What happens after the fall?

You’ve got a bunch of workers in harnesses to protect them in the case of a fall because they are working from heights. That’s great! Got trained them on how to don the harness, where to tie off and all the other basics of your fall protection program. Awesome! You’re familiar with the ABCs of fall protection (Anchor, Body harness, Connector) and you’ve got a written fall protection program. All very good!

Stop a minute though and consider what happens when one of those workers does take a fall. The emergency isn’t over just because everything functioned as it should and the worker is alive and well and didn’t hit the ground. In fact, some would argue, the emergency has just begun.

Probably the single biggest flaw we consistently find in a companies’ fall protection program is the lack of an emergency rescue plan. When asked “What now?” about what will happen after the fall takes place, the most common answer we here is “We’ll call 911!”. Problem is that’s not an acceptable emergency rescue plan, firstly because OSHA mandates that you have more to it than that, and secondly because 911 personnel simply isn’t trained to do emergency fall protection rescue and finally, because every second after the fall counts.

If you don’t have an emergency rescue plan in place, here’s a great place to start:


This 41 minute video will walk you through every aspect of the emergency rescue plan that you need to have in place. (click on the image above or go to http://www.slideshare.net/kmesser/developing-and-maintaining-fall-protection-rescue-plans

CSB 2012 – 2016 Strategic Plan

From the CSB website:

US Chemical Safety Board Releases 2012 2016 Strategic Plan

July 12, 2012

Washington, DC, July 12, 2012 The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) today released its 2012 2016 strategic plan. The plan is an update of the 2007 2012 CSB Strategic Plan, and includes the CSBs strategic goals, strategic objectives, and associated measures for managing and evaluating agency operations.

CSB Chairperson Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso said, The CSBs strategic plan contains 13 strategic objectives that enable the agency to work towards its mission of accident prevention. The plan builds on the agencys legislative mandate and includes an updated mission and vision statement.

The strategic plan was approved unanimously by CSB board members and is now posted on the CSBs website and available at http://www.csb.gov.

The CSBs updated strategic plan was developed by interviewing stakeholders in industry, academia, and other government agencies as well as considering public comment, which was submitted to the board for review. As a result the final version of the plan includes a CSB Most Wanted Program that will allow the CSB to focus on outreach initiatives surround key CSB recommendations. In addition, there are measurable objections and the final plan focuses on three main goals. Goal 1:Conduct incident investigations and safety studies concerning releases of hazardous chemical substances. Goal 2: Improve safety and environ- mental protection by ensuring that CSB recommendations are implemented and by broadly disseminating CSB findings through advocacy and outreach. Goal 3: Preserve the public trust by maintaining and improving organizational excellence.

Goal 1 drives the core mission of the agency by ensuring that the CSB selects and completes incident investigations that have the potential to generate recommendations with high preventive impact. It also focuses the agency on developing and completing safety studies with an emphasis on emerging safety issues. Goal 2 focuses on implementing our recommendations and their associated advocacy and outreach. The highly successful CSB safety videos are an important component of the agency information dissemination efforts. Goal 3, on organizational excellence, serves to bind all agency processes using best practice project management. This includes all of the agencys high-performing administration and services functions.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, http://www.csb.gov.

For more information, contact Communications Manager Hillary Cohen at 202.446.8094 or via email at Hillary.Cohen@csb.gov.

Stormwater Minute: 10 Steps to Implementing A Stormwater Program

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10 Steps to Implementing and Maintaining an Environmental Compliance Stormwater Program
  1. Know the rules & regulations for your City, County, State and Federal. Be aware that different soil types can affect stormwater in different ways, and there are different limitations on what is an acceptable concentration of sediment, heavy metals or other contaminants for different bodies of water. Many State rules and limitations are stricter than the Federal regulations.
  2. Review your site and document findings, both good and bad so you can correct and prevent any potential issues. Walk your site to create and manage an inspection checklist for review or potential submission to State or Federal agencies. Evaluate neighboring sites where they are adjacent to yours, to determine if they will add to issues on your site from stormwater runoff or other contamination means.
  3. Create your SWPPP (Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan) and submit your NOI (Notice of Intent) to the permitting authorities. Manage your SWPPP, updating any changes, issues, and tracking inspection reports. You should also have included all emergency response documents such as what is the procedure if there is a spill or what to do in the case of a BMP failing, etc.
  4. Meet with your team and anyone onsite to make they are aware of the SWPPP BMPs and set your expectations. Anyone onsite could see issues and report them to reduce potential larger leaks or contamination. Discuss non-compliance and ramifications, so everyone is aware and can respond accordingly. Simplify as much as possible to make it easy for everyone to comply and assist with compliance.
  5. Review your procedures and BMPs to see if there is a better or easier way to be in compliance. Look for simpler or more effective BMPs and be sure to update your SWPPP upon implementation to keep your records up to date.
  6. Be sure to follow any sampling of stormwater runoff as required by your County, State or Federal agencies.
  7. Maintain good housekeeping and preventative measures. Make sure you have sufficient secondary containment in case of a leak, spill kits in case of a spill and maintain BMPs, as well as clean up any debris to prevent potential issues.
  8. Keep all of your potential contaminants on your own site and minimize any runoff to any adjacent properties or storm drains. In the case of a construction site, be sure to stabilize the site as you go as it will be easier to maintain.
  9. Maintain records and take pictures if possible to show issues and resolutions. It is better to have too much documentation rather than not enough in case of an audit or incident.
  10. If you are on a construction site and have finished the job, file your NOT (Notice of Termination), tidy up and leave the site being sure to remove all temporary BMPs and debris that needs to be disposed of. If not, be sure to constantly maintain your SWPPP and file any annual or quarterly reports necessary for compliance.

That is this month’s Stormwater Minute!

Brad Kemp – CISEC, is a Regional Sales Manager for UltraTech International, Inc. and the in-house Stormwater Management and Erosion Control expert (aka The Stormwater Guy). For more information on UltraTech’s expansive line of compliance products please visit www.StormwaterProducts.com brad


Accident Prevention Plan Review Checklist

Monday and Tuesday this week, we looked at the goals and objectives of an effective Accident Prevention Plan.

Today, thanks to the Texas Department of Insurance, I want to give you a link to download an Accident Prevention Plan Review Checklist.

This checklist (available in PDF format here), covers:

  • The Worksite in general
  • The Management Component
  • The Record Keeping Component
  • The Analysis Component
  • The Health & Safety Training Component
  • The Audit/Inspection Component
  • The Accident Investigation Component
  • The Periodic Review and Revision Component
  • The Corrective Actions

If you are trying to put together a new Accident Prevention Plan, this is a great place to start.

If you already have one in place, this is a great download to use in addition to the existing Accident Prevention Plan.

The Goals and Objectives of an effective Accident Prevention Plan (Part 1)

You know what they say about an ounce of prevention… Nowhere does this apply more than in the workplace.

Today I’m going to list the goals and tomorrow, the objectives

Goals of an effective Accident Prevention Plan

  • Every employee is personally involved
  • Every hazard in the work place is eliminated
  • The awareness regarding the safe operation of all facilities is increased
  • All work-related injuries, property damages and loses associated with them are eliminated
  • Morale is the highest it can be because the employees know that they are working in a safe environment
  • All injury related loses (time, materials, facilities, etc…) are eliminated

Remember, this is the goal. In the best of all possible worlds, it is never possible to completely attain these goals, but they MUST be the goal. A goal that strives for less than 100% perfection is not an acceptable goal.

Tomorrow we will look at the objectives of an effective Accident Prevention Plan

The Goals and Objectives of an effective Accident Prevention Plan (Part 2)

Yesterday we looked at the goals of an effective accident prevention plan and noted that the goal has to be 100% perfection.

Today we are going to look at the objectives.

The Objectives of an effective Accident Prevention Plan

  • Policies, changes and implementation are for everyone regardless of level of management or personnel.
  • Hazards are to be identified, corrected and controlled
  • Surveys and inspections are to be an integral part of the routine
  • Resources and personnel will be allocated as necessary
  • Orientation and training are established, assessed and evaluated regularly
  • A clear and effective chain or line of communication between various departments and levels
  • Accurate and complete documentation and record keeping
  • Clear identification of assigned responsibilities and roles, as well as accountability

Do you have a Family Emergency Plan?

No one who was alive on September 11, 2001 will ever forget it. We watched in horror as our country was attacked by terrorists. We watched a cowardly act of terrorism that targeted innocent men, women and children.

The Tsunami in Thailand a few years later took even more innocent lives.

New Orleans took even more.

The question remains, however… have we learned anything from it? If 9/11, the Tsunami and the floods taught us anything, it’s that emergency planning isn’t something that only the government should do. Disaster can strike anywhere at any time and while we may all hope and pray that our families will stay safe, there are no guarantees.

While we may not always be able to stop disaster from striking, however, we can be prepared.

The American Association of Physician Specialists (AAPS) wants to help make that possible. Available on their website are a set of Tips on Preparing a Family Emergency Plan.

With the anniversary of 9/11 coming up tomorrow, this might be a great time to take the time to prepare and to be ready if disaster should strike you, your loved ones or even your workplace.