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Starbucks is installing needle-disposal boxes in locations across America

Starbucks’ efforts to address opioid use and improperly disposed needles in its bathrooms are expanding.

Starbucks stores in at least 25 US markets have installed needle-disposal boxes in bathrooms in recent months. By this summer, the chain aims to have installed sharps boxes in bathrooms in all regions where such action has been deemed necessary.

The coffee giant also allows local district managers or store managers to put in requests to have sharps-disposal boxes installed in their locations’ bathrooms.

“We are always working and listening to our partners on ways we can better support them when it comes to issues like these,” Reggie Borges, a Starbucks representative, said in an email to Business Insider.

Starbucks has been testing solutions in recent months as workers’ safety concerns have mounted, with thousands of employees signing a petition calling for Starbucks to place needle-disposal boxes in high-risk bathrooms.

The company also faced at least one government investigation related to the issue in 2018 after two employees in a Eugene, Oregon, location were stuck with hypodermic needles within a month of each other, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) documents obtained by Business Insider through a Freedom of Information Act request.

“I think the biggest and boldest move that Starbucks leaders can do right now is to step aside from the potential political problems behind needle-disposal boxes in restrooms and give it a nationwide launch,” one Seattle Starbucks worker whose location recently installed boxes in bathrooms told Business Insider.

“We have had zero toilet clogs and zero needles found in an unsafe place since we had them installed last month,” the worker said. “It’s been really wonderful.”

Six Starbucks employees who spoke with Business Insider asked to remain anonymous in order to speak frankly.

‘It is a scary situation’

starbucks needle

An uncapped needle that a Starbucks worker said she found in the trash in December 2018.

According to the Seattle Starbucks worker and other employees at the coffee giant who have worked in urban locations, encountering syringes on the job is often a fact of life.

“They generally appear in bathrooms, either wrapped up in paper towels or lurking at the surface of the garbage,” the Seattle employee said. “We are responsible for removing them from public spaces and placing them in a sharps-disposal kit, always with gloves if not with tongs. Less often, they are poking out of the bottom of the bag when changing.”

While messy bathrooms and drug use can create an uncomfortable work environment, most employees’ top fear is an accidental needle prick. Being stuck by a hypodermic needle means risking exposure to HIV and hepatitis, and it requires workers to immediately visit a hospital or urgent-care unit for testing and treatment.

“It is a scary situation to see because we don’t have needle-proof gloves and the only protection we have against any sharp objects is ‘double bagging’ a trash can with two bags instead of one, which is a ridiculous thing to actually think two plastic bags can stop a sharp needle,” said a Nashville, Tennessee, Starbucks employee who has worked at the chain for more than a decade.

Starbucks provides training for employees on how to safely deal with hypodermic needles, including instructions for how to safely dispose of garbage and what to do in case of a needle-prick injury. Sharps kits have long been available in Starbucks locations — albeit not installed in bathrooms — as stores have the option to order a sharps kit along with their first-aid kits.

According to Starbucks, any employee who feels unsafe performing a task is encouraged to speak with his or her manager and will not be made to perform the action.

“These societal issues affect us all and can sometimes place our [employees] in scary situations, which is why we have protocols and resources in place to ensure our partners are out of harm’s way,” Borges told Business Insider.

While Starbucks has established safety procedures, government documents and conversations with workers revealed that Starbucks has recently been forced to find new solutions in response to employees’ growing concerns about needle-stick injuries on the job.

A 2018 OSHA investigation sparked change

OSHA

Images of a needle-prick injury and a needle popping out of a bag in Oregon OSHA filings.

 

In October 2018, the Oregon OSHA opened an investigation into a Eugene, Oregon, Starbucks location after an employee filed a complaint with the administration. Two employees had recently been stuck by hypodermic needles at the store, the OSHA investigation confirmed.

Worry over needle sticks had reached such intensity at the Eugene Starbucks that a second employee filed a complaint after the Oregon OSHA had already begun investigating the situation.

“The manager confirmed two employees had received needlestick injuries within the last month from hypodermic needles left uncapped in the bathroom, and stated needles and blood had been found in the bathroom at this location for over a year, but the frequency of needles being left in the bathrooms had increased significantly in recent months,” the Oregon OSHA inspection narrative said.

All employees at the Eugene, Oregon, store were required to sign a form to acknowledge that they had completed a sharps-exposure-prevention training.

“During interviews, employees expressed frustration that a sharps container was not in the bathrooms for guests to use,” the OSHA inspection narrative added.

“Employees who received a sharps injury stated that they had not been contacted by anyone from Starbucks’ corporate office regarding their injuries,” the OSHA inspection narrative said.

Starbucks was penalized $3,100 in the investigation, according to documents viewed by Business Insider, with the Oregon OSHA issuing fines for five violations in January 2019.

Among these fines was a $700 penalty for not providing containers for sharps in or near bathrooms where contaminated sharps were commonly found. Other violations included not making the hepatitis B vaccine available to all workers who might be exposed to the disease through needle pricks, insufficient training, and exposure-control programs, and not having a properly functioning safety committee as required by Oregon law.

Starbucks made a number of changes at the location, according to OSHA documents filed by the coffee shop’s manager of risk control in January.

The location removed fixtures in the bathroom, including large trash cans, diaper-changing stations, paper-towel dispensers, and toilet-seat-liner holders, and it moved a portable sharps container closer to the area where sharps had been found. According to the letter of corrective action, there have not been any needles found in the location’s bathrooms since it made the changes.

Starbucks also updated its training processes and an exposure-control plan related to blood-borne pathogens.

Starbucks declined to comment further on the OSHA investigation.

How needle-disposal boxes and sharps kits protect workers

cinta sharps

Green Guard provides organizations with various sharps disposal programs including safe disposal of knife blades used in shipping departments.

 

The opioid crisis is affecting restaurants, retailers, and other organizations with public bathrooms across the US.

In a study led by Brett Wolfson-Stofko for New York University’s Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, 58% of the 86 New York City business managers surveyed said they had encountered drug use in their businesses’ bathrooms. Another Center for Drug Use and HIV Research study of 15 service-industry workers found that a significant majority had encountered drug use, syringes, or both in bathrooms while on the job.

Wolfson-Stofko told Business Insider in January that employees he interviewed expressed concerns about being pricked by needles or having customers injure themselves. People who are inadvertently pricked by needles often pay hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket for emergency-room visits, tests, and medication.

“They’re concerned about their health,” Wolfson-Stofko said of the workers surveyed. “They’re concerned about their customers’ health.”

Installing sharps containers is one of the first things that businesses can do to help workers avoid contact with improperly discarded syringes, according to Wolfson-Stofko. He also suggested that companies looking for ways to support in-store workers could provide training on how to deal with overdosing customers and support the installation of supervised injection facilities in their communities.

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Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/starbucks-needle-disposal-boxes-more-locations-2019-4


Why are you waiting? Sign up your team for CPR certification.

CPR/First Aid Training – Corporate and Group Classes

Green Guard offers weekly CPR classes for companies and groups, Green Guard’s CPRAED and First Aid training program will help employers meet OSHA and other federal and state regulatory requirements for training employees how to respond and care for medical emergencies at work.

This 2-year certification course conforms to the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC, and the 2015 AHA and ARC Guidelines Update for First Aid.

Looking for a Team Building opportunity? Learn to save a life while providing a great team building exercise.

 

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5 Forklift Safety Elements – Part 1

5 elements of forklift safety – Part 1

Train for safety

OSHA estimates that 35,000 serious injuries and 62,000 non-serious injuries involving forklifts occur annually. Further, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 96 U.S. workers were killed in incidents involving forklifts in 2015.

A safety guide published by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries states that workers without proper training and knowledge of forklift operation, as well as operators who maneuver forklifts carelessly, have an increased risk of injury or death.

A commitment to safety begins with proper training. The guide further states that “an untrained forklift operator can be as dangerous as an unlicensed driver of a motor vehicle.” OSHA’s Powered Industrial Trucks Standard – 29 CFR 1910.178 – establishes that “the employer shall ensure that each powered industrial truck operator is competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by the successful completion of the training and evaluation” outlined in the standard.

OSHA requires training programs to combine formal instruction, such as lectures and written material, with practical training and a workplace performance evaluation. Washington L&I Safety and Health Technical Specialist Drew Kertzman said that a prevalence of qualified experts and resources has allowed for improved training in recent years. Still, operators should be mindful of the differences between various types and models of forklifts and lift trucks.

“The gap that I’ve seen in the past is just presuming that once you’re trained on one forklift, you automatically know how to maneuver all forklifts,” Kertzman said. “As you get larger and larger (forklifts), they operate differently, and as you go from model to model, they are a little bit different.”

 

Stay tuned for next weeks Part – 2 “Perform Checkups”

 

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Source: https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/16138-elements-of-forklift-safety

 


4 Simple Steps to Use a Fire Extinguisher At Work

Using a fire extinguisher in the workplace

According to OSHA, the most common emergency small businesses must plan for is a fire. Fire extinguishers can be invaluable tools to help fight smaller fires in the workplace or to protect evacuation routes in the event of a larger one.

OSHA requires employers to thoroughly train workers not only how to use an extinguisher properly, but also how to accurately assess a situation and determine when evacuation is the safest course of action. OSHA requires employees to be trained in fire extinguisher use on an annual basis, at a minimum.

A simple 4 step fire extinguisher training technique to use with employees is the PASS method:

      Pull the pin on the extinguisher

     Aim the hose nozzle low toward the base of the fire

     Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.             

     Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until extinguished

 

Knowing how to operate the extinguisher is not the end of training. Employee responders to a fire also should be trained to adhere to the following protocol:

  • If appropriate, sound the fire alarm or call the fire department immediately.
  • Before approaching the fire, determine an evacuation route safe of flames, excessive heat and smoke. Do not allow this evacuation route to become blocked.
  • Use the PASS technique for discharging an extinguisher and back away from the area if the fire flares up again.
  • If the extinguisher is empty and the fire is not out, evacuate immediately.
  • If the fire grows beyond what can be safely handled, evacuate immediately.

 

Fire extinguishers are meant to handle only small fires. If a fire becomes too large or the environment becomes too dangerous, employees should know when and how to evacuate the area. If any of the following conditions are present, workers should follow evacuation procedures immediately and should not attempt to fight the fire with an extinguisher:

 

The fire is too large. The fire involves flammable solvents, is partially hidden behind a wall or ceiling, cannot be reached from a standing position, or covers more than 60 square feet in area.

The air is unsafe to breathe. Levels of smoke make the fire impossible to fight without some form of respiratory protection.

The environment is too hot or smoky. Radiated heat is easily felt, making it hard to approach a fire within adequate range of using the extinguisher (about 10-15 feet). It is necessary to crawl on the floor to avoid heat or smoke. Visibility is poor.

Evacuation paths are impaired. The fire is not contained and heat, smoke or flames block potential evacuation routes.

 

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Source: https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/5549-properly-using-a-fire-extinguisher-in-the-workplace


8 Tips to Reduce Warehouse Utility Knife Accidents

It goes without saying. ALWAYS exercise caution when using a utility knife.

But it’s easy to forget safety tips when you’re under the gun to open a large load of cartons, loads secured with nylon banding or pallets wrapped with multiple layers of stretch film. That’s when simple mistakes can turn into serious workplace injuries. In fact, a single serious cut from a box opener can easily exceed thousands of dollars for emergency medical care, workers’ compensation and lost productivity.

In addition to causing worker injury, using a utility knife improperly can also damage a carton’s contents, rendering the goods unsalable and more losses. Worse yet, cutting the inner contents can cause liquid and powder spills that present slip and fall dangers to co-workers or customers.

We know—you get it. Especially if you play a role in keeping your workplace safe and productive.

SAFE WAREHOUSE CUTTING TECHNIQUES

  1. PROPER POSITION. Position the carton so it’s a safe distance from your abdomen, hips and thighs. Then draw the knife away from your body. Always maintain a safe distance from co-workers and customers as you cut.
  2. SHARP IS SAFE. A dull blade requires additional pressure to make the cut or may tear the cardboard. Stop and change the blade when needed. A dull blade cuts erratically and can easily slip off the cutting path, increasing chances for injury.
  3. VISUAL GUIDANCE. Never use your thumb as a guide to position the blade. Instead, plan your cut visually and grasp the knife with your entire hand.
  4. CUT AWAY FOR HANDS. Hold the carton with your hand on the opposite side you’re cutting. Keep your hands and fingers away from the cutting area at all times.
  5. PROPER EXCHANGE. Never toss or hand a knife to a co-worker. Set it down and let the co-worker pick it up.
  6. BLADE DISPOSAL. Discard used blades in a safe blade storage receptacle. Never toss in the garbage where they might injure an unsuspecting person.
  7. SAFETY DROPS. If you drop a knife, don’t try to catch it. Let it fall to the floor. Then examine the blade and mechanism for possible damage before using it again.
  8. STRETCH FILM DIRECTION. Pull stretch film away from the pallet contents before starting the cut. Start cutting the film from the top of the pallet. Never slice stretch film from the bottom up.

 

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Source: https://olfa.com/professional/tips-to-reduce-warehouse-utility-knife-accidents/


It’s Never Too Late To Learn – First Aid/CPR Classes for Groups & Corporations

CPR/First Aid Training – Corporate and Group Classes

Green Guard offers weekly CPR classes for companies and groups, Green Guard’s CPRAED and First Aid training program will help employers meet OSHA and other federal and state regulatory requirements for training employees how to respond and care for medical emergencies at work.

This 2-year certification course conforms to the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC, and the 2015 AHA and ARC Guidelines Update for First Aid.

Looking for a Team Building opportunity? Learn to save a life while providing a great team building exercise.

 

Call Now to speak with a Green Guard CPR/First Aid Training Specialist

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Mother saves daughter after drowning using CPR

A woman new to Central Texas is sharing her story after using CPR to save her daughter’s life.

“She’s the ultimate girly-girl. She loves all things sparkly and pink and purple and unicorns and babydolls and butterflies, dancing,” says Melissa Garcia, talking about her daughter Maddie.

Maddie is an extraordinary little girl. And at six years old, she already has an incredible story.

Her family says moments with the aspiring doctor and dancer are special because after a near-death experience at the pool, they thought she wouldn’t be here today.

The image her older brother saw on that hot summer day three years ago is one he’ll never forget.

“I just saw her floating in the water. I thought she was gone,” her older brother told FOX44.

Their mother Melissa Garcia was close by, and rushed to Maddie’s rescue – fearing all hope was lost.

“I yanked her up by her wrists, and she was kind of just limp and blue,” Garcia recalls.

Garcia knew CPR. But by the time she got to her, little Maddie was unresponsive without a pulse. She still did all she could to save her daughter.

“It took about ten to 12 minutes for the paramedics to arrive, so I just nonstop was doing CPR on her,” Garcia says.

She says the ten to 12 minutes felt like a lifetime.

“Every time I would blow air in her mouth, water would come out. So I kind of tilted her to the side and lay her back down and keep going,” Garcia says.

 

Doctors were able to save Maddie’s life, but they call her a miracle – a miracle that would have been impossible without CPR.

So during summer months like these, Garcia spreads Maddie’s story to other families.

“If this is what I can do, if this is what good comes out of that is me spreading the word out about how important pool safety and first aid CPR training is, then that’s what I’m going to do to help other people,” Garcia says.

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Source: https://www.centexproud.com/news/local/mother-saves-daughter-after-drowning-using-cpr/2059183427


9 First Aid Tips You’ll Actually Use

First aid tips—especially when shared by paramedics—focus on emergency situations and procedures.

It’s all about how to react when blood is spurting, parts are missing, or breathing has stopped. That’s all good information, but the best first aid tips are for the mundane injuries that are most likely to happen at the company picnic or a child’s birthday party.

You shouldn’t ignore the advice on calling 911 or learning CPR. But it’s good to know what first aid you can do for the little things.

1. Stop a Bloody Nose

young man with bloody nose looking mirror

MAURO FERMARIELLO/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Bloody noses can happen without warning (and probably should be reported to your doctor), but the majority of bloody noses have help, usually in the form of digital trauma. That simply means nose-picking. If your nose starts bleeding and you didn’t do something to traumatize it, tell the doctor. Otherwise, keep your fingers out of your nostrils. If you can’t, learn how to stop a bloody nose.

2. Treat a Cut Finger

Finger with a bead of blood
 Jonathan Knowles/Stone/Getty Images

There’s nothing special about ​how to treat cut finger. You could use this first aid tip on a sliced nose, a split earlobe or a torn toe just as easily as a pinky finger. But when you do have blood dripping on the floor of your house it’s most likely coming from your digits. Thumbs, of course, are also included.

3. Treat a Sprain

sprained ankle

pixelfit/E+/Getty Images

Even if you’re not sliding into second base or crawling on rocks, everybody eventually gets a twisted ankle. You can sprain a wrist playing the Wii or taking out the garbage. As a normal adult, you need to know how to treat a sprain.

4. Remove a Splinter

Removing a splinter
Glass and Mirror

As far back as kindergarten, you had to know how to remove a splinter. From playground equipment to trees and debris, splinters are ubiquitous with growing up. But in case you missed some of the fine points, review how to do it right and help prevent an infection.

5. Stop Diarrhea

woman with abdominal pain

coloroftime / Getty Images

Even the most astute first aid instructor forgot to put first aid tips on how to stop diarrhea in the class. If you plan to travel outside your zip code, you might want to know how to battle the inevitable gastric somersaults you’re gonna feel. Not all rumbly tummies come from bad bugs, so you’ll likely need these tips at home, as well.

 

6. Treat Nausea

Nausea

Image © Photodisc / Getty Images

It stands to reason that if it’s coming out one end, it’s coming out the other. There’s not too much you can do for throwing up that isn’t fixed by finding the cause of nausea. However, every little bit helps. You really should know how to treat nausea.

 

7. Kill Head Lice

head lice

Melanie Martinez

You bathe and you shampoo your hair. There’s absolutely no chance you could get head lice, right? Wrong. Head lice love a clean head of hair—it’s where they live. The good news is that it’s not the end of the world. Head lice aren’t particularly dangerous—they’re just really gross. You need to know how to kill head lice.

 

8. Treat Bug Bites

big mosquito bite

dorioconnell Getty Images

Head lice aren’t the only critters that bite. There are millions of little biting bugs out there. Lots of them are in your house right now. Besides cut fingers, the most used first aid tip of all will be how to treat bug bites.

 

9. Treat a Burn

Skin Burn

PHOTO RESEARCHERS, INC. Getty

Touching the rack of a hot oven can really ruin the cookies. Luckily, you can pretty much handle the injury all by yourself. First, get off the computer and go put your finger under cold water. In 10 minutes, come back and check how to treat a burn.

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Source: https://www.centexproud.com/news/local/mother-saves-daughter-after-drowning-using-cpr/2059183427


NJ dads hailed as heroes after performing CPR at Paterson softball game

Two dads from Paterson, New Jersey are being called heroes after their weekend on the softball field assistant-coaching their daughters’ game nearly ended with one woman dead.

Thankfully, John Molina is a Paterson firefighter and retired Paterson Police Lieutenant Washington Griffin spent nearly 30 years on the force.

Molina was standing along the first baseline when shouting and panic ensued behind the bench of the opposing team. A woman believed to be in her 50s had stopped breathing.

“For a person to take their last breath in my arms, that’s when everything kicked in,” said Molina. “I saw her head fall back into the chair,” said Molina, who rushed over.

Griffin spotted what was going on from across the field.

“He was putting her on her back and clearing her airway. He said she went into cardiac arrest and so I jumped in and helped with chest compressions,” said the retired lieutenant.

The woman’s face was turning blue. Panic ensued and children and family looked on.

The ‘Lady Ballers’ softball team players are about 9 or 10-years-old.

But Molina and Griffin knew exactly what to do. Working as a team to perform CPR, they eventually detected a heartbeat. Paramedics arrived and rushed the unnamed woman to St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Today, both were reluctant to be called heroes.

“It’s my job, my duty so I’m not gonna say hero,” said Molina.

And to their children – they are surely seen as superheroes.

I told my daughter if she is in a position to help, she should help,” said Griffin, whose daughter is 9.

What happened to the woman that caused her to lose consciousness is not being released. But from what Molina and Griffin have been able to gather, they believe she is awake, talking and hopefully doing well.

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Source: https://pix11.com/2019/05/29/nj-dads-hailed-as-heroes-after-performing-cpr-at-paterson-softball-game/


Learn How To Save A Life – First Aid/CPR Classes for Groups & Corporations

CPR/First Aid Training – Corporate and Group Classes

Green Guard offers weekly CPR classes for companies and groups, Green Guard’s CPRAED and First Aid training program will help employers meet OSHA and other federal and state regulatory requirements for training employees how to respond and care for medical emergencies at work.

This 2-year certification course conforms to the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC, and the 2015 AHA and ARC Guidelines Update for First Aid.

Looking for a Team Building opportunity? Learn to save a life while providing a great team building exercise.

 

Call Now to speak with a Green Guard CPR/First Aid Training Specialist

Click Here to learn more about CPR/First Aid training

Click Here for webChat

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