Drive safely on black ice

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Photo: Willowpix/iStockphoto

On a list of winter driving hazards, black ice ranks high. A clear glaze that forms on surfaces because of a light freezing rain or because of melting and refreezing of snow or ice, black ice is especially dangerous because it looks like regular black pavement to drivers, the U.S. Forest Service says.

Although it can form on any road and “sneak up on you,” the National Weather Service says black ice frequently is found on roads that lack exposure to sunlight or are lightly traveled. Bridges, overpasses and the roads underneath overpasses are other common spots for black ice to develop.

If you drive over black ice, “the general rule is to do as little as possible and allow the car to pass over the ice,” USFS advises. “Black ice is often (although not always) patchy, so hopefully your tires will soon find traction.”

More tips:

  • Don’t slam on the brakes (this will likely cause your vehicle to skid) and keep the steering wheel straight. However, “If you feel the back end of your car sliding left or right, make a very gentle turn of the steering wheel in the same direction,” USFS says. “If you try to struggle against it by steering in the opposite direction, you risk skidding or spinning out.”
  • If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system, put your foot on the brake, apply steady pressure and allow the car to pump the brakes as you skid. No ABS? Pump the brakes gently as you skid. Steer the car in the direction you want it to go.
  • Slow down and shift into a lower gear if you can. This gives you more control of your vehicle.
  • If your vehicle begins to drift off the road, USFS says to try to steer into objects that will cause the minimum amount of damage to your vehicle. “Ideally, steer into an empty field, a yard or a fluffy snowbank.”

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.

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

‘Turn around don’t drown’ in floodwaters

Original article published by Safety+Health

Flooding can happen anywhere in the country, and it’s a year-round hazard that happens in all 50 states. As little as 6 inches of floodwater can cause vehicles to lose control and stall, the National Weather Service warns.

NWS’ “Turn Around Don’t Drown” campaign tells us that 12 inches of fast-moving floodwater is enough to carry away most cars, while 24 inches can displace a majority of trucks and SUVs.

So, if you’re driving and come across a flooded road, don’t cross it. It’s not safe.

Other tips from NWS:

  • Don’t assume floodwaters aren’t deep. Accurately gauging the depth of the water and condition of the submerged road is difficult. The road may have collapsed – partially or completely.
  • Familiarize yourself with alternate routes in case you come to a flooded road.
  • Prepare an emergency kit with food, water and blankets, and make sure your cellphone is fully charged or you have a spare.
  • In the event that alternate routes are also impassable and severe weather remains in the area, search for higher ground and notify emergency officials immediately.

Check out the “Turn Around Don’t Drown” public service announcement, and learn more about the NWS campaign, at weather.gov/safety/flood-turn-around-dont-drow


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.

Winter Safety Checklist for Mines

Original article published by U.S Department of Labor

A light snowfall blankets surface equipment at a mine, including silos and a conveyor system.

Photo: U.S Department of Labor

At the Mine Safety and Health Administration, we are urging miners and mine operators to stay alert during winter months when cold temperatures increase safety hazards. Are these best practices being followed at your mine site?

For surface mines:

✔️ Clear snow and ice from roads and walkways

✔️ Apply sand or salt to walkways to improve traction

✔️ Wear footgear that grips

✔️ Check for slip and trip hazards

✔️ Maintain equipment to operate safely in cold weather

✔️ Drive slowly and keep space between vehicles

✔️ Examine equipment for exhaust leaks

✔️ Always wear your seatbelt

✔️ Check the integrity of highwalls, benches and roadways, especially after each rain, freeze or thaw

 

In addition to the list above, coal mines should:

✔️ Properly support roof and be aware of changing roof conditions

✔️ Properly ventilate the mine

✔️ Keep clean all combustible materials in mine

✔️ Apply liberal amounts of rock dust

✔️ Conduct frequent examinations

 

Help keep yourself and other miners safe by printing a winter safety checklist poster for your workplace or using our winter alert graphics in email messages and on social media and websites, available at msha.gov/winter-safety.

For tips on keeping workers safe from cold stress and related hazards, visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s winter weather webpage.

Many mining injuries and fatalities could be prevented with proper training and attention to tasks. Review best practices for common hazards at msha.gov/take-time-save-lives, and report accidents and hazardous conditions at 1-800-746-1553 or AskMSHA@dol.gov.


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 against the cold: Tips for employers and workers

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

A thorough workplace safety and health plan should include steps to protect workers from cold-related hazards. This is particularly important for workers in the services, transportation, construction and agriculture industries.

“Exposure to cold can be an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation,” says NIOSH, which offers recommendations for both employers and workers.

Employers should:

  • Train supervisors and workers to prevent, recognize and treat cold-related illnesses and injuries. This training should be presented in a language all workers understand.
  • Reduce the amount of time workers spend in a cold environment. Rotate workers in and out on long, demanding jobs.
  • Provide access to warm areas, and encourage workers to take breaks in those areas. Also, set up a place for workers to change out of wet clothes.
  • Initiate a buddy system for workers to help monitor them in cold conditions.
  • Keep a first aid kit stocked, and make sure to include a medical and environmental thermometer as well as chemical heat packs.
  • Provide appropriate cold-weather gear such as hats, gloves and boots for work in cold environments. Don’t forget wind-protective clothing based on air velocities.
  • Give prompt medical attention to workers who show signs of cold-related illness or injury.

Workers can help by:

  • Taking regular breaks to warm up.
  • Monitoring your physical condition and that of co-workers.
  • Staying hydrated.
  • Snacking on high-carbohydrate foods.
  • Avoiding touching cold metal or wet surfaces with bare skin.

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.

Drive safely in the rain

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Rain can reduce or impair your view of the road, the Nevada Department of Transportation points out. Combined with reduced tire traction on wet roadways, “It’s easy to see that driving in the rain needs to be treated with extra caution.”

Only drive in heavy rain when necessary, Nevada DOT advises, and always leave extra time to safely reach your destination. In addition, be sure to dry the soles of your shoes after getting into your vehicle when it’s raining, because they can slide from the pedals while you’re driving.

Other recommendations include:

  • Turn on your headlights to see and be seen.
  • Be aware of and avoid flooded areas – never attempt to cross running or flooded water.
  • Reduce your speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not rainy conditions.
  • Defrost windows before and while driving, if necessary.
  • Use your wipers. Many states require their use in rain or snow.
  • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, leaving more space on wet roads.
  • Turn off your cruise control to reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
  • Brake earlier and with less force than you would in normal driving conditions. Also, slow down when turning.

Finally, if you have difficulty seeing the roadway and/or other vehicles when it’s raining, pull off the road to a safe location until conditions improve.


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.

FMCSA grants regulatory relief to drivers taking emergency supplies to storm-hit states

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced temporary relief from regulations – including hours of service – for commercial motor vehicle drivers delivering “direct assistance” to emergency efforts in states affected by severe winter weather.

FMCSA’s regional emergency declaration – issued Feb. 17 and effective through March 4 or until the end of the emergency – covers 33 states and the District of Columbia. The declaration “is in response to damage and heating and other fuel shortages.”

Drivers covered under the declaration are transporting heating fuels (e.g., propane, natural gas and heating oil) and other fuel products, including gasoline. Also included are drivers transporting people, supplies, goods or equipment into and out of the affected states.

“When a driver is moving from emergency relief efforts to normal operations, a 10-hour break is required when the total time a driver operates conducting emergency relief efforts, or a combination of emergency relief and normal operation, equals 14 hours,” FMCSA says.

The regulatory relief “terminates” when a driver or CMV is used in interstate commerce or “to transport cargo or provide services not in support of emergency relief efforts related to the severe winter storm.” It also doesn’t apply when a motor carrier dispatches a driver or CMV to another place “to begin operations in commerce.” Likewise, drivers or motor carriers under an out-of-service order aren’t eligible for regulatory relief.

The regulatory relief doesn’t exempt drivers from testing for alcohol and controlled substances, commercial driver’s license requirements, insurance or financial responsibility requirements, hazardous materials regulations, and size and weight requirements.


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

Work safely in the heat: What you need to know

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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.