Job Stress and Health

Stress-at-workStress sets off an alarm in the brain, which responds by preparing the body for defensive action. The nervous system is aroused and hormones are released to sharpen the senses, quicken the pulse, deepen respiration, and tense the muscles. This response (sometimes called the fight or flight response) is important because it helps us defend against threatening situations. The response is preprogrammed biologically. Everyone responds in much the same way, regardless of whether the stressful situation is at work or home.

Short-lived or infrequent episodes of stress pose little risk. But when stressful situations go unresolved, the body is kept in a constant state of activation, which increases the rate of wear and tear to biological systems. Ultimately, fatigue or damage results, and the ability of the body to repair and defend itself can become seriously compromised. As a result, the risk of injury or disease escalates.

via CDC – NIOSH Publications and Products – STRESS…At Work (99-101).

Benefits of Regular Exercise

elderly-joggingYou know regular exercise is good for you. Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity
  • Keeps joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible, which makes it easier to move around
  • Reduces some effects of aging, especially the discomfort of osteoarthritis
  • Contributes to mental well-being
  • Helps relieve depression, stress, and anxiety
  • Increases your energy and endurance
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Helps you maintain a normal weight by increasing your metabolism (the rate you burn calories)

via The Exercise Habit —

What are Bloodborne Pathogens?

Bloodborne-pathogen-cellsBloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries may expose workers to bloodborne pathogens. Workers in many occupations, including first aid team members, housekeeping personnel in some industries, nurses and other healthcare personnel may be at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

via Safety and Health Topics | Bloodborne Pathogens and Needlestick Prevention.

Drunk Driving

drunk-drivingAmericans take 233 billion trips in cars each year. Of those, about one out of every two thousand trips are taken by those who are driving under the influence of alcohol.  Yet, almost one out of every three traffic deaths involve drunk driving.

So a proportionally tiny amount of bad behavior is one of the major causes of death and injury on our roadways.

Every 53 minutes on average, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash (9,878 people in total in 2011).  Every 90 seconds, someone is injured because of this entirely preventable crime.

About one-third of the drunk driving problem – arrests, crashes, deaths, and injuries – comes from repeat offenders.  At any given point we potentially share the roads with 2 million people with three or more drunk driving offenses.  Taking away their licenses isn’t enough; 50-75% of them drive anyway.  This is why we need to require ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders – we can stop these offenders before they repeat their crimes.

Two-thirds of the drunk driving problem comes from people who, before they kill or injure themselves or others, have yet to be arrested.  That’s why we need to support law enforcement to help deter drunk drivers through proven solutions like sobriety checkpoints.  It’s also why we strongly support research into technology that will eliminate drunk driving.

via MADD – About Drunk Driving.

Basic Ladder Safety

ladder-safety1Ladders are tools. Many of the basic safety rules that apply to most tools also apply to the safe use of a ladder:

  • If you feel tired or dizzy, or are prone to losing your balance, stay off the ladder.
  • Do not use ladders in high winds or storms.
  • Wear clean slip-resistant shoes. Shoes with leather soles are not appropriate for ladder use since they are not considered sufficiently slip-resistant.
  • Before using a ladder, inspect it to confirm it is in good working condition.
  • Ladders with loose or missing parts must be rejected.
  • Rickety ladders that sway or lean to the side must be rejected.
  • The ladder you select must be the right size for the job
  • The Duty Rating of the ladder must be greater that the total weight of the climber, tools, supplies, and other objects placed upon the ladder.
  • The length of the ladder must be sufficient so that the climber does not have to stand on the top rung or    step.
  • When the ladder is set-up for use, it must be placed on firm level ground and without any type of slippery condition present at either the base or top support points.
  • Only one person at a time is permitted on a ladder unless the ladder is specifically designed for more than one climber (such as a Trestle Ladder).
  • Ladders must not be placed in front of closed doors that can open toward the ladder. The door must be blocked open, locked, or guarded.
  • Read the safety information labels on the ladder.
  • The on-product safety information is specific to the particular type of ladder on which it appears. The    climber is not considered qualified or adequately trained to use the ladder until familiar with this    information.
  • Never jump or slide down from a ladder or climb more than one rung/step at a time.

via basic ladder safety.

Trenching and Excavation Safety

TrenchExcavation and trenching are among the most hazardous construction operations. OSHA defines an excavation as any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the earth’s surface formed by earth removal. A trench is defined as a narrow underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide, and is no wider than 15 feet (4.5 meters).

Dangers of Trenching and Excavation

Cave-ins pose the greatest risk and are much more likely than other excavation related accidents to result in worker fatalities. Other potential hazards include falls, falling loads, hazardous atmospheres, and incidents involving mobile equipment. Trench collapses cause dozens of fatalities and hundreds of injuries each year.

via Trenching and Excavation Safety.

Beware Health Risk Factors

target_noarrows-risk-factorsThere are key health risk factors that can rob you of your health. Ignoring them by not taking action to control them will likely shorten your years and bring on unnecessary pain and suffering. They are:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Cigarette smoking/tobacco use
  • Elevated cholesterol/diet
  • High blood pressure
  • Illicit drug use
  • Physical activity/inactivity
  • Overweight/obesity

via Products – Health United States – Health Risk Factors.

What is Lockout/Tagout Safety Procedure?

QPC_Loto_Lock6Lockout-tagout (LOTO) or lock and tag is a safety procedure which is used in industry and research settings to ensure that dangerous machines are properly shut off and not started up again prior to the completion of maintenance or servicing work. It requires that hazardous power sources be “isolated and rendered inoperative” before any repair procedure is started. “Lock and tag” works in conjunction with a lockusually locking the device or the power source with the hasp, and placing it in such a position that no hazardous power sources can be turned on. The procedure requires that a tag be affixed to the locked device indicating that it should not be turned on.

A good Lockout/Tagout Procedure, at a minimum, should contain the following elements:

1. All maintenance personnel shall be provided with a good lock. The lock shall have the individual workers’ name and other identification on it. Each worker shall have the only key to the lock.

2. The worker shall check to be sure that no one is operating the machinery BEFORE turning -off the power. The machine operator shall be informed before the power is turned off. Sudden loss of power could cause an accident

3. Steam, air and hydraulic lines shall be bled, drained, and cleaned out. There shall be no pressure in these lines or in reservoir tanks.

4. Any mechanism under tension or pressure, such as springs, shall be released and blocked.

5. Each person who will be working on the machinery shall put a lock on the machine’s lockout device(s). Each lock shall remain on the machine until that worker’s work is complete.

6. All energy sources that could activate the machine shall be locked out (blocked/tagged).

7. The main valve or main electrical disconnect shall be tested to be sure that the power to the machine is off.

8. Electrical circuits shall be checked with proper and calibrated electrical testing equipment. An electrical failure could energize the equipment even if the switch is in the off position. Stored energy in electrical capacitors shall be safely discharged.

9. When working on machinery such as power presses and welding presses that have a ram that could fall, the ram shall be supported with safety blocks or pins. Fully interlocked safety blocks are the safest.

The Most Dangerous Time of Your Teen’s Life

108582-teens-say-texting-and-driving-is-more-dangerous-than-skydiving.1Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. In fact, more teens die in car crashes than from suicides and homicides combined. Fortunately, teen crashes are preventable, and parents play a significant role in ensuring these crashes are a thing of the past.

Here are a few things many parents don’t know about teen driving:

  • The most dangerous time of a teen driver’s life is the first 12 months of independent licensure
  • A teen driver’s crash risk is three times that of more experienced drivers
  • Teens crash most often because they are inexperienced – not necessarily because they take more risks than older drivers
  • Three or more teen passengers quadruples a teen driver’s crash risk
  • Most fatal nighttime crashes involving teen drivers happen before midnight
  • More than half of teens killed in car crashes were not wearing a seat belt
  • Most state’s teen driving laws and restrictions do not adequately protect teens from common crash risks
  • Teens really do learn to drive from watching their parents. A study from The Allstate Foundation found 80 percent of teens cite their parents as having the most influence over teens’ driving habits.
  • Crash risk remains high after licensure. In fact, young drivers’ crash risk does not significantly begin decreasing until age 25.

via Teen Driver Safety – Education & Resources.