Pile of documents with Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA.

March 2 Deadline For 300 Log Electronic Reporting Compliance

March 2 is the deadline for employers to file directly with OSHA their 300A and two other reports—Forms 300 and 301.

OSHA provides in-depth information regarding filing the form 300A. Below, is a summary of important requirements taken from their website to help navigate the filing requirements.

Recordkeeping Requirements

Many employers with more than 10 employees are required to keep a record of serious work-related injuries and illnesses. (Certain low-risk industries are exempted.) Minor injuries requiring first aid only do not need to be recorded.

This information helps employers, workers and OSHA evaluate the safety of a workplace, understand industry hazards, and implement worker protections to reduce and eliminate hazards -preventing future workplace injuries and illnesses.

COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected due to performing work-related duties. However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following are true:

  1. The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19 (see CDC information on persons under investigation and presumptive positive and laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19);
  2. The case is work-related (as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5); and
  3. The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7 (e.g., medical treatment beyond first aid, days away from work).

Maintaining and Posting Records

Keep in mind, records must be maintained at the worksite for at least five years. Each February through April, employers must post a summary of the injuries and illnesses recorded the previous year. Also, if requested, copies of the records must be provided to current and former employees, or their representatives.

Who needs to file:

Only a small fraction of establishments is required to electronically submit their Form 300A data to OSHA. Establishments that meet any of the following criteria DO NOT have to send their information. Remember, these criteria apply at the establishment level, not to the firm as a whole.

  • The establishment’s peak employment during the previous calendar year was 19 or fewer, regardless of the establishment’s industry.
  • The establishment’s industry is on this list, regardless of the size of the establishment.
  • The establishment had a peak employment between 20 and 249 employees during the previous calendar year AND the establishment’s industry is not on this list.

How to file:

OSHA provides a secure website that offers three options for data submission. Users can manually enter data into a web form or upload a CSV file to process multiple establishments at the same time. Those using automated recordkeeping systems will have the ability to transmit data electronically.

We’re Here to Help

The current reporting requirements can be confusing and difficult to follow. It’s important to stay up to date to avoid unnecessary OSHA fines and penalties. If you need help meeting this filing deadline, contact us today.

We can help with:

OSHA CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

OSHA TRAINING  – We offer Open Enrollment Classes, Online Courses, and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

Group of construction workers on building site.Stock photo

Keeping Your Construction Site Safe – What You Need to Know

It’s safe to say, construction is a high hazard industry.

Comprised of a wide range of activities, construction workers engage in many activities that may expose them to serious hazards.

According to the 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index report, the top 5 five injuries from construction sites – falls to lower level, struck by object, overextension, falls to same level, and hit by vehicle – accounted for $7.87 billion in costs.

Providing a safe construction worksite is key to maintaining healthy workers and keeping the job on schedule.

To accomplish this, many companies hire a full-time safety advisor. This person is typically responsible for in-house safety programs, managing OSHA related inspections, and training workers. In a perfect world, this works fine. However, finding and hiring for this role can be challenging.

Keep Your Project On-Track

Many construction companies rely on out-sources construction site safety services that augment an existing in-house safety team. This helps to free up the company from the challenge of finding and hiring safety consultants for special projects.

When a construction project requires specific expertise, adding this type of resource can make the difference between winning or losing the bid.

Out-sourced safety services can be used on new construction projects, shutdowns, or maintenance-related activities. If one of the safety consultants becomes unavailable because of illness or other reasons, they can quickly be replaced, without sacrificing quality or missing project deadlines.

United Alliance Services’ qualified Safety Advisors work with your team to integrate safety on your project, from the initial planning stages to the daily task-specific toolbox meetings. Our motivated team of professionals understands that safety, quality, and productivity work hand-in-hand.

Construction Site Safety Services

We work with many construction companies in a variety of ways.

  1. OSHA State and Federal Laws
    OSHA construction safety standards can be overwhelming. We can help you anticipate and meet the legal requirements for worker safety.
  2. Safety Programs and Site-Specific Plans
    Whether it’s a new safety program you need or just an update of your current safety program to meet new requirements, we can help to develop a specialized set of standards, policies and procedures. The potential safety program components are based on construction standards from OSHA.
  3. OSHA Inspection and Citation Assistance
    We will help manage the regulatory inspection process at your jobsite. Our safety professionals have years of experience managing these situations from opening to informal conference.
  4. OSHA Recordkeeping and Documentation
    We can help your company understand all the statutory recordkeeping requirements identified by OSHA.
  5. Construction Safety Inspections
    Construction safety inspections are the most effective means of identifying hazardous conditions at the worksite. Construction sites require constant monitoring and careful observations to stay ahead of safety issues. We help to identify potential OSHA violations, liability issues and risk exposures while assisting clients with mitigating hazards before they damage the reputation of the company and injure employees.

Why Construction Job Site Inspections are Important

Written safety programs, safety training, job hazard analysis, and other tools are used as part of a successful safety program. Construction safety inspections ensure that the safety planning and tools used have the desired effect in the real world. By identifying hazards, you’ll have the opportunity to fix these issues before injuries and accidents can occur.

The best defense against injury and loss is a comprehensive understanding of risks and deficiencies within your construction company and your projects.

We use the same methodologies and standards employed by OSHA and the insurance industry – or your own safety standards – as the basis for our review to ensure a safer construction job site.

We’re here to help

Need help making your construction job site safe? We offer the following services to help:

OSHA CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

OSHA TRAINING  – We offer Open Enrollment Classes, Online Courses, and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

OSHA Safety Program

Core Elements to Starting Your OSHA Health & Safety Program

Starting a OSHA Health and Safety Program is key to providing a safe work environment, and is one of the most effective ways of protecting your employees from unnecessary harm or illness.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the total cost of work injuries in 2019 was $171.0 billion. This figure includes wage and productivity losses of $53.9 billion, medical expenses of $35.5 billion, and administrative expenses of $59.7 billion.

The cost per worker in 2019 was $1,100.

OSHA provides a straightforward approach to setting up your safety and health program with seven core elements. Last week, we discussed the 10 Easy Things to Get Your Program Started

Today we’ll review the first element: Management Leadership

Initiating a health and safety program is relatively easy. The difficult part is getting everyone in your workplace onboard with the plan.

This all starts with management.

Management provides the leadership, vision, and resources needed to implement an effective safety and health program. When we speak about management leadership, we’re referring to business owners, managers, and supervisors – anyone who is considered able to make decisions for the good of the overall business.

As a manager, the overall goal of starting, or revamping, a health and safety program is to:

  • Make worker safety and health a core organizational value.
  • Eliminate hazards, protect workers, and continuously improving workplace safety and health.
  • Provide the resources needed to implement and maintain the program.
  • Demonstrate and communicate their safety and health commitment to workers and others.
  • Set an example through their own actions.

Four Action Items to Take

This can seem daunting, at first glance.

But OSHA provides insight into four action items any management team member can take to get the process started, and how keep it going.

Below is a summary of each action item.

Action item 1: Communicate your commitment to a safety and health program

A clear, written policy helps you communicate that safety and health is a primary organizational value –as important as productivity, profitability, product or service quality, and customer satisfaction.

Action item 2: Define program goals

By establishing specific goals and objectives, management sets expectations for managers, supervisors, and workers and for the program overall. The goals and objectives should focus on specific actions that will improve workplace safety and health.

Action item 3: Allocate resources

Provide the resources needed to implement the safety and health program, pursue program goals, and address program shortcomings when they are identified.

Action item 4: Expect performance

Lead the program effort by establishing roles and responsibilities and providing an open, positive environment that encourages communication about safety and health.

A quick reminder…

Maintaining a positive and encouraging tone is important.

A successful program rewards, rather than disciplines, workers who identify problems or concerns. Disciplinary measures should be reserved for situations in which an individual manager or worker is uncooperative or becomes an impediment to progress.

This type of reaction is counterproductive to the overall goal. Taking the person aside to discuss their behavior, and how it affects others, is important to establishing the ground rules of acceptable behavior. Remind this person that the program isn’t intended to make their job harder but to ensure their safety and the safety and wellbeing of everyone.

Don’t Go It Alone

Starting a Health and Safety Program takes time, effort, and commitment from everyone. If you need guidance on getting your safety and health program started – we’re here to help.

We work with many companies with the following services:

OSHA CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

OSHA TRAINING  – We offer Open Enrollment Classes, Online Courses, and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

Diverse Team of Specialists Inspect Commercial, Industrial Building Construction Site. Real Estate Project with Civil Engineer, Investor and Worker. In the Background Crane, Skyscraper Formwork Frames

10 Ways to Start Your OSHA Health & Safety Program

Safe and healthy employees are key to the success of your business.

Providing a safe work environment is one of the most effective ways of protecting your employees from unnecessary harm or illness.

Losing workers to injury or illness, even for a short time, can cause significant disruption and cost—check OSHA’s $afety Pays online calculator to see just how much – it can also damage workplace morale, productivity, turnover, and reputation.

According to the 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index report, based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries and accidents that cause employees to miss five or more days of work cost U.S. employers nearly $59 billion in 2020,

It also notes the top 5 five injuries from construction sites – falls to lower level, struck by object, overextension, falls to same level, and hit by vehicle – accounted for $7.87 billion in costs.

So, it’s important, not only to the overall financial health of a business but also to the wellbeing of employees, to implement safety programs and protocols to keep the work environment clear of unnecessary risk and hazards.

Having a proper safety program in place helps to identify and solve issues before they occur, rather than reacting to an incident later, and can help to reduce the chance of injuries and potentially reduce the costs associated with a loss.

If you don’t have a program in place – or if you’re looking to update your current program – here are some important steps to know about.

Recommended Practices: 10 Steps to Get You Started

OSHA provides steps you can take to develop and implement Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs.  This is a straightforward approach to setting up your safety and health program with seven core elements, which will be discussed in our next blog post.

Keep in mind, not all details need to be planned before getting started. The point is to get started!

And remember, this is a guide, you get to decide how to best complete the steps in a way that makes sense for your business.

One of the first steps you can take is to review the 10 Easy Things to Get Your Program Started.

This is a list of very basic items to start you on the path towards responsible safety and health management.

Here is an overview of the steps you can take:

  1. Establish safety and health as a core value. Let them know you will work with them to find and fix any hazards that could injure them or make them sick.
  2. Lead by example. Practice safe behavior by making safety part of your daily conversations with workers.
  3. Implement a reporting system. Provide an easy (or even anonymous) way for employees to safely report injuries, illnesses, and hazards.
  4. Provide training. Train workers on how to identify and control hazards in the workplace.
  5. Conduct inspections. Inspect the workplace with workers and ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, or materials that concern them.
  6. Collect hazard control ideas. Ask workers for ideas on improvements.
  7. Implement hazard controls. Work with employees to choose, implement, and evaluate solutions to reduce hazards and risk.
  8. Address emergencies. Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and develop instructions on what to do in each case.
  9. Seek input on workplace changes. Consult with workers to identify potential safety or health issues of any changes to the workplace environment.
  10. Make improvements. Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program.

The Benefits of Implementing These Recommended Practices

The main goal of a safety and health program is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, and prevent financial hardship these events can cause for workers, their families, and their employers.

With a program in place, other benefits may present themselves. With full cooperation of employer and employees, the following benefits may arise:

  • Improvements in products
  • Increase in customer service quality.
  • Better workplace morale.
  • Improved employee recruiting and retention.
  • A more favorable image and reputation

We’re here to help

Need help getting your safety and health program started? We offer the following services to help:

OSHA CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

OSHA TRAINING  – We offer Open Enrollment Classes, Online Courses, and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

OSHA Inspections

New OSHA Citation Penalty Amounts for 2021

In 2015, OSHA began making annual adjustments to its maximum penalties after Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act. This Act requires civil monetary penalties be adjusted for inflation by Jan. 15 of each year.

In keeping with the Act, new citation penalty amounts have been published. Effective January 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor published a final rule setting forth the following adjustments to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) civil penalty amounts based on cost-of-living adjustments:

Below are the common violations related to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). You can view all the penalties increases here.

Violation Old Fine New Fine
Failure to correct a violation for which a citation has been issued under section 9(a) of the OSH Act within the period permitted for the correction. $13,494 $13,653

 

Violation of the requirements of section 5 of the OSH Act, any standard, rule or order promulgated under section 6 of the OSH Act, or applicable regulations $13,494 $13,653

 

Violation of any of the posting requirements, as prescribed under provisions of the OSH Act. $13,494 $13,653

 

Serious violation of the requirements of section 5 of the OSH Act, of any standard, rule, or order promulgated under section 6 of the OSH Act, or applicable regulations. $13,494 $13,653

 

Willfull or repeated violation of the requirements of section 5 of the OSH Act, any standards, rules or orders promulgated under section 6 of the OSH Act, or applicable regulations. $134,937 $136,532

 

 

OSHA Inspections – What You Need to Know

With the increase in penalties, there may also be an increase in OSHA inspections.

OSHA provides valuable information on why an inspection happens, what to do to prepare, the stages of the inspection, fines, and penalties, and your rights. See the steps you need to take here to be prepared.

We’re here to help

We offer the following services to help prevent and manage OSHA compliance issue:

OSHA CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

OSHA TRAINING  – We offer Open Enrollment Classes, Online Courses, and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

Please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself and your employees.

Male doctor holding syringe making covid 19 vaccination injection dose in shoulder of female patient wearing mask. Flu influenza vaccine clinical trials concept, corona virus treatment, close up view.

What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise. According to the CDC, as of Jan 11 2021, there are 22,322,956 total cases, with 373,167 deaths

As the vaccines are being distributed across the country, many states have streamlined vaccine rollout plans to administer doses and get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Along with practicing and adhering to the recommended safety guidelines, the vaccine is yest another tool to help prevent the spread of the virus. With any new vaccine comes many questions about how safe it will be and what benefits the vaccine provides.

Now that people are beginning to get vaccinated, many questions about side effects and the number of doses needed have surfaced. The CDC provides helpful information regarding what you can expect after getting the vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Common side effects:

  1. Pain and swelling on the arm where you got the shot
  2. Fever
  3. Chills
  4. Tiredness
  5. Headache

If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot, apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area, and use or exercise your arm.

When to call the doctor

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  1. If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  2. If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots for them to work. Unless your Doctor tells you not to, you should get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot. The second shot will provide more protection than just receiving one shot.

It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.

It’s important for everyone to continue to practice safety and proper hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.​

According John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, it is still possible to contract COVID-19 between doses. This is why it is important to continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands.

They also note; the first dose will not provide complete protection, and it will take about seven days after your second dose before you will achieve a full protective level of immunity that develops in about 95% of vaccine recipients. If you are exposed to SARS-CoV-2 before this time, it is possible that you could develop COVID-19. The side effects of the vaccine typically start within 12 to 24 hours of vaccination. If you experience side effects that last beyond 48 hours, you should contact your doctor or medical provider for advice.

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine vial and injection syringe in scientist hands concept. Research for new novel corona virus immunization drug.

What to Expect at Your COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment

COVID cases continue to surge throughout the US. With the holiday season now behind us, and many people choosing to travel, the numbers are expected to climb even higher.

To stop this pandemic, along with mask wearing, social distancing, and practicing proper hygiene, getting vaccinated is a critical component in the fight to protect your health and prevent you from getting the disease.

Vaccines are a proven, safe method, that works with your body’s natural defenses to prepare it to fight the virus, if you are exposed. Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. Experts also believe getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get infected. It is important to know the benefits of getting the vaccine, and like other vaccines, taking the COVID vaccines cannot give you the disease itself.

The CDC provides an overview of things to keep in mind while awaiting your vaccine appointment:

  • The Vaccines are Safe

The U.S. vaccine safety system, which includes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures the safety, effectiveness, and availability of vaccine. All the COVID-19 vaccines that are being used have gone through the same safety tests and meet the same standards as any other vaccines produced through the years.

  • There will be different types of COVID-19 vaccines available.

There are now a few vaccine options, depending on where you live could be the basis of which vaccine you get. The vaccines will most likely be given in two separate shots, at least three weeks after the initial shot.

Preparing for Your Vaccine Appointment

Because COVID-19 is a new disease with new vaccines, there are many questions about what happens before, during, and after your appointment to get vaccinated. The following tips from the CDC will help you know what to expect:

  1. Before Getting the Vaccine

Before making an appointment, check to see if you’re eligible to get the vaccine. Many states are following similar vaccination protocols and you may not be eligible for a few more months.

When you do get the vaccine, you must cover your mouth and nose with a mask, be sure not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.  Stay at least 6 feet away from others while inside and waiting in lines.

  1. When You Get Vaccinated

You should receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it.

You should receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you are being offered. Each authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine.

All people who get a COVID-19 vaccine should be monitored on-site for any rare severe allergic reactions. ​

  1. After Vaccination

With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need two shots for it to work properly. You may have some mild side-effects, from sore muscles, feeling tired, or mild fever. Don’t panic, these reactions mean the vaccine is working to help teach your body how to fight COVID-19 if you are exposed. For most people, these side effects will last no longer than a day or two. If these persist, then you should seek medical attention.

Keeping Safe

Even after you get your vaccine, you will need to keep wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from other people you do not live with. This gives you and others the best protection from catching the virus.

Experts are still researching how long the vaccine will provide protection, so it’s important to continue following the guidelines from CDC and your health department. Also, since the vaccination process will be staggered, not everyone will get vaccinated right away, following the standard safety protocols will provide more protection for yourself and others.

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

COVID-19 vaccine concept, female doctor holds coronavirus medication in office or laboratory. Bottle with vaccine for corona virus treatment closeup. Clinical trial due to coronavirus pandemic.

When Can I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

The US is seeing its highest death toll, more than 344,000 people have now died of the COVID-19 virus.

With many states reporting their hospitals are being overrun with the virus, some have tightened their reopening plans to help stop the spread.

In Massachusetts, these restrictions include reducing capacity limits to 25% statewide for most industries, and 10 persons for indoor gatherings, 25 persons for outdoor gatherings to both private homes and event venues and public spaces.. Additional safety measures will be applied to restaurant dining as well.

Rhode Island will be hitting pause for three weeks, ending December 20th. The pause is intended to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 by dialing down overall mobility and reducing social gatherings. These reductions are key to stemming Rhode Island’s recent increase in cases and hospitalizations over the winter months.

Even as the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has gained Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval and shipments are being received by hospitals, the virus is still as deadly as ever. While the general population await their time to be able to take the vaccine, the flu season upon us, and with Christmas fast approaching, there is concern among health professionals that people will let down their guard.

Though there is now light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel is still very long.

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan

Every state will have their own plan for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, it’s most likely that many will follow a similar path for continuity.

For instance, in Massachusetts, according to the Baker-Polito Administration and the Department of Public Health, they have developed a vaccine distribution timeline which provides 3 Phases.

 

Phase 1 timeline is December 2020 – February 2021, and will include:

  1. Clinical and non-clinical health care workers doing direct and COVID-facing care
  2. Long term care facilities, rest homes and assisted living facilities
  3. Police, fire and emergency medical services
  4. Congregate care settings (including corrections and shelters)
  5. Home-based health care workers
  6. Health care workers doing non-COVID-facing care

Phase 2 timeline is February-March 2021, and will include:

  1. Individuals with 2+ co-morbid conditions (high risk for COVID-19 complications)
  2. Early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works and public health workers
  3. Adults 65+
  4. Individuals with one co-morbid condition

Phase 3 timeline starts in April 2021 and is expected to be available to the general public.

CDC Safety Guidelines are Still Important

Though the COVID-19 vaccine is now being distributed and administered, the risk for infection is still high. Now is not the time to stop adhering to safety protocols. These are in place to help keep you and everyone around you safe.

While we wait, be sure to:

  1. Wear a mask
  2. Wash your hands often
  3. Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet
  4. Cover your coughs and sneezes
  5. Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
  6. Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  7. If you feel sick – stay home

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

Holiday Banner 2

Staying COVID-19 Safe for the Holidays – What You Need to Know

Christmas is this Friday and New Years Eve the week after. Our staff at United Alliance want to wish everyone a safe and happy, and healthy, holidays!

This year, the Holidays will feel different. The COVID-19 virus is still ravaging the US, according to the CDC, to date there are 17,790,376 cases in the US, with a staggering 316,844 deaths.

In the spirit of Christmas, there is renewed hope. There are now two vaccines being distributed and administer to people, and the COVID virus may soon be over.

This is great news. However, now is not the time to stop practicing the safety protocols we’ve all learned to live with.

With Christmas and New Year’s now upon us, the CDC, and many state governments, are asking people to restrict travel plans and family gatherings, in an effort to keep people safe until the vaccine is available for all.

If you do plan to travel and either attend or host a holiday event with family and friends, the CDC provides steps you can take to ensure a safe and healthy time.

 Holiday Travel – Question to Ask to Help Keep Safe

(Image source CDC website)

If you are considering traveling for the winter holidays, here are some important questions to ask yourself and your loved ones beforehand. These questions can help you decide what is best for you and your family.

  1. Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
  2. Are cases high or increasing in your community or at your destination?
  3. Are hospitals overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19?
  4. Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers?
  5. During the 14 days before your travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don’t live with?
  6. Do your plans include traveling by bus, train, or airplane, which might make staying 6 feet apart difficult?
  7. Are you traveling with people who don’t live with you?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you should consider making other plans, such as hosting a virtual gathering or delaying your travel.

How to Make Winter Holiday Celebrations Safer

Whether you plan to attend a holiday gathering or hosting a party in your home, here are some steps to consider in your planning:

Attending a Gathering

(Image source CDC website)

If you plan on attending a holiday gathering with people who don’t live with you, here are some steps to take:

  1. Wear a mask
  2. Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, utensils, and condiment packets.
  3. Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you
  4. Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces
  5. Avoid shouting or singing.
  6. Wash your hands often
  7. Get a flu shot as soon as possible
  8. Stay home if you are sick or have been near someone who thinks they may have or have been exposed to COVID-19.

Hosting a Winter Holiday Celebration

(Image source CDC website)

If you choose to have guests at your home, make sure that everyone follows the steps to make holiday celebrations safer. Other ways you can make your celebration safer include:

  1. Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
  2. Limit the number of guests.
  3. Have a small, outdoor celebration with family and friends who live in your community, weather-permitting.
  4. Have extra unused masks available for your guests and encourage everyone to wear them inside and outside.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
  6. If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows.
  7. Have a separate space for guests to wash their hands or provide hand sanitizer.
  8. Keep background music volume low so guests don’t need to shout.
  9. Cancel your gathering if you or someone who lives with you is sick or has been near someone who thinks they have or has COVID-19.
  10. It’s okay if you decide to postpone or cancel your gathering.

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

Hartford, Connecticut, USA downtown city skyline.

New Local Office in Hartford CT

United Alliance Services, Inc. and OccuMed Announce Expansion into Tri-State Area with a New Local Office

CANTON, MA – United Alliance Services, Inc. and OccuMed, recognized leaders in occupational safety and health consulting and training, are excited to announce the opening of their new office and training location in Hartford, Connecticut.

United Alliance Services is a full-service provider of occupational health and safety consulting and training for the healthcare industry, general industry, construction industry, and maritime industry. OccuMed, a division of United Alliance Services, assists clients with growing health and safety regulatory requirements.

Private companies, public agencies, colleges, and universities in the Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania area are increasingly using United Alliance and OccuMed to provide workplace safety and health solutions as well as COVID-19 testing services. Located right off Interstate 84 in Hartford; the new office is convenient and accessible for customers in Connecticut and surrounding states.

Nicole Walsh, Regional Director of the Tri-State area, is a board-certified Construction Health and Safety Technician and Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist with a strong background in planning, implementing and coordinating programs to reduce and eliminate injuries, illnesses and financial losses. Nicole also served as a Combat medic in the US Army and became a Healthcare Specialist instructor for the Army Reserves.

“Workplace safety and health is at the forefront for companies that prioritize well-being for their employees, customers, vendors, and community stakeholders” said Rich Sarnie COO of United Alliance Services, “I’m very excited about expanding our geographic reach and providing a convenient location for our customers in the tri state area.”

Healthcare cure concept with a hand in blue medical gloves holding Coronavirus, Covid 19 virus, vaccine vial

Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, and the news of promising vaccines being reviewed for approval, many people are wondering when these new vaccines will be available.

The Wall Street Journal reported that on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, the U.K. became the first Western country to start inoculating its population with a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech SE. The UK and the US approve vaccines in different ways. The UK relies on data provided by the drug maker, while the US relies on the Federal Drug Administration to review raw data before deeming it safe.

The FDA is planning to review the vaccine on December 10th and hopefully approve it soon after.

With any new vaccine, comes many new questions and concerns. Is it safe? Who will get it first? Will there be enough for everyone? I feel fine, do I need to take it?

The 3 Main Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

Based on what the CDC knows, here is a summary of the 3 main benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccination:

  1. COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19
    All the COVID-19 vaccines are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19. Like the flu vaccine, the goal of the COVID-19 vaccine is to help people keep from getting seriously ill if they contract the virus. Also, getting vaccinated may help to protect people around you, and help contribute to stopping or controlling the virus spreading.
  2. COVID-19 vaccination will be a safer way to help build protection
    For some people, the virus can have serious, life-threatening complications. The concern is that there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, and if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you, who may have underlying health issues that could make them a higher risk of complications.Herd immunity has been suggested as a way for people to have their body create a response to the virus naturally. According to the World Health Organization, herd immunity is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached. This would remove the need for all people to become vaccinated. The main concern with herd immunity is the potential of more lives being lost while a population tries to reach the needed immunity level for it to be safe for all.
  3. COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic
    Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines

The COVID-10 pandemic has caused many concerns regarding our health and wellbeing. As vaccines are being developed and under review for widespread use, there are also concerns with how the vaccine will affect us physically.

According to the CDC, here are some facts to consider and to help dispel the concern about getting vaccinated.

 

  • FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
    None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19.
  • FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests

Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.

  • FACT: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.

  • FACT: Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19
    COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
  • FACT: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA

mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA).

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

vial, covid-19, coronavirus vaccine ampoule, bottle for injection with syringe

COVID Vaccine – 8 Things to Know about Vaccine Planning

With Thanksgiving now over and Christmas fast approaching, many health officials are sounding the alarm. In Rhode Island, officials prepared to use field hospitals after telling residents their systems were already at capacity.

Many people traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday, hospitals, already reporting high numbers of cases, are expecting to see a continued surge in COVID-19 cases. As of December 2, 2020, the United States has confirmed more than 13.6 million cases since the pandemic began, with over 270,000 recorded deaths.

With this surge, many states are considering or have implemented new restrictions and have issued updated stay-at-home advisories.

While the next few months will be difficult for many, there is hope and light at the end of this tunnel.

Many pharmaceutical companies have released positive results for a COVID vaccine, and some are now in the hands of the FDA awaiting approval for public use. The federal government, through Operation Warp Speed, has been working with these companies to make vaccines available, quickly, and safely.

COVID-19 Vaccines – What you need to know

Since the vaccines have been developed and almost ready for distribution and use, many people fear the vaccine was rushed and may not be safe. The CDC recently released information to keep people informed about the vaccine, and the planning protocols.

With the possibility of one or more COVID-19 vaccines becoming available before the end of the year, here are 8 things you need to know about where those plans currently stand.

The information below is directly from the CDC website:

  1. The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority.
    The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
  2. Many vaccines are being developed and tested, but some might be ready before others.
    CDC is working with partners at all levels, including healthcare associations, on flexible COVID-19 vaccination programs that can accommodate different vaccines and scenarios. CDC has been in contact with your state public health department to help with your state’s planning. State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments are critical to making sure vaccines are available to communities.
  3. At least at first, COVID-19 vaccines might be used under an Emergency Use Authorization.
    Learn more about Emergency Use Authorization and watch a video on what an EUA is.
  4. There may be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of 2020, but supply will continually increase in the weeks and months that follow.
    The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. The plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers available, including doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.
  5. If there is limited supply, some groups may be recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine first.

Experts are working on how to distribute these limited vaccines in a fair, ethical, and transparent way.

  1. At first, COVID-19 vaccines may not be recommended for children.

In early clinical trials for various COVID-19 vaccines, only non-pregnant adults participated. However, clinical trials continue to expand those recruited to participate. The groups recommended to receive the vaccines could change in the future.

  1. Cost will not be an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccine providers will be able to charge administration fees for giving or administering the shot to someone.

  1. COVID-19 vaccine planning is being updated as new information becomes available.

CDC will continue to update this website as plans develop.

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.