September 8, 2011

In This Update
Regulations and Taxes Not Killing Small Business
BLS Releases Workplace Fatality Report
Box Cutter Blues
Workers' Compensation Employer Costs Dropping
British Cite Safety As Reason for Strange Bans
Dealing with a Missing OSHA 300 Log
Lock Out Failure Proves Deadly
VPP Means Big Savings
Handling Small Quantities of Hazardous Materials
Managers Need to Actively Support Training for Success
Quick Links
Chip DawsonThis health, safety and environment electronic update comes from Chip Dawson and the Rochester Business Alliance as a service to member organizations.
Regulations and Taxes Not Killing Small Business-McClatchy Survey
Having heard the steady mantra that regulations and taxes are killing jobs, the McClatchy Newspapers canvassed a sample of small business owners across the nation to get their view. The response was surprising-"not us" was the overwhelming response. Several actually cited the need for regulation and suggested more was necessary. "The safety and health of our guests depend on regulations," said one hospitality industry president. To read the full story, click here. Finally, we'd like to know your views on the subject. Drop us a note here and tell us whether or not regulation and taxes are "killing" business in your operation. 

BLS Releases Workplace Fatality Report

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released preliminary results from the National Census for Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2010. The number of fatal work-related injuries (4547) remained virtually the same as 2009 (4551). To see the full report, click here.

Slice product imageBox Cutter Blues

An associate tipped us off to some great new designs for box cutters that are intended to allow reasonably safe, ergonomically comfortable cutting of board stock. You'll find the products at Slice Products and AliMed. For cutting materials such as plastic, leather and paper, see the Olfa concealed blade safety knife at www.olfa.com. The Slice Products cutter is pictured. 

Workers' Compensation Employer Costs Dropping

According to a National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) just-issued report on Workers' Compensation for 2009, employer costs for the year fell 7.6 percent-the largest percentage decline since 1987. During the same period, workers covered dropped 4.4 percent due to the recession. Benefits paid amounted to 98 cents per $100 of covered wages.

British Cite Safety As Reason for Strange Bans   
We know that the British have a different sense of humor, but apparently the UK Health and Safety Executive saw some bizarre health and safety bans much as we would in a page posted on the web site of the UK equivalent of OSHA. Check out the ten bans by clicking here.

Dealing with a Missing OSHA 300 Log

Periodically we get a question about OSHA logs that were not completed and annual summaries that were not posted. Usually it's from a smaller organization that had no injuries or illnesses. Since OSHA requires a log even if there are no cases to enter and also requires the 300A summary be posted, failure to do so is a clear violation.


Here's our advice on what to do. Create a log for any year where one is missing going back five years and place it in the file. If you are inspected, you have the necessary logs. If you had any recordable incidents, be sure that the appropriate data is entered on the log(s). Late beats none.


The 300A summary is a little more challenging. Since it requires senior management's signature and posting for employee review, it's hard to cover such a mistake. My suggestion is to enter all the appropriate data onto the summary for the year(s) in question, have it signed by management with the current date, and call an employee meeting (which is required annually by Part 1904.35). At the meeting, explain that through oversight or error the required summary was not prepared or posted, that the error has been corrected and this is what the summary shows. Then, put a note in the file describing how the oversight occurred and what was done to inform employees.
 

Lock Out Failure Proves Deadly     
Workplace deaths occur daily-4,551 in 2009-to the point of being numbing for those of us who have seen death reports year after year. Amazingly, most of the incidents are neither complex nor unanticipated. For example, B&B Lumber in Jamesville, NY, was cited for 35 serious violations and fined $152,100 stemming from the death of an employee who was changing blades on an edging saw when another worker inadvertently started the saw. Lockout tagout is so fundamental to safety that it's hard to imagine any company not knowing it's critical to the wellbeing of their people. The mill was found to have widespread failures to take essential protective action in a number of areas. It's tragic that people must die to drive basic protections in their workplace.

VPP Means Big Savings 

R. Davis Layne, executive director of the VPP Partcipants' Association, has data to back up the claim that VPP participation saves money. He told the AIHce conference (and ISHN magazine) that GE attributes over $65 million a year to VPP. At Welco Lumber, comp costs were $274,000 in 2000 but only $10,000 in 2004 due to VPP participation. Welco also found a 28 percent increase in productivity.  VPP is a "force multiplier" says Layne.

materials of trade imageHandling Small Quantities of Hazardous Materials 

The question comes up frequently about how to handle hazardous materials that might be carried in a vehicle or a tool box, or used in the office. Large quantities are carefully regulated, but what about a small amount of a common consumer product? For the answer, see the two-page brochure "What Are Materials of Trade?" published by the U. S. DOT. Click here for a PDF copy of the brochure.

Managers Need to Actively Support Training for Success 

A survey of more than 3,000 government and commercial training managers conducted by ESI International finds workplace training is too often not applied by the trainees. One reason includes failure to prepare the trainees for the training and to hold them responsible for application. Another is failure to use an instructional approach that simulates the actual work environment. The final significant issue is the lack of management support. To really be successful, managers must have meaningful involvement in the process both before training and after. For a copy of the report, click here

 

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Lawrence H. "Chip" DawsonView my profile on LinkedIn
Dawson Associates
Rochester Business Alliance Coordinating Consultant for HSE
1434 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14610-1619
(585) 461-1549