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Silica: What On Earth Is All The Fuss About? Roy Martin

Silica: What on earth is all the fuss about?

5 Sep 2017 Medical

Prescription for Disaster:  Louisiana’s Opioid Addiction

Anne Ourso Landry | June 21, 2017

Every time Roy Martin has to replace an employee, it shells out at least $25,000 to hire and train someone new. And in recent years, the Alexandria-based lumber company has increasingly spent more to replace lost workers as a national epidemic has infiltrated the Louisiana workforce, driving up turnover and absenteeism rates, while decreasing productivity.

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Workplace Drug Use Hits a 12 Year High

Workplace Drug Use Hits a 12 Year High

Drug use in the American workforce has reached the highest positivity rate in 12 years, according to an analysis of more than 10 million workforce drug test results recently released by Quest Diagnostics, a provider of diagnostic information services.
The annual Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ revealed that positivity in urine drug testing among the combined U.S. workforce in 2016 was 4.2%, a 5% relative increase over last year’s rate of 4.0%, and the highest annual positivity rate since 2004 (4.5%).

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Choking Incident

Know How to Treat a Choking Incident

A choking incident can occur anywhere – including the weekly staff meeting or at someone’s desk. If you saw a co-worker choking, would you be ready to help?
The universally understood sign for choking is when someone clutches their hands to their throat. However, if you suspect someone is choking and they’re not giving this sign, Mayo Clinic recommends checking for these issues:

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Don't Let Employees Take Asbestos Home

Workers’ Compensation Claims Shows the Top Cause of Injuries

11 Jan 2017 Medical, Safety
An analysis of millions of workers’ compensation claims found that about a third were related to one type of activity. Keep reading to find out what it is and if your workers are at risk.

The Travelers Companies, Inc., the country’s largest workers’ compensation carrier, released its Injury Impact Report, which identifies the most common causes of occupational accidents and injuries. The company analyzed more than 1.5 million compensation claims filed over a four-year period from a variety of businesses. The most frequent causes of workplace injuries were:

  • Material handling—32 percent of total claims.
  • Slips, trips, and falls—16 percent of total claims.
  • Being struck by or colliding with an object—10 percent of total claims.
  • Accidents involving tools—7 percent of total claims.

Trauma occurring over time, such as when a body part is injured by overuse or strain—4 percent of total claims.  Read more…


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Millennials took adderall to get through school. Now they have taken their addiction to the workplace.

Millennials’ Adderall Addiction

In 2010, when Raphael was a first-semester college freshman struggling to get through finals, he did what it seemed like all his friends were doing: he got an Adderall from a fellow student and holed up in the library. It was the first time he’d tried the stimulant—a mixture of amphetamine salts often prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—which is often used off-label as a “study drug” by those not diagnosed with the disorder.

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Millennials took adderall to get through school. Now they have taken their addiction to the workplace.

NSC Report: Causes and Consequences of Employee Fatigue

Fatigue is a growing problem affecting the workforce. Research estimates that 13% of workplace injuries can be attributed to fatigue.

A new report from the National Safety Council, Fatigue in the Workplace: Causes and Consequences of Employee Fatigue, breaks down a probability-based survey of more than 2,000 working adults and their experience with fatigue. The report shows that 97% of workers have at least one workplace fatigue risk factor, while more than 80% have more than one risk factor. When multiple risk factors are present, the potential for injuries on the job increases.

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3 Questions to Ask After a Spill

What happens if there’s a chemical leak or spill in your workplace? Are your workers ready to contain it? Workers at Nestlé’s Willy Wonka candy manufacturing plant in Itasca, Illinois were quick to react to a lithium chloride spill, containing the 5-gallon mishap. Unfortunately, containing the spilled liquid didn’t eliminate the hazard to workers—just a few hours after the spill, workers complained of respiratory symptoms. Emergency responders treated 17 workers and transported 11 to the hospital, where they were treated and released.
Here are three questions your workers should ask immediately after a spill in order to minimize the hazards to workers and the environment.
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Preventative Measures for Heat Stress - Indoors and Outdoors

Preventative Measures for HEAT STRESS

26 Jun 2016 Medical, Safety

Responding is Alsie Nelson, associate product manager, Ergodyne, St. Paul, MN.

…Although the measures to prevent heat-related illness are similar in both environments, there are other considerations indoor workers must take into account to protect their health and safety.

The human body is constantly trying to find balance by regulating internal and external variables. Maintaining a normal body temperature of 98.6° F is important to ensure the body functions properly. Heat waves cause stress on the body when too much heat is being absorbed and not enough heat is being lost through the body’s normal cooling processes. When this happens, the body’s means of controlling its internal temperature begins to fail. Once the body temperature reaches 99.7° F, heat stress has begun to affect the body. If it hits 104° F, you become susceptible to developing a heat-related illness. Just 30 minutes of exposure at that temperature is enough to cause permanent disability or brain damage.

Although heat stress is typically associated with outdoor work settings during the summer months, heat is a year-round hazard in indoor workplaces such as foundries, commercial bakeries, kitchens and laundries. Workers in these environments are often near sources of radiant heat or inside buildings with limited cooling capabilities. These jobsites are typically regulated by building codes that require sufficient ventilation, but several states specifically address heat stress prevention strategies in indoor applications. Indoor workers may also be wearing impermeable clothing such as a Tyvek suit, coveralls or layers of PPE, significantly reducing airflow and trapping heat.

As with outdoor work environments, it’s important to develop a prevention plan to handle potentially hazardous indoor heat. An indoor heat stress prevention plan should include the following:

  • Encourage employees to stay hydrated and recommend drinking 1 cup of water every 20 minutes or 1 quart per hour.
  • Set acceptable exposure times and allow employees sufficient recovery time in cooler areas such as an air conditioned break room or rest area.
  • Give new and back-to-work employees time to acclimate. Just because indoor work settings typically have a more predictable temperature than those working outdoors doesn’t mean that certain individuals don’t need time to acclimate to the environment. Acclimatization is one of the most important steps an employer can take to ensure overall employee safety and productivity. Educate workers about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and the proactive measures they can take to protect themselves.
  • Enact an emergency plan so everyone knows what to do in the event of a crisis.
  • Determine proper personal protective equipment or cooling products for the job. If airflow is limited, an evaporative cooling product may not provide the necessary relief. Alternative cooling products such as phase change vests work well under coveralls or impermeable suits.

Even if a jobsite is shielded from direct sunlight, oppressive and stifling environmental heat can still pose a real threat to worker safety. But employers who know the different heat stress hazards posed by indoor and outdoor jobsites will be able to better equip their crews to handle them.

Editor’s note: This article represents the independent views of the author and should not be construed as a National Safety Council endorsement. (Read entire article: safetyandhealthmagazine.com)

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