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Roco Rescue Receives OSHA VPP Star Worksite Reapproval

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

vpp-1We are proud to announce that once again Roco has been reapproved as an OSHA VPP Star Worksite organization. VPP Star is the highest level of recognition awarded by OSHA. VPP participants serve as models for other employers, workers, and unions by operating excellent safety and health management programs. Roco has been a VPP Star worksite since 2013 and is excited to continue this tradition of raising the bar on its journey of maintaining an excellent safety and health program.

To earn this distinction, we implemented a comprehensive safety program and underwent a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of OSHA safety and health experts. The “Star” designation is reserved for companies that “demonstrate exemplary achievement in the prevention and control of occupational safety and health hazards, as well as the development, implementation and continuous improvement of safety and health management systems.”

2023 app flag photoTo our knowledge, we are the only rescue training, services and equipment company to achieve the VPP Star designation. The process of earning and renewing our VPP Star is an important way for us to get external feedback and confirm that we are “walking the walk” as an organization.

Roco’s Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) were 100% below the national average for our industry. Having maintained our status as a VPP Star Worksite for another year has once again validated that we are living up to the highest standards of OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program. This achievement would not be possible without a dedicated commitment to safety by all Roco employees.

 

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Confined Space Rescue Is Just Ropes, Right? I’m a-Frayed Knot.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

EMR4So, you’ve got your rescue team up to date on all the nifty tricks in confined space rescue. Litters, knots, anchoring, mechanical advantage systems, the whole kit, and kaboodle. Now, you’ll need some first aid and CPR training to meet OSHA’s standards. Some folks say a simple layperson first aid course will do it. Others argue that teams need a week-long EMS professional course to prepare. Going further, some folks say that investing in drills and skills retention is the most critical issue. To cut through some confusion, let’s look at some of the things employers might factor in when choosing medical training for Emergency Response and Rescue Teams.

What’s the Standard?

OSHA 1910.146(k) requires that employers “Train affected employees in basic first-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR),” and “ensure that at least one member of the rescue team or service holding a current certification in first aid and CPR is available.” That’s a lot, so let’s take a second to dissect this by defining some terms. According to OSHA, “First aid refers to medical attention that is usually administered immediately after the injury occurs and at the location where it occurred. It often consists of a one-time, short-term treatment and requires little technology or training to administer.” Alright, that’s pretty straightforward.

AdobeStock_EMR_3Now, let’s take a look at CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Simply put, rescuers will perform chest compressions to pump blood around the body and typically breathe for the patient. But wait, don’t I need to shock the patient? What about the AED (Automated External Defibrillator)? Am I required to have an AED in my first aid supplies? A 2004 letter of interpretation says no, AEDs are not specifically required in the rescue team first aid kit. However, AED’s are much easier to use today and an abundance of research says you probably should include one in your kit.

Here's why you may want to consider an AED. According to the American Heart Association, every minute after cardiac arrest without defibrillation, the patient’s chances of survival decrease by 7%-10%, and after 12 minutes, survival rates are as low as 2%-5%. In their 2020 guidelines, the AHA adds, “Defibrillation is most successful when administered as soon as possible after onset of VF/VT (lethal cardiac arrhythmias) and a reasonable immediate treatment when the interval from onset to shock is very brief. Conversely, when VF/VT is more protracted, depletion of the heart’s energy reserves can compromise the efficacy of defibrillation unless replenished by a prescribed period of CPR before the rhythm analysis.” If you have an AED handy, the rescue team is more likely to successfully resuscitate the patient rather than waiting for EMS or for someone to retrieve it from across the site.

Now that we’ve translated the standard let’s differentiate two of the most common training course types for rescue teams: Layperson First Aid and EMS/EMR Professional.

Professional Courses vs Layperson Courses

AdobeStock_EMR_4

Although the topics and skills taught in basic first aid courses and EMS professional courses are similar, each route has unique advantages and disadvantages. For instance, and obvious to most folks doing the shopping, the price and time commitments vary. Typically, a simple layperson first aid course takes one day with around 4 to 10 hours of total time with the instructor. The American Heart Association, National Safety Council, American Red Cross, and other nationally recognized organizations offer First Aid CPR and AED credentials. So, although you’re only committing a single day you can trust, in most cases, that the information is solid to give your personnel a knowledge of the basics.

However, if you want your emergency response personnel to be able to take greater lifesaving measures, we highly recommend an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) course. This is especially true if you are located in an industrial site with numerous hazards and possibly isolated from immediate medical care.

In an EMR course students will get around 50 hours of instruction, practice, and evaluation. According to the National Registry, “EMRs have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide immediate lifesaving interventions while awaiting additional EMS resources to arrive. EMRs also provide assistance to higher-level personnel at the scene of emergencies,” EMR is one of the most common medical certifications amongst both volunteer and professional responders. They are typically regulated by a state EMS education agency and taught by private businesses with licensed instructors.

From my personal experience as a Paramedic, I can say that receiving a patient from a layperson with first aid and a trained EMR can make a big difference. Oftentimes, this increases the viability of the patient – especially when access to professional medical care is not immediately available. The assessment taught to Emergency Medical Responders is almost identical to the scene assessment and patient surveys an EMT or Paramedic performs when responding to an emergency. As a component of your emergency response, medical care for the patient must be assessed and considered a vital part of any successful rescue operation.

Drills and Skills Retention

AdobeStock_EMR_1If you don’t use it, you lose it. Regardless of the course, the most critical component of any program is drilling and skills retention. In a 2020 study, a group of medical students went through a 40-hour BLS course. Immediately after training, 78% of the students were evaluated and categorized as “excellent.” However, 6 short months after the training, that number dropped to 40%.

What does this mean for your team? Should they retrain every 6 months? Maybe we could simplify their training to aid in retention.  Research conducted by the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) in 2019 showed an increase in 3-month skill retention after simplifying their guidelines. The simplest answer I can provide is to do what’s best for your unique situation.

Take a look at the hazards on your site, take note of the possible conditions and injuries, and perform a full-speed drill as often as you feel your team needs to stay proficient. If the one-year minimum for your confined space program shows a severe lack in team performance, try 6 months. If twice a year still reveals major gaps, move to 3 or even 4 exercises a year. The fact is, if you find the issues after someone is hurt or killed, the money, time, and resources you save will be nothing compared to the lives that are changed by the tragedy.

The best day to perform a rescue is the day after class. The rust builds up a bit every day that goes by. So, be proactive, aggressively shop the right course for you, and plan on investing heavily in site hazard-specific drills and rescue exercises that involve first aid and CPR. The families that work for you are betting their lives on it.

Conclusion

There are a lot of medical courses out there to choose from. What level of medical care do you want your team to have? One of a layperson to cover the basics or an EMS professional that sees the bigger picture of patient outcome and the continuum of care. Either way, if you don’t take your training seriously and prepare drills for your specific needs, the chances of catastrophe increase by the day. So, invest in your workforce's safety and peace of mind, give them the tools and perspective they need to be successful, and train hard.

References

1.https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2004-06-17-0

2.https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA3317first-aid.pdf

3.https://www.osha.gov/medical-first-aid/standards

4.https://www.osha.gov/medical-first-aid/recognition

5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2600120/#ref19

6.https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/circ.102.suppl_1.I-22

7.https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/circ.140.suppl_2.139



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How to Make an Impact as Safety Professionals

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Safety professionals want to make sure all workers get home safely, but what are the best ways to do that?

Safety Professionals2022Ask any safety professional what drives or motivates them to get out of bed in the morning and you’ll probably get 1,000 different answers. Some people may be motivated by their experience working in the industry, some may be motivated by combat experience, some may be motivated by their desire to help people and some may be motivated by money; the point is, we’re all motivated by something. While it’s great to know what motivates you, it’s even more important to ask yourself, “what impact do I want to make today?” 

Click here to read the full article by our own Chris McGlynn that was originally posted on OH&S’s website recently: https://ohsonline.com/articles/2022/12/05/how-to-make-an-impact.aspx?admgarea=news

 

ChrisMcGlynn headshot McGlynn is the Director of Safety/VPP Coordinator for Roco Rescue. He is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals as well as a Certified Confined Space and Rope Rescue Technician, and a Nationally Registered Paramedic. As Director of Safety, Chris oversees all corporate safety initiatives, ensuring that employees at Roco have the tools and training that they need to do their work safely and effectively. He is also responsible for managing Roco's Safety Services Division, which provides trained safety professionals for turnarounds and other special projects. Finally, Chris serves as the VPP Coordinator for Roco, continuing Roco’s long-standing commitment to excellence in safety and health. Roco has been an OSHA VPP Star Worksite since 2013.

Follow Chris LinkedinIcon

 

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WARNING! – Pulley Recall

Thursday, December 22, 2022

ProSwivel_Pulley_Lineup-1024x358omni-sizes-graphicInspect all CMC ProSwivel or Rock Exotica Omni-Block swivel pulleys immediately.

CMC and Rock Exotica, who makes CMC's ProSwivel pulleys, have both issued recall notices on their 1.1" swivel pulleys and SwivaBiner pulleys. The concern is surrounding the set screws that hold the button in. The button secures the side plate, so if the button comes out, the side plate could open and let the rope fall out - which could mean severe injury or death.

The recall only applies to the 1.1" versions manufactured from February 2020 through October 2022, however both manufacturers are recommending that all of these swivel pulleys be inspected.

 

If you have a pulley subject to the recall, return it to the manufacturer at no charge for inspection/repair. If you purchased your pulleys from Roco, we will be happy to assist you with the recall and inspection.

If you have 1.1" pulleys made outside of the recall window, or have other sizes of any date, you may inspect them yourself or return them for professional inspection.

  1. 2018 to present
    1. There should be a dab of epoxy sealant that fills the set screw hole. It may be brownish/yellowish or a white/grey color.
    2. If the epoxy is missing, return the pulley for repair.
    3. If the sealant is protruding above the surface, determine the color. If it is white/grey, that's okay. If it is brownish/yellowish, return the pulley for repair.
  2. 2016 and 2017
    1. There should be a dab of epoxy sealant like the current models have, but it will only be white/grey. It's okay if it is above the surface of the hole, but if it's missing, return the pulley for repair.
  3. Prior to 2016
    1. No visible sealant was used on these models, so don't worry when you see the bare set screw. Just make sure the set screw is even with or below the surface.
    2. If you are not comfortable doing this inspection yourself, you can send your pulleys to the manufacturer or to Roco for inspection.
    3. You may want to add your own epoxy to these models to make your daily gear inspections easier. (see details in the inspection notices linked below)

Instructions for identifying your pulleys and locating the serial numbers are included in the manufacturer recall and safety notices. Be sure that you are using the proper notice for your pulley, as the CMC and Rock Exotica serial number locations are slightly different.

Manufacturers' Detailed Information

Note that CMC's and Roco's offices will be closed 12/23/22 through 1/2/23 and reopen Tuesday, January 3rd. However, if you have an urgent need during the holidays, you may reach CMC at info@cmcpro.com and Roco at 800-647-7626 (follow the prompts for emergency after-hours service).

Always remember to inspect your gear before each use. Stay safe, and Merry Christmas!

Confined Space Incident Log

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Companies with active safety and health programs that train workers to identify hazardous conditions and use required protective measures can prevent serious and fatal injuries.

Father and Two Sons Killed in Grain Silo

Centre County siloIn Centre County, PA, three family members died in a grain silo incident. A father, age 47, and his sons ages 14 and 19 all died after becoming trapped inside a silo. The family members reportedly died from asphyxiation due to gasses in the silo. Neighbors said it was a ripple effect with one going in to help the next when they all eventually succumbed to the hazardous atmosphere inside the space.

 

Tankers Can Be Death Traps

A 48-year-old worker entered a tanker-tailer in Lemont, IL, to inspect it as part of an annual U.S. Department of Transportation requirement and was overcome by exposure to bleach and chlorine gas. The worker was found unconscious in the tanker-trailer; however, he later died of his injuries.

An OSHA investigation determined that the worker’s employer had failed to:

  1. identify and evaluate atmospheric hazards in the confined space,
  2. train workers on the confined space program, and
  3. ensure employees filled out a confined space permit before entry into a confined space.

OSHA also found that the employer failed to equip the worker rescuing the unconscious employee with a retrieval system, implement its own procedures for summoning rescue and emergency services and numerous other violations of its permit-required confined space regulations.

The company was also cited for failing to provide fall protection to an employee working on top of tanker trailers and providing training on fall hazards, respirators, and hazard communication.

The Chicago regional office established a Regional Emphasis Program in 2021 due to the dangers involved in inspecting tanker-trailers. The program is designed to reduce the risks tank cleaning workers face.

“In recent years, OSHA has investigated instances in which workers suffered tragic injuries because employers failed to follow appropriate procedures for ensuring healthy atmospheric conditions inside a confined space and use of adequate respiratory protection before allowing workers to enter tanks,” explained the OSHA Area Director.


Roco Rescue CS Attendant Requirements

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