All posts in “EH&S Training”

What Safety Professionals Need to Know About Your Role in Employee Mental Health

What Safety Professionals Need to Know About Your Role in Employee Mental Health

There is data to support that the we the people of the United States are some of the most anxious in the world. And that millennials, who are now entering the workforce, are the most anxious, well… of the anxious. A survey conducted by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America revealed that 72% of people self-report dealing with daily stress and anxiety that interfere with their working lives at least moderately.

Although feeling anxious doesn’t necessarily equate to a medical mental health diagnosis, employee mental health is no doubt an area of concern for employers. Depression costs industry $43 billion annually; anxiety runs $42 billion annually; medical claims dollars total $3.8 million annually, and the lost-time burden is $6.6 million annually. (Center for Workplace Mental Health, American Psychiatric Association Foundation)

As a safety professional you have a direct role in recognizing and responding to mental health issues for your employees. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Legal Obligations

You must have a clear understanding of your legal requirements as an employer. Psychiatric disability is one of the most common types of disability covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), with about 18% of workers in the U.S. reporting a mental health condition in any given month.

Applicants and employees with psychiatric disabilities have two main rights under the ADA. First, they have a right to privacy. Except when asking for an accommodation, they can choose whether to tell the employer about their disability. But, this doesn’t mean that you must tolerate bad behavior and underperformance. Second, they have a right to a job accommodation unless this causes undue hardship for the employer. Ask your human resources team or legal team for information regarding your specific state laws and how to handle accommodations if you are unsure.

2. Recognize the Symptoms

Unfortunately, trying to tell the difference between expected behaviors and what might be the signs of a mental illness isn’t always easy. These are some common symptoms/behaviors seen in the workplace:

  • missed deadlines
  • reduced productivity
  • reduced quality of work
  • absent or late more frequently
  • relationship issues or conflicts with co-workers
  • withdrawal or reduced participation
  • anxiety, fearfulness, or loss of confidence

Often it’s not a single change, but a combination of marked changes that can signal something more is going on than a “bad mood” or “someone not seeming themselves.”

3. Know How to Respond

Your workplace should have a plan in place that creates and open and supportive means for employees to discuss and address mental health issues; either their own, or if they are concerned about a coworker.

In human resource terms, these plans are referred to as an employee assistance program (EAP), which is a work-based intervention program designed to assist employees in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting the employee’s performance. (Society of Human Resource Management) HR, safety, legal, and leadership teams should be included in the development and implementation of these programs. It’s most important that your response plan is well communicated and universally understood to effectively address concerns when they arise.

4. Build Trust

Bottom line, people are reluctant to discuss mental health issues. There is a stigma of shame and embarrassment for those that are affected, and a lack of understanding which leads to fear, confusion and frustration for everyone involved. How do you overcome this? Keep talking about it.

Training to help employees understand and recognize mental health issues in themselves and others, and how your organization offers support can help you avoid unnecessary challenges and build a positive workplace culture. Send the message across the workplace that workers with psychiatric disabilities have the same right to a respectful and effective workplace as any other worker with a disability.

Getting Results

Just like you would approach any other workplace safety matter, to best protect your employees, yourself, and your organization everyone needs to be on the same page about how you will recognize and respond to employee mental health issues.

Evolved Safety offers a variety of training programs that can help you create a culture of wellness and support mental health awareness in your workplace. Topics include:

  • Conflict Resolution Strategies
  • Discrimination in the Workplace
  • Diversity in the Workplace
  • Leadership Skills for Managers
  • Managing a Successful
  • Preventing Workplace Harassment – Employees
  • Preventing Workplace Harassment – Managers
  • Workplace Violence


Download the Evolved Safety catalog or call us at 844.528.4486 to learn more about these training programs today.


“Accommodating an Anxious Workforce”, (accessed August 1, 2019)

“Case Study: Johnson & Johnson”, (accessed August 1, 2019)

“Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace ADA”, (accessed August 1, 2019)

“Recognizing Risk: 5 R’s of Workplace Mental Health”, (accessed August 1, 2019)


  • Disabled individuals or those regarded as having a disability may also be protected under other federal, state, or local laws, including Title VII and state discrimination laws.

Can Fatigue Affect your Bottom Line?

Can Fatigue Affect your Bottom Line?

There’s a reason why children get fussy and/or whine when tired – sleep is a vital factor in their overall health. Flash forward into adulthood where adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night; unfortunately 30% of adults report averaging less than six hours.

Translate that into the workplace – can fatigue affect your bottom line? Long story short – yes, Here’s the thing – we’ve all yawned at the office, your work station, or otherwise on the clock, but fatigue is more than catching some extra Z’s at night. Long work hours and extended and irregular shifts in the workplace may be stressful physically, mentally, and emotionally.

While tiredness can often be solved by a change in your routine or getting a good night’s sleep, fatigue can be a more complex issue with a variety of symptoms that usually last longer and are more intense than tiredness. You can read more about that on our blog. Here are some quick stats:

  • More than 43% of workers are sleep-deprived, and those most at risk work the night shift, long shifts, or irregular shifts.
  • Fatigue is estimated to cost employers $136 billion a year in health-related lost productivity.

As a safety professional, you can take mitigating fatigue risk for you and your coworkers at the workplace a step further with Evolved Safety. We’ll help you look at your current safety training plan to see where tweaks and changes can be made to keep your staff well-rested and alert on the job.

Let’s dig in to fatigue and what you can do to stay out of the stats – Read more on our blog!

Check Out this Up and Coming Technology: Virtual Reality

How Immersed is your Training?
Check Out this Up and Coming Technology: Virtual Reality

Over the years, emerging technologies and needs have molded safety training into the front-runners you know today as streaming video, interactive online, and instructor-led training. And now there’s a new format gaining momentum… have you heard about virtual reality? Get ready, folks, because it’s not just for gamers anymore. Virtual reality safety training could be hitting mainstream safety shelves soon.

Since 2016 or so, we’ve been spotting articles pop up here and there about virtual reality safety training in the workplace. Companies that involve high-risk activities, such as those in construction, mining, oil and gas, and forestry, have been early adopters of this kind of training. With movement of virtual reality in more and more industries, we think it’s a good time to give you (and us!) a quick understanding of the topic.

Next Level Training

As safety professionals, we know that a key component of training is to help employees feel confident that they can perform their tasks safely. The idea behind virtual reality is to take training a step further to really immerse trainees in a variety of scenarios that they are likely to encounter on the job. This way, they can practice how their skills, responses, and actions affect outcomes – all in a safe environment.

Picture the Benefits

So, how does virtual reality do that exactly? Just like in some video games, the technology provides a virtual environment that causes the user to immerse themselves in a 360 degree virtual world by using sight, sound, and sometimes motion to provide a realistic experience, according to the American Society of Safety Professionals. Depending on your industry and training needs, virtual reality can bring some real benefits to your overall safety strategy:

  • Higher content relevance – Training can be customized to your facility requirements for higher comprehension and retention of training material.
  • Takes hands-on to a new level – With 360 immersion, trainees can be exposed to high-risk and hazardous situations in a 100% safe environment.
  • Better snapshot of skills – Make the distinction for trainees between knowing what to do and performing that skill in real time.
  • Less damage to real equipment – Help eliminate the toll training takes on equipment, downtime, etc. at your facility.

Cost Considerations

Be aware that virtual reality isn’t for everyone. Some potential drawbacks have included reports of people feeling nauseous after using virtual reality headsets, as well as hesitations of learning new technologies with older workers. The cost for setting up facility-specific training can also be high. If you are currently using or interested in using virtual reality safety training at your workplace, make sure you have alternate training methods available for those who need it – and we can help with that.

Questions, comments, or interested in getting a jump on virtual reality safety training at your workplace? Let us know – we’ve love to start a conversation on how we can provide the best solution for your needs. Call us today.

Back Safety Got You Bent Outta Shape? We Can Help.

Back pain isn’t shy – depending on your age, your occupation, or your activity, back pain can strike at just about any time, arising from the most mundane movements to a one-time jarring maneuver. We know – we’ve been there. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, back pain is one of the most common health complaints in the United States and around the world, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point in their lives.

In the safety professional world, you know that much of such complaints happen at work. Regardless of industry, back injuries can and do happen quite frequently, with risks being higher for workers at physically demanding jobs, such as manufacturing, warehouses, and hospitality.  We don’t need to tell you how important it is to cover Back Safety with your employees, but in case you need a reminder, here’s a crash course on how to mitigate back injury at your workplace.

Understanding the Risks

Each workplace is different and should therefore have specific risks and opportunities evaluated to ensure all bases are covered for a low injury work environment. If you currently do not have standards in place, a good first step is to observe and analyze employees as they work. OSHA suggests having employees fill out a survey regarding physical difficulties on the job and their experience with low back pain, as well as measuring the weight lifting requirements, the frequency of motion, and distance travelled in each activity. Ask questions like:

  • How are workers lifting loads?
  • Does the floor have enough traction?
  • Are workstations positioned efficiently in relation to worker tasks?
  • Are handles grip-friendly?

Once these variables are addressed, you can start to develop plans to prevent injury.

Prevention is Key

Make this your back safety mantra: Proactive prevention is always better than reactive treatment. In the prevention scenario, everybody wins, but the aftermath of an injury can cause painful surgery, medication, lost work days, a ruined safety culture, and countless dollars spent on potential workers comp, insurance claims, and more.

The good news is that prevention is easier than you think. We’ve pulled together 5 easy tips to help you and your employees maintain a healthy back while at work:

  1. Use Proper Lifting Technique– The most important of all the prevention back injury tips is to learn the proper lifting technique. According to OSHA, manual materials handling is the main source of compensable workforce injuries in the US, and four out of five of these injuries affect the lower back. When your job requires you to carry or lift a heavy object, proper form includes lifting with your knees and tightening your core muscles. While lifting, maintain the natural curve of your back and keep the object close to your body.
  2. Maintain Your Health– Food plays a huge role in how the body functions both on the inside and on the outside. Overweight persons are at greater risk for back pain, joint pain, and muscle strain than those who are not. This is especially true for people with extra weight in their stomachs, because this excess weight pulls the pelvis forward and strains the lower back. A healthy, well-balanced diet accompanied by a safe exercise program will help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
  3. Get More Rest – Low levels of rest and sleep can increase the release of stress hormones, raising the level of inflammation in the body and tension in all of your muscles, including your back muscles, making you more prone to injury and chronic diseases. If possible, try to get between 6-9 hours of sleep each day, take periodic breaks at work, and use stress-reduction techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or exercise.
  4. Increase Physical Fitness– The lower the level of fitness and flexibility, the higher the risk of injury. The vast majority of lower back problems are muscular in origin and if the muscles are not moved and stretched regularly, they become tight, short, and stiff, eventually resulting in back pain and injury or making existing back pain worse. Some forms of exercise to consider are aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and stretching.
  5. Warm-up Before Work – If your job requires some serious movement, it’s best to properly warm-up your body before performing any strenuous work to improve performance and to reduce risk of injury. Stretch and move to loosen and warm-up muscles before you begin work.

Workplace Training has your Back – Literally

If you need something more robust, that’s where we come in. Workplace safety training can help protect employees from multiple job-related hazards, including the need-to-know back safety basics of ergonomic movements, avoiding injury, and reporting potential hazards. Plus, depending on your work environment, it’s important to make sure that all employees know how to operate job-specific machinery and equipment, and workplace training has got you covered on that, too.

Is it time to add or alter your back safety training? If the answer is a yes, no, or maybe so, we’re here to help with a no obligation phone call – we love talking safety. We’re here to help you find programs that will not only reduce back strain and risk of injury, but will also boost efficiency. Take a peek at your current safety program and shoot us a call anytime to discuss what’s on your plate.


Three, Two, One…. Webinar!

Something new is hitting the airwaves this month from Evolved Safety… for the first time ever, we will be hosting a webinar to bring attention to a very important and constant safety issue regardless of the season, time of year, or your job.

The topic? Driver Safety. Recent studies by NHTSA show that 94% of all crashes are caused by human error… What’s more is that road accidents take a social, financial, and operational toll on both the persons affected and organizations alike. This makes the need for developing a safety culture and implementing preventative, driver-focused, risk management solutions more important than ever. But how to choose what’s right for you and your company?

That’s where the webinar comes in. Evolved Safety and AlertDriving invite you to our “Onboarding Safe Drivers” webinar on July 26th 2018 at 2 PM EST. We understand there’s all kinds of solutions out there to help mitigate road risks, and we want to help you find the most effective and efficient one for you. During this brief presentation we will cover:

  • The business case for investing in driver safety
  • An overview of available options
  • A driver-focused demonstration of the onboarding process
  • Setting the foundation for a preventative approach to reducing collisions

PLUS, companies who attend will be given special access to select safety programs!

Ready to learn how you can help protect both new and old fleet drivers? Don’t wait – sign up now!

Dreaming in Streaming Video?

Before you say, “I only dream about warmer weather at this point”, let me let you in on a little secret… Maybe you should be dreaming about streaming video. After all, it’s like the Netflix of safety training. And who doesn’t like Netflix?

More seriously, we wanted to remind you that streaming video is another great option for your safety training needs, especially when we think about employee learning styles and the different training environments available, respectively. Depending on your needs, streaming video is an efficient and easy way to manage full-length videos for your employees. Check out these benefits:

  • Stream anywhere, any time with an internet connection
  • Get full length videos on-demand
  • Use with a customized learning management system
  • Get downloadable quizzes, tests, and other written materials

We can help – Evolved Safety works with a variety of vendors who offer top-notch streaming video options that are perfect for any budget. Choose from over 400 titles that can be broken down into industry-specific content. Plus, we have pay-per-click AND unlimited annual options…

Ready for your FREE demo? Get it here >>

Spoiler Alert – We’ve Got Your Expo Pass

Remember that trade-show we were raving about last month? Well, we aren’t done yet! Here’s a quick recap – The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) will be hosting their annual Conference and Expo this coming June 3-6, 2018 in San Antonio, TX where valuable training, networking, knowledge, skills, and continuing education are the name of the game for the entire safety industry. Not only is ASSE a great place for us to learn new things, see vendors, and meet people but it’s a great place for YOU to do the same thing!

That being said, we’d like to invite you to the best safety show in the industry – as our guest. We’ll sit down for a one-on-one meeting to talk about YOU and your safety goals, face-to-face. You’ll see that Greg isn’t as scary as he seems on the phone and Teela actually IS that nice. We may or may not have a prize that you can enter to win, too… interested yet?

Get your FREE Expo-Only tickets for all three days at ASSE now!

All About OSHA Updates – Here’s what You Need to Know

Saying OSHA is a huge part of the safety world is an understatement, so staying on top of OSHA news is always on our radar – and it should be on yours, too. We’re here to make it easy. Right now, there’s a few things you need to know about what’s going on with OSHA, effective April 1st:

  • “Introduction to OSHA” compliance update – OSHA has reduced the required introduction coverage from two hours to just one hour allowing more time dedicated to risky business, such as working at heights with fall prevention.
  • OSHA’s new guidance – OSHA will now allow shorter courses as long as they build to the 30-minute minimum per topic.
  • Focus Four topics – If more time is spent in this area than is required, the additional time may be reported in the specific focus four area or under such elective topics as scaffolds, cranes, and excavations, as applicable. Also Falls topic has increased from 1.25 hours to 1.5 hours.

What does this mean for you? It means that your training may need updating or the materials you supply to your workers could need new content. These aren’t huge changes, but they  need to be noted and your training needs to reflect them. More details can be found on the OSHA website.

Not sure what you need? Luckily for you, we’re on top of it. Give us a call today to start a conversation of how we can help.

Why Online OSHA 10/30 Hour Training?

Long story short, it’s easier… And faster. Online OSHA 10/30 Hour training gets you the certifications you need when you need them and where you need them for both general industry and construction.

We’re sure you know most of this, but with all of this talk about OSHA training, we’d like to refresh your memory… Online courses also offers just about every benefit you can think of right at your fingertips, including:

  • Interactive courses, with videos, quiz modules, and more
  • Resonating content, with hundreds of topics to fit your needs
  • Test tracking and reporting for big-picture visibility
  • 24/7 availability to optimize you and your employees’ time
  • Customization options for tailored training
  • Multiple language options
  • Consistent training regardless of location

What’s more? Your employees will experience training that is more relevant, keeps their attention, and stays with them long after the training has been completed.

You might say we’re a little biased… we’ve been in this business a long time and have seen first hand the benefits of online OSHA 10/30 Hour training. If you’re thinking about making the switch or need any help navigating online training needs, give us a call and let us help you get what you need.

New Mobile and Content Options! We’ve got your OSHA 10/30 Hour Needs Covered, No Question

To draft off of our previous article… if you need it, we’ve got it – and now, we even have new content AND new mobile formats to fit your needs. Our goal is to help you make the right decision on content and delivery needs and alleviate the hassle of working with different vendors, which is exactly why Evolved Safety works with multiple OSHA 10 & 30 hour providers to effortlessly find your perfect solution… all from a single point of contact.

No matter your format of choice, you can count on us… and we can help you expand your offering, too. We offer online, classroom, onsite, and NEW mobile formats that include OSHA 10 Hour and 30 Hour in both General Industry and Construction, as well as OSHA 10 Hour Construction in Spanish. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Easily review and select your choice provider without spending the time to search around yourself… that’s our job
  • Offer a mix of training formats, such as online and onsite training, to fit your location or employees learning needs
  • Cover all of your OSHA bases, from general industry and construction to Spanish language training, all from a single resource
  • Vendors have been researched and reviewed to ensure technical accuracy, engaging content, and best value for your investment
  • Easily change up your content to keep the training fresh, especially if your employees take the training more than once
  • Students receive an official OSHA/DOL completion card upon completion

Let us make it easy for you to get the OSHA training you need when you need it with the help of our vendors. Call us today.