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When you hire a painter to paint your living room, or get your neighbor to help you build a shed on your property, whether you know it or not, you have just become an owner-builder who has inherited enormous risk as a contractor.
Electricity is a vital source of energy in our daily lives. It powers tools, provides light and heat. Our working lives are much improved and efficiency greatly increased thanks to electricity. But what about those situations where power from the grid is unavailable. Well, portable generators are an excellent tool for such a scenario.
Safety culture is a term frequently bandied about in today's business world and sounds as trendy as "mission statements" were years ago. (Let's not forget "best in class". First time I heard this at a company meeting I looked around to make sure I hadn't mistakenly wandered into a dog show. Really?)
In the safety world hazard recognition plays a vital role in keeping your people safe from unsafe behaviors and/or conditions. Some hazards are easily recognized, for example an employee climbing up a 20 foot ladder with tools held in both hands. (This is a fall hazard by the way.) Common sense right? The safety guy who taught me safety had a great response to this attitude, "Few people have any sense (read knowledge) in common (read shared alike)". So while some safety hazards are immediately recognizable others require training to spot and avoid. Training is a key method in avoiding the "Ostrich Zone". One such hazard is Hydrogen Sulfide. You don't want to bury your head facing this hazard. (Won't do much good anyway, Hydrogen Sulfide is heavier then air!)
"If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.", so said Laurence J. Peter, a professor at the University of Southern California whose works touched the business world. (He is well known for the "Peter Principal".) Peter's above quote essentially points out that action lacking a clear objective will likely lead to unwanted or unintended consequences.
Hazard recognition plays a vital role in keeping employees safe. Some hazards are easily recognized, for example an employee climbing up a 20-ft ladder while holding tools in both hands is an obvious fall hazard. While some safety hazards are immediately recognizable, others require training to spot and avoid. One such hazard is hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Training is a key method to avoid the "ostrich zone." You do not want to bury your head when facing this hazard.
When personal injury events occur legal negligence actions may arise. Common law negligence is established by plaintiff showing defendant owed plaintiff a legal duty, to conform to a standard of care, defendant breached that duty, plaintiff suffered injury and there is a causal relationship between the breach and injury. FN 1 But what sources of standard of care proofs are available? How does a litigant go about proving standard of care?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that between 1,600 and 2,000 amputations occur annually due to power press operation. Another 18,000 people receive less serious injuries annually. Injury statistics compiled by OSHA for the years 1975 through 1983 confirm these figures. These numbers are alarming and unnecessarily high. Power presses can be used safely when the presses are properly designed to minimize the hazard that the operator is exposed to.
Every year, approximately 3,600 workers are permanently disabled, and on average, one worker per day is killed, as a result of electrical incidents in the workplace.* To prevent these types of electrical injuries and deaths, building owners and managers should apply the safeguards included in NFPA 70E, the standard utilized by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for building electrical assessments. OSHA utilizes the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace to provide improved safety procedures for workers through proper warning labels, restricted access notification, personnel training and personal protective equipment (PPE). OSHA compliance will minimize workplace injuries, accidents, illnesses, equipment damage, production losses, and legal costs, which are all avoidable and unnecessary factors in any business.
OSHA was created through the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA's mission is to ensure worker safety by creating and enforcing safety and health standards. OSHA does many good things to help maintain a safe workplace, but manufacturers often try to hide behind the shield of OSHA, putting blame on an employer for unsafe machinery or working conditions, when often the machinery was never safe to begin with. Some standards promote safety and some standards protect the manufacturer from product liability law suits. Most industrial standards are voluntary, unless they are specifically referenced in a Code of Federal Regulations / OSHA standard. OSHA standards are Federally mandated and are enforced by the Federal government.