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Thread: Workplace safety (AIB Bear in King Coal)

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Workplace safety (AIB Bear in King Coal)

    Bear made a point about companies and their responsibilities in employee safety. I have only worked (since summer high school/college jobs) in offices, and I have to say that safety procedures are woefully inadequate.

    I haven't worked in a planning office yet where access to the public was restricted. Anyone could walk right in and into a planner's office. No locked doors. Only a receptionist (maybe) to get past. Fun concept when you are ticking people off all the time at public hearings.

    In my former job at this jurisdiction, an employee's estranged spouse kept calling the office and telling whoever answered that he was coming up to the office to beat the crap out of her. We were not allowed to lock the door to our area, even though he kept calling and calling and it took the cops 3 months to find him. We never did get a good answer about how our employer could protect us. We finally brought in baseball bats to keep under our desks.

    Then there's going "in the field". Sorry, but there are many places I won't go without one of the guys in the office (trail location 3 miles down a wooded path, etc).

    Anybody have any real, workable safety plans in place? Anybody else feel insecure when nutcases are threatening you or a co-worker, and you get blown off by management?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    This isn't just about workplaces, around here most public buildings are lacking safety measures... such as a plan for evacuation in case of an earthquake (quite common here) Just an example... in my University, which is one of the best in the country there is absolutely no plans on buildings for a post quake evacuation.
    Coastal cities only had a minor reaction to the tsunami of the indic ocean; they recognized that they hadn't done anything on a plan for evacuation for tsunami and only about 2 cities actually have sirens, signs and a working evacuation plan.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    New South Wales is pretty switched on about this. The way the governing legislation is written, if you are in control of a workplace, you are guilty of an offence if a worker, contractor or visitor is injured. In other words, there is a presumption of guilt and you have absolute liability. The escape provisions are limited and basically only cover wilfull or deliberate acts of others. Something as foreseeable as a member of the public fulfilling a threat would be a one way ticket to a custodial sentence.

    That is one sure way to get the attention of people in management positions like myself - unfortunately when you have lots of remote and outdoor staff under your control and removed by three or four levels of management, it is also cause for sleepless nights.

    In our organisation we have a highly developed, certified OHS (as well as Environmental and Quality) system (AS/NZS 4801). It isn't perfect but it has kept the senior managers out of jail so far. We are the only Local Authority to have all three standards certified for all our operations in the country by the way.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess

    Then there's going "in the field". Sorry, but there are many places I won't go without one of the guys in the office (trail location 3 miles down a wooded path, etc).
    The city I worked with last summer had pretty specific field visit guidelines. Standard building or planning inspections were generally one-person only, but everyone knew where everyone else was. If the project was sticky or showed signs of animosity it was bumped to two people. If the visit was for a marijuana grow-op inspection the group usually swelled to one or two RCMP officers, and one representative each from planning, building, bylaw, fire, and engineering.

  5. #5
    You mean the stickers on the doors to this building with the handgun inside a red circle with a slash through it above the ordinance number WON'T keep the lunies from coming in here and wreaking havoc?

    We are woefully unprepared for anyone intent on doing harm, for any disaster or post-disaster situation. The city and county "lease" the building from a quasi-governmental/private authority and it has never taken public nor employee safety seriously. I wish we had a law such as the one Rem cited to get some action from these people, but alas.

    What truly scares me is the nearly 50-year old wiring in here and its adequacy to handle copiers, computers, printers, microwaves, coffee-makers and so forth. The place is a firetrap with all the wood and paper.
    Je suis Charlie

  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Maister and I are lucky to work in a community that is for the most part not hostile. There are three people at the front counter, but anyone can just walk back if they look like they know where they are going.

    The doors are locked at night, and there is a gate that closes of most of the building when there is a council or other meeting at night. When we are here, the place is an open book. After hours, it is a whole other story.

    There are also procedures for preventing theft. One example is all money that comes into our office, is entered into the computer system, and personally delivered to the finance/treasury department (on the same day) which is located behind a 1.5 inch bullet proof glass wall, and a locked door with a push button key code that is changed on a regular occasion.

    Other places that I have worked at have had no security.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  7. #7
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    I have always worked in offices where a peaceful society is assumed to be the fact, and that has always been the case.

    Part of the mindset that guarantees personal freedom is acceptance of the risk that random acts of violence may affect you. One of the dangers to a free society is that a rare random act will be used to cause a universal loss of personal freedom.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I'm not worried. Murder is illegal in Colorado.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  9. #9
    (for now) Frozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    My desk fort has 4 foot tall parapets for protection and arrow slits for returning fire.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    I have a windowless office that is a strait shot from the front door. I would probably be the first to bite it if someone came in. So please make it quick and painless.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    I'm not worried. Murder is illegal in Colorado.
    Murder might be illegal, but that doesn't prevent murders... But I guess that some security guards or something might help prevent you from biting the bullet when some psycho comes in with a shotgun to aprove his variance by force...

  12. #12
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    I'm not worried. Murder is illegal in Colorado.
    I forgot, assualt (with or without a deadly weapon) is illegal too.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Workplace Safety, OSHA, Mine Safety

    The scope of workplace safety has changed a lot in the last thirty (30) years. Here are some thoughts:

    Workplace Safety & OSHA.....OSHA has been around since the early 1970's. Oddly enough, this government arm had a big influence on the demise of labor unions over those years (but not the only reason labor unions self-destructed). Government regulations forced corporations to make their workplaces safer, at the risk of severe penalties and bad press.

    OSHA compliance spawned a huge safety industry.....hawking everything from safety eyewear to total programs that lead your organization on a behavior-modification road to "zero accidents". Corporation such as Dupont now make a healthy profit selling the programs that they developed for their internal use.

    OSHA and the EPA also became targets of industrialists that grew weary of the alphabet soup of regulations that drive up cost (and probably save quite a few lives and lungs, too).

    Workplace Violence & 9-11.....The biggest change to safety management in corporate America is the preparation that now takes place in case of workplace violence or in case of terrorism issues.

    Most people murdered on the job are murdered by somebody they know. (Ironically, this week is the one year anniversary of a Jeep plant shooting in Toledo.) A few years ago I was involved in calming down an employee who's wife had slept with another employee. He had the "sleeper" pinned against a wall with a fork lift.

    Major corporations now prepare for terrorism issues.....especially if they have a public profile.

    Mine Safety.....The recent West Virginia mine disasters were heart-breaking. But.....it was just incredible that the West Virginia legislature pushed through important mine safety regulations in just a short time.....hours. Most legislation in America goes through forty-seven (47) committees before it even has a chance of being voted on.

    Bear's Biz.....My company gives a strong show of support for safety. We feel that in the long run it is equally-important as quality or productivity. We want our employees to go home at the end of each work day with everything still attached.

    BTW.....my company continues to win major awards from the State of Ohio for our quite-incredible safety record.

    Be safe.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    More Workplace Safety

    Today I attended an annual event in NW Ohio called "Safety Day". It is a free event, attended by many folks with safety responsibilities in their workplaces. It is sponsored by a group of major corporations in the Toledo area. After the keynote speaker finished, there were breakout sessions. I attended a couple, and then had to drive back to my workplace to check on some things.

    My workplace duties involve a whole lot more than safety.....but a day like today, with a strong focus on that "leg of the stool", is important. I was glad I went and even have volunteered to conduct a breakout session next year.
    _____

    My company went almost 1,300,000 labor hours without a lost-time injury. Our facility has many different ways that a person who is not safe could hurt themselves, seriously. Fork lifts and pedestrians sharing a huge warehouse, fork lifts that take the drivers high in the air, 40-foot high racking that is filled with thousands and tthousands of pallets of products, truck pits and all of the hazards associated with loading and unloading trucks, stairways, conveyor systems, elevated work platforms, two- and three-story pick modules with employees 40-feet off the ground, machinery that operates like a press (requiring devices that keep the hands away from the contact point), tons of lifting and bending, continual use of razor knives to open cartons of products, automatic machines that print logos on plastic bottles, automatic machines that wrap plastic around urinal screens, material being moved continually from warehouse location to warehouse location, ultraviolet curing machines that cure the ink that was printed on products, etc.

    Employees in the office can get hurt, also. File cabinets that need to be closed, stairways, computer cords, ergonomic issues with sitting at a desk all day.

    When we finally had another lost-time injury we celebrated.....that's right.....we celebrated the fact that we had completed so many labor hours without a lost-time injury. (The employee who was hurt has been back to work for awhile. He did miss some time.) We are looking forward to going through even more labor hours without a lost time injury, beginning the day after the injury we recently had.
    _____

    On Thursday night I will be attending the Industrial Awards Banquet in Toledo. My company will be receiving a couple of awards.....again. One award will be for working 1,000,000 hours without a lost time injury. I will be all smiles as I walk up to the podium to grab our awards.

    Think Safety!

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Bumping this thread because there is a real lunatic appearing in front of County Commission meetings here. RJ says he's getting "threatening" but apparently the commissioners aren't taking any action. Some of the commissioners are packing heat, but the employees can't. I am still stymied about why governmental entities refuse to see a threat and take action to protect employees.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Has anybody gone through "Active Shooter" training ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

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