Monday, February 28, 2011

Washington state sees increase in job-related deaths

Workplace fatalities in the state of Washington increased roughly 32 percent in 2010, according to a Feb. 17 report (.pdf file) from the state's Department of Labor and Industries.

Preliminary data indicates 86 workers were killed in 2010 – 21 more than in 2009. The agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry experienced the most fatalities with 20, the report said. Seven farm workers died in tractor roll-over incidents, which prompted L&I to issue a hazard alert (.pdf file) for the agriculture industry in January.

The April explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes accounted for an additional seven deaths, and seven workers also died in a series of plane crashes.

In contrast to the overall increase, fatalities in the construction industry remained low at seven, the same as the year before.

Source: The National Safety Council

Friday, February 25, 2011

2011 Oregon GOSH Conference coming to Portland

Registration is open for largest safety and health event in Northwest

With more than 140 workshops and sessions, registration is now open for the Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference. The largest event of its kind in the Northwest, the conference will be held March 7-10, 2011 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

ESC will be hosting booth #125 on March 8-9 in the Exhibitors Hall. Stop by our booth and tell Eric or Tom you read our blog to receive an extra gift.

On Thursday, March 10 from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., ESC's very own Director of Training Eric Tofte will participate in a panel presentation on OSHA 10 hour - General Industry.

On Wednesday, March 9, the event features a moderated panel discussion with Northwest business leaders who will share their perspectives on the importance of safety and health within their organizations.

“This is a unique opportunity to hear from small business leaders on how to achieve management commitment and employee participation in safety and health,” said Michael Wood, Oregon OSHA administrator. “I believe their tools for success could apply to any organization.”

Other general topics covered at conference include:
  • Safety committee training
  • What to expect from an OSHA inspection
  • Hazard communication
  • Advanced accident investigation

The conference also will feature session tracks on specialties such as health care, ergonomics, construction, emergency preparedness and response, alternative energy, safety for school districts, workplace culture and wellness.

New to the conference this year is the Columbia Forklift Challenge. Trained forklift drivers will compete for cash in an obstacle course designed to test their skills and safe operation on Tuesday, March 8.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA), a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, is partnering with the Columbia-Willamette Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers to sponsor the conference.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Plan for Weather & Road Conditions

Drivers across the state can plan for weather and road conditions by utilizing Washington State Department of Transportation Web and mobile tools and local media reports.

The National Weather Service reports the significant winter storm that started today with snow should continue through Friday. Drivers can expect freezing temperatures and snow throughout the state and strong winds near the Canadian border.

WSDOT's online tools include:
Traffic cameras
Travel alerts
Mountain passes
Traffic products for mobile phones and other wireless devices
WSDOT Twitter feed

Real time traffic information is also available by calling 5-1-1.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

First Aid/CPR/AED Training Saves Lives

We offer a variety of American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI) courses, including onsite CPR/AED-only classes and instructor training designed especially for workplace settings. Know the signs of a heart attack, so you'll be ready to react effectively - some are sudden and intense, but more start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Look for:
  • Chest discomfort. Pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the chest that lasts for a few minutes or comes and goes.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, shoulders, back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. Often accompanies chest discomfort.
  • Other sign may include light-headedness, fainting, sweating or nausea.

For more information about our first aid training, contact Stephanie Dyck or call 800-521-0778.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eastern WA: Ag Safety, Green Energy and Lunch

Next week Executive Director Tom Odegaard and Director of Training Eric Tofte are taking an extended tour of Eastern Washington starting in Kennewick.

March 1, 2011 Client & Member Luncheon at the Hilton Gardens in Kennewick
Tom will start off the luncheon with an open discussion on current safety issues and concerns, and what ESC can do to help. This is a great networking opportunity for safety professionals.

Then Eric will present on Green Jobs, New Innovations: Same Safety Issues. This talk will explore how new industries face similar safety concerns as general industry: fall protection, lockout-tagout, and so on...

March 2, 2011 Agriculture Safety Day
ESC will be hosting a booth at the 7th Annual Agriculture Safety Day Conference at the Three Rivers Convention Center, Tri-Cities! Stop by our booth and tell Eric or Tom you read our blog to receive an extra gift.

March 3, 2011 Client & Member Luncheon at the Moses Lake Events Center
This luncheon will follow the same format at the Kennewick luncheon.

Hint: We gave the guys the weekend off, but then they will be travelling again, this time to Portland for the GOSH Conference. More on that later...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Burn Awareness Week

The National Gasoline Safety Project is using Burn Awareness Week (Feb. 6-12) to emphasize the dangers – particularly to children – of using gasoline to start fires for barbecue grills or campfires, or to burn trash.

Although a national study funded by the project indicated that 80 percent of parents do not use gasoline to start fires, those who do put themselves and their children at serious risk.
"Ironically, our research shows even parents who use gasoline to start fires know it isn't a safe thing to do," said Amanda Emerson of the National Gasoline Safety Project. "But they think it's something 'everyone' does. It's not. And it needlessly puts children in harm's way."

To ensure gasoline is used safely, the organization recommends the following:
  • Never use gasoline to start a fire.
  • Carefully read all caution labels on gasoline containers and adhere to safety precautions when using a portable fuel container.
  • Always place fuel containers on the ground when filling to avoid static electricity ignition.
  • Gasoline should never be used by children and should be kept out of their reach.
  • Do not store gasoline in a vehicle or living space. Gasoline should be stored in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep gasoline containers closed when not in use.
  • Avoid prolonged breathing of gasoline vapors.
  • Gas is potentially fatal when ingested. If swallowed, call your physician immediately. Do not induce vomiting.

Source: National Safety Council

Monday, February 7, 2011

Study on cardiac arrest highlights benefit of public AEDs

Cardiac arrests that can be treated by an automated external defibrillator are more common in public settings than at home, according to a study released Jan. 26 from the National Institutes of Health.

Comparing data from more than 14,000 cardiac arrest patients, researchers found a higher percentage of ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation – the types of abnormal heart rhythms that can be treated through electric shock – occurred in public settings. More than one-third of people treated in public with an AED survived, which is significantly higher than the overall national average cardiac arrest survival rate of 8 percent. The at-home survival rate for cardiac arrests treated with an AED was 12 percent.

"These survival results affirm the value of putting AEDs in public locales," said Myron Weisfeldt, lead author of the study. "Even though the overall frequency of VT/VF arrests has declined over the past few decades, they are still a fairly common occurrence in public settings."

Researchers suggested the difference in cardiac arrest types in public settings versus home settings may be due to the fact that individuals who spend more time in public places may be younger and more active, making them more predisposed to VT/VF arrest. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, (Vol. 364, No. 4).

Source: National Safety Council