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October 12
Keeping Cool Under Pressure: NYC Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak, Summer 2015

Legionella bacteria are found naturally in fresh water and can live in most any warm water that isn't properly treated with chemicals.  Most people exposed to Legionella bacteria don’t get sick, but individuals who are older or already have health problems are at risk for developing Legionnaires’ disease. It’s not surprising for large cities to report several cases of the disease every year. However, epidemiologists are always on the lookout for an increase in cases that might suggest an outbreak of the disease.  Click here to read more.

October 12
Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Risk Management Safety and Loss Prevention Outlook:  Issue 4 | Volume 6 | September-October 2015

The Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Risk Management produces a periodic newsletter titled Safety and Loss Prevention Outlook.  In this issue, the following topics are presented:

  • UCF Honored for Safety Efforts
  • Fire Prevention Week
  • Loss Prevention Best Practices Spotlight - FDACS
  • Safe Lifting Poster
  • National Recovery Month
  • Personal Safety and Situational Awareness

Click here to open the newsletter:  Safety and Loss Prevention Outlook

October 12
Antibacterial handwash 'no better than plain soap' for fighting germs

​Millions of US consumers spend nearly $1 billion annually on "antibacterial" and "antimicrobial" soap, but is it really better than plain soap? A recent study shows little significant difference between the bactericidal effects of plain soap and antibacterial soap when used under real-life conditions.  Read more here:

October 09
4 Mammography Myths

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. In an effort to educate the public about breast cancer, the FDA has released an article talking about myths of having a mammogram. Knowing the truth about mammograms could help save your life, or the life of someone you love.

Click here for more information.

October 01
Common Solvent Keeps Killing Workers, Consumers
Johnathan Welch was 18 and working through lunch when the fumes killed him, stealing oxygen from his brain, stopping his heart. The chemical linked to his death in 1999 wasn't a newly discovered hazard, nor was it hard to acquire. Methylene chloride, which triggered similar deaths dating as far back as the 1940s, could be bought barely diluted in products on retail shelves. It still can. And it's still killing people.  There are many solvents on the market that have significant safety and health concerns.  Prior to using any chemical one should read the label and consult the Safety Data Sheet for guidance on personal protective equipemt.  Of particular note is the need to provide adequate ventilation to reduce or prevent inhalation exposures.   
Follow this link to read more:
September 28
Engineering Controls, Hierarchy of Controls, and Prevention Through Design
Engineering Controls, although the most effective way to prevent workplace injury, are not always feasible.  If engineering controls are possible they should be incorporated into the earliest stage of design.  This approach known as “Prevention Through Design” is applicable to a vast array of hazardous conditions including building construction, equipment design, laboratory day-to-day operations, or design of the laboratory itself.  Over time, this is a cost effective way to prevent injury, illness, and even death and should be part of the design and appropriation process.  The following link discusses these issues and how to go about setting up a comprehensive program.
If Prevention through Design is not possible there exists a Hierarchy of Controls that should be part of any safety program.
August 26
Yes, that Plague

​Did you believe that the plague was eraadicated centuries ago? Did you travel out west this summer, perhaps to camp in Yosemite National Park or explore California, Arizona or Colorado? Are you just curious about rare diseases?


August 26
Do You Use Your Cell Phone While Driving?  Then read this...
July 24
Slip, Trip and Fall Assessment Guide

​Slips, trips and falls are one of the primary risk exposures at FSU.  Both General Liability (third party claims) and Workers' Compensation (injured employees) Insurance claims for slips, trips and falls are generally the most frequent and costly that occur at FSU.  FSU is not alone when considering these types of claims causes.  According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, in the U.S., there are more than 8.7 million people injured from slip, trip and fall incidents every year. The most common injuries are joint injuries, typically to the wrist, elbow, shoulder and knee. Back injuries also occur often. These types of injuries affect every aspect of business, from employees to contractors, visitors and the public.

The Zurich Services Corporation has developed a simple "slip, trip and fall assessment guide", a framework to evaluate and assess the potential risk associated with these types of accidents. To access the guide click on the link below.

Slip, Trip and Fall Assessment Guide

July 21
CSB Requests - ACS Delivers: A Tool to Improve Safety in Research Laboratories

Our FSU Laboratory Safety Officer, Janice Dodge served on the task force for this ACS Committee and directly contributed key portions of this document from tools that she developed for use at our own University.

Report: Texas Tech University Chemistry Lab Explosion
Recommendation Number(s): 2010 5 I TX R2
Date Issued: September 30, 2011 (released October 19, 2011)
Recipient: American Chemical Society (ACS)
New Status: Closed – Exceeds Recommended Action
Date of Status Change: Pending Board vote

Recommendation Text(s): Develop good practice guidance that identifies and describes methodologies to assess and control hazards that can be used successfully in a research laboratory.

Board Status Change Decision

  1. Rationale for Recommendation

    On January 7, 2010, a graduate student within the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at Texas Tech University (TTU) was severely injured after the chemical he was working with unexpectedly detonated. The CSB’s investigation found that the physical hazards of the student’s research were not effectively assessed and controlled, and that comprehensive hazard evaluation guidance for research laboratories did not exist. The non-profit American Chemical Society (ACS) has published several widely-accessed publications related to safety and health as it relates to chemistry; therefore, the Board recommended that ACS develop guidance for assessing and controlling hazards in research laboratories.

  2. Response to the Recommendation

    On May 28, 2015, the ACS published a draft second document: Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories: Guidelines developed by the Hazards Identification and Evaluation Task Force of the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Chemical Safety.1

    The scope of the ACS document indicates that it is intended for use for laboratory researchers “without deference to where they are in their careers” all with “varied approaches to learning and experimental design and who may require different kinds of assessment tools.”

    The document identifies and describes in detail five different methodologies for “identification of hazards, analysis of the risks presented by each hazard [and] a selection of controls that will allow the work to be done safely”: Chemical Safety Levels/Control Banding, Job Hazard Analysis, What-if Analysis, Checklists and Structured Development of Standard Operating Procedures.

    The document also addresses the variable nature of the work conducted within research laboratories and provides practical examples of changes that might require a hazard analysis, discusses factors that affect recognition of change and provides organizational strategies for ensuring recognition of, and appropriate response to, significant changes in research environments. Consistent with the CSB’s case study, the document emphasizes the importance of both reporting and discussing “incidents, near misses, and close calls.” The ACS’s publication emphasizes the importance of striving for continuous improvement by identifying lessons learned during the course of work, and using lessons learned to inform future hazard evaluations.

    1 Available at:

  3. Board Analysis and Decision

    ACS’s document, Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories, exceeds the CSB Recommendation No. 2010-05-I-TX-R2. The thoroughness of the publication, accompanied by the additional publication on safety culture, is beyond what the CSB requested in its recommendation. Therefore, the Board voted to change the status of the CSB’s Recommendation No. 2010-5-I-TX-R2 to: “Closed- Exceeds Recommended Action.”

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