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Your source for L&I news.

Outdoor Heat Exposure

In Washington State the Outdoor Heat Exposure Rule
goes into effect May 1st until September 30th.

So why talk now about Outdoor Heat Exposure now? 
To be prepared to be in compliance when the weather gets warm.

By May 1st employers need to train their workers and supervisors of the hazards when the outdoor temperatures get above the action limits, even if those action limits are only for 1 day.

 

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Safety Spotlight Samson

This week’s Safety All Star has been known for strength and reliability for more than 140 years. In fact, the original Samson trademark is the oldest corporate trademark still in use in the U.S. today! Now based just north of Bellingham in Ferndale, Samson supplies professionals around the world and even beyond – they’ve been a supplier to NASA since 1962. 

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Compliance Officers and “The Big Four”

When a compliance officer shows up on the job to do a site inspection for safety violations they will look at the “Big Four”.

 

1. Falls
2. Struck By
3. Caught Between
4. Electrical

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ToolBox Talks: Hammer & Chisel Usage

One of the most common causes of hand injuries is from the improper use of hammers and chisels. Both are responsible for a high number of injuries as a result of flying nails, metal or concrete chips.

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Celebrating Heart Heroes with American Heart Association and Potelco

Approach Management Services congratulates Potelco Inc. in Sumner, WA for being honored by the American Heart Association with the 2018 Golden Heart Award. 

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The New Person

It does not matter how long you have been on the job or worked for the company, at one time or another everybody has been the “new person”.

The construction industry is a dangerous industry.
Most accidents occur among the least experienced workers, especially new hires.

 

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Safety Spotlight - Braun NW

If there is one thing all Approach clients share, it’s their concern for safety – so we decided what better way to learn, than from each other! Over the next few weeks we will be posting a series of interviews with various Approach Safety All Stars on their workplace safety commitment.  

This week we introduce Dean Criss from BraunNW!

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Hazardous Chemicals and Safety Data Sheets

Please don’t work with chemicals until you have read the SDS and understand what you need to do to keep yourself safe.  Learn more here...

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4 Ways to Protect Against Workers’ Comp Fraudsters

The vast majority of workplace accidents are just that – an unfortunate event that happened to a good employee working for a responsible company. Usually, the injured worker and the company are both looking forward to full recovery and a quick return to the regular job. 

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Conducting Reference Checks

Best Tips for Getting Meaningful Information

 

We are often asked “what is the best way to get the most meaningful information from a candidate’s references?” Although there is no sure way to get a reference to share the good, the bad, and the ugly about a potential candidate, we thought we would share our best tips for asking questions that get the best response.

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Safety is Everyone's Responsibility

Just as company management needs to follow and enforce safety, you as the worker are required to follow the safety requirements of your company and the state – this is the law of Washington.

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Top 5 Reasons L&I Showed Up At Your Workplace

Oh no! You’re working in Washington state and L&I just showed up to open a DOSH safety inspection. If you’ve ever been pulled over or sent to the principal’s office, it feels about the same way and you’ll have some of the same thoughts, like “I wasn’t doing anything wrong!,” “Why are they picking on me,” and “How much will this cost?”

 

Watch our video to see what happens when L&I opens a job site safety inspection and the steps you need take.

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ABC's of DOSH Inspection

Inspectors are looking for violations and establishing HECK. Is there a Hazard and are employees Exposed to the hazard, is there a Code that addresses the hazard, and does the person in charge Know that a hazard exists.

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What To Do After A Serious Injury

It’s a call no business owner or manager want to receive: “there’s been an accident and the injuries are very serious.”

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ToolBox Talks: L&I Citations

What is an (LNI-DOSH) citation?
How much does a LNI-DOSH citation cost?

Who pays for the citation?

What are the top citations LNI-DOSH are citing employers for?

How can we avoid an LNI citation?

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3 Easy Injury Prevention Tips for Your Workplace

Think safe! Stay safe! Work safe!

 

These messages are all around us, but how do we put them into action? If you’re looking for ideas to improve workplace safety, start with these top tips for injury prevention...

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ToolBox Talks: Why Stretch and Flex?

Soft tissue damage to a worker’s body generates the highest frequency for worker compensation claims.

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All the Paperwork: APPs and JHAs

The top citation that Labor and Industries gives employers during a safety and health inspection has to do with the Accident Prevention Programs (APP).

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ToolBox Talk: Whose Responsibility Is It?

An accident can be the result of someone else’s mistakes, but who causes the accident is not as important as who is responsible, and what steps will be taken to correct future similar accidents from happening.

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Lesson 3, Ladder Safety

Of the 14 fatalities in 2017, three were due to improper ladder usage. These deaths are preventable. 

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How the workers’ comp claim process works

When an accident happens, the first steps you take can be the most important. 

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ToolBox Talks: Lesson Two, Fall Protection

Nationally, nearly 300 workers die from falling every year.

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Are you ready for your retro freeze date?

We all hope things will warm up by the end of March, but for many of you in retro, March actually means your retro freeze date is approaching quickly! 

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ToolBox Talks: Lesson One, The Bite

Our next several safety topics will cover specific topics that corollate the “A look back at 2017: 14 fatal Lessons to Learn From” safety meeting discussion we had earlier.


Five of the 2017 fatalities in construction involved working with and around heavy equipment.

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Approach Services

Happy New Year!

 

Our resolution is to post each week with the information Washington employers like you need to stay safe and save money.

 

This week we’re highlighting the main services we offer to our over 2,200 clients throughout Washington state.

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Paid Sick Leave Notification Requirements

Employers must provide a one-time notification to each employee of their paid sick leave rights.

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Free L&I Paid Sick Leave Webinars

The Department of Labor & industries is hosting free webinars in January to explain the Paid Sick Leave Law. Spaces are filling quickly so register today!

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A look back at 2017, 14 fatal lessons to learn from

Reflecting back is a sobering way to help us refocus our safety efforts and priorities.  

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So what’s the big deal with carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas which interferes with the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. CO is non-irritating and can overcome persons without warning. Many people die from CO poisoning, usually while using gasoline powered tools and generators in buildings or semi-enclosed spaces without adequate ventilation.

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Video: Ladder Safety

Falls continue to be the leading cause of death in construction every year, and falls from ladders make up nearly 1/3 of those deaths nationally. These deaths are preventable by following safe work practices.

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Understanding your proposed 2018 EMR

Annually, L&I reviews your company’s claim history and hours reported to recalculate your experience modification rate (EMR) using the experience rating plan.

In this video we discuss: 

1. How L&I calculated your proposed EMR and premium rate

2. How to read the “Proposed Experience Rating Calculation” sheet provided by L&I

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Hidden Dangers

Below are true stories of real life hidden dangers we are potentially exposed to every day. How can we protect ourselves from hidden dangers? 

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The Weather

Those who may have worked in the southern part of the USA, know that a job site will shut down when rain is in the forecast. But in the Northwest, this would never happen as most construction projects are exposed to inclement weather for a good portion of the year. Unfortunately, this is one dynamic the construction business has no control over, however, we can control how the weather affects the safety of a project and you.

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It’s that time of year again; flu season.

As professionals, our employers, clients, and families count on us to be healthy and at work. How do we prepare ourselves for this flu season? Here are several suggestions...

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Tips: Working in and around Aerial Lifts

On September 27, 2008, a roofing contractor died when he fell from a boom-supported elevating work platform. The 53-year-old victim was working to secure a roof truss while building a private airplane hanger. He used the end of the boom just under the front of the platform to push against a truss girder so that he could line up the girder and bolt it. The shaft on the hydraulic boom snapped, causing the platform to flip backwards. He was ejected from the platform, fell, and hit a backhoe below before landing on the ground about 30 feet below. He was not wearing any fall protection.

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How much does a LNI-DOSH citation cost?

Your top questions answered:

 

    •  What is an (LNI-DOSH) citation?

    •  How much does a LNI-DOSH citation cost?

    •  What are the top citations LNI-DOSH are citing employers for?

    •  How can we avoid an LNI citation?

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Vehicle Operations

The most dangerous place for a worker is in a motor vehicle, and is the #1 cause of serious injuries and fatalities.

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How to view the total solar eclipse safely

In a 70-mile wide band from central Oregon through South Carolina, a total eclipse of the sun will be visible across the entire continental United States for the first time in almost 40 years. Here's how you can safely enjoy this sight of the century!

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L&I is looking into Acupuncture

Acupuncture Pilot Project FAQ

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Proposed 2017 Amendments to Logging Chapter 296-54

Proposed Amendments to Chapter 296-54 WAC Safety Standards - Logging Operations

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Preferred Worker Program - New and Improved!

The Preferred Worker Program has been recently transformed from a rarely used benefit to an incredibly valuable program employers should take advantage of. Unlike the prior program, employers can now bring back their own injured workers.

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Company fined more than $100,000 for unsafe forklifts

Forklifts are among the most hazardous vehicles in the workplace, with a great risk of injury and death if they’re not maintained and operated safely. Employers who knowingly and repeatedly expose workers to unsafe forklifts may face stiff penalties.

That’s what happened with a company. The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has cited, a total of $117,740 for willful and repeated serious workplace safety violations at its plant. Many of the violations were related to forklift safety.

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L&I proposes small increase in workers’ comp rates for 2017

The rate paid for workers’ compensation coverage in Washington would rise by an average of 0.7 percent next year under a proposal released today by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

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Lifesaving heroes to be honored at Governor’s Safety and Health Conference

Whether saving workers from electrical fires, rescuing a family from a sinking boat in Lake Chelan or administering the Heimlich maneuver, Washington workers show again and again that they’re ready to step up and provide critical aid to people in desperate need.

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Spreading the word about increased DOSH fines

We’ve been spreading the word to our clients about increased DOSH fines that went into effect on September 1. The bottom line is that citations for willful or repeat safety violations can easily cause employers to face fines of $70,000 or more.
 
L&I has just announced a fine for a WA business that illustrates the severity of these fines and the impacts they can have on employers when repeat violations are found.
 
Schedule your visit with the Approach Safety Team today so we can review your Accident Prevention Plan and take steps to identify and correct potential hazards.

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Changes to Stay at Work Coming

Two refinements to the Stay at Work reimbursement process are coming in mid-October 2015.


1. Online Filing


Employers using the Stay at Work Program will be able to apply for wage and other reimbursement online starting mid-October. Applying for reimbursements online will help get your application to staff sooner, reducing delays and helping speed the review process.

If you need help with the new tool the first time, Web Customer Support will be available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 360-902-5999.

Paper application forms will still be available on the Stay at Work website.

2. Two Envelopes

Also beginning mid-October, your reimbursement check and letter of explanation will arrive in two separate envelopes. As part of a state-wide effort to consolidate systems and improve efficiency, payment checks will now be mailed from the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services, while letters and orders will still be sent by L&I.

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New Employer Recordkeeping Requirements

Effective July 1, 2015, employers must report to L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety & Health any workplace incident resulting in the following:

•Death or in-patient hospitalization of any employee. Must be reported within 8 hours of the incident.


•Amputation or loss of any eye of any employee. Must be reported within 24 hours of the incident.


◦If the amputation or loss of an eye results in an in-patient hospitalization, then follow the 8 hour reporting requirement above.


•Employers or their agent can contact DOSH’s toll-free number at 1-800-423-7233 or visit their local L&I office to report.


This applies to all employers no matter what industry they work in.  Visit web page for further details and requirements.


Effective July 1, 2015, there are some additional industries/businesses who must now record workplace injuries and illnesses on an OSHA 300 log.

Employers are exempt from the OSHA recordkeeping requirements only if:

•They have 10 or less employees at all times during the calendar year, unless they are informed in writing from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), OSHA or DOSH that they need to comply.


◦Employee count includes all employees at all of their business locations combined.


•Their business establishment, by four-digit NAICS, is included on the industry exemption list in Table 1 under WAC 296-27-00105.


Visit recordkeeping and reporting web page for further details, requirements, and resources.  The web page will also provide businesses with information on how to determine their NAICS code.

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"I Survived"

Fall protection saves construction worker from 30-foot plunge!

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Free Toolbox Talks APP

Now Available FREE in all App Stores:
TOOLBOX TALKS!

Download this free app to access new and improved Toolbox Safety Talks!!

• Improved design
• Search via smartphone, tablet or computer
• Signatures gathered online
• Images and construction sequencing photos
• Improved talks in database

The App has the ability to document the date and Presenter of the talk, who attended and electronically Capture signatures of attendees.

Check it out in the APP STORE

The English and Spanish versions of the Safety talks can also be found on the website of the Construction Center of Excellence at:

http://www.constructioncoejobs.com/construction-safety/

 

 

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Updates to the L&I Report of Accident

In February 2015, L&I distributed a new Report of Accident (ROA) form to providers.

The ROA now includes a cover sheet in the 16 most frequently requested languages which tells an injured worker how and why to complete the ROA. It also advises them of their right to free interpretation services.

Interpreter services information has been added as a result of the US Department of Justice and Department of Labor investigation of the agency.  The law requires that workers are informed of their right to access an interpreter, which must be communicated to them in their language of preference.  The new ROA complies with these requirements.

They added additional information to the ROA instructions for health care providers, so that they can help injured workers access translation services when requested.  Detailed instructions to help providers and workers complete the ROA will soon be available in all 16 languages on the L&I website.

Clear access to translation services helps eliminate delays caused by communication barriers.  The sooner L&I receives a complete ROA, the sooner they can process the claim.

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WFDC awarded START Status Certificate

Approach client, Work Force Development Center (WFDC) in Mukilteo has received a safety and health award from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) for its exemplary safety and health prevention efforts in its aerospace assembly training program.

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OSHA 300 Log Requirements

On February 1 of each year, employers who are required to keep OSHA 300 Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Logs must compile the information on the OSHA Form 300A or an equivalent and post it in a conspicuous place or places where notices to employees are customarily posted. This form must be posted from February 1 through April 30 of each year.

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Important Incident Reporting Updates

Important Fatality/Hospitalization/Amputation/Loss of Eye Reporting Information for Employers.

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Retail Holiday Safety

Is your workplace ready for holidays and the hazards that go along with big storewide sales events? Do you hang holiday decorations at your workplace this time of year?

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Important Information about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Common types of PPE include safety goggles, gloves, respirators, fall protection systems (full-body harnesses, lanyard, etc.), and hard hats. For more examples, see Table X in WAC 296-800-16020.
 
Employers are required to provide most PPE at no cost to their employees when such protection is needed to keep them safe from chemicals, falls, and other hazards. Replacement costs of lost or intentionally-damaged PPE may become the responsibility of the employee. General requirements for PPE can be found in WAC 296-800-160. Specific requirements and resources for various industries, activities, and hazards can be found on L&I’s PPE Topic page.

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Changes to L&I Stay at Work application process coming Sep. 15th

Helping your workers keep a workplace connection after an injury is a proven best practice that not only supports a workers’ recovery but helps your business control worker’s comp costs. 

L&I will be changing the application process to make it easier for you. This change also helps comply with the order of events for return-to-work practices as outlined in RCW 51.32.090.

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Sequoyah Electric - 100 Best Companies to work for

Our client, Sequoyah Electric has been recognized by Seattle Business magazine as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2014, in the large business category.

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Hazard Identification Training Tool

OSHA's Hazard Identification Training Tool is an interactive, online, game-based training tool for small business owners, workers and others interested in learning the core concepts of hazard identification. After using this tool, users will better understand the process to identify hazards in their own workplace.

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EL CHARPP app now available

The EL CHARPP app is now available for free download at apple app store. The Construction Safety Trilingual Communication App is a construction safety phrase application that provides text and voice translations in Spanish and Russian. This easy-to-navigate, tri-lingual application for the English speaking user is designed to halt unsafe work practices and communicate safe work practices.

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New Return to Work Tool

Through funding and support provided by the State of Washington, Department of Labor and Industries, Safety and Health Investments Project, the SMART Association and the MBA are pleased to announce an automated Return to Work tool for your use. 

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Stay At Work Program

The Washington Legislature approved the program in June 2011 that pays employers to help injured workers stay on the job.

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Potelco Inc – 2013 Lifesaving Award

Our current client, Potelco Inc is being honored at the 62nd Governor’s Safety and Health Conference. The conference honors men and women who took heroic action to provide critical aid when it was needed the most.

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Protest to the Retro Adjustment

What is a protest to the retro adjustment and how does it benefit your company?

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SMART & Master Builders win grant

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has awarded the SMART Association and the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties an $85,000 grant to partner in creating a program to get injured construction workers back on the job sooner.

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L&I urges workplace safety for teens

Teens are gearing up to search for summer jobs and the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is urging employers, parents and others to support safety during "Safe Jobs for Youth Month" in May.

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Free posters that cost $295?

Scores of businesses are contacting the Department of Labor & Industries to report they have received an official-looking letter that implies they must buy required workplace posters or face fines.

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Video: Scaffolding

Scaffolds are found in many industries, not just construction. Many scaffold accidents result from improper construction and usage. Height is not the only factor, short falls are also dangerous.

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Video: Electrical Hazards

Electricity is an energy source we use constantly, but often take for granted, ignoring its potential hazards.

It does not take a lot of electricity to kill you. The amount of current in an ordinary 60-watt light bulb can kill a person.

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Video: Fall Protection Basics

Falls from elevation are one of the top reasons workers are seriously injured or killed annually. Look out for yourself, co-worker, and others. If it looks wrong, it probably is.

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Video: Excavation & Trenching Video

Excavation and trenching cave-ins result in more than 100 fatalities annually in the United States. Too often an improperly protected trench or excavated wall will collapse, trapping workers These accidents can be eliminated if we follow proper excavation and trenching procedures.

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Video: Working Around Heavy Equipment

The goal today is to identify work zone vehicle traffic hazards. We want to give you practical recommendations you can use to control injury exposure.

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Safety Services

How do you balance safety meetings, safety postings, safe work practices, and L&I compliance with the need to get the job done? Lean on us - we're here to help!

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Top Five Hiring Tips You Need to Know

Ramping up hiring efforts to meet demand? Follow these top five hiring tips to help protect your company from workers’ compensation claims.  

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Construction Job Site Review

Construction sites are dynamic and ever-changing. When the project speeds up, you can find workers from different trades working within close proximity of each other or commonly known as stacking.

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