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Happy Safe + Sound Week is August 12-18, 2019

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, August 14, 2019

We take our member’s safety seriously and we know that you do, too! So, this year IAMU is participating in OSHA’s Safe + Sound Week, which runs through Aug. 18. This is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and shares ideas on how to keep workers safe.

Here are a few simple suggestions from OSHA that you can follow to make a difference in your employee’s perception of safety:

  • Create a board for workers to display suggestions to help find and fix workplace hazards.
  • Hold a demonstration on proper use of safety equipment.
  • Host an informal “lunch and learn” on a part of your safety program.
  • Recognize a safety milestone and employee contributions with a party.

One of the most effective ways to promote safety year-round is to make a “why I work safely” board with pictures of your employee’s loved ones. We will be sharing extra Toolbox Talks during Safe + Sound Week about the importance of hearing conservation and the proper fit of hearing protection. Take a few extra minutes during Safe + Sound Week to promote safety and health (at home, too).

IAMU has created two Toolbox Talks on workplace hearing issues. Workplace hearing loss is one of the most common work-related injuries. You can download the Toolbox Talks by clicking here.

From Lessons Learned and Toolbox Talks to webinars and workshops – we make every effort to make safety easier for you. If you have a safety suggestion, please send it to mmeade@iamu.org so that it can be shared. If you observe Safe + Sound Week in any way, please share what you did with us by sending a message to mmeade@iamu.org. IAMU will be providing appreciation gifts to all those who participate.

Tags:  OSHA  Safe + Sound Week  Safety  Toolbox Talk 

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OSHA’s Safe + Sound Week is August 12-18, 2019

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, August 6, 2019

We take our member’s safety seriously and we know that you do, too! So, this year IAMU is participating in OSHA’s Safe + Sound Week, a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and shares ideas on how to keep workers safe.

Here are a few simple suggestions from OSHA that you can follow to make a difference in your employee’s perception of safety:

  • Create a board for workers to display suggestions to help find and fix workplace hazards.
  • Hold a demonstration on proper use of safety equipment.
  • Host an informal “lunch and learn” on a part of your safety program.
  • Recognize a safety milestone and employee contributions with a party.

One of the most effective ways to promote safety year-round is to make a “why I work safely” board with pictures of your employee’s loved ones. We will be sharing extra Toolbox Talks during Safe + Sound Week about the importance of hearing conservation and the proper fit of hearing protection. Take a few extra minutes during Safe + Sound Week to promote safety and health (at home, too).

From Lessons Learned and Toolbox Talks to webinars and workshops – we make every effort to make safety easier for you. If you have a safety suggestion, please send it to mmeade@iamu.org so that it can be shared. If you observe Safe + Sound Week in any way, please share what you did with us by sending a message to mmeade@iamu.org. IAMU will be providing appreciation gifts to all those who participate.

Tags:  OSHA  Safe + Sound Week  Safety 

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OSHA’s 2nd Annual Trench Stand Down Week is June 17-21

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Trench safety is important – no make that crucial. Commit to protecting all workers in trenches – not just next week, but every week

To prevent trench collapses and save lives:

  • Slope or bench trench walls,
  • Shore trench walls with supports,
  • Shield trench walls with trench boxes

For more on trench safety, visit. www.osha.gov/trenching

To download a poster promoting trench safety, click here.

#slope.shield.shore.alive  #safetrenches

Tags:  OSHA  Trench Week  Trenching & Shoring 

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Supervising Safety’s Success in Your Workplace

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Under the Occupational Safety and Health law, all employers have a duty to “provide a safe workplace free from serious hazards.” But what happens when your workplace is hazardous by its very nature and those hazards cannot be eliminated?

Utility line workers face arc-flash hazards, electrocution hazards, fall hazards, crushing hazards, and heat and cold hazards; it’s a long list. Although these hazards are present and deadly, OSHA requires that employees be provided with and trained in protective measures.

In 2015, when the 1910.269 and 1926 Subpart V standards were updated, significant changes were made that increased employee safety by spelling out provisions for safe operating procedures and specific training requirements. 

  • All employees covered under 1910.269 and 1926 Subpart V must be trained in and familiar with safety-related work practices, safety procedures, and other safety requirements that pertain to his or her job assignments [1910.269(a)(2)(i)(A)].

  • Each employee shall also be trained in and familiar with any other safety practices, including any other applicable emergency procedures (such as pole-top and manhole rescue), that are not specifically addressed by this section but are related to his or her work and are necessary for his or her safety [1910.269(a)(2)(i)(B)].

  • OSHA’s intent for these standards are that training must be provided in areas not covered by .269 but are related to their work and are necessary for employee safety. This wording remains the same under the training subsections of 1910.269, Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution and 1926 Subpart V, Power Transmission & Distribution.

  • OSHA also made changes to paragraph 1910.269(a)(2)(viii), which states that the “employer shall ensure that each employee has demonstrated proficiency in the work practices involved before that employee is considered as having completed the training required by paragraph (a)(2) of this section.”

  • De-energizing equipment or lines for protection; proper use, inspection, and maintenance of electrical personal protective equipment, rubber goods and insulating tools; minimum approach distances to energized lines or parts; and working in enclosed spaces are all included in both 1910.269 and 1926.950’s listed safety-related work practices. OSHA does not consider an employee to be qualified unless there is documentation of his or her demonstrated task proficiency. Also, to certify the training and qualify the employee, it’s extremely important to document information about the instructor or the method by which the employee received the training.

Both 1910.269(a)(2)(iv) and 1926.950(b)(3) state that “The employer shall determine, through regular supervision and through inspections conducted on at least an annual basis, that each employee is complying with the safety-related work practices required by this section.” (Italics and bold added for emphasis.) Understanding and complying with the regular supervision requirement is easy but what about the annual required employer inspection? This regulation ensures that:

  • You, the employer, have the proper and adequate safeguards for employee protection.

  • An employee understands the relevant safeguards, including safety-related work practices.

Safety-related work practices start with documented job briefings conducted at the jobsite, with the input of each person at that site, and by discussing the hazards of that particular job, that particular site, and our particular working group. Inspections conducted means just that – go to the jobsite and see what is happening. Talk to supervisors and employees; have frank conversations about safety, hazards, and what could be done better to make sure everyone is working to his or her potential.

In an “employer annual oversight conversation” with a couple of highly respected electrical guru-types, much wisdom and advice was shared. The end to the conversation went like this: “Margret, if a manager is indifferent when it comes to safety, typically employees will follow the safety rules that are easy and convenient and generally have the attitude of ‘just make sure we don’t get caught not following the safety rules.’” To determine whether or not a manager supports safety ask the following questions:

  1. Do you attend all safety meetings?

  2. Do you plan and participate in safety training classes?

  3. Do you regularly observe crews on the jobsite?

  4. Have you developed an annual safety meeting schedule?

If they can’t answer “yes” to all of the questions, then not only do they not have a bonafide safety culture, they’re on the path of someone getting hurt.

Can YOU answer YES to each question?

Tags:  OSHA  Safety 

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OSHA Written Programs Available for Free Download

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, May 8, 2019

IAMU offers members free OSHA compliance programs that may be downloaded and customized to your city/utility.

To access the downloadable materials, you must first sign in as a member. The OSHA Written Programs page is the first link under Safety Services, which you can find under the Services tab in the top navigation bar. The materials are available to utility and affiliate members. 

When using these IAMU programs or programs supplied by other entities, remember there are many responsibilities for employers and employee under each of the programs. Read and understand not only the responsibilities but the entire program. Then, train your employees. 

Additionally, many times, there are requirements within the safety programs to develop processes to support the various programs. For example, under the Energy Control (Lock Out/Tag Out) Program, employers are required to develop machine-specific lock out/tag out procedures. The program is not completed until these procedures are developed.

Questions? Call one of our Safety staff members at (515) 289-1999.

IAMU does offer a fee-for-service that can help you customize your written safety programs. Our Safety & Health Management Services is another IAMU service to help you in the longer task of developing supporting procedures and processes within the written programs. 

Contact David Hraha, Director of Members Services, at (515)-289-1999 to discuss the Safety & Health Management Services.

Tags:  OSHA  Safety Services  Written Programs 

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