OSHA’s National Youth Safety Initiative

It’s summertime, which means more teens and young adults are joining the workforce, both long term and for temporary summer jobs. Statistically there is an increase in workplace injuries during the summer due young workers’ lack of work experience and safety training. To help combat youth work related injuries, OSHA has recently entered into a 2-year initiative called the “National Youth Safety Initiative.”

Under this initiative, OSHA will be proactive in providing young workers, aged 16-24, and their administrators and educators with detailed information about job related injuries that commonly affect young workers. During this 2-year program, participants will promote safety and health awareness to young employees, spreading statistics about common injuries that occur in the agriculture, healthcare and construction industries specifically.

OSHA and participating employers will educate youth workers about common injuries and illnesses such as slips and falls, exposure to hazardous chemicals and exposure to heavy machinery. This information will be shared through webinars, publications commonly read by teens and young adults, workshops, seminars and more. Participants in the National Youth Safety Initiative will also provide notices and reminders about occupational health and safety regulations and the rights and expectations of employers.

Every business owner knows that safety should be a priority all year, but precautionary measures should be heightened in the summer months due to the increase in young, inexperienced team members joining their staff. Due to the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers have to pay close attention to youth workers and their exposure to risks. These risks not only include chemicals and machinery, but also shift duration. Depending on the employee’s age, he or she may only be legally allowed to work for 3 hours in a given day. (On school days, 14-15 year olds can only work up to 3 hours in a day.) During the summer, teen workers are expected to stop work at 8 hours or sooner.

OSHA’s latest initiative is designed to limit the number of workplace injuries to protect young workers, but businesses are also responsible for protecting their own liability. Along with sharing safety tips and regulations, businesses should also be proactive in making their work staff aware of potential injuries. Along with safety training, safety signs should be posted throughout warehouses and worksites to remind employees of potential harm.

A warning, caution or danger sign should be posted depending on the severity of bodily harm inherent to a situation. For example, areas where slips and falls commonly happen should be marked with a caution sign. Caution usually denotes an injury that can cause moderate injury. However, in areas where employees are exposed to high voltage that could result in death, a danger sign should be posted.

Signage should be well maintained and highly visible. Materials and other blockages should not prevent a worker from seeing a warning sign. As signage becomes dated and worn, it should be updated. From flammable materials signs to emergency eye wash station signs, CustomSigns.com has the appropriate signage for each work setting. Make sure you are aware of the risks inherent to your business and warn staff members accordingly.

As OSHA and participating employers take proactive steps toward improving workplace safety for youth workers, make sure you’re doing everything you can to make your business a safer place to work.

More details about the Youth Safety Initiative: https://safety.blr.com/workplace-safety-news/safety-administration/safety-general/Schools-out-Protect-teen-workers-on-the-job/

Where Should ADA Signs be Posted?

Gender Neutral Restroom ADA Sign Mounted on Wooden Slat Wall

Where are ADA Signs Required?

In order to keep your business in compliance with ADA standards, it is important to know in which rooms, and in which places to post braille signs. In 2012, the ADA latest 2010 rules were put into use, and if your business has been in operation for many years, your signage may not be up to date. (The 2010 standards were an update of the 1991 regulations.) Government regulations and documents are often difficult to understand or are open to interpretation. This blog will help clear up any confusion about where your ADA signs should be hanging.

Which Rooms are Required to Have ADA Signs?


Meeting Room ADA Sign with Braille and Tactile Letters

Although it is good practice to provide ADA signage for every room, there are certain rooms that are required to have these signs. Any room or area that is designated for a specific use that will not change frequently, such as a restroom or vending area, is required to post ADA signs. It is important, and often vital, to help disabled or sightless patrons safely navigate your building.  Therefore, rooms that are permanent spaces for a specific use should be marked with ADA signs. Also, if the sign features a pictogram, there must be tactile lettering to accompany the imagery. Spaces that are required to have ADA signs include restrooms, vending areas, numbered rooms, floor numbers and any space that is used for a specific purpose that is not likely to change. Rooms that are open to interpretation, or used for different purposes, may include meeting rooms, classrooms and offices.

What is the ADA Compliant Height for Signage?

When considering where to hang ADA or braille signs, think of people who are sightless or who are navigating your building at the height of a wheelchair. The latest ADA regulations state that compliant signs must hang no lower than 48 inches above the floor, measured from the bottom of the lowest characters, and no higher than 60 inches, measured from the bottom of the highest characters, above the floor. This means that any person who is visually impaired or seated in a wheelchair must be able to touch and interpret the sign. During an emergency, a disabled patron should be able to safely find their way out of your building without confusion. Visually impaired and disabled people are aware of where ADA signs should be located, and if they are not hanging in the correct area or location, this could cause disorientation or even danger in the case of an emergency.

What is Required for ADA Parking Signs?

ADA Parking Sign Mounted on a Stone Brick Wall

Your parking facility needs to clearly mark accessible parking spaces accordingly. ADA.gov hosts a PDF file that lists the number of accessible spaces required depending on the total number within your facility. Compliant parking signs require very little in comparison with indoor ADA signs. In order to meet ADA standards, your parking sign’s text needs to highly contrast against its background. If you have van accessible parking, the additional text “Van Accessible” must be included. When mounting your sign, it must be a minimum of 60 inches, measured from the bottom of the sign, from the floor or ground. This allows other drivers and facility security to more easily see that the space is reserved for the disabled.

 

Providing the right ADA braille signs is not only required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is an act of courtesy from business owner to business patron. These signs do not cost much, and they can significantly increase safety and ease of navigation within your building. They will also show that you support the needs of every customer or visitor. You can create an ADA sign to meet your needs at CustomSigns.com. We will ensure that your sign is created to meet the latest regulations. These common signs should be posted in any building that offers access to a restroom, whether it be a public building or a workplace.


ADA Inaccessible Entrance Sign Mounted Next to Red Door, Get 20% Off Your Order with Code CSIGN20

For more information on signage standards, you can access the 2010 ADA standards here.

See our other ADA posts:
How to Design ADA Compliant Signs
ADA Signage All Buildings Must Have

 

Disability Scams & Lawsuits:

Small business owners often put all they have into their companies. Whether these business owners wake up before dawn to prepare breakfast at a small diner or put late nights in at an up-and-coming pub, they devote themselves to serving their customers and employees and to offering the best products or services they can. Unfortunately, these same small shop and restaurant owners are often at highest risk of being sued or fined, not because their products aren’t up to par, but because they are often targeted in disability scams. Small businesses are often not aware of the latest ADA standards or are not equipped to meet the needs of disabled patrons. However, what’s worse is that these types of scammers don’t care about whether or not they have actually entered the many small businesses they sue, or that these businesses update their buildings to comply with ADA standards – they just want money.

Why it’s so Important 

A recent case in Jacksonville involved a “serial suer” who is said to have sued more than 40 small businesses throughout Northeast Florida. The law firm backing this serial suer, who is a double amputee, is suspected to have collected anywhere from $85,000 to $150,000 in the first few months of 2017 alone, all from small businesses that settled pre-suits with the firm. However, there are many small business owners who cannot afford to pay up, and end up suffering.

ADA Standards 

It is vital for businesses to stay in the know about ADA standards. ADA standards are issued by the DOJ and DOT, and are based on the board’s ADA Accessibility Guidelines. There are unique provisions for assembly areas, medical care facilities, lodging, educational buildings, detention and correctional institutions, social service centers and residential buildings. Small business owners should be aware of the DOJ standards that apply to the type of facility they operate from. The latest revised ADA standards were published in 2010, and became mandatory in 2012.

Accesses

Appropriate ADA signs should be used to mark wheelchair inaccessible areas as well as stairwells, elevators, restrooms and fire exits. ADA signs feature visible lettering along with raised braille lettering for visually impaired customers. CustomSigns.com has compliant ADA signs for each use.

Most customers who shop small and local businesses are interested in supporting their community and experiencing all that their city has to offer. However unfortunately, there are those who are out to collect money in any way they can. Every business should be knowledgeable about ADA guidelines, prepared to accommodate disabled customers, and ready to avoid costly lawsuits, whether they are legitimate or not.

Please, No Smoking – Common Smoking Bans

Smoking has never been as controversial as it is today. As more non-smokers become concerned with the health risks of tobacco use, the more state and local laws are written to ban smoking. California was the first state to enact a statewide smoking ban in 1995. Since then, smoking bans have become increasingly common, not just in bars and restaurants, but even on public sidewalks, in public parks, on college campuses and even in some public housing units.

It is common to see “please no smoking signs” posted in breeze ways, in offices, eateries, apartment hallways and more. As of July 2016, 82% of the United States population lives under a smoking ban in workplaces, restaurants and bars by either state, local or commonwealth law, according to Wikipedia. Similarly, 58.6% live under a ban covering ALL workplaces, restaurants and bars. Many would argue that banning smoking inside of restaurants and on school grounds is acceptable, but threatening apartment and public housing residents with eviction for smoking inside their homes has caused debate.

Smoking Bans In Public Housing & Apartment Buildings

As non-smokers become increasingly concerned with second hand smoke, smokers continue to be pushed out of businesses, from sidewalks and entryways, and more recently, their homes. In 2006 the Surgeon General stated that separating smokers and non-smokers in public places was not enough, and that “cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. The only way to do it is by banning indoor smoking altogether.”

HUD secretary, Julian Castro announced in November 2016 that public housing developments in the United States will be required to provide a smoke-free environment to residents. This smoking rule includes indoor and outdoor areas of housing units; smoking will no longer be permitted within 25 feet of the building or office. Residents can be fined or even evicted upon violation of the no-smoking rule, which has sparked debate over civil liberties at one of New York’s largest public housing facilities, Queensbridge Houses.

No Smoking In Public Areas

As public demand increases for clean air, smoking bans have been put in place for many public areas including sidewalks, outdoor patios, bus stops, county fairs, parks and recreation areas. Just this month, for example, Laguna Beach, California banned smoking and vaping in all outdoor areas. The only place left in this particular town for smokers to light up is within their car or home. To see a list of outdoor areas where smoking is banned or prohibited, visit no.smoking.org.

Smoking Banned On School Grounds

Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, continues to enact bans on smoking, not just to protect nonsmokers from the inherent health risks of second hand smoke, but also to set an example to children and teens. This has prompted bans on smoking on school grounds, many college campuses, and in some cities, on school board grounds. The Sarasota County School Board just announced this month that it will do away with all designated smoking areas, and all tobacco products will be banned from school buses, district owned vehicles and any portion of a building owned or leased by the school board.

Tobacco Use Prohibited In Workplaces

Many industries not only prohibit smoking to protect or accommodate staff and visitors, but also to prioritize safety. Industries that handle explosive materials are often required by OSHA to warn about the dangers of smoking in the workplace by posting no smoking signs including signs that state “no smoking, shut off engines”.

No Smoking or Vaping Signs

If you are looking to crack down on smoking or vaping in or outside of your business, CustomSigns.com has many pre-designed signs featuring “no smoking in this area” and “thank you for not smoking.” For a limited time only, you can get 50% off of no smoking signs at CustomSigns.com. As controversial as smoking and vaping has become, it has become even more difficult to control. Posting the appropriate signs will kindly remind people that they can’t light up in certain areas.

How to Increase Workplace Safety during the Summer

According to research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more workers are injured on the job during the months of June, July and August, than any other time of the year. A particular BLS report showed that almost 3,300 workers are injured daily in the month of June alone. The majority of these accidents result from a lack of enforcement of critical safety procedures and a lack of oversight based on OSHA safety standards.

In an effort to help reduce the occurrence of these high numbers of workplace accidents during the summer months, CustomSigns.com is encouraging businesses to increase safety signage to warn employees of potential risk on the job.

CustomSigns.com offers the option for businesses to pick from a selection of pre-designed safety signs for the workplace, or create a custom option based on their unique needs. Our goal is to get safety on employee’s minds to help reduce the number of workplace accidents occurring during the summer months.

The most common workplace injuries are musculoskeletal, affecting the legs, back and spine. However, heat exposure, especially in hot and humid states like Florida, is responsible for a large number of accidents and injuries from June through August. According to OSHA, approximately 18 people throughout the country died while on the job because of heat exposure in 2014 alone. Also, more than 2,600 workers became sick because of overexposure to the heat. Heat related deaths and illnesses are almost always preventable by enforcing ample break time and providing water and other essential beverages.

With the right signs, employers can encourage and remind employees to take certain precautions to prevent some of the most common accidents and injuries that occur.

From remaining hydrated by taking breaks every 15 minutes to getting to know the signs of heat exhaustion, signage can be a lifesaver in certain situations.

With the summer months ahead, now is the time for businesses to prepare for the inherent risks of higher temperatures. Injured workers do not only cost companies money in terms of workers compensation cases, but also in regard to productivity. These are costs that could be easily avoided with a few proactive steps.

ABOUT CUSTOM SIGNS

Custom Signs is a leading provider of both outdoor and indoor business signage. Providing high-quality products for retail stores, industrial work sites, restaurants, retail stores, and schools is a top priority for this company. The service regularly provides discounts for customers and is dedicated to exceeding expectations with every client served.