Thursday, July 14, 2016


As I travel and work with Building Service Contractors one of the services I usually perform is a mock OSHA inspection to help them get in compliance on the issues that might create OSHA fines in the event of a real inspection. Almost always I find several items that could cost them thousands of dollars if there was to be a real inspection. The most common violation I find is improperly label spray bottles being used and a lack of up to date SDS.

Now more than ever it is important that you are doing the things necessary to avoid penalties. Why? Because effective August 1, 2016 OSHA will be invoking new higher fines for violations. The maximum penalties will increase by 78%. WOW!  For example,

The top penalty for serious violations will rise from $7,000 to $12,471. Improperly marked/labeled spray bottles and out of date SDS usually fall into this category. 

The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $70,000 to $124,709.

I realize that many of the company's reading this blog probably have never been inspected by OSHA. I had 2 inspections during my years as a BSC.  One cost me a fine, the other did not.

With the new regulations and the opportunity to put more money in the government coffers, I suggest that our industry will be one of those that will become well acquainted with OSHA. Are you ready? 

Let me suggest you do a thorough inspection of all the facilities that you maintain to assure you are in compliance. Better yet, now is a great time to be sure you have an organized, systematic safety program in place and it can't just be a nice bound safety program book. You have to demonstrate that you actually DO the safety procedures etc. that you outline in a safety manual. 

So, what about you? If an OSHA inspection was conducted at your workplace and the facilities you maintain tomorrow, would you be able to pass with no violations? It is better to be ready, and safe, than be broke from fines. A $12,471 fine for each improperly labeled spray bottle or an outdated SDS book can get real expensive, real fast. 

OSHA has already indicated they will be stepping up their inspections so be ready and safe. If we can help, let us know. Send us a message at  ask Dick Ollek on our web site at and we'll respond as quickly as possible.

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Till next time.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Have you ever found yourself saying that about some of the people you work with? If you are of the older generation you have probably, at times, wondered what is going on in the mind of those young kids that you work with. By the same token, if you are a "youngster" you have probably wondered where in the world did that "older" person think that one up? 

Well, dealing with the different generations in our workplace is one of the most important challenges we face today. Every generation has their opinion of the other generations. You are probably working with, 

Traditionalists or better known as the "silent generation"...those born before 1946.

Baby Boomers...those born between 1947 and 1964.

Generation X...those born between 1965 and 1980.

Generation Y...also referred to as generation WHY born between 1981 and 2000.

Generation Z....those born after 2000 and just now beginning to make their splash in the work force. 

 Each of these generations has their own set of values and attitudes and the reality of it is that they differ in many ways. 

Dealing with a 60 year old in the workplace can take an entirely different twist than dealing with a 20 year old. Each has a completely different outlook on the world and the work place. 

Think about it. Today you use a GPS on your phone to find out where you are going. The older generation used something called a map.

Text is something we all do on our phone. To the older generation it meant the verses from the Bible that the minister would use for his Sunday morning sermon. 

The older generation thought a window was something you clean. A program was a TV show. The keyboard was the piano. A cursor was the local school bully. An app was what we give to prospective employees. Meg was Bill's girlfriend. Log on meant to put more wood on the fire. A web was a spider's home. The older generation had the flu when they had a virus, not so today. 

I can go on and on but you get the message and can see how communicating with the different generations in the workplace can really get confusing unless you learn how to effectively do it. It can be an enormous challenge and in today's business environment can be very costly if not handled properly. 

Our company has produced a training DVD entitled "Dealing with Generational and Cultural Differences in the Workplace" that can help with this important work place issue. You can purchase it from our web site at

The cultural issue is also one that needs to be addressed and is done so in this DVD and we will discuss it in a later blog, but you can get a head start on our blog by ordering the DVD today. Be sure to also look for our book on the site entitled "The Guide to Effective Supervision". We devote an entire lesson in this 12 lesson course to dealing with the cultural and generational differences you encounter every day. It goes into greater detail on the generational differences we discuss at the beginning of this blog. 

The work place is different today. Be sure you know how to interact effectively in it. 

Don't forget our FREE weekly pod cast posted every Monday morning at

Till next time.