The Difference Between Safe and Unsafe Business Practices

Thompson Innovation Safe Business Practices Security and PPE

Injury prevention is mission critical in the workplace. Safe practices reduce risk and ultimately lead to increased profits, employee efficiency, and overall better employee morale. A safe employee is a happy employee who goes home at the end of their work day.  To begin educating your team on workplace safety it is helpful to contrast unsafe and safe behaviors. Below is a list of some areas to consider carefully.

Unsafe Behaviors:

  1. Not wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when dealing with electrical hazards or around fire systems. This can lead to serious injury and violations of OSHA regulations.
  2. Not properly training your employees for when they have to deal with workplace hazards.
  3. Not having a routine inspection of maintenance equipment to make sure it is clean and running smoothly without any problems.
  4. Allowing work areas to become cluttered and unmaintained.
  5. Not keeping your facility secure with video surveillance, fire monitoring or access control.

Safe Behaviors:

  1. Stay up-to-date with the latest OSHA and NPFA 70E requirements. This allows you to know the safe procedures that come with certain jobs.
  2. Have your fire systems inspected to ensure their working conditions? These are important as they can detect heat, smoke, and carbon monoxide.
  3. Have your Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed in order to ensure that your electrical equipment is properly checked and inspected and so you know which PPE to wear.
  4. Designation a proper place for tools, equipment and schedule regular times to clean work areas and walk ways.
  5. Always report anything you see that could lead to a hazard or lead to an unsafe situation. Sometimes hazards can go unnoticed. Speak up!

Keep safety a priority! It is a best practice for many reasons. Be thorough with your inspections and training and quick to respond when a problem is identified. For additional help or information on ways you can improve safety contact the experts at Thompson Innovation. Our information is:

Phone: 866-258-8462

Email: help@thompsoninnovation.com

Website:  thompsoninnovation.com

 

Tips for Employee and Workplace Safety

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Every minute of the day approximately 5 people get injured on the job.  By the end of each day approximately 12 people will have died because of working in an unsafe environment.  Focusing on workplace safety is critical in protecting your employees and your company. There are many things that can be done to help lower workplace environment risk, encourage your employees to work safely and that make sure that everyone goes home alive at the end of each day.

One of the most effective ways to stay safe is implementing OSHA guidelines. OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  Years of data and experience have gone into the safety guidelines and requirements that OSHA oversees.  While this can create challenges for businesses, guidelines and requirements are designed to reduce the number of accidents that occur and prevent injury for others. Having a checklist to sort out your workplace safety hazards can be very beneficial to make sure all loose ends are tied up. Training employees on safety is key.  It impacts the environment they work in and the people they work with every day. Not having employees properly trained leaves your business at serious risk for accidents. Staying compliant may save a life!  That life may be yours.

Securing your facility is another form of protection. Life safety begins with having smoke, heat, and carbon dioxide detectors. Video surveillance and entry intercoms can also help protect you from any vandalism that could happen or keep unwanted visitors out. Access control can help to protect your critical assets while technology such as uninterrupted power supplies can ensure that your critical assets remain operational during unplanned outages. Keeping your employees and facilities safe and operational is mission critical for every business.

Thompson Innovation specializes in the overall life safety and security solutions your company can benefit from.  Contact us today for more information on ways we can help or visit our website!

Phone: 866.258.8462

Website:  https://thompsoninnovation.net/home.html

Exciting Announcement

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On May 22, 2018, Electric Innovations and its sister company Thompson Automation and Specialty Services were brought together as a stronger and even more dynamic technology integration company called Thompson Innovation.

Our strategic plan has always been focused on strengthening the technical capabilities and portfolio of solutions we can offer to our customers. This is another step in fulfilling our Corporate Mission: “To be the prime solution provider as recognized by our employees, customers and the communities we serve.”

Under the direction of General Managers, Tasha Barker and Jason Glover, Thompson Innovation will continue to passionately lead our solutions teams in:

  • Managed IT & Software
  • Life Safety & Security
  • Automation & Robotics
  • Electrical Safety & Preventative Maintenance

The addition of solutions previously provided by Thompson Automation and Specialty Services strengthens our ability to meet current and new customer’s needs as one company. For more information contact Thompson Innovation at 712-224-3800 or visit us at www.thompsoninnovation.net

Three Things You Can Do to Keep Your Facility Safe

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May is Electrical Safety Month. Lucky for you, Thompson specializes in Electrical Safety. During this time, we want to inform you on three things that you can do to stay safe.

First, in order to keep your facility safe, it is important to have routine Thermal Imaging inspections completed. You should have this done by certified Thermographers that know and have experience on what they are doing. Once the Thermographers have looked at your equipment, you should then take a look at the digital and thermal images so you can see where the weak areas of your systems are. It is important to get those looked at and fixed so you can avoid any problems that could occur. Optimizing your equipment will make them more productive and more efficient.

Second, staying up-to-date with NFPA 70E and OSHA standards is also an important part of Electrical Safety. Falling below the line of the requirements can make your facility at risk for an accident. Training your employees on the standards will be important for their own safety as well. Your company can’t be very productive if you don’t have any knowledgeable employees around. By staying compliant with the requirements and standards of OSHA, you will keep your facility safe which in the long run will keep your employee’s safe while on the job.

Third, is getting an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed. This form of Electrical safety is an important one as there can be many dangers that could occur from the result of an Arc Flash. Some of these include shrapnel wounds, high degree burns, blindness, and even death. You will need to have your equipment labeled in compliance with the OSHA and NFPA standards, this will make you aware of the protections that you need when servicing the pieces of equipment that are at risk. Having a risk assessment completed will inform you on what to do.

Don’t miss out on these opportunities to make your facilities better. Go to Thompson for all of your Electrical Safety needs. We have certified Thermographers, Trainers, and experts in Arc Flash to help you with any Electrical Safety needs. Contact us today. Our information is:

Phone: 844.321.3869

Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com

Are you wearing the proper PPE?

Are you wearing the proper personal protective equipment? Do you know about the many dangers that could occur if you are not prepared? We at Thompson know all about safety and are more than happy to share, teach, and train you on this information. If you read along, we will explain what you should be wearing to avoid any issues with electrical equipment.

There are plenty of hazardous events that can occur if you have the wrong or even no PPE on at all. Serious injury and even death can be the result of not being properly trained. Some of the injuries include: electric shock, severe burns, blindness, shrapnel wounds, lung blast injuries, ruptured eardrums, and pressure wave injuries. If you are wearing the proper PPE, then you will be able to avoid all of those problems.

You may not know which PPE to wear at the right time. The only way to know is to have your Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed. This is an essential assessment because it will tell you which pieces of equipment require level 1 PPE or level 4 PPE. Ask yourself, do you want to be caught in a situation where you need all the protection possible and you are only wearing level 1 equipment? The answer is probably no. Think about that the next time you are around electrical equipment, it could mean life or death for you.

We at Thompson provide Arc Flash Risk Assessments and are more than willing to come out and train you on what equipment needs certain levels of PPE. This knowledge will greatly increase the safety of your employees and that is something that we strive to achieve. Come to us for your PPE training and Arc Flash Risk Assessment needs.

For more questions or comments feel free to contact us. Our information is:
Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com
Phone: 844-321-3869
Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

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The Three Best Things to Do To Avoid OSHA Training Violations

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With OSHA’s clear message to all employers that more training needs to be completed in order to avoid violations, there are three main things that you can do in order to educate you and your employees of the importance of being compliant.

The first thing you can do is to start with education and a clear understanding of what OSHA is asking you to do. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you with that such as, the Training Requirements in OSHA Standards, and the NFPA 70E Handbook. These documents will be able to clearly explain what you need to do in order to get your employees properly trained. OSHA has now made it a requirement that the employer must train their employees. This means that in order to stay compliant and avoid violations you MUST have training complete.

The second thing is to check out the 270-page book that lists the overview and requirements of the OSHA standards. This is meant to assist employers, safety and health professionals, and training directors with what they need to know in order to keep their employees safe. Also check out the most cited violations for the past year. This will give you an idea on what to avoid and what to train your employees on.

The third thing to do would be to get started with your training schedule and keep track of what you are doing. One of the main questions that an OSHA investigator will ask is if your employees have received proper training. It’s better to have a program started rather than not at all. Keeping track of what you do shows that you are making the right steps forward.

Overlooking training isn’t something that we would recommend. It is better to get started now than to do nothing at all. Come to Thompson for your training needs, we are ready and willing to assist you in any way.

For more information regarding Thompson Training contact us at:

Phone: 844.321.3869

Email: help@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecalty.com

It’s time you had an Arc Flash study done

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Are you ready for the new OSHA electrical safety requirements? Do you feel prepared? Have you had your Arc Flash Risk Assessment complete? If the answer is no then it is time to get started. “What is an Arc Flash?” this is one of the most frequently asked questions. An Arc Flash occurs because of a release of energy caused by an electrical arc, resulting in an explosion. The flash can reach temperatures up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the main reasons to get an Arc Flash Risk Assessment is because the explosion that occurs is known to cause serious damage. With the extreme temperatures of the blast, burns account for around 80% of all the injuries. Any employee not wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are also at risk of electric shock, blindness, shrapnel wounds, and in some cases death. The damage to your facility can also lead to problems such as lengthy downtime, extensive repairs, and even loss of profit. Often times a simple adjustment to your electrical systems like the breaker settings or the installation of a breaker disconnect can really help to reduce accidents.

Another reason for having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed is simply because it is required by OSHA. In 2014 OSHA recognized an arc flash as a “hazard” and after that, the OSHA General Duty Clause began to cover arc flash explosions. All employers need to properly implement and document electrical safety programs that direct activity to the risks involved. All Companies must now comply and have an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed every 5 years. The leading standard and best practice in electrical safety is the NFPA 70E Handbook. Two main points from the handbook would be that the employer is required to conduct an assessment, and must hand out the proper PPE if a potentially dangerous situation arises.

Having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed by qualified and trained professionals is highly important. Are you ready? Contact the experienced Arc Flash specialists at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services today to perform an arc flash analysis for your facility, complex, office, or campus.

For more information contact:

Phone: 844-321-3869

Email: sales@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com

 

OSHA’s Most Cited Violation in 2017 was TRAINING

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Given the nearly 5,000 recorded OSHA violations in 2017 related to Training it’s time to look at your companies training programs and make sure you are covered and not in violation of an OSHA rule.  Not only are nearly one-fifth of all OSHA violations in 2017 related to training, the #9 reason for citations alone was improper training related to fall protection.  OSHA is sending a very clear message to all employers; train your employees!

If you are wondering what to do then, the first place to start is with education and an understanding of what OSHA is asking you to do.  OSHA requires explicitly that the employer must train employees in the safety and health aspects of their job.  One place to find this information is in the Training Requirements in OSHA Standards, a 270-page book that provides a general overview of training standards, requirements, and related topics.  The book is to assist employers, safety and health professionals, and training directors with what they need to know regarding OSHA’s training-related requirements. You could also just start by looking at the list of most cited violations.

Ask yourself: Do your employees handle or work around dangerous chemicals?  Are we properly locking out when we work on electrical gear?  Have we conducted the proper electrical safety training or taught our employees on the proper use of fall safety equipment?  If the answer is ‘Yes’ and you are not conducting training – you better start.

As a nationally recognized leader of electrical safety and electrical preventative maintenance testing, Thompson Automation and Specialty Services is also a leader in electrical safety, preventative maintenance and technical training.  Thompson Training offers more than 60 specific courses in the areas of electrical safety and electrical preventative maintenance.  This breadth of courses provides us the opportunity to design a unique curriculum for your staff’s specific needs.  Whether the course is Electrical Safety for Non-Electrical Personnel, OSHA 30, or training on the most recent NFPA 70E 2018 updates; our expert trainers will connect with your team to deliver an impactful training session that increases your teams’ knowledge. Start 2018 off with a customized safety training plan.

SAFETY

Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices – Provide training to high-risk workers and management on OSHA requirements and the prevention of serious injuries from electrical hazards on the worksite. (OSHA Sub part S – Electrical)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Electrical Safety – Selecting, using and care of PPE used for arc flash and shock protection.

OSHA 30 – 30 hours of Regulations training over a minimum of 4 days, Introduction to OSHA, OSHA inspections, OSHA’s focus Four, (Falls, Struck By, Caught in-between, Electrocution), Confines Spaces, Ladders and Stairs, Scaffolding, Cranes, PPE, Excavations, tools, etc. (Training can be tailored to focus specific business hazards)

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

Electrical Preventative Maintenance Training – Infrared testing, good housekeeping practices, early failure indicators.

Troubleshooting Fundamentals – What to look for when troubleshooting electrical hazards, questions to ask.

TECHNICAL

Electrical Fundamentals – How electricity works, electrical applications, differences between the power at your house and your business.

NFPA 70E – Latest NFPA changes and how they affect your employees, NFPA & OSHA relationship

NEC® National Electrical Code Training – The latest changes to the National Electrical code and what those changes mean to your business.

If you want additional information don’t hesitate to contact us. Our phone number is 712-224-3873 and our website is www.thompsonspecialty.com. Again, thank you for attending and we hope to hear from you soon!

Jason Glover
General Manager

What does the new NFPA 70E 2018 Standard mean to you?

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The NFPA 70E has been the go-to playbook for electrical safety practices since 1979 when it was first published. To keep it updated and current, every three years it is revised to include new regulations and requirements for electrical safety. The 11th edition, also known as the 2018 version, is right around the corner and there are hundreds of minor and major revisions specifically, regarding Arc Flash that you need to educate yourself on.

So, what does all this mean to you the employer? Why should you care?

Complying with consensus standards can be difficult. NFPA 70E offers electrical safe work practices for the industry. The NFPA 70E is a how-to-comply instruction manual for several of OSHA’s regulations including electrical hazard assessments and how to select the appropriate PPE for electrical hazards. It is however ever changing and keeping up with all the changes can be difficult.

OSHA enforces compliance to NFPA 70E using Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which is commonly referred to as the GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE, as the basis for implementation. As the employer, you “shall furnish to each of its employees’ employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.” As a result, companies can be cited by OSHA for non-compliance of NFPA 70E.

It is more important than ever that you utilize a third party that specializes in Arc Flash Risk Assessments and has the experience and knowledge of the OSHA and NFPA 70E requirements. Call Thompson Automation and Specialty Services today at 844.321.3869 to learn more and to find out how we can help you stay compliant with OSHA and the new NFPA 70E standards.

www.thompsonspecialty.com

 

Keep Your Electrical Gear Clean and Tight

Electrical failures often can be avoided and good preventative maintenance programs can help predict the imminent failure of equipment.  According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the failure rate of electrical equipment is three times higher when electrical preventive maintenance programs are not performed. This tells us that electrical failures can be avoided.

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But what should be included in a good electrical preventative maintenance program (EPM). There are so many things that could be done.  Equipment maintenance, cleaning, and thermal imaging are just a few of the things to be considered.  However, where does one put the priority?  Just consider the top causes of failure in electrical system: loose connections, improperly installed parts, defective/inadequate insulation, foreign objects causing short-circuiting, overloading inadequate capacity, and the accumulation of dust, dirt and oil.  All things that can be prevented with routine and systemic electrical inspections.

Common in all these causes of electrical equipment failure is gear not being clean and well maintained.  Here are things to keep in mind when developing an EPM.

  1. Keep your gear clean. The buildup of dirt and metal debris in an electrical enclosure can cause arcing and arc flash explosions. A second issue brought about by the buildup of dirt and debris is an increase in heat and the temperature of the electrical equipment.  Restricted airflow and an increase in the temperature of gear decreases the quality and usable life of the equipment.  Finally, a dirty environment also creates a hospitable home for rodents and vermin. Dust is not your only enemy in dirty environments and lurking to cause problems.
  2. Keep your gear tight. Loose connections are a major cause of electrical failures. Greater than 75% of the problems uncovered during routine thermal imaging inspections are loose connections. Thermography (infrared scanning) is a common way to identify areas that need repair but must be done while the gear is energized. While the gear is off and being cleaned why not take an extra minute to check and tighten those loose connections.

If you have more questions or are looking for ideas and more information on best practice electrical preventative maintenance programs give the experts at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services a call today.  Given their 85+ years of experience as an electrical contractor, Thompson specializes in the development of custom electrical preventative maintenance programs for customers across the country.  Thompson understands the importance of keeping facilities safe, efficient and operating at peak performance and can custom tailor a program for you.

www.thompsonspecialty.com