Glancing Back: Missing: Cylinders & Other Materials

1948: Where Have All the Cylinders Gone?

As discussed in this column last week, 1995 was the last year that R-12 was produced in the United States, and soon after it became a scarce item. In 1948, Freon raw materials were in short supply but not drastically so. The cylinders in which to put the refrigerant, however, were in short supply, according to the January 26, 1948 issue.

The return of empty cylinders had dropped for a few months, thus placing the amount of R-12 shipped in February and beyond in doubt. More cylinders were ordered but, due to a steel shortage, were slow in being delivered.

Kinetic Chemicals Inc. reiterated at the time that these ICC specification cylinders were for shipment only, not for storage.



1959: Heat Wave in the Land of Oz

With the title of “It Could Happen Here,” a news item from Australia reported that over 50 people died in a summer heat wave. (Australia experiences summer when those of us living in North America have winter.) For three days the thermometer read over 100°F. At least 20 of those who perished from the heat were babies. Press reports from Australia said that some of the children could have been saved if the hospitals had been equipped with air conditioning. Citizens were asked to lend their own air conditioning units to the hospitals.

1991: Stayin’ Alive

In 1991, due to an economic slowdown, many companies laid off employees. Because the construction industry is greatly influenced by current economic conditions, it should be no surprise that many construction workers were laid off. This coincided with a sharp increase in construction theft in 1991.

“Construction companies with their many jobs, and with great quantities of materials and with difficult security problems, become one of the largest victims of employee theft. There are many companies who are nothing but a memory simply because they were so terribly ripped off by their own field people,” said then American Sub-contractors Association (ASA) president Sharon Fischer.

In order to combat this, the ASA offered a checklist in reviewing company policies and procedures. A few of these are listed below.

  • Use security measures on computers to limit access to financial records and software.
  • Maintain accurate and current financial records. Conduct regular financial audits.
  • Never sign blank checks.
  • Check all incoming shipments against purchase orders and invoices.
  • Use serially numbered checks with the company’s name and address printed on them to pay all disbursements, including payroll.
  • Adopt a drug-free workplace program.
  • Set a good example for employees by following company policies and rules and adhering to ethical practices.
  • Though the economic climate is not the same as it was in 1991, the above items are still good business practices today.

    Publication date: 01/29/2001

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