Drug & Alcohol Testing

Nova Medical Centers offer onsite drug and alcohol testing 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to ensure the workplace is safe from unnecessary risk.

To order:

  • During Business Hours call 1-866-480-1310 or click here to email.
  • After Hours please call 1-866-480-1310, option 2.

What were the Most Cited OSHA Violations in 2013?

You care about your employees.   You care about your company’s bottom line.  So why do so many companies lose money and labor hours due to violations of rules and regulations from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)?  What has caused the most workplace injuries? How can you prevent these injuries? How can you avoid violations during inspections?

In this, we would like to share with you the Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2013 as a result of a Safety and Health Magazine article.

Fall Protection

Definition: Employers shall provide and install all fall protection systems required by this subpart for an employee, and shall comply with all other pertinent requirements of this subpart before that employee begins the work that necessitates the fall protection. (1926.502(a)(2)).

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 8,739

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 7,250

Change: 1,489 (+20.52%)

Top five sections cited

  1. Residential construction (b)(13) – 4,733
  2. Unprotected sides and edges (b)(1) – 1,696
  3. Roofing work on low-slope roofs (b)(10) – 912
  4. Steep roofs (b)(11) – 656
  5. Holes (b)(4) – 328

Hazard Communication

Definition: This occupational safety and health standard is intended to address comprehensively the issue of classifying the potential hazards of chemicals, and communicating information concerning hazards and appropriate protective measures to employees, and to preempt any legislative or regulatory enactments of a state, or political subdivision of a state, pertaining to this subject. (1910.1200 (a) (2))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 6,556

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 4,696

Change: 1,860 (+39.61%)

Top Five Hazard Communication Sections Cited

  1. Maintaining a written hazard communication program (e)(1) – 2,469
  2. Providing employees with information and training (h)(1) – 1,561
  3. Chemical container labeling (f)(5) – 701
  4. Maintaining Safety Data Sheets (g)(8) – 611
  5. Obtaining or developing safety data sheets (g)(1) – 496

Related: International Workplaces and Drug Testing

Scaffolding

Definition: Each scaffold and scaffold component shall be capable of supporting, without failure, its own weight and at least 4 times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to it. (1926.451 (a)(3))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 5,724

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 3,814

Change: 1,910 (+50.08%)

Top Five Scaffolding Violations Cited

  1. Protection from falls to a lower level (g)(1) – 1,589
  2. Planking or decking requirements (b)(1) – 788
  3. Point of access for scaffold platforms (e)(1) – 781
  4. Foundation requirements (c)(2) – 632
  5. Guardrail requirements (g)(4) – 376

Respiratory Protection

Definition: In the control of those occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors, the primary objective shall be to prevent atmospheric contamination. This shall be accomplished as far as feasible by accepted engineering control measures (for example, enclosure or confinement of the operation, general and local ventilation, and substitution of less toxic materials). (1910.134(a)(1))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 4,153

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 2,371

Change: 1,782 (+75.16%)

Top Five Respiratory Protection Violations Cited

  1. Medical evaluation general requirements (e)(1) – 705
  2. Establishing and implementing written respirator protection program (c)(1) – 650
  3. Covering situations when respirator use is not required (c)(2) – 510
  4. Respirator selection general requirements (d)(1) – 342
  5. Ensuring employer used respirators are fit tested (f)(2) – 332

Electrical (Wiring Methods)

Definition: Metal raceways, cable trays, cable armor, cable sheath, enclosures, frames, fittings, and other metal noncurrent-carrying parts that are to serve as grounding conductors, with or without the use of supplementary equipment grounding conductors, shall be effectively bonded where necessary to ensure electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any fault current likely to be imposed on them. Any nonconductive paint, enamel, or similar coating shall be removed at threads, contact points, and contact surfaces or be connected by means of fittings designed so as to make such removal unnecessary. (1910.305(a)(1)(i))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 3,709

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 1,744

Change: 1,965 (+112.67%)

Top Five Electrical Violations Cited

  1. Use of flexible cords and cables (g)(1) – 1,004
  2. Conductors entering boxes, cabinets or fittings (b)(1) – 821
  3. Identification, splices and terminations (g)(2) – 703
  4. Covers and canopies (b)(2) – 577
  5. Temporary wiring (a)(2) – 194

Powered Industrial Trucks

Definition: This section contains safety requirements relating to fire protection, design, maintenance, and use of fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines. This section does not apply to compressed air or nonflammable compressed gas-operated industrial trucks, nor to farm vehicles, nor to vehicles intended primarily for earth moving or over-the-road hauling. (1910.178(a)(1))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 3,544

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 1,993

Change: 1,551 (+77.82%)

Top Five Violations Cited

  1. Safe operation (l)(1) – 905
  2. Refresher training and evaluation (l)(4) – 575
  3. Certification of trained and evaluated operators (l)(6) – 377
  4. Taking truck out of service when repairs are necessary (p)(1) – 336
  5. Maintenance of industrial trucks (q)(7) – 304

Ladders

Definition: Ladders shall be capable of supporting the following loads without failure:

  • Each self-supporting portable ladder: At least four times the maximum intended load. (1926.1053(a)(1)(i))
  • Each portable ladder that is not self-supporting: At least four times the maximum intended load, except that each extra-heavy-duty type 1A metal or plastic ladders shall sustain at least 3.3 times the maximum intended load. (1926.1053(a)(1)(ii))
  • Each Fixed ladder: At least two loads of 250 pounds (114 kg) each, concentrated between any two consecutive attachments (the number and position of additional concentrated loads of 250 pounds (114 kg) each, determined from anticipated usage of the ladder, shall also be included), plus anticipated loads caused by ice buildup, winds, rigging, and impact loads resulting from the use of ladder safety devices. Each step or rung shall be capable of supporting a single concentrated load of a least 250 pounds (114 kg) applied in the middle of the step or rung. (1926.1053(a)(1)(iii))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 3,524

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 2,310

Change: 1214 (+52.55%)

Top Five Violations Cited

  1. Requirements for portable ladders used for accessing upper landing surfaces (b)(1) – 1,866
  2. Ladder use only for its design purpose (b)(4) – 482
  3. Not using the top or top step of stepladder as a step (b)(13) – 268
  4. Marking portable ladders with structural defects with tags noting them as defective (b)(16) – 215
  5. Employees shall not carry objects or loads that could cause them to lose balance and fall (b)(22) – 107

Lockout/Tagout

Definition: This standard covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or start-up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could harm employees. This standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the control of such hazardous energy. (1910.147(a)(1)(i))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 3,505

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 1,572

Change: 1,933 (+122.96%)

Related: 5 Tips to Prevent Workplace Injury

Top Five Violations Cited

  1. Energy control procedure (c)(4) – 996
  2. Periodic inspection (c)(6) – 653
  3. Energy control program (c)(1) – 651
  4. Training and communication (c)(7) – 580
  5. Lockout or tagout device application (d)(4) – 169

Electrical: General Requirements

Definition: Electric equipment shall be free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. (1910.303(b)(1))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 2,932

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 1,332

Change: 1,600 (+120.12%)

Top Five Violations Cited

  1. Installation and use of equipment (b)(2) – 814
  2. Space around electric equipment (g)(1) – 670
  3. Guarding of live parts (g)(2) – 347
  4. Services, feeders and branch circuits (f)(2) – 327
  5. Examination of equipment (b)(1) – 280

Related: 3 Simple Ways to Improve Workplace Health

Machine Guarding

Definition: One or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. Examples of guarding methods are-barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices, etc. (1910.212(a)(1))

Number of Violations (FY 2013): 2,852

Number of Violations (FY 2012): 2,097

Change: 755 (+36%)

Top Five Violations Cited

  1. Types of guarding (a)(1) – 1,815
  2. Point of operation guarding (a)(3) – 662
  3. Anchoring fixed machinery (b) – 214
  4. Exposure of blades (a)(5) – 79
  5. General requirements (a)(2) – 73

Related: Top 3 Reasons for Employers to Choose Occupational Health Providers

OSHA is Cracking Down on Violations

With some categories doubling in violations reported, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is cracking down on violators.  In order to protect your employees and bottom line, you must effectively keep all of your equipment up to code and in peak condition.

Nova Medical Centers values employee and occupational health.  We welcome you to reach out to us while recovering or planning your occupational health decisions.

Workplace Ergonomics, Part 1: How To Fight Fatigue, Prevent Pains, And Increase Your Comfort In The Office

Your office is the epicenter of productivity. It’s where you brainstorm, collaborate, and create. It might be your “home away from home.” But if it’s also where you experience headaches, eyestrain, stiff fingers, and fatigue—and not because you’re overworked!—you’re probably a victim of common workplace hazards such as poor lighting and inefficient workspace layout. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to make your office a more comfortable and healthy place to work. Consider these best practices in office ergonomics to help cut down on pain and enjoy a boost in productivity.

Equipment and Workspace

When arranging your office furniture, equipment, and supplies, you’ll want to make sure you make personal comfort a priority. That means leaving ample room under your desk so you can move your legs and feet freely, and positioning key items on your desk—keyboard, mouse, phone, pencil cup—within easy reach to minimize awkward twisting and turning that can leave you with a sore shoulder or back. Here are some guidelines:

Monitor—ensure the top of your monitor is at or just below eye level, approximately 20-26” from user, and tilt it back 10-20 degrees for optimal visual comfort.

Keyboard—for best results, place an adjustable or detachable keyboard about ½” above your thighs; a keyboard tray can be helpful if you like to change positions.

Mouse—placing your pointer close to the keyboard keeps your arms and hands in a neutral position. And don’t rest your wrist on your mouse or wrist-rest—give your wrists a break by resting the heels or palms of your hands on your lap or wrist-rest.

Chair—a fully adjustable chair is an ergonomics must-have, as it supports your body from hips to shoulders. Some helpful tips:

  • Keep your shoulders and lower back against backrest
  • Try a rolled towel or lumbar pad to help support your back
  • Rest your arms lightly (no leaning!) on armrests
  • Adjust your seat height and tilt so your thighs are parallel with the floor and your hips are slightly higher than your knees
  • If your seat isn’t well-padded, soften it with a pillow

Lighting

Proper lighting is essential if you want to avoid eyestrain and squinting. Find a visually-pleasing screen by using your monitor’s brightness and contrast controls and avoid glare by positioning your monitor away from direct light. Adjust blinds, reduce overhead lights, and use shaded or task lights to stay comfortable throughout the day.

Posture

While sitting and standing, it’s important to maintain a neutral, comfortable posture. Here are some tips for healthy alignment:

  • Your head and neck should be balanced and in-line with torso—try using headset instead of placing phone between shoulder and head
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Keep your elbows close to your body and supported, and your wrists and hands in-line with forearms
  • Put your feet flat on the floor or footrest

Take A Break!

Even if your workspace is designed well and your body is positioned optimally, task repetition can cause any number of discomforts. Performing the same tasks repeatedly, such as clicking the mouse and typing, or even sitting in the same position for a long time, can be straining and draining. Muscles and tendons need time to recover, so get up and stretch, blink, and do some non-computer tasks as-needed. Even taking micro-pauses or looking away from your computer screen every so often can help you feel your best the whole day through.

Learn more

U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration Computer Workstation eTool

National Institutes of Health’s Division of Occupational Health and Safety Ergonomics at Work

Mayo Clinic’s visual guide to office ergonomics

How Does the Internet Affect Your Opinion of Illness?

Faster connections, more media sources, more information.  Has the internet changed the face of illness inside and outside the workplace?  How can doctors adapt to this internet research based society to provide better care?

A recent 12-year study looked into how the internet is affecting human experience of illness.  Thanks to Medical News Today, we would like to look deeper at this study and offer insight on the effect of this in the technologically connected society.

(Study release) The last decade has seen remarkable advancements in medical services, medicine, and how people use the internet in relation to their health.  Professor Sue Ziebland, Director of the Health Experiences Research Group, based in the Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care at the University of Oxford, will share these findings with health practitioners and researchers at the South West Society for Academic Primary Care (SW SAPC) meeting hosted by the Centre for Academic Primary Care at the University of Bristol, yesterday [Thursday 6 March].

This study examined interviews with patients conducted between 2001 and 2013 and explored how people talked about the internet, capturing changing attitudes towards the use of the internet for health across the last decade.

In the early 2000’s people who sought health information online saw themselves as particularly engaged, expert and activated patients. By 2013 the web had become an almost routine part of many people’s experience of health and illness. The internet has transformed how people make sense of and respond to symptoms, decide whether to consult, make treatment choices, cope with their illness and connect to others.

The study found that people want more than just information online, they also seek reflections, insights and practical advice from other patients. Every year millions of people use sites such as Oxford’s http://www.healthtalkonline.org to learn about their health issues from other patients. Film, animations, sound, pictures and personal experiences online make health information more digestible for people from all backgrounds. By helping people to learn about their condition, prepare for consultations and demonstrate to doctors their interest and involvement, the web may even help to undermine some health inequalities.

Increasingly, doctors are aware of this and recommend useful sites to their patients yet, even in 2013, patients were reluctant to talk to their doctors about what they find online, fearing that such revelations might damage their relationship with their doctor.

Professor Sue Ziebland said “GPs and nurses who recognize that people are using the internet when they are ill can support and discuss the information with their patients; those who do not recognize this shift can unwittingly undermine and patronize their patients.”