Why small business’s need to consider safety training

I believe that safety is an integral part of business success, and that it must rank equally with production and quality. Six years of Navy experience and over 40 years in the private sector has taught me the value of building an esprite de corps among employees, and that every business is analogous to a ship at sea. Quite simply, you either work as a team or you swim. I educate employees, and supervisors in particular, as to how effective safety policies and procedures help lift moral and forge productive safety and quality conscious teams.

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OSHA Q & A for charging employees for use of company provided Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

 Question #1: Are employers allowed to charge employees a deposit for protective equipment when the PPE is issued to the employee? If so, is the employer required to have authorization from the employee to make a payroll deduction for such a deposit?

Answer: In the final rule, OSHA said, “If the employer retains ownership of the PPE, then the employer may require the employee to return the PPE upon termination of employment. If the employee does not return the employer’s equipment, nothing in the final rule prevents the employer from requiring the employee to pay for it or take reasonable steps to retrieve the PPE, in a manner that does not conflict with federal, state or local laws concerning such actions.

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John Hoberg, President of John Hoberg Company, killed in Green Bay industrial accident

From the Brown County Library’s archives of Green Bay newspapers, one hundred and eleven years ago the death of John Hoberg made front-page news. Sourcing and verbatim reporting appear in italics:

Green Bay Advocate, Monday, July 11, 1904


Caught in Belt and Thrown a Distance of Twenty Feet

John Hoberg, president of the John Hoberg Company, was injured late Saturday afternoon at the mill on the north side. One of his arms was badly injured and he was otherwise bruised. The accident, however, will lay Mr. Hoberg up for a short time, but no serious results are expected.

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Fault Finding and Safety at Your Facility

Everyone who gets up in the morning to go to work fully expects that they will return home at the end of the day. Doesn’t always happen! And whose fault is that?

Most of us drove to work today. How many of us did a simple walk around pre-operational check of the vehicle before we started driving? Continue reading

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5 Written Programs an OSHA Inspector May Ask To See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance involves maintaining several mandatory written programs and records. The following is a management checklist of 5 of the most common written programs and records that an OSHA inspector might ask to see.

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Workplace Safety and Green Bay’s Industrial Park Communities.

Starting in the 1970s and continuing into the 90s, the concept of industrial parks spurred the imagination of city planners and businesses alike.  Soon industrial parks started popping up faster than onion sprouts in the valuable agriculture land the parks displaced. In theory the parks where developed to move industry to the outskirts of the city, allowing more urban green space. Often these parks are located close to interstate highways, rail transportation, and airports to promote more efficient and faster shipment or goods and supplies. Parks also allowed for the concentration of infrastructure in a dedicated area, helping to reduce the cost of high-powered electric supply, high-end communications cables, and large volume water and gas supply lines.  Most parks are occupied by light to medium manufacturing facilities, the same types of businesses struggling with regulatory compliance.

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Lessons to Learn from the Upper Big Branch Mine and the Deep Water Horizon

Remember Don Blinkenship? He was the CEO of Massey Energy Company’s Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia that suffered the explosion on April 5th, 2010 that killed 29 miners and injured several others.

 As battalions of news reporters assembled outside of his office and bombarded him daily with questions about the safety of his mines, Blinkenship resolutely maintained that he had done more to advance mining safety than the mining industry as a whole had done in the last decade. Yet, according to a July 18, 2010, editorial in The New York Times, there was evidence that the accident may have been caused when a company electrician by-passed a methane detector alarm that kept interrupting the flow of coal. Apparently the electrician was ordered to by-pass the detector by a middle- management supervisor.

 According to Mr. Blinkenship he spent a lot of money and effort to advance safety in his mines, but all of his efforts may have been undone by subordinates who at least “perceived” that upper-management valued production numbers more than safety. As a consequence, Mr. Blinkenship, once known as the King of Coal, ended up selling his company, narrowly escaping criminal prosecution, and may still be potentially liable for a number of civil suits, all because of a faulty perception.

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My Free Power Point Safety Videos

Please see my download page for some free power point safety presentations.

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