Welcome back to Companies Behaving Badly. Hope you had a fun and relaxing July 4th weekend.
Let’s get right too it, shall we. Stop it! Really. Stop it, right now. There is no need to continue this madness people. It’s time we STOP and end FALLS, 7 year reign as OSHA’s #1 violation and killer. Stop the falls. There have been stand downs, press coverage, news stories, National Safety Month and yet. Stop the falls. No more lies to yourself, no more excuses and no more falls. In case you didn’t know, you are no less of a man for using fall protection gear and if anyone questions it, remember, they’re the fool. Oh it won’t happen to me. I’m sure that’s what these guys said before their falls.
Cal-OSHA Opens Inquiry into Worker’s Death – He died from a 12 foot fall. OSHA probes worker’s fatal fall in Cherry Hill – 14 stories, at least he had time to pray on the way down. Worker falls 50 feet from building at construction site – Very lucky man, not dead but suffered significant injuries. Indy worker falls to his death off Tippecanoe Co. roof – He fell 17 feet and died with his safety vest on but it was not properly anchored to anything. That seems to be the best way it works. Man falls off apartment building in Lacey – Another lucky guy but will he learn from this experience? Worker Falls 30 Feet From Roof of NFL Draft Stage at Art Museum – 30 foot fall and survived but hospitalized. MAN FALLS TO HIS DEATH AT DOWNTOWN ATHENS CONSTRUCTION SITE – He fell 40 feet so he had time to think what he did wrong but now won’t get the chance to tell anyone about his experience. Official: Window Washer Dies After Fall in Brooklyn – he didn’t even bother to put on a harness. Maybe he was never told or just didn’t like the fashion statement. Then there is this one OSHA fines Ross Island Bridge paint contractor $189,000 for safety violations that led to near-fatal accident where a worker fell 37 feet and landed on another worker who turned out to be his son. They’re fine and the company was hit with fines.
I could go on and on but hope the point has been made. Don’t wear fall protection gear and use it properly, odds are you will die. If you insist this can’t happen to you and don’t need to wear some harness, fine, but when you leave your loved ones this morning to go to work, hug them and say goodbye like it’s the last time they’ll see you alive. YOU are the answer to not dying. YOU are the solution to stopping falls. YOU. So stop it.
It also shouldn’t take a catastrophic event to get your focus on the safety of your employees. Stop it, stop the lame excuses. It is in the best interest of your business and the safety of your customers and employees if they are trained and prepared to deal with an emergency or the operating of equipment. Do you want the press and tv news in your face wanting answers? Do you want to be explaining to OSHA why you ignored the situation? Do you want to have to tell the families why the backup equipment failed and their loved ones died. Why management stood by and kept quiet. Telling a skeptical world your side of the story and how it’s not your fault, we take safety seriously here at (name here) and the well being of our employees is number one concern? Yes, yes it is, right after you got caught. Finger point, finger point. Ah, but wait, we have a new way to do things. It’s called alternate truth or as your granddad used to call it, lying! Since the facts will never back our view of things, we’ll make facts up and craft to get our point across. From now on all employee injuries will be termed as self inflicted. At no time are we at fault or blame. If they can’t operate a machine they weren’t trained to operate without hurting themselves, it’s there own fault.
Goodwill has a stellar reputation. It’s falling short in the death of Abraham Garza. Dave Goudie, a commercial driver at Goodwill, had warned managers about safety hazards and inadequate training at the Franklin Boulevard facility. Then last September, he witnessed a horrible accident when another Goodwill worker, Abraham Nicholas Garza, a 26-year-old father of a young boy, was crushed to death operating a compactor. Rather then listen to Mr. Goudie’s concerns and thanking him for bringing it to their attention they instead blamed him for Garza’s death and then fired him after he spoke with Cal/OSHA investigators and accepted no blame at all. However Cal/OSHA found that Goodwill failed to establish safety procedures and that there were unsafe working conditions, busting Goodwills lie and fining them $106,675 for the 6 violations found, 4 of which were serious. Our tale doesn’t end there as A death. A widening probe. Does Goodwill endanger workers? Someone at Cal/OSHA thought, if this place had safety violations what’s going on at the other stores they oversee? We should take a closer look! That’s what you invite when you ignore the basic safety concepts like training. As I would tell my supervisors, if you keep it clean, safe and organized, no one else will look closer. Hope that Goodwill does the right thing and work this all out so everyone can have a safe place to work.
Another compactor death across the country. OSHA Fines East Brunswick Salvage Yard Where Man Was Killed If you don’t know what you are doing or if you haven’t received training to operate, stay clear. These machines can be dangerous if not handled properly. There is no shame in asking questions.
This next story is a great illustration of the all too often results from horseplay. Minnesota woman seeking YouTube fame fatally shoots boyfriend in stunt gone wrong. Just like with horseplay, what seemed like a great idea, without any forethought or preparation of how to or what the end result could be just for the immediate gratification of a immature funny bone. Yea, shooting you sounds real funny dear. Doing donuts on the forklift, sounds like real fun. We’ll get lots of hits on youtube, we’ll be sensations, we’ll be famous daredevils and everyone will know that, Oh, I killed you, on accident? See, fun until someone gets hurt. Will you be willing to be held accountable for your actions? If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. Treat your job with respect and be professional during the whole shift. There is no need to use equipment like a bored teenager. It creates costs your company doesn’t need for equipment and possible worker lost time for a stupid prank.
The Grenfell fire in the U.K. is a great tragedy that has exposed human depravity at its lowest. Don’t tell anyone about the fire risks: Safety consultant hired to inspect Grenfell Tower urged council to hide failings – and he’s an ex-firefighter The failure of leadership driven by greed, that ignored public safety and allowed fellow human beings to live in unsafe housing. After the fire, so far over 60 buildings inspected have failed fire emergency tests! 60! The use of cheaper materials that created toxic smoke that killed people long before the flames could ever reach them. However the most disgusting act committed was by the safety inspector who sold his soul and told the council to hide the safety flaws. He was paid to point them out for the building council so they could address them and instead this fool said, let’s hide them. No one needs to know about them. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Like a bad doctor or lawyer, this moron should not be allowed to practice workplace safety anywhere. If you hate other human beings that much to not care at all what happens to them, to think there is nothing wrong with putting them in harms way, then you need to live on an island somewhere. All People Matter. Each person is not better, not worse, just different.
I am really impressed with companies that see a problem, make the adjustments needed and problem goes away. The reason you don’t hear much about them is because they fix it with No fanfare, no banners, no parades. What you do hear is the other companies that complain loudly almost every. Oh the skills gap is hurting us, oh the shortage of workers is hurting us. What are we to do. Well, those quiet companies are looking into internships and apprenticeships to help build a team of talented, trained and ready workers. Nebraska Companies Join Effort To Connect Youths To Careers There are lots of young folks who love to work with their hands and mind. A career in manufacturing can be very rewarding.
Thank you to all who participated in June during the National Safety Month. When it comes to safety at the workplace, YOU are just as much responsible as your boss or company. You can say NO to unsafe practices. You can insist on using the proper PPE and safety procedures. Get the conversation going, be part of the safety committee, voice your concerns and never keep quiet about safety. Learn the correct way and be a mentor to others. For the life you save, may be your own. Until July 20th. Stay safe.