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July 28, 2011

Every year I fill out the 300 and 300A forms for OSHA and display them in the employee break room from February through April 30.  I keep a copy in my safety binder as well as the past seven years.  I do this because it is part of my loss prevention audit, and part of my human resource audit.  I know the basics about OSHA but am going to take the time to learn a great deal more.

OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Act and was passed in 1970.  Its purpose is “to assure so far as possible every working man or woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources”   Every employer that has one or more employees is covered by the act, which provides benefits to the employees to ensure they are working conditions are safe.

OSHA takes an interest in every aspect of the working conditions.  The range is from hazards conditions to ergonomics. With hazards conditions OSHA established process safety management standards.  This requires the users of hazardous chemicals to evaluate, classify, and label the substances.  This information in then taken over to the material safety data sheets, or for short MSDS.  These sheets are useful to all business, whether chemicals are handled directly or not.  I work in retail and we make sure our employees know about MSDS.  When explaining why they are useful I give an example or what if statement.  What if a child eats an expo marker?  How hazardous is this to the child?  Thankfully, this hasn’t happened, and my company has easy access to sheets if needed.

Ergonomics is the study and design of the work environment to address physiological and physical demands placed on individuals.  This is where it matters if the employees have proper lighting, and the tools necessary for the job description.  One factor I wasn’t aware of until recently was carpal tunnel syndrome.  This can be a work related injury caused when the same muscles are used repetitively to perform tasks.  One way to minimize the risk is to train supervisors and managers on signs of CTD and how they should respond.

Safety should be the number one priority of business owners.  A safe working environment is more effective and more lucrative in the long run.  In my following posts I am going to be exploring all the different aspects of OSHA and what it can mean for businesses.


NFL Leadership

July 27, 2011

The nation is talking about NFL and the end of the lockout.  The media is in a frenzy over the free agents, and players getting traded to different teams.  The Broncos might be losing Kyle Orton and the Eagles losing Kevin Kolb.  These teams have just a couple days to get leadership positions in place for the coming season.

The quarterback position holds the responsibility of leading the team.  My question is how is a quarterback picked? Is it based on past performance with a different team?  What would happen if the NFL actually interviewed players before hiring them?  This would present the opportunity to express what the culture of team is going to be, and to “judge” the attitude of the player.  There could be stress interviews mixed with behavioral interviews to see how the player would handle himself.

The rookie players every year go to a scouting event that last a month long.  This is where the players are judged on their physical attributes.  How far can they through the ball, do they make the right decision under pressure, understand the play. They are not however sat down in a formal interview situation where there character can be judged. They are usually taken out to dinners and lunches by prospective teams where only “certain” things are allowed to be discussed.

There is also the aspect of reputation a player holds.  Take Terrell Owens for instance.  This player has an attitude problem and usually doesn’t get along with his teammates.  Yes, he might be a great player but creates a negative impact on the team.  If he went through an interview process he might have horn effect take place, because of his past.  Whereas, Tom Brandy might have a halo effect because overall he is known as the “good guy.”  These impressions might be hard to overcome within the interview process, and would be considered a type of interview bias.

There are many complicated deals going on right now behind closed doors.  Teams are firing players and trying to recruit players before other teams get a chance.  Getting the best players comes down to the compensation package.  Whatever team can pay the most will get the “best” player.  The hope is once the player comes to the team he will be a great leader and lead the team to victory.

In today’s market the quarterback position is vital to the team’s success.  The quarterback is the face of the team; therefore how the player acts directly affects the teams’ image.  In building the teams this year there are different stages.  The Broncos are going to be in a “building” phase in order to get Tim Tebow into the leadership position. They drafted him with the sole intention of Tim being the future of their franchise based on his track record as being one of the greatest collage QBs of all time. He also has a reputation of being an outstanding citizen. These values are believed to translate well into the leadership position by the Broncos front office. The Patriots on the other hand are already in the performing stage because of Tom Brady. Years were spent learning a system, studying under great leadership to produce results in the NFL.  It takes time to craft a performing team, and to develop the leadership needed for success within the NFL, and it all starts at the QB position.

Entry to HR

July 21, 2011

For the past six years I have been in the business of customer service, and for four of those years I have been in a management position.  When I was first promoted and given keys to the building I was amazed of how much trust this company was placing in a twenty year old.  I jumped into action and was soon up for promotion again.  I was unsure if I wanted to be promoted, but was eventually talked into it.  With this new title I was in charge of making sure all the operations of the building ran smoothly.

Within the operations standpoint it is my responsibility to keep an accurate record for each employee, interview potential candidates, train new employees, and counsel on occasion.  I remember the first interview I did.  It was terrifying.  There are a list of questions which need to be asked, and a space to write comments.  I wasn’t sure on what to write or what to listen for in the answers.  Needless to say I probably didn’t portray the value of the company that well.  Over the years I have improved, but I find it a constant battle to tell which candidate will make a great employee.

Last year I registered with SHRM and the information they have available is massive.  I have learned valuable information on new laws and what is happening in legislation.  I am more aware and have a greater appreciation of what it takes to be in the HR field.

With this blog I intend to point out what I find interesting with the hope of a continued education in human resource.  I am not an expert, but do have limited field experience.