Just had a co-worker tell me about a relative whose package was just stolen right off her porch last night. She heard a noise and looked out just in time to see a hooded man grab a package from her porch and run away into the darkness. She called the company that was scheduled to deliver the package and found out that the delivery man had only just dropped the package off. Chances are the thief was following the delivery truck waiting for the driver to deliver packages.
It seems to happen every year about this time. With more and more people shopping online and more and more presents being delivered through the mail, packages that are left on the porch become easy pickings for unscrupulous thieves.
Here are a few things to keep this from happening to you:
1. Whenever possible, have the package delivered to your place of business rather than your home.
2. You can also have the package delivered to an address where you know someone will be home. Track delivery and let them know when the package is expected so they can be on the look out for it.
3. Opting for “signature required” will also insure that your package won’t just be left on the doorstep. If you aren’t there to sign for the package the carrier will leave a note letting you know that the package will be at the post office for you to come pick up and sign for.
4. Finally, opt for in-store pick up rather than delivery. You can still shop online and not have to deal with the crowds but by going to the store to pick it up when you have the time instead of having it mailed to your home, you not only get the piece of mind of knowing that you package won’t get stolen, you’ll also save the shipping cost.
Wishing you a theft-free holiday season!
Chickenpox Can Be Serious
Chickenpox is a very contagious disease. You or your child may be at risk if you have never had chickenpox or have never gotten the vaccine. Chickenpox causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness, and fever. This can make you feel sick and very uncomfortable and cause you to miss 5 to 7 days of school or work.
First the Rash, Then the Blisters
Anyone who hasn’t had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine can get the disease. Chickenpox most commonly causes an illness that lasts about 5-10 days. The classic symptom of chickenpox is a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters that eventually turn into scabs. The rash may first show up on the face, chest, and back then spread to the rest of the body, including inside the mouth, eyelids, or genital area. It usually takes about one week for all the blisters to become scabs.
Other typical symptoms that may begin to appear 1-2 days before rash include:
· high fever
· loss of appetite
Children usually miss 5 to 6 days of school or childcare due to their chickenpox.
Some people who have been vaccinated against chickenpox can still get the disease. However, the symptoms are usually milder with fewer blisters and mild or no fever. About 25% to 30% of vaccinated people who get chickenpox will develop illness as serious as chickenpox in unvaccinated persons.
Chickenpox used to be very common in this country. About 4 million people would get it each year. Also, 10,500 to 13,000 people were hospitalized and 100 to 150 people died because of chickenpox each year. Most people who had severe chickenpox were healthy beforehand. Read a mother’s story about her 13-month old child who had severe chickenpox [PDF – 380KB].
Thankfully, chickenpox vaccine has changed all that.
Chickenpox Vaccine: Your Best Protection
Chickenpox vaccine is the best way to protect you and your child from chickenpox. Also, when you get vaccinated, you protect others in your community. This is especially important for people who cannot get vaccinated, such as those with weakened immune systems and pregnant women.
New CDC Podcast: Chickenpox – What You Need to Know
CDC researcher Jessica Leung provides the basics on chickenpox, its symptoms, how it spreads, and how to protect you and your family from getting it. Listen to the Podcast [04:26 minutes]
Children should get the first dose of chickenpox vaccine when they are 12 through 15 months old and the second dose at age 4 through 6 years. People 13 years of age and older who have never had chickenpox should get two doses at least 28 days apart. If you or your child only got one dose in the past, check with your doctor about getting a second dose.
Two doses of chickenpox vaccine are very effective at preventing severe disease, complications, and death. You can still get chickenpox if you have been vaccinated. But, it is usually milder with fewer blisters and little or no fever.
Some people should wait to get vaccinated or should not get vaccinated at all, including pregnant women and those with severe weakened immune systems. Chickenpox vaccine is safer than getting the disease. Make sure you and your children are protected.
Chickenpox Can Be Severe
Chickenpox can be severe for babies, adolescents, adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. It can cause—
· bleeding problems
· brain infection or inflammation
· bacterial infections of the skin and soft tissues in children including Group A streptococcal infections
· blood stream infections (sepsis)
· toxic shock syndrome
· bone infections
· joint infections
If you have any questions about chickenpox or the vaccine, talk with your doctor.
Paying for Chickenpox Vaccine
Most health insurance plans cover the cost of vaccines. But, you may want to check with your insurance provider first. If you don’t have insurance, or if your plan does not cover vaccines, the Vaccines for Children Program may be able to help. This program helps children who are eligible get the vaccines they need. The vaccines are provided at no cost to doctors who serve children who are eligible.
To learn more about chickenpox and vaccination, visit
· Varicella (Chickenpox): Unprotected Story [PDF – 380KB] – a mother’s story about her 13-month-old child who had severe chickenpox
Today’s Post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald , CHSO, STS , EHS Supervisor , DFA-Portales NM
SafeStaff is playing Santa this year and giving away some great content for free:
1. Free Safety Signs that you can print yourself
2. Free Safety Posters
3. Free Safety Videos
4. Free Safety Infographics
Take advantage of these free downloads while they’re available!
We all know about booms, spill pads, socks and other sorbents used for cleaning up oil spills. Now, a new technology might be the answer and do a much better job. Check out this video:
Check out OSHAs’ web page on “Protecting Temporary Workers” and the first thing you’ll notice is the ticket tape at the top. Scrolling are the fatalities of temporary workers over the past couple of years. It’s pretty sobering.
With Christmas approaching a lot of companies are hiring temp workers and OSHA has put a renewed emphasis on protecting them.
Unfortunately many employers don’t think of temps in the same way as they might their regular employees. Where they would normally make sure the permanent employees are properly trained in safety procedures, employers might take the “Oh, they’re only here for a couple of days!” attitude and forgo the proper training. This attitude puts temp workers at greater risk. Where everyone else on the factory floor might know what the hazards and dangers are, temp workers may not and it might result in injury or even death.
Spend a little time on the “Protecting Temporary Workers” page already mentioned, then head over to the J. J. Keller “Temporary Worker Safety” web page for an in-depth analysis of the problem and what can be done about it. While you’re there, make sure you download the “Free Temporary Workers Whitepaper”.
As anyone who’s spent any time on Pinterest or on DYI sites will tell you, there are hundreds of ways to reuse those wooden pallets that are seen lying around. While the idea of reusing something that would normally just get thrown away or burnt really appeals to many, it only makes sense if those pallets aren’t going to cause safety concerns.
What am I talking about?
The chemicals that might leech from the wood because of how it was treated
Pallets are made of wood and wood isn’t just cut from the tree and nailed together, it’s treated before it can be used. There are several ways that pallet wood can be treated:
- Heat treatment: This is good and it is chemical-free. The wood is basically dried in a kiln to remove moisture and stabilize the wood. This is the same process that is used with most of the lumber you’ll see in your local home improvement center. The HT mark might be followed by or preceded by a “DB”. The “DB” stands for debarked, which simply means that the bark has been removed from the wood before the wood is used.
- Methyl-Bromide Fumigation: This NOT GOOD. Methyl-Bromide is a pesticide that is toxic. While it has been mostly banned, pallet made with wood that is treated with Methyl-Bromide are still out there.
The “IPPC” symbol and initials stand for International Plant Protection Convention and basically lets you know that the wood has been treated with approved measures. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT CHEMICALS WEREN’T USED HOWEVER, so don’t rely on that to determine the safety of the wood treatment.
The other codes on the pallet refer to the country of origin and the registration number of the supplier (in the photo above, for example, MA stands for Morocco. You can download a complete list of the country codes here).
The chemicals that might have been transported on the pallet and may have leaked.
- Colored Pallets: Avoid colored pallets as these are usually painted to denote the fact that they are being used to transport chemicals.
- Stains on the pallet wood: You don’t know what caused the stain and therefore you should avoid using the wood.
So what about pallets that don’t have any markings on them?
You’ll quickly find that a lot of pallets have no markings at all on them. The reason for this is that they are most often locally built and intended for domestic use only. The wood from these pallet is often inferior quality wood as the pallets are basically built to be disposable. They are not required to have the IPPC stamp. Having said that, if they are newer and look to be in good shape the wood is generally safe to use. Most of the wood used for domestic pallets is not treated with chemicals.
The bottom line is that when using pallets, pay attention to the markings and use common sense. If it looks stained or dirty, pass.
How long should an infant be in a rear-facing car seat? If you said “1 year”, you’re “legally” correct but if you’re really concerned about the safety of your child it might pay to have a look at the graphic below. Truth is that your child should stay rear-facing as long as possible, up to 3 or 4 years of age.