Safety Schmafety…But It Beats The Alternative

Soon it will be summer, and for those of us involved with Cub Scouts, it means a transition from regular meetings to a series of less regular outdoor activities.  For our Pack, that means a picnic where we hold our annual Raingutter Regatta, a flag retirement ceremony with a local American Legion post, and a marshmallow extravaganza that we call “S’more Summer Fun.”  It’s all in fun until someone falls into a diabetic coma…

Then there’s Summer Day Camp.  For a whole week, Cub Scouts from all over the District converge on a local State Park to shoot BB guns and Bows & Arrows, learn how to cook over an open fire, take turns raising and lowering the US Flag at formal ceremonies that start & end the day, and get a jump start on some of next year’s advancement requirements.

For the past few years, Day Camp in the US Grant District has culminated with a Water Gun Event on Friday afternoon.  We didn’t call it a “Fight” because that might be construed to be in conflict with the central controlling authority: The Guide To Safe Scouting.  Now, I know to the uninitiated, the name itself doesn’t sound all that foreboding, so allow me to draw a familiar parallel:  Think OSHA.  ‘Nuff said?   More on OSHA later, though.

We were recently informed that either a change in The Guide, a stricter interpretation of The Guide, or a previous misunderstanding of The Guide has rendered the Water Gun Event a violation of The Guide.  We’re struggling to come up with a suitable replacement activity, but it’s hard to top a couple hundred hyperactive boys – and most of their parents – loaded for bear with Super Soakers.  I’m sure we’ll come up with something, and if I know my fellow leaders, it will be the stuff of legend.

Although it's not officially a competition, the Bethel Fire Department usually "wins" The Water Gun Event.

Just as the The Guide To Safe Scouting has cancelled our Water Gun fun, there are a multitude of stories about seemingly over-reaching OSHA regulations that look like they only protect against a Complete-Loss-Of-Common-Sense accident.  But the fact is, they’re there for a reason, and a great majority of us should be glad that a great majority of them are.  Let’s face it: forklifts, acetylene torches, and drill presses are inherently dangerous.  Until rules of safe operation are applied, then there are no safer or more efficient ways to move a steel beam into the shop, cut it in half, and drill a bunch of holes in it.

OSHA has rules about compressed air use, too.  We’re all familiar with the ones about safety glasses and ear plugs…those of us who like to see and hear, anyway.  Some of you may even be intimately familiar with the 30 PSIG limit on any compressed air that can be deadheaded – OSHA standard 1910.242(b).

EXAIR, to date, doesn’t manufacture a product which discharges a force of compressed air that precludes the need for eye protection.  But we are proud to offer a complete line of products that are specifically engineered with those other OSHA safeguards in mind: None of our nozzles, jets, knives, etc. can be dead-headed.  We also pay particular attention to sound levels and engineer our products to reduce the amount of sound power generated. 

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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