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February 2015 Safety Brief

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Note from Leanne…

Every so often, the discussion of “Want vs. Need” or “Gotta Have vs. Nice to Have” with regards to Safety rears its ugly head. Usually, it’s a conversation about what’s “really needed” to get the job done: How many people do we really need for a Confined Space Rescue Team? Do the employees really need that safety training? It comes from all sources and directions: clients, vendors, competitors and sometimes, it even comes from within the MER Family of Companies.

It’s true: at first blush, Safety can sometimes look like a “Nice to Have” feature of an organization or something that ultimately will end up costing someone more money or time. But more often than not, you’ll find that Safety is a necessity of doing business; it’s a “Gotta Have.” And though the value of Safety may often be hidden, it shows itself when it’s most needed: in a Good Catch that could’ve resulted a bad injury; a contract that’s won because of our safety program and injury record; and most importantly, it’s found each night when we return home safely after a hard day at work.

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January 2015 Safety Brief

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Note from Leanne...

Happy New Year! I hope everyone took the opportunity to enjoy the recent holiday season, spend time with family and friends and take some time to relax and recharge. As we kick off 2015, we find ourselves with various outlooks on the New Year. Some of us will look back on 2014 and want to continue the success we experienced in various aspects of our lives, both personally and professionally. Some of us will reflect on 2014 and identify opportunities for improvement and ways that the year could have been better.

I encourage you to take the opportunity that each New Year provides and do both. Every New Year presents us with a clean slate, an opportunity for a fresh start where we can right the wrongs of the previous year and look forward to new success. Additionally, the New Year provides us with an opportunity to one-up our previous year; if you had a great 2014, look at 2015 as a chance to be even greater.

Here’s to new beginnings and continued success in 2015! 

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December Safety Brief

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Note from Leanne...

On September 30th, the Center of Disease Control (CDC) reported the first laboratoryconfirmed case of Ebola in the United States. By October 15th, the US had our second and third confirmed cases: two of the nurses who had provided medical care to the first patient had contracted Ebola. Just 15 days after the first case of this relatively unknown deadly disease was diagnosed in the United States, our country was in pure panic mode.

During this time, the MER Family of Companies began receiving calls inquiring about our Ebola-specific response and containment capabilities. Some of the largest companies in the US wanted to know how we could help them if they had to deal with a suspected or confirmed Ebola-contamination event. Hospitals were looking for guidance on decontamination procedures and clients were asking us to provide support in reviewing their current programs for compliance and effectiveness.

As an organization that takes pride in our preparedness and emergency response planning, the MER Family of Companies was already hard at work updating our Bloodborne Pathogen program to specifically address Ebola. We were already educating our employees on proper Ebola-contamination response procedures and we were already ensuring that our company had the resources necessary to provide our clients with a Best-in-Class response.

As we’ve done so many times in the past, the MER Family of Companies performed best under pressure and proved once again that we are phenomenal at crisis management. To all those involved in the Ebola-preparedness exercise: thank you for your hard work and dedication throughout that very intense period of time. It’s because of you and your commitment to Best-in-Class that our clients continue to look to us for help in their greatest of time of need.

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November Safety Brief

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Note from Greg Reynolds

Water Recovery, LLC (WRI) is a Centralized Wastewater Treatment (CWT) plant specializing in non-hazardous wastewater treatment and used oil recycling. Located in downtown Jacksonville, Florida, the WRI plant employs the latest CWT technologies to include an onsite laboratory, multiple high-volume pumps for offloading trucks and several aboveground storage and treatment tanks.

Because WRI is an industrial production environment, our employees engage in many repetitive tasks, such as unloading trucks. Repetitive tasks can lull experienced employees into a quiet sense of false security, which is when the temptation to take procedural or personal protective equipment (PPE) short cuts can kill. Complacency is an all day every day enemy of safety at WRI.

Let me appeal to each of you to not become complacent about the work place hazards you engage every day. In my career, my eyesight has twice been saved ONLY because I was wearing my eye protection. On one occasion I was struck in the face by a sudden fire; I can see today because I was wearing my safety glasses in the lab. Years later, while transferring a chemical from one tank to another alone in a basement on a Sunday morning, the line split and I was sprayed directly in the face. This chemical would have caused instant and irreversible blindness if I wasn’t wearing chemical goggles and a face shield. In each of these settings I was completing tasks I had done many times before without any incident. It would have been easy and human nature to take a shortcut on PPE. Please WEAR your eye protection always, and help your workplace brothers and sisters to do the same.

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October Safety Brief

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Note from Ashley Rea

Drummac has been a passenger rail industry service provider for over 40 years, and a part of the MER Family of Companies for 2-1/2 years. While the services provided to the rail industry have not changed, joining the MER Family of Companies has allowed Drummac to grow and improve in many ways. Most notably is the incorporation of a Best-in-Class safety culture to Drummac and its employees.

Drummac has some unique challenges for ensuring a safe working environment. We currently have 200+ employees in 24 railroad yards servicing over 100 trains every day. Most of our employees operate as lone workers in low-visibility conditions, on uneven surfaces and adjacent to “live” tracks. Training, proper PPE and nightly tailgate meetings are imperative to keeping our employees safe.

We are pleased to report that since joining the MER Family of Companies, 16 Drummac locations have remained injury-free. Additionally, Drummac employees now have additional opportunities for career advancement by taking part in specialized safety training such as Bloodborne Pathogen and HAZWOPER training.

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