April 2004


Features

Improving Your Drug Testing ROI

By Bill Current

IN 2001, at an exotic animal ranch in Florida, a 550-pound crossbred Siberian tiger mauled to death a 49-year-old volunteer worker. According to the Associated Press, the worker was attempting to qualify for his own license to keep "big cats" when the tiger broke through a chain link, grabbed the worker by the neck, and pulled him to the ground. The official report of the incident said the man died in seconds of a broken neck.


Expanding the Footprint of Pre-Employment Testing

By Jerry Laws

Editor's note: Ambassador Medical Services Inc. of Marlton, N.J., a third-party administrator of federally required testing programs, has seen its business shift from 100 percent DOT testing at startup in 1988 to a 40 percent DOT/60 percent non-DOT mix today.


The Science of Safety

By Casey Hayes

LIFE just keeps getting more and more complicated. Between advancements in industrial technologies, increasing productivity pressures, and a general "need-for-speed," most safety professionals are constantly adjusting their thinking and processes.


Thermal Imagers and the Industrial Fire Brigade

By Jonathan F. Bastian

THERMAL imagers (TIs) are sweeping through the North American fire service as more and more municipal fire departments adopt the technology. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently reported approximately 25 percent of municipal fire departments have TIs.


From the Inside Out

By Matthew A. Forck

I supervise electrical distribution line workers. We start each week with a safety meeting. Being the highly effective supervisor that I am, I have a folder of safety stuff I draw from when we don't have a video or speaker.


Attuned to the Language of Business

By William H. Kincaid, P.E., CSP

A large construction company was building a multi-story office building in St. Louis. Partway through the job, a worker fell more than 30 feet through a hole in a partially decked floor. He died as a result of severe injuries a few hours later.


Effective Exposure Control

By Steven M. Sayer

WHAT is your company's agenda when an employee cuts himself while handling a knife (or any other incident that induces bleeding)? What happens if an employee contracts Hepatitis B (HBV) or the HIV virus while rendering first aid or CPR to a critically injured employee?


The Logic of Integration

By Judith Barber

I smile whenever I see a program that integrates occupational health and employee assistance services. Having considerable exposure to both of these disciplines, I can see the sheer logic behind integrating them.


How Quickly Can We Respond?

By Rick Wimberly

IN three years' time, the United States' perspective of public safety has dramatically shifted. Decades of relative stability within our country's borders have been usurped by the threat of violence, illness, and economic uncertainty.


Measuring Adjustability's Benefits

By W. Gary Allread, Ph.D., AEP

THE emphasis on designing workplaces to accommodate individuals having a variety of physical differences has increased due to the knowledge and public awareness surrounding ergonomics. As both manufacturers and consumers understand, work environments that are more comfortable to use and adjustable to individual needs can reduce discomfort, the potential for fatigue, and cumulative trauma, as well as increase job productivity.


Handle with Care

By Fred Elliott

THE American public buys more than five billion over-the-counter drug products each year. A June 2003 national survey examining use of OTC medications indicated more of us are reading labels and checking out possible side effects, but we still have far to go, the National Council on Patient Information and Education noted last fall when it launched its latest consumer education campaign, "Be MedWise Prescription for Taking OTC Medicines."


Choosing the Best Slip-Resistant Shoe

By Bill Douglas

SLIPS and falls are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries in the country. In fact, the National Safety Council reports more than 300,000 injuries occur each year as a result of slips, trips, and falls in the workplace, averaging almost $7,000 per accident in lost compensation and medical costs.


Departments

Putting It All Together

By Valerie Weadock

THE most valued employee is often the most versatile. The more job tasks you can perform well, the more appreciated you are by your company. This notion also applies to computer programs.


Leading a Multi-Generational Workforce

By Joanne Sujansky, Ph.D.

BEFORE making assumptions about employee retention based on past experience, consider that you are about to see a new wave of employees with a whole new set of expectations swarm the workplace. Known as Generation Y, they might have a few traits that will surprise even the seasoned manager.


'Asleep at the Switch'

By Jerry Laws

HERE'S a safety message with attitude: Most Americans are clueless about their own safety, American Red Cross President and CEO Marsha J. Evans says. (And who knows more about community preparedness than the Red Cross? When we're in trouble--burned out by fire, flattened by an earthquake or tornado--ARC responds, at a pace of about 70,000 disasters per year.)