Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Safety & Health Solutions - July 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.

Inside this Issue:
Lead ArticlePlanning for Off-Site Hazardous Materials Incidents

  • Summer Riding Tips
  • Evergreen Safety Council / Washington Employers Association Alliance
  • Be Courteous, Patient and Prepared
  • Why Prevention of Slips, Trips and Falls is important
  • Notes from the Road
  • What were we thinking back then?
  • Fireworks Safety

  • You can also sign up to receive an electronic copy via email or hard copy via the mail. This link will also take you to a full archive with over four years of past issues.

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

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Washington state authorizes new program for injured workers

    Under a new program in Washington state, employers who provide temporary work to an injured employee may be reimbursed for half of the worker's pay.

    The Stay-at-Work Program is part of a workers' compensation bill (.pdf file) signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) on June 15.

    According to the Washington Department of Labor & Industries, keeping injured workers in light-duty jobs helps employers retain valuable workers and avoid major increases in their L&I premium rates.

    The new law also permits injured workers 55 and older to negotiate a settlement agreement with periodic payments instead of remaining in the workers' comp system or being re-trained.

    Other parts of the law include:

    • Safety grants for innovative return-to-work programs for injured workers
    • An independent study on occupational disease claims in Washington
    • A performance audit of the workers' comp claims management system
    • A "rainy day" fund to stabilize rate changes during economic recessions

    Source: The National Safety Council

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Mitigating Safety Violations

    On April 15th Washington Governor Gregoire signed a bill into law which now requires that businesses must mitigate serious safety violations even if the company is going to appeal the citation. So even if you get cited and appeal the citation, you must fix what DOSH says is the problem during the appeal process. To read more on this.

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Enjoying the Sun Safely

    Yes this is the Great North-Wet, but sometimes the sun shines. The chamber of commerce cheers and runs outside to take pictures used to lure visitors to our region. Even us locals act a bit odd when the sun shines. A local insurance company talks about being dazzled by the gleaming white torso of the guy who takes off his shirt any time the temperature is above 50 degrees.

    Yes, let’s enjoy the sun while it’s here.

    Right now, someone reading this post is saying, “...but we need to get in the sun for our bodies to make vitamin D.” That’s true, but most of us exceed the amount of sun exposure necessary for the generation of sufficient vitamin D. Besides the visible spectrum of light, sunlight contains three types of ultraviolet light; “A”, “B” and “C”. It’s the UV light that is cause for concern.

    UVA accelerates skin aging and wrinkling and contribute to skin cancer, such as melanoma. Nothing in our Earth’s atmosphere will block UVA, unfortunately, they make up the majority of our sun exposure. For those of you who insist on baking yourself in a UVA tanning bed - a UVA tan does not help protect the skin from further sun damage; it merely produces color and a false sense of protection from the sun.

    UVB rays are also dangerous, causing sunburns, cataracts – a clouding of the lens in your eye – and even immune system damage. UVB is also a factor in skin cancer. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is thought to be associated with severe UVB sunburns that occur before the age of 20. Most UVB rays are absorbed by our Earth’s atmosphere, but enough can still reach the ground to cause serious damage.

    UVC is the most dangerous, but fortunately, these rays are blocked by our Earth’s atmosphere and don't reach the earth.

    What's important is to simply know that there is no such thing has a "healthy" tan. It may be a sign of sun damage. The risk of damage increases with the amount and intensity of exposure. Those who are chronically exposed to the sun, such as farmers, boaters, and sunbathers, are at much greater risk.

    Employ the “SLIP, SLAP, SLOP” rule when out in the sun: Slip on a shirt, Slap on a hat, and Slop on the sun screen.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Beware of Scams

    If you have elderly relatives, PLEASE read this and share the information with them for their own protection!

    I received a phone call from an elderly Aunt this morning; she was crying and very upset. She said she was worried that she was breaking a confidence by calling me, but decided it was the best thing to do. The story she related is as follows . . . .

    I just got a call from Tommy (our son, and her great-nephew) saying he was at a restaurant with some friends, last night, and when they left the restaurant, a drunk confronted them, a scuffle followed and the drunk fell to the sidewalk, fracturing his skull! Tommy said he had been arrested and needed $2500 for bail, and could she send the money? Tommy begged her to please NOT tell Mom & Dad what had happened. The more I thought about it the more I believed I needed to let you know about the situation...

    My two aunts live next to each other in a senior apartment complex, when the call came in, both aunts were together in the one’s apartment. Understandably upset by the information she had just received, my aunt who received the call, tried to pass the telephone to my second aunt, but dropped the wireless receiver, causing the case to open and the batteries to fall out, ending the call abruptly.

    A few moments later, the phone started to ring in my second aunt’s apartment, (NOTE a different telephone number) and it was the same caller. My second aunt was also convinced it was really her great-nephew, as he even referred to her as “Auntie Marge” a name only he uses. The story was the same. Wisely she said she would need time to get the money, but urged “him” to call his parents for help.

    As you may have guessed the call was a complete lie, and an attempt to get money from two elderly, trusting widows. There was just enough credible information that even for a few moments, as she related the story to me, I wondered if the situation was true, however, upon retrospect, the information the caller used is mostly readily available via the internet, and from public records. As an aside; plug your name into the search engine of your choice and you will be surprised, and shocked by the amount of information available about you on the internet. This caller had also done some additional digging to determine that my two aunts lived next to each other – this was not just placing random calls and hoping to find a gullible person.

    The lesson of this event is simply this: Safety extends to personal safety and even financial safety. Talk with your elderly relatives, and warn them that if they receive such a call, no matter how convincing the caller may sound (my aunts both completely believed the voice was that of our son) to NOT ever send money via wire or any other means until they have verified the story with others in the family.

    As a follow up, we have contacted the local police and gave them all the information about this caller. Although neither of my aunts have caller-ID on their telephones, that information is still available from the phone company, so the police do have the number from where the calls were placed.

    Be smart, be SAFE, never give personal information out to anyone you don’t know especially from unsolicited telephone callers, no matter how heart-rending the story may be.