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Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog

Posts from February 2015.

As I finally flew home last week, I sat beside Jeff Smagacz, the owner of an engineering firm, RMG. Jeff explained that RMG spends 75% of its time analyzing manufacturing and distribution processes to make them faster, more efficient, require less employees … and to lessen employee exposure to ergonomic injuries. About 25% of their time is spent in more traditional “ergonomic work” like designing ergonomically efficient devices such as curved keyboards. I was struck by RMG’s approach to first address the overall manufacturing or distribution process, and do so to improve performance, rather than myopically focusing on one worker or task and addressing ergonomic issues.

Every winter, we see contractors or maintenance employees fall to their deaths through skylights concealed by heavy snow fall, as well as possibly inadequately protected. This post is solely for the purpose of reminding employers of this hazard. Typically, dealing with snow or related roof damage or leaks is what OSHA refers to as a “non routine hazard.” Ensure that your employees going on the roof are aware of this hazard and proper safety procedures, and that you alert outside contractors about all hazards.

I’m a conservative free market, individual rights oriented, gun owning, evangelical leaning person who grew up in the hills of North Georgia. I deal with the Federal and State government every day and I believe that private organizations can better handle many government tasks. Have I established my credentials so that I can make the following statement?

Crazy as it seems, highly publicized Pandemic, Ebola and now Measles concerns are good for the U.S. Each time our short attention span is directed to the latest disease concern, we briefly recognize the seriousness of such concerns and improve national and individual capacity to respond. As a result of the embarrassing first responses to Ebola, the government and our health care systems are far better prepared for future threats. Similarly, multiple influenza pandemics have raised our awareness of the importance of proper hand washing and the value of vaccines, even if this year’s flu vaccine is not a perfect match. On the global front, some diseases should rightly be all but gone and completely gone from the U.S. So it’s a rude awakening to hear about over 100 measles cases occurring in the last month, many of them apparently transmitted from one of my favorite escapes – Disney Land.

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