Panda Post

Wisconsin Update

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Consider this a news bulletin. I stumbled across this item just yesterday and thought you distributors in the Dairy State might be interested. Friday is as good a day as any for good news.


windmillJob Creation? What’s That?
Bad employment news is hard to avoid when you open your daily newspaper (assuming of course that your daily newspaper hasn’t filed for bankruptcy). That’s why I feel obligated to relay news from the Stevens Point Journal about the creation of up to 400 jobs due to eventual plant expansion by Energy Composites Corporation in Wisconsin Rapids.

What is the plant going to produce? Blades for wind turbines. I’ve been talking about wind energy being a huge up-and-comer since the very first Panda Post in August, 2008 (incidentally this was back in the good old days before talk of stimulus plans and before the stock market decided it wanted to ruin everyone’s retirement plans).

I’m tired of the doom and gloom—made even worse by the fact that the Wisconsin winter clearly wants to hang around for a while (significant snow in late March and early April, are you kidding me?). That’s why Panda Group is creating a spiffy Job Meter that will appear on our soon-to-be-launched Safety Industry Stimulus website. We’ll give you the good news about new jobs (we’ll try to avoid mentioning the weather ever again).


Related Story: Turbines Require Safety Equipment
I’m sure the savvy readers of the Panda Post figured that out already, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t reiterate the fact. Wind Turbines aren’t quaint little windmills. These bad boys can reach more than 200’ into the sky, and building and servicing them requires working at heights that make me dizzy just thinking about, even though we cartoons recover from large falls nicely (Wile E. Coyote has made a comfortable living taking swan dives off of cliffs). Tougher dudes than me are up to that task, but they require some serious fall protection equipment.

CONSTRUCTION

A comfortable climbing harness is ideal when putting together turbine segments and spending a lot of time on a ladder system.
MAINTENANCE

Tight spaces, ladder climbing, and dangerous work on a turbine exterior require a comfortable and flexible harness.
RESCUE

Quick, self escape with a reliable descent control device is the ideal way to evacuate a large standalone structure like a turbine.

The really cool wind turbine photos are from the good folks at Capital Safety, who besides taking excellent pictures, also make plenty of great fall protection equipment.


GSA: Three Very Important Letters
GSAWhat does GSA stand for? If you answered “Geological Survey of Alabama” or “Gary Switalski’s Automobiles” you are technically right, but neither has much to do with the safety industry. The U.S. General Services Administration, www.gsa.gov, is the federal government’s purchasing agent and oversees countless government contracts for a wide range of items and services…including safety supplies. The Feds need stuff, and why shouldn’t you be the one to supply them?


Handing out Green for Clean Energy
globeI talk a lot about the “green” sector of the economy. It’s not because I’m an ultra-environmentalist (I wasn’t drawn wearing a tie-dye, although I did meet one of the Grateful Dead’s Dancing Bears at a cartoon convention once…that dude was a little odd). I talk about this sector because green projects are a good idea and clearly on the rise. An article by the Washington Post, outlining stimulus funds being used to promote clean energy, shows that the Feds agree with me (which is a good thing…I think).

Energy stimulus funds are also being turned into insulation (not literally).


Positive Economic News? Is that Really Possible?
Tales of economic doom and gloom are so cliche. Listening to constant bad news becomes as tiresome as hearing a really bad song over and over. (Can you imagine weeks of listening to nothing but Bobby McFerrin’s whistlefest “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, or worse, anything by Celine Dion?) Luckily your break from bad news comes in the form of this optimistic article from Industrial Distribution Magazine. Note: Not subjecting yourself to bad music is up to you.


Have You Heard About NRR Updates?
earplugsFirst, I apologize for the lamest headline pun the Panda Post has ever produced. Now back to the story. Noise Reduction Ratings (NRR) for hearing protection are going to be updated, and one alteration involves showing a range of NRR on packaging. When are big changes taking place? Your guess is as good as mine. That’s hardly what you expect from a journalist of my caliber, but the timetable is still in the works. Luckily, the good folks at 3M are keeping an eye on the situation at www.NRRupdate.com. The website is informative and well put together. When it comes to hearing, turn to the 3M experts for information, and not a cartoon who was drawn with only one very small ear.


Positive Thinking: Much Better Than Being a Grump
smileySure times are tough, but ISHN mentions a report by Harvard University saying that now is a good time to believe in the benefits of positive thinking. I’m not saying a rosy outlook will boost sales, but it’s certainly healthier for you and co-workers that have to put up with you when you’re a pessimistic pain. Besides, who am I to argue with the wicked smaht kids at Hahvahd?


Product Alert: The Best Named Glove in the Industry
green gloveI have to mention a fine new product with an outstanding name—the Memphis Green Bamboo Glove. Nothing says you’ve made it in the safety industry like having a glove named after you. Back to reality. The Bamboo Glove really has nothing to do with me, Bamboo Buchwald (if it did I’d ask for some serious endorsement dollars and to have my lovely mug stitched on the cuff). The seamless glove material is made from the pulp of bamboo grass and has a latex palm coating. The unique fabric is 100% biodegradable and naturally regenerative, and it resists fungus, bacteria, and odor (incidentally so do I).


Stimulus Information Coming to a Panda Webspace Near You
Is the stimulus program stimulating you into confusion? Do you need to recover from overwhelming information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act? The hardworking folks at Associated Panda are putting together a website that will easily (we promise) outline how the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) benefits the safety industry. The Panda Post and Kellie’s Korner will be sure to let you know when the site launches.

Welcome 2009

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So, has much happened since the last Panda Post? Let’s see. A new President was sworn in, job layoffs grew exponentially, 2009 started, and the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl. So, yeah, a little bit went on over the past few weeks.


cashStimulate This
The most popular catchphrase of early 2009 is “Stimulus Package”. The phrase—which sounds a little like the title of a low-budget adult film—has been spoken, written about, and debated since Inauguration Day. The details are still being hashed out by those on Capitol Hill, but the Wall Street Journal has an amazing estimated state-by-state breakdown of where dollars might be headed (unfortunately not a dime is earmarked to help upkeep of the Panda Post). Keep an eye on those states getting big dollars for Transportation and Infrastructure (ex: California, Texas), some of those billions will be spent on safety equipment.


President Obama, Don’t Forget About the American Industrial Hygiene Association
What better way to get the attention of the new U.S. President than to do what the AIHA did—write an open letter to President Obama (the Goodyear blimp was apparently busy, and you can’t fly a small airplane with a message banner attached to it near the White House because of the no-fly zone)? The AIHA simply asked President Obama not to forget industrial hygienists when creating jobs with the Stimulus Package (there’s that catchphrase again).


beerHow Not to Run an OSHA Training Session
Apparently OSHA 10 training is a lot easier in the Bronx. Don’t get me wrong, I like beer breaks like the next guy, but not when they interfere with learning about procedures that can save my life. Save the laid-back training for “Bocce Ball 101” or “Advanced Backyard Grilling Procedures”.


Ergonomics, the Government, and You
An article from Safety News Alert states that Michigan may soon join California and require ergonomic awareness training for workers (hey Michiganders, start stocking up on antivibration gloves). The article also explains that President Obama is in favor of restoring a federal ergonomic standard. Judging from the comments posted in response there’s a division between those who fear Ergonomic Big Brother and the shackles of wrists supports, and those carpal-tunnel free folks who say they have seen ergonomics programs work.


Plenty of People Dig the World of Concrete
Word is that the 2009 World of Concrete had a rock solid, ahem, attendance of over 75,000 attendees. Held in Las Vegas (home to plenty of concrete slabs called “Casinos”) this tradeshow is the next big thing for safety folks–both suppliers and distributors. Lab Safety, Orr Safety, Hagemeyer and the like were all there. Who else attends the World of Concrete? Anyone that uses, makes, molds, pumps, fills, slabs, rebars, drills into concrete, etc. That’s lots of folks, a “Who’s Who” of Safety Suppliers. When was the last time you were at a show with nearly 80,000 attendees? And they say their attendance is down this year. Plan on attending next year from February 2-5.

Happy Holidays 2008

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The Panda Post would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays. I’m gearing up for the annual Illustration/Animation Christmas Party. It’s always enjoyable gathering around Charlie Brown’s woeful Christmas tree and talking to Frosty the Snowman and the Grinch (who is quite nice since the well documented heart enlargement). The downside is that you have to keep an eye out for Mr. Heat Miser who gets surly after too much egg nog. Last year he wouldn’t let Rudolph play in any reindeer games, he told Mrs. Claus she was a “hot old broad”, and he punched Frosty’s button nose.


santa
Santa’s Safety Review
This time of year isn’t easy for jolly old St. Nick. Sure the chubby dude in the goofy red suit has a plant shutdown 11 months out of the year, but during Christmas he makes up for all of the downtime. With his extensive background in morality (you know that whole “naughty and nice” deal?) you’d think Mr. Claus would be up to snuff on safety rules and equipment. But have you ever seen a photo of St. Nick climbing down a chimney securely fastened to a harness? Or wearing an ANSI hi-vis coat while guiding that sled through the dark Chistmas Eve night?

We here at the Panda Post felt that it was time for a safety distributor to make a sales call at the North Pole, and bring a few of the items on Santa’s wish list.

Yaktrax Pro Outsoles: Traction on a slippery roof seems like a no-brainer.

Safewaze Feather Plus Harness: It’s red and won’t clash with Claus’ getup. OSHA would freak if they saw Kris Kringle crawling down a chimney untethered.

Lights: The FAA can’t be too thrilled with the fact that Santa hurtles across the sky with nothing more than Rudolph’s dimly lit nose guiding the way. Nothing against the genetic freak reindeer, but Santa could also use a Streamlight Stinger XT or strap a couple of Flashing Red Lights from Jackson Safety to avoid being plowed into by a Boeing at 30,000 feet.


Safety in Santa’s Workshop: An Elfin Exposé
Being an elf means job security and long vacations, but it also has its downside. No one wants to wear green tights and pointed hats to work, and you don’t get time off for Christmas. But after a recent interview with an elf (referred to from here on as “Milo”) who has been on staff for 150 years, one thing is for sure—Santa’s Workshop is a safe place to work. No specific “work hours without lost-time injury” data is available, but Milo, who has spent most of his career working in the Department of Train Sets and Remote Control Cars has seen an increased awareness of safety among his vertically challenged co-workers.

elf“Safety eyewear was made mandatory in 1942 after an elf working with sugarplum fairies got some fairy dust in his eyes,” said Milo. “He was not seriously injured, but the whites of eyes still look like a kaleidoscope. It was a wakeup call for all of us.”

Respiratory protection has also been in use for decades at the North Pole manufacturing facility.
“For those shoveling and breaking apart lumps of coal for stockings, a respirator is must,” explains Milo. “I have a friend who works as a candy cane glazer, and he swears by his full facemask respirator. Peppermint is cool in moderation, but it burns like hell when it hits the lungs.”

OSHA may have formed in 1970, but the Workshop was well ahead of the safety curve. Crude but effective safety harnesses (made from a combination of rope licorice, tinsel, and ornament hooks) were put into use following a tragic accident in 1945, when Blinky the Elf fell while icing the roof of a gingerbread house. He plummeted into a fresh vat of gingerbread and was never found.

“No one is quite sure, but we believe Blinky was served as a ginger snap somewhere on the East Coast,” says a teary-eyed Milo.


Companies Not Worried About Santa Checking His List Twice
Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Herman Miller are just two on a short “nice” list that are sure to get what they want for Christmas. They are both part of a list of America’s Safest Companies on EHS Today’s website. Our hard hats are off to the winners. Keep up the good (and safe) work.


Plenty Would Rather Be Naughty Than Nice
A survey by Kimberly-Clark Professional that was released in November shows a surprising number of workers don’t follow safety compliance procedures.

In a related story, EHS Today provides tips on how to bridge the gap between workers knowing what safety procedures to follow, and actually following those procedures. If safety scofflaws pay special attention to author Carl Potter’s tips, and get help from knowledgeable distributors, they may have more than Kingsford in their stockings next Christmas.


Pandas in a Pear Tree
Panda would like to wish you all a Happy and SAFE Holiday. Be sure to take some time and enjoy those around you. Even Panda’s elves need to cut loose every once in a while.

Happy Holidays from Panda

Election 2008

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I’ve just returned from my duties as an Election 2008 correspondent for The Cartoon Network (of course). It was exciting work, but you try sitting at an anchor desk in the middle of a bickering Tom and Jerry, or put up with a reporter like Yogi Bear constantly stealing your lunch from the break room fridge (trust me, Yogi’s making enough on residuals to afford his own “pickinick baskets”).

So now it’s back to covering the Safety Industry. Hopefully, you’ve been trying to ride out the economic storm and have not resorted to stuffing your life savings in the mattress. The best way to weather a slow economy is to stay informed (or already have $1 million plus in the bank). So hopefully I’ll provide you relevant information to help. If not, I suggest cutting along the seams of the mattress, it makes the stuffing job less obvious.


New Administration Likely Means OHS “Change”
Jerry Laws, editor of Occupational Health & Safety Magazine, writes an insightful article about the large scale changes that will likely happen to occupational health and safety regulatory and appropriations committees. Note that “Obama” and “OSHA” both start with “O” and end in “A”. Coincidence? Yeah, pretty much.


“Small Business meet OSHA. OSHA this is Small Business”
A recent OHSA forum, “Challenges Small Businesses Face in Complying with Regulation”, took place in Washington and outlined how OSHA is trying to help small businesses with their compliance issues. OSHA’s “$afety Pays” program, which helps employers estimate the costs of occupational injuries and illnesses, was one of the points addressed at the forum. Safety Distributors take note. If your smaller customers need to confide in you about regulatory guidance, be prepared to offer advice (not in the weird “I’m a 40-year-old guidance counselor and trying to be your friend way” but more like as a big brother/sister). It can only increase their level of trust in your business.


NioshNIOSH, Your New Facebook BFF
Believe it or not, NIOSH has its own Facebook page. No, this isn’t so that you and the safety organization can share info on music, play online games together, or wish each other happy birthday. But it should give NIOSH added exposure, help you keep up-to-date on NIOSH products, and provide a networking tool. And who knows, it may enlighten some college kid who stumbles across it at 3 a.m. (and perhaps save him from posting that embarrassingly candid message on the page of “Naomi”, the cute redhead in his American Lit. class).


Voters Believe in Green Investment
A short article on ISHN’s website mentions poll results that show an overwhelming percentage of voters agree that continued investment in clean energy is important to the future of the United States. Investing in this type of green may have more benefit currently than investing your hard earned green elsewhere (unless you get a kick out of magically turning dollar bills into pennies). Keep that in mind Safety Distributors. As we told you in a previous issue, “there’s gold in them thar windmills”. Keep an eye on clean energy advances; it’s a field that needs safety equipment too.

With more people thinking green, try to be an ecologically friendly Safety Distributor by stressing a few environmentally sound products.

WCM9940KCFWCM
West-Chester Chrome Free Pigksin Gloves do not go through a chromium tanning process, which makes them safe when they are disposed of in landfills.

ANC
Anderson Mats (a member of DPA Safety/Panda Group) has a new WaterHog ™ EC mat. It is made of recycled PET polyester fibers from reclaimed plastic bottles, and recycled rubber from used tires. Cool.

Simple GreenSimple Green
Being green is nothing new to Simple Green. These guys were environmentally conscious before anyone knew what “environmentally conscious” meant.

Slumps

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Bamboo Buchwald has been pretty busy these past two weeks preparing the Panda Post, and watching my 401(k) slump just as badly as my home team Milwaukee Brewers did in the National League playoffs. Hang in there Safety Industry. Six major safety distributors surveyed casually by one of my trusty reporters didn’t have any plans or predictions for a massive slow down. Let’s just hope Wall Street can get its act together sometime soon to ensure that my retirement savings don’t remain at a level lower than Prince Fielder’s playoff batting average.


News from the NSC Safety Show
The West Coast Bureau of the Panda Post sent back word that the 2008 National Safety Council Congress and Expo went off without a hitch (there were no safety sales guy hijinks like putting bubble bath in fountains or running around dressed as gorillas in SMS coveralls).

Several new products made an appearance including some innovative coveralls lines by International Enviroguard, which incidentally is a new DPA member. MicroGuard MP, Body Filter 95+ or Chemsplash Coveralls are touted for breathability and help eliminate that small swamp that you tend to create inside less breathable coveralls. That can’t be a bad thing (unless of course you’re wearing particulate coveralls with the sole purpose of losing weight). International Enviroguard also featured ChillOut evaporative cooling products (think a chamois that you soak in water and it miraculously stays cool for an extended period of time).
The cool new Extreme Environment Tags by Master Lock are lockout and warning tags that will withstand just about any adverse environment (even foreman Jim’s breath after coffee and an onion bagel). Keep an eye out for these new bad boys at Master Lock’s website.


EHSOccupational Hazards Magazine Undergoes a Makeover
I’ve respected good media outlets since the day I was drawn. Occupational Hazards Magazine has been an industry staple for 70 years, but recently announced it is changing its name to EHS Today. Consider yourself informed and don’t be shocked by the change.


“Messes” in the Safety Industry
Beware of workplace safety “messes”. I’m not talking about an oil spill in storage, or the nasty puddle that shows up in the warehouse because the college kid “Bob” in shipping spent too much time at happy hour the night before. James E. Leemann, Ph. D. describes messes as groups of problems that can hamper workplace safety. Leemann’s extensive article at ISHN.com assesses these issues and provides an informative list of frequent “messes” seen by safety and health professionals (Bob’s stomach contents are not included).


Cables: The Sneaky Office Hazard
I know all too well about tangled cords and cables in the office of the Post. I upgraded from an IBM Selectric typewriter a few years ago, and my office now is a web of computer and printer cables. An article on EHS Today gives tips on how to ensure these office snakes don’t reach out and grab you. You may not notice these cords until one snags your foot and you faceplant into your desk. Or even worse, you accidentally unhook a computer cable and waste the rest of your day trying to figure out where it belongs.


helmetSafety Equipment for NFL Professionals
Thousands of workers rely on head protection every day on the jobsite. For a lucky (and talented) few that protective gear is in the form of a football helmet, and the jobsite is a patch of artificial turf. I never played football (sweat makes my ink run) and I realize that football helmets don’t really have much to do with industrial safety, but so what? It’s the heart of football season and frankly this Wired.com article about the latest advancements in football helmets is pretty darn interesting. So is Popular Mechanics’ short explanation of the evolution of the football helmet. This Sunday you can wow your friends with your football equipment knowledge.

Goodbye to Summer

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Say goodbye to summer, faithful readers. Fall is definitely sneaking up on us, and that means several things:

  • It’s football season.
  • It’s time for safety distributors to change the focus from summer-based equipment like cooling apparel, to warming apparel and other fall and winter-related equipment.
  • Associated Panda is bracing for the brutal Wisconsin winter that is just a few weeks (or maybe even just days) away.
  • Did I mention football season?

So prepare for the upcoming change of season. And if there’s an especially chilly day in the near future, feel free to print out this edition of the Panda Post, it makes for fine kindling.


NSC 2008 Congress and Expo
You probably don’t need me to remind you that the National Safety Council Congress and Expo starts this week. To those attending, have fun and learn something (preferably about safety). Bamboo Buchwald won’t be in attendance because cartoons aren’t invited.


WIL11180032September is Home Eye Safety Awareness Month
Workers wouldn’t dare grind sheet metal without wearing safety glasses. But for some reason it doesn’t always register that glasses just might be a good idea when you’re at home firing up the weed eater.

Safety distributors should remind workers of Home Eye Safety Awareness Month. Not that everyone needs a visitor spec dispenser at their front door, but an extra pair for yard work wouldn’t hurt (the plastic army men that Junior left in the grass make for mean projectiles when the mower gets a hold of them).


jetpackSafety in 2033 Symposium: The Future of Safety
25 years ago Michael Jackson was selling millions of copies of Thriller, and Return of the Jedi was cleaning up at the box office. Since then, Michael Jackson has turned into one seriously odd dude and Darth Vader has gone from bad to good to bad again. Just imagine how far we’ve come in terms of the safety industry.

Get a quarter-century jump on competitors by finding out what the industry could be like in the year 2033 by attending Protection 2033, a symposium by ISEA and NIOSH. See all of the crazy safety stuff that might exist in the future. I, for one, plan on having a jetpack.


safe channelDavid Letterman, Jay Leno, and Jerry Laws
Okay, so Jerry Laws, editor of Occupational Health & Safety Magazine, may not be quite as well-known an interviewer as those other two guys, but Laws fares pretty well in his web TV debut.

Occupational Health & Safety has a 30-minute program narrated by Laws called Keeping the Workplace Safe and Secure that can be seen at the Safe and Secure TV Channel, an interactive web source for safety information and issues. I’m no technology reporter, but I’m pretty sure that this whole Internet thing is a little more than a fad. If so, Safe and Secure TV might be on to something. Keep an eye on these guys.


MUT17725appWant to Enhance Road Construction Safety? Try Adding a Police Photo Van
You can outfit road workers with all of the hi-viz clothing you want, but if you want to enhance roadside safety enlist the help of a police photo enforcement van to slow traffic down. No one wants to get a speeding ticket in the mail, and that’s just what these Big Brotheresque vans can do.

The Beijing Olympics

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Bamboo Buchwald is back to bring you the latest from the Safety Industry. I spent the last two weeks watching the Olympics and scouring the Internet for useful safety news. Honestly, the Olympics were more fun, although I thought they could have featured Pandas more prominently in the opening ceremonies or even used them to add some interest during rhythmic gymnastics.

Enjoy the Labor Day weekend (there’s really no better way to celebrate work than by taking the day off). At Milwaukee-based Associated Panda we’ll be inundated with the roar of Harley’s in town for the company’s 105th anniversary. I have access to plenty of NRR 33 dB earplugs if the rumble gets too loud.


Olympic rings
The Beijing Olympics: China Actually Outsourcing to the United States
Michael Phelps took home suitcases full of gold from the 2008 Olympic Games, but the American “Merman” wasn’t the only one profiting from the games. An article from Occupational Health & Safety shows that a slew of companies including DuPont, 3M and RAE Systems provided safety equipment for the games (which unfortunately didn’t earn them any time on the medal stand). Safety blokes, be prepared—the 2012 games in London are right around the corner.


ISHN
ISHN Editor Dave Johnson Lists His Seven Barriers to Safety
How often do you see a safety-related article that references the 1937 Fordham football team and its famed Seven Blocks of Granite linemen? Dave Johnson’s interesting editorial mentions the old school gridiron powerhouse (I’ll take his word on the team’s dominance and give the Rams credit for having Vince Lombardi on the team) and the reference actually makes sense. The Seven Barriers to Safety (see the correlation now?)—learn them, know them, live them.


Guess What? Workplace Toxins Are Still Bad
The Washington Post continues to be all over the Department of Labor for its attempt to, in effect, make it “more difficult to regulate workplace safety”. Here’s the scathing editorial in the Washington Post asking for the DOL to cease and desist. The Washington Post means business.


It’s All in How You Say It
An article from Occupational Health & Safety outlines OSHA’s changes in verbiage regarding respirator provisions for workers. When dealing with worker safety, can’t we all agree that it’s a good idea to be as clear as possible?

Going Green

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going greenWelcome to the first installment of The Panda Post brought to you by cub reporter Bamboo Buchwald, a proud member of the AP (Associated Panda). Through intrepid reporting (which is actually pretty easy even for a cartoon since it takes little more than checking the websites of actual, reputable news outlets) I will bring you the exciting, the not so exciting, and offbeat news from the Safety Industry.
Good information about what’s going on in the industry is priceless. What I’ll bring you might provide some value as well—hardly priceless, but at least worth a look.


T. Boone Pickens: Ahead of the Curve or Filled with Hot Air?
T. Boone Pickens is a billionaire oil man (with a name like T Boone he just has to be), a rabid Oklahoma State Cowboys fan, and just maybe an energy visionary. The 80-year-old dude isn’t content to leisurely enjoy his golden years. Nope, he’s trying to spur a movement to reduce America’s need for foreign oil, largely through wind power. That’s right, massive windmills dotting the landscape of a “wind corridor” from North Dakota to Texas.

The plan could conceivably reduce gas prices (wouldn’t that be nice), and provide clean energy. But safety distributors could see even more of a benefit. Building scores of proposed wind turbines requires what? (Cue the Jeopardy theme.) That’s right, safety equipment. The most obvious being fall protection harnesses (these monster windmills can be as massive as 410-feet tall). Keep an eye on T. Boone, the old wildcatter might be on to something.

Let T. Boone explain his plan to you in person at www.pickensplan.com.


The Department of Homeland Security, Lots of Tax Dollars, and You
On July 25, the Department of Homeland Security announced roughly $1.8 billion in grant money for state, urban and tribal governments designed to improve the nation’s readiness, response and recovery capabilities in the case of any emergency. This doesn’t necessarily mean the creation of hundreds of new and improved toxic FEMA trailers. The DHS states that the funding “includes planning, organization, equipment, and training and exercise activities”. What’s the key word in that sentence? Equipment. This means you Safety Industry. Municipalities have the grant money needed to purchase respirators, chemical suits and other first response equipment. Make sure you’re the one that is ready to sell.


Workplace Toxins: Apparently a Partisan Issue
The Department of Labor has been moving with surprising speed to move a rule through that would make it more difficult to limit chemical exposure to workers. And Democrats, unions and advocates for workplace safety aren’t real thrilled about it. Isn’t it a good thing that those of us in the safety industry take chemical exposure seriously, and take measures to ensure that workers are safe from harmful toxins? Don’t take my word for it, read the article from the professional journalists at the Washington Post.


Keep an Eye on Young Workers
Summer student employees apparently take bigger risks on the job. According to an article by OccupationalHazards.com student workers are twice as likely as adults to be injured on the job.


It’s Not Easy Being Green, but It’s Still Cool
An article on ISHN.com cites a survey from The Ashkin Group illustrating that a potential economic downturn (aka: lack of green) isn’t likely hampering efforts to “green” the professional cleaning industry. Good to know.

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