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Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
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SAFETY SOLUTIONS: New Year's Resolution: Safety

We must all live by the motto — “What you have done is not as important as what you are about to do.” The future is what drives us ... and the opportunities seized and accomplishments made good are the measures of our success. All of us in the working world must practice the following:

  • We must care about the lives of working men and women of this country.
  • We must know the value of safety and health.
  • We must possess the ambition to make a difference.

Saving lives and preventing injuries and illnesses must be a paramount and strategic part of the way we do business in the upcoming year and in all the years to follow.

Emphasis on workplace safety and health has been improving for over a century and much of the progress has been realized since the Occupational Safety and Health Act, or OSHA, came into being over 30 years ago.

Over the last 30 years, and because of the hard work of safety professionals, management and safety teams working in industry — workplace fatalities have been cut in half and occupational injury and illness rates have declined 40 percent.

At the same time, U.S. employment has doubled from 56 million workers at 3.5 million worksites to 111 million workers at 7 million sites.

The good news is occupational injuries and illnesses keep declining but the reality is — too many workers are still going home hurt or sick, and more than 16 per day aren’t going home at all. We must all work to drive the fatality statistics into the ground.

You know, there’s a song that says, “One is the loneliest number.” Well, where injuries and illnesses are concerned, zero ... is the perfect number.

We must all refresh and renew our own central commitment to the value of safety and health, and we need to show that commitment so that everyone believes in the value and ultimately realizes the value in safety and health.

I know you share with me the fundamental belief — safety and health add value to every business, every workplace and every life. We need to drive home this message — we need to articulate the message in ways we have never done before — we need to do it in human and economic terms.

We need to document and underscore the truth that protecting people on and off the job is in everyone’s best interest — our economy, our businesses, our fellow workers, and our families. It’s all integrated... it’s all related... it’s all important to our way of life.

To be successful, we must demonstrate leadership in advancing safety and health — beyond the traditional regulatory approach. Safety and health endeavors and commitments add value — to your business... to your workplace... to your life.

The value for businesses makes sense: focusing on safety and health programs is the right thing to do; it saves money and adds value to the organization.

When workers stay whole and healthy, businesses experience:

  • lower workers’ compensation insurance costs,
  • reduced medical expenditures,
  • decreased layout for return-to-work programs,
  • less faulty products,
  • lower costs for job accommodations for injured workers,
  • and many more.

Those are direct costs, and they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Safety and health can make big reductions in indirect costs, too:

  • lost productivity,
  • costs of training for replacement workers, and
  • overtime expenses.

And on the value added side, fewer injuries and illnesses also lead to:

  • higher morale,
  • better labor/management relations,
  • reduced turnover,
  • and better use of human capital.

In addition, business benefits from an enhanced corporate reputation as a caring employer.

Valuing your people adds value to your company. The best companies, large and small, build a brand reputation that is synonymous not only with an excellent product, but also an outstanding management philosophy where safety and health is a core value.

In respect to the value to workers, the relationship is even clearer.

Getting hurt or sick is not just physically painful. On-thejob injuries and illnesses can significantly reduce income, increase stress and hinder a full family life.

The message is simple, yet the implications are profound.

Everyone must acknowledge and understand this — if we want to drive occupational injuries, illnesses, and deaths down: Zero is the perfect number.

Let’s all strive to begin the new year with a renewed enthusiasm for not only our personal safety and health but for the safety and health of all our co-workers. If each of you can prevent just one injury, by showing you care, by watching out for unsafe acts or conditions, just multiply that by the many thousands of readers and see what a difference can be made in the decline in injury statistics.

Statistics are just numbers, caring affects people’s lives, caring about safety and health endeavors makes a BIG difference.

As an additional resource,
the following websites
provide a wealth of information
on safety-related
topics and programs.

Occupational Safety & Health
Administration
www.osha.gov

National Institute for Occupational
Safety & Health
www.cdc.gov/niosh

Canadian Center for Occupational
Health & Safety
www.ccohs.ca

National Safety Council
www.nsc.org

American Society of Safety Engineers
www.asse.org

For more information, click on the author biography at the top of this page.

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