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Category Archives: Safety Training & Consulting Services

Total Safety Celebrates Leading Safety Milestone With Two Million Hours Without OHSA Recordable

Houston, TX—Total Safety’s Fire Services group has reached an industry leading safety milestone – two million hours without an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable.

Celebrating two million non-recordable hours is a significant accomplishment. This milestone was achieved, in part, due to Total Safety’s commitment to continuous improvement in its safety culture. Safety is Total’s core value – the safety of its employees and customers. An active participant of OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program, it currently has seven Star VPP sites.

“As a safety company, our focus is 100 percent on the Wellbeing of Workers Worldwide.  Achieving two million hours without a recordable incident speaks volumes to the commitment of our employees. Our employees believe in safety and their hard work and dedication is represented in this milestone,” said Steve Long, Director of HSEQ for Total Safety.  “Our Fire Services team works in very unique and hazardous conditions. Our employees take pride in leading our safety culture and we are very proud of their accomplishment.”

The Fire Services team provide Total Safety clients with cost-effective and comprehensive risk mitigation strategies around complex worker and facility fire protection needs.

As defined by OSHA, a recordable case is an occupational work injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid, or an injury or illness that requires an employee to record days away from normal work.

 

About Total Safety

Total Safety, a Warburg Pincus portfolio company, is the world’s premier provider of integrated compliance, personnel and professional safety solutions and the products necessary to support them. It operates from 142 locations in over 20 countries to ensure the safe Wellbeing of Workers Worldwide (W3). For more information about Total Safety, visit www.totalsafety.com.

 

For additional information contact:

Darrell Whitley

Senior Vice President – Market Development and Enterprise Sales

713-353-7108

 

The Value of a Safety and Health Training Matrix

By John Baker, Total Safety Certified Industrial Hygienist

For Industrial Safety and Health Training, Go Total SafetyTraining provides the foundation for protecting the safety and health and improving the well being of workers worldwide. This is recognized by the emphasis placed on training in modern Safety, Health and Environmental management systems standards such as the Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – Requirements (OHSAS 18001:2007) developed by the British Standards Institution which specifically requires that “(t)he organization shall identify training needs associated with its OH&S risks…”

A training matrix is a planning and communication tool used by safety and health professionals and managers to keep track of an organization’s training needs. It can take many forms as long as it clearly shows what types of training are required for various job positions or specific employees. A manager can then quickly find the required training without sorting through paragraphs of regulations or company policies and procedures. This tool is also useful for scheduling training and allocating resources. A training matrix can also be used for employee evaluation and to support a corrective action plan for an employee or to improve organizational compliance with a governmental regulation or company policy, highlighting the new training that must be done by a specific date.

A training matrix is often designed as an electronic spreadsheet. Rows and columns are created with headers such as job position or employee name, specific training topic, training dates, and other useful information. Typically a training matrix would include a separate column for initial orientation on company safety and health policy and procedures, and for refresher training on these topics, in addition to training required by governmental agencies such as the US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their state and local counterparts.

For example, typical OSHA training requirements for general industry include: employee emergency and fire prevention plans; hearing and respiratory protection; fire extinguishers, powered industrial trucks; and hazard communication. OSHA standards regarding specific chemicals such as asbestos, benzene, lead and hexavalent chromium have very detailed training requirements.  Of course, there are numerous important safety and health topics such as heat stress, proper lifting and office ergonomics for which OSHA does not have a standard, and these topics should be added to the training matrix as well.

First, fill in the left hand column with the job positions and names of the employees who should be trained. Next, each topic can be used to fill out its own column on the training matrix. The last step is to place an “x” or use a specific color code to indicate which training topics by column need to be scheduled and completed by that employee. For each training topic, one might even split up the column into sub-columns to indicate dates initial and refresher training completed, and pass/fail status.

OSHA has provided an excellent brochure highlighting specific training requirements (as of 1998) on their web-site at http://www.osha.gov/Publications/2254.html.  Of course, the manager should check the current OSHA regulations for updated requirements.

A training matrix, while informative and self-explanatory, should not be used as a substitute for hands-on management. A manager should still meet with employees and explain the requirements and the reason behind them.

For additional information on safety and health training, contact us at 888.44.TOTAL.

Emergency Response Industrial Hygiene Monitoring

Because of the unique challenges surrounding emergency response IH monitoring, choose a provider that is able to develop written protocols/procedures, to deploy teams and equipment quickly, to provide experienced/knowledgeable personnel, quality support staff, and can adapt to ever changing conditions.By Lisa Browning, Training Coordinator

The time is now! Plan for how your facility will conduct emergency response industrial hygiene (IH) monitoring. What should you be looking for in a provider of this service? Because of the unique challenges surrounding emergency response IH monitoring, choose a provider that is able to develop written protocols/procedures, to deploy teams and equipment  quickly, to provide experienced/knowledgeable personnel, quality support staff, and can adapt to ever changing conditions. Some of the more challenging issues arising specific to IH monitoring include but are not limited to mobility, flexibility, proper equipment, documentation, reporting, and site specific training.

Developing written protocols/procedures has to occur first. The protocols set the applicable exposure levels, alarm levels and actions including deployment of respiratory protection, establishment of safe zones, evacuation, shelter-in-place or other personal protective measures.  Reporting mechanisms, format and timing of data reports should also be included in the protocol.  It is important to remember that reports are often shared not only with the client but others as well including federal, state and local authorities. Therefore, a data management support team must be available 24/7 to provide quality assurance and create a database from which a variety of reports can be prepared quickly.  Certified industrial hygienists should be utilized to write the IH sampling protocol and be available to lead project management.  Summary reports that pull all of the information together at the end of the event should be prepared and retained just as any other industrial hygiene medical record.

Next comes deployment which includes both necessary equipment and a team of personnel to operate the equipment. Your provider has to have the equipment in inventory or else have connections already in place to get it. Equipment ranges from simple personal monitoring pumps to the more technologically advanced real time wireless monitoring systems with built in GPS and data management software. All of which must be rugged, portable, intrinsically safe and able to collect large quantities of data for the specific contaminant(s) of concern.

One thing often overlooked is the need for an IH Mobile Command Center. It must communicate with both the site’s incident command center and also the outside world. A high speed Internet connection is needed for monitoring data management software. A standalone IH Mobile Command Center will not interfere with the incident command center  communication requirements but seamlessly integrate on site.

Training is a valuable component. Your provider should have the ability to train their own responding team and also be available to train other site workers. Monitoring personnel should have completed HAZWOPER, Incident Command, NIMS, respiratory protection and other standard courses. However, prior to deployment, training should occur on the incident IH monitoring protocol, site specific hazards, client’s procedures, reporting requirements, and equipment use.

Support away from the response is required. The provider needs to have a strong support staff  provide additional resources to handle issues that may arise during the sampling. Plan now and choose your emergency response IH monitoring provider with these criteria in mind to ensure that your facility is fully prepared for any emergency response.

Total Safety Acquires Webb, Murray & Associates

Total Safety Acquires Web, Murray & Associates, a Houston-based fire protection engineering and safety services company.Total Safety, the leading global provider of integrated safety services and compliance solutions, announced today it has acquired substantially all of the assets and ongoing business of Webb, Murray & Associates, Inc., a Houston-based fire protection and safety services company. 

“We are very pleased to have completed this transaction and are honored to have such a talented and respected team join Total Safety,” said David E. Fanta, Chief Executive Officer of Total Safety. “The Webb, Murray founders and their leadership team are known within the industry for their experience, values and commitment to excellence. Working together, we will be able to provide our clients with cost-effective and comprehensive risk mitigation strategies around their complex worker and facility protection needs. Webb, Murray’s traditional service geography has been limited to the Gulf and East coasts of the United States.  We are excited that we will be able to expand their service reach across all of Total Safety’s served markets.”

Bob Webb, a founder of Webb, Murray, noted, “we are very excited to be a part of the Total Safety family and are impressed with the culture, commitment to service excellence, and the vision they have for the business. I am pleased that we will be able to offer our clients an expanded service offering and am confident this combination will be a win-win for our customers, our employees and our suppliers.”

Webb, Murray & Associates, headquartered in Houston, Texas, and founded in 1974, is a recognized leader in risk management, fire and safety systems design, installation, testing and inspection services for the refining, chemical and petrochemical markets in the U.S.  The company’s core services include process hazard analysis, consequence assessment, risk evaluation, root cause analysis, industrial hygiene, PSM and RMP implementation, OSHA VPP consultation, safety procedure development, design, installation, maintenance and testing of all types of active as well as passive fire protection systems.  Total Safety will operate the assets under the name “Webb-Murray.”

For additional information, contact:
Total Safety
Dennis Turnipseed, Chief Financial Officer
713.353.7100

For more information on Total Safety and how we can equip your company with the best in industrial fire protection services, give us a call at 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!

The Danger of Oil Sites

In April 2010 at approximately 9:00 p.m., in the remote community of Weeletka, Oklahoma, six young people aged 18 to 32 were socializing at a rural, unmanned oil and gas property when a cigarette or lighter likely ignited a blast that claimed the life of a 21 year old man. Based on witness interviews the explosion occurred when the victim opened the hatch on one of the four petroleum storage tanks present on site that contained approximately 160 barrels of light crude oil. The explosion occurred about 10 minutes after they arrived on site. The group was drawn to the site when they saw the open gate to the normally unmanned property.   It was common for young people in this town to hang out in remote oil field properties, and they were largely unfamiliar with hazards associated with oil and gas.

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents  led the investigation. The CSB learned the site entrance was protected only by an unmarked gate which was routinely left open and unlocked. Aside from the gate, the property was not fenced, and no other protective measures were present warning the public of dangers associated with entering the site. The report also mentioned that the catwalk leading to the top of the tank was unsecured and readily accessible, and tank hatches had no mechanisms allowing them to be secured. Finally, it was possible that signage was destroyed in the fire, but eyewitness reported they saw no warning signs posted on or near the facility on the night of the incident.

And this is not the first time a tragedy like this has happened. A review of CSB records released in mid April indicate that 24 similar explosions and fires occurred at oil and gas production sites between 1983 and 2009 and of those accidents there were 42 fatalities and other related serious injuries. According to CSB records, all these fatalities occurred among teenagers and young adults under the age of 25, and in most cases, explosions were ignited by a cigarette, lighter or match.   

“No Place to Hang Out: The Danger of Oil Sites”

Interestingly enough, the tragic incident in Oklahoma occurred only one day after the release of a new CSB safety video called “No Place to Hang Out: The Danger of Oil Sites” (see below for video).  The segment was created to educate young people about the hazards of hanging out on oil and gas properties.  The 11 minute video, which can also be downloaded from the CSB website, is narrated by a young woman who describes the tragic deaths of two teenage boys killed in October 2009 when an oil tank located in a clearing in the woods near the home of one of the boys in rural Mississippi exploded, while the two boys were hanging out on site.  The powerful video is a timely tool that can be used to raise awareness of young people about the dangers associated with socializing on oil and gas properties and a reminder to just stay away from these sites.  It could also be used as an engaging safety moment or agenda topic at an employee safety meeting.

Be Diligent in Ensuring that Your Facilities Are Safe

Incidents, such as these, serve as a wake up call to the oil and gas industry. We need to be diligent in ensuring our facilities are secured against unauthorized entry and warning signs are adequately posted. When possible barriers and other security measures should also be employed. An active safety audit and inspection program is critical in keeping management abreast on the safety and security status of our facilities.

As an industry, we should be concerned about these on going incidents across the country and do what we can to prevent them from happening. Tragedies, like these, give us incentive to re-examine our facilities both urban and remote, with fresh eyes to ensure we are doing all we can to protect the public from dangers associated with these sites. We need to educate young people of the dangers of unauthorized entry. As there are no specific federal standards or industry guidance for security at oil and gas sites, it is our obligation and commitment to do what it takes to get the job done right by taking control: secure, fence and warn!

The OSHA Challenge Program, First Steps to the VPP Star

By Chuck Gibson, VPP Manager, Total Safety

For increased occupational health and safety, go Total Safety.Preparing for and attaining certification in the OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) can sometimes seem to be a confusing and overwhelming task, particularly for companies that do not have mature safety and health management systems already in place. To help, OSHA has developed a program for companies that are interested in improving their safety and health management systems and potentially participating in VPP, but may need assistance in understanding and meeting VPP requirements. The Challenge Program provides a comprehensive self-paced, three-stage roadmap that leads to improved safety and health management systems and preparation for VPP application.

Challenge is open to General Industry and Construction employers (determined by SIC/NAICS code) in both public and private sectors under OSHA federal jurisdiction. The Program is facilitated by OSHA-designated Administrators who may be corporations, nonprofit organizations or federal agencies. The Administrators act as the primary contact between OSHA and the Challenge Participant, and guide the Participant through the program stages. At the completion of each stage, the Administrator will review the participant’s progress and authorize advancement to the next stage.  OSHA will formally recognize progression from stage to stage and issue a certificate of graduation upon completion of Stage III. Provided it meets basic criteria, such as mishap rates and citation history, an organization should be ready to submit a VPP application following graduation, and may be considered for expedited review for certification.

To become a Challenge Participate, a candidate organization must first affiliate with an Administrator. A list of Administrators is available on the OSHA website or by calling your local OSHA office. The candidate organization completes an application and statement of commitment that is reviewed by OSHA, and upon acceptance, is designated an OSHA Challenge Participant. The Participant then proceeds through three progressive stages of safety and health program improvement with specific action and outcome requirements related to the VPP elements; management leadership and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training. As the Participant organization works through the stages, it will change from being reactive to proactive in identifying and controlling hazards. Additionally, it will progress in knowledge of and compliance with OSHA standards, develop an improved workplace safety culture, have improved documentation, increase safety and health activities, and show improvements in injury and illness rates. Documentation of achievements is required and progress is tracked on an electronic spreadsheet that provides color-coded status on each action and outcome item and a percentage completion level for the current stage.

The beauty of Challenge is the step by step guidance and direction it provides for improving a safety and health management system. The required actions and outcomes for each sub-element in each stage eliminate the guesswork of “what do I do next” for Participants. The status tracking sheet provides a visual and easy to understand tool to chart program progress. Even for organizations that consider their safety and health management systems more mature, Challenge tools and guidelines provide utility in confirming that necessary program elements are in place and functioning effectively. Go online and look at the list of Challenge Participants. It should come as no surprise that the list includes OSHA regional and area offices that are striving to become VPP certified themselves. So follow the lead of the experts. If you think your organization is not quite ready for VPP don’t be troubled – take the OSHA Challenge and travel the road to improved safety and health.

For more ideas on ways to increase occupational health and safety in your workplace, call us at 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!

Total Safety Enters Industrial Hygiene Services Business

Houston – August 25, 2009

Total Safety, the global leader of integrated industrial safety services and equipment, is expanding into Industrial Hygiene Services and will provide comprehensive solutions for exposure monitoring, hazard and risk assessments, respiratory protection programs, ergonomic assessments, indoor air quality, asbestos, and lead and mold monitoring. In addition, Richard Matherne, CIH, has joined Total Safety as Manager of Industrial Hygiene Services. Richard has over 30 years experience as a Certified Industrial Hygienist in the petrochemical industry.

“We are excited to enter this new line of business, and Richard’s experience and knowledge will ensure we will continue to meet the needs of our customers,” said Paul Tyree, Vice President of US Operations.

Total Safety also offers customized safety services built around each customer’s specific requirements, including:

Learn more about Total Safety’s entire line of industrial safety services & equipment by calling us at 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!

Total Safety Releases All New 2009 – 2010 Products & Services Catalog

Houston – July 27, 2009

Total Safety, the global leader of integrated industrial safety services and equipment, announces the release of its new products and services catalog. This nearly 200-page, full-color catalog showcases thousands of safety products, equipment and safety services gathered from around the globe.

State-of-the-Art Safety Equipment

“The goal of this publication was not only to feature top brand products and services, but to provide a comprehensive guide for all the latest in cutting-edge safety services and equipment. Total Safety’s catalog represents the world’s best safety products all in one centralized place to make our customers’ jobs easier and to keep them safer,” said Charles Ripoll, Total Safety Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development.

Each of the seven main sections features products and services that are for rent and/or direct purchase. The seven sections include:

“While the catalog is very in-depth with an extensive listing of products and services, the catalog is easy to read which makes ordering very simple. As an added feature, we included industry resource guides to help customers make educated decisions about the appropriate safety equipment they’ll need for their particular requirements,” said Paul Tyree, Total Safety Vice President U.S. Operations.

Catalogs can be ordered by calling 888-448-6825 or online at www.totalsafety.com.

Online Catalog

Scheduled to debut in September, Total Safety is launching an e-commerce version of the catalog where products and services will also be available online for purchase or rent.

“We understand that different customers want different options when it comes to ordering their safety products and services. Our e-commerce catalog will feature all the services our customers expect in a way that’s perhaps more convenient for them,” said Ripoll.

Find out more about how Total Safety can provide your company with a complete line of industrial safety services & equipment by calling us at 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!

Total Safety Lands Major Deal in Central America

Houston – April 2, 2009

Total Safety, the global leader of integrated industrial safety services and equipment, was awarded a major safety project by San Salvador-based Monelca, which is El Salvador’s leading general construction company.

A Complete Fire Protection System

Total Safety was chosen to design, supply, support the installation and provide on-site training for a complete fire protection system for a new tank farm being constructed in Port of Acajutla in western El Salvador.

The scope of the project includes fire protection for eight tanks which hold refined petroleum products, one sphere which stores gases under pressure and a truck loading facility.

Major components of the new comprehensive fire protection system include: foam systems, deluge systems, custom fire suppression systems and fire monitors.

Safety is the First Priority

“Tank farms are potentially very dangerous areas because the stored liquids are extremely volatile.

Special precautions are required because you’re not only dealing with the safety of the actual tank farm location, but you have to consider the safety of the surrounding areas as well,” said Carlos Siso, Total Safety Manager of International Business Development.

Siso continued, “Our first priority is to ensure that all government standards and regulations are met on the behalf of Monelca which helps keep workers and the neighboring communities safe. Because this is such a critical project Total Safety is honored to have Monelca as a valued partner and that they chose us for this assignment.”

“Total Safety’s reputation as a leader in safety services precedes itself, which is why we wanted to work with them on this important project. Monelca has partnered with them before, and we know firsthand that they bring an expertise that is unmatched by other safety service companies,” said Manuel Vieytez, president and owner of Monelca.

Learn more about how Total Safety can provide your company with custom engineered fire systems design services by calling us at 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!

Total Safety Expands to Enhance Workers Safety

Houston – December 16, 2008

To meet the growing demand of safety service solutions, Total Safety opens 4 new service centers- Benicia, CA, Signal Hill, CA, Shreveport, LA, Tulsa, OK – and expands to new offices in Denver, CO and Sulphur, LA.

All Total Safety locations are equipped with expert service capabilities serving the industrial sector including the rental, sales and service of:

Total Safety also offers customized safety services built around each customer’s specific requirements.

“We’re expanding to meet the needs of our customers. That’s always our first priority- to keep workers
safe and companies in compliance,” said Paul Tyree, Total Safety Vice President, U.S. Operations.

New Locations:

Benicia, CA
518 Stone Road
Benicia, CA 94510
707.747.5879

Signal Hill, CA
2701 Junipero Avenue
Signal Hill, CA 90755
562.490.6800

Denver, CO
5590 Havana Street, Unit A
Denver, CO 80239
303.766.1501

Shreveport, LA (January 2009)
500 Flournoy Lucas Road, Building 5
Shreveport, LA 71106
318.671.8965

New Offices:

Sulphur, LA
3205 Metric Drive
Sulphur, LA 70665
337.708.2100

Tulsa, OK
1327 North 105th East Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74116
918.835.8242

Find out more information about Total Safety and any of our industrial safety services & equipment by calling 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!