Blog: Safety Talk & Tips

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. 

Public Pool Safety

ash-dowie-AQTob_BYSWs-unsplashAmericans who enjoy taking a dip in public pools to cool off during the summer face the danger of encountering “crypto,” a diarrhea-causing fecal parasite that is on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cryptosporidium — which causes cryptosporidiosis — can lead to “profuse, watery diarrhea” among healthy adults suffering for as long as three weeks.

“The number of treated recreational water-associated outbreaks caused by cryptosporidium drives the summer seasonal peak in both waterborne cryptosporidiosis outbreaks and cryptosporidiosis outbreaks overall,” according to the CDC, which released a report Friday.

Although it’s almost never fatal, one death has been reported since 2009 — while 287 people were hospitalized between 2009 and 2017, according to the CDC, which found that the US has experienced a 13 percent spike in crypto outbreaks per year over time.

Crypto is usually spread by people — particularly children — who swim too soon after having suffering from diarrhea.

Leading causes include swallowing contaminated water in hot tubs, pools or water playgrounds, as well as contact with infected cattle people in child-care settings, according to the CDC.

Unlike most germs that are killed within minutes by disinfectants like chlorine or bromine, crypto can survive in chlorinated water for more than a week.

What can you do?

The CDC stated the best thing we can do to protect ourselves from crypto, is not swallow the water we swim in. The goal is to keep crypto out of the pool in the first place. The way to do that is not to swim or let our kid swim when we’re sick with diarrhea, and for two weeks following the cessation of the sickness.

The CDC also recommended going online and checking inspection scores on the local or state health department’s website before getting into a pool or swimmers doing their own inspection when they arrive.

The last recommendation is referred to as a “mini-inspection”, where you use test strips to check the chlorine level and the pH before getting in. Swimmers or parents of young swimmers, need to take a more active role to make sure we have a fun and healthy and safe time in the water this summer.

 

 

Summer & Water Safety Tips

SwimmingPoolWith summer in full swing, many people are spending the days outside, and near water!
Here are some tips to keep you, and the little ones, safe this summer season:
  • Be sure to wear protective sun screen while outside swimming, bbq’ing, or playing at the park. Re-apply as necessary! Bring pop-up shade shelters, hats, and sunglasses for added protection!
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re planning on being in the sun.
  • Even if lifeguards are present, you (or another responsible adult) should stay with your children.
  • Be a “water watcher” – provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising; avoid distractions including cell phones.
  • Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets
  • Always make sure there is sober supervision at the pool even if there is a lifeguard, appoint someone specifically so nothing goes miscommunicated; keep younger children within arms reach!
  • Keep a watchful eye on drink coolers. As the ice melts, these items can become a drowning hazard for curious toddlers who look in the cooler and are unable to get themselves out.
  • Drink alcoholic beverages responsibly, DO NOT DRIVEif you’ve been drinking, and be sure to drink plenty of water since alcohol can dehydrate you.
  • If you plan on drinking, be sure to have alternate transportation planned out ahead of time.
  • Always have a swim buddy, and never swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Don’t forget to have fun!

Forklift Training and Certification

images (10)With warmer weather upon us, people are out and about in the summer buzz. As a result, businesses and employees may be working harder; this means moving and stocking more product! To aid in such jobs companies use forklifts, which are not to be taken lightly. 

Operating a forlift takes knowledge and skill. Many employees may already know or be certified in operating these machines, however it’s imperative that each individual undergo initial and periodic training and recertification.

You may be wondering:

Continue reading “Forklift Training and Certification”

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

Hazard Alert: Combustible Dust

Hazard Alert: Combustible Dust Explosions:

Combustible dusts are fine particles that present an explosion hazard when suspended in air in certain conditions. A dust explosion can be catastrophic and cause employee deaths, injuries, and destruction of entire buildings. In many combustible dust incidents, employers and employees were unaware that a hazard even existed. It is important to determine if your company has this hazard, and if you do, you must take action now to prevent tragic consequences.

How Dust Explosions Occur:

In addition to the familiar fire triangle of oxygen, heat, and fuel (the dust), dispersion of dust particles in sufficient quantity and concentration can cause rapid combustion known as a deflagration. If the event is confined by an enclosure such as a building, room, vessel, or process equipment, the resulting pressure rise may cause an explosion. These five factors (oxygen, heat, fuel, dispersion, and confinement) are known as the “Dust Explosion Pentagon”. If one element of the pentagon is missing, an explosion cannot occur.

Catastrophic Secondary Explosions:

An initial (primary) explosion in processing equipment or in an area where fugitive dust has accumulated may dislodge more accumulated dust into the air, or damage a containment system (such as a duct, vessel, or collector). As a result, if ignited, the additional dust dispersed into the air may cause one or more secondary explosions. These can be far more destructive than a primary explosion due to the increased quantity and concentration of dispersed combustible dust. Many deaths in past incidents, as well as other damage, have been caused by secondary explosions.

Industries at Risk Combustible dust explosion hazards Continue reading “Hazard Alert: Combustible Dust”

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”