Top safety training stories of 2018
A staffing company fraudulently sells OSHA training certificates, how to use training to get your workers in “The Zone” and how virtual reality is being used to train first responders were among the top safety training stories of 2018.
A new form of training is aimed at countering physician burnout – a mental health issue which has emerged as a significant problem in the U.S. for both the medical professionals who suffer from it and the patients whose care may be affected by it. Physician burnout may lead to errors in care that can raise the cost of both health care – potentially putting it beyond some patients’ means – and malpractice insurance.
Keep people safe – and reduce your liability
The worst time to realize your fleet’s safety program doesn’t measure up is when you’re answering questions in court, or at a deposition. Yet, even the best companies can find themselves in that uncomfortable position. If they do, it’s a sure bet the fleet’s own safety training program is where plaintiffs’ attorneys will look.
Time to rebuild the “Rule Mill”
Rules are so easy to make that safety offices are often accused of being a “Rule Mill” because they continuously produce their rule-of-the month. Why do we create so many rules? One particular cog in our mill that causes us to create rules is incidents. When we suffer an incident, we want to throw every tool in the arsenal to keep it from happening again.
We all know that good safety training helps to keep workers safe. But anyone who ever crammed for a test in school knows that something you memorize for just one day is something you’ll forget next week. So what can you do to ensure that the safety lessons learned in training stick with your workers on the job?
A Pennsylvania metal parts manufacturer thought it already had an “exceptional” safety program when it reached out to a government program for assistance. Brockway-based Phoenix Sintered Metals, LLC, a family-owned manufacturer of sintered (compacted and formed without liquefaction) metal parts, is “committed to continuous improvement,” according to the company.
The focus is on “what failed?” not “who failed?”
A tricky thing, disciplining employees. Every safety pro has a story about discipline:“I had to terminate a woman in 1987 because her body odor was so repulsive, affecting other workers (and her boss… me),” says a pro who requested anonymity. “I remember progressive discipline... You bet I asked the HR manager for assistance.”
From the NIOSH Director's Desk:
The “skills gap”—the mismatch between the knowledge, skills, and abilities employers seek in potential employees and the competencies workers actually bring to the job—has been a topic of national conversation, concern, and even controversy for many years.
Get your people in “The Zone”
Have you ever been in “The Zone”? “The Zone” is described as a tunnel-vision experience and an extreme focus. “The Zone” is reported by athletes, soldiers, and researchers.
Annually, thousands of construction supervisors take the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30-hour outreach-training program to learn how to identify and control occupational hazards. However, until recently it did not include content on leadership.
Integrating technology with photo ID cards assures workers’ credentials
Ensuring that workers do only jobs they’re trained for is critical in industrial safety. An untrained worker who botches a job can do a lot of damage. But in the rush to get things done, proper vetting can get overlooked. How can supervisors in the field know for sure about whether a particular worker is qualified to do a specific task or operate a certain piece of machinery? It’s challenging on the factory floor and even more so in the field.
An electrical contractor recently celebrated reaching the milestone of one-million safe working hours. Wayland, Michigan-based Windemuller said in August, 2018 it hit the mark without any recordable OSHA injuries as of July. The company’s streak started in May 2016.
A pair of leading health care organizations think 50,000 lives a year can be saved by making changes to the way CPR is taught. The American Heart Association (AHA) and Laerdal Medical, a major, global medical equipment and medical training products manufacturer based in Norway, are campaigning for a new standard of resuscitation quality and patient care centered on CPR competence.
Your words really matter
With more experience traveling the real world seeing safety programs in action (or inaction) I realized that words matter. They not only communicate, but they can shape the very approach you take to your safety programming. They can get you stuck or they can liberate your safety culture.
Stop preaching & lecturing
Standard teaching techniques apply to all types of learning. But safety training exists on a level of its own given the life and death stakes involved. While safety professionals need to find teaching ideas that work, many find themselves falling back on the same tired slide presentations.
Community members and activists came together to criticize controversial "fear-based" police officer training used by local officers involved in two deaths. Training was taught by fear-based training pioneer Dave Grossman. The premise of his classes is that officers are "at war" on the domestic front and need psychological training to become "warriors" to overcome their resistance to killing. If not, they could be killed in the line of duty, he says.
Researchers at Shenandoah University believe that virtual reality is the forefront of education, not just for traditional schools, but also for training first responders. The Shenandoah Center for Immersive Learning (SCIL) created three simulations to present to first responders at the Emergency Preparedness Instructional Center's public safety open house. The free event drew over 20 first responders and educators to Shenandoah's Halpin-Harrison Hall.
Savannah River Remediation (South Carolina) is implementing a virtual reality program to help new employees get a feel for walking in unfamiliar and unusual environments where tripping hazards can be common. In virtual reality, users wear a headpiece with goggles, foot and belt sensors, and hold hand controllers while “walking” through the simulations.
Most of us only dream of space travel. But 17-year-old astronaut trainee Alyssa Carson is making it a reality. The ambitious Louisiana-based teenager has had her “heart set on the stars” ever since she was a little girl. At only 3 years old, she told her father, “Daddy, I want to be an astronaut, and be one of the people that go to Mars.”
The soldier who died after going missing during land navigation training at Camp Blanding, Florida, died from heat exposure, officials have ruled. Spc. Calyn McLemore went missing June 20. He was found dead two days later in a wooded area of the installation.
When it comes to preparing for medical emergencies, there's only so much firefighters can learn from practicing on mannequins. That's why, for the second year, the Rochester (Minn.) Fire Department is partnering with Mayo Clinic's Multidisciplinary Simulation Center to give its crew a hyper-realistic training.
Transforming Safety training
Micro-learning has the potential to transform the way companies do their safety and regulatory compliance training -- and save hundreds-of-thousands, even millions of dollars in the process.
Online, mobile, micro-learning, podcasts and more
Training companies include cloud-based training, eLearning, streaming video, and much more. To keep the focus on specialized training companies and associations, we did not include college-degree programs offered by universities.
OSHA has signed an alliance agreement with CareerSafe to provide youth, aged 16-24, educators, and administrators with information and resources on the most common hazards encountered by new workers.
There is an ongoing debate on how incentives are being used. Incentives should enhance a functional safety program that contains such areas as: return-to-work (RTW), accident investigations, and safety committees.
Find the sweet spot
Incentivizing your employees to ensure that they are constantly fully motivated is vital not only to have a fully functioning business but to maintain your long-term profitability.
Non-native workers in the United States employed in small construction companies received less safety and health training than non-native workers in larger companies, according to research by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). The research recently appeared in the journal Safety Science.
New construction safety training legislation establishes a program to provide equal access to construction site safety training (SST) for workers in New York City. This training is in addition to existing federal, state and local requirements.
Training fuels safety
On January 22, 2018, a rig explosion near Quinton, Oklahoma claimed the lives of five workers, marking the deadliest incident in the U.S. oil and gas industry since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. These incidents, and many others, are tragic reminders of the need for innovation in safety systems.
OSHA has added a searchable list of authorized Outreach trainers to its website make it easier for you to find authorized instructors for the 10- and 30-hour Outreach classes. The list provides trainer names and contact information, and indicates which course the trainer is authorized to teach (construction, general industry, maritime, or disaster site worker classes).
New York City is considering a law that would require businesses with at least 15 employees to conduct training aimed at preventing sexual harassment. Company owners would have to provide interactive training - either in person, with audiovisual material or some other form approved by the city’s Human Rights Commission - and maintain records of compliance. Failing to do so could earn companies penalties of up to $500 for their first violation, and up to $2,000 for each one after.
With a tap of your phone…
I said to myself, it would take decades for this modern technology to make it to the safety incentive market. The tech virus indeed continued its unstoppable path, as we now know. This market is typically slow to change, but not anymore.
A federal jury in Atlanta has convicted a former co-owner of a staffing company of convincing job applicants they needed OSHA training certificates for positions that did not require them – and then selling them the certifications. Erick Powell who operated the National Vocation Group, was convicted of wire fraud. A second defendant and co-owner, Ahmad McCormick, pleaded guilty to wire fraud on August 31, 2017.