Upcoming EHS Training Classes
Ergonomics Training --August 4th 2010 1:00 – 4:00p.m.
Please contact Lionel Elder for further information on locations and how to register.
Distracted Driving Can Be Lethal
Number of Fatal Crashes Rising Due to Distracted Driving Whether you’re talking on a cell phone, texting, using your laptop or any other device not related to driving, you will be distracted from the task at hand – safe driving. State traffic laws are beginning to catch up with the common use of electronic devices, often banning their use while driving. In 2008, 5,870 people lost their lives and an estimated 515,000 people were injured in police-reported crashes in which at least one form of driver distraction was reported on the crash report. While these numbers are significant, they may not state the true size of the problem, since the identification of distraction and its role in the crash by law enforcement can be very difficult.
Distracted Driving Data
- Driver distraction was reported to have been involvedin 16 percent of all fatal crashes in 2008 according to data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
- The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group—16 percent of all under-20 drivers in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving.
- An estimated 21 percent of injury crashes were reported to have involved distracted driving, according to data from the General Estimates System (GES).
- Based on data from the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS), a nationally representative survey, of the crashes in which the critical reason for the crash was attributed to the driver, approximately 18 percent involved distraction.
- During the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, driver involvement in secondary tasks contributed to over 22 percent of all crashes and near-crashes recorded during the study period.
"The injuries and deaths associated with distracted driving are not just numbers, they are people," said Juan Andrade, president and chief operating officer, property and casualty operations, The Hartford. "The Hartford and our employees support the I-PROMISE Pledge because we see the tragic results of distracted driving every day. As an insurer of peoples' lives, homes, cars and businesses, we see the extraordinary pain of a lost parent or child, the damage of life-long injuries, or the disruption of the lost ability to work. These are very real physical, emotional and financial consequences that may last forever.
"I Promise Not To Drive Distracted"Have you taken the I-Promise Pledge? The Hartford is joining forces with police chiefs and celebrities to curb distracted driving.
It's never too early to start protecting yourself against sun damage, and if you work outdoors this message is especially important. Summer heat waves can last days or weeks, and when they do, they have the potential to cause many deaths from hyperthermia ("hot body"). The Environmental Health & Safety Department are very concerned about the safety and well-being of the campus community amid this hot weather season.
When the weather is humid as well as hot, sweat doesn't evaporate as quickly, slowing the cooling process. Humidity above 75% can stop evaporation, allowing body temperature to rise. Thus, the body is better able to tolerate heat when the humidity is low. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage people to be careful if they will be in the heat.
Some tips are:
- Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
- Drink lots of fluids. (Avoid fluids with a high sugar or alcohol content.)
- Go indoors in air-conditioned buildings.
- Don’t leave anyone in a closed/parked vehicle.
- Limit outdoor activity to the morning and evening.
- Wear sunblock and a hat if you will be out in the sun.
- If you are outside, rest often in a shady area.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
There may not be any record highs yet, but that doesn’t mean the heat isn’t dangerous. So please take the necessary precautions to ensure safety for yourself as well as others. For more information relating to heat/health issues for employers/employees, view/print OSHA's Heat Stress card (http://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3154.pdf).
See you around campus!
Gerald C. Donaldson, REM
Vacations can have some injury exposures and if an employee or family member gets injured, they really can’t be productive at work or at home. Here are a few vacation safety tips.
Road Safety – This time of year may be a great time to refresh your driver safety by completing your annual review of the DOAS driver safety videos
at DOAS-Auto Program. Driving in another country can be very stressful and even dangerous. Before your trip, get information on what driving is like in your destination. Once there, pay close attention to all road signs. If the signs are in a different language, this will make things more difficult. Avoid going out in a car with a rental-company logo on the bumper or windscreen, which automatically announces you as a tourist; this makes you more vulnerable to attacks by thieves. And for the same reason, make sure you don’t leave your maps, hotel documents and guidebooks in the car. If it’s possible to roam your mobile phone in the country do it, and if not, get one to use internationally. It will be useful especially in case of emergencies at your destination and for making contact with your base back home.
Airport Safety – Always keep an eye on your luggage and never leave it unattended. To avoid someone else picking up your carry-on bag, try not to place it on the conveyor belt until you’ve been security checked yourself and right about to walk through the metal detector. Once you put it on the conveyor belt, keep a close eye on it.
Hotel Safety – Keep valuables in a safe and always know where your closest safety exits are in case of an emergency.
Sight-Seeing Safety – Children aren’t aware of the dangers around them and won’t act any differently in unfamiliar surroundings. Place a safety card in your child’s pocket including your name, contact details and hotel information. Don’t wear expensive jewelry or carry expensive bags, cameras or laptops. Always, always keep a close eye on your bags. It’s a good idea to actually carry your cash, identification and credit cards in your pocket and not in your main bag. Be especially careful with your bags when sitting down at restaurants. It’s a common scam for thieves to steal bags from right under someone’s seat when they’re dining and happily preoccupied chatting. Stay on the main roads and near people at all times. Try not to wander down lonely roads or alleys even if they are short cuts.
Out of Country travels – To ensure everyone enjoys the trip, check with the CDC website in advance for any recommended inoculations and/or medications to take with you on your trip. A little prevention here can make the difference between having a great vacation and a visit to Montezuma’s revenge.
Weather – June 1 ushered in the beginning of Hurricane season, so take that into consideration for your vacation plans as well. Traveling or not make sure you have an emergency plan in place for Hurricane season. Lightning is another consideration while participating in outdoor activities whether for recreation or for work. Every year about 50 people are killed by lightning in the U.S.; about 300 more are injured – many seriously. The best place to be when lightning strikes is inside a large, enclosed building. Buildings that can be unsafe: picnic and golf shelters, baseball dugouts, patios, carports and open garages. As much as you would like to crawl into a tent to stay dry during a wild storm, a tent is NEVER safe! The National Weather Service (NWS) says if there are less than 30 seconds between the time you see lightning and hear the thunder, you should be inside. Avoid water and open spaces. Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike or thunder clap before resuming activities. To find out more about lightning safety visit the National Weather Service lightning education area. Enjoy your downtime and come back safely!
Thanks for your time. Let’s work together to make Georgia a safer place to work. This article is courtesy of DOAS. Contact Karmen Binion in EHS
by email or call (678) 797-2460 for additional information.
ARE YOU A HAZMAT EMPLOYEE?
KSU is a hazardous material (hazmat) employer because we cause the transport of hazardous materials in commerce. You are a hazmat employee if your work causes you to have any part of the process. 49CFR171.8 defines hazmat employee as follows:
(1) A person who is:
(i) Employed on a full-time, part time, or temporary basis by a hazmat employer and who in the course of such full time, part time or temporary employment directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety
(ii) Self-employed (including an owner-operator of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft) transporting hazardous materials in commerce who in the course of such self-employment directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety
(iii) A railroad signalman
(iv) A railroad maintenance-of-way employee
(2) This term includes an individual, employed on a full time, part time, or temporary basis by a hazmat employer, or who is self-employed, who during the course of employment:
(i) Loads, unloads, or handles hazardous materials
(ii) Designs, manufactures, fabricates, inspects, marks, maintains, reconditions, repairs, or tests a package, container or packaging component that is represented, marked, certified, or sold as qualified for use in transporting hazardous material in commerce
(iii) Prepares hazardous materials for transportation
(iv) Is responsible for safety of transporting hazardous materials
(v) Operates a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials
Each hazmat employee must receive hazardous material transportation training according to 49CFR172.704. This training includes General awareness/familiarization, Function-specific, Safety, Security Awareness, and In-depth security training.
Please contact Vanessa Keel Biggers in EHS
by email or call 678-797-2415 for more information.
Radon: A Silent Killer
Did you know that Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, second only to smoking? An estimated 21,000 people in the US die from radon-related lung cancer annually. In fact, Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer death among non-smokers.
What’s Radon?Radon is an odorless and tasteless naturally occurring radioactive gas formed from the radioactive decay of uranium. Uranium is found in small amounts in most rocks and soil. Radon can be found all over the U.S and can get into any type of building. Breathing air containing high concentrations of radon can lead to lung cancer. The risk is especially high if you smoke and live in a house with high radon levels.
How does Radon get into the building?Radon typically enters the building through cracks and other openings in the foundation or basement. Sometimes radon enters the building through water supply. Some building materials can also give off radon.
How can I tell if I am exposed? The only way of telling if you are exposed to radon is by testing for radon in the air. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. Testing is inexpensive and easy - There are many kinds of low-cost "do-it-yourself" radon test kits you can get through the mail and in hardware stores and other retail outlets. EPA recommends fixing your home if measured indoor levels of radon are 4 or more pCi per liter (pCi/L) of air.
What is the solution?There are several proven methods of reducing radon in buildings. These include the sealing of surfaces between the ground and the building and installing ventilation systems that route air from materials under the building to outdoor air. New homes can be built with radon-resistant features. Certified radon mitigation experts can be located by contacting Georgia Radon Program Coordinator, under the GA Department of Community Affairs.
Where can I get more information about Radon?For more information about radon, read the "A Citizen's Guide to Radon" published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA).