Greg Pattison – IEQ, Disaster Restoration, OSHA, Health and Safety

Air Date: 7-31-2015|Episode 378

Greg Pattison is a Vice President, Director of Safety and Senior Trainer in OSHA CFR 29 1910 and 1926 construction for G.P. Systems Inc. (GPS). He has designed/conducted/facilitated over 30 technical trainings…

Full Description:

Greg Pattison is a Vice President, Director of Safety and Senior Trainer in OSHA CFR 29 1910 and 1926 construction for G.P. Systems Inc. (GPS). He has designed/conducted/facilitated over 30 technical trainings including; General Safety training OSHA 10 and 30 Hour, HAZWOPER, GHS Hazardous Chemicals, Property Restoration, Confined Space, Scaffolding, Emergency Operations and Egress, PPE Protocols, Demolition Subpart T, Flagger in a work zone, Lock out/tag out, First Aid, Caught between, Roll over/back over, Job Hazard Analysis, Fall Protection, Worksite safety, Accident Investigation, and Site Safety/Security Plans. His entertaining and informative style offer audiences knowledge that attendees can take back and use to make the workplace safer. He has taught 1,000â??s of workers within such organizations as Belfor Property Restoration and Environmental, Association of General Contractors, Department of Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority, Exxon, Hess Petroleum, Hayward Baker, Army Corp of Engineers, State of Ohio, AMEC, FBI, State of Illinois, Southern Site Development and Tetra Tech to name just a few. Learning is by doing and he offers on point stories and scenarios to reinforce the information so that upon completion the attendee can use the information right away to hone skills and gain confidence. He is available by phone or email so that when workplace situations come up you have a resource to call on. He acts as a Safety consultant with the Restoration Industry Association, National Demolition Association, and the Association of General Contractors. In addition, he acts as a Subject Matter Expert to Pro-tread, National Minority Truckers Association, Georgia Black Constructors Association and Applied Simulations Technology. His early career was in the field of Corrections where he rose to the rank of Warden and acted as the Life Safety person for the Department of Corrections in a large Midwestern state. After 14 years in Corrections he went to work for Fred Pryor Seminars and taught several technical trainings for them including OSHA, Facilities Management, and Emergency Planning. Additional soft skills that Mr. Pattison taught and facilitated for Fred Pryor included; 1st Time Supervisor, Mid-Level Supervisor, Managing Multiple Priorities, Dealing with Difficult People, Motivating & Disciplining Employees, Handling emotions under pressure, Customer Service, Essential Leadership Skills, Workplace Bullying and Conflict Resolution. In addition, he has worked as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy on the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, Transportation Security, CBRNE programs, first respondersâ?? use of the ERG Guidebook, and the Incident Command System (ICS). He acted as a contract consultant in the Middle East for Deloitte Consulting in the areas of police, detention, disaster management, fire service, civil defense, SAR, and Border enforcement. He developed and led many trainings during his work in the Middle East. Mr. Pattison holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Illinois State University and acquired a Certified in Homeland Security III designation. He is a Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) and has acted as a Site Safety and Health Officer (SSHO). He has attended many trainings to improve his craft as Hazardous Materials Trainer, OSHA 10 and 30 hour, Petroleum Institute, Fred Pryor Boot camp, TapRoot Cause Analysis, Bearing Point Change Management, Modular Emergency Radiological Response Transportation Training, National Demolition Association TTT, Department of Transportation Research Council, Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) and the Georgia and Tennessee Safety conferences. He frequently speaks at safety conferences throughout the U.S. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his attorney wife, Marilyn.


Z-Man’s Blog:

OSHA Compliance Alliance

Greg Pattison of G.P. Systems, Inc. is an experience safety expert who helps businesses identify OSHA compliance issues in their workplaces and manage their safety programs. Today Greg warned IAQradio listeners about an uptick in OSHA enforcement action in construction related industries and provided valuable suggestions and advice.

”US Department of Labor’s OSHA takes action to protect America’s
workers with severe violator program and increased penalties”

WASHINGTON — Every day, about 14 Americans fail to come home from work to their families. Tens of thousands die from workplace disease and more than 4.6 million workers are seriously injured on the job annually. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in an effort to address urgent safety and health problems facing Americans in the workplace, is implementing a new Severe Violator Enforcement Program and increasing civil penalty amounts.

“For many employers, investing in job safety happens only when they have adequate incentives to comply with OSHA’s requirements,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Dr. Michaels. “Higher penalties and more aggressive, targeted enforcement will provide a greater deterrent and further encourage these employers to furnish safe and healthy workplaces for their employees.”

The new Severe Violator Enforcement Program is intended to focus OSHA enforcement resources on recalcitrant employers who endanger workers by demonstrating indifference to their responsibilities under the law. This supplemental enforcement tool includes increased OSHA inspections in these worksites, including mandatory OSHA follow-up inspections, and inspections of other worksites of the same employer where similar hazards and deficiencies may be present. SVEP will become effective within the next 45 days. For more information, visit

More active and rigorous enforcement

According to Greg, when OSHA Area Offices notice their totals for inspections, citations and penalties lagging behind forecasted goals for the year, the OSHA Office Area Directors typically guide Inspectors to conduct increased inspections for a targeted enforcement action –a practice of getting in the car and driving to restoration and construction sites in an effort to find OSHA violations in progress.

These visits usually last a couple of months in the summer, they may include both residential and commercial construction, and they are effective in getting the OSHA Area Office numbers back on schedule for the year.

These Inspections are very effective for OSHA. For example, an inspector will visit a site and look for faulty lack of or improper use of PPE, improper use of chemicals, incorrect or insufficient labeling, lack of respiratory protection, power cords not being taped down, power tools left plugged in, poor housekeeping, other violations, improper trenching/excavation, lack of worksite electrical, and insufficient or lacking signage. Once seen, the Inspector which will most likely yield citations and penalties against the subcontractor, and often against the General Contractor as well.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

  • OSHA has 2,700 inspectors and requested funding to hire 83 more.
  • The employer is at fault even when workersdisregard safety training. When workers fail to follow OSHA regulations OSHA holds the employer liable for failing to properly supervise workers.
  • The average cost to insurance companies for a fall injury is $28K. The average cost of a fall fatality is $3M. It’s understandable that insurance companies would support and urge OSHA to be more proactive about enforcement.
  • Restoration and construction contractors are likely unaware that OSHA inspectors across the nation are under intense pressure to focus on increasing: the number of construction and restoration site inspections number of citations, and the amount of financial penalties issued to employers.
  • In 2014, 63% of OSHA inspections were targeted while 37% were due to fatalities or worker complaints. OSHA targets industries with high (EMRs) Experience Modifier Rates.
  • While OSHA record keeping requirements are lessor for companies with 9 or fewer employees, all companies are required to follow OSHA standards and training requirements.
  • The OSHA sign that must be prominently posted in all workplaces has the OSHA phone number which OSHA answers 24/7/365.
  • It’s mandatory that a work related fatality must be reported to OSHA within 8 hours of occurrence.
  • Of the 4,585 work related fatalities in 2013-2014, 20% were construction related.
  • Some triggers for OSHA inspections: jobsite fatality, jobsite injury where 3 workers are injured in the same incident, inspectors drive by and see something unsafe or an employee complaint.
  • Delay entry, don’t deny entry. In the event of an unexpected OSHA inspection the best strategy is to delay the inspector’s entry onto the worksite, don’t deny entry.Say something along the lines of “it’s our company policy to have our safety supervisor accompany all visitors on the jobsite, I’m sorry the safety supervisor isn’t here so you’ll need to make an appointment and come back.”
  • During an OSHA inspection, the company can request that no employee interviews be conducted without a representative from the company being present.
  • Restoration work falls under OSHA standards 29 CFR 1910.1200 cleaning. 29 CFR 1910 & 29 CFR 1926 Construction and 29 CFR 1926 subpart T demolition.
  • Global Harmonization is in force In 2003, the United Nations (UN) adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The GHS includes criteria for the classification of health, physical and environmental hazards, as well as specifying what information should be included on labels of hazardous chemicals as well as safety data sheets. The United States was an active participant in the development of the GHS. Global harmonization is the biggest change to OSHA in two decades. A primary difference is the use of pictograms which provide visual cues. Workers must now be trained on GHS and on GHS labelling.
  • New confined space regulations 200 fatalities a year occur in confined spaces. For construction industries, the new regulations require companies to add safety monitors and supervisors. In addition to a written plan, companies must provide training on the plans, air monitoring, hazard analysis, heat exhaustion program, PPE. Supervisors and monitors outside the containment are required in permit required situations and/or where conditions in the containment may be (IDLH) Immediately Dangerous to Life & Health.
  • On all commercial projects an Engineering Survey must be completed before demolition, even removal of non-load bearing framing, sheetrock & insulation. Jobsites must have proper warning signs, for general industry a written fall protection program is required when working 4’ above ground and 6’ for construction. PPE, PPE training, Hazard identification, safe work place practices, housekeeping, unobstructed entrance/egress. Residential projects
  • Restoration firms who clean blood trauma/crime scenes, meth lab decontamination and clean homes of hoarders should also have additional training in: HAZWOPER, Asbestos & Lead Awareness, OSHA Decontamination, PPE, Monitoring Instruments, Hazardous Energy, and Onsite Incident Command.
  • In 2013-2014 more than 120 construction firms were fined $100,000+. In 20% of construction firms inspected OSHA found no violations and issued no citations.
  • Safety training resources are available: online, webinars, classroom and private.
  • When in-house safety training is done documentation is important: who was instructor, attendees must sign in and should retain a sample of training materials.
  • Competent personmeans one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them up to and including stopping work.

Today’s Music:

“I Wanna Be Safe” by Huntington Ingalls (2014 safety Song Winner) YouTube

Z-Man’s final words.

For disaster restoration contractors, health and safety compliance often seems to be an overwhelmingly complicated, time consuming and never ending. Safety training costs money and takes workers away from income generating activity. Sometimes we wonder if we can afford compliance, when compared to OSHA fines and bodily injury/wrongful death litigation and higher insurance premiums we can’t afford noncompliance. We all think it won’t happen to us. From personal experience I can attest that it can. In my restoration service company I lost a valuable and dedicated employee to a permanently disabling injury from a 3 foot fall from a scaffold.

Greg Pattison’s contact info:

Cell phone 678-467-1241 or gp at glpsys dot com

Z-Man signing off

 Trivia question;

Which US President signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act which created OSHA?

Richard Nixon

Answered by John Turnage, Umpire Technologies