Tuesday, October 18, 2011

OSHA publishes updated Workers' Rights publication

Worker Protection is the Law of the Land
You have the right to a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH
Act) was passed to prevent workers from being killed or otherwise harmed at work. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. The OSH Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards. OSHA also provides information, training and assistance to employers and workers.

Workers’ Rights under the OSH Act
The OSH Act gives workers the right to safe and healthful working conditions. It is the duty of employers to provide workplaces that are free of known dangers that could harm their employees. This law also gives workers important rights to participate in activities to ensure their protection from job hazards. This booklet explains workers’ rights to:
  • File a confidential complaint with OSHA to have their workplace inspected.
  • Receive information and training about hazards, methods to prevent harm, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace. The training must be done in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses that occur in their workplace.
  • Receive copies of the results from tests and monitoring done to find and measure hazards in the workplace.
  • Get copies of their workplace medical records.
  • Participate in an OSHA inspection and speak in private with the inspector.
  • File a complaint with OSHA if they have been retaliated or discriminated against by their
    employer as the result of requesting an inspection or using any of their other rights under the OSH Act.
  • File a complaint if punished or discriminated against for acting as a “whistleblower” under the additional 20 federal statutes for which OSHA has jurisdiction.
A job must be safe or it cannot be called a good job. OSHA strives to make sure that every worker in the nation goes home unharmed at the end of the workday, the most important right of all.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fire Safety and Prevention

October 9 - 15, 2011 is Fire Prevention Week.  

Each year in the United States, 70 to 80,000 workplaces experience a serious fire.  On average, an estimated 200 employees are killed by fire related incidents a year with an estimated 5,000 employees sustaining fire related injuries.  Fires in the workplace result in over two billion dollars in property damage and loss.  Recent studies reveal that only 15% of workplace fires are a result of catastrophic failure or equipment. This leaves a staggering 85% of accidental fires started due to human error and behavior.

Some common causes of workplace fires include:
  • Electrical – neglect and misuse of wiring and electrical appliances, especially space heaters.
  • Chemical – including gasoline, fuels, paints, solvents and manufacturing chemicals.
  • Hot Works - welding, torching or other tasks that emit sparks.
  • Housekeeping – accumulation of garbage in work or storage areas and improper storage of flammable substances.
  • Smoking – discarded cigarettes or smoking in inappropriate areas
Employers should install fire and smoke alarms throughout the workplace.  Alarms should be checked regularly for proper operation.  Appropriate fire extinguishers should also be placed throughout the workplace in accordance to local, state and federal rules and guidelines.  Employees should be trained on procedures to follow should an alarm sound, exit locations, and the proper use of fire extinguishers.  Fire exits should be properly identified and must never be blocked or locked. Fire doors must never be propped open either as this will cause a fire to spread faster bringing more damage and a greater chance of harm to the employees. 

Although employers are only required to have a Fire Prevention Plan and/or an Emergency Action Plan when the applicable OSHA standard requires it, OSHA strongly recommends that all employers have both. Guidelines for a Fire Protection Plan can be found in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.39 and guidelines for an Emergency Action Plan can be found in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.38

 By being proactive and having a simple fire prevention plan and program in your workplace, you can greatly reduce the risks of having a fire in your place of employment. In addition, with a simple emergency plan as well as proper detection and fire extinguishers, you can greatly reduce the chances of injury or serious loss should a fire occur.

Be smart. Be safe. Train your employees about Fire Safety.

Order your Fire Safety Training Kit this month (OCT. 2011)  and receive 10% off your total purchase with coupon code BB4584.

By National Safety Compliance, Inc. your source for OSHA compliance training kits, MSDS, Labor Law & Motivation Posters, LOTO and more. Check us out at www.osha-safety-training.net.