Tools and Resources for Suicide Prevention

At McCraren Compliance we have long been interested in how we can help reduce the incidence of death by suicide in the workplace and in the community. This desires goes way back in our very beginnings when our founder, Sean McCraren, lost a close friend to suicide. Through our long time safety pro, Allan Henson, Sean connected with local leader in Suicide Prevention Diana Jimenez-Young to train our staff. Later I (Sarah) was also introduced to Diana and the ASIST training, after my own loss. Several years later I deepened my understanding of the topic through a Train the Trainer opportunity via Working Minds (now VitalCog).  McCraren Compliance has been offering Suicide Prevention in the Workplace training ever since.

Over the last several years, and possibly somewhat as a result of the attention COVid brought to mental health overall, many many new recourses have been published to help support workplaces and their surrounding communities combat this issue.  With construction and extraction industries consistently being in the top 10 across all industries for fatalities from suicide, many of these tools are tailored to the causes and messaging appropriate to our workforce.

Here are a list of some of the tools available which we believe to be the most useful for our industries:

  1. Call or text 988 or text TALK to 741741 – Community resource for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. This line is manned 24/7 and can be the initial bridge from immediate crisis to needed resources.
  2. CIASP – MindWise Screening (  free online mental health check-up for employees to use as a self assessment tool. Can help employees self identify when they should seek support.
  3. Interventions database: – proven solutions you can introduce on your jobsite to support worker wellbeing. Part of the Construction Wellbeing Initiative from SkillSignal
  4. VitalCog: Suicide Prevention in the Workplace – This is the 2 hour training McCraren Compliance can provide to our clients
  5. Toolbox Talks – BTEA (
  6. How to Reduce Stigma Through Safe Language.pdf  – Can be incorporated into training or as a toolbox talk.
  7. How to Say the Right Thing to Someone Struggling – MindWise  – Can be incorporated into training or as a toolbox talk.
  8. MindWise Library – Online library of resources including a section of articles focused on the construction and extraction industries
  9. Mental health and substance use trainings for workplaces – MindWise provides many mental health and substance use related trainings for employers and their employees.
  10. 2023 SAFEBUILD VIDEOS – BTEA (  – Videos which can be incorporated into other trainings.
  11. International Association for Suicide Prevention – IASP -Expand your understanding beyond the United States to see what is working across the globe.

For more information on how to incorporate Worker Wellbeing and Mental Health associated workplace risks into your health and safety programs or to schedule Suicide Prevention in the workforce training, give us a call at 888-758-4757 or email us at

Safety as Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has been the buzz in Human Resources and across organizations for awhile now. Most people agree employee engagement affects just about every important aspect of your organization, including profitability, revenue, customer experience, employee turnover, and more.

But what exactly is employee engagement? And how can Safety create engagement?

Employee engagement is the strength of the mental and emotional connection employees feel toward the work they do, their teams, and their organization.

Employee engagement measures how employees feel about their organization.

According to Human Resource Professionals the top benefits of employee engagement are:

  1. Greater Productivity
  2. Higher Profitability
  3. Better Quality
  4. Better Customer Service
  5. Greater Employee Loyalty
  6. Higher Retention
  7. Lower Absenteeism
  8. Better Home Life

Here are the top 10 drivers of employee engagement (according to employee success firm, Quantom Workplace) and our case for how a comprehensive Safety Management System can fuel these drivers:

  1. The senior leaders of this organization value people as their most important resource.
    1. This one is obvious. Investing in safety systems directly and undeniably sends the message that employees are valued.
  2. My opinions seem to count at work.
    1. The best safety systems recognize workers in the field and on the front line as experts in how to do the work and in knowing the associated hazards. Things like crew participation in Job Hazard Analysis activities, work area inspections, safety shares/toolbox talks, safety committees, safety metrics, etc are all ways to give each employee a voice and allows them to share their knowledge with others.
  3. If I contribute to the organization’s success, I know I will be recognized.
    1. Safety incentive programs and setting safety goals as a part of performance evaluations are simply ways to reward and recognize both individual and team successes.
  4. I see professional growth and career development opportunities for myself here.
    1. Safety training and certifications are both ways to develop individuals while directly and immediately improving front line work. 
  5. The senior leaders of this organization demonstrate integrity.
    1. Clear and consistent execution of your Safety Management System demonstrates company leadership does the right thing for the right reasons.
  6. I have the information I need to do my job well.
    1. Many components of a comprehensive safety management system, such as JHA, Training, Safe Work Plans, Prevention Thru Design, provide the tools and resources that directly lead to employee/project success.
  7. My job allows me to utilize my strengths.
    1. When done right, Safety Management Systems give workers a voice. This will allow them to both develop and demonstrate their skills on a daily basis.
  8. I trust our senior leaders to lead the company to future success.
    1. Investing in safety shows leadership is focused on the long term.
  9. I believe this organization will be successful in the future.
    1. Safety Management Systems exemplifies stability and integrity, both necessary for success.
  10. I find my job interesting and challenging.
    1. The more employees are included in job planning, evaluation and knowledge sharing, the more they will grow and be interested in the success of the job, the team and company. Once again Safety Management Systems are one path to open up these opportunities to all employees. 

McCraren Compliance offers complete safety and health management systems. We can provide a la carte or routine services. We can either be your safety team or fill in the gaps. Call, email or chat with us on our website to find out more.

Total Worker Health – A Broader Perspective on Health and Safety

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Heath (NIOSH), has been promoting the concept of Total Work Health (TWH) for a while now. Despite the years of research and every growing library of tools and resources, its possible (maybe even likely) the concept is still a little fuzzy. For that reason we are dedicating this month’s Safety Leadership post to help increase awareness of the concept and advance the TWH paradigm by sharing some of the related NIOSH offerings.

First – what is it? Well in NIOSH’s own words  – A Total Worker Health approach is defined as policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness–prevention efforts to advance worker well-being. 

Another way of explaining is TWH programs looks at hazards and risks from a complete or comprehensive perspective with solutions that integrate health and safety along with the concept of worker well-being. This is quite different from traditional programs which have separated health from safety and failed to consider the impact of non-task related factors which can and do have significant impacts on a workers overall well-being.

The idea of workers going home in the same condition as when they arrived should consider all aspects of health including mental health. While TWH programs prioritize hazard free workplaces, they go beyond traditional physical hazards and consider addition factors, such as stress, directly related to work and how they can also impact worker’s personal and family lives as well. Beyond that, benefits and compensation evaluations are also considered as we all know financial insecurities and access to affordable medical care have a HUGE impact on our overall quality of life and ability to thrive.

Here is a look at the Hierarchy of Controls through a TWH lens

Worker Health

You can see how traditional practices would still fit and yet this model takes a much wider look.

Here are a few examples directly from the NIOSH page which helps to make the financial case for TWH:

  • High work stress: Research shows that high stress levels, especially when experienced for prolonged periods of time, can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Workers who report stressors like high job strain (high demands, with low levels of decision-making power) have an increased frequency of heart disease [Theorell et al. 2016]. Work-related stress can also lead to depression, which contributes to absenteeism, presenteeism (workers going to work when they are sick), disability, and unemployment, which lead to higher costs for employers [Schnall et al. 2016].
  • Paid sick leave: A NIOSH study found that workers with access to paid sick leave were 28% less likely to suffer nonfatal occupational injuries than workers without access to paid sick leave [Asfaw et al. 2012]. Another study found that providing paid sick leave could have saved employers $0.63 to $1.88 billion in reduced influenza-like illness-related absenteeism costs per year [Asfaw et al. 2017].

Use the link above to see the full list of research demonstrating the benefits to the organization.

Here are several other resources to help your organization fully assess the safety, health and well-being of your workers.

McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email or visit our website

New Form I-9 announced

Employers can start using updated form for new hires on August 1

A new Form I-9 is available, and employers need to use the revised version after November 1. The updates include an option for remote review of employee documents.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published an announcement of the new form in a Federal Register notice on July 25. In a separate Federal Register notice, the agency said it will allow employers enrolled in E-Verify to remotely examine identity and employment authorization documents.

What’s different about the Form I-9?

The new Form I-9, which has a revision date of 08/01/23:

  • Has been slimmed down to one page,
  • Can be filled out on tablets and mobile devices,
  • Can be easily downloaded,
  • Includes a box that can be checked by eligible employers when the form’s documentation is reviewed under an alternative procedure (remotely),
  • Includes a standalone supplement (Supplement A) that is only filled out when a preparer or translator is used,
  • Includes a standalone supplement (Supplement B) that is only completed for reverifications and rehires,
  • Changes “alien authorized to work” to “noncitizen authorized to work,”
  • Clarifies the difference between “noncitizen national” and “noncitizen authorized to work,”
  • Updates the Lists of Acceptable Documents to include some acceptable receipts and links to information on extensions of employment authorization documents, and
  • Has 8 pages of instructions, rather than the 15 that accompany the current form.

Who needs to use the new Form I-9?

The Form I-9 must be used by all employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of new employees during the hiring process. Employers could begin using the new form on August 1. They may continue to use the prior version of the form, with a revision date of 10/21/19, through October 31, 2023.

As of November 1, 2023, however, all employers must use the new version of the Form I-9.

Employers do not need to complete a new Form I-9 for current employees who already have a properly completed Form I-9 on file.

The new form can be downloaded from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services I-9 website.

Remote review an option for E-Verify employers

The DHS announced that it will also allow E-Verify employers to remotely examine an employee’s identity and employment authorization documents.

To use the remote review option, employers must:

  • Be enrolled in E-Verify,
  • Examine and retain copies of all documents,
  • Conduct a live video interaction with the employee, and
  • Create an E-Verify case if the employee is a new hire.

Between March 20, 2020, and July 31, 2023, the agency has allowed flexibility for employers to remotely review employee documents because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers that were participating in E-Verify during that time may use the new alternative procedure to satisfy the physical documentation requirement by August 30, 2023.

Employers not enrolled in E-Verify during this time must complete an in-person physical inspection of documents by August 30, 2023.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Original article published by J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

Plan now for National Forklift Safety Day

Washington — Forklift safety and operator training will be in the spotlight June 13 as part of the 10th annual National Forklift Safety Day.

Original article published by Safety+Health

Forklift Safety
Photo: Industrial Truck Association

A panel of safety experts, together with industry and government representatives, will participate in the free event, set to take place virtually and in-person at the National Press Club in Washington. Organized by the Industrial Truck Association, participation is open to ITA members, anyone who works in the material handling industry or government, and end users. The panel will address attendees at 9 a.m. Eastern.

In addition to OSHA administrator Doug Parker, speakers include:

  • Brian Feehan, president, ITA
  • Chuck Pascarelli, ITA chair and president, Americas, Hyster-Yale Group
  • Michael Wood, senior vice president for quality, health, safety and environment, TEAM Industrial Services
  • Ed Stilwell, innovation chief technologist, Hyster-Yale Group

On June 12, ITA members and guests can attend a two-hour educational session, featuring updates on OSHA activities and current congressional activities. The session is scheduled for 3 p.m. Eastern and will take place at the Willard InterContinental Hotel.

Registration is available online.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

New NSC white paper: ‘Improving Workplace Safety with Robotics’

Original article published by Safety+Health

Itasca, IL — The benefits that robotic technologies can bring to workplace safety programs “cannot be overlooked,” National Safety Council experts say.

A new NSC white paper, Improving Workplace Safety with Robotics, guides employers in assessing risks, identifying technology solutions and preparing jobsites for their implementation.

Using analyses of academic journals, vendor interviews and case studies, the white paper evaluates the benefits of robotics and autonomous mobile robots on reducing worker injuries and fatalities. It also outlines best practices employers can follow to implement robotic technology across a range of workplaces.

“Recent advancements in data science and artificial intelligence mean that robotic vehicles and arms aren’t just capable of augmenting complex, precise tasks alongside human workers, but in many instances can eliminate employees’ exposure to dangerous machinery and workplace hazards altogether,” said Katherine Mendoza, senior director of workplace programs at NSC.

The white paper:

  • Assesses the benefits and applications of five most common robot configurations available to employers.
  • Provides examples of ways employers can use robots to make their workplaces safer.
  • Addresses barriers to widespread robot adoption, along with concerns that robotics or other technology could eventually replace human workers.

“This report helps employers understand the various types of robots, their unique benefits and also some drawbacks so they can more effectively integrate lifesaving technology into their workplaces,” Mendoza said.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Be ready for an emergency

Original article published by Safety+Health

Photo: American Red Cross

Do your workers know how to respond to emergency situations?

These can include fires or explosions, chemical or oil spills, toxic gas releases, severe weather, workplace violence incidents, and medical emergencies.

Workers should be trained on:

  • How to report an emergency.
  • How to respond when an emergency alarm goes off.
  • When to shelter in place and the location of the nearest safe refuge.
  • When to evacuate, as well as where the nearest emergency exit is and where to gather outside away from danger.
  • Who to call, including the safety leaders, safety responders and first aid responders.

The first week of June is recognized as National CPR and AED Awareness Week. When an emergency arises, workers who know CPR and how to use an AED can help save lives.

A new solution: With drug overdoses, particularly from opioids and fentanyl, on the rise, NSC is recommending that all employers have naloxone nasal spray available in their first aid supplies. Employers should also provide naloxone training to all employees.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Learn to ‘see’ hazards

Original article published by Safety+Health

Although you might not consider your workplace to be hazardous, the potential for injury always exists. You may have just become accustomed to the hazards and aren’t seeing them.

However, once you train yourself to spot hazards, you’ll notice them all around you. They may not always be obvious or immediate concerns, but they can still pose a risk to you and your co-workers. The sooner they’re fixed, the better.

Here are some tips you can use to “see” the hazards:

  • Spotting hazards is all about anticipation. Ask yourself, “If I take this action, what might happen?” This applies to everything from working with dangerous chemicals and manufacturing machines to simply walking through your worksite.
  • Picture yourself walking around a corner with your hands full. When you ask, “What might happen?” you can anticipate risks such as a co-worker turning the corner at the same time. Then you can take simple steps – like taking a wider turn – to avoid the risk.

Plenty of hazards may be more serious, but this way of thinking can help you spot and avoid them. And remember to speak up when you see them to help keep your co-workers safe.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Four A’s of fall prevention

Original article published by Safety+Health

Falls to a lower level are the second leading cause of workplace fatalities. Help prevent them by following the four A’s of fall prevention:
Ask yourself before starting work: Is a fall prevention plan in place? Are you trained in and using proper fall protection equipment? Are fall prevention systems such as guardrails in place?
Be Aware: Keep an eye out for possible hazards, including torn carpeting, spills on the floor, obstacles blocking a walkway, clutter on the stairs or cords on the floor.
Address the hazards: Don’t assume someone else will do it. Safety is everyone’s responsibility. If you see a hazard, report it.
Always keep safety top of mind. Follow safe practices, including walking slowly, watching where you’re going, wearing proper footwear and more.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

More workers testing positive for marijuana, annual index shows

Original article published by Safety+Health

Secaucus, NJ — The percentage of workers testing positive for marijuana after an on-the-job incident or injury hit a 25-year high in 2022, according to an analysis conducted by Quest Diagnostics.

Researchers from the lab services provider examined the results of more than 10.6 million samples taken last year from the combined U.S. workforce – both the general workforce and employees in safety-sensitive jobs who undergo federally mandated drug testing (including pilots, truck drivers and train conductors) – for the annual Quest Diagnotics’ Drug Testing Index. Overall, 7.3% of the samples tested positive – up from 6.7% in 2021, for a 9% increase.

Over the past decade, post-incident marijuana positivity has soared by 204.2%. Although marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, its medical use has been legalized in 38 states and the District of Columbia, and 21 states and the District of Columbia allow recreational use.

Marijuana positivity was highest in accommodation and food services (7%) and retail trade (7.7%) – rising 42.9% and 42.6%, respectively, from 2018.

Among the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce, marijuana positivity jumped 14%.

Katie Mueller, a National Safety Council senior program manager focused on cannabis safety, suggests that employers create and maintain a cannabis-use policy, build a safety-focused workplace culture, and educate workers to keep everyone safe on the job.

“Intoxicating cannabis products, including marijuana, can have a major impact on safety at work and have been proven to slow reaction time, impact memory and impair skills essential to driving,” Mueller said. “The data provides compelling evidence that increased use of cannabis products by employees can contribute to greater risk for injuries in the workplace.”

NSC is hosting a series of webinars on cannabis safety.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.