105 episodes

The SafetyPro Podcast, helping you manage safety one episode at a time. With the constant regulatory and workplace culture challenges businesses face, we’ll provide you with all the relevant information necessary to achieve a safer, more productive workplace. No management theory, platitudes, or guru speak - just actionable info you can use right now.

The Safety Pro Podcast Blaine J. Hoffmann, MS OHSM

    • How To
    • 5.0, 128 Ratings

The SafetyPro Podcast, helping you manage safety one episode at a time. With the constant regulatory and workplace culture challenges businesses face, we’ll provide you with all the relevant information necessary to achieve a safer, more productive workplace. No management theory, platitudes, or guru speak - just actionable info you can use right now.

    100: Celebrating ONE HUNDRED Episodes

    100: Celebrating ONE HUNDRED Episodes

    100 Episodes! Thanks to all the listeners that helped make this happen - you are the reason I continue to produce this podcast. Here's to the next 100 episodes!

    • 9 min
    099: COVID-19 - To Mask or Not?

    099: COVID-19 - To Mask or Not?

    NOTICE: Published April 1, 2020 - The information in this post/episode is subject to change.

    All of the discussions about surgical masks got me thinking; what do we know about viruses (CVID-19 or others), and what are the EXPERTS saying? I wanted to explore this topic and share my thoughts.
    As of April 1, 2020, the WHO, CDC, OSHA guidance on wearing masks (if you are HEALTHY) is the same; you do NOT need to wear a mask except for specific circumstances. Let's read what they have to say.
    World Health Organization
    On the Questions and Answers page: Should I wear a mask to protect myself?
    Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. A disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is sick, then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely.
    WHO advises the rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks  (see Advice on the use of masks).
    The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing (the rest of us use 6 feet). See basic protective measures against the new coronavirus for more information.
    CDC
    What does the CDC say about wearing asks?
    Wear a facemask if you are sick If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick. If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply, and they should be saved for caregivers.  
    OSHA
    Surgical masks are used as a physical barrier to protect the user from hazards, such as splashes of large droplets of blood or body fluids.
    Surgical masks also protect other people against infection from the person wearing the surgical mask. Such masks trap large particles of body fluids that may contain bacteria or viruses expelled by the wearer.
    Surgical masks are used for several different purposes, including the following:
    They are placed on sick people to limit the spread of infectious respiratory secretions to others. They are worn by healthcare providers to prevent accidental contamination of patients' wounds by the organisms normally present in mucus and saliva. Worn by workers to protect themselves from splashes or sprays of blood or bodily fluids, they may also keep contaminated fingers/hands away from the mouth and nose. Surgical masks are not designed or certified to prevent the inhalation of small airborne contaminants. These particles are not visible to the naked eye but may still be capable of causing infection.
    Surgical masks are not designed to seal tightly against the user's face. During inhalation, much of the potentially contaminated air can pass through gaps between the face and the surgical mask and not be pulled through the filter material of the mask.
    Their ability to filter small particles varies significantly based upon the type of material used to make the surgical mask, so they cannot be relied upon to protect workers against airborne infectious agents.
    Only surgical masks that are cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be legally marketed in the United States have been tested for their ability to resist blood a

    • 23 min
    098: COVID-19 - To Clean or To Disinfect? Or Both?

    098: COVID-19 - To Clean or To Disinfect? Or Both?

    UPDATE: The CDC has made changes to workplace guidance as of March 21, 2020, which may make some of the information on this post obsolete:
    Updated cleaning and disinfection guidance Updated best practices for conducting social distancing Updated strategies and recommendations that can be implemented now to respond to COVID-19 We are currently in the throws of the 2020 Corona Virus pandemic, or COVID-19. Much information is being disseminated - from how far apart we should stand from one another to how to wash our hands properly. I have even seen videos on how to properly wash hands using ink to illustrate how to achieve full coverage of soap.
    Because hygiene is critical, many disinfecting products are harder to find now as a result of panic buyers hoarding supplies of items that they believe will make them safer. The truth is, many of these disinfectants are just not necessary according to all currently available information. Think about it, to prevent the spread of illness, we must avoid touching our face (eyes, nose, mouth) and simply wash our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    People think they need to use bleach, alcohol, or some product containing these ingredients to disinfect surfaces around the clock. All available guidance tells us that routine cleaning is adequate for general work areas. Disinfecting is only recommended for suspected cases of CORONA-19.
    At the risk of sounding like a word-nerd, let me share the CDC definition of the two terms in use here; cleaning and disinfecting.
    Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
    So what are employers supposed to do? According to the CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers, you should perform routine environmental cleaning, which means routinely cleaning all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs.
    Perform enhanced cleaning and disinfection after persons suspected/confirmed to have COVID-19 have been in the facility
    The CDC also recommends employers to use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. Furthermore, provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down before each use. (UPDATE: The CDC has made changes to workplace guidance as of March 21, 2020).
    OSHA goes even further:
    Because the transmissibility of COVID-19 from contaminated environmental surfaces and objects is not fully understood, employers should carefully evaluate whether or not work areas occupied by people suspected to have a virus may have been contaminated and whether or not they need to be decontaminated in response.
    Outside of healthcare and deathcare facilities, there is typically no need to perform special cleaning or decontamination of work environments when a person suspected of having the virus has been present unless those environments are visibly contaminated with blood or other body fluids. In limited cases where further cleaning and decontamination may be necessary, consult U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for cleaning and disinfecting environments, including those contaminated with coronaviruses.
    Disinfecting Your Facility if Someone is Sick
    If there is a worker under investigation of having COVID-19 or there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace, here is where disinfecting comes into play. Employers will need to clean and disinfect all a

    • 23 min
    097: Quick Vacation Episode about COVID-19 at Work and Social Distancing

    097: Quick Vacation Episode about COVID-19 at Work and Social Distancing

    COVID-19 Resources for Businesses and Employers from the CDC
    Let me know what you are doing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at work on LinkedIn - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
     

    • 7 min
    096: 10 Tips for Effective Safety Committees

    096: 10 Tips for Effective Safety Committees

    Interview with Drew Hinton, CSP, CHMM, SHRM-CP

    If you don't currently have a safety committee at your workplace, adding one can seem like a daunting task. Listen to this episode with Drew Hinton, CSP, CHMM, SHRM-CP to get ten tips that are sure to help you create and sustain a successful safety committee!
    If you don't currently have a safety committee at your workplace, adding one can seem like a daunting task. While there are no federal regulations that require a safety committee, your state may be one of the 15+ states that require one under certain situations. For example, Alabama state code requires that "any employer subject to worker's compensation rules must establish a safety committee upon the written require of any employee." Connecticut states that "all employers with 25 or more employees, and employers whose rate of injury or illness exceeds the average OSHA recordable injury and illness rates of all industries in the state, must establish safety committees." However, even if it's not required by any legislation, it can potentially save you money on your worker's compensation premiums, but most importantly, it gets your employees engaged in creating a safer, healthier work environment.
    Before you can tell everyone that you have a safety committee, below are ten key guidelines that will help ensure you are getting the most out of your safety-leading employees:
    How many people should be on your safety committee? As a general rule of thumb, you want between five and ten employees on your committee. Having more than that can produce undesired results, such as meetings lasting longer than expected, creating too much to focus on, and confirmation bias among members. On the contrary, if you don't have enough members, your committee may suffer from a lack of diversity, too much workload for such a small group, and a seemingly "close-minded" group. If you start out with a specific number during your first few meetings and then realize that you need more to add value and different backgrounds to your committee, you can always add more. It's better to add more than having to essentially kick someone off the committee just because you need to reduce numbers. Who should be on your safety committee? When selecting members to be on the committee, you need to do so very carefully and be intentional. Picking people because they are a close friend and/or valued co-worker may seem beneficial, but it can also lead to the confirmation bias issue mentioned previously. At a minimum, you want to have at least one member on your committee from each department/area. For example, you may have the following departments/areas represented on your committee: EHS, production, maintenance, field service, general shop, engineering, and management.

    Some companies will choose not to have upper management attend the meetings (e.g., General Manager, Vice President, etc.) due to people being afraid to speak up and say something with them in the room. However, if you have established psychological safety in the workplace (which is another issue in itself), this shouldn't be an issue. If you do feel that management may cause fear in others, maybe have them attend every other meeting, or simply follow-up with them separately after the meeting to review the meeting minutes with them one-on-one.

    By doing this, you can take the ideas of your fellow safety committee members to management and present them in an informal, yet documented session.

    How often should your safety committee meet? Most safety committees will meet at least once a month. However, this can vary depending on the size of your company. If your safety committee consists of multiple facilities, it may be best to meet quarterly, but stay in contact at least once a month. If you have a smaller group of members, you can schedule micro-sessions. Instead of meeting for one hour per

    • 28 min
    095: Confined Space Rescue Teams w/Drew Hinton

    095: Confined Space Rescue Teams w/Drew Hinton

    Confined Space Rescue Teams save lives! They are a critical component of permit-required confined space operations. In this interview with a fellow SafetyPro, Drew Hinton, CSP, CHMM, EMT we will explore what it takes to set up a successful rescue team and some things to look out for when doing so.
    If your organization has a team or is thinking about establishing a team - this is the episode for you!
    Drew has been in the safety profession full-time time since 2013 and has traveled across the country, teaching over 100+ confined space rescue courses as a safety consultant. He is currently President of Arrow Safety, an EHS consulting company based out of Glasgow, KY.
    In the past, Drew has been the Corporate Manager for Industrial Service Solutions, Global EHS&S Manager for Dallas Group of America, and spent ten years as career firefighter/EMT in the metro Louisville, Kentucky area. He was also a member of Jefferson County Special Operations Command (JSOC) - specifically, on the confined space rescue team.
    Listen as we talk about this critical topic. Let me know what you think on LinkedIn - be sure to @ mention Blaine J. Hoffmann or The SafetyPro Podcast LinkedIn page. You can also find the podcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
128 Ratings

128 Ratings

RachelEverAfter ,

Safety leadership at its best.

I have always had a passion for safety. Since my early days in US Marine Corps aviation when I was appointed the safety supervisor for my squadrons avionics department in the ‘80s to my experience in corporate aviation maintenance so many years later.

Blaine’s podcast strives to remind me of the best practices of safety as well as describes new and emerging methods. Give him a listen.

Real Estate Investor ,

Mindful and Informative Podcast!

Great information for all business owners! Blain provides great insight on the mindset of the employee in social and professional situation. Great listen.

iReportSource ,

Blaine knows SAFETY

I anxiously awit to hear this weekly podcast. Blaines make a complicated subject matter easy to understand and I really enjoy listening to him on in the car on my way home from a long day. Great podcast!!!!

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