October 1, 2012

In this issue:


Safety achievement – a continuous journey

As Bend's Tomco Electric has grown, the jobs have also become larger in scale and complexity. That's when second-generation owner Colby Thompson turned to Oregon OSHA consultation. He had heard about the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) from some of the larger peer companies his company worked with.

"Those groups were bringing a high level of safety protocol to job sites," Thompson said.

He decided it was time to step up the safety program at Tomco, which employs 80 workers, and embarked on the SHARP process. [Read article]


Small business and obstacles to workplace safety

Among the advantages of owning and running a small business is the owner's relative freedom to decide how the business will prosper.

What role should workplace safety play in the owner's decisions? In a perfect world, the business owner would assess the hazards at the workplace then develop policies and procedures to prevent the hazards. Business owners in high-hazard industries would emphasize workplace safety more than a small business designing website applications.

Small business owners in high-hazard industries should emphasize workplace safety in their business decisions and many do. But that's not always the case. Why? [Read article]


Administrator's Message

I don't often focus this column explicitly on enforcement issues, but I'd like to touch on the issue of an employer's control over the worksite and the people working there.

Every so often, I get some version of the following question: "What do I need to do to make sure that my records and policies are good enough to keep OSHA from citing me?"

My answer is usually that if you ask the wrong question, you'll get the wrong answer. [Read article]


News Briefs:

Oregon OSHA partners with Mexican Consulate during Labor Rights Week [Read article]
Students honored with Workers' Memorial Scholarships [Read article]
VPP site Life Technologies named one of ‘America's safest companies' by EHS Magazine [Read article]
Redmond hosts Central Oregon safety conference. [Read article]


Safety Notes:

A worker using lacquer thinner to remove glue from a bathroom floor was severely burned when a nearby pilot light for a gas-powered water heater ignited the vapors. [Read article]


Ask Technical:

Do I need to put a label on a container that is UL-listed, DOT-approved, and used for gasoline? [Read article]


Covanta Marion, Inc

Going the Distance:

Meet the environmental and safety manager at a VPP company in the Willamette valley. [Read article]