When we launched our new LMS (Learning Management System) platform earlier this year, we were excited and loved all of the positive comments regarding the new look and dynamic approach to our online safety courses. However, some of the feedback was not exactly what I expected – and it allows me to make a point to all of our students, prospective students and members throughout the world.
Some of the individuals who were taking the courses were not happy that they could not simply click through the material, go straight to the test and take it. They were not interested in reading the content; they simply wished to take the test. I want to make this point, and, to be very clear, our certifications are not an exam – they are a course that you must take that INCLUDES an exam to show competence. There are other organizations that provide exams only, but NASP/IASP is not one of them. We are a company that specializes in continuing education for safety and environmental professionals.
Honestly, I do not understand why one would want to invest money in a course and not wish to read the material that is provided. I’ve been in safety for almost 30 years, and I am constantly learning new things. Even if the material is nothing more than a thorough review, it is ideal to reinforce this information even for a seasoned professional. My point is this: if you purchase a course from us, you must view each page. We cannot force you to read it, but it is in your best interest to do so. It would be difficult, at best, to pass the test without doing so, and besides, you are missing such a great opportunity to keep yourself educated and up-to-date on the various regulations and standards affecting our industry.
If you are old school (like me), perhaps the classroom version of the CSM is a better option. Our last CSM Classroom Course for 2018 will be in New Orleans on October 1-5. Click here for details and to register.
This year, NASP employees will be attending the National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Houston, TX October 22nd-24th. This is the world’s largest gathering of safety professionals, and expected attendance is anticipated to be over 15,000. We are excited about the variety of excellent speakers, the diverse topics to be discussed and the hundreds of exhibitors that will be on hand, including NASP. This will be the first year that NASP has set up an exhibitor booth, and we encourage you to come by and say “hi.” We are located at booth #5043 so you may meet with some of our staff and discuss any of your safety-related needs. We urge you not to miss this event. Click on the following link for details.
MAJORITY OF WORKERS DON’T SPEAK UP WHEN THEY SEE A HAZARD
Silence may be golden in some cases, but not when it comes to workplace
safety. Workers need to speak up. Conversations between supervisors
and employees about safety should happen frequently, but research cited
by OSHA in its new Better Safety Conversations pamphlet shows that’s
not always the case. Ninety-three percent of employees said their work group is currently at risk from a safety issue that’s not being discussed.
It’s crucial that workers feel safe sharing their opinions and expressing their worries about certain tasks. Promoting a culture of openness and accountability goes a long way in creating a safe workplace.
Bringing up safety in a way that will ensure workers listen and don’t feel attacked is easier said than done. When you notice an employee participating in potentially unsafe behavior, consider using one of these three starting phrases:
“I’d like to talk to you about something important. Let’s review the safest way to do this task, so you and your team are not at risk of getting hurt.”
“I respect your experience and want to make sure nobody is injured, so I’d like to work with you to address this issue.“
“Can we talk about what I’m seeing and figure out a better way to do it?”
Walking the Talk
Another way to improve safety conversations is telling short,
compelling stories to reinforce the message you want to get across. Stories don’t have to be longwinded and may in fact work better when limited to 20 or 30 seconds. Most importantly, supervisors need to lead by example. Paying lip service to safety doesn’t work if they’re also not wearing PPE or not following safety procedures – so make sure they’re not just talking a good game but also staying safe.
Pete Nemmers is a Safety Specialist at NASP, where he develops new training content for our Learning Management System and aids in technical support for our customers. He will also begin training for NASP in the upcoming year.
Pete spent 8 years in the Army serving as a Military Police Officer which included a tour in Iraq. After serving, Pete obtained his degree in Criminal Justice. Before joining us at NASP, Pete was an accomplished Safety and Hazmat Manager for a large retail establishment.
Julia Smith is the new national account executive for NASP, where she works with new and current students to provide assistance with various safety development courses. Julia moved to North Carolina a little over a year ago from Pennsylvania, but she is originally from Texas where she has worked in the Oil and Gas industry in operations and business development. She attended Texas A&M receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Business and is currently studying to obtain her Masters in Engineering at George Washington University.
Brooke Scott is our new Graphic Designer. She went to college at the Art Institute of Charleston and graduated with a double major in Graphic and Web design. Prior to working at NASP, she finished her education and was a freelance artist in the Charleston area. She creates new content on the LMS for our safety courses as well as development of our marketing material, including various pamphlets and brochures.
Companies that are in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) are supposed to be some of the safest facilities in the nation. So, what happens when there’s a workplace fatality at a VPP site? The question has been raised after a fatality at a Louisiana refinery. A contract worker fell into the 15-foot water basin of the primary cooling tower at the facility. The company is an OSHA VPP participant.
The rules for what happens to VPP sites after on-site fatalities are contained in OSHA’s “Memorandum 7,” which was issued in 2013. The memo says the status of a VPP site must be changed to “Inactive Pending Fatality/Catastrophe Inspection” following a fatality. An Intent to Terminate (ITT) Letter is automatically sent to the VPP site if it’s determined the fatality was work-related, the site is placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), and/or willful violation(s) are issued.
OSHA push to expand VPP
The facility has the option of appealing the ITT. OSHA then decides if the site is removed from VPP. Memo 7 was revised on May 30. OSHA removed references to willful violations and the SVEP. OSHA has said it wants to expand the VPP program – and this is the first time there’s been a fatality at a VPP site since Memo 7 was revised. The agency has six months to issue citations. Then it’ll determine if the site should remain in the program. Interested in becoming a VPP site or simply need a mock OSHA inspection at your facility? Click here and fill out our on-site training/consulting form to get a quote for this service today.