Your Avocado is more dangerous than you think

Avocados have never been more popular. With the ketogenic diet telling us that they are a great source of healthy fat and with other sources telling us they are a great source of all kinds of vitamins and nutrients sales of avocados in the US has grown every year for the past 15 years. Last year alone Americans ate 4.25 billion avocados. That’s a lot of guacamole!

Problem is that injuries to hands have grown just as fast and the lowly avocado is to blame! Apparently emergency room have seen an increase in hand laceration from people cutting up or trying to remove the avocado pit. So much so, in fact, that the California Avocado Growers Association has put out a guide to help you navigate the cutting up of your avocado safely (Hint: don’t stab or try to embed a knife in the pit to remove it!).

Check it out at https://www.californiaavocado.com/blog/may-2015/how-to-cut-an-avocado-without-cutting-your-hand

I guess I should have posted this before cinco de Mayo!


New OSHA Fact Sheet for Food Slicers and Meat Grinders

OSHA has just released a new fact sheet for food slicers and meat grinders intended to prevent amputations and serious cuts.

Meat_Grinders

Meat grinders and food slicers are designed to grind and slice meat but all too often they slice, cut and grind the hands and fingers of those in the food industry who are operating the machines. 2013 saw some 4,000 reported incidents (not to mention the lesser cuts and injuries that went unreported).

The 3-page free pdf download entitled “Preventing Cuts and Amputations fromFood Slicers and Meat Grinders” contains photos, schematics and diagrams (as seen in the image above) to help make sense of procedures.


NIOSH Funding to be cut under Obama Proposed Budget

President Obama is certainly no stranger to criticism and opposition and he’s about to get more of both with his proposed 2016 budget plan, not just from republicans but from democrats as well. Estate plans, retirement, tax on the wealthy means the President is going to face a tough uphill battle in getting the budget approved.

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NIOSH (The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) is one of the agencies that has been put on the chopping block. The proposed budget seeks a 15% reduction in funding for the agencies which employs around 135 full-time employees. NIOSH (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/) “is the U.S. federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations to prevent worker injury and illness.” NIOSH claims that cuts in funding will set back advances in safety and ultimately raise healthcare costs.

To add insult to injury, OSHA, under the same budget, stands to get a $592,071,000 raise.



Breaking Down Hand Injuries

Though your company may not be one of them, there are a number of organizations out there, especially in the construction industry that have a 100% glove policy. What that means is that whenever you are on the jobsite you will be wearing gloves. Why? Simply because hand injuries are one of the top injuries and account for a huge number of lost hours.
What are the most common reasons why your employees need to wear gloves?
Here’s a breakdown for you:

(Source: Kimberly-Clarke literature)


Saferproducts.gov survives unscathed from federal budget cuts

I mentioned last week that budget cuts had severely cut into a number of safety related agencies (See “How are Federal Budget Cuts Going to Affect Safety?”). One agency, however, survived the budget cuts with no damage done. www.saferproducts.gov, a website that was created back in 2008 and designed to provide a public forum regarding the safety of virtually any and all products regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cspc.gov) , will continue to function, despite a republican push to axe it as part of the budget cuts.

The CSPC has been the agency responsible for recalling virtually every crib made before 2011 in any day care, church or nursery, a recall that is going to cost a number of businesses and churches a whole lot of money because they are going to have to purchase all new cribs.

Regardless, the www.saferproducts.gov website is a valuable resource in helping identify safety issues with products that we often use every day. If you’ve got a safety complaint and can document it, this is the place to record it and make it public. It’s one of the ways that the internet is changing the way we deal with safety related issues.

Have a look around the website to see if there are any issues with any of the items that you have around your home.