THERE IS ONE THING WE CAN ALL DO TO HELP SOME OF OUR TRUE HEROES

In 2019, the United Sates (U. S.) saw over 5,000 men and women  killed in work related accidents.  Let that sink in.  Over five thousand families saw a loved one depart for their work shift and never again return home.  Unfortunately that is our norm.  Prior to COVID-19, we expected that number to remain the same or slightly increase.  But now as so many jobs have been shut down, the total number of work-related deaths may decrease, but certain occupations will see an increase if we do NOT stop hording food and household supplies.

 

We are increasing the risks of serious injuries and fatalities for those working in food, grocery, transportation and other industries due to UNNECESSARY HOARDING of products.

 

MOST COMMON WORKPLACE FATAL ACCIDENTS

  • Transportation accidents (2,080 fatalities in the most-recent year)
  • Falls, slips, and trips (792 fatalities in the most-recent year)
  • Contact with objects and Equipment (786 fatalities in the most-recent year)

 

The second highest risk occupation for workplace fatalities is Transportation and Warehousing.  These are the people most impacted by our hoarding of grocery store items! The unnecessary hoarding of groceries and other household supplies is increasing the hours worked by these employees and therefore increasing the risk more of these employees will be seriously harmed or worse, during this crisis. Our supply chain remains strong and is in fact transporting more materials today than earlier in the year.  You might not get your favorite peanut butter.  But you will get a replacement item.

 

ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS – HOARDING

As an Environmental, Health and Safety Professional, I have conducted numerous root cause investigations and analysis to determine WHY serious and sometimes fatal incidents occur.

Here is an example abbreviated root cause analysis:

Johnny is an experienced and good forklift driver.  Since the COVID-19 U. S. outbreak, he has worked 12-hour shifts for 15 days without a day off.  He is fatigued and distracted.  As his shift is ending, Johnny is trying to get the final four pallets of toilet paper on a truck that was scheduled for departure 30 minutes ago.  Johnny is a conscientious employee who seldom dispatches trucks late.  As he is crossing Aisle 27, (That has two large signs that read: STOP), Johnny is so fatigued he neither remembers his training regarding mandatory stops at the end of aisles, nor notices the Stop signs.  In addition, he is tired, and his reactions are most likely slower. Unfortunately, Susan, the Warehouse Supervisor, is crossing Aisle 27 at the same time, as Johnny goes through the aisle.  The forklift strikes Susan.

A forklift weight three times the weight of an average car (about 9,000 pounds).  Impact with a person is often fatal.

 

To identify root causes you ask what could have been eliminated to avoid this incident.  The excessive overtime, continuous days of work without a day off led to Johnny’s fatigue and distraction.  But the WHY for such excessive overtime and exceeding the company’s previous requirement that no employee work more than nine days without a day off, – The soaring demand for toilet paper across the U.S. due to hoarding. Folks – this is the harsh reality of what hoarding can do.  Hording is SIMPLY NOT NECESSARY!

 

 

THERE ARE NO SHORTAGES OF FOOD

People are working unbelievable hours to keep the grocery shelves stocked. Some stores may have reduced their hours open as they need the time to sanitize and restock.  Hard work and long hours are being put in by food processors (Tyson Foods, Campbell Soup, Your favorite brands)  and commercial truck drivers.  These normally unrecognized heroes continue to go the extra mile and put the needs of the American consumer (YOU) first, despite long hours and heavy workloads.  And despite the increased  risk of contracting COVID-19. These GREAT employees are working 24/7 to restock orders and get products back into the supply chain.

U. S. suppliers, The President, Governors and others have reassured: there is ample food available and no reason for Americans to be concerned.  But OUR hoarding is putting unneeded pressure and hours worked on that workforce.  Too many are going weeks without a day off.

 

In addition, Amazon, Walmart, Grocery Chains, Delivery companies, etc. are hiring millions more people to meet these needs.

Hoarding and mass purchasing is neither advisable or necessary and is in fact CAUSING HARM TO OUR FELLOW CITIZENS.

 

 

A MESSAEG TO THE IDIOTS HOARDING TOILET PAPER

In recent weeks I have seen numerous funny clips about the hoarding of toilet paper.  But hoarding has negative consequences to the EMPLOYEES of the 150+ U. S. companies that produce toilet papers.   That’s right China does NOT produce our toilet paper!  Some are hoarding, for selfish reasons only {The toilet paper and U.S. food supply is stable and safe} and placing unneeded pressure on manufactures and producers at a time of stress in their work environments.   Many of the 150 producers, have expanded hours and put idled equipment back in service.  The hard reality, the need for toilet paper today is THE EXACT SAME as it was in January.  Your actions are causing harm to good men and women.  It is the illogical surge in demand that is straining our supply chain and leaving empty shelves for too many of us.  Please calm down.

 

THE RISK TO COMMERCIAL DRIVERS AND YOU!

Commercial truck drivers are the very life blood of the U.S. supply chain.  Almost every product in your home is loaded into and out of a truck. Transportation is already one of the most common occupations to experience work related fatalities. We extended the hours some truck drivers are allowed to drive during this crisis.  The Department of Transportation, studies past road related fatalities and sets the maximum hours to minimize fatalities.  By increasing the hours drivers are allowed to drive, we increase the risk of road incidents and fatalities.  This risk covers both the truck drivers and other vehicle passengers or pedestrians.

 

There is a need for much more medical and protective supplies in many parts of the U. S.  Let’s NOT combine the unneeded groceries and household supplies that so many Americans are allowing fear to drive their doubling and tripling of groceries.

 

LET’S CALM DOWN AND COUNT OUR BLESSINGS

 

I and many of you are working from our comfortable homes.  We have heat or air conditioning, electricity or gas for our appliances.  Internet access for our education and entertainment.  Our blessings are many.  Let’s extend our blessings by better controlling our fear and extend those blessings to the millions of Americans still working to satisfy your needs and wants.

A cornerstone of this crisis response is the tremendous output being delivered by frontline workers and drivers. They go the extra mile and put the needs of the American consumer first, despite long hours and heavy workloads.  Manufacturers and food producers are working day and night to restock orders and get products back into the supply chain. Suppliers have reassured us that there is ample food available and no reason for Americans to be concerned. This means that hoarding and mass purchasing is not NECESSARY.

 

I know many of you are frightened by this Coronavirus scare.  So am I.  But PLEASE think about your fellow citizens who are producing, delivering, stocking, selling these products.  Our actions have consequences you will never see.  But other families will feel for a lifetime.  Buy your normal groceries.  Look at preordering and picking up if you are afraid to go in the stores.  Allow our strong supply chain to catch up and our great American workers to get some rest.  They are here for us, let’s be here for them.

I encourage everyone to take the time to thank the drivers, retail workers, warehouse associates, and all others working tirelessly to keep deliveries of food and products flowing into local grocery stores and communities. Without their unwavering commitment, the shelves would be empty.  Lets help send them safely home at the end of every shift during this crisis.

{CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS CORONAVIRUS BLOGS}

HOW TO MANAGE CORONAVIRUS HEALTH AND INVESTMENT RISK  – MARCH 2, 2020

 https://wealthbuildingpowers.com/2020/03/02/the-risk-of-coronavirus-to-our-health-and-global-stock-markets/}

WHEN THE U. S. HAS A COUGH THE REST OF THE WORLD CATCHES A COLD – WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CHINA HAS A CORONAVIRUS?  – MARCH 9, 2020

https://wealthbuildingpowers.com/2020/02/24/when-the-u-s-has-a-cough-the-rest-of-the-world-catches-a-cold-what-happens-when-china-has-a-coronavirus/

WHEN FEAR RUNS HIGH, THE NEED FOR COURAGE MUST RUN HIGHER!  – MARCH 23, 2020

https://wealthbuildingpowers.com/2020/03/23/when-fear-runs-high-the-need-for-courage-must-run-higher/

PANICKING WILL NOT ERADICATE THE CORONAVIRUS PROBLEMS  – MARCH 16, 2020

https://wealthbuildingpowers.com/2020/03/16/panicking-will-not-eradicate-the-coronavirus-problems/

 

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ABOUT ME

I am a proud nerd (as my beautiful wife and daughter have told me) investment and finance blogger, with a NC State, Chemical Engineering, University Rutgers, MBA and Harvard University, Advanced Management education.

I left a corporate career because I had a desire for making a difference as a speaker and writer, to help others. I was blessed to be coached and mentored by strong women and men in both my family and professional life.  It is my time to serve and give back.

DISCLAIMER

I started my first business at ~13 years of age (small but brilliantly created plant nursery). I am a successful investor in stocks, options, real estate and happy to share my personal finance and investment lessons learned with you.

However, I am NOT a licensed financial advisor.  Please do not construe my suggestions on this blog, as recommendations for your personal situation.  For individual finance advice please seek your own licensed CPA or fiduciary financial advisors.  

I write this weekly blog to make an impact by reaching an audience and demonstrating the need for financial literacy. I will help you get there.

 

 

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Powers Investments Management, LLC

This blog will provide, information and simple strategies, that will assist you to achieve YOUR financial objectives and long term targets. For over 30 years, I solved multi-million dollar problems, for Fortune 10-250, companies. My formal education includes: Business, Finance and Chemical Engineering {Problem Solving} at: Harvard, Rutgers and North Carolina State. And an additional 30+ years, managing my family’s investment decisions. I currently manage/advise people with net-worths ranging from the tens of thousands to several million dollars.

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