When accidents, injuries and near misses occur it can be stressful, frustrating, scary, it can put everybody on edge, and often, the conducting of an incident investigation is the last thing on everyone’s mind.

Many employers do not have established accident investigation policies or procedures and often those who do have policies and procedures in place, rarely follow through in consistently conducting thorough investigations.

This can be caused by expectations that are not set, clearly defined, or understood.

You may have heard someone say, “I thought somebody else was going to do it”. Other times it may be looked at as an inconvenience or not serious enough of an incident to invest time into. “Why do I have to do a near miss report? Nobody got hurt.”, or “It was a couple of stitches, no big deal”. Don’t let these excuses or others derail your safety program.

Purpose of an Incident Investigation

At minimum employers are required by OSHA to conduct accident investigations for all OSHA recordable injuries and insurance providers require incident documentation for incidents that result in or may result in a claim. But these are just superficial reasons why we conduct incident investigations.

The prime objective of an incident investigation is to prevent future incidents. They are not to point blame, or to apply discipline. The incident investigation helps us to gather the factual information of Who, What, Where, When and How. Once this information has been gathered, we can analyze the incident and identify the Whyor the root causes.

Root causes are the underlying causes or fundamental reasons for the incident. When a worker cuts his hand because he was not wearing gloves while handling sharp material, most people would say “this is an open and shut case of employee negligence not wearing PPE.

Retrain the employee and back to work business as usual.” But further analysis may identify, that the employee had not been provided with gloves, or the supervisor never wears his gloves and doesn’t require his guys to wear them. Maybe the gloves
provided aren’t the right glove for the job and employees often remove them. It may cause us to re-evaluate our training program.

There are many factors that can be at play when determining the root causes of incidents. Blaming incidents on employee negligence or misbehavior is the easy way out and will do nothing to prevent future accidents. Once we’ve identified the root causes we can then identify and implement appropriate corrective actions. This may require that we change our processes, implement engineering controls, conduct PPE assessments and provide PPE, conducting training, etc.

It is also critical that we share these valuable lessons learned with the entire company and our peers.

In the construction industry, workers and crews are divided across a geographic area, and may never come in contact with those who were on site where the incident occurred.

It is highly likely that the same problems you are having on one site are also happening on others. Evaluate your other sites to ensure you don’t have similar accidents waiting to happen. Don’t be selfish with this valuable information.

Value of Incident Investigations

With each incident there are direct costs, such as Medical Care, repair or replacement of damaged materials, workers comp, insurance premiums, etc.

However, the indirect costs are often much higher due to lost man hours and production while job was shut down, retraining of employees, supervisors and management time spent investigating accidents and processing claims, etc. Accidents and injuries are much more costly than what you think.

There’s an old saying that goes “Don’t let a good crisis go to waste”.

Accidents, injuries, and near misses are all valuable learning opportunities we cannot lose out on. The accident has already happened, and the damage is done.

Let’s not repeat the same mistake twice. This is why the investigation of near misses are so critical.

Near misses are defined as: an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness or damage – but had the potential to do so. If we have the opportunity to learn from near misses, we must take them. These lessons are free, but the next time it happens, they may not be.

Additionally, it is critical that these injuries be documented for analysis and improvement of the safety program. If by mid-year we have already had eight hand injuries, we can quickly identify that there is something very wrong with our safety program and we need to focus in on hand safety.

But if these incidents are not reported or documented, we won’t be able to diagnose the problem accurately, or we may not even realize he have a problem.

Every incident we prevent as a result of conducting effective incident investigations is a life saved, it is one less person in pain or suffering, it is money and time saved.

However, we will never know exactly how many incidents our efforts will have prevented, because they never happened. It has been my goal as a safety professional to save one life. I believe that through focused efforts on incident investigations and corrective actions we can save one life.

 

Chances are, at one point or another, your company will experience a major incident, unexpected challenge or disaster. All too often companies do not focus on emergency preparedness until after the emergency has occurred. Whether it’s natural disasters or inclement weather, a medical emergency, major accident, a fire or even an active shooter, the impact that a catastrophic event can have on the safety of your employees and business can be devastating. Lack of preparation could mean major losses such as life and health or financial collapse.

 

 

The negative effects that a major incident or disaster can have on a company and its employees can be astronomical and, in some cases, fatal. The financial costs of recovering from one of these events, whether it be a fatality/fatalities, medical expenses, fines or rebuilding, can be insurmountable. Lost time, lower productivity and low morale are just some of the negative effects.

 

In almost every major emergency or natural disaster, there is always the risk of panic which can often cause more damage or even worse, more casualties. While “fight or flight” is often the response when someone thinks they are in danger, this type of reaction can sometimes lead us to make unwise decisions. Even if those decisions seem obvious in retrospect, the dangers associated with panic can often be underestimated. What matters the most in these situations is that you are prepared and have a plan to proactively protect your employees and business.

 

In addition to providing guidance during an emergency, there are many other benefits to being proactive and developing an emergency action plan.

 

  • Identifying workplace hazards and conditions that were previously unnoticed.
  • Identifying required emergency resources, training and equipment (or lack of).
  • The opportunity to address any identified deficiencies or hazardous conditions.
  • Preparing for emergencies displays the organization’s commitment to safety, boosting employee morale as a result.
  • Promotes safety awareness.
  • Increases productivity.
  • Limit the negative effects on your employees and company.

 

Despite the unique and highly complex challenges of individual industries, with professional guidance, your company can take a proactive approach to develop an Emergency Action Plan. It does not matter what industry you are in, if you prepare to accomplish these four goals, you can significantly limit the amount of damage caused by sudden or unexpected situations and emergencies.

 

  1. Preservation of life and health
  2. Reduce damage to assets and property
  3. Protect the environment and the community
  4. Resume normal business operations as soon as possible

 

Emergency situations can severely disrupt your companies’ operations. If you’re not prepared to handle  an unforeseen disaster, you run the risk of the safety of your employees and health of your business.
At STC, we are focused on preserving the world’s most precious resource – human life. We understand the importance of taking a proactive approach and being prepared for the unexpected. We can’t predict the degree or timing of a disastrous event, however, with STC’s guidance and preparation, the damage caused by serious situations can be kept to a minimum. Call STC if you need assistance or have concerns.

 

Chris Hall – SSH, STC Consultant

Chris has worked as a Safety Consultant for the last 4 years helping clients develop and implement safety plans.

 

 STC’s Insight

At STC, we are focused on preserving the word’s most precious resource – human life. In order to do that, we understand the importance of building strong Safety Systems that produce tangible results over time.

 

If you are interested in learning more about STC Safety and ways in which we can help your organization develop an effective safety management system, simply reply back to this email or call our office at the number listed below.

 

Please join us at our next
OSHA 30 Hour Course

OSHA 10 Certification is available.

Please contact our office for details.

Phone: 972-347-3377 ext. 2

 

Stay informed about industry trends, regulations and best practices.


Dates:
Thursday, June 7 & Friday, June 8
Thursday, June 14 & Friday, June 15
Time: 8am – 5pm
Language: English only.
Cost per person:
OSHA 30 – $165
OSHA 10 – $130 (June 7th & 8th only)
Location: DALLAS

Register Now Closed

Recently, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published ISO 45001, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – Requirements with Guidance for Use. This new global standard provides practical solutions for worker safety that are similar to other safety management system standards used in the workforce.

While many organizations already have a system in place, it is important for all professionals to familiarize themselves with this new standard to discover new and improved ways to implement the best safety system possible for their organization.
The challenge of integrating ISO’s new standard into an already existing safety management system is also an opportunity to affect organizational change. Here are 3 steps to take to begin this process:
  1. Examine and improve your current system
    • If your organization does not currently have a safety system, ISO 45001 is a great resource to use in order to develop one.
    • If your organization already uses another system, review ISO 45001 to discover areas to improve upon or adjust within you current safety management system.
  2. Engage with stakeholders
    • This is a great opportunity for safety professionals to bring occupational health & safety to the forefront and demonstrate its importance and benefits to leaders at all levels.
    • This engagement can create a ripple effect in promoting safety as a core value within your organization.
  3. Determine priorities and establish goals
    • By examining your current safety system and gathering feedback from both leaders and workers, organizations can establish newfound priorities and goals that relate safety success to overall business success.
    • If properly communicated and implemented, this business success will be manifested through reduced workplace incidents and insurance costs, enhanced reputation, and overall higher morale.

To learn more about ISO 45001, please click on the link below.

ISO 45001 Site

STC’s Vision for Success

Safety TrainingAt STC, we are focused on preserving the world’s most precious resource – human life. In order to do that, we understand the importance of building and sustaining effective safety management systems that produce tangible results over time.

In order to implement this type of safety system, STC follows the practical framework of Plan-Do-Check Act (PDCA) which is included in ISO 45001. The 4 steps are summarized below:
Plan:
  • Identify safety hazards and risks in the workplace
  • Build and/or revise safety policies, programs & procedures
  • Establish safety goals & objectives moving forward

Do:

  • Put preventive & protective measures in place
  • Communicate safety policies and procedures to organization
  • Execute safety inspections/audits, training, meetings, investigations

Check:

  • Monitor and measure safety activities
  • Leverage technology for the trending and tracking of data
  • Analyze results consistently

Act:

  • Review safety results in comparison to set goals
  • Hold people and divisions accountable (positive or negative)
  • Improve overall plan and continue the cycle

As you can tell, this process is simplified to create a framework that gives way to continual improvement over time. STC Safety works with both leaders and employees to help build and sustain the safest working environment possible.

If you are interested in learning more about STC Safety and ways in which we can help your organization develop an effective safety management system, simply reply back to this email or call our office at the number listed below.

STC Safety is sending out a friendly reminder for employers to physically post their OSHA 300A Forms in a noticeable location beginning tomorrow, February 1st through the end of April. This form lists a summary of job-related illnesses and injuries that occurred in 2017.

Additionally, certain employers are required to submit their 2017 OSHA 300A Form online through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) by July 1st of this year. To access the link to the online tracking application and all OSHA recordkeeping forms, please click on the link below.

If you are in need of any assistance when it comes to OSHA logs or any other area of your safety program, please reply back to this email or call STC’s office at 972-347-3377. Thanks for your time, and have a great and safe day!

At the end of fiscal year 2017, OSHA released its annual Top 10 list of most frequently cited violations. Many of the violations remain the same from previous years with one new entry emerging – Fall Protection Training Requirements. The monetary penalties associated with these violations ranged from thousands to millions of dollars and affect a wide range of different industries. Read below to learn more about each of these 10 infractions.
OSHA’s Top 10 Violations

1. Fall Protection – General Requirements

  • Employees need protection 6 feet or above lower levels.

2. Hazard Communication

  • Employers must have a written hazard communication plan.

3. Scaffolding

  • Employees need protection on scaffolds 10 feet above lower levels.

4. Respiratory Protection

  • Employers must provide medical evaluations to determine employees’ ability to use respirators before use.

5. Lockout / Tagout

  • Procedures must be developed, documented and utilized for the control of potentially hazardous energy.

6. Ladders

  • Ladders shall be used only for the purpose for which they were designed.

7. Powered Industrial Trucks

  • Employers must ensure that truck operators are competent to operate powered industrial vehicles safely.

8. Machine Guarding

  • Machine guarding must be provided to protect operators and employees from rotating parts, flying chips and sparks.

9. Fall Protection – General Requirements

  • Employers must provide a training program for each employee who may be exposed to fall hazards.

10. Electrical – Wiring Methods

  • Flexible cords may be used only in continuous lengths without splices or taps.

 

OSHA Top 10 Violations Link

At STC, we are focused on preserving the word’s most precious resource – human life. In order to do that, we understand employers’ need for developing policies, programs and procedures to alleviate safety risks and pain points.

As your company prepares for 2018, please reach out to us by responding to this email to learn more about how we can assist your organization in implementing a Safety Management System that proactively addresses all hazards within your working environment to keep your people safe and prevent OSHA violations that incur direct and indirect costs against your business.

Heading into 2018, this is a time for reflection, evaluation and strategic planning. As each department within your organization prepares for the new year, it’s critical for systems to be put in place to ensure success.

The health and safety of employees is the foundational element for any business. While many companies put in place standard safety programs in order to be compliant, few organizations build and sustain quality Safety Management Systems that are strategic and continually improve the overall working environment. Here are some of the main differences between the two:

Standard Safety Programs

    • Focus on compliance
    • Concentrate on isolated incidents
    • Reactive in nature
    • Execute redundant activities
    • Lack employee involvement and accountability
    • Fail to improve over time

 

Safety Management Systems

  • Focus on performance
  • Standardize processes
  • Proactive in nature
  • Bring employees together
  • Use data to make decisions
  • Promote accountability
  • Focus on outcomes
  • Continually improve with time

At STC, we are focused on preserving the word’s most precious resource – human life. In order to do that, we understand the importance of building and sustaining Safety Management Systems that produce tangible results over time.

As your company prepares for 2018, please reach out to us by responding to this email to learn more about the implementation of a Safety Management System in your organization.

STC recently spoke at the Reducing Risks & Liabilities Symposium in Dallas about cultivating a strong safety culture through leadership. Here are the main take-aways from our presentation:

WHY, What, and How…

In order for there to be true buy-in to the program, employees must first understand the WHY (i.e. the purpose of safety & health). Internalizing the WHY will encourage employees to know the safety standards (the what) and follow them the right way (the how).

In order to build an effective safety culture, there must be leadership vision & alignment, employee involvement, and a system/framework in place to sustain the safety program.

The attributes of a strong safety culture include accountability, consistency, collaboration, and continual improvement over time.

If you are interested in STC giving this presentation to your leaders and supervisors in your organization, please reach out by simply calling our office at 972-347-3377.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the symposium this week. We appreciate your time and hope the event was worthwhile for you and your team!

Read More About Our Services

Safety Solutions TX

STC is your one stop place for all your safety training and managed safety services . Contact us today https://stcsafetyconsultants.com

Safety-Solutions-TexasLast week, STC conducted a comprehensive safety fair for Drywall Interiors in Irving, TX.

Over 200 employees attended the day-long event in which workers were trained on fall protection, scaffolding, silica, and waterproofing safety.

Additionally, different vendors were on-site to showcase their equipment and the proper use and safety measures to be considered while executing work on projects.

The safety day provided an opportunity for all employees to come together, learn, and discuss their safety concerns on different sites. It also gave company leaders an opportunity to reinforce the importance of job-site safety and the value that each worker’s safety brings to the organization. Overall, it was an awesome event for everyone involved, and STC was proud to be a part of it.

If your company is in need of assistance when it comes to safety training or providing a platform to communicate the importance of safety to all of your employees, simply reply back to this email for help. STC strives to help build and sustain quality safety cultures that improve morale, reputation, and overall productivity in the working environment.
Business Safety Solutions Texas
New Employee Safety Orientation
When a new employee enters an organization, there is an opportunity to set a professional and caring tone for their new working environment. While many companies quickly shuffle their new hires through a condensed orientation process, it is imperative to take the time to properly train workers and effectively communicate safety policies and procedures.
While all companies are busy, it should be understood that people are the priority. New hire safety orientations are worth the time investment to show employees that they are valued and that there is a plan in place to protect them and mitigate the high costs of injuries and incidents that stem from a lack of familiarity or knowledge.
If your business is lacking an organized and effective new hire safety orientation process, STC can assist your company in developing a program that ensures new workers are fully aware and responsive to the organization’s safety standards. Click on the link below to read more about the importance of properly training new employees.
New Employee Safety Orientation
STC’s Upcoming OSHA 30 Hour Course
STC will be offering an English-speaking OSHA 30 Hour class in the upcoming weeks. Please review the following details:
When:
Thursday/Friday, September 28th and 29th
Thursday/Friday, October 5th and 6th
Where:
Cascades Conference Center (Fairfield Inn & Courtyard)
Time: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm each of the 4 days
Cost: $250/student
*Students must attend all 4 days to receive OSHA 30 Hour card*
If your company has employees that need to be registered, please contact STC’s Business Development Manager, Ryan Brence, at phone number 469-500-2502, or simply reply back to this email for more information. Limited spots available, so call now!!
Safety Orientation Texas