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DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.


Monday, March 30, 2015

OSHA Injury Log, Preventing Post-Termination Claims, more

Five tips for Maintaining an OSHA Injury and Illness Log

OSHA standard 1904.7 specifies rules for the injury and illness records (the OSHA log) that must be maintained. But what needs to be logged? What happens if you don't keep a log?  >> What you need to know

Using Chinese Suppliers?

A big complaint about items manufactured in China is that quality can be inconsistent. Products can even be unsafe at times, like the recent accusations that Lumber Liquidators sold Chinese-imported laminate containing high levels of formaldehyde.

But some companies known for consistent quality and product safety--like Apple and Target--use Chinese suppliers. How do they ensure quality? Here are six ways.

How to Prevent Post-Termination Claims

With apparent increasing frequency, post-termination claims are being filed against employers who are otherwise doing an excellent job providing a safe work environment and comprehensive safety training. What can you do? >> Strategies for limiting these claims

OSHA-Approved State Plans

Twenty-seven states have OSHA-approved state plans. If yours is one of those, you may be noncompliant and not even realize it. Four states--California, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington--have standards that frequently differ from federal standards.

Take a look to see if your state is on the list.


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Monday, March 23, 2015

Don't Do This: Ladder Pics that'll Make you Cringe

Unsafe Ladder Contest

The Results are in, and they're Frightening

The "Idiots on Ladders" contest, held annually, received a record-breaking number of entries this year.

The winning picture received nearly 60 percent more votes than its two joint runners-up. It showed two men inside the bucket of an excavator, 20 feet off the ground, with one of them holding the ladder in the bucket so the other could climb to the top.  >> View top submissions

View OSHA's top ten violations for 2014, with an analysis.


Have you Outgrown your Safety Program?

Many organizations fail to realize in a timely manner that changing workforces require changing safety efforts. New programs are initiated with little regard to how they fit in with existing programs and with few metrics to truly test their effectiveness or efficiency.  >> What can be done?

Sleep Deprivation: Unseen Workplace Hazard

Workers may make the mistake of thinking that sleep-deprivation is a one-time problem, or something that can be overcome by growing accustomed to its effects. But according to James Herdegen M.D., sleep deprivation often is chronic and affects workers even when they feel they can function normally on insufficient sleep.

“Most people feel they’re not at risk, but they are,” he said. “With time, people feel that they’re coping with that sleep deprivation and functioning fine. But if you take those individuals and study them, they’re quite impaired.”

He explained that the consequences of that impairment can happen very quickly. For example, imagine a sleep-deprived truck driver falling asleep for 2 seconds while driving 60 miles per hour. In those 2 seconds, the truck may have traveled more than 100 feet and swerved into another lane. It took only a moment, but that sleep-deprived individual could have caused a major accident.  >> The employer's role

Free Health and Safety Podcasts

Listen online or download them and listen to them later. Choose from topics such as trucker safety, prevent snow from blocking your tailpipe, preventing chain saw injuries, preparing for a hurricane, and emergency wound care. Many are available in Spanish.  >> Get podcasts

Or check out Occupational Health & Safety's podcasts

Free Emergency Response Training, with credits

ERHMS training provides the necessary tools for implementing health monitoring and surveillance of emergency response workers. Continuing education credits can be obtained for those who register and successfully complete the course.  >> View ERHMS training and other resources

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Monday, March 16, 2015

OSHA Whistleblower Investigator Blows Whistle on Own Agency

Employee says Whistleblower Program isn’t Protecting Whistleblowers or the Public

For the past five years, Darrell Whitman has worked in the San Francisco office of OSHA’s Region 9, which oversees four states—California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii—and the U.S. territory Guam. Whitman examines complaints from workers who have been fired for speaking up about problems in 22 industries. 

When people from those sectors blow the whistle, OSHA is supposed to pay attention. But Whitman says that’s not happening. 

“OSHA is hostile to whistleblowers,” he said.  >> Read more


Judge Orders USPS to Pay Damages to Whistleblower

The U.S. Postal Service must pay a worker almost $230,000 in damages for retaliating against him when he helped a co-worker with her workplace health concerns.  >> Read full story



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On-demand Webinar Training Resources

View our free on-demand 5S webinar

Learn how to implement or update a 5S system with a minimum of hassle.

Presenter: Jim Bocci, Project Manager, Graphic Products

These free webinars provide valuable information for anyone involved with visual communication, compliance and safety.

Lean Manufacturing processes continue to gain popularity for the positive impact they have on efficiency and productivity. Of all the Lean Manufacturing practices, 5S is the most easily implemented and provides a sound foundation for launching more complex Lean programs in the future. Harness the benefits and put them to work in your own company after this short power course!

Other on-demand webinar topics include pipe marking and floor marking.

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Monday, March 02, 2015

25 Steps to a Safer Office and Photo: Can you spot the Hazards?

Recognizing Hidden Danger: 25 steps to a Safer Office

It's fairly obvious that hazards exist on worksites filled with heavy machinery and equipment, where employees are engaged in strenuous manual labor. 

A job where most of the work tasks are completed while sitting in a chair in a climate-controlled office building would seem less fraught with danger. However, a surprising number of hazards can be present in an office setting.  >> Find out more


How many hazards can you find in this staged photo?






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OSHA's SVEP: Avoiding it, and Getting Out if you're In

OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program

Severe Violator Enforcement Program: infographic
Path into (and out of) the SVEP list: an infographic


Everything you need to know about the SVEP list: what will put you on the list, what happens if you land on it, and how do you get removed from it?  >> Read more


This week's SVEP list addition is A&D Wood Products. OSHA inspected the premises in response to an employee complaint and found workers at risk of amputation, explosion and other life-threatening hazards. With 27 violations, their proposed penalties total $133,540.  >> Find out more


Want to know if or when a company's been inspected by OSHA? (Has YOUR company ever been inspected?) This information is made public via this search.

Business Owner sent to Prison for Worker's Death

Site of the accident - Photo: FCN

Here's proof that it gets much worse than getting added to the SVEP list: former owner of a tree service was sentenced to fifteen years in prison when a teenage boy working for him fell to his death from a 71-foot tree.  >> Read full story

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Keeping Telecommute Workers Safe, Exxon blast, more

Free Webinar Features Q&A with NIOSH Director

NIOSH Director John Howard is scheduled to take questions from stakeholders during a free webinar, sponsored by the National Safety Council, on Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. Eastern time.  >> Find out more

Why Workplace Accidents tend to Happen Late in a Project

In everything from small home-improvement tasks to public infrastructure megaprojects, injuries and deaths tend to happen late in the job, when confidence runs high and tolerance for delays dips especially low. This springs from a phenomenon known as normalization, which often allows people to accept looser standards in the name of greater speed.  >> Find out more

Keeping Telecommute Workers Safe

In all our concerns for keeping our employees safe, we may’ve forgotten the telecommuting crowd. “Out of sight, out of mind” perhaps, but home workers can still file workers’ comp, and the company is still responsible for their safety.

In 2010, an interior decorator who was working from home was injured when she tripped over her dog while walking to her garage to look at fabric samples. The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board denied her claim, but the ruling was reversed by the state’s Court of Appeals, which argued that her injury occurred during the course of her employment.

So if you have telecommutes, find out ways to help keep them safe, including a downloadable telework agreement.

Union Cries Foul after Exxon Refinery blast

A blast at the 750-acre refinery in Torrance, California shook nearby buildings and left at least four people with minor injuries. Most of the damage was contained to the site of what was described as a small fire.  >> Watch this breaking news video

EPA Upholds Penalty for Hazardous Waste Violations

The EAB ordered Chem-Solv to pay $612,339 for hazard waste storage violations.


The Virginia chemical distribution facility appealed the original determination that they had impermissibly operated a hazardous waste storage tank regulated under RCRA, and more. Chem-Solv claimed that the EPA Chief Administrative Law Judge demonstrated bias against the company in the underlying decision. They lost the appeal and were ordered to pay the fines within 30 days.  >> Hear the full story

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