ASK THE EXPERTS is presented in partnership with PLANET’s Trailblazers On Call program. Trailblazers are industry leaders who volunteer their time and expertise to give back to the industry.
Q: How are you advertising for help wanted if you are a $1 million or smaller company?
A: Try an open house on a weekend or advertise on Facebook and other places. Craigslist, depending on the area, has run its course but, in some areas, still works well. A filter/test (pre-employment test) is critical. One of my consulting clients hired an office manager, and she was his filter/test that helped them find the right fit for their company.
He struggled for a couple years to find a good office manager. When he finally upped the ante and used a high level filter/test, it allowed him to focus on the few stars from his landslide of applicants.
An approach that has worked really well for me has been speaking at colleges, especially those that I am interested in hiring candidates from. I try to have a speaking engagement during the students’ sophomore, junior, and senior years. This way, I try to get on their radar prior to them looking for jobs.
Jeffrey Scott, president, Leaders Edge Peer Group
Q: What are the new modifications of the Hazard Communication Standard?
A: OSHA announced that its Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom) is being modified, aligning with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of classification and labeling of chemicals. The new acronym being used is the GHS and, according to OSHA, is an international approach to hazard communication. Label elements will now be standardized and OSHA believes that there will be more effective communication to workers on the chemicals hazards that they may be exposed to in the workplace. Of primary importance to employers in the U.S. is the training requirement on the GHS, which has an effective completion date of Dec. 1, 2013. On that date, employees must be trained on the new label requirements and the newly formatted MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), which will now be known as the SDS (Safety Data Sheet).
OSHA estimates that 43 million workers will be affected by the revised HazCom, and among the revisions are the following:
- Definition changes on health and physical hazards from chemical and chemical mixture exposures in the workplace.
- Chemical labels will be “harmonized” to just two signal words (DANGER for the most severe hazards and WARNING for the less severe hazards).
- Labels will be required to contain universally acceptable pictograms and cautionary statements.
- Safety Data Sheets will now have a standardized 16-section format.
One important aspect of the “harmonized” HazCom is that pesticides are hazardous chemicals, and they can result in potentially hazardous exposures for workers. In the landscape industry sector among lawn care, landscape workers, nurserymen and greenhouse growers, confusion may occur because of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Worker Protection Standard (WPS) and the newly revised HazCom. Employers will have to determine which of these regulations they will need to comply with. Employers should be prepared to meet the training date and topic requirements by Dec. 1. Meanwhile, I will be assisting contractors with specific questions about the newly revised Hazard Communication Standard and will have more information by the Green Industry Conference Oct. 23-25 in Louisville, Ky.
Sam Steel, senior research associate, The Pennsylvania State University, and safety advisor, PLANET
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