Emergency Preparedness and Response

No one wants it to happen, but an emergency, natural or manmade, can strike at anytime, 24/7. What’s more, it need not be a major, nationally-televised incident, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or act of political terror. An event as common as a local building fire can present just as large a challenge to you. These resources will help you create a plan for handling such crises, whatever their scope, and to carry it out in a way that best protects your employees and your company.

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Protect Employees from California’s Wild Weather

After years of severe drought, most of California’s reservoirs are now full and the snowpack is, in places, exceeding record levels set in 1983. A major storm drenched Southern California on February 17 before shifting to the north. Heavy rains are expected to continue, hitting different areas of the state, for as long as the La Niña weather pattern holds. Longstanding drought conditions have been lifted, at least temporarily, throughout much of the state.

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Retail Details: Fire and Electrical Safety for Retailers

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cites retailers over and over for failing to ensure that their stores are fire-safe. Retailer Dollar General has been OSHA’s most cited case in point, although they are far from the only offender. Since 2010, OSHA has recorded more than 100 safety and health violations at Dollar General stores nationwide, and assessed more than $1 million in proposed fines.

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FEMA Official Notes Often-Ignored Practices for Emergency Planning

Severe weather, power outages, or incidents of workplace violence can occur anywhere and at any time. How well prepared are you? A top official with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says certain elements of preparedness tend to be forgotten. Which ones? Find out here.

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Retail Details: Clear the Exits for Holiday Fire Safety

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When you think of dangerous industries, “retail” is probably not the first one that springs to mind. And while retail employees aren’t generally exposed to the types of machinery hazards that industrial workers face or to the kinds of health hazards that healthcare workers face daily, there are some persistent issues that crop up during the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) inspections of retail stores. Among them are problems with maintaining access to fire exits.

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Who Speaks for You in a Crisis?

At about 9 a.m. on October 4, 2016, contractors were cleaning coal bunkers at the Cambria Cogen power station in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, when an explosion occurred. The explosion injured four workers, two of them seriously—but early news reports stated that three men were taken to the hospital with burns, and little else. Always in the wake of a disaster, there is a point at which the demand for information outstrips what is known—and yet, the questions must be answered. At that point, regardless of what is or is not known, somebody has to talk to the press. Do you know who that person is, in your workplace?

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NSC Congress & Expo Highlight #2: Understanding the Requirements of Confined Space Rescue

One of the most misunderstood portions of the OSHA confined space standard for general industry is the rescue requirement. Many employers don’t manage their confined space entry risks because they fail to adequately assess the hazards and recognize the need for rescue services.

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Minor Fire Leads to Major Penalties: Are You Making These Fire Safety Mistakes?

Yesterday we looked at some of the problems that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identified during the inspection of a United States Postal Service (USPS) facility in St. Louis, where a minor fire could have turned major after workers went through five fire extinguishers before they located one that worked. As is often the case, where there was one problem, OSHA found other, related problems as well—issuing four citations and proposing more than $87,000 in fines.

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Minor Fire Leads to Major Penalties: Could Your Workers Put Out a Small Fire?

At the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) vehicle maintenance facility in St. Louis, a minor grease fire erupted in a wheel hub on July 3, 2016. Workers trying to put out the small blaze ran into a problem: The first five fire extinguishers they tried to use were not charged.

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Accidents Happen—Here’s How to Recognize Critical Incident Stress

In the immediate aftermath of an accident, the focus is generally on securing the scene and helping any injured workers, as it should be. But workers who witness the death of a coworker, come to the aid of injured coworkers, or clean up after an accident may find the incident traumatic, too—a response called “critical incident stress.” Some individuals can also develop long-term effects, known as post-traumatic stress.

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New York Takes Tough Stance on Public Worker Assault

A recently passed New York state law is intended to better protect employees who are prone to assault. Keep reading to find out who’s affected, and why the Empire State took action.

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