Previous month:
September 2011
Next month:
January 2012

December 2011

Got Occupational Safety and Health Specialists?

Dodge John Posted by John Dodge

Where is the new generation of Occupational Safety and Health Specialists? Employers may be asking this question soon.

A report from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) informs us that demand for safety, health and environmental professionals is strong.  A recent NIOSH study indicates that employers plan to hire at least 25,000 SH&E professionals over the next 5 years, and only about 12,000 new graduates are expected to be available. Clearly the rest will come from non-traditional students and people seeking a career change.

Let's find and mentor these people!  Please recommend the MEMIC Center for Workplace Safety at Central Maine Community College. CMCC's Occupational Health and Safety credit courses and workshops are waiting for aspiring safety professionals or current safety & health practitioners seeking to improve their skills. Please contact the MEMIC Center for Workplace Safety’s Bryan Wallace at 207.755.5282 or at bwallace@cmcc.edu.


Be Ready for Winter Driving

Darnley Dave Posted by Dave Darnley

Since today is the first official day of winter it is time to think about winter driving challenges and the condition of our vehicles. 

Check your vehicle to make sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated (and never mix radial tires with other tire types).  The legal minimum tread depth is only about 1/3 of what is really needed for proper performance on snow.  Your defroster system and windshield wipers will see extra duty so be sure they are in good working order.  Keep a snow brush and ice scraper handy along with an extra gallon of windshield washer fluid. Include an emergency kit with first aid supplies, flashlight, blanket, and reflective triangles.  

If driving in mountainous regions the best advice is to stay off the roads; however, if travel is required you may also want to carry tire chains (check local laws first), sand, and a shovel. If driving in remote areas or on divided highways with limited exits, you should consider carrying a sleeping bag, boots and warm clothing.

Lastly, drive with extra caution when weather and driving conditions change, and use your seat belt every time you get in to your vehicle.  Check out the following links for more information concerning winter driving.

Clear Roads Winter Driving Campaign

Maine Department of Labor's Winter Driving Tips


Hang Up and Drive

Klatt Randy Posted by Randy Klatt

On Tuesday December 13, 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended a nationwide ban on all portable electronic devices (PED’s) for all motorists.  The NTSB came to its recommendation after investigating a multi-vehicle crash in Gray Summit, MO that involved a driver who was texting. The crash, which occurred on Aug. 5, 2010, killed two people and injured 38 including children in two school buses.  The National Safety Council (NSC) made this recommendation many months ago and was quick to endorse this NTSB vote.

It is clear that drivers are frequently distracted by electronic devices.  Naturally this creates a safety concern not just for the distracted driver, but for everyone else on the road, in cross walks, and in construction work zones.  The NSC estimates 1.3 million crashes, or 23 percent of all crashes, involve distracted drivers using cell phones. “Quantifying crashes and fatalities involving cell phone use while driving is challenging due to several factors such as a driver’s unwillingness to admit the behavior and lack of witnesses. Additionally, cell phone use currently is not consistently captured on police reports. We are able to develop an estimate of crashes based on risk and exposure, but the problem could be much larger than we estimate,” says Janet Froetscher, NSC President and CEO. 

The links below offer the latest information concerning this topic.  If your employees drive as part of their work routine, then it is time to review your fleet plan and consider eliminating this risk.   

National Safety Council

National Transportation Safety Board Fact Sheet

Cellphone Driving Ban: Good Idea?