Test Your OSHA Vocabulary
For Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, a common term like “apron” can mean something else entirely. According to construction industry regulation 1926.606, under Subpart O: Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment and Marine Operations, an apron is “the area along the waterfront edge of the pier or wharf.”
Here are various ordinary terms and their very different OSHA definitions, taken from MANCOMM’S OSHA Dictionary:
Bite: Common definition: “to cut, grip or tear with the teeth.” OSHA definition: “the nip point between any two in-running rolls.”
Check: Common definition: “a written order to a bank to pay a specified amount.” OSHA definition: “a lengthwise separation of wood, most of which occurs across the rings of annual growth.”
Ground: Common definition: “soil or land.” OSHA definition: “a conducting connection, intentional or accidental, between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth, or to a conducting body that serves in place of the earth.”
Hog: Common definition: “a domesticated pig.” OSHA definition: “a machine for cutting or grinding slabs and other coarse residue from the mill.”
Jog: Common definition: “to run at a steady, slow trot.” OSHA definition: “an intermittent motion imparted to the slide by momentary operation of the drive motor, after the clutch is engaged with the flywheel at rest.”
Blogging in the Workplace
A recent survey conducted by the Employment Law Alliance reported that while millions of workers – as much as 5 percent of the American workforce – are maintaining online personal diaries, only about 15 percent of employers have specific policies addressing work-related blogging.
Howard Cole, the Nevada member of Employment Law Alliance, said, “Work-related blogging was once thought to be benign, but it is now one of the hottest and most complex, far-ranging issues in the workplace.”
Employment Law Alliance surveyed 1,000 adults via telephone and discovered:
59 percent of employees believed employers should be allowed to discipline or terminate workers who post confidential or proprietary information concerning the employer.
23 percent support fellow workers being free to post criticism or satire about employers, co-workers, supervisors, customers or clients without fear of discipline.
Of the employees polled who work for a company with a blogging policy:
62 percent said the policy prohibits posting any employer-related information.
60 percent said the policy discourages employees from criticizing or making negative comments against the employer.
Dr. Ted Reed, survey director for Employment Law Alliance, said the poll is
indicative of a steady growth in adult blogging. “Based on our research, we may have as many as 10 million bloggers in the American workforce.”
Cooking the Books
“So many companies today are cooking the books that the SEC should sponsor the Pillsbury Bake-Off,” quipped Richard Kovacevich, the CEO of Wells Fargo & Company. In a recent speech about business ethics, Kovacevich described “an epidemic of ethical lapses” that has brought the reputation of businesses to an all-time low. He suggested the problem is not corporate structure, oversight by auditors or incompetent boards of directors, but rather a lack of honesty, trust and integrity. “Corporate ethics is the sum total of individual decisions by people,” he explained. “The people managing the company should think about what’s fair, honest and accurate, rather than what they can get away with under the law. It’s not a matter of rules (the letter of the law) but of principles (the spirit of the law).”
Kovacevich said management should set the tone for a corporate culture based on ethical principles, and the board of directors should make sure executives are promoting and following that culture. He said internal audits and other systems to check compliance with rules are necessary, but if employees believe in and practice ethical principles, controls will not be needed very often. He also stressed that everyone in the organization should accept responsibility for his or her actions, and that stockholders also have a duty to check up on the company, and to raise an objection if they suspect unethical activity.
A Nation on the Move
According to an annual “migration study” performed by United Van Lines, the nation’s largest household goods mover, people continued to move west and southeast in 2005, while the Midwest and Northeast lost more residents. United Van Lines classified each state in one of three categories: “high inbound” (55 percent or more of moves going into a state); “high outbound” (55 percent of more of moves coming out of a state); or “balanced.”
Top in-bound migration states:
Oregon (63.6 percent)
Idaho (61.9 percent)
District of Columbia (61.4 percent)
North Carolina (61.3 percent)
Nevada (60.1 percent)
Top out-bound migration states:
New Jersey (60.4 percent)
Indiana (59.9 percent)
New York (59.8 percent)
Illinois (58.4 percent)
Louisiana (57.9 percent)
We Never Talk Anymore
Executives are spending less and less time conversing with colleagues by phone and in person, according to a recent survey. Only 13 percent of managers polled use the telephone as their primary means of communication – down from 48 percent five years ago – and just 14 percent rely on face-to-face meetings, compared with 24 percent five years ago. Instead, e-mail has become the most common form of dialogue at work, according to 71 percent of respondents. The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a staffing service specializing in the placement of administrative professionals. It included responses from 150 senior executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.
Primary Means of Communication
Five Years Ago
|71 percent||27 percent|
|In person/face-to-face||14 percent||24 percent|
|Telephone||13 percent||48 percent|
|Don’t know||2 percent||1 percent|
“E-mail offers the advantages of speed and efficiency,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam. “But the message should match the medium. Phone conversations allow individuals to share ideas and feedback with the benefit of vocal inflections, which reduces the potential for confusion or miscommunication. Meeting in person adds yet another dimension, as participants can respond to facial expressions and body language.”