Signs of Drug Abuse in the Workplace

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It’s no secret that the abuse of opiates and other drugs has been on the rise for the past few years so how, besides giving employees a drug test, can you know if a worker is using? Here are few physical signs, behavioral signs and psychological signs to to look for:

Physical Warning Signs:

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination

Behavioral Warning Signs:

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems; may borrow or steal to get it
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
  • Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities)

Psychological Warning Signs:

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
  • Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out”
  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason

(Source: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/drug-abuse-and-addiction.htm)



When to Make the Change from Car Seat to Booster Seat

A question that every parent has to face sooner or later… when is my child old enough or big enough to move from a car seat with a 5-point harness to a booster seat?

Unfortunately, there is no set age or weight. Fortunately there are some factors that can help you make the right call to ensure the safety of your child(ren).

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According to “Car Seats for the Littles” (csftl.org), more important than age or weight is the child’s maturity level. According to the site:

“Moving a child to a booster seat gives them freedom that they’ve never had before: freedom to lean sideways, slouch, bother their sister, pick up a toy off the floor, and so on and so forth. If a child is wiggling out of position at the time of a crash, that leaves them vulnerable to serious injury.

That means the decision to move from harness to booster is rooted in the child’s maturity. The ability to sit correctly for the entire ride, 100% of the time, happens somewhere past age 5 for most kids, and not until 6 or 7 for a many others.”

 Find out more by visiting csftl.org

 

 


What to do if an Electrical Wire Falls on Your Vehicle

There’s a wind advisory but you have to go somewhere. You get in your car but before you can start it up you hear a thump and notice that a power line has just fallen on your car. What do you do?

According to experts, the best thing to do is to stay put. Because of the rubber in the tires, the electricity will flow over the car and you will be safe inside.

DO NOT GET OUT! Trying to exit the vehicle could result in electrocution as the electricity, flowing through the ground can now flow through you as soon as you step outside.

Call 911 and advise them of the situation. They will respond and bring someone from the power company to determine whether the power line is live or not. Until them just stay put.

 



Cell Phones Aren’t the Problem, Static Is

You may have seen the warnings on Facebook about staying off your cell phone while pumping gas. The warnings claim the cell phones can generate sparks that ignite the gasoline fumes. Problem is that there isn’t a simple instance of this actually happening. The example used on the Facebook warning references an explosion in Adelaide in Australia. There was, indeed an explosion but it wasn’t caused by a cell phone it was caused by static electricity.

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The fact is that static electricity, most often acquired when the person pumping the gas climbed back in the vehicle for some reason, has been credited with at least 150 fires at the gas pump since researchers started tracking this phenomenon.

To protect against static electricity explosions at the pump, here are a few safety tips:

  1. Don’t climb back into your vehicle while pumping gas.
  2. Make sure you touch the metal on your vehicle to dissipate any static electricity you might have built up.
  3. Do not “top off” the tank. Besides the fact that it actually gives you worse mileage instead of more miles per tank, it also creates a lot of extra fumes. Fumes, by the way, is what is flammable.
  4. If you are filling a container make sure it is an approved gas can and make sure it is sitting on the ground when you fill it to keep static electricity from building up. It should NEVER be sitting in the trunk or inside the vehicle.

Understanding how static electricity fires start at the gas pump and understanding how to prevent them is essential for refueling safety.



2seconds2click

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In preparing to write this post I happened to mention to a co-worker that half of all fatalities in traffic accidents were due to seat belts not being worn. My co-worker responded with “Who doesn’t wear a seat belt nowadays? Everyone wears them!”. Another co-worker overheard our conversation and admitted that she, in fact, never wore one.

Truth is that, whether we see it or not, there as still a lot of people out there gambling with their life (as well as the lives of the passengers in the car with them) and odd are good that you’ve got an employee who doesn’t wear a seat belt.

2seconds2Click is a campaign that is trying to reduce the number of people on the roads who aren’t clicking up when they get in their vehicle.

Check out their website and make use of the many resources that they have available. They have free downloads to use before you launch the campaign, resources to launch the campaign and material to use during the 6-week campaign.


Hornet and Yellow jacket Safety

Two separate pieces of news came across my desk today. One caught my attention because the incident happened in Wheaton, Illinois where I lived for several years, the other caught my attention because the unfortunately man died.

Both incidents involve hornets, wasps or yellow jackets. The incident in Wheaton involved a postal worker who was attacked by hornets and stung 30 to 50 times. She was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover. You can view the news click below:

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The other incident involved a man named John Clark from Tampa, Florida. John accidentally stepped on a yellow jacket nest in his yard. John was only stung 4 times but died because he was allergic, something that he wasn’t aware of. You can view the news click on that below as well:

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I personally had my own experience with yellow jackets last year. I was fortunately not stung. I was mowing my lawn when I suddenly realized that several yellow jackets were buzzing around me and realized that I had just mowed right over the nest they had dug in the middle of my lawn. I was able to exterminate  the whole colony by covering the hole with a clear plastic cake lid (It has to be clear. As long as they see daylight they will continue to use the hole. If the lid is not clear, they will simply dig another tunnel out). Unable to get out from under the lid, the whole colony starved to death within a couple weeks.

In most cases, however, you should call a professional exterminator to get the colony removed. Be aware and pay attention when you are outside. Warm weather brings the colony to life and they may be in the ground or in nests overhead.