A Publication of WTVP

More people know about this issue than you might think. Any combustible material can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Even materials that do not burn in larger pieces (such as aluminum or iron) can be explosible in dust form, given the proper conditions.

Last month, more than 650 people gathered for Downstate Illinois’ Occupational Safety & Health (DIOSH) Day at the Peoria Civic Center. Before you go dust-busting though, put March 4, 2015 on your safety director’s calendar—when the Civic Center will again host the 24th annual DIOSH Day.

Consider America’s greatest natural resource to be the 90 million citizens who report to work each day (and if that number seems colossal to you, read my recent column on the “talent war” your company is fighting—knowingly or unknowingly). And yet, it wasn’t until 1970 that the U.S. Department of Labor created OSHA, which was designed to put uniform requirements in place to protect safety in the workplace and expose health hazards therein. About 14,000 people were killed on the job annually in 1970; that’s 38 people a day. Contrast that to 4,383 workers who lost their lives in 2012, or 12 a day—a market improvement. What’s more, U.S. employment has nearly doubled since 1970.

Safety and health awareness is working, but only if you let it. Be aware and protect your human capital by letting the awareness come to you. Here are several organizations that can help you do so:

Along with advisors from the Labor Department, the representatives of these organizations are precisely the ones who plan, execute and evaluate DIOSH Day.

Oh, and about that combustible dust? Yes, it’s real—and it isn’t pixie dust, either. Your deans of DIOSH Day, cited above, can provide the details. iBi