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  • Most Cited OSHA Violations of 2016

    most cited osha violations 20162017 is a new year, offering up a new chance for everyone to improve their workplace safety record. It's important to know, however, that the 5 most cited OSHA violations continue to remain the same nearly every year. In fact, the top 5 violations in 2016 were same 5 from the year prior and they even ranked in the same exact order.
     
    If we pay attention to where the problems lie, we can make the extra effort to improve our compliance and get these numbers down. This isn't just for the sake of better statistics but an effort to reduce the risks of injury and death on the job.
     
    So what were the most cited OSHA violations of 2016? See the top 5 below.
     

    The Most Cited OSHA Violations of 2016

    Fall Protection: 7,402 Cited Violations
    Fall protection is an important requirement that seems to always be the first or second most cited OSHA violation. Make sure to adhere to OSHA standards, no matter how long or how high up you're working. Standards may seem overly cautious in some instances, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
     
    Hazard Communication: 5,681 Cited Violations
    Hazard communication covers a wide variety of information and situations related to chemical hazards. Generally, citations for hazard communication are based on a failure to implement hazard communication, failure to maintain records, or inadequete information about materials and labeling.
     
    Scaffolding: 4,681 Cited Violations
    Scaffolding citations make up a large part of OSHA violations and more often than not these citations are the result of improper use, or a lack of protection from falling. Other common scaffolding violations include improper entry and exit to the platforms and inadequate railing. Know the standards and avoid falls and fines!
     
    Respiratory Protection: 3,626 Cited Violations
    Respiratory protection is a highly important safety measure in circumstances where its use is required. Not only is respirator use important, it's important to have the proper type of respirators and to ensure they're clean, functional and provide a secure fit. The top citation for respiratory protection is medical evaluation for respiratory protection, followed by non-use and improper fit.
     
    Lockout/Tagout: 3,308 Cited Violations
    Lockout and tagout is a big deal. Some of the most horrible, lethal and 100% preventable injuries and fatalities in the workplace are a direct result of failure to properly lockout equipment, machinery, and delivery systems. The top cited violations for lockout/tagout are for unsafe operation, lack of performance evaluations, and lack of valid certification. It's important to follow lockout/tagout by the book to ensure safety in all procedures.
     
    Every day that you step foot into a workplace or onto a job site is a day where you make the decision to perform tasks. It's up to you whether they're performed safely and professionally. Remember that cutting corners is not always at your own risk - your choices and actions can cause serious injury or death to others. Be responsible on the job. Make the right choices when it comes to safety and remind your co-workers to do the same. Everyone wants to make it home safely, every day. Let's make that our goal.
     

  • Thank You, To Our Customers, for Another Great Year

    thank yo to our customers2016 is coming to an end, and we've had a great year here at HiVis Supply. We have an excellent team of dedicated employees, great management, and - most importantly - our customers to thank. Whether you're reading this as a return customer, a new customer, or a long-time customer, we'd like to thank you.
     
    It's a large world out there and although it seems rather small at times, our customers come from all walks of life. From young to old, from coast to coast and around the globe. From young laborers trying to learn a skill and create a meaningful career to the project management teams, supervisors, and everyone in-between. It's due to your business that we continue to strive to meet our goals of providing the highest quality, most affordable high visibility work wear on the market. We know that the demand for our products is there, and we intend to meet it. In fact, we've done quite well in doing so. Yet without you, the customer, we'd have quite the rough time accomplishing our goals; which is why we've always done our best to keep our customer service operating at nothing less than the highest levels of quality. We continually expand and improve our inventory as an effort to provide you with the latest (and greatest) selection of products on the market. We bring in new brands, various types and styles of garments, and we do our best to offer them at the best prices we can. We believe that providing our customers with the best service out there will secure our continued and growing success as a leading retailer of high visibility garments and gear.
     
    There isn't a whole lot more that can be said. We truly believe in what we do, and we care about workplace safety. We take pride in knowing that we help provide and promote safety in the workplace for thousands of workers in various occupations. We're proud that as a team, we're able to make a positive impact on the lives of workers while simultaneously making a business of it. We give our best in every aspect of our business, and by doing so, we feel a great level of confidence that HiVis Supply is one of the very best places to purchase your high visibility workwear.
     
    We thank you for your business, and we're honored to serve you. There will be many challenges, improvements, wins, loses, achievements, setbacks, and much more in 2017 for all of us. Regardless, we will continue to give you our best, without fail. We wish you all a safe, happy, prosperous and productive 2017!
     
    HiVis Supply
     

  • How Dangerous is YOUR Job?

    how dangerous is your jobHow dangerous is your job? It's hard to tell exactly as many factors come into play when creating statistics but there's always a pattern that exists. Over recent years, it's clear that some industries and careers tend to be more dangerous than others.
     

    Currently, the average rate of fatalities per 100,000 full-time workers is about 3.5. Respectively, here are the general top 10 occupations with the highest rates of fatality:
     

    • Fishers and related fishing workers: 116.0
    • Logging workers: 91.9
    • Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: 70.6
    • Farmers and ranchers: 41.4
    • Mining machine operators: 38.7
    • Roofers: 32.4
    • Refuse and recyclable material collectors: 29.8
    • Driver/sales workers and truck drivers: 21.8
    • Industrial machinery installation, repair and maintenance workers: 20.3, and
    • Police and sheriff’s patrol officers: 18.0.
     

    The top industry sectors with fatalities are:
     
    • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting: 26.8
    • Mining: 19.8, and
    • Transportation and warehousing: 13.1.
     

    The percentage of worker fatalities by age:
     
    • Under 16: < 0.5%
    • 16-17: < 0.5%
    • 18-19: 1%
    • 20-24: 5%
    • 25-34: 17%
    • 35-44: 19%
    • 45-54: 25%
    • 55-64: 20%, and
    • 65 and older: 12%.
     

    BLS reported there were 4,547 workplace fatalities in 2010. The highest number of fatalities by industry are as follows:
     
    • Trade, transportation and utilities: 1,141
    • Natural resources and mining: 768
    • Construction: 751
    • Professional and business services: 356, and
    • Manufacturing: 320.
     

    Learn more about workplace fatalities at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Website. Stay safe out there and always remember to do things properly - don't take shortcuts that pose a hazard to your (or other's) health or well-being.
     

  • FWHA Says Newly Revised ANSI/ISEA 2015 Meets MUTCD High Visibility Garment Requirements

    MUTCD ANSI 107 complianceThe Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced on June 1st that all high-visibility safety garments that are compliant with the newly revised American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Accessories (ANSI/ISEA 107-2015), will also be considered compliant with the 2009 MUTCD Manual (manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices).
     
    The MUTCD currently requires that anyone working on the highway, all flaggers and crossing guards must utilize safety apparel that adheres to ANSI Class 2 or 3 (ANSI/ISEA 107) standards - and that Police officers, fire fighters and other emergency responders who might be exposed to highway traffic are required to wear ANSI/ISEA 207 compliant garments.
     
    Due to the recent changes in late 2015 of the ANSI/ISEA 107 standard - which addresses specific differences between ANSI 107 and 207 - any high-visibility safety garments which meet or exceed the newly revised ANSI/ISEA 107 will now also satisfy the requirements of MUTCD mandates.

  • Uptick in Convictions & Prison Sentences for Work Related Employee Deaths

    workplace safety convictionsWhile fines, penalties and even restrictions on operations have been the common consequences of work-related injuries and deaths in the US, there has been a rather interesting but not surprising new trend in the courts. In the last 2 years alone, we've seen a large increase in the convictions of CEOs, supervisors, and managers which entail prison sentences in regards to cases involving worker deaths.
     
    Although deaths can occur from a worker's failure to follow safety procedure or the use of faulty or malfunctioning equipment, it's just as possible that higher-ups could be responsible for willful neglect by providing inadequate safety training, equipment or work environments.
     
    Just this week, Donald Blankenship, a rather prominent (former) CEO of one of the larger West Virginia coal companies Massey Energy, was convicted of violating federal safety standards in relation to an explosion that caused the each of 29 miners in 2010. While several other charges were surprisingly dismissed, he still faces up to one year in prison and is scheduled for sentencing. While facts surrounding the case are few, and while the courts prosecuted him without a single witness testimony, it could be said that it's a rather light conviction concerning the circumstances.
     
    There is still, however, a number of recent cases where very severe sentences have been handed down, such as:
     
    - Stewart Parnell who once oversaw Peanut Corporation of America, who was convicted on federal conspiracy charges in September 2014 and sentenced to 28 years in prison for charges related to a salmonella outbreak that killed 9 and sickened hundreds.
     
    - Richard Liu, the owner of Alameda County Construction Company and his project manager Dan Luo were both convicted to 2 years in prison for the death of a worker who was crushed by a wall of dirt after working on a job site that had been red-tagged by city inspectors after heavy rains.
     
    - Brent Weidman, owner of an arizona-based sewer & water company was convicted of negligent homicide for the deaths of two workers who were overcome and killed by toxic gasses in an underground sewage tank.
     
    - Safety manager Saul Florez and company director Angel Rodriguez of Bumble Bee Tuna Company were charged earlier this year with three felony counts each of Occupational Safety & Health Administration violation causing death to a worker after a man was killed in an oven.
     
    - John Wilkes, owner of a Florida tree service company was sentenced to 15 years in prison earlier this year for aggravated manslaughter after a 14 year-old employee fell 71 feet do his death.
     
    And that isn't the whole of it either, there are several more cases currently in process and/or unmentioned where justice is being served and the excuse of "it was an accident" just isn't sufficient enough and criminal charges are brought forth. While many people who are deserving of charges in relation to worker deaths might not even be charged or considered of any wrong doing, it's becoming clear that death is not an okay side-effect of doing business, and that paying out fines to OSHA and paying lawsuits to families is not a sufficient punishment for neglect resulting in death.
     
    If you're in a managerial position or the owner of a company where hazardous environments are an everyday occurrence of business, it's in your best interests, as well as the interests of your employees and their families, to do your very best to ensure safe working conditions. Cutting corners to save a few dollars might leave you sitting in a room with 4 corners for a very, very long time. Please, operate your business safely and treat your employees as if they were members of your own family. There is no situation where a little bit of time or money is worth a persons life. Be safe out there!

  • OSHA 2015: A Look Ahead For a Year of Safety

    2015 OSHA SafetyAs we move forward from year to year, we continually see changes develop in the world around us. New people come into our lives, we face new challenges, and new opportunities continue to present themselves. As interesting as it can be to watch the world transform in front of our very eyes, it's also somewhat time consuming to keep up with everything. Busy schedules and seemingly ever-increasing obligations often hamper our ability to stay on the leading edge of developments around us, leaving us wondering where the time went or how certain occurrences slipped right under our radar.
     
    Although much of our time is spent at work, the main focus of that time is usually production and completion of tasks, causing us to miss out on certain things like safety regulations, industry advancements, new technology and the like. In order to provide you with a heads-up for workplace safety in 2015, we've decided to write a little bit about what you can expect from OSHA in the next 365 days, just in case you haven't had the time to look into it yourself.
     

    OSHA is Introducing New Regulations

    For many people, news about new OSHA regulations is never good news. It usually means increased training, additional expense, and an increased risk for citation. But overall, these standards are put into place to coincide with the changes occurring in the workplace and the world around us. For the most part, these new and additional regulations only come into play for one reason only - to improve safety.
     
    In 2015, OSHA has prepared 3 final rulings that will be issued. The first is Confined Spaces for Construction, which unlike other industries doesn't have its own rules. It will lend additional protections specifically to workers in construction. The second is Walking Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems. This standard has been stuck in limbo since 1990 and will ensure better protections against slips, trips and falls. The third ruling will be to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, which is more geared towards employers but in an effort to promote safety through increased availability of companies safety records to the public.
     
    There are also some new proposals out there, but nothing is set in stone as of yet. These ideas include: 1.) Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits 2.) Process Safety Management and Prevention of Major Chemical Accidents 3.) Communication Tower Safety 4.) Exposure to Crystalline Silica, and 5.) Exposure to Beryllium
     

    New Standards for Injury Reporting

    This one has already begun, and it's in an effort to provide better transparency and accuracy for companies safety records - both officially and for the public.
     
    As of January 1st, 2015 employers must report all work-related fatalities to OSHA within 8 hours and all work-related hospitalizations, amputations and eye loss within 24 hours. Reporting can be done by calling OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or by filling out the new online reporting form available on OSHA's website.
     

    Now Exempt from OSHA?

    There has also been a dramatic change in certain industries in regards to their requirement to keep OSHA records in any form. Previously, the standards were based on data from 1996 through 1998. But with the influx of new data (from 2007-2009) they have determined that there are 82 industries that are now exempt. On the other side of things, there are now 25 more industries that are now required to begin keeping records.
     
    As a note, we'd like to mention that the new rulings on record keeping still allow the exemption for any business or employer who has 10 employees or less, regardless of the industry.
     

    In a Nutshell

    There are many other aspects that will be changing in the workplace due to new and ongoing regulation. While it's not always possible to stay informed on a daily basis, know that the information IS out there. For up-to-date information, visit and bookmark the OSHA website where all industry information and new regulatory standards are available.
     
    Remember, you spend a lot of time at work, therefor, you might as well be safe out there! Here's to a year of improved safety and working conditions for the employees of all industries.

  • Workplace Injury Continues to Decline, Yet Three Million Cases Were Still Reported in 2013

    workplace injuries declining but still too highWhile injuries and accidents in the workplace continue to decline, the number of official cases for the 2013 work year is still remarkably high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, three million employees in the United States suffered from a work-related injury or illness.
     
    Of course, while it's easy to focus on the large figures presented, the fact is that workplace injury cases continue to decline over recent years. While tighter restrictions and increased awareness contribute to the improvements, the sheer number of workplace injuries is still much higher than it could be. Continued effort, education and awareness on the part of both employers and employees is what will ultimately help reduce the number and create work environments that present a lower safety risk.
     
    Out of the three million injury cases in 2013, over half of them were considered to be serious injuries that resulted in several days away from work, job transfers or work restrictions.
     
    The highest rate of injury was found to be amongst mid-sized private industry workplaces which employ between 50 and 250 workers. Alternatively, the lowest rate of injury was among small businesses employing 11 workers or less.
     
    Some suffered back injuries, others foot or knee injuries. Some cases were less severe where slight sprains occurred yet there are still many cases where we have employees who have lost their lives or are now amputees. So as we see these numbers slowly going down, we're still seeing cases, many cases, where these accidents can be prevented.
     
    Among the three million reports of injury on the job, over 2.1 million occurred in service-providing industries which makes up nearly 83% of the private industry workforce. The remaining injuries occurred in manufacturing or good-producing industries. And while only 5% of the injury reports were related directly to workplace illness, that's still a a very large number of incidents where people are literally becoming sick from performing their jobs - and that requires some serious attention.
     
    In an effort to further decrease instances of injury and illness at work, OSHA has made changes to their injury/illness reporting requirements which mandates employers to report all fatal injuries within 8 ours and all in-patient cases of serious injury within 24 hours. Several industries will also be required to keep up-to-date injury and illness records at all times.
     
    In an ideal situation we'd like to see no injuries at work, but accidents do happen and realistically it's not possible to eliminate all hazards. However, dedicated employers can make a huge difference, as can employees who raise awareness and verbalize their concerns while committing to creating a safe workplace. It all begins with practicing proper safety procedures, utilizing the proper PPE Equipment and safety gear, and continued education.

  • The Top Ten OSHA Violations for 2014

    top 10 osha violations of 2014Every year, OSHA releases a preliminary list of the top ten most frequent workplace safety violations. The figures below show the most cited violations within the U.S. in the 2014 fiscal year through August 11. The list was presented by the Deputy Director of OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust at the National Safety Council's Congress in San Diego, CA. this month.
     
    The top 10 most cited OSHA violations:
     
    Fall Protection (1926.501) – 6,143 violations
    Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 5,161
    Scaffolding (1926.451) – 4,029
    Respiratory Protection – (1910.134) – 3,223
    Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) – 2,704
    Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,662
    Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 2,490
    Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,448
    Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,200, and
    Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303) – 2,056
     
    Aside from receiving a violation from OSHA, bad safety practices put employees at an elevated risk for injury or death in the workplace. Avoid the fines, avoid the problems, and adhere to OSHA regulations for your industry. Furthermore, make sure that yourself and other employees understand the importance of utilizing the proper personal protection equipment (PPE) in the workplace.
     

  • OSHA Makes Major Updates to Flame Resistant (FR) Regulations

    new osha flame resistant regulationsIf you haven't heard or been told, OSHA has recently made some changes to the nearly 40 year old regulations for FR safety gear. These regulations exist under code CFR 1910.269 (Operation and Maintenance).
     
    Apparently, these changes in regulatory standards regarding flame resistant protection have been a controversial subject for quite a few years now. Regardless, they've been published and have went into effect on July 11, 2014. Although there are some changes being made to this revision, there are some new regulations dealing specifically with fire and electrical arc safety. So what do the new regulations say?
     
    Basically, OSHA has stated that flame resistant protection (or FR safety gear) is going to be considered as a normal part of PPE for employees working in areas with exposure to certain levels of fire, flame, sparks, electrical voltage, etc. This also means that it's generally the employer's responsibility to assess the work environment and purchase FR safety garments that meet the standard requirements for employee use within that working environment. Employers will also be responsible to provide training for the proper use & care of the FR PPE garments.
     
    Before this update was made, FR regulations were generally hard to translate. With the new revisions, it is specifically mentioned that clothing worn by employees MUST NOT MELT and MUST NOT IGNITE AND CONTINUE TO BURN when exposed to flame and/or electrical arcs. Additionally, the regulations mention that any clothing made with fabrics containing any amount of acetate, nylon, polyester, rayon, or polypropylene are strictly prohibited unless said fabrics have been properly FR treated and can be proven to comply with the new standards or can be worn in a way that does not pose a threat.
     
    What does it all mean? Well, technically, even with your PPE or FR safety gear, there will be restrictions on certain fabrics that can be worn, which means the pants or shirt you wear under your PPE might not meet the new regulations. This is one reason that there's been scrutiny surrounding these new regulations. However, it seems as if the regulations truly work toward a decrease in injury and death - especially when you look at the statistics regarding incidents occurring in environments where fire resistant PPE wasn't being utilized properly.
     
    The new regulations allow for cotton and wool to still be worn since they don't melt, however, the material must be thick enough to resist from igniting and continuing to burn. Remember, these new standard only apply to environments where fire & electrical arc pose a risk.
     
    One other new standard that comes with these regulations for heat energy that could possibly exceed 2.0 cal/cm2. This standard calls for a flame resistant outer layer that covers upper and lower body parts - from head to toe - as well as head protection which adheres to certain levels of flame resistance.
     
    Although the new regulations have gone into effect in July, OSHA has given employers until January 1, 2015 to assess the work environment of employees and make an estimates for incident energy. Then, employers have until April 1, 2015 to purchase & implement the use of the proper fire resistant PPE equipment that meets new standard requirements.
     
    The details of the new OSHA regulations can be read here, in OSHA 1910.269.
     
    The new regulations are expected to make a large impact on employers as well as FR safety gear manufacturers. While January and April seem a ways away, it's going to be critical for employers to determine their specific needs immediately. In other words, to avoid OSHA penalties, Flame Resistant safety gear should be acquired as soon as possible to avoid the low product availability that's expected due to the newly increased demand.
     
     

  • Workplace Accidents are a Top Killer in the US

    HiVis-Supply-Fall-Protection-Work-safetySince we try to put a strong focus on workplace safety, we often comb through statistics regarding health, dangers and injury in the workplace. We try to come forth with relative statistics to help create awareness and give you the knowledge to create a safer workplace, regardless of the hazards. We know injuries can happen at work, and we know that many of them can also be prevented.

    With June being National Safety Month, The National Safety Council created a press release recently to make a few interesting points and create some much needed awareness. The interesting points? Well, accidental injuries are one of the leading causes of death in the US - number 5 actually.

    With it being the 5th largest killer, we've broken accidental death down further to show the 3 major causes:

    1. Poisoning
    2. Motor Vehicle Crashes/Equipment Accidents
    3. Falls

    Keep in mind that these include injuries to the general public as well as in the workplace.

    Now for the rest of the list - here's the top 15 causes of death within the United States, as listed by the NSC.

    1. Heart disease
    2. Cancer
    3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
    4. Stroke
    5. Unintentional injuries (accidents)
    6. Alzheimer’s disease
    7. Diabetes
    8. Kidney disease
    9. Flu and pneumonia
    10. Intentional self harm (suicide)
    11. Septicemia (blood poisoning)
    12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
    13. Hypertension
    14. Parkinson’s disease, and
    15. Pneumonitis (inflammation of lung tissue) due to solids and liquids.

    While it's surely an eye opener those of us working in areas that hold potential dangers, it's also an eye opener for the general public. This data actually had the NSC wondering if americans are worrying about the wrong things when it comes to safety.

    You may think the top leading causes of death would be murders or drunk driving accidents but they're not. In fact, they don't even rank in the top 15 of the list. What's equally interesting is that aside from accidental death, the vast majority of the top 15 killer in the US are health related.

    So be healthy, be safe and share this with whoever you can. Many people might be surpassed to see what the list consists of.

    More importantly, don't forget that accidental death is the 5th largest killer in the US. Share that fact with co-workers and managers, it's important to know. Have a safe month and be sure to schedule a safety review meeting for June, after all, it is National Safety Month.

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