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Once again we want to say "Thank you" for your business and support in 2017. For over 39 years we have been providing safety equipment, training, services, and solutions for many companies in the Midwest. This would not be possible without you, our valued customer.

2018 Happy New Year


The art of the deal: Know how OSHA reaches settlements

OSHA has cut deals with employers and industry associations ever since the agency’s beginning. Deals with employers include:

  • Informal settlement agreement (hearing at Area Office);
  • Expedited informal settlement agreement (deal through the mail); and,
  • Formal agreements established by lawyers et al and approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC).
In FY 2015, 65 percent of inspections with a citation resulted in informal or expedited settlements. An average penalty reduction totaled 41.3 percent. About 7.4 percent of cases went to the OSHRC.1

More deals?

About one-third of cited employers don’t take OSHA’s deal. They just correct and pay. Will more of this group deal with OSHA in the future?

OSHA’s maximum penalties jumped 78 percent in August 2016. An approximate 40 percent “savings” that keeps thousands of dollars in an employer’s pocket may entice more employers to jump at OSHA’s informal or expedited deals.

OSHRC deals should increase over the next few years. Per the OSHRC, DOL leverages litigation resources “in favor of high-impact strategic cases.” Sometimes millions of dollars are on the table. Some companies are “nudged” into formal settlements. President Trump appointed a new a new chairman of the OSHRC in August 2017. The OSHRC may be more favorable to employers, enticing more formal settlements.

Big deals?

Big deals happen at the OSHRC level. Consider these two deals:

  • July 2017, Cal/OSHA and Chevron (Richmond refinery)2 In addition to paying the original (January 2013) penalty of $782,700 plus an additional $227,300, among other things, Chevron will invest approximately $20 million dollars to upgrade process safety equipment and procedures that exceed current and upcoming workplace safety requirements for refineries. In exchange, OSHA will withdraw nine of the 17 violations and amend five of the eight remaining violations.
  • June 2016, Ashley Furniture3: Ashley agreed to $1.75 million penalty, substantially upgrade machine safeguards, conduct third-party and internal corporate monitoring, and do other things, such as hire and retain a vice president of health and safety. In exchange, OSHA will amend, group or vacate about 40 citations.
Per the OSHRC, there are approximately 2,500 formal settlements annually. Some impact hundreds of locations through corporate-wide settlements; others may impact a single location. Because these settlements may establish new case law, among other things, nearly every workplace may feel the ripple effect.

Among the other things, consider if Chevron implements best practices beyond current or pending law; does it put pressure on similar employers to keep pace? Ashley Furniture now has a VP of health and safety. Titles are noticed, and hopefully will be adopted more frequently, within and beyond Ashley’s industry.

What’s in the deal?

Everything is in play at the OSHRC level. Issues that lack OSHA standards, such as safety and health management programs/systems, organizational communication, workplace violence, ergonomics, and heat stress are enforceable. Standards such as LOTO, confined space, machine guarding, and PSM and other typical OSHA standards may be pushed to their best practice limits (see Chevron example).

Appoint an OHS VP. Hire more OHS pros. Retain certified OHS pros. Lessen the workload on OHS (remove environmental responsibilities, for example). Align OHS program with ANSI Z10. Retain an OHS consultant and essentially do whatever the consultant says. Everything is on the table. It’s all about what each side negotiates in the deal.

Think big.

There are about eight million worksites in the U.S. OSHA is a small agency with limited resources with stagnant, and even sometimes regressing, standards that cover only a fraction of hazards and risks workers face today. If OSHA knows its market, how does it use its leverage and maximize its options? Negotiating penalty dollars is one way of preventing more injuries and illnesses.

What’s often lost in this issue is that these deals are voluntary and cooperative with OSHA. If an employer doesn’t want to deal, all they must do is promptly correct violations and pay initial penalty.

Make the deal?

At the informal and expedited levels, OHS pros often suggest the best deal for the employer. Deals at the OSHRC level are mostly driven by company or outside lawyers. Regardless of any deal, both the OHS pro and lawyers must always work together. If your workplace has yet to face an OSHA deal, keep track of deals that other workplaces make.

Hex Armor

Working in cold weather can be brutal. Sure, the dangers are the same as they were when you were a kid building a snow fort, but as an adult, working in extreme conditions for long periods of time can have more severe short- and long-term effects. Since your mom isn’t there to tell you what to wear and when to come inside, we thought we’d clue you in on some practical information to help you understand, avoid, and treat cold stress on the job.

First, it’s important to understand there are many variables to the susceptibility of cold stress. Your physical body composition, metabolism, level of activity, amount of sleep, what you’ve eaten or drank, and, of course, what you’re wearing can determine the level of danger you could be putting yourself into while working in cold weather.

Understanding these hazards and their treatments is the first step to protecting yourself.

The Hazards and Treatments:

Range of motion is affected in cold weather by blood pumping away from limbs to increase the temperature of the torso. This can also hinder flexibility and agility in hands and feet, which limits a worker’s ability to grip or carry objects or move away from dangerous situations.

This is just the beginning of the dangers of cold stress.

Frostbite can occur at or below 32F (0C). At this temperature, blood vessels close to the skin start to constrict, reducing blood flow to your extremities to dangerously low levels. This lack of blood leads to the eventual freezing and death of skin tissue in the affected areas. For early signs of frostbite, skin will appear white or red and can feel hard or stiff (not ideal for working safely).
  • Treatment for frostbite should include moving into a warm area as soon as possible. Immerse the affected area in mildly warm water. Avoid rubbing or massaging the area or using any type of heating elements (such as a heating pad), as this could cause more damage to the affected area. The key is to slowly bring the temperature of the affected area to normal body temperature (about 98.2F or 37C).
Hypothermia is a condition in which core temperature drops below the required temperature for normal metabolism and body functions. Symptoms of hypothermia vary depending on the level of hypothermia. The four levels of hypothermia are mild, moderate, severe and critical.

The first sign is severe shivering, followed by drowsiness. Irritability, confusion, and loss of coordination are more severe signs; with slurred speech, unconsciousness and heart failure being the most severe dangers of hypothermia. Being mindful of these symptoms can be critical.
  • Treatment of mild hypothermia should start by moving the victim to a warm, dry area. Remove any wet clothing, replace with warm, dry clothes and wrap in blankets. Have them drink something warm and sweet. Avoid suppressing shivering, massaging the extremities, or placing in a warm bath or shower.

    If the hypothermia is more moderate to severe (core body temperature below 91.4 degrees), call 911 immediately. Be sure to handle the victim gently, check for airway obstructions, and perform CPR if no pulse present after one-minute assessment. If CPR is necessary, assist breathing at 10 to 12 breaths per minute. Do not start cardiac massage unless it can be continued effectively without a break. It is more dangerous to start, stop, and re-start CPR rather than to wait until proper care is available.

    If pulse and breathing are stabilized, gently remove wet clothing and replace with dry, layered blankets. Ensure head is covered and there is something warm and dry beneath the victim. Avoid suppressing shivering, giving anything by mouth, massaging the victim, or immersing in warm water. Even if the victim appears lifeless, continue first aid treatment. The body can sometimes survive for hours without signs of life at very low body temperatures.
Trench foot occurs when feet are cold and damp while wearing constricting footwear. Unlike frostbite, trench foot does not require freezing temperatures and can occur at temperatures up to 60 Fahrenheit. This condition can occur with as little as thirteen hours’ exposure. Symptoms of trench foot include tingling, itching, burning pain and swelling of the feet. More advanced cases can also include blisters and infection. We need our feet to survive - be cautious!
  • To treat trench foot, move the victim to a warm area, soak feet in warm water and wrap with a dry towel.
We know that none of these sound fun, and trust us, they aren't. If you must work in cold environments, be sure you know the signs of cold stress - and prepare before you go by wearing the proper clothing and PPE.



CAOHC Course

CAOHC Certification/Recertification Course
Day Star will be offering the CAOHC 20-hour certification and the 8-hour recertification course on March 12-14, 2018 for those individuals performing audiometric testing. For more information or to register you may call 800-747-1401 or go online to and click on Training Classes.


Hazard Lab






Heart of America Chapter ASSE - Friday - January 19th - 11:45 AM to 1:30 PM -Driving Safety Panel Discussion - Water One - 10747 Renner Boulevard - Lenexa, Ks. - You may RSVP and pay on-line at

Mid America Chapter – AIHA - No meeting in January - Contact Steve Hicks at or by calling 816-503-1387 if you have any questions about the event or how to register.

Construction Safety Group of Kansas City - Thursday - January 4th- 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM -Creative & Innovative Safety Training, Tricks & Techniques - Dennis Burks - HNTB - MTC - 1775 Universal Avenue - Kansas City, MO. - Please RSVP your attendance by e-mail to

Wichita ASSE Chapter - Monday - January 8th - 11:30 to 1 PM - When OSHA is at your Door - Renee Rhodes - Risk Control Advisor, IMA - ISI Environmental - 215 S Laura Street - Wichita, Ks. - Please RSVP at

Wichita Area Construction Safety Group - Monday - January 8th - 11:30 AM to 1 PM - When OSHA is at your Door - Renee Rhodes - Risk Control Advisor, IMA - ISI Environmental - 215 S Laura Street - Wichita, Ks -Please RSVP to by January 3rd. You may register and pay online at

Mid-Missouri ASSE

Mid Missouri ASSE Chapter - Thursday - January 11th - 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM - Reasonable Suspicion Training Certification and Drug Free Workplace Update - 3-hour Certification Program - Presented by John Throckmorton, Senior Training and Account Manager, Tomo Drug Testing, Springfield, MO. Event will be held at Missouri Employers Mutual, 101 Keene, Columbia, MO 65201- Registration begins at 10:30 AM and the program will run from 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM. A catered lunch is included. Cost is $60 for ASSE members and $65 for non-members. Please RSVP by Friday, January 5, 2018 to Bret Derrick at or call 573-808-2392.



Midwest Construction Safety Conference

The Midwest Construction Safety Conference Steering Committee would like to invite you to participate in the 9th Annual Midwest Construction Safety Conference & Expo. The conference will be held March 15 & 16, 2018 at the Adams Pointe Conference Center in Blue Springs, Missouri.

The 8th Annual Midwest Construction Safety Conference was a great success with approximately 300 attendees, 27 exhibitors, and 23 corporate sponsors.

We look forward to another great event in 2018. Click below links for registration information. We look forward to seeing you!




Save the Date - 3rd Annual3rd Annual SAFECONEXPO
MAY 8- 10, 2018
at Tan-Tar-A Resort
Osage Beach, MO



Safety 2018 ASSE

2018 AIHce EXP

2018 NSC Congress and Expo

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