The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) top priority is keeping workers safe.  While we experience fewer fatalities in the workplace today, the leading cause of worker fatalities year after year are motor vehicle crashes; distracted driving dramatically increases the risk of such crashes. The Department of Labor through OSHA is partnering with the Department of Transportation to combat distracted driving.  OSHA will first focus on texting while driving.

OSHA is launching a multi pronged initiative that will include the following:

  • An education campaign to employers, launched during Drive Safely Work Week, calling on employers to prevent occupationally related distracted driving—with a special focus on prohibiting texting while driving;
  • A website which carries a video message and an open letter to employers from Assistant Secretary Michaels, that will showcase model employer policies and team up with employer and labor associations to communicate our message;
  • OSHA will forge alliances with the National Safety Council and other key organizations to help OSHA reach out to employers, especially small employers, to combat distracted driving and prohibit texting while driving;
  • OSHA will place a special emphasis on reaching young workers—working with other Labor Department agencies, as well as OSHA’s alliance partners and stakeholders; and
  • When OSHA receives a credible complaint that an employer requires texting while driving or who organizes work so that texting is a practical necessity, OSHA will investigate and where necessary issue citations and penalties to end this practice.

By prohibiting texting while driving, we are working to ensure that workers are safe on the road and that they return home safely at the end of their shift.

Veterans Day, November 11, 2016
Many Americans mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day America sets aside to honor American military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combat. That’s not quite true. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America’s war dead.
Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors ALL American Veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free.
Veterans Day National Ceremony
At exactly 11 a.m., each November 11th, a color guard, made up of members from each of the military branches, renders honors to America’s war dead during a heart-moving ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.
The President or his representative places a wreath at the Tomb and a bugler sounds Taps. The balance of the ceremony, including a “Parade of Flags” by numerous veterans service organizations, takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater, adjacent to the Tomb.
In addition to planning and coordinating the National Veterans Day Ceremony, the Veterans Day National Committee supports a number of Veterans Day Regional Sites. These sites conduct Veterans Day celebrations that provide excellent examples for other communities to follow.
Veterans Day Observance
Veterans Day is always observed on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. The Veterans Day National Ceremony is always held on Veterans Day itself, even if the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday. However, like all other federal holidays, when it falls on a non-workday — Saturday or Sunday — the federal government employees take the day off on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday).
Federal government holiday observance (for federal employees, including military) is established by federal law. 5 U.S.C. 6103 establishes the following public holidays for Federal employees: New Year’s Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington’s Birthday (President’s Day), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
This federal law does not apply to state and local governments. They are free to determine local government closings (including school closings) locally. As such, there is no legal requirement that schools close of Veterans Day, and many do not. However, most schools hold Veterans Day activities on Veterans Day and throughout the week of the holiday to honor American veterans.

Veterans Day Around the World
Many other countries honor their veterans on November 11th of each year. However, the name of the holiday and the types of ceremonies differ from the Veterans Day activities in the United States.
Canada, Australia, and Great Britain refer to their holidays as “Remembrance Day.” Canada and Australia observe the day on November 11, and Great Britain conducts their ceremonies on the Sunday nearest to November 11th.
In Canada, the observance of “Remembrance Day” is actually quite similar to the United States, in that the day is set aside to honor all of Canada’s veterans, both living and dead. One notable difference is that many Canadians wear a red poppy flower on November 11 to honor their war dead, while the “red poppy” tradition is observed in the United States on Memorial Day.
In Australia, “Remembrance Day” is very much like America’s Memorial Day, in that it’s considered a day to honor Australian veterans who died in war.
In Great Britain, the day is commemorated by church services and parades of ex-service members in Whitehall, a wide ceremonial avenue leading from London’s Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square. Wreaths of poppies are left at the Cenotaph, a war memorial in Whitehall, which was built after the First World War. At the Cenotaph and elsewhere in the country, a two-minute silence is observed at 11 a.m., to honor those who lost their lives in wars.
Have You Hugged Your Veteran Today?
One of the most personal and meaningful Veterans Day activities for people is to send notes or cards to hospitalized veterans or those living in veterans homes. Or, better yet, visit a veteran in a local veteran’s hospital or veteran’s home. The best way to have a “happy Veterans Day” is to do something special to make a veteran happy.

These veterans were not honored when they returned but fought bravely for our country. Let’s Honor them now! WELCOME HOME!!!

Sgt. Allan Kaufman, USAF, 49th Tactical Air Command

Today is Labor Day and the highways are filled with people traveling from 1 place to another.

The National Safety Council estimates 38,300 people were killed and 4.4 million injured on U.S. roads in 2015, which saw the largest one-year percentage increase in half a century.

As Chairman of ASSE’s National Committee on Distracted Driving I find these statics very hard to grasp.  The number of drivers in the US is about 200 million and the number of wireless subscribers is 300 million +.  At any one-time there are an estimated 650,000 people driving and on their cell phones day and night.  Recent surveys show that 85% of surveyed think it is dangerous to talk and/or text will driving, yet of those 85% over 60 continue to do it.  Our committee cannot understand why.

Those talking on business risk injury to themselves and other and liability to their employers. There are many cases in the courts that have been settled for millions and others pending, where the at-fault driver was distracted.

Motor vehicle incidents are still the leading cause of death between the age of 5 – 35.  Do you know anyone in that age group or maybe you are in that age group.

Please consider concentrating on your driving and not the multi-media with you.

Have a safe and happy Holiday

You are the safety person or part of the safety team for your company.  Your safety record is impressive at work, but what about away from work.  Does the safety department strive for safety 24-7?  Many safety professionals I talk with say they do, but except for a quick company message few practice it.

What happens when an employee gets into a vehicle accident away from work?

1.       Employee misses work.

2.       Someone else (maybe a temp) has to make up the work (maybe overtime).

3.       Productivity can suffer

4.       Injury cost can be expensive even if it not worker’s compensation.

5.       Company health care policy can rise.

Did you know the average motor vehicle incident cost is about $63,000 and the average STF is about $30,000.  These amounts include WC, but even off the job the injuries can significantly affect a company’s bottom line. 

If your company makes a 4% profit margin, a $25,000 injury will require over $600,000 in additional sales to make up that loss.  Can your company’s sales recover that amount?  How many off work injures do your workers have?  Do you know?  If you have 3 or 4 workers off work for a few days each year from a off-site injury, your recovery cost can be in the millions.  The work still has to get done.

Consider an active 24/7 safety program and you can be saving your company hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, depending on your employee size.

Sept. 19-22, 2016

Active Shooter/Workplace Violence/ Marijuana in the Workplace/+Many More

These are just some of the 60+ environmental, health and safety training sessions offered at the Chicagoland Safety, Health & Environmental Conference being held at the Naperville campus of Northern Illinois University September 19-22, 2016. Since 1988, this premier regional training conference has provided professional training to thousands of business owners, managers, HR managers, supervisors, safety committee members, municipalities and others who have responsibilities in safety, health, training and environmental management.


The conference is sponsored by local chapters of the American Society of Safety Engineers, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, and the Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals and is planned in association with OSHA, the Northern Illinois College of Engineering and Engineering Technology and the National Safety Education Center. Media sponsors this year include the Daily Herald/Business Ledger, and Industrial Hygiene News.
Each year, 350 to 400 people from across the Midwest and US attend the annual Chicagoland Safety, Health & Environmental Conference to learn about emerging EHS trends, current training requirements and other issues relating to the safety and health of their employees. Speakers include business and industry professionals, OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialists, college professors, professional trainers and others who have extensive knowledge and experience. Training sessions are 1.5 hour, half day, or full day and provide attendees with Basic, Intermediate or Advanced levels of training.

A day-long Business Expo and Networking Social on Wednesday provides attendees with information about new products and services from dozens of businesses. For information about being a sponsor or exhibitor at the Business Expo, visit The conference is pleased to announce the keynote address will be presented by Dr. Wes Scott, Director of Consulting Services, Safety Management Solutions of the National Safety Council. Dr. Scott will also present a half day training session dealing with Safety and Health Leadership and Engagement. The conference website also contains information about past conferences. A complete list of training topics being presented this year will be posted on the website by June 1. Early-bird registration fees will also be available at that time. Lunch is included each day along with snacks for the morning and afternoon breaks..

The conference week concludes with the Chicagoland EHS Golf Outing on Friday September 23, 2016.  This annual event is being held at the Village Greens of Woodridge Golf Course in Woodridge. The shot-gun format provides a fun way for golfers and non-golfers alike to have fun, win prizes and network with conference attendees and others who enjoy golf and sharing golf stories. Separate registration is required for this outing.  Please visit for information about being a hole/outing sponsor and to register for the outing. For more information, please visit or contact Ken Orms at

NETS (Network of Employers for Traffic Safety)
10 Facts Employers Must Know
For any organization with employees on the roadway
1. In 2005, 43,443 people were killed and 2,699,000 were injured in 6,159,000 police-reported motor vehicle crashes. Daily that represents 17,000 reported crashes and 119 deaths.
2. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all age groups from 3 to 33 years of age. Crashes are the 3rd leading cause of years of potential life lost for all ages combined.
3. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of occupational fatalities in the U.S.
4. A typical driver in the U.S. travels 12,000 to 15,000 miles annually and has a one in 15 chance of being involved in a motor vehicle collision each year. With most fleet drivers traveling 20,000 to 25,000 miles or more each year, they have a greater crash exposure.
5. The most dangerous part of the day for any employee is the time they spend in their vehicle witha crash occurring every 5 seconds, property damage occurring every 7 seconds, an injury occurring every 10 seconds, and a motor vehicle fatality occurring every 12 minutes.
6. Forty-one percent of the average vehicle miles traveled per household are from commuting to and from work (27%) and driving on work-related business (14%).
7. In 2000, the economic cost of crashes to employers was $60 billion resulting in 3 million lost workdays. Two-thirds of the cost ($40 billion) was from on-the-job crashes while one-third ($20 billion) was from off-the-job crashes for employees and their benefit-eligible dependents.
8. The average on-the-job crash costs an employer about $16,500 or just under $0.16 per mile driven. Crashes involving injuries cost substantially more — $504,408 for a fatal injury and $73,750 for a nonfatal injury.
9. With over 90 percent of motor vehicle crashes caused by human error, employers with high roadway exposure are at risk for a serious crash resulting in a lawsuit against their organization. Damages awarded to plaintiff’s making negligence claims against companies are at an all time high, settlements of $1 million or more are not unusual.
10. The development, implementation, enforcement, and monitoring of a strong driver safety program can protect an organization’s human and financial resources. Such a program allows an organization to be proactive in controlling crash risks and is the first line of defense against the potentially staggering costs from motor vehicle crashes involving employees.

FEMA : Individual and Community Preparedness e-Brief

Cooking Safety for the Super Bowl
Getting your Super Bowl game face on? Score more points this year by putting kitchen fire safety in your line up.
Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for food consumption. That means a lot of time spent planning and preparing game day snacks. Before you kick off your menu, take a look at these U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) tips for safer cooking:

Kitchen Huddle
Prepare your cooking area. Use back burners or turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Keep a timer handy and use it when you’re roasting or baking.

Penalty Flag
Frying poses the greatest risk of fire. Keep an eye on what you fry. Start with a small amount of oil and heat it slowly. If you see smoke, or if the grease starts to boil in your pan, turn the burner off. Even a small amount of oil on a hot burner can start a fire.

Stay awake and alert while you’re cooking. Stand by your pan. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet nearby in case you need to smother a pan fire.

Illegal Contact
Prevent burns when you’re cooking. Wear short sleeves, or roll them up. Don’t lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot or steaming cookware.

Defensive Linemen
Keep children at least three feet from anything that can get hot, including the stove. Put hot objects and liquids beyond a child’s reach so they can’t touch or pull them down. Never hold a child when you cook.

Consider using flameless candles that are battery powered, instead of wax candles. If you’re planning on using food warmers and slow cookers, provide hot pads to prevent burns.
Light the food warmer fuel-can after it is placed under the warmer. Keep anything that can burn away from the flame. If you have young children, keep matches and lighters up high and locked away.

The National Safety Council recently added Distracted Walking injuries into the new Injury Facts publication going out to members.

  • 52% of cell phone distracted walking injuries happen at home
    •68% of those injured are women
    •54% are age 40 or younger
    •Nearly 80% of the injuries were due to a fall

The rise in cell phone distracted walking injuries parallels the eight-fold increase in cell phone use in the last 15 years.  The scary part is the statistics are not really accurate since many injuries are not report to medical persons or emergency rooms.

Distracted walking is resulting in injuries. Nearly 4 out of 10 Americans say they have personally witnessed a distracted walking incident, and just over a quarter (26%) say they have been in an incident themselves. 78% of US citizens believe it is a serious problem

In addition:

  • •Of those injured in a distracted walking incident, women aged 55 and over are most likely to suffer serious injuries, while Millennials (ages 18 to 34) are least likely to be injured, according to the survey, despite the younger age group reporting higher rates of distracted walking incidents.
    •Perceptions of distracted walking also differ by generation, with 70% of Millennials believing that distracted walking is a serious issue compared with 81% of individuals aged 35 and older.
    •Millennials are more likely to engage in common distracted walking behaviors: texting, listening to music, and talking on the phone.
    •Half of Millennials think distracted walking is “embarrassing–in a funny way.”

As with distracted driving, distracted walking has become a serious injury problem.  Humans cannot multi-task.  Our brains can only do 1 thing at a time.

To prove the point turn on YOUR favorite TV show then call your favorite person and talk to them for about 10-15 minutes.  If you are engaged in the conversation ask yourself what happened on the TV show.  If you watched the TV show where you able to follow the phone conversation?

Keep ALERT, the world needs more LERTS!

On the Road: Winter Edition From FEMA

Winter Driving
Plan to stay off the road during and immediately after a winter storm, and during winter weather advisories or watches.
If driving is necessary, follow these tips from America’s PrepareAthon! to prepare for travel:

•Ensure you have emergency supplies of food and water, warm clothing, and a full tank of gas;
•Try to travel during the day and not travel alone;
•Stay on main roads; and
•Let someone know your destination, route, and expected arrival time.
Winter weather calls for different driving techniques. Follow these tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to stay safe on the road, including:
•Slow down for winter driving conditions, regardless of the vehicle you drive;
•Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and others; and
•Avoid using cruise control in winter driving conditions.
For more winter driving safety tips, check out this NHTSA interactive guide

DHS has developed a series of materials to assist businesses, government offices, and schools in preparing for and responding to an active shooter. These products include a desk reference guide, a reference poster, and a pocket-size reference card.
Issues covered in the active shooter materials include the following:
• Profile of an active shooter;
• Responding to an active shooter or other workplace violence situation;
• Training for an active shooter situation and creating an emergency action plan; and
• Tips for recognizing signs of potential workplace violence.
Available Materials at
• Active Shooter Booklet
• Active Shooter Pamphlet
• Active Shooter Poster
• Active Shooter Poster (Spanish)
• Active Shooter Pocket Card
• Active Shooter Pocket Card (Spanish) (1 hour interactive video course)

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