Safety Update

FEBRUARY, 2014

HAZMAT CLASS IN THE COLD
Richard Hofman, CIH, CSP and Bridget Hofman, MS visit their alma mater this time of year to deliver a 40-hour Hazwoper course as part of the curriculum for engineering students. The class is conducted over two weekends where students learn how to evaluate chemical exposures, select respiratory protection and use appropriate levels of PPE for protection. The class sets up a decontamination line and performs "complex" tasks in their protective gear (left picture). While it was under 20 degrees outside, students found that performing work in a thin layer of non-breathable protective gear generates enough heat to
keep warm. Richard explains,"This is a three-credit college class and we cover a lot of material that students will be able to use throughout the career. We have a lot of fun marching everyone around in their white suits on campus." The program is offered each year as part of the Wilkes College curriculum.   

THE (OUR) OSHA 30-HOUR GENERAL INDUSTRY COURSE ROCKS!
When I first started my career in Safety it wasn't until I was in my third year in the business when my boss decided I should fly to Chicago and take an OSHA Course at the OSHA training institute. This program was extremely valuable to me and provided me the base I needed to be successful as a Business Administration major with limited education in safety but who was employed as a safety specialist. I encourage new entrants into the Safety and Health field to take an OSHA 30-Hour class. We felt the program was so valuable that we became instructors and established an expectation that every supervisor and manager in the organization would complete this program back in the early 1990's. The company presidents were the first ones on board. Our organization's awareness and knowledge of safety blossomed and engagement by workers at all levels helped to move our safety culture forward. We are offering this program at our learning center at the end of February 2014. If you are interested in jump starting your safety efforts, consider sending your supervisory / management staff. You will be instructed by some of the most qualified trainers in the industry...and heck we even give you lunch and breakfast. If you are an experienced Safety Professional and you are interested in "inside tips" and what OSHA really requires...This program serves as an excellent refresher. It is a quick 4-days packed full of helpful information.  Check out "Educational Opportunities" on the left. 

FOREVER LEARNING
I am impassioned by the wonderful opportunities we have in this world to learn!  There are so many topics and so much we can understand about the world around us...yet any one person will only ever be able to scratch the surface of what is known by all of us collectively. New information is being developed daily in a world-wide effort to pursue new knowledge. Recently I was able to participate in an industrial hygiene lab as part of my graduate studies at Johns Hopkins. Our group decided to conduct some stealth sampling at a Vape Lounge. -- Don't know what that is?  I didn't either. The younger generation is now smoking e-cigarettes. There are lounges where one can go to "vape". This is represented as a safer option to regular smoking.  In fact, it may be..but there are still many unanswered questions about the contents of the vapor and potential health impacts. We were able to detect nicotine and particulate materials in side-stream smoke during our sampling. It is an interesting public health question. The FDA has approved these devices for limited use for the purposes of quitting regular cigarettes, but most are not using them in this manner.  Flavors range from bubble gum, cotton candy to apple pie. The lounge was filled with a haze. The workers were vaping while also being exposed to the side vapors for their entire work-shift. So, it is a human experiment. Many imagine that our government evaluates and determines if chemicals and products are safe for use.  To some extent they try, but often we are working in a vacuum with little data about the actual hazard.  Nano-particles are another example of how we have started to expose our society to materials for which we have limited knowledge regarding safety. Recommended exposure limits for carbon nano-tubes and fibers have just recently been established. Do you feel like a mouse?

JANUARY, 2014 
A WHOLE NEW GIG! 
At the end of 2012 we expanded with a new dedicated office suite and training center.  This new center will allow our participants to enjoy a more hands-on experience during training. To better describe our services and products we also changed our name from High Safety Consulting Services Ltd. to High Environmental Health & Safety Consulting Ltd. 

Our new name reflects our evolution into a full-line provider of consulting services, which includes occupational safety, environmental health, and industrial hygiene. In addition to continuing to offer safety training, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality services and consulting for businesses and institutions throughout the United States, we are developing a new hands-on training center and an expanded range of related products through our online store. It’s been our pleasure to serve you through the years. Thank you for making our success possible. As we continue to grow, please count on us as a partner in your environmental health and safety journey.