Home Safety-Escape Artist



Houdini was the master of escape as no straight jacket, cell, chain or padlock could keep him trapped for very long.  However, most of us haven’t mastered the skills of Houdini and look and listen as we are made aware before takeoff the location of emergency exits, just in case.  Experts will tell you that you should always have at least two ways out in the event of an evacuation and that includes leaving your home quickly in the event of an emergency like a fire. 


I live in a one-story house so if I’m in the bedroom and have to evacuate the building I have at least four easy ways out of the house.  The front door, a sliding glass back door, garage door, and the bedroom window.  As soon as I am out of the house and headed to the predesignated meeting area, I’m dialing 911 to report the emergency.  The meeting area is critical so you know everyone got out of the house.  It is the same thing companies do when they have to evacuate and may refer to the meeting area as the assembly area.  Either way, you want to do a head count so when the firefighters arrive they know if it’s a search and rescue or just fight the fire.


In a two-story house, escape is a little more challenging.  If you are in a bedroom upstairs to exit the house you would need to come down to the ground floor using a staircase.  Not all homes have a front and back staircase to give you more than one way out so what happens if the stairs or both are blocked by flames?  Then you need to go out of the bedroom window as fast as possible.  That’s why an escape ladder is critical.  They can range in price from $35 to $100 depending on materials and manufacturer ask your insurance agent or local fire department for recommendations. It’s like insurance, you lay the money out to buy it for that peace of mind and hope you never have to use it. 

Don’t wait until an emergency to see if everyone can use the ladder.  It is highly recommended that you practice together at least once a year so everyone who may have to use the escape ladder is familiar and capable with it.  In fact, keep everyone on their toes and have an unannounced drill.  Whoever makes it to the meeting area gets pizza.  Also don’t forget to include plans to get the very young, disabled, the elderly, and pets out as fast and safely as possible.  

The best way to avoid having to evacuate in the first place is to practice good fire prevention practices in and around the home and then you won’t have to do a Houdini and escape.  If you have questions about fire safety or other safety issues in the home or workplace check out our blog archives for more articles or feel free contact us, we’re here to help.



Companies Behaving Badly-Stop it!



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.


























RBMB-Your Medical Records Aren’t As Safe As You Think


And I’m not even talking about hacking of a computer, this is all human error.  Hopefully this article will spur most of you to double check where you’re sending personal information about an injured employee.  Get into the habit of reviewing and updating your phone and fax numbers for medical clinics and the state workers compensation board on a regular basis.

I’m still not sure why or what changed but the fax landline number that I’ve had for 32 years has been receiving for the last seven years full sets of information on employees who have been injured on the job. The last one was this week and now I have Mr Smith’s dob, home address, work address, SSN, his injury and other personal information that if I was dishonest, would also be hurting Mr. Smith financially as well as from his accident if I assumed his identity.  I called the medical office to let them know the information didn’t get to where it was suppose to go but to my home instead.  The clerk was perplexed and asked me again the patient’s name and birthdate.  Still not getting it he told me he needed to check with his office manager.  After being on hold for five minutes I hung up. Hopefully there were able to figure it out with the info I gave them.


To make it worse, The state of California doesn’t seen to care either.  When this happened last August I tried to inform workers comp I was getting personal information.  She thanked me and was ready to hang up when I said, don’t you want to know who sent it and what it was about nor did she ask if I still had the information or destroyed it?

So folks, you’re going to have to take it upon yourselves to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.  FYI, when I do get this info and after reporting it to the sender, I take the time and shred it at no charge to anyone.  You’re welcome. 


Companies Behaving Badly-YEAR END

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Welcome back, Happy Holidays, thank you for stopping by.  As you may know, OSHA recently released it’s annual top 10 violations for 2016 which quickly made the rounds. People offered their opinions about it,  criticized and pointed wagging fingers as those for more regulation and those for less regulation stood their ground on principle refusing to compromise while people continued to die.  So without further ado, may I present to you OSHA’s top 10 violations for 2016.
#1 – FALLS
NOW A MESSAGE FROM THE GRIM REAPER.   FALLS #1, 6 years in a row!!!
This information is nice so we know how we stack up against others in the country and where resources and training may need to be directed but is it really useful information? What does it tell us besides giving us reason to be thankful and feel superior since we were lucky enough to have experienced none of the violations on the list?  So instead of the OSHA top ten I would like to offer my Top 5 violations for 2016.
#1 – GREED.  The love of profits over the love of humanity. No money spent of safety, in fact the word isn’t even allowed to be spoken but if safety generated income for a business, it’d never be an issue.  Ever.
#2 – STUPIDITY.  You can’t coach stupid nor can you manage stupid but people seem somehow to still do so by putting people in danger, over riding safety shut off mechanisms to keep production going at all costs, adjusting machinery without using LOTO or blocking emergency exits with merchandise and equipment. That’s half of stupid, the other half are those who refuse to wear PPE or use fall protection gear and consistently put themselves in harms way.
#3 – LACK OF TRAINING.  Why waste time and energy in training employees on how to respond to an emergency whether fire, chemical or natural, it’ll never happen here, right?  Or how to properly use and wear PPE or how to properly operate a forklift.  Too much information in too little time.  They’ll learn as they go.  What could go wrong?
#4 – LACK OF RESPECT – for your workforce.  Don’t treat them as idiots, give them the materials and training they need to be successful and do their job with confidence. Explain what the expectations are and the consequences for non compliance and say Thank You for a job well done.
#5 – COMMUNICATION – This includes listening to your employees concerns about working conditions and process improvement and then answering those concerns with feedback and developing an on going conversation of respect to solve issues and make your operation stronger.

Hope you appreciate my top 5.  Now lets finish the year looking at other disturbing trends from 2016 that’ll continue into 2017.

The continued lack of leadership that prevails at the US Postal Service.  Blood incidents prompt OSHA to fine Brooklyn Postal Service location $342,000 – How stupid is the leadership?  Pretty damn stupid and the workers know it since they filed a complaint with OSHA that found 2 WILLFUL and 3 REPEAT violations.  3 Repeat!!!  Which means they never bothered to fix the problem of not having written instructions or training for workers responsible for handling and cleaning up biohazard packages that are stained or leaking. Managers also did not offer hepatitis B vaccines to affected employees.  It’s a wonder that your junk mail even gets to you!  I predict you’ll be reading more stories of violations at the USPS next year since management has proven it’s incapable of finding it’s own way out of a paper bag.


Continued lapses of safety on our railroads and ignoring the fixes needed for infrastructure to ensure protection of civilian lives. N.J. Transit Safety Jobs Vacant as Christie Allies Hired at Top – Some politicians, actually only the clueless ones bent on personal power think the way to fix a problem is to hire their friends to top management positions or by making new and “better” laws when all that is needed is to fill the open positions with employees who do the job at hand and not brown nose their way through.  While accidents continue on one of the worst transit systems in the world the Governor thinks it’s better not to fill the safety positions since they’ll ask for money to fix it while his buddies will keep the status quo and let constituents continue to die.  I guess the transit system isn’t as easy to take care of as the George Washington bridge.   Look for continued lack of a plan and leadership into the next year and beyond.

Continue to poison ourselves, our water supply and the environment because we are too cavalier on chemical safety.  New Martinsville chemical plant cited for workplace-safety violations – We need chemicals for food production, building materials, cars, planes, homes and just about anything you can think of but why are we so sloppy and careless about handling it?  Could it be that it maybe takes 20 years for the exposure to show up as a health problem?  Could it be that we truly believe the planet can handle all those chemicals in the air, land, streams, rivers and oceans to dilute and render them to harmless?  Could it be that chemical companies find it a needless expense to make all the needed safety measures and training to prevent chemical injury and death?  Either way, YOU as a employer, whether a supermarket or chemical plant are responsible to train your workers on what they are working with, it’s potential hazards, the proper PPE needed and how to handle in a spill or other emergency.  However I predict this also will continue to be ignored since we never learned anything after the 1984 Bhopal, India gas leak that killed 4,000 humans immediately and residual effects claiming a total of 15,000 human lives!!!  If you think it can’t happen here, you’re just in denial or brain dead.  


Continued deaths of civilians due to budget cuts and lack of leadership at all major and small cities. Operator accused of ignoring safety in deadly Oakland warehouse fire and Fire Chief: We were not aware what was going on in Ghost Ship – What happened in Oakland, California at the Ghost Ship Warehouse is just the canary in the mine warning f0r all cities.  Due to the competition by city departments for that little slice of the budget pie, things are not getting done and the leadership instead of thinking outside the box and developing solutions to working with what they have are just crying about it and doing NOTHING!  Between all the departments within the city, Ghost ship slipped through the cracks and now people are dead.  The mayor of Oakland at one point stated we need better laws but this is just rhetoric since all you had to do was enforce the current laws and better leadership developing communication between the departments instead of every man or woman for themselves.  If you think this can’t happen in your town, then think again.  When you city is more hell bent on saving the baseball team or football team from leaving, the safety of it’s citizens is a moot point.  Time to wake up Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and Vallejo.  Sure there’s a knee jerk reaction happening now and everyone is aware but over time this will fade, things won’t get done and we’ll all be horrified again when it happens again.

That does it for now.  I greatly appreciate your support over the year and wish you all a Happy Hanukkah and a very Merry Christmas.  After the interesting year we’ve had it’s nice to see the show of solidarity by Hanukkah and Christmas as they begin back to back. As you visit family and friends remember to please not drink and drive or drive distracted. Be your own fire marshall and safety inspector to protect your home and family from fire, accidents or visits to the ER.  If you’re into making resolutions for the new year, resolve to be a better person to you fellow human beings, treat them with respect, be polite and especially be kind to those less fortunate then you.  There is a lot of love out there and we can obliterate the hate with it.  Until next year, never keep quiet about safety for the life you save may be your own.


Hanukkah Candles, Christmas Tree Lights – Festive Dangers


Reduce Home Holiday Risk – Don’t Kill Santa

As we show you how to make your home a safe haven for the holidays are there any other potential hazards that may exist?  What about that nice cozy fireplace that Santa will use to deliver presents?  When was the last time you used it and even more important, when was the last time you had the chimney cleaned?   Each time you use your fireplace, deposits  of ash, water vapor and other debris build up within your chimney and if not cleaned out can fuel a fire in your chimney that could spread throughout your home.  Be sure to keep flammable liquids and materials away from your fireplace, you don’t want to give the fire any added fuel to spread with and please avoid overloading your fire with too much wood.  Keep the fire manageable.  In addition here are 3 more tips for a safe fireplace.

1 – Don’t leave a fire burning in the fireplace when you go to sleep.  All it takes is one little spark to create a house fire.

2 – Don’t close the flue in your fireplace until all ambers and smoke is extinguished and out.  Closing it too early can cause dangerous carbon monoxide to spread throughout the house.

3 – Place all ash in a metal container, never in plastic or paper as any live ambers can burn through and create a house fire.

4 – Most important, test and make sure your carbon monoxide detector is operating.  


Warehouseflow Advisors

Reduce Home Risk – Your Stove is a Diva

Your stove is very much like a Diva. When it’s on, it needs lots of attention to be happy but can become vexed in the blink of an eye.

You’ll be working with your Diva often during the holiday gauntlet, (the time period between Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day) and keeping focused and avoiding distractions while cooking and baking is key to a problem-free relationship.  

Still, being prepared and ready for any flare-ups and you’ve won half the battle if not more.  Also, check and then keep the filters and collectors in your stove hood clean and free of dirt and grease as it builds up quickly with all the holiday cooking.  Highly recommend that you set a schedule of cleaning them every two weeks like the pros do and you can set a reminder on your calendar.  Same for the stove top and oven, keep them clean and free of debris.  

Then, of course, you should also know the 3 ways to put out a grease fire.

– NEVER use water on a grease fire.

1 – Put a lid on it.  Place a lid over the pan on fire and remove the heat source. This smothers the flames by cutting off its oxygen.

2 – Pour baking soda on it.  Yes, that handy versatile box of baking soda can also add firefighting to its long list of uses.  It also smothers the flames. 

3 – Use your fire extinguisher.  Focus the stream on the center of the fire and sweep the area left to right and back until the fire is out.  Sure you’ll ruin whatever was cooking but it’s much easier to replace a menu item then your house.  If at any point the fire begins to get out of control leave immediately,  close the door behind you as you exit and call 9-1-1