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Hello everyone, and welcome back to the DWD WC's Safety Corner – the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Division of Worker's Compensation (DWD WC) Safety E-Newsletter. I'm using this forum to share some of the current, pertinent safety and health news and information that I receive from my network of workplace safety professionals and sources to pass along to employers and organizations across Wisconsin.
COVID – Business Reopening Strategies: As COVID-19 rates decline and mask mandates expire in Dane County and elsewhere, it would be a good COVID "refresher update" to visit the many state and federal resources on how to further mitigate spread in the workplace. Examples include:
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Wisconsin Safety Council
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
REMINDER: OSHA ITA Was Due March 2, 2022, for select industries: While 2021 year U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) 300A Injury & Illness Summary data should already be posted for your establishment's employees benefit and review (posted locally, annually, February 1 to May 1) select establishments must also report their OSHA Form 300A Summary data electronically to OSHA via OSHA's online Injury Tracking Application (ITA) – OSHA.gov – ITA - Injury & Illness Reporting App.
March 2, 2022 was the ITA deadline for electronically reporting your OSHA Form 300A data for calendar year 2021. Collection began January 2, 2022.
Remember, not all establishments need to submit their OSHA 300A Data. Review which establishments do not need to provide their data online.
March is Ladder Safety Month: Each year, there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. caused by falls from ladders. Most ladder deaths are from falls of 10 feet or less.
Ladder safety violations were #3 on OSHA's "Top 10 Violations" for FY 2021, up from #5 in FY 2020 (i.e., OSHA Construction Standard 1926.1053, 2,018 FY 2021 violations). Learn more: NSC S&H Mag - OSHA Top 10 Most Cited Violations - FY 2021
The American Ladder Institute (ALI) has a slate of weekly ladder safety toolbox and safety huddle discussion topics scheduled for the month. See the ALI's Ladder Safety Month details at ALI - Ladder Safety Month.
National Ladder Safety Month 2022 will focus on four key themes:
Week One: Choosing Your Ladder
Week Two: Safety Before the First Step (Inspection and Set Up)
Week Three: Safety While Climbing
Week Four: Safety at the Top
ALI has excellent free safety resources available for safe ladder use training and worker educational materials.
OSHA also has many good, free ladder safety training and safe use compliance resources available at OSHA Ladder Safety Resources ALI.
Also see the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC/NIOSH) mobile ladder safety app, an excellent safety resource, especially for Construction workers.
Additional CDC/NIOSH historical Ladder Safety Month resources can be accessed at CDC/NIOSH Ladders Safety Month Resources for safety training materials and ideas.
March is also Workplace Eye Wellness Month. According to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 15,730 eye injuries involving days away from work in 2020. Proper eye protection minimizes the risk of significant eye injury. Prevent Blindness.org recommends that the type of eye protection that should be used depends on the hazards in the workplace. Download a copy of the workplace eye health and safety media release regarding eye safety and health considerations.
Prevent Blindness.org provides free resources, including an overview of proper eye protection and safety glasses for various industries, and information on the effects of extended digital screen use at Workplace Eye Safety & Health-Prevent Blindness.org - March 2022.
Employers are encouraged to contact Prevent Blindness.org for information on their Healthy Eyes Vision Wellness Program, which promotes vision care services in the workplace. Eye Safety Fact Sheets are available to help employers promote workplace eye safety education with the workforce.
March also has a host of additional health and wellness campaigns. Visit the following organizations' websites for pertinent details:
As a look ahead, the month of April has a full slate of pending Safety & Health initiates, starting with a very busy first full week, kicking off with the Grain Industries: Stand Up 4 Grain Safety.org, and the state of Wisconsin's annual Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week/Month from April 4-8, 2022. The annual Statewide Tornado-Severe Thunderstorms and Lighting community sirens emergency action plans (EAP) drills are tentatively set for Thursday, April 7, 2022 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Learn more at Weather.gov - 2022 NWS Severe Awareness Campaigns.
April also is Distracted Driving and Work Zone Safety month as we move toward the summer road construction season. More information and additional details will follow as we approach April, but the above links offer those wishing to get a jump on their first week of April safety activities.
Have a Safe Day, Always!!
Dave Leix, CSP, Safety & Risk Manager - Bio: Dave Leix - CSP, Safety & Risk Manager
Dave brings over 40 years of professional safety and health (EHS) consulting and managerial experience to his role as Safety & Risk Manager for DWD's Worker's Compensation Division. He presents at a variety of association/industry trade group safety and risk management training events. Full bio for Dave Leix.