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Automatic Electronic Defibrillators (AEDs) appear to be on their way to becoming as common a sight in buildings and gathering places as fire extinguishers. The potentially life-saving devices can be found in a growing number of schools, churches, courthouses and businesses – and with good reason. CPR from a trained bystander can double or even triple a heart attack victim's odds of survival.

Yet the results of two recent surveys commissioned by the American Heart Association suggest there is a gap between the people’s appreciation of these potentially live saving techniques and their ability and willingness to use them.

One survey found that while many in the workplace recognize the value of training, their good intentions haven't necessarily meant an increase in the number of people trained in comprehensive first aid, which involves both CPR and the AED use. Perhaps even more telling, 56 percent of respondents did not even know where an AED could be found where they work. 

This first survey included polled 500 general industry/labor employees, most of them working in construction or manufacturing. Forty-six percent indicated that their employers offered no first aid or CPR+AED training.

More than a third indicated that they had not received first aid or CPR+AED training through their current employer.
Forty percent said they did not believe it was necessary to learn the location of AEDs in public places such as airports and large-scale public venues.

At the same time, most of these same employees believe they or someone in the workplace will know how to perform CPR+AED or first aid in the event of an emergency.

The other AHA-commissioned survey collected responses from more than 1,000 environmental health and safety managers and human resource managers from a variety of industries.

Their responses suggested they, too, appreciate the value of workplace training during or outside of business hours: About a third indicated that someone’s life had been saved inside or outside of the workplace as a result of proper first aid and CPR+AED training from their organization.

At Workplace Safety & Health Company, we are committed to helping to make workplaces safer by offering training in First Aid/CPR (including AED and bloodborne pathogens), as well as:
-Aerial lift safety training
-Lockout/Tagout
-HAZMAT/HAZWOPER
-Confined Space Entry and Rescue
-Asbestos Operations and Maintenance
-Fall Protection
Whatever your workplace safety concern, contact us – we’re here to help.

Tagged in: AED CPR workplace safety

The number of accidents involving roof and rib falls or coal bursts has significantly reduced. That's according to statistics compiled by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, which also found that such incidents remain the leading cause of injuries in the mining industry.

Since 2013, roof falls led to the deaths of five continuous mining machine operators and injured 83 other operators.
In response, MSHA launched the Preventive Roof/Rib Outreach Program, which runs through September and focuses on continuous mining machine operator safety.

Read entire article - https://www.msha.gov/news-media/press-releases/2017/07/06/roof-fall-accidents-decline-remain-leading-cause-coal-miner

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October is National Indoor Air Quality Month, an observance aimed at drawing attention to the quality of what we breathe every day. It’s comes at an appropriate time, as the outdoor weather starts to turn colder and many of us will tend to spend an increasing amount of time outside of work by staying indoors.

Many people spend much of their working hours indoors year round, of course. In recent years, public health authorities have taken a critical look at what we are breathing at the office. Not surprisingly, a growing body of research suggests that poor air quality has a negative impact on health and productivity. In the 1980s, the term Sick Building Syndrome was coined to describe multiple health issues linked to improperly designed and/or ventilated buildings. These include ailments such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, or eye/throat irritation – symptoms that may cease after an occupant leaves the building.

Studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that sought to compare the risks of environmental threats to public health show that indoor air pollution from sources such as secondhand smoke, radon, organic compounds, and biological pollutants are consistently among the top five factors.

In general, most indoor air quality problems in the workplace can be traced to six main sources:
-Inadequate Ventilation – This involves lack of adequate fresh air and uneven distribution of fresh air within a structure.
-Humidity and Temperature – These concerns involve levels outside the normal range of human comfort.
-Inside Contamination – Possible sources of contamination include office equipment such as copy machines, office and cleaning supplies, and chemicals that are stored indoors.
-Outside Contamination – As the name suggests, this includes contaminants brought into a work environment, such as by means of an improper air intake or changes in wind conditions (for example, exhaust gases drawn into a ventilation system).
-Microbial Contamination – This is typically associated with water leaks, water infiltration, increased humidity indoors, humidifiers, and contaminated ventilation ductwork – places that can harbor and encourage the growth of microbes.
-New Building Materials – The results from building materials that have just been installed (the familiar phenomenon of gasses emitted by new carpeting is one example). In new construction, processes known as “bakeout and “flushout” employ an unoccupied building’s heating, venting and air conditioning system to expedite the process of venting these gasses.

Fortunately, technology can also be employed to monitor and assess air quality in a building long after everyone has moved in.

At Workplace Safety & Health Co., our primary concern is to help our customers reduce injuries and illnesses while promoting their profitability through sound health and safety management practices. That includes helping to identify and manage risks posed by air quality. Whether your workplace is indoors, outdoors, or both, our consultants can determine air quality exposures through monitoring, mapping, fact-finding surveys and evaluations that include qualitative exposure assessments, and air monitoring surveys. So call us. And start breathing easier.

The NIST Mass Spectral Library — one of the world's largest, most widely used databases used to identify unknown chemical compounds — just got bigger. In June, molecular fingerprints from more than 25,000 compounds were added to the library, bringing the total to more than 265,000.

Among the compounds whose fingerprints are included in this update are many dangerous drugs, according to NIST. They include dozens of synthetic cannabinoids and more than 30 types of fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that is driving an epidemic of overdoses nationwide.

Read entire article - https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2017/06/nist-upgrades-widely-used-database-molecular-fingerprints

Posted by on in Uncategorized

While a desk or computer workstation might not seem like a place fraught with health risks, it's still important to be aware of the ergonomic hazards that may be lurking there.

OSHA, which has something to say on most things related to occupational safety, states that "employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workplace for their workers." That includes desks and computer work areas. And the agency has much to offer in the way of guidance for that particular work environment.

According to OSHA, "A well-designed and appropriately-adjusted desk will provide adequate clearance for your legs, allow proper placement of computer components and accessories, and minimize awkward postures and exertions."

The agency goes on to offer the following advice on installation, setup, and configuration of workstations that are both comfortable and productive.

Desk or Work Surface Areas

The Potential Hazards

  • Limited space on the work surface may cause users to place components and devices in undesirable positions. This placement may lead to awkward postures when reaching for a pointer/mouse or looking at a monitor that is placed to the side.
  • Inadequate clearance or space under the work surface may result from poor design or excessive clutter. Regardless of the cause, it can result in discomfort and poor performance.

The Possible Solutions
•Work surface depth should allow you to:
•View the monitor at a distance of at least 20 inches (50 cm), and
•Position the monitor to achieve the appropriate viewing angle, which is generally directly in front of you.
•Using a corner rather than a straight run of desk may provide additional space and depth to accommodate large monitors or multiple items.
•The location of frequently-used devices (keyboard, phone, and mouse) should remain within the repetitive access (primary work zone)

The Potential Hazard: Edges
Some desks and computer equipment have hard, angled leading edges that come in contact with a user's arm or wrist. This can create contact stress, affecting nerves and blood vessels, possibly causing tingling and sore fingers.
Possible Solutions
To minimize contact stress,
•Pad table edges with inexpensive materials such as pipe insulation,
•Use a wrist rest, and
•Buy furniture with rounded desktop edges.
Areas Under the Desk or Work Surface

The Potential Hazards:
•Inadequate clearance or space under the work surface may result from poor design or excessive clutter. Regardless of the cause it can result in discomfort and performance inefficiencies, such as the following:
•Shoulder, back, and neck pain due to users sitting too far away from computer components, causing them to reach to perform computer tasks; and
•Generalized fatigue, circulation restrictions, and contact stress due to constriction of movement and inability to frequently change postures.

Possible Solutions
Provide, to the extent possible, adequate clearance space for users to frequently change working postures. This space should remain free of items such as files, CPUs, books, and storage.
Other tips on good working positions, what to look for when selecting workstation components, and guidance on maintaining a healthy workstation environment are available in OSHA's "Computer Workstations eTool" at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/

Tagged in: OSHA

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