Email Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to this column in your favorite format
iTunes or MP3
Sometimes we blithely discuss terms without thinking about their genesis or reason for being. The word "regulations" and its derivatives falls within this category.
My favorite definition of regulations is this: Regulations are rules, standards or principles administered and enforced by those without assets upon those who have assets. It seems nonsensical. Allow me to explain.
Who are those without assets and how do they receive the power of enforcement? In ancient times, those with a club could enforce their wills on those without a club ("Don't allow your sheep to drink from that brook over there or I will hit you over the head with this club"). We have the brook, which is untitled and without owner, the sheep, an asset of the party of the first part, and the one with the club, the party of the second part, who owns nothing but just doesn't like to have sheep around.
Governments, through force, created regulations and enforced them. The ancient Greeks and Romans were very good at this.
Modern day regulations are often the result of public opinion, which are then, by various mechanisms, codified and fit within a governmental system for review and enforcement.
The famous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, 25 March 1911, in New York City is an excellent example of this. This fire resulted in 146 deaths and was largely the result of negligent or non-existent fire safety regulations. The public became outraged, standards were written and codified, politicians in the appropriate government bodies, voted to make them into enforceable regulations--indeed, laws--and public servants were assigned to inspect and enforce.
None of this had anything to do with who owned the assets in this case (the building owners and the Triangle Shirtwaist Company). The public's outrage and wrath set in motion a series of events that caused regulations to be developed and applied to any company that even remotely fit the model matching the Triangle Shirtwaist Company.
Review similar actions throughout the industrial era, and you will see many similar situations. All the regulations of the EPA, all the regulations of OSHA, all transportation regulations and on-and-on-and-on are the result of public pressure. At times this pressure came from infamous deeds that harmed people or their environment (rivers catching fire in Cleveland, Ohio). Other times this pressure came from perceived, perhaps not even proven, scenarios--Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" comes to mind.
Regulations growth has been a topic of late. Some parties think the number of regulations should grow almost without bounds. Others say, "Enough, the burden is too great or unacceptable." We indeed are willing to absorb some fatalities in order to keep regulations in check. This cannot be, you say.
You are wrong. Look at speed limits and the numbers of traffic deaths we experience every year. No doubt lower speed limits would reduce the number of traffic deaths--up to a certain point it is simple physics. Yet we are unwilling as a group body politic to accept what we perceive as excessive regulations in this area, despite the almost certain link to a certain annual quantity of human fatalities.
So, the next time you encounter a regulation, I challenge you to think about it a bit more than usual, exploring what might be its genesis and longevity. It may just make you a person who better understands working conditions with which you come in contact.
For safety this week, we know regulations play an important role here. Learn and apply them.
Be safe and we will talk next week.
* We are looking for a Production Shift Team Leader to maintain high standards, plus ensure safety policies and regulations for a company located close to Chicago's Midway Airport. If you are experienced team leader who has a four-year degree in an engineering/technical field (paper science degree preferred, and experience in recycled linerboard or corrugating medium paper mills is a plus), we are looking for someone like you! If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Jim Thompson at: email@example.com Ph. 678-206-6010 Cell: 404-822-3412.
* A family owned and operated corrugated packaging solutions company in Illinois is looking for an experienced Maintenance Technician to maintain production and quality by ensuring operation of machinery and mechanical equipment. Relocation and other perks are available to the right candidate who is committed to working third shift. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Jim Thompson at: firstname.lastname@example.org Ph. 678-206-6010 Cell: 404-822-3412.
* Are you an experienced Maintenance Mechanic and would like to work for a family owned and operated corrugated packaging solutions company that invests in the best equipment and technology? If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Jim Thompson at: email@example.com Ph. 678-206-6010 Cell: 404-822-3412.
* A leading company in the corrugated solutions packaging business is looking for a experienced Electrician. The right candidate will possess the following skills: electrical; hydraulic; automatic drives (basic component machines 122 to 440 volts). If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Jim Thompson at: firstname.lastname@example.org Ph. 678-206-6010 Cell: 404-822-3412.
* An expanding company is looking for a Corporate Industrial Electro-Mechanical Engineer near Allentown, PA. Relocation is available. Do you have a storied list of unique electrical and mechanical engineering skills you're ready to take to the next level? Do you envision yourself in a corporate-level leadership role that your experience finally merits? And do you relish any opportunity to troubleshoot and solve real-time problems, all while designing and installing new services and systems that will not only ensure safety, but also turn a potentially hazardous work environment into a continuously thriving one? If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Jim Thompson at: email@example.com Ph. 678-206-6010 Cell: 404-822-3412.
* An expanding company is looking for hands-on Electro Mechanical Maintenance Techs in Conyers, Georgia. Preference will be given to candidates with higher education and additional certificates or training. You must be able to work any shift. Pay is negotiable with excellent perks and benefits. Relocation assistance is available to the right candidate. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Jim Thompson at: firstname.lastname@example.org Ph. 678-206-6010 Cell: 404-822-3412.
* We are a large automation company that has a line of consistency transmitters, sample valves and sheet break detectors that are marketed through a rep. network. We are seeking someone with a strong background in consistency control to facilitate start-ups, provide troubleshooting and technical advice. The individual should have experience in all major types of consistency measurement technologies (blade, rotary, microwave and optical). Knowledge of sheet break detection technology is desirable as well. Willingness to travel to paper production facilities across the US is a must. Travel & Living Expenses to be reimbursed along with an agreed upon daily per diem rate. For more information, please contact Jim Thompson at: email@example.com Ph. 678-206-6010 Cell: 404-822-3412.
Other interesting stories: