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Category Archives: General Safety

Fall Protection Blog articles categorized by general safety.

Workplace Safety Signage

An important part of building a safety culture is communication. Workplace safety signage is an effective way to help keep workers safe. Signs help identify hazards and serve as a constant reminder to avoid danger.

“Although safety signs and warnings are low on the hierarchy of controls, they are an important part of communicating with employees about the hazards in the workplace,” says Diana Stegall, executive vice president of Rivendell Safety Consulting. “Signs that are well-positioned and take into consideration the hazard ‘audience’ can be very effective in communicating a hazard and serving as a reminder when no one else is around.”

According to ASSP there are three steps to better workplace safety signage:

  • Speak the language of safety – identify the hazard clearly
  • Location of the signage – place close to hazard to warn but not too close that prevents action
  • Do not mix messages – one hazard per sign to avoid any confusion

Asbestos at Work – What You Need to Know

Asbestos is a regulated, harmful material that was once used much more prevalently in several industries. Workers today are at a much lower risk of being exposed to it, but the risk is not zero. If you work in any kind of industrial job, in construction, in shipping, or in older buildings, you may be at risk for exposure to asbestos. Understand the risks and dangers, where asbestos may be found, and what your rights are for being protected on the job.

What Are the Health Risks?

Asbestos is a mineral used to insulate, fireproof, and strengthen materials. It is a natural mineral, but it is also a carcinogen that is harmful to human health. The tiny fibers of asbestos can be inhaled or ingested by workers. When this happens, those fibers get stuck in tissues inside the body, most often in and around the lungs. The fibers cause cell and tissue damage, which can lead to a number of illnesses.

While not everyone exposed to asbestos will get sick, the more you are exposed to it the …
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Personal Protective Equipment Guidelines

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. These personal protective equipment guidelines are provided by OSHA. Their role is to promote the safety and health of America’s working men and women.

Personal Protective Equipment Requirements

To ensure the greatest possible protection for employees in the workplace, the cooperative efforts of both employers and employees will help in establishing and maintaining a safe and healthful work environment. In general, employers are responsible for:

  • Performing a “hazard assessment” of the workplace to identify and control physical and health hazards.
  • Identifying and providing appropriate PPE for employees. n Training employees in the use and care of the PPE.
  • Maintaining PPE, including replacing worn or damaged PPE.
  • Periodically reviewing, updating and evaluating the effectiveness of the PPE program. In general, employees should:
  • Properly wear PPE, n Attend training sessions on PPE,
  • Care for, clean and maintain PPE, and
  • Inform a supervisor of the need to repair or replace PPE.

Specific requirements for PPE are presented in many different OSHA standards, published in 29 CFR.

Download …
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ASSP & NIOSH Renewed Safety Partnership

Last week ASSP & NIOSH renewed their safety partnership for an additional 5 years. The ASSP President Rixio Medina and NIOSH Director John Howard signed a memorandum of understanding for an extension.

“We have a common mission to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities, so we want to benefit from each other’s experience and combine resources where possible to improve occupational safety and health performance,” Medina said.

The ASSP, once known as the American Society of Safety Engineers includes over 38,000 workplace safety & health professionals. The NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, was established by OSHA as part of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Future Safety Partnership Planning

The ASSP and NIOSH outlined their priorities for the next 5 years, which include:

  • Working together on safety research;
  • Promoting workplace implementation of their own and others’ research results;
  • Promoting best practices and professional development opportunities in the occupational safety and health field;
  • Encouraging employers to develop and utilize safety and health management programs; and
  • Cooperating on joint ventures in international safety and health promotion.

“We’re looking forward …
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Occupational Heat Exposure

As summer approaches and the climate heats up it is important to review occupational heat exposure with workers exposed to high heat. According to OSHA, most heat-related problems can be reduced or avoided with the following:

  • Engineering Controls – make the environment cooler by reducing exposure to heat
  • Work Practices – proper planning by employers to include emergency plans, acclimatization, and other heat safety best practices
  • Personal Protective Equipment – insulated clothing, respirators, air conditioners
  • Training – awareness of the hazards of occupational heat exposure and procedures for working within high heats

Heat Related Illnesses & First Aid

Heat related illnesses can be categorized into one of the following (listed in order of severity); heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat rash. The diagram below lists the symptoms of each and actions to be taken if signs are shown.

Learning From Near Miss Incidents

Employers should actively investigate all types of incidents. Learning from near miss incidents can prevent future accident, injury or safety violation. If there is a situation where someone is almost involved in an accident, they are incredibly lucky. However, there is a chance in the future that it could reoccur with a different result.

OSHA and the National Safety Council have developed best practices for near miss reporting:

  • Leadership should reinforce that every opportunity to identify and control hazards, reduce risk, and prevent harmful incidents must be acted on.
  • Reporting systems needs to be non-punitive and, if desired by the person reporting, anonymous.
  • Conduct root cause analyses to better understand the weaknesses in the system that resulted in the circumstances that led to the near miss.
  • Use investigation results to improve safety systems, hazard control, risk reduction, and share lessons learned. 

Near Miss Reporting Form

As with any investigation, having a set form helps to record the incident by identifying who was involved, what happened, where it happened, and how it happened.

Click Image to Download Sample How FPS Can Help

Should a …
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Young Worker Safety

According to OSHA if you employ young workers you may have additional employer responsibilities. Young worker safety is especially important because it may be a person’s first job, or first job operating machinery or equipment. What is considered young? Ages up to even 24 can be classified as young workers. For children under the age of 18 there are federal and state labor laws that must be followed.

Employer Responsibilities for Young Worker Safety

  • Understand and comply with the relevant federal and state child labor laws. For example, these laws prohibit youth from working certain hours and from performing dangerous/hazardous work.
  • Ensure that young workers receive training to recognize hazards and are competent in safe work practices. Training should be in a language and vocabulary that workers can understand and should include prevention of fires, accidents and violent situations and what to do if injured.
  • Implement a mentoring or buddy system for new young workers. Have an adult or experienced young worker answer questions and help the new young worker learn the ropes of a new job.
  • Encourage young workers to ask questions …
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Construction Industry Fatality Map

Presented by OSHA with information from the Census of Fatal and Occupational Injuries, this construction industry fatality map identifies the locations within the United States that have had reported fatalities within the general construction industry.

The first map shows fatalities resulting from various causes.  The second map shows only fatal falls. If you are aware of a recent work-related construction fatality, please email

Construction Fatalities in the USA, Jan 1 – June 30, 2018 Click on Map to Interact Construction Fall Fatalities in the USA, Jan 1 – June 30, 2018 Click on Map to Interact

OSHA Worker Safety Grant

Last week an OSHA Worker Safety Grant for $10.5 million, the Susan Harwood Training Grant, was available. Eligibility is reserved for nonprofit organizations, employer associations, labor unions, joint labor/management associations, Indian tribes as well as universities and colleges.

Grants are available in three areas: Targeted Topic Training, Training and Educational Materials Development, and Capacity Building. 

  • Targeted Topic Training grants support educational programs that address identifying and preventing workplace hazards. These grants require applicants to conduct training on OSHA-designated workplace safety and health hazards. 
  • Training and Educational Materials Development grants support the development of quality classroom-ready training and educational materials that focus on identifying and preventing workplace hazards. 
  • Capacity Building grants support organizations in developing new capacity for conducting workplace safety and health training programs, and must provide training and education based on identified needs of a specific audience or a set of related topics.

Details on the grants and how to apply are available at  Harwood applications must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. Applicants must possess a “D-U-N-S” number and have an …
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Construction Roofing Fall Protection

This informational video provided by the department of labor demonstrates construction roofing fall protection. To learn more about being safe while working at heights contact Fall Protection Systems.