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Black Friday Shopping Safety Tips!

The night of Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday is a popular time to shop. It’s an exciting time for deals but it’s also a great opportunity for scammers and thieves.  So, whether you’ll be spending your hard-earned cash in Boston, Providence, Hartford, New York City or elsewhere, there are a few safety tips that you should keep in mind:

It’s a busy time of year and distractions can put us at greater risk of problems. Fortunately, taking a few proactive steps can go a long way to keep you and your family safe” – Valerie Wakefield, President/CEO

Shopping Safety Tips

Where ever you go shopping, there are a few safety tips that you should keep in mind:

• Don’t be carrying large amounts of cash and flashing it around.
• Shopping in numbers, this will help deter any thieves from mugging you while you’re carrying your purchases out of the store.
• Ladies, don’t leave your purse in your shopping car, and, if you wear in on your shoulder, don’t leave it open.
• Make sure your cell phone is fully charged before leaving and keep in close by at all times.
• Beware of strangers approach you for any reason. At this time of year, con artist may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
• Do not carry multiple packages at once. Use will call and curbside package pickup service instead.
• Lastly, make sure your family/friends know exactly what your plans are, write down the stores and keep in touch throughout that day.

Safely Transporting Purchases

While carrying your purchases to the car, you may want to remember these tips:

• Park in well-lit areas, and report and suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.
• Reduce distractions, such as using cell phones, while walking to your car, especially at night.
• Try not to carry a large number of packages with you. Keep a hand open and prepare to enter your vehicle.
• Do not load packages in the trunk right before leaving your vehicle. Somebody could be watching.
• Never leave personal items or packages in plain sight in your vehicle. This includes money (even loose change), credit cards, cell phones, laptops, tablets, purses, and GPS units.
• Store valuables in the trunk of your vehicle

For more information on our occupational health and safety consulting or training services please visit us at www.UnitedAllianceServices.com or you can e-mail us at safetysolutions@UnitedAllianceServices.com or give us a call at 877-399-1698.

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Developing an Effective Health and Safety Program: Step 6: Fair & Consistent Disciplinary Policy and Positive Reinforcement

To ensure that your workplace health and safety program continues to run effectively and meet its goals, it’s necessary to implement a policy for rewarding positive contributions and correcting unsafe behaviors. It’s important to maintain an encouraging tone when it comes to implementing this policy; disciplinary actions should only be taken when a worker is uncooperative or consistently impeding the success of the program.

Before you think about positive reinforcement and discipline, it’s important to ensure that all managers and workers know and understand your program’s objectives and policies. If workers are unsure about procedures or how to complete certain tasks safely, that indicates program failure rather than individual failure. You can begin considering reinforcement and discipline once you are sure that all members of your organization are clear on what is expected of them. 

A successful program creates an open conversation in which all workers and supervisors are encouraged to participate. By rewarding positive actions, you show other workers that participation is valued. If workers see safety program compliance as a factor that could Provide positive recognition for actions that support the success of your safety program. Actions that support the program may include:

  • Reporting hazards
  • Reporting near misses/close calls
  • Conducting inspections
  • Attending training sessions

If you followed the previous steps for developing an effective workplace health and safety program, the need for disciplinary action should be minimal. However, you should set policy and be consistent about discipline. This is the standard order of disciplinary actions for safety violations that we recommend you implement at your workplace:

  1. Verbal Warning: This is an informal conversation that shouldn’t be a negative experience for the person receiving the warning. It should be presented as an opportunity for them to learn the proper procedures and correct their behavior. 
  2. Written Warning: A second offense indicates that the policy was understood, but ignored or forgotten. A written warning makes it clear that you are taking the behavior seriously. It should also outline what will happen if the behavior is not corrected. 
  3. Suspension: The employee will be given a formal written letter telling them how long they will be suspended for. Most companies suspend with pay, but not all. 
  4. Termination: This is the final step. If an employee has been given a verbal warning, a written warning, and a suspension and continues to violate safety policy, termination is necessary. 

Would you like assistance with developing an effective workplace health and safety program, contact United Alliance Services today. We offer safety consulting, workplace training programs, assessments,  and other services that help businesses become safer and more productive. Check out our Safety Services.

Read the previous Steps:

Step 1: Developing an Effective Health and Safety Program: Step 1: Leadership

Step: Developing an Effective Health and Safety Program: Step 2: Communication and Awareness

Step 3: Developing an Effective Health and Safety Program: Step 3: Tracking Trends & Effectiveness

Step 4: Developing an Effective Health and Safety Program: Step 4: Accountability

Step 5: Developing an Effective Health and Safety Program Step 5: Immediate Corrective Action

Man in a hardhat standing inside a warehouse

Assisting Mass Municipal Agencies in Preparing for the 2019 OSHA Requirements

Updated OSHA Compliance with MGL has begun!

Here is a simple one-pager on how United Alliance Services can help get you into compliance!

OSHA Safety Training for Municipalities & Schools

Beginning February 2019, public employees are required to provide OSHA safety training and maintain OSHA compliance with job sites and safety training.

OSHA – UASC Training for MUNICIPALITIES:

  • Address the OSHA training requirements specific to each department
  • Training standards help municipalities perform jobs safely reducing worker comp, medical leave times, and injuries on the job.
  • Choose up to six electives that best suits your team members.
  • We maintain copies of all training’s, so if your system is compromised, we have a backup.
  • We’ll notify you when refreshers need to be renewed, so it’s one less thing to fall through the cracks.
  • We have developed the training programs allowing you to focus on your area of expertise

Click here for OSHA Safety Training for Municipalities!

OSHA – UASC Training for SCHOOLS:

  • Experienced OSHA safety regulations instructors
  • Help school employees perform their jobs safely by outlining first-hand, real-life scenarios
  • You choose the sessions that best suit your team members as you know them best
  • We maintain backup copies of all training documentation
  • Notifications when refreshers need to be renewed
  • We have developed the training programs, which is our area of expertise, to allow you to focus on your area of expertise – running an efficient school system.

Click here for OSHA Safety Training for MA Schools!

Record Keeping

Prior to the new law, the public sector was exempt from maintaining an OSHA 300 log. The MA Department of Labor Standards (DLS) now states that you only need to provide your OSHA 300 log when an inspector or the Bureau of Labor Statistics requests to see it.

The best practice is to maintain an OSHA 300 log.

OSHA 300 Log for MA Public Sector

An OSHA 300 log is used by private sector employers with more than 10 employees to maintain a record of injuries and illnesses that took place and are referred to as a “recordable”.

All of the recordables are documented, but each record also needs a form 301 completed, which details the injury/illness.

A recordable includes any work-related illness and/or injury that results in:

• Fatality
• loss of consciousness, missed work, restricted work, transfer to a lower-risk job
• medical treatment beyond first aid
• diagnosis of a work-related cancer, chronic irreversible disease, fractured or cracked bones/teeth, and punctured eardrums
• any drugs being prescribed or taken at prescription strength

Needle-sticks and sharps injuries, medical removal, hearing loss, and tuberculosis have special recording criteria.

Man in a hardhat standing inside a warehouse

Adjusted OSHA Penalties for 2019

OSHA has increased the maximum fines

The maximum fines are now $132,598 per violation for willful or repeated violations for a company, and $13,260 per violation for serious, Other-than-Serious, and Posting violations.

Companies can have multiple violations from one OSHA inspection

For repeated violations, it doesn’t matter that the violation happened at another location of a company.  It is a repeated violation when one location has been issued the violation and a different branch has the same violation.

Failure to abate Violation

The penalty is increased to $13,260 per day beyond the abatement date.  For this reason, it is important to correct OSHA violations and document it back to them with the paperwork that they provide. Then be sure that the corrections are maintained.
For help monitoring job sites, please call United Alliance Services because we conduct documented safety audits of company workplaces and job sites as part of stand-alone auditing services and our annual packages.
For more info on this click here!
Man in a hardhat standing inside a warehouse

Assisting Mass Municipal Agencies in Preparing for the 2019 OSHA Requirements

Updated OSHA Compliance with MGL has begun!

Here is a simple one-pager on how United Alliance Services can help get you into compliance!

OSHA Safety Training for Municipalities & Schools

Beginning February 2019, public employees are required to provide OSHA safety training and maintain OSHA compliance with job sites and safety training.

OSHA – UASC Training for MUNICIPALITIES:

  • Address the OSHA training requirements specific to each department
  • Training standards help municipalities perform jobs safely reducing worker comp, medical leave times, and injuries on the job.
  • Choose up to six electives that best suits your team members.
  • We maintain copies of all training’s, so if your system is compromised, we have a backup.
  • We’ll notify you when refreshers need to be renewed, so it’s one less thing to fall through the cracks.
  • We have developed the training programs allowing you to focus on your area of expertise

Click here for OSHA Safety Training for Municipalities!

OSHA – UASC Training for SCHOOLS:

  • Experienced OSHA safety regulations instructors
  • Help school employees perform their jobs safely by outlining first-hand, real-life scenarios
  • You choose the sessions that best suit your team members as you know them best
  • We maintain backup copies of all training documentation
  • Notifications when refreshers need to be renewed
  • We have developed the training programs, which is our area of expertise, to allow you to focus on your area of expertise – running an efficient school system.

Click here for OSHA Safety Training for MA Schools!

Record Keeping

Prior to the new law, the public sector was exempt from maintaining an OSHA 300 log. The MA Department of Labor Standards (DLS) now states that you only need to provide your OSHA 300 log when an inspector or the Bureau of Labor Statistics requests to see it.

The best practice is to maintain an OSHA 300 log.

OSHA 300 Log for MA Public Sector

An OSHA 300 log is used by private sector employers with more than 10 employees to maintain a record of injuries and illnesses that took place and are referred to as a “recordable”.

All of the recordables are documented, but each record also needs a form 301 completed, which details the injury/illness.

A recordable includes any work-related illness and/or injury that results in:

• Fatality
• loss of consciousness, missed work, restricted work, transfer to a lower-risk job
• medical treatment beyond first aid
• diagnosis of a work-related cancer, chronic irreversible disease, fractured or cracked bones/teeth, and punctured eardrums
• any drugs being prescribed or taken at prescription strength

Needle-sticks and sharps injuries, medical removal, hearing loss, and tuberculosis have special recording criteria.

hand drawing construction plans

Assoc Builders & Contractors MA Chapter Partnership

MA Chapter of ABC

  • Largest construction trade association in MA
  • Representing over 400 local general contractor, subcontractor, supplier & associate companies
  • These employ more than 22K workers throughout MA

UASC & ABC

We are excited to announce that we are the premier Workplace Safety and only Occupational Health & Wellness (OccuMed) provider of ABC MA!

ABC’s Mission Statement

Associated Builders and Contractors of Massachusetts believes that the common good is best served by an open and competitive marketplace; that every company, regardless of its affiliations, has the right to compete free of coercion by any group or organization; and that every person must have the opportunity and right to work. Toward this end, ABC’s mission is to foster an environment that ensures our members and their employees the ability to grow and prosper.

Call and Schedule a Training! ABC members receive a 10 % when mentioning this blog!

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UASC @ The MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show

To conclude our series of blogs, we are excited to announce our attendance to The MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show 1/18/19 – 1/19/19!

Blog #1
Blog #2
Blog #3

Updated MGL with OSHA compliance

In correspondence to the updated MGL Chapter 149, section 6 1/2 we are here to answer any questions.

On March 9, 2018, Massachusetts rolled out an updated MGL Chapter 149, section 6 1/2 to include reference to OSHA regulations, updating the law written before OSHA’s inception. It has left public sector employers scrambling to figure out exactly how they are affected and how to quickly get into compliance within the short time frame provided. The updated law helps clarify the responsibilities of public sector employers, which is enforced by the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS), while giving everyone less than a year to become in compliance.

The MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show

This the largest regular gathering of Massachusetts local government officials. This show features educational workshops, nationally recognized speakers, awards programs, a large trade show, and an opportunity to network with municipal officials from across the state.

Shortly after this, the new Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards’ safety training mandates on the public sector will be enforceable and United Alliance Services Corporation is ready to connect with you. We have already secured our booth at the tradeshow to answer questions you may have about the new mandate and how your department will be affected. Our consultants have decades of experience with OSHA safety standards and can easily apply them to various departments to ensure the best training is delivered.

Our safety consultants and training department have weeded through the requirements and have pulled together a blog series to shed some light on the changes, help you determine the training you need, and bring your department into compliance.

We have created custom packages for municipalities and schools that are budget-friendly, easy to deliver, and satisfies the requirements:

OSHA Safety Training for MA Schools

OSHA Safety Training for Municipalities

Please stop by our booth #712 to learn more!

 

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OSHA Log for MA Public Sector

In continuance of our blog series..

Record Keeping

Prior to the new law, the public sector was exempt from maintaining an OSHA 300 log. The MA Department of Labor Standards (DLS) now states that you only need to provide your OSHA 300 log when an inspector or the Bureau of Labor Statistics requests to see it.

The best practice is to maintain an OSHA 300 log.

OSHA 300 Log for MA Public Sector

An OSHA 300 log is used by private sector employers with more than 10 employees to maintain a record of injuries and illnesses that took place and are referred to as a “recordable”.

All of the recordables are documented, but each record also needs a form 301 completed, which details the injury/illness.

A recordable includes any work-related illness and/or injury that results in:

• Fatality
• loss of consciousness, missed work, restricted work, transfer to a lower-risk job
• medical treatment beyond first aid
• diagnosis of a work-related cancer, chronic irreversible disease, fractured or cracked bones/teeth, and punctured eardrums
• any drugs being prescribed or taken at prescription strength

Needlesticks and sharps injuries, medical removal, hearing loss, and tuberculosis have special recording criteria.

 

architect in a building construction site

Massachusetts DLS affecting private sectors

As stated in the first blog of the series, Governor Baker amended MGL Chapter 149, section 6 1/2 to include reference to OSHA regulations, updating the law written before OSHA’s inception. This regulation now applies to the public sector.

The law has been updated to contain phrases of OSHA compliance since it was written prior to OSHA inception. OSHA will continue to oversee federal and private entities.

The Mass DLS will oversee the Massachusetts Public Sector while following the general duty clause and practices outlined by OSHA. Neither supersede each other.

Private Companies

There will not be much difference in your day-to-day operations if you’re following OSHA regulations. However, if you’re working on a public job-site be prepared for the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS) to pay a visit and look for infractions. Normally, the DLS schedules their visits, unless there is an “imminent” hazard. They can issue corrective action plans that are fine-able if not completed within the given time frame for public sector employers. OSHA will still be the governing agency for private sector employers.

Publicly bid construction projects over $10,000 require the employees on site to have completed their OSHA Outreach 10 Hour Construction training.

We Can Help

United Alliance Services can provide the training right on the job-site, in a private classroom, or in our corporate office. Please call 877-399-1698 if you need to conduct this training to be able to bid on a project.

architect in a building construction site

Updated MGL with OSHA compliance

The law has been updated to contain phrases of OSHA compliance since it was written prior to OSHA inception. OSHA will continue to oversee federal and private entities.

The Mass DLS will oversee the Massachusetts Public Sector while following the general duty clause and practices outlined by OSHA. Neither supersede each other.

Mass Department of Labor Standards

DLS administers health and safety inspections of public sector workplaces. The update clarifies the obligations of public sector employers.

Hefty fines are issued if corrective orders for infractions are not addressed within a specific time frame.

All DLS inspections are scheduled except for higher-risk sites labeled as “imminent” inspection sites where active trenches, aerial lifts operations, and roofing are active.

Defining Public Sector

The public sector workplace is anyone overseen by the Commonwealth: courts, municipalities, state agencies, counties, towns, commissions, and educators from public & private schools and colleges.

The requirements are to ensure workers are able to perform jobs safely and in compliance with OSHA regulations.

A checklist has been issued by the commonwealth to provide guidance.

Injury Reporting

If you have a public sector workplace injury that causes a death, amputation, loss of an eye, loss of consciousness, or inpatient hospitalization, call 508-616-0461 within 24 hours to report the injury.

Keep an updated OSHA 300 log.

Call us at 877-399-1698 if you need training on record keeping or check out our public training schedule or online courses.

Be sure to keep an eye on our upcoming blog that dives a bit deeper into injury reporting.