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.

And know that we’ve also created a free Guide to OSHA General Industry Compliance for you based on all these materials as well.

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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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Comic Books and eLearning: Lessons from Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art”

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In an earlier blog post, we took a quick introductory look at some connections between comic books and eLearning.

And in that article, we promised to follow up with a second article that focuses on the classic book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud. And we also promised that the second article would focus on some lessons from comic book design that we can apply to the design of eLearning other forms of learning.

This, my friend, is that second article.

Before we get going, let’s take a stop at the “credit where credit is due” department.  Scott McCloud’s book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art is a classic and is GREAT. If you’ve read it, you can vouch for me. Or maybe you’ve just heard of it and know it’s very well regarded.

If you haven’t heard of the book or read it yet, I highly recommend it. If you read it, you’ll learn a lot on a wide variety of topics. And even better, it’s written in the form of a comic book, so you’ll have a lot of fun while you’re reading, too.

But even though I suggest you check the book out and promise you’ll like it, you won’t have to read the book to begin drawing some lessons from it. Because that’s the whole point of this article. And of the comments section at the bottom, too–please share all your own ideas.

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Convergence Training Releases New MSHA Miner Training Courses

safety-and-health-management-standards-and-guidelinesConvergence Training, a leading producer of industrial safety and mine training products, announced today the release of its next generation of Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) compliance training courses.

Convergence Training’s history of producing award-winning MSHA training and its longstanding position as the leader in compliant miner training contribute to its dominance in the industry. Based on the MSHA Part 46 regulations for training and retraining of surface miners and mining contractors, Convergence Training’s new courses are designed to supplement a broader range of Part 46 surface mining and Part 48 underground mining compliance programs. The computer-animated courses are produced to be used individually or purchased as bundled sets that are configured to meet core requirements for new miner and annual refresher training.

Convergence Training owner and president, Randy Kohltfarber, explains the value that these new courses offer the mining industry. “Since we released our Surface Miner Training courses in 2008, we’ve helped leading mine companies and their thousands of employees stay compliant with MSHA training regulations. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done on our new MSHA miner training courses. They simply look stunning and provide a great value from a trusted brand,” said Kohltfarber.

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Stills from Convergence Training’s new MSHA compliance courses

Convergence Training will release its MSHA mine compliance course catalog in both eLearning and DVD formats for the broadest accessibility in the industry.

View more preview clips and request full-length previews at convergencetraining.com.


 

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Comic Books and eLearning: Examples and Resources

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Comic books, the movies that they spawned, and graphic novels are a massive part of the American cultural scene these days.

For example, adults now freely admit to reading comic books. It’s no longer a dirty secret people hide. Do you read them? I do, and have since I was a kid.

We’ve seen serious books written about comics and the history of comics, including The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How it Changed America and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Heck, you can even take university classes on comic books–check out the courses offered by the Department of Comic Studies at University of Oregon as an example.

Graphic novels have come from nowhere to be very well respected. And deservedly so–a few of my favorites are Maus, Fun Home, and Persepolis. What are yours?

At the cinema, it’s sometimes difficult to see a movie that’s not based on a comic book character. That’s not necessarily a great thing (witness:  Suicide Squad), but it does underline the fact that there’s a lot of interest in the characters and stories from comic books. The same with TV–how many shows on Netflix come from comic books?

And all this popularity isn’t without good reason. Sure, some of it is because with today’s CGI, it’s easier to make a more convincing superhero movie. But that’s not the whole story. Comic books and graphic novels are great ways to tell a story, and in particular, they are great ways to communicate visually.

Given all that, we’re going to give some thought to connections between comic books and eLearning courses in this article. That’s partly because a big part of an eLearning course relies on visual communication, and because visual communication is an especially effective way to learn.

This is the first of two articles about comic books and eLearning. In this article, we’ll give a general introduction to the idea and some connections. And in the next article, we’ll take a “deep-dive” view at the classic book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud, and we’ll see what lessons from that book we can apply to eLearning design and learning in general. In addition, yet another article takes a look at scenario-based learning, including some examples by the GREAT Anna Sabramowicz and Cathy Moore that are influenced by comic book design and storytelling.

If you want to zip ahead to the links of resources related to eLearning and comic books, they’re closer to the end of this article. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with relaxing and reading the whole thing.

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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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Corrugated Board Manufacturing Word Game

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Are you in the corrugated board industry?

We think the chances are high that you are. First, because you’re reading a blog article about a corrugated board word game. And second, because a lot of people have been coming to the Convergence Training website all excited about the multimedia training courses for corrugated board manufacturing that we have available.

So if we’re right, and you ARE in corrugated board, we’re confident you’re going to like this article.

And that’s because we’ve got a fun-to-play, Wheel-of-Fortune-style word game here for you. And–wait for it–it’s all about corrugated board and terms from the corrugated board industry. What more could you want!

The game is fun to play just to quiz yourself, or you can use it to quiz employees. It might be especially helpful for new hires with no previous experience in the corrugated board industry. They might thank you for the opportunity to review some key terms. Hey, they might even enjoy themselves a touch.

And don’t forget you can project this game on a screen or wall and play together as a team, maybe during one of your regularly scheduled weekly meetings.

Have fun and let us know what you think. And check the Convergence Training blog for helpful articles and other free word games.

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Lean Manufacturing Word Game

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Curious about lean manufacturing (often called just “lean” for short)? Or maybe just in the mood to test your knowledge of lean manufacturing with a fun interactive word game? Either way, you’ve come to a good spot.

Lean is a philosophy a methodology with roots based in Training Within Industry (TWI), Japanese manufacturing, and the Toyota Production System (TPS).

A lot of our customers have an interest in lean manufacturing (with this more specific meaning). In fact, not that long ago we ran a popular post about how to introduce your workers to lean manufacturing.

This is meant as a quick (and fun) introduction to some terms in lean. Please use the comments section at the bottom if there are other terms you think we should add. You might also want to check our online courses for lean manufacturing training.

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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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43.5 Signs You’ll Outgrow Your Learning Management System: LMSs and the Story of the Three Bears

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Most of you are probably familiar with the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Many learning & development professionals and corporate training managers have a similar experience when they’re trying to find the learning management system (LMS) that’s “just right” for their company. Some LMSs are too big and overwhelming. Some LMSs are too small and limiting. And some LMSs are just right for their company.

At Convergence Training, we’ve worked closely with our customers for more than 15 years to develop a “Momma Bear” LMS–an LMS that has all the features they need but not so many features that it becomes confusing, overwhelming, or too costly.

In this article, we’re going to look at some signs that an LMS is probably too small for your company. Or, if it’s not too small now, signs that it’s likely to become too small soon once you get into the swing of things.

Of course, every company’s needs are different, and what’s too small for one company may be too big for another and just right for a third. So the big takeaway from this article for you should be to begin considering what you want and need your LMS to do before you get one. To help with that, we’ve provided a free LMS guide at the bottom of this article.

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