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

When it comes to health and safety in the workplace, it’s essential to deal with hazards as quickly as possible. When an incident or near miss occurs, or when a hazard is identified by a worker, it is the responsibility of both management and your safety program’s leaders to take immediate action. Immediate corrective action not only prevent further injury or illness from occurring, it also shows your workers that your organization takes safety seriously.

These are three steps that can help you to take the most effective action when an incident occurs at your worksite.  

  1. React: If a worker is injured, the first step is to ensure that they receive proper medical attention as soon as possible.
  2. Investigate: Investigation isn’t about placing blame; it’s about identifying the root causes of the injury and making sure that workers understand why the incident occurred. Investigations should be conducted by supervisors and employees working together.
  3. Reflect: Create a detailed report of the incident for your records. Then, ask these three questions in your post-incident reflection. If a rule or procedure was not followed, why was it not followed? Did pressures for productivity play a role, and if so, why were they allowed to jeopardize safety? Was the procedure or safety training related to the procedure out-of-date or inadequate?

While immediate corrective action is crucial, it’s also important to let these situations guide long-term corrective action. A quick-fix for a safety hazard is never acceptable. Once immediate action has been taken and the hazard has been eliminated, it’s necessary to consider how the occurrence should impact your overall program in the long-term.

United Alliance Services provides a variety of workplace health and safety training services to companies in the New England area. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can help make your workplace safer.

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

Accountability ensures that your workplace health and safety program is implemented as intended. If no one is held accountable for their participation in the program, safety won’t be treated as a legitimate business objective (as efficiency and profitability are). If your health and safety program has goals, they need to be set as real expectations that are visible to the entire organization. Here are some tips for keeping up accountability for your workplace health and safety program.

  1. Create a Team: For sizable organizations, it can be quite difficult to hold all employees accountable for the effective implementation of your program. You should talk to employees and see who is interested in improving health and safety conditions at your workplace. Assemble a team that will be responsible for implementing and monitoring the program. Assign individuals with specific tasks and hold them accountable for making sure they get done.
  2. Set Expectations: Don’t be vague about the goals of your health and safety program. Set realistic, measurable expectations and check in on progress regularly. For example, if one of your program goals is to reduce workplace injuries, set a realistic percentage that you want to see reduced from the current injury rate.
  3. Create a Timeline: Create a timeline for when you expect measurable goals to be accomplished and check in with your health and safety program team regularly to ensure that the organization is on track.
  4. Make Goals Visible: If health and safety objectives aren’t visible to the entire company, it’s hard to hold anyone accountable for them. Make sure that everyone is expected by not only management but also by their coworkers to play their role in carrying out the program.
  5. Reward Performance: Publicly reward employees who make significant contributions to the health and safety program to encourage others to help out.

Use these tips to increase health and safety accountability in your workplace and ensure that your program is implemented as effectively as possible. Contact United Alliance Services for information on creating a health and safety program, employee training sessions, and more. We offer a wide range of services that focus on improving health and safety in a variety of industries.

Worker using fall protection gear as a safety precaution he learned in em 385 training

Does your company have a culture that elevates safety to a world-class level?

If so, then you should apply to be one of America’s Safest Companies.

EHSToday.com recently announced that the application process for selection as the 2019 America’s Safest Companies, an honor bestowed on more than 200 companies since 2002, has begun. The application process is open from May 1 through July 15, 2019

According to their website:

“To be considered one of America’s Safest Companies, organizations must demonstrate: support from leadership and management for EHS efforts; employee involvement in the EHS process; innovative solutions to safety challenges; injury and illness rates lower than the average for their industries; comprehensive training programs; evidence that prevention of incidents is the cornerstone of the safety process; good communication about the value of safety; and a way to substantiate the benefits of the safety process.”

Winners will be expected to attend the America’s Safest Companies Awards Night Out, held Nov. 6, 2019 at the Safety Leadership Conference in Dallas.

If you’re interested in applying – we can help.

We provide OSHA and workplace environmental health and safety consulting services for businesses and industries throughout the New England region.

Our senior consultants and instructional staff are qualified and experienced in creating occupational safety and health management solutions, specifically tailored to the needs of private and public sector workforces.

Contact us today to learn how we can assist you with the application process.

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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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Complete Your Safety Manual by Including an Active Shooter Program

Just like you can’t prevent a workplace injury, you can’t predict an active shooter incident, which seems to be more rampant in recent years. Companies have in place safety manuals to reduce workplace injuries, consistent job hazard analysis (JHA’s) that lists the hazards with precautions to prevent them, and training for various job tasks to ensure safety. But where does active shooter fall into place? It isn’t something that should be included in your company safety manual, right?

Profiling Active Shooters and Targets

Wrong. The current belief is that active shooter trainings and policies/procedures should be included as part of the safety training in an effort to reduce and diffuse potential situations as 45% of active shooter incidents occur in the workplace. Active shooters are difficult to profile because it’s usually an irrational, random target. Profilers share that active shooters tend focus on “soft targets”, which includes crowded open spaces and a lack of security. This makes construction sites, lumber yards, and the likes a bit more of a potential target.

Active Shooter Training Reduces Injury and Fatality Outcomes

When there’s an injury on a job-site, the staff is often trained to handle the situation, including tourniquet use. Active shooter training is similar. It presents how to respond in the situation, such as the 4 Steps That Can Save Your Life If Confronted By An Active Shooter. Also, what NOT to do in the situation, and how to mitigate the effects through expert input. By having this training, the fatality and injury outcome is potentially reduced. Even better, some incidents may be avoided by looking for key signs that many active shooters exhibit.

Importance of Employee Assistance Programs in Place for Active Shooter Events

Just like with other safety training and policies, it’s important to include how a company plans to handle the aftermath of an event. These devastating scenarios often require trained employees helping to treat the injured, but it goes beyond that as well. Will the company offer counseling options through an Employee Assistance Program? Will they hire on a trained mental health provider? This seems to be the area where many companies are falling behind in the active shooter safety policies. It’s critical to ensure how the aftermath will be handled by the company for employees to reference.

OSHA’s Stance on Preparing for Active Shooters in the Workplace

In short, providing necessary training for employees can help reduce injuries and fatalities in the event of an active shooter situation and harness them with the ability to potentially survive the devastating event. By incorporating a game plan for the aftermath of an event, employees can easily know how their company will support them within the months after an event, just as they do for every other injury. Plus, there’s different schools of thought on whether the OSHA General Duty Clause 5(a)(1) comes into play, but the general consensus is that it does. The General Duty Clause states that employers must provide employees with a place of employment that is “free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to people.” Once an employee has showed signs indicating possible workplace violence, the employer needs to take action. Having the training and plan ready to go, falls into that category.


While active shooters are unpredictable, your safety manual and training doesn’t have to be. Be sure to work with a seasoned training company who can help you with either onsite or public training, as well as the policy for your safety manual. Together, we can mitigate reduce the devastating possibility.

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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!

24 Hour Fall Protection – EM 385 (3 Days)

This in-depth Fall Protection – 24 Hour EM 385 training course is designed for those in a leadership position who must also serve as the competent person and supervise other contractors and employees working at an elevated level.

This course includes in-class lectures including PowerPoint and video and hands-on scenarios applying theory discussed to practical workplace situations.

This Competent Person training is a pass/fail program incorporating both written and practical examinations and is based on the requirements of the federal regulations and local legislation that will be discussed and reinforced.

Attendees will learn practical solutions to difficult fall protection problems using appropriate tools and equipment.​

Any fall protection equipment that is required will be demonstrated during class; however, students can bring their own personal fall equipment to class for both demonstration and use. Participants will be required participate in Personal Fall Arrest Systems training (hands-on exercises), which may include: inspection procedures, donning procedures, fit test, selection, application and care of equipment.

A certificate of completion will be issued at the end of the 3-day training.

Daily:  8:00 am – 4:30 pm

Lab Safety

This session is designed for lab workers in general industry. Laboratory work requires knowledge, skill, and attention to detail. Laboratories have a variety of safety and health hazards. Employees need to understand each hazard and take proper precautions to protect themselves and coworkers at all times. The purpose of this laboratory safety training course is to teach employees lab safety requirements to ensure that they know how to prevent accidents, injuries, and illnesses on the job. The main objective of this session is to make sure that employees know what they need to do to protect themselves and others on the job. By the time this course is over, you should be able to understand the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP), identify laboratory hazards, take proper precautions to protect yourself, and act effectively in an emergency.

Walking Working Surfaces Awareness Course

This course covers the OSHA Walking-Working Surfaces standards for General Industry. This includes information on general safety requirements, protection from holes in the floor and walls, ladder safety, and scaffold safety. Participants learn how to apply the OSHA regulations for walking and working surfaces to avoid slips, trips, and falls in the workplace and how to recognize safe work practices for installing, maintaining, and using stairs, ladders, and scaffolds.

Course Topics:
OSHA Walking – Working Surfaces Regulation (29 CFR 1910.21-30, Subpart D)
Key terminology and concepts
Letters of interpretation that show how OSHA responds to implementation questions
The consequences of poor housekeeping
The difference between standard rail guards and handrails
Hazards of wall and floor holes
Specifications for safe design and construction of fixed general industry stairs
Minimum requirements for dockboards
Proper care and use of portable ladders
General scaffolding requirements

Who Should Attend:
All general industry worker and supervisors

Regulatory Requirements:
29 CFR 1910.21-30, Subpart D

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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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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.

 

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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.