VOL. 80 NO. 1 |
Put a Stop to
Chemical Burns 14
Protection for Wood Pole
Climbers 18
A Winning Wellness Program
in Action 21
Paying Attention to Fire
Hazards 28
Preparing for OSHA’s Noise
Exposure Rule 32
Noise Control:
How to Plan for OSHA’s
New Interpretation
0111ohs_c1_v3.indd 1
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Eighty Years
in Safety
ou’re reading No. 1, Vol. 80 of this to emergency preparedness and response,
magazine, the latter a startling num- at
■ Your challenges are extreme these
ber of years for any magazine to be
alive. Having met several octoge- days: Staffs and budgets are smaller, new regnarians, I can testify that we realistically can ulations and revised standards are coming at
hope to be healthy, intelligent, and charming you constantly, and enforcement penalties
at that age and beyond.
are sky high. You have little
As the editor of Occuparoom for error, which makes
tional Health & Safety for 15+
OH&S and other information
years, about 19 percent of its
sources highly valuable.
existence, I believe it is more
Our January 2007 issue
useful and relevant than ever.
summarized the magazine’s
Why is this?
first 75 years in an article writ■ The Internet era has us
ten by Managing Editor Ronnie Rittenberry. His summareaching out to our audience
tion included this: “Revisiting
in every way we can online.
You have little
the earliest of the volumes,
More and more professionals
room for error,
reading firsthand the words of
from all over the United States
making sources Cloud, Jones, Sappington, and
and abroad get their news and
all the contributors, it is strikcompliance guidance in this
such as OH&S
ing to see that so many of the
way; many more resources are
highly valuable. topics that were concerning
ready and waiting for them.
■ OH&S is still provided free to most
them are still of concern today. Many of the
readers. Our free webinars and free virtual headlines placed over articles that appeared
events are very popular. If you haven’t at- in 1932 — ‘Eye Injuries and the Use of Safety
tended an OH&S webinar, I can’t imagine Goggles,’ ‘Skin in Industry,’ ‘Carbon Tetrawhy because they are a first-class learning chloride: A Non-Technical Discussion of Its
experience about important subjects such Toxicity,’ ‘Dust, Fumes, Vapors and Gases’
as fall protection standards, controlling — could easily fit atop stories now, in 2007.”
combustible dusts, arc flash and the NFPA Technology, he pointed out, had brought us
70E standard, H1N1 influenza, preventing far since OH&S began but had not yet solved
hearing loss, and managing a gas detec- the biggest industrial safety concerns.
tion program to prevent fatal mistakes. You
can find out more about our second virtual JERRY LAWS
event, a Feb. 16, 2011, all-day event devoted [email protected]
EDITOR Jerry Laws
Laura Swift
Cindy Horbrook
SALES MANAGER/ 818-597-9029
PRESIDENT & Neal Vitale
VICE PRESIDENT, Christopher M. Coates
VICE PRESIDENT, Erik A. Lindgren
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JANUARY 2011 | Volume 80, Number 1 |
Encouraging Wellness for Fun & Profit
Anderson Performance Improvement runs its own wellness
incentive program as well as programs for clients.
The benefits are obvious for all concerned, CEO and
President Louise Anderson says. by Jerry Laws
Push Harder
The AHA’s new 2010 Guidelines focus on chest compressions. Research shows that more than anything else,
what can improve survival from cardiac arrest is chest
compressions, especially ones that are “high quality.”
by Hank Constantine
Survivor Spreads the Word on AEDs
Detective Gerald Elliott of the Durham, N.C., Police Department was saved with an automated external defibrillator in
August 2009. One year later, he and others used one to start
someone else’s heart. by Jerry Laws
Better Identification of Fire Hazards Needed
Stakeholders seeking control measures to minimize the
probability and severity of these incidents should work more
closely with the fire service. by John Astad
Noise Control: How to Plan for
OSHA’s New Interpretation
Designing to achieve the desired reduction in noise without
excessive capital cost and negative operational impact is
often a delicate balance. by Mike Taubitz
Putting the
Lid on
Chemical Burns
Knowledge and
protection can prevent
serious injury.
by Nelson Schlatter
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_006_008_TOC_v3.indd 6
Building In-House Capability
It’s time to look in the mirror and take stock. By just providing what the laws and regulations require, we are by default
deciding we will do the least we can do. by Tom Lindtveit
Fall Protection
for Wood Pole
With the right equipment and a combination of three basic
methods, it’s a cinch.
by Clifford Petty
From the Editor
News & Trends
New Products
Literature Library
Advertiser Index
Breakthrough Strategies
by Robert Pater
Find OHS on:
Safety Community
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JANUARY 2011 | Volume 80, Number 1 |
Are You Gambling with Safety?
Despite decades of reduction in on-the-job deaths and
injuries, catastrophic accidents appear to be rising. That may
be because many are companies are safe by accident: They
focus too heavily on incident rates and don’t take a scientific
approach to managing safe and at-risk behavior, experts
Dr. Judy Agnew and Dr. Aubrey Daniels say.
What Color Are Your MSDSs?
You can leverage MSDS data and tools to create greener,
safer products and workplaces. While greener does not
necessarily translate to more expensive, your considerations
need to stretch beyond unit price, notes Kami Blake, a solutions engineer with 3E Company.
Meet the New Boss(es)
U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., has the chairman’s gavel in
the new 112th Congress on the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee, which is the House
oversight panel for OSHA and MSHA. Find out more about
him and also what voters in an OH&S online poll want most
from the committee’s shift to Republican control.
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On a Roll
Herman Knight and Steve Rowan, Prime
Inc. drivers who both have reached 3
million miles of safe driving, each received
a $5,000 check, a 3-million-mile leather
jacket, a truck decal, and a plaque bearing
his name and likeness on the Springfield, Mo.-based company’s wall of fame
Prime Inc. drivers Herman Knight and Steve
Rowan were honored at an employee dinner for
reaching 3 million miles of safe driving apiece.
. . . Eugene, Ore.-based Health & Safety
Institute announced GotoAID, which
produces emergency care instructions
for download to smartphones and other
electronic devices, has joined its family of
brands . . . . GOJO Industries, which was
founded in 1946 and invented PURELL®
Instant Hand Sanitizer in 1988, reacquired
the PURELL brand from Johnson &
Johnson Consumer Products Company.
GOJO President Mark Lerner said the
purchase “enables GOJO to expand the
PURELL product line to include effective
hand hygiene solutions for every setting — at home, at work, and on the go.”
. . . R. Davis Layne, executive director
of the Voluntary Protection Programs
Participants’ Association, received ISEA’s
2010 Robert B. Hurley Distinguished
Service Award . . . . Russell M. Olmsted,
MPH, CIC, an epidemiologist at St. Joseph
Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor,
Mich., begins a one-year term as president
of the Association for Professionals in
Infection Control and Epidemiology
this month, and Michelle R. Farber, RN,
CIC, of Mercy Community Hospital in
Coon Rapids, Minn., begins her term as
president-elect. . . . After its third quarter
2010 profit rose by 96 percent partly on
higher sales of large mining machines,
Caterpillar Inc. announced it is buying
Bucyrus International Inc. for $8.6 billion
to grow its mining equipment business
even more. The transaction is expected
to close in mid-2011. Caterpillar’s Wuxi
R&D Center in Jiangsu Province, China,
recently was awarded Gold certification for
Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design in the new construction category
(LEED-NC). . . . Waste Control Specialists LLC expected to begin construction
on Dec. 1, 2010, of a low-level radioactive
waste disposal facility in Andrews County,
Texas, and to complete the work in about
nine months. . . . PPE laundering/recycling company Bates Enterprises, Inc. of
Childersburg, Ala. joined the AFFLINK/
SafetyLink group on Nov.
1. . . . Lincoln Electric
Director of Marketing
Phillip Wittke is chairing
the Image of Welding Committee for the
American Welding Society’s Welding Equipment
Manufacturers Committee (WEMCO) and also serving on the
WEMCO executive board. He promised to
work on the issues affecting the availability
of skilled workers in the welding industry.
Incoming Chairman
Takes Aim at IST
The Republican congressman set to chair
the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee beginning in January 2011 said he’ll
offer a CFATS reauthorization bill that does
not require covered facilities to use inherently safer technologies (IST). This would
please chemical manufacturers and differs
from H.R. 2868, the reauthorization bill
that passed the U.S. House of Representatives a year ago, which would have required
facilities to evaluate IST and would have
given DHS the authority to impose IST on
high-risk facilities. The bill also would have
extended CFATS standards to drinking water and wastewater facilities.
The incoming chairman is U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., the committee’s ranking
member in the last Congress. ICIS news,
an online news service for the chemical industry, and Security Director News reported
Nov. 8 that King said he does not favor imposing IST in the reauthorization bill his
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_010_012_Newsline_v3.indd 10
Joe E. Beck
Professor, Environmental Health Science
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, Ky.
Shirley A. Conibear, M.D., CIH
Carnow, Conibear & Associates Ltd.
Chicago, Ill.
Scott Lawson
The Scott Lawson Companies
Concord, N.H.
Angelo Pinheiro, CSP, CRSP, CPEA
Senior HES Professional
Marathon Oil Company
Houston, Texas
William H. Weems, DrPH, CIH
Director, Environmental & Industrial Programs
University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies
Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Barry R. Weissman, REM, CSP, CHMM, CHS-V, CIPS
Union, N.J.
committee will take up in 2011. He listed
these priorities that day in a statement on
the Republican committee members’ site:
■ Conduct effective oversight of DHS
operations and ways to give the intelligence
community and law enforcement agencies
the tools they need to identify and combat
domestic radicalization.
■ Stop the Obama Administration’s
plans to transfer Guantanamo detainees,
like admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid
Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators,
to the U.S. and put them on trial in civilian
courts, and holding hearings on the president’s plans to close Guantanamo.
■ Hold hearings on the attack at Fort
■ Work with the Department of
Homeland Security to improve cargo security on passenger planes and on cargo-only
■ Enact additional border security
legislation to curb illegal immigration.
■ Strengthen the Securing the Cities
Initiative to protect more Americans from
radiological and nuclear devices.
■ Bolster national cybersecurity by
fortifying the defenses of federal networks
and promoting partnerships with the private sector to protect against cyberattack.
■ Pass a comprehensive Department
12/14/10 12:33 PM
of Homeland Security authorization bill
to provide DHS with necessary guidance,
tools, and resources to help protect our
homeland from terrorist attack.
Jan. 1, 4: Worker’s compensation insurance premiums rise
12 percent on average Jan.
1 under a Washington state
Department of Labor & Industries emergency rule effective for 120 days. Officials
cited the weak economy’s impact on Washington’s State Fund. Public hearings on the
proposed rates are set for Jan. 4 in Spokane and Takoma.
Jan. 11: Oral argument before
the U.S. Supreme Court in
Goodyear Luxembourg Tires,
S.A. et al. v. Brown, No. 1076, where the court will decide whether European corporations may
be sued in a North Carolina state court in
connection with a 2004 bus wreck outside
Paris, France in which two North Carolina teenagers died. The plaintiffs allege a
tire’s failure caused the wreck. http://www.
Jan. 23-29: ASSE’s SeminarFest 2011 at the Flamingo
Las Vegas Hotel features cer23-29 tification preparation workshops, certificates and executive program in safety management, and
46 additional seminars on various topics,
including risk management, industrial hygiene, construction safety, incident investigation, coaching, slip-and-fall prevention,
sustainability, fire prevention, lockout/tagout, prevention through design, combustible dust, and more.
Jan. 31: This is the XIX World
Congress on Safety and
Health at Work 8th International Film and Multimedia
Festival’s deadline for entries. The festival
will take place Sept. 11-15, 2011, in Istanbul. Any production about safety and
health at work (including films, drama,
news, documentary, animation, spots, social media, multimedia, web or computerbased training, and virtual reality applications) made since January 2007 is eligible.
USW Seeks Consensus
on CT-based Lung Cancer
The United Steelworkers union and its international president, Leo Gerard, on Nov.
9 called on industrial unions and health
organizations to collaborate on a strategy
for large-scale occupational lung cancer
screening. Gerard said a strategy meeting
was necessary after results of a 10-year national trial of screening methods to reduce
lung cancer deaths were released a week
earlier by the National Cancer Institute.
The study involved more than 53,000
current and former heavy smokers and
found annual screening with a low dose
helical chest computed tomography (CT)
scan lowered mortality due to lung cancer by 20 percent. “We are now presented
with an enormous opportunity to save
workers from dying from lung cancer,”
Gerard said. “Millions of workers have
been exposed to asbestos, silica, chromium, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, nickel,
and combustion products, and all of these
exposures are firmly established as causes
of human lung cancer.”
The union sponsors a CT scan-based
Early Lung Cancer Detection Program (cosponsored by Queens College (City University of New York) and the Atomic Trades &
Labor Council), which is funded by the
U.S. Department of Energy and screened
more than 10,000 nuclear weapons workers in three states between 2000 and 2010.
“Union health and safety leaders and others need to meet in the very near future in
Washington, D.C. to devise a strategy for
assuring that high-risk workers are among
the first to obtain the benefits of this new
screening method,” said Gerard.
According to the union, topics for discussion at such a meeting would include
identifying and notifying workers at high
risk of lung cancer; revising OSHA’s medical surveillance standards to include lung
cancer screening; encouraging NIOSH to
use its educational and research mechanisms to promote and apply the science
of lung cancer screening; engaging professional organizations, government agencies,
and health insurers to ensure high-risk
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_010_012_Newsline_v3.indd 12
workers are a priority for screening programs; and securing funding for CT-based
lung cancer screening.
Owner, Company Await
Sentencing in Rochester
Asbestos Case
A Rochester, N.Y., asbestos abatement company and its owner have been convicted of
eight counts of knowingly violating Clean
Air Act asbestos work practice standards,
and the owner was convicted of lying to
an OSHA inspector to hide the violations,
the U.S. Justice Department announced.
Sentencing is set for Feb. 25, 2011, before
U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa in
The owner, Keith Gordon-Smith, was
aware that asbestos was inside the west
wing of the Genesee Hospital complex
in Rochester when his company began
pre-demolition work in early 2007, but
he did not inform his workers of this,
provide protective equipment, or ensure
the asbestos was properly handled and
disposed, according to the indictment in
the case. Gordon-Smith and the company
also were convicted of six counts of failing
to notify EPA before begin asbestos abatement work at six additional sites in the
Rochester area.
Gordon-Smith had a contract with the
site owner giving him 50 percent of the
salvage value of all copper pipe and scrap
metal from the six-story building, which
contained more than 70,000 square feet of
asbestos, according to the Justice Department. He ordered the workers to tear out
copper pipes, ceiling tiles, and scrap metal,
which caused asbestos-containing material
to fall on the workers “like snow,” the jury
was told during the three-week trial. The
workers wore no protective clothing and
often wore asbestos-contaminated clothing
back to their homes after work, according
to the department’s account of the case.
The jury also convicted Gordon-Smith
and his company of causing workers to illegally remove and dispose of asbestos
during the actual asbestos abatement at
the west wing from May 2007 until February 2009.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York warned that anyone who was present in the west wing of the
former Genesee Hospital from Jan. 1, 2007,
to the present may have been exposed to
the asbestos.
12/14/10 12:33 PM
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Putting the Lid on Chemical Burns
Knowledge and protection can prevent
serious injury.
e did not wear safety gloves back in the
days when I was a student conducting
experiments in our high school chemistry laboratory. Fortunately, when I
splashed sulfuric acid on my forehead, I had the presence of mind to use water to immediately wash the
chemical from my skin, thereby preventing a serious
chemical burn.
Unfortunately, individuals working with chemicals in labs, processing plants, or during cleanup and
maintenance may not be so lucky because chemical
burns are not always obvious, and the individual’s reaction to a substance may be delayed. Chemical burns
(depending on the substance involved and the severity of the injury) can cause severe pain and suffering
and can result in disfigurement, long-term disability,
and even death.
Chemical burns are very different from heat burns
in that they generally produce no heat, although the
worker is likely to experience a burning sensation.
The severity of a chemical burn will depend on the
concentration of the substance to which the worker is
exposed and his or her length of exposure.
Symptoms of workplace chemical burns include
itching or skin irritation, pain or numbness, blisters,
and/or bleached, reddened, or darkened skin. In more
severe cases, victims may suffer from tissue necrosis.
Exposure to corrosive vapors can cause victims to
cough up blood or have difficulty breathing. Treating a chemical burn is a race with time because the
longer the substance remains on the skin, the deeper
the burn.
Chemicals That Burn
Safety personnel who select protective apparel and gloves should know not only the name
of the chemical to which workers are exposed, but also other important details, such as
the possible length of exposure and the chemical’s concentration.
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_014_016_schlatter_v4.indd 14
Chemical burns often result from exposure to strong
acids and bases that are caustic and can cause significant tissue damage during even brief exposure. Bases
typically result in more severe tissue damage than
acids because they are more persistent during contact with the skin. A relatively quick rinse often can
remove acids, but bases require a sustained body flush
for as long as 20 minutes to prevent further harm.
The chemical groups that follow are often used in
industry and can cause chemical burns:
Strong acids:
■ Sulfuric acid — found in drain and metal
cleaners, automobile battery fluid, munitions and fertilizer manufacturing, and many other products.
■ Muriatic or hydrochloric acid — used in products employed to clean brick and metal, etch concrete,
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and maintain pools. This is one of the most
corrosive acids.
■ Hydrofluoric acid — found in rust
removers and various cleaners; also used
in refrigerant and fertilizer manufacturing
and petroleum refining. This acid is extremely toxic.
■ Nitric acid — used in the production of numerous chemicals. This is a very
strong acid.
■ Phosphoric acid — utilized for metal cleaning and refining, fertilizer manufacturing and rust proofing. It is also found in
disinfectants and detergents.
Common bases or caustics:
■ Sodium hydroxide and potassium
hydroxide — used in drain and oven
■ Sodium and calcium hypochlorite —
used in bleaches and swimming pool chlorinating solutions. Sodium and calcium
hypochlorite are not only bases, but also
oxidizing agents and can cause burns by
more than one chemical mechanism.
■ Ammonia — used in many cleaners and detergents. Gaseous anhydrous
ammonia may be found in various industrial applications, including fertilizer
Protecting Against
Dangerous Chemicals
Gloves that provide protection against
chemicals are generally categorized according to the materials used and whether they
are supported or unsupported. In general,
I recommend vinyl supported or neoprene
supported gloves to protect workers against
many of the substances mentioned in this
article that can cause chemical burns.
The best way to prevent serious burns is to avoid contact
with dangerous chemicals. If
contact does occur, workers
should be wearing the proper
protection, including apparel,
gloves, goggles, and masks.
Supported gloves are made by dipping
a knitted or woven cloth liner into a glove
compound, such as nitrile. The liner fabric
then “supports” the compound and adds
strength. Some supported styles have continuous coatings to ensure protection from
chemicals. Supported gloves without continuous coatings, however, typically do not
Jeff Moreland, Ansell technology solutions scout in Pendleton, S.C., worked out a new template for testing cutresistant gloves that will clarify the test method specified in
ANSI/ISEA 105-2005 American National Standard for Hand
Protection Selection Criteria (
This ISEA standard ranks gloves’ cut resistance from
0 to 5. Manufacturers self-certify their own products,
Moreland said. However, ASTM oversees the test method
(ASTM F1790 - 05 Standard Test Method for Measuring
Cut Resistance of Materials Used in Protective Clothing, that is referenced in
ISEA’s specifications.
Moreland is subcommittee chairman for the ASTM committee that addresses the test method. He said manufacturers currently use an Excel spreadsheet and input their
data into it to get their ratings; the question was why ASTM
had not provided a spreadsheet for this. “I think it was no
one wanted to put all the effort into doing it,” he added.
ISEA and ASTM were not in sync on their revision schedules for this issue, Moreland explained. ISEA until now was
referencing an old ASTM method, which caused confusion
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_014_016_schlatter_v4.indd 16
provide the high level of protection needed
for applications with highly concentrated
chemicals. These gloves are usually designed to improve grip and protect against
cuts, abrasion, and other non-chemical
Unsupported gloves achieve their gloveshape by dipping hand forms directly into a
glove compound without a supporting liner or fabric. These gloves offer a broad spectrum of chemical resistance based on the
materials used to manufacture the product.
Below are specific materials that will
protect against chemicals that could burn
the skin:
■ Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC or Vinyl)
— often available in heavy supported styles;
protects against strong acids and strong
bases. Many PVC and vinyl gloves also protect against cuts and abrasion.
■ Neoprene — available in disposable,
medium weight unsupported, medium
weight supported, and heavy weight supported styles. These gloves are medium
cost and protect against common oxidizing
acids (nitric and sulfuric) and many other
■ Poly Vinyl Alcohol (PVA) — used
for medium weight supported gloves that
as new entrants used newer ASTM methods. With ISEA
interested in issuing its own, Moreland developed the
spreadsheet and also devised some suggested changes to
the ASTM method to ensure everyone tests the same way.
The ISEA draft document was at the final approval stage
when the 2010 National Safety Congress & Expo took
place in October.
Moreland said the new template allows manufacturers to test products to the old method and the new one,
which will be good for five years. This is important, he said,
because companies such as Ansell have a lot of historical
data from the old method. Those who want to test using
the old method still can.
The spreadsheet will clarify and simplify reporting, and
its format makes it easy for a user to know a glove’s protection level. “We’re providing this essentially as a service
to the industry,” he said. “Somebody had to step up and
say, ‘I’m going to do this.’” He said it is based on a template he’d created internally but is more user friendly than
the internal version and is set up for three samples. The
spreadsheet will be available to download and use from
ISEA’s site as the test method for 105 for cut protection.
The new method under-reports cut protection capability
a bit, he said. It will be more economical for manufacturers,
said Moreland.
12/14/10 12:34 PM
samples of highly concentrated chemicals for testing at a fabricating plant.
Phosphoric acid is an excellent example because it is a hazardous chemical in concentrated form. When it is greatly diluted, it
serves as an important ingredient in cola drinks. The diluted form
is obviously much less toxic than the concentrated form.
Many manufacturers and universities offer chemical resistance
guides to help laboratories and manufacturing plants select gloves
and clothing that provide the level of protection required against
specific substances. Ansell’s SpecWare® application, available free
at, is an example of a widely used chemical resistance guide.
The Race for Treatment
Prevention should be the first line of defense against chemical
burns. Plant workers and supervisors should know which chemicals are being used within their facilities and at what concentrations. They should also familiarize themselves with the Material
are highly resistant to many organic chemicals. PVA gloves are in- Safety Data Sheets for specific chemicals and the recommendations
effective against the acids and bases mentioned in this article. But for personal protective equipment. Treatment and antidotes must
they are very effective against organic chemicals, such as chlori- be readily available to workers.
nated solvents and aromatic compounds, some of which can cause
Any chemical burn, no matter what the size, should be conskin burns.
sidered serious because the extent
■ Sealed-Film (Laminate) —
Sealed-Film (Laminate) gloves are excellent of the burn often depends on how
represents one of the most chemlong the chemical remains on the
for hazmat applications in which the
ical-resistant materials available
skin. Every second counts.
and protects against almost anyMost industrial sites are
chemicals present may be in question.
thing. These gloves are excellent
equipped with emergency showers.
for hazmat applications in which the chemicals present may be in Workers should know the showers’ location and be able to reach
question. Laminate gloves fail to provide a close fit, a good grip, or a site within seconds. They should remove contaminated clothing
strong physical properties. Fortunately, laminate gloves are quite and remain in the shower for at least 20 minutes. An appropriate
thin and are commonly worn as liners under other gloves that can neutralizing agent (if available) should be applied to the skin.
protect in ways that laminate gloves cannot.
Burn victims should seek medical attention as soon as the burn
Aprons, overalls, coveralls and jackets are available that are has been completely flushed and all contaminated clothing remade of vinyl and other fabrics, such as CPC® polyester and No- moved. A quick response followed by the proper medical treatment
mex® Trilaminate, which is made with chemical-resistant fluo- could keep a chemical splash from becoming a serious, disfiguring
ropolymer film and polyester or Nomex. These garments protect burn.
the arms and torso against chemical splash.
Silver nitrate, lye, and lime also can cause chemical burns.
Nelson Schlatter, a Technical Applications Chemist with Ansell Limited, holds a degree in chemistry from the University of Delaware and
has worked in the PPE industry for more than 30 years. His current
An Ounce of Prevention
The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” position and technical background center on protective garments
certainly applies to chemical burns. The best way to prevent serious worn to prevent employee exposure to hazardous materials. He also
burns is to avoid contact with dangerous chemicals. If contact does focuses on the effectiveness of specific garments and their component
occur, workers should be wearing the proper protection, including materials to resist and otherwise prevent penetration by hazardous
chemicals. He has served on ASTM Committee F23 on Protective
apparel, gloves, goggles, and masks.
Because many chemical burns occur on the hands and arms, Clothing during most of his career, is active in the ISEA Hand Protecwearing protective gloves and apparel is a primary line of defense. tion and Protective Clothing Groups, and has written several papers
Safety personnel who select protective apparel and gloves should in this area. He addressed related topics at meetings of the American
know not only the name of the chemical to which workers are ex- Industrial Hygiene Association and the American Chemical Society.
posed, but also other important details, such as the possible length For more information about chemical burns and how to prevent
them, refer to “Ask the Experts” at
of exposure and the chemical’s concentration.
CPC® and SpecWare® are trademarks owned by Ansell LimCompanies sometimes over-specify gloves that protect against
chemicals, which can be expensive. A worker who is exposed to ited or one of its affiliates. ©2010 Ansell Limited. All Rights
a diluted chemical for a short period of time, for example, will Reserved. Nomex® is a registered trademark of E.I. DuPont de
require less protection than an individual charged with pulling Nemours & Company.
Many chemical burns occur on the hands and arms, which is why protective gloves and apparel are essential as a primary line of defense.
0111ohs_014_016_schlatter_v4.indd 17
JANUARY 2011 |
Occupational Health & Safety
12/14/10 12:34 PM
Fall Protection for
Wood Pole Climbing
With the right equipment and a combination
of three basic methods, it’s a cinch.
hen considering overhead work such
as pole climbing, it’s apparent fall hazards are present at all times. However,
these hazards are often overlooked and
underestimated as experienced climbers become too
complacent up in the air. Employers can help protect
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_018_020_petty_v3.indd 18
workers by addressing these hazards and providing
means to prevent accidents.
While bucket trucks are often used to work on
utility poles without climbing, sometimes climbing is
the only way to get the job done. Climbing a wood
pole requires skill that takes a person time to develop;
12/14/10 12:35 PM
Fall restrict uses the climber’s body weight to mechanically cinch
a device around a pole to stop the fall in the event of a cut-out
(when a worker loses contact with the pole).
however, regardless of skill level, all climbers are susceptible to falls. Fall protection
systems used on wood poles can add a degree of difficulty to an already challenging
task, although recent improvements are
making these systems easier to use, while
new options make wood pole fall protection more practical in the field.
A combination of three basic methods
can be used to help prevent fall accidents
when climbing and working on wood
poles: work positioning, fall arrest, and fall
■ Work
positioning allows the
climber to work hands free by securing a
positioning strap around a pole. This system requires the strap to be placed over
an object that is capable of supporting the
climber’s weight during a fall. Work positioning systems must limit the fall distance to 2 feet or less.
■ Fall arrest is now an option for wood
poles. On poles with significant obstructions, such as vines, foliage, or equipment
where linemen need more mobility, vertical lifeline systems allow the worker to free
climb without a second positioning strap. A
wood pole fall arrest system works by securing a rope positioning tube and dielectric
lifeline at the top of a pole. The worker raises
the tube from the ground and drops it over
a suitable anchorage point near the top of
the pole using an extendable hot stick tool
inserted into one end of the tube in order to
manipulate it into position. While the hot
stick is still extended, it is used to capture an
eye in the lifeline, which is then retracted to
the ground. A carabiner is used to choke the
lifeline back at the top of the pole. A rope
grab with an integrated shock-absorbing
lanyard is connected to the dorsal D-ring
of a full-body harness and lifeline, allowing the climber to move safely into position
around virtually any obstruction. This fall
arrest system provides easy, fast climbing
without requiring connections, disconnections, and adjustments each time a lineman
passes an obstacle on the pole.
Most linemen still use body belts when
climbing poles, but full-body harnesses
with integrated tool belts are becoming
more popular. Harnesses provide an advantage by better supporting the weight of
a climber’s tools, and they also make wood
pole rescue much safer.
■ Fall restrict uses the climber’s body
weight to mechanically cinch a device
around a pole to stop the fall in the event
of a cut-out (when a worker loses contact
with the pole). When used correctly, these
systems are effective and offer the highest
degree of versatility for the climber. Fall
restrict systems consist of two pieces: an
exterior strap and an interior strap. The exterior strap makes contact with the pole as
it is raised or lowered into position using a
“hitchhiking” motion. This strap also contains the adjustable hardware and points
that connect to the interior strap. The in-
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12/14/10 12:35 PM
terior strap pulls the exterior strap together to create the cinching
action. It is also the portion that connects to the climber’s body
belt and provides additional adjustment for the climber to control
his distance from the pole. To maintain 100 percent fall protection, fall restrict systems require a second positioning strap when
transferring over or under obstructions.
Fall Restrict Selection Criteria
When selecting a fall restrict system, consider the following:
■ Ease of use. Lack of adjustability is the most frequent complaint from fall restrict users. Many belts require long periods to
“break in” before the material is soft enough for the hardware to
slide along the strap. This problem is often compounded by a secondary loss of adjustability after the material becomes softened.
■ Ergonomics. Watch out for belts that require extra movements when transferring over obstructions. Taking the belt out of
adjustment and having to readjust it every time it is transferred
adds additional movement and time to the transfer.
■ Simplicity. Fewer mechanical pieces mean contending with
fewer problems and less weight.
■ Function. Not all fall restricting belts are created equal.
Some systems may not meet the stringent CSA-Z259.14-01 standard for this type of equipment. This certification should be a pre-
requisite when considering a fall restricting belt.
■ Strength. Look for ANSI Z359.1-07 stamped on the connectors; such gates are rated for 3,600 pounds in every direction.
This should be a consideration because these systems require multiple connections, and gate loading could become an issue if connections are inferior.
■ Versatility. The newest fall restrict systems offer the ability
to change the size of the exterior strap, which allows the worker
to climb large-diameter transmission poles without having to purchase a separate pole climbing system. The optional transmission
strap rolls up and takes up very little space for storage.
Effective fall protection equipment for workers who climb
wood poles has been one of the most difficult challenges facing the
electrical utility industry. Because of the latest equipment advances,
the feasibility of protecting these workers has become a reality and
should be considered a priority. After all, it is the employer’s responsibility to be aware of potential hazards workers face and provide the proper equipment to protect them.
Clifford Petty is the electrical utility specialist for the Americas with
Capital Safety, a leading designer and manufacturer of fall protection and rescue products including the DBI-SALA and PROTECTA
brands. For more information, visit
Circle 16 on card.
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_018_020_petty_v3.indd 20
12/14/10 12:35 PM
Encouraging Wellness
for Fun & Profit
Anderson Performance Improvement runs
its own wellness incentive program as well as
programs for clients. The benefits are obvious
for all concerned, CEO and President
Louise Anderson says.
0111ohs_021_022_incentives_v3.indd 21
aking a fun, team-oriented approach to wellness among its own employees proved to
be a winning strategy for Anderson Performance Improvement, a 16-year-old incentive
company that won a 2010 Circle of Excellence Award
from the Incentive Marketing Association for its 2009
program. The program focused on healthy diet and
exercise as a way to address weight loss, smoking, and
health risk factors such as hypertension, said Louise
Anderson, CEO and president of the Hastings, Minn.based company, which has about 100 employees.
She said the company submits one or two entries
annually in this award program and won one in 2005;
Anderson Performance Improvement initially submitted client cases but wanted to be as proactive as
its clients, so the decision was made to enter its own
program results, too, she explained. The 2010 award
is significant because this award program had not
recognized anyone for a wellness incentive until then,
Anderson said.
The team concept is essential to the success
achieved thus far, and individual results are not being
shared, she said. “It’s not so much about weight loss,
it’s about doing the right things every day. It’s awareness and focus, being aware of the foods you’re putting in your body,” she added. “You would not believe
how many pounds our team lost, cumulatively. We’ve
lost a lot of inches because we’re walking more, we’re
exercising more. It’s interesting; different things motivate different people. By having the awards, having
them see how good people look, it’s been really fun
to see the changes and see who jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak.”
Wellness incentives are highly popular these days.
Three Anderson Performance Improvement clients
currently offer them as part of their rewards and recognition corporate programs, she said. All three have
thousands of employees; one of the clients is an online
brokerage firm, another is a manufacturer, and the
third is an insurance underwriting firm.
The underwriting firm is using a traditional formula and started by taking a “snapshot” of its current
costs for diabetes and hypertension, which caused
leaders of the firm to strongly consider a weight reduction program. But because a small focus group of
employees showed the workforce would be reluctant,
the firm at this point is inviting employees to participate voluntarily, Anderson said.
The manufacturing client operates 14 locations.
At the locations where champions are actively engaging co-workers and groups to take part, its program is
working well. “They perceive that it’s impacting their
safety metrics. They know it’s impacting their back injuries. It’s really interesting to see,” said Anderson. This
client awards points to all employees for healthy behaviors, using the Anderson Enterprise Incentive Solution online rewards platform that clients have been
using since 1997. First used to boost sales productivity,
this tool was expanded in 2000 with behavior-based
incentives and employee recognition elements.
Anderson said her company’s mission is using
technology to ease customers’ ability to deploy incentives and to use rewards and recognition for targeted
behavior. “That’s really what drove me to start the
business,” she said, “because if you can reward and
recognize for the behaviors, you’re definitely going to
hit your end goals. Technology’s made it a lot easier
to track what’s happening and easier for everybody to
reward and recognize for behavior, if that’s what the
organization wants to do. It fits right in with wellness,
as well.”
Going Back to the Playground
Helping Anderson Performance Improvement and its
employees to get the most out their wellness program
is a Carlsbad, Calif.-based company named Sonic
Boom Wellness Inc. that basically tries to make wellness viral among the employees of its clients.
Participants take part in walking meetings, where
they conduct a meeting while the group walks around
the building. Sitting against the wall in a meeting or
conducting a standing meeting with exercises included will earn points. “Or parking furthest away, which I
challenge everyone to do, and then I periodically walk
JANUARY 2011 |
Occupational Health & Safety
12/14/10 7:58 PM
around and put scratch-and-win cards on
the windshields,” Anderson said.
She said employees’ swimming, running, walking, and other activities show
up in the tracking charts. They also earn
points through the Challenge-of-the-Day
and other contests, including Weight-Loss
Warriors for teams or individuals. Sonic
Striding equips participants with small
pedometers that wirelessly upload their
activity constantly — steps taken, distance
covered, calories burned — to receivers
placed throughout the company’s facilities,
including remote locations. A participant
earns points for being recognized by someone else for doing something healthy.
Global contests are offered for entire
companies, but a new program from Sonic
Boom Wellness named Joust will allow
participants to create their own automated
contests, said Danna Korn, the enthusiastic
CEO and co-founder of Sonic Boom Wellness, which has been in business for about
three years.
Korn said using Sonic Boom’s programs
is like being back on a school playground
again: Participants work with their buddies, friendly rivalries develop, and social
networking moves into high gear. “Wacky
wellness works. We have them thinking like
kids again,” Korn said. “We make it fun so
it’s sticky, it’s engaging. It’s a perfect wellness program.”
Anderson Performance Improvement
runs six-month heats that are individual,
group, or family challenges, having started
its wellness program in September 2007.
Anderson said employees have redeemed
their points for rewards such as a treadmill
incorporating a workstation, gourmet coffee machines, living room furniture, jewelry (one chose diamond earrings, another
a pearl necklace), large-screen TVs, and
home electronics. The company offered a
family golf outing in addition to the prizes.
She said her company has not calculated its return on investment in terms of
dollars and cents saved. Instead, they see
it as a way to reduce the use of paid sick
days and know it pays for itself. “We have
a client that doesn’t do ROI on its recognition/wellness program on which they
spend hundreds of thousands of dollars,”
she said. “They just know they’re benefiting
from have satisfied, healthy employees. We
looked at all the indicators and decided we
wouldn’t put a dollar value to them. They
were all more positive.”
“Due to the awareness, we don’t have
ice cream and cake any more for birthday
parties. We don’t have doughnuts for our
weekly meetings,” she explained. “We have
yogurt, and fruit, and granola. Instead of
having a basket full of candy at Halloween,
we had a nice variety of fruit.”
Jerry Laws is editor of Occupational Health
& Safety.
Anderson Performance Improvement
Sonic Boom Wellness Inc.
Incentive Marketing Association
2010 Circle of Excellence Awards
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Push Harder
The AHA’s new 2010 Guidelines focus
on chest compressions.
very five years, the American Heart Association (AHA) updates the “Guidelines for
Emergency Cardiac Care.” This time around,
the changes are slight but very focused on
CPR chest compressions. In the past, effects on rescue protocols and the workings of automated external
defibrillators (AEDs) have called for more obvious
changes. The regular reassessment and improvement
of resuscitation therapies for the immediate treatment
of cardiac arrest victims actually takes place globally
through an organization called the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, or ILCOR.
AHA is one of eight regional bodies that participate in ILCOR’s process of revising Emergency Cardiac Care therapies and protocols by arriving at an international consensus in which 365 researchers from
29 countries have sifted through and reviewed all of
the latest research to determine what it all must mean.
The latest result, published in October, constitutes
evidence-based medicine at its best.
The changes introduced back in 2005 brought
new emphasis to the importance of cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) when resuscitating a victim of
cardiac arrest. They doubled the chest-compressionto-rescue-breathing ratio from 15-to-2 to 30-to-2.
They doubled the CPR interval between heart analyses from one minute to two, and they got rid of “three
stacked shock” technology in favor of a single shock
(with no further analysis to see if a second, or even a
third, shock might be needed). These changes caused
all AEDs to undergo some level of modification to accommodate the new changes.
The New 2010 Guidelines
In its latest round, AHA has adjusted the protocols in
areas that will not affect many AEDs. Clearly, however, AHA intends to change significantly the behavior
of rescuers by calling on them to start chest compressions sooner, do more of them, and, most important,
push harder with every compression.
Ever since 1992, AHA has said CPR chest compressions should be 1.5 to 2 inches deep. I was once
asked by a scientist well versed in the evidence on
which the Guidelines rest if I knew how the compression depth of 1.5 to 2 inches was arrived at. I admitted
I did not know. “Well, let me tell you,” he responded.
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_024_026_constantine_v3.indd 24
“They were pulled out of thin air. Good research may
one day prove us right or wrong, but we had to start
somewhere. Rescuers need protocols, and they can’t
always wait on the evidence. People’s lives are at stake.”
Well, the evidence has now begun to present itself. In its Executive Summary, AHA presents what
it considers the key changes for lay-rescuer Basic
Life Support.1
First, when presented with an unresponsive adult
who is not breathing normally (where gasping should
not be considered normal), rescuers should begin CPR
immediately without making any attempt to “look, listen, and feel” or clear the airway before starting chest
compressions. The reason: Inconsistent performance
by rescuers and loss of early chest compressions reduces the quality and quantity of chest compressions.
Second, “hands only” CPR (compression only
without any rescue breathing) should be encouraged
among untrained rescuers. The reason: Research
shows that survival improves when untrained, or unsure, rescuers are encouraged to do only chest compressions without any rescue breathing.
Third, whenever CPR is performed, chest compressions should always precede clearing the airway,
checking breathing, and delivering rescue breath. The
“A-B-C” rescue (Airway-Breathing-Compression) has
now become the “C-A-B” rescue. The reason: Chest
compressions are more important than rescue breathing and need to be started as soon as possible.
Fourth, “there is an increased focus on methods
to ensure that high-quality CPR is performed. . . . The
recommended depth of compressions for adult victims has increased from a depth of 1½ to 2 inches to a
depth of at least 2 inches.” The reason: Research shows
survival improves when rescuers compress 2 inches or
more, compared with those who compress only more
than 1.5 inches. What a difference a half inch makes.
Further, AHA also cites as a key point of continued
emphasis that rescuers should “minimize interruptions in effective chest compressions” because “any
unnecessary interruptions in chest compressions . . .
decreases CPR effectiveness.”
The overall thrust of these recommendations is
clear: Research shows that more than anything else,
what can improve survival from cardiac arrest is chest
compressions, especially ones that are “high quality.” If
you want to, forget about rescue breaths. Don’t waste
time checking circulation or taking a pulse. Start compressions immediately. If you try to open the airway
and check breathing, do so only after completing at
least 30 all-important chest compressions.
But the most important new element in these recommendations is the move to deeper chest compressions “at a depth of at least two inches.” The evidence
has begun to show that compressions at 2 inches and
beyond lead to significantly better outcomes than
those that reach only an inch and a half. Some animal
studies show that this difference of only one half inch
12/14/10 12:36 PM
can literally make the difference between life and death.
As the scientist I referred to above said, ILCOR and AHA “had
to start somewhere” when they came up with their original protocol
in 1992, but now we know more. Henceforth, all rescuers should
achieve compressions of at least 2 inches on every compression.
The key, major, most important, number one Guideline change
for 2010 is therefore simple: Do as many chest compressions as possible, and push harder! This change applies even when using an AED.
Indeed, in the chapter on “Electrical Therapies” in a section
headlined “Defibrillation Plus CPR: A Critical Combination,” the
Guidelines note that:
“In the 1990s, some predicted that CPR could be rendered obsolete by the widespread development of AED programs. However,
as . . . more first responders were equipped with AEDs, survival
rates from Sudden Cardiac Arrest unexpectedly fell. This decline was attributed to reduced emphasis on CPR, and there is
growing evidence to support this view.”2 [Emphasis added.]
The new 2010 Guidelines make it very clear that what saves lives
is the combination of CPR with the use of an AED, that the most
important part of CPR is chest compressions, and that chest compressions need to be at least 2 inches deep. In short: Push harder.
Automated External Defibrillator Compliance
But what about AED compliance? Will AEDs have to be modified
to comply with the latest 2010 Guidelines?
Philips announced in November 2010 that its AEDs are al-
ready compliant without any changes to what it offers currently.
Its Advanced Life Support (ALS) defibrillator — the MRx used by
medical professionals — will, Philips indicates on its website, need
some minor modifications to become compliant. All of Zoll’s defibrillators — the E Series® and R Series® for Advanced Life Support
professionals and the AED Pro® and AED Plus® for EMTs and lay
rescuers — also will need to be modified to comply fully with the
2010 Guidelines.
These defibrillators need modification because they can detect
chest compression depth. Unlike other AEDs, these defibrillators let
users see the quality of their CPR by indicating visually, in real time
on the display screen, the depth of every compression and by audio
prompting for adjusting the rate and depth of their chest compressions. (Actually, rescuers using one of these defibrillators can today
adjust their compression depth to be more than 2 inches, and therefore be 2010 compliant, merely by watching the compression depth
gauge present on the display screen.)
Clearly, compared to what occurred in 2005, the changes for
2010 are rather slight, although the move to compressions that at
least 2 inches deep is radical — particularly if you happen to be
the rescuer called on to perform them. Less clear is whether other
AED manufacturers will follow Philips’ lead or not by announcing
that what they offer today is already compliant. It seems likely most
will, since they do not provide real-time feedback on the depth of
compressions. Some other AEDs, though they cannot detect chest
compression depth, do provide rhythmic audio prompting to help
Your employees should be able to save a colleague’s life.
Easy-to-use for
rescuers of all
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0111ohs_024_026_constantine_v3.indd 25
12/14/10 12:36 PM
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rescuers with their rate of chest compressions. For depth, however, they provide
only a prompt that notes how deep to push.
These prompts may need to be modified
very slightly.
The 2010 changes will change things
somewhat, particularly in the area of training (where the rules for clearing the airway
and checking breathing have been simplified and rearranged). The 2010 Guidelines
will not, however, rock the world of AEDs.
Most of those in place today will need no
modification to comply. Those that do require modification will undergo changes
that focus on chest compression depth.
Moreover, the modification process can, for
most manufacturers, be accomplished in a
few minutes using a PC or memory card at
the user’s site.
Naturally, users who are concerned
about the accuracy and effectiveness of
their training and their equipment will
want to comply as fully as possible and as
soon as possible. However, no one should
expect an immediate transformation.
Manufacturers may need several
months to introduce changed products.
Based on the experience of 2005, in many
cases upgrades will be easily applied to
AEDs purchased prior to the recent changes. Those who already have AEDs in place
should visit their manufacturer’s website.
The American Heart Association itself has
announced that training materials required
for compliant training will not be available
until the April-June 2011 timeframe. In
the meantime, its website cautions there is
nothing “wrong” about following the previous 2005 Guidelines:
“The recommendations in the 2010
AHA Guidelines for CPR & ECC confirm
the safety and effectiveness of many existing
approaches, acknowledge that some may
not be optimal, and introduce new treatments that have undergone intensive evaluation. These new recommendations do not
imply that care involving the use of earlier
Guidelines is either unsafe or ineffective. .
. . People should continue to perform CPR
just as they were last trained and follow the
prompts of the AED that they are using.”
No one should hesitate to establish or
extend an AED Program because newly
issued Guidelines may not yet have been
incorporated. No one should postpone
training in CPR and Emergency Cardiac
Care until the very latest version is available from the AHA. A victim of cardiac
arrest needs the same defibrillating shock
today that was needed yesterday. Acquiring the ability to deliver that shock, and to
perform the best possible CPR, is much less
dangerous than waiting for the “perfection”
provided by the new 2010 Guidelines.
Note: For more information about the
AHA’s 2010 Guidelines, visit its website at and select the link for Learn
more about the new CPR guidelines.
Hank Constantine is Director of Marketing
for AEDs at ZOLL Medical Corporation. He
can be reached at [email protected]
1. 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines
for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care.
Circulation 2010;122;S643.
2. Ibid. S706.
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Circle 17 on card.
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_024_026_constantine_v3.indd 26
12/14/10 12:36 PM
Survivor Spreads
the Word on AEDs
eing saved with an AED is a life-changing
experience. No surprise, the survivors typically become the devices’ most fervent evangelists.
Gerald Elliott, who retired as a detective in May
2010 with the Durham Police Department, was saved
with an AED in the early evening of Aug. 15, 2009,
as he directed gametime traffic outside the Durham
Bulls’ downtown stadium.
Elliott, 43 years old and off duty at the time, was
very fortunate. “All of a sudden, everything just went
bright white, like somebody turned a spotlight on
right in my face. That’s the last thing I can remember.
At that point, I fell just like a tree being cut down.”
A Bulls worker who saw Elliott falling dived and
cradled his head before it struck the pavement. When
Elliott hit the ground, the impact knocked his gun
from his holster and his police radio popped off his
belt. The worker grabbed them and then turned Elliott over.
“He noticed that I already had turned blue,” Elliott
recalled. “My skin had turned bluish-gray and my eyes
were wide open, fixed. He said my lips had turned dark
blue, and that scared him to death. He grabbed my police radio and got on it, said ‘I need help.’”
EMTs on duty at the park initially went to another
part of the stadium in response to the call, but soon
they reached Elliott’s side and used an AED to revive
him. He said he’s been told that about six minutes
elapsed between his collapse and the AED shocks that
restored his heart’s rhythm.
Three weeks earlier, he had undergone his third
back surgery. When he was hooked up to a heart
monitor that day, an anesthesiologist advised him he
had a slight heart murmur and suggested he have it
checked by a physician. He can laugh about it now.
“Well, I had it checked out,” he said.
Elliott said he has had no health issues since the
August 2009 incident.
Story Inspires Other Officers
Officers in the Durham PD receive in-service training annually on cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and
their training has included AED operation for the past
three years, said Elliott. “The instructor told us these
are idiot-proof, you just listen to the instructions and
look at the pictures and follow what they say,” he said.
“Good thing, too.”
Almost one year to the day after his own event,
0111ohs_027_gelliott_v4.indd 27
liott himself used an AED to help someone who had
collapsed at another Bulls baseball game. “We started
CPR on the guy, and we yelled for the EMT to bring
the defibrillator down. And we got that guy’s heart
started. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it, but he had
had several open heart surgeries and had a pacemaker
Malls throughout the Durham area have installed
AEDs, and both security personnel and store employees in the malls have been trained, he said. He now
checks routinely when he’s visiting a building to see
whether AEDs are present on site. “There are a lot more
places that need them, I know that for sure,” he said.
Because of his event, the department required Elliott to retire in May 2010. But his story has been recounted many times to the department’s officers — it
has about 500 sworn officers — and has turned them
into believers, he said.
Sgt. Dale Gunter of the Durham PD said the department currently has 16 AEDs in service — two
in each supervisor’s car and two in the department’s
training division. The funding for them, roughly
$25,000, came from asset forfeiture. “There’s a little
poetic justice in there — blood money that was used
to kill people originally is now used to save people,”
Gunter said.
“Eventually, we would love to put one in every
vehicle,” he added, saying that would mean placing
an AED in each of about 60 patrol cars. “Doing that
would increase our response to cardiac arrest or any
emergency call exponentially,” Gunter said.
It’s a question of money during an era of tight budgets. “If you can save one life,” said Gunter, “the thing
has paid for itself.”
Planning for the Future
Elliott, now 45, retired after 23 years of service. He
said he had worked previously for the Durham County Sheriff ’s Office and hopes to rejoin it. He also hopes
to see automated external defibrillators much more
widely deployed.
“I’ve told my wife that if I ever won the lottery,
honest to goodness, one of the things I’d do if I ever
won a bunch of money was to make sure these things
were everywhere — in schools, churches, all over the
place,” he said. “I think that would be an awesome
project to undertake.”
Jerry Laws is editor of Occupational Health & Safety.
JANUARY 2011 |
Occupational Health & Safety
12/14/10 12:36 PM
Better Identification of
Fire Hazards Needed
Stakeholders seeking control measures to
minimize the probability and severity of
these incidents should work more closely
with the fire service.
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_028_031_astad_v3.indd 28
ombustible dust-related fires occur with
alarming regularity throughout the manufacturing, non-manufacturing, and utility
sectors. In 2008 following the tragic Imperial Sugar Refinery dust explosion, the Combustible
Dust Policy Institute discovered through researching
media accounts that more than 80 percent of combustible dust incidents were fires. The majority of these
fire incidents sustained minor property damage with
no fatalities and minimal injuries.
12/14/10 12:37 PM
Normalization of Deviation
A troubling situation arises when nothing catastrophic follows
recurring combustible dust-related fires. Illuminating histories
of catastrophic dust explosions investigated by the U.S. Chemical
Safety Board (CSB) during the past eight years indicated that, prior
to deadly dust explosions, facilities experienced numerous nonthreatening combustible dust-related fires.
Fire service professionals, facility owners, occupational safety
managers, and workers misinterpret that the manufacturing process is safe following a minor combustible dust-related fire, especially when, in most instances, the small fire is suppressed by the
workforce with fire extinguishers and a fire department response
is not required.
This is a false interpretation that all is okay following these nonconsequential fires. The notion that through random luck a catastrophic dust explosion hasn’t happened yet further reinforces this
false interpretation. This train of thought is referred to as “normalization of deviation,” such as in the repeatable combustible dustrelated fires that seem a normal part of the process.
National Fire Incident Reporting System
On a much larger scale, the problem is not being thoroughly recognized at the national, state, and local fire service organizational
levels. In contrast, fire department personnel are the first to respond
to combustible dust-related fires. When fire department personnel
return to the local fire station following response to fires, they voluntarily report the incidents either manually or electronically to
the State Incident Reporting Authority, which in many cases is the
state fire marshal, utilizing the automated National Fire Incident
Reporting System (NFIRS 5.0). The State Reporting Authority then
forwards the incident data to the National Fire Data Center administered by USFA, the U.S. Fire Administration.
A problem arises in this national reporting system where
there are no data elements specifically identifying manufacturing process equipment involved in ignition of combustible dust.
If process condition fire hazards can’t be identified, then how can
they be controlled through administrative and best engineering
An endless, frustrating cycle continues and, as time goes by, the
fire department returns to suppress yet another repeatable, dustrelated fire where there are no injuries and minimal or no property
damage in most instances. Now, there is normalization of deviation among all stakeholders concerning the lack of comprehensive
combustible dust fire prevention and control measures. But let’s not
forget that all big fires or catastrophic dust explosions started out
as small fires.
Circle 18 on card.
0111ohs_028_031_astad_v3.indd 29
JANUARY 2011 |
Occupational Health & Safety
12/14/10 12:37 PM
Confined Structure Fires
Many combustible dust incidents are similar to confined structure fires such as in a
flue, commercial compactor, incinerator
overload/malfunction, contained trash,
cooking, and fuel burner/boiler fires.
Confined structure fires are fires in noncombustible containers that rarely result in
serious injury and have no property losses
due to flame damage, which is illustrated in
the loss/1,000 confined fires according to
NFIRS data..
In 2009, NFPA Fire Analysis and Research compiled data from the NFIRS 5.0
database in addition to NFPA fire surveys
and reported in “Structure Fires in Industrial and Manufacturing Properties” that 23
percent of equipment involved in ignition
(EII) were confined structure fires. Prior
to enhanced reporting measures of NFIRS
5.0, many confined structure fires were
considered smoke scares by the fire service
and not reported or were underreported.
Manufacturing process equipment such
as pneumatic ductwork and dust collectors
also are non-combustible containers. The
NFIRS 5.0 system of USFA does not include many types of manufacturing equipment involved in ignition (EII) of combustible dust-related fires. One has to wonder
whether incidents such as in the above process equipment are also considered smoke
scares by local fire departments.
Equipment Involved In Ignition
The helpful NPFA report on fires at manufacturing facilities also identified that 23
percent, or $107 million, of direct property
damage occurred at industrial and manufacturing facilities where the equipment
involved in ignition (EII) was unclassified.
This fact reaffirms that if equipment involved in ignition isn’t identified (unclassified) in incident reports, then corrective
control measures cannot be appropriately
Manufacturing fires are under the
heading of nonresidential fires, which also
includes storage in structures, public assembly, stores, offices, educational, and institutional facilities. USFA NFIRS structure
fire data for 2003-2006 indicated manufacturing fires accounted for:
■ 1.4 percent of structure fires
■ 0.2 percent of structure fatalities
■ 1.7 percent of structure fire injuries
■ 4.2 percent of direct property loss of
While it is good news that the fatality and injury count is minimal following
manufacturing fires, it should not deviate
from continued proactive fire prevention
and control measures so as to prevent future catastrophic events.
Reinforcing the idea that combustible
dust-related fires are a subset of all fires
and not a separate entity that has entirely
different heat sources than the ignition
of flammable gases, liquids, and vapors is
absolutely essential. Most importantly, the
only difference between these flammable
products and combustible dust is vast differences in ignition sensitivity, such as
minimum ignition energy (MIE) and flashpoint/minimum ignition temperature.
The CSB Dust Hazard Study
In 2006, CSB released its “Combustible
Dust Hazard Study” findings and proposed
recommendations to OSHA, manufacturing sector stakeholders, and the public.
This report was the direct result of the three
catastrophic combustible dust explosions
that occurred in 2003 in which CSB was
the lead federal investigation team seeking
root causes. The board noted in the report:
“… no federal or state agency keeps
specific statistics on combustible dust incidents, nor does any single data source
provide a comprehensive collection of all
these incidents.”
Process Fire Descriptors
NFIRS 5.0 reporting includes manufacturing fires that are classified as nonresidential structures. Combustible dustrelated fires in manufacturing facilities
would not be excluded from a NFIRS incident report. Quality of fire incident data
is continually improved through input of
state fire marshals via the National Fire Information Council (NFIC). A brief review
of the “NFIRS 5.0 Complete Reference
Guide” Fire Module provides excellent fire
descriptors concerning heat source and
factors contributing to ignition in regard
to all fires, including combustible dustrelated fires.
The list in Table 1 organizes the numerous fire descriptors from the Fire Module
into three main sections. This offers insight
into identifying combustible dust ignition
hazards concerning process materials, process conditions (equipment), and process
situations (ignition factors).
Process Materials
C-1 On-Site Material or Product Codes (food, wood, paper, fibers, etc)
D-3 Item First Ignited Codes (dust, fiber, lint, including sawdust, excelsior)
D-4 Type of Material First Ignited Codes (wood, paper, textiles, plastic, etc)
Process Conditions (equipment)
D-1 Area of Fire Origin Codes (processing/manufacturing area, assembly area)
E-2 Factors Contributing to Ignition Codes (mech, elec. failure, operational, etc)
E-3 Human Factors Contributing to Ignition Codes (asleep, unattended person)
F-1 Equipment Involved in Ignition Codes (shop tools & industrial equip.)
Process Situations (ignition factors)
D-2 Heat Source Codes (powered equipment, hot/smoldering object, etc)
E-1 Cause of Ignition Codes (unintentional, failure of equip or heat source)
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_028_031_astad_v3.indd 30
Readers of the study might be confused
by the above statement, especially because
the USFA National Fire Data Center collects specific statistics on all fires through
NFIRS 5.0. Leading causes of manufacturing fires include equipment misoperation
and failure. This reporting system was initiated in 1976 when six states piloted an incident reporting system that is now referred
to as NFIRS.
12/14/10 12:37 PM
The NFPA 901 Standard
NFPA has done a superb job for many
decades with dedicated technical committees diligently drafting combustible dust
industry standards that provide workplace
protection with fire/explosion mitigation
and prevention measures. One standard
of which many stakeholders might not be
aware is NFPA 901 Standard Classifications
for Incident Reporting and Fire Protection
Data. This standard provides USFA, state
fire marshals, and fire departments with
numerous fire descriptor and data elements
utilized in NFIRS.
The primary importance of NFPA 901
is that it assists in identifying fire/explosion
hazards through incident-reporting methodology. The NFPA technical committee
on incident reporting that incorporates
fire data descriptors was formed in 1963,
more than a decade prior to formal NFIRS
In contrast, the NFPA combustible dust
standards are specific to control measures.
A problem arises in identifying combustible dust hazards because NFPA 901 does
not provide a specific data element on item
first ignited of combustible particulate
solids such as combustible dust. Instead,
NFIRS utilizes the general fire descriptor
data elements of dusts, fiber, lint, sawdust,
and excelsior.
The problem is exacerbated when
NFIRS 5.0 does not require entering the
data element of type of item ignited when
the above, item first ignited such as dust,
is submitted in the NFIRS reporting form.
Yet it is extremely important to identify
the type of combustible dust, whether it is
wood, chemical, plastic, paper, metal, food,
etc., especially when all of these combustible dusts possess varying fire and explosion properties. How does one evaluate and
control the hazard if identifying the type of
combustible dust has been omitted?
A vision for the future is for all stakeholders who seek control measures to minimize
the probability and reduce the severity of
combustible dust incidents to work more
closely with the fire service. Begin by inviting the local fire department to conduct a
pre-fire inspection of your manufacturing
process that notes the process material,
conditions, and situations.
Initially, the combustible dust problem
is a local fire prevention and control issue
of maintaining life safety. It is secondarily
an occupational safety issue. Good housekeeping will remove the fuel load for a
catastrophic dust incident from secondary
explosions. However, combustible dustrelated fires and primary explosions will
continue because of the inherent nature of
the manufacturing process with materials,
operating equipment, and ignition sources
Only the probability and severity can be
continually minimized. A good start in the
hazard analysis is identifying the hazard.
NFIRS 5.0 provides an excellent resource
in this area. It will take much needed input
from all stakeholders for improvements in
combustible dust-related fire incident reporting, and perhaps this article will provide a basic roadmap.
John Astad is Director and Research Analyst
of the Combustible Dust Policy Institute of
Santa Fe, Texas. To contact him, visit www.
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Circle 14 on card.
12/14/10 12:37 PM
Noise Control: How to Plan for
OSHA’s New Interpretation
Designing to achieve the desired
reduction in noise without excessive
capital cost and negative operational
impact is often a delicate balance.
SHA is making noise about noise and industrial employers need to be thinking about
how they might retrofit plants as a result.
Industry has had nearly three decades
of relative peace and quiet with its noise control programs. Since 1983, OSHA has typically not cited employers who deployed personal protective equipment
and a hearing conservation program to address noise,
rather than using engineering and administrative
controls. The exceptions were for noise so loud that it
borders on 100 dBA when the most effective hearing
protection is used or in cases where the controls cost
less than an effective hearing conservation program.
In practice, controls are usually more expensive, so
citations for failure to use them have been rare. However, that could change.
Employers in construction and general industry
are likely to have a new category of expenses — and
potential OSHA citations — to worry about if the
agency’s “proposed interpretation” on noise regulations goes into effect.
That’s because OSHA now proposes to interpret 29
CFR 1910.95(b)(1) and 1926.52(b) as written.
These sections of the two noise standards are
almost identical. They say, “When employees are
subjected to sound exceeding those listed [in tables
within the standard], feasible administrative or engineering controls shall be utilized. If such controls fail
to reduce sound levels within the levels of the tables,
personal protective equipment . . . shall be provided
and used to reduce sound levels within the levels of
the table.”
The agency said administrative or engineering
controls would be considered economically feasible
“if they will not threaten the employer’s ability to remain in business or if the threat to viability results
from the employer’s having failed to keep up with industry safety and health standards.”
Lessons from the Past
Old-timers who started their careers in the ‘70s will
remember that OSHA and state agencies were particularly aggressive on noise control. Noise was a new
challenge for industry with few easy solutions.
Industries such as automotive that frequently used
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_032_035_taubitz_v3.indd 32
12/14/10 12:39 PM
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new machines and processes due to ongoing model changes had the opportunity to
apply the hierarchy of controls on new machines. This opportunity often afforded feasible and significant improvements. When
companies had engineers include requirements for noise reduction in bid specifications, it opened the door to get the “biggest
bang for the buck.”
Notice the term “noise reduction” and
compare it with “noise control.” Reduction
includes elimination or substitution, which
is typically feasible only in the concept and
design stages of procurement. If the opportunity to try new tooling or processes
is missed, all work done after the order is
placed becomes extra cost and retrofit. For
many, the integration of noise along with
other hazard eliminations and controls in
the design and procurement process was
the seed for the ideas of safety through design that began in the 1980s and continued
in the ‘90s. These concepts are consistent
with the current NIOSH PtD, Prevention
through Design, effort.
Design Tips for Dealing with Noise
During concept and design, engineers,
working with the supplier, should first focus on the concepts of elimination and
substitution. Typically, however, there is
residual unwanted sound, and noise enclosures can be added where necessary as part
of the integrated design. Some tips:
■ Where feasible, such enclosures
might only cover the noise source, thus
allowing access to other parts of the machine for planned — or unplanned —
■ Full machine enclosures require
more floor space and other considerations,
such as:
If the opportunity to try
new tooling or processes
is missed, all work done after
the order is placed becomes
extra cost and retrofit.
- Access by employees for tool change,
troubleshooting, and maintenance
- Lighting for employees to see the
- Ventilation for air contaminants
- Finding suitable materials for noise
abatement that did not pose a fire hazard
or maintenance problem due to materials’
absorbing air contaminates, such as oil mist
Designing to achieve the desired reduction in noise without excessive capital cost
The educational program for World of Concrete 2011 this month at the Las
Vegas Convention Center features sessions on trenching and excavation, preoperations planning for risk management, responsibility for safety on the job
site, and scaffold users’ safety awareness, as well as leadership and motivation strategies.
World of Concrete is one of the world’s largest construction conferences,
held annually inside and outside the convention center, with hundreds of exhibitors showcasing their products. More than 80,000 attendees have come to
the show in previous years.
Many of the safety exhibitors at this year’s Jan. 17-21 conference (visit for information) will be displaying fall protection PPE and equipment, including harnesses, lifelines, anchorages, scaffolding, hoists, work cages, and barriers. Others will offer eyewear, gloves, hard
hats, high-visibility and cooling apparel, hearing protection, and respirators.
One exhibitor offers in-vehicle safety cameras to help drivers avoid collisions
and backing accidents.
Conference organizers say World of Concrete is the most comprehensive
commercial concrete and masonry event offered. Its agenda includes industryspecific certifications and exams, interactive demonstrations and competitions,
the sixth annual Women in Concrete Luncheon & Forum on Jan. 19, and a
Greensite section in the Central Hall highlighting green products.
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_032_035_taubitz_v3.indd 34
and negative operational impact is often a
delicate balance. Let us assume that the cost
of an enclosure and the needed floor space
meet the test of feasibility. However, the
enclosure must also allow work to be done.
The more frequently employees must go inside the enclosure, the bigger the challenge.
If employees view opening and closing the
access doors as interfering with their work,
it may be a battle to have the doors adequately closed and secured each time the
task is concluded.
As with all mechanical devices, the
door or access point may get out of adjustment and not allow fast and easy securing
after a number of years. Remember that
any little crack will allow the noise energy
to escape. It’s easy to talk about maintenance, but noise enclosures require special
consideration for making sure sound does
not escape.
The Challenges of Retrofitting
Though challenging, applying the hierarchy of controls for new processes to new
machines is a cakewalk compared to tackling existing machinery and equipment.
Some of the additional challenges and constraints include:
■ The opportunity of elimination or
substitution is no longer an option.
■ The footprint of space allocated for
a machine or process did not consider the
space necessary to add an enclosure.
■ All of the problems discussed above
are magnified when dealing with existing
■ Costs of retrofitting are often much
higher than if included in design.
■ The efficiency of the control may not
be as good as when “designed in.”
Noise Measurement:
Compounding the Problem
First, noise is waste energy and travels in any
direction. Decibels are a logarithmic measurement with equipment that requires careful calibration. For those not familiar with
noise measurement, it is easy to misjudge the
effort it takes to make small improvements.
A 3 dbA (decibels using A scale) reduction is
a 50 percent decrease in sound power. That
is a huge improvement with little to show in
the way of measurement.
Establishing the eight-hour TWA
(time-weighted average) for an employee is
12/14/10 12:39 PM
It’s easy to talk about maintenance, but noise
enclosures require special consideration for making sure sound does not escape.
made simpler with today’s dosimetry technology, but identification
of the noise source(s) may not be so easy. Multiply how sound levels “add” due to multiple noise sources, and the problem begins to
compound. The sound power (noise) affecting an employee may be
coming from many different sources. Using accurate measurement
is key to prioritizing and developing feasible controls.
Recommendations for Industry
Make sure that you have an accurate “map” of all areas.
- The map should identify sound level exposures of employees.
- Whether integrated or a separate map, the sound power of
major noise sources also must be identified.
■ Ensure your hearing conservation program is in full compliance, including training, audiometric testing, identification of high
noise areas, PPE, etc.
■ Identify jobs where administrative controls can be used
(e.g., rotating employee assignments to lessen the time spent doing
work in a high-noise area).
■ Get engineers and operations personnel to identify potential
machines where engineering controls might be applied and assess:
- Technical requirements for noise reduction
- Cost
- Operational impact
- Floor space
- Ease of use by employees
- Maintenance issues
- Expected life cycle
- Return on investment and cost benefit analysis
- Feasibility using OSHA’s proposed new guidelines
The recommendations described above require significant
time and effort. If and when OSHA comes knocking on your
door, it is better to have a good offense and be prepared with
answers to their questions. If you are cited, you will be on the
defensive and facing a very complex — and costly — challenge.
Costly even if you were to prevail with your analysis. The time
to start is now.
Mike Taubitz is senior advisor at FDRsafety,
He was formerly Global Director of Safety for General Motors. He
may be contacted at 810-542-0885 or [email protected]
FDRsafety provides noise control assistance, OSHA compliance
services, temporary safety staffing, safety awareness training, and
expert witness services.
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0111ohs_032_035_taubitz_v3.indd 35
JANUARY 2011 |
Occupational Health & Safety
12/14/10 12:39 PM
Building In-House Capability
It’s time to look in the mirror and take
stock. By just providing what the laws
and regulations require, we are by default
deciding we will do the least we can do.
ur employees are our most valuable
asset.” How many times have you
heard or read that statement? When
it appears in the context of EHS or
Safety programs in general, it usually is a prelude to an
explanation about “the new program” and how it will
help protect or ensure the safety of those valuable assets. The managers issuing the statement think, “Here
is what we are doing for them,” and the employees are
hearing “blah, blah, blah” and wondering when they
can get back to work.
It is part of the understanding between employer
and employee that has gone unspoken since the Industrial Revolution began. The Employer needs to
comply with certain regulations and requirements,
and the Employee needs to comply with the work
rules. Many times, each in his own way really cares
about doing it right, but most times he is just trying to
“get by” and make everybody (the regulators) happy.
In the case of emergency medical care in the
workplace, this scenario usually takes the form of the
employer providing first aid kits, possibly an AED,
and bringing in a first aid instructor from some local agency and paying a few employees for the time
they spend in the class. The Employer has satisfied
the “requirement,” and the employee goes back into
the workplace with one of three possible mindsets: 1)
“Well, I am now ready for anything that can happen
(unless there is a lot of blood)”; 2) “Gee, if somebody
really gets hurt, I sure hope I’m out that day because I
don’t know if I can do this stuff ”; or 3) “Well, that was
an easy eight hours. Nobody gets hurt here, and it’s a
good thing because I really didn’t get much out of this
class besides the nap.”
If you are reading this and nodding your head,
then obviously you “get it.” If you disagree, then ask
yourself these questions: Does our first aid/CPR training take into account the hazards we have in our facility? Are our “first aiders” trained to mitigate a hazard
to an employee and keep him alive until professional
responders arrive? If you answered yes to both questions, then try this: Do you know for a fact how long
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_036_037_lindtveit_v4.indd 36
it will take for an Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance to arrive on scene? If your answer is six minutes or more, then you have some work to do. In six
minutes, brain death begins to occur in the cardiac arrest patient, and the chance of successful resuscitation
starts to fall precipitously.
Right now, take a look at your closest co-worker at
the desk or machine next to you and decide whether
you’re willing to watch him or her die because you
didn’t want to put the effort into a real response system for your company. Harsh words? Yes, truly they
are, and they may even appear to be alarmist. However, by just providing what the laws and regulations
require, we are by default deciding we will do the least
we can do.
If you came through all of those questions, here
is a final one: If I dropped right here at my workstation from an undetected condition, do I trust my coworkers to take care of me and keep me alive until a
paramedic gets here?
The Process of Change
In the EHS field, we are quite familiar with the cost of
safety or a lack thereof. We know the extended cost of
an accident far exceeds the cost of the initial medical
care. What we don’t often consider is the cost on productivity. It is known, but we don’t talk about it much
and therefore don’t understand it as well as we should.
If you’ve had a bad accident at your workplace, then
you know that pretty much everybody stops working.
They want to know who got hurt, how they got hurt,
why they got hurt, who is taking care of them, are they
going to the hospital, and the biggest question: Are
they going to be “OK”? If it turns out the injury was
severe and the person does not return to work the following day, the questions and conversations continue.
If it turns out that the incident became a fatality, there
is further time lost in all of the planning and support
required for the family and co-workers.
Of course all employers are sensitive to the needs
of their employees during times of serious distress
caused by the loss of a co-worker, and they would be
foolish indeed to ignore them. Nonetheless, one has to
ask, as callous as it may seem, whether anything can
be done to minimize these hidden costs. The truth is
that proper planning and training not only can provide better care for a group of employees, but also can
put their minds at ease that everything that could have
been done for a co-worker was in fact done and done
12/14/10 12:39 PM
well. This provides confidence and peace
of mind that the company is doing the
right thing by making sure it is prepared
to handle whatever may come up. There is
no second guessing or finger pointing and
minimal discussion of lawsuits, we hope.
It sounds good, right — but you are probably thinking this is going to be tough. It
won’t be easy, but you can break the task
into manageable stages because each one
will probably take some period of time to
accomplish or institute.
Step 1: Change the culture.
The average EHS Manager right now would
be thinking, “This all sounds good, but we
really need to consider how much care and
training we want to provide because we
might get sued.” This is where most companies drop the ball; they fool themselves
into thinking they might wind up in court
because they tried too hard.
The facts are just the opposite. Any employee who is trained in first aid, CPR, or
any other level of medical care is considered a Good Samaritan under the law and is
held harmless under the law, provided they
do not administer care in which they are
not trained. There is no available evidence
of a successful lawsuit against a Good Samaritan who stayed within his or her training guidelines. On the other hand there are
many cases of successful lawsuits against
employers for not having the proper care
available in situations where the possible
hazards were known to the employer.
So let’s agree right here that we have
debunked the issue of “trying to do too
much.” If you are in a more substantial
corporation, there are probably some legal
eagles available whose job it is to protect
the company and its employees from legal actions. If you ask them about putting
in a more aggressive plan, just make sure
you ask them the right questions. If you
ask about liability with a more aggressive
plan, they will probably take the easy way
out and advise that you keep things as they
are. But if you ask about the case history
on companies getting sued for providing
an insufficient or inadequate response, you
should get some very different answers.
If your lawyers still say “no go,” challenge
them to back up their opinion. In the end
you will change the flow in your favor; just
be persistent.
0111ohs_036_037_lindtveit_v4.indd 37
Step 2: Get some education.
So now you are thinking, “OK, so we won’t
get sued, but how do I make this happen?”
In fact, it’s not easy. Our system is set
up to let everyone “get by.” If you really
want to make a difference and raise your
response to a workable level, you have to
do some work. First, realize that most EHS
folks don’t have medical response training.
Think about this: The overwhelming majority of first aid and emergency medical
programs are created and overseen by people who have no medical training beyond
basic first aid (sometimes not even that).
Would your company have your Engineering Department managed by someone who had taken a drafting course in
high school? Why then are we having
minimally or even untrained people setting up our medical response programs?
If you are The Safety Dude at your company, you need to fill in this gap and get
some training. Don’t take the easy eighthour first aid class that is available locally;
chances are it is designed just to meet the
minimal regulations. (Avoid the classes
that are designed for teachers and coaches
to meet their minimum requirements because you’ll be right back in the same rut.)
As a professional, you need to understand this stuff so that you can make good
decisions. Do a little research and find a
Certified First Responder (CFR) Course.
Yes, it’s going to take about 50 hours out of
your life, but you will hold the skills for a
long time even if you don’t recertify when
it expires. In the meantime, you will have
gained an understanding of the human
condition and how to deal with it. You will
not regret the experience, regardless. If you
really want to go all out, find an Emergency
Medical Technician (EMT) class and take
that. Depending on your state, these run
around 150 hours and can include ride time
on an ambulance as well as clinical time in
an emergency room. Now you are getting
an idea of what your co-workers will be going through when your company calls 911.
One other option is to find someone
in your company who is already trained at
these advanced levels. Look for firefighters, rescue squad personnel, or others who
may have done that sort of work in the past.
These folks can be a huge help to you and
can provide information on how things
work “out in the world” and what your local
protocols and regulations might be. If you
are lucky and have these people in your organization, remember to be kind to them.
They have put a lot of time and effort into
their certifications, as well as the ongoing
time they put in to keep theirs skills up.
If you lean on them for support, you
might try to find a way to show your appreciation. Giving them a little paid time off
to take classes, recertify, or attend an EMS
convention would go a long way toward
keeping their support.
Step 3: Evaluate your program.
Once you have some training and understand what can be easily provided to your
co-workers, then you need to evaluate your
current program. A team format with two
to four members can work well here.
Does your current program match the
hazards present in your facility? Do you
have special considerations that require
special precautions, equipment, or training? When you took your class, you will
have met and worked with the people who
can help you work through these specific
issues. If not, call your local emergency service agencies and tell them what your challenges are; they most likely will be very eager to help close the gaps and help you out.
Keep in mind that the more your facility knows and is prepared for, the easier
the professional responders’ job becomes.
They are always anxious to build relationships that allow them to do their job more
quickly and effectively. That’s their mission.
They will be more helpful than you might
guess. Evaluation is a key component to ensuring you have reviewed the hazards and
considered how to deal with them. Keep
documentation records of your evaluation.
In the event of a serious event requiring
an investigation, this documentation will
show that you looked at all the reasonably
foreseeable hazards and included them in
your working program.
Tom Lindtveit serves as a volunteer Firefighter and EMT and is currently in the position of Captain of an EMS Squad. He is a
Pro-Board certified Fire Service Instructor II.
Currently, he is employed as a Manufacturing Engineer for a large corporation where he
also serves as an EMT when needed.
Part 2 of this two-part article will be published in the February 2011 issue of OH&S.
JANUARY 2011 |
Occupational Health & Safety
12/14/10 12:39 PM
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Occupational Health & Safety
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Enlist the Power of
Setting Expectations
In my experience, too many leaders
have well-intended but murky ideas
of improvement.
can do to elevate safe decisions and actions?
Select and use the best tools for efficiency and Safety?
Recognize when adjustments are called for due to changes
in environment/work/personal life, and then make effective
Serve as a peer catalyst for Safety improvement?
n times of threat and change, leaders can’t just adhere to the
3. For Everyone: Do they think of Safety and ergonomics in a
status quo. Their effectiveness stems from their ability to use
power to change the future. That is, helping everyone, from Ex- positive light? Are they receptive to Safety interventions helping to
improve their work and personal lives, rather than
ecutives to Workers, think differently, act safer,
obstacles to efficiently doing necessary work, nor as
prevent the “3 I’s” of incidents/injuries/illnesses, to
a means to show them how “wrongly” they operate?
work and live better today than yesterday.
Think and plan ahead and cumulatively, recogBut these general goals aren’t enough; too much
nizing that small actions changed can result in larger
like wishes and too little like directions. When
potential problems prevented?
navigating to a never-visited location, you’ll need
Once you’ve decided on highest-priority expectamore than “We have to move to a higher level,” “Try
tions (ideally, in concert with those from top to botharder,” “Think before you act,” or “Make the best
tom in your company), then how do you set these so
they spur actions? Certainly start with yourself (you
Think of expectations as consistent words and
can’t effectively create change for others if you can’t
actions that propel movement toward the desired
do this for yourself). Then:
direction. Harvard University has done extensive Do workers willresearch on the power of expectations, revealing
■ Examine. What might be getting in the way
that a leader’s view of others’ strengths, limitations, ingly embrace
of transplanting positive expectations? What kinds
and future actions tends to become self-fulfilling, what they personal- of disconnects/mixed messages do we still transmit?
consistently shaping their performance — for betdo I elicit courageous feedback to doublecheck
ly can do to elevate How
ter or worse. Or, as one corporate Safety Director
I’m not deluding myself?
reflected, “Treat people like donkeys, and you’ll safe decisions and
■ Cleanse. Unearth and neutralize existing negfind they’ll just bray.”
ative mindsets. This is definitely not a one-shot proactions?
In my experience, too many leaders have wellcess, especially when people have long-term memointended but murky ideas of improvement and, as a result, their ries and experiences that fuel their skepticism.
organizational staffers swim blind. In contrast, the clearer your ex■ Replant new and improved expectations. Remind others
pectations of improvement, the easier it is to communicate these that the current situation is different now, both internally and due
simply and understandably, the better for prompting discussions, to outside forces (explaining specific reasons why). Again, don’t
surfacing and dealing with objections, and the faster for setting up expect to just communicate this once and assume this plant has
accurate measurements of success.
Highest-level leadership starts within; in this case, by specifical■ Show others the importance — to them — of their expectaly elucidating what you expect to happen to move toward global- tions and then specific skills for learning to control these.
class Safety performance. Here are some expectations that point to
■ Reinforce positive expectations that are fulfilled by setting up
improved Safety performance and culture. Of course, the following and applauding milestone accomplishments (“milestones” = leadexamples are neither exhaustive nor customized. Employ these as ing indicators).
a starting point for clarifying your own situation-specific expectaOf course, setting and then communicating expectations
tional sets:
are just two steps up the Safety performance trail. Highest-level
1. For Executives/Managers: They’re seeing real Safety problems leaders don’t expect “personal responsibility” only from others;
and obstacles in their company, rather than having an idealized or they first shore up their own expectations of themselves. So begin
misguided view? Previous Liberty Mutual studies reveal executives within, looking at your own actions for what you can do differare out of sync when it comes to perceiving which injury sources ently to inspire and induce better performance in yourself and
cost the most (e.g., execs rated same-level slips/trips/falls as the others.
seventh-most-costly injury when, in fact, it was number two for
that year).
Robert Pater ([email protected]) is Managing Director, Stra2. For Workers: Do they willingly embrace what they personally tegic Safety Associates and MoveSMART®,
Occupational Health & Safety | JANUARY 2011
0111ohs_042_pater_v4.indd 42
12/14/10 12:40 PM
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