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FDRsafety Newsletter
March 2010

If you got a letter from OSHA about your accident rate, here's what to do

By Jim Stanley
President of FDRsafety and
former No. 2 official at OSHA

FDRsafetyIf your company is one of the 15,000 businesses to receive a letter from OSHA that your accident and illness rates are considerably higher than the national average, there are five things that you ought to do immediately.

While the letter did not say this, the likelihood is high that your company will soon be visited by an OSHA inspector, given the agency's announced emphasis on enforcement. What OSHA director Dr. David Michaels did say was this: ""Employers whose businesses have injury and illness rates this high need to take immediate steps to protect their workers."

(If you are uncertain whether your company received this letter, you can review the list.)

So here are five key things to do to improve the safety of your workplace and to have the best result possible when OSHA does come calling.

Make sure that all your documentation is accurate and your written health and safety program is current. It should reflect all of OSHA's current requirements. Any internal inspections it calls for should have taken place.

In addition make sure your injuries and illnesses are accurately recorded and classified in your OSHA log.

Make sure you have conducted all training required under your program and by federal regulation. That could include everything from forklift training to lockout-tagout to fall protection. If your program does not already call for it, you should consider specialized training for supervisors.

Accident analysis
Identify where your accidents and illnesses are happening. Analyze work habits and processes associated with the accidents and illnesses and then put permanent corrective action into place.

Mock OSHA audit
The best way to predict what an inspector will find is to conduct a mock inspection yourself, or have a consultant do it for you. You should inspect your facility just as OSHA would.

The extra mile
Go beyond OSHA requirements and promote a safety culture. Part of this might include safety motivational training, which gets employees to understand why they should act safely. This is a highly effective supplement to skills training.

In addition, you should refer to the FDRsafety article on "How to be ready when an OSHA inspector comes calling". This article provides five key actions to prepare for the actual inspection (different from the five tips above).

If you show an effort to truly improve your workplace environment, OSHA will recognize your efforts, and any fines you might receive could be lower than they otherwise would be.

But the larger point is that you will create a safer workplace that is likely to produce fewer accidents and illnesses for your employees. A safer workplace makes for more productive employees because they are more likely to believe their employer has their interests at heart.

In addition, a safer workplace reduces the risk to your company's reputation that occurs when accidents are reported at your workplace.

If you have a question about the letter you received from OSHA, Jim Stanley will provide a limited free consultation to answer your questions. Contact him at (513) 317-5644 or jstanley@fdrsafety.com

FDRsafety provides advice on safety program development and revision; OSHA compliance, including mock audits.

If your compliance efforts are in order and you are still frustrated with how to reduce injuries and illnesses, you might consider FDRsafety's unique training to motivate employees to act safely, which has been delivered to over 400,000 workers and managers.

Contact FDRsafety for more information at 1.888.755.8010 or info@fdrsafety.com.

"Remaining competitive as OSHA increases enforcement" - a webinar

Join FDRsafety President Jim Stanley on April 7 as he presents a webinar on how construction businesses can remain competitive as OSHA steps up enforcement pressure.

A court ruling last year said contractors can be held responsible for the safety actions of subcontractors on their site, even if the contractors' own employees were not involved. Jim, who has extensive experience in safety issues at construction sites, will help contractors understand how they can meet the OSHA challenge and still keep their businesses competitive.

Jim's program is part of a package of webinars being put on by Occupational Health and Safety magazine. Other topics include, "Inside OSHA Politics," "World's PPE Markets in 2010," and "Why On-Site Healthcare?"

For more information http://ohsonline.com/virtualevent

Changes to our safety blog

We've made our safety blog bigger and better by adding two writers.

FDRsafetyFred Rine, CEO of FDRsafety and former Managing Director of Safety for FedEx, will focus on training issues and how companies can motivate workers to want to act safely in addition to requiring them to follow safety rules.

FDRsafetyMike Taubitz
, Senior Advisor to FDRsafety and former Global Director of Safety for General Motors, will be writing about the relationship between safety and efficient production and business processes. Both Fred and Mike will also write about general safety issues.

FDRsafetyJim Stanley
will continue writing about OSHA and general safety matters.

What to do when OSHA comes calling, and other matters

Speaking of the blog, Jim Stanley posted some very useful information recently about five key things companies should do when an OSHA inspector arrives on the premises.

Jim also opined that opposition could be formidable to a new attempt by OSHA to develop an ergonomics standard.

Mike Taubitz meanwhile was writing that safety is a lifetime value, not just a workplace obligation.

In This Issue
If you got a letter from OSHA about your accident rate, here's what to do
From our blog: 5 Things to do when OSHA comes calling
From our blog: 5 Things to do when OSHA comes calling
From our blog: 5 Things to do when OSHA comes calling
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At the heart of FDRsafety is this simple idea: Extensive expertise and experience bring the best results.

FDRsafety is led by two nationally recognized, long-time leaders in safety: Fred Rine and Jim Stanley.

Each has decades of experience improving occupational safety and health performance at companies of all sizes, including complex multi-billion dollar, multinational organizations.

FDRsafety can meet your needs for a wide range of safety and health services, including training, OSHA compliance, safety staffing and expert witnesses.

Contact us to learn how we can help you reduce accidents, meet federal, state and local legal requirements, reduce costs, and most importantly, protect your greatest assets - your employees.