Codes & Standards: Fire, Life Safety
Studies show that one of employees’ highest priorities is achieving a healthy balance between professional career and private life, says Kim McLean, a SullivanKreiss market sector leader whose area of focus includes A/E design firms. “This concern is especially prominent among younger employees,” she writes in the SullivanKreiss Executive Search Newsletter for Aug 2005, “who seem less satisfied with working conditions than previous generations.” According to McLean, a survey of 7,718 Americans aged 18 and over, conducted by Harris Interactive, Inc. for Age Wave, an independent think tank, found that just 45% of employees are satisfied or extremely satisfied with their jobs. Younger workers are the most distressed, and they feel the least amount of loyalty to their employers, the survey, released earlier this year, found. “Maybe it’s not surprising that younger workers are more dissatisfied with their jobs and are less loyal to their employers,” writes McLean.
In the June 2005 issue of the SullivanKreiss Executive Search Newsletter, executive search pro John Kreiss offers advice on the right way to fire an employee. “’You’re fired,’ or the numerous less harsh euphemisms, are the hardest words for any manager, with the possible exception of Donald Trump,” writes Kreiss. “Indeed, firing an employee is probably the most stressful and difficult task for managers. While it’s never easy, handling the situation properly can minimize the negative repercussions for all involved and mitigate the impact on the organization’s morale.” Kreiss also points out that every firm should have policies in place to mitigate the possibility of wrongful termination lawsuits. Some of the important points to consider, according to Kreiss, are the following: New employees.
Designers of engineered fire-protection systems will be happy to know that at least one thing that puts their systems to the test has abated in recent years. According to a recent report from the National Fire Protection Assn., in 2003, the rate of arson offenses relative to population decreased by 6% from the previous year. The number of intentionally set structure fires in 2003 dropped to 37,500, marking the lowest number recorded in the 27 years studied. This figure does not include suspicious fires or fires with undetermined causes, but if those are included, recent numbers are still the lowest NFPA has ever recorded.
The markets for fire protection showed high growth rates worldwide during 2003 and 2004—mainly in China—says a recent report from German consultant Helmut Kaiser Consultancy. Moreover, it is expected to increase 6% to 15% per year until 2008, depending on the segment. Fire-protection markets are more and more global for key applications, technologies and materials, says Helmut Kaiser, creating millions of new jobs. The market increase is being driven by more damage to assets, more fire events around the world, climate change but also new technologies and companies.
The CAD Society announced L. Stephen Wolfe, P.E., publisher and CEO of CAD/CAM Publishing, Inc., as the winner of the 2004 CAD Society Industry Lifetime Achievement Award. The not-for-profit CAD industry user association presented the award on April 3 at COFES2004: The Congress on the Future of Engineering Software, held in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Distance learning and distance recruiting were on the minds of a number of people attending a session on the topic. The panel, including representatives from fire-protection firms, universities and professional associations who provide such offerings, universally noted the movement is growing slowly but steadily.
Although fire deaths in the United States have declined significantly from 5,804 in 1980 to 3,347 in 1999, there are big variations between states, according to an analysis of fire death patterns by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Providing a technical reference for fire-protection engineers, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers has released an updated version of its Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering.