Work Safety Tips

safety-sign-collage1. Safety is a team effort. Ensure that every member of the crew knows the safety requirements before the job is started.

2. Safety is your responsibility.

3. Always communicate with co-workers during a job in order to maintain safety.

4. Don’t create unnecessary hazards. Notify others of both new and old ones.

5. Never take shortcuts. Always follow correct procedures.

6. Wear metal mesh gloves to protect your hands when using sharp knives regularly.

7. Keep your work area clean and orderly.

8. If you make a mess, clean it up. Never let safety be someone else’s job.

9. Keep access clear to emergency exits, equipment, and equipment shutoffs.

10. Prevent accidents by clearly identifying any hazards that cannot be removed.

via 80 Work Safety Tips to Remind Employees to Work Safe.

Be Active for a Safe and Healthy Life

for-exercise-shoesBe active for at least 2½ hours a week. Include activities that raise your breathing and heart rates and that strengthen your muscles.

Help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day. Include activities that raise their breathing and heart rates and that strengthen their muscles and bones.

Physical activity helps to:

  • Maintain weight
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and several forms of cancer
  • Reduce arthritis pain and associated disability
  • Reduce risk for osteoporosis and falls
  • Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety

via CDC – Family Health – Tips for a Safe and Healthy Life.

Five Steps to Safer Health Care

safer-healthcare-03Patient safety is one of the Nation’s most pressing health care challenges. A 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine estimates that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year as the result of lapses in patient safety.

Below are tips on what you can do to get safer health care. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association.

1.  Ask questions if you have doubts or concerns. Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. Choose a doctor you feel comfortable talking to. Take a relative or friend with you to help you ask questions and understand the answers.

2.  Keep and bring a list of ALL the medicines you take. Give your doctor and pharmacist a list of all the medicines that you take, including non-prescription medicines. Tell them about any drug allergies you have. Ask about side effects and what to avoid while taking the medicine. Read the label when you get your medicine, including all warnings. Make sure your medicine is what the doctor ordered and know how to use it. Ask the pharmacist about your medicine if it looks different than you expected.

3.  Get the results of any test or procedure. Ask when and how you will get the results of tests or procedures. Don’t assume the results are fine if you do not get them when expected, be it in person, by phone, or by mail. Call your doctor and ask for your results. Ask what the results mean for your care.

4.  Talk to your doctor about which hospital is best for your health needs. Ask your doctor about which hospital has the best care and results for your condition if you have more than one hospital to choose from. Be sure you understand the instructions you get about followup care when you leave the hospital.

5.  Make sure you understand what will happen if you need surgery. Make sure you, your doctor, and your surgeon all agree on exactly what will be done during the operation. Ask your doctor, “Who will manage my care when I am in the hospital?” Ask your surgeon:

  • Exactly what will you be doing?
  • About how long will it take?
  • What will happen after the surgery?
  • How can I expect to feel during recovery?

Tell the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and nurses about any allergies, bad reaction to anesthesia, and any medications you are taking.

via Five Steps to Safer Health Care.

Chronic Sleep Deprivation and Health Effects

sleep-deprived1The consequences of sleep deprivation.

In the short term:

  • Decreased Performance and Alertness: Sleep deprivation induces significant reductions in performance and alertness. Reducing your nighttime sleep by as little as one and a half hours for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32%.
  • Memory and Cognitive Impairment: Decreased alertness and excessive daytime sleepiness impair your memory and your cognitive ability — your ability to think and process information.
  • Stress Relationships: Disruption of a bed partner’s sleep due to a sleep disorder may cause significant problems for the relationship (for example, separate bedrooms, conflicts, moodiness, etc.).
  • Poor Quality of Life: You might, for example, be unable to participate in certain activities that require sustained attention, like going to the movies, seeing your child in a school play, or watching a favorite TV show.
  • Occupational Injury: Excessive sleepiness also contributes to a greater than twofold higher risk of sustaining an occupational injury.
  • Automobile Injury: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates conservatively that each year drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities.
  • The good news for many of the disorders that cause sleep deprivation is that after risk assessment, education, and treatment, memory and cognitive deficits improve and the number of injuries decreases.

In the long term, the clinical consequences of untreated sleep disorders are large indeed. They are associated with numerous, serious medical illnesses, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Psychiatric problems, including depression and other mood disorders
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Mental impairment
  • Fetal and childhood growth retardation
  • Injury from accidents
  • Disruption of bed partner’s sleep quality
  • Poor quality of life

via Chronic Sleep Deprivation and Health Effects.

Bloodborne Infectious Diseases

BBP TrainingExposures to blood and other body fluids occur across a wide variety of occupations. Health care workers, emergency response and public safety personnel, and other workers can be exposed to blood through needlestick and other sharps injuries, mucous membrane, and skin exposures. The pathogens of primary concern are the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Workers and employers are urged to take advantage of available engineering controls and work practices to prevent exposure to blood and other body fluids.

via CDC – Bloodborne Infectious Diseases – HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.

Prevent Backing Over Accidents

childsafety-260x180In the U.S. at least fifty children are being backed over by vehicles EVERY week. Forty-eight (48) are treated in hospital emergency rooms and at least two (2) children are fatally injured every WEEK.

• The predominant age of victims is one year olds. (12to23 months)

• Over 60% of backing up incidents involved a larger size vehicle. (truck, van, SUV)

• Tragically, in over 70% of these incidents, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel.

via Backovers.

Working Safely with Chemicals

mad_scientistChemicals come in various forms and can affect those exposed in different ways. A chemical can take the form of a mist, vapor, liquid, dust, fume or gas. The type of chemical, the way it is used, and the form that it takes determine its effect and what should be done to avoid harmful exposure.

Some basic safety precautions should be understood and followed including:

  • Know what to do in an emergency. If there is a leak or spill, keep away from the area, unless you know what the chemical is and how to safely clean it up. Know where emergency protective equipment and supplies kept and how to use them.
  • Use appropriate protective clothing and equipment (glasses, aprons, boots, gloves, etc.) as required or as necessary.
  • If the clothing becomes contaminated by the chemical, shower or wash the skin areas exposed. Change and decontaminate clothing (or dispose of clothing if it is designed to single use).
  • Do not take contaminated clothing home to be laundered because by doing so, it could expose family members to the contaminant.
  • When working with chemicals, always wash hands thoroughly before eating. If necessary, shower and change clothes before going home.
  • Never take food into the work area where chemicals are being used or stored.
  • If work will be done in an area where there is a possibility of exposure to toxic substances, use a buddy system or establish an emergency communication system. A worker can be dangerously exposed or overcome by a chemical and need immediate assistance.
  • Keep the workplace clean to reduce the risk of contamination. Where possible, wipe up and absorb the contaminant, using proper protective equipment as required. Clean up spills immediately and dispose of contaminated material properly. With some chemicals a vacuum is recommended for clean up rather than a broom or compressed air. The idea is to collect and confine the contaminant, not just spread it around.

Workers should know the companys system for identifying hazardous chemicals. They should know and understand the specific health and safety hazards of the chemicals with which they work and follow the recommended safety precautions. All workers should be trained in proper chemical storage and disposal procedures and know what to do for first aid and emergencies.

via Working Safely with Chemicals.

Distracted Driving

distracted_driverEach day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash.

There are three main types of distraction:

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road.
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel.
  • Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving.

Distracted driving activities include things like using a cell phone, texting, and eating. Using in-vehicle technologies such as navigation systems can also be sources of distraction. While any of these distractions can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction.

via CDC – Distracted Driving – Motor Vehicle Safety – Injury Center.

How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

498-expert-q-and-a-yoga-and-carpal-tunnel-syndromeIf you spend a lot of time doing activities that involve forceful or repetitive hand or wrist movement or use of vibrating equipment, you have an increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. These activities can include driving, working with small instruments, knitting, or using a sander. You can reduce your risk-and any hand pain or weakness you may already have-by taking a few simple steps.

Key points

  • Many health conditions and diseases make you more likely to get carpal tunnel symptoms. But if you exercise, stay at a healthy weight, control other health conditions such as arthritis and diabetes, and avoid smoking, you can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Arranging your activity and work space using ergonomic guidelines can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Office ergonomics focuses on how a workstation is set up, including the placement of your desk, computer monitor, paperwork, chair, and associated tools, such as a computer keyboard and mouse. The same ideas can help you arrange your position for other daily activities.
  • Proper body mechanics are key to preventing carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Evaluate your daily routine for activities that increase your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Take frequent breaks from activities to rest, stretch, change positions, or alternate with another activity.

via How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

CO-decalWho is at risk from CO poisoning?

All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning. Certain groups — unborn babies, infants, and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems — are more susceptible to its effects. Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. Fatality is highest among Americans 65 and older.

via CDC – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Frequently Asked Questions.