Safety Leader

Be a Lifelong Learner

Published On
Nov 16, 2021

I like to learn something new every day. Today I learned that you should clean wood floors with a slightly damp cloth. Vinegar is acidic, ammonia is alkaline and oil soap can leave a residue. You’re welcome. I know from editing SAFETY LEADER that the most successful safety professionals also engage in lifelong learning about the field.

This month, we learn what ergonomic tool design actually means from Jeff Griffin. In “Fits Like a Glove,” Griffin interviews some experts on what attributes to look for, and why. One takeaway that stuck with me is that it’s really important to try out a tool yourself.

In February, we covered the whole worker concept, which takes into account the complete range of a worker’s needs. Now Chuck Ross introduces us to the holistic Total Worker Health approach, which addresses emotional well-being. In an occupation that values toughness, people might be hesitant to seek assistance. Pick up some communication, suicide prevention and other support tips in “A Spotlight on Mental Health."

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard provides the requirements for safety data sheets and training for employees that work with hazardous chemicals. Tom O’Connor, who is also a successful singer-songwriter in Nashville, explains OSHA’s quest to align these requirements with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, which covers chemical labeling and standard practices for international trade. It would be safer if everyone were in tune with the universal safety data sheet requirements. Tom also provides a rundown on FAA helicopter load classes in the Best Practices column.

As we approach the start of a new year, let me and Wes in on your SAFETY LEADER article ideas. Email or Let’s be careful out there.

About the Author

Wesley L. Wheeler

Director of Safety, NECA

Wes Wheeler, SMS, is NECA’s director of safety and is a technical committee member on both NFPA 70, the National Electrical Code, and a past technical committee member on NFPA 70E. He can be reached at

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