National Fire Safety Week October 5th -11th.

Fire safety is just as important in our office and educational facilities as it is in our residential buildings.  Each year there are approximately 3,340 fires in office buildings throughout the United States according to the National Fire Protection Association.  These fires amount to more than $112 million in property damage annually.  Here is a list of the most common hazards found in our office areas:

  1. Space Heaters are the number 1 concern in offices. If there is a cold area in a building a work order should be entered to have Facility Services address the concern.  One issue with space heaters is they often inadvertently satisfy a thermostat which shuts down the heating system causing more areas to become "cold". 
  2. Extension cords are the number 2 concern.  Extension cords are designed to only be temporary wiring (a couple days max).  The flat brown or white cords with 2 or 3 outlets on the end are the most dangerous; please use power strips instead.  Also cords must never be covered by rugs, placed through walkways or in areas where they can be run over by office chairs.  the protective coating will break down over time and can result in starting fires.  
  3. Candles and Incense.  Recently our safety team has noticed more candles in offices.  The burning of candles and incense is specifically prohibited in all campus buildings.  Also some people working on campus are sensitive to artificial scents.  Let's help make our environment more comfortable for everyone by not introducing artifical scents from items such as candles.
  4. Many people bring their own lamps to decorate their office.  Please make sure they do not have halogen light bulbs.  Halogen bulbs not only consume a substantial amount of electricity, they get extremely hot, so hot in fact that they can start paper or acumulated dust on fire.

Here is a list of the leading causes of fires in office buildings according to the NFPA:

  1. 29% cooking or cooking equipment
  2. 12% electrical distribution and lighting equipment
  3. 11% heating equipment
  4. 10% intentionally set
  5. 9% Smoking materials

 

Late Summer News: How to Prevent Cooking Fires and Related Injuries

Cooking is the leading cause of fire injuries and home fires.  Each household can expect to have 1 fire every 15 years according to a study by the NFPA. The leading cause of fires is unattended cooking.

Here at LU UNATTENDED COOKING is the number ONE cause of activating fire alarm systems.  Microwaves are a major contributor to these false alarms.

Here are some safety tips to help prevent cooking fires and injuries-

  • NEVER leave the cooking appliance unattended, even if it is a microwave!
  • READ the directions on what is being cooked. If it calls for water add the correct amount.
  • If there is a fire in a microwave or oven leave the door shut, pull the fire alarm, and get out of the building.
  • Keep things that can catch fire, such as bags, boxes, towels, curtains, potholders and oven mits, away from heat.
  • When frying on the stove always have a cover available
    • If a pan fire develops on the stove top, put the cover on, turn the burner off, call Security.
    • Don't move the pan or take the lid off until it is room temperature.
  • Turn off the stove, even when leaving the kitchen even for just a minute.
  • Prevent scalds and burns by following safe cooking practices. if a burn occurs, cool the burn with cold water for at least 5 minutes. If the burn is bigger than the fist or seems serious, seek medical attention immediately.

 

August Safety Tips- Ergonomics Workstation Setup

Chair Setup:
Feet flat on floor; Knees  at 90° or a little more.   If chair is adjustable, customize to your liking.  Common adjustments; Seat pan slide forward/backward (set so when sitting upright, seat doesn’t touch back of knee) ; arm rests (up/down, some slide or rotate inward); tilt tension (big knob in front of piston under chair); Lumbar support (many chair backs extend up and down or with fabric chairs the lumbar portion slides up/down and can apply more or less pressure.

Review Keyboard/Desktop Height:
When typing wrists should be elevated, not resting on edge of desk or wrist rest.  Rest wrist is intended for placing wrists when not actively typing.  If working at fixed desk height, chair may need to be adjusted higher for short people.  Add foot rest as needed.  Some workstations have adjustable heights.

Monitor:
Top of monitor should be same height as eyes.  Distance:  Monitor should be approximately 20”-40” from your face.  (You should not be able to place arm straight out and touch your screen with a desktop style computer). Individuals with bifocals typically want the monitor much lower to avoid tipping the head back.

Keyboard Location:
The B key should be squarely centered on the front of the monitor and belly button.

Mouse:
Increase tracking speed to 3/4 or more.  (start, settings, control panel, mouse, pointer options) limits required travel for moving mouse.

 Most Common Issues:

  •  Position of computer/monitor on desk - Many  people are not perpendicular to their monitor which puts body in unnatural position.
  •  Monitor too high - Causes person to look up resulting in added tension in the neck and upper shoulders.
  •  Chair - Arm rests too high results in shoulder tension.  Feet don’t reach floor which applies added pressure to the back of the leg.
  •  Keyboard - not centered on screen puts body at unnatural position. Little feet down on keyboard tips keyboard at angle resulting in wrists not straight; this leads to tightness and fatigue of forearms. 
  •  Not sitting close enough to keyboard - Arms should be at your side and elbows at 90° when typing. Many people reach with elbows in front of body which increases shoulder tension.

There is free software www.workrave.org download.  This may help if having issues.  It reminds you to take a break and offers different stretches/information etc. to improve your situation.

If you are having issues contact Matt Jeanquart, Safety Director for an assessment at  x 6608.
 

June WELLU Safety Tips - Bee Stings and Sun Burns

It is hard to believe that the warm weather we were wishing a couple months ago is finally here!  Many people have experienced bee sting and sun related effects in the past.  Here are a couple tips below to help keep you safe this summer.

Bee Stings

According to Mayo Clinic , bee stings cause three levels of reactions: minor, moderate and severe. While minor and moderate reactions could be dealt with first aid at home, a severe allegic reaction requires immediate medical attention.  Individuals who have experienced a severe allegeric reaction in the past are 30-60% more likely to suffer a severe allegric reaction to a bee sting in the future.

If you carry an EPIPEN or have had a severe allergic reaction in the past, it is a great idea to let family members and co-workers know how they can help if you are experiencing symptoms in their presence. Here are the symptoms for the three categories of allergic reaction listed above-

Minor reaction symptoms include:

  • Instant, sharp burning pain at the sting site
  • A red welt at the sting area
  • A small, white spot where the stinger punctured the skin
  • Slight swelling around the sting area

Moderate reaction includes the above symptoms and:

  • Extreme redness
  • Swelling at the site of the sting, that gradually enlarges over the next day or two

Severe reaction (anaphylaxis) symptoms include:

  • Skin reactions, including hives and itching and flushed or pale skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the throat and tongue
  • A weak, rapid pulse
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Loss of consciousness

Sun related issues and safety tips

A sunburn is a form of radiation burn that affects living tissue, such as skin, that results from an overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, commonly from the sun. Usually, normal symptoms in humans and other animals consist of red or reddish skin that is hot to the touch, general fatigue, and mild dizziness. An excess of UV radiation can be life-threatening in extreme cases. Exposure of the skin to lesser amounts of UV radiation will often produce a suntan. Excessive UV radiation is the leading cause of primarily non-malignant skin tumors.

Here are sun safety tips from WebMD.

  • The time of day. Between 10am and 4pm, the sun's rays are the strongest. Even on a cloudy day, the sun'sdamaging UV light can pass through clouds.
  • Proximity to reflective surfaces, such as water, white sand concrete, snow, and ice. All of these reflect the sun's rays and can cause sunburns.
  • Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and then at least every 2 hours thereafter, more if you are sweating or swimming
  • Wear sunglasses with total UV protection along with wide-brimmed hats, long sleeved shirts, and pants
  • Perform skin self-exams regularly to become familiar with existing growths and to notice any changes or new growths
  • Eighty percent of a person's lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18. As a parent, be a good role model and foster skin cancer prevention habits in your child

 

Spring Safety Tips

Call 811 before you dig!

Don’t forget to call before you dig;  you may be surprised at the location of underground utilities and many are not as deep as one would think.  Whether your planting trees or shrubs, building a deck, or installing a new mailbox post stay safe by calling 811 or emailing in a locate request.  Plan ahead as locates take 3 business days to be completed.

Staying SAFE while mowing.

In 2010, more than 253,000 injuries were related to lawn mowing according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Typical injuries according to a study published in Pediatrics, include:

  • The most commonly injured body parts were the hands/fingers (nearly 35% of all injuries), followed by the legs (19%), and then foot/toes (18%). The eyeball/face and upper body accounted for 11% and 7% of injuries, respectively.
  • Burns accounted for 35% of injuries to the hands and fingers, often the result of young children touching hot lawn mower parts.
  • Nearly all of amputation injuries (97%) were to the feet/toes (50%) and hands/fingers (48%).

Here are some things you can do to reduce the chance of a mowing related injury at your home.

  • Make sure all safety devices on the lawn mower are properly working. (Remove the rag that’s tied over the safety shut off lever).
  • Take a quick walk around the yard to remove items which could become projectiles if hit by the mower: sticks, toys, rocks, etc.
  • Always fuel when the motor is cool; (before starting to mow).  Hot components can ignite spilled fuel.
  • Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing – not sandals
  • Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, inspecting or repairing lawn mower equipment or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas
  • Use a stick or broom handle (not your hands or feet) to clear the mower deck/chute.
  • The Muffler is HOT; make sure not to touch it.  Burns are a major cause of injury to the hands.
  • Children should be at least 12 years old before they operate any lawn mower,
  • Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.
  • Mowing Slopes
    • Walk behind mowers should be used across the slope of the hill.  This prevents sliding under the mower if operator were to slip.
    • Riding mowers should be driven up and down the slope.

Staying SAFE in the Yard

In 2010, more than 253,000 injuries were related to lawn mowing according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Typical injuries according to a study published in Pediatrics, include:

  • The most commonly injured body parts were the hands/fingers (nearly 35% of all injuries), followed by the legs (19%), and then foot/toes (18%). The eyeball/face and upper body accounted for 11% and 7% of injuries, respectively.
  • Burns accounted for 35% of injuries to the hands and fingers, often the result of young children touching hot lawn mower parts.
  • Nearly all of amputation injuries (97%) were to the feet/toes (50%) and hands/fingers (48%).

Here are some things you can do to reduce the chance of a mowing related injury at your home.

  • Make sure all safety devices on the lawn mower are properly working. (Remove the rag that’s tied over the safety shut off lever).
  • Take a quick walk around the yard to remove items which could become projectiles if hit by the mower: sticks, toys, rocks, etc.
  • Always fuel when the motor is cool; (before starting to mow).  Hot components can ignite spilled fuel.
  • Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing – not sandals
  • Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, inspecting or repairing lawn mower equipment or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas
  • Use a stick or broom handle (not your hands or feet) to clear the mower deck/chute.
  • The Muffler is HOT; make sure not to touch it.  Burns are a major cause of injury to the hands.
  • Children should be at least 12 years old before they operate any lawn mower,
  • Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.
  • Mowing Slopes
    • Walk behind mowers should be used across the slope of the hill.  This prevents sliding under the mower if operator were to slip.
    •  Riding mowers should be driven up and down the slope.
       

 

 

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