Read september.indd text version

9 · 2006

Vol. 5 Issue 3

A Publication of NIBA ­ The Belting Association

Belt Line

Special

Basic Conveyor Safety

By James Normanton and Kris Porter, Fenner Dunlop Americas

Safety Issue

Inside!

SAFETY TIPS

· Watch for pinch points around pulleys and idlers, especially tail pulleys and idlers as they tend to be easily accessible. · Don't put your hands where you wouldn't put your face! · Don't ride on a running conveyor. · Do not sit, stand, work, or walk on a conveyor that is not locked out! · Always use proper lockout procedures-- never shortcut! · Ensure emergency stop cables are within reach of someone caught in the conveyor. · Ensure everyone operating or working with the conveyor is familiar with and trained on the system controls. · Place guards over drive belts, motors, pulleys, and other rotating parts. · When in contact with idlers, be aware of pinch points and worn-out cans with sharp edges. You can easily be hurt or become caught on these parts. · Watch for loose or spilled materials on catwalks that may cause tripping or slipping hazards. · Watch for debris around conveyors, on the catwalks and pretty much wherever the conveyed material is not supposed to be. The spilled material more than likely came from somewhere on the system and you don't want to get hit if additional material falls. · Be aware that ladders and catwalks may be slippery due to rain or water spray. · Climb ladders using 3-points of contact. (continued on next page)

The only number of conveyor mishaps acceptable in a plant is zero. Every injury in a plant is costly, affecting worker morale, availability of trained labor, lost production, and increased overhead due to insurance premiums, mountains of paperwork, and possible fines from government regulatory agencies. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that over 50 workplace fatalities a year are the result of conveyor accidents. Safety, like putting on a seatbelt and keeping both hands on the wheel of your car, is a habit. Good habits, like bad habits, take work to create but take more work to break. Once a culture of safety is generated in your organization it will perpetuate itself. Take the time to explain to new employees where the safety hazards are located on and around a conveyor system. Provide warning signs and reminders to keep them aware of dangers.

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NIBA Awards Scholarships

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Women in the Belting Industry

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How To Retain Your Customers-- The Little Things Count

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Passport Required for Travel in Western Hemisphere

N19 W24400 Riverwood Drive, Waukesha, WI 53188

262.523.9090

FAX 262.523.9091

www.niba.org

A Publication of NIBA­The Belting Association

(continued from cover)

Directory Additions/Updates

DISTRIBUTOR/FABRICATOR Tecnibandas Industriales, SA Phone: 52.818.354.2850 MANUFACTURER/BELTING BEHA Innovation In Den Engematten 14 Glottertal, Germany D-79286 Phone: 49.7684.8009.0 Fax: 49.7684.8009.410 Christian Beha, President Bill Koch, U.S. Representative Gates Mectrol Web site: www.gatesmectrol.com E-mail: (name)@gatesmectrol.com Volta Belting Technology 11 Chapin Rd. Pine Brook, NJ 07058 Phone: (toll free) 877- VOLTA-US/973-276-7905 Fax: 973-276-7908 AFFILIATE

Always wear hardhats and safety glasses around conveyors. Use earplugs when necessary.

Cleaners need to be used properly.

Hustrulid Technologies Valle Escondido 3330-B4 Lo Barnechea, Santiago Chile

Conveyor safety is the job of everybody who approaches the system, not just those who are directly responsible for it. A conveyor is an inanimate object; it cannot feel, think, hate, or intentionally hurt someone; this means that if you get hurt on a conveyor system, at least part (and sometimes all) of the responsibility lies with you! Always pay attention to where you are and what you're doing as well as what other people are doing. Such situational awareness will lead you to see possible accidents before they happen and can save you and your company time, expense, and pain when an accident is prevented. Maintaining a safe work environment requires keeping your conveyor systems clean! Do not let carryback buildup become a safety and equipment hazard. Select cleaners that minimize the risk of damage to the belt and splice, have a well-designed tensioning device that applies reasonable, level pressure across the width of the blade, and have an easily replaceable blade. Be sure to maintain the cleaner (as not maintaining it will cause damage to the belt) and remove carryback as it accrues beneath the cleaners. Finally, be careful while walking among buildup as it is easy to lose your footing. On steep conveyors watch out for material rolling backwards and coming off the system; also be aware of electrical lines run to power motors and other equipment.

NIBA's logo, videos, written materials, etc., are proprietary material. Please submit a written request to NIBA Headquarters to receive permission for use in web sites, catalogs, promotional materials, etc. All articles in the Belt Line may be reprinted with prior written approval from NIBA.

BELT LINE

Publisher ............. Randall E. Rakow Editor ............................ Cie Motelet The NIBA Belt Line is designed and printed by MRA's Publishing Services. Editing of all member submissions for inclusion in the Belt Line is a NIBA Board of Directors requirement. Generally, comments regarding quality, value, cost, etc., will be deleted.

Remember, the key to conveyor safety is YOU!

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A Publication of NIBA­The Belting Association

NIBA Awards Scholarships

NIBA received 24 applications for two $2,000 college scholarships that NIBA offers to the children of employees of NIBA distributor/fabricator member companies each year. "The criteria of academic achievement, leadership, community service/activities, and student thesis are used in evaluating the applications. The subcommittee members were awed by the terrific accommplishments and activities of these students," comments Chris McCarty, Bullitt County Belting & Supply, who serves as Chairman of the Scholarship Subcommittee. Melody Wallace and David Ravelle Reed II have been selected as recipients of the 2006 Ray Snow Scholarships. Melody, daughter of James Wallace of Richmond Supply, is from Evans, Georgia, and David, Grand Lake, Louisiana, is the son of Sue Reed of Lake Charles Rubber & Gasket. The NIBA Scholarships provide these students with financial assistance to complete their college education and pursue their chosen career fields.

"Thank you so very much for selecting me to receive the 2006 scholarship.I am so grateful for this opportunity to accept such a wonderful gift. I feel as though my hard work over the last four years has been recognized and appreciated." ­ Melody Wallace "My sincere thanks to the members of the Belting Association for allowing me to pursue my dreams of attending architecture school. With this dream comes much financial stress, more than most majors at any university. This scholarship will allow me to buy my drafting table, seemingly infinite design project supplies, and even books." ­ David Ravelle Reed II

Pictured Right: Scholarship winners Melody Wallace and David Ravelle Reed II.

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A Publication of NIBA­The Belting Association

NIBA Technical Seminar Graduates 39 Members

Tim Barden Troy Belting & Supply Jesse Benton Beltservice Corporation John Boshart Bullitt County Belting Craig Victor Brunelli Voss Belting & Specialty Co. Christy Crivelli Kaman Industrial Technologies Erik Dewitt Ontario Belting Noel Downing Legg Co. Congratulations to the following belting industry personnel who successfully completed NIBA's recent seminar, Fundamentals of Belting Technology, held in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 19 and 20. The Fundamentals of Belting Technology course offered by NIBA's Education and Training Committee is a computer-generated presentation with interspersed film clips, photo examples, and comments from the animated mascot, Dr. Miles Escargot. Pre- and post-testing measured learning at a 100 percent pass rate, and 100 percent of students scored 80 percent or better on the post-test as compared to 8 percent on the pre-test. Industry expert instructors, René Morf of VIS USA, LLC, Russ Agnes, Chiorino, Inc., and Sharon Horn, RAM Enterprises, provided information on a wide variety of belting applications throughout the session. Thank you to these dedicated volunteers who gave of their time and talents for the betterment of NIBA and the belting industry. Bob Drexler Beltservice Corporation Rich Fowler Advanced Flexible Composites Greg Hoon Jerry Bros. Industries Frank Hyclak Goodyear Tire & Rubber Kimberley Johnson Belting Industries Mike Kidner Jerry Bros. Industries Henry Kman Conveyor Accessories, Inc. Ed Krukowski Kaman Industrial Technologies Carol Krupp Jerry Bros. Industries Glenn Kuras Passaic Rubber Duane Leach Global Belting Technologies Jeff Mathers Goodyear Tire & Rubber Ed McAvinue Chiorino, Inc. Jim McKee Clipper Belt Lacing Co. Patrick O'Brien Kaman Industrial Technologies David Pech Reveyron Louise Pickrell Chiorino, Inc. Brent Richie Conveyor Services Matt Ritz Baltimore Belting Duncan Rounds Troy Belting & Supply Julie Rowe Garlock Rubber Technologies Frank Smith Advanced Rubber & Plastics Chris St. Mary Sampla Belting N/A Cynthia Stroup Stroup & Son Ltd. Jason Stroup Stroup & Son Ltd. Sherry Taylor Garlock Rubber Technologies David Tersigni Goodyear Tire & Rubber Erin Tiedemann Belting Industries Gonzalo Varela AFM Industries Justin Matthew Voss Voss Belting & Specialty Co. Tom Weldon Conveyor Services Tom Wise Bullitt County Belting

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A Publication of NIBA­The Belting Association

Welcome New Members!

It is a pleasure to welcome the following members to our Association: (Member categories are DF = Distributor, MG-B = Mfg/Belting, MG-C=Mfg/ Components, XX = Affiliate) DISTRIBUTOR

BRAFER S.L. C/Jupiter, 57 Pol. Ind. Can Parellada Terrassa, Barcelona/Catalunya Spain 08228 Phone: 34.93.784.83.81 Fax: 34.93.784.83.94 Web site: www.mtbrafer.com E-mail: [email protected] Xavier Fernandez Liron, Administrator Gerenie Jordi Miguel Samper, Delegado Ventes Sponsored by VIS USA, LLC Friesen's Inc./Conveying Solutions 1389 Cormorant Avenue Detroit Lakes, MN 56502 Phone: 218.844.4439 Fax: 218.844.0358 Web site: www.friesen'sinc.com Jerry Ulness, Vice President/Operations Sponsored by Sampla Belting Iroc Service Supply, Inc. 17907-106 Ave NW Edmonton, AB T5S 2H1 CANADA Phone: 780.447.2242 Fax: 780.444.2663 E-mail: [email protected] Scott Rupert, Director Sponsored by AFM Industries Maine Industrial Plastics & Rubber Corp. 21 Teague Street, P O. Box 381 . New Castle, ME 04553 Phone: 207.563.5532/800.540.1846 Fax: 207.563.8457 Web site: miprcorp.com Henry G. Lee, President Sponsored by Portland Rubber Co. OTI Ingenieria y Construccion SA de CV Blvd. Benito Juarez No. 505 Altos Col. Palma Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico 25730 Phone: 52.866.633.05.10, 633.37.09 Fax: 52.866.633.16.62 E-mail: [email protected] Carlos Altaba Nanez, President Sponsored by Conveyor Accessories, Inc. Polytech Design Inc. 26 West First Street Clifton, NJ 07011 Phone: 973.340.1390 Fax: 973.340.7444 Web site: www.polytechdesign.com Zak Shasha, President Sponsored by Aarubco Rubber Co. PT. Suprabakti Mandiri Grana Supra, JL. Danau Sunter Utara Bloc A. No. 9 Jakarta-Utara, Indonesia 14350 Phone: 62.21.65833666 Fax: 62.21.65831666 Web site: www.beltcare.com E-mail: [email protected] Jimmy Hadinata, General Manager Susanto Houtama, Plant Manager Sponsored by Rema Tip Top

AFFILIATE

Invista S.a.r.l. 4501 Charlotte Park Drive Charlotte, NC 28219 Phone: 704.586.7392 Fax: 704.586.7563 Web site: www.invista.com Mike Hillard, Sr. Account Executive Dan Gajewski, Sr. Engineer Sponsored by NIBA Membership Team

The members of the 2006 Membership Team are:

Tom Acker Beltservice Corp. Bob Holda Fabreeka International Sharon Horn Cleating Resources Scott Kesner Jerry Bros. Industries Teresa Key Atlanta Belting Company Mike McFerren Rema TipTop Paul Smith American-Biltrite (Canada) Ltd. Vernon Smith Charles Walker NA Tom Wujek Flexible Steel Lacing Co.

MFG / COMPONENTS

Luff Industries 3528 80th Ave SE Calgary, AB T2C 1J3 CANADA Phone: 403.279.3555/888.349.5833 Fax: 403.279.5709 E-mail: [email protected] Web site: www.luffindustries.com Steve Cook, Sales Manager Matthew Fasoli, General Manager Sponsored by RAM Enterprises Novitool TMC Buys Ballot Straat 31 Heerhugowaard, The Netherlands 1704 SK Phone: 31.72.576.3980 Fax: 31.72.571.7231 Web site: www.novitool.com E-mail: [email protected] Harald P Van der Kroef, Managing . Director Jan S.Van't Schip, Managing Director Sponsored by Derco, Inc.

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A Publication of NIBA­The Belting Association

Women in the Belting Industry

Mary Jane Richardson, Vice President, Conveyor Accessories, Inc.

How did you get into the world of belting/belting products?

When my husband, Tom, was transferred to Chicago as Regional Sales Manager of Globe Albany Belting in 1974, I was a stay-at-home mom with 3 small children. He was soon busy nights and weekends getting his MBA. When he was half done with that, he was promoted to National Sales Manager and we were offered a transfer to corporate--Buffalo, New York. Our family had just gotten settled in Chicago, we really liked it, and we wanted a permanent place to call home. After some soul-searching, in 1979 we took the bold step of starting our own business and Conveyor Accessories was born. I was to be there six weeks, just for the start-up, and that was 26 years ago. I'm still very much a full-time member of our team, and it has meant a lot to be able to watch Conveyor Accessories mature and establish a world-known name.

When did you become a member of NIBA and how has it helped you in your work?

Conveyor Accessories, Inc., joined NIBA in 1980 and as funds were available I attended the conventions. Some great trips and friends followed, not to mention some real learning experiences. I feel we have a network of not only friends, but also skilled experts to call on when the situation is needed.

"My hope is that both NIBA and Conveyor Accessories will continue to grow and bring resources to those who count on us."

What obstacles have you faced in this industry?

Obstacles are what keep you vibrant. In the 1980s interest rates hit the ceiling; as a start-up company we learned to be very efficient with our dollars. Producing ever better products happens all the time; competition for marketshare is always present. Somehow we have always been able to meet the challenges, and we are glad to continue to have that chance.

U.S. Market Analysis of Conveyor Belting

According to a study in the latest issue of Modern Distribution Management newsletter, Boulder, Colorado, the top ten industries in dollar volume using flat conveyor belting-MRO are: Bituminous coal ­ Underground Mining Bituminous Coal & Lignite Surface Mining Grocery Stores Paper Mills Coal Mining Services U.S. Postal Service Electric Services Chemical & Fertilizer Mineral Mining Paperboard Mills Soybean Oil Mills For more information contact Modern Distribution Management at www.mdm.com

What advice would you give a woman new to this industry?

Ninety percent of the people you'll meet and work with are really great. Give them a chance and they will help you along the way.

What are the most valuable lessons you've learned?

People the world over are unique to their origins and, in that same vein, you can find good people everywhere. I could never have survived the ups and downs without Tom's constant encouragement and presence. Also I would say that, if you don't strive for something, you'll never know whether or not you could do it.

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A Publication of NIBA­The Belting Association

Members in the News

Advanced Flexible Composites announces that Bill Barnard has been named the 2005 Sales Person of the year. The 2005 class included Bill Barnard, Jay Russ, Tim Brown, and Fred Bridge. Argonics, Inc., announces the acquisition of Kryptane Systems, LLC, of Louisville, Colorado. Kryptane produces precision cast polyurethane products such as precision rollers, casters, springs, and agricultural, medical, and recreational products. ASGCO's Tru-Trainer belt tracking system has been featured in North American Quarry News, World Coal, and Bulk Solids magazines. Interroll Corporation has acquired BDL Drum Motors to become the world's largest manufacturer of drum motors for the material handling and food processing industries. Jim Way Enterprise Co., Ltd., was featured recently in Bulk Solids Handling magazine. Lewis-Goetz and Company received an Excellent Supply Award from PPG Industries for superior accomplishments in 2005. Recipients of PPG's supplier awards are chosen by ratings and evaluations measuring quality, delivery, documentation, innovation, responsiveness, and commercial value. Martin Engineering Services Group, LLC, the engineering and project management business unit of Martin Engineering, has expanded its capabilities with the addition of the employees and hardware assets of Stahura Industrial Services, Inc. (SISI), of Butler, Pennsylvania. Maxi-Lift supplied almost 7,000 new Tiger Tuff and HD-Max elevator buckets to the Cooperative Producers Inc. terminal elevator in Hastings, Nebraska. Metso Minerals was mentioned in the April 2006 issue of Bulk Solids Handling. They will supply two lines of triple railcar unloading stations to Jingtang Port in Hebei province, China. Both lines are due to be commissioned in August 2007. Each line consists of train moving equipment for indexing the train through the unloading station and a rotary dumper that rotates three rail cars at once. Each line will be capable of unloading trains at the rate of 93 rail wagons per hour. For coal, this translates into an unloading rate of over 7,400 tons per hour per line. Jingtang will be only the second port in the world to operate triple car dumpers. PRC Industrial Supply has been acquired by Singer Equities. Founded in 1880, PRC specializes in the sale and installation of conveyor belting, industrial hose, and hydraulic hose and components. Rulmeca Corporation's Mike Gawinski recently co-authored a technical paper at the 2006 Coal Prep Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, with Steve Pringle. Head of Coal Preparation, UK Coal Ltd. The paper is entitled Motorised Pulley Solves Dirt Conveyor Problem at UK Coal Colliery. Wirebelt Corporation was honored at the Greater Manchester Red Cross Ball for two major initiatives resulting in a donation of more than $56,000 to disaster victims in 2005.

MEMBER TO MEMBER

Personnel Changes

ASGCO has appointed Mark Bayley as Sales Manager for Western North America and Joe Sander as Power and Mining Manager. CFM Industrial Rubber appoints Eric Savoie as Outside Sales Representative for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Conveyor Services, Inc., has added Grzegorz "Greg" Dewicki as Vice President of Engineering. Conviber, Inc., is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Nikish as Territory Manager in the Southeastern Pennsylvania market area. Goodyear Engineered Products names Jeffrey Mathers as Product Specialist for Light Weight. Hoffmeyer Co., Inc. recently promoted Ronald E. Yob as President. Interroll Corporation welcomes Randy Petitt as Industry Specialist. MWE Belting Company appoints Michelle Hill as Operations Manager. Siegling America welcomes Bruce McMickle as Manager of Airport Projects. Wirebelt Corporation announces the addition of Allison Pimley as Marketing Specialist.

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A Publication of NIBA­The Belting Association

MEMBER TO MEMBER

New Promotion/ Advertising Plans

ASGCO has a new 12-page primary/secondary belt cleaner brochure. They are running an advertising campaign in industry trade publications. Shaw-Almex Industries Ltd. has produced new literature for their heavyweight belt vulcanizers. You can download the new brochures at www.almex.com or call 1-800-4614351, ext 329. Maine Industrial offers inventory consignment services.Visit www.miprcorp.com or www.conveyorbeltingoverstock. com for more information. Universal Belting Resource has a new Web site, www. universalbelting.com now under construction.

Thank you...

to the following member companies for their sponsorship of golf outing activities: Golf Outing Lunch Sponsors Habasit Belting Flexible Steel Lacing Company Scholarship Fund Sponsors Sampla Belting ­ Hole-in-One Contest and $1,000 matching donation Shaw-Almex Industries ­ Driver donation for raffle Hole Sponsors Ag Belt Inc. Alabelt USA Ammeraal Beltech Inc. Belt Corp. of America Beltmax Beltservice Corporation Blair Rubber Company BRECOflex Bullitt County Belting Chemi-Flex D.P Brown of Detroit Inc. . Depreux Esbelt S.A. EX-Cel Industrial Belting Fenner Dunlop Americas Franke's Wood Products Green Belting Industries Legg Company Inc. Lippert International Price Rubber Company Siegling America Inc. Tasman Belting Trico Belting & Supply US Bearings & Drives VIS USA, LLC Volta Belting

New Facilities

ASGCO announces a new hands-on training facility at its headquarters plant in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Conveyor Services, Inc. has completed the move to their new offices and shop at 70 Industrial Park Road, Blairsville, Pennsylvania 15717. The 73,000 sf building has complete belt refurbishing facilities using three tables. Esbelt announces the formation of Esbelt Trading, Inc., a U.S. company and subsidiary of Esbelt SA to provide a warehouse to support Esbelt distributors in North America. The warehouse will be located in St. Louis, Missouri. Flexible Steel Lacing Company has renovated their corporate offices in a project that expanded office space by 15 percent. Martin Engineering has announced plans to construct in Neponset, Illinois, a 20,000 square foot research and development center which will focus on bulk material handling technology advancement. Shaw Almex Chile S.A. founded in November of 2004 has moved into a new, larger, space in Santiago, Chile, increasing their staff and floor space.

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A Publication of NIBA­The Belting Association

MEMBER TO MEMBER

New Products

Argonics, Inc., introduces Gator Guard, a patented conveyor return roller guard which can prevent personnel from getting caught between the conveyor belt and the return roller. ASGCO introduces new products: Skalper MDX, Razorback MDX, and Dual Tru-Trainer. BRECOflex Co., LLC, offers a large variety of seamless ESBAND® flat belts with and without carcass. Visit www.brecoflex.com. Charger Engineering has new 50,000 lb. HD 12-ft. roll capacity next generation hydraulic lift arm belt slitters. Portable hydraulic windups for up to 400-ft. belt rolls, mobile application. Esbelt premiers their new ASTER 24QF, high grade PVC, 4.5 mm longitudinal grooved cover and 85 lb. carcass belt. Flexible Steel Lacing Company adds MMP Medium-Duty Precleaner for underground mines and abusive above ground applications to their Mineline "Mine-Tough" conveyor product family. They also introduce their Clipper® Roller Lacer Gold Class. Goodyear Engineered Products has introduced a new rubber compound, Goodyear Defender, for conveyor belts for a broader range of operating temperatures. Hoffmeyer Co., Inc., now stocks 84" wide 330, CXC and CXB conveyor belts. Interroll Corporation now has a narrow belt drive for small size belt conveyors with roller lengths of 2.68 inch ­ 5.83 inch and full load speeds of 98-197 fpm. Jim Way Enterprise Co., Ltd., introduces HDPE idler and S-type secondary cleaner (patent authorized by Japan and U.S.A.; researched and developed with China Steel Corporation). Maxi-Lift introduces CC-MAX to their agricultural bucket line. MWE Belting Company will now offer full hot vulcanization service and 24-hour emergency capabilities.

New Products continued . . .

Rulmeca Corporation announces that model 400H motorized pulleys (up to 20 hp) are now assembled at the company's Wilmington, North Carolina facility, shipping "same day," if necessary. Shaw-Almex delivered their first ground fault temperature control panels to King Energy in Denver, Colorado. The Model T4GF is designed for use with sectional and frame style presses in U.S. underground mines. The new control panels were designed to standards set out by the Bureau of Deep Mine Safety of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Universal Belting Resource has polyester mesh belts, 3 meter polyurethane, vacuum belts, depanners. Wirebelt Corporation has introduced CompactGrid, their new metal conveyor belt. Visit www.wirebelt.com for information.

New Equipment

Universal Belting Resource has a CNC hole cutter and a longitudinal high speed press.

Used Equipment/ Machinery for Sale

Hoffmeyer Co., Inc., has for sale a Shaw-Almex B64, 34"x64", HD belt press. Call Ron at 503.682.3555. Vaughn Belting offers a 48" slitter, 72" water cool press, and a V-guide machine. Call 864.574.0234.

Equipment Wanted

Bandas y Accesorios is seeking a vulcanized press (used) to vulcanize fabric and steel belts. Contact Ricardo Carreon R. 866.635.3780 or fax 866.635.3190. Belt Maintenance Group is looking to purchase partial or complete Shaw-Almex vulcanizers. BMG is very interested in longer and heavy rated bars and control box parts. Fax your sales list and pricing to 813.248.5716.

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A Publication of NIBA­The Belting Association

How to Retain Your Customers--The Little Things Count

Tailor services to the unique needs of customers.

You don't have to offer all services to all customers. In today's diverse marketplace, not all customers want the same things. A paper manufacturer designed its services around five customer categories: a) small, fast-growing firms that needed technical help; b) established customers that used the paper supplier as a sole source; c) companies that used two or three suppliers; d) those that used a large number of suppliers; and e) those that bought purely on price. By giving each customer segment what they wanted in the way that they wanted it, the company achieved higher profits.

An eye-opening study found the cause of dissatisfaction for 70 percent of unhappy customers was indifference shown toward them by the owner, manager, or an employee. Only 15 percent were actually unhappy with the product. Here are some great customer satisfaction stories that illustrate this point.

Neighborly helpfulness.

Lands' End, the successful catalog clothing retailer located in Wisconsin, adheres to the philosophy of quality products and coddled customers. Their Specialty Shoppers department, which handles between 600 and 1,500 calls per day, once helped a customer seeking advice on how to measure her Dalmatian for a child's sleeper. Another customer returned a robe only to remember she had left her diamond ring in the pocket, and two departments collaborated to track down the ring. The little things count. Ask yourself--is your company self-serving or customer-serving? A litmus test to make sure priorities are straight is the Golden Rule: Am I treating my customer the way I would want to be treated as a customer? Your answer may surprise you!

Customers purchase "the company" rather than a specific product or service.

Stanley Marcus, of Neiman-Marcus department store says, "The dollar bills the customer gets from the tellers in four banks are the same. The difference is the tellers."

Don't quibble over a small charge.

Many companies make the mistake of thinking that accuracy is more important than a smooth working relationship. If a customer who spends $50,000 per year with your business suddenly starts making an issue over a $50 charge, forget about who is right or whether giving in will set a bad precedent with either your customer or someone else. Focus on the big picture and never view the finer points of a single transaction as a place to draw a line.

The articles in the Safety Issue included with this Belt Line were compiled by qualified labor relations and human resource specialists from MRA-The Management Association. The information contained in the articles should not be regarded as a substitute for legal counsel in specific areas. MRA is NIBA's association management company and is one of the largest employers associations in the United States with almost 2300 member companies in the Midwest. For more information about MRA and its services, visit www.mranet.org.

A recovery plan: Customers don't expect perfection, but they have definite expectations when things go wrong.

Greg McNary, of Air Distributors Company, Inc., increased sales by 48 percent and profits by 80 percent, with this approach: "We're not perfect, but when we do make a mistake, our customers can count on two things. We apologize and we'll fix the problem at no expense to the customer."

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A Publication of NIBA­The Belting Association

Passport Required for Travel in Western Hemisphere

any of these passport alternatives will be approved by the time the WHTI goes into effect. The State Department expects to begin issuing electronic passports ("e-passports") sometime in 2006. Traditional passports will no longer be issued once e-passports are introduced. An e-passport is the same as a traditional passport with the addition of a small integrated circuit (or "chip") embedded in the back cover. The chip will store the same data visually displayed on the data page of the passport, a biometric identifier in the form of a digital image of the passport photograph, which will facilitate the use of face recognition technology at ports of entry, the unique chip identification number, and a digital signature to protect the stored data from alteration. It is expected that e-passports will allow travelers to pass through U.S. ports of entry more quickly because they can be processed by a machine reader rather than hand-reviewed by a person. Even though traditional passports will remain valid after e-passports are introduced, business travelers may want to consider applying for an e-passport when they become available in order to take advantage of the faster processing at ports of entry.

At the present time, only a U.S. birth certificate and a photo identification are required to return to or travel to the United States from anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, including Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Central and South America. That will change on December 31, 2006, when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) takes effect. The WHTI is a new program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). WHTI requires a "passport or other accepted document" for every admission into the United States. The original effective date was December 31, 2005, but that date was pushed back in order to allow additional time for travelers to obtain passports. The passport requirement is now effective December 31, 2006, for air and sea travel, and December 31, 2007, for land travel. Employers should notify all employees of this new requirement, particularly those employees whose jobs involve or may involve travel in the Western Hemisphere. Employees should be encouraged to apply for passports or renew expiring passports as soon as possible in order to avoid travel delays when the new requirements take effect. According to the State Department, it takes at least six weeks to obtain a passport if application is made in the United States. The peak passport processing times are January through July so processing times are greater during that period. DHS is considering issuing a laminated wallet card as a convenient, low-cost alternative to a passport for traveling within the Western Hemisphere. It is also looking into the possibility of approving one of the existing types of immigration cards for this purpose. It does not appear that

In Memoriam

Bob Haley Fenner Dunlop Conveyor Belting 1940 ­ 2006 A giant in the belting industry. Hellmut Siegling Siegling GmbH 1922 ­ 2006 He will be remembered with a deep sense of respect and gratitude. Mike Sammons A 25-year veteran of the belting industry. Contact Samson Industrial for Memorial information.

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Fall Technical Semiar

Precision Selling

Sacramento, California

October 25-26, 2006

There Is Still Time to Register

Contact NIBA for a brochure or visit www.niba.org for seminar information

NIBA­The Belting Association N19 W24400 Riverwood Drive Waukesha, WI 53188

PRESORT STD. U.S. POSTAGE PAID MILWAUKEE, WI PERMIT NO. 3708

800/MRA/9-06

9 · 2006

A Publication of NIBA ­ The Belting Association

Belt Line

Special

SAFETY

Issue

What You Need to Know About OSHA Inspections

By Douglas Getting, Safety Director

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is authorized to conduct inspections of workplaces, issue citations for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and propose penalties for alleged violations. Employers subject to the OSH Act should educate themselves about their rights and develop a procedure to follow in the event an OSHA inspector comes knocking at the door to inspect the worksite. Based upon the limited number of OSHA inspectors, OSHA cannot inspect all workplaces, so they have established inspection priorities in order to carry out their mission of reducing workplace injuries. They concentrate their inspection efforts on: · Imminent danger ­ situations or conditions where a danger exists that can be expected to cause death or serious physical harm. · Catastrophes and fatal accidents ­ employers are required to report deaths or the hospitalization of three or more employees to OSHA within eight hours. · Complaints and referrals ­ employee complaints of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions, as well as referrals from any source. · Programmed inspections ­ specific high-hazard industries, workplaces, occupations, or substances may be targeted. · Follow-up inspections ­ for the purpose of determining whether an employer has corrected previously cited violations. OSHA compliance officers are authorized to, at reasonable times, in a reasonable manner, and within reasonable limits: · Enter any factory, plant, establishment, construction site or other area of the workplace or environment where work is being performed. · Inspect and investigate during regular working hours and at other times any such place of employment. · Question privately any employer, owner, operator, agent, or employee.

(continued on page 2)

Safety and Health Training

2

OSHA Inspection Planning

3

Preparing for a Pandemic

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Hiring Safe Workers 1

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What You Need to Know About OSHA Inspections (continued from cover page)

Safety and Health Training: Spice It Up With a Good Story

By Doug Getting, Safety Director

At the beginning of the OSHA inspection process, the employer should review the credentials of the OSHA compliance officer. The compliance officer will hold an opening conference with the employer and employees' representatives. The compliance officer will discuss the reason for the inspection and the expectations for the scope of the inspection. Employers should make every effort to limit the scope of the inspection to the area defined in the employee complaint or the warrant. It is not in an employer's best interest for the compliance officer to make a "wall-to-wall" inspection or to be permitted to wander through the facility. In fact, employers may want to carefully plan the route of the inspection tour to the area addressed in the complaint or warrant to go through as little of the facility as possible. During the walk-around inspection, the compliance officer (and accompanying employer and employee representatives) will inspect the facility for potentially hazardous working conditions. The officer may consult with employees in private. At a closing conference the OSHA compliance officer may discuss his or her findings and possible corrective actions. OSHA may issue citations for violations of the OSH Act within six months of the inspection. The citations inform the employer and employees of the regulations and standards allegedly violated and of the proposed time for abatement. The employer is required to post a copy of each citation at or near the place where the violation occurred for three days or until the violation is corrected, whichever is longer. Employers and employees can challenge the citations, the abatement period, or the amount of the fines by filing a Notice of Contest within 15 days of receiving the citation. If the employer believes the violation can or should be remedied in a different way than the citation requires, the employer can file a petition for modification of abatement. Be prepared by developing a plan for OSHA visits, and have your employees and management team in place when OSHA

The job of a safety trainer can really be tough. Your students show up for class with a preconceived idea that a class on safety (hazardous chemicals, forklifts, or confined spaces) has to be a great place to catch up on some sleep. The instructor can hear the comments as the students come into the classroom and the challenge is on. Somehow, you have to get the students to buy in to the topic of the day. So what's a safety trainer to do? Do you sing, or dance, or tell jokes, or do magic tricks, or do you give up and admit that safety training just has to be boring? Well, I have to admit it, but I love to tell stories and I like to invite my students to do the same. There's no better way to help explain a difficult subject or solidify important ideas or subject matter than tying it together with a good story. Whole generations have passed on belief systems with oral traditions. Let me give you an example. I often train employees about hazardous chemicals and chemical reactivity. The discussion must include the fact that mixing the wrong chemicals together can create a chemical reaction that can explode or release toxic chemical vapors. This topic may not make much sense to someone in till I ask him or her this question? "Did your mother ever tell you to never mix ammonia and _______?" So what is your answer? Often about half the class will answer with the word "bleach." The class will answer, there will be discussion between individuals, and the stories will start to flow. Then I ask if someone wants to share a story with the class. It works every time and people will leave remembering about reactive chemicals. OSHA has over 100 references to training requirements in the general industry standards. Training can consist of a combination of formal instruction and practical training. We have all sat through training that includes watching videotapes, participating in interactive computer

(continued on page 6) 2

NIBA Beltline Special Safety Issue

OSHA Inspection Planning Pays Off

By Nancy N. Stott, Manager, Employee Relations Services

Will the compliance officer be required to provide a search warrant? Employers have the right to require the compliance officer to obtain a judicially authorized search warrant before entering the worksite. Issuance of a search warrant is generally based on administrative probable cause or evidence of a violation. Practically speaking, it is not difficult for a compliance officer to obtain a warrant and, if an employer requires a warrant before allowing the officer to enter the worksite, the inspection will only be delayed by a short period of time-- often just hours. How will the scope of the inspection be limited? Most OSHA inspections are conducted without advance notice. This means that now is the time to prepare for an OSHA inspection because an employer subject to the Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) Act never knows when an OSHA compliance officer may come knocking on the door. Having a plan in place to handle an inspection will enable the organization to control those factors they can control and ensure the organization's rights are respected. The first step in developing the plan is to put together the management inspection team. In the event of an inspection, which representatives of management will accompany the compliance officer? Possible candidates may include the company's lawyer, or representatives from safety, operations, and/or maintenance. Each organization needs to look at its structure and determine who are the appropriate management individuals to interact with the compliance officer. Employees also have a right to be represented at the inspection. In a union setting, the union will decide on the representatives. In a nonunion facility, the employees have a right to select representatives, but this is not practical given the lack of advance notice. Therefore, management may want to determine which employees will be asked to accompany the compliance officer. This should be done by positions (i.e., the safety committee representative from the areas that will be inspected), rather than by the names of individuals. Procedures should then be established for managing the actual inspection. Consider: It is important not to allow the compliance officer to wander through the facility. He or she should be accompanied at all times. It is up to the employer to make sure the inspection is limited to the areas cited in the complaint or search warrant, which includes planning the least "scenic" route through the facility to the inspection site. Of course, this cannot be done ahead of time because the employer does not have advance notice of the focus of the inspection, but the management team can discuss the pros and cons of various routes through the facility ahead of time. How will the walk-around inspection be handled? Designate a spokesperson for the organization in dealing with the compliance officer. All management representatives may ask questions and speak, but it is important to have one person who is authorized to speak about the company's position. If the compliance officer wants to take photographs, will there be an attempt to limit him or her in any way? In the event the compliance officer takes photos or samples (such as air quality samples), management representatives should take similar photos or samples so they have a record or can conduct their own testing. Designate who will take the photos or samples for the company. Taking the time to prepare a plan for an OSHA inspection will pay off in the event OSHA comes knocking on your worksite door. The inspection is likely to run more smoothly and be less stressful, and the organization will have acted in its best interest.

NIBA Beltline

Special Safety Issue

3

Preparing for a Pandemic

What is a "pandemic" and why should businesses prepare for such an event? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines an influenza pandemic as a global outbreak of disease that occurs when a new influenza A virus "emerges" in the human population, causes serious illness, and then spreads easily from person to person worldwide. Pandemics are different from seasonal outbreaks or "epidemics" of influenza. Seasonal outbreaks are caused by subtypes of influenza viruses that already circulate among people, whereas pandemic outbreaks are caused by new subtypes, by subtypes that have never circulated among people, or by subtypes that have not circulated among people for a long time. Examples of past pandemics include the "Spanish flu" that occurred in 1918-1919 and killed approximately 500,000 people in the United States and caused the death of up to 50 million people worldwide; the "Asian flu" that caused about 70,000 deaths in the United States in 1957-1958; and the "Hong Kong flu" that occurred in 1968-1969 and caused about 34,000 deaths in the United States. Scientists believe that if another pandemic occurs--and it is only a matter of time until one does--between 15 percent and 35 percent of the U.S. population will be affected and the economic impact could range between $71.3 and $166.5 billion. To minimize the impact it is recommended that businesses develop specific plans for protecting employees and maintaining operations during a pandemic. The possibility exists for avian influenza, commonly called "bird flu," to be the source of the next pandemic. Currently, avian flu is widespread and prevalent in migratory birds. Governments around the world are identifying continued outbreaks in domestic poultry. Additionally, this flu virus is evolving and sporadic cases have been found in humans. While there is NOT an influenza pandemic at this time, advanced planning could minimize the impact on businesses. Preparing for the impact on your business and your employees are just two of the many steps involved with preparedness. It is critical for organizations to keep abreast of the ever-changing pandemic picture. Accurate, up-to-date information, including a checklist for business planning, is available at www.cdc.gov/business or www.pandemicflu.gov.

By Jane Berg, SPHR, Director, Employee Relations Services

1.

· · · · · · · ·

Plan for the impact of a pandemic on your business:

Identify a coordinator for pandemic preparation. Identify essential employees and critical inputs required to maintain business operations. Cross train your workforce. Develop scenarios for increased or decreased demand for your product. Determine the impact on business financials. Determine the impact on business-related domestic and international travel. Establish an emergency communication plan. Exercise or drill your plan and revise as necessary.

2.

· ·

Plan for the impact on your employees and customers:

Forecast and allow for employee absences during a pandemic due to factors that may include personal illness, family member illness, community quarantines, school closures, and public transportation closures. Implement guidelines to reduce the frequency of face-to-face contact among workers and with customers including hand-shaking, shared workstations, and seating in meetings. Encourage and track flu vaccines for your employees. Evaluate employee access to healthcare services during a pandemic. Evaluate employee access to social services and mental health services during a pandemic. Identify employees and customers with special needs and incorporate their requirements into your plan.

· · · ·

4

NIBA Beltline

Special Safety Issue

Hiring Safe Workers

By Douglas Getting, Safety Director, and Jane Berg, SPHR, Director, Employee Relations Services

employee is expected to perform and communicates in writing the physical and mental requirements associated with performing the job. It is the foundation of all recruiting activities. With a job description in hand, the recruiter or hiring manager has a clear idea how to advertise the position and is able to share the requirements of the job with the applicants. The job description provides guidance as to the job-related questions that should be asked during the employment interview. The interviewer should not forget to ask about an applicant's safety record on the job. This is not a medical question, but rather a question about accidents the applicant has been involved in, how the accidents happened, and what the person learned as a result. This line of questioning often provides valuable insight into the applicant's views about safety and the attitude toward work. Reference checks and employment verifications are also an important part of the process of hiring right. Let the applicant know that you will be verifying all information he or she has given you during the interview. Remind the applicant of the signed honesty statement on the application form and that false or misleading information and material omissions will result in the termination of the employment process or termination of employment if discovered at a later date. Remember to ask references about the applicant's safety history, history of workplace violence, reason for termination, and job performance. Once hired, the organization's orientation or onboarding process is an opportunity to reinforce the safety philosophy and culture with the newly hired employee. Employees immersed in a culture of working safely experience higher motivation and job satisfaction. They can focus on the job at hand, doing it efficiently, and right the first time. Making the hiring of safe employees a priority will have a positive impact on the organization's bottom line. An organizational culture that values safety decreases downtime and the associated costs, increases productivity, and can result in more committed employees because they know the organization cares about their safety.

Is your company doing everything it can to assure it is hiring employees that are a fit to the jobs they will be required to perform? Employees who have a good safety record are also the employees who most often follow standard operating procedures (SOP) to the letter. This means more than just a low incident rate for the company. It also means the company will experience higher productivity levels, meet quality standards, have lower scrap rates, and provide dependable service. All of this begins with effective selection and hiring practices. In order to begin evaluating your practices ask whether your company: · · · · · · · Has a prehire plan in place? Has specific job descriptions? Starts the hiring process with the job application? Uses proper job application questions? Asks interview questions about past safety violations? Provides post-offer medical examinations? Conducts background screenings, reference checking, and employment verifications? · Meets all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act? · Has a comprehensive orientation program that stresses the organization's safety philosophy? While all these questions seem to deal with the hiring process, they impact all phases of the business. Your efforts to "hire right" will have long-term payoffs for the organization. A good job description details the essential functions an

NIBA Beltline Special Safety Issue

5

DOT Issues New Hazmat Regulations

By Jeanne Kolimaga, Human Resource Director

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently revised its hazardous materials regulations (HMR). Companies that work with hazardous materials (biological agents, chemicals, substances, and waste) might think that because they do not employ the drivers of the hazardous materials or own the vehicle in which the hazardous materials are transported, the DOT's HMR do not apply to them. This may not be true. The HMR says, "Each person who offers a hazardous material for transportation in commerce must comply with all applicable requirements." This definition is unclear. Therefore, effective October 1, 2005, the definition of "person who offers or offeror" was clarified to mean, "any person who performs or is responsible for performing any pre-transportation function required by the HMR or who tenders or makes the hazardous material available to a carrier for transportation in commerce. A carrier is not an offeror when it performs a function as a condition of accepting a hazardous material for transportation in commerce or when it transfers a hazardous material to another carrier for continued transportation without performing a pre-transportation function." In addition, the regulations clarify that there may be more than one offeror of a hazardous material and that each offeror is responsible only for the specific pre-transportation functions that it performs or is required to perform. These clarifications mean more companies and employers are subject to the DOT's HMR for the first time. For example, employees involved in the shipping or loading of hazardous materials into freight containers are considered a "person who offers." Similarly, an employee who prepares a hazardous shipment for transportation or who accepts and transports the hazardous shipment could also be subject to the HMR. Effective January 9, 2006, the DOT clarified the definition of "Hazmat Employee" and "Hazmat Employer" in the HMR. These definitions now include self-employed individuals and persons who represent, mark, certify, or sell packaging components as qualified for use in transporting hazardous materials in commerce, as well as railroad maintenance-of-way employees and railroad signalmen. As a result of these clarified definitions, some employers may be subject to the DOT's HMR for the first time. Companies that were already subject to the HMR may now need to train additional employees. In coordination with these new definitions and effective February 17, 2006, the DOT has revised the maximum and minimum civil penalties and the maximum criminal penalty for violations. These include a penalty of $50,000 for a knowing violation and $100,000 if the violation results in death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person, or substantial destruction of property. A minimum civil penalty of $450 applies to a violation related to training. Penalties for criminal violations include imprisonment up to 10 years and fines up to $500,000. The DOT's HMR are not just for drivers and carriers of hazardous materials. Therefore, anyone in the business of hazardous materials or anyone not familiar with the definition of a hazardous material should take a look at the HMR. They can be found at http://hazmat.dot.gov/. Click on Rules and Regulations and then click on the second entry titled Hazardous Materials Regulations (Title 49 CFR Parts 100-185). Click on Subchapter C.

Safety and Health Training: Spice It Up With a Good Story (continued from page 2)

learning, reading written material, listening to lectures, and being involved in discussion groups. The classes and instructors you remember are those that convey information through their stories. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has recently published a paper on its Web site entitled "Tell Me a Story: Why Stories Are Essential to Effective Safety Training." This document, written by Elaine T. Cullen, Ph.D., and Albert H. Fein, Ph.D., demonstrates the use of storytelling as an effective training tool. It can be downloaded from the NIOSH Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/pubs/ pdfs/2005-152.pdf

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NIBA Beltline

Special Safety Issue

Electrical Safety

By Nancy N. Stott, Manager, Employee Relations Services

The National Safety Council has designated May as Electrical Safety Month. Electricity lights our homes and offices, powers the machinery, computers, copiers needed to conduct our businesses, and generally makes our lives easier and more efficient. Electricity, however, can be extremely dangerous if not used correctly. While the hazards of electricity cannot be eliminated, they can be controlled. An electrical shock occurs if an individual touches a grounded surface and hazardous electrical equipment at the same time. The shock happens because the flow of electric current from the electrical equipment goes through the body to the ground. The extent of the injury that results depends on the path of the current (what part of the body receives the current), the amount of current flowing, and the duration of the electric current. Workplace electrical safety is the responsibility of employers and employees. Employers should have in place appropriate policies on issues such as how electrical hazards are managed, training in electrical safety, and the qualifications required for people working on and around electrical equipment. Employees who work with or near electricity should be trained in how to respond to an electrical accident. It is critical that employees understand they should not touch anyone who is grounded or they may also receive the shock. After calling for help and dialing 911 for emergency medical services, employees should stop the flow of electricity by switching off the power at the fuse or circuit-breaker box, or plug. Only after the circuit is deenergized should employees attempt to separate the person from the energy source with a nonconductive item such as a dry wood broom, a plastic rope, or a leather belt. A person who experiences an electrical shock may have suffered serious internal injuries without appearing to be seriously injured, so it is important to seek medical evaluation of all electrical injuries. Having appropriate policies in place, training employees about electrical hazards, and carefully planning all electrical work can go a long way toward reducing the risk of electrical injuries in the workplace.

Consider the following tips for decreasing the electrical hazards in your workplace:

· · · · · ·

· ·

· · ·

Permit only trained, qualified, and authorized employees to work on electrical equipment. Require employees to use tools and machinery the way they were intended to be used. Enforce lockout/tagout procedures. Post signs that identify electrical hazards. Minimize hazards by guarding or establishing approach limitations. Require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment and use insulated tools in areas where possible electrical hazards exist. Ensure that employees are trained in the recognition, analysis, and avoidance of electrical hazards. Require employees to immediately report any machinery, tools, or other equipment that are broken, damaged, or in need of repair. Do not store flammable liquids near electrical equipment. Require good housekeeping in work areas-- cluttered or damp work areas invite accidents. Make sure that all employees who may be exposed to electrical hazards receive appropriate training. Be aware of any special training requirements in your operations or industry.

NIBA Beltline

Special Safety Issue

7

Musculoskeletal Injury Data--Why It Is Unreliable

By Donald C. Olsen Jr., CSP, CPE

In the history of industrial injury prevention, intervention has traditionally responded to patterns of injuries. The requirements for safety glasses, steel toe shoes, and hard hats came in response to eye, foot, and head injuries. It is, therefore, still common practice and normally sensible to select injury prevention strategies based on an analysis of injury experience. Ergonomics is the injury prevention tool most effective in reducing and preventing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) that occur in the workplace. These are injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, back injuries, and other muscle strains. They can occur acutely, but often they develop slowly over time. It is my observation, from 28 years of industrial experience and reviewing the injury data from hundreds of facilities, that MSD cases are consistently under-reported. As a consequence, ergonomics is under-utilized or misapplied. This is not a recent development. This has been going on for so long it is ingrained in the culture of many manufacturing plants. Why do cases go unreported? The list of reasons is long and is the result of thinking or actions by both employer and employee. Here are just a few: · MSDs are often multifactoral and develop over time. Both the worker and employer may genuinely not know whether the root cause of the injury is occupational or personal. · Many workers are "out of shape" or have other health issues and that fact offers a plausible explanation to employers for the MSD case, so it is not counted as occupational. · Companies with high injury rates become "targets" by outsiders (OSHA, corporate executives, etc.), so companies are reluctant to record "questionable" cases. · Safety recognition or other performance incentive programs result in pressure to not report cases. Since there is no blood or dramatic event, these cases are the easiest to ignore. · Workers who have multiple injuries are identified negatively as "accident repeaters." MSDs often occur and reoccur. This inclines some employees to not report their injury. · Cases are occurring to office workers from prolonged computer work. Many of these are salaried employees and reporting an injury would not be a very popular thing to do. There are many more reasons or variations around these themes. As a result of under-reporting, injury data regarding MSDs is so deficient that it neither demonstrates the magnitude nor the characteristics of the potential MSD issues in many facilities. Consequently, although ergonomics may be a helpful and important tool to improve the health and well-being of workers it may be underutilized or misapplied. Progressive employers, recognizing this reality, utilize ergonomic tools other then injury data analysis to determine if an ergonomic program is needed at their plant. These tools include workplace risk assessments and employee discomfort surveys.

Don Olsen is a nationally recognized certified professional ergonomist who operates a consulting business, Erg-OSH, in Davenport, IA. He is available to provide ergonomic training and consulting to members through a partnership with MRA.

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