Control Hazardous Energy: 6 Steps

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Photo: OSHA

A mainstay on OSHA’s Top 10 list of most cited violations is the standard on lockout/tagout (1910.147).

Simply put, “lockout/tagout is a safety procedure used to make sure equipment and machines are properly shut off and not able to start during maintenance or repair work,” the Texas Department of Insurance says. “This is known as controlling hazardous energy.”

Help prevent the unexpected release of stored energy with these six steps from TDI:

  1. Prepare. An authorized employee, defined by OSHA as “a person who locks out or tags out machines or equipment in order to perform servicing or maintenance on that machine or equipment,” must identify and control all potential forms of hazardous energy.
  2. Shut down. Turn off the equipment using the proper procedures. Inform all employees who use the equipment about the shutdown.
  3. Isolation. Isolate equipment from energy sources. This may mean turning off power at a breaker.
  4. Lock and tag. Apply a lockout device to keep equipment in an energy-isolating position. Then, place a tag on the device with the authorized employee’s name who performed the lockout.
  5. Check for stored energy. Hazardous energy can remain in the equipment even after the energy source has been disconnected and the machine has been locked out.
  6. Verify isolation. Check again to ensure the equipment is isolated and deenergized before service or maintenance begins.

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.

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.

Electrical hazards in construction: OSHA and others to host webinar

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Electrical hazards in construction: OSHA

Photo property of OSHA

Protecting construction workers from electrical hazards is the topic of a March 22 webinar hosted by OSHA and a trio of organizations.

Scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern, the 90-minute webinar will be moderated by Kevin Cannon, director of safety and health services at the Associated General Contractors of America. Panelists are:

  • Nicholas DeJesse, OSHA regional administrator
  • Rocky Rowlett, vice president of safety at Faith Technologies
  • Scott Sears, director of safety and loss control at Walker Engineering
  • Jessica Bunting, research to practice director at CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

“Two experienced electrical contractors will discuss workplace safety risks faced by their employees and how they keep their workers safe,” a Department of Labor press release states. “Related research and evidence-based solutions for addressing safety hazards will be provided by a Center to Protect Workers’ Rights representative.” Electrical hazards in construction: OSHA

Time will be reserved for a Q&A session.


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. Electrical hazards in construction: OSHA

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 Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction coming in May

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Photo: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

Washington — The ninth annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is set for May 2-6.

The voluntary event is intended to prevent fall-related deaths and injuries by raising awareness of hazards. Falls from elevation accounted for 351 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

OSHA encourages all workplaces to participate by hosting an event, which can include a toolbox talk or a safety activity such as developing rescue plans, conducting safety equipment inspections or discussing job-specific hazards. Workers can take the opportunity to share fall or other job hazards with management.

The agency invites employers to share their stand-down stories by emailing oshastanddown@dol.gov or using the hashtag #StandDown4Safety on social media.

On Jan. 27, OSHA partner CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training will host a webinar on the importance of a year-round falls program. Registration is required.


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.

MSHA publishes posters on wintertime hazards

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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Photo: Mine Safety and Health Administration

Arlington, VA — The Mine Safety and Health Administration has published a series of posters intended to help mine operators mitigate hazards that occur during winter months.

Topics include limited visibility, slippery walkways, and freezing and thawing highwalls.

“Winter presents different challenges to miners, especially in those places with snow and ice,” MSHA says. “In addition to other safety measures, miners must take extra precautions in the winter months.”

Agency guidance for surface mines includes:

  • Remove snow and ice from roads and walkways.
  • Drive slowly and maintain distance between vehicles.
  • Check highwalls, benches and roadways, especially after each rain, freeze or thaw.
  • Examine equipment for exhaust leaks.
  • Maintain equipment to operate safely in cold weather.
  • Apply sand or salt to walkways to improve traction.
  • Always wear a seat belt when in vehicles.
  • Check for slip and trip hazards.
  • Wear footwear that grips.

For coal mines:

  • Properly ventilate the mine.
  • Apply liberal amounts of rock dust.
  • Conduct frequent examinations.

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.

Conducting self-inspections: Two methods

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Inspections are an important part of any workplace safety and health management system. Described in a video from the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Division of Labor and Industry as the practice of “identifying unsafe conditions through observations and testing of the work environment,” inspections can cover housekeeping, emergency alarms, electrical hazards, machine guarding and chemical hazards.

One method is a daily informal inspection. The video offers an example: An employee can start their workday by inspecting their work area for slip, trip or fall hazards. “A supervisor or manager may then follow up with the employee regarding what was found.”

A formal inspection is another method. This type of inspection could be conducted weekly, monthly or quarterly. What makes it “formal”? It should be performed by experts who are knowledgeable in the subject matter and have the ability to recognize unsafe conditions. Inspecting complex machinery, for example, should always be conducted as a formal inspection, Maryland DLI says.

Once an inspection is completed, “an authorized individual should ensure corrections are made in a timely manner.” If a long-term solution is needed, Maryland DLI recommends putting interim controls in place. If an issue is severe, workers should be removed depending on the level of severity.

To help increase accountability and worker trust in your safety and health management program, share findings from inspections via bulletin boards in common areas and during safety meetings, or by sending emails or texts.


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.

Perform façade work safely

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

The first rule of performing façade work while on a scaffold: Don’t do it unless you’ve completed scaffold safety training, warns a recent worker alert from the New York City Department of Buildings.

“Façade work performed on scaffolding can be extremely dangerous,” the alert states, “and proper care must be taken at all times to prevent death or serious injury.”

To help ensure safety when doing façade work, follow this guidance from the department:
Know your equipment. Workers need to be trained before stepping onto a scaffold.
Wear fall protection. Employers are required to provide fall protection when workers are on a supported scaffold with no guardrails, or anytime work is being performed on an adjustable suspended scaffold. “Wearing a harness is not enough,” the department says. “You must be tied off to a secured lifeline for it to work.”
Use extreme care when removing coping stones. “Do not remove the coping stone or any stones used to cap freestanding walls unless directed by your supervisor.”
Parapet walls should be demolished from the coping down. Don’t demo individual bricks or masonry blocks – remaining wythes may become unstable. Make sure that remaining parapet walls adjacent to demolition will not become unstable.
Look for loose material. “Alert your supervisor immediately if you notice a parapet, cornice, chimney or other brickwork that is loose or seems like it could fall off the building.” Tiebacks need to be properly anchored.
Secure tarps. Don’t lean any items such as debris bags or construction materials against the parapet wall. “Tarps and other temporary weather protection must be secured at the end of the work shift so they cannot be accidentally dislodged or come loose.”

One final piece of advice: “Do not work on a suspended scaffold that has a stand-off bracket.”


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.

10 tips for preventing falls at work

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

The National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is an annual event. But employers should focus on fall prevention all year.

“Jobsites change and crews come and go – you may have new workers who missed the stand-down and new projects or phases of work with different fall hazards or considerations,” CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training says. The center has 10 tips you can use to support your workplace fall prevention program.

  1. Have another stand-down. If you already had a fall-related stand-down, plan another and change up the activities or specific topics.
  2. Focus on rescue. Do you have a plan in place in the event someone falls? Make sure everyone knows what the plan is.
  3. Create or revise your written fall prevention plan. Put together a task force to develop a project-specific fall protection plan.
  4. Model how to inspect equipment. Supervisors need to provide adequate time for daily inspections, and they should model how to self-inspect fall protection and other equipment.
  5. Partner with community events. Help raise awareness about the importance of fall protection by participating in community events.
  6. Share a testimonial. Invite a previously injured worker or family member to speak in-person, or use video clips or written testimonials.
  7. Include fall protection articles in company communications. Point to a recent construction fall tragedy in the news and urge workers to learn from it.
  8. Provide fall prevention training. Remind supervisors and lead workers that if they work safely and use fall protection correctly, their co-workers are more likely to do so.
  9. Encourage workers to speak up. Workers often stay quiet rather than ask questions, even if they don’t know the right way to do something or they’ve identified an issue that may lead to an unsafe situation.
  10. Make sure your message reaches everyone. Provide training that is culturally and linguistically appropriate for the workforce.

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.

Pillar collapses prompt MSHA video on underground mine safety

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Photo: Mine Safety and Health Administration

A new video from the Mine Safety and Health Administration is intended to raise awareness of pillar collapses in underground mines.

Although no injuries resulted from four massive pillar collapses recorded by the agency since October 2020, the video urges mine workers and operators to take action to evaluate and address hazards common to pillar collapse incidents.

During the six-minute video, MSHA displays diagrams detailing how pillar collapses occur as well as footage of an air blast resulting from a pillar collapse in August.

The act of benching, or mining the floor, changes the overall dimensions of support pillars and often is a root cause of pillar collapses.

“After the floor is mined, pillars are taller than when they were initially developed, but their width remains the same,” the video states. “The result is a tall, slender pillar with a decreased ability to support the roof. The stability of tall, slender pillars can be further impacted by inadequate survey control, poor blasting techniques, weathering or geologic features.”

Pillars with an hourglass shape or showing recent rock spalling from the rib are at particular risk of collapse, the agency says. Dangers to miners include a fall of the roof, smaller rock falls and air blasts.

“Miners may be exposed to an air blast at great distances from the location of the pillar collapse,” MSHA says, citing haul roads, travel ways, crushers, shops, portal entrances and explosives magazines as areas that potentially may be affected.

Additionally, sink holes commonly result from pillar collapses and can pose danger to surface miners working above the collapsed area.

MSHA advises mine workers to listen for falling rock or sounds of the ground working, and report any concerns to mine management or the local MSHA office.

“MSHA will be reaching out to mine operators and discussing these hazards and best practices with miners,” the video states.


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.