NIOSH to employers: Are you inspecting your lockout/tagout procedures?

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

NIOSH to employers Are you inspecting your lockout/tagout procedures
Photo: OSHA

Washington — Pointing to OSHA guidance citing “the significant risks associated with inadequate energy control procedures or the failure to properly implement them,” NIOSH is reminding employers that OSHA’s standard on lockout/tagout (1910.147) requires them to conduct an inspection of written hazardous energy control procedures at least once a year.

In fiscal year 2021, lockout/tagout ranked sixth on OSHA’S Top 10 list of most frequently cited standards, with 1,670 total violations, according to preliminary OSHA Information System data.

Within the standard, 1910.147(c)(6) – “periodic inspection” – was the third most frequently cited section, with 255 violations. In fourth, with 162 violations, was 1910.147(c)(1), which reads: “The employer shall establish a program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training and periodic inspections to ensure before any employee performs any servicing or maintenance on a machine or equipment where the unexpected energizing, startup or release of stored energy could occur and cause injury, the machine or equipment shall be isolated from the energy source and rendered inoperable.”

NIOSH offers tips and reminders for developing and maintaining a lockout/tagout program:

  • Include in written energy control procedures elements such as the scope of procedures; intended purpose; names of authorized personnel; rules for shift change, transfer of locks, etc.; and specific methods used to control hazardous energy.
  • A periodic inspection must include a demonstration of the procedures and be conducted while the authorized employee performs service/maintenance on a machine/equipment.
  • Each energy control procedure must be separately inspected to ensure the procedure is adequate and properly implemented by the authorized employee.
  • The inspector must be a lockout/tagout-authorized employee who is knowledgeable and isn’t currently performing lockout/tagout on the energy control procedure under inspection.
  • The inspector can’t implement any part of the procedure during the inspection, and must observe the implementation of the lockout/tagout procedure for the equipment or machine being evaluated and speak with at least one authorized employee who is implementing the procedure to ensure they understand the procedure.
  • If the periodic inspection process reveals deviations from the written procedures or inadequacies in an employee’s knowledge of procedures, the employee must be retrained.

NIOSH guidance document features recent case studies that detail separate workplace fatalities related to improper lockout/tagout processes.


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.

NIOSH to Host Free Webinars on Preventing Struck-By Incidents

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Photo: CPWR

Washington — The third annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidents – set for April 11-15 – will feature four free webinars, including one in Spanish.

The event, scheduled in conjunction with National Work Zone Awareness Week, is aimed at raising awareness of struck-by hazards and ways to prevent them. According to OSHA, the four most common struck-by hazards involve flying, falling, swinging or rolling objects. The webinars, hosted by NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda Construction Sector Council, are (all times Eastern):

NIOSH encourages employers to pause work during the stand-down to present a safety talk, conduct equipment inspections and/or discuss common struck-by hazards in construction. Discussions on training, hazards, protective methods, and company safety policies and goals also are encouraged.

Downloadable resources related to work zone, lift zone and heavy equipment safety are available online from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. They include two webinars from the last year’s event, along with links to more than 25 toolbox talks, infographics, data bulletins and blog posts.

NIOSH is partnering with OSHA, CPWR, and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association on the stand-down.


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.

Nomination period opens for Prevention through Design Award

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Photo: NIOSH

Washington — NIOSH, along with the National Safety Council and the American Society of Safety Professionals, is accepting nominations for the Prevention through Design Award.

Prevention through Design, or PtD, seeks to protect workers by limiting risks and reducing hazards as soon as possible during the work process – specifically in the design phase.

Presented for the first time last year, the award recognizes individuals, teams, businesses and other organizations that “have eliminated or reduced hazards through design or redesign efforts or have contributed to the body of knowledge that enables PtD solutions.”

To submit a nomination, email ptd@cdc.gov and include in the subject line “PtD Award Nomination.” The award committee offers multiple questions nominees may address in their application, including:

  • What problem were you solving?
  • What is the improved design or process and how does it work?
  • What health and safety benefits have been realized or are expected?
  • In what ways does your solution – or mix of solutions – move hazard controls further up the Hierarchy of Controls?
  • How did you identify hazards, assess risk, assess alternatives and decide on solutions?

Nominations are due May 2.


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.

Tips to limit dust exposure in mines

First published by NIOSH

NIOSH has published a booklet that provides solutions that you can use to reduce exposure to dust at surface mines and facilities. Practical controls are presented that not only lower dust exposures but also reduce the risks for both musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and traumatic injuries (e.g., slips, trips, and falls). Beyond the obvious health benefits, it can be easier to justify engineering controls and interventions when greater impact can be achieved.

While traumatic injuries occur suddenly, both MSDs and respirable diseases tend to be the result of cumulative overexposures. Exposures both at home and at the workplace can combine and manifest themselves in the later years of your career, depending on your exposure rates and cumulative stress.

The information provided is based on experience gained within NIOSH and highlights solutions that are relatively low in cost and easy to implement. Dust control solutions that are practical to maintain have the greatest potential for sustained use and ultimately improved mine worker health and safety. This booklet is only a primer on dust control and injury prevention at metal/nonmetal mining operations. Additional resources are provided for more comprehensive coverage of these topics.


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.

National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidents set for April

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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Photo: CPWR

Washington — The third annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-By Incidents is expanding to a full week from a one-day event.

Set to take place April 11-15, the stand-down is a collaborative effort led by NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda Construction Sector Council. The event, scheduled in conjunction with National Work Zone Awareness Week, is aimed at raising awareness of struck-by hazards and ways to prevent them. According to OSHA, the four most common struck-by hazards are being struck by a flying, falling, swinging or rolling object.

CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training and the NORA Construction Sector Council’s struck-by work group have scheduled a series of webinars throughout the week. Topics will include work zone safety, lift zone safety, heavy equipment and dropped objects.

CPWR also is offering various online resources, including infographics, toolbox talks, research and two on-demand webinars from last year’s stand-down: Cranes & Lifting – Avoiding Struck-By Incidents Under the Hook and Preventing Struck-By Incidents: Learning by Experience.


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.

Respiratory protection

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

NIOSH publishes toolbox talk

NIOSH respiratory protection

Photo: NIOSH

Washington — Knowing how to select, use and maintain NIOSH-approved respirators can help promote proper respiratory protection practices and protect construction workers from unsafe airborne contaminants, according to a new toolbox talk published by the agency.

NIOSH encourages employers to examine all avenues to reduce worker exposure to potentially dangerous dusts and fumes.

Among the first steps should be to try to eliminate or replace the hazard, implement engineering controls (e.g., local exhaust ventilation), or implement administrative controls (e.g., rotating workers between hazardous tasks). When these controls aren’t feasible or are insufficient in reducing harmful exposures, respiratory protection must be properly selected and users must be fit tested. Workers also must be trained and follow both employer and manufacturer instructions for proper use, inspection, maintenance and storage of respiratory protection devices. This includes proper donning and doffing of devices.

The agency reminds employers that they’re responsible for providing NIOSH-approved respirators as necessary to protect worker health, as required by OSHA in its standards on respiratory protection.

Among the types of devices that can be used to protect workers are filtering facepiece respirators; elastomeric half-mask respirators; and half-mask, full-facepiece and hood/helmet powered air-purifying respirators. For any employer providing respirators, the process must include direction from an OSHA-required written respiratory protection program.

NIOSH’s respiratory protection webpage features answers to nearly 20 frequently asked questions.

In addition, NIOSH sets recommended exposure limits for airborne contaminants and OSHA mandates legal enforceable permissible exposure limits, with which employers are required to comply.


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.

Protect against the cold: Tips for employers and workers

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

A thorough workplace safety and health plan should include steps to protect workers from cold-related hazards. This is particularly important for workers in the services, transportation, construction and agriculture industries.

“Exposure to cold can be an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation,” says NIOSH, which offers recommendations for both employers and workers.

Employers should:

  • Train supervisors and workers to prevent, recognize and treat cold-related illnesses and injuries. This training should be presented in a language all workers understand.
  • Reduce the amount of time workers spend in a cold environment. Rotate workers in and out on long, demanding jobs.
  • Provide access to warm areas, and encourage workers to take breaks in those areas. Also, set up a place for workers to change out of wet clothes.
  • Initiate a buddy system for workers to help monitor them in cold conditions.
  • Keep a first aid kit stocked, and make sure to include a medical and environmental thermometer as well as chemical heat packs.
  • Provide appropriate cold-weather gear such as hats, gloves and boots for work in cold environments. Don’t forget wind-protective clothing based on air velocities.
  • Give prompt medical attention to workers who show signs of cold-related illness or injury.

Workers can help by:

  • Taking regular breaks to warm up.
  • Monitoring your physical condition and that of co-workers.
  • Staying hydrated.
  • Snacking on high-carbohydrate foods.
  • Avoiding touching cold metal or wet surfaces with bare skin.

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.

Half of Noise-Exposed Workers Do Not Use Hearing Protection

First published by NIOSH

Photo property of NIOSH

Study Finds Over Half of Noise-Exposed Workers Do Not Use Hearing Protection When Exposed to Noise on the Job

Non-use varied by industry and occupation, and was highest among women, young workers, and current smokers

A new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that over half of noise-exposed workers didn’t use hearing protection “always” or “usually” when exposed to hazardous occupational noise. Hearing protection device (HPD) non-use was only measured in workers who reported exposure to noise on the job. The study was published online October 1, 2021 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Researchers reviewed nearly 40,000 worker responses to the 2007 and 2014 National Health Interview Survey. They found that of the more than 5,400 workers who experience hazardous noise exposure at work, 53% didn’t “always” or “usually” wear hearing protection.

Industries with the highest prevalence of hearing protection device nonuse were accommodation and food services (90%), health care and social assistance (83%), and education services (82%). Prevalence also was notably high in multiple industries in which occupational noise is a longstanding hazard, including agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (74%) and construction (52%).

“The prevalence of HPD nonuse remains high,” Elizabeth Masterson, study co-author and NIOSH epidemiologist, said in the release. “Increasing worker awareness and providing training about the importance of proper and consistent used of HPDs can protect workers from the effects of hazardous noise. In addition, we need to overcome barriers to HPD use by ensuring that workers have HPDs that are comfortable and do not overprotect from noise so they can hear speech and other important workplace signals.”

The study was published online Oct. 1 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.


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.

Don’t get struck

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Although most states enforce some type of “move over” law, which requires drivers to move over one lane or reduce speed when passing law enforcement on the side of the road, struck-by incidents are still happening.

More than 200 law enforcement officers were struck and killed between 2005 and 2019, according to NIOSH.

Officers can help lower their risk of being struck when responding to a road situation. Follow these tips from NIOSH:
Maintain situational awareness. “Keep your head on a swivel,” don’t turn your back to moving traffic and don’t walk in the gap between vehicles. Also, “always have an escape plan.”
Wear protective clothing. When exiting a patrol vehicle, put on an ANSI-approved high-visibility safety vest. This helps drivers see you.
Follow standard operating procedures. Your agency should have SOPs on temporary traffic control zones.
Understand the incident command structure. “Work collaboratively with other responders.”


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

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

Ladders and overhead power lines

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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From 1992 to 2005, at least 154 workers were killed after a metal ladder they were using came in contact with an overhead power line, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited in a recent NIOSH review.

“As part of the site safety program and orientation,” NIOSH says, “make supervisors and workers aware of power line distances from work areas, including ladder length and ladder staging areas. Use site diagrams to communicate this information and ground-level signs or taped markers to remind workers of overhead power line locations.”

To help prevent injuries and fatalities, NIOSH recommends workers:

  • Look up. You need to know the location of overhead power lines before starting any job. “Always assume all overhead lines are energized and dangerous,” the agency says.
  • Don’t use metal ladders when working around or near overhead power lines.
  • Carry a ladder horizontally and in a lowered position when moving it. If a ladder is too long for one person to carry, ask for help.
  • Follow the 1:4 rule: “For every 4 feet between the ground and the upper point where a ladder is resting, set the feet of the ladder out 1 foot horizontally. For example, if the ladder is resting on the edge of a roof 16 feet above the ground, the bottom of the ladder should be 4 feet out from that edge.”
  • Don’t touch or go near a person or ladder that has come in contact with an overhead power line.

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.