Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brand You: Engage Your Brain


For years, I've been a big fan of Tom Peters.  His book "In Search of Excellance" should be a standard business book for anyone going into business and "Thriving on Chaos" probably applies today as much as when it was written.  It seems to me he just gets better with age.  This segment from his new book, gives you insights on how to engage your client, audience, etc.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

EPA Calls Formaldehyde a Carcinogen

Logo of the US Environmental Protection Agency...Image via WikipediaIn the July 2010 issue of Indoor Environment Connections, Mr. Tom Scarlett writes about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issuing a draft report that concludes that inhaling formaldehyde is definitely a human carcinogen.  Formaldehyde is widely used in products and can be found in many indoor environments, like the temporary trailers that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) bought.  It has been widely published that those temporary trailers had such significant levels of formaldehyde in the indoor air they could not use them as temporary housing for the Hurricane Katrina victims.  In addition, the new study also linked increased incidence of asthma to formaldehyde exposure.  Needless to say EPA's determination will cause increased regulation of formaldehyde in air.  The next steps for this report is for it to be reviewed by an expert panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences.  EPA will then use the review and any comments from the public to complete the Health Assessment for Formaldehyde.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

NIOSH Publishes Results of Investigation Into Deutsche Bank Fire

A view of the Deutsche Bank Building fire on A...Image via WikipediaOn August 18, 2007, two firefighters lost their lives while attempting to put out a fire in the former Deutsche Bank building.  This fire has had a significant impact on the construction and the asbestos abatement industries.  Recently revised asbestos regulations were the results of suggested changes by a special committee, set-up by Mayor Bloomberg, to specifically investigate the city agency failings and fixed them.  The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) typically investigates fires that lead to the loss of life of firefighters.  The purpose is to assist fire departments across the country in reducing fatalities and injuries to firefighters.  NIOSH's investigative report is 44 pages long and determined the following "key contributing factors to this incident included: delayed notification of the fire by building construction personnel, inoperable standpipe and sprinkler systems (published in several news articles), delay in establishing water supply, inaccurate information about standpipe, unique building conditions with both asbestos abatement and deconstruction occurring simultaneously, extreme fire behavior, uncontrolled fire rapidly progressing and extending below the fire floor, blocked stairwells preventing fire fighter access and egress, maze-like interior conditions from partitions and construction debris, heavy smoke conditions causing numerous fire fighters to become lost or disoriented, failure of fire fighters to always don SCBAs inside structure and to replenish air cylinders, communications overwhelmed with numerous Mayday and urgent radio transmissions, and lack of crew integrity."
The report also includes several recommendations, and alot of information regarding what happened including a timeline.  So what started the fire?  A burning cigarette discarded by a construction employee in the decontamination shower area on the 17th floor.  Read the report for more information.
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