Putting Safety First

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Last week, a tornado ripped through a few towns north of where I live, uprooting trees, blowing down buildings and overturning cars. While that might not seem that unusual of an occurrence in some parts of the country, it was big news here in the New York suburbs. In fact, only five twisters have been recorded in my neck of the woods over the past 50 years.

Having lived my entire life in the Northeast, I haven't witnessed much natural disaster first hand. I drove through the area over the weekend and was stunned at the sight of dozens of 25-foot trees torn out at their roots and strewn carelessly about. I had seen the newspaper photos and the television coverage, of course, but the camera really doesn't capture the scope of the destruction.

The weather continues to be unusual and unpredictable throughout the country and meteorologists are forecasting another record-breaking hurricane season this year. The forces of nature do present a great many challenges, so in our next issue, we'll feature a planning guide to help food companies deal with disasters. We'll look at ways to prepare for natural, as well as man-made catastrophes. Remember the old saying, "If you fail to plan, plan to fail."

The planning guide will be part of our annual Safety Issue, in which we will look at ways to improve best safety practices in warehousing and transportation. We're putting a call out to our readers to share their safety success stories with us. If you've developed a safety incentive program, or have significantly reduced accidents in your operations, or have created a safety team—or anything else that has made your workplace a much safer environment—we'd really like to hear from you.

Also, be on the lookout for our Safety First e-newsletter, which will be hitting the Internet in mid-August. If you're not already receiving it, go to our Web site at www.foodlogistics.com and sign up for it. Each month, we will feature safety tips, case studies and products especially designed to improve warehouse and transportation safety.

We here at Food Logistics wish you a happy and safe summer.