ISN is pleased to announce Owens Corning has implemented ISNetworld as its contractor management platform across all sites in North America with plans to expand globally. About Owens Corning Owens Corning is a global leader in insulation, roofing and composites that employs more than 20,000 people in 33 countries. The company is a fellow member of the Campbell Institute, and their commitment to market-leading products has kept Owens Corning on the Fortune 500 list for 64 consecutive years. Expanding ISN’s Contractor Management System Presence in the Building Products Industry “When searching for a contractor management solution that would meet our needs, it was important for us to find an innovative company that strives to provide the best customer service and a robust platform, resulting in confidence in our selection of contract partners,” said Tom Daniel, Global EHS Leader with Owens Corning. “We found this with ISN. They have already gone the extra mile by having a dedicated transition success manager housed at our World Headquarters office to set us up with a smooth implementation and provide training for our employees and contractors.” The ISNetworld contractor management software allows Hiring Clients to connect with more than 70,000 contractors focused on maintaining a safe culture throughout their organization. Expansion within the building products industry furthers ISN’s position in manufacturing as the leading contractor management solution and provides greater benchmarking resources from around the globe. “We are proud to partner with this industry leader and look forward to working with Owens Corning to ensure that their contractor management goals are met and exceeded,” said Marie Anderson, ISN Vice President of Business Development. “The implementation with Owens Corning represents continued growth in this sector. It also provides more opportunities for our existing Hiring Clients to benchmark their current processes and strive to reach the next level of safe practices in the workplace.” Learn more about the Owens Corning ISNetworld implementation.
The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) Safety 2019 Professional Development Conference & Exposition will be held June 9-12 in New Orleans. Each year, more than 4,000 occupational health and safety professionals gather for the event. The three-day conference will provide almost 20 hours of International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) accredited education to attendees. This educational event will provide insight on topics such as environmental management, ergonomics, industrial hygiene, product safety, workers’ compensation, construction safety, organizational management, and additional aspects of safety management and engineering. Visit ISN Join us at Booth 947 during the conference to discuss best practices in contractor management and see a live demonstration of ISN‘s services. We look forward to seeing you there.
On the job site and at home, electrical hazards can often be overlooked since the use of electricity is critical for daily tasks. In the United States, May is National Electrical Safety Awareness Month, and with electrical hazards ever present, this provides an opportunity to share reminders about the risks and ways to stay safe. Did you know that in 2017, lockout/tagout and electrical citations were in OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited violations? That year, there were 136 electrical fatalities, which accounted for 5.7% of all electrical injuries. Of those injuries, 2,210 were nonfatal, representing a 35% increase between 2016 and 2017. Common Electrical Hazards Poor and defective wiring Outlet proximity to water sources Damaged power/extension cords Overloaded power strips and outlets Improper grounding Working on live circuits Overhead power lines Electrical Safety at WorkWhile electrical hazards can cause serious injuries, following proper safety measures can help workers eliminate and/or mitigate the hazards. Remember to keep the tips below in mind when working with or around electrical equipment: Ensure only qualified personnel perform work on electrical lines and equipment: Follow safe work practices before the electrical work, such as LOTO, JSA, proper PPE, etc. Follow NFPA 70E and OSHA guidelines with respect to voltage range and minimum approach distance for electric power generation, transmission and distribution and general electric Do not wear conductive apparel when in close proximity with electrical lines and equipment Stay at least 10 feet away when operating equipment like aerial lifts around electrical lines Properly ground electrical equipment Minimize the use of extension cords and never plug two extension cords together Treat all electrical devices as if they are energized or live Overhead Power Line Safety On April 24, 2019, a train carrying ethanol derailed in Fort Worth, Texas, and five of the twenty tank cars caught fire. While responding to the fire, the Fort Worth Fire Department’s mobile command unit came in contact with an overhead line, which caused the truck to catch fire. Fortunately, there were no injuries from the resulting fire, but the truck itself was destroyed. The incident serves as a good reminder for the risks associated with overhead lines even for those who contend with fire safety issues daily. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), 36% of all electrically related workplace fatalities from 2011-2017 were caused by overhead power lines. Here are some reminders for working safely around power lines: Complete the necessary training for anyone working near overhead lines Check weather conditions prior to starting work Locate power lines before starting work and keep at least 10 feet away Ensure properly rated PPE is worn Never touch a power line or anything that is in contact with a power line Carry large tools like ladders horizontally to avoid contact with a power line If a power line is down, assume it is live, call 911 and stay back at least 35 feet Electrical Safety at HomeJust like the workplace, electrical hazards are also found at home. Overloaded circuits, damaged extension cords and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects gone wrong can lead to fires, injuries and fatalities at home. An average of 51,000 electrical home structure fires occur each year, claiming almost 500 lives, injuring more than 1,400 people and causing more than $1.3 billion in property damage (National Fire Protection Association, 2003-2007). In addition, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that nearly 400 people are electrocuted in the U.S. each year. Below are some helpful electrical safety tips for home: Place lamps on level surfaces and a foot away from anything flammable Ensure GFCI receptacles are installed in kitchens and bathrooms Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when plugging devices into the outlet Keep your little ones safe by re-outfitting your home with tamper-resistant electrical receptacles Check electrical cords and confirm they do not run across doorways and under carpets Match recommended light bulb wattage on lamps and fixtures Get more resources and tips for electrical safety at home from ESFI. Evaluate your Electrical Safety KnowledgeWhether you are at home or at work, protecting ourselves, coworkers and family members should be one of our main goals through eliminating or controlling any electrical hazard. A good first step is to conduct a safety or hazard assessment of your environment. This will ensure you have a good plan and correct any hidden electrical hazards. If you are a contractor, ask your supervisor for a copy of your company’s electrical policies and programs to review to help reduce incidents. If you are a Hiring Client, ask your contact at ISN for information on our written program, training document and supporting document protocols covering electrical safety awareness and NFPA 70E OSHA requirements. Are you a Hiring Client and interested to learn how ISN could help you manage your contractors and validate written programs like electrical safety awareness? Request a demo of our contractor management system, ISNetworld.
The ISN Team will be exhibiting for the Safeguard National Health & Safety Conference at the SKYCITY Convention Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, May 28-29. The ISN team will be available at booth #18 throughout the conference. Stop by to have a chat with our team, see a live demonstration of our online platform, and learn more about ISN’s services and best practices in contractor management. The Safeguard National Health & Safety Conference is New Zealand’s largest health and safety conference, bringing together over 500 attendees spanning a broad range of industries. This will be the 12th event since it launched in 2007. This year’s theme is “Dare to Disrupt,” with a focus on how health and safety professionals can be innovative in their approaches and do things differently in regards to safety to make an impact. We look forward to seeing you there.
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.