Regulatory Roundup, Feb. 9

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

New fact sheet offers guidance for safety inspections

OSHA released a new fact sheet, Safety Walk-Arounds for Managers, which provides tips for identifying hazards in the workplace and communicating them to workers. Guidance is provided for pre-inspection activities, items to check during inspections and post-inspection activities…MORE

Free silica presentation available March 5-9

The Region VI OSHA office and education centers are offering a free presentation on silica awareness, which will cover compliance information for general and construction industries as well as best practices. The webinar is free and will be available, after registering, March 5-9…MORE

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Up to 21 percent of asthma-related deaths could be due to workplace exposures

The CDC recently released a report on asthma-related deaths, showing that occupational exposures may have contributed to between 11 and 21 percent of them. Research also showed that the construction industry had the most asthma-related deaths for men, while health care had the highest number for women. Cleaners, disinfectants, antibiotics, natural rubber latex, welding fumes and isocyanates (found in paint) all pose asthma risks to these groups…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

Safe + Sound Campaign offers first live, free webinar

The Center for Construction Research and Training is hosting a free webinar on Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. CST. The webinar, Tools for a Successful Workplace Safety & Health Program, will cover new Foundations for Safety Leadership resources…MORE

Fidgeting at your desk may burn more calories than standing

A recent study showed that “modest” movement, such as moving your feet back and forth, elevated metabolic rates 17 percent more than sitting at a desk and 7 percent more than using a standing workstation. This means that even those who don’t use standing workstations can counteract a sedentary lifestyle…MORE

Policyholder Safety Alert – Workplace injury trends from 2017

As a service to our policyholders, Texas Mutual shares common workplace injuries reported to our claims department. Our goal is to help you ensure these types of incidents do not happen in your workplace. Find tips and suggested e-Learning training courses below to help keep your employees safe on the job. If you have questions, we encourage you to call our safety services support center at 844-WORKSAFE (967-5723) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST.

TexasMutualIncidentsbyIndustry2017At the beginning of each year, we often find ourselves looking back on the previous 12 months for highlights, lessons learned and challenges overcome. This is a pivotal moment in the safety industry. It’s the perfect opportunity to identify incident and near-miss trends, improve on hazard abatement, communicate with employees and grow as a team.

To kick off 2018, we took a deeper look at the serious claims reported to Texas Mutual in 2017. The chart above shows the industries that experienced the most serious injuries. Keep reading to find helpful information and tips on three significant trends from 2017.

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRYVintage image of sweating construction worker with support planks
Most serious claims occurred in the construction industry.

The construction industry reported almost 30 percent of the more serious claims. There were three predominant causes of injury in construction:

  • Slips, trips and falls. Many of these incidents can be prevented by proper housekeeping practices, correct use of fall protection and ladder safety. Remember to always inspect all equipment prior to use and report any damage to your supervisor immediately.
  • Struck-bys. When working around elevated or stacked materials, always make sure that they are secured. Wear proper personal protective equipment, such as a hard hat and safety glasses to prevent injury from flying objects.
  • Motor vehicle accidents. Remember to buckle up, adjust your driving to current road conditions and utilize the free online defensive driving course through Texas Mutual.

e-Learning course suggestions:
Driving Large Vehicles and Heavy Machinery
Personal Protective Equipment
Floor and Walkway Safety and Auditing

Most claims in the oil and gas field services involved a motor vehicle accident.
We found that more than 50 percent of the serious claims in oil and gas field services were a result of a motor vehicle accident. In most cases, the driver lost control of the vehicle. The highest number of claims in this industry occurred between 7-8 a.m.

  • Losing control. Obey the speed limit and slow down according to traffic, road and visibility conditions. If you are a passenger, don’t be afraid to be a back seat driver. Speak up if the driver is on a cell phone, speeding, tailgating or if you feel unsafe in any way.
  • Driver fatigue. It’s important to make sure that you get enough rest, eat a well-balanced meal and show up to work alert and focused. Find a good routine that allows you to ward off signs of fatigue.

e-Learning course suggestions:
Alert Driving
Heavy Equipment Safety

Engineers and construction workers on construction siteNEW EMPLOYEES
New employees were more likely to get seriously injured.
Workers employed less than six months were involved in more than 30 percent of the serious incidents in 2017. Employers need to establish a thorough new employee orientation and employees should never complete tasks they do not feel entirely comfortable with.

The highest number of these claims involved two types of injury causes:

  • Motor vehicle incidents. Make sure that your company has a thorough motor vehicle safety program in place. This should involve pulling motor vehicle reports, pre-trip vehicle inspections and thorough driver training.
  • Slips, trips and falls. Don’t underestimate the value of safety in seemingly simple tasks such as climbing a ladder. First and foremost, use the proper ladder for the task. Ensure the ladder is on stable ground and maintain three points of contact while you climb (one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot).

e-Learning course suggestions:
Driving Preparation
Safety and Health – Basic
Ladder Safety

Texas Mutual policyholders have access to thousands of free training materials in our multimedia safety resource center, including 200 free e-Learning online training courses. With e-Learning, you can assign safety courses to your employees to help train them and keep them safe.

To access the free materials, log in to your account and select safety resources. If you need helping accessing the safety resource center or you have a workplace safety question, call us toll-free at 844-WORKSAFE (967-5723).

Click here to download a PDF version of the 2017 Trends Safety Alert.

Regulatory Roundup, February 2

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.             

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA sued over injury records

Public Citizen has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Labor and OSHA, alleging that the agencies violated the electronic recordkeeping rule by denying requests for data. In November, OSHA denied requests for injury and illness data, saying that the information would disclose techniques and procedures of the agency. However, Public Citizen argues that it is requesting the same information that should be publicly disclosed under OSHA’s final rule…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

STEPS reveals new website

The National Service, Transmission, Exploration & Production Safety (STEPS) Network recently announced its new website. The site houses information on the alliance with OSHA and NIOSH, current initiatives, pertinent events and a variety of resources…MORE

NIOSH, OSHA and the BLS receive call to action from National Academies

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report requesting collaboration between OSHA, NIOSH and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to enhance occupational safety and health surveillance programs. The report lists 17 specific recommendations centered around using advanced analytical technology to strengthen surveillance efforts and organize education and training…MORE

Changing the focus for eye safety

NIOSH estimates that 2,000 eye injuries occur daily in the workforce. Occupational Health and Safety magazine posted an article arguing that employers need to start taking a holistic view of eye safety that accounts for safety equipment manufacturers, innovations and workers in order to succeed in reducing these injuries. A list of attributes is provided for use when finding a safety glasses manufacturer, as well as a list of tips for educating the workforce…MORE

Recommendations issued for fatigue management in EMS workers

Research shows that over half of EMS workers report mental and physical fatigue at work in addition to poor sleep quality and recovery between shifts. The University of Pittsburg Medical Center and the National Association of State EMS Officials released five guidelines for fatigue risk management for EMS workers…MORE

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