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During one of the training sessions last fall, we discussed the requirements for Emergency Action Plans. As I reviewed the most recent OSHA news, I noticed the U.S. Postal Service received three citations regarding its EAP. The first was for failing to maintain sprinkler systems, alarm systems, fire doors, or exit lighting in proper working order ($5,500). The second was for failing to keep exit routes free of obstructions ($55,000). The third was for failing to review the EAP with each employee when it was first developed or when the employee was initially assigned to a job ($55,000). The total for these three fines was $110,550.
"By failing to train workers in what to do in an emergency and allowing fire doors to be inoperable and exit and traveling routes to be blocked, the U.S. Postal Service is putting its workers at risk in the event of an emergency in the facility," said Larry Davidson, OSHA's area director in Des Moines.
All of you have EAPs, but it’s difficult to predict all of the problems that may happen unless the plan is tested; therefore OSHA also recommends conducting annual fire drills. If you have not done fire drills on a regular basis, doing one during one of our summer visits would be a great training idea. Doing one not only gets all of your employees involved and ensures everyone is aware of their responsibilities in case of an actual emergency, but it also lets them know that leadership is concerned with their personal safety.
National Safety Month
Don’t forget that June is also National Safety Month, with this year’s theme “SafeForLife.” Please take the extra time to help spread the word about safety, not only at work but at home as well. Some important reminders to include in your weekly newsletters or staff meetings include:
Tornado safety plans
Health and wellness (good eating and exercise habits)
Congratulations to Acira, LLC (Federated Telephone Cooperative/Farmers Mutual Telephone Company) of Chokio & Bellingham, MN for receiving the Award of Honor in Occupational Safety at the Governors Safety Award luncheon during the 2016 Minnesota Safety and Health Conference in May.
Since 1934, the annual Governor’s Safety Award programs has honored Minnesota employers with exceptional safety performance; employers are honored during the Governor's Safety Awards Luncheon at the Minnesota Safety & Health Conference in May, which is the oldest and largest gathering of workplace safety and health professionals in the region. Applicants are judged on several years of injury data compared with their industry’s national statistics, and on their progress in implementing a comprehensive safety program. The award is a testament to their commitment, dedication and continuous effort to protect their employees.
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