Monday, September 28, 2009

Daylight-saving time leads to workplace injuries: study

Switching to daylight-saving time gives workers more daylight hours, but also increases the rate of workplace injury, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology.

As part of the study (.pdf file), researchers from Michigan State University in East Lansing examined NIOSH mine injury data of U.S. miners from 1983 to 2006 and conducted telephone interviews with 41,204 workers sampled from the general public. They found that following such an advance, employees slept 40 fewer minutes, experienced 5.7 percent more workplace injuries and lost 67.7 percent more workdays because of injuries.

Switching back to standard time in the fall showed no significant effects.

Source: National Safety Council

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Traffic Safety Matters

As part of our ODOT Transportation Safety Division Oregon Employers for Traffic Safety grant we publish a quarterly newsletter called Safety Matters, which focuses on a variety of traffic safety issues. While this newsletter emphasizes Oregon issues and laws there is something for everyone interested in reducing the #1 killer of American workers - automobile crashes.

For more information on how to protect yourself, your workers and your family on the road you can also register for the Tuesday, September 29th OETS Conference in Portland, OR. It free, so sign up today.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This morning the Washington State Patrol distributed a joint news release, collaboratively developed by WSP, the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission: Highway Fatalities Lowest Since 1955—Deaths trending steadily toward “Target Zero” goal.

(Olympia)—Traffic fatalities in Washington have hit their lowest level since 1955, according to new data from the Washington Department of Transportation and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. The news is encouraging to state officials who are working toward “Target Zero,” the goal of having zero traffic-related fatalities or serious injuries by 2030.
To date, 522 deaths have been reported for 2008. That’s the lowest since 461 people died in 1955. The 2008 count will not be final until Dec. 31, and it’s possible a small number of delayed reports could still be received.

At least some of the good news is attributed to increased usage of seat belts. The number of deaths in which the victim was unbelted has dropped by more than a third since 2000.
“We have been strictly enforcing the state’s seat belt law, and that appears to be paying dividends,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “There’s no simpler way to protect yourself from ‘the other driver’s mistake’ than to buckle your seat belt.”

Washington has a 96.5 percent seatbelt usage rate, third-highest in the nation. Only Michigan and Hawaii have higher seatbelt use rates.

Along with enforcement, the other three components of Target Zero are education, engineering and emergency medical services.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission funds extra enforcement through grants to law enforcement agencies. The Commission also funds educational outreach, sometimes including radio or TV ads that alert drivers to ongoing patrols.

“To reach Washington’s goal of zero traffic deaths we need to use proven strategies,” said Lowell Porter, Director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. “Combining enforcement with education is just that—a proven strategy that moves the needle toward fewer traffic deaths.”

The engineering component of Target Zero involves occupant protection built into vehicles, and highway engineering. Well-engineered roads reduce fatalities by being more forgiving of driver error.

“We all see these trends as very encouraging and believe, with drivers’ help, we can meet our Target Zero goal,” said Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond. “Safety is our priority when we build, improve and maintain roads. We are committed to reducing collisions, one of the leading causes of congestion."

Chief Batiste also praised emergency medical responders for their success in the Target Zero effort.

“My troopers are witnessing miracles at the side of the road,” Batiste said. “Paramedics are saving people who just a few years ago would have certainly become statistics. We marvel at their ability to pull injured people back from the brink of death.”

There was initial concern that the recent sharp drop in fatalities might have been solely caused by a reduction in driving attributed to high gasoline prices and the recession. However when agencies measured the number of fatalities against total miles driven the news remained good. “Fatality Rate” is the number traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT.)

Washington’s traffic fatality rate in 2008 was .94 (point-94) deaths per 100 million VMT. That’s down slightly from 1.00 in 2007, and about half the 1990 rate of 1.85 deaths.
Not only are there fewer deaths, but the number of collisions is also trending down. In 1990 there were nearly 2,500 fatal or serious injury collisions. By 2008, that number had dropped to just over 1,000, even though miles traveled increased by about a third.

All three officials were quick to caution that there could be bumps in the statistical road ahead. They warned against getting too alarmed, or too excited, by any individual year. All three will monitor long-term trends to determine if adjustments are needed in order to reach the goal of Target Zero.

Sgt. Freddy Williams, WSP, (360) 596-4014
Alice Fiman, WSDOT, (360) 705-7080
M.J. Haught, WTSC, (360) 725-9879

Monday, September 21, 2009

ASSE Scholarship Opportunities

Dear ASSE Member:
The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation is pleased to present the 2010 Scholarship Program for students pursuing degrees in occupational safety, health and the environment. This year we are offering more than $100,000 in scholarships and professional development grants.

Visit for a list of awards, to download an application and to review our most "Frequently Asked Questions".

Applications are due December 1, 2009 and award recipients will be announced on or around April 1, 2010.

We encourage you to apply, so be sure to review the eligibility guidelines first.

Good luck!

Mary Goranson
Manager, ASSE Foundation

Friday, September 18, 2009

Driving and texting

The State of Utah has banned texting while driving, since May of this year. This video clip is the history behind the law. Simply put; Don't attempt to text message while driving.

Gov't releases flu preparedness guide for small businesses

To follow up on our September 9th Swine Flu and You posting...Government officials this week released a guide (.pdf file) designed to help small businesses prepare for the H1N1 influenza virus.

The guide includes tools small businesses can use to plan for a flu outbreak, which may cause increases in absenteeism, restricted service capabilities or supply chain disruptions.

"This guide will help America's small businesses maintain continuity of operations and resiliency as the fall flu season approaches," Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said in a press release.

In related news, the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved a new H1N1 flu vaccine. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said the vaccine should be widely available to the public by mid-October.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Plan for October's Drive Safely Work Week

Whether your employees drive for work or just to and from work, their time on the road is the most dangerous part of their day. Help your employees focus on safe driving during Drive Safely Work Week, October 5-9, 2009.

In today’s lean business environment protecting your employees from traffic crashes is more important than ever. Every employee makes a contribution that helps your organization run smoothly. Employers across the Northwest and the nation are taking this opportunity to support the safety and health of their employees by preventing traffic related deaths and injuries. For resources and ideas on how to get your managment team and employees involved:
  • visit our website and learn more about why all of your employees should attend an EverSafe Driving program training session. This is a dynamic training session which we can bring to you.

  • If you are in Oregon or SW Washington reserve you spot for the Tuesday, September 29, 2009 Oregon Employers for Traffic Safety Conference in Portland - Its FREE! Click here to register online.

  • For Washington employers - Save this Date - Thursday, May 20, 2010 for ESC's Washington Traffic Safety Conference. Featuring topics that can help every employer and speakers knowledgeable in a variety of industries, each year this conference just keeps getting better. Keep an eye on ESC's website for more information on this conference in the coming months.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Oregon Employers for Traffic Safety Conference

Evergreen Safety Council is hosting a FREE 1-Day Traffic Safety Conference through a generous Oregon Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Division grant. The facility has been donated by NECA/IBEW on Airport Way in Portalnd, OR.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do you have employees that drive? During work? To and from work? Learn from industry experts on how you can help reduce the #1 cause of workplace fatalities – Crashes! This can save your company money and save your employees lives.

Reserve you spot today for this dynamic free training event! Click here to register online

State of the State
Troy Costales, ODOT Transportation Safety Division
DUI/Ignition Interlock Devices
Jerry Stanton, Ignition Interlock Systems
Speed and Aggressive Driving
Jim Pierce, Oregon State Police
Oregon’s New Cell Phone Law
Gene Rushing, Evergreen Safety Council
Managing Our Driving Behaviors
Syd Muzzy, Traffic Safety Education Consultant
Sleep Issues and Driving
Dr. Gerald Rich, Pacific Sleep Program
Driving Through Work Zones
Dave White, D&D Safety
New Technology: Onboard Advisor
Michael Slattery and Tim Haugaard, Liberty Mutual

Vendors include ACTS Oregon, CROET, Liberty Mutual, OR-OSHA, NO Zone Truck and more...

Reserve you spot today for this dynamic free training event! Click here to register online

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Central Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Conference

The theme for this year’s conference is Safety and Health Makes $ense: Investing Wisely in Today’s Economy. We are looking forward to the September 16 & 17, 2009 conference held at the Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, Oregon.

ESC is hosting a booth at this conference. If you live or work in the Bend/Redmond area, we encourage you to stop by our booth and meet Executive Director Tom Odegaard and Oregon Safety Trainer Gene Rushing.

Gene Rushing will also be presenting a safety information session entitled The Seven Essential Elements of an Effective Safety Program on Thursday, September 17, from 1-4 p.m. The information given in this presentation will provide attendees with "how to" applications and ideas that can be implemented in the workplace within a short time.

In addition, the Central Oregon Safety & Health Association (COSHA) will hold a golf tournament on Tuesday, September 15. For more information about the tournament, call Cory Stengel at 541-388-6068 or visit .

If you have more questions about the conference or would like to register please contact Sharell Lien, Conference Coordinator at 503-947-7433 or Marilyn Dye Conference Specialist, Oregon OSHA at 503-947-7441.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Safety & Health Solutions Newsletter - October Edition

Evergreen Safety Council produces a monthly newsletter covering a variety of safety topics. Each month we will provide a link here to the online PDF.

If you would prefer to sign up to receive an electronic copy via email or hard copy via the mail, please click here. This link will also take you to a full archive with over four years of past issues.

So pour yourself a cup of coffee and read all about what's going on in the world of safety & health.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September is National Preparedness Month

Emergency Response Planning for Work and Family
National Preparedness Month, which takes place each September, encourages Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, communities and organizations. Evergreen Safety Council and the National Safety Council urges you to take two simple steps which can go a long way toward managing an unexpected crisis.

Develop an Emergency Response Plan
Emergency response plans should reflect the kinds of disasters most likely to happen where you live and work. Having a plan can help prepare you to communicate with family members and co-workers during an emergency.

- Develop a list of emergency contact information for family members and neighbors.
- Practice evacuation drills, including primary and alternate escape routes.
- Identify who will assist young children, older adults and the physically challenged.
- Ask local officials for your community’s emergency response plan and coordinate it with yours.

- Determine who has what role to play during a crisis. For example, who decides when there is an emergency, who makes sure everyone has evacuated the building and who decides when the emergency is over? Do you have a certified Safety & Health Specialist on staff?
- Establish a location for people to meet and appoint a person to be in charge of taking attendance to make sure every person is accounted for.
- Appoint and train emergency responders for first aid, CPR and AED in different parts of your building.
- Contact Evergreen Safety Council. We can help with all of your safety training needs. We can come to you for site safety evaluations and to help you develop your preparedness plan. We are here to help.

Join Safe Communities America
You also can get involved in emergency planning for your community and organization by joining Safe Communities America, an NSC initiative that promotes safety and injury prevention across the United States.

National Preparedness Month is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security’s "Ready" campaign and Citizen Corps.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Swine Flu and You

On this Page
· 2009 H1N1 Flu
· 2009 H1N1 Flu in Humans
· Prevention & Treatment
· Contamination & Cleaning
· Exposures Not Thought to Spread 2009 H1N1 Flu

2009 H1N1 Flu
What is 2009 H1N1 (swine flu)?2009 H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” early on) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of 2009 H1N1 flu was underway.

Why is 2009 H1N1 virus sometimes called “swine flu”?
This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and bird (avian) genes and human genes. Scientists call this a "quadruple reassortant" virus.

2009 H1N1 Flu in Humans
Are there human infections with 2009 H1N1 virus in the U.S.?Yes. Human infections with the new H1N1 virus are ongoing in the United States. Most people who have become ill with this new virus have recovered without requiring medical treatment. CDC routinely works with states to collect, compile and analyze information about influenza, and has done the same for the new H1N1 virus since the beginning of the outbreak. This information is presented in a weekly report, called FluView.

Is 2009 H1N1 virus contagious?
CDC has determined that 2009 H1N1 virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human.

How does 2009 H1N1 virus spread?
Spread of 2009 H1N1 virus is thought to occur in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?
The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Severe illnesses and death has occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.

How severe is illness associated with 2009 H1N1 flu virus?
Illness with the new H1N1 virus has ranged from mild to severe. While most people who have been sick have recovered without needing medical treatment, hospitalizations and deaths from infection with this virus have occurred.

In seasonal flu, certain people are at “high risk” of serious complications. This includes people 65 years and older, children younger than five years old, pregnant women, and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions. About 70 percent of people who have been hospitalized with this 2009 H1N1 virus have had one or more medical conditions previously recognized as placing people at “high risk” of serious seasonal flu-related complications. This includes pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease, asthma and kidney disease.

One thing that appears to be different from seasonal influenza is that adults older than 64 years do not yet appear to be at increased risk of 2009 H1N1-related complications thus far. CDC laboratory studies have shown that no children and very few adults younger than 60 years old have existing antibody to 2009 H1N1 flu virus; however, about one-third of adults older than 60 may have antibodies against this virus. It is unknown how much, if any, protection may be afforded against 2009 H1N1 flu by any existing antibody.

How does 2009 H1N1 flu compare to seasonal flu in terms of its severity and infection rates?
With seasonal flu, we know that seasons vary in terms of timing, duration and severity. Seasonal influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Each year, in the United States, on average 36,000 people die from flu-related complications and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related causes. Of those hospitalized, 20,000 are children younger than 5 years old. Over 90% of deaths and about 60 percent of hospitalization occur in people older than 65.

When the 2009 H1N1 outbreak was first detected in mid-April 2009, CDC began working with states to collect, compile and analyze information regarding the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak, including the numbers of confirmed and probable cases and the ages of these people. The information analyzed by CDC supports the conclusion that 2009 H1N1 flu has caused greater disease burden in people younger than 25 years of age than older people. At this time, there are few cases and few deaths reported in people older than 64 years old, which is unusual when compared with seasonal flu. However, pregnancy and other previously recognized high risk medical conditions from seasonal influenza appear to be associated with increased risk of complications from this 2009 H1N1. These underlying conditions include asthma, diabetes, suppressed immune systems, heart disease, kidney disease, neurocognitive and neuromuscular disorders and pregnancy.

How long can an infected person spread this virus to others?
People infected with seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu shed virus and may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5 to 7 days after. This can be longer in some people, especially children and people with weakened immune systems and in people infected with the new H1N1 virus.

Prevention & Treatment
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

There is no vaccine available right now to protect against 2009 H1N1 virus. However, a 2009 H1N1 vaccine is currently in production and may be ready for the public in the fall. As always, a vaccine will be available to protect against seasonal influenza There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.

Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners* are also effective.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
· Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
· If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

Other important actions that you can take are:
· Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
· Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home for a week or so; a supply of over-the-counter medicines, alcohol-based hand rubs,* tissues and other related items might could be useful and help avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick and contagious.

What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus through coughing or sneezing?
If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

If I have a family member at home who is sick with 2009 H1N1 flu, should I go to work?
Employees who are well but who have an ill family member at home with 2009 H1N1 flu can go to work as usual. These employees should monitor their health every day, and take everyday precautions including washing their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.* If they become ill, they should notify their supervisor and stay home. Employees who have an underlying medical condition or who are pregnant should call their health care provider for advice, because they might need to receive influenza antiviral drugs to prevent illness. For more information please see General Business and Workplace Guidance for the Prevention of Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Flu in Workers.

What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner*. CDC recommends that when you wash your hands -- with soap and warm water -- that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

What should I do if I get sick?
If you live in areas where people have been identified with 2009 H1N1 flu and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people. CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.Staying at home means that you should not leave your home except to seek medical care. This means avoiding normal activities, including work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.

If you have severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seek medical care. Your health care provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed.

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care. In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
· Fast breathing or trouble breathing
· Bluish or gray skin color
· Not drinking enough fluids
· Severe or persistent vomiting
· Not waking up or not interacting
· Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
· Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
· Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
· Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
· Sudden dizziness
· Confusion
· Severe or persistent vomiting
· Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Are there medicines to treat 2009 H1N1 infection?
Yes. CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with 2009 H1N1 flu virus. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. During the current pandemic, the priority use for influenza antiviral drugs is to treat severe influenza illness (for example hospitalized patients) and people who are sick who have a condition that places them at high risk for serious flu-related complications.

What is CDC’s recommendation regarding "swine flu parties"?
"Swine flu parties" are gatherings during which people have close contact with a person who has 2009 H1N1 flu in order to become infected with the virus. The intent of these parties is for a person to become infected with what for many people has been a mild disease, in the hope of having natural immunity 2009 H1N1 flu virus that might circulate later and cause more severe disease.

CDC does not recommend "swine flu parties" as a way to protect against 2009 H1N1 flu in the future. While the disease seen in the current 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak has been mild for many people, it has been severe and even fatal for others. There is no way to predict with certainty what the outcome will be for an individual or, equally important, for others to whom the intentionally infected person may spread the virus.

CDC recommends that people with 2009 H1N1 flu avoid contact with others as much as possible. If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

Contamination & Cleaning
How long can influenza virus remain viable on objects (such as books and doorknobs)?
Studies have shown that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for 2 to 8 hours after being deposited on the surface.

What kills influenza virus?
Influenza virus is destroyed by heat (167-212°F [75-100°C]). In addition, several chemical germicides, including chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents (soap), iodophors (iodine-based antiseptics), and alcohols are effective against human influenza viruses if used in proper concentration for a sufficient length of time. For example, wipes or gels with alcohol in them can be used to clean hands. The gels should be rubbed into hands until they are dry.

What if soap and water are not available and alcohol-based products are not allowed in my facility?
Though the scientific evidence is not as extensive as that on hand washing and alcohol-based sanitizers, other hand sanitizers that do not contain alcohol may be useful for killing flu germs on hands.

What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?
Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk, for example, and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.

How should waste disposal be handled to prevent the spread of influenza virus?
To prevent the spread of influenza virus, it is recommended that tissues and other disposable items used by an infected person be thrown in the trash. Additionally, persons should wash their hands with soap and water after touching used tissues and similar waste.

What household cleaning should be done to prevent the spread of influenza virus?
To prevent the spread of influenza virus it is important to keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen counters and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.

How should linens, eating utensils and dishes of persons infected with influenza virus be handled?
Linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick do not need to be cleaned separately, but importantly these items should not be shared without washing thoroughly first. Linens (such as bed sheets and towels) should be washed by using household laundry soap and tumbled dry on a hot setting. Individuals should avoid “hugging” laundry prior to washing it to prevent contaminating themselves. Individuals should wash their hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub immediately after handling dirty laundry. Eating utensils should be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with water and soap.

Exposures Not Thought to Spread 2009 H1N1 Flu
Can I get infected with 2009 H1N1 virus from eating or preparing pork?

No. 2009 H1N1 viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get infected with novel HIN1 virus from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.

Is there a risk from drinking water?
Tap water that has been treated by conventional disinfection processes does not likely pose a risk for transmission of influenza viruses. Current drinking water treatment regulations provide a high degree of protection from viruses. No research has been completed on the susceptibility of 2009 H1N1 flu virus to conventional drinking water treatment processes. However, recent studies have demonstrated that free chlorine levels typically used in drinking water treatment are adequate to inactivate highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza. It is likely that other influenza viruses such as 2009 H1N1 would also be similarly inactivated by chlorination. To date, there have been no documented human cases of influenza caused by exposure to influenza-contaminated drinking water.

Can 2009 H1N1 flu virus be spread through water in swimming pools, spas, water parks, interactive fountains, and other treated recreational water venues?
Influenza viruses infect the human upper respiratory tract. There has never been a documented case of influenza virus infection associated with water exposure. Recreational water that has been treated at CDC recommended disinfectant levels does not likely pose a risk for transmission of influenza viruses. No research has been completed on the susceptibility of 2009 H1N1 influenza virus to chlorine and other disinfectants used in swimming pools, spas, water parks, interactive fountains, and other treated recreational venues. However, recent studies have demonstrated that free chlorine levels recommended by CDC (1–3 parts per million [ppm or mg/L] for pools and 2–5 ppm for spas) are adequate to disinfect avian influenza A (H5N1) virus. It is likely that other influenza viruses such as 2009 H1N1 virus would also be similarly disinfected by chlorine.

Can 2009 H1N1 influenza virus be spread at recreational water venues outside of the water?
Yes, recreational water venues are no different than any other group setting. The spread of this 2009 H1N1 flu is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Note: Much of the information in this document is based on studies and past experience with seasonal (human) influenza. CDC believes the information applies to 2009 H1N1 (swine) viruses as well, but studies on this virus are ongoing to learn more about its characteristics. This document will be updated as new information becomes available.
For general information about influenza in pigs (not 2009 H1N1 flu) see Background Information on Influenza in Pigs.
· Links to non-federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the federal government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

SLU Chamber Public Safety Forum is Up!

The amount of information coming in from SLU area business owners about local crime and suspicious activity is high enough to support our very own online forum. Log in and check out the SLU Chamber Public Safety Forum:
  • Make Comments on your observations.
  • Report a patterns of activity that you feel isn't getting enough attention.
  • Offer a helpful tip to other members (Extra lighting, preferred security company, etc.)

PLEASE email or call Jason McKinney with any other comments (206) 271-9916 mobile, (206) 547-2577 office.

Thank you to all who have already sent in their reports. This all goes directly to the precinct captain.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Driver distractions high in school zones: study

A high number of drivers are distracted by cell phones or other electronic devices in school zones, findings from a new national report show.

Researchers from Washington D.C. based Safe Kids USA conducted roadside observations of drivers in active school zones at 20 middle schools located in 15 states. Of the 41,426 cars observed traveling through an active school zone, 1 out of every 6 drivers was distracted by cell phones and about 10 percent were observed using handheld electronics.

Additional findings show that for every 1,000 female drivers, 187 were distracted, and for every 1,000 male drivers, 154 were distracted. The report concluded that both male and female drivers had high distraction rates.

Source: National Safety Council

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Idaho Flagger Training

If you are a current Washington State Flagger instructor and want to teach in Idaho (Idaho flagger) you can if you take the following steps.
  • Purchase the Idaho Instructor and student curriculum from ESC
  • Request the application from ITD
  • Return the application to ITD with the Idaho curriculum
  • Once approved ITD will send you an approval letter and return the submitted material
  • ITD will “cc” or notify ESC that the instructor is approved and can issue the Idaho flagger card.
  • When ordering materials Instructors must then identify which state they are teaching in so they can get the appropriate student material.

If you have questions please email or call either Eric or Tina at ESC (800) 521-0778.

Stay safe

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Traffic Safety Alert

Seattle, WA – Labor Day Weekend is one of the most deadly holidays for fatal alcohol-related traffic crashes, according to Evergreen Safety Council. Nationally, it is estimated that hundreds of people will die in traffic crashes during the holiday period. As we approach one of the deadliest travel weekends of the year, the Evergreen Safety Council is issuing a Holiday Traffic Safety Alert.

“Chances are you will be sharing the road with intoxicated drivers during the Labor Day holiday,” said Tom Odegaard, President of Evergreen Safety Council. “We encourage the use of designated drivers and common sense to make sure everyone has a safe and fun holiday.”

Law enforcement officers from across the country will be cracking down on drunk driving over the Labor Day holiday and days leading up to it. The nation-wide crackdown, "Over the Limit. Under Arrest." involves concentrated sobriety checkpoints and other high-visibility enforcement efforts to keep impaired drivers off the roads.

Evergreen Safety Council offers these tips for remaining safe on the road:
Wear your seat belt:
· Buckle up! Seat belts reduce your risk of fatality by 45% in a traffic accident, but must be used to work.
· Use both lap and shoulder belts whenever possible.
· Insure a proper fit for your seat belt.

Never Drink and Drive:
· Alcohol is the single largest factor involved in motor vehicle deaths.
· Have a responsible designated driver when you head out for Labor Day activities.

Be aware of drunk drivers (here are some signs):
· Drivers who turn with a wide radius.
· Drivers at speeds 10 miles below the speed limit or speeding excessively.
· Drivers who are following too closely.
· Drivers who have a slow response to traffic signals.

Use defensive driving:
· Maintain a proper following distance from other vehicles. The rule of thumb is three seconds following distance plus one additional second for each hazard, such as rain or heavy traffic.
· Scan the road environment ten to fifteen seconds ahead of your vehicle.
· Check your mirrors and your surroundings often.
· Watch for tailgaters. If someone is tailgating, slow down to increase following distance and encourage the tailgater to pass.