News

Accident Survivor and Double Amputee Dr. Randy Gallaway Shares His Story

Posted: Jan 02, 2015

by Renee Witherspoon, CSP, CIH, CHMM, South Plains Chapter President

Dr. Randy Gallaway, Gallaway Safety Solutions, LLC, speaks on Changing Inner Attitudes about workplace safety at the December ASSE Chapter meeting.

On December 12, 2014 Dr. Randy Gallaway, CEO of Gallaway Safety Solutions, was the special guest speaker at the South Plains Chapter Christmas luncheon held at Ruby Tequila’s in Lubbock.  There were 16 members and guests in attendance.

Randy is an accident survivor and double amputee that has a wonderful safety message about how to change heart attitudes about safety.

The Accident that Changed Randy’s Life

It was March 27, 1966, he was 18 years old and about to graduate from high school.  His job at the time was as an electrical assistant as this would help him prepare for a career in mechanical engineering.  Prior to the accident, he was to help replace some of the transformers on an industrial building because of the overloaded circuits that needed repair on the connections.   He was trained in the hazards of electricity and had learned to respect it.  He and his colleague were up on tower that had 13,500 Volts and was assured by a Plant Foreman that power had been shut off.

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Ebola in Wastewater

Posted: Dec 05, 2014

By Renee Witherspoon, MS, CSP, CIH, CHMM, South Plains Chapter President

On November 20, 2014 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an “Interim Guidance for Managers and Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Individuals with Ebola in the United States.”

Although the document discusses basic safety precautions, hygiene practices, and recommendations for personal protective equipment (PPE), much of the information about the survivability of Ebola in wastewater is still unknown.  Experts believe that the risk is low, but there is limited data and more research is needed.

In October there were several meetings with the EPA, the CDC, and water and wastewater stakeholders to discuss concerns for worker safety regarding Ebola in wastewater.  This article provides a review of key topics of discussion and recommendations on how we can proactively minimize worker exposure to Ebola as well as other pathogens. Read More

Personal Protective Equipment: Not the First Choice in Controlling Hazards

Posted: Nov 22, 2014

Renee Witherspoon, MS, CSP, CIH, CHMM, TWUA Safety Committee Chair and ASSE South Plains Chapter President

I had the opportunity to participate in the Special Topics Class at the 66th Annual West Texas Regional School in Lubbock in November 2014. Chairman Neil Weems, Cesar Castanon and their entire committee did a tremendous job in organizing this event.  The Special Topics class was divided into short 1-hour presentations with multiple speakers and varied topics from confined space and direct potable reuse to UV disinfection and water well rehab.

My presentation was on personal protective equipment or PPE.  Since most are familiar with the use of PPE, participants in the class were not as familiar with the actual content of the OSHA standard and the use of PPE may not be the first choice when controlling a hazard. Read More