SAFETY BULLETIN

Document Sample
SAFETY BULLETIN Powered By Docstoc
					                          SAFETY BULLETIN                                                                  Summer 2009


                            OSHA PREPARES TO ATTACK COMBUSTIBLE DUST
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is beginning rulemaking on the regulation of combus-
tible dust.
“During the years, combustible dust explosions have caused many deaths and devastating injuries that could have been
prevented,” says U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “OSHA is reinvigorating the regulatory process to ensure workers
receive the protection they need while also ensuring that employers have the tools needed to make their workplaces
safer.”
Combustible dusts are solids finely ground into fine particles, fibers, chips, chunks or flakes that can cause a fire or
explosion when suspended in air under certain conditions. Types of dusts include metal (aluminum and magnesium),
wood, and plastic among others.
OSHA will issue an “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” and convene related stakeholder meetings to evaluate
possible regulatory methods, and request data and comments on issues related to combustible dust such as hazard
recognition, assessment, communication, defining combustible dust and other concerns.
Our national office, NLBMDA will actively participate in the rulemaking process representing the interest of LBM dealers
and we will keep you updated as to how this new ruling will affect our industry.


                              CHECK YOUR SAFETY IQ for WORKING IN HEAT
The hot, hazy and humid days of summer are here. As the summer heat rises, millions of Ameri-
cans sweat their way through the work week.
Extreme heat can lead to on-the-job accidents. It can cause heat cramps, prickly heat and heat
exhaustion. In rare cases, heat can even be deadly. Heat stroke occurs when the body’s regula-
tory system fails and body temperature rises too high and can cause brain damage or death.
Working in hot environments can promote accidents such as burns and mishaps caused by slippery, sweaty palms or
fogged safety glasses. Accidents also occur because workers are experiencing physical and mental fatigue from heat
stress.
To protect you and your employees when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common
sense. Here are some tips:
        Drink Plenty of Fluids… During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of
        your activity level. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each
        hour. Do not drink fluids with large amounts of sugar as the sugar causes you to lose more body fluid.
        Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
        Replace Salt and Minerals… Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are
        necessary for your body and must be replaced. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you
        lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports
        beverage or taking salt tablets.
        Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen… Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
        Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. Wear a wide-brimmed
        hat along with sunglasses and don’t forget the sunscreen.
        Use a buddy system…When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have
        someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose
        consciousness.

By taking a few simple precautions to keep your employees safe this summer, heat illness can be prevented.
                              SUMMER SAFETY IS ABOUT MORE THAN HEAT
In addition to summer heat, the sun poses safety risks for employees. It is important for them to protect their skin as skin
cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. When detected early, more than 95% of skin cancer can
                  be cured. Malignant melanoma, the most rapidly increasing form of cancer, causes more than 75% of
                  all deaths from skin cancer. Diagnosed early it can be cured.
                 Sunscreen is the best protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Sunscreen is a lotion made with unique
                 chemicals to absorb UV light. When applied to the skin, the lotion’s molecules form an invisible layer on
                 the skin that protects it from penetrating UV rays.
All sunscreens protect from the UVB rays (affect the top layers of the skin and are responsible for Burning). Make sure
your employees get a “broad spectrum” sunscreen as it protects from the UVA rays that are responsible for Aging as well
as the UVB rays. The SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor.” Make sure when employees are working outside they
always wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and one that is waterproof/sweat proof.


                            BWC NEWS – PROGRAM CHANGES TAKE EFFECT
The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has made final decisions on several programs effective July 1.

Drug Free Workplace Program (DFWP/DF-EZ)
The Drug-Free Workplace program (DFWP) continues, however, group-rated employers will not be permitted to stack
DFWP discounts. In other words, if you receive a group rating discount, you may not also receive a discount for your
DFWP program.
Other employers including those taking advantage of the deductible or the “capped premium” programs may receive
discounts through the DFWP/DF-EZ.

  Drug Free Workplace Program application deadline is June 30 for employers applying for the July 1, 2009 program
  year. Call Scott or Dee at Working Partners (614-337-8200 or 877-354-3397) to obtain the Form U-140 to apply for
  the discount. They will also be able to assist you in completing the form.

Will the Safety Grant still be available?
Group rated employers will be eligible for the Safety Grant monies – if they are operating at level 1, 2 or 3. Non-group
rated employers can also qualify to receive the funds. All companies receiving the Safety Grant will be required to com-
plete an annual self-assessment report (u-142).

What other BWC Programs are affected?
The Premium Discount Program Plus (PDP+) is being eliminated. The 10-Step Business (Safety) Plan will
become the BWC’s recommended safety strategy for employers.
Safety Council discounts are no longer available to group-rated employers but are available to employers in
individual and group retrospective programs.

What Should I Do?
  Already in DFWP/DF-EZ and in a group rating program: Continue doing the DFWP program requirements
  (including the annual self-assessment report, u-142). This way you keep qualified for Safety Grant dollars and you
  maintain the 5-year eligibility in case you are not in a group next year and need this discount.
  There is one thing that will never change… a Drug-Free Workplace program should be an essential component of
  any company’s safety program. Having a drug-free program in place helps employee productivity, decreases acci-
  dents, reduces employee absenteeism and discourages substance abusers from looking for employment at your firm.
  Need help in developing a drug free workplace policy? OCSA recommends Working Partners® to
  help you develop a policy that is just right for your company. Call Jim Diehm at 866/354-3397 for more
  information and begin a workplace free of health, safety and productivity hazards caused by employees’
  abuse of alcohol and drugs or call Charlotte at OCSA (800/282-4632) for further information.


                                                                               Ohio Construction Suppliers Association
                                                                               41 Croswell Road ~ Columbus, Ohio 43214
                                                                                      PH: 614/267-7817 or 800/282-4632
                                                                                                      Fax: 614/267-6448

				
DOCUMENT INFO