Hey there, hi there, ho there. Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas to all. Growing up in New York City, I have some great memories associated with this time of year. The cold nip in the air that turned my cheeks red while strolling down 5th Avenue checking out all the marvelously decorated storefront windows and the air was filled with the smell of roasting chestnuts while serenaded by the constant bell ringing from the Salvation Army collection posts. Then going to see the Rockettes Christmas holiday show at Radio City Music Hall, ice skating at Rockefeller Center and then eating at the automat. It was awesome! It’s also a time when some reflect on their lives and give thanks for what they have and what they’ve accomplished. I want to thank all of you readers who have supported this blog throughout the year and it is so appreciated. This has been a great learning experience for me as well as rewarding, especially being able to help and educate people in other less fortunate countries about warehouse operations and safety. I look forward to continued growth as a person and blogger and offering you fresh new points of view on workplace safety, quality warehousing and operational best practices.
I would also like to take one moment to remember those 4000+ people who died in workplace accidents this year, who will not be around to share the holidays with loved ones. They will forever be in the memories of Christmases past. Don’t ever shortcut safety just to save a few minutes only to lose a lifetime of memories. With those thoughts this unfortunately is another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.
Victor-based Wordingham Machine facing new fines for alleged repeat safety hazards – PREVENTABLE – It looks like management at Wordingham Machine thought OSHA was joking about the serious safety hazards they found since they didn’t bother to do anything about them. Apparently they were fine with employees exposed to unguarded moving machine parts, no LOTO procedures, no fire extinguisher training and a locked exit door. Now the fine has gone up $126,000 and not in monopoly money either. Reality is a bitch.
Forklift runs over man in NW Portland & RecycleForce worker crushed – PREVENTABLE – Both are tragic forklift related accidents with one resulting in the death of James Dozier. the sad part is that these accidents were preventable. When operating a forklift you can’t zone out but need to always pay attention. You never know when someone will come out of nowhere due to their ignorance on how dangerous a warehouse can be. It always drives me nuts when I see someone on a forklift back up without first taking a moment to look behind them or come whipping around a corner at high speed where the pedestrian X-walk is. Wear your seatbelt to prevent winding up under a tipped lift. I know there are stupid people who back out of their driveways or pull into traffic without looking first, but that DOESN’T have to be YOU!
Nightclub owner admits safety breaches after employee crushed in lift shaft – PREVENTABLE – If you are a “do as I say, not as I do” manager be prepared for being held accountable. There is nothing more hypocritical than telling an employee to work safe, follow the rules and wear the proper PPE and the managers don’t follow suit and set an example for all. When Stephen Hampson rode the “products only” lift that day he was trying to do a good job for his supervisor and save a few minutes just as he’d seen his boss do many times before. I’m sure he didn’t come to work that day thinking he would die and now the boss is going to prison. Two lives ruined over saving a few minutes. I know it’s one of those where you think, well if he can do it so can I but why show people you’re as stupid as the boss?
OSHA Cites Louisiana Cellular Tower Company After Worker Fatality – PREVENTABLE – Custom Tower LLC, was hit with a willful safety violation when an employee fell 125 feet (over 11 stories) to his death because they didn’t ensure workers used their fall protection gear. My guess is there is no records of training of employees in using fall protection gear. Whether you are trained or not, you still need to use common sense when working at those heights let alone just over 6 feet high. Your belief in your abilities that you can do it and won’t fall are nice, but then that’s why they’re called accidents and not on-purpose. You never know if you’ll slip, faint, or trip. Wear your PPE and come home to your family in one piece.
OSHA cites Rail Car Services for violations – PREVENTABLE – Rail Car Services of Kansas City, Kansas was hit with 11 safety violations after an inspection of their facility that was instigated by a complaint. You think the fact that 8 of the violations were repeat offenses or the lack of fall protection, confined space training, failure to provide training on the chemicals used and respirators or a combination of all of the above could have had something to do with the complaint. Either way it may still cost them $133,000.
Criminal Charges Follow Fatal Workplace Accidents – APPLAUSE – Company owners who have total disregard for worker safety are finally going to jail. One owner is going to serve 10-20 years for two counts of manslaughter while another will be on trial for murder. You ask for an honest days work from your employees give them safe working conditions and you both will do well together.
US Gypsum Celebrates OSHA Voluntary Protection Program Star Achievement– DOUBLE APPLAUSE – This proves that when management and labor work together on safety it can be done. Congratulations to US Gypsum.
OSHA seeks input on revisions to safety regulations – UPDATE – This is your opportunity to have some input on revisions to safety regulations by OSHA. Take advantage of your years of experience and share your thoughts with OSHA. Never know what could happen.
Hazardous Area LED Light Fixture – TOOLS – New from Larson Electronics. Check it out.
That brings this last episode of 2013 to a close. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your time. Become a safety advocate at your place of work and make sure everyone pledges to support the safety program. Join the safety committee and if your company doesn’t have one, start one by speaking to your manager or H.R. Don’t every let anyone tell you it’s o.k. to perform an unsafe act. It’s not. See you all again in 2014.