Documenting Training: November Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: We have made changes to our training programs, what things should be considered for the documentation and proof of training?

Answer: Whether the training is virtual or in person, the need for documentation is the same.  We have heard “if it’s not documented it wasn’t done, so document, document, document…

Here is a list of things you can include in your documentation:

  • Topic – such as Hazcom, LOTO, Emergency Preparedness
  • Agenda – what did you cover – keep details so you don’t forget
  • Format-online, webinar, in-person, hybrid
  • Date(s)
  • Name of trainer and/or company
  • Assessments– These are great to gauge understanding of a topic.  You can create simple few questions prior to the training and feel free to review as part of the training.
  • Post survey on training effectiveness

Additionally, make sure there is a chance for employees to easily pose questions and give feedback.

Times are challenging but this is a good time to think outside the box and try some hybrid trainings or virtual options. Draw from your staff and keep contact during these times. You just may find some things that can improve your training programs for the future.  Always feel free to contact your BWC safety staff for additional information.

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

WFH Ergonomics: October Safety & Hygiene Corner

QUESTION: Since we have employees working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, do I need to be concerned about their computer workstation set-up?

ANSWER: Yes, it is important to include home-based employees into your office ergonomic program.   Employees can experience discomfort from improper computer workstation set-up both in the workplace and at home.   If employees are experiencing discomfort such as neck, back, shoulder, or wrist pain during the workday, adjustments need to be made before it becomes chronic and develops into a Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD).   According to 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, tasks that cause workplace MSDs are in the top 10 causes of disabling workplace injuries costing U.S. businesses $20 billion dollars.  To help prevent MSD injuries for the home-based office employee, BWC published a YouTube video to improve employee’s comfort utilizing common household items.   Click on the following link to view, BWC home office set-up

If you would like additional resources or to request a virtual office ergonomic assessment, please contact your local BWC Ergonomist or request their service on-line at BWC Safety and Health Consulting Request.  Essentially, their consultations are free to use since your BWC premiums include their services.

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

Lockout/Tag Out: September Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question:  Is it acceptable to issue LOTO locks to the operators of our equipment?  Our maintenance employees who perform the actual servicing of the equipment have their locks and are trained as such.  I would like to have the operators be able to lockout their machines/equipment when it breaks down and then notify the maintenance employees, so they can service the equipment.

Answer:  According to 1910.147(c)(8) (Energy Isolation): 

Lockout or tagout shall be performed only by the authorized employees who are performing the servicing or maintenance.

Under 1910.147(b) (Definitions) you will find two personnel roles in LOTO – Authorized and Affected.

Authorized employee. A person who locks out or tags out machines or equipment in order to perform servicing or maintenance on that machine or equipment. An affected employee becomes an authorized employee when that employee’s duties include performing servicing or maintenance covered under this section.

Affected employee. An employee whose job requires him/her to operate or use a machine or equipment on which servicing, or maintenance is being performed under lockout or tagout, or whose job requires him/her to work in an area in which such servicing or maintenance is being performed.

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

Pathways Lighting Requirements: August 2020 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: What are the requirements for Pathways Lighting and maintenance of Emergency Lights?

Answer: Many folks are aware of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.37 Exit Routes and Emergency Planning requirements for Exit signs and routes.  However, for the requirements for pathway lighting to exits and maintenance, you must refer to  Ohio Fire Code.   

Section 1008 Means of egress illumination 1008.3 Emergency power for illumination. The power supply for means of egress illumination shall normally be provided by the premises’ electrical supply and 1008.3.1 General. In the event of power supply failure in rooms and spaces that require two or more means of egress an emergency electrical system shall automatically illuminate all of the following areas: aisles, corridors and exit access stairways and ramps.

For Testing and Maintenance look at Ohio Fire Code 604.6 Emergency lighting equipment.

604.6.1 An Activation test – shall be completed monthly. The activation test shall ensure the emergency lighting activates automatically upon normal electrical disconnect and stays sufficiently illuminated for not less than 30 seconds.  604.6.1.1 Activation test record-  Records of tests shall be maintained and shall include the location of the emergency lighting tested, whether the unit passed or failed, the date of the test and the person completing the test.

604.6.2 Power test – For battery-powered emergency lighting, a power test of the emergency lighting equipment shall be completed annually. The power test shall operate the emergency lighting for not less than 90 minutes and shall remain sufficiently illuminated for the duration of the test. 604.6.2.1 Power test records shall be maintained. The record shall include the location of the emergency lighting tested, whether the unit passed or failed, the date of the test and the person completing the test.

Now is a great time to incorporate your monthly test with your other inspections.  You can add them to your Fire Extinguisher check list.  You can also add the yearly testing to your preventative Maintenance program to ensure annual testing is completed.

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

FY21 Announcement from the Ohio BWC

The following email is an update from the Ohio BWC regarding FY21. It was sent on 7/8/20.

Dear safety council member,

As a valued member of an Ohio safety council, we want to inform you of important updates to the BWC Safety Council program for the upcoming fiscal year, that started July 1.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio Safety Councils will conduct all meetings virtually (online only) this fiscal year. This is the safest way to hold meetings as we work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio. We expect most safety councils will choose to host virtual meetings this year. However, if that is not the case with your local program, we will connect you with a neighboring safety council that will host you until in-person meetings resume.

The decision to go virtual will also make participation as easy as possible for you as you focus on resuming your operations and keeping your workforce safe.

In light of the difficult and unusual times, we will not be offering a rebate for participation nor the performance rebate (for those eligible) to employers who participate in the BWC Safety Council program.  

While this is not the usual direct financial reward for attending, we believe your business will still receive valuable workplace safety information and resources by attending meetings online. What you learn at upcoming virtual meetings can help with cost savings and keeping your workers safe from injuries and illness at work.

Look to your local safety council for information on upcoming meetings and programming as they remain your source for occupational safety and health and workers’ compensation information and resources!

Sincerely,

Michelle Francisco

BWC Safety Council Program Manager