Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cutting Corners on Safety Could Cost You Dearly

   Allegedly BP was cost-cutting and risk-taking, in order to boost oil production output therefore reaping more profits than would otherwise be possible. BP's risk assessment failed to "see" the true extent of what would happen if certain scenarios occured, or if it did see the catastrophic scenario, BP assigned an extremely low probability of occurance and/or they weighed the impact of the outcome of such an occurance with too low a score. The result was BP did not stop oil production. The gulf is awash in crude. BP's market value is nearly cut in half. In hindsight, how would BP act now?!!!!!
   The cause-effect is a fatal explosion, loss of life, loss of a huge asset that sank, an environmental disaster that can’t seem to be plugged, fishing livelihoods ruined, tourism industry stifled, animal and plant kills, seafood industry shortages, and side-effects that ripple throughout the world economy and energy industries.
   This really does affect everyone, not just people at BP, not just the families of the deceased, not just the families of the fishermen, or the people who rely on the tourism industry. We are all impacted by this catastrophe.
   We all seem to share some of the blame, because of our incredible appetite for oil and products that can only be made from or because of oil. If BP wasn’t there to tap that huge well 18,000 feet below 5,000 feet of water, then someone else would have been. The idea that humans can do such complicated things 23,000 feet below sea level without an accident is ridiculous.
   It happened. It will (probably) happen again. This accident could happen anywhere, anytime, to any one of the other oil drilling companies. While BP is stepping up to help mitigate the effects, everyone has had a hand in this accident, because you and I all consume oil. We can’t live without it.
   Allegedly also, our Minerals Management Service (http://www.mms.gov/), an agency of the United States government Department of the Interior, wasn’t doing its job at all, or wasn’t doing it well, or was also cutting corners, being lazy, not paying attention to detail, giving BP a seal of approval that this particular site was safe (and that all the equipment being operated there was in good condition), when it was not. If MMS can’t oversee such complicated operations, then who can?
   Maybe the regulations just aren’t architected well enough? Maybe there aren’t enough honest, moral, ethical inspectors really doing their jobs correctly? Maybe they don’t get paid well enough?
Maybe certain BP managers or key decision-makers were pressured to ignore the warning signs of the impending disaster? Maybe BP just doesn’t have the proper checks and balances, internal policies and processes? Maybe BP’s compensation plan and managerial strategies just do not motivate the proper kinds of behavior of its people at all and every level of employment?
   The first key point; this accident could have been avoided. The second key point; specialized equipment and “relief wells” could have already been in place, to ameliorate the scale and scope of the incident before it became the nightmare that it is. The third key point; people have to understand the totality of their action or inaction.
   Why does it take 3 months to drill a relief well? Why wouldn’t that already exist before a well of this magnitude is tapped? Some possible explanations are: (a) because it costs too much, (b) because it takes too long and (c) our other plans to stop a blowout will work (what’s that word again, “hubris”?).
   Regulations need to be improved. Company policies, processes and procedures (and culture) need to improve. People need to improve. Technology needs to improve. The interactions between community, company and government needs to improve.
   Corruption needs to end. It’s killing our economy and our environment – hence our plants, animals, food sources – we’re killing ourselves, if not in one major disaster, then slowly over time.
   We have a long way to go – but we can hopefully learn from this (like the Exxon Valdes?) and hope for a brighter future.
   So, what are you doing to help prevent fatal fall accidents at your site? What are the implications? What can be done to prevent fatal fall accidents?
   Food for thought. God bless.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finally! OSHA Consolidates and Harmonizes Regulations

OSHA has proposed changing the 29 CFR Part 1910 Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems) regulations this year. These changes will drastically impact the way employers provide safety to workers. Refer to Federal Register of May 24, 2010 for the proposed new rules: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-10418.pdf. This document is extremely extensive, nearly 300 pages long. Several changes bring the OSHA regulations more in tune with some general consensus standards, such as the ANSI / IWCA I-14.1-2007. Comments and requests for hearings may be made by the public until August 23, 2010 at http://www.regulations.gov.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Odd But True: OSHA Fines the U.S. Postal Service for Willful Violations at $210,000

Apparently, no one, and no organization, is immune from OSHA’s watchful eye …

US Labor Department's OSHA fines US Postal Service processing center in Bedford Park, Ill., $210,000 for willful safety violations



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Remember the dead - Fight for the living"

We feel this awareness in Nevada is a step in the right direction! Workers Memorial Day...
"Remember the dead - Fight for the living."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Contact: Andrew Stoddard   Wednesday, April 28, 2010   Phone: 202-225-3252   http://www.titus.house.gov/   Titus Commemorates Workers Memorial Day
Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada's Third District spoke on the House floor this morning on Workers Memorial Day, which is commemorated every year on April 28. Below are her remarks as delivered. Click VIDEO here to watch Titus' speech.
"Today I join with people across the country to commemorate Workers Memorial Day, honoring workers killed, injured, or harmed at work. "Unfortunately,

Monday, April 26, 2010

OSHA Increasing Fines and Penalties SIGNIFICANTLY!

The days of "playing the numbers game" with fatalities in the workplace vs. fines or worse, litigation and settlements and insurance premiums is coming to an end ... the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) is coming to town. Willful violations will start at $250,000 and go up from

Know Your Worker Rights Under the OSHA Act of 1970

You do not need to work under unsafe conditions. You do not need to be forced to put your own life in danger of serious injury or death. You have a right to come home to your families every day after work.

You have a right to

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

With Fall Protection Safety: CAVEAT EMPTOR!

This story is one repeated over and over again. We've seen it many times.
Now we've decided to write about it. This is a very serious situation. Buyer
Recently we visited a Class A office building in Florida on invitation of

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Diabetes Affects Everyone - Please Help

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) http://www.diabetes.org/ is in the process of starting a movement to Stop Diabetes. On Tuesday, March 23, is the 22nd annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day. This is a one-day "wake up call" to let all Americans know about the seriousness of diabetes -- especially when left undiagnosed and untreated. You are encouraged to

Saturday, February 20, 2010

H.R.2067 - Protecting America's Workers Act of 2009 (PAWA)

Even though the statistics for 2008 appear to show improvement in worker safety, there is very important legislation being developed in the U.S. Congress, one is the Protecting America's Workers Act of 2009 (PAWA. Some highlights of

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

OSHA News Release, U.S. DOL; Construction Company Cited $70,000 for Lack of Fall Protection During Maintenance of Building Resulting in Fatal Fall

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Pittsburgh construction company for lack of fall protection following worker's death

PITTSBURGH -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Mariani & Richards Inc. for failing to protect workers from falls on a construction site following the investigation of a worker who fell 225 feet to

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

OSHA Releases Fall Statistics for 2008; GOOD NEWS!!!

It is with amazement and great pleasure we present the statistics from OSHA
including the year 2008, in the two tables below, from OSHA, along with our
Fatal falls nationwide FELL 20% from 847 in 2007 (the worst year on record)
to 680 in 2008, a number not seen since 1995, fifteen (15) years ago! The
fatality rate per 100,000 hours worked dropped by 10% overall since 2007. We
don't have

OSHA Releases Fall Statistics for 2008; Table 1 and Table 2

Table 2

Table 1

Thursday, February 4, 2010

ANSI ASSE Z359 Standards of 2007 and 2009; Attempting to Help Reduce Fatal Fall Accidents

Since around 1994 until now, all workplace fatalities have decreased about 12%. This number includes fatalities due to falls. Sounds good right? Work is getting safer, right?
WRONG! In the same time period, fatalities due to FALLS HAVE INCREASED ABOUT 30%. In the USA about 750 people die in fatal

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The 2010 Earthquake of Haiti


Please Donate Now

And many other organizations here ... http://www.google.com/relief/haitiearthquake/

For more information see the U.S. Department of State Official Blog ... http://blogs.state.gov/

God Bless,
David Kuketz