Help prevent workplace violence

Original article published by Safety + Health

Workplace violence led to nearly 18,000 deaths over a recent 27-year period, according to a recently published report from NIOSH and two other federal agencies.

A total of 17,865 workers were victims of workplace homicides from 1992 to 2019 – with a high of 1,080 in 1994. In 2019, workplace homicides totaled 454 – a 58% drop from the 1994 total. Follow these do’s and don’ts from NIOSH to help prevent workplace violence.

Do:

  • Attend employer-provided training on how to recognize, avoid and respond to potential workplace violence situations.
  • Report perceived threats or acts of violence to your supervisor.
  • Follow existing workplace policies.
  • Remain aware of and support co-workers and customers if a threatening situation occurs.

Don’t:

  • Argue with a co-worker or customer if they threaten you or become violent. If needed, go to a safe area (ideally, NIOSH says, a room that locks from the inside, has a second exit route, and has a phone or silent alarm).
  • Underestimate a threat. Take each one seriously.
  • Ignore odd behavior. Report it.

Indicators of Workplace Violence, 2019

National Crime Victimization Survey


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.

Where to Place Fire Extinguishers

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Photo: Jennifer Yario

Are your workplace fire extinguishers in the right place? According to the National Fire Protection Association, employers need to consider two key factors: accessibility and visibility.
Accessible: “Extinguishers should be placed where they are readily accessible in the event of a fire, which typically includes normal paths of travel.”
Visible: “If visual obstructions cannot be avoided, then arrows, lights or signs are needed to help indicate where a fire extinguisher is located.”

Then, depending on the weight of your extinguisher, NFPA has more placement guidelines.

If your extinguisher weighs more than 40 pounds:

  • The top of the extinguisher can’t be more than 3.5 feet from the ground.
  • The bottom of the extinguisher must be at least 4 inches off the ground.

If it weighs less than 40 pounds:

  • The top of the extinguisher can’t be more than 5 feet from the ground.
  • The bottom of extinguisher must be at least 4 inches off the ground.

In both cases, NPFA notes, “this includes extinguishers in cabinets, but it does not include wheeled extinguishers.”


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.

Safe Operation of Overhead Cranes

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Serious injuries and even death can occur if overhead cranes aren’t inspected and properly used.

Injuries have been reported after workers were struck by a load, or pinched between the load and another object. OSHA’s Crane, Hoist and Monorail Alliance offers general safety tips for overhead crane operators:

  • Don’t attempt to lengthen wire rope or repair damaged wire rope.
  • Don’t allow a welding electrode to be touched to the wire rope.
  • Use your experience, knowledge and training to assess risks and follow procedures.
  • Never operate a crane and hoist that’s damaged or has any actual or suspected mechanical or electrical problems.
  • Don’t use the wire rope, any part of the crane, hoist, or the load block and hook as a ground for welding.
  • Never remove or obscure warning labels on the crane or hoist.
  • Don’t walk – or allow anyone else to – under a suspended load.
  • Don’t perform any work on a suspended load that requires a worker to be positioned under the load.

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.

Know the Warning Signs of Heat-Related Illness on Mining Sites

First published by MSHA

Photo property of USDOL

Mining is a tough job, and many mine and mill workers are exposed to hot working conditions, especially during the summer months. Mining at hot work sites is challenging and can turn dangerous without the proper precautions. Workers nationwide face similar challenges at hot work sites. During Extreme Heat Month, we aim to provide information and resources to prevent heat-related illnesses at work sites.

A “hot” work site is defined by several factors, including high air temperatures, high surface temperatures, high humidity and low air movement. Mine operators and owners need to ensure workers are properly trained and acclimatized so work sites remain safe.

All workers – and supervisors in particular – need to recognize the conditions of a “hot” job and should be provided heat-stress training on worker risk, prevention, symptoms, monitoring, treatment and personal protective equipment. The objective should always be to keep workers’ body core temperatures from rising above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

These tips can help prevent dangerous – or even DEADLY– heat-related symptoms: 
  • Provide a work-rest regimen – acclimatization over an initial one- to two-week period, then frequent breaks and reasonably short work periods.

  • Pace tasks to avoid exhaustion.

  • Perform heavy tasks in cooler areas or at cooler times.

  • Rotate personnel on hot jobs.

  • Provide readily accessible cooler rest areas – 50 to 60 F (10 to 15 C).

  • Provide cool drinking water 50 to 60 F (10 to 15 C) near workers at all times.

  • Encourage or require all workers to drink a cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes.

  •  Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar.

  • Drink lightly salted water (one level tablespoon of salt per 15 quarts of water for general use). See treatments for certain disorders for an alternate mix of salt and water.

  • Caution against drinking extreme amounts of water; generally no more than 12 quarts over a 24-hour period.

  • Provide sun blockers and proper protective clothing for individuals working in the sun.

If a worker does show signs of heat stress:  

DO:

  • Remove the victim from the heat.

  • Apply cool wet cloths.

  • Fan the victim but STOP if goose bumps or shivers develop.

  • Give water if victim is conscious.

  • Seek medical attention if there’s no improvement.

DON’T:

  • Give any stimulant, alcohol or cigarettes.

  • Apply ice directly to the skin.

  • Allow the victim to become so cold that shivering starts.

  • Leave the victim alone.

Help keep miners and all workers safe this summer by following these simple recommendations. Remember that owners, operators and supervisors are responsible for keeping workers safe and understanding how to prevent heat illness and injury.

You can find additional resources here:

OSHA: Heat Illness Prevention

MSHA: Heat Stress

MSHA: Heat Stress – Health Hazard Card


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 Use of Extension Cords

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Extension Cords Use

Extension cords are used found in many types of workplaces, from offices and warehouses to retail stores and construction job sites.

Unfortunately, they’re often commonly misused. Let’s go over some do’s and don’ts of extension cord safety from the Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Do:

  • Inspect an extension cord for physical damage before use.
  • Check that the cord matches the wattage rating on the appliance or tool you’re using.
  • Make sure all cords have been approved by an independent testing laboratory such as UL.
  • Fully insert the extension cord into the outlet.
  • Keep cords away from water.
  • Use ground-fault circuit interrupter protection when using extension cords in wet or damp environments.
  • Unplug extension cords when not in use.
  • Consider installing overhead pendants to reduce trip hazards.

Don’t:

  • Use an indoor extension cord outdoors.
  • Overload cords with more than the proper electrical load.
  • Run extension cords through doorways, holes in ceilings, walls or floors.
  • Daisy chain, or connect, multiple power strips together.
  • Move, bend or modify any of the extension cord plug’s metal parts.
  • Force a plug into an outlet.
  • Drive over an extension cord.
  • Attach extension cords to the wall with nails or staples.

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.

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.

Truck driver/equipment operator crushed while loading backhoe onto trailer

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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Report number: 71-219-2022
Issued by: Washington State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program
Date of report: April 18, 2022

A 64-year-old truck driver and equipment operator working for a gravel-hauling and equipment-moving company drove his employer’s truck with an attached flatbed trailer to a jobsite. His task was to load a backhoe and transport it to another site. Although no one witnessed the incident, a backup warning alarm was sounding when first responders arrived, suggesting the driver was operating the backhoe in reverse. It’s possible the driver had started moving the backhoe up the trailer’s two metal ramps, then backed up to better position its wheels. As he was doing this, the wet, muddy tires may have slipped on the ramps, resulting in a rear wheel going off a ramp and causing the backhoe to roll over onto its side. The driver either attempted to jump from the operator’s seat or was thrown from it. He was crushed under the backhoe’s rollover protective structure and died. The backhoe had a seat belt that, if used, would have kept the driver in the seat and within the protective structure as the equipment rolled.

To help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:

  • Train equipment operators and ensure they always use a seat belt, including when loading and unloading onto a transport trailer.
  • Use a spotter to provide directions to the equipment operator during loading and unloading to ensure the operator positions equipment correctly for safe movement on and off the trailer.
  • Create a job hazard analysis for safely moving construction equipment.

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.

June is National Safety Month

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Every June, the National Safety Council celebrates National Safety Month – an observance intended to raise awareness about keeping each other safe, from the workplace to anyplace. Throughout the month, NSC will release free resources with the goal of helping you create and maintain a culture of safety at your workplace. The resources reflect weekly themes. They are:

  • Week 1: Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Week 2: Workplace impairment
  • Week 3: Injury prevention
  • Week 4: Slips, trips and falls

Watch for four special mini episodes of our “On the Safe Side” podcast also built around the weekly themes.

To learn more about National Safety Month, go to 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.

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.

Mental Health Awareness Month

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

“The workplace can be a key location for activities designed to improve well-being among adults,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Take time this month – and all year round – to promote awareness of worker well-being. Suggestions from CDC:

  • Make mental health self-assessment tools available to employees.
  • Offer free or subsidized clinical screenings for depression from a qualified mental health professional.
  • Distribute materials, including brochures and videos, to employees about the signs and symptoms of poor mental health as well as opportunities for treatment.
  • Provide free or subsidized lifestyle coaching, counseling or self-management programs.
  • Host seminars or workshops that address depression and stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, breathing exercises and meditation, to help employees reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Create and maintain dedicated, quiet spaces for relaxation activities.
  • Provide managers with training to help them recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and depression in team members and encourage them to seek help from qualified mental health professionals.
  • Give employees opportunities to participate in decisions about issues that affect job stress.

To help employers understand the role they play in supporting the mental health of their employees, the National Safety Council and NORC at the University of Chicago created the Mental Health Cost Calculator for Employers, funded by Nationwide. This easy-to-use tool provides business leaders with data-driven insight about the costs of employee mental distress in their workplaces.

Find the calculator at nsc.org/mentalhealthatwork#.


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.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

First published by National Safety Council

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Photo: NSC

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and new NSC estimates show that our roads are the most dangerous they’ve been in years; on a typical day, eight people are killed and hundreds more are injured in distraction-affected crashes. Your workers face distracted driving risks on every trip, from the driveway to the parking lot and back home again.

This April, team with NSC to spread the word that distracted driving, including hands-free phone use and infotainment systems, puts everyone at risk. Sign up for free, ready-to-use resources to create a distracted driving program that engages your workforce and reminds everyone to #JustDrive.

“Drivers using cellphones are four times more likely to crash, and hands-free phone use offers no safety benefit,” the council says.

Be a focused driver.

What’s that? NSC says a focused driver:

  • Adjusts vehicle controls such as mirrors, seat, radio and air temperature before driving.
  • Programs the GPS before leaving.
  • Plans ahead – determines routes, directions and checks traffic conditions before departing.
  • Doesn’t multitask behind the wheel.
  • Doesn’t talk on a cellphone – even hands-free – or interact with the vehicle’s infotainment system.
  • Doesn’t reach down or behind the seat, pick up items from the floor, or clean the inside of the window while driving.
  • Doesn’t eat or drink while behind the wheel.

Take the NSC Just Drive Pledge

Commit to driving distraction-free by taking the NSC Just Drive Pledge and help us make the roads safer for everyone with a donation to our lifesaving mission.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT 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.