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Have You Recently Conducted Your Required Safety & Health Program Audits? (May/Jun-18)
Do You Know How Old Your Tires Really Are? (Jan/Feb-18)
Risk Assessment & Premise Liability Insurance (Nov/Dec-17)
Forklift Safety – You Can Save A Life Today (Sep/Oct-17)
Protect Your Employees from Heat Stress Related Injuries (Jul/Aug-17)
Lockout-Tagout from a Manager’s Perspective (May/Jun-17)
Do Your Employees Really Know How to Use Personal Protective Equipment? (Mar/Apr-17)
OSHA & Lockout/Tagout (Nov/Dec-16)
OSHA Increases Their Penalties Towards Employers (Jul/Aug-16)
Do You Know What Your Experience Modification Rate Is? (May/Jun-16)
Machine Safety (Sep/Oct-15)
Lockout, Tagout & Tryout – Are You in Compliance? (Jul/Aug-15)
Forklift Safety Practices (May/Jun-15)
Using the Right Power Saw to Cut Plastic Materials (Mar/Apr-15)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-15)
Ergonomics (Sep/Oct-14)
Respiratory Protection . . . Does Your Program Protect? (May/Jun-14)
First Aid Program (Mar/Apr-14)
Working with Composite Materials Safely and Preventing Dermatitis (Jan/Feb-14)
Preventing Winter Slips, Trips and Falls (Nov/Dec-13)
The Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication – Are You Ready For It? (Sep/Oct-13)
Safety & New Employee Orientation (Jul/Aug-13)
Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety (May/Jun-13)
Posting of OSHA Notices (Jan/Feb-13)
Staying Safe This Winter (Nov/Dec-12)
Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
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SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Risk Assessment & Premise Liability Insurance

This issue I would like to share a story about a recent job my company was hired to perform. A large manufacturing company contacted us to conduct a risk assessment of their machinery. They wanted to know specifically if there were hazards that needed to be corrected which could expose their employees to injuries.

The OSHA machine guarding standards have been in effect for 46 years. My question to you reading this article is this: “Should this manufacturer have any serious machine guarding hazards in today’s world if they had an effective program?” The answer to this question is simply, no.

Prior to my company arriving on their manufacturing site we asked our new client for information that is especially important to us if we are going to conduct this type of machine guarding risk assessment audit. We asked if we could review copies of the machine manufacturers owners/operator manuals? We were told that they did not have them.

Next, we asked if they had the training records of their management, machine operators and the maintenance personnel who are required to know this information. Essential information is always found in these manufacturers documents. Once again, this client stated that they did not have those as well.

We also knew that this client previously hired another machine guarding company to conduct a machine guarding risk assessment prior to them contacting us so we asked to see a copy of that firm’s report. Although this new client stated in writing back to us that they had one, this client refused to share this vital information with us.

Our new client is a large manufacturer who has many product lines that are well known and who have been in business for many years. While we were on site, we learned from their documents that they average 30 machine amputations annually in their worldwide facilities and at least one of them was a fatality. We learned this from their machine guarding risk assessment training documents that we came across during our visit.

While we were onsite, one of my team almost fell 30 feet from an elevated work area. He was asked by their Safety & Health Manager why he went up there? My associate stated that there were machines up there that needed to be inspected. The manager told my associate, who could have lost his life to “just get over it”.

Next as we were reviewing the machine guarding risk assessment forms that this client wanted us to use, we found that the formula was flawed, meaning that if we followed their formula, the real machine guarding risk of the hazard we were inspecting would be lower than what it should have been. When we brought this issue up to this client’s manager and the site Safety & Health Manager, we were threatened, bullied and cursed at. Then suddenly, this person threw something down on the table next to me. I have PTSD from serving in Vietnam, I thought a bomb had gone off and I froze.

Later, after returning to my hotel room, my PTSD being spiked and knowing that my associate could have been killed in a near miss fall accident was just about all I could tolerate. We were told by the management not to report the hazards that we identified while conducting our audit. We tried to bring this matter to their CEO in the United Sates and then with tried to send the same information to their global operations in Europe. We were served with a “Cease and Desist” letter.

Our attempts to protect their employees were rejected. The abuse that we experienced from one of their employees was disregarded. We were adhering to their company policies by bringing these issues to management’s attention. To protect my team, I filed a formal complaint with OSHA. Why did I blow the whistle on this client? Because I cared for the safety of others, members of my team, and especially this clients employees.

Many of our clients are required to have premise liability insurance. As a business owner you are expected to take reasonable care to protect visitors to your business. Most visitors will fall into one of three categories:

Invitee: Someone who is invited onto the property (e.g., a customer). Invitees can expect that you have taken reasonable precautions to ensure their safety.

Licensee: Someone who is permitted to enter the property, but has not been invited (e.g., delivery persons, utility workers). Licensees are aware of certain hazards, and cannot expect that the highest level of care is given to their safety. In fact, they may contribute to some of the hazards.

Trespasser: Someone who is neither invited nor permitted to enter a property. Trespassers (e.g., burglars or vandals) have a very limited assumption of safety.

As a business owner, you are legally required to maintain the safety of a property and if a visitor is injured or their property is damaged, you can be held liable to financially compensate the visitor for damages.

I will update you later on the status of our complaint. In the meantime please let us know if you have any safety and health questions. We would be happy to address them in an article in 2018.

For more information, click on the author biography at the top of the page.

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