National Safety Month Week 4- Ergonomics

June 2013 National Safety Month Tips

Week 4 Jun 24-29

Ergonomics

Ergonomics derives from two Greek words, Ergo (work) and Nomos (norms or laws). Ergonomics is a technique to optimize efficient, safe and healthful performance. It is a common sense approach to ergonomics, which our grandmothers tried to inculcate in us—“excesses are bad.” Repetitive exposures to excessive stresses without proper training or rest may result in lifting challenges, hyper- and hypothermia, hearing loss, cumulative traumas and carpal tunnel syndromes. Ergonomics improves productivity, safety and health and the quality of life. It also depends on one’s psychosocial and physical environments. It is essential that the internal bodily environment be in harmony with the external environment

Ergonomics involves designing the job environment to fit the person and is important to take into consideration at work, but also while working on projects at home. It’s about learning how to work smarter and preventing conditions such as overexertion.

Ergonomic conditions are disorders of the soft tissues, specifically of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels and spinal discs. These conditions are often caused by factors such as:

• Overexertion while lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching or stretching

• Repetitive motions

• Working in awkward positions

• Sitting or standing too long in one position

• Using excessive force

• Vibration

• Resting on sharp corners or edges

• Temperature extremes

Remember, these can occur from activities at work, such as working on an assembly line, using heavy equipment or typing on a computer. They also can result from activities at home like playing video games, helping someone move, participating in hobbies such as sewing or through home repair projects.

Know the signs

Ergonomic conditions are best dealt with when they are caught early. Common symptoms include:

• Pain

• Swelling

• Numbness

• Tingling

• Tenderness

• Clicking

• Loss of grip strength

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to see your physician or an occupational physician as soon as possible to determine the cause of your pain.

Common types of injuries associated with poor ergonomic design include but not limited to:

STRAINS, SPRAINS

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

TENDONITIS

GANGLION CYSTS

TENNIS ELBOW

CHRONIC BACK PAIN

TRIGGER FINGER

TEXTING THUMBS

Daily Tips for this week:

June 24: Keep your joints and muscles relaxed by stretching to increase blood flow throughout the duration of your work day.

June 25: Avoid muscle and joint cramps by periodically adjusting your seated position.

June 26: Practice ergonomics at work and home to avoid conditions such as overexertion.

June 27: If a stretch begins to hurt, ease up on the amount of stretch and quit if you can’t do it without pain.

June 28: Avoid straining your eyes at a computer by periodically taking time to close your eyes for a minute at a time and then focusing on an object at least 20 feet away.

Forearm and Wrist StretchesUse one hand to spread apart and straighten the fingers of the other hand and then stretch your wrist back gently as far as you can. Keep your elbow straight. Relax your hands.You should feel a gentle stretch in the forearm flexors, then switch direction and stretch the forearm extensors.

Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute. Can be done several times per day.

See more ergonomics tips visit the Safety Matters Intranet website or contact me.

Computer operators, too, may develop ergonomic injuries too including the back, neck, shoulders, hands, wrists, fingers, and eyes unless they follow ergonomic guidelines to protect themselves. Here are a few ergonomic tips to help create an ergonomic friendly office area:

· Furniture that is adjustable to fit the size of each worker

· Easy access to all necessary tools and equipment

· Seat height that allows the feet to rest flat on the floor or on a footrest

· A backrest with an adjustable lumbar support

· Armrests that are broad and cushioned

· A computer monitor placed directly in front of the worker, placed so that the user’s eyes are aligned with a point 2 to 3 inches below the top of the screen, tilted back just slightly to help prevent glare, and located an arm’s length from the user.

Ergonomic Quiz, test your knowledge

1. What type of injury is commonly associated with poor ergonomic design?

A. Concussion

B. Tendonitis

C. Broken leg

D. Congestive heart failure

2. What part of the body is affected by ergonomic disorders?

A. Skin

B. Bones

C. Soft tissues

D. Brain

3. What is an early sign of an ergonomic condition?

A. Tiredness

B. Numbness

C. Headaches

D. Sweating

4. What factors cause poor ergonomic conditions?

A. Repetitive motions

B. Working in awkward positions

C. Vibration

D. All of the above

5. Ergonomic conditions can only be caused by activities at work.

True False

Answers are:

1. B

2. C

3. B

4. D

5. False

Safety First, Safety Always!

Information from National Safety Council

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of

Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

keno


National Safety Month Week 3 Emergency Preparedness

June 2013 National Safety Month Tips

Week 3 Jun 17-22

EMERGENCY PREPARDNESS

It is recommended that families have a plan in case of an emergency, and practice it at least twice a year. Plans should take the physical capabilities of family members in mind, including children and older adults. When planning for a potential emergency, the basics of survival are important.

The National Safety Council and Department of Homeland Security’s Ready campaign highlights preparedness steps, including having an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, and becoming informed about different types of emergencies. After preparing themselves and their families, Americans can take the next step and get involved in helping to prepare their communities for all types of emergencies. Below are some simple tips to help you start building your own disaster kit.

PREPARING A DISASTER KIT

When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it’s best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

§ Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

§ Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

§ Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

§ Flashlight and extra batteries

§ First aid kit

§ Whistle to signal for help

§ Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

§ Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

§ Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

§ Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

§ Local maps

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

§ Prescription medications and glasses

§ Infant formula and diapers

§ Pet food and extra water for your pet

§ Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

§ Cash or traveler’s checks and change

§ Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov

§ Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.

§ Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.

§ Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

§ Fire Extinguisher

§ Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

§ Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels

§ Paper and pencil

§ Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Click here for more information, including a printer-friendly list of supplies. In addition to getting a kit, be sure to Make a Plan, Be Informed and Get Involved!

Learn how to Shelter in Place

“Shelter-in-place” means to take immediate shelter where you are—at home, work, school, or in between. It may also mean “seal the room;” in other words, take steps to prevent outside air from coming in. This is because local authorities may instruct you to “shelter-in-place” if chemical or radiological contaminants are released into the environment. It is important to listen to TV or radio to understand whether the authorities wish you to merely remain indoors or to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family.

How do I prepare?

At home

·

Choose a room in advance for your shelter. The best room is one with as few windows and doors as possible. A large room, preferably with a water supply, is desirable—something like a master bedroom that is connected to a bathroom.

· Contact your workplaces, your children’s schools, nursing homes where you may have family and your local town or city officials to find out what their plans are for “shelter-in-place.”

· Find out when warning systems will be tested. When tested in your area, determine whether you can hear or see sirens and/or warning lights from your home.

· Develop your own family emergency plan so that every family member knows what to do. Practice it regularly.

· Assemble a disaster supplies kit that includes emergency water and food supplies.

At work

· Help ensure that the emergency plan and checklist involves all employees. Volunteers or recruits should be assigned specific duties during an emergency. Alternates should be assigned to each duty.

· The shelter kit should be checked on a regular basis. Duct tape and first aid supplies can sometimes disappear when all employees know where the shelter kit is stored. Batteries for the radio and flashlight should be replaced regularly.

In general

· Learn CPR, first aid and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). (Contact Me for next class or for more information.)

How will I know when I need to “shelter-in-place”?

Fire or police department warning procedures could include:

· “All-Call” telephoning – an automated system for sending recorded messages, sometimes called “reverse 9-1-1”.

· Emergency Alert System (EAS) broadcasts on the radio or television.

· Outdoor warning sirens or horns.

· News media sources – radio, television and cable.

· NOAA Weather Radio alerts.

· Residential route alerting – messages announced to neighborhoods from vehicles equipped with public address systems.

Facilities that handle potentially dangerous materials, like nuclear power plants, are required to install sirens and other warning systems (flash warning lights) to cover a 10-mile area around the plant.

For more information, contact any of the following:

For checklists to help prepare to shelter-in-place in your home, at work, in your car, or at school or day-care, read How Do I Shelter-in-Place?

· Your local American Red Cross chapter

· Your state and local health departments

· Your local emergency management agency

· CDC Public Response Hotline
English 1-888-246-2675
Spanish 1-888-246-2857
TTY 1-866-874-2646)

Additional Considerations for Businesses

Encourage all of your employees to have a Portable Kit customized to meet personal needs, such as essential medications. In addition:

§ Keep copies of important records such as site maps, building plans, insurance policies, employee contact and identification information, bank account records, supplier and shipping contact lists, computer backup files, emergency or law enforcement contact information and other priority documents in a waterproof, fireproof portable container. Store a second set of records at an off-site location.

§ Talk to your co-workers about what emergency supplies the company can feasibly provide, if any, and which ones individuals should consider keeping on hand.

Information provided by Dept of Homeland Security, FEMA, CDC, ARC, Citizens Corp. Gov , National Safety Council and Curry County LEPC.

Safety First, Safety Always!

For more information, citizens may visit www.ready.gov and www.citizencorps.gov

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

keno@plateautel.com


September is National Preparedness Month

During National Preparedness Month, we underscore the important responsibility Americans have to be ready for emergencies in our homes, businesses, and communities. Just this past weeks people from the Gulf coast have been dealing with the affects of Hurricane Isaac, Our Plateau service area is always subject to wildfires. We never know when an emergency or disaster may hit your area.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Ready campaign highlights preparedness steps, including having an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, and becoming informed about different types of emergencies. After preparing themselves and their families, Americans can take the next step and get involved in helping to prepare their communities for all types of emergencies. Below are some simple tips to help you start building your own disaster kit.

PREPARING A DISASTER KIT

When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it’s best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

§ Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

§ Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

§ Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

§ Flashlight and extra batteries

§ First aid kit

§ Whistle to signal for help

§ Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

§ Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

§ Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

§ Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

§ Local maps

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

§ Prescription medications and glasses

§ Infant formula and diapers

§ Pet food and extra water for your pet

§ Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

§ Cash or traveler’s checks and change

§ Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov

§ Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.

§ Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.

§ Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

§ Fire Extinguisher

§ Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

§ Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels

§ Paper and pencil

§ Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Click here for more information, including a printer-friendly list of supplies. In addition to getting a kit, be sure to Make a Plan, Be Informed and Get Involved!

Learn how to Shelter in Place

“Shelter-in-place” means to take immediate shelter where you areat home, work, school, or in between. It may also mean “seal the room;” in other words, take steps to prevent outside air from coming in. This is because local authorities may instruct you to “shelter-in-place” if chemical or radiological contaminants are released into the environment. It is important to listen to TV or radio to understand whether the authorities wish you to merely remain indoors or to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family.

How do I prepare?

At home

·

Choose a room in advance for your shelter. The best room is one with as few windows and doors as possible. A large room, preferably with a water supply, is desirablesomething like a master bedroom that is connected to a bathroom.

· Contact your workplaces, your children’s schools, nursing homes where you may have family and your local town or city officials to find out what their plans are for “shelter-in-place.”

· Find out when warning systems will be tested. When tested in your area, determine whether you can hear or see sirens and/or warning lights from your home.

· Develop your own family emergency plan so that every family member knows what to do. Practice it regularly.

· Assemble a disaster supplies kit that includes emergency water and food supplies.

At work

· Help ensure that the emergency plan and checklist involves all employees. Volunteers or recruits should be assigned specific duties during an emergency. Alternates should be assigned to each duty.

· The shelter kit should be checked on a regular basis. Duct tape and first aid supplies can sometimes disappear when all employees know where the shelter kit is stored. Batteries for the radio and flashlight should be replaced regularly.

In general

· Learn CPR, first aid and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). (Contact Me for next class or for more information.)

How will I know when I need to “shelter-in-place”?

Fire or police department warning procedures could include:

· “All-Call” telephoning – an automated system for sending recorded messages, sometimes called “reverse 9-1-1”.

· Emergency Alert System (EAS) broadcasts on the radio or television.

· Outdoor warning sirens or horns.

· News media sources – radio, television and cable.

· NOAA Weather Radio alerts.

· Residential route alerting – messages announced to neighborhoods from vehicles equipped with public address systems.

Facilities that handle potentially dangerous materials, like nuclear power plants, are required to install sirens and other warning systems (flash warning lights) to cover a 10-mile area around the plant.

For more information, contact any of the following:

For checklists to help prepare to shelter-in-place in your home, at work, in your car, or at school or day-care, read How Do I Shelter-in-Place?

· Your local American Red Cross chapter

· Your state and local health departments

· Your local emergency management agency

· CDC Public Response Hotline
English 1-888-246-2675
Spanish 1-888-246-2857
TTY 1-866-874-2646)

Additional Considerations for Businesses

Encourage all of your employees to have a Portable Kit customized to meet personal needs, such as essential medications. In addition:

§ Keep copies of important records such as site maps, building plans, insurance policies, employee contact and identification information, bank account records, supplier and shipping contact lists, computer backup files, emergency or law enforcement contact information and other priority documents in a waterproof, fireproof portable container. Store a second set of records at an off-site location.

§ Talk to your co-workers about what emergency supplies the company can feasibly provide, if any, and which ones individuals should consider keeping on hand.

Information provided by Dept of Homeland Security, FEMA, CDC, ARC, Citizens Corp. Gov and Curry County LEPC.

For more information, citizens may visit www.ready.gov and www.citizencorps.gov


June is National Safety Month

No, it’s not National Safety Inc month, it’s National Safety Month. What is National Safety Month?

From the National Safety Council website:

“NSM is an annual observance to educate and influence behaviors around the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths. Each week carries a theme that brings attention to critical safety issues.”

The 2012 Weekly themes are:
Week 1: Employee wellness and PALA+ Challenge
Week 2: Ergonomics
Week 3: Preventing slips, trips and falls
Week 4: Driving safety

Follow the above links or go to the NSC National Safety Month page for free online training, a 2012 NSM planner and more.


Health and Safety Alert- Stroke Awareness

May National Stroke Awareness Month

May is here. Some of us have had personal experiences with family, friends or loved ones that have had or know someone that has experienced a stroke.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. It is also a leading cause of serious long-term disability. While most strokes occur in people aged 65 years and older, strokes can occur at any age. Learn the signs and symptoms and how you can lower your risk for stroke.

Strokes strike fast. You should too. Call 9-1-1 immediately.

New treatments are available that can reduce the damage caused by a stroke for some victims. But these treatments need to be given soon after the symptoms start.

Knowing the symptoms of stroke, calling 9-1-1 right away, and getting to a hospital are crucial to the most beneficial outcomes after having a stroke. The best treatment is to try to prevent a stroke by taking steps to lower your risk for stroke

What is a stroke?

A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery (a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body) or a blood vessel (a tube through which the blood moves through the body) breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs.

When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement and memory. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.

For example, someone who has a small stroke may experience only minor problems such as weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be paralyzed on one side or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.

TYPES OF STROKES

Ischemic (Clots) Hemorrhagic (Bleed) TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack)
Ischemic stroke occurs as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. It accounts for 87 percent of all stroke cases Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures. Two types of weakened blood vessels usually cause hemorrhagic stroke: aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Often called a mini stroke, these warning strokes should be taken very seriously. TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) is caused by a temporary clot.

Anyone can have a stroke. But your chances for having a stroke increase if you meet certain criteria. Some of these criteria, called risk factors, are beyond your control — such as being over age 55, being male, being African American, Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander, or having a family history of stroke. Other stroke risk factors are controllable.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors:

· Age

· Gender

· Race

· Family History

· Previous Stroke or TIA

Controllable Risk Factors:

· Stop Smoking

· Prevent and Control High Blood Pressure

· Prevent and Control Diabetes

· Maintain a healthy diet, weight and exercise regularly

Stroke Symptoms

People at risk and partners or caretakers of people at risk for stroke should be aware of the general symptoms. The stroke victim should get to the hospital as soon as possible after these warning signs appear. It is particularly important for people with migraines or frequent severe headaches to understand how to distinguish between their usual headaches and symptoms of stroke.

The National Stroke Association lists the following five warning signs of stroke. PEOPLE SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CALL FOR EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE IF THEY EXPERIENCE ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS:

· Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

· Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

· Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

· Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

· Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don’t delay! If given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common types of stroke.

Stroke Detection

The National Stroke Awareness Month program places emphasis on making the public aware about Acting FAST.

According to the National Stroke Association a person experiencing a stroke can be treated if people have acted FAST – 80% of strokes can also be prevented.

FAST (Face. Arms, Speech and Time) being an acronym for things to check in a suspected stroke victim:

A. Face- Have the person smile and check for signs of weakness on one side of the face

B. Arms-Have the person raise both arms at the same time and check for weakness or numbness in one or both the limbs

C. Speech-Ask the person to say a simple sentence(i.e. Lunch is ready), check for any slurred speech or trouble speaking

D. Time- Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately and note the time the stroke signals started.

NOTE: New Sign of a Stroke ——– Stick out Your Tongue

Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the person to ‘stick’ out his tongue…if the tongue  is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other,  that is also an indication of a  stroke.

If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don’t delay!  If given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common types of stroke.

Stay with the person they may feel fearful or anxious. Most often they do not understand what has happened to them. Offer comfort and reassurance, but never give them food or water and wait till Emergency Medical Service arrives.

Public Stroke Prevention Guidelines

1. Know your blood pressure. If it is elevated, work with your doctor to keep it under control. High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke. Have your blood pressure checked at least once each year—more often if you have a history of high blood pressure.

2. Find out if you have atrial fibrillation (AF). If you have AF, work with your doctor to manage it. Atrial fibrillation can cause blood to collect in the chambers of your heart. This blood can form clots and cause a stroke. Your doctor can detect AF by carefully checking your pulse.

3. If you smoke, stop. Smoking doubles the risk for stroke. If you stop smoking today, your risk for stroke will begin to decrease.

4. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Drinking a glass of wine or beer or one drink each day may lower your risk for stroke (provided that there is no other medical reason you should avoid alcohol).  Remember that alcohol is a drug – it can interact with other drugs you are taking, and alcohol is harmful if taken in large doses. If you don’t drink, don’t start.

5. Know your cholesterol number. If it is high, work with your doctor to control it. Lowering your cholesterol may reduce your stroke risk. High cholesterol can also indirectly increase stroke risk by putting you at greater risk of heart disease – an important stroke risk factor. Often times, high cholesterol can be controlled with diet and exercise; some individuals may require medication.

6. Control your diabetes. If you are diabetic, follow your doctor’s recommendations carefully because diabetes puts you at an increased risk for stroke. Your doctor can prescribe a nutrition program, lifestyle changes and medicine that can help control your diabetes.

7. Include exercise in the activities you enjoy in your daily routine. A brisk walk, swim or other exercise activity for as little as 30 minutes a day can improve your health in many ways, and may reduce your risk for stroke.

8. Enjoy a lower sodium (salt), lower fat diet. By cutting down on sodium and fat in your diet, you may be able to lower your blood pressure and, most importantly, lower your risk for stroke.

9. Ask your doctor if you have circulation problems. If so, work with your doctor to control them. Fatty deposits can block arteries that carry blood from your heart to your brain. Sickle cell disease, severe anemia, or other diseases can cause stroke if left untreated.

10.  If you have any stroke symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

The next CPR/First Aid class will be held May at 9:00 am in the Learning Center. Please contact me if you are interesting in learning how to save a life!
Information provided by www.stroke.org and American Red Cross

To receive more stroke awareness information  call 1-800-STROKES (1-800-787-6537).

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

koswald@plateautel.com