Articles by Dave Johnson

Safety is now about conversations, not confrontations

By Dave Johnson
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One of the changes in the nature of workplace safety work happens to be the nature of conversations revolving around safety. Back in the day when safety was largely a policing job with a heavy emphasis on rules and discipline, conversations between the safety manager and an employee tended to be short and direct.


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Sorry, but safety does pay… and money does matter

By Dave Johnson
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“You know, a lot of safety managers don’t like that saying, ‘Safety Pays.’ They think it’s cold and heartless, impersonal,” said the PPE vendor from the NSC’s Congress & expo show floor. “But let me tell you, when you get down to it, a lot of businesses look at safety now in terms of dollars and cents.


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Upon further review… OSHA still is a major driver for consumption of PPE and safety goods

By Dave Johnson
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“We were up in a customer focus group in Milwaukee not long ago. We had companies there from Fortune 100 to mom and pops,” said the VP of safety for a major distributor. “I’d say seven out of ten had had recent brushes with OSHA. So OSHA is still a big driver of sales, no doubt about it.”


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Wipe the slate clean

That’s what most companies do after a fatality
By Dave Johnson
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This censorship brought to mind what several safety and health managers have told me over the years. “A fatality typically leads to a stand-down with its temporarily high safety focus that in time fades back into leadership’s multi-cultural reality.”


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2013 NSC Congress & Expo victim of government shutdown

By Dave Johnson
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No, they didn’t turn off the lights and locked the doors. The show definitely goes on, and when you’re inside the expo or attending education sessions, the ugly world of federal government shutdowns seems far far away.


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Random observations from the NSC Congress & Expo

By Dave Johnson
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1 – Ties are out. The men’s tie business must be dying a slow death. Of 13,000 people at the Congress and Expo, you might count the number wearing ties on one hand. OK, maybe on both hands. Business casual rules, no doubt. Many attendees are comfortable in jeans and sports shirt. You don’t see many suits at all. Mostly it is the speakers in suits. And certainly not all of them.


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Strangest safety education sessions at the NSC Congress & Expo

By Dave Johnson
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It’s no secret speakers sometimes go out of their way to come up with a catchy title to fill a room with attendees. This is much more common in the safety field than say industrial hygiene, where many session topics are narrow and technical. Anyway, at this year’s Congress & Expo, speakers are again playing games with their presentation titles. Here is a selection of them:


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What does safety’s crystal ball say?

By Dave Johnson
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At a Tuesday session at the 2013 NSC Congress & Expo, former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, OSHA boss Dr. David Michaels, and NIOSH director Dr. John Howard discussed the “future of safety.” Who’s to say what the future holds, right? And predictions about the future are soon forgotten. Here are some of ISHN’s predictions for the future of safety:


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A most unusual safety session

By Dave Johnson
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Here at the 2013 NSC Congress & Expo, an Egyptian surgeon, Alaa Zidan, who now works as a health and safety consultant in Bahrain, gave a presentation, “Positive Safety Culture and Emotional Intelligence,” that was probably unlike any safety presentation most in the audience had ever heard.


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A new language emerges for safety

News from 2013 NSC Congress & Expo
By Dave Johnson
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Spend a day talking to safety pros and safety product trainers, consultants and PPE vendors and one thing strikes you: a new vocabulary is emerging in safety circles. You hear little talk about OSHA or compliance.


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