Read about the latest industry events and happenings straight from the desk of ND's editor.


New OSHA Training Emphasizes Workers' Rights

Nothing is more important than the health and safety of your employees, and it’s great that there are organizations out there that can help facilitate the implementation of proper procedures, precautions, best practices, etc. That being said, when an organization’s Web address ends in .gov, it’s a bulldozer’s job to remove skepticism from the equation.

“Introduction to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA),” a new training component emphasizing workers’ rights, is required content in every OSHA 10- and 30-hour Outreach Training Program class. OSHA developed the information in support of the Secretary of Labor’s goal of strengthening the voice of workers. This information affects hundreds of thousands of workers who complete Outreach Training Program classes each year, and more than 50,000 authorized OSHA Outreach Trainers. It focuses on the importance of workers’ rights, and advises them of their right to:
  • safe and healthful workplaces;

  • know about the presence and effects of hazardous chemicals;

  • review information about injuries and illnesses in their workplaces;

  • receive training;

  • request/file for an OSHA inspection and participate in the inspection; and

  • be free from retaliation for exercising their safety and health rights.
“For too long, workers have avoided making claims of unsafe work conditions out of fear of losing their jobs,” says Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels. “We are confident that this new training will embolden workers to speak up when they find work practices that endanger their lives and the lives of their co-workers.”

During the 10- and 30-hour outreach training program classes, OSHA trainers will cover topics on whistleblower rights and filing a complaint, and will provide samples of a weekly fatality and catastrophe report, material data safety sheet and the OSHA Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.

Is this just another instance of self-aggrandizing bureaucratic bluster? Maybe. Doesn’t matter. Just know it’s there, and do what you know is right. It’s no secret that you can go a long way in measuring a company’s professional stature by looking at its commitment to safety.

Kudos Go to Schramm

Schramm Inc. of West Chester, Pa., recently was honored as 2010 Business Member of the Year by the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP). The WTCGP and its worldwide affiliates honor international business leaders and firms for their contributions to peace, stability and economic growth.

The awards banquet took place at The Park Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia on May 20. Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, Anthony Bartolomeo, chairman of the WTCGP board of directors, and Linda Conlin, president of the WTCGP, all played key roles in this annual event, along with Ed Breiner, president and CEO of Schramm.

Schramm is a century-old manufacturer and global supplier to the hydraulic drill industry, focusing on land-based applications. Making mobile, top-head hydraulic rotary drilling rigs, Schramm supplies to companies in the mining, energy, geothermal and water sectors worldwide. More than 75 percent of the company’s revenues come from export sales, with global reach including major market positions in China, Chile, Brazil, Australia, Russia and South Africa. As a truly international company, Schramm has been a long-term member and supporter of the WTCGP, with its membership providing key insight and support in navigating the legal, logistical and cultural aspects of foreign markets. Breiner views its international operation as “an away game that you have to travel to, develop relationships and understand the culture,” all of which the WTCGP has been integral in preparing the company for success.

Currently, Schramm’s development team is prototyping remote monitoring systems that utilize cellular and satellite communication to provide real-time information to users, supervisors and safety administrators to optimize operating efficiency and safety at drilling sites.

EPA's Water Conservation Campaign

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program is kicking off its national “We’re for Water” campaign to encourage Americans to make simple choices that save water. The program, in collaboration with its partner, American Water, will spread the word about saving water by traveling cross-country, stopping at national landmarks and educating consumers about WaterSense labeled products. WaterSense products use about 20-percent less water than standard models.

“Whether by replacing an old, inefficient plumbing fixture with a WaterSense labeled product or adopting more water-efficient behaviors, together we can help save water for future generations,” says EPA’s Peter Silva. “WaterSense offers consumers simple tips that can help the environment and keep money in their pockets.”

This program also can assist savvy water professionals in their residential marketing efforts.

Subsurface Investigation Training

The National Drilling Association once again will be sponsoring the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) course, “Subsurface Investigation Qualification,” to be held at the Doubletree Hotel & Conference Center-St. Louis in Chesterfield, Mo., Sept. 28-30. The course is designed for drillers, drilling inspectors, engineers, geologists and technicians involved in the field data collection and quality assurance of subsurface investigations. FHWA is recommending state departments of transportation to adopt this qualification. All the details are available at www.nda4u.com.

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