Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Moe Glenner Explains The Five Why Method of Change

“Success in any change is largely dependent on identification of the real problem or issue. Many times the obvious problem is masking an obscured larger issue,” Moe Glenner writes in the opening of “The Five Why Method of Change.”

Moe Glenner, author and founding CEO of PURELogistics, has made a living exploring the concepts behind change initiatives  His “Five Why Method” presents an innovative way to problem solve by identifying the root of any issue through a series of questions. 

Safety professionals are often faced with large, often complex, issues that require structural change within an organization to protect workers and prevent occupational injuries. According to Glenner, bringing about a successful change in any organization must incorporate a three-step process: plan, communicate and execute. The “Five Why Method” acts as a precursor to the overall process. 

He explains his method using the example of an overweight man. The man realizes his weight is a problem, but before he can begin to lose the weight he must first identify the source of his problem.

Q1: Why am I overweight?
A1: Because I consume too many high fat and high caloric foods.

Q2: Why do I consume these foods?
A2: Because they provide ready comfort.

Q3: Why do I need ready comfort?
A3: Because I am always tired and feel overworked.

Q4: Why do I feel that way?
A4: Because I don’t truly feel appreciated.

Q5: Why don’t I feel appreciated?
A5: I don’t know.

The key, Glenner says, is getting down to an “I don’t know answer.” The process doesn’t necessarily need to be just five questions; it can be as few as three of four, or as many as 20. Once you can no longer answer your own questions, you have found the underlying problem, he says.

The simplicity of this method should not discredit it. Glenner explains that even complex problems, while there may be multiple contributing factors, usually have only one main issue. “The hard part is actually identifying what that cause is, because there is so much noise,” he says.

To read more about the Five Why Method of Change or any of Glenner’s other works, visit his Consulting Company page, Author site or find him on twitter @moeglenner.

New Standard Provides Identity Protection Guidelines

The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) has released ATIS-1000045.2012, ATIS Identity Management: Mechanisms and Procedures Standard. The standard describes specific identity management mechanisms and builds on ATIS-1000044.2011, ATIS Identity Management: Requirements and Use Cases Standard.

These standards focus on establishing and managing the roles and access privileges of individuals within an organization, company or network. Identity management functions are used to safeguard identity information and can also further develop business and security applications through password-management tools, provisioning software, security-policy enforcement, reporting and monitoring applications and identity repositories. The new standard also provides best practices and guidelines to support interoperability.

ATIS is a standards developer accredited by ANSI. Find more information on these and other standards by visiting ANSI’s website.   

OSHA Launches Initiative to Protect Temporary Workers

OSHA today launched an initiative to protect temporary employees from workplace hazards. In a memo to regional administrators, the agency is directing field inspectors to assess whether employers that use temporary workers are complying with their responsibilities under the OSH Act. Inspectors will use a newly created code in their information system to denote when temporary workers are exposed to safety and health violations. Additionally, they will assess whether temporary workers received required training in a language and vocabulary they could understand.

“Thousands of workers who die each year on the job from preventable hazards,” says OSHA Administrator David Michaels. “Many of those killed and injured are temporary workers who often perform the most dangerous jobs have limited English proficiency and are not receiving the training and protective measures required."

OSHA also reports that it is working with American Staffing Association and employers that use staffing agencies to promote best practices ensuring that temporary workers are protected from job hazards.

Last week, BLS released new data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries about workers killed on the job in 2011. Fatal work injuries involving contractors accounted for 542 (12%) of the 4,693 fatal work injuries reported. Hispanic/Latino contractors accounted for 28% of fatal work injuries among contractors, well above their 16% share of the overall fatal work injury total for the year. Find details on the 2011 data here.

Monday, April 29, 2013

New York Times Debates OSHA's Shortcomings

In response to the fatal explosion at the West, TX, fertilizer plant, the New York Times enlisted seven industry experts to debate "Where OSHA Falls Short and Why." The debaters take a look at whether OSHA focuses on the wrong threats, the role of overlapping regulatory responsibility and other key issues. Read the discussion here.

Department of Labor commemorates Workers’ Memorial Day

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor commemorates Workers’ Memorial Day with an event at its Cesar Chavez Auditorium to honor workers who died on the job. 

Today’s program serves as an opportunity to remember thousands of workers whose lives have been lost on the job, and to highlight the importance of occupational health and safety. 

The program will feature speeches by acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris and the assistant secretaries for OSHA and MSHA, followed by remarks from family members of those who died on the job. Following the speeches there will be a a panel discussion on the importance of safety and health protections for contingent and temporary worker

Friday, April 26, 2013

NRC Expands Its Social Media Program, Adds NRC Chat

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will launch a pilot of a live discussion platform known as NRC Chat on April 30, 2013 at 3 p.m. (CST). The first chat will discuss the history of U.S. nuclear power with the agency's historian, Tom Wellock. NRC reports the Chat is similar to its blog, but features more of a real-time discussion. Each session will focus on a specific issue with an NRC expert, and the agency reports that a 6-month schedule will be posted on the Chat site soon.

New Approaches to End Texting While Driving

Most people are aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated, but what about driving while intexticated?

Intextication, says California Highway Patrol officer Brian Pennings, occurs when someone becomes disengaged with his or her surroundings because s/he is too mentally occupied with a cell phone. While intextication can cause people to make mistakes at home or at work, its most serious cases generally occur while driving. According to Pennings, drivers who are texting are twice as likely to crash than those driving under the influence of alcohol.

Pennings says teens and adults alike often blame others on the road for distracted driving, believing themselves to be the only ones able to multitask behind the wheel, yet no one can safely drive and text simultaneously. Texting is twice as dangerous as talking on the phone or to passengers while driving, and distracted driving is a factor in 90% of collisions.

One way of eliminating driving distractions is to install a no-texting app onto cell phones. Several available apps automatically send calls to voice mail and silence texts when inside a moving vehicle. Some apps also send automated messages to callers saying, “Sorry, I can’t take your call right now, I’m driving.” Others allow parents to remotely cut teens’ cell phone service while they are driving. Many of these apps can be found in the App Store and the Google Play market, and some service providers including AT&T and Sprint offer anti-texting apps to customers when purchasing a new phone. While Pennings recommends these apps, he thinks they will be slow to catch on and adds that state and local governments likely cannot mandate use of such apps due to complaints that such legislation violates personal freedom.

“The reason why it’s so important to be mentally engaged when you’re driving is because [driving] is multitasking, you have to do more than one thing at once,” Pennings says. “It comes down to adult decision, and you have to make a conscientious decision.” 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Risk Management Is More Than Safety

As claims rise and legal restrictions become more complex, it has become increasingly important for safety professionals to recognize that effective safety management includes a deeper understanding of HR issues and a broad knowledge of risk management, labor, employment and legal principles. On April 24, 2013, ASSE hosted a Risk Management webinar. “Risk Management Is More Than Safety: Employment Law for Safety Managers,” presented by Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., co-chair of Fisher & Phillips LLP’s Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group in Atlanta, GA, explored the link between effective safety risk management and HR issues.

Safety is only part of Risk Management, Foulke said, but it has a big impact. In this 90-minute presentation he discusses why safety professionals should align their goals with HR managers. By recognizing the different roles of a safety professional, HR, and other management, identifying the legal requirements associated with each role and how to recognize, evaluate and manage legal risks, safety professionals can impact many labor and employment areas, and contribute to a more successful business. If safety professionals look for shared responsibilities and coordinate with one another they can better prepare themselves and stay on top of legal claims, Foulke says, especially those with safety implications

He concluded by saying, all safety professionals really need to understand not only the safety statutes, but also have to have a working knowledge of other labor laws, and know how their responsibilities as a safety professional coincide with in overall risk management

To get a deeper understanding of how safety risk management is part of the overall business strategy, and the interrelationship between safety and the ADA, EEOC, worker's comp and other unfair labor practices, keep a look out for this webinar, which will be available On Demand. 

NIOSH Seeks Comments on Its Mobile Guide

NIOSH is creating a free mobile Web version of the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, and it is requesting input from users to ensure optimum functionality. The agency is seeking information regarding how people use the guide; industries in which the guide is used; and how people use mobile devices at work. To submit a comment, visit the NIOSH Science Blog.

Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction

Falls are one of the most frequently cited serious violations in construction, and 33.3% of fatalities in the industry are caused by falls. The Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction aims to teach construction companies to plan for safety, provide the right equipment and train workers to stay safe on the job, primarily by providing educational materials on its website.

While the campaign targets construction professionals working for companies of all sizes, significant efforts are focused on raising awareness among small construction companies. Campaign leaders say that because the partners who organized the campaign work at the national level, many smaller companies have not yet discovered it.  

Recent statistics prove that the smaller an operation is, the more likely a fall is to occur, with 54.7% of fatal falls occurring within companies with fewer than 10 workers. Similarly, the rate of falls is greater among residential construction workers than among workers executing commercial projects.

Even workers who spend only a short time in hazardous locations, such as satellite dish installers, could benefit from the campaign’s products since fatalities have been reported during short-term projects.

Safety professionals are urged to get involved and spread the word about the campaign by following NIOSH on Twitter, liking its Facebook page, distributing campaign materials, and joining the campaign

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

OSHA schedules meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health

OSHA has scheduled a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health May 23-24, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

The full agenda for the upcoming meeting include remarks by Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health and updates from the Directorate of Construction. The committee will also discuss six items from the proposed Standards Improvement Project IV and deliberate occupational exposure to beryllium, the Federal Agency Procurement Construction, Health and Safety Checklist, and the two-hour introduction to the OSHA 10- and 30-hour training courses.

The meeting is open to the public and will be held from 10 am to 1 pm ET, May 23 and 24. Comments and requests to speak at the meeting may be submitted at http://www.regulations.gov, or by mail, by May 16, 2013. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Study Warns Drivers of Construction Work Zone Crashes

A study by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) reveals that 38% of U.S. highway contractors had motor vehicles crash into their construction zones in the past year. The AGC surveyed approximately 800 contractors to gain information about work zone crashes, injuries, and fatalities.

While construction workers suffer injuries from 18% of such crashes, the study shows that work zone crashes are more likely to kill vehicle drivers and passengers than construction workers. According to the survey, 46% of contractors reported that motor vehicle operators or passengers were injured as a result of work zone crashes, and 14% of the drivers and passengers affected by those crashes were killed.

A reported 68% of contractors nationwide believe that the number of incidents, injuries and fatalities could be reduced with tougher laws, fines and legal penalties for moving violations. Another 84% of contractors think a greater police presence at work zone construction sites would be beneficial. Additionally, 70% of contractors think more safety training for highway workers would decrease work zone crashes.

Find the national highway construction zone survey results here.