Powered industrial trucks, commonly called forklifts or lift trucks, are used in many industries, primarily to move materials. They can be used to move, raise, lower, or remove large objects or a number of smaller objects on pallets or in boxes, crates, or other containers.
The hazards commonly associated with powered industrial trucks vary depending on the vehicle type and the workplace where the truck is used. Each type of truck presents different operating hazards. For example, a sit-down, counterbalanced high lift rider truck is more likely than a motorized hand truck to be involved in a falling load accident, because the sit-down rider truck can lift a load much higher than a hand truck. Workplace conditions also present different hazards. For example, retail establishments often face greater challenges than other worksites in maintaining pedestrian safety.
The best way to protect employees from injury also depends on the type of truck operated and worksite where it is being used.
via Powered Industrial Trucks eTool.
Exposures to blood and other body fluids occur across a wide variety of occupations. Health care workers, emergency response and public safety personnel, and other workers can be exposed to blood through needlestick and other sharps injuries, mucous membrane, and skin exposures. The pathogens of primary concern are the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Workers and employers are urged to take advantage of available engineering controls and work practices to prevent exposure to blood and other body fluids.
via CDC – Bloodborne Infectious Diseases – HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.
Negligent hiring claims are preventable if employers do their job which is to ensure that employees and customers have a well-organized, safe work environment. In this work environment, people have a right to a reasonable expectation that they will not be injured or harmed. Customers have the right to the same expectation.
If a hiring decision made by an employer results in an employee who injures or harms a customer, coworker or any individual who comes into contact with the employee through work, the employer can be charged with negligent hiring.
A negligent hiring claim is made when the filer believes that the employer should have known about the employee’s background. In these claims, the filer attempts to prove that the injurious behavior was to be expected based on past behavior that demonstrated that the employee was dangerous, untrustworthy, a sexual predator, or a thief, to name a few possible claims.
Employers are most vulnerable to negligent hiring claims if they fail to:
- do a criminal background check on potential employees,
- check employment and personal references,
- check employment history and attempt to speak with former supervisors,
- validate college degrees,
- perform drug screening in particular industries,
- require physicals in some occupations,
- perform credit checks for some jobs,
- check driving records and history for some occupations, and
- confirm that other claims made by the applicant, such as why he left a prior employer, why he had a two year employment gap, why he worked at four companies in two years, and so forth, are true.
via Negligent Hiring Claims.
Employers that have employees on the road should be aware of the hazards they face and how to keep them safe. Here are 10 facts employers need to know:
- In 2005, 43,443 people were killed and 2,699,000 were injured in 6,159,000 police-reported motor vehicle crashes. Daily that represents 17,000 reported crashes and 119 deaths.
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all age groups from 3 to 33 years of age. Crashes are the 3rd leading cause of years of potential life lost for all ages combined.
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of occupational fatalities in the U.S.
- A typical driver in the U.S. travels 12,000 to 15,000 miles annually and has a one in 15 chance of being involved in a motor vehicle collision each year. With most fleet drivers traveling 20,000 to 25,000 miles or more each year, they have a greater crash exposure.
- The most dangerous part of the day for any employee is the time they spend in their vehicle witha crash occurring every 5 seconds, property damage occurring every 7 seconds, an injury occurring every 10 seconds, and a motor vehicle fatality occurring every 12 minutes.
- Forty-one percent of the average vehicle miles traveled per household are from commuting to and from work (27%) and driving on work-related business (14%).
- In 2000, the economic cost of crashes to employers was $60 billion resulting in 3 million lost workdays. Two-thirds of the cost ($40 billion) was from on-the-job crashes while one-third ($20 billion) was from off-the-job crashes for employees and their benefit-eligible dependents.
- The average on-the-job crash costs an employer about $16,500 or just under $0.16 per mile driven. Crashes involving injuries cost substantially more — $504,408 for a fatal injury and $73,750 for a nonfatal injury.
- With over 90 percent of motor vehicle crashes caused by human error, employers with high roadway exposure are at risk for a serious crash resulting in a lawsuit against their organization. Damages awarded to plaintiff’s making negligence claims against companies are at an all time high, settlements of $1 million or more are not unusual.
- The development, implementation, enforcement, and monitoring of a strong driver safety program can protect an organization’s human and financial resources. Such a program allows an organization to be proactive in controlling crash risks and is the first line of defense against the potentially staggering costs from motor vehicle crashes involving employees.
via 10 Facts Employers Must Know – Network of Employers for Traffic Safety.
For many workers, their jobs may be the most dangerous activities they engage in on a regular basis. On average, twelve people died each day last year from workplace incidents—amounting to over 4,300 deaths. Moreover, nearly 3 million workers suffered injuries or became ill at work last year.
These statistics actually represent some of the lowest workplace mortality and injury rates in decades, but Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has urged that the government “can and must do better.” To Perez, the statistics “aren’t just numbers and data – they are fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, who will never come home again.”
In an effort to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently proposed a new rule that would add requirements for the electronic submission of workplace injury and illness information. In announcing the agency’s proposal, David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, indicated that the new requirements should provide “better access to data that will encourage earlier abatements of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities.”
via Workplace Injury Reports to Go Online | RegBlog.
The National Safety Council estimates that falls in the workplace account for over 100,000 injuries annually, and that falls are one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities. The Centers for Disease Control reports that workers’ compensation and medical costs associated with occupational fall incidents are approximately $70 billion annually in the United States (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/falls/).
Statistics like these make the benefits of implementing a comprehensive fall protection plan in your workplace easy to see. Not only do such programs provide the obvious benefit of protecting workers from injury, they can substantially reduce workers’ compensation claims, reduce your insurance premiums, increase productivity, reduce OSHA fines, and boost worker morale.
via A Comprehensive Fall Protection Program Can Reduce Your Risk and Your Insurance Costs! | Rigid Lifelines.
An active shooter/ hostile intruder is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area by any means including but not limited to firearms (most frequently used), bladed weapons, vehicles, or any tool that in the circumstance in which it is used constitutes deadly physical force. In most cases, there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Most active shooter situations are unpredictable, evolve quickly, and are over within minutes.
EVACUATE – Run: If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:
- Have an escape route and plan in mind.
- Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
- Leave your belongings behind.
- Help others evacuate, if possible.
- Call 911 when you are safe.
- Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
- Keep your hands visible.
- Follow the instructions of any police officers.
- Do not attempt to move wounded people.
SHELTER-IN-PLACE – Hide: If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should:
- Be out of the active shooter’s view.
- Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e. an office with a closed and locked door).
- Not trap you or restrict your options for movement.
- To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:
- Lock the door.
- Blockade the door with heavy furniture.
- If the active shooter is nearby:
- Lock the door.
- Silence your cell phone and/or pager.
- Turn off any source of noise (i.e. radio, television).
- Hide behind large items (i.e. cabinets, desks).
- Remain quiet.
PROTECT YOURSELF – Fight: As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:
- Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her.
- Throwing items and improvising weapons.
- Committing to your actions.
WHEN POLICE ARRIVE
- Put down any items in your hands.
- Keep hands visible.
- Follow all instructions.
- Avoid making quick movements towards officers.
- Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises.
via Emergency: Active Shooter/ Workplace Violence | Emergencies – What to Do?! | Department of Security at Miller School of Medicine.
Safety cultures consist of shared beliefs, practices, and attitudes that exist at an establishment. Culture is the atmosphere created by those beliefs, attitudes, etc., which shape our behavior. An organizations safety culture is the result of a number of factors such as:
- Management and employee norms, assumptions and beliefs;
- Management and employee attitudes;
- Values, myths, stories;
- Policies and procedures;
- Supervisor priorities, responsibilities and accountability;
- Production and bottom line pressures vs. quality issues;
- Actions or lack of action to correct unsafe behaviors;
- Employee training and motivation; and
- Employee involvement or “buy-in.”
via Safety and Health Management Systems eTool | Module 4: Creating Change – Safety and Health Program Management: Fact Sheets: Creating a Safety Culture.
With more baby boomers postponing retirement, the effects of an aging workforce are becoming a concern for many organizations. By 2020, it is projected that 25% of workers will be over the age of 55, and since older workers are more likely to have disabilities, employers will have to adjust to meet the shifting needs of their workforce. According to a survey by the Disability Management Employer Coalition and Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute, most employers recognize the issue. Just over 85% said they were very or somewhat concerned about the impact of an aging workforce. However, their concern has not translated into universal action-—64% of businesses have not considered the aging workforce in designing absence and disability management programs. To close this gap, researchers suggested that employers concentrate on certain key elements of disability management, including practicing flexibility in scheduling and work location, maintaining and enhancing benefits, implementing wellness and return-to-work programs, instituting proactive safety checks, making certain physical and strategic accommodations for older workers, and improving corporate communication and culture to take an aging workforce into consideration.
via Accommodating an Aging Workforce | Risk Management.
Ladders are tools. Many of the basic safety rules that apply to most tools also apply to the safe use of a ladder:
- If you feel tired or dizzy, or are prone to losing your balance, stay off the ladder.
- Do not use ladders in high winds or storms.
- Wear clean slip-resistant shoes. Shoes with leather soles are not appropriate for ladder use since they are not considered sufficiently slip-resistant.
- Before using a ladder, inspect it to confirm it is in good working condition.
- Ladders with loose or missing parts must be rejected.
- Rickety ladders that sway or lean to the side must be rejected.
- The ladder you select must be the right size for the job
- The Duty Rating of the ladder must be greater that the total weight of the climber, tools, supplies, and other objects placed upon the ladder.
- The length of the ladder must be sufficient so that the climber does not have to stand on the top rung or step.
- When the ladder is set-up for use, it must be placed on firm level ground and without any type of slippery condition present at either the base or top support points.
- Only one person at a time is permitted on a ladder unless the ladder is specifically designed for more than one climber (such as a Trestle Ladder).
- Ladders must not be placed in front of closed doors that can open toward the ladder. The door must be blocked open, locked, or guarded.
- Read the safety information labels on the ladder.
- The on-product safety information is specific to the particular type of ladder on which it appears. The climber is not considered qualified or adequately trained to use the ladder until familiar with this information.
- Never jump or slide down from a ladder or climb more than one rung/step at a time.
via basic ladder safety.