Frostbite: Do’s and don’ts

Original article published by Safety+Health

Did you know? “Even skin that is protected can be subject to frostbite,” the National Safety Council says. Signs of frostbite include skin that looks red, white, bluish-white, grayish-yellow, purplish, brown or ashen, depending on the severity of the condition and the person’s skin color. The affected area may feel numb as well. The condition can affect the fingers, toes, ears and face.

If caught early, it is possible to prevent permanent damage, according to NSC. If not, frostbite can cause tissue death and lead to amputation.

Follow these do’s and don’ts if you or a co-worker is experiencing frostbite:

DO:

  • Seek medical care immediately.
  • If medical care will be delayed and there’s no danger of the skin refreezing, go into a warm room and immerse the affected area in lukewarm water (99-104° F) for 20-30 minutes only.
  • Remove wet clothing and constricting items, and protect between fingers and toes with dry gauze.
  • Warm the extremities with your own body heat. For example, hold frostbitten fingers under your arm.
  • Protect and elevate the affected area.

DON’T:

  • Rub the frostbitten area with snow.
  • Massage the frostbitten area or walk on frostbitten toes.
  • Use a heating pad, heat lamp, hot water or other high-temperature heat sources to warm the skin.
  • Use chemical warmers directly on frostbitten tissue.

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.

Preventing Workplace Violence

NSC releases report and playbook

Original article published by Safety + Health

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Itasca — New guidance from the National Safety Council is aimed at providing organizations with information and solutions to effectively mitigate and address workplace violence.

Nearly half of U.S. employers report they’re unprepared to prevent and respond to incidents on the job – even as workplace violence becomes more frequent, according to NSC. Recognizing this critical gap in safety preparedness, the nonprofit organization – through its Work to Zero initiative – recently released a report and playbook: Workplace Violence: Using Technology to Reduce Risk.

“Research shows that overt acts of workplace violence rarely occur out of the blue, but too often the catalyst for implementing effective means of prevention comes in the wake of tragedy,” said Paul Vincent, executive vice president of workplace practice at NSC. “This report provides business leaders and safety managers alike with a foundation for understanding the top workplace violence trends and industry-specific risk factors, while offering a playbook to prevent on-the-job assaults and fatalities before they occur.”

In addition to calling for more legislative action to address this national issue, the report details key steps employers can take to reduce workplace violence risk, including:
Creating a workplace violence prevention task force. In addition to bringing a multidisciplinary understanding of risk assessment, this group is likely to have a rapport with employees, making it ideally equipped to perform trainings on sensitive safety topics.
Conducting regular tabletop exercises or simulations to engage key stakeholders, identify gaps in existing prevention plans, and clarify worker responsibilities in emergency situations.
Using technology to help prevent workplace hazards. Notably, the report outlines the benefits and applications of 10 key technologies, such as digital floor plan mapping, virtual reality training and weapon detection systems.
Fostering a workplace culture in which psychological safety is prioritized, and where all workers feel empowered to voice concerns and initiate broader safety conversations.

“Employees serve as the eyes and ears of their organization, and their role in preventing workplace violence cannot be overstated,” said Emily Whitcomb, director of the Work to Zero initiative. “This report not only details how employers can implement the latest safety technology into their workplace, but identifies specific steps leaders can take to enhance employee engagement enterprise wide. Together, these safety solutions can make the difference between a high- and low-risk workplace.”


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.

OSHA acting head gives update on emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 vaccination, testing

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — OSHA is working “expeditiously” on an emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 vaccination and testing, acting agency administrator Jim Frederick said during an Oct. 7 webinar hosted by the National Safety Council.

Frederick didn’t provide a time frame for when the ETS might be issued.

“We’re considering the scope and the terms of the potential ETS as described by [President Joe Biden],” Frederick said. “We know that the pandemic will continue to evolve, and we’ll continue to monitor vaccination trend data, variants of the virus and other factors that will guide our continued efforts to ensure workers are protected from the virus while they’re on the job.”

Biden announced Sept. 9 that OSHA is developing an ETS that will require employers with at least 100 workers to “ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.”

Frederick acknowledged that the “expedited nature” of an ETS “unfortunately” doesn’t allow for public comment before its publication. However, he said the ETS essentially serves as a proposed rule and would allow for comments that could guide the drafting of a permanent standard, if OSHA chooses to issue one.

“We do hear everyone,” Frederick said. “We have heard issues from every source possible and are certainly taking into account everything that we can as we move through the process.”


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.

NSC calls on employers to require employee COVID-19 vaccination

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council is urging all employers to implement a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for their workers and unveiled a guide outlining four levels of requirement for various workplace risk profiles.

A recent survey conducted by NSC found that when employers require COVID-19 vaccination, the number of workers who get a shot increases 35%.

“The data is clear: Workplace requirements are a proven way to encourage vaccine uptake and accelerate the country’s path to community immunity against COVID-19,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said. “Consistent with our mission, we’re calling on employers to advance the nation’s progress on living safely with this virus by requiring vaccines in a manner that’s appropriate for their workers’ risk profile.”

To aid employers in their efforts to get workers vaccinated, NSC issued guidance outlining a spectrum of vaccine requirement approaches and considerations for implementation in varying work settings. This release of the guidance comes after the Food and Drug Administration’s recent formal approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

NSC also urges federal and state governments to remove prohibitions or barriers to vaccine requirements, expedite the full approval of vaccines, and issue factual updates on vaccines as quickly as possible.

“It’s clear COVID-19 has and will continue, perhaps indefinitely, to affect the way we live and work,” Martin said. “Employers must put worker health and safety first. That begins with prioritizing vaccination.”

Hear more about NSC’s vaccine implementation plan. NSC will host a webinar at 10 a.m. Central on Sept. 9. Register today.


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.

‘Multifaceted resolution’: NSC voices support for Road to Zero Resolution

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council has announced its support of the bicameral resolution on eliminating traffic fatalities by 2050, introduced July 27 in the Senate by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and in the House by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

Roadway fatalities have been a leading killer in the United States for decades. NSC estimates 42,060 people lost their lives in motor vehicle incidents in 2020 – the highest number in more than a decade.

As outlined in the resolution, NSC calls on federal policymakers to take several actions to reach the goal of zero deaths on the roads by 2050, including:

  • Committing to the advancement of policies that will end roadway fatalities – such as prioritizing the safety of all roadway users in infrastructure design by clearly marking lanes for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles; installing rumble strips; using traffic circles; and advancing safety technology.
  • Setting a goal of zero traffic fatalities at the Department of Transportation to govern decision-making.
  • Recognizing the need for a safe systems approach in U.S. transportation, including improving access, safety and mobility for all roadway users.
  • Changing how we talk about traffic incidents by calling them “crashes,” not “accidents.”

NSC implores Congress to consider how this multifaceted resolution will serve all Americans, how its prioritization is needed to saves lives on our roadways and how it will allow great strides to be taken on the path to zero traffic fatalities by 2050.


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.

NSC celebrates 25 years of National Safety Month

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council, together with sponsor VelocityEHS, is encouraging employers to dedicate the month of June to improving their safety culture in recognition of National Safety Month. This year is the 25th anniversary of NSM, an annual observance created to inspire people to keep each other safe.

NSC launched NSM in 1996 to promote safe behaviors around the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths at work, on the roads and in communities. According to the most recent data available, fatal work injuries and roadway deaths are on the rise, with 5,333 U.S. worker fatalities in 2019 (the highest total in more than a decade) and an estimated 42,060 people killed on the nation’s roads in 2020 – the highest number since 2007.

NSM participants have access to a variety of free materials on four weekly topics:
Week 1 – Prevent Incidents Before They Start: Identifying risks and taking proactive safety measures to reduce hazard exposure is crucial to creating a safe workplace.
Week 2 – Address Ongoing COVID-19 Safety Concerns: As the pandemic continues, employers play an important role in the expanding of operations, building trust around vaccines, promoting mental health and more.
Week 3 – It’s Vital to Feel Safe on the Job: Being yourself at work without fear of retaliation is necessary for an inclusive culture. The focus of leading organizations goes beyond only physical safety.
Week 4 – Advance Your Safety Journey: Safety is all about continuous improvement. Whether organizationally or individually, NSC and VelocityEHS can help provide guidance as organizations move forward in safety maturity.

“As organizations navigated the biggest workplace safety hazard in a generation, traditional safety risks never paused, and far too many people did not make it home to their loved ones at the end of their day,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said. “This year, we aim to inspire and support the EHS community to make people’s lives safer on and off the job. We are deeply grateful to VelocityEHS for their generous support of this important observance and shared commitment to safety.”

Access materials and learn more at nsc.org/nsm.


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.

Opening Session: NIOSH director warns of COVID-19 endemic, looks to the future

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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Itasca, IL — The future of work may include safety professionals contending with COVID-19 on some level for a long time, even with the recent rollout and widespread availability of vaccines.

That was the warning from NIOSH Director John Howard during the Opening Session of the virtual National Safety Council Safety Congress & Expo on March 3. Although the disease might not be as deadly as it has been over this past year, COVID-19 will likely remain an endemic or a long-lasting disease similar to the flu.

Howard said that could mean preparing for increased disease surveillance; looking at COVID-19 variants to see if they’re more transmissible, more dangerous or have a greater ability to evade vaccines; and perhaps planning for booster vaccine shots.

“We’re not going to get rid of it; coronaviruses don’t disappear,” he said. “It’s not just an emergency that will pass tomorrow. We have to prepare for it. We have to look at our near future.”

Howard also introduced a thought exercise that safety professionals and others can use called “strategic foresight,” which comes from a 2007 book written by Andy Hines and edited by Peter Bishop.

Howard said the process begins by looking at which “domains” need attention, taking in all of the needed information and then turning all that into scenarios – some of which may even clash with each other. That’s followed by thinking about the implications of each scenario, imagining what may happen if a scenario comes to fruition and monitoring each scenario.

“One of those scenarios is going to be our actual future, and we’re going to be prepared for it because we thought about it ahead of time,” he said.

Howard also detailed parts of NIOSH’s Future of Work initiative, which addresses topics such as robotics, artificial intelligence/machine learning, exoskeletons, organizational design, work arrangements, workforce skills gaps and what automation may do to some jobs.

Year of the Safety Hero

To thank safety pros for all of their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, NSC declared 2021 the Year of Safety Hero.

“Safety professionals like you are helping essential workers stay safe and stay on the job,” NSC CEO and President Lorraine M. Martin said during the Opening Session. “You’ve stepped up to lead and serve others. You’ve faced a once-in-a-century pandemic with courage and dedication, confronting each challenge head on. Traditional safety risks never paused during this time and neither did you.

“It’s time to recognize the vital role that safety professionals play in every industry and every day.”

NSC is calling on people to recognize the safety hero(s) in their lives on social media with the hashtag, #SafetyHero.


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.

COVID-19 pandemic: NSC urges employers to make vaccine plans

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council is calling on employers to support the adoption and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s recent approval of the first such vaccine for emergency use.

In a Dec. 14 press release, NSC states that widespread support of the vaccine is needed for the health of the U.S. populace and the country’s economic recovery. The council recommends that all employers start developing a vaccine plan.

Plans should include educating employees on vaccine benefits and how to get vaccinated when it’s available, along with setting up an internal task force to handle all vaccine-related concerns. NSC suggests that task forces include professionals from human resources, legal, communications, and health and safety departments.

Another recommendation: Answer employees’ questions about their legal rights. Employer-mandated vaccination may prove to be a thorny issue, according to the results of an Eagle Hill Consulting LLC survey of more than 1,000 employees conducted Dec. 4-8. Respondents were nearly evenly split on whether organizations should require COVID-19 vaccines, with about 49% in favor.

“The road ahead will be complicated for employers, as our research indicates,” Eagle Hill President and CEO Melissa Jezior said in a press release. “The workforce clearly is split on employer vaccine mandates, so it’s going to be contentious no matter where an employer lands on inoculation requirements.

“There has never been a more crucial time for meaningful employee engagement, which could make or break organizations already struggling. It won’t be enough to just announce vaccine plans to employees. Instead, leaders are prudent to engage in conversations to understand the views of their workforce now to develop a vaccine strategy that is aligned with business goals and employee preferences.”

In the meantime, NSC is calling on employers to continue COVID-19 safety precautions such as encouraging the use of face coverings, physical distancing, frequent handwashing, remote work for all employees who can do so, testing and contact tracing.

“It will take time for vaccines to be widely available,” NSC states in a Dec. 10 press release. “We cannot let our guard 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.

Build a strong culture: Tips for ‘talking safety’

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Image: Missouri Department of Transportation

No one can keep an entire organization safe on his or her own. Collaboration is needed to create a strong safety culture in which everyone looks out for each other.

There’s no magic formula to make someone heed safety advice. But improving the atmosphere around safety conversations can make it easier to give and receive advice in a graceful, constructive way. Here are some ways you can do that:

Retire the ‘safety police.’ The “gotcha” approach is counterproductive, experts say. When workers feel they’re being policed, they find ways to hide their unsafe behaviors, resulting in lost opportunities for improvement. To make a genuine, long-term impact, take a persuasive approach rather than a punitive one.

Speak the worker’s language. Instead of presenting the information in the way that makes the most sense to the speaker, consider how the worker will receive it. Before saying anything, take a moment to think about who is being spoken to and what he or she cares about, and tailor the conversation to speak to those motivations. And remember: Good communication goes both ways. Instead of doing all the talking, listen to what workers have to say – especially any questions or objections they bring up, which can reveal their motivations.
Demonstrate care and concern. By far, the greatest reason to give a worker for adopting a safe behavior is concern for his or her well-being, and the best way to avoid the appearance of lecturing is to show concern for that person. Be calm and keep emotions in check to help send the right message.
Focus on specifics. To avoid expressing judgment or disapproval and provoking a defensive reaction, limit comments to the precise unsafe behaviors or conditions that were witnessed.
Get (and give) permission. If you’re concerned that well-intentioned advice will come off as intrusive, it may help to set the stage for the safety conversation beforehand.
Lead by example and encourage others to do the same. Workers tend to do what those around them are doing, so it’s essential to demonstrate safe behaviors in addition to talking about them.

A safe drive

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Photo: Jennifer Yario

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workplace death. Preliminary estimates released in May by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a 1.2% decrease in motor vehicle-related deaths in 2019 from the previous year.

“While we are heading in the right direction, more work needs to be done to ensure safety on our roadways,” NSC says. Keep it safe every time you get behind the wheel by following these best practices from NSC:

  • Adjust your mirrors to limit your blind spots.
  • Program your GPS before you leave.
  • Set your cellphone to “Do Not Disturb” and put it and any other distracting devices or items away.
  • Adjust your seat so you can reach any knobs and switches.
  • Have an emergency kit stocked and stored in your vehicle. Inspect it before setting off.
  • Make sure you’re in the right head space to drive – free of impairment, distraction and frustration.
  • Obey all traffic signs and posted speed limits.
  • Use your signals and lights when driving.
  • Give pedestrians the right of way.
  • Don’t drive if you’re tired. Try to take a nap before getting behind the wheel.
  • Drive slowly and cautiously in parking lots and garages.
  • Check the potential side effects of your medications before getting behind the wheel.
  • Stop for breaks on long driving trips.
  • Buckle up.
  • Leave yourself enough time to safely reach your destination.

“Any drop in motor vehicle deaths should be well received, but the ultimate goal we need to reach is zero,” NSC says.