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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)
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
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SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Would You Risk Your Employee's Life?

This is a question I ask each of my clients. The paramount problem I have encountered with some clients is being asked to overlook unsafe conditions that put people’s lives in danger.

How much is a life worth, if it does not include you or your family member? I was reading a story that was written by Steven E. Landsburg. He stated that; “Economists measure the value of a life by people’s willingness to pay for safety. Suppose you’d willingly cough up $50,000— but no more—to shave one percentage point off your chance of being killed in an accident. Then (except for some technical adjustments) we infer that the value of your life is 100 times $50,000, or $5 million.”

That’s a useful measurement because it bears directly on policy decisions. Take the decision of how much to spend on fire safety. Should a town of 100 people spend $6 million on a piece of equipment that is likely, over the long run, to save one life? Not if a life is worth only $5 million. Buying the equipment means forcing the average taxpayer to spend $60,000 for a level of safety that’s worth only $50,000 to him or her. Economists summarize that reasoning by saying, “It makes no sense to spend $6 million to save a life that’s worth only $5 million.” What we really mean is: “Let’s not force people to buy more safety than they want to.”

I have been working as an expert witness and the same issues come up. The attorney that hired me said, “If you see something while we are out there, do not say anything that will hurt our case.” Was that attorney worried about another person being injured or was he/she just worried about losing the case? Here is another question for you. Would you risk a 6 year old child’s life or a 3 year old child’s life by letting them be exposed to a hazard? Not if it was your child, but what about others?

If you visit my website you will find that I went undercover for Fox news on the hazards of people being injured in retail stores by merchandise falling on them. I investigated many large companies and found that most of the stores were unsafe and people were being injured every year. Recently I read this story, Monday, July 24, 2006 (Indianapolis): A mirror at the retail store Wal-Mart fell on a three-yearold boy, killing him. Christopher Antonio was apparently playing near the 1.50-metre floor-mounted mirror in the children’s section of a Wal-Mart in Indianapolis when it fell. The toddler was most likely killed by the blunt force of the crash,” said Marion County Sheriff’s Lt Michael DeHart.

“The mother was approximately five feet away from the child when she heard a loud crash,” DeHart said. The boy’s five-year-old sister was also at the store. Wal-Mart was cooperating with investigators, said Jolanda Stewart, spokesperson for Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the matter is under investigation,” she added. (AP).

Would you believe that over two years ago, I found the same hazards in these stores in Minnesota? What will it take for companies and people who work for these companies to care enough to do something to ensure that their establishments are safe? Next time you visit one of these large stores go to the furniture department and take a look at the merchandise on the shelves. Did the store secure it from falling off the shelf and injuring your family member?

Unfortunately, many new clients have stopped hiring me because I am not willing to risk my client’s safety or some employees’ life and they are not willing to spend the money to correct hazards.

I will make this offer to you for being a reader of our magazine. Our company will provide you up to one hour of phone technical safety support to answer any of your questions; all we ask is once we identify the problem, you correct it so others may be spared from being injured. I can be reached through the magazine or you can contact me jpodojil@ podojilconsulting.com. Till next month, stay safe.

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

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