseman of Saudi Aramco. She won the Safety Management Innovation Award and then gave her prize to the ASSE Foundation. Admirable stuff all the way around–good on her, and an inspiration to all of us. Kudos and huzzah!

OK, here’s what I’ve seen since I’ve been there.

(Note: The conference is now over, so we’ve now published three daily overviews: ASSE Safety 2017 Day 1, ASSE Safety 2017 Day 2, and ASSE Safety 2017 Day 3).

Keynote Presentation by Philosopher Tom Morris

Author of many books, including “The Oasis Within,” Morris was a lively, engaging, funny speaker who listed his “7 Cs for Success”: Conception, Confidence, Concentration, Consistency, Emotional Commitment, Character, and Capacity to Enjoy. A bonus for mentioning ancient philosopher Zeno and recent NFL running back Jerome Bettis in the same speech.

Jonathan Klane’s “Flash Session” on Non-Fiction Storytelling in Safety

Klane is with Arizona State University (“Forks Up!”) and gave a good, quick reminder of the value of telling stories while talking about safety and/or delivering safety training. And even though it wasn’t the stated intention of his presentation, he also demonstrated well the value of determining what “problem” you’re trying to fix before developing safety training.

I am working with Klane and others to create ANSI/ASSE Z490.2, the standard on virtual safety training, so it was neat to be able to meet him face-to-face.

Roundtable on the ISO 45001 Standard

Moderated by the ASSE’s one-and-only Tim Fisher, this roundtable with Victory Troy, Todd Hohn, and Kathy Seabrook was well-attended and included a few quick summaries of key clauses within the upcoming standard on safety and health management and a good Q&A session.

The speakers mentioned this was the third year in a row they’ve given a status update on ISO 45001 at an ASSE conference, and that this will be the last. Why? Because they expect the standard to be done and final within 12 months. So watch for that, it’s a big event.

Go here for more information on ISO 45001.

What Safety Professionals Need to Know about Environmental Regulations

Salvatore Caccavalle did an admirable job of introducing attendees to the basic framework of environmental regulations in the US, noting that many safety professionals have to be aware of and comply with these regulations (often without a true environmental expert on staff).

Did you know we have a new library of online Environmental training courses? Read this blog post to find out more about our new online environmental training library and environmental regulations in general.

A baseball fan, Caccavalle exposed his love for his hometown Boston Red Sox and even dated one environmental reg as “the same year as the Miracle Mets.” It’s always good to see folks have a life outside work.

Humor in Safety/Safety Training

Speaker Tim Page-Bottorff did a nice job of reminding attendees that safety and safety training can be fun, and in fact should be. He demonstrated a few ways to make safety training more engaging, more active/participatory, and more memorable.

Job well done. Remember, folks, it doesn’t have to be wooden or put folks to sleep. And, in fact, it shouldn’t.

Safety Differently

Probably my favorite session of the day, and that’s saying a lot for the final presentation of the day. Ron Gantt did a nice job of asking attendees to consider turning our conceptions of safety “upside down.”

Gannt asked us to consider safely differently than we have in the past, with a focus on:

  • The definition of safety
  • The role of “the people” in safety (meaning workers)
  • The focus on the organization

Gantt’s unusual definition of safety is “the capacity to be successful in varying conditions.” He believes that people are often considered the problem in safety but instead should be considered the solution. And he thinks safety professionals and the organization should do everything they can to support the people, while believing that the organization has an ethical role to support the safety of the people.

I’ve read Gannt’s stuff for a few years now and see him on LinkedIn from time to time, so this was a real treat for me to see him live.

For more about Gannt’s ideas, check out the Safety Differently website.

What about You?

What sessions did you see? Let us know in the comments section below. And we hope to see you today!

And help yourself to the free guide below, which is based in large part on ASSE/ANSI Z490.1.

Finally, remember you can check out more daily overviews: ASSE Safety 2017 Day 2 and ASSE Safety 2017 Day 3.

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OSHA Makes Available New, Helpful PSM Guidelines

OSHA Compliance Requirements OSHA has released three new guidance documents to help small business comply with the Process Safety Management (PSM) regulation.

In brief, there are resources for PSM for small businesses, PSM for storage facilities, and PSM for explosives and pyrotechnics manufacturing.

A little help from OSHA is always a good thing and is to be commended. Thanks, OSHA!

We’ve got links to the three OSHA guidances plus some links to resources we’ve created over time to help with PSM compliance as well. There’s even a free PSM Compliance Checklist for you below.

Read on below for more information and resources.

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OSHA To Delay Enforcement of Silica Standard for Construction Industry

OSHA recently announced that they’re delaying the enforcement of 1926.1153, the Crystalline Silica Standard for the Construction Industry.

According to OSHA, they’re pushing back enforcement of 1926.1153 until September 23, 2017. They intend to use that time to conduct “additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers.”

If you want to keep up with further changes, the best thing to do is sign up for this email notification system from OSHA. I signed up for a similar one on the Online Reporting Requirements recently and can confirm it worked well.

Read on below for more information and resources.

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The New Convergence Incident Management Software (IMS): Coming Soon

Need help keeping track of workplace incidents, such as injuries, illnesses, property damage, and more?

How about reporting and acting upon near-misses and safety observations?

If so, you’ll be happy to know that our new Incident Management Software (IMS) is coming soon.

 

Here are a few of the things you’ll be able to do with our new IMS:

  • Create, edit, manage, and track the status of incident reports
  • Attach associated incident documents and images, including digital photos and videos
  • Select involved personnel directly from the system
  • Document OSHA-recordable and MSHA-recordable injuries and illnesses, and submit those directly to OSHA and MSHA
  • Identify root causes
  • Prescribe, record, and track corrective actions

So, stay tuned for more!

Until then, you may be interested in reading our HOW TO CONDUCT AN INCIDENT INVESTIGATION blog article. And don’t forget to download our free Job Hazard Analysis Guide, below.

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Job Hazard Analysis Guide

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ASSE Safety 2017: Come See Us in Denver, Co June 19-22, 2017

\We’re going to be at the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Safety 2017 conference in Denver, CO June 19-22 in Denver, CO and hope to get a chance to meet you while we’re there.

Come visit us in Booth 930 to see our safety and health eLearning courses (including many new and updated titles), our new mobile safety training apps (for smart phones and tablets), and coming soon, the Incident Management module of our Convergence Learning Management System, or LMS (which is ideal for safety and health compliance training needs) .

Also, our Senior Learning & Development Specialist Jeff Dalto, who writes the Convergence Training blog, will be attending as a learner to take in a bunch of sessions and he’s hoping to meet a lot of you in person.

Finally, while Jeff’s there, he’s planning on meeting up with other members of the ANSI/ASSE Z490.2 (Virtual Safety Training) committee. Jeff is a member of this working committee, has enjoyed working toward the creation of this new national standard on online safety training, and is excited to see what advances can be made while at least some of the committee members are in Denver at the conference. Click here to read Jeff’s latest update on the developing of the ANSI/ASSE Z490.2 standard.

See you in Denver! And let us know if you have any questions for us.

And while you’re here, feel free to download our Guide to Effective EHS Training, which is based on ANSI/ASSE Z490.2.

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Effective EHS Training: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Convergence Training Named One of Top Places to Work in Portland, OR

Thanks to our friends at Zippia for listing yours truly, Convergence Training, as one of the top 20 places to work in the Portland, OR area (we’re actually located in Camas, WA, just north of Portland).

Here’s what Zippia had to say about working at Convergence Training:

Convergence provides training software and eLearning courses on a variety of industrial skills on subjects like packaging, manufacturing, workplace safety, and maintenance. As far as working there, former workers have mentioned that designers of the eLearning software are given plenty of leeway to create interesting and useful content in a supportive environment.

And congrats to all of the other great companies on the list, including:

  • SalesFirst Recruiting
  • Evo
  • Intuitive Digital
  • Propeller
  • Marquam Group
  • 52 Limited
  • Idealist Consulting
  • Zapproved
  • Fortis Construction-Oregon
  • InfoGroup Northwest
  • Fuel Medical
  • BizTek People
  • Logical Position
  • Maul Foster & Alongi
  • DiscoverOrg
  • MasterPlans
  • Boly:Welch
  • Sole Financial
  • Silken Management Group

Well done, all!

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Convergence Training MSHA Safety Training–2017 ISHN Reader’s Choice Award Winner

We’re proud to announce that our MSHA Safety Training compliance solution, including online mining safety training courses and a learning management system (LMS) for administering that training and creating all MSHA-required training records and documentations, just won the 2017 ISHN (Industrial Safety and Hygiene News) Reader’s Choice Award for Safety Training.

Thanks to ISHN and of course their readers for selecting us. We’re honored and will continue to create training materials of a similar high quality in the future.

Click here to see the other award winners, and congratulations to all the other winners as well.

To see more about our award-winning MSHA mining safety online courses and learning management system (LMS) for mining safety, click the MORE button to continue reading. We’ve also included a free guide to mining safety training for you at the bottom of this article.

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Join Us at the Michigan Safety Conference in Novi, MI, April 11-12, 2017

Attention all Michiganders: we’ll be in the Mighty Mitten state April 11 and 12 for the Michigan Safety Conference.

Come to the show and swing by Booth 335 to see the best online health and safety training solutions out there, including health and safety online courses as well our as Enterprise LMS for health and safety training management. Solutions Specialist Brian Andrewjeski will be there to answer any questions you may have and demonstrate anything you may want to see.

As you may already know, the conference is in Novi, Michigan at the Suburban Collection Showplace.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there! You can shoot us an email if you have any questions.

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