Updated OSHA Requirements For Skylight Screens
Changes to OSHA's General Industry skylight screen requirements may have forced you out of compliance.
We have covered in great detail the changes and additions to the Working/Walking Surface rules posed by OSHA back in January of 2017. The focus, however, has been on the specific...
How Does OSHA Define a Confined Space?
If your employer is on the ball, you’ve probably seen the signs while walking around your facility: Permit Required Confined Space – Do Not Enter. It sounds dangerous, but what does it mean? I’ve heard many mistaken answers to this question, or at least answers that are only partially...
10 Steps to Building a Safe Work Environment
As with most professions, Safety professionals often come into the field in positions where their responsibility is to focus on the day-to-day tasks of a jobsite or facility. The “big picture” is left to somebody else, whether it’s the Corporate Safety Director or some other member of a...
Safely Using Safety Equipment - Lessons from NYC's Massive Subway Project
New York City is in the middle of a huge underground excavation project that has been going on for years. The pictures from the subterranean world are dramatic and have found their way onto websites and news magazines around the world. As a safety professional, you can't help but notice the...
Do People Really Die from Falling through Skylights? YES!
A man named Joe, who worked for the same roofing company for 25 years, fell through the skylight pictured above to his death. He was not wearing any fall protection and the skylight was not protected in any way. On average 16 people die at work every day in the United States. That number is...
How Can Contractors Working at Height be Kept Safer?
Excuses, excuses, excuses, that's what we hear from residential and commercial contractors that fail to comply with fall protection policies and standards. In 2011, 251 out of 721 worker fatalities were the result of falls. It's time to stop making excuses and start making the...
Railing Toeboard - What is it good for and do I need it in 2020?When is a railing required to have toeboard?
Toeboard is required on safety railing whenever it would be potentially hazardous for an object to fall from the edge. Ask this basic question: "If my hammer were to fall at this edge, could it hit a person or any dangerous machinery?" If "yes",...
Do I Need a Railing for My Roof Hatch?
Would you like to exit this roof hatch without a railing? This picture is not a fake. It was sent to us by one of our customers. It is a shame to say it, but sometimes safety is not the number one priority when a building is being designed and constructed. Whoever installed this roof hatch...
Residential Fall Protection - Its Time to Work Safe
If you are ever driving through a residential construction project take note on how much fall protection equipment is being used. Yes, there might be a safety bucket lying in a corner in case OSHA shows up, but generally it is not used. OSHA recently released a new directive that calls all...
Three Areas where Industrial Safety Gates are Needed
No one would want to get on an airplane and hear: "Well folks, we got about half way through the safety inspection and decided that was good enough. Now sit back and enjoy the flight." You need to provide total protection for the sake of the person who is working at heights. Industrial safety...
Fall Protection Railing for Volunteer Residential Roofing Projects
Organizations like Habitat for Humanity use volunteer labor for residential roofing projects. The use of volunteer labor can be quite a dilema when it comes to keeping everyone on the worksite safe from injury. One of the most dangerous areas of a volunteer work site is a roof. An innovation...
Large Volumes of Physical Assets can Create Large Regulatory Liability [Guest Blogger]
The business of managing physical assets is getting more complex due to major challenges such as competition, customer expectations, regulations, environmental concerns and aging. This is why it is essential that companies have a handle on what assets they possess, exactly where those assets are...
How and Why to Cap Your RebarWhy to Cover your Rebar
As if falling were not enough, falling onto exposed rebar can turn a survivable fall into a disaster. Rebar caps protect the falling worker from impaling themselves on the concrete rebar the is protruding during the construction process.How to Cover Rebar
OSHA Reports are Out – Fall Protection Violations #2
Its that time of year again where OSHA published their annual update on what kinds of fines were levied in the previous year. Kee Safety notes that Fall Protection and Machine Guarding are near the top again.
Unfortunately not a lot changes in these lists from year to year. Fall protection...
Can A Self-Retracting Lifeline Be Extended?
In my experience, it is not uncommon to hear of self-retracting lifelines and/or lanyards daisy-chained together to create a longer connection to an anchor point. This typically happens when someone buys a product that is long enough for an application on one job, but finds that they need...
Changes at OSHA – 3 of 3 – Fine Increases
OSHA is raising its penalties. This is the first time that OSHA raised its penalties since 1990. A serious violation, one that may cause death or serious injury is raised from a maximum of $7,000 to $12,000, with the average fine $3,000-4,000, up from $1,000. The maximum penalty for a willful...
Guidelines for Creating a Work at Height Safety Policy
If your company requires employees to work above 4’ in general industry and above 6’ in construction, it is important that you have a policy in place for working at heights. While 4’ and 6’ might not seem all that high, people have died or suffered serious injuries when falling from these...
At What Height is Fall Protection Required in 2020?
Updated on March 6, 2020
Every safety professional wishes there was a simple answer.
One height across all tasks and industries would certainly make enforcement easier, but this is not the case. OSHA’s intent is to keep people safe across most industries, however, keep in mind that...
Skylights: An Often Overlooked Fall Hazard
If somebody was walking on a construction site and saw a large hole in the roof with nothing around it, they would immediately recognize this as unsafe. It is an opening that leads you to a 30’ drop onto a hard surface.
Skylights are less obvious. Where the drop still exists, there...
The Importance of Safety Training
Thousands of workplace deaths each year can be attributed to one main issue, a lack of proper safety training.
Safety training isn’t just a good idea; OSHA regulations require that your personnel be trained.
Often, it is argued that training is unnecessary because the employee in...
When Is IBC Important In Fall Protection?
IBC is the law and should not be taken lightly.
International Building Code (IBC) is,
"…a model code that provides minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare of the occupants of new and existing buildings and structures."
In short, IBC...
What Cal-OSHA Says About Skylights
Unprotected skylights are dangerous and kill people each year. It’s too often that a worker trips, leans, or backs into one of these glass death traps and plummets to the ground below. For this reason alone, protecting these hazards need to be top of mind. OSHA has listed how to provide a...
Key Differences Between Cal-OSHA and Federal OSHA Guardrails
California OSHA code (Cal-OSHA) is notorious for being more stringent across the board on their requirements than federal OSHA. Their fall protection requirements are no different. Because of this, we here at Simplified are constantly asked, "This says it meets OSHA, but what about Cal-OSHA?"...
Are Chains Allowed for Fall Protection on Ladderways?
With the update to OSHA's Walking/Working Surface rule last year, there has been a focus on the change in requirements for the use of ladder cages versus ladder safety devices. While this is important to understand, there was another significant change that did not receive as much attention....
Hidden Hazards in Your Warehouse
I’ve been in many warehouses. Many, many warehouses. The difference in safety culture from one to the next is as varied as the products they store. Some are in pristine, new buildings with clear lines painted on the floor, have only safe, certified forklift operators driving the...
Who is Liable for Contractors on My Roof
Homeowners and building managers cannot be expected to be experts in every area of maintenance and repairs that need to be performed on their building. Day in and day out, contractors around the country are hired to perform such work because they are the experts. Some of this work takes...
OSHA’s Adding Inequality to Injury – Not What We Thought!
In March, OSHA released a report detailing what they call the true cost of not protecting employees. This report goes far beyond the usual business case for safety that most of us are taught to make when we first assume a title that includes the word “safety”. In that business case, we are...
What are the Differences Between the OSHA 10 and 30 Hour Courses?
When companies determine that their employees need some type of safety training, the knee-jerk reaction is most often, “Well, get them an OSHA 10 or 30.” They say “10 or 30” because they usually don’t know how much training their workers are required to have. The idea that a 10 or 30 hour...
How to Perform a Rooftop Safety Audit
Falls from height are still a primary killer when it comes to workplace fatalities. The rooftop is the most common area where general industry employees are exposed to a fall hazard. Roof access is not necessarily an everyday part of someone's job, so its easier to ignore the safety...
When Can OSHA Shut Down My Jobsite?
You’ve heard all the horror stories, right? OSHA comes into a factory or onto a construction site and things are such a mess they immediately shutdown all operations. Work stops. That steel beam being lifted into place by that crane? Leave it hanging. Those trucks full of concrete? ...
Three Safety Cultures – Which One Are You In?
Whenever I deliver a training class to a group of workers for whom I’m also serving as a safety consultant, I explain that there are two things I need to do: 1) Keep them safe and 2) Keep the company compliant.
In that order.
The trick is that if I’m achieving the first one, I am almost...
When is a Warning Line Sufficient Fall Protection?
Update: This post was updated in June of 2018 to align with the new Walking-Working Surface Rules posted by OSHA.
Warning line has received a bad reputation over time. Should it have? Maybe. Warning line is the equivalent of someone saying, "Hey, don’t go over there!" When I think of...
Should Safety Be Incentivized?
This is the million dollar question, isn’t it? For years, many of us in the industry watched as prizes were awarded to workers based on safety performance. Sometimes this meant a group lunch or a t-shirt, but other times it was something as big as a truck or boat being given away. This...
How to CORRECTLY Calculate Fall Clearance
Whether it’s working from a boom lift, walking steel, standing on an elevated order picker, or any of the myriad other reasons you may be working at heights, “tying off” will do you no good if your personal fall arrest system allows you to strike the lower level before it stops your fall. ...
Changes at OSHA – 1 of 3 – SVE Program
OSHA is implementing a new Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) and increasing civil penalty amounts in an effort to address urgent safety and health problems. The SVEP allows OSHA to focus enforcement on recalcitrant employers who endanger workers with indifference to their safety...
New and Improved Skylight Screen Information
Skylight screens are a form of fall protection that prevents workers on the roof top from falling into skylights. We have updated the skylight screens section of our web site. We invite you to see the update pictures, features and technical information that is available about our skylight...
The Basics of Confined SpaceWhat is a Confined Space
A confined space is any space that:Has limited or restricted means of entry or exit Is large enough for a person to enter to perform tasks Is not designed or configured for continuous occupancy Is any covered space of depth more than 4 feet
Overview of OSHA Standards, Citations, & Penalties
Reading OSHA Standards:Code of Federal Regulations is divided into 50 titles Title 29 is designated for the Department of Labor All OSHA regulations are found within Title 29 Published annually on July 1 Breakdown of OSHA standards are as follows: ...
Hazard Containment Products Now Available
There is a new edition to the Simplified Safety family of products: Hazard Containment. Hazard containment products from Eagle Manufacturing Company are aimed at helping employers comply with OSHA and other environmental and work safety codes. We carry the entire Eagle Manufacturing product...
High Visibility Clothing Requirements
On November 24, 2008, a new federal regulation, 23CFR634, went into effect...
Hatch Safety: Are You Keeping Your Employees Safe?
Falconer, 43, was employed as a seaman on a tugboat operated by maritime company. While carrying an engine part, he fell 14 feet through an open hatch in the engine room causing bodily injury. Falconer sued the maritime company alleging the company was negligent in failing to have safety...
New Canadian Law: Wear Your PPE or Pay $50
Don't wear your personal protective equipment (PPE) and receive a $50 non-compliance ticket from the Yukon Health and Safety Board. Starting July 1, not only will the worker receive a ticket, but also the Supervisor and Employer. Supervisor's ticket is $250 and the employer's is $500.
Are you Aware of the Dangers of Suspension Trauma?
The Daily Commercial News and Construction Record has written a great article that addresses fall arrest suspension trauma.
The article deals with several issues concerning suspension trauma. It starts by describing the basic problem with fall arrest, and that is that stopping the fall is only...
The Basics of Respirators
Inhalation is the most common route of exposure for employees to most toxic materials in the workplace. Selecting and utilizing the appropriate respirator can be quite confusing and difficult. Employers and employees must get a firm understanding of respirator basic knowledge in order to...
OSHA Cracking Down on Fraudulent Trainers
I know you mother probably taught you not to lie, but I guess some people just can resist it in order to make a buck.How do you know your OSHA trainer is qualified to teach the 10-hour OHSA course?
Thats the question that OSHA wants you to start asking. Not only will they want you to ask...
Vehicle Safety and PPE on the Go
Point of Beginning, a publication for surveyors, has released an article about vehicle safety. While the article has a section about PPE in a vehicle for a surveyor, the overall thrust of the article is general. Having PPE available in vehicles is important for employees who are on the go. The...
OSHA Offers FREE On Site Consultations (really?)
In an effort to promote work site safety, OHSA is now offering a FREE consultation program. The program is reported to be totally separate from the enforcement side of OSHA. The reports issued are confidential and aimed at helping employers to meet compliance and keep their workers safe. ...
Stand Down Teaches 19k Workers About Fall Protection
A couple of days ago we reported that the State of Tennessee was promoting a safety stand down to teach workers across the state about the importance of fall protection. The event appears too have been very successful. 900 different job sites, representing 120 different companies and 19,000...
PPE Workers Checklist for General Industrial Safety
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) checklists are used by safety managers and supervisors to help identify tasks that require PPE, ensure staff are using the right equipment and reduce accidents or fatalities. Controlling a hazard at its source is the best way to protect employees. Starting...
Basic Overview of Walking and Working Surfaces
The following information is a general overview of major points and standards developed from OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart D. Walking and Working Surfaces for General Industry.
Key Terms:Floor Hole: opening less than 12 inches but more than 1 inchFloor Opening: an...
When does my walkway need an ADA compliant handrail?
There are three major areas of concern for ADA compliance. Once you have established that your facility needs to be ADA compliant, the three areas of concern are stairs, ramps, and landings/raised walkways.Stairs: All stairs that fall under ADA compliance must have compliant handrail...
Hazardous Material Storage
Look around your workplace--how do you store your chemicals? During inspections, I notice that usually chemicals are stored (or not stored) randomly all over the workplace. They are left where they were last used or shoved back onto shelves with newer chemicals placed in front of them. ...
Overview of Hand & Foot Personal Protection Equipment
Hand Protection PPE
The selection of appropriate hand PPE is a very important part of workplace safety. Safety gloves are offered in many different types of protective materials. Always complete a hazard analysis before selecting PPE.Always use machine guards and do not bypass safety...
Does Your Gas Can Meet OSHA Requirements?Does your gas can meet OSHA requirements? Can you legally use that red plastic $5.00 gas can on your jobsite?
The short answer, probably not.
OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1926.152(a)(1) states "Only approved containers and portable tanks shall be used for storage and handling of...
Fall Arrest Systems and TrainingFall Arrest Systems
Fall arrest is the kind of fall protection which includes the safe stopping of a person already falling. It is one of many forms of fall protection, which also include fall guarding and fall
OSHA specifies under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations that people...
Confined spaces can be deadly: On average 2 workers won’t come home this week
(FOREST GROVE, Ore.) Fire officials say one person died and a second was successfully rescued today, after they became trapped in the confined space of an underground manhole on NW Timmerman Road west of Forest Grove. This recent headline could have been taken from just about any newspaper...
Falls At Work, Why Do They Happen?
Simplified Safety welcomes William Haflidson from AiX Safety as a new guest blogger. William is located in Ontario, Canada and will be providing insights to health and safety issues in Canada.
Unfortunately fall injuries happen in almost all types of workplaces. Falls are the number two...
7 Ways to Save on Safety (Part 3 of 3)
This is a continuation of 7 Ways to Save on Safety. Read Part 1. Read Part 2.5. Open yourself to new ideas.
The safety industry has evolved tremendously in the past few years. New technology is constantly being introduced to both the construction industry and general industry. Whether it...
Build Cost Effective ADA Handrails Efficiently without Welding
The Kee Access series of fittings allows contractors, building managers and DIY business owners to now enter a realm previously accessible only to fabricators. This series of fittings allows the builder to create a smooth rail ADA compliant handrail with some basic pipe cutting and hand...
What's the difference between different types of fall protection?
Back when we launched the site we put together a comprehensive chart on the differences between different types of fall protection. Those difference are classically labeled as fall prevention (or passive fall protection), fall restraint, and fall arrest (or active fall protection). Click on...
Understanding the Hazardous Materials Communication Program
OSHA estimates that 32 million employees are exposed to hazardous chemicals each year in the United States. Understanding OSHA's Hazard Communication (HazCom) program can be quite confusing at times. OSHA 29 CRF Part 1910 Subpart Z states that the purpose of the program is to ensure that the...
Flammable Liquids in Workplace Safety
When it comes to running a safety program, most safety managers do not give a lot of thought to the potential dangers associated with storing and handling flammable liquids. Whether these liquids are fuels, alcohols, or degreasers, they have the potential to start fires, explode, or cause...
Are we Getting Safer? According to OSHA we’re NOT!
I saw via Injury Boards web site that OSHA has released their Top 10 Safety Violations for 2009 (and were not even done with 2009 yet!) The findings are not positive in that the number of top 10 violations has increased almost 30 percent over the same time period in 2008.
Of particular note...
Use & Application of Warning Lines
The following safety huddle lists the OSHA standards that regulate and define the specifications for warning line systems in construction fall protection. Refer to 29 CFR 1926.502(f) for more details. Remember, workplace safety is everyeverybody's responsibility.
Definition: warning line...
Learn about Fall Protection Positioning Devices
The following safety huddle represents OSHA's safety compliance regulations for positioning device systems 1926.502(e). Always consult directly with OSHA compliance standards and manufacturer recommendations before utilizing these systems. Positioning device systems are not fall arrest...
Temporary Safety Staffing – A Primer – Part 2 of 2Your company may not currently have a complete safety program, and your in-house safety personnel either dont have the time or the right expertise to develop and implement one.
Its not uncommon for a companys safety program to be less thorough than it should be. Or in many cases, business...
Temporary Safety Staffing – A Primer – Part 1 of 2Your firm may need a safety professional either full- or part-time, but you dont want to commit the time and expense and risk of hiring additional staff.
At various times, your company may find itself with a spike in workload or faced with a special project that your existing staff isnt...
What is an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)?Elements of an Emergency Action Plan
An emergency action plan (EAP) should address emergencies that the employer may reasonably expect in the workplace. Some examples include: fires; hazardous materials spills; tornadoes; floods; and others. The following text identifies the main components...
When does my facility need to be ADA compliant?
According to the ADA Code of Federal Regulations, anytime your facility falls under one of two categories, ADA compliance is necessary. These categories are as follows:Places of public accommodation (business that have store fronts, restaurants, hotels, public buildings and...