Manufacturer faces $320K fine for exposing employees to amputation and other hazards

OSHA has cited Sabel Steel Service Inc., based in Montgomery, AL, for exposing employees to amputation, fall and other hazards at four of its facilities. 

The penalties add up to $320,261 – $269,043 in serious violations and $51,218 in repeat violations (there were also other-than-serious violations issued for which no monetary penalties were issued).

OSHA conducted separate inspections at the company’s facilities in:

  • Montgomery, AL, ($139,027 in fines)
  • Dothan, AL, ($100,613)
  • Theodore, AL, ($12,085), and
  • Newman, GA, ($67,816).

OSHA cited the company for:

  • exposing employees to amputation hazards
  • failing to use safety procedures to control the release of hazardous energy during machine maintenance or servicing
  • failing to provide fall protection
  • failing to conduct medical evaluations to determine an employee’s ability to use a respirator
  • improperly storing oxygen, propane and acetylene cylinders, and
  • electrical and fire hazards.

The inspections were part of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations. The program’s purpose is to identify and to reduce workplace machinery and equipment hazards which are causing or likely to cause amputations. This inspection program runs through Sept. 30, 2019 and could be extended.

Mechanical components that present amputation hazards include:

  • point of operation
  • power-transmission apparatuses, and
  • other moving parts, such as reciprocating, rotating and transverse moving parts.

“Employers are required to conduct regular assessments of their workplaces to identify safety hazards that can put employees at risk for serious or fatal injuries,” said OSHA Mobile, AL, Area Office Director Joseph Roesler.

Sabel Steel Service has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


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The Right Healthcare Communication Strategy to Win Members Over!

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”, the quote by Albert Einstein stands true for modern day Health Plans. Relying on the traditional mass mailing systems that auto-generate member communications are not enough to make a mark in the world of information overload and short attention span of members.

It’s a new day!

Healthcare consumerism is on rising; members are at the centre of healthcare space. They are savvier than ever before. They tap online resources available from government, check out competitive health plans and providers. They are ac­tively engaged on social media platforms and browse health specific websites to stay on top of things and make well-informed decisions pertaining to their health. They expect to hear from their health plans more often.

On the contrary to members’ expectations, Health Plans fail to communicate in an impactful manner due to increasing caseloads and disjointed systems. There’s always a vacuum between the data generated from the healthcare information systems and communications that members receive. Therefore, to cater to expectations of members and win them over, Health Plans must stop seeing members as an ID or a number. They must instead channelize efforts in bringing alterations to their member communication strategy and make best of it.

Fill the vacuum with a right member communication strategy

You, as a Health Plan, need a right member communication strategy, backed by a robust communication framework to be able to deliver timely, relevant & personalized communications to your members. You must ensure any piece of communication that your member receives is well-crafted, consistent, coupled with facts, and accurate. As aforesaid, for you to win members over and be a step ahead of their expectations, follow these four simple yet impactful communication strategies.

Rise above medicalese. Follow the KISS principle

The simple takeaway for you here is – Keep it Simple Silly! When data is generated from the healthcare information system, the format has to be simple and easy-to-understand. Avoid acronyms, complicated language and use visual tools. While delivering preventive healthcare and wellness communications to members, you should:

  • Educate them on chronic diseases & their ill-effects
  • Remind them to take immediate action steps to improve their health
  • Embed case studies & success stories to encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle

Provide the best of healthcare value-add to members

Member communications require a smooth medium of delivery & a clear messaging to evoke the intended essence of a communication. Say for instance: when Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) is released, members are curious to know if their healthcare expenses will increase or decrease in the approaching times. To help your members, you should send across communications on premium changes, prescription drug charges & deductibles, co-payments, and others. The end objective should be to deliver such communications to members which could solve their dilemma and keep them informed about cost-effective policies.

Respect Members’ Preferences

Never compromise on the last mile connectivity with members. You must capture member preferences at the start and put a provision to update their preferences. To make the delivered communications readable and downright useful, multi-lingual communications can do wonders for you. You may deliver Spanish to the Hispanic population, English to English speaking members and so on.

If a member doesn’t want to be frequently communicated but is open to receiving one message every week for a specific kind of pre-existing chronic condition, set such preferences in a similar fashion. And, if a specific bunch of members wishes to receive communications via an email, there’s no point sending across communications over SMS text or in print.

Enthral Members with Relevant & Accurate Communications

To keep members happily engaged and enthralled, you must learn to get to the point at earliest. Members are likely to be irked with irrelevant and repeated communications. Hence, you must reach out to members with personalized communications. You should create a dynamic, personalized, and relevant member communications. And, to do all of this with precision, you can trace your members’ existing behaviour patterns, interests and preferences.

A takeaway for Health Plans

With the increasingly complex needs of members, from now on, you must adopt these simplistic yet impactful approaches while communicating with your members. These strategies will help you bid adieu to contextually inaccurate and irrelevant communications and will prep up your organization to make the best of your member communication engagement strategy. In pursuit of winning your members over and reach out to them with effective communications, technologies like Communications for Member Engagement can do wonders for you in the form of high response rates from your members.