Protection from Wildfire Smoke

As reported but the CDC, when wildfires burn either in your area or many miles away, they produce smoke that may reach your community. Wildfire smoke is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials. This smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.

Who is at greatest risk from wildfire smoke?

  • People who have heart or lung diseases, like heart disease, lung disease, or asthma, are at higher risk from wildfire smoke.
  • Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke. This may be due to their increased risk of heart and lung diseases.
  • Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke. Children’s airways are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Also, children often spend more time outdoors engaged in activity and play.

By taking these steps you can reduce your risk of exposure to wildfire smoke:

  • Be prepared for wildfires
  • Check the air quality often
  • Consult local visibility guides
  • Keep indoor air as clean as possible if you are advised to stay indoors.
    • Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
  • Avoid activities that increase indoor air pollution
    • burning candles, fireplaces, gas stoves
    • vacuuming
  • Take action to prevent wildfires from starting
  • Follow your health care providers advice
  • Don’t rely on dust masks – they are meant for large particles, not smoke
  • Evacuate if necessary
  • Protect yourself from exposure if you aid in cleaning from up a fire – wear protective gear for face and skin.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Workplace Housekeeping

Effective housekeeping can help control or eliminate workplace hazards. Poor housekeeping practices frequently contribute to incidents. If the sight of paper, debris, clutter, and spills is accepted as normal, then other more serious hazards may be taken for granted.

Housekeeping is not just cleanliness. It includes keeping work areas neat and orderly, maintaining halls and floors free of slip and trip hazards, and removing of waste materials (e.g., paper, cardboard) and other fire hazards from work areas. It also requires paying attention to important details such as the layout of the whole workplace, aisle marking, the adequacy of storage facilities, and maintenance. Good housekeeping is also a basic part of incident and fire prevention.

Remember it is important for supervisors to review with employees: 

  • Best Practice: The importance of good Workplace Housekeeping
  • Safety Talk: Bad Housekeeping can Cause Disastrous Consequences 
  • Safety Talk: How to Clean Up at Work
  • Quiz: Test Your Employees about ‘How/What to Clean Up at Work’
  • Review Stats and Facts on Slipping Hazards

Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation: it is not a one-time or hit-and-miss cleanup done occasionally. Additionally, periodic “panic” cleanups can be costly and ineffective in reducing incidents.

A Rare Illness With an Unexpected Cause

A woman spent 9 days in a coma, and had her arms and legs amputated as a result from a lick from her German Shepherd puppy. The cause? A bacteria known as capnocytophaga infected an open wound where the lick occurred. The CDC defines Capnocytophaga as a bacteria that lives in the mouths of dogs, or cats.

The CDC also states: these germs can spread to people through bites, scratches, or close contact from a dog or cat and may cause illness, including sepsis. Most peoplewho have contact with a dog or cat do not become sick. People with a weakened immune systems who have difficulty fighting off infections (for example, people with cancer or those taking certain medications such as steroids) are at greater riskof becoming ill.

People who are infected with Capnocytophaga can have a range of signs and symptoms such as:

  • Blisters around the bite wound within hours of the bite
  • Redness, swelling, draining pus, or pain at the bite wound
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea and/or stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Headache and/or confusion
  • Muscle or joint pain

After being infected, most people who become ill will show symptoms within 3 to 5 days, but this can range anywhere from 1 to 14 days.

Most Capnocytophaga infections usually occur with dog or cat bites. But some people who develop a Capnocytophagainfection have not been bitten. People may be infected after close contact with a dog or cat, especially after contact with the animal’s saliva (spit). Contact your doctor immediately if you’ve been bitten, even if you don’t feel any symptoms, especially if the animal may be thought to have rabies. 

Always be sure to tend to any wounds properly, and take proper care of your own hygiene. For dog owners, be sure to take your pets security and dental care seriously. 

Life Hack: Vehicle Emergency!

Did you know?

The headrest of car seats are deliberately kept detachable and sharp so that it could be used to break open the glass in the windows of your car in case of a fire or emergency. The car’s glass are kept easily breakable from the inside for this reason as well. Share this with as many people as you know, it could save a life!

Car-Headrests

Slip and Fall Prevention

Although we’ve seen it in the cartoons and in the movies a million times, not many people actually slip on banana peels. And while the results may produce a few chuckles in the theater, falls are nothing to laugh at. In fact, some estimates put the number of disabling injuries resulting from falls at over 30,000 per year. The number of deaths is close to 12,000 a year, yes, from slipping, tripping, or falling.

Tips to prevent slip/fall accident:

  • Watch where you are going
  • Look out for
    • hidden steps
    • loose, irregular surfaces
    • smooth surfaces where shoes may loose traction
    • wet spots
    • oil and grease

Some additional things to look out for include:

  • unsafe chairs
  • moving too fast
  • obstructed aisles
  • bad lighting
  • improper shoes

Safety is everyone’s responsibility, passive regard in any setting could end in injury, hospitalization, or death.

Tips for Good Housekeeping will follow in our Newsletter, Paladin’s Telegram, for March. Stay tuned!

OSHA Occupational Employee Injury or Illness Log

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 requires certain employers to prepare and maintain records of work-related injuries and illnesses. Below is a brief overview of the requirements surrounding the types of injuries and illnesses that should be recorded on this log.

A work related injury is defined as an injury or illness that occurs at work, or any place an employee is present as a condition of their employment. This includes preexisting conditions which become significantly aggravated due to the conditions of employment as well.

The types of injuries and illness require to record are as follows:

Injuries or illnesses resulting in,

Continue reading “OSHA Occupational Employee Injury or Illness Log”

Employment Related Laws for 2019

According to the Cal Labor Laws‘ website, here are the Bills signed into Law for 2019.

AB 3109 (Disclosure of Sexual Harassment):  This bill makes void and unenforceable any provision in a contract or settlement agreement that prevents a party to the contract from testifying about criminal conduct or sexual harassment in an administrative, legislative, or judicial proceeding. 

SB 224 (Sexual Harassment):  This bill amends section 51.9 of the Civil Code to expand the types of relationships that can be subject to a claim for sexual harassment to include lobbyists, elected officials, directors, producers, and investors.  This statute generally applies to work relationships where one person holds himself out as being able to help someone establish a business or professional relationship directly or with a third party.  

SB 820 (Settlement of Sexual Harassment Claims):  This new law prohibits provisions in settlement agreements entered into after January 1, 2019 that prevent disclosure of factual information pertaining to claims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender discrimination or related retaliation that have been filed in court or before an administrative agency.  The new law does not prohibit a provision that prevents the parties to the agreement from disclosing the amount of the settlement.  Additionally, at the claimant’ request, the settlement agreement may include a provision that limits the disclosure of the claimant’s identity or of facts that would lead to the discovery of the claimant’s identity. Continue reading “Employment Related Laws for 2019”

Proposed OSHA Rule for California Indoor Heat Illness Protection due January 1, 2019

On September 29, 2016, Governor Brown signed a bill that directs Cal/OSHA to create a regulation protecting employees of indoor workplaces from heat illness. Section 6720 was added to SB 1167 requiring that a proposed rule be submitted to Cal/OSHA Standards Board by January 1, 2019. The standard would apply to all indoor work areas where the temperature equals or exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit when employees are present. Continue reading “Proposed OSHA Rule for California Indoor Heat Illness Protection due January 1, 2019”

Forklift Training

Why do I need to provide training for my forklift operators?

Each type of forklift presents different operating hazards based on the way they lift, and amount of weight they can support. In addition, type of workplace can introduce many hazards, including putting the pedestrians in danger. Some commons accidents include: Continue reading “Forklift Training”