Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Showing posts by Manish Gooneratne

Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Apr 25 2022
Featured Worker’s CompSafety and HealthWorkers’ Comp  

Pssst! The secret to lowering workers’ comp premiums

The most impactful way to lower workers’ compensation costs, the secret ingredient if you will, is to prevent injuries in the first place. The Vigilant safety team spends all day everyday doing just that with hundreds of companies. We’ve learned 4 key things about preventing injuries: Establish and maintain a culture of care. At…

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Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Feb 17 2022
Safety and Health  

Washington manufacturer fined $98K after lockout-tagout fatality

Recently the Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced a fine of $98,000 against a manufacturer in Sumas, Washington, due to lockout-tagout violations that resulted in a worker’s death. The employee was inside a tank, cleaning it, when an agitator arm turned on. According to L&I, the company, IKO Pacific, had written…

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Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Nov 18 2021
Safety and HealthWorkers’ Comp  

Understaffed and overworked? Apply these safety measures

How do we keep our employees safe when we’re understaffed and overworked, and our employees are feeling the associated mental and physical fatigue? If you’re like most of Vigilant’s members, you’re feeling the pressure of the times—more work than you have the resources to fulfil, making you feel behind and in “catch-up mode” most of the…

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Photo of Manish Gooneratne
May 04 2021
Safety and Health  

Off the OSHA radar, but on target

Four years with no OSHA recordable injuries. Five years with no OSHA recordable injuries. These are statements you don’t read often for fast-paced manufacturing production facilities in the Pacific Northwest. Why is this a rare thing and how did two Vigilant member companies do it? Alta Forest Products’ facilities in Morton, Washington, and Naples,…

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Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Mar 04 2021
COVID-19Safety and Health  

Lack of machine guards and lockout/tagout result in safety citations

Question: Are safety and health agencies still paying attention to “regular” pre-existing safety regulations, or are they mostly focusing on COVID-19 (coronavirus) protocols? Answer: Yes, federal OSHA and state safety and health agencies are continuing to address safety concerns and violations unrelated to COVID-19. Recently, federal OSHA came onsite to investigate a partial…

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Jan 07 2021
Q&ACOVID-19Safety and Health  

Q&A: Pandemic precautions affect winter driving

Question: Should we consider any special driving precautions for employees in winter during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic compared to a “normal” winter season? Answer: Yes, this is an entirely new frontier of change, challenges, and struggle for many of us, and preparing for winter driving conditions may require a little more creativity. First and…

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Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Sep 17 2020
Safety and Health  

Q&A: Address wildfire smoke in safety protocols

Question: Our company is located in an area that has been recently inundated with wildfire smoke. What are some things we can do to help ensure our employees are taking their safety and health into consideration while performing their work activities? Answer: As an employer, you’re required to ensure the health and…

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Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Apr 30 2020
COVID-19Safety and Health  

Podcast available on restarting businesses after COVID-19

Vigilant’s safety team has released a 12-minute podcast on “Returning to Work after COVID-19.” Companies that have temporarily closed or reduced operations during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic are opening back up. Employers need to know how best to navigate these re-openings, keeping in mind current requirements for ensuring workers’ safety. Our podcast covers the…

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Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Jul 16 2019
Safety and Health  

Q&A: Keep exit routes clear and unobstructed

Question: How many exit routes should we have? Also, is it okay to temporarily block an exit route?   Answer: Generally, you’ll need to have at least two solid exit routes for your employees and your operation, but more exit routes may be required depending on the number of people onsite and/or the size of…

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Photo of Manish Gooneratne
Jun 26 2018
Safety and Health  

New workers have a higher risk of on-the-job injuries

Studies show that new workers are more likely to be involved in a work-related lost time injury within the first three months of work compared to workers who have been on the job for more than one year. Knowing this information, what can you do to help lower the risk…

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