Parking lot safety

parking-lot.jpg
First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Parking lots can be a safety risk for workers, especially with the sun setting earlier during the winter months.

When you’re returning to your vehicle, always try to walk with a co-worker or security officer, the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety recommends. Then, give your escort a ride back to the building. Other tips:

  • Park in a highly visible and well-lit area near your building.
  • If you park in a garage, look for a spot near the parking attendant, if there is one, or near the stairs or a well-lit exit.
  • Use the main building entrance – avoid rear or secluded exits.
  • Have your keys out and ready as you approach your vehicle.
  • Don’t approach anyone loitering near your vehicle. Walk to a safe place or go back inside your workplace, and then call the police.
  • Lock the doors and keep the windows rolled up once you’re in the vehicle.

If you have to walk alone, follow these five tips:

  • Have a co-worker watch you from a window.
  • Wave to them on the way to your vehicle.
  • Wave even if no one is watching to give the illusion that someone is watching you return to your vehicle.
  • Always be alert to your surroundings. Keep your head up and look around.
  • Don’t wear headphones or talk on the phone. These devices can create distractions.

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.

Protect your skin

skin-protection.jpg

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Do you work with wet cement, paints or plaster? Maybe adhesives? These are just some of the materials that can irritate your skin because they can contain harsh substances such as hexavalent chromium, calcium hydroxide, toluene, xylene, epoxy resins and lime. This can result in burns, dermatitis and other skin disorders, and even cancer.

Symptoms of skin disorders include:

  • Red and/or swollen hands or fingers
  • Cracked or itchy skin
  • Crusting or thickening of the skin
  • Blisters
  • Flaky or scaly skin
  • Burns

Here’s how you can protect your skin:
Prevent exposure. Try to keep your arms and clothes dry. Wear protective clothing, including gloves, coveralls and boots. If you work outdoors, always apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher. Clean your hands and skin before applying the sunscreen.
Wear gloves. Make sure you’re using the right glove for the materials you’re handling. The gloves should fit and keep your hands clean and dry.
Keep your skin clean. Wash your hands with soap and clean water if you come in contact with a hazardous substance. Use a pH neutral soap if you work with wet cement or other caustics.


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.

Circular saw safety

circular-saw.jpg

Circular saws are powerful hand tools that should be operated only by trained and qualified workers. Using circular saws without being trained – or flouting the rules – can lead to serious or fatal injuries. OSHA warns of three major hazards workers face when using a circular saw: the point of operation, kickbacks and flying particles.

Point of operation: Injuries can occur if an operator’s hands slip while cutting or if they’re too close to the blade during cutting. To help prevent these injuries, make sure hands are out of the line of the cut.

Kickbacks: When a blade “catches” the stock and throws it back toward the operator, this is called a kickback. Kickbacks happen when the blade height is incorrect or if the blade has not been properly maintained. They also are more likely to occur when ripping rather than crosscutting. “Kickbacks also can occur if safeguards are not used or if poor-quality lumber is cut,” OSHA adds.

Help prevent kickbacks by:

  • Using anti-kickback fingers to hold down stock.
  • Using the correct blade for the cutting action. For example, don’t use a crosscut blade for ripping.
  • Operating the saw at the manufacturer’s recommended speed.
  • Keeping the blade sharp.
  • Leaving enough clearance space for stock.
  • Supporting all parts of the stock, including the cut and uncut ends, scrap and finished product.

Flying hazards: Operating a circular saw can cause wood chips, broken saw teeth and splinters to be thrown from the blade and toward anyone nearby. Help prevent flying particles by removing cracked saw blades from service right away.


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.

Protect your skin

skin-protection.jpg

Do you work with wet cement, paints or plaster? Maybe adhesives? These are just some of the materials that can irritate your skin because they can contain harsh substances such as hexavalent chromium, calcium hydroxide, toluene, xylene, epoxy resins and lime. This can result in burns, dermatitis and other skin disorders, and even cancer.

Symptoms of skin disorders include:

  • Red and/or swollen hands or fingers
  • Cracked or itchy skin
  • Crusting or thickening of the skin
  • Blisters
  • Flaky or scaly skin
  • Burns

Here’s how you can protect your skin:
Prevent exposure. Try to keep your arms and clothes dry. Wear protective clothing, including gloves, coveralls and boots. If you work outdoors, always apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher. Clean your hands and skin before applying the sunscreen.
Wear gloves. Make sure you’re using the right glove for the materials you’re handling. The gloves should fit and keep your hands clean and dry.
Keep your skin clean. Wash your hands with soap and clean water if you come in contact with a hazardous substance. Use a pH neutral soap if you work with wet cement or other caustics.

Setting up a workplace safety and health program

health-program.jpg

Looking for some quick recommendations for setting up a workplace safety and health program?
OSHA has 10 steps:
  1. Establish safety and health as a core value of your organization. Convey to your workers that starting and finishing their day safely is the way you want to do business. Let them know you intend to work with them to find and fix any hazards that could result in injury or illness.
  2. Lead by example. Model safe behaviors and make safety part of your daily conversations with workers.
  3. Create a reporting system. Develop and communicate a process for workers to report injuries, illnesses, near misses, hazards, or safety and health concerns without fear of retaliation. Include an option for anonymous reporting.
  4. Train your workers. Teach workers how to identify and control workplace hazards.
  5. Conduct inspections. Walk through the workplace with staff and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment or materials that concern them. Use checklists to help identify problems.
  6. Collect hazard control ideas. Ask workers for ideas on how to make workplace improvements and then follow up on their suggestions. Give them time during business hours, if possible, to research solutions.
  7. Implement hazard controls. Assign workers the task of choosing, implementing and evaluating the solutions they suggest.
  8. Plan for emergencies. Identify possible emergency scenarios and develop instructions on how to react in each case. Discuss these procedures during employee meetings and post them in a visible location in the workplace.
  9. Seek input on changes. Before you make big changes to the workplace, consult with workers to identify potential safety or health issues.
  10. Make improvements to your program. Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.

McCraren Compliance sees the solution in our people. We are developing each person into a safety leader by recognizing and valuing them as humans and teaching them to do the same with their co-workers. We are creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Cleaning vs. disinfecting/sanitizing: What’s the difference?

disinfecting.jpg

A best practice to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory infections is routinely cleaning and disinfecting/sanitizing surfaces, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

That’s because recent studies have found that SARS-CoV-2 – the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 – can remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. To effectively remove and eliminate the virus, however, workers need to understand that the terms “cleaning” and “disinfecting/sanitizing” aren’t interchangeable, NIOSH Director John Howard pointed out during a March 31 webinar hosted by the National Safety Council in conjunction with the agency.

“Cleaning is getting the dirt out,” Howard said. “Sanitizing is what’s used in public health a lot to get down to a certain level of bacteria – sometimes 95% is killed. Disinfection is killing everything. That’s where you want to aim.”

CDC’s explanation goes a step further:
Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces. It doesn’t kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting/sanitizing refers to using chemicals (e.g., Environmental Protection Agency-registered disinfectants) to kill germs on surfaces. This process doesn’t necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Sterilization describes a process of destroying or eliminating all forms of microbial life and is carried out in health care facilities by physical or chemical methods.

Among CDC’s tips to clean and disinfect surfaces:

  • Wear disposable gloves.
  • Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use a disinfectant.
  • When using EPA-registered disinfectants, follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
  • More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use.
  • Surfaces and objects in public places (e.g., shopping carts and point-of-sale keypads) should be cleaned and disinfected before each use.

Work safely in the heat: What you need to know

heat-illness.jpg
Photo: safetyandhealthmagazine.
Heat-related illnesses accounted for 783 worker deaths and nearly 70,000 serious injuries in the United States from 1992 to 2016. And in 2018 alone, 3,950 workers experienced days away from work as a result of nonfatal injuries and illnesses from on-the-job heat exposure.

“Millions of U.S. workers are exposed to heat in the workplace, and although heat-related illness is preventable, each year thousands of workers are getting sick from their exposure to heat, and … some cases are fatal,” Stephen Boyd, deputy regional administrator for OSHA Region 6, said May 19 during an OSHA webinar on preventing heat-related illnesses and injuries.

Working in a hot environment can trigger ailments that include heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke – considered a medical emergency. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include feeling faint or dizzy; excessive sweating; cool, pale, clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; rapid, weak pulse; and muscle cramps. Workers who are experiencing heat exhaustion need to get to a cool, air-conditioned place. If fully conscious, they should drink water, take a cool shower and use a cold compress.

Workers with heatstroke may experience a headache but no sweating, and have a body temperature above 103° F. Other symptoms are red, hot, dry skin; nausea or vomiting; and loss of consciousness. Call 911 if a case of heatstroke is suspected, then take action to cool the worker until help arrives.

Other tips from OSHA to help prevent heat-related illnesses include:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes.
  • If working outside, take rest breaks in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing when working outdoors.
  • Monitor co-workers for symptoms of heat-related 
illnesses.

OSHA provides employer and worker resources for working in hot weather via its “Water. Rest. Shade.” campaign at osha.gov/heat.


McCraren Compliance sees the solution in our people. We are developing each person into a safety leader by recognizing and valuing them as humans and teaching them to do the same with their co-workers. We are creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Traveling for business?

man-at-the-airport.jpg

As the economy gradually begins to function in this new normal, some workers who traveled for business before the COVID-19 pandemic may be returning to that lifestyle. If this includes you, traveling by plane, bus or train means you’ll be in close contact with other passengers, increasing your risk of exposure.

Here are some travel safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. First, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is COVID-19 spreading where you’re going? How about where you live?
  • Is it realistic that travel companions will be able to stay 6 feet from you?
  • If you are traveling with others, are they at high risk for severe illness (i.e., older adults and people with existing medical conditions)?
  • Do you live with someone who is at high risk for illness?
  • Does your local government require you to stay home for 14 days after your trip?
  • If you get sick, will you have to miss work?

“Do not travel if you are sick, or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days,” CDC states. “Do not travel with someone who is sick.”

If you do decide to travel, follow these tips:

  • Clean your hands often. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place. Use hand sanitizer if you can’t wash your hands.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with others.
  • Wear a face covering in public.
  • Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  • Pick up food curbside if you eat out.

Build a strong culture: Tips for ‘talking safety’

talking-safety.jpg

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

Scott-driving-2.jpg

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.