October 2021

Hand Hygiene & Flu Season

Statistics on Hand Hygiene

  • 39% of people wash their hands before eating food
  • We should spend 15 to 20 seconds washing our hands with soap and water to kill germs
  • The average person washes their hands after using the toilet for 6 seconds
  • 1 gram of human feces can contain 10m viruses and 1m bacteria
  • 15% of men don’t wash their hands at all, compared to 7% of women
  • When men do wash their hands, only 50% use soap compared to 78% of women
  • There is fecal matter on 14% of banknotes and 10% of credit cards

(Sources: Michigan State University; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Queen Mary, University of London; London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Global Handwashing Day)

When is the flu season in the United States?

In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter.

While influenza viruses circulate year-round, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May. The overall health impact (e.g., infections, hospitalizations, and deaths) of a flu season varies from season to season.

CDC collects, compiles, and analyzes information on influenza activity year-round in the United States and produces FluView, a weekly surveillance report, and FluView Interactive, which allows for more in-depth exploration of influenza surveillance data. The Weekly U.S. Influenza Summary Update is updated each week from October through May.

Influenza (Flu) Facts (CDC, 2017)

Influenza (the flu) can be a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Anyone can get sick from the flu.

People with flu can spread it to others. Influenza viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are up to about 6 feet away or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

Flu Vaccine Facts (CDC, 2017)

Flu vaccines CANNOT cause the flu. Flu vaccines are made with either killed or weakened viruses.

Flu vaccines are safe. Serious problems from the flu vaccine are very rare. The most common side effect that a person is likely to experience is soreness where the injection was given. This is generally mild and usually goes away after a day or two. Visit Influenza Vaccine Safety for more information.


September 2021

Hazardous Chemical Spill Procedure

When a hazardous chemical spill or leak occurs follow these steps:

  1. Stop all work and inform everyone in the room.
  2. Extinguish all open flames and turn off all heat sources.
  3. Locate Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the chemical that was spilled or released and give to safety department upon arrival.
  4. If the spill is small (less than 1 liter) and vapor fumes are not a problem, cover it with the appropriate neutralizer or absorbent material if you can do so without risk. Call Safety at extension 4527 (after hours 1-2911) to clean up the spill and dispose of waste material. Note: If you are trained to clean up a small spill, you can put on the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and do so. Always contact Safety for notification of the spill, to dispose of the spill, and to dispose of the PPE waste contents.
  5. If the spill is large (1 liter or more) and vapor fumes are a problem, evacuate everyone from the area, notify Safety at extension 4527 (after hours 1-2911) to clean up the spill and dispose of waste material.

Do not attempt to clean up a spill if you have not been trained to or if you are alone.


2021

Creating a Safe Work Environment

Workplace Safety Tips Apply to Every Employee

Share the following eight tips at your next work meeting:

Recognize Workplace Risks

The key to mitigating risks begins with understanding what could cause a potential hazard or incident. Ask each employee to look around their workspace and identify anything that could jeopardize their safety. In many cases, non-threatening items could be problematic in the right scenario. Knowing what damage certain things could potentially cause can help you avoid these situations.

Know How to Report Incidents or Hazards

Incidents can happen at any time to anyone, even those who take safety seriously. When an incident occurs or a hazard manifests itself, employees should know how to report issues expeditiously to lessen their effects. Go over the proper procedures with employees so they can reduce response time, secure the affected if necessary, and work toward a resolution quickly. 

Don’t Take Shortcuts on Tasks or Procedures

Some employees will cast caution to the wind in order to save time. But what they don’t always realize is that tasks have been carefully thought out to prevent safety issues, even if they do require a little more time. Let employees know that if there were a quicker way, you’d already be doing it. Remind them about the importance of following procedures to the letter for their own sake.

Keep Your Workspace Clean and Clear of Clutter

A clean workspace is a safe workspace. Clear away any clutter or unnecessary items that could pose risks of tripping, falling, slipping, or other injuries. Studies show that slips, trips, and falls are one of the biggest dangers at work. They create almost 250,000 missed work days each year, but they’re also largely preventable.

Engage Yourself with the Company

If your team members aren’t engaged with the company outside of meetings and normal job duties, that’s a problem. It’s important for your employees to feel invested in the company. Volunteering for projects, lending a hand outside of their normal duties, joining a committee or team, or participating in company-sponsored programs can immerse them in your company's culture. Employees that have a vested interest in the company can do a better job of maintaining safety standards than someone who simply shows up to work. Let your people know how they can get involved with the company. Offer them ways to stay engaged and show them how it can improve their work life.

Take Regular Breaks

It sounds crazy, but some people work straight through breaks in order to finish a job. While this shows a dedication to their company, it also shows a disregard for safety. Taking regular breaks can ensure projects are completed on time and without incident because it gives workers a chance to grab their focus.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Even though they aren’t sleeping on the job, feeling rested can help them exercise better judgment at work. They’re less likely to make mistakes that can result in safety issues. Emphasize the importance of a good night’s sleep and how it can ultimately affect your employees' performance.

Help New Employees Embrace the Safety Culture

When new employees come on board, it’s essential to start them off right. Rely on your team to help integrate them into your safety culture. Set expectations up front and make it easy for them to learn the ropes to stay safe on the job.

Heat related deaths and illnesses are preventable. Despite this, around 618 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. Here are helpful tips, information, and resources to help you stay safe in the extreme heat this summer.

What is Extreme Heat?

  • Extreme heat is defined as summertime temperatures that are much hotter and/or humid than average.
  • Because some places are hotter than others, this depends on what’s considered average for a particular location at that time of year.
  • Humid and muggy conditions can make it seem hotter than it really is.

What Causes Heat-Related Illness?

  • Heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself.
  • While the body normally cools itself by sweating, during extreme heat, this might not be enough.
  • In these cases, a person’s body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down.
  • This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs.
  • Some factors that might increase your risk of developing a heat-related illness include:
    • High levels of humidity
    • Obesity
    • Fever
    • Dehydration
    • Prescription drug use
    • Heart disease
    • Mental illness
    • Poor circulation
    • Sunburn
    • Alcohol use

Who is Most at Risk?

  • Older adults, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk.
  • However, even young and healthy people can be affected if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.
  • Summertime activity, whether on the playing field or the construction site, must be balanced with actions that help the body cool itself to prevent heat-related illness.

How to stay safe in the heat

Stay Hydrated
Drink water and avoid sugary beverages

Stay Cool
Stay in an air-conditioned area

Wear Light Clothes
Wear loose-fitting, light in color, and lightweight clothes

Equipment

All equipment and appliances must be approved by a reputable testing laboratory, which certifies the equipment and appliances meet the minimum requirements of NFPA-99. Defective plugs, cords, or equipment/appliances are not permitted for use under any circumstance.

Small electrical appliances for personal hygiene use by non-critically ill patients and for patient comfort or entertainment must be reported nursing and checked by Safety prior to use. No personal appliances are to be approved for use by critically ill patients. No extension cords are permitted for any patient approved appliance under these guidelines. Unacceptable items include:

  • TV sets and VCRs
  • Heating pads or electrical blankets
  • Portable heaters of any type
  • Coffee pots of makers, tea pots, hot plates, toasters, or any heating device or appliance designed for cooking or heating food or beverage

Non-Patient Rooms

All electrically powered convenience items (microwaves, fans, coffee makers etc.) must be inspected by Safety prior to use.

All electrical items are subject to inspection by Safety EOC and hazardous safety surveillance surveys. If found defective or in violation, they must be removed from service.

Portable heaters are not permitted in the facility. If there is a heating issue, Safety will provide a heater after all other avenues has been exhausted.

If the appliance in use has an approved label that is more than four (4) years old, please contact Safety to have the appliance re-inspected.

 

Severe Weather

  • Know your emergency plan on where to seek shelter in case of severe weather, tornado or a fire.
  • If you hear thunder, stay indoors to protect yourself from lightning.
  • Stay informed about current severe weather conditions by tuning in to a weather radio, television or the internet.
  • Know how to communicate to others quickly when emergency action is required.
  • Participate in drills to make sure things run smoothly and problems can be worked out be a real emergency happens.

Don't Sleep on Fatigur in the Workplace

Drowsy workers who aren’t getting enough sleep cost employers between $1,200 and $3,100 in productivity losses per employee each year, and can create serious safety problems. Here’s what employers and employees can do about fatigue in the workplace.

Feeling drowsy or tired on the job isn’t just an annoyance—it’s also a serious safety problem. In fact, decreased alertness as a result of worker fatigue played a role in numerous industrial disasters, including the Texas City BP oil refinery explosion, the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, and the nuclear accidents at both Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, OSHA reports.

WHAT IS WORKPLACE FATIGUE?

Workplace fatigue is something that often happens when there is a conflict between a person's work schedule and their sleep schedule or sleep habits. Too little, poor quality or interrupted sleep over an extended period of time can result in fatigue, which is the body's signal that it needs a period of rest.

"The body operates on a circadian rhythm sleep/wake cycle,” OSHA states. “It is naturally programmed for sleeping during night hours. Demanding work schedules may disrupt the body's natural cycle, leading to increased fatigue, stress, and lack of concentration."

Fatigue can hit anyone, anywhere, at any time of day.

In fact, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that more than 43% of workers are sleep-deprived. The NSC also notes:

  • 62% of night shift workers complain about sleep loss
  • Fatigued worker productivity costs employers $1,200 to $3,100 per employee annually
  • Employees on rotating shifts are particularly vulnerable because they cannot adapt their "body clocks" to an alternative sleep pattern
  • About 38% of U.S. workers sleep less than seven hours a night
  • Workers who have a sleeping disorder are more likely to be involved in a workplace safety incident

OSHA also reports that studies show fatigue is linked to health problems like heart disease, stomach and digestive problems, musculoskeletal disorders, reproductive problems, and depression.

Effects of Fatigue in the Workplace

“Worker fatigue increases the risk for illnesses and injuries,” OSHA points out. In studying the relative risk of incidents in the morning, afternoon, and night shifts of 8-hour shift systems, the National Institutes of Health identified an 18% increased risk in the afternoon shift and a 30% increase in the night shift (compared to the morning shift).

The longer the shift, the higher the chances of worker fatigue. Working 12 hours per day is associated with a 37% increased risk of injury, OSHA reports, and employers absorb roughly $136 billion in annual costs related to fatigue-related lost productivity.

The Fatigue-Safety Connection

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation can be as dangerous as alcohol impairment when you’re behind the wheel. The Sleep Foundation writes that:

  • Being awake for 18 hours is similar to a blood alcohol level of 0.05
  • Being awake for a full 24 hours is similar to a blood alcohol level of 0.10, which is over the legal limit

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) points to this data as a demonstration of why fatigue is a serious workplace hazard, too.

Unlike alcohol consumption, which is easier to detect on the job, fatigue levels are not easily measured or quantified. As a result, it’s difficult to isolate the effect of fatigue on accident and injury rates, CCOHS states. “Factors that may influence fatigue are shift rotation patterns, balanced workloads, timing of tasks and activities, availability of resources and the workplace environment (e.g., lighting, ventilation, temperature, etc.).”

Preventing and Managing Fatigue in the Workplace

Employers can help combat fatigue by offering breaks, scheduling work when employees are most alert, and promoting the importance of sleep. Other effective strategies include balancing workload and staffing, training workers on the issue of fatigue (and how to manage it) and leveraging NSC resources like Managing Fatigue: Developing an Effective Fatigue Risk Management System and Fatigue in the Workplace: Causes & Consequences of Employee Fatigue. 

How Do You Fight Fatigue at Work?

There's no single solution for reversing sleep deprivation, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), good sleep habits can help. The CDC recommends that people:

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time, even on the weekends
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, relaxing and at a good temperature
  • Don’t keep TVs, computers, smartphones or other electronic devices in the bedroom
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and big meals before bed
  • Exercise during the day to help yourself fall asleep more easily at night

OSHA’s recommendations include some additional points, such as:

If you work evenings or nights, make sure you’ve slept within the last eight hours before going to work

If you’re napping before work, try to allow for a complete sleep/wake cycle by napping either for:

  • Less than 45 minutes
  • More than two hours

CCOHS echoes this approach and provides a few additional strategies to lessen overall fatigue:

Eat at regular intervals and consume a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and protein

  • Use your bed primarily just for sleeping (e.g., do not watch television, read or do work in bed)
  • If you are not sleepy, do not try to go to bed—get up and read or engage in a quiet activity instead
  • Silence your phone
  • Ask family members to be respectful if one person is sleeping (family members can use headphones for the TV and radio if necessary)
  • Soundproof the room where possible or use ear plugs

For additional resources, see the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Employers and workers who implement these strategies can help minimize worker fatigue and lessen the chances of a workplace accident or mishap—which will help make the workplace a safer and healthier place for everyone.

Severe Weather

Know your emergency plan on where to seek shelter in case of severe weather, tornado or a fire.
 

Escalation Chain of Authority Involving Patient Care Issues of concern

Members of the healthcare team are obligated to report real and/or potential problems affecting patient care.

If a team member is unable to resolve an issue independently, the issue should be escalated up the chain of authority in a timely manner.

Examples of issues that should be escalated include, but are not limited to: 

      • Unavailability of critical supplies and/or equipment needed to provide care 
      • Unresolved hazards or potential hazards present in the physical environment
      • Refusal to adhere to established policies or procedures
      • Delayed response
      • Coworker impairment
      • Disruptive behavior of a staff member, provider, patient, visitor, or guest
      • Communication issues that interfere with patient and family care

It is important for staff to utilize the Safety Online System (SOS) as a means of documenting and tracking patient safety events. Delays in patient care can have devastating effects on our patients; therefore, urgent issues/events should be escalated per policy, in addition to documenting the event within SOS.

Related Policies

2020

WATCH OUT FOR THOSE FIRE STARTERS

Candles and Fireplaces

Thousands of deaths are caused by fires, burns and other fire-related injuries every year, and 12% of home candle fires occur in December, the National Fire Protection Association reports. Increased use of candles and fireplaces, combined with an increase in the amount of combustible, seasonal decorations present in many homes means more risk for fire.

Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle

      • Keep candles out of reach of children
      • Make sure candles are on stable surface
      • Don't burn candles near trees, curtains or any other flammable items
      • Don't burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace
      • Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year

Turkey Fryers

While many subscribe to the theory any fried food is good – even if it's not necessarily good for you – there is reason to be on alert if you're thinking of celebrating the holidays by frying a turkey.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there have been 168 turkey-fryer related fires, burns, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning incidents since 2002. CPSC says 672 people have been injured and $8 million in property damage losses have resulted from these incidents.

NSC discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments or consider a new oil-less turkey fryer.

DON'T GIVE THE GIFT OF FOOD POISONING

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides some holiday food safety tips. Here are a few:

      • Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking
      • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature
      • Refrigerate food within two hours
      • Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for four days in the refrigerator
      • Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating
      • When storing turkey, cut the leftovers in small pieces so they will chill quickly
      • Wash your hands frequently when handling food

HOLIDAY HEALTH & SAFETY

Brighten the holidays by making your health and safety a priority. Take steps to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy and ready to enjoy the holidays.

      • Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. It’s flu season. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.

      • Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.
      • Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.
      • Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
      • Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but nonsmokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
      • Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage passengers to do the same.
      • Get exams and screenings. Ask your health care provider what exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history.
      • Get your vaccinations. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.
      • Monitor children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. Protect them from drowning, burns, falls, and other potential accidents.
      • Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
      • Prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly.

      • Eat healthy, stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables which pack nutrients and help lower the risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Also, be active for at least 2½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
      • Be inspired to stay in the spirit of good health! Listen to The 12 Ways to Health Holiday Song or a holiday health podcast.

Hand Hygiene & Flu Season

Statistics on Hand Hygiene

  • 39% of people wash their hands before eating food
  • We should spend 15 to 20 seconds washing our hands with soap and water to kill germs
  • The average person washes their hands after using the toilet for 6 seconds
  • 1 gram of human feces can contain 10m viruses and 1m bacteria
  • 15% of men don’t wash their hands at all, compared to 7% of women
  • When men do wash their hands, only 50% use soap compared to 78% of women
  • There is fecal matter on 14% of banknotes and 10% of credit cards

(Sources: Michigan State University; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Queen Mary, University of London; London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Global Handwashing Day)

When is the flu season in the United States?

In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter.

While influenza viruses circulate year-round, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May. The overall health impact (e.g., infections, hospitalizations, and deaths) of a flu season varies from season to season.

CDC collects, compiles, and analyzes information on influenza activity year-round in the United States and produces FluView, a weekly surveillance report, and FluView Interactive, which allows for more in-depth exploration of influenza surveillance data. The Weekly U.S. Influenza Summary Update is updated each week from October through May.

Influenza (Flu) Facts (CDC, 2017)

Influenza (the flu) can be a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Anyone can get sick from the flu.

People with flu can spread it to others. Influenza viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are up to about 6 feet away or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

Flu Vaccine Facts (CDC, 2017)

Flu vaccines CANNOT cause the flu. Flu vaccines are made with either killed or weakened viruses.

Flu vaccines are safe. Serious problems from the flu vaccine are very rare. The most common side effect that a person is likely to experience is soreness where the injection was given. This is generally mild and usually goes away after a day or two. Visit Influenza Vaccine Safety for more information.

Hazardous Chemical Spill Procedure

When a hazardous chemical spill or leak occurs follow these steps:

  1. Stop all work and inform everyone in the room.
  2.  Extinguish all open flames and turn off all heat sources.
  3.  Locate Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the chemical that was spilled or released and give to safety department upon arrival.
  4. If the spill is small (less than 1 liter) and vapor fumes are not a problem, cover it with the appropriate neutralizer or absorbent material if you can do so without risk. Call Safety at extension 4527 (after hours 1-2911) to clean up the spill and dispose of waste material. Note: If you are trained to clean up a small spill, you can put on the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and do so. Always contact Safety for notification of the spill, to dispose of the spill, and to dispose of the PPE waste contents.
  5.  If the spill is large (1 liter or more) and vapor fumes are a problem, evacuate everyone from the area, notify Safety at extension 4527 (after hours 1-2911) to clean up the spill and dispose of waste material

Do not attempt to clean up a spill if you have not been trained to or if you are alone.

Creating a Safe Work Environment

Workplace Safety Tips Apply to Every Employee

Sharing workplace safety tips often can help build top of mind awareness and put safety into perspective. No employee is invincible against potential workplace hazards, so do your part in ensuring each person understands their role.

Share the following eight tips at your next work meeting:

Recognize Workplace Risks

The key to mitigating risks begins with understanding what could cause a potential hazard or incident. Ask each employee to look around their workspace and identify anything that could jeopardize their safety. In many cases, non-threatening items could be problematic in the right scenario. Knowing what damage certain things could potentially cause can help you avoid these situations.

Know How to Report Incidents or Hazards

Incidents can happen at any time to anyone, even those who take safety seriously. When an incident occurs or a hazard manifests itself, employees should know how to report issues expeditiously to lessen their effects. Go over the proper procedures with employees so they can reduce response time, secure the affected if necessary, and work toward a resolution quickly. 

Don’t Take Shortcuts on Tasks or Procedures

Some employees will cast caution to the wind in order to save time. But what they don’t always realize is that tasks have been carefully thought out to prevent safety issues, even if they do require a little more time. Let employees know that if there were a quicker way, you’d already be doing it. Remind them about the importance of following procedures to the letter for their own sake.

Keep Your Workspace Clean and Clear of Clutter

A clean workspace is a safe workspace. Clear away any clutter or unnecessary items that could pose risks of tripping, falling, slipping, or other injuries. Studies show that slips, trips, and falls are one of the biggest dangers at work. They create almost 250,000 missed work days each year, but they’re also largely preventable.

Engage Yourself with the Company

If your team members aren’t engaged with the company outside of meetings and normal job duties, that’s a problem. It’s important for your employees to feel invested in the company. Volunteering for projects, lending a hand outside of their normal duties, joining a committee or team, or participating in company-sponsored programs can immerse them in your company's culture. Employees that have a vested interest in the company can do a better job of maintaining safety standards than someone who simply shows up to work. Let your people know how they can get involved with the company. Offer them ways to stay engaged and show them how it can improve their work life.

Take Regular Breaks

It sounds crazy, but some people work straight through breaks in order to finish a job. While this shows a dedication to their company, it also shows a disregard for safety. Taking regular breaks can ensure projects are completed on time and without incident because it gives workers a chance to grab their focus.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Even though they aren’t sleeping on the job, feeling rested can help them exercise better judgment at work. They’re less likely to make mistakes that can result in safety issues. Emphasize the importance of a good night’s sleep and how it can ultimately affect your employees' performance.

Help New Employees Embrace the Safety Culture

When new employees come on board, it’s essential to start them off right. Rely on your team to help integrate them into your safety culture. Set expectations up front and make it easy for them to learn the ropes to stay safe on the job.

Heat related deaths and illnesses are preventable. Despite this, around 618 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. Here are helpful tips, information, and resources to help you stay safe in the extreme heat this summer.

What is Extreme Heat?

  • Extreme heat is defined as summertime temperatures that are much hotter and/or humid than average.
  • Because some places are hotter than others, this depends on what’s considered average for a particular location at that time of year.
  • Humid and muggy conditions can make it seem hotter than it really is.

What Causes Heat-Related Illness?

  • Heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself.
  • While the body normally cools itself by sweating, during extreme heat, this might not be enough.
  • In these cases, a person’s body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down.
  • This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs.
  • Some factors that might increase your risk of developing a heat-related illness include:
    • High levels of humidity
    • Obesity
    • Fever
    • Dehydration
    • Prescription drug use
    • Heart disease
    • Mental illness
    • Poor circulation
    • Sunburn
    • Alcohol use

Who is Most at Risk?

  • Older adults, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk.
  • However, even young and healthy people can be affected if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.
  • Summertime activity, whether on the playing field or the construction site, must be balanced with actions that help the body cool itself to prevent heat-related illness.

How to stay safe in the heat

 

Wash Your Hands Thoroughly and Often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 

Practice social distancing by avoiding close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet from the person who is sick and other household members
  • Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.

    • Remember that people without symptoms may be able to spread infection.
    • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
    • Do not gather in groups.
    • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
    • Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

  • You could spread infection to others even if you do not feel sick
  • Most individuals should wear a cloth face covering when they have to go out in public (for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.)

    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance
    • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected
    • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing

 Cover coughs and sneezes

  • If you are in private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow
  • Throw used tissues in the trash
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfecting. Then use a household disinfectant.
     
    • Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.

EQUIPMENT

All equipment and appliances must be approved by a reputable testing laboratory, which certifies the equipment and appliances meet the minimum requirements of NFPA-99. Defective plugs, cords, or equipment/appliances are not permitted for use under any circumstance.

      • Small electrical appliances for personal hygiene use by non-critically ill patients and for patient comfort or entertainment must be reported nursing and checked by Safety prior to use.
      • No personal appliances are to be approved for use by critically ill patients.
      • No extension cords are permitted for any patient approved appliance under these guidelines

Unacceptable items include:

      • TV sets and VCRs
      • Heating pads or electrical blankets
      • Portable heaters of any type
      • Coffee pots of makers, tea pots, hot plates, toasters, or any heating device or appliance designed for cooking or heating food or beverage

Non Patient Rooms

      • All electrically powered convenience items (microwaves, fans, coffee makers etc. must be inspected by Safety prior to use.
      • All electrical items are subject to inspection by Safety EOC and hazardous safety surveillance surveys. If found defective or in violation, they must be removed from service.
      • Portable heaters are not permitted in the facility. If there is a heating issue, Safety will provide a heater after all other avenues has been exhausted.
      • If the appliance in use has an approved label that is more than four (4) years old, please contact Safety to have the appliance re-inspected.

Severe Weather

      • Know your emergency plan on where to seek shelter in case of severe weather, tornado or a fire.
      • If you hear thunder, stay indoors to protect yourself from lightning.
      • Stay informed about current severe weather conditions by tuning in to a weather radio, television or the internet.
      • Know how to communicate to others quickly when emergency action is required.
      • Participate in drills to make sure things run smoothly and problems can be worked out be a real emergency happens.

Don't Sleep on Fatigue in the Workplace

Drowsy workers who aren’t getting enough sleep cost employers between $1,200 and $3,100 in productivity losses per employee each year, and can create serious safety problems. Here’s what employers and employees can do about fatigue in the workplace.

Feeling drowsy or tired on the job isn’t just an annoyance—it’s also a serious safety problem. In fact, decreased alertness as a result of worker fatigue played a role in numerous industrial disasters, including the Texas City BP oil refinery explosion, the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, and the nuclear accidents at both Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, OSHA reports.

What Is Workplace Fatigue?

Workplace fatigue is something that often happens when there is a conflict between a person's work schedule and their sleep schedule or sleep habits. Too little, poor quality or interrupted sleep over an extended period of time can result in fatigue, which is the body's signal that it needs a period of rest.

“The body operates on a circadian rhythm sleep/wake cycle,” OSHA states. “It is naturally programmed for sleeping during night hours. Demanding work schedules may disrupt the body's natural cycle, leading to increased fatigue, stress, and lack of concentration.”

Fatigue can hit anyone, anywhere, at any time of day. In fact, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that more than 43% of workers are sleep-deprived. The NSC also notes:

      • 62% of night shift workers complain about sleep loss
      • Fatigued worker productivity costs employers $1,200 to $3,100 per employee annually
      • Employees on rotating shifts are particularly vulnerable because they cannot adapt their "body clocks" to an alternative sleep pattern
      • About 38% of U.S. workers sleep less than seven hours a night
      • Workers who have a sleeping disorder are more likely to be involved in a workplace safety incident

OSHA also reports that studies show fatigue is linked to health problems like heart disease, stomach and digestive problems, musculoskeletal disorders, reproductive problems, and depression.

Effects of Fatigue in the Workplace

“Worker fatigue increases the risk for illnesses and injuries,” OSHA points out. In studying the relative risk of incidents in the morning, afternoon, and night shifts of 8-hour shift systems, the National Institutes of Health identified an 18% increased risk in the afternoon shift and a 30% increase in the night shift (compared to the morning shift).

The longer the shift, the higher the chances of worker fatigue. Working 12 hours per day is associated with a 37% increased risk of injury, OSHA reports, and employers absorb roughly $136 billion in annual costs related to fatigue-related lost productivity.

The Fatigue-Safety Connection

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation can be as dangerous as alcohol impairment when you’re behind the wheel. The Sleep Foundation writes that:

      • Being awake for 18 hours is similar to a blood alcohol level of 0.05
      • Being awake for a full 24 hours is similar to a blood alcohol level of 0.10, which is over the legal limit

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) points to this data as a demonstration of why fatigue is a serious workplace hazard, too.

Unlike alcohol consumption, which is easier to detect on the job, fatigue levels are not easily measured or quantified. As a result, it’s difficult to isolate the effect of fatigue on accident and injury rates, CCOHS states. “Factors that may influence fatigue are shift rotation patterns, balanced workloads, timing of tasks and activities, availability of resources and the workplace environment (e.g., lighting, ventilation, temperature, etc.).”

Preventing and Managing Fatigue in the Workplace

Employers can help combat fatigue by offering breaks, scheduling work when employees are most alert, and promoting the importance of sleep. Other effective strategies include balancing workload and staffing, training workers on the issue of fatigue (and how to manage it) and leveraging NSC resources like Managing Fatigue: Developing an Effective Fatigue Risk Management System and Fatigue in the Workplace: Causes & Consequences of Employee Fatigue.

How Do You Fight Fatigue at Work?

There's no single solution for reversing sleep deprivation, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), good sleep habits can help. The CDC recommends that people:

      • Go to bed and get up at the same time, even on the weekends
      • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, relaxing and at a good temperature
      • Don’t keep TVs, computers, smartphones or other electronic devices in the bedroom
      • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and big meals before bed
      • Exercise during the day to help yourself fall asleep more easily at night

OSHA’s recommendations include some additional points, such as:

If you work evenings or nights, make sure you’ve slept within the last eight hours before going to work

If you’re napping before work, try to allow for a complete sleep/wake cycle by napping either for:

      • Less than 45 minutes
      • More than two hours

CCOHS echoes this approach and provides a few additional strategies to lessen overall fatigue:

      • Eat at regular intervals and consume a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and protein
      • Use your bed primarily just for sleeping (e.g., do not watch television, read or do work in bed)
      • If you are not sleepy, do not try to go to bed—get up and read or engage in a quiet activity instead
      • Silence your phone
      • Ask family members to be respectful if one person is sleeping (family members can use headphones for the TV and radio if necessary)
      • Soundproof the room where possible or use ear plugs

For additional resources, see the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Employers and workers who implement these strategies can help minimize worker fatigue and lessen the chances of a workplace accident or mishap—which will help make the workplace a safer and healthier place for everyone.

THE DANGERS OF CANNED AIR

Canned air is commonly used in offices to clean dust from equipment such as computers and shredders. These products often are used without incident; however, lack of training in proper use can lead to flash fires and injuries, warns the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

Canned air is different from the air we breathe. The products are made of a gas that is compressed into a liquid and canned. The types of gases used vary, and some are dangerous when used improperly. Some of the more common dangers include:

      • Flammable ingredients. When canned gas is tilted, the liquefied and highly flammable gas can be released into the air and onto surfaces it contacts. This can be especially dangerous in poorly ventilated areas. When a flammable atmosphere is created, flames, sparks and electrical switches can ignite the concentrated gas, causing a flash fire.
      • Frostbite. The liquid inside canned air can cause frostbite when the skin is exposed to a steady stream. This can vary from an intense burning sensation to serious physical injuries such as skin cracking, and damage to muscles, blood vessels and nerves.
      • Asphyxiation and toxicity. When high concentrations of the gas are released into a non-ventilated area, oxygen deficiency and possible asphyxiation can occur. The effects of inhalation vary depending on the type of chemical used, as well as the intensity and duration of exposure. When used properly, a serious breathing problem is unlikely to occur.

Simple steps in the workplace can help keep workers safe from these dangers associated with canned air products. Washington L&I recommends the following measures:

      • Find out who uses canned air and in what areas of the workplace it is used.
      • Determine whether the areas are properly ventilated. If they are not, move use to an open and well-ventilated area.
      • Check the contents of the canned air products in use at your workplace. If the product is flammable, switch to a nonflammable alternative.
      • Consider whether the use of eye, face and skin protection is needed when using canned air.
      • Make sure all canned air users – and those in charge of purchasing – are aware of potential hazards associated with use of the products.
      • Make sure users read the label on the can and follow all instructions for proper use.
      • Keep Material Safety Data Sheets available for complete information.

CANNED AIR SAFETY

Canned-air products commonly are used in offices to remove dust from computers, shredders and other electronic equipment. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries warns employers that without proper training, employees may not follow safe practices because they assume the products are harmless. However, a variety of gases used in canned-air products are highly flammable. Follow these basic steps from Washington L&I to help keep your employees safe from hazards associated with canned-air products:

      • Ensure the products are used in an open and well-ventilated area.
      • Check that a non-flammable version is being used.
      • Make sure users read the label on the can and follow instructions on using the product safely. Post the Material Safety Data Sheet (or Safety Data Sheet) so more thorough hazard information is available to employees.
      • Consider whether eye, face or skin protection is needed.

FIRE PROCEDURES

CODE RED – FIRE

Remember RACE
      1. R – Rescue/Remove any persons in danger
      2. A – Alert/Alarm, pull fire alarm
      3. C – Confine/Contain the fire (close doors)
      4. E – Extinguish/Evacuate (Evacuate only as directed and always horizontally first, if possible)

Fire doors (generally doors that have auto closers) should never be propped open with doorstops, chocks, etc.

Know the location of your nearest pull station and fire extinguisher

Keep hallways clear (COWS may not be charged in corridors)

Extinguisher Operation – Remember PASS
      1. P – Pull the lock pin
      2. A – Aim at the base of fire
      3. S – Squeeze handle
      4. S – Sweep from side to side

Escalation Chain of Authority Involving Patient Care Issues of concern

Members of the healthcare team are obligated to report real and/or potential problems affecting patient care.

If a team member is unable to resolve an issue independently, the issue should be escalated up the chain of authority in a timely manner.

Examples of issues that should be escalated include, but are not limited to: 

      • Unavailability of critical supplies and/or equipment needed to provide care 
      • Unresolved hazards or potential hazards present in the physical environment
      • Refusal to adhere to established policies or procedures
      • Delayed response
      • Coworker impairment
      • Disruptive behavior of a staff member, provider, patient, visitor, or guest
      • Communication issues that interfere with patient and family care

It is important for staff to utilize the Safety Online System (SOS) as a means of documenting and tracking patient safety events. Delays in patient care can have devastating effects on our patients; therefore, urgent issues/events should be escalated per policy, in addition to documenting the event within SOS.

Related Policies

2019

WATCH OUT FOR THOSE FIRE STARTERS

Candles and Fireplaces

Thousands of deaths are caused by fires, burns and other fire-related injuries every year, and 12% of home candle fires occur in December, the National Fire Protection Association reports. Increased use of candles and fireplaces, combined with an increase in the amount of combustible, seasonal decorations present in many homes means more risk for fire.

Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle

      • Keep candles out of reach of children
      • Make sure candles are on stable surface
      • Don't burn candles near trees, curtains or any other flammable items
      • Don't burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace
      • Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year

Turkey Fryers

While many subscribe to the theory any fried food is good – even if it's not necessarily good for you – there is reason to be on alert if you're thinking of celebrating the holidays by frying a turkey.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there have been 168 turkey-fryer related fires, burns, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning incidents since 2002. CPSC says 672 people have been injured and $8 million in property damage losses have resulted from these incidents.

NSC discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments or consider a new oil-less turkey fryer.

DON'T GIVE THE GIFT OF FOOD POISONING

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides some holiday food safety tips. Here are a few:

      • Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking
      • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature
      • Refrigerate food within two hours
      • Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for four days in the refrigerator
      • Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating
      • When storing turkey, cut the leftovers in small pieces so they will chill quickly
      • Wash your hands frequently when handling food

HOLIDAY HEALTH & SAFETY

Brighten the holidays by making your health and safety a priority. Take steps to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy and ready to enjoy the holidays.

      • Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. It’s flu season. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.

      • Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.
      • Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.
      • Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
      • Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but nonsmokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
      • Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage passengers to do the same.
      • Get exams and screenings. Ask your health care provider what exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history.
      • Get your vaccinations. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.
      • Monitor children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. Protect them from drowning, burns, falls, and other potential accidents.
      • Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
      • Prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly.

      • Eat healthy, stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables which pack nutrients and help lower the risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Also, be active for at least 2½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
      • Be inspired to stay in the spirit of good health! Listen to The 12 Ways to Health Holiday Song or a holiday health podcast.

HAND HYGIENE/FLU SEASON

Statistics on Hand Hygiene

      • 39% of people wash their hands before eating food

      •  We should spend 15 to 20 seconds washing our hands with soap and water to kill germs

      •  The average person washes their hands after using the toilet for 6 seconds

      •  1 gram of human feces can contain 10m viruses and 1m bacteria

      •  15% of men don’t wash their hands at all, compared to 7% of women

      •  When men do wash their hands, only 50% use soap compared to 78% of women

      •  There is fecal matter on 14% of banknotes and 10% of credit cards

(Sources: Michigan State University; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Queen Mary, University of London; London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Global Handwashing Day)

When is the flu season in the United States?

In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. While influenza viruses circulate year-round, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May. The overall health impact (e.g., infections, hospitalizations, and deaths) of a flu season varies from season to season. CDC collects, compiles, and analyzes information on influenza activity year-round in the United States and produces FluView, a weekly surveillance report, and FluView Interactive, which allows for more in-depth exploration of influenza surveillance data. The Weekly U.S. Influenza Summary Update is updated each week from October through May.

Influenza (Flu) Facts (CDC, 2017)

      • Influenza (the flu) can be a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Anyone can get sick from the flu.
      • People with flu can spread it to others. Influenza viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are up to about 6 feet away or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

Flu Vaccine Facts (CDC, 2017)

      • Flu vaccines CANNOT cause the flu. Flu vaccines are made with either killed or weakened viruses.

      • Flu vaccines are safe. Serious problems from the flu vaccine are very rare. The most common side effect that a person is likely to experience is soreness where the injection was given. This is generally mild and usually goes away after a day or two. Visit Influenza Vaccine Safety for more information.

Hazardous Chemical Spill Procedure

When a hazardous chemical spill or leak occurs follow these steps:

      1. Stop all work and inform everyone in the room.
      2. Extinguish all open flames and turn off all heat sources.
      3. Locate Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the chemical that was spilled or released and give to safety department upon arrival.
      4. If the spill is small (less than 1 liter) and vapor fumes are not a problem, cover it with the appropriate neutralizer or absorbent material if you can do so without risk. Call Safety at extension 4527 (after hours 1-2911) to clean up the spill and dispose of waste material.

        • Note: If you are trained to clean up a small spill, you can put on the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and do so. Always contact Safety for notification of the spill, to dispose of the spill, and to dispose of the PPE waste contents.
      5. If the spill is large (1 liter or more) and vapor fumes are a problem, evacuate everyone from the area, notify Safety at extension 4527 (after hours 1-2911) to clean up the spill and dispose of waste material.

Back to School Safety

Back to school is an exciting time, but besides new teachers, good books, and old friends, it can also bring contagious infections as well as traffic issues.

Read more about the highly contagious viral infection, measles. [PDF]

School days bring congestion: Yellow school buses are picking up their charges, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.

It's never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially before and after school.

If You're Dropping Off

Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. The following apply to all school zones:

      • Don't double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles
      • Don't load or unload children across the street from the school
      • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they're walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:

      • Don't block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic
      • In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection
      • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign
      • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
      • Don't honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
      • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
      • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

 Sharing the Road with School Buses

If you're driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

      • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you're on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
      • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
      • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
      • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

UV Safety

The Fourth of July is not the only thing the month of July is known for.

July is also UV Safety Awareness Month.

UV radiation is the main factor responsible for skin cancers. Part of the UV spectrum, UVA rays are present during all daylight hours while UVB rays can cause burning, tanning and skin aging.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, just five sunburns doubles your risk of Melanoma, one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer.

The Skin Cancer Foundation says you should apply sunscreen, seeking shade during peak sun hours and cover up with clothing, wide-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses.

Here are a few tips from the Skin Cancer Foundation:

      • Apply one ounce of broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside.
      • Reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.
      • Seek shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
      • Cover up with clothing, wide-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses.

Securing Sensitive Areas

      • Electronic access (via badge) is given to staff whose job function dictates that they need entry to an area.
      • Badges should never be loaned to another employee or person.
      • When swiping into an area, no other person (unknown to you) should be allowed to enter before the door closes again. That defeats the purpose of the secure entry.
      • Malfunctioning access locations (badge won’t work, door not latching, etc) should be immediately reported to security at 1-2911.
      • Electronic doors should never be propped or held open.
      • Suspicious persons loitering around secure access doors should be reported to 1-2911.

Are you a target for a tailgater?

    • Card access locations are in place to provide better security for our patients and staff.
    •  Never allow another person to use your ID badge to access a restricted area. If there is a card reader, the area is considered restricted.
    • Employees should never allow other persons (staff or visitors) to follow behind them (tailgating) when using card access to enter a restricted area unless the staff person or visitor is actually with the accessing staff member. Don’t assume that because someone is an employee they should be allowed in an area.
    •  In many cases, potential infant/child abductors gain access by tailgating a staff member who is not paying