A piece of legislation up for consideration in Michigan would push their current standard of electrical safety back significantly, moving from inspections and review of building and electrical code requirements every three years to every six years. Legislators argue that the current frequency of changes hampers builders and that the extension would add consistency, but the bill has met with significant criticism from many other sources. State fire officials and electrical safety inspectors point out that this would cause an increase in electrical hazard potential in homes, businesses, hospitals, and other facilities affected by the bill; many consumer groups note that the bill would increase home insurance costs due to the reduction in safety.
Archive for April, 2012
While we’re mostly focused on protecting you in the workplace, it pays to remember a few basic bits of wisdom when dealing with electrical appliances at home. HGTV’s list of tips should help enhance your electrical safety and save you money at the same time.
At American Work Safety, we want workers of all stripes to have the safety equipment they need to do their jobs. That’s why when we heard about this, we were frankly a little appalled at this story by the Washington Examiner:
Apparently, an order placed in October 2010 to be filled by January 2011 resulted in the Washington DC fire department receiving a total of 1,750 fire-resistant shirts costing the city $68,250. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be surprising; firefighters wear fire-resistant shirts under their turnout gear as an additional layer of protection, similar to how other industrial workers wear flame-resistant shirts under arc flash suits or other protective wear for extra protection. Here’s the surprising part: none of the shirts were given to firefighters. They sat there in boxes for over a full year because they did not have the correct D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services patch applied to them, and thus the Fire Chief forbade them from being worn, leaving them in storage instead of distributing them.
What’s the big deal about this? President Ed Smith of the Washington DC Firefighters’ Union is not amused specifically because this oversight has left the fire crews without important and necessary safety equipment — and resulted in a team of five firefighters being hospitalized last April for serious or critical injuries that may very well have been reduced had they been wearing that extra layer of protection under their turnout gear. Worse, replacement fire-resistant uniform shirts are unlikely to arrive at firehouses until mid-June or later.
The moral of this story? Nothing is as dangerous to a safety program as a bureaucratic program that does not consider safety as its primary objective. Always bear in mind that protecting the lives of your workers with the proper flame resistant apparel today is going to be far less costly than the possible effects of lawsuits and public relations damage should you insist upon safety violations for aesthetics.