ISN has released its latest publication from ISN Analytics™, The Orange Book, which uses data-driven analytics and industry leader insights to navigate how companies are managing the risks introduced with outsourcing work. This publication allows organizations to: Explore contractor outsourcing trends to stay up-to-date on performance correlations and leading indicators Analyze the safety and risk management goals and priorities of other Hiring Clients Learn about ISNetworld tools Hiring Clients are using to manage the associated risks with outsourcing “We look forward to discussing the items in The Orange Book with ISN’s current and future customers to assist them in making lasting improvements in their contractor management programs and help meet their goals toward a safer workplace,” said ISN CEO Joseph Eastin. Access The Orange Book and additional ISN Analytics™ Publications on ISN’s Publications Page.
June is designated as National Safety Month by the National Safety Council. Each year, the organization aims to reduce leading causes of serious injuries and fatalities at work, on the road, at home and in U.S. communities. This year, the focus narrows to four key topics: Hazard Recognition Slips, Trips and Falls Fatigue Impairment Hazard Recognition Hazards are all around us. The most common way to classify hazards is by category; some examples include: Biological: Such as bacteria, viruses, animals, humans Chemical: Based on the physical or toxic properties of the chemical Ergonomic: Repetitive movements Physical: Radiation, temperature extremes, noise Psychosocial: Stress, violence Safety: Slipping/tripping hazards, equipment malfunctions Next time you are in your office or on a work site, ask yourself, “What could go wrong here?” During your risk assessment process, evaluate the level of harm and the potential impact of the hazard. You may be surprised at how many hazards you identify and how often you come across them. Where can I find more information about hazards?Depending on the hazard, your risk assessment might require additional research. Consider these sources of information: Safety Data Sheets (SDS) Equipment manuals Occupational hygiene test results (for hazards such as chemical or noise exposure) Information or publications from government or safety agencies (such as OSHA or CCOHS) Company health and safety programs Hazards in the WorkplaceHazards can be introduced over time as processes change, equipment or tools become worn, housekeeping practices decline, or equipment goes unmaintained. Employees should regularly inspect their workplace to prevent incidents. If it is determined that there are unsafe conditions or hazards in the work area, employees should report the condition to their supervisor immediately so the situation can be resolved. Slips, Trips and Falls Slips most commonly occur when your heel strikes the ground and the transfer of body weight causes your foot to slip out from under you. Although many people find they can recover from slips, you can easily strain muscles when trying to regain your balance. Trips are caused when your forward-moving leg suddenly and unexpectedly stops. You body continues its forward motion but lacks the forward foot to land on. Statistics show that 67% of falls happen on the same level resulting from slips and trips. The remaining 33% are falls from a height. What can you do to avoid falling at work? The National Safety Council has several tips to prevent slips, trips and falls. Always use handrails when walking up or down stairs Don’t walk while distracted. Put your phone away and watch where you are going. Keep the office tidy. Close desk drawers and keep the floor clear of clutter. Keep flooring in good condition. This includes ensuring mats and rugs are flat to the surface with no sections that could create tripping hazards. Always ensure you have enough light for your tasks. Take it One Step at a Time Most safety programs focus on the physical hazards of slips, trips and falls. Although this is the most obvious, you can’t eliminate slips, trips and falls by only dealing with physical factors. Another factor is person’s state of mind. When we’re rushing, tired or complacent, we tend to make errors and decisions that increase the possibility of injury. It is important for employers to educate their employees on human factors that increase the odds of hurting themselves from a slip, trip or fall incident. FatigueEffective sleep can have a dramatic effect on the way a person functions on a day-to-day basis. According to the American Sleep Association, about 40% of working-age adults report short sleep duration. The UK National Health Service (NHS) reported that 1 in 3 people suffer from poor sleep. Read our recent article Managing Fatigue in the Workplace for more information. We cover the effects of fatigue on your body, top causes of sleep deprivation and fatigue, ways to prevent it in the workplace, and resources to evaluate your fatigue levels and sleep patterns. Impairment We often think of impairment as a result of substance use or an addiction or dependence to alcohol or drugs. However, impairment can be a result of various situations. Examples of impairment include substance use, fatigue, stress and personal issues. How do you identify impairment?As impairment may be the result of many different circumstances, employers should develop a clear statement of what is impaired behavior in their workplace. The following characteristics may be related to impairment: Personality changes, poor coordination or erratic behavior Smell, glassy eyes and/or slurring Working in an unsafe or atypical manner Developing a substance abuse programEmployers should collaborate with employees, health and safety committee reps, and union members to establish a policy which outlines the expectations of workers. The policy should also address an acceptable level of safety performance for the company. Supervisors should be educated and trained on how to recognize impairment. Additional trained employees can help ensure an unbiased assessment and remove any stigma regarding substance abuse when talking to an employee about their behavior. Benefits and SupportIf it is suspected that an employee is showing signs of impairment, it is important to act. Follow the company’s substance abuse program by speaking to the individual in a private area to discuss concerns about safety and impairment. Employees may also have access to an Employee and Family Assistance Program (EAP). These programs are often included with benefits and are a great resource. If you are struggling with substance abuse or other challenges, check with your human resources department to see if an EAP is available through your employer. Safety is Your ResponsibilityIt is important to demonstrate your commitment to safety through leading by example and following company policies. Although safety programs and policies are vital in the office and the worksite, having knowledge and awareness may also help you recognize unsafe situations in your daily life. If you are a contractor, review your company’s safety policies and programs to help reduce incidents. If you are a Hiring Client, it’s a good time to evaluate your written programs and trainings. Ask your contact at ISN for information on how our team can help. Are you a Hiring Client and interested to learn how ISN could help you manage your contractors and validate written programs? Request a demo of our contractor management system, ISNetworld.
The 76th Annual Pulp & Paper Safety Association (PPSA) Conference will be held June 24-26 at the Marriott Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas. The conference will feature expert speakers from within the safety community and showcase the latest innovations in personal and site safety. Attendees will have the opportunity to network and collaborate with fellow industry safety professionals and hear success stories from leaders who have empowered their employees to understand the value of safety. Visit ISN Join us at Booth 13 during the conference to discuss contractor management services and learn more about ISNetworld. The ISN team will be providing live demonstrations of the ISNetworld contractor management software, sharing benchmarking reports and discussing best practices in contractor management. We look forward to seeing you there.
ISN is pleased to announce Owens Corning has implemented ISNetworld as its contractor management platform across all sites in North America with plans to expand globally. About Owens Corning Owens Corning is a global leader in insulation, roofing and composites that employs more than 20,000 people in 33 countries. The company is a fellow member of the Campbell Institute, and their commitment to market-leading products has kept Owens Corning on the Fortune 500 list for 64 consecutive years. Expanding ISN’s Contractor Management System Presence in the Building Products Industry “When searching for a contractor management solution that would meet our needs, it was important for us to find an innovative company that strives to provide the best customer service and a robust platform, resulting in confidence in our selection of contract partners,” said Tom Daniel, Global EHS Leader with Owens Corning. “We found this with ISN. They have already gone the extra mile by having a dedicated transition success manager housed at our World Headquarters office to set us up with a smooth implementation and provide training for our employees and contractors.” The ISNetworld contractor management software allows Hiring Clients to connect with more than 70,000 contractors focused on maintaining a safe culture throughout their organization. Expansion within the building products industry furthers ISN’s position in manufacturing as the leading contractor management solution and provides greater benchmarking resources from around the globe. “We are proud to partner with this industry leader and look forward to working with Owens Corning to ensure that their contractor management goals are met and exceeded,” said Marie Anderson, ISN Vice President of Business Development. “The implementation with Owens Corning represents continued growth in this sector. It also provides more opportunities for our existing Hiring Clients to benchmark their current processes and strive to reach the next level of safe practices in the workplace.” Learn more about the Owens Corning ISNetworld implementation.
The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) Safety 2019 Professional Development Conference & Exposition will be held June 9-12 in New Orleans. Each year, more than 4,000 occupational health and safety professionals gather for the event. The three-day conference will provide almost 20 hours of International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) accredited education to attendees. This educational event will provide insight on topics such as environmental management, ergonomics, industrial hygiene, product safety, workers’ compensation, construction safety, organizational management, and additional aspects of safety management and engineering. Visit ISN Join us at Booth 947 during the conference to discuss best practices in contractor management and see a live demonstration of ISN‘s services. We look forward to seeing you there.
On the job site and at home, electrical hazards can often be overlooked since the use of electricity is critical for daily tasks. In the United States, May is National Electrical Safety Awareness Month, and with electrical hazards ever present, this provides an opportunity to share reminders about the risks and ways to stay safe. Did you know that in 2017, lockout/tagout and electrical citations were in OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited violations? That year, there were 136 electrical fatalities, which accounted for 5.7% of all electrical injuries. Of those injuries, 2,210 were nonfatal, representing a 35% increase between 2016 and 2017. Common Electrical Hazards Poor and defective wiring Outlet proximity to water sources Damaged power/extension cords Overloaded power strips and outlets Improper grounding Working on live circuits Overhead power lines Electrical Safety at WorkWhile electrical hazards can cause serious injuries, following proper safety measures can help workers eliminate and/or mitigate the hazards. Remember to keep the tips below in mind when working with or around electrical equipment: Ensure only qualified personnel perform work on electrical lines and equipment: Follow safe work practices before the electrical work, such as LOTO, JSA, proper PPE, etc. Follow NFPA 70E and OSHA guidelines with respect to voltage range and minimum approach distance for electric power generation, transmission and distribution and general electric Do not wear conductive apparel when in close proximity with electrical lines and equipment Stay at least 10 feet away when operating equipment like aerial lifts around electrical lines Properly ground electrical equipment Minimize the use of extension cords and never plug two extension cords together Treat all electrical devices as if they are energized or live Overhead Power Line Safety On April 24, 2019, a train carrying ethanol derailed in Fort Worth, Texas, and five of the twenty tank cars caught fire. While responding to the fire, the Fort Worth Fire Department’s mobile command unit came in contact with an overhead line, which caused the truck to catch fire. Fortunately, there were no injuries from the resulting fire, but the truck itself was destroyed. The incident serves as a good reminder for the risks associated with overhead lines even for those who contend with fire safety issues daily. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), 36% of all electrically related workplace fatalities from 2011-2017 were caused by overhead power lines. Here are some reminders for working safely around power lines: Complete the necessary training for anyone working near overhead lines Check weather conditions prior to starting work Locate power lines before starting work and keep at least 10 feet away Ensure properly rated PPE is worn Never touch a power line or anything that is in contact with a power line Carry large tools like ladders horizontally to avoid contact with a power line If a power line is down, assume it is live, call 911 and stay back at least 35 feet Electrical Safety at HomeJust like the workplace, electrical hazards are also found at home. Overloaded circuits, damaged extension cords and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects gone wrong can lead to fires, injuries and fatalities at home. An average of 51,000 electrical home structure fires occur each year, claiming almost 500 lives, injuring more than 1,400 people and causing more than $1.3 billion in property damage (National Fire Protection Association, 2003-2007). In addition, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that nearly 400 people are electrocuted in the U.S. each year. Below are some helpful electrical safety tips for home: Place lamps on level surfaces and a foot away from anything flammable Ensure GFCI receptacles are installed in kitchens and bathrooms Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when plugging devices into the outlet Keep your little ones safe by re-outfitting your home with tamper-resistant electrical receptacles Check electrical cords and confirm they do not run across doorways and under carpets Match recommended light bulb wattage on lamps and fixtures Get more resources and tips for electrical safety at home from ESFI. Evaluate your Electrical Safety KnowledgeWhether you are at home or at work, protecting ourselves, coworkers and family members should be one of our main goals through eliminating or controlling any electrical hazard. A good first step is to conduct a safety or hazard assessment of your environment. This will ensure you have a good plan and correct any hidden electrical hazards. If you are a contractor, ask your supervisor for a copy of your company’s electrical policies and programs to review to help reduce incidents. If you are a Hiring Client, ask your contact at ISN for information on our written program, training document and supporting document protocols covering electrical safety awareness and NFPA 70E OSHA requirements. Are you a Hiring Client and interested to learn how ISN could help you manage your contractors and validate written programs like electrical safety awareness? Request a demo of our contractor management system, ISNetworld.
The ISN Team will be exhibiting for the Safeguard National Health & Safety Conference at the SKYCITY Convention Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, May 28-29. The ISN team will be available at booth #18 throughout the conference. Stop by to have a chat with our team, see a live demonstration of our online platform, and learn more about ISN’s services and best practices in contractor management. The Safeguard National Health & Safety Conference is New Zealand’s largest health and safety conference, bringing together over 500 attendees spanning a broad range of industries. This will be the 12th event since it launched in 2007. This year’s theme is “Dare to Disrupt,” with a focus on how health and safety professionals can be innovative in their approaches and do things differently in regards to safety to make an impact. We look forward to seeing you there.
Did you know distracted driving is the biggest danger on the road? According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving claims at least nine lives and injures 100 people every day. The month of April isDistracted Driving Awareness Month, dedicated to bringing awareness to the community about the issue. Defining Distracted Driving Distracted driving is the act of engaging in other activities that take your full attention and focus away from driving. Some activities that threaten your safety include using a cell phone, conversing with passengers and using vehicle technologies and/or navigation systems. Multitasking is a Myth Studies have shown the ability to multitask is a myth. The human brain is not built to perform multiple tasks at the same time. Texting while driving is the most catastrophic distraction. When we send or read a text message, we take our eyes off the road for approximately five seconds. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when we are traveling at 55mph, that five seconds is an equivalent of driving the length of an entire football stadium with our eyes closed. Causes of Commercial Vehicle Crashes A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study has shown that 71% of commercial vehicle crashes are due to distracted drivers. In 2008, a commercial vehicle driver was distracted by drinking a soda and did not see a stopped school bus with its lights flashing and stop arm extended. Fourteen children were taken to the hospital and four of them had serious injuries. The commercial driver was also transported to the hospital in critical condition. Commercial vehicle drivers can experience additional distractions to those typical of your personal vehicle. A 2009 study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that using a dispatching device while driving increased chances of being involved in a safety-critical event by 9 times. Many companies have developed policies or lock out features of these devices when the truck is moving to reduce incidents. Tips to Reduce Distracted Driving According to recommendations from a New Hampshire Occupational Heath Surveillance Program study, employers can help reinforce safe driving practices at work and home through policy enforcement. Seatbelt usage requirements for drivers and passengers in the workplace can translate to better habits at home. Programs to address distracted and drowsy driving for commercial operators can also reinforce best practices on and off the clock. Follow these tips to help reduce your distractions: Put away your phone Plan your route in advance Do not multi-task while driving Avoid reaching for dropped items Make a Commitment to Safety Each one of us can make a difference by being active and mindful of driving distractions and making a commitment to ourselves to eliminate distractions while we are on the road. Employers can implement a cell phone policy to keep employees safe, and parents can set a good example for their children by adhering to safe driving practices. If you’re a contractor, ask your supervisor if your company has driving policies and programs in place to help reduce driving incidents. If you’re a Hiring Client, ask your contact at ISN for information on written programs, including those on driving policies. Interested to learn how ISN could help you manage your contractors and validate written programs like driving policies? Request a demo of our contractor management system ISNetworld.
The Business Aviation Safety Summit (BASS) Conference will be held from May 2-3 in Denver. Each year, hundreds of occupational health and safety decision makers in the business aviation industry gather for the event. They collaborate to discuss management of health and safety at work regulations, identify safety concerns, devise approaches to reduce risk and implement initiatives to improve safety. Visit ISN Join us at Booth 14 during the conference to discuss contractor management services and learn more about ISNetworld. The ISN team will be providing live demonstrations of the ISNetworld contractor management software, sharing benchmarking reports and discussing best practices in contractor management. We look forward to seeing you there.
The recent chemical fire in Deer Park, Texas, raised concerns about safety and risks associated with benzene. What is Benzene? Benzene is a toxic, flammable, colorless chemical that has a sweet, aromatic odor and is not soluble in water. Some industries use benzene to make other chemicals that are used to make plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibers. Benzene is also used to make some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides. All of us experience trace amounts of benzene exposure through daily use of consumer products. Detergents, pesticides and gasoline all contain benzene. However, employees who work in petroleum refining sites and pipeline operations, for example, have a higher risk of exposure to benzene. Benzene awareness is extremely important due to its prevalence and harmful health effects. Health Effects of Benzene Exposure Benzene often enters the body through inhalation. Both short-term and long-term exposure to benzene can cause serious health issues. Potential short-term effects may include breathlessness, irritability, irritation of eyes, nose and skin, dizziness, or nausea. Long-term effects of benzene exposure can include blood disorders like anemia and leukemia. If you experience any unplanned exposure to benzene, you should seek medical assistance immediately. Best Practices for Working With or Near Benzene Eliminate any heat or ignition sources like open flames or sparks Prohibit smoking in areas where benzene is used or stored Ensure fire extinguishers are readily available Store benzene in a cool, well ventilated location and keep containers tightly closed when not in use Wear the necessary personal protective equipment to protect against exposure. This may include boots, gloves, aprons, eye and face protection, and/or respiratory protection. If a benzene release occurs, evacuate immediately, notify response personnel and report to health, safety and environmental authorities as applicable. The Benefits of a Benzene Awareness Program For companies with potential occupational exposure to benzene, documented benzene awareness programs provide great value to both Hiring Clients and contractors. ISN has both benzene and benzene awareness protocols that align with OSHA standards available to customers where applicable. ISN’s RAVS Plus Assessment is designed to provide additional evidence for Hiring Clients that contractors’ written programs are implemented throughout their work practices and that their employees have received training. Chemical awareness and employees’ ability to correctly identify related characteristics and health effects of the chemical are common gaps identified during these assessments. Learn More Contact us to learn more about the RAVS Plus tool, or schedule a demo of the ISNetworld platform.