September 27, 2011

In This Update
Safety Management Classes Oct. 3-6 at RBA
No Effective Emergency Plan? Your Liability Could Be Huge!
Distracted Driving Article Uncovers YouTube Video
ASSE Meets Oct. 4
DOL Improves Access to Enforcement Databases
Workplace Noise: How Much is Too Much?
Quick Links
Chip DawsonThis health, safety and environment electronic update comes from Chip Dawson and the Rochester Business Alliance as a service to member organizations.
SCO classSafety Management Classes Oct. 3-6 at RBA
There are times when the daily press of business must give way to the task of learning how to do it better. Research shows that taking the time to learn more about key elements of the safety process pays off in multiple ways-fewer incidents, improved quality, better return on investment, higher morale and more. If you want some of the best training in the country to help you and your team earn the pay-off yield, you'll find it at the Rochester Business Alliance during the week of Oct. 3.
Here's what's being featured: Leading the Safety Process, a day-long interactive program for managers runs on Monday, Oct. 3. Tuesday of that week has OSHA Recordkeeping in the morning and Safety Committee Operations in the afternoon. Managing the Emergency fills all of Wednesday, Oct. 5. On Thursday, Oct. 6 is a morning session on Accident Investigation Fundamentals. For details and registration, contact Amy Platenik at or by phone at 256-4632.
Southern Tier sm
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No Effective Emergency Plan? Your Liability Could Be Huge!

We went to a contingency planning conference last week and the message was sobering. Consider these facts. 2011 was a record year for natural disasters: blizzards, heat waves, drought, tornados, floods, haboobs (dust storms), hurricanes and earthquakes-five with costs well over a billion dollars. Small business takes the brunt of any disaster because there are far more of them and they tend to have limited resources. Something else we learned was that surveys show 70 percent of employees do not know what to do in a crisis. Another analysis says that a quarter of all companies will declare a disaster in a five-year period and an additional 40 percent will have some interruption of their business operations.

Here's the scenario. Two thirds of you will face a significant emergency in the next five years, most of your people will not know what to do, social media will make your problem public knowledge before you realize you have a problem and, here's the big one, there's a good chance your disaster will be an uninsured risk. Yep, nearly all risks today are foreseeable and if there is inadequate planning for them, the liability and the cost fall clearly on your organization and your management.

The bottom line is plan, train, exercise, revise and stay ready. If you have not done all of this in the past year, you're not ready for a disaster. Concerned? Good! Now sign your management team up for Managing the Emergency (see the training notice above). Note: The photo at right was taken by Gov. Cuomo as he toured the Southern Tier following Hurricane Irene.

Texting imageDistracted Driving Article Uncovers YouTube Video

Following our pieces in the Sept. 23 issue of HSE Update, our staff received a Tweet from @maddie273 with the message "Hope you like my new YouTube music video about distracted driving, Won't Start Texting." You'll find the piece by clicking here.  Our thanks to Maddie for sharing the fun-and on target-piece.

Dosser photoASSE Meets Oct. 4

The Genesee Valley Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers will meet at the Jefferson Road Radisson on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to hear Shawna R. Dosser, MS, CWPM, CSSGB (you'll have to attend the meeting to find out what the letters mean), President and CEO of BWI Health Promotions, discuss Workplace Wellness. Non-members are welcome to attend the social hour, meeting and presentation from 5-7 p.m., and then stay for dinner and networking after that. Contact  Paulette Lantuh at (585) 415-5464.

DOL chart
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DOL Improves Access to Enforcement Databases
The U. S. Department of Labor has made significant enhancements to its online enforcement database that now allows the public to study DOL enforcement actions. New features include map displays of inspection and violation data from OSHA and the ability to view individual inspection records and enforcement history for specific companies. To access the database, click here. In the image shown at the right, recent inspections and violations in the Rochester area are charted, fine data is shown and a link is visible to click for a complete company enforcement history. The marvels of modern data management! 

Workplace Noise: How Much is Too Much?

A correspondent to an on-line safety discussion group in which I participate recently asked an interesting question. Is there a standard or guideline for ambient noise in an office occupancy? As you no doubt know, using decibel level may deal with OSHA requirements, but the matter of a noisy pump in a room next to an office is really nuisance, not regulation.

Here are a couple of suggestions offered by the group. Use NC (noise criterion) curves, suggested one. They can be found here. Another suggested looking at the Kodak Human Factors Section book Ergonomic Design for People at Work, Volume 1, pp 213-215. If you don't have access to a copy, the Rochester Central Library on St. Paul Street has a copy. 


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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