OSHA: Falls are leading cause of death in construction industry

OSHA is cracking down on fall protection standards, hoping to prevent future deaths.

More construction industry workers die from falls than from any other on-the-job accident.

More construction industry employees die from falling than from any other work-related hazard, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The federal agency is currently running a nationwide safety campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of falls among both workers and supervisors, and is also cracking down on companies that are not in OSHA compliance with steep punitive fines. For example, a masonry company in New Jersey is facing $52,470 in fines for exposing employees to fall hazards, while a roofing firm in Illinois could have to pay $48,400.

“Allowing construction workers on roofs without fall protection is inexcusable negligence,” OSHA area director in Illinois, Kathy Webb, said in a press release. “No worker should lose their life for a paycheck.”

Officials say that following these three steps can dramatically reduce the number of preventable deaths at construction sites:


Contractors and other construction managers must account for safety equipment costs when providing customers with estimates, and should thoroughly assess a job’s safety requirements before sending workers into the field.


Under federal law, employers are required to provide proper safety equipment for their teams. This will vary depending on the job and other circumstances.


Even the best fall protection equipment won’t do much good if workers do not know how to properly use it to stay safe. This is why OSHA says that employee training is so crucial in reducing the number of accidents. Mastery Technologies offers a variety of inexpensive, easy-to-use online training courses to educate your team on proper fall protection. While helping to keep you in compliance with federal regulations, these resources could also save your employees’ lives.

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Harassment 101: Creating A Positive Workplace

Hbullyave you ever been bullied on the job? Or, have you been a victim of verbal harassment? Harassment comes in all shapes and sizes and can affect your overall work performance.

Harassment is the act or an instance of harassing, or disturbing, pestering, troubling repeatedly or persecution. For some, harassment within the workplace can be described as continuous unwelcome conduct or comments directed toward an employee violating their civil rights.

Employees should be excited to go to work each day, free of worry and fret that cases of harassment might present themselves.  Mastery Technologies offers a training course, “Creating a Respectful and Positive Workplace,”  to help employees create and contribute toward their company’s efforts in creating a respectful workplace. With training such as this, employees become more aware of their fellow co-workers’ civil rights, eliminating the number of harassment complaints.

In this training, employees learn how to avoid discrimination and intolerant behavior within the workplace. In order to maintain a respectful and positive workplace, one must respect the unique perspective and offer downloadknowledge when needed to others. The training also covers discovering collaborative skills and the importance of establishing an environment conducive to creating an effective team.

When working to eliminate harassment within the workplace, instead of tearing down ones self-esteem, building ones self-esteem contributes to the organization’s overall mission.

Learn more about handling harassment within the workplace by looking into one of the many training courses provided by Mastery.

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Organizations push to reduce workplace deaths

Is a world without workplace deaths possible? Safety leaders around the world are asking themselves that question.

The International Labor Organization (ILO), which recently organized the XX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2014, is seeking to promote a discussion on this very topic. According to a recent article on Safety.BLR.com, the conference has evolved into a forum for as many as 4,000 occupational safety experts, scientists and politicians from around the world.

Is a world without workplace deaths possible? Safety leaders around the world are asking themselves that question.

Is a world without workplace deaths possible? Safety leaders around the world are asking themselves that question.

“Prevention is possible, it is necessary, and it pays,” ILO Director General Guy Ryder said at the conference.

Of course, advocates for safer workplaces face a significant challenge. The news source added that as many as 2.3 million people die every year around the world as a result of illnesses or injuries suffered while on the job.

But safety rules can turn this around—and they have.

“A hundred years ago in Germany, there were 10,000 deaths a year at work,” Dr. Joachim Breuer, a German insurance executive, said. “Last year the figure was less than 500 for the first time.”

In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) emphasizes the importance of employee training to ensure that all safety regulations are adhered to.

The results are often positive. For example, workplace deaths in Wyoming are on the decline, according to a report by the Casper Star Tribune. Officials in the state said that the number of deaths fell by 32 percent in 2013, which is the most recent data available.

In many industries, online training programs are a useful tool for ensuring that employees are abiding by safety rules. Mastery Technologies offers a variety of inexpensive, easy-to-use online training courses to educate your team.

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Managing Diversity Within the Workplace

In a survey conducted by Forbes, 85% of the 300+ large global enterprises polled agreed or strongly agreed that diversity is crucial to fostering innovation within the workplace.1297752443

Diversity comes in all shapes and sizes. From cultural and gender differences to educational backgrounds and parental status, diversity is here and now. Managing diversity within a company should be viewed as a best practice. Companies embracing diversity will experience of growth for months or years to come.

nfl-logoFor example, the National Football League (NFL)  has taken charge and responsibility of the management of their diversity efforts by implementing the Rooney Rule. In 2003, the NFL enforced a rule requiring teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. After reviewing their hiring practices, the NFL took responsibility for their lack of hiring minorities by implementing the rule to diversify staffing efforts.

This practice has helped the NFL manage and maintain diversity throughout their organization. By taking a proactive approach the NFL helped set a standard within the sports industry.

Courses such as Mastery’s Diversity: On The Threshold of Change helps employees recognize the benefits of diversity and the Equal Opportunity Law. For more courses on diversity visit mastery.com!



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Diversity: Your Company’s Future

Diversity within organizations is the wave of the future. From cultural to gender, diversity creates opportunities within the workplace, but it all starts with you as an individual. Innovation in the area of diversity can take your company to the next level.

What are you doing to be an asset to the wave of diversified changes happening within your organization? Can your creativity or a boost of spontaneity be the element your company needs to set themselves above the rest?

Before going to management with your ideas on how to diversify the office, Mastery’s e-learning course, “Understanding Diversity in the Workplace” explains how to acknowledge common diversity stereotypes and leverage differences in order to create or maintain a dynamic team.

Understanding Diversity in the Workplace expounds on the importance of realizing the value of each employee and their talents, understanding individuals differences and dealing with power and authority. The training also highlights the importance of managing conflict, and the impact culture has on communication styles.

Here are three quick tips for contributing to your company’s diversified future:

  1. Communicate – Do you part to effectively communicate within the workplace. Each communication style has its rightful place within the office. Learn which one to use and in which scenario.
  2. Be a contributor – Don’t be afraid to share your ideas or thoughts on a project. Your contributions could be exactly what your company needs in order to see the project through successfully.
  3. Embrace change – With diversity, comes change. Do your part to embrace change when you see it approaching. Change makes everyone nervous and/or self conscious. Be the change catalyst within your organization. Embrace, adapt to the change and then help others to adapt as well.

Learn how diversity contributes toward the overall success of a company with one of Mastery’s diversity training courses.


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The formula for creating a great workplace culture

If you want to improve your company's culture, try investing in relevant online training programs.

FOX Business recommends investing in training courses to help your team improve company culture.

As a manager, it can be hard to identify concrete steps to improve your company culture. While it’s easy to think of abstract phrases to describe the environment we want to create — “positive,” “innovative” and “creative” — it can be harder to translate those ideas into actions.

Behavior scientist Darren Hill suggests identifying a specific behavior that corresponds with a cultural trait. For example, if “respect” is the trait you want to demonstrate, its corresponding behavior might be: “speaking to all levels of employees the same way.” Breaking down a cultural value into the actions it requires makes it attainable for every employee and manager.

“Cultures are only strong when people understand the consistent behaviors required to belong,” Hill writes in Business Review Weekly. “The problem? Too many workplaces have a set of traits on the wall, yet have a different set of behaviors on the floor.”

In other words, if you want to implement cultural change, it’s not enough to just tell your team. We recently discussed on this blog how unclear job expectations are one of the top professional stressors. In that same vein, you need to identify specific actions you’d like to see (or not see) at work and provide employees and management with concrete examples to foster those shifts in behavior.

FOX Business also recommends offering your team opportunities for continued employee development training programs. Investing in your employees makes them more likely to invest in the workplace, putting in the effort necessary to change the company culture. Inexpensive and easy-to-use training courses from Mastery Technologies can help you address a wide range of issues, from encouraging safer practices in high-risk fields to improving general leadership and teamwork skills.

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North Dakota safety advocates: More training needed in oil fields

North Dakota safety advocates say new oil workers need more safety training.

North Dakota safety advocates say new oil workers need more safety training.

Safety advocates in North Dakota say workers need more training to keep them safe in the oil fields, The Bismarck Tribune reports. Dustin Austin, a consultant with the North Dakota Safety Council (NDSC), tells the newspaper that the Bakken oil boom has attracted many workers to the region who have little or no experience, and don’t properly understand how to stay safe in the field.

“There’s a lot that goes into supporting the oil and gas industry,” Austin said. “The way North Dakota was set up previously, none of this was up here. There was not a lot of activity or a need for enforcement. But with the level of hazards it’s now dealing with, the industry hasn’t had the resources it needs.”

Austin tells The Tribune that too many workers in the Bakken fields sustain serious injuries to their arms and hands because they fail to use equipment properly — accidents that could easily be prevented with more training.

At the recent North Dakota Governor’s Pipeline Summit, presenters ranging from Gov. Jack Dalrymple to Director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority Justin Kringstad stressed the importance of maintaining proper safety standards when working with oil. Conscientious training can also ensure that mistakes don’t lead to lost production and environmental damage, the effects of which can obviously be devastating.

If you are a professional in the oil and gas industry, take a look at Mastery Technologies‘ considerable selection of field-specific safety training and occupational skills training resources, covering everything from incident response to hand safety and injury prevention. Act today to make your workplace safer for all of your employees — an investment is sure to pay off by preventing potentially costly and tragic accidents.

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Fatality rate in North Dakota’s oil and gas industry six times national average

More safety training is needed to prevent more deaths in North Dakota's oil and gas industry.

Over the last two-and-a-half years, North Dakota has lost an average of more than one worker per month to a workplace accident.

Over the past two-and-a-half years, North Dakota’s oil and gas industry has lost an average of more than one worker a month to an on-the-job accident, triggering demands for more workplace safety training. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced it is transferring more inspectors to the state in an effort to prevent future deaths amid the ongoing oil boom.

“These industries are inherently dangerous, and workers  are exposed to multiple hazards every day,” OSHA’s area director in Bismarck, Eric Brooks, said in a news release. “Their safety  must not be compromised because demand for production keeps increasing.”

In 2012, North Dakota’s oil and gas industry fatality rate was 104 per 100,000 workers — six times greater than the national average, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Eighty-seven percent of all of the state’s workplace fatalities since the start of 2012 have occurred in the oil and gas field. Since the oil boom began around 2006, thousands of workers have come to the state looking for jobs. Unfortunately, many of these people have little or no experience working in this high-risk industry, which has no doubt contributed to the high fatality rate.

As more OSHA investigators arrive in North Dakota, be sure you and your team are in full compliance with safety policies. Indeed, it is imperative oil and gas supervisors in all states invest in ongoing employee training to ensure all workers are staying safe on-the-job. Mastery Technologies offers a wide variety of inexpensive and easy-to-use options that cover such important topics as fall prevention, lockout/tagout procedures, incident response,  and environmental protection. See the course catalog for a full listing of available topics.

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More training, supervision might have prevented death at Pennsylvania gas well

A recently released report from the state of Pennsylvania found inadequate training, inexperience and insufficient supervision were likely to blame in the death of a worker at a Chevron Corp gas well in Greene County. On February 11, 2014, a 27-year-old worker, at the Lanco 7H well in Dunkard, reportedly heard the hissing sound of gas and went to investigate. The well exploded, killing the man, who Reuters news service reports was expecting his first child.

According to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), an inadequately trained, inexperienced worker — also known as a “greenhat” — had earlier been told to adjust the natural gas well’s lockpins without the oversight of his supervisor. The lockpins were not properly secured, allowing methane gas to escape and ultimately combust.

Inadequate safety training at natural gas sites can result in fatalities.

Proper safety training is particularly important in the oil and gas industry.

“The ‘greenhat’ was not supervised closely as he manipulated the lock pins. The ‘greenhat’ had not been trained on this procedure, or any other well procedure,” said the information gathering report. “Allowing inexperienced workers to manipulate pins and gland-nuts on the pressurized wells with limited supervision by co-workers or WSMs increase[d] the safety risk.”

McKee’s family has filed a lawsuit against Chevron Corp. DEP recommended all well operators who use the kinds of lockpins involved in this incident review and reinforce proper safety procedures with all relevant employees.

This tragic story illustrates the true cost of failing to provide oil and gas workers with adequate safety training. Even a small mistake by an inexperienced worker can result in fatalities. If you are in the oil and gas industry, refer to Mastery Technologies‘ extensive library of field-specific training resources to make your workplace safer for all of your employees.

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Glassdoor ranks companies by workplace culture and values

A positive corporate culture often encourage employees to exercise and eat healthily.

To improve your company culture try encouraging employees to adopt healthier habits.

Are you a manager who wants to improve the culture at your company?

Job listing and career management site Glassdoor recently released its first ranking of American companies in terms of workplace culture and values. Glassdoor compiled the list based on the reviews of anonymous employees. Twitter, Edelman, Google, Riverbed Technology and Facebook claimed the five highest spots. Southwest Airlines, Chick-fil-a, National Instruments, Chevron and H E B rounded out the top 10. So what if you are a manager who wants to improve the culture at your company? Here are some factors to consider:


Companies like Twitter are awash in creative energy. If you would like to encourage your team to think outside of the box and become more innovative, check out Mastery Technologies’ many training courses on effectively developing positive organizational values.


Workplaces that encourage healthy living often have more positive cultures. Promote the health and wellness of your employees by investing in training courses on topics like diet, nutrition, stress, fitness, work-life balance and overall wellness.

Low Turnover Rates:

A company with a great culture will likely see low turnover rates, because employees simply don’t want to leave. If it’s hard for you to hold on to workers, it might be time to evaluate your corporate values.


Many of the companies Glassdoor named got high marks from employees for promoting teamwork among staff.

“The culture is amazing,” wrote one anonymous Glassdoor reviewer who works at Google. “Each employee does not mind helping the other out if they are stuck.”

While “teamwork” is an abstract concept and therefore hard to measure, it is not difficult to improve with a little organized effort. Mastery Technologies offers several insightful courses to help managers improve a company’s overall sense of camaraderie and support.

Browse a large library of employee development and training courses at Mastery.com.

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