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April 21
The Dastardly Chemistry of BBQ

Are you grilling your burgers and chicken safely?  Read here to find out...

April 10
Summer Time is Fast Approaching

Working or playing in the intense Florida sun can be fun and yet harmful.  Protect yourself from the harmful effects of Florida sunshine.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are a part of sunlight that is an invisible form of radiation. UV rays can penetrate and change the structure of skin cells. There are three types of UV rays: ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC). UVA is the most abundant source of solar radiation at the earth's surface and penetrates beyond the top layer of human skin. Scientists believe that UVA radiation can cause damage to connective tissue and increase a person's risk for developing skin cancer. UVB rays penetrate less deeply into skin, but can still cause some forms of skin cancer. Natural UVC rays do not pose a risk to workers because they are absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere.

Learn how to protect yourself from harmful effects of overexposure to Ultra-Violet (UV) radiation here: UV exposure.

Cancer is the most dangerous effect of overexposure but there also exists the possibility of eye damage, sunburn, and heat stress.

April 10
National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health Posts Web Page on Cleaning and Custodial Services

NIOSH has posted a new topic page on cleaning and custodial services. This safety and health topic page describes hazards associated with cleaning tasks and lists NIOSH links to blogs, publications, and other topic pages with recommendations for reducing exposure to those hazards. The topic page also lists resources from academia, other government agencies, industry, and private organizations.  The topic page can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/cleaners/default.html

Publications can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/cleaners/publications.html

March 17
New OSHA Report on Injuries, Workers’ Compensation, and Income

A new OSHA report issued last week describes the financial and social costs of occupational injuries and illnesses and how they contribute to income inequality in the U.S. The report, "Adding Inequality to Injury: The Costs of Failing to Protect Workers on the Job," is available as a PDF on OSHA’s website.

According to OSHA, injured workers, their families, and taxpayer-supported programs pay most of the costs associated with workplace injuries, including lost income and medical care. The report states that changes in state-based workers’ compensation insurance programs have made it difficult for workers with compensable injuries or illnesses to receive all the benefits to which they are entitled. OSHA notes that employers also bear responsibility for this shift in cost: employers now provide only about 20 percent of the overall financial cost of workplace injuries and illnesses through workers’ compensation.

The agency cites changes in the structure of employment relationships in the U.S.—the misclassification of wage employees as independent contractors and the increased use of temporary workers, for example—as factors that exacerbate the incidence and consequences of workplace injuries and illnesses. This changing structure of work in the U.S. is part of a trend that David Weil, PhD, administrator of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division, refers to as the "fissured workplace."

The most effective solution to the problem is to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses from occurring in the first place. Reduction in the number of work injuries and illnesses would also have a significant impact on healthcare system costs, reducing expenditures for hospitalizations and other medical care.

March 17
Should I get a Shingles Vaccination?

​According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster, in their lifetime. There are an estimated 1 million cases of shingles each year in this country. Anyone who has recovered from chickenpox may develop shingles; even children can get shingles. However, the risk of shingles increases as you get older. About half of all cases occur in men and women 60 years old or older.

Some people have a greater risk of getting shingles. This includes people who

  • have medical conditions that keep their immune systems from working properly, such as certain cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and
  • people who receive immunosuppressive drugs, such as steroids and drugs given after organ transplantation.

People who develop shingles typically have only one episode in their lifetime. However, a person can have a second or even a third episode.

Cause

Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant (inactive) in the body. For reasons that are not fully known, the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles. Shingles is not caused by the same virus that causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease.

To learn more about shingles and the vaccination visit the CDC's website.

February 23
Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Risk Management Safety and Loss Prevention Outlook:  Issue 1 | Volume 6 | January-February 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:

  • Emergency Alerts
  • Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders In The Office
  • Social Media: Workplace Considerations
  • Health And Wellness Resolutions For The New Year

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

February 23
With Temperatures Dipping South of Freezing are You Prepared to Work and Play in This Weather?
Weather forecasts are predicting near freezing and sub-freezing for the next several weeks. A Siberian front is threatening near record lows for the next several days. The following link includes helpful hints from CDC on cold exposure, cold effects on health and related symptoms, protection, prevention, preparation, and emergency treatment.  CDC Elcosh Information.

 

February 19
A Public Service Announcement For Safety on Film and Television Sets Honoring The Memory of Sarah Jones Who Was Killed in a Tragic Accident

​The article referenced in this title above serves as a reminder of the importance of implementing daily safety meetings to discuss planned activities for the day, associated safety hazards, and procedures to avoid accidents.  The link below is to an LA Times article that describes a tragic accident in which Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant, was killed by a freight train in Georgia.  The article describes the activities leading up to the accident and highlights the importance of safety.  Although this article is focused on set safety in the film industry, the importance of safety can be extended to all workplace activities.  To learn more about the tragic accident and to view a public service announcement launched by the parents of Sarah follow the link below.

PSA at Sundance: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-sarah-jones-psa-20150126-story.html

January 30
Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Risk Management Safety and Loss Prevention Outlook:  Issue 6 | Volume 5 | November-December 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:

  • The IAC Quarterly Meeting: The Year in Review
  • Oregon Releases National Study on Workers' Compensation Rates
  • Extension Cord Safety: Holiday Do's and Don'ts
  • Ebola: What Safety Coordinators Need to Know
  • Holiday Travel Safety Tips
  • Reducing the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Click here to open the newsletter:  Safety and Loss Prevention Outlook
November 24
2014 Drive Safely Work Month Campaign Week 4: Safety Culture at Home, Defensive Driving, and Roundabouts

We often hear about establishing and maintaining a "Safety Culture" in our daily work life.  However, it is not likely that we think about establishing a Safety Culture at Home.  Teaching our children and other family members about the importance of safety at home starting at a young age can foster life long habits that will reduce their chance of being involved in an automobile accident when they reach driving age.  To learn more about strengthening your safety culture at home, click the link below. 


The Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Risk Management (DRM) offers a free Defensive Driving computer based training program developed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).  This online course is designed to provide State of Florida employees with driving techniques and skills needed to help reduce and prevent crashes on the roadways which could result in personal injury, death and/or financial loss.  To access the training, click this link https://lms.fldfs.com/.  Then select Bureau of Risk Financing and Loss Prevention.   You will then see the course FDOT Defensive Driving Training where you will be prompted to self-enroll.   Once you have enrolled in the course, click the Defensive Driving course title to begin the training and to receive instructions on how to complete the course.  Please make sure to designate Florida State University under "Non-State of Florida Employee".  Also, once you have completed the course let your insurance carrier know, it may help reduce your premium!
 
Not long ago it would have been difficult to find a "roundabout" in Tallahassee.  Now it seems as though these types of traffic intersections are becoming more and more common place.  To better understand how to properly use this type of intersection the Florida Department of Transportation has developed a guide on how to navigate these intersections safely.  To learn more, click on the link below.
 

Safe Use of Roundabouts

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