August is Safe Driving Awareness Month

From August 17th to September 5th, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is promoting safe and sober driving. Initiatives like this have been hugely successful. Since 1973, drunk driving has declined by 80%! However, over the last 10 years there has been a spike in drug impairment of night weekend drivers. In that time, positive drug tests increased from 16.3% of drivers to 20%. Continue reading “August is Safe Driving Awareness Month”

OSHA Warning on Heat Related Illnesses

Thousands become sick every year and many die due to heat-related illnesses.  With temperatures rising, prepare your employees for working outdoors in excessive heat.

They must know the signs of heat-related illness—

  • Heat Stroke is the most serious and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms include: confusion, fainting, seizures, and hot, dry skin. CALL 911 at any sign of heat stroke.
  • Heat Exhaustion symptoms include: headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst and heavy sweating. Heat fatigue, and heat rash are less serious, but are still signs of over exposure.

They also must know how to handle heat-related illness. If you can,

  • move the person to a shaded area,
  • loosen his/her clothing
  • give him/her water (a little at a time)
  • cool him/her down with ice packs or cool water.

But the best way to beat the heat is through preventative measures that will help avoid these issues. Tell your employees to follow theseprocedures:

  • Hydrate every 15 minutes, even if you’re not thirsty.
  • Rest in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
  • Know the symptoms and what to do in an emergency.
  • Keep an eye on fellow workers.
  • Acclimate – be sure to get used to the heat and build up tolerance.  Many people who die from heat were either new or returning from a break.  If a worker has not worked in hot weather for a week or more, their body needs time to adjust.

How to Work Safely with Silica

Silica, often referred to as quartz, is found in many materials common on construction sites, including soil, sand, concrete, masonry, rock, granite, and landscaping materials. The dust created by cutting, grinding, drilling or otherwise disturbing these materials can contain crystalline silica particles which create a potential health hazard. Continue reading “How to Work Safely with Silica”