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Have We Learned Anything About Safety Over the Last Fifty Years? (Nov/Dec-22)
OSHA Annouces 2021 Top 10 Frequently Cited Standards (Sep/Oct-22)
Have You Conducted Your Periodic Lockout & Tagout Audit? (Jan/Feb-22)
Workplace Violence (Jul/Aug-21)
Do You or Your Supervisors Really Care About Worker Safety? (May/Jun-21)
Creating A Safety Culture (Nov/Dec-20)
Before You Purchase New Machinery (Sep/Oct-20)
Do You or Your Supervisors Really Care About Worker Safety? (May/Jun-20)
OSHA Issues Interim Guidance to Help Prevent Worker Exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Mar/Apr-20)
Have You Recently Conducted Your Required Safety & Health Program Audits? (Nov/Dec-19)
Does OSHA Cite Employers Equally? (May/Jun-19)
Are You Ready For The New Year? (Mar/Apr-19)
Creating a Safety Culture Means Staying Informed (Nov/Dec-18)
Safe Lifting Techniques (Sep/Oct-18)
Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Jul/Aug-18)
Do You Know How Old Your Tires Really Are? (Jan/Feb-18)
Risk Assessment & Premise Liability Insurance (Nov/Dec-17)
Forklift Safety – You Can Save A Life Today (Sep/Oct-17)
Protect Your Employees from Heat Stress Related Injuries (Jul/Aug-17)
Lockout-Tagout from a Manager’s Perspective (May/Jun-17)
Do Your Employees Really Know How to Use Personal Protective Equipment? (Mar/Apr-17)
OSHA & Lockout/Tagout (Nov/Dec-16)
OSHA Increases Their Penalties Towards Employers (Jul/Aug-16)
Do You Know What Your Experience Modification Rate Is? (May/Jun-16)
Machine Safety (Sep/Oct-15)
Lockout, Tagout & Tryout – Are You in Compliance? (Jul/Aug-15)
Forklift Safety Practices (May/Jun-15)
Using the Right Power Saw to Cut Plastic Materials (Mar/Apr-15)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-15)
Ergonomics (Sep/Oct-14)
Respiratory Protection . . . Does Your Program Protect? (May/Jun-14)
First Aid Program (Mar/Apr-14)
Working with Composite Materials Safely and Preventing Dermatitis (Jan/Feb-14)
Preventing Winter Slips, Trips and Falls (Nov/Dec-13)
The Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication – Are You Ready For It? (Sep/Oct-13)
Safety & New Employee Orientation (Jul/Aug-13)
Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety (May/Jun-13)
Posting of OSHA Notices (Jan/Feb-13)
Staying Safe This Winter (Nov/Dec-12)
Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
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SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Terror In The Skies Revisited

During some recent trips I was shocked at what I saw while I was flying on a large airline. Before I tell you what really bothered me on that flight, let me take you back to September11, 2001.

Remember that day? Remember how shocked we all were when we saw those two airplanes hit the twin towers in New York City? Remember how other people gave their lives and when the Pentagon was struck by the airplane? Well I do. I remember walking into my office and there it was on every news channel. America was under attack. I saw the planes hit the towers and I cried. Why did I cry? Before I went out into the consulting field, I worked for Allied Signal Aerospace, Lockheed Aerospace and then as Corporate Manager of Technical Support for Boeing.

People who work in the aerospace field work hard to ensure that we make a safe product and that it is free from all hazards. We are proud when we see these products take flight and we are saddened when one of our products crash. I have been in the safety, health and environmental field for going on 33 years and I still get emotional when I see or read about people being hurt either on or off the job.

Still wondering where I am going in this newsletter? On September 11, 2001 terrorists gained access to the cockpit of an airliner and the rest is history. Did we learn anything from that accident? I think not. Sure we have increased security at our nationís airports. Our bags are checked and x-rayed by the government, we have to go through the scanners, unload our computers, take off our shoes and we even hear of sky marshals being put on the aircraft. But let me share a story with you. It was written by Mr. Adam Scott last year.

Terror in the Skies

By Adam Scott

A passenger tried to force his way into the cockpit of a United Airlines plane on a flight from Miami but was subdued after the co-pilot hit him over the head with a small axe, the FBI said.

The incident began when Pablo Morcira, an investment banker from Uruguay, could not find the magazine he stowed in the overhead compartment. Enraged that someone had stolen his magazine, Morcira demanded to see the pilot. Surprised flight attendants did not believe Morcira to be drunk or high on drugs but noted that he was “acting crazy” as he marched toward the front of the plane.

In accordance with new FAA regulations for international flights, the cockpit door was securely locked. However, when Morcira began kicking the door like a lunatic, the captain promptly opened it. “The kicking was awfully similar to our secret knock”, said Captain James Ramos later. While he admits it was dangerous to give a lunatic easy access to both the cockpit and a small axe, Ramos concedes that he was anxious “to see who was there.” The small axe used to subdue the passenger was a hotly contested addition to standard cockpit equipment.

Brazilian authorities were contacted as soon as the deranged banker hit the floor. The FBI is treating the incident very seriously in the wake of other “airplane related incidents” and a full investigation was commenced even before the subdued Morcira regained consciousness.

Reacting to the potential disaster, United Airlines President, Rono Dutta announced that he has changed the secret knock from incessant frantic pounding to something more sophisticated. Investigators did eventually find Morcira’s missing magazine. It was under some extra blankets.

I live in Minneapolis where a different large airline has its main hub. On a flight to North Carolina, I was speaking with a flight attendant and explained that on my last two trips to Canada, right in the middle of the flight, the cockpit door was opened and the captain came out of the cockpit and kept the door open to pour a cup of coffee and have a chat with the flight attendant.

The flight attendant told me that she had not heard of anything like that before. She stated that It was the airline’s policy to; “ensure that if the captain or co-pilot has to leave the cockpit that they are trained to ensure that they are between the door and the other passengers and that one of them must go into the cockpit and be there until they can validate that it is the proper person returning to the controls”.

As we were speaking another flight attendant opened the cabin door and stood speaking to the captain. I told her, “quick take a look; one of your company employees is doing it again.” She looked shocked and stated; “I can not believe it.” To make matters even worse, in the first class section of the plane people were eating their lunch using real steel knives. I asked her about the steel knife and she stated that her company has gone back and forth on this issue. Try to take a knife with you through an x-ray machine at the airport and you will be surrounded by the police.

Now do you think there is something drastically wrong with this picture? Have we learned anything from the events of September 11? In the safety field we like to use the words changed behavior? I think not.

The next time you fly, pay attention to what is happening. Watch out for your own safety because what I learned from these two recent flights, coffee was more important than my safety.

I contacted the airlines customer service department to file a complaint. I spoke with a person there and heard the same old story: “I do not know what the company policy is and when I fly on the airlines, I am usually asleep.” She stated that she would take my complaint and finished with, “The next time I fly, I will try and stay awake.” I have also contacted the President of this airline to really voice my complaint.

So are the skies safe when we are in flight? No, not as long as these types of conditions prevail. Should we be more concerned about safety on the airlines? I hope so. If you have had a similar experience, please let me know. Lets all work together to change these types of actions and behaviors. Remember this statement, “It is either safe or it is unsafe.”

If I can ever be of assistance please contact the magazine and we will be there to help you. Thanks for reading.

Editor's note: Creating and maintaining a safe work environment is a challenge we all face on a daily basis. The Safety Solutions column was created to help you stay aware of the issues facing your company. Jack Podojil has covered a wide range of topics from “In-plant Air Monitoring” to “Machine Safety” and “When OSHA Arrives.” Our website features an archive of thirty articles covering an array of topics. Jack has a lot more to talk about although he also values your feedback. If there is a topic you would like him to explore, please e-mail him, or the magazine and we will do our best to address it.

For more information, click on the author biography at the top of this page.

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