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  • 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. 



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  • 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

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  • OSHA likes Fall Hazards according to 2013 data.

    OSHA recently unveiled the Top 10 most cited OSHA violations of Fiscal Year 2013. (October 1, 2012, through September 30, 2013).  All of the 2012 hazards remained on the 2013 list.  Some of the hazards moved up and a few fell from 2012 to 2013.  The top four OSHA violations remained the same and in the same order.  The following is a complete list of the top 10 most cited standards following inspections of worksites by federal OSHA. 




    2013 Total Violations

    2012 Total Violations (Rank)

    1. 1926.501 - Fall Protection


    7,250 (1)

    2. 1910.1200 - Hazard Communication


    4,696 (2)

    3. 1926.451 - Scaffolding


    3,814 (3)

    4. 1910.134 - Respiratory Protection


    2,371 (4)

    5. 1910.305 - Electrical, Wiring Methods


    1,744 (8)

    6. 1910.178 - Powered Industrial Trucks


    1,993 (7)

    7. 1926.1053 - Ladders


    2,310 (5)

    8. 1910.147 - Lockout/Tagout


    1,572 (9)

    9. 1910.303 - Electrical, General Requirements


    1,332 (10)

    10. 1910.212 - Machine Guarding


    2,097 (6)

    Total Violations




    The OSHA violations list remains largely unchanged since 2011, with only minor differences in the order of the 10 standards.
    While the violated standards are not surprises, the most significant change from 2012 to 2013 is the number of violations.  To quantify the volume of 2013 OSHA citations, the 10th most cited standard in 2013 was cited more than the fourth most cited standard in 2012.  The volume of citations demonstrates OSHA’s rising enforcement efforts during the current administration. 


    Falls pose the greatest threat for workplace accidents and OSHA citations. 

    describe the imageSince fall protection violations have topped the list for the past two years, OSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) – Construction Sector to launch a campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about fall hazards in construction.  The campaign addresses the serious safety concern of falls from heights and ensures workers receive the education, training and fall protection equipment needed to stay safe when working at height. 
    Falls are the most common source of injuries and fatalities in construction. What can employers do to protect workers from falls and stay in OSHA compliance?

     Frequent fall citations include:

    • the failure to install and use guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems
    • the failure to prevent falls from roofs and open sides and edges
    • the failure to cover holes


     What does the OSHA fall safety stand  require?
    describe the image
    • evaluate worksites to identify fall hazards, including leading edges, roof lines, holes, excavations, openings in walls (including large windows) and skylights.
    • Provide fall protection if employees are exposed to fall of six feet or more.
    • Provide protection from falling objects for employees who are working below other workers.
    • Provide fall protection systems for each type of fall hazard.
    • Examples: guardrails, hole covers, safety nets, fences and personal fall arrest systems.
    • Conduct training of employees on the proper selection, use and maintenance of fall protections systems.
    If conventional fall protection systems are not feasible, employers may develop a fall protection plan.  The fall protections plan, written by a qualified person, must document why conventional fall protection systems are not feasible and what alternate measures the employer will take to prevent falls. 

    Falls can be prevented! 


    fall protection collage


    Training is one of the first steps a company can take to avoid OSHA citations and workplace accidents.  Providing effective training will reduce hazard creation and exposure, plus OSHA requires employers to train their workforce.  Another important tool to avoiding OSHA and injury is conducting periodic site safety audits.  This audit identifies site hazards, unsafe conditions and unsafe acts. Taking swift action to mitigate the hazard or unsafe act will lower the injury exposure and OSHA citation exposure.  We will be discussing how to conduct an effective safety audit and what to do with the data once it’s collected. This topic will be discussed in our March blogs. 

    links for OSHA and Fall Protection Assistance:


    OSHA Fall Protection Subpart

    Fall Clearance Calculator

    Safety Training

    OSHA etools for Fall Protection 











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Preparing for an OSHA Visit

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Obama Administration has put the teeth back in OSHA's bite and even worse, many companies remain unprepared for a surprise visit from an OSHA inspector. Is your company one of them?

A visit from OSHA can be unwelcome and unsettling, but it need not be. By planning and preparing in advance, employers can minimize their discomfort over the pending inspection and obtain more control over the event. Would you know what to say and, even more importantly, what NOT to say in the event of a surprise inspection? Do you know your legal rights? Do you have a program in place for preparing for the inevitable drop-in before it happens? If so, that's great. But if you answered "no" to one or more of the above questions, Trinity Safety Group can help get you up to speed. Planning for an inspection in advance makes an inspection go more smoothly, allows you to be in control of the inspection, creates a positive impression on the inspector, and results in fewer violations. Our team of professionals will help your organization properly prepare for when OSHA comes knocking at the door.

Our comprehensive training will address a wide range of subject matter and help answer any questions you might have regarding an OSHA inspection, such as:

  • Inspection Team - Who will communicate with the inspector?
  • The Basics - What are likely areas of concern before the inspection?
    • Training Documentation?
    • Hazard Communication?
    • Emergency Preparedness & Evacuation Procedures?
    • Posting Requirements?
  • Documentation - What documents should be provided? What information should be shared?
  • Employee Interviews - Are your employees prepared to answer questions from the inspector?
  • Inspector Arrival - Should you ask for credentials? Who directs the conversation?
  • Purpose & Scope of Inspection - Do you have the right to know why OSHA is inspecting?
  • Opening & Closing Conference - What questions should you ask? How will you address deficiencies?
  • Facility Walk-Through - Should you note the inspectors observations? Should you dispute whether something is a violation?
  • Following Inspection - What should you expect after the inspector addresses his/her concerns?


In theory, OSHA inspections do not need a reason to happen. Any organization can be visited at any time by an inspector who need not have any reason to show up except the fact that the workplace is covered by federal safety regulations.

If you have not had an OSHA inspection in many years (if ever), it may be tempting to be less than 100 percent rigorous about compliance with all OSHA rules. The effort to train new or transferred employees can be onerous, especially as other pressures increase in our stressed economy. But you should never assume that your employees are so skilled or knowledgeable that they dont need more training. And its dangerous to assume that employees are so well protected that they would never report a potential violation or hazardous situation to OSHA.

To avoid unnecessarily triggering an inspection, and to be prepared should an inspection occur, you need an effective compliance plan. Fortunately, Trinity Safety Group possesses all the resources you need to develop an effective compliance plan, maintain a safe workplace, and prepare successfully for an OSHA inspection.


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."