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
#2 – HAZARD COMMUNICATION
#3 – SCAFFOLDING
#4 – RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
#5 – LOCK OUT TAG OUT
#6 – POWERED INDUSTRIAL TRUCKS
#7 – LADDERS
#8 – MACHINE GUARDING
#9 – ELECTRCAL WIRING METHODS
#10 – ELECTRICAL GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
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.