A Three Minute Video to Help Understand the New Signs Standard

This from Brady.

OSHA’s adoption of the ANSI Z535 safety sign standard in 2013 adds new optional design elements to the previous safety sign requirements. The change provides valuable safety information at a glance that can be understood universally. However, there are a lot of new requirements to consider when you outfit your facility with new safety signs.

Check out this video to learn more about the new standard.


Then, when you’re done watching the video check out the other resources available from Brady on the page.

Safety Issues with Wearable Technology?

“Wearable Technology”, defined as portable devices like cell phones, cameras, etc… that are worn rather than carried, are on the verge of becoming mainstream and taking over the market within the next 2-3 years.

Google has been pushing the “Google Glass“, a glass that’s worn and that serves as a GPS, a video recorder, a camera and a lot more. Meanwhile Apple is getting ready to launch the Smart iWatch, a wrist worn device that is rumored to sync up with your iPhone, help access and run home automation and a host of other functions that are only rumors at this point.

What isn’t being discussed yet is how this “in your face” technology is going to affect safety. While more and more states and countries are banning the use of cell phones while driving, some of this technology doesn’t fit in any of the categories presently defined with regards to safely operating a vehicle or even, for that matter, walking down the street.

Ireland is, surprisingly, the first to start to look at banning the use of wearable technology while driving a vehicle.

As wearable technology becomes more and more common, new legislation is going to be needed as well as more studies to determine how it affects the wearer. What happens when the glasses you are wearing while driving suddenly start to flash at you that you’ve got a Facebook status update? How are we going to read the GPS readout in front of us on the lenses of the glasses we’re wearing while trying to navigate traffic? Do these wearable devices fall in the same category as texting while driving? How is law enforcement even going to be able to tell if these devices are in use?

Thoughts? Comments?

Safely Driving When Black Ice is Present

Here in WA where I live we don’t have a whole lot of snow, although snow storms do roll in now and then. We can go all winter without seeing any major snow (We have so far this year!) but one thing we see plenty of in winter is black ice.

Black ice can be extremely dangerous simply because the roads look normal. There is no snow or visible ice and the roads look more or less dry so drivers aren’t a cautious as they would be if winter storm conditions were present.

Black ice isn’t technically black, it’s clear so that the asphalt beneath it shows through and because of that it isn’t visible except for a slight difference in the color of the regular asphalt where no ice is present.

Driving safely when black ice is present requires a little knowledge and a lot of cautious. Here a few tips to help.

1. Know the weather and understand when and where black ice might be present. As soon as temperatures drop to 34 degrees or so black ice might be present. Even when temperatures are climbing over that, black ice might be present because the asphalt retains the cold longer. Condensation from vehicles, fog, dew and light mist can all contribute to making black ice on the roads.

2. Black ice is most often present in shaded areas where the sun hasn’t yet reached to thaw and warm the ground.

3. Because bridges and overpasses have cold wind blowing below, they are usually the first place that water and condensation freezes. Slow down and be extra careful when driving over bridges and overpasses even when temperatures haven’t quite fallen below freezing.

4. Drive defensively and with more caution then usual. Allow maximum distance between your car and other vehicles. Slow down much sooner and much more slowly when approaching stoplights, stop signs or other vehicles, especially when break lights are on.

5. Avoid changing lanes if possible. Any time you go to change lanes or take unnecessary turns you put the vehicle at risk of spin outs.

6. Never use cruise control when icy conditions are present. Cruise control will interpret the loss of traction as decreased speed and accelerate which is precisely what you shouldn’t do.

7. If you hit a patch of black ice and start to skid, remove your foot from the accelerator. Do not stomp on the breaks even though your natural reaction is to do so. Turn the wheels in the direction of the slide (Your tire are designed to grip when they are going straight. Turning the tires in the opposite direction means that you turn the surface that can grab the pavement sideways sideways so that they can no longer grip. Think of it in skiing terms’ when you are sideways to the slope you can slide sideways but when you are going straight down the slope you can turn as needed). When the wheels have traction again slowly steer it where you want the front of the vehicle to go.

8. Finally, always be prepared for the worst. Always keep an emergency kit in the vehicle. Include blankets, flashlights with extra batteries (LED flashlights are great for emergency kit as they will outlast regular flashlights by up to 20 times), a small foldable shovel, ice melt, kitty litter, flares or emergency lights, jumper cables, triangle kits, hand warmers and a fully charged cell phone.

The bottom line is that taking the extra time to leave earlier in order to drive slower when black ice conditions are present is time you’ll wish you had taken if you end up in the ditch or worse because you didn’t.

Don’t Miss the Feb. 1st OSHA Record Keeping Deadline

Feb. 1st is the annual deadline to get your Injury and Illness Record keeping report in to OSHA.

Not sure if you are exempt or not? Not sure what all you need to have records of? What about if you haven’t had any recordable injuries? Do you still need to file?

I could wade through the pages and pages of information to get the answers for you from the OSHA website but fortunately for me and fortunately for you, Epstein Becker and Green have done it for us.

They’ve put together a 7 page checklist that will walk you through the process and get you compliant quickly and easily.

Download it by clicking on the image below:


Long-Haul Truck Drivers Very High Risk

Truck on freeway

According to an article published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine this month long-haul truck drivers are twice the health risk as the rest of the population.

Because long-haul truck drivers typically smoke (69%), sit all day with no exercise and smoke (51%), presumably because they are bored, they end up having several of the high risk factors like hypertension, smoking, elevated cholesterol, obesity, lack of physical activity and less than 6 hours of sleep a night.

Although the online abstract didn’t mention it, I would assume that the obesity and high cholesterol has a lot to do with the bad eating habits and poor quality of the food available at the truck stops and fast food places that dot the highways these truckers rarely wander far from.

The article concludes that “targeted interventions and continued surveillance” is needed. Considering the fact that these drivers are hauling tons of materials at speeds upwards of 80 mph, I would agree. I, for one, don’t want to be in the way when one of them has a heart attack behind the wheel.


EPA Proposed New Standards for Residential Wood Heaters

In an attempt to further clean the air, especially in areas that rely heavily on wood as a fuel for heating homes, the EPA is proposing a new standard for wood stoves, pellet stoves, hydronic heaters, forced air furnaces and masonry heaters.

The proposal was posted on January 3, 2014 on the EPA website. Strangely enough the proposal completely ignores fireplaces.

The plan they are proposing is one that they are seeking to implement over the course of the next 5 years.

To site contains details for each of the following types of heaters:

OSHA’s New Website Focusses on Healthcare Worker Safety

Turns out that one of the most dangerous jobs you can have is one that involves helping others who have been injured or aren’t well. Healthcare workers are twice as likely to get injured on the job as workers in the rest of the work force. Healthcare worker injury rate stands at just under 7%.

OSHA has created a new website designed specifically to help these workers and help in getting that percentage down. Check it out online at https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hospitals/