Safer Times: The Good Day's Work Blog

Non-Mandatory Respiratory Protection - What Do Employees Know?

Posted by Marty Huseman on Dec 7, 2017

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.

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Topics: air/respiratory

6 Steps to Nail Compliance for OSHA's New Electronic Reporting Rule

Posted by Drew Schumacher on Dec 5, 2017

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.

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Topics: OSHA law & compliance

3 Steps To Avoid Safety Data Sheet Overload for Employees

Posted by Marty Huseman on Nov 28, 2017

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.

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Topics: chemicals

Winter Hazards - Slips, Trips and Falls Around Facilities

Posted by Marty Huseman on Nov 24, 2017

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.

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Topics: seasonal, slips/trips/falls

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Agriculture

Posted by Marty Huseman on Nov 16, 2017

Have you ever installed carbon monoxide detectors in your farm buildings?  If you haven’t, this may change your mind. A carbon monoxide detector or CO monitor is a devise that detects the presence of carbon monoxide (CO) gas to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is a colorless, tasteless and odorless compound produced by incomplete combustion of carbon-containing materials. It is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer” because it is virtually undetectable without using a detection devise. 


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Topics: carbon monoxide

Safe Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia - Train Employees

Posted by Marty Huseman on Nov 14, 2017

Are you and your employees prepared for the fall handling of anhydrous ammonia (NH3)? 

Before anyone begins to work around or with anhydrous ammonia it may be best to review your employee roster and see who has been trained and who has not. It is commonly reported that injuries of all types are more prevalent with first year employees. Don’t let new employees slip through the cracks and assume they’ve had adequate training, be absolutely sure.  Employees not directly involved with anhydrous should also be trained as they need to know what to do and what not to do should an incident arise. The hazardous nature of working with anhydrous ammonia leaves very little room for error, especially for those who don’t understand the hazards.


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Topics: anhydrous ammonia, first aid, personal protective equipment (PPE)

Preventing Grain Dust Explosions Starts With You

Posted by Marty Huseman on Nov 9, 2017

To understand grain dust explosions, it is helpful to understand the elements that make up the fire triangle and the explosion pentagon. Many people are familiar with the fire triangle of heat, fuel and oxygen. By removing one of the three elements of fire, you can prevent or put a fire out.  OSHA says five elements must be present for a dust explosion to occur.  They are heat, fuel, oxygen, dispersion of dust and confinement. Industry experts sometimes refer to this as the explosion pentagon.  Like fire, if any of the 5 elements are removed, an explosion cannot occur.


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Topics: grain bins, dust explosions

Why Conduct Incident Investigations - Use Root Cause Analysis

Posted by Marty Huseman on Nov 2, 2017

“Those that don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.”  This quote will be around forever. Which leads me into this blog post on “why conduct incident investigations?”  Simply put, so the same incidents are not repeated. Injuries are reported because OSHA requires it. However, many incidents stop at the report stage.

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Topics: incident investigations, checklist

You Can Avoid Falls From Grain Bins

Posted by Marty Huseman on Oct 31, 2017

Falls in agriculture account for many serious injuries. One area I’d like to cover is falls from grain bins, silos and grain dryers. It’s difficult to quantify how many falls from bins there are because so many falls go unreported. Although less frequent than other falls in agriculture, falls from grain bins are more often severe to fatal.  In this blog, we raise several key issues that managers may consider for the sake of safety and fall protection.

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Topics: climbing & falling from heights

Dupont Bradley Curve - Should I Learn More About Safety Culture?

Posted by Marty Huseman on Oct 26, 2017

Why would a big corporation’s safety culture model have any relevance to safety in Agriculture?  If you are not familiar with the DuPont Bradley Curve, I strongly suggest learning more about it as it can shape how you think about safety first and its effect on productivity, quality of work, the work environment and profitability. The Bradley Curve shows an evolution of an organization's safety culture. This model allows you to place your organizations' culture along the curve and give insights to the vision of zero injuries. 

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Topics: safety culture, OSHA law & compliance, productivity / goals / motivation

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