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”
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”
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.
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?””
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 email@example.com.
In the last post, I looked at OSHA’s apparent about face on its policy of publicly calling out companies that violate safety regulations. Under the Obama Administration, OSHA sent out a news release whenever it hit a company with a large fine, but that stopped abruptly when Donald Trump was sworn-in.
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”
Need to “drive” home the point about distracted driving at your next safety meeting? How about this video. A bus driver in Albuquerque trying to navigate the streets and a burrito at the same time. It turns out he can’t do both. Thanks to the always informative and always interesting website Safety News Alert for this:
And while we are at it, here is a Russian bus driver who discovered the dangers of sleep deprivation on the job:
We all have that friend who loves to fish but is a menace to himself and everyone else when he gets anywhere near a boat. Do him a favor – Sit him down and make him watch this video!
It comes from Maritime NZ, which promote safe recreational and commercial boating in New Zealand. The New Zealanders take their fish and their humor seriously! This video makes the point that no one is bullet-proof when they get out on the water in a way that is very funny and very effective. It is the first of three safety videos the agency is releasing. Enjoy it and remember – never get caught with your pants down when you are fishing!
WIN AN EPIC $1,500 PRIZE PACK. What should you always wear when you're on the water? Watch the Big Angry Fish boys in the video and comment to win. The most creative correct answer wins the pack. You can only enter once per video. Entries close: 10 February. T&Cs apply: http://bit.ly/2jiHHoQ
Posted by Safer Boating NZ on Thursday, January 19, 2017