Aunt Ida’s Recipes For Disaster – Noxious Spicy Soup

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Welcome to the first edition of Aunt Ida’s Recipes for Disaster.  As you may know I was recently cleaning and organizing the garage when a vaguely familiar looking, old wooden box covered in cobwebs and dust caught my attention.  It contained sheets of looseleaf paper and 3×5 index cards that had yellowed with age with faded, barely readable hand writing.  Could it be?  What I had in my hands was astounding since I thought these gems were long lost over 40 years ago!  My parents wanted me out of the city during the summers, so as a kid I spent many of them at Aunt Ida’s small truck farm and soon learned that she was big on prevention, a meticulous organizer and a stickler for detail as she taught me each recipe.  She was ahead of her time as she created little waste by recycling what ever she could back into the farm.  Each recipe is crafted and written so they can be professionally executed by the beginner as well as the expert.

TODAY’S FEATURED RECIPE NOXIOUS SPICY SOUP  –  This dicey, gaseous soup, served cold helps begin each work day as an accident waiting to happen while trying to find what you need to complete a task in the unorganized mess puts you behind schedule or in the E.R.

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Prep time: 0 why bother      Cook time:  Various      Yield: Respiratory failure, burns, death, fire and explosion.

Ingredients:  2-3 assorted unlabeled containers – contents unknown, 1-2 unlabeled spray bottles – contents unknown, 1- liquid cleaner, 2- solvents, 2- assorted liquid chemicals, 1-2 flammable liquids, 2- pesticides, assorted powdered cleansers, 1- jar lubricant, 1- fire extinguisher with blocked access and NO SDS (safety data sheets).  Oily rags (optional).

Directions:  In an enclosed area that does NOT have proper ventilation combine ingredients by spilling contents from unlabeled containers and allow to marinate with flammable liquids and other chemicals so they can react with each other producing poisonous vapors.  It is also possible that the proper combination of liquids will create an explosion or fire instead.  If you have time and immediate disaster is not required, allow unknown liquids to marinate in a unsuitable container, eventually the container will leak on it’s own.  At no time should the use of PPE such as safety glasses, rubber gloves or apron be used when handling as this will curb your productivity.  Should you spill any ingredients on yourself Do Not use an eyewash station or shower as this will only dilute solution (most of them are out of operation anyway) and render it useless creating waste.  It is not worth the time to store items in a metal fireproof cabinet since you’ll need them eventually.

If you enjoy a little more spice in your soup follow directions above but make sure you are very close to a source of ignition.  A spark may do but an open flame will ensure a explosion of flavor.

When ever working with flammable liquids, chemicals, cleaners and other cleansers use caution.  Stored in clearly labeled properly rated containers.  Keep work area organized, clear and clean up any spills immediately.  At work store flammables in a metal fireproof cabinet and only use in a well ventilated area.  Always use proper PPE.  At home make sure the cabinet is childproofed.  Anything that is not labeled or identifiable should be properly disposed of immediately. Most cities have centers where you can drop them off.  Never pour down the drain or sewer.  If you have any questions on workplace safety please don’t hesitate to contact me at warehouseflow.com

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.

Companies Behaving Badly – Thanksgivukkah

By the time the middle of November hits, you know the year is winding down and the festive times are about to begin. The tree has been selected and trucked down to Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and is being prepared for it’s debut. People are beginning to stress over seating arrangements and menus as family gatherings are planned and courses assigned.  We also have an added bonus at this year’s Thanksgiving table as we get to have potato latkes on the side with our turkey and gravy while Santa’s naughty and nice lists get longer and longer.  However, the one list that unfortunately continues to get longer and longer is the list of Companies behaving badly.  So tighten the laces on your ice skates, fill your glass with eggnog and get a seat by the fire,  for this is another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.

OSHA Cites Trucking Company for Willful Confined Space ViolationPREVENTABLE – Sherman Brothers Trucking Inc., doing business as Team Transport Inc. in Arkansas apparently doesn’t like to waste time, when it comes to training temporary workers before sending them inside confined spaces as they clean the inside of tanker trailers.  Their total lack of regard for human life has cost them $113,400 in proposed fines.  That is still not enough for loss of a human life and don’t understand why the supervisor or owner that sent him in isn’t on trial.  Remember, there are strict rules for working in a confined space.  Learn them and follow them.

OSHA cites West Hartford Plant for Violations – PREVENTABLE – Har-Conn company was hit with 15 violations after an inspection, that was prompted by employee complaints.  Do you think they complained because they were being exposed to various chemical and mechanical hazards without given proper eye and face protection, no emergency eyewash stations, lack of adequate guarding and hazardous chemicals not labeled OR because six of the 15 were repeat violations from a 2010 inspection?  Training, again was more trouble than it was worth as no one was shown how to use a fire extinguisher.

OSHA cites Malden bakery for worker’s deathPREVENTABLE – It was a beautiful August day when Yogambigai Pasupathipillai went to work at Piantedosi Baking Company Inc.  The 61 year old probably didn’t believe it was also going to be her last day on earth as her apron became caught in a conveyor belt and it slowly strangling her while she struggled to find a emergency stop button for the belt. The problem though was insufficient stop buttons and failure by the company to ensure the emergency stop button was the proper color – RED, not to mention the inadequate guarding that all could have saved Yogaambigai’s life.  For this they were fined $20,790 which probably could have paid for the safety upgrades.

Alabama Pallet Manufacturer Cited, with $76,000 in Fines – PREVENTABLE  – Southeast Florida Products, Inc., operating as Southwest Pallet & Box was hit with a total of 10 violations, seven of them repeat and three serious.  OSHA originally conducted the inspection as part of a program with emphasizes on noise reduction when Bingo!  They found in addition to the lack of a hearing monitoring program and failure to conduct audiometric testing which are some of the repeat violations but employees were also exposed to electrical shock, burn and amputation hazards. Yes, the company was warned before about this, knew it was supposed to be fixed and chose to ignore it.

Video: Reversing lorry crushes plumber in warehouse loading bay – but incredibly escapes with just bruises – PREVENTABLE This video is amazing to watch!  This guy is incredibly lucky and should have been crushed to death.  No matter where and what you’re working on, you want to be able to concentrate on the task at hand so before you work, think LOTO.  What do I need to lock out or block and tag an area so I can do this safely?  Cone off or block a loading bay with pallets so you can’t be hit from behind.  If need be, have someone stand there watching your back like a spotter for confined space work.  Don’t ever assume everyone is watching out to see you there, make sure they do.

Canadian employers hit with record setting occupational health and safety finesNEWS – Our neighbors to the north have gotten on the safety wagon and taken the lead by greatly strengthened the occupational health & safety laws along with handing out much larger monetary fines.  Applaud you Canada.

OSHA Plans To Make Workplace Safety Reports Public – NEWS  This is great news and why not?  Quite a few cities do something like this when they publish the list of “Johns” caught in round ups or stings.  Restaurants use a letter system to display in their windows letting you know how clean they are so why not know about how a company treats it’s worker in the area of safety.  It speaks volumes of their character.

OSHA wants companies to electronically file workplace injuries – NEWS – OSHA took a big step towards our paperless society as they prepare to release plans to electronically file workplace injuries.  Let’s hope it’s not developed by the same people who brought us the CMS Healthcare website.

Safety Eyewear Challenges Traditional Designs – PPE INFO – If you want people to wear something, let them decide what they want.  These safety glasses are a little stylish but as long as they do the job you want and are reasonable priced let the employees get them.  You want them to wear their PPE, don’t be a stick in the mud.

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That my friends, brings yet another episode to a close.  Thank you for stopping by and please feel free to use the lessons of these stories for you next safety meeting or tailgate or toolbox meetings.  Keep the discussion on safety going and don’t let anyone ever talk you into taking shortcuts when it comes to safety just to save a few minutes.  It’s quite possible the life you save by doing it correctly could very well be your own.  Don’t keep quiet when you see a safety hazard and don’t assume the next person will report it.  Be an active participant on the company safety committee and convert as many disciples as possible to the practice of safety.  There is only ONE you, protect yourself and take responsibility for safety.

Recipes For Disaster!

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.

warehouseflow consulting

warehouseflow consulting

Ch-Ch-Changes: A Mentor’s Warehouse Memoirs.

Change;  To become different.  To make (someone or something) different.  To become something else.  It doesn’t sound like or come off as a very intimidating word, yet when people in the workplace hear it spoken, change, it can cause large scale ripples in the peaceful serenity of life. No matter what language it’s said in, Cambiar (spanish), Veranderen (dutch), Muuttaa (finnish) or Ndryshim (Albanian) it’s still change, and people fear change which is interesting since we are all constantly changing every day whether you know it or not.  New information changes your opinions, moods change your outlook and your body changes as it ages as each cell completes it’s normal preplanned chemical reaction.

Change is necessary to adapt and survive and Change can create more change.  The written word had to wait for about 4500 years before the printing press came along but only about 1000 years between the presses invention and computers.  Change can be for the good but Change for the sake of change is not good when it comes to the job and people.  The secret I learned well before people people were saying employee engagement, was to get people involved in the change.  When employees have input in change and the scope of change you prevent 10,000 rumors from floating through the plant creating negative vibrations.  People don’t fear the change when they can discuss it and exchange their ideas on it and now feel good because they’ve helped the change.  The worst thing you can do is force change, it then becomes the battle of trying to get your child to eat their vegetables.  They won’t do it even though it is good for them.

Once upon a time there was a young man, happily working in the warehouse as a non-exempt employee getting his 40 hours a week with occasional overtime.  Arriving at work one morning, even before he could have a cup of coffee, due to circumstances beyond his control, was thrusted into the realm of management.  CHANGE!  The previous warehouse supervisor, a very well liked person who had been working there for quite a while had allowed something very wrong and was unceremoniously shown the door.

Our protagonist was given this opportunity as it was explained, based on his previous work history, suggestions and productivity and the company also wanted to take this opportunity as well to “change the culture”.  He was now unknowingly himself, to become an instrument of change as well as the victim of change and most importantly, he survived this first change.

When you become the new supervisor on the block, whether promoted from within the ranks or an outsider hired in, like any new quarterback or new team player you must learn the play book while keeping the team performing and executing properly.  You also simultaneously have to gain the trust of the team as well since people don’t know what kind of manager you are and especially since some people already dislike you just because you replaced Mr. Fabulous and you’ll never be him.  Some will believe the rumor you worked behind the scenes and pushed for Mr. Fabulous’ release.  Some will be very happy thinking they’re friend moved up from the ranks is now in charge and they have his ear and one or two will come to you right away to give their opinions on which employees are productive and who’s not.

One thing about the perception of Change is that when you’re promoted you don’t need to change your personality to be a supervisor – You are the same personality today as you were yesterday and you still speak to people as you did before and it’s what got you the promotion.  There are positive changes to come, your job knowledge will increase,  experience personal growth and new confidence in yourself which will reflect in job performance.  Yea, I know there are things you’ve wanted to do for a long time if you ever got the opportunity and you are just chomping at the bit to change.  Wait to make those changes as you don’t want to create a panic and you want your changes to succeed so you will need to get everyones buy in.

On you first full day, gather your staff together in a convenient area, bring the donuts and introduce yourself to them and remind them what a great job they’ve been doing and look forward to everyone’s continued success.  Your commitment to workplace safety and use of PPE and working as a team as well as your open door policy and willingness to listen.  There is no such thing as a stupid question or suggestion.  Depending on the company rules and guidelines I also like to introduce the concept of cross training and weekly safety tailgates in my first group meeting.  Here are some more tips to help you get through change.

  • It takes 21 days to develop a new routine.  Until you’re comfortable remembering on your own make yourself a check list of the daily task that you now need to perform; Check the sick call line, poll staff for OT, time cards, check forklift inspection sheets.  Put it in any format that you’re comfortable working with.
  • Let individual staff members take you on tours of the warehouse or show you how they do their assigned tasks and be sure to listen.  See it from their point of view, it’s helpful and will give you ideas on what if anything needs to be changed to help them improve performance.
  • Keep a 3×5 notepad in your pocket.  Never know when something will set off the bulb over your head and you want to write it down right away before something interrupts you and the thought gets lost.  It’s also good to make notes of what good things you catch employees doing so you have something for their appraisals.
  • Not every body works exactly the same as you do.  When you did that job you set certain expectations for yourself daily.  Don’t helicopter manage if they do it differently but still achieve the goal.  Remember you want employees to grow and develop.
  • What other departments does yours interact with daily?  Purchasing, customer service, transportation?  Sit down with them and see what their pet peeves and previous issues are and not just with the department heads but the worker bees in the department as well.
  • Learn what department goals your boss wants to achieve this year and how they blend with the company’s overall goals.  Especially what do they mean when telling you they want to “change the culture”?  I was told up front once names of people I could have terminated immediately.  You have to stop and think; why do they want these people gone and why haven’t they done it.  I declined since I didn’t know what if any key areas they covered and if they were underachievers due to the company’s fault of poor training.  Since it was my group, I would see where the lapses were and correct them.  If you do make drastic changes for the culture, Is upper management totally committed and assisting with the change.  What do they perceive as the areas for improvement and what  key indicators do they use to base performance.
  • The only immediate change(s) I would make at this time is correcting any glaring safety violations or issues that can cause immediate harm to employees.
  • Remember to enforce the rules evenly with everybody.
  • Watch, listen and watch.  Each warehouse has it’s own rhythm, it’s own unique tempo and movement from the receiving dock to put-away to replenishments and ultimately picking and shipping.  Along this flow are there any areas of concern in regards to safety hazards, equipment use and sanitation concerns.  Once you have this down and fully understand it then you can look for opportunities for improvement.  Make sure to speak in the language your boss and his boss will understand, that is in $Dollars.  How much the changes will cost.  How much will be saved by the changes and how soon will it pay for itself?
  • Don’t let your ego get in the way.  Present the ideas to the staff and get their feedback, see what holes they can find in the plan and in many cases they’ll surprise you with ways to improve it.
  • Don’t listen to the people who tell you it can’t be done or we’ve tried that before.  That may be the main reason for the culture change since previous management didn’t consistently maintain new programs.

There may be times you do fail, just always be honest about it and learn from your mistakes and then move on.  Dwelling only creates doubt and you’ll loose confidence.  Remember life is one long roller coaster ride full of laughs and scary drops.  Believe in yourself and you’ll do fine on the ride.

Companies Behaving Badly – October BOO

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This is one of my favorite times of the year.  The baseball playoffs are in full swing (and I don’t care who wins this year), Football is  going gangbusters, hockey has started, basketball regular season is around the corner.  Days are growing shorter and more time is spent with family on the couch watching the cool blue fire of the television.  However there are 4,383 people who will not be on the couch for they fell to fatal workplace accidents in 2012.  So unfortunately this must be another episode of Companies Behaving Badly.

18 safety citations issued at west Georgia Kia plant since 2009PREVENTABLESetting a new record is an admirable goal, but when it’s setting the record for most Federal safety violations in the State of Georgia, not so good.  Apparently they didn’t give enough training on PPE and allowed employees to work without it.  If you require employees to wear PPE when doing their assigned job, you as a supervisor are obligated to protect your employees and protect the company.  If an employee doesn’t have the correct PPE and you still let them do the job and gets injured, the company lawyers will throw you under the bus and the employees lawyer will take what ever’s left.  

Man sues Peerless Block & Brick, alleges forklift step was dangerous PREVENTABLE – This is a great teaching moment for new supervisors as well.  When an employee reports to you any hazard, take immediate steps to fix it or remove from service.  If you don’t have the authority to order the repairs, document the issue in an email to your boss and whom ever else necessary including copying to yourself.  Then print that email and put in a safe place to protect yourself.  Be sure to tag the hazard or take it out of service.  Making believe the problem doesn’t exist will NOT make it go away and will get you in the spot light of a court room.

Queens Supermarkets Fined For Various Safety Violations PREVENTABLE – The markets graciously allowed their butchers to operate band saws without guards and no training of staff in use of  PPE and the use of cleaning products.  Brings new meaning to the term, two fingers worth.  Not satisfied with just these violations some stores decided to over achieve by making evacuations engaging with locked and blocked emergency exits as well as unlit or missing exit signs.  Nothing says “I care” from an employer more than being held captive during a crisis.

OSHA cites Pittsburgh firm for lead hazards – PREVENTABLE – NEJ Abatement Group, Inc., was nice enough to give back to their employees.  Unfortunately what they gave was exposing workers to lead above the permissible limit and also failed to monitor workers exposed to lead and didn’t bother to conduct required lead sampling. NEJ also failed to provide adequate PPE , shower facilities, and changing areas and didn’t think it necessary to conduct fit testing of respirators.  OSHA also cited the company for lack of a lead compliance program and failure to post lead warning signs.  As I said earlier, acting like there is no problem doesn’t make it go away.

Man Crushed to Death by Grapes in Spain – PREVENTABLE – This only goes to show how fast an accident can occur and why you need to be alert and focused at all times while on the job.  People get into a routine and over time become complacent.  When it comes to safety complacency can kill you. Taking a few seconds to check a bin or check wheels are chocked before unloading or checking the compactor before operation or looking behind you before backing up a forklift are all good habits to have.

SOX Whistleblower Awarded $1.9 Million – INFOClean Diesel Technologies Inc. has been ordered to pay $1.9 million to its former chief financial officer who was fired for reporting conduct he believed was detrimental to the company’s shareholders.  I think this is great, and it sends an even better message to Companies who Behave Badly and think they can put workers a risk.  In my opinion whistle-blowing should be a last resort used after you have received no responses or changes for improved safety from your H.R. and/or safety department heads.

OSHA Plans to Target NY Dairy Farms with Random, Unannounced Inspections in 2014 HEADS UP – Read to find out if you are subject to inspection under the guidelines and if you are, start getting prepared for that inspections.

OSHA Unveils Top 10 Safety Violations – INFO – Wonder how Letterman would present this list.  Fall protection leads pack as #1.  Suggest you read over the list and then prepare your safety meetings and tailgates accordingly.  This list is a great place to find your topics.

Fertilizer Plant That Exploded In West, Texas Faces $118,300 In Fines – PREVENTABLE – This story has been covered by this blog before.  It’s here again because it is so sad and disappointing that human life has been determined to be worth only $7, 886.67 a person.  When people are murdered by companies who willingly ignore the law, the 15 here in Texas and the 8 by PGE in San Bruno, California we shouldn’t be talking about the price of fines or human life, but company leaders going to jail and the length of their sentences.  

That brings this episode of people behaving badly to a close.  Remember, when an employee tells you there’s a safety hazard listen to them and don’t blow them off.  If it’s important to the employee it should be damn important to you.  You want them engaged and care about the company, return the favor and make sure they stay safe.  You can keep them in the loop as well by posting and updating a list of safety issues, when reported and work order number if applicable and the expected completion date.  Be a safety advocate and participate in safety meetings and other safety related activities.  Remember, the life you save may be your own.

Green Safety Pin

Green Safety Pin

Companies Behaving Badly-September two

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The leaves are changing color, there’s a nip in the air, football is in full swing and fall is knocking at the door.  It’s a wonderful time of the year and also a great time to check and make sure your drivers and facility is ready for the change in season and prepared for bad weather and related emergencies. Creating a master checklist makes this task easy to do each year as there never seems to be an end to list of things to do in the warehouse.  However, one thing we’re not short on though is Companies Behaving Badly.

OSHA cites Packaging Corporation of America for safety violations PREVENTABLE – One would think that after 5 fatalities in four years you would take a serious look at your safety program and procedures.  However after another employee was badly burned OSHA came in again and found an additional 30 violations during their investigation.  Apparently the paper industry has historically favored what’s known as behavior-based safety as opposed to concentrating on processes and hazards that might lead to workplace injuries. Guess what, it’s not working.

OSHA fines aerosol paint manufacturer $262k after explosionPREVENTABLE – Nothing like having an emergency evacuation at the workplace and then finding the emergency exits blocked. That’s what they did at Fox Valley Systems, Inc.  Due to this three employees couldn’t get out fast enough after the explosion and were seriously injured. This act of ignorance has earned them a spot on the Severe Violator Enforcement Program. When you go to work, like on an airplane look where the emergency exits are located and if you see them blocked be proactive and handle it and then report it to management.  Your life may depend on it.

Cal/OSHA Cites Henkel over $200,000 Following Death of TemporaryWorker – PREVENTABLE –  A 26 year old temporary worker was killed when he was pulled in by an exposed rotating shaft while doing his job.  This accident never should have occurred but Henkel thought it wasn’t important enough to maintain the guards on the equipment to protect their workers or even bother to follow their own safety program that identifies these issues.  I’m also willing to bet no one pointed the danger out to the temporary worker.  In my opinion I don’t think $200,000 is enough of a penalty when someone is killed by a companies stupidity, people need to start going to jail.

OSHA cites company, proposes $63,490 in finesPREVENTABLE – I am constantly amazed at how many companies lack a Lock Out Tag Out program and E.L. Mustee & Sons not only doesn’t have a program to train their employees but they were dinged a year earlier for the same exact thing and still couldn’t be bothered! Protecting your workers should be the number one goal especially when it’s so easy to do.  In fact E.L Mustee & Sons contact me, I’ll write the LOTO program for you, at a discounted price.  You spend money to train, maintain and produce a product, why do you want OSHA in your place checking every little thing when you could have rectified this issue a year ago?

OSHA Fines Company After Florissant Man’s Death, 26 Violations Discovered PREVENTABLE – A worker was found dead from accidental electrocution.  Upon their inspection after the accident OSHA found 19 further violations including, wait for it, lack of machine-specific lockout procedures, no annual inspection of the lockout program, missing lockout devices, multiple instances of locks not being placed on machines to prevent unintentional energization and lack of machine guarding.  The most scary part of this is how many times have they done this and got away with it that it makes it worth while to continue this dangerous behavior before luck ran out.  

OSHA cites McDonough medical businessPREVENTABLE – Atlanta Health Careers Institute, LLC was cited for failure to correct it’s training practices and training workers in the bloodborne pathogen program.  That would be the equivalent of not having your chefs and wait staff wash their hands after using the restroom.   Again, like not having a LOTO program in place there is NO excuse for this and so easy to prevent.  Don’t wait for government inspectors to find your lapses, do a quarterly or annual review of your facility and update any procedures when installing new equipment.

OSHA launches video series to educate young workers Humor and song raise awareness about hazardsINFORMATION – Yes, those crazy kids at OSHA have produced a new video to reach out to the young workers on hazards.  Hopefully they’ll stop texting long enough to watch it.

2012 Fatal Occupational Injuries in California – INFORMATION – Latest statistics for fatal injuries in California in 2012.

Serpent Safety Helmet Wins New Product of the Year Award – PPE – New helmet to check out.

OSHA Inspections – Part 1: What to Expect During the VisitHELPFUL INFO – You should know your rights and how to handle it when a OSHA inspector shows up at the door.  Great info and a must read for any warehouse manager.

Please, don’t ever put yourself in a position of possible injury just because you’re told to do so.  If you get injured when not following procedure no one in management will protect you by saying, oh he was doing me a favor.  They’ll throw you to the wolves.  You should expect to go home the way you arrived at work, in one piece.  Keeping quiet about safety violations may cause a lifetime of guilt.  Are you ready for that?  Remember be a safety advocate.  Until the next episode of Companies Behaving Badly take care and work safe.

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