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Applied Science and Engineering
Cost Analysis and Budgeting
Benchmarking and Performance Criteria
The use of propane-powered floor buffers by custodial staff in schools presents the potential for a buildup of carbon monoxide (CO). Fatalities have been reported among custodial and janitorial staff who were operating propane-powered floor buffers indoors (Massey, 2007; NIOSH, 2006). A middle school called on firefighters to respond to gas odors, which were associated with propane floor buffers used inside the school (Gulden, 2010). It is important to recognize the potential dangers when using floor buffers regularly throughout classrooms and hallways because the operating equipment may present a possible CO exposure that could be harmful to employees, students and the public who use school facilities.
On Aug. 6, 2012, President Barack Obama signed a law to provide medical care to those affected by water contamination at Camp Lejeune, a military base in North Carolina. This law allows marines and their families to receive medical care for illnesses attributed to exposure to toxic chemicals, such as benzene, tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene and vinyl chloride, in base water (Jordan, 2012).
Empowering front-line workers—those who stand to benefit the most from an effective safety process—has been talked about much over the last decade, yet many organizations that start the journey seem to stop abruptly. Regardless of the reason for derailment, a failed attempt can have a lasting negative impact on safety culture. From the front-line employee’s perspective, it could appear that another flavor-of-the-month safety program has been whisked away and replaced with more important initiatives (e.g., production, quality.).
Many accident reconstructions reveal that some element had failed. When a safety device fails, such as a flash arrestor, conditions exist that allow an incident to occur. It is important to ensure that some critical component, such as an emergency stop, ground fault circuit interrupter or emergency response equipment (e.g., safety shower), will properly function when needed. Some inspection frequencies are mandated in regulations, such as the monthly inspection of fire extinguishers. Guidance can usually be obtained from the device manufacturer as to how frequently it should be serviced and inspected. Some inspections are simply visual while others require a test tool to verify the component is functioning correctly.
Eyewash stations and safety showers may be found in various places throughout school districts, including chemistry labs and chemical storage areas; custodial storage areas; buildings and grounds chemical and pesticide storage areas; swimming pool chlorine storage areas; industrial arts; darkrooms; print shops; nurse’s office; and boiler rooms.
Great achievements—from building the great pyramids to putting a man on the moon—began as a project. Whether you are managing a road construction project, a university’s pedestrian crossing project or any other safety-related project, it is vital to recognize the benefits of using project management processes to enable a more effective implementation of strategy and objectives. A project management process is the management of planning and controlling the performance or execution of a project. these processes fall into five groups: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.
Most people consider their time at college to be one of the most exciting and memorable times of their lives. It is often the first time that young people are on their own without their families’ supervision and have the freedom to make their own choices. Most college students will be faced with a decision about drinking alcoholic beverages and, if they choose to drink, how much to consume. Alcohol consumption among college students can have a major impact on their health and educational success. It is important for colleges to pass along essential alcohol-related information to students so they are fully informed and hopefully make optimal choices.
According to a February 2008 NIOSH update, studies in the U.S. and Europe suggest a higher risk of occupational injury and illnesses for part-time, temporary and contract workers. The U.S. Department of Labor suggests that employers are working toward more flexible work arrangements as they seek to conserve resources (Cummings, 2008). These two factors, combined with tough economic times, bring to the forefront the need for the public sector to prepare for changes in workforce.
According to CDC, as of 2010, the leading cause of injury death in the U.S. was drugs, and drug overdose deaths had risen 102% since 1999. While substance abuse problems are a critical issue for the general public, they also affect workplace safety as 73% of drug users ages 18 to 49 are employed.
Ask the average person to define flash point, and s/he will likely tell you it has something to do with when something will burn. That is partially correct—it has to do with the temperature at which a material will give off sufficient vapors and, when in the presence of a heat source or significant energy, the vapors will ignite. Why is this important for safety professionals? They need to be able to justify their recommended controls based on an understanding of the risk associated with an undesirable outcome.
The Body of Knowledge project is dedicated to creating a living reference that represents the collective knowledge of the Safety, Health and Environmental profession. While the preliminary work has begun, there is still more to do. The purpose of this website is to introduce subject areas that will eventually be part of the Body of Knowledge, and to gather feedback on the future direction, and ongoing assessment of what needs to be completed.
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