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Supervisors / Managers

  • Safety as a Vocation

    A Vocation is a calling, a calling to something higher. It becomes your life’s work, your mission, your purpose, your passion.

    Daily I work with safety advocates who exercise that purpose, their passion. Thesafety is a must job they perform ensures that millions of workers get home to their families at the end of the day. For those of you who are in school and considering a career and vocation in health and safety, it’s a noble vocation and a great career choice; take it serious, because unfortunately not all will make it home. It’s a brutal reality; nobody wants to hear about it, it means something went horribly wrong. Safety professionals deal with it and will work tirelessly to find out what went wrong and correct conditions, attitudes and environment where necessary. Now you will face the family who suffered the loss and or injury. This family also includes co-workers. Additionally they must answer to OSHA on behalf of the employer.

    A vocation follows you home. You sometimes lay awake at night figuring out how to make safety relevant in the lives of those who you serve. Safety is not just another job. As a safety provider we furnish tools for training, power point presentations, safety videos, “on line training”, entire programs. In the hands of a professional with a purpose they are wonderful; otherwise these become lifeless as well.

    So you see, it takes a special person to answer the call to this vocation. The good news is there are far more successes than failures. Enjoy the rest of your summer. If you are a safety professional thank you for making it your vocation. If you are an employee working for a company with a safety professional then find time to thank them, and be a part of their commitment and mission to get you home to your family safely.

  • Hiring Summer Help? Give Them a Good Start

    The old saying “It doesn’t matter how you start, it’s how you finish that counts”. Well in life summer helpterms that is probably true. The other side of this conversation however is, “It does matter how you start”. This is the season for short term employees, specifically “Summer Help” it’s almost a tradition. It gives students a chance to make some money to help fund their education, or that car they need to get back and forth from home to school. It also reminds them of the reasons they are in school, so that by Labor Day they go back to school with a renewed sense of purpose. At the same time we also want to send them back with all of their fingers, toes, eyes, hands and feet. So it’s imperative that when they are hired we start them off with the proper safety orientation.

    As a student, in a different lifetime, I worked in a variety of jobs, which added to my life experience. I was a custodial worker, grounds keeper, grocery clerk and manager, hamburger flipper, and painter. As a custodial worker I learned the fine art of stripping sealing and waxing floors, moving and stacking chairs and desks @$1.10 per hour. To be honest learning how to use a floor machine, or swing machine as some call it, was a bit of a challenge. I didn’t have much guidance and it’s not as easy as it looks especially on a slippery floor. A broken chair and a chewed up electrical cord later I was good to go. Yes of course I learned how to clean bathrooms as well and the chemicals that went with it. Not much hazcom, or “Right to know” training there either. I took some of these skills with me when I worked in the grocery store. There were some new hazards I quickly understood for example, the proper use of a box cutter. Today I tell my own children, that, if worse comes to worse, they can identify me by the scar on my left index finger planted there by the errant use of a box cutter. My point in all of this in moving forward, is that today there are several opportunities including construction, or manufacturing, for young adults to not only add to their resume and life skills, but for employers to give them the necessary tools to learn how to manage their work safely with proper training, and to take that lesson with them wherever they go as well.

    Employers do have a responsibility according the OSHA’s general duty clause (Pub. Law 91-596 Section5(a)(1)) to provide their employees with a safe place to work as free from recognized hazards as is reasonable, and prudent. Employers must point out the hazards and train in how to recognize and avoid them during the course of the workday. This will also include the use proper PPE as well. The general duty clause covers hazardous conditions or practices not covered by an OSHA standard. There is so much more information available today than there ever was before, so give your summer help the training, and confidence they need to do the work safely and properly so you can send them back to school better than they came to you. Safety Orientation is good for everybody.

  • "Overall Company Safety Plan" The Final Analysis

    This year has slipped by pretty quickly. I’m sure that in the final analysis we’ve all had some wins and some losses. I pray that you’ve had more in the wins column. This is the time of the year of course that you’ll want to make sure that your OSHA record keeping plan is up to date and compliant for the mandated OSHA standard 29CFR 1904. Additionally your OSHA Form 300a for 2013 is due for posting from February 1st to the end of April for all to see, like bearing the soul of the company. So if you are the person charged with this task it’s also a good time of the year to review your overall company safety plan.

    Your “Overall Company safety Plan” is a very important document. Not just for OSHA requirements, but it provides a road map for your company’s safety environment. If you haven’t already done so, then you should really familiarize yourself with “Process Safety”, or “Job Safety Analysis”. This is also a good time of the year to update your “Employee safety Handbook”. There are so many topics to consider when reviewing your “Overall Company Safety Plan” Have you considered “Emergency & Disaster Preparedness”, Crisis Management”, Defensive Driving”, “Personal Protective Equipment” including the use of safety footwear? Something not necessarily related to safety but should be recognized as a very important part of team building is “Preventing Discrimination In The Workplace” There are just so many topics to consider, if you don’t have a safety committee, perhaps you should take a look at creating one. This will enable you to get additional help in identifying hazards, and also sharing in the responsibility of creating a safe working environment, and identifying other potential topics.

    “Last One Out” No, don’t turn the lights out, but turn the lights on. Familiarize yourself with the many on line courses, safety videos, editable power point presentations, and written plans, available. They are all designed to give you, your employees and families a safer environment both at work, in the office and at home. In closing we would like to wish all of you a very Blessed Christmas and safe New Year. This will be made easier if you have an “Overall Company Safety Plan”.

  • Safety Managers: How to Be Excellent

    Managers may have so much on their plates, but never should they throw workplace safety out of the window. Whether they like it or not, they affect the success (and failure) of safety programs.

    Of course, the bottom line of every business is to maximize profit by minimizing cost and avoiding loss. This is the ultimate goal of every manager, and meeting this goal means keeping their jobs and having the chance to get a raise. One way to do this: keep workers safe.

    Most managers don’t recognize the financial potential of workplace ergonomics. They consider it a waste of time and financial resources. Truth is, these programs may be the only effective ways to keep valuable employees and turn them into the most productive workforce the company has ever had.

    What exactly do excellent safety managers do? Larry Hansen has a full discussion on this at EHS Today. Let’s have the summary of his post.

    There are three basic roles of safety managers: organization, communication, and leadership. Organization would include evaluating the need for changes, providing an outlined process, and identifying the value of each safety practice, procedure, and policy. Meanwhile, communication involves getting policies running in all levels of the company, motivating employees and upper management to be involved, and monitoring progress.

    Leadership is the key factor that binds all these roles. The secret to good leadership is to demonstrate how safety is done and how it can benefit everyone and the company as a whole.

  • Safety Managers: Playing Their Roles Effectively

    If there’s one issue in business that has received many complaints and has created quite a number of discussions and debates, it’s the role of management in workplace safety. Most employers do not recognize the importance of enforcing safety programs, thinking that doing so will only incur them huge costs. This, of course, had been proven to be a misconception. Here’s an interesting and equally helpful read: “What Safety Excellence Managers Do” by Larry Hansen.

  • Disregard for Workers’ Safety May Lead to a Strike

    Workers at Aircraft Service International Group (ASIG) do not feel safe in their current working environment. The fuel truck drivers have been especially vocal about safety issues, but management has only responded to their concerns with threats and acts of intimidation. The workers have had enough and are giving ASIG firm notice that there will be a strike if conditions do not improve. Nathan Jackson explains the details of this event as the fuelers fight for their rights.

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