Companies Behaving Badly-Fear and Ignorance

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Welcome back and thank you for your time and consideration.  Hope your 4th of July was relaxing, entertaining and invigorating.  
The emotion of Fear and ignorance (a lack of knowledge) have been around since the dawning of humankind and when put together they are not a very good couple to have around.  Also for as long, people of great wealth and power have manipulated communities spreading lies to feed fear and scare people while simultaneously playing on their ignorance to generate hatred.  Motivating individuals to acts of violence against neighbors homes, businesses and up to killing if needed.  The only sole beneficiary, the man of power who started it.  When fire was first discovered I’m sure many were in fear of it.  It generated heat, it danced, it hurt like hell to touch but was unpredictability due to a lack of understanding.  The first person who learned to control fire no longer feared it as they knew how to use it safely and then could turn it into power as they used that fear of fire to their advantage spreading lies of it’s origin and why they could control it and by that alone is why they should be put in charge.  The match of fear and ignorance was a hit and the trend continued.  
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With all the problems these two have generated through out our history of the world imagine the affect they have on workplace safety!  Companies and poor leaders keeping workers ignorant about their rights to a safe workplace. No training, no PPE, no safety meetings and if they question why they don’t have any of those items then Fear is used to intimidate them into silence and looking the other way or threatened with loss of their job so they become complicit, slowly eroding your morals or bullied into leaving the company for not going along with the program of tampered emergency shut offs and no LOTO program so now the fear and ignorance boils over into hatred of  the company and what they did to me and winds up in a mass shooting at the plant while the bobbleheads stare into the camera and shake their heads in disbelief.  How could this happen?
The fear also includes that of OSHA.  At one company, as soon as I started I was barraged with safety issues by the employees.  “We have told the company about these issues for years and nothing gets done!”  I asked since the company has ignored them all this time why haven’t they called OSHA?  “Oh no man, we don’t want the plant closed down.  We’ll all be out of work.”  The fear of job lose, even though the plant wouldn’t have been closed but there should would have been a lot of eyes going over every aspect of the plant.
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Before you begin a job, learn about it first.  What are the associated hazards, what kind of equipment is typically used, what kind of PPE and protection do I need and what kind of company am I working for?  It is always a good idea to get several points of view and not just from your boss or company but research on the web.  Read blogs like this and there are several out there, so look for your voice in a few of them.  Once you get a job, don’t stop learning.  New procedures, new techniques, new apps are coming everyday and you can help your company as well as you yourself grow by reading and learning.  This is also a tool you can put into use of everyday life.  Don’t just take your neighbor’s advice, listen to it but see what other opinions are out there.  There is always a solution to problems when people discuss without fear or ignorance pushing them.  Don’t let fear and ignorance run or ruin your life.  Don’t let hatred win.  Stay informed. 
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Sometimes the company can actually be ignorant themselves of safety rules and regulations.  It happens but when the company is the General Services Department of the State of California, Feces, blood, syringes at California Capitol: Workers unprepared for clean up, OSHA says, ignorance is not the problem, incompetent leadership is.  I can’t believe the workers didn’t bring it up to management what they were finding on the capitol grounds and how the hell can a state agency be that deaf, dumb and blind?  Why it’s poor leadership and I’m fairly certain they’ll keep making the same mistakes down the road, incompetence in the state is rarely punished but usually leads to a promotion or running for state office, so workers, here’s a case where you need to know what your rights are and speak up.  You do not have to operate under those conditions and CalOSHA agreed and fined a fellow agency for 9 violations.
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Nursing Education Consulting Inc.

Now I like gadgets just as much as the next guy/gal but I don’t think they should fully substitute the use of common sense or your brain.  8 Products to Help you Beat the Heat.  When you’re working in excessive heat it can be dangerous.  I know, I had crews unloading containers from overseas while the outside temperatures were 110 degrees and the temperature inside the container was at least 10 degrees higher.  We always set up the water cooler right next to the container being unloaded and fans blowing and frequent breaks.  Some guys would just push themselves to the limit and never say a word about feeling ill, cause that how guys are sometimes, it’s a form of ignorance.  So it is very important to know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  Both if not treated properly and immediately can result in death.  Learn how to identify and how to treat.  This is knowledge that can come in handy any where.
Then next time you may be the one to prevent this.  OSHA investigating after man dies picking tomatoes in Colquitt County.  A young man, only 24, beginning of his life and the heat killed him.  Know the facts about the dangers of high temperatures, how to mitigate it and what your company must supply to keep you safe and healthy.
Some may say that you shouldn’t fear working alone and that may be true in some cases but when the company tells you to work alone in the plant on a off-shift, just say NO. Worker Found Dead In Stadium Cooler Was Minnesota Inventor.  You can never plan for an accident so why would you work alone.  If something was to fall on you or you became pinned or knocked unconscious, and no one was there to help or call for help, you’ll become the morning news when they find your body.  We always had a policy of two when work had to be done at night or weekends and others weren’t going to be around.  It just makes sense.
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When worlds collide.  Tesla, union, workers and CalOSHA are all trying to work out or work on issues of safety.  Here is an example of fear and ignorance working together which is causing a little hatred right now.  Some disgruntled employee stole data out of their system, fingers are pointing and the truth will eventually come out as we listen to the three sides of each story.  Tesla workers say they pay the price for Elon Musk’s big promises and A former Tesla safety director claims he was fired after he raised concerns about unreported workplace injuries.  Check both articles out and curious what you think.  I don’t think he’s any more driven then Henry Ford, Thomas Edison or Howard Hughes were as I believe all geniuses are driven to the point of madness.  Whether they cross the line or not is up to them as well as what we get out of it. 
   
Well that’s it for this month folks.  Be kind to each other and never, never keep quiet about safety for the life you save may be your own.  If you have questions about safety and regulation please don’t hesitate to ask.
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Immigrants in America

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To say immigration has been a hot topic button of late in the United States would be an understatement.  It’s an extremely complex issue involving legal immigration, illegal immigration, DACA, families, persecution, better way of life, lines, separations and walls.  Whether you approve or disapprove of how the current administration and legislators are handling this hot potato, when all is said and done, it is immigrants that have had a large impact on our businesses and nation. 

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It also seems during our history as a country we haven’t always been kind to newly arrived immigrants.  Just ask the Chinese, Italian and Irish immigrants who arrived. They threaten our jobs, they can’t speak english, they look funny, they breed like rabbits.  See, nothing new.  My grandparents came to this country in the early 1900’s to escape religious persecution.  People feared them due to hatred and ignorance spread by jealous and hateful people who got others to burn their businesses, their homes and in some cases beat them to death.  Even though my grandfather was a decorated calvary soldier for the Tzar he was still treated like crap.  After much discussion with the whole family they along with some, left for the U.S. while others decided to stay put.  My grandparents arrived here and found people who again hated them but for just being here and not speaking enough english.  They survived, had four sons, who all proudly served in the military during World War II.  My dad is the sailor on the left.

Diversity allows an exchange of ideas that are filtered through different points of view, different cultures, different educational backgrounds that can lead to a consensus and solutions like creating cures to disease, making a better process to produce steel and overall improve our way of life.  Immigrants have also had a positive influence helping this country become the power house and defender of the free world it had become which can earn you a fast track to citizenship especially if you possess a skill set we desperately need.  

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A case in point is Dr. Wernher Magnus Maximillian Freiherr von Braun who was such an immigrant.  Born and raised in the small town of Wirsitz, in the Posen Province, in what was then the German Empire (now Poland) he grew up to become the main driving force behind developing and oversaw the building of the V-2 rocket for Nazi Germany.  At the time, 1944, it was Germany’s Weapon of Mass Destruction and were built using slave labor consisting of concentration camp prisoners and other enemies of the state.  It may have been intended just for military targets but was also used on civilian targets, mainly the city of London, full of defenseless women and children.  Wernher, also a Nazi party member did a fabulous job for his fuhrer by not only killing over 7,000 people with this weapon but generated fear and panic amongst the public to help get a victory for Germany.

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After VE and VJ days the United States was fast approaching the cold war and we still had only one way to deliver a nuclear warhead, dropping it from flying fortress bombers like the Enola Gay so ideas were desperately  needed to give us the edge.  Lo and behold along came Werner with his knowledge of rockets and with his posse of German rocket scientist.  So rather then prosecute them all for war crimes, they made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.  Work for us building rockets and we’ll spare you going to Nuremberg and trials for war crimes.  Wernher was allowed to work with our military while it wasn’t announced publicly for about 6 months over fears of back lash.  Soon after that he was transitioned to the director of NASA and began our space program in ernest while put on the fast track to citizenship.  

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The ultimate payoff came in the summer of 1969 just about a month before young people began gathering at Yasgur’s farm, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.  Would we have made it without Wernher’s help?  Eventually but it would have been even a longer struggle and what if the Russians had gotten to him first? 

Before you judge and treat that person with the accent like an idiot or terrorist, or speak louder since your raised voice will help them understand english better, remember they are also human beings who are not better, not worse, just different and you don’t know what next innovation, invention or cure will come from their mind.

Secrets of the Professionals Revealed That You Can Use at Home – 2

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Last issue we learned how the professionals keep their facilities free of vermin and how you can implement the same practices in your own home.  Do you wonder how the large food companies keep their facilities so clean and spotless to ensure you get the highest quality product?  I don’t know about you but I don’t always remember how long ago I cleaned behind the fridge, or how often I clean the range hood grills.  Was it last month? Last year?  The professionals use a fabulous tool to track cleaning that you can as well to make sure all is done on a regular basis and it’s called a “sanitation schedule”

Sanitation Schedule

Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.  It’s a cleaning schedule that is posted in a convenient location where everyone can see it.  It lists every component, every apparatus, every location that food touches and every other nook and cranny from receiving to production to packaging to the warehouse and finally shipping.  Also on the schedule along with each item listed is when it should be cleaned, who’s responsible to make it happen and when it did happen.  This ensures a uniform and continuous cleaning program that you can also schedule high traffic and critical areas for more intense cleaning. 

You can do the same thing for your home.  Great areas, to begin with, would be the kitchen and bathrooms.  So what do we need to clean?  Use a critical eye and look around the kitchen and break it down.  Don’t forget any surfaces.  As an example, I have behind the refrigerator scheduled as an annual chore and then for the stove vent hood, it’s done along with the grease traps and vents every other week May-Sept and then up to once a week Oct – Jan when we do more cooking and entertaining.  How about inside the refrigerator?  The door shelves, the produce storage bins, the ice bin.  All items you may miss but with your sanitation schedule, you are confident they’re clean and fully operational.  Don’t forget the pantry and other cabinets as well that you use to store food items.  When you’re cleaning them also keep an eye out for signs of infestation like mouse droppings and that food is properly sealed so it won’t entice unwanted visitors.   

Get the kids involved too by allowing them to make a  cleaning schedule for their own rooms as well as other cleaning chores you may assign them.  This is also the perfect time of year to get this started and a great habit to develop.  So get your sanitation schedule together, (please feel free to change and tailor the name to suit your needs) and then you can run your household just like a professional.

Want to learn more?  It’s easy.  You can begin by subscribing to this blog or you can also research it or google it.  Try the term HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) to get you started.  Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

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RBMB – Foolish Safety

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They say the road to hell is paved with good intensions and this photo pretty much sums up that sentiment.  Safety was the mall-master’s good intension here as they try to protect pedestrians coming and going into the front entrance of a busy department store.  However, it doesn’t work on so many levels and that’s what Really Burns My Butt . While I waited for my wife to return with coffee and breakfast from a Starbucks, I was on car sitting duty since it was loaded with suitcases, dirty laundry, left over booze and food for our weekend retreat, so I watched this intersection for inspiration and entertainment.  In the 20 minutes I watched, NOT one car stopped at this poor wallflower of a stop sign.  Not one.  When people were crossing they would stop for them, but not at the stop sign which makes it more of an adornment then a warning sign.

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Why does it fail on so many levels?  Just because you plopped down a stop sign don’t start patting yourself on the back for a job well done.  It is not the end of your problem since all you’ve accomplished is to have given pedestrians a false sense of security.  The Stop sign needs a little back up to make it effective in doing its job.  A-There is no yellow stripping on the ground to indicate a crosswalk. That would help greatly to highlight it to an oncoming driver.

 

 

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Yes they did a nice job painting the curb yellow – B but that doesn’t really help at all.  What also doesn’t help is the large red ball, right next to the high red stop sign which draws the drivers eye away from the stop sign.

 

 

 

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Placing a speed bump or two, C – will make sure cars do slow down when approaching the stop sign.  One more speed bump  in the crosswalk area would also help keep traffic to a lower speed.

 

 

 

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Lastly, the stop sign itself D – is just to high up off the ground to really be seen by on coming drivers.  There is also no other signage at all.  No slow, speed limit or pedestrian crossing signs at all.    

 

 

Overall it’s apparent that the mall operator is doing things on the cheap.  If they were seriously concerned about safety, this would be a totally different picture.  When ever you’re in a mall, strip mall or parking garage always be aware of your surroundings and don’t take anything for granted.  Safety is just as much in your control as theirs.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Putting It Out There – Teaching Hope For Their Future

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My daughter has always been a competitor and never backed off a challenge, whether sports, work or school.  She took her drivers license road test on her 16th birthday, even though we tried to dissuade her from the chance to ruin her birthday celebration.  She wouldn’t hear it and then promptly aced the test.  Now she’s facing one her toughest challenges, teaching children they do have a future, to believe in themselves and success can come with collaboration. 

It’s a beautiful thing that is happening at the Evergreen School District in the city of San Jose, California and they have nothing to do with silicon chips or apps.   Katherine R. Smith School is preparing 3rd graders for the future by teaching entrepreneurialism. Why not, small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970s.  Last year, 340 of every 100,000 adults launched a business each month, creating 565,000 startups monthly.

As our society and the job market continually changes, forward thinking educators find ways for their students to succeed in that new world, so instead of just spoon feeding them bits of information alone, they are preparing them by showing how to think, form a plan, take ownership and present their ideas.  By allowing them the opportunity to think of ideas that can be executed and achieved to build their confidence and entrepreneurial spirit you are creating thinkers, problem solvers, leaders and entrepreneurs that can discuss and resolve an issue.  How cool is that?

The great thing, is you too can be part of this experience.  Your knowledge, your skills and talents can help shape the future.  Read the letter to the public below and if you have the time, be part of it.  It’s been very rewarding for me.

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