Tag Archives: safety training

Improve Your Safety Training Through the Use of Technology

08/16/17    Safety National

photo of workers in hardhats using high tech screens for atricle, Improve Your Safety Training Through the Use of TechnologyAs injuries continue to occur and claims increase, employers are often left scratching their head as to why. That is because “Telling” is not safety training. ”

Normagene Dmytriw, Senior Safety & Occupational Health Specialist, Broward County Government, Risk Management lead a discussion at the WCI’s 2017 Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference. As technology improves, and becomes more readily available and affordable, employers are looking to technology to provide creative and effective learning options.

Gamification advantages

  • Fun
  • Engaging
  • Sense of achievement

Gamification disadvantage

  • Winning over objectives
  • Difficult to translate learners game progress to objectives
  • Costs equipment costs and software costs
  • OSHA
  • Novelty wears off

Using simulators – a machine with a similar set of controls designed to provide a realistic imitation of the operation. There is virtual and manual.

Advantages of simulators

  • Safe learning environment
  • Unlimited attempts
  • Retain information more efficiently
  • Learners are more engaged
  • Don’t have to wait for a real situation
  • Feedback is immediate


  • Cannot fully re-create real life situations
  • Cost purchase, updates and maintenance
  • Not every situation can be included
  • The results and feedback are only effective as the actual training provided

    Webinars are virtual lectures or training sessions delivering a presentation to a large dispersed audience. If you are going to used webinars they are great for safety committees and to educate safety professionals on current issues but they are not OSHA compliant. Some advantages are convenience, affordable, efficient, and long term value. Some disadvantages are not all web browsers are the same, internet speed, mobile devices may not be ideal, not for compliance and participants are not engaged.

    Training is vital to the success of your employees. It’s important to invest in training programs that teach your employees and create thought provoking ideas to make your safety programs more efficient.


Is Horseplay in the Workplace Compensable?

By ReduceYourWorkersComp 07/08/2015

Homer Simpson workplace safety poster. No HorseplayHorseplay and lack of safety and loss control mechanisms is a significant driver in any workers’ compensation program.  By instituting effective written policies, stakeholders can take a proactive step to controlling costs by preventing unnecessary workplace injuries.


An All Too Common Hypothetical

Frank and Ralph work for Sparky Electric Company.  One day Frank is working on a power line about 15 feet above the ground in a cherry picker.  Ralph triple-dog-dares Frank to jump to a trampoline located on an adjoin property.  Frank accepts the dare, but misses the mark.  He breaks both legs and suffers a low back injury.  Are these injuries compensable?


Compensability of Horseplay

It is a common misconception that “horseplay” is not compensable.  To the contrary, horseplay is often compensable under most state workers’ compensation laws.  In evaluating these cases, courts will typically follow the rules outlined in Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law. These factors include:

  • The extent and seriousness of the deviation;
  • The completeness of the deviation, i.e., whether it was commingled with the performance of a duty or involved an abandonment of duty;
  • The extent to which the practice of horseplay had become an accepted part of the employment; and
  • The extent to which the nature of the employment may be expected to include some horseplay.

Important to this discussion in the “prohibited acts doctrine,” and whether the employer’s policies and procedures specifically prohibit the act that results in the workplace injury.  No policy can be ironclad and anticipate every aspect of an employee’s conduct while on the job.  Certain modifications can be made to promote a safer work environment and reduce workers’ compensation exposure.


Effective Safety and Loss Controls

  • Safety Training.  The development of an effective safety-training program for all employees is the first step to reducing unnecessary claims in any workers’ compensation program.  This training must incorporate all new employees and follow-up programs tailored to the needs of existing persons.  Information and assistance on these program is typically available free of charge through a state department of labor or other entities concerned about worker safety.
  • Incentive Programs.  Employers and other stakeholders concerned about worker safety have seen immediate success in the reduction of work injuries through incentive programs.  These incentives include financial bonuses for the reduction of work injuries, as well as other fringe benefits.
  • Accident Investigation.  Workplace accidents do happen.  This is why it is important for an employer to respond to them in an effective manner.  Part of this includes empowering employee’s to have confidence that when an incident is reported, it will be properly investigated and resolved with understanding and compassion.
  • Other Safety Programs.  Any safety program requires buy-in from supervisors and management.  If this takes place, the culture of safety will dominate a workplace and the results will trickle-down to other employees.

New Hires Shouldn’t Mean New Injuries

Safety Training yellow caution tapeBy   – You hire new employees with the intention of maintaining or increasing your production and profitability, but definitely not to increase your workplace injuries. Unfortunately, safety in the workplace is often overlooked on the new hire checklist. In fact, 40 percent of injured employees have been on the job less than one year (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). You can reduce your new hire risk and work comp expenses without increasing your business expenses. Let us show you how.

Why so many injuries in the first year on the job? 
There are lots of potential reasons, but some of the most common are that supervisors think new employees already have workplace safety knowledge or their previous experience accounts for any on-the-job learning curve. This way of thinking can be fatally flawed. For example, what if the new employee’s previous employer never did any formal safety training? Perhaps the new employee brings experience with them, but hasn’t worked in this field recently. Combine this with the fact that most new employees are afraid to ask questions, and it is a formula for workplace injuries.

Costly Mistakes
Introducing new faces to your workplace can bring much needed help. But they can also bring increased costs if you’re not careful. In other words, safety training pays in more ways than one.


OSHA Top 10 List Can Help You Avoid Costly Penalties

By ReduceYourWorkersComp 
graphic for OSHA Top 10 Violations listOkay, as far as entertainment value goes, it may not rival late night television hosts and their opening monologues, but OSHA did publish its list of the “Top 10” most frequently cited construction standards, following inspections of work sites in 2013.

No, OSHA was not intent on pitting itself against the likes of David Letterman or Conan O’Brien in a comedic battle of wits. Rather, it was attempting a pre-emptive strike, aimed at saving businesses from needlessly paying out high penalty fees (up to $7,000 for a serious violation, and as much as $70,000 for repeated or willful viol

Top 10 Lists Alerts Employers About Commonly Cited Standards

OSHA annually publishes this “Top 10” list to alert employers about commonly cited standards, so employers can take steps to find and mend recognized hazards before OSHA ever takes punitive action against a company. Normally, OSHA does not grant advanced notice of its inspections, and inspections are generally performed at sites where imminently dangerous situations are known, fatalities or catastrophes have occurred, complaints or referrals have been given, the work site has been issued a citation in the past, or inspections may be pre-planned or programmed.

While it poses no threat to replace the heroes of late night television, OSHA is meeting its goal of reducing fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the workplace.
Continue reading OSHA Top 10 List Can Help You Avoid Costly Penalties

Are All Injuries Preventable?

pie chart: total coast of various types of injuriesAll injuries are preventable. If you really think about it, if everyone did everything they were supposed to do accidents probably would never happen.

Sure equipment fails, or gets worn out and fails, or tires blow out when you run over a nail, but think about it: That nail maybe wouldn’t be on the road if a worker hadn’t left a box of nails on the bed of their truck then drove away with the tailgate down. That machine would not have failed if it were replaced 2 years ago when the maintenance worker told his supervisor that this machine was old, outdated, and had “a few years left.”

Tracy Morgan Accident, Like Most Accidents, Was Preventable

Think about what happened to comedian Tracy Morgan. This is all alleged at the time I write this, but allegedly the semi-truck driver was up for 24 hours before he crashed into the back of Morgan’s limo. The truck driver is a Wal-Mart employee. No doubt he will have a great defense counsel when this goes to trial, but what if that were your truck driver out there that caused this accident? Do you know how many hours your drivers are logging behind the wheel? Are they compliant with all their reporting of work versus rest periods? How can you really prove they are being truthful and honest should this situation result from your employee? If you are not sure, I hope you have deep pockets to provide as good of a defense counsel as this driver is going to get.

Time and time again, we see injuries that are preventable. Most of these injuries get chalked up to “operator error” meaning that this worker knew better than to do what they were doing at the time they were injured. This could be from trying to lift too much, or pull too much in one load, or from operating a machine in the improper manner.


OSHA’s New Webtool To Identify Workplace Hazards

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today released a new interactive training tool to help small businesses effectively identify hazards in the workplace. Employers and workers can virtually explore how to identify common workplace hazards in the manufacturing and construction industries. Users of the new training tool will learn not only hazard identification skills but also learn about hazard abatement and control.

“Hazard identification is a critical part of creating an injury and illness prevention program that will keep workers safe and healthy on the job,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

“This new tool not only educates employers about how to take control of their workplaces and protect workers, it also demonstrates that following well-established safety practices is also good for the bottom line.” Assistant Secretary Michaels announced the new tool today at the American Society of Safety Engineers conference in Orlando, Fla.

OSHA Hazard Identification

Through the hazard identification tool, users can play from the perspective of either a business owner or an employee as they learn to identify realistic, common hazards and address them with practical and effective solutions. The tool explains the key components of the hazard identification process, which include information collection, observation of the workplace, investigation of incidents, employee participation and prioritizing hazards.

Continue reading OSHA’s New Webtool To Identify Workplace Hazards