Training … Are You Up to Speed?

Training is needed in everything we do. Whether it is work, play or home we are constantly learning or being trained on something. We train our children for adulthood. We train our athletes how to run plays or moves. We are trained at our places of employment on how to do our jobs properly. Training in all aspects of life is in place to help us do things properly, help us succeed and help keep us safe.

In the workplace, how do we know just what type of training we should be getting? Obviously, it is going to change from site to site based on the type of business you work for. Regardless of the type of business, all workplaces are required by the OSH Act to provide a safe place to work. As per OSHA there are relevant types of training needed for different types of industry. These industries listed below with their appropriate regulation could be required:

If an industry doesn’t fall under a specific regulation like construction, they would follow the general industry standard. OSHA just updated their “Training Requirements in OSHA Standards” booklet. In this booklet OSHA gives a guide to all training requirements for employers, safety and health professionals, training directors and others to comply with the regulations and keep workers safe. Training from the list below may be needed at your facility. The booklet can give you the guidance and ICC can provide the training.

OSHA training manual

  • Walking Working Surfaces
  • Exit Routes
  • Emergency Action Plans
  • Fire Prevention Plans and Fire Protection
  • Electrical
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Hazard Communication
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Confined Spaces
  • Lockout/Tagout
  • Machine Guarding
  • Ergonomics
  • Fall Protection
  • Welding, Cutting, and Brazing
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Powered Industrial Vehicles

Among the workplace safety training requirements there may be other types of training required for the industry you work in. Do you require training for transportation of Dangerous Goods/Hazardous Materials? Do you ship by air, ground or sea? What about Lithium Batteries? Do you ever ship laptop computers, phones or tools? What about radioactive or infectious materials? All of these require training under regulations. ICC Compliance Center can help with many forms of training for workplace safety, hazard communication and transportation. Please contact a training coordinator for more details on how we can help!

OSHA, Newspapers, & Pictures – Electrical Safety

A few weeks ago I posted a blog regarding Fall Prevention. In it there was a reference to Arthur Brisbane, a reporter who in 1911 used the expression “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” As a follow-up to that blog, here is another one where a picture is worth a thousand words.

Last weekend allowed me the chance to see the musical “Matilda” at The Fox Theatre in downtown St. Louis. As I walked to the main doors I could hear water splashing against the ground. Upon closer inspection the source of the sound was found. Take a look at the following picture.

exposed wires - electrical safety

Again, you can imagine the conversation held after seeing this. There were lots of shocking comments, and stories about the stupid things we did as children in regards to electrical sockets. There were even a few regarding “the show must go on” but, it got me thinking. Just how is electrical safety handled in the workplace or in construction areas?

Upon arrival to work on Monday, I did some checking. The Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2015 is out and two of the top ten for 2015 include electrical issues. One is for “Electrical – Wiring Methods” and the other is for “Electrical – General Requirements”. If you look back over the past five years, some aspect of electricity is listed on every one.

Per the OSHA website, “Electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard. OSHA’s electrical standards are designed to protect employees exposed to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions. Electrical hazards are addressed in specific standards for the general industry, shipyard employment, and marine terminals.” Those standards and locations are as follows:

General Industry (29 CFR 1910)

  • 1910.137, Electrical protective devices
  • 1910.269, Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution [related topic page]
  • 1910.302, Electric utilization systems
  • 1910.303, General requirements
  • 1910.304, Wiring design and protection
  • 1910.305, Wiring methods, components, and equipment for general use
  • 1910.306, Specific purpose equipment and installations
  • 1910.307, Hazardous (classified) locations
  • 1910.308, Special systems
  • 1910.331, Scope
  • 1910.332, Training
  • 1910.333, Selection and use of work practices
  • 1910.334, Use of equipment
  • 1910.335, Safeguards for personnel protection

Shipyard Employment (29 CFR 1915)

  • 1915.181, Electrical circuits and distribution boards

Marine Terminals (29 CFR 1917)

  • 1917.157, Battery charging and changing

If one looks back at the picture, it is clear this is some sort of wiring which is exposed to the outside. It is also clear that water is flowing out of the same opening that has the wiring. This water is not only running down the wires, but it is then splashing back up onto the box where the wiring originates and/or ends. This is a problem. Is there a breakdown somewhere in regards to training people on the hazards of electricity? OSHA offers several resources and trainings for employers and employees on Electrical Safety. The easiest and fastest is found on the OSHA® Quick Card™.

If you work with electricity in any way be it an office, on a farm or on a construction site – get properly trained! It would be shame to have the “thousand words” this picture generates on the topic of electrical safety go to waste.

The Compliance Center
The Story of ICC

One thing that amazes me after 25 years in business is the fact that (even long time) customers do not understand the spectrum of products, services, and training we offer. After hearing yet another customer say, “we did not know you did that” I was inspired to tell you this story.

Once upon a time, not so long ago there was a train wreck, not unlike Lac Megantic disaster of late. A man who owned a printing company was inspired to start another company and together with his partners started to print products that related to shipping dangerous goods.

With the onset of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (1985), released by Transport Canada, the company was kept busy producing placards, hazard class labels, signage, and other transportation supplies.

Within a few short years Health Canada introduced WHMIS (1988), where supplier and workplace labels were in high demand. In addition WHMIS introduced Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and with that, the introduction of a new arm of the company. Training was also introduced not only for transportation, but workplace safety as well.

In 1991, The IATA Dangerous Goods regulations, and 49 CFR (remember HM-181?) introduced something new called UN Performance Packaging, or commonly called “POP Packaging” at the time. ICC Compliance Center was one of the first companies to introduce packaging and educate companies on its use.

Bring on the new era of computers and the internet. Customers are looking for ways to print labels more efficiently, and host the MSDSs so they can be accessed by all. Software and printers were introduced to the product offering, making “on-demand” a reality.

Rumblings at the UN about a Globally Harmonized System for Classification (GHS) and Labeling were heard, and most would say, “not in my lifetime.” It took time, but eventually, countries around the word began to release plans to adopt and enforce this new recommendation. ICC Compliance Center once again strategizes and develops products, services, and training to help those in the industry with the changes. Finally, GHS becomes a reality in the USA and Canada (2012 and 2015).

Today, ICC Compliance Center serves customers across North America providing more products, services, and training than ever before. We are a one-stop shop for customers who offer, handle, or transport dangerous goods, and workplace compliance and safety.

If you have ever thought of us as “the box company” or “the training company”, give one of our other products, services, or training a try. Happily ever after is only a phone call away.

The End.

“Thank You for Not Smoking” – Ontario Requires Signage in Trucks

One of the confusing aspects of transporting dangerous goods is the web of different regulations that can affect a shipment. In order to comply fully with a requirement, you must know what regulation imposes that requirement, and carefully study what it says.

For example, an Ontario truck driver was recently inspected while carrying flammable liquids. He was told by the inspector that he should have “No Smoking” signs in his truck.

Now, you might assume that this was related to the flammable liquids on the vehicle. Some regulations on the transportation of dangerous goods do address smoking as a safety issue. For example, the U.S. “Hazardous Materials Regulations” (HMR) of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) says in section 177.834:

“Smoking on or about any motor vehicle while loading or unloading any Class 1 (explosive), Class 3 (flammable liquid), Class 4 (flammable solid), Class 5 (oxidizing), or Division 2.1 (flammable gas) materials is forbidden…. Extreme care shall be taken in the loading or unloading of any Class 1 (explosive), Class 3 (flammable liquid), Class 4 (flammable solid), Class 5 (oxidizing), or Division 2.1 (flammable gas) materials into or from any motor vehicle to keep fire away and to prevent persons in the vicinity from smoking, lighting matches, or carrying any flame or lighted cigar, pipe, or cigarette.”

However, many people reading through Canada’s “Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations” are surprised to discover that there is no specific ban on smoking near flammable or explosive material (other than the good sense of the workers). In fact, it turns out that the requirement for the “No Smoking” sign on the truck had nothing to do with the dangerous goods on board. Instead, it is a requirement of the provincial Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) of 2006. This makes it a workplace safety issue rather than one aimed at transportation.

The SFOA was created by the Ontario Ministry of Health, and requires provincially-regulated enclosed workplaces to prohibit smoking at all times. While this obviously applies to offices and production facilities, vehicles driven by commercial operators are also “enclosed workplaces,” and must comply with this regulation. An enclosed workplace is defined as “the inside of a building, structure or vehicle that an employee works in or frequents during the course of their employment whether or not they are acting in the course of the employment at the time.”

Note that the Ministry does not exempt company vehicles just because they don’t have a company logo on them. If the driver or occupants are working at that point, the vehicle becomes a workplace.

According to the SFOA, “No Smoking” signs must be posted in all work vehicles where the signs are visible to employees of the company using the vehicle. This could be, for example, on the window of the cab, or on the dashboard. It is also illegal to use the built-in ashtrays of the vehicle, or use another object, such as a soft drink can, as an ashtray inside the vehicle.

The sign must:Smoke Free Ontario

  • be 10 centimetres in height and 10 centimetres in width (that’s approximately four inches per side);
  • have a white background and have a graphic of the international no smoking symbol; and
  • have the Trillium and Smoke-Free Ontario logos shown on the representation of the sign.

Both the driver and the employer can be found liable under this regulation. Fines for drivers who smoke in their vehicle can range from $250 to $5000. Employers are required to ensure that the no-smoking rules are followed. If not, the employer can be fined from $300 to $300,000.

Fortunately, as a provincial Ontario regulation, the SFOA will only apply to provincially-regulated vehicles. Those operating under federal regulations (such as carriers who make transborder shipments) and multi-jurisdictional operators would not be obliged to comply, even when moving through Ontario.

Do you have any questions about special signage while transporting dangerous goods, or do you need to find signs and labels to comply with the regulations? Contact ICC Compliance Center here at 888-442-9628 (U.S.) or 888-977-4834 (Canada), and ask for one of our regulatory specialists.


OSHA Safety
Workplace Fatalities – Not Just A Stick Figure Anymore

OSHA’s Fatality and Catastrophe Report

With my personal love of OSHA, I am frequently on their website. I like to keep up with the changes and new materials provided by them as well as keep abreast of what is trending. This includes reading the fatality and catastrophe reports. Though this report does not bring me joy by any means it does provide a plethora of information to me, the ”safety professional”,  in regards to areas of concern among industry. I can also see where the OSHA top 10 violations come from (see my blog).

After I periodically read the fatality and catastrophe report I ask myself questions such as: Were these workers trained properly? Were they practicing safe work habits? Was the incident preventable? How would I approach training for such issues? How do I think I would handle the prevention of such incidents? At times I try to imagine how some of the incidents even occur! What happened?

This report is not personal but rather a data table. When I read through these reports I can’t help but picture stick figures to represent the workers killed while on the job represented in this report. Much like how infographics represent data.

2014 OSHA Worker Fatality Statistics Cover

View the infographic »

If you have never had the opportunity to look at this report on the OSHA webpage, it used to have only four column headings. The first column on this report is the “Date of Incident“. This is the date which the fatality or catastrophe incident occurred. The second column is the “Company, City, State, ZIP“. This provides the information of the employer of the injured or deceased worker. The third column has the “Preliminary Description of Incident“, or a very brief description of what happened that caused the fatality or catastrophe. The fourth column contains the designation on whether the incident was a “Fatality or Catastrophe“. I noticed last year around February OSHA added a column for the “Inspection #“. An identification number that will be attached to the investigation/inspection case in regards to the incident.

New Column in the Fatality and Catastrophe Report

I have been very busy traveling and haven’t had an opportunity to look at the fatality and catastrophe report in a few weeks. I went on the OSHA website today to look at the most recent update and I immediately noticed a “new” column with the heading “Victim(s)“. Yes, you read that right! OSHA has now added a column giving the name(s) of the victim(s) of the fatalities or catastrophes on the report.

This new information stunned me a bit. Even though this is public knowledge I felt it brought a personalization to this report. As I stated earlier I put this data on the report in the form of little stick figures in my head. Terrible, I know!  In my opinion when OSHA added the names to the fatality and catastrophe report it brought a level of humanity to it and not the “Just a number” feeling it had when I reviewed this previously. Now, as I look at this data I start to imagine the person, how they must have felt, and wonder what their poor loved ones must be going through. This level of thinking really put a different spin on the report and the information it is providing me. As a safety professional, in my personal day to day, I always look for ways to help improve training, awareness and the safety of others. This report helps me drive forward with my teaching of the OSHA 10 and 30 hour courses and how I can use this data to improve and add value to my courses.

These fatality and catastrophe reports are truly heart wrenching. When looking at this report, how do you feel about OSHA adding the names of the victims? Does it make you feel more connected? Can you think of area in your daily tasks at your workplace where safety can be improved? How will you assist in making these improvements?

Let’s all strive to go home at the end of the day safely!


OSHA Update
OSHA Issues Updated Interim Enforcement Guidance

On May 29, 2015, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published an “Interim Enforcement Guidance for Hazard Communication 2012 (HCS 2012) June 1, 2015 Effective Date” in response to petitions from the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD). The new enforcement document is a follow-up to the guidance that OSHA published on February 9, 2015, and further clarifies the guidance for manufacturers, importers and distributors of hazardous chemicals.

According to the memorandum, the incorporation of additional clarification to the revised Hazard Communication directive “has led to a minor delay in completing review and clearance of the directive”.  OSHA now anticipates that the revised directive will be approved shortly after June 1, 2015. Upon issuance of the Hazard Communication directive, the Interim Enforcement Guidance will be cancelled.

To review the entire memorandum, please see:

TDG Amendments Takes Effect

Have You Made Your TDG Updates Yet?

The holiday rush for 2014 is over. Our parties have been held, and our gifts are unwrapped and appreciated. But if you’re a dangerous goods shipper or carrier, you can’t relax just yet. New requirements from Transport Canada become mandatory, January 15, 2015. So, it’s time to make sure that everything in in compliance with the new system.

Back on July 2, 2014. Transport Canada issued two amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG). One was called the Safety Mark Amendment, and the second was the Update of Standards Amendment. Both will have important effects on dangerous goods shipping procedures, and will need to be addressed immediately if you want your shipments to remain in compliance.
Continue reading “TDG Amendments Takes Effect”

OSHA Denies Industry Petition Regarding Hazcom 2012

Hazcom 2012 Deadline Extensions Denied

In August 2014, nine industry organizations filed a formal request to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) asking to extend the deadline for compliance with the new hazard communication requirements for two years. The new requirements were published as a Final Rule on March 26, 2012 and became effective May 25, 2012. This rulemaking is based on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and is referred to as Hazcom 2012.

Chemical manufactures and importers have until June 1, 2015 to be fully compliant with the new labeling and SDS requirements. While industry has been supportive of the new requirements put in place by OSHA, compliance has been a very slow and difficult process. The petition for delayed compliance with Hazcom 2012 was filed due to the lack of updated classifications available down the supply chain to end users. Many manufacturers are concerned that they will not be able to accurately classify their products by the June 1 deadline due to incomplete information for raw materials that is currently available.
Continue reading “OSHA Denies Industry Petition Regarding Hazcom 2012”

Ebola Outbreak Puts Stress on Shippers of Infectious Substances

The headlines are frightening – Ebola virus, one of the most deadly viruses known, has broken out in several African countries. Medical authorities are concerned that it could spread beyond that region, carried by travellers all over the world. Laboratories in North America and Europe are on alert for patients showing suspicious symptoms. This, in turn, means that samples and specimens must be transported for testing and verification. How can the medical community deal with transportation of such high-risk materials?

Shipping biological substances training »

Ebola virus is considered a “hemorrhagic fever,” which affects the blood system. Its virulence is astonishing, with a fatality rate of between 50 and 90 percent. Combine this with the ability to be transmitted through casual contact, and the lack of specific vaccines or treatment, and it’s understandable why Ebola is such a feared disease. Therefore, it is all the more essential that transporters make sure that they comply with all legal and safety requirements.
Continue reading “Ebola Outbreak Puts Stress on Shippers of Infectious Substances”

OSHA Revises Electrical Standards

On April 1, 2014, OSHA announced a forthcoming rule change on electrical safety requirements. Specifically, the changes are for: Power Generation, transmission, and distribution and protective equipment.

“This long-overdue update will save nearly 20 lives and prevent 118 serious injuries annually,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Electric utilities, electrical contractors and labor organizations have persistently championed these much-needed measures to better protect the men and women who work on or near electrical power lines.”
Continue reading “OSHA Revises Electrical Standards”