Safe + Sound Week: August 9–15

First published by NIOSH

Once again, NIOSH, OSHA, and their partners are sponsoring Safe + Sound Week. Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event to celebrate the successes of businesses that have implemented safety and health programs in the workplace. Every August, these businesses are invited to celebrate their safety successes and efforts to be #SafeAndSoundAtWork. Registration opens July 7!

Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.

Why Participate?
Successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving sustainability and the bottom line. Participating in Safe + Sound Week can help get your program started, energize an existing one, or provide a chance to recognize your safety successes.

Who Participates?
All organizations looking for an opportunity to recognize their commitment to safety are welcome to participate. Last year, more than 3,400 businesses helped to raise awareness about workers’ health and safety!

Check out our event archive for information on previous years’ engagement.


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

 

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 and the Flu

First published by NSC.

With the risks of the flu and COVID-19, as well as potential confusion around symptoms, prevention is key to protecting yourself, your co-workers and your loved ones. To limit risk, you must understand the riskiest situations this flu season. According to the CDC, limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. You can also limit your risks by:

Talk to your supervisor about preventive steps you can take to limit the spread at work. Remember, a lack of symptoms does not mean you or those around you don’t have COVID-19. This virus can spread easily but the above measures can help. The CDC explains that for both COVID-19 and the flu, it’s possible to spread the virus for at least one day before you experience any symptoms. With COVID-19, the CDC says, you can remain contagious for at least 10 days after experiencing symptoms.

This is especially important if you spend time around people in high-risk groups, including older adults and those with underlying health conditions. According to the CDC, people in these groups can be at higher risk for developing a severe illness from COVID-19, and taking the above precautions are even more important to keep them safe.

The Vital Importance of Getting Your Flu Shot

It’s important to get a flu shot each year to reduce your risk of becoming sick and spreading the flu to others. This year, however, a flu shot is more important than ever and the best way to reduce the spread of the seasonal flu. While you might think catching the flu is no big deal – especially in comparison to COVID-19 – it’s not just yourself that you should be worried about. If you catch the flu, you could spread it to others who may be at higher risk for complications. Then there is the issue of overburdening the hospital system. If you become sick or unknowingly infect someone, it might require health care and medical resources that already are strained by the pandemic.

All of us can take simple precautions to limit the spread of these viruses and keep those around us safe. Check out this video for more tips on protecting your co-workers and community this flu season. This Vaccine Finder tool can locate local options for you and your loved ones to get a flu shot.

Additional Resources:

Use the above resources and these posters to keep yourself and those around you safe:


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.

Preparing for Flu Season and COVID-19

First published by NSC.

Flu season is here, along with the additional risks posed by COVID-19. These viruses each pose serious dangers, making it crucial to prepare for both and take preventive steps to keep yourself and those around you safe.

Preliminary estimates from the CDC report that about 34,000 Americans died from the flu last year, with a typical flu season ranging from around October to as late as May. COVID-19, meanwhile, has killed over 229,000 Americans since early 2020. As the normal flu season ramps up, the potential for spread, infection and confusion around these viruses will increase. While you might consider a flu shot and cough syrup an adequate response to the flu in a regular year, those steps are not enough this year. Each of us must take action to avoid infection, limit the spread of these viruses and keep each other safe.

Key Differences in Signs and Symptoms

To prevent the spread of viruses this flu season, you must be able to spot the signs and symptoms of a typical cold, the annual flu and COVID-19. According to the CDC, there are some similarities and differences between a cold and the flu, and between the flu and COVID-19.

With a cold:

  • Symptoms may be gradual
  • Most common symptoms include sneezing, a stuffy nose and a sore throat
  • It is rare to experience a fever or headache

With the flu:

  • Symptoms show up abruptly
  • Common symptoms include a fever, aches, fatigue, chest discomfort and a headache
  • It is less common to experience sneezing, a stuffy nose or a sore throat

With COVID-19:

  • Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus
  • Common shared symptoms with the flu include a fever, aches, fatigue and a headache
  • Common symptoms different from the flu can include change in or loss of taste or smell

Some of these overlapping symptoms can be confusing, but it’s important to keep in mind that each person’s experience with a cold, the flu or COVID-19 may be different. Symptoms may be more severe or, in some COVID-19 cases, there may be no symptoms at all. That is why, whether working remotely or in a traditional workplace, spotting these signs in yourself or others – or learning you were in contact with someone with COVID-19 – should spur you to action.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, the CDC recommends quarantining at home and contacting your health care provider for additional guidance. The same goes if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19. Talk to your supervisor about working from home or taking time off to keep yourself and your co-workers safe. It can be difficult to decide whether you need to get tested for COVID-19, but the CDC has a tool to help. The Coronavirus Self-Checker allows you to enter your symptoms and other information to help determine whether you should get tested or access additional medical care.

If you get the flu, the CDC recommends:

  • Staying home and resting
  • Avoiding contact with people who are not sick, including those in your home
  • Drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration

If you are caring for someone with the flu but you don’t have it, the CDC recommends:

  • Avoiding close contact with the sick individual as much as possible
  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Using an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water aren’t easily available

See more CDC recommendations, including a list of flu symptoms that may require immediate medical care and take a look at this article from the winter issue of Family Safety & Health® magazine for additional information on the differences between symptoms.


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.

Recognize Safe + Sound Week, August 10-16, 2020

Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.

Why Participate?
Successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving sustainability and the bottom line. Participating in Safe + Sound Week can help get your program started, energize an existing one, or provide a chance to recognize your safety successes.

Who Participates?
All organizations looking for an opportunity to recognize their commitment to safety are welcome to participate. Last year, more than 3,300 businesses helped to raise awareness about workers’ health and safety!

Safe + Sound Week August 10-16, 2020 - Management Leadership - Worker Participation - Find and Fix Hazards

U.S. Department of Labor Implements New Weighting System For Workplace Safety and Health Inspections

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it has recently implemented the OSHA Weighting System (OWS) for fiscal year (FY) 2020. OWS will encourage the appropriate allocation of resources to support OSHA’s balanced approach of promoting safe and healthy workplaces, and continue to develop and support a management system that focuses enforcement activities on critical and strategic areas where the agency’s efforts can have the most impact.

Under the current enforcement weighting system, OSHA weights certain inspections based on the time taken to complete the inspection or, in some cases, the impact of the inspection on workplace safety and health. OWS recognizes that time is not the only factor to assess when considering the potential impact of an inspection. Other factors – such as types of hazards inspected and abated, and effective targeting – also influence the impact on workplace safety and health. The new system adds enforcement initiatives such as the Site-Specific Targeting to the weighting system. 

The OWS replaces the current enforcement weighting system initiated in FY 2015. The new system is based on an evaluation of the existing criteria and a working group’s recommendations regarding improvements to the existing weighting system. OSHA has been running the new weighting system currently to confirm data integrity.

The system will continue to weight inspections, but will do so based on other factors, including agency priorities and the impact of inspections, rather than simply on a time-weighted basis. The new OWS approach reinforces OSHA’s balanced approach to occupational safety and health (i.e., strong and fair enforcement, compliance assistance and recognition) and will incorporate the three major work elements performed by the field: enforcement activity, essential enforcement support functions (e.g., severe injury reporting and complaint resolution), and compliance assistance efforts.

OWS will become effective October 1, 2019.

 

Older workers’ health: Finding the right job fit matters, researchers say

happy-worker.jpg
Photo: Stígur Már Karlsson/Heimsmyndir/iStockphoto

Houston — For older workers, the right job fit can benefit overall health and well-being, while a poor fit is more likely to push them into retirement, according to researchers from Rice University and Colorado State University.  Read more»

Union leaders call for new MSHA silica standard

Image: NIOSH

Washington — Alarmed by a recent spike in cases of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, a deadly but preventable condition commonly known as black lung, union presidents Cecil Roberts of the United Mine Workers of America and Leo Gerard of United Steelworkers have sent a letter to Mine Safety and Health Administration leader David Zatezalo requesting stricter regulation of respirable silica dust.

In the letter, dated June 19, Roberts and Gerard cite extensive research documenting the impact of silica dust exposure on the resurgence of black lung. One study, released by the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2018, found that more than 4,600 coal miners have developed the most severe form of black lung disease since 1970, with almost half the cases emerging after 2000.

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Safety and Health Resources

Featured Publication: Lighting the Way for Safety and Health Programs

case study produced through OSHA’s Electric Transmission and Distribution Strategic Partnership illustrates how safety and health programs can protect workers from industry hazards, such as electrocutions, falls, fires, and explosions. The study provides examples of and inspirations for programs that can find and fix hazards before they harm workers