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Green Guard cuts the ribbon on new facility as they grow and expand into the future.

Congrats are in order today! Green Guard opens a brand new state of the art 55,000 square-foot headquarters in St. Louis, MO.

“This new operation allows us to dramatically increase our warehousing and production capabilities to more efficiently supply and service our thousands of business customers throughout the country,” says Todd Lewis, vice president, UniFirst First Aid Group. “This new state-of-the-art operation, along with the additional square footage our new warehouse provides, also helps support our initiative to accelerate market expansion and service integration within our parent company’s growing customer base. Together with UniFirst’s 250-plus service locations and its core uniform and facility service supply business, Green Guard First Aid & Safety will help provide more customers with complete solutions for their uniform, facility service, and, now, first aid and safety needs.”


Pictured left to right: Mark Brune – Senior Director UniFirst First Aid Group, Todd Lewis – Vice President UniFirst First Aid Group & Josh Dubois – Director of sales UniFirst First Aid Group

The Green Guard team celebrates!


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Is Your Workplace Prone to Violence?

For Some Occupations, Violence is 3rd Leading Cause of Death

Every year, 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. In 2014, 409 people were fatally injured in work-related attacks, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s about 16% of the 4,821 workplace deaths that year.

While roadway incidents are the No. 1 cause of death for workers overall, violence is the third leading cause for healthcare workers, and employees in professional and business services like education, law and media, according to Injury Facts 2016®. Taxi drivers, for example, are more than 20 times more likely to be murdered on the job than other workers, according to OSHA.

But make no mistake: Workplace violence can happen anywhere.

The Numbers are Alarming

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workplace violence falls into four categories: Criminal intent, customer/client, worker-on-worker and personal relationship, which overwhelmingly targets women.

Injury Facts lists data for workplace violence-related deaths, and injuries resulting in days off of work, across various occupations. Here are some statistics for 2013:

  • Government: 37,110 injuries, 128 deaths
  • Education and health services: 22,590 injuries, 35 deaths
  • Professional and Business Services: 4,460 injuries, 65 deaths
  • Retail: 2,680 injuries, 127 deaths
  • Leisure and hospitality: 2,380 injuries, 107 deaths
  • Financial activities: 1,100 injuries, 37 deaths
  • Transportation and warehousing: 840 injuries, 71 deaths
  • Construction: 680 injuries, 36 deaths
  • Manufacturing: 570 injuries, 36 deaths

No matter who initiaties the confrontation, the deadliest situations involve an active shooter. U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines active shooter as someone “actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.”

A lot can happen in the chaotic minutes before police arrive; DHS advises staying calm and exercising one of three options: Run, hide or fight.

  • If there is an accessible escape route, leave your belongings and get out
  • If evacuation is not possible, find a hiding place where you won’t be trapped should the shooter find you, lock and blockade the door, and silence your phone
  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to incapacitate the shooter by throwing items, improvising weapons and yelling

Every Organization Needs to Address Workplace Violence

Managers and safety professionals at every workplace should develop a policy on violence that includes:

Know the Warning Signs

Some people commit violence because of revenge, robbery or ideology – with or without a component of mental illness. While there is no way to predict an attack, you can be aware of behaviors in coworkers that might signal future violence:

  • Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
  • Unexplained absenteeism, change in behavior or decline in job performance
  • Depression, withdrawal or suicidal comments
  • Resistance to changes at work or persistent complaining about unfair treatment
  • Violation of company policies
  • Emotional responses to criticism, mood swings
  • Paranoia

Most every “place” is somebody’s workplace. So whether you are a patron or an employee, it’s important to be alert.

Call Now to speak with a Green Guard Safety Training Specialist

Click Here to learn about Green Guard online Safety training programs

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Protecting Your Workplace Against Active Shooters

Active shooting incidents are increasing at an alarming rate. How will you protect your workers?

He was quiet, such a nice guy. He kept to himself. He didn’t socialize much. Does that sound familiar?

Neighbors, coworkers, friends of active shooting perpetrators typically describe the person to the media as a nice person in the days following a mass casualty incident. They typically don’t recognize the behaviors and actions of a person planning an act of workplace violence.

“The average worker does not snap overnight – that’s Hollywood,” says Al Shenouda, a former law enforcement tactical commander and security advisor with the Department of Homeland Security and speaker at EHS Today’s 2018 Safety Leadership Conference.

Workplace violence is more likely to occur in places without policies or managers who understand what types of behaviors lead to an event. So, what can a safety professional do to effectively train workers to spot acts of incivility, discontent and changes in a person they see on a daily basis?

Early Recognition

Having an “it’ll never happen to me” mentality is a surefire way to be unprepared when an act of workplace violence occurs, Shenouda says.

Shenouda, along with other subject matter experts, provides organizations with insights and tactics on preventing and surviving an active shooter situation.

The value of early recognition, or seeing changes in a worker and addressing them, is the first step to prevention.

“Establish an early warning system,” says Gino Soave, Niles Industrial Coatings’ corporate safety director and speaker at EHS Today’s 2018 Safety Leadership Conference. “No threat is too small. Words always precede actions.”

Changes in behavior should be reported to a supervisor. For example, introverted workers that begin to voice their opinions in an aggressive manner, or an employee that is more extroverted and seem withdrawn could potentially plan to retaliate.

Soave notes 12 particular behaviors that could lead to an act of workplace violence:

      1. Temper tantrums
      2. Excessive absenteeism
      3. Decrease in productivity
      4. Testing limits
      5. Disrespect for authority
      6. Verbalizes negative action/harm
      7. Sabotage/theft
      8. Numbers and intensity of arguments rise
      9. Intense anger
     10. Social withdrawal
     11. Suicidal threats
     12. Property destruction

When it comes down to it, every employee should have some type of basic awareness training, Shenouda says.

Company policy for escalating behaviors should reiterate a no-tolerance policy. If a threat or incivility occurs, a worker should immediately alert a direct supervisor. The supervisor should report the behavior to human resources or safety representative, who will then take the appropriate steps to address the individual.

“Most workers don’t understand the ins and outs of a prevention program,” Shenouda says. “You want to save lives? Do basic awareness training. When things start getting unglued, what are you going to do?”


Respond and Save

The “hot potato” scenario often leads to an active shooting.

Employees who see changes in a fellow worker will begin avoiding the person, acting like nothing is happening, denies anything is wrong or brushes it off as something that is not part of their job responsibilities, Soave says.

“Has society trained us not to get involved if something doesn’t directly affect us?” he questions.

These changes and the subsequent lack of response are the catalysts for escalated behaviors. However, once an active shooting takes place, employees cannot sit back and every single one needs to be trained to respond accordingly.

“Most mass shooting incidents last three to five minutes,” Shenouda says.

“They’re looking for body count. More people are getting killed now by active shooters than in history.”

An effective basic training program should not only include preventing an incident, but it should also include situational awareness, survival training, and first aid techniques.

“In an emergency situation, paramedics and law enforcement are not the first responders,” Soave says. “Citizens are the first responders.”

Staying a step ahead of danger is key. Have workers identify spaces that provide a vantage point, rooms in which they could barricade themselves and tools and common items they can use as weapons. Because a person can succumb to an injury before law enforcement arrives, techniques such as improvising a tourniquet and stopping blood loss should be taught.

“The key is to try to get out in front of these acts,” Soave recommends. “Keep an open line of communication and keep training exciting. This falls under OSHA’s general duty clause. It’s no different than what you do every day.”



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Man dies twice, lives to tell his story

Dr. Herman Williams was living a charmed life. He was a young orthopedic surgeon with a beautiful wife and had just been accepted to one of the best practices in the country.

“I was literally on the verge of achieving all my dreams,” said Dr. Williams.

During a pick-up basketball game between rival surgeons, Dr. Williams started feeling dizzy and decided to take himself out of the game.

“I was just fortunate my wife was the scorekeeper. And she noticed that I had slumped over and had started foaming at the mouth, and I just died,” Dr. Williams explained.

No pulse – his friends performed CPR until the fire department arrived with a defibrillator. The electric jolt brought him back to life.

He made a full recovery. Although his condition made him change his career path to medical consulting.

Fast forward 25 years: Dr. Williams was at the airport in Nashville and it happens again.

“I see a gentleman sitting, I say ‘Hi, how are you? He says Hi, How are you?’ The last thing I remember is him saying ‘Are you alright?’ I start to fall, a woman catches me and eases me to the ground. And he immediately starts performing CPR,” Dr. Williams remembered.

Bill Mixon is his name. He was recovering from his own heart attack. The woman who caught Dr. Williams is Terrie Layne.

Two strangers who became two heroes.

“Once you make that decision, you are all in. It’s you and the outcome, regardless of the outcome, it’s courageous and heroic to make that decision. It really is hero work,” said Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams wrote a book about it called Clear. In it, he describes how these terrifying events gave him a purpose: to live a life of compassion and kindness, to try to connect with everyone he encounters. Because in the end, Dr. Williams says we all need each other, we just don’t know when.

The American Heart Association will tell you CPR, if administered immediately can double or triple a person’s chance for survival.


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

Click Here to learn more about First Aid/CPR

Chat? Click on the “Live Chat” button

#cprreadytosavealife #cprteambuilding


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City councilman steps in to save man using CPR during police promotion ceremony

A Jersey City councilman’s quick thinking helped save a man’s life after he collapsed at a police promotion ceremony. 

Councilman Daniel Rivera was in his usual spot in the City Hall chambers at the ceremony, with everyone in the room so happy, when suddenly the mood shifted.

“I hear the commotion and then I hear his daughter yell ‘Help, help’,” Rivera said. “That’s when I saw her dad keel over.”

John Macri, the father-in-law of Deputy Chief Michael Gajewski, had collapsed.

There was no pulse and he was not breathing. As a crowd gathered around, his daughter was administering chest compressions.

“Councilman Danny Rivera and my wife Dawn began to perform CPR on him,” Gajewski said. “She began the chest compressions, and Councilman Rivera began giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.”

“We gave him two big mouth-to-mouth blows into the mouth, and she kept on with the compressions and then he came back, but he was out for like a minute, no pulse, zero,” Rivera said. “You could feel the tension in the air.”

Then suddenly there was a pulse, a breath and the color started to return to his face. It seemed like the whole room at once exhaled.

“It was amazing to see his finger move, and then once we saw his finger move, you can actually see the color coming in,” Rivera said. “Then he just popped up and that was great.”

“My father started to come around again, he got his color back and his eyes opened up and he began speaking again,” Gajewski said.

Macri was spending the night in the hospital and is doing great.

The councilman, once a Marine, always a Marine, is happy to have helped.

“I have to tell you from the bottom of my heart, my entire family is very grateful to him,” Gajewski said.


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

Click Here to learn more about First Aid/CPR

Chat? Click on the “Live Chat” button

#cprreadytosavealife #cprteambuilding


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CPR-certified ranch staff in Lakeland save life of teen who went into cardiac arrest

Bryelle Touchton was wrapping up her first horse riding lesson at Spring Lane Ranch when a staff member noticed the teen acting strangely.

“I could see her walking the horse back into the barn and when she got to the far end she looked like she was getting woozy and she looked like she fainted,” said Kim Wilkey, the site manager at the ranch.

The 15-year-old girl collapsed in front of her horse, Canela.

“She was blue. She was not reacting to anything,” said Alex Zapata, a trainer at Spring Lane Ranch.

Zapata and several of his colleagues jumped into action, administering CPR. They had no way to know Bryelle had gone into cardiac arrest.

“We evaluated her right away and could tell that she had no pulse and no respiration so we started CPR right away,” explained Wilkey.

“We started compressions, hard, hard, hard, and she reacted to it,” said Zapata.

It took almost 15 minutes for paramedics to arrive. Her mother, Beth Collins watched as Spring Lane Ranch employees kept her daughter alive.

“I’m really ever more so grateful for Spring Lane Ranch for everything that they have done for my daughter,” said Collins. “Had it not been for them, she wouldn’t be here today.”

The workers at the ranch were CPR-certified last August.

“You never know when you’re going to need it. Especially like that, a 15-year-old girl, you would never expect that,” said Zapata.

“Most people don’t survive the kind of episode that she had. We were all thrilled that we were able to be there for her,” said Wilkey.

Bryelle has been in the hospital for almost a week, but it will be a long road to recovery.

“She’s doing a lot better,” said Collins. “Especially over the past couple of days, she’s been out of the bed a couple of times. She understands everything.”

Collins says her daughter had no previous health scares. Doctors say she could need a pacemaker or defibrillator inserted into her heart.


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

Click Here to learn more about First Aid/CPR

Chat? Click on the “Live Chat” button

#cprreadytosavealife #cprteambuilding


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CPR – Do you know what to do?

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!


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

Click Here to learn more about First Aid/CPR

Chat? Click on the “Live Chat” button

#cprreadytosavealife #cprteambuilding


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CPR – Are You CPR Ready To Save A Life?

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!


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

Click Here to learn more about First Aid/CPR

Chat? Click on the “Live Chat” button

#cprreadytosavealife #cprteambuilding


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Forklift Collisions: Numbers Game Pedestrians Usually Lose

OSHA estimates there are 1.5 million lift operators in the United States.

That’s a lot of lifts and a lot of people around lifts. Pedestrians, lift operators, regulators, and employers agree; no one wants to see anyone get hurt. Forklifts and workers must remain apart. There are differing perspectives on who should have right of way (who yields to whom).

Forklifts are the second leading cause of machine-related death in the workplace. Struck-by and tip-over are the two leading causes of forklift-related fatalities.

Each year in the United States, on average, 100 die, 95,000 are injured, and 20,000 are seriously injured. An average of 60 lost workdays is incurred per incident (9x the average for all other injuries). Bad things happen when people and lifts attempt to share the same place in time. Regulators have an interest in preventing bad things.

Currently, more than half of all U.S. states are covered by Local Emphasis Programs that target industrial trucks and warehouse safety. Compliance officers will look more thoroughly at lift operations and may be more likely to visit industries known to operate lifts.

OSHA standards are still largely based on consensus standards that existed in the 1960s. The standard on industrial trucks was based on American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B56.1-1969 until the training portion of the OSHA standard was revised in 1998. The most current forklift standard is an ANSI/ATSDF Standard B56-2015.

Until recently, there wasn’t any language that clearly specified which party should have right-of-way. The 1969 forklift consensus standard that OSHA references just says to stay out of the way of ambulances, fire trucks, and other vehicles in emergency situations. The 2015 version of the ANSI standard, Section 5.3.2 provides the updated guidance to lift operators, “Yield the right of way to pedestrians and emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks.”

Pedestrians Lose in Collisions but Commonly Win in Court

Consensus standards, like ANSI standards, are more than suggestions. Consensus standards define the generally agreed upon standard of care which matters in a court of law. And they define hazards and precautions that should have been recognized which matters when “General Duty” catch-all clause citations are issued.

The message is and always has been the same: separate forklifts and pedestrians. People are vulnerable relative to industrial vehicles and people generally have the right of way in plant settings (just as they would on public streets). Things usually play out this way in jury trials where negligence lands on forklift operators more times than not.

In August of 2015, $15.2 million in relief was awarded to a worker whose foot was seriously injured when he was struck and run over by a forklift at a trade show in Chicago. The forklift operator worked for the show’s organizer who was breaking down booths; the injured party was representing an exhibitor at the show. OSHA citations totaling $91,000 were issued for failing to ensure driver training, failing to ensure safe clearances for forklift operations, failing to train drivers on specific issues related to pedestrians present, and other related issues. The prosecution called attention to the weight of the lift (58,000 pounds) and entered testimony from witnesses alleging that the driver did not keep a clear view of his path and did not maintain a proper lookout or spotter.

In this case and others, most of the responsibility falls on lift operators. Cases like this imply pedestrians have right of way. Cases like this also show that being right doesn’t always equate to staying safe.

Preventing Collisions Requires a Team Effort

There has been a lot of regulatory focus on forklift operators, yet frequency and severity remain relatively high in comparison to other industry exposures. Maybe regulators have been focused on the wrong thing? Maybe forklift operators are not solely to blame when workers are struck by forklifts?

There is no standard that speaks to the responsibility of pedestrians. Leading companies preach mutual responsibility or “safety is everyone’s responsibility” and educate about the severity of forklift incidents, lift and operator limitations, and how to establish intentions through eye contact and hand signals.

Beyond education of lift operators and pedestrians, the workplace and lifting equipment must be maintained in good operating condition. This includes ensuring adequate lighting, good floor conditions and housekeeping, marking and protecting walk aisles, and allocating aisle widths conducive to lift operation. Last but not least, employer management systems must ensure proper diagnosis and closure of incidents and issues voiced.

When pedestrians and lifts collide, everybody loses. It’s important that everyone knows what their responsibility is.

Call Now to speak with a Green Guard Safety Specialist

Click Here for Forklift Safety Training

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Dunkin’ worker performs CPR on man who collapses at rest stop

A Dunkin’ employee helped save a man’s life Wednesday morning when she performed CPR on him after he collapsed at a Candia rest stop.

Surveillance video shows David Wood, 29, of Tennessee collapsing in front of his truck. Another trucker saw what happened and called 911.

A customer in the Dunkin’ drive-thru told employees what happened, and April Merchant, 24, ran outside.

She and two men pulled Wood out of the snow and onto a blanket. He had no pulse, and she performed CPR on him for several minutes before police arrived and took over.

Wood was taken to a hospital and is recovering.

Felicia Bertram, David Wood’s mother, flew up from Tennessee to be by her son’s side. She’s calling Merchant a hero.

“Even the doctors said if she had not done that, he would not be with us,” Bertram said.

A picture of Wood shared by his mother shows him smiling in his hospital bed. Merchant said she got to meet his mother, who gave her a big hug and thanked her for saving her son.

“She gave us our family,” Bertram said. “He has three beautiful children, a beautiful wife, and I don’t know what I would’ve done if I lost my son.”

But Merchant is reluctant to call herself a hero.

“I don’t know about all that,” she said. “It makes me anxious when people call me a hero, because I just don’t feel like I am.”

She said the CPR class she learned in college kicked in when she ran out to help Wood.

I took a class a long time ago, probably about six years ago,” she said. “I just remembered a lot from it. It was really helpful.”


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

Click Here to learn more about First Aid/CPR

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