July has been officially recognized as Eye Injury Prevention Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, workplace eye injuries that require medical treatment occur at a rate of more than 2,000 per day1. More than 800,000 work-related eye injuries occur each year2. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses found that almost 70 percent of the eye injury accidents studied result from falling or flying objects, or sparks striking the eye. The best way to prevent eye injuries is to wear the appropriate eye protection. The BLS found that almost three out of five workers who were injured either failed to wear eye protection or were wearing the wrong kind for the job.
For more information about eye protection, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal at the top of this page and search “personal protective equipment” in the Keyword Search function.
Business disruptions come in all shapes and sizes—the best way to prepare is to expect the unexpected. For two years, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), a Travelers alliance, has helped businesses prepare for and respond to natural disasters and other causes of loss through its OFB-EZ® business continuity program. OFB-EZ recognizes the importance of crisis communication by encouraging businesses to obtain and maintain key contact information for their employees, customers, vendors and others, and to make sure communication systems will operate even if the business is closed. The key is knowing when and how to communicate essential information to keep those you rely on, and those who rely on you, in sync. In this article, IBHS addresses the crisis communication necessary for a business’ employees and specific external stakeholders in relation to a business continuity plan.
For more information about business continuity, including our Crisis Communications TravSources®, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal at the top of this page and search “crisis” in the Keyword Search function. Another resource includes the business continuity web pages on Travelers Prepare and Prevent.
Summer is here! This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are joining forces to promote a Summer Safety Campaign.
OSHA provides resources for workplace preparedness and response to severe weather emergencies that can arise during summer, including: hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and severe heat. OSHA and NOAA encourage employers to be aware of weather forecasts, train workers on severe weather plans, and keep emergency supplies, including a battery-operated weather radio.
Some parts of the country have already experienced deadly and damaging flooding this season. Hurricane season has already begun. Employers and workers need to be prepared with a detailed plan before these events occur to help everyone stay safe.
With temperatures rising, now is the best time for employers to prepare to protect workers outdoors. Workers in outdoor industries like agriculture, construction and transportation face serious hazards from working in the heat, including illness and death. One handy tool available for free to help prevent these hazards is the OSHA Heat App that calculates the heat index (both temperature and humidity) at your worksite. OSHA's heat app, recently updated for iPhone users, has been downloaded more than 193,000 times.
For more information about disaster planning, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal at the top of this page and click on “Natural Disasters” under the Disaster Planning tab. More resources include the summer safety and weather safety web pages on Travelers Prepare and Prevent.
OSHA is continuing its partnership with Health Canada to align U.S. and Canadian regulatory approaches to classifying hazardous workplace chemicals and communicating hazard information. The organizations will work together to reduce inconsistencies among hazard communication regulations and provide concise information to protect workers exposed to chemicals without reducing current protections.
The goal of the partnership is to implement a system using one label and one safety data sheet acceptable in both countries. OSHA and Health Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2013 to collaborate on implementing the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals in their respective jurisdictions.
For more information, read the news release, or log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal at the top of this page and search “GHS” in the Keyword Search function.
OSHA has added new resources to its Fatal Facts series that describes cases where employers failed to identify and correct hazardous working conditions before they led to deaths at their worksites. One was created in response to an incident where two 14-year-old temporary workers were electrocuted*, and other teenage workers received electrical shock injuries, when one worker touched an electrified irrigation structure in a corn field. The other is based on an incident involving a temporary worker in a marine cargo warehouse who fell to the bottom of a sugar hopper where he was engulfed by sugar and suffocated*.
In addition, OSHA has released a new fact sheet* on hazards from food slicers and meat grinders used in grocery stores, restaurants and delis. The fact sheet conveys that food slicers and meat grinders can cause serious cuts and amputations when workers are using, maintaining or cleaning them and in 2013, at least 4,000 incidents involving meat slicers occurred that resulted in lost workdays. The fact sheet contains OSHA requirements and information for employers on how to prevent cuts and amputations from working with food slicers and meat grinders. OSHA developed this fact sheet based on information gathered through the agency's new reporting requirements that employers must notify OSHA of any work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye within 24 hours.
For more information about worker safety, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal at the top of this page and click on “Employee Safety and Health” under Topic in the Advanced Search function. Another resource includes the workplace safety web page on Travelers Prepare and Prevent.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued the second revision to its Guide to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security. It includes new guidance on how to tailor traditional IT security controls to accommodate unique ICS performance, reliability and safety requirements, as well as updates to sections on threats and vulnerabilities, risk management, recommended practices, security architectures and security capabilities and tools. \
Downloaded more than 3 million times since its initial release in 2006, the ICS security guide advises on how to reduce the vulnerability of computer-controlled industrial systems to malicious attacks, equipment failures, errors, inadequate malware protection and other threats.
A significant addition in this revision is a new ICS overlay offering tailored guidance on how to adapt and apply security controls and control enhancements detailed in the 2013 comprehensive update of Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations (NIST Special Publication 800-53, revision 4) to ICS. SP 800-53 contains a catalog of security controls that can be customized to meet specific needs stemming from an organization's mission, operational environment, or the particular technologies used. Using the ICS overlay, utilities, chemical companies, food manufacturers, automakers and other ICS users can adapt and refine these security controls to address their specialized security needs.
For more information about cyber security, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal at the top of this page and click on “Cyber Risk Management” in the left-hand navigation bar. Another resource includes the cyber security web page on Travelers Prepare and Prevent.