Construction Safety Week – Planning Your Safety Week

Every year, many construction companies host Safety Week events as a way to refocus and re-energize our commitment to eliminating injuries on job sites.

Help bring Safety Week to life in your company! Download the Safety Week Planning Playbook and get started planning your Safety Week activities. The Safety Week Planning Playbook includes tips, best practices, and downloads to help you:

Kick-off safety week with leadership communication

  • Messages for leadership to address
  • Distribution ideas for getting communication to employees

Plan events on your job sites

  • Kick-off/mass safety meetings
  • Kick-off/mass safety meetings with client and local stakeholder representation
  • Toolbox talks
  • Project tours with company leadership
  • Safety demonstrations
  • Appreciation barbecues and lunches
  • Sample week-long agenda

Hold job site safety reviews

  • Review corporate policies: disciplinary policy, fire safety requirements, etc.
  • Review training requirements
  • Hold emergency response drills
  • Invite emergency response teams (fire department, police, EMT, local response teams, etc.) to come on-site to assess emergency response protocols specific to that job site.
  • Review safety documents: emergency action plans, environmental aspects, job site safety analyses, required inspections
  • Perform a safety rollback
  • Include site housekeeping, cord/tool inspections, rigging inspections and proper storage, assured grounding inspections, PPE inspections, fire safety inspections.

Plan events in your offices

  • Warm-up to safety / stretch & flex
  • Management talks
  • Site-specific safety training
  • Project or first responder visits
  • Sample week-long agenda

Use Safety Week branded materials to support your events and communication

  • PowerPoint templates
  • Job site banners
  • Pop-up banners
  • Safety Week logo files
  • Safe by Choice logo files
  • Email signatures
  • Letterhead
  • Coloring Page

Spread the word about safety week

  • Social media toolkit
  • Media relations toolkit
  • News release template
  • Company internal and external communication platforms

We look forward to Safety Week! Together, we are building a safer, stronger industry.

If you enjoyed this post please be sure to follow and like us

linkedinFollow us    facebooklike us



National Work Zone Safety Week – Helpful facts and tips

This week is designated National Work Zone Awareness Week. This week is designed to bring attention to motorist and worker safety and mobility issues in work zones. What is your company doing to raise awareness?

  • Drivers are the most frequent fatality in work zone crashes.
  • Most work zone fatalities involve working-age adults.
  • Rear-end crashes (running into the rear of a slowing or stopping vehicle) are the most common type of work zone crash.
  • Fatal work zone crashes occur most often in summer and fall.
  • The majority of fatal work zone crashes occurred on roads with speed limits greater than 50 mph.
  • Stopping distance for motor vehicles at 50 mph:

                   -Dry roadway300 ft

                   -Wet roadway400 ft

                   -Icy pavement1250 ft

  • A loaded 80,000 lb. tractor-trailer requires almost 50% more stopping distance.
  • It takes only an extra 25 seconds to cover 1 mile at 45 mph compared to 65 mph.

Tips for the Driver

  • Stay Alert and Minimize Distractions
  • Keep Your Headlights On
  • Pay Attention to the Road
  • Merge into the Proper Lane
  • Don’t Tailgate
  • Obey the Posted Speed Limit
  • Change Lanes Safely
  • Follow Instructions form Flaggers
  • Expect the Unexpected


Additional resources

FHWA-Developed Resources PDF

Trucking Safely Through Work Zones PDF


linkedin Follow us    facebook like us

Pet First Aid Month – What You Need To Know…

With April being Pet First Aid Awareness month, below we list of a number of quick tips. This list is meant as intermediary steps. You should also consult a veterinarian.

Pet First Aid

Do you know what to do during a pet emergency? Here are some common emergency tips:

  • If your cat or dog is dehydrated, pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. It should spring right back; if it stays tented this is a sign of dehydration.
  • Signs of pet poisoning include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental state or behavior. If suspect your pet has been poisoned, contact Animal Poison Control 888-426-4435
  • Signs of heatstroke or heat exhaustion include collapse; body temperature of 104 degrees F or above; bloody diarrhea or vomiting; wobbliness; excessive panting or difficulty breathing; increase heart rate; mucous membranes very red; and increased salivation.
  • Pets bitten by other animals need vet attention to prevent the wound (even if minor) from becoming infected and to check for internal wounds. You should never break up a dogfight yourself because you could be bitten.
  • If your pet is bleeding, apply direct pressure using gauze over the bleeding site. If blood soaks through, apply more gauze (do not removed soaked gauze) until you can reach a veterinary hospital.
  • If your pet has a seizure, make sure it is in a safe place, but do not restrain the animal. Keep your hands away from its mouth as your pet may not know who you are during a seizure and could bite you.
  • Know where to go in case of an emergency. Your regular veterinarian is a great place if the emergency occurs during the day. If the emergency occurs in the evening or on weekends it may be necessary to go to the emergency clinic in your area. Most are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Ensure important phone numbers such as your veterinarian, emergency vet hospitals, or emergency contacts are easily accessible.
  • Pack a pet first aid kit. It is best if you can have one for her car, and one for at home use. Fill it not only with useful supplies, but also keep a copy of your pet’s medical records with your pets name, age, breed microchip number, vaccine history, and any pre-existing conditions.

This last point is especially helpful if you regularly use a pet sitter or babysitter and will ensure that this person will have all they need should an emergency arise.


linkedin Follow us    facebook like us


MY SECOND LIFE – Meat market owner saves customer’s life with CPR

Fred Bivins says he wouldn’t be alive today if Gary Szotko of Lewandoski’s Market didn’t know exactly what to do.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Friday, Nov. 12 started off like a normal day for Fred Bivins. The proprietor of Vinecroft Studios was trying to make room in the studio freezer for a Thanksgiving turkey. He pulled out some macaroni and cheese and thought it would go well with some smoked kielbasa from Lewandoski’s Market.

Owner Gary Szotko wasn’t scheduled to be at Lewandoski’s that day. But he was filling in for one of his employees when Fred came in. The two began to chat for about 15 minutes. On his way out, Fred returned to the counter and Gary knew something was wrong. “Fred’s eyes just rolled right into the back of his head. So I knew what was happening,” Gary said. Fred hit the floor. While first responders were on their way, Gary began CPR. It’s a skill he learned during his 28 years serving on the Grand Rapids Fire Department.

We know that medically, any chances of survival are much greater the sooner you start CPR,” Gary said. “I called back to my son, Alex, who was working that night. I told him to call 911, which he did.” In minutes, first responders from Rockford Ambulance and Grand Rapid Fire Department Station #3 on Bridge Street, where Gary spent much of his career, were at Lewandoski’s to take over. “I ended up getting shocked five times somewhere between here and the hospital,” Fred said.

Fred spent the next three and a half weeks at Spectrum Health’s Meijer Heart Center. He doesn’t remember much of that stay, and he almost didn’t make it. He said Dr. Glenn VanOtteren and Spectrum’s critical care team helped nurse him back to health.

“One doctor said you were dead before he hit the floor, and the only thing that got you back was Gary. He knew how to do CPR, and that’s what saved my life” Fred said. On Dec. 8, at the urging of Dr. Sampson Ho, Fred was transferred to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital just down the street, where he was treated for damage done to his body when he hit the floor, and during CPR compressions. “You don’t save a life without cracking bones, and I’ll trade the broken ribs for my life. I’ll never be upset that Gary did that to me,” Fred said. “Mary Free Bed is full of miracle workers. They honestly are, and I’m just grateful to all of those people.”

Fred says his doctors agree, he wouldn’t be alive to tell his story if Gary had not began CPR right away. So when Fred got out of Mary Free Bed right before Christmas, his first stop was at Lewandoski’s Market to thank the man who saved his life.

Fred Bivins meets with Gary Szotka just before Christmas after Szotka saved Bivins life in November. “I have a second chance at life because of this man, and there was no way I was going to go home from the hospital without stopping to thank him. And I’ll thank him every day of my life of my second life,” Fred said. The two cried together during the reunion, which was a surprise to Gary. “It was surreal, because I didn’t know Fred was coming. I looked up and Fred’s here. Yeah, just a big hug, and big cry. But I’m just very thankful, very blessed, and very grateful.”

Now, Fred is trying to pay it forward. He’s raising money to help buy an AED, automated external defibrillator, for the store. People who want to help can send money via PayPal to

Meanwhile, Gary is going to make sure everyone who works at Lewandoski’s is CPR certified. Both Gary and Fred hope people who see this story would be moved to learn CPR for themselves.

Click Here to learn about CPR and CPR Certification

Click Here to learn about AED’s and Defibrillators


linkedinFollow us    facebooklike us



Why Employees Need First Aid Training


Whether the workplace is an office or a construction site, it has two common traits — valuable employees who may be injured or become ill and the need to protect them with adequate first aid procedures.

The good health and resulting productivity of employees is one area that is often overlooked as a means of improving a company’s profitability. The size of this opportunity is indicated by a National Safety Council estimate that in 1997, there were more than 80 million lost workdays due to unintentional injuries. The astounding cost to American businesses was $127 billion, or an average of $980 per worker.

Whether employees work in a high-hazard or low-hazard environment, they face a variety of risks. Shock, bleeding, poisonings, burns, temperature extremes, musculoskeletal injuries, bites and stings, medical emergencies, and distressed employees in confined spaces are just a sampling of the first aid emergencies which might be encountered in your business. These risks are compounded when employees don’t feel well. Their lack of concentration can result in costly injuries.

If your employees aren’t prepared to handle these types of injuries on all shifts and their coworkers are left untreated until an ambulance arrives, a victim’s condition may worsen and injuries can become far more debilitating, which leads to greater medical costs and lost productivity.

It makes good business sense to provide first aid and appropriate training to all your employees. By making such a minimal investment in keeping your employees safe and well-trained, you could net big returns, along with a competitive advantage. Moreover, it’s the law.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires businesses to provide first aid and CPR training to employees in the absence of a nearby clinic or hospital. While safety always begins with prevention, not every work-related injury can be prevented. Your primary first aid training goal should be to give employees the necessary tools and information they need to care for an ill or injured person, if necessary until advanced help arrives.

“The outcome of occupational injuries depends not only on the severity of the injury but also on the rendering of first aid care,” writes OSHA in its 1991 Guidelines for Basic First Aid Training Programs. “Prompt, properly administered first aid care can mean the difference between life and death, rapid vs. prolonged recovery, and temporary vs. permanent disability.” Since each site is so different, OSHA requires first aid training to be specific to the needs of the workplace. Proper training varies with the industry, number of employees, and proximity to emergency care.

Although OSHA’s 1991 guidelines specify the requirements for a first aid program, OSHA does not teach or certify programs. Therefore, employers are faced with numerous programs to choose from, and the choice can be difficult. Because of this, a consensus group comprised of a panel of government and private experts developed the National Guidelines for First Aid in Occupational Settings in 1997.

This new and detailed curriculum identifies the skill training that makes a workplace first aid responder competent to provide care. Responding to OSHA’s requirement that every employer provides first aid assistance in the workplace, these guidelines document the minimum knowledge and skills necessary for an individual to provide basic life support care to an ill or injured person until professional emergency response arrives.

While starting a first aid program can be simple and inexpensive, it involves several essential steps:

Recognize that it is your responsibility as an employer to determine the requirements for your first aid program. As you assess your workplace, be mindful of the job site or work process that could cause illness or injury to employees. What types of accidents could reasonably occur in your workplace? Consider such things as falls, hazardous machinery, and exposure to harmful substances. Be sure to put your evaluation in writing for reference purposes. Remember that, while OSHA does not recommend nor approve programs, it may evaluate your program’s adequacy during an inspection.

Powered Industrial Truck Safety

Assess the location and availability of a medical facility to your workplace. If a hospital, clinic or other such emergency response is not readily available, for instance, within three to four minutes, you must have at least one employee trained in first aid and CPR per shift. There is no recommended number of trained employees to have on staff; it largely depends on your facility’s size and type of operations. Responding in a timely manner can mean the difference between life and death, so it is crucial that you have an appropriate number of employees trained.

For organizations in multiple sites, such as construction operations, a larger number of employees must be trained. Many experts believe all employees should know how to provide first aid and CPR to ensure that help is always at hand. At a minimum, each department or location should have a responder available on each shift.

Make sure you have suitable first aid supplies readily available at all times. Effective Aug. 17, 1998, OSHA added an Appendix A to its very basic First Aid and Medical standard found in 29 CFR 1910.151. It requires the employer to reference ANSI Z308.1-1978, Minimum Requirements for Industrial Unit-Type First Aid Kits.

According to OSHA, the contents of the kit listed in the ANSI standard should be adequate for small worksites. However, larger or multiple operations should consider the need for additional first aid kits and additional types of first aid equipment and supplies in larger quantities. OSHA suggests consulting a local fire and rescue department appropriate medical professional or first aid supplier for assistance in these circumstances.

FA Cabinet

OSHA recommends you periodically assess your kit and increase your supplies as needed. Place your first aid supplies in an easily accessible area, and inform all your employees of its location. Along with a well-stocked, workplace-specific first aid kit, other basic supplies normally include emergency oxygen, blankets, stretchers, directional signs, eyewash stations and burn stations.

In addition to these items, if blood-related incidents are anticipated, you must provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as mandated in OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens standard (29 CFR 1910.1030). It lists specific PPE for this type of exposure, such as gloves, gowns, face shields, masks, and eye protection.

On-site safety inspections, review of hazards and emergency dispatch, assessment, implementation, escape and treatment should be discussed in your training program. Employees must be trained to act and think quickly to avoid delayed treatment during an emergency. Ask yourself, whether each employee knows how to report an injury or illness.

Outline the accident investigating and reporting procedures and relay that to your employees as part of your company’s policy. Early recognition and treatment of an injury or illness is essential.

Employees must be aware of emergency contact information. It is best to post emergency procedures and emergency office contact numbers with your first aid supplies or in another highly visible and accessible area. Make sure that your field personnel also have suitable supplies and office contact numbers readily available. Appoint an employee in each department to watch for hazards and evaluate its current first aid status. Set a deadline to report any hazards or first aid needs to a manager or supervisor for improvement or correction.

Since people tend to forget their first aid training over time, OSHA recommends refresher training be conducted to recharge employees’ knowledge of first aid procedures. At a minimum, employees should be certified annually to perform CPR and once every three years to perform first aid. If such training sounds burdensome, consider that it can produce safer work practices and fewer incidents among employees.

Keeping the workplace safe involves three basic elements: steps to prevent or minimize accidents, adequate first aid supplies and proper first aid training. The employer uses training to make sure its employees know what to do, how to do it and who is in charge in case a first aid or emergency situation occurs. Proper first aid training not only satisfies OSHA requirements, but fosters good will among employees, who recognize the care that their company expends to provide a safe and healthy environment for its most valuable asset: its employees.


Call Now to speak with a UniFirst First Aid + Safety CPR/First Aid Safety specialist

Click Here to learn more about CPR Training


If you liked this post be sure to follow us:

 linkedin Follow us    facebook like us



Woman credits recent CPR certification for saving father’s life

A Moline man is recovering after his daughter used CPR to save his life back in August. UnityPoint Health – Trinity says Joe and Erin Hammond often exercised together. One day, while resting after finishing an early-morning run with Erin, Joe suffered a heart attack and collapsed to the ground.

His heart stopped, and he wasn’t breathing. Erin rushed to his side and began performing CPR, which she had just learned a couple months before then through an internet class as part of her personal trainer certification.

A 911 dispatcher on the phone helped Erin stay calm as she used her training to perform chest compressions on her dad until help could arrive.



“I saw my dad out of the corner of my eye collapse and fall to the ground. I don’t know — I instantly knew this was a worst-case scenario,” said Erin. “It felt like an eternity, but it was only a few minutes. I’d just completed a CPR course two months before this happened to become a personal trainer. I really had a good knowledge of what to do, but I never imagined I would need it to save my dad’s life. I don’t think he would have made it if not for that training.”

Joe was rushed to the emergency room at Trinity Rock Island by EMTS from the fire department, where his condition was stabilized, and he was then moved to Trinity’s cardiac catheterization lab. “I was in bad shape,” said Joe. “The doctors said, if my daughter had not been there to perform CPR, I wouldn’t have made it. She means the world to me.”

Joe is sharing this story to raise awareness to the importance of learning CPR.

“We really hope my story will encourage others to become CPR certified. Erin’s CPR training saved my life,” said Hammond. “Get the training now, and you might just save someone’s life. You never know when you’ll need to use it.”

He and Erin have started walking together again and have become even closer through this experience.

“We’ll keep walking,” said Erin. “I can’t say enough about all the memories I have with my dad, and I’m so thankful to have him here to make more memories in the years to come.”

Call Now to speak with a UniFirst First Aid + Safety First Aid/CPR Specialist

Click Here to learn more about First Aid/CPR


linkedinFollow us    facebooklike us


Learn Life Saving CPR Now – You Never Know When You Will Need It

Anyone can learn CPR, are your employees trained to save a life? 

UniFirst First Aid + Safety offers weekly CPR classes for companies and groups, UniFirst First Aid + Safety’s CPRAED, and First Aid training program will help employers meet OSHA and other federal and state regulatory requirements for training employees how to respond and care for medical emergencies at work.

This 2-year certification course conforms to the latest AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC, and the latest AHA and ARC Guidelines Update for First Aid.

CPR classes are a great team-building opportunity!


Call Now to speak with a UniFirst First Aid + Safety First Aid/CPR Specialist

Click Here to learn more about First Aid/CPR


linkedinFollow us    facebooklike us

More than half of workers aren’t trained on First Aid, CPR

About 10,000 cardiac arrest situations occur in the workplace each year, yet only 45 percent of U.S. employees have been trained in first aid – and only 50 percent of workers know where to find an automated external defibrillator

– according to the results of a survey recently conducted by the American Heart Association.

Researchers surveyed more than 3,000 workers in various industries, including more than 1,000 safety managers in OSHA-regulated industries. They found that 50 percent of workers overall – as well as 66 percent in the hospitality industry – could not locate their workplace’s AED. Results also showed that more than 90 percent of participants said they would take first aid and CPR/AED training if their employer offered it, and 80 percent said that it was “simply the right thing to do.”



Other findings:

  • 73 percent of office employees believe a co-worker would know how to provide first aid in an emergency, and 70 percent of general industry workers reported the same.
  • 66 percent of workers in education believe a co-worker would know how to use an AED if the situation called for it, and 57 percent of office workers reported the same.
  • 68 percent of office workers rely on a co-worker to know how to administer CPR.

“The data suggests these untrained employees may be relying on their untrained peers in the event of an emergency, leaving employees with a false sense of security that someone in the workplace will be qualified and able to respond, when that is clearly not the case,” Michael Kurz, co-chair of the AHA Systems of Care Subcommittee, said in a June 19 press release. “First aid, CPR and AED training need to become part of a larger culture of safety within workplaces.”


Call Now to speak with a UniFirst First Aid + Safety First Aid/CPR Specialist

Click Here to learn more about First Aid/CPR


linkedinFollow us    facebooklike us


Firefighters share the importance of an AED


Les Morgan’s life was saved by the quick response of those around him earlier this year. The 60-year-old firefighter with Schuylkill Hose Company No. 2 and borough resident responded to smoke in a structure and was handing his son, who is also a firefighter, a fire extinguisher when suddenly he was on the floor not breathing normally.

Les Morgan was suffering a cardiac arrest

EMS, firefighters and Schuylkill Haven Police Department officers all had a hand in saving Les Morgan. Kyle Morgan didn’t know everyone who helped save his father’s life, but trusted they knew what to do while he waited outside.

“He was down for less than two minutes,” Morgan said.

Within that time, 90 seconds of CPR was given and Morgan was shocked with the AED, which reads your heart rhythm and determines if a shock is needed. It then gives procedural instructions.

“A lot of people are afraid they are going to hurt someone,” by using the AED, Kyle Morgan said.

Every minute CPR is not given, the survival rate drops by 10 percent, according to the AHA.

About 70 percent of sudden cardiac arrests occur at home, while the remainder occur in public settings and nursing homes, according to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation.

Source: Standard-Speaker

Call Now to speak with a UniFirst First Aid + Safety AED Specialist

Click Here to learn more about AED’s


linkedinFollow us    facebooklike us

Own a Bulk Refillable Soap Dispenser? You Have To Read This…..


3 Reasons your Refillable bulk soap might not be a great idea

  1. Messy and labor-intensive
  2. Proven susceptible to bacterial contamination that can lead to a range of health issues
  3. The refillable bulk soap risk was highlighted as part of a CNN report on The 8 Germiest Places at the Mall, on November 26, 2011.

Many soap dispensers in public places are contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria.

Washing with contaminated soap increase the concentrations on people’s hands and on the surfaces they touch.

Refillable Bulk Soap Puts the Health of Washroom Users and the Image of Building Owners at Risk

A recent study has shown that hands can have as much as 25 times more germs after washing with refillable bulk soap than before washing.

Refillable bulk soap is the kind of washroom soap that’s typically poured from a gallon jug into an open dispenser reservoir. Find out how this soap can put your health at risk, then take action to help stop the threat.

The Risk

  • The germs identified in bulks soap have led to infections and fatalities in immunocompromised individuals
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),1 Health Canada,2 and the World Health Organization (WHO)3 have all recognized the bacterial contamination risk of “topping off” refillable bulk soap dispensers, and have issued guidelines against the practice.

The Image

In addition to the health risk posed to tenants and washroom users, refillable bulk soap can negatively affect the image of buildings and washrooms. The pouring of soup into multiple dispensers is slow and can leave a soapy mess. The extended labor time and product waste translate to cost issues, impacting customers’ bottom lines.

The Safe, Smart, and Sustainable Alternative

Building owners and facility managers have an alternative that addresses the problems associated with refillable bulk soaps. GOJO SANITARY SEALED™ Refills are factory sealed to help lock out germs. It’s the sealed soap system that’s better for people, the planet, and the bottom line of customers.

Read the original article and study here.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings: Recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee and the HICPAC/SHEA/APIC/IDSA Hand Hygiene Task Force. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. October 25, 2002 / Vol. 51 / No. RR-16. Accessed at on May 18, 2010.
  2. Health Canada Guidance Document for Human-Use Antiseptic Drugs. December 2009. pg 32.
  3. World Health Organization (2009) WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization Press.


Call Now to speak with a Specialist

Click Here to learn more