Archive for January, 2011
Check out these important advances from ISEA member companies: Bullard has new leadership; Ergodyne sponsors pond hockey championships and introduces new flame-resistant vest; MCR Safety introduces ForceFlex family of hand protection, and Tingley Rubber introduces new footwear and flame-resistant vest.
Bullard announced the promotion of Eric Pasch to president/COO; he had been executive VP and CFO. Pasch succeeds Rick Miller, who remains the company’s CEO in 2011 and will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Directors beginning in 2012. Bullard also announced that Jim Vogel is joining the company as vice president of marketing and sales.
Ergodyne was the Official Warming Pack Sponsor of the 2011 U.S. Pond Hockey Championships held this past weekend on Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis. The games annually draw hockey players and fans from across the nation, and Ergodyne supplied players with hand-style warming packs. The company also has introduced the GloWear 8356FRHL Class 3 flame-resistant vest.
MCR Safety’s ForceFlex HV100 provides protection for the front and back of the hand, plus an assortment of unique and innovative features. It was developed wit the oil industry to achieve maximum protection, durability, grip and dexterity.
Tingley has introduced a 16-inch metatarsal boot that is flexible and comfortable in the toughest of work environments. Design features include an internal support system in the critical areas of the heel and ankle. The company also has introduced an affordable, light weight, comfortable, flame-resistant high-visibility vest.
Read more at the companies’ websites. Make ISEA your source for information on the latest personal protective technologies. Click the Buyers Guide link in the right-hand column to search by product, and read the quarterly Protection Update in EHS Today magazine.
It was the first day of an OSHA public hearing at the US Department of Labor auditorium in Washington. The subject was a proposed rule on walking-working surfaces and fall protection. The people in the room represented a range of interests. And snaked across the side aisle, reaching from the seats to a wall outlet, were a computer cord and an extension cord, set up by hearing participants, creating – yes – a fall hazard.
The people who stretched these cords across the aisle were there prepared to argue for the safety of their constituents, some saying that OSHA is overreaching, others that the agency is ignoring the risks that some workers face on the job. Any of them would - or should – have recognized that a loose power cord is a trip hazard. Yet no one said anything until the ISEA delegation, walking to the stage to testify, asked that the cords be reeled up. The presiding judge quipped “Good thing there’s not an OSHA inspector in the room.”
Sometimes we’re so focused on protecting workers on job sites that we don’t pay attention to hazards we’re creating, literally right under our feet. How many workers doff their protective gear at the end of the shift, and then drive home without buckling up, or talk on the phone behind the wheel? How many of us stand on the top of a stepladder and forget to wear hearing protection when we fire up the leaf blower? Safety isn’t a sometime thing. Keep your brain in gear, and don’t take shortcuts that put you and others at risk.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has withdrawn its controversial proposal to reinterpret “feasible” engineering and administrative controls for occupational noise. In a January 19 news release, Assistant Secretary David Michaels says it’s become clear that “addressing this problem requires much more public outreach and many more resources than we had originally anticipated.” Employer groups like NAM and the US Chamber were preparing challenges, saying that the new interpretation would add millions of dollars in new compliance costs. Senators Liberman and Snowe, co-chairs of the Senate Task Force on Manufacturing, had written the Secretary of Labor questioning the action, and met with Dr. Michaels. The proposal was cited in news reports as one of the factors supporting President Obama’s Executive Order mandating a top-to-bottom review of federal regulations.
Today’s announcement notes that OSHA will review comments and other information on the issue, hold a stakeholders’ meeting, consult with NIOSH and the National Academy of Engineering, and “initiate a robust outreach and compliance assistance effort to provide enhanced technical information and guidance on the many inexpensive, effective engineering controls for dangerous noise levels.” ISEA will participate in the process, to help the regulators understand the latest hearing protection technologies and their benefits in the workplace.
Check out these important advances from ISEA member companies: fall protection company Capital Safety acquiring a height training institute in France, Gateway Safety launching an eye protection innovation, and Moldex launching new respiratory and hearing protection products.
Capital acquired the Technical Institute of Training in Height (ITFH), a leading training-at-heights company in France. ITFH has been a specialist in training at height since 2001 and has a portfolio of 54 programs. Gateway added a 3.0 diopter magnification lens to its bifocal safety eyewear line for workers needing bifocal vision correction and eye protection. Moldex has introduced the 7000 half-mask and 9000 full-face series of reusable respiratory protection, the FastFit folding particulate disposable respirators, and Jetz reusable hearing protection, and Mellows disposable hearing protection. Read more at the companies’ websites.
Make ISEA your source for information on the latest personal protective technologies. Click the Buyers Guide link in the right hand column to search by product, and read the quarterly Protection Update in EHS Today magazine.
“These boots are made for suing” is the headline in an NAM newsletter reporting the US Supreme Court’s decision not to review a lower court ruling that Wisconsin workers have to be paid for the time it takes them to don and doff PPE and the start and end of a shift. Here’s the description from the NAM’s Manufacturing Law Center: “This law suit is about compensation for time spent putting on and taking off steel-toed boots, hard hats, smocks and hair nets when working at a meat processing plant. In collective bargaining, the union agreed to exclude such ‘donning and doffing’ time from hours worked in return for a higher wage rate. Federal law allows such a tradeoff. Wisconsin law does not. The Seventh Circuit ruled that a collective bargaining agreement cannot override the state law, and the company must pay for the donning and doffing time at the higher compensation rate.” The decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, which decided on January 10 not to accept it for review.
It’s estimated that about 1300 workers at the Oscar Meyer plant (part of Kraft Foods) will share about $4 million in back pay, and will now be paid for the time it takes them to put on and remove their protective clothing and equipment. A company spokesman quoted in the Wisconsin State Journal says that should amount to about 12 minutes a day. The law firm that brought the class action suit will no doubt get a good payout, and similar suits have been filed against other Wisconsin employers. Read more about the case at scotusblog.com.