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Know the Importance of Heat Awareness

Heat illness is a serious medical condition that can result in muscle cramping, loss of consciousness and even death in some extreme cases. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has estimated that thousands of workers become sick due to exposure to heat every year.

Heat awareness is especially crucial this year as a number of states are already experiencing historically high temperatures. Early spring saw parts of that state experiencing mid-80 and low-90 degree Fahrenheit temperature ranges, which is usually not seen until later in the summer. Now is the time to review the symptoms of heat stress and understand best practices for protecting workers from heat exposure.

With the latest news that OSHA  has launched a National Emphasis Program with the goal of protecting millions of workers from heat illness and injuries, companies must get ready for inspections that focus on heat-related hazards for both indoor and outdoor workers.

OSHA states that the NEP is necessary because the dangers of extreme heat increase each year, citing that 18 of the past 19 summers have broken historic records. Over the past 5 years, there have been an elevated number of fatalities or hospitalizations reported by employers.

Help Keep your Workers Safe in High Temperatures:

  • Providing plenty of water: Each employee should have access to at least a quart of water per hour and employers should encourage workers to stay hydrated.
  • Ensuring shade: Work sites should include areas of shade where workers can rest. If there is no natural shade, employers can put up tents or other coverings.
  • Safety training: All workers should be taught to recognize the signs of heat illness in themselves and others.
  • Monitoring: All workers should watch for signs of heat illness when temperatures are high, and employees reporting heat-related sickness should not be left alone.

In addition to following these guidelines as best practices, employers need to be in compliance with specific standards that govern their industry or state.

Workers in outdoor environments are at higher risk for heat-related illness, especially during their first days on the jobsite. Workers in outdoor environments are at higher risk for heat-related illness, especially during their first days on the job site.

Following heat-exposure regulations
All employers in the U.S. will need to comply with the federal OSHA standards that relate to heat exposure. While there is not a specific standard for working in hot environments, there are several relevant regulations employers must consult. These include the Personal Protective Equipment standard, Sanitation standards, Medical Services and First Aid standards, and the Safety Training and Education standard for the construction industry. There are also 28 OSHA-approved state standards on heat exposure.

“Review standards on heat exposure, and consult relevant regulations.”

OSHA also provides guidelines to employers on how to better protect workers from heat illness, including a guide to understanding the heat index. As OSHA explained, the risk of heat-related illness becomes greater with both increased temperature and increased humidity. The heat index measures both these factors and is better than air temperature alone for predicting the risks workers face.

OSHA also provides clarification on how to adjust the use of personal protection equipment to maintain compliance while accounting for heat exposure, as some types of PPEs, such as hard hats, may contribute to heat exhaustion. The agency has provided industry specific resources as well.

It’s crucial to remember that workers in outdoor environments face the greatest risk, and the rate of heat-related illness is highest for new workers. A CAL/OSHA study found that around half the number of incidents related to heat-exposure happened on the employee’s first day on the site, and 80% happened within the first few days. It’s important to recognize that heat illness may manifest as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, and both are serious medical conditions. OSHA also offers simple training materials that employers can utilize for training workers to recognize heat-related illnesses.

The importance of hydration
Proper hydration remains one of the best tools for preventing heat-related illness. Both heat and strenuous labor deplete the body’s hydration levels, leading to thirst, fatigue, muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness or confusion. All these conditions may contribute to accidents at the job site. If left unaddressed, dehydration can contribute to heat rash, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

General best practice suggests employers provide workers with one quart of water per hour, and some workers may need more. Certain factors can increase the risk of dehydration. These include:

  • Age
  • Underlying health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease
  • Medications
  • Higher levels of physical exertion
  • Air temperature
  • Radiant heat from machinery

Employers can encourage workers to drink more water by providing time for water breaks, during which water can be sipped slowly. Workers may also be outfitted in PPE that helps keep them cool. Employers may also consider supplying workers with hydration packs or reusable water bottles for water breaks.

Total Safety is here to help!
Our experienced EHS consultants can help evaluate and put into place a Heat Stress Management plan. Talk to us about recommended products to help keep your workers comfortable and hydrated.

Heat Management Products:

  • Cooling garments
  • Wide selection of light-weight garments
  • On-site hydration solutions
  • Cooling trailers
Night time, Male worker in uniform is tired and wiping his forehead

How to Manage Fatigue in the Workplace 

Night time, Male worker in uniform is tired and wiping his forehead

Workplace safety includes consideration of long work hours, swing shifts, and other rotating schedules that have an impact on worker fatigue. According to OSHA, almost 15 million American workers have full-time jobs that require evening, night, rotating or other irregular shifts that contributes to worker fatigue. 

It is the employer’s responsibility to provide employees who are working very long shifts adequate breaks and rest time between shifts. It is a manager’s responsibility to recognize when their workers are displaying symptoms of fatigue to avoid injuries and costly damage. Recent news about the prevalence of fatigue in the workplace makes now the right time to discuss how to recognize fatigue and what to do about it.  

“Fatigue causes 13% of accidents in the workplace”

The Dangers of Fatigue in the Workplace 

Fatigue has a direct effect on the workforce. Fatigue affects employees’ memory, balance, concentration, decision-making, and motor skills. Research shows 13% of workplace injuries can be attributed to fatigue, a dangerous byproduct of a society that operates 24 hours a day. In the long term, persistent fatigue and lack of proper sleep can lead to poor employee health, potentially increasing the incidence or severity of issues like diabetes and heart disease.  

Employees often feel the effects of a lack of rest when they commute back and forth to work. Reduced alertness and reaction time both negatively influence driver performance and put workers at risk as they travel to and from job sites each day. 

The frequency with which fatigue occurs in the workplace must be recognized to craft an effective solution. Businesses, alongside the managers, supervisors and EHS specialists that address safety issues, need to look at this as a broad-based problem that could lead to negative consequences at nearly any workplace. 

 Signs of Workplace Fatigue 

Fatigue presents unique challenges for companies, but recognizing the signs of fatigue can help managers to keep employees safe.  Here are seven signs of fatigue:   Continue reading

ITSC Awards photo

Congratulations to Total Safety’s Team for Winning Two ISTC Safety Awards

ITSC Awards photo

On May 26, 2022, Total Safety attended the 26th Annual Industrial Safety Training Council (ISTC) Safety Awards Banquet held in Beaumont, Texas.  The purpose of the ISTC Safety Awards program is to recognize the safety achievements of contractors working in the Gulf Coast area. The award publicly recognizes the excellent record of safety operations attained by contractors working in the refining and petrochemical industries. In order to be considered for an award, a contractor must be nominated.

Total Safety is honored to be nominated by our customer, ExxonMobil Beaumont, for our first-rate services and our excellent safety record. After a complete audit of Total Safety’s safety record by the ITSC, we are proud to announce that we were awarded the ITSC Safety Achievement Award – Years Worked, for working 12 consecutive years without an OSHA lost workday case involving days away from work.  Total Safety was also awarded the ITSC Safety Achievement Award – Sustained Performance category for sustaining a “zero” recordable incidence rate for three consecutive years.   Special recognition to Jeremy Wilson, Lead Air Tech, who was a finalist for the ITSC Trainer of the Year award.

Please join us in congratulating our Total Safety teams who put safety first each and every day to make winning the ITSC Safety Achievement awards possible.  Attendees at the award ceremony pictured left to right are Valente “Vee” Williams – EHS Technician and Employee of the Month for May 2022, Angela Heckard – EHS Supervisor, Jon Logue – IPSC Manager, Omar Scypion – HSEQ Supervisor, and Chris Robinson – Fire Supervisor.

Total Safety Wins “Best In Class” Award for Safety Excellence

On May 20, 2022, Total Safety attended the 35th Annual Houston Safety Excellence Awards event hosted by the Houston Business Roundtable (HBR) and Houston Area Safety Council at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas. Each year they recognize contractors or subcontractors in the Texas Gulf Coast Area who achieved an outstanding record of on-the-job safety promotion and performance. The true purpose of the award process is to encourage collaboration on industry trends, innovative technology, best work practices, facilitate industry improvements, and encourage companies to work together on issues and initiatives. The Safety Excellence Awards evaluation teams only select the best of the best to be nominated for the award.

Total Safety was nominated by two of our customers. After the nomination was accepted by the HBR Safety Evaluation team, Total Safety’s HSE team had to prepare for a comprehensive audit of the company’s corporate HSE program and how it is implemented at the In-Plant Service Center (IPSC) level at the customer site. The audit teams are formed by other customers and peers in the industry.

Total Safety is proud to announce they were awarded the prestigious “Best in Class Award for Technical Support Large Contractor” category. Steve Long, Vice President HSEQ stated, “It’s an honor to be a part of the Houston Safety Excellence Awards process.  Being nominated in the first place is quite an accomplishment for our employees and then winning Best in Class in our category is very special.  We could not have achieved this without the support of [our customers] and the committed employees at Total Safety”.

Join us in congratulating our Total Safety teams who put in the challenging work and effort to make winning the “Best in Class” award possible.

Total Safety Phliadelphia Office Awarded OSHA’s VPP Star Status

Total Safety is proud to announce that our Philadelphia location has received OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star status. Total Safety would not have been able to achieve this level of excellence without the commitment of our employees and the leadership of management.

We would like to recognize the outstanding efforts of our employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health in accordance with OSHA’s VPP and within our own mission:

…to ensure the safe Wellbeing of Workers Worldwide.®

About OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP)

The VPP recognizes employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. In VPP, management, labor and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses through a system focused on:

  • Hazard prevention and control
  • Worksite analysis
  • Training
  • Management commitment and worker involvement

To participate, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. Union support is required for applicants represented by a bargaining unit. VPP participants are re-evaluated every three to five years to remain in the programs. VPP participants are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status.

To learn more about OSHA’s VPP, please visit their website at:

http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/vpp/

Make Your Turnaround a Success

Planning a turnaround is complex and involves many moving pieces from budgeting to execution planning. A shutdown can bring up many questions, complexities, and logistical concerns. Let’s look at how your next turnaround project can be less complicated with the right strategies.

It Starts with a Project Plan

As an organization, it’s important to define turnaround objectives. It’s a Turnaround Manager’s responsibility to create a project outline of all the work that needs to be accomplished and deliver a clear plan of action to reach those goals. Each project phase comes with its own set of challenges to keep the project on schedule, in scope, and on budget.

It’s vital to control the shutdown from one phase to the next, the plan needs to address all activities and expected deliverables. One big part of the plan is to evaluate if your business has access to life-safety equipment and qualified staff. This will improve safety while enhancing your business processes and mitigating risk.

Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to refine the scope of the project and create specific action plans for the work to be accomplished. This is the time to formulate cost estimates, schedules, work lists, and resources needed to complete the turnaround. Since cost control is a key component, it’s important to consider, for instance, if using confined space monitoring technology would be more cost-effective than hiring extra labor for the project. It is also the time to take inventory of supplies required to complete the project and answer critical questions. For example, do you have enough life-safety equipment on hand? Is the equipment inspected and in working condition? Do you need to source new equipment or is renting a better choice? Do you have a reliable maintenance program in place for your equipment? Are your employees trained to use the equipment? Answering these questions honestly will go a long way in figuring out how prepared you are for a successful project.

Risk Management

Risk management begins by minimizing the risks with the highest impact. Ensuring jobsite safety for workers, contractors, and visitors should be the top priority during the shutdown. When preparing for situations where workers will be faced with changing hazardous conditions, there will undoubtedly be grey areas and unknowns. While not all risks can be managed, if you implement solutions that will deliver the most effective risk management safeguards, the success of the project can be maximized.

Turnarounds that adopt data enabled/connected technology solutions are able to collect data points such as turnaround equipment location, atmospheric changes, permit status, staffing assignments, and even life-safety equipment calibration schedules. The ability to run reports in real-time drives efficiency and helps you make better decisions faster.

Consider working with an experienced partner like Total Safety. We understand the intricacies of a Turnaround Project and can help evaluate your jobsite’s unique set of priorities and risks, to formulate a plan for any situation. We bring turnkey solutions including best practices, training solutions and experienced safety personnel, plus, we have the latest connected worker safety technologies, ready to deliver on your jobsite

Worker Safety Technologies: The Key to Simplifying Complex Turnaround Projects

One way to have greater visibility into your turnaround or maintenance project is with data-enabled/connected technologies that make it easier to understand what is happening on your jobsite in real-time. Using Total Safety’s SafeTek – Connected Worker Solutions, creates a truly connected workforce and worksite. Having the ability to keep track of specific turnaround project activities and have key data readily available in an easy-to-use dashboard helps you make better decisions faster.

Total Safety understands that you are looking for ways to make turnaround projects not only safer, but also more efficient and more productive, especially in today’s climate due to COVID-19 and other market constraints. You have turnaround projects to do, and you want to do that work safely and on schedule. That is why Total Safety offers a wide variety of fully connected products and services that help you reach your operational goals.

Turnaround is where operational and worker safety are at their peak of vulnerability. Here is how SafeTek Solutions can help streamline your turnaround project:

SafeTek SmartMonitor™

During large-scale turnaround projects, being able to monitor the workers in confined spaces is critical. Our SmartMonitor – Centralized Confined Space Monitoring (CCSM) system uses advanced technology, connecting life-safety equipment and highly specialized technicians to workers in tight areas. With CCSM, entrants to confined spaces have 2-way communications, real-time continuous gas detection coverage, and are visible via high-definition cameras to operators monitoring the entire entry process from the centralized control room that is temporarily installed onsite. This solution is also scalable as a portable solution for easy use on short term – open, clean, and inspect operations. The technology has been proven and refined over the past 19+ years and can provide your project with a significant reduction of at-risk employees required for confined space operations.

SafeTek WorkZone™

Keep your jobsite safe and protected with connected SafeTek WorkZone technology. Advanced atmospheric area monitoring, mobile-connected smart inspections, data-enabled breathing air SmartCompressors, and asset distribution with real-time tracking & alerts, will safeguard your jobsite and ensure compliance with OSHA and other site specific regulations. Our connected innovations keep work zones safe and ensure that equipment is operating efficiently.

SafeTek Communication™

During turnarounds, communication is key. Mission-critical 2-way communications like Motorola’s digital radios are ideal for these projects, maximizing safety, efficiency, and compliance by providing immediate communications during maintenance or shutdown. Total Safety offers a wide variety of communication technologies and solutions including – portable radio towers, signal repeating and system bridging solutions, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth connected networks, and cellular & satellite-enabled personal gas detection devices.

SafeTek Guard™

Wearable technology, such as SafeTek Guard, keeps workers safe with real-time/data enabled monitoring, detection, and emergency notification capabilities. This compact and portable technology is especially crucial during shutdown and turnaround projects when worker safety and efficiency is required. The state-of-the-art connected technology includes – gas monitoring, motion and fall recognition, GPS location, dedicated push-to-talk communication channels, and emergency SOS activation to help assist in locating workers during critical rescue and/or evacuation situations. All data is collected via direct-to-cloud technology and KPI reports are available 24/7 via a robust password-protected web portal.

A turnaround is a complex (and expensive) endeavor. Leverage the experts at Total Safety to help make your turnaround, shutdown, or maintenance projects more successful with our full range of solutions. When safety matters, we’re ready.™

Need help planning your next turnaround? Talk to a Total Safety expert today. 

Total Safety Names Industry Veteran Brad Clark as CEO

Total Safety Names Industry Veteran Brad Clark as CEO

Experienced, growth-oriented industrial services executive will build upon the successes realized under the current leadership.

HOUSTON, January 11, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Total Safety U.S., Inc., a leading global provider of integrated industrial safety services, strategies, and solutions for hazardous environments and portfolio company of Littlejohn & Co., LLC (“Littlejohn”), today announced that it has appointed Brad Clark as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 17, 2022. Mr. Clark succeeds George Ristevski, who has decided to step down to pursue other endeavors.

Mr. Clark brings more than two decades of industrial services leadership experience to Total Safety, having most recently served as President and CEO of HydrochemPSC, another Littlejohn portfolio company. At HydroChemPSC, Mr. Clark oversaw the company’s strategic expansion of service capabilities and the acquisition and integration of Hydrochem in 2017. Mr. Clark led the sale of the combined business to Clean Harbors, Inc. in 2021. Previously, Mr. Clark served as President and CEO of PSC Industrial Outsourcing and Americas President of KBC Advanced Technologies.

A growth-oriented leader with strong industry relationships, Mr. Clark joins Total Safety well-positioned to build upon the successes of Mr. Ristevski’s tenure. Since 2017, Mr. Ristevski has implemented world class management processes, invested in technology and capability to expand the company’s offering, led Total Safety through five acquisitions that significantly increased sales and earnings in two years, and successfully steered the business through the pandemic.

Mike Kaplan, Managing Director of Littlejohn, said, “We have known Brad for many years and are excited to be working with him again in this important role. Total Safety has thrived under George’s leadership, and we are grateful for his contributions to the business, which have positioned the company for continued growth.”

Mr. Clark added, “I am thrilled to be joining Total Safety and to be partnering again with Littlejohn for this exciting opportunity. Looking ahead, I am eager to leverage all the capabilities Total Safety has built to grow in both our existing and new end markets and to expand upon George’s accomplishments.”

About Total Safety, Inc.

Houston, Texas-based Total Safety is the leading global provider of integrated industrial safety services, strategies, and solutions to keep workers and facilities safe. Formed in 1994 to serve the needs of the oil and gas industry, Total Safety transformed through internal growth and over 30 acquisitions to become the industry leader in safety solutions. Today, we are doubling down on our SafeTek Technology Solutions, innovating the way we approach worker safety. With over 200 locations worldwide, we have the technology, equipment, compliance, and people to deliver the best industrial safety services tailored to your specific business needs. For more information about Total Safety, visit https://www.totalsafety.com/

About Littlejohn & Co., LLC

Littlejohn & Co. is a Greenwich, Connecticut-based investment firm focused on private equity and debt investments primarily in middle-market companies. With approximately $14 billion of regulatory assets under management, the firm seeks to build sustainable success for its portfolio companies through a disciplined approach to engineering change. For more information about Littlejohn, visit www.littlejohnllc.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220111005574/en/

Total Safety’s SafeTek featured on BIC Magazine Cover

Total Safety’s SafeTek, is the cover story for the September / October edition of BIC Magazine. In the article, Total Safety’s VP of  SafeTek Worker Safety Technology, Clint Palermo,  begins the discussion with some great information on “Choosing the Right Gas Detection for your Worksite ” in partnership with Blackline Safety.

Next,  Mr. Palermo dives into what is involved in connected safety and how Total Safety’s new SafeTek offerings are meeting the demand to create safer job sites.  In the feature article “How Connected Safety is Transforming the Workplace” , we learn in detail the benefits of Total Safety’s SafeTek Worker Safety technologies and how they apply in real-world settings.

A  focus on SafeTekSmartMonitor™ and the benefits of Total Safety’s partnership with  Blackline Safety to create a modern, reliable, connected gas detection program that benefits confined space work as part of  SafeTek™ Worker Safety Technology offering is a main highlight.

 

Total Safety HEROES - Dolly, Sharmayne, and Denielle

Our People Make the Difference…. A HEROES Story

Total Safety HEROES - Dolly, Sharmayne, and Denielle

Meet Sharmayne, Dolly and Denielle. Early on the morning of Saturday, July 24th, 2021,  Sharmayne Pilisko, Dolly Villareal, and Denielle Olivares’s were in a Total Safety company truck on their way to a remote job site when they passed a house that appeared to have smoke coming from it. Without hesitation, the team decided they should investigate. They discovered a shed on the property was on fire and posed a serious threat to a nearby home.

The team’s emergency response training was put into action immediately. Sharmayne called 911, while Dolly and Denielle alerted the sleeping residents of the situation. The team was able to evacuate a grandmother, with her grandchildren, to a safe place. Next, they evaluated what property could be saved from the fire, and were able to save one of the family’s vehicles that was near the burning building.  The team waited with the family until help arrived.

Once the incident was under control, Sharmayne, Dolly, and Denielle continued to the job site and worked a full day as if saving lives is just part of a typical day’s work.  Meanwhile, the family called Total Safety’s dispatch office to express their gratitude for the thoughtfulness and bravery our employees displayed. They were able to assess the circumstances and make informed decisions that “helped save our family members, our home, a 50 year career, and our family legacy. “

Total Safety is proud to recognize the heroic acts of these three women for their extraordinary actions to ensure the wellbeing of others, no matter the situation.

Protect Worker Wellbeing & Promote Compliance with a Health Compliance Officer

Guidelines are constantly changing in response to managing the health and safety of workers during the pandemic.  It can be challenging to keep up with all of the new requirements enforced by CDC, EEOC, OSHA, and local regulations.  Total Safety now offers Health Compliance Officers (HCOs) to bridge the gap between your specific jobsite environments and local mandates, promoting compliance and creating a healthier workplace.

Hiring a Health Compliance Officer.

Our Health Compliance Officers are trained in current pandemic workplace guidelines, and they have the leadership skills to adequately address issues with the management team on current health compliance. They will provide sound recommendations that can be quickly implemented, checked, and reported.

Improved safety culture.

Total Safety’s mission is …to ensure the safe Wellbeing of Workers Worldwide.  Our Health Compliance Officers bring this mission to your jobsite to encourage a culture of compliance by educating employees on the latest best practices, monitoring compliance adherence, and delivering daily reports on how well implemented protocols are followed. Having the HCO on your jobsite can make a significant difference in creating a healthy, professionally managed jobsite that increases employee participation and improves morale.

To learn more about how we can help you stay compliant, contact us today.  Download our Health Compliance Officer Flyer