Sneak Peek at the New Injury and Illness Online Reporting by OSHA

You might have heard about the fact that OSHA’s making some changes to it’s online injury and illness reporting requirements.

Curious what it’s going to entail?

Thanks to our friends at convergence training you can see a screen-by-screen sneak peek.

Go to http://blog.convergencetraining.com/oshas-new-injury-illness-online-reporting-requirement and have a look for yourself. Jeff has done a great job of showing you everything you need. Thanks Jeff Dalto!


OSHA Wants Safety Reports Made Public Online

OSHA announced a new plan today to have companies post their safety reports online for everyone to view rather than transmitting them directly to OSHA. The plan would only apply to companies of 250+ employees as well as certain companies with 20+ employees who are in certain high risk categories and in a more condensed, summary format.

The move, according to OSHA is designed to increase visibility and therefore accountability, especially for repeat offenders who tend to take little to no action to fix problems that cause injuries to employees.

OSHA is also claiming that the move is designed to help with president Obama’s Open Government Initiative (I’m going to resist the temptation to rant here about how that initiative is a joke from a president who’s trying to get insurance companies not to talk about the results of Obamacare).

This would not add any work or change anything about the report, simply the manner in which it is submitted.

What remains to be seen is how the employers of the companies to whom this applies are going to react. It is my guess that most aren’t going to be that happy about having all their information made so public.

What  do you think about this move?


Hazmat Training Games

Want to test your employees to find out if they’ve actually learned anything after you’ve given them HazMat training? Here’s a fun way to do just that.

Head to http://www.hazmatsolutions.net/HazMatTrainingGames/index.htm and let them play the games to find out if they really do know the stuff. Match them against each other and give a prize for the highest score. How about the day off with pay for the one who does best? Let them know ahead of time that they’ll be competing for the prize. I can guarantee they’ll pay closer attention to the training.

HazMat_Games


Online Dangers – Part 4 Fraud and Scams

Unless you just discovered the internet a couple of hours ago, you’re familiar with those emails promising a chunk of money for help transferring funds out of Nigeria or some other country like that. That’s the kind of thing that we’re talking about. Email is just one way that scams and fraud is practiced online.

Email scams:

The email scam we just mentioned is known as the “Nigerian 419 Letter”. The setup is that you provide your bank information supposedly in order to allow someone in Nigeria (or somewhere else, the country can vary) to transfer several million dollars in order to get the money out of the country. In exchange, you’ll get to keep a percentage, usually around 30%. The reality is that they either access all the money in your bank account and clean you out or they keep asking you to put up more money in order to expedite the process and/or pay for bribes, etc…

There are so many variations on these types of emails that it is impossible to try to cover all of them. Ultimately they are all the same. They want you to help them and promise you something in return that you’ll never get. You’ll end up paying money for non-existent merchandise or for a percentage of the transfer and have nothing to show for it except an empty bank account.

A variation on this email scam is the email that tells you you’ve won something (large screen TV, Blue Ray Player, Xbox, etc…) and that all they need from you is a debit card and pin number in order to pay for shipping costs. Again, the only thing you get is money taken out of your bank account.

Another variation is that you won the lottery in Canada, UK, or somewhere else.

There’s a simple rule in dealing with these email scams: If it sounds too good to be true, it is! Ask yourself why someone in Nigeria who has millions of dollars can’t find any other way to get his money out of the country but to contact a perfect stranger and get them to do it for them. Ask yourself how you won a contest or the lottery that you didn’t even enter! You didn’t! They are simply gambling and playing the odds, knowing that there are enough greedy people out there.

The Reshipping Scam:

I actually personally know someone who got involved in one of these. Fortunately, she got out in time.

This scam relies on emails or adds on sites like Craigs List claiming that you can make money from home (work-at-home). What they need is someone to receive goods and transfer funds. The problem is that, unbeknownst to you, the merchandise you’re receiving is merchandise that was purchased using stolen credit cards. You essentially become the front man. By the time the Feds track the stolen items to you, the address that you’re shipping to has no one there. Additionally, the funds that you are transferring are stolen funds and you are essentially laundry the money for them.

Ask yourself why a legitimate traders would use a work-at-home mom to handle his business transactions and shipping if he wasn’t trying to hide something.

From the FBI’s webpage on Internet Fraud, here’s a list on how to protect yourself:

Internet Fraud

Listed below are tips to protect yourself and your family from various forms of Internet fraud.

For information on the most common complaints and scams, see the annual reports of the Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, a partnership of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. Also see its information on Internet Crime Schemes and its Internet Crime Prevention Tips.

Use our online tips form or the IC3 website to report potential cases of cyber fraud.

Tips for Avoiding Internet Auction Fraud:

  • Understand as much as possible about how the auction works, what your obligations are as a buyer, and what the seller’s obligations are before you bid.
  • Find out what actions the website/company takes if a problem occurs and consider insuring the transaction and shipment.
  • Learn as much as possible about the seller, especially if the only information you have is an e-mail address. If it is a business, check the Better Business Bureau where the seller/business is located.
  • Examine the feedback on the seller.
  • Determine what method of payment the seller is asking from the buyer and where he/she is asking to send payment.
  • If possible, purchase items online using your credit card, because you can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.
  • Be cautious when dealing with sellers outside the United States. If a problem occurs with the auction transaction, it could be much more difficult to rectify.
  • Ask the seller about when delivery can be expected and whether the merchandise is covered by a warranty or can be exchanged if there is a problem.
  • Make sure there are no unexpected costs, including whether shipping and handling is included in the auction price.
  • There should be no reason to give out your social security number or driver’s license number to the seller.

Tips for Avoiding Non-Delivery of Merchandise:

  • Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from a reputable source.
  • Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are legitimate.
  • Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.
  • Send an e-mail to the seller to make sure the e-mail address is active, and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.
  • Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area.
  • Check out other websites regarding this person/company.
  • Don’t judge a person or company by their website. Flashy websites can be set up quickly.
  • Be cautious when responding to special investment offers, especially through unsolicited e-mail.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
  • Inquire about returns and warranties.
  • If possible, purchase items online using your credit card, because you can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.
  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card numbers.
  • Consider using an escrow or alternate payment service.

Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Fraud:

  • Don’t give out your credit card number online unless the site is a secure and reputable. Sometimes a tiny icon of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of security to transmit data. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but provides some assurance.
  • Don’t trust a site just because it claims to be secure.
  • Before using the site, check out the security/encryption software it uses.
  • Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from a reputable source.
  • Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are legitimate.
  • Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.
  • Send an e-mail to the seller to make sure the e-mail address is active, and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.
  • Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area.
  • Check out other websites regarding this person/company.
  • Don’t judge a person or company by their website. Flashy websites can be set up quickly.
  • Be cautious when responding to special investment offers, especially through unsolicited e-mail.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
  • If possible, purchase items online using your credit card, because you can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.
  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card number.
  • Keep a list of all your credit cards and account information along with the card issuer’s contact information. If anything looks suspicious or you lose your credit card(s), contact the card issuer immediately.

Tips for Avoiding Investment Fraud:

  • Don’t judge a person or company by their website. Flashy websites can be set up quickly.
  • Don’t invest in anything you are not absolutely sure about. Do your homework on the investment and the company to ensure that they are legitimate.
  • Check out other websites regarding this person/company.
  • Be cautious when responding to special investment offers, especially through unsolicited e-mail.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
  • Inquire about all the terms and conditions.

Tips for Avoiding Business Fraud:

  • Purchase merchandise from reputable dealers or establishments.
  • Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.
  • Send an e-mail to the seller to make sure the e-mail address is active, and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.
  • Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.
  • Purchase merchandise directly from the individual/company that holds the trademark, copyright, or patent.

Tips for Avoiding the Nigerian Letter or “419” Fraud:

  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as Nigerian or foreign government officials asking for your help in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts.
  • Do not believe the promise of large sums of money for your cooperation.
  • Guard your account information carefully.

Online Dangers – Part 3 Cyberbullying

Online Dangers – Part 3 Cyberbullying

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Wikipedia defines cyberbullying asthe use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner.”

There are two types of cyberbullying:

Direct cyberbullying and indirect or proxy cyberbullying

Direct cyberbullying is when the victim is attacked directly by the bully via instant messages while online, texting insults and/or threats. The bully may insult or threaten through a blog or by creating a specific website. The bully may send out incriminating photos of the victim (real or Photoshopped). They may post their photo on sites like “Hot or Not” where people rate how attractive a person is, most often in a very cruel manner. They may also send pornographic images or bombard the victim with text messages so that, if they don’t have unlimited texting, they end up with a large phone bill, often getting their parents angry at them.

Proxy cyberbullying is when the bully gets someone or others to join in the bullying, using them to do much of the type of things involved in direct cyberbullying. A “Proxy Cyberbully will often pose as the victim (“Lisa said I was a slut!”) and enlist others to text or email the person that they are bullying (“Joan told me what you said about her! You’re the one who’s the slut! I saw how you were looking at my boyfriend”). The bully may also “steal” the victims online identity and pose as them online, picking fights with others, insulting them, etc… so that the victim is insulted and abused when they go online, often with no idea who these people who are abusing them are or why they are acting this way.

Too often, the one place where kids should be able to go is the last place they do because of misunderstanding and lack of information concerning cyberbullying. Parents all too often will either dismiss it with an unhelpfull comment like “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!” or they will overreact and end up humiliating the child in front of his or her friends. Unlike offline bullying where a child is safe once he or has been able to physically remove himself from the situation, a victim of cyberbullying continues to be victimized via text messages or whenever he goes online; home is no longer a safe place.

Additionally, a child can rapidly switch from being the victim to being the bully. In an effort to “get even” or “get back at” the bully, a child can easily use the same tactics as those used on him.

For more information on cyberbullies and how to properly deal with or prevent cyberbullying check out http://www.stopcyberbullying.org.


Online Dangers – Part 2 Online Identity Theft

 First of all we need to remember that, although online identity theft is an increasing issue, offline identity theft (meaning identity theft from stolen mail, credit cards, wallets, purses, etc…) still makes up the largest percentage of of the identity theft pie. While we are focusing in this blog post series on “online dangers” we would be remiss if we didn’t remind you, to protect your offline identity as well as your online identity.

Offline (or traditional) identity theft usually happens when the thief acquires your information (social security number, bank account number, etc…) by getting a hold of documents that contain that information. They will often go through mailboxes and steal credit card correspondence, go through your trash or steal a wallet or purse. It is therefore crucial to protect your information from prying eyes.

We’re going to talk, a little later, about how to do that, both online as well as offline.

Online Identity theft, on the other hand, has continued to grow rapidly. It is estimated that some 130 million program (called “Spyware”) are floating through cyberspace whose sole intent is to steal your vital information in order to use it fraudulently.

Others have spent a lot of time, money and energy hacking into business websites, finding ways to steal credit card numbers and other vital user information.

Our website www.nationalsafetyinc.com is continuously detecting orders that look suspicious and we routinely decline orders that match a certain set of criteria that flag them as most likely fraudulent.

Unfortunately, law enforcement does not have the means, the time, the expertise or the money to pursue most cases. Even the FBI only goes after those cases that involve hundreds of thefts and that total in the millions of dollars.

However it is that the thief acquires your information, once you identity has been stolen it can take years and thousands of dollars to clear your name. Some have even had to file bankruptcy and/or lost their home because of charges run up and credit that has been ruined.

How to protect against identity theft

  • Be aware as well that many cell phone and cordless phone calls can be intercepted. Be careful about giving out important information such as your social security number, credit card numbers, pin numbers and/or passwords over the phone.
  • Keep a list of all important information is a separate secure location so that you are rapidly able to contact all pertinent agencies as soon as you suspect that your identity might have been stolen.
  • Make sure that your pin numbers and passwords aren’t easy to figure out. Don’t use your childrens’ names, anniversary dates or birthdays that thieves might be able to figure out fairly easily.
  • Keep an eye on your credit score on a regular basis. There are three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax & TransUnion) and each one is required to provide a free credit rating once every 12 months. An easy and free way to keep an eye on your credit report as well as check for identity theft is to get a free report from the first one now, in four months, get a credit report for the second one and then, in another four months, the third.
  • Never put bills and other important mail which may contain the kind of information thieves are looking for in your mailbox. Post them only in a secure mailbox or directly to the post office.
  • If you are using a secure website (bank, site where you pay your bills, etc…) make sure that you log off completely, especially if the computer you are using is a shared computer.
  • Never logon to a secure website with a wifi connection that is not secure as others might be able to intercept and view confidential information.
  • Make sure that your computer is well protected with firewalls, antivirus and spyware detection software.
  • Make sure that you NEVER email credit card numbers or other confidential information. Email can easily be intercepted. It is not secure.
  • Delete any and all suspicious emails. Never respond to emails requesting your information in exchange for which someone will deposit money into your bank account or emails similar in nature. As incredible as it sounds, people do fall for these scams.
  • Protect the following information and share only with trusted companies and websites:
    • User names, passwords and PIN numbers.
    • Social Security numbers.
    • Phone and utility account numbers.
    • Bank and credit account numbers.
    • Employment and student identification numbers.
    • Driver’s license and passport numbers.
    • Professional license numbers.
    • Insurance identification numbers.
    • College or university financial-aid form information.

Tomorrow “Online or “Cyber” Bullying”


Online Dangers – Part 1 Online Predators

Like it or not, Social media is hear to stay. While you may not have grown up wired to the internet, checking Facebook and Twitter every few minutes, chances are that your children do.

facebook_logo  twitter_logo

Like every tool, social media and an online presence can be beneficial and positive; it can also be dangerous and hazardous.

Understanding and awareness of the dangers are essential in protecting against these dangers both for ourselves as well as for our children.

The next few posts will explore how to identify and protect against online dangers.

1.Online predators

While it is still necessary to teach your children about “Danger Dan”, “Don’t talk to strangers” or people in vans offering candy, in order to protect them, it is not enough by far. The fact of the matter is that the greatest danger your children face is no longer from people prowling around your neighborhood and hanging out by the schoolyard, it’s from online predators.

For the predator the internet allows him to vastly expand his range (for the sake of simplicity we will identify the predator as male but the truth is that the predator may be either male or female. Additionally, a male can easily parade as a woman or a child of any age or sex when operating online). He is no longer limited to a specific neighborhood or geographical area and online predators usually have no compunction about traveling, even long distances, in order to prey on a child he has met online. Also at risk are lonely and isolated adults, who are more willing to take a little risk in order to meet someone.

How they make contact:

Facebook, chat rooms, online forums, email, instant messaging, texting are all ways the predator will use in order to make contact with a child or with a vulnerable adult.

Maybe children (and lonely adults) feel isolated, misunderstood and as if what they care about doesn’t matter to anyone. An online predator will befriend your child, listen to them and make them feel as if they’ve found a kindred spirit; someone who cares for and about them. They will track your child’s activities and learn when they are most likely to find them online. Pretty soon your child starts to feel as if their online friend is the only friend they have. Before long they’ve agreed to meet somewhere without telling anyone.

Preteens are usually the most vulnerable. On the one hand their sexuality is beginning to bud and on the other hand they are beginning to try to find an identity that is independent of their parents. This is something that a predator plays on, making the child feel as if their meeting is romantic and all part of becoming independent and making their own decisions.

Many parents mistakenly assume that they know everywhere that their children are accessing the internet without realizing that they might easily be going online at a friends house. Increasingly children have online access through laptops and/or cell phones.

What to do to protect against online predators:

  • Talk to your children! Explain the dangers. Don’t assume that they are too young to understand. You don’t want to give them nightmares or frighten them to death but you do want them to get an accurate picture of the dangers.
  • Put computers in a public area and make sure that browsing history is accessible (It won’t take them long to figure out how to erase the traces of their online activities).
  • Teach your children that if they are going to go into chat rooms, they need to stay in the public chat area and never enter a private chat, even if they believe they have much in common with one individual.
  • Teach your children never to download images or respond to chat requests, emails or texts from anyone they don’t know.
  • Monitor their list of friends on FaceBook and other social sites that they may frequent.
  • Consider installing parental control software. http://kids.getnetwise.org/tools/ is a great place to compare and contrast software to make your decision.

Tomorrow we’ll have a look at “Online Identity Theft”


Free Online Training from Washington State L & I

If you haven’t checked out the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries website lately, you should head over there right away, especially if you need training or are in charge of making sure others are properly trained in safety.

Here’s what you’ll find there:

These training materials provide basic awareness education on the subjects they cover. Some modules may be used for employee training, but do not meet training requirements specified in L&I rules. For rule-specified training, see the L&I training kits.

NOTE: Some people have reported problems loading these modules in Internet Explorer. Read some troubleshooting tips here, or try running the modules in Mozilla FireFox.

Jump to a Topic:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Accident Investigation

Accident Prevention Program (APP)

Agriculture

Asbestos

Asthma

Biological Hazards

Bloodborne Pathogens

Chemical Hazard Communication

Chemicals

Confined Space

Construction

Critical Incident Stress

Emergency Washing

Employee Medical and Exposure Records

Ergonomics and WMSDs

Fall Protection

Fire Safety

First Aid

Forklift Safety

Janitorial Services

Job Safety Analysis

L&I Organization and Duties

Ladder

Latex

Lockout/Tagout

Logging

Machine Safety

Meat Cutting Safety

Motor Vehicle Safety

Nanotechnology

Noise

Office Safety and Health

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Pregnancy

Process Safety Management

Recordkeeping

Respiratory Protection

Restaurants

Slips, Trips and Falls

Steel Erection

Temperature Extremes

Tractor Safety

Working Alone

Workplace Injuries and Workers Comp

Workplace Violence


Online Crane Operator Hand Signal Training

If you’ve got anyone working around cranes, it is vital that they be trained in hand signals. The crane operator obviously isn’t going to be able to hear a worker when he or she suddenly sees a danger and starts screaming.

Radio communications aren’t always enough either. As anyone who’s worked around cranes will tell you the noise levels often make radio communication problematic. Additionally there are times when radios just aren’t going to available.

Whenever cranes are in operation it is mandatory that a qualified Signal Person be present. The qualified Signal Person must be trained and tested. Only the qualified Signal Person should perform hand signals, except in case of emergency when anyone on the job site can give a “stop” command to the crane operator. At certain times a third party signaler may be necessary to relay the signals to the crane operator if and when the Signal Person is not visible to the crane operator.

The Crane Operator Network has provided complete training for Signal Persons online. A 21 minute training demo is available for free and you can them take the complete course and get your Signal Person licenses for as little as $79.00/person (for 10 or more). You can either do it online or get a video shipped to you. They also have a testing center locator to get your people tested.

This is great training for first time Signal Persons or great refresher course.


Online Safety Videos from L&I

Yesterday my post was about the OSHA video library. They’ve got a pretty exhaustive list as we saw.

That’s great when you’re prepared and have planned far enough ahead but what happens when you need something… now? This time it’s the Department of Labor and Industries that comes to the rescue with a nice selection of online videos that you can download or stream live for your training session or safety meeting.

The WA L&I online video library includes these titles:

Video Title Click on video title to open video information page from the Online Video Library catalog, and for the links to accessing these videos online.

A Life-Changing Moment / Un momento puede cambiar la vida

A Tractor Accident Can Happen to Anyone

Arc Flash Awareness

Arc Flash Awareness / Conciencia del arco voltaico

Back Your Back : Back & Muscle Injury Prevention

Be Safe in the Woods

Chainsaw Leg Protection

Chainsaw Safety

Chipping Out the Drum: Safe Work Practices / La Limpieza del Tambor Mezclador: Procedimientos Para un Trabajo Seguro (Online only)

Chipping Out the Drum: Safe Work Practices (Online video only)

Confined Spaces Deadly Spaces

Danger : Chain Saw / Peligro : Motosierra

Deck Safety Awareness for Purse Seiners

Don’t Fall For It! : Ladder Safety / Seguridad en las escaleras

Dr. Ergo

Ergonomics Awareness : For Employees and Supervisors

Eye Protection

Fall Protection in Construction : Washington State’s Rules

Farm Tractor Safety : More than Plows and PTOs / Seguridad enlos tractores más que arados y foma de fuerza

Forklift Pedestrian Safety

Grain Elevator : Safety Orientation

Heat : A Dangerous Combination / Una combinación peligrosa

Hexavalent Chromium Exposure Control : Best Practices for Welders

Is It Worth Your Life?

Job Safety Analysis

Laying the Groundwork : Concrete Construction Safety

Lost Youth

Nursing Homes : Hazards and Solutions

Oop’s Your Office Is Showing : An Office Safety Program

Preparing Your Office for an Earthquake

Preventing Hantavirus Disease

Protecting Washington Workers / Protegiendo a los trabajadores de Washington

Residential Construction : Framing Safety / Series de la Construcción Residencial – Seguridad en el Armazón

Residential Construction : Roofing Safety / Series de la Construcción Residencial : La Seguridad en el Techado

Residential Construction : Siding Safety

Residential Construction : Siding Safety / Series de la Construcción Residencial – La seguridad en el acabado de tablas de forro, también conocido como “siding”

Residential Construction: Framing Safety

Residential Construction: Roofing Safety

Roofing Contractor Safety

Safe Driving : A State of Mind

Safe Driving Habits : A State of Mind

Safe Driving Habits : A State of Mind

Safety Videos 2005-2010 / Disk One

Safety Videos 2005-2010 / Disk Two

Secure Your Load

Stay in the Cage / Permanezca dentro del Armazón Manténgase a Salvo

Staying A Step Ahead

Taking Charge of Claims for Your Business

Teen Workers : Real Jobs, Real Risks

Teen Workers : Real Jobs, Real Risks / Trabajadores adolescentes : Trabajos reles, riesgos reales

The Hearing Video

The Silent Killer : Dangers of Propane Powered Forklifts

The Silent Killer : The Dangers of Propane Powered Forklifts / El Asesino Silencioso: Los Riesgos de los Montacargas de Propano

Tripod Ladder Safety / Seguridad en las escaleras de huerta

Violence on the Job

Whitewater Boating : Safety & Etiquette

Why Don’t We Do It in Our Sleeves?

Working With Stress

Zero Tolerance : You Don’t Have To Be Buzzed To Be Busted

That should keep you busy for a while!