Health and Safety Management System

Health and Safety Management System

Creating a safe place to work should be the #1 goal of any employer, manager, project manager, or supervisor. Above everything else – including job completion – the safety of your fellow workers should trump all other aspects of the project. Plus, workers will work harder and smarter, knowing that the company that they work for actually cares; an unsafe work environment not only endangers your workers, it sets you up for liability, employee discontent, and a lack of peace-of-mind.

For an effective health and safety management system to be implemented, there are a couple of things to think about when planning new policies. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the key aspects of an effective safety protocol.

Implementing a Safety Plan

Deciding to use a safety management system shows that health and safety are at the core of your business’ principles. Developing and utilizing proper safety protocols, while having a safety management system in place, will make reporting, planning, and implementing work permits and other procedures a breeze. To ensure that everything goes according to plan and that no one gets hurt, you must make sure that workers are always supervised, appropriately trained, and always comply with the instructions and procedures that are set in place.

  1. What is Your Safety Plan?

Are you properly displaying and checking confined work space permits? Are your safety data sheets easy to access to inspectors and employees alike? Do you have a record of all trained and untrained employees in a particular skillset? Knowing is half of the battle.

  1. Safety Procedures

All employees should be properly briefed on all procedures and policies regarding safety within your company. On-boarding training and continued training should not be taken lightly; in many of the industries we work with, a few mistakes can have potentially lethal consequences. Your training and safety procedures should be thoroughly explained to each new employee, with an emphasis on re-training. Training can include the procedures for the company itself, the procedures for the location your employees are operating in, and the rules for the individual site. While extensive training is necessary for each and every employee, make sure that the level of training corresponds with the level of danger each individual employee faces.

  1. Monitor the Worksite

Project managers and supervisors should be adept at spotting potential safety hazards, such as hazardous atmospheric conditions, chemical spills, and unattended machinery. This is why there are so many regulations and procedures, such as lock-out/tag-out and confined space permitting. Due to previous incidents throughout the history of construction and manufacturing, these procedures are implemented for a reason. The safe monitoring of employees is an essential job function of any manager or supervisor.

  1. Report In

Everyone should be held accountable, at all levels. Managers should take each and every infraction as a learning employee. Managers should let current employees know what they look for when identifying a hazard, and how control measures are implemented. Employees should also know how the risk level of each hazard is identified and assessed. The more that everyone knows about proper preventative action, the better.

factory at night lit up

Safety Sense Management System

Our cloud-based safety management system allows for the management and proper storage of pertinent safety information and data. Safety Sense Management system is used for:

  • Work related permits, such as confined space and hot-work
  • Confined space entry pre-plans and rescue procedures
  • Safety data sheets (SDS)
  • Automated training expiration emails
  • Work place hazards, such as slips, trips, falls, and atmospheric hazards
  • Roles-based training records
  • Atmospheric monitoring data repository / data retention
  • The ability to store terminated permits on the secure cloud database

We support a multitude of industries that utilize the above items. A few of these industries include construction, manufacturing, insurance, oil and gas, emergency response, government and municipalities, rail, healthcare, and terminal/bulk facilities.

Work permit data has never been easier to access than with the SafetySense Management System. We simplify your permitting and training paperwork by going digital. We leverage technology to maintain an up-to-date list of employees, training records, data repositories, and safety procedures.

To find out what our safety management system can do for you, call us at (888) 610-7767 or visit our contact page today.

Confined Space Safety Tips

Confined Space Safety Tips

Confined spaces can be one of the most dangerous places to be in a work environment. Confined spaces are not designed for continuous human occupancy due to the nature of their function and chemicals often used in the area. While most confined spaces are large enough for individual workers to enter and perform certain job functions, restricted means of entry and movement pose numerous safety problems to un-trained individuals.

Examples of a Confined Space

A few examples of confined spaces can include pipelines, duct work, equipment housings, access shafts, tunnels, pipes, storage bins, tanks, sewers, chimneys, fuel tanks, vessels, manure pits, vats, silos, hoppers, aircraft wings, truck and rail tank cars, and chemical plants. Due to the work being done, atmospheric hazards may be present due to the locations, contents, or construction means or materials. Continuous human occupancy is not what confined spaces are designed for; rather, regular maintenance is required but should be exercised with extreme caution. Workers can sustain serious physical and chemical injury or even death if proper precautions are not taken.

Working in a Confined Space

confined space safety tipsAvoiding all injury and possible negative outcomes should be the goal of every team and project manager that works near a confined space. All steps during this safety process should be taken with equal importance; this includes permitting, designating the confined space, atmospheric monitoring, proper safety equipment, and more. Here are a few tips for any worker that is entering a confined space:

• Maintain contact with the worker inside the confined space at all times. The worker inside the confined space should have access to immediate contact with another member of the team whenever they are performing work in the space.
• Check for atmospheric contaminants and other hazardous elements in the environment. This can include toxic gases, chemicals, and unsafe levels of dust and air contaminants. All necessary checks should be completed before anyone enters the confined space. Many toxic gases cannot be detected via smell, which is why it is important to get the proper instrumentation required to measure levels of dangerous gases.
• Make sure that the environment has proper ventilation or forced ventilation. Displacing gases and contaminants in a confined environment is an essential piece of the puzzle, so equipment like ventilation systems may be necessary.
• Personal protective equipment – which can include HAZMAT suits, protective gear, fire pants, air filters, Kevlar gloves, etc. – is highly dependent on the given situation; figure out what possible hazards may be present, then plan accordingly.
• Make sure there is a proper rescue protocol in place. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst; the right equipment and personnel are necessary in the event of an emergency situation, so your team should always be prepared for a rescue situation.
• Proper lighting in a confined space is essential, as almost all confined spaces will lack natural light. The person operating in the confined space should be able to do their job comfortably without fear of bodily injury or harm due to a lack of visibility.
• Use a management service such as Safety Sense, that allows for the storage of work place hazard information, work-related permits such as confined spaces, and confined space entry pre-plans and rescue procedures.

Mobile Work Permit Data

Mobile Work Permit Data

At SafetySense, we understand the importance of easy access to work permit data at any time of the day, no matter where you are. Our management system is an easy-to-use, cloud-based application that is user friendly; our system allows our users to access work permit data, SDS sheets, and more without compromising data integrity or safety.

Access SDS Sheets Online

We handle all types of data: SDS, lockout/tagout, permit issuance, archiving work, hot work, CS, LOTO, trips and falls, training records management, and atmospheric work hazards are just a few of the forms that can be accessible using our software.

We simplify the permitting process and provide a consistent and organized source of data for you and your team. Based on your input, our Management System allows easy access to employee information, users with current confined space training, entry work permits, and more.

MSDS Database and OSHA Safety Data Sheets

Access MSDS database and OSHA with ease. SafetySense was developed by safety professionals that have years of experience in various manual labor sectors. Our team includes firefighters, manufacturing professionals, certified safety professionals, and many, many other professionals from a wide range of industries. Don’t fall behind on your permits or documentation as it relates to a permit required confined space.

work permit and data

Three of the most common issues we find with companies and their records are:

  • Printed permits have options that are not needed and have a box for every hazard available. This can create an air of ambiguity, which can pose a safety hazard for yourself and your staff.
  • Drawers and filing cabinets belong in the 1990’s. Rarely used or updated, thousands of documents create confusion and take up an unnecessary amount of space. You won’t have to worry about illegible writing, transcription errors, or other nuisances that come with paper documentation.
  • Many companies report having difficulties tracking revisions or changes to permit work history as it relates to confined spaces and hot work.

Hot Work Permit Online

If you need to access hot work permits online and are done with paper documentation, SafetySense is your go-to for an internet and cloud-based data solution. We support various industries such as commercial construction, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, public utilities, airports, hospitals, power generation, government entities, and more.

You don’t ever have to feel the fear of improper documentation or permitting again. Easily accessible and state-of-the-art, SafetySense assures you that you that each worker is authorized to work in confined spaces and is currently up to date on their training and safety regulations. Our software allows you to create workplace hazard analysis, safety data sheets, roles based training records, atmospheric monitoring data repository, pre-plans, and work permits with ease. You’ll feel confident knowing that no minor detail is overlooked. Please contact us at (888) 610-7767 if you have any questions regarding our service.

MSDS And SDS Sheets: What Are They?

MSDS And SDS Sheets: What Are They?

When it comes to a variety of industries and fields of expertise, some requirements may be new for you, but they are actually essential. We are talking about MSDS and SDS sheets. In general, both of them are mandatory for proper business development, and both of them have a crucial role in all startups common today. Let’s explain these two terms in a bit more detailed manner.

MSDS sheets: Material Safety Data Sheets

MSDS sheets are simple forms related to the hazardous materials which can be found on working locations. For example, if your business is related to the chemical industry, dangerous chemicals will be included in those sheets. Basically, these are data files which list all of the dangerous chemicals and hazardous elements. But, today they offer much more.

The sheets in question list the hazardous elements, but also define how to operate with them and how to prevent any issues with them. We can deduce that they are essential for the safety of all personnel and clients. As such, each project or a business which is related to hazardous chemicals, fire or etc. must have these sheets. In addition, it also specifies how to behave and how to cope in a case of emergency. Most businesses won’t be allowed to operate without these sheets.

Safety Data Sheets or SDS

SDS sheets are more focused on chemicals only. Obviously, they are essential for chemical industry and each business or project must include them. The main goal is the safety of all employees. Additionally, these sheets are mandatory for rescue plans and for determining how to operate the best in a case of severe complications or issues which may occur at a job site.

milling bits

Besides obvious information about hazard chemicals, SDS sheets are used for precautions and prevention of any problem which may occur due to chemicals which are dangerous to humans. What these sheets allow is to train the personnel to act and protect themselves and the working environment in a case of a chemical leak or etc. For the employer, they are also important for protecting the environment and successfully eliminating all issues which can do harm to it.

SDS and MSDS online

A hot work permit or both sheets we mentioned here can be obtained online. In essence, this is a simple procedure which is done via software. The software itself is fully dedicated to providing these permits and data and allows the business owners to stay focused on their main operations, without losing time looking for the sheets and getting them from officials.

Confined space rescue equipment and training will be significantly improved with the use of software in question. On the other hand, the software itself is easy to use and is cloud-based. This means that the biggest part of it won’t be even placed on your device, it will be placed on the cloud server. As such, there is no need for massive installation procedures or storage alternatives.

Hot Work Permit

Hot Work Permit

Being safe on the job is the most important aspect of work if you are operating under hazardous conditions. Neither you or any of your coworkers deserve to be hurt due to negligence or improper planning. Not only are permits and documentation important to ensure that potential risk exposures are accounted for, knowing the intended purpose of hot work permits is equally as important. Hot work permits are intended to assess fire risks related to hot work on a job site. After the risks are accounted for, it is up to you to take appropriate action to mitigate any possible risks and to document them properly. Understanding how to properly mitigate risk is just as important as having the permit in place. Discussing the importance of hot work permits with your workers is vital if you wish to operate a safe business.

What is Hot Work?

‘Hot Work’ can include torch cutting, thermal spraying, thermite welding, thawing pipes, brazing and grinding. Hot work can generate excessive amounts of heat, hot slag and sparks that can ignite combustible and flammable materials that are not properly protected. There are many environmental factors that can cause hazards as well. From crawl spaces, wall assemblies, concealed areas and substructure spaces, many variables are at play when hot work is being performed. According to an Iowa State University’s Hot Work Permit Program Manual, the U.S. averages around 13,000 hot work fires, $309 million in property damage and over 31 deaths per year.

constructionAlternatives to Hot Work

Mitigating or eliminating risk hazards that can result in the harm or death of you and/or your team members should be of the utmost importance. Simplifying the process of permitting and data collection will naturally make it easier to comply with OSHA safety standards. We can simplify your permitting process and provide a consistent, organized source of data that can help you keep track of work permits and the employees that are trained to do the work intended. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) makes the following recommendations based on their investigations of hot work fires:

  1. Proper training: This is incredibly important. Training your employees and documenting their training efficiently will let you know quickly and easily who can do the job and who cannot. There are many job-specific hazards, such as proper use and calibration of combustible gas detectors and safety equipment that need to be performed perfectly.
  2. Use Permits: This should go without saying. Ensure that your qualified personnel are very familiar with specific job site hazards. Only authorize work after all permits have been written and logged and all necessary precautions have been put in place.
  3. Monitor the atmosphere: Always use a properly calibrated combustible gas detector prior to and during hot work activities. Even if a flammable atmosphere is not anticipated, effective gas monitoring in the work area saves lives.
  4. Are there alternatives? Whenever possible, look for the safest option. If you can use a pro-press or a water-jet to complete a job, reconsider your use of excessive hot work.
  5. Test the area and analyze the hazards: if a work area has previously stored flammable liquids and gases, the surrounding area and equipment must be purged of these substances. If you or a coworker are welding on or in the vicinity of storage tanks, be sure to properly test all surrounding areas. Continuously monitor these areas as the work is being performed. Understanding the scope of the hot work, notifying employees, filling out the required documentation and providing a safe work environment will go a long way in the eyes of your employees and cohorts.


Hot Work Permitting

At SafetySense, we provide OSHA-compliant software that delivers easy-to-use information on your permitting and employees. Building information, descriptions, photos of confined spaces and hot work permits are just a few pieces of information that SafetySense can store. SafetySense provides instant access to a variety of confined space data for multi-facility organization. Just to give you a quick overview, users will have the option of printing and posting the permit from the database prior to the entry. This allows for the end user to comply with the OSHA standard. The Attendant will still have the ability to complete the Attendant worksheet electronically and then upload the document once the permit has been terminated. The hot work procedure/pre-plan is uploaded and stored in the database. The user will access this document in the “Associated Procedures” tab, print and post along with the permit at the point of job site. Lockout / Tagout documents can be uploaded to and printed from the SafetySense Management System Database for quick access by the end user when issuing confined space entry permits or hot work permits. This makes the entire process safer and easier for everyone involved! If you have any questions about hot work permits or our software, call us today!

Getting to Know Confined Space Terms

Getting to Know Confined Space Terms

SafetySense is a user-friendly, cloud-based application that allows contractors to have easy access to work permit data. Without compromising data integrity, you can have all of your important documents in one place, without storing data on individual PCs or Macs. Some of the services include training records management, data repositories, workplace hazards, atmospheric monitoring data, permit issuance, archiving work and more.  This cloud-based software was created by safety professionals – not coders with zero work/safety experience – to help track changes or revisions to permit work history tied to their confined spaces. With SafetySense, we have noticed a decrease in illegible safety permits, a decrease in ambiguity regarding safety hazards, and an easier, streamlined process with permitting and records management. While we have a smaller list of key terms on our about us page, we have compiled a list from the OSHA to help refresh your knowledge on confined space terms:

Acceptable entry conditions: the conditions that must exist in a permit space to allow entry and to ensure that employees involved with a permit-required confined space entry can safely enter into and work within the space.

Attendant: an individual stationed outside one or more permit spaces who monitors the authorized entrants and who performs all attendant’s duties assigned in the employer’s permit space program.

Authorized entrant: means an employee who is authorized by the employer to enter a permit space.

Blanking or blinding: the absolute closure of a pipe, line, or duct by the fastening of a solid plate (such as a spectacle blind or a skillet blind) that completely covers the bore and that is capable of withstanding the maximum pressure of the pipe, line, or duct with no leakage beyond the plate.

Confined spaceconstruction workers

A confined space is a space that:

(1) Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; and

(2) Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (for example, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, and pits are spaces that may have limited means of entry.); and

(3) Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

Double block and bleed: the closure of a line, duct, or pipe by closing and locking or tagging two in-line valves and by opening and locking or tagging a drain or vent valve in the line between the two closed valves.

Emergency: any occurrence (including any failure of hazard control or monitoring equipment) or event internal or external to the permit space that could endanger entrants.

Engulfment: the surrounding and effective capture of a person by a liquid or finely divided (flowable) solid substance that can be aspirated to cause death by filling or plugging the respiratory system or that can exert enough force on the body to cause death by strangulation, constriction, or crushing.

Entry: the action by which a person passes through an opening into a permit-required confined space. Entry includes ensuing work activities in that space and is considered to have occurred as soon as any part of the entrant’s body breaks the plane of an opening into the space.

Entry permit: means the written or printed document that is provided by the employer to allow and control entry into a permit space.

Entry supervisor: the person (such as the employer, foreman, or crew chief) responsible for determining if acceptable entry conditions are present at a permit space where entry is planned, for authorizing entry and overseeing entry operations, and for terminating entry as required by this section. An entry supervisor may also serve as the entrant.

Hazardous atmosphere: an atmosphere that may expose employees to the risk of death, incapacitation, impairment of ability to self-rescue (that is, escape unaided from a permit space), injury, or acute illness from one or more of the following causes:

(1) Flammable gas, vapor, or mist in excess of 10 percent of its lower flammable limit (LFL);

(2) Airborne combustible dust at a concentration that meets or exceeds its LFL;

NOTE: This concentration may be approximated as a condition in which the dust obscures vision at a distance of 5 feet (1.52 m) or less.

(3) Atmospheric oxygen concentration below 19.5 percent or above 23.5 percent;

(4) Atmospheric concentration of any substance for which a dose or a permissible exposure limit is published in Subpart G, Occupational Health and Environmental Control, or in Subpart Z, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, of this Part and which could result in employee exposure in excess of its dose or permissible exposure limit;

NOTE: An atmospheric concentration of any substance that is not capable of causing death, incapacitation, impairment of ability to self-rescue, injury, or acute illness due to its health effects is not covered by this provision.

(5) Any other atmospheric condition that is immediately dangerous to life or health.

Hot work permit: the employer’s written authorization to perform operations (for example, riveting, welding, cutting, burning, and heating) capable of providing a source of ignition.

Immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH): any condition that poses an immediate or delayed threat to life or that would cause irreversible adverse health effects or that would interfere with an individual’s ability to escape unaided from a permit space.


NOTE: Some materials — hydrogen fluoride gas and cadmium vapor, for example — may produce immediate transient effects that, even if severe, may pass without medical attention, but are followed by sudden, possibly fatal collapse 12-72 hours after exposure. The victim “feels normal” from recovery from transient effects until collapse. Such materials in hazardous quantities are considered to be “immediately” dangerous to life or health.

Inerting: the displacement of the atmosphere in a permit space by a noncombustible gas (such as nitrogen) to such an extent that the resulting atmosphere is noncombustible.

NOTE: This procedure produces an IDLH oxygen-deficient atmosphere.

Isolation: the process by which a permit space is removed from service and completely protected against the release of energy and material into the space by such means as: blanking or blinding; misaligning or removing sections of lines, pipes, or ducts; a double block and bleed system; lockout or tagout of all sources of energy; or blocking or disconnecting all mechanical linkages.

Line breaking: the intentional opening of a pipe, line, or duct that is or has been carrying flammable, corrosive, or toxic material, an inert gas, or any fluid at a volume, pressure, or temperature capable of causing injury.

Non-permit confined space: a confined space that does not contain or, with respect to atmospheric hazards, have the potential to contain any hazard capable of causing death or serious physical harm.

Oxygen deficient atmosphere: an atmosphere containing less than 19.5 percent oxygen by volume.

Oxygen enriched atmosphere: an atmosphere containing more than 23.5 percent oxygen by volume.

Permit-required confined space (permit space): a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:

(1) Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere;

(2) Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant;

(3) Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section; or

(4) Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.

Permit-required confined space program (permit space program): the employer’s overall program for controlling, and, where appropriate, for protecting employees from, permit space hazards and for regulating employee entry into permit spaces.

Permit system: the employer’s written procedure for preparing and issuing permits for entry and for returning the permit space to service following termination of entry.

Prohibited condition: means any condition in a permit space that is not allowed by the permit during the period when entry is authorized.

Rescue service: means the personnel designated to rescue employees from permit spaces.

Retrieval system: the equipment (including a retrieval line, chest or full-body harness, wristlets, if appropriate, and a lifting device or anchor) used for non-entry rescue of persons from permit spaces.

Testing: the process by which the hazards that may confront entrants of a permit space are identified and evaluated. Testing includes specifying the tests that are to be performed in the permit space. Testing enables employers both to devise and implement adequate control measures for the protection of authorized entrants and to determine if acceptable entry conditions are present immediately prior to, and during, entry.

SafetySense Management System

We support work in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and commercial construction sectors, as well as many other industries. Our management software is being utilized by public utilities, airports, hospitals, power generation, government entities and more. If your business has a confined space, then we can definitely help streamline your permitting, management and training needs. If you have any questions about some of these terms, or would like to schedule an appointment or speak with a representative, don’t hesitate to contact us!