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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Hand Sanitizer or Hand Washing – Which is Better?

hand sanitizerWith cold and flu season quickly approaching, it’s more important than ever to keep hands clean. Colds and flu viruses are transmitted when infected people cough or sneeze—emitting tiny droplets. When these droplets come in contact with another person’s eyes, mouth or nose, the cycle of infection continues.

Viruses can live for two hours or longer on surfaces such as hands and doorknobs, which is why hand cleaning is such an important defense against infection.

The CDC recommends washing hands several times throughout the day, including (but not limited to):

  • Before, during or after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

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Procedures for Donning and Doffing PPE

PPEAs a result of the ongoing Ebola outbreak, healthcare workers and hospital administrators are paying increased attention to the donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE).

In fact, on October 20th, the CDC updated its PPE recommendations for healthcare workers who care for Ebola patients. The CDC now recommends that:

  • Healthcare workers receive repeated training in donning and doffing PPE.
  • Healthcare workers demonstrate competency in donning and doffing PPE.
  • Trained supervisors observe every step of PPE donning and doffing.

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Should Your Workplace Have an Automated Defibrillator?

automated defibrillatorAccording to OSHA, over 220,000 people suffer from sudden cardiac arrest each year in the U.S.—and about 10,000 of these occur at work.

When sudden cardiac arrest victims receive defibrillation quickly, survival rates improve significantly. According to the American Red Cross, each minute of delay reduces the chance of survival by about 10%.

Given that the average response time for 911 responders is eight to 12 minutes, more and more workplaces are adding automated defibrillators (AEDs) to their first aid programs.

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Wear Your Hard Hat For Protection From Falling Objects

wear your hard hat

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, 245 workers in the United States were fatally injured as a result of falling objects in 2013. That’s 34 percent of all fatal work injuries!

What OSHA Says

While not all of these deaths were a result of head related injuries, the majority involved some type of injury to the head. Many of these fatalities could have been prevented if the workers had been wearing a hard hat. As stated in OSHA regulation 1926.100(a), “Employees working in areas where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, or from falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock and burns, shall be protected by protective helmets.”

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Most Commonly Cited Safety Infractions in 2014

safety infractionsRecently, OSHA released a list of its most frequently cited safety infractions for the fiscal year 2014.

Fall protection took the number one spot, with 6,143 violations. Hazard communication took the number two spot, with 5,161 violations. These two infractions also held the one and two spots in 2013.

In light of these findings, here’s a quick refresher on OSHA’s fall protection and hazard communication standards.

Fall Protection

OSHA requires that employers protect workers from falls of four feet or higher in general industry, five feet in shipyards, six feet in construction and eight feet in longshoring. Fall protection is also required when working over dangerous equipment or machinery, regardless of height.

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