Archive | March, 2012

West Michigan ASSE Golf Outing

30 Mar

Summit will be attending the West Michigan American Society of Safety Engineers (WMASSE) Golf outing. The event is June 29th and will be held at Quail Ridge Country Club.

To learn more about the event click here or contact Stephanie Zizzo at


With Warmth Comes Flowers, Birds, Bees…and Burglars

28 Mar

Warm weather… we open our doors, our windows, our houses to the warmth.  We go outside, we leave our house, we forget to lock up because of the spell of warm, whimsical weather.  This year though, try to make a conscious effort to ensure your home and your valuables are safe.  Burglars are more likely to strike in warmer weather and during the day, so here are a few tips you should know about the way a burglar thinks – from real burglars.


1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste… and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they  have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..

5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house.. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom – and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.

12. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on  while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it athttp://www.faketv/.com/)


1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

3. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human  nature.

4. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

5. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address.

7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.

8. If you don’t answer when I knock,  I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in  North Carolina,  Oregon, California, and  Kentucky; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.


Stay safe!

101st Anniversary for the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

28 Mar

Shirtwaist Factory Fire, Image provided by DOL

This week marks the 101st anniversary for the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The US Labor Department helps to commemorate the fire by inspiring the public to visit a unique website that includes an audio tour and background on the significant event. The audio is narrated by Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis and various other Labor Department officials. It focuses on 21 different locations that played key roles in the March 25, 1911 fire. It also allows users to read and hear about events that led up to the fire, the victims that were involved, and what happened after it was all over.

While I was in school, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was one of the very first topics we discussed in our Occupational Safety and Health classes. After all, it was one of the first events that led to an increased awareness on basic health and safety precautions in the workplace. “In less than 20 minutes, 146 people were dead – some burned to death; others leaped to their deaths from 100 feet up – victims of one of the worst factory fires in America’s history. New York City and the state of New York, over the next few years, adopted the country’s strongest worker safety protection laws. Initially addressing fire safety, these laws eventually became model legislation for the rest of the country and state after state enacted much more strict worker safety laws.

Here is an excerpt for the US Department of Labor’s Shirtwaist Factory fire website:

About The Fire

“At 4:45 in the afternoon of the four-month anniversary of a fire in a Newark, N.J., which killed 25 people, fire broke out in a cutting area on the eighth floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in Greenwich Village, in New York city. Within minutes, the top three floors of the Asch Building at 23-29 Washington Street were engulfed in flames. Many of the staff, mostly recently immigrated Jewish and Italian women, some as young as 14, were trapped in a building that claimed to be fireproof. Some began to fall and jump from the windows. Police and firefighters from nearby stations were impeded by the bodies on the sidewalk.

The harrowing accounts ring as unnerving and as unsettling today as they were 100 years ago – groups of young women leaping to their deaths, a man dropping women out the windows, falling bodies ripping through the fire departments’ nets and gruesome accounts of bodies piling up on the sidewalk and blocking the fire engines, and inside, skeletal remains slouched over sewing machines and charred bodies piled up by locked and blocked doorways. A combination of callous management, overcrowding and hazardous work conditions, and ill-conceived architecture conspired to cut short so many lives.

The architect was given special permission to make only two staircases, instead of three. A flimsy iron fire escape that stopped at the second floor was passed off as a third staircase. Exit doors opened inward to the space, making it nearly impossible to open the doors amid the crush of panic-stricken workers. Managers often locked the exits to prevent workers from sneaking out for a break and to prevent theft. Those locked doors prevented workers from escaping the flames. Other exits were blocked with boxes of scrap fabric which had been accumulating for nearly six months.

A steady stream of workers filed out onto the fire escape which before long, collapsed under the weight of the people and the heat of the fire sending several people to their deaths from a six-story fall. Elevator operators worked feverishly to bring groups of workers to safety, 10 at a time. Still, some workers flung themselves down the elevator shaft to escape the flames, their bodies crashing onto the car filled with terrified escapees. Estimates peg the number of workers on those top three floors at 500 or more.

The fire fighters from local Ladder Company 20 arrived minutes after the flames erupted. Because the hoses were too weak and the ladders too short to reach above the sixth floor, the men simply sprayed the building in the hopes the mist from the water would cool the victims trapped above.

At a local police station, a makeshift morgue was quickly overwhelmed. Bodies of the fall victims lay where they fell, some covered with tarps, others exposed to the elements. Within 25 minutes, burned and broken bodies alike lined Green Street awaiting a friend or family member to recognize and claim them. Some would never be identified. Others were found by a mark on their stockings or a ring.

The Bellevue morgue became overrun and a nearby pier was employed as a makeshift morgue. Family and friends filed by the bodies in an effort to find and claim a loved one. It took nearly 100 years for all of the victims of the fire to be positively identified, with the final six identifications completed just recently”.

For more information check out the DOL website:

Texting Trouble – Be Weary of Walking and Texting

22 Mar

Now a days, most of us use a cell phone.  And they are so convenient and tech savvy, that we do all sorts of things with them – even if it gets us into trouble.  Walking while using a cell phone, more specifically walking and texting, can cause a number of incidents including veering away from walking in a straight line and falling.

The latter is just what happened to a young woman who was walking and texting on a pier on a river connected to Lake Michigan.  She was attempting to walk along a pier and send a text message at the same time and didn’t pay attention to how close she was to the edge of the pier.   This caused her to end up tripping into approximately six feet of cold water.

Thankfully the young woman was pulled out and is recovering fine, though was definitely embarrassed by the incident and wants people to understand how texting while walking can be a problem. 

Earlier this year, Stony Brook University researched texting while walking and found that participants consistently veered away from walking a straight path by a 60 percent deviation, increasing walking distance by 13 percent and travel time by 33 percent.  To make sure you don’t get caught up in texting and walking, which has been equated to walking the streets with a blindfold, try to stop talking and stand against a building while texting.

To read the full article, click here.

Have a safe day!

It’s About Time, OSHA’s Releases GHS Final Rule!

22 Mar

It feels like we have been waiting for this rule forever! OSHA has finally announced that the final rule for Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals or GHS will become law effective May 25, 2012. This meaning the effective date of the rule is 60 days after March 26th. The new standard, once implemented, will prevent an estimated 43 deaths and result in an estimated $475.2 million in enhanced productivity for U.S. businesses each year.

As stated by OSHA, “The revised standard also is expected to prevent an estimated 585 injuries and illnesses annually. It will reduce trade barriers and result in estimated annualized benefits in productivity improvements for American businesses that regularly handle, store and use hazardous chemicals, as well as cost savings of $32.2 million for American businesses that periodically update safety data sheets and labels for chemicals covered under the standard”.

The Hazard Communication Standard is being revised to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. It will be fully implemented in 2016. OSHA is going to give employers the following phase-in or transition period to comply with the new GHS requirements.

The 4-Year GHS Phase-In Period

Effective Completion Date Requirements Who
December 1, 2013 Train employees on the new label elements and SDS format Employers
June 1, 2015 Compliance with all requirements of the GHS final rule except voluntary compliance with GHS label until December 1, 2015 Chemical manufacturers, importer, distributors, and employers

December 1, 2015 The Distributor shall not ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer unless it is a GHS label Chemical manufacturers, importer, distributors, and employers
June 1, 2016 Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards Employers
May 25, 2012 May comply with either 29 CFR 1910.1200 (this final standard), or the current standard, or both Chemical manufacturers, importer, distributors, and employers

For more information check out OSHA’s webpage:

Hepatitis C Invades the Baby Boomer Population

16 Mar

While reading an article is The Week titled, “Hepatitis C Targets Boomers”, I discovered something very alarming. The baby boomer population is at a very high risk for hepatitis C. The big question is why? According to the article, “more Americans die every year from hepatitis C infections than from AIDS, and three-quarters of the victims are between the ages of 45 and 64”, meaning that 1 out of every 33 baby boomers is living with hepatitis C right now… The big problem with this is that more than half of them don’t even realize that they have it causing it to become a silent killer. As stated by The Week, baby boomers are most at risk because the disease spreads when drug user share needles, a practice that was common in the 1960s and 1970s. Blood donors weren’t screened for the infection before 1992, allowing it to spread through transfusions.

Hepatitis C is a very infectious disease that targets the liver causing cirrhosis and cancer. Most often or not the patient will experience no symptoms at all. If they do experience some symptoms it can be anything from fatigue to muscle pain or yellowing of the eyes and skin. Hepatitis C kills about 15,000 Americans each year and could possible triple do to the aging baby boomer population. Hopefully something can be done soon to screen those who might have it and prevent any further damage.

For more information check out the article by The Week

“Hepatitis C Targets Boomers”. The Week. Vol. 12 Issue 556. 9 March 2012.

Spring Weather is Back… Are you Prepared?

15 Mar

After all of our winter warning woes on staying safe in the effects of colder weather, spring is finally here!  Sunshine, flowers, birds chirping, windows open… but warm weather does not mean that you can let safety take a back seat.  On top of taking advantage of enjoying the warmth, spring is also a time to understand how the changing weather could affect the environment around you and what kinds of safety issues may arise.

Weather challenges in the spring time are attributed to the change in temperature and can cause dangers like tornadoes, flooding, and other rain-related storms.  In addition to having a safety plan already organized so you and your family or coworkers are prepared, here are a few things you need to know about how to stay safe should one of these natural events head your way.


Understand what the warnings mean -

  • tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area – be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
Know what to do during a tornado -
  • If  inside a building, go to a safe place away from glass and other flying objects.
  • If inside a mobile home, try go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter – mobile home are not safe in a tornado.
  • If caught outdoors, go immediately to a basement or sturdy building, or drive to the closest shelter.
  • If caught driving with flying debris and based on your specific circumstances, you have two options:  1) Stay seat-belted in the car, put your head down below the windows, and try to cover yourself with your hands or a blanket, or 2) If you can safely get lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.


Understand what the warnings mean and what to do -

  • flood WATCH means a flood is possible in your area – move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
  • flood WARNING means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area – listen to local radio and television stations for information.  If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.
  • flash flood WATCH means flash flooding is possible in your area – be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate quickly.
  • flash flood WARNING means a flash flood is occurring or will occur very soon – evacuate immediately.  Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.  Do not drive around barricades.  If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

It is extremely important to understand what to do before, during, and after a disaster or emergency situation.  Summit has training on how to be prepared for the worst.

  • Disaster Readiness - for an emergency situation — be it due to weather, fire, chemical release or any other type of incident.

To read the full article on spring weather safety, please visit the Red Cross Website.

Have a Safe day :)

FMCSA Produces Final Rule for Commercial Truck Driver Hours of Service

8 Mar

Attention to all the commercial truck drivers out there, according to an article in the Professional Safety Journal, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a final rule to ensure that commercial truck drivers have adequate rest for operating safely on the road. The new rule uses the latest research in driver fatigue and revises the hours-of-service safety requirements for commercial truck drivers

As stated by the FMCSA, “FMCSA’s new HOS final rule reduces by 12 hours the maximum number of hours a truck driver can work within a week. Under the old rule, truck drivers could work on average up to 82 hours within a seven-day period. The new HOS final rule limits a driver’s work week to 70 hours.

In addition, truck drivers cannot drive after working eight hours without first taking a break of at least 30 minutes. Drivers can take the 30-minute break whenever they need rest during the eight-hour window.

The final rule retains the current 11-hour daily driving limit. FMCSA will continue to conduct data analysis and research to further examine any risks associated with the 11 hours of driving time.

The rule requires truck drivers who maximize their weekly work hours to take at least two nights’ rest when their 24-hour body clock demands sleep the most – from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. This rest requirement is part of the rule’s “34-hour restart” provision that allows drivers to restart the clock on their work week by taking at least 34 consecutive hour’s off-duty. The final rule allows drivers to use the restart provision only once during a seven-day period.

Companies and drivers that commit egregious violations of the rule could face the maximum penalties for each offense. Trucking companies that allow drivers to exceed the 11-hour driving limit by 3 or more hours could be fined $11,000 per offense, and the drivers themselves could face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense.

Commercial truck drivers and companies must comply with the HOS final rule by July 1, 2013.”

For more information check out the FMCSA’s website:


Summit’s Marketing Team Takes on a BW3 Wing Challenge!

5 Mar

New to the downtown GR area is the one and only Buffalo Wild Wings, located at 8 Ionia Ave SW. The Summit Training Source marketing team has been considering this area for various events they will be hosting in the near future. So, what a better way to check out the place than to embark on the first ever “BW3 Marketing Meeting 2012: Wings Challenge”. Those attending the meeting were Bryan Hornik, Sara Wesche, Katherine McCarthy, Emma Daniels, Kurt Kruse (our trusted Graphic Designer), and myself.

One of the goals for this epic meeting was to scout out the restaurant for future meetings/events and participate in a Buffalo Wild Wings Challenge, Summit style… With great collaboration from the Buffalo Wild Wings staff, particularly our host Travis, and the GM Alex, we created a 16 part sauce/wing adventure, fully equipped with a spreadsheet for documentation, over 50 wings for dipping, a couple cold beers too cool off, and all 16 of the infamous Buffalo Wild Wings dipping sauces.

WARNING: Unless you are a well-seasoned Buffalo Wild Wings attendee, don’t try this on your own. Some of the sauces have been known to make you sneeze, increase your thirst, excite your taste buds, and even make you giddy with joy.

As a frequent Buffalo Wild Wings guest, I was very excited to branch out of my comfort zone, usually between Sweet BBQ and Mild, and journey to a newer more exciting world of buffalo wings. As we plunged into our taste test experiment we had many experiences along the way. Medium was most definitely a fan favorite whereas Parmesan Garlic had the least amount of people jumping for joy. As we slowly worked our way to the BLAZIN challenge we found that Caribbean Jerk “tasted like Christmas” (due to the apparent clove usage) and Mango Habanero was pleasantly sweet in the beginning and became angry with heat towards the end.

15 sauces and 65 wings later, the BLAZIN challenge presented itself. As a safety professional, I would strongly advise using a fork to keep the sauce off your hands, keeping a glass of water near, and approaching the sauce with caution. The BLAZIN wings were no walk in the park. At first they might seem friendly, but 5 seconds later there was sneezing by Bryan Hornik, coughing by Sara Wesche, and intense water guzzling by Emma Daniels; all in all a very successful Summit Training Source marketing meeting.

Hometown Hockey Team Brings Local Clients Together!

5 Mar

Along with several other businesses, Summit is proud to be able to support our hometown hockey team, the Grand Rapids Griffins, the offical farm team of the Detroit Red Wings. In doing so, we are able to host an event for our local clients and celebrate winter in Michigan.We had our greatest turn-out ever as we enjoyed each other’s company and had some good food. Summit is proud to support our surrounding businesses and we look forward to continuing to provide our clients with expert, technically accurate, and engaging training materials.

Thank you to our local clients who came out to join us, including Rockford Construction Company Inc., Vanguard Fire & Security, Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, Steelcase, Inc., NDT, and Nucraft Furniture Co.

Go Griffs!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 59 other followers