Opinion: Safety Training Is Key to Health of All Workers

October 28th, 2013

 Chron.com (Houston Chronicle) (10/25/13) David Michaels

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has received a large number of reports of workers killed in their first few days of work in recent years. Most of these workers have been temporary workers; this is due to a lack of safety training and experience at their work site. According to the American Staffing Association, almost three million temporary workers are in the U.S. work force, and many perform hazardous construction and manufacturing work. As these workers can be hired for a few days, weeks, or months, employers often do not offer them safety training that they would offer to permanent employees, in order to save money.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, staffing firms and their client employers share the responsibility of providing a workplace free of recognized hazards, including by providing safety training in a language that workers can understand. OSHA has begun an initiative to protect temporary workers, and will determine on every inspection if each temporary worker has been adequately trained. Further, they will explain to staffing firms their responsibility to insist their workers not be put at risk of injury or death while working.

Quote of the Month

October 21st, 2013

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”

-John Maxwell

PwC: Manufacturing Hiring Plans Hit Five-Year High

October 21st, 2013

PwC’s Q3 2013 Manufacturing Barometer shows a gain in U.S. industrial manufacturers with an optimistic view of the global economy during the next 12 months to 40% in the third quarter from 31% in the second quarter and 29% a year ago. In addition, 60% are optimistic about the U.S. economy, and 78% think the U.S. economy grew in the third quarter, marking the highest level in seven years. “Despite the uptick in global economic sentiment, the U.S. remains the growth driver in the industrial manufacturing sector, with continued signs of healthy demand, pricing strength, new product investment, and hiring,” says Bobby Bono, U.S. industrial manufacturing leader at PwC.

The survey reveals that 58% of respondents plan to add employees during the next 12 months, up 16 points from the second quarter, with demand high for skilled labor (35%), professionals and technicians (35%), and production workers (30%). However, 77% said they need to fill skill gaps, the biggest of which are in middle management (70%) and skilled labor (67%). Another 50% of respondents said they had open positions that cannot be filled with skilled employees.