Accelerate Team Performance with These Opportunities in May

Don’t coast along when it comes to employee skills and legal developments that impact your business. Engage people – and protect your bottom line – through a variety of upcoming training events.

The annual Indiana Worker’s Compensation Conference will take place May 11 at Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station. It will feature sessions on psychological injuries in the workplace; the impact of worker’s compensation on your organization; Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation Act (and how it works together with the FMLA and ADA); and more!

Sponsors are Athletico Physical Therapy, Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Ice Miller LLP and Pro Resources Staffing Services. Contact Jim Wagner at (317) 264-6876 regarding additional sponsorship and exhibit opportunities.

Shift gears by attending the annual Indiana Environmental Permitting and Reporting Conference on May 18-19 at the Indiana Chamber Conference Center. Sponsored by KERAMIDA, Inc., it’s the most complete and comprehensive permitting and reporting course offered in the state.

Highlights include:

  • 2016 Annual Reporting Requirements and Update
  • Are You Prepared for Your Next Air Compliance Inspection?
  • Spill Reporting and Spill Prevention Considerations
  • Most Common Notices of Violation – How to Demonstrate Permit Compliance
  • Beneficial Reuse of Foundry Sand/CCR – Permits and Regulations

Two additional events, both at the Indiana Chamber Conference Center, round out May offerings: Forklift Safety: Train the Trainer (May 24) and OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting Course (May 25).

Register for any of these events online or by calling Nick at (800) 824-6885.

Everest Veteran Elzinga Talks About Safety

elzinga2

Jim Elzinga, founder of Safety Culture Solutions, is known for conquering Mount Everest as one of Canada’s few elite Alpinists. He regaled attendees at today’s 2016 Indiana Safety and Health Conference & Expo in Indianapolis about his experiences during his speech, “Triumph and Tragedy on Mount Everest.”

Be a Champion of Safety in 2016

SafetyExpoEmployers don’t achieve outstanding safety records by accident.

Equip your team with winning strategies at the 2016 Indiana Safety and Health Conference & Expo – Be a Champion of Safety – on March 21-23 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.

Presented with the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers and in partnership with INSafe/Indiana Department of Labor, the event is one of the largest safety conferences in the Midwest.

The Indiana Safety and Health Conference & Expo is sponsored by Gibson. You can still build your business and attract new clients for 2016 by sponsoring this industry-leading event. Contact Jim Wagner at (317) 264-6876 today.

Featuring 64 breakout sessions and six pre-conference workshops covering a wide range of safety and health topics, it will include continuing education credit from more than 10 accrediting organizations.

You won’t want to miss these inspiring keynote presentations:

  • Jim Elzinga (opening general session: March 22): founder and president of Heroic Hearts, and one of Canada’s elite alpinists
  • Oliver Luck (morning general session: March 23): former quarterback of the Houston Oilers, father of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and executive vice president of regulatory affairs for the National Collegiate Athletic Association
  • Rodney Grieve (Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards luncheon: March 23): founder of BRANTA Worldwide
  • Elzinga’s address – Triumph and Tragedy on Mount Everest: Safety Lessons From the Grand Arena – recalls his first Everest expedition, during which four lives were lost. Four years later, a determined Elzinga led an expedition that successfully climbed the mountain by discovering a new route.

“I think people learn a lot through storytelling. My story is really around values and leadership, and I see those two kind of going hand in hand,” he asserts. “In industrial settings, those are probably the two most important things that relate (most) back to safety.”

The Chamber’s largest conference also will include a hands-on confined space rescue workshop with a mobile confined space simulator; free safety, health and environmental career counseling; the opportunity to interact with 100-plus exhibitors; and much more!

A special highlight is the Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards, which will honor organizations that have made safety and health a priority. Award applications are due no later than February 1.

Cost for the three-day conference and expo is $449. Other registration options – including group discounts – are available. Register by February 20 to receive early bird discounts! For more information, go to www.insafetyconf.com.

Pace Dairy of Indiana: Maximizing Its Chamber Membership Through Employee Training

Sarver_ShirleyShirley Sarver keeps a special reminder of her experience at the 2015 Indiana Safety and Health Conference & Expo with her every day.

“There was a saying that I absolutely loved,” comments Sarver, a production lead at Pace Dairy of Indiana in Crawfordsville (an Indiana Chamber member since 1998). “I don’t have Internet access at work, so I had my (IT) person send it to me (via) email so I could keep it with me.

“It says, ‘When people understand you, you get their attention. When people trust you, you earn their loyalty. When people know you really care, you catch their hearts.’ ”

One of the presenters shared the quote during a session on leadership.

“The class was very, very informative,” she asserts. “Since I’m a lead, I loved how he talked about being in the leadership role.”

Twenty years ago, a desire to help people attracted Sarver to Pace Dairy, a cheese plant operated by Kroger. It has two locations: Crawfordsville and Rochester, Minnesota. Each site has approximately 280 employees.

“I go out on calls. If they’re (workers) having problems on a line, I help troubleshoot,” she explains. “If I can fix it, I fix it. If I can’t, I get ahold of maintenance and help out where needed.”

Sarver, who has attended several of the Chamber’s annual safety conferences, values gaining knowledge that she can apply directly to her job.

“I think it’s very beneficial for the team because it gives us new ideas on what we can bring back here to the plant,” she reflects. “I would highly recommend the expo. You get to be one-on-one (learning about different products and services) instead of looking in a book.”

Pay Levels for Some Risky Jobs

16456116With deference to the recently retired David Letterman, who doesn’t love a Top 10 list? Especially when the title is “The World’s 10 Most Extreme Jobs.”

This entry offers warning signs for each profession. With cave diver, for example, the cautions are: Drowning due to lack of oxygen; decompression sickness; breathing the wrong gas mixture; and improper training could be fatal.

The jobs, and salaries, associated with each:

  • Cave diver: $58,640
  • Crocodile physiologist: $62,500
  • Whitewater rafting guide: $6,675 per season
  • Skydiving instructor: $24,000
  • Mount Everest guides: $5,000 per season
  • Professional stuntman: $70,000
  • Storm chaser: $60,968
  • Venom milker: $30,000
  • Smoke jumpers: $33,000
  • Safari guide: $73,000

Check out the complete listing for descriptions and warnings.

INDYCOG, Sun King Partner Up for Safety

Who here likes cycling? Great. Now, who likes local beer? Neat! I’m seeing a lot of the same hands. Then you should be enthused about this partnership between INDYCOG (Indianapolis’ bicycle advocacy group) and Sun King Brewing:

INDYCOG is partnering with Sun King Brewing Company to deliver a message of mutual respect on our roadways. The Coaster Safety messaging, which is part of an overall campaign known as Riders in the Know, consists of six messages: three focused on motorists and three on cyclists. These messages are designed to educate and mitigate conflict on our roadways. Sun King will be printing these messages on 20,000 drink coasters that they will distribute to bars and restaurants in the Indianapolis area who carry their product. The first two messages began circulating in early September, while the other four messages will be released with other local breweries over the fall and winter months.

“Sun King is focused on making our community a better place to live and work. We love working with INDYCOG to spread the word about bicycle advocacy and this coaster project is a great way to get the word about bicycle safety out all over Indy,’ said Clay Robinson, brewer/co-owner of Sun King Brewing Company.

“While crashes between bicycles and automobiles are not common (17% of all bicycle crashes), we would like to reduce that number to zero. We feel by concentrating our messaging on 6 of the most common causes for collisions between these two groups, we can contribute to working towards that goal,” said Kevin Whited, executive director, INDYCOG.

For more information on the Riders in the Know project or other information on bicycle safety, please visit INDYCOG online at www.theindycog.com.

NUCOR Earns Unique Certification for Steel Company

Congressman Mike Pence and Indiana Labor Commissioner Lori Torres will be in Crawfordsville today to celebrate NUCOR Crawfordsville earning an OSHA-sponsored STAR classification. It’s the highest safety rating a company can achieve, and NUCOR would be the only steel company in Indiana to earn the designation.

NUCOR Crawfordsville, one of the largest employers in west central Indiana, has added one more “first” to its ever-growing list of accomplishments and  has  scheduled a celebration to acknowledge the 710 teammates who worked together  to reach  this milestone…

“Working safely  is Priority One at all NUCOR locations and achieving the highest rating for the VPP program is something that we all worked to accomplish and will continue,” said John J. Purdy, Safety/Medical Director for the Crawfordsville operation.  He added that Nucor Steel Indiana is also dual registered in two other Safety Management Systems, ANSI Z10 and OHSAS 18001.

“It was a rigorous process that took three years to complete and involved a comprehensive wall-to-wall inspection with a dozen OSHA Safety and Health experts who spent two weeks observing and evaluating our procedures and talking with teammates,” said Ron Dickerson, Vice President and General Manager. “With the addition of VPP Star to the two other designations, we take great pride in being the only steel mill in Indiana and the Midwest to reach this level of Excellence in Occupational Safety and Health,” he said and added that the Crawfordsville Division joins eight other NUCOR steelmaking operations across the country which have achieved VPP’s STAR designation.

This latest accomplishment adds to the list of “firsts” attributed to the Crawfordsville plant.  When it opened in 1989, it ushered in a new era of steelmaking as the first Mini-Mill in the world to make quality flat-rolled steel using the revolutionary technology of “thin” slab casting.

In 2002, the plant also introduced the world’s first Castrip® Micro Mill which produces Ultra-Thin Cast Steel. The process instantly transforms molten steel directly into steel sheets in just one remarkable step. Compared to a traditional steelmaking facility, the Castrip process consumes about 95 percent less energy and emits less than one-tenth the greenhouse gases.

“We couldn’t be prouder of our teammates who have embraced the Safety First culture and entrepreneurial environment at NUCOR and work with us to keep the Crawfordsville operation a safe, top-performing facility,” Dickerson added.

Fire Marshal Inspecting All Outdoor Stages

With last year’s tragic stage collapse at the Sugarland concert during the Indiana State Fair, Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson wants to make it known that all outdoor stages are to be inspected by his office. Please see the following releases that were sent last week with information on how to comply with Indiana’s building and fire safety laws.

Outdoor Festivals and Fairs

More info can be found on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s web site.

Business Movement Grows to Support Transportation Infrastructure

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Congress on January 23 encouraging it to support investment in the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure. The letter had around 1,000 signatories from the business community, as most feel enhanced transportation infrastructure (better bridges, public transportation, etc.) will make America a better place to do business. Congress has until March 31 to reauthorize the current funding law: 

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE AND SENATE:

As Congress embarks on a new legislative session, we, the undersigned companies and organizations, urge you to Make Transportation Job #1 in 2012 and pass federal highway, transit and safety legislation before the current law expires on March 31. The long-delayed reauthorization of federal highway and public transportation programs is a major piece of unfinished business that can provide a meaningful boost to the U.S. economy and its workers and already has broad-based support.

To grow, the United States must invest. There are few federal efforts that rival the potential of critical transportation infrastructure investments for sustaining and creating jobs and economic activity over the short term.

Maintaining at 2011 levels—and ideally increasing—federal funding for road, bridge, public transportation and safety investments can sustain and create jobs and economic activity in the short-term, and improve America’s export and travel infrastructure, offer new economic growth opportunities, and make the nation more competitive over the long-term. Program reform would make the dollars stretch even further: reducing the time it takes transportation projects to get from start to finish, encouraging public-private partnerships and use of private capital, increasing accountability for using federal funds to address the highest priority needs, and spurring innovation and technology deployment.

We recognize there are challenges in finding the resources necessary to adequately fund such a measure. However, with the economic opportunities that a well-crafted measure could afford and emerging political consensus for advancing such an effort, we believe it is time for all involved parties to come together and craft a final product.

In 2011, political leaders—Republican and Democrat, House, Senate and the Administration — stated a multi-year surface transportation bill is important for job creation and economic recovery. We urge you to follow words with action: Make Transportation Job #1 and move legislation immediately in the House and Senate to invest in the roads, bridges, transit systems that are the backbone of the U.S. economy, its businesses large and small, and communities of all sizes.

 

Regulatory Relief or Justification?

A serious effort to reach out to job-creating businesses and stimulate economic growth or a political move now that the road to change in Congress is much less friendly? Reactions to President Obama’s call for reviewing federal health and safety regulations that might be too burdensome on business vary from those two camps to a few areas in between.

Two different perspectives, first from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has its doubts; second a CNBC analysis, which indicates the results might be surprising. As always, we’re interested in your take.

This executive order is hardly a war on red tape, and no affected businesses or consumers are going to be able to sue anybody to force compliance — it’s just an “order” to agencies to behave, says CEI’s Wayne Crews. 

Actually confronting regulation, the crippling extent of which remains unappreciated by both parties, requires going far beyond the words of an executive order. Some options include:

  • Implement a bi-partisan “Regulatory Reduction Commission” to vote up or down annually on a package of rules to eliminate.
  • Institute a moratorium or freeze on regulatory rulemaking now.
  • Hold hearings on Sen. Mark Warner’s (D-VA) “one-in, one-out” requirement for any new rule.
  • Rediscover federalism, that is, circumscribe the federal regulatory role regarding health and safety matters best left to states.
  • Enlarge regulatory flexibility and exemptions for small business.
  • Establish an annual Presidential address or statement on the state of regulation and its impact on productivity and GDP.
  • Sunset regulations after fixed period unless explicit reauthorization is made.
  • Implement a supermajority requirement for extraordinarily costly mandates.

As for CNBC.com, Senior Editor John Carney writes:

NBC news reports that the efforts will be run out of Cass Sunstein’s office inside the Office of Management and Budget. That’s hardly surprising. The entire op-ed reads as if Sunstein had a large role in authoring it. He’s long been an advocate of cost-benefit analysis of government regulation.

It’s important to note that in Sunstein’s interpretation, cost-benefit analysis does not have the implicitly libertarian outcomes that the leftist critics and some free market types expect. Indeed, it could be that both the critics and friends of this new executive order will be surprised.

Sunstein’s cost-benefit analysis, for instance, could well be used to support greater regulation of hedge funds or a stronger version of the Volcker Rule by pointing to the relatively modest costs involved and the potential costs of possible systemic risks. In advance of actually doing the cost-benefit analysis, we cannot know if any particular regulation will pass muster.

I suspect that in actual operation, we’ll discover that Sunstein-ian cost-benefit analysis is modestly pro-regulation. Especially when regulators are allowed to include vague things such as how a regulation impacts on equity, this kind of “watch the consequences” analysis is pretty open-ended and far more subjective than it might seem.