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Archive for March, 2016

OSHA Voluntary Protection Program

What is VPP?
The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) promotes effective worksite-based safety and health. In the VPP, management, labor and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system. Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieve exemplary occupation safety and health.
How Does VPP Work?
In practice, VPP sets performance-based criteria for a managed safety and health system, invites sites to apply and then assesses applicants against these criteria. OSHA’s verification includes an application review and a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of OSHA safety and health experts. The evaluation includes a review of training documentation as well as other documentation, inspection of jobsites and employee interviews.
OSHA approves qualified sites to one of three programs: Star, Merit or Demonstration
There are four elements to VPP. These elements are

  1. management commitment and employee involvement
  2. hazard prevention and control
  3. worksite analysis
  4. training

What does this mean to me?
Indiana OSHA recently started a VPP Mobile program for contractors. We have achieved VPP Star Status at Marathon Petroleum Company and Eli Lilly Technology Center.  We would like to start working towards applying for this mobile program and hope to have an audit completed in 2016. To achieve this, we will need support and participation from all employees to ensure all employees are compliant on training, completing necessary safety documents and are complying with safety rules and policies.
Throughout the year we will be providing more information through safety meetings and discussion, but wanted to get this information to everyone. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns please contact Trevor Atherton at (812) 422-3340. Your support and participation throughout this process will be greatly appreciated.

Indiana Governor’s Workplace Safety Award

On March 23, 2016, Gribbins Insulation was honored with the Indiana Governor’s Workplace Safety Award for Innovations in Construction. It is the fifth time since 2010 that Gribbins has received the award.Governors Safety Award 2016

From the Indiana Department of Labor:
Employee involvement is the backbone of the company’s workplace safety and health efforts.  Gribbins has demonstrated effective employee involvement in many areas that include its Surveying At-risk For Elimination Program or “SAFE” for short. Employees are introduced to SAFE during new hire orientation. Employees are trained to conduct observations while working in the field. The company also uses employee safety surveys to gain feedback on the company’s safety and health programs and efforts and to “test” employee knowledge of policies and procedures.
The company’s three-year total recordable case rate is nearly 84% below its national industry average.

The Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards were announced at the annual Safety and Health Conference and Exposition held at the Indiana Conference Center in Indianapolis. The awards were presented to 8 Hoosier companies by Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner Rick J. Ruble.
Commissioner Ruble emphasized, “There is no greater achievement as a business or organization than ensuring all employees go home safely at the end of the workday.”
Accepting the award from Commissioner Ruble were  JD Smothers, Gribbins Vice President, and Trevor Atherton, Gribbins Safety Manager. A list of all winners can be found here.

Safety Manager to present at Indiana’s Largest Safety Conference

Trevor.Gribbins5x7.LoResWebOn Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Trevor Atherton, CSP, CHST, CRIS, will present at the 2016 Indiana Safety and Health Conference and Expo at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.  Backed by the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers and in partnership with INSafe/Indiana Department of Labor, the event is one of the largest safety conferences in the Midwest.  To register, visit the official conference website: http://www.insafetyconf.com/

As the Safety Manager at Gribbins Insulation, the subject of Trevor’s Wednesday morning presentation will be “Behavior-Based Safety in Construction” including:

  • Focus on a peer-to-peer behavior-based safety process
  • Review the development phase of Gribbins Insulation’s behavior-based safety process to today
  • How employees conduct observations and how the data gathered are relayed back to employees

See page 8 of the conference agenda.

Gribbins Insulation’s behavior-based safety process is known internally as “SAFE” – Surveying At-Risk for Elimination.  Accredited by the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, this peer-to-peer behavior based safety observation program provides our safety department and management with insight into what employees are really seeing on the jobsites.  Employees are trained how to complete the observations and earn safety incentive points for participation.  The safety department documents and tracks all surveys, providing feedback to our field employees and management through monthly safety bulletins and the BBS Committee meeting, comprised of safety representatives and field personnel.

The SAFE program is just one part of Gribbins Insulation’s overall commitment to safety as a company value.  With our dedicated safety manager and three safety coordinators, our safety program is one of the best in our industry.  In addition to our many safety awards, our performance speaks volumes:

  • EMR of 0.60 as of May 1, 2016
  • EMR below .77 for over 15 years
  • Zero Recordables in 2013
  • Recordable Case Frequency Rate below 3.0 since 2002

Scaffold User Training

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox TalkOSHA 29 CFR 1926.452(a) requires that any employee accessing a scaffold shall be trained in the nature of any electrical hazards, fall hazards and falling object hazards in the work area, the correct procedures for dealing with electrical hazards and for erecting, maintaining, and disassembling the fall protection systems and falling object protection systems being used, the proper use of the scaffold and the proper handling of materials on the scaffold, the maximum intended load and the load carrying capacities of the scaffolds used and any other pertinent requirement of this subpart. The five most serious scaffold hazards are falls, access, electrical, collapse and struck by.


  • Scaffolds and scaffold components shall not be loaded in excess of their maximum intended loads or rated capacities, whichever is less. Be sure to know the rated capacity of the scaffold before working from it. A four to one safety factor is required to be built into all scaffold structures.
  • Shore or lean to scaffolds are prohibited.
  • Scaffold and scaffold components shall be inspected for visible defects by a competent person before each work shift, and after any occurrence which could affect a scaffold’s structural integrity. Employees shall also visually inspect the scaffold before gaining access.
  • Scaffold shall not be moved horizontally while employee are on them.
  • Scaffold shall not be erected, used, dismantled, altered or moved such that they or any conductive material handled on them might come closer to exposed and energized power lines than as follows: Insulated lines less than 300 volts minimum distance 3 feet, 300 volts to 50 kv minimum distance 10 feet, more than 50 kv minimum distance 10 feet plus 0.4 inches for each 1 kv over 50 kv. Uninsulated lines less than 50 kv minimum distance 10 feet, more than 50 kv minimum distance 10 feet plus 0.4 inches for each 1 kv over 50 kv.
  • Scaffold shall be erected, moved, dismantled or altered only under the supervision and direction of a competent person.
  • Employees are prohibited from working on scaffolds covered with snow, ice or other slippery materials except as necessary for removal of such materials or during storms or high winds.
  • Where swinging loads are being hoisted onto or near scaffolds such that loads might contact the scaffold, tag lines or equivalent measures to control the loads shall be used.
  • Debris shall not be allowed to accumulate on platforms.
  • Makeshift devices, such as but not limited to boxes and barrels, or ladders shall not be used on scaffold platforms to increase the working level height of employees.

Fall Protection

  • Guardrail – Top rail installed between 38” and 45”, mid rail between platform and top rail.
  • Personal Fall Arrest System – Anchor point must be capable of withstanding a force of 5000 lbs per man.

Falling Object Protection

  • Hard hats shall always be worn on scaffolding.
  • Area below scaffolding shall be barricaded and employees shall not enter or toe boards shall be installed.

Rolling Scaffold

  • Height to base ratio greater than 4 to 1 stabilizers are required
  • Employees shall not ride on scaffolds and wheels must be locked while in use.

General Requirement

  • Base plates must be placed under each leg and secured if potential for lateral movement exists
  • Wood planks shall be of 2” x 10” scaffold plank grade wood.
  • The bottom rung on attachable ladder shall not be more that 24” off supporting level.

Scaffold Tagging

  • Review site requirement before accessing scaffold. Gribbins Insulation scaffold tagging is as follows:
    • Green Tag – the scaffold is 100% complete with top rail, mid rail and toe boards. Fall protection is not required while working from scaffold, but may be required when climbing scaffold ladder.
    • Yellow Tag – the scaffold is accessible, but there are hazards. Read the tag before getting on and follow tagging instructions.
    • Red Tag – the scaffold is not complete, DO NOT USE
  • Before getting on the scaffold check the tag to ensure it has been inspected that shift by a competent person.

President’s Message

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Toolbox Talk

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