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- Revitalizing Your Ergonomics Program
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Increasingly, health & safety professionals find themselves the dubious owners of a variety of software tools and large-scale software systems. These tools and systems serve a variety of purposes, from assessment to measurement, to data management and analysis, to large-scale EH&S program automation and administration.
The summer of 2003 was one of the wettest in Maryland history. Later that fall, an indoor environmental quality (IEQ) investigation in a leased facility revealed mold growth in the air handing units (AHUs) and main supply duct of all 12 of the building’s HVAC systems. During the next two months, we worked with occupants, our leasing agent, the building owner, and his contractor to successfully remediate the mold growth. We decided to assess mechanical hygiene in 15 other buildings.
Kimberly-Clark’s Conway, Ark., plant reduced its musculoskeletal incidents by 50 percent following installation of an on-site Employee Maintenance Center (EMC). Improvements in reportable incident rates have continued each year since the EMC launched in 2004. At a sister plant 20 miles down the road in Maumelle, reportable incidents fell from eight to zero in the year following the launch of its center.
We see horrifying images everywhere: devastating ice storms, hurricanes, traffic pile-ups, crumbled buildings and sinkholes, mall shootings, and sometimes catastrophic workplace accidents. Are your workers really prepared to be safe? (And what about the looming threat of a widespread pandemic flu?) We are living in an instant-access, drive-by world these days. When we need a set of gloves, a first aid kit, a faceshield, or a respirator, we stop by the local hardware or big-box store and get it immediately, or we order online and await delivery within hours. Viewing icebound Oklahoma landscapes last month should have given us pause: What if there are long-term, serious power and traffic interruptions?
Sawn fingers, severed limbs, crushed torsos, and blinded eyes are among the many and sometimes deadly injuries common to sawmill work. Today’s laser-enhanced, electronically operated blades are a far cry from the water-powered saws of yesteryear, but the industry’s hazards have remained largely the same since the nation’s first mill was built at Jamestown, Va., in 1608. Four hundred years later, OSHA still considers sawmilling one of the most dangerous occupations in the country.
I’ve seen many executives and senior managers sincerely seeking to enhance employee involvement. They realize engaged workers are more likely to be more motivated, do higher-quality work, make better suggestions, deliver improved service, be more alert and aware—and show far better Safety results.
St. Elmo’s Fire, with its eerie emanations of iridescent hues, possesses a mystical quality for many. For centuries, sailors either sought shelter or stood in awe of it. But for Greg Bast, the phenomenon is just another part of his job. “It’s aesthetically pleasing, in that it’s kind of neat to watch it, but it can also get a little weird when it discharges and starts running down the side of the airplane and bouncing off the prop tips and everything else.”
The Lean Sigma Scorecard brings together the best of Lean Enterprise thinking, Six Sigma processes, and the Balanced Scorecard’s multiple perspective management. It combines the use of data to deploy strategy and drive improvement, as well as streamlining internal processes and procedures to maximize efficiency. The Lean Sigma Scorecard framework is uniquely positioned to address many of the shortcomings in traditional safety management.
I’d like to know the true cost of OSHA’s final rule on paying for PPE, which was issued the same day I wrote this column.
In 2004, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, under presidential order, instituted the National Incident Management System. This nationwide initiative was targeted at getting federal, state, tribal, and local governments to work together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters.