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

Once you’ve established a workplace health and safety program, it needs to be consistently monitored and evaluated in order to verify its effectiveness. If you’ve followed our previous steps, you have defined clear, measurable goals for your program. It is important to periodically check your progress and determine what’s working and what isn’t.

The first step in tracking your program’s effectiveness is to identify relevant indicators of progress.

These indicators will help you determine whether or not your program is acheiving its set goals:

  • -Number of injuries and illnesses
  • -Severity of injuries and illnesses
  • -Workers’ compensation data (number of claims/cost)
  • -Employee time-off for illness

These indicators will help you identify how your program is being implemented:

  • -Employee participation in program activities
  • -Number of employee safety suggestions
  • -Number of employee-reported hazards/ near misses
  • -Amount of time taken to respond to reports
  • -Number and frequency of inspections by management
  • -Number and severity of hazards identified during inspections
  • -Employee responses to safety surveys

As you begin to check up on these indicators periodically, you should be able to connect items from each list. For example, as the number of employee safety suggestions increases, the number of injuries should decrease. If the injury rate is not decreasing, it would indicate that there is something wrong with the way the program is being implemented. Perhaps employee safety suggestions aren’t being responded to in a timely manner, or they aren’t being used to make real procedural adjustments.

Use this process to verify that your program is being properly implemented and that it is working towards its goals. Evaluate your progress over time and identify weak points in your program so that adjustments can be made. Involve your employees in the evaluation process. Encourage worker input; when you see that goals aren’t being reached, ask your employees for suggestions to improve the program.

If you need guidance to make your workplace healthier, safer, and more productive, contact United Alliance Services today. We offer workplace health and safety training for both workers and management in a variety of industries. We can help you develop an effective program and give you specific steps for tracking progress. Learn more here: https://unitedallianceservices.com/safety-training/

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

A workplace health and safety program can only be effective if goals, standards, and procedures are clearly communicated to all members of an organization. Ongoing awareness regarding your health and safety program requires ongoing communication. Furthermore, that communication has to go both ways; from management to employees and vice versa. Use these steps to encourage communication and facilitate a safer, healthier workplace.

Hold a program awareness training

In step 1 of developing your workplace health and safety program, you identified goals and set procedures. Hold a program awareness meeting to train both workers and management on the program and each of their individual roles in making the program successful.

Regularly communicate hazards

Making your workers aware of potential health/safety hazards is not a one-time excersize. Make this a regular conversation, especially if your organization is working at a new site. You should always communicate the following:

  • Hazards that may be present
  • Detailed procedures for avoiding or controlling exposure to hazards
  • How to report work-related illness or injury

Encourage worker participation

Your workers should not only be involved with maintaining your health and safety program, but also developing it. Your workers can oftentimes identify potential hazards that you were unaware of. It’s important to encourage feedback and make your workers feel comfortable coming to management with concerns. Give workers a set procedure for reporting potential hazards. Assign certain employees with individual roles that assist in developing/maintaining your program.

When it comes to health and safety, awareness is key for both workers and management. With these three steps, you can create a work environment that fuels open communication and awareness regarding the workplace health and safety program.

United Alliance Services offers online and on-site safety training as well as other workplace health/safety-related services. Learn more here: Safety Training

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

An effective workplace health and safety program works to eliminate hazards, protect workers, and prevent illness/injury as much as possible. Such a program has to start at the management level. It is management’s responsibility to communicate and demonstrate policies, allocate necessary resources, and set good examples for employees. In this post, we’ll offer actionable tips that people in leadership positions can implement to create a healthier, safer workplace.

  1. Communicating Your Commitment

The first step is to establish a written policy that communicates health and safety as primary goals of your organization- right up there with profitability, customer service, etc. Let your employees know that health and safety are of the utmost importance to you and to the success of the company. Use this written policy to guide ALL business decisions. Always follow the same safety procedures that you expect your employees to follow; lead by example for the best results.

  1. Define and Communicate Program Goals

Establish specific, achievable objectives for your health and safety program. Your program goals should emphasize injury and illness prevention and should be backed by real plans to make them happen. That includes assigning safety-related tasks to qualified employees, identifying resource needs, etc.

  1. Allocate Resources

All effective health and safety programs require resources of some kind. Equipment, supplies, and professional training sessions need to be included in your company’s budget. Staff time should also be allocated for safety training and meetings.

  1. Keep the Conversation Open

Oftentimes, employees are able to identify more potential workplace hazards than management can on their own. That’s why it’s important to create a culture of open communication between staff and management, especially when it comes to health and safety. Give your employees opportunities to make suggestions and give feedback on policies/procedures.

Implement these 4 steps to start improving your workplace health and safety program today. United Alliance Services offers online and on-site safety training as well as other workplace health/safety-related services. Learn more here: Safety Training

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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

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.

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Choosing The Right High-Visibility Safety Apparel For Your Employees

If your employees work near traffic or heavy equipment, they are constantly exposed to vehicle and equipment hazards. Construction workers, warehouse workers, road surveyors, tow truck drivers, event security staff, etc. are at risk of being injured or killed by moving traffic or heavy equipment. If your employees face these risks, the best way to combat them is to make your employees visible to motorists and equipment operators. High-visibility safety apparel significantly reduces the risk of incident by making you distinctly visible, day or night and in various weather conditions.

What Does High-Visibility Safety Apparel Look Like?

High-visibility apparel is made with either fluorescent yellow/green or fluorescent orange/red material. These colors make a worker stand out from the background behind them. They also feature reflective strips, which reflect light at night.

Who Needs High-Visibility Safety Apparel?

There are many occupations that require high-vis safety apparel. Here are some of the most common examples:

  • Construction workers
  • Road workers/surveyors
  • Warehouse employees where forklifts/loading vehicles are present
  • Parking attendants
  • Tow truck drivers and other roadside-service vehicle drivers
  • Crossing guards
  • Railroad workers
  • Movers
  • Emergency responders
  • Shipyard dock workers/stevedores

Here are some tips for choosing the right high-visibility safety apparel:

  1. Choose colors based on the situation: Workers should never be wearing the same color as traffic cones or barrels on site. They also should not be the same color as any nearby vehicles like trucks and construction vehicles. 
  2. Check the class: High-visibility safety apparel is ranked in three classes. Your workers should at least wear Class 2 safety apparel, if not Class 3. If they work around roads with speed limits over 50mph or on any roads at nighttime, Class 3 safety apparel is necessary.
  3. Make sure it is visible from all angles: Workers should be clearly visible from at least 1000 feet away, whether they are seen from the front, back, or side. They should also be visible in various body positions like bending over and squatting.

If you have questions about high-visibility safety apparel or want to consult with workplace safety experts, contact United Alliance Services today. We can help make your workplace safer with a wide range of services.

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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!

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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!