NFPA and ESPN’s Hannah Storm release PSAs on grilling safety

NFPA and ESPN’s Hannah Storm release PSAs on grilling safetySports anchor calls on Super Bowl grillers to play it safe January 30, 2013 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is collaborating with ESPN SportsCenter Anchor Hannah Storm on a series of home fire safety PSAs. As the Super Bowl approaches, these messages encourage the public to take care when using their grills. For PSAs and safety information visit, In December 2012, Storm was badly burned while preparing to cook dinner for her children. After wind blew out the flame, propane gas pooled on her grill and became an explosive fireball when Storm attempted to re-ignite it. Only the […]

Can Worker Safety Impact Customer Satisfaction?

A satisfied customer is a loyal customer, and a company supported by loyal, satisfied customers reaps a multitude of benefits. A recent study of employees at an electric utility company found that workplace safety may influence customer satisfaction, “suggesting that there are likely spillover effects between the safety environment and the service environment.” The study, which was conducted by the National Safety Council (NSC) and published in the Journal of Safety Research, studied 821 employees at a Midwestern electric utility company’s power delivery and customer care groups to consider how a company’s safety climate and workplace injury statistics might impact customer satisfaction. The study examined work groups at the utility […]

Federal Judge Accepts BP Plea Agreement in Deepwater Horizon Case

A federal judge today accepted the plea agreement reached between the U.S. Department of Justice and BP Exploration and Production Inc. in which BP agreed to plead guilty to felony manslaughter, environmental crimes and obstruction of Congress for the role the company played in the Deepwater Horizon explosion. U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Vance has approved a $4 billion dollar settlement between BP Exploration and Production Inc. and the U.S. Department of Justice related to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and its cleanup, in which the company will plead guilty to 11 felony counts of Misconduct or Neglect of Ships Officers relating to the loss of 11 lives; one […]

Internal Social Media Sites May Improve Worker Morale, Retention

Encouraging employees to merge their work lives with their social lives by using an internal social networking site at work can reduce turnover and improve morale, engagement and organizational commitment among workers, according to a new study from Baylor University. “For millennials, mixing their work life and their social life via an online social networking created positive emotions for the employees who use the system,” said Hope Koch, Ph.D., Baylor University associate professor of information systems in the Hankamer School of Business and study co-author. “These emotions led to more social networking and ultimately helped the employees build personal resources like social capital and organizational learning.” Koch suggested that such […]

Mining Company Sues Worker Who Reported Safety Concerns

Welder Reuben Shemwell filed a complaint against his former employer, Armstrong Coal, claiming he was fired for refusing to work in unsafe conditions. His former employer is suing him for making what it believes are frivolous claims. Whistleblower laws exist to protect workers who have been fired or otherwise punished by their employers for complaining about working conditions. Reuben Shemwell, a welder in Kentucky, says he was fired in September 2011 by a division of Armstrong Coal for complaining about workplace safety conditions related to confined space entry and refusing to work on machinery that had not been de-energized. His former employer countered, claiming Shemwell was warned three […]

Global Trends in Machine Safety Solutions

The growth of manufacturing along with new safety requirements in emerging countries spells a greater demand for machine safety solutions – and implementing machine safety systems can give manufacturers a competitive advantage and a positive public image, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan. “Safety systems monitor health of plant equipment to reduce its exposure to damage and lengthen its lifecycle,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Anna Mazurek. “In addition, they decrease the probability of work-related injuries, allowing machine operators to work more efficiently. This drives end-users to employ machine safety solutions.” Frost & Sullivan’s Strategic Analysis of Global Machine Safety Market research finds that the market earned […]

ASSE Takes Its Safety Message to Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s inaugural International Safety Leadership Conference, held in the capital city of Baku in December 2012, represents a step toward improved occupational safety for a country experiencing rapid growth in the oil and gas industry. During the conference, Azerbaijan’s Member of Parliament Rauf Aliyev and Karim Agayev, state supervision of construction, ministry of emergency situations team leader, invoked a popular quote from Azerbaijan’s former president, Heydar Aliyev: “It is much easier to prevent an incident than to deal with its outcome after it happens.” Significant projects in the Baku, Azerbaijan, region include the development of the Turkmenistan Nabucco gas pipeline being built to transport gas to Central and Western Europe; […]

The Future of the EHS Professional’s Role

As we embark on a new year and look forward to our future contributions in the safety world, we might wonder what the EHS professional’s workday will look like decades from now. If our current technological advances continue, it is not a distant stretch of the imagination to conceive a workplace that is far different from what we have today. The question is how different and what role will the EHS professional play? How Different Will the Workplace Be? Advances in nanotechnology will rule. It is likely that picotechnology will be in its advanced developmental stages. We will no longer be administered medications orally; a swipe across the back of […]

Defining Employer Retaliation in Whistleblower Cases

In the new study, “Retaliatory Disclosure: When Identifying the Complainant Is an Adverse Action,” researchers from the Indiana University (IU) Kelley School of Business set out to determine when public disclosure of a whistleblower’s identity, such as through an email, may be classified as retaliation. “When someone makes a complaint of discrimination that’s covered by federal anti-discrimination laws, you’re automatically cloaked in protection from retaliatory actions that could come in response,” said Jamie Prenkert, associate professor of business law at the IU Kelley School of Business Bloomington and the study’s lead author. “But what can be retaliatory is a broad-ranging continuum of actions that the courts don’t specifically define.” Prenkert, […]

EPA’s 2011 TRI Shows Air Pollutants Continue to Decline

EPA announced that total toxic air releases in 2011 declined 8 percent from 2010, mostly because of decreases in hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions. Total toxic air releases in 2011 declined 8 percent from 2010, mostly because of decreases in hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions, even while total releases of toxic chemicals increased for the second year in a row, according to the EPA annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report. The annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) provides the public with vital information about chemicals in our communities. The TRI program collects information on certain toxic chemical releases to the air, water and land, as well as information on […]