Archives for March 2018
Back to the FMCSA ELD ruling this morning … all 516 pages. I received an email update last week that FMCSA has granted a compliance extension to agricultural carriers, so I delved back into the original ruling.
We already know that §395.1(e) provides an exception for drivers who are on a timecard and are not required to maintain records of duty status (“RODS”). This may include those drivers who maintain RODS for less than 8 days in a 30-day period, those who conduct driveaway/towaway operations, and other short-haul drivers. We also know there is an exception to commercial vehicles made prior to the year 2000, as these models may not be compatible for ELDs. These drivers may continue to maintain paper logs and not install electronic devices under the new ruling.
We know that the rule currently provides for an agricultural exception when driving within a 150-mile radius of the originating farm/ranch location, as well as for commercial bees, animals, and livestock transportation. Last week (March 13, to be exact), the FMCSA released another notice granting a 90-day waiver extension for ELD compliance to the agricultural transportation industry. Additional information is forthcoming regarding the 150 mile (air miles) and personal conveyance exemptions.
Important Date: As a reminder, full enforcement of ELD compliance begins April 1, 2018. Drivers will be placed out of service for noncompliance, and will be required to log 10 hours of off-duty/out-of-service time before being permitted to drive to the next scheduled stop, where the driver cannot be dispatched again unless and until an ELD device is installed.
Stay abreast of changes to this ruling. The full text of this ruling (all 516 pages) can be found here. We’ll continue to bring you updates as they are received.
Does your company maintain a commercial vehicle fleet? Are you responsible for workforce safety, risk management, or compliance? Contact us or give us a call at (816) 349-0850 to see how we can help design a safety and risk management plan that meets your unique needs.
Multi-family dwellings require a high degree of maintenance. Any number of routine duties present injury hazards to your workforce.
Administration: Office workers who spend large amounts of time at a desk or performing computer work often suffer cumulative trauma (repetitive motion) injuries. Proper ergonomics plays a significant role in preventing neck, shoulder, and back strain, carpal tunnel, and eye strain, all of which are common workers compensation claims. Many strain injuries can be reduced or eliminated by fitting the workstation to the worker – adjustable height desks, keyboard trays, ergonomic keyboards, footrests, adjustable chairs with lumbar support, and monitor stands are a few of the tools you can use to optimize the worker’s comfort and reduce strain injuries. Encourage workers to take a short stretch break every hour to relieve tension in the neck, arms, and shoulders.
Maintenance: Maintenance workers are responsible for so many tasks at habitational properties. They frequently climb ladders to change light bulbs, hang holiday lights, clean gutters, or trim trees. They build shelving and decks, and often use power tools to complete those projects. They clean, paint, shovel snow, mow grass, and trim shrubs. Obviously, these staff members are constantly bending, lifting, stretching, and reaching overhead. The very nature of maintenance workers’ duties is labor-intensive and exposes them to strain and sprain injuries, fall injuries, inhalation injuries, hearing damage, and eye injury. Protect your workers by inspecting ladders and tools regularly and repairing or replacing any damaged items immediately. Provide proper gloves, masks or respirators for painting, fall protection where required, protective eyewear and safety goggles, and ear protection. PPE should be mandatory.
Residents & Guests: Slip, trip and fall hazards pose a large hazard to residents and guests. Both interior and exterior walking surfaces should be smooth and even. Carpets should be without tears, and pavement should be free of substantial cracks and potholes. Gravel parking lots should be well-maintained year-round. Areas of renovation should be secured from public access to protect your residents and guests from flying debris, paint overspray, or other exposures.
March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month
Eye injuries in the workplace are far too common, particularly when the vast majority of these injuries are preventable. Even a minor injury can inflict serious and permanent damage to the eye, up to and including blindness. Safety glasses and goggles are invaluable in protecting your eyes on the job. Metal shavings, sawdust, liquids, acids, gases, sparks, and radiation all pose hazards to your vision.
A leading cause of eye injuries is the failure to wear adequate eye protection. Some common reasons reported for failure to wear eye protection are:
- Improper Fit
Fit is critical. As with any other PPE, eyewear should be fitted to the individual. Non-prescriptive eyewear should be adjustable in order to achieve a balance of proper fit and protection. Options such as gel nose pieces and cushioned brow pieces can improve comfort. Appearance is subjective and, obviously, should never take precedence over safety, but offering a wide selection of frames and styles may encourage workers to wear safety glasses.
Regardless of style and features, all protective lenses should meet proper standards for impact resistance, distortion-free/anti-fogging, and UV protection. Polycarbonate lenses are required for working in high-impact areas where tempered glass lenses or acrylic plastic lenses do not afford enough protection. Filter lenses for welding, hot work, and radiation must be compliant with requirements for each such operation. Eyewear should cover both the front and side of the eye or the entire face. Prescription safety lenses are available and should be provided to employees requiring same. Employers and workers alike should understand the exposures in order to choose the proper safety eyewear. OSHA standards for eye and face protection can be found here.
Employees should assess their environment prior to starting work to minimize and remove hazards where possible. In the event of an eye injury, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following:
For all eye injuries:
- DO NOT touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye.
- DO NOT try to remove the object stuck in the eye.
- Do not apply ointment or medication to the eye.
- See a doctor as soon as possible, preferably an ophthalmologist.
If your eye has been cut or punctured:
- Gently place a shield over the eye. The bottom of a paper cup taped to the bones surrounding the eye can serve as a shield until you get medical attention.
- DO NOT rinse with water.
- DO NOT remove the object stuck in eye.
- DO NOT rub or apply pressure to eye.
- Avoid giving aspirin, ibuprofen or other non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs thin the blood and may increase bleeding.
- After you have finished protecting the eye, see a physician immediately.
If you get a particle or foreign material in your eye:
- DO NOT rub the eye.
- Lift the upper eyelid over the lashes of your lower lid.
- Blink several times and allow tears to flush out the particle.
- If the particle remains, keep your eye closed and seek medical attention.
In case of a chemical burn to the eye:
- Immediately flush the eye with plenty of clean water
- Seek emergency medical treatment right away.
To treat a blow to the eye:
- Gently apply a small cold compress to reduce pain and swelling.
- DO NOT apply any pressure.
- If a black eye, pain or visual disturbance occurs even after a light blow, immediately contact your ophthalmologist or emergency room.
- Remember that even a light blow can cause a significant eye injury.
To treat sand or small debris in the eye:
- Use eye wash to flush the eye out.
- DO NOT rub the eye.
- If the debris doesn’t come out, lightly bandage the eye and see an ophthalmologist or visit the nearest emergency room.
The best medicine is still prevention. Protective eyewear is only effective when worn.
Are you looking for ways to improve safety for you and your employees at your small business?
Multi-family properties face many unique perils. While property losses can be devastating, fatalities are a property owner’s worst case scenario, followed closely by injuries to children. Not only are the immediate losses devastating, but each of these perils can lead to extended business interruption, lengthy claims investigations, and costly litigation. Here, we’ll take a look at three potentially catastrophic perils facing the habitational property owner:
Fire may be the most destructive of all hazards, as it can wreak total devastation on property and lives. Even when “contained” to an area (a unit kitchen fire, for example), the water and smoke damage can permeate walls into adjacent units beside, above, and below the source of origin. Multi-family dwellings should take special precautions to protect their residents from fire. In addition to the obvious controls (smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting and exit signs), property owners should also give special attention to common laundry rooms, outdoor grilling policies, wood-burning fireplaces, space heaters, and smoking policies. You may not be able to eliminate the risk of fire, but there are many proactive steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of a fire.
Pools present a unique set of hazards, and are especially dangerous to small children. In 2004, Congress determined drownings to be the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 14. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was amended in 2014 and provides very specific governance over pools. The Act maintains high standards for both pool equipment and access. Pool safety should always be a priority, and all swimming areas should be fully fenced and locked to prevent small children from entering these areas unnoticed.
- DOG BITE
Let me preface this section by telling you I am a lover of dogs. That said, statistics bear out the majority of serious, reported dog bite cases stem from a handful of breeds. Numerous studies and statistics are available at dogbite.org, and these studies reveal that Pitbulls were involved in 71% of all dog bite-related deaths. This statistic is more shocking when you realize that Pitbulls represent only 6% of the dog population nationwide. While dog bite fatalities are not prevalent (31 reported in 2016), 42% (13) of those cases were children under the age of nine.
I recall personally working a case in the early 2000s where a 3-year old girl was attacked by a dog. One of her ears was left hanging by a thread of skin. She received 103 stitches in her face. That’s a lot of stitches in a very small area, most of which were located on one side of her face, between her eye (orbital socket), across her cheek, and into her ear and hairline. This little girl was fortunate, even though she would go on to require multiple reconstructive surgeries.
The threat is real, and habitational property owners have a responsibility to all residents. Many property owners impose weight restrictions as opposed to breed restrictions, while others “interview” all pets and approve pets on a discretionary basis. You should still recognize the common list of vicious breeds, and know that not all dog bites are the result of large breeds – some lists include both the Chihuahua, the Dachshund, and other small breeds. These lists are not comprehensive, and any dog can bite.
One final tip: Know your local statute. Missouri imposes strict liability for dog owners under RSMo. 273.036. City ordinances vary, and you should familiarize yourself with local codes. Being aware of the law helps you protect your business while protecting your residents.