Considering Vehicle/Storefront Crash Risks

Storefront Safety: Is It On Your Radar?

Last month I was working with a client in Southern California. We broke for lunch and I drove a couple of miles to a bakery/cafe restaurant that is a frequent spot for me when I’m on the road to eat and catch up on some e-mail. Just a few days later, I was surprised to see as I read the news that a jewelry store right across the street had been crashed into by a vehicle. And it wasn’t just a couple of feet into the storefront – the driver ended up some 50 feet into the store. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt, but it would be very easy to have the same crash with multiple serious injuries (or worse) if it had happened at a different time or into a different store.

Vehicle-into-building crashes have occurred ever since cars came into wide use a century ago. The Texas A&M University Transportation Institute did some research on the phenomenon several months ago and collected a variety of interesting data.

Before I share a few of their findings with you, I’d like you to take a brief survey to gauge perceptions of this issue. It’s just six questions and will only take a minute.

Click on this link to take the survey: Storefront Crashes Survey

Thanks for taking the survey. The issue of storefront crashes may have escaped wide attention in much of the safety and risk control field, but there is reason to look further. Some data, analysis, and consensus standards activity on the topic will provide a good starting point.

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Confined Spaces: Regulations and Incident Prevention

Cave shaft confined space

Do you think this qualifies as a confined space?

Confined Spaces: Regulations, Injury Prevention, and Safety Management

Confined Spaces. One of the prime compliance-related topics that employers across industries need to be concerned with. An area where many tragic fatalities and serious injuries have occurred over the years. Not just limited to work access of underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines, confined spaces may be found in a multitude of forms. This is an area here you need to consider your exposures and controls on several levels. Those levels include regulatory concerns, safety management concerns, and incident prevention concerns. Continue reading

OSHA Releases Most-Cited Citations Year-to-Date

Nebula

Navigators use the stars and other means to chart their course.

Information for Navigation

Just as seafarers navigate with a combination of information from the sun, stars, landmarks, magnetic fields, satellites, and other sources, safety and risk professionals should use a good breadth of the pertinent information at their disposal to best understand and manage the risks their organizations face.

Top OSHA Violations

Last Week, at the National Safety Council‘s 2013 National Safety Congress in Chicago, Federal OSHA released the most-cited workplace safety standards for the current year to date. Not surprisingly, fall protection, hazard communication, and scaffolding violations topped the list.  Some cited areas also have a high number of associated injuries, such as Fall protection, where serious injury totals across many industries have also been high over the years.

Why This is Important

Safety professionals, risk managers, and anyone with responsibilities for safety in the workplace should familiarize themselves with this list. Not only is it useful to know the sort of things that OSHA looks for, it is also very instructive to understand what some of the most common workplace safety issues are across industries. Naturally state OSHA plans have differing lists (and some, such as California, have a differently organized and labeled set of state standards as well). It’s also very important to keep in mind that  any drill-down to specific industries will reveal vast differences as well. Nonetheless, this is a good starting point. Which of the following areas represent exposures at your workplace?

9/2013 YTD Federal OSHA Most Cited Workplace Safety Standards

Rank CFR Standard Category Total Violations
1. 1926.501 Fall Protection 8,250
2. 1910.1200 Hazard Communication 6,150
3. 1926.451 Scaffolding 5,400
4. 1910.134 Respiratory Protection 3,900
5. 1910.305 Electrical, Wiring Methods 3,450
6. 1910.178 Powered Industrial Trucks 3,350
7. 1926.1053 Ladders 3,300
8. 1910.147 Lockout/Tagout 3,250
9. 1910.303 Electrical, General Requirements 2,750
10. 1910.212 Machine Guarding 2,700
Note: These are partial year preliminary figures as of 9/13/2013. Totals are rounded to the nearest 50. Source: US Federal OSHA Information System Portal