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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Respiratory Protection Week is September 7–10!

First published by NIOSH

Respiratory Protection Week, September 7-10, 2021

Photo: NIOSH

The NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory website has a new look that is part of this year’s Respiratory Protection Week observance. The update includes a revamping of the Respirator Trusted Source, which now has the most recent and relevant respiratory protection information and answers to frequently asked questions. During the week NIOSH will also present two webinars: The September 7 webinar will be an overview of how technologies may be applied to respiratory protection and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE), the new role of PPE in nontraditional settings, and how to close PPE gaps for underserved populations. Then, on September 9, NIOSH will join presenters from OSHA and the FDA in a webinar to clarify information about the U.S. Respiratory Protection authorities.


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.

Machinist dies after being pulled into manual lathe

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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Case report: 21KY002
Issued by: Kentucky State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program
Date of incident: Feb. 17, 2021

A 52-year-old machinist at a manufacturing company was preparing to spot drill the center of a 103-inch piece of round steel in a manual lathe. Because of the length of the steel, 24 inches of the material was protruding out of the back of the unguarded lathe, held in place with an aftermarket clamping device that rotates as the lathe rotates. Security footage showed that while the lathe was in operation and the steel rod was spinning, the machinist attempted to grab a glove from the top of the lathe. The sleeve of his shirt became entangled on the clamping device, pulling him into the lathe between the motor and rotating piece of steel. As the lathe continued to turn, the machinist’s body rotated around the piece of steel and struck the motor about 12 times. An employee in the changing room heard the event, ran out to investigate, shut down the machine and called emergency medical services. First responders transported the partially conscious machinist to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Cause of death was listed as traumatic blunt force injuries.

To help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:

  • Fabricate or purchase guarding and affix it to machines to protect operators from rotating components.
  • Mark “No entry areas” clearly and provide applicable training.
  • Prohibit machine operators from wearing loose-fitting clothing while operating lathes.
  • Consider implementing a job hazard analysis procedure.
  • Regularly provide hazard awareness training to 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.

Respiratory Protection Week set for Sept. 7-10

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

 NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory has marked Sept. 7-10 as its annual Respiratory Protection Week, an event intended to promote proper respiratory protection practices through the sharing of related research findings and educational tools.

In 2019, NIOSH expanded N95 Day, which had been observed since 2012, into Respiratory Protection Week.

As organizations continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, NIOSH says it has remained focused on developing information products to address frequently asked questions related to respiratory protection and personal protective equipment.

“This extraordinary time emphasizes the importance of respiratory protection and PPE,” NPPTL Director Maryann D’Alessandro said in a press release. “We are excited to spread awareness on this topic, spotlight our valuable resources and provide insight into our vision regarding the future of PPE.”

NIOSH is set to host separate one-hour webinars:

For more information, follow updates from @NIOSH_NPPTL on Twitter.


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.

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