A Message from the CEO

28. October 2014

Julius Griggs, CEO

Hello and welcome back.

We have some good information below so be sure to check it out.

Meanwhile, a lot of companies have been taking advantage of our Consulting Services.

We offer a Safety Audit/Training Needs Assessment on site starting at $750 (travel extra).

Reach out if have questions about that.

Also, let us know how else we can be of service.

Enjoy the information below and see you next month.

Sincerely,

Julius P Griggs

Julius P. Griggs

President and CEO

Safety Unlimited, Inc.

A Message from the CEO , ,

Campfire Safety

8. October 2014

For many, the onset of fall, and the month of October, evokes childhood memories of camping, roasted marshmallows, and campfires. If you were a scout, then you probably remember some campfire safety precautions. Even if you were not a scout, you most likely heard the longest running public service anouncement in the US—Smokey Bear’s “Only YOU can prevent forest fires,”—now celebrating its 70th year. Campfire safety and wildfire prevention go hand in hand.

The Smokey Bear website features an incredible amount of resources related to all sorts of fire types and their prevention. The Be Smart Outdoors tab includes a Campfire Safety Guide Section with instructional tips on selecting a site, and building and extinguishing campfires. These tips will help you to know what to do and how to be prepared, so you can enjoy your fire safely. For example, campfires should never be built in dry conditions, and they should preferably be built in an existing campfire pit, which should be one foot deep and also surrounded by rocks. A 10 foot radius around the fire pit should be cleared, and enough water and a shovel should be on hand to extinguish the fire completely.

Besides campfire safety, three important elements of the wildfire prevention are easily remembered as ABC’s – “Always break matches in two,” “Be sure fires are out cold,” and “Crush all smokes dead.” Breaking the matches in half ensures that you hold the matches in your hand until they are cold enough to break. It takes dousing a fire with water to make sure it is out cold. Lastly, crushing cigarette butts deprives them of oxygen which they need to burn. A cigarette butt ember is still several hundred degrees. In addition, cigarette butts should always be extinguished; a littered cigarette butt thrown out a car window can easily start a grassfire or end up in the sewer system, where it contaminates drinking water.

When it comes to questions or advice about any type of fire, the Smokey Bear website is a great resource. It also has a map of active wildfires in the U.S. Wherever you have a campfire, please make Smokey proud! Not only will you impress others, but you will feel good knowing you did not cause a wildfire. 

Safety Matters , , , ,

Halloween Health and Safety

3. October 2014

Halloween is a time for fun and treats, but it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. Falls are a leading cause of injuries among children. Because so many of them are out walking, about four times as many children ages 5 to 14 are killed in motor-vehicle-related accidents on Halloween night compared with other nights of the year. These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, get physical activity, and focus on safety.

But many Halloween-related injuries can be prevented if parents and children follow a few simple rules.

Costume Safety:

Buy costumes or wigs that are labeled flame retardant or flame resistant. From 2006-2010, U. S. fire departments responded to an estimated 11,640 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 126 deaths, 953 injuries, and $438 million in direct property damage.

Other useful costume tips include:

  • Put reflective tape on the fronts and backs of kids’ costumes;
  • Make sure children’s costumes fit loosely enough to allow for freedom of movement;
  • Be sure that the hemline doesn’t fall below the ankle (to prevent tripping);
  • Use knives that are made of cardboard or flexible material. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects;
  • Avoid using masks, if possible, because they obstruct a child’s vision. Use face paint instead; and
  • If a child really wants to wear a mask, make sure it has nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.

Children Trick-or-treating should:

  • Travel only in familiar areas and along an established route;
  • Walk, not run, from house to house;
  • Use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards;
  • Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses;
  • Travel in small groups and be accompanied by an adult if they’re under age 12;
  • Carry a cell phone;
  • Bring candy home before eating it so parents can inspect it;
  • Avoid wearing hats that will slide over their eyes;
  • Cross streets at the corner and use crosswalks; they shouldn’t cross between parked cars;
  • Stops at all corners, and stay together in a group while waiting to cross; and
  • Be reminded to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.

Motorists have to take special precautions during this time to protect their children and those of others.

Parents and adults at home should:

  • Give kids a big meal before heading out to trick-or-treat so they’re not tempted to eat candy before they get home;
  • Establish a return time for older children;
  • Prepare homes for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns, and sidewalks and by placing jack-o’-lanterns away from doorways and landings;
  • Avoid doling out choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children; and
  • Inspect all candy for safety before children eat it. Watch for signs of tampering, such as small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packages.

Halloween is a festive time – keep safe while you’re enjoying it.

Safety Tip of the Month , , , , , , ,

Farm Safety

3. October 2014

According to OSHA, agriculture ranks highly among the most dangerous industries. Between 2003 and 2011, 5,816 agricultural workers died from work-related injuries in the U.S. In 2011, the fatality rate for agricultural workers was 7 times higher than the rate for all workers in private industry, almost 25 deaths per 100,000 workers compared to 3.5 in private industry. Every day, more than 240 agricultural workers suffer a serious lost-work-time injury, 5 percent of which result in a permanent impairment; and the injury rate for agricultural workers is over 40 percent higher than the rate for all other workers.

The leading cause of death of farmworkers over the last two decades has been tractor overturns. Despite the fact that such deaths can be effectively prevented by the use of rollover protective structures, only 59% of tractors used on farms in the U.S. were equipped with these devices as late as 2006.

Because farming involves such a diverse set of activities and operations, farm workers are exposed to a wide range of hazards. They are at high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries, work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, skin diseases, and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure. Workers in orchards are exposed to hazards such falling objects, falls, and ladder-related injuries. Grain handling facilities such as elevators and mills that receive, handle, store, process, and ship bulk raw agricultural commodities are high hazards workplaces at which workers can be exposed to fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation, suffocation from engulfment and entrapment in grain bins, falls from heights, and crushing injuries and amputations from grain handling equipment.

Proper training, use, and maintenance of the proper equipment, and use of the right protection are, of course, key in preventing injuries from these diverse hazards.

Agricultural operations are covered by several OSHA Safety and Health standards, including Agriculture (29 CFR 1928), General Industry (29 CFR 1910), and the General Duty Clause. You can learn about these standards on the OSHA website.

Did You Know? , , , , ,

NOAA Still Sailing After 200 Years

3. October 2014

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA: pronounced like the Old Testament figure, Noah) has been in existence for over 200 years, making it one of the oldest U.S. administrative arms. Granted, it has not always been known as NOAA. Beginning in 1807 as the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, which combined with the Weather Service (formed in 1870 as the Weather Bureau) in 1965 to form the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA), it reached its current form in October of 1970, when the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries was added to ESSA.

NOAA was created within the U.S. Department of Commerce in response to President Nixon's request for an administrative department that would allow for "... better protection of life and property from natural hazards; ... a better understanding of the total environment; ... [and] exploration and development leading to the intelligent use of our marine resources..."

These points led directly to NOAA's five fundamental activities:

  • Monitoring and observing Earth systems with instruments and data collection networks;
  • Understanding and describing Earth systems through research and analysis of that data;
  • Assessing and predicting the changes of these systems over time;
  • Engaging, advising, and informing the public and partner organizations with important information; and
  • Managing resources for the betterment of society, economy, and environment.

While not in as direct contact with employees and worker hazards as OSHA, NOAA is also crucial in protecting U.S. workers and citizens by determining existential hazards and preventing or avoiding them, be it through the National Weather Service to provide severe weather alerts, by charting the oceans and skies, guidance in the use and protection of U.S. coastal waters, or through its research into changing marine environments, and in turn how that affects the U.S. and the world.

As part of its mission, NOAA oversees several branches, or line offices. These offices include:

Follow any of the links for NOAA or its line offices to learn more about NOAA activities and research.

This Month in Safety History , , , , , , ,

A Message From the CEO

24. September 2014

Julius Griggs, CEO

Hello and Welcome back.

I hope everyone had a great summer. I can tell by how busy we have been it is back to work time.

There are some great articles below so read on.

Also, I am very excited to announce that we are now holding open-enrollment training in Temecula, California and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Temecula seems to work well for those in San Diego, Los Angeles and Riverside Counties.

Check out our revised Classroom Schedule.

See you next month.

Sincerely,

Julius P Griggs

Julius P. Griggs

President and CEO

Safety Unlimited, Inc.

A Message from the CEO

Child Passenger Safety

12. September 2014

Sept. 14-20, 2014 is Child Passenger Safety Week, and now is a great time to draw attention to the safety of our most precious cargo. Children depend on us to protect them and to ensure that their car seat is correctly fitted, installed, and secured. You owe it to your child to provide him or her a safe ride. Baby Center will help you find out which car seat your child needs by entering in their age, height, and weight, and provides you with your state’s laws.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death in children under 14. In most cases, proper car seat installation prevents one of the most injurious events that can happen to a person during a crash – ejection from the vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that three in four car seats are incorrectly installed.

Although it is against the law, tragically, many lives are still lost needlessly when adults don’t ensure that their child passenger is properly fitted and secured in a car seat every time they ride. Children are much more at risk in a car crash because their bodies are smaller and their bones are still growing. Thus, they cannot endure as much of an impact as adults.

To have a Car Seat Installation Technician check or install your car seat free of charge, you can call your local fire department or search the Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator. It will give you peace of mind knowing that a professional has inspected your child’s car seat.

If you have any questions, you can also call the DOT Vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236. It is better to be safe than sorry. Play it safe!

Did You Know? , , , , ,

Preventing Injuries and Death from Backing Construction Vehicles at Roadway Construction Sites

5. September 2014

According to a 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics review of the 962 fatal workplace injuries at road construction sites from 2003 to 2010, 443 were due to a worker being struck by a vehicle or mobile equipment. Workers were fatally struck 143 times by a vehicle or mobile equipment that was backing up. In well over half these cases, the worker was fatally struck by a dump truck.

Between 1992 and 2009, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), along with State partners, investigated 36 deaths of workers killed by backing construction vehicles or equipment on roadway construction worksites. This investigation resulted in the identification of a significant number of controls that employers, contractors, workers, and construction vehicle and equipment manufacturers should implement to protect workers from injury while working around backing construction vehicles and equipment on roadway construction worksites. These included:

  • Developing, implementing, and enforcing standard operating procedures that address safety and minimize work done near vehicles and equipment;
  • Ensuring compliance with work safety, traffic control, vehicle regulations, and consensus standards pertaining to work in roadway construction sites;
  • Ensuring that construction vehicles and equipment operating onsite are maintained in safe operating condition at all times;
  • Installing collision avoidance devices or proximity warning systems;
  • Inspecting vehicles, equipment, and safety devices (reverse alarm, mirrors, and windows) at the beginning of each shift and reporting any deficiencies;
  • Using and maintaining contact (visually, verbally, or by hand signals) with a spotter when backing any vehicle or equipment;
  • Developing, implementing, and testing the method(s) of communication that will be used during operations;
  • Developing, implementing, and enforcing a comprehensive safety and training program that targets the operator’s visual limits of the specific equipment being used on the site; and
  • Minimizing the hazards of blind areas of construction vehicles and equipment. (For a detailed and comprehensive list of all the controls cited by NIOSH, see the relevant information on the NIOSH website.)

There is a great deal more useful information on preventing injuries and fatalities from backing construction vehicles available from both OSHA and the National Work Zone Information Clearinghouse

HAZ Matters , , , , ,

Drive Safely Work Week

5. September 2014

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the annual cost of vehicle crashes in the US is $227 billion. That works out to almost $2,000 per worker. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death on the job and the second-leading cause of unintentional fatal injuries off the job, according to the National Safety Council’s (NSC) latest Injury Facts report.

"Whether driving for work, commuting to and from work, or running errands after the workday is done, the time spent behind the wheel is very likely the most dangerous part of an employee's day," said Joseph McKillips, Sr. Manager, Commercial Program Support, Global Environmental, Health, and Safety for Abbott, and Chairman of Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).

Driving a vehicle is an important component of most worker's jobs. For some it's driving to work; for others, such as bus, truck, or equipment drivers, operating a vehicle is the job. One of your responsibilities as a driver, in addition to moving objects from one place to another, is to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of your passengers and other drivers or workers.

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety has designated October 6-10 as Drive Safely Work Week, an annual event during which employers discuss with employees good driving practices as they apply to their role as a driver. This year employers are encouraged to incorporate safe driving as an extension of the workplace safety plan. The goal is to encourage driving safety outside of the workplace, as hazards away from work can be just as damaging to employees as those the employer tries to control at the workplace.

This year's discussion focuses not just on how to avoid hazards while driving and good safety practices, but safe driving habits that will prevent you from becoming a hazard to other drivers.

Among the topics discussed are:

  • Seatbelt safety and statistics of seatbelt use;
  • Mobile use while driving and the consequences; and
  • Ideas to develop and promote Fleet Safety Programs for commercial drivers.

This information and much more can be found by accessing a Free Toolkit on the Drive Safely Work Week home page.

Remember, safety awareness and your safety responsibilities don't end with the conclusion of your work shift. Hazard awareness and good, safe driving practices are the responsibility of all drivers.

Safety Tip of the Month , , , , , , ,

Protecting Workers from Poisonous Plants

4. September 2014

Any person working outdoors is at risk of exposure to poisonous plants, such as poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Because of the serious economic impact due to lost employment time, poison oak "injuries" are covered by Workers' Compensation Insurance in California. The monetary cost of this affliction is approximately one percent of the state's workers' compensation budget.

Each year thousands of people are afflicted with moderate to severe dermatitis from touching the foliage of these plants. Poison oak and poison ivy account for an estimated ten percent of lost work time in the U. S. Forest Service.

When in contact with skin, the sap oil (urushiol) of these plants can cause an allergic reaction.

Burning these poisonous plants produces smoke that, when inhaled, can cause lung irritation.

Workers may become exposed through:

  • Direct contact with the plant;
  • Indirect contact (touching tools, animals, or clothing with urushiol on them); or
  • Inhalation of particles containing urushiol from burning plants.

The old saying "Leaves of three, Let it be!" is a helpful reminder for identifying poison ivy and oak, but not poison sumac, which usually has clusters of 7-13 leaves. Even poison ivy and poison oak may have more than three leaves, and their form may vary greatly depending upon the exact species encountered, the local environment, and the season.

Being able to identify local varieties of these poisonous plants throughout the seasons and differentiating them from common nonpoisonous look-a-likes are the major keys to avoiding exposure.

The American Academy of Dermatology advises if you have any of the following, go to the emergency room right away:

  • You have trouble breathing or swallowing;
  • The rash covers most of your body;
  • You have many rashes or blisters;
  • You experience swelling, especially if an eyelid swells shut;
  • The rash develops anywhere on your face or genitals; or
  • Much of your skin itches, or nothing seems to ease the itch.

It is the responsibility of the employer to train their workers on the risk of exposure to poisonous plants and how to prevent exposure.

Safety Matters , , , , , , ,

© Copyright - Safety Unlimited, Inc. All Rights Reserved