Archive for March, 2012

According to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) data, every day more than 2,000 American workers are treated for occupational eye injuries.  AS EYE SEE IT – that’s 2,000 too many!   2,000 per day equates to 500,000 eye injuries per year!   According to NIOSH – 70 percent of these eye injuries were caused by contact with an object/equipment, 26 percent were caused by exposure to harmful substances, and the remainder was due to scrap, waste, debris, chemicals, welding torches, etc.

Where is the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in all this?   A simple pair of safety glasses costs less than $5 and a face shield less than $20!   Why are employers not requiring their employees to wear proper PPE?   An average worker’s compensation claim cost is running $10,000.  If you reduce one claim by wearing safety glasses – that buys you 2,000 pairs of additional safety glasses.  If you reduce one claim by wearing a face shield – that buys you 500 new ones!

Is this the lack of safety culture?  Is it the lack of accountability?  Or the lack of caring?  I don’t care what it is – we have an obligation to provide a safe work environment!   It is unacceptable for any employee to be injured on the job, no matter how minor.  Each and every employee has the right to go home to their family and friends in the exact same condition in which they showed up to work.   That’s how EYE SEE IT – how do you see it?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

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I recently read an article where a painter consumed “a small bottle of whiskey and more than half a fifth of vodka” while at work.  The painter then proceeded to nap in a closet for a few hours, subsequently woke up and fell down an elevator shaft.  The painter applied for workers’ compensation benefits, the employer denied workers compensation benefits, and the case was taken to court.

Ultimately, the painter was denied workers compensation benefits because the painter “was not fulfilling work duties and was not engaged in an activity incidental to his work.”   WHAT IF he picked up a paint brush and started painting before he fell into the elevator shaft, but was still drunk?  Would he be eligible for workers compensation?  According to the courts:  Yes – the painter would have been

In my opinion, the entire workers compensation system in the United States needs a major overhaul.   While I completely understand and support the rationale for a workers’ compensation system, it is abused, misused, and costing companies millions of dollars, which ultimately cost consumers money.

Individuals, who file fraudulent claims, and the medical professionals associated with such claims, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.   Penalties need to be substantially increased for individuals who file fraudulent claims.   Medical certifications need to be revoked for medical professionals who are associated with fraudulent workers compensation claims.   Put some teeth in the system – not just a slap on the wrist.

As a consumer, reduced workers compensation costs mean lower prices (or smaller increases).  I am in favor for saving money – what about you?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

DISTRACTIONS, DISTRACTIONS……DISTRACTIONS!   Life today is full of distractions.  Most people have a variety of “electronic gadgets” such as cell phones, smart phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, GPS, etc, etc……   This is creating an environment of “distracted living”, “distracted driving”, and of “distracted working”.

In a recent USA Today article, drivers do not need much to be distracted.   This article was a result of a recent study conducted by MIT.  Now take this theory one step further – to the workplace.    Can you imagine allowing someone to drive a forklift while using a cell phone?   Can you imagine allowing someone to operate a piece of machinery while using a cell phone?   No way!   Companies need to ensure that they have a distraction free workplace which forbids the use of cell phones and other electronic gadgets while working.

As a leader, don’t you want to create the safest workplace possible?   It is your responsibility to prevent accidents.   I am going to educate and reinforce a “distraction free” workplace – what are you going to do?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

If you experience a NEAR MISS accident, do you investigate?   Do you try to figure out what part of your safety program failed?   Do you genuinely care about someone almost being injured?  Or do you stick your head in the sand and pretend that nothing happened?

You should be investigating all near miss accidents as part of your accident prevention program.   It is a best practice that is used by almost all of the IndustryWeek Best Plants winners and finalists.   These are companies that are considered world-class in everything that they do.  They are considered the cream of the crop or the best of the best.    Here is a table of their responses over the past 5 years: 

It is unacceptable for anybody to be injured on the job.  We have an obligation to provide a safe work environment.   If conducting a near miss accident investigation and implementing corrective action prevent a future accident, then it was an effort that was worthwhile.

As a leader, don’t you want to strive to be the best?   The Industry Week data certainly suggests that near miss investigations are being conducted by almost all of the world class companies.   If you are not conducting near miss accident investigations – it’s not too late to start.   Remember, you can’t win the race unless you take the first step.  I’m ready to run – what about you?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434