Monday, August 23, 2010

Rx for Recordable Claims

Over the years it has always been understood that the dispensing of a Rx medication for a work related injury results in a recordable incident. Or is it?

Recently, I read in a National Safety Council book that if a one time dose of Rx meds to ease pain or discomfort is given, it is not recordable. So which is it? I spoke with an OSHA Compliance Assistance Officer about this and his stance was that "If I felt it should be recordable, then record it". OSHA 300 and 300A logs are typically used for trending. While this is true, recording claims on a feeling opens a lot of issues.

Suppose I "feel" a claim or 10 claims are recordable, what does it do to the company Incident Rate and DART rate?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back-Handed Compliment

Is being to good at something, sometimes a bad thing? It seems as though the guy who is really good at what he does is always being stuck in the worst placers to fix someone elses mess. I guess it is a back handed compliment.

All the while, the guys who really mess things up are being put in positions to continue messing things up. Go figure!!

Such is the life of a Safety Professional

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Working in Extreme Heat

Why is it that construction workers, specifically Supervision, has the continual thought that they can make anyone do anything for production? When has it ever been safe to work in a heat index of 115 degrees? The last I heard, that was dangerous, yet people continue to let others do it. Why, because they had to when they were coming up.

So how do you stop it? We can't just turn on the air conditioning outside.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The quandry of construction...

I hape spoken with alot of managers of other construction companies about their staffing now that we "are coming out of the recession". From what I understand, they are having a hard time getting employee to do heavy construction due to three things:
1) Alot of heavy construction is related to government buildings or facilitiesright now
2) When building government projects, contractors are required to enroll in E-Verify
3) Government projects require that workers complete a background check for crimes

The first two I am OK with, but the third seems strange. If a potential worker has a criminal background, they are not permitted to work on these projects? Who do you think makes up a great part of the construction industry? And I don't mean the Supervision or the higher-ups, I mean the guys actually doing the hard work. When these guys get out of jail, they do not expect to be hired on as a President of a company, and a lot wouldn't have that kind of education anyway. They just really want a job, and in most cases are required to have one. Wouldn't it be better to employ these folks, remember the saying about idle hands??

Friday, June 4, 2010

Full Body Harnesses and Tool Belts

Many new style full body harnesses lend themselves to also being a tool belt. This, while in good theory, may be detrimental to the harness itself. I have noticed that in the construction industry, workers routinely carry up to 50 pounds of tools and equipment in their tool pouches, that are hanging on the body harness.

What concerns me is that this could be stressing the nylon fibers in the shoulder area due to the weight, not to mention the exposure to constant sunlight and the buildup of dirt and grime also contributing to the weakness.

I would appreciate any fall protection manufacturers or vendors that could supply inforamtion on this matter.

Monday, April 26, 2010


In the world of Safety Professionals, choices have to be made on a daily basis that could effect the outcome of your career. Especially if you work for a company that uses safety as window dressing.

Consider this; If you spot a severe safety violation, report it to the Supervisor and that person tells you to ignore it, what do you do? A) Ignore it and compromise your principles as a Safety Professional, or B) Keep dogging it until it gets fixed, jeopardizing your employment status.

Lets face it, most large companies have the ability to "Get the word out" about troublesome Safety Guys, causing you to potentially get blacklisted within your own industry. Most people try use the "Whistleblower" act as a crutch, but have you ever considered the consequences of that?? Now not are you only a nuisance, but your a tattle-taler of the highest level.

While its true that the DOL does give relief through "Whistleblower" protection, do you really want to be called a "Whistleblower"?

In the end, as Safety Professionals, we all have principles that we must abide to. If for no other reason, because there are a lot of families that depend on us to send their loved ones home every days. Just remember, people are not owned by companies, they are loaned out to us by their families, and those families expect that they will return in the same condition.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Safety Professionals, Real Need or Scapegoat?

Before you think you have come to your own conclusion, give me a chance to explain. Over alot of years I have had the opportunity to work with several Safety Professionals. Some were really devoted to what they did, and some were forced into the position by others.

Obviously there is a need for Safety Professionals in the private sector, but what good are they doing for the companies they work for? Are they there to ensure that employees go home safely everyday, or are they there to take the fall if something goes wrong? Or, are they there for both?

I have known many that believed safety for their company, "was not important, until it was important". Management, according to these people only tolerated safety folks because their contract required it, but, atleast they had someone to place the blame on when things went south.

I have overheard some safety pros saying that they plead for management to help them accomplish a goal for their project, but get stonewalled because of money or some other excuse. Then an accident happens, that by the way could have been fixed with the original idea, and who gets blamed for it? You guessed it, the safety guy (or gal). Simply because it was under his job description to prevent it from happening.

So I ask again, are we in the times that private Safety Pros can actually exist because companies see the benefits, or because it is a requirement, thus having someone to blame for all safety problems??