What Is a Safety Data Sheet (SDS)?

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The safety data sheet, also known as an SDS, is an essential component of the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard and of a worker’s right to know about the chemical hazards at his or her workplace.

In this article, we’ll explain what an SDS is, how it’s related to an MSDS and to the GHS-alignment of Haz-Com, what you’ll find in its sixteen different sections, and even give you some additional information about SDSs, including issues related to employer responsibilities and employee access.

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OSHA’s Top Ten Citations, 2017

Every year, OSHA releases data about the OSHA standards that they most frequently issue citations for in the previous fiscal year. They did it in 2016. They did it in 2015. They did it…well, you get the idea.

And yep, they just did it again, at the National Safety Council’s annual Congress & Expo, releasing information for the 2017 fiscal year.

Typically, the different standards that appear on the list are the same ones, year after year, although sometimes one leap-frogs ahead of some others to rank more highly than it did in past years.

We’ve got the list for you below, but before you jump down and see the answers, let’s try to make this a little fun. What standard do you expect to be on the top of the list, with the most citations? Do you expect any standard to make a big jump up or down? Do you think any standard that’s typically on the list won’t be this year, or that there will be a new standard this year that usually isn’t there?

Give those questions a little though, and then move on to see the list below.

When OSHA releases their extended data on these standard citations, which typically happens in December or January, we’ll get you that information as well.

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Safety Differently and Safety Training: Even More from Ron Gantt

This is another of our three articles with Ron Gantt focusing on Safety Differently.

If you missed our earlier introduction to Safety Differently, click that link you just passed up. We also have another article on Safety Differently and Incident Investigations. And you might enjoy our article about Human & Organizational Performance, or HOP, based on Dr. Todd Conklin’s book Pre-Accident Investigations.

The focus of this article, though, is on Safety Differently and safety training. Makes sense since we do so much work in safety training, right?

Read on to learn more.

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Come Hear Our Presentations at MSHA’s TRAM Conference


We’ll be giving two presentations at the 2017 MSHA TRAM conference this year (October 10-12, National Mine and Health Safety Academy, Beaver, WV).

In one presentation, we’ll give you some tips for evaluating online safety training solutions for mining safety training.

In the other presentation, we’ll give an overview of current and future training technologies for mining safety training, including LMSs, eLearning courses, mobile apps, wearables, virtual reality, and more.

Come listen to us, ask a few questions, and get a little better idea of how you can use technology for safety training, including MSHA-required safety compliance training, both now and in the future.

We’ll release some more information as we get closer to the conference dates, but until then, let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to seeing you at TRAM.

Let us know if you’d like to get more information about our online MSHA training course options, including:

One last thing–feel free to download our guide to MSHA Online Compliance below before you close this article.

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Online MSHA Compliance Guide

Download our free guide to learn how online tools can help you create safer work conditions at a mine site, stay compliant with MSHA Part 46 regulations, and manage your training program more efficiently.

Download Free Guide

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Arc Flash PPE: Suit/Clothing, Gloves, and Face Shield

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Like clockwork, every three years, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) updates the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace (NFPA 70E). The most recent revision occurred in 2015, and it clearly focused on amping up several areas of arc flash requirements.  The new 2018 version on the horizon appears to be similar in emphasis, too.

Alongside the 2015 NFPA 70E, in 2014, OSHA also made updates to the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Standard (29 CFR 1910.269), which addressed the arc flash hazards in the applicable industries covered by this regulation. Similar to the 70E, the OSHA updates to 1910.269 included changes to several areas, such as training, estimations of arc flash energy, minimum approach distances, and personal protective equipment.

And of course, Subpart S, which addresses electrical safety and safe work practices, is also is a large and ever-present OSHA concentration. With good reason.

Each of these areas are intended to prevent catastrophic, and potentially lethal, arc flash and electrical injuries in the workplace. Due to the severity of arc flash incidents, stringent methods are needed to protect workers.

To that end, proper selection of PPE is critical. Arc flash is an unforgiving event if it transpires. Even PPE may not fully protect workers in the event of a serious electrical event, but the wrong selection can be deadly.

We’ll learn more about all that in this article.

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Convergence Training Listed as One Top 20 Health and Safety Training Companies by Training Industry

Whew! We’re winning so many awards lately, it’s hard for this humble safety blogger to keep up. But that’s a good problem, no?

For those keeping track at home, you may remember that we recently won the ISHN Best Safety Training Attendees Award at the recent ASSE Safety 2017 event in Denver, CO, and that had followed our winning the ISHN 2017 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Safety Training.

And today we’re happy to announce that Training Industry recently named Convergence Training as one of the top 20 health and safety training companies for 2017. Thanks to the folks at Training Industry for including us!

If you’re new to Convergence, and you’re wondering what we did to make it on the top 20 list, the links and videos below may give you an idea:

Not only that, we’ve got an Incident Management System for performing incident investigations, tracking corrective actions, keeping records, and OSHA and MSHA submission.

Here are some samples. First, a quick highlight video featuring images from some of our online training courses:

Next, an overview of our Convergence LMS for safety training administration:

And here’s an overview of using the Convergence LMS for MSHA safety training and compliance:

Finally, here’s our new Incident Management System:

 

Let us know if there’s some how we can help YOU with safety training at your work. And thanks again to Training Industry magazine.

Before you leave, why not download the free guide to effective safety training below as well?

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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.

Download Free Guide

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Safety Differently, Incident Reporting, and Incident Investigations: More with Ron Gantt

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This is the second of our three articles with Ron Gantt focusing on Safety Differently.

If you missed our earlier Introduction to Safety Differently, click that link you just passed up. We also have another article on Safety Differently and Safety Training with Mr. Gantt.

The focus of this article, though, is on Safety Differently and incident investigations.

Read on to learn more. And if you’re interested in this combination of topics, please know we’ve got another blog post that looks at key lessons from Dr. Todd Conklin’s book Pre-Accident Investigations: An Introduction to Organizational Safety.

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What To Teach Workers About Arc Flash

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Live work on electrical equipment carries a substantial risk of electric shock and arc flash. When exposed to energized equipment, employees must have a clear understanding of potential hazards and ways to work safely. Prevention of unsafe conditions is vital, as the consequences of electrical shock and arc flash can be devastating.

Temperatures during an arc flash can reach or exceed 35,000 °F (19,400 °C).  Explosions during these events can occur as metal changes from a solid to a gaseous state, causing expansion and dynamic force. The resulting blast can produce blinding light, flying shrapnel, molten metal, extreme pressure, electric shock, and deafening noise.

Employees experiencing such catastrophes can be severely burned and/or suffer vision and hearing loss, crushing body injuries, and concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. Flying shrapnel from these events can incur serious wounds or impalements. If the work is elevated, the force of the arc blast or shock also may cause workers to fall from heights and produce additional injuries.

Protecting your workers from hazards such as these mandates several interwoven and necessary training components.

If you’re wondering about what is required, let’s take a look at the applicable standards in this article.

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Electrical, High Voltage Arc Flashes: What You Need to Know

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You’ve heard about arc flash, but do you really understand enough to protect your workers?

Arc flash is a topic that is undergoing increased discussion in the workplace safety and health industry. And with good reason, as according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fatalities due to arc flash occur at a rate of approximately one per day in the USA. And annually, more than two thousand workers are admitted to intensive care burn units because of these catastrophes.

An arc flash represents an extremely dangerous condition in the workplace. If you don’t have an adequate safety program in place, your workers may be exposed to these dangers. Let’s review some of the basics and look at what occurs during an arc flash incident, as well how to prevent hazardous conditions.

 

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Check Our Article on Evaluating Safety Training in the September Issue of ASSE’s “Professional Safety” Magazine

A quick head’s up that you can read our most recent article about safety training in the September issue of the ASSE’s Professional Safety magazine.

The article is a continuation of our series highlighting some “big issues” in safety training, and it focuses on evaluating safety training to make sure you’re getting the desired results. Our Effective Safety Training article all the big points in the series plus more, our article on evaluating safety training covers much of what is discussed in the magazine article as well (though not everything), and our free Guide to Effective Safety Training at the bottom of this article covers much of the same ground.

The next article in the series at Professional Safety will focus on continuous improvement of safety training, so hang tight for that one.

And speaking of Professional Safety, the September article looks like a good one. Here’s a sneak peek of topics covered:

  • Protecting workers in extreme temperatures
  • MSDSs & ergonomics
  • Electric arc and the thermal effect
  • Health issues in the power generation industry
  • ISO 45001
  • Work-site physical therapy
  • Employee training
  • “Four fields” of safety performance
  • Safety leadership
  • Weather

Let us know if you’ve got any questions. Otherwise, get yourself a comfy seat in the shade, pour yourself some nice iced tea, and enjoy your magazine reading!

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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.

Download Free Guide

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Read More