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Table of Contents
Safety And Health Education And Training
Unsafe behavior also affects the district’s financial bottom line. Whether it’s a minor cut requiring stitches or a broken back, if the injury happens at work, the district is impacted. Lost productivity is the most commonly cited indirect cost of systemic safety failure. Poor safety performance makes it tougher for the district to satisfy all stakeholders.
In a highly reliable culture, effective principles and procedures based on scientific knowledge are deeply embedded in the minds of employees and they willingly embrace their role as “risk owners.”
Misconceptions about employee safety programs lead many districts to waste valuable time and money. Scientific knowledge is universal and precise; common sense knowledge is vague and should not be counted on to produce consistent results.
People frequently fall into the trap of believing certain myths related to injury prevention. The following statements are examples of conventional wisdom that does not hold up under close review of research in behavioral science:
Professionals in occupational safety have long recognized that theory, research and tools in psychology are extensive, complex and often overwhelming. Countless self-help books and tapes address concepts seemingly relevant to injury prevention. School administrators seldom receive clear guidance about particular approaches or strategies to use. As a result, many succumb to proposals for programs that sound plausible and appeal to commonsense. Unfortunately, valid theory, principles and procedures founded upon solid research and evidence have not been given the attention they deserve.
Board of Education policies, aligned with State/Federal regulations, establish the foundation of accountability necessary for the care of students and employees. The well-being of every employee is directly linked to improving student achievement. Unsafe behaviors consistently lead to medical expense, disability payments, damaged property and diminished productivity. Effective employee health and safety should be a fundamental value of the school organization.
Generally, as people improve their risk intelligence skills they gain the confidence needed to overcome risk aversion on one hand and avoid excessive risk taking on the other hand. Employees who have an appreciative mindset can help others understand the benefit of doing more of what works and devoting their energies toward positive, prudent activity. Success in the classroom ultimately depends on effective workplace injury prevention at all levels and across the entire school enterprise.
Successful safety and health programs achieve and maintain safe, healthful workplaces. The key words are achieve and maintain. To achieve something, district leaders set a goal and work to accomplish it. Once a goal is accomplished, it takes additional work to maintain the new level of achievement. The district's health and safety program may have some strong elements and some that need improvement.
Effective injury prevention preserves employee health, safety, smooth operations and student learning. Success of the school enterprise depends on safe behaviors - the more, the better. By maintaining the strong elements and improving the weaker ones, the district safety and health program can be successful which will benefit every school, every employee and every student. Implementing an effective injury prevention system will reduce injuries, keep experienced employees on the job, cut costs, improve morale and advance mission of educating students.
Effective safety and health programs include inter-related elements and practices. To learn more and understand the action steps that should be taken, click on each of the following:
Variations in board policy wordings are common, however, the best practice is to make it clear that the school district upholds employee injury prevention as core value, providing the safest possible work environment for its employees and promoting safe work practices at all times.
District Administration Accountability
Leaders at the highest level of administration should be consistent in modeling safe behavior and communicating that safety is a core value. Accountability is not achieved simply through fairness in disciplinary actions for unsafe acts; rather, safety accountability depends on personal commitment by each person to a comprehensive, systematic, evidenced based program of risk control elements.
Statement of Superintendent
The following is a representative example of many recommended statements:
The safety and health of each employee is my primary concern. It is my intention that all employees will enjoy a safe and productive work setting and return home each day to family and friends free from injury. I urge you to remember this safety principle - "No job is so important, and no service so urgent, that we cannot take time to perform our work safely."
The goal of the Safety and Health Program is to effectively manage the processes of occupational injury and illness prevention, and to aggressively eliminate the occurrence of unsafe conditions and at-risk behaviors. The school district will provide the necessary resources so you can perform your job in a safe manner. Employees are required to comply with all safety rules and are encouraged to participate in identifying ways to make our district a safer place to work. All personnel must recognize their responsibility to follow our safety policy and understand that accident prevention is as much their obligation as any other phase of their work.
Your personal commitment to safety and health practices is reflected in how you perform your work assignments each day. By looking out for co-employees, following safety instructions, attending training classes and reporting, preventing or eliminating unsafe conditions or practices and using proper safety equipment, before someone is injured, you help us meet the goals of this program.
By accepting responsibility to perform our job safely, we all contribute to the well being of fellow employees, and subsequently, the best interest of our students and the district.
Senior Administration Commitment
The following statements are representative of the specific commitments expected of senior administrators:
Action item 1: Communicate district commitment to a safety and health program
A clear, written policy helps you communicate that safety and health is a primary organizational value—critical to the mission of advancing student achievement and essential for productivity, service quality and stakeholder satisfaction.
How to accomplish it
Action item 2: Define program goals
By establishing specific goals and objectives, management sets expectations for managers, supervisors, and employees, and for the program overall. The goals and objectives should focus on specific actions that will improve workplace safety and health.
How to accomplish it
Action item 3: Allocate resources
It is imperative that the district provide the resources needed to implement the safety and health program, pursue program goals, and address program shortcomings when they are identified. Resource needs will vary depending on the district’s size, complexity, hazard types, and program maturity and development. Resource needs may include capital equipment and supplies, staff time, training, access to information and tools (e.g., vendor information, Safety Data Sheets, injury/illness data, checklists, online databases) and access to safety and health experts, including BOCES safety specialists and OSHA’s free and confidential On-site Consultation Program.
How to accomplish it
Action item 4: Expect performance
District administration leads the program effort by establishing roles and responsibilities and providing an open, positive environment that encourages communication about safety and health.
How to accomplish it
A designated district level safety champion should review all reports looking for any trends, hazardous conditions or hazardous practices, and should be empowered by the Superintendent to investigate any incident, Injury, work practice or element of the employee injury program.
Supervisors are responsible for leading injury prevention efforts and creating an atmosphere that clearly demonstrates to employees that safety is a core value for their personal and professional activities. The following statements are representative of the specific commitments that should be expected of supervisors:
To be effective, any safety and health program needs the meaningful participation of employees and their representatives. Employee have much to gain from a successful program and the most to lose if the program fails. They also often know the most about potential hazards associated with their jobs. Successful programs tap into this knowledge base.
Employee participation means that employees are involved in establishing, operating, evaluating, and improving the safety and health program. All employees at a worksite should participate, including those employed by contractors, subcontractors, and temporary staffing agencies
In an effective safety and health program, all employees:
Employee participation is vital to the success of safety and health programs. Where employees are represented by a union, it is important that employee representatives also participate in the program, consistent with the rights provided to employee representatives under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and the National Labor Relations Act.
Action item 1: Encourage employees to participate in the program
By encouraging employees to participate in the program, district administration signals that it values their input into safety and health decisions.
How to accomplish it
Action item 2: Encourage employees to report safety and health concerns
Employees are often best positioned to identify safety and health concerns and program shortcomings, such as emerging workplace hazards, unsafe conditions, close calls/near misses, and actual incidents. By encouraging reporting and following up promptly on all reports, employers can address issues before someone gets hurt or becomes ill.
How to accomplish it
Action item 3: Give employees access to safety and health information
Sharing relevant safety and health information with employees fosters trust and helps organizations make more informed safety and health decisions.
How to accomplish it
Action item 4: Involve employees in all aspects of the program
Including employee input at every step of program design and implementation improves your ability to identify the presence and causes of workplace hazards, creates a sense of program ownership among employees, enhances their understanding of how the program works, and helps sustain the program over time.
How to accomplish it
Action item 5: Remove barriers to participation
To participate meaningfully in the program, employees must feel that their input is welcome, their voices will be heard, and they can access reporting mechanisms. Participation will be suppressed if language, education, or skill levels in the workplace are not considered, or if employees fear retaliation or discrimination for speaking up (for example, if investigations focus on blaming individuals rather than the underlying conditions that led to the incident, or if reporting an incident or concern could jeopardize the award of incentive-based prizes, rewards, or bonuses).
How to accomplish it
Safety Steering Team
This district should organize a Safety Steering Team to help employees and administrators work together to identify safety gaps, develop solutions, review incident reports and evaluate the effectiveness of the safety program. The following operating practices should be considered:
Composition. The Steering Team is comprised of an administration representative(s) and employee-elected members representing departments of the school district.
Chairperson. The Steering Team elects a chairperson.
Responsibilities. The Steering Team duties include but are not limited to:
Meeting Management: The Steering Team is responsible for:
Meeting Minutes: A secretary for the Steering Team is selected in order to ensure that:
Standards, Activators And Consequences
Written standards of performance should be published for any matter that has specific time elements or data specifications prescribed by laws, regulations or internal operating agreements.
Intervention techniques to increase safe behaviors or decrease at-risk behaviors are either activators or consequences. Activators are conditions or events preceding operant behavior; consequences are conditions or events following operant behavior.
These six principles will increase the impact of activators:
Safety activators should be carefully planned so the right safety directives receive the attention and ultimate action they deserve. The most powerful activators make the person aware of consequences following the performance of a target behavior.
Consequences can be positive or negative, intrinsic or extrinsic to the task and internal or external to the person. Consequences occurring on an intermittent basis are much more effective at motivating long-term behavior change than consequences occurring on a continuous basis or after every response. When consequences are improbable, they can lose their influence entirely. Individuals respond best to consequences that they perceive are “certain and sizable,” and occur “immediately or soon” after the behavior.
The probability of injury can be reduced by the combination of:
When discipline is the only form of consequence used by organizations or when discipline is applied incorrectly, injury prevention efforts will not be effective over time.
There should be a system o integrated activities for communicating with employees that includes provisions designed to encourage employees to inform the district of hazards at the worksite without fear of reprisal. This could be accomplished through meetings, training programs, posting, written communications, instruments for anonymous notification by employees about hazards, and any other means that ensures communication with employees.
Communication and coordination among the district, its contractors, and staffing agencies is also vital. Effective communication and coordination means that before coming on site, contractors, staffing agencies and their employees are aware of:
Action item 1: Establish effective communication
The district should establish and implement a procedure to ensure the exchange of information about hazards present on site and the hazard control measures in place. Thus, all employees on the site are aware of worksite hazards, and the methods and procedures needed to control exposures to them. Information should communicated before on-site work starts and, as needed, if conditions change.
How to accomplish it
Action item 2: Establish effective coordination
The district and its contractors, and staffing agencies should coordinate on work planning, scheduling, and resolving program differences to identify and work out any concerns or conflicts that could impact safety or health. In both temporary employee and multiemployer situations, safety is enhanced if employers establish mechanisms to coordinate their efforts and communicate effectively to afford all employees equal protection against hazards. These mechanisms include measures to ensure that all employees on site (and their representatives) can participate in preventing injuries and illnesses. Failure to take these steps may undermine safety programs. For example, if different employers have inconsistent policies about when and where to wear PPE, employees may mistakenly believe that the equipment is not needed, leading to injury. Inconsistent safety policies may also cause employees to question the credibility of safety and health programs, resulting in less meaningful employee engagement and participation.
How to accomplish it
Continuous Improvement Evaluation
Once a safety and health program is established, it should be evaluated initially to verify that it is being implemented as intended. After that, periodically, and at least annually, designated administrators should assess what is working and what is not, and whether the program is on track to achieve its goals. Whenever these assessments identify opportunities to improve the program, administrators, managers, and supervisors—in coordination with employees—should make adjustments and monitor how well the program performs as a result. Sharing the results of monitoring and evaluation within the workplace, and celebrating successes, will help drive further improvement.
The scope and frequency of program evaluations will depend on the scope, complexity, and maturity of the program and on the types of hazards it must control. Program evaluations should be conducted periodically (and at least annually) but might also be triggered by a change in process or equipment, or an incident such as a serious injury, significant property damage, or an increase in safety-related complaints.
Program evaluation and improvement includes:
On-Site Best Practices Audits. An on-site practices audit can reveal the areas of risk management that need improvement, while affirming those good risk management practices you already have. The audit includes review of documentation, record keeping, policies, and procedures. On-site interviews are also conducted. Do you manage disability accommodations, discipline, personnel files, performance evaluations, and terminations the best you can? Our experienced risk auditors can help you with the answers.
Off-Site Best Practices Audit. You never seem to have enough time, do you? You need information and you need it quickly. Our off-site assessments can provide a quick, informative look at common managerial challenges. The audit identifies risk areas in your policies and procedures ... and more.
Policies and Procedures Audits. Good risk management is based upon policies and procedures in an employee handbook that reflect your organization's commitment to excellence and safety. Audit your existing handbook for the presence of everything needed to communicate your expectations to your employees and to prevent injuries.
Action item 1: Monitor performance and progress
The first step in monitoring is to define indicators that will help track performance and progress. Next, establish and follow procedures to collect, analyze, and review performance data with the involvement of all central office administrators, supervisors, and employees.
Both lagging and leading indicators of performance should be used. Lagging indicators generally track employee exposures and injuries that have already occurred. Leading indicators track how well various aspects of the program have been implemented and reflect steps taken to prevent injuries or illnesses before they occur.
Indicators can be either quantitative or qualitative. Whenever possible, select indicators that are measurable (quantitative) and that will help you determine whether you have achieved your program goals. The number of reported hazards and near hits would be a quantitative indicator. A single employee expressing a favorable opinion about program participation would be a qualitative indicator.
How to accomplish it
Action item 2: Verify that the program is implemented and is operating
Initially and at least annually, employers need to evaluate the program to ensure that it is operating as intended, is effective in controlling identified hazards, and is making progress toward established safety and health goals and objectives. The scope and frequency of program evaluations will vary depending on changes in OSHA standards; the scope, complexity, and maturity of the program; and the types of hazards it must control.
How to accomplish it
Action item 3: Correct program shortcomings and identify opportunities to improve
Whenever a problem is identified in any part of the safety and health program, designated administrators in coordination with supervisors, managers, and employees should take prompt action to correct the problem and prevent its recurrence.
How to accomplish it
“Behavior Based Safety works to reduce injuries.” – E. Scott Geller, PhD
Behavior Based Safety (BBS) refers to a program structure with integrated elements designed to influence employee actions toward safer outcomes, ideally by preventing an accident or injury before it occurs. When infused into the framework of the district’s safety culture and implemented correctly, the elements of BBS can provide positive activators and consequences to change unsafe behavior, reduce job-related injuries, minimize lost production, and improve workplace morale. BBS elements are essential for sustainable injury prevention.
BBS matters because upwards of 80% of all accidents occur due to the choices people make and make and how they act. Unsafe acts, rather than unsafe conditions, are the root cause of most incidents. Injury prevention is to a great extent under each person’s own control. It is beneficial for employees to practice safe behaviors in the workplace because incidents and injuries have a human cost. It is the human impact—personal injury, loss of livelihood, the wellbeing of others—which prompts concern about behavioral choices in the workplace.
BBS can mean very different things to different people and evoke very different feelings. Some organizations have reported very positive feelings and success stories about programs they think of as BBS programs. Others have been disappointed. Critics may say that BBS is "feel good safety stuff,” that it is outdated, that it is mechanistic or that it has been used by management teams that do not want to take "management" responsibility.
OSHA does not specifically require organizations to implement a BBS program. OSHA however has recommended practices for safety and health programs that includes the involvement of employees and managers in safety and hazard identification and assessment.
Observing, adjusting and then evaluating behaviors are the core elements of BBS. BBS elements are most effective when treated as a continuous loop, constantly adapting to needs of employees and the district. The following elements should be working in unison:
BBS elements also assist by creating multiple opportunities for employees and managers to interact in the safety process and to assist in assessing and identifying hazards.
Defining Critical Behaviors
Simply stated, behaviors are acts or actions by a person that can be observed by another person or persons. Critical behaviors can be defined as:
A.1 At-risk or unsafe behaviors that actually resulted in substantial number of near hits or injuries in the past;
A.1 Safe behaviors that could have prevented these incidents;
B.1 At risk or unsafe behaviors that could potentially contribute to an injury (or fatality);
B.2 Safe behaviors that could prevent such an incident.
When defining critical behaviors, a district can look beyond its own experience and also learn from the experience of other districts.
There are several methods that can be used for recording observations. Each methods results in a large amount information collected about employee habits. Collecting and analyzing data can be done with the help of simple forms and planning. Software is also available to improve consistency and information sharing.
Metrics are a natural starting point for analyzing the district’s data. There should be at least one leading indicator. A leading indicator can be created by selecting some or all of the lagging indicators, adding them together, then dividing the sum by the total number of unique observations performed. The resulting number will be a score showing the total percentage of observations that align with your program objectives. This metric will serve as a barometer as to the direction and momentum of district efforts.
The following metrics are all based on lagging indicators of safety performance.
Data mining involves techniques for finding anomalies, patterns and correlations within large data sets to predict outcomes. This activity goes beyond data analysis to identify why certain behaviors are occurring. Using word clouds is one method that can be used to help evaluate the feedback and comments associated with the observations. Staff interviews can be used to dig deeper into issues. When probable underlying causes for behaviors are uncovered, it is important to use basic scientific methods to produce and test a solution. BBS elements are evidenced based, thus requiring a hypothesis and feedback on any proposed solution. Practices should be adjusted as needed in order to change unsafe behavior and reinforce the desired behavior.
Variations and Additions
BBS elements may be introduced and expanded over time based on evidence of changes in observed behaviors from the experience of the district over time district and from comparable organization. Some of the practices to consider include:
These and other practices can help overcome challenges that may result from:
BBS elements implemented properly can be effective at helping districts discover unsafe behaviors and core organizational systemic sources of risk. BBS elements are effective when they:
Eight Steps for Inclusion of BBS in District Employee Injury Prevention Program
A sound approach begins with an in-depth knowledge of how to change human behavior. The laws and principles of behavioral psychology can be applied to the specific situation and extended to all the behaviors. These eight steps should be followed:
Proponents of BBS have pointed out these piftalls to successful design and implementation:
Behavior based interventions should be instructional, supportive and motivational.
Engineering controls are equipment designs or hazard repairs that protect employees using a physical separation or barrier, including equipment guards and electrical panel locks. Appropriate engineering controls are critical during repairs to physical facilities.
A method of following up on recommended corrective actions such as a work order system is essential to ensure engineering controls and hazard remediation are completed in a timely manner. In addition, the review of equipment purchases from the standpoint of appropriate mechanical guards or state of the art electrical lockouts is an important function of engineering controls.
Administrative Controls are procedures, work methods, instructions, memos, visual means, and wearable articles that protect employees from potential hazards. Examples include, wet floor warning signs, step stools, ladders, gloves and other types of personal protective equipment. (PPE) Items that may included are eye and face protection, foot protection, hand protection, head protection, hearing protection and protection from blood borne pathogens.
Special attention is needed for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The first step in any PPE program is a hazard assessment of each job performed within the district. The assessment deals with the entire job and not just those parts dealing chemical hazards. PPE required by this evaluation should be documented for each job. Training for each job should include the proper usage of PPE. Frequency of training specific to the job and use of PPE should be agreed upon. (annually.) The completion of training should be documented.
Personal protective equipment should not be used as a substitute for engineering controls. All other means of protecting the employee should be used prior to requiring personal protective equipment. Whenever possible, use of an engineering control should take precedence over PPE.
Operating procedures should be issued for each job or work area with the administrative controls specified. These types of administrative controls should be included as part of job hazard analysis.
Good risk management begins with smart hiring decisions. Advertising, interviewing, screening, and hiring can be simple, but should be done with risk avoidance in mind. A comprehensive cadre of smart hiring components is designed as the foundation for effective loss control program.
Job Descriptions: Drafting & Consulting
Job descriptions are one of the most vital management tools for preventing injuries. Job descriptions that contain all the mental and physical essential functions of each job can assist in preventing and managing many challenging aspects of employee relations-on issues such as hiring, disability, performance appraisals, and discrimination claims.
Existing job descriptions should be checked to see if they were current and if they actually reflected the jobs your employees are doing. Descriptions should be specific and include clearly define the required physical capabilities. (ADA compliant)
It is possible to prevent some potential injuries by conducting thorough pre-employment screenings. Verification of employment and educational history are two tests of applicants’ veracity. Driving record checks as well as criminal background checks are means for minimizing the chances for risks in employment. Perform background checks on every job applicant. Obtain valuable and necessary background information without violating privacy laws or other legal requirements. Obtain reference information about job applicants without creating liability for the district.
Job Hazard Analysis
A job hazard analysis is a technique promoted used to encourage identification of hazards before they occur. A job hazard analysis looks at the relationship between the employee, the task, the tools and equipment, and the work environment. By identifying potential hazards, the district can take steps to eliminate or reduce them to an acceptable risk level.
Periodic walk-throughs and use of checklists are common techniques that can be used to identify physical and engineering vulnerabilities.
Loss Run Review
A loss run is a listing of injuries, which have been reported to the district’s insurer or third party claims administrator. This claims listing can provide information concerning trends that may need to be addressed. A designated coordinator should review the information for accident trend identification and follow-up with appropriate claim staff with questions. Analysis should include the following:
Loss run reviews also serves the purpose of identifying any injury that was incorrectly coded to the district that actually occurred at another school district or employer.
A comparison of the loss experience with similar districts should provide an indication of frequency or severity problems. A useful means of comparison is the frequency rate of injuries, expressed as the number of injuries requiring medical attention per million dollars of payroll. The calculation is: Injuries/(payroll/million)
To identify and assess hazards, administrators, supervisors and employees:
Action item 1: Collect existing information about workplace hazards
Information on workplace hazards may already be available to employers and employees from both internal and external sources.
How to accomplish it
Action item 2: Inspect the workplace for safety hazards
Hazards can be introduced over time as workstations and processes change, equipment or tools become worn, maintenance is neglected, or housekeeping practices decline. Setting aside time to regularly inspect the workplace for hazards can help identify shortcomings so that they can be addressed before an incident occurs.
How to accomplish it
Before changing operations, workstations, or workflow; making major organizational changes; or introducing new equipment, materials, or processes, seek the input of employees and evaluate the planned changes for potential hazards and related risks.
Many hazards can be identified using common knowledge and available tools. Employees can be a very useful internal resource, especially if they are trained in how to identify and assess risks.
Action item 3: Identify health hazards
Identifying employees’ exposure to health hazards is typically more complex than identifying physical safety hazards. For example, gases and vapors may be invisible, often have no odor, and may not have an immediately noticeable harmful health effect. Health hazards include chemical hazards (solvents, adhesives, paints, toxic dusts, etc.), physical hazards (noise, radiation, heat, etc.), biological hazards (infectious diseases), and ergonomic risk factors (heavy lifting, repetitive motions, vibration).
How to accomplish it
Identify chemical hazards—review SDSs and product labels to identify chemicals in your workplace that have low exposure limits, are highly volatile, or are used in large quantities or in unventilated spaces. Identify activities that may result in skin exposure to chemicals.
Identify physical hazards—identify any exposures to excessive noise (areas where you must raise your voice to be heard by others), elevated heat (indoor and outdoor), or sources of radiation (radioactive materials, X-rays, or radiofrequency radiation).
Identify biological hazards—determine whether employees may be exposed to sources of infectious diseases, molds, toxic or poisonous plants, or animal materials (fur or scat) capable of causing allergic reactions or occupational asthma. Identifying and assessing health hazards may require specialized knowledge.
Identify ergonomic risk factors—examine work activities that require heavy lifting, work above shoulder height, repetitive motions, or tasks with significant vibration.
Conduct quantitative exposure assessments, when possible, using air sampling or direct reading instruments.
Review medical research and claims data to identify cases of musculoskeletal injuries, skin irritation or dermatitis, hearing loss, or lung disease that may be related to school workplace exposures.
Action item 4: Identify hazards associated with emergency and nonroutine situations
Emergencies present hazards that need to be recognized and understood. Nonroutine or infrequent tasks, including maintenance and startup/shutdown activities, also present potential hazards. Plans and procedures need to be developed for responding appropriately and safely to hazards associated with foreseeable emergency scenarios and nonroutine situations.
How to accomplish it
Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and non-routine tasks, taking into account the types of material and equipment in use and the location within the facility. Scenarios such as the following may be foreseeable:
Action item 5: Characterize the nature of identified hazards, identify interim control measures, and prioritize the hazards for control
The next step is to assess and understand the hazards identified and the types of incidents that could result from employee exposure to those hazards. This information can be used to develop interim controls and to prioritize hazards for permanent control (see “Hazard Prevention and Control”).
How to accomplish it
To effectively control and reduce hazards, the district should:
Action item 1: Identify control options
A wealth of information exists to help administrators examine options for controlling identified hazards. Before selecting any control options, it is essential to solicit employees’ input on their feasibility and effectiveness.
How to accomplish it
Action item 2: Select controls
Employers should select the controls that are the most feasible, effective, and permanent.
How to accomplish it
Whenever possible, select equipment, machinery, and materials that are inherently safer based on the application of “Prevention through Design” (PtD) principles. Apply PtD when making your own facility, equipment, or product design decisions. For more information, see the link to the NIOSH PtD initiative on the recommended practices Web page.
Action item 3: Develop and update a hazard control plan
A hazard control plan describes how the selected controls will be implemented. An effective plan will address serious hazards first. Interim controls may be necessary, but the overall goal is to ensure effective long-term control of hazards. It is important to track progress toward completing the control plan, and periodically (at least annually and when conditions, processes, or equipment change) verify that controls remain effective.
How to accomplish it
Action item 4: Select controls to protect employees during nonroutine operations and emergencies
The hazard control plan should include provisions to protect employees during nonroutine operations and foreseeable emergencies. Depending on the workplace, these could include fires, explosions, chemical releases, hazardous material spills, unplanned equipment shutdowns, infrequent maintenance activities, natural and weather disasters, workplace violence, terrorist or criminal attacks, disease outbreaks (e.g., pandemic influenza), or medical emergencies. Non-routine tasks, or tasks employees don’t normally do, should be approached with particular caution. Prior to initiating such work, review JSAs/JHAs with any employees involved and notify others about the nature of the work, work schedule, and any necessary precautions.
How to accomplish it
Note: Depending on your location, type of business, and materials stored or used on site, authorities including local fire and emergency response departments, state agencies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and OSHA may have additional requirements for emergency plans. Ensure that your procedures comply with these requirements.
Action item 5: Implement selected controls in the workplace
Once hazard prevention and control measures have been identified, they should be implemented according to the hazard control plan.
How to accomplish it
Action item 6: Follow up to confirm that controls are effective
To ensure that control measures are and remain effective, employers should track progress in implementing controls, inspect and evaluate controls once they are installed, and follow routine preventive maintenance practices.
How to accomplish it
Workplace incidents—including injuries, illnesses, close calls/near hits, and reports of other concerns—provide a clear indication of where hazards exist. The purpose of analysis must always be to identify the root causes (and there is often more than one) of the incident or concern, in order to prevent future occurrences.
An Injury is broadly defined as an undesired event that results in physical harm to a person or damage to property and/or the interruption of a process. It also includes events that result in a non-injury, a near hit, an occupational illness, or exposure to a hazardous substance. Districts encourage Injury prevention through aggressive incident analysis as a defense against hazards in the workplace.
Analysts (such as supervisors, safety champion Steering Team members, external loss control specialists, witnesses, employee representatives) must determine the possible consequences that could take place if the situation is not corrected and take appropriate action based upon those findings (i.e. investigate, report, correct, etc.).
The first objective of Injury analysis is to find the facts. The facts will then serve as a guide to the conditions that caused the Injury. The facts should identify the “why” of the Injury as well as the “who, what, when and where.” Since every Injury includes a sequence of contributing causes, it is possible to prevent a recurrence by recognizing and eliminating those causes. The removal of just a single cause can prevent a recurrence of an Injury/incident.
An analysis should be made as soon after the Injury as possible. A delay of only a few hours may result in important evidence to be destroyed or removed by mistake. A sample Injury Analysis form is available.
Start with reviewing the Injury scene. Reconstruct the events that led up to the Injury. If necessary, consider taking pictures, measure, and draw a diagram. Get a list of witnesses and interview the employee directly involved. The following information lists a variety of subject areas that should be included in an Injury analysis. Review the following items:
After reviewing these statements, the final analysis should suggest specific corrective action or actions that will prevent recurrences of the sequence of events that led to the Injury. Corrective action must focus on such things as eliminating unsafe conditions (mechanical or physical hazard) and correcting unsafe acts (employee deviates from instruction, policy, procedure or work practice). The following steps should be followed in the analysis process:
A near-hit Injury is defined as an unplanned event where damage resulted but there was no personal injury to employees or where damage did not result but the likelihood of personal injury to the employee was great. If the conditions which permitted the near-hit or "close call" to exist are not eliminated, they will continue to exist, making it likely that additional Injuries could occur which could eventually result in personal injury to the employee. Whenever there is an incident that did not, but could have, resulted in serious injury to an employee, the incident will be investigated by the school district Safety Officer and the area supervisor.
Minor Injuries (Requiring doctor/outpatient care)-
After the emergency actions following an Injury, an analysis of the Injury should be conducted by the immediate supervisor in conjunction with any witnesses to the Injury, to determine the causes. The findings of the analysis should be documented and attached to the Injury/Incident form and submitted to Human Resources (HR will forward a summary to the Safety Steering).
Major Injuries (Fatality or hospitalization)-
The superintendent and a human resources representative must be notified immediately by the person in charge. An analysis under the direction of the HR Director and/or Safety Champion must be conducted. The analysis team may include a risk manager, loss control specialist, supervisor of the injured person(s), a representative from the Safety Steering Team, and an employee representative.
In the case of death, probable death or the inpatient hospitalization of one or more employees, Human Resources should contact the Department of Labor.
The Safety Steering Team reviews the Injury reports at each of its regularly scheduled meetings.
How to accomplish it
OSHA/PESH has special reporting requirements for work-related incidents that lead to serious injury or a fatality (29 CFR 1904.39). OSHA/PESH must be notified within 8 hours of a work-related fatality, and within 24 hours of an amputation, loss of an eye, or inpatient hospitalization.
Effective incident analysis does not stop at identifying a single factor that triggered an incident. If a piece of equipment fails, a good analysis asks: “Why did it fail?” “Was it maintained properly?” “Was it beyond its service life?” and “How could this failure have been prevented?” Similarly, a good incident analysis does not stop when it concludes that a employee made an error. It asks such questions as: “Was the employee provided with appropriate tools and time to do the work?” “Was the employee adequately trained?” and “Was the employee properly supervised?”
Education and training provides administrators, managers, supervisors, and employees with:
People need both education and training to improve. Because some people intuitively understand the difference between education and training, misusing these terms can actually lead to problems. Employee may perceive training as a step-by-step procedure or program with no room for individual creativity, ownership, or empowerment. Educating employees about the principle or rationale behind a particular safety policy, program or process will encourage them to participate fully. They will perceive the program as an opportunity to make a difference, rather than as a requirement.
Education will influence attitudes, beliefs, values, intentions and perceptions, whereas training influences behaviors. Together, they encourage employees to be members of an actively caring community and empowered to go beyond the call of duty for safety. It is important that plans recognize that teaching styles are not the same for education and training. Also, employees learn in different ways.
Training is necessary to follow up safety education. The district should conduct job specific safety training for new employees and those transferred from another department before a person is assigned tasks that requires that training. Standard approaches to safety and health training may include the following topics. These should be organized in tables or matrices adapted to the specific work area:
Both the employee and the supervisor should document any job specific required training. The Human Resources department should maintain records of such training.
Various training materials are available, including videos, slide presentations, web-based courses, fact sheets, exercises and games.
Additional training may be needed depending on the roles assigned in the program. For example, employers, managers, and supervisors may need specific training to ensure that they can fulfill their roles in providing leadership, direction, and resources for the safety and health program. Employees assigned specific roles in the program (e.g., incident investigation team members) may need training to ensure their full participation in those functions.
Effective training and education can be provided outside a formal classroom setting. Peer-to-peer training, on-the-job training, and worksite demonstrations can be effective in conveying safety concepts, ensuring understanding of hazards and their controls, and promoting good work practices.
Action item 1: Provide program awareness training
Managers, supervisors, and employees all need to understand the program’s structure, plans, and procedures. Having this knowledge ensures that everyone can fully participate in developing, implementing, and improving the program.
How to accomplish it
Action item 2: Train employers, managers, and supervisors on their roles in the program
Employers, managers, and supervisors are responsible for employees’ safety, yet sometimes have little training on safety-related concepts and techniques. They might benefit from specific training that allows them to fulfill their leadership roles in the program.
How to accomplish it
Action item 3: Train employees on their specific roles in the safety and health program
Additional training may be needed to ensure that employees can incorporate any assigned safety and health responsibilities into their daily routines and activities.
How to accomplish it
Action item 4: Train employees on hazard identification and controls
Providing employees with an understanding of hazard recognition and control, and actively involving them in the process, can help to eliminate hazards before an incident occurs.
How to accomplish it
The Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau (PESH), created in 1980, enforces safety and health standards promulgated under the United States Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and several state standards.
The district is required to maintain the PESH 300 Log. This is a record of all employees that require medical treatment as defined by PESH. Staff members at each School and Department should be trained to maintain the required records. The specific requirements are:
Record keeping guidelines are available from PESH. Assistance can be obtained from PESH for interpreting the reporting instructions.
The Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) is defined as the number of work-related injuries per 100 full-time employees during a one year period. It is often also referred to as the OSHA incident rate or total recordable incident rate (TRIR). The TCIR and TRIR are calculated the same way and can be used interchangeably. OSHA uses the TCIR to monitor high-risk industries. Districts can track the frequency of workplace injuries and illnesses over time and discover patterns across different departments or facilities. The TCIR or TRIR by using the following formula: (Number of OSHA Recordable injuries and illnesses X 200,000) / Employee total hours worked = Total Case Incident Rate
To break this formula down, districts multiply the number of OSHA Recordable injuries and illnesses occurring throughout the year by 200,000.
The OSHA Recordkeeping Guide explains how to determine an OSHA recordable injury.
Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau
COMPULSORY WORKPLACE SAFETY AND LOSS CONSULTATION PROGRAM
The New York Compulsory Workplace Safety and Loss Consultation Program is a program administered by the Department of Labor that requires employers with poor safety records to hire consultants to identify safety issues and then implement a plan to remedy those issues. Carriers shall impose a 5% premium surcharge on an employer subject to the Compulsory Workplace Safety and Loss Consultation Program for failure to initiate a required safety program or implement the recommendations of a certified loss consultant. Note: An additional 5% charge shall be made in each successive year of noncompliance (e.g., first year, 5%; second year, 10%; third year, 15%; etc.)
WORKPLACE SAFETY AND LOSS PREVENTION INCENTIVE PROGRAM
The New York State Workplace Safety and Loss Prevention Incentive Program (WSLPIP) is a program administered by the Department of Labor that grants premium credits, as set forth by the NYS Department of Financial Services, to eligible employers who implement one or more of the following programs:
ESSENTIAL DISTRICT WIDE RISK IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMS
Ergonomics is the science and practice of designing jobs or workplaces to match the capabilities and limitations of the human body. A goal of ergonomics is to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders by adapting the work to fit the person, instead of forcing the person to adapt to the work. Careful study of relationships between environment and behaviors is the first step in ergonomics. Actions plans for adjustments of working conditions and/or equipment may follow. An effective ergonomics initiative consists of the following four elements:
District employees should report suspected, potential, or known ergonomic hazards to their supervisor or to the district Safety Champion. An employee who feels that they are experiencing symptoms of an ergonomics injury should report the injury to their supervisor. Once a suspected, potential, known ergonomic hazard or an injury has been reported, the employee's supervisor will insure an investigation is conducted to determine what can be done to reduce symptoms or eliminate the hazard.
If a job activity is determined as having an ergonomic hazard, the hazardous condition will be reduced below the hazard level or to the degree technologically and economically feasible.
PREVENTION PRACTICES FOR SPECIFIC TOPICS
The topics for injury prevention practices are wide ranging. Helpful information is available from numerous sources.
Aerial lifts are vehicle-mounted, boom-supported aerial platforms, such as cherry pickers or bucket trucks, used to access utility lines and other aboveground job sites. The major causes of fatalities are falls, electrocutions, and collapses or tip overs. Employers must take measures to ensure the safe use of aerial lifts by their employees if they are required to use this equipment in the course of their employment.
Employees using aerial lifts can be injured or killed if they don’t know how to operate them safely. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) about 26 employees die every year using aerial lifts. Causes range from electrocutions, falls and tip-overs to being caught between the bucket or guardrail and an object.
Before attempting to use an aerial lift bucket, CPWR states, employees should thoroughly inspect all operating and emergency controls, as well as guardrails, fall protection gear and any other items specified by the machine’s manufacturer. Check that the lift has no missing or broken parts. Then, survey the area where the lift will be used. Aerial lifts should be used on level surfaces that won’t shift. Look for hazards such as overhead power lines, drop-offs, holes and other obstructions. Finally, be sure to set outriggers, wheel chocks and brakes, even if the lift is on a level surface.
Supervisors should ensure any aerial lift operator or employee is trained, qualified and experienced with the model he or she will be using.
When operating an aerial lift or working in a lift bucket, ensure the platform’s chains or doors are closed, don’t exceed the lift’s load capacity limits, and place warning cones and signs around the lift when working near traffic. Other tips from CPWR:
Prevent electrocutions: Stay a minimum of 10 feet away from overhead power lines, and be aware that insulated buckets won’t protect a employee if electricity has another path to the ground, such as a employee touching another wire.
Prevent falls: OSHA requires either a full-body harness or other positioning device on bucket trucks or boom lifts.
Prevent tip-overs: Never drive when the lift platform is elevated, unless the manufacturer specifically states otherwise, and refrain from exceeding reach limits
Safe Work Practices
Back injuries can strike just anyone regardless of the job. Lifting is the most common task associated with low-back injuries.
Blood borne pathogens are infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Needle sticks and other sharps-related injuries may expose employees to blood borne pathogens. Employees in many occupations, including first responders, housekeeping personnel in some industries, nurses and other healthcare personnel, all may be at risk for exposure to blood borne pathogens.
In order to reduce or eliminate the hazards of occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens, the district must implement an exposure control plan for the worksite with details on employee protection measures. The plan must also describe how the district will use engineering and work practice controls, personal protective clothing and equipment, employee training, medical surveillance, hepatitis B vaccinations, and other provisions as required by OSHA's Blood borne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030).
Engineering controls are the primary means of eliminating or minimizing employee exposure and include the use of safer medical devices, such as needleless devices, shielded needle devices, and plastic capillary tubes.
For schools with a clinic or nurses on staff, and there is a possibility of exposure to blood borne pathogens there must be a blood borne pathogens exposure control plan. This plan may require the use of needleless sharps or sharps with engineered controls to protect employees and the public, as well as specific reporting requirements, medical treatment, and post-exposure follow up for needle stick incidents. Employee training in the proper use of sharps, personal protective equipment, personal hygiene, handling of contaminated sharps or laundry, and other actions to reduce the risk of a needle stick incident are also included in the blood borne pathogens exposure control plan.
While burn exposure is common in school kitchens, there are also many other workplaces with exposure to thermal, chemical, and electrical burns. Sun burn prevention is also important for school employees and teachers. Three essential elements of prevention are described below.
Training should cover not only the hazards that the employee might face on their worksite, but also an overview of OSHA standards and how to identify hazards that may not have been covered. OSHA 10-hour training is a great way to get a baseline of safety standards training before an employee ever even starts receiving worksite-specific training. Then, employers should make sure that the employees are trained on their specific job functions, including in-depth safety training with any machinery, chemicals or other worksite hazards specific to their job.
In addition to training before ever even starting a job, districts should regularly update training so that employees are kept up-to-date with standard changes and important concepts are kept at top-of-mind. Certificate training courses are a great way to re-train employees, and our online standards training topics can be taken 100% online for efficient and inexpensive refresher training.
Color codes, posters, labels or signs to warn employees of potential hazards are an employer requirement under the OSH Act, and these vital pieces of Hazard Communication are extremely important in burn prevention. Employees should be trained on how to recognize symbols and other hazard communication codes, and GHS communication standards should be used to identify material hazards in a consistent and easily recognizable way. When hazardous chemicals are found in the workplace, employers are also required to produce and provide a written Hazard Communication plan. These requirements, as well as an overview of GHS and the symbols now utilized in the United States are available.
Types of Workplace Burns
Thermal Burns — Thermal burns are burns caused by the heat from liquids (called "scalding" burns), open flames, hot objects and explosions. The most important priority with thermal burns is controlling and stopping the burning process. Thermal burns can be prevented by wearing Personal Protective Equipment, using fire prevention tactics, and by having procedures and emergency action plans related to fire detection and protection.
Chemical Burns — Chemical burns are the result of skin or eyes coming into contact with strong acids, alkaloids or other corrosive or caustic materials that eat away or "burn" skin and deeper tissue. In the workplace, these accidents can occur after exposure to industrial cleaners (such as rust removers or drain cleaners), chemicals in laboratories or manufacturing workplaces. One of the best ways to prevent chemical burns is to make sure all employees are well-versed in Hazard Communication, which covers the symbols and labels that will communicate chemical risk. These labels will also include the important information on the steps employees can take to prevent burns if they come into contact with dangerous chemicals. Employee who will come into contact with chemicals should consider Hazard Communication training and should also take refresher courses as these standards can be updated often.
Electrical Burns — Current travels through body and meets resistance in tissue, resulting in heat burn injuries. To avoid burns from electrical sources, high-voltage areas and machinery should be clearly marked. Employees should also make sure to identify live wires, avoid contact with water while working with electricity, and wear the personal protective equipment necessary to avoid burns by electricity. Additional information about the types of electrical hazards OSHA standards is available.
Sun Exposure Burns — While these could technically be considered a thermal burn, sun exposure burns are worthy of special consideration. Employees who work under the sun should be well versed in the sun safety practices that will keep them safe, and should take precaution to reduce hours under harsh direct sun, seek shade if possible, and wear sun-protective work clothing, hats and sunscreen to reduce the risk of burns from sun exposure.
A Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) provides for and supports procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment, and work practices to protect personnel from the potential health and physical hazards of laboratory work with hazardous chemicals, and complies with PESH. Instilling a general understanding of safety in the school laboratory is the responsibility of the teacher. It is imperative to create a culture of safety in the science classroom from the first meeting of the class. There are many resources to guide the educator in adopting an appropriate set of safety rules for a given laboratory setting. The list of rules can be extensive. The list for the students should be manageable and specific for a particular class and setting. Guidelines should be given and explained to students. Providing a safety contract for the students and their parents (or guardians) to sign reinforces their commitment to safety.
IMPORTANT LINKS and DOCUMENTS
American Chemical Society
Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
SDSs provide students, researchers, employees, and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling a pure chemical, as well as information for what to do in an emergency situation involving the chemical.
Chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to provide an SDS for any potentially hazardous chemical substance. SDSs are part of the Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication (GHS). The GHS sets internationally agreed-to standards for hazard testing, warning pictograms, and more.
Purpose of an SDS
SDSs are designed to educate employees on how to prevent exposure and reduce workplace incidents involving chemicals. They are meant to always be consulted before working with a material or developing a new process. If an exposure or incident does occur while using a product, the SDS for that product will have information about what to do. An SDS is useful in this context only if a single chemical is involved. Many accidents occur as a result of mixtures of chemicals. Accidental mixtures of chemicals are not in the purview of SDSs.
How to Find an SDS
In general, one of the easiest ways to find an SDS for a specific chemical is through Google search. Enter:
So, a search will look something like this: "sodium chloride safety data sheet fisher scientific.” Chemical formulations can vary. If you're looking for an SDS for a specific consumer product, it's important to find the one from the manufacturer of that product.
Information Included in SDS
OSHA requires that every SDS provide information outlined in all of the following 16 categories:
Uses for SDS
Any employee working in a laboratory using chemicals will need to use SDSs. Outside of a laboratory, SDSs are only required for occupational use. A district is required to maintain them for employees who will be working with a hazardous chemical.
More About Safety Data Sheets
School Chemical Management and Storage Guidelines
Several publications are important for proper assessment, use and storage of chemicals.
The Chemical Guidance Manual was developed in cooperation with the New York State Department of Conservation and provides a framework to accomplish a complete assessment and inventory of the chemicals used and stored by a school district. It also provides guidance on a sustainable chemical management system and chemical hygiene plan.
The School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide produced by the The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) / National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide includes information related to safety in the high school chemistry laboratory.
Chemical Storage Guidelines is a NYSED publication that is intended to provide school faculty and staff with chemical storage guidelines pursuant to New York State Education Law, '305(19) Chapter 627 of the Laws of 1989.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) law applies to the presence and use of mercury and mercury added products in all New York State elementary and secondary schools. Specific questions regarding the impact on schools due to this law are addressed in the Q & A document. Included are directions and information on the disposal of mercury and mercury added products presently used in schools across New York State.
Noise is defined as an unpleasant or unwanted sound; however, it can be much more than that. Noise can be a severe health hazard, because exposure to loud noise over a prolonged period of time can cause loss of hearing or a permanent ringing sound in oneâ€™s ear. This training course describes the hazards associated with high noise levels, identifies related responsibilities of both employees and employers, and describes the purpose of hearing tests. The various types of hearing protection devices are identified, and the process for selecting, fitting, using, caring for, and cleaning of those devices is reviewed.
Lockout/tagout is a safety procedure for de-energizing, disconnecting, and shutting down power sources to equipment so that it can be maintained or repaired without hazard to the employees authorized to work on this equipment. This course discusses procedure associated with lockout/tagout.
Machine guarding is necessary for hazards associated with operating moving machinery and guides participants through scenarios to determine if common industrial machinery is properly/improperly guarded. Machinery discussed includes: Grinders, Saws, Power Presses and
All employees who are required to drive during the course of their work must have a valid driver's license appropriate to the type of vehicle(s) operated. Any employee who does not hold a valid driver's license will not be allowed to operate a school district vehicle until such time he/she obtains a valid license. All employees who are required to drive during the course of their work must have an acceptable driving record.
Employees will not engage in any activity which could interfere with their ability to operate a vehicle in a safe manner while on school district business. Employees should follow all motor vehicle laws, posted signs and speed limits and take sufficient breaks when driving for extended periods of time.
The use of seat belts is required whenever a district employee operates or is a passenger in a district-owned, privately-owned, or rented vehicle while on official district business. This requirement is based on the Washington Seat Belt Law as found in RCW 46.61.688. The shoulder harness shall be worn over the shoulder and not placed under the arm.
Employees who operate district vehicles should perform a pre-operational inspection to check the readiness of the vehicle before the trip begins. Employees should visually inspect the inside and outside of the vehicle and immediately report any defects, deficiencies, or damage. If problems arise during operation, they should be reported when the vehicle is returned to the motor pool supervisor.
A master record is maintained on each district vehicle to record all expenses, mileage, maintenance and repairs. Regular maintenance is scheduled based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Any Injury and/or damage to a Motor Pool vehicle or any Injury and/or damage caused by a Motor Pool vehicle to another vehicle or property, however minor, must be reported to the Motor Pool administration as soon as possible after the occurrence. For further information on vehicle Injurys see Section 6.
Use of Cellular Phones While Driving
Washington state law (RCW 46.61.667) makes both text messaging and cell phone use without a hands free device while driving a primary traffic offense.
If an employee needs to make or receive a phone call while driving, the employee should make sure the vehicle is stopped and that he/she is parked in a lawfully designated parking area for the call.
Employees who use hands-free cellular phones are encouraged to keep business conversations brief while driving, and are encouraged to stop the vehicle and park in a proper parking area if the conversation becomes involved, traffic is heavy, or road or weather conditions are poor.
School Bus Operations
It shall be the responsibility of employees whose assignment includes operation of a school bus to meet and continue to meet the requirements set forth for School Bus Drivers in New York.
Employees who are required to have a commercial driver’s license to perform their job responsibilities are subject to drug and alcohol testing in compliance with the Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation, Federal Testing regulations (49 CFR Part 382).
Any employee who operates an agricultural tractor should be informed of the operating practices listed below and of any other practices dictated by the work environment. This information should be provided to the employee at the time of initial assignment and at least annually thereafter.
Employee Operating Instructions:
The district will ensure that every employee who operates an agriculture tractor is trained specifically in the operation of the tractor to be used. The training must include an orientation of the operator to the topographical features of the land where the tractor will be operated. Training must emphasize safe operating practices to avoid rollover.
Riding Power Lawnmowers
Employee Operating Instructions
A hazard assessment will determine if personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed for a job or task. A Hazard Assessment form is found with the PPE written program is available.
PPE alone should not be relied on to provide protection until all other reasonable means of reducing hazards have been examined. If the hazard assessment indicates a need for the use of PPE, the district should select and provide the appropriate equipment. Personal protective equipment may include eye and face protection, foot protection, hand protection, head protection, hearing protection and protection from bloodborne pathogens. The school district Personal Protective Equipment program should be in a written program.
During the initial orientation and safety training, all employees whose position requires the use of personal protective equipment should be provided instruction by their supervisor or other designated employee. Each affected employee should be trained to know at least the following:
Each employee, before being allowed to perform work requiring the use of PPE should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the training provided and demonstrate the ability to use PPE correctly. This training should be documented in writing.
Only forklift certified operators are allowed to operate the forklift. These persons must f fulfill the training requirements specified in [NY State regulation]. For more information regarding forklift operations see “Powered Industrial Truck Safety”
Among the many outstanding resources for program development are the following:
Psychology of Safety, E. Scott Geller, 2001, CRC Press, LLC
Leading People Based Safety, E. Scott Geller, 2008, Coastal Training Technologies Corp.
Selected School Risk Sharing Entities:
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
PPE Personal Protective Equipment
PtD Prevention through Design
SDS Safety Data Sheet
SHARP Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program
VPP Voluntary Protection Programs
Glossary of Terms
Close Call/Near Miss or Near Hit: An incident that could have, but did not, result in death, injury, or illness. They signal that hazards are not being adequately controlled or that new hazards have arisen.
Contractor: An individual or firm that agrees to furnish materials or perform services at a specified price.
Elimination: A change in process or workplace condition that removes the hazard or ensures that no employee can be exposed to a hazard under any foreseeable circumstances.
Hierarchy of Controls: A system for selecting and implementing the most effective control solutions for workplace hazards that includes:
This is known as the “hierarchy of controls” because they should be considered in the order presented. Controls at the top of the hierarchy are potentially more effective and more protective than those lower in the hierarchy.
Host Employer: An employer who has general supervisory authority over the worksite, including controlling the means and manner of work performed and having the power to correct safety and health hazards or require others to correct them.
Industrial Hygiene: The science of protecting and enhancing the health and safety of people at work and in their communities.
Job Hazard Analysis: A technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur. It focuses on the relationships among the employee, the task, the tools, and the work environment.
Joint-employed Employee: A employee hired and paid by a staffing agency and assigned to Work for a host employer, whether or not the job is actually temporary.
Lagging Indicators: Measures of the occurrence and frequency of events in the past such as the number or rate of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
Leading Indicators: Measures intended to predict the occurrence of events in the future. Leading indicators are proactive, preventative, and predictive measures that provide information about the effective performance of safety and health program activities that can drive the control of workplace hazards.
Metrics: Measures of performance.
Multiemployer Worksite: Any worksite where two or more employers are present. See OSHA’s Multiemployer Citation Policy.
Non-routine Operations: Operations that do not occur frequently or that occur as a result of an emergency. peer-to-peer training: A type of on-the-job training where employees exchange information about hazards, controls, reporting procedures, and work procedures that are relevant to the safety and health program.
Prevention through Design: A NIOSH national initiative to prevent or reduce occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities through the inclusion of prevention considerations in all designs that impact employees. PtD encompasses all of the efforts to anticipate and design out hazards to employees in facilities, work methods and operations, processes, equipment, tools, products, new technologies, and the organization of work.
Quantitative Exposure Assessment: Techniques used to quantitatively measure employees’ exposure to hazards, particularly health hazards, such as sampling for chemicals, dusts, biological organisms, noise, radiation, or other assessments. The purpose of such assessments is to quantify the level of employees’ exposure to a hazard. Also known as exposure monitoring.
“Risk”: The uncertainty arising from hazard and exposure. Risk can be reduced by controlling or eliminating the hazard, or by reducing employees’ exposure to hazards. An assessment of risk helps employers understand hazards in the context of their own workplace, and prioritize hazards for permanent control.
Root Cause Analysis: A collective term that describes a wide range of approaches, tools, and techniques used to uncover causes of problems
Safety and Health Achievement An OSHA program that recognizes small business employers Recognition Program: who have used OSHA's On-site Consultation Program services and operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program.
Safety Data Sheet: Written or printed material used to communicate the hazards of substances and chemical products to employees prepared in accordance with paragraph (g) of OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard.
Serious Hazards: Hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm. See OSHA’s Field Operations Manual, Chapter 4.
Shortcoming: A fault, deficiency, or gap that results in a failure to meet program design criteria.
Staffing Agency: A firm that provides temporary employees to host employers. A staffing agency hires its own employees and assigns them to support or supplement a client’s workforce in situations involving employee absences, temporary skill shortages, seasonal workloads, and special projects.
Substitution: The replacement of toxic or hazardous materials (or the equipment or processes used with them) with ones that are less harmful.
Work Practices: A set of procedures for performing a specific work assignment safely.
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