Care, Protect, Grow: The U.S. Compliance Blog

Electrical Safety – Effective Program Management

When working around electrical equipment, are your employees aware of the requirements and hazards associated with electrical safety? OSHA and NFPA have certain guidelines and criteria to follow to maintain an Electrical Safety Program. Following these guidelines will ensure that your facility and employees are working within the correct safety precautions.

It is required for all employers to implement and maintain an electrically safe work program that directs activity based on risks associated with electrical hazards. The program must include elements that verify electrical systems and equipment to comply with applicable installation codes and standards prior to being placed in service. This also qualifies for host employers that contract out any electrical work being performed at their facility. Employers are required to meet certain OSHA and NFPA 70E compliance standards in the areas of arc flash and electrical safety. Some examples of these standards are:

  • A short circuit study and development of time-current curves for protective devices
  • A protective device coordination study
  • Short circuit line diagrams
  • Comprehensive single-line diagrams for all services in the building
  • An SOP for keeping single-line diagrams up to date
  • Incident energy calculations for devices included in the arc flash study
  • Electrical safety training protocols (can be outlined within an electrical safety program)
  • Guidance on developing an electrical safety program
  • Developing an electrically energized work permit system
  • Arc flash safety PPE for qualified workers who may service electrical enclosures onsite
    • Specific PPE requirements can be determined from arc flash study

Risk Assessment

Employers must develop and maintain procedures for employees to utilize before being exposed to an electrical hazard. This can be done in the form of a Risk Assessment. The elements of that risk assessment must contain the following information:

  • Identifying hazards
  • Assess Risk
  • Implementation of controls

The Implementation of controls for hazards identified shall be done by elimination, substitution, engineering, awareness, and administrative or personal protective equipment. Once the risks have been identified and controlled, work procedures must be developed for employees to follow to ensure that hazards are not present. Once the risk assessments have been completed, work instructions or Lockout Tagout Procedures can be used as a control to ensure zero energy is obtained before working on an electrical system.

Employee Training

Once work procedures are developed and hazards have been controlled, employers must train employees as either Qualified or Unqualified Workers. As workers are identified as Qualified or Unqualified, review requirements on what additional training may be needed. For Qualified employees, Lockout Tagout training must be completed, as well as having the company’s Emergency Response Team trained in Contact Release.

Whether employers are performing this type of work in-house or having this contracted out, host employers must complete an Electrical Safety Program to review and communicate hazards in the workplace. Review OSHA and NFPA standards to ensure compliance is being maintained.

If you need assistance with your facility’s Risk Assessment or employee training, contact U.S. Compliance for guidance and helpful resources.

First Aid in the Workplace – Training Options and Key Considerations

While most work in the health and safety field focuses on injury prevention, every facility needs a plan if and when injuries do occur. Preparing to help employees in situations where things go wrong is a critical aspect of a comprehensive safety & health program. First aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and automated external defibrillator (AED) training allow a quicker onsite response to an emergency, which can help to prevent injuries from worsening. It’s important to understand first aid treatment and the associated training requirements to create and maintain a safe environment at your facility and remain compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.

First aid training and the certification process gives employees the necessary information, skills, and confidence to help others during emergency situations. This training class will only take a few hours and can make a significant difference in assisting someone experiencing a medical emergency. According to the National Safety Council, 70% of heart attack-related deaths occur before reaching the hospital. In the midst of medical emergencies, every second counts, and having a team on-site that has been trained in First Aid/CPR/AED can make a world of difference.

First Aid Training and Regulatory Compliance

First Aid/CPR/AED training also has implications for regulatory compliance, as seen in 29 CFR 1910.151 (b), which states, “in the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Adequate first aid supplies shall be readily available.” This provides employers the option to have a member of the workforce trained in First Aid/CPR/AED. This option, for most employers, is a feasible and low-cost way to protect employees while remaining compliant with regulatory standards. OSHA recommends, but does not require, that every workplace include one or more employees who are trained and certified in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

While OSHA standards do not specifically address AEDs, they do recommend that CPR training be a general program element of a first aid program. Some OSHA standards, like logging operations (29 CFR 1910.266), permit-required confined spaces (29 CFR 1910.146), and electric power generation, transmission, and distribution (29 CFR 1910.269), for example, have specific requirements that employees be trained in first aid and CPR. If an employer is covered by one of these specific standards, CPR training is required.

Under 29 CFR 1910.146: Permit-required Confined Spaces, employers are required to train affected employees in basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), as well as ensure that at least one member of the rescue team or service who holds a current certification in both areas is available. In 29 CFR 1910.269: Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution, there are clearer instructions on how many first aid-trained people should be available, depending on when and where the work is taking place. When employees are performing work on or are associated with exposed lines or equipment energized at 50 volts or more, the requirements for compliance are as follows:

  • For fieldwork involving two or more employees at a work location, at least two trained people must be available.
  • For line-clearance tree trimming performed by line-clearance tree trimmers who are not qualified employees, only one trained person needs to be available if all new employees are trained in first aid within three months of their hiring dates.
  • For fixed work locations such as substations, the number of trained persons available shall be sufficient to ensure that a trained person can reach each employee exposed to electric shock within four minutes. If the existing number of employees is insufficient to meet this requirement, each employee at the work location shall be a trained employee.

In addition to training for First Aid/CPR/AED, the bloodborne pathogens standard at 29 CFR 1910.1030(g)(2) requires employers to provide training to any employees who have occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. This includes employees assigned medical or first aid duties by their employers.

How to Complete First Aid Training in Your Facility

There are many easy and comprehensive options available to complete this training. Some of these options may include:

  • Traditional On-site Class: This option provides an ideal training solution for workplaces that want or are required to learn how to respond to medical emergencies with in-person training content and skills verification. This option will include an on-site class and skills verification with an instructor, associated equipment, and a certification.
  • Blended Learning Course: This option is the perfect combination of online content and in-person skills sessions that make scheduling and administering your First Aid, CPR, and AED compliance training easy.
  • Remote Skills Verification: This option is the perfect combination of cognitive learning with flexible and remote skills verification guided by a live, authorized instructor. This option will include a live online course and equipment to perform the skills verification.

Training your employees doesn’t need to be difficult. U.S. Compliance offers comprehensive training in all three of these formats. If you are interested in training or need assistance identifying if training is required at your site, contact U.S. Compliance.

Proactive Management of Ergonomic-Related Injuries: Employee Benefit and Company ROI

Ergonomic-related injuries have a dramatic effect on both employees and a business’ operations and bottom line. Understanding the potential ergonomic hazards present at a facility and having a comprehensive ergonomics program and strategy are foundational pillars in preventing injuries from occurring. This also helps to minimize the progression of minor issues into major injuries and manage injuries when they do occur. Having a plan and appropriate proactive control measures will guide operations in caring for their valuable personnel and produce a positive Return-On-Investment (ROI) for implemented strategies.

Caring for Employees

While the bottom line is always a consideration for an employer, the overall purpose of instituting an ergonomics or injury prevention program is to take care of people and send them home at the end of the day in a similar manner to which they arrived. As decent humans, nobody wants to see a person get hurt or witness the rippling impacts on an injured person, the injured person’s family, and the burden on the healthcare system. Identifying and correcting ergonomic hazards—before they occur—should always be the priority.

The encouraging news associated with proactively managing developing injuries is that there are positive impacts (which are often non-tangible or difficult to quantify) for both the employer and employees. Implementing a program that focuses on improving and reducing ergonomic hazards to prevent injuries from occurring not only protects employees but develops a positive safety culture in the workplace. The demonstration of care builds both culture and loyalty to the company. This typically aids in increasing quality of work, improving morale, and generally lowering workplace stress factors. From a hands-on perspective, simply making the job more ergonomically correct also optimizes productivity and improves general wellness because the tasks will cause less physical stress on the body.

Unfortunately, it is typically impossible to remove all hazards, so to some degree, ergonomic injuries are bound to occur. Workplace Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) tend to be cumulative in nature, in that extended exposure to hazards will progressively make a developing injury more severe and more difficult to manage. With absolute certainty, early intervention will prevent the development of more serious injuries. Experienced healthcare providers will state that early intervention or proactive care is typically more effective with both better and faster results in lieu of waiting for an injury to develop and become more severe.

The Costs of Injury

With employee care being paramount, there will realistically be direct impacts and costs associated when an employee is injured. With healthcare costs soaring, the total estimated cost (including wage losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, and employer costs but excluding property damage) of a work-related injury in 2020 was $44,000 per medically consulted injury as per the National Safety Council (with the cost of a fatality averaging $1,310,000). While this average can be further teased apart by parts of the body affected, cause, and nature of the injury, in general, the impact of an injury at a facility is often underappreciated, and simple calculations can demonstrate the impact on the bottom line.

If a particular business were to have 10 injuries in a year that required medical consultation, the cost would be $440,000 (or 10 x $44,000). Assuming a 10% profit margin for that business, that means an extra $4.4 million in sales would be needed just to break even from the costs of injuries. That is a significant amount of capital that could potentially have been repurposed into injury prevention measures that would have also had non-tangible benefits for the business.

Beyond the high costs of an injury, when an injury requires medical consultation, most of those injuries become recordable injuries under OSHA’s Recordkeeping Regulation (29 CFR 1904). Most business managers will be familiar with those requirements and their impacts as the MOD rate associated with Workers’ Compensation insurance is directly connected to recordable injury numbers in relation to other businesses in similar industries. Further, when these injuries are reported to OSHA (either through Severe Injury Reporting Requirements, through Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) records requests, or through OSHA’s electronic submission of records requirements by March 2nd of each year), high injury rates can flag a business and increase the probability of a targeted regulatory inspection.

While the direct costs of injuries are quantifiable numbers, the impact on the employees and resulting impact on the business is much more difficult to quantify but should still be considered. Productivity loss is a loose term that can be used to describe other non-tangible business impacts, such as the costs associated with diminshed productivity or the decrease in quality resulting from new and/or less efficient workers needed to replace the injured person. Temporary or new employees are just not as effective as trained employees and may also cause other interpersonal or cultural disruptions in the facility culture. These factors also need to be considered in the larger context of the cost of an injury to a business.

Strategies for Prevention and ROI

The first step in building the business case for implementing a comprehensive ergonomics program is to properly understand the need. This will provide guidelines for the level of intervention most appropriate for the facility. First, estimating the true cost (both direct and indirect costs) of an injury by calculating the additional sales needed will yield a picture of the direct impact on the business.

 

Pending results, understanding both the direct and indirect costs of an injury and obtaining buy from the facility leadership become critical before implementing the initial stages of an ergonomics program. If senior leadership does not buy into building a proactive culture, efforts to create improvement will often be ineffective. Key elements of a proactive safety culture may include employee empowerment to express safety concerns (in non-retaliatory ways), encouraging the early reporting of symptoms of injury, and having an engaged safety committee. These are all indicators of a safety culture supported by facility leadership (note: most of these elements should be part of the facility’s Injury & Illness Prevention Program, MN AWAIR Program, Accident Prevention Program, etc.).

With the presence of proactive safety culture, the rollout of an ergonomics program addressing the facility’s specific needs will be more effective. The primary pillar of a program is to understand where key ergonomic hazards are present in the facility. Understanding where and when employees encounter ergonomic hazards (i.e., force, repetition, awkward posture, duration, and environment) will increase awareness of these potential hazards and lead to personnel subconsciously protecting themselves. Understanding these hazards typically results from conducting proper facility assessments/screenings followed by training personnel to recognize hazards.

While various ergonomic screenings are available on the market, U.S. Compliance utilizes a basic screening form as part of our standard ergonomics program. This screening form is intended as a high-level screening to identify key hazards and can be rolled out either by an EHS professional or through Safety Committee level employees. Oftentimes, and for more significant hazards or processes in which capital investments may be needed, an Advanced Ergonomics Screening that provides an in-depth assessment, a summary of hazards, and a quantified risk assessment may be justified (this level of screening is more complex and needs to be completed by an Ergonomics Specialist). Regardless of the screening type, the hazards identified need to be assessed for risk, and appropriate corrections must be implemented.

Following the facility assessment and identification of key ergonomic hazards, employees need to be trained to recognize ergonomic hazards and concepts of back-injury prevention. Employees need to understand that regardless of screening and improvements made in the facility, it is not possible to eliminate all hazards completely. Recognizing hazards and protecting oneself when possible will always be a key component in reducing injury potential.

Additional components of an ergonomics program should also include a Seated or Desk Worker Screening Process since it’s easy to forget about office personnel who also have significant ergonomic hazards from prolonged sitting and computer work. Also, considering ergonomics in the planning phases for new equipment, line set-up, or new procedures is critical in reducing the introduction of new hazards into the process. Remember, it will always be easier and more efficient to address potential issues prior to the installation of a new process or equipment. Also, ongoing monitoring and periodic re-assessments of hazards need to occur to stay on top of developing issues.

For many facilities managing all of the steps of a comprehensive ergonomics program, the complexity may require advanced knowledge of ergonomic controls to determine the most cost-effective improvements. Retaining an ergonomics professional for ongoing support may be a solid strategy, especially in multifaceted environments. While U.S. Compliance has an ergonomics subscription model for this type of support, various providers are available who can provide any or all of the elements of a program, depending upon facility needs.

At times, it will realistically be impractical to reduce or engineer out ergonomic hazards. Despite best intentions, comprehensive screening, and employee training, some hazards will still exist that cannot be controlled appropriately. In these circumstances, it becomes critical to implement a program to manage the development of injuries when they do occur. As discussed above, early intervention is critical in these circumstances.

Over the last decade, a new strategy has emerged that brings on-site care providers into facilities to proactively manage developing injuries. While these programs can have a significant upfront investment, ROI with these programs is frequently in the 6 to 10 range. While this level of ROI sounds unbelievable, it has been demonstrated as a common range after experience in a large number of programs through multiple vendors. When employees are able to conveniently see a provider on-site—before it is a significant issue—they get better, and the injury often does not progress to the point of needing medical consultation or becoming a recordable-level injury.

Beyond injury prevention, employees look at this as an added benefit of employment at the company, which can also be postured for retention of talent, decreased turnover, and aids in almost all of the previously identified non-tangible benefits of a comprehensive ergonomics program. However, caution is needed while rolling out an on-site care program as this is a ballooning industry and many providers are entering the field without proper knowledge or processes. A vetted vendor is critical to properly manage cases and have structure to ensure that treatment does not cross the line into creating recordable injuries. Documentation and understanding what can and cannot be done is vital and reputable vendors will have the processes and protocols in place to ensure these lines are not crossed.

Summary

Implementing a comprehensive ergonomics program at a facility will have a dramatic impact on proactively managing injuries at any facility, regardless of size or industry. In the current work environment, taking care of hard-to-find quality employees is a necessity and fortunately, doing so will typically have a positive ROI and impact on a company’s bottom line. However, understanding what controls and processes are appropriate for a particular facility can become complex. While an experienced ergonomics professional can aid or streamline this process, the basic steps to roll out a program include:

  1. Build a proactive safety culture
  2. Implement a comprehensive ergonomics program
  3. Screen all significant jobs/tasks/positions for ergonomic hazards
  4. Implement controls for easy and high-risk hazards
  5. Train employees to recognize ergonomic hazards and back-injury prevention
  6. Implement a seated/desk worker ergonomics assessment process
  7. Consider ergonomics while planning phases of new equipment and processes
  8. Consider on-site care providers if hazards are persistent or cannot be adequately controlled

Get guidance on how to improve your facility’s ergonomic programs with help from U.S. Compliance. Our expert team is equipped with the best practices and systems for facilities of various industries. Visit our website or contact us today.

2022 OSHA Regulatory Agenda & Strategy – Emphasis Areas and Focus

Each year, OSHA releases guidance regarding its regulatory agenda and areas of focus. It is important to stay up-to-date with OSHA’s emphasis programs to ensure your facility maintains regulatory compliance. OSHA’s regulatory agenda and recently published Site-Specific Targeted Inspections guidance help provide insight into regulatory areas that this year’s inspections will focus on. This information is critical for evaluating the likelihood of an OSHA inspection at your facility. More importantly, it can help you prioritize onsite health & safety initiatives for 2022 and beyond.

OSHA Inspection Strategy

OSHA has a priority hierarchy for conducting onsite inspections. The following details the criteria in order of precedence:

  1. Imminent Danger Situations – Hazards that could cause death or serious physical harm receive top priority.
  2. Severe Injuries & Illnesses – Workplace fatalities must be reported within 8 hours and hospitalizations/amputations/losses of eye must be reported within 24 hours. Failure to properly report these incidents to OSHA will likely result in an inspection.
  3. Worker Complaints – Allegations of hazards or violations receive a high priority by OSHA.
  4. Referrals – Hazards identified by other federal agencies, state/local agencies, individuals, and the media can result in inspections.
  5. Targeted Inspections – Inspections aimed at high-hazard industries or individual workplaces that have experienced high rates of injuries and illnesses.
  6. Follow-up Inspections – Checks for abatement of violations cited during previous inspections are also conducted by OSHA in certain circumstances.

Site-Specific Targeted Inspections

OSHA has established a directive that aims for the site-specific targeting (SST) of non-construction businesses with 20 or more employees. OSHA will review injury and illness data from 2017-2019 and target businesses that experienced consistent injury illness rate increases over the three-year data period. The agency will review DART rates (Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred) for facilities and compare those values against the industry’s national average. Facilities with DART rates consistently above the national average can be targeted by OSHA. OSHA will also target sites that failed to electronically submit their 300A OSHA Log between 2017-2019 and will verify OSHA 300A information from sites with low DART rates.

National Emphasis Program

OSHA develops National Emphasis Programs (NEPs) to focus efforts on specific high-hazard industries. NEPs are evaluated by using available data from sources including NIOSH reports, injury & illness data, inspection data, and other available information sources. In 2022, OSHA’s NEP will focus on industries with higher rates of Covid-19 and industries where employees work in high-heat environments.

As Covid-19 cases decline, the revised NEP is being modified to target industries with increased potential exposure to Covid-19. The revised NEP will focus on follow-up inspections at sites where unvaccinated employees work in close contact with each other. Previous inspections through 2021 show a higher frequency of unprogrammed inspections in healthcare industries, as well as critical infrastructure including food processing, general warehousing and storage, supermarkets, and restaurants.

OSHA anticipates that the majority of the inspections covered under this NEP will continue to occur in general industry, particularly in healthcare, based on current OSHA enforcement data showing higher COVID-19-related complaints, referrals, and severe incident reports at healthcare worksites.

In Q4 of 2021, OSHA established an enforcement initiative to help prevent and protect workers from heat-related illnesses and death. This NEP is an expansion of a current Regional Emphasis Program in Region 6 (AR, LA, MN, OH, WI). OSHA Area Directors across the nation will prioritize inspections at facilities with a high number of heat-related complaints, as well as industries where strenuous work is conducted in high-heat environments (>80 degrees F – both indoor and outdoor).

It is recommended that employers conduct a hazard analysis and implement strategies to minimize the potential of heat-related illnesses, including training, encouraging breaks, and providing cold water & beverages.

For more information on the National Emphasis Program, visit the pages below:

Local Emphasis Program

Similar to NEPs, Local Emphasis Programs (LEPs) are developed by OSHA to target high-hazard industries within a particular region. LEPs are created and implemented at the regional level and are aimed to help bring awareness and reduce/eliminate specific hazards in high-hazard industries within a region. Each region has a set of LEPs published by OSHA.

For example, in Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI) and Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY), a Local Emphasis Program for 2022 focuses on industries with high noise hazards. The purpose of this Regional Emphasis Program is to encourage employers to take steps to identify, reduce, and eliminate hazards associated with exposure to high levels of noise.

In Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA), multiple new LEPs were issued/renewed for 2022. LEPs for this region will target grain handling industries, powered industrial trucks, crane use in construction, and general construction.

For more information on Local Emphasis Programs specific to your region and industry, view the directives here.

What’s Ahead for OSHA?

As the country moves out of the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is expected that OSHA will resume normal operations and continue to increase its onsite presence and inspections. It is especially important for sites with high rates of injuries, as well as industries targeted by NEPs and LEPs, to ensure they are doing their due diligence when it comes to evaluating and establishing a safe workplace. Through understanding LEPs and NEPs and their applicability to your site, you can help keep your employees safe while reducing the probability of a costly fine from an OSHA inspection finding.

Stay up to date with current OSHA guidance to help maintain regulatory compliance at your facility by visiting our website or by contacting us.

 

2022 OSHA Injury Recordkeeping – Reporting and Key Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordkeeping regulation requires employers with 10 or more employees in certain industries to routinely maintain “OSHA Logs.” To identify if your industry requires you to prepare and maintain OSHA logs, you can reference the full list of exempt industries here. These logs are used to record serious occupational injuries and illnesses. Maintaining accurate OSHA Logs is vital for all stakeholders when evaluating workplace safety, understanding hazards and risks, and determining the implementation of controls to reduce or eliminate hazards.

OSHA Logs consist of three separate documents:

  • OSHA Form 300: Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
  • OSHA Form 300A: Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
  • OSHA Form 301: Injury and Illness Incident Report

Applicable employers must maintain at least five years’ worth of each of these documents, as OSHA may request to review injury and illness records during facility inspections.

OSHA has developed a step-by-step guidance document to assist with the completion of the OSHA 300 logs, which can be found here.

Important 2022 Deadlines

The OSHA Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses for the previous calendar year must be posted in a conspicuous location in the facility from February 1 to April 30 each year.

Along with the paper logs, the OSHA Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses for the previous calendar year must be electronically reported through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application by March 2 for applicable facilities (see information for applicability below).

What Injuries Need to be Recorded?

OSHA has outlined specific criteria for injuries that should be recorded on the OSHA 300 logs:

  • Any work-related fatality.
  • Any work-related injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work, or transfer to another job.
  • Any work-related injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid.
  • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases, fractured or cracked bones or teeth, and punctured eardrums.
  • There are also special recording criteria for work-related cases involving: needlesticks and sharps injuries; medical removal; hearing loss; and tuberculosis.

All work-related injuries or illnesses should be recorded on the facility’s OSHA 300 log within seven days of the employer receiving notification of the incident. OSHA has outlined all general recording requirements in 29 CFR 1904.7.

In addition to logging the information, note that serious injuries meeting set criteria must also be called into OSHA at the time of the incident. Employers should regularly review their logs to ensure that any required reporting was not missed.

With OSHA’s updated recordkeeping rule, the list of severe injuries that employers must report to OSHA has expanded. For example, all work-related fatalities must be reported within 8 hours. Similarly, all work-related inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye must be reported within 24 hours.

Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records to OSHA

Under the updated Final Rule that was made effective February 25, 2019, many facilities must electronically report their OSHA Form 300A: Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses to the OSHA Injury Tracking Application (ITA). Facilities that employ 250 or more employees that are required to maintain OSHA logs, and facilities that employ 20-249 employees that are classified as industries that have historically high injury rates, must electronically submit their OSHA Form 300A information. The full list of applicable industries can be found here.

In order to report your facility’s OSHA Form 300A information, visit the OSHA ITA website and follow the prompts for launching the Injury Tracking Application. If this is your first time reporting your facility’s OSHA Form 300A information, you will need to create an account to enter the facility’s information. You will need the establishment name, NAICS industry code, and the completed OSHA Form 300A for the previous year to complete the submission.

Potential Amendment to OSHA’s Recordkeeping Regulation

OSHA proposes to amend its recordkeeping regulation to restore the requirement of electronically submitted OSHA Form 300s (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301s (Injury and Illness Incident Report) for establishments with 250 or more employees that are required to routinely keep annual injury and illness records. Likewise, OSHA State Plan states will be required to follow suit. Under the current regulation, these establishments are only required to electronically submit information from the OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) annually.

COVID-19 and OSHA Recordkeeping

Under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and thus employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if:

  1. The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
  2. The case is work-related as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5; and
  3. The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7.

On May 19, 2020, OSHA provided an updated guidance document to assist with determining if an employee’s positive COVID-19 case would be recordable on an employer’s OSHA logs. The below flow chart has been developed from the information in this guidance document to assist with the determination of work-relatedness.

If a COIVD-19 case is determined to be work-related, the incident would need to be recorded as a “Respiratory Condition.”  If the employee requests that their name not be entered on the log, the case must be treated as a privacy case, as specified by 29 CFR 1904.29(b)(7)(VI).

 

If you have any issues determining an injury’s recordability or regarding your facility’s OSHA 300 logs, consult OSHA’s many recordkeeping resources or contact U.S. Compliance to assist with any recordkeeping questions or concerns.

Hazard Assessment – Ways to Complete and Benefits of the Process

Do you know what hazards are present in your facility? More importantly, do you know what controls are in place to mitigate those hazards? Identifying workplace hazards is a critical step in developing a comprehensive safety and health program. A hazard assessment is a simple document that lists the potential hazards of a specific task. The hazard assessment may also identify any established controls pertaining to the specific hazards. Listing the controls may assist in monitoring the effectiveness of reducing the potential risk to an acceptable level. The hazard assessment form may be simple, but identifying all of the hazards and controls can be challenging.

How to Complete a Hazard Assessment

There are many different titles for hazard assessment, such as Job Hazard Assessment, Safety Hazard Analysis, Risk Assessment, What-If Analysis, and many more. When determining what hazard assessment form to utilize, it is important to know that there is no universal or standardized form. There are multiple styles of assessments available, and the best one is up to the user.

Completing the assessments will consist of collecting, interpreting, and reviewing information from various resources. Those resources include safety data sheets, employee interviews, observations, incident investigations, incident trends, operating manuals, safety programs, and safety site inspections.

The first step in completing a hazard assessment is to develop a list of jobs in the workplace. These typically will include production-related jobs but may also include machine-specific and non-routine tasks. When considering what tasks to complete first, it may help to look at incident records to identify trends or high-risk areas. Once the jobs are listed, they can be broken down into specific tasks. Depending on the complexity, the assessment may consist of an entire job or a specific task.

The next step is to identify the already known information of the task. This may include reviewing any chemical Safety Data Sheets, existing work instructions, incident investigations, equipment user manuals, training materials, or applicable regulatory information from organizations such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Once known hazards have been identified, it is time to dig a bit deeper into the process. This would be the time to observe the process, interview employees or subject matter experts. Observing the process and conducting interviews will not only confirm the already known hazards, but might also identify additional hazards for the specific task. Be sure to note any potential emergency or non-routine situations that may create hazards such as chemical spills, power outages, fires, and medical response.

The last step is to assess and understand the potential types of incidents for each identified hazard. Understanding the potential incidents will assist in establishing effective mitigation controls. The hierarchy control of hazards can be utilized when determining what type of control(s) to implement. Once controls are established, it is important to reassess the task to identify any residual risk. Additional controls may be required if the residual risk is too great.

When To Complete Hazard Assessments

Hazard Assessments should be completed when there is a new job, task, or process. The assessments should be reviewed and possibly updated whenever there are changes to the process, incidents, identification of ineffective controls, or new hazards.

Benefits

There are many benefits to completing a comprehensive hazard assessment. Those benefits may include establishing or sustaining compliance, reduction of incidents, and hazard abatement. While completing hazard assessments, the participants may also identify other production-related issues such as quality, environmental, and even efficiency.

Under the OSHA Act of 1970’s General Duty Clause Section 5, each employer must provide employees a place of employment, which is free of any recognized hazards that are likely to cause severe injury or a fatality. The hazard assessment may also assist in developing specific programs, safety rules, and training materials for various topics such as personal protective equipment, hazard communication, and lockout/tagout. Additionally, the hazard assessment may illuminate the need for employee exposure monitoring in areas such as noise and hazardous chemicals.

Summary

Recognizing the need to complete or review your hazard assessments is an important step to prevent injuries in the workplace. Completing a hazard assessment may seem complex, but establishing a system to effectively communicate potential hazards and controls will not only increase your site’s compliance but may also reduce injuries.

Contact U.S. Compliance for assistance or if you are interested in completing, refreshing, or auditing your hazard assessments.

Key Methods to Prevent Loss by Preparing for Fire-Related Emergencies

Receiving a call in the middle of the night about an emergency at your facility is unnerving. Thoughts race through your head as to what the emergency could be. The most detailed written plans, employee training, fire protection systems, and fire prevention methods cannot eliminate the risk of industrial fires. However, they can significantly reduce your risk of monumental losses if a fire breaks out in your workplace. This is why preparing your business to respond to a fire and implementing fire prevention methods in day-to-day practices is prudent, responsible, and essential.

The Importance of an Emergency Response Plan

An Emergency Response Plan that details how to respond to emergencies, like fires, means that leaders can respond effectively to their departments. Swift responses to fires can minimize the amount of damage and losses to the building, and ultimately, the business. Be sure to include the different fire extinguishing systems installed in the Emergency Response Plan and familiarize the local fire department with all flammable and combustible materials present at the facility.

Further, assuring that employees are properly trained on evacuation protocol and knowing what to do when they first encounter a fire will pay off. Training employees to recognize alarm systems and to evacuate efficiently is not only required by OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.38, but is a crucial part of a business’s continuity plan. A proper response that accounts for all individuals at a designated meet-up point allows the fire department to use all its resources to contain the blaze.

Take the time to coordinate with a select group of management personnel and establish an Emergency Response Team to lead different departments in an evacuation. Practice the response within the team—the more the team practices the response, the more ready the team will be once faced with the unexpected.

Fire Prevention

Still, the best step to take to prevent widespread fire from impacting a business is implementing preventative measures. Assess the facility to confirm fire extinguishers are properly spaced and readily accessible. Typically, an accessible fire extinguisher must be within 75 feet of where flammable liquids are used, processed, or stored in a facility. Work with a reputable fire extinguisher company to assess the combustible and flammable hazards that may be present.

Proper Housekeeping

Many fires in the workplace are due in part to poor housekeeping. While OSHA requires monthly inspections of fire extinguishers, frequent housekeeping inspections act as a preventative to spot risks before they pose a greater hazard. Frequently inspect electrical panels, electrical disconnects, and appliances to ensure that they are in good condition. Electrical fires can spread quickly. Electrical arcs, or discharges across a gap of air, can result in temperatures of several thousand degrees. Facilities where wood dust, fine plastic dust, or aluminum dust can accumulate are strongly recommended to establish a housekeeping program. Wiping down overhead surfaces, electrical panels, and transformers can prevent the accumulation of combustible dust from igniting.

Hot Work Procedures

Hot Work, which includes welding, torch cutting, brazing, soldering, and grinding, is one of the leading causes of industrial fires. Training your Maintenance Department on proper hot work procedures and permitting will empower them to take precautionary measures prior to undertaking one of these tasks. If hot work occurs frequently, designate an area for the work to occur that is free of combustible floors, walls, and materials. Make sure that contractors also follow hot work procedures, as the risk of fire can increase by 100% if contractors are not supervised.

Flammable/Combustible Liquid Storage

Improper storage of flammable liquids can also pose a significant risk to your business. OSHA’s flammable liquid standard 29 CFR 1910.106 limits the amount of flammable liquids that can be stored outside a flammable storage room or cabinet. OSHA divides flammable liquids into four categories: Categories 1, 2, 3, and 4. See the table below for more information.

Using the information in the table above, create an inventory of flammable liquids stored in general production areas of the facility. Only 25 gallons of Category 1 liquids may be stored outside of flammable storage cabinets and only 120 gallons of category 2, 3, 4 in containers such as drums. One exception to flammable storage is that 660 gallons of category 2, 3, or 4 is permitted in a single portable tank. A flammable storage room that meets the requirements in 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(4) may be needed to store all flammable materials safely and in a compliant fashion. For flammable liquids stored in a warehouse setting, be sure to refer to NFPA 30.

Spontaneous Ignition

What is frequently the culprit of “spontaneous ignition” is improper safeguards when it comes to dispensing flammable liquids and disposing of oily rags. Static discharge can naturally occur while pouring or pumping flammable liquids. If the container is effectively connected to the ground via a copper wire and a grounding rod, the static discharge is more likely to travel away from the flammable vapors while the flammable liquid is being poured. In addition to grounding the larger container, the smaller container being filled should also be “bonded” to the larger container via a conductive wire connection.

The other common way that spontaneous ignition occurs is by heat accumulating underneath oily rags. Oils and coolants often have flashpoints between 140° F and 199.4° F. Temperatures in this range can often be exceeded beneath 20 rags blanketed on top of one another. Procure FM-rated disposal cans to be emptied daily. Be sure to dispose of the rags in an environmentally responsible manner after collecting the rags from all areas.

Summary

Proper housekeeping implements safeguards that can reduce the risk of fire hazards to your business. Implementing these safeguards while developing and training upon a site-specific Emergency Response Plan keeps your facility prepared in case of fire and explosions. U.S. Compliance specializes in implementing comprehensive Emergency Response Plans and Hot Work Programs in a variety of industries. Contact U.S. Compliance today and see how we can best support your business to protect its assets.

OSHA’s Fatal Four– A Step Towards the Prevention of Serious Injuries and Fatalities

The need to focus on the prevention of the most tragic of injuries, life-changing injuries and fatalities, has become clear. Although non-fatal injury rates continue to decrease, the rate of occupational fatalities has flat-lined over the past 10 years and the actual number of fatalities has increased over the past five years. Current fatality rates cite at 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. This equates to approximately 12-14 fatal occupational injuries every day on the job.

Over the past several years, OSHA has run a campaign-type initiative intended to raise awareness regarding the four leading hazards in the construction industry that can lead to serious injury or death. This initiative is commonly recognized as the “Fatal 4” or the “Focus 4.”

The hazards are Falls, Struck-By, Electrocution, and Caught In-Between. The idea is to bring attention to these four common serious hazards seen regularly on construction sites, find methods of recognition, and work toward the prevention of related serious injuries.

It’s important to note that these hazards do not only exist in the construction industry as they can also be found in general industry and manufacturing. The most recently published fatality data is from 2019, where there were a total of 5,333 on-the-job fatalities. The Fatal 4 account for a whopping 31.5% of all workplace fatalities. Focusing on the Fatal 4 will help you and your organization prevent the worst possible outcome at your job sites or within your facilities.

Let’s take a closer look at the Fatal 4.

Falls

Falls continue to be the leading cause of fatality within the Fatal 4. Falls have led to as many as 36% of all workplace injuries in certain years. In the construction industry, OSHA requires employees to be protected from falls starting at 6 feet. Meanwhile, in General Industry, OSHA requires that employees be protected from falls starting at 4 feet. Even with these requirements, there were 880 fall-related deaths in 2019 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Employers are required to prevent employees from falling off overhead platforms, elevated workstations, or into holes. This can be done by providing training along with installing guard rails, stair railings, handrails, safety nets, or using a harness and lifeline.

Struck-By

Struck-by incidents are when a person comes in contact with an object that is moving or falling. An estimated 10% of workplace fatalities are due to swinging, falling, or misplaced objects. In 2019, there were 518 struck-by fatalities in all industry (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Struck-by injuries can be prevented by tethering small tools to work belts, wearing PPE (hard hats, gloves, etc.), inspecting all tools prior to use, using pedestrian walkways, and never working under a raised load.

Electrocution

Electrocution is one of several electrical hazards (burns, electric shock, arc flash, fire, explosions) that can lead to serious injury or fatality. Electrocutions are often fatal to workers and typically account for 9% of all workplace-related fatalities. In 2019, electrocutions accounted for 166 deaths across all industry (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Avoid electrocutions by knowing the location of overhead and underground power lines, wearing the proper PPE, training in NFPA 70e, utilizing lockout tagout, inspecting tools prior to use, disconnecting plugs on any power tools or machinery before inspecting or repairing, and keeping metal objects away from live electrical components.

Caught In-Between

Caught in-between hazards occur when an employee is squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched, or compressed between two or more objects or between parts of an object. An estimated 2% of workplace fatalities are due to employees caught in machinery, tools, or devices. There were 120 caught in-between deaths in 2019 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Avoid caught in-between injuries by recognizing hazards, wearing appropriate PPE, utilizing lockout tagout, guarding any moving or rotating parts, respecting barricades, and working at a safe distance from equipment.

Summary

Recognizing the significance of OSHA’s Fatal 4 is an important step to prevent these types of injuries in the workplace. To make a significant impact requires a strategic approach. Consider your overall organization risk for serious injuries and fatalities, evaluate your resources, develop a strategy to take action, conduct a serious injury risk assessment, and build processes into your overall Health & Safety Management System to evaluate and respond to risk indicators that could lead to these most significant of outcomes.

Contact U.S. Compliance for assistance or if you are interested in a Serious Injury and Fatality Risk Assessment at your facility.

What You Need to Know About the Texas Stormwater Permit Renewal

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has issued the new Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) TXR050000 for industrial facilities, effective August 14, 2021. This permit applies to a broad range of industrial sectors and includes most manufacturing facilities. Facilities with an existing permit must apply to renew their coverage within 90 days of the new permit’s effective date (November 12, 2021). The renewal process also requires facilities to update their Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) to the new requirements of the permit. To meet this deadline for the renewed coverage of your permit, U.S. Compliance can assist your facility with the online application process and the development of an updated SWPPP.

The new permit is similar to the previous permit, with some important changes that will apply to any facility continuing coverage. This article will describe the basics of stormwater permitting, the TCEQ’s online e-permitting system (STEERS), changes that will apply to the facilities covered under the new permit, and how to stay in compliance with the new permit rules.

Industrial Stormwater Permitting Review

When an industrial facility conducts certain operations on-site and discharges stormwater, the TCEQ regulates those discharges for potential pollutants to surface waters that may occur during stormwater events. The goal of stormwater permitting is to eliminate pollutants from entering surface waters by preventing them from entering stormwater runoff. This is managed primarily through a program known as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), which was introduced by the Clean Water Act. In 1998, Texas assumed the authority to administer these rules under the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES).

Every five years, the TCEQ releases an updated permit that requires facilities to submit an application to continue coverage under the updated permit. This application, also known as a Notice of Intent (NOI), will now be submitted using an online reporting system created by the TCEQ. Before entering into the process of applying for the MSGP coverage, it is important to determine if your facility is applicable to this updated permit.

Determining if Your Facility is Applicable

Below are two scenarios a facility may find itself in:

The facility was covered under the old permit

If a facility was previously covered under the MSGP, the facility is likely applicable to the updated permit as long as the facility operations and significant materials have not changed. Facilities previously covered by the old permit MUST reapply by November 12, 2021.

The facility was not covered under the old permit but is wondering if they apply to the new permit

There are two factors to consider when determining applicability of the new permit.

  1. Does your facility discharge stormwater associated with an industrial activity to gutters, streets, channels, ditches, or other stormwater conveyance systems?
  2. Does your facility have a business activity that fits into the regulated industrial sectors?

If a facility answers “yes” to both questions above, you are required to be covered by the MSGP.

First, you must determine which Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code your facility falls under. Then, you can refer to the MSGP to determine if you need to apply for coverage under the permit and which set of rules you must follow to remain in compliance with the permit. This set of rules is managed by utilizing an SWPPP, which is a requirement of the MSGP. These plans allow facilities to track a multitude of stormwater-related activities, significant materials on-site, and best management practices (BMPs) that will help to eliminate pollutants from entering stormwater. While this article will not be delving into the specific details of SWPPPs, you can find all of the information you need about keeping your plans compliant here.

Once you have determined that your facility must have coverage under the MSGP, it is important to determine what you might have to do differently under the updated permit.

The Switch to Online Permitting

It is now required to create an account through the TCEQ online reporting system. Traditionally, the TCEQ required all stormwater permit applications and reporting to be completed via paper and mail. Now, with the creation of the online reporting system called the State of Texas Environmental Electronic Reporting System (STEERS), things have been made a little easier. However, there is still a little bit of work involved to set up your account through STEERS.

The TCEQ has provided a comprehensive guide on their website, which can be found here.

The basic steps include:

  1. Filling out an application of basic data, including your information and your facility’s information.
  2. Adding applicable environmental programs to your STEERS account (i.e. Stormwater General Permits).
  3. Setting the permissions on your account to be either preparer or certifier of reports and applications.
  4. Completing a STEERS Participation Agreement form (web-based using a valid Texas Driver’s license or paper and mail).

Once your STEERS account is established, completing your application (NOI) is the next step to ensure you have continued coverage under the new MSGP. This will include answering questions about your facility, like outfall locations, and confirming a few items concerning stormwater runoff.

Sections That Have Changed

The requirements in the permit have been revised, so all existing facilities must ensure that their application is submitted and that their SWPPP meets all permit requirements.  Outlined below are a few of the significant changes to the permit and the application process.

  1. Monitoring and Sampling – Sections of the permit that address these requirements have been modified to clarify exactly where facilities are required to sample.
  2. Renewal Application Details – The application form now requires details on every outfall at your facility. This includes the exact location of each outfall (with coordinates) and what body of water is receiving runoff from each outfall. Also, it is required to include the industrial activities that are subject to federal effluent limitation guidelines, pollutants of concern, and waiver criteria from monitoring hazardous metals.
  3. Benchmark Values and Sampling – Sector-specific benchmark limits have changed in the new permit.  When sampling is required of a facility, these new values must be known to determine permit compliance. It has also been added that monitoring is not required in year five of the permit since it does not have two full six-month monitoring periods.
  4. Permit Language and Clarifications – Since many facilities were incorrectly interpreting the previous permit requirements, the TCEQ has updated the new permit with new permit language and clarifications to ensure all permit requirements are being communicated.
  5. SWPPP Requirements – All existing permittees are required to have a plan on-site that meets the new permit requirements by November 12, 2021. This means that the SWPPP is required to be updated before submittal of the NOI.

A full guide to the changes from the old MSGP to the new MSGP can be found on the fact sheet released by TCEQ.

Staying in Compliance

The goal for a facility is to conduct all industrial operations while maintaining compliance under the MSGP. If these next few items are followed in conjunction with the facility’s SWPPP, it will help maintain compliance under the MSGP.

If there are any major changes on-site, like construction or changes to manufacturing processes, it could mean that updates to the facility’s SWPPP are required. If any major changes occur, the best option is to contact U.S. Compliance to determine the necessary actions.

Next, it is important to conduct all inspections and sampling on a regular schedule to ensure no items are missed. This will create good habits that often lead to healthy on-site compliance.

Leading the following tip, it is important to ensure that every employee involved in stormwater management roles is familiar with the facility’s SWPPP. This is not only required but will make inspections of BMPs much more effective. Further, it will help the employees determine if BMPs must be adjusted to meet the criteria of the significant material or operations being managed.

The final compliance tip is a simple but often overlooked item, organized recordkeeping. Once a solid and organized recordkeeping habit is established, it will be much easier to keep everything in check. Plus, organized recordkeeping can often determine a regulator’s first impression when arriving on-site. Ensure that all inspections forms, sampling results, and training logs are maintained on-site within the facility’s SWPPP to stay on top of compliance.

Summary

This article discussed a lot of topics to help ensure you are covered under the new MSGP. Here is a quick review of the key takeaways.

The new stormwater permit has been released and requires any facilities previously covered to:

  1. Set up an online account through the TCEQ’s new e-permitting system known as STEERS.
  2. Update the facility’s SWPPP to the new permit requirements (prior to submitting a renewal application).
  3. Submit an online renewal application (NOI) through STEERS by November 12, 2021.

In order to do any of this, it is important to set up an account through STEERS. Once a facility is covered under the new permit, the hard work is done, and maintaining compliance is all that’s left to do. Compliance can be maintained by following the facility’s SWPPP closely along with the tips given above. As always, U.S. Compliance is here to help with any questions or concerns. Please be sure to contact us with any questions that you have concerning the new MSGP and beyond.

Active Shooter in the Workplace

It may be an uncomfortable topic to address, but the reality is that severe workplace violence incidents can happen at any time, in any facility. Having a plan and preparing employees for this real-life nightmare could quite literally be the difference between life and death.

While somewhat rare in a broader sense, workplace shootings have been seemingly on the rise in 2021. This type of event occurs when an employee enters his or her workplace with the sole intent of doing harm to fellow employees. Between 2006-2020, there were 13 occurrences, which works out to about once per year. However, instances have already occurred three times in the USA throughout 2021, with incidents in Texas, California, and Wisconsin.

It is also important to examine the risk someone from the public may play in an active shooter situation at your worksite. In fact, FBI data between 2000-2018 shows that 43% of all active shooter scenarios occur in places of business or commerce. That number grows to 80% if healthcare and education are included. This means that in 80% of all active shooter scenarios, an employee at work is likely at risk.

Advice for Clients

Preparation and Prevention

Preparation is the key to both prevention and a good response to a scenario involving a violent intruder in the worksite. The following basic proactive measures are recommended to all employers:

  • Monitoring and restricting site access of employees, visitors, contractors, and the general public.
  • Conduct employee screening and background checks.
  • Create a system for signs of violent behavior and make counseling available to employees.
  • Ensure the facility has appropriate egress routes and physical security systems.
  • Train all employees on how to respond during a violent intruder scenario (see below).
  • Train supervisors and managers on predictive signs of violent behavior including
    • Increased use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
    • Unexplained increase in absenteeism; vague physical complaints
    • Noticeable decrease in attention to appearance and hygiene
    • Depression/withdrawal
    • Resistance and overreaction to changes in policy and procedures
    • Repeated violations of company policies
    • Increased severe mood swings
    • Explosive outbursts of anger or rage without provocation
    • Behavior, which is suspect of paranoia (“everybody is against me”)
    • Increasingly talks of problems at home
    • Escalation of domestic problems into the workplace; talk of severe financial problems
    • Talk of previous incidents of violence
    • Empathy with individuals committing violence
    • Increase in unsolicited comments about firearms, other dangerous weapons, and violent crimes

Crisis Response

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation both recommend that employers train employees on the appropriate responses to an active shooter. The Run, Hide, Fight response is a common strategy deployed in active shooter situations in the workplace or elsewhere.

Police should be called as quickly as possible. The individual calling the police should try to note the following information:

  • Description and last known location of the shooter
  • Number of perpetrators if more than one
  • Information about any known victims or injuries

RUN

During a violent intruder crisis, individuals should try their best to remain calm and make smart, calculated decisions. As soon as it is safe to do so, employees should evacuate through their nearest exit and put as much distance as possible between themselves and the intruder. If possible, alert and assist other employees while exiting. It is important to commit to your actions, not hesitate, and trust your instincts. Evacuating to a safe location and alerting law enforcement by calling 911 is the best-case scenario in any active shooter event.

HIDE

If it is not safe to evacuate, employees should try to hide or barricade themselves in a secure location away from the perpetrator. Active lockdown measures include:

  • Lock doors and windows and close the blinds.
  • Push heavy furniture in front of the door.
  • Stand behind large objects if available and stay low to the ground away from any windows.
  • Turn off lights and equipment and make as little noise as possible once in a secure location.
  • Do NOT answer the door or leave the lockdown until an all-clear has been issued by police or a safe evacuation opportunity exists.

FIGHT

As a last resort, confrontation with the shooter may be necessary if employees find themselves trapped in an area with the threatening individual. Actions should be taken to disrupt or incapacitate the intruder to allow a safe escape. Remember that the primary goal should always be to run from the encounter as soon as it is safe to do so. Aggressive confrontation of the intruder should only occur if your life is in imminent danger. DHS recommendations for the confrontation of an active shooter include:

  • Throw objects with intent to disrupt and allow for escape from the scene.
  • Improvising weapons with objects available in the room.
  • Using teamwork to overwhelm and incapacitate the intruder until police arrive.

*Note that this is an absolute LAST RESORT

  • Act with conviction and do not hesitate. Be decisive in your actions.

For more information on the FBI’s Run, Hide, Fight response, watch the video here.

Sources

https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/active_shooter_booklet.pdf

https://doj.gov/active-shooter-incidents-in-the-us-2020-070121.pdf

https://www.fbi.gov/about/partnerships/office-of-partner-engagement/active-shooter-resources

https://www.cisa.gov/active-shooter-preparedness