Walmart refuses to sign IndustriALL pact

While most of the companies who use Bangladesh to manufacture goods have signed the IndustriALL pact designed to help pay for safety improvements in manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh, Walmart has refused. In a statement released on their website, the attempt to explain this refusal by stating, and I quote:

“The company, like a number of other retailers, is not in a position to sign the IndustriALL accord at this time. While we agree with much of the proposal, the IndustriALL plan also introduces requirements, including governance and dispute resolution mechanisms, on supply chain matters that are appropriately left to retailers, suppliers and government, and are unnecessary to achieve fire and safety goals.”

This decision was reached in a discussion with “other stakeholders”. They explain their actions in their statement as follows:

“Walmart believes its safety plan meets or exceeds the IndustriALL proposal, and will get results more quickly. For example:

  • Walmart committed to rigorous inspections of 100 percent of factories that supply private label or goods directly to the company within six months. The IndustriALL proposal commits to inspecting 65 percent of each participating company’s sourcing volume.
  • Walmart will immediately release results of fire, safety and electrical inspections where worker safety is in jeopardy. The IndustriALL proposal makes inspection reports available to the public after as many as six weeks.
  • Walmart believes the issue of worker safety requires urgent attention, and has already begun a new, intensive safety inspection program and will have inspected, at its own cost, all 279 factories in its private label and direct supply chain within six months. The IndustriALL proposal provides 45 days to develop a plan.

Since the IndustriALL accord affords a 45-day discussion period, Walmart looks forward to participating in the continued discussion. If the issues with the accord could be addressed, Walmart would be pleased to join the effort.”

Hard to know if Walmart is refusing because they actually believe that their efforts will produce better results or because they are not willing to give up that much control, especially in an effort that would significantly impede regular business (read $$ signs here!).

Safety Alert- BBQ and Grilling Safety Awareness


With the Memorial Day weekend on the near horizon, many people may be anxious to fire up the grill and prepare some food for the event. Barbecue season is finally here! There are a few things to watch out for when cooking outdoors so that you enjoy yourself and stay safe!


· Check your grill thoroughly for leaks, cracking or brittleness before using it.

· Clean out the tubes that lead into the burner.

· Make sure the grill is at least 10 feet away from your house, garage, or trees.

· Store and use your grill on a large flat surface that cannot burn (i.e.- concrete or asphalt).

· Don’t use grills in a garage, porch, deck or on top of anything that can catch on fire.

· Keep children away from fires and grills. It is a good idea to establish a safety zone around the grill and instruct children to remain outside the zone. A chalk line works great for this purpose.

· Have a fire extinguisher, a garden hose attached to a water supply, or at least 16-quarts of water close by in case of a fire.


· Don’t wear loose clothing that might catch fire.

· Use long handled barbecue tools and/or flame resistant mitts.

· Never use any flammable liquid other than a barbecue starter fluid to start or freshen a fire.

· Never pour or squirt starter fluid onto an open flame. The flame can easily flashback along the fluid’s path to the container in your hands.

· Keep alcoholic beverages away from the grill, they are flammable!

· Never leave the grill unattended.


· Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning and storing instructions that accompany the grill.

· Keep your grill clean and free of grease buildup that may lead to a fire.

· Never store liquid or pressurized fuels inside your home and/or near any possible sources of flame.


1. For PROPANE Grills – turn off the burners. For CHARCOAL Grills – close the grill lid. Disconnect the power to ELECTRIC Grills.

2. For PROPANE Grills – if you can safely reach the tank valve, shut it off.

3. If the fire involves the tank, leave it alone, evacuate the area and call the fire department (911).
If there is any type of fire that either threatens your personal safety or endangers property,

4. NEVER attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water. It will only cause the flames to flare up. Use an approved portable fire extinguisher. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher on hand use some baking soda it will also work.

PROPANE GRILLS-The Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC) reports that more than 500 fires and 20 injuries occur every year from gas grill fires and explosions of grills that have not been used for

several months.

· Check the tubes leading to the burner regularly for blockages. Check with your specific grill manufacturer’s instructions.

· Check for leaks EVERY TIME you replace the cylinder. Pour soapy solution over the connections and if bubbles begin to form, there is a leak. Placing the soapy solution into a spray bottle makes it much easier to apply. If there is a leak, turn off the grill IMMEDIATELY and have it fixed. Do NOT use the grill until the leak is fixed.

· Make sure all the connections are secure BEFORE turning on the gas.

· Never start a propane grill with the lid closed. Gas can accumulate and when the grill is ignited may cause an explosion.

· Only get propane from approved compressed gas suppliers.

· Before getting a propane cylinder filled, check for any damages to it.

· Never store propane cylinders indoors or near any heat source.

· Never transport or store propane cylinders in the trunk of your automobile.

· Open the lid and allow the propane to vent before attempting to light

· Check for badly rusted or corroded burners. This is an extremely hazardous situation. The heat from the excessive gas from this hole could cause external fires, skin burns, and even an explosion of the propane tank. If your burners are beginning to corrode, change them! It’s an easy process and very inexpensive. It could save a life!

· ALWAYS shut off the propane fuel at the grill and at the bottle after you have finished barbecuing. Otherwise, this will lead to fire hazards, such as leaks and faulty regulators.

CHARCOAL GRILLS-The Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC) reports that every year about 20 deaths and 400 injuries are treated resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning from charcoal grills.

· Due to the production of carbon monoxide when charcoal is burned, charcoal grills should not be used inside homes, vehicles, tents, or campers, even if ventilation is provided. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, you will not be alerted to the danger until it is too late.

· Never use any flammable liquid other than barbecue starter fluid to start a charcoal barbecue.

· Use the starter fluid sparingly and never put it on an open flame.

· Never add fire starter after you have started your barbecue to speed a slow fire or rekindle a dying fire. The flame can easily flashback along the fluid’s path to the container in your hands.

· Remove the charcoal ashes from the grill and place them into a metal container with a tight-fitting metal lid. Add and mix in water with the ashes, and set aside for several days. Dispose of the mixture in accordance with the city sanitation guidelines.

· Remove the ashes only after they are completely cooled and no warm embers remain.

· Always soak coals with water after cooking; they retain their heat for long periods of time.

· Keep damp or wet coals in a well ventilated area. During the drying process, spontaneous combustion can occur in confined areas.


· Keep the grill at least 10 feet away from any combustible material.

· Do NOT use any flammable liquid to start an electric grill.

· Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the use of an electric grill.

· When using an electrical extension cord, make sure it is properly rated for the amperage required for the electric grill. Otherwise you could risk an electrical fire.


· Never use a propane barbecue grill on a balcony, terrace or roof. It is both dangerous and illegal.

· Propane barbecue grills and no more than two (2) 20-pound propane tanks are allowed on the grounds of a one or two-family home, but be sure to follow the fire safety precautions above.

· Only use a charcoal barbecue on a balcony or terrace if there is a ten foot clearance from the building and there is an immediate source of water (garden hose or four (4) gallon pail of water).

Today’s Post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

New Maritime Industry DOL Publications

Spring in the NW means ships returning from shipping up in Alaska that need to be repaired, mended and reoutfitted. It also means private fishing boats that have stayed locked away for the winter being brought out again, refitted for the salmon runs.


If you are involved in the maritime industry in any way, shape or form, you’re going to want to spend a little time looking over the DOL’s Maritime Industry Publications Page with all its available downloads designed to make maritime work safe.

Here’s a list of what you’ll find there (Many of the publications are in Spanish as well as English. Items that are Bold are new publications):

  • Aerial Lift Fall Protection Over Water in Shipyards
  • Deck Barge Safety
  • Eye Protection against Radiant Energy during Welding and Cutting in Shipyard Employment
  • Fire Watch Safety during Hot Work in Shipyards QuickCard
  • Longshoring Industry
  • Longshoring: Freeing Inoperable Semi-Automatic Twist Locks (SATLs) in Longshoring
  • Longshoring: Servicing Multi-Piece and Single-Piece Rim Wheels QuickCard
  • Marine Cargo Handling First Aid QuickCard™
  • Marine Cargo Handling: Gangway Safety QuickCard™
  • Marine Cargo Handling: Lifesaving Facilities QuickCard™
  • Marine Terminal Fall Protection for Personnel Platforms Fact Sheet
  • Marine Terminals: Radio Communication in Marine Terminals Fact Sheet
  • Marine Terminals: Traffic Safety
  • Mechanics Working in “the Yard” on Powered Equipment during Marine Terminal Operations QuickCard
  • Mechanics Working in “the Yard” during Marine Terminal Operations QuickCard
  • Oil Spill Response: Training Marine Oil Spill Response Workers under OSHA’s Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard
  • Respiratory Protection: Assigned Protection Factors for the Revised Respiratory Protection Standard
  • Shipbreaking Fact Sheet
  • Shipbreaking: Safe Work Practices
  • Shipyard Industry Standards
  • Shipyards: Guidelines for Safely Entering and Cleaning Vessel Sewage Tanks Fact Sheet
  • Shipyards: Hot Work Safety on Hollow or Enclosed Structures QuickCard
  • Shipyards: Safely Performing Hot Work on Hollow or Enclosed Structures in Shipyards Fact Sheet
  • Shipyards: Safety While Working Alone in Shipyards Fact Sheet
  • Top/Side Handler Safety in Marine Terminals QuickCard
  • Traffic Lanes and Personnel Safety Zones Fact Sheet
  • Ventilation: Ventilation in Shipyard Employment
  • Working Safely on the Apron or Highline during Marine Terminal Operations QuickCard
  • Working Safely While Repairing Intermodal Containers in Marine Terminals Fact Sheet

Seat Belt Safety Awareness – Click it or Ticket Campaign 2013

The May 2013 Click It or Ticket Mobilization will play a critical role in the effort to keep people safe on our nation’s roads and highways. From Monday May 20 thru June 2, 2013 law enforcement agencies nationwide will conduct Click It or Ticket campaigns that incorporate zero-tolerance enforcement of safety belt laws with paid advertising and the support of government agencies, local coalitions and school officials to increase safety belt use and defend against one of the greatest threats to us all – serious injury or death in traffic crashes.

It’s easy to recognize at least one popular national slogans:

  • Buckle Up For Safety
  • Seat Belts Save Lives
  • Buckle Up America
  • Click it or Ticket


Click It or Ticket is the current national and high-publicity law enforcement effort that gives people more of a reason to buckle up – the increased threat of a traffic ticket. Most people buckle up for safety and it is the law.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the chances of being killed at night in an automobile accident are three times higher than during daytime hours. Nighttime is also when seat belt use declines significantly. In 2012, more than 22,000 automobile occupants died in traffic

accidents during nighttime hours, and 60 percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

Adults of all ages should always wear their safety belts, even on short trips. The lap belt should fit snugly across the upper thighs and not ride up on the stomach. The shoulder part of the belt should fit across the collarbone and chest and not cut into the neck or face. People always make excuses for not wearing them. Here are the top 10 from the NHTSA:

Click It or Ticket: Top 10 Excuses for Not Buckling Up

Below are the top 10 excuses officers in New Mexico, Texas and across America hear for not buckling up, along with responses. NHTSA frequently hears similar excuses from highway safety offices and law enforcement across the nation.

1. I’m afraid of getting stuck in a crashed car. If you’re not buckled up at the time of a crash, you’re more likely to be killed or knocked unconscious and unable to get out of the car at all. I you are buckled up, you’re more likely to stay in place and remain conscious, in control of the vehicle, and able to make smart decisions.

2. It irritates the skin on my neck or chest. Most new vehicles have adjustable shoulder height positioners that let you to move the shoulder belt up or down for a more comfortable fit. In older cars, wear clothes with a higher neck to provide some extra padding.

3. It makes me feel restrained. That’s what it’s supposed to do. In a crash, it keeps you in your seat so you won’t be thrown around or out of the vehicle where you’re four times more likely to be killed than if you remain the car. Driver side seat belts are designed to allow free movement of the occupant until a crash occurs (or until you jam on your breaks!).

4. I’m too large to wear a seat belt. It doesn’t fit. You can purchase a seat belt extender, which can usually resolve this issue.

5. I can’t look over my shoulder before turns. Yes, you can. A seat belt doesn’t restrain your head; it restrains your chest.

6. I forgot. Most cars have annoying seat belt reminder systems that beep every minute or so when the seat belt isn’t buckled.

7. Nobody tells me what to do in my car. States have many traffic laws that mandate what people can or cannot do. It’s illegal to drive drunk; it’s illegal to speed; and it’s illegal to drive or ride without a seat belt.

8. I have an air bag. I don’t need a seat belt. Air bags are designed to work in conjunction with seat belts, not as a restraint system alone. They are not soft cushy pillows. They deploy at approximately 250 miles an hour (the blink of an eye) and begin to deflate immediately after deployment. If you’re not buckled up, you will land in the air bag. Since it starts to deflate immediately, you will still be at risk for crashing into the steering column or through the windshield. Additionally, your front bumper must impact the object to set off your air bag in the first place!

9. I can’t wear a seat belt because I can’t feed my baby with it on. If you’re driving, your eyes should be on the road. If you’re trying to feed your baby in the backseat, you can’t possibly be focusing your attention on the road and you are risking both of your lives. If you’re a passenger and need to feed your baby a bottle, sit in the back seat with the baby. Both of you should be properly restrained. Nursing mothers should never feed a baby while the vehicle is moving. If someone crashes into your car, the laws of physics will make it impossible for you to hold onto your baby. Pull over to a safe location to nurse.

10. I have a medical condition. I can’t wear it. This can be a valid excuse, but only if you have a written medical note from your doctor. Carry it in your purse or wallet so it remains with you if you are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle.

The safest place in a vehicle for children to sit is in the back seat.

Use rear-facing child safety seats for infants from birth to at least 1 year, and at least 20 pounds. Infants in rear-facing child safety seats must never ride in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger-side airbag.Use forward-facing child safety seats for children who are over age 1 and 20 pounds, to about age 4 and 40 pounds.

Children from age 4 to at least age 8, and under 4′ 9″ tall or weight 40-80 lbs, who have outgrown forward-facing child safety seats should use booster seats with a lap-shoulder belt. A booster seat raises a child up so that the safety belt fits correctly.

A child who is age 8 and 4′ 9″ or taller or weight 80 lbs or more can use a safety belt. The lap belt should rest low and fit snugly across the child’s upper thighs. The shoulder belt should be centered on the shoulder and across the chest. The child should also be able to sit all the way back against the vehicle seat back with his or her knees bent comfortably over the edge of the seat.

Please remember the following guidelines when buying the proper safety seat for your child.

· Birth-1 Year, Up to 35 Pounds

o Use a rear-facing seat until your baby reaches the weight limit or height limit of the seat.

o Secure the chest clip even with your baby’s armpits.

o Fasten harness straps snugly against your baby’s body.

· 1-4 Years, 20 to 40 Pounds

o Use a forward-facing seat for as long as the safety seat manufacturer recommends it.

o Fasten harness straps snugly against your child’s body.

o Secure the chest clip even with your child’s armpits.

o Latch the tether strap to the corresponding anchor if your vehicle has one.

· 4-8 Years, Over 40 Pounds

o Use a booster seat.

o Fasten the lap belt across your child’s thighs and hips, not stomach.

o Strap the diagonal belt across the chest to rest on the shoulder, not the neck.


Leading Cause of Death for Teens
The heart of NHTSA’s mission is keeping families safe on America’s roadways. Young drivers, ages 15- to 20-years old, are especially vulnerable to death and injury on our roadways – traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America. Mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers.

We Know the Causes
Research shows which behaviors contribute to teen-related crashes. Inexperience and immaturity combined with speed, drinking and driving, not wearing seat belts, distracted driving (cell phone use, loud music, other teen passengers, etc.), drowsy driving, nighttime driving, and other drug use aggravate this problem.

The Objective for 2013
Increasing seat belt use by teenage drivers, Implementing graduated driver licensing for states without (NM has it), and Reducing teens’ access to alcohol.


Safety belts also provide the best protection for expectant mothers and their unborn children. Pregnant women should place the shoulder belt across the chest – between the breasts – and away from the neck. The lap belt should fit across the hips/pelvis and below the stomach. Never place the shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm. Never place the lap belt on or above the stomach.

Air Bag Safety Facts

Airbags are designed to deploy only when they might be needed to prevent serious injury. In order for airbags to be effective they must deploy early in a crash; this typically occurs within the first 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) in a frontal crash and within the first 20 milliseconds (0.02 seconds) in a side crash. A vehicle’s airbag control module relies on feedback from sensors to predict whether a crash is severe enough to warrant airbag deployment. Older vehicles use front bumper only sensors for air bag deployment.


· Air bags are safety devices designed to deploy in frontal but not other types of crashes. Most air bags will deploy only in a moderate-to-severe frontal crash.

· All new passenger cars were required to have driver and passenger air bags beginning with the 1998 model year. All new light trucks, including vans and sport utility vehicles, had the same requirement as of the 1999 model year.

· When all passenger vehicles are equipped with air bags, it is expected that more than 3,000 lives will be saved each year. (NHTSA)

· Driver air bags reduce deaths in frontal crashes by 50 percent for drivers wearing safety belts and 32 percent for unbelted drivers. Passenger air bags reduce deaths in frontal crashes by 14 percent for passengers wearing safety belts and 23 percent for unbelted passengers. (NHTSA)

· Occupants who are positioned too close to an air bag when it begins to deploy are at risk of serious injury. Since 1990, 149 deaths have been attributed to air bags deploying in low-speed crashes. (NHTSA) The deaths have included 68 children between ages 1 and 11, and 18 infants. (NHTSA) Of the 68 children killed, 54 are believed to have been unbuckled. (IIHS)

· Most air bag deaths have occurred when adults or children are not properly using safety belts or correctly placed in a child safety seat. Others are at risk due to positioning – such as drivers who are less than ten inches from the steering wheel and infants who are placed in rear-facing child safety seats near a passenger air bag. (NHTSA)


· Rear-facing child safety seats should NEVER be placed in the front seat of vehicles with passenger air bags. The impact of a deploying air bag on a rear-facing child safety seat can result in death or serious injury to the child. (NHTSA and IIHS)

· Steering wheel should be a minimum of 10 inches from the driver. Angle your wheel. By tilting your steering wheel downward, you ensure that when the airbag deploys it will do so towards your chest and not your head. If the airbag hits you too far up you can suffocate or suffer a serious head/neck injury.

· Hands on the steering wheel should be at least on the 9 and 3 o’clock position or lower to reduce broken wrist/arms when airbag deployed.

· The safest place for children under age 12 is in the back seat, properly restrained, and away from the force of a deploying air bag. (NHTSA and IIHS)

· If children must sit in front, make sure the vehicle seat is all the way back and that the child is securely buckled and sitting back in the seat at all times. (NHTSA and IIHS)

· NHTSA has procedures in place to allow those who are at risk of injury from an air bag to obtain on/off switches for the air bag. Only a small percentage of people those who cannot avoid being seated too close to an air bag should obtain an on/off switch. Before obtaining an on/off switch, small-statured drivers should consider installing pedal extenders in their automobile or look into newly manufactured automobiles that have pedal adjusters included as standard equipment.

If you do not have an airbag shutoff switch, you can have one installed after obtaining permission from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


· On September 18, 1998, NHTSA proposed new rules to improve air bag safety by requiring the introduction of advanced air bags over the next several years.

· These advanced air bag systems will increase air bag effectiveness and safety by reducing the risk of harm to out-of-position vehicle occupants from air bag deployment.

· The new air bag technology reduces air bag risks by adjusting or suppressing air bag deployment in instances in which an occupant would otherwise be at risk.

· Advanced air bags will enhance occupant protection and air bag safety but will not eliminate all risks. To make air bags as safe as possible, we also must increase safety belt and child safety seat use.

Motorcycles can also have frontal airbag, It is offered as an option on 2006 and later models of Honda’s Gold Wing touring motorcycle. Honda’s airbag is designed to deploy in severe frontal impacts and absorb some of the forward energy of the driver. No studies have been conducted into the real-world effectiveness of motorcycle airbags.

Honda Gold Wing touring motorcycle with frontal airbag

Together we can all make it safer on the highways. Safety First, Safety Always!

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

ICE your cell phone- In Case of Emergency

ICE – In Case of Emergency

Programming of Emergency Contact Numbers in your PLATEAU Cell Phones

ICE – In Case of Emergency – programming of your cell phones with ICE is a concept that was developed by a paramedic in England. It was realized that most of his victims did not carry emergency contact information but did carry cell phones. So the campaign started was to get people who carry cell phones to put in a listing of ICE in their cell phone directory with a number that should be called In Case of an Emergency.

There are over 300 million cell phone users in the United States today. Industry experts expect over 350 million users by end of 2013. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2012 that 1,800,000 emergency room patients could not provide contact information because they were incapacitated. So many individuals, including teenagers, leave the home each day without any identification or emergency contact information, yet carry a cell phone. Ice your phone could be very valuable to a lot of people in times of an emergency.

It is simple to do. First type the acronym ICE in your contact directory of your PLATEAU cell phone then the phone number of the person to be contacted in an emergency.

It has also been suggested that you add a period at the beginning of the acronym. This puts the listing first on the directory list. Thus .ice this also makes it quick for you to call this number since on most cell phones – after you push the Phonebook button the first entry is highlighted and ready for you to push the send button to make the call.

Some individuals like to add the name of the person after the ICE acronym. Thus, if someone wanted Bob to be called in an emergency, the contact listing might look like: ice-bob

A number of public safety agencies here in the United States are training their first responders to look for the ICE acronym in the cell phones of those that are not able to tell the first responder who to call In Case of an Emergency.

It has been proven that the ability to get vital health and medical information about a victim can be very important in how paramedics may treat someone who is unconscious.

The use of ICE for children can be very important because most do not carry wallets that would provide other important contact information. An ICE-mom or ICE-dad could be very important in providing this emergency contact.

Additionally, include ICE Poison Control phone numbers into your Plateau cell phone in case a family member, friend, pet or someone ingests some form of Poison. The Poison control phone number is 1-800-222-1222 or for your pet it is 1-888-426-4435.

ICE Advice
* ICE is not a substitute to keeping written emergency information in a wallet or purse. Emergency response teams first look to identify you before trying to contact next of kin.

* Cell phones are personal items that must remain with the victim. Written information can be photocopied. Keep ICE information limited – as this is accessible to anyone finding your cell phone.

* The person whose name and number you are giving has agreed to be your ICE contact.

* Your ICE contact(s) should have a list of people they should contact on your behalf, including your place of work.

* Your ICE contact should know about any medical conditions that could affect your emergency treatment – for example allergies or current medications

* If you are under 18, your ICE contact is either your mother or father or an immediate member of your family authorized to make decisions on your behalf

DO NOT password-protect your contact list.