2010 NC Safety Conference (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Safety Conference Conversations
I recently attended the NC Safety Conference held in Greensboro, North Carolina. It is a good chance to see what is out there for safety managers and industrial hygienists in terms of new equipment, personal protective apparel and techniques. The conference is managed by NC Safety Conference, Inc. (ncsafetyconference.com) and offers free educational and training sessions to participants. I attended exhibiting our latest products for noise dosimetry, confined space entry, sound level, and particulate monitoring among others.
As usual, conversations were sparked by the comments of “Oh yeah I have used one of those,” or “we have one of these.” This typically led to a story or two of someone either getting very lucky on the job site or very unlucky and in some instances loss of life. I always stress the importance of safety to my co-workers since only one simple instance of lapse in judgment can lead to something catastrophic to yourself and/or others. Luckily, in some instances technology has provided us with instrumentation to take some of the human error out of this dangerous equation.
Most users of environmental instrumentation have already been through necessary OSHA training to operate in the field or workplace, but not on how to choose their safety instrumentation or know if it has been properly maintained. A lot of that operational success falls into the hands of the technicians at the vendors you use for renting or purchasing equipment along with the various manufacturers you deal with. You would expect these people to be highly educated and well versed on the use of the equipment they are putting into your hands, but if you dig a bit deeper you often find this not to be the case. So here are some hints when looking for a good supplier of environmental equipment:
- Does the company have an educated degreed staff, in this case scientists?
- Do they maintain calibration certificates for the instrumentation that accompanies the equipment manuals?
- If sending equipment in for service have they received any specialized training from the manufacturer to service your instrumentation?
- One of the most important things when it comes to industrial hygiene work is: Has the equipment been calibrated according to NIST traceable standards by the manufacturer on a yearly basis complete with documentation in case you face litigation involving your work one day?
- Above all do not fall into the money trap. Finding a supplier that is always cheaper does not make you always safer.
I hope this read was helpful to you and adds to your success in safety. Regards, Rand Ratterree/Branch Manager