Aeronautical Center Employees Virtually Participate in July Safety Stand Down
Vol.8 Issue 6

The Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center hosted a Safety Stand Down Webinar on July 26th where employees were briefed on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Regulatory Updates.

Top 10 most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites by federal OSHA.

OSHA’s alliances include the Oklahoma Safety Council, the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP, Tulsa and OKC Chapters), MCEPS (Mid-Continent Exploration and Production Safety Network), Oklahoma Section of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, and the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock, Arkansas, along with the Oklahoma Municipal Contractors Association, The Associated General Contractors of Oklahoma, the Latino Community Development Agency, and Associated Builders & Contractors of Oklahoma.

OSHA members expressed emphasis on trenching and excavations, stating that in the first six months of 2022, there were 22 workers who fell victim to the deadly hazards present in trenching and excavation work – surpassing 15 deaths in all of 2021. In keeping with its National Emphasis Program for excavations, OSHA’s compliance officers plan to perform more than 1,000 trench inspections nationwide where they may stop by and inspect any excavation site during their daily duties.

During the webinar, a list of OSHA’s top ten most frequently cited violations during FY 2021 was shared. OSHA publishes this list to alert employers about these commonly cited standards. The goal is to inform businesses in advance, so they can take steps to find and fix hazards prior to an OSHA inspection.

From October 1, 2016, to present, OSHA investigated a total of 153 fatality events in Oklahoma. Three of these events included multiple fatalities for a total of 158 lives lost in the workplace. Falls have been the first or second leading cause in 5 of the past 6 years with a total of 34 falling accidents. During the webinar, the number of fatalities and their causes in FY 22 were shown.

On March 30, 2022, OSHA published a proposed rule to amend federal occupational injury and illness recordkeeping per Regulation 29 CFR 1904.41. This Regulation improves tracking of workplace injuries and illness. The proposed rule requirements include:

  • Establishments with 20 or more employees in certain high-hazard industries must electronically submit Form 300A data.

  • Establishments with 100 or more employees in the highest-hazard industries will submit Form 300 log and Form 301 Incident Report Data. Also required to electronically submit Form 300A data (no employee names will be published).

  • Establishments with 250 or more employees not in designated high-hazard industries are no longer required to electronically submit recordkeeping information to OSHA.

The purpose of this proposed rule is to expand public access to establishment and case-specific information, allowing employers of all sizes to compare their own injury and illness data with similar establishments in the same industry. This gives employers, workers, potential employees, and others the necessary information to make decisions about workplace safety and health standards at an establishment. It also helps to identify and mitigate workplace hazards, ultimately reducing occupational injuries and illnesses.

The completed Annual Inspections for the Aeronautical Center found that most of the discoveries from each organization fall into housekeeping categories. Housekeeping is a broad term that refers to the routine maintenance and upkeep of a workplace. Good housekeeping can be a revealing indicator of a commitment to worker protection. The benefits include reducing injuries and accidents, reducing slips, trips, and falls, reducing fire potential, maintaining safe and healthy working conditions, boosting morale, and making operations more efficient. Good housekeeping can be an indicator of commitment to worker protection and participation.

Housekeeping should be incorporated into all operations and tasks performed. This is an integral part of the job. As workplace housekeeping becomes a standard part of operations, less time and effort are needed to maintain it. The use of quarterly workplace inspections helps to identify and mitigate housekeeping issues. Here are some housekeeping tips that were shared during the Safety Stand Down Webinar:

  • Keep floors, stairways, aisles, and other passageways clear of tools, equipment, trash, and other materials.
  • Stack materials carefully so they won’t fall or block sprinkler access.
  • Secure leaning items.
  • Properly dispose of all trash.
  • Keep food and drinks away from the work area.
  • Report loose or broken flooring to the Trouble Desk (405) 954-3687.
  • Clean up all spills immediately or call for emergency response (405) 954-3444.
  • Put tools/chemicals away when not in use.
  • Prevent dirt, dust or grease buildup on machines or equipment.
  • Excess unwanted furniture or equipment.

A list of Heat Stress Prevention

During the Safety Stand Down, Heat Stress was another topic also discussed. The Aeronautical Center has put emphasis on this over the course of the 2022 summer. Heat stress, from exertion or hot environments, places workers at risk for heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or heat cramps. Six hundred people were killed in the United States by extreme heat. Risk factors include high temperatures and humidity, direct sun exposure, no breeze or wind, heavy physical labor, no recent exposure to hot workplaces, low liquid intake, and waterproof clothing/personal protective equipment (PPE).

The last topic of the Safety Stand Down was Fatigue. This is a condition marked by extreme fatigue and inability to function due to lack of energy causing a decline in mental and/or physical performance. This can result from insufficient sleep, prolonged mental or physical work, or extended periods of stress or anxiety. Approximately 37% of the U.S. workforce is sleep deprived. Fatigue can reduce the ability to concentrate/avoid distraction, react quickly and recognize risks, make good decisions, stay alert or awake, coordinate hand and eye movements, communicate effectively, remember and recall events, and control emotions.

Fatigue is a workplace hazard. Highly fatigued workers are 70% more likely to be involved in an incident resulting in injury.

The Circadian Rhythm Diagram

There are four factors of fatigue:

  1. Amount and quality of recent sleep
  2. Hours of wakefulness since last sleep
  3. Circadian rhythm (body’s natural rhythm)
  4. Time and intensity of work

Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep. Less than the needed amount results in sleep debt. Poor sleep can also lead to fatigue. Sleep disorders disturb sleep and consequently impair waking function, and sleep is best obtained in a single block between 10pm and 7am. After 13 hours of being awake, performance declines rapidly, and after 24 hours, you may be as impaired as if you were legally drunk.

The Aeronautical Center’s quarterly Safety Stand Down events reinforce the importance of safety in the workplace. This is a great opportunity for employees to talk about any hazards, protective methods, safety policies, goals, and expectations that safety is reinforced, no matter what job you hold.

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