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Bulk Refillable Soap Dispensers Could Be Making You Sick

A recent study has shown that hands can have as much as 25 times more germs after washing with refillable bulk soap than before washing.

Refillable bulk soap is the kind of washroom soap that’s typically poured from a gallon jug into an open dispenser reservoir. Find out how this soap can put your health at risk, then take action to help stop the threat.

The Risk

  • The germs identified in bulks soap have led to infections and fatalities in immunocompromised individuals
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),1 Health Canada,2 and the World Health Organization (WHO)3 have all recognized the bacterial contamination risk of “topping off” refillable bulk soap dispensers, and have issued guidelines against the practice.

The Image

In addition to the health risk posed to tenants and washroom users, refillable bulk soap can negatively affect the image of buildings and washrooms. The pouring of soup into multiple dispensers is slow and can leave a soapy mess. The extended labor time and product waste translate to cost issues, impacting customers’ bottom lines.

The Safe, Smart and Sustainable Alternative

Building owners and facility managers have an alternative that addresses the problems associated with refillable bulk soaps. GOJO SANITARY SEALED™ Refills are factory sealed to help lock out germs. It’s the sealed soap system that’s better for people, the planet and the bottom line of customers.

Read the original article and study here.

 

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings: Recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee and the HICPAC/SHEA/APIC/IDSA Hand Hygiene Task Force. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. October 25, 2002 / Vol. 51 / No. RR-16. Accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/Guidelines.html on May 18, 2010.
  2. Health Canada Guidance Document for Human-Use Antiseptic Drugs. December 2009. pg 32. 
  3. World Health Organization (2009) WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization Press. 

 

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A Phone app for CPR trained citizens…

Phone app alerts CPR trained citizens of nearby cardiac arrest incidents

Ramsey County is rolling out a new smartphone app that alerts people trained in CPR to any cardiac arrest incident that may be near them.

“If a citizen, a bystander can intervene and if they can find an AED, our efforts can be much more effective and we’re finally going to move the mark on cardiac arrest survivability in our communities,” said Maplewood EMS Chief Mike Mondor.

A new smartphone app, called PulsePoint, uses the phone’s geo-tracking technology to alert those trained in CPR to a nearby cardiac arrest. The app is tied into the Ramsey County 911 center to send out push notifications when a cardiac arrest call comes in.

“It’s going to show my location by the blue dot,” said Ramsey County Emergency Communications Manager Johnathan Rasch. “It’s going to show me the location that’s been reported of the cardiac arrest. And then, that AED icon is showing me the location of a public AED, and so that is visible here. And so, if I scroll around a little bit I can see things that might be nearby.”

The goal is to save time.

Every minute that a victim goes without oxygen to their brain reduces the chances of survival significantly,” said Lakeview Hospital Medical Director Dr. Bjorn Peterson. “So, by getting this technology out and letting the community respond to these events and help each other, we can double or even triple the chances that victim is going to survive. And not just survive, but with minimal to none of permanent brain damage.”

It’s about life and power, all in the palm of our hands.

“The opportunity to save someone when they are literally nearing death’s door is something that’s rare and it can change someone’s lives literally forever,” said Chief Mondor. “So, by downloading this app we ensure that more people are ready to save our neighbors.”

St. Louis Park, Winona, and Moorehead are already using this technology. Ramsey County says there were 60 cardiac arrest events in the county last year where a bystander could have made a difference in saving a life.

 


March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month – Did you Know….

Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety group, has declared March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month to provide employers and employees with free information on the best ways to keep vision healthy on the job. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day, about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment.

Common causes for eye injuries in the workplace are:

  • Flying objects (bits of metal, glass)
  • Tools
  • Particles
  • Chemicals
  • Harmful radiation
  • Any combination of these or other hazards

The proper eye protection depends on the hazards in the workplace. For example, for those working in areas with particles, flying objects, or dust, employees must at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side shields). If working with chemicals, appropriate goggles should be always be worn. If working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers, or fiber optics), special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets designed for that task should be worn.

In office settings, computer use combined with personal use of digital devices such as tablets and smartphones increases the risk of digital eye strain. Symptoms may include blurred vision, dry eyes or headaches. The Vision Council reports that more than 87 percent of individuals ages 18 to 39, more than 82 percent of individuals ages 40 to 59, and 76 percent of individuals ages 60 and up use digital devices for more than two hours per day. Blue light exposure received from digital screens is small compared to the amount of exposure from the sun. And yet, there is concern over the long-term effects of screen exposure because of the close proximity of the screens and the length of time spent looking at them.

Employers may download and distribute free fact sheets on workplace safety, including “Blue Light and Your Eyes,” at https://www.preventblindness.org/fact-sheets. “Keeping eyes healthy today actually saves on healthcare costs in the future,” said Hugh R. Parry, President, and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We encourage everyone to talk with their employers about the best ways to keep their vision protected at work. And, make sure to talk to an eye care professional about the best eye protection for any activity.”

Source: https://www.preventblindness.org

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Looking For A Team Building Opportunity?

Team Building CPR/First Aid – Corporate Classes

Anyone can learn CPR, are your employees trained to save a life? 

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.

CPR classes are a great team building opportunity!

 

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Washing Your Hands of a Situation Can Be a Good Thing

Washing Your Hands of a Situation Can Be a Good Thing

One of the best ways to protect your hands—and the rest of you—is good, old-fashioned soap.

Ok, apologies in advance if this topic grosses you out, but there’s a study out that says more than half of the people who use their companies’ restrooms don’t wash their hands before leaving. That’s just wrong in so many ways, but what really gets me to wondering is: Why? It’s not like it costs the employee anything to use the water or the soap or the towels (whether paper, cloth or air-blowers). Plus, while we’re all understandably squeamish about those nasty germs being spread on doorknobs, desks and other things the employee might end up touching, the majority of those germs are staying right there with him or her. So again I wonder: Why?

I’m currently fighting a cold—living in Ohio, it’s a mere matter of time before the elements caught up to me—despite all my best efforts to wash my hands early and often and to avoid touching anything that looks in the least bit nasty. So I’m especially annoyed when people leave a restroom without even pretending to clean up after themselves. I mean, C’mon! That’s just nasty!

 

In a rush? Anyways, the study, which was conducted by Bradley Corp. (a company that manufactures commercial washroom, emergency safety, and industrial solutions), speculates that maybe the employees are in a rush to get on with something else, but that seems like a pretty lousy reason. They’re putting themselves and their fellow workers at danger for the sake of saving, what, an extra 30 seconds to wash and dry their hands? Nobody is that busy.

Part of it seems to be a gender thing, according to the survey, which says 63% of men frequently or occasionally don’t wash their hands after using the restroom, compared to 49% of women. I dunno… I’m not comforted much by the thought that only half of women don’t wash their hands.

Is it a pride thing, one of those “I’m too cool to bother with washing my hands” attitudes? Is it a matter of upbringing, a lapse in common sense that can be laid at the feet of absent parents who never explained to their kids how and why to wash their hands? Is it just plain rudeness, or even worse, a deliberate act meant to spread nasty substances throughout the world? The survey doesn’t really say.

But for those of you who want to know what constitutes a good, thorough hand-washing experience, Bradley Corp. recommends using soap, running water and vigorous scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.

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5 First Aid Myths – What You Need To Know…

In a medical emergency, the right response can save lives

Many of us are still doing the wrong thing. Getting first aid right can mean the difference between life and death. Here are some of the most common myths about first aid… and what you should do instead.

 

MYTH 1: Put butter on a burn

Any new burn that’s exposed to the air is incredibly painful. Covering it with a cool substance such as butter will slightly ease the agony for a time. But the pain will soon return –  and sealing off the air before the burn has cooled can keep the heat in, meaning the skin continues to burn.

For most burns, the general advice instead is to remove any clothing and jewelry touching the burn, then to run your burn under the faucet for a lot longer than you think – at least 20 minutes. This prevents the skin from continuing to burn, as well as helping to numb the area.

Once the burn is thoroughly cooled you can cover it up with a clean cloth or cling film or a plastic bag to prevent it from becoming infected.

There’s just one situation where butter on a burn can be useful: if you get hot tar on your skin. The fattiness of the butter can help to remove it, reducing the pain.

 

MYTH 2: Giving chest compressions to someone who doesn’t need them can cause more harm than good

If someone has a cardiac arrest, the biggest predictor of their survival is whether or not someone gives them cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before medical help arrives.

If you go on a first aid course, you learn to watch the chest and put your head to person’s close to listen for breaths. If there’s no sign that the person is breathing, you should call emergency services and begin CPR.

First aid instructors also tell you that even if you’re not sure the person is breathing normally, you should again proceed with CPR anyway.

Although this is the advice, many people are reluctant to give CPR because they fear doing more harm than good.

 

MYTH 3: To do CPR properly, you need to give mouth-to-mouth as well as doing chest compressions

The guidelines on this have changed a lot in the past decade. Standard CPR used to involve alternating 15 fast-paced compressions with two breaths into the patient’s mouth. Then it was found that giving two breaths after every 30 compressions was just as effective. This became the standard advice.

There was a 22% improvement in survival rates if bystanders gave compression alone, instead of compression with breaths

Next came the idea of doing CPR without giving any breaths at all. This results in fewer pauses and allows more opportunity for the compressions to keep blood flowing to the brain. Although the blood may not be fully aerated, at least it gets to the brain quickly. Three randomized controlled trials comparing the methods found only marginal differences between the two methods.

But when the results from these studies were combined and re-analyzed, there was a 22% improvement in survival rates if bystanders – who were doing CPR with guidance on the phone from ambulance dispatchers – gave compression alone.

These results do not apply to children or to cases of near-drowning, where breaths are still recommended.

Giving CPR without breaths is easier and more effective than with breaths – but even so, only 39% of women and 45% of men receive CPR from bystanders

Also, many people are reluctant to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a stranger.

But still, not everyone is prepared to give chest compressions. Research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in 2017 revealed that some bystanders seem to be wary of touching women’s chests. Audrey Blewer studied almost 20,000 cases of cardiac arrest and found that 45% of men received CPR from bystanders – compared with 39% of women.

 

 

MYTH 4: You shouldn’t shock someone with a defibrillator unless you are certain their heart has stopped

This is a major myth. After all, defibrillators, often kept in public places like railway stations, are designed for anyone to use. You don’t have to work out for yourself whether the person who’s collapsed would benefit from electric shocks to startle the heart into rhythm: the machine itself can assess what’s needed. If shocks aren’t necessary, it won’t give them.

Even though defibrillators often can be found in many public places, many people remain intimidated to use them

US research has shown that survival rates double if a public access defibrillator is used rather than CPR alone.

 

 

MYTH 5: Tilt the head backward to stop a nosebleed

This is very old advice – but can result in a person swallowing their blood into their stomachs or even choking on it, all while continuing to bleed. Instead, the best way to stem the bleeding is to apply pressure by pinching the soft part of the nose and leaning forwards for 10 minutes. If bleeding hasn’t stopped after half an hour, seek medical advice.

 

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The life saving skill you should know – CPR, are you ready to save a life?

CPR/First Aid – Corporate and Group Classes

Anyone can learn CPR, are your employees trained to save a life? 

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.

CPR classes are a great team building opportunity!

 

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Getting Workers to Use Their Protective Gear

Respiratory Protection

Small changes in training can lead to big results.

Buying safety equipment and getting workers to use it are two entirely different things. Anecdotally, almost every safety professional I’ve spoken to finds it much easier to go shopping for the latest hard hat and safety glasses than getting workers to comply with PPE requirements.

The usual advice to improve compliance to provide new, more comfortable PPE that looks good. But what happens when you’ve purchased new protective equipment that fits well and looks good, but it still doesn’t get used when it should?

There are several often-overlooked ways to get workers to wear their PPE. In most cases, these are small changes in what many workplaces are actually doing—but collectively, they can lead to major improvements.

The Whys of Training

Training should cover more than how to properly wear PPE. It should also discuss why. One of the biggest causes of PPE noncompliance is that many workers simply don’t think they need it. When they’re asked why they aren’t wearing PPE, people will often say things like, “I just never thought to put it on.”

PPE trainers should take a cue from basic marketing tactics and present workers with more impactful value propositions. Explain why PPE use is necessary, make it feel urgent, and appeal to them with compelling stories.

Good stories are personal and relevant. One of my own go-to stories is about a time when I was walking through a worksite—and out of the blue, a rivet struck my hard hat. It had been dropped by someone working on a raised platform several stories up and could have caused serious damage if I hadn’t been wearing PPE.

This story works well because it demonstrates that wearing PPE is a practical choice we can make to protect against other people’s mistakes. It also shows that I personally believe in the value of PPE, and it provides a good prompt for a discussion about when it’s necessary to wear hard hats.

 

More than Monthly

If you want PPE use to become a regular practice, then you need to make it a regular topic of conversation. This means discussing PPE with workers at every opportunity and from every angle. Provide verbal refreshers of key teaching points from PPE training, talk about why it’s so important to wear PPE and chat about different situations in which workers may be tempted to remove their PPE so that people will be on the alert and prepared to act in the safest manner possible.

These refreshers can be delivered in a variety of ways. At the end of a one-on-one conversation with a worker, take a few moments to remind them about PPE issues. You can also discuss PPE when assigning workers to new tasks or when talking to them about non-safety elements of their job. Also consider more passive forms of reminders, such as noting PPE requirements in safety posters, and on video displays in break rooms and other common areas.

Many manufacturing companies already have group discussions built into the work schedule. In most cases, these are either monthly safety meetings or weekly toolbox talks. A short conversation about PPE can usually be worked into these meetings with minimal effort. But monthly discussions typically aren’t enough (especially because other safety issues also need to be covered).

 

When It’s Time for an Intervention

Sometimes proper training and regular toolbox talks on PPE isn’t enough to get everyone to comply. If someone consistently fails to wear their PPE, then it’s time to have a one-on-one conversation with them.

The conversation should be direct but it shouldn’t be focused on reprimanding the worker for unsafe actions. Instead, let the worker share why they think certain behavior is acceptable and then have the supervisor follow up with an explanation of the risks.

People are more likely to listen if they feel listened to in turn, and if they believe in the underlying need for PPE rules. So even when a frank conversation is required because someone isn’t wearing safety gloves or eye protection, it’s still important to focus not on current noncompliance but on desired behavior in the future.

 

From Decision to Habit

Every time a worker makes the decision to use PPE, there’s always a small chance they could choose to not use PPE. That’s why the goal is to transform PPE use into an unconscious habit.

It’s not something that happens overnight. In most cases, building safety habits requires a lot of small course corrections and encouragement, both of which come from group and individual conversations. Eventually, though, PPE use will go from being a rule that must be enforced to something that happens automatically.

Source: https://www.ehstoday.com/ppe/safe-any-speed-getting-workers-use-their-protective-gear

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OSHA Raises Employer Penalties for 2019

OSHA Raises Employer Penalties for 2019

The penalty increases apply to federal OSHA states.

The penalties levied against employers for safety violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have gone up, effective Jan. 24. The increases only apply to citations issued after that date and for the remainder of 2019.

The 2019 penalties are:

·        Other than Serious violations, $13,260 (up from $12,675 in 2018);

·        Serious violations, $13,260 (up from $12,675);

·        Repeat violations: $132,598, (up from $126,749);

·        Willful violations, $132,598 (up from $126,749);

·        Failure to abate (per day), $13,260 (up from $12,675 last year).

The penalty increases apply to federal OSHA states. Nonetheless, OSHA expects that the 26 states operating their own occupational safety and health programs will align penalty structures with federal OSHA so that such programs are equally effective.

“While this is OSHA’s expectation there has been little adjustment from various state plans to align with the increase in penalties,” notes Tressi L. Cordaro, an attorney with the law firm of Jackson Lewis PC. “For example, North Carolina and Kentucky still maintain a $7,000 maximum fine for serious violations and $70,000 for willful or repeats.”

In the future, DOL is required to adjust maximum OSHA penalties for inflation by January 15 of each new year.

Source: https://www.ehstoday.com/standards/osha-raises-employer-penalties-2019

 

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More tips for heart month…

More heart-healthy tips…

Take Action: Food and Alcohol

Eat healthy.

Eating healthy can help lower your risk of heart disease. A heart-healthy diet includes foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium (salt).

Heart-healthy items include high-fiber foods (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) and certain fats (like the fats in olive oil and fish). Use this shopping list to find heart-healthy foods.

Check out these heart-healthy recipe collections:

Get heart-healthy tips for dining out [PDF – 3 MB]. For example, ask for a side salad instead of chips or french fries.

Drink alcohol only in moderation.

If you choose to drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. This means limiting your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for woman and no more than 2 drinks a day for men. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of heart disease.

 

Take Action: Physical Activity

Get active.

Getting active can help prevent heart disease. Adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. This includes walking fast, dancing, and biking.

If you are just getting started, try walking for 10 minutes a day, a few days each week. Then add more activity over time.

Stay at a healthy weight.

People who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. If you are overweight or obese, losing just 10 pounds can lower your risk of heart disease. Find out how to control your weight.

If you don’t know if you are at a healthy weight, use this BMI calculator to figure out your BMI (body mass index).

Take Action: Healthy Habits

Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.

Quitting smoking helps lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free support and to set up your plan for quitting.

Avoiding secondhand smoke is important, too – so keep your home smoke-free. If you have guests who smoke, ask them to smoke outside. If someone in your home smokes, use these tips to start a conversation about quitting.

Manage stress.

Managing stress can help prevent serious health problems like heart disease, depression, and high blood pressure. Deep breathing and meditation are good ways to relax and manage stress.

Source: https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/keep-your-heart-healthy#take-action_5

Learn CPR today! CPR Certification

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