This is a catchphrase of homeland security, warning us in train stations, subway cars and other public places to be alert to suspicious people or activities. Let’s use it for safety as well. How often do you see someone working without the right protection? Breaking up a sidewalk with a jackhammer with no hearing protection? Walking across a rafter with no fall arrest harness and lanyard? Walking through a cloud of concrete dust at a worksite with no respirator? It doesn’t have to be limited to workplace activities, either. How about people who mow the lawn barefooted, or ride a bycicle in traffic bareheaded?
Maybe you don’t want to be thought of as a nag, or butt into someone else’s business. But if your profession is safety, it isn’t nagging to make sure everyone is protected. Say something! Find a supervisor or foreman, or remind the worker of the bad things that can happen in an instant, or over a lifetime, if they don’t take care.
You can even take it a step further. When you see pictures in the paper or online of people doing work in a way that you know is dangerous, write the editor or add a comment. You may not get an immediate result, but if everyone is vigilant – and vocal – we could move the needle a little toward awareness of personal protection, and make a safer world.
The National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Orlando was the last of the major safety industry trade shows for the year.
Did you attend? Did you atttend the AIHce in Indianapolis? ASSE Safety 2012 in Denver? The VPPPA Expo in Anaheim? Why not?
Suppliers of PPE are always looking for the best way to reach purchasers and users, and trade shows are an important part of their marketing plans. But with multiple national safety shows every year in the US, plus regional shows and events aimed at specific markets, they’re pulled in many directions. That’s why we’ve put together a simple survey – 16 questions – to find out what you think about the safety industry trade shows, and how they could be made better. We’ll share the results with the sponsors of the major events, as part of our effort to improve the trade show experience for exhibitors and attendees alike.
OH&S magazine has reprinted a 2007 article that gives a quick history of personal protective equipment. It notes landmark in protection from some ISEA member companies that are still active in the business. Check it out.
The Undergraduate Programs Office of the American Chemistry Society is joining with other chemistry bloggers and social media users to declare Monday, June 4 as Lab Personal Protective Equipment Day. They’re asking for photos of lab workers decked out in their finest PPE, which they’ll post online. You can also follow the event on Twitter at #LabPPEDay. Check it out.
Lots of us will be hitting the road on Memorial Day weekend, and in the summer months ahead. And we’ll see plenty of people in other cars who are talking on cell phones – or worse, texting – while driving. Don’t you feel better that you have that Bluetooth connection so you can talk away without taking your hands of the wheel?
Don’t. The fact is that any cell phone conversation while driving is a distraction, and distracted driving causes crashes. The research is there. You may have both hands on the wheel, but your mind is not fully engaged on the road, other vehicles, and hazards. That’s why ISEA’s Board of Trustees is urging all its member companies to establish and enforce a policy on the use of mobile electronic devices while driving.
These policies can be far-reaching: Don’t use a cell phone in a company car, or while driving any car on company business. Don’t use a cell phone when you’re behind the wheel, regardless of whether you’re moving or stopped in traffic. Don’t use a company cell phone, or any cell phone used to conduct business, while driving. Don’t have phone conversations with people when you know they’re driving. Tell all your colleagues that you won’t answer the phone when you’re behind the wheel.
Of course, these policies only cover driving for business, or using business-provided phones or cars. These are the only situations where a company can set a policy. But workers in companies with strict cell phone use policies quickly learn how to compensate for the loss of constant connectivity. They might even be more productive in their use of phone time. And educating employees on the real dangers of distracted driving can make them more aware of when not to make, or answer, that phone call when they’re off the job.
You can get lots more information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Safety Council. Protect yourself, and all the rest of us on the highway.