Can Eyewear Measure Your Fatigue?

July 8th, 2014   •   Employment Agency, National Safety Week, Safety, Staffing   •   no comments   

Edge_Safety_GlassesIn an article posted on Rigzone.com, Karen Boman takes a deeper look into how that is possible. An Australia based company called Optalert Limited has created drowsiness detection glasses.  These glasses have the ability to capture worker’s eyelid blinks through a tiny LED that has been built into the frame of the glasses.  Optalert Limited is the only safety system worldwide that has the ability to continuously provide information in real time. The system measures how fast and how far a person opens their eyelid after closing it.  The glasses then show a rating from 1-10 based on the John Drowsiness Scale.

Multiple things can factor into fatigue, irregular hours, shift work, and even poor eating habits. Worker safety has come to the forefront of employers mind’s given the long hours they spend working or traveling.  When designing a plan, companies try to take into account the shift and how long in between shifts in order to ensure the employee can have enough time for sleep before the next shift begins. It can be hard sometimes given the type of shift and even the number of employees on hand but thinking about employee safety is also important and should be held at a high standard.

The full article can be found on Rigzone.com.

Distracted Driving is on the Rise – Pledge to Stop With Us!

July 1st, 2014   •   Employment Agency, National Safety Week, Safety, Staffing   •   no comments   

The-Cost-of-Distracted-DrivingAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 387,000 injuries occurred in motor vehicle crashes in 2011 due to distracted drivers.  Distracted driving is a daily occurrence that is growing among teens as well as working business professionals as they make their way from meeting to meeting.  As citizens, we have a responsibility to our fellowman to reduce the amount of motor vehicle crashes and traffic violations.

On June 24, 2014, 19 Flexicrew Staff members joined in taking the “Texting and Driving…It Can Wait” pledge on Itcanwait.com.  The Flexicrew Corporation feels  there are valid reasons why we should stop with distracted driving.  First, in most states, it is illegal ; if you must talk on the phone while driving, the reasonable solution is to acquire a hands free device in order to limit the distraction a cell phone in hand creates. Second, being considerate of those around us whether they are our passengers, other motorists, or other pedestrians will  lessen the guilt that could ultimately become our responsibility if an accident were to occur. Third, but certainly not last, distracted driving  strengthens the chances of being in an accident.  Drivers have a 23% more risk of getting in an accident while texting and driving.

At Flexicrew, we are agents of change and will  do our part in making our roads safer.   While we have made the pledge, we ask that you also make the pledge with us!  You can pledge at http://www.itcanwait.com and if you do, please be sure to let us know!

Hurricane Preparedness Week – Be Ready

 
When a natural disaster does strike, Flexicrew has a team that can help with the aftermath. Call us for any Environmental Techs that you might need.

 

Flexicrew also offers OSHA  Hazmat/Hazwopper training.

 

 GET READY!

Hurricanes are strong storms that can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property-threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds and tornadoes. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Know the difference between the threat levels and plan accordingly. Know the difference between watches & warnings.

 

Hurricane Watch is issued when hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours. Review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued, and stay informed.

 

Hurricane Warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities. Follow these tips to make sure you and your  family are prepared to stay safe during and after a hurricane.

 

PREPARE

 

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock as needed.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
  • Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Turn off propane tank.
  • Unplug small appliances.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
  • Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
  • Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

 

SUPPLIES

 

  • Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera for photos of damage (Insurance Purposes)

 

WHAT TO DO AFTER A HURRICANE

 

  • Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
  • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  • Stay out of any building that has water around it.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
  • Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
  • Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
  • Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

 

Hurricane Ivan flooding, Asheville, NC - September 2004/Leif Skoogfors, FEMA

 

Struck-by injuries – Look for Flying or Falling Objects

Am I In Danger?

You are at risk from falling objects when you are beneath  cranes, scaffolds, etc., or where overhead work is being performed.  There is a danger from flying objects when power tools, or activities like pushing, pulling, or prying, may cause objects to   become airborne. Injuries can range from minor abrasions to concussions, blindness, or death.

How Do I Avoid Hazards?

HardhatGeneral

  • Wear hardhats.
  • Stack materials to prevent sliding, falling, or collapse.
  • Use protective measures such as toeboards and debris nets.
Safety gogglesPower Tools, Machines, etc.

  • Use safety glasses, goggles, face shields, etc., where machines or tools may cause flying particles.
  • Inspect tools, such as saws and lathes, to insure that protective guards are in good condition.
  • Make sure you are trained in the proper operation of powder actuated tools.
CraneCranes and Hoists

  • Avoid working underneath loads being moved.
  • Barricade hazard areas and post warning signs.
  • Inspect cranes and hoists to see that all components, such as wire rope, lifting hooks, chains, etc., are in good condition.
  • Do not exceed lifting capacity of cranes and hoists.
BarricadeOverhead Work

  • Secure tools and materials to prevent them from falling on people below.
  • Barricade hazard areas and post warning signs.
  • Use toeboards, screens, or guardrails on scaffolds to prevent falling objects, or,
  • Use debris nets, catch platforms, or canopies to catch or deflect falling objects.
Air CompressorCompressed Air

  • Reduce compressed air used for cleaning to 30 psi, and only use with appropriate guarding and protective equipment.
  • Never clean clothing with compressed air.

National Safety Month – Slips Trips and Falls

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, slips, trips and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents, which account for:

  • 15% of all accidental deaths per year, the second-leading cause behind motor vehicles
  • About 25% of all reported injury claims per fiscal year
  • More than 95 million lost work days per year – about 65 percent of all work days lost

Fall-chart

 

In general, slips and trips occur due to a loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface or an inadvertent contact with a fixed or moveable object which may lead to a fall. There are a variety of situations that may cause slips, trips and falls.

  • Wet or greasy floors
  • Dry floors with wood dust or powder
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Polished or freshly waxed floors
  • Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
  • Transition from one floor type to another
  • Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
  • Damaged or irregular steps; no handrails
  • Sloped walking surfaces
  • Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
  • Clutter
  • Electrical cords or cables
  • Open desk or file cabinet drawers
  • Damaged ladder steps
  • Ramps and gang planks without skid-resistant      surfaces
  • Metal surfaces – dock plates, construction plates
  • Weather hazards – rain, sleet, ice, snow, hail, frost
  • Wet leaves or pine needles

Here are six guidelines to help you create a safer working environment for you and your employees.

 

1) Create Good Housekeeping Practices
Good housekeeping is critical. Safety and housekeeping go hand-in-hand. If your facility’s housekeeping habits are poor, the result may be a higher incidence of employee injuries, ever-increasing insurance costs and regulatory citations. If an organization’s facilities cleaning up spillare noticeably clean and well organized, it is a good indication that its overall safety program is effective as well.

Proper housekeeping is a routine. It is an ongoing procedure that is simply done as a part of each worker’s daily performance. To create an effective housekeeping program, there are three simple steps to get you started

  • Plan ahead– Know what needs to be done, who’s going to do it and what the particular work area should look like when you are done.
  • Assign responsibilities– It may be necessary to assign a specific person or group of workers to clean up, although personal responsibility for cleaning up after himself/herself is preferred.
  • Implement a program– Establish housekeeping procedures as a part of the daily routine.

 

2) Reduce Wet or Slippery Surfaceswetfloorsignweb_
Walking surfaces account for a significant portion of injuries reported by state agencies. The most frequently reported types of surfaces where these injuries occur include

  • Parking lots
  • Sidewalks (or lack of)
  • Food preparation areas
  • Shower stalls in residential dorms
  • Floors in general

Traction on outdoor surfaces can change considerably when weather conditions change. Those conditions can then affect indoor surfaces as moisture is tracked in by pedestrian traffic. Traction control procedures should be constantly monitored for their effectiveness.

  • Keep parking lots and sidewalks clean and in good repair condition.
  • When snow and ice are present, remove or treat these elements. In some extreme cases, it may be necessary to suspend use of the area.
  • Use adhesive striping material or anti-skid paint whenever possible.

Indoor control measures can help reduce the incidence of slips and falls.

  • Use moisture-absorbent mats with beveled edges in  entrance areas. Make sure they have backing material that will not slide      on the floor.
  • Display “Wet Floor” signs as needed.
  • Use anti-skid adhesive tape in troublesome areas.
  • Clean up spills immediately. Create a procedure for taking the appropriate action when someone causes or comes across a food or drink spill.
  • Use proper area rugs or mats for food preparation areas.

 

3) Avoid Creating Obstacles in Aisles and Walkways
Injuries can also result in from trips caused by obstacles, clutter, materials and equipment in aisles, corridors, entranceways and stairwells. Proper housekeeping in work and traffic areas is still the most effective control measure in avoiding the proliferation of these types of hazards. This means having policies or procedures in place and allowing time for cleaning the area, especially where scrap material or waste is a by-product of the work operation.

  • Keep all work areas, passageways, storerooms and service areas clean and orderly.
  • Avoid stringing cords, cables or air hoses across hallways or in any designated aisle.
  • In office areas, avoid leaving boxes, files or briefcases in the aisles.
  • Encourage safe work practices such as closing file cabinet drawers after use and picking up loose items from the floor.
  • Conduct periodic inspections for slip and trip hazards.

 

4) Create and Maintain Proper Lighting
Poor lighting in the workplace is associated with an increase in accidents.

  • Use proper illumination in walkways, staircases, ramps, hallways, basements, construction areas and dock areas.
  • Keep work areas well lit and clean.
  • Upon entering a darkened room, always turn on the light first.
  • Keep poorly lit walkways clear of clutter and obstructions.
  • Keep areas around light switches clear and accessible.
  • Repair fixtures, switches and cords immediately if they malfunction.

 

5) Wear Proper Shoes
The shoes we wear can play a big part in preventing falls. The slickness of the soles and the type of heels worn need to be evaluated to avoid slips, trips and falls. Shoelaces need to be tied correctly. Whenever a fall-related injury is investigated, the footwear needs to be evaluated to see if it contributed to the incident. Employees are expected to wear footwear appropriate for the duties of their work task.

 

6) Control Individual Behavior
This condition is the toughest to control. It is human nature to let our guard down for two seconds and be distracted by random thoughts or doing multiple activities. Being in a hurry will result in walking too fast or running which increases the chances of a slip, trip or fall. Taking shortcuts, not watching where one is going, using a cell phone, carrying materials which obstructs the vision, wearing sunglasses in low-light areas, not using designated walkways and speed are common elements in many on-the-job injuries.

It’s ultimately up to each individual to plan, stay alert and pay attention.

 

National Safety Month – Prescription Pain Med Abuse

This week’s focus – Prescription Drug Abuse.

Please take a few moments to inform yourself of the dangers and how it affects all of us.

Death from painkillers higher than prescription drugs

 

 

image 5 poppingpills-image 5  poppingpills-image 3 poppingpills-image 4 poppingpills-image 2

Hurricane Preparation

June 2nd, 2014   •   Employment Agency, National Safety Week, Safety, Staffing   •   no comments   

Hurricanes are strong storms that can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property-threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds and tornadoes. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Know the difference hurricane tropicbetween the threat levels and plan accordingly. Know the difference between watches & warnings. Hurricane Watch is issued when hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours. Review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued, and stay informed. Hurricane Warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities. Follow these tips to make sure you and your  family are prepared to stay safe during and after a hurricane.

PREPARE

 

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • · Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock as needed.
  • · Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
  • · Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • · Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • · Turn off propane tank.
  • · Unplug small appliances.
  • · Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • · Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
  • · Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
  • · Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

 

SUPPLIES

 

  • Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare foodhurricane road
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera for photos of damage (Insurance Purposes)

 

WHAT TO DO AFTER A HURRICANE

 

  • Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
  • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  • Stay out of any building that has water around it.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
  • Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
  • Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
  • Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.