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Monthly Archives: August 2015

  • Make Your Emergency Plan Today

    Tomorrow begins National Preparedness Month. This year, the focus will be around communication as well as immediacy.

    AP_10waysThe 2015 NPM theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.”

    Everyone should take part, make a plan and know what to do during an emergency. This means having an up-to-date contact list for those you may need to reach during a disaster and establishing alternate methods of communication in case traditional means are not available.

    To help spread awareness, everyone should plan to  participate in National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30. This national day of action will culminate NPM.

    In addition to the overall theme, each week of NPM will also promote the following hazard focused themes:

    NPM Weekly Themes:

    • Week 1: September 1-5 Flood
    • Week 2: September 6-12 Wildfire
    • Week 3: September 13-19 Hurricane
    • Week 4: September 20-26 Power Outage
    • Week 5: September 27-30 Lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day (September 30)

    Getting Started

    Visit the NPM website for tips and information:

    Check out the NEW mobile friendly BETA site:

    Be counted and add your preparedness activity on the America’s PrepareAthon! website:

  • Foodborne Bacteria

    Narms“NARMS Now: Human Data” paints national picture of antibiotic resistance in foodborne bacteria.

    Have you ever wondered how antibiotic resistance in foodborne bacteria has changed over time? Take a look at CDC's Safe Healthcare blog to learn about NARMS Now, a new, interactive tool from the CDC that allows you to view trends in antibiotic resistance over the past two decades for four foodborne bacteria: Campylobacter, E. coli O157, Salmonella, and Shigella. NARMS Now contains human antibiotic resistance data from the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), a partnership among CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state and local health departments.

    The Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases (DFWED) discusses the program’s interactive features, explains the importance of antibiotic resistance data, and gives examples of how NARMS data has been used to improve public health. Learn more and join the conversation at

  • Tick Tock - Time to Prepare to Prepare

    National Preparedness Month begins this Tuesday. This year's National Preparedness Month Theme is Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.

    Join America’s PrepareAthon! Visit Click on Be Counted, Add Your Activity and tell us how you, your family and friends, and community are getting more prepared. Your registration could motivate others to prepare!

    We will be sharing ideas, plans, preparedness tips and much more throughout the Month... in the interim, you may want to read some articles about past years events and information for National Preparedness Month:


  • OSHA 1926 Update

    Mancomm's 29 CFR 1926 Construction regulations are out now! Navigate the CFR with ease with our easy-to-read RegLogic® format. As always, the same content and easy to read format is available on regs2go free with purchase of the book! Our latest version includes the new Subpart AA - Confined Spaces. This new regulation defines "confined space" and lists several workplace examples. The Secretary of Labor estimates that this standard will save about 780 lives a year. 1926

    Subpart AA went into effect on August 3rd, make sure to get your copy today!


  • Bioterrorism

    With National Preparedness Month coming up soon, you'll be hearing a lot about all sorts of readiness, including preparations for safety in case of Bioterrorism.

    Our Lexicon of Preparedness Terms gives us this insight on Bioterrorism:

    Bioterrorism Agents – Terrorism using biologic agents. Biological diseases and the agents that might be used for terrorism have been listed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC). The list includes a sizable number of “select agents” — potential weapons whose transfer in the scientific and medical communities is regulated to keep them out of unfriendly hands. These “select agents” are very varied. They comprise viruses, bacteria, rickettsiae (micro-organisms that have traits common to both bacteria and viruses), fungi and biological toxins.

    The CDC Says... A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or COOTIESother germs (agents) used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. These agents are typically found in nature, but it is possible that they could be changed to increase their ability to cause disease, make them resistant to current medicines, or to increase their ability to be spread into the environment. Biological agents can be spread through the air, through water, or in food. Terrorists may use biological agents because they can be extremely difficult to detect and do not cause illness for several hours to several days. Some bioterrorism agents, like the smallpox virus, can be spread from person to person and some, like anthrax, can not. For information on which bioterrorism agents can be spread from person to person, please see the alphabetical list of bioterrorism agents.

    Bioterrorism Agent Categories

    Bioterrorism agents can be separated into three categories, depending on how easily they can be spread and the severity of illness or death they cause. Category A agents are considered the highest risk and Category C agents are those that are considered emerging threats for disease.

    Category A

    These high-priority agents include organisms or toxins that pose the highest risk to the public and national security because:

    • They can be easily spread or transmitted from person to person
    • They result in high death rates and have the potential for major public health impact
    • They might cause public panic and social disruption
    • They require special action for public health preparedness.

    Category B

    These agents are the second highest priority because:

    • They are moderately easy to spread
    • They result in moderate illness rates and low death rates
    • They require specific enhancements of CDC's laboratory capacity and enhanced disease monitoring.

    Category C

    These third highest priority agents include emerging pathogens that could be engineered for mass spread in the future because:

    • They are easily available
    • They are easily produced and spread
    • They have potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact.

    What You Can Do to Prepare for Bioterrorism

    The CDC and the American Red Cross have teamed up to answer questions and provide advice on steps you can take to prepare yourself and your loved ones in the event of a bioterrorist attack. For preparedness information and guidelines, please see Emergency Preparedness and You .

    The Department of Homeland Security has established a website to provide information to the public about emergencies and emergency preparedness. For information on what to do in the event of a bioterrorist attack, please see

  • How safe are workplaces where you live?

    The Department of Labor / OSHA has published a New Safety Fine Map tool that tracks one indicator: the number of workplace health and safety investigations that have led to high fines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new webpage identifies high penalty cases in all U.S. states and territories – whether they operate under federal OSHA or an OSHA-approved state plan.oshaMap

    Click on a state, and the map will list all enforcement cases with initial penalties of $40,000 or more, beginning on Jan. 1, 2015. The cases are also listed in table format. Hyperlinks lead to more inspection details. Click on the map and see how your state stacks up.

    See all the Easy-to-Use OSHA Safety Training Materials available! See all the Easy-to-Use OSHA Safety Training Materials available!
  • More on West Nile Virus

    All 48 states in the continental United States have had human West Nile virus disease cases (see figures 1 and 2 for states with West Nile virus activity in 2015). Depending on the year, some states report more West Nile virus disease cases than others. Some areas of the United States also report other mosquito-borne viruses such as eastern equine encephalitis virus or La Crosse encephalitis virus.

    Though anyone can get infected with West Nile virus, some people are at higher risk for neurologic disease. For example, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

    What are the symptoms of a West Nile virus infection?

    No symptoms in most people

    Most people (70-80%) who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms.

    Fever in some people

    West Nile virus neurologic disease incidence reported to ArboNET by state in the United States, 2015. View Map.

    About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

    Severe symptoms in a few people

    Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis. See your healthcare provider if you think you have symptoms of West Nile virus.

  • Humidity = More concern about West Nile Virus

    Humidity and rains, means puddles and standing water. This means mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus (among other things!)

    MOSQDon’t let mosquitoes wreck your summer fun. Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.

    Summertime means mosquitoes and West Nile virus season. An infected mosquito bite can make you or a family member sick with West Nile virus. Stay healthy this summer. Avoid mosquito bites, especially from dusk (evening) to dawn (morning) when the mosquitoes that spread West Nile virus are most active.

    How many people get sick with West Nile virus?

    Nearly 42,000 cases of West Nile virus disease have been reported in the United States since 1999. Of those, nearly 19,000 people have had neurologic disease (infections of the brain or spinal cord) and more than 1,700 people have died. Many more cases of illness are not reported to CDC. Since 1999, an estimated 700,000 people in the United States have become ill due to West Nile virus infection.

  • Seat Belts

    Seat-BeltRear-seat motor vehicle passengers are less likely than front-seat passengers to wear a seat belt, making them more likely to injure themselves and other passengers in a crash.

    Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54 in the U.S. More than 2.2 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2012. Adult seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. Yet millions of adults do not wear their seat belts on every trip

    Rear seat belt use is higher in states with primary or secondary enforcement laws that cover rear seats than in states without laws that cover rear seats.

    Motor vehicle crashes are a major public health problem.

    • Non-fatal crash injuries resulted in more than $50 billion in lifetime medical and work loss costs in 2012.
    • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens.
    • Young adults (18-24) have the highest crash-related injury rates of all adults.
    Getting out of your vehicle can be a life saving event. The window punch makes it easy to get through a window in the worst case scenarios. Also, the knife on this window punch can cut through your seat belt and cut away air bags. Getting out of your vehicle can be a life saving event. The window punch makes it easy to get through a window in the worst case scenarios. Also, the knife on this window punch can cut through your seat belt and cut away air bags.

    Who is least likely to wear a seat belt?

    • Of the teens (aged 13-20 years) that died in crashes in 2012, approximately 55% of them were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
    • Adults age 18-34 are less likely to wear seat belts than adults age 35 or older. (CDC, 2010, unpublished data)
    • Men are 10% less likely to wear seat belts than women. (CDC, 2010, unpublished data)
    • Adults who live in rural areas are 10% less likely to wear seat belts (78% use) than adults who live in urban and suburban areas (87% use). (CDC, 2010, unpublished data)
    • Seat belt use is lower in states with secondary enforcement seat belt laws or no seat belt laws (80%) compared to states with primary enforcement laws (89%).
  • OSHA's Emergency Action Plan: Plan, Comply, Survive

    Are you ready?

    emergency-action-planOSHA's Requirements for Your Emergency Action Plan

    • Identify which emergencies OSHA requires your EAP to cover
    • OSHA's EAP requires "written" documentation
    • Consider additional Emergencies your plan should include

    Developing Your Emergency Action Plan

    • Consider how to design and communicate effective EAP procedures
    • Special considerations for evacuating disabled employees
    • Plan for racking employees and maintaining communications
    • Emergency response policies MUST be in your employee handbook

    Keys to Getting Employees & Management Onboard with Your EAP

    • Get employees and management engaged with plan development
    • Evaluate third-party resources when developing your EAP
    • Determine what training needs to be included in your EAP
    • Involve other appropriate internal parties when developing your EAP

    Learn more:

    See all the Easy-to-Use OSHA Safety Training Materials available! See all the Easy-to-Use OSHA Safety Training Materials available!

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