Bravery in Boston

Yesterday, as I followed the coverage of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing, I watched a video from The Boston Globe and was struck not only by the horror and chaos of the moment, but by the bravery of the first responders. As I write this blog post, reports indicate that three people died and more than 140 were injured in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing. Police officers, medical staff, marathon volunteers and others raced toward the site of the explosions only seconds after the blasts to reach victims. These responders couldn’t know if more explosions were on the way. They couldn’t guarantee their own safety in those moments. They […]

Survey Offers a Glimpse Into the Safety Culture of General Contractors

Attorney Howard Mavity, who co-chairs Fisher & Phillips’ Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group, said that a recent survey was distributed to the Associated General Contractors (AGC) – National Safety committee, AGC Chapters in Missouri, Texas, Georgia, the Carolinas and to a large percentage of the larger U.S. general contractors. Almost 100 contractors responded. He said that employers agreed that OSHA is opposed to safety incentive programs that are based on injury and illness rates because they believe that such programs discourage employees from reporting workplace injuries. “After dozens of six-figure awards, OSHA has made it clear that it views discipline for violating safety rules as often being a […]

EHSToday.com Interview: Attorney Howard Mavity Discusses Leading and Lagging Indicators and OSHA

Is OSHA Wrong About Safety Incentive Programs? Howard Mavity probably has tried more worker death cases than any other U.S. attorney. “I’ve tried 460-something death cases,” he notes, “and it makes you think about how they could be prevented.” According to Mavity, as many as 70 percent of the death cases he’s represented involved “skilled, experienced employees making errors. Anecdotally, these were ‘good people,’ with families, who were considered reliable and trusted by their coworkers. But they got nonchalant – casual –about safety.” Mavity, a partner in the Atlanta law office of Fisher & Phillips LLC, suggests that one of the biggest mistakes his clients can make is to allow repetition […]

Two Core Concepts for a Safer Workplace

As safety and health professionals, we continually strive for reduced injuries and illnesses. Instilling our mentality in the rest of the organization creates a culture that puts safety first, which is the smartest way to reduce these numbers and see a change throughout a facility. In the most effective workplace safety programs, two core concepts make up the mentality that is fostered throughout the organization: 1. Every employee is in the safety department. Safety begins at the top – as in the top of the organizational chart or the corner office. It’s difficult to get buy-in from all levels of employees if management doesn’t set the tone. Every employee, regardless […]

Practical Preparedness for Workplace Violence, Part 4: Top 10 Action Steps

During his presentation at an April 9 workplace violence seminar in Cleveland, Brent O’Bryan, SPHR, vice president of learning and development at Allied Barton Security Services, outlined 10 clear action steps employers can take to address and prevent workplace violence. O’Bryan, whose presentation stressed the importance of establishing a workplace violence policy and creating a threat assessment team to address potential workplace violence signs, offered the following 10 action steps for workplace violence prevention: 1. Conduct background screening for all new employees. At the minimum, O’Bryan recommends criminal background checks for new hires. Some employers may wish to conduct more comprehensive background checks, as well. 2. Watch for the warning […]

Rebecca Brophy names as new PSCo rental manager to lead team

Rebecca Brophy, rental manager, PSCo Commenting on Brophy’s appointment, Stuart Holmes, CEO of PSCo Group said, “Our customers appreciate an open and honest approach and we want to show that as part of our integral customer service. Rebecca is a perfect fit to ensure our Rental Team receives the right communications, training, motivation and support they need to deliver this.” Prior to joining PSCo Rental, Brophy spent six years in various retail managerial roles. She holds a BA Hons Degree in Business and Economics from the University of Durham. Your Comment Cancel reply

AMX adds to its education team with Peter Curtis

Peter Curtis, AMX Curtis joins the company with 12 years of sales experience behind him, gained at Performance Enclosures where he oversaw the development of the TeamMate brand. In his new role, Curtis will be responsible for the execution of sales strategy for AMX’s range of education products, which span control and automation, switching, distributed audio and video, and energy and technology management. Your Comment Cancel reply

Andy Allen joins B-Tech sales team

Andy Allen, B-Tech Allen has also worked for companies including Belkin and The Path Group. B-Tech, based in Daventry, Northants, has recently opened a subsidiary in Spain, to add to its European outlets in Belgium and Germany. B-Tech also has a presence further afield in Hong Kong, China and North America. Your Comment Cancel reply

Practical Preparedness for Workplace Violence, Part 3: When Domestic Violence Becomes Workplace Violence

Employers who view domestic violence as a personal problem unrelated to the workplace are dead wrong. In addition to impacting the victim’s productivity, absenteeism, health and emotional well-being, domestic violence can become workplace violence if the abuser seeks out the victim at work. This is a serious workplace safety concern that might be more prevalent than you think. “Any large or mid-sized company absolutely has this problem,” said Pamela Paziotopoulos, Esq., senior vice president of the workplace violence and intimate partner violence division at Forest Advisors. “I’m here to tell you no one’s immune.” Paziotopoulos, who for years worked as a prosecutor specializing in domestic violence cases, spoke at an April […]

2014 Budget Request Is Good News/Bad News for OSHA, NIOSH, MSHA

Good news for OSHA’s proposed 2014 budget, but serious cuts are ahead for NIOSH if President Obama’s budget is approved. Acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris April 10 released the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiscal year 2014 budget request, saying, “The Department of Labor’s fiscal year 2014 budget request is a critical ingredient in the Obama administration’s plan to grow the economy from the middle class out, not from the top down. The investments we make at the department will help create good jobs, upgrade workers’ skills so that they can succeed in those jobs, and make sure Americans can support their families with a decent wage […]