Did you know distracted driving is the biggest danger on the road? According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving claims at least nine lives and injures 100 people every day. The month of April isDistracted Driving Awareness Month, dedicated to bringing awareness to the community about the issue. Defining Distracted Driving Distracted driving is the act of engaging in other activities that take your full attention and focus away from driving. Some activities that threaten your safety include using a cell phone, conversing with passengers and using vehicle technologies and/or navigation systems. Multitasking is a Myth Studies have shown the ability to multitask is a myth. The human brain is not built to perform multiple tasks at the same time. Texting while driving is the most catastrophic distraction. When we send or read a text message, we take our eyes off the road for approximately five seconds. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when we are traveling at 55mph, that five seconds is an equivalent of driving the length of an entire football stadium with our eyes closed. Causes of Commercial Vehicle Crashes A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study has shown that 71% of commercial vehicle crashes are due to distracted drivers. In 2008, a commercial vehicle driver was distracted by drinking a soda and did not see a stopped school bus with its lights flashing and stop arm extended. Fourteen children were taken to the hospital and four of them had serious injuries. The commercial driver was also transported to the hospital in critical condition. Commercial vehicle drivers can experience additional distractions to those typical of your personal vehicle. A 2009 study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that using a dispatching device while driving increased chances of being involved in a safety-critical event by 9 times. Many companies have developed policies or lock out features of these devices when the truck is moving to reduce incidents. Tips to Reduce Distracted Driving According to recommendations from a New Hampshire Occupational Heath Surveillance Program study, employers can help reinforce safe driving practices at work and home through policy enforcement. Seatbelt usage requirements for drivers and passengers in the workplace can translate to better habits at home. Programs to address distracted and drowsy driving for commercial operators can also reinforce best practices on and off the clock. Follow these tips to help reduce your distractions: Put away your phone Plan your route in advance Do not multi-task while driving Avoid reaching for dropped items Make a Commitment to Safety Each one of us can make a difference by being active and mindful of driving distractions and making a commitment to ourselves to eliminate distractions while we are on the road. Employers can implement a cell phone policy to keep employees safe, and parents can set a good example for their children by adhering to safe driving practices. If you’re a contractor, ask your supervisor if your company has driving policies and programs in place to help reduce driving incidents. If you’re a Hiring Client, ask your contact at ISN for information on written programs, including those on driving policies. Interested to learn how ISN could help you manage your contractors and validate written programs like driving policies? Request a demo of our contractor management system ISNetworld.
The Business Aviation Safety Summit (BASS) Conference will be held from May 2-3 in Denver. Each year, hundreds of occupational health and safety decision makers in the business aviation industry gather for the event. They collaborate to discuss management of health and safety at work regulations, identify safety concerns, devise approaches to reduce risk and implement initiatives to improve safety. Visit ISN Join us at Booth 14 during the conference to discuss contractor management services and learn more about ISNetworld. The ISN team will be providing live demonstrations of the ISNetworld contractor management software, sharing benchmarking reports and discussing best practices in contractor management. We look forward to seeing you there.
The recent chemical fire in Deer Park, Texas, raised concerns about safety and risks associated with benzene. What is Benzene? Benzene is a toxic, flammable, colorless chemical that has a sweet, aromatic odor and is not soluble in water. Some industries use benzene to make other chemicals that are used to make plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibers. Benzene is also used to make some types of lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides. All of us experience trace amounts of benzene exposure through daily use of consumer products. Detergents, pesticides and gasoline all contain benzene. However, employees who work in petroleum refining sites and pipeline operations, for example, have a higher risk of exposure to benzene. Benzene awareness is extremely important due to its prevalence and harmful health effects. Health Effects of Benzene Exposure Benzene often enters the body through inhalation. Both short-term and long-term exposure to benzene can cause serious health issues. Potential short-term effects may include breathlessness, irritability, irritation of eyes, nose and skin, dizziness, or nausea. Long-term effects of benzene exposure can include blood disorders like anemia and leukemia. If you experience any unplanned exposure to benzene, you should seek medical assistance immediately. Best Practices for Working With or Near Benzene Eliminate any heat or ignition sources like open flames or sparks Prohibit smoking in areas where benzene is used or stored Ensure fire extinguishers are readily available Store benzene in a cool, well ventilated location and keep containers tightly closed when not in use Wear the necessary personal protective equipment to protect against exposure. This may include boots, gloves, aprons, eye and face protection, and/or respiratory protection. If a benzene release occurs, evacuate immediately, notify response personnel and report to health, safety and environmental authorities as applicable. The Benefits of a Benzene Awareness Program For companies with potential occupational exposure to benzene, documented benzene awareness programs provide great value to both Hiring Clients and contractors. ISN has both benzene and benzene awareness protocols that align with OSHA standards available to customers where applicable. ISN’s RAVS Plus Assessment is designed to provide additional evidence for Hiring Clients that contractors’ written programs are implemented throughout their work practices and that their employees have received training. Chemical awareness and employees’ ability to correctly identify related characteristics and health effects of the chemical are common gaps identified during these assessments. Learn More Contact us to learn more about the RAVS Plus tool, or schedule a demo of the ISNetworld platform.
About the Petroleum Safety Conference (PSC) The PSC has operated since 1951, connecting safety experts and influencers, safety supervisors, and companies to the latest in health and safety knowledge, products and services. Conference Information This year’s PSC will be from April 30 – May 2 in Banff, Alberta, at the Fairmont Banff Springs Conference Center. This event allows attendees to enhance their effectiveness in the field by learning new ideas in safety and sharing experiences with others. Visit ISN The ISN team will be available at Booth #93 throughout the conference. The team will be providing live demonstrations of the ISNetworld contractor management platform, sharing industry-wide benchmarking reports and discussing best practices in contractor management. We look forward to seeing you there.
The ISN Team will be exhibiting at the 2019 SIA National Health and Safety Conference May 22-23 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney. The Safety Institute of Australia is the national association for the health and safety profession. This year, the conference theme is Back to the Future, looking to set the agenda for the future of safety and reflecting on how the profession has been shaped by social, cultural, political and other influences. ISN’s Sydney-based team will be attending the conference, including our safety specialist and global head of safety. Stop by our stand, J17, to have a chat with our team and learn more about ISN’s services and best practices in contractor management. We look forward to seeing you there.
According to the American Sleep Association, about 40 percent of working-age adults report short sleep duration. The UK National Health Service (NHS) reported that 1 in 3 people suffer from poor sleep. What are the effects, associated causes, prevention and the health benefits of remedying sleep deprivation and fatigue? The effects of fatigue on your body Experiencing “microsleeps” or very brief episodes of sleep while awake Cognitive impairment Irritability Severe yawning Significantly increased effect of alcohol An increased risk of anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes Shorter life expectancy Top causes of sleep deprivation and fatigue Poor bedroom set up (electrical appliances, light pollution, temperature and excessive noise) Bad nutrition and over consumption of caffeine and energy drinks Stress and anxiety Physical health conditions Insomnia Unsuitable PPE and clothing being worn for activity and temperature management Excessive workloads Long periods at computers Ways to prevent sleep deprivation and fatigue in the workplace Studies have shown that sleep-deprived persons tested in a driving simulator or performing hand-eye coordination tasks produced the same results or worse than those who were intoxicated. This highlights the potentially dangerous effect of sleep deprivation and fatigue in the workplace. The following points offer ways your employees can remedy this problem: Turn off electronics while sleeping Avoid television or using electronic devices before going to bed Try light stretching before bed Drink caffeine-free herbal tea before bed Increase water consumption throughout the day Avoid large meals or exercise before bed Wear appropriate clothing at work to promote suitable ventilation and reduce unnecessary strain and fatigue Aim for eight hours of sleep a night Review workload and deadlines with direct supervisors to avoid physical and mental overexertion Assess day-to-day work tasks to allow for regular breaks Benefits and Support Effective sleep can have a dramatic effect on the way a person functions on a day-to-day basis. Stress levels can be reduced leading to greater cognitive ability and increased levels of happiness and motivation. The chances of developing diabetes can also be reduced with appropriate periods of sleep helping maintain a healthy heart and weight. Online resources can help you evaluate if you could be experiencing insomnia, although medical consultation should always be considered when experiencing prolonged fatigue. These infographics from the National Safety Council may be useful to have at your worksite to help draw attention to and serve as a reminder of workplace fatigue.
ISN welcomed more than 80 delegates from over 35 countries for the ISO Technical Committee (TC-283) meeting at ISN’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas, last week. The full scope of ISN TC-283 is standardization in the field of occupational health and safety (OH&S) management to enable an organization to control its OH&S risks and improve its OH&S performance. The ISO TC-283 Committee is responsible for the ongoing development of the new ISO Standard, ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) – requirements with guidance for use, and the development of supporting guidance and standards. ISO 45001 defines good practices in OH&S management and specifies requirements for a management system. The meeting last week sought to move new global projects forward and raise recognition of the newly approved ISO 45001 Standard, as well as develop an implementation guideline.
The ISN Customer Service Team was recognized at the 13th annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a Gold Stevie for Contact Center of the Year and a Silver Stevie for Training Team of the Year. ISN has contact centers in Dallas, London and Sydney to provide 24-hour support to more than 70,000 contractors during the business week. The awards this year represent the 5th straight year for ISN to be recognized by the Stevie Awards for its excellence in Customer Service. The Stevie Awards were created in 2002 to recognize the achievements of sales, customer service, and call center professionals. Open to all organizations worldwide, the Stevie Awards receive 12,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 70 nations.
ISN published its latest analysis of insurance requirements on subscribers in Canada. This analysis is based on over 34,000 insurance submissions by Canadian contractors in 2017. The main objective of this publication is to share industry-specific benchmarking information displaying how insurance requirements for Hiring Clients in Canada align with other industry peers. This publication is ISN’s first Insurance Benchmarking Report for customers in Canada. Hiring organizations can leverage this data to help establish data-driven, objective baselines for setting contractor insurance requirements and assess their organizations’ risk management strategies. Industries include: Agriculture, Food & Beverage Downstream Oil & Gas (Refining) & Chemical Manufacturing* Midstream Oil & Gas (Pipeline) Mining & Fertilizer Products Upstream Oil & Gas (Onshore) Utilities, Transmission, Distribution & Power Generation *Manufacturing includes Auto, Steel & Metals, Pharmaceutical, Consumer Products and Paper Packaging and Building Products To view this report and other publications issued by ISN, visit the ISN Publications page.
The deadline for employers to comply with the updated WHMIS standards, released in 2015, was December 1, 2018. ISN is making several updates to comply including: Updating Controlled Products terminology to Hazardous Products Safety Data Sheets (SDS): Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) have been updated to SDS. SDS now contain 16 sections that only require updating when new information becomes available. Hazard Communication: Products are labelled as Groups, Classes or Categories and split into Physical and Health Hazards, and then assigned a Category Hazard number. Hazard Symbols: Includes 10 hazard pictograms, opposed to 8. In 2015, Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), the national hazard communication standard, was updated to incorporate the Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). GHS provides consistency between countries when communicating product information through labels, safety data sheets and pictograms. Chat with ISN if you have questions regarding ISNetworld. For more information on the GHS implementation in Canada, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/environmental-workplace-health/occupational-health-safety/workplace-hazardous-materials-information-system.html http://whmis.org/