Sep
22
2014

Outdoor Workers and Ticks

Outdoor workers face many hazards. They have to deal with inclement weather, freezing cold, extreme heat, and traffic. They are also at risk of being exposed to ticks. Ticks carry a myriad of diseases that may be transmitted to humans. Hunters, campers and hikers prepare themselves against ticks before heading into wooded areas. Outdoor workers should guard themselves as well. Anyone working in or near high grass, wooded or bushy areas are more likely to come in contact with ticks. Those working in the U.S. must use extra caution during the Spring, Summer, and Fall when ticks are most active. In warmer regions, ticks may be active year round.

Below are some occupations that may encounter ticks :

  • Brush clearing/removal
  • Construction
  • Farming
  • Forestry
  • Landscaping
  • Land Surveyors
  • Oil field workers
  • Park or wildlife management
  • Railroad workers
  • Utility workers
  • Any outdoor occupation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has compiled the following list of Tick-borne diseases:

  • Anaplasmosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Colorado tick fever
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Powassan encephalitis
  • Q fever
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness
  • Tick-Borne Relaspsing Fever
  • Tularemia

The symptoms of tick-borne diseases may be overlooked at first. Sufferers may believe they have the flu which is why it is important for employees to be alert to tick bites. Symptoms include:

  • Body aches
  • Facial stiffness/paralysis
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Rash
  • Stiff Neck

Early treatment is important to prevent long-lasting effects such as arthritis, fatigue or muscle and joint pain. Antibiotics are essential and can be very successful as a treatment.

Prevention is key:

  • Wear light-colored clothing, long-sleeved shirts, hats and tuck pants into boots or socks.
  • Use insect repellents with DEET on skin and reapply as needed.
  • Use Permethrin on clothing. One treatment last through several washings. Permethrin kills ticks on contact. Do NOT use Permethrin on skin.
  • Check yourself daily for ticks. Shower immediately after working outdoors. Be mindful of scalp, underarms, and groin area.
  • Removing infected ticks within 24hrs reduces your risk of being infected with the Lyme disease bacteium.
  • Remove ticks with tweezers. Grasping firmly as close to your skin as possible, pulling tick with steady motion.
  • Clean area with soap and water.
  • Wash and dry clothing on hot setting to kill any ticks remaining.

If you are bitten on the job, report it to your supervisor immediately. Ticks are small but they can have a big effect on your health. Don’t take chances.

 

Be Smart. Be Safe. Think OSHATOES®.

www.OSHATOES.com

 

OSHATOES® are assembled_in_the_usa.

Source : http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/tick-borne/

Sep
18
2014

Wrong Way Drivers

It comes with little to no warning. It is something most of us never prepare for. It kills hundreds of drivers and passengers annually. It is wrong way drivers and the incidence of them is on the rise. In fact, these types of accidents are on such an increase, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a special investigation regarding them. Those findings are found below:

  • The NTSB investigation focused on wrong-way driving crashes that occur on high-speed divided highways, such as interstates and expressways.
  • The wrong-way driving crashes highlighted in the report occurred in 8 states: California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • Wrong-way collisions investigated by the NTSB resulted in 57 fatalities and 68 injuries and involved 17 passenger vehicles, 2 motorcoaches,  1 church activity bus, and 4 heavy combination vehicles.
  • The NTSB analyzed fatal crash data from 2004 – 2009 to obtain a national perspective of fatal wrong-way collisions in the U.S.
  • The NTSB analyzed data from 1,566 fatal wrong-way crashes, which resulted in 2,139 fatalities.
  • On average, 360 lives are lost annually in 260 fatal wrong-way collisions.
  • Wrong-way crashes are more likely to result in fatal or serious injuries than other types of highway accidents.
  • Over 80% of fatal wrong-way crashes involve head-on collisions at high speeds.
  • In a 1989 study by the California D.O.T. found a fatality rate 12 times greater fro wrong-way driving crashes than other types of accidents.

The NTSB Special Report also found certain characteristics of Wrong-Way Drivers:

  • Approx. 60% of wrong-way driving accidents involved alcohol. In a majority of the accidents investigated, the wrong-way driver had a Blood Alcohol Content over 0.15.
  • 9% of wrong-way drivers had been convicted of driving while intoxicated within the 3 yrs prior to the accident.
  • Drivers over the age of 70 accounted for about 15% of collisions.
  • 78% of wrong-way collisions occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • 57% of these collisions happen on weekends.
  • 19% of  wrong-way drivers were driving without a proper license.

Wrong-way accidents most often occur because the driver enters the highway via an exit ramp traveling in the wrong direction. They may also happen as the result of a driver making a U-turn on the highway or using the emergency turnaround via the median.

Some states are working on a solution to stop wrong-way drivers. Texas has added red lights to make wrong way signs more visible at night. Arizona has placed arrows with reflectors that shine red when traveling the wrong way.

Now you know the statistics. The who, what, where, why, so to speak. Now, what do you do?

Be on guard. Always.

Do not use lane 1 on the interstate. This is also referred to as the “fast lane” or “passing lane”. As a majority of wrong-way drivers are impaired, they may believe lane 1 is the slow lane and are trying to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

For more information go to www.ntsb.gov .

OSHATOES® wants you in the know.

Be Smart. Be Safe. Think OSHATOES®.

OSHATOES® are assembled_in_the_usa.

www.OSHATOES.com

Sources:

https://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2012/wrong_way_driving/Fact_Sheet.pdf

Sep
15
2014

Thinking Small

 

Bigger isn’t always better. This is true even when the topic is : houses. For some people, their dream house is a 5,000 square foot McMansion. For others, a smaller, more simple home is the way to go. In today’s Up-sized world, there are those who are choosing to Downsize. The tiny house movement is booming right now.

Only a few decades ago, small was the norm. In the 1950′s, the average home size was less than 1,000 sq. ft.  The average home size in 2014 is 2,600 sq. ft. Tiny houses are surging in popularity. They range from extremely tiny at 65 sq. ft. to 400 sq. ft. These marvels of modern engineering come complete with kitchen, bathroom including shower, bedroom and living area. They are ideal for those looking to simplify.

There has been such a peaked interest in tiny homes, it should come as no surprise a reality show has been developed featuring them. People are naturally curious as to who would choose to live in such confined spaces. There’s no room for gourmet kitchens. You won’t find a mammoth man cave on the show, although there is probably a show dedicated to that as well. These homes are plain and simply, small. No muss, no fuss. Tiny homes may be tiny but they are not necessarily bare. Because they are  less expensive than a traditional home, owners are able to spend some of that savings on quality. Don’t be surprised to find vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows.

 

Topping  the list of reasons to choose tiny homes are : environmental concerns, they’re easy to maintain, are inexpensive to heat and cool, and also make financial sense. Most tiny homes can be had for under $30,000. Plans and materials are easily available so owners can save even more money by building themselves. Tiny homes offer freedom as well. They can be built to fit onto a trailer allowing owners to change their scenery when the mood suits them.

Another possible reason for the boom in tiny homes : Bloomberg reports home ownership rates in the U.S. fell to a 19 year low. This is attributed to rising prices and tight credit making it difficult for first-time home buyers to enter the property market. Younger adults are looking to avoid the deep debt that comes with expensive homes. It’s a different generation and the times are changing. Like we said, bigger isn’t always better and more people are taking notice.

No matter the reason, I think we can all agree… they are pretty neat!

 

 

Be Smart. Be Safe. Think OSHATOES®.

OSHATOES® are assembled_in_the_usa.

www.OSHATOES.com

 

Home Ownership Rates Source : http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-29/u-s-homeownership-rate-falls-to-lowest-in-19-years.html

 

Sep
11
2014

Never Forget

September 11.  A day we will always remember. All one has to do is say 9/11 and people the world over know the significance of it. September 11, 2001, the day our lives changed forever, whether directly or indirectly. On this day, America was the victim of the worst terror attack in history. But it didn’t affect only Americans. It affected the world. It was a day of tremendous grief, sorrow, and disbelief. It was also a day of courage, bravery and determination. Determination that we would recover. Hope that survivors would be found.

9/11/2001

8:46am ET – New York City. American Airlines Flight 11 Boston to LA strikes the World Trade Center north tower.

9:03am ET – New York City. United Airlines Flight 175 Boston to LA strikes the WTC south tower.

9:37am ET – Washington D.C. American Airlines Flight 77 Dulles, Va to LA strikes the Pentagon.

9:59am ET – NYC. South tower collapses.

10:03am. ET. Shanksville, Pa. United Airlines Flight 93 Newark, NJ. to San Francisco, Ca. crashes into a field.

10:28am. ET. -NYC. North tower collapses.

Why list the events of that morning? The answer is simple: To show how quickly the events unfolded. That in less than two hours, the world was changed permanently and forever. We should remember these moments as they are heartbreakingly significant.

The victims ranged in age from 2 to 85 years old. Devastating.

As people were evacuating the area, emergency personnel rushed in to saved those individuals who were trapped. Many of those who could not escaped placed phone calls to loved ones. Some got through, others left messages on answering machines. People on those doomed flights also tried to reach family and friends, placing calls, whispering their love.

At 8:30pm ET President Bush addresses the nation, in fact, the world. He states:

“Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts, shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”

 

President Bush’s journal entry on this day sums it up: “The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today…”

Close to 3,000 people died in the September 11 attacks. Innocent people. Heroes.

Let us never forget.

 

 

 

Sep
8
2014

Backover Prevention

Backovers in the workplace are preventable and should be at the forefront of an employee’s thoughts. Backovers are the result of a vehicle striking a worker walking, standing or kneeling behind the vehicle. They should never occur. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports over 70 workers died from backover accidents in 2011. These types of accidents may occur for several reasons:

  • Worker may be in the driver’s blind spot.
  • Due to workplace noise or ear protection, workers may not hear vehicle’s backup alarms.
  • Backup alarm may be malfunctioning.
  • Driver may be distracted or not paying attention.
  • Employees riding on vehicle may fall and be backed over.
  • There may not be a spotter for the vehicle.
  • Any combination of the above.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) gives the following examples of actual incidents: ( https://www.osha.gov/doc/topics/backover/index.html )

  1. June 18, 2009 –  employee was working inside a work zone wearing his reflective safety vest. A dump truck operating in the work zone backed up and struck the employee with the rear passenger side wheels. The employee was killed. The dump truck had an audible back up alarm and operating lights. (OSHA Inspection Number 313225377)
  2. June 9, 2010 -  employee was standing on the ground in front of a loading dock facing into the building while a tractor trailer was backing into the same dock. The trailer crushed the employee between the trailer and the dock. (OSHA Inspection Number 314460940)

Backover Prevention Tips

  • Functioning backup alarms.
  • Use of a spotter.
  • In-dash vehicle display with backup cameras.
  • Communicating tag systems to notify drivers when an employee wearing a tag is near vehicle.
  • Keeping pedestrian traffic away from vehicle traffic flow.
  • Training is a top way in preventing backover accidents. Many employees don’t realize where a driver’s blind spot is or how many blind spots they have.

Backovers need never occur. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Educate all employees on the dangers of backovers. Provide training and update often.

 

Be Smart. Be Safe. Think OSHATOES®.

OSHATOES® are assembled_in_the_usa.

www.OSHATOES.com

 

Sep
4
2014

In Demand Jobs

The economy is on the upswing. The economy is still in decline. Things are looking up. Then again maybe they aren’t. Depending on who you’re talking to, which newspaper you’re reading or what channel you’re watching, it’s hard to know what to make of things. Are you looking for a new job? Thinking of going back to school? Wanting to move up where you are? Tough decisions. OSHATOES® knows you want to make the right ones. Today we’re looking at some of the top in-demand jobs.

  1. Health Care – Longer life expectancies are leading to a boom in the health care field. Registered nurses, Occupational therapists, Physician Assistants, Respiratory therapists, and Pharmacy techs are all increasing in demand. You can enter most of these fields with an Associate’s Degree. Job growth according the the Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to be higher than any other.
  2. Financial – Baby boomers are retiring and looking for sound financial advice. More people are ditching employer provided pensions and setting up their own 401(k). BLS predicts an increase of 10% in this field, primarily among Accountants and Auditors.
  3. Manual Laborers, Factory Workers (Non-Construction) – While they don’t offer top pay, the need for manual laborers has increased thanks, in part, to Amazon. Their primary responsibilities include feeding materials into machinery, and package preparations including loading and boxing goods.
  4. Operations Managers – This occupation is increasing as companies are growing. Operations managers are responsible for increasing productivity and meeting company deadlines.
  5. Retail – Maybe not the top of your list but approximately 20% of retail employers plan to add to their staff. Not just brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce is increasing the demand for retail analysts, customer service reps, and online reps. Also look for cashier positions, retail salespersons, and sales reps.

The pay scale in any of these fields can vary depending on the employer, your education, geographical area, and your experience. Some health care fields only require a certificate to get started. In most cases those can be achieved in less then 12 months allowing you to quickly begin working in that field. Another benefit is the ability to work while working on a higher degree. You may begin as a Certified Nursing Assistant and by furthering your education you can then work up to a Registered Nurse or even beyond.

The bottom line: There is work to be found. These are areas experiencing high growth and may be worth exploring.

OSHATOES® wishes you happy job hunting!

Be Smart. Be Safe. Think OSHATOES®.

www.OSHATOES.com

OSHATOES® are assembled_in_the_usa.