July 1999


I am often amazed and sometimes amused at the aches and pains complaints that I receive regarding computer work stations.  Quite often the problems are corrected by adjusting a chair, or raising a keyboard, or placing the monitor directly in line with the keyboard.  New employees are sometimes afraid they are doing something wrong by adjusting a work station to fit themselves.  Simply put, there is no reason why you should not be comfortable working at a computer for hours a day.  Here are a few simple do it yourself suggestions to help make you more comfortable:

  1. Adjust your chair to an appropriate height and/or angle.
  2. Make sure that your monitor is in line with your body and the keyboard.
  3. Make sure that your arms are at a 90 angle, and level with the keyboard.
  4. Support your wrists with a wrist support.
  5. A footrest of some type usually enhances posture and comfort.

Regardless of the above, if you are experiencing discomfort while working at your computer work station and the above suggestions have not helped, please give us a call at 546-6400 or 546-269, and schedule a full ergonomic workstation review.

                                                Paul Nichols

"Your body will tell you when it's right.
Pick a chair that's the right height."


The following statistics were the result of a CNN Interactive Poll on May 23, 1999.

    How often do you wear setbelts?

            Always                             83%

            Usually                            11%

            I don't bother                  6%
            with them

Just goes to show that there are 6% who just don't get it!!


Ear Poisons (ototoxins) enter the body through ingestion, inhalation and skin absorbtion.   Ototoxins impair hearing, cause ringing in the ear, or total deafness.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) considers carbon monoxide, lead, and its compounds, styrene, toluene, trichloroethylene and xylene as high priority ototoxins.  Noise combined with ototoxins can result in even more severe effects.

Chemical Health & Safety Volume 4, #2                                Lenore Koliha

"Chemicals must be treated with respect.
You are the one that you must protect."


A joint safety advisory was issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Occupational Safety & Health Association (OSHA) warning health care workers of the dangers associated with glass capillary tubes.   OSHA estimates that there are nearly 2,800 injuries from glass capillary tubes every year.  Tubes may break when being centrifuged or while being inserted into putty for sealing.  Workers may be exposed to both the hazards of a potentially infectious specimens and sharp glass fragments.

OSHA recommends the use of : non-glass capillary tubes; glass capillary tubes wrapped with puncture resistant film; or a method for sealing that does not require one end of the tube to be pushed into putty.

                                                                                    Lenore Koliha

"The sense of smell doesn't always tell"


Starting a new exercise regime to get in shape for summer?  Or are you anxious to start playing on the company softball team?  Weekend athletes who want to return to work without aches, pains, or maybe even a broken bone, should be cautious when returning to physical activity after a winter of relative inactivity.

The American College of Emergency Physicians offers these suggestions t prevent injuries

  • Talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise program or starting a strenuous sport.
  • Warm up.  A proper warm-up session increases body temperature and will make you less prone to injury.
  • Maintain a comfortable level of activity.  Don't overdo it.
  • After the activity, do some cool down exercises to gradually return your body temperature to its normal level.

                                                                        Mindy Foster

From Today's Supervisor April 1999

"Bring your safety sense home with you"


Creighton Pre-Hospital Education is offering CPR classes on a monthly basis as follows:

Second Saturday of each month
9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Last Monday of each month
3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

COST: $45.00 (for full course)
$25.00 (for renewal)

For more information please call 280-1280.  Registration is required 5 days prior to the start of the class.


  1. Think like a burglar - Pretend you are a burglar and look around your house and neighborhood that may attract burglars.
  2. Landscape for security - Remember the 3-foot/6-foot rule.  Trim  tree branches up to 6 feet off the ground and trim shrubs down to 3 feet.  A solid fence provide privacy, not only to you but also a      burglar.  Consider a chain link fence.
  3. Add outdoor lighting - Make sure that all entry points to your house are well-lit.  Include doors and windows on both the main floor and basement.  Also consider using motion detectors.
  4. Install solid doors - If you can push a straight pin into the door without much effort, the core is hollow.   Replace it with a solid door.
  5. Install deadbolt locks - Deadbolts with double cylinders (operates with a key from both sides) offer an advantage when there is  glass near or on a door.  If burglars break the glass to enter, they won't be able to turn the deadbolt with their hand to open the door.
  6. Secure your windows - Window locks are an inexpensive way to  deter burglars.  For double hung windows, use a wooden pole in the track or insert a nail or pin above the window so that it can't be opened.
  7. Consider a burglar alarm - Alarms can be especially beneficial to people who live in isolated areas or spend long periods away from  home.   Alarms are not a "cure-all" though, and should not take the place of hard security in your doors and windows.
  8. Burglar-proof your possessions - Engrave valuable items.  When you buy expensive items, don't eave the boxes by the curb for pick-up.  Break up the boxes and wait until trash day to leave them.
  9. Change your habits -
  • Keep all windows and doors locked.
  • Supervise people who come to your home for repairs.
  • When you leave for vacation, make your home look                       occupied.   This includes mail/paper pick up, leaving a                       light on and keep a car parked in your driveway.
  • Close your blinds/curtains at night.

10.  Organize - Form a neighborhood watch group.  You will get to know your neighbors and keep everybody safe.

"Home safety is where the hearth is"


Victims of carjackings and kidnappings can be placed into the trunks of cars.  With no way to free themselves, they're helpless.  Children looking for a place to play or hide have also died from heat stroke on hot days after becoming locked inside a trunk.

In response to these tragedies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently studying the feasibility of trunk release devices.  Their 18-month study, sue in late 1999, is part of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century.  After NHTSA's review of trunk entrapment issues, the study may identify the most practical solutions and the costs to implement them.

                                                                                Mindy Foster

"When you work together,
Everyone is better!"


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.