Protect Your Workers from Poisonous Plants

I’ve only had poison Ivy once in my life but I remember it well because it was so unpleasant. The rash would be at it’s worse in the middle of the night and I ended up in the bathtub several nights in a row with Aveeno Oatmeal Bath treatment. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy and I’m sure you wouldn’t wish that on yourself or anyone of your workers.

With increased work done outdoors as the weather gets warm, it’s important to know how to protect yours workers.

First of all, they need to know how to identify poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak. Stay away if you can.

If you must work around these plants make sure you wear long sleeve shirts, pants and gloves.

Wash these items of clothing (including your shoes) at the end of your shift. Minimize contact with anything else as the oil urushiol that makes it poisonous can rub off and contaminate further. Wash these items separately from other laundry to avoid cross-contamination.

Use IvyX Pre-Contact Towelettes to further protect the arms, hands and face.

Wash all tools that came in contact with the poisonous plants with soap and water or with rubbing alcohol. Urushiol can stay active for as long as five years.

Do not burn the plants. Fire doesn’t neutralize the urushiol, it merely makes it airborne. If urushiol should get into the lungs it can turn into a serious reaction that may require medical attention.

If you believe you have been exposed, thoroughly wash the area with soap and water. If a rash develops use an antihistamine and/or calamine lotion. If it gets too serious, consult a doctor.

The Call

This morning, I got a phone call; a phone call from an old friend of mine. He called to ask for 3 more AEDs. The reason the phone call was so special, however, is because three years ago I had sold him an AED. That AED saved a man’s life on one of their job sites. The man went down and they had the AED on hand and were able to save him.

That’s the call we like to get because all too often the call we get about purchasing one of more AEDs looks more like this: “I need an AED because someone on our job site collapsed and we didn’t have one on hand to save his life. By the time the paramedics got there it was too late.”

If you don’t have an AED on hand, you’re most likely going to be the kind of call we don’t like to get.


Learn more about the Zoll AED and why you need one on your jobsite.

Heat Stress Training Document

The middle of February seems like a strange time to be talking about heat stress but this is the time to start preparing for summer, BEFORE the heat arrives.

Thankfully, Ergodyne has got you covered. They’ve put together a 30 pages document that you can use to train your employees and/or supervisors.

You can download it by clicking on the image below:


Wellness Health Safety Alert- Flu prevention tips Flu season hitting record highs.

*** Wellness, Health and Safety Alert Bulletin ***

Flu Season is at a record high: Common Sense Flu Prevention and Awareness Tips

The national flu epidemic is getting worse by the day: Hospitals and Emergency rooms are being flooded by flu patients across the country. Some hospitals have put up tents outside hospitals to treat just flu patients. And the CDC says the percentage of people going to the hospital for treatment of flu symptoms has doubled in the past month.

Prevention and washing your hands are key critical components to increased cold and flu prevention. While stressing all prevention methods we cant forget about co-workers. One of the fastest ways to contaminate your co-workers is from your water cooler spigots. PLEASE, dont take your used water bottles or drinking containers and hold them up directly against the spout! The Dept. of Health has informed me that virus or bacteria can live on these for up to 2 hours. Prevention is one of our greatest defenses against any bacteria and virus but we must all contribute. We are part of our nations critical infrastructure that must stay healthy. Our customers telecommunications systems are essential.

So please take a moment to review the following common sense flu prevention tips:

· Wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly.

· Practice social distancing. Don’t move in toward someone who is coughing or sneezing; politely take a step back.

· Practice proper sneezing and coughing etiquette. Don’t cough or sneeze into your hand and then use your hand to use a pen at the bank or open a door or refrigerator. Sneeze and cough into your elbow.

· Use a hand sanitizer and sanitizer wipes on your phones, key boards and door handles and when soap and water is not available.

FEVER Fever is rare with a cold. Fever is common with the seasonal flu.
COUGHING A hacking, productive (mucus-producing) cough is often present with a cold. A dry and hacking cough is often present with the seasonal flu.
ACHES Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold. Moderate body aches are common with the seasonal flu.
STUFFY NOSE Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. A runny nose is commonly present with the seasonal flu.
CHILLS Chills are uncommon with a cold. Chills are mild to moderate with the seasonal flu.
TIREDNESS Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold. Tiredness is moderate and more likely referred to as a lack of energy with the seasonal flu.
SNEEZING Sneezing is commonly present with a cold Sneezing is common present with the seasonal flu.
SUDDEN SYMPTOMS Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days. Symptoms tend to develop over a few days and include flushed face, loss of appetite, dizziness and/or vomiting/nausea. Symptoms usually last 4-7 days, depending on the individual. Diarrhea is common.
HEADACHE A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold. A headache is fairly common with the seasonal flu.
SORE THROAT Sore throat is commonly present with a cold. Sore throat is commonly present with the seasonal flu.
CHEST DISCOMFORT Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold. Chest discomfort is moderate with the seasonal flu. If it turns severe seek medical attention immediately!
What should I do if I get sick?If you live in areas where swine influenza cases have been identified and become ill with influenza-like symptoms,including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact your healthcare provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether

influenza testing or treatment is needed.

If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from

spreading your illness to others.

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care. In children

emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

· Fast breathing or trouble breathing

· Bluish skin color

· Not drinking enough fluids

· Not waking up or not interacting

· Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held

· Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

· Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

· Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

· Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

· Sudden dizziness

· Confusion

· Severe or persistent vomiting


Some CDC Doctors recommend the following Flu and Cold wellness tips to help you recover:

For chest congestion:

Drink plenty of fluids (8 to 10 cups a day) such as water, sports drinks, herbal teas, fruit drinks, or Ginger ale. Fluids help break up congestion, prevent dehydration and keep your throat moist.

Inhaled steam can ease congestion too. Create steam with a humidifier, or steam up the bathroom by running a hot shower.

For nasal congestion:

Relieve clogged nasal and sinus passages caused by excessive mucus with either decongestant pills or with a nasal spray. These are best taken following a hot shower and lots of nose blowing to clear out the mucus as much as possible. Then use a hand sanitizer to kill germs on your hands.

For fever and pain, body aches and tiredness:

Rest get your full 8 hours of sleep at night if possible.

Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) can help decrease fever and ease sore throat pain and body aches.

For cough:

For a dry hacking cough, you may choose a medication that contains a cough suppressant Look for over-the-counter medications that contain dextromethorphan.

For a cough that produces excessive mucus, or phlegm, you may want to use an expectorant that loosens phlegm. Guaifenesin is the most common active ingredient.

For sore throat:

A warm salt-water gargle can relieve a scratchy throat.

Lozenges, mouthwashes, and sprays that contain a numbing ingredient can ease the pain.

Source: Con

While getting a flu vaccine each year is the best way to protect against flu, influenza antiviral drugs can fight
against influenza, offering a second line of defense against the flu.

Antiviral drugs are an important second line of defense in the prevention and treatment of flu.

· Antiviral drugs are important in the treatment and prevention influenza.

· Influenza antiviral drugs can be used to treat the flu or to prevent infection with flu viruses.

· Treatment with antivirals should begin within 48 hours of getting sick, and can reduce your symptoms and shorten the time you are sick.

· When used for prevention, antivirals are 70% to 90% effective in preventing infection with influenza viruses.

· Antiviral drugs are effective across all age and risk groups.

Two antiviral drugs (oseltamivir, brand name Tamiflu®, and zanamivir, brand name Relenza®) are approved for treatment
of the flu.

· Oseltamivir is approved to treat flu in people one year of age and older.

· Zanamivir is approved to treat flu in people 7 years and older.

· These are prescription medications, and a doctor should be consulted before the drugs are used.

· Antiviral treatment lasts for 5 days and should be started within 2 days of illness, so if you get flu-like symptoms, seek medical care early on.


ücough & sneeze into your elbow
üwash hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 15 -20 seconds. Sing your abc’s or happy birthday to you
üuse hand sanitizer when soap & water are not available
üavoid touching eyes, nose or mouth without washing or using hand sanitizer first
üstay home if you are sick to avoid contaminating your co-workers

Ken Oswald

Million Hearts launches Team Up / Pressure down campaign

The Million Hearts foundation has launched its’ Team Up. Pressure Down campaign. Team Up. Pressure Down is a nationwide program to lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension through patient-pharmacist engagement.

The website ( contains information for patients, for pharmacists, for partners and for everyone.

Designed to combat hypertension through information, prevention and treatment, the campaign contains videos, resources, wallet cards, a facebook page, a checklist to keep healthy, charts used to interpret your blood pressure readings and much, much more.

(Top number)
(Bottom number)
Category What It Means
Less than 120 Less than 80 Normal Your blood pressure is normal but you should take steps to keep it that way. Blood pressure usually increases with age.
120-139 80-89 Prehypertension You have an increased risk of future hypertension. You should regularly monitor your blood pressure and make lifestyle modifications to bring your numbers into a normal range.
140-159 90-99 Stage 1 Hypertension Your readings indicate that you may have hypertension and should seek medical care. Your doctor will discuss treatment options and may prescribe medication(s) to help lower your blood pressure. If you have questions about your medications or treatment, you can also speak to your pharmacist.
160 or higher 100 or higher Stage 2 Hypertension Your readings indicate that you have hypertension and should seek immediate medical care. Your doctor will probably prescribe 1 or more medications to help lower your blood pressure.

With high blood pressure as a growing problem in the US, this website is an important one in helping combat the problem.

Water, Rest, Shade

OSHA is gearing up for what might be shaping up to be a very hot summer by trying to raise awareness of heat stress and heat related illnesses and fatalities.

The OSHA website sports a new page with a lot of information, videos, training materials and more.

Understanding heat stress and heat related injuries and fatalities is essential as is understanding acclimatization (almost half of heat-related injuries and fatalities happen on the first day of work, simply because the worker’s body isn’t acclimatized to the heat yet). Make sure you and your workers spend a little time on the OSHA “Acclimatizing Workers” page to understand how to gradually get your body used to working in the heat.

Download a FREE copy of “Heat Stress: Overview & Solutions” Webinar

Ergodyne, Sqwincher, EHS Today and CLMI Safety Training recently partnered to put on a webinar on Heat Stress. The webinar is now over and done but, for those of you who wish you’d been able to attend and need the information, it’s going to be available for download for the next 12 months.

In this webinar leading experts in the hydration and safety industries will discuss:

  • Causes, Symptoms and Costs of Heat Related Illness
  • The Evolving Regulatory Scene
  • Helpful Guides and Solutions

Register and download it here.

Urine Color Chart for Dehydration Check

With the advent of summer and heat comes the renewed emphasis on hydration and heat stress. The past couple of years has seen a strong push to decrease dehydration and heat stress related health problems. The problem with heat stress and dehydration is often related to the fact that we don’t realize how dehydrated we really are. One of the easiest ways to tell is still by checking the color of your urine. The darker it is in color the more you are dehydrated.

Sqwincher, has long been in the forefront of the battle against dehydration with a full-line of rehydration products. They’ve come up with a new poster that you can post on your job site (or in the bathroom or porta-John) that provides a color gradation to check the color of your urine against to show how dehydrated you really are.

The old adage about leading a horse to water might be true but if you can get the horse to realize that he really is thirsty and in need of water you won’t have to force him to drink, he’ll drink on his own. As an employee you can’t force your workers to drink and stay hydrated but simply showing them how dehydrated might be should do the trick.

Download a copy of the poster here.