How Much do You Know About Silica?

19 Apr

Silica knowledge is a must on a construction site, since occupational exposure to crystalline silica often occurs as part of common construction operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, brick, block, rock, and stone products.  The hazards of excessive exposure to crystalline silica have been known since ancient times, going back to the construction of the pyramids.  However, despite more than 2,000 years of knowledge that silica is a hazard, data from the National Occupational Respiratory Mortality System indicates that between 1990 and 1999 there were still 118 reported silica-related deaths in the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAconstruction industry.

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) explains that a key component in preventing overexposure to silica and subsequent disease is to have a competent person for on a construction site who is capable of recognizing and evaluating situations where overexposure may be occurring, who knows how to evaluate the exposure potential, and who can make an initial recommendation on how to control that exposure.

The AIHA has released a white paper that provides the recommended skills and capabilities for “silica-competent persons.”

According to the white paper, silica-qualified person:

  • Has a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing in an occupational health, safety, environmental, or engineering field (e.g., CIH, CSP, PE);
  • Has extensive knowledge, training, and experience in hazards and control of silica hazards on the construction site through formal training and/or extensive, firsthand experience in anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of worker silica exposure; and
  • Can make quantitative assessments of worker exposure and recommend detailed control measures.

Read the full article HERE >>

Summit Can HelpSilica_ConcreteCutting

Summit’s Silica Safety Awareness program will teach your workers about the hazards of crystalline silica in order to avoid unnecessary illness and death.

Silica Safety Awareness >> 


~Get Social with Summit Training Source, now a part of the Health and Safety Institute~

Twitter: Sara Wesche @SafetyTraining1


Top 5 Distractions That Cause Motor Vehicle Accidents

16 Apr

Distracted driving is dangerous – it causes around one in four accidents and nearly eight in ten accidents involve brief driver inattentiveness in the seconds preceding the accident. With simple attentiveness, drivers can prevent most traffic accidents. Unfortunately, drivers face many distractions behind the wheel. By avoiding five common distractions, drivers can help reduce the probability of an accident.

1.  Mobile Phone Use -

Mobile phone usage causes nearly a quarter of all accidents.  Talking on a cell phone creates two risks for the driver: One, the driver must dedicate cognitive resources to the conversation, reducing the driver’s ability to recognize threats and take preventative action.  Two, physically using a mobile phone takes the driver’s hand off the wheel.

Also, texting is particularly hazardous as it also removes the driver’s eyes from the road for extended periods. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association, each time a driver sends or receives a text message, his or her gaze is removed OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfrom the roadway for 4.6 seconds. At 65 miles per hour, drivers cover over 95 feet every second, creating a substantial risk of harm to other motorists.

2.  Eating -

Many Americans depend upon fast food to get through the day, rushing through meals behind the wheel to minimize the time spent dedicated to eating. However, eating behind the wheel causes the driver to divert his or her attention to the food, either brief or protracted depending upon the nature of the food, especially after dropping food. For particularly messy meals, oils and sauces can reduce the driver’s grip on the steering wheel.

3.  Grooming -

Americans also tend to multitask when it comes to grooming. Shaving, applying makeup, and arranging one’s hair all requires the driver to avert his or her gaze and focus on a mirror. Drivers who focus on the vanity mirror ignore the road and endanger other motorists. Drivers should take care of their grooming habits before they get into the vehicle or wait until they have reached their destination before addressing their grooming needs.

4.  Passengers -

Automobile passengers are another common source of distractions; bouncing children, intoxicated friends, and backseat drivers who believe that they are being helpful frequently distract the driver. Drivers have greater difficulty remaining alert to road conditions when passengers are creating motion in the driver’s peripheral vision and making distracting statements. Drivers should insist that passengers not move about the vehicle and avoid from making any noises that suddenly distract the driver.

5.  On-board Electronics -

Many modern vehicles are equipped with steering-wheel mounted radio controls and features such as satellite navigation and radio, adjustable suspensions, and other features controlled from an internal computer. Drivers who wish to access traffic and weather updates often must operate  these devices by viewing the central navigation screen and reading its contents, taking their eyes and their minds off the road.

Source >> 

Stay Away from Distractions With Summit

Reduce the chances of your drivers becoming part of the statistics and stay in compliance with DOT driving regulations and enforcement programs in your state with Summit’s interactive, multi-media driver safety programs that include:

  • Forever And Ever: The Lasting Consequences of Distracted Driving
  • DOT/CSA: Profiled in Safety
  • Driver Training: Street Smart
  • Road Rage
  • Driver Attitude

Browse Titles >> 


~Get Social with Summit Training Source, now a part of the Health and Safety Institute~

Twitter: Sara Wesche @SafetyTraining1


I2P2 and eLearning: How These Work Together

11 Apr

We all want to reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and improve the associated financial burdens on U.S. workplaces, right?  Well Injury and Illness Prevention Programs are here to help.  Known by a variety of names, I2P2 programs are universal interventions that work to create higher productivity, greater efficiency, and decrease worker compensation costs, all while increasing1i2p2promo employee morale and creating a positive brand image.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that approximately 3.3 million serious work-related injuries and about 4,300 fatalities occurred in 2009.  The human cost of preventable workplace injuries and deaths is incalculable   According to the 2010 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the direct cost of the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in 2008 amounted to $53.42 billion in U.S. workers compensation costs, more than one billion dollars per week.

Implementing an I2P2 program could help alleviate these costs and keep workers better protected on a day to day basis.

Something important to remember is that OSHA’s rule/standard is not going to fit each workplace perfectly; it is meant to give guidance and structure to allow for adaptation.  Each workplace is very specific to itself; it has its own hazards, it own processes, and its own workforce.  When executing your plan, make sure to keep all the necessary elements as recommended by OSHA, but apply them in a way that works best for your specific facility.

Want to know what is arguably the best way to deliver an I2P2 program to your company?  Online training – it is proven to be one of the most fast and cost-effective means of learning.  Delivering safety training via a browser based, interactive and self-paced curriculum is a cost-effective addition to any training program, as the original investment pays for itself through more efficient and flexible training, greater comprehension, and less time away from production for training.

According to Training Magazine, corporations save between 50-70% when replacing instructor-led training with electronic content delivery.  Business results are where you get your true return on investment.

The training needs to be effective at helping you prevent accidents and incidents and helping you meet your safety training goals. Implementing online learning for I2P2 should not be stressful, and in the long run should make completing important safety and compliance training easier.  Successful online training programs should be more than a PowerPoint™ presentation offered over the web; it should keep workers’ attention with interactive, state-of-the-art graphics, animation, and real video to engage the learner and reinforce learning through creative questions and exercises.  By selecting an online training vendor that is an expert in developing technically accurate EH&S training and delivery systems, who also offers helpful customer support, and following an implementation strategy, utilizing online learning in your work environment will have a positive effect on your I2P2 and overall safety program, leading to higher productivity and improved time to market.

Work on an I2P2 program for your company with Summit’s online training solution! >> 


~Get Social with Summit Training Source, now a part of the Health and Safety Institute~

Twitter: Sara Wesche @SafetyTraining1



Repair the Impairments: Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace

9 Apr

Here are some not-so-fun facts for you:

60 percent of the world’s illegal drugs are consumed by American drug users.  Two million Americans use heroin, six million use cocaine, 18 million have alcohol abuse problems, and an estimated 23 million people use marijuana at least four times in a week, according to the American Council for Drug Education.  Of total drug users in the United States, 74.8 percent are employed and active in the workplace – this means that 12.9 million individuals actively use drugs in the workforce.

-  Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

As most employers are aware, drug and alcohol use is a chronic problem among employees in the workplace.  By some studies Drug Testing 01conducted of workplace accidents, 20 percent or more of employees at the typical workplace are impaired due to drug and alcohol usage on any given day. Post accident drug and alcohol tests confirm the significant numbers of fatalities and serious injuries that have been caused by such impairment. A recent federal court decision, EEOC v. United States Steel Corporation, et al., __ F. Supp. __, Civil Action No. 10-1284 (USDC W.D. Pa., Feb. 20, 2012) gives employers added support for random drug and alcohol testing to combat these safety risks.*

CASE – The case involved a U.S. Steel facility in Clairton, Pennsylvania which had established a random drug and alcohol testing program for its probationary employees at its coke production plant, with the goal being a “drug and alcohol free workplace.”  A probationary employee was selected for a random breath alcohol test which indicated the presence of alcohol.  The employee claimed that the positive test result was attributable to her diabetic condition.  She was terminated and filed a charge with the EEOC claiming she was discriminated against under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

VERDICT – The Court  found that the company had proved that the coke plant was an extremely dangerous workplace given the nature of the equipment, molten coke, and the various employee job duties in the vicinity of the operation. The Court also recognized that the drug and alcohol testing was related to legitimate safety concerns, including the obligation under OSHA’s General Duty Clause, to protect employees against hazards to their safety and health. The Court held “there is no question that maintaining workplace safety is a legitimate and vital business necessity.”  After an extensive analysis, the Court granted the company’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the lawsuit.

CONCLUSION – This decision is meaningful as it provides strong support for employer efforts to maintain workplace safety by iStock_000003274349Mediumeliminating injuries due to drug and alcohol impairment. Workplaces are encouraged to establish a Drug Free Workplace Program that upper management can rely on to provide help in a professional and consistent manner for employees who are suspected or confirmed of abusing substances.  Employers should consider the efficacy of such programs as a means of reducing such injuries and a means to prove to OSHA that they are taking all reasonable means to eliminate accidents caused by such impairment. For these programs to work, managers and supervisors should be educated in how to recognize and deal with substance abuse issues, and employees should be offered more direct assistance to educational programs or referrals to community services. Employers must also determine whether there are any state law restrictions on such programs and tailor such programs to comply accordingly.

Summit Can Help

Summit has several drug and alcohol related programs to help your company with your Drug Free Workplace Program.

Browse titles now! >> 

*Mark A. Lies, II, is a partner with the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, 131 South Dearborn Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60603 (312) 460-5877, He specializes in occupational safety and health and related employment law and civil litigation.


~Get Social with Summit Training Source, now a part of the Health and Safety Institute~

Twitter: Sara Wesche @SafetyTraining1



April is Distracted Driving Month – Get the Facts

4 Apr

Distracted driving can range from drunk driving and texting while driving to simply listening to music.  Though some activities while driving may seem harmless enough, the consequences of not paying attention on the road can be disastrous to you and those around you.  Summit wants to make sure that you and your workers know how to stay safe out there on the roads.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing, including these three main types of distraction:

  1. Visual — taking your eyes off the road
  2. Manual — taking your hands off the wheel
  3. Cognitive — taking your mind off what you’re doing

Other distracting activities include:

  • Using a cell phone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Smoking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a PDA or navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Changing the radio station, CD, or Mp3 player.

While all distractions can endanger drivers’ safety, there are two kinds that soar above the rest as being the most dangerous; texting, because it involves all three types of distraction, and drunk driving, because all three types of distraction are impaired.

Research on distracted driving reveals some surprising facts:

  • 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA).
  • Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
  • In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
  • Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)
  • U.S. drivers got behind the wheel after drinking too much about 112 million times in 2010.
  • Though episodes of drinking and driving have gone down by 30% during the past 5 years, it remains a serious problem.
  • Alcohol-impaired drivers are involved in about 1 in 3 crash deaths, resulting in nearly 11,000 deaths in 2009. A recent CDC report discusses drinking and driving and the proven measures that can help.

Read more on Distracted Driving Month at NSC >> 

Get Your ‘Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving’ with Summit’s Driver Safety Programs and Free Downloadable Whitepaper

Reduce the chances of your drivers becoming part of the statistics and stay in compliance with DOT driving regulations and enforcement programs in your state with Summit’s interactive, multi-media driver safety programs that include:

  • Forever And Ever: The Lasting Consequences of Distracted Driving
  • DOT/CSA: Profiled in Safety
  • Driver Training: Street Smart
  • Road Rage
  • Driver Attitude

Summit’s free whitepaper download on distracted driving explains the extreme importance of having all drivers understand their responsibility to recognize distracted driving and try to avoid those interferences at all costs.  Click below to download:

Distracted Driving – Affecting Change with Forever and Ever >>


~Get Social with Summit Training Source, now a part of the Health and Safety Institute~

Twitter: Sara Wesche @SafetyTraining1



Blended Learning or Classroom Training – Are Both Equally Effective?

3 Apr

Everyday, managers and supervisors make critical decisions when choosing their training materials. Choices are determined by a multitude of different elements including cost, consistency, and time efficiency. Upper management has to decide the who, what, where, when and how of adult educational training. For successful implementation of a training program, it is important to make sure your content fits your worker when choosing your training materials. Taking into consideration the age, learning level, skill and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAprevious experience of your students can make all the difference in providing an effective program. Each dollar you spend in training should result in a positive reimbursement for production output and employee productivity.

A few months ago, HSI posted a question on their blog about blended learning and classroom training and whether or not they are both equally effective.  Summit has also been asked this question and has responded by offering both types of training services to offer convenient and effective training options.

What is blended learning?

The North American Council for Online Learning defines it this way:

“Blended learning means many things to many people, even within our relatively small online learning community. It is referred to as both blended and hybrid learning, with little or no difference in the meaning of the terms among most educators. In general terms, blended learning combines online delivery of educational content with the best features of classroom interaction and live instruction to personalize learning, allow thoughtful reflection, and differentiate instruction from student to student across a diverse group of learners.”

For HSI, ASHI & MEDIC First Aid’s blended learning courses, as well as Summit’s blending learning options, combine the best elements of online training with Instructor-led in-class skills sessions.

Blended learning is the perfect training solution for:

  • Students who want the convenience of learning online
  • Employers who need to minimize employee time away from the work station
  • Training Centers seeking additional revenue by increasing student volume

Read the full Blog post from HSI here >>

Good training content is a very important asset regarding workplace safety; it affects a multitude of different elements including cost, consistency, and time efficiency. More importantly, the elements of understanding how a worker learns and quality course content are essential in your training choice. Apply adult learning studies when reviewing training programs to purchase, taking into consideration the age, learning level, skill and previous experience of your students. Understand that it is important to make sure your content fits your worker when choosing your training materials. Bottom line: make sure you evaluate your training content in depth before purchasing.  The difference between a good training program and a mediocre training program can be the difference between a worker getting home to his family and a fatal injury.


~Get Social with Summit Training Source, now a part of the Health and Safety Institute~

Twitter: Sara Wesche @SafetyTraining1


Picture This: Pandemics

29 Mar

Remember that blog we had a few months ago on The History of Pandemics?  Well, get ready to be amazed – and learn at the same time!   Here is a really cool infographic that our friends over at HSI made for us… Check it out below!

The next pandemic could happen tomorrow… are you ready? ASHI, MEDIC First Aid, and Summit Training Source encourage you to use universal precautions in emergency care or workplace situations that leave you vulnerable to any sort of infection. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and some simple best practices like frequent handwashing are easy to implement and easy to learn. If you or your employees need training in universal precautions or other health and safety issues, check out our “find a training class” feature on our website.

Be prepared with training solutions from the Health & Safety Institute’s Family of Brands >> 

To read the full blog post from HSI, click here >> 


~Get Social with Summit Training Source, now a part of the Health and Safety Institute~

Twitter: Sara Wesche @SafetyTraining1


Have YOU Heard About the HSI Conference?

28 Mar


Check out the HSI Conference, taking place in San Antonio, TX, from October 20 – November 1.

Our theme this year is “Evolution Through Innovation, Inspired by Your Needs.” Really, the conference is all about you. What do you need to grow your business, run your Training Center, and get the most from your ASHI/MEDIC First Aid experience? We’ll equip you with tools and resources you can use to streamline, enhance, and prepare your TC to meet the challenges of the always-evolving world of emergency care training.

Conference session tracks include:

  • Otis Technologies
  • Instructor/Professional Development
  • Innovations
  • EMS and Firefighting Education/Trends
  • Training Center Strategies for Success
  • Safety Training Topics

Starting on October 30th, we will have three days of education, networking, and fun with the best emergency care Instructors in the business.

Take advantage of our Early Bird registration rate! Only $229 from now until March 31, 2013. After March 31, the regular conference rate will be $299. We’ll see you there.



~Get Social with Summit Training Source, now a part of the Health and Safety Institute~

Twitter: Sara Wesche @SafetyTraining1


Travel with Safety Style

26 Mar

Spring break is upon us, and that means relaxation, time to spend with the family, and time away from work.  But that also means a lot of us will be out on the road, in the air, on the water or the rails travelling to your vacation destination.  

In addition to vacationers, travel is a necessary part of many employees’ jobs, whether they are on the road weekly or once a year. There are many distractions that occur during travel and we are often not fully aware of our surroundings, as well as problems with criminals, who can take advantage of the inattention of the unsuspecting traveler. Travelling safely is a must.


Busiest Air Travel Weeks in 2010: The top honor of busiest travel week once again goes to Christmas Week (Dec. 19 – Dec. 25), followed by the first week of August and the fourth week of June. Rounding out the top five was the third week of March, when many high schools and universities went on spring break.

Orbitz Insider Index: The Top Five Busiest Travel Weeks 

1. Christmas Week (Dec. 19 – Dec. 25)
2. August, First Week (Aug. 1 – Aug. 7)
3. June, Fourth Week (June 20 – 26)
4. June, Third Week (June 13 – 19)
5. March, Third Week (Mar. 14 – 20)

Top 2010 U.S. Destinations: The usual suspects are back atop the 2010 list of the 10 most popular U.S. travel destinations. For the third year in a row Las Vegas, New York, and Chicago claimed the first three spots on the list.

Percentage of workers in private industry who receive a paid vacation as one of their employment benefits.

24.3 minutes
The average time it takes to commute to work.

More Than 100 hours
The amount of time the average American spends commuting to work each year. (This exceeds the typical two weeks of vacation time taken by many U.S. workers over the course of a year.)


Thirty-three million people will travel at least 50 miles from home this Labor Day weekend, a 2.9 percent increase from last year, according to AAA. The vast majority — 85 percent– will go by automobile, a 3.1 percent increase compared with last year.

That’s a lot of driving.  Additionally, motorists should be careful behind the wheel throughout th3ir travels, as authorities will be hitting the roads en masse to crackdown on drunken drivers as part of the nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign coordinated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

While most travelers experience no more than an occasional lost bag or wrong turn, Summit’s Travel Safety trains your employees on common sense precautions to help business travelers avoid more serious problems all year round. Travel Safety covers domestic as well as international travel procedures, and teaches your traveling employees to be aware of their surroundings and common travel safety hazards at all times. Sum-VDVD-v

In Summit’s DVD Travel Safety program, we discuss:

  • Pre-planning to avoid travel hazards
  • Personal security tips
  • How to minimize your risk when driving, flying, and staying in hotels

Travel Safety >>


~Get Social with Summit Training Source, now a part of the Health and Safety Institute~

Twitter: Sara Wesche @SafetyTraining1



22 Mar

Summit Wins Bronze in 34th Annual Telly Awards for DVD Training Program

Summit Training Source is pleased to announce that our DVD training program, Workforce Hazard Recognition: Identify & Eliminate, was recognized for excellence at the 34th Annual Telly Awards.  Summit’s important program was the recipient of the Bronze Award in the category of training videos.  “We are very pleased with the recognition that this training program has received,” commented Scott Wallace, Summit’s Production Manager.  “The Telly Award is a true honor.”

The winning DVD training program, Workforce Hazard Recognition: Identify & Eliminate, teaches workers to identify and eliminate the risky actions and conditions they don’t see coming.  According to OSHA, it’s estimated that for every 20,000 Unsafe Actions that occur, there will be 1,500 Near Misses, 300 Minor Injuries, 29 Major Injuries, and 1 Death.   This program will make sure workers recognize risk in the workplace to avoid these statistics by covering:


  • Why small actions matter
  • Hazard recognition tools
  • Maintaining awareness

The Telly Awards, founded in 1978, is the premier award honoring the finest video and film productions and receives over 13,000 entries annually from the finest ad agencies, production companies, TV stations, cable companies, interactive agencies and corporations in the world. For more information on the Telly Awards visit

Summit Training Source is the premier provider of safety and compliance training materials, serving more than 45,000 industry leaders worldwide to protect their most valuable resources from risk, danger, and loss. With more than 600 environmental, health, and safety training titles available for delivery via elearning courses, DVD, streaming video, and onsite services, Summit provides proven content that delivers the business results expected in today’s competitive global environment.  For more information about Summit, call 800.842.0466 or visit

Press Contact:

Sara Wesche

VP Marketing Communications

800.842.0466 x210



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