OSHA Revises Hazard Communication Standard (1910.1200) to Conform with Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for Chemical Labeling

Maybe you know this already, maybe you’ve heard some whispers but don’t know the full story, or maybe you’re sitting in your chair right now, reading your computer screen and asking yourself “What the heck is this all about?”

Whether you know about this already or not, the fact is that labeling requirements in the United States for hazardous chemicals are about to change.

OSHA has updated their Hazard Communication Standard (1910.1200) so that it will comply with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. In catchier terms, this is known as the Globally Harmonized System or simply the GHS.

The purpose of the change is to standardize chemical labeling requirements not just within the United States, but throughout the entire world.


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OSHA Offers Free Heat Safety App for iPhone and Android

OSHA’s got a free heat safety app for iPhone and Android phones/devices, and we wanted to make sure you knew about it.

The app calculates the heat index for your site, displays a risk level for your workers, and even gives you precautions to follow to keep workers safe.

We’ve got the link for you to click so you can download the app below. It’s been hot this year, and this isn’t a bad tool to have in the safety and health toolbox.

Here’s what you can go to download the app from the OSHA site.

You can get even more out of the app by backing it up with a fundamental understanding of the causes of heat stress. And we’ve got some stuff for you below to help with that.

Here’s a pretty informative article about heat stress here. Check that out if you’re interested.

This short article focuses on four ways to beat the heat (and heat stress).

OSHA’s got an entire website dedicated to Heat Stress, too–not just an app.

Want to know what causes heat stress? Our Heat Stress Causes eLearning course gives the straight skinny.

And of course, it’s important to know how to prevent heat stress and recognize its symptoms. Our Heat Stress Prevention and Symptoms eLearning course gives you what you need to know.

We know you’re reading this article because of a specific interest in heat stress and the app from OSHA, but why not download a free copy of our Guide to Effective EHS Training since you’re here, too?


Effective EHS Training: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to design, create, deliver, and evaluate effective EHS training by following these best practices with our free step-by-step guide.

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Arc Flash Safety Video Gets Review: “Highly Recommended”

Our new course Arc Flash Safety received its first online, customer review. It reads:

“I found “Arc Flash Safety” to be a well produced, effective tool for communicating hazard risks and required mitigation techniques associated with working on and around energized electrical equipment. The content begins with basic information, becomes more specific with time, and is delivered in lay person terms. The graphics serve to create understanding, maintain attention and interest, and reinforce key learning points. I highly recommend this DVD for anyone desiring to stimulate a general awareness through all levels of their organization, motivate additional learning, provide refresher awareness training for experienced personnel, and affect positive behavioral change.”

-Steve S., from Georgia

Thanks, Steve, for the thoughtful review. We very humbly agree.

As Steve points out, our courses begin with basic information and become more in-depth as the course goes on. This “layering” approach is an important part of good instructional design, especially when communicating with an audience that is relatively new to the information you are teaching. For instance, for our arc flash course, we began with a simple primer on how electricity works, and the basic science behind arc flashes and arc blasts, and then we layered on more complex ideas, such as what common electrical work scenarios lead to these incidents, and how NFPA 70E guidelines protect against risks.

A common mistake in many introductory, awareness-raising safety courses is that they do not layer the information in such a way. For instance, the course might immediately start to discuss electrical regulations and guidelines. But if your audience doesn’t even have a good idea of what the general hazard is, and why they should be afraid of it, the motivation and ability to absorb the more technical information is not going to be there.

As Steve also says, the visual graphics and animations of the course “create understanding, maintain attention and interest, and reinforce key learning points.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Besides the educational value from seeing concepts illustrated visually, the Convergence style aims to engage workers. When it comes to safety and health training, sometimes the biggest challenge is just getting your workers to sit still and watch the training. With our dynamic 3D animations, one of the hardest parts of the learning process—getting the attention of your audience—is accomplished.

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Valve Performance Video Now Available

You may know how valves work, but do you know how to select the right valve for the job based on its performance characteristics? If not, this is the course you’ve been looking for. Learn all the basic concepts and terms for evaluating a valve, including those for the amount of fluid that can flow through a given valve in a period of time, the distance the valve stem travels from the open to closed position and the relationship between the valve travel distance and the corresponding changes in flow rate. You’ll also discover how the performance of a valve can change after it’s installed in a real system with varying conditions, how well a valve can withstand pressure and prevent leakage, and how control systems can be used to increase the efficiency of valves.

Our Valve Performance course includes training and test materials for the following subjects:

  • Valve coefficient
  • Stroke
  • Flow characteristics
  • Pressure classes
  • Shutoff classes
  • Actuator-controlled valves
  • Control loops
  • Rangeability

Visit BuyBetterTraining.com for details on how to purchase our Valve Performance dvd.

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Modernize Your Workforce Training to Increase Efficiency


A message from Kenny Dellavalle, Operations Manager of Convergence Training

The most successful modern businesses are ultra-efficient and advanced in everything they do, including how they educate their workforces. Successful businesses understand that a good training program more than pays for itself—it makes money.

A good training program educates workers quickly, minimizing downtime. A good training program distributes knowledge throughout an organization, where and when it’s needed. A good training program ensures workers have the correct information, across the organization, and this minimizes mistakes. In some industries, a good training program keeps workers physically safe by educating them about hazards. With all of these benefits, a good training program makes money.


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Sexual Harassment Awareness Video Now Available

In 2010, more than 11,000 sexual harassment claims were filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC states that it is illegal to harass a person (an applicant or an employee) because of that person’s sex. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. This course defines the term “sexual harassment” and explains the different forms it can take. It also delves into the negative effects sexual harassment has on both an individual and on the workplace as a whole, and suggests appropriate responses to sexual harassment.

Our Sexual Harassment Awareness course includes training and test materials for the following topics:

  • Definitions of sexual harassment
  • Different types of sexual harassment
  • Effects of sexual harassment
  • How to respond to sexual harassment

Visit BuyBetterTraining.com for details on how to purchase our Our Sexual Harassment Awareness dvd.

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Crane and Hoist Rigging: A New Safety Training Video

Crane and Hoist Rigging is the newest training course to enter our growing Safety and Health library. This is an introductory course for general industry or construction workers who work on or near cranes or crane rigging.

Topics covered include:

  • Common rigging and sling materials
  • Types of common sling hitches
  • Types of common hardware components
  • Basic safe rigging practices

During the research, writing, and production of this course we received input from James Headley, the founder and Executive Director of The Crane Institute of America. The Crane Institute of America is one of the largest crane training facilities in the United States. They provide hands-on training on mobile cranes, overhead cranes, tower cranes, and rigging, and they hold classes at more than 80 locations in the country. Headley also serves as the CEO of Crane Institute of America Certification (CIC), an organization recognized by OSHA that provides accredited certifications for crane operators, riggers, signalpersons, and inspectors.

Headley is also the author of “Rigging,” a widely-respected field handbook that includes practical instruction on how to use rigging and slings, as well as lifting capacity charts for a wide range of hardware.

Mr. Headley’s extensive crane experience helped us ensure that we were choosing the most useful information for our introductory-level course. His review of the finished visual aspects of our training was also very valuable to ensure that we were showing realistic setups for the crane and rigging components.

Convergence is very proud to release this highly-visual and easy-to-understand course. We feel it will be a valuable part of introductory or refresher safety and OSHA compliancy training for industrial facilities that use overhead cranes. It would also be a good companion piece or follow-up to our Overhead Crane training courses (Overhead Crane Basics & Overhead Crane Operational Safety).

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Heat Stress Causes Video Now Available

Heat stress or heat exhaustion is a serious concern for people working in extreme temperatures indoors and outside. Each year thousands of people are affected by heat stress and some even die as a result. Our Heat Stress Causes course provides training on how to avoid the dangers posed by heat exhaustion. Learn about different types of heat stress, from relatively harmless heat rashes to potentially deadly heat stroke, and learn their symptoms and causes.

Our Heat Stress Causes course includes training and test materials covering the following topics:

  • What is heat stress
  • Factors that can contribute to heat stress
  • How to regulate body temperature
  • What influences your body’s ability to tolerate heat

Visit BuyBetterTraining.com for details on how to purchase our Our Heat Stress Causes dvd.

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New Electrical Arc Flash Safety Training Course

Arc Flash Safety is one of our newest courses. It’s an introductory-level course meant to educate industrial workers about the hazards of electrical arc blast and arc flash in their workplace.

This was one of our more challenging subjects to produce. Electricity is a very complex subject. It is also a very serious subject because the hazards involved can be so deadly. There is just so much information on electrical safety, and all of it is important. To create an introductory course aimed at raising awareness of arc flash hazards, tough choices had to be made about what would and wouldn’t be included. Because our course is aimed at a lay audience of general industry workers, not electrical workers, our goal was to communicate the basic causes and hazards of arc flashes without going into too much detail on voltage, components, and specifics like that.

Contributing to our production process was Bob Ruggles, the founder and CEO of Electric Diagnostic Surveys. His company does safety consulting and training on NFPA 70E regulations and compliancy, creating an electrical safety program, and general electrical safety training. (Read more about Bob Ruggles and his company at the bottom of this blog entry.)

Ruggles’ input was valuable in ensuring that we were choosing the most pertinent information to include. One of his major contributions was suggesting that we do a visual animation of the electrical safety boundaries (Arc Flash Protection Boundary and the electrical shock boundaries), because they were very important concepts and he had never seen a very clear visual method to teach them. This ended up being a great addition to the course content.

The visual aspects of this course were a challenge, also. For one thing, we had no reference for how to best illustrate how an arc flash happens. While it seems like a simple concept on the surface (basically it’s an electrical explosion), when you get down to the scientific causes of it, it is very complex. We wanted to illustrate the basic causes behind the arc flash without including too much visual detail that would confuse a lay audience. Another challenge was in creating a realistic MCC (motor control room) for our main virtual “set.” Ruggles’ long-time electrical expertise was very valuable in ensuring that our illustrations and animations were both accurate and easy-to-understand.

We’d also like to thank the Arc Flash Forum, an online forum moderated by Jim Phillips. We used this forum for asking questions of experienced electrical workers, as well as getting informal reviews of some of the visual aspects of the course. Online forums like these have a wealth of knowledge and are invaluable for asking questions and learning about other peoples’ experiences.

Here’s a rundown of the topics included in our Arc Flash Safety course:

  • What an arc flash is
  • How an arc flash happens
  • Common causes of arc flash
  • NFPA Hazard Risk Categories
  • The Flash Protection Boundary
  • Tips on reading electrical warning signs and labels
  • The importance of PPE and Lockout/Tagout procedures
  • What NFPA 70E is

Visit BuyBetterTraining.com for details on how to purchase our Our Arc Flash Safety dvd.

More about Bob Ruggles: Bob has been in the electrical field for more than thirty years. He started his career as a journeyman electrician and later became the owner of an electrical contracting company. He has also been an OSHA instructor and an inventor of award-winning safety products for the electrical industry.

Bob had a close friend, an experienced electrician, die from being electrocuted at a worksite. This experience made Bob see the need for more serious workplace training that drilled home the very real dangers of electricity. As a result, he started his own electrical safety training company in 2004. In his live training sessions, Bob includes the story of his friend’s electrocution so that attendees learn that electrical accidents can happen to anyone, no matter how experienced. The story also gives his audience an emotional connection to the material, which helps them remember why electrical safety is important.

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Convergence at AIHce 2012 in Indianapolis

We’re going to be in Indianapolis for the AIHce Expo from June 16-21. If you’re already planning on attending, or if you’re thinking about it, make sure you come by and visit us at booth 848. We have a bunch of new additions to our EHS course library to show off and we’ll be doing demos of our Learning Management System and our Contractor Training software.

We’ll also be giving away some free stuff, so be sure to stop by and say hello.

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Valve Basics Video Now Available

Valves are commonly in use in most workplaces, and in our homes, but most of us don’t understand how valves work even on the most basic level. This course is designed as an introduction to basic concepts related to the use and operation of valves in common industrial settings. Whether you’re a novice or a long-time expert refreshing your training, our Valve Basics course has the information you need.

Our Valve Basics course includes training and test materials covering the following topics:

  • Valve parts
  • Different valve classifications
  • Body materials
  • Common pipe connections
  • Dimensions

Visit BuyBetterTraining.com for details on how to purchase our Valve Basics dvd.

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Safe Line Breaking Procedures Course Now Available

Our newest course is Line Breaking Safety. This course is an introduction to the safe opening of pipes, lines, and vessels that contain hazardous materials. We created this training module after receiving a lot of demand for a line breaking course from our industrial clients. We’re happy to announce we’re finished and that it looks great!

We spent a long time producing Line Break Safety, with over 180 hours on research and writing and over 600 hours on multimedia production. We think it was worth it, though, because this course is unlike anything else currently available on the market. Our expert contributor, Dustin Fryberger of Steinmans LLC, had this to say about it when he viewed the finished course:

“That was one of the most professional and interesting courses I have ever seen. I absolutely loved it. You guys hit the nail on the head.”

Line Breaking is a complicated subject. There are so many different ways that pipes and lines can be configured, with many different types of pipes, junctions, and connections. There are also so many types of hazardous materials, and every material has its own set of dangers and safe procedures. This is why the research and writing of this project was so important; we wanted to make sure we were communicating concepts that would apply across-the-board in most line breaking procedures.

To that end, we reviewed actual line break permits and safe operating procedures from some of our industrial clients. We also reviewed the relevant OSHA regulations and widely-recognized best practices for line breaking. After gathering all of this information, we sorted through it to discover the most common dangers, precautions, and safe work requirements that most workers would find meaningful at their jobs.

We received review of the script and the finished multimedia from Dustin Fryberger, the owner of Steinmans LLC, located in Newark, Delaware. Fryberger is an engineer with a background in industrial facility work. His company, Steinmans LLC, specializes in the design and fabrication of standard and custom line blinds for isolating piping and equipment. Mr. Fryberger’s hands-on experience with pipeline procedures helped ensure that our training passed the necessary test for real-world accuracy and relevance.

We are unaware of any training product currently on the market that offers such a thorough introduction to line breaking safe working procedures. We are very confident that this course will be a great tool for introducing industrial workers to the basic concepts having to do with line break dangers, line break safe operating procedures, and the importance of planning and permits in this type of work.

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