When a disaster strikes, occupational health and safety professionals deployed in healthcare organizations often are what stands between a bad outcome and a good one for victims.
Last night, being the fourth of July, was about watching fireworks. In my county, the drought has forced a burn-ban that precluded any legal displays, so our shows were all in high-definition from the air-conditioned comfort of the living room. I have to admit it was pretty nice on a 65-inch plasma. No crowds and […]
It doesn’t seem like eight years since I had a run-in with a railcar of “skull and crossbones,” but today was the day. At that time I was a Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) with the U.S. EPA in Dallas, TX. FOSCs are the lead for agency responses to oil and hazardous substance releases and have […]
In 1991, the crew of the Andrea Gail perished in a Halloween Noreaster known as “The Perfect Storm”. The captain and crew ignored warning signs, such as repeated warnings from other ships. They failed to recognize, in essence, leading indicators. On October 26, they set a course to return home after a machinery breakdown (their […]
While attending the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) annual national conference last week in Philadelphia, I was reminded that local government is the proverbial low-hanging fruit when it comes to introducing an integrated approach to workforce health and safety management.
You may have heard that OSHA is reaching out to about 15,000 workplaces with high DART rates.
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is the “common language” for all federal, state and local responders. Healthcare must learn to speak that language and function as part of a coordinated multi-agency response. The goal is to strengthen medical surge capacity, and it is not optional. HHS requires hospitals to implement 11 specific NIMS objectives […]
Whether we’re sitting at a desk, working in a factory, driving trucks or even flying airplanes, fatigue can sneak up on us. And fatigue can lead to error. But it’s important to remember that fatigue can be managed. Getting satisfactory sleep and trying to build a routine in your day-to-day activities is the best way […]
In 2010, I spent my summer in the Florida Keys working with the Coast Guard to develop tactical plans for response should Deepwater Horizon oil hit the islands, which the models gave a 60-80% chance of happening. It didn’t, but the intensive planning plugged a lot of gaps and raised a lot of issues.
For UL, and almost all organizations, having solid planning in place ensures that you’re prepared to deal with emergencies in a controlled manner so that operations remain consistent and customer data is protected. Few companies experience testing of their business continuity capabilities by an event such as the one we encountered when the building housing […]