Five ways to stop worring about injuries and start doing something about them.

American businesses spend more than $1 billion a week on workplace injuries, according to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Injury Survey.  A company that can’t get injuries under control may pay for it in:

  • Higher workers comp costs,
  • Increased OSHA recordables, which may threaten their ability to work for customers,
  • Lost productivity, and
  • potentially higher health care costs if injuries manifest themselves in other health problems.

No wonder so many businesses worry about injuries.   But there is a difference between worrying and doing something about it.  The key is to put a managemernt system in place to prevent and reduce the impact of injuries.  Recently we developed a paper that identifies steps companies can take to start managing injuries in an effective, systematic way.  Click here to access the paper:  CORE Health Bulletin – Five Essential Elements of a Safety Management System.

Lifeline Strategies works with CORE Occupational Medicine, a leading provider of workplace medical and testing services.  Want to learn more? Contact us at info@lifelinesrategies.com.

New OSHA E-injury reports due in 45 days, but there is one little problem.

The deadline for companies to comply with OSHA’s new requirement for electronic injury and illness reporting is July first.  That’s when the regulations say many American companies must submit their injury and illness logs electronically.   The change will allow OSHA to post company injury data online where it will be accessible to the public.

Just one problem.   Continue reading “New OSHA E-injury reports due in 45 days, but there is one little problem.”

Tanker Explosion Caught on Video: Workplace Injuries Happen Wherever We Work

As we try to make jobs safer, we focus most of our attention on the “workplace” – the office, the factory, the construction site.   However, we need to remind ourselves that the workplace is really anywhere people work, especially on the road.  That was made graphically clear by news from Louisiana on April 13th when a fuel truck hit a dump truck on I-310 near Luling.  The dump truck driver died and the tanker driver was injured.   It was all caught on a passing driver’s dashcam. Continue reading “Tanker Explosion Caught on Video: Workplace Injuries Happen Wherever We Work”

Why Getting In Workers’ Heads May Be Key to Reducing Injury Impact

When many companies think about managing workplace injuries, they may think about OSHA reporting rules, light duty and avoiding litigation, but the real key to improving outcomes and holding down costs is to get inside the worker’s head, according to a new study.

A white paper looks at the RMS Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study for 2016, which asked companies to rank the biggest obstacles to improving claim outcomes.   The number one obstacle wasn’t lawsuits, return-to-work problems or late reporting of injuries (although those were high on the list).  The top problem was addressing what the study calls “Psychosocial Roadblocks.” Continue reading “Why Getting In Workers’ Heads May Be Key to Reducing Injury Impact”

Coast Guard Warns Offshore Oil & Gas Industry: Follow The Directions!

The Coast Guard just issued a safety alert for the offshore oil and gas industry that highlights the extra level of care that needs to go into offshore facilities. You can’t just walk away from an offshore facility and when things go wrong offshore there is always the potential for them to go wrong in a big, big way.

In this case the incident was minor, the potential consequences were very high and the incident was completely and totally avoidable.    According to the Coast Guard, there was a fire in a portable accommodation unit on an offshore facility.  The crew woke to the sound of the fire alarm, acted quickly and professionally to control the fire and got some help from a nearby vessel.

The cause of the fire was a stove that was installed incorrectly on the portable
unit.  The manufacturer’s instructions indicated  that the clearance between the stove and any combustible construction material needed to be at least six inches.   However, the stove had actually been installed less than an inch from a wall made of  combustible wood and fiber-reinforced plastic and covered with stainless steel sheeting, which conducted the heat.

Normally, the Coast Guard would review specifications for modules on drilling units, but, since this was a fixed platform, there was no review.  it is worth adding that the SEMS rule requires that operators identify hazards and ensure mechanical integrity.

But the bottom line is that offshore work involves some unique safety challenges, but failing to follow the manufacturer’s instructions should not be one of them.   And the Coast Guard shouldn’t have to remind industry on something this basic.

 

Should Workers Comp Cover Injury from a “Bad Trip?”

What a long strange trip its been when it comes to the advent of legalized (at least at the state level) marijuana.   Pot use has come up over and  over in the area of workers compensation.  Should medicinal use be covered?  Is use at the time of an injury a workers comp deal-killer?

But even among all of these new issues, this case stands out as a head-scratcher.   Continue reading “Should Workers Comp Cover Injury from a “Bad Trip?””

Come To Our Presentation On Operating Procedures As A Powerful Offshore Safety Tool

Badly written or poorly followed operating procedures have been linked to more than half of offshore oil and gas accidents.  Auditors continually identify them as weaknesses in SEMS plans.  In the last couple of years, BSEE has fined companies thousands of dollars for bad operating procedures.
We’ll be giving two presentations on how to use procedures as a powerful safety tool in the next month:

Thibodeaux, LA, Tuesday, March 21:  ASSE Bayou Chapter lunch meeting, 11:30 at Nicholls State Student Union in Houma. The charge is $25 to help fund the chapter.  Register by emailing the Bayou Chapter officers at  wren_lemmon1@yahoo.com.

Houston, TX, Thursday, April 14:  ASSE Energy Corridor Section, Spring Creek BBQ, 2100 Katy Fwy, Katy, Texas.

Continue reading “Come To Our Presentation On Operating Procedures As A Powerful Offshore Safety Tool”

HazMat Prep and Response Training

I have had several requests for HazMat and HazCom training recently and have found a lot of confusion in what companies were actually looking for.  In talking to some colleagues, I realized that this is a fairly common problem.  Companies all need to provide OSHA HazCom training and ones that ship transport or receive hazardous materials need to provide DOT HazMat, but they may not know where one stops and the other starts.  It is understandable because they overlap and a lot of classes are hybrids of the two. Continue reading “HazMat Prep and Response Training”