Columns


Scissoring Through Barriers

Move toward "either/and" planning and enlist a scissors approach for significant improvements.

Leadership Through the Clouds

Companies need both Clocker and Cloud leaders, often operating at different organizational levels.

A Triumph's Lessons

Fortunately, NTSB spent 15 months investigating the January 2009 ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after the plane hit a flock of Canada geese and lost power in both engines.

George Tway

Big News for Small Firms

Speaking with George Tway, senior vice president and Western Region manager for Employers Holdings Inc., a 97-year-old provider of worker's compensation coverage to about 45,000 policyholders in 30 states, gave me a strong sense of déjà vu.

Morbidly Watching Obesity's Growth

Today's Marylanders aren't playing enough tennis or engaging in other kinds of exercise, but that's true across the board. CDC reported July 8 that the percentage of U.S. adults who are obese increased to 26.1 percent in 2008 from 25.6 percent in 2007.

You've Got Mail

Like clockwork, the start of each day in the office usually involves reading through at least 30 new e-mails. Among that electronic clutter, only five to six items are original, followed by numerous replies back and forth between everyone addressed. Getting up-to-date on each e-mail is a tricky proposition that often results in the accidental deletion of a reply here and there.

Walk Hard

If walking and chewing gum at the same time trips you up, then the thought of walking and simultaneously preparing a PowerPoint presentation has to sound nuts.

We're Waiting

How satisfying it would be to sit down with a few thousand of you at 1 p.m. June 29 inside San Antonio's downtown convention center to hear the new OSHA assistant secretary explain the new cranes and derricks rule at a plenary session of ASSE's Safety 2009. I intend to be there, but one or both of the others almost certainly will not.



Is Your Lifeline Ready?

An unappreciated, underused resource for employers was thrust into the limelight recently when the National Business Group on Health released "An Employer's Guide to Employee Assistance Programs" at a Washington, D.C., news conference. Two years of studying best practices and evidencebased approaches to the design and delivery of effective employee assistance programs (EAPs) contributed to the guide.

Virtual Task Forks

Every year in the United States, nearly 100 workers are killed in forklift-related incidents and, according to OSHA, "tens of thousands" more are injured. Truck tipovers are the leading cause of the fatalities, followed by workers being crushed between a vehicle and a surface.

Developing Your Culture

Anyone can write a safety program, but it takes a real commitment on the behalf of everyone involved to create and implement a complete safety culture. The goal of developing a safety culture is to instill the qualities that motivate workers to strive to achieve safety excellence and can be developed only if all on staff work together. Just as a group is only as strong as its weakest member, your staff is only as safe as the least-concerned worker.

Virtual CSI

The first and most important objective in the hierarchy of controls is the elimination or substitution of a hazard. This principle was also the impetus for the creation of Leica ScanStation 2, which is manufactured by Heerbrugg, Switzerland-based Leica Geosystems AG. This mobile laser scanner features an embedded high-resolution camera and a high-definition, 3D laser scanning system that can quickly map an environment in 360 degrees, collecting 50,000 measurements per second to create a photorealistic view of any setting.

Safety Committee Development

We select several management and labor employees to be on the team, get the “lucky members” together, and get them all pumped up. They’re ready to rumble! Next, we announce the committee’s first assignment is to rebuild the engine and transmission in the company van. Once they do the rebuild, their next task is to meet once per quarter to service the van and keep it in tip-top running order.

AAOHN Re-visioned

Mark your calendar on Tuesday, April 21, if you’re an occupational health nurse, if you work with OHNs, or if you appreciate their contribution and keep an eye on health costs. April 21 is the day Kay N. Campbell, incoming president of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, will speak at its annual conference about the Re- Visioning project and plans for AAOHN’s future. A new name may be coming, along with new goals and new activism and outreach, she told me Jan. 26.

Exposure Limits In Peril

Where would we be without industrial hygiene? IH is the foundation of workplace safety and health, but without trustworthy, valid exposure limits that match the latest science about health effects, IH would be guesswork. That is a dangerous scenario in our time of swift global movement of new and recycled products, nanotechnologies, and new regulations meant to limit exposures of workers and the public to chemicals that can harm them.

Sedentary Confinement

By and large, we don’t get around like we used to. Technology at work and home has made it so we don’t need to. Who remembers actually getting up and crossing the room to switch the channel or walking across the office to deliver a message to a co-worker? Since the advent of universal remotes and e-mail, such “activities” have come to seem downright inefficient or, at the very least, inconvenient. We can do so much now without ever having to leave our seats that, typically, we don’t. But remaining happily on our cushions is not without its repercussions.

Go Beyond OSHA Compliance

Halfway through my bachelor’s degree in Environmental, Health, and Safety Management, I made the switch from Operations supervisor to Environmental, Health, and Safety Specialist. Through the course of the next two years, my view of the safety field as one that merely identifies hazards using OSHA and other tools made a 180-degree turn when I realized how versatile you have to be in order to be successful in safety.

Caught in the Crossfire

Under the “general duty” clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 651- 678, “[e]ach employer . . . shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”. There is little question that allowing guns at the workplace endangers workers.

Streamlining Compliance

For a chemical manufacturer seeking to become a global supplier, keeping up with numerous foreign safety regulations and requirements can be quite a challenge. MSDgen®, a compliance tool from Carlsbad, Calif.-based 3E Co., was created to streamline one important aspect of this process, the creation and distribution of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs).