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Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog

Posts in safety technology and apps.

I recently read an article stating that over one-half of 250 HR respondents thought that the traditional employee survey is dead. Most respondents felt that the future of employer research was “qualitative” rather than “quantitative,” and 80% believe that mobile technology will become the most common way for employees to voice their opinions.

I enjoy articles that I discover in Plant Engineering because one of my (many) goals is to obtain more coordination between the safety, engineering, maintenance and purchasing functions. Management of Change (MOC) affects far more than PSM, combustible dust and guarding and interlocks. We should all try to understand the plant engineers approach and work to better integrate safety and sustainability into those decisions. The following article is one of several on Plant Engineering's site.

As apart of its enhanced whistleblower focus, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is launching an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) pilot program for complaints filed with OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program. OSHA’s ADR program is intended to assist complainants and employers in resolving their disputes in a cooperative and voluntary manner. OSHA’s Directive 12-01 released in October 2012 defines the alternative dispute resolution as an approach that will “involve the use of negotiation, mediation, conciliation, and arbitration.”

EHS Today has named 16 companies – Advanced Technologies and Laboratories International, Alberici Constructors, American & Efird LLC, Dresser-Rand, Great Lakes Construction Co., Honda of South Carolina, LP Building Products, Morton Salt, The Mundy Companies, Northern Improvement Company, Odebrecht, Raytheon, Rogers Corp. Advanced Circuit Materials Division, The Brock Group, Safariland LLC and Valdes Engineering – to the list of 2013 America’s Safest Companies.

Many employees work alone at a customer’s site or on the road with no immediate supervision or the presence of a safety professional to check for hazards. Some employees, such as journeymen electricians and certified crane operators are trained to operate with minimal supervision. Other workers may be less trained or less equipped to individually analyze their setting. Unfortunately, both types of isolated workers may violate OSHA standards, and preventing that misconduct is more of a problem when employees are working alone.

As I started typing about “Google Glass,” that 80”s song by Hall and Oates began to torment me over and over again …

Private Eyes
they're watching you
they see your every move
Private Eyes
they're watching you
Private Eyes
they're watching you watching you watching you watching you

I recently wrote an expanded article on “Why Employees Choose To Get Hurt” for Occupational Health and Safety Magazine, and while reviewing materials, came across a fascinating little gem in the The Auto Club Group’s “Going Places” Magazine. In addition to being my client for 30 years and the preferred travel agent of our Firm, I long ago discovered that AAA also leads the way on many auto safety issues.

Safety “apps” are a hot topic. Even techno-challenged souls use apps to spot check noise, avoid heat stress, or conduct basic safety inspections. OSHA announced in January, “Winners of an OSHA App Challenge.”

While recently teaching in the AGC’s Advanced Safety Management Training classes, I discussed safety “apps” with three recognized safety professionals: Experts and Safety Consultants Bob Emmerich and Jim Goss, and AGC safety head, Kevin Cannon. We did not critique or recommend apps, we simply discussed their effective use and impact on safety management.

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