A Message from the CEO

30. June 2015

Julius Griggs, CEO

Well, this is our last monthly Newsletter we will be sending out, as we are focusing our efforts on something better.

Mid-June we launched an Ad-Free Safety News Site – Safety Unlimited News-Service, 'SUN News' for short.

The SUN News website is www.sunnewsreport.com.

We are putting tremendous effort into this and are getting great feedback.

I would love to hear from you as well.

Also, we will shortly be launching our HAZWOPER Job Board, www.hazwoperjobboard.com so check that out as well.

Any future Newsletter emails will be about the News Site.

We have some great stories there, so check it out.

Sincerely,

Julius P Griggs

Julius P. Griggs
President and CEO
Safety Unlimited, Inc.

A Message from the CEO , , ,

Young Worker Safety and Health

29. May 2015

As of 2013, workers younger than 24 years old represented 13% (18.1 million) of the workforce. These young workers are often more prone to injury than seasoned workers as a direct result of their youth. Because they are new to the workforce, they lack the experience to identify and avoid hazards, or realize the risk those hazards present. It’s possible young workers are not yet hardened to the rigors of being in the workplace, making them more susceptible to physical injury than more seasoned counterparts.

An average of 79,500 nonfatal injuries to young workers occurred each year between the years of 1998 and 2007. The treatment of occupational injuries at hospital injury departments for young workers is around twice the amount for all workers older than 25 years old. Roughly one in every 20 young workers aged 15-19 is injured at the workplace.

So how can we protect young workers?

The U.S. Public Health Department has taken steps by setting a goal of reducing occupational injury rates among teenage workers from 4.9 per 100 to 4.4 per 100 of full time workers by 2020.

How can these goals be met? Simple: the same way we prepare other workers, through training, awareness, and supervision.

It’s important to ensure young workers are aware of the hazards at the workplace. Once they know of the hazards, they can protect themselves from them or avoid them entirely. Young workers must be trained to identify hazards and use appropriate safety equipment. Due to their youth, however, they may possess a sense of invulnerability that makes them lax in their training and preparation—a sense that is tragically shattered the first time they receive a workplace injury. As a result, young workers should be rigorously supervised to ensure they are working safely.

Workers at restaurants should know the dangers of wet floors, hot grease, and the mechanical hazards of equipment in the workplace. Workers at loading docks should be aware of safe lifting techniques, dock hazards such as caught-in or -between, as well as the benefits of good housekeeping. Each workplace will have its own particular dangers that need to be taught and protected against.

Young workers present a unique problem borne out of inexperience and hubris. But an effective training program that focuses on hazards, awareness, and preparedness, coupled with a sufficient amount of supervision, can prepare young workers for the dangers they face in the workplace and allow them to function safely while at the job.

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Protecting Your Eyes

29. May 2015

Your eyes are one of your most important sensory objects, allowing you to identify hazards from a distance.

As valuable as your eyes are, they are also sensitive to light, heat, and particulates. For this reason, it's imperative that you protect your eyes.

Because every workplace is different, there is no universal eye protection--appropriate eye protection is suited to specific hazards. Effectively protecting your eyes means identifying your workplace hazards. For instance, an arc welder could cause damage due to the intense bright light the welder creates. As a result you would want light shielding to protect from both visible and ultraviolet light. Working with chemicals could cause chemical burns, so you would want a splash guard. If you are involved in grinding materials or sandblasting, you would want protection from floating particulates.

In addition to readily identifiable hazards, you should also take care to protect yourself from hazards that are not immediately apparent. Eye infections, such as conjunctivitis, or pink eye, are highly contagious. Don't share eyewear and be sure to wash your eyewear after use. If you work with materials that could convey infectious diseases, be sure to wear additional protective equipment, such as gloves or masks, as appropriate.

There are several key steps that will help you protect your eyes at your workplace. These are:

  • Create a safe work environment;
  • Evaluate safety hazards;
  • Wear appropriate eye and face protection;
  • Use good work practices; and
  • Clean eyewear regularly.

Are your eyes protected? Take a look at the Centers for Disease Control's Eye Safety Checklist for more detailed steps that will help you create a safe workplace for your eyes.

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Water Safety

29. May 2015

Summer is just around the corner and as the weather warms up, swimming will be one of our most popular ways to cool off and have some fun. But here are a couple of things to think about as summer approaches:

  • Not including boating accidents, ten people drown per day over the course of a year (according to the Centers for Disease Control) but with so much activity taking place in and around the water during summer, the number of drownings annually is concentrated in this warmer season.
  • Drowning is the number one cause of death of children ages 1-4 and about 15% of all drownings (according to the National Safety Council) involve very young children.

So what can be done to avoid a tragedy waiting to happen?  If you have small children, always be aware and in the present moment with your children and follow these water safety precautions:

  • Never leave your child alone; if you have to leave, take your child with you.
  • Enroll children 3 and older in swimming lessons, but remember that lessons don't make your child "drown-proof."
  • Lifeguards aren't babysitters; always keep your eyes on your child.
  • Don't let children play around drains and suction fittings.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first.
  • Get training in CPR.
  • Always have a first aid kit and emergency phone contacts handy.

 The following rules apply to all swimmers no matter what their age:

  • Never swim alone.
  • Don't dive into unknown bodies of water.
  • Don't push or jump on others.
  • Be prepared for an emergency.
  • Don't underestimate the power of water; even rivers and lakes can have undertows.
  • Always have a first aid kit and emergency phone contacts handy.
  • Get training in CPR.

Whether you’re at the beach, pool, river, lake, or water park, remember that drowning can happen in an instant.

For more information on water safety, check out the National Safety Council’s website

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Fireworks Safety

29. May 2015
fireworks

Summer is synonymous with barbecues and parades, and using consumer fireworks on our nation’s birthday is as traditional as cookouts and apple pie; and yet, despite the dangers of fireworks associated with the 4th of July celebrations, few people understand the associated risks--devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death.

According to Consumer Product Safety Commission, 240 people, on average, go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the 4th of July. The Commission also lists the most injured body parts, including fingers and hands (36%), head, face, and ears (22%), and Eyes (16%).

Fireworks by the numbers:

  • In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and $32 million in direct property damage;
  • In 2012, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks-related injuries; 55% of 2012 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 31% were to the head;
  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 15 to 24, followed by children under 10; and
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

Displays of fireworks should be enjoyed by the public, but conducted by trained professionals.

Every year, young children can be found along parade routes and at festivals with sparklers in hand, but they are a lot more dangerous than most people think. Parents don't realize they burn at about 2,000 degrees--hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and many children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet.

The Alliance for Consumer Fireworks and National Fire Protection Association highlights the dangers of consumer fireworks with a demonstration at the Massachusetts Fire Academy in Stow, MA.

If you are aware of someone selling illegal explosives such as M-80s, Cherry Bombs, and Silver Salutes, contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms immediately at 1-888-ATF-BOMB.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety offers common sense safety tips for using consumer fireworks in the hopes that injuries to consumers can be greatly reduced this season. It is up to the public to use fireworks in a safe and responsible manner. 

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A Message from the CEO

28. May 2015

Julius Griggs, CEO

Hello and welcome back.

We have very exciting news to share.

We have released a mobile Beta version of the H2S Awareness course, our first course that can be taken on a mobile device. We have a good article below that discusses more about compliance training on a mobile platform. We are hoping this is successful, as we have already started working on converting our HAZWOPER series to this format.

Let us know your thoughts on this.

And, lastly, we have more good news coming next month.

Sincerely,

Julius P Griggs

Julius P. Griggs
President and CEO
Safety Unlimited, Inc.

A Message from the CEO , , ,

Online Training on Mobile Devices

28. May 2015

While many claim to offer online training on mobile devices, at present, tablets and smart phones are rather limited in their capabilities. Technological companies sell mobile devices and tablets claiming they can replace computers. But the fact is that they can’t, at least not at this point in time. Consumers are getting sold a bill of goods thinking that their tablet can replace their computer, but this is not going to work unless, of course, they buy a Windows tablet; in which case they are really just buying a computer.

On the other hand, the e-learning industry would like you to think you can take any kind of training you would like on mobile devices, and this, too, is just not the case. Typically, the type of training that is available on mobile devices is noncompliant training that allows users just to get information freely without restriction. But since most compliant training requires users to spend a certain amount of time in the training, or requires them to take an active role in their training, the mobile platform is rather restricting.

Another form of vagary involves the term “mobile ready.” In reference to e-learning, does this mean training can be taken on a tablet or on a smart phone? Even though smart phone screens are getting bigger and bigger, does this mean you would be able to take all your training on a smart phone? As mentioned above, there are limitations, both by the type of device and the current state of the e-learning industry. For instance, taking training on mobile devices typically means taking the training via HTML 5, and HTML 5 is still a technology that is not one hundred percent complete. With so many different types of platforms – iOS, Android, Windows Mobile – and browsers – Chrome, Safari, etc. – there are so many factors that can complicate training.

The good news is that the e-learning industry, although not there yet, is getting to a point where you can comfortably take online training on mobile devices. For Safety Unlimited, we have been working hard and are now pleased to offer a mobile Beta version of the H2S Awareness course.

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National Electrical Safety Month

5. May 2015
Electrical Safety

It's May and once again it's National Electrical Safety Month, an annual educational campaign of the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) about the steps that can be taken to reduce the number of electrically related fires and fatalities, injuries, and losses of property that result from these fires.

The ESFI believes that raising awareness of electrical hazards is the key to reducing electrical fires, injuries, and deaths. To that end the ESFI has developed its 2015 National Electrical Safety Advocate Guide and published a second volume of the special edition magazine Electrical Safety Illustrated that was launched for last year's National Electrical Safety Month. The magazine's theme for this year is "That Old House, This New Update." It's designed to inform readers about the common hazards posed by the country's aging stock of houses and recommends a variety of updates that can be made to all homes.

The 2015 campaign also includes a comprehensive collection of new and updated resources to help facilitate an effective electrical safety awareness campaign for your community, organization, school, or family. Included is an extensive collection of useful fact sheets and related safety tips, plus templates and tools you can use to promote electrical safety and National Electrical Safety Month in homes, schools, communities, and workplaces. There are also media outreach materials and social media content to further spread the ESFI's life-saving campaign messages. You can follow the ESFI on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube to stay abreast of emerging electrical safety concerns and receive updates and reminders on how to protect yourself.

For the home the ESFI advocates the use of advanced safety technologies including AFCI circuit breakers, GFCI outlets, and tamper resistance receptacles. They also advocate gaining an understanding of your home's electrical system including learning what's inside your service panel, what kind of wiring system is in your home, and whether your outlets are grounded.

For the workplace, the ESFI advocates knowledge of industry codes, regulations, standards, and best practices for employers, safety directors, electricians, and maintance professionals, and, finally, the proper use of tools to insure that workers are protected from electrical hazards.

The ESFI also provides statistical data on occupational electrical injuries and fatalities, knowledge of which can help decision makers better allocate safety resources for maxiumum impact.

Find all about National Electrical Safety Month and all of the ESFI's resources and recommendations by visiting their website.

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May is Building Safety Month

5. May 2015

The month of May is Building Safety Month (BSM). Building Safety Month is the product of the International Code Council (ICC), an institution started in the 1980s.

This month asks communities and builders alike to look at building codes to ensure that structures are appropriately safeguarded against events that could damage the structure. This includes integrating firebreaks into the structure to prevent the spread of fire, as well as ensuring plumbing is installed properly to avoid leaks and bursting. Building to the proper code can also save energy in the long run by adding appropriate quantities of insulation and making sure that windows and doors are properly sealed.

Structures that are not built to code are susceptible to fire, weather-related events, and structural collapse. It's up to those building new structures and evaluating existing structures to ensure buildings meet building codes designed to increase the stability and safety of the structure.

This year Building Safety Month focuses on one area of building safety in each of the four weeks:

Week 1 - Don't Get Burned;

Week 2 - Bounce Back Faster from Disaster;

Week 3 - Water Safe, Water Smart; and

Week 4 - Save Energy.

Each of these foci look at the benefits of building structures to code.

Remember, it's up to you to keep abreast of building codes and ensure these codes are being met. The purpose of these codes is to ensure those who use the buildings can do so safely, comfortably, and affordably.

For additional information on prior BSMs, take a look at the ICC's topics from 2013 and 2014.

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Boat Safety

4. May 2015

May is National Boat Safety Month, and with summer around the corner, boating can be very fun and enjoyable, allowing you to catch some amazing views and sights that you wouldn’t normally see from the land. But on the other hand, it can also be very dangerous and hard work.

Each year hundreds of lives are lost, thousands are injured, and millions of dollars of property damage occurs because of preventable recreational boating accidents on U.S. waterways. Too often, pleasure outings turn tragic. You--as a boat operator, passenger, or concerned individual--can make a difference. No matter how much experience you have, it’s always a good idea for everyone to review boating safety rules before departure. 

Proper boating safety includes being prepared for any possibility on the water. Following a pre-departure checklist is the best way to make sure no boating safety rules or precautions have been overlooked or forgotten.

A life jacket (or Personal Flotation Device - PFD) is the single most important piece of equipment on your boat and the most important consideration should be size. More than two-thirds of all boating fatalities are drowning incidents, and 90% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket. So buy a life jacket that you will wear. It could save your life. The U.S. Coast Guard strongly urges boat operators and their passengers to wear a life jacket all the time while underway.

Service your equipment, making sure it's in the best possible shape for the boating season, and that the equipment matches the type of boat and boating habits you intend using. Operator errors account for 70% of boating accidents--take a course.

Educate yourself about carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning--a potentially lethal boating danger.

Be weather-wise. There will be times when you will need to either exit or enter a port in rough and challenging conditions.  Learning how rough weather affects the various harbors and entrances throughout your local area, is necessary to operate safely. 

Remember, BE SAFE--KNOW YOUR...

Boat

Equipment

Safety devices and PFDs

Alcohol limits

First aid and emergency procedures

Environment (area and weather)

...BEFORE YOU GO!

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