Welcome back. Hope your labor day weekend was peaceful and relaxing.
It seems to me that when people learn about ancient civilizations and their culture, when the subject of their rituals like human sacrifices comes up our reaction is to be appalled, disgusted, horrified. “How cruel and barbaric!” “That would never happen in a civilized world.” Yet here we are in the year 2017 in a civilized world and every day, like a ritual, a worker is sacrificed while on the job in the name of corporate profits and no one is appalled, disgusted or horrified, for longer then ten minutes.
The same companies that constantly complain how OSHA regulations and environmental regulations, are holding them back from greatness believe that they would do a better job of self regulating their actions then the government. Yet they pollute and poison the communities that supported them with nice fat tax breaks while making record profits for their pockets by cutting corners on safety and by doing so, sacrificing workers. There is more public outcry for a dog locked in a hot car, “there ought to be a law” then a worker who is burned a live on the job because his company didn’t want to waste time completely emptying the tank of a hazardous substance, oh, and they didn’t even bother telling him that. Poof! “He was a father of 3, isn’t that, oh but look at that poor puppy.
Luckily, there are many, many companies out there that care about their workers and make sure they have a safe environment to work in and nurtured with training, drills and respect. They have painstakingly put together a culture of positive ethics and goals. What we need to watch out for and continue to call out are the companies that have negative cultures and personalities.
Like the company with a serial killer personality for a culture. Weeks after employee died, Blue Springs firm cited for again violating safety rules. That’s right folks! After Donald J. Meyer died on the job by being buried a live in a trench that was not properly shored up by his employer, Blue Springs Plumbing, the morons went and did it again, trying to kill more workers, as 5 weeks later workers were found in a trench without proper shoring. An owner who has no care for the well being of his employees. For these two acts of stupidity, the pending fine is a whooping $714,142 for 3 Willful and 4 Serious violations. In my opinion, the owner should be facing manslaughter charges like in Boston.
For what ever reason, the accidental death rate has climbed in a dying industry, coal mining and people with a conscience want to know why? Latest coal death brings renewed call for mine safety action. The latest death, a 51 year old coal miner, Owen Mark Jones was the 6th death in West Virginia alone, this year and 12th nationwide. Can it be morally bankrupt owners taking advantage of the perceived laxing of regulatory enforcement? You bet it is and with the appointment of acting Chief of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration filled by a person who as no experience in mine safety. Just based on hearing that alone tells me things should improve greatly, NOT! Now more then ever, miners need to watch each others back along with their union.
What does an accident waiting to happen look like? It looks very much like the Crosby, Arkema plant. Crosby Arkema plant had 10 violations OSHA considered serious. However the problems here didn’t begin with Hurricane Harvey, they began over a year ago when OSHA found 10 serious violations and fined them $91,714. OSHA says all repairs needed were completed but who knows how soon they fell back into bad habits. If you are working under questionable practices you can always make a call to the OSHA Hotline 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA). You’ll not only be protecting your life and the lives of your fellow coworkers but the lives of the surrounding community.
No matter where you work, all equipment should receive some kind of inspection. Whether it’s a pre-shift inspection of a forklift or a visual check inspection of the outside of a jet airliner, it is necessary to make sure it is safe to operate. Failing to maintain lifts endangers employees, risks fines. In fact the best practice would be to have all equipment scheduled for maintenance through a master schedule that details when and what needs to be replaced and to document and record all repairs made and by whom. The information is readily available from the manufacturer. All you have to do is make sure it gets done and avoid making silly excuses.
Apparently in California, two wrongs don’t make a right but it does make an award. Riverside CA Security Guard Injured by Forklift Receives $16.9 M Jury Award. Even though the security guard was wrong by his actions, the forklift driver’s lack of checking behind him before moving was considered worse and so the monetary award. Go figure.
If you still believe that the company forces you to wear PPE just so you look dorky, then maybe this story will change your mind. 15 Reasons Why Wearing A Helmet Is Always A Good Idea PPE is specifically designed and manufactured to protect your body parts so you can do the job safely. There is no excuse not too.
Well folks, that brings another episode to a close. Think about becoming a safety advocate at work. It’s easy to do by joining and becoming an active member of the safety committee, participating in safety meetings and mentoring younger workers. Working together we can keep each other safe. Never keep quiet about safety for the life you save may be your own. Until next time.