Employee safety is a priority for most business owners, but time constraints, as well as language barriers, can make safety training more challenging for employees in Georgia’s green industry. To improve safety in Georgia’s landscape and tree care industries, the University of Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture developed a training program that fits company schedules and uses materials designed for both English- and Spanish-speaking employees.From 2012 to 2016, 64 people employed in the landscape industry in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi died as a result of workplace injuries, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In 2016, the Tree Care Industry Association reported 153 incidents, 92 of which were fatal.Since 2004, the center, based on the UGA Griffin campus, has received five Susan Harwood Training Grants from the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Harwood grants fund education for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance and prevention of safety and health hazards in the workplace.“OSHA was struggling to find people to teach safety trainings in the landscape field,” said Alfredo Martinez, the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences plant pathologist who led the team that originally organized the training project. “Business owners are fined by OSHA when there is a safety incident and they have to pay the worker’s medical bills. They also experience a loss of time while the worker recuperates.”Martinez said that the success of the UGA training program is tied to business owners seeing the value of educating their workers and building a reputation of being prevention-minded.Using the OSHA funds, UGA experts prepared and delivered two- to six-hour safety training sessions. To date, these programs have reached more than 4,000 workers.“Three-fourths of this workforce is Hispanic, so our priority has been to equip them. They are the backbone of this industry,” Martinez said.Early on, the UGA training sessions focused on reducing equipment- and driving-related injuries and the misuse of pesticides. The trainings have since progressed to include safe use of tree care equipment, like chainsaws.“Many tree care and landscape employees are temporary, seasonal workers. The workload is often heavy and these employees are busy, which can make it difficult for companies to get these employees safety training,” said Ellen Bauske, a program specialist with the center who now leads the project.The UGA team hired instructors from North American Training Solutions to teach aspects of the safety training.“We learned early on that tree care employees want to learn from someone who has run a saw for a living, not a UGA Extension employee,” Bauske said. “Of course, this makes the classes more effective because the workers are open to learning from their peers.” The UGA team developed “picture-rich” training materials, hands-on lessons and easy-to-read bilingual manuals.“These employees are quick studies, but they don’t like to read and study a textbook. They want to see it, touch it and do it to learn,” she said. “And we have to take the classes to them.” Bauske says business owners support the training program, which is evident in the fact that employees attend classes during working hours while they are on the clock. Most of the companies who work with UGA for training purposes are small to midsized businesses. Larger companies employ their own training staffs, she said.Workers aren’t the only ones who benefit from the UGA safety training sessions. Company owners are also trained. Newsletters with tips on chainsaw safety, traffic safety, personal protective equipment and more are also available for landscape business owners.“The information in the newsletter is designed to be easy to share with the workers during a morning tailgate meeting,” Bauske said.With the OSHA grant completed, the UGA trainings are now available online at no cost at ugaurbanag.com/safety/. Spanish and English versions of the “Safety for Hispanic Landscape Workers” manual are also available for purchase on the site.
Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine has clinched a contract for the modification and upgrading of a production barge for SJ Production Barge Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of oil and gas company, KrisEnergy. Source: KeppelThe contract, worth about S$30 million ($21.78M), was won by Keppel’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Keppel Shipyard, the company said on Friday.Keppel Shipyard’s scope of work on the production barge for KrisEnergy includes installation of a power generation module, Electrical House, new accommodation units and other refurbishment works.When completed in or around 3Q 2019, the production barge will be capable of processing up to 30,000 barrels of fluid per day and equipped with gas, oil and water separation facilities. It will be deployed in the Apsara oil field, which lies in Block A of the Khmer Basin in the Gulf of Thailand. The field is Cambodia’s first hydrocarbon development.Cambodia Block A covers an area of 3,083 sq km, located approximately 150 km offshore Cambodia where water depths range between 50 and 80 meters. KrisEnergy holds a 95% working interest in the block with the remaining 5% held by the government of Cambodia.Phase 1A of the Apsara development consists of a single unmanned minimum facility 24-slot wellhead platform producing to a moored production barge. Produced crude oil will be sent via a 1.5 km pipeline for storage to a permanently moored floating, storage and offloading vessel.Chor How Jat, Managing Director (Conversions & Repairs) of Keppel O&M and Managing Director of Keppel Shipyard, said, “The new contract from KrisEnergy marks our first project together since Keppel O&M’s appointment earlier this year as its preferred partner for a comprehensive suite of offshore oil and gas solutions.”Brian Helyer, Vice President, Operations, for KrisEnergy, commented: “We are glad to join hands with Keppel Shipyard on this milestone oil development project for Cambodia.”Cambodia Block A
Wembley’s Gary Corcoran maintained his unbeaten record with a third-round stoppage of Chris Jenkinson at Bethnal Green’s York Hall.Corcoran, 23, previously a welterweight, weighed 11st 2lbs – a couple of pounds above the light-middleweight limit – but looked strong and intends to continue at the higher weight.He dominated from the start and the writing was on the wall for Jenkinson when he was thumped with a big left and then a right hook towards the end of the second round.After an accumulation of shots in the following round, the Bolton man was floored following a punishing right.Jenkinson got to his feet but the fight was stopped when he slumped to the canvas again after a clinical follow-up from Corcoran, whose record improved to 10-0, with five wins inside the distance.See also:Slick Smith becomes English championFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Musings on Mazria, Lstiburek and Gifford: Part ThreeI just want to set the record straight on one point: I have not imbibed the USGBC Koolaid. I do like its mission, goals, and products, and the organization has the best start of any rating system out there. As I have stated many times before, I’m a biologist by training and I am way into evolutionary biology. That’s all that needs to happen here. There are aspects of LEED that need improvement, so the USGBC simply needs to evolve in order to adapt to the changing environment: building science knowledge and feedback loops. It’s a lot like natural selection in a way. Survival of the fittest and change over time are important to businesses and businesspeople that are interested in the survival of their species.Like I have stated before, I’m no PhD, engineer, or architect. I’d like to think that I will always be a humble student of the natural world. In that role, I’m trying to let the dissonance that exists in our industry soak in. Here’s my take on one of the bones of contention. When building, I subscribe to the mantra, “Build tight and ventilate right”. AIR SEALING!!!!! The tighter, the better, in my opinion. One hundred years ago, heating was cheap. Wood, coal, whatever—it was cheap. Not so cheap anymore. The tighter the home, the less conditioned air you lose. That’s a good thing. Not allowing for fresh-air ventilation or letting in so much unconditioned air that energy efficiency and humidity levels are compromised is a bad a bad thing. It’s a must to let in fresh air when building a supertight shell.Let me tie this into my current thread on the banter between Lstiburek/Gifford and the USGBC. In Lstiburek’s paper, “Prioritizing Green: It’s The Energy, Stupid”, Dr. Lstiburek takes great offense to the aforementioned NBI study on energy efficiency in LEED NC buildings. I’d like to comment on one specific point that he makes in the paper:… don’t overventilate. This idea of getting green points by increasing the rates above those specified by ASHRAE Standard 62 is just madness. Whatever happened to source control? If you don’t build stupid materials into the building, don’t do stupid things in the building, and don’t connect the interior to exterior via the parking garage, 62 works very well.Lstiburek, an ASHRAE Fellow, is referring to LEED NC Environmental Quality Credit 2, “Increased Ventilation,” which is obtained by increasing ventilation rates by 30% over those prescribed by ASHRAE 62. Another ASHRAE Fellow, Steven Taylor, stated this in a report:It is acknowledged that increasing ventilation rates will, in most applications and climates, increase energy use. However, the impact is relatively small, and it can be mitigated using heat recovery and other technologies. . . .The benefits of these credits are deemed to outweigh the energy impacts. Similarly, it is argued that the energy impact of increased ventilation is more than offset by the health and productivity benefits. EQ Credit 2 has been completely revised to require an increase in ventilation rates of 30% above Standard 62.1-2004 rates. The increase (and even higher rates) can be justified by recent research showing higher outdoor air rates improve occupant productivity and reduce sick building syndrome symptoms.So how much is too much? I don’t have the answer to that. In the residential realm, in 99% of the houses that I have built, I have installed either a Venmar Constructo or a Venmar HEPA 4000, which probably provides more air changes than necessary for a home that size. Almost all of those houses are under 3,000 square feet. I know by following them over the years that the energy bills are quite low and the indoor air quality (IAQ) is quite good. A family from New Jersey moved into one of our homes with their 9-year-old son, who suffered from chronic, severe asthma. Within two months, all of his symptoms were gone. Another instance involved a family from New Mexico. The wife was chemically sensitive and wanted to seriously vet the home before they moved in. She had a variety of tests run on the IAQ of the home (including mold, VOCs and radon), and it passed all of them with flying colors. This is a tiny data set, but I know (especially since I live in one of them) that our houses work: low energy bills and good IAQ.Unfortunately, I agree with a lot of what Gifford and Lstiburek say in their papers. What I classify as unfortunate is that you have to sift through so many condescending statements, epithets, and sardonic wit that the points get buried. In a world where (in my opinion) so many of us can’t wait for good news, can you guys try to stay constructive and positive?I agree that we need to base the “greenness” of buildings on performance or extremely accurate models (which don’t seem to exist for all cases). I agree that overventilation can be detrimental. I agree that overglazing can negatively affect energy efficiency and comfort. I recently visited an organization’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., a very big organization at that. It was LEED Silver—certified, but, as the tour guide admitted, the building has huge utility bills and is not performing as modeled. That part of the system needs to be fixed.All of these things need attention, so let’s bring it to the attention of the necessary individuals. I do suggest that when you present information or make constructive suggestions that you don’t refer to the recipient as stupid. You may get a bit further that way. Definitely, a rose IS a rose, but talking nicely even to plants can help them grow.Next post, I’ll spout a bit about what I think the key is to the success of the green market shift in light of the new administration and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
By Dr. Barbara O’NeillIs there assistance with meeting child care expenses for military families?Operation Military Child Care (OMCC) is a Department of Defense initiative to support the temporary child care needs of military parents who are activated/deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism. This program is provided in partnership with the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and the Child Care Resource and Referral Network (NACCRRA), which changed its name to Child Care Aware® of America in 2012 (see NACCRRA.ORG/ABOUT-US/BRAND-TRANSITION).Following are some of the support services provided by OMCC:Helps eligible military families locate affordable child care options in local communities.Reduces child care fees of eligible military families who are already using licensed community child care programs and providers.Supplements and expands the deployment child care services already provided on military installations. For more information, refer to naccrra.org/military-families.Find more military personal finance blog posts and webinars here.Follow Dr. O’Neill on Twitter!This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on February 4, 2013.
She’s played glamorous roles and a girl-next-door in several of her past films. But Priyanka Chopra, who will be seen playing boxing champion MC Mary Kom in a biopic, says essaying an athlete in a film was almost unthinkable for her.”Mary Kom” has thus, taught her a valuable lesson.Priyanka Chopra says playing Mary Kom was the ‘hardest’ “I never thought I will play an athlete or I can become an athlete. I didn’t know anything about sports. Besides, who would have thought that a girl can develop muscles and biceps, but that happened with me,” the 32-year-old said here Tuesday in an interview.”I learnt that if you are adamant to achieve something, anything can happen and you can do anything. This was a very inspiring thing for me,” added the National Award winning.”Mary Kom” marks the directorial debut of Omung Kumar and it hits theatres Sep 5.
Annette Francis APTN National NewsSinger, songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie was honoured Monday night for her work on and off the stage.Her awards include three Juno awards, 13 honorary doctorates, a Golden Globe, Polaris Prize, and has her name on Canada’s Walk of Fame just to name a [email protected]