Archive for January, 2010

OSHA Holding Meetings on Combustible Dust for Informal Stakeholder

January 29, 2010

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have announced the scheduling of two meeting for informal stakeholders in order to gain ideas and comments in regards to combustible dust. The meetings are scheduled to take place at the Marriot Perimeter Center in Atlanta, GA on February 17th of this year at 9 am and 1:30 pm.

The meetings are in response to the growing dangers faced by workers who have to operate in an environment where combustible dust is present. Since 1980 there have been more than 780 injuries as a result of combustible dust and many cases were considered to be severe. OSHA wants to address this issue head on so that workers are working in and around combustible dusts do not face the possibility of injury or even death when the situation can easily be controlled and disaster diverted.

Combustible dusts are composed of solids such as rubber, coal, plastic, wood, metal, and more that have been ground into a fine particle or chip like state and some of these particles can be flammable when suspended in the air given certain conditions. This combustion can then lead to serious injury of workers who are in the area.

OSHA will use the information gathered from these meetings to formulate new and perhaps overdue standards and practices in regards to combustible dusts. OSHA is asking all those who are interested in participation to register with them no later than February 3rd. To obtain more information you can check online at or use the following link:


How Individual Food Companies can Make America’s Food Safer

January 29, 2010

With the ongoing debate on the Senate floor waging about the safety of food there is still much that needs to be done and that can be done by individual companies in order to keep the food that Americans consume safer. Food companies all across the country that excel as far as sales and exports go usually have one thing in common; they have outstanding compliance and traceability.

One of the more common functions in obtaining better compliance and tractability at food companies is the formation of a cross functional improvement team. Such a team is made up of individuals who possess a vast knowledge of the industry as a whole and will see these individuals implement new and innovative techniques to better safeguard the production, processing, and shipping of any and all food items.

Furthermore, food companies should make employees accountable for their roles. Proper training is the key ingredient here and if an employee knows that there is an oversight group watching they will also know that any problems may be traced back to them. This ensures that proper care in preparation is more often taken and that oversight happens less.

Finally, companies need to implement technologies that will help with the safety of their food production whenever it is applicable. Waiting for the government to mandate rules and regulations is a sure way to see a food company to the bottom of the food chain as far as reliability goes. If there is a technology that has come out and it will help a company to further enhance safety measures then it behooves that company to implement it sooner rather than later as a better and safer product means more to the bottom line.

While many companies are doing their parts to implement safety on their own, there is much more that needs to be done. The government is already on its way so a quality company will go ahead and beat the government to the punch.


3M Respirators and more sold by…a lifesaver

January 28, 2010

3M Respirators are a must for those who have to work in environments where there is contamination in the air. Sometimes wearing a quality respirator such as one from 3M, Moldex or North Respirators can literally mean the difference between life and death. But in an unexpected twist, now these life saving apparatuses are meaning a huge difference in the bottom line as well.

Take for example the corporate giant 3M whose fourth quarter sales posted an 11 percent gain in revenues. While not all attributed to the respirators, 3M cited them along with particle masks as a main reason behind the increase. This could be due to the fact that several studies have recently come out stating how cleanliness and particle masks or respirators are a great way to keep the H1N1 flu away.

While it may not be feasible for people to wear a full face respirator complete with cartridges and filters; it certainly is feasible that people could be wearing the smaller and disposable particle masks. Either way, companies like 3M carry both and have for some time now.

The surge in profits may be a short lived one due to the fact that the H1N1 flu has seemed to peak and is now perhaps beginning to level off, but however short-lived the unexpected windfall of money is, 3M will surely be glad to have it. As for 3M’s conscience; there is probably no better feeling than making money by way of helping people stay safe and disease free.


Personal Protective Equipment by


Safer Food Needed, But at What Cost

January 28, 2010

There is no doubt that the safety of America’s food has come into question over the past few years. There have been several outbreaks of various diseases and it leaves many worrying about the safety of the food that they will consume. This is not what Americans need. Americans should be able to prepare their foods at home or enjoy foods prepared for them if they choose to go out and not have to worry whether or not they may contract food poisoning as a result of consumption.

In July of last year the government took action to further regulate the safety of the foods that make it to the dinner tables across the country. The House passed its bill and later on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee passed their version of two separate bills on to the floor for debate.

The problem is that both bills are targeting by and large fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grain products which are all regulated and watched by the FDA. However there is much less emphasis on meats such as beef and poultry which is regulated by the USDA. While some of the issues seem to be addressed, there also seems to be a bit of a lacking in the balance of the two bills.

Additionally, the proposed measures in the bill will cost an annual amount of nearly $2 billion to implement properly. As if the money was not a big enough issue, the FDA has already cited many parts of the proposed bills that they say are not reasonable as far as expectations of implementation.

The answer it seems is to have the government work hand in hand with the FDA and other regulatory agencies in an effort to come up with a solution that is both viable and implementable. This is of utmost importance if America is to have safer food to eat and a safer overall feeling of well being.


FDA to Keep a Closer Eye on Foreign Food Producers

January 27, 2010

The FDA is planning on increasing how closely it inspects the food supply that is arriving from overseas; and in a big way. According to FDA officials the Obama administration is planning on increasing the number of inspections that are required to be conducted from 100 per year to 2000 per year.

FDA officials cite the focus on listeria, which is an important dairy imported product, as the main reason for the increase in inspections. This ingredient is found in a number of products that are sold here in the states including some dog foods and baby formula. The increased inspection effort is aimed at keeping children and animals safer.

Additionally the FDA is planning on looking into the over 200,000 foreign plants that produce food products for export to the United States. This is welcomed news as more and more food is being imported and due to the fact that the FDA currently only conducts 100 inspections on a yearly basis. These numbers prove that more should be done.

However, with increased commitment comes the need for increased funds and if the FDA is to ramp up their watchfulness by this much they will surely need more man power and other resources necessary to get the job done right. Hopefully the Obama Administration will see the need for such an increase in the FDA budget so that more food and food products being brought into this country can be better safeguarded and everyone in America can eat with a little less worry.

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