May 3, 2011

In This Update
Economy and Employment Not Hurt by Regulation, Says EPI
"Put Yourself In Our Boots" Campaign to Protect Emergency Responders
RBA Safety Management Class Drawing Good Numbers
OSHA Cites Combustible Dust
Crocs Offering "Protective Footwear"
Hair + Lathe - Culture of Safety = Death
"No One Responsible" Says Notre Dame
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Chip DawsonThis health, safety and environment electronic update comes from Chip Dawson and the Rochester Business Alliance as a service to member organizations.
Economy and Employment Not Hurt by Regulation, Says EPI
The Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit Washington think tank on the economy, has released a research paper, Regulation, Employment, and the Economy: Fears of job loss are overblown, that finds a net neutral and, in some cases, a slight positive when considering the cost of regulation against economic indicators. According to EPI, "sound federal regulations are essential to a well-functioning economy and healthy job market, and the overall benefits of regulations consistently and significantly exceed their costs.  Furthermore, though opponents of regulations argue that they harm the economy and impede job creation, the evidence does not support this general argument.  Finally, prospective government cost estimates of regulations tend to overstate their costs, as do industry studies." To read the EPI press release on the research, download a PDF of the report, and see related reports, click here.

John Petropoulos"Put Yourself In Our Boots" Campaign to Protect Emergency Responders

On Sept. 29, 2000, K-9 Constable John Petropoulos of the Calgary Police Services fell through the ceiling of a warehouse into the lunchroom below and was killed while searching for an intruder. As it turned out, the wind caused the alarm and the lack of guard rails between the mezzanine walkway and the unfloored ceiling allowed him to step unknowingly into the flimsy area. Since then, his widow has run a campaign to urge companies to turn out the lights and pretend to be searching a plant or warehouse in the dark with only a flashlight. If you work there, you know the dangers; but emergency responders who are tasked with entry under the most challenging conditions don't. To learn more about the campaign, click here or here and consider doing a workplace survey specifically addressed to the safety of emergency responders. Our thanks to ISHN magazine for tipping us off to this campaign. 

RBA Safety Management Class Drawing Good Numbers 

Baring a crisis, it's difficult to pull busy people away from critical jobs to attend training; but the Safety Committee Operations (SCO) class scheduled for Tuesday, May 10 is defying conventional wisdom. With 14 participants on board and registrations still coming in, the four-hour program promises good discussion and helpful interaction. While designed for safety committee members, SCO is suitable for anyone with management responsibilities. It takes a broad look at the role of culture in safety, provides skill-building experience in essential tools and techniques and offers guidance on how to manage a successful safety process. For details and registration, contact Amy Platenik at or by phone at 256-4632.

Dust explosionOSHA Cites Combustible Dust

After sounding the alarm about combustible dust following several dust explosions nation-wide, OSHA has cited a New Jersey furniture manufacturer-Sterling Seating-with 32 serious violations totaling over $117,000, including failure to control combustible dust. The agency has required dust removal and the establishment of a program to prevent potential build-up of dust from occurring at the facility. To access the OSHA combustible dust page, click here.

crocks photoCrocs Offering "Protective Footwear"     
Shoe manufacturer Crocs is selling the CrocsRx™ custom cloud as APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) accepted and US Ergonomic (a consulting firm) Certified with features including a protective heel rim and toe cap. While Crocs are reported to be extremely comfortable work shoes, it does not appear that the toe caps are intended to be "safety" meeting ANSI standards. What they do appear to satisfy is the requirement most employers have for employees to wear substantial shoes that protect against bumps and scrapes. They also appear to work well with custom orthotics. Where full safety shoes are not required, these may be an employee-pleasing option. Read more from Crocks by clicking here.
Dufalt photoHair + Lathe - Culture of Safety = Death    
A death in the workplace is always tragic, but somehow the death of a very bright, very promising, month-from-graduation 22-year-old female astronomy and physics student at Yale seems particularly sad. Reports from Yale indicate that shop rules are posted online, shop users take a required course, and the victim was "aware of necessary machinery safeguards." However, what nearly all of us who have been in the safety business for a long time realize, is that all the training and awareness in the world cannot compensate for a culture of safety that ingrains the safety mindset in every employee (or student). Our suggestion: use this death as an opportunity to push the safety culture imperative. For a CTPost article on the incident, click here.
Declan Sullivan"No One Responsible" Says Notre Dame    
ISHN magazine reports that, "despite being issued the most serious safety violation allowable under Indiana law by the state Department of Labor (DOL), the University of Notre Dame has determined that no staff members are responsible for the death of student employee Declan Sullivan, who died after the scaffold he was on while videotaping football practice fell in high winds last year." To read the full ISHN report, click here.

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Lawrence H. "Chip" DawsonView my profile on LinkedIn
Dawson Associates
Rochester Business Alliance Coordinating Consultant for HSE
1434 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14610-1619
(585) 461-1549