September 2003


NRR = Not Really Relevant?

By Lee D. Hager

ADOPTION of the OSHA Hearing Conservation Amendment (29 CFR 1910.95) in the early 1980s changed forever the way employers protect workers from noise. Instead of a single focus on noise reduction to prevent hearing loss, employers were permitted to substitute the hearing conservation paradigm we know today.

Responding to 'Dirty Bombs'

By Dale M. Petroff

SINCE the 9/11 attacks, there have been many media reports on "Dirty Bombs." The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security have fact sheets regarding Dirty Bombs on their Web sites.

Evaluating Multimedia

By Dr. Terrell Perry

SO, you've made the decision to use multimedia as part of your overall training strategy. You can take the low-cost route and purchase generic off-the-shelf products, or you can expend more of your training budget on your own development.

Playing Your Cards Right

By Hamid Marandi

MOST experts agree safety incentive programs can be effective tools for helping to motivate and encourage employees to achieve behavioral changes on the job. Most often, such programs are aimed at reaching multiple goals.

In Defense of Incentives & Recognition

By Bill Sims Jr.

CRITICS of safety incentive programs often fall prey to a simple error in logic: They argue that because such programs do not always work, then they never work. If that is true, then the following statements must also be true:

Standards and Trends in the Glove Industry

By Donald F. Groce

REQUESTS are increasing from safety professionals for technical information on every type of glove made. As an R&D professional for a major glove manufacturer, I find these questions are becoming more commonplace.

Occupational Asthma in Health Care Professionals

By Tanuj Lad

ASTHMA is an illness characterized by intermittent breathing difficulty including chest tightness, wheezing, cough, and shortness of breath. It is a serious and sometimes fatal condition. Occupational asthma is defined as asthma caused by workplace exposures to biological agents.

When a Good Work Shoe Isn't Enough

By Norman L. Klein, D.P.M. (Ret.)

IN the occupational health arena, shoe programs are at the core of many safety and health issues. Besides the "steel toe" issues, there are electrical conditions requiring conductive and/or ESD shoes. Also, sole slip resistance is most important and even critical within select environments.

Integrated Safety Programs: From the Top Down to the Bottom Line

By Chris Dolan, Rick Pollock, CSP

SAFETY directors and responsible managers have been creating safety programs for decades. So why is safety still such a difficult problem to manage in today's workplaces? One answer is that all of the safety programs in the world won't work unless those responsible for a particular task or risk control procedure do what they are supposed to do.

The Seven Potentially Deadly Sins of Safety

By Gary W. Helmer

THE Seven Deadly Sins (vanity, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth) are more than 17 centuries old but were not codified until the sixth century by Pope Gregory the Great. These sins were identified around the same time the Bible was being translated and are found throughout--from Genesis to Revelation.

Keep Plugging

By Fred Elliott

ALL or nothing: This is what lockout/tagout (29 CFR 1910.147 in the OSHA catalogue) comes down to. "You"--with a gesture indicating the newbies as well as the old hands at work, because you cannot cut any slack for experience--"you are in, or you're out. You are with us, or you're against us. There's no middle ground."

Performing Effective Ergonomic Evaluations

By Craig Chasen

MY interest and attention to ergonomics began as the consequence of managing workplace injuries within the Risk Management division of a large high-tech company 10 years ago. Ergonomics was still relatively new and unproven to our immediate industry, and I was extremely skeptical of how injuries could be reduced by placing monitors on phone books or putting a piece of foam rubber in front of a keyboard.

Behind the Hazmat Regs

By Randy Skoog

WHEN a hazardous materials accident occurs, time is a precious commodity. How long it takes responders to secure the scene could mean the difference between life and death.

Wipe Out Slips, Trips, and Falls

By Karen D. Hamel

SLIPS, trips, and falls to the same level are a leading cause of workplace injury and death. According to the National Safety Council, more than 300,000 injuries and 1,500 deaths each year result from slip, trip, and fall accidents. The average cost for each accident is about $6,700 in lost compensation and medical costs.

Hewlett-Packard Cuts Ergonomics Risks

By Brett Weiss, MPT

IN the middle of 2001, Hewlett-Packard made a decision to change the way it addressed ergonomics in its office environments. HP had two goals: decrease the rate of repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) corporate-wide and create significant administrative efficiencies.

Hand Protection for Electrical Safety

By Vladimir Ostrovsky, Lisa Rizzo, Q.S.S.P.

IN the realm of personal protective equipment, protective gloves offer the first line of defense against an array of hazards. Most often, they are used to protect the hands against scrapes, cuts, chemical, biological, and electrical hazards--with the goal of avoiding or limiting damage to the fingers, hands, wrists, and lower arms. In some instances, the correct hand protection also helps to guard against death.

Building Corporate Castles, Part 3

By Joe Teeples, MBA

IN previous articles (March and June 2003), we discussed how companies can evaluate their response to terrorism and provided some insight into the types of weapons that terrorists may use. Some recommendations for hardening the facility were provided in the second article.

Getting the Most Out of Forklift Alarms

By Barrett Miller

BACKUP alarms are installed on forklift trucks because they provide notice to a worker that a forklift is in close or immediate proximity. If they worked perfectly--and they don't--they might prevent as many as 20 deaths per year from pedestrian-forklift accidents and reduce injuries by seven thousand or more.

Selecting for Safety

By Orlando J. Olivares, Ph.D.

DR. Jeffrey W. Runge of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration--the nation's top auto-safety regulator--suggests that if 90 percent of Americans wore seat belts, then 6,600 lives would be saved each year, and that the failure to wear seat belts costs society more than $26 billion annually (The Wall Street Journal, 2003).

Standing for Comfort

By Lisa O'Dell

IN corporate America, we are obsessed with productivity, reduced costs, and the "bottom line." Add to this all the concerns about safety and ergonomics, and you have the makings of a colossal headache. In fact, in some cases, I think the obsession with productivity has gone a little too far, even taking a step backward.

Good Foot Protection Revolves Around Common Sense

By Wayne Elsey

A good workplace safety policy begins and ends with the employee. It makes sense for the employer to establish a solid safety policy, but it is always up to the employees to adhere to the regulations before they come into work for their shifts. It's not a question of comfort or convenience--it's literally a matter of life and limb.


The Upside of Overtime

By Jerry Laws

ARE we working too little? The idea seems far-fetched: No other industrialized country's workers put in more hours annually than the average U.S. full-time employee. But many of us won't cut back without a fight.

How Effective is Your Safety Culture?

By John W. Wells Jr.

SINCE the 1970s, the safety profession has continued to excel. In that time philosophies have changed, but the never-ending quest for "zero accidents" remains the same. The 1990s explored the human element and behavioral safety.

Two Lessons in Compliance

By Arlene Davidson

IN 2002, Moline, Ill.-based Deere & Company resolved 95 percent of its environmental compliance issues in North America within 90 days. It was able to build a "Top Ten" list from more than 1,000 regulatory line items.