The 2013 NFL season starts tomorrow.  Many people can’t wait for the season to start (myself included).   Safety is a lot like any of the teams in the NFL – you need practice, gameplans, leadership, teamwork, communication, protection, rules, PPE, etc to be successful.    If you are lacking any of theses items, you will not be successful.   Why aren’t we as excited about safety?

I want everyone as excited about safety as they are about the NFL – what do you think?

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

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I was on my way back to Dallas from Denver last Friday and was taking the train to my terminal.   A gentleman jumped on the train as the doors were closing – he was wearing GOOGLE GLASSES.   A couple of weeks before this, I saw a news article about this technology and how doctors are using this during surgery.   They are able to see the patients vital signs without looking away from their task at hand.   I asked this guy on the train about his GOOGLE GLASSES.   He told me that he was in the technology field and loves them.   He told me he can voice text and see everything right in front of him.

My brief conversation got me wondering how GOOGLE GLASSES  will make our world a safer place – how distractions will be eliminated.   People will never have to take their eyes off the road to talk, text or e-mail.   While I don’t agree with texting or emailing while driving, it is exponentially better and safer using GOOGLE GLASSES rather than the traditional method.

I’m a supporter of technology and GOOGLE GLASSES as it relates to safety – what about you?

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

Last saturday morning I attended my son’s middle school football scrimmage.   There was a parent that was filming the scrimmage for our coach from the top row of the stands.    Evidently, the stands were not tall enough or there was a better angle to film the scrimmage from the roof of the adjacent gym.   The “film crew” from both teams managed to move and set up their cameras from the roof the the gym.   Now there were 6 guys standing on the roof – two filming and four helping.    I looked at these guys and immediately thought of FALL PROTECTION.   My first thought was not “That’s great that these guys are helping out the team” or “That’s going to be a great angle for the coach to review the scrimmage”.  No, my first thought was “There are these guys up 30 feet in the air with no railing or no safety harness – where is their FALL PROTECTION!”.   Further, I even pointed out to my daughter that these guys, the “film crew”, were taking unnecessary risks and breaking the new fall protection rules.   My daughter rolled her eyes and tuned me out – typical 19 year old!

Do you always think about safety?    Are you aware of risky behavior of others?   Do you look at safety outside of work?

Isn’t this what we are trying to achieve in the safety world?   I am proud of myself for thinking like this – what about you?

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

I have looked at our historical safety statistics and see a trend that I don’t like – the SUMMER BLUES.   Each year we have experienced our most incidents during the months of July and August.   We still conduct our new hire safety orientation, our weekly safety training, and enforce all of our safety policies and procedures.   Why do we have the SUMMER BLUES?   When you peel back the onion, the type of incident is all over the board – Slip Trip and Fall, Ergonomics, Cuts, etc. – there is no one type of incident that is driving this.   Incidents are occurring at facilities in the North as well as the South, East as well as the West – there is no specific geographic location that is driving this.   Incidents are occurring at facilities that are not working overtime along with facilities that are working overtime.

The only way I can explain this is safety awareness.   We have become distracted with increased volumes, vacations, heat, etc,  that we create a self-induced SUMMER BLUES.   We need to double our efforts to heighten safety awareness.   We need to work safety awareness into everything that we do.   We want each of our employees to think about safety as much as they are thinking about their vacation!

I will ensure that we eliminate SUMMER BLUES and heighten safety awareness – what about you?

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

It’s definitely summertime and it’s definitely hot!  Every year, thousands of workers become sick from occupational heat exposure.  These illnesses are completely preventable and everyone must recognize the symptoms of HEAT RELATED ILLNESS during hot weather.    The types of HEAT RELATED ILLNESS are Heat Stress, Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke.   Below is a description of the symptoms of each and treatment recommendations:

  1.  Heat stress is a buildup of body heat.   Heat stress, without proper precautions, can develop into heat exhaustion or heat stroke, a potentially fatal condition. As the internal body temperature increases, the heart rate rises and the body becomes overwhelmed.
  2.  Heat cramps are caused by dehydration and are the mildest form of HEAT RELATED ILLNESS.  Symptoms include muscle cramps, which can lead to muscle spasms.  Dehydration is usually coupled with heat exhaustion.  Treating heat cramps is as simple as drinking water and getting to a cooler area.
  3. Heat exhaustion is caused by strenuous activity, like working outdoors in the heat.  Symptoms of heat exhaustion and dehydration include headaches, sweating, irritability, nausea, chills, weakness, vomiting, fainting, a rapid weak pulse, flushed or pale skin, confusion, blurred vision, and dizziness.  The best way to prevent and treat heat exhaustion and dehydration is to avoid it from happening in the first place by drinking enough water throughout the day that you never become thirsty. Approximately 1 cup every 15 – 20 minutes is recommended, even if you are not thirsty. Avoid large amounts of caffeine or sugar in sports drinks because they can accelerate dehydration if not properly balanced with water. Take more breaks in extreme heat and humidity and take breaks in the shade or a cool area when possible. To treat severe heat exhaustion, elevate legs, pour cool water over the skin and drink water or other liquids that will replace electrolytes.
  4. Heat stroke is the most serious HEAT RELATED ILLNESS.  It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down.  Symptoms include red hot dry skin, confusion, fainting, or convulsions.  Treatment for heat stroke is similar to the other heat-related injuries, but emergency paramedic services should be contacted and efforts made to cool the person’s body temperature. One quick effective way to bring the body temperature down is to put a cool wet cloth behind the neck and soak their clothes with cool water.

By changing work practices, such as increasing work/rest cycles, drinking more water, drinking an occasional sports drink to replace electrolytes, and knowing what to do in case of a HEAT RELATED ILLNESS, lives can be saved.    I will ensure that we cover HEAT RELATED ILLNESS at our next safety meeting – what about you?

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

I recently read an article that I find disturbing.   The Chemical Safety Board (CHB) has been making recommendations to OSHA relating to combustible dust that is falling on OSHA’S DEAF EARS.    Future tragedies in the United States can be avoided if OSHA acts on the CHB recommendations.   The article has a brief slideshow showing various real life tragedies that are the basis for the CHB recommendations.  Instead, these recommendations are falling on OSHA’S DEAF EARS!

When is OSHA going to become an organization that is meaningful to our modern day society?   OSHA has become a bureaucratic organization that has not kept up with the times.   It is obvious that our government struggles with running OSHA as it does with the post office, social security, medicare, etc. (this list is embarrassingly too long to name).   When are we going to make meaningful changes?

Future tragedies can be avoided if OSHA will act and not let recommendations from the CHB fall on OSHA’S DEAF EARS.   I am sending a letter to my congressman urging them to act.   What are you going to do?

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

Someone recently asked me WHY BOTHER WITH SAFETY?    It hit a chord with me and I went on a rant….here we go:

1.   We, as employers, have an obligation and responsibility to provide a safe workplace

2.   It is unacceptable for anybody to be injured at work, no matter how minor it is

3.   Other than being tired, everyone should return home each day in the same condition that they came to work

4.   I can’t handle the sight of blood, broken bones, etc

5.   If you can get safety right, the rest of production and operations is easy

6.   Our employees should expect to be safe

7.   When we do safety right in the workplace, it carries over to employees personal lives

I am passionate about safety and truly feel that these items are the answer to WHY BOTHER WITH SAFETY?   I take safety very seriously and feel that it is a worthwhile cause.    It is unacceptable of any employee to be injured at work – regardless of the circumstances.   I think its pretty straight forward – what about you?

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