Small to medium Ag producers across the United States are realizing the need to start incorporating safety into their business culture & framework. This need is due to many factors, some of the top being increasingly heightened consequences of an accident: larger medical bills, higher risk of lawsuit, and increased fines from OSHA. Even just a single accident is much more risky and expensive today. Not to mention the emotional impact to your business and community around you.
When selecting and building a safety training program, it’s largely agreed that a single system is most effective, especially for tracking. While that’s a top priority, we’ve often found 2 other factors that are overlooked when it comes to effective safety training:
Are you intimidated or confused by OSHA’s requirements for recording and reporting incidents? Maybe you just had an incident and aren’t sure what to next. First off, take a deep breath. It will be ok. This post is meant to start answering your questions about recordables and reportables. We’ll break down both and help you understand who and what is required for each.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 570 people died from work-related injuries in agriculture in 2011. That’s 7 times the fatality rate for all workers in the private sector! Safety is an important topic in the agricultural industry. That being said, it’s no wonder OSHA has regulations that are meant to keep people safe specifically in agriculture. While some farms are exempt from OSHA regulations, did you know there are a few requirements that apply across the board? No matter if you employ 10 or less people total, or only employ immediate family, OSHA requires that both exempt and non-exempt operations abide by these rules.
The main goal of a safety and health program is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities, as well as the suffering and financial hardships these events can cause workers, their families and your operation. I believe we can all agree with that as the ideal.
From the feedback we received from recent surveys, HR directors and safety managers are looking for more information on job hazard analysis and hazard identification. I’m going to embark on a 4-part series addressing hazards to help further your understanding. By reading this blog, you'll:
- have better insights into different aspects of hazard analysis
- understand the role that hazard analysis play in a solid safety and health program.
December is upon us and it’s time to look at your safety program for 2018. With everything you’ve accomplished in 2017, what is going to move your program forward for 2018?
When I managed a fast growing company earlier in my career, goal setting made a crucial impact on the success. It forced me to look much further out into the future, envision where the company could go and create how we were going to get there. No matter where you are today with your safety program, moving your program forward is key to lowering workers’ compensation claims, improving employee safety IQ and having active participation in developing safety culture.
Let’s look at 3 steps to consider when putting the 2018 goals and plans together.
When employees are not mandated to wear respiratory protection, do they know enough to protect themselves? It’s one thing to make decisions for yourself when you have a good knowledge base. It's another thing to be unaware. Have you ever been in a position where you thought to yourself, “I wish someone would’ve told me about this a long time ago?”
That’s where this blog comes into play concerning non-mandated respiratory protection. In particular, the voluntary use of a disposable particulate dusk mask, also referred to as filtering facepiece, mechanical filter or particulate respirator.
As a HR director, you want your employees to be armed with good information about respiratory protection, so they can make good decisions regarding their health. When you educate and train employees they can be fully responsible for their actions. When employees are unaware of health hazards and they lose their health, they’ll feel they’ve been done WRONG!
Let’s look at 6 key pieces of information that are vital for you as the HR director to educate and train on, so you are responsible for doing your employees RIGHT!
You can find the above selection guide on the AgriSafe Network website.
Editor's Note: Updated Dec 18, 2017. OSHA pushed back the deadline from Dec 15 to Dec 31, and has said they will not take enforcement action on those who meet the Dec 31 deadline (see source here). Starting Jan 1, 2018, OSHA will no longer accept 2016 data.
Topics: OSHA law & compliance
There’s something intimidating to the average person viewing Safety Data Sheets (SDS) with all the scientific words and a mountain of detail. It no doubt looks like “work” to try to decipher a typical sheet and a bit overwhelming.
Would employees feel the same way if they became more familiar with SDS and knew how to break it down to where it wasn’t information overload? Let’s be honest, to most employees, that SDS binder or that computer for SDS information lookup is someone else’s job not theirs. All workers need to know how to access hazardous chemical information. Here are three steps to simplifying SDS sheets so employees can refer to them as a resource of information.
Slip, trip and fall (STF) injuries are common in agribusiness, especially in the winter time. Prepare now to minimize slip, trip and fall hazards around your facilities and before the ice and snow arrive. Grab a clipboard and pad and make a list of the top 3-5 most obvious areas that have given employees problems in the past. Then get feedback from employees where they feel STF hazards are around the operation. Next do a walk around to find areas that are potential walking and working surface hazards. This should include areas where there is clutter, reduced or blocked exits, uneven surfaces and areas where water, ice or snow can accumulate.