Earlier this week I reviewed a New York Times article on conflicts of interest among Trump political appointees that highlighted a new Labor Department Special Assistant, Geoffrey Burr. Burr is a former lobbyist for the Associated Builders and Contractors, and his federal disclosure form notes that he lobbied DOL against the silica standard and the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces regulation that would have required federal contractors to disclose federal labor law violations.
This is not generally how a good company wants a supervisor to respond to a worker who reports unsafe conditions: “Next time you have a problem with safety, talk to me. Then get in your car and hit the f***ing road.” Then you write him up, don’t renew his contract — and, for good measure, fire his son for “talking on the job.”
Before any welding is conducted outside of a designated welding area, a responsible individual must inspect the area and identify precautions to be taken preferably on a written Hot Works permit. Fire extinguishers must be ready for immediate use. A fire watch lasting at least 30 minutes after the welding or cutting operations is required if more than a minor fire might develop.
General hazards of welding include impact, penetration, harmful dust, smoke, fumes, heat and light radiation. Welding “smoke” is a mixture of very fine particles (fumes) and gases. Many of the substances in the smoke can be extremely toxic.
Sparks and spatter fly off from the welding arc. Hot metal and sparks blow out from the cutting flame. The workpiece and equipment get hot. The flying sparks and hot metal, slag, spatter, hot workpiece, and hot equipment can cause burns.
A nationwide fall prevention initiative, how earnings expectations can affect safety and how flying safety can be improved through better weather reports were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
What can you tell us so far about the Trump administration’s record on worker safety? Already we’ve seen the Trump administration repeal two important workplace safety rules. They’ve proposed the elimination of funding for worker safety and health training programs. They’ve proposed the elimination of the Chemical Safety Board. And they’ve proposed slashing the job safety research budget.
Managers of U.S. companies facing market pressures to meet earnings expectations may risk damaging the health and safety of workers to please investors according to recent research from the Naveen Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas.