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  • Hand Signals: Mixed Signals with Unintended Consequences

    Early in my life I quickly learned the value of signals. I learned the difference in a smiling
    face, and a scowling face, someone waving with all five fingers or just one. Then of course there was the whole dating thing, and a whole new set of signals, including mixed signals which can have unintended consequences. Riding your bike is popular again, so along with your helmet, there are ways to alert motorists of your intention to; 1.) right turn, left arm out from your side and 90 degree angle up at the elbow, like waving, and use all five fingers. 2.) left turn, left arm straight out from your side. 3.) slow down or stop, left arm out away from your side and forearm down. Don’t be embarrassed to use these, and teach your children early by example, but it’s never too late to start though, and please wear your bike helmet. You could save a life.

    In the world of industry signals are just as, or even more important. The role of hand and hand signalsbody signals play a very important role in, crane, mobile lift cranes, overhead crane, aerial lifts, bucket and boom truck safety. Much like traffic signals the operator must be completely aware of his surroundings, and signals given by the signal caller on the ground. Both the caller and driver must work together in harmony trusting one another, like dating. The signals will tell the driver to stop, reverse, move ahead slowly or by inches, raise the load, lower the load, or move it right or left even by inches. Disaster can be the consequence of “Mixed signals.” Both must be aware of the hazards on and above the ground. A sight survey should be standard procedure prior to performing any job, and a safety check on the equipment is an absolute must! In 2006 there were 72 crane –related fatal occupational injuries as reported by the bureau of labor statistics. As of November 2010 signalers and riggers must be qualified, so make sure your driver and signaler are competent and have the proper qualification training. There are new rules for crane operators as well, which will be effective as of November 10, 2014. With several rules in place and new ones being put into effect, it is important to have an OSHA compliant plan in case accidents do happen.

    Whether its signals in industry, at home, on the street or classroom, it’s not just about red lights, green lights or the law which could hold you accountable for not knowing them.  It’s about respect for what they mean and why they are important to us.

  • Tuberculosis: The White Plague

    Much has been written about tuberculosis or the ”White Plague” named so because it made the patient appear pale. It earned its place in history because it dates back to early man, and wherever they migrated they took their diseases with them.  Like its symptoms seen below this disease just seems to be persistent, and just doesn’t want to go away. In the 1800’s into the early 1900’s tuberculosis or TB  killed more people than any other disease. My grandfather Gus succumbed to the disease, where he was confined to what was termed a “sanitorium”.

    By the mid 50’s it appeared that significant progress had been made in treating the disease
    and even thought that it might be eradicated. However, in the mid 80’s, TB made a comeback. In America today it is estimated that 10 to 15 million people carry the Latent TB virus with 20,000 new active cases a year. Worldwide the numbers are considerably worse, and TB is in the top 15 leading causes of death!!

    I do rely on the Center for Disease Control for information. Below you’ll find a short synopsis of the disease including symptoms which they have provided..

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria that are spread through the air from person to person. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of TB.

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria that are spread through the air from person to person. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected. The TB bacteria usually attack the lungs, but can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

    Symptoms of TB Disease

    Symptoms of TB disease depend on where in the body the TB bacteria are growing. TB disease symptoms may include:

    *A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer tuberculosis
    *Pain in the chest
    *Coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs)
    *Weakness or fatigue
    *Weight loss
    *No appetite
    *Chills
    *Fever
    *Sweating at night

    TB is NOT spread by

    *Shaking someone's hand
    *Sharing food or drink
    *Touching bed linens or toilet seats
    *Sharing toothbrushes
    *Kissing

    If you think you may have been exposed to someone with TB disease, contact your health care provider or your local or state TB control office to schedule a TB test, either a TB blood test or tuberculin skin test.

    At Safetyinstruction.com we are not just concerned with job hazards but with the general health and well being of all. So this blog will continue to present information that we feel is pertinent, and should be a part of the discussion in keeping all safe, healthy and informed. Tuberculosis is a disease that you will want to take serious, and research vaccines available for its prevention.

    Information like this is only good if used. Take some time today, and keep you and your family safe from the perils of Tuberculosis.

     

  • Ergonomics: Can You Throw a Softball?

    Did this really exist 40 years ago? Just what is it and what does it mean to you?
    well here is a short but direct definition from “About home” ergonomics

    Definition: Ergonomics is the science of work.

    “Ergonomics derives from two Greek words: ergon, meaning work, and nomoi, meaning natural laws. Combined they create a word that means the science of work and a persons relationship to that work.

    In application, ergonomics is a discipline focused on making products and tasks comfortable and efficient for the user.

    Ergonomics is sometimes defined as the science of fitting the work to the user, instead of forcing the user to fit the work. However, this is more a primary ergonomic principle rather than a definition”.

    As a safety advocate I think we see a lot of the symptoms and results of poor ergonomics, and probably don’t give it much thought until you or an employee are on the way to the doctor or pharmacist for pain meds, surgery, or physical therapy. This can literally be a real pain in the tush (not the medical term). Take a look around your work space, or audit your surroundings. Are you standing, sitting, turning, bending, typing or keyboarding as they refer to it today, lifting, walking, staring into a monitor or computer screen, throwing a baseball? Yes I did play a little baseball.  What about repetitive motion? All of these conditions can lead to muscular and or skeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, eye strain, torn rotator cuff, or any of a dozen problems with your neck and  back. Yes I did have shoulder surgery.

    Avoiding these issues are solved by “Ergonomics.” Set up your workstation efficiently, choose the right chair and note the proper posture, and key board height, get up occasionally and stretch those back muscles and shoulders right down to your fingers. Standing? Start with proper footwear, and check out the cushioned anti-fatigue mats available today. Make sure your supplies are within easy reach to prevent twisting, so you’re not doing the “Beatles” old song “Twist and Shout”. Is lighting the issue? Have your health and safety person take a look at it for you. That’s a part of their job. If you have to lift? make sure you know the proper technique, lift with your legs not with your back or get the right equipment to do the lifting, pushing, or pulling for you. Putting a widget in a box all day? Check with your supervisor to see if you can rotate out to another job every couple of hours or so. If you recognize an issue, be proactive, don’t wait until you or your job jeopardizes your health.

    Whether you are in the office, the plant, laboratory at home in the kitchen, or are a softball player on weekends, learn how to throw a ball properly so you can play catch with the grandkids when you’re 63.

  • Mosquitoes: The New State Bird

    Summer is well, half over if you’re not counting the summer solstice which occurred just a few short weeks ago. The kids have only been out for summer break for 4 weeks, and already the back to school sales are chomping at the bit to take a bite out of mom and dad’s checkbook. Before we start that conversation however we should really consider a different type of bite– A Mosquito Bite –

    Here in Wisconsin we’ve had more than our share of rain, and of course with those MosquitoMosquito Bite Biteconditions come mosquitoes as they need standing water to breed. We’re thinking we might change our state bird. “Mother Nature Network” in an article by Melissa Breyer, gives us 10 interesting things you didn’t know about mosquitoes.

    1. The smell of chocolate confuses them
    The carbon dioxide we exhale excites and attracts mosquitoes, which is a bummer since we can’t exactly stop breathing to prevent their stealthy attacks. But researchers have found that certain scents – some of them minty, some fruity, and some that smell like caramelized chocolate – can stun the buzzing bugs’ carbon dioxide sensors, thus making it harder to find their next dinner.

    2. Mosquitoes buzz in our ears because …
    Mosquitoes can sense carbon dioxide up to 100 feet away. Since human beings exhale carbon dioxide through the nose and mouth, mosquitoes are attracted to our heads, perhaps leading to more incidents of “self-slapping while sleeping” than any other cause.

    3. Male mosquitoes are passive
    Female mosquitoes are the ones that bite animals and feed on blood; while they’re causing us misery, male mosquitoes are flitting about the flowers and feed on nectar.

    4. Viruses increase their bloodlust
    Female mosquitoes already have an unquenchable need for blood, but researchers have found that the dengue virus, which the mosquitoes transmit to humans, makes them even hungrier for the red stuff. The virus manipulates the insect’s genes to make them thirstier for blood; it also activates genes to increase the mosquitoes' sense of smell to become better hunters. (What a brilliant and creepy virus!)

    5. Parasites makes them go nuts for dirty socks
    Not only do parasites live on and feed from their hosts, but these clever creatures can manipulate the behavior of their hosts to increase their odds of spreading. Scientists have shown that mosquitoes infected with the malaria parasite want longer and more frequent blood meals than non-infected mosquitoes, all to better the chance of getting a human host. Other research has found that mosquitoes with malaria are also drawn to the smell of human sweat; as was evidenced in experiments with the use of a well-worn sock.

    6. Mosquito spit is itchy
    When a mosquito has set her sights on a target, she hones in, dive-bombs, and inserts her wee little proboscis into the victim’s skin. As she sucks she leaves behind a dollop of saliva, which serves as an anticoagulant so that she may better feast. Unfortunately, most of us have a natural immune response to mosquito slobber that results in histamines and the dreaded itch.

    7. Not all mosquitoes carry West Nile virus
    Of the thousands of known mosquito species, the dreaded West Nile virus is found in around 60 of them. (It's also found in more than 200 vertebrates.) The virus usually cycles between Culex mosquito species and common urban birds like robins, northern cardinals and house sparrows. Nearly 80 percent of people who are infected with the virus will not show any symptoms, which range from mild irritation and stupor to coma and death.

    8. Alexander the Great may have died from a mosquito bite
    Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia and conqueror of the Persian Empire, never lost a battle and is considered one of history's most successful commanders, but he may have met his final defeat at the hands (or mouth) of a mosquito infected with West Nile virus. A paper published in 2003 argues that a lone mosquito infected with the virus was his ultimate undoing.

    9. They’re petite yet pokey
    An average mosquito weighs 2 to 2.5 milligrams, which would seem to enable them to fly more swiftly, but not so. Mosquitoes fly at speeds between 1 and 1.5 miles per hour, making them one of the slowest flying insects of all.

    10. Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals in the world
    Beware the dangers of tigers, sharks, snakes? Actually, fear the mosquito, the most lethal creature on the planet. More deaths are caused by mosquitoes than any other animal, thanks to bugs' aid in spreading malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis. A single malarial mosquito can infect more than 100 people; and according to the World Health Organization, malaria kills a child every 45 seconds in Africa.

    So there you have it, now what do we do to protect ourselves and family from the pesky little things:

    1. Don’t give them a place to breed. Eliminate standing water.
    2. They rest and hide during daylight hours in vegetation so keep your grass short and weeds etc trimmed.
    3. When going outdoors protect yourself and children with the use of a recommended repellant there are four repellants that have a been approved by the EPA: DEET, Picardin, oil of Lemon Eucalypyus, and IR3535.
    4. If entertaining or just relaxing outdoors place a fan or two on the deck as mosquitoes have a tough time in moving air.
    5. Protect yourself from being bitten and eliminate where they breed with the proper safety training.

    Further There are other insects you’ll want to protect yourself from and avoid like bees wasps and spiders, all of which present cause for concern to you, or someone you love. Now go out and make it a safe summer.

  • Safety Doesn’t Take Off the Fourth of July

    This past weekend we celebrated the 1st birthday of one of our grandchildren, but in addition we were treated to a wonderful parade and fireworks in Thiensville WI. It was completely “Americana.” The parade was complete with the American Legion color Guard, clowns, local, and high school marching bands, a band from Great Lakes Naval Academy, bag pipers, old cars, politicians, fire trucks and cotton candy vendors. Fireworks completed the day as we sat on a hillside overlooking the river and park where they were celebrating their annual pre Fourth of July civic celebration. I felt like I was in a story from mythical “Lake Wobegon” as told by Garrison Keillor.

    I would like to take this opportunity along with the team at www.SafetyInstruction.com to fourth of julyacknowledge and thank those brave souls who sought to find freedom on a new continent, a new land. It’s difficult enough to make a decision to move and buy a new house, but think about moving your family to an entirely new land. This country was not only dangerous, but getting there was even more treacherous, and life threatening. The only thing it promised was a new start. They all came for different reasons. Many came for religious freedom, some for farmland, some just for adventure, and gold. By 1770 more than 2 million people lived and worked in this great new land, but political oppression followed them here as well. On July fourth in the summer of 1776 thirteen colonies which were established had just about enough, and declared their independence from England. They declared their independence fought for and earned it.  We celebrate their resolve, the Declaration of Independence” and their world changing decision. A great nation was born, and we are a part of what it has to offer; -- Opportunity – Yes there continues to be struggles and some political challenges but where else can you do what you do. Work and live where you want. Practice your religion, have open debate, and guaranteed rights, as outlined by our preamble and constitution. Today we live in a mostly free and safe environment; it is our responsibility to protect not only this land but also the constitution which continues to serve all interests in its simplest form.

    One more item of discussion before you enjoy your holiday. Keep it safe. If you have fireworks, use them properly and within the limits of local ordinances, if you’re grilling out be prepared with your fire extinguisher, Drive carefully to and from home there will be a lot of traffic out there. Make sure your first aid kit is up to date and well stocked, as well as sunscreen, and insect repellant. Now get out your flag and display it where everybody can be proud.

  • Skid Steer Loader Like a Swiss Army Knife

    A skid steer is not a very complex piece of equipment, yet it is one of the most diverse Skid Steerworkhorses in the construction, logging, farming and landscape industry. It reminds me of a “Swiss army knife” several tools all in one pocket. I’ll admit this is a topic I’m a little short on experience, other than just plain common sense. So I’ve invited an expert who is involved in the manufacturing sector, building attachments for skid steers. Tom O’Brien is a partner on the sales and marketing team for Berlon Industries a “made in the USA” manufacturer who provides a wide array of attachments for the skid steer industry, including for www.skidsteers.com . Below you’ll find Tom’s thoughts on Skid Steer loader safety. If you would like to contact Tom direct, he can be e-mailed at marketing@berlon.com.

    Skid Steer Loader Safety

    "A skid steer loader is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment on farms and job sites because it can be easily maneuvered into tight spaces. Adding to its versatility is the multitude of attachments that are available to complete specific type jobs.

    Due to the nature of the design, and the fact that the machine is working, the center of gravity constantly shifts depending on the job, terrain, and the attachment being used. Generally the weight of the skid steer loader is concentrated at the rear of the machine between the wheels. While working and moving items with a bucket or attachment the center of gravity moves forward and higher.

    With this in mind there are several key safety factors to be considered while operating a skid loader.

    1.) Carefully review the loader manufacturer’s instructions and limitations prior to operating
    2.) Be sure you are in the operator’s seat when you start the engine
    3.) Never allow passengers on the machine with you
    4.) Wear your seatbelt and keep it fastened at all times
    5.) Carry your load as low as possible at all times
    6.) Never lift, swing, or move a load over another person
    7.) Avoid sudden stops, starts, or turns
    8.) Never park a skid loader on a hill or slope
    9.) Be careful not to overload the bucket, attachment or your machine
    10.) Always keep your hands, arms, legs, and head inside the operator’s cab
    11.) Never bypass or modify safety devices
    12.) Be sure to identify any overhead utility wires in your work area and avoid them
    13.) If you are digging know where all underground utilities are located
    14.) Never operate a skid steer loader unless you have been authorized and properly trained
    15.) Always wear snug-fitting clothing that will not catch on the levers
    16.) Know your blind spots because in those blind spots could be people, vehicles, equipment, or buildings.
    17.) Never use drugs, alcohol, or medication while operating a skid steer loader as these can and will impair your ability to operate or react

    Keeping your employees safe should be job #1. Following these recommendations will allow you and those around you, to stay safe while working on the job site."

    So there you have it. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Skid Steer Safety should be high on the list of priorities for any jobsite supervisor if he wants to make sure his employees are not only qualified operators, but he can also be confident that they are able to return to their families after the workday is over. You might also want to visit this link for further information  https://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib011209.html

  • Grilling Safety and Fire Extinguisher Training : It's Worth Repeating

    This is a blog I wrote last year with some additional information and a new story

    The other Day I got a call from my wife. She was going to start the gas grill and needed a few instructions. Well of course the auto igniter doesn’t work. Normally I do the grilling, and because the grill is close to seeing its last barbeque, there are a few tricks to getting it started. All was going well, and she asked while igniting it if the cover should be down. Normally I don’t get too animated, but this time was an exception. I could find my wife in heaven, (I think), the grill cover in the next county, and the house, well who knows? Time for some Fire Extinguisher Training, and some safety instruction.

    So here is another chapter to our family grilling history. My Son who now has two young grillingboys of his own, has a beautiful gas grill hooked up directly to the house gas supply. We were on the deck in the morning following an evening of grilling out and celebrating a birthday. The coffee was good but thought that one of us might have had something that didn't necessarily agree with them and I wasn't admitting anything. The odor just wasn't going away when we discovered the 2 year old figured out that there were a lot of neat knobs on dad's new grill. The good news is nobody smokes, and it's a funny story, but the gas was on overnight, and potentially could have been disastrous. The new rule is: the gas valve is closed and checked before lights out. No time out was issued by the judge (Mom) but the aspiring young grill master is on extended supervision until he's 7.

    Grilling facts from NFPA

    Be sure to use safe grilling practices as the peak months for grilling fires approach – June and July. Gas grills constitute a higher risk, having been involved in an annual average of 7,100 home fires in 2006-2010, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in an annual average of 1,200 home fires.

    Facts & figures

    In 2006-2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,600 home and outside fires. These 8,600 fires caused an annual average of 10 civilian deaths, 140 civilian injuries and $75 million in direct property damage.

    More than one-quarter (28%) of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, 28% started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and 6% started in the kitchen.

    Flammable or combustible gas or liquid was the item first ignited in almost half of home outdoor grill fires. In almost half (46%) of the home outdoor fires in which grills were involved, 53% of the outside gas grills, and 26% of gas grill structure fires, the fire started when a flammable or combustible gas or liquid caught fire.

    Source: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment," by Marty Ahrens, November 2012.

    So maybe some grilling safety tips and practices would be appropriate here:

    1.) Start out with a clean grilling surface, if Gas and there is a deflector plate in the grill, take some time to clean that as well, grease, and a little left over chicken skin build up can cause issues for you.

    2.) If your grill has a small grease collector underneath make sure that it is emptied.

    3.) Keep a Fire extinguisher handy at all times class B, ABC, or BC, and get some fire Extinguisher training

    4.) Understand your grill and know how to start it, whether gas or Charcoal. If you have a charcoal grill always use recommended starter fluid or electric starter. NEVER use gasoline!!

    5.) Have a pair of grill mitts I guess you would call that PPE (personal protective equipment) along with appropriate grilling utensils which would keep your hands away from the heat.

    6.) Keep Children and pets a safe distance from the grill, even after the job is done as the grill will remain hot for some time afterward.

    7.) If using charcoal, keep a bottle of water with a trigger sprayer at the ready, small flare ups can be handled with water. You can use this method with gas as well.

    8.) Know where the Gas shutoff is located. If there is a fire in the grill itself, turn off the gas and close the grill lid.

    9.) Be attentive to your grilling, relax with a root beer. Leaving the scene only invites disaster, and burned burgers

    10.) If your grill is on fire, don’t move it. Movement supplies oxygen to the fire and will cause your fire to burn hotter. Movement of course is also a bad idea considering the instability of the grill and surrounding surface.

    11.) Keep your grill a safe distance from a house, structure, or vehicle. You don’t need to invite the fire dept.to dinner. Also make sure to clear the clutter away from the grill to prevent Slips Trips and Falls. So sure you’ll need to do a survey for site safety.

    12.) Keep your phone handy, if you are unable to control your fire call 911 immediately

    If you need more information regarding fire extinguisher training or fire prevention visit us
    http://www.safetyinstruction.com/fire-prevention.html

    So there you have it. Summer is too short not to enjoy it . So enjoy it safely, and don’t become a NFPA statistic. PS. I like mine medium rare.

     

    .

  • One Battle You Didn’t Choose: Cancer and the Chemicals that Cause It

    My best guess is that just about everybody reading this blog article has been affected by cancer either directly or indirectly. I know that guess isn’t very scientific, or actuarial, but it sure will be close. It’s the one diagnosis everybody fears. After a diagnosis leaves you reeling from the unknown, and “it can’t be happening to me” feeling, the next two questions are: what are my chances for survival, and where did it come from? The feeling of doom just seems to settle in until your Oncologist can help you understand what will happen next. You’ll need to listen to your doctor and trust his/her experience; you might also want to consider a second opinion.  The other question…..Where did it come from?....... If not from heredity, then the next culprit is carcinogens.carcinogens

    carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in
    causing cancer. This definition is offered by Wikipedia. I’m not a chemist to know and understand the science of how it works. Additionally they offer Dioxins and dioxin-like compoundsbenzenekeponeEDB, and asbestos which have all been classified as carcinogenic.[6] As far back as the 1930s, industrial smoke and tobacco smoke were identified as sources of dozens of carcinogens, including benzo[a]pyrene, tobacco-specific nitrosamines such as nitrosonornicotine, and reactive aldehydes such as formaldehyde—which is also a hazard in embalming and making plasticsVinyl chloride, from which PVC is manufactured, is a carcinogen and thus a hazard in PVC production. That’s a lot of chemistry to deal with. Here’s the point we want to make. There are roughly 20,000 deaths annually associated with occupational hazards.  That is a number we shouldn’t be happy with. Training is available, and as an employer that training should be made available. An employer should also make a concerted effort to identify any carcinogens associated with the process of or results of the products produced in his plant, and train accordingly.

    Cancer did affect my family as I recently lost a brother to this ruthless disease. He was employed in a lab at a paper mill. He was only 60 and getting ready to retire, his wife is now a widow. “”Father’s day” is a painful reminder instead of a celebration, and holidays are empty. We are a large family in a small community, and our faith does help take the edge off. As a safety advocate I would strongly urge you to take a look at your safety program at work, and make sure it includes “Carcinogen safety”. If your company doesn’t have a course, you can take one “on line.” I realize we can’t avoid all, or legislate carcinogens out of existence, but we need to make an effort to understand what and where they are.  I would also ask all of you to consider supporting cancer research, or families who struggle with the cost of fighting this formidable opponent.

  • Hiring Summer Help? Give Them a Good Start

    The old saying “It doesn’t matter how you start, it’s how you finish that counts”. Well in life summer helpterms that is probably true. The other side of this conversation however is, “It does matter how you start”. This is the season for short term employees, specifically “Summer Help” it’s almost a tradition. It gives students a chance to make some money to help fund their education, or that car they need to get back and forth from home to school. It also reminds them of the reasons they are in school, so that by Labor Day they go back to school with a renewed sense of purpose. At the same time we also want to send them back with all of their fingers, toes, eyes, hands and feet. So it’s imperative that when they are hired we start them off with the proper safety orientation.

    As a student, in a different lifetime, I worked in a variety of jobs, which added to my life experience. I was a custodial worker, grounds keeper, grocery clerk and manager, hamburger flipper, and painter. As a custodial worker I learned the fine art of stripping sealing and waxing floors, moving and stacking chairs and desks @$1.10 per hour. To be honest learning how to use a floor machine, or swing machine as some call it, was a bit of a challenge. I didn’t have much guidance and it’s not as easy as it looks especially on a slippery floor.  A broken chair and a chewed up electrical cord later I was good to go. Yes of course I learned how to clean bathrooms as well and the chemicals that went with it. Not much hazcom, or “Right to know” training there either. I took some of these skills with me when I worked in the grocery store. There were some new hazards I quickly understood for example, the proper use of a box cutter. Today I tell my own children, that, if worse comes to worse, they can identify me by the scar on my left index finger planted there by the errant use of a box cutter. My point in all of this in moving forward, is that today there are several opportunities including construction, or manufacturing, for young adults to not only add to their resume and life skills, but for employers to give them the necessary tools to learn how to manage their work safely with proper training, and to take that lesson with them wherever they go as well.

    Employers do have a responsibility according the OSHA’s general duty clause (Pub. Law 91-596 Section5(a)(1)) to provide their employees with a safe place to work as free from recognized hazards as is reasonable, and prudent. Employers must point out the hazards and train in how to recognize and avoid them during the course of the workday. This will also include the use proper PPE as well. The general duty clause covers hazardous conditions or practices not covered by an OSHA standard. There is so much more information available today than there ever was before, so give your summer help the training, and confidence they need to do the work safely and properly so you can send them back to school better than they came to you. Safety Orientation is good for everybody.

  • Who Gives a Care : Safety for Care Givers

    “VENI, VIDI, VICI”, “I came, I Saw, I conquered”, a Latin phrase attributed to Julius Caesar. Baby Boomers are retiring in droves. They bring with them not just their dreams for retirement, but also the health issues which accompany an aging population. This does unfortunately create a strain on an already overburdened healthcare system. It does however and has offered an opportunity for another industry to bloom and grow, “In Home Care” In home care, gives patients the opportunity to stay at home in familiar loving surroundings which are more conducive  to living with their health concerns. This scenario works well under the care of qualified CNAs (certified nursing assistants) and nursing professionals trained for this environment. Their training includes the use of proper equipment for safe lifting, blood borne pathogens, needle sticks, wound care, and more including training for the combative patient. This training keeps both the care giver and patient safe.

    As a longtime volunteer in a local nursing home, I can tell you that the care giver does caregiversindeed make a difference. As care givers we must always remember that we are entering their world, their space. They didn’t ask to be here, especially in the condition we find them. They are separated from their memories by Alzheimers and Dementia. This includes the recognition of family and friends. They are separated from their dignity by an aging unreliable body.  I remember one Sunday morning knocking on the door of an elderly Alzheimer patient and walking in only to be greeted with a mean right hook, I wasn’t quick enough to duck. He saw me as an intruder. I was quickly humbled by the experience and learned a valuable lesson. I would often bring my children with me, and found that patients quickly warmed up to them, and another valuable lesson learned, for all of us. My children have all since grown, and now my grandchildren accompany me on my visits. Additionally my wife has since become a licensed CNA.  Proper communication in a loving gentle way included treating them with the dignity they’ve earned and deserve.  Recognizing their space, their needs, and their safety is essential. Communicating with family is also important, as trust is established, and the focus remains on the needs of your loved one.

    When and if the time comes, Please consider “in Home Care” if it’s possible. There are however several other options today including, assisted living, and good qualified nursing homes as well. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and check credentials. Please also make sure your wishes or the wishes of your loved one are known, and documented to protect your rights and the rights of the family using  a “Durable Power of Attorney”. Finally, please consider volunteering in a care center, or visiting a neighbor or friend who might be trapped by Dementia or Alzheimers.  If you know a care giver please thank them for their service as they are often the ones most forgotten.  If you are one Thank You!! Because you give a Care.

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