Know Your ABCDEs to Check for Signs of Skin Cancer

Know Your ABCDEs to Check for Signs of Skin Cancer

Incidents of skin cancer are on the rise. More than three million people across the United States and Canada are diagnosed each year. Melanoma is particularly lethal. Between the two countries, melanoma will kill more than 10,000 people in 2016.

It’s important to do skin checks thoroughly and at least once a month. By doing self-checks, you become familiar with what is normal for your skin. Many people don’t understand that something very small on their skin can be deadly if it’s not treated promptly. Your skin should also be examined by a dermatologist once a year, or more frequently if you are considered to be at high risk for cancer.

What does a normal mole look like?

A normal mole is usually:

 An evenly colored brown, tan or black spot on your skin

 Flat or raised and round or oval

 Usually no wider than a pencil

The ABCDE rule is another way to check skin for signs of skin cancer. Make an appointment to see your dermatologist immediately if you notice any moles or spots on your skin that have any other these features:

A is for Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.

B is for Boarder: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched or blurred.

C is for Color: The color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, or sometimes patches of pink, red, white or blue.

D is for Diameter: The spot is larger than a pencil eraser, although some melanomas can be smaller.

E is for Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape or color.

Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne Pathogens

1. Employee exposure to bloodborne pathogens from blood and Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM) because employees are not using Universal Precautions.
 Bloodborne pathogens are pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans.

 Some infections that can be transmitted through contact with blood and body fluids include:

 HIV, Hepatitis A, B, C, Staph and Strep infections, Gastroenteritis-salmonella, and shigella, Pneumonia, Syphilis, TB, Malaria, Measles, Chicken Pox, Herpes, Urinary tract infections, and Blood infections. The greatest risks are from HIV, which can lead to AIDS, and Hepatitis B and C.

2. When looking at someone you cannot tell if a person is infected with pathogenic disease, we must always take precautions following an illness or injury when bodily fluids have been released.

3. In the event that a person loses bodily fluids, stay away from the infected area and warn others to do so. You can still stay close to the ill/injured person to support them, just be sure to stay out of contact of bodily fluids.

4. In the event that you find spilled bodily fluids, syringes, or other contaminated materials, do not attempt to clean up. Call the Safety Manager for immediate instructions.

Clean Up


• Pair of rubber, latex, PVC or similar type gloves.


• 10% bleach solution (or Lysol, virex or other EPA reg. Tuberculocidal)

• gloves

• clear plastic bags/biohazard bags

• biohazard labels (if not using biohazard bags)

• brush & dustpan, or tongs or forceps for picking up sharps

• disinfectant wipes


 Cover the spill area with a paper towel and then pour freshly mixed 10% bleach and water solution.

 Allow solution to soak into the contaminated material. Work from the outside edges of the spill inward when applying the bleach solution.

 Any glass, needles, or other sharp objects that may puncture the skin will not be picked up by hand. Only mechanical means such as a brush and dustpan, tongs, or forceps are allowed. If you do not have such equipment available, contact HazMat for clean up.

 Wipe up bleached material with paper towels or absorbent pads


 Place bleached material, gloves and other disposable materials into a labeled biohazard bag and place into either another labeled biohazard bag or container


 Decontaminate with the bleach solution all potentially contaminated re-useable tools or protective equipment used in the cleanup. This includes dustpans, brooms, forceps, buckets, etc.


 If hand-washing facilities are not available at the job site use disinfectant wipes and then wash your hands as soon as possible. BIOHAZARD EXPOSURE If you believe you were exposed (skin puncture or splash to eyes or mucous

Being Mentally Prepared For Emergencies

Being Mentally Prepared for Emergencies

Would you know what to do if an emergency occurred while you were on the job? Do you know what actions to take if a co-worker was seriously injured, a fire ignited, or a structure collapsed? Are you prepared to react?

A good start in learning how to respond to an emergency is through certification in Basic First Aid and CPR training in Toronto (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation). These courses teach important skills. But even more important than the first aid skills gained, they teach how to respond to an emergency. Knowing what to look for and how to react could save the life of a co- worker or family member.

Your company should have an emergency action plan. Review it periodically, and be aware of what steps to follow when calling for emergency help. Know the course of action to take in likely emergencies at your facility. This will improve your safety awareness in everything you do.

Safety awareness may be gained through the company’s regular safety meetings, safety training or your own personal interest in safety & health. This awareness will increase your ability to respond if, some day in the future, you are a bystander in an emergency. This is particularly important if you work in a hazardous industry.

You should be able to answer the following:

 How and who do you notify in an emergency?

 Are you prepared to react responsibly?

 Should you stay with the injured person or run for help?

 If you are not First Aid certified, do you know who in your crew or the company is?

 Does the emergency scene need to be secured?

 Do you know the chain of command? Who’s in charge during an emergency?

You come to work everyday prepared for the task at hand and knowledgeable on how to handle production problems in the workplace. Being mentally aware is also your best preparation for a potential emergency. Analyze beforehand what to do if one of your co-workers is injured, and if that injury is life threatening. Know how to protect yourself, your co- workers and the company in case of a serious chemical spill. Chances are, during a crisis, you won’t have much time to plan the best possible action-so make those decisions ahead of time.

When an emergency does occur, it is your responsibility to be mentally ready.

Emergency Vehicles

Emergency Vehicles

Reacting to an approaching emergency When an emergency vehicle is approaching your vehicle from any direction with its flashing red or red and blue lights, or siren or bell sounding, you are required to bring your vehicle to an immediate stop.

When bringing your vehicle to a stop, you are required to bring your vehicle as near as is practical to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. When on a one-way road or divided highway having more than two lanes of traffic, move to the closest curb or edge of the roadway. Your vehicle should be parallel to the roadway and clear of any intersections, including highway on/off ramps. Do not move onto or stop on the shoulder of the roadway, as emergency vehicles may be travelling along it.

Use extreme caution when stopping your vehicle because other drivers may not yet be aware of or are already reacting to the approaching emergency vehicle. Look to the front, both sides and toward the rear of your vehicle, signal your intention to pull over well in advance and begin to adjust your vehicle’s speed to merge with any traffic to the side you are pulling to. Once you have moved your vehicle to the side, brake gradually as required and bring your vehicle to a safe stop. Avoid any sudden changes in direction or excessive braking and be aware of any vehicles approaching fast to the rear of your vehicle.

If you are in an intersection and preparing to make a turn when an emergency vehicle is approaching, you should abandon the turn and clear the intersection by proceeding straight when safe to do so, then pull to the right and stop. This will clear the intersection and minimize the possibility of a collision with the emergency vehicle should it be passing you on the side you intended to turn towards.

When the emergency vehicle has passed, check to make sure the way is clear and signal before merging back into traffic. Remain vigilant for additional emergency vehicles, and remember it is illegal to follow within 150 meters of a fire vehicle responding to an alarm.

Reacting to a stopped emergency vehicle or tow truck

When approaching any emergency vehicle that is stopped with its red, or red and blue, lights flashing or a tow truck with its amber lights flashing in the same direction of your travel, you are required to reduce the speed of your vehicle and proceed with caution.

When the roadway has two or more lanes of traffic in the same direction of your travel, you are required to move into a lane away from the emergency vehicle or tow truck, if safe to do so, in addition to reducing the speed of your vehicle and proceeding with caution. Similar to the procedures noted above, when slowing down and moving over, look in front and on both sides of your vehicle, and check your rearview mirrors, to determine the speed of the traffic around you and condition of the roadway. Proceed to decrease your speed similar to surrounding traffic speed, use your turn signal prior to making the lane change, and double check your rearview mirrors and shoulder check your blind spots to ensure no other vehicles are moving into or approaching that lane too fast. When safe to do so, change lanes well in advance of an emergency vehicle or a stopped tow truck with its flashing amber lights. Once in the lane, brake gradually and continue to reduce the speed of your vehicle when safe to do so. Be aware of any vehicles approaching fast to the rear of your vehicle.

People doing yoga on their desks

Daily Stretching

Daily Stretching

Why are we implementing daily stretching? As we become busier in our work, our employees are working faster, which can increase risk of injury. Back, hand, arm, and knee strains are a high risk in our industry. Making sure you stretch your muscles increases your flexibility, which in return increases blood flow through your extremities. Taking 3-5 minutes a day practicing these stretches can decrease chances of injury. Your muscles have a chance to heal quicker, your circulation has increased, and your muscles are warmed up ready to work.

Please review the stretches below for your work division.

Company required stretching for labor related positions – 10 to 12 seconds each stretch, beginning of each shift and throughout the day when needed. (SMS shop, SSG field)

Company required stretching for office/desk related positions. 10 to 12 seconds for each stretch, beginning of shift and throughout the day when needed.

Heat Prevention

Heat Prevention

Provision of water stay hydrated –

  • Whenever environmental risk factors for heat illness exist, supervisors are responsible to ensure that clean, fresh, and cool potable water is readily available to employees

• Where unlimited drinking water is not immediately available from a plumbed system, supervisors must provide enough water for every employee to be able to drink one quart of water per hour for the entire shift (at least 2 gallons per employee for an 8-hour shift). Smaller quantities of water may be provided at the beginning of the shift if there are effective procedures for replenishing the water supply during the shift as needed.

Shade – Blockage of direct sunlight. Canopies, umbrellas and other temporary structures or devices may be used to provide shade. One indicator that blockage is sufficient is when objects do not cast a shadow in the area of blocked sunlight. Shade is not adequate when heat in the area of shade defeats the purpose of shade, which is to allow the body to cool. For example, a car sitting in the sun does not provide acceptable shade to a person inside it, unless the car is running with air conditioning.

Preventative recovery period – A period of time, at least five minutes, used to recover from the heat in order to prevent further heat illness

Personal risk factors for heat illness – Factors such as an individual’s age, degree of acclimatization, health, water consumption, alcohol consumption, caffeine consumption, and use of prescription medications that affects the body’s water retention or other physiological responses to heat.

• Soda, coffee, alcohol, sports drinks do not replace water, make sure to drink water often.

Employees Responsibilities:

• Awareness and compliance with all appropriate heat illness prevention procedures while performing assigned duties

• Employees are ultimately responsible for drinking adequate amounts of hydrating fluids when the environmental risk factors for heat illness are present

• Ensure access to a shaded area is available to recover from heat related symptoms • Inform their supervisor if shade and/or water is inadequate

• Report symptoms of heat related illness promptly to their supervisor

• Call 911 to request emergency medical services in the event medical assistance is required

Drug Testing & Safety: What’s the Connection?

Drug Testing & Safety: What’s the Connection?

Enacting a clear drug testing policy to eliminate workplace substance abuse is an important step toward maintaining a safe work environment.

Born some 30 years ago, drug testing in the workplace connects to occupational safety as a key component in protecting the safety, health, and welfare of employees, as well as the general public. Drug testing programs can contribute to the reduction of employee injury- and illness-related costs, including medical care, sick leave, and disability benefit costs.

A survey of human resource professionals recorded that companies with high workers’ compensation incidence rates reported a drop from 14 percent to 6 percent after implementing drug testing programs, an improvement of 57 percent. The Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducted this survey in March 2011.

The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), reported an estimated 23.9 million Americans ages 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users. This estimate represents 9.2 percent of the population ages 12 or older. Around 8.9 percent of those employed full time reported use of illicit drugs in our workplaces.

The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace causes 65 percent of on-the-job accidents and that 38 percent to 50 percent of all workers’ compensation claims are related to the abuse of alcohol or drugs in workplace. Drug testing programs provide a powerful deterrent to drug use on the job. Employers who are drug testing are committed to reducing occupational injuries and illnesses and to sending a clear signal they care about their employees.

It is important to distinguish between drug testing and drug testing programs. A comprehensive drug testing program or drug-free workplace will include several additional components that will contribute to helping to improve safety while reducing OSHA recordables, injuries, and workers’ compensation claims. These drug-free workplace components are critical to a successful program designed to be an effective part of a workplace safety plan.

Listening Safety

Listening Safety :

Nearly all construction sites are filled with various sounds and noises. Each sound we hear is the result of an action of a worker using a tool or a piece of equipment. In nearly every case, a tool or piece of equipment will signal its breakdown by a change in the normal operating sound. Everyone on site should condition himself or herself to be able to pick up these advance warning signals even when wearing ear plugs or earmuffs. Your individual safety could easily be dependent on your ability to hear approaching danger.

Things Decreasing Listening Safety:

Over concentration on work

Lack of sleep

Improper over eating habits

Use of alcohol or drugs (both legal and illegal)

Poor work place ventilation

Individual headphones; loud radios – Convenience of headphones and personal music removes you from full attention of the activities around you. Make sure that the music is turned down and you can hear what is going on around you. Discuss with your superintendent the concerns of the area noise, and know that you are responsible for being aware of your surroundings. You may be requested by the superintendent, management, or qualified person to remove your headphones if they become a distraction.

How to Improve Listening Safety Habits: Become acquainted with the proper operational sounds of equipment and tools Listen closely to instructions. Ask questions if instructions are unclear or confusing Stay alert

Remember: Although it may be easier to see danger than it is to hear it, your ears are able to perceive warning signals from all around you. Your eyes are only good in the direction you are looking. Fine tune your ears and you can fine tune your exposure to danger and injury.

Fall Protection

Fall protection

PLAN ahead to get the job done safely

When working from heights, such as ladders, scaffolds, and roofs, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.

PROVIDE the right equipment

Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.

Different ladders and scaffolds are appropriate for different jobs. Always provide workers with the kind they need to get the job done safely. For roof work, there are many ways to prevent falls. If workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect all fall protection equipment to ensure it’s still in good condition and safe to use.

TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely

Falls can be prevented when workers understand proper set-up and safe use of equipment, so they need training on the specific equipment they will use to complete the job. Employers must train workers in hazard recognition and in the care and safe use ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems, and other equipment they’ll be using on the job.