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Wearing More or Less Hats

It’s 9 pm, and as I’m leaving the lumber yard with some trim boards, nails and some ¼ round, my wife calls and asks me to pick up some milk and cereal. I walk dutifully back into the store, and the clerk greets me while asking if I had forgotten the nails. “NO” I mumbled not too happy to be out at this hour, “but can you tell me where I can find the milk and cereal?” “Sure” she replies cheerfully. “You’ll find it in aisle 12 next to the frozen pizzas, take your time we’re open till 10 tonight”. You’ve got to be kidding me. Lumber yards used to be lumberyards, grocery stores were grocery stores and at gas stations you bought gas and a candy bar. Times have really changed.

All this reminded me that even in industry things have really changed. We’re all wearing more Safety-Professionalhats than ever before and trying to satisfy more needs with more responsibilities. It now becomes imperative that you come prepared with a plan. As a safety advocates we find that having a written plan is only the tip of the iceberg when trying to satisfy OSHA’s general duty Clause (Pub. Law 91-596 Section 5(a)(1)). I’m sure there isn’t a safety person or HR person out there that doesn’t struggle occasionally trying to cover all of the bases of this clause which is non-specific, but specific saying that just in case you’ve missed something , they didn’t. The hazards encountered today are numerous and more are being discovered as we speak. Finding, not just the proper training, but also the time to train, and budget, all becomes an uphill battle. So education and training starts with you, the HR, safety person, competent person, trainer, or all of the above. There is more education available for you through OSHA, numerous college campuses, seminars, and technical colleges. That’s a good thing, and there are more young professionals choosing this career today with more education. You might consider hiring them as interns before graduation, and grooming them in your application specific industry.

Sourcing the information however has become a little less daunting with more resources available including “online” training, and more up to date videos. If you are still shorthanded and need help with training, auditing, or need a risk assessment, there are professionals providing that as well. The key to all of this is of course, is realizing or admitting what you can and cannot do, and getting the help, and tools necessary to keep your employees safe.

I am thankful that I didn’t need to go out and find milk and cereal. I could actually get it right there in the lumberyard with my ¼ round, nails and trim. So sometimes change is a good thing, and wearing one less hat would be nice too.

At SafetyInstruction.com we try to make things as easy as possible, offering both OSHA compliant training and safety supplies, giving you everything you need to ensure the safety of your employees, while promoting and maintaining a safety culture.

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