Our Blog

  • Why should I use a safety consulting firm for site safety staffing?

    It is well established that high safety performance not only promotes the health and safety of personnel, but also positively impacts the organization's reputation. A key aspect of establishing and maintaining a high safety performance is having an experienced and knowledgeable safety representative whose priorities and objectives are aligned with your organization. The challenge is finding the right person for the job, that has the skillset, an effective approach and is available within your timeline.  hand shake 2

    The resources and time it takes to effectively hire a site safety professional is daunting.  There are four metrics to the hiring process sourcing, screening, interviewing and hiring. To effectively complete all of these steps takes time and money.  Another challenge can be keeping the site safety professional from leaving the project before it is complete.  If this happens, the company is forced to start at the beginning of the process to backfill the position which cost more time and money.  

    Working with a safety consulting company like Trinity Safety Group for safety staffing needs has several advantages over hiring your own full-time safety employee. The bottom line is when you use a safety consulting company the risk is transfered, they become a turn-key solution.  Beyond the inital benefit, most firms like Trinity Safety Group has many safety professionals on staff with diverse experience and expertise.  Now you have a team of safety professionals at your finger tips when that need arises. When you hire a reputable firm you should get the following:

    1. Expertise

    A professional safety staffing service is focused and equipped to provide you with experienced professionals whose expertise matches your project. The staffing service will carefully evaluate each project and ensure that you work with only the most qualified team members.

    2. Save Time

    According to NACE, the average time from interview to offer is 22.5 days. Consider the time spent writing up the position description, posting the position, gathering and reviewing resumes, and scheduling interviews, and analyzing all qualified candidates before even making the offer, and you'll realize how quickly it adds up. A safety staffing service understands what you need for the job and has refined, smooth processes to quickly fill your position.

    3. Save Money

    In addition to the benefit of having an experienced staff ready to hit the ground running, there are substantial cost advantages to choosing a staffing service to staff your project versus hiring a permanent staff member. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average direct cost for a new employee is $57,967.88 including basic wages, benefits, and taxes. Add in costly overtime during the vacancy of the position, recruiting and advertising costs, screening and testing costs, and this number can quickly grow exponentially.

    By using a safety staffing service, you save costs in several areas, including:

    • Employee benefits packages
    • Training expenses
    • Recruiting and overhead costs 

    4. Staff Anywhere

    A staffing service has access to a wide pool of highly qualified candidates. They can provide you with safety professionals anywhere in the country. No matter where the project is located, how big or small, a safety staffing service will work with you on each and every staffing need. Established safety staffing agencies often work with professionals and skilled workers who are open to short term, project, or part time work that have strong backgrounds in their field. Having experienced talent that can quickly come in and adapt to your position can provide you with great flexibility.

    5. Staff with Confidence

    After spending all of the time, money, resources, and effort in the hiring process, you want to be sure that your hire is a good one. Partnering with a safety staffing service will give you the peace of mind and confidence to know that you're hiring someone who will live up to expectations.

    When it comes to your safety staff you cannot take chances.  Find a reputable safety consulting firm who specializes in safety staffing to reduce the burnden of finding the right safety professional in a timely manner.

    Click below to hear what Trinity Safety Group's customers say about their staffing services:

     

    Safety Staffing

     

     

     

     

    Read More

  • How to Establish a Safety Program

    Obviously, you want your company to be safe. But what if you don't have a formal safety program in place? Where do you begin? How do you bring the entire company on board and help your employees catch the vision? We are often asked these same questions.

    If your company is starting from scratch, establishing a safety program can seem like a daunting task. But it is very important. That's why we've put together this blog post - to help you easily implement a solid safety program.

     

    construction worker leaning against orange cone

     

    1. Develop a plan of action that includes both management and employee involvement.

    It's essential to develop a program that will meet the needs of everyone within your organization. However, a binder filled with procedures is not going to help your employees stay safe. That's why we recommend employee safety representatives are part of the process. This will encourage their continued support and participation.

    2. Designate a health and safety representative.

    As with any good plan, you will need to assign someone to take this responsibility. This individual must have authority to do the job and the ability to work and interact with employees at all levels within the company. Choose someone that has the knowledge of both the facility and general safety requirements. The designated person should be credible knowledgeable about the operations. Management must give adequate resources (time, authority, money) to develop an effective program.

    3. Determine the health and safety requirements of the specific workplace and operations.

    In order to succeed, you need to figure out the established requirements associated with your company's location, operations and equipment. This will help you develop a hazard assessment strategy, pinpoint hazardous areas and procedures (causing significant injury or illness) and provide the background for correction and control strategies.

    To aid with this, you will need to look into:

    • OSHA laws, regulations, and standards
    • Equipment manuals
    • Chemical inventory
    • Employee capabilities
    • Accident and injury/illness history
    • Existing safety and health materials

    4. Conduct a hazard assessment of the workplace 

    Your ultimate goal is to identify and prevent hazards. Develop an initial plan for assessing the workplace with a comprehensive safety and health survey. During the initial survey, you will want to identify any hazardous situations and all violations of laws, regulations or standards.

    Effective strategies for an initial workplace survey include:

    • Floor plans
    • Storage areas
    • Processes
    • Equipment & Pedestrian pathways
    • Job hazard analysis

    Step 5: Correct identified hazards.

    Once identified, you should promptly correct all hazards.  This will build credibility of your company's health and safety policy. Financial resources may be required to correct some hazards. Every reasonable effort must be made to provide adequate funding to protect the workplace safety and health of your company. If a complete correction of a hazard is delayed, interim measures may be necessary in some instances. 

    Step 6: Keep the workplace hazard-free.

    Once hazards are corrected, ensure that the workplace remains hazard-free. Rules and procedures should be clearly stated and understandable. Although it is not always required, work rules and emergency procedures be in writing. 

    Once the procedures are established, it is important to develop a means for enforcing them. Enforcement is particularly important initially, when management will experience the most resistance to the new rules and procedures.

    Step 7: Train Employees in Safety and Health.

    We strongly recommend training employees in safety and health. Train employees about how company’s safety and health program will benefit them and they will make the program work. Retraining is wise (we recommend annually), since health and safety are long-term commitments. Similarly, training should be required for all new employees.

    Step 8: Keep the program up-to-date and effective.

    At this point, most of your hard work is done. However, it's important to maintain the new, safer environment you've created. Don't forget to document all the work you've done so it can be reviewed to determine program effectiveness down the road.

    By following these easy 8 steps, you are well on your way to establishing a safety program. Have questions? Give us a call, we're happy to help. 

     

     

    Read More

  • ISA GC Networking Event of the Year Booth Winner

     Thank you to those who stopped by our booth!

    ISA 2014 Post Event Thank You Letter for Hubspot2 resized 600

    Read More

HEAT STRESS - Protecting Workers

Friday, July 29, 2011

Source: cdc.gov

OVERVIEW:

Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries in workers as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness. Burns may also occur as a result of accidental contact with hot surfaces or steam.

Workers at risk of heat stress include outdoor workers and workers in hot environments such as firefighters, bakery workers, farmers, construction workers, miners, boiler room workers, factory workers, and others. Workers at greater risk of heat stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.

Prevention of heat stress in workers is important. Employers should provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health and safety, and how it can be prevented.

TYPES OF HEAT STRESS:

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.

Symptoms

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Chills
  • Throbbing headache
  • High body temperature
  • Confusion/dizziness
  • Slurred speech

 

First Aid

Take the following steps to treat a worker with heat stroke:

  • Call 911 and notify their supervisor.
  • Move the sick worker to a cool shaded area.
  • Cool the worker using methods such as:
    • Soaking their clothes with water.
    • Spraying, sponging, or showering them with water.
    • Fanning their body.

 

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the body's response to an excessive loss of the water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Workers most prone to heat exhaustion are those that are elderly, have high blood pressure, and those working in a hot environment.

Symptoms

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness, confusion
  • Nausea
  • Clammy, moist skin
  • Pale or flushed complexion
  • Muscle cramps
  • Slightly elevated body temperature
  • Fast and shallow breathing

 

First Aid

Treat a worker suffering from heat exhaustion with the following:

  • Have them rest in a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area.
  • Have them drink plenty of water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Have them take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.

 

Heat Syncope

Heat syncope is a fainting (syncope) episode or dizziness that usually occurs with prolonged standing or sudden rising from a sitting or lying position. Factors that may contribute to heat syncope include dehydration and lack of acclimatization.

Symptoms

Symptoms of heat syncope include:

  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

 

First Aid

Workers with heat syncope should:

  • Sit or lie down in a cool place when they begin to feel symptoms.
  • Slowly drink water, clear juice, or a sports beverage.

 

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps usually affect workers who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body's salt and moisture levels. Low salt levels in muscles causes painful cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Symptoms

Muscle pain or spasms usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs.

First Aid

Workers with heat cramps should:

  • Stop all activity, and sit in a cool place.
  • Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.
  • Do not return to strenuous work for a few hours after the cramps subside because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Seek medical attention if any of the following apply:
    • The worker has heart problems.
    • The worker is on a low-sodium diet.
    • The cramps do not subside within one hour.

 

Heat Rash

Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather.

Symptoms

Symptoms of heat rash include:

  • Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters.
  • It is more likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.

 

First Aid

Workers experiencing heat rash should:

  • Try to work in a cooler, less humid environment when possible.
  • Keep the affected area dry.
  • Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort.

 

Recommendations for Employers

Employers should take the following steps to protect workers from heat stress:

  • Schedule maintenance and repair jobs in hot areas for cooler months.
  • Schedule hot jobs for the cooler part of the day.
  • Acclimatize workers by exposing them for progressively longer periods to hot work environments.
  • Reduce the physical demands of workers.
  • Use relief workers or assign extra workers for physically demanding jobs.
  • Provide cool water or liquids to workers.
    • Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar.
  • Provide rest periods with water breaks.
  • Provide cool areas for use during break periods.
  • Monitor workers who are at risk of heat stress.
  • Provide heat stress training that includes information about:
    • Worker risk
    • Prevention
    • Symptoms
    • The importance of monitoring yourself and coworkers for symptoms
    • Treatment
    • Personal protective equipment

 

Recommendations for Workers

Workers should avoid exposure to extreme heat, sun exposure, and high humidity when possible. When these exposures cannot be avoided, workers should take the following steps to prevent heat stress:

  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton.
    • Avoid non-breathing synthetic clothing.
  • Gradually build up to heavy work.
  • Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of day.
  • Take more breaks in extreme heat and humidity.
    • Take breaks in the shade or a cool area when possible.
  • Drink water frequently. Drink enough water that you never become thirsty.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sugar.
  • Be aware that protective clothing or personal protective equipment may increase the risk of heat stress.
  • Monitor your physical condition and that of your coworkers.

 

CDC Resources

OSHA-NIOSH INFOSHEET: Protecting Workers from Heat Illness

MMWR: Heat-Related Deaths among Crop Workers, 1992-2006

CDC: Extreme Heat
Additional information on heat stress illnesses and prevention.
En Español

NIOSH: Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Hot Environments (Revised Criteria 1986)
This document presents the criteria, techniques, and procedures for the assessment, evaluation, and control of occupational heat stress by engineering and preventive work practices. Included are ways of predicting health risks, procedures for control of heat stress, and techniques for prevention and treatment of heat-related illnesses.

NIOSH: Working in Hot Environments
Workers who are suddenly exposed to working in a hot environment face additional and generally avoidable hazards to their safety and health. This publication discusses the safety and health consequences of heat stress.

OSHA-NIOSH INFOSHEET: Protecting Workers from Heat Illness

Health Hazard Evaluations

 

Other Government Resources

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Safety and Health Topics: Heat Stress
Provides a guide to information regarding the recognition, evaluation, control, and compliance actions involving heat stress.

OSHA Technical Manual Section III: Chapter 4 - Heat Stress
Provides descriptions of heat disorders, investigative guidelines, sampling methods, control, and PPE.

OSHA Sawmills eTool: Heat Stresses
Provides information on the hazards of heat stress and possible solutions or controls.

OSHA Quick Card: Heat Stress
Provides heat stress factors, symptoms, prevention tips, and first aid recommendations.
En Español

OSHA Fact Sheet: Protecting Workers from Effects of Heat   [PDF - 22 KB]
Provides information that will help workers understand what heat stress is, how it may affect their health and safety, and how it can be prevented.

OSHA Fact Sheet: Working Outdoors in Warm Climates   [PDF - 25 KB]
Hot summer months pose special hazards for outdoor workers who must protect themselves against heat, sun exposure, and other hazards. Employers and employees should know the potential hazards in their workplaces and how to manage them.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service: Heat Index

NOAA: Heat Wave - A Major Summer Killer   [PDF - 268 KB]
Provides general information regarding the recognition and control of heat stress.

Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA): Heat Stress - What to Do.
Provides documents related to heat stress in the mining industry.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Wildland Fire Safety - Heat Stress
This brochure focuses on the risks of heat stress, and what the firefighter should do to minimize those risks.

U.S. Army: Heat Index Calculator

Additional Resources

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists: Product Store - Threshold Limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices
Purchase this document

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) - Ergonomics of the Thermal Environment: Analytical Determination and Interpretation of Heat Stress Using Calculation of the Predicted Heat Strain
This document specifies a method for the analytical evaluation and interpretation of the thermal stress experienced by a subject in a hot environment. It describes a method for predicting the sweat rate and the internal core temperature that the human body will develop in response to the working conditions.
Purchase this document

ANSI - Ergonomics of the Thermal Environment: Medical Supervision of Individuals Exposed to Extreme Hot or Cold Environments
This International Standard provides advice to those concerned with the safety of human exposures to extreme hot or cold thermal environments.
Purchase this document

ANSI - Hot environments: Estimation of the Heat Stress on Working Man, Based on the WBGT-index (Wet Bulb Globe Temperature)
This document gives a method, which can easily be used in an industrial environment for evaluating the stresses on a individual. It applies to the evaluation of the mean effect of heat on man during a period representative of his activity but it does not apply to very short periods, nor to zones of comfort.
Purchase this document

NASD

  • NASD: Keep Cool
    Outdoor worker flyer about heat stress.
  • NASD: Dangers of Heat Stress
    Provides a script that can be used to deliver a 15-minute training session to employees. The text explains the impact that hot weather work can have on health, describes preventive measures, and touches briefly on first aid.
    En Español
  • NASD: Heat Stress
    A flyer that will enable the reader with information to be able to identify symptoms of heat stroke and exhaustion, and know the emergency procedures for both.
    En Español

Texas A&M University - Texas Cooperative Extension: Coping with Hot Work Environments
En Español

Related Links

 

Contact Us:

Testimonials

Fred Lusk, CEO - Verkler, Inc.

"Verkler, Inc. has used the services of Trinity Group for the last year for on-site inspections and training.  We have found them to be professional, efficient and extremely knowledgeable about safety and accident prevention thru effective training.  We will continue to use their services because of the excellent results we have gotten in fewer injuries and helping us maintain a low EMR."