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April 08
New CDC study finds dramatic increase in e-cigarette-related calls to poison centers

The latest data from the CDC shows an alarming rise in e-cigarette poisonings due to use of liquid nicotine and lack of effective childproof protection.  Click here details. Quitting smoking is an admirable goal but there are safer smoking cessation programs like the following: Tips From Former Smokers.

February 13
Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Risk Management Safety and Loss Prevention Outlook:  Issue 1 | Volume 5 | January-February 2014

​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.

  • Safety Education Calendar
  • Does Your Agency/University Have A Strategic Plan
  • E-Cigarettes:  What Is On Your Safety Radar?
  • February Is Heart Health Month
  • Safety & Loss Prevention Spotlight
  • Crossword Puzzle
  • Safety Snapshot
  • Claim Spotlight
  • Social Media Success
Click here to open the newsletter:  Safety and Loss Prevention Outlook

 

February 13
American Chemical Society - SAFETY ALERT: The “Rainbow” Demonstration

On January 2, 2014 a demonstration known as the “Rainbow” experiment using a flammable solvent on an open bench resulted in a tragic incident with two high school students from New York being burned.  In early December 2013 the U.S. Chemical Safety and Investigation Board (CSB) released a video that featured Calais Weber, a burn victim of a similar demonstration in 2006 (www.csb.gov/videos/after-the-rainbow).  The video emphasized that the incident was preventable – safer practices were not followed.

The “Rainbow” demonstration performed on an open bench using a flammable solvent is a high risk operation.  When this “Rainbow” is carried out on an open bench, the conditions for a flash fire or deflagration are easily met – a fuel, oxygen, and a source of ignition.  Highly flammable solvents, such as methanol, can produce heavier-than-air vapors that move across surfaces and down toward the floor where they spread undetected among unsuspecting viewers of the demonstration.  A flame, spark, or even very hot surfaces can ignite the vapors resulting in a sudden flash fire or worse if a nearby open container of solvent is located.   Laboratory operations involving flammable solvents should be carried out in a properly functioning chemical hood – not on an open bench. Even carrying out this demonstration in a chemical hood poses risks if fuel sources are not controlled, but doing this in a hood is surely safer than an open bench. Teachers, having an inadequate understanding of the hazards and risks presented by this demonstration, put themselves and their students at unnecessary risk during the conduct of this demonstration.

We chemists all love chemistry and we know the great satisfaction and reward that chemistry has provided to us and we want to share it with our younger generation.  Many of us have seen the joy of students with great demonstrations that thrill and grab their interests in chemistry and science.  However, this demonstration presents a conundrum for teachers – it offers the “wow” factor that interests and delights students, but this demonstration carries with it, a “whoa” factor of very significant risk to students and teachers.  The “whoa” factor clearly outweighs the “wow” factor for this demonstration.

We – the American Chemical Society (ACS) Committee on Chemical Safety – need your help in getting a message out to high school science teachers and university teachers to prevent further injuries from this Rainbow Demonstration.  The ACS alone simply cannot reach all of our nation’s science teachers without your help. We are asking you to pass on the following message to your local science-chemistry teachers in high schools or colleges – please do not assume that they have gotten this message.

The message:

Safety Alert – Stop Using the Rainbow Demonstration: The American Chemical Society Committee on Chemical Safety recommends that the “Rainbow” demonstration on open benches involving the use of flammable solvents such as methanol be discontinued immediately.  When carried out on open benches (outside of a chemical hood) these demonstrations present an unacceptable risk of flash fires and deflagrations that can cause serious injuries to students and teachers.  On an open bench, invisible flammable vapors can flow across and off of the bench to the floor where they can be ignited by a flame, a spark (even static electricity), or even a hot surface.  Even carrying out this demonstration in a hood poses risks if solvents are not adequately controlled.  If you are considering this “Rainbow” demonstration or have used it in the past, we urge you to stop using this demonstration. There are alternatives available that demonstrate the same rainbow colors but don’t use flammable solvents on an open bench. These alternate demonstrations involve soaking wooden splints in salt solutions and then placing the splints in a Bunsen burner to observe the salt’s characteristic color.  We have listed some of these alternatives at www.acs.org/safety.

Robert H. Hill, Jr., Ph.D., Chair, ACS Committee on Chemical Safety

February 05
Emergency Management on the Move

​Emergency Management has transferred from Environmental Health & Safety to the FSU Police Department.  In the coming weeks, all information previously found on the EH&S website related to Emergency Management will be relocated to the FSPD website.  If you have any questions, please contact Dave Bujak.

January 24
Widespread Flu Activity in U.S.

​The CDC weekly update indicates that incidence of influenza is widespread in the United States.  http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/usmap.htm  Illness from the flu can be severe and may be life-threatening to some individuals.  FSU employees and students who are sick should stay home to avoid spreading illness.  Everyone should also be aware that frequent hand-washing is an important protective measure against acquiring infections from others.  Other measures of flu prevention and treatment suggested by the CDC can be viewed at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/index.htm

January 21
Carbon Monoxide Deaths Attributed to Portable Generators

Portable Generators Hold Top Spot in CPSC Report on Carbon Monoxide Deaths & Incidents.  Click the link below for more information.              

January 06
Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Risk Management Safety and Loss Prevention Outlook:  Issue 6 | Volume 4 | November-December 2013

​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.

  • Safer Roads For The Holiday Season
  • Florida Implements "No Texting While Driving" Law
  • Driver Fatigue
  • Agriculture & Consumer Services 2013 Safety Fair
  • Safety & Loss Prevention Spotlight
  • Holiday Safety
  • Occupational Injury & Illness Coalition Meeting
  • Safety Snapshot
  • Claim Spotlight
  • GHS Training Deadline
  • Holiday Depression

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


December 20
Electronic Data Processing and Scientific Equipment Insurance (EDPE)

Equipment that is leased or rented to the University is not covered under the University’s standard Property Insurance Policy.  If the equipment is damaged, the cost for repairs are at the expense of the Department leasing or renting the equipment unless otherwise stated in the contract.  Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) has the ability to purchase insurance to cover potential damages.

You can read more about this insurance at the following website, however if you wish to purchase the insurance, you must do so through EH&S.  Only EH&S is authorized to obtain the coverage.  EH&S is always ready to assist you with your insurance needs.

EDPE Insurance

http://www.dms.myflorida.com/business_operations/state_purchasing/vendor_information/state_contracts_agreements_and_price_lists/insurance_coverage_program/electronic_data_processing_equipment_edpe

December 17
College and University International Education Programs:  Managing the Risks

From an international perspective, the world is presenting us with a continued growth of multinational companies, a greater number of cross-border workers, a growing number of consumers, and an ever increasing amount of imported goods and services.  This challenges us to become more transnational and colleges and universities have been responding accordingly​.

Over the past decade there has been a 144% increase in the number of students that study abroad. Promoting, contracting, and/or sponsoring international education programs, as with any increased institutional activity, brings increased risks to be managed. The link to the document is meant to help colleges and universities obtain a broad understanding of the associated risks of international education programs, and then adopt policies and procedures that will allow them to continue encouraging and promoting important travel abroad among all of their interested constituents.

College and University International Education Programs: Managing the Risks

Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc.  Think Tank event (February 11-13, 2007)

December 12
FDA issues safety communication on HeartStart automated external defibrillators from Philips Healthcare

Some automated external defibrillators made by Philips Medical Systems may be unable to deliver potentially life-saving shocks to the heart in emergency situations, due to an electronic product malfunction.

The AEDs were distributed between 2005 and 2012 and sold under the brand names HeartStartFRx, HeartStartHome, and HeartStartOnsite.

Philips, a unit of Dutch electornics company Royal Philips NV, in August 2012 voluntarily began notifying its customers that some of its more than 600,000 devices, almost half of them located in the United States, might fail to work properly due to a flawed internal electrical component.  Read more at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/04/us-philips-fda-idUSBRE9B312I20131204

FDA spokeswoman Jennifer Rodriguez said the agency issued its safety advisory because Philips has been unable to reach a significant number of its customers, to point out the potential risk.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in a safety advisory posted on the agency's website, provides recommendations on how to better inspect and monitor readiness of the previously recalled HeartStart AEDs.  The FDA issues safety communication can be read at:

http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm377433.htm

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