CoatingsPro Magazine

JAN 2009

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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SAFETY WATCH Pre-Qualification and Safety: The First Hurdle to Landing a Job By Pete Engelbert I f you have ever requested a set of bid drawings from a Dodge Report or newspaper announcement, you have probably filled out a pre-bid safety questionnaire. Often financial information is also requested, but we will limit our discussion to safety topics. The pre-bid questionnaire will ask for your company's safety records and a description of your Environmental Safety and Health (ESH) program. Usually, owners and general contractors want to see three years worth of OSHA statistics. Occasionally, some will ask for four years worth of documentation. Key to the questionnaire is your OSHA recordability numbers rating. Briefly, any accidents are classified and scored by OSHA in the following catego- ries: First Aid, Medical Treatment (no work restrictions or time away from work), Restricted Duty, Lost Time, Illness and Fatality. There are numer- ous treatises on the subject; OSHA's Web page, www.osha.gov, is an excellent resource. There are, however, many ways to minimize the impact of accidents as far as statistics are concerned. Key to controlling your recordable numbers rating is to realize that you, the employer, are the only one under OSHA regulations who controls the classifi- cation of accidents. Not the insurance company, not the customer — only you, the employer. To illustrate this, let's take a typical accident. Say an industrial painter pulls his back shoveling grit. Most doctors would order him not to work for a period of time. This makes the injury a "Lost Time" classification. However, if the painter was taken to an occupational health clinic that is familiar with the painter's usual type of work and with his employer (you), the 18 CoatingsPro J January 2009 "The Incident Rate Formula: X is the number of a type of injury times 200,000 then divide by the man-hours worked in the time period, usually a year." doctor may instead put the painter on "Restricted Duty" — a different OSHA classification altogether. A good relationship with an occupa- tional health clinic and access to a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) to guide classification decisions will keep your OSHA reportablility numbers manageable. Aggressive case management of injuries is very important! The importance of a CSP cannot be overstated. A CSP familiar with coatings work is invaluable. Those companies who sought SSPC QP-1 and 2 Certification know that a CSP or certified industrial hygienist (CIH) must review their safety

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