June 2003


Features

Questions of Competence

By Fred Elliott

IN one important sense, trenching and excavation accidents are unlike other construction accidents: The cause of nearly every trenching and excavation accident is a failure to comply with safety regulations and good practices.


How to Run an Incentive

By Don Anderson

SUCCEEDING in today's business world requires clearer targets and sharper aim than ever before. This new era of business has ushered in vast changes and new challenges. Recession, higher turnover, increased competition, higher costs, and a changing work ethic have created the need for businesses to recapture the attention of employees and recommit them to quality and productivity.


Backing the Brands

By Holly Sparrow

WITH an estimated 1,000 eye injuries in U.S. workplaces every day, and with many of those injuries resulting from a failure to wear eye protection, obviously we have to do everything we can to get workers to wear safety spectacles and other personal protective equipment (PPE).


Building Corporate Castles, Part 2

By Joe Teeples, MBA

OSHA's General Duty Clause requires employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. While safety professionals are well-versed in industrial accident prevention, the concept of "intentional accidents" can present things in a different light.


Principles of Physiology and Respirator Performance

By Larry Janssen

EMERGENCY response workers frequently are required to wear respiratory protection to prevent the inhalation of toxic air contaminants. However, it is known there is a wide range of tolerance to the stresses of work among the working population. An individual's size, age, and fitness are among the conditions that influence the performance of his cardiorespiratory system and ability to perform the heavy work often required in emergency response.


Preventing Workplace Violence

By Stephen V. Magyar, Jr., MBA, CSP

HISTORY and good common sense have taught us many things, Most of all, they have taught us the best defense is a good offense. If you are going to prevent violence in the workplace, you must prepare for and be able to identify the symptoms of violence. How perceptive is your program? Can it detect the early signs of potential trouble?


Reward Cards Motivate

By Barclay Ray

THE decision facing most corporate managers is not whether to offer incentives to assist in the attainment of important business and safety objectives. For most of these folks, that's a given--incentives work, and they know it. Thus, the real decision comes down to picking the type of incentive that can produce the biggest bang for the buck.


Evaluating the Effectiveness of Safety Training

By David Machles, Ed.D, MPH, COHN-S

AS safety professionals, all of us have a basic understanding of the effectiveness of our safety program--but what about our safety training specifically? Many people, unfortunately, see safety training as a compliance issue: something that has to get done, not necessarily something that is really going to change or impact safety performance.


Creating a Cut-Free Workplace

By Phil Schaser

AN obvious risk comes with working in any industry that involves handling sharp objects: From glass manufacturing to sheet metal fabrication, construction to warehousing, assembly to repair, cuts and lacerations are bound to occur. It comes with the job, or so it seems. But to safety professionals, that thought is counter-intuitive; all injuries can be prevented.


Haven't Got Time for the Pain

By Connie Vaughn-Miller, CDMS, CCM, CPE

CARLY Simon's hit song "Haven't Got Time for the Pain" is nearly 30 years old, but it certainly describes today's business environment. The constant demands of business--complicated by rising health care costs, an economic recession, layoffs, and an aging workforce--make it difficult to focus on preventable injuries plaguing workers and businesses.


Justifying the Cost of Height-Adjustable Office Work Surfaces

By Jim Reiland

AS a vendor of ergonomic office furniture, I find myself preaching to the choir whenever I'm working with health and safety professionals. They already appreciate the benefits of fully adjustable office workstations.


Developing Effective Warnings for the Workplace

By Deane Ceatham, Ph.D., Eric Shaver, M.S., Michael Wogalter, Ph.D.

EACH year, millions of people are injured in the workplace. One of the most difficult tasks facing employers is to identify the hazards associated with the products and equipment used by their employees. Such careful considerations will not only provide a safe work environment for the employee, but protect the employer as well, in that costs associated with workplace injuries (loss of productivity, worker's compensation) and litigation will be minimized.


Critical Success Factors for Ergonomics Processes

By Garnett Payne, Ph.D.

SUCCESSFUL companies perceive ergonomics as a business process, not a program. They engage workers in the job improvement process and provide the guidance and coaching workers need to be successful.


New Options for Monitoring

By Casey Hayes

INDUSTRIAL accidents tend to occur where work is performed. Therefore, emergency equipment needs to be strategically placed where it can be most efficiently and rapidly used. However, decentralized, and often remote, placement of drench showers and eyewashes generates difficult challenges for safety and emergency personnel.


A Hearing Conservation Program for Coal Miners

By Tom Frank, Ph.D., Christopher J. Bise, Ph.D., Kevin Michael, Ph.D.

NOISE-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a major occupational problem in the coal mining industry. In large part, even though noise control was specified in the 1969 Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, this has occurred because the coal mining industry and equipment manufacturers have not placed as much attention on this hazard as they have on dust or roof control. In addition, engineering and administrative controls of noise are difficult to implement in a cost-effective manner.


Gloves That Last

By Julie Copeland

YOU probably know how important it is to protect your employees' hands with the proper glove. But do you ever stop to think about how you can protect the glove itself? Doing so could save your employees from injury, and it could save you money, as well.


Faster Detection & Better Vaccines

By OH&S Staff

THE federal government's bioterrorism preparations have moved forward significantly this year. The best example is Project Bioshield, an initiative President Bush unveiled in February to give the government blank-check spending authority to buy new vaccines. With an assured buyer, vaccine manufacturers will pursue the R&D necessary to confront smallpox, anthrax, botulinum toxins, and other bioterror threats, the project assumes.


More than Meets the Eye

By Brent Hetherington, BA, EMT-P

Popular perception: Buy an AED, and your company is ready to save lives. Harsh reality: Recently, a father of three died from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) while visiting a Tennessee county courthouse. Six months later, hoping to prevent similar, unnecessary deaths, the man's widow offered to donate an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the public building. She was informed by embarrassed public officials that they already had one--that the life-saving device had, in fact, been in the building at the time of her husband's death. Unfortunately, no one had been trained to use it.


Departments

What's a New Safety Manager to Do?

By Yvonne White Hart

FOR a new safety manager, there are many options to consider while putting together a program. Safety philosophies and methodologies, as well as commercial promotions for safety incentives and motivators, can be utilized in a program to complement a safety culture.


Accelerating Rural Aid

By Jerry Laws

THE U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Housing Service is a $6 billion, 51-year-old agency. It issues loans and grants to build low-income and elderly apartments, housing for farmworkers, child care centers, fire and police stations, hospitals, libraries, nursing homes, and schools in rural communities.


Boning Up

By Valerie Weadock

A vast range of human activities--from writing to laying bricks, to opening a can of soda--would be impossible without the healthy functioning of the elbow, wrist, and hand. Yet this area is one of the most intricate and one of the most vulnerable to injury in the human body.