Free E-Book

October 22, 2008

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Fine Poetry

October 18, 2008

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Preventing Carbon Monoxide Exposure

October 14, 2008
Safety Daily Advisor Newsletter

Today’s Safety Daily Advisor Tip:

10 Tips to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Topic: Safety Management

Carbon monoxide (CO) gas is a common industrial hazard resulting from the incomplete burning of natural gas and any other material containing carbon, such as gasoline, kerosene, oil, propane, coal, or wood. Because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and nonirritating, workers can be poisoned without warning. Here are 10 tips for safeguarding your workforce.
CO poisoning—and even death—can happen very quickly. You may have read about the four people found dead on a houseboat in Illinois last week, and carbon monoxide has been confirmed as the cause of death.

The reason CO can be lethal is that it displaces oxygen in the blood, depriving the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can overcome a worker in minutes, causing the employee to lose consciousness and suffocate. Even if an employee recovers, acute poisoning may result in permanent damage.

The OSHA Required Training for Supervisors monthly newsletter provides the following advice.

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Sources of CO Poisoning

One of the most common sources of industrial CO poisoning is the fuel-driven forklift. The risk of CO poisoning is especially high when gas- or propane-powered forklifts are used inside enclosed spaces, such as tractor trailers, refrigerated storage areas, and other nonventilated spaces. Even with ventilation, the situation can still be hazardous, since poisoning can occur even at low CO concentrations.

Other sources of workplace CO poisoning include:

–Cars or trucks left idling in enclosed spaces, such as a garage,
–Portable fuel-burning power tools, such as concrete saws and chainsaws used in confined or poorly ventilated spaces,
–Generators used indoors,
–Poorly vented or malfunctioning heaters, furnaces, and ovens, and
–Power washers, insulation blowers, and compressors used in enclosed areas.

The risk of CO exposure is heightened during cold winter months when doors, windows, and other sources of natural ventilation may be closed.

How to Minimize the Risks

Here are 10 simple tactics for reducing the risk of CO exposures in work areas under your supervision:

1. Identify potential sources of CO exposure and monitor employee exposure.
2. Make sure ventilation systems are working properly to remove CO.
3. Maintain CO-producing equipment in good working condition.
4. Consider switching from gasoline-powered equipment to equipment powered by electricity, batteries, or compressed air for situations where there is a high risk of CO poisoning.
5. Prohibit the use of fuel-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas.
6. Install CO monitors with audible alarms in areas where CO might be formed.
7. Test air regularly in areas where CO may be present, especially confined spaces.
8. Require employees to use a full facepiece pressure-demand self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or a combination full facepiece pressure-demand supplied-air respirator with auxiliary self-contained air supply in areas with high CO concentrations. Have them use respirators with appropriate canisters for short periods under certain circumstances where CO levels are not exceedingly high.
9. Provide training to educate workers about sources and conditions that may result in CO poisoning, preventive measures, symptoms of exposures, and first aid for CO poisoning.
10. Instruct employees to report ventilation or other problems that could result in CO exposure.

Symptoms of CO Poisoning

It’s important to ensure that your workers are aware of the signs of CO poisoning. Besides tightness across the chest, early symptoms include headache, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, or nausea. (Note that early symptoms could be mistaken for signs of other illness, such as a cold, flu, or food poisoning.) During prolonged or high exposures, symptoms may worsen and include vomiting, confusion, and collapse in addition to loss of consciousness and muscle weakness.

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First Aid for Exposure

When CO poisoning is suspected, prompt action can save a life:
–Immediately move the victim to fresh air in an open area.
–Call emergency medical assistance.
–Administer oxygen if the victim is breathing.
–Administer CPR if the victim is not breathing.

Employees can be exposed to fatal levels of CO in a rescue attempt. Rescuers should be skilled at performing recovery operations and in using equipment.

Tomorrow we’ll tackle the legal, management, and training issues of carbon monoxide in the workplace.

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What’s more, all materials are designed especially for supervisors and managers, and are reproducible, so this one resource meets the needs of your entire facility. Also includes a set of safety program management tools, and annual updates as long as you stay in the program, so that when standards change, you have the checklists to keep you both safe and legal.

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Now you can stop worrying and procrastinating about OSHA safety meetings. Here’s the resource that’s done all the hard preparation for you, 7 Minute Safety Trainer. It delivers complete 7-minute meetings – from outlines… to quizzes… to reproducible handouts. Read more

Safety Audit Checklists
This handy book of checklists helps you easily perform a safety audit. Get your employees and safety committee ready for unexpected OSHA visits, quickly and easily with this checklist system. Helps you uncover problems before you’re cited or fined. Read more

Essential Safety Policies
Workplace safety starts with solid written safety policies, but who’s got time to write them … much less to get them legally reviewed? Now you don’t have to. BLR’s Essential Safety Policies contains 290 pages of prewritten policies and supplementary materials, to meet every key OSHA compliance and best practices need. Easily modify on your computer or use as is. This one’s a tremendous worksaver, and could be a lifesaver! Read more

Safety Meetings Library
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Favorite Poems

October 12, 2008


A Note about Hazers…

October 12, 2008

Hazers are devices used to produce smoke or fog effects in productions, plays and recently in churches.  They produce a fine particulate that has been shown to effect asthmatics in severe ways.  One exposure can cause sensitization and a second a severe asthma attack.  Unfortunately, the second attack can cause long-term and life-term damage.   The devices use various material for producing the smoke/fog.  Some use dry-ice (CO2) while others use glycerin.   It should be noted that if the unit overheats, it can produce acrolein, a suspect carcinogen.

Recently, some churches have begun using hazers for their services despite warnings and concerns by the congregation and music department. As a result, some individuals have experienced the worst type reaction that is possible causing them to stop attending services.  If your church is planning on using these devices, please advise them on the effects.  Encourage them to research the material they plan to use and think about the effects.  For a little light show, it’s not worth the long-term lung damage these materials can cause. 


Dave, 12 Oct 08

Recommended Books!

October 9, 2008

Occupational Safety and Health for Technologists, Engineers, and Managers

Food Safety – From USDA Page

October 9, 2008

Foodborne illness is a serious public health threat. Each year, approximately 76 million cases of foodborne illness occur in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those cases of foodborne illness, more than 325,000 people are hospitalized and about 5,000 deaths occur.

Why Be Food Safe?
Preventing foodborne illness is one of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) top priorities. For more than 100 years, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has worked with our Nation’s commercial suppliers to ensure that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged for public consumption. And because research shows that improper handling, preparation, and storage of food can cause foodborne illness, FSIS has conducted—and is a key stakeholder in—many public education programs to prevent foodborne illness.

What is the Be Food Safe Campaign?
USDA developed the Be Food Safe campaign in cooperation with the Partnership for Food Safety Education, FDA, and CDC because research shows that Americans are aware of food safety, but they need more information to achieve and maintain safe food handling behaviors. The Be Food Safe campaign, which is grounded in social marketing, behavior change, and risk communications theories, is designed to provide educators with the tools to inform consumers about foodborne illness and raise the level of awareness of the dangers associated with improper handling and undercooking of food.

How Can You Help Others Be Food Safe?
Did you know local newspapers and news broadcasts report more news and information on food safety and nutrition than national news outlets? Partnerships with local organizations across the country will factor greatly in the success of this campaign. Partners like you—stakeholders in education, public health, retail, and industry —can achieve a greater momentum for the Be Food Safe message and have a greater positive impact on consumer behavior than one or two organizations alone.

For more information, read the complete Partner’s Campaign Guide (PDF Only).

If you would like to become a Be Food Safe partner, please contact us at Or, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854).

Related Information
For more information regarding the development and launch of this campaign, see also: