November 2005

Cover Story

Braving the Challenge of CBRN

By Jerry Laws

Editor's note: NIOSH's National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory continues to develop standards and test procedures for all classes of respirators that protect against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) agents.


Verifying Lockout/Tagout Electrically Safe Status

By Duane Smith

LOCKOUT/TAGOUT procedures specify the steps electricians must follow to remove power from an electrical circuit or panel and to lock out and tag the panel or circuit so no one can re-energize it while work is in progress. An increasing number of specialty contractors, ranging from health inspectors to thermographers, must work around electrical panels and exposed circuits. For their own safety, these contractors and anyone else who may be exposed to li

Full-Featured Protection

By Luanne Freund

THE need to protect employees against air contamination in the workplace has become more critical than ever before.

Beware the Dark Side of Online EHS Training

By William A. Grana, Jr., Stuart G. Clayton

"THE future is here to stay." In terms of safety training, this saying refers to the use and proliferation of Internet-based courseware for delivering training messages, as well as Internet-based software for administering and managing those messages.

Hot New Options for Hospital Fire Safety

By Joe Beranek

ACCORDING to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of five fires break out per day at our nation's health care facilities1 and more than 8,000 hospital fires occur each year. If not acted upon quickly and effectively, the results can be catastrophic.

Toxic VOCs and Confined Space Entry

By Bob Henderson

TOXIC VOC exposure is one of the most overlooked hazards in confined space entry. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic compounds characterized by their tendency to evaporate easily at room temperature.

Early Warnings

By Terri Rebmann, RN, MSN, CIC

THE anthrax incident of 2001 was a small bioterrorism attack in terms of the amount of agent used (the letter addressed to Senator Daschle contained only two to three ounces of anthrax spores, and the other letters contained similar amounts) and the resulting morbidity and mortality. (There were only 22 cases of anthrax and five deaths).

Do the Prep Work

By Fred Elliott

ADEQUATE preparation surely is the answer to many of life's challenges and dangers. It is well established that prevention's value outweighs the cost of incidents themselves (for example, the UK Department for Transport has calculated that the total value of preventing the 229,014 highway accidents in Great Britain in 2001, of which 3,176 were fatal accidents and 31,588 were serious accidents, would have been roughly $31 billion, or about $135,000 per accident).

Headline: Hazard Assessment

By Jerry Laws

HOW to prevent eye, face, and head injuries isn't a mystery. But knowing how to protect yourself or your workers does take some analysis, attention, effort, and money. Wearing inadequate protection or none at all is not an alternative if the hazards involved in a given task cannot be eliminated, engineered out, or solved through administrative controls.

Keeping Electrical Safety Simple

By Linda F. Johnson, MS, CSP

FIRE, jolts, arcs, thermal burns, flash burns . . . . There are few workplace scenarios as potentially deadly as those that involve work with electricity or electrical items. Yet we all have a tendency to overlook the most basic of hazards in the workplace, too.

With Open Arms

By Ken Liebeskind

ARE you capitalizing on the benefits of the Internet to boost employee training?


Admiring Australia's Boldness

By Jerry Laws

LET'S make it mandatory for building owners and designers to incorporate fall safety during a building's design stage. Please don't tell me this is impractical or too expensive--not when Australia's National Occupational Health and Safety Commission is taking this bold step right now.

Suite Solution

By Ronnie Rittenberry

Editor's note: All but gone are the days of EH&S consultants' reports being delivered in three-ring binders with accompanying Polaroid prints. Instead, consulting firms such as Kansas City, Mo.-based OCCU-TEC Inc. ( are delivering data in "living documents" that are easy to maintain, always up to date, and available 24/7 from any computer that has online access.

Younger Managers; Older Workers

By Ray Pelletier, CSP

DOES your workplace suffer from a generational rift? If you're like the majority of companies, the answer is yes. However, today's pressing concern is no longer "how to manage the Generation X crowd." With the Gen X'ers now entering managerial roles, today's biggest concern is how these new young managers can effectively lead people their parents' age.