November 1999

EDITORIAL

Winter Driving and Travel Tips

Have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

    * Battery, anti freeze, heater, wipers and washer fluids.
    * Ignition system, thermostat and brake lights.
    * Defroster and exhaust system.
    * Don’t forget to check the oil, and if necessary, replace existing oil with a winter grade of the SAW 10w/30 weight.
    * Install good winter tires that have ADEQUATE tread.  All weather radials are considered adequate for most winter driving conditions. If you have chains for your tires, be sure you know how to install the things!

                                  Paul Nichols

"Black ice may lurk where you don't expect,
Prepare for a skid, and avoid a wreck!"

MSDS Where are you?

Well, you just received your order of chemicals and are unpacking them from the box.  Everything seems okay and you carefully store the new chemical based on compatibility and throw the box out in the garbage.  You did everything just right...wrong!  Where is the Material Safety Data Sheet for the new chemical?  It's in the box you just threw out along with the packing slip.

Often I see this very scenario taking place out on the loading dock.  On any given day, you can open a box and find the MSDS still attached with the packing slip.  Chemical manufacturers are required by law to inform the end user of all possible hazards associated with the chemical.  Your lab must have an MSDS for all on hand chemicals in order to satisfy OSHA regulations.  Remember next time to unpack all the contents of your chemical shipment.  It saves time and money in generating a new MSDS to replace the one you just threw away!

                                                                                    Lenore Koliha

 

                                                                                 

"If chemical use is a means to an end,
Make that data sheet your new best friend."

HANTAVIRUS Information

Information concerning Hantavirus including frequently asked questions may be found at the following websites:

"Preventing Hantavirus Disease"  (videotape)
www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hanta94.htm

"All About Hantavirus Prevention: Cleaning Up"
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/noframes/prevent3.htm

"All About Hantavirus Prevention:  Heavy Infestions"
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/noframes/prevent4.htm

"All About Hantavirus" Home Page
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/index.htm

"Special Pathogens Branch: Teaching & Prevention Materials Images Useful for Hantavirus Prevention Campaigns"
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/images.htm

Texas Department of Health "Frequently Asked Questions"
http://www.tdh.texas.gov/hantaq&a.htm

Alberta Health, Information Bulletin Exercise Caution to Avoid Hantavirus
http://www.health.gov.ab.ca/whatsnew/releases/hantav.htm

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services; Nebraska Eidemiology: "Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome"
http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/epi/hantavir.htm

                                                                                    Paul Nichols

  "Don't hurry your demise:
Safety has no compromise!"

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Before winter weather starts, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns consumers to inspect all furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, clothes dryers and space heaters to detect carbon monoxide leaks.  Make sure all fuel-burning appliances are vented to the outside and inspected at the start of each heating season for possible blockage.

Every year, nearly 300 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, colorless, highly toxic gas.  CO displaces oxygen (O2) in the blood stream, essentially suffocating the victim.   The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are easily mistaken for other common illnesses.  For that reason, CO poisonings are often misdiagnosed.  Symptoms such as headaches and fatigue are common to a number of illnesses.  Symptoms for carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Low level CO poisoning - "Flu-like" symptoms including headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, confusion and irritability.
  • Moderate level CO poisoning - Vomiting, drowsiness, loss of consciousness.
  • High level CO poisoning - Seizure, coma, permanent brain damage, and ultimately death.

CO can be detected with CO detectors that meet the requirements of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standard 2034.   UL listed carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in your home and tested regularly.  Place one near the furnace and one near sleeping areas to provide maximum protection for your family.

                                                                                            Lenore Koliha

  "Be safe at home.
Don't let an accident tag you out."

Great Gift Ideas

Here is a great gift idea for a student who is on their own for the first time, a newly married couple or any person on   your gift list.  Put together a basket or package including the following items:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Carbon Monoxide detector
  • Weather Band Radio
  • Smoke detector with batteries

Be creative and add items that you know will help to save a life!!

                                                                            Mindy Foster

 

"Safety is a gift for the whole family"

From the National Safety Council

  • In 1997, 93,800 people died from injuries.
  • Disabling injuries from unintentional causes numbered 19.3 million.
  • A fatal injury occurs every 6 minutes and a disabling injury occurs about every 2 seconds.
  • Medical expenses , property damage, employer costs, fire loses, and other expenses related to unintentional injuries cost Americans an estimated $478 billion annually.

 

                                                                                Lenore Koliha

  "Be safety wise-not hospitalized"

Winter Vehicle Safety Kit

A VEHICLE SAFETY KIT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE ON THE OPEN ROAD IN THE EVENT OF A BLIZZARD! Here’s an example of some of the things you might want to consider before you hit the road to Grandmother’s house over the holidays.

    * Flashlight

    * Extra Batteries

    * First Aid Kit

    * Pocket Knife

    * Blankets

    * Sleeping Bag (s)

    * Matches

    * Extra medications

    * Small shovel

    * Small broom

    * Booster cables

    * Chains

    * Traction Mats

    * Space blanket

    * Small tools

    * Plastic bags

    * Tin can

    * Candles

    * Bright cloth (flag)

    * Highway flares

    * Cell phone

    * Cards & games for kids

    * Kitty Litter (traction)

    * Extra clothes - including gloves, mittens, socks, stocking caps and scarves

    * Food stuffs that won't freeze - nuts, candy bars, dried fruits, canned potato chips, etc.

Add or subtract to the list as your own needs may be!

                                                                   Paul Nichols

 

Food Poisoning Alert

Did you know that nearly one in five people around your holiday table faces the risk of food poisoning?  People over 65, pregnant women, infants and people with chronic illness are especially vulnerable to food poisoning. To avoid this happening at your home this holiday season, use the following tips:

    * Don't leave the turkey out all day.  A lot of people leave the cooked bird out on the counter after dinner and people "pick" at for the rest of the day.  Did you know that if one bacterial cell gets on the meat at 1:00 by 8:00 that evening, there could be as many as 2 million?    To avoid this potential catastrophe, make sure that the bird is back in the refrigerator no later than 2 hours after you take it out of the oven.
    * Instead of cooking a large turkey overnight, use a cooking bag or covered roasting pan.   Although thorough cooking kills bacteria, cooking longer at a lower temperature (less than 325º) will actually help bacteria grow.
    * Do not use brown grocery bags as a cooking bag.  Toxins from the glue in the seems can make you ill.
    * Do not consume raw eggs and make sure that foods cooked with eggs (such as custard) reach 160º .
    * Don't thaw your turkey on the counter, use the microwave or refrigerator.

                                                                                           Mindy Foster

"Kitchen safety caters to success."

Holiday Safety Tips

With all of the excitement of Christmas, sometimes we tend to be somewhat careless.  Following these safety tips will help you to have a safe and happy holiday!

  • Clean your oven prior to the holidays.  The extra use and grease build up can be a fire hazard.
  • Test your smoke detectors and replace batteries.  Make sure that you have a fire extinguisher in your home that is easily accessible.
  • Outdoor lights-Use only lights specified as safe for outdoor lighting. .
  • Do not burn wrapping paper in your fireplace.
  • If you use a live tree, make sure that it does not lose green needles when you tap it on the ground.  Make sure that it has plenty of water.

                                                                           Mindy Foster

"Are you gambling with the safety or the lives of your family?."

 

Check out these websites!

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
        www.nhtsa.dot.gov/

Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
        www.bhsi.org

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
        www.hwysafety.org

Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction
(Latest information about potentially hazardous effects of chemicals on human reproduction)
        http://ntp-server.niehs.nih.gov

Childproofing your home - 12 Safety Devices to Protect Your Children
        www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/grand/12steps/12steps.html

Learn about sun safety and environmental safety and health issues at
       www.nsc.org/ehc/kidscorn.htm

To know what to do during a fire, check out
        www.sparky.org

National Safety Council Environmental Health Center Helpline
        www.nsc.org/ehc/airqual/htm

CU Safety Kudos!

For the 4th consecutive year, Creighton's Environmental Health & Safety program has been honored.  The Award of Honor with Distinction was presented to the University at the Greater Omaha Safety & Health Council Expo in May.

On May 11, the Campus Safety Committee conducted a seatbelt check in conjunction with the Safety & Health Council sponsored "Arrive Alive" campaign.  Committee members stopped vehicles and handed out in excess of 250 squeeze bottles to staff, faculty and students who were wearing seatbelts.

The Child Development Center sponsored a child safety seat check in May.  Many parents took advantage of the free service to have their child safety seat inspected.  If you would like to schedule an inspection, call Mindy at 546-6400.