Contact: Lidia LoPinto
New Software Product Helps Businesses Avoid Fines By Meeting OSHA Requirements To Post Warning Signs In Any Language.
Baldwin, New York – February 15th, 2010 - Forgetting to post safety warning in worker’s own language could get you a hefty fine. However, a new multi-lingual sign making product, Easy Sign Maker Pro, allows companies to quickly compose and print warning signs in any language, using a powerful translation tool and large database of typical warnings in English, Spanish and French. “This product will save your worker’s lives and will save you from being hit twice after an accident. Not only will you suffer the loss and pain of seeing someone close be hurt or even killed, but OSHA will walk in on the mandatory inspection and fine you for not having a sign or training in their language! Moreover, these fines can be in the thousands of dollars. Can your business afford this?,” says Lidia LoPinto, author of Easy Sign Maker.
Even if you are doing everything right and you have trained your workers, showed them how to comply with regulations like confined space entry, or bloodborne pathogens, or preventing hand or finger injuries using dangerous equipment, you can get a fine if there is an accident. Why? If OSHA perceives that the worker did not truly understand the regulations, due to a language barrier they will cite you for not providing the training in the worker’s own language.
A memorandum from OSHA issued in April 2007 states the policy in clearer terms:
“OSHA has a long and consistent history of interpreting its standards and other requirements to require employers to present information in a manner that their employees can understand. See, e.g., CPL 2-2.38(D)(1998) ("[i]f the employees receive job instructions in a language other than English, then training and information to be conveyed under the [hazard communication standard] will also need to be conducted in a foreign language"); letter from Russell B. Swanson to Chip MacDonald (1999) ("instruction that employers must provide under §1926.21 must be tailored to the employees' language and education...."). And courts and the Commission have agreed with OSHA that an employer may not take advantage of "an adequately communicated work rule" when it did not communicate that rules to a non-English speaking employee in a language that employee could understand. See, e.g., Modern Continental Construction Company, Inc. v. OSHRC, 305 F.3d 43, 52 (1st Cir. 2002); . Star Brite Construction Co., 19 (BNA) OSHC 1687, 1695 n.12 (N. 95-0343, 2001).”
Lidia LoPinto, a chemical engineer graduate of Manhattan College, started her career working in wastewater and the chemical processing industry. “There were just too many accidents. When I first started working as a chemical process engineer, I was sitting at a meeting, waiting to discuss the process of the plant just across the street, on a Monday morning, and the plant manager was late. Someone came in to tell us he was killed over the weekend trying to save a worker who was set on fire in an explosion! We were all shocked, no one moved. There was an eerie silence in the room. I then was later assigned the grim task of analyzing accidents, some of them completely unnecessary, such as the case of the two workers who died inside a tank filled with odorless and clear Nitrogen or the phosphorus fire that killed other workers. At wastewater plants, where I often contracted to write operating and safety manuals, there are still accidents when workers walk into confined areas with sewer gas, or chlorine leaks. The bulky manuals did not prevent these unnecessary accidents.
We know so much more today about the danger of chemicals and gases, but we still have accidents.
I noticed that many of the workers in these facilities spoke foreign languages. The regulations were verbose, and outright boring and often incomprehensible. Training happened once or twice a year. There were too few signs, and mostly in English reminding the worker immediately of a danger.”
So Lidia decided to write a computer program that made it easy to create signs in multiple languages. The first release, in the mid 90’s became very popular with construction companies. Our second release, Easy Sign Maker Pro 2010 allows a small business, a construction firm or anyone who employs workers who speak a variety of languages to understand regulations and be reminded instantly. No more “I didn’t know.” You can quickly pick out a graphic from the database, and standard text in English, Spanish or French and translate this into a multitude of languages instantly, like Chinese, Arabic, German, Hindi, and many more with the help of this powerful integrated translation tool. The program allows any worker to create a sign and get involved in the safety training. This will make the rules stick and build a positive reinforcement environment.
A great training tool is to bring the program into a safety meeting and allow workers to generate signs and edit them. The program prints the sign in a color printer and even makes a poster size sign and you simply laminate it together. This “Instant” sign capability is popular with construction firms. The safety engineer can print these from the trailer and post them all over the site. Farmers, saw mills, chemical processing plants, manufacturers, garment industries, municipal water and wastewater, and many more types of firms and even printing houses wanting to make sign making a business use this program. It also creates the ANSI signs that are standard and any kind of standard sign. In addition, the program tracks locations and type of signs posted. This way, you have proof for the regulators of the existence of the sign and you get a reminder of when to post it.
Easy Sign Maker can be found at EasySignMaker.com. A full demo is available. No matter what your hazard, Easy Sign Maker has a sign now.
Creating your own sign is a breeze. Just follow quick instructions and upload your graphics. The program has now been released both single user and shared for the same price! That means the company can post it on line for everyone to use. This is unprecedented, that a business can make over 27,000 types of safety signs right out of the box in any language for just $175.
“I want people to use this product. Lives are at stake. Now there is no reason a business has to suffer unnecessarily from an unfortunate accident. Making Easy Sign Maker part of “near misses” is the way to prevent them in the first place. A warning, next to a working area in many languages is very effective.”
Media is invited to try a demo by going to this location: http://www.easysignmaker.com. Call for additional information and media samples at (914)963-3695. Visit our Press area at http://www.municipalnets.com/pressrelease.htm for high-resolution screen shots, past press releases and coverage and other information.
The consumers are invited to try our demos by signing into http://www.easysignmaker.com.