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Wear Your Fall Protection

ISEA (International Safety Equipment Association) reminds workers to “wear your fall protection.”  Companies that have a comprehensive fall protection program just makes good business sense by preventing injuries and saving lives.  They created  user guide that provides the following (per their website):

  • Provide guidance to users on the need for proper fall protection planning to either remove the fall hazard; prevent access to the fall hazard, restrict worker movement at the fall hazard, or provide the proper fall arrest equipment;
  • Illustrate fall protection systems;
  • Familiarize fall protection equipment users with the appropriate OSHA and ANSI standards pertaining to their use;
  • Assist in the proper selection, care, use and inspection of fall protection equipment.

Click here to view their document.

wear your fall protection

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Railroad Safety & Job Planning

When Fall Protection Systems performs a system installation at a rail facility railroad safety is always part of our pre job planning.  The use of a flagman is often required by the railroad to protect any workers that are working on or near a railroad right of way.

railroad safety

Each railroad has different requirements and operating rules.  For example CSX Transportation, “Q390-29 Engine CSXT 5219 calling flagman at milepost 151.2, like permission though the work area”.  If workers are in the clear, the flagman will allow workers to proceed.

Additional requirements by CSXT for railroad safety (as listed on their website) are:

General

  • All workers must receive CSXT Safety Awareness training and have a verification card. CSXT Safety Rules and Contractor Policies will apply to fiber optic workers, where applicable to the specific work performed.
  • All personnel must wear proper Personal Protection Equipment, which includes a minimum of hard hat, safety glasses, steel-toed shoes, hearing protection, and high-visibility vests with reflective stripes on or around road crossings. If not wearing orange hard hats, personnel must also wear high-visibility vests regardless of location. When working beyond 25 feet from the nearest rail of a main track, hard hats, safety glasses, and laced work boots will be required.
  • All “FRA Bridge Worker Safety” rules will apply to workers performing bridge attachments, including proper fall protection rules.
  • All test holes or pits less than 15 feet from the centerline of main tracks, will be filled or covered prior to passing of trains. No open pits or holes will be left over night. All pits and trenches will be shored according to OSHA requirements.
  • No dirt or debris will be allowed to foul the ballast section of the tracks.
  • All excavation or plow trenches will be back-filled and compacted immediately. Briefings will be conducted each morning and throughout the day when conditions or job scope changes.
  • All public utilities, CSXT Engineering, and the Railroad Train Control Office, will be notified prior to any construction.
  • Job Briefings will be conducted each morning and throughout the day when conditions or job scope changes.

Working On Or Around Tracks

  • All work in the FRA Red Zone (within 4 feet from outside rail on each side of the track) will be done only with a CSXT, FRA qualified flagman or watchman as specified by the local Engineering representative.
  • All work beyond 4 feet from the outside rails and within 25 feet, must be done under the supervision of a qualified inspector or CSXT flagman.
  • Certain types of work done beyond 25 feet from the outside of the rails, and with equipment that will not reach beyond this point, may be done without flagging protection or a watchman, if approved by the local Engineering representative, and protected by a construction fence, if work is stationary (will not be used for cat plowing).
  • All work must be stopped while trains are passing within the work zone.
  • All workers will remain off the tracks. If necessary to perform the work on track, protection will be provided as stated above.
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Western Territory Changes

Western territory changes are coming at the end of December.  Bob Hartmann is retiring from Fall Protection Systems after many years of valued service. Bob provided many customers with solutions for fall protection as well as excellent client management.  We wish Bob all the best in the future and him for his years of dedicated service.

western territory changes

In his place we have brought Chris Eberle on the team to take over the Western Territory (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California). Chris is a sales professional with several years of industrial sales experience. He has been working with Bob to make sure that the transfer of account management goes smoothly and seamlessly. If you have not spoken with Chris yet, and are in need of fall protection in the west please contact him. You can reach Chris at 314-942-8795 or by email at ceberle@fallprotectionsystems.com.

 

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After Your OSHA Citation

In the event that your organization is part of an OSHA inspection and have any violations issued you may be unsure of what happens next.  If cited you will receive a list of all violations, proposed penalties and a time frame for correcting the violations.  Here are three steps to take after your OSHA citation.

after your OSHA citation

Step One:  Post Your Citation

It is a requirement by OSHA that you post a copy of each citation issued at or in the vicinity of the place of each violation.  It should be posted for a minimum of 3 days or as long as it takes to correct the hazard.  In the event that it is not possible to post where the violation took place, it should be posted in a place where all employees exposed to the safety hazard have access to the posting (employee locker room, break room, etc.).

Step Two: Review Your Citation

Spend some time reviewing any citations received and their proposed fines.  Each fine is proposed based upon the violation type and these three factors:

  • How severe is the violation and how severe would an injury or illness be from an accident based off this violation?
  • The size of the business that has the violation.  Smaller businesses often qualify for a reduced fine because they don’t typically have the financial or safety resources of a larger company.  However, if there is a blatant disregard for safety, they may not receive any reductions.
  • Documents and paperwork that an employer is working to provide a safe place for workers.  This would be a written safety plan or health program in place prior to the inspection.
  • Immediate attention to fixing a violation in the presences of a compliance officer.
  • Past history of safety in the workplace without any serious, willful or repeat violations within the last five years.

Step Three: Correct Your Violation

You will be given an abatement period with your citation.  This is the amount of time you have to correct your safety violation.  It is set at the shortest reasonable time to allow employers to correct their problems.  It will be written with a specific deadline date.  Most often, it is a time period of 30 days.  In cases where special parts need to be ordered or manufactured OSHA will grant an extended deadline for the improvements to be made.

Next steps include accepting the Citation and Notification of penalty, correct the violations and pay the fine.  The other option is to contest the citation, proposed penalty, and corrections.

 

Here is a citation example.

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19 Foot Fall Costs Over $80,000

Benco Builders of the Virginia’s Inc has been cited for several safety hazards after an employee suffered serious injuries from a 19 foot fall.  Benco was the general contractor responsible for an onsite demolition and construction of two new steel/metal buildings and now faces penalties in the amount of $86,916.

19 Foot Fall

OSHA has issued a willful citation for failure to provide fall protection and requiring employees to wear the fall protection during work.  There were also an additional eight serious violations for exposing employees to hazards such as electrical, scaffolding, forklift and providing defective and un-inspected fall protection equipment.

“Falls remain the leading cause of injury and death in the construction industry,” said OSHA Area Office Director Prentice Cline, in Charleston. “Employers must provide proper fall protection and follow all safety requirements to prevent incidents like this from occurring.”

See the full citation here.

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Falls From Height Are Avoidable

A press release was posted on scoop business today by WorkSafe discussing how falls from height are avoidable.  Working at heights without protection is unacceptable with the risks so well known.

falls from height

WorkSafe’s General Manager of Operations and Specialist Services Brett Murray  says that falls from height are easy to avoid.  “More injuries happen on residential building sites than any other workplace in the construction sector. Even a fall from the roof of a single story can be fatal and controls need to be put in place. The best controls are those that don’t require active judgement by a worker. This includes solutions such as edge protection or scaffolding. If a worker slips or missteps, as we saw in this case, there is a physical barrier between themselves and the ground below”.

Fall protection in the work place should be given high priority by employers and employees.  If a situation is not safe or a fall hazard exists it needs to be brought to the attention of the OHS or Safety Professional.  To learn about our fall protection and personal protective equipment visit the Fall Protection Systems Online Store.

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Safety Violation Equals Jail Time

Sunny Roofing was cited for a third time on a job site in Toronto after an inspection by the Ministry of Labor.  This safety violation equals jail time as well as a financial penalty.  This third offense equals a fine of $56,000 and the firms director, Dong Mo, was sentenced to 20 days in jail for failing to ensure compliance with OSHA.

safety violation equals jail time

Additionally, the court imposed a 25% surcharge on the fine that will goes to a government fund for victims of crime under the Provincial Offences Act.

Sunny roofing was fined in March of 2017 for similar violations under OSHA for violations at a Burlington work site.  In September 2015 the company was fined $33,000 for OSHA violations in Brampton.

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OSHA Top 10 Citations For 2017

The newly released OSHA top 10 citations for 2017 brings a new violation into the list.  In at number 9 is Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503).  According to Patrick Kapust, the deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, “Many of these violations were specifically related to training requirements and ensuring that a training program for each employee who may be exposed to fall hazards is established.  Often these violations occurred in roofing, framing and residential modeling industries.”

Learn more about the list in an interview with Kapust by Safety & Health Magazine.

OSHA Top 10 Citations

If you have any questions regarding fall protection in the workplace or would like to schedule a free onsite analysis contact FPS and speak with a fall protection expert.

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Thanksgiving Safety

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year.  Spending time with friends and family in celebration with great food and drinks is tops on many peoples lists.  Thanksgiving is also a time when accidents can occur.  With the increased time in the kitchen there is an increased risk of a cooking fire.  According to the National Fire Protection Association the greatest number of home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day, being aware in the kitchen and practicing Thanksgiving safety can keep everyone safe.

thanksgiving safety

Here are some tips for cooks on Thanksgiving safety:

• Check food regularly.
• Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
• Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
• Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
• Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
• Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen.
• Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

Fall Protection Systems wishes you a happy & healthy Thanksgiving!

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Winter Fall Protection Tips

With winter weather already arriving or well on its way throughout the United States, here are some winter fall protection tips to help keep you safe.

winter fall protection tips

Think of it like this, when snow falls, so can people.  The largest hazard of winter is the possibility of falls because of ice or snow.  These falls can cause serious injuries like broken bones, serious head injuries and lacerations.  Here are some winter fall protection tips to help you prepare for safety:

  • In the event that bad weather is coming, make necessary arrangements ahead of time to minimize your need to be out in the inclement weather.  In the event that you do need to go out, allow yourself extra time to complete tasks.
  • Be in charge of your safety.  If a sidewalk or entrance looks too dangerous, notify the business or property manager.  They can help eliminate the danger.  Make sure you are properly dressed to be outside and walk in the snow.  This includes coats, hats, cloves and proper foot attire.  Keep in mind you want a shoe or boot with the best traction for walking on ice or snow.  Wearing gloves can help keep your hands free, which might be needed to brace yourself or prevent a fall.
  • Don’t wait for the snow to melt off your driveway or walkway.  The best time to clear the snow is as soon as it falls.  Clearing snow before it has a chance to melt and re-freeze is your best bet against getting an ice covered driveway or sidewalk.  Waiting for it to fully melt can take days or weeks.

Are you looking for more information on how to plan against winter hazards?  Check out this OSHA resource on winter fall safety & winter safety hazards.  As always, if you have any specific fall protection or safety questions, give us a call – we are the fall protection experts.  Contact us if you have any questions!

 

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