Tag Archives: legal issues

When Tuning in Means Tuning Out – the Effects of Music on Workplace Safety

when-tuning-in-means-tuning-out-the-effects-of-music-on-workplace-safety

The year was 1987. The popularity of the personal Walkman (for listening to a rockin’ cassette collection) was skyrocketing. Due to growing safety concerns and an increasing risk of accidents, OSHA issued a memo that year prohibiting the use of Walkmen in certain workplaces with high noise levels.

Fast forward to 2016. iPhone’s and Podcasts are at their height of popularity, and music streaming services are everywhere you turn. More than ever, people love listening to media at work through their headphones. But is there still reason to be concerned about safety? 
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Workplace Terrorism – Preparing for the Worst

workplace-terrorism

From Charlie Hebdo to Pulse Nightclub, stories of terrorism and mass shootings have, sadly, dominated the global airwaves in 2016. Perhaps the most frightening part of this violence? People have the greatest chance of becoming a victim of a mass shooting when they’re simply going to work. According to a 2013 study, 70% of U.S. mass shootings occur in schools and businesses – our places of work.

Although employers want to do their very best to avoid this terror, it can be quite difficult to prevent active-shooter incidents. They’re uncommon, can strike at any time, and are typically over in a matter of minutes or even seconds. However, there are things you can do to prepare for the worst. Here are a few basic guidelines that often go overlooked. 
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Microaggressions: How to Reduce Inadvertent Racism and Misogyny in the Workplace

Microaggressions- How to Reduce Inadvertent Racism and Misogyny in the Workplace

The term “microaggression” was coined by a Harvard psychiatrist back in the 1970s, but you’ve probably only heard the term for the first time within the past few years. That may be because recent movements such as Black Lives Matter and the modern Feminist movement have helped start a national conversation about racism and misogyny in our everyday lives. One major point these organizations want to get across is that many people guilty of such offenses don’t even recognize the prejudices they carry.  Racism and misogyny, especially in the workplace, often show themselves in the form of “microaggressions” – that is, conversational or casual interactions that reveal an inadvertent stereotyping, prejudice, or discriminatory feeling or behavior.

These microaggressions are subtle, but powerful, and can do just as much damage to workplace morale as overt racism or misogyny. So what can your business do to help prevent and combat these harmful words? 
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Keeping Forklifts Safe

The Duty to Care

Even those of us who don’t drive forklifts for a living know how important they are in factories and warehouses all over the world. And while anyone would — and should — approach a forklift with caution and a healthy respect for what it can do, most people probably aren’t aware that every year, more than 20,000 forklift-related injuries occur in the U.S. alone. Not only that, there are countless incidents that involve property damage, including damage to overhead sprinklers, pipes, racks, walls, and machinery.

But it’s actually quite easy to prevent forklift accidents, injuries, and damage if operators follow these tips for keeping forklifts safe. 
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What You Should Know About OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

You may not have questions about OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens standard. Then again, you may. If so, here’s some information you might find handy.

  • OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens standard applies to all employees who have occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. Occupational exposure is defined as “reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of the employee’s duties.”
  • If employees are trained and designated as responsible for rendering first aid or medical assistance as part of their job duties, they are covered by the protections of the standard.
  • While OSHA does not generally consider maintenance personnel and janitorial staff employed in non-healthcare facilities to have occupational exposure, it is your responsibility to determine which job classifications or specific tasks and procedures involve occupational exposure.
  • All employees with occupational exposure must receive initial and annual refresher training.
  • Part-time and temporary employees are covered by the standard if they potentially may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens and, therefore, should also to be trained during work hours.
  • The standard requires an annual review of the exposure control plan. In addition, whenever changes in tasks, procedures, or employee positions affect or create new occupational exposure, the existing plan must be reviewed and updated accordingly.
  • Universal Precautions is OSHA’s required method of control to protect employees from exposure to all human blood and other potentially infectious materials. The term, “Universal Precautions,” refers to a concept of bloodborne disease control that requires that all human blood and certain human bodily fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and other bloodborne pathogens.
  • The use of eye protection is based on the reasonable anticipation of facial exposure. Masks in combination with eye protection devices, such as glasses with solid side shields, goggles, or chin-length face shields, should be worn whenever splashes, spray, spatter, or droplets of blood or other potentially infectious materials may be generated, and eye, nose, or mouth contamination can be reasonably anticipated.
  • Disposable gloves should be replaced as soon as practical after they have become contaminated or as soon as feasible if they are torn, punctured, or their ability to function as a barrier is compromised. Hands must be washed after the removal of gloves used as personal protective equipment (PPE), whether or not the gloves are visibly contaminated.
  • Employees are not permitted to take their PPE or contaminated protective clothing home to clean or launder it. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide, clean or launder, repair, replace, and dispose of PPE and protective clothing.
  • EPA-registered tuberculocidal disinfectants are appropriate to decontaminate equipment or working surfaces that have come in contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials. A solution of 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite (household bleach), diluted between 1:10 and 1:100 with water, is also acceptable for cleaning contaminated surfaces.
     

If you have questions please call me at (229) 207-0664 to discuss them.  
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