OSHA Ensures Safety to Temporary and Contracted Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is updating its take on all temporary and contracted employees.

A recent article came out covering the safety of temporary and contracted workers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently placed renewed focus on protecting temporary and contracted workers, encouraging employers to treat temporary worker safety the same as they do with permanent employees.

OSHA’s Renewed Focus on Temps

OSHA recommends that the temporary staffing agency and the host employer set out their respective responsibilities for compliance with applicable OSHA standards in their contract. Including such terms in a contract will ensure that each employer complies with all relevant regulatory requirements, thereby avoiding confusion as to the employer’s obligations.

Recommended Practices: Protecting Temporary Workers (from OSHA)

The National Safety Council (NSC) also calls for host employers and staffing agencies to coordinate and share responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of temporary and contract workers. State-by state data show temporary workers can have double the risk of suffering severe injuries at work and often are assigned to higher risk jobs, according to the NSC.

Aside from working closely with staffing agencies, the NSC also recommends employers:

  • Establish a policy that states clearly that all workers in all types of employment arrangements have equal rights to a safe and healthy workplace.
  • Develop and implement procedures to ensure that all workers, including temporary and contract workers, are provided a safe and healthy workplace and that there is clarity on supervisory control.
  • Establish mandatory requirements for safety training based on the work environment and risks of job assignments to be delivered by the contract worker employer, staffing agency, and/or host employer.
  • Work with contract worker employers and staffing agencies to identify how to gather and analyze appropriate information about temporary and contract workers to better understand any challenges to ensuring their safety and health and what strategies can be effective in further reducing risk.
  • Develop strategies with contract worker employers to ensure roles and responsibilities associated with accountability for worker safety are clearly understood and effectively executed.
  • Monitor trends in the use of temporary and contract workers in order to address changing needs for maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all workers.

To learn more about OSHA’s temporary employee and contracted workers regulations, contact MAC Safety or MAC Safety NE.

Taking your Workplace Safety program to the next level.

MAC Safety – The Solution to taking your Workplace Safety program to the next level

It is time to improve your workplace safety program. OSHA has announced new reporting requirements, beginning in 2017, many employers must electronically provide to the agency the details concerning the workplace injuries and illnesses kept on their OSHA 300 logs. No big issue right? Here is the part that will be alarming to most – OSHA then will make this material available for public viewing on its web site.

With unrestricted access to this information, your current and potential customers, vendors and clients will have a comprehensive view of your workplace safety program. If what they see is a poor safety record with significant injuries and illnesses, you may lose business opportunities. Safety will play a bigger role in the procurement process than it ever has. Take action: now is the time to have MAC Safety review your safety programs, advise and audit to ensure your training records are documented, and most importantly help advise (that is the key, not just identify problems, but be the problem solver / the solution) to decrease the number of injuries occurring at your job-site / facility and ensure your employees go home safe every night.

All employers have good intentions and want to realize this goal, but fail to execute. After OSHA makes an announcement like the electronic reporting requirement, meetings are called, mandating safety must improve. Here comes the MAC Safety vision:

Having a vision for your company’s safety programs and developing safe work behaviors in your employees are the key components that MAC Safety will assist your management team with, and help you realize your vision: To keep injury rates at the lowest level. We all know achieving any goal involves surrounding yourself with the right people – MAC Safety professionals are the right people – with over 80+ years of job-site safety, railroad safety, DOT compliance, experience in the Steel Mill, Chemical, Heavy Manufacturing, Construction – Residential /Industrial, Retail Warehouse, Food Safety Industry, and Oil and Gas Industry – MAC Safety will help create the vision and ensure implementation.

We believe in all team members buying in to the vision, the vision that is yours – not ours – we are here to assist and implement, we believe these tasks may seem difficult at first, but with MAC Safety we believe we will deliver you the safety program you want.

Regulating On-Site Safety

Rigid Regulations, Automation Dehumanizing On-site Safety

An on-site safety policy is critical for a laundry list of dangerous industries. Safety plans are put in place to ensure the protection of employees and keep them from being injured or even killed on the job. With the rapid expansion of on-site labor over the last several years, on-the-job deaths have continued to climb. Although some of these deaths are contributed to lack of experience, others blame worker exhaustion and other factors.

Even though safety policies and regulations exist in many industries to save workers’ lives, the fact is that they can do more harm than good. Over regulated safety policies can cause workers to become tired, distracted, and doesn’t tap into the basic needs of employees.

Why is Over Regulation a Bad Thing for On-site Safety?

It makes sense to think that safety regulation is simply a thorough policy to keep workers safe. However, too many rules and regulations can ultimately lead to workers feeling as if they are simply a body in place to complete a specific task. This leads to a general lack of interest on the job, and can even leave workers feeling distracted and fatigued.

It’s no surprise that distracted and fatigued workers are at higher risk for injury on the job. Whether it’s in the control room or out in the oilfield, it’s important to allow employees to think for themselves. Unfortunately, rigid regulations and automation can make workers feel as if they have no option to think for themselves—even if it’s determined to be for their own good according to top-level safety officers.

What Matters in terms of On-site Safety Regulations?

There’s no denying that the overall goal of safety regulations is to prevent work-related injuries. However, there are several human needs that should be met within your safety policy. Some of these needs include:

• The feeling of self-efficiency during a task, no matter how repetitive or daunting
• Communication with team members in order to keep workers mentally stimulated
• Sense of pride in work
• Sense of team and community
• Ambition to meet goals

Is Your Safety Policy Meeting The Human Needs of Your Workers?
If not, MAC Safety specializes in creating custom safety policies for on-site safety. We can help develop a safety plan that keeps your workers both safe and empowered while on the job. Get in touch with us today for your customized safety plan.

OSHA Announces Updates to Employer Recordkeeping in 2016

Employers to post 300A Injury & Illness forms from February through April

The recent employer changes announced by OSHA will effect employers this year and will result in being non-compliant if these forms are not complete. Here is how the changes are to work:

Employers must now post their 300A (OSHA) form between February 1 and April 30, 2015.
Employers who staff ten or fewer employees and employers in low-hazard industries are typically exempt from requirements associated with illness and injury recordkeeping. However, with the January 2015 changes that went into effect, certain previously exempt industries are now covered.

To view a full list of these industries that now require posting, click here.

To view the list of industries that are exempt, click here.


MAC Safety Consultants is a privately owned and operated Safety Consulting Company in Pittsburgh, Pa.

2015 MAC Safety Bowl at Highmark Stadium

MAC Safety Consultants Announces 3rd Annual MAC Safety Bowl to Benefit Legacies Alive

Safety Bowl

We are pleased to announce that this year’s 3rd Annual MAC Safety Bowl football tournament will be hosted at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, on Saturday, December 19th at 9 A.M.

This tradition was started in 2013 as a way to give back to the community and provide something special during the holidays. After its inaugural year, MAC Safety teamed up with Legacies Alive, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the legacy of every service member killed in action during the Global War on Terror, and supporting Gold Star families.

This year’s challenge, “Swim For Their Sacrifice,” features Navy combat veteran, Chris Ring, swimming the entire length of the Mississippi River in honor of our fallen heroes who left behind spouses. Chris started his swim from Lake Itasca, MN on June 6. He is projected to reach the Gulf by early December. Throughout his sixth month journey, Chris is meeting with families of the fallen at events and on the banks of the Mississippi. Legacies Alive will celebrate the conclusion of the second Legacy Challenge and also Chris becoming the first American to swim the entire length of the Mississippi at the 2015 Army/Navy Game.

In addition to the event on Saturday, there will be a Private Concert on December 18th featuring Scott Blasey, Robert James and Greg Joseph from Pittsburgh based band, The Clarks. The money that Legacies Alive raises from this event goes towards supporting the families of our nation’s fallen heroes, building memorials in the hometowns of those heroes, and sponsoring Legacy Challenges.

Please consider participating in this great event, whether as a sponsor or participant in the tournament.

For more information, please contact Kevin Miranda at (724) 544-8400.


MAC Safety Supports Railroad Safety

Since around 1830, trains have been used to transport goods across portions of the United States with growing popularity. According to the US Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration, the US freight rail network is now a $60 billion industry, which consists of 140,000 rail miles.

In this country, freight is moved by rail, truck, pipeline, water, and air. The rail network moves the largest portion, which “accounts for approximately 40 percent of US freight moved by ton-miles (the length freight travels),” according to the Federal Railroad Administration. The freight shipped by rail ranges from food to consumer goods, and from minerals to energy products.

railroadEnergy product shipments have demonstrated significant increases in recent years due to the expansion of the shale oil and gas industry, particularly with the advent of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, which have led to a sharp rise in US crude oil production in recent years. The product pulled from the ground is then transported via pipeline or rail.

Even with a number of pipeline projects in the works, the demand for rail car transport has increased. For example, according to the Association of American Railroads, in 2008 around 9,500 carloads of crude oil were transported by rail; however, by 2013, that number soared to nearly 408,000 carloads. In just the first half of 2014, that number stood at almost 230,000 carloads (complete 2014 numbers have not been released yet).

Consequently, increased transport has equated to increased accidents and spills. In the US from 1975 to 2012, 800,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled from rail cars according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. However, in 2013 alone in the US, 1.5 million gallons of crude oil were spilled from rail cars—more than the previous 37 years combined. When you include Canada into the mix, those numbers increase. In just one accident in July 2013, 1.5 million gallons of crude oil spilled in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

mac-safetyStephen Timko, Railroad Safety Consultant, MAC Safety Consultants, Inc. noted, “The additional amount of hazmat moving by rail has caused an increase in incidents, all noted by the public and the news media. Statistics prove moving hazmat via rail is the safest way to transport it, but when an incident happens, it becomes national news.”

“Railroad safety is becoming more prevalent; therefore, more people need it. MAC Safety is a diverse, full-service safety company committed to providing a wide array of cost effective safety solutions and services including: safety and health consultations, safety professional staffing, safety attendant services, occupational medicine support, drug and alcohol testing, and industrial hygiene testing. We offer safety training for all aspects of rail operations, while many other companies do not,” relayed Kevin Miranda, Brand Marketing Manager, MAC Safety Consultants, Inc.

The safety and health professionals at MAC Safety have over two decades of experience servicing the shale oil and gas industry, railroad safety, chemical manufacturing, industrial manufacturing, power and coal fire plants, nuclear power, and security. In terms of train safety, MAC Safety offers safety training for employees involved in the billing, loading, unloading, and/or moving of rail cars.

“Most specific certifications are required only for rail operations outside the gates of industry. The one main exception is for loading, unloading, inspecting, billing, and moving hazmat shipments. Those regulations start when the railcar is placed for loading, or even earlier, when the car is received for loading at the industry,” explained Timko. “A complete checklist is mandated by government regulators when a railcar that will ultimately carry hazmat is received. Railcars must be inspected for defects of safety appliances, car structure, markings and qualification of test dates, proper placarding, and other bullet point items prior to loading. After loading, the checklist continues with checking for proper securing of hatches, filling and draining valves, caps, and other items.”

railroad2Timko added, “MAC Safety’s training is specific to the customer’s needs. This generally entails a review of the site, the writing of a safety and operating manual for the location, and then classroom and/or field training for the employees. This is followed up with documentation of the program. Site-specific training includes items such as maps, photos, physical characteristics of each location, and how the environment (curves, grades, sight distances, etc.) affect the operation. Everything is taken into consideration from artificial lighting to long-term weather conditions and interference from highway users. In addition, there is a review of and training on Federal Regulations governed by 49 CFR Part 172, which requires specific training and documentation for “Hazmat Employees,” who are basically anyone involved in the loading, inspection, movement, billing, etc. of railcars transporting hazardous materials.”

In addition, Timko says private industry rail operators need to understand and follow various safety rules that are usually a requirement of the industry. These include safely mounting and dismounting equipment; safe riding locations; use of bell, horn, and lights; how to couple and uncouple cars safely; how to adjust couplers; applying and releasing hand brakes; approaching road crossings; operating track switches; restricted speeds; personal protective equipment; and other items. Afterwards, “a short quiz on the content of the class is given to document the knowledge level of the employee. The documents are then turned over to the client to maintain in their training files,” relayed Timko.

railroad3As for train safety relating to the shale oil and gas industry, as opposed to other industries, Timko says there are no differences. “All railroad workers are trained on Hazardous Material Regulations by law. They could have a hazmat car in their train at any time. It could happen once a year or every day. They are trained in accordance with 49 CFR Part 172 regulations. It makes no difference if the hazmat is highly explosive or a car of fertilizer. It could be gasoline, butane, propane, sulphur, chlorine, explosives, or corrosives. The employees are all trained on the different classes of hazmat and have instruction booklets that are required to be carried with them on the train.” This training is mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration, and specific timelines are set forth on when the training must occur.

With proper training, some of these incidents that we hear about in the news could be adverted. These proactive efforts help eliminate or minimize the effects of a spill and the threat to life, the environment, and property.

MAC Safety Consultants, Inc. is headquartered in Beaver, PA and services Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. For more information on MAC Safety, check out their website at macsafetyconsultants.com or contact them by emailing info@macsafety.us or calling 724-847-3331.