Companies Behaving Badly – December

Wow!  Where did the year go people?  Time sure does fly when you’re having fun and busy as many of you have been and are now.  Busy making lists of gifts to buy, busy planning menus making sure you have dishes for vegans, gluten free and the traditional meat and potatoes.  Many companies are also still busy making sure they are producing enough product for the store shelfs and online deals.  Food companies are also cranking out products to make sure you have everything you need to bake and cook or just buy it already made.  Yes, they’re in full production mode pushing workers, forcing over time and making sure they’re goals are made to keep consumers happy.  Unfortunately when people are pushed, they get tired and tired people make mistakes, have lapses in judgement and become susceptible to injury.  When temporary employees are pushed into a job without proper training and supervision they make mistakes too but unfortunately don’t always get to learn from theirs since they usually die.  There is no reason for this to happen and that is why I bring you another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.

OSHA cites Tyson Foods, proposes $121,720 in fines for workplace safety hazards at Buffalo, NY, production plant – PREVENTABLE Tyson Foods safety inspection was conducted through the OSHA’s Site Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses.  This was apparently justified by the number of repeat violations they found in falls, electrocution, burns and lack of LOTO.  Like Tyson used to say, It’s what your family deserves. 

Ore. Meat Company Fined for Safety Violations – PREVENTABLE Springfield Meat Company probably thought they were so smart saving money when they didn’t bother replacing the safety guard on the tenderizing machine for two years.  Now it cost them $7850 in a fine plus medical bills for the employee who received 60 stitches thanks to that money saving idea.  This is when the owner and management should be fined or jailed for purposely putting people in harms way.

Landscaper fined by OSHA in stump-grinding death – PREVENTABLE – Someone at Urban Tree Service thought it would be a great idea to shorten the cord length for the remote control to the stump grinder, thus bringing the operator closer to the machinery while it was in use.  This resulted in the death of Matthew Morasse who was just trying to do his job and make a living.  Any modifications done to any piece of equipment should be handled by the equipment company manufacturer representatives and then damn well make sure your employees are aware of these modifications.  They really like to go home to their families at the end of the day.

OSHA cites Missoula auto shop for 9 violations in worker’s death – PREVENTABLE – This is a really sad story.  Bruce Hall went to work that day like every other.  It was going to be at hot day with low humidity and he probably was thinking about a cold shower that night at home while pouring lacquer from a barrel into a smaller container through a funnel when the fumes exploded.  The shop didn’t have appropriate grounding or bonding for the flammable liquids with a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit and probably always had it that way, until luck ran out.

Wind plant workers air safety concerns – PREVENTABLE – Employees at the TPI Composites plant in Newton, Iowa had to complain about safety hazards to OSHA.  Could it have been motivated by the 10 violations OSHA found in 2012 or the 6 found this year?  It’s obvious that the company is not very good at listening and responding to employee concerns or about workers losing fingers, otherwise the employees wouldn’t have felt the need to go to OSHA and look at obtaining additional workplace safety protection by joining a union.  Companies make it so much harder than it has to be, just listen to your workers!

Ferdo Refrigeration Cited After Follow-up Inspection – PREVENTABLE – Companies complain about too much government intervention yet then go and temp fate by not bothering to correct any of the violations OSHA found in an earlier inspection.  Why you want to be under the microscope for allegedly exposing your workers to fires, explosions, falls, and chemical hazards and then leaving them unable to exit the workplace quickly in an emergency is just beyond me.  Give your employees the tools they need to do their job and they will be successful and make you successful.  It’s better than hoping no one gets hurt, crossing your fingers no one is killed and waiting to be caught by OSHA.

Warehouse safety blitz coming to Ontario – INFO – Warehouse managers operating in our neighbor to the north, Canada don’t say you weren’t warned.  Applause to the Ontario Ministry of Labour for taking a proactive stance in protecting workers.

BREAKING: Wal-Mart faces warehouse horror allegations and federal Labor Board complaint – UPDATE – They sure have had their share of press lately.  Their television ads portray a caring, nurturing company that’s great to work for, yet headline after headline says different.  You can also read another recent article about Walmart and it’s practices in Betraying Public Trust For A Few Dollars More: Walmart.  There is nothing wrong with finding deals and good prices, but a companies ethics are also something important to consider.

Hours Of Service Will Affect Warehouse Operations And Networks Too – INFO – How HOS affects your operation.  Something to be aware of.

OSHA no match for workplace dangers that kill thousands – ARTICLE – This is a great article by Randy Lee Loftis of the Dallas News on OSHA’s challenges.  It is worth taking the time to read.

That brings another episode of Companies Behaving Badly to a close.  We are each as unique as snowflakes as no two humans are the same. We each have our own quirks, likes, mannerisms and ways of thinking which makes us different.  Not better, not worse, just different.  Appreciate the differences and respect life. Become a safety advocate and speak up when you observe unsafe conditions.  You don’t have to put up with it and don’t assume the next guy will take care of it.

Later this month I have a new series on workplace safety debuting, Aunt Ida’s Recipes For Disaster.  Check out the story below and hope you come back to check out the recipes.

So I’ve been busy with a new client implementing a 5S program when… o.k., I was really cleaning and organizing the garage for my longest and dearest client, my wife.   I was put into service when she asked me to practice what I get paid to preach.  My attention became focused on a stack of boxes that contained many different artifacts such as kindergarden child art and tax records of 1996 when I happened upon an old wooden box that was full of recipes.  They were all hand written on sheets of notepaper that had faded and turned yellow with age.  What I found was astounding since I thought Aunt Ida’s recipes for a disaster where long lost.  I can’t wait to share them with all of you and sharing is something I will be doing in the next coming months beginning some time this December.

Each recipe is crafted and written so they can be professionally executed by the beginner as well as the expert.  You don’t want to miss any of these classic recipes for a disaster so make sure to sign up, just click on the email box on the right, to get witzshared via email each time a new episode is available.

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